Joseph Grimaldi was London’s first clown. On the eve of his death in 1837 he sat forgotten in a dimly lit tavern.
– ‘Woss’ rong, Mister?’ said the young boy collecting the glasses. ‘Yous looks like the saddest man I ever did see.’
– ‘I was the man that once made London laugh.’
– ‘No butcher would even laugh at your face,’ said the Boy.
Mr Grimaldi’s mask cracked as he pulled one of his famous faces.
The boy giggled.
© Simon Jagger