Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 11 January 1935.[p.1 recto]
15 Cheyene Gardens
My dear George,
I didn't know there would be any payment for the poems. Whatever is going will be all right.
Your letter followed me here. My mother has been very ill and is only precariously better but as the doctor said she would probably last several weeks if not months and I had no work with me I could not wait on as I wanted to.
I hope W.B's. stay in Mallorca will do him good. I wonder whether he can count on good medical attendance there. If any of his party have Spanish or French Señor Sebastian Junyer and his wife, painters and cat lovers, who live at Deya are people of good will and would be only glad to be of use if they were wanted. [p.1 verso] Graves's letter is scarcely surprising. When a man makes a cult of a schoolboy's hero like T.E. Lawrence it seems only natural that he should be touchy about his own self-importance. And he isn't half-boche for nothing.
If the curator of the municipal gallery is a good liar he should be all right for the Dublin Corporation that appointed him in such curious fashion. They've got me into a nice predicament. None of the pseudo-highborn "Friends of the National Collections" had the elementary good manners to let me know about the attack on the Lurçat picture though they knew I was mainly responsible for its being in Dublin so when the fuss broke out in The Irish Times I sent the whole dossier to Lurçat explaining that I had not been told but feeling that at least they had done the essential thing. Unfortunately they hadn't. O'Neill's assertion that the artist had been consulted and had estimated the [p.2 recto]damage at no more than a pound was apparently a flagrant lie wherever he got it. Lurcat knew nothing whatever about the picture having been attacked. That lie, not the attack for attacks happen every where — a Lurçat had already been cut in the Amsterdam gallery — will about cook the Dublin modern gallery's goose amongst Paris painters. However, I daresay Paris painting doesn't matter to Dublin and why bother. It's all of a piece. I see in The Irish Times that the egregious Blackham is to have a translation of a Spanish play about St. Francis Xavier put on at the Abbey. Presumably because there is no Lady Gregory to reject it with a Low Church Protestant sneer about its being more suitable for convents. Gentle Ireland, by the way, flattering the vested interests and pretending it is people.
I saw The Player Queen was on
but didn't go (a) because I couldn't afford [p.2 verso]to, I go to no
theatres except when I am taken, and (b) because the gentility that is
encouraged in England
seems to me to be
is as incapable of interpreting a beautiful play as the
bosthoonishness that is encouraged in Ireland.
Greet Anne and Michael for me if they remember me. I'm glad of Michael's success at Maths. They are beautiful training for the mind that takes to them. I once got 76% for nearly four questions answered out of five at a Civil Service examination and wish I had gone on with them. Being essentially religious, full of mysteries, like "a point has no magnitude" and "a line has length but not breadth", they provide a retreat from the disgustingness of the world when the mind can stand no more of it.