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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 40, January 19-21, 1851

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Identifier: DX09859540

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 40, January 19-21, 1851

Description: Comments on David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.


hour or more, adjourned to tavern, glass of whiskey, read at “Punch,” and then we quit. Walked to Jersey Ferry with Mr [Henry] Hart, and parted with him at 10, he going for a day to Stanhope on the morrow. Returning to Mr Abbots room. Young [Homer] Hall there, and the rest playing whist.

20. Monday. Writing to my mother [Naomi Butler Gunn] and to Naomi [Gunn] during the better part of the day. [Alfred] Waud ailing. Doctored him with egg pip at night. Kept scribbling till past 1. all alone.

21. Tuesday. Drawing. Went down town with Waud. To the Era Office, and the Post Office. Walk on the Battery, return by the North River to dinner. Drawing head-gear in the afternoon and night till 11. Charley [Brown] and Waud present, the former re-reading aloud snatches of [David] Copperfield. A right pleasant evening, the very nature of the book suggestive of intellectual converse. All and more than the humor of [Henry] Fielding and [Tobias] Smollett, [unclear word] variety of character, the purest thought, the holiest love of home and good ever inculcated, quaint wit and glorious powers of description, whether of man, thought of Nature; all these and more Charles Dickens render thy name a pleasant House hold Word. How linked with days past are the memories of his earlier works, school-day with Master Humphrey, boy loving days with [Nicholas] Nickelby and Martin Chuzzlewit. A honored and happy man should Dickens be, a dear friend to thousand who have never seen him, nor will. A wise man, a good man is he. No hasty writer, no ponder to trick of time or whim, his is art in the highest sense. The light God has given him he uses not as an Ignis fatuus to lead others to a moral quagmire. What a divine creature is the heroine of this, his last gift to the world, what a very halo of purity surrounds her, what a blessed calm beauty in her nature. You love, and wander and worship, so real is it. And

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1851-01-19

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
Books and reading
Traditional medicine
Battery Park (New York, N.Y.)


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