All this walk back had been extraordinarily fine. The intense
insular clearness one sees only in Ireland, and after rain, was
throwing out every ripple in the sea and sky, and every crevice in
the hills beyond the bay.
This evening an old man came to see me, and said he had known a
relative of mine who passed some time on this island forty-three
'I was standing under the pier-wall mending nets,' he said, 'when
you came off the steamer, and I said to myself in that moment, if
there is a man of the name of Synge left walking the world, it is
that man yonder will be he.'
He went on to complain in curiously simple yet dignified language of
the changes that have taken place here since he left the island to
go to sea before the end of his childhood.
'I have come back,' he said, 'to live in a bit of a house with my
sister. The island is not the same at all to what it was. It is
little good I can get from the people who are in it now, and
anything I have to give them they don't care to have.'
From what I hear this man seems to have shut himself up in a world
of individual conceits and theories, and to live aloof at his trade
of net-mending, regarded by the other islanders with respect and