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324                         MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GUIMAIDI.

himself, and got greatly into debt with the proprietors; upon
wMch, fearing to increase their losses, they took measures to
recover possession of the theatre. "When they obtained it, they
were obliged to finish the season themselves; by which, as they
had never contemplated such a proceeding, and had made no
preparations for it, they sustained a very considerable loss.

The other occasion, referred to in a previous chapter, that
Grrimaldi had the honour of conversing with the Duke of York,
was in 1824, when his Koyal Highness took the chair at the
Theatrical Eund dinner, and kindly inqjtiring after Ms health,
of some one who sat near him, desired to see him. He was offi-
ciating as one of the stewards, but was of course surprised at
the Duke's wish, and immediately presented Mmself. He
received Mm with great kindness, and hearing from his own
lips that Ms infirmities had compelled him to relinquish the
exercise of his profession, said, he was extremely sorry to hear
him say so, but heartily trusted, notwithstanding, that he might
recover yet, for his loss would be a "national calamity." He
added, when Grrimaldi expressed Ms acknowledgments, "Ire-
member your father well: he was a funny man, and taught me
and some of my sisters to dance. If ever I can be of any service
to you, Grrimaldi, call upon,me freely,"

In tMs year Grrimaldi was much troubled by pecuniary matters,
and the conduct of his son. He was living on the few hundred
poxmds he had put by, selling oiit Ms stock, spending the pro-
ceeds, and consequently rising every morning a poorer man.
His son, who had now a good salary and was .rising in Ms pro-
fession, suddenly left Ms home, and, to the heart-rending grief
of Ms father and mother, abandoned himself to every species of
wild debauchery and riot. His, father, wrote to him, imploring
him to return, and offering to make every arrangement that
could conduce to Ms comfort, but he never answered the letter,
and kept on Ms headlong course. This shock was a heavy one
indeed, and, in Q-rimaldi's weak and debilitated state, almost
broke Ms heart.ounced his re-a,ppeaxaaee  "posi-