MEMOIES OP JOSEPH GHBMALDI. 109
" Very pretty, sir."
" That's right! Ton must lead a domestic life, Joe: nothing
like a domestic life for happiness, Joe: I lead a domestic life
myself." And then came one of those twinkling glances which
no one who ever saw them can forget the humour of.
" I mean to do so, sir."
"Eight. But, Joe, what will your poor little wife do while
you are at the theatre of an evening ? Very bad thing, Joe, to
let a pretty young wife be alone of a night. I'll manage it for
you, Joe: I'll put her name down upon the free list; herself and
friend.—But, mind, it's a female friend, that's all, Joe; any
other might be dangerous,—eh, Joe ?" And away he went with-
out pausing for a moment to listen to Grrimaldi's expressions'of
gratitude for his thoughtful kindness. However, he did not
omit performing his friendly offer, and Ms wife, availing herself
of it, went to the theatre almost every night he played, sat in
the front of the house until he had finished, and then they went
In tMs pleasant and quiet manner the autumn and winter
passed rapidly away. In the following year, 1799, it became
apparent that his young wife would shortly make him a father;
and while this prospect increased the happiness and attention of
her husband and parents, it added little to their slight stock
of cares and troubles, for they were too happy and con-
tented to entertain any other but cheerful anticipations of the
There is little to induce one to dwell upon a sad and melan-
choly chapter in the homely life of every-day. After many
months of hope*, and some of fear, and many lingering changes
from better to worse, and back and back again, Ms dear wife,
whom he had loved from a boy with so much truth and feeling,
and whose excellences to the last moment of Ms life, many
years afterwards, were the old man's fondest theme, died.
" Poor Joe! Oh, Richard, be kind to poor Joe!" were theatter for