A procession of whitesmocked sandwichmen marched slowly towards him along the gutter, scarlet sashes across their boards. Bargains. Like that priest they are this morning: we have sinned: we have suffered. He read the scarlet letters on their five tall white hats: H. E. L. Y. S. Wisdom Hely's. Y lagging behind drew a chunk of bread from under his foreboard, crammed it into his mouth and munched as he walked. Our staple food. Three bob a day, walking along the gutters, street after street. Just keep skin and bone together, bread and skilly. They are not Boyl: no, M Glade's men. Doesn't bring in any business either. I suggested to him about a transparent showcart with two smart girls sitting inside writing letters, copybooks, envelopes, blottingpaper. I bet that would have caught on. Smart girls writing something catch the eye at once. Everyone dying to know what she's writing. Get twenty of them round you if you stare at nothing. Have a finger in the pie. Women too. Curiosity. Pillar of salt. Wouldn't have it of course because he didn't think of it himself first. Or the inkbottle I suggested with a false stain of black celluloid. His ideas for ads like Plumtree's potted under the obituaries, cold meat department. You can't lick 'em. What? Our envelopes. Hello, Jones, where are you going? Can't stop, Robinson, I am hastening to purchase the only reliable inkeraser Kansell, sold by Hely's Ltd, 85 Dame street. Well out of that ruck I am. Devil of a job it was collecting accounts of those convents. Tranquilla convent. That was a nice nun there, really sweet face. Wimple suited her small head. Sister? Sister? I am sure she was crossed in love by her eyes. Very hard to bargain with that sort of a woman. I disturbed her at her devotions that morning. But glad to communicate with the outside world. Our great day, she said. Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Sweet name too: caramel. She knew I, I think she knew by the way she. If she had married she would have changed. I suppose they really were short of money. Fried everything in the best butter all the same. No lard for them. My heart's broke eating dripping. They like buttering themselves in and out. Molly tasting it, her veil up. Sister? Pat Claffey, the pawnbroker's daughter. It was a nun they say invented barbed wire.
He crossed Westmoreland street when apostrophe S had plodded by. Rover cycleshop. Those races are on today. How long ago is that? Year Phil Gilligan died. We were in Lombard street west. Wait: was in Thom's. Got the job in Wisdom Hely's year we married. Six years. Ten years ago: ninetyfour he died yes that's right the big fire at Arnott's. Val Dillon was lord mayor. The Glencree dinner. Alderman Robert O'Reilly emptying the port into his soup before the flag fell. Bobbob lapping it for the inner alderman. Couldn't hear what the band played. For what we have already received may the Lord make us. Milly was a kiddy then. Molly had that elephantgrey dress with the braided frogs. Mantailored with selfcovered buttons. She didn't like it because I sprained my ankle first day she wore choir picnic at the Sugarloaf. As if that. Old Goodwin's tall hat done up with some sticky stuff. Flies' picnic too. Never put a dress on her back like it. Fitted her like a glove, shoulders and hips. Just beginning to plump it out well. Rabbitpie we had that day. People looking after her.
Happy. Happier then. Snug little room that was with the red wallpaper. Dockrell's, one and ninepence a dozen. Milly's tubbing night. American soap I bought: elderflower. Cosy smell of her bathwater. Funny she looked soaped all over. Shapely too. Now photography. Poor papa's daguerreotype atelier he told me of. Hereditary taste.
He walked along the curbstone.
Stream of life. What was the name of that priestylooking chap was always squinting in when he passed? Weak eyes, woman. Stopped in Citron's saint Kevin's parade. Pen something. Pendennis? My memory is getting. Pen ...? Of course it's years ago. Noise of the trams probably. Well, if he couldn't remember the dayfather's name that he sees every day.
Bartell d'Arcy was the tenor, just coming out then. Seeing her home after practice. Conceited fellow with his waxedup moustache. Gave her that song Winds that blow from the south.
Windy night that was I went to fetch her there was that lodge meeting on about those lottery tickets after Goodwin's concert in the supperroom or oakroom of the Mansion house. He and I behind. Sheet of her music blew out of my hand against the High school railings. Lucky it didn't. Thing like that spoils the effect of a night for her. Professor Goodwin linking her in front. Shaky on his pins, poor old sot. His farewell concerts. Positively last appearance on any stage. May be for months and may be for never. Remember her laughing at the wind, her blizzard collar up. Corner of Harcourt road remember that gust. Brrfoo! Blew up all her skirts and her boa nearly smothered old Goodwin. She did get flushed in the wind. Remember when we got home raking up the fire and frying up those pieces of lap of mutton for her supper with the Chutney sauce she liked. And the mulled rum. Could see her in the bedroom from the hearth unclamping the busk of her stays: white.
Swish and soft flop her stays made on the bed. Always warm from her. Always liked to let her self out. Sitting there after till near two taking out her hairpins. Milly tucked up in beddyhouse. Happy. Happy. That was the night...
—O, Mr Bloom, how do you do?
—O, how do you do, Mrs Breen?
—No use complaining. How is Molly those times? Haven't seen her for ages.
—In the pink, Mr Bloom said gaily. Milly has a position down in Mullingar, you know.
—Go away! Isn't that grand for her?
—Yes. In a photographer's there. Getting on like a house on fire. How are all your charges?
—All on the baker's list, Mrs Breen said.
How many has she? No other in sight.
—You're in black, I see. You have no...
—No, Mr Bloom said. I have just come from a funeral.
Going to crop up all day, I foresee. Who's dead, when and what did he die of? Turn up like a bad penny.
—O, dear me, Mrs Breen said. I hope it wasn't any near relation.
May as well get her sympathy.
—Dignam, Mr Bloom said. An old friend of mine. He died quite suddenly, poor fellow. Heart trouble, I believe. Funeral was this morning.
Your funeral's tomorrow While you're coming through the rye. Diddlediddle dumdum Diddlediddle...
—Sad to lose the old friends, Mrs Breen's womaneyes said melancholily.
Now that's quite enough about that. Just: quietly: husband.
—And your lord and master?
Mrs Breen turned up her two large eyes. Hasn't lost them anyhow.
—O, don't be talking! she said. He's a caution to rattlesnakes. He's in there now with his lawbooks finding out the law of libel. He has me heartscalded. Wait till I show you.
Hot mockturtle vapour and steam of newbaked jampuffs rolypoly poured out from Harrison's. The heavy noonreek tickled the top of Mr Bloom's gullet. Want to make good pastry, butter, best flour, Demerara sugar, or they'd taste it with the hot tea. Or is it from her? A barefoot arab stood over the grating, breathing in the fumes. Deaden the gnaw of hunger that way. Pleasure or pain is it? Penny dinner. Knife and fork chained to the table.
Opening her handbag, chipped leather. Hatpin: ought to have a guard on those things. Stick it in a chap's eye in the tram. Rummaging. Open. Money. Please take one. Devils if they lose sixpence. Raise Cain. Husband barging. Where's the ten shillings I gave you on Monday? Are you feeding your little brother's family? Soiled handkerchief: medicinebottle. Pastille that was fell. What is she?...
—There must be a new moon out, she said. He's always bad then. Do you know what he did last night?
Her hand ceased to rummage. Her eyes fixed themselves on him, wide in alarm, yet smiling.
—What? Mr Bloom asked.
Let her speak. Look straight in her eyes. I believe you. Trust me.
—Woke me up in the night, she said. Dream he had, a nightmare.
—Said the ace of spades was walking up the stairs.
—The ace of spades! Mr Bloom said.
She took a folded postcard from her handbag.
—Read that, she said. He got it this morning.
—What is it? Mr Bloom asked, taking the card. U.P.?
—U.P.: up, she said. Someone taking a rise out of him. It's a great shame for them whoever he is.
—Indeed it is, Mr Bloom said.
She took back the card, sighing.
—And now he's going round to Mr Menton's office. He's going to take an action for ten thousand pounds, he says.
She folded the card into her untidy bag and snapped the catch.
Same blue serge dress she had two years ago, the nap bleaching. Seen its best days. Wispish hair over her ears. And that dowdy toque: three old grapes to take the harm out of it. Shabby genteel. She used to be a tasty dresser. Lines round her mouth. Only a year or so older than Molly.
See the eye that woman gave her, passing. Cruel. The unfair sex.
He looked still at her, holding back behind his look his discontent. Pungent mockturtle oxtail mulligatawny. I'm hungry too. Flakes of pastry on the gusset of her dress: daub of sugary flour stuck to her cheek. Rhubarb tart with liberal fillings, rich fruit interior. Josie Powell that was. In Luke Doyle's long ago. Dolphin's Barn, the charades. U.P.: up.
Change the subject.
—Do you ever see anything of Mrs Beaufoy? Mr Bloom asked.
—Mina Purefoy? she said.
Philip Beaufoy I was thinking. Playgoers' Club. Matcham often thinks of the masterstroke. Did I pull the chain? Yes. The last act.
—I just called to ask on the way in is she over it. She's in the lying-in hospital in Holles street. Dr Horne got her in. She's three days bad now.
—O, Mr Bloom said. I'm sorry to hear that.
—Yes, Mrs Breen said. And a houseful of kids at home. It's a very stiff birth, the nurse told me.
—-O, Mr Bloom said.
His heavy pitying gaze absorbed her news. His tongue clacked in compassion. Dth! Dth!
—I'm sorry to hear that, he said. Poor thing! Three days! That's terrible for her.
Mrs Breen nodded.
—She was taken bad on the Tuesday...
Mr Bloom touched her funnybone gently, warning her:
—Mind! Let this man pass.
A bony form strode along the curbstone from the river staring with a rapt gaze into the sunlight through a heavystringed glass. Tight as a skullpiece a tiny hat gripped his head. From his arm a folded dustcoat, a stick and an umbrella dangled to his stride.
—Watch him, Mr Bloom said. He always walks outside the lampposts. Watch!
—Who is he if it's a fair question? Mrs Breen asked. Is he dotty?
—His name is Cashel Boyle O'Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell, Mr Bloom said smiling. Watch!
—He has enough of them, she said. Denis will be like that one of these days.
She broke off suddenly.
—There he is, she said. I must go after him. Goodbye. Remember me to Molly, won't you?
—I will, Mr Bloom said.
He watched her dodge through passers towards the shopfronts. Denis Breen in skimpy frockcoat and blue canvas shoes shuffled out of Harrison's hugging two heavy tomes to his ribs. Blown in from the bay. Like old times. He suffered her to overtake him without surprise and thrust his dull grey beard towards her, his loose jaw wagging as he spoke earnestly.
Meshuggah. Off his chump.
Mr Bloom walked on again easily, seeing ahead of him in sunlight the tight skullpiece, the dangling stickumbrelladustcoat. Going the two days. Watch him! Out he goes again. One way of getting on in the world. And that other old mosey lunatic in those duds. Hard time she must have with him.
U.P.: up. I'll take my oath that's Alf Bergan or Richie Goulding. Wrote it for a lark in the Scotch house I bet anything. Round to Menton's office. His oyster eyes staring at the postcard. Be a feast for the gods.
He passed the Irish Times. There might be other answers Iying there. Like to answer them all. Good system for criminals. Code. At their lunch now. Clerk with the glasses there doesn't know me. O, leave them there to simmer. Enough bother wading through fortyfour of them. Wanted, smart lady typist to aid gentleman in literary work. I called you naughty darling because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the meaning. Please tell me what perfume does your wife. Tell me who made the world. The way they spring those questions on you. And the other one Lizzie Twigg. My literary efforts have had the good fortune to meet with the approval of the eminent poet A. E. (Mr Geo. Russell). No time to do her hair drinking sloppy tea with a book of poetry.
Best paper by long chalks for a small ad. Got the provinces now. Cook and general, exc. cuisine, housemaid kept. Wanted live man for spirit counter. Resp. girl (R.C.) wishes to hear of post in fruit or pork shop. James Carlisle made that. Six and a half per cent dividend. Made a big deal on Coates's shares. Ca' canny. Cunning old Scotch hunks. All the toady news. Our gracious and popular vicereine. Bought the Irish Field now. Lady Mountcashel has quite recovered after her confinement and rode out with the Ward Union staghounds at the enlargement yesterday at Rathoath. Uneatable fox. Pothunters too. Fear injects juices make it tender enough for them. Riding astride. Sit her horse like a man. Weightcarrying huntress. No sidesaddle or pillion for her, not for Joe. First to the meet and in at the death. Strong as a brood mare some of those horsey women. Swagger around livery stables. Toss off a glass of brandy neat while you'd say knife. That one at the Grosvenor this morning. Up with her on the car: wishswish. Stonewall or fivebarred gate put her mount to it. Think that pugnosed driver did it out of spite. Who is this she was like? O yes! Mrs Miriam Dandrade that sold me her old wraps and black underclothes in the Shelbourne hotel. Divorced Spanish American. Didn't take a feather out of her my handling them. As if I was her clotheshorse. Saw her in the viceregal party when Stubbs the park ranger got me in with Whelan of the Express. Scavenging what the quality left. High tea. Mayonnaise I poured on the plums thinking it was custard. Her ears ought to have tingled for a few weeks after. Want to be a bull for her. Born courtesan. No nursery work for her, thanks.
Poor Mrs Purefoy! Methodist husband. Method in his madness. Saffron bun and milk and soda lunch in the educational dairy. Y. M. C. A. Eating with a stopwatch, thirtytwo chews to the minute. And still his muttonchop whiskers grew. Supposed to be well connected. Theodore's cousin in Dublin Castle. One tony relative in every family. Hardy annuals he presents her with. Saw him out at the Three Jolly Topers marching along bareheaded and his eldest boy carrying one in a marketnet. The squallers. Poor thing! Then having to give the breast year after year all hours of the night. Selfish those t.t's are. Dog in the manger. Only one lump of sugar in my tea, if you please.
He stood at Fleet street crossing. Luncheon interval. A sixpenny at Rowe's? Must look up that ad in the national library. An eightpenny in the Burton. Better. On my way.
He walked on past Bolton's Westmoreland house. Tea. Tea. Tea. I forgot to tap Tom Kernan.
Sss. Dth, dth, dth! Three days imagine groaning on a bed with a vinegared handkerchief round her forehead, her belly swollen out. Phew! Dreadful simply! Child's head too big: forceps. Doubled up inside her trying to butt its way out blindly, groping for the way out. Kill me that would. Lucky Molly got over hers lightly. They ought to invent something to stop that. Life with hard labour. Twilight sleep idea: queen Victoria was given that. Nine she had. A good layer. Old woman that lived in a shoe she had so many children. Suppose he was consumptive. Time someone thought about it instead of gassing about the what was it the pensive bosom of the silver effulgence. Flapdoodle to feed fools on. They could easily have big establishments whole thing quite painless out of all the taxes give every child born five quid at compound interest up to twentyone five per cent is a hundred shillings and five tiresome pounds multiply by twenty decimal system encourage people to put by money save hundred and ten and a bit twentyone years want to work it out on paper come to a tidy sum more than you think.
Not stillborn of course. They are not even registered. Trouble for nothing.
Funny sight two of them together, their bellies out. Molly and Mrs Moisel. Mothers' meeting. Phthisis retires for the time being, then returns. How flat they look all of a sudden after. Peaceful eyes. Weight off their mind. Old Mrs Thornton was a jolly old soul. All my babies, she said. The spoon of pap in her mouth before she fed them. O, that's nyumnyum. Got her hand crushed by old Tom Wall's son. His first bow to the public. Head like a prize pumpkin. Snuffy Dr Murren. People knocking them up at all hours. For God' sake, doctor. Wife in her throes. Then keep them waiting months for their fee. To attendance on your wife. No gratitude in people. Humane doctors, most of them.
Before the huge high door of the Irish house of parliament a flock of pigeons flew. Their little frolic after meals. Who will we do it on? I pick the fellow in black. Here goes. Here's good luck. Must be thrilling from the air. Apjohn, myself and Owen Goldberg up in the trees near Goose green playing the monkeys. Mackerel they called me.
A squad of constables debouched from College street, marching in Indian file. Goosestep. Foodheated faces, sweating helmets, patting their truncheons. After their feed with a good load of fat soup under their belts. Policeman's lot is oft a happy one. They split up in groups and scattered, saluting, towards their beats. Let out to graze. Best moment to attack one in pudding time. A punch in his dinner. A squad of others, marching irregularly, rounded Trinity railings making for the station. Bound for their troughs. Prepare to receive cavalry. Prepare to receive soup.
He crossed under Tommy Moore's roguish finger. They did right to put him up over a urinal: meeting of the waters. Ought to be places for women. Running into cakeshops. Settle my hat straight. There is not in this wide world a vallee. Great song of Julia Morkan's. Kept her voice up to the very last. Pupil of Michael Balfe's, wasn't she?
He gazed after the last broad tunic. Nasty customers to tackle. Jack Power could a tale unfold: father a G man. If a fellow gave them trouble being lagged they let him have it hot and heavy in the bridewell. Can't blame them after all with the job they have especially the young hornies. That horsepoliceman the day Joe Chamberlain was given his degree in Trinity he got a run for his money. My word he did! His horse's hoofs clattering after us down Abbey street. Lucky I had the presence of mind to dive into Manning's or I was souped. He did come a wallop, by George. Must have cracked his skull on the cobblestones. I oughtn't to have got myself swept along with those medicals. And the Trinity jibs in their mortarboards. Looking for trouble. Still I got to know that young Dixon who dressed that sting for me in the Mater and now he's in Holles street where Mrs Purefoy. Wheels within wheels. Police whistle in my ears still. All skedaddled. Why he fixed on me. Give me in charge. Right here it began.
—Up the Boers!
—Three cheers for De Wet!
—We'll hang Joe Chamberlain on a sourapple tree.
Silly billies: mob of young cubs yelling their guts out. Vinegar hill. The Butter exchange band. Few years' time half of them magistrates and civil servants. War comes on: into the army helterskelter: same fellows used to. Whether on the scaffold high.
