sharpened match, listening to some companions. Some girls stood near the entrance door. Lynch whispered to Stephen:
----Your beloved is here.
Stephen took his place silently on the step below the group of students, heedless of the rain which fell fast, turning his eyes towards her from time to time. She too stood silently among her companions. She has no priest to flirt with, he thought with conscious bitterness, remembering how he had seen her last. Lynch was right. His mind emptied of theory and courage, lapsed back into a listless peace.
He heard the students talking among themselves. They spoke of two friends who had passed the final medical examination, of the chances of getting places on ocean liners, of poor and rich practices.
----That's all a bubble. An Irish country practice is better.
----Hynes was two years in Liverpool and he says the same. A frightful hole he said it was. Nothing but midwifery cases.
----Do you mean to say it is better to have a job here in the country than in a rich city like that? I know a fellow.
----Hynes has no brains. He got through by stewing, pure stewing.
----Don't mind him. There's plenty of money to be made in a big commercial City.
----Depends on the practice.
----Ego credo ut vita pauperum est simpliciter atrox, simpliciter sanguinarius atrox, in Liverpoolio.
Their voices reached his ears as if from a distance in interrupted pulsation. She was preparing to go away with her companions.
The quick light shower had drawn off, tarrying in