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XXVII. VISITORS FOR MRS MACFADDEN
ADAM LISTENS TO THE BELLS
On the early morning of his thirteenth birthday, a boy was wakened from his dreams of the night by the bells of St George's Church, Dublin, ringing four; and as he lazily noticed dawn breaking across the church spire, conjured up dreams of the day to come, full of the importance of one entering upon his teens. From under his pillow he drew a document constituting legal evidence that he had been born in Dublin as the sun was entering Taurus in one of the last years of the last century, and baptised at the Pro-Cathedral, that being his parish church, ere the month was out. His father's name was given as Malachy Macfadden and his own as Adam Byron O'Toole Dudley Wyndham Innocent; a long, strong, and proud name for one so unpretentiously begotten. His sponsors were a Miss or Mrs Emily Robinson, since, even as Mr Malachy Macfadden himself, deceased, and Mr Byron O'Toole, who, still very much alive, had been appointed by the widow his legal guardian, together with Stephen Macarthy, Esquire, of Mountjoy Square, and Turlough O'Meagher Leas-ridere, of Capua Terrace, Sandycove. ... What mainly interested him in his Baptismal Certificate (procured for the purposes of the Intermediate Examination when at the Jesuit College in the house called by Luke Gardiner, first Lord Mountjoy of the last creation, who had built it for his own use in the reign of George III., Belvedere) was the statement of his age.
Yesterday he was a child ... but to-day he was a
man, going to be a man quite shortly. ... Great things begin to happen to you once you enter your teens. : . . What was the long word that Mr Macarthy said Herr Behre mispronounced ...? Adolescence ... in German Jugend. ... Adam was beginning to learn German ... It was not as interesting as French, or at least it was not as easy, but somehow he liked German: perhaps that was because he liked Herr Behre. ... Herr Behre was a kind man, though he had queer notions about pictures, and he was not so wise as Mr Macarthy ... Mr Macarthy said adolescence meant more than the German word Jugend. ... The meaning of words was very queer. ... Mr Macarthy said that the meaning of a word was conveyed by the tone of voice in which it was said ... and yet Mr Macarthy had thousands of books, to which he seemed to pay more attention than to the voices of his friends. Mr Macarthy was a queer old fellow. He did not like him as much as he had liked Father Innocent Feeley; Father Innocent had been to him from the beginning all that was good upon earth, that could be good in Heaven, he would never love anyone as he had loved Father Innocent, but he liked Mr Macarthy pretty well; he liked him and Herr Behre and Mr Turlough O'Meagher better than anyone else in the world now. For Father Innocent was dead too, lying at Glasnevin, not so far from Mr Macfadden and Miss or Mrs Robinson, and perhaps Caroline Brady ...
Perhaps Caroline Brady ... odd that he did not know if Caroline Brady were dead or alive ...! Caroline Brady, if she were alive, how old would she be to-day? How long was it since they met ... and parted ...? Four years was it ... or five ... or maybe six ...? He could not reckon the years backward yet. ... Mr Macarthy was just beginning to teach him the meaning of Time. ... 'Take care of Time,' Mr Macarthy had said, and 'Eternity will take