Ithys Press (Dublin: 2013)

Edited by Danis Rose (details)


The Irish Chinchinjoss

TOPSIDE JOSS PIDGIN FELLA Berkeley, archdruid of the Irish chinchinjoss, in his heptachromatic sevenhued roranyellgreeblindigan mantle then explained to Patrick, the albed, the silent, the illusiones of the hueful world of joss, its furniture, mineral through vegetable to animal, appearing to fallen men under but one reflection of the several iridal gradationes of solar light, that one which that part of it had shown itself unable to absorbere; whereas for the seer beholding interiorly the true inwardness of reality, the thing as in itself it is, all objects showed themselves in their true coloribus, resplendent with the sextuple gloria of the light actually retained within them.

In other words, to vision so unsealed King Leary's fiery locks appeared of the colour of sorrel green while, to pass on to his sixcoloured costume, His Majesty's saffron kilt seemed of the hue of boiled spinach, the royal golden breasttorc of the tint of curly cabbage, the verdant cloak of the monarch as of the viridity of laurel leaves, the commanding azure eyes of a thyme upon parsley look, the enamelled Indian gem of the ruler's maledictive ring as an olive lentil, the violaceous warwon contusions of the prince's features tinged uniformly as with a brew of sennacassia.



Kindness to Fishes

SHORTLY AFTER HAVING SWUM into this vale of tears the little stranger Kevineen delighted himself by sporting with the sponge on tubbing night. As a growing boy under the influence of holy religion which had been instilled into him across his grandmother old Mrs Jones's knee he grew more and more pious and abstracted like the time God knows when, ejaculating for forty days indulgence and ten quarantines, he sat down on the plate of mutton broth.

He simply had no time for girls and things and often used he to say to his dearest mother and dear sisters as how his dearest mother and dear sisters were good enough for him. Of him we are further told that at the age of six he wrote a school prize essay on kindness to freshwater fish.



A Tale of a Tub

KEVIN BORN on the island of Ireland in the Irish ocean

having been granted privilege of a portable altar cum bath goes to Lough Glendalough between rivers

where pious Kevin lives alone on an isle in the lake

on which isle, a plot perimetered with three watercourses, is a pond

in which is an islet whereon holy Kevin builds a beehivehut the floor of which most holy Kevin excavates to a depth of one foot

which done venerable Kevin goes to the lakeside and fills time after time the tub with water which time after time most venerable Kevin empties into the cavity of his hut thereof creating a pool

having done which blessed Kevin half fills the tub once with water which tub then most blessed Kevin sets in the centre of the pool

after which saint Kevin girds up his frock to his loins and seats himself, blessed saint Kevin, in his circumferential hiptubbath

where, doctor solitarius, he meditates with ardour the sacrament of baptism or the regeneration of man by water.



Her Charms

FOR HER PITY there were times she even pitied the damned old devil himself playing demon patience after his lunch of hot air and fanning himself with his asbestos slippers in the coolingroom in hell.

For her charity one day when it was sneezing cold she met a beggargirl in the park and, having no small change about her, she went behind a bramblebush, slipped off her sprigged petticoat and gave it to the beggargirl who instantly disappeared (she having been in point of fact Saint Dympna who got up the exhibition of poverty on purpose) along with the petticoat.

On another occasion there was a pestilence caused by a certain dragon who said it would go on for ever unless she took off all her glad rags and walked round Ireland, her left hand to the sea. So she did this, but she had herself painted green all over her body as far as mother nature allowed. And when they heard the moaning of the Shees telling she was off, the weakness of death fell on everybody and everybody pulled down all the blinds in Ireland. The dragon there and then got a grip on the big clean ideals and converted and entered a nunnery.

She could do two things at same time, cook hash and read Harry Coverdale's Courtship, only sometimes it was how she would be studying something like the day God knows she sat down in the plate of soup.

And flahoolagh, bless her pretty face, she had shaken cocktails, no lie, for pistoleers, gunmen, parabellumites and munitioners from every barony in Ireland.

For her prudence she always left the key of her press in the lock of her press, the pen of the inkbottle in the neck of the inkbottle, and the bread on the warm table. Never were they lost. And she was never found out in a lie. No ignorant simp was she.

For her learning in geog she knew that Italy was a jackboot, India a pink ham and France a patched quilt, and she could make the map of New Zealand, north and south island, herself.

For her learning in zoog she knew lamb, lamb a young sheep.

For her charm she knew how to stagemanage her legs in nude stockings under a straight as possible skirt in the several positions of goodytwoshoes, aunty Nance, stepladder, green peas, stella cometa, love me little, funny toast, lovers lever, love me long.

For her health only her in the house got the measles when she was a bottlefed baby.

