The Project Gutenberg EBook of Ulysses, by James Joyce This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Ulysses Author: James Joyce Release Date: August 1, 2008 [EBook #4300] Last Updated: August 17, 2017 Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ULYSSES *** Produced by Col Choat, and David Widger. Best arab beard styles.
by James Joyce
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
—Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly.
—Back to barracks! he said sternly.
He added in a preacher’s tone:
—For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long slow whistle of call, then paused awhile in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there with gold points. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered through the calm.
—Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the current, will you?
He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering about his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plump shadowed face and sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. A pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips.
—The mockery of it! he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek!
He pointed his finger in friendly jest and went over to the parapet, laughing to himself. Stephen Dedalus stepped up, followed him wearily halfway and sat down on the edge of the gunrest, watching him still as he propped his mirror on the parapet, dipped the brush in the bowl and lathered cheeks and neck.
Buck Mulligan’s gay voice went on.
—My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan, two dactyls. But it has a Hellenic ring, hasn’t it? Tripping and sunny like the buck himself. We must go to Athens. Will you come if I can get the aunt to fork out twenty quid?
He laid the brush aside and, laughing with delight, cried:
—Will he come? The jejune jesuit!
Ceasing, he began to shave with care.
—Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly.
—How long is Haines going to stay in this tower?
Buck Mulligan showed a shaven cheek over his right shoulder.
—God, isn’t he dreadful? he said frankly. A ponderous Saxon. He thinks you’re not a gentleman. God, these bloody English! Bursting with money and indigestion. Because he comes from Oxford. You know, Dedalus, you have the real Oxford manner. He can’t make you out. O, my name for you is the best: Kinch, the knife-blade.
He shaved warily over his chin.
—He was raving all night about a black panther, Stephen said. Where is his guncase?
—A woful lunatic! Mulligan said. Were you in a funk?
—I was, Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the dark with a man I don’t know raving and moaning to himself about shooting a black panther. You saved men from drowning. I’m not a hero, however. If he stays on here I am off.
Buck Mulligan frowned at the lather on his razorblade. He hopped down from his perch and began to search his trouser pockets hastily.
—Scutter! he cried thickly.
He came over to the gunrest and, thrusting a hand into Stephen’s upper pocket, said:
—Lend us a loan of your noserag to wipe my razor.
Stephen suffered him to pull out and hold up on show by its corner a dirty crumpled handkerchief. Buck Mulligan wiped the razorblade neatly. Then, gazing over the handkerchief, he said:
—The bard’s noserag! A new art colour for our Irish poets: snotgreen. You can almost taste it, can’t you?
He mounted to the parapet again and gazed out over Dublin bay, his fair oakpale hair stirring slightly.
—God! he said quietly. Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look.
Stephen stood up and went over to the parapet. Leaning on it he looked down on the water and on the mailboat clearing the harbourmouth of Kingstown.
—Our mighty mother! Buck Mulligan said.
He turned abruptly his grey searching eyes from the sea to Stephen’s face.
—The aunt thinks you killed your mother, he said. That’s why she won’t let me have anything to do with you.
—Someone killed her, Stephen said gloomily.
—You could have knelt down, damn it, Kinch, when your dying mother asked you, Buck Mulligan said. I’m hyperborean as much as you. But to think of your mother begging you with her last breath to kneel down and pray for her. And you refused. There is something sinister in you....
He broke off and lathered again lightly his farther cheek. A tolerant smile curled his lips.
—But a lovely mummer! he murmured to himself. Kinch, the loveliest mummer of them all!
He shaved evenly and with care, in silence, seriously.
Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coat-sleeve. Pain, that was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart. Silently, in a dream she had come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him, mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes. Across the threadbare cuffedge he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him. The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of liquid. A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile which she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning vomiting.
Buck Mulligan wiped again his razorblade.
—Ah, poor dogsbody! he said in a kind voice. I must give you a shirt and a few noserags. How are the secondhand breeks?
—They fit well enough, Stephen answered.
Buck Mulligan attacked the hollow beneath his underlip.
