As one who fed on poetry.
E. BULWER-LYTTON: Richelieu, Act I, scene 1
Augustine Joseph Hickey Duganne, novelist, descriptive writer, and poet, was born in Boston in 1823, and died in New York City, October 20, 1884. While still in his teens he published a number of patriotic poems in various newspapers, and in 1843 and 1845 "Massachusetts" and "Home Poems" appeared. His first novel, "The Two Clerks; or, The Orphan's Gratitude," was published in 1843 when Duganne was only twenty years old. "A Comprehensive Summary of General Philosophy" came out in 1845, and shortly thereafter he went to Philadelphia and was there married. Here "The Knights of the Seal; or, The Mysteries of the Three Cities" was published in 1845, and here he also wrote "The Iron Harp" and "The Lydian Queen," a tragedy. About 1850 he removed to New York where "The Bravo's Daughter; or, The Tory of Carolina" was published in that year. He contributed poems and sketches to many periodicals at this time, among others to the New York Weekly and the Union Magazine. "Parnassus in Pillory" appeared in 1851 under the pseudonym "Motley Manners." Other volumes of poems were issued in quick succession, and there were numerous books on government, literature, and art. About this time, also, he was writing for Gleason's Pictorial, Flag of Our Union, and Ballon's Dollar Monthly Magazine.
He was associated with E. Z. C. Judson in founding the Native American or "Know-Nothing" party in the early 1850's, and served for one term as its representative in the New York Legislature. In 1862 he helped raise the 176th New York Volunteers, and was commissioned its colonel. He was captured by the Confederates June 23, 1863, and spent the next thirteen months in Texas prisons. He was paroled July 24, 1864, and was mustered out for disability September 10, 1864. An account of his war experiences is given in his "Camps and Prisons: Twenty Months in the Department of the Gulf," published in New York in 1865. After the war he was connected with the editorial staff of the New York Tribune and the Sunday Dispatch. He continued to write poems and published a number of volumes of both prose and poetry up to the time of his death. According to Allibone, he wrote some twenty or thirty novelettes and short papers under various nows de plume, although the only pen name known to me is "Motley Manners."(1) Perhaps "Arthur Townley" (q.v.) was also one of his. Besides the publications mentioned above, he wrote "The Mission of Intellect, a Poem" (1853), "Art's True Mission in America" (1853), "A Sound Literature, the Safeguard of Our National Institutions" (1853), "The Poetical Works of Augustine J. H. Duganne" (1855), "The Tenant House; or, Embers from Poverty's Hearth" (185†7), "A History of Government" (1861), "Utterances" (1865), "The Fighting Quakers" (1866), and "The Heroic Succession, an Oration" (1867). His last publication, in 1884, was "Injure Soul," a satire on Ingersoll and Beecher.
For Beadle, Duganne wrote four Dime Novels before the war, and two sketches of his prison experiences in 1866. His first Dime Novel was severely criticised by William Everett in the North American Review, July, 1864, mainly, however, on account of its errors in geography. "These exquisite touches of geography quite overshadow the minor absurdities of an English sailor, in the year 1615, feeling conscientious scruples about selling an Indian into slavery, and the like."
REFERENCES: Putnam's Monthly Magazine, VII, January, 1856, 108; New York Weekly, XIX, January 14 and September 1, 1864; New York Tribune, October 22, 1884; New York Times, October 22, 1884; Allibone, Dict. Eng. Lit., and Supplement; Drake's Dict. Amer. Biog., 286; Appleton's Cyc. Amer. Biog.; Nat. Cyc. Amer. Biog., IV, 1897, 315-16; Lamb's Biog. Dict., II, 541; Photographs of the Officers and Members of the Constitutional Convention of the State of New York, New York, 1867 (portrait).
Dime Novels. Nos. 19, 25, 30, 42, 485, 493, 499
Fifteen Cent Novels. No. 19
American Library (London). Nos. 6, 32, 34, 52
Standard Library of Romance, Volume II. "The King's Man" and "Massasoit's Daughter."
Pocket Novels. No. 233
Beadle's Monthly. In Vol. I, Ballad, p. 1, The Prisoner of War, p. 39, Life in Rebel Prisons, p. 144. In Vol. II, poem, p. 517.
SPECIMEN OF A. J. H. DUGANNE'S STYLE
"The Peon Prince; or, Putnam Pomfret's Mexican Fortunes." Dime Novels No. 25, 42-45.
Jacopo and his comrade proceeded stealthily toward the balcony, and, concealed by the thick growth of stunted trees that grew along the path, managed very soon to obtain a position whence they could easily spring upon and secure the young minstrel before he could give the alarm or make resistance.
Lorenzo, meanwhile, wholly intent upon his song and his mistress, never dreamed of such things as ropes, matchlocks, and the like, but continued to thrum his guitar in the most approved manner. The Senorita, too, hidden by the blinds of her casement, was listening to catch every note.
Turn, turn, turn, sounded the prelude.
But, hardly had the first full note of the song from guitar and voice broken the quiet night air, when both were instantaneously hushed. Lorenzo's mouth, open to its utmost extent, in the enunciation of his first sweet syllable, was suddenly closed by the rude hand of Jacopo, and with the quickness of thought our minstrel's arms were secured behind him, and a thick mantle wound round his head.