For her domestic economy she cleaned the chimney by setting fire to an Irish Times and hooshing it blazing up the flue. And she washed the hall by standing her wet umbrella and injarupper goloshes dreeping open in a corner.

God she had a bit of go in her, God she had!

For her piety every day God sent on the earth her one little prayer, her five seconds' patternoster night bede and orison, so romped:

Howfar wartnevin
nerth tisnevin.
Usisday daybread
sweegivethem dresspss gainstus leesnot two potatoes
liversm evil. Men.



The Big Kiss

AS SLOW THEIR SHIP, the Silent Death, the sea being slight, upon the face of waters moved by courtesy of God that handsome brineburnt sixfooter Gaelic, rugger and soccer champion and the dinkum belle of Lucalizod quite charming in her oceanblue brocade with iris petal sleeves and an overdress of net darned with gold well in advance of the newest fashion exhibits bunnyhugged scrumptiously when it was dark whilst they dissimulated themself on the eighteen inch loveseat behind the chieftaness stewardess's cabin whilst also with sinister dexterity he alternately rightandlefthandled fore and aft, on and offside her palpable rugby and association bulbs. She, after a cough, murmurously then gave her firm order for tootsweet if he wouldn't please mind some though not too much of the six best national poetry quotations reflecting on the situation, so long as it was a stroke or two above it's a fine night and yon moon shines bright and all to that, the plain fact of the matter being that being a natural born lover of nature in all her moods and senses, by the light of the moon, of the silvery moon, she longed to spoon before her honeyoldmoon at the same time drinking in long draughts of purest sea air serene and revelling in the great outdoors. That mouth of mandibles vowed to pure beauty promptly elocutionised to her a favourite lyrical bloom bellclear in iambic decasyllabic hexameter:

— Rollon thoudeep andamp anddark blueo ceanroll!

Lady, it was just too gorgeous for words, the whole sensation. The sea, of a lovely tint embellished by the best charms of nature, with its wellmannered wavelets (all the dirty horrid rude ones from the Belfast and Lagan Lough neighbourhood being very properly locked up in cubbyhole) looked really awfully pretty at the mid hour of night and more especially he being emphatically the right man in the right place and the weather conditions could not possibly have been improved upon. Praises be to fair sea. Her rôle was to roll onthedark blueo ceanroll that rolled on round the round roll that Robert Roly rolled round. Breathtaking beauty, Ireland's bonniest, she did but gaze while from his altitude of one yard onehundredandthirtytwo lines his deepseapeepers gazed O gazed O dazedcrazedgazed into her darkblue rolling ocean orbs.

— Thanks ever so much, she sighed, thrilled by that olive throb of his nude neck, and ever so much again for that tiny quote. It sort of made everything ever so much more delightful. How perfectly sweet of you!

Nothing if not amorous, he, rosecrumpler, thrilldriver, sighinspirer, having prealably dephlegmatised his guttur of that ticklish frog in the throat, his useful arm getting busy on the touchline due south of her western shoulder, uttered what was to follow with grand passion from his toploftical voicebox:

— Isolde!

Ah, if she will not!

By elevation of eyelids t'ward her dear coolun that she invoked insinuated desideration of more declaration.

He was instant and he declared:

— Isolde! O Isolde! Sister soul and hand! When theeuponthus sir Tristan binoculises his most unwitting ego most subconsciously senses the deprofundity of multimathematical immaterialities whereby in the pancosmic urge the allimmanence of That Which Itself is Itself Alone exteriorates on this here our plane in disunited solid, liquid and gaseous bodies in pearlwhite passionpanting intuitions of reunited selfhood in the higherdimensional selfless Allself.

Hear, O hear, all ye caller herring! Silent be, O Moyle! Milky Way, strew dim light!

Right here a pretty thing happened. When her flattering hand of pure diversion mayhap had jessaminely at the just right moment shut his duckhouse the vivid girl, deaf with love, (You know her, that angel being, one of passion's fadeless wonderwomen! You dote on her! You love her too to death!) with a queer little cry reunited milkymouthily his her then their disunited lips when tonguetasting the golden opportunity of a lifetime quick as greased pigskin the Armorican champion with one virile tonguethrust drove the advance messenger of love flash past the double line of eburnean forwards fullback rightjingbangshot into the goal of her gullet.

