"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, not startled when an otter plunged." (U10.164)
[NB: this is not the countess of Belvedere]
"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." (U10.184)
Clongowes Wood S.J. is a boy's preparatory school in county Kildare. Both James Joyce and Stephen Dedalus attended it.
"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.
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.
Father Conmee read in secret Pater and Ave and crossed his breast. Deus in adiutorium." (U10.186)
"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.
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." (U10.195)
"Corny Kelleher closed his long daybook and glanced with his drooping eye at a pine coffinlid sentried in a corner. He pulled himself erect, went to it and, spinning it on its axle, viewed its shape and brass furnishings. Chewing his blade of hay he laid the coffinlid by and came to the doorway. There he tilted his hatbrim to give shade to his eyes and leaned against the doorcase, looking idly out." (U10.207)
"Father John Conmee stepped into the Dollymount tram on Newcomen bridge.
Corny Kelleher locked his largefooted boots and gazed, his hat downtilted, chewing his blade of hay." (U10.213)
"Constable 57 C, on his beat, stood to pass the time of day.
— That's a fine day, Mr Kelleher.
— Ay, Corny Kelleher said." (U10.217)
"Constable 57C, on his beat, stood to pass the time of day.
- That's a fine day, Mr Kelleher.
- Ay, Corny Kelleher said.
- It's very close, the constable said." (U10.217)
"Corny Kelleher sped a silent jet of hayjuice arching from his mouth while a generous white arm from a window in Eccles street flung forth a coin.
- What's the best news? he asked.
- I seen that particular party last evening, the constable said with bated breath." (U10.221)