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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 184, August 18-20, 1858

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Identifier: DX03561797

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 184, August 18-20, 1858

Description: Comments on George William Curtis.


Rain storm and lightning.

19. Thursday. Writing story to take to Harper’s till evening.

20. Friday. Took omnibus to go down town, designing to start for Staten Island by 5 1/2 P. M. Too late. Called at [Frank] Pounden’s store. Off by 7. A breezy time on the water. At Factoryville, [Wardle] Corbyn met me, by 8. Home with him. He has a neat wooden-house, with his dentist’s sign in front of it, it’s rear looking towards the river and Jersey shore. Sat talking for an hour or two, then he was called out. Returning we took a walk through the quiet village, into New Brighton, which is a continuation of it. Saw the house where Aaron Burr died. [George William] Curtis (the Howadji) lives hereabouts and the folks know him pretty well. They say he aspired to be ambassador to England under [J.C.] Fremont, and spent $1200 to aid him in the last presidential campaign. Also there’s a general impression that he’s a snob. I’m inclined to think it’s a correct one. There’s a quiet affectation of manner about him which one can’t help suspecting is the quintessence of literary conceit. He speaks with deliberation which might in a good, English, heavy-swell atmosphere easy ripen into a drawl. He gets himself up English fashion too, in costume and whiskers. He affects a fastidious correctness of speech and will commence a sentence with “If — he — be — a Mormon: &c” when an unaffected mortal would be ungrammatically natural with “is.” In lecturing his imitation of [William Makepeace] Thackeray is amusingly palpable. I suppose him to have been, naturally, a very

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-08-18

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Dentists


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