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Picture this later Heine settling down in these wild and desolate islands, adapting himself to simpler and ruder conditions of life, taking the people as he found them, and yet somehow, despite the wandering spirit that possessed him, succeeding tolerably well in domesticating himself, so that we find him rocking the baby's cradle or joining eagerly and naturally in the story-telling circles of an evening by the flickering firelight. That he made himself at home and was as well-liked by the people with whom he stopped as one of themselves is evidenced by the kindly memories which many of them who have since emigrated to America have treasured up of his presence among them and the quality of his personal magnetism. That he was a strange man they felt, as one of them has confessed to me; but that he was likable and that he became known throughout the islands as the man who was staying at Patrick McDonagh's, is clear from the tone in which those Aran men and women whom I have met speak of him. Remember that to them he was simply a strange but kindly young man who was eager to learn all the Irish that they could teach him, and was fond of picking up strange stories of life in the islands from those who were prepared to tell them to him. And then remember also how many philologists and young poets and dramatists flocked to the islands, and especially to the home of Patrick McDonagh on the middle island of Inishmaan. Would it have been strange if among all of these, most of whom doubtless consciously told of their mission, the humble name of John Synge should have been all but forgotten? Again, he did not stay at Mr. McDonagh's cottage only. At first he went to the inn on Inishmore, the northern and largest island of the three. From Concannon's at The Seven Churches, he went over to Inishmaan realising that there, and there only, could he find the complete, whole-hearted life and temperament with which he sought to surround himself. It was in the McDonagh home that he found himself at last. Here he lived life as he had never lived it before, and the fruit of his experience is told in the pages of this book. It is to Inishmaan that we owe his two great tragedies. The stories were here told to him which formed the germs of "Riders to the Sea" and "In the Shadow of the Glen

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