My Mission

Robert Sale-Hill’s poem, The True Origin and History of “The Dude” (The New York World, January 14, 1883) introduced the world to the word Dude, and kicked off a full-on Dude craze. A-Dude-a-Day[i] Blog is dedicated to preserving and sharing pics, pieces and poems from the early days of the Dude-craze of 1883. You can read more about the history and origin of the word Dude on my blogpost, "Dudes, Dodos and Fopdoodles" on my other blog, Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dude #10 - The Feud of the Dudes - Art Imitates Life

Puck, Volume 13, Number 325, May 30, 1883.

An item had appeared in the papers a few weeks earlier, reporting that two "dudes" were rumored to have hired professional boxers to protect themselves after nearly coming to blows over the affections of, "Madame Theo," a professional opera singer.

Almost a Duel Between Two Dudes.

Some of the younger club men of the city are discussing with much enjoyment the subject of a bitter quarrel between two of their number.  This quarrel grew out of certain bouquets sent to Madame Theo, who is now singing in opera bouffe at the Casino.  One of the two "dudes" - both young men belong to that select class - had become acquainted with Theo in Paris.  This young man for the purposes of this narrative may be designated as W., while the friend with whom he quarreled may be styled T. W. was anxious to renew here the acquaintance which he had enjoyed in Paris.  He paved the way with flowers, sending a costly bouquet with his card to the singer on the stage one evening.  He received an invitation to call at the Belvidere, where Madame Theo is living, and after that his bouquets and his calls were both frequent. . . . .

But his means were not ample, and hte strain of nightly nosegays began to tell on his purse.  He was so proud of the friendship of the fair singer that he was reulctant to mitigate his devotion, and he still kept up the rain of flowers though with a constantly lessening pocket-book and a constantly lengthening face.

Finally he had a happy thought.  His friend T. was blessed with a large fortune and was very anxious to be presented to Madame Theo.  So W. proposed to T. that he shoudl send Theo a find basket of flowers and he then would introduce T. to her.  T. accepted this suggestion eagerly, and a floral offering costing no less than $60 graced the stage after one of Theo's songs that night.  But W. had called on the florist, and, curiously enough, though the bill went to T., W.'s card alone accompanied the flowers.

At a subsequent  supper at the Brunswick, T. was introduced to the French prima donna by W.  Unfortunately Madame Theo referred to the flowers which she had been receiving from W., especially to the superb basket which he had sent her that very evening.  Not a word for T.  . . . .

A duel seemed imminent.  But a duel between dudes would have been such a peculiarly ridiculous affair that all though of the field of honor was laughed away by their friends.  Yet there is no doubt both were very, very mad.  T. took a solemn oat on his silver-headed cane that he would have revenge, while W. swore by his celebrated corduroy waistcoat that T. should yet eat his words.

It was reported at some of the clubs that W. had secured the services of William Edwards, the professional pugilist and "bouncer," to aid him in his fell design. . . . They said also that while T. had not employed William Edwards, he did have in his office as a body guard a boxer of vast muscular power. . . . 

It only remains to add that W. is engaged in real estate operations, while T. is a rising legal luminary.

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