84 MEMOIES OP JOSEPH GEIMALDI.
vaneed to the appointed chamber, and in two minutes found
himself in the presence of Mr. Hughes and his accuser.
The former received him coldly; the latter turned away when
he saw him without vouchsafing a word.
" Come in, sir," said Mr. Hughes, " and close the door after
you." He did as he was told; never, either before or after-
wards, feeling so strangely like a criminal.
"Mr. Grrimaldi," continued Mr. .Hughes, with a mingled for-
mality and solemnity which appalled him, "I have something-
very important to communicate to you—in fact, I have had
a charge preferred against you of a most serious description,
" Tes, indeed, sir!" said the enemy, with a look very like one
" It is true," replied Mr. Hughes, " and I fear you will not be
able to clear yourself from it: however, in justice to you, the
charge shall be fully stated in your own presence. Eepeat, sir,
if you please," he continued, addressing the accuser, " what you
told me last night."
And repeat it he did, in a speech, replete with malignity, and
not destitute of oratorical merit: in which he dwelt upon the
serpent-like duplicity with which young Grrimaldi had stolen
into the bosom of a happy and hospitable family for the purpose
of robbing a father and mother of their beloved daughter, and
dragging down from her own respectable sphere a young and
inexperienced girl, to visit her with all the sorrows conse-
quent upon limited means, and the needy home of a struggling-
It was with inexpressible astonishment that he heard all this ;•
but still greater was his astonishment at witnessing the de-
meanour of Mr. Hughes, who heard this lengthened oration with
a settled frown of attention, as though what he heard alike
excited his profound consideration and anger; occasionally, too,Ms courage, he ad-