Now, I am just putting it direct to you as one manowoman to another, what the blankety blank diggings do you for example candidly suppose that she, a strapping young modern old ancient Irish princess, a good eighteen hands high and scaling nine stone twelve paddock weight in her madapolam smock with nothing under her hat but red hair and solid ivory not forgetting a firstrate pair of bedroom eyes of most unholy hazel cared at that precise psychoanalytical moment about tiresome old King Mark, that tiresome old milkless ram with his duty peck and his bronchial tubes, the tiresome old ourangoutan beaver in his tiresome old twentytwoandsixpenny shepherd's plaid trousers? Not as much as a pinch of henshit and that's the meanest thing now was ever known since Adam was in the boy's navy. No, heaven knows, far from it, if the unvarnished truth must be told at the very first blush lovingly she lovegulped her American's pulpous propeller and both together in the most fashionable weather they all went off a lulliloving a dither me die me dandy O after which, believing in safety first, before the regulation ten seconds were up volatile Brittany considerately allowed his farfamed sparking plug chokegrip to relax and precautiously withdrew the instrument of rational speech from the procathedral of amorous seductiveness.

I'm right glad I ran on to you, Tris, you fascinator you! Miss Erin said when she had won free, laughing at the same time delightfully in dimpling bliss, being awfully bucked by her gratifying experience of the love embrace from a highly continental bigtimer the like of him possessed of a handsome face well worth watching with an interesting tallow complexion from which great things were expected as a film star for she fully realised that he was evidently a notoriety in the poetry department as well for he never saw her to drink an orange but he offered to bring her a porringer and to cut a long story short taking him by and large the onliest boy of her choice meant pretty well everything to her just then, her beau ideal of a true girl's friend with red blood in his veins neither big ugly nor small nice.

Over them the winged ones screamed shrill glee: seahawk, seagull, curlew and plover, kestrel and capercailzie. All the birds of the sea they trolled out rightbold when they smacked the big kuss of Trustan with Usolde.

So sang seaswans:

Three quarks for Muster Mark
Sure he hasn't got much of a bark
And sure any he has it's all beside the mark
But O Wreneagle Highflighty wouldn't un be a sky of a lark
To see that old buzzard whooping about for uns shirt in the dark
And un hunting round for uns speckled trousers around by Palmerston Park.
Hohohoho moulty Mark
You're the rummest old rooster ever flopped out of a Noah's ark
And you think you're cock of the wark.
Fowls up! Tristy's the spry young spark
That'll tread her and wed her and bed her and red her
Without even winking the tail of a feather
And that's how that chap's going to make his money and mark!



The Staves of Memory

THE FOUR WAVES OF ERIN also heard, leaning upon the staves of memory. Four eminently respectable old heladies they looked, got up in sleek holiday toggery for the occasion, grey half tall toque, tailormade frockcoat to match, fathomglasses and so forth, you know, for all the world, apart from the salt water, like the fourth viscount Powerscourt or North the auctioneer at the royal Dublin society's annual horseshow.

They had seen their share: the capture of Sir Arthur Casement in the year 1132, the coronation of Brian by the Danes at Clonmacnois, the drowning of Pharaoh Phitsharris in the (proleptically) red sea, the drowning of poor Matt Kane of Dunleary, the scattering of the Flemish armada off the coasts of Galway and Longford, the landing of St Patrick at Tara in the year 1798, the dispersal of the French fleet under General Boche in the year 2002.

And such was their memory that they had been appointed extern professors to the four chief seats of learning in Erin, the Universities of Killorcure, Killthemall, Killeachother, Killkelly-on-the-Flure, whither they wirelessed four times weekly lectures in the four modes of history: past, present, absent and future.

Saltsea widowers all four, they had been many ages before summarily divorced by their respective shehusbands (with whom they had parted on the best of terms) by a decree absolute issued by Mrs Justice Squelchman in the married male offenders court at Bohernabreena, one for inefficiency in backscratching, two for having broken rerewind without having first made a request in writing on stamped foolscap paper, three for having attempted hunnish familiarities after a meal of decomposed crab, four on account of his general cast of countenance. Though that was ever so long ago, they could still with an effort of memory and by counting accurately the four periwinkle buttons of the fly of their knickybockies recall the name of the four beautiful sisters Brinabride who were at the moment touring the United States of Africa.

Yet were they fettlesome anon, lured by the immortal rose of Wombman's beauty. Often would they cling tentacularly about the ships' waists of the Northwall and Holyhead boats and the Isle of Man tourist steamers, peering with glaucomatose eyes through the cataractic portholes of honeymoon cabins or saloon ladies' toilet apartments. But when those jossers aforesaid, the Four Waves of Erin, heard the detonation of the osculation (cataclysmic cataglotism) which with ostentation (osculum cum basio necnon suavioque) Tristan to Isolde gave, then lifted they up round Ireland's shores the wail of old men's planxty.

Highchanted the elderly Waves of Erin in four-part Palestrian melody, four for all, all one in glee of grief of loneliness of age but with a bardic license, there being about of birds and stars and noise quite a sufficient quantity.

This plashed their wavechant:

A birdless heaven, seadusk and one star,
Low in the west
And thou, poor heart, loves image, faint and far,

Her seacold eyes and her soft foamwhite brown
And fragrant hair,
Falling as through the silence falleth now
Dusk from the air.