Never know who you're talking to. Corny Kelleher he has Harvey Duff in his eye. Like that Peter or Denis or James Carey that blew the gaff on the invincibles. Member of the corporation too. Egging raw youths on to get in the know all the time drawing secret service pay from the castle. Drop him like a hot potato. Why those plainclothes men are always courting slaveys. Easily twig a man used to uniform. Squarepushing up against a backdoor. Maul her a bit. Then the next thing on the menu. And who is the gentleman does be visiting there? Was the young master saying anything? Peeping Tom through the keyhole. Decoy duck. Hotblooded young student fooling round her fat arms ironing.
—Are those yours, Mary?
—I don't wear such things... Stop or I'll tell the missus on you. Out half the night.
—There are great times coming, Mary. Wait till you see.
—Ah, gelong with your great times coming.
Barmaids too. Tobaccoshopgirls.
James Stephens' idea was the best. He knew them. Circles of ten so that a fellow couldn't round on more than his own ring. Sinn Fein. Back out you get the knife. Hidden hand. Stay in. The firing squad. Turnkey's daughter got him out of Richmond, off from Lusk. Putting up in the Buckingham Palace hotel under their very noses. Garibaldi.
You must have a certain fascination: Parnell. Arthur Griffith is a squareheaded fellow but he has no go in him for the mob. Or gas about our lovely land. Gammon and spinach. Dublin Bakery Company's tearoom. Debating societies. That republicanism is the best form of government. That the language question should take precedence of the economic question. Have your daughters inveigling them to your house. Stuff them up with meat and drink. Michaelmas goose. Here's a good lump of thyme seasoning under the apron for you. Have another quart of goosegrease before it gets too cold. Halffed enthusiasts. Penny roll and a walk with the band. No grace for the carver. The thought that the other chap pays best sauce in the world. Make themselves thoroughly at home. Show us over those apricots, meaning peaches. The not far distant day. Homerule sun rising up in the northwest.
His smile faded as he walked, a heavy cloud hiding the sun slowly, shadowing Trinity's surly front. Trams passed one another, ingoing, outgoing, clanging. Useless words. Things go on same, day after day: squads of police marching out, back: trams in, out. Those two loonies mooching about. Dignam carted off. Mina Purefoy swollen belly on a bed groaning to have a child tugged out of her. One born every second somewhere. Other dying every second. Since I fed the birds five minutes. Three hundred kicked the bucket. Other three hundred born, washing the blood off, all are washed in the blood of the lamb, bawling maaaaaa.
Cityful passing away, other cityful coming, passing away too: other coming on, passing on. Houses, lines of houses, streets, miles of pavements, piledup bricks, stones. Changing hands. This owner, that. Landlord never dies they say. Other steps into his shoes when he gets his notice to quit. They buy the place up with gold and still they have all the gold. Swindle in it somewhere. Piled up in cities, worn away age after age. Pyramids in sand. Built on bread and onions. Slaves Chinese wall. Babylon. Big stones left. Round towers. Rest rubble, sprawling suburbs, jerrybuilt. Kerwan's mushroom houses built of breeze. Shelter, for the night.
No-one is anything.
This is the very worst hour of the day. Vitality. Dull, gloomy: hate this hour. Feel as if I had been eaten and spewed.
Provost's house. The reverend Dr Salmon: tinned salmon. Well tinned in there. Like a mortuary chapel. Wouldn't live in it if they paid me. Hope they have liver and bacon today. Nature abhors a vacuum.
The sun freed itself slowly and lit glints of light among the silverware opposite in Walter Sexton's window by which John Howard Parnell passed, unseeing.
There he is: the brother. Image of him. Haunting face. Now that's a coincidence. Course hundreds of times you think of a person and don't meet him. Like a man walking in his sleep. No-one knows him. Must be a corporation meeting today. They say he never put on the city marshal's uniform since he got the job. Charley Kavanagh used to come out on his high horse, cocked hat, puffed, powdered and shaved. Look at the woebegone walk of him. Eaten a bad egg. Poached eyes on ghost. I have a pain. Great man's brother: his brother's brother. He'd look nice on the city charger. Drop into the D.B.C. probably for his coffee, play chess there. His brother used men as pawns. Let them all go to pot. Afraid to pass a remark on him. Freeze them up with that eye of his. That's the fascination: the name. All a bit touched. Mad Fanny and his other sister Mrs Dickinson driving about with scarlet harness. Bolt upright lik surgeon M'Ardle. Still David Sheehy beat him for south Meath. Apply for the Chiltern Hundreds and retire into public life. The patriot's banquet. Eating orangepeels in the park. Simon Dedalus said when they put him in parliament that Parnell would come back from the grave and lead him out of the house of commons by the arm.
—Of the twoheaded octopus, one of whose heads is the head upon which the ends of the world have forgotten to come while the other speaks with a Scotch accent. The tentacles...
They passed from behind Mr Bloom along the curbstone. Beard and bicycle. Young woman.
And there he is too. Now that's really a coincidence: second time. Coming events cast their shadows before. With the approval of the eminent poet, Mr Geo. Russell. That might be Lizzie Twigg with him. A. E.: what does that mean? Initials perhaps. Albert Edward, Arthur Edmund, Alphonsus Eb Ed El Esquire. What was he saying? The ends of the world with a Scotch accent. Tentacles: octopus. Something occult: symbolism. Holding forth. She's taking it all in. Not saying a word. To aid gentleman in literary work.
His eyes followed the high figure in homespun, beard and bicycle, a listening woman at his side. Coming from the vegetarian. Only weggebobbles and fruit. Don't eat a beefsteak. If you do the eyes of that cow will pursue you through all eternity. They say it's healthier. Windandwatery though. Tried it. Keep you on the run all day. Bad as a bloater. Dreams all night. Why do they call that thing they gave me nutsteak? Nutarians. Fruitarians. To give you the idea you are eating rumpsteak. Absurd. Salty too. They cook in soda. Keep you sitting by the tap all night.
Her stockings are loose over her ankles. I detest that: so tasteless. Those literary etherial people they are all. Dreamy, cloudy, symbolistic. Esthetes they are. I wouldn't be surprised if it was that kind of food you see produces the like waves of the brain the poetical. For example one of those policemen sweating Irish stew into their shirts you couldn't squeeze a line of poetry out of him. Don't know what poetry is even. Must be in a certain mood.
The dreamy cloudy gull
Waves o'er the waters dull.
He crossed at Nassau street corner and stood before the window of Yeates and Son, pricing the fieldglasses. Or will I drop into old Harris's and have a chat with young Sinclair? Wellmannered fellow. Probably at his lunch. Must get those old glasses of mine set right. Goerz lenses six guineas. Germans making their way everywhere. Sell on easy terms to capture trade. Undercutting. Might chance on a pair in the railway lost property office. Astonishing the things people leave behind them in trains and cloakrooms. What do they be thinking about? Women too. Incredible. Last year travelling to Ennis had to pick up that farmer's daughter's ba and hand it to her at Limerick junction. Unclaimed money too. There's a little watch up there on the roof of the bank to test those glasses by.
His lids came down on the lower rims of his irides. Can't see it. If you imagine it's there you can almost see it. Can't see it.
He faced about and, standing between the awnings, held out his right hand at arm's length towards the sun. Wanted to try that often. Yes: completely. The tip of his little finger blotted out the sun's disk. Must be the focus where the rays cross. If I had black glasses. Interesting. There was a lot of talk about those sunspots when we were in Lombard street west. Looking up from the back garden. Terrific explosions they are. There will be a total eclipse this year: autumn some time.
Now that I come to think of it that ball falls at Greenwich time. It's the clock is worked by an electric wire from Dunsink. Must go out there some first Saturday of the month. If I could get an introduction to professor Joly or learn up something about his family. That would do to: man always feels complimented. Flattery where least expected. Nobleman proud to be descended from some king's mistress. His foremother. Lay it on with a trowel. Cap in hand goes through the land. Not go in and blurt out what you know you're not to: what's parallax? Show this gentleman the door.
His hand fell to his side again.
Never know anything about it. Waste of time. Gasballs spinning about, crossing each other, passing. Same old dingdong always. Gas: then solid: then world: then cold: then dead shell drifting around, frozen rock, like that pineapple rock. The moon. Must be a new moon out, she said. I believe there is.
He went on by la maison Claire.
Wait. The full moon was the night we were Sunday fortnight exactly there is a new moon. Walking down by the Tolka. Not bad for a Fairview moon. She was humming. The young May moon she's beaming, love. He other side of her. Elbow, arm. He. Glowworm's la-amp is gleaming, love. Touch. Fingers. Asking. Answer. Yes.
Stop. Stop. If it was it was. Must.
Mr Bloom, quickbreathing, slowlier walking passed Adam court.
With a keep quiet relief his eyes took note this is the street here middle of the day of Bob Doran's bottle shoulders. On his annual bend, M Coy said. They drink in order to say or do something or cherchez la femme. Up in the Coombe with chummies and streetwalkers and then the rest of the year sober as a judge.
Yes. Thought so. Sloping into the Empire. Gone. Plain soda would do him good. Where Pat Kinsella had his Harp theatre before Whitbred ran the Queen's. Broth of a boy. Dion Boucicault business with his harvestmoon face in a poky bonnet. Three Purty Maids from School. How time flies, eh? Showing long red pantaloons under his skirts. Drinkers, drinking, laughed spluttering, their drink against their breath. More power, Pat. Coarse red: fun for drunkards: guffaw and smoke. Take off that white hat. His parboiled eyes. Where is he now? Beggar somewhere. The harp that once did starve us all.
I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Twentyeight I was. She twentythree. When we left Lombard street west something changed. Could never like it again after Rudy. Can't bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. Would you go back to then? Just beginning then. Would you? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? Wants to sew on buttons for me. I must answer. Write it in the library.
Grafton street gay with housed awnings lured his senses. Muslin prints, silkdames and dowagers, jingle of harnesses, hoofthuds lowringing in the baking causeway. Thick feet that woman has in the white stockings. Hope the rain mucks them up on her. Countrybred chawbacon. All the beef to the heels were in. Always gives a woman clumsy feet. Molly looks out of plumb.
He passed, dallying, the windows of Brown Thomas, silk mercers. Cascades of ribbons. Flimsy China silks. A tilted urn poured from its mouth a flood of bloodhued poplin: lustrous blood. The huguenots brought that here. La causa è santa! Tara tara. Great chorus that. Taree tara. Must be washed in rainwater. Meyerbeer. Tara: bom bom bom.
Pincushions. I'm a long time threatening to buy one. Sticking them all over the place. Needles in window curtains.
He bared slightly his left forearm. Scrape: nearly gone. Not today anyhow. Must go back for that lotion. For her birthday perhaps. Junejulyaugseptember eighth. Nearly three months off. Then she mightn't like it. Women won't pick up pins. Say it cuts lo.
Gleaming silks, petticoats on slim brass rails, rays of flat silk stockings.
Useless to go back. Had to be. Tell me all.
High voices. Sunwarm silk. Jingling harnesses. All for a woman, home and houses, silkwebs, silver, rich fruits spicy from Jaffa. Agendath Netaim. Wealth of the world.
A warm human plumpness settled down on his brain. His brain yielded. Perfume of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore.
Duke street. Here we are. Must eat. The Burton. Feel better then.
He turned Combridge's corner, still pursued. Jingling, hoofthuds. Perfumed bodies, warm, full. All kissed, yielded: in deep summer fields, tangled pressed grass, in trickling hallways of tenements, along sofas, creaking beds.
—Kiss me, Reggy!
His heart astir he pushed in the door of the Burton restaurant. Stink gripped his trembling breath: pungent meatjuice, slush of greens. See the animals feed.
Men, men, men.
Perched on high stools by the bar, hats shoved back, at the tables calling for more bread no charge, swilling, wolfing gobfuls of sloppy food, their eyes bulging, wiping wetted moustaches. A pallid suetfaced young man polished his tumbler knife fork and spoon with his napkin. New set of microbes. A man with an infant's saucestained napkin tucked round him shovelled gurgling soup down his gullet. A man spitting back on his plate: halfmasticated gristle: gums: no teeth to chewchewchew it. Chump chop from the grill. Bolting to get it over. Sad booser's eyes. Bitten off more than he can chew. Am I like that? See ourselves as others see us. Hungry man is an angry man. Working tooth and jaw. Don't! O! A bone! That last pagan king of Ireland Cormac in the schoolpoem choked himself at Sletty southward of the Boyne. Wonder what he was eating. Something galoptious. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity. Couldn't swallow it all however.
—Roast beef and cabbage.
Smells of men. His gorge rose. Spaton sawdust, sweetish warmish cigarette smoke, reek of plug, spilt beer, men's beery piss, the stale of ferment.
Couldn't eat a morsel here. Fellow sharpening knife and fork to eat all before him, old chap picking his tootles. Slight spasm, full, chewing the cud. Before and after. Grace after meals. Look on this picture then on that. Scoffing up stewgravy with sopping sippets of bread. Lick it off the plate, man! Get out of this.
He gazed round the stooled and tabled eaters, tightening the wings of his nose.
—Two stouts here.
—One corned and cabbage.
That fellow ramming a knifeful of cabbage down as if his life depended on it. Good stroke. Give me the fidgets to look. Safer to eat from his three hands. Tear it limb from limb. Second nature to him. Born with a silver knife in his mouth. That's witty, I think. Or no. Silver means born rich. Born with a knife. But then the allusion is lost.
An illgirt server gathered sticky clattering plates. Rock, the head bailiff, standing at the bar blew the foamy crown from his tankard. Well up: it splashed yellow near his boot. A diner, knife and fork upright, elbows on table, ready for a second helping stared towards the foodlift across his stained square of newspaper. Other chap telling him something with his mouth full. Sympathetic listener. Table talk. I munched hum un thu Unchster Bunk un Munchday. Ha? Did you, faith?
Mr Bloom raised two fingers doubtfully to his lips. His eyes said:
—Not here. Don't see him.
Out. I hate dirty eaters.
He backed towards the door. Get a light snack in Davy Byrne's. Stopgap. Keep me going. Had a good breakfast.
—Roast and mashed here.
—Pint of stout.
Every fellow for his own, tooth and nail. Gulp. Grub. Gulp. Gobstuff.
He came out into clearer air and turned back towards Grafton street. Eat or be eaten. Kill! Kill!
Suppose that communal kitchen years to come perhaps. All trotting down with porringers and tommycans to be filled. Devour contents in the street. John Howard Parnell example the provost of Trinity every mother's son don't talk of your provosts and provost of Trinity women and children cabmen priests parsons fieldmarshals archbishops. From Ailesbury road, Clyde road, artisans' dwellings, north Dublin union, lord mayor in his gingerbread coach, old queen in a bathchair. My plate's empty. After you with our incorporated drinkingcup. Like sir Philip Crampton's fountain. Rub off the microbes with your handkerchief. Next chap rubs on a new batch with his. Father O'Flynn would make hares of them all. Have rows all the same. All for number one. Children fighting for the scrapings of the pot. Want a souppot as big as the Phoenix park. Harpooning flitches and hindquarters out of it. Hate people all round you. City Arms hotel table d'hôte she called it. Soup, joint and sweet. Never know whose thoughts you're chewing. Then who'd wash up all the plates and forks? Might be all feeding on tabloids that time. Teeth getting worse and worse.
After all there's a lot in that vegetarian fine flavour of things from the earth garlic of course it stinks after Italian organgrinders crisp of onions mushrooms truffles. Pain to the animal too. Pluck and draw fowl. Wretched brutes there at the cattlemarket waiting for the poleaxe to split their skulls open. Moo. Poor trembling calves. Meh. Staggering bob. Bubble and squeak. Butchers' buckets wobbly lights. Give us that brisket off the hook. Plup. Rawhead and bloody bones. Flayed glasseyed sheep hung from their haunches, sheepsnouts bloodypapered snivelling nosejam on sawdust. Top and lashers going out. Don't maul them pieces, young one.
Hot fresh blood they prescribe for decline. Blood always needed. Insidious. Lick it up smokinghot, thick sugary. Famished ghosts.
Ah, I'm hungry.
He entered Davy Byrne's. Moral pub. He doesn't chat. Stands a drink now and then. But in leapyear once in four. Cashed a cheque for me once.
What will I take now? He drew his watch. Let me see now. Shandygaff?
—Hello, Bloom, Nosey Flynn said from his nook.
—Tiptop... Let me see. I'll take a glass of burgundy and... let me see.
Sardines on the shelves. Almost taste them by looking. Sandwich? Ham and his descendants musterred and bred there. Potted meats. What is home without Plumtree's potted meat? Incomplete. What a stupid ad! Under the obituary notices they stuck it. All up a plumtree. Dignam's potted meat. Cannibals would with lemon and rice. White missionary too salty. Like pickled pork. Expect the chief consumes the parts of honour. Ought to be tough from exercise. His wives in a row to watch the effect. There was a right royal old nigger. Who ate or something the somethings of the reverend Mr MacTrigger. With it an abode of bliss. Lord knows what concoction. Cauls mouldy tripes windpipes faked and minced up. Puzzle find the meat. Kosher. No meat and milk together. Hygiene that was what they call now. Yom Kippur fast spring cleaning of inside. Peace and war depend on some fellow's digestion. Religions. Christmas turkeys and geese. Slaughter of innocents. Eat drink and be merry. Then casual wards full after. Heads bandaged. Cheese digests all but itself. Mity cheese.
—Have you a cheese sandwich?
Like a few olives too if they had them. Italian I prefer. Good glass of burgundy take away that. Lubricate. A nice salad, cool as a cucumber, Tom Kernan can dress. Puts gusto into it. Pure olive oil. Milly served me that cutlet with a sprig of parsley. Take one Spanish onion. God made food, the devil the cooks. Devilled crab.
—Quite well, thanks... A cheese sandwich, then. Gorgonzola, have you?
Nosey Flynn sipped his grog.
—Doing any singing those times?
Look at his mouth. Could whistle in his own ear. Flap ears to match. Music. Knows as much about it as my coachman. Still better tell him. Does no harm. Free ad.
—She's engaged for a big tour end of this month. You may have heard perhaps.
—No. O, that's the style. Who's getting it up?
The curate served.
