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-