“I went to St. Declan’s a.d. to mind Louis while Dorothea went canvassing with Mrs Hayden. He was out with Miss Nesbitt, but came in soon, and was very cross and miserable for a long time. I told D. of the communications I had had from her mother mostly about her children & their likeness to her, which she said were quite true – that she was like her in eyes & mind, & suffered for want of an interest in his life & that Tony was very little changed since she left them. D. had been trying to write, but could not, so I brought her the Ouija board.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/36
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 12th September 1919 – 27th January 1920
WEEK 113: 5th – 11th January 1920
Monday 5th Jan. – I took Louis out in the afternoon, to visit the carstand
(151) Powers, but he did not like them, & cried a lot. They were talking about the Municipal elections, & Tom’s chance. They admired Louis & said they would not know him, he had got so fat, and they gave him everything in the room to play with, but nothing would please him except, for a while, the handle of the door. I stayed to tea at St Declan’s. Ben & Tony had been buying books at Croker’s, & were much struck with it as a bookshop – said there was none so good in Cork! Ben got Dante’s Inferno in Italian & Blake’s Poems & Dilke’s Greater Britain (My God what a selection) & Tony Rosebery’s book about Napoleon’s Last Phase. But he was reading Greater Britain most of the evening, & was surprised at me for not caring about books of travel.
(152) Louis was in a good temper & very nice. After tea we sat in the drawingroom & [Superscript: Tom falling off the back of the chair when Ben thoughtlessly vacated it] I read some of the Psycho- Analysis book, which is very interesting. Ben read bits of Blake, which were rather amusing, & also devoted himself to the German ballad book. Ben is trying for a job in a University at Cape Town but won’t know for some weeks whether he gets it. It seems a great pity, but I suppose men are made like that. We got a couple of songs from Tony at a very late hour – Since first I saw your face, with 2 extra verses that I didn’t know it had, and Phyllida, and In Happy Moments. The way they had the piano turned then, you could not see the lovely back view of Tony singing.
(153) [Transcribers note: Faint pencil handwriting unclear and upside-down on the following pages]
Tuesday 6th. – I took Louis out to May’s Lane & round by Power’s nursery in the afternoon, & he would not sleep at all. A fine mild day.
Wednesday 7th. – I went to St. Declan’s a.d. to mind Louis while Dorothea went canvassing with Mrs Hayden. He was out with Miss Nesbitt, but came in soon, and was very cross and miserable for a long time. I told D. of the communications I had had from her mother mostly about her children & their likeness to her, which she said were quite true – that she was like her in eyes & mind, & suffered for want of an interest in his life & that Tony was very little changed since she left them. D. had been trying to write, but could not, so I brought her the Ouija board. She tried
(154) [upside-down handwriting in pencil: “On that occasion if they did not keep the matter in hand anyhow? Turn the sentence round for a moment, talk of men shedding the bright influence of their beauty over a circle of patriotic & romantic young Irishwomen and see how ridiculous it looks. Yet there is no reason why it is just as amoral & reasonable a sentence in that form as in the other. We can make allowances for some excess of enthusiasm about feminine sex-charm in the writings of […remainder of the text has been erased]
(154) it after tea but it ran about the table instead of pointing to letters. I did some writing for her then – Tom being out canvassing – and she had a long conversation with her mother about the Redclyffe people – especially Uncle Stephen – and the Blacks etc. She was very excited about it, and thought the remarks had a great appearance of reality. She says Stephen adores his mother, so she thinks her remark about him being more present to her than any of them may be true.
Thursday 8th Jan. – I went to town for tickets, and polished the little table upstairs.
Friday 9th. – I went to the Tech and was almost the only person in the art section except Miss Courtney who has injured her eyes with interlacements and wandered about the place like a homeless spirit. I finished the pink topaz
[upsidedown handwriting in pencil: “Some extraordinary instances are given of the courage and exertions the countrywomen in their determination to secure the bodies of their bellowed dead. One story tells of a girl with another woman was hanged drawn and quartered at Carrig… [sp. unclear text ?] for posting proclamation at Carmoney a few miles… And a day or two earlier we have the story of the woman who “turned over 200 dead bodies before she discovered her husbands after the great massacre of the Currach of the insurgents who had assembled according to the terms entered into with General Dundas to lay down their arms & receive, the protection of which were to enable them to return to their homes without further molestation. 350 men massacred by the forces of the g….]
(155) ring but not quite satisfactorily.
Sunday 11th Jan. – Showery cold day with intervals of sunshine. I went out with Tom & Louis in the morning, out the Cork road as far as the crossroads and came in for a fearful shower there. Louis liked the noise of the little stream there, & would not go to sleep at all from first to last. [Short hand symbols here] Nancy has been very ill with a high temperature, and as was afterwards found, a gathered breast.
Featured Image: “Songs of Innocence and of Experience Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul title page” Wiki Commons.