—The mockery of it, he said contentedly. Secondleg they should be. God knows what poxy bowsy left them off. I have a lovely pair with a hair stripe, grey. You’ll look spiffing in them. I’m not joking, Kinch. You look damn well when you’re dressed.
—Thanks, Stephen said. I can’t wear them if they are grey.
—He can’t wear them, Buck Mulligan told his face in the mirror. Etiquette is etiquette. He kills his mother but he can’t wear grey trousers.
He folded his razor neatly and with stroking palps of fingers felt the smooth skin.
Stephen turned his gaze from the sea and to the plump face with its smokeblue mobile eyes.
—That fellow I was with in the Ship last night, said Buck Mulligan, says you have g. p. i. He’s up in Dottyville with Connolly Norman. General paralysis of the insane!
He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in sunlight now radiant on the sea. His curling shaven lips laughed and the edges of his white glittering teeth. Laughter seized all his strong wellknit trunk.
—Look at yourself, he said, you dreadful bard!
Stephen bent forward and peered at the mirror held out to him, cleft by a crooked crack. Hair on end. As he and others see me. Who chose this face for me? This dogsbody to rid of vermin. It asks me too.
—I pinched it out of the skivvy’s room, Buck Mulligan said. It does her all right. The aunt always keeps plainlooking servants for Malachi. Lead him not into temptation. And her name is Ursula.
Laughing again, he brought the mirror away from Stephen’s peering eyes.
—The rage of Caliban at not seeing his face in a mirror, he said. If Wilde were only alive to see you!
Drawing back and pointing, Stephen said with bitterness:
—It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked lookingglass of a servant.
Buck Mulligan suddenly linked his arm in Stephen’s and walked with him round the tower, his razor and mirror clacking in the pocket where he had thrust them.
—It’s not fair to tease you like that, Kinch, is it? he said kindly. God knows you have more spirit than any of them.
Parried again. He fears the lancet of my art as I fear that of his. The cold steel pen.
—Cracked lookingglass of a servant! Tell that to the oxy chap downstairs and touch him for a guinea. He’s stinking with money and thinks you’re not a gentleman. His old fellow made his tin by selling jalap to Zulus or some bloody swindle or other. God, Kinch, if you and I could only work together we might do something for the island. Hellenise it.
—And to think of your having to beg from these swine. I’m the only one that knows what you are. Why don’t you trust me more? What have you up your nose against me? Is it Haines? If he makes any noise here I’ll bring down Seymour and we’ll give him a ragging worse than they gave Clive Kempthorpe.
Young shouts of moneyed voices in Clive Kempthorpe’s rooms. Palefaces: they hold their ribs with laughter, one clasping another. O, I shall expire! Break the news to her gently, Aubrey! I shall die! With slit ribbons of his shirt whipping the air he hops and hobbles round the table, with trousers down at heels, chased by Ades of Magdalen with the tailor’s shears. A scared calf’s face gilded with marmalade. I don’t want to be debagged! Don’t you play the giddy ox with me!
Shouts from the open window startling evening in the quadrangle. A deaf gardener, aproned, masked with Matthew Arnold’s face, pushes his mower on the sombre lawn watching narrowly the dancing motes of grasshalms.
To ourselves... new paganism... omphalos.
—Let him stay, Stephen said. There’s nothing wrong with him except at night.
—Then what is it? Buck Mulligan asked impatiently. Cough it up. I’m quite frank with you. What have you against me now?
They halted, looking towards the blunt cape of Bray Head that lay on the water like the snout of a sleeping whale. Stephen freed his arm quietly.
—Do you wish me to tell you? he asked.
—Yes, what is it? Buck Mulligan answered. I don’t remember anything.
He looked in Stephen’s face as he spoke. A light wind passed his brow, fanning softly his fair uncombed hair and stirring silver points of anxiety in his eyes.
Stephen, depressed by his own voice, said:
—Do you remember the first day I went to your house after my mother’s death?
Buck Mulligan frowned quickly and said:
—What? Where? I can’t remember anything. I remember only ideas and sensations. Why? What happened in the name of God?
—You were making tea, Stephen said, and went across the landing to get more hot water. Your mother and some visitor came out of the drawingroom. She asked you who was in your room.
