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 )
I22-00003 ( USFLDC DOI )
i22.3 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Irish Studies

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THE .REVIEW A MONTHLY MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE, ART ti SCIENCE DECEMBER 1912 Pr c Tu RE-The Fisherman's Daughter (Munster) by Power O'Malley At t4e Abney Theatre. Poem by Vv. B. Yeats Reafforestation by John Eglinton "Home Rule t in the German Parliament by P. J. Sheridan A Hot-Frjend Cooling. Irish Poem edited and traoslated by Professor Osborn Bergin The Ca]i,I of the Road by Dermot O'Byrne The Fugitive. Poem by Con O'Leary Beyond the Fields We Know by Lord Dunsany The Montessori Method of Home and School Education by Professor E. P. Culverwell The Wes tern Sanctuary by E. F. Phibbs The Crock of Gold by D. O'B. Some Aspects of the Celtic Movement by Moireen Fox REVIEWS DUBLIN THE IRISH REVIEW PUBLISl-IING COMPANY 12 D'OLIER STREET LONDON SIMPKIN MARSHALL, HAM;ILTON, CO. SOLE AGENTS FOR THE COLONIES & GOTCH, Lro., LONDON AUSTRALIA, CANADA, Ere. EDINBURGH MENZIES CO., HANOVER STR.J:IBT SOLE AGENTS FOR AMERICA THE FOUR SRAS CO., 120 TR.KMANT ST., BOSTON


THE POEM-BOOK OF THE. GAE. L Translations fro m Ir ish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse Selected and Edited by Eleanor Hill With binding, design, title page, and initals reproduced from Celtic Manuscripts In small crown 8vo., cloth gilt top, 6/net CHATTO & WINDUS, PUBLISHERS Ill ST. MARTIN'S LANE, LONDON.' W.C. THE IRISH REVl'EW Tm: IRISH REVIEW was \ founded t o g iv e ex p ression to th e intellf'ctual movement in Ireland. It p ubl i shes P oems, Play and Stories in English an d in Irish and de a ls critically with every Iris h in t e r e st-Literature, Art and .Science, P o lit i c;, Economics and Sociology In poli t ic s THE IRrsH REVIEW aims at making an adjustment by promoting free discussion. The subscription is 7 /6 p er year and 3/9 per haif-year, post free. A BROADSIDE. 5th Year. With Ballads by Ballad Singers, livihg. and dead; and with drawings by Jack B. Yeats. (Han9-coloured). Published monthly: first number published in June, 1908. Subscription twelve shilling a year post free. A few complete sets from the commencemen t still for sale. CIJALA DUNDRUM, COUNTY DUBLIN, IRELAND.




THE REVIEW d /MONTHLY .:MAGAZINE OF IRISH LITERATURE. tART & SCIENCE DEC EM BER, z9z2 AT THE ABBEY THEATRE By W. B. YEATS Imitated from Ronsard Dear Craoibhin Aoibhin, look into our case. When we are high and airy, hundreds say That if we hold that flight they'll leave the place, While those same hundreds mock another day Because we have made our art of common things, So bitterly, you'd dream they longed to look All their lives through into some drift of wings. You've dandled them and fed them from the book And know them to the bone; impart to us-We'll keep the secret-a new trick to please. Is there a bridle for this Proteus That turns and changes like his draughty seas? Or is there none, most popular of men, But, when they mock us that we mock again? 505 VOL. II-NO. 22


REAFFORESTATION By /OHN EGLINTON Here are trees-let us think this matter out."-Buddha. 0 F the vegetable world, as man of the animal world, the tree is the perfect type and development : and hence it is that when man is thoroughly at peace with himself, prosperous and flourishing, there is nothing that we compare him with so instinctively as a tree. "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." "Man is indeed described by a tree in the Word," says Swedenborg, "and his wisdom from love by a garden; nothing else is signified by the Garden of Eden." In the tree the passive ideal of existence is realised, the vegetative ideal; and though the limitations of that ideal were destined to be demonstrated when the notion of an axe flew to the brain of the latest uncouth-looking mammal, there were entire ages during which the.,true type of attainment was still the tree, and not in any of the apparently aimless activities of those animals who crashed or climbed or slunk through the forest, or lodged in its branches. Providence, however, had some other end in view, as it appeared, with this planet that the realisation upon its surface of the vegetative ideal : an end which has been perhaps too boldly defined by the Swedish seer as the "production of a heaven from the human race." However that may be, it is in man-" earth's thoughtful lord," as Wordsworth sings him; "for perfect action formed under laws divine," as Whitman proclaims him-that the purpose of creation, so far as we have knowledge, appears to be concentrated. He has even begun to dream of himself as the medium through which the creative purpose of the universe shall manifest itself further; and only a little while ago a professor of philology in Germany threw up his cliair and retired into the Alps in order to proclaim to the world his doctrine of the Superman, according to which man himself assumes within limits the role of creator. how' 506


REAFFORESTATION ever, was a mere poet, and more anthropomorphic than any of the Hebrews whom he vituperated. As if, after barely a million years of existence, and a few hundreds of more or less uninterrupted and conscious social development, it were yet time to begin to think of the next stage of evolution! The Superman was perhaps really nothing more (or less) than a personification of the State, an entity which has been created not so much by us as in spite of ourselves by our necessities, and has only in our own time begun to acquire self-consciousness and self-direction. It is true that Nietzsche vituperated the State as the coldest of cold monsters "; but it is only in the State that the great man mankind attains to some of those superhuman attributes with which Nietzsche endowed his Superman and the Statesman who best interprets the collective will of mankind is perhaps the nearest thin g to him that it is permissible to hope for. The State is, in fact, a cosmic agent, jn so far as it is its part to restore the balance of nature where that has been upset by the reckless behaviour of man in the past: to determine, for example, what portions of the earth's surface it can now afford to set apart for the ancient races of the trees. Yet in looking to the State, as to a new Providen ce, for the solution of all our problems, we are perhaps only giving time for casual energies to mature which lie altogether outside the range of state-interference. What is known as the problem of rural life, for instance-at which the State has recently begun to tinker-awaits for its solution nothing more or less than a new way of lookin g at things a new idea, which may arise Heaven knows how, and may change the face of society at any time. For a long time to come we ma y expect that society will fall into two main parties or divisions, both looking to the State for their sanction one acting in its name to secure revolutionary adapta tions of society to the pressure of its difficulties, the other regarding its own cause as nothing less than that of the maintenance of civilisa tion and succeeding periodically in arresting the precipitation towards anarchy. And nature-human nature-will find in neither of these parties, nor in both together, the plasticity and spontaneity required 507


THE IRISH REVIEW for the moulding of the future of man; it will rather find these in a third class which will meanwhile have arisen, consisting in the first case of those who have fallen away from social effort and public ambition, the "intellectuals" as we call them at present, the "incom petents," and the increasing number of those who are appealed to by the ideal of self-culture, contemplation, and even asceticism. It is amongst these that a new idea might conceivabl y arise which might even lead ultimately to a new form of civilisation. It is hard to say, for example, what influence the appearance of an English-speaking Tolstoi might not have in peopling the derelict c ountry with small holdings, inhabited no longer by peasantry-a class which the whole modern system of things is tending to abolish-but by those to whom the prizes of civil life no longer presents an overpowering attraction, and to whom, on the other hand, nature calls. It is an ide a for which we wait. Without an idea man is frivolous, anarchic, dissatisfied, des picable. With an idea, the long-hoarded initiatives of his nature are liberated, he strains forward to new consummations, he did not know that he contained so much virtue." "They reckon ill who leave Me out," says Brahma in Emerson's poem : and the saying may be applied to the anticipations of sociologists like Mr. H. G. Wells, which leave out of account the possible effects on the whole structure of society of the renewal in mankind of a disposition for spiritual adventure : a change which would make any prizes which society has to offer to the better sort of individuals as nothing compared with such rewards as Buddha offered in Emancipation, or Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven. He must be very dogmatic or unimaginative who would affirm that man will never weary of the whole system of things which reigns at present : of respectability and security, of eight hours of work and cards in the evening, of shops, professions, motors and news papers, of household-life and the sacrifice of his natural love of liberty to the requirements of town-loving woman, of churches and theatres. We never know how near we are to the end of any phase of our experience, and often when its seeming stability begins to pall upon us, it is a sign that things are about to take a new turn. Man, 508 ... __ ...


REAFFORESTATION after all, is still man, the same being who flung himself into the wars of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who departed on the Crusades, who peopled the deserts of Egypt and the East, the forests of Germany and the isles, with hermits; and there is no reason, should the idea of doing so enter into his head, that he should not try some new experiment. There is nothing of which we should be less disposed to say that it cannot happen, than that such an idea should not at some unexpected moment occur to him. Mankind, in fact, is always acting impulsively on an idea of some sort. About a century ago, for instance, it took to scooping out the coal-measures, the formation of which occupied nature for millions of years, and already it has almost come within sight of their exhaustion-and all for what? Chiefly because the idea of Speed had taken possession of it, the apparently unassailable ideal of expediting work and loco motion indefinitely. A man does not particularly enjoy ripping through mountains in an express-train or tearing along tarred roads in a motor, but it is an idea, and one of which he may weary any day. The imbroglio of labour and capital, and the first symptoms of a disconcerting but not really irrational "revolt of woman," are perhaps, at the moment of writing, the outstanding results of his devotion to this idea. Probably when he changes it for some other, the trees which during his obsession by this idea have been threat ened with extermination, may steal down upon the plains again, to his advantage in every way. What if the ideal of Leisure were to succeed that of Speed? If we rightly apprehend Hegel's theory of an inherent logic in historic development, we might almost use his authority in predicting that it will. 01 course we must expect that the generality of men will overdo this ideal, ju!t as they have overdone it in India and the East, and just as they have overdone Speed in Europe and America: but its adoption might be attended with one advantage, which can scarcely be said to have attended devotion to Speed: the highest type of human being might be brought out once again as in certain epochs of the past, the sage, the man like unto a tree planted by the rivers of water. The outlook therefore we consider, is not without hope; nor 509


THE IRISH REVIEW are we discouraged in contemplating the growing numbers of young men who have been sent to the universities in order to become lawyers, doctors, clergymen, engineers, etc., and have lost their vocation by the way, imbibing perhaps, to the despair of their parents and guardians, irrelevant notions of self-culture from Goethe, the itch of authorship from Emerson and Carlyle, vagabond propensi ties from Whitman or Stevenson, insubordination from Nietzsche or Shaw, Christianity from Tolstoi, indeterminate literary c:estheticism from W. B. Yeats, etc., all according to their various temperaments. It cannot be said that our universities are directly responsible for this result, whether good or bad, of their training: on the contrary, mundane success of one kind or another is their ideal, apd when by some chance one of these young ne'er-do-wells, matriculating in the vast university of life, attains eventually to honours, the old time serving alma mater will consider it her special privilege to bind his laurels about his brows. The most flagrant instance of this is perhaps he case of poor Goldsmith, whose monument now welcomes the coming, speeds the parting guest," Trinity College claiming to have produced him. But in what sense did Trinity produ c e Goldsmith? Did she discover beneath his pock-marked exterior the graceful and enfranchised spirit whose mission it was to instruct the great British public in the art of expression for more than a genera tion? Did he feel in his wanderings through this world of c are that her eye was upon him, or did her Macte Virtute sound gratefully in his ears when he gained his first successes? No, the ideal of Trinity College is, of necessity, the successful professional man, not the poet, not the thinker; and it would be a mistake to inf er from the situation of Foley's fine monument that a beautiful maternal rela tionship exists between these old seats of learning and mundanity, and their prodigal sons. A little rage at the recollection of Smiglesius and Burgersdicius (fifty years before Goldsmith, Jonathan Swift has been "esteemed a blockhead" for his inability to read these authors, "they were so stupid"), and some memories of cruelty and snobbery which rankled in him throughout his life, were all that Goldsmith carried away with him when he passed through the gate-5 ro


REAFFORESTATION way of Trinity for the last time. Yet we are far from suggesting that it is not the main function of a university fo turn out as many good citizens as it can, or that she should maintain any other than a resolutely and even sternly mundane attitude toward her young idealists : Newman, who came over here in the middle of last century (thinking, like others of his countrymen, that Ireland was a country where ideas grew wild!) had regretfully to acknowledge that this was so, and to abandon his project of starting a university with God for its central idea. And still less would we fail to acknowledge that universities may now and then retain among their teachers one a'> different as possible from Theaker Wilder. Have we wandered from the subject of Reafforestation? Not perhaps so very far. We are in quest of the tree-like man, whom our civilisation has hitherto failed to produce, nor does it appear that the seed of him is sown in those "sacred nurseries of blooming youth," our universities. According to the old Indian custom, the time of thought, reflection, discipline, cultivation of the higher powers, education, in fact, in the true sense of the term, came at the end of life, when a man had fulfilled his part as a householder, and presumably had lost a too distracting appetite for the pleasures of life With us, on the contrary, the time of education is placed at the outset of life, at that period in which a man is probably least amenable to real instruction, the period at which almost any man looking back upon himself will acknowledge himself to have been a young puppy. At the time when the Indian was about to enter upori the more serious and interesting part of his life, and beheld-as a man travelling to the sea may behold from afar the distant port from which he is to embark-the forest hermitage in which he was to make ready for a new incarnation, our citizen, bothered probably by a clamorous brood of sons and daughters, is beginning to wonder whether it is worth his while to give them an education which meant so little to himself: looking cheerlessly round on the waste places of his spirit, of no economic account in the present system of things. It is these waste spaces of the human mind that its reafforesters, our poets and thinkers, must l e arn how to utilize. 511