A why wilt thou,
A why wilt thou remember these,
A why,
Poor heart, repine,
If the dear love she yielded with a sigh

Was never thine!



Skywards to Stardom

ISOLDE, HER LONGFAMOUS lashes butterflykissing his near and farfamous cheek, felt him sweeter than cherry or plum, than candykisses or Lipton's fruitcake, than the hawthorn valley in the first fortnight of May, than the finest band music going, than lovely thick with the sleep. She murmured googooeyes:

— My precious, since last we parted it seems to me that I have been continually in your company, even when I close my eyes at night. I am continually seeing you, hearing you, meeting you in different places, so that I am beginning to wonder whether my soul does not take leave of my body in sleep and go to seek you and what is more find you, or perchance this is only a phantasy. Tell me, Daniel, my precious darling.

He, her whitehaired doughboy, hero of tens of scrums, carrier of the ovum, kisser of hundreds, blocker of thousands, ejaculater of jugfuls, aloudly sniffled, his nasal voice falling in strange ineffectual dropkick, so; in the language of diplomacy:

Mais Bourquoi es-tu andrée dans my fie, Henriette? Je groyais mon âme déjè morte.

She lifted her head, her eyes supremely satisfied. For now full well she rather gathered from his persiflage that he was a loveslave for life, that she was the one and not that mousy mop of golliwog curls, Kate Agnes Halloran.

He, the gentleman, was sodavisaged. First, a martyr to indigestion, he was rather liable to piles procured by sitting on stone walls while revelling in the beauty of nature and over and above that when he contracted a stubborn cough by medical advice of Dr Codd he had been lowering daily potions of extract of willow bark to keep off the Hibernian flu. With feverish pallor, indicating the action of the high seas on a teetotal stomach, he beheld the holy ghosts of his undergradual loves, Henriette atop of the haycock, Nenette de l'Abbaye behind the taproom door, Marie Louise all fun and fleas, tipsy Suzanne catch as catch can, and, last but not least, the rawboned housekeeper of the local parish priest. Ghastlily, he pastloveyed her with a blackedged expression.

— Smiling Johnny, pleaded she gynelexically, do you keen for meemeee just a weeny mossel?

Offsong and partially selfstrangled he tried to reply:

— Lady, I am not worthy. You little know a man's past. Why were we born in two different places? Wherefore have we met, yesterday so to speak? Why this strangulation, this yearning for a bonum arduum as distinguished from a bonum simpliciter? Will you accept a portion of my divided heart? Wellaway, alas, for death in, with, for and on account of my wellbeloved I mutely yearn.

— O, can that sobstuff, let you, my own loveman must not talk like that, the bold puss answered impatiently after her waiting patiently all through the damned old dinner of burnt loinchops and ignoble potatoes with everybody talking from soup to nuts all about loinchops and mashed murphies and the pig's arse and cabbage of the day before and they saying it wasn't a patch on the silverside boiled cowbeef of the stewsday before that again and the potroast with purpletop swedes and equally ignoble colieflower without a morsel of appetite when a plain bottle of porter and a gooseberry tart would have done her. Love she wanted, the biggest obtainable, true new blind bottomless highspeed stunning staggerhumanity caveman love at first sight, the universal super jewel, for which reason she again kissed him, and he, being an inborn gentleman with a gift of blushing as well as of backgammon, counterkissed because it was his one maxim in this life that if a lady, for example, happened to have a libido for a bite of a piece of Stilton cheese and he happened, for argument' sake, to have a quarter of a pound or so of feetygreen Gorgonzola in his pocket, why he'd just simply put his hand in his pocket, don't you know, and, well, he'd just give her the cheese, don't you see, to take a bite off. However, first and foremost, before testing her triangle to prove whether she was as the newspapers reported a virgo intacta, he asked her whether she had ever indulged in clandestine fornication with or without contraceptives.

— No, nein, never in God's world, innocent as the undriven snow, his almost aunt swore whilst she adhered to that big left shoulder of his. By the axecleft of my notch! By the hairs of my dearest parents! By the inviolable dew of Ben Bulben! By the freshwater pullan herring! No plunderer has ever wandered, has ever beheld the hundred wonders of, my underland.

Her mournful embracer pointed to the sidereal host. By them he bade her swear, them that were and are and shall be, the silently strewing, the strikingly shining, the twittingly twinkling, our true home and (as he uranographically remarked) the lamplights of lovers in the Beyond.

Up they gazed, skyward to stardom, while in his girleen's ear that loveless lover, sinless sinner, breathed:

— How gentlemanlike am I, Issy. I never hurt the feelings of another.

— And, Tris, what a sweet nature is mine, is not it?

