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300                       MEMOIES OF JOSEPH GEIMA1DI.

some cause or other, either because he had already fee'd themeu
liberally, or was engaged at the moment in conversation, re-
turned some slight answer, unaccompanied by the required
gratuity, and the fellow went away grumbling. On the follow-
ing evening, Ellar was informed that the man had been heard
to talk about being revenged upon him: he only laughed at the
threat, however, and all went on as usual until the third night
afterwards, when, as he and Q-rimaldi were on the stage
together, in the scene where he used to jump through the
" moon," and after the former had given the cue for him to
take the leap, he was surprised to observe that he hesitated, and
istill more so when, drawing close to him, he said, in a whisper,
" I am afraid they don't mean to catch me. I have knocked
three times against the scene, and asked if they were ready; but
nobody has said a word in reply."

" It's impossible," whispered Grimaldi : " I don't believe
there is a man in the theatre who would dream of such a thing.
Jump, man, jump."

Ellar still paused, and Gfrimaldi fancying that symptoms of
impatience were beginning to appear among the audience, told
him so, and again urged him not to stop the business of the
scene, but to jump at once.

""Well, well," cried Ellar, "here goes!but Heaven knows
how it will end!" And in a complete state of uncertainty
whether any men were there to catch him, or he was left to
break his neck, he went through the scene. His fears were not
without good ground; for the fellows whose business it was to
hold the carpet were holding it, as they well knew, in a position
where he could never reach it, and down he fell. Suspecting
his danger while in the very act of going through the panel, he
endeavoured to save his head by sacrificing a hand. In this he
fortunately succeeded, as he sustained no other injury than
'breaking the hand upon which he fell. The accident occasioned
him great pain and inconvenience, but he insisted on goingdation. Mr. Hughes's subsequent