194: MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIMALDI.
was deaf and dumb, and had been so for many years. This
man was placed by Ms shipmates in the front row of the gallery.
Grrimaldi was in great force that night, and, although the au-
dience were in one roar of laughter, nobody appeared to enjoy
Ms fun and humour more than tMs poor fellow. His companions
good-naturedly took a good deal of notice of him, and one of
them, who talked very well with Ms fingers, inquired how he
liked the entertainments; to wMch the deaf and dumb man
replied, through the same medium, and with various gestures
of great delight, that he had never seen anything half so comical
As the scene progressed, Grrimaldi's tricks and jokes became
still more ^ irresistible; and at length, after a violent peal of
laughter and applause wMch quite shook the theatre, and in.
wMch the dumb man joined most heartily, he suddenly turned
to Ms mate, who sat next to Mm, and cried out with much glee,
"What a d-----d funny feUow!"
""Why, Jack," shouted the other man, starting back with
great surprise : " can you speak ?"
"Speak!" returned tiie other; "ay, that I can, and hear,
Upon tMs the whole party, of course, gave three vehement
cheers, and at the conclusion of the piece adjourned in a great
procession to the " Sir Hugh Middleton," hard by, with the
recovered man, elevated on the shoulders of haK a dozen friends,
in the centre. A crowd of people quickly assembled round the
door, and great excitement and curiosity were occasioned as the
intelligence ran from mouth to mouth, that a deaf and dumb
man had come to speak and hear, all owing to the cleverness of
The landlady of the tavern, -flunking Grimaldi would like to
see Ms patient, told the man, that, if he would call next morn-
ing, he should see the actor who had made him laugh so much.
Grimaldi, being apprised of the circumstance, repaired to the run. In the scene of the interior of Pidcoefs menagerie, at Exeter