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166                       MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIMALDI.

•which was pretty full of ladies and gentlemen, among whom
was Mr. Graham, who, the moment he saw him, inquired if a
report that had reached him of Mr. Grimaldi's going to Covent
Grarden for the following season were correct. Grrimaldi replied
in the affirmative, adding, that he was engaged at the other
house not only for the following season, but for the four ensuing

Mr. Graham started up in a state of considerable excitement
on hearing this, and addressed the performers present, at con-
siderable length, expatiating in strong language upon what he
termed " Grimaldi's ingratitude" in leaving the theatre.
Grimaldi waited patiently until he had concluded, and then,
addressing himself to the same auditors, made a counter-state-
ment, in which he recapitulated the whole of the circumstances
as they had actually occurred. "When he came to mention Mr.
Graham's letter to Mr. Peake, the treasurer, the former hastily
interrupted him by demanding what letter he referred to.

"The letter," replied Grimaldi, "in which you empowered
Mr. Peake to pay the increased salary for the whole of the

" If Mr. Peake showed you that letter," replied Mr. Graham,
in a great passion, " Mr. Peake is a fool for his pains."

"Mr. Peake," rejoined Grimaldi, "is a gentleman, sir, and a
man of honour, and, I am quite certain, disdains being made
a party to any such unworthy conduct as you have pursued
towards me."

A rather stormy scene followed, from which Gximaldi came
off victorious; Barrymore and others taking up Ms cause so
vigorously, that Mr. Graham at length postponed any further
discussion and walked away. Enough having taken place,
however, to enable him to foresee that Ms longer stay at Drury
Lane would only be productive of constant discomfort to Mmself,
he gave notice to Mr. Graham on the following morning of his
intention to leave the theatre on the ensuing Saturday week.in, had now