Jervis McEntee Diaries

Thursday May 3, 1888

Jervis McEntee Diary Entry, May 3, 1888, from the Jervis McEntee papers, 1850-1905, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Thursday, May 3, 1888 Still cold. Finished and sent the letter to Lucy. Am doing errands preparatory to leaving town. I think my work for the season is about done. I received an urgent request from the Chicago Art Institute for pictures and have written them I will send them my Academy picture and the "River of the hills" I have just finished. Finished and sent my letter to Lucy. Downing and I went to the 5th Av. Theatre this evening to see "National gas" a variety entertainment, very lively and amusing. One young girl sang who had a fine rich Contralto voice and the absurdities were many and unflagging. We had been undecided about going but finally started late, doubtful whether we would get a seat as the house was crowded. We got very good seats in the first balcony near the stage. We had barely got seated when two young men came in and seated themselves in the two seats directly in front of us and to our amazement one of them was Charlie Osman! whom I had been hoping I should not meet, much as I esteem and respect him, from a dread of the embarrassment it would be. After they were seated and Downing and I had looked at each other in surprise, I touched Charlie on the shoulder and turning to see who it was, he was as much astonished as we were. We met cordially, talked a little and then they were shown to their proper seats a short distance from us in the Parquette and between two of the acts Charlie came and sat and talked with us. What a strange fate that should have so sent us toward each other. It seemed something more than mere chance. Downing and I discussed what we should do after the play and I finally concluded I would invite them down to the Century which I did. We had something to drink in the way of a mild tipple and then sat at the supper table where I cooked some oysters in a chafing dish. Ward came and talked to me and I introduced him to them and he and Charlie had an interesting chat. We did not leave until after midnight and they said they had had a pleasant evening as I think they had. I am very glad now we went, for Charlie is a good fellow and I want him to know how much I respect him, for he is in a most difficult position and has borne himself with great discretion.

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