Dubliners

by: James Joyce

“Ivy Day in the Committee Room”

1

Mr. O’Connor had been engaged by Tierney’s agent to canvas one part of the ward but, as the weather was inclement and his boots let in the wet, he spent a great part of the day sitting by the fire in the Committee Room in Wicklow Street with Jack, the old caretaker.

2

“One man is a plain honest man with no hunker-sliding about him. He goes in to represent the labor classes. This fellow you’re working for only wants to get some job or other . . . The working-man,” said Mr. Hynes, “gets all kicks and no half-pence. But it’s labor produces everything. The working-man is not looking for fat jobs for his sons and nephews and cousins. The working-man is not going to drag the honor of Dublin in the mud to please a German monarch.”

3

“Oh, he’s as tricky as they make ‘em,” said Mr. Henchy. “He hasn’t got those little pigs’ eyes for nothing. Blast his soul! Couldn’t he pay up like a man instead of: ‘O now Mr. Henchy, I must speak to Mr. Fanning . . . I’ve spent a lot of money’? Mean little schoolboy of hell! I suppose he forgets the time his little old father kept the hand-me-down shop in Mary’s Lane.”

4

“Some of these hillsiders and Fenians are a bit too clever if you ask me,” said Mr. Henchy. “Do you know what my private and candid opinion is about some of those little jokers? I believe half of them are in the pay of the Castle.”

5

“Well, I got Parkes for one, and I got Atkinson for two, and I got Ward of Dawson Street. Fine old chap he is, too—regular old toff, old Conservative! ‘But isn’t your candidate a Nationalist?’ said he. ‘He’s a respectable man,’ said I. ‘He’s in favour of whatever will benefit this country. He’s a big ratepayer,’ I said. ‘He has extensive house property in the city and three places of business and isn’t it to his own advantage to keep down the rates? He’s a prominent and respected citizen . . . ’. That’s the way to talk to ‘em.”