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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 188, September 25-27, 1851

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Identifier: DX01048601

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 188, September 25-27, 1851

Description: Comments on seeing a play with Edwin Forrest playing the role of Spartacus.


there, and then, an hour after sunset, to Brooklyn, called on boatman Long, whom I found in company with his fellow labourer Connor, two women, and any mount of children, a snug fire, and their evening meal in progress. Crossed to the [Governors] Island, the two boatmen and females all going from thence to New York. To the Hospital where was [William] Barth, Sergeant Buchman, Creecy and Livers, playing Whist. Sate awhile in converse, after the whist-game ended, then to bed. (Got many “Mosey” expressions from the players)

26. Friday. Writing closely all day, Second Chapter of “Ike Chivvles,” Barth being inspired by the example scribbling also. At sunset, the idea having been before mooted over to New York to see [Edwin] Forrest play Spartacus the Gladiator. A dense crowd, it being towards the close of his brief engagement, as well as his benefit night; — terrific squeezing to get up stairs. The house filled from floor to roof. He is a fine actor spoiled, good in some places, in others a mere “robustuous pering-pated fellow tearing a passion all to tatters, out heroding Herod,” — In the death scene he actually concluded with a long drawn spasmodic snort. By the by that’s a beautiful final sentence of Bird’s, the author, for the dying Gladiator

“There are green valleys in Thrace — ”

dissimilarly-akin to Falstaff’s “babbing of green fields.” The play is a good one, and a good-acting one. In the part wherin Spartacus recieves the news of his wife and child’s death from his brother I think his acting was most excellant. Being called on after, with stentor-like b’hoy clamor, he made a bit of a speech in sufficiently bad taste, as usual, talking of his heart having been tried by the sorest affliction &c. What an honored and honorable career that man might have chosen, in place of rowdy approbation and mob applause. Meeting Livers outside, Barth and he played a game of billiards together, then about midnight we three returned to the Island together, via Brooklyn boatman, (Saw the “Ike Chivvles” posters on our way)

27. Saturday. Out about 11 to New York, to the Traveller Office with M S. To Leonard Street, saw Hooper junior, & got a letter from Alf Waud. Dined at Shelleys, then to Greene Street, but the fair Philadelphian was not at home.

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1851-09-25

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Actors
Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.)
19th century


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