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114.                         MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GBIMALDI.

or rather minutes; for sometimes they remained away so long-
on their-aerial excursions, that their owner gave them up in
despair. On one occasion they were absent upwards of four
hours. As their owner was sitting disconsolately, concluding
they were gone for .ever, Ms attention was attracted by the
apparently unaccountable behaviour of three birds who had been
left beMnd, and who, with their heads elevated in the air, were
all gazing with intense earnestness at one portion of the horizon.
After straining Ms eyes for a length of time without avail, their
master began to fancy that he discerned a small black speck a
great height above him. He was not mistaken, for by and by
the black speck turned out, to his infinite joy, to be the lost
flight of pigeons returning home, after a journey probably of
several hundred miles.

When the pantomime had ceased to run, Grimaldi had but
little to do at Drury Lane, Ms duties being limited to a combat
or some such business, in "Lodoiska," "Feudal Times," and
other spectacles, wMeh he could well manage to reach the
theatre in time for, after the performances at Sadler's Wells
were over. Drury Lane closed in June, and re-opened in Sep-
tember, ten days after the season at Sadler's Wells had termi-
nated ; but as he did not expect to be called into active service
until December, he played out of town, for the first time in Ms
life, in the month of November, 1801.

There was at that time among the Sadler's Wells company a
clever man named Lund, who, in the vacation time, iisually
joined Urs. Baker's company on the Rochester circuit. His
benefit was fixed to take place at Rochester, on the 15th, and
coining to town, he waited on Gximaldi and entreated him to
play for him on the occasion. Whenever it was in Ms power to
accede to such a request it was Ms invariable custom not to
refuse; he therefore willingly returned an answer in the affirm-

He reached Rochester about noon on the day fixed for theade for the bird, but it was