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John Bull's Other Island by George Bernard Shaw

Part 2 out of 3

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NORA [soothingly]. You'll be able to judge better in the morning.
Come on now back with me, an think no more about it. [She takes
his arm with motherly solicitude and urges him gently toward the

BROADBENT [yielding in despair]. I must be drunk--frightfully
drunk; for your voice drove me out of my senses [he stumbles over
a stone]. No: on my word, on my most sacred word of honor, Miss
Reilly, I tripped over that stone. It was an accident; it was

NORA. Yes, of course it was. Just take my arm, Mr Broadbent,
while we're goin down the path to the road. You'll be all right

BROADBENT [submissively taking it]. I can't sufficiently
apologize, Miss Reilly, or express my sense of your kindness when
I am in such a disgusting state. How could I be such a bea-- [he
trips again] damn the heather! my foot caught in it.

NORA. Steady now, steady. Come along: come. [He is led down to
the road in the character of a convicted drunkard. To him there
it something divine in the sympathetic indulgence she substitutes
for the angry disgust with which one of his own countrywomen
would resent his supposed condition. And he has no suspicion of
the fact, or of her ignorance of it, that when an Englishman is
sentimental he behaves very much as an Irishman does when he is


Next morning Broadbent and Larry are sitting at the ends of a
breakfast table in the middle of a small grass plot before
Cornelius Doyle's house. They have finished their meal, and are
buried in newspapers. Most of the crockery is crowded upon a
large square black tray of japanned metal. The teapot is of brown
delft ware. There is no silver; and the butter, on a dinner
plate, is en bloc. The background to this breakfast is the house,
a small white slated building, accessible by a half-glazed door.
A person coming out into the garden by this door would find the
table straight in front of him, and a gate leading to the road
half way down the garden on his right; or, if he turned sharp to
his left, he could pass round the end of the house through an
unkempt shrubbery. The mutilated remnant of a huge planter
statue, nearly dissolved by the rains of a century, and vaguely
resembling a majestic female in Roman draperies, with a wreath in
her hand, stands neglected amid the laurels. Such statues, though
apparently works of art, grow naturally in Irish gardens. Their
germination is a mystery to the oldest inhabitants, to whose
means and taste they are totally foreign.

There is a rustic bench, much roiled by the birds, and
decorticated and split by the weather, near the little gate. At
the opposite side, a basket lies unmolested because it might as
well be there as anywhere else. An empty chair at the table was
lately occupied by Cornelius, who has finished his breakfast and
gone in to the room in which he receives rents and keeps his
books and cash, known in the household as "the office." This
chair, like the two occupied by Larry and Broadbent, has a
mahogany frame and is upholstered in black horsehair.

Larry rises and goes off through the shrubbery with his
newspaper. Hodson comes in through the garden gate, disconsolate.
Broadbent, who sits facing the gate, augurs the worst from his

BROADBENT. Have you been to the village?

HODSON. No use, sir. We'll have to get everything from London by
parcel post.

BROADBENT. I hope they made you comfortable last night.

HODSON. I was no worse than you were on that sofa, sir. One
expects to rough it here, sir.

BROADBENT. We shall have to look out for some other arrangement.
[Cheering up irrepressibly] Still, it's no end of a joke. How do
you like the Irish, Hodson?

HODSON. Well, sir, they're all right anywhere but in their own
country. I've known lots of em in England, and generally liked
em. But here, sir, I seem simply to hate em. The feeling come
over me the moment we landed at Cork, sir. It's no use my
pretendin, sir: I can't bear em. My mind rises up agin their
ways, somehow: they rub me the wrong way all over.

BROADBENT. Oh, their faults are on the surface: at heart they are
one of the finest races on earth. [Hodson turns away, without
affecting to respond to his enthusiasm]. By the way, Hodson--

HODSON [turning]. Yes, sir.

BROADBENT. Did you notice anything about me last night when I
came in with that lady?

HODSON [surprised]. No, sir.

BROADBENT. Not any--er--? You may speak frankly.

HODSON. I didn't notice nothing, sir. What sort of thing ded you
mean, sir?

BROADBENT. Well--er--er--well, to put it plainly, was I drunk?

HODSON [amazed]. No, sir.

BROADBENT. Quite sure?

HODSON. Well, I should a said rather the opposite, sir. Usually
when you've been enjoying yourself, you're a bit hearty like.
Last night you seemed rather low, if anything.

BROADBENT. I certainly have no headache. Did you try the pottine,

HODSON. I just took a mouthful, sir. It tasted of peat: oh!
something horrid, sir. The people here call peat turf. Potcheen
and strong porter is what they like, sir. I'm sure I don't know
how they can stand it. Give me beer, I say.

BROADBENT. By the way, you told me I couldn't have porridge for
breakfast; but Mr Doyle had some.

HODSON. Yes, sir. Very sorry, sir. They call it stirabout, sir:
that's how it was. They know no better, sir.

BROADBENT. All right: I'll have some tomorrow.

Hodson goes to the house. When he opens the door he finds Nora
and Aunt Judy on the threshold. He stands aside to let them pass,
with the air of a well trained servant oppressed by heavy trials.
Then he goes in. Broadbent rises. Aunt Judy goes to the table and
collects the plates and cups on the tray. Nora goes to the back
of the rustic seat and looks out at the gate with the air of a
woman accustomed to have nothing to do. Larry returns from the

BROADBENT. Good morning, Miss Doyle.

AUNT JUDY [thinking it absurdly late in the day for such a
salutation]. Oh, good morning. [Before moving his plate] Have you

BROADBENT. Quite, thank you. You must excuse us for not waiting
for you. The country air tempted us to get up early.

AUNT JUDY. N d'ye call this airly, God help you?

LARRY. Aunt Judy probably breakfasted about half past six.

AUNT JUDY. Whisht, you!--draggin the parlor chairs out into the
gardn n givin Mr Broadbent his death over his meals out here in
the cold air. [To Broadbent] Why d'ye put up with his
foolishness, Mr Broadbent?

BROADBENT. I assure you I like the open air.

AUNT JUDY. Ah galong! How can you like what's not natural? I hope
you slept well.

NORA. Did anything wake yup with a thump at three o'clock? I
thought the house was falling. But then I'm a very light sleeper.

LARRY. I seem to recollect that one of the legs of the sofa in
the parlor had a way of coming out unexpectedly eighteen years
ago. Was that it, Tom?

BROADBENT [hastily]. Oh, it doesn't matter: I was not hurt--at

AUNT JUDY. Oh now what a shame! An I told Patsy Farrll to put a
nail in it.

BROADBENT. He did, Miss Doyle. There was a nail, certainly.

AUNT JUDY. Dear oh dear!

An oldish peasant farmer, small, leathery, peat faced, with a
deep voice and a surliness that is meant to be aggressive, and is
in effect pathetic--the voice of a man of hard life and many
sorrows--comes in at the gate. He is old enough to have perhaps
worn a long tailed frieze coat and knee breeches in his time; but
now he is dressed respectably in a black frock coat, tall hat,
and pollard colored trousers; and his face is as clean as washing
can make it, though that is not saying much, as the habit is
recently acquired and not yet congenial.

THE NEW-COMER [at the gate]. God save all here! [He comes a
little way into the garden].

LARRY [patronizingly, speaking across the garden to him]. Is that
yourself, Mat Haffigan? Do you remember me?

MATTHEW [intentionally rude and blunt]. No. Who are you?

NORA. Oh, I'm sure you remember him, Mr Haffigan.

MATTHEW [grudgingly admitting it]. I suppose he'll be young Larry
Doyle that was.


MATTHEW [to Larry]. I hear you done well in America.

LARRY. Fairly well.

MATTHEW. I suppose you saw me brother Andy out dhere.

LARRY. No. It's such a big place that looking for a man there is
like looking for a needle in a bundle of hay. They tell me he's a
great man out there.

MATTHEW. So he is, God be praised. Where's your father?

AUNT JUDY. He's inside, in the office, Mr Haffigan, with Barney
Doarn n Father Dempsey.

Matthew, without wasting further words on the company, goes
curtly into the house.

LARRY [staring after him]. Is anything wrong with old Mat?

NORA. No. He's the same as ever. Why?

LARRY. He's not the same to me. He used to be very civil to
Master Larry: a deal too civil, I used to think. Now he's as
surly and stand-off as a bear.

AUNT JUDY. Oh sure he's bought his farm in the Land Purchase.
He's independent now.

NORA. It's made a great change, Larry. You'd harly know the old
tenants now. You'd think it was a liberty to speak t'dhem--some o
dhem. [She goes to the table, and helps to take off the cloth,
which she and Aunt Judy fold up between them].

AUNT JUDY. I wonder what he wants to see Corny for. He hasn't
been here since he paid the last of his old rent; and then he as
good as threw it in Corny's face, I thought.

LARRY. No wonder! Of course they all hated us like the devil.
Ugh! [Moodily] I've seen them in that office, telling my father
what a fine boy I was, and plastering him with compliments, with
your honor here and your honor there, when all the time their
fingers were itching to beat his throat.

AUNT JUDY. Deedn why should they want to hurt poor Corny? It was
he that got Mat the lease of his farm, and stood up for him as an
industrious decent man.

