Jervis McEntee Diaries

Tuesday May 2, 1882

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, May 2, 1882, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Tuesday, May 2, 1882 Awoke with a head ache. Towards noon was obliged to go out and get half a bottle of champagne which I drank and was thus able to keep about all day although I could do no work. Went up to the Brunswick to see Booth but as he was just going to his dentist only spent a few minutes with him. Miller his agent had just come in to tell him he had secured the Adelphia Theatre in London so that he will act there first. Went over to Reichards. He advised returning my picture and taking another. Did not seem to think there was much chance of selling. At dinner received a telegram from Booth telling me he would be alone all evening and asking me to come up which I did. I gave him Bowyers note for $1400 for the money he got of him payable in 2 years the interest at 6 p. ct to be paid annually. I told him Downing advised returning to him the balance of the 5000. He wanted me to keep it to use to exhibit my pictures but I told him that would not succeed. He was very kind and urged this on me saying he did not want to see it. I told him I would keep a thousand dollars but if I sold one of my pictures as I hoped to I would return it. I could see he felt my prospects were pretty discouraging but he was very kind. I staid until 11 oclock when Downing and Edwina came home from the Music festival when we had some oysters and Downing and I walked down together. I hardly slept all night from an overwhelming sense of degradation. I never expected to take money from my friends and it nearly kills me although I know Booth was perfectly willing to let me have it. I lay awake nearly all night in an agony of mental torture thinking how I have had to humiliate myself. I hope not to be obliged to use this money and shall use every means in my power to repay it.

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