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Carnival By Myles Na Gopaleen

Flann O brien


Carnival By Myles Na Gopaleen

Keats and Chapman once lived near a church. There was a heavy debt on it. The pastor made many efforts to clear the debt by promoting raffles and the like, but was making little headway. He then heard of the popularity of these carnivals where you have roundabouts & fruit machines & shooting galleries. He thought to entertain the town with a week of this and hoped to make some money to reduce the debt.

He hired one of these outfits but with his diminutive financial status he could only induce a very third-rate company to come. All their machinery was old and broken. On the opening day, as the steam organ blared forth, the heavens opened and disgorged sheets of icy rain. The scene, with its drenched and tawdry trappings, assumed the gaiety of a morgue. Keats and Chapman waded from stall to stall soaked and disconsolate. Chapman (unwisely, perhaps) asked the poet what he thought of the fiesta.

“A fête worse than debt,” Keats said.

Chapman collapsed into a trough of mud.

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