BROADBENT. Was he industrious? That's remarkable, you know, in an

LARRY. Industrious! That man's industry used to make me sick,
even as a boy. I tell you, an Irish peasant's industry is not
human: it's worse than the industry of a coral insect. An
Englishman has some sense about working: he never does more than
he can help--and hard enough to get him to do that without
scamping it; but an Irishman will work as if he'd die the moment
he stopped. That man Matthew Haffigan and his brother Andy made a
farm out of a patch of stones on the hillside--cleared it and dug
it with their own naked hands and bought their first spade out of
their first crop of potatoes. Talk of making two blades of wheat
grow where one grew before! those two men made a whole field of
wheat grow where not even a furze bush had ever got its head up
between the stones.

BROADBENT. That was magnificent, you know. Only a great race is
capable of producing such men.

LARRY. Such fools, you mean! What good was it to them? The moment
they'd done it, the landlord put a rent of 5 pounds a year on
them, and turned them out because they couldn't pay it.

AUNT JUDY. Why couldn't they pay as well as Billy Byrne that took
it after them?

LARRY [angrily]. You know very well that Billy Byrne never paid
it. He only offered it to get possession. He never paid it.

AUNT JUDY. That was because Andy Haffigan hurt him with a brick
so that he was never the same again. Andy had to run away to
America for it.

BROADBENT [glowing with indignation]. Who can blame him, Miss
Doyle? Who can blame him?

LARRY [impatiently]. Oh, rubbish! What's the good of the man
that's starved out of a farm murdering the man that's starved
into it? Would you have done such a thing?

BROADBENT. Yes. I--I--I--I--[stammering with fury] I should have
shot the confounded landlord, and wrung the neck of the damned
agent, and blown the farm up with dynamite, and Dublin Castle
along with it.

LARRY. Oh yes: you'd have done great things; and a fat lot of
good you'd have got out of it, too! That's an Englishman all
over! make bad laws and give away all the land, and then, when
your economic incompetence produces its natural and inevitable
results, get virtuously indignant and kill the people that carry
out your laws.

AUNT JUDY. Sure never mind him, Mr Broadbent. It doesn't matter,
anyhow, because there's harly any landlords left; and ther'll
soon be none at all.

LARRY. On the contrary, ther'll soon be nothing else; and the
Lord help Ireland then!

AUNT JUDY. Ah, you're never satisfied, Larry. [To Nora] Come on,
alanna, an make the paste for the pie. We can leave them to their
talk. They don't want us [she takes up the tray and goes into the

BROADBENT [rising and gallantly protesting] Oh, Miss Doyle!
Really, really--

Nora, following Aunt Judy with the rolled-up cloth in her hands,
looks at him and strikes him dumb. He watches her until she
disappears; then comes to Larry and addresses him with sudden


LARRY. What is it?

BROADBENT. I got drunk last night, and proposed to Miss Reilly.

LARRY. You HWAT??? [He screams with laughter in the falsetto
Irish register unused for that purpose in England].

BROADBENT. What are you laughing at?

LARRY [stopping dead]. I don't know. That's the sort of thing an
Irishman laughs at. Has she accepted you?

BROADBENT. I shall never forget that with the chivalry of her
nation, though I was utterly at her mercy, she refused me.

LARRY. That was extremely improvident of her. [Beginning to
reflect] But look here: when were you drunk? You were sober
enough when you came back from the Round Tower with her.

BROADBENT. No, Larry, I was drunk, I am sorry to say. I had two
tumblers of punch. She had to lead me home. You must have noticed

LARRY. I did not.


LARRY. May I ask how long it took you to come to business? You
can hardly have known her for more than a couple of hours.

BROADBENT. I am afraid it was hardly a couple of minutes. She was
not here when I arrived; and I saw her for the first time at the

LARRY. Well, you are a nice infant to be let loose in this
country! Fancy the potcheen going to your head like that!

BROADBENT. Not to my head, I think. I have no headache; and I
could speak distinctly. No: potcheen goes to the heart, not to
the head. What ought I to do?

LARRY. Nothing. What need you do?

BROADBENT. There is rather a delicate moral question involved.
The point is, was I drunk enough not to be morally responsible
for my proposal? Or was I sober enough to be bound to repeat it
now that I am undoubtedly sober?

LARRY. I should see a little more of her before deciding.

BROADBENT. No, no. That would not be right. That would not be
fair. I am either under a moral obligation or I am not. I wish I
knew how drunk I was.

LARRY. Well, you were evidently in a state of blithering
sentimentality, anyhow.

BROADBENT. That is true, Larry: I admit it. Her voice has a most
extraordinary effect on me. That Irish voice!

LARRY [sympathetically]. Yes, I know. When I first went to London
I very nearly proposed to walk out with a waitress in an Aerated
Bread shop because her Whitechapel accent was so distinguished,
so quaintly touching, so pretty--

BROADBENT [angrily]. Miss Reilly is not a waitress, is she?

LARRY. Oh, come! The waitress was a very nice girl.

BROADBENT. You think every Englishwoman an angel. You really have
coarse tastes in that way, Larry. Miss Reilly is one of the finer
types: a type rare in England, except perhaps in the best of the

LARRY. Aristocracy be blowed! Do you know what Nora eats?

BROADBENT. Eats! what do you mean?

LARRY. Breakfast: tea and bread-and-butter, with an occasional
rasher, and an egg on special occasions: say on her birthday.
Dinner in the middle of the day, one course and nothing else. In
the evening, tea and bread-and-butter again. You compare her with
your Englishwomen who wolf down from three to five meat meals a
day; and naturally you find her a sylph. The difference is not a
difference of type: it's the difference between the woman who
eats not wisely but too well, and the woman who eats not wisely
but too little.

BROADBENT [furious]. Larry: you--you--you disgust me. You are a
damned fool. [He sits down angrily on the rustic seat, which
sustains the shock with difficulty].

LARRY. Steady! stead-eee! [He laughs and seats himself on the

Cornelius Doyle, Father Dempsey, Barney Doran, and Matthew
Haffigan come from the house. Doran is a stout bodied, short
armed, roundheaded, red-haired man on the verge of middle age, of
sanguine temperament, with an enormous capacity for derisive,
obscene, blasphemous, or merely cruel and senseless fun, and a
violent and impetuous intolerance of other temperaments and other
opinions, all this representing energy and capacity wasted and
demoralized by want of sufficient training and social pressure to
force it into beneficent activity and build a character with it;
for Barney is by no means either stupid or weak. He is recklessly
untidy as to his person; but the worst effects of his neglect are
mitigated by a powdering of flour and mill dust; and his
unbrushed clothes, made of a fashionable tailor's sackcloth, were
evidently chosen regardless of expense for the sake of their

Matthew Haffigan, ill at ease, coasts the garden shyly on the
shrubbery side until he anchors near the basket, where he feels
least in the way. The priest comes to the table and slaps Larry
on the shoulder. Larry, turning quickly, and recognizing Father
Dempsey, alights from the table and shakes the priest's hand
warmly. Doran comes down the garden between Father Dempsey and
Matt; and Cornelius, on the other side of the table, turns to
Broadbent, who rises genially.

CORNELIUS. I think we all met las night.

DORAN. I hadn't that pleasure.

CORNELIUS. To be sure, Barney: I forgot. [To Broadbent,
introducing Barney] Mr Doran. He owns that fine mill you noticed
from the car.

BROADBENT [delighted with them all]. Most happy, Mr Doran. Very
pleased indeed.

Doran, not quite sure whether he is being courted or patronized,
nods independently.

DORAN. How's yourself, Larry?

LARRY. Finely, thank you. No need to ask you. [Doran grins; and
they shake hands].

CORNELIUS. Give Father Dempsey a chair, Larry.

Matthew Haffigan runs to the nearest end of the table and takes
the chair from it, placing it near the basket; but Larry has
already taken the chair from the other end and placed it in front
of the table. Father Dempsey accepts that more central position.

CORNELIUS. Sit down, Barney, will you; and you, Mat.

Doran takes the chair Mat is still offering to the priest; and
poor Matthew, outfaced by the miller, humbly turns the basket
upside down and sits on it. Cornelius brings his own breakfast
chair from the table and sits down on Father Dempsey's right.
Broadbent resumes his seat on the rustic bench. Larry crosses to
the bench and is about to sit down beside him when Broadbent
holds him off nervously.

BROADBENT. Do you think it will bear two, Larry?

LARRY. Perhaps not. Don't move. I'll stand. [He posts himself
behind the bench].

They are all now seated, except Larry; and the session assumes a
portentous air, as if something important were coming.

CORNELIUS. Props you'll explain, Father Dempsey.

FATHER DEMPSEY. No, no: go on, you: the Church has no politics.

CORNELIUS. Were yever thinkin o goin into parliament at all,


FATHER DEMPSEY [encouragingly] Yes, you. Hwy not?

LARRY. I'm afraid my ideas would not be popular enough.

CORNELIUS. I don't know that. Do you, Barney?

DORAN. There's too much blatherumskite in Irish politics a dale
too much.

LARRY. But what about your present member? Is he going to retire?

CORNELIUS. No: I don't know that he is.

LARRY [interrogatively]. Well? then?

MATTHEW [breaking out with surly bitterness]. We've had enough of
his foolish talk agen lanlords. Hwat call has he to talk about
the lan, that never was outside of a city office in his life?

CORNELIUS. We're tired of him. He doesn't know hwere to stop.
Every man can't own land; and some men must own it to employ
them. It was all very well when solid men like Doran and me and
Mat were kep from ownin land. But hwat man in his senses ever
wanted to give land to Patsy Farrll an dhe like o him?

BROADBENT. But surely Irish landlordism was accountable for what
Mr Haffigan suffered.

