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192                       MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GBIMALDI.

About a week after this agreeable visit, Grimaldi was sitting
at breakfast one morning, when his servant announced a lady,
and in walked—as he sat paralysed with surprise—no less a
person than Mrs. Earmer, who, sitting down with great com-
posure and freedom, said, when the servant had left the room,

"Well, Grim, here's Jack Mackintosh has got himself .into a
pretty hobble, hasn't he ?"

"He has indeed," said Grim, all abroad with amazement,
" and I am very sorry for it."

"Lord! you don't mean that!" returned the lady: "I'm
sure it's more than I am. Of course, it's everybody's turn one
time ; and Jack's had a very long string."

It being now thoroughly evident that the party, deeming
longer concealment hopeless, wished to treat Grimaldi as one of
themselves, and to imply that he had been acquainted with their
real characters all along, he resolved to act decidedly; so, the
moment the lady had finished speaking, said,

" By some extraordinary mistake and blindness I have been
led into the society of yourself and your associates, ma'am. I
regret this bitterly for many reasons, but for two especially:
first, that I should ever have had acquaintance with such cha-
racters ; and secondly, that it compels me to act with apparent
harshness to a woman. As I have no other course to pursue,
however, I beg you will have the goodness to tell the ladies and
gentlemen whom I have had the unhappiness to meet in Char-
lotte-street, that I request them never to show their faces here;
and that I wish never to see, and certainly shall never speak to
any of them again."

The servant entering the room ,at this point, in reply to the
summons he had previously given, he continued,

"As soon as this person has rested herself after her walk, show
her to the door; and take care that you never admit her, or any
of the people who have been in the habit of coming herewith
her, into fee house again." "With these words he quitted theluded.ncerning the twelve ladies and gentle-ime, a grand ballet of action, entitled "The Ogre and Little Thumb; or,