Skip to main content

Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

See other formats

178                       MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI.

being1 abroad in the evening, in the spring and summer of the
year. During the greater portion of Ms life in those seasons, he
had entered Sadler's Wells every night at six o'clock, and re-
mained there until twelve. The novelty of being at liberty
before it was yet dark was so great, that he scarcely knew what
to do with himself, sometimes strolling about the streets in per-
fect astonishment at finding himself there, and then turning
home in pure lack of employment.

On the opening of Co vent Garden Theatre in October,* he
became first acquainted with Mr. Farley, between whom and
himself a very warm and sincere friendship ever after existed.
This gentleman inquired in what character he would wish to
make his first appearance. He mentioned Scaramouch in " Don
Juan," which had been one of his most successful parts at the
other house; but Mr. Farley suggested Orson, in " Valentine and
Orson," urging that the drama, which had not been acted for
several years, had been very popular with the town, and that
Orson was a character well suited to his abilities, in which
it was very probable he would make a great hit. Grrimaldi

* Covent Garden Theatre commenced the season of 1806-7, oa September 15,
•with Caiman's comedy of " John. Bull," and the farce of the " Miser." Mrs.
Grimaldi was, on September 22, one of the singing-women in the Anthem, sang
in Shakspeare's play of "King Henry the Eighth:" Cardinal Wolsey, Mr.
Kemble; Queen Katharine, Mrs. Siddons. She was also on October 6, one of
the choral-witches in Macbeth; and on the 8th enacted Dolly Trull in the
Beggar's Opera: a part in. which she appears to have been cast on all future
representations. On October 9, not the 10th, Joe made his debut on the boards
of old Oovent Garden, as Orson, on the revival of Tom Dibdin's "Valentine and
Orson." Dubois had, on its previous representation at that theatre, obtained
unequivocal applause from the art he displayed in his performance of Orson.
Bologna, jun. also made his first appearance, after an absence of two years, as the
"Sorcerer Agramant; or, The Green Knight." The part of the second page
in this piece, introduced to the stage a boy named Smalley, with a surprising
excellence of voice, who, by some kind soul was rescued from wretchedness and
obscurity, and will long be remembered by those in whose recollection the
performance of "Mother Goose" remains, " The Cabin Boy," as sung by him,
was long highly popular; every younker, who fancied he had a voice, made that
ballad the object of his execution. It was warbled by men, women, and children,
and. Grimaldi obtained great applause for his performance of Orson,eminiscences, 1827, Vol. I. p. 399. the