Castleyons, Co. Cork. Oct 22nd 1916
A Athair ghil agus a dhalta ghil,
I have just got from Browne and Nolan a copy of the little book Ár nDóithin Araon. Look at page 3 of the little book. In line 7 after the word ghreim there should be the words do buaileadh an tríú huair é. Then after the words fé dheireadh should come the words do labhair sé. Then should come Faire! faire! a dhochtúir na smaointe, na bíodh ceist ort! beidh ár ndóthain araon ann!
The beauty of Diarmuid’s rejoinder lay in the fact that he took it for granted that the doctor’s rage arose from the fact that he feared that there would not be mutton enough left for his own dinner after Diarmuid had finished his dinner. Now you see the exquisite beauty of the rejoinder! But all that exquisite beauty is lost! Diarmuid’s rejoinder is placed where it has no bearing at all on the Doctor’s having any dread that there would be none of the leg of mutton left for himself. What a pity I did not see the proofs before the little book was bound! It is really a great pity. In fact, I never saw the profs of the text of the book. I saw the proofs of the notes. The whole beauty of Diarmuid’s rejoinder is lost! And both the rejoinder and its beauty in this instance are things that no man living could invent!