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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 100, January 30, 1859

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Identifier: DX03281478

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 10, page 100, January 30, 1859

Description: Describes a visit from Colonel Hugh Forbes.


he [Hugh Forbes] sat talking to us, he was a sight to see. The animation with which he plunged into details, the illustrations he extemporized with objects on the table, books, pipes &c, the triumphant shyness of his demonstration — all were unique in their way. He wore a shabby greyish coat and trousers and gaiters, as he almost invariably does. His head is one which might justify phrenologists in pensioning him — such an illustration of their science. Where ideality, veneration &c should be there is almost a declivity, while the back part of the head is confoundedly developed. He is, really, the hardest sort of infidel I ever met, I don't think he believes or even wishes to believe in anything higher than this present life. [Jesse] Haney had closed the windows, the stove was blazing full, we were both smoking, and compelled by courtesy to remain, at least some time, to listen to the Col. I looked out at the cool, sunny Sunday streets and felt feverish and bored. How he did talk! Half an hour gave me courage to escape. When he came out, I relieved my conscience by giving him a little silver. His wife (?) and daughter are suffering the greatest privations in London. All these ex-patriots speak ill of one another, attribute inordinate vanity and venality to their co-mates and fellows in exile. This man Forbes, is not, no doubt, a brave and good soldier — horribly out of place in the world. He ought to be fighting England's battles in India, now, as ought that donkey of a "Meejor [Piercy]." What a useless animal is

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1859-01-30

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century


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