Dubliners

by: James Joyce

“A Painful Case”

Quotes “A Painful Case”
He had neither companions nor friends, church nor creed. He lived his spiritual life without any communication with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died. He performed these two social duties for old dignity’s sake but conceded nothing further to the conventions which regulate the civic life. He allowed himself to think that in certain circumstances he would rob his bank but, as these circumstances never arose, his life rolled out evenly—an adventureless tale.
Meeting her a third time by accident he found courage to make an appointment. She came. This was the first of many meetings . . . Mr. Duffy, however, had a distaste for underhanded ways and, finding that they were compelled to meet stealthily, he forced her to ask him to the house. Captain Sinico encouraged his visits, thinking that his daughter’s hand was in question. He had dismissed his wife so sincerely from his gallery of pleasures that he did not suspect that anyone else would take an interest in her.
The end of these discourses was that one night during which she had shown every sign of unusual excitement, Mrs. Sinico caught up his hand passionately and pressed it to her cheek. Mr. Duffy was very much surprised. Her interpretation of his words disillusioned him. He did not visit her for a week, then he wrote to her asking her to meet him…. They agreed to break off their intercourse: every bond, he said, is a bond to sorrow.
Captain Sinico, of Leoville, Sydney Parade, husband of the deceased, also gave evidence. He stated that the deceased was his wife . . . They had been married for twenty-two years and had lived happily until about two years ago when his wife began to be rather intemperate in her habits. Miss Mary Sinico said that of late her mother had been in the habit of going out at night to buy spirits. She, witness, had often tried to reason with her mother and had induced her to join a League.
He looked down the slope and, at the base, in the shadow of the wall of the Park, he saw some human figures lying. Those venal and furtive loves filled him with despair. He gnawed the rectitude of his life; he felt he had been outcast from life’s feast. One human being had seemed to love him and he had denied her life and happiness: he had sentenced her to ignominy, a death of shame.