Manawatu Herald, Volume III, 15 August 1890, Page 2
♦— Eilwin Booth told the following story at a supper table : — Once dur« ing the days of his ear'y strngglus, young 'o^th was *• biru storming" down in Virginia at a pace called Lee' 3 Landiisr. Thn improvised theatre was a tobacco warehouse, and if was crowded by the planters for mil*-- iMnnd. Booth an>J his companions hid arranged to take the weekly steamer expected 'ate that night, nnd between the acts were busy packing up The play was th« " Merchant of Vsnice " and they were just going on fo the trial seen* whpnthoy head the whistles, and thf manager came running in to say that the steamer had arrived, and would leave ag<in in half nil hour, as that wag their only chance for get* ting away they « ere in a terrible qnaniary. 'F we exp'ain matters," saH the managpr, "the audience will think they are being cheated, and we •hnll have a fee fi^ht Tht only thing is for you fel'ows to get up some sort of a natural like im* promtu ending f>r tlie piece and ring down the curtain. Go right ahead ladies and gentlemen, and take your cue from Ned hf-re," and he hurri d away to get (he luggage abtard. (t Ne^ " of course was Booth, who resolved to re'y upon the ignorance of the Virginians of those days to pull him through. So when old George Engcles who was paying Shylook — l>te:an to sharpen his knife on his boot, Booth went straight up to him qnd an id Rolemnly, l( you are bound to have the flesh are you?" " You bet your ! ife ! " eaid ftueglee. " Now, I'll make you one more offer " continued Booth. "In addition t« this bag of <)ucats, I'll throw in two kegs of niggerhend toiback, a shotgun, and a couple of the best coon dogs in the State." " I'm »>lowed if I don't do it," replied shylock much to the approbation of the audience who were tobacco raisers and coo»
hunters to a man. " And to show that there are no ill-feelings," put in Portia, " We'll wind up with a Vir giuia reel." When the Company got aboard the steamer the captain, who had witnessed thf conclusion of thep'ay. remarked ; "I'd like to bee the whole of that play some time, gentlemen I'm blessed if I thought that fellow Shakespere had so much anap m him! "