“I went to the Stephens’s & she to the Franchise League. Ned & Lily were alone, with a book on dreams that looked very interesting; by some German professor. Ned said it held that all dreams were products of the subconscious self & showed what it wanted & was like when scientifically examined – & that most dreams are connected with sex – inhibited sex desires chiefly. Comparatively few of mine are, as far as I can see.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/36
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 12th September 1919 – 27th January 1920
WEEK 105: 10th– 16th November 1919
Monday 10 Nov. – I went to town in the morning & bought a French dictionary for Tom’s Xmas present according to his wish, and a lovely blue knitted coat & cap for Louis at Lee’s in Rathmines. I called on Lasairfhiona & at Denmark House looking for Miss Bennett but she wasn’t there, & dined with my aunts, who left out the sugar in the savouries for once, though I had said nothing about it. I called at J. Webb’s flat to say goodbye to her, and found her & Lizzie and Hilda Webb very busy arranging the bedroom – cleaning carpets & moving furniture etc. The sitting room was far from settled either. I went home then, thinking to have a little of Hanna’s company, but she
was lying on her bed reading a book until tea time. Owen didn’t appear till we had started out at 7.30, when we met him on the road. “I just stayed”. H. was remarking how little she has seen of me, & said it often happened the same with her & Skeffington if both were busy they would hardly see each other for weeks. It seems they had separate bedrooms; she thinks that the most civilized way; never liked sleeping with anyone. She is very ascetic. I went to the Stephens’s & she to the Franchise League. Ned & Lily were alone, with a book on dreams that looked very interesting; by some German professor. Ned said it held that all dreams were products of the subconscious self & showed what it wanted & was like when scientifically examined – & that most dreams are connected with sex – inhibited sex
desires chiefly. Comparatively few of mine are, as far as I can see. He finds that most people are afraid of their subconscious self and what may be in it, & shove things out of sight & pretend they are not there. He spoke of a girl he knows who inhibits all knowledge of sex or sex thoughts in herself, and is in a half cracked state of prudery – doesn’t like eating in public. He tried to reform her & open her mind & she was going on fairly well for a while & then turned against him & Lily & wouldn’t come any more, & makes an excuse of the murder of policemen & their being Sinn Féiners. He was telling me about the practice of people of different sexes sleeping together innocently, like some of the early Christians, & talked a lot about birth control – objects to preventives & approves self control & thinks it much more possible
than most people apparently do. I love the straightforward simple way he discusses these subjects. He & Jaunty had a dispute on whether it was right to produce all your advanced views before shocked old fashioned people; he thought it gave them wrong impressions and horrified them unnecessarily, & J., being evidently very young in his mind, was all in favour of it. One Margot French, sister to Sadb, came in & visited while I was there, & described how she had lately been entertaining Jaunty for a couple of days – seemed fond of him. Lily was very pleasant, & talked of the problem of how married women with young children are to enjoy the company of their male friends. I went on to the IWFL to escort Hanna home.
Tuesday 11th Nov. – Very cold frosty morning. I came home by the 9.30 train &
Tom met me. Aunt H. seemed pretty well but Uncle E. had a chill & was in the course of staying in bed for a few weeks. I went up to St Declan’s a.d. and saw Dorothea & Louis, who has become almost a hardy child instead of a baby, & stands in his pen, holding on by the bars, & plays with balls and rulers & things. He is fatter than he was, but is still lovely, & has a good deal of hair, with a greenish tinge in it that inclined me to think it will darken. D. was very pleased with the cap & coat, & interested in what I told her of the Stephenses & Hanna & Nancy. I went to hear her paper on Carlyle in his private life at the Friends’ Literary. The Hills gave the tea, & it was a very good one, and Millicent asked me a lot of questions
about Bessie & the baby, and said she thought it no compliment to be told it was like her. She & Dolly both gave me the impression of being rather surprised that Bessie had asked me to stay with her. Joseph was there, looking almost grown up, & resembling what Johnny used to be, though not so handsome. Dorothea couldn’t get down at all, on account of Louis, so after the business (Annie president, Tom vice, Elsa Clark & Rose Chapman secretary & treasurer!) Tom had to read her paper. It was very interesting, & gave a disagreeable picture of Mrs C., strongly supported by a couple of extracts from her letters. C. seemed to have rather a hard time between her & his stomach, but I expect he was an irritating husband, & I heard since that he & 2 others great
writers of the time were cross whenever each found himself at a gathering where he was not the sole centre of attention, which is about as damning a thing as could be said of anyone. There was a good deal of discussion, and some defended Mrs Carlyle. Aunt H. was there.
Wednesday 12th. – I went to the Tech & found the pipes were out of order & the place was freezing, I started the copper pendant for Helen Pim. In the afternoon I went to St Declan’s to mind Louis while D. went with Katie to the missionary exhibition at the Protestant hall. I took Louis out first, & we visited Mrs Kinsella at her lodgings in Bank Lane, but when we got home he was disappointed not to find his mother, and took a lot of pleasing. When she came back I went to
afternoon tea at Walpole’s where Aunt H. was and Mrs Neild who was there talked fluently but I forget on what.
Thursday 13th. – I went to town for Poor Relief tickets and then out to visit R. Butler, who seemed fairly well. It was a very fine day. I went to tea at St Declan’s Louis was pretty good, & very fascinating, but not at home with me yet. We talked mostly about Stephenses – I told them how Ned maintains he never busted people, but objected to the word & idea as implying superiority in the buster; & that it was Jaunty’s phrase, & Ben’s misrepresentation to apply it to him, but D. was not convinced. D. was talking about Nancy & Stephen too, & we were discussing Hanna’s coldness where sex is concerned.
Friday 14th. – It was colder then ever at the Tech, & we had recourse to skipping &
jumping over a rope etc to keep warm. Mr Shea joined in the exercises & has very strong arms but he can’t climb over a stick, nor any of the others. Constance Coade is there now, she is very pretty & pleasant. We were trying to touch the floor with the backs of our heads kneeling, but that was impossible. I never thought to hear Mr Shea address me as Johnny, as he did when encouraging me in one of these exercises. Miss Courtney can put her hands flat on the ground without bending her knees; she must have very long arms. They went on with the jumping again afterwards till Seán Lane came up to complain that his pupils & he could not hear each other in the room below. I went to the hotel a.d. & had tea there. Mrs Power was in bed with
rheumatism again, & they want to take her to Droitwich when she is able. Tash to go with her, & George O’Toole wants to accompany them. Kitty looked very well and pretty. Marie has been away for a while, & look well. There was a slight fall of snow after I got back, about an inch, but enough to make the garden & everything look lovely.
Saturday 15th. – Annie paid a visit a.d. and talked she & Aunt H. talked a lot about illness.
Sunday 16th. – Wet day. I went to St Declan’s a.d. & heard that Stephen & Maud have a daughter born last Thursday – Honor Elizabeth. Mrs White seemed disappointed for it to be a girl. I forgot how we got on vice & syphilis – something I had been reading, I think. They talked more about Tony’s
account of Portuguese morals – syphilis seems everywhere there, & when Tony got the abscess in his leg Mr Rich concluded he had been on the razzle dazzle in Lisbon & got syphilis, & apparently expressed the idea to his friends, for Dr Vargas had to go & disabuse him of it. I held that promiscuity in both sexes is better than the double standard of morals, & D. didn’t exactly deny it, but said it was fatal for the race when women got generally immoral as well as men. She never does give me the impression of really feeling it as bad in men as in women.