Jervis McEntee Diaries

Monday February 18, 1878

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, Wednesday, February 18, 1878, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Went to see Booth in Richard II on Friday evening taking Bowyer with me. Did not do as well as usual in the first of the play. Visiting him in his dressing room found him very much exasperated because the hairs of his false beard came off and got into his mouth and choked him. I think he had been rowing Henry, his man up for providing him with such stuff. Saturday worked all forenoon on a new version of my idea for the "Wings of the Morning" and am gradually getting towards what I want. Attended the matinee of Ruy Blas with Downing. In the evening took Julia Dillon to see Lear which I have never seen before. It was remarkably well played in almost every respect. Booth looked as venerable as old Mr. Bryant and not a little like him and he acted in his very best manner. Miss Carey as Cordelia was a picture. I was never before so struck with her beauty. The Fool was capital and "Curran" an instance of a man dignifying and making a mark in a rather minor character. It was Booths last night. There was an immense audience and a most enthusiastic one. He was repeatedly called before the curtain and at the close had to make a little speech. I called on him in his dressing room at the end of one of the acts and expressed my delight at the pleasure he was giving us. He slapped me on the back and said "Jervy I feel in better humor than I did last night". John S. Clarke his brother-in-law came in while I was there. The Tribune Saturday announced Bayard Taylors nomination as minister to Germany by the President. I will go to see him as soon as I can to tell him how glad and how sorry I am. Went home Sunday by the Wallkill Valley and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Found my father very ill and am greatly troubled about him. I sat up nearly all night with him last night. Was better this morning when I left but looked very feeble. Came down at noon cold and a gale from N.W. Am full of my picture and have been studying steam effects on my way down. The wind made them fine.

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