It wasn't exactly anything he said or it wasn't anything he exactly did, but all the same it was something about him like the way he was always sticking his finger into his trousers pocket and then sticking it into his eye like a borny baby, the great big slob, or the once she dropped her ittly ittly hankyfuss and the way so graceful he picked it up with his near hoof and footed it up so politefully to her ittly ittly nibbleurs. She was tearing.

Go away instantly, she roared, you scum!

Perfect, he said, you bloody bitch.

He took French leave of her and circulated as bidden. Before many instants had passed she let out a whistle. Hearing his name called, most sagaciously he ceased to walk about and turned on her, his look now charged with purpose seemed to say.

— Curse your stinking putrid soul to hell, you thing, and all belonged to you!

No, come back, she ogled. Forget me not. I do so want you.

— It is perfect, her all but nephew said.

Having already stopped, he turned and circulated in reverse direction and presently halted vis-à-vis his soon to be aunt who welcomed him as she said:

How nobly you have responded to our call, loyal one.



The House of a Hundred Bottles

SO ANYHOW AFTER THAT to wind up that long to be chronicled get together day, the anniversary of his first holy communion, after that same barbecue beanfeast was all, over poor old hospitable King Roderick O'Conor, the paramount chief polemarch and last preelectric king of all Ireland, who was anything you say yourself between fiftyfour and fiftyfive years of age at the time after the socalled last supper he greatly gave those maltknights and beerchurls in his umbrageous house of the hundred bottles, or at least he wasn't actually the then last king of all Ireland for the time being for the jolly good reason that he was still such as he was the eminent king of all Ireland himself after the last preeminent king of all Ireland, the whilom joky old top that went before him, King Art MacMurrough Kavanagh of the leather leggings, now of parts unknown, God guard his generous soul, that put a poached fowl in the poor man's pot before he took to his pallyass with the weeping eczema for better and worse until he went and died nevertheless the year the sugar was scarce and himself down to three cows that was meat and drink and dogs and washing to him, 'tis good cause we have to remember it, anyhow, wait till I tell you, what did he do poor old Roderick O'Conor Rex, the auspicious waterproof monarch of all Ireland, when he found himself all alone by himself in his grand old historic pile after all of them had all gone off with themselves as best they could, on footback in extended order a tree's length from the longest way out, down the switchbackward road, the unimportant Parthalonians with the mouldy Firbolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan googs and all the rest of the notmuchers and other slygrogging suburbanites that he didn't care the royal spit out of his ostensible mouth about, well, what do you think he did, sir, but faix he just went heeltapping through the winespilth and weevily popcorks that were kneedeep round his own right royal round rollicking topers' table, with his old Roderick Random pullon hat at a cant on him, the body you'd pity him, the way the world is, poor he, the heart of Midleinster and the supereminent lord of them all, overwhelmed as he was with black ruin like a sponge out of water and singing all to himself through his old tears starkened by the most regal belches I've a terrible errible lot todo today todo toderribleday, well, what did he go and do at all His Most Exuberant Majesty King Roderick O'Conor but, arrah bedamnbut, he finalised by lowering his woolly throat with the wonderful midnight thirst was on him as keen as mustard and leave it if he didn't suck up sure enough like a Trojan, in some particular cases with the assistance of his venerated tongue, whatever surplus rotgut, sorra much, was left by the lazy lousers in the different bottoms of the various different replenquished drinking utensils left there behind them on the premises by the departed honourable homegoers, such as it was, no matter whether it was chateaubottled Guinness's or Phoenix brewery stout it was or John Jameson and Sons or Roob Coccola or, for the matter of that, O'Connell's famous old Dublin ale that he wanted like hell as a fallback, of several different quantities and qualities amounting in all to, I should say, considerably more than the better part of a gill or naggin of imperial dry and liquid measure.



