Fiction > Harvard Classics > The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel
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  The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
The Room of Tulchinne the Juggler
 
 
  “There I beheld a great champion, in front of the same room, on the floor of the house. The shame of baldness is on him. White as mountain cotton-grass is each hair that grows through his head. Earrings of gold around his ears. A mantle speckled, coloured, he wore. Nine swords in his hand, and nine silvern shields, and nine apples of gold. He throws each of them upwards, and none of them falls on the ground, and there is only one of them on his palm; each of them rising and falling past another is just like the movement to and fro of bees on a day of beauty. When he was swiftest, I beheld him at the feat, and as I looked, they uttered a cry about him and they were all on the house-floor. Then the Prince who is in the house said to the juggler: ‘We have come together since thou wast a little boy, and till to-night thy juggling never failed thee.’  1
  “‘Alas, alas, fair master Conaire, good cause have I. A keen, angry eye looked at me: a man with the third of a pupil which sees the going of the nine bands. Not much to him is that keen, wrathful sight! Battles are fought with it,’ saith he. ‘It should be known till doomsday that there is evil in front of the Hostel.’  2
  “Then he took the swords in his hand, and the silvern shields and the apples of gold; and again they uttered a cry and were all on the floor of the house. That amazed him, and he gave over his play and said:  3
  ‘O Fer caille, arise! Do not … its slaughter. Sacrifice thy pig! Find out who is in front of the house to injure the men of the Hostel.’  4
  ‘There,’ said he, ‘are Fer Cualngi, Fer lé, Fer gar, Fer rogel, Fer rogain. They have announced a deed which is not feeble, the annihilation of Conaire by Donn Désa’s five sons, by Conaire’s five loving foster-brothers.’  5
  “Liken thou that, O Fer rogain! Who has chanted that lay?”  6
  “Easy for me to liken him,” says Fer rogain. “Taulchinne the chief juggler of the King of Tara; he is Conaire’s conjurer. A man of great might is that man. Thrice nine will fall by him in his first encounter, and he will share prowess with every one in the Hostel, and he will chance to escape therefrom though wounded. What then? Even on account of this man only the Destruction should not be wrought.”  7
  “Long live he who should spare him!” says Lomna Drúth.  8
  “Ye cannot,” says Ingcél, etc.  9
 

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