"HOME RULE" IN THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT By P. /. SHERIDAN IT is now perfectly certain that Home Rule will occupy a very prominent part in the proceedings of the British Parliament during the next two session s, and it may be interesting, therefore, to retrace, however briefly, the career of a large measure of national self-government which was introduced in the Reichstag only last year. It will be remembered that Alsace-Lorraine became part of the German Empire at the time the Home Rule movement was set on foot in Ireland, so that they have beaten the Green Isle well in the struggle for the control of their own local affairs. What was the position of Alsace-Lorraine in the German Empire after 1870? We know that ffie people were hostile to the new conditions imposed upon them by the fortunes of war, and that their first attitude was one of heroic protestation. This eventually gave way t-0 regretful resignation, until in the course of years it was con sidered necessary to endeavour to secure an improvement in the position of the people and the status of the country It was felt that the best way t-0 do this was by the preservation of their own individuality and national characteristics and their extension and development by means of institutions suited to the wishes of the peoples and requirements of the country. Thus it was that one of the most interesting, and in many respects one of the most remarkable, events of the year 1911 was the introduction in the German Parliament of a Bill, proposing to confer self-government on the people of Alsace-Lorraine. The history of this event ought to have a special interest for all of us, more particularly as it contains a lesson that should encourage and stimulate us in our efforts to secure the improvement of the Government of Ireland Bill and make it more worthy of the general acceptance of the Irish people. What was possible in the case of Alsace-Lorraine in the Reichstag should also be possible in the case of Ireland in the British Parliament. 512


"HOME RULE" IN THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT The German Empire consists of an aggregation of different countries which, under the hegemony of Prussia, have preserved their original character, their own organisation, their special peculi anties. Something of these have been sacrificed for the Empire, but enough remains to ensure the survival here of a kingdom, there of a grand duchy, and elsewhere of a little Republic. Alsace Lorraine demanded why it had not a place in this complex and varied organisation. It desired to be a State like the others, having the same rights as they, and preserving all that distinguished it from them. Profoundly democratic and attached by history to no dynasty, the ideal of Alsace-Lorraine would have been a republic within the Empire. It would be content, if need be, with a Statt halter nominated for life. It wished at least to be represented in the Federal Council, and to have a certain number of votes there, similarly to the other States. The people demanded equal and fair treatment. But to this Germany was not disposed to agree. The Imperial Government had elaborated and the Federal Council approved of a constitution which gave to them some of the rights they asked for, but refused the co-ordination they aspired to. Alsace-Lorraine would remain "Empire-land," it would continue to be a conquered country, belonging to the Confederate States. And it would remain thus to some far distant day when it would be judged ripe for other destinies. It wished to be an autonomous State like the others; they wished to relegate it to a subordinate position. They did not condemn its nationalism; on the contrary, they relied upon it to detach the countries somewhat from France. It appears that Bismarck formerly, in his profound view of the future, expressed the hope that the Alsatian-Lorraine nationalism would develop in this sense; he considered it a force to utilise. When the nationalism of the countries would be devoid of any French souvenirs or French inclinations, the Provinces would have attained that degree of maturity when they could be admitted in the Empire with equal rights to those of the other States. The Government proposals originally consisted of two: the first containing a constitution for Alsace-Lorraine, the second an 513


iHE IRISH REVIEW electoral law. Until that time, as is the case with Ireland now, Alsace-Lorraine had no legislature of its own. Its laws were voted by the Reichstag It would now have two chambers which would make the laws. The majority of the second chamber would be nominated by the Emperor, and would have, in fact, an all-powerful veto, and would to this extent be undesirable. Similarly with the Statthalter, whom they wished nominated for life in order to assure his independence. The people also asked to be represented in the Federal Council and have three votes there. The Government was willing to agr e e, but only in the case of economic questions affecting their own country,-exception confirming the general rule of exclu sion and making its hardness felt. Of the electoral law and its peculiarities, it is not necessary here to enter into details. The first debate in the Reichstag was of exceptional interest. The Government in its language adopted a tone of extreme modera tion. The spee c h of Herr Delbruck, Secretary of State for the Interior, was very like that of Mr. Asquith in introducing his Irish Bill. It was an able and lucid exposition of the details of the measures and the reasons for it, somewhat long, unimpassioned, the work of a thoroughly sincere mind and spirit. That of the Chan cellor, Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg, was less reserved, more large hearted and humane. In it one recognised the desire to do well. In particular the orators spoke very deferentially of the Alsatian Lorraine ideals. Herr Basserman in the name of the National Liberals, Herr von Herding for the Catholics, showed themselves more generous than the Government. The speeches of the delegates of the countries interested, Messrs Preiss and Gregorie, and the Abbe Wetterle were listened to with attention. It only needed the scare-mongering, unreasoning Pan-Germanist, Herr Libermann von Sonnenberg, to complete the picture. "Give to the Alsatians and Lorrains," said Herr Preiss, "a home in which they can feel contented, and will thus be able to forget a happy past. Allow them to live and arrange their own affairs in accordance with their own ideas The German Empire could only gain in following the example oI France. You possess Oj


"HOME RULE" IN THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT the language, and you possess the force, but there is something which you have not got, and it is generosity. What we demand is not: generosity-it is equity." The Abbe Wetterle said : "No Nationalist party exist in Alsace Lorraine. The misunderstanding arises simply from the fact that the two populations, victors and the vanquished, live side by side without understanding or mixing with each other." We are asked for guarantees; what do they wish? We observe the laws, we pay taxes; we respect the officials as much as they deserve; we go to the German school; what more do they want? With what barometer do they measure our patriotism? A marriage de raison may become happy, but only on condition that one of the parties does not ill-treat the other constantly. We were not a tribe of negroes when our country was annexed, but a people with an ancient culture, more ancient than that of the "country squires 1 of the East. The only crime that can have been imputed to us is that of having been French." The Government proposals were then referred to a Commsision, where they were shortly afterwards the object of a new discussion. As an indication of the movement that was taking place in the minds of those concerned, it appears that the majority of the Commission had declared themselves favourable to the wishes of the people of Alsace-Lorraine. The Catholics and the National Liberals had intervened in their favour. Herr Delbruck had, however, declared he would not go a step further, and that if he wished to, the Federal Council would oppose it. If the Commission, if the Reichstag particularly, enlarged the Bill in the manner indicated, the Govern ment would withdraw it without doubt. It must be remembered that the Federal Council, composed of _,.. the representatives of the different estates, is responsible for the elaboration of the laws interesting the Empire. It is in this Council that Alsace-Lorraine wished to enter and have three votes at its disposal; it is the door of this Council that the Government Bill closed so brutally, telling it that it was, and would remain, Empire land," the common property of all the other States, to the level of 515


TliE IRISH REVIEW which it should not have the pretention of being admitted, at least not for along time Alsace-Lorraine also demanded a Statthalter nominated for life; they would only consent to give it one who would be nominated and revoked by the Emperor. The Nationalists and their allies took a determined stand on the questions at issue. In the face of the Government's stiff attitude in the Reichstag, one would naturally expect a compromise in the Commission. The Centre and Alsatian-Lorraines were obdurate. The former would admit of no transaction. They would prefer to obtain nothing at afl. Instead of seeking to withdraw the Bill, Herr Delbruck now asked the Commission to allow him time to submit the question again to the Federal Council. As regards the question of the Statthalter, they wished him to be nominated by the Emperor on the proposition of the Federal Council, and that he could not be recalled without the consent of the latter. What would the Federal Council do? Would they in a single effort accomplish that which they had themselves set out to do slowly, prudently, in a certain number of years? It only remains to add that the effort was crowned with success, and that the constitution, amended in accordance with the wishes of the people of Alsace-Lorraine, is now an accomplished fact in that country. And the German Empire consists at le,ngth of a number of States, every one of which is now self-governing. 516


A HOT FRIEND COOLING I Ni mhairenn oighre M urchaidhm6r cumthair dona bregaibhda maradh ni bheith choidhche la go n-oidhche inar n-egmais. 2 Ag techt chugainn is uainne do bhioth da-oine uaisle oile : ag techt chugainn is chugainn do bhioth m'fher cumainn croidhe. 3 Cred dhenuid muinnter Dhalaigh 6m mbas soin da tti an cogadh? fa meinic laodh mo chroidhe 6s cenn m'fhine da cosnamh 4 Fa dh6 sa 16 dar bfeghuin, an te fa ndenuim osnadh, do thigedh se go badhach 6 Aoibh Ratha go Brosnuigh. S Do-chuaidh Diarmuid, mo thruaighe, fuinne i bhfuaire nar bhreathnuigh: ni thig se chugainn choidhche-acht ocht n-oidhche sa tsechtmhuin. 6 Diarmuid tar eis a euga, a fhir dhenta na huaidhe, na bi da chur a ttalmhuin, ni gar dh6 anmhuin uainne. Translation Murchadh's heir lives not !-many lies are invented-if he lived, he would never be a day and a night away from me. 517


THE IRISH REVIEW 2 Other gentlemen used to be coming and going: the friend of my heart used to be coming and coming 3 If war comes, what will the O'Dalys do after this death? Often has my heart's darling been over my family, defending it 4 Twice in the day h e for whom I sigh would come lovingly to see me from I veragh to Brosna. 5 Diarmaid, alas, has grown colder towards me than he was aware of; he never comes to me-more than eight nights in the week. 6 Though Diarmaid is dead, 0 gravedigger, forbear to la y him in the ground, he shall gain nought b y staying away from me. Note. -The author of the above playfu l ve rses is unknown. As they are found in the Book of the O Conor Don .they can n ot be later than the early part of the se v enteenth century. OSBORN BERGIN 518


THE CALL OF THE ROAD By DERMOT O'BYRNE I. IT was past midnight. From the edge of a driving the light of the December moon fell like a spear, a cold chal lenging loveliness dropped to earth from the hand of a petulant spirit. For the last half-hour the strife had been hard. Soften ing welters of pearl and amber and bronze had shown at intervals that the hosts of the rain were thinning before the strengthening gleam. The hail ceased suddenly, and now the moon's face was luminous with a bleak triumph almost as wild as the previous tearing darkness. White arrows of light seemed to fill the air, whilst on earth a strange and secret beauty awoke. All the bare glen was covered with a silver veil flickered and rippled constantly by the north wind blowing shrilly in violent gusts, that hissed in the black berry bushes and the bare branches of the sparse sycamores and rowans and shook down a shower of liquid gems into the throbbing webs and mists below. Tiny points of light of unimagined colour and delicacy trembled on every thorn and twig as though the mist were pierced with innumerable fairy shafts assembling for some phantasmal warfare. The half-melted hail was blown across the roads by the gusts and lay massed in the ditches like snow. And among the shafts and the snow the shadowy roses of Irish hills bloomed, grey and blue, the evanescent but unfading fiowerage of the Donegal wilderness. But to Mickey Rourke, tinker, who, supported on either side by two fellow-revellers, was making a devious and uncertain progress down the glittering road, these aspects of his native country made no appeal. Mr. Rourke was burningly if vaguely alive with a desire to be rid of his companions, and to be allowed to assume a recumbent attitude in the streaming shough at the side of the way-in respect of which side his intention wavered-whilst his two friends were equally persistent in their endeavours to induce him to abandon his project, and to come on out o' that. They reasoned with him with simple eloquence, they exhausted their resources of argument, entreaty and blasphemy. Mr. Rourke was adamant, and with maudlin bitterness lamented to the stars his unequalled misfortune in being afflicted with com panions of such depravity and inebriety as Tommy Cunnea and Pat-Vickey Gillespie. They were three miles from the shebeen in 519


THE IRISH REVIEW Meenadruim, through the door of which the two country lads had dragged Mr. Rourke by his tattered coat-tails. To the local mind the townland was greatly blessed in a situation six miles removed from the nearest police-barrack, and if for that reason alone had become since the completion of the last hay stack a favourite nocturnal meeting-place for the more energetic and adven turous lads of the country-side. During the summer months smoke was often to be seen issuing from a hole in the rocks upwards of a hundred yards from the nearest cabin, and pint bottles of Meenadruim poitin of a highly inflammatory virtue and glue-like consistency had swelled the roomy breast-pockets of many a man of the lower glen returning home in the dawn. The country knew well that this beatific state of things could not continue, for already priest and peeler had shown unmistakable signs of bestirring themselves. The matter had been referred to from the altar with admirably sustained passion by Father Dara, the curate-in-charge, though there were those in the congregation who had reason to know that six bottles of the same poitin were locked in the dining-room cupboard of the parochial house at that moment. From time to time Mr Rourke was moved to song. For his supporters the phrase may be said to have had a painfully literal significance, for the singer found it necessary to emphasise each assonance and alliteration with a violent lurch of uncertain direction and since there appeared to be little or no scheme in Mr. Rourke's rhythmical ecstasies it was impossible to tell whither the party would be propelled from moment to moment. bhi an bh6 bhainne chumhra ag g-eimnidh As na h' eanlaith go meidhrea c h le che61 proclaimed the melodious tinker in dragging quarter-tones that a fanciful ear might have imagined e c hoed in faithful imitation by the wild cats in neighbouring Cnochnamban. "Aru, let you quit your roaringand come on out o' that, Mickey, ye damn fool you," gasped Pat-Vickey, his small slightly-built frame strained painfully to cope with one of Mr Rourke's ponderous lurches "God, I'm bet out entirely, I tell ye Tommy. We'll not see Faucha before the skreek of dawn ; no nor Braid itself." "We'll not, then," shouted Cunnea above the din. Damn, but there's the full tide of sweat over every inch of me, and it teeming with hail too. There now quit that, me buck, and let yez step out mannerly or we'll be leavingyou to rot in the shough of the road, if you be my first cousin itself." 520


