WEEK 108: (1st – 7th December 1919)

“Kathleen Hicks came to supper & was very interesting. She approved the idea of getting C. na mb. Branches to demand that the vacant seats in Dáil Éireann should be filled by women, or attempted to be.”

NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/36
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 12th September 1919 – 27th January 1920

WEEK 108: 1st – 7th December 1919

(114)  Monday 1st Dec. – I visited K. Hicks at Cutlar’s & asked her to visit me. She agrees with me that the aonach to buy the S.F. club house is not a good object, & says the band has been largely instrumental in lowering the club. Bands seem to necessitate drink. I gave her 2 Citizens to see if she would buy it.

Tuesday 2 Dec. – Tech. I went to tea at the Walpoles & Mr Hambrey was there, to continue the discussion on materialism or rather on soul & spirit, re Mr Walpole’s remark at the essay meeting that soul was the most refined form of matter, but still matter, & my request to him for an explanation. Hambrey & I talked a good deal about

(115) novels before that came, & I defended them against Mr W. who considers they serve no end but idle pleasure & cannot in any way benefit the mind or heart. Curious how Katie does not discuss things in her own house, I wonder if she is oppressed by her father’s flow of words. His idea about soul & spirit is that the former is what I would call the mind, & not immortal, and spirit is the spark of God which can immportalize it, but does not invariably come to it. Then he went on about the riddle of the universe & the entire failure of all philosophies and all religions, except Christianity, to make it clear, & he talked as if eastern religions were all barbaric idolatries. Hambrey supported me in defending them, or in asserting our inability & judge them with

(116) knowledge & impartiality. Then Mr W. in answer to my questions expounded how the Bible answered all his problems and how God was leading him on in the best & only possible way, & we argued over the old Testament. He takes the old view that ‘mankind had to be led most gradually out of savagery & only shown such glimpses of truth as it was able to grasp etc. Miss W. and Katie practically silent, & indeed Hambrey too, but he is not orthodox to that extent.

Wednesday 3rd. – I went to St Declan’s in the afternoon and met D’s & our cousin “Alfie Watson” – who is related to us both through Bewleys & Watsons, & is Barney Watson’s elder brother. He is home from South Africa for the first time in 12 years. It was he that courted Olive Paton in 1907. He is a neat, dried up, thin quiet person with dark hair & a little

(117) moustache; gives the impression of being small without being so, & is very subdued & serious, D. says, compared with what he used to be. He admired Louis, & likes tea in the afternoon, & speaks in a Morning Post manner about African natives. I went to Jennings afterwards & he showed me 5 grey Persian kittens belonging to his 2 cats. Lovely little elegant creatures with short noses who played delicately with a lump of paper and ran about without the slightest sound. They have to be combed every day, but fortunately the maid seems very fond of them. The mothers are very handsome too, with grand orange eyes. One of them is named Pitt. He is selling the kittens at 2 guineas each!

Thursday 4th Dec. – A mostly wet windy day. I went to St Declan’s in the

(118) afternoon, and we went for a walk to Goff’s. A. Watson suffers from the cold and walks very fast. He says he finds Aunt Bessie & Daddy very little changed in the 12 years; Uncle Stephen much more so. He had nothing to say about Tony. T. brought him to visit at Suirview then, as he was going away next morning, and he talked about genealogy & Africa & they liked him, though Aunt H. found his tone about Africa rather strong. He does not class the Dutch inhabitants there as white men. He was nice, but I’d like to have met him before he got so subdued.

Friday 5th. – Kathleen Hicks came to supper & was very interesting. She approved the idea of getting C. na mb. Branches to demand that the vacant seats in Dáil Éireann should be filled

(119) by women, or attempted to be. She was very pleasant & cute but I forget now what we talked of.  [Superscript: small number “23”]

Sunday 7th. – I went out to visit R. Butler & coincided with D. & T. & Louis on the way. They had just been reading the Young Visitors which D. got for Uncle Stephen, and were charmed with it. We I went there to St D.’s in the afternoon. Louis is very often fretful & unhappy now when I see him, & the teeth never seem to come – the next two I mean. [Superscript above: Sean was there, talked of killing policemen, & put a very reasonable useful colour on it – says it has done much good in taming aggressive D. Ins. & sergeants in the country] Aunt H. was not well at this time, & was in bed a good deal. Uncle E. was all right for a space.