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Full text of "Memoirs Of Joseph Grimaldi"

MEMOIRS CHF JOSEPH GEQL4X33I,

357

of intoxication. But he was a great eater, as most pantomime
actors are, who enjoy good health, and abstain from dram-
drinking ; and it was supposed, at the time of Ms decease, that
an attack of indigestion consequent upon too hearty a supper
at too late an hour materially hastened, if it did not actually
occasion, Ms death.

Many readers will ridicule the idea of a clown being a man of
great feeling and sensibility: Grrimaldi was so, notwithstanding,
and suffered most severely from the afflictions wMeh hefel Mm.
The loss of Ms wife, to whom he had been long and deTotedly
attached, preyed upon Ms mind to a greater or less extent for
many years. The reckless career and dreadful death of Ms
only son bowed Mm down with grief. The young man's noto-
rious conduct had embittered the best portion of Ms existence:
and Ms sudden death, when a better course seemed opening
before him, had well-nigh terminated Ms unhappy father's days.
But although, in the weakened state in wMchhe then was,
the sad event preying alike upon Ms mind and body, changed
Grrimaldi's appearance in a few weeks to that of a shronken,
imbecile old man; and although, when he had in some measure
recovered from tMs heavy blow, he had to mourn the loss of Ms
wife, with whom he had lived happily for more than thirty
years, he survived the trials to wMch he had been exposed, and
lived to recover Ms cheerfulness and peace.

Deprived of all power of motion; doomed to bear, at a time
of life when he might reasonably have looked forward to many
years of activity and exertion, the worst bodily evils of the most
helpless old age ; condemned to drag out the remainder of Ms
days in a solitary chamber, when all those who make up the
sum of home were cold in death, Ms existence would seem to
have been a weary one indeed; but he was patient and resigned
under all these trials, and in time grew contented, and even
happy.
TMs-strong endurance of griefs so keen, and reverses sopproached for his appearance at the Wells, the messenger belonging to