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The Dead
James Joyce
The Dead
James Joyce

The Dead

James Joyce

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Modern Fiction
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has quotedu3 months

Gabriel had not gone to the door with the others. He was in a dark part of the hall gazing up the staircase. A woman was standing near the top of the first flight, in the shadow also. He could not see her face but he could see the terracotta and salmon-pink panels of her skirt which the shadow made appear black and white. It was his wife. She was leaning on the banisters, listening to something. Gabriel was surprised at her stillness and strained his ear to listen also. But he could hear little save the noise of laughter and dispute on the front steps, a few chords struck on the piano and a few notes of a man’s voice singing. He stood still in the gloom of the hall, trying to catch the air that the voice was singing and gazing up at his wife. There was grace and mystery in her attitude as if she were a symbol of something. He asked himself what is a woman standing on the stairs in the shadow, listening to distant music, a symbol of. If he were a painter he would paint her in that attitude. Her blue felt hat would show off the bronze of her hair against the darkness and the dark panels of her skirt would show off the light ones. Distant Music he would call the picture if he were a painter. The hall-door was closed, and Aunt Kate, Aunt Julia and Mary Jane came down the hall, still laughing. —Well, isn’t Freddy terrible? said Mary Jane. He’s really terrible. Gabriel said nothing but pointed up the stairs towards where his wife was standing. Now that the hall-door was closed the voice and the piano could be heard more clearly. Gabriel held up his hand for them to be silent. The song seemed to be in the old Irish tonality and the singer seemed uncertain both of his words and of his voice. The voice, made plaintive by distance and by the singer’s hoarseness, faintly illuminated the cadence of the air with words expressing grief: O, the rain falls on my heavy locks And the dew wets my skin, My babe lies cold… —O, exclaimed Mary Jane. It’s Bartell D’Arcy singing, and h

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has quotedu5 months

Lily, the caretaker’s daughter, was literally run off her feet. Hardly had she brought one gentleman into the little pantry behind the office on the ground floor and helped him off with his overcoat, than the wheezy hall-door bell clanged again and she had to scamper along the bare hallway to let in another guest. It was well for her she had not to attend to the ladies also. But Miss Kate and Miss Julia had thought of that and had converted the bathroom upstairs into a ladies’ dressing-room. Miss Kate and Miss Julia were there, gossiping and laughing and fussing, walking after each other to the head of the stairs, peering down over the banisters and calling down to Lily to ask her who had come. It was always a great affair, the Misses Morkan’s annual dance. Everybody who knew them came to it, members of the family, old friends of the family, the members of Julia’s choir, any of Kate’s pupils that were grown up enough and even some of Mary Jane’s pupils too. Never once had it fallen flat. For years and years it had gone off in splendid style, as long as anyone could remember: ever since Kate and Julia, after the death of their brother Pat, had left the house in Stoney Batter and taken Mary Jane, their only niece, to live with them in the dark gaunt house on Usher’s Island, the upper part of which they had rented from Mr Fulham, the corn-factor on the ground floor. That was a good thirty years ago if it was a day. Mary Jane, who was then a little girl in short clothes, was now the main prop of the household for she had the organ in Haddington Road. She had been through the Academy and gave a pupils’ concert every year in the upper room of the Antient Concert Rooms. Many

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has quotedu7 months

Beannacht libh

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has quotedu8 months

Beannacht libh,'

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has quotedu8 months

quarrelsome

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has quoteduabout 1 year

The Lass of Aughrim

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has quoteduabout 1 year

himself a goodly measure of whisky. The young men eyed him respectfully while he took a trial sip. `God help me,' he said, smiling, `it's the doctor's order.' His wizened face broke into a broader smile, and the three young ladies laughed in musical echo to his pleasantry, swaying their bodies to and fro, with nervous jerks of their shoulders. The boldest said: `O, now, Mr Browne, I'm sure the doctor never ordered anything of the kind.' Mr Browne took another sip of his whisky and said, with sidling mimicry: `Well, you see, I'm the famous Mrs Cassidy, who is reported to have said: "Now, Mary Grimes, if I don't take it, make me take it, for I feel I want it."' His hot face had leaned forward a little too confidentially and he had assumed a very low Dublin accent, so that the young ladies, with one instinct, received his speech in silence. Miss Furlong, who was one of Mary Jane's pupils, asked Miss Daly what was the name of the pretty waltz she had played; and Mr Browne, seeing that he was ignored, turned promptly to the two young men, who were more appreciative. A red-faced young woman, dressed in pansy, came into the room, excitedly clapping her hands and crying: `Quadrilles! Quadrilles!' Close on her heels came Aunt Kate, crying: `Two gentlemen and three ladies, Mary Jane!' `O, here's Mr Bergin and Mr Kerrigan,' said Mary Jane. `Mr Kerrigan, will you take Miss Power? Miss Furlong, may I get you a partner, Mr Bergin. O, that'll just do now.' `Three ladies, Mary Jane,' said Aunt Kate. The two young gentlemen asked the ladies if they might have the pleasure, and Mary Jane turned to Miss Daly. `O, Miss Daly, you're really awfully good, after playing for the last two dances, but really we're so short of ladies tonight.' `I don't mind in the least, Miss Morkan.' `But I've a nice partner for you, Mr Bartell D'Arcy, the tenor. I'll get him to sing later on. All Dublin is raving about him.'

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