|Portráid de George Moore|
(le Edouard Manet)
In 1894 Edward Martyn and I were living in the Temple, I in a garret in King's Bench Walk, he in a garret in Pump Court. At the time I was very poor and had to work for my living; all the hours of the day were spent writing some chapter of Esther Waters or of Modern Painting; and after dinner I often returned to my work. But towards midnight a wish to go out to speak to somebody would come upon me: Edward returned about that time from his club, and I used to go to Pump Court, sure of finding him seated in his high, canonical chair, sheltered by a screen, reading his book, his glass of grog beside him, his long clay pipe in his hand; and we used to talk literature and drama until two or three in the morning.
I wish I knew enough Irish to write my plays in Irish, he said one night, speaking out of himself suddenly.
You'd like to write your plays in Irish! I exclaimed. I thought nobody did anything in Irish except bring turf from the bog and say prayers.
Edward did not answer, and when I pressed him he said:
You've always lived in France and England, and have forgotten Ireland.
You're wrong: I remember the boatmen speaking to each other in Irish on Lough Carra! And Father James Browne preaching in Irish in Carnacun! But I've never heard of anybody wanting to write in it ... and plays, too!
Everything is different now; a new literature is springing up.
In Irish? I said; and my brain fluttered with ideas regarding the relation of the poem to the language in which it is born.
A new language to enwomb new thoughts, I cried out to Edward.