THE CALL OF THE ROAD "'s ar bhruach an tsruthain ar leath-thaoibh dhiom bhl an cailin deas cumhdach na mb6 howled Mr. Rourke, rolling his eyes languidly on the moon. Then obeying, as it seemed, some sentimental suggestion, he laughed weakly, and flinging his arms suddenly round Pat Gillespie's neck, hung there limply like a dead hare over a sportsman's shoulder. "It's yourself should be I-lilting yon song-mo-mo-c-ch chroidhe," he hiccoughed affectionately. Sure, it's you has the lass can be minding the cows rightly." "Leave me go," gasped the choking Pat Gillespie, "leave me go, you b--y streeler, I'm saying. You'll have me strangled. Dam, but I'll make you, then"; and he hit Mr. Rourke a smart blow between the eyes. The tinker's arms fell apart immediately, and he staggered heavily to one side, righted himself by a singular gymnastic contor tion, and slipping on a patch of melting hail, lurched again, rolling helplessly like a foundering ship. Pat Vickey leapt to one side, and Mr. Rourke fell with a heavy thud and splash into the streaming ditch. Once on his back he lay like a log, while the icy water rushed and gurg-Ied about him, soaking the new pair of trousers for which Mr. Rourke had paid the Glen tailor that very morning, a transaction conducted with much guile and a ferocity and bitterness on both sides obviously wanting in sincerity, but regarded as in the nature of such things. "Well, you be to have done it now, Pat," said Cunnea grimly; "he'ld not be rising out o' that if the Pope itself to be standing over him calling red damnation on his soul." I've done it, is it?" exclaimed Pat, with heat. "Well, who wouldn't then? Tell me that! Sure my four bones are cracked in me with the batteraction they're after getting from yon play-boy. Let yon come on now out of this. We'ld have a right to be leaving him here till the sun will dry him stiff." "Aru," said Tommy, "he'ld be dying on us, there's that power of devilment in him"; and he laid hold of Mr. Rourke's heels with the intention of dragging him into the open road. "Whisht now," cried Pat Gillespie, suddenly, "there's some person coming this way." They remained motionless listening, while the water oozed down Mr. Rourke's neck and his clothes enveloped him in a chill and clammy embrace. The steps came nearer, until the figure of the approaching man was aistinguishable in the moonlight. *The Donegal form of the refrain of this well-known song. 52r


THE IRISH REVIEW "It's Brian Cormac of Meenaduff," said PatVickey. "Who are ye drowning, boys?" enquired Brian with indifference, as he came up to them and paused, his hands deep in his pockets. Drowning be damned," grunted Cunnea Here, lay a holt like a good 'un." "He's a stout lump of a streeler, whatever," said Brian, com p1ying. Who is he at all? One of the Braid ones, I'm thinking." "He's not, then, but a tinker. One of the Rourkes-Mickey they do be calling him. Conn McConnell and Biddy Rourke-that's the sister to that one-do be lodging in Faucha below. Here now, up with you, me boy-o." They pushed, thumped, and kicked the tinker into an upright position. CaiHn deas cumdhach na mb6," mumbled Mr. Rourke to the night at large, and sat down gently upon vacancy, supported by his devoted companions. "You'll not get that one to Faucha before dawn; no, nor half the way," remarked Brian, with relish. "Musha, that's the truth I'm thinking," agreed Pat, dejectedly. Sure we're destroyed at him. I'd sooner be carrying a heifer intil the fair of Glenties than to be contending another half-hour with this streeler here." What light will that be back west yonder?" suddenly enquired Tommy, who had been peering about eagerly. "Whal!, under the brae is it? That's Niell Carr's." Niell Mor, is it?" "Aye, Niell Mor. He has some kind of a big night within on the head of his eldest daughter coming back from America. I wat in itself myself a piece back." Is it throng within?" asked Tommy. It is, then--middling throng. There's another Yankee in it, too a fella' from beyond the mountain-] ohnny McGinley they call him it's be he's courting Sara Carr-that's Niell's youngest lass, ye mind. They're to be married in the New Year, 'tis said." "Aye, I mind her right well," said Tommy, with a secret smile. She's the bold article, is that one." "Well, I must be shortening the way," said Brian, and moved on. God bless the work!" he added jeeringly from up the road, and went on his way whistling. "Pat," said Tommy dramatically across the rolling head of Mr. Rourke, listen here," and, laughing wickedly, he caught his com panion by the shoulder and whispered in his ear with stifled mirth. 522


THE CALL OF THE ROAD He was obliged to repeat his plan before its full humour and iniquity dawned upon the scandalised Pat. "God! Tommy," he gasped, "it be to be scheming you are. Sure it'd be a sin to do the like of thon !" "Ach 'gorra That's fun! What harm is there? And if there was itself, haven't we our 'nough penance put in and we destroyed and crippled entirely the way we'll not be fit to put a stir out of us, hand or foot, good nor bad, to-morrow with the tarlach is in them." "But look, Tommy, he might be hurted or kilt itself, and he full up with all them schooners of drink, and what will be hindering his ghost from following us up any dark night and we walking the roads, and taking a red sweat out of us with its crying out of the high beds in hell laid up against our coming." Tommy spread out his hands towards the throbbing sky. "The Lord forgive him. There's talk," he retorted shrilly, stammering in his excitement. Is he my cousin or yours, that same lad, and wouldn't I be knowing better nor you what class of crockery is in his ugly head? Well, there ye are! Let you come on now, Pat, my boy-o. Take you a holt of his two feet, and I'll be catching his oxters." Pat was understood to mutter something about Petty Sessions and Lifford Jail, but he said no more in objection to an enterprise which on several grounds made a strong appeal to him. Together they bundled Mr. Rourke without ceremony over the stone wall, bringing down a great part of it and leaving an instalment of the unconscious tinker's new garments clinging to the remainder. From this point they literally carried their burden over the spongy and hummocky surface of upland bog which lay between them and Niell Mor's cabin. The ground was unknown to either of the conspirators, and Tommy, who was in the rear with Mr. Rourke's lolling head pressed against the pit of his stomach, soon stumbled heavily in a deep hole, losing his grip under the tinker's armpits. There was a thud and a sloppy splash of water, followed by a stifled curse from Pat-Vickey. Tommy, grumbling and sighing, again raised his end of the burden, and then suddenly burst into choking laughter. "Whisht now," whispered Pat sharply, and then fell to laughing himself, as he too caught sight of Mr. Rourke's face lifted to the moon. The effect of patches of rich mud and an oozing stream of black bog-water were now added to the natural attractions of the tinker's countenance. "It's hard to say, but he'ld take a start out pf any lassie who 523


THE IRISH REVIEW would be meeting him in the road now," spluttered Tommy Cunnea hoarsely. "Will you whisht now," answered Pat, controlling himself sternly, "and let us be done with him. God, then, but he's a sore enough looking case, this same buck." At last they reached the trickling bothidn leading to the cabin door, from behind which sounds of merriment already fell upon their ears. They approached at right angles to the house in order that the light streaming through the two small windows might not by ill chance reveal them to any person within. "Now," said Tommy, as they crept in under tne thatch. With infinite care they arranged the now completely unconscious Mr. Rourke in an upright position against the house-door, his back tilted very slightly towards it, and stood away regarding their work with critical eyes. "Is he right now, do ye think?" whispered Tommy cautiously. He'll do," replied Pat in the same tone, and after a moment's anxious pause nodded to the other. Tommy Cunnea stepped on tip-toe up to the door and rapped sharply upon it. There was an instant lull within. "Come on now," whispered Tommy hurriedly, and the two conspirators made off into the shadows, painfully choking a fit of nervous laughter. Tar isteach (" Come in ") said a hearty voice from behind the door. There was a pause, and someone flattened a nose against the minute window-pane. Followed a low-toned and anxious argu ment, while outside the severe and dispassionate rays of the moon feff upon the lamentable and mottled features of Mr. Rourke and the form of their owner lolling grotesquely against the door. And always the lovely gleams glanced and trembled on thatch and heather, on tree-top and thorn, and mountain hollows palpitated in ecstasy of the pearly glories that, heedless of tne dismal comedy of man's degradation, they brimmed towards the stars. II. As Briany Cormac had said, it was "middling throng" in Neill Carr's cabin, and the heat was intense. After an absence of six years in America, Maggie, the gigantic farmer's eldest daughter, had arrived at the Glen post-office early that evening in the mail-car from Gorteen. From thence she had completed her journey in more homely sort and an extremely dusty cart with bright-blue shafts and red-rimmed wheels. She had been escorted during this latter stage by her father and brother, both of 524


THE CALL OF THE ROAD them in a condition of intense and tearful enthusiasm slightly enhanced by artificial means. The popular lady was now enthroned next the fire on a plain kitchen chair, and was receiving the exuberant attentions of her old neighbours with cheerful composure. She was well and simply dressed, in person still young and tolerably good looking, though the appearance of her naturally fine hair was impaired by the dull sheen of much cheap bear s grease and the insertion of the pad-now, alas! so greatly affected by girls in the west of Ireland. Though she spoke English with great fluency and a liberal use of such phrases as I presoom and I guess," once considered as hall-marks of gentility, she preferred, in common with most re turned Americans of the last few years, to speak in Gaelic. The natural e x pression of her face was good-natured, though a little foolish. The youngest girl, Sara, ho ve red between the back of Maggie's c hair and the door. She was tall and strong, and luxuriously formed, with a high, rather over-developed bosom and wide hips. Her untidy black hair was parted carelessly in the middle and drawn back in heavy waves above her ears, over the edges of which loose wisps escaped and flutt e red as she moved. Her skin was brown almost to sallowness, though a hot r e d glowed in her cheeks. She possesseQ. a rather square nose, tilted slightly at the tip, and a sensitive and petulant mouth, large but well-formed. But her eyes dominated all else in her personal appearance. These were deep and black as po o ls of bog-water, and burning with a restless fire that seemed a witness to a wilful and volcanically disturbed spirit within. There was that about the lithe movements of her body and the nervous clenching and unclenching of her hands that suggested the motions of the limbs and claws of a wild animal. Seated near Maggie and following Sara about the room with rather scared and puzzled eyes, was John McGinley, who had re turned from America in the same boat with the elder girl. A match was in pro c ess of settl e ment for himself and Sara, and it had been agreed that after the marriage the pair would take over the control of some large farm in the neighbourhood. Besides Niell Carr and his son, the only other adult person in the room directl y related to the house was the farmer's second daughter, Mary, a healthy pleasant-faced young woman, who was expecting her third confinement in a few weeks. The remainder of the company consisted of neighbours from surrounding townlands. Conviviality had attained its height at the moment of the unex pected knock at the door, and when Niell Mor's hearty invitation 525


,THE IRISH REVIEW to the stranger met with no response, specuiation and anxiety became rife. "Well, open the door till you see who's in it, cried Sara, impatiently tapping the floor with one bare foot. "Do not then, Niell, said a voice in the background, "who' s to say what thing might be in it, and it all hours of the night? The Lord save us, that's true for you, put in another in a low, fearful tone, myself felt a kind of crawling and creeping in the heather the time I was coming up the brae." It might be a faery or a ghost itself, said a woman near the fire, wrapping her shawl more closely around her. Aru," cried Sara, in high scorn, will ye whisht. Ye have me heart-scalded altogether with your plubbering of faeries. Let yez stand clear now till I open the door myself, since ye've not that much spunk in yez." And striding across the floor she unfastened the two latches simultaneously, and wrenched the door open with a vicious jerk. Screams and squeals from the women and a hoarse roar from the men accompanied the entrance of a heavy body, that hurtled backwards past the astonished Sara, and after executing a compli cated figure across the length of the floor, in which it would seem at least half-a-dozen hob nailed boots were employed, fetched up with a crash against the dresser, and from thence slid thudding to the ground. Turmoil ensued. Crockery rattled and jingled, two dogs scrambled from beneath the table barking shrilly, a cat streaked across the floor and out into the night, screaming men and women clutched one another convulsively, whilst incoherent voices apostro phising God and the blessed saints in Irish and English mingled in the confusion The enceinte woman turn e a faint, and, cat c hing at her sides with hands, was hurried somehow into the back room. "It's the old lad itself," said a quavering voice in an unex pectedly loud tone which terrified its owner, a pronouncement followed by a renewed outburst of wailing from the women. Immediately there was a confused rush towards the door, struggling men and women crushing one another in their eagerness to escape the proximity of the agent of damnation. A scornful figure with flashing eyes and hands upon hips confronted them. It's Mickey Rourke, the tinker, and he drunk," said Sara, with slow distinctness, and laughing shortl y and savagely, she pointed a bare derisive arm at the gaping crowd. Here, get out of my sight, the whole snivelling kit of yez," she cried turbulentl y "and l e t yo u quit that fo o lishn e s s now ," she c ontinued sharply, administering a thump to the bristly head of a 526


CALL bF THE ROAD young man who was on his knees distractedly repeating disconnected fragments _of the shorter catechism. Sara went over to Mr. Rourk e's side. Give me the tea-pot and a cup now, and let you hurry," she snapped at the pale-faced Maggie, who was standing up unsteadily by the fire, her hand to her heart. Meantime the majority of the neighbours, doubtful whether to be resentful, prayerful, or merely ashamed of themselves, crept back cautiously into the centre of the room, where they huddled together, peering over one another's shoulders. Sara poured out a cup of scalding and inky tea, and kneeling down by Mr. Rourke's side, shook that gentleman roughly and even punched him with severity about the arms and ribs, while she admonished him to rise up out o' that and not lie there like an old sheep would be lambing, the scorn of all the weans in the barony. Under this treatment, Mr. Rourke opened his eyes for a scarcely appreciable instant, and muttered thickly. Seizing the occasion, Sara forced the edge of the cup between his broken and discoloured teeth, tilting it slightly, and at the same time dashing back the hair from her eyes with a petulant gesture of her disengaged hand. "Drink that, darling," she said with surprising softness. Mr. Rourke did so, and re-opening his blood-shot eyes, showed instant signs of returning consciousness. "You'll do now, my playboy," remarked his ministrant grimly, when the contents of the cup had disappeared; but it's no lie to say you're a sore-looking case at this moment," though she gazed at Mr. Rourke without disfavour. The tinker sat up, smiling feebly and with modesty, as though this tribute to his personal appearance were in the nature of flattery. Damn, but you're a decent class of a woman," he remarked with indistinct cordiality, and then, overcome by a wave of sentiment, began to weep, thereby causing the mud upon his pale face to form astonishing and streaky designs. 0 Dhia," he moaned, if I do be a middling ordinary kind of a show itself, what call would I have to be washing my face every week or patching my clothes Och, mo l e un, isn t it the hard way of life for a poor man the like of myself to be travelling the dirty roads my lone all weathers? God knows it's a long path betwixt this backwards mountainy place and the clouds of the grave, and the mist rolling down the hill to the east and rolling down the hill to the west, and the wind crying always, and myself only an odd time maybe looking on a woman the like of yourself would set a fellow dreaming on y our eyes, and he on the bare flag of hell." Musha, there's talking," chuckled an old woman sardonically, 527_