—How much is that?
—Seven d., sir... Thank you, sir.
Mr Bloom cut his sandwich into slender strips. Mr MacTrigger. Easier than the dreamy creamy stuff. His five hundred wives. Had the time of their lives.
He studded under each lifted strip yellow blobs. Their lives. I have it. It grew bigger and bigger and bigger.
—Getting it up? he said. Well, it's like a company idea, you see. Part shares and part profits.
—Ay, now I remember, Nosey Flynn said, putting his hand in his pocket to scratch his groin. Who is this was telling me? Isn't Blazes Boylan mixed up in it?
A warm shock of air heat of mustard hanched on Mr Bloom's heart. He raised his eyes and met the stare of a bilious clock. Two. Pub clock five minutes fast. Time going on. Hands moving. Two. Not yet.
His midriff yearned then upward, sank within him, yearned more longly, longingly.
He smellsipped the cordial juice and, bidding his throat strongly to speed it, set his wineglass delicately down.
—Yes, he said. He's the organiser in point of fact.
No fear: no brains.
Nosey Flynn snuffled and scratched. Flea having a good square meal.
—He had a good slice of luck, Jack Mooney was telling me, over that boxingmatch Myler Keogh won again that soldier in the Portobello barracks. By God, he had the little kipper down in the county Carlow he was telling me...
Hope that dewdrop doesn't come down into his glass. No, snuffled it up.
—For near a month, man, before it came off. Sucking duck eggs by God till further orders. Keep him off the boose, see? O, by God, Blazes is a hairy chap.
Davy Byrne came forward from the hindbar in tuckstitched shirtsleeves, cleaning his lips with two wipes of his napkin. Herring's blush. Whose smile upon each feature plays with such and such replete. Too much fat on the parsnips.
—And here's himself and pepper on him, Nosey Flynn said. Can you give us a good one for the Gold cup?
—I'm off that, Mr Flynn, Davy Byrne answered. I never put anything on a horse.
—You're right there, Nosey Flynn said.
Mr Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread, with relish of disgust pungent mustard, the feety savour of green cheese. Sips of his wine soothed his palate. Not logwood that. Tastes fuller this weather with the chill off.
Nice quiet bar. Nice piece of wood in that counter. Nicely planed. Like the way it curves there.
—I wouldn't do anything at all in that line, Davy Byrne said. It ruined many a man, the same horses.
Vintners' sweepstake. Licensed for the sale of beer, wine and spirits for consumption on the premises. Heads I win tails you lose.
—True for you, Nosey Flynn said. Unless you're in the know. There's no straight sport going now. Lenehan gets some good ones. He's giving Sceptre today. Zinfandel's the favourite, lord Howard de Walden's, won at Epsom. Morny Cannon is riding him. I could have got seven to one against Saint Amant a fortnight before.
—That so? Davy Byrne said...
He went towards the window and, taking up the pettycash book, scanned its pages.
—I could, faith, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling. That was a rare bit of horseflesh. Saint Frusquin was her sire. She won in a thunderstorm, Rothschild's filly, with wadding in her ears. Blue jacket and yellow cap. Bad luck to big Ben Dollard and his John O'Gaunt. He put me off it. Ay.
He drank resignedly from his tumbler, running his fingers down the flutes.
—Ay, he said, sighing.
Mr Bloom, champing, standing, looked upon his sigh. Nosey numbskull. Will I tell him that horse Lenehan? He knows already. Better let him forget. Go and lose more. Fool and his money. Dewdrop coming down again. Cold nose he'd have kissing a woman. Still they might like. Prickly beards they like. Dogs' cold noses. Old Mrs Riordan with the rumbling stomach's Skye terrier in the City Arms hotel. Molly fondling him in her lap. O, the big doggybowwowsywowsy!
Wine soaked and softened rolled pith of bread mustard a moment mawkish cheese. Nice wine it is. Taste it better because I'm not thirsty. Bath of course does that. Just a bite or two. Then about six o'clock I can. Six. Six. Time will be gone then. She...
Mild fire of wine kindled his veins. I wanted that badly. Felt so off colour. His eyes unhungrily saw shelves of tins: sardines, gaudy lobsters' claws. All the odd things people pick up for food. Out of shells, periwinkles with a pin, off trees, snails out of the ground the French eat, out of the sea with bait on a hook. Silly fish learn nothing in a thousand years. If you didn't know risky putting anything into your mouth. Poisonous berries. Johnny Magories. Roundness you think good. Gaudy colour warns you off. One fellow told another and so on. Try it on the dog first. Led on by the smell or the look. Tempting fruit. Ice cones. Cream. Instinct. Orangegroves for instance. Need artificial irrigation. Bleibtreustrasse. Yes but what about oysters. Unsightly like a clot of phlegm. Filthy shells. Devil to open them too. Who found them out? Garbage, sewage they feed on. Fizz and Red bank oysters. Effect on the sexual. Aphrodis. He was in the Red Bank this morning. Was he oysters old fish at table perhaps he young flesh in bed no June has no ar no oysters. But there are people like things high. Tainted game. Jugged hare. First catch your hare. Chinese eating eggs fifty years old, blue and green again. Dinner of thirty courses. Each dish harmless might mix inside. Idea for a poison mystery. That archduke Leopold was it no yes or was it Otto one of those Habsburgs? Or who was it used to eat the scruff off his own head? Cheapest lunch in town. Of course aristocrats, then the others copy to be in the fashion. Milly too rock oil and flour. Raw pastry I like myself. Half the catch of oysters they throw back in the sea to keep up the price. Cheap no-one would buy. Caviare. Do the grand. Hock in green glasses. Swell blowout. Lady this. Powdered bosom pearls. The élite. Crème de la crème. They want special dishes to pretend they're. Hermit with a platter of pulse keep down the stings of the flesh. Know me come eat with me. Royal sturgeon high sheriff, Coffey, the butcher, right to venisons of the forest from his ex. Send him back the half of a cow. Spread I saw down in the Master of the Rolls' kitchen area. Whitehatted chef like a rabbi. Combustible duck. Curly cabbage à la duchesse de Parme. Just as well to write it on the bill of fare so you can know what you've eaten. Too many drugs spoil the broth. I know it myself. Dosing it with Edwards' desiccated soup. Geese stuffed silly for them. Lobsters boiled alive. Do ptake some ptarmigan. Wouldn't mind being a waiter in a swell hotel. Tips, evening dress, halfnaked ladies. May I tempt you to a little more filleted lemon sole, miss Dubedat? Yes, do bedad. And she did bedad. Huguenot name I expect that. A miss Dubedat lived in Killiney, I remember. Du, de la French. Still it's the same fish perhaps old Micky Hanlon of Moore street ripped the guts out of making money hand over fist finger in fishes' gills can't write his name on a cheque think he was painting the landscape with his mouth twisted. Moooikill A Aitcha Ha ignorant as a kish of brogues, worth fifty thousand pounds.
Stuck on the pane two flies buzzed, stuck.
Glowing wine on his palate lingered swallowed. Crushing in the winepress grapes of Burgundy. Sun's heat it is. Seems to a secret touch telling me memory. Touched his sense moistened remembered. Hidden under wild ferns on Howth below us bay sleeping: sky. No sound. The sky. The bay purple by the Lion's head. Green by Drumleck. Yellowgreen towards Sutton. Fields of undersea, the lines faint brown in grass, buried cities. Pillowed on my coat she had her hair, earwigs in the heather scrub my hand under her nape, you'll toss me all. O wonder! Coolsoft with ointments her hand touched me, caressed: her eyes upon me did not turn away. Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open, kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed. Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled sweetsour of her spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft warm sticky gumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take me, willing eyes. Pebbles fell. She lay still. A goat. No-one. High on Ben Howth rhododendrons a nannygoat walking surefooted, dropping currants. Screened under ferns she laughed warmfolded. Wildly I lay on her, kissed her: eyes, her lips, her stretched neck beating, woman's breasts full in her blouse of nun's veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued her. She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding she tossed my hair. Kissed, she kissed me.
Me. And me now.
Stuck, the flies buzzed.
His downcast eyes followed the silent veining of the oaken slab. Beauty: it curves: curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires. Can see them library museum standing in the round hall, naked goddesses. Aids to digestion. They don't care what man looks. All to see. Never speaking. I mean to say to fellows like Flynn. Suppose she did Pygmalion and Galatea what would she say first? Mortal! Put you in your proper place. Quaffing nectar at mess with gods golden dishes, all ambrosial. Not like a tanner lunch we have, boiled mutton, carrots and turnips, bottle of Allsop. Nectar imagine it drinking electricity: gods' food. Lovely forms of women sculped Junonian. Immortal lovely. And we stuffing food in one hole and out behind: food, chyle, blood, dung, earth, food: have to feed it like stoking an engine. They have no. Never looked. I'll look today. Keeper won't see. Bend down let something drop see if she.
Dribbling a quiet message from his bladder came to go to do not to do there to do. A man and ready he drained his glass to the lees and walked, to men too they gave themselves, manly conscious, lay with men lovers, a youth enjoyed her, to the yard.
When the sound of his boots had ceased Davy Byrne said from his book:
—What is this he is? Isn't he in the insurance line?
—He's out of that long ago, Nosey Flynn said. He does canvassing for the Freeman.
—I know him well to see, Davy Byrne said. Is he in trouble?
—Trouble? Nosey Flynn said. Not that I heard of. Why?
—I noticed he was in mourning.
—Was he? Nosey Flynn said. So he was, faith. I asked him how was all at home. You're right, by God. So he was.
—I never broach the subject, Davy Byrne said humanely, if I see a gentleman is in trouble that way. It only brings it up fresh in their minds.
—It's not the wife anyhow, Nosey Flynn said. I met him the day before yesterday and he coming out of that Irish farm dairy John Wyse Nolan's wife has in Henry street with a jar of cream in his hand taking it home to his better half. She's well nourished, I tell you. Plovers on toast.
—And is he doing for the Freeman? Davy Byrne said.
Nosey Flynn pursed his lips.
—-He doesn't buy cream on the ads he picks up. You can make bacon of that.
—How so? Davy Byrne asked, coming from his book.
Nosey Flynn made swift passes in the air with juggling fingers. He winked.
—He's in the craft, he said.
—-Do you tell me so? Davy Byrne said.
—Very much so, Nosey Flynn said. Ancient free and accepted order. He's an excellent brother. Light, life and love, by God. They give him a leg up. I was told that by a—well, I won't say who.
—Is that a fact?
—O, it's a fine order, Nosey Flynn said. They stick to you when you're down. I know a fellow was trying to get into it. But they're as close as damn it. By God they did right to keep the women out of it.
Davy Byrne smiledyawnednodded all in one:
—There was one woman, Nosey Flynn said, hid herself in a clock to find out what they do be doing. But be damned but they smelt her out and swore her in on the spot a master mason. That was one of the saint Legers of Doneraile.
Davy Byrne, sated after his yawn, said with tearwashed eyes:
—And is that a fact? Decent quiet man he is. I often saw him in here and I never once saw him—you know, over the line.
—God Almighty couldn't make him drunk, Nosey Flynn said firmly. Slips off when the fun gets too hot. Didn't you see him look at his watch? Ah, you weren't there. If you ask him to have a drink first thing he does he outs with the watch to see what he ought to imbibe. Declare to God he does.
—There are some like that, Davy Byrne said. He's a safe man, I'd say.
—He's not too bad, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling it up. He's been known to put his hand down too to help a fellow. Give the devil his due. O, Bloom has his good points. But there's one thing he'll never do.
His hand scrawled a dry pen signature beside his grog.
—I know, Davy Byrne said.
—Nothing in black and white, Nosey Flynn said.
Paddy Leonard and Bantam Lyons came in. Tom Rochford followed frowning, a plaining hand on his claret waistcoat.
—Day, Mr Byrne.
They paused at the counter.
—Who's standing? Paddy Leonard asked.
—I'm sitting anyhow, Nosey Flynn answered.
—Well, what'll it be? Paddy Leonard asked.
—I'll take a stone ginger, Bantam Lyons said.
—How much? Paddy Leonard cried. Since when, for God' sake? What's yours, Tom?
—How is the main drainage? Nosey Flynn asked, sipping.
For answer Tom Rochford pressed his hand to his breastbone and hiccupped.
—Would I trouble you for a glass of fresh water, Mr Byrne? he said.
Paddy Leonard eyed his alemates.
—Lord love a duck, he said. Look at what I'm standing drinks to! Cold water and gingerpop! Two fellows that would suck whisky off a sore leg. He has some bloody horse up his sleeve for the Gold cup. A dead snip.
—Zinfandel is it? Nosey Flynn asked.
Tom Rochford spilt powder from a twisted paper into the water set before him.
—That cursed dyspepsia, he said before drinking.
—Breadsoda is very good, Davy Byrne said.
Tom Rochford nodded and drank.
—Is it Zinfandel?
—Say nothing! Bantam Lyons winked. I'm going to plunge five bob on my own.
—Tell us if you're worth your salt and be damned to you, Paddy Leonard said. Who gave it to you?
Mr Bloom on his way out raised three fingers in greeting.
—So long! Nosey Flynn said.
The others turned.
—That's the man now that gave it to me, Bantam Lyons whispered.
—Prrwht! Paddy Leonard said with scorn. Mr Byrne, sir, we'll take two of your small Jamesons after that and a...
—Stone ginger, Davy Byrne added civilly.
—Ay, Paddy Leonard said. A suckingbottle for the baby.
Mr Bloom walked towards Dawson street, his tongue brushing his teeth smooth. Something green it would have to be: spinach, say. Then with those Rontgen rays searchlight you could.
At Duke lane a ravenous terrier choked up a sick knuckly cud on the cobblestones and lapped it with new zest. Surfeit. Returned with thanks having fully digested the contents. First sweet then savoury. Mr Bloom coasted warily. Ruminants. His second course. Their upper jaw they move. Wonder if Tom Rochford will do anything with that invention of his? Wasting time explaining it to Flynn's mouth. Lean people long mouths. Ought to be a hall or a place where inventors could go in and invent free. Course then you'd have all the cranks pestering.
He hummed, prolonging in solemn echo the closes of the bars:
Don Giovanni, a cenar teco M'invitasti.
Feel better. Burgundy. Good pick me up. Who distilled first? Some chap in the blues. Dutch courage. That Kilkenny People in the national library now I must.
Bare clean closestools waiting in the window of William Miller, plumber, turned back his thoughts. They could: and watch it all the way down, swallow a pin sometimes come out of the ribs years after, tour round the body changing biliary duct spleen squirting liver gastric juice coils of intestines like pipes. But the poor buffer would have to stand all the time with his insides entrails on show. Science.
—A cenar teco.
What does that teco mean? Tonight perhaps.
Don Giovanni, thou hast me invited
To come to supper tonight,
The rum the rumdum.
Doesn't go properly.
Keyes: two months if I get Nannetti to. That'll be two pounds ten about two pounds eight. Three Hynes owes me. Two eleven. Prescott's dyeworks van over there. If I get Billy Prescott's ad: two fifteen. Five guineas about. On the pig's back.
Could buy one of those silk petticoats for Molly, colour of her new garters.
Today. Today. Not think.
Tour the south then. What about English wateringplaces? Brighton, Margate. Piers by moonlight. Her voice floating out. Those lovely seaside girls. Against John Long's a drowsing loafer lounged in heavy thought, gnawing a crusted knuckle. Handy man wants job. Small wages. Will eat anything.
Mr Bloom turned at Gray's confectioner's window of unbought tarts and passed the reverend Thomas Connellan's bookstore. Why I left the church of Rome? Birds' Nest. Women run him. They say they used to give pauper children soup to change to protestants in the time of the potato blight. Society over the way papa went to for the conversion of poor jews. Same bait. Why we left the church of Rome.
A blind stripling stood tapping the curbstone with his slender cane. No tram in sight. Wants to cross.
—Do you want to cross? Mr Bloom asked.
The blind stripling did not answer. His wallface frowned weakly. He moved his head uncertainly.
—You're in Dawson street, Mr Bloom said. Molesworth street is opposite. Do you want to cross? There's nothing in the way.
The cane moved out trembling to the left. Mr Bloom's eye followed its line and saw again the dyeworks' van drawn up before Drago's. Where I saw his brillantined hair just when I was. Horse drooping. Driver in John Long's. Slaking his drouth.
—There's a van there, Mr Bloom said, but it's not moving. I'll see you across. Do you want to go to Molesworth street?
—Yes, the stripling answered. South Frederick street.
—Come, Mr Bloom said.
He touched the thin elbow gently: then took the limp seeing hand to guide it forward.
Say something to him. Better not do the condescending. They mistrust what you tell them. Pass a common remark.
—The rain kept off.
Stains on his coat. Slobbers his food, I suppose. Tastes all different for him. Have to be spoonfed first. Like a child's hand, his hand. Like Milly's was. Sensitive. Sizing me up I daresay from my hand. Wonder if he has a name. Van. Keep his cane clear of the horse's legs: tired drudge get his doze. That's right. Clear. Behind a bull: in front of a horse.
Knows I'm a man. Voice.
—Right now? First turn to the left.
The blind stripling tapped the curbstone and went on his way, drawing his cane back, feeling again.
Mr Bloom walked behind the eyeless feet, a flatcut suit of herringbone tweed. Poor young fellow! How on earth did he know that van was there? Must have felt it. See things in their forehead perhaps: kind of sense of volume. Weight or size of it, something blacker than the dark. Wonder would he feel it if something was removed. Feel a gap. Queer idea of Dublin he must have, tapping his way round by the stones. Could he walk in a beeline if he hadn't that cane? Bloodless pious face like a fellow going in to be a priest.
Penrose! That was that chap's name.
Look at all the things they can learn to do. Read with their fingers. Tune pianos. Or we are surprised they have any brains. Why we think a deformed person or a hunchback clever if he says something we might say. Of course the other senses are more. Embroider. Plait baskets. People ought to help. Workbasket I could buy for Molly's birthday. Hates sewing. Might take an objection. Dark men they call them.
