The Irish review

The Irish review

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The Irish review
The Irish Review Pub. Co.
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Subjects / Keywords:
Ireland -- Civilization -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Ireland -- Literatures -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
Time Period:
1911 - 1914


General Note:
A monthly magazine of Irish literature, art & science.
General Note:
Mostly in English, with some Irish Gaelic.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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027002452 ( ALEPH )
01639751 ( OCLC )
I22-00001 ( USFLDC DOI )
i22.1 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Irish Studies

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IRISH .REIEW A MONTHL Y MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE, A _RT l!f SCIENCE AUGUST 1912 Proportional Representation by James Creed Meredith. Jimmy Beg, Poem by Bligh Talbot Crosbie. How the Husband of the Thin Woman lost his Brother by Jam es Stephens Raghaille an Chuil Bhain-Irish Folk Song Swift as an Irishman by D. J. O'Donoghue Dublin, July 18th, poem by Bricriu An Ancient Doctrine by Ella Young "The Turn Out;" Play by Joseph CampbeH PICTURE by JE. DUBLIN REVIEWS THE JRISH REVIEW PUBLISHING COMPANY r 2 D'OLIER STREET LONDON I SIMPKIN MAR.SHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & CO. SOLE AGENTS FOR THE COLONIES I GORDON & GOTCH, LTD., LONDON ,, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, ETc. EDINBURGH MENZIES & CO., HANOVER STREET SOLE AGENTS FOR AMERICA THE FOUR SEAS CO., 120 TREMANT ST., BOSTON


THE IRISH REVIEW THi IRISH REVIEW was founded to give expres sion to the intellectual movement in Ireh1nd. It publishes Poems, Play and Stories in English and in Irish, and deals critically with every Irish interest-Literature, Art and Science, Politics, Economics, and Sociology. In politics, THE IRISH REVIEW aims at making an adjustment by promoting free discussion. The subscription is 7 /6 per year and 3/9 per half-year, post free. A BROADSIDE. 5tk Year. With Ballads by Ballad Singers, living and dead; and with drawings by Jack B. Yeats. (Hand-coloured). Published monthly: first numb e r publishe d in June, 1908. Subscription twelve shilling a year post free.'. A few complete sets the commencement still for sale. Single copies thirteen pence. CUALA PRESS, DUNDRUM, COUNTY DUBLIN, IR!LAifD.


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THE IRISH REVIEW d 9JONTHLY 9JAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE. dRT & SCIENCE AUGUST, IQI2 PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION By /AMES CREED MEREDITH, L!TT.D. favourable reception recently given both by Mr. Asquith 1 and by Mr. Bonar Law and Sir Edward Carson to the deputation from the Proportional Representation Society of Ireland brings the proposals of that Society well within the range of practical politics. The Irish Government Act will provide for the election of the Irish Parliament, according to the principle of proportional representation, if a sufficiently strong desire is expressed that it should do so. This desire is steadily growing, and would grow much more rapidly if the general public appreciated better the full significance of the proposals, and what their adoption would mean for Ireland; for there is not a single result which it is the admitted tendency of proportional representation to promote which is not at the same time one earnestly desired by Nationalists and Unionists alike. The systems of proportional representation that have been devised from time to time, and even those actually at present in 281 VOL. IJ.-NO. 18


THE IRISH REVIEW operation in different countries, are many All, however, have behind them the driving for c e of the principle that a representative govern ment ought to be truly representative a principle to which most persons would give their ready assent. Yet it is by no means a truism. A plausible case can even be made against it For, no matter how truly representative a government is, must not the majority in the end outvote the minority? And, if the minority is outvoted, what difference does it make whether it is a large minority or a small minority? If we reply that experience shows that large minorities always make their influence felt, since at any moment they may become majorities, we have then to face an opposite objection to the above principle. For the argument of others is that it is essential to the success of party government that the party in power should have a substantial majority. Our present sy st e m tends naturally to this result. Looking at the aggregate votes polled by the different parties at the different elections during, say, the last twenty five years, one is surprised at the c ompleteness of the c hanges in the balance of power that has been effected b y the turnover of a com paratively small number of votes. Proportional representation admittedly tends to check these violent oscillations of the pendulum. Changes in the representative assembly do no more than reflect the changes of opinion in the country : they do not exaggerate it But successful party government, some say, requires such an exaggera tion. This is the case for the existing system as fairly as we can state it; and those who desire that difference of opinion in Ireland should be exaggerated to the full extent will of course, give their whole-hearted support to the existing system But at least the existing system ought to be able to show that it ensures the return to power of the party which has a majority in the country-that, in other words, it only exaggerates small majori ties by turning them into larger majorities, but does not exaggerate their contemptible narrowness by turning them into minorities, and exaggerate the minority into a majority. But this may easily happen under the present system. If one party gets a majority of 5,000 in one constituency and is beaten by 100 in ten others, it has a majority 282


REPRESENTATION of 4,000 so far as aggregate votes go, but in respect of representatives it is in a minority of IO to 1. This, of course, often happens; and it would be very serious but for the fact that where there are 670 representatives to be chosen for different constituencies, if one party suffers from the effects of such an anomaly in one part of the country, the other party probably suffers in the same way elsewhere. Where the number of constituencies is large, anomalies generally balance one another. Hence, as we might expect, it has been the smaller countries, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and Tas mania, that have led the way in adopting proportional representation. We must, however, remember that when we speak of the proba bility of good and bad luck working out fairly evenly for all parties, we are supposing that there are no real causes in existence which tend to crowd the supporters of one or other party in excessive numbers into certain constituencies-we are supposing, that is to say, that matters are left fairly to chance, and that we are not playing against loaded dice. If the policy of one party were such as to gain for it an overwhelming majority in the borough constituencies and, at the same time, to secure for it a large following in the county con stituencies, then that party might have a very substantial majority of the aggregate votes polled throughout the country, and yet the other party might have a considerable majority of the representa tives returned. Or it might, in other cases, have a very substantial minority of the aggregate votes and yet obtain a very insignificant minority of representatives. Wherever the difference of urban and rural interests or opinions is at all likely to influence the division of parties, the existing system is likely to work injustice and make the body of members elected to parliament misrepresentative. As the above may not unlikely at some time be the case in Ireland, the question is really quite serious. Fortunately, there is just time for the alert urban intellect in Ireland to wak"en up to the necessity of protecting its interests, and not half enough time for the more sluggist rural intellect to waken up to the danger of its only having a fair representation. According to the calculations of the Propor tional Representation Society of Ireland, the Irish Government Bill 283


THE IRISH REVIEW would, as it stands, give a rural majority of about 94; whereas under proportional representation the probable majority would only be about 34. Now, how can proportional representation bring about these desirable results? As stated above, the systems of proportional representation are many, but there is complete unanimity as to what is the best system for adoption in this country. It is the system actually in operation in Tasmania, and really the simplest and most satisfactory of all the systems proposed. Its essential features are that all the constituencies are multiple, returning at least three mem bers, and that each voter has only one vote, which vote is made transferable. Every candidate is elected who obtains that number of votes which is the least that cannot be obtained by more candi dates than there are seats. Thus, if there are three seats, this number is one-quarter of the total votes polled plus one, for only three candidates can get this number. If the number were one less, that is, a quarter, then four candidates could, of course, each get a quarter of the total votes polled. This number is called the quota, and, generalising the above statement, it is obtained by adding one to the number resulting from dividing the total of votes by one more than the number of seats-fractions being, of course, neglected. When such a system is adopted, it is obvious that in any constituency where the minority is large enough to give any particular candidate a quota they can elect that candidate. In a constituency of five seats a sixth pl us one of the actual voters can ensure the return of their representative. So, whereas under the existing system large numbers of the electorate pass their whole lives without ever having the satisfac tion of returning a vote which in the result proves effective, under proportional representation this could only happen in the case of very insignificant minorities. The reason for making the vote transferable is obvious. For, were it not so, a vote might be lost either because it was given to a candidate who obtained more votes than he required, that is, more than his quota, or because it was given to one who could not possibly make up a quota. The method of voting is, accordingly, by placing 284


PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION the figure one before the name of the candidate most preferred on the ballot paper, the figure two before the name of the candidate next pref erred, and so on. This is all the voter has to do. If the task of determining the order of preference proves too great an intellectual strain for any particular voter, he can simply follow the advice of his party as to the order, and if he even feels himself incompetent to carry out such advice, he may content himself with simply placing the figure one before the name of a candidate of his party-this he can do by beginning to make the customary cross, and then stopping when he has made the first stroke. The task of the returning officer is somewhat more complicated -indeed, it would not be safe to appoint any man to the post of returning officer, no matter what his politi cs, unless he had passed in arithmetic in the Junior Grade Intermediate, or some equivalent examination. For after the first count, when probabl y a couple of candidates are declared elected, surplus votes have to be distributed, it being unlikely that the elected candidates have ea c h only received an exact quota. As the surplus votes are votes in the case of which the first preference is regarded as ineffective because the candidate has sufficient without them, the second preference must be considered-or, rather, the next available preference, because the second preference might be given for the other eJected candidates, and would therefore have to be neglected. It is important, therefore, that the surplus votes should be taken fairly as between the various second preferences. Accordingly, all the voting papers of each candidate with a surplus are taken and sorted in bundles according to the second or next available preferences, and the surplus votes are taken from the top of each bundle in proportion to the number of votes in the bundle. In other words, the amount of the surplus that goes to any candidate obtaining second preferences is the surplus multi plied by the second preferences for that candidate and divided by the total number of the votes of the candidate whose surplus is being distributed. Here the Proportional Representation Society say that fractions are to be neglected, and that the one or more surplus votes that are consequently undistributed whenever fractions appear are 285


TflE IRISH REVIEW to be returned to the elected candidate. But such vote or votes might just as well be given at once to the candidate or candidates having the largest fractions, or to the candidate or candidates having the largest number of second preferences. When the surplus votes are distributed, the candidate having the smallest number of votes is eliminated, and his votes, which are ineffective, are transferred to the next available preferences for the purpose of making them, if possible, effective. This process, relieved from time to time by the declaration that another candidate is elected, and the distribution of his surplus votes, if any, is continued until the requisite number of candidates is returned. If the process sounds complicated and difficult to picture to the mind when described in the abstract, it has been found by experience to be quite simple and kindergarten when actual votes are being dealt with. Beside the fact that unless proportional representation is adopted urban voters will be practically overwhelmed, there are many considerations that may be urged in favour of the system. It will be sufficient to mention two of these. Passing over the University seats, the whole body of Unionist opinion in Ireland is represented by the extreme Unionists of the North. Unionists throughout the rest of Ireland have no voice as to the proper tactics and policy of Unionists. A Professor Culverwell may write letters to the paper and raise a protest, but what is the use of that if all representatives belong to the extreme party? Under proportional representation Unionism throughout all Ireland would have its representatives. Similarly, under the same system, Nationalism in Ulster would be more fairly represented. The other special point in favour of pro portional representation is, that it has always been found to result in the election of a fair number of moderate men of conspicuous ability who are not definitely pledged to any party. If there is anything in the recent indictments of the present system of party government and the suppression of the individual member, then the case for proportional representation would seem to be clear. 286