This unceremonious proceeding took poor Lorenzo so completely by surprise that he had scarcely time to recover his senses before he felt himself lifted bodily from the ground, and borne from beneath the balcony at a pace that showed his captors to be both strong and active in the business of kidnapping.
Marani, from his position, could see very plainly the whole operation, which took place immediately under the balcony, and, of course, was hidden from the timid gaze of the maiden who watched above. The brigand smiled triumphantly as he beheld the artist hurried silently around the corner of the house; and, shifting his short cloak to one shoulder—
"Now," said he, "I will try my skill at a serenade. Methinks I can thrum the guitar as well as the boy himself."
Saying this, and directing another brace of his band to follow quietly, Marani crept along the hedge in the manner by which Jacopo and his comrade had gained their concealment. Arrived at the balcony, he took the artist's lute from the ground where the robbers had left it, and ran his fingers at once and boldly over the strings.
Inez, who had been somewhat surprised at the sudden cessation of Lorenzo's song, now bent her pretty head again to listen. But it was not, indeed, Marani's intention to waste his time in a love-song; for he had scarcely sounded a bar, when he threw the instrument upon the sward, and with a light movement clambered up the corner of the farm-house, and swung himself softly on to the balcony. Inez, instead of hearing a repetition of the music, was startled the next instant by a low tap at her casement.
Now, such a thing as this was the last in the world that the Senorita imagined the young Lorenzo would do. To clamber up to a lady's balcony, and knock at her casement at midnight, was, to be sure, carrying a serenade a trifle too far. But, then, for the modest, timid, gentle Lorenzo to attempt such a daring feat, was almost too incredible for belief. She must be mistaken, surely! It must have been the wind!
But, no! There it sounds again—tap, tap, tap!
"Surely, Lorenzo must be crazy," thought the trembling Senorita. "He can not think I would open the lattice. Santa Maria! I know not what to do. I tremble all over. What if my father should discover him? We should all be ruined!"
Tap, tap! Once more the knocking at the casement.
"What shall I do? Mercy! if he be ill! Ah! but then he could not climb up the balcony. No! he is not ill, surely. Ah, perhaps he has a present for me—a bunch of flowers, perhaps—that is all! Poor Lorenzo! still, I dare not open the lattice."
Thus the maiden murmured, while her little heart beat violently, as if—which was indeed the case—it was half-frightened to death. But, some way or other, when a young maiden hesitates and deliberates between love and duty, she generously ends the conflict by doing what is very imprudent; so Inez, after debating a minute longer, concluded that she would just open the lattice a little, a very little way, and tell Lorenzo he was very wicked, and must go away; that she was shocked at his conduct, and—a great many other things she thought of telling him, which, if she should do, would take at least half an hour to get through with.
"And then," thought the poor girl, "if he has brought me a bouquet, I'll not take it, just to punish him for his impudence."
Saying this, Inez gently unfastened the lattice, and opening it a hair's breadth, said, in a tone which she fancied very severe:
"What do you want, Lorenzo? Go away!"
All this time Marani was waiting on the balcony, in the shadow of the wall. When he saw the lattice unfastened, and heard the maiden's low voice, he pressed hard against the blind, and with one effort forced it open.
Inez, who had expected to hear Lorenzo's voice asking her to forgive him, and begging her to accept his flowers, almost swooned away, as she felt herself forced back, and saw the tall, dark form which stood in the balcony. But, before she could scream, Marani had flung himself into her apartment, and thrown his mantle around her head, smothering her breath in the way the brigands had silenced Lorenzo. Then the Senorita felt herself lifted in the robber's hands, and pressed closely to his breast. Consciousness forsook her, and she knew not when Marani lifted her through the casement and placed her insensible form in the arms of one of the brigands who waited beneath.
"She has fainted!" said the chief, hurriedly, as he lowered her. "Bear her gently to the road at once. I will descend in an instant."
The robbers received the muffled girl, and departed. Marani swung himself from the balcony, and was about to follow his men, when two figures emerged suddenly from behind the corner of the building.
"Look, Ferrardo! By heaven! it is Inez—they are dragging her away!" cried the voice of La Vega—for it was he—as the two new-comers caught a glimpse of the maiden's white robe, as she was borne away by the brigands.
"Let us follow, Antonio," answered Nunez, drawing his sword, and dashing after the robbers, who had now disappeared within the wood.
La Vega was about to do the same, but suddenly the tall form of Marani confronted him.
"Dog of a soldier!" cried the brigand chief, making a desperate lunge at the officer, whose sword met and parried his thrust with the quickness of lightning.
"Ha! do we meet?" cried La Vega, setting his teeth, and pressing on his antagonist.
Marani's reply was the instantaneous discharge of a pistol, which he drew with his left hand from his belt. La Vega, blinded by the flash, though unwounded, retreated a pace, slipping on the green turf, while the brigand Captain, pursuing his advantage, threw himself forward upon his foe.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
|1||William Cushing, Initials and Pseudonyms, New York, 1886, 183.|