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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 140, July 20-22, 1851

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Identifier: DX09984182

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 140, July 20-22, 1851

Description: Comments on viewing prints of the plagues of Egypt.

Transcription:

[William] Barth in Brooklyn and to [222] Washington Street & bed.

21. Monday. Drawing all day, till sunset. A letter from Alf Waud with lots of Bostonian news. Charley Brown at a fearful discount, owing to his “backing out” of a strike ‘mong the engravers, (which resulted in their getting some $12 or 15, while he cheweth the cud of envy and regret on $10.) He hath been reviled, “wigged” and insulted in a manner scarcely to be outdone, and has not pluck to resent it. Unhappy dog! And more unhappy, that he has not one friend in the world, nor deserveth one. / Alf still inamoured, happy man be his dole. After supper, entered one of the ferry boats with intent to call on [Warren] Butler, but a sky promising rain, and my accidental meeting with Davis changed my intention. Called at [William] Roberts, and learnt they, the cruising party have not yet returned. This I was told by a fresh-faced damosel, in the door-stoop. Rest of the evening at Washington Street, talk with Miss Letitia [Paterson], with Keating &c. Keating hath less brains than I gave him credit for!

22. Tuesday. To New York, called on Butler, then to [Thomas W.] Strongs. Got $6 for monkey picture. To the book and print store adjacent where I spent a pleasant hour, turning over a portfolio of olden prints. There were many Dutch copper-plate engravings illustrative of biblical history, of such rare, quaint merit that Charles Lamb would have loved to have looked at them, and afterwards to have written an essay on ‘em. They exceeded [William] Hogarth’s drawings for minuteness of detail, you read them instead of merely gazing. The plagues of Egypt were marvellously delineated. In that of the rivers and pools turned into blood, a winding sedgy-brinked river was shewn, huge crocodiles floating belly upwards on its surface or being holed out by throngs of people; fish of all shapes & sizes, “curling eels & fishes of the flood lying melting on the banks, men rejecting them with loathing; women with water vessels aghast & repugnant, some vomiting; great crowds in the distant city, seen far, and farther in detail, all that men could be supposed to feel from such an event was as faithfully drawn as might be. The Artist had gone to walk with a fervent belief in the subject. The frog plague, represented the reptiles swarming everywhere, invading bakers ovens, in dishes and a viands carried by cooks, swept

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1851-07-20

Type(s): Diary
Page

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

Subjects: Diaries
Strikes and lockouts
Engravers
Labor
Boardinghouses
19th century
Art
Payment

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http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/186196

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