Page:John M. Synge - Masefield - Dublin 1915.djvu/21

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JOHN M. SYNGE

I first met John M. Synge at the room of a common friend, up two pairs of stairs, in an old house in Bloomsbury, on a Monday night of January, 1903. When I entered the room, he was sitting in a rush-bottomed chair, talking to a young man just down from Oxford. My host introduced me, with the remark that he wanted us to know each other.

Synge stood up to shake hands with me. He was of the middle height, about five feet eight or nine. My first impression of him was of a dark, grave face, with a great deal in it, changing from the liveliness of conversation to a gravity of scrutiny. After we had shaken hands, I passed to the other end of the room to greet other friends. We did not speak to each other again that night.

When I sat at the other end of the room my chair was opposite Synge’s chair. Whenever I raised my eyes I saw him, and wondered who he could be. Disordered people look disordered, unusual people look unusual. A youth with long hair, a velvet coat, extravagant manners,