JIMMY BEG A MUNSTER PEASANT'S STORY I. The public owned it was a shame To match a strappin' girl like Peg Wi' th' limitation o' a man Was in it wi' Jimmy Beg. 2. An' when the P.P.'d guv his turn, An' they should sail from Keogh's shebeenCold showers it was-old Keogh, who kep' Great spite for the maneen, 3. Cocks his eye at the car, wi' Dan, Jim's lovely, able da, wan side, An' weightin' him, his changlin' son An' Jim's dark handsome bride. 4. An' as the jarvey cracked his whip, Keogh says, for all the world to catch, "You' re matchin', Jim," says he, "the weight, But marrin', Jim, the match 5. Well, an' for all was heard, it throve Wi' them a year or two: Peg's way Suited the hins: she kep' a clane House, an' was dressed on Sunday. 6. But sorra child they had, as long As the gossips tried to get a sight, When she'd be kneelin' at the Mass, Was Peg's waist ban' grown tight :i87


THE IRISH REVIEW 7. The boys should have their laugh at Jim; But if they had, they took good care 'Twas all behind his back, for rouse The maneen, not wan dare. 8. But wan warm drizzlin' day of Spring, We'd put a neighbour 'neath the greenAye, Foxy Nell 'twas, broke her neckAn' were in Keogh's shebeen. 9 .. When who should come aloQg but Art 1 McGuire, was a strong farmer 'hove Gilgobbin, leadin' by a cord His stallion, Avon Duv. IO. A gran' baste 'twas entirely; strong An' well-shaped; great neck, body roun', An' wi' that teasbach he'd not lave His four hoofs on the groun'. 11 So Art should stop to wet his throat, An' Jim, who had the greatest taste For horses, never minds his glass, But out to hold the baste. 12. An' we all crowded to the door : An' see, the stal, wi' her black skin Smokin' like pitch, an' 'neath the rain, Holdin' the halter, Jim. 13. So Keogh says somethin', an' all laugh, Dan most, an' Jim soon guess the joke: His share o' blood flamed in his face, rlW But not a word he spoke. I 288


JIMMY BEG 14. From that day out Jim eyed his da, Jim eyed his da with mortal hate, But Dan must hold him for a dog, An' Peg an' Dan was great. 15. Quare stories 'gan to go the roun' As Mass an' market, an' all three, Th' O'Hallorans were let alone As much as well could be. 16. Well, wan night, toward the end of May, The both o' them was burnin' weed, An' their trench sunk long here, an' lined Wi' stones, an' red sods in't for seed 17. Of fire. So when the sun was gone Under the sea, they went to spread The crisp stuff, little at a time, Above the smoulder red. 18. A blast before the flowin' tide, Fetched down the rollin' smoke, like hay Piked from a rick, an' up the vale, Under the gloamin', hushed and pale, Wafted it still an' grey. 19. An' as the night came on, the fire Burned strong an' stronger in the trench, Wi' little snaps an' mutterings, Wi' little spits an' sputterings, Would ask a thunder-shower to quench. 20. But sorra shower there was that night, No, nor the makings of a cloud ; The humpy moon, as thin an' white As wax, was free to spill her light O'er the tide rumblin' loud. 289


THE IRISH REVIEW 21. Well, Dan and Jim should mind the fire, An' pike weed from the waitin' stack, An' as the flames eat through the crust An' 'gan their red tongues out to thrust, Bury them once more black. 22. The both had stripped their coat an' vest, An' both were grime-black, but Jim's face, When he'd bend o'er the fire, was like The damned in their own place. 23. Dan had a drop in him 'fore long-. 'Twas dry work 'mid the heat an' smoke, But not a sup passed Jim's tight lips, An' not a word he spoke. 24. Soon as Dan has the bottle bate, Home wid you, Jim," says he, "an' bring It full, an' don't be lettin' all The pleasant talk you're keepin' safe For Peg between you an' the wall, Detain you till the morning." 25. So home wi' Jim, across the grass Drippin' wi' dew beneath the moon, An' thinks, she may be hoarse, the crake, Wearin' away the night awake, Back of Lisconnor Dun." 26. An' in the cabin, look at Peg, Sittin' bare-shouldered by the dip, Shawled in her black hair, her white teeth Biting her handsome lip. -290


JIMMY BEG 27. She seen Jim sidlin' thro' the door, An' let a little laugh out, look The smutty-faced sprissaun !" she cried, But not a word poor Jim replied, Only pis hand so shook 28. That when he set the bottle down It staggered on the board, as though Tipsy itself. Peg took 't to fill, An' Jim's eyes watched her to and fro. 29. An' Peg fetched Jim's cravat an' gave It him, beside the bottle filled, Give it, an' my love wi' it, to Dan, The way he'd not get chilled." 30. Haven't you any care for me?" Says Jim. The Virgin care you you ,. Cries Peg. "My grief if child o' mine Should call you father an' spake true.." 31. So back wi' Jim, across the bawn Drippin' wi' dew beneath the moon, An' thinks; she may be hoarse, the crake, Wearin' away the night awake, Back of Lisconnor Dun." 32. An' 'twas the divil was in him : his heart Was hard as flint, an' he stepped proud, Seein' as plain as sees the owl, An' laughin' half-aloud. 33. Peg didn't keep you long," says Dan, Straightenin' himself, an' lets a pull Slide down his throat, and Jim holds out The red cravat of wool. 291


THE IRISH REVIEW 34. Arra, what put that in your head?" Says Dan. She sint it," answers Jim, An' her love wi' it." Then Dan throws A chest an' measures him. 35. "Wisha, then, she can't price a man!" Says he, an' on wi' Jim's cravat, Easy an' soft. A scab like you Desarves to be made "-that 36. Was Dan's last word; for Jim took hold Wi' two hands on the pike, and lep A goat's lep on him, an' the prongs Ran through his chest. Wan step 37. Backward he makes, he lets wan screech Out, an' down flat upon the ground, An' the pike stickin' from his chest, An' no stir more nor sound. 38. Jim stand an' look at him a while, An' strive to catch his sightless eyes, Then draws the pike, an' heels an' head, By turn an' turn, from where he lies, 39. Draws Dan into the burnin' trench, An' covers him wi' weed, an' treads Him in-an' he not cold, an' then Jim snuffs the smoke, and spreads 40. His hands above the fire, an' takes His seat upon the bank near by, An' hears quare snaps an' mutterings, An' hears quare spits an' sputterings, The flames make busily. r!1 a92


JIMMY BEG 41. An' from the brink the water spilled An' spilled, an' turned the rumblin' tide ; A flock o' roostin' sea-gulls woke An' circled o'er the rollin' smoke Beneath the moon, an' cried. 42. There in his sittin' he was, when Peg Came east, an' asked him where was Dan. Dan?" says he "Dan?" n o r makes a stir, An' then great fear took hold of her, An' 'long the brink she ran. 43. So while she's starin' neath the brink, Jim up and off, wi' pike in han', Makin, straight for the town, an' Peg She after, fast as she can leg, Cryin' on him to stan'. 44. An' when she seen 'twas h o w he steered Straight for the barracks, west the town, She caught him by the arm, an' cried :-"Jim, darlin' Jim, don't go inside, Couldn't Dan stray an' drown?" 45. I stuck Dan wi' the pike an' burned Him in the kelp," says Jim, "an' now I'll tell them what I done an' why, So if you'r meanin' to be by, Draw your shawl on your brow." 46. Well Sergeant Bolag, an' two more Were fixed unbuttoned, in their mist Of smoke, wi' glasses, at spoil-five, The sergeant smilin' at his fist. 293


'fHE IRISH REVIEW 41 Black, in his shirt, his pike in hand, In stalks Jim, murder 'tween his eyes. Begor! they thought 'twas Old Nick's self, An' sat without the strength to rise. 48. The sergeant knew him first :-"Well, Jim O'Halloran," says he, "an' what Do you mane intrudin' on the Force, This time o' night ?-you sot!" 49. He'd not done speakin' when in comes Peg, An' sinks back on the white-washed wall, Wi' writhin' lips an' catchin' breath, An' starin' eyes an' cheeks like death, Beneath her green plaid shawl. 50. I stuck Dan wi' the pike," says Jim, And burned him after in the kelp ; That's what I done; an' now I'll tell The reason why I done it as well, I will so, wi' God's help. 51. "'Tis how Dan took the loan-'Tis how Dan used"-says Jim, an' steals a look At Peg, an' if he did her eyes Pity from his heart strook. 52. An' "my cravat," was how he ended. An' Peg was fallen only Jim Caught her in his two arms, an' left Her down like part of him. 294


JIMMY BEG 53. Well they hung Jim, God rest his soul, I' the City o' Cork, an' gave him tin Foot of a drop, no less, the way He was so light and thin. 54. An' Peg she took her child beyond T' America, without a word To banish her, an' married well, An' has a family, they tell Me, thim as lately heard. 295


HOW THE HUSBAND OF THE THIN WOMAN LOST HIS BROTHER By /AMES STEPHENS I. I I N very centre of the wood called Coilla Doraca there lived not long ago two philosophers. They were wiser than anything else in the world except the salmon who lies in the pool of Glyn Cagny into which the nuts of knowledge fall from the hazel bush on its banks--he is the most profound of all living creatures, but the two philosophers are next to him in wisdom. Their faces looked as though they were made of parchment, there was ink under their nails, and every difficulty which was submitted to them even by women, they were able to instantly resolve. The Grey Woman of Dungortin and the Thin Woman of Inis Magrath asked them the three questions which nobody had ever been able to answer, and they were able to answer them. That was how they obtained the enmity of these two women, which is more valu able than the friendship of angels. The Grey Woman and the Thin Woman were so incensed at being answered that they married the philosophers in order to be able to pinch them in bed, but the skins of the philosophers were so thick that they did not even know they were being pinched. They repaid the fury of the women with such tender affection that these vicious creatures almost expired of chagrin; and once, in a very ecstasy of exasperation, after having been kissed by their husbands, they uttered the fourteen hundred maledictions which comprised their wisdom, and these were learned by the philosophers, who thus became even wiser than before. In due process of time, two children were born of these mar riages. They were born on the same day and in the same hour, and they were only different in this, that one of them was a boy and the other one was a girl. Nobody was able to tell how this had happened, and, for the first time in their lives, the philosophers were forced to admire an event which they had been unable to prognosti cate; but having proved by many different methods that the children were really children, that what must be must be, that a fact cannot 296


