Born and raised in England, Thomas Butler Gunn first worked as an illustrator for the famous British satirical journa
Covers the period from June 15, 1861 to October 10, 1861.
Gunn comments on poets of his acquaintance and how they regard one another, "It is wholesome to know the regard that these poetasters entertain for one another; Boweryem always depreciates Stedman, Stedman affects a candid disparagement of the poetry of his friend, Aldrich, and Shepherd commented laughingly on Boweryem's speaking of his own "poems" and Shepherd's in the same breath" (21-22).
Aldrich is found in a newspaper clipping annotated by Gunn (25).
Clapp is mentioned in a conversation with Bellew, "I spoke my convictions about O'Brien, whom Bellew defended. Clapp he holds almost at his right estimate. That newspaper gorilla he knew for the first time in England, when Clapp often dined at his expense. On Bellew's departure for America, the American would have depleted him of two-thirds of his money, giving in return, an order for a similar sum on "a friend in Minnesota." At a later perior Clapp proposed to borrow $300 from Bellew" (227-228).
Wood believes that Eytinge is tired of his marriage: "Sol Eytinge, Wood opines, is mightily tired of his connubial experience – but Wood hasn't visited him for two years. Haney came up: talked with him" (17).
Gunn says Waud and Eytinge dislike Stedman, and everyone else at the "World" office: "Alf Waud and Sol Eytinge disliked him (as they do everybody else about the office) and the former caricatured him as a spotty-faced plebeian, in a picture published in the paper. My auditors were diversely interested" (89).
Gunn discusses meeting Nicholson and F. Wood, learning that F. Wood and G. Arnold have been working on a dramatic piece for Laura Keene, "Met Nicholson and F. Wood at street-corner; the latter said he and G. Arnold had been at work on a dramatic piece "ordered" by Laura Keene.
Mullen and his connection with Vanity Fair is mentioned in a newspaper clipping, "[newspaper clipping] –Among the litterateurs and artists interested with Col. J. Augustus Page in the formation of a regiment are Mr. Fitz James O'Brien, and Messrs. Frank Wood and Edward F. Mullen, the latter well known from their connection with Vanity Fair. Thomas Bailey Aldrich, the poet, is also anxious to follow to the field some warlike lord. [Gunn's handwriting] All bosh. They didn't go" (25).
Gunn talks of Meagher at Bull Run, "House and he were at Centreville during the retreat, to whom came the Irishman, Meagher (once of "the sword") demanding "a horse" to ride away upon, in, as Waud imitates an atrocious brogue. "They have whipped us handsome!" he ejaculated "and it's me opinion that the Southern Confederacy should be immejetly acknowledged!" This fellow is now receiving public dinners as a patriot.
Gunn provides his opinion on the Nast-Sally-Haney relationship: "In default of others, Sally is making friends with the kindly, but sometimes wearisome Dane, whom Nast regards as a Nass and a Bore. Haney and I smoked many pipes and after midnight went out for beer, and I walked to 16th street with him, where we sat on Mrs. Potter's doorstep conversing. I find he still loves Sally – loves and hates her in equal proportion. He believes, and I think with reason, that the girl ridicules him behind his back and sees that Nast triumphs in his success. I believe he is right, for this reason; Tommy isn't strong conversationally and when hard-up for topics, a little detraction is so easy. It looks smart, too. The present aspect of the lovers – if one may call them so – entirely justifies my estimate of Nast, communicated to Sally on the memorable evening proceeding his departure for Europe. She is not satisfied with her bargain. She sits silent beside him at times, and when she thinks Haney observes it, talks to Nast, laughs and affects to be entertained. The pair don't manage their wooing well, and everybody seems to resent the sofa business, with a unanimity which is down-right funny" (17-18).
Gunn provides detail on the upcoming marriage of Sally and Nast, also mentioning that Haney will not attend: "It is arranged that Sally shall go to Nast's home, when they are married, his mother residing there, then, as now. (Nast lives near the Weehaken Ferry, some distance uptown.) This is a sensible arrangement, and if Sally has the kindness and wit to accept her husband's mother, the honest old German woman, (who can speak no language but her own) may become an agreeable and useful feature in the young wife's little domestic world. Haney doesn't want to be present at the marriage; he projects an assumed necessity for a visit to Philadelphia when the time comes. I should like to see it well enough, having an insatiable desire to be a Looker-On at everything; but it would involve the necessity of shaking Nast by the hand, which would be hypocrisy, as I don't like the little beggar and he knows it. And you always hate a man the more, if you try to force your inclinations and be civil to him. So its just as well that I shall probably be in Canada, when Sally Edwards drops the latter half of her name" (19).
Gunn describes a boating excursion in which Sally Edwards keeps to herself: "The excursion would have proved but slow, but for little Selwyn, who kept up an incessant fire of amusingly bad conundrums; which the girls laughed at; which eclipsed Morris, and which Nast tried to receive with congenial jocularlity. Sally's headache had gone, I think; she sat at the t'other end of the boat and said but little" (39).
Mrs. Galusha remembers Nast from his frequent visits at the Thomsons: "We found Mrs. G. (nee Sally Gay and Nast's former flame) in the garden, in a sun-bonnet. She appeared tallish, with not unpleasing features, eyes, I fancied, a little too near together. She is cousin to Mort Thomson, his father being brother to her mother; hence her past visits at the Thomsons in Brooklyn and New York, when Tommy Nast was a frequenter of the house, and his captivation; to which Rogers had alluded, saying that Tommy was "quite smitten." Our business was to invite her and her husband to join us in a fishing and boating excursion that afternoon; to which she consented, in case of his return from Rochester" (50).