Here Comes Everybody

CONCERNING THE GENESIS OF HAROLD or Humphrey Coxon's agnomen and discarding once for all those theories from older sources which would link him back with such pivotal ancestors as the Glues, the Gravys and the Earwickers of Sidham in the Hundred of Manhood or proclaim him a descendant of vikings who had founded or settled in Herrick or Eric, the best authenticated version has it that it was this way. We are told how it came to pass that, like cabbaging Cincinnatus, the grand old gardener was saving daylight one sabbath afternoon in prefall paradise peace by following his plough for rootles in the rere garden of ye olde marine hotel when royalty was announced by runner to have been pleased to have halted itself on the highroad along which a dogfox had cast. Forgetful of all save his vassal's plain fealty to the ethnarch, Humphrey or Harold stayed not to yoke or saddle but stumbled out hotface as he was (his sweatful bandanna loose from his pocketcoat) to the forecourts of his public in topee, surcingle, plus fours and bulldog boots ruddled with red marl, jingling his turnpike keys and bearing aloft amid the fixed pikes of the hunting party a high perch atop of which a flowerpot was fixed, earthside up. On his majesty, who was, or feigned to be, noticeably longsighted from green youth and had been meaning to inquire what had caused the causeway to be so potholed, asking alternatively, to be put wise as to whether paternoster and silver doctors were not now more fancied bait for lobstertrapping, honest blunt Haromphreyld answered in no uncertain tones very similarly with a fearless forehead: Naw, magersty, aw war jist a cotchin on thon bluggy earwugs. Our sailor king, who was draining a gugglet of obvious water, upon this, ceasing to swallow, smiled most heartily beneath his walrus moustaches and, indulging that none too genial humour which William the Conk on the spindle side had inherited with some shortfingeredness from his greataunt Sophy, turned towards two of his retinue of gallowglasses, Michael, etheling lord of Leix in Offaly, and the jubilee mayor of Drogheda, Elcock, the two scatterguns being Michael M Manning, protosyndic of Waterford, and an Italian excellency named Giubilei according to a later version cited by the learned scholarch Canavan of Canmakenoise, and remarked dilsydulsily:

Holybones, how our red brother of Pouringrainia would audibly fume did he know that we have for trusty bailiwick a turnpiker who is by turns a pikebailer no less than an earwicker!

Comes the question: are these the facts as recorded in both or either of the collateral andrewpomurphyc narratives? We shall perhaps not so soon see. The great fact remains that after that historic date all holographs so far exhumed initialled by Haromphrey bear the sigla H.C.E. and, while he was only and long and always good duke Umphrey for the hungerlean spalpeens of Lucalizod and Chimbers to his cronies, it was equally certainly a pleasant turn of the populace which gave him as sense of those normative letters the nickname Here Comes Everybody.

An imposing everybody he always indeed looked, constantly the same as himself and magnificently well worthy of such universalisation, every time he continually surveyed from good start to happy finish the truly catholic assemblage gathered together from all quarters to applaud unanimously W. W. Kelly's company in the play of the millentury A Royal Divorce with ambitious interval band selections from The Bo' Girl and The Lily on all gala command nights from his viceregal booth where, a veritable Napoleon the Fourth, the father of the people all the time sat, having the entirety of his house about him, with the invariable broadstretched kerchief cooling his whole neck, nape and shoulderblades and in a wardrobepanelled tuxedo completely thrown back from a shirt well entitled a swallowall, in every point far outstarching the laundered clawhammers and marbletopped highboys of the pit stalls and early gallery.

A baser meaning has been read into these characters the literal sense of which decency can safely scarcely hint. It has been blurtingly bruited by certain wisecracks that he suffered from a vile disease. To such a suggestion the one selfrespecting answer is to affirm that there are certain statements which ought not to be and, one should like to be able to add, ought not to be allowed to be made. Nor have his detractors, who, an imperfectly warmblooded race, apparently conceive him as a great white caterpillar capable of any and every enormity in the calendar recorded to the discredit of the Juke and Kellikek families, mended their case by insinuating that, alternatively, he was at one time under the ludicrous imputation of annoying Welsh fusiliers in the park. To anyone who knew and loved the Christlikeness of the big cleanminded giant H. C. Earwicker throughout his long existence, the mere suggestion of him as a lustsleuth nosing for trouble in a boobytrap rings particularly preposterous. Truth compels one to add that there is said to have once been some case of the kind implicating, it is sometimes believed, a quidam who has remained completely anonymous but was, it is stated, posted at Mallon's at the instance of watch warriors of the vigilance committee and years afterwards seemingly dropped dead whilst waiting for a chop somewhere near Hawkins Street. Slander, let it lie its flattest, has never been able to convict that good and great and no ordinary Southron Earwicker, as a pious author calls him, of any graver impropriety than that, advanced by some woodward or regarder who did not dare deny having that day consumed the soul of the corn, of having behaved in an ungentlemanly manner opposite a pair of dainty maidservants in the greenth of the rushy hollow whither, or so both gown and pinners pleaded, Dame Nature had spontaneously and about the same hour of the eventide sent them both but whose published combinations of testimonies are, where not dubiously pure, visibly divergent on minor points touching the intimate nature of this, a first offence in vert or venison which was admittedly an incautious but, at its widest, a partial exposure with attenuating circumstances of an abnormal Saint Martin's summer and a ripe occasion to provoke it.



