Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 044

              [Gunn�s handwriting]
A slap at O�Brien from the �Sun-
day Mercury� � Don�t know who
     wrote it.

[newspaper clipping]
	Coincidences of Character.
  Curious coincidences occur every day if we had
only leisure to examine and collate them.  They
get in our path sometimes, and we stumble over
them.  This arrests, of course, our attention; for
with Yankee shrewdness, we pause to ascertain if
they are not sixpence providentially applied to di-
rect us to go to Windust�s and avoid wickedness.
And in that pause, we think, we reflect, we �calcu-
late.� One of these coincidences snared us like a
pitfall, the other day.  It caught our intellectual
foot, tripped us up, and brought us so violently in
contact with a pavemented idea, that, if we did not
�see stars,� we perceived a solemn truth so clearly
it was impossible to misunderstand its nature or
mistake proportions.  On picking up, for instance,
one city journal,x  we were fragrantly assured that a
certain young gentleman, who shall be for manifest
reasons nameless was the authr of a very able and
attractive article 

[Gunn�s handwriting] 
^|��The Diamond Lens��| 

[newspaper clipping continued]
                             in a new and talented monthly
magazine.  The same journal, though, while laud-
ing the author as a brilliant �magazinist,� pro-
nounced him a �well-known literary Bohemian.�
Turning to a morning paper,� the same day, we
learned that a �Bohemian� was either �an artist
or an author whose special aversion is work;� who
is �perfectly reckless as to money and decidedly
given to debt;� who is �necessarily second-rate in
all he does, but first-rate in his companionable
qualities;� who, in short, is a literary loafer, with
talent enough to earn his own living, but with in-
clinations irresistible to live and enjoy life, to eat,
and drink, to dance and to sing, at the expense of
the verdancy or good-nature of others.  We stood
enlightened in a moment.  The bump we had sud
denly been possessed of, was the bump of know-
ledge.  The two journals had, as if by accident, ex-
plained each other.  We knew the �Bohemian�
like a book�a play-book we�ll say.  The very
club when he professed like a verb to �Bee, to do
and to suffer,� but where everybody else had to be,
account in hand, and to �suffer� for his indulgen-
ces, Houston streeted across our irradiated memory.
Clubs are no longer �trumps� in that sense.
�Whisht� is the word about their little peculiari-
ties; but, we shall never meet with the word �Bo-
hemian,� we are confident, without thinking of
those two journals and their coincident illustra-
x Home Journal
� Daily Times.               
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