THE HUSBAND OF THE THIN WOMAN be controverted, and that what has happened once may happen twice, they described the occurrence as extraordinary, but not unnatural, and submitted peaceably to a Providence even wiser than they were. The philosopher who had the boy was very pleased, because, he said, there were too many women in the world, and the philosopher who had the girl was very pleased also, because, he said, you cannot have too much of a good thing. The Grey Woman and the Thin Woman, however, were not in the least softened by maternity : they said they had not bargained for it, that the children were gotten under false pretences, that they were respectable married women, and that, as a protest against their wrongs, they would not cook any more food for the philosophers. This was pleasant news for their husbands, who disliked the women's cooking very much; but they said nothing, for the women would certainly have insisted on their rights to cook had they imagined their husbands disliked the results ; therefore, the philosophers daily besought their wives to cook one of their lovely dinners again, and this the women always refused to do. They lived together in a small house in the centre of a dark pine wood. Into this place the sun never shone, because the shade was too deep, and no wind ever came there either, because the boughs were too thick ; so that it was the most solitary and quiet place in the world, and the philosophers were able to hear each other thinking all day long, or making speeches to each other, and these were the pleasantest sound they knew of. To them there were only two kinds of sounds anywhere-these were conversation and noise; they liked the first very much indeed, but they spoke of the second with stern disapproval, and, even when it was made by a bird, a breeze or a shower of rain, they grew angry and demanded that it should be abolished. Their wives seldom at all, and they were never silent : they communicated with each other by a kind of physical telegraphy which they had learned among the Sidhe -they cracked their finger-joints quickly or slowly, and so able to communicate with each other over immense distances ; for by dint of long practice they could make great explosive sounds which were like thunder, and gentler sounds like the tapping of grey ashes on a hearthstone. The Thin Woman hated her own child, but she loved the Grey Woman's baby, and the Grey Woman loved the Thin Woman's infant, but could not abide her own. A compromise may put an end to the most perplexing of situations, and, consequently, the two women swapped children, and at once became the most tender and amiable mothers imaginable, and the families were able to live together in a more perfect amity than could be found anywhere else. The children grew in grace and comeliness. At first the little 297


THE IRISH REVIEW boy was short and fat, and the little girl was long and thin; then the little girl became round and chubby, while the little boy grew lanky and wiry-this was because the little girl used to sit very quiet and be good, and the little boy did not. They lived for many years in the deep seclusion of the pine wood wherein a perpetual twilight reigned, and there they were wont to play their childish games, flitting among the shadowy trees like little quick shadows. Sometimes their mothers, the Grey Woman and the Thin Woman, played with them; but this was seldom, and sometimes their fathers, the two philosophers, came out and looked at them through their spectacles, which were very round and very glassy, and had immense circles of horn all round the edges. They had, however, other playmates, with whom they could romp all day long. There were hundreds of rabbits running about in the brushwood; they were full of fun, and were very fond of playing with the children. There were squirrels who joined cheerfully in their games, and some goats, having strayed in from the big world one day, were made so welcome that they always came again whenever they got the chance. There were birds also, crows and blackbirds and willy-wagtails, who were well a.cquainted with the youngsters, and visited them as frequently as their busy lives permitted. At a short distance from their home there was a clearing in the wood about ten feet square; through this clearing, as through a funnel, the sun for a few hours in the summer-time blazed down. It was the boy who first discovered the strange, radiant shaft in the wood. One day he had been sent out to collect pine cones for the fire. As these were gathered daily the supply immediately near the house was scanty, therefore he had, while searching for more, wan dered further from his home than usual. The first sight of the extraordinary blaze astonished him. He had never seen anything like it before, and the steady, unwinking glare aroused his fear and curiosity equally. Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will; indeed, it has led many people into dangers which mere physical courage would shudder away from, for hunger and love and curiosity are the great impelling forces of life. When the little boy found that the light did not move, he drew closer to it, and at last, embold ened by curiosity, he stepped right into it and found tnat it was not a thing at all. The instant that he stepped into the light he found it was hot, and this so frightened him that he jumped out of it again and ran behind a tree. Then he jumped into it for a moment and out of it again, and for nearly half an hour he played a splendid game of tip and tig with the sunlight. At last he grew quite bold, and stood in it, and found that it did not burn him a bit; but he did 298


THE HUSBAND OF THE THIN WOMAN not like to remain in it for a long time, fearing lest he be cooked. When he went home with the pine cones he said nothing to the Grey Woman of Dun Gortin or to the Thin Woman of Inis Magrath, or to the two philosophers, but he told the little girl all about it when they went to bed, and every day afterwards they used to go and play with the sunlight, and the birds and the squirrels would follow them there and join in their games with twice the interest they had shown before. II. To the lonely house in the pine wood people sometimes came for advice on subjects too recondite for even those extremes of elucidation, the Parish Priest and the tavern. These people were always well received, and their perplexities were attended to instantly, for the philosophers liked being wise, and the y were not ashamed to put their learning to the proof; nor were they, as so many wise people are, fearful lest they should become poor or less respected by giving away their knowledge. These were favourit e maxims with them : You must be fit to give before you can be fit to receive Knowledge becomes lumber in a week, therefore get rid of it. The box must be emptied before it can be refilled. Refilling is progress. A sword, a spade and a fact should never be allowed to rust. The Grey Woman and the Thin Woman, however, held opinions quite contrary to these, and their maxims also were different : A secret is a weapon and a friend. Man is God's secret, Power is man's secret, Sex is woman's secret. By having much you are fitted to have more. There is always room in the box. The art of packing is the last lecture of wisdom. The seal p of your enemy is progress. Holding these opposed views, it seemed likely at first that visitors seeking for advice from the philosophers might be aston ished and captured by tJieir wives; but the women were true to their own doctrines, and refused to part with information to any persons, saving only those of high rank, such as policemen, gombeen-men, and District and County Councillors ; but even to these they charged high prices for their information and a bonus on any gains which accrued through the following of their advices. It is unnecessary to state that their following was small when compared with those who sought the assistance of their husbands, for scarcely a week 299


THE IRISH REVIEW passed but some person came through the pine woods with his brows in a tangle of perplexity. In these people the children were deeply interested. They used to go apart afterwards and talk about them, and would try to remember what they looked like, how they talked, and their mann e r of walking or taking snuff. After a little time they became interested in the problems which these people submitted to their parents, and the replies or instructions wherewith the latter relieved them. Long training had made the children able to sit perfectly quiet, so that when the talk came to the interesting part they were entirely forgotten, and ideas which might otherwise have been spared their youth became the commonplaces of their conver sation. When the children were ten years of age, one of the philosophers died. He called the household together and announced that the time had come when he must bid them all good-bye, and that his intention was to die as quickly as might be. It was, he continued, an unfortunate thing that his health was at the time more robust than it had been for a long time; but that, of course, was no obstacle to his resolution, for death did not depend upon ill-health, but upon a multitude of o ther factors, with the details whereof he would not trouble them. His wife, the Grey Woman of Dun Gortin, applauded this resolution, and added as an amendment that it was high time he did something, that the life he had been leading was an arid and unpro fitable one, that he had stolen her fourteen hundred maledictions for which he had no use, and presented her with a child for which she had none, and that, all things concerned, the sooner he did die and stop talking the sooner everybody concerned would be made happy. The other philosopher replied mildly, as he lit his pipe : Brother, the greatest of all virtues is curiosity, and the end of all desire is wisdom; tell us, therefore, by what steps you have arrived at this commendable resolution." To this the philosopher replied: I have attained to all the wisdom which I am fitted to bear. In the space of one week no new truth has come to me. All that I have read lately I knew before, all that I have thought has been but a recapitulation of old and wearisome ideas. There is no longer an horizon before my eyes. Space has narrowed to the petty dimen sions of my thumb. Time is the tick of a clock. Good and evil are two peas in the one pod. My wife's face is the same for ever. I want to play with the children, and yet I do not want to. Your conversation with me, brother, is like the droning of a bee in a dark 300


THE HUSBAND OF THE THIN WOMAN cell. The pine trees take root and grow and die-it's all bosh; good-bye." His friend replied : Brother, these are weighty reflections, and I do clearly per ceive that the time has come for you to stop. I might observe, not in order to combat your views, but merely to continue an interesting conversation, that there are still some knowledges which you have not assimilated-you do not yet know how to play the tambourine, nor how to be nice to your wife, nor how to get up first in the morning and cook the breakfast. Have you learned how to smoke strong tobacco as I do? or can you dance in the moonlight with a woman of the Sidhe ? To understand the theory which underlies all things is not sufficient. Theory is but the preparation for practice It has occurred to me, brother, that wisdom may not be the end of everything. Goodness and kindliness are, perhaps beyond wisdom. Is it not possible that the ultimate end is gaiety and music and a dance of joy? Wisdom is the oldest of all things. Wisdom is all head and no heart. Behold, brother, you are being c rushed under the weight of your head. You are dying o{ old age w hile you are yet a child." Brother," replied the other philosopher, your voice is like the droning of a bee in a dark cell. If in m y latt e r days I am reduced to playing on the tambourine and running after a hag in the moonlight and cooking your breakfast in the grey morning, then it is indeed time that I should die. Good-bye, brother." So saying, the philosopher arose and removed all the furniture to the sides of the room, so that there was a clear space left in the centre. He then took off his boots and his coat, and, standing on his toes, he commenced to gyrate with extraordinary rapidity. In a few moments his movements became steady and swift, and a sound came from him like the humming of a swift saw; this sound grew deeper and deeper, and at last continuous, so that the room was filled with a thrilling noise. In a quarter of an hour the movement began noticeably to slacken. In another three minutes it was quit e slow. In two more minutes he grew visible again as a body, and then he wobbled to and fro and at last dropped in a heap on the floor. He was quite dead, and on his face was an expression of serene beatitude. "God be with you, brother," said the remaining philosopher, and he lit his pipe, focussed his vision on the extreme tip of his nose, and began to meditate profoundly on the aphorism whether the good is the all or the all is the good. In another moment he would have become oblivious of the room, the company, and the 301


THE IRISH REVIEW corpse, but the Grey Woman of Dun Gortin shattered his medita tion by a demand for advice as to what should next be done. The philosopher, with an effort, detached his eyes from his nose and his mind from his maxim : Chaos," said he, is the first condition. Order is the first law. Continuity is the first reflection. Quietude is the first happi ness. Our brother is dead-bury him "; and, so saying, he returned his eyes to his nose and his mind to his maxim, and lapsed to a profound reflection wherein nothing sat perched on insubstantiality and the Spirit of Artifice goggled at the puzzle. The Grey Woman of Dun Gortin took a pinch of snuff from her box, and raised the caoine over her husband. You were my husband, and you are dead. It is wisdom that has killed you. If you had listened to my wisdom instead of to your own, you would still be a trouble to me, and I would still be happy. Women are stronger than men-they do not die of wisdom. They are better than men, because they do not seek wisdom. They are wiser than men, because they know less and understand more. Wise men are thieves-they steal wisdom from the neighbours. I had fourteen hundred maledictions, my little store, and by a trick you stole them and left me empty. You stole my wisdom, and it has broken your neck. I lost my knowledge, and I am yet alive raising the caoine over your body; but it was too heavy for you, my little knowledge. You will never go out into the pine wood in the morning, or wander abroad on a night of stars. You will not sit in the chimney corner on the hard nights, or go to bed or rise again, or do anything at all from this day out. Who will gather pine cones now when the fire is going down, or call my name in the empty house, or be angry when the kettle is not boiling? Now I am desolate indeed. I have no knowledge, I have no husband, I have no more to say." If I had anything better, you should have it," said she politely to the Thin Woman of lnis Magrath. Thank you," said the Thin Woman; it was very nice. Shall I begin now? My husband is meditating, and we may be able to annoy him." "Don't trouble yourself," replied the other, I am past enjoy ment, and am, moreover, a respectable woman." "That is no more than the truth, indeed." 302


THE HUSBAND OF THE THIN WOMAN I have always done the right thing at the right time." "I'd be the last body in the world to deny that," was the warm response. Very well, then," said the Grey Woman, and she commenced to take off her boots. She stood in the centre of the room and balanced herself on her toe. "You are a decent, respectable lady," said the Thin Woman of Inis Magrath, and then the Grey Woman began to gyrate rapidly and more rapidly until she was a very fervour of motion, and in three-quarters of an hour (for she was very tough) she began to slacken, grew visible, wobbled, and fell beside her dead husband, and on her face was a beatitude almost surpassing his The Thin Woman of Inis Magrath smacked the children and put them to bed, next she buried the two bodies under the hearth stone, and then, with some trouble, detached her husband from his meditations. When he became capable of ordinary occurrences, she detailed all that had happened, and said that he alone was to blame for the sad bereavement. He replied: The toxin generates the anti-toxin. The end lies concealed in the beginning. All bodies grow around a skeleton. Life is a petticoat about death. I will not go to bed."