Here's Lettering You


MAJESTY well I've heard all those muckbirds what they are bringing up about him and they will come to no good. The Honourable Mr Earwicker, my devout husband, and he is a true gentleman who changes his two shirts a day which is what none of the sneakers ever will be because as sings the royal poet their likes must be first born like he was, my devout, and it was between Williamstown and the Ailesbury road I first saw the lovelight in your eyes like a pair of candles on the top of the longcar I think he is looking at me yet as if he would pass away in a cloud when he woke up all of a sweat beside me and looked me in the mouth and he told me his true opinion to pardon him, golden one, but he dreamt about me I had got a lovely face that day and I simply thought I was back again in paradise lost when all the world was June, love, where us two walked hand in hand.

Well, revered majesty, I hereafter swear never in his life did my husband send out the swags with a drop of anything in them but milk as it came from the natural cow and that is all a pure makeup by a snake in the grass and his name is McGrath Brothers against that dear man, my honorary husband. If I was to let out to your revered all that caffler whispered to me was it this time last year as I told Mrs Pat for his accommodation McGrath Brothers I'm saying and his bacon not fit to look at never mind butter which is strictly forbidden by the ten commandments thou shalt not unbare your false witness against thy neighbour's wife. Aha, McGrath, the lies is out on him like freckles. But I could read him. When I think what that slime had the shame to suggest about my dearly respected husband can I ever forget that? Never! So may the Lord forget McGrath Brothers for all his trespasses against the Honorary Mr Earwicker. For two straws, yes and less, I could let out to someone I know and they would make a corpse of him with the greatest of pleasure by private shooting and not leave enough of McGrath Brothers for the peelers to pick up.

Lies! There never was any girl in my house expecting trouble off my esteemed husband, never! Those pair of prostitutes that committed all the nuisance, neither of them were virtuous, pursuant to said declaration of their medical officer out of the Lock whereas I shall bring under revered notice the above Honourable Earwicker to possess from a child a chest second to none very hairy with eyebrows of same for it to be able to be seen which I am the most privileged to behold and pursuant to same very affectionate after salesladies' company. I will not have a wriggling reptile the like of the McGraths to be sprinkling his lies all around where we live if he thinks he is the big noise here about the prostitutes as I simply agree to it. There, you wurrum, you! I know you now. I would hate to have to say what I think about him. I exgust Sneak McGrath, purveyors and Italian warehousemen by royal appointment, wanting to live on me and my noblest husband like a dirty pair of parachutes. I wouldn't dream of a sausage of his to poison a cat and it was in all the Sunday papers about Earwicker's farfamed fatspitters that they were eaten and appreciated by over fifteen thousands of people in Dublin this weekend. The obnoxious liar! First he was a Scotchman at one time and then he was fired out of Clune's where he was only one of your common floorwalkers for giving guff.

Moreover I have heard a certain remark stated about setting his bad example before those military but did space permit it is the best of my belief I could show that it was from the earliest wish of his mind to mitigate the King's evil and I hereinafter swear by your revered majesty that it was him gave me the price of my new bulletproof dress with the angel sleeves for my looking about twentyone and he said to my presence in these words: Just as there is a God of all, Livvy, my mind is a complete blank.

Well, revered, I tender your heartbroken thanks with regrets for lettering you and will now close, hoping you are in the best. I don't care a fig for such and erronymous letter about an experience on the part of me as girl, alleged unpleasant, with a prepossessing clerical friend. How about it! I was young and easy then and my shape admired from the first to feast his eyes on with my sweet auburn hair hanging to my innocent thighs and I can do just as I simply please with them because now it's my own by married women's improperty act. Never mind poor Father Michael now (the Lord reward him!) but chat me instead. If McGrath Brothers could only handle virgins like he used he would simply jump out of his dirty skin. When next you see M.G. ask him what about his wife, Lily Kinsella who became the wife of Mr Sneak, with the kissing solicitor, at present engaging attention by private detectives being hidden under the grand piano to find out whether nothing beyond kissing goes on. Lily is a lady, liliburlero bullenalaw! And she had a certain medicine brought her in a licensed victualler's bottle. Shame! Thrice shame! I only wish he would look in through his letterbox one day and he would not say that that was a solicitor's business. What ho, she bumps! My, he would be so surprised to see his old girl in the hands of a solicitor with Mr Brophy, Solicitor, quite affectionate together, kissing and looking into a mirror. So much for sneakery talk that I was treated not very grand by the thicks off Bully's Acre. If any of Sully's thicks was to pull a gun on me he will know better manners the way I'll sully him. I will herewith lodge my complaint on him to police sergeant Laracy who does be on the corner of Buttermilk Lane with the Rafferty's nurse and he will take such steps so as to have his head well and lawfully broken in consequence by a Norwegian who has been expelled from christianity.