Sense of smell must be stronger too. Smells on all sides, bunched together. Each street different smell. Each person too. Then the spring, the summer: smells. Tastes? They say you can't taste wines with your eyes shut or a cold in the head. Also smoke in the dark they say get no pleasure.
And with a woman, for instance. More shameless not seeing. That girl passing the Stewart institution, head in the air. Look at me. I have them all on. Must be strange not to see her. Kind of a form in his mind's eye. The voice, temperatures: when he touches her with his fingers must almost see the lines, the curves. His hands on her hair, for instance. Say it was black, for instance. Good. We call it black. Then passing over her white skin. Different feel perhaps. Feeling of white.
Postoffice. Must answer. Fag today. Send her a postal order two shillings, half a crown. Accept my little present. Stationer's just here too. Wait. Think over it.
With a gentle finger he felt ever so slowly the hair combed back above his ears. Again. Fibres of fine fine straw. Then gently his finger felt the skin of his right cheek. Downy hair there too. Not smooth enough. The belly is the smoothest. No-one about. There he goes into Frederick street. Perhaps to Levenston's dancing academy piano. Might be settling my braces.
Walking by Doran's publichouse he slid his hand between his waistcoat and trousers and, pulling aside his shirt gently, felt a slack fold of his belly. But I know it's whitey yellow. Want to try in the dark to see.
He withdrew his hand and pulled his dress to.
Poor fellow! Quite a boy. Terrible. Really terrible. What dreams would he have, not seeing? Life a dream for him. Where is the justice being born that way? All those women and children excursion beanfeast burned and drowned in New York. Holocaust. Karma they call that transmigration for sins you did in a past life the reincarnation met him pike hoses. Dear, dear, dear. Pity, of course: but somehow you can't cotton on to them someway.
Sir Frederick Falkiner going into the freemasons' hall. Solemn as Troy. After his good lunch in Earlsfort terrace. Old legal cronies cracking a magnum. Tales of the bench and assizes and annals of the bluecoat school. I sentenced him to ten years. I suppose he'd turn up his nose at that stuff I drank. Vintage wine for them, the year marked on a dusty bottle. Has his own ideas of justice in the recorder's court. Wellmeaning old man. Police chargesheets crammed with cases get their percentage manufacturing crime. Sends them to the rightabout. The devil on moneylenders. Gave Reuben J. a great strawcalling. Now he's really what they call a dirty jew. Power those judges have. Crusty old topers in wigs. Bear with a sore paw. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
Hello, placard. Mirus bazaar. His Excellency the lord lieutenant. Sixteenth. Today it is. In aid of funds for Mercer's hospital. The Messiah was first given for that. Yes. Handel. What about going out there: Ballsbridge. Drop in on Keyes. No use sticking to him like a leech. Wear out my welcome. Sure to know someone on the gate.
Mr Bloom came to Kildare street. First I must. Library.
Straw hat in sunlight. Tan shoes. Turnedup trousers. It is. It is.
His heart quopped softly. To the right. Museum. Goddesses. He swerved to the right.
Is it? Almost certain. Won't look. Wine in my face. Why did I? Too heady. Yes, it is. The walk. Not see. Get on.
Making for the museum gate with long windy steps he lifted his eyes. Handsome building. Sir Thomas Deane designed. Not following me?
Didn't see me perhaps. Light in his eyes.
The flutter of his breath came forth in short sighs. Quick. Cold statues: quiet there. Safe in a minute.
No. Didn't see me. After two. Just at the gate.
His eyes beating looked steadfastly at cream curves of stone. Sir Thomas Deane was the Greek architecture.
Look for something I.
His hasty hand went quick into a pocket, took out, read unfolded Agendath Netaim. Where did I?
He thrust back quick Agendath.
Afternoon she said.
I am looking for that. Yes, that. Try all pockets. Handker. Freeman. Where did I? Ah, yes. Trousers. Potato. Purse. Where?
Hurry. Walk quietly. Moment more. My heart.
His hand looking for the where did I put found in his hip pocket soap lotion have to call tepid paper stuck. Ah soap there I yes. Gate.
Urbane, to comfort them, the quaker librarian purred:
—And we have, have we not, those priceless pages of Wilhelm Meister. A great poet on a great brother poet. A hesitating soul taking arms against a sea of troubles, torn by conflicting doubts, as one sees in real life.
He came a step a sinkapace forward on neatsleather creaking and a step backward a sinkapace on the solemn floor.
A noiseless attendant setting open the door but slightly made him a noiseless beck.
—Directly, said he, creaking to go, albeit lingering. The beautiful ineffectual dreamer who comes to grief against hard facts. One always feels that Goethe's judgments are so true. True in the larger analysis.
Twicreakingly analysis he corantoed off. Bald, most zealous by the door he gave his large ear all to the attendant's words: heard them: and was gone.
—Monsieur de la Palice, Stephen sneered, was alive fifteen minutes before his death.
—Have you found those six brave medicals, John Eglinton asked with elder's gall, to write Paradise Lost at your dictation? The Sorrows of Satan he calls it.
Smile. Smile Cranly's smile.
First he tickled her
Then he patted her
Then he passed the female catheter.
For he was a medical
Jolly old medi...
—I feel you would need one more for Hamlet. Seven is dear to the mystic mind. The shining seven W.B. calls them.
Glittereyed his rufous skull close to his greencapped desklamp sought the face bearded amid darkgreener shadow, an ollav, holyeyed. He laughed low: a sizar's laugh of Trinity: unanswered.
Orchestral Satan, weeping many a rood
Tears such as angels weep.
Ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta.
He holds my follies hostage.
Cranly's eleven true Wicklowmen to free their sireland. Gaptoothed Kathleen, her four beautiful green fields, the stranger in her house. And one more to hail him: ave, rabbi: the Tinahely twelve. In the shadow of the glen he cooees for them. My soul's youth I gave him, night by night. God speed. Good hunting.
Mulligan has my telegram.
—Our young Irish bards, John Eglinton censured, have yet to create a figure which the world will set beside Saxon Shakespeare's Hamlet though I admire him, as old Ben did, on this side idolatry.
—All these questions are purely academic, Russell oracled out of his shadow. I mean, whether Hamlet is Shakespeare or James I or Essex. Clergymen's discussions of the historicity of Jesus. Art has to reveal to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. The painting of Gustave Moreau is the painting of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our minds into contact with the eternal wisdom, Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys.
A. E. has been telling some yankee interviewer. Wall, tarnation strike me!
—The schoolmen were schoolboys first, Stephen said superpolitely. Aristotle was once Plato's schoolboy.
—And has remained so, one should hope, John Eglinton sedately said. One can see him, a model schoolboy with his diploma under his arm.
He laughed again at the now smiling bearded face.
Formless spiritual. Father, Word and Holy Breath. Allfather, the heavenly man. Hiesos Kristos, magician of the beautiful, the Logos who suffers in us at every moment. This verily is that. I am the fire upon the altar. I am the sacrificial butter.
Dunlop, Judge, the noblest Roman of them all, A.E., Arval, the Name Ineffable, in heaven hight: K.H., their master, whose identity is no secret to adepts. Brothers of the great white lodge always watching to see if they can help. The Christ with the bridesister, moisture of light, born of an ensouled virgin, repentant sophia, departed to the plane of buddhi. The life esoteric is not for ordinary person. O.P. must work off bad karma first. Mrs Cooper Oakley once glimpsed our very illustrious sister H.P.B.'s elemental.
O, fie! Out on't! Pfuiteufel! You naughtn't to look, missus, so you naughtn't when a lady's ashowing of her elemental.
Mr Best entered, tall, young, mild, light. He bore in his hand with grace a notebook, new, large, clean, bright.
—That model schoolboy, Stephen said, would find Hamlet's musings about the afterlife of his princely soul, the improbable, insignificant and undramatic monologue, as shallow as Plato's.
John Eglinton, frowning, said, waxing wroth:
—Upon my word it makes my blood boil to hear anyone compare Aristotle with Plato.
—Which of the two, Stephen asked, would have banished me from his commonwealth?
Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through spaces smaller than red globules of man's blood they creepycrawl after Blake's buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow. Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
Mr Best came forward, amiable, towards his colleague.
—Haines is gone, he said.
—I was showing him Jubainville's book. He's quite enthusiastic, don't you know, about Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht. I couldn't bring him in to hear the discussion. He's gone to Gill's to buy it.
Bound thee forth, my booklet, quick
To greet the callous public.
Writ, I ween, 'twas not my wish
In lean unlovely English.
—The peatsmoke is going to his head, John Eglinton opined.
We feel in England. Penitent thief. Gone. I smoked his baccy. Green twinkling stone. An emerald set in the ring of the sea.
—People do not know how dangerous lovesongs can be, the auric egg of Russell warned occultly. The movements which work revolutions in the world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant's heart on the hillside. For them the earth is not an exploitable ground but the living mother. The rarefied air of the academy and the arena produce the sixshilling novel, the musichall song. France produces the finest flower of corruption in Mallarme but the desirable life is revealed only to the poor of heart, the life of Homer's Phaeacians.
From these words Mr Best turned an unoffending face to Stephen.
—Mallarme, don't you know, he said, has written those wonderful prose poems Stephen MacKenna used to read to me in Paris. The one about Hamlet. He says: il se promène, lisant au livre de lui-même, don't you know, reading the book of himself. He describes Hamlet given in a French town, don't you know, a provincial town. They advertised it.
His free hand graciously wrote tiny signs in air.
Pièce de Shakespeare
He repeated to John Eglinton's newgathered frown:
—Pièce de Shakespeare, don't you know. It's so French. The French point of view. Hamlet ou...
—The absentminded beggar, Stephen ended.
John Eglinton laughed.
—Yes, I suppose it would be, he said. Excellent people, no doubt, but distressingly shortsighted in some matters.
Sumptuous and stagnant exaggeration of murder.
—A deathsman of the soul Robert Greene called him, Stephen said. Not for nothing was he a butcher's son, wielding the sledded poleaxe and spitting in his palms. Nine lives are taken off for his father's one. Our Father who art in purgatory. Khaki Hamlets don't hesitate to shoot. The bloodboltered shambles in act five is a forecast of the concentration camp sung by Mr Swinburne.
Cranly, I his mute orderly, following battles from afar.
Whelps and dams of murderous foes whom none But we had spared...
Between the Saxon smile and yankee yawp. The devil and the deep sea.
—He will have it that Hamlet is a ghoststory, John Eglinton said for Mr Best's behoof. Like the fat boy in Pickwick he wants to make our flesh creep.
List! List! O List!
My flesh hears him: creeping, hears.
If thou didst ever...
—What is a ghost? Stephen said with tingling energy. One who has faded into impalpability through death, through absence, through change of manners. Elizabethan London lay as far from Stratford as corrupt Paris lies from virgin Dublin. Who is the ghost from limbo patrum, returning to the world that has forgotten him? Who is King Hamlet?
John Eglinton shifted his spare body, leaning back to judge.
—It is this hour of a day in mid June, Stephen said, begging with a swift glance their hearing. The flag is up on the playhouse by the bankside. The bear Sackerson growls in the pit near it, Paris garden. Canvasclimbers who sailed with Drake chew their sausages among the groundlings.
Local colour. Work in all you know. Make them accomplices.
—Shakespeare has left the huguenot's house in Silver street and walks by the swanmews along the riverbank. But he does not stay to feed the pen chivying her game of cygnets towards the rushes. The swan of Avon has other thoughts.
Composition of place. Ignatius Loyola, make haste to help me!
—The play begins. A player comes on under the shadow, made up in the castoff mail of a court buck, a wellset man with a bass voice. It is the ghost, the king, a king and no king, and the player is Shakespeare who has studied Hamlet all the years of his life which were not vanity in order to play the part of the spectre. He speaks the words to Burbage, the young player who stands before him beyond the rack of cerecloth, calling him by a name:
Hamlet, I am thy father's spirit,
bidding him list. To a son he speaks, the son of his soul, the prince, young Hamlet and to the son of his body, Hamnet Shakespeare, who has died in Stratford that his namesake may live for ever.
Is it possible that that player Shakespeare, a ghost by absence, and in the vesture of buried Denmark, a ghost by death, speaking his own words to his own son's name (had Hamnet Shakespeare lived he would have been prince Hamlet's twin), is it possible, I want to know, or probable that he did not draw or foresee the logical conclusion of those premises: you are the dispossessed son: I am the murdered father: your mother is the guilty queen, Ann Shakespeare, born Hathaway?
—But this prying into the family life of a great man, Russell began impatiently.
Art thou there, truepenny?
—Interesting only to the parish clerk. I mean, we have the plays. I mean when we read the poetry of King Lear what is it to us how the poet lived? As for living our servants can do that for us, Villiers de l'Isle has said. Peeping and prying into greenroom gossip of the day, the poet's drinking, the poet's debts. We have King Lear: and it is immortal.
Mr Best's face, appealed to, agreed.
Flow over them with your waves and with your waters, Mananaan, Mananaan MacLir...
How now, sirrah, that pound he lent you when you were hungry?
Marry, I wanted it.
Take thou this noble.
Go to! You spent most of it in Georgina Johnson's bed, clergyman's daughter. Agenbite of inwit.
Do you intend to pay it back?
I paid my way. I paid my way.
Steady on. He's from beyant Boyne water. The northeast corner. You owe it.
Wait. Five months. Molecules all change. I am other I now. Other I got pound.
But I, entelechy, form of forms, am I by memory because under everchanging forms.
I that sinned and prayed and fasted.
A child Conmee saved from pandies.
I, I and I. I.
—Do you mean to fly in the face of the tradition of three centuries? John Eglinton's carping voice asked. Her ghost at least has been laid for ever. She died, for literature at least, before she was born.
—She died, Stephen retorted, sixtyseven years after she was born. She saw him into and out of the world. She took his first embraces. She bore his children and she laid pennies on his eyes to keep his eyelids closed when he lay on his deathbed.
Mother's deathbed. Candle. The sheeted mirror. Who brought me into this world lies there, bronzelidded, under few cheap flowers. Liliata rutilantium.
I wept alone.
John Eglinton looked in the tangled glowworm of his lamp.
—The world believes that Shakespeare made a mistake, he said, and got out of it as quickly and as best he could.
—Bosh! Stephen said rudely. A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Portals of discovery opened to let in the quaker librarian, softcreakfooted, bald, eared and assiduous.
—A shrew, John Eglinton said shrewdly, is not a useful portal of discovery, one should imagine. What useful discovery did Socrates learn from Xanthippe?
—Dialectic, Stephen answered: and from his mother how to bring thoughts into the world. What he learnt from his other wife Myrto (absit nomen!), Socratididion's Epipsychidion, no man, not a woman, will ever know. But neither the midwife's lore nor the caudlelectures saved him from the archons of Sinn Fein and their naggin of hemlock.
—But Ann Hathaway? Mr Best's quiet voice said forgetfully. Yes, we seem to be forgetting her as Shakespeare himself forgot her.
His look went from brooder's beard to carper's skull, to remind, to chide them not unkindly, then to the baldpink lollard costard, guiltless though maligned.
—He had a good groatsworth of wit, Stephen said, and no truant memory. He carried a memory in his wallet as he trudged to Romeville whistling The girl I left behind me. If the earthquake did not time it we should know where to place poor Wat, sitting in his form, the cry of hounds, the studded bridle and her blue windows. That memory, Venus and Adonis, lay in the bedchamber of every light-of-love in London. Is Katharine the shrew illfavoured? Hortensio calls her young and beautiful. Do you think the writer of Antony and Cleopatra, a passionate pilgrim, had his eyes in the back of his head that he chose the ugliest doxy in all Warwickshire to lie withal? Good: he left her and gained the world of men. But his boywomen are the women of a boy. Their life, thought, speech are lent them by males. He chose badly? He was chosen, it seems to me. If others have their will Ann hath a way. By cock, she was to blame. She put the comether on him, sweet and twentysix. The greyeyed goddess who bends over the boy Adonis, stooping to conquer, as prologue to the swelling act, is a boldfaced Stratford wench who tumbles in a cornfield a lover younger than herself.
And my turn? When?
—Ryefield, Mr Best said brightly, gladly, raising his new book, gladly, brightly.
He murmured then with blond delight for all:
Between the acres of the rye These pretty countryfolk would lie.
Paris: the wellpleased pleaser.
A tall figure in bearded homespun rose from shadow and unveiled its cooperative watch.
—I am afraid I am due at the Homestead.
Whither away? Exploitable ground.
—Are you going? John Eglinton's active eyebrows asked. Shall we see you at Moore's tonight? Piper is coming.
—Piper! Mr Best piped. Is Piper back?
Peter Piper pecked a peck of pick of peck of pickled pepper.
—I don't know if I can. Thursday. We have our meeting. If I can get away in time.
Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel umbershoot he thrones an Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma. The faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout him. Louis H. Victory. T. Caulfield Irwin. Lotus ladies tend them i'the eyes, their pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god, he thrones, Buddh under plantain. Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed with wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail.
In quintessential triviality
For years in this fleshcase a shesoul dwelt.
—They say we are to have a literary surprise, the quaker librarian said, friendly and earnest. Mr Russell, rumour has it, is gathering together a sheaf of our younger poets' verses. We are all looking forward anxiously.
Anxiously he glanced in the cone of lamplight where three faces, lighted, shone.
See this. Remember.
Stephen looked down on a wide headless caubeen, hung on his ashplanthandle over his knee. My casque and sword. Touch lightly with two index fingers. Aristotle's experiment. One or two? Necessity is that in virtue of which it is impossible that one can be otherwise. Argal, one hat is one hat.
Young Colum and Starkey. George Roberts is doing the commercial part. Longworth will give it a good puff in the Express. O, will he? I liked Colum's Drover. Yes, I think he has that queer thing genius. Do you think he has genius really? Yeats admired his line: As in wild earth a Grecian vase. Did he? I hope you'll be able to come tonight. Malachi Mulligan is coming too. Moore asked him to bring Haines. Did you hear Miss Mitchell's joke about Moore and Martyn? That Moore is Martyn's wild oats? Awfully clever, isn't it? They remind one of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Our national epic has yet to be written, Dr Sigerson says. Moore is the man for it. A knight of the rueful countenance here in Dublin. With a saffron kilt? O'Neill Russell? O, yes, he must speak the grand old tongue. And his Dulcinea? James Stephens is doing some clever sketches. We are becoming important, it seems.