MATTHEW. Never mind hwat I suffered. I know what I suffered
adhout you tellin me. But did I ever ask for more dhan the farm I
made wid me own hans: tell me that, Corny Doyle, and you that
knows. Was I fit for the responsibility or was I not? [Snarling
angrily at Cornelius] Am I to be compared to Patsy Farrll, that
doesn't harly know his right hand from his left? What did he ever
suffer, I'd like to know?

CORNELIUS. That's just what I say. I wasn't comparin you to your

MATTHEW [implacable]. Then hwat did you mane be talkin about
givin him lan?

DORAN. Aisy, Mat, aisy. You're like a bear with a sore back.

MATTHEW [trembling with rage]. An who are you, to offer to taitch
me manners?

FATHER DEMPSEY [admonitorily]. Now, now, now, Mat none o dhat.
How often have I told you you're too ready to take offence where
none is meant? You don't understand: Corny Doyle is saying just
what you want to have said. [To Cornelius] Go on, Mr Doyle; and
never mind him.

MATTHEW [rising]. Well, if me lan is to be given to Patsy and his
like, I'm goin oura dhis. I--

DORAN [with violent impatience] Arra who's goin to give your lan
to Patsy, yowl fool ye?

FATHER DEMPSEY. Aisy, Barney, aisy. [Sternly, to Mat] I told you,
Matthew Haffigan, that Corny Doyle was sayin nothin against you.
I'm sorry your priest's word is not good enough for you. I'll go,
sooner than stay to make you commit a sin against the Church.
Good morning, gentlemen. [He rises. They all rise, except

DORAN [to Mat]. There! Sarve you dam well right, you cantankerous
oul noodle.

MATTHEW [appalled]. Don't say dhat, Fadher Dempsey. I never had a
thought agen you or the Holy Church. I know I'm a bit hasty when
I think about the lan. I ax your pardn for it.

FATHER DEMPSEY [resuming his seat with dignified reserve]. Very
well: I'll overlook it this time. [He sits down. The others sit
down, except Matthew. Father Dempsey, about to ask Corny to
proceed, remembers Matthew and turns to him, giving him just a
crumb of graciousness]. Sit down, Mat. [Matthew, crushed, sits
down in disgrace, and is silent, his eyes shifting piteously from
one speaker to another in an intensely mistrustful effort to
understand them]. Go on, Mr Doyle. We can make allowances. Go on.

CORNELIUS. Well, you see how it is, Larry. Round about here,
we've got the land at last; and we want no more Goverment
meddlin. We want a new class o man in parliament: one dhat knows
dhat the farmer's the real backbone o the country, n doesn't care
a snap of his fingers for the shoutn o the riff-raff in the
towns, or for the foolishness of the laborers.

DORAN. Aye; an dhat can afford to live in London and pay his own
way until Home Rule comes, instead o wantin subscriptions and the

FATHER DEMPSEY. Yes: that's a good point, Barney. When too much
money goes to politics, it's the Church that has to starve for
it. A member of parliament ought to be a help to the Church
instead of a burden on it.

LARRY. Here's a chance for you, Tom. What do you say?

BROADBENT [deprecatory, but important and smiling]. Oh, I have no
claim whatever to the seat. Besides, I'm a Saxon.

DORAN. A hwat?

BROADBENT. A Saxon. An Englishman.

DORAN. An Englishman. Bedad I never heard it called dhat before.

MATTHEW [cunningly]. If I might make so bould, Fadher, I wouldn't
say but an English Prodestn mightn't have a more indepindent mind
about the lan, an be less afeerd to spake out about it, dhan an
Irish Catholic.

CORNELIUS. But sure Larry's as good as English: aren't you,

LARRY. You may put me out of your head, father, once for all.

CORNELIUS. Arra why?

LARRY. I have strong opinions which wouldn't suit you.

DORAN [rallying him blatantly]. Is it still Larry the bould

LARRY. No: the bold Fenian is now an older and possibly foolisher

CORNELIUS. Hwat does it matter to us hwat your opinions are? You
know that your father's bought his farm, just the same as Mat
here n Barney's mill. All we ask now is to be let alone. You've
nothin against that, have you?

LARRY. Certainly I have. I don't believe in letting anybody or
anything alone.

CORNELIUS [losing his temper]. Arra what d'ye mean, you young
fool? Here I've got you the offer of a good seat in parliament; n
you think yourself mighty smart to stand there and talk
foolishness to me. Will you take it or leave it?

LARRY. Very well: I'll take it with pleasure if you'll give it to

CORNELIUS [subsiding sulkily]. Well, why couldn't you say so at
once? It's a good job you've made up your mind at last.

DORAN [suspiciously]. Stop a bit, stop a bit.

MATTHEW [writhing between his dissatisfaction and his fear of the
priest]. It's not because he's your son that he's to get the
sate. Fadher Dempsey: wouldn't you think well to ask him what he
manes about the lan?

LARRY [coming down on Mat promptly]. I'll tell you, Mat. I always
thought it was a stupid, lazy, good-for-nothing sort of thing to
leave the land in the hands of the old landlords without calling
them to a strict account for the use they made of it, and the
condition of the people on it. I could see for myself that they
thought of nothing but what they could get out of it to spend in
England; and that they mortgaged and mortgaged until hardly one
of them owned his own property or could have afforded to keep it
up decently if he'd wanted to. But I tell you plump and plain,
Mat, that if anybody thinks things will be any better now that
the land is handed over to a lot of little men like you, without
calling you to account either, they're mistaken.

MATTHEW [sullenly]. What call have you to look down on me? I
suppose you think you're everybody because your father was a land

LARRY. What call have you to look down on Patsy Farrell? I
suppose you think you're everybody because you own a few fields.

MATTHEW. Was Patsy Farrll ever ill used as I was ill used? tell
me dhat.

LARRY. He will be, if ever he gets into your power as you were in
the power of your old landlord. Do you think, because you're poor
and ignorant and half-crazy with toiling and moiling morning noon
and night, that you'll be any less greedy and oppressive to them
that have no land at all than old Nick Lestrange, who was an
educated travelled gentleman that would not have been tempted as
hard by a hundred pounds as you'd be by five shillings? Nick was
too high above Patsy Farrell to be jealous of him; but you, that
are only one little step above him, would die sooner than let him
come up that step; and well you know it.

MATTHEW [black with rage, in a low growl]. Lemme oura this. [He
tries to rise; but Doran catches his coat and drags him down
again] I'm goin, I say. [Raising his voice] Leggo me coat, Barney

DORAN. Sit down, yowl omadhaun, you. [Whispering] Don't you want
to stay an vote against him?

FATHER DEMPSEY [holding up his finger] Mat! [Mat subsides]. Now,
now, now! come, come! Hwats all dhis about Patsy Farrll? Hwy need
you fall out about HIM?

LARRY. Because it was by using Patsy's poverty to undersell
England in the markets of the world that we drove England to ruin
Ireland. And she'll ruin us again the moment we lift our heads
from the dust if we trade in cheap labor; and serve us right too!
If I get into parliament, I'll try to get an Act to prevent any
of you from giving Patsy less than a pound a week [they all
start, hardly able to believe their ears] or working him harder
than you'd work a horse that cost you fifty guineas.

DORAN. Hwat!!!

CORNELIUS [aghast]. A pound a--God save us! the boy's mad.

Matthew, feeling that here is something quite beyond his powers,
turns openmouthed to the priest, as if looking for nothing less
than the summary excommunication of Larry.

LARRY. How is the man to marry and live a decent life on less?

FATHER DEMPSEY. Man alive, hwere have you been living all these
years? and hwat have you been dreaming of? Why, some o dhese
honest men here can't make that much out o the land for
themselves, much less give it to a laborer.

LARRY [now thoroughly roused]. Then let them make room for those
who can. Is Ireland never to have a chance? First she was given
to the rich; and now that they have gorged on her flesh, her
bones are to be flung to the poor, that can do nothing but suck
the marrow out of her. If we can't have men of honor own the
land, lets have men of ability. If we can't have men with
ability, let us at least have men with capital. Anybody's better
than Mat, who has neither honor, nor ability, nor capital, nor
anything but mere brute labor and greed in him, Heaven help him!

DORAN. Well, we're not all foostherin oul doddherers like Mat.
[Pleasantly, to the subject of this description] Are we, Mat?

LARRY. For modern industrial purposes you might just as well be,
Barney. You're all children: the big world that I belong to has
gone past you and left you. Anyhow, we Irishmen were never made
to be farmers; and we'll never do any good at it. We're like the
Jews: the Almighty gave us brains, and bid us farm them, and
leave the clay and the worms alone.

FATHER DEMPSEY [with gentle irony]. Oh! is it Jews you want to
make of us? I must catechize you a bit meself, I think. The next
thing you'll be proposing is to repeal the disestablishment of
the so-called Irish Church.

LARRY. Yes: why not? [Sensation].

MATTHEW [rancorously]. He's a turncoat.

LARRY. St Peter, the rock on which our Church was built, was
crucified head downwards for being a turncoat.

FATHER DEMPSEY [with a quiet authoritative dignity which checks
Doran, who is on the point of breaking out]. That's true. You
hold your tongue as befits your ignorance, Matthew Haffigan; and
trust your priest to deal with this young man. Now, Larry Doyle,
whatever the blessed St Peter was crucified for, it was not for
being a Prodestan. Are you one?

LARRY. No. I am a Catholic intelligent enough to see that the
Protestants are never more dangerous to us than when they are
free from all alliances with the State. The so-called Irish
Church is stronger today than ever it was.

