Search Our New Beta Online Collections!

Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 214, December 1859 [newspaper clipping continued]

<< Back to search results

View this document

From collection:Part of:

Identifier: DX03181813

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 11, page 214, December 1859 [newspaper clipping continued]

Description: Newspaper clipping of article written by Gunn for The Sunday Courier, describing the Edwards family's 1859 Christmas party.


the ladies’ predicament, bearing also baggage. They offer him money, he takes it, demanding more. A bell sounds, indicating the advent of Bluebeard, Fatima retires to the divan. Sister Anne disappears. Enter Bluebeard. He admiringly approaches his presumed slumbering wife, kisses and arouses her. A matrimonial embrace. He inquires whether she has obeyed his commands. Rendition of the keys—THE KEY! Discovery of the result of Female Curiosity. Dreadful resolve to decapitate Fatima, and tableau.

Act 5. Sister Anne and Fatima at back of stage, the former on a step-ladder, looking out afar, by the aid of an opera-grass, the latter on her knees, with disheveled hair and face as white—literally as white—as chalk. Enter Bluebeard. The summons to death. Petition for only a few minutes; consultation of watch and assent to it. Bluebeard sharpens his scimitar—a fearful-looking weapon—on the floor. Sister Anne waves her handkerchief—hope in the distance. The tyrant will delay no longer; he seizes the trembling victim by the hair of her head, and makes a terrible circular sweep with his mighty scimitar. Her wig comes off—hurrah!—she is saved! Enter Ali, tumultuously. “Monster, draw and defend yourself!” Monster does it. Bibbo brings swords sacred to melodrama, and chop! chop! at it they go like Richard and Richmond. Up! down! here! there! chop! chop! Bluebeard is wounded and falls. He fights ferociously on one knee. Hurrah! Again and a little one in! Bluebeard receives a mortal thrust under the arm—he stiffens up—he straightens out he died to red fire while the rest form a tableau, the rescued Fatima on the summit of the step-ladder beautifically blessing her deliverers!

It was all in dumb show, to music, but a more triumphant success could not have been imagined. Each pantomimist was so marvellously “up” in his part, that to praise one above the other were invidious. Barring the simple character of the piece, which rendered it peculiarly fit for house-hold representation, I believe they might, all of them, repeat it on the boards of any metropolitan theatre and win deserved applause in it.

We, the audience, enjoyed it mightily and got tremendously interested. For the children, they will believe in our version of Bluebeard as long as they live. When the tyrant’s intention of murdering the partner of his joys and sorrows became manifest, we all heard the voice of one of our smallest-sized spectators piping forth an intimation of his—Bluebeard’s—probably sulphureous destination, did he persist in his wickedness.

They, the children, were less amused by the farce of Box and Cox which followed, the prominent parts being played by J. C. [Haney], late Bluebeard, and A. Z. I wish, reader, you could have seen the amazing head of hair and trousers of the [unclear letters]ter, in Cox. Both Box and Mrs. Bouncer (JACK [Edwards]) were good but I think Cox was the hero of this portion of the entertainments.

I should fill the COURIER were I to attempt to describe all of them. Let me attempt then mere mention of some.

We had a grand Pas Fantastique and song, from the “Maid of Milan”—so the bills said, though it sounded like the “Last Rose of Summer”—by NED [Welles], who can do anything in the feminine way, from making a frock to nursing a baby. We had a burlesque aria from Trovatore by THOMAS [Nast], sacreligiously made up as Amodio. If that portly personage could only have witnessed the profanation, I’m afraid there would have been an. . . .

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1859-12

Type(s): Clipping, Newspaper

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

Subjects: Children


| More

Disclaimer: We are working to create a web-based collection index. Information available through this website should be considered "draft only."