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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

120

MEMOIRS OS JOSEPH GEIMALDI.

" Then pay two shillings,—pass on, Tom-fool!" such was the
old lady's invariable address to everybody on busy nights, with-
out the slightest reference to their quality or condition.

On this occasion of the doors being opened at five o'clock,
when the house was quite full she locked up the box in which
the money was deposited, and going round to the stage, ordered
the performances to be commenced immediately, remarking, with
a force of reasoning which it was impossible to controvert, that
" the house could be but full, and being full to the ceiling now,
they might just as well begin at once, and have it over so much
the sooner." The performance accordingly began without delay,
to the great satisfaction of the audience, and terminated shortly
after nine o'clock.

Grrimaldi was very much caressed by the townspeople, and
received several invitations to dinner next day from gentlemen
residing in the neighbourhood; all of which he declined, how-
ever, being already engaged to the eccentric manageress, who
would hardly allow him out of her sight. Happening to walk
about the town in the course of the morning, he was recognised
and saluted by the boys, in the same way as when he walked the
streets of London. On the night of his second appearance, the
house was again crowded, the door-keepers having managed,
indeed, by some ingenious contrivance, to squeeze three pounds
more into it than on the previous night. The first evening pro-
duced I5il., and the second 1571, Of the gross sum, his share
was 1551. 17*., which was promptly paid to him after supper, on
the second and last night.

The old lady had no sooner handed it over through the ever
useful Bony, than she proposed to Grrimaldi to go on with them
to Canterbury, and to act there for the next two nights upon
similar terms. He no sooner signified his willingness to do so,
than she directed bills for distribution to be made out, and sent
to the printer's instantly. They were composed and printed by
four o'clock in the morning. Uo sooner did they arrive wetf his way with so beneficial an effect upon the treasurys instructions,