Cordelia. Cordoglio. Lir's loneliest daughter.
Nookshotten. Now your best French polish.
—Thank you very much, Mr Russell, Stephen said, rising. If you will be so kind as to give the letter to Mr Norman...
—O, yes. If he considers it important it will go in. We have so much correspondence.
—I understand, Stephen said. Thanks.
God ild you. The pigs' paper. Bullockbefriending.
Synge has promised me an article for Dana too. Are we going to be read? I feel we are. The Gaelic league wants something in Irish. I hope you will come round tonight. Bring Starkey.
Stephen sat down.
The quaker librarian came from the leavetakers. Blushing, his mask said:
—Mr Dedalus, your views are most illuminating.
He creaked to and fro, tiptoing up nearer heaven by the altitude of a chopine, and, covered by the noise of outgoing, said low:
—Is it your view, then, that she was not faithful to the poet?
Alarmed face asks me. Why did he come? Courtesy or an inward light?
—Where there is a reconciliation, Stephen said, there must have been first a sundering.
Christfox in leather trews, hiding, a runaway in blighted treeforks, from hue and cry. Knowing no vixen, walking lonely in the chase. Women he won to him, tender people, a whore of Babylon, ladies of justices, bully tapsters' wives. Fox and geese. And in New Place a slack dishonoured body that once was comely, once as sweet, as fresh as cinnamon, now her leaves falling, all, bare, frighted of the narrow grave and unforgiven.
—Yes. So you think...
The door closed behind the outgoer.
Rest suddenly possessed the discreet vaulted cell, rest of warm and brooding air.
A vestal's lamp.
Here he ponders things that were not: what Caesar would have lived to do had he believed the soothsayer: what might have been: possibilities of the possible as possible: things not known: what name Achilles bore when he lived among women.
Coffined thoughts around me, in mummycases, embalmed in spice of words. Thoth, god of libraries, a birdgod, moonycrowned. And I heard the voice of that Egyptian highpriest. In painted chambers loaded with tilebooks.
They are still. Once quick in the brains of men. Still: but an itch of death is in them, to tell me in my ear a maudlin tale, urge me to wreak their will.
—Certainly, John Eglinton mused, of all great men he is the most enigmatic. We know nothing but that he lived and suffered. Not even so much. Others abide our question. A shadow hangs over all the rest.
—But Hamlet is so personal, isn't it? Mr Best pleaded. I mean, a kind of private paper, don't you know, of his private life. I mean, I don't care a button, don't you know, who is killed or who is guilty...
He rested an innocent book on the edge of the desk, smiling his defiance. His private papers in the original. Ta an bad ar an tir. Taim in mo shagart. Put beurla on it, littlejohn.
Quoth littlejohn Eglinton:
—I was prepared for paradoxes from what Malachi Mulligan told us but I may as well warn you that if you want to shake my belief that Shakespeare is Hamlet you have a stern task before you.
Bear with me.
Stephen withstood the bane of miscreant eyes glinting stern under wrinkled brows. A basilisk. E quando vede l'uomo l'attosca. Messer Brunetto, I thank thee for the word.
—As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said, from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist weave and unweave his image. And as the mole on my right breast is where it was when I was born, though all my body has been woven of new stuff time after time, so through the ghost of the unquiet father the image of the unliving son looks forth. In the intense instant of imagination, when the mind, Shelley says, is a fading coal, that which I was is that which I am and that which in possibility I may come to be. So in the future, the sister of the past, I may see myself as I sit here now but by reflection from that which then I shall be.
Drummond of Hawthornden helped you at that stile.
—Yes, Mr Best said youngly. I feel Hamlet quite young. The bitterness might be from the father but the passages with Ophelia are surely from the son.
Has the wrong sow by the lug. He is in my father. I am in his son.
—That mole is the last to go, Stephen said, laughing.
John Eglinton made a nothing pleasing mow.
—If that were the birthmark of genius, he said, genius would be a drug in the market. The plays of Shakespeare's later years which Renan admired so much breathe another spirit.
—The spirit of reconciliation, the quaker librarian breathed.
—There can be no reconciliation, Stephen said, if there has not been a sundering.
—If you want to know what are the events which cast their shadow over the hell of time of King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, look to see when and how the shadow lifts. What softens the heart of a man, shipwrecked in storms dire, Tried, like another Ulysses, Pericles, prince of Tyre?
Head, redconecapped, buffeted, brineblinded.
—A child, a girl, placed in his arms, Marina.
—The leaning of sophists towards the bypaths of apocrypha is a constant quantity, John Eglinton detected. The highroads are dreary but they lead to the town.
Good Bacon: gone musty. Shakespeare Bacon's wild oats. Cypherjugglers going the highroads. Seekers on the great quest. What town, good masters? Mummed in names: A. E., eon: Magee, John Eglinton. East of the sun, west of the moon: Tir na n-og. Booted the twain and staved.
How many miles to Dublin? Three score and ten, sir. Will we be there by candlelight?
—Mr Brandes accepts it, Stephen said, as the first play of the closing period.
—Does he? What does Mr Sidney Lee, or Mr Simon Lazarus as some aver his name is, say of it?
—Marina, Stephen said, a child of storm, Miranda, a wonder, Perdita, that which was lost. What was lost is given back to him: his daughter's child. My dearest wife, Pericles says, was like this maid. Will any man love the daughter if he has not loved the mother?
—The art of being a grandfather, Mr Best gan murmur. l'art d'être grand...
—Will he not see reborn in her, with the memory of his own youth added, another image?
Do you know what you are talking about? Love, yes. Word known to all men. Amor vero aliquid alicui bonum vult unde et ea quae concupiscimus ...
—His own image to a man with that queer thing genius is the standard of all experience, material and moral. Such an appeal will touch him. The images of other males of his blood will repel him. He will see in them grotesque attempts of nature to foretell or to repeat himself.
The benign forehead of the quaker librarian enkindled rosily with hope.
—I hope Mr Dedalus will work out his theory for the enlightenment of the public. And we ought to mention another Irish commentator, Mr George Bernard Shaw. Nor should we forget Mr Frank Harris. His articles on Shakespeare in the Saturday Review were surely brilliant. Oddly enough he too draws for us an unhappy relation with the dark lady of the sonnets. The favoured rival is William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. I own that if the poet must be rejected such a rejection would seem more in harmony with—what shall I say?—our notions of what ought not to have been.
Felicitously he ceased and held a meek head among them, auk's egg, prize of their fray.
He thous and thees her with grave husbandwords. Dost love, Miriam? Dost love thy man?
—That may be too, Stephen said. There's a saying of Goethe's which Mr Magee likes to quote. Beware of what you wish for in youth because you will get it in middle life. Why does he send to one who is a buonaroba, a bay where all men ride, a maid of honour with a scandalous girlhood, a lordling to woo for him? He was himself a lord of language and had made himself a coistrel gentleman and he had written Romeo and Juliet. Why? Belief in himself has been untimely killed. He was overborne in a cornfield first (ryefield, I should say) and he will never be a victor in his own eyes after nor play victoriously the game of laugh and lie down. Assumed dongiovannism will not save him. No later undoing will undo the first undoing. The tusk of the boar has wounded him there where love lies ableeding. If the shrew is worsted yet there remains to her woman's invisible weapon. There is, I feel in the words, some goad of the flesh driving him into a new passion, a darker shadow of the first, darkening even his own understanding of himself. A like fate awaits him and the two rages commingle in a whirlpool.
They list. And in the porches of their ears I pour.
—The soul has been before stricken mortally, a poison poured in the porch of a sleeping ear. But those who are done to death in sleep cannot know the manner of their quell unless their Creator endow their souls with that knowledge in the life to come. The poisoning and the beast with two backs that urged it King Hamlet's ghost could not know of were he not endowed with knowledge by his creator. That is why the speech (his lean unlovely English) is always turned elsewhere, backward. Ravisher and ravished, what he would but would not, go with him from Lucrece's bluecircled ivory globes to Imogen's breast, bare, with its mole cinquespotted. He goes back, weary of the creation he has piled up to hide him from himself, an old dog licking an old sore. But, because loss is his gain, he passes on towards eternity in undiminished personality, untaught by the wisdom he has written or by the laws he has revealed. His beaver is up. He is a ghost, a shadow now, the wind by Elsinore's rocks or what you will, the sea's voice, a voice heard only in the heart of him who is the substance of his shadow, the son consubstantial with the father.
—Amen! was responded from the doorway.
Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?
A ribald face, sullen as a dean's, Buck Mulligan came forward, then blithe in motley, towards the greeting of their smiles. My telegram.
—You were speaking of the gaseous vertebrate, if I mistake not? he asked of Stephen.
Primrosevested he greeted gaily with his doffed Panama as with a bauble.
They make him welcome. Was Du verlachst wirst Du noch dienen.
Brood of mockers: Photius, pseudomalachi, Johann Most.
He Who Himself begot middler the Holy Ghost and Himself sent Himself, Agenbuyer, between Himself and others, Who, put upon by His fiends, stripped and whipped, was nailed like bat to barndoor, starved on crosstree, Who let Him bury, stood up, harrowed hell, fared into heaven and there these nineteen hundred years sitteth on the right hand of His Own Self but yet shall come in the latter day to doom the quick and dead when all the quick shall be dead already.
Glo—o—ri—a in ex—cel—sis De—o.
He lifts his hands. Veils fall. O, flowers! Bells with bells with bells aquiring.
—Yes, indeed, the quaker librarian said. A most instructive discussion. Mr Mulligan, I'll be bound, has his theory too of the play and of Shakespeare. All sides of life should be represented.
He smiled on all sides equally.
Buck Mulligan thought, puzzled:
—Shakespeare? he said. I seem to know the name.
A flying sunny smile rayed in his loose features.
—To be sure, he said, remembering brightly. The chap that writes like Synge.
Mr Best turned to him.
—Haines missed you, he said. Did you meet him? He'll see you after at the D. B. C. He's gone to Gill's to buy Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht.
—I came through the museum, Buck Mulligan said. Was he here?
—The bard's fellowcountrymen, John Eglinton answered, are rather tired perhaps of our brilliancies of theorising. I hear that an actress played Hamlet for the fourhundredandeighth time last night in Dublin. Vining held that the prince was a woman. Has no-one made him out to be an Irishman? Judge Barton, I believe, is searching for some clues. He swears (His Highness not His Lordship) by saint Patrick.
—The most brilliant of all is that story of Wilde's, Mr Best said, lifting his brilliant notebook. That Portrait of Mr W. H. where he proves that the sonnets were written by a Willie Hughes, a man all hues.
—For Willie Hughes, is it not? the quaker librarian asked.
Or Hughie Wills? Mr William Himself. W. H.: who am I?
—I mean, for Willie Hughes, Mr Best said, amending his gloss easily. Of course it's all paradox, don't you know, Hughes and hews and hues, the colour, but it's so typical the way he works it out. It's the very essence of Wilde, don't you know. The light touch.
His glance touched their faces lightly as he smiled, a blond ephebe. Tame essence of Wilde.
You're darned witty. Three drams of usquebaugh you drank with Dan Deasy's ducats.
How much did I spend? O, a few shillings.
For a plump of pressmen. Humour wet and dry.
Wit. You would give your five wits for youth's proud livery he pranks in. Lineaments of gratified desire.
There be many mo. Take her for me. In pairing time. Jove, a cool ruttime send them. Yea, turtledove her.
Eve. Naked wheatbellied sin. A snake coils her, fang in's kiss.
—Do you think it is only a paradox? the quaker librarian was asking. The mocker is never taken seriously when he is most serious.
They talked seriously of mocker's seriousness.
Buck Mulligan's again heavy face eyed Stephen awhile. Then, his head wagging, he came near, drew a folded telegram from his pocket. His mobile lips read, smiling with new delight.
—Telegram! he said. Wonderful inspiration! Telegram! A papal bull!
He sat on a corner of the unlit desk, reading aloud joyfully:
—The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtorship for a thing done. Signed: Dedalus. Where did you launch it from? The kips? No. College Green. Have you drunk the four quid? The aunt is going to call on your unsubstantial father. Telegram! Malachi Mulligan, The Ship, lower Abbey street. O, you peerless mummer! O, you priestified Kinchite!
Joyfully he thrust message and envelope into a pocket but keened in a querulous brogue:
—It's what I'm telling you, mister honey, it's queer and sick we were, Haines and myself, the time himself brought it in. 'Twas murmur we did for a gallus potion would rouse a friar, I'm thinking, and he limp with leching. And we one hour and two hours and three hours in Connery's sitting civil waiting for pints apiece.
—And we to be there, mavrone, and you to be unbeknownst sending us your conglomerations the way we to have our tongues out a yard long like the drouthy clerics do be fainting for a pussful.
Quickly, warningfully Buck Mulligan bent down.
—The tramper Synge is looking for you, he said, to murder you. He heard you pissed on his halldoor in Glasthule. He's out in pampooties to murder you.
—Me! Stephen exclaimed. That was your contribution to literature.
Buck Mulligan gleefully bent back, laughing to the dark eavesdropping ceiling.
—Murder you! he laughed.
Harsh gargoyle face that warred against me over our mess of hash of lights in rue Saint-André-des-Arts. In words of words for words, palabras. Oisin with Patrick. Faunman he met in Clamart woods, brandishing a winebottle. C'est vendredi saint! Murthering Irish. His image, wandering, he met. I mine. I met a fool i'the forest.
—Mr Lyster, an attendant said from the door ajar.
—... in which everyone can find his own. So Mr Justice Madden in his Diary of Master William Silence has found the hunting terms... Yes? What is it?
—There's a gentleman here, sir, the attendant said, coming forward and offering a card. From the Freeman. He wants to see the files of the Kilkenny People for last year.
—Certainly, certainly, certainly. Is the gentleman?...
He took the eager card, glanced, not saw, laid down unglanced, looked, asked, creaked, asked:
—Is he?... O, there!
Brisk in a galliard he was off, out. In the daylit corridor he talked with voluble pains of zeal, in duty bound, most fair, most kind, most honest broadbrim.
—This gentleman? Freeman's Journal? Kilkenny People? To be sure. Good day, sir. Kilkenny... We have certainly...
A patient silhouette waited, listening.
—All the leading provincial... Northern Whig, Cork Examiner, Enniscorthy Guardian, 1903... Will you please?... Evans, conduct this gentleman... If you just follow the atten... Or, please allow me... This way... Please, sir...
Voluble, dutiful, he led the way to all the provincial papers, a bowing dark figure following his hasty heels.
The door closed.
—The sheeny! Buck Mulligan cried.
He jumped up and snatched the card.
—What's his name? Ikey Moses? Bloom.
He rattled on:
—Jehovah, collector of prepuces, is no more. I found him over in the museum where I went to hail the foamborn Aphrodite. The Greek mouth that has never been twisted in prayer. Every day we must do homage to her. Life of life, thy lips enkindle.
Suddenly he turned to Stephen:
—He knows you. He knows your old fellow. O, I fear me, he is Greeker than the Greeks. His pale Galilean eyes were upon her mesial groove. Venus Kallipyge. O, the thunder of those loins! The god pursuing the maiden hid.
—We want to hear more, John Eglinton decided with Mr Best's approval. We begin to be interested in Mrs S. Till now we had thought of her, if at all, as a patient Griselda, a Penelope stayathome.
—Antisthenes, pupil of Gorgias, Stephen said, took the palm of beauty from Kyrios Menelaus' brooddam, Argive Helen, the wooden mare of Troy in whom a score of heroes slept, and handed it to poor Penelope. Twenty years he lived in London and, during part of that time, he drew a salary equal to that of the lord chancellor of Ireland. His life was rich. His art, more than the art of feudalism as Walt Whitman called it, is the art of surfeit. Hot herringpies, green mugs of sack, honeysauces, sugar of roses, marchpane, gooseberried pigeons, ringocandies. Sir Walter Raleigh, when they arrested him, had half a million francs on his back including a pair of fancy stays. The gombeenwoman Eliza Tudor had underlinen enough to vie with her of Sheba. Twenty years he dallied there between conjugial love and its chaste delights and scortatory love and its foul pleasures. You know Manningham's story of the burgher's wife who bade Dick Burbage to her bed after she had seen him in Richard III and how Shakespeare, overhearing, without more ado about nothing, took the cow by the horns and, when Burbage came knocking at the gate, answered from the capon's blankets: William the conqueror came before Richard III. And the gay lakin, mistress Fitton, mount and cry O, and his dainty birdsnies, lady Penelope Rich, a clean quality woman is suited for a player, and the punks of the bankside, a penny a time.
Cours la Reine. Encore vingt sous. Nous ferons de petites cochonneries. Minette? Tu veux?
—The height of fine society. And sir William Davenant of oxford's mother with her cup of canary for any cockcanary.
Buck Mulligan, his pious eyes upturned, prayed:
—Blessed Margaret Mary Anycock!
—And Harry of six wives' daughter. And other lady friends from neighbour seats as Lawn Tennyson, gentleman poet, sings. But all those twenty years what do you suppose poor Penelope in Stratford was doing behind the diamond panes?
Do and do. Thing done. In a rosery of Fetter lane of Gerard, herbalist, he walks, greyedauburn. An azured harebell like her veins. Lids of Juno's eyes, violets. He walks. One life is all. One body. Do. But do. Afar, in a reek of lust and squalor, hands are laid on whiteness.
Buck Mulligan rapped John Eglinton's desk sharply.
—Whom do you suspect? he challenged.
—Say that he is the spurned lover in the sonnets. Once spurned twice spurned. But the court wanton spurned him for a lord, his dearmylove.
Love that dare not speak its name.
—As an Englishman, you mean, John sturdy Eglinton put in, he loved a lord.
Old wall where sudden lizards flash. At Charenton I watched them.
