Relics of Old Decency

The Book Elf

You see the good Irish linen napkins here? These are relics of old decency.


But what are relics of old decency? They appear in Ulysses:

the hat motif


But when my mother so describes her napkins she is quoting her father, and he, although roughly contemporary with Joyce, was a ministerĀ of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and on the whole more likely to cite a fiddle tune than Ulysses. Here is the fiddle tune:

fiddle tune

and another contribution from an antiquated housekeeper:

antiquated housekeeper

and my favourite contemporary usage:


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