MATTHEW. Fadher Dempsey: will you tell him dhat me mother's ant
was shot and kilt dead in the sthreet o Rosscullen be a soljer in
the tithe war? [Frantically] He wants to put the tithes on us
again. He--

LARRY [interrupting him with overbearing contempt]. Put the
tithes on you again! Did the tithes ever come off you? Was your
land any dearer when you paid the tithe to the parson than it was
when you paid the same money to Nick Lestrange as rent, and he
handed it over to the Church Sustentation Fund? Will you always
be duped by Acts of Parliament that change nothing but the
necktie of the man that picks your pocket? I'll tell you what I'd
do with you, Mat Haffigan: I'd make you pay tithes to your own
Church. I want the Catholic Church established in Ireland: that's
what I want. Do you think that I, brought up to regard myself as
the son of a great and holy Church, can bear to see her begging
her bread from the ignorance and superstition of men like you? I
would have her as high above worldly want as I would have her
above worldly pride or ambition. Aye; and I would have Ireland
compete with Rome itself for the chair of St Peter and the
citadel of the Church; for Rome, in spite of all the blood of the
martyrs, is pagan at heart to this day, while in Ireland the
people is the Church and the Church the people.

FATHER DEMPSEY [startled, but not at all displeased]. Whisht,
man! You're worse than mad Pether Keegan himself.

BROADBENT [who has listened in the greatest astonishment]. You
amaze me, Larry. Who would have thought of your coming out like
this! [Solemnly] But much as I appreciate your really brilliant
eloquence, I implore you not to desert the great Liberal
principle of Disestablishment.

LARRY. I am not a Liberal: Heaven forbid! A disestablished Church
is the worst tyranny a nation can groan under.

BROADBENT [making a wry face]. DON'T be paradoxical, Larry. It
really gives me a pain in my stomach.

LARRY. You'll soon find out the truth of it here. Look at Father
Dempsey! he is disestablished: he has nothing to hope or fear
from the State; and the result is that he's the most powerful man
in Rosscullen. The member for Rosscullen would shake in his shoes
if Father Dempsey looked crooked at him. [Father Dempsey smiles,
by no means averse to this acknowledgment of his authority]. Look
at yourself! you would defy the established Archbishop of
Canterbury ten times a day; but catch you daring to say a word
that would shock a Nonconformist! not you. The Conservative party
today is the only one that's not priestridden--excuse the
expression, Father [Father Dempsey nods tolerantly]--cause it's
the only one that has established its Church and can prevent a
clergyman becoming a bishop if he's not a Statesman as well as a

He stops. They stare at him dumbfounded, and leave it to the
priest to answer him.

FATHER DEMPSEY [judicially]. Young man: you'll not be the member
for Rosscullen; but there's more in your head than the comb will
take out.

LARRY. I'm sorry to disappoint you, father; but I told you it
would be no use. And now I think the candidate had better retire
and leave you to discuss his successor. [He takes a newspaper
from the table and goes away through the shrubbery amid dead
silence, all turning to watch him until he passes out of sight
round the corner of the house].

DORAN [dazed]. Hwat sort of a fella is he at all at all?

FATHER DEMPSEY. He's a clever lad: there's the making of a man in
him yet.

MATTHEW [in consternation]. D'ye mane to say dhat yll put him
into parliament to bring back Nick Lesthrange on me, and to put
tithes on me, and to rob me for the like o Patsy Farrll, because
he's Corny Doyle's only son?

DORAN [brutally]. Arra hould your whisht: who's goin to send him
into parliament? Maybe you'd like us to send you dhere to thrate
them to a little o your anxiety about dhat dirty little podato
patch o yours.

MATTHEW [plaintively]. Am I to be towld dhis afther all me

DORAN. Och, I'm tired o your sufferins. We've been hearin nothin
else ever since we was childher but sufferins. Haven it wasn't
yours it was somebody else's; and haven it was nobody else's it
was ould Irelan's. How the divil are we to live on wan anodher's

FATHER DEMPSEY. That's a thrue word, Barney Doarn; only your
tongue's a little too familiar wi dhe devil. [To Mat] If you'd
think a little more o the sufferins of the blessed saints, Mat,
an a little less o your own, you'd find the way shorter from your
farm to heaven. [Mat is about to reply] Dhere now! Dhat's enough!
we know you mean well; an I'm not angry with you.

BROADBENT. Surely, Mr Haffigan, you can see the simple
explanation of all this. My friend Larry Doyle is a most
brilliant speaker; but he's a Tory: an ingrained oldfashioned

CORNELIUS. N how d'ye make dhat out, if I might ask you, Mr

BROADBENT [collecting himself for a political deliverance]. Well,
you know, Mr Doyle, there's a strong dash of Toryism in the Irish
character. Larry himself says that the great Duke of Wellington
was the most typical Irishman that ever lived. Of course that's
an absurd paradox; but still there's a great deal of truth in it.
Now I am a Liberal. You know the great principles of the Liberal
party. Peace--

FATHER DEMPSEY [piously]. Hear! hear!

BROADBENT [encouraged]. Thank you. Retrenchment--[he waits for
further applause].

MATTHEW [timidly]. What might rethrenchment mane now?

BROADBENT. It means an immense reduction in the burden of the
rates and taxes.

MATTHEW [respectfully approving]. Dhats right. Dhats right, sir.

BROADBENT [perfunctorily]. And, of course, Reform.

FATHER DEMPSEY} [conventionally]. Of course.

MATTHEW [still suspicious]. Hwat does Reform mane, sir? Does it
mane altherin annythin dhats as it is now?

BROADBENT [impressively]. It means, Mr Haffigan, maintaining
those reforms which have already been conferred on humanity by
the Liberal Party, and trusting for future developments to the
free activity of a free people on the basis of those reforms.

DORAN. Dhat's right. No more meddlin. We're all right now: all we
want is to be let alone.

CORNELIUS. Hwat about Home Rule?

BROADBENT [rising so as to address them more imposingly]. I
really cannot tell you what I feel about Home Rule without using
the language of hyperbole.

DORAN. Savin Fadher Dempsey's presence, eh?

BROADBENT [not understanding him] Quite so--er--oh yes. All I can
say is that as an Englishman I blush for the Union. It is the
blackest stain on our national history. I look forward to the
time-and it cannot be far distant, gentlemen, because Humanity is
looking forward to it too, and insisting on it with no uncertain
voice--I look forward to the time when an Irish legislature shall
arise once more on the emerald pasture of College Green, and the
Union Jack--that detestable symbol of a decadent Imperialism--be
replaced by a flag as green as the island over which it waves--a
flag on which we shall ask for England only a modest quartering
in memory of our great party and of the immortal name of our
grand old leader.

DORAN [enthusiastically]. Dhat's the style, begob! [He smites his
knee, and winks at Mat].

MATTHEW. More power to you, Sir!

BROADBENT. I shall leave you now, gentlemen, to your
deliberations. I should like to have enlarged on the services
rendered by the Liberal Party to the religious faith of the great
majority of the people of Ireland; but I shall content myself
with saying that in my opinion you should choose no
who--no matter what his personal creed may be--is not an ardent
supporter of freedom of conscience, and is not prepared to prove
it by contributions, as lavish as his means will allow, to the
great and beneficent work which you, Father Dempsey [Father
Dempsey bows], are doing for the people of Rosscullen. Nor should
the lighter, but still most important question of the sports of
the people be forgotten. The local cricket club--

CORNELIUS. The hwat!

DORAN. Nobody plays bats ball here, if dhat's what you mean.

BROADBENT. Well, let us say quoits. I saw two men, I think, last
night--but after all, these are questions of detail. The main
thing is that your candidate, whoever he may be, shall be a man
of some means, able to help the locality instead of burdening it.
And if he were a countryman of my own, the moral effect on the
House of Commons would be immense! tremendous! Pardon my saying
these few words: nobody feels their impertinence more than I do.
Good morning, gentlemen.

He turns impressively to the gate, and trots away, congratulating
himself,, with a little twist of his head and cock of his eye, on
having done a good stroke of political business.

HAFFIGAN [awestruck]. Good morning, sir.

THE REST. Good morning. [They watch him vacantly until he is out
of earshot].

CORNELIUS. Hwat d'ye think, Father Dempsey?

FATHER DEMPSEY [indulgently] Well, he hasn't much sense, God help
him; but for the matter o that, neither has our present member.

DORAN. Arra musha he's good enough for parliament what is there
to do there but gas a bit, an chivy the Goverment, an vote wi dh
Irish party?

CORNELIUS [ruminatively]. He's the queerest Englishman I ever
met. When he opened the paper dhis mornin the first thing he saw
was that an English expedition had been bet in a battle in Inja
somewhere; an he was as pleased as Punch! Larry told him that if
he'd been alive when the news o Waterloo came, he'd a died o
grief over it. Bedad I don't think he's quite right in his head.

DORAN. Divil a matther if he has plenty o money. He'll do for us
right enough.

MATTHEW [deeply impressed by Broadbent, and unable to understand
their levity concerning him]. Did you mind what he said about
rethrenchment? That was very good, I thought.

FATHER DEMPSEY. You might find out from Larry, Corny, what his
means are. God forgive us all! it's poor work spoiling the
Egyptians, though we have good warrant for it; so I'd like to
know how much spoil there is before I commit meself. [He rises.
They all rise respectfully].

CORNELIUS [ruefully]. I'd set me mind on Larry himself for the
seat; but I suppose it can't be helped.

FATHER DEMPSEY [consoling him]. Well, the boy's young yet; an he
has a head on him. Goodbye, all. [He goes out through the gate].