Dear Majesty, I hope you are quite well. How are ye all? We are always talking of all of ye in bed. I am anxious myself about ye all. I'm feeling the cold more than I used and has to wear flannels to the skin. To speak truth I was rather put out latterly in my health about the thugs got up for McGrath by Sully. I am advised the waxy is at the present in hospital with palpitations from all he drunk and it's seldom I saw him any other way. That he may never come out but he is a rattling fine bootmaker in his profession. And now whereas I will let all whom it may concern to know that I am perfectly proud of this great civilian, A.L.P. Earwicker, long life to him, my once handsome husband who is as gentle as a mushroom to be seen from my improved looks and a greatly attractable when he always sits fornenst me, poor ass, for his wet to resume our polite conversations with Earwicker over lawful business and pleasures when he is after a good few mugs of four ale and shag and he never chained me to a chair or followed me about with a fork on Thanksgiving Day ever since this native island was born and this is why all the police and everybody is all bowing around to me whenever I go out in all directions. Earwicker is a hundred per cent human, I tell Slysneakers and you, Master McGrath, pale bellies our mild cure, back and streaky, ninepence. I can hereby show whoever likes original bag of one apiece cakes and Adam Findlater's choice figrolls which was given to me when so fondly remembered on occasion of our last golden wedding by Mr Earwicker. Thank you, beloved, for your beautiful parcel. Always the born gentleman can be plainly seen by all from such behaviour.

Well, I simply like their damn cheek for them to go and say about he being as bothered as he possible could. I must beg to contradict in the strongest as indeed I think I may add at this stage in the matter of hearing that he is after his manner and certified of so being quite agreeable deef. I'd give him his answer if he was to dare to say my revered husband was never a true widower in the eyes of the law on consideration of his diseased obsolete inasmuch as the present Mr Earwicker Esquire has often given said deponent full particulars answering to description of the late diseased in dear delightful twilit hours when this truly timehonoured man is a great warrant to play slapsam and population peg and Sally Shorthclothes when he can proudly hold his own always whilst we frankly enjoyed more than anything the secret workings of nature (thank heaven for it, I humbly pray!) and was really so delighted of the nice time. Who would stoop to argue with a particularly mean stinker called McGrath Brothers. If I am credibly informed without mistake cannonballs is the only true argument with a low sneak. Ping! Ping! Hit him again! Ping! That ought to make him hop it. Ha! Ha! Ha! I must simply laugh. Sneak McGrath has stuffed his last black pudding. 3 p.m. Wednesday. Grand funeral by torchlight of McGrath Brothers. Don't forget. His funeral will now shortly take place. Remains must be removed before 3 sharp. R.I.P.

Well, revered majesty, I take this liberty of cherishing expectations that the clouds will soon dissipate looking forward to the fine day we had and will now conclude above epistle with best thanks and my thousand blessings for your great kindest and all the trouble to took for self and dearest of husbands who I'll be true to you unto my life's end as long as he has a barrel full of Bass with love to Majes and all at home in the earnest hopes you will soon enjoy perusal of same most completely.

So help me witness to this day to my hand and mark from your revered Majesty's most duteous I remain

Your affectionate

Dame Anna Livia Plurabelle Earwicker

(Only lawful wife of A.L.P. Earwicker)


N.B. This simply puts the tin hat on M.G.



The Lion's Mouth

AND CONGRUOUSLY ENOUGH the confusion of its composition was fitly capped by the zigzaggery of its delivery, and not for the first time in history just as, it has been more than once pointed out, the demise of one parish priest or curate is sure to be followed sooner or later by other parochial demises of an allied nature.

Though, coming now to the postman hastily left on p 80, though his qualifications for that particular postal, or office, were known only to a limited circle of friends, the spectacle of the Lucalizod lettercarrier, a most capable official of very superior appearance in his emptybottlegreen jerkin, at once gave doubtersful a vouch for his bilateralist zeal. His movements showed that North and South sides of the roadway were visited by him in turn in the discharge of his important duty during which he got a number of stumbles which appeared to startle him very much and, while he allowed simple and unfranked correspondence to escape automatically from the mailbag issued to him, the unerring zeal with which, amid a blizzard with low visibility and on uneven ground, he sorted and secured for immediate home delivery all packages containing bullion or eatables in a manner made of Shawn the Post a man seen, felt for, envied and looked up to.

Thus was a woman's petition, maid, wife and mother, brought by two sons of wild earth, since sainted scholasts, Iacopus Pennifera and Johannes Epistolophorus, to their and of all the Lord, offering to him from whom all things had come to them their gift of her knowledge, thereby giving him of his own (the lion's mouth). But when the facsimile of the letter written by the joint author finally reached the alderman's ears his surprise was practically complete so much so as to give him the raspberry. With groanings which could not be all uttered down he sat, he lifted up his shirtsleeves, while many in the baronet publican's banner room, who did not dare, heard him declare: I will give £10 tomorrow gladly to the first fellow who will put her in the royal canal.