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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

108

MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GKRIMALDI.

CHAPTEB   YIL
1798 to 1801.

Partiality of George the Third for Theatrical Entertainments—Sheridan's Mnd-
ness to Grimaldi—His domestic affliction and severe distress—The produc-
tion of Harlequin Amulet a new era in Pantomime—Pigeon-fancying and
Wagering—His first Provincial Excursion with Mrs. Baker, the eccentric
Manageress—John Kemhle and Jew Davis, with a new reading—Increased
success at Maidstone and Canterbury—Polite interview with John Kemble.

THE summer passed pleasantly away, the whole of Grrimaldi's
spare time being devoted to the society of his wife and her
parents, until the departure of the latter from London for
"Weymouth, of which theatre Mr. Hughes was the proprietor.
It is worthy of remark, as a proof of the pleasure which Greorge
the Third derived from theatrical entertainments, that when
the court were at Weymouth, he was in the habit of visiting the
theatre at least four times a week; generally on such occasions
commanding the performance, and taking with him a great
number of the noblemen and ladies in his suite.

Drury Lane opened for the season on the 15th of September,
and Sadler's Wells closed ten days afterwards: but while the
latter circumstance released Grrimaldi from his arduous labours
at one theatre, the former one did not tend to increase them at
the other, for pantomime was again eschewed at Drury Lane,
and "Blue Beard," "Feudal Times," and " Lodoiska" reigned
paramount At the commencement of the season he met Mr.
Sheridan, when the following colloquy ensued :—

"Well, Joe, still living—eh ?"

"Yes, sir; and what's more, married as well."

"Oho!   Pretty young woman, Joe ?"se to Dover, and Grimaldi, after transacting the business