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MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIJIAiDI.                        145

prompted them to advise. A powerful nobleman who at that
time used to frequent Drury Lane Theatre, and who had on
many occasions expressed his favourable opinion of Grrimaldi,
interested himself greatly in the matter, and set on foot a series
of inquiries at the Admiralty: every source of information
possessed by that establishment that was deemed at all likely
to throw any light upon the subject was resorted to, but in vain;
the newspapers were searched to ascertain what ships had
arrived in the river or upon the coast that day—whence they
came, what erews they carried, what passengers they had; the
police-officers were paid to search all London through, and en-
deavour to gain some information, if it were only of the lost
man's death. Everything was tried by the family, and by many
very powerful friends whom the distressing nature of the
inquiry raised up about them, to trace the object of their regret
and labour, but all in vain. The sailor was seen no more.

Various surmises were afloat at the time regarding the real
nature of this mysterious transaction; many of them, of course,
were absurd enough, but the two most probable conjectures
appear to have been hazarded many years afterwards, and when
all chance of the man being alive were apparently at an end,—
the one by the noble lord who had pursued the investigation at
the Admiralty, and the other by a shrewd long-headed police-
officer, who had been employed to set various inquiries on foot
in the neighbourhoood of the theatre.

The former suggested that a press-gang, to whom the person
of the brother was known, might possibly have pounced upon
Tvi-m in some by-street, and have carried him off; in which ease,
as he had previously assumed a false name, thefaet of his friends
receiving no intelligence of birri. was easily accounted for; while,
as nothing could be more probable than that he was slain in one
of the naval engagements so rife about that time, his never
appearing again was easily explained. This solution of the
mystery, however, was by no means satisfactory to his friends,

iendid shower of fire and water. Signor Belzoni was a man of