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SWIFT AS AN IRISHMAN By D. /. O'DONOGHUE III. THE strength of Swift's language against the grazing system is characteristic. Like many other writers of that time, as of this, he saw the necessity of tillage if the country was to recover her position. At about the same time as this pamphlet appeared, he wrote a small tract, called An Answer to several Letters sent me by Unknown Hands,'' in which he takes up a position which has been much misunderstood, but which is certainly not compatible with the hostility which most people imagine he showed towards the Irish language. His references to it, as will be seen, are hardly those of an opponent. "The common objections," he says, "drawn from the laziness, the perverseness, or thievish disposition of the poor native Irish, might be easily answered by showing the true reasons for such accusations arid how easily these people may be brought to a less savage manner of life, bu_t my printers have already suffered too much for my speculations. How ever, supposing the size of a native's understanding just equal to that of a dog or horse, I have often seen those two animals to be civilised by rewards, at least as much as by punishments." And then he proceeds: "It would be a noble achievement to abolish the Irish language in this kingdom, so far at least as to oblige all the natives to speak only English on every occasion of business, in shops, markets, fairs and other places of dealing; yet I am wholly deceived, if this might not be effectually done in less than half an age, and at a very trifling expense; for such I look upon a tax to be of only six thousand pounds a year to accomplish so great a work. This would, in a great measure, civilise the most barbarous among them, reconcile them to our customs and manner of living, and reduce great numbers to the national religion, whatever kind may then happen to be estab lished." I confess I cannot understand how anyone can misconceive this passage, with its concluding Swiftian touch. It is so clearly a piece of' irony, especially when taken with the sentiments expressed a little later in a paper called On Barbarous Denominations in Ireland," where he says that those gentlemen who favour the speak ing of Irish must never wish to visit England, as he never remembers anyone who did speak it but retained some trace of it in his accent. Moreover, he points out that Irish place-names are very perplexing to people in England, very little suited to an English mouth, and he wishes they could be modified "if only for the sake of the English 305


THE IRISH REVIEW lawyers who, in trials upon appeals to the House of Lords, find so much difficulty in repeating the names." And he goes on to suggest that places, especially country seats, beginning with Bally or Kill or Clon, should be altered to-what do you suppose? Why, Booby Borough, Fool-Brook, Puppy-ford, Coxcomb-Hall, Mount-Logger head, and Dunce-Hill, which names he calls innocent appellations, proper to express the talents of their owners." He demurs to Mount Regicide, Co v enant-Hall, Fanatic-Hill, Canting-Brook, or Mount Rebel. I have now given you all the matter I can find in Swift relative to the Irish language, and you can measure by it the extent of his supposed hostility to it, which all writers on Swift take "half an age" to extirpate it; at the cost of six thousand a year (he gives the exact sum just as he gives exact measurements in "Gulliver's Travels"), it will help the natives to conform to English ways, will convert them to the national religion (whatever that might be at the time), will prevent English lawyers in the House of Lords from being inconvenienced (naturally he loved lawyers, especially English ones) and will lead to barbarous denominations being modi fied to suit English mouths, and-well, you have heard the substi tutes he proposes. If these passages are not in Swift's ironic vein, then, of course, there is nothing more to be said. In season and out of season, Swift continued to press upon the public various practical suggestions for the benefit of Irish trade; he gave largely out of his purse in charity, and never ceased to appeal to all to support Irish manufactures exclusively. In "A Letter to the Archbishop of Dublin concerning the Weavers," and particularly in A Proposal that all the Ladies and Women of Ireland should appear constantly in Irish Manufacture," he carried on his crusade, often hampered by the conduct of those in whose interest he was striving, but never discouraged. In his "Letter to the Earl of Peter borough," and again in the tract called "The Present Miserable State of Ireland," which he wrote specially for Sir Robert Walpole's eye, he endeavoured to arouse the cons c iences of English statesmen He went to see Walpole, but found, in his own words, that that statesman had conceived opinions which I could not reconcile to the notions I had of liberty." Of Carteret, the Lord Lieutenant, he had formed a high opinion. He was a scholar and an amiable gentleman, with a sense of justice, and Swift hoped for greater things from his rule in Irelarid than were realised. He has a genteeler manner of binding the chains of the Kingdom," writes Swift to Gay, than most of his predecessors." Swift knew, of course, that Carteret could not change English policy in Ireland, 306


SWIFT AS AN IRISHMAN but he wondered why a man of his calibre was sent over merely as a cipher, and he was compelled to exclaim to him: "What, in God's name, do you do here? Get back to your own country, and send us our boobies again." But he defended Carteret when he was deliberately attacked by the most virulent of the anti-Irish set. His Vindication of that nobleman is one of his most amusing pro ductions. He admits that Carteret was a scholar, so unusual in a Chief Governor of Ireland, for it is known," he says, and can be proved upon him, that Greek and Latin books might be found every day in his dressing-room if it were carefully searched. I am likewise assured that he hath been taken in the very act of reading the said books." Also, that when his Excellency is at dinner with one or two scholars at his elbows, he grows a most un supportable and unintelligible companion to all the fine gentlemen round the table." And he acknowledges that he hath in a most unexemplary manner led a regular domestic life, and yet loved a pleasant companion. Nor, in a talk with such, do the national fears of Popery and the Pretender make any part of the conversa tion; I presume, because neither Homer, Plato, Aristotle, nor Cicero have made any mention of them." In "Considerations about Maintaining the Poor," Swift says: I could fill a volume with only setting down a list of the public absurdities, by which this Kingdom has suffered within the compass of my own memory, such as could not be believed of any nation among whom folly was not established as a law." He proceeds to instance some of these, as for example : "The insurance office against fire, by which several thousands of pounds are yearly remitted to England (a trifle, it seems, we can easily spare), and will gradually increase until it comes to a good national tax, for the society marks upon our houses (under which might properly be written 'The Lord have mercy on us') spread faster and farther than the colony of frogs. I have, for above twenty years past, given warning several thousand times to many substantial people, and to such who are acquainted with lords and squires, and the like great folks, to any of whom I have not the honour to be known; I mentioned my daily fears, lest our watchful friends in England might take this business out of our hands. But now we are become tributary to England, not only for materials to light our own fires, but for engines to put them out." Nothing seems to have escaped Swift's vigilant eye. Much of what he has to suggest has a curiously modern look, and we seem to be re-discovering the truths which to Swift appeared such self-evident propositions. Of course he had to consider his position, and knowing it would carry more weight, continued to pose 307


THE IRISH REVIEW as a well-wisher to England; but his views were, for the time, startling and incendiary. Such plain speaking as may be found in Swift's Irish tracts has been sadly wanting in more modern agitations. For it was his outspokenness that aroused Irish feeling against England and made Grattan's Parliament possible. In 1729, the Dublin Corporation recognised his services to the country by presenting Swift with the freedom of the city in a gold box, and in his r e ply, while expressing his appreciation of the honour, he regretted the C ity Fathers had not inscribed on the casket their reasons for the presentation. He disclaimed having done more than his duty, and mentioned that "he could think of no better way to do public service than by employing all the little money he could save, and lending it, without interest, in small sums to poor industrious tradesmen, without examining their party or their faith. And God had so far been pleased to bless his endeavours, that his managers tell hiin that he hath recovered above two hundred families in this city from ruin, and placed most of them in a comfortable way of life." Soon after this episode, there appeared the memorable tract by Swift, w hi c h horrified so many good people at the time, and has puzzled oth e r since. Ireland was literally passing through a famine. The povert y on all sides was appalling. Swift, in his private letters to Pope and others, repeate dly and mournfully contrasts the state of things here with that whi c h existed in England. Corn had become so dear that riots occurred at the ports from which it was being exported. The land swarmed with beggars and their families, who wandered about seeking help. To call the attention of the authorities to the crisis, Swift issued what he called A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor from being a burthen to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public." No wonder some simple people thought the plan a callous one. But they did not know Swift. The pamphlet is written in his grimmest v e in, and does not waste much space in preliminaries. I think it is agreed," he says, "by all parties, that the prodigious number of children in the arms or on the backs or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present deplorable state of the Kingdom a very great additional grievance; and therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation." He therefore suggests that all infants under one year should be carefully and systematically crammed for the table. I have been assured," he says, "by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, 308


SWIFT AS AN IRISHMAN that a young, healthy child well nursed is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled, and I make no doubt that it will serve equally well in a fricasse or ragout." He goes into careful computations as to the cost of feeding, and adds : I grant this food will be some what dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children." He considers all the difficulties, including the possible suggestion of cruelty, and dismisses them all as beside the mark or as overborne by the necessities of the case. I can think of no one objection," he declares, "that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the Kingdom. This I freely own, and was indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe that I calculate my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, l think, ever can be, your earth. Therefore, let no man talk to me of other expedients. But as to myself," he goes on, "having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal, which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expense and little trouble, full in our power, and whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, the flesh being of too tender a consistence to admit a long continuance in salt, although, p e rhaps, l could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it." He concludes by saying that in his proposal he has not the least hope of personal interest, "having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny." Time will not allow me to do more than name Swift's most brilliant and little known "Answer to the Craftsman," and I have to pass over other admirable pieces. In two of his remaining tracts, however, there are some first-rate touches which I may briefly refer to. One is styled An Examination of Certain Abuses, Corrup tions and Enormities in the City of Dublin," printed in 1732. The Protestant porters of Dublin had complained in a petition that Papists were allowed to follow the same occupation and employed only their own co-religionists, and it was insisted that all porters should be required to belong to the Established Church. The hackney coachmen also petitioned against Papish incursions int'.) 309


SWIFT AS AN IRISHMAN friends as with the authorities it was absolutely essential to restrain his stronger feeling and to pose as one of the settlers. Sometimes he did this badly and awkwardly, and occasionally in his righteous rage he forgot the role he wished to assume. It would not have served his purpose to appear too much in the open. I distinctly suggest that his suggested indication of himself with the settlers was an unmistakable pose, and that he spoke for the whole of the Irish people. If his work did not immediately result in amelioration, it ultimately helped to change the face of Irish history. Grattan's invocation to Swift, then, was not extravagant, but was strictly just. His few petulances against the country and the Parliament were entirely justifiable, and even if they were not, they do not minimise his noble service. If, as is apparently believed in some quarters, he was an enemy of the Irish, we would have ample material to prove it. But it does not exist. He was essentially one of those Irishmen who deserve well of our race, and it is nearly time we recognised it. There have been many occasions since his day when one could have wished to hear again the superb irony and the im mortal and fiery indignation of the mighty Dean of St. Patrick's. THE END 311