THE IRISH REVIEW and he a naked lounger the young girls would be fleeing from in the noon of the day itself." "Ah! it's them tinkers are not slow to be putting 'gradh-mo chroidhe on the women, once they take the notion," answered a merry-faced girl from the shadows in the back of the room. John McGinley started uneasily. "Come now, Sorcha," he called with a good-humour which lightly covered his embarrassment. I guess he'll do well enough now. Sit down here by my side till we fix what day we'll be getting spliced." Spliced, is it?" retorted Sara, turning for a moment and flash ing her eyes a:t him. It seems you're mighty sure of me, then?" There was a roar of laughter at this, and the young American turned away sulkily, looking a little foolish. Only hear that now!" said the old woman who had spoken before. Niell Carr laughed shortly and nervously. He knew his daughter better than others, in that he was aware that she was incom prehensible. "Ach, it's only scheming she is. She had that way with the boys, ever and always." "Quit your blathering now," cried Sara sharply. "You're too free with your share of chat entirely, the lot of yez." She turned again to Mr. Rourke and tugged at his sleeve. Here, rise up now out o' that. You should be able enough to stand on your feet any more." With many groans, and rudely assisted by Sara, Mr. Rourke arose. Having accomplished this feat, he planted his boots with exactitude upon a selected spot in the flagged floor, and stood swaying heavily with one hand tenderly feeling the back of his head, whilst with the other he held on to a chair, suggesting the appearance of a ship precariously moored in a stormy anchorage. "God!" he said vaguely, "I'd be thinking there1s a great l:iell clattering in my skull, I'm that mazed I'll be taking a seat, man o' the house, if there's no offence." Here, get out o' that," said N iell, cuffing a small barefooted boy with innocent grey eyes, who had thoughtlessly appropriated the whole of a chair to his own use. Mr. Rourke drew the chair up to the fire, regardless of the protruding feet and legs of neighbours, and sitting down with a sigh, smeared his damp sleeve comprehensively across his face so that its more central portions were restored to a semblance of their natural hue, leaving the remainder rimmed with a thick fringe of mud. He 528


THE CALL OF THE ROAD spat ostentatiously into the fire, yawned, and gazed round lamentably with blinking and blood-shot eyes, whilst his wet clothes steamed and reeked to the rafters, until the dried fish suspended from the roof were almost obliterated. A dull gleam shone in his pupils as one by one he appraised the comforts of the room. Isn't it well for you ones," he observed with resentful malignance, his eye resting upon Sara, and you sitting here snug and fat, eating your four meat meals a day, and only doing an odd turn of work when you've the mind for it? It's hard enough for poor fellows the like of me." Niell Carr, who possessed a share of his youngest daughter's hot temper, controlled himself with difficulty as he replied: It's a great call you have to be talking and giving bad chat, the like of yon, Mickey Rourke. Wouldn't yourself have done better in the latter end to have put by the money you made by your trade, in place of drinking yourself blind and silly every day of the year, and coming to be a poor graceless, slobbering scare-crow would fix the devil itself with fright before you." Well, where'll be the good in that?" returned the tinker with gloomy defiance. "The Lord help you," went on Niell Mor, warming to his subject. What'll be to hinder you from buying a passage till America and coming back in two years, or maybe three, till you marry a handsome lassie, the way John here wiil be wedding our Sara in the New Year, and settling down on a fine farm of land and rearing up a half-score of weans to be the comfort of your two selves and you in the end of your days." Mr. Rourke was about to make some reply, when Sara, who was standing near the tinker's chair, laughed harshly and continued, imitating her father's tone : "Aye, and getting dull and heavy-like and ofd before your time, and you breaking your heart turning up rotten spuds and minding a lot of stinking beasts, and hearing the blather of the priests o' Sundays, and the one old clack always from dribbling old bodachs you'll hate to be looking at. Aye, it's a fine life, Mickey, to be seeing always the same dirty hill to the east and the same foggy heaps o rocks to the west, and staring down at a thatched byre in the bog below you night and morning till you be to be light in the head. "The Lord forgive you, Mickey Rourke, you're better off the way you are, and it's what I'm thinking I'll be taking to the road myself, and I hearing always the call of distant places till I'm both ered with them."


THE IRISH REVlEW "God save us, she's raving surely!" murmured a v01ce man awestruck tone. Mr. Rourke stared at the girl strangely, and then leaned forward. Is that a true thing you're after saying, mistress?" he enquired in a low eager voice, his haggard face close to Sara's. "It is then, surely," answered Sara, glancing round boldly and defiantly at the scandalised and speechless company. God knows I wouldn't care a hait who I'ld be taking up with, so I'ld be quit of this place ever and always." John McGinley leapt to his feet. "What the hell are you saying?" he shouted hoars e ly. "I calculate it's some joke you're playing on me. You were always the on.e to be scheming. Sure you can't be leaving me like this. Come now, Sorcha," and he laughed uncomfortably. Mr. Rourke became irritated. To his mind a simple proposi tion was being visited with a too elaborate criticism. "Aru, be damned to the whole pack of yez," he cried peevishly, hiding his discoloured face in his hands for a moment, and then suddenly stood up unsteadily, rolling up his ragged sleeves as he did so. Come on now, mister," he roared at John in uncontrollable fury, let you come on till I bash your fat, smooth face! I'll let her know which of us is the better man A bustle. of excitement stirred all the company. The women huddled together holding their breath, while the men craned their necks forward eagerly, nudging one another. With an imprecation Niell Mor snatched up a thick stick from a corner of the room and rushed towards the gesticulating tinker. "Out of my house with ye now," he shouted hoarsely, I'm sick and sore with your dirty blather. Out of my house, I'm saying, and may the devil find you out beyond and leave you rotten with worms before the skreek of day." "All right, mister. I'm going," sa id Mr. Rourke, suddenly abandoning his warlike guise, and becoming rather flustered. "And I'm going along with him,'' said Sara, appearing from the inner room with a small bundle wrapped in a soiled cloth. I'm going too, do you hear, and no thanks to you. Sure, haven't I been looking long for this chance, and himself and others of the tramps along with him, between young men and old, making sheep's eyes at me every time they did be passing down the glen. And if this young fella' is but a poor unmannerly drunken show of a stocach itself, I'm thinking I'ld do better along with him, travelling the broad roads of the north, and sniffing the sweet smells that do be rising from the damp earth in the dawn, and feeling the wind and 530


THE or THE ROAD the sun and the rain on my nape always than to be ever in the one smoky hovel all times, bearing sickly skinnr. weans to Johnny McGinley or his like, a fell a would be starting from a shadow or a dry leaf itself like an old ailing gearran once the fall of dusk is m it. And now let you come .on out o this, Mickey Rourke, _and we'l1 be getting quare gaming and great sleep some place beyond these dirty hills." Come away, then," said Mr. Rourke, in a dazed voice. N iell Mor, teeling the collective eyes of the awe-struck and scandalised company upon him! made one step forward, and then paused, dropping the stick on the earthen floor. "Aru, let her go, he said recklessly. "De' il a hair I care comes to her. She was ever and always a graceless bitch, and 'tis all she's fit for, I'm thinking." He turned away, whilst Mr. Rourke, goaded forward by Sara, staggered out into the night. III. I have seen them several times myself since. They come into our glen at intervals of thre e or four months, always solitary-in distinction from others of their kind who are in the habit of wandering in clans. The distant glare of a rim of red flannel overflowing the edges of their ass-cart is usually the first indication of the slow and apparently fretful approach of the cortege. Then by leisurely degrees they reach the cross roads where they are accustomed to camp, and the sacking containing an assortment of saucepans, tin-cans, trays, and even spoons and watches acquired by simple means of varying illegality, is emptied upon the triangular patch of grass at the roadside. Mr. Rourke slings his budget from his shoulders and prepares for work. A few peevish words are exchanged, and the plan of action is decided. The barefooted Mrs. Rourke arranges her brown and storm-stained countenance into an expression .of crafty good-nature, her strong mouth capable of revealing at any moment two rows of perfect teeth as white as the rock marble of the glen, and proceeds up the road to open the campaign upon the public house. At her heels trots an exceedingly dirty and beautiful child of six or seven years, whose tattered and ill-fitting rags hang loosely about her, the rents frequently showing glimpses of scratched knees and the gleam of shapely little shoulders. Mrs. Rourke enters the shop-door with discretion and dignity, waits patiently until other customers have been served, and then tossing her head proudly and settling her dirty shawl with a gesture of wonderful grace, proceeds in sugared accents, acquired in the course of predatory excursions 531


THE IRISH REVIEW over the borders of Connacht, to engage the women of the house in general conversation. Thus by easy stages the subject of refresh ment is approached, hinted at, and at last definitely broached. The first half-un's are paid for in solid coin, a portion is set aside for "himself," and a liberal share given to the child, the horrified remon strances of the women of the house being met with the unanswerable argument that "the giorseach must be getting used to it at some time whatever, God help her, and sure there be's no hour like the one that's in it." Mrs. Rourke then wipes her mouth with the edge of her shawl, produces after much fumbling a tattered lump of black twist tobacco, bites off a piece with her strong white teeth, spits through the open door, and after filling a broken and filthy duidin, proceeds to smoke with a defiant and more than Oriental languor, holding the pipe in her mouth so that the bowl is toward the ground. Mr. Rourke now enters. He is no master of phrase, a fact of which he is perfectly well aware, and accounts for t1ie previous despatch of his ambassadress. His methods are direct even to bluntness. He tosses off his glass, and then proclaims to the shop in general that he has no more money and that his thirst is great. The woman of the house smiles incredulously and with conscious integrity, but being of liberal mind gives him another glass without a word. Mr. Rourke drains it at a gulp, and makes tentative enquiries as to the prospects of his trade in the neighbourhood and more particularly in respect of the inn's supply of tins and cans. The answer is unsatisfactory, and Mr. and Mrs. Rourke begin a whining duet on the leit-motif oI their extreme poverty and the dis comforts of the nomad's life. The child stares for a moment with heavy eyes that are rapidly becoming clouded with drink, and then, possessed of a wisdom beyond her years and foreseeing the probable course of events, slips noiselessly and unsteadily into the street. The duet becomes impassioned; one or two good-natured customers in the shop stands treats. Mrs. Rourke's gestures become more impressive, the shawl slips away, her black hair falls over her eyes, which blaze through its cloud like stars through a flying storm. The atmosphere becomes electric with fevered argument. The woman of the house refuses any further liberality. Mrs. Rourke waves her arms like a warrior woman of the old time and dashing the duidin to the ground, where it smashes into fragments, threatens to break the windows of the shop and of every house in the glen. She curses the woman of the house and her relatives to the tenth degree. Attracted by the din, men crowd in from the street, and in high enjoyment encourage the frenzied amazon to higher flights of vitup-532


THE CALL OF THE ROAD eration and violence. The climax arrives. Mrs. Rourke, to emphasise some point, raises one bare arm high above her head, loses her balance, lurches backwards, and falls unexpectedly upon the breast of a young fisherman, who receives her with a self-conscious snigger. There is a roar of laughter, and the woman of the house is heard to murmur, God save us, isn't that one the divil ?" At the word Mr. Rourke starts forward, a primitive fury raging in his eyes, seizes his wife by the arm and flings her across the shop, accusing her of amorous intent towards the innocent fisherman, and enquiring if he wasn't the amadan mi-cheillidhe to have taken up with a striapach salach the like of yon." Sara Rourke turns, her finger nails seem to bristle, her hair to blaze with the flame of her eyes. The men nudge one another, grinning silently. She flies at Mr. Rourke like a wild cat. The party is somehow bundled into the street, where high war rages for a while. The result is indefinite, an'd suddenly the com batants draw apart and gasp a few secret sentences to one another, in which appear words neither Irish nor English, and having no meaning for the onlookers. Probably they are remnants of the ancient holy language of Celtic druids and metal-workers, fragments of which have descended to a base usage among these outcasts of our population. The child reappears from nowhere in particular, receives a cuff from her mother, and the party, bleeding, sniffling, and completely sober, move on up the str ee t with a scornful glance at the somewhat sheepish-looking spectators, the man slouching heavily .and the woman with head ere c t and the carriage of a queen. Thus they proceed to the next public-house, where a similar scene is enacted. On more than one occasion I have seen the pair of them alternatively drunk and sober three times in the course of a single day. There is no explaining this call of the road, this relentless gipsy fever that flaunts in the veins and harries iTie dreams of one man or woman here and there in the communit y and often in the circle of the quietest hearth in the country-side. It is the voice of the distance. Mrs Rourke is often asked why she prefers her present way of life to the certain and tolerabl y comfortable if monotonous circumstances that might have been hers. Her only reply is, that she is better so. And it is true. "Hills a r e green far -away" ana "'Lows over-seas have long horns." These are Gaelic proverbs perhaps the yet tinglfog echoes of that trumpet-call of far away that led the first Celts to leave their Asiatic plains and to wander westward into the desert emptiness with the phantasies of the sunset in their eyes. 533