DORAN. I must be goin, too. [He directs Cornelius's attention to
what is passing in the road]. Look at me bould Englishman shakin
hans wid Fadher Dempsey for all the world like a candidate on
election day. And look at Fadher Dempsey givin him a squeeze an a
wink as much as to say It's all right, me boy. You watch him
shakin hans with me too: he's waitn for me. I'll tell him he's as
good as elected. [He goes, chuckling mischievously].

CORNELIUS. Come in with me, Mat. I think I'll sell you the pig
after all. Come in an wet the bargain.

MATTHEW [instantly dropping into the old whine of the tenant].
I'm afeerd I can't afford the price, sir. [He follows Cornelius
into the house].

Larry, newspaper still in hand, comes back through the shrubbery.
Broadbent returns through the gate.

LARRY. Well? What has happened.

BROADBENT [hugely self-satisfied]. I think I've done the trick
this time. I just gave them a bit of straight talk; and it went
home. They were greatly impressed: everyone of those men believes
in me and will vote for me when the question of selecting a
candidate comes up. After all, whatever you say, Larry, they like
an Englishman. They feel they can trust him, I suppose.

LARRY. Oh ! they've transferred the honor to you, have they?

BROADBENT [complacently]. Well, it was a pretty obvious move, I
should think. You know, these fellows have plenty of shrewdness
in spite of their Irish oddity. [Hodson comes from the house.
Larry sits in Doran's chair and reads]. Oh, by the way, Hodson--

HODSON [coming between Broadbent and Larry]. Yes, sir?

BROADBENT. I want you to be rather particular as to how you treat
the people here.

HODSON. I haven't treated any of em yet, sir. If I was to accept
all the treats they offer me I shouldn't be able to stand at this
present moment, sir.

BROADBENT. Oh well, don't be too stand-offish, you know, Hodson.
I should like you to be popular. If it costs anything I'll make
it up to you. It doesn't matter if you get a bit upset at first:
they'll like you all the better for it.

HODSON. I'm sure you're very kind, sir; but it don't seem to
matter to me whether they like me or not. I'm not going to stand
for parliament here, sir.

BROADBENT. Well, I am. Now do you understand?

HODSON [waking up at once]. Oh, I beg your pardon, sir, I'm sure.
I understand, sir.

CORNELIUS [appearing at the house door with Mat]. Patsy'll drive
the pig over this evenin, Mat. Goodbye. [He goes back into the
house. Mat makes for the gate. Broadbent stops him. Hodson,
pained by the derelict basket, picks it up and carries it away
behind the house].

BROADBENT [beaming candidatorially]. I must thank you very
particularly, Mr Haffigan, for your support this morning. I value
it because I know that the real heart of a nation is the class
you represent, the yeomanry.

MATTHEW [aghast] The yeomanry!!!

LARRY [looking up from his paper]. Take care, Tom! In Rosscullen
a yeoman means a sort of Orange Bashi-Bazouk. In England, Mat,
they call a freehold farmer a yeoman.

MATTHEW [huffily]. I don't need to be insthructed be you, Larry
Doyle. Some people think no one knows anythin but dhemselves. [To
Broadbent, deferentially] Of course I know a gentleman like you
would not compare me to the yeomanry. Me own granfather was
flogged in the sthreets of Athenmullet be them when they put a
gun in the thatch of his house an then went and found it there,
bad cess to them!

BROADBENT [with sympathetic interest]. Then you are not the first
martyr of your family, Mr Haffigan?

MATTHEW. They turned me out o the farm I made out of the stones o
Little Rosscullen hill wid me own hans.

BROADBENT. I have heard about it; and my blood still boils at the
thought. [Calling] Hodson--

HODSON [behind the corner of the house] Yes, sir. [He hurries

BROADBENT. Hodson: this gentleman's sufferings should make every
Englishman think. It is want of thought rather than want of heart
that allows such iniquities to disgrace society.

HODSON [prosaically]. Yes sir.

MATTHEW. Well, I'll be goin. Good mornin to you kindly, sir.

BROADBENT. You have some distance to go, Mr Haffigan: will you
allow me to drive you home?

MATTHEW. Oh sure it'd be throublin your honor.

BROADBENT. I insist: it will give me the greatest pleasure, I
assure you. My car is in the stable: I can get it round in five

MATTHEW. Well, sir, if you wouldn't mind, we could bring the pig
I've just bought from Corny.

BROADBENT [with enthusiasm]. Certainly, Mr Haffigan: it will be
quite delightful to drive with a pig in the car: I shall feel
quite like an Irishman. Hodson: stay with Mr Haffigan; and give
him a hand with the pig if necessary. Come, Larry; and help me.
[He rushes away through the shrubbery].

LARRY [throwing the paper ill-humoredly on the chair]. Look here,
Tom! here, I say! confound it! [he runs after him].

MATTHEW [glowering disdainfully at Hodson, and sitting down on
Cornelius's chair as an act of social self-assertion] N are you
the valley?

HODSON. The valley? Oh, I follow you: yes: I'm Mr Broadbent's

MATTHEW. Ye have an aisy time of it: you look purty sleek. [With
suppressed ferocity] Look at me! Do I look sleek?

HODSON [sadly]. I wish I ad your ealth: you look as hard as
nails. I suffer from an excess of uric acid.

MATTHEW. Musha what sort o disease is zhouragassid? Didjever
suffer from injustice and starvation? Dhat's the Irish disease.
It's aisy for you to talk o sufferin, an you livin on the fat o
the land wid money wrung from us.

HODSON [Coolly]. Wots wrong with you, old chap? Has ennybody been
doin ennything to you?

MATTHEW. Anythin timme! Didn't your English masther say that the
blood biled in him to hear the way they put a rint on me for the
farm I made wid me own hans, and turned me out of it to give it
to Billy Byrne?

HODSON. Ow, Tom Broadbent's blood boils pretty easy over
ennything that appens out of his own country. Don't you be taken
in by my ole man, Paddy.

MATTHEW [indignantly]. Paddy yourself! How dar you call me Paddy?

HODSON [unmoved]. You just keep your hair on and listen to me.
You Irish people are too well off: that's what's the matter with
you. [With sudden passion] You talk of your rotten little farm
because you made it by chuckin a few stownes dahn a hill! Well,
wot price my grenfawther, I should like to know, that fitted up a
fuss clawss shop and built up a fuss clawss drapery business in
London by sixty years work, and then was chucked aht of it on is
ed at the end of is lease withaht a penny for his goodwill. You
talk of evictions! you that cawn't be moved until you've
run up eighteen months rent. I once ran up four weeks in Lambeth
when I was aht of a job in winter. They took the door off its
inges and the winder aht of its sashes on me, and gave my wife
pnoomownia. I'm a widower now. [Between his teeth] Gawd! when I
think of the things we Englishmen av to put up with, and hear you
Irish hahlin abaht your silly little grievances, and see the way
you makes it worse for us by the rotten wages you'll come over
and take and the rotten places you'll sleep in, I jast feel that
I could take the oul bloomin British awland and make you a
present of it, jast to let you find out wot real ardship's like.

MATTHEW [starting up, more in scandalized incredulity than in
anger]. D'ye have the face to set up England agen Ireland for
injustices an wrongs an disthress an sufferin?

HODSON [with intense disgust and contempt, but with Cockney
coolness]. Ow, chuck it, Paddy. Cheese it. You danno wot ardship
is over ere: all you know is ah to ahl abaht it. You take the
biscuit at that, you do. I'm a Owm Ruler, I am. Do you know why?

MATTHEW [equally contemptuous]. D'ye know, yourself?

HODSON. Yes I do. It's because I want a little attention paid to
my own country; and thet'll never be as long as your chaps are
ollerin at Wesminister as if nowbody mettered but your own
bloomin selves. Send em back to hell or C'naught, as good oul
English Cromwell said. I'm jast sick of Ireland. Let it gow. Cut
the cable. Make it a present to Germany to keep the oul Kyzer
busy for a while; and give poor owld England a chawnce: thets wot
I say.

MATTHEW [full of scorn for a man so ignorant as to be unable to
pronounce the word Connaught, which practically rhymes with
bonnet in Ireland, though in Hodson's dialect it rhymes with
untaught]. Take care we don't cut the cable ourselves some day,
bad scran to you! An tell me dhis: have yanny Coercion Acs in
England? Have yanny removables? Have you Dublin Castle to
suppress every newspaper dhat takes the part o your own counthry?

HODSON. We can beyave ahrselves withaht sich things.

MATTHEW. Bedad you're right. It'd only be waste o time to muzzle
a sheep. Here! where's me pig? God forgimme for talkin to a poor
ignorant craycher like you.

HODSON [grinning with good-humored malice, too convinced of his
own superiority to feel his withers wrung]. Your pig'll ave a
rare doin in that car, Paddy. Forty miles an ahr dahn that rocky
lane will strike it pretty pink, you bet.

MATTHEW [scornfully]. Hwy can't you tell a raisonable lie when
you're about it? What horse can go forty mile an hour?

HODSON. Orse! Wy, you silly oul rotten it's not a orse it's a
mowtor. Do you suppose Tom Broadbent would gow off himself to
arness a orse?

MATTHEW [in consternation]. Holy Moses! Don't tell me it's the
ingine he wants to take me on.

HODSON. Wot else?

