, a celebrated actor, who flourished about the 670th year of Rome.
, a celebrated actor, who flourished about the 670th year of Rome. He and Roscius were contemporaries, and the best performers who ever appeared upon the Roman stage; the former excelling in tragedy, the latter in comedy. Cicero put himself under their direction to perfect his action. Æsop lived in a most expensive manner, and at one entertainment is said to have had a dish which cost above 800l.; this dish we are told was filled with singing and speaking birds, some of which cost near 50l. Pliny (according to Mr. Bayle) seems to refine too much, when he supposes that JEsop found no other delight in eating those birds but as they were imitators of mankind; and says that Æsop himself being an actor was but a copier of man; and therefore he should not have been lavish in destroying those birds, which, like himself, copied mankind. The delight which Æsop took in this sort of birds proceeded, as Mr. Bayle observes, from the expence. He did not make a dish of them because they could speak, but because of their extraordinary price. JEsop’s son was no less luxurious than his father, for he dissolved pearls for his guests to swallow. Some speak of this as a common practice of his, but others mention his falling into this excess only on a particular day, when he was treating his friends. Horace speaks only of one pearl of great value, which he dissolved in vinegar, and drank.
very well received upon the stage; but his best performance was a Latin inscription to the memory of a celebrated actor, Mr. William Smith, one of the greatest men
Besides his professional merit, Booth was a man of letters, and an author in more languages than one. He had
a taste for poetry, which discovered itself when he was
very young, in translations from several Odes of Horace;
and in his riper years, he wrote several songs and other
original poems, which were very far from injuring his reputation. He was also the author of a mask or dramatic
entertainment called “
Dido and JEneas,” that was very
well received upon the stage; but his best performance
was a Latin inscription to the memory of a celebrated
actor, Mr. William Smith, one of the greatest men of his
profession, and of whom Mr. Booth always spoke in raptures. This short elogy has much strength, beauty, and
elegance. In his private life he had many virtues, and
few of the failings so common to his profession. He had
no envy in his composition, but readily approved, and as
readily rewarded, merit, as it was in his power. He was
something rough in his manner, and a little hasty in his
temper, but very open and free to speak his sentiments,
which he always did with an air of sincerity, that procured
him as much credit with people at first sight, as he had
with those to whom he had been long known. He was
kind to all the players whose circumstances were indifferent,
and took care not to make them uneasy, either in point of
salary or of usage. He was no great speaker in company,
but when he did, it was in a grave lofty way, not unlike
his pronunciation on the stage. He had a great veneration for his parents while they were living, and was also
very useful to his brother and sister after their decease.
Booth was twice married; first in 1704, to Miss Frances
Barkham, daughter of sir William Barkham, of Norfolk,
bart. who died in 1710, without issue; and secondly, to
Mrs. Santlowe, an actress, who. survived him forty years,
and in 1772, erected a monument to his memory in Westminster abbey. In 1737 she married Mr. Goodyer,a
gentleman of fortune in Essex.
, a celebrated actor, was born in Kingstreet, Covent-garden, the
, a celebrated actor, was born in Kingstreet, Covent-garden, the 24th Feb. 1693. His ancestors were of an ancient family in the kingdom of Ireland. His father, James Quin, was bred at Trinity-college, Dublin, whence he came to England, entered himself of Lincoln’s-inn, and was called to the bar; but his father, Mark Quin, who had been lord-mayor of Dublin in 1676, dying about that period, and leaving him a plentiful estate, he quitted England in 1700, for his native country; taking with him his son, the object of the present article.