THE FUGITIVE By CON O'LEARY The limestone road that leads to townI go along that road; 'Tis soon I'll reach the jetty where The Spanish schooners load. The maiden river trips along To marriage with the sea, A witness to that marriage rite In half an hour I'll be. I'll see the lancers and hussars, I ll step behind the band, I'll dance to Mike the Fiddler's jig Down by the jarvey stand. I'll see the Fenian's monument Who for old Ireland died, I'll watch the merchants' daughters fair, R ich suitors by their side; And then within the circus tent The steeds of piebald brown; The damsel diving through the hoop, The juggler, jock and clown. The children would make game of me And call me Country Dan, But Donal More from this day's dark Will be a city man. The dusty road that leads to town, I've travelled all the road, The Spanish Captain hears my tale And bids me step on board. 53. 4


BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW By LORD DUNSANY PART III I THE AVENGER OF PORDONDARIS I WAS rowing on the Thames not many days after my return from the Yann and drifting eastwards with the fall of the tide away from Westminster Bridge, near which I had hired my boat. All kinds of things were on the water with me-sticks drifting, and huge boats and I was watching, so absorbed, the traffic of that great river that I did not notice I had come to the City until I looked up and saw that part of the Embankment that is nearest to Goby Street. And then I suddenly wond e red what befell Singanee, for there was a stillness about his ivory palace when last I passed it by, which made me think that he had not then returned. And though I had seen him go forth with his terrific spear, and mighty elephant hunter though he was, yet his was a fearful quest, for I knew that it was none other than to avenge Perd6ndaris by sla y in g that monster with the single tusk who had overthrown it suddenly in a day. So I tied up my boat as soon as I came to some steps, and landed and left the Embankment; and about the third street I came to I began to look for the opening of Go by Street; it is very narrow, you hardly notice it at first; but there it was, and soon I was in the old man's shop. But a young man leaned over the counter. He had no information to give me about the old man-he was sufficient in himself. As to the little old door in the back of the shop, "We know nothing about that, sir." So I had to talk to him to humour him. He had for sale on the counter an instrument for picking up a lump of sugar in a new way. He was pleased when I looked at it, and he began to praise it. I asked him what was the use of it, and he said it was of no use, but that it had only been invented ::i week ago and was quite new, and was made of real silver, and was being very much bought. But all the while I was straying towards the back of the shop. When I enquired about the idols there, he said that they were some of the season's novelties, and were a choice selection of mascots; and while I made pretence of selecting one I suddenly saw the wonderful old door. I was through it at once and the young shopkeeper after me. No one was more surprised than he when he saw the street of grass and the purple flowers in it; he ran across in his frock-coat on to the opposite pavement1 and only 535


THE IRISH RE VIEW just stopped in time, for the world ended there. Looking down ward over the pavement's edge he saw, instead of accustomed kitchen windows, white clouds and a wide, blue sky. I led him to the old backdoor of the shop, looking pale and in need of air, and pushed him lightly, and he went limply through, for I thought that the air was better for him on the side of the street that he knew. As soon as the door was shut on that astonished man, I turned to the right and went along the street till I saw the gardens and the cottages, and a little red patch moving in a garden, which I knew to be the old witch wearing her shawl. Come for a change of illusion again?" she said. I have come from London," I said, "and I want to see Sing anee. I want to go to his ivory palace over the elfin mountains, where the amethyst precipice is." Nothing like changing your illusions," she said, "or you grow tired. London's a fine place, but one wants to see the elfin moun tains sometimes." Then you know London," I said. "Of course I do," she said. I can dream as well as you. You are not the only person that can imagine London." Men were toiling dreadfully in her garden ; it was in the heat of the day, and they were digging with spades. She suddenly turned from me and beat one of them over the back with a long black stick that she carried. "Even my poets go to London sometimes," she said to me. Why did you beat that man," I said. "To make him work," she answered. But he is tired," I said. Of course he is," said she. And I looked and saw that the earth was difficult and dry, and that every spadeful that the tired men lifted was full of pearls ; but some men sat quite still and wat c hed the butterflies that flitted about the garden, and the old witch did not beat them with her stick. And when I asked her who the diggers were, she said : They are my poets; they are digging for pearls." And when I asked her what so many pearls were for, she said to me: "To feed the pigs, of course." But do the pigs like pearls?" I said to her. Of course they don't," she said. And I would have pressed the matter further hut that old black cat had come out of the cottage, and was looking at me whimsically and saying nothing, so that I knew I was asking silly questions. And I asked instead why some of the poets were idle and were watching butterflies without being beaten. And she said: The butterflies know where the pearls are 536


BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW hidden and th ey a r e waitin g for o ne t o a li g ht ab ov e the buried treasure. They ca nn o t till th ey k now w h e r e to dig. And all of a sudden a faun ca m e out of a rhododendron forest and began to dance upon a disk of bronze in which a fountain was set; and the sound of his two hoov e s dancing on the bronze was beautiful as bells. Tea-bell," said the witch; and all the poets threw down their spades and followed her into the house, and I followed them; but the witch and all of us followed the black cat, who arched his back and lifted his tail and walked along the garden path of blue enamelled tiles and through the black-thatched porch and the open, oaken door and into a little room, where tea was read y And in the garden the flowers began to sin g and the fountain tinkled o n the disk of bronze And I learned that the fountain came from an otherwise unknown sea, and sometimes it threw gilded fragments up from the wrecks of unheard-of galleons, foundered in storms of some sea that was no where in the world; or battered to bits in wars with we know not whom. Some said that it was salt, because of the sea, and others that it was salt with mariners' tears. And some of the poets took large flowers out of vases and threw their petals all about the room, and others talked two at a time and others san g "Why they are only children after all," I said. Only children repeated the witch, who was pouring out cowslip wine. "Only children," said the old black cat. And everyone laughed at me. I sincerely apologise," I said. I did not mean fo say it. I did not intend to insult anyone "Why he knows nothing at all," said the old black cat. And everyone laughed, till the poets were put to be bed. And then I took one look at the fie lds we know, and turned to t he other window that looks on the elfin mountains. And the evening looked like a sapphire. And I saw my way though the fields were growing dim, and when I had found it I went downstairs and through the witch's parlour, and out of doors, and came that night to the palace of Singanee. Lights glittered through every crystal slab and all were uncurtained-in the palace of ivory. The sounds were those of a triumphant dance. Very haun"ting indeed was the booming of the bassoon; and like the dan g erous advance of some g alloping beast were the blows wielded by a powerful man on the huge, sonorous drum. It seemed to me, as I listened, that the contest oI Singanee with the more than elephantine destroyer of Perd6ndaris had already been set to music. And as I walked in the dark along the amethyst 537


THE IRISH REVIEW prec1p1ce I suddenly saw across it a curved white bridge. It was one ivory tusk. And I knew it for the triumph of Singanee. I knew at once that this curved mass of ivory, that had been dragged by ropes to bridge the abyss, was the twin of the ivory gate that once Perd6ndaris had, and had itself been the destruction of that once famous city-towers and walls and people. Already men had begun to hollow it and to carve human figures life-size along its sides. I walked across it; and half-way across it, at the bottom of the curve, I met a few of the carvers fast asleep. On the opposite cliff by the palace lay the thickest end of the tusk, and I came down by a ladder which leaned against the tusk, for they had not yet carved steps. Outside the ivory palace it was as I had supposed, and the sentry at the gate slept heavily; and though I asked of him per mission to enter the palace, he only muttered a blessing on Singanee and fell asleep again. It was evident that he had been drinking bak. Inside the ivory hall I met with servitors, who told me that any stranger was welcome there that night because they extolled the triumph of Singanee. And they offered me bak to drink to com memorate his splendour, but I did not know its power, nor whether a little or much prevailed over a man, so I said that I was under an oath to a god to drink nothing beautiful ; and they asked me if he could not be appeased by prayer, and I said "In nowise," and went towards the dance, and they commiserated me and abused that god bitterly, Thinking to please me thereby; and then they fell to drinking bak to the glory of Singanee. Outside the curtains that hung before the dance there stood a Chamberlain, and when I told him that though a stranger there, yet I was well known to M ung and Sish and Kib, the gods of Pegana, whose signs I made, he bad me ample welcome. Therefore I questioned him about my clothes, asking if they were not unsuitable to so august an occasion ; and he swore by the spear that had slain the destroyer of Perd6ndaris that Singanee would think it a shameful thing that any stranger not unknown to the gods should enter the dancing-hall unsuitably clad; and there fore he led me to another room, and took silken robes out of an old sea-chest of black and seamy oak, with green copper hasps that were set with a few pale sapphires, and requested me to choose a suitable robe. And I chose a bright green robe, with an under-robe of light blue, which was seen here and there, and a light-blue sword-belt. I also wore a cloak that was dark purple, with two thin strips of dark-blue along the border, and a row of large dark sapphires sewn along the purple between them; it hung down from my shoulders behind me. Nor would the Chamberlain of Singanee let me take 538


BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW any less than this, for he said that not even a stranger, on that night, could be allowed to stand in the way of his master's munificence, which he was pleased to exercise in honour of his victory. As soon as I was attired we went to the dancing-hall, and the first thing that I saw in that full, scintillant chamber was the huge form of Singanee standing among the dancers, and the heads of the men no higher than his waist. Bare were the huge arms that had held the spear that had avenged Perd6ndaris. The Chamberlain led me to him, and I bowed, and said that I gave thanks to the gods to whom he looked for protection; and he said that he had heard my gods well spoken of by those accustomed to pray; but this he said only of courtesy, for he knew not who they were. Singanee was simply dressed, and only wore on his head a plain gold band to keep his hair from falling over his forehead, the ends of the gold being tied at the back with a bow of purple silk. But all his queens wore crowns of great magnificence, though whether they were crowned as the queens of Singanee or whether queens were attracted there from the thrones of distant lands by the wonder of him and the splendour, I did not know. All there wore silken robes of brilliant colours, and the feet of all were bare and very shapely, for the custom of boots was unknown in those regions. And when they saw that my big toes were deformed, in the manner of Europeans, turning inwards towards the others instead of being straight, one or two asked sympathetically if an accident had befallen me. And rather than tell them truly that deforming our big toes was our custom and our pleasure, I told them that I was under the curse of a malignant god, at whose feet I had neglected to offer berries in infancy. And to some extent I justified myself, for Convention is a god, though his ways are evil; and had I told them the truth, I would not have been understood. They gave me a lady to dance with, who was of marvellous beauty; she told me that her name was Saranoora, a princess from the North, who had been sent as tribute to the palace of Singanee. And partly she danced as Europeans dance and partly as the fairies of the waste, who lure, as legend has it, lost travellers to their doom. And if I could get thirty heathen men out of fantastic lands, with their long black hair and little elfin eyes, and instruments of music even un known to Nebuchadnezzar the King; and if I could make them play those tunes that I heard in the ivory palace on some lawn, gentle reader, at evening near your house-then you would understand the beauty of Saranoora, and the blaze of light and colour in that stupen dous hall and the lithesome movement of those mysterious queens that danced round Singanee Then, gentle reader, you would be 539


THE IRISH REVIEW gentle no more, but the thoughts that run like leopards over the far, free lands would come leaping into your head, even were it in London; yes, even in London. You would rise up then and beat your hands on the wall, with its pretty pattern of flowers, in the hope that the bricks might break and reveal the way to the palace of ivory by the amethyst gulf where the golden dragons are. For there have been men who have burned prisons down that the prisoners might escape; and even such incendiaries those dark musicians are who danger ously burn down custom that the pining thoughts may go free. Let your elders have no fear, have no fear. I will not play those tunes in any streets we know. I will not bring those strange musicians here; I will only whisper the way to the Lands of Dream, and only a few frail feet shall find the way, and I shall dream alone of the beauty of Saranoora, and sometimes sigh. (To be continued)


THE MONTESSORI METHOD OF HOME AND SCHOOL EDUCATION By Professor E. T. CU LV ERW ELL. A NEW light has appeared in the educational world. The wonderful advance made by Dr. Maria Montessori, of Rome, in the theory and practice of the home and school education of children up to seven years of age will place her name with those of Pestalozzi and Froebel as one of the greatest in the history of educational progress. This prophecy is justified on two grounds. In the first place, she has devised a method based on, and therefore in accord with, the biological principles of child development-a method which, in its practical application, unites those physiological and psychological laws of which, as educationists have gradually been finding out, every rational system of education must take account. In the second place her method proceeds along the lines which the political develop ment of society inevitably dictates. Let me explain. Long ago Herbert Spencer pointed out that the type of education always follows the type of society-in a monarchical state, for instance, arbitrary authority will be a far more important factor in school discipline than in a republic. Hence the Montessori method, being founded on the idea of liberty, fulfils an essential condition of democratic education, and the future of all civilised states will be democratic. Furthermore, it seems to offer some security against the danger of democracies, that liberty may degenerate into license on the one hand and tyranny on the other. For in her little pupils, freedom soon ceases to be license and becomes self-control, which is developed to an extent very remarkable in such young children. (In this connection it may be well to state that in the Montessori schools the atmosphere has always been religious, and in this, so far as scientific psychology can offer any guidance, she has been alto gether wise). Thus discipline and steady application are obtained without the spur of rewards or punishments, save so far as occupa tion is a reward, and idle playing with toys a punishment. No doubt there is nothing new in this Utopian result. In other schools-notably that of the late Colonel Parker in America for instance-the pupils have been like a happy family, each helping the other, loving their teachers and loving their work so well that no ex ternal motive of reward or punishment was needed. But these results were almost wholly due to personal qualities. You read C9lonel Parker's book, and you feel that if you were Colonel Parker, 541


