Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
Previous Issue Next Issue
Previous Page Next Page
0 matches

Text for Page 189 [09-27-1851]

              Returned, called at Holmes�, saw Wilkins there, then at sunset crossed Butter-
milk Channel & to the Island again.     Alf Waud�s letter containing an account of a
terrific sell which Gleason hath experienced.  How a certain Sonnet to the Maelstr�m
having been forwarded to him, he, Bellow the Editor & printers did not discover till
that thirty five thousand copies had been given forth to the world, that they had 
an extremely witty, clever, but horribly indecent acrostic, the whole being one 
double entendre.   And this appeared in �the flag of Our Union�, a paper boasting
morality & purity of the highest order.  The wretched Gleason is frantic about it,
& hath proclaimed (like an ass!) that he�ll repurchase all copies of the paper having
the obnoxious sonnet, at the rate of 50 cents each. /   Talk of this, and after
the whist game left me and Barth alone, another plot broached, and forthwith
commenced.     Barth writing a letter to Gleason, as a Subscriber, one Crawford who
hath left the Island; � heavily and morally indignant at the publication of the sonnet,
touching him on adapting his paper to the �reeking atmosphere of a brothel,� for the
sake of a �few more filthy dollars�.  speaking of the arm of justice arresting his
�hellish career,�  and finally bidding him, peremptorily discontinue the sending his 
�obscene sheet�.            This with an accompaniment of such zealous nob-shaking mer-
riment that it was painful outright we continued till an hour after midnight.
  28. Sunday.  Continuation of the Gleason hoax, it waxing immense & compre-
hensive in progress.        A letter from an imaginary John Voorhees, dweller in a Church
Street brothel, complimenting Gleason on his �roaring� Sonnet, intimating that �as
he was going in strong into the smutty line, he sent him something he must own
was first chap�, (an acrostic which I think boasts Rochester�s authorship.)   Also
stating the willingness of �John Vorhees� to supply �tales with hair on� at $5 a
column, also demanding an agency for the sale of French cards and prints � as
�doubtless Gleason had a first rate stock on hand.�    This Barth wrote. Then
I did a hell-fire letter purporting to be from Snow, or as he calls himself
the prophet Elyah, telling Gleason in so many words, that he and his generation               
Loading content ...