THE IRISH REVIEW their ranks. Swift slily alludes to these claims in his paper on the Abuses of Dublin First, he asks that the criers of goods should be compelled by law to pronounce their words in such terms that a plain Christian hearer may comprehend what is cried." He goes through the various cries in detail, and detects treasonable indica tions in some of them. He also sees possibilities of treason in certain signboards, especi a lly those that invite the passers to drink punch. For," he says, "nothing is easier than to prove it a dis affected liquor. The chief ingredients, which are brandy, oranges and lemons, are all sent us from Popish countries, and nothing remains of Protestant growth but sugar and water." Again, he makes an original and valuable suggestion in his Proposal for giving Badges to the Beggars of Dublin." He points out that Ireland is the only Christian country "where people, contrary to the old maxim, are the poverty, and not the riches, of the nation"; and he says : I am informed that we have been for some time past extremely obliged to England for one very beneficial branch of commerce; for, it seems they are grown so gracious as to transmit us continually colonies of beggars, in return for a million of money they receive yearly from hence. That I may give no offence, I profess to mean real English beggars in the literal meaning of the word, as it is usually understood by Protestants It seems the Justices of the Peace and parish officers in the western coasts of England have a good while followed the trade of exporting hither their supernumerary beggars, in order to advance the English Pro testant interest among us; and these they are so kind to send over gratis and duty free. I have had the honour more than once to attend large cargoes of them from Chester to Dublin; and I was so ignorant as to give my opinion, that our city should receive them into Bridewell, and after a month's residence, having been well whipped twice a day, fed with bran and water, and put to hard labour, they should be returned honestly back with thanks as cheap as they came; or, if that were not approved of, I proposed, that whereas one Englishman is allowed to be of equal intrinsic value with twelve born in Ireland, we should, in justice, return them a dozen for one, to dispose of as they please." It would be comparatively easy to go on adding to these proofs that Swift, in all cases of Ireland versus England, threw in his lot with this country. But there is no need. The more I study the political writings of Swift the more clearly I discern, under his care fully elaborate simplicity and plainness, no less than in his 1rony, a passionate interest in Ireland and a strenuous and sincere desire to do her service. He was well aware that to carry weight with his 3ro


DUBLIN-NIGHT OF JULY 18th, 1912 By "BRICRIU" You stepped your steps, and the music marched, and the torches tossed As you filled your streets with your comic Pentecost, And the little English went by and the lights grew dim We, dumb in the shouting crowd, we thought of Him. Of Him too great for us or our souls and ways, Too great for laughter or love, praise or dispraise, Of Him, and the wintry swords, and the closing gloom Of Him going forth alone to His lonely doom. No shouts, my Dublin then Not a light nor a cry-y ou kept them all till now when the little English go by 312


AN ANCIENT DOCTRINE By ELLA YOUNG THE FAIRY FAITH IN CELTIC COUNTRIES By W. T. Evans Wentz, Oxford University Press. SELDOM has the Fairy-faith found an exponent so well fitted for the task as Doctor Wentz: thoroughly alive to the im portance of the subject, he has spared neither time nor labour in the collection of his material, and to the investigation and arrangement of that material he brings a mind equipped with all the modern training and a heart that has not forgotten the wisdom of the early races. It is perhaps this wisdom of the heart which makes him begin his book with a chapter on Environment, in which, speaking of Ireland and Brittany, he says: "They have best preserved their old racial life in its simplicity and beauty with its high ideals, its mystical traditions, and its strong spirituality. And, curious though the state ment may appear to some, this preservation of older manners and traditions does not seem to be due so much to geographical isolation as to subtle forces so strange and mysterious that to know them they must be felt : and their nature can only be suggested, for it cannot be described. If anyone would know Ireland and test these influences-influences which have been so fundamental in giving to the Fairy-Faith of the past something more than mere beauty of romance and attractive form, something which even to-day, as in the heroic ages, is ever-living and ever-present in the centres where men of the second-sight say that they see fairies, in that strange state of subjectivity which the peasant calls Fairyland-let him stand on the Hill of Tara silently and alone at sunset, in the noonday, in the mist of a dark day. Let him silently and alone follow the course of the Boyne. Let him enter the silence of New Grange and of Dowth. Let him muse over the hieroglyphics of Lough Crew. Let him feel the mystic beauty of Killarney, the peacefulness of Glendalough, of Monasterboise, of Clonmacnois, and the isolation of Arranmore." The whole passage is too long for quotation, but in it is the name of Slieve Gullion, and of Moytura and Finvara, and Ben Bulben and Emain Macha-silent, powerful places to whom this oblation of acknowledgement is poured as fervently as Mathgen the Magician might have poured it when he asked the mountains and rivers and lakes of Ireland to help the Folk of Dana in their battle with the Fomor. Entering thus into the Celtic spirit, it is not surprising that Dr. Wentz has collected tales of Nairns and Corrigans and Pixies 313


THE IRISH REVIEW and Pookas; that he has talked with Seers versed in the mystery of the Spiritual Hierarchies, and that scholar and peasant alike has received him as comrade. The collecting of this material from living witnesses-material which for many readers will form the most fascinating in the bookwas only part of the work Dr. Wentz set out to accomplish. He has ransacked the old Celtic MSS., and tales of to-day are compared with tales of one thousands years ago, and these again with stories from Egypt, India, and far-off Melanasia. Having established the world-wide nature of belief in fairies, Dr. Wentz proceeds to consider various theories which have been put forward in explanation of this belief : he finds the Pigmy Theory," the "Kidnap Theory" and the "Delusion" and Im posture" theories inadequate, and so comes to the root idea of the book, the Celtic doctrine of the soul. The Celts believed that the soul came out of a beautiful and un dying world to manifest itself here through the medium of a body and returned again to that world from whence it might emerge many times and take each time a new earth-body. The soul was the real person, the body being only a cloak or mask; and, even whilst united to the body, the soul might go back to the divine world and converse with its comrades; this happened in vision or ecstasy, or when the body was in a deep trance, but in the old sagas mention is made of several who were rapt away in the body and, passing through the World of the Waters or Mid-world, came to the Honey-Plain, to the Land of the Living Heart, to the Land of the Ever-Young, and moved equal-fashion among gods until such time as they returned to tell folk in Ireland of their adventure. Crimthann, beloved of the Goddess Nair, brought back great treasure from Tir-nan-og (Land of the Ever-Young); Loegaire Liban, who, like Cuchulain, went to help the gods in a battle and took with him fifty noble warriors, returned with them to say farewell to his father and his clan. Riding on the white horses of Fairy-land, Loegaire and his comrades appeared before the assembly of the people of Connaught, who for a year had mourned him as dead. Stay with us, Loegaire," cried his father, Crim thann Cass, and I will give you the kingdom of the Three Con naughts, their gold and silver, their bridled horses, their beautiful damsels-do not refuse the gift." But Loegaine chanted a lay concerning the marvels of the other world, and said : Marvellous it is, 0 Crimthann Cass, I was master of the Blue Sword-I would not give one night of the night of the gods for thy whole kingdom." Cormac, son of Art, son of Conn the Hundred Fighter, entered the Land of Promise during his lifetime, and was shown many things 314


AN ANCIENT DOCTRINE is symbol by Mananaun, the son of Lir, the god of Tir-nan-og. He saw the Fountain of Knowledge," a shining fountain with five streams flowing out of it, and the hosts in turn a-drinking its water. Nine hazels of Bual} grow over the well. The purple hazels drop their nuts into the fountain, and the five salmon which are in the fountain sever them and send their husks floating down the streams. Now, the sound of the falling of those streams is more melodious than any music that men sing." Concerning the Fountain, Mananaun said: "It is the Fountain of Knowledge, and the streams are the five senses through which knowledge is obtained. And no one will have knowledge who drinketh not a draught out of the fountain itself and out of the streams. The folk of many arts are those who drink of them both." To drink of both streams-what a summing up of the Celtic ideal! To live magnificently, lavishly, to be strong-handed and wise-hearted, and sweet-spoken and fair to look on and yet know life but a shadow, yet reach out and touch the Imperishable, the One. Perhaps Cormac did it-beautiful, triumphant, word-gifted Cormac, dead now so long ago and so nearly forgotten. But I do ill to pity him dead What was death to the Celt but the throwing -off of the body, the entrance untrammelled into life; were not all the Milesians Children of Bel the Un-Manifest, the Death-God, the Haughty Father, the Lord of the Ever-Living, and did not the world over which Bel ruled nourish and sustain this earth into whi c h the souls of mountains and trees and rivers and the souls of men alike, de scended as divine incursions ? "What is life?" asked a king of his druid. It is the flight of a swallow through a raftered hall," said the druid. "What is life?" we ask the Celtic Myth Makers; they reply: "The work of a god shaping the world." A brave faith this, and one that has not alto gether perished with the centuries; some of it went to the making of Pelagian and other heresies, some of it lingers yet in the hearts of peasants who are scarce conscious of believing it, and some of it shapes to-day the creed of a few people who are not peasants-a few scholars and poets, who may perhaps be druids re-born. These are content to be silent, but a creed somewhat like their own has for years now been promulgated in the European world, and even the readers of Tit-Bits are familiar with the name of it-Theosophy. But what has all this to do with belief in fairies?" some sharp witted person may ask. It has a good deal to do. Belief in fairies is, in the Celtic countries, mixed up with belief in the return of the souls of the dead and with belief in wonder-working stones and sacred wells, and with belief in the power of man, by prayer or penance or 315


AN ANCIENT DOCTRINE magic, to influence the unseen world, and this involves a conscious or unconscious belief in the Great Brotherhood which links stones and trees and man and animals and gods together by ties of the spirit and so we come back again to the doctrine of the soul-for the soul in the Celtic belief is not a purely human possession; it belongs to all things, and all things exist because of it. This, if we want a learned phrase, is a pan-psychic view of the universe, and to such a view William James, most eminent and most modern of psychologists, seems to be feeling his way when he writes: "Out of my experience, such as it is (and it is limited enough) one fixed conclusion dogmatic ally emerges, and that is this-that we with our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves, and Connecticut and Newport hear each other's foghorns. But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom. Just so there is a continuum of cosmic consciousness, against which our individuality builds but accidental fences, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother-sea or reservoir. What do the other psychologists and metaphysicians and scien tists think? It is an important question, and Dr. Wentz recognises its importance, for we are all sufficiently schooled now to know that if we want a really reliable opinion on any subject we must obtain it from a scientist. Dr. Wentz devotes a whole section of his book to a consideration of the attitude of modern science towards the Fairy-Faith, and he is able to sum up as follows: "We conclude that the Other-world of the Celts and their Doctrine of Re-birth accord thoroughly in their essentials with modern science; and, accordingly, with other essential elements in the com plete Fairy-Faith which we have in the preceding chapter found to be equally scientific, establish our Psychological Theory of the Nature and Origin of the Fairy-Faith upon a logical and solid foundation; and we now submit this study to the judgment of our readers. Some beliefs which a century ago were regard as absurdities are now regarded as fundamentally scientific. In the same way, what in this generation is heretical alike to the Christian theologian and to the man of science may in coming generations be accepted as orthodox." These words end a very remarkable book; in collecting material for it, and following special courses of training and study, Dr. Wentz spent a number of years, and if he had polished his sentences and weighed his words as carefully as some of those amongst us do, he would have spent half a life-time in writing it. Every person who has not read the book would do well to buy or borrow a copy at once. 316


