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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[handwritten by Gunn]
From the Picayune!

[newspaper clipping with engraved cartoon]
  MR. SEYMOUR AS HE APPEARED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS
 CLOSING ACT,  SWEARING BY HIS NOSE AND DESTROYS THE DIAMOND
LENS.

[handwritten by Gunn]
(Written by O Brien.)

[newspaper clipping continued]
SHOCKING INSTANCE OF PROFANITY!    DEPRAVITY OF A PROMINENT
     THEATRICAL CRITIC!!!   LETTER FROM THE REVEREND HENRY
     WARD BEECHER.
TO MR. PIC.
  Sir, It is with feelings of the utmost pain and consternation
that I observe in the columns of the Daily Times the fall of one of
my most promising disciples from a state of grace.  Mr. Charles
C. B. Seymour, theatrical critic of that paper, has, on the occasion
of a controversy connected with a carnal story entitled  The
Diamond Lens,  yielded to the counsels of Satan, and blasphemed
the most majestic features of the human countenance.
  The sanctity of the human proboscis has been always proverbial.
To tweak a nose has been the deadliest of insults ever since the
time of Ovidius Nase.  By the Roman augurs, the length and
shape of the nose was considered as an infallible indication of the
future destiny of the baby owner.  In Tristram Shandy, some of
the finest passages occur relative to the nose ; and even in Eng-
land that land of flunkeyism, the feature has been elevated to a
high rank under the title of  the Lord knows who. 
  Mr. Seymour s nose is of a majestic order of architecture.
Salient and threatening as the prow of an ancient trireme, which,
with brazen edge, cuts through the floating ranks of the enemy.
It is not a nose to be trifled with.  It is a feature that does not
look as if it had ever been contaminated with sacreligious sternita-
tions.  Why then blaspheme so noble an organ; so sacred a
vessel?  I sorrow over this desecration; I weep over the fall of
my friend.
  I would say more if my feelings permitted me.  But I do trust
that my beloved friend in the faith, Mr. Seymour, will do penance
for his fault in sackcloth and snuff, and that the blessed taber-
nacle of his face which he has profaned may be cleansed of his
sin.     Yours ever,
						H. W. BEECHER.

[engraved cartoon of Fitz James O Brien]
AUTHOR OF THE DIAMOND LENS.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine: page eighty-two
Description:Newspaper clipping of a cartoon depicting Charles Seymour and a humorous letter written by Fitz James O'Brien as ''Henry Ward Beecher.''
Subject:Beecher, Henry Ward; Gunn, Thomas Butler; New York picayune.; Seymour, Charles (Bailey)
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-02

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nine
Description:Includes descriptions of boardinghouse living, a picnic at Hoboken with other New York artists and journalists, his drawing and writing work in New York, attending a lecture by Lola Montez, visits to James Parton and Fanny Fern and the Edwards family, a controversy over Fitz James O'Brien's story ''The Diamond Lens,'' artist Sol Eytinge's relationship with writer Allie Vernon, the suicide of writer Henry William Herbert, antics of the New York Bohemians, the interest of people living in his boarding house in spiritualism, a visit to his friend George Bolton's farm in Canada, a visit to Niagara Falls, and a scandal involving Harbormaster Willis Patten, who lives in his boarding house.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Farms; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Publishers and publishing; Suicide; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Rochester, New York; Elmira, New York; Paris, Ontario, Canada
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.