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Hero l Chapter Twenty-six

Hero l Chapter Twenty-six

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Published by shaunthepostman

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Published by: shaunthepostman on May 30, 2010
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A few nights before Cranly went to the country to [recruit]refresh himself in body after his failure in the examination, Stephensaid to him:-I believe this will be an important season for me. I intend tocome to some decision as to my course of action.-But you will go for Second Arts next year?-My godfather may not pay. They expected I would get anexhibition.-And why didn't you? said Cranly.-I will think things out, said Stephen, and see what I can do.-There are a hundred things you can do.-Are there faith? We'll see .... I might want to write to you./What is your address?\Cranly affected not to hear this question. He was picking histeeth with a match, very deliberately /and scrupulously, occasionallyhalting to insert his tongue carefully into some crevice beforecontinuing the process of picking.\ He spat out what he dislodged. Hisstraw hat rested mainly on the nape of his neck and his feet wereplanted far apart. After a considerable pause he returned to his lastphrase, as if he had been inwardly reviewing it:-Ay, hundreds of things.Stephen said:-What is your address in the country?-My address? .... O .... You see .... it's really impossible, d'yeknow, to say what my address would be. But you won't come to anydecision before I come back .... I'm almost sure I'll go in themorning but I want to see at what time there's a train.-We looked before, said Stephen. Half past nine.-No .... I think I must go up to Harcourt St to see what timethere's a train.They walked slowly in the direction of Harcourt St. Stephen,refusing to nurse ill-feeling, said:-What mysterious purpose is concealed under your impossibleprosiness? Please tell me that. Have you anything in your mind's eye?-If I had a mysterious purpose, said Cranly, I wouldn't be likelyto tell you, (would I?), what it was.-I have told you a great deal, said Stephen.-Most people have some purpose or other in their lives. Aristotlesays that the end of every being is its greatest good. We all act inview of some good.-Couldn't you be a bit more precise? You don't wish me to writegospels about you, do you? .... Are you really thinking of being apork-butcher?-Yes, really. /Would you not think of it. You could wrap yoursausages in your love-poems.\Stephen laughed.-You mustn't think you can impose on me, Cranly, he said. I knowyou are damnably romantic.At Harcourt St Station they went up to the time-table and after aglance at it Stephen said mischievously:-Half past nine, as I told you. You see you wouldn't take a fool'sword for it.-That's another train, said Cranly impatiently.Stephen smiled with enjoyment while Cranly began to examine thechart, murmuring the names of the stations to himself and calculatingtime. In the end he seemed to arrive at some decision for he said toStephen 'Let us eke go'. Outside the station Stephen pulled his
 
friend's coat-sleeve and pointed to a newsbill which was exposed topublic gaze on the roadway, held down at the corners by four stones.-Have you seen this?[Cranly] They stopped to read the [items] bill and four or fivepeople also stopped to read it. Cranly read out the items in hisflattest accent, beginning at the headline:EVENING TELEGRAPH[Meeting]NATIONALIST MEETING AT BALLINROBEIMPORTANT SPEECHESMAIN DRAINAGE SCHEMEBREEZY DISCUSSIONDEATH OF A WELL-KNOWN SOLICITORMAD COW AT CABRALITERATURE &.-Do you think it requires great ability to live that lifesuccessfully? asked Stephen when they were once more on the way.-I suppose you think literature the most important thing there?-You take up that view of the world, I am sure, out of pureperversity. You try to prove me abnormal and diseased but it is aseasy to prove that the well-known solicitor was diseased and abnormal.Insensibility is a mark of disease.-He may have been /what you would call\ an artist.-Yes, of course .... And as for the temptation which Satan wasallowed to dangle before the eyes of Jesus it is, in reality, the mostineffectual temptation to offer to any man of genius. The well-knownsolicitor might succumb to it but for Jesus the kingdom of this worldmust have been a very empty phrase indeed - at least when he hadoutgrown a romantic youth. /Satan, really, is the romantic youth ofJesus re-appearing for a moment. I had a romantic youth,\ too, when Ithought it must be a grand thing to be a material Messias: that wasthe will of my father who never will be in heaven. But now such athought arises in my mind only in moments of great physical weakness.So I regard that view of life as the abnormal view - for me. A fewdays ago I walked out to Howth for a swim and while I was going roundthe side of the Head I had to take a little ribbon of a path that hunghigh over the rocks ....-What side of Howth?-Near the Bailey .... Very good. As I looked down on those rocksbeneath me the thought arose in my mind to cast myself down upon them.The thought made me shiver with pleasure for a moment, but, of course,I recognized our old friend. All these temptations are of a piece. ToJesus, to me, to the excitable person who adopts brigandage or suicideafter taking the suggestions of literature too seriously, Satan offersa monstrous life. It is monstrous because the seat of the spiritualprinciple of a man is not transferable to a material object. A manonly pretends to think his hat more important than his head. That viewof life, I consider, is abnormal.-You cannot call that abnormal which everyone does.-Does everyone jump off the Hill of Howth? Does everyone joinsecret societies? Does everyone sacrifice happiness and pleasure andpeace to honour in the world? Father Artifoni told me of a society ofmutual assistance in Italy the members of which had the right to bethrown into the Arno by their fellow-members on signing a paperproving that their case was past curing.
 
At Noblett's corner where they always halted, they found Templedeclaiming to a little ring of young men. The young men were laughingvery much at Temple who was very drunk. Stephen kept his eyes fixed onTemple's shapeless mouth which at moments was flecked with a thin foamas it strove to enunciate a difficult word. Cranly stared at the groupand said:-I'll take my dyin' bible Temple has been standing those medicalsdrinks .... The bloody fool! ....Temple caught sight of them and at once broke off his discourse tocome over to them. One or two of the medicals followed him.-Good evening, said Temple, fumbling at his cap.-*Druncus es*.The two medicals laughed while Temple began to search his pockets.During the search his mouth fell asunder.-Who has the money? said Cranly.The two medicals laughed and nodded towards Temple who desistedfrom his search disconsolately saying:-Ay, by hell .... I was going to stand a drink .... Ah, byhell! .... Where's the other bob I had? ....One of the medicals said:-You changed it in Connery's.The other medical said:-He got stuck in his first today. That's why he went on the beertonight.-And where did you raise the money? said Cranly to Temple, whobegan to search his pockets again.-He popped his watch for ten bob.-It mustn't be a bad watch, said Cranly, if he got ten bob on it.Where did he get ten bob?-Ah no! said the second medical. I popped it for him. I know achap named Larkin in Granby Row.The big medical student who had had the political discussion inthe *Adelphi* with the clerk from the Agricultural Board Office cameover to them and said:-Well, Temple, are you going to take us down to the kips?-Ah, blazes, said Temple, all my money's gone .... Ah, by hell, Imust have a woman .... By hell, I'll ask for a woman on tick.The big student roared laughing and turning to Cranly, againstwhom he had a grudge on account of the affair in the *Adelphi*, he said:-Will you have a woman too if I stand?Cranly's chastity was famous but the young men were not quiteimpressed by it. At the same time the [little] group did not betrayits opinion by laughing at the big student's invitation. Cranly didnot answer; and so the second student said:-Mac got through!-What Mac? said Cranly.-Mac - you know - the Gaelic League chap. He brought us down tothe kips last night.-And had you all women?-No ....-What did you go there for?-He suggested we'd walk through. Fine tarts there, too. They wererunning after us, man: it was fine skit. Ay, and one of them hit Macbecause she said he insulted her.-What did he do?-I don't know. He said 'Gellong, you dirty [whore] hure' orsomething like that.

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