Imatges de pÓgina
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known and respected Grimaldi in private life for many years, and followed the world's wake in admiration of his public talents. Four seasons preceding the one now referred to, Grimaldi applied to me to procure an engagement for the son who had caused him so much sorrow; but (being as lost to the stage as he was to his family) a compliance with his wish was utterly impracticable. I made a bold push for the services of the father, which turned out equally so, as will be manifested on a perusal of his letter. And who is there would not like to see an epistle from the illustrious JoE, descriptive of his shattered state in his latter days? Mark the apprehensions of the old war-horse, should he again hear the sound of the trumpet's battle-blast!

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"Monday, Oct. 8, 1832.

"DEAR SIR,

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"Being out of London, I did not receive yours "till Thursday last; consequently could not answer "it till the present moment. I sincerely regret that nothing can be done for my son, as I am confi"dent you would find him a valuable acquisition in "every department. Salary, as I previously stated, "would be a secondary consideration, as a perma"nent situation is all that is required. An article perhaps of three or five years might still (by your “ kind interference) not be objected to, commencing at "31. per week. Should an opportunity present it

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"self, I hope and trust you will interest yourself in "his behalf, for the sake of Old Joe and auld lang syne. With regard to myself, I cannot express myself in terms sufficiently to return you my sincere thanks for the good opinion you still have of me, and of my poor humble abilities. It is certainly a great consolation to know, in my solace, "that I am as much respected and esteemed in my “ retirement as when in my public character. Your "kind offer to me to superintend the forthcoming 'pantomime (however gratifying to my feelings) I "shall never forget, but must decline. I could no "more sit in an arm-chair to instruct a pantomime, "than I am capable of jumping out of a garret "window without injuring myself-for this reason, "should anything go contrary to my wishes, all ail"ments would for a moment vanish; for I must "exert myself, which in all probability might end "in a bed of sickness, and might terminate my "existence. All that I can offer is this,—I have as many models and tricks as would furnish six "or seven pantomimes, of which you may select what "is necessary for your Xmas novelty. Independent "of which, I have a good opening, which you may

inspect, and also can upon a pinch assist you with "a comic scene or two of business, if required. This "I can promise without fee or reward, provided an arrangement can be made for my son. I have quitted London entirely, where, if you answer this,

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JOE GRIMALDI.

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or may have occasion so to do, address No. 6, Prospect Row, Woolwich, Kent, near the Royal "Dock Yard; where, should time or opportunity occur, nothing would give me greater pleasure “than seeing you.

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VISIT TO GRIMALDI.

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"I remain

"Yours sincerely,

"J. GRIMALDI.

"To Alfred Bunn, Esq."

With a full recollection of the offer contained in this communication, I rode up on horseback to Grimaldi's house in Southampton-street, Pentonville, where I had a pleasant interview with the battered veteran. He opened his casket of pantomimic wonders; and after explaining any mystery I was unacquainted with, presented me with the treasure. I put three or four very small models in my hat, and the box containing the others he courteously sent after me to the theatre. I was walking my horse down Pentonville-hill, the reins hanging loosely from the mane, and was adjusting poor Joe's mementos, which were extremely inconveniencing my caput, when a rascally urchin, who intended no doubt to throw a stone at his playfellow, instead of so doing cut my horse's eye,*

* The lad ran away, for fear of what lads call a licking. But to show the difference of character in different countries, I venture to mention an anecdote of another lad, who, under nearly similar circumstances, did not run away. In 1822 I was walking arm-in-arm

THE MANAGER'S FALL.

which caused him instantly to rear up, and to deposit my corpus on the pummel of the saddle. The contusion was a severe one, and with difficulty I mustered strength enough to ride on to the theatre, where I was laid up for the following fortnight. That was however a trifling affair, and distressed poor JOE far more than it did me, and his mind only obtained complete relief on hearing of the success of our pantomime. Two days before its production I received from him the last few lines I did receive, and that probably he ever wrote, and as such I give them a place. Much cannot be said in praise of their poetical merits, but they possess enough of sounder stuff to show that his heart was still in the cause in which he had, through years of untired efforts, so industriously and so successfully laboured:

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with Mr. Beazley past Trinity College, Dublin, when a youthful Hibernian, in aiming a stone at one of his companions, very nearly hit Beazley in the eye. The boy, without betraying a symptom of apprehension, or even dreaming of making a retreat, pulled up what little slack his nether garments could boast of, and passing him by, archly remarked, "Your eye was well out of that."

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Our recollections of, and associations with, Christmas, and consequently of, and with, Grimaldi, are amongst the earliest and happiest of our thoughts. We can never forget our burst of enjoyment on

* The rhythm here is lost sight of, but greater poets than poor Joe have been at a loss, before now, for rhyme, as shall be shown. Dr. Fitzgerald, of the Dublin College, wrote a poem entitled the Academic Sportsman, descriptive of the travels of a student in the recess; and, in apostrophising a village called Tipperary, he uses this couplet :

"And thee, dear village, loveliest of the clime,
"Fain would I name thee, but I can't, in rhyme !"

In addition to his other labours, the doctor announced his discovery of a planet to rival the Georgium Sidus, and the Trinity boys christened it Anser. The two effusions of the doctor's genius drew forth the following remarks:

"A GOOSE there was in sad quandary
To end his rhyme with Tipperary:
Long laboured he through January,
But all in vain for Tipperary-
Toiled THIRTY DAYS* in February,
But toiled in vain for Tipperary!

* Tough work this, when you work so hard as to make a month contain an additional day.

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