Born and raised in England, Thomas Butler Gunn first worked as an illustrator for the famous British satirical journa
Covers the period from January 1863 to April 7,, 1863.
Gunn describes a visit to Sally and Thomas Nast, in which Gunn and Nast discuss their initial misconceptions about each other, primarily due to Sol Eytinge's influence: "Nast responded in friendly sort and we shook hands. He had got his original conceptions of me from Sol Eytinge, and I could easily imagine how just they were. Subsequent to Nasts marriage and refusal to allow Sally to associate with Allie (or Maggie as Nast called her) Sol led him a dog's life at the Illustrated News Office, and Alf Waud helped Sol to do it. Now, in Sol's estimation, Nast is "worse than I was," deposes Sally. Nast, I fear, hasn't had the fairest or most generous usage all round. Much of his apparent conceit is really the mask of his shyness and consciousness of his educational deficiencies. This and his predisposition againt Haney and myself by Eytinge, will account for the behavior we disliked in him. The young fellow knew himself to be ignorant of many things, but knew also that he had ability with his pencil and resented, often Awkwardly enough, our unjust treatment. He came of poor parents and has known privation. He has had to go to bed hungry because his mother had no food to give him," said Sally earnestly. At Leslie's he got $5 a week and was mortally apprehensive of losing his place. Sol he looked up to, immensely. He tells how much work on Sol's drawings he did, as he progressed. Sitting at the feet of such an artistic Gamaliel, it is no wonder that he contracted that offensive decendentalism about everything that, seven years ago, was so horribly rife in the basement of the building in which I write. The infernal things that Haney, Sol, and Bill Waud used to say to one another then – and how miserable we all were" (194-196)!
Halpine's song is mentioned in a newspaper clipping.
Gunn describes Foster's infatuation with Mrs. Gladstone, comparing it to a previous passion for Laura Keene: "Saw Foster in the boxes, contemplating the charming legs of Mrs Gladstone, evidently in a state of sentimental infatuation. He wrote a sonnet to her which was published in last Sunday's Era; buys expensive bouquets daily and is otherwise making an ass of himself. I remember him getting up a similar passion for Laura Keene. A sentimental-sensual, approbative- affected humbug is Foster, altogether, and I don't entirely believe in his sickness – which keeps him away from his regiment, allowing him to loaf all day about the St Charles and go to the theatre every night."
Gunn explains that Halsted occupies his old room. Mullen is in the adjoining room. "Halsted (whose soldiering seems to have ended, and who was Cahill's partner in the Canterbury Hall water-girl affair) occupies the room, now, Mullen the adjoining one" (156).
Gunn states that Cahill, Shepherd, and Mullen are in debt with Boley, and then goes on to further describe Mullen's behavior: "Of course he is in debt with Boley, as are Shepherd and Mullen, the last of whom lies in bed till 12 or 1, draws or goes abroad, returning in a state of reeling, staggering drunkenness, when he tumbles over chairs or the stove, and finally staggers to bed. Once, attracted by the light at which I was writing he made an irruption into Halsted's and my room, being disposed to be very friendly. A perfectly wild Irishman is Mullen, yet he has ability with his pencil, He swears and blasphemes like the ex-filibuster he is, delights in rushing about the attic floor in a seminude condition, with a blanket wrapped round him Indian fashion, or got up like a ridiculous Turk. What with him, Cahill and Shepherd, Mary Ginnerty, the robustuous chambermaid lives in a perpetual state of scuffle and yell, when on our floor. She likes the exercise, however, and is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. Mullen never wears drawers or underclothing and exhibited two a pairs of socks, which he once bought to Shepherd as an admirable curiosity Shepherd once, in the boarding house parlor, turned up the bold Mullen's trousers, in illustration of his not having adopted civilized customs. He was very savage at it. When Boley duns him, he swears at her. He does caricature theatrical portraits for Haney and outside jobs, laboring not a minute more than suffices to keep him in drink" (165-166).
Gunn describes a dinner experience with Miss Delany: "Well, Boweryem of course fell in love with her and addressed her in high flown sonnets, miles above her comprehension, behaving like a jealous tan-tit when Mullen and Cahill entered the lists, in their peculiarly refined styles. Mullen made Orson-courtesies over the dinner-table, Cahill was facetious and familiar, talked impudently and 'took liberties.' He boasted absurdly about his intentions being 'strictly dishonorable' and talked with characteristic brothel phrase – when Boweryem would primly ask Mrs Phillips (late Miss Trainque) whether she regarded Delany as a friend – whether she would not warn her against the openly avowed designs of a villain and a libertine and what not. He spoke to Mrs Boley, too. There was cackle, the girl turned sulky and this, with alternate familiarity, is the state of things at present, Mullen having retired" (167-169).
Gunn describes Mullen's eviction: "Mullen has been cleared out, after a prodigious row with our landlady. He owes her some three or four weeks board, wouldn't pay her when he had money, and came home, staggering drunk, on two or three successive nights. So I heard Boley jawing him as he lay in bed at 2 P. M. – the controversy involving oaths on both sides. At its conclusion the bold Mullen, rather penitentently wrapped up the whole of his personal effects in a piece of brown paper and departed, to borrow $2 from Haney, where- with to get drunk on, at the House of Lords, subsequent to which he was very miserable and talked about drowning himself" (183).
Gunn describes a visit to Sally and Thomas Nast, in which Gunn and Nast discuss their initial misconceptions about each other; Gunn knows that the two love each other: "The meal was a good plain one, nicely served, comprising simply oyster soup and roast beef. Nast appeared friendly, almost assiduously so, and Sally showed pleasantly. After dinner I looked over innumerable pictures of Nast's, appertaining to his visit to England, the Heenan and Sayers fight, his Garibaldian experiences, and later work, on Harper's and other miscellaneous subjects. Among the latter were a series of sketches, a la John Martin, illustrative of Paradise Lost, done to order for a Connecticut Yankee who is going to get up a panorama on the subject. Sally and her husband's talk about the man was not without humor. Barring a little carelessness in anatomy – the result of haste – the drawings were excellent. There was a little awkward consciousness of the novelty of our relative positions at first, hence I presently spoke, saying (as I felt) that I was heartily glad to be there, as I desired to leave none but friendly recollections behind me on my coming departure for England – that we had possibly misjudged each other abominably hitherto, and so on. Nast responded in friendly sort and we shook hands. He had got his original conceptions of me from Sol Eytinge, and I could easily imagine how just they were. Subsequent to Nasts marriage and refusal to allow Sally to associate with Allie (or Maggie as Nast called her) Sol led him a dog's life at the Illustrated News Office, and Alf Waud helped Sol to do it...But alls well that ends well, and I am well content to know that Sally loves her husband as much as she is capable of loving anybody, and that he is both proud and fond of her They told me their troubles since they were married – how indignant Mrs Edwards was at Nasts hiring a servant for Sally, declaring that she was "going on just like an American girl." "When I could afford it!" said Nast, very truly. The folks at 745 would hardly come to see 'em during this episode. I stayed till 11, and came away with the cartes de visites of both Sally and Nast in my pocket. A dank and drizzly ride back to my dreary boarding- house – which I shall soon quit forever" (193-198).
Gunn attaches a newspaper clipping regarding the career of O'Brien.
Gunn compares B. Hills to Stedman: "And going into the Southern restaurant met B. Hills at the door, who supping with me, stated that he and his New York namesake would henceforth conduct the Delta. (The N.Y. Hills is worthy of his close friendship (?) with Stedman, resembling him equally in greed and incontinence)" (57).
The Vault at Pfaff's
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