"There wouldn't," Dylks said, drying his eyes on a tatter of his coat sleeve, "be so much trouble if it wasn't for the miracles." "Yes," Braile replied to the thoughtful mood which he had fallen into, rather than to Dylks, "the ignorant are sure to want a sign, though the wise could get along without it.
"To think of this network of treachery spreading through and through us, lying in wait for us, leading us on, buoying us up with false strength, sham elasticity and then collapsing like a toy balloon, leaving nothing but a rag, a tatter of humanity. Oh, it is shameful! it is disgraceful! Look at me! what business have I with nerves?" She stretched out her long arms and threw her head back.
At that moment the Sanctus bell rang, and she remembered why she had stayed in church. She wished to discover what remnant, tatter or shred of her early faith still clung about her. She wished to put her agnosticism to the test. She wondered if at the moment of consecration she would be compelled to bow her head. The bell rang again.... She grew tremulous with expectation.
She turned into the fields, walking under trees which she did not see, and up hills and down valleys without noticing the incline of either. At times, through the tatter of her mind there blazed a memory of her mother lying sick at home, waiting for her daughter to return with food, and at such memories she gripped her hands together frightfully and banished the thought.
For the twentieth time, I should think, I raised the ash-tray in my hand and held it immediately under the table lamp in order to examine its contents. In the little brass bowl lay a blood-stained fragment of greyish hair attached to a tatter of skin. This fragment of epidermis had an odd bluish tinge, and the attached hair was much darker at the roots than elsewhere.
Mickey was the best hurler in the barony, no mean performer on the violin, could dance the national bolero of "Tatter Jack Walsh" in a way that charmed more than one soft heart beneath a red woolsey bodice, and had, withal, the peculiar free-and-easy devil-may-care kind of off-hand Irish way that never deserted him in the midst of his wiliest and most subtle moments, giving to a very deep and cunning fellow all the apparent frankness and openness of a country lad.
The Comprachicos were rather a fellowship than a tribe; rather a residuum than a fellowship. It was all the riffraff of the universe, having for their trade a crime. It was a sort of harlequin people, all composed of rags. To recruit a man was to sew on a tatter. To wander was the Comprachicos' law of existence to appear and disappear. What is barely tolerated cannot take root.
Carlyle was accustomed, in private, to speak of Miss Jewsbury as "Miss Gooseberry," while Carlyle himself said that she was simply "a flimsy tatter of a creature." But it is on the testimony of this one woman, who was so morbid and excitable, that the most serious accusations against Carlyle rest. She knew that Froude was writing a volume about Mrs.
"Irish! upon my conscience, I believe you!" shouted O'Shaughnessy, with an energy of voice and manner that created a hearty laugh on all sides. "It's few people ever mistook it for a Venetian melody. Hand over the punch, the sherry, I mean. When I was in the Clare militia, we always went in to dinner to 'Tatter Jack Walsh, a sweet air, and had 'Garryowen' for a quick-step.
"Ritoorala loorala loorala loo, ritoorala loorala loorala loo!" chorused everybody, as he sang the last verse to the vulgar melody of 'Tatter Jack Welch, knocking the poetry out of my constitution at once and forever, like the ashes out of a pipe. "Hooray for Miss Mac! Who should have thought it, Darby?" That was my pet name in the regiment. "How like! how very like!