—Good day, sir, Stephen answered blushing. The letter is not mine. Mr Garrett Deasy asked me to…

—O, I know him, Myles Crawford said, and I knew his wife too. The bloodiest old tartar God ever made. By Jesus, she had the foot and mouth disease and no mistake! The night she threw the soup in the waiter’s face in the Star and Garter. Oho!

A woman brought sin into the world. For Helen, the runaway wife of Menelaus, ten years the Greeks. O’Rourke, prince of Breffni.

—Is he a widower? Stephen asked.

—Ay, a grass one, Myles Crawford said, his eye running down the typescript. Emperor’s horses. Habsburg. An Irishman saved his life on the ramparts of Vienna. Don’t you forget! Maximilian Karl O’Donnell, graf von Tirconnell in Ireland. Sent his heir over to make the king an Austrian fieldmarshal now. Going to be trouble there one day. Wild geese. O yes, every time. Don’t you forget that!

—The moot point is did he forget it, J. J. O’Molloy said quietly, turning a horseshoe paperweight. Saving princes is a thank you job.

Professor MacHugh turned on him.

—And if not? he said.

—I’ll tell you how it was, Myles Crawford began. A Hungarian it was one day…\


“O’Rourke, prince of Breffni” is a reference to the kingdom of Breifne in medieval Ireland. The O’Rourke’s were a line of Kings that stretched from 964 until a battle with the O’Reillys split the Breifne in 1256 at which point the O’Rourke’s became Lords of the western region through 1605 (source)

Maximilian Karl Lamoral O’Donnell was an Austrian officer of Irish decent who became famous for foiling a plot to assassinate  Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria (source).

Maximilian Karl Lamoral O'Donnell