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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 153, August 11-13, 1851

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Identifier: DX01036736

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 153, August 11-13, 1851

Description: Comments on inner urges.


lying on the wood-pile leaning over the sunny sparkling water, again and again I had absurd suggestions rising in my mind, to leap in. Now this was one of those mild forms of Morbid Impulse we are all, I think at times subject to. In some perilously grave assembly, a church, a dining room or the like, who hasn’t at times felt an almost irresistable inclination to say something horribly stupid, or vulgar, or to yell aloud like an exultant fiend; or, in short to do something he knows to be wrong and incongruous. I have at times when, at home, my father [Samuel Gunn] was engaged in family prayer, felt this sort of thing so strongly that nothing by pressing hand on mouth, owed a violent wrenching as it were, of my mind from the subject could check me. [Lord George] Byron says, and it is acknowledged by all, that when standing on the brink of a precipice

“You can’t gaze a minute

Without an awful wish to plunge within it.”

and that is a strong instance. (He, himself, it is said stood over a sleeping man, knife in hand, saying “I’d like to know what a murderer’s feelings must be!” / These metaphysical mysteries in our nature are marvellously anxious.

12. Tuesday. To [168] Duane Street. Out, with Mr [Henry] Hart, he quitting me at Wall Street, Posted letter for the mag-nanni-mouse Keating. At [John B.] Holmes’ all day. Afternoon had a letter and a kindly one from Alf Waud. Evening, called at Duane Street, a stroll on the pier with Mr Hart, sat awhile on our return; then left, called at the Deutsche bootmaker Weber’s in Canal Street, and then to my solitary room. / Mr Johns called this afternoon at Duane Street. He’s established in Williamsburgh, as builder & architect &c!

“With hey! ho! The wind and the rain!”

13. Wednesday. At Wall Street till 11, then Mr Hart & Dillon [Mapother] came for me. Two unsuccessful attempts to see Stewart, the Marble-palace-dry goods-man, apropos of the Broadway Directory. Holmes again. Anticipated meet Mr Hart at 6, at Stewarts, but he came not. Met Mr [Joseph] Greatbatch &

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-08-11

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Poetry


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