The New National Library — The National Literary Society — Mr. O’Grady’s Stories — Dr. Hyde’s Forthcoming Book — Themes for Irish Litterateurs

  • W. B. Yeats
Part of the The Collected Edition of the Works of W. B. Yeats book series (CWWBY)


Your Gelt has written the greater bulk of his letters from the capital#x2020; of the enemy, but he is now among his own people again, and no longer “The Celt in London,” but “The Celt in Ireland.” At this moment he is sitting writing, or trying to write, in the big, florid new National Library with its stone balcony, where nobody is allowed to walk, and its numberless stone niches, in which there will never be any statues.1 He is sitting dreaming much, and writing a little from time to time, watching the people come and go, and wondering what shall be born of the new generation that is now so very busy reading endless scholasticisms along the five rows of oak tables. An old fairy tale which exists in many forms in many countries tells of a giant whose life was hidden away in an egg, which was in its turn hid in the mouth of a fish, or some such unlikely place.2 The library is just such an egg, for it hides under its white curved ceiling a good portion of the scholastic life of student Dublin. Here they come to read for examinations, and to work up their various subjects. At my left hand is a man reading some registers of civil service or other examinations; opposite me an ungainly young man with a puzzled face is turning over the pages of a trigonometry work; and a little beyond him a medical student is deep in anatomical diagrams.


Civil Service National Library Fairy Tale Great Bulk Good Portion 
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Copyright information

© Michael Yeats 1989

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  • W. B. Yeats

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