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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 37, January 14-15, 1851

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Identifier: DX09846232

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 37, January 14-15, 1851

Description: Comments on Alfred Waud's mood and a forger, Monroe Edwards.


14. Tuesday. In-doors all day, drawing head-gear, [Alfred] Waud with me. He sulkily splenetic of late, the which, must be treated homeopathically. I like him right well, have spoken to him of this treason to social intercourse, but rather hath it tended to increase, that decrease it. He, may be, thinks it undignified to show good-humor constantly. Well — bitter blood must work its own cure. As Love and Friendship shall ever stand on equal pedestals, I cannot descend to say “be good-humored, for I can’t be easy if you aint!” / Mr [Henry] Hart called and sate for an hour with us in the morning, and Dillon [Mapother] for two or more in the evening. Had one pleasant half hour with Waud — on the wharf, watching the sunset.

15. Wednesday. Down town. Called at the Office, and then to [John N.] Genin’s. Paid for headgear to this date. Then a call at Mr [Joseph] Richardson’s. Saw both him and wife [Sarah Richardson], turned over a few portfolios in search of prints with head gear available, then back to dinner. Drawing during the remainder of the day, having obtained another book from Genin. Turkish Costume. Waud and Charley [Brown] present during the evening, former drawing, latter reading.

I have during the last two days, read the life of the forger Monroe Edwards. A keen intellect the fellow had. Now what a good end is there obtained by mediocrity. Had the majority of mankind intellect in a high degree, what with the jostle of Vanity fair, and desire of making money, morality would exert but little constraint in preventing crime. We should have thousands of Monroe Edwards’, and civilization would be worse than the might-makes-right of savage life. The great moral of the book is that a man may go to heaven with half the pains he takes to compass hell — as [Henry] Fielding hath it. And what a wretched life is a rogues’, after all. Scheming, planning, disgrace, discomfiture, defeat, feverish success, with wasteful libertinism alternating. Honesty is the best policy. (A very rascally proverb bye the bye, but one that may influence people, more than better ones.)

[written across page]

Wrongly did I judge him thence — He was splenetic but ‘twas the result of, wrestling with love; sorrow Let it stand as a memento to me.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-01-14

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Books and reading


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