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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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184
English to Spaniards at an adjacent college.   Less operatic
discord since the departure of  Shorts , Sol having to sing
sol-o.     Levison down occasionally, and generally previous
to supper he, Haney and Sol hauling one another about,
doing grotesque gambols and making a hideous uproar.  Much
half earnest, half in jest abuse, and unlimited absurdity.
  Levison only has lacked the surrounding circumstance to develop
him into a perfect Uriah Heep, to which character he has
much resemblance.   I must take his pen portrait here. A
little over the middle heighth, thinnish, frail looking, with
a partially bald head, hair and beard being of the nastiest
description of red, with grey-green eyes, loose and shapeless
mouth, coarse lips and breath like the odor of a plague pit.
He is slinking, servile and a bully by turns; suspicious,
grossly and obviously selfish, a vulgar and presumptious talker,
accustomed to use the foulest language, and has no sound spot
in his mind or body.   He has a fistula and half a dozen
doctors, and looks the valetudinarian.   Withal he has business
tact, is excellent in soliciting advertisements, has a sort of dry
humor, and would have made an excellent low comic actor,  
which he once aimed at.     Were he a healthier man he would
have been a better.     He want s to be liked, and has not one
likeable quality.    He can imitate a monkey s antics with
obscene and curious fidelity.   He listens at doors.  He is
cowardly both in body and mind.  He has no true idea of the
distinction between right and wrong, and but for his pusilanimity
would commit crime.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven: page one hundred and ninety-two
Description:Describes William Levison, and compares him to Uriah Heep.
Date:1856-01-04
Subject:Books and reading; Eytinge, Solomon; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; Levison, William; Waud, William
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seven
Description:Includes an account of his family history and descriptions of his visits with family and friends in England, witnessing a procession for Louis Napoleon in London, traveling in Paris with his brothers Charley and Edwin, his friend Harry Price's mental illness, his journey across the Atlantic to New York on the ship Washington, the marriage of Fanny Fern and James Parton, meetings of the Ornithoryncus Club in New York, and Alfred Waud's elopement with Mary Brainard.
Subject:Bohemians; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Mental illness; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):London, England; Paris, France; New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.