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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 199, September 12, 1858

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Identifier: DX03574466

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 199, September 12, 1858

Description: Comments on marriage and courtship in America.


wants to come to some North River place adjacent to New York to reside — Brooklyn wouldn’t do, as he [Alfred Waud] “steadily resolves to make no acquaintances.” Talking of the Jewell family he remarks, that considering the father [Charles Jewell] they had, it is a wonder that the girls [Mary, Cornelia, and Celina Jewell] didn’t turn out prostitutes. (Probably it is.) Evidently (and naturally) he tries to think as well of them as possible, being secretly conscious that his chosen companion for life, being of the same blood must partake of the same nature. They are, truly, from an American point of view (a cursedly low one) very good sort of people. They — always excepting the beast of a father — are nowise vicious, very good intentioned, but extremely ignorant and shallow. They have never known any standard of decent social life, or what in England is regarded as such. Here it’s all right, or very little amiss, for a husband to quarter his wife [Mrs. Celina Jewell] for a week or so in his parents family, while he loafs or drinks, to visit her at her mother’s, take lodgings with her, drop her, resume her again, and so on, like the thief [Francis] Sexton. Here a girl may have her half-dozen “beaux” to drop in at her mother’s house of evenings, to trot her out to balls, theatres, and ice-cream saloons; or out on the Avenues; may let more than one of ‘em kiss her, may talk self willed frivolity mistaking it for sprightliness, may outrage all civilized ideas of culture and refinement, and yet be quite an orthodox young lady, too. I don’t say that poor Selina has done all this. But old beaux do come to see her now, of evenings, after her marriage. They, Alf

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1858-09-12

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Courtship


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