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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 177, September 4-7, 1851

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Identifier: DX09034465

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 2, page 177, September 4-7, 1851

Description: Comments on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Pendennis and the moon.


came home with me, and couched on the floor, my bed not being large enow to hold two.

5. Friday. [Arthur] Mason off. Reading Pendennis all day. Made a call at [John B.] Holmes in the afternoon. Poor old Gleason just out of the Tombs, having been there for five days, for a muss with policeman. He describes it as a horrible place.

6. Saturday. Finished the perusal of “Pendennis.” Warrington you have but little of in the book, but what there is, is exquisite. He is the noblest creature [William Makepeace] Thackeray has essayed to pourtray. Yet is he quite right in giving Laura to the far inferior Pendennis: — such is the case in the world. Thackeray is an earnest man, and has struck out a new path in literature. All his anatomizations and “vanitas vanitatem” of it teach abhorence of falsity and inculcate earnest resolve of being truthful, is to a great end. Who years ago would have thought that Michael Angeles Fitmarsh had such stuff in him? Evening, after writing all day, to Broadway. Found Miss Jane Gibson all alone, Mrs K [Rebecca Kidder], & Lotty [Kidder] being at the theatre. Sate half an hour, when Mason coming, I left.

7. Sunday. To Governors Island at noon. With [William] Barth & Creecey afternoon & evening. A pleasant solitary stroll by the sea side, at the old place. How gloriously did the waves come splashing and singing and leaping in on the sand, one behind another, on and on in mad excitement. The sea is never ignoble & I love it. And above the broad silvery moon; that moon that [William] Shakspeare glanced at out of his casement when he writ of Lorenzo and Jessica ; that Homer describes so exquisitely, that Dante saw rising over the savage forest and mountain when pur crossed by the three fell beasts. What an infinitude of human beings have gazed upwards at its calm, tranquil disc, Alexander [the Great] reeling from mad revel out on some palace rampant of subdugated Asia, [unclear word] from the hot wassail with Egypts widow. / Bitten by musquitos to a very intensity of pain during the night.

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1851-09-04

Type(s): Diary

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

Subjects: Fiction
Books and reading
Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.)


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