Jervis McEntee Diaries

Thursday April 29, 1886

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, April 29, 1886, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Thursday, Apr 29, 1886 I went to bed with a sad and discouraged feeling, but slept soundly for I was exhausted. This morning I looked at the Tribune but there was not a word about the play nor in the Sun. The Times merely alluded to it but said Booth did not act with his usual spirit. I hardly dare to hear what will be said nor do I dare to see him. I sent my article "S'nora of the Woods" with six illustrations in black and white to Harpers Magazine this morning. I am hoping to get some money for this but by no means relying upon it knowing how uncertain such things are. Mary and I called up at Mrs. Andersons and had a pleasant visit. On my return I stopped at the club. Previous to going to Mrs Andersons however I went up to the Albemarle hotel to see Booth in spite of the tacit understanding on our part that he does net expect me to call on him. However I reasoned, now is an occasion to show my sincere regard for him and I obeyed my instincts and went. He was not in and I left my card. At the club I saw Stoddard. He had written a note to Booth and said he was glad I called to see him. He told me that some one at the club told him he saw Booth drink two glasses of brandy there the forenoon of Wednesday. Stoddard thinks Edwinia has "forsaken" him as he termed it by her marriage and that he feels it, but I tried to counteract such a notion. Church of the Sun came up and Stoddard told him to tell Dana not to let Stuart (the old Winter Garden manager) write anything. I also talked with Church and frankly told him that the statement here affixed headed "An admirer of the actor talks" (pasted in) was exactly as I saw it and as it impressed me. Stoddard, who was much farther from the stage than I was, combated this idea but I insisted upon it. I told Church to interest himself to defend and apologise for Booth whose whole life had been a tragedy and a long fight against this inherited weakness and that now he needed help and sympathy and was entitled to it. He expressed great sympathy for him and said he would do every thing to prevent unnecessary harshness. The few people at the club seemed to be discussing the affair. I went there hoping Booth might be there, and Stoddard said that was what brought him there. I went to the reading room and read a most cruel and brutal editorial on the affair in the Evening Post written with all the assumption of infallibility which characterizes all that Godkin writes. Stout, Lafarge, and Church were there and I indignantly denounced it as an unnecessary act of cruelty in which they all agreed. I came to my room and wrote a short note to Wm Winter begging him to say a manly word for Booth in the Tribune, to give voice to the almost universal sympathy for him in this misfortune.

< Previous Entry | Next Entry >