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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

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,
sir."

"Indeed, sir!"

" Tes, indeed, sir!" said the enemy, with a look very like one
of triumph.

" 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-
aetor.

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-