THE TURN-OUT By /OSEPH CAMPBELL Characters: JAMEY MAXWELL, a linen-broker and farmer. ABBEY, his wife. RuTH, their daughter. DAVID, their son. w ATTY BELL, a yeoman. Other yeomen. The action takes place on the aft ernoon of the 7th /une, r798. ScENE-/amey Maxwell's house, close to the town of Antrim. A lofty room, half parlour, half kitchen, comfortably furnished, and with every appearance of well-being-a ham hanging from the ceiling, meal ark, open fire, etc. There is a door, back left, leading out to a paved passage or causeway next gate, and a tw e lve-pane window, neatly draped, through which one can see a garden and fruit trees, with a wooded landscape beyond. Abbey Maxwell, an austere woman of 60, is at the table, pre paring a meal. Ruth, her daughter, sits near the window, crotcheting. She is about 30, with a face that would be called handsome, were it not for a hardness about her mouth and eyes, which betrays the bigotry that is the dominating note in her character. The day is warm, and the door is open. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. It's hard to be living in these disturbed times. (A sound like cheering is heard at a distance). Listen to yon. It's the Duneane men. They're late. The Papists are always late. (She listens}. No, it sounds like children. Maybe so. I wish their people would keep them off the roads. They were pestering me all morning for branches. *Copyright by Joseph Campbell, 14th April, 1912. 317


THE IRISH REVIEW (The sound comes nearer. One recognises it as the tramping of a crowd of men, followed by boys and children, cheering wildly. A drum suddenly begins to whirr, and the "/v1 arseillaise" breaks on the air, played spiritedly on a fife). Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Listen! (Rushing to the door). My, but that's the grand music. It makes your blood leap. I was right. It's the Duneane men. "Defenders: Temple of Liberty Branch, 104." Ay. (They pass). Bravo, boys, bravo! (They raise a cheer. She stands watching them until they disappear round a bend in the road. She comes in). It's grand, that. (She shuts the door). Drums beating and flags flying, it's grand, I suppose. But they'll be coming back like mice. Like mice, is it? They'll be coming back with their drums beating louder than ever. (The music dies away). Like a lock of scared sheep they'll be coming. Ah, quit your blathering, daughter. Reach me that sauce pan. (Ruth takes a saucepan from the hob, and hands it to Abbey). Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Just a handful, mother. They won't eat much. (A pause). I don't know what brings them out, at all. Why wouldn't they turn out? Lord O'Neill advised father against it. Lord O'Neill? A decent enough man, but an old Whig like all of his class. He passed early on horseback. I saw him from the Fir Park. Riding into the meeting of magistrates, I suppose. He'll do his best to quiet them. It will take more than soft words to quiet them. There's a real bitterness in the country, a real bitterness. They'll hardly hold the meeting now. They wouldn't be the Grand Jury if they didn't try to, anyway. But they'll not g'o far with it. Your father was at the Lodge on the 5th, and it was decided to stop the meeting by force. (Repeating the word ironically) Force! Ay, force. Force of arms, force of public op.inion-call it what you like. But two can play at that game. 318


THE TURN-OUT Abbey. And bloody play it will be, daughter. Ruth. (querulously) Father never would have gone, if it hadn t been for you, mother. Abbey. Well, he took his bread and cheese in his hand, and went off like the others. Ruth. You put him to it. Abbey. Put him to it, Ruth? I never did. (She takes a bit of green cloth from a work-basket under tht! table). There's a bit of the stuff he asked me for his hat this morning. Ruth. I'll hide it in the meal-ark. (She hides the cloth). It's safer here. Abbey. You're the poor coward, surely. (Raising her voice). And didn't he bespeak the three pikes, without me urging him at all? Or George or David, either. He's a Churchman, and moderate in his way of thinking, but Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. he's his own notion of what's right and wrong. It's madness, mother. What's madness? Going out trying to catch cannon-balls on the points of pikes and pitchforks. Abbey. Well, if you'd been at Ballyclare Meeting on Sunday, you'd say different. Ruth. The Reverend Futt Marshall was holding forth, was he? Abbey. Don't be sniffy, now. You're your father's daughter, but Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. you mustn't say a word against the Blackmouths." I never mentioned the word. You didn't! No. Well, and what did he say? What did he say, is it? He quoted Ezekiel : (solemnly) Let every man come forth with his slaying weapon in his hand." Ruth. It's wicked, I think, for your ministers to be stirring up the country the way they do. Abbey. They risk their skins for it, daughter. More than your sort will ever do. What about Vicar Macartney? Ruth. Leave the Vicar alone. He's a law-abiding man, and a magistrate. Abbey. (Putting all the sarcasm she can into the words) Doctor of laws, vicar of the Church, justice of the peace, and military captain! A mean man, daughter, a mean, co:1niving man. It was his son arrested William Orr. He hadn't the spunk to do it himself, captain and all as he is. Too much of a gentleman! (Quietly) Poor Orr. 319


Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. THE IRISH REVIEW (She takes a black-edged Orr Memorial Card from a Bible on the table). Put away that card, mother. It seems only yesterday they hanged him on the "Three Sisters" at Carrick. Put it away. It's a temptation to you. The lint springing and the flowers on the cherry-trees. You know it's treasonable to have it in the house. Treasonable? Treason to remember Orr! (Reading) 0 Children of Erin, when ye forget him, his wrongs, his death, his cause---" Burn it, for pity's sake. I'm always at you about it. (maddened) God avenge him May his murderers know the curse of the widowed and the fatherless. Burn it, mother, destroy it, do anything with it. Only put the temptation away from you. I'll say no more to you, daughter. You don't understand. I understand well enough that it's wrong to have that thing in the house. And it's bad for you every way. It gets on your nerves, and works you up into a mad, excited state. (Snatching at the card). Here, give it to me and I'll burn it. You won't burn it No. (She the card into her bosom). There now, will that satisfy you? It's for David when I go. David will get it. He's worth two of George. He'll never come back. David will never come back. He's a wild boy. He' s the blood of the Orrs in him, my own people He's the blood of lust and wickedness in him. He'll never come back. None of them will ever come back. The house will be burnt over our heads. And who'll do that? If it's known that father and the boys are out--Who'll burn the house, I say? Watty Bell and his yeos. It's they will burn it, if it is to be burned Not the United Men. I wish they were home. They're better where they are. WithRoman Catholics and rebels! I pity the Catholics. They've suffered cruelly, and it's no wonder if they complain. They've themselves to thank for it. 320


Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. 'Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Ab7Jey. THE TURN OUT Now other people are suffering just as much as they arc. Robbing US of our arms! Insult and injustice. What have we to expect now? No more than they have. No more than they have. It's truth, daughter, it's truth. There's no quarrel between us and the Catholics. And no friendship. Their cause is ours. They've denied us reform and them emancipation. They've oppressed us with military laws and--In what way? Haven't you eyes to see? Don't you read the papers? There are no papers to read. There There it is. They stopped the Northern Star -a grand paper-threw type and everything into the street. But if you can't read you can hear. There's not a day but David brings news from the Book-Club. Not a day but you hear a new ballad on the Crappies, or the French wars, or the Rights of Man. You're a rare old Republican, mother. I am a Republican. A Republic for Ireland, I say. That's sedition. A Republic for Ireland, and success to the French. (quietly) God save the King. 0 God, if it be possible, have mercy on the King. (Sar donically) The King Whose King? (Ruth is silent) Kings are out of Cl.ate, dear. "They did cry there, Pharaoh King of Egypt is but a noise : he hath passed the time appointed." (after a pause) I wish I could see father and the boys safe. We'll be hard put to it, mother, if anything happens them. God will take care of us. You're of your persuasion and I'm of mine, but we can both hope for that much. Maybe we can. (sullenly) We'll be no worse than others. You're very stiff-necked, mother. A stiff-necked Covenanter, ay. That's what your father used to call me when I was younger than I am now. You always had the high spirit, mother, but it brings some people to hard ends. And better the hard end, Ruth. Better a fair try and hanging than the way we're living here. 321


Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. THE IRISH REVIEW We're not so badly off, mother. Look at the house-the cellars and the garden and the bleach-green Everybody says it's a Protestant looking house. Comfort isn't everything, and there are those that have no comfort. We're slaves, Ruth, no better than slaves. It's the fashion to say that nowadays. Old Tom McCabe, the silversmith in Belfast, has it painted up on his sign: "An Irish slave, licensed to sell gold and silver Gold and silver! Silver and gold! He's a snug enough old boy. He' s no better than Government will let him be, and that s barely to call his soul his own. We're taught to love our enemies. And so we are, God forgive me But memory is a biding thing. (The distant boom of a cannon shot is heard, a low, deep rumble like the first peal in a thunder-storm) Ruth. Abbey. R u th. Abbey Ruth. Abbey Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. What was that? (gleefully) The brass six pounder. A gun? Nothing else. It's more like thunder It's very warm. It will be warmer yet, daughter. It's the six-pounder, sure. Where would the rebels get a cannon? Where y ou'd expect-from Belfast. An old Blue Volun teer gun they fetched up in a flax-cart to Dunadry Paper Mill, and from that to Templepatrick. It lay hid for wee ks in Templepatri c k M eeting under Birnie s pew, unbeknownst to the authorities. And there's another. They'll work havoc, if the boy s onl y stick to them What does anyone hereabouts know about the handling of a brass gun? Oh, trust to Jamey Burns The ex-artilleryman? Ay. But he's a loyal man. He was, until he felt the tide turning Jamey's a loyal subject of King George, God bless him. No more loyal than any other Northern He's loyal to the hand that feeds him, daughter. A cur dog's loyalty, that's Jamey's. He was to lay the guns. 322


' i?.uth > Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbe y. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. THE TURN-OUT David told you? Listen! (She listens). That's like a horse galloping. It is. (A horse gallops to the gate outside, and pulls up). Who is it? (frightened, draws the curtain back and looks out of the window) It's a trooper, mother. 0 for God's sake! 0 God, save us! What does he want, I wonder. Keep back from the window. He'll see you. He's news for us, maybe. I'll put the bar on the door. (She bars the door). (pee ring out between curtain and window-frame). He's hurted, mother. Oh! Hurted? He's all blood. He's off, and tying his horse to the gate He's coming up the causeway. (The clatter of a traop er' s qoots and spurs is heard, then a loud knocking at th e door). Whisht, daughter. (The knocking is repeated) Who's there? (without) It's meWatty Bell. (in a whisp e r to Ruth) God help us! Is that you, Mrs Maxwell? Ay. What do you want? I'm piked. Let me in. (to Ruth) What'll we do, daughter? Better to let him in. He's news for us. (ope ns the door) Watty Bell! Gracious, what's wrong with you? (expecting the worst) What's the matter? (loutishly) I'm hurted, ma'am. It's not burning us, you are? God's teeth, no. Have you e'er a bandage in the house? You're bleeding badly. Was there a fight? A fight? Cripes (Nursing his wound). An old roller, or a piece of lint, or anything to stop it. Come in. ( W atty hulks in. He is a tall, bony fellow, narrow-shouldered, but abnormally wide across the hips, with a leering face, and a walk half cavalryman's, half cripple's. Abbey gives him a chair). There. You're better off your feet. (He sits down awkwardly). It's the forearm.