THE IRISH REVIEW you might use his methods successfully, but that, being what you were, the attempt would result in chaotic disorder. With the Montessori method it is different. It depends on principles which all may learn, rather than on personal qualities which few possess. Dr. Montessori brought to her work scientific qualifi cations hitherto unequalled among educational pioneers. About fifteen years ago, as assistant doctor at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Rome, she had to frequent the Insane Asylums of the city. She became specially interested in the thyroid treatment of idiot children, which was then attracting the attention of the medical world. Thus she was led to study the methods of education for the mentally deficient devised by Dr. E. Seguin, and became r.on vinced that the problem was educational rather than medical. For tunately the Italian Minister of Education recognised her merit, and she was given the opportunity of teaching in a Medical Pedagogic Institute, where the idiot children from the Insane Asylums were brought together. Here she took charge of them for two years, and either taught or was present from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. without interrup tion. Becoming convinced that methods similar to those of Seguin would apply to normal children, she then gave up this and all other work to prepare herself for this task. She registered herself as a student of philosophy; she studied current methods for normal education; but above all, she devoted herself to the study of Seguin's work. Inspired by it, and as part of her preparation, she devised a method of teaching reading and writing to idiot children, which enabled them to pass the public examination for normal children. While others were marvelling that idiots could be brought to the standard of normal children, she was searching for the reasons why the normal child did not far surpass these well-taught idiots. She withdrew from active work among deficients, giving herself over to meditation and to a deeper study of Seguin and his predecessor, Itard, also a Frenchman. In 1906 came her opportunity. She was invited to organise the infant schools of certain model tenements in Rome. In each school she gathered together fifty or sixty little tots from 21to 6 years of age, leaving them full liberty of individual action. There, for eight to ten hours each day, they live and learn and w..:>rk and eat and sleep and teach. Observe-and teach. Not themselves, indeed, but their teachers. That is one of the secrets of Dr. Montessori's success. She brought to her work high scientific attainments and knowledge of physiological psychology; in short, quafifications and gifts beyond those of any of her great predecessors, and then? Then she let the little children teach her. She brings us back through the long centuries in which child nature was mis-542


THE MONTESSORI METHOD understood and mutilated to another region and an earlier time, when mothers pondered in their hearts the sayings and doings of their children; when one of the greatest of Jewish teachers wrote that he had learned much from his teachers, more from his fellow scholars, but most of all from his pupils; and when the greatest of all teachers said of little children, that of such was the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus, in reading her book,* we learn again the old lesson which all great thinkers teach us. In a new sense perhaps, and yet not wholly new, she shows us, as they do, that except we become as little children, casting off old prejudices and ready with receptive mind to receive the truth as it is in nature, we cannot enter into the King dom of truth. It would be out of the question, within the limits of space of a single short article, to give any idea of the technique of the method; even the principle on which it is based can be indicated in outline only. Primarily, Dr. Montessori regards the little child as a growing organism, and seeks to divine the laws of its growth as much through observation of the child as through physiological knowledge. This is no new position; the more scientific among the educational phycho logists have long sou ght to follow these lines. To this end there has been much observation of the pupil in school, and the results of many experiments, both physiological and psycholo gical, have been tabulated and discussed. But Dr. Montessori holds, and as the writer thinks with justice, that these experi periments are vitiated at the outset, because they are not made on children in their free and natural condition, but on children who have been cribbed, cabined and confined by the restric tions of the schoolroom. It would be absurd indeed for the naturalist to study the habits of the fauna of the forest by making a series of careful observations on their representatives in the Zoological Gardens, because, deprived of their liberty, their nature is altered. Perhaps the analogy puts the case rather too strongly, yet it to illustrate the point. The essence of child life is bodily activity and movement, especially of the larger muscles; the essence of the schoolroom is immobility, especially of the larger muscles It results that we are observing, not the free organism of the child in its normal condition, but rather an organism constrained and impeded in regard to the most fundamental of all its activities. Recognising this, Dr. Montessori in observing children paid especial attention to the signs by which one judges that the free spontaneous effort of the child is thwarted She said--what is indeed evident to all observers of children-that to little children it is the *"The Montessori Method." Heinemann. 7s. 6d. net. 543


, ltHE 1RiSH process which gives satisfaction, rather than the end : that where the adult looks on action or process as a means to an ulterior end, to the little child the process is not a means, but is itself the end. This is no new discovery. What is new is to recognise its importance, to see that this simple fact involves a radical change in the whole system of education. Few will be surprised at an incident she recounts:-" Once I saw a baby of about a year and a half, a beautiful smiling child, who was working away, trying to fill a little pail by shovelling gravel into it. Beside him was the sort of nurse who would consider that she gave the child the most affectionate and intelligent care. It was time to go home and the nurse was patiently exhorting the child to leave his work and let her put him into the baby-carriage. Seeing that her exhortations made no impression on the little fellow's firm ness, she herself filled the pail with gravel and set pail and baby in the carriage with the fixed conviction that she had given him what he wanted. I was struck by the loud cries of the child, and by the ex pression of protest against violence and injustice which wrote itself on his little face. The little boy did not wish to have the pail full of gravel, he wished to go through the motions necessary to fill it, thus satisfying a need of his vigorous organism. It was the feeling of working towards this satisfaction which, a few moments before, had made his face so rosy and smiling; spiritual joy, exercise and sun shine were the three rays of light ministering to his splendid life." But how many would have built on this a new system of educa tion? Thus to grasp the significance of the most familiar facts of daily life, and thus successfully to apply them-that is genius. And it is a wise, a kindly and a humorous genius, wljiich carries the obser vation further and shews that even in adults, the mere continued repetition of a process may be the source of unbounded satisfaction. On this basis of physiological freedom the Doctoressa Montes sori has founded her system. She has devised the appropriate means for grafting the restrained activities of civilized life on the exuberant nature of the child, not, as in the older methods, by checking that in-born enthusiasm; she directs it, or rather, by well devised environ ment, she leads the child to direct it of himself. Freedom, self restrained, is moral freedom, and thus in this system, and following these principles, we are led by a surer road than ever to character, as the truest end of education. In Trinity College, Dublin, a scholarship has been allotted to a student to enable her to be trained in Rome under Dr. Montessori, and a second Irish lady is going, at her own expense, to teach in Ire land. Will the readers o'f The Irish Review assist in giving Insh children the benefit of this great regenerating influence? 544


A WESTERN SANCfUARY By E. PHIBBS TO the north of the wild trad of country which embraces L\.ughris Head, where the Slieve Gamph or Ox Mountains meit into the plain, and the meadow lands pf Sligo County mingle with the bogs of Mayo-and southwards of the wild coast of Donegal, three narrow and shallow lochs break the of the coast. Three mountain bluffs here challenge the inroads of the Atlantic -Ben Whiskey, Ben Bulben, and Knockarea. The glacial period which scored all three, has marked in its retreat the first two by a rich heritage of Apline flora, alien to the vegetation of the plain. To the third belongs a different interest. Crowned at its summit by a gigantic stone earn, commonly known as Misgaun, or Meddscarn; a mound full of mystery which no arche ologist has as yet had the hardihood to probe; the shoulder of Knocknarea, as it stretches inland, is thickly strewn with monoliths, to which the Breton folks would give the name of Dolmen; these congeries of sculptures mark out this district as having been in early times a great Necropolis. Their origin is still debateable and far to seek; the subject this paper is intended to deal with, though it belongs to the dim ages of primitive Irish Christianity, is far less remote; it concerned with one of the early sanctuaries of the west, dedicated to the memory of a disciple of St. Patrick. Just where the bluff of Knocknarea faces the full fury of the Atlantic, on the furthest extremity of its western point, you will see if you look attentively enough, a little mass of rude stone work hardly to be distinguished in colour from the wet grey-green sand which lies around it. Indeed the tripper who bicycles in summer time along the mountain road which girdles Knocknarea-and, in fact, even the more educated English tourist who takes that routine drive-is hardly made aware by his guide book that his far-off shapeless mass, was once a flourishing centre of religious life, a Church girt with its Cashel, or fortress-like enclosure, and that it had as its founder, either the patron saint of Ireland or his disciple, Bishop Bron or Bronus. The name of the Church at once conveys that meaning, Kilas pubrone Church of Bishop Bron the surrounding Cashel was called Caissel Irre or Western Cashel. Indeed, Kilaspubrone to day, which still gives its name to the whole parish, is used as a place of burial for many miles around. Petrie, the great Irish Archeologist and Antiquarian, while : :S45


THE IRISH REVIEW a.scribing its foundation to Saint Patrick, fell into the error of thinking that this very building itself could be ascribed to the Patron Saint of Ireland. The ruins we see to-day do not in reality date much further back than the eleventh century; all we see are the remains of much more extensive buildings. It is not possible to say how Christianity came to be located here, not at least with any certainty. In those far distant times these Sligo lands, which to-'day still favour the growth of thick underwood, were doubtless thickly covered with timber of all sorts; those forests then harboured the enemies of the civilising influence which then as now followed the cross, therefore these wild dunes, inhospitable and austere, probably presented a variety of advantages to the Evangelists. For them no doubt, the easiest highway then was the sea; a land journey presented hidden and unseen dangers, and the unforested shore was a suitable vantage ground whence to observe and outwit the approach of their foes; besides, these dunes are very common to this part of the coast-we find them north of the Sligo bay in Donegal, and no doubt they seemed less austere in St. Patrick's time than they seem to us, who envisage them from the spur of Knocknarea The Church, surrounded by its Cashel, had no entrance from the seaside, but there are traces of a western doorway high up the gable; the one on the southern side is peculiar, and has been de.scribed by Petrie as an example of a semi-circular arch without imposts. The east window is very small and deep set, and there are rude remains of an altar. To a mind like that of St. Patrick, full of the grandeur of the scenery of Croaghpatrick, whence he had probably just come, these dunes round Caissel Irre may have seemed tame indeed. The Mayo mountain had been the Saint's Arabia, and his Lenten fast up there had had its mystic spell of vision and ecstasy. But as well here as on top of his lofty hermitage, Patrick would find the pigments which made up his nature pictures in those hymns of his, which have come down to us. As we read Mrs. Alexander's rendering of his word-painting in St. Patrick's Breastplate, we feel that the grandeur of this wild Irish scenery could not have been better expressed: I bind unto myself to-day The virtues of the starlit heaven, The glorious sun's life-giving ray, The whiteness of the moon at even; The flashing of the lightning free, The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks, The stable earth, the deep salt sea, Around the old eternal rocks. 546


A WESTERN SANCTUARY We witness here, in this wild open space of sea and sky, the building up of the stormcloud, lashed in winter into fury by the vehemence of the Atlantic gale; it travels at lightning speed, shrouding the entire seaboard and drenching the dunes, till they fake on a shade of deepest ochre. There is no sublime grandeur of old eternal rocks on these bare strands. Achill, in Mayo, the cliffs of Moher in Clare, or even Aughris Head has much which at first sight suggests the grand and the austere aspect of nature; but as we look up, on fair day or foul, watching the clouds fashion themselves and take shape according to the temper of the day, grouping their wild masses into ever-changing shapes, drawing substance now from the ocean salt, now from the moisture of the dunes, we feel how much there was even here to bring inspiration and to draw forth from the Irish Evangelist that deep sympathy and appreciation of the majesty of natural beauty. Nowhere has the spirit of place changed so little as just round this little sanctuary of the extreme west, and just as little as vary the elemental parts of natural things, so too, human methods and the hearts of men vary only on the surface, change in direction but not in kind. Thus the missionary journeys of St. Patrick have a close resemblance to evangelistic methods in other climes to-day. Then as now the Bishop founded his Church with its nucleus of dwellings around it. In Connacht itself Patrick planted fifty Churches, and for centuries this one was the focus of a vigorous spiritual life. It lost its prominence only when other religious foundations sprung up further inland, as the country became de forested and a measure of security for life and property grew up, and the fat meadow lands were tenanted by communities of friars, who appreciated the rich soil and the rivers teeming with fish. Before religious establishments were common in this district, the Mission Churches were always planted on the coast. Thus Bally sodare on the bay of the same name, and Drumcliff at the northern extremity of Sligo Bay, were founded in very early days. The latter owed its existence to St. Columba, and dates back to 574; it still possesses a most interesting ancient cross and a round tower. The Clate when this particular sanctuary of Kilaspubrone came into existence, however, is uncertain. It has been referred to a da. te between the year 432, when Patrick first journeyed here from Mayo, and 463, the date of his decease. Bron, after whom the Church was called, was son of Icne, chief of the district, and one of Patrick's earliest converts and disciples. He lived to an advanced age, and died June 8th, 511, and was a friend of St. Brigid, who died in 52 5. It is due, no doubt, to the materialism which invaded so many 547


.TllE lRlSH REVIEW departments 9f thought during the middle of the nineteenth century, that a writer of the type of Professor G. Stokes, in his lrelat!-d and tke Celtic Chzpch, deprecated and passed 9ver all evidence con nected with St. Patrick's miracles ; certainly it would be easy to make too much of them! The marvellous credulity of the medieval mind gave currency to stories which are quite incredible to-day, and if we may pardon that doughty Irish Protestant for dismissing the legend which connects St. Patrick's tooth with this very spot, we can hardly exonerate him for passing over in silence all mention of his visit to Connacht. Subsequent writers, differing widely in their point of view, both mention the story and connect it with this place; the legend, which is quoted from Wood-Martin's book, where he copies from the Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, edited by Whitley Stokes, is given here with all reserve : Patrick marked out Caissel Irre, and in the middle of the Hal) stands the flagstone on which his tooth fell, and which he gave U Bron as a mark of affection. Patrick prophesied that this place would be deserted by the heathen, which thing came to pass." The relic survived the tumult of later years; in the fourteenth century we hear that one of the family of Birmingham, the sixth Baron Athenry, who died 1374, having held lands in this part of Ireland, made a shrine for the tooth, ornamenting it with brass. But neither the relic nor its case escaped the fury of the wars which harassed Ireland endured since those days. There is another story connected with this place, more poetic and less thaumaturgic. It is also quoted from the same source: "While Patrick was biding at Duna Graid, ordaining the great host, he smiled: 'What is that?' said Benen. 'Not hard to say,' saith Patrick. 'Bron and Monk 01can are coming towards me along the strand of Eothaile,* and my pupil MacErae is with them. The wave of the flood made a great dash at them, and the boy was afraid.' When we read this to-day, with all the inrush of fresh psycholo gical knowledge of the sub-lirninal self, with its mysterious zones of consciousness, depths which we here below may perhaps never sound, and which yet are so very tempting to explore, it may be possible to understand how Patrick, who must have been in close touch with the spiritual nature of his disciples, may have seen with the eyes of his soul the lad MacErae and Bron his pupil corning to greet him along those Sligo dunes. For, notwithstanding the absence of dangerous cliffs, these shores have their own special dangers, and *Located in Sligo 54&


