Goose/The Finger

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue Jan 22 17:09:40 UTC 2002

With reference to Douglas G. Wilson's recent comment that "Apparently
the original "bird" (also "big bird", "goose")(early 19th C. or
earlier) was a goose-hiss (used in the theater). . . ."

Early 19th century newspapers were very personal publications, and the
editors were continually bickering with each other.  The following
bicker is from W. L. Stone of the Evening Post, and is aimed at
Mordecai Noah, who was a playwright and also the editor of the National

Theatrical. --  Last evening, Mr. Noah's last new play of Marion, was
performed for the second time; not having been present, nor seeing any
account of it in the Advocate of this morning, we should like to know
something about it.  If we are correctly informed, there was not enough
in the house to defray on half the expenses, and it is added, that the
curtain fell to the music of a flock of geese.  Is it so?
New-York Evening Post, December 18, 1821, p. 2, cols. 4

George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

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