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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

133

* It is not right that a crown should be the property of a cake:
what say you, George?' The Prince merely laughed: and
Sheridan, taking up the crown, offered it to him, adding—

" ' "Will you deign to accept this trifle ?'

" ' Not so,' replied his highness : ' however it may be doubted,
it is nevertheless true that I prefer the cake to the crown, after
all.3 And so, declining the crown, he partook of our feast with
hilarity and condescension."

There was no pantomime at Drury Lane, either in 1801 or
1802 ;* nor was any great novelty produced at Sadler's "Wells in

* Grimaldi appears to have been much circumscribed in his performances at
the Wells in 1801.   Dubois was Clown in the Harlequinades, and between him
and Joe, the comicalities of the season appear to have been divided; the comic
songs being sung by Dubois, Grimaldi, and Davis.   Among the extraordinary
events of this season was the appearance in June of the late distinguished
tragedian, Edmund Kean, as "Master Carey, the Pupil of Nature," who was
announced to recite Holla's celebrated address from the Tragedy of " Pizarro."
There was something appropriate in his first appearance at the Wells: his great
grandfather, Henry Carey, the illegitimate son of George Saville, Marquis of
Halifax, and the avowed author and composer of the well-known ballad of " Sally
in our Alley," wrote and composed many of the musical pieces for Sadler's
Wells.   Though often in great distress, and the author of many convivial songs,
Harry Carey never employed his muse in opposition to the interests of morality.
Poor Harry Carey, however, became at length the victim of poverty and despair,
and hanged himself at his lodging in Warner-street, Clerkenwell, October 4,
1743.   When found dead, he had but one halfpenny in his pocket.   George
Saville Carey was his posthumous child; at first a printer, he abandoned that
calling for the stage, but his abilities did not ensure him success; and he became
a lecturer and associate with Moses Kean in his imitations of popular actors,
and Lectures on Mimicry.   Carey had a daughter; and Moses Kean a brother,
Edmund Kean, who made his first appearance on the stage at the Eoyalty
Theatre, September 9,1788.   Edmund Kean was the father of the tragedian ;
and Nancy Carey gave him birth at her father's chambers in Gray's Inn.   His
mother called herself " Mrs." Carey, and played first tragedy woman at Bichard-
son's Booth at Bartholomew and other fairs: bills are extant announcing parts
played by Mrs. Carey and Master Carey.   Moses Kean, the uncle of the trage-
dian, was a tailor, with a wooden leg; a convivial but in no respect a dissipated
character.   He was the original of those who professed to give imitations of the
leading players—Kean's of Henderson, as Hamlet in the grave scene, was in-
imitable.   Hia death was premature and singular.   He lived at No. 8, Upper
St. Martin's-lane, near the Horse Eepository, and was an admirer of fine scenery
—the changes in the clouds, and the majestic splendour of the heavens.   One
evening, he ascended to the roof of Ms residence, to enjoy an uninterrupted.