MY son,” said The Macnamara with an air of grandeur, “my son, you've forgotten what's due”—he pronounced it “jew”—“to yourself, what's due to your father, what's due to your forefathers that bled,” and The Macnamara waved his hand gracefully; then, taking advantage of its proximity to the edge of the table, he made a powerful but ineffectual attempt to pull himself to his feet. Finding himself baffled by the peculiar formation of his chair, and not having a reserve of breath to draw upon for another exertion, he concealed his defeat under a pretence of feeling indifferent on the matter of rising, and continued fingering the table-edge as if endeavouring to read the initials which had been carved pretty deeply upon the oak by a humorous guest just where his hand rested. “Yes, my son, you've forgotten the blood of your ancient sires. You forget, my son, that you're the offspring of the Macnamaras and the O'Dermots, kings of Munster in the days when there were kings, and when the Geralds were walking about in blue paint in the woods of the adjacent barbarous island of Britain”—The Macnamara said “barbarious.”
“The Geralds have been at Suanmara for four hundred years,” said Standish quickly, and in the tone of one resenting an aspersion.
“Four hundred years!” cried The Macnamara scornfully. “Four hundred years! What's four hundred years in the existence of a family?” He felt that this was the exact instant for him to rise grandly to his feet, so once more he made the essay, but without a satisfactory result. As a matter of fact, it is almost impossible to release oneself from the embrace of a heavy oak chair when the seat has been formed of light cane, and this cane has become tattered.