“I went to the Celid Mór in the Town Hall that night, & the dancing didn’t begin till after 9. The gallery & the place under it were packed with spectators. Miss Doyle, Miss Skeffington, K. Hicks & some others were in the supper room superintending. I went into the big room, which was beautifully decorated, & after a long wait had the opportunity of watching 2 dances & observing which girls were not danced with, as Miss Doyle had asked me to do. I went & told Daly, who was one of the stewards, & he said he wd do his best. Miss Skeffington also did her best, but as she said afterwards “The fellas run away from you. Each of them seems to have his own little one.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/35
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 29th October 1918 – 11th September 1919
WEEK 67: 13th – 19th January 1919
Monday 13th. – Wet day. Maya & Sheila & I suppose Aunt H. came in in the afternoon. When Maya & I are by ourselves we get on pretty well, but Aunt H. adores her too much & Mamma won’t make allowances for her.
Tuesday 14th. – I went up to Holmacre in the morning
and read some of the National Being with Annie. I cannot be interested in the rural problem. There was an essay meeting in the evening; I met Millicent in the hall as I went in, and we lamented the decay of the times in the matter of essay meetings & getting tea at them. I had some sewing to do, & it was a very interesting essay lecture; Mrs Clark on Dean Swift. She introduced the subject and then read a lot of extracts from his journal, one or two of them delicious, like “So your chimney fell down – Lord preserve you! I suppose you mean a brick or two.” And “Dingley has heard of that, but not Stella, or its in the Bible.” Then she read a lot out of “Esther Vanhomrigh” which also was very interesting, if not authentic. She said it was thought possible that knowledge that he was sure to go mad sometime was the reason Swift did not marry Stella, but if so he shd
have explained it to her. There was scarcely anything said about his books. It was a very long lecture, & a very short discussion. I found coming home that Tom had been frightfully bored.
Wednesday 15th Jan. – I went in to Suirview early & found Uncle E. was going to take Sheila up Gaul’s Rock, so I went with them, and was surprised to find what a pleasure it was to be there again, though the ground was soggy with wet & the mountains invisible and a pool at the bottom of the sliding stone. Sheila was interested and sensible-behaved as usual when things are shown to her. My uncle took us down through Nolan’s back yard & round close to the house & down the front avenue- he has no manners. Then I had to take Sheila down Nolan’s lane because he was “rather tired” – though he knew I was going to the Tech but I made it a very short visit. It
poured rain afterwards, and Maya & Sheila went off to Át Cliat by the afternoon train. I went to the Celid Mór in the Town Hall that night, & the dancing didn’t begin till after 9. The gallery & the place under it were packed with spectators. Miss Doyle, Miss Skeffington, K. Hicks & some others were in the supper room superintending. I went into the big room, which was beautifully decorated, & after a long wait had the opportunity of watching 2 dances & observing which girls were not danced with, as Miss Doyle had asked me to do. I went & told Daly, who was one of the stewards, & he said he wd do his best. Miss Skeffington also did her best, but as she said afterwards “The fellas run away from you. Each of them seems to have his own little one.” It was very noticeable that the girls who were next door to children were the favourite partners, & most
of the males looked about 19. Dancing seems to be regarded as a very juvenile sport. Miss S. found me partner for the Siege of Ennis who wd speak nothing but Irish & wore the Fáinne – I forget his name. Then I went & got some supper, after listening to songs & hearing Dr White speak & seeing May Rolleston dance. There was a poor man named Jones having supper who piteously deplored the absence of foreign dances. I took pains to deplore it on ever opportunity. I had one more dance, a splendid Waves of Tory, with Boland of Hearne’s, & then went home at 11.30.
Thursday 16 Jan. – I went to town for tickets. I visited Dorothea & Louis in the afternoon, & while I was there Mrs Coade came & admired L. greatly. In the evening T. took Mamma & Aunt H. to me to The Rivals, which was being played at the “Collisseum”. There was a bit of a very absurd
American serial film before it, that disgusted & outraged Mamma & Aunt K. to an extraordinary degree. Mamma would not look at it even to the very end. It had a masked gang & a mysterious motor called the Mystery Ship, and a man in a laboratory with a mask like a divers & a lot of pipes from his nose & ears, who saw, knew, & arranged everything, & a man crucified against the wall in the gangs’ cave, & a pair drugged at a party, & so on, & was very entertaining. The Rivals was good as far as Sir Anthony (especially) Mrs Malaprop, Sir Lucius (though he was small & middle-aged & not half the man he was in 1908) Acres, his servant, Fag, Julia & Lucy were concerned, but Lydia was ridiculously dressed & rather plain, & though Absolute acted fairly well, he was no pleasure to look at. Fag & Acres were the handsome ones. It was very enjoyable, except all the sneering at Mrs
Malaprop in the end, & I found afterwards that some of that was not in the play at all. They left out the little scene between Fag & the boy. I suppose they had no boy.
Saturday 18 Jan. – I went to the hotel in the afternoon & saw Kitty & Tash. The later looks very handsome with her hair up, & is as she says neither a girl nor a woman, but a womaneen. Mrs Power doesn’t seem much better. We had tea, T & Marie & I and agreed very well about little flappers at dances, and she told me how they girls knocked manners into the Volunteers at the Volunteer hall dances by dancing with each other or asking the men when the men wouldn’t ask them. I never thought they’d get that far. Then Kitty came down and Tash went up to her mother, and K. talked only about the election etc – . how the disorderly scene at the club when she went there one day to work
convinced her that we’d never win the election, and how horrified the Limerick Volunteers were at the idea of a billiard table & cards in the Sinn Féin club.
Sunday 19th. – Tom came to dinner over in the morning & we walked out to Power’s Nursery, being a very fine day. He was talking about which books that you had read had most effect on you – turning your mind into new channels & altering your idea of things. Bertrand Russell’s book about the problems of philosophy, & the Resurrection of Hungary were two of his. Some of mine would be May Sinclair’s book about the Brontes, and the Resurrection of Hungary & the Perfect Way & Wolf Tone’s Life, the first time I looked into it, though I read comparatively little of it then. I took Louis out in his perambulator in the afternoon, up John’s Hill & down Klondyke etc.
He slept all the time in spite of the joggling, & Mrs Phelan & Mrs Connolly met us. I went to Fr Kelleher’s lecture at the club, on the evils of party politics, & it was monstrously crowded & very interesting. No discussion of course.