—It seems so, Stephen said, when he wants to do for him, and for all other and singular uneared wombs, the holy office an ostler does for the stallion. Maybe, like Socrates, he had a midwife to mother as he had a shrew to wife. But she, the giglot wanton, did not break a bedvow. Two deeds are rank in that ghost's mind: a broken vow and the dullbrained yokel on whom her favour has declined, deceased husband's brother. Sweet Ann, I take it, was hot in the blood. Once a wooer, twice a wooer.
Stephen turned boldly in his chair.
—The burden of proof is with you not with me, he said frowning. If you deny that in the fifth scene of Hamlet he has branded her with infamy tell me why there is no mention of her during the thirtyfour years between the day she married him and the day she buried him. All those women saw their men down and under: Mary, her goodman John, Ann, her poor dear Willun, when he went and died on her, raging that he was the first to go, Joan, her four brothers, Judith, her husband and all her sons, Susan, her husband too, while Susan's daughter, Elizabeth, to use granddaddy's words, wed her second, having killed her first.
O, yes, mention there is. In the years when he was living richly in royal London to pay a debt she had to borrow forty shillings from her father's shepherd. Explain you then. Explain the swansong too wherein he has commended her to posterity.
He faced their silence.
To whom thus Eglinton:
You mean the will.
But that has been explained, I believe, by jurists.
She was entitled to her widow's dower
At common law. His legal knowledge was great
Our judges tell us.
Him Satan fleers,
And therefore he left out her name
From the first draft but he did not leave out
The presents for his granddaughter, for his daughters,
For his sister, for his old cronies in Stratford
And in London. And therefore when he was urged,
As I believe, to name her
He left her his
—Pretty countryfolk had few chattels then, John Eglinton observed, as they have still if our peasant plays are true to type.
—He was a rich country gentleman, Stephen said, with a coat of arms and landed estate at Stratford and a house in Ireland yard, a capitalist shareholder, a bill promoter, a tithefarmer. Why did he not leave her his best bed if he wished her to snore away the rest of her nights in peace?
—It is clear that there were two beds, a best and a secondbest, Mr Secondbest Best said finely.
—Separatio a mensa et a thalamo, bettered Buck Mulligan and was smiled on.
—Antiquity mentions famous beds, Second Eglinton puckered, bedsmiling. Let me think.
—Antiquity mentions that Stagyrite schoolurchin and bald heathen sage, Stephen said, who when dying in exile frees and endows his slaves, pays tribute to his elders, wills to be laid in earth near the bones of his dead wife and bids his friends be kind to an old mistress (don't forget Nell Gwynn Herpyllis) and let her live in his villa.
—Do you mean he died so? Mr Best asked with slight concern. I mean...
—He died dead drunk, Buck Mulligan capped. A quart of ale is a dish for a king. O, I must tell you what Dowden said!
—What? asked Besteglinton.
William Shakespeare and company, limited. The people's William. For terms apply: E. Dowden, Highfield house...
—Lovely! Buck Mulligan suspired amorously. I asked him what he thought of the charge of pederasty brought against the bard. He lifted his hands and said: All we can say is that life ran very high in those days. Lovely!
—The sense of beauty leads us astray, said beautifulinsadness Best to ugling Eglinton.
Steadfast John replied severe:
—The doctor can tell us what those words mean. You cannot eat your cake and have it.
Sayest thou so? Will they wrest from us, from me, the palm of beauty?
—And the sense of property, Stephen said. He drew Shylock out of his own long pocket. The son of a maltjobber and moneylender he was himself a cornjobber and moneylender, with ten tods of corn hoarded in the famine riots. His borrowers are no doubt those divers of worship mentioned by Chettle Falstaff who reported his uprightness of dealing. He sued a fellowplayer for the price of a few bags of malt and exacted his pound of flesh in interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey's ostler and callboy get rich quick? All events brought grist to his mill. Shylock chimes with the jewbaiting that followed the hanging and quartering of the queen's leech Lopez, his jew's heart being plucked forth while the sheeny was yet alive: Hamlet and Macbeth with the coming to the throne of a Scotch philosophaster with a turn for witchroasting. The lost armada is his jeer in Love's Labour Lost. His pageants, the histories, sail fullbellied on a tide of Mafeking enthusiasm. Warwickshire jesuits are tried and we have a porter's theory of equivocation. The Sea Venture comes home from Bermudas and the play Renan admired is written with Patsy Caliban, our American cousin. The sugared sonnets follow Sidney's. As for fay Elizabeth, otherwise carrotty Bess, the gross virgin who inspired The Merry Wives of Windsor, let some meinherr from Almany grope his life long for deephid meanings in the depths of the buckbasket.
I think you're getting on very nicely. Just mix up a mixture of theolologicophilolological. Mingo, minxi, mictum, mingere.
—Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton dared,'expectantly. Your dean of studies holds he was a holy Roman.
—He was made in Germany, Stephen replied, as the champion French polisher of Italian scandals.
—A myriadminded man, Mr Best reminded. Coleridge called him myriadminded.
Amplius. In societate humana hoc est maxime necessarium ut sit amicitia inter multos.
—Saint Thomas, Stephen began...
—Ora pro nobis, Monk Mulligan groaned, sinking to a chair.
There he keened a wailing rune.
—Pogue mahone! Acushla machree! It's destroyed we are from this day! It's destroyed we are surely!
All smiled their smiles.
—Saint Thomas, Stephen smiling said, whose gorbellied works I enjoy reading in the original, writing of incest from a standpoint different from that of the new Viennese school Mr Magee spoke of, likens it in his wise and curious way to an avarice of the emotions. He means that the love so given to one near in blood is covetously withheld from some stranger who, it may be, hungers for it. Jews, whom christians tax with avarice, are of all races the most given to intermarriage. Accusations are made in anger. The christian laws which built up the hoards of the jews (for whom, as for the lollards, storm was shelter) bound their affections too with hoops of steel. Whether these be sins or virtues old Nobodaddy will tell us at doomsday leet. But a man who holds so tightly to what he calls his rights over what he calls his debts will hold tightly also to what he calls his rights over her whom he calls his wife. No sir smile neighbour shall covet his ox or his wife or his manservant or his maidservant or his jackass.
—Or his jennyass, Buck Mulligan antiphoned.
—Gentle Will is being roughly handled, gentle Mr Best said gently.
—Which will? gagged sweetly Buck Mulligan. We are getting mixed.
—The will to live, John Eglinton philosophised, for poor Ann, Will's widow, is the will to die.
—Requiescat! Stephen prayed.
What of all the will to do?
It has vanished long ago...
—She lies laid out in stark stiffness in that secondbest bed, the mobled queen, even though you prove that a bed in those days was as rare as a motorcar is now and that its carvings were the wonder of seven parishes. In old age she takes up with gospellers (one stayed with her at New Place and drank a quart of sack the town council paid for but in which bed he slept it skills not to ask) and heard she had a soul. She read or had read to her his chapbooks preferring them to the Merry Wives and, loosing her nightly waters on the jordan, she thought over Hooks and Eyes for Believers' Breeches and The most Spiritual Snuffbox to Make the Most Devout Souls Sneeze. Venus has twisted her lips in prayer. Agenbite of inwit: remorse of conscience. It is an age of exhausted whoredom groping for its god.
—History shows that to be true, inquit Eglintonus Chronolologos. The ages succeed one another. But we have it on high authority that a man's worst enemies shall be those of his own house and family. I feel that Russell is right. What do we care for his wife or father? I should say that only family poets have family lives. Falstaff was not a family man. I feel that the fat knight is his supreme creation.
Lean, he lay back. Shy, deny thy kindred, the unco guid. Shy, supping with the godless, he sneaks the cup. A sire in Ultonian Antrim bade it him. Visits him here on quarter days. Mr Magee, sir, there's a gentleman to see you. Me? Says he's your father, sir. Give me my Wordsworth. Enter Magee Mor Matthew, a rugged rough rugheaded kern, in strossers with a buttoned codpiece, his nether stocks bemired with clauber of ten forests, a wand of wilding in his hand.
Your own? He knows your old fellow. The widower.
Hurrying to her squalid deathlair from gay Paris on the quayside I touched his hand. The voice, new warmth, speaking. Dr Bob Kenny is attending her. The eyes that wish me well. But do not know me.
—A father, Stephen said, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary evil. He wrote the play in the months that followed his father's death. If you hold that he, a greying man with two marriageable daughters, with thirtyfive years of life, nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, with fifty of experience, is the beardless undergraduate from Wittenberg then you must hold that his seventyyear old mother is the lustful queen. No. The corpse of John Shakespeare does not walk the night. From hour to hour it rots and rots. He rests, disarmed of fatherhood, having devised that mystical estate upon his son. Boccaccio's Calandrino was the first and last man who felt himself with child. Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son?
What the hell are you driving at?
I know. Shut up. Blast you. I have reasons.
Amplius. Adhuc. Iterum. Postea.
Are you condemned to do this?
—They are sundered by a bodily shame so steadfast that the criminal annals of the world, stained with all other incests and bestialities, hardly record its breach. Sons with mothers, sires with daughters, lesbic sisters, loves that dare not speak their name, nephews with grandmothers, jailbirds with keyholes, queens with prize bulls. The son unborn mars beauty: born, he brings pain, divides affection, increases care. He is a new male: his growth is his father's decline, his youth his father's envy, his friend his father's enemy.
In rue Monsieur-le-Prince I thought it.
—What links them in nature? An instant of blind rut.
Am I a father? If I were?
Shrunken uncertain hand.
—Sabellius, the African, subtlest heresiarch of all the beasts of the field, held that the Father was Himself His Own Son. The bulldog of Aquin, with whom no word shall be impossible, refutes him. Well: if the father who has not a son be not a father can the son who has not a father be a son? When Rutlandbaconsouthamptonshakespeare or another poet of the same name in the comedy of errors wrote Hamlet he was not the father of his own son merely but, being no more a son, he was and felt himself the father of all his race, the father of his own grandfather, the father of his unborn grandson who, by the same token, never was born, for nature, as Mr Magee understands her, abhors perfection.
Eglintoneyes, quick with pleasure, looked up shybrightly. Gladly glancing, a merry puritan, through the twisted eglantine.
Flatter. Rarely. But flatter.
—Himself his own father, Sonmulligan told himself. Wait. I am big with child. I have an unborn child in my brain. Pallas Athena! A play! The play's the thing! Let me parturiate!
He clasped his paunchbrow with both birthaiding hands.
—As for his family, Stephen said, his mother's name lives in the forest of Arden. Her death brought from him the scene with Volumnia in Coriolanus. His boyson's death is the deathscene of young Arthur in King John. Hamlet, the black prince, is Hamnet Shakespeare. Who the girls in The Tempest, in Pericles, in Winter's Tale are we know. Who Cleopatra, fleshpot of Egypt, and Cressid and Venus are we may guess. But there is another member of his family who is recorded.
—The plot thickens, John Eglinton said.
The quaker librarian, quaking, tiptoed in, quake, his mask, quake, with haste, quake, quack.
Door closed. Cell. Day.
They list. Three. They.
I you he they.
STEPHEN: He had three brothers, Gilbert, Edmund, Richard. Gilbert in his old age told some cavaliers he got a pass for nowt from Maister Gatherer one time mass he did and he seen his brud Maister Wull the playwriter up in Lunnon in a wrastling play wud a man on's back. The playhouse sausage filled Gilbert's soul. He is nowhere: but an Edmund and a Richard are recorded in the works of sweet William.
MAGEEGLINJOHN: Names! What's in a name?
BEST: That is my name, Richard, don't you know. I hope you are going to say a good word for Richard, don't you know, for my sake. (Laughter)
BUCKMULLIGAN: (Piano, diminuendo)
Then outspoke medical Dick
To his comrade medical Davy...
STEPHEN: In his trinity of black Wills, the villain shakebags, Iago, Richard Crookback, Edmund in King Lear, two bear the wicked uncles' names. Nay, that last play was written or being written while his brother Edmund lay dying in Southwark.
BEST: I hope Edmund is going to catch it. I don't want Richard, my name ...
QUAKERLYSTER: (A tempo) But he that filches from me my good name...
STEPHEN: (Stringendo) He has hidden his own name, a fair name, William, in the plays, a super here, a clown there, as a painter of old Italy set his face in a dark corner of his canvas. He has revealed it in the sonnets where there is Will in overplus. Like John o'Gaunt his name is dear to him, as dear as the coat and crest he toadied for, on a bend sable a spear or steeled argent, honorificabilitudinitatibus, dearer than his glory of greatest shakescene in the country. What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood when we write the name that we are told is ours. A star, a daystar, a firedrake, rose at his birth. It shone by day in the heavens alone, brighter than Venus in the night, and by night it shone over delta in Cassiopeia, the recumbent constellation which is the signature of his initial among the stars. His eyes watched it, lowlying on the horizon, eastward of the bear, as he walked by the slumberous summer fields at midnight returning from Shottery and from her arms.
Both satisfied. I too.
Don't tell them he was nine years old when it was quenched.
And from her arms.
Wait to be wooed and won. Ay, meacock. Who will woo you?
Read the skies. Autontimorumenos. Bous Stephanoumenos. Where's your configuration? Stephen, Stephen, cut the bread even. S. D: sua donna. Già: di lui. gelindo risolve di non amare S. D.
—What is that, Mr Dedalus? the quaker librarian asked. Was it a celestial phenomenon?
—A star by night, Stephen said. A pillar of the cloud by day.
What more's to speak?
Stephen looked on his hat, his stick, his boots.
Stephanos, my crown. My sword. His boots are spoiling the shape of my feet. Buy a pair. Holes in my socks. Handkerchief too.
—You make good use of the name, John Eglinton allowed. Your own name is strange enough. I suppose it explains your fantastical humour.
Me, Magee and Mulligan.
Fabulous artificer. The hawklike man. You flew. Whereto? Newhaven-Dieppe, steerage passenger. Paris and back. Lapwing. Icarus. Pater, ait. Seabedabbled, fallen, weltering. Lapwing you are. Lapwing be.
Mr Best eagerquietly lifted his book to say:
—That's very interesting because that brother motive, don't you know, we find also in the old Irish myths. Just what you say. The three brothers Shakespeare. In Grimm too, don't you know, the fairytales. The third brother that always marries the sleeping beauty and wins the best prize.
Best of Best brothers. Good, better, best.
The quaker librarian springhalted near.
—I should like to know, he said, which brother you... I understand you to suggest there was misconduct with one of the brothers... But perhaps I am anticipating?
He caught himself in the act: looked at all: refrained.
An attendant from the doorway called:
—Mr Lyster! Father Dineen wants...
—O, Father Dineen! Directly.
Swiftly rectly creaking rectly rectly he was rectly gone.
John Eglinton touched the foil.
—Come, he said. Let us hear what you have to say of Richard and Edmund. You kept them for the last, didn't you?
—In asking you to remember those two noble kinsmen nuncle Richie and nuncle Edmund, Stephen answered, I feel I am asking too much perhaps. A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.
Where is your brother? Apothecaries' hall. My whetstone. Him, then Cranly, Mulligan: now these. Speech, speech. But act. Act speech. They mock to try you. Act. Be acted on.
I am tired of my voice, the voice of Esau. My kingdom for a drink.
—You will say those names were already in the chronicles from which he took the stuff of his plays. Why did he take them rather than others? Richard, a whoreson crookback, misbegotten, makes love to a widowed Ann (what's in a name?), woos and wins her, a whoreson merry widow. Richard the conqueror, third brother, came after William the conquered. The other four acts of that play hang limply from that first. Of all his kings Richard is the only king unshielded by Shakespeare's reverence, the angel of the world. Why is the underplot of King Lear in which Edmund figures lifted out of Sidney's Arcadia and spatchcocked on to a Celtic legend older than history?
—That was Will's way, John Eglinton defended. We should not now combine a Norse saga with an excerpt from a novel by George Meredith. Que voulez-vous? Moore would say. He puts Bohemia on the seacoast and makes Ulysses quote Aristotle.
—Why? Stephen answered himself. Because the theme of the false or the usurping or the adulterous brother or all three in one is to Shakespeare, what the poor are not, always with him. The note of banishment, banishment from the heart, banishment from home, sounds uninterruptedly from The Two Gentlemen of Verona onward till Prospero breaks his staff, buries it certain fathoms in the earth and drowns his book. It doubles itself in the middle of his life, reflects itself in another, repeats itself, protasis, epitasis, catastasis, catastrophe. It repeats itself again when he is near the grave, when his married daughter Susan, chip of the old block, is accused of adultery. But it was the original sin that darkened his understanding, weakened his will and left in him a strong inclination to evil. The words are those of my lords bishops of Maynooth. An original sin and, like original sin, committed by another in whose sin he too has sinned. It is between the lines of his last written words, it is petrified on his tombstone under which her four bones are not to be laid. Age has not withered it. Beauty and peace have not done it away. It is in infinite variety everywhere in the world he has created, in Much Ado about Nothing, twice in As you like It, in The Tempest, in Hamlet, in Measure for Measure—and in all the other plays which I have not read.
He laughed to free his mind from his mind's bondage.
Judge Eglinton summed up.
—The truth is midway, he affirmed. He is the ghost and the prince. He is all in all.
—He is, Stephen said. The boy of act one is the mature man of act five. All in all. In Cymbeline, in Othello he is bawd and cuckold. He acts and is acted on. Lover of an ideal or a perversion, like Jose he kills the real Carmen. His unremitting intellect is the hornmad Iago ceaselessly willing that the moor in him shall suffer.
—Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuck Mulligan clucked lewdly. O word of fear!
Dark dome received, reverbed.
—And what a character is Iago! undaunted John Eglinton exclaimed. When all is said Dumas fils (or is it Dumas père?) is right. After God Shakespeare has created most.
