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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] 
Tribune s critique

[two newspaper clippings]
BELL, MARY MEL, &c. A little volume of poetical
pieces, most of which have already appeared under
the above noms de plume of the authoress, M. E. B.
With slender  claims upon the public attention, they
have been reproduced in the present form, at
the request of  a large circle of kind friends,  to
 whose tastes  they are probably  better adapted
than like productions intrinsically much superior. 
The author is right in supposing that out of the charm-
ed circle, they will  appear as very crude and inferior
productions,  although there is no doubt of the  xceel-
lence and purity of the feelings and sentiments they
embody.   The very first stanza in the volume gives
little encouragement to proceed.

     I MET a lady very fair,
       Decked out in fashion gay,
     All beautiful she seemed to be,
       Light tripping through Broadway;
     Her face, all radiant with smiles,
       Won my enraptured gaze 
     But very soon I was decharmed,
       And stood as in amaze,
  But it does not improve on further acquaintance.
Here is an effusion to an  Absent Love,  a kind of
composition in which the author often indulges, the
lover in the case, however, being the husband of the
lady poetess.
     DEAR FRED, I cannot fix my mind
     On anything of humankind
     Beside yourself.  I try to read,
     The pages swim, and there indeed
     Your image stands with beaming smile,
     Before my lone heart all the while!
     To other friends I try to write,
     The sheets are spoiled, and I indite
     To thee! and should from morn  till night.

[handwritten by Gunn]
To the George

[newspaper clippings continued]
  There are several prose tales in this volume, which
are shade better than the poetry.  (12mo. pp. 160-
T. W. Strong.)
Not that the sweetness of thy holy kiss
Fills my fond bosom with ecstatic bliss;
Nor thy bright smile that wakes within my
The joy I cannot would not now control.

Not that because my head has oft been pressed
Upon thy proud and manful throbbing breast;
Nor that I feel I live warm in thy heart,
Loved by thy soul, and of that soul a part.

I love, because I honor thee as one
Who, true to Nature, is her proudest son.
Who whilst he bears a lofty, conscious part,
Feels the blood gushing thro  his loving heart.

Who carries in his bosom s native bower
His sunshine, olive-branch, and fearless power
To stem the torrent, brave the surging tide 
And if for weal or wo, life s calls abide.

I love, because thy tongue the truth defends,
And on thy mind thy course of life depends;
Because thou are the master of thyself,
And honorest worth, not stores of worldly pelf.

I love thee ay, with all the clinging trust,
That worships not the idol of the dust 
But intellect, and honest, manly pride 
The strength that makes thee woman [rest cut off]
     and guide.
New York, April, 1850.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and sixty
Description:Two newspaper clippings including a poem by Mary Campbell [Mrs. George Brown] and a review of her work.
Subject:Brown, George, Mrs. (Bartholomew, Winchester); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Poetry; Women
Coverage (City/State):[New York, New York]
Scan Date:2011-02-07


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.