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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIES OE JOSEPH GI

179

prudent to drop the curtain, long before the intended conclusion
of the piece. Grimaldi and his friend Bologna were present,
and were very far from regretting this failure. "Dp to that time
Drury Lane had always been more successful in pantomime than
the other house; and there is little doubt, that the production of
this unsuccessful but very splendid piece, three days before the
usual time, was intended not merely to crush the pantomime in
preparation at Covent Garden, but Grrimaldi too, if possible.

They had a night rehearsal of "Mother Goose" on the ensuing
evening, and the performers were in a state of great anxiety and
uncertainty as to its fate. It had always been the custom to
render a pantomime the vehicle for the display of gorgeous
scenery and splendid dresses; on the last scene especially, the
energies of every person in the theatre connected with the deco-
ration of the stage were profusely lavished, the great question
with the majority of the town being which pantomime had the
finest conclusion. Mother Goose had none of these accessories ; it
had neither gorgeous processions, nor gaudy banners, nor
splendid scenery, nor showy dresses. There was not even a
spangle used in the piece, with the exception of those which
decked the Harlequin's jacket, and even they would have been
dispensed with but for Grimaldi's advice. The last scene too
was as plain as possible, and the apprehensions of the performers
were proportionately rueful.

But all these doubts were speedily set at rest; for on the pro-
duction of the pantomime on the 26th of December, 1806, it was
received with the most deafening shouts of applause, and played
for ninety-two nights, being the whole remainder of the season.
The houses it drew were immense: the doors were no sooner
open than the theatre was filled; and every time it was played
the applause seemed more uproarious than before—another
instance of the bad judgment of actors in matters appertaining
to their craft. "She stoops to conquer" was doomed by the
actors to inevitable failure up to the very moment when theup to the very mo-e Green Knight." The part of the second page