A WESTERN SANCTUARY still the waters take their toll of human lives, the great Atlantic rollers, as they break on th e se strands year af ler year, carry off many a foolhardy or too adventurous swimmer. To his pupil, then, the lad MacErae, Patrick was sending a protecting prayer-thought to shield hiin from these dangers. In all reverence, we may recall the fear of greater disciples calmed by the voice of the greatest of Teachers, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" There are comparatively only a few days in the year when the thunder of the waves ceases to be heard around the Church of Bronus, but these are indeed days of mystic beauty Then the solemn calm of nature intensifies the calm of the imagination, for here, far away from the hum of the highway of life, no mundane voice breaks the spirit's intercourse with nature, and a serene tranquility possesses us. Perhaps to the modern Celtic occultist, half pagan in his men tality, this solitude makes no appeal; he will seek his inspiration in the haunted glen on yonder side of Knocknarea, or look for it on the summit of the mountain where tradition, re-inforced by the poetic vision, has placed the clash of Ireland's earliest conflict with its well nigh mythic foes. There are others, however, to whom both interests are common, and surely on these bare dunes, by the rough walls of Kilaspubrone, we may find abundant scope for every fancy, which kindles amid solemn natural beauty, and by the shore of the deep salt sea." 549


THE CROCK OF GOLD By D. O'B. T HIS latest book* by the brilliant young author of "The Char woman's Daughter" and Insurrections" is a very uncon ventional piece of writing, and one, we may submit, that could only have been written by an Irishman. In like manner we are convinced that the strange carnival of beings who alternately frolic and philosophise through these delightful and occasionally bewildering pages are exclusively native to the moun tains of Eirinn. We may declare at once that it is well for Irefand, too long regarded as the mournful and weary outcast among the nations, that she is able at this period of her history to produce a book so abounding in ph ysi c al health and v ivacity and delight in all that is simple and kind Mr. Stephens has g on e up into the Dublin mountains, leaving behind him at the outskirt s of R a thfarnham much o f the lumber of barren knowledge accumulated b y the city-dweller, and with an open heart and child-like wonder has sought out the elemental beings in their shining dwelling-places, and afte r reading The Crock of Gold it is easy for us to see that he has trafficked with the fairies and has come down again from th e ir sunn'y marts with none the worst of the bargain. Also, it is clear that he has lingered long enough in that quaint company to learn much of the manners and customs of beings wholly unknown to the sophisticated modern man. He has eaten and drunk with cluricauns in their tunnelled houses, and has shared the stored wisdom of many a bean-a'tighe of the Sidhe. We may even surmise that, like Seaumas and Brigid Beg he has played leap-frog with a leprechaun. It has been asserted that the quality of gaiet y may be sought for in vain through the literature of Anglo-Ireland, and indeed of the English-speaking peoples in general. Mr. Stephens has shown that there is one heart at least in Ireland still capable at moments of the capers and laughter of a c hild in the morning of the world. It seems to be Mr Stephen's good-fortune that he has never quite been able to grow up. He is the Pete r -Pan of the literature of the day. There are passages in The Crock of Gold that are almost uncanny in their penetration into the minds of little ones and in that quality of inconsequent and unreasonable merriment that is the heritage only of children and fairies-and perhaps of the gods. The leprechaun, *The Crock of Gold. By Jam es Stephens. Macmillan 6s. 550


THE CROCK OF GOLD meeting the two children in the wood, asks them their names, and having learnt them, disappears. "That's a nice Leprechaun,'' said Seumas. I like him too,'' sai d Brigid. Listen, said Seumas, let me be the Leprechaun, and you be the two children, and I will ask you our names.'' So they did that. Or again, when Seumas and Brigid are m the cave within the "Gort na Cloca Mora." While the children were eating, the Leprechauns asked them many ques-tions: "What time do you get up in the morning?" Seven o'clock," replied Seumas. "And what do you have for breakfast?" Stirabout and milk," he replied. It's good food,'' said the Leprechaun. And what do you have for supper?" Brigid answered this time because her brother's mouth was full. Bread and milk, sir,'' said she. ''There's nothing better,'' said the Leprechaun. And then we go to bed," continued Brigid. Why shouldn't you?" said the Leprechaun. But beyond such delightful things as these, there is in this book much thought of a curious and whimsical kind. Mr. Stephens's philosophy, always interesting, is at its best fresh and arresting, and sometimes profound, and at its worst somewhat vague and ill digested. Though perhaps he is unaware of it himself, the author possesses the gift of conveying his radiant and Pantheistic view of life in some subtle way between the lines of his descriptions of external nature and physical beauty, and the reasoned insistente of his thought upon the lips of many of the characters as the book progresses constitutes, we think, a certain weakness in a story like this, in that the clean, carless, physical atmosphere is for the time being to some extent clouded. This does not apply to his salient and elfin aphorisms on the relations of the sexes; which are always admirable. Perhaps "The Crock of Gold" suffers in coherence by reason of its odd medley of style. The outset of the story, with its charm ing characterisations of the two philosophers and their wives and those wholly adorable children, Seumas and Brigid, almost suggests Hans Andersen in the quaint simplicity and humour of its diction and naive and sly wisdom. Yet a more seriously philosophical 55I


THE IRISH REVIEW manner soon asserts itself and when P a n appears to Caitilin ni Murrachu, after a p assag e of ex traordinary lyrical beauty (anal y sing the timid awakenin g o f a young girl's he a rt to desire) that seems to suffuse even the printed page with the sunlight and witchery of spring, the god's utterances seem somehow to hold a strange wander ing echo from "Also Sprach Zarathustra." Altogether, we would suggest that the contrasting influences of Pan and Aengus Og would have been more convincingly set forth had the former been repre sented as a more wholly instinctive being. Again, towards the end of the book, when in the prison the thieves relate their histories to the philosopher, the mordant realism and tense nervous psychology almost approaches the manner of the great Russian novelists. Indeed this scene, though in itself an extremely impressive and pathetic piece of writing, creates a certain disharmony when considered in relation to the general scheme of the book. But these are small blemishes on one of the most remarkable novels that has appeared in recent days. It is for the exfatic sweet ness and love inherent in his pictures of summered nature among those ancient haunted glens and hill-slopes, and for his over-brim ming-sympathy for the souls of children and animals that we are most g-rateful to Mr. Stephens. Those of us who know and love the Dublin mountains in more than a superficial deg-ree need never again wander lonely over stony and wind-swept Kilmasheogue, for beyond every ridg-e we may expect to come on the Thin Woman of Innis Magrath, whose "ability for anger was unbounded," in !ichly phrased squabble with the foo sensitive Fat Woman, or to meet with Caitlin ni M urrachtl, the most beautiful girl in the whole world strayingin the little lonely valleys radiant in her unclothed innocence or dabbling her bright feet in the mountain streams And the twi lig-ht gfoom of the enchanted pine wood of Glen-dhu will hold an added fascination and terror when we remember that at any moment we may encounter the Philosopher and find ourselves constrained to listen to one of his interminaole d iscourses on natural history and phenomena and their analog-ous applications to human life. Some of us, foo, will never be able to look at a tinker's ass-tart without recalling the ass that was kicked on the nose when required to proceed, and went backwards at the hoarse shout of "hilCe," and "if one continued walking-, no .thinghappened, and that was happiness," an incident related with a tenderness and pity that almost brings tears to the eyes. Finally we would recommend all who care to spend a few hours with one who understands the nature of kindliness and g-aiety as 'few authors may to read Mr. Stephens's new book without delay.


SOME ASPECTS OF THE CELTIC MOVEMENT By MO/REEN FOX I HA VE before me two interesting publications from France. is a booklet entitled La Litterature ldandaise Contempor aine, by Jean Malye (E. Sansot et Cie, Paris; fr.) in which a very friendly sketch of Irish literature is given. M. Malye deserves much at our hands, for he has a genuine enthusiasm for Ireland and the Celtic revival here, and has even learnt Irish and taught it in Paris. In this book he endeavours to make his fellow-countrymen realise the great past and the promise of a great future in Irish literature. It is evidently the result of much painstaking effort to appreciate and interpret Irish thought and literature, and a further interest is added to the book by the fact that he has translated a number of Anglo-Ir-ish poems into French. Though some of our best poets are left out and some of our worst included, it would be ungracious to criticise harshly anything written in so friendly and sympathetic a spirit as this little book. The other and more important publication is a number of a periodical in which a call to arms has been sounded not only to all the scattered Celtic countries, but to the submerged Celt of Gaul and of all those countries once forming part of the great Celtic Empire. A League has been formed in Paris by various writers and poets, which has adopted the name of La Ligue C eltique Francaise, which issues this magazine, La Poetique, 39 Rue Artoi, Paris, where news from Celtic countries and translations from and criticisms of Celtic poets appear. The following quotations from an article by the President, M Robert Pelletier, will give some idea of the aims of the League : La Gaule a subi deux conquetes romaines: celle de Cesar, guerriere et brutale, celle des humanistes de la Renaissance intellectueile et sournoise. Clovis, a la tete des Gaulois, unis aux Francs, delivra le SO'I celtique de la domination romaine. Nous appelons aux armes tous !es intellectuels de France pour liberer !es a.mes du prejuge romain. En France, nous nous trouvons en face d'un peuple qui, moralement et physiquement, a conserve hereditairement tous les traits de I

THE IRISH REVIEW La France entiere est peuplee de ces Celtes hesitants, ecrases sous !es prejuges de la fausse science et du snobisme, ce sont eux qu'il faut atteindre par une propagande inceisante. 11 fault pour cela etablir une organisation puissante. N 'otre Ligue est deja forte, il faut qu'elle le soit davantage. Le Celtisme n'est pas une fantaisie litteraire qui peut se contenter de lecteurs plus ou moms bienveillants. 11 lui faut des propogandistes, ii lui faut des ap6tres. Nous avons en main, les manuscrits d'ouvrage dont !'argumentation est indiscutable et qui prouvent: Que plusieurs milliers de. mots frarn;:ais viennent du celtique; Que plusieurs milliers de mots latins viennent du celtique; Que la presque totalite du bas-latin est d'origine celtique. Nous nous efforcerons de donner a notre cause la force invincible de ,la plus grande beaute, et le peuple seduit abandonnera, pour nous suivre, les rheteurs qui tentent de le rattacher a une civilisation vieillie, corrompue, a demi-morte. Que clans chaque ville, clans chaque region, les Celtes prennent, l'initiative de se reunir regulierement aux jours de rntes traditionnelles. Qu'i ls ressuscitent !es vieilles coutumes endormies : la rnte du soleil, le feu de la Saint-Jean, ta cueillette du gui. From Ireland, the pre-eminently Celtic country, the spiritual head of the Celtic nations, there will surely be given no uncertain welcome to this movement, especially now when ideas of some prac tical and outward sign of the unity of the Celtic races are forming in our midst. There is deep significance in this awakening and drawing to gether of the Celts of all nations. It is though some sub-conscious part of the Celts were aware of the neck and neck race between the downfall of the civilisation which England typifies and the effort of that civilisation to destroy the spiritual life of the Celt, and were rousing the conscious part to a supreme effort for victory. For let no one imagine that the ideals of the Celt and the ideals of whatever Latin or Teuton races have inherited the Empire of Rome can co exist in the same people. The one is absolutely destructive to the other. The ideal of the one race is beauty, whether in the mould of life or the spirit of action, the ideal of the other is power. There is only one kind of power that does not destroy beauty, and that is spiritual power-that the Celts once possessed, and on that was their Empire founded. The power of the Latin and Teuton is material 554


SOME ASPECTS OF THE CELTIC MOVEMENT power, and these two are like night and day-fire and water-perhaps both necessary for the development of the world, but yet mutually destructive. As the Romans destroyed the liberties of the Celts, so their successors have destroyed all but a remnant of the Celtic mental and spiritual life, and it is a truism that when one race imposes its life and thought on another the worst of both races is fostered in the con quered people, the best destroyed. When the alien methods of an alien race were imposed on the Celt his devotion to the Clan degene rated with jobbery and faction. A denationalised Irish mob is more brutal than even the brutal mobs of England, they will resort to methods of which even Englishmen would be ashamed; witness the scenes in Dublin not long ago when it was not safe for a woman to walk about alone, and the behaviour of the Celtic race in Wales at a recent meeting of Mr. Lloyd George. These scenes alone would show the depth of degradation the Celts will sink into when the blight of an alien civilization has spread over them. It is well known that in every nature capable of great and noble things is an equally great capacity for all that is ignoble and vile once that fine instinct for nobility has been destroyed. In denationalised Celts this has taken place, and this change of character, like the black wind of the Fomor, the misshapen Gods of ugliness and darkness is what is destroying all that is of value in Celtic countries, with a more sure and irrevocable destruction than all the massacres of the Roman soldiery, with their burning and sacking of great cities, ever accom plished. Anglicised Ireland has lost the insight, the nobility, the worship of beauty which characterises the Celt, and it has not acquired the certain hard virtues which, among many other things, not virtues, has enabled England to forge a great material empire and civilizationand yet I am wrong in calling this civilization English-let us face the facts squarely, this alien civilization comes to us largely through England, but it is really European: it is Latin and Teuton Europe and America, the mental inheritors of the Roman Empire, that we are out against to-day. The battle Vercingetorix fought is yet unde cided, notwithstanding his apparent failure, and all the intervening centuries. As he realised that either the life of his nation or that of the Roman Empire must die in Gaul, one or the other, so must we realise that either the Gaelic civilization or European ideals must die in Ireland, one or the other. In one sense, England did not begin to conquer Ireland till, per haps, 100 years ago. Up to that time Irish liberties were indeed enslaved, but the spirit of the Nation, as a whole, remained free and 555


THE IRISH REVIEW unstained. Since tlien, every year has witnessed a more potent con quest than Cromwell's soldiers ever boasted, for it is a conquest of the spirit. Let me make myself clear: I do not refer solely to the fact that only a few optimists seriously consider that without fresh oppresive laws Ireland will ever rise in armed revolt, but I refer chiefly to the blight that is spreading over the people, the change of ideals, the rarity of that fine spirit of noblesse oblige, so characteristic Df the kingly Irish race-as how should it not be, when it was from the Celts that chivalry first sprang? These are more terrible and far reaching signs of threatened calamity than are emigration or the decay of any material prosperity. It is well that' we should realise the odds that are against us, that we may see the importance of any endeavour to unite all Celtic nations into a common brotherhood, even as the clans were united under one King. We can ill afford to loose the friendly co-operation of the smallest Celtic people, whether they have maintained, more or less, the Celtic ideals in their purity, for once these have vanished out of Ireland no amount of self-government or prosperity will be of any avail, Ireland then will be nothing more than an extension of England. Yet, though it is perhaps a vain dream, I would often hope that this beauty-hating age will bring its own destruction upon itself before the last sparks of Celtic life have been stamped out, and from its ruins will spring a new Celtic Empire of mind and life-an Empire that will have gathered to itself some of the worldly strength and wisdom of the Teuton, for to have wisdom in both material and spiritual worlds is greater than even much wisdom in one ..


