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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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lying on the wood-pile leaning over the sunny sparkling water, again and
again I had absurd suggestions rising in my mind, to leap in.  Now this was
one of those mild forms of Morbid Impulse we are all, I think at times sub-
ject to.    In some perilously grave assembly, a church, a dining room or the
like, who hasn t at times felt an almost irresistable inclination to say something
horribly stupid, or vulgar, or to yell aloud like an exultant fiend; or,
in short to do something he knows to be wrong and incongruous.  I have
at times when, at home, my father was engaged in family prayer, felt this
sort of thing so strongly that nothing by pressing hand on mouth, owed a violent
wrenching as it were, of my mind from the subject could check me.  Byron
says, and it is acknowledged by all, that when standing on the brink of a precipice
				 You can t gaze a minute
				Without an awful wish to plunge within it. 
and that is a strong instance. (He, himself, it is said stood over a sleeping
man, knife in hand, saying  I d like to know what a murderer s feelings must
be!  /  These metaphysical mysteries in our nature are marvellously anxious.
  12. Tuesday.  To Duane Street. Out, with Mr Hart, he quitting me at
Wall Street, Posted letter for the mag-nanni-mouse Keating.     At Holmes  all
day.           Afternoon had a letter and a kindly one from Alf Waud.    Evening,
called at Duane Street, a stroll on the pier with Mr Hart, sat awhile on our
return; then left, called at the Deutsche bootmaker Weber s in Canal Street,
and then to my solitary room.  /              Mr Johns called this afternoon at
Duane Street.   He s established in Williamsburgh, as builder & architect &c!
		 With hey! ho! The wind and the rain! 
  13. Wednesday.  At Wall Street till 11, then Mr Hart & Dillon came
for me.  Two unsuccessful attempts to see Stewart, the Marble-palace-dry
goods-man, apropos of the Broadway Directory.     Holmes again. Anticipated
meet Mr Hart at 6, at Stewarts, but he came not. Met Mr Greatbatch &
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and fifty-three
Description:Comments on inner urges.
Date:1851-08-07
Subject:Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron; Greatbatch, Joseph; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hart; Holmes, John B.; Johns; Keating; Mapother, Dillon; Stewart (dry-goods man); Waud, Alfred; Weber
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Coverage (Street):Broadway; Canal Street; Duane Street; Wall Street
Scan Date:2011-02-07

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn's attempts to find drawing work among New York publishers, brief employment in an architectural office, visits to his soldier friend William Barth on Governors Island, boarding house living, drawing at actor Edwin Forrest's home at Fonthill Castle, and sailing and walking trips taken with friends.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Military; Publishers and publishing; Religion; Travel; 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.