—Man delights him not nor woman neither, Stephen said. He returns after a life of absence to that spot of earth where he was born, where he has always been, man and boy, a silent witness and there, his journey of life ended, he plants his mulberrytree in the earth. Then dies. The motion is ended. Gravediggers bury Hamlet (père?) and Hamlet fils. A king and a prince at last in death, with incidental music. And, what though murdered and betrayed, bewept by all frail tender hearts for, Dane or Dubliner, sorrow for the dead is the only husband from whom they refuse to be divorced. If you like the epilogue look long on it: prosperous Prospero, the good man rewarded, Lizzie, grandpa's lump of love, and nuncle Richie, the bad man taken off by poetic justice to the place where the bad niggers go. Strong curtain. He found in the world without as actual what was in his world within as possible. Maeterlinck says: If Socrates leave his house today he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight it is to Judas his steps will tend. Every life is many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves. The playwright who wrote the folio of this world and wrote it badly (He gave us light first and the sun two days later), the lord of things as they are whom the most Roman of catholics call dio boia, hangman god, is doubtless all in all in all of us, ostler and butcher, and would be bawd and cuckold too but that in the economy of heaven, foretold by Hamlet, there are no more marriages, glorified man, an androgynous angel, being a wife unto himself.
—Eureka! Buck Mulligan cried. Eureka!
Suddenly happied he jumped up and reached in a stride John Eglinton's desk.
—May I? he said. The Lord has spoken to Malachi.
He began to scribble on a slip of paper.
Take some slips from the counter going out.
—Those who are married, Mr Best, douce herald, said, all save one, shall live. The rest shall keep as they are.
He laughed, unmarried, at Eglinton Johannes, of arts a bachelor.
Unwed, unfancied, ware of wiles, they fingerponder nightly each his variorum edition of The Taming of the Shrew.
—You are a delusion, said roundly John Eglinton to Stephen. You have brought us all this way to show us a French triangle. Do you believe your own theory?
—No, Stephen said promptly.
—Are you going to write it? Mr Best asked. You ought to make it a dialogue, don't you know, like the Platonic dialogues Wilde wrote.
John Eclecticon doubly smiled.
—Well, in that case, he said, I don't see why you should expect payment for it since you don't believe it yourself. Dowden believes there is some mystery in Hamlet but will say no more. Herr Bleibtreu, the man Piper met in Berlin, who is working up that Rutland theory, believes that the secret is hidden in the Stratford monument. He is going to visit the present duke, Piper says, and prove to him that his ancestor wrote the plays. It will come as a surprise to his grace. But he believes his theory.
I believe, O Lord, help my unbelief. That is, help me to believe or help me to unbelieve? Who helps to believe? Egomen. Who to unbelieve? Other chap.
—You are the only contributor to Dana who asks for pieces of silver. Then I don't know about the next number. Fred Ryan wants space for an article on economics.
Fraidrine. Two pieces of silver he lent me. Tide you over. Economics.
—For a guinea, Stephen said, you can publish this interview.
Buck Mulligan stood up from his laughing scribbling, laughing: and then gravely said, honeying malice:
—I called upon the bard Kinch at his summer residence in upper Mecklenburgh street and found him deep in the study of the Summa contra Gentiles in the company of two gonorrheal ladies, Fresh Nelly and Rosalie, the coalquay whore.
He broke away.
—Come, Kinch. Come, wandering Aengus of the birds.
Come, Kinch. You have eaten all we left. Ay. I will serve you your orts and offals.
Life is many days. This will end.
—We shall see you tonight, John Eglinton said. Notre ami Moore says Malachi Mulligan must be there.
Buck Mulligan flaunted his slip and panama.
—Monsieur Moore, he said, lecturer on French letters to the youth of Ireland. I'll be there. Come, Kinch, the bards must drink. Can you walk straight?
Swill till eleven. Irish nights entertainment.
Stephen followed a lubber...
One day in the national library we had a discussion. Shakes. After. His lub back: I followed. I gall his kibe.
Stephen, greeting, then all amort, followed a lubber jester, a wellkempt head, newbarbered, out of the vaulted cell into a shattering daylight of no thought.
What have I learned? Of them? Of me?
Walk like Haines now.
The constant readers' room. In the readers' book Cashel Boyle O'Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell parafes his polysyllables. Item: was Hamlet mad? The quaker's pate godlily with a priesteen in booktalk.
—O please do, sir... I shall be most pleased...
Amused Buck Mulligan mused in pleasant murmur with himself, selfnodding:
—A pleased bottom.
Is that?... Blueribboned hat... Idly writing... What? Looked?...
The curving balustrade: smoothsliding Mincius.
Puck Mulligan, panamahelmeted, went step by step, iambing, trolling:
John Eglinton, my jo, John, Why won't you wed a wife?
He spluttered to the air:
—O, the chinless Chinaman! Chin Chon Eg Lin Ton. We went over to their playbox, Haines and I, the plumbers' hall. Our players are creating a new art for Europe like the Greeks or M. Maeterlinck. Abbey Theatre! I smell the pubic sweat of monks.
He spat blank.
Forgot: any more than he forgot the whipping lousy Lucy gave him. And left the femme de trente ans. And why no other children born? And his first child a girl?
Afterwit. Go back.
The dour recluse still there (he has his cake) and the douce youngling, minion of pleasure, Phedo's toyable fair hair.
Eh... I just eh... wanted... I forgot... he...
—Longworth and M'Curdy Atkinson were there...
Puck Mulligan footed featly, trilling:
I hardly hear the purlieu cry
Or a tommy talk as I pass one by
Before my thoughts begin to run
On F. M'Curdy Atkinson,
The same that had the wooden leg
And that filibustering filibeg
That never dared to slake his drouth,
Magee that had the chinless mouth.
Being afraid to marry on earth
They masturbated for all they were worth.
Jest on. Know thyself.
Halted, below me, a quizzer looks at me. I halt.
—Mournful mummer, Buck Mulligan moaned. Synge has left off wearing black to be like nature. Only crows, priests and English coal are black.
A laugh tripped over his lips.
—Longworth is awfully sick, he said, after what you wrote about that old hake Gregory. O you inquisitional drunken jewjesuit! She gets you a job on the paper and then you go and slate her drivel to Jaysus. Couldn't you do the Yeats touch?
He went on and down, mopping, chanting with waving graceful arms:
—The most beautiful book that has come out of our country in my time. One thinks of Homer.
He stopped at the stairfoot.
—I have conceived a play for the mummers, he said solemnly.
The pillared Moorish hall, shadows entwined. Gone the nine men's morrice with caps of indices.
In sweetly varying voices Buck Mulligan read his tablet: Everyman His own Wife or A Honeymoon in the Hand (a national immorality in three orgasms) by Ballocky Mulligan.
He turned a happy patch's smirk to Stephen, saying:
—The disguise, I fear, is thin. But listen.
He read, marcato:
TODY TOSTOFF (a ruined Pole)
CRAB (a bushranger)
MEDICAL DICK )
and ) (two birds with one stone)
MEDICAL DAVY )
MOTHER GROGAN (a watercarrier)
ROSALIE (the coalquay whore).
He laughed, lolling a to and fro head, walking on, followed by Stephen: and mirthfully he told the shadows, souls of men:
—O, the night in the Camden hall when the daughters of Erin had to lift their skirts to step over you as you lay in your mulberrycoloured, multicoloured, multitudinous vomit!
—The most innocent son of Erin, Stephen said, for whom they ever lifted them.
About to pass through the doorway, feeling one behind, he stood aside.
Part. The moment is now. Where then? If Socrates leave his house today, if Judas go forth tonight. Why? That lies in space which I in time must come to, ineluctably.
My will: his will that fronts me. Seas between.
A man passed out between them, bowing, greeting.
—Good day again, Buck Mulligan said.
Here I watched the birds for augury. Aengus of the birds. They go, they come. Last night I flew. Easily flew. Men wondered. Street of harlots after. A creamfruit melon he held to me. In. You will see.
—The wandering jew, Buck Mulligan whispered with clown's awe. Did you see his eye? He looked upon you to lust after you. I fear thee, ancient mariner. O, Kinch, thou art in peril. Get thee a breechpad.
Manner of Oxenford.
Day. Wheelbarrow sun over arch of bridge.
A dark back went before them, step of a pard, down, out by the gateway, under portcullis barbs.
Offend me still. Speak on.
Kind air defined the coigns of houses in Kildare street. No birds. Frail from the housetops two plumes of smoke ascended, pluming, and in a flaw of softness softly were blown.
Cease to strive. Peace of the druid priests of Cymbeline: hierophantic: from wide earth an altar.
Laud we the gods
And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our bless'd altars.
The superior, the very reverend John Conmee S.J. reset his smooth watch in his interior pocket as he came down the presbytery steps. Five to three. Just nice time to walk to Artane. What was that boy's name again? Dignam. Yes. Vere dignum et iustum est. Brother Swan was the person to see. Mr Cunningham's letter. Yes. Oblige him, if possible. Good practical catholic: useful at mission time.
A onelegged sailor, swinging himself onward by lazy jerks of his crutches, growled some notes. He jerked short before the convent of the sisters of charity and held out a peaked cap for alms towards the very reverend John Conmee S. J. Father Conmee blessed him in the sun for his purse held, he knew, one silver crown.
Father Conmee crossed to Mountjoy square. He thought, but not for long, of soldiers and sailors, whose legs had been shot off by cannonballs, ending their days in some pauper ward, and of cardinal Wolsey's words: If I had served my God as I have served my king He would not have abandoned me in my old days. He walked by the treeshade of sunnywinking leaves: and towards him came the wife of Mr David Sheehy M.P.
—Very well, indeed, father. And you, father?
Father Conmee was wonderfully well indeed. He would go to Buxton probably for the waters. And her boys, were they getting on well at Belvedere? Was that so? Father Conmee was very glad indeed to hear that. And Mr Sheehy himself? Still in London. The house was still sitting, to be sure it was. Beautiful weather it was, delightful indeed. Yes, it was very probable that Father Bernard Vaughan would come again to preach. O, yes: a very great success. A wonderful man really.
Father Conmee was very glad to see the wife of Mr David Sheehy M.P. Iooking so well and he begged to be remembered to Mr David Sheehy M.P. Yes, he would certainly call.
—Good afternoon, Mrs Sheehy.
Father Conmee doffed his silk hat and smiled, as he took leave, at the jet beads of her mantilla inkshining in the sun. And smiled yet again, in going. He had cleaned his teeth, he knew, with arecanut paste.
Father Conmee walked and, walking, smiled for he thought on Father Bernard Vaughan's droll eyes and cockney voice.
—Pilate! Wy don't you old back that owlin mob?
A zealous man, however. Really he was. And really did great good in his way. Beyond a doubt. He loved Ireland, he said, and he loved the Irish. Of good family too would one think it? Welsh, were they not?
O, lest he forget. That letter to father provincial.
Father Conmee stopped three little schoolboys at the corner of Mountjoy square. Yes: they were from Belvedere. The little house. Aha. And were they good boys at school? O. That was very good now. And what was his name? Jack Sohan. And his name? Ger. Gallaher. And the other little man? His name was Brunny Lynam. O, that was a very nice name to have.
Father Conmee gave a letter from his breast to Master Brunny Lynam and pointed to the red pillarbox at the corner of Fitzgibbon street.
—But mind you don't post yourself into the box, little man, he said.
The boys sixeyed Father Conmee and laughed:
—Well, let me see if you can post a letter, Father Conmee said.
Master Brunny Lynam ran across the road and put Father Conmee's letter to father provincial into the mouth of the bright red letterbox. Father Conmee smiled and nodded and smiled and walked along Mountjoy square east.
Mr Denis J Maginni, professor of dancing &c, in silk hat, slate frockcoat with silk facings, white kerchief tie, tight lavender trousers, canary gloves and pointed patent boots, walking with grave deportment most respectfully took the curbstone as he passed lady Maxwell at the corner of Dignam's court.
Was that not Mrs M'Guinness?
Mrs M'Guinness, stately, silverhaired, bowed to Father Conmee from the farther footpath along which she sailed. And Father Conmee smiled and saluted. How did she do?
A fine carriage she had. Like Mary, queen of Scots, something. And to think that she was a pawnbroker! Well, now! Such a... what should he say?... such a queenly mien.
Father Conmee walked down Great Charles street and glanced at the shutup free church on his left. The reverend T. R. Greene B.A. will (D.V.) speak. The incumbent they called him. He felt it incumbent on him to say a few words. But one should be charitable. Invincible ignorance. They acted according to their lights.
Father Conmee turned the corner and walked along the North Circular road. It was a wonder that there was not a tramline in such an important thoroughfare. Surely, there ought to be.
A band of satchelled schoolboys crossed from Richmond street. All raised untidy caps. Father Conmee greeted them more than once benignly. Christian brother boys.
Father Conmee smelt incense on his right hand as he walked. Saint Joseph's church, Portland row. For aged and virtuous females. Father Conmee raised his hat to the Blessed Sacrament. Virtuous: but occasionally they were also badtempered.
Near Aldborough house Father Conmee thought of that spendthrift nobleman. And now it was an office or something.
Father Conmee began to walk along the North Strand road and was saluted by Mr William Gallagher who stood in the doorway of his shop. Father Conmee saluted Mr William Gallagher and perceived the odours that came from baconflitches and ample cools of butter. He passed Grogan's the Tobacconist against which newsboards leaned and told of a dreadful catastrophe in New York. In America those things were continually happening. Unfortunate people to die like that, unprepared. Still, an act of perfect contrition.
Father Conmee went by Daniel Bergin's publichouse against the window of which two unlabouring men lounged. They saluted him and were saluted.
Father Conmee passed H. J. O'Neill's funeral establishment where Corny Kelleher totted figures in the daybook while he chewed a blade of hay. A constable on his beat saluted Father Conmee and Father Conmee saluted the constable. In Youkstetter's, the porkbutcher's, Father Conmee observed pig's puddings, white and black and red, lie neatly curled in tubes.
Moored under the trees of Charleville Mall Father Conmee saw a turfbarge, a towhorse with pendent head, a bargeman with a hat of dirty straw seated amidships, smoking and staring at a branch of poplar above him. It was idyllic: and Father Conmee reflected on the providence of the Creator who had made turf to be in bogs whence men might dig it out and bring it to town and hamlet to make fires in the houses of poor people.
On Newcomen bridge the very reverend John Conmee S.J. of saint Francis Xavier's church, upper Gardiner street, stepped on to an outward bound tram.
Off an inward bound tram stepped the reverend Nicholas Dudley C. C. of saint Agatha's church, north William street, on to Newcomen bridge.
At Newcomen bridge Father Conmee stepped into an outward bound tram for he disliked to traverse on foot the dingy way past Mud Island.
Father Conmee sat in a corner of the tramcar, a blue ticket tucked with care in the eye of one plump kid glove, while four shillings, a sixpence and five pennies chuted from his other plump glovepalm into his purse. Passing the ivy church he reflected that the ticket inspector usually made his visit when one had carelessly thrown away the ticket. The solemnity of the occupants of the car seemed to Father Conmee excessive for a journey so short and cheap. Father Conmee liked cheerful decorum.
It was a peaceful day. The gentleman with the glasses opposite Father Conmee had finished explaining and looked down. His wife, Father Conmee supposed. A tiny yawn opened the mouth of the wife of the gentleman with the glasses. She raised her small gloved fist, yawned ever so gently, tiptapping her small gloved fist on her opening mouth and smiled tinily, sweetly.
Father Conmee perceived her perfume in the car. He perceived also that the awkward man at the other side of her was sitting on the edge of the seat.
Father Conmee at the altarrails placed the host with difficulty in the mouth of the awkward old man who had the shaky head.
At Annesley bridge the tram halted and, when it was about to go, an old woman rose suddenly from her place to alight. The conductor pulled the bellstrap to stay the car for her. She passed out with her basket and a marketnet: and Father Conmee saw the conductor help her and net and basket down: and Father Conmee thought that, as she had nearly passed the end of the penny fare, she was one of those good souls who had always to be told twice bless you, my child, that they have been absolved, pray for me. But they had so many worries in life, so many cares, poor creatures.
From the hoardings Mr Eugene Stratton grimaced with thick niggerlips at Father Conmee.
Father Conmee thought of the souls of black and brown and yellow men and of his sermon on saint Peter Claver S.J. and the African mission and of the propagation of the faith and of the millions of black and brown and yellow souls that had not received the baptism of water when their last hour came like a thief in the night. That book by the Belgian jesuit, Le Nombre des Élus, seemed to Father Conmee a reasonable plea. Those were millions of human souls created by God in His Own likeness to whom the faith had not (D.V.) been brought. But they were God's souls, created by God. It seemed to Father Conmee a pity that they should all be lost, a waste, if one might say.
At the Howth road stop Father Conmee alighted, was saluted by the conductor and saluted in his turn.
The Malahide road was quiet. It pleased Father Conmee, road and name. The joybells were ringing in gay Malahide. Lord Talbot de Malahide, immediate hereditary lord admiral of Malahide and the seas adjoining. Then came the call to arms and she was maid, wife and widow in one day. Those were old worldish days, loyal times in joyous townlands, old times in the barony.
Father Conmee, walking, thought of his little book Old Times in the Barony and of the book that might be written about jesuit houses and of Mary Rochfort, daughter of lord Molesworth, first countess of Belvedere.
A listless lady, no more young, walked alone the shore of lough Ennel, Mary, first countess of Belvedere, listlessly walking in the evening, not startled when an otter plunged. Who could know the truth? Not the jealous lord Belvedere and not her confessor if she had not committed adultery fully, eiaculatio seminis inter vas naturale mulieris, with her husband's brother? She would half confess if she had not all sinned as women did. Only God knew and she and he, her husband's brother.
Father Conmee thought of that tyrannous incontinence, needed however for man's race on earth, and of the ways of God which were not our ways.
Don John Conmee walked and moved in times of yore. He was humane and honoured there. He bore in mind secrets confessed and he smiled at smiling noble faces in a beeswaxed drawingroom, ceiled with full fruit clusters. And the hands of a bride and of a bridegroom, noble to noble, were impalmed by Don John Conmee.
It was a charming day.
The lychgate of a field showed Father Conmee breadths of cabbages, curtseying to him with ample underleaves. The sky showed him a flock of small white clouds going slowly down the wind. Moutonner, the French said. A just and homely word.
