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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIRS OP JOSEPH GEDIALBI.

301

through the part, and the audience were quite ignorant of the
occurrence.

The circumstance -was not long in reaching the ears of Mr.
Harris and Mr. Paweett, who were made acquainted not only
with Ellar's accident, hut with the man's threat, and the occa-
sion which had given rise to it. Eawcett immediately caused
all the carpenters to assemble on the stage, and told them that if
Mr. EUar would undertake to say he believed the accident had
heen brought about wilfully, they should every one he dis-
charged on the spot. Ellar being sent for, and informed that
this was the proprietor's deliberate intention, replied without
hesitation, that he could not believe it was intentional, and
whispered to G-rimaldi as he left the house, that the fellow had
got a wife and half-a-dozen children dependent upon him.

This praiseworthy resolution, which prevented several men
from being thrown out of employment, was rendered the more
praiseworthy by Eflar's having no earthly doubt that the
mistake was intentional, and by his knowing perfectly well
that if he had fallen on his head in lieu of his hand, he would
most probably have been killed on the spot.

While upon the subject of stage accidents, we may remark,
that very few of these mischances befel Grimaldi, considering
the risks to which a pantomime actor is exposed, and the
serious injuries he is constantly encountering. The hazards
were not so great in Grimaldfs case as they would have been to
any other man similarly situated, inasmuch as Ms clown was a
very quiet personage, so far as the use or abuse of Ms limbs was
concerned, and by no means addicted to those violent contor-
tions of body, wMch are painful alike to actor and spectator,
UTi's clown was an embodied conception of his own, whose
humour was in his looks, and not in Ms tumbles, and who
excited the laughter of an audience while standing upon Ms
heels, and not upon Ms head. If the present race of clowns,
and the rising generation of that honourable fraternity, would. Mr. Hughes's subsequent