MATTHEW. Your sowl to Morris Kelly! why didn't you tell me that
before? The divil an ingine he'll get me on this day. [His ear
catches an approaching teuf-teuf] Oh murdher! it's comin afther
me: I hear the puff puff of it. [He runs away through the gate,
much to Hodson's amusement. The noise of the motor ceases; and
Hodson, anticipating Broadbent's return, throws off the
politician and recomposes himself as a valet. Broadbent and Larry
come through the shrubbery. Hodson moves aside to the gate].

BROADBENT. Where is Mr Haffigan? Has he gone for the pig?

HODSON. Bolted, sir! Afraid of the motor, sir.

BROADBENT [much disappointed]. Oh, that's very tiresome. Did he
leave any message?

HODSON. He was in too great a hurry, sir. Started to run home,
sir, and left his pig behind him.

BROADBENT [eagerly]. Left the pig! Then it's all right. The pig's
the thing: the pig will win over every Irish heart to me. We'll
take the pig home to Haffigan's farm in the motor: it will have a
tremendous effect. Hodson!

HODSON. Yes sir?

BROADBENT. Do you think you could collect a crowd to see the

HODSON. Well, I'll try, sir.

BROADBENT. Thank you, Hodson: do.

Hodson goes out through the gate.

LARRY [desperately]. Once more, Tom, will you listen to me?

BROADBENT. Rubbish! I tell you it will be all right.

LARRY. Only this morning you confessed how surprised you were to
find that the people here showed no sense of humor.

BROADBENT [suddenly very solemn]. Yes: their sense of humor is in
abeyance: I noticed it the moment we landed. Think of that in a
country where every man is a born humorist! Think of what it
means! [Impressively] Larry we are in the presence of a great
national grief.

LARRY. What's to grieve them?

BROADBENT. I divined it, Larry: I saw it in their faces. Ireland
has never smiled since her hopes were buried in the grave of

LARRY. Oh, what's the use of talking to such a man? Now look
here, Tom. Be serious for a moment if you can.

BROADBENT [stupent] Serious! I!!!

LARRY. Yes, you. You say the Irish sense of humor is in abeyance.
Well, if you drive through Rosscullen in a motor car with
Haffigan's pig, it won't stay in abeyance. Now I warn you.

BROADBENT [breezily]. Why, so much the better! I shall enjoy the
joke myself more than any of them. [Shouting] Hallo, Patsy
Farrell, where are you?

PATSY [appearing in the shrubbery]. Here I am, your honor.

BROADBENT. Go and catch the pig and put it into the car--we're
going to take it to Mr Haffigan's. [He gives Larry a slap on the
shoulders that sends him staggering off through the gate, and
follows him buoyantly, exclaiming] Come on, you old croaker! I'll
show you how to win an Irish seat.

PATSY [meditatively]. Bedad, if dhat pig gets a howlt o the
handle o the machine-- [He shakes his head ominously and drifts
away to the pigsty].


The parlor in Cornelius Doyle's house. It communicates with the
garden by a half glazed door. The fireplace is at the other side
of the room, opposite the door and windows, the architect not
having been sensitive to draughts. The table, rescued from the
garden, is in the middle; and at it sits Keegan, the central
figure in a rather crowded apartment.

Nora, sitting with her back to the fire at the end of the table,
is playing backgammon across its corner with him, on his left
hand. Aunt Judy, a little further back, sits facing the fire
knitting, with her feet on the fender. A little to Keegan's
right, in front of the table, and almost sitting on it, is Barney
Doran. Half a dozen friends of his, all men, are between him and
the open door, supported by others outside. In the corner behind
them is the sofa, of mahogany and horsehair, made up as a bed for
Broadbent. Against the wall behind Keegan stands a mahogany
sideboard. A door leading to the interior of the house is near
the fireplace, behind Aunt Judy. There are chairs against the
wall, one at each end of the sideboard. Keegan's hat is on the
one nearest the inner door; and his stick is leaning against it.
A third chair, also against the wall, is near the garden door.

There is a strong contrast of emotional atmosphere between the
two sides of the room. Keegan is extraordinarily stern: no game
of backgammon could possibly make a man's face so grim. Aunt Judy
is quietly busy. Nora it trying to ignore Doran and attend to her

On the other hand Doran is reeling in an ecstasy of mischievous
mirth which has infected all his friends. They are screaming with
laughter, doubled up, leaning on the furniture and against the
walls, shouting, screeching, crying.

AUNT JUDY [as the noise lulls for a moment]. Arra hold your
noise, Barney. What is there to laugh at?

DORAN. It got its fut into the little hweel--[he is overcome
afresh; and the rest collapse again].

AUNT JUDY. Ah, have some sense: you're like a parcel o childher.
Nora, hit him a thump on the back: he'll have a fit.

DORAN [with squeezed eyes, exsuflicate with cachinnation] Frens,
he sez to dhem outside Doolan's: I'm takin the gintleman that
pays the rint for a dhrive.

AUNT JUDY. Who did he mean be that?

DORAN. They call a pig that in England. That's their notion of a

AUNT JUDY. Musha God help them if they can joke no better than

DORAN [with renewed symptoms]. Thin--

AUNT JUDY. Ah now don't be tellin it all over and settin yourself
off again, Barney.

NORA. You've told us three times, Mr Doran.

DORAN. Well but whin I think of it--!

AUNT JUDY. Then don't think of it, alanna.

DORAN. There was Patsy Farrll in the back sate wi dhe pig between
his knees, n me bould English boyoh in front at the machinery, n
Larry Doyle in the road startin the injine wid a bed winch. At
the first puff of it the pig lep out of its skin and bled Patsy's
nose wi dhe ring in its snout. [Roars of laughter: Keegan glares
at them]. Before Broadbint knew hwere he was, the pig was up his
back and over into his lap; and bedad the poor baste did credit
to Corny's thrainin of it; for it put in the fourth speed wid its
right crubeen as if it was enthered for the Gordn Bennett.

NORA [reproachfully]. And Larry in front of it and all! It's
nothn to laugh at, Mr Doran.

DORAN. Bedad, Miss Reilly, Larry cleared six yards backwards at
wan jump if he cleared an inch; and he'd a cleared seven if
Doolan's granmother hadn't cotch him in her apern widhout
intindin to. [Immense merriment].

AUNT JUDY, Ah, for shame, Barney! the poor old woman! An she was
hurt before, too, when she slipped on the stairs.

DORAN. Bedad, ma'am, she's hurt behind now; for Larry bouled her
over like a skittle. [General delight at this typical stroke of
Irish Rabelaisianism].

NORA. It's well the lad wasn't killed.

DORAN. Faith it wasn't o Larry we were thinkin jus dhen, wi dhe
pig takin the main sthreet o Rosscullen on market day at a mile a
minnit. Dh ony thing Broadbint could get at wi dhe pig in front
of him was a fut brake; n the pig's tail was undher dhat; so that
whin he thought he was putn non the brake he was ony squeezin the
life out o the pig's tail. The more he put the brake on the more
the pig squealed n the fasther he dhruv.

AUNT JUDY. Why couldn't he throw the pig out into the road?

DORAN. Sure he couldn't stand up to it, because he was
spanchelled-like between his seat and dhat thing like a wheel on
top of a stick between his knees.

AUNT JUDY. Lord have mercy on us!

NORA. I don't know how you can laugh. Do you, Mr Keegan?

KEEGAN [grimly]. Why not? There is danger, destruction, torment!
What more do we want to make us merry? Go on, Barney: the last
drops of joy are not squeezed from the story yet. Tell us again
how our brother was torn asunder.

DORAN [puzzled]. Whose bruddher?


NORA. He means the pig, Mr Doran. You know his way.

DORAN [rising gallantly to the occasion]. Bedad I'm sorry for
your poor bruddher, Misther Keegan; but I recommend you to thry
him wid a couple o fried eggs for your breakfast tomorrow. It was
a case of Excelsior wi dhat ambitious baste; for not content wid
jumpin from the back seat into the front wan, he jumped from the
front wan into the road in front of the car. And--

KEEGAN. And everybody laughed!

NORA. Don't go over that again, please, Mr Doran.

DORAN. Faith be the time the car went over the poor pig dhere was
little left for me or anywan else to go over except wid a knife
an fork.

AUNT JUDY. Why didn't Mr Broadbent stop the car when the pig was

DORAN. Stop the car! He might as well ha thried to stop a mad
bull. First it went wan way an made fireworks o Molly Ryan's
crockery stall; an dhen it slewed round an ripped ten fut o wall
out o the corner o the pound. [With enormous enjoyment] Begob, it
just tore the town in two and sent the whole dam market to
blazes. [Nora offended, rises].

KEEGAN [indignantly]. Sir!

DORAN [quickly]. Savin your presence, Miss Reilly, and Misther
Keegan's. Dhere! I won't say anuddher word.

NORA. I'm surprised at you, Mr Doran. [She sits down again].

DORAN [refectively]. He has the divil's own luck, that
Englishman, annyway; for when they picked him up he hadn't a
scratch on him, barrn hwat the pig did to his cloes. Patsy had
two fingers out o jynt; but the smith pulled them sthraight for
him. Oh, you never heard such a hullaballoo as there was. There
was Molly, cryin Me chaney, me beautyful chaney! n oul Mat
shoutin Me pig, me pig! n the polus takin the number o the car, n
not a man in the town able to speak for laughin--

KEEGAN [with intense emphasis]. It is hell: it is hell. Nowhere
else could such a scene be a burst of happiness for the people.

Cornelius comes in hastily from the garden, pushing his way
through the little crowd.

CORNELIUS. Whisht your laughin, boys! Here he is. [He puts his
hat on the sideboard, and goes to the fireplace, where he posts
himself with his back to the chimneypiece].