Abbey. Ruth. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Ruth. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Ruth. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Ruth. THE IRISH REVIEW Take off your jacket. (She helps him out of his ;acket, and pulls up his shirtsleeve, which is drenched witk blood). It's a nasty gash. How did it happen? Did you see father? (absorbed in his own affair) Hold on, ma'am. Cripes, it's blooding. (to Ruth) Give me a bit of clean linen out of that basket, daughter. The holland stuff will do. There, that's it. (She bandages his arm with a strip of the cloth). Higher up. Tighter. Will that do? Ay. (to Ruth) Fetch me a sup of water, daughter. ( fetches water in a jug, a basin, towel, etc.) Yah, it's beating. (He squirms). It's too tight. Ease it a wee thing, mother. (Abbey eases the bandage). Yah! You're a poor soldier, I'm thinking, Watty. (jumping from his seat) Give me a slug of that, daughter. (He seizes the water-jug from Ruth's hand, and makes as if to drink out of it). Ah no, Watty. Manners now. Fetch him a cup. (Holding on to the jug) I've a powerful drouth. Lay go, daughter. (He drinks deep and long, then gasps in an unsatisfied way) God's teeth, it's warm. Have you any news, W atty? His lordship's killed. Who? Lord O'Neill. Killed There was a fight? Killed! Dead as an ox, ma'am. My, oh my Did you see it, Watty? How did it happen? Well, he was coming out from the Market House, thinking to pacify the people-they were gathering in hundreds round by Patie's Lane and the Bow-and as he came for'rard to Doctor Bryson's front door, a big lengthy fellow charged at him with his pike It caught him fair in the groin, and he went off the saddle, and down like a hundred of meal. The poor, good man. And he the best landlord in the country. Didn't I tell you there would be murder? : 324


Abbey. Watty. Ruth. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Ruth. Watty. THE TURN OUT He'd no business to be there. No more than any of us had. I wish everybody was safe out of it. And so the fight's gone again' you, Watty? God's teeth, and I wouldn't be here if it hadn't, ma'am. (Abbey tries to conceal her too obvious delight). Mr. Macartney was wise to get out of it at the start. He didn't funk, surely? Funked, and left us to push for ourselves. (He blows on his bandaged arm to cool it) Yah, it's beating powerful. Funked. Well, well! The Vicar would do his duty, I'm certain. Funked, poor man! Just as I'd expected. Why did he run away, Watty? Well, he'd some words with the Colonel, old Lumley. Before the fight proper begun, the boys the 2 2nds, ma'am-started to loot Mrs. Forbes's shop in the main street. Hung beef and hams they were after. Cripes, I wouldn't blame them after the forced march from Blaris Camp, and they fair starving, ma'am, their guts roaring with hunger. Well, the Vicar-he's captain, ma'am-interfered, and says he, Stop that looting, Colonel. She's a decent woman that, no bloody rebel, but a churchwoman of my own." And what, d'you think, did the Colonel say? Well," says he, if Government don't feed my men, Mrs. Forbes will." And at that the Vicar flew up, and he raving with a sort of canine madness, and says he to Lumley, "I'll have you broke of your commission, sir." Well, the end and the upshot of it all was that the Colonel cursed him to hell for a meddling parson, and my brave Macartney took it as an insult to his cloth, and he turned his horse, and he put spurs to it, and he rode away home.. That was at the start, ma'am. (laughing} You're a coarse Christian, Watty. Begging your pardon, ma'am, but a man has to be a bit tough to escape hanging these times. Were there many coming in when Lord O'Neill was killed ? Rebels, I mean. Thousands, I tell you, and the leading men all in green jackets and shiny boots and grand hats with cocks' feathers in them. Pikes and guns and reaping-hooks -God, you never saw such a clan-jaffrey. 325


Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbe y. Watty. Ruth. Watty. Ruth. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. THE IRISH REVIEW And how did it begin? Like any other fight. The shooting started-pum-pee-pumpee-pum-pum -and we kept pegging away at each other like that for about half-an hour. Then a house .took afire in the main street next Mrs. Forbes's, and then another house with the dint of the shooting or what J.. never knowed--and some of us were ordered in to put it out. Who ordered you ? Who ordered us? You're in th e Vicar's c orps, aren't you, or were before he ran away? A young buck out of the dragoons, ma'am. God, yon's a boy! A regular devil, ma'am. If the smoke was bad, his talk was worse, and every word an oath, ma'am, would choke a chrissomer man. Oh, it was dreadful, I'm telling you. The heat, and the flames spurting up, and the water sizzling on them stinking water it was out of the Bow Ditch, ma'am -and the captain damning us for Indians. And in the melee we could hear thc shouting outsid e and the rattle of the guns, ana tramp-tramp of the Magheragall Fencibles coming in. The True Blues, W atty. The True Blues. Well, we'd hardly the fire out, and into the street again, than we were ordered to back up the artillery. There was artillery? God's teeth, ay. Two pieces of cannon covering the bridge. That's what we heard, mother. (to W atty) Well ? The rebels made a rush, then, when they saw the guns, up the street, past Forbes's, and over the churchyard wall into shelter. They were like monkeys, they were so clever; scores of them, ma'am, and they all with green ribbons in their hats, and pikes that would gouge the eye out of your head. There was no standing them Y ah, there's what I got out of it They caught you? A jab in the arm will serve me my time, I'm thinking. (H. e shivers) God And you got away, then, Watty? Got away! Got away! Cripes, flesh and blood couldn't stand it There were they in the loops of the wall, and 326


Ruth. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Wafty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. Watty. Ruth. Abbey. Watty. 'Abbey. THE TURN-OUT behind the gravestones, peppering us like hell, and we a butt for them as big as Lyle Hill. And how did you escape so safe ? You call that safe? You might be worse, Watty. Well? Well, it was heaven's own mercy that the dragoons charged down then to the left-a feint to draw their fire. But what into, do you think? I'd never guess. A brass six-pounder gun (bursts into an uncontrollable fit of laughter} The s1x-pounder, Watty. Ay? (put out somewhat) You're laughing, ma'am. Go on, Watty. You women would laugh at anything. It was no laughing matter, I'm telling you. A joke it was with a queer jag in it, that same gun. Go on, man, we're listening. Tell us what happened the dragoons. The pikemen over the wall then, and round them like wasps. A dragoon's sword is a smart weapon, but what is it again' a pike? Seven feet of ash, ma'am tough, seasoned, boughsley wood-what is three feet of steel again' that? And a prod on the end of it would-ugh There's my arm. It was blooding wicked, and says I to myself, "It's all up with Geordie!" And I jagged my horse, and away with me over the bridge for home. And it's for home you are now, Watty? For home I was when I halted at your gate, ma' am. I felt weak-like, and--( bearding him) You trusted to a rebel to help you? A rebel (He shakes his head) God's teeth, no. God's teeth, ay. You're in a rebel's house. (Watty gapes in bewilderment). Jamey Maxwell up 1 It's codding me you are. Father's a loyal man. I-Ie -Not codding you, Watty. Jamey Maxwell's up with the rest of them. (speechless) G-g-g--! Jamey Maxwell it was, maybe, gave you that jab in the forearm, or one of Jamey Maxwell's sons, Watty. 327


Watty. Abbey. Watty. Abbey. THE IRISH REVIEW God help me, I'm an unfortunate creature. You are, Watty. You'd have done better to turn your coat like your comrade Burns, there. The low is high the day, man. The green is up and the red is down, and --(she stops) Here, get into this. (She bundles him unceremoniously into his coat) It's a bad colour, a bad colour, Watty Bell. What'll I do? What'll I do, at all, at all? Get home, where you were going to. You're welcome to whatever we've given you, but--(There is a shout and a rush of feet past the door. In a few moments /amey Maxwell and his son David come running in, breathless, covered with dust, and with pikes in their hands. / amey is a hale man of about 62. David is 25, tall and well knit, with his mother's nose and character). Abbey. Ruth. /amey. Ruth. /amey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. famey. Watty. David. "Abbey. famey. David. Ruth. David. Watty. David. Jamey! Father! Is George back? (frightened) George father? Whose is the horse below? (se e ing W atty) You scared me. What is it? It's Watty Bell. Don't be uneasy. He's got hurted, and's on his way back home. (quietly) It's all over. What's over? How do you mean? The fight's gone again' us. (recovering himself momentarily) Again' the United Men! (He gapes). Ay, what are you doing here, you ugly-looking lout? Spying on us, is it? (To his mother) What's he here for? Leave him alone, David. The man's hurted, and doing nobody any harm. Let him be, son. He's a bloody red coat, that's what he is David David Spying about the countryside this six months back. Don't I know you? Don't I bloody well--Easy, young fellow. I--Drinking in public-houses, and listening with his mule's ears. Do you know who you have, mother? 3,28


Abbey. David. Abbey. David. Abbey. David. Ruth. David. Abbey. David. Abbey. Watty. David. Jamey. Abbey. Ruth. THE TURN-OUT Who I have! Why, Watty Bell, to be sure. Who else? Everybody knows that gomeril. Everybody doesn't know. That's the boy primed the pedlar came down from Belfast--What pedlar? The hanqkerchief pedlar wormed the secrets out of young Gourlay in Agnew's public-house. Away out of that, and have sense. There were no secrets wormed out of Gourlay or any other body. That's all you know about it, mother. Well, there werebut he didn't get very far with them. He got as far as the Six Mile Water, and no farther. The river holds them. David, David, what are you saying? The river holds them. (To Ruth) Quit your whimpering. By God, I'd think nothing of choking him where he sits. (He makes a wild rush at Watty ). (coming between them) David, David! Here, Watty, get away home. Leave him go, I say. Get home. You've got all you're going to get in this house, so be off with you now. (Watty slinks to the door). Don't let him go, mother. Why wouldn't I let him go? The man's a red-coat, but we're not savages, David. Let him go, I say, and peace be after him. (the worm turned) He'll suffer for this. You'd dare me, is it? He won't go, mother. By God, he won't. (He grips W atty murderously by the throat and shoves him back into the room) You dirty, spying Judas, I'll teach you to keep your own side of a decent--There, there now, son. Lay go, David. Let him go quiet, I say. You're mad. He'll kill you. (By a combined effort they succeed in getting David to let go his hold of Watty ). Ruth. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, with your mad lust for blood.


