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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 38, December 11, 1858

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Identifier: DX03241106

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 38, December 11, 1858

Description: Regarding Catharine Potter's attitude towards the people who leave her boarding house.


usual charge of selfishness, obligations having been inurred &c were daily ventilated directly her [Mrs. Pounden's] back was turned — this time, however, with some foundation. But I know not any more marked characteristic of under-breeding than this trick, and some of its traits are especially feminine. I remember when [William] Barth had some dispute with a squaw of an Irish washerwoman, on Governor's Island (probably about missing linen) she came out with the pleasing assertion that she "had been a mother to him!" Mrs [Rebecca] Kidder, too, used to bring in everybody her debtors in obligation. So never a boarder can leave this house without having proved "the most selfish person that ever existed" — to quote [William] Leslie's words touching Mrs Pounden. When honest Pierce left, Mrs [Catharine] Potter declared it "doing her great injustice," because if he had gone a month or so earlier in the season she "would have been sure" to have filled his room — a perfect non-sequitur, but nothing is so disgustingly illogical as selfishness. Such women find it hard to see a jot of good in anyone who comes athwart their own interests. To be sure Mrs Pounden might as well have resumed her former attic elevation — but then her selfishness comes in. When she got $100 or so — salary, I presume, for Long Island teaching — she couldn't bear to part with it for two or three days, but kept it in her pocket, saying, when Mrs Potters pecuniary troubles were alluded to, "that she thought she could give her something which would

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-12-11

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century


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