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Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 18 July 1964

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49 Morehampton Road,
Dublin 4

Tel. 684509

18th July, 1964

Dearest George,

Did I misunderstand something. Actually I felt happy about our party, afterwards as well as during, and the memory of our luncheon with Harold,MacGreevy recalls a luncheon with George and her brother Harold in 1948.note and the feeling that we were happy at it, remained with me. He had been easy, modest with the modesty of a distinguished man, kindly and gracious, probably wondering about a fellow who referred to his mother as "Nellie," but letting himself see the fun of it. Thinking of all three of you I do realise that I have been a privileged man.

But I mustn't be too serious. I think of your mother writing, "God Almighty how I am bored by the people around me!" And I think of yourself, when I came home from Spain with a béret, saying, "Tom, are you going to go around Dublin in that obscene little hat?"In May 1924 MacGreevy travelled to Spain with Lennox Robinson, spending about a month there. See Yeats's letter to MacGreevy 15 May 1924note The [p.2 recto]things that for some unknown reason, one likes to remember! You had laughed as you said it.

I can understand your feeling lonely. Here sometimes over a last cup of tea at night weBy 1964, MacGreevy was sharing his Dublin home with several of his sisters, Honora (Norah) Phelan, Catherine (Kay) McGreevy, Mary Josephine (Molly) McGreevy.note forget that we are old as we reminisce about people and happenings of fifty and sixty years ago at home. And if there isn't news of the babiesOnly two of MacGreevy's sisters, had married, and only one, Norah, had children. One daughter, Patricia, became a nun. The other two daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, married in the 1950s. By 1964 Elizabeth and Nicholas Ryan had had three of their five children, Patricia, Robert, and Declan; Margaret, and Vincent Farrington had three of their four children, Cliona, Raíltaín, and Padraig.note, at least by telephone, so that I can picture them, something is missing. I expect you and the ArchdeaconMacGreevy is referring to George Yeats's brother Harold Hyde-Leesnote had lots of childhood reminiscences to laugh over when you could get together Now you feel the gettings-together are over. But it has happened to me to feel that those who are gone do still laugh affectionately with me ( and even at me, which, so long as it is affectionately, is fine too). Jack Yeats driven by the theorists to define what beauty is, cogitated over quite a long period of time. Then, one evening he said to me that he had found it. Beauty (or The Beautiful) is the affection a person - or thing - feels for another person or thing. "Thing" covered horses and [p.3 recto]donkeys, shapes, sounds, etc.

Dear George, I don't want to intrude at all, but you know that if at any time you'd like to meet and talk for a while, I have a great deal of leisure now.After a period of ill health, MacGreevy retired from the National Gallery in 1963note

God bless,