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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 67, March 19-23, 1851

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Identifier: DX01003336

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 67, March 19-23, 1851

Description: Comments on a dream regarding a non-existent passage in George Sand's Consuelo.


[177] Canal. In the earlier part of the morning left, at Castle Garden the letter for [William] Barth, directed to “Mr William Bharf, Horse-spittle Stoohard” &c. Drawing on [Thomas] Picton’s portrait during the afternoon; & the former one won’t do, & he swears it’s a libel. Little Mrs Dob [Elizabeth Dobson] marvellously irate at a letter from Charley [Brown]. He hath not kept his word about payment. [words crossed out]

20. Thursday. Drawing Picton’s portrait, enlarged, all day. Barth called in the afternoon. Evening, Writing a letter to Mary [Bilton].

21. Friday. Called at Park place and at Nassau Street during the early morning. Afternoon Dillon Mapother and young Anderson call, and in the evening Joe [Greatbatch]. Drawing, Picton and [Francois] Rabaelaesian sketches.

22. Saturday. Woke after a wretched intermittent-uneasy-dozing night-during which I had a strange fragment of a dream. That I was reading Georges Sand’s “Consuelo,” and found this passage in it. “Have you not heard” said Consuelo “how when a London brothel is burned to the ground, a strange thing occurs?” “What?” asks some one.“When the fire is at its heighth [height], one resistless, lurid, raging mass: & for a brief space, are heard all the cries appropriate to the various crimes which have occurred in that house, & the scream of the violated wife, the mammal shriek of the betrayed virgin, the yell of triumphant lust, & and a thousand other cries, all inconceivably horrible; & so much so that all stand appalled.” Now I know there’s nothing like this in Consuelo; & the notions good though, and might be well worked up in a tale of the horrible nature. / A walk with Alf [Waud] to the Canal Street River, and then to Clarkson Street, where I called. Then returned, limbs and head aching, and on getting back vomited exceedingly. Lay in bed all day, very sick, unable to do or eat anything. Alf much the same, having face swelled by toothache. Very long day, in passing, painful dozing and watching the sunlight outside till nightfall. Mrs Dob made us gruel. [word crossed out] Great ringing of fire bells and noise of engines at night.

23. Sunday. Weak and aching, but in minor degree. A walk to the scenes of last night fires. Fulton, and Church. Then return, and reading. In the

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
New York

Dates: 1851-03-19

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Boardinghouses
19th century
Books and reading
Castle Garden (New York, N.Y.)
Working class women
Fire engines
Fire alarms


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