The Illustrated London News

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Echoes of the Week

The Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1313, p. 438.

May 6, 1865


...Of the assassination of President Lincoln little can be said here in our light way. Probably no event could have drawn towards the North the wavering sympathies of our commercial classes so strongly as this. The Queen, sympathising in her widowhood, has written touchingly and gracefully to Mrs. Lincoln. It is said that Booth--who assisted, by-the-way, in hanging that proto-martyr of this slave war, John Brown--was madly fond of acting such characters as Brutus, Pierre, or Jaffier. No doubt his overwrought mind had long been familiar with the idea he so fatally put in action. As anything about Herostratus--that ambitious youth who "fired th' Ephesian dome," and who, we are told, "outlives in fame the pious fool that rear'd it"--would have been interesting on the morrow of the event, it may not be out of place here to remark that the last time the three brothers Booth played in New York they acted in "Julius Caesar," Marc Antony, Brutus, and Cassius being personified by Junius Brutus, Edwin, and the assassin John Wilkes Booth, the last, as will be here seen, playing, not Marcus Brutus, but the lean, hungry, and envious Cassius....

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