Mahaffy could be sarcastic in a genial way when the spirit moved him. I recall his crushing question to a man who was claiming respect for Swift MacNeill—
'You know, he is descended from Dean Swift.'—'By whom? Stella or Vanessa? Mahaffy inquired with a smile.
Oliver St. John Gogarty, It Isn't This Time of Year at All (1954), p. 163.
DR. Yelverton Tyrell was reading some comments that Mahaffy had sent to the daily paper about some poor old woman whom superstitious villagers had buried alive because they thought that she was a witch. Little did I know, though I might have guessed it, that the village in question was the village in which the doctor's father had had his parish.
`After all,' he said quietly as he laid down the paper, `it is only a question of premature burial, which is not such an obnoxious thing as delayed burial, which Mahaffy so obtrusively represents.
Oliver St. John Gogarty, It Isn't This Time of Year at All (1954), p. 165.
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