—Yes? Buck Mulligan said. What did I say? I forget.
—You said, Stephen answered, O, it’s only Dedalus whose mother is beastly dead.
A flush which made him seem younger and more engaging rose to Buck Mulligan’s cheek.
—Did I say that? he asked. Well? What harm is that?
He shook his constraint from him nervously.
—And what is death, he asked, your mother’s or yours or my own? You saw only your mother die. I see them pop off every day in the Mater and Richmond and cut up into tripes in the dissectingroom. It’s a beastly thing and nothing else. It simply doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t kneel down to pray for your mother on her deathbed when she asked you. Why? Because you have the cursed jesuit strain in you, only it’s injected the wrong way. To me it’s all a mockery and beastly. Her cerebral lobes are not functioning. She calls the doctor sir Peter Teazle and picks buttercups off the quilt. Humour her till it’s over. You crossed her last wish in death and yet you sulk with me because I don’t whinge like some hired mute from Lalouette’s. Absurd! I suppose I did say it. I didn’t mean to offend the memory of your mother.
He had spoken himself into boldness. Stephen, shielding the gaping wounds which the words had left in his heart, said very coldly:
—I am not thinking of the offence to my mother.
—Of what then? Buck Mulligan asked.
—Of the offence to me, Stephen answered.
Buck Mulligan swung round on his heel.
—O, an impossible person! he exclaimed.
He walked off quickly round the parapet. Stephen stood at his post, gazing over the calm sea towards the headland. Sea and headland now grew dim. Pulses were beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks.
A voice within the tower called loudly:
—I’m coming, Buck Mulligan answered.
He turned towards Stephen and said:
—Look at the sea. What does it care about offences? Chuck Loyola, Kinch, and come on down. The Sassenach wants his morning rashers.
His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with the roof:
—Don’t mope over it all day, he said. I’m inconsequent. Give up the moody brooding.
His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
And no more turn aside and brood Upon love’s bitter mystery For Fergus rules the brazen cars.
Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet. White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words shimmering on the dim tide.
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green. It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus’ song: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love’s bitter mystery.
Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards, powdered with musk, a gaud of amber beads in her locked drawer. A birdcage hung in the sunny window of her house when she was a girl. She heard old Royce sing in the pantomime of Turko the Terrible and laughed with others when he sang:
I am the boy That can enjoy Invisibility.
Phantasmal mirth, folded away: muskperfumed.
And no more turn aside and brood.
Folded away in the memory of nature with her toys. Memories beset his brooding brain. Her glass of water from the kitchen tap when she had approached the sacrament. A cored apple, filled with brown sugar, roasting for her at the hob on a dark autumn evening. Her shapely fingernails reddened by the blood of squashed lice from the children’s shirts.
In a dream, silently, she had come to him, her wasted body within its loose graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, bent over him with mute secret words, a faint odour of wetted ashes.
Her glazing eyes, staring out of death, to shake and bend my soul. On me alone. The ghostcandle to light her agony. Ghostly light on the tortured face. Her hoarse loud breath rattling in horror, while all prayed on their knees. Her eyes on me to strike me down. Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet: iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat.
No, mother! Let me be and let me live.
Buck Mulligan’s voice sang from within the tower. It came nearer up the staircase, calling again. Stephen, still trembling at his soul’s cry, heard warm running sunlight and in the air behind him friendly words.
—Dedalus, come down, like a good mosey. Breakfast is ready. Haines is apologising for waking us last night. It’s all right.
—I’m coming, Stephen said, turning.
—Do, for Jesus’ sake, Buck Mulligan said. For my sake and for all our sakes.
His head disappeared and reappeared.
—I told him your symbol of Irish art. He says it’s very clever. Touch him for a quid, will you? A guinea, I mean.
—I get paid this morning, Stephen said.
—The school kip? Buck Mulligan said. How much? Four quid? Lend us one.
—Four shining sovereigns, Buck Mulligan cried with delight. We’ll have a glorious drunk to astonish the druidy druids. Four omnipotent sovereigns.
