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Description: Booth at centre holds sword in right hand, hilt uppermost, to form cross. Title: 'How Edwin Booth Hit Upon the Present Mode of Carrying his Sword in the Ghost Scene of Hamlet.' A clipping, probably from the same newspaper, is pasted in below: 'Edwin Booth says that his manner of holding the sword in the celebrated Ghost Scene, was the result of one of those accidental suggestions common enough on the stage. He was instructing a subordinate one evening, just previous to the act, how to use his weapon, and in pulling if from the sheath for this purpose, it slipped from his hand, and he caught it in the air with the hilt uppermost. While he held it in this manner, the cross before his eyes, it occurred to him for the first time that this was the proper thing to do when following the ghost. This is not at all remarkable.' Another source in Booth's hand gives other versions of the explanation. The first (FSL. Art File B725.4 no. 42 pt. 2) gives explanation similar to above. However, FSL. Art File B725.4 no. 42 pt. 1 says: 'Many years ago my sword, as I knelt heavily with it in my hand, stuck so firmly in the stage that I could not easily withdraw it, and I left it there upright, forming the cross. Since when others have adopted this mode of using the sword at this point.' This latter placed below illustration of 'swearing' scene by Meadows/ Smith.

Folger Act/Sc/L: n/a
Arden Act/Sc/L: n/a
TLN: n/a

Artist: Anonymous
Artist (Original work): Anonymous
Date (Original work):
Medium: Engraving
Size: 23 x 16.6 cms; 9 x 6 1/2 in
Actor: Booth, Edwin

Location: FSL. Art Vol. b67 (unnumbered). From extra-illustrated copy of MR EDWIN BOOTH IN HIS VARIOUS DRAMATIC CHARACTERS (Boston: Osgood, 1872).