dec 28, 2011
“Again: a goal. I am among them, among their battling
bodies in a medley, the joust of life. You mean that
knockkneed mother’s darling who seems to be slightly
crawsick? Jousts. Time shocked rebounds, shock by shock.
Jousts, slush and uproar of battles, the frozen deathspew of
the slain, a shout of spearspikes baited with men’s bloodied
—Now then, Mr Deasy said, rising.
He came to the table, pinning together his sheets.
Stephen stood up.
—I have put the matter into a nutshell, Mr Deasy said.
It’s about the foot and mouth disease. Just look through it.
There can be no two opinions on the matter.
May I trespass on your valuable space. That doctrine of
laissez faire which so often in our history. Our cattle trade.
The way of all our old industries. Liverpool ring which
jockeyed the Galway harbour scheme. European
conflagration. Grain supplies through the narrow waters of
the channel. The pluterperfect imperturbability of the
department of agriculture. Pardoned a classical allusion.
Cassandra. By a woman who was no better than she
should be. To come to the point at issue.
—I don’t mince words, do I? Mr Deasy asked as
Stephen read on.
Foot and mouth disease. Known as Koch’s preparation.
Serum and virus. Percentage of salted horses. Rinderpest.
Emperor’s horses at Murzsteg, lower Austria. Veterinary
surgeons. Mr Henry Blackwood Price. Courteous offer a
fair trial. Dictates of common sense. Allimportant
question. In every sense of the word take the bull by the
horns. Thanking you for the hospitality of your columns.”
Reflections on hockey and history. Stephen reads – or at least scans – a letter.