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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH fTRTMAT.TlT.

165

Grimaldi," whose father lie had known well, who was a true
chip of the old hlock, and the first low comedian in the .country.

Mr. Harris said a great many fine things in reply to these
commendations, and, rising, requested Grrimaldi to follow Tn'-m
into an adjoining apartment. He did so, and in less than a
quarter of an hour had signed articles for five seasons; the
terms being, for the first season, six pounds per week; for the
second and third, seven pounds; and for the fourth and fifth,
eight pounds. Independent of these emoluments, he had several
privileges reserved to him, among which was the very important
one of permission to play at Sadler's "Wells, as he had thereto-
fore done. These arrangements being concluded, he took his
leave, greatly satisfied with the improved position in which he
stood, as up to that time he had only received four pounds per
week at Drury Lane.*

In the evening, he had to play Pan in the ballet at Drury.
"When he had dressed for the part, he entered the green-room,

* The transfer of Joe's services from Drury Lane to the rival Theatre Covent
Garden, is differently accounted for by Tom Dibdin, who was a party in the
affair, and whose recollection of past facts was generally too correct to be called
in question. Gritnaldi's engagement at Covent Garden is stated to have been
effected prior to bis going to Peter-street, Dublin, in the pay of the two Dibdins;
the contrary was the fact. After Grimaldi's return from Dublin, he sought
employment at Covent Garden, nor is there reason to doubt Dibdin's statement
in any way. He says: " I had often pressed Mr. Harris to engage Grimaldi for
my pantomimes, but his answer was, he would not be the first to infringe an
agreement made between Drury Lane and Covent Garden, not to engage each
other's performers until a twelvemonth had elapsed since'such performers had
left their situations. Grimaldi, by going in our venture to Dublin, had now
dissolved this obstacle j and I one day met him at the stage-door of Covent
Garden, waiting, as he told me, to see Mr. Shorter, a, confidential servant of
Mr. Harris, who would take up his name to the proprietor: he also told me
what terms he meant to ask for three years, which were so very modest, and so
much beneath his value, that I went immediately to Mr. Harris, and advised
Trim to offer a pound per week, the first year; two, the second; and three, the
third, more than the sum Mr. Grimaldi had mentioned: this was done instant-
aneously ; and the best clown ever seen on the stage, was retained for ' Mother
Goose:' when I say the best, I do not except his father, whose ois comica I per-
fectly well remember."—Reminiscences, 1827, Vol. I. p. 399. the