Skip to main content

Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

See other formats

ME3IOIES Or JOSEPH GUDtiUOI.                       223

This was at Manchester.   The Liverpool Theatre belonging
to the same managers, and being resorted to by the same com-
pany, they all travelled thither for one night, for the purpose of
playing " Castles in the Air," as the afterpiece, having the same
master-carpenter with them as they had at Manchester. Grimaldi
sought the man out, and explaining to him the nature of the
accident which had happened through his negligence on the
previous night, entreated him to render all secure for that even-
ing, and to prevent a repetition of the occurrence.   This he
promised, but failed to do notwithstanding, for a precisely
similar accident took place here.   Grimaldi had ascended to the
stage, and got Ms head through the bowl, when, as a shout of
laughter and welcome broke from the audience, the ropes gave
way, and he was left struggling in the trap.    For a second or
two he did not fall; for, having passed through the trap nearly
to his waist, he strove to support himself by his arms.    All his
endeavours, however, were vain; the weight of his body pulled
Tifm downwards, and the trap being small Ms elbows were
caught by the edges, and forced together above Ms head, thereby
straining Ms shoulders to such an extent that he thought Ms
arms were wrested from their sockets.   He fell a considerable
distance, and when he rose from the ground, was in excessive
pain.    He managed with great difficulty to crawl through the
first scene, and then warming with Ms exertions and kindling
with the great applause he received, he rallied successfully, and
got through the part with flying colours.

When he reached Ms inn, wMeh, now that the excitement of
acting was over, was a task of considerable difficulty, he was
well rubbed with the infallible embrocation, and put to bed in a
very helpless state. On the following morning, scarcely able to
crawl, he was assisted into the coach, and returned home.
Grimaldi acted very little at the Haymarket * with the Covent

* Grimaldi was not in requisition for any part at the Haymarket, till "Mother
Goose" was revived with two new scenes, and subsequently a third, on Monday, German stove in the property-room, charged with fuel,