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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 95, March 9, 1858

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Identifier: DX03480414

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 9, page 95, March 9, 1858

Description: Describes theater critic Fred Watson.


[Fitz James] O’Brien and “The Diamond Lens.” [Frederick] Watson was lying about O’B, saying he’d swindled the Harpers of $50, having first sold the story to them and then got it back on pretence of altering it. There was nearly a fight. Watson hates O’B, who insulted him once. “Muggin’s Dog” — [John] Darcy was present. Down town early, saw [Frank] Pouden at his store, called at [T.W.] Strongs. Return. Writing. [Frank] Bellew up at evening. Talk of Watson. The name is an alias. He committed some rascality at an uncle’s expense — he being in his relative’s employ — in England which necessitated his ex-patriation. So now his brother has to sink the family name, also, whatever it may be. Watson is a small Cyder-cellary, scanty-reddish whiskered, unwholesome-complexioned, low Londoner, who has a passion for the theatre, knows all about London actors and pieces, and is curiously destitute of any real critical judgment and ability, being thoroughly gas-lighty in all his opinions. He believes in all the dreary tawdry stage rot which goes for towards making men of sense think the theatre a bore and a superstition, rendering each visit to it less a matter of inclination and pleasure than the one which preceded it. He — Watson is a thorough little knave, has got kicked out — literarly [literally] — of houses where he’s run up $50 bills for board and liquor, has swindled poor lodging-house people, begged and borrowed money of [Jesse] Haney, never repaying it — like [A.F.] Banks. I’ve heretofore put down how he was packed off from a boarding-house for a dirty attempt to sneak into the Biddies’ bed-rooms. Haney sold him a coat for some nominal price — which was never paid. The cub also borrowed a pair of pants, told a pitiful story of his hability to be turned out of doors for non-payment of board, got a loan of $5 or so, and then spent it that night in treating

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1858-03-09

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
Bohemians (New York artistic and literary movement)


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