Page:John M. Synge - Masefield - Dublin 1915.djvu/25

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to a woman. Men usually talk their best to women. When I turn over my memories of him, it seems that his grave courtesy was only gay when he was talking to women. His talk to women had a lightness and charm. It was sympathetic; never self-assertive, as the hard, brilliant Irish intellect so often is. He liked people to talk to him. He liked to know the colours of people’s minds. He liked to be amused. His merriest talk was like playing catch with an apple of banter, which one afterwards ate and forgot.

He never tried to be brilliant. I never heard him say a brilliant thing. He said shrewd things. I do not know what he could have done if stirred to talk. Few people born out of old, sunny countries talk well. I never heard him engaged with a brilliant talker, either man or woman. He told me that once, in Paris, he had gone to hear a brilliant talker–a French poet, now dead. It was like him that he did not speak to the talker. “We sat round on chairs and the great man talked.”

During the evening, I spoke a few words to