Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/384

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Highly favourable verdicts have been passed upon Booth by competent judges. Davies preferred his Brutus to that of Quin, but judged his Lear inferior on the whole to that of Garrick, though worthy of a comparison with it. Booth's Henry VIII, in which he succeeded Betterton, Davies greatly admired, as, he states, did Macklin and Quin. Theophilus Cibber says he had 'all the advantages that art or nature could bestow to make an admirable actor,' speaks in warm praise of his voice and perfect articulation, and dwells with enthusiasm upon his deportment, his dignity, and majesty. He praises especially his Hotspur and Lothario. Aaron Hill, in a letter addressed to Victor, one of Booth’s biographers, speaks warmly of Booth’s ‘gestures,’ of his ‘peculiar grace,’ his ‘elegant negligence,’ and his ‘talent of discovering the passions where they lay hid in some celebrated parts.’ Colley Cibber sneers at Booth, but his motives in so doing are transparently interested. Booth is the author of ‘The Death of Dido, a Masque,’ London, 8vo, 1716, said in the ‘Biographia Britannica’ to have been played in the same year at Drury Lane. He also wrote some poems, and a Latin epitaph on Smith the actor. The poems have a certain conventional sprightliness and fancy, but are in no sense remarkable.

[Genest's History of the Stage; Baker, Reed, and Jones's Biographia Dramatica; Colley Cibber's Apology by Bellchamber, 1822; Davies's Dramatic Miscellanies, 1784; Chetwood's General History of the Stage, 1749; Theophilus Cibber's Life and Character of Barton Booth, published by an intimate acquaintance of Mr. Booth (B. Victor), by consent of his wife. 1733.]

J. K.

BOOTH, BENJAMIN (fl. 1789), writer on bookkeeping, was an American merchant, and wrote ‘A Complete System of Bookkeeping . . . by and Improved Mode of Double Entry, . . . [with] . . . A New Method of stating Factorage Accounts, adapted particularly to the Trade of the British Colonies,’ 4to, London, 1789. On the title-page Booth describes himself as a merchant of thirty years standing, formerly of New York, and now of London. He became clerk in a store in New York about 1759; and introducing his system of bookkeeping when he had risen to be principal clerk, he used it in his own counting-house in the same city during the many years he traded there as a haberdasher. The war of independence and the pence having cut Booth off ‘from pursuing the line of business to which’ he ‘had long been habituated,’ he used his leisure in England to make known his system, which he held superior to those in vogue. Booth had humour and reading. In his sample invoices he has large imaginary dealings with Lemuel Gu1liver, Peter Pindar, and Tristram Shandy. M'Culloch gives the title of Booth's book in ‘Literature of Political Economy,’ p. 139, with the erroneous date 1799.

[Booth's Complete System, pp. 5, 12, 24 (n), 79, 185 et seq.]

J. H.

BOOTH, DAVID (1766–1846), author of an ‘Analytical Dictionary of the English Language,’ was born at Kennetles, Forfarshire, on 9 Feb. 1766. He was almost entirely self-taught, the whole amount paid by his father for his instruction being eighteen-pence for one quarter at the parish school. In early life he was engaged in business, and for some years was occupant of a brewery at Woodside, near Newburgh, Fifeshire. Although the undertaking was not unsuccessful, his interest in intellectual matters induced him to retire from it to become schoolmaster at Newburgh. Shortly before 1820 he removed to London, where, besides being engaged in general literature, he for several years superintended for the press the publications of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. In 1818 he published ‘The Tradesman, Merchant, and Accountant's Assistant, being tables for Business in general on a new Plan of Arrangement.’ His practical knowledge of brewing he also turned to account by writing for the Useful Knowledge Society ‘The Art of Brewing,’ 1829, and ‘The Art of Wine-making in all its Branches, to which is added an Appendix concerning Cider and Perry,’ 1834. The latter volume contains a description of the brewer's saccharometer, of which he was the inventor. In 1806 he had published an ‘Introduction to an Analytical Dictionary of the English Language.’ Circumstances did not permit him the some years to proceed further with the work, but in 1831 he brought out ‘Principles of English Composition,’ the second, third, and fourth chapters of which were reprinted from the ‘Introduction to the Analytical Dictionary;’ and in 1837 he published ‘Principles of English Grammar.’ The first volume of the dictionary, the only one published, appeared in 1835. Its special characteristics he stated to be that ‘the words are explained in the order of their affinnity, independent of alphabetical arrangement; and the signification of each is traced from its etymology, the present meaning accounted for when it