Father Conmee, reading his office, watched a flock of muttoning clouds over Rathcoffey. His thinsocked ankles were tickled by the stubble of Clongowes field. He walked there, reading in the evening, and heard the cries of the boys' lines at their play, young cries in the quiet evening. He was their rector: his reign was mild.
Father Conmee drew off his gloves and took his rededged breviary out. An ivory bookmark told him the page.
Nones. He should have read that before lunch. But lady Maxwell had come.
Father Conmee read in secret Pater and Ave and crossed his breast. Deus in adiutorium.
He walked calmly and read mutely the nones, walking and reading till he came to Res in Beati immaculati: Principium verborum tuorum veritas: in eternum omnia indicia iustitiae tuae.
A flushed young man came from a gap of a hedge and after him came a young woman with wild nodding daisies in her hand. The young man raised his cap abruptly: the young woman abruptly bent and with slow care detached from her light skirt a clinging twig.
Father Conmee blessed both gravely and turned a thin page of his breviary. Sin: Principes persecuti sunt me gratis: et a verbis tuis formidavit cor meum.
Corny Kelleher closed his long daybook and glanced with his drooping eye at a pine coffinlid sentried in a corner. He pulled himself erect, went to it and, spinning it on its axle, viewed its shape and brass furnishings. Chewing his blade of hay he laid the coffinlid by and came to the doorway. There he tilted his hatbrim to give shade to his eyes and leaned against the doorcase, looking idly out.
Father John Conmee stepped into the Dollymount tram on Newcomen bridge.
Corny Kelleher locked his largefooted boots and gazed, his hat downtilted, chewing his blade of hay.
Constable 57C, on his beat, stood to pass the time of day.
—That's a fine day, Mr Kelleher.
—Ay, Corny Kelleher said.
—It's very close, the constable said.
Corny Kelleher sped a silent jet of hayjuice arching from his mouth while a generous white arm from a window in Eccles street flung forth a coin.
—What's the best news? he asked.
—I seen that particular party last evening, the constable said with bated breath.
A onelegged sailor crutched himself round MacConnell's corner, skirting Rabaiotti's icecream car, and jerked himself up Eccles street. Towards Larry O'Rourke, in shirtsleeves in his doorway, he growled unamiably:
He swung himself violently forward past Katey and Boody Dedalus, halted and growled:
—home and beauty.
J. J. O'Molloy's white careworn face was told that Mr Lambert was in the warehouse with a visitor.
A stout lady stopped, took a copper coin from her purse and dropped it into the cap held out to her. The sailor grumbled thanks, glanced sourly at the unheeding windows, sank his head and swung himself forward four strides.
He halted and growled angrily:
Two barefoot urchins, sucking long liquorice laces, halted near him, gaping at his stump with their yellowslobbered mouths.
He swung himself forward in vigorous jerks, halted, lifted his head towards a window and bayed deeply:
—home and beauty.
The gay sweet chirping whistling within went on a bar or two, ceased. The blind of the window was drawn aside. A card Unfurnished Apartments slipped from the sash and fell. A plump bare generous arm shone, was seen, held forth from a white petticoatbodice and taut shiftstraps. A woman's hand flung forth a coin over the area railings. It fell on the path.
One of the urchins ran to it, picked it up and dropped it into the minstrel's cap, saying:
Katey and Boody Dedalus shoved in the door of the closesteaming kitchen.
—Did you put in the books? Boody asked.
Maggy at the range rammed down a greyish mass beneath bubbling suds twice with her potstick and wiped her brow.
—They wouldn't give anything on them, she said.
Father Conmee walked through Clongowes fields, his thinsocked ankles tickled by stubble.
—Where did you try? Boody asked.
Boody stamped her foot and threw her satchel on the table.
—Bad cess to her big face! she cried.
Katey went to the range and peered with squinting eyes.
—What's in the pot? she asked.
—Shirts, Maggy said.
Boody cried angrily:
—Crickey, is there nothing for us to eat?
Katey, lifting the kettlelid in a pad of her stained skirt, asked:
—And what's in this?
A heavy fume gushed in answer.
—Peasoup, Maggy said.
—Where did you get it? Katey asked.
—Sister Mary Patrick, Maggy said.
The lacquey rang his bell.
Boody sat down at the table and said hungrily:
—Give us it here.
Maggy poured yellow thick soup from the kettle into a bowl. Katey, sitting opposite Boody, said quietly, as her fingertip lifted to her mouth random crumbs:
—A good job we have that much. Where's Dilly?
—Gone to meet father, Maggy said.
Boody, breaking big chunks of bread into the yellow soup, added:
—Our father who art not in heaven.
Maggy, pouring yellow soup in Katey's bowl, exclaimed:
—Boody! For shame!
A skiff, a crumpled throwaway, Elijah is coming, rode lightly down the Liffey, under Loopline bridge, shooting the rapids where water chafed around the bridgepiers, sailing eastward past hulls and anchorchains, between the Customhouse old dock and George's quay.
The blond girl in Thornton's bedded the wicker basket with rustling fibre. Blazes Boylan handed her the bottle swathed in pink tissue paper and a small jar.
—Put these in first, will you? he said.
—Yes, sir, the blond girl said. And the fruit on top.
—That'll do, game ball, Blazes Boylan said.
She bestowed fat pears neatly, head by tail, and among them ripe shamefaced peaches.
Blazes Boylan walked here and there in new tan shoes about the fruitsmelling shop, lifting fruits, young juicy crinkled and plump red tomatoes, sniffing smells.
H. E. L. Y.'S filed before him, tallwhitehatted, past Tangier lane, plodding towards their goal.
He turned suddenly from a chip of strawberries, drew a gold watch from his fob and held it at its chain's length.
—Can you send them by tram? Now?
A darkbacked figure under Merchants' arch scanned books on the hawker's cart.
—Certainly, sir. Is it in the city?
—O, yes, Blazes Boylan said. Ten minutes.
The blond girl handed him a docket and pencil.
—Will you write the address, sir?
Blazes Boylan at the counter wrote and pushed the docket to her.
—Send it at once, will you? he said. It's for an invalid.
—Yes, sir. I will, sir.
Blazes Boylan rattled merry money in his trousers' pocket.
—What's the damage? he asked.
The blond girl's slim fingers reckoned the fruits.
Blazes Boylan looked into the cut of her blouse. A young pullet. He took a red carnation from the tall stemglass.
—This for me? he asked gallantly.
The blond girl glanced sideways at him, got up regardless, with his tie a bit crooked, blushing.
—Yes, sir, she said.
Bending archly she reckoned again fat pears and blushing peaches.
Blazes Boylan looked in her blouse with more favour, the stalk of the red flower between his smiling teeth.
—May I say a word to your telephone, missy? he asked roguishly.
—Ma! Almidano Artifoni said.
He gazed over Stephen's shoulder at Goldsmith's knobby poll.
Two carfuls of tourists passed slowly, their women sitting fore, gripping the handrests. Palefaces. Men's arms frankly round their stunted forms. They looked from Trinity to the blind columned porch of the bank of Ireland where pigeons roocoocooed.
—Anch'io ho avuto di queste idee, ALMIDANO ARTIFONI SAID, quand' ero giovine come Lei. Eppoi mi sono convinto che il mondo è una bestia. É peccato. Perchè la sua voce... sarebbe un cespite di rendita, via. Invece, Lei si sacrifica.
—Sacrifizio incruento, Stephen said smiling, swaying his ashplant in slow swingswong from its midpoint, lightly.
—Speriamo, the round mustachioed face said pleasantly. Ma, dia retta a me. Ci rifletta.
By the stern stone hand of Grattan, bidding halt, an Inchicore tram unloaded straggling Highland soldiers of a band.
—Ci rifletterò, Stephen said, glancing down the solid trouserleg.
—Ma, sul serio, eh? Almidano Artifoni said.
His heavy hand took Stephen's firmly. Human eyes. They gazed curiously an instant and turned quickly towards a Dalkey tram.
—Eccolo, Almidano Artifoni said in friendly haste. Venga a trovarmi e ci pensi. Addio, caro.
—Arrivederla, maestro, Stephen said, raising his hat when his hand was freed. E grazie.
—Di che? Almidano Artifoni said. Scusi, eh? Tante belle cose!
Almidano Artifoni, holding up a baton of rolled music as a signal, trotted on stout trousers after the Dalkey tram. In vain he trotted, signalling in vain among the rout of barekneed gillies smuggling implements of music through Trinity gates.
Miss Dunne hid the Capel street library copy of The Woman in White far back in her drawer and rolled a sheet of gaudy notepaper into her typewriter.
Too much mystery business in it. Is he in love with that one, Marion? Change it and get another by Mary Cecil Haye.
The disk shot down the groove, wobbled a while, ceased and ogled them: six.
Miss Dunne clicked on the keyboard:
—16 June 1904.
Five tallwhitehatted sandwichmen between Monypeny's corner and the slab where Wolfe Tone's statue was not, eeled themselves turning H. E. L. Y.'S and plodded back as they had come.
Then she stared at the large poster of Marie Kendall, charming soubrette, and, listlessly lolling, scribbled on the jotter sixteens and capital esses. Mustard hair and dauby cheeks. She's not nicelooking, is she? The way she's holding up her bit of a skirt. Wonder will that fellow be at the band tonight. If I could get that dressmaker to make a concertina skirt like Susy Nagle's. They kick out grand. Shannon and all the boatclub swells never took his eyes off her. Hope to goodness he won't keep me here till seven.
The telephone rang rudely by her ear.
—Hello. Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, sir. I'll ring them up after five. Only those two, sir, for Belfast and Liverpool. All right, sir. Then I can go after six if you're not back. A quarter after. Yes, sir. Twentyseven and six. I'll tell him. Yes: one, seven, six.
She scribbled three figures on an envelope.
—Mr Boylan! Hello! That gentleman from SPORT was in looking for you. Mr Lenehan, yes. He said he'll be in the Ormond at four. No, sir. Yes, sir. I'll ring them up after five.
Two pink faces turned in the flare of the tiny torch.
—Who's that? Ned Lambert asked. Is that Crotty?
—Ringabella and Crosshaven, a voice replied groping for foothold.
—Hello, Jack, is that yourself? Ned Lambert said, raising in salute his pliant lath among the flickering arches. Come on. Mind your steps there.
The vesta in the clergyman's uplifted hand consumed itself in a long soft flame and was let fall. At their feet its red speck died: and mouldy air closed round them.
—How interesting! a refined accent said in the gloom.
—Yes, sir, Ned Lambert said heartily. We are standing in the historic council chamber of saint Mary's abbey where silken Thomas proclaimed himself a rebel in 1534. This is the most historic spot in all Dublin. O'Madden Burke is going to write something about it one of these days. The old bank of Ireland was over the way till the time of the union and the original jews' temple was here too before they built their synagogue over in Adelaide road. You were never here before, Jack, were you?
—He rode down through Dame walk, the refined accent said, if my memory serves me. The mansion of the Kildares was in Thomas court.
—That's right, Ned Lambert said. That's quite right, sir.
—If you will be so kind then, the clergyman said, the next time to allow me perhaps...
—Certainly, Ned Lambert said. Bring the camera whenever you like. I'll get those bags cleared away from the windows. You can take it from here or from here.
In the still faint light he moved about, tapping with his lath the piled seedbags and points of vantage on the floor.
From a long face a beard and gaze hung on a chessboard.
—I'm deeply obliged, Mr Lambert, the clergyman said. I won't trespass on your valuable time...
—You're welcome, sir, Ned Lambert said. Drop in whenever you like. Next week, say. Can you see?
—Yes, yes. Good afternoon, Mr Lambert. Very pleased to have met you.
—Pleasure is mine, sir, Ned Lambert answered.
He followed his guest to the outlet and then whirled his lath away among the pillars. With J. J. O'Molloy he came forth slowly into Mary's abbey where draymen were loading floats with sacks of carob and palmnut meal, O'Connor, Wexford.
He stood to read the card in his hand.
—The reverend Hugh C. Love, Rathcoffey. Present address: Saint Michael's, Sallins. Nice young chap he is. He's writing a book about the Fitzgeralds he told me. He's well up in history, faith.
The young woman with slow care detached from her light skirt a clinging twig.
—I thought you were at a new gunpowder plot, J. J. O'Molloy said.
Ned Lambert cracked his fingers in the air.
—God! he cried. I forgot to tell him that one about the earl of Kildare after he set fire to Cashel cathedral. You know that one? I'm bloody sorry I did it, says he, but I declare to God I thought the archbishop was inside. He mightn't like it, though. What? God, I'll tell him anyhow. That was the great earl, the Fitzgerald Mor. Hot members they were all of them, the Geraldines.
The horses he passed started nervously under their slack harness. He slapped a piebald haunch quivering near him and cried:
He turned to J. J. O'Molloy and asked:
—Well, Jack. What is it? What's the trouble? Wait awhile. Hold hard.
With gaping mouth and head far back he stood still and, after an instant, sneezed loudly.
—Chow! he said. Blast you!
—The dust from those sacks, J. J. O'Molloy said politely.
—No, Ned Lambert gasped, I caught a... cold night before... blast your soul... night before last... and there was a hell of a lot of draught...
He held his handkerchief ready for the coming...
—I was... Glasnevin this morning... poor little... what do you call him... Chow!... Mother of Moses!
Tom Rochford took the top disk from the pile he clasped against his claret waistcoat.
—See? he said. Say it's turn six. In here, see. Turn Now On.
He slid it into the left slot for them. It shot down the groove, wobbled a while, ceased, ogling them: six.
Lawyers of the past, haughty, pleading, beheld pass from the consolidated taxing office to Nisi Prius court Richie Goulding carrying the costbag of Goulding, Collis and Ward and heard rustling from the admiralty division of king's bench to the court of appeal an elderly female with false teeth smiling incredulously and a black silk skirt of great amplitude.
—See? he said. See now the last one I put in is over here: Turns Over. The impact. Leverage, see?
He showed them the rising column of disks on the right.
—Smart idea, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling. So a fellow coming in late can see what turn is on and what turns are over.
—See? Tom Rochford said.
He slid in a disk for himself: and watched it shoot, wobble, ogle, stop: four. Turn Now On.
—I'll see him now in the Ormond, Lenehan said, and sound him. One good turn deserves another.
—Do, Tom Rochford said. Tell him I'm Boylan with impatience.
—Goodnight, M'Coy said abruptly. When you two begin
Nosey Flynn stooped towards the lever, snuffling at it.
—But how does it work here, Tommy? he asked.
—Tooraloo, Lenehan said. See you later.
He followed M'Coy out across the tiny square of Crampton court.
—He's a hero, he said simply.
—I know, M'Coy said. The drain, you mean.
—Drain? Lenehan said. It was down a manhole.
They passed Dan Lowry's musichall where Marie Kendall, charming soubrette, smiled on them from a poster a dauby smile.
Going down the path of Sycamore street beside the Empire musichall Lenehan showed M'Coy how the whole thing was. One of those manholes like a bloody gaspipe and there was the poor devil stuck down in it, half choked with sewer gas. Down went Tom Rochford anyhow, booky's vest and all, with the rope round him. And be damned but he got the rope round the poor devil and the two were hauled up.
—The act of a hero, he said.
At the Dolphin they halted to allow the ambulance car to gallop past them for Jervis street.
—This way, he said, walking to the right. I want to pop into Lynam's to see Sceptre's starting price. What's the time by your gold watch and chain?
M'Coy peered into Marcus Tertius Moses' sombre office, then at O'Neill's clock.
—After three, he said. Who's riding her?
—O. Madden, Lenehan said. And a game filly she is.
While he waited in Temple bar M'Coy dodged a banana peel with gentle pushes of his toe from the path to the gutter. Fellow might damn easy get a nasty fall there coming along tight in the dark.
The gates of the drive opened wide to give egress to the viceregal cavalcade.
—Even money, Lenehan said returning. I knocked against Bantam Lyons in there going to back a bloody horse someone gave him that hasn't an earthly. Through here.
They went up the steps and under Merchants' arch. A darkbacked figure scanned books on the hawker's cart.
—There he is, Lenehan said.
—Wonder what he's buying, M'Coy said, glancing behind.
—Leopoldo or the Bloom is on the Rye, Lenehan said.
—He's dead nuts on sales, M'Coy said. I was with him one day and he bought a book from an old one in Liffey street for two bob. There were fine plates in it worth double the money, the stars and the moon and comets with long tails. Astronomy it was about.
—I'll tell you a damn good one about comets' tails, he said. Come over in the sun.
They crossed to the metal bridge and went along Wellington quay by the riverwall.
Master Patrick Aloysius Dignam came out of Mangan's, late Fehrenbach's, carrying a pound and a half of porksteaks.
—There was a long spread out at Glencree reformatory, Lenehan said eagerly. The annual dinner, you know. Boiled shirt affair. The lord mayor was there, Val Dillon it was, and sir Charles Cameron and Dan Dawson spoke and there was music. Bartell d'Arcy sang and Benjamin Dollard...
—I know, M'Coy broke in. My missus sang there once.
—Did she? Lenehan said.
A card Unfurnished Apartments reappeared on the windowsash of number 7 Eccles street.
He checked his tale a moment but broke out in a wheezy laugh.
—But wait till I tell you, he said. Delahunt of Camden street had the catering and yours truly was chief bottlewasher. Bloom and the wife were there. Lashings of stuff we put up: port wine and sherry and curacao to which we did ample justice. Fast and furious it was. After liquids came solids. Cold joints galore and mince pies...
—I know, M'Coy said. The year the missus was there...
Lenehan linked his arm warmly.
—But wait till I tell you, he said. We had a midnight lunch too after all the jollification and when we sallied forth it was blue o'clock the morning after the night before. Coming home it was a gorgeous winter's night on the Featherbed Mountain. Bloom and Chris Callinan were on one side of the car and I was with the wife on the other. We started singing glees and duets: Lo, the early beam of morning. She was well primed with a good load of Delahunt's port under her bellyband. Every jolt the bloody car gave I had her bumping up against me. Hell's delights! She has a fine pair, God bless her. Like that.