"At the Howth road stop Father Conmee alighted, was saluted by the conductor and saluted in his turn." (U10.153)
"The Malahide road was quiet. It pleased Father Conmee, road and name." (U10.155)
Malahide is the name of a village 9 miles north of Dublin, and a castle adjoining. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12c. It was home to the Talbot family since 1185. A poignant story relates that, on the morning of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 14 members of the family breakfasted together, and none of them returned. In the 1920s, the private papers of James Boswell were discovered in the castle. In 1973, the 7th Baron Talbot died, and his sister Rose sold the castle to the Irish State (1975).
"The joybells were ringing in gay Malahide. Lord Talbot de Malahide, immediate hereditary lord admiral of Malahide and the seas adjoining. Then came the call to arms and she was maid, wife and widow in one day." (U10.156)
As the legend of the above PC explains: "Beside the Castle is the ruined Abbey of Malahide, and within its precinct is the tomb of Maud, wife of Sir Richard Talbot, who died about 1440. Maud was the daughter of the Baron of Killeen and was married in the Abbey to the son of Lord Galtrim. The ceremony had just been completed when her husband and her father were summoned to battle, and her warrior was brought home dead to her that evening. She was thus maid, wife and widow in one day. The story forms the theme of Gerald Griffin's ballad 'The Bridal of Malahide.' Sir Richard became Maud's second husband, and she survived him, and married the third time."
Gerald Griffin's ballad 'The bridal of Malahide' starts:
"The joy-bells are ringing in gay Malahide"
and includes the lines:
"She sinks on the meadow in one morning-tide,
A wife and a widow, a maid and a bride!"
"Those were old worldish days, loyal times in joyous townlands, old times in the barony.
Father Conmee, walking, thought of his little book Old Times in the Barony and of the book that might be written about jesuit houses and of Mary Rochfort, daughter of lord Molesworth, first countess of Belvedere." (U10.159)
The booklet 'Old Days in the Barony' by V. Rev. J.S. Conmee S.J. indeed exists. (Image courtesy of Harald Beck)
'Old Days in the Barony' by V. Rev. J.S. Conmee S.J. here advertised among the publications of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (Dublin).
"A listless lady, no more young, walked alone the shore of lough Ennel, Mary, first countess of Belvedere, listlessly walking in the evening," (U10.164)
[NB: this is not the countess of Belvedere]
"not startled when an otter plunged." (U10.166)
"Who could know the truth? Not the jealous lord Belvedere and not her confessor if she had not committed adultery fully, eiaculatio seminis inter vas naturale mulieris, with her husband's brother? She would half confess if she had not all sinned as women did. Only God knew and she and he, her husband's brother." (U10.166)
"Father Conmee thought of that tyrannous incontinence, needed however for man's race on earth, and of the ways of God which were not our ways." (U10.171)
"Don John Conmee walked and moved in times of yore. He was humane and honoured there. He bore in mind secrets confessed and he smiled at smiling noble faces in a beeswaxed drawingroom, ceiled with full fruit clusters. And the hands of a bride and of a bridegroom, noble to noble, were impalmed by don John Conmee.
It was a charming day." (U10.174)
"The lychgate of a field showed Father Conmee breadths of cabbages, curtseying to him with ample underleaves. The sky showed him a flock of small white clouds going slowly down the wind. Moutonner, the French said. A just and homely word." (U10.180)
"Father Conmee, reading his office, watched a flock of muttoning clouds over Rathcoffey. His thinsocked ankles were tickled by the stubble of Clongowes field. He walked there, reading in the evening, and heard the cries of the boys' lines at their play, young cries in the quiet evening. He was their rector: his reign was mild. " (U10.184)
Clongowes Wood S.J. is a boy's preparatory school in county Kildare. Both James Joyce and Stephen Dedalus attended it.
"Father Conmee drew off his gloves and took his rededged breviary out. An ivory bookmark told him the page.
Nones. He should have read that before lunch. But lady Maxwell had come." (U10.189)
"Father Conmee read in secret Pater and Ave and crossed his breast.
Deus in adiutorium.
He walked calmly and read mutely the nones, walking and reading till he came to Res in Beati immaculati:
— Principium verborum tuorum veritas: in eternum omnia indicia iustitiae tuae." (U10.193)
"A flushed young man came from a gap of a hedge and after him came a young woman with wild nodding daisies in her hand. The young man raised his cap abruptly: the young woman abruptly bent and with slow care detached from her light skirt a clinging twig. Father Conmee blessed both gravely and turned a thin page of his breviary. Sin:
— Principes persecuti sunt me gratis: et a verbis tuis formidavit cor meum." (U10.199)