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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

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•within sight, he picked up the purse and thrust it into his


As he stooped for this purpose, he observed, lying on the
ground on very nearly the same spot, a small bundle of papers
tied round with a piece of string. He picked them up too,
mechanically. "What was his astonishment, on examining this
last discovery more narrowly, to find that the bundle was com-
posed exclusively of bank-notes!

There was still nobody to be seen: there were no passers-by,
no sound of footsteps in the adjacent streets. He lingered about
the spot for more than an hour, eagerly scrutinizing the faces
of the people, who now began passing to and fro, with looks
which themselves almost seemed to inquire whether they had
lost anything. ISTo! there was no inquiry, no searching; no
person ran distractedly past him, or groped among the mud by
the pavement's side. It was evidently of no use waiting there ;
and, quite tired of doing so, he turned and walked slowly back
to the eoach-offlce in Graeechurch-street. He met or overtook
no person on the road who appeared to have lost anything, far
less the immense sum, of money (for such it appeared to him)
that he had found.

All this time, and for hours afterwards, he was in a state of
turmoil and agitation almost inconceivable. He felt as if he
had committed some dreadful theft, and feared discovery, and
the shameful punishment which must follow it. His legs
trembled beneath him so that he could scarcely walk, his heart
beat violently, and the perspiration started on his face.

Hie more he reflected upon the precise nature of his situation,
the more distressed and apprehensive he became. Suppose the
money were to be found upon him by the loser, who would
beEeve him, when he declared that he picked it up in the street ?
Would it not appear much more probable that he had stolen it ?
and if such a charge were brought against him, by what evi-
dence could he rebut it ? As these thoughts, and twenty such,stin-