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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
the ladies  predicament, bearing also baggage.
They offer him money, he takes it, demanding
more.  A bell sounds, indicating the advent of
Bluebeard, Fatima retires to the divan.  Sister
Anne disappears.  Enter Bluebeard.  He admi-
ringly approaches his presumed slumbering
wife, kisses and arouses her.  A matrimonial em-
brace. He inquires whether she has obeyed his
commands.  Rendition of the keys THE KEY!
Discovery of the result of Female Curiosity.
Dreadful resolve to decapitate Fatima, and tab-
leau.
  Act 5. Sister Anne and Fatima at back of stage,
the former on a step-ladder, looking out afar, by
the aid of an opera-grass, the latter on her knees,
with disheveled hair and face as white literally
as white as chalk.  Enter Bluebeard.  The sum-
mons to death.  Petition for only a few minutes;
consultation of watch and assent to it.  Bluebeard
sharpens his scimitar a fearful-looking weapon 
on the floor.  Sister Anne waves her hankerchif
 hope in the distance.  The tyrant will delay no
longer; he seizes the trembling victim by the hair
ofher head, and makes a terrible circular sweep
with his mighty scimitar.  Her wig comes off 
hurrah! she is saved!  Enter Ali, tumultuously.
 Monster, draw and defend yourself!   Monster
does it.  Bibbo brings swords sacred to melodra-
ma, and chop! chop! at it they go like Richard
and Richmond.  Up! down! here! there! chop!
chop!  Bluebeard is wounded and falls.  He fights
ferociously on one knee.  Hurrah! Again and a
little one in!  Bluebeard receives a mortal thrust
under the arm he stiffens up he straightens out
he died to red fire while the rest form a tableau,
the rescued Fatima on the summit of the step-
ladder beautifically blessing her deliverers!
  It was all in dumb show, to music, but a more
triumphant success could not have been imagined.
Each pantomimist was so marvellously  up  in
his part, that to praise one above the other were
invidious.  Barring the simple character of the
piece, which rendered it peculiarly fit for house-
hold representation, I believe they might, all of
them, repeat it on the boards of any metropolitan
theatre and win deserved applause in it.
  We, the audience, enjoyed it mightily and got
tremendously interested.  For the children, they
will believe in our version of Bluebeard as long
as they live.  When the tyrant s intention of mur-
dering the partner of his joys and sorrows became
manifest, we all heard the voice of one of our 
smallest-sized spectators piping forth an intima-
tion of his Bluebeard s probably sulphureous
destination, did he persist in his wickedness.
  They, the children, were less amused by the
farce of Box and Cox which followed, the promi-
nent parts being played by J. C., late Bluebeard,
and A. Z.  I wish, reader, you could have seen

[newspaper clipping: second column]
the amazing head of hair and trousers of the [unclear letters]
ter, in Cox.  Both Box and Mrs. Bouncer (JACK)
were good but I think Cox was the hero of this 
portion of the entertainments.
  I should fill the COURIER were I to attempt to
describe all of them.  Let me attempt then mere
mention of some.
  We had a grand Pas Fantastique and song, from
the  Maid of Milan  so the bills said, though it
sounded like the  Last Rose of Summer  by
NED, who can do anything in the feminine way,
from making a frock to nursing a baby.  We had
a burlesque aria from Trovatore by THOMAS, sac-
religiously made up as Amodio.  If that portly
personage could only have witnessed the profana-
tion, I m afraid there would have been an ingen-
ious artist on wood the less in New York city.
Wherefore, perhaps, it s a good thing he didn t.
  Then we had round games and dances, Virginia
reels, quadrilles, cotillions and schottisches, and
all footed it merrily for half an hour or so, when
when we were summoned down stairs to supper.
  Of that and what followed, I shall say but little.
If we ate and drank of the best, if we partook of
PATER FAMILIAS  famous punch, for which he has
a special recipe, unequalled on this side of the ter-
restrial globe, if Grand Master of the Revels, J. C.
proposed  a toast needing no prelude our Host
and Hostess!  and we drank it with a hip! Hip!
and deserved enthusiasm, if he subsequently read
a poem of his own composing, introducing humor-
ously or feelingly, sometimes both, every person
present, if there was one verse which had a ten-
dency to dim the spectacles of the Looker-On, if
each person s health was drank in all Christmas
mirth and good fellowship as his or her name ap-
peared in J. C s rhyme, if at its conclusion, his
name was drank with three cheers, three more and
a tiger! If he made speeches for himself and
others, if the girls and young folks went up stairs
while a masculine group of half a dozen or so re-
mained to smoke a happy cigar by the fire-side, if
we had a song then and I sung it, if we were re-
called up stairs to perform  God save the Queen 
(being the half of us, Britishers) and  Hail Co-
lumbia  with the whole strength of our lungs and
the company, if we had more games, more dances,
more songs, more of harmless mirth of every de-
scription if, I say, all these things occurred, why
that s none of the reader s business, and I m not 
going to tell him about it.
  When at 2   A. M. I turned out, with a
companion, into the mild dark night for a brief
walk homewards, the remembrance of what I had
shared and enjoyed warm in my heart and mem-
ory, when I recollected that not many years ago
I spent the major part of a Christmas Day in walk-
ing about the streets, and dined, almost alone, at
Sweeney s, I could not but be thankful and happy,
And the wish that rose to my lips in behalf of the
kind faces I had so recently quitted, was some-
thing very like a prayer.
  Reader! a happy New Year to you!
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven: page two hundred and fourteen
Description:Newspaper clipping written by Gunn for ''The Sunday Courier,'' describing the Edwards family's 1859 Christmas party.
Subject:Children; Christmas; Edwards, George; Edwards, John; Edwards, Sarah; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Haney, Jesse; Honeywell, Charles; Journalism; Morris, James (K. N. Pepper); Nast, Thomas; Songs; Sunday courier.; Theater; Welles, Edward
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-01-31

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eleven
Description:Includes descriptions of boarding house living at 132 Bleecker Street, his freelance writing and drawing work, the antics of New York literary Bohemians, Fanny Fern and James Parton's marriage, visits to the Edwards family, a Fourth of July excursion with the Edwards family and other friends, letters from Frank Cahill and Bob Gun's mistresses, Jesse Haney's proposal of marriage to Sally Edwards and rejection, Charles Damoreau's return from Boston to live in New York, and attending the Edwards family's 1859 Christmas party.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Christmas; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Marriage; Publishers and publishing; Women
Coverage (City/State):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.