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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GEIHALDI.                        221

The Covent Garden, season which liad terminated on the 13th
of July,* recommenced on the 12th of September. Seven days
afterwards the theatre was burned to the ground, after the per-
formance of "Pizarro," and the "Portrait of Cervantes." The
company removed to the Italian Opera-house, and subsequently
to the Haymarket; hut as (jrimaldi was not wanted, he availed
himself of an offer to visit the Manchester theatre, then managed
by Messrs. "Ward, Lewis, and Knight, and left town for that
purpose. There was a strong rivalry between the coach pro-
prietors on the road at that time, but for the safety of the pas-
sengers, it was expressly understood between them, that the
coaches should never be allowed to pass each other, but that the
coach which took the lead at starting should retain it all the
way through, unless any temporary stoppage of the first vehicle
enabled the second to assume the post qf honour. Grrimaldi's
coach was the last, and just as they were going into Macelesfield,
the Defiance, (which was the name of the other coach,} stopping
to change horses and to allow the passengers to take tea, became
entangled with the wheels of the second vehicle in the darkness
of the evening; and when the second coach overset, which it did

November the first, concluded with a grand Aquatic Eomance, called the
" Magic Minstrel;" in this piece Grimaldi played Muloct; and Damsit, after-
wards of Covent Garden, the part of Oberon, the Magic Minstrel. In the
pantomime of " Harlequin's Lottery," in which Mrs, Cawse, {who died in 1845,)
personated Fortune, the chief scenes had reference to Bish's far-famed lottery
offices.

* The season of 1807-8, at Covent Garden, closed June 27th, 1808, not the
13th of July. That of 1803-9, began September 12th, and on Monday 19th were
performed " Pizarro," andthe " Portrait of Cervantes." About four o'clock on
the following morning, flames were seen to issue from the roof, alarm was given,
but too late; in two hours more, the whole theatre, all the adjacent buildings
in Hart-street and Bow-street, were a pile of smouldering rains. The fire was
occasioned by leaving a German stove in the property-room, charged with fuel,
after the man had left; the pipe is supposed to have conducted the heat to the
roof, which by that means took fire. The Covent Garden Company continued
their season at the King's Theatre, from September 28th tin December 3rd, and
removed to the Haymarket on December 5th.unker, who fancied he had a voice, made that