Page:John M. Synge - Masefield - Dublin 1915.djvu/46

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

an unassertive, unassuming man, with a genius for being inconspicuous. He has told us that his usual method in a poor man’s cabin was to make them forget that he was there, but in Aran on these visits he always tried to add to the fun, and to his personal prestige with conjuring tricks, fiddling, piping, taking photographs, etc. Some of the Islanders were much attached to him. I suppose that their main impression was that he was a linguist who had committed a crime somewhere and had come to hide.

His next three or four years, 1899–1902 were passed between Paris and Ireland; Paris in the winter and spring and Ireland in the other seasons. He was at work on The Aran Islands, and on his three early one act plays, The Tinker’s Wedding, Riders to the Sea, and The Shadow of the Glen. He came to London in the winter of 1902–3, where I saw him as I have described. London did not suit him and he did not stay long. He gave up his room in Paris at this time, with some searching of the heart; for at thirty one clings to youth. After this, he was mostly