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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

326                        MEMOIBS OF JOSEPH GKI3TALBI.

It need scarcely be said that he accepted this proposal with
great gratitude. They commenced the season with much spirit,
turning the old dwelling-house partly into wine-rooms accord-
ing to the old fashion, and partly into a saloon, box-office, and
passages. The dresses of the opening piece were of a gorgeous
description, and every new play was got up with the same
magnificence. They also determined to take half-price, which,
had never before been done at that house, and to play the
twelve months through, instead of confining the season to six;
this last resolution originating in the immense growth of the
neighbourhood around the theatre, which in Giimaldi's time
had gradually been transformed from a pretty suburban spot
into the maze of streets and squares and closely-clustered
houses which it now presents. These arrangements were all
very extensive and speculative ; but they overstepped the '
bounds of moderation in point of expense, and the season ended
with a loss of 1,400Z.

Wext year they pursued a different plan, and reduced their
expenditure in every department. This reduction was super-
intended by Grrimaldi, and the very first salary he cut down
was his own, from which he struck off at once two pounds per
week. They tried pony-races too in the area attached to the
theatre, and, so variable is theatrical property, cleared a sum
equal to their losses of the preceding year, between Easter and
"Whitsuntide alone. The following season* was also a success-
ful one, and at length he began to think he should gain some-
thing by the proprietorship.

It was about this time, or rather before, that G-rimaldi was
subpoenaed as a witness in an action between two theatrical
gentlemen, of whom Mr. Grlossop was one, when his smart

* Young Joe tad a benefit this season, on September 21,1826, when Planches
melo-drama, entitled, " The Caliph and the Cadi," was revived, and in order to
introduce both father and son, a new scene and a duet were written by Mr.
Dibdin at Grimaldi's desire; their appearance in the same piece produced
considerable effect.»,heart.ounced his re-a,ppeaxaaee « "posi-