“He talked about the election & what is Sinn Féin going to do? he’s always bothering about that. Probably they will do silly things, and then he’ll say they are no good & the country will be destroyed. We were talking about lectures, & I was telling him about the one I want to give on Tone’s political writings, & he was very interested in that. He says Bob is going to church twice so as not to have to pay £1 to advertise himself as an unbeliever in the newspapers.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/35
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 29th October 1918 – 11th September 1919
WEEK 66: 6th – 12th January 1919
Monday 6th Jan. – Cold frosty day, but it turned to rain. Maya & Sheila, who were in Dublin for some time, came down here this day, to S view, & came in with Aunt H. in the afternoon. Maya still has her hair short, but its got very grey.
She wasn’t as queerly dressed as usual. Sheila is very nearly as tall as M., & is goodlooking, with good features & a plump face & rosy cheeks and dark hair the same shortness as Maya’s but much more becoming to her. She hasn’t very much to say, but looked pleasant. Maya poured out a stream of conversation, partly about the general election, & how it doesn’t really represent popular feeling in England & everything is going to come right & the time is full of portent & wonders. She talks more than ever. I went in again to Sview for a little while late in the evening.
Tuesday 7 Jan. – Maya had a F.O.R. meeting at Suirview in the evening, “Unity” was her subject, & it as all about the beauty of tolerance, as it seemed to me; how everybody’s road to heaven is as good as the next one, & by each following their own
best ideals people will converge towards the same point, & how the fatherhood of God implies & necessitates the brotherhood of man. She told how she & Matthews once went to visit a camp of C.O’s engaged in forestry work, & how delighted they were to be visited, & how there were 3 sorts of them; the Socialists who rejected religion & the Evangelical ones, & the moderates. The first & last second kept apart because they couldn’t live together in any sort of harmony; neither could see the good in the others, bec not even admit the others’ sincerity, & the moderate ones were awfully rejoiced with Maya & Matthews because they could see the good in both. She gave the idea that they came among these poor C.O’s as a strengthening uplifting comforting force. The mistake made by the 2 extreme kinds of C.O. was that one didn’t recognise the fatherhood of God & the other didn’t think enough of the brotherhood of man. There was a big attendance, a lot
of Bells, the Nobles, Mrs Coade, Tom, Edwin etc. Mamma & I stayed late after the rest went, & argued a bit with Maya, but I forget what it was now. I think most of the people enjoyed her talk.
Wednesday 8th. I went to the Tech
in Maya & Sheila were going to see Grace Bell just after dinner, so I went too, & we saw Ruth, who can walk freely now, but has trouble with her teeth which makes her fretful & one of her cheeks fiery red. Her hair is beautiful. Maya gave Grace & Sam lots of information about “short swathes”, & how ollie gave her children cold stomach bandages from their birth & all the good it did them. Sheila enjoyed Ruth very much. I visited D. on my way home. [Short hand writing here]
Thursday 9th Jan. – I had to go to the Fianna girls in the evening, & we had some first aid. Maya & Aunt H. were there when I got back, & stayed pretty late. [Short hand writing here]
Friday 10th. – I went to the Tech in the morning and made half a ring. Maya & Sheila & Tom came to tea. Sheila is much more interested in things than Nora used to be; she looks at photos, & went right through David Copperfield looking at the pictures, because they acted a scene out of it lately at her school. She is a pleasant amiable child, though very young for her age in some ways. She has a fiddle, but Tom said she was all out of tine when she played it. I knew she wasn’t much good, but he was horrified. She will talk, too, without shyness or the sort of volubility that Nancy has, & she is very fond of cats- admired Simon keenly. Aunt H. came in after tea, and we had some music from Tom. I had to go down to the club for a few minutes in the middle of it. They went away before 10 and at 11 Ben turned up from the Rosslare train. He had supper and we sat by the fire till 12, he smoking.
He talked about the election & what is Sinn Féin going to do? he’s always bothering about that. Probably they will do silly things, and then he’ll say they are no good & the country will be destroyed. We were talking about lectures, & I was telling him about the one I want to give on Tone’s political writings, & he was very interested in that. He says Bob is going to church twice so as not to have to pay £1 to advertise himself as an unbeliever in the newspapers.
Saturday 11 Jan. – Ben had more talk about the election & his canvassing experience among the poor in Belfast. First they say they will vote for Devlin, the friend of the workers, & then when he talks about trade unions for a bit, they get confidential & say that nobody ever did anything for the workers. I gave him Tone’s letter from the weaver to read, as part of his political writings, & he admired it thoroughly. He lent or rather gave me Blacam’s book Towards the Republic, which he got to review for
New Ireland. At 11 he went up to St Declan’s & I went to town, & at 1 Ben & Tom both came to dinner & Aunt H. & Maya came in to visit with Ben for a few minutes. He wd hardly say anything about Louis except that he was asleep until he went & laid violent hands on him. He says he is considered to have a likeness to De Valera, & was nicknamed De V. at the committee rooms in Béal Féirgde [?]. There is a sort of likeness but its flattery of Ben. He went off then to the train. I went to tea at Sview and we played cartoons; the first time I had done so for months years & years; Sheila drew rather good representations of the donkey that used to be at Suirview, & Maya drew a wonderful picture of Tom wheeling Louis up the steps into his garden in a wheelbarrow & Aunt H. drew Katie & me outside the top window & I drew George Combe wheeling
Pheidipides in a perambulator. Sheila is much more companiable companionable & interesting than Nora used to be.
Sunday 12th Jan. – Maya & Sheila came to dinner. Tom came in afterwards and they had a great argument about the world and how its to be improved & socialism. Maya objects to parliament altogether, but is very vague as to how things should be managed. She is more accustomed to hold forth than to be argued with & questioned. Sheila was interested in the musical box & made a very good building with the stone bricks. [Small shorthand symbols here]