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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 174, November 20-30, 1855

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Identifier: DX03971234

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 174, November 20-30, 1855

Description: Mentions meeting an illegitimate daughter of Louis Napoleon.


For W. Waud and Sol [Eytinge] — I saw nothing of them, except by chance at Nassau or Fulton Street. [Matthew] Whitelaw came up not infrequently, one week, and I visited him — once, in pursuance with to wit his invitation of an evening, when others were present, a young Londoner, and a German or Italian with his wife, who (Whitelaw privately informed me) is an illegitimate daughter of Louis Napoleon, being begotten during his Swiss sojourn. He acknowledges her paternity, they say. She appeared a lively, good humoured young woman, with dark hair and a liking for dancing. The evening passed in singing and talk, with brandy and water, I taking share of each, with the endeavour to shake off the misery which oppressed and haunted me. / But it would not be evaded, and increased each day. I was frightfully nervous, and the ided idea grew on me that I was becoming insane, till it overpowered every other. A sort of hysterial affection would seize me, when I’d hold my head, cry, and pray to God that it might not be Madness that was coming on me. I struggled too, feebly, to get into a healthier state of mind, — but felt too weak to effect it. Up town I went sometimes, — keeping on at Compilation Book. [James] Parton knew, generally, that I was not in the happiest spirits, and I think felt pretty well disposed towards me, but I’m mistaken if ‘twas not alloyed with a tinge of depreciation. He admires success too much to compassionate weakness. We do not meet on equal terms. He, getting $20 per week for his contributions to “Life Illustrated,” living in a Waverly Place boarding house &c — cannot but see me in a somewhat pitiful light — which it may be, I deserve. /

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-11-30

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Women
Mental illness


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