Abbey. Watty. Abbey Watty. Abbe y David. Abbey. Dav id. Abbey. Jamey Ruth. Abbey. Jamey Ruth. Jamey. Abbey. Ruth. 'Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Jamey. Abbey. /amey. Ruth. /amey. THE IRISH REVIEW There now, daughter. David, son, control yourself. (To Watty) Get on now, Watty Bell. (He stands gasping for breath). Well, and amn't I the unfortunate creature! But-Get on now, and none of your gab. He'll suffer for this, he will. (Watty' s pecker is properly up). Go on now, or there'll be Maxwells blood on you. (She literally pushes him out). You're a foolish woman to let that man go. A foolish woman, I say. He's a thraveless poor gomeril. What harm can he do you? He knows more than will be good for us. Did you hear the threat he made? Never mind him. He's a jab in his forearm will keep him quiet for a while. (There is a pause. Abbey calms down and speaks quietly) It's bad news you've brought me, Jamey. Where's George? I didn't see him since morning. I l o st sight of him at the turn. You re tired, father. Here, take this seat. (She gives him a chair). You're fairly white with stour It's bad news, Jamey. And you all seemed so confident starting out. I was never confident, Abbey. Didn't I tell you that, mother? Didn't I tell you they'd be coming back like mice? But a daughter's word counts for nothing in this house. I was never confident, but I went all the same. Cheer up, man. (all the hardn e ss in her nature breaking out) You'll be saying it was his duty to go. (hopelessly) I'll be saying nothing. Father had something to lose by it-his good name and place and business The Papists had nothing. There were more than Papists in it. (crying) And we're only at the beginning of our troubles. (affectionately) Whisht, daughter. Tell me, Jamey, how did it all happen? We were beaten from the first. The Grand Jury was pre pared. The force of military overawed us. Watty Bell came riding in with a very different story. What did he tell y ou, daughter? 330


Ruth. David. /amey. David. /amey. David. Ruth. /amey. David. Abbey. Ruth. David. Jamey. David. /amey. David. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. Ruth. Abbey. THE TURN-OUT He came galloping to the door, his horse in a lather, and he streaming with blood from a pike-wound. He said the loyalists were beaten. And so they were. Control yourself, son. (impetuously) They were beaten if the boys had only stuck to them. They had them fairly until the dragoons rushed the six-pounder. There was only one shot fired out of it. Two, father. We heard one shot. We thought it was thunder at first. One, I say. There were two shots fired. I was close to the gun, and saw everything. The first was a six-pound ball, and a lock of small lead. The second was a chain shot. Jamey Burns had it clear, and was ramming it for a third charge when the colfin gave out. You never saw such a mess. The young lad carrying the colfin ing, and Burns swearing at him, and the lad begging to be rammed into the muzzle himself, and fired at thf" dragoons. The poor lad. Horrible! It was sickening. There were they waiting and waiting-Doing nothing. And at last the dragoons rushed the gun from the flank, and the cart went over. Damn it, they might have saved the piece. There were pikes enough. But what's the good of talking? There was no heart in the men. Heart plenty, father, if they'd only kept their heads. Moderation's a poor thing, Jamey. It's talk like yours loses every cause. It's talk like yours has been the ruination of Ireland since the beginning, and in my own time. You won't beat England with the whites of eggs. Who ever wanted to beat England, mother? What, then, did they turn out for? Was it to make faces at them like a school of bad boys, and then run away Father's not to be abused, mother. (worked up to her former pitch) Tell me this, Jamey Max well. (She puts the question to him like a counsel in a court o / law) Did the Americans win their independ ence without a struggle? 331


Jamey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. David. /amey. Abbey. /amey. Abbey. David. Abbey. Ruth. famey. Abbey. famey. Abbey. /amey. David. THE IRISH REVIEW I grant you they didn't. No. And a hard, bitter, drawn-out struggle it was. It wasn't soft words put Geordie in his place. It wasn't throwing the tea into Boston Harbour gave them their Constitution. I won't argue. But Washington had men. Ach! We hadn't. Half of them never came near the fight. Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." Tom Hannay went to the rear at the Bow Ditch and never came back again. I saw another man limping along the road, as if he'd been lamed. He'd gravel in his shoes, he said. Gravel in his shoes There were lots of them had gravel in their shoes. And then when the gun went over, and Story the printer tried to get his men down Patie's Lane, three-fourths of them deserted and started across the fields, running like red shanks. The poor cravens. It's true enough, but you won't deny that those who stood their ground fought well. There were few of them. There was Jack Story, the printer, and Big Billy Campbell of Killead--Fine men. There was McCracken-a simple, honest man with no devil ishness in him-Gordon of Templepatrick, and Jamey Campbell, the poet. Fine men, fine men, all. Father stood to the last, mother. I knew he would. I said nothing against him. But you did, mother. You said-There, there, now, daughter. I fought against going, but once out-Once out, Jamey, you did what any Maxwell would, and that's fight your corner. It was a bloody fight. Lord O'Neill was killed, we heard. Killed! Not killed, surely. Only piked. He was fussing around at the start-you know how he talks and blathers-trying to get us home quiet-like, when a fellow lunged at him with his pike, 332


Ruth. David. /amey. R u th. /ame y Ruth. /ame y. Abbey. /ame y. Abbey. /amey. Aboey. David. /ame y. Abbe y. /amey. David. /amey. Abbey. David. /amey. David. /amey. David. /amey. Abbe y. /amey. THE TURN-OUT and he went down. It was only a stab. He'll get over it. Who was it stabbed him? How could you tell in a crowd? Some said this, and some said that. Gordon told me it was a Roman Catholic, that didn't know him. From the Duneane side he said he was. We heard the Duneane men going in. They were late. Were they, then? They'd a long road to come. The Catholics are always late, except where there's loot to grab or harm to be done. There, there now, daughter. You blame everything on the Catholics. You're right, Jamey. They fought as plucky as any of them, poor devils. Ay, bang up again' odds that would put the fear of God into you. It was a bloody fight. I saw the dead taken in carts through Massereene village-in heaps, one on top of another. Catholics? All sorts. Papists and Protestants United Men and De-fenders, dead and halfdead, together. God help us! To the Lough Shore they were bringing them. Ay. The sand is easier trenched than the hard clay. What'll be the end of it, do you think, Jamey? Well, there's no knowing This much we do know: the United Men were beaten, and beaten badly. But it s only a check. A check? A real set-back it is. They'll never over it. Take an old man's word for it, son, that has seen many ups and many downs in the world, and knows what he's talking about. Och Jamey, man, you've the poor spirit None of the leaders have been taken. It mav be. I didn't see it, and I don't know. And ..;;e've our arms. Some of us have. Some of us? I heard, coming back, that the Killead men had given m their pikes to B e n Adair of Loughinmohr. (snappishly) And what had Adair to say to it? What the slave-driver has to the slave. The fact of it is, 333


Abbey. /amey. Abbey /amey. Abbe y /amey. David. Abbey. Ruth. David. Abbey. David Ruth. Abbey. /amey. Ruth. Aboey. THE IRISH REVIEW Abbey, the people are cowed. There's no getting away from that. God forgive you There' s a lot of talk, but no fight in them when it comes to doing things. (Abbey makes a despairing gesture) Adair bosses that side, he's a loyalist, and if he asks his tenants to bring in their weapons, and lay them at his gate-well, they've no choice but to obey him. Their holdings are at stake, their land, their bread and butter. They've families to provide for, most of them, like my self here. 0 God, God! A house, land, bread and butter. They call themselves men, do they? It's such that we women conceive and bear and bring into the world. Bread and butter, Jamey Money to buy yarn and money to buy seed. Do we live by those things alone? The bulk of the wor lq must, woman. Must! It's what we must do, not what we might do. There's Ireland. There's her tragedy: that she must go on offering half-sacrifices, and never a holocaust. Blundering from movement to movement, spoiling many horns, but never making a spoon. Is there any hope for the country? I'll say no more to you, woman. I'm tired and broken. (He sits moodily, his head bowed to his knees, his hands clasping it convulsively). We've taken the oath, mother. The oath? (she laughs ironically). A wicked oath, David. A wicked oath. Well, if brotherhood and charity are wicked, then the oath is wicked. We've sworn-( exasperated) Fiddlesticks! We've sworn to stand by each other. But you haven't stood by each other. Father has just said--No more, daughter. (She goe s to /amey. Tenderly) What is it, Jamey? You're very downhearted. (abjectly) It has all ended as I told you it would. There's nothing for us now but b'urning. (She becomes hysterical) Father will be taken away from us. The yeos will take him away. They'll hang him. 0 God, Jamey! (She breaks down completely) No, no 334


THE TURN-OUT Anything but that. (She /alls to her knees and throws her arms about /amey's neck) 0 Jamey, Jamey--the best husband-the best father. They won't take you away from me--N o, no, no--David. There is still the hope of the French landing. (Yeomen appear quickly at the window and door). /amey. A broken reed, David, a broken reed. Watty Bell (entering) There! Voices (without) Burn the house! The curtain /alls. 335


J REVIEW 3 2102 04013880 8 THE POETRY REVIEW." In the June number of "The Poetry Review" there is an excellent and sympathetic appreciation of Lionel Johnson by Victor Plarr, his friend, and a fellow-member of the Rhymers' Club. In the same stimulating little paper there is represented (mirabile dictu !) a living poet, to wit, James Stephens. To the eight pieces chosen from the lower levels of the poet's work a helpful introduction is contributed by Richard Aldington. I would like to point out to Mr. Aldington that Mr. Stephens is incapable of plunging with a pleased and scholarly shudder" into things which he knows to be impossible." Mr. Stephens never writes of the '' impossible '' but when he knows it to be true. In the July number, John Drinkwater, writing on "Tradition and Tech nique," says: It is often said that contemporary poetry is remarkable for its technical excellence and for its deficiency in thought and impulse. But the real problem that contronts our poets just now is not what to say, but how to say it." Now it is not true that contemporary poetry is remarkable for its technical excellence. Neither is it remarkable for its deficiency in thought and impulse. There is a plethora of confused thought and crazy impulse. But it is true that contemporary poetry is not remarkable. For this I do not blame the bards. Should they, having nothing of importance to say, be at very great pains to say it? Of singing I say nothing. If you would know the reason for this silence, read Miss Lorimer's verse in the name number. There diction and intention are so immediately wedded that one readily recognises the futility of criticism. Whether this shadow-light, fire-water stuff be poetry or no, there is one thing of which the author may be satisfied. It would be impossible to parody.


READ WHAT IS SAID OF THE HOMESTEAD BY JOURNALISTIC CRITICS. From The World' s Work. The Famous Irish Agri cultural Organisation Society possesses an official organ which is one of the best written agricultural papers in the Ireland is pre eminently a country of news papers, and Irishmen have a vocation for journalism, but the Irish Homestead and its inimitable editor stand m a place by themselves. I From Public Opinion. As a rule one doestl' t read the agricultural papers to dis cover imagination *1 vision and good writing. e But the reader of the Irish Home stead," the organ. of Irish Agr icultural and Industrial Development, knows that somewhere each week in that paper he will find an article which is outstanding because of the spirit which it breathes. From Sir Leonard Lyell's address to the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society. In Ireland the progress of co-operation is stimulated by an excellent paper the Irish Homestead.' I have taken it in for some time past, and I think if we had an organ of that kind taken up, it would give inspiration and encouragement. I feel it is really a sort of tonic. Whether Scottish agriculturists would like such. plain words spoken to them as are sometimes addressed t o the Irish Farmers I do not know, but it would do them good. ---------'------------THE IRISH HOMESTEAD, The Organ o f the Irish Co -operatiue -'Pric e O n e P enny. Publishin g Offics : -MIDDLE ABBEY STREET, DUBLIN.


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