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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 122, June 16-20, 1851

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Identifier: DX01028108

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 122, June 16-20, 1851

Description: Comments on Walter Scott's poem, "Lord of the Isles."


with him [Coriolanus]. He loses life, the poor mob get off with being scared. I think it is fair to say that [William] Shakspere justifies Macbeth as Coriolanus.

17 & 18. Tuesday & Wednesday. At the [Fonthill] Castle, drawing. [Edwin] Forrest came, once. Evening drawing on wood as should not have been. Found an old two volume Peter Wilkins, and re-read it. Clever, yet save Gulliver & [Robinson] Crusoe, no such books have reality as manifested by [Jonathan] Swift & [Daniel] Defoe.

19. Thursday. As before. Evening drawing & reading, for the first time [Walter] Scotts Lord of the Isles. Not such interest of story or character as is manifest in other of Scotts poems. It is more of a topographical poem than ought else. And I cannot but think he might have made more of the Bruce; — he’s not Scotch enough. He ought not to bear testimony to Edward’s character, or to talk complimentary of England after Bannock born. There’s more of the true spirit of the Bruce in [Robert] Burns “Scot’s wha hae” than in all the Lord of the Isles. Yet the poem has beautiful passages.

20. Friday. The Castle, as before. While sitting, during the earlier part of the morning, a posse of girls appear on the ploughed field, in defiance of prohibiting notice. Rambling up to the building they spy me, and come to a halt & consultation; and presently one comes to the window & asks if I have “any objection” to their going round it. I tell em I haven’t, and they do. Anon they, by the same spokeswoman, (she had a pleasant face) ask to see the inside: “We’re Captain Chase’s daughters, and live at Yonkers,” say they. So I, after a little hesitation, in defiance of the exclusiveness of the mighty Edwin, let ‘em in, and with strict caution not to peep out of the windows landwards they go over the building; and then, after a little chat depart well pleased. After dinner, to the rock fronting the Castle, on the opposite side of the Railroad, and there making a sketch of the place. While doing it, Forrest and some companions, ladies & masculines appeared on the summit & presently he put up the flag. / A bathe in the Hudson, then

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-06-16

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Books and reading


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