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The first managers of the great theatres
doubted the policy of allowing him to act at
all as he was not reliable. Indeed his disap-
pointments of the public were too numerous.
Yet such was their love for the man and actor
that they readily forgave him.

We do not wish to perpetrate falsehood but
to endeavor to correct false impressions or at
least to defend those as far as we can whose
memories are ssailed wantonly and who seem-
ingly have no friends left to defend their cha-
racters against malign insinuations and libel-
lons charges. We therefore assume in our
premises that Booth was an hones man simple
and plain in manners abd pure in principles.
When those polar stars of man which were in-
tended to guide his conduct in all business and
social relations were by Booth violated he was
for the time being clearly non compos mentis.
That he was a drunkard in any sense we deny ;
that he would take a glass when mingling in
society as his feeling were social cannot be
denied which sometimes superiduced his crazy
freaks. We would simply ask what motive could
have induced Booth to so frequently disappoint
large audiences whereby he would more than
any one else concerned be the pecuniary suf-
ferer? It was thought and asserted by some
that in imitation of Hamlet's ruse these antics
were put on. But if they were it was at the
expense of his purse ; and Booth when sound
was tolerably careful of the debtor and creditor
sides of accounts. When in his hallucinations
he was not so careful. He once rode one of
Jerry Fog's circus horses through our streets
of a Sunday dressed in one of the equestrian's
spangled flies and thus as mad as a "March
hare" he rose up the steps of the Arch street
theatre and surround by a crowd of boys
drew from his pockets a handful of small
change and scattered it amongst them-on the
pavement like another Robin Roughhead when
he was proclaimed a Lord. This was the effect
of sheer insanity as he could walk talk and
ride as only a sober man could have done. At
this time he was placed under the medical
treatment of Dr. Rush of our city who can
substantiate what we here avouch. This gen-
tleman entertained a most exalted idea of
Booth's genius and talent and we desire no
better proof than the judgment of so disstin-
guished a physician and citizen as Dr. James

Mr. Joseph Cowell in his "Thirty Years
Passed Among the Players" assails Booth
without much reserve on the same score as
thus : "Kean's irregularities were coarse and
brutal but their ill effects recoiled exclusively
upon himself. Booth's involved the destiny of
those nearest abd dearest. For years he
sheltered himself from their consequences by
assuming madness ; and the long practice of
this periodical 'antic disposition' like Ham-
let's ended in its being I believe partially the

Mr. Cowell in the latter part of this opinion
qualifies the charge of an entire assumption of

Now it is well known that all Kean's brutal
irregularities were purely the effect of dissi-
pated habits. Booth's---however his princi-

ples may be viewed---were owing to the oppo-
site causes.

Booth was a temperate man in theory and in
practice. He was a Grahamite in diet. For
days and months he never ate any other arti-
cle of food than the freshest vegetables---never
any meat or game---and his drink was cold
water. We have been at his residence at
Baltimore and his table was only thus served.
We have lived at the same hotel with him and
never saw him partake of anything but vege-
table food : his drink was water. On the ad-
vantages of this mode of living he would
dwell with forcible arguments and strongly
recommended its adoption to his friends.

In the winter of 1837 we conducted the the-
atre at Washington City for F. C. Wemyss.
Booth played two or three star engagements
with us and always filled the house with the
elite of the city's fashion. Members of Con-
gress constantly paid their devoirs to him.
One of the delegates from Georgia---the Hon
Mr. Glasscock---was excessively attentive to
him and would frequently have him to dine
and sup with him.

On one occasion Mr. Glasscock gave a very
splendid supper consisting of canvas-back
ducks turkeys oyster dressed in every imagi-
nable style wines of the most various and
choice brands etc. We were present by invi-
tation but Booth did not partake of any article
but salads celery &c dressed by his own
hand and he drank only water.

If Booth's faithful attendance to his engage-
ments could have been relied upon instead of
the thirty thousand dollars of real estate with
some ready cash and bank stock that he left
to his family (more assets than many actors
have left to their families) he would no doubt
have left them $150,000. Had he possessed
the faithfulness and fidelity which which Mr. E.
Forrest hs ever observed in his engagements
and had he that gentleman's forecast and busi-
ness management the result culd not have
been otherwise. His attractiveness was pro-
digious and they were co-extensive with our
entire land. He enjoyed a popularity which
continued almost unabated until near the time
of his decease---a popularity that embraced all
classes of playgoers notwithstanding it would
seem at times as if he took great pains to
destroy this prestige in his favor. When Booth
was announced to act the intellect of society
the professions the learned invariably at-
tended in masses. No star ever commanded
finer audiences ; but he threw them recklessly
away. He repudiated gold and clung to dross.
He was a most unfortunate man for one
blessed with abilities so rare. Until the beauty
of his countenance was totally destroyed by
the fatal blow which broke his nose he was
handsome. That blow changed into hideous
deformity a feature of Grecian outline which
an artist might have selected as a model. It
was beaten into the figure of a note of inter-
rogation and crumbled the whole face into a
vulgar distortion and even robbed the expres-
sive blue eye of the tragedian of its mental
light. The broad and massive forehead "the
front of Jove himself"---the grace of mind
seated on his brow---this gold-like harmony of

features was a by a Gothic hand laid in ruins.
Up to this awful catastrophe Booth was yet
susceptible of management. He still when
sound in mind exerted his energies to please.
But after this event he felt his irreparable in-
jury and those propensities that have been at-
tributed to drink became more frequent and
reckless till even the yet striking ruins were
marred. And as a writer in one of our western
newspaper at the time of his death most elo-
quently expressed himself "Even in the wreck
of his genius he continued to have admirers
who overlooked his other defects in the start-
ling energies which he exhibited even to the
last." We regret that we did not take an en-
tire copy of the article from which we quote
the above. It was short but extremely well
written. It was worthy of Booth's talent. The
name of the paper we have even forgotten.

Booth in London had begun to disclose his
powers in 1815. He obtained an engagement
at Covent Garden at [L]2 per week. On the
12th of February 1817 he acted at the same
theatre Richard III with success so decided
that the management offered him [L]5 per week
which Booth declined. After this he conclud-
ed an engagement at Drury Lane for three
years at a salary of [L]8. [L]9 and [L]10 per week.
He made his debut as Iago to Kean's Othello
and was received with thunders of applause.
And the announcement of his name for the
same part the following evening drew an over-
flowing house ; "in some cases it was said a
guinea was offered for a single seat and ex-
pectation was at its highest point." When the
curtain drew up Mr. Booth was not forth-
coming being unable to appear as he stated
in a note which Mr Rae (stage manager) read
to the audience in consequence of ill-health.
The fact was Booth had received an offer
from the Covent Garden managers of the same
terms as those upon which he had been retained
by the Drury Lane engagement. This would
certainly have been a violation of his faith and
solemn stipulations as bona fide entered into
with Drury's managers. Why did they not
sue Booth if such a bond existed at all ?
It seems obvious to us that bad faith and in-
trigue existed all round---there were schemes
to circumvent each other. The lessees of Drury
Lane did not care so much about Booth (having
Kean on hand who was yet the Jupiter Tonans
of the London stage) as they did about weak-
ening the attractions of Covent Garden and
thus nip off the promising Booth buds. They
accomplished their point among them. Booth's
rising popularity ceased at once as if by ma-
gic. A violent opposition assailed him on his
re-appearance at Covent Garden. For four
successive nights he played Richard in dumb
show ! This organized clamor gradually died

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