27 MARCH 1942, Page 10

Those were the days when the Lord Lieutenant would drive

in state to the Horse Show with the sunshine glistening upon the varnish of his wheels. Those were the days when the nobility and gentry would entertain each other with a series of garden parties, when the band would play Pinafore on the lawns, and when the marquees would be palaces of sugared cakes strawberry ices. Those were the days when peaches we heaped in silver bowls, and when the footmen brought in seed-cake and the marsala at the same moment as the bull brought in the English mail. My grandmother would tak me sometimes to the garden-parties ; she never took me to mainham gaol. Squat and sinister stands that little Bastille, the friend with whom I went there last week showed me how when he was an inthate, the prisoners would signal from barred windows to the women waiting on the bridge. Over door of Kilmainham the architect has inserted a sculpt allegory of the serpents of vice and discord being bound chains. That is a cruel emblem of a violent past. It would be mistake for the visiting Englishman to remember nothing of past beyond the tunes from Pinafore and the strawberry ices. would be an equal mistake for him to assume that bittern is an eternal emotion, to become angry because the citizens Eire are so different from ourselves, or to resent their roysti attitude towards their own neutrality. The Irish are an in prehensible race, and seem - fated to be misunderstood even themselves. But I have a feeling that in the end they Aro prefer the old familiar complaint of being misunderstood England to being misunderstood by Germany or even by United States.