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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

132                       MEMOIES OF JOSEPH GBIMALDI.

houses, and almost invariably went off with loud applause. I
have heard the following anecdote related, which, if true,
clearly proves that Sheridan by no means thought so highly of
this drama as did the public at large. One evening it chanced
that these two companions were sitting at some tavern in the
neighbourhood discussing the merits of a disputed question and
a divided bottle, when Lewis, warming with his subject, offered
to back his opinion with a bet.

""What will you wager?" inquired Sheridan, who began to
doubt whether his was not the wrong side of the argument.

" I'll bet you one night's receipts of the Castle Spectre !"
exclaimed the author.

"No," replied the manager; "that would be too heavy a
•wager for so trifling a matter. I'll tell you what I'll do—I'll •
bet you its intrinsic worth as a literary production !".

Lewis received these little sallies from his lively acquaintance
•with the most perfect equanimity of temper, never manifesting
annoyance by action further than by passing his hand through
his light-coloured hair, or byword further than a murmured
interjection of " Hum!" or " Hah !"

There is another little anecdote in this place which we will
also leave Grimaldi to tell in his own way.

" In the winter of the year I frequently had the honour of
seeing his late Majesty George the fourth, then Prince of Wales,
who used to be much behind the scenes of Drury Lane, delight-
ing everybody with his affability, his gentlemanly manners, and
his witty remarks. On Twelfth Night, 1802, we all assembled
in the green-room as usual on that anniversary at Drury Lane
Theatre, to eat cake, given by the late Mr. Baddeley, who by
his will left three guineas to be spent in the purchase of a
Twelfth-cake for the company of that theatre. In the midst of
our merriment, Sheridan, accompanied by the Prince, entered
the apartment, and the former looking at the cake, and noticing
a large crown with which it was surmountgf, playfully said, a great card for Drury Lane; it drew immense