REVIEWS SYNGIE IN DUTCH. J. M Synge: De Heiligenbron; tooneelspel in drie bedrijven; Vertaling van L. Simons. Amsterdam, 191a. '' The Well of the Saints '' has always seemed to the writer of this note humanly the most interesting and artistically the most perfect of Synge' s plays. That this judgment has not the fault of prejudice is suggested by its being also the opinion, in the main, of Europe. "The Well of the Saints Ji was in the author's lifetime translated into more than one foreign tongue. It now appears in Dutch; rendered into that language by one of the most intellectual and dis tinguished men of letters in the Netherlands, Mr. Leo Simons. And Mr. Simons does not issue it in an expensive form for the curiosity of amateurs, ,but bound in linen, well printed, with a portrait of Synge, and a short introduction touching the position of Irish dramatic literature as it stood at the time of our friend's lamented death. I am under the impression that the number of persons in Ireland possessing a copy of The Well of the Saints is extremely select : in Holland the play appears in the comp a n y of those of Tols toi Gorki, Shaw, and others of international importance, and in the format I have described, at the price of forty cents.-that is eightpence. It is true that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is inhabited by six million p e ople, mostjly knowing their own minds. In his introduction, Mr. Simons thus, in brief, describes the play: An almost symbolical .drama of two blind beggars, who, recovering their sight by a miracle, and then falling blind again; rather than be cured once more, choose blindness, that they may dream beauty for themselves and the world. Symbolic of the Irish people and is it not of many more beside, all eager to flee from ugly reality, the sober no slower than the fantastic, though each may choose his own way. The play reads w ell in Mr. Simons' virile Dutch; take, for instance Martin Doul's terrible rejoinder to the Saint when he rebukes him for his indifference to the visual joys of earth '' and the image of the Lord thrown upon men.'' "Dat zijin me heerlijke gezichten, heilige Vad e r Wat heb ik't eerst gezien as ik mijn oogen opende dan uw blo e d e nde v oeten gekerfd door de steenen? Dat was een mooi schouwspel, mag zijn, v a n Gods 1 beeld En wat was 't dat ik gezien heh mijn l aatsten dag, w a t anders d a n de boos-heid van de He! g l urend uit de oogen van de deem, die u gekomen bent om te huwen-God mag't u vergeven-met Timmy de smid. Dat w a s een groot schouwspel, mag zijn En waren 't geen grootsche dingen d i e ik g e zien h e b op de wegen als de N oorden winden er over joegen en de luchten guur, tot je de paarden en de ezels en de honden zelf, mag zijn, d'r koppen z a g lateh h a n g en en d'r oogen sluiten This passage h a s much of the force a nd to n e of the orginal. Mr. Styn 557


THE IRISH REVIEW Streuvels might have given it an even more provocative rasp than has Mr. Simons; but the Flemish writer would, I imagine, be baffled by Synge's flamboyant vocabulary. CONAL O'RIORDAN. THE LAND WAR IN IRELAND. The Land War in Ireland. By Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. Stephen Swift and Co. ros. 6d. At intervals, as if by some effort of reaction from their surroundings, England throws up men inspired by a fine passion for liberty who are pretty certain at one time or another to come into violent contact with the prevailing authority. Exiles of literature in another age like Shelley or Byron find somewhat similar counterparts in men of our generation like Mr. Cunninghame Graham, Mr. Nevinson, or the author of the present book. These men, natives of a country distinguished for nothing more than for its insularity and for a certain intellectual inhospitality, have been all alike remarkable for a human sympathy with the intellectual and social ideas of un-English peoples, and they have suffered the consequences. I do not know whether Mr. Nevinson has been yet to gaol. Mr. Graham certainly has, and in the frontispiece to this book Mr. Wilfrid Blunt in the prison clothes of H.M. Irish prisons carries a convict's cap with an air that changes that dull round and top of servitude into the authentic cap of liberty. Mr. Blunt's book has two chief values. Being a personal narrative of events in Ireland, from the General Election of 1885 to the break-up of the Parnell movement in 18911 it supplements Davitt's "Fall of Feudalism in Ireland" and Mr. Barry O'Brien's Life of Parnell." It has the value of a contemporary historical document, the record of a man versed in public affairs and accustomed to watch from close quarters the springs of political actions. More than that, it is the revelation, at times eloquent, but always unaffected of an unusually highminded and generous spirit. The Land War in '' is the transcript of a diary, and its interest is as a natural consequence largely one of personalities. But it is neither one of these political diaries transcribed w ; th one eye on the originals and the other on the current newspaper controversy, nor one of those revelatory autobiographies furnished w ith everything except an index to enable us to snigger in comfort over insults to our friends. It is at once candid and chivalrous. In no other spirit should an intimate journal be written or published of a revolution in which so much that was good and evil worked and fought. His political principles, precisely because they were principles, would have made Mr. Blunt a mauvais coucheur in any political party. His consistency could not swing true to the party pendulum, and we find him, in 1885, standing 558


REVIEWS as a Home Rule candidate against Gladstone in Camberwell, and in 1886 against Chamberlain in West Birmingham. His conservatism recognised nationalism as a necessary ingredient, and was so far from being based on the defence of property as such that he confesses a simple delight in the conduct of the mob in the Trafalgar Square riot-'' the first time a mob has attached property on principle.'' '' I have never,'' he writes at this date, '' been able to understand how the poor let the rich off so cheaply. My sympathy is with the destructive part of socialism. It is only the constructi ve part I cannot stomach." It is a vain thing to expect many men of such detached and disinterested views among politicians, but if there had been many more of his opinion the Irish land agitation would not have stereotyped the opposition to Home Rule in Ireland and in England into caste divisions. In the spring of 1886 his Irish odyssey began, carrying him at once to the storm-centres of the agrarian movement in Donegal and in Connacht and Munster. The account of his journeyings, which were so planned as to include prison interiors in Galway and Kilmainham-for Mr. Blunt is no non-combatantsupplies a fascinating series of vignettes of the protagonists and camp-followers of the land wars. They stretch from Connemara to Cairo, and both the scene of battle and the point of view is always changing. The entries record intermin able car-drives, endless interviews, the gross country pol i tical dinners in the midst of whose plenty the writer hungered and thirsted in Mahommedan and teetotal nonconformity, and always the evictions seen from the standpoint of ihe next village, of the rent-office, of the Imperial Hotel, of the English country house, of Westminster, of Rome. A wide space between Leo XIII. in the Vatican to the two sad-visaged proprietors of the lugubrious inn of Gort is starred with picturesque and strenuous personalities encountered in that circuit. Landlords and tenants, bishops and curates, Chief Justices and Warders are set down simply and strongly, not with the pen of a merely alert observer, but of one passionately engaged on the right side of a secular and universal quarrel. These portraits are built up of scattered strokes. Of Dr. Duggan, for example, he gives an enchanting picture. '' A venerable and altogether simple personage, with white straggling hair and cassock much de-dabbled with snuff. He lives in a poor little house in the town-they call it the Palace. When I found him he had no fire in his grate, but he had one lit for me, and his food was of the meagrest. Beggar women and children sit at his door from dawn till dark, and he feeds the sparrows on his window-sills, and his heart is full of pity fot' the poor and of rage and hatred for the rich.'' There is one serious attack delivered in the book, if that may be properly called attack, which is a cool and reasoned analysis of the thought that is behind action. No apologist oClVIr. Balfour may ignMe, and it will be difficult for any to refute Mr. Blunt's exposition of the basis of philosophic hardness and insensibility of that futile and fascinating person's career as Irish Chief It will go a long way in explaining the Irish peasant's curt and alliterative summing-up of a statesman who brought so many pious 559


I THE IRISH REVIEW wishes to the settlement of the Irish question. As to the issue to which the analysis lead us, it is not now in controversy People dallying over the walnuts might at one time debate it, but in that struggle where the lives of men were at stake, with the odds all on one s i de, the propriety of Mr. Blunt's conduct can be no more seriously challenged than his credibility. If any other defence were needed, the Chief Secretary's subsequent change of front would supply it. The chapters on the Persico Mission and the Papal Rescript are of particular importance. Mr. Blunt brings forward much new and detailed evidence con firming the position already established by the publication of the Persico corres pondence that the Rescript was issued not only without consulting Cardinal Manning, but without his knowledge, and that Monsignor Persico shared in the same ignorance. The plan of the book, which ends with the events of 1891, includes some review of the Parnell tragedy. Without entering into matters of controversy, it might be suggested that in criti cising Parnell's abstention from affairs in 1886 and 1887 too little emphasis is laid on the condition of bi's health. In these years Pa_ rnell was mortally lill, sick unto death,'' as Mr. Healy said. He appears to have committed the error of n 'ot making parade of it. But if his retirement from Irish affairs before 1891 forbade Mr. Blunt from dealing more exhaustively with the catastrophe, it has preserved his memories of the parliamentary leaders unimpaired at their heroic period. That is one of the advantages of this brave and gallant recital of a hard struggle. If advancing years have brought with them much timidity and some tampering with the national honour, this witness borne by an honourable intransigeant wi.Jl help to pierce the gathering sunset clouds. C. P. C. Owing to pressure on our space an article announced to appear in the present issue-" The Wars of Turlough,'' by Edmund Curtis, is being held over until the January issue. BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED. A DREAM OF DAFFODILS. Poems by H. D. Lowry. Glaisher and Co. zs. 6d. BEYOND. Poems by C. A. Dawson Scott. Glaisher and Co. zs. 6d. IN LAVENDER COVERS. Poems by Dermot Fryer. Glaisher and Co. 1s. THE BEGINNING OF MODERN IRELAND. By Philip Wilson. Maunsel and Co. 12s. 6d. THE MAGNANIMOUS LOVER: A Play in One Act. By St. John Ervine. Maunsel and Co. 6d. RAMBLES IN IRELAND. By Robert Lynd. Mills and Bron. 6s. PRACTICAL HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMEN T by M. A. Fairclough. Stanley Publishing Co. zs. THE POETRY REVIEW. RHYTHM. 560




READ WHAT IS SAID OF THE HO.ME STEAD BY JOURNALISTIC CRITICS. From The Worl d's Work. The Famous Irish Agri cultural Organisation Society possesses an official organ which is one of the best written agricultural papers in the world. Ireland is pre eminently a country of news papers, and I r ishmen have a vocation for journal ism. bu t the I rish Homestead and its inimitable e ditor stand m a place by themse l ves. From Public Opinion, As a rule one doesn t read the agricultural papers to dis cover imagination and vision and good writing. But the re ader of the Irish Home ste a d the organ of Irish Agricultural and Industrial Dev elopment knows that somewhere each week in that pa pe r h e will find an article w h ich is o utstanding hecause o f t he spiri t which it breathes From Si r L eo nard Lye ll' s add r ess to th e Scottish Agricultural Organ i s ati o n Soc iety. I n Irela nd the progress of co-operation is s ti mulate d by an exc e llen t paper-the Ir ish H omestead.' I have take n it i n for some time past, and I think if we had an organ of that kind taken up. it would give inspiration and enco u ragement. I feel it is re ally a sort of tonic Whether S c ottish agriculturists would like such plain words spoken to them as are sometimes addressed to the Irish Farm ers, I do not know, but it would do them good. ,....., _____ __, THE IRIS HOMESTEAD, Th e Organ of the Co-operative Movement. + Price One Penny. Publ ishing Offics MIDDLE ABBEY STREET. DUBLIN.


It is always difficult, even at the best circulating libraries, to get a recently published work promptly -----on publication. -----The Times Book Cl b's New Special Service ensures the ea 1 ly delivery of any new book circulat / m in the Library. I Country subscribers /are not tequired to return their books hntil a fresh supply arrives, and are thu { never without books. The Times Book Club is thus offering \ A UNIQUE LIBRARY SERVICE. On receipt of a postcard mentioning the "Irish Review" full particulars, rates of subscriptio.p, etc., will at once ------be sent-------' THE TIMES BOOK CLUB CIRCULATING LIBRARY, 376 to 384 OXFORD STREET, l.!ONDON, W.


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