BOOTH AND JEFFERSON 215
tirely void of that rapier-like keenness of intellect that was the very essence of Booth's individuality. I had known both men for years, and had often conversed with them separately. Seeing them together for the first time gave me an entirely new impression of both.
Addison, I think, says that conversation is possible only between two persons. This applied to Edwin Booth more than to most people. In the presence of a congenial companion his nature seemed to expand, whereas with the many, no matter how sympathetic, he would invariably become silent and reserved. Seeing him with his aged mother (who had given him his glorious eyes) or with any member of his family, one could not doubt the deep note of tenderness in his nature. His loyalty to his friends and his generosity to the poor were proverbial.
Joseph Jefferson, who was acting in the vicinity of Boston during our engagement, came occasionally to the " Hub," and once again I delighted in his conversation. The wise and witty things fell from his lips like the rubies and diamonds from the mouth of the good little girl in the fairy tale. Jefferson is not only a great actor—in my opinion the greatest living comedian — but a charming