AUNT JUDY. Remember your behavior, now.

Everybody becomes silent, solemn, concerned, sympathetic.
Broadbent enters, roiled and disordered as to his motoring coat:
immensely important and serious as to himself. He makes his way
to the end of the table nearest the garden door, whilst Larry,
who accompanies him, throws his motoring coat on the sofa bed,
and sits down, watching the proceedings.

BROADBENT [taking off his leather cap with dignity and placing it
on the table]. I hope you have not been anxious about me.

AUNT JUDY. Deedn we have, Mr Broadbent. It's a mercy you weren't

DORAN. Kilt! It's a mercy dheres two bones of you left houldin
together. How dijjescape at all at all? Well, I never thought I'd
be so glad to see you safe and sound again. Not a man in the town
would say less [murmurs of kindly assent]. Won't you come down to
Doolan's and have a dhrop o brandy to take the shock off?

BROADBENT. You're all really too kind; but the shock has quite
passed off.

DORAN [jovially]. Never mind. Come along all the same and tell us
about it over a frenly glass.

BROADBENT. May I say how deeply I feel the kindness with which I
have been overwhelmed since my accident? I can truthfully declare
that I am glad it happened, because it has brought out the
kindness and sympathy of the Irish character to an extent I had
no conception of.

SEVERAL {Oh, sure you're welcome!
PRESENT. {Sure it's only natural.
{Sure you might have been kilt.

A young man, on the point of bursting, hurries out. Barney puts
an iron constraint on his features.

BROADBENT. All I can say is that I wish I could drink the health
of everyone of you.

DORAN. Dhen come an do it.

BROADBENT [very solemnly]. No: I am a teetotaller.

AUNT JUDY [incredulously]. Arra since when?

BROADBENT. Since this morning, Miss Doyle. I have had a lesson
[he looks at Nora significantly] that I shall not forget. It may
be that total abstinence has already saved my life; for I was
astonished at the steadiness of my nerves when death stared me in
the face today. So I will ask you to excuse me. [He collects
himself for a speech]. Gentlemen: I hope the gravity of the peril
through which we have all passed--for I know that the danger to
the bystanders was as great as to the occupants of the car--will
prove an earnest of closer and more serious relations between us
in the future. We have had a somewhat agitating day: a valuable
and innocent animal has lost its life: a public building has been
wrecked: an aged and infirm lady has suffered an impact for which
I feel personally responsible, though my old friend Mr Laurence
Doyle unfortunately incurred the first effects of her very
natural resentment. I greatly regret the damage to Mr Patrick
Farrell's fingers; and I have of course taken care that he shall
not suffer pecuniarily by his mishap. [Murmurs of admiration at
his magnanimity, and A Voice "You're a gentleman, sir"]. I am
glad to say that Patsy took it like an Irishman, and, far from
expressing any vindictive feeling, declared his willingness to
break all his fingers and toes for me on the same terms [subdued
applause, and "More power to Patsy!"]. Gentlemen: I felt at home
in Ireland from the first [rising excitement among his hearers].
In every Irish breast I have found that spirit of liberty [A
cheery voice "Hear Hear"], that instinctive mistrust of the
Government [A small pious voice, with intense expression, "God
bless you, sir!"], that love of independence [A defiant voice,
"That's it! Independence!"], that indignant sympathy with the
cause of oppressed nationalities abroad [A threatening growl from
all: the ground-swell of patriotic passion], and with the
resolute assertion of personal rights at home, which is all but
extinct in my own country. If it were legally possible I should
become a naturalized Irishman; and if ever it be my good fortune
to represent an Irish constituency in parliament, it shall be my
first care to introduce a Bill legalizing such an operation. I
believe a large section of the Liberal party would avail
themselves of it. [Momentary scepticism]. I do. [Convulsive
cheering]. Gentlemen: I have said enough. [Cries of "Go on"]. No:
I have as yet no right to address you at all on political
subjects; and we must not abuse the warmhearted Irish hospitality
of Miss Doyle by turning her sittingroom into a public meeting.

DORAN [energetically]. Three cheers for Tom Broadbent, the future
member for Rosscullen!

AUNT JUDY [waving a half knitted sock]. Hip hip hurray!

The cheers are given with great heartiness, as it is by this
time, for the more humorous spirits present, a question of
vociferation or internal rupture.

BROADBENT. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, friends.

NORA [whispering to Doran]. Take them away, Mr Doran [Doran

DORAN. Well, good evenin, Mr Broadbent; an may you never regret
the day you wint dhrivin wid Halligan's pig! [They shake hands].
Good evenin, Miss Doyle.

General handshaking, Broadbent shaking hands with everybody
effusively. He accompanies them to the garden and can be heard
outside saying Goodnight in every inflexion known to
parliamentary candidates. Nora, Aunt Judy, Keegan, Larry, and
Cornelius are left in the parlor. Larry goes to the threshold and
watches the scene in the garden.

NORA. It's a shame to make game of him like that. He's a gradle
more good in him than Barney Doran.

CORNELIUS. It's all up with his candidature. He'll be laughed out
o the town.

LARRY [turning quickly from the doorway]. Oh no he won't: he's
not an Irishman. He'll never know they're laughing at him; and
while they're laughing he'll win the seat.

CORNELIUS. But he can't prevent the story getting about.

LARRY. He won't want to. He'll tell it himself as one of the most
providential episodes in the history of England and Ireland.

AUNT JUDY. Sure he wouldn't make a fool of himself like that.

LARRY. Are you sure he's such a fool after all, Aunt Judy?
Suppose you had a vote! which would you rather give it to? the
man that told the story of Haffigan's pig Barney Doran's way or
Broadbent's way?

AUNT JUDY. Faith I wouldn't give it to a man at all. It's a few
women they want in parliament to stop their foolish blather.

BROADBENT [bustling into the room, and taking off his damaged
motoring overcoat, which he put down on the sofa]. Well, that's
over. I must apologize for making that speech, Miss Doyle; but
they like it, you know. Everything helps in electioneering.

Larry takes the chair near the door; draws it near the table; and
sits astride it, with his elbows folded on the back.

AUNT JUDY. I'd no notion you were such an orator, Mr Broadbent.

BROADBENT. Oh, it's only a knack. One picks it up on the
platform. It stokes up their enthusiasm.

AUNT JUDY. Oh, I forgot. You've not met Mr Keegan. Let me
introjooce you.

BROADBENT [shaking hands effusively]. Most happy to meet you, Mr
Keegan. I have heard of you, though I have not had the pleasure
of shaking your hand before. And now may I ask you--for I value
no man's opinion more--what you think of my chances here.

KEEGAN [coldly]. Your chances, sir, are excellent. You will get
into parliament.

BROADBENT [delighted]. I hope so. I think so. [Fluctuating] You
really think so? You are sure you are not allowing your
enthusiasm for our principles to get the better of your judgment?

KEEGAN. I have no enthusiasm for your principles, sir. You will
get into parliament because you want to get into it badly enough
to be prepared to take the necessary steps to induce the people
to vote for you. That is how people usually get into that
fantastic assembly.

BROADBENT [puzzled]. Of course. [Pause]. Quite so. [Pause]. Er--
yes. [Buoyant again] I think they will vote for me. Eh? Yes?

AUNT JUDY. Arra why shouldn't they? Look at the people they DO
vote for!

BROADBENT [encouraged]. That's true: that's very true. When I see
the windbags, the carpet-baggers, the charlatans, the--the--the
fools and ignoramuses who corrupt the multitude by their wealth,
or seduce them by spouting balderdash to them, I cannot help
thinking that an honest man with no humbug about him, who will
talk straight common sense and take his stand on the solid ground
of principle and public duty, must win his way with men of all

KEEGAN [quietly]. Sir: there was a time, in my ignorant youth,
when I should have called you a hypocrite.

BROADBENT [reddening]. A hypocrite!

NORA [hastily]. Oh I'm sure you don't think anything of the sort,
Mr Keegan.

BROADBENT [emphatically]. Thank you, Miss Reilly: thank you.

CORNELIUS [gloomily]. We all have to stretch it a bit in
politics: hwat's the use o pretendin we don't?

BROADBENT [stiffly]. I hope I have said or done nothing that
calls for any such observation, Mr Doyle. If there is a vice I
detest--or against which my whole public life has been a
protest--it is the vice of hypocrisy. I would almost rather be
inconsistent than insincere.

KEEGAN. Do not be offended, sir: I know that you are quite
sincere. There is a saying in the Scripture which runs--so far as
the memory of an oldish man can carry the words--Let not the
right side of your brain know what the left side doeth. I learnt
at Oxford that this is the secret of the Englishman's strange
power of making the best of both worlds.

BROADBENT. Surely the text refers to our right and left hands. I
am somewhat surprised to hear a member of your Church quote so
essentially Protestant a document as the Bible; but at least you
might quote it accurately.

LARRY. Tom: with the best intentions you're making an ass of
yourself. You don't understand Mr Keegan's peculiar vein of

BROADBENT [instantly recovering his confidence]. Ah! it was
only your delightful Irish humor, Mr Keegan. Of course, of
course. How stupid of me! I'm so sorry. [He pats Keegan
consolingly on the back]. John Bull's wits are still slow, you
see. Besides, calling me a hypocrite was too big a joke to
swallow all at once, you know.

KEEGAN. You must also allow for the fact that I am mad.

NORA. Ah, don't talk like that, Mr Keegan.

