Fifth Avenue eBook

Arthur Bartlett Maurice
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about Fifth Avenue.
depths, peer through the window down at the busy sidewalk below.  In the church-going crowds of a Fifth Avenue Sunday there are many who recall the sturdy figure of Dr. John Watson, the Ian MacLaren of the “Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush” tales, who on several occasions occupied a New York pulpit.  The last time those who sat under him saw a man apparently in the full vigour of rugged health.  Yet a few days later brought the news of his sudden death, far away from the heather of his Scotland.  The author of “The Beloved Vagabond” is no more a stranger to the Avenue than he is to Bond Street, or the Rue de la Paix; and Arnold Bennett has recorded impressions that are at once disparaging and polite; and Jeffery Farnol used to trudge it, impecunious and unknown, before “The Broad Highway” came to strike the note of popular favour.

Many more are the names that might be mentioned, for the street has ever been a magnet, and even those who toil in the attics of Bohemia find their way here, in the hours of leisure, to see and to be observed.  Grub Street has assumed the garments of propriety, and shorn itself of its long hair, and in the prosperous, well-dressed throng that surges up and down the Fifth Avenue pavement, its denizens pass to and fro, no longer shyly, furtively, and conspicuously out of place, but with the easy assurance of those who are “to the manor born.”

CHAPTER IX

Fifth Avenue in Fiction

Fifth Avenue in Fiction—­Pages of Romance—­The Henry James Heroes and
Heroines—­George William Curtiss’s “Prue and I”—­Edgar Fawcett and Edgar
Saltus—­The “Big Four” of Archibald Clavering Gunter—­The Home of Dr.
Sloper—­O.  Henry and Arthur Train—­Bunner and Washington
Square—­“Predestined”—­The De Rham House and Van Bibber’s
Burglar—­Delmonico’s—­The “Amen Corner”—­Union and Madison Squares—­The
Coming of Potash and Perlmutter—­Up the Avenue.

To Macaulay’s New Zealander, contemplating from London Bridge the ruins of St. Paul’s, and the miles upon miles of silent stones stretching to north and west and east, there would undoubtedly have come the desire to reconstruct a mental picture of the vast, dead city in certain of the various periods in which it had been teeming and throbbing with human life.  Had the wish become the task, formal history would have played its part.  Informal history would have proved more fruitful, and bygone days would have taken shape in the study of old prints, letters, and diaries.  But for the full flavour of the town that once was and now had become crumbling dust he would have turned to pages that had been professedly pages of romance.

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Project Gutenberg
Fifth Avenue from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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