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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 91, March 7, 1858

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Identifier: DX03477079

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 91, March 7, 1858

Description: Describes Madame Newman of the Ornithoryncus Paradoxus and William Leslie.


by the hour about [Friedrich] Schiller or burschen life, mingling sentiment with sausage-eating after her [Madame Newman's] honest German fashion. She had befriended a great many poor devils and [Frank] Cahill in some $50 or so in her debt to this hour. I believe she's gone south again, to Norfolk Va. She knew [William] North very well and told me that she prevented him from committing suicide once, finding him with a laudanum bottle, taking it away from him and blowing him up for the cowardice of the intention. She figures in his Novel, the "Slave of the Lamp" as Mrs Normer, and so, if I recollect rightly, does the dog. It's not particularly recognizable, unlike his [Fitz James] O'Brien 'Fitz Gammon O’Bouncer.' By the bye, if North could only have known how, four years subsequent, O'B would filch his story — one he especially prided himself on!! O'B might have chuckled as he did it that "the whirligig of Time brings it's revenges." Apropos of Madame, she professed atheism of the Dantonish — "my-future-will-be-annihilation" order.

Bit of absurdity occurred, today, towards the close of dinner. [William] Leslie beckons Mrs [Catharine] Potter out of the room, grinning. Poor old Miss Sturgis had come up out of the basement, her present room, rather drunk on the claret which Leslie supplies her with, and was fussing about whether he had been paid by Mrs Potter!

I think I have, heretofore, jotted down only the harsher, more unpleasing traits in Leslie's character. Indeed this hot-foot scribbling must necessarily be onesided. Let me now do justice to his better side. He is, inherently, a good fellow. Like most of us there's three quarters good to one evil in his composition. He has descried his success in life, purchased it by endurance and application. He has gone without dinners when a boy in order not to take money from his mother, has saved and work-

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-03-07

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Germans
19th century
Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)
Books and reading


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