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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 63, January 24-27, 1858

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Identifier: DX03453773

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 63, January 24-27, 1858

Description: Regarding a discussion with Fitz James O'Brien, Henry Clapp, and Frank Cahill about rich men.

Transcription:

[piti]ful clique cant against them because they are rich. [Henry] Clapp spake much on what he considered the false importance into which money had been elevated, drawing paralels between the cases of a man entering a friend’s room and feeling no scruple of helping himself to cigars or wine &c and another considering it dishonorable to help himself to a small sum of money &c. He said he shouldn't mind receiving $100 or $500 from a rich man. We didn't have this objection to receiving money from the dead &c. Would I object to having a sum presented to me. I said and thought that I'd rather earn it. [Fitz James] O'Brien launched out into laudation of generosity — that popular virtue pseudo virtue he likes to holla on. I'd rather have Justice. An Odd Coincidence. Clapp and [Matthew] Whitelaw, two of the ugliest men I've ever known (not unlike in physiognomy too.) are both Socialists.

Apropos of O'Brien it’s said that he plagiarized the idea of his "Diamond Lens" story from [William] North. Somebody writes to the Post that [Charles F.] Briggs of the Times and Courier has presented that he heard North read a story to the same effect from M. S. Now one of O'B's characteristics is detecting or affirming plagiarisms in the writings of others. "My dear fellow it's been done!" is commonly on his lips. Tell him a proposed plot of anything and he’s sure to have read or done it — or intended doing it. So well was this understood that [Frank] Cahill and [George] Arnold used to amuse themselves by suggesting wild, improbably plots for plays and farces, for the purpose of eliciting the "My dear fellows, it's been done!"

[25. Monday through 26. Tuesday] Indoors both days, doing little. Weather dreary, myself matagrabolized, out of sorts, and unable to scare up subjects for Harpers'.

27. Wednesday. Down town. Post Office. [Frank] Leslie’s &c. The

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1858-01-24

Type(s): Diary
Page

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

Subjects: Authors
Short stories
Plagiarism
Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)
Diaries
Socialism
Wealth

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