BROADBENT [encouragingly]. Not at all, not at all. Only a
whimsical Irishman, eh?

LARRY. Are you really mad, Mr Keegan?

AUNT JUDY [shocked]. Oh, Larry, how could you ask him such a

LARRY. I don't think Mr Keegan minds. [To Keegan] What's the true
version of the story of that black man you confessed on his

KEEGAN. What story have you heard about that?

LARRY. I am informed that when the devil came for the black
heathen, he took off your head and turned it three times round
before putting it on again; and that your head's been turned ever

NORA [reproachfully]. Larry!

KEEGAN [blandly]. That is not quite what occurred. [He collects
himself for a serious utterance: they attend involuntarily]. I
heard that a black man was dying, and that the people were afraid
to go near him. When I went to the place I found an elderly
Hindoo, who told me one of those tales of unmerited misfortune,
of cruel ill luck, of relentless persecution by destiny, which
sometimes wither the commonplaces of consolation on the lips of a
priest. But this man did not complain of his misfortunes. They
were brought upon him, he said, by sins committed in a former
existence. Then, without a word of comfort from me, he died with
a clear-eyed resignation that my most earnest exhortations have
rarely produced in a Christian, and left me sitting there by his
bedside with the mystery of this world suddenly revealed to me.

BROADBENT. That is a remarkable tribute to the liberty of
conscience enjoyed by the subjects of our Indian Empire.

LARRY. No doubt; but may we venture to ask what is the mystery of
this world?

KEEGAN. This world, sir, is very clearly a place of torment and
penance, a place where the fool flourishes and the good and wise
are hated and persecuted, a place where men and women torture one
another in the name of love; where children are scourged and
enslaved in the name of parental duty and education; where the
weak in body are poisoned and mutilated in the name of healing,
and the weak in character are put to the horrible torture of
imprisonment, not for hours but for years, in the name of
justice. It is a place where the hardest toil is a welcome refuge
from the horror and tedium of pleasure, and where charity and
good works are done only for hire to ransom the souls of the
spoiler and the sybarite. Now, sir, there is only one place of
horror and torment known to my religion; and that place is hell.
Therefore it is plain to me that this earth of ours must be hell,
and that we are all here, as the Indian revealed to me--perhaps
he was sent to reveal it to me to expiate crimes committed by us
in a former existence.

AUNT JUDY [awestruck]. Heaven save us, what a thing to say!

CORNELIUS [sighing]. It's a queer world: that's certain.

BROADBENT. Your idea is a very clever one, Mr Keegan: really most
brilliant: I should never have thought of it. But it seems to
me--if I may say so--that you are overlooking the fact that, of
the evils you describe, some are absolutely necessary for the
preservation of society, and others are encouraged only when the
Tories are in office.

LARRY. I expect you were a Tory in a former existence; and that
is why you are here.

BROADBENT [with conviction]. Never, Larry, never. But leaving
politics out of the question, I find the world quite good enough
for me: rather a jolly place, in fact.

KEEGAN [looking at him with quiet wonder]. You are satisfied?

BROADBENT. As a reasonable man, yes. I see no evils in the
world--except, of course, natural evils--that cannot be remedied
by freedom, self-government, and English institutions. I think
so, not because I am an Englishman, but as a matter of common

KEEGAN. You feel at home in the world, then?

BROADBENT. Of course. Don't you?

KEEGAN [from the very depths of his nature]. No.

BROADBENT [breezily]. Try phosphorus pills. I always take them
when my brain is overworked. I'll give you the address in Oxford

KEEGAN [enigmatically: rising]. Miss Doyle: my wandering fit has
come on me: will you excuse me?

AUNT JUDY. To be sure: you know you can come in n nout as you

KEEGAN. We can finish the game some other time, Miss Reilly. [He
goes for his hat and stick.

NORA. No: I'm out with you [she disarranges the pieces and
rises]. I was too wicked in a former existence to play backgammon
with a good man like you.

AUNT JUDY [whispering to her]. Whisht, whisht, child! Don't set
him back on that again.

KEEGAN [to Nora]. When I look at you, I think that perhaps
Ireland is only purgatory, after all. [He passes on to the garden

NORA. Galong with you!

BROADBENT [whispering to Cornelius]. Has he a vote?

CORNELIUS [nodding]. Yes. An there's lots'll vote the way he
tells them.

KEEGAN [at the garden door, with gentle gravity]. Good evening,
Mr Broadbent. You have set me thinking. Thank you.

BROADBENT [delighted, hurrying across to him to shake hands]. No,
really? You find that contact with English ideas is stimulating,

KEEGAN. I am never tired of hearing you talk, Mr Broadbent.

BROADBENT [modestly remonstrating]. Oh come! come!

KEEGAN. Yes, I assure you. You are an extremely interesting man.
[He goes out].

BROADBENT [enthusiastically]. What a nice chap! What an
intelligent, interesting fellow! By the way, I'd better have a
wash. [He takes up his coat and cap, and leaves the room through
the inner door].

Nora returns to her chair and shuts up the backgammon board.

AUNT JUDY. Keegan's very queer to-day. He has his mad fit on him.

CORNELIUS [worried and bitter]. I wouldn't say but he's right
after all. It's a contrairy world. [To Larry]. Why would you be
such a fool as to let him take the seat in parliament from you?

LARRY [glancing at Nora]. He will take more than that from me
before he's done here.

CORNELIUS. I wish he'd never set foot in my house, bad luck to
his fat face! D'ye think he'd lend me 300 pounds on the farm,
Larry? When I'm so hard up, it seems a waste o money not to
mortgage it now it's me own.

LARRY. I can lend you 300 pounds on it.

CORNELIUS. No, no: I wasn't putn in for that. When I die and
leave you the farm I should like to be able to feel that it was
all me own, and not half yours to start with. Now I'll take me
oath Barney Doarn's goin to ask Broadbent to lend him 500 pounds
on the mill to put in a new hweel; for the old one'll harly hol
together. An Haffigan can't sleep with covetn that corner o land
at the foot of his medda that belongs to Doolan. He'll have to
mortgage to buy it. I may as well be first as last. D'ye think
Broadbent'd len me a little?

LARRY. I'm quite sure he will.

CORNELIUS. Is he as ready as that? Would he len me five hunderd,
d'ye think?

LARRY. He'll lend you more than the land'll ever be worth to
you; so for Heaven's sake be prudent.

CORNELIUS [judicially]. All right, all right, me son: I'll be
careful. I'm goin into the office for a bit. [He withdraws
through the inner door, obviously to prepare his application to

AUNT JUDY [indignantly]. As if he hadn't seen enough o borryin
when he was an agent without beginnin borryin himself! [She
rises]. I'll bory him, so I will. [She puts her knitting on the
table and follows him out, with a resolute air that bodes trouble
for Cornelius].

Larry and Nora are left together for the first time since his
arrival. She looks at him with a smile that perishes as she sees
him aimlessly rocking his chair, and reflecting, evidently not
about her, with his lips pursed as if he were whistling. With a
catch in her throat she takes up Aunt Judy's knitting, and makes
a pretence of going on with it.

NORA. I suppose it didn't seem very long to you.

LARRY [starting]. Eh? What didn't?

NORA. The eighteen years you've been away.

LARRY. Oh, that! No: it seems hardly more than a week. I've been
so busy--had so little time to think.

NORA. I've had nothin else to do but think.

LARRY. That was very bad for you. Why didn't you give it up? Why
did you stay here?

NORA. Because nobody sent for me to go anywhere else, I suppose.
That's why.

LARRY. Yes: one does stick frightfully in the same place, unless
some external force comes and routs one out. [He yawns slightly;
but as she looks up quickly at him, he pulls himself together and
rises with an air of waking up and getting to work cheerfully to
make himself agreeable]. And how have you been all this time?

NORA. Quite well, thank you.

LARRY. That's right. [Suddenly finding that he has nothing else
to say, and being ill at ease in consequence, he strolls about
the room humming a certain tune from Offenbach's Whittington].

NORA [struggling with her tears]. Is that all you have to say to
me, Larry?

LARRY. Well, what is there to say? You see, we know each other so

NORA [a little consoled]. Yes: of course we do. [He does not
reply]. I wonder you came back at all.

LARRY. I couldn't help it. [She looks up affectionately]. Tom
made me. [She looks down again quickly to conceal the effect of
this blow. He whistles another stave; then resumes]. I had a sort
of dread of returning to Ireland. I felt somehow that my luck
would turn if I came back. And now here I am, none the worse.

NORA. Praps it's a little dull for you.

LARRY. No: I haven't exhausted the interest of strolling about
the old places and remembering and romancing about them.

NORA [hopefully]. Oh! You DO remember the places, then?

LARRY. Of course. They have associations.

NORA [not doubting that the associations are with her]. I suppose

LARRY. M'yes. I can remember particular spots where I had long
fits of thinking about the countries I meant to get to when I
escaped from Ireland. America and London, and sometimes Rome and
the east.

NORA [deeply mortified]. Was that all you used to be thinking

LARRY. Well, there was precious little else to think about here,
my dear Nora, except sometimes at sunset, when one got maudlin
and called Ireland Erin, and imagined one was remembering the
days of old, and so forth. [He whistles Let Erin Remember].

NORA. Did jever get a letter I wrote you last February?

LARRY. Oh yes; and I really intended to answer it. But I haven't
had a moment; and I knew you wouldn't mind. You see, I am so
afraid of boring you by writing about affairs you don't
understand and people you don't know! And yet what else have I to
write about? I begin a letter; and then I tear it up again. The

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