Source: The Works of John M. Synge
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “Part IV”
Author(s): Synge, John M.
Volume number: 3
Publisher: John W. Luce and Company
Place of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Year of publication: 1912
Pagination: 184-234 (excerpt below includes only pages 202-03)
|Synge, John M. “Part IV.” The Works of John M. Synge. Vol. 3. Boston: John W. Luce, 1912: pp. 184-234.|
|excerpt of chapter|
|Leon Czolgosz (execution: international response).|
Volume 3 contains Synge’s The Aran Islands, a fact not communicated on the book’s title or copyright page.
This book is copyrighted for 1911; however, the year 1912 is given on the title page.
Part IV [excerpt]
Although these people are kindly
towards each other and to their children, they have no feeling for the sufferings
of animals, and little sympathy for pain when the person who feels it is not
in danger. I have sometimes seen a girl writhing and howling with toothache
while her mother sat at the other side of the fireplace pointing at her and
laughing at her as if amused by the sight.
A few days ago, when we had been talking of the death of President M’Kinley, I explained the American way of killing murderers, and a man asked me how long the man who killed the President would be dying.
‘While you’d be snapping your fingers,’ I said.
‘Well,’ said the man, ‘they might as well hang him so, and not be bothering themselves with all them wires. A man who would kill a King or a President knows he has to die for it, and it’s only giving him the thing he bargained for if he dies easy. It would be right he should be three weeks dying, and there’d be fewer of those things done in the world.’
If two dogs fight at the slip when we are waiting for the steamer, the men are delighted and do all they can to keep up the fury of the battle. 
They tie down donkeys’ heads to their hoofs to keep them from straying, in a way that must cause horrible pain, and sometimes when I go into a cottage I find all the women of the place down on their knees plucking the feathers from live ducks and geese.
When the people are in pain themselves they make no attempt to hide or control their feelings. An old man who was ill in the winter took me out the other day to show me how far down the road they could hear him yelling ‘the time he had a pain in his head.’