Nast informs Mrs. Galusha of Fanny Fern's dislike for the Edwards: "The next morning Mrs. Galusha, in ignorance of the incident, called at 745, when the family thought it strange that she made no allusion to their invitation. Nast meeting her subsequently at the Thomsons', took upon himself the retaliation of behaving coolly to his ex-flame, when she inquired the reason and obtained it and a discovery of Fanny's characteristic bit of dislike to the Edwardses. By the way Mrs. Galusha was also a visitor to Mrs. Sol Eytinge" (51).
Gunn, Jack, and Haney discuss the Nast's upcoming marriage: "The wise Anne has incurred Nast's detestation by cackling some nonsense about Frank Leslie having said he had been the making of Tommy, and talk of his antecedents. (He did sweep out the Bryan Gallery as "boy" in the time when his father was a musician in Dodsworth's band. Cahill recollects him; he was a bearded Teuton, not podgy, like his son.) Jack complains to Haney that Nast "seems without feeling." The marriage is to be celebrated on Thursday afternoon, at about 2 or 3, only the family, including George and Harriet, being present. There have been visits to Nast's mother on the part of the Edwardses; she cannot speak English. Generally the culmination towards matrimony has made 745 very dull; Nast takes Sally to entertainments alone, not extending such courtesies to his future sisters, whom Haney does not feel called upon to "treat" as of old. Yet he goes to the house as usual – paying for it, I think. He left me by 10 1/2 o'clock (207).
Gunn passes Nast and Eytinge downtown; Nast is laughing: "Tuesday. Scoring up Diary. Down town in the afternoon. Past Sol Eytinge and Nast in Broadway, the former looking corpulent, the latter laughing" (207).
Gunn describes Sally Edwards and Thomas Nast's wedding: "Sally and Nast were married at 8 A. M. instead of after dinner, as proposed, a Philadelphian acquaintance of the family officiating. They started for Albany by the 11 o'clock train. A. M., on the Hudson river railroad. In an hour's time Mat, Eliza, Jack and a Miss Griswold returned from Chapin's. Friendly chaff and spar with the girls, especially with Eliza. Hints about "all their friends deserting" them an the like, involving the employment of a little wholesome irony. Left at the usual hour. Haney intended going to Nyack to day and I suppose did it. Miss Griswold is a sister of Mrs Weddle's. George Edwards came in with the others, but stayed out long. He has got a second lieutenantcy in some volunteer regiment, and is on duty recruiting" (219).
Ann Edwards tells Gunn about Sally Nast's plans at the bridal reception: "Then the company, led by Mort. Brown and Haney drank the toast and cheered, I did the former with about as much cordiality as I felt. Then Nast returned thanks in a jerky common-place manner combined with a touch of buffoonery, and proposed awkwardly the health of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards. Ann, meantime, told me that the young couple had taken part of a house in 45th street and that Sally cooked dinner for her husband for the first time to day. The poor old German mother is, it seems, not to live with her son and newly-acquired daughter. They will keep no servant. They made all their preparations without taking anybody into their confidence, said Ann, but had got very nice things – she was surprised on seeing them. The young man had a decided will of his own and was very emphatic in expressing his likes and dislikes; Sally must defer to them at present. To this I talked quiet irony and commonplace, and presently, on Sally's return from a brief absence from the room, when she seated herself at the other end of it and when Nast relinquished her side for a few minutes (which he was very chary of doing) I went up and offered a few words of congratulatory chaff. She had been so encircled by the others, I said, that I couldn't do it before, likening her to a wedding-cake and them to the sugar on it. The loss was hers, she said. I had thought she had looked her best at a distance, but laughing, she opened her mouth and spoiled that impression during our momentary interview" (232-233).
Gunn annotates a newspaper clipping mentioning O'Brien, "All bosh. They didn't go" (25).
Shepherd tells Gun about O'Brien and Brown's sidewalk extravaganza, "Returning to New York, I met Shepherd in Bleecker Street and he, professing to be hard-up and in want of a drink, accompanied me into the Store, where we had ale. He narrated how he, O'Brien and Brown ("Artemus Ward") had been on a "big drink" yesterday, how on leaving him at his boarding-house, they had fallen to dancing on the sidewalk, inviting passers-by to join them, hiring two organ-grinders to play to them and subsequently endeavoring to set them fighting with one another" (33-34).
O'Brien is mentioned in a newspaper clipping (172).
Oscanyan tells Gunn he has been writting for The Herald , "To Weston's, the "Courier" and "Times" office; met Oscanyan at the latter, who told me he had been writing editorials on the East, for the "Herald."
Henry J. Raymond is mentioned in an article Gunn clipped about Bull Run.
Gunn writes about the actions of poetry writers, "It is wholesome to know the regard that these poetasters entertain for one another; Boweryem always depreciates Stedman, Stedman affects a candid disparagement of the poetry of his friend, Aldrich, and Shepherd commented laughingly on Boweryem's speaking of his own "poems" and Shepherd's in the same breath" (21-22).
Gunn mentions that Stedman complains about his pay, "The Tribune is to be reduced in size. Stedman complains that the World underpays him wretchedly" (176).
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