He flung up his hands and tramped down the stone stairs, singing out of tune with a Cockney accent:
O, won’t we have a merry time, Drinking whisky, beer and wine! On coronation, Coronation day! O, won’t we have a merry time On coronation day!
Warm sunshine merrying over the sea. The nickel shavingbowl shone, forgotten, on the parapet. Why should I bring it down? Or leave it there all day, forgotten friendship?
He went over to it, held it in his hands awhile, feeling its coolness, smelling the clammy slaver of the lather in which the brush was stuck. So I carried the boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same. A servant too. A server of a servant.
In the gloomy domed livingroom of the tower Buck Mulligan’s gowned form moved briskly to and fro about the hearth, hiding and revealing its yellow glow. Two shafts of soft daylight fell across the flagged floor from the high barbacans: and at the meeting of their rays a cloud of coalsmoke and fumes of fried grease floated, turning.
—We’ll be choked, Buck Mulligan said. Haines, open that door, will you?
Stephen laid the shavingbowl on the locker. A tall figure rose from the hammock where it had been sitting, went to the doorway and pulled open the inner doors.
—Have you the key? a voice asked.
—Dedalus has it, Buck Mulligan said. Janey Mack, I’m choked!
He howled, without looking up from the fire:
—It’s in the lock, Stephen said, coming forward.
The key scraped round harshly twice and, when the heavy door had been set ajar, welcome light and bright air entered. Haines stood at the doorway, looking out. Stephen haled his upended valise to the table and sat down to wait. Buck Mulligan tossed the fry on to the dish beside him. Then he carried the dish and a large teapot over to the table, set them down heavily and sighed with relief.
—I’m melting, he said, as the candle remarked when... But, hush! Not a word more on that subject! Kinch, wake up! Bread, butter, honey. Haines, come in. The grub is ready. Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts. Where’s the sugar? O, jay, there’s no milk.
Stephen fetched the loaf and the pot of honey and the buttercooler from the locker. Buck Mulligan sat down in a sudden pet.
—What sort of a kip is this? he said. I told her to come after eight.
—We can drink it black, Stephen said thirstily. There’s a lemon in the locker.
—O, damn you and your Paris fads! Buck Mulligan said. I want Sandycove milk.
Haines came in from the doorway and said quietly:
—That woman is coming up with the milk.
—The blessings of God on you! Buck Mulligan cried, jumping up from his chair. Sit down. Pour out the tea there. The sugar is in the bag. Here, I can’t go fumbling at the damned eggs.
He hacked through the fry on the dish and slapped it out on three plates, saying:
—In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Haines sat down to pour out the tea.
—I’m giving you two lumps each, he said. But, I say, Mulligan, you do make strong tea, don’t you?
Buck Mulligan, hewing thick slices from the loaf, said in an old woman’s wheedling voice:
—When I makes tea I makes tea, as old mother Grogan said. And when I makes water I makes water.
Buck Mulligan went on hewing and wheedling:
—So I do, Mrs Cahill, says she. Begob, ma’am, says Mrs Cahill, God send you don’t make them in the one pot.
He lunged towards his messmates in turn a thick slice of bread, impaled on his knife.
—That’s folk, he said very earnestly, for your book, Haines. Five lines of text and ten pages of notes about the folk and the fishgods of Dundrum. Printed by the weird sisters in the year of the big wind.
He turned to Stephen and asked in a fine puzzled voice, lifting his brows:
—Can you recall, brother, is mother Grogan’s tea and water pot spoken of in the Mabinogion or is it in the Upanishads?
—I doubt it, said Stephen gravely.
—Do you now? Buck Mulligan said in the same tone. Your reasons, pray?
—I fancy, Stephen said as he ate, it did not exist in or out of the Mabinogion. Mother Grogan was, one imagines, a kinswoman of Mary Ann.
Buck Mulligan’s face smiled with delight.
—Charming! he said in a finical sweet voice, showing his white teeth and blinking his eyes pleasantly. Do you think she was? Quite charming!
Then, suddenly overclouding all his features, he growled in a hoarsened rasping voice as he hewed again vigorously at the loaf:
—For old Mary Ann She doesn’t care a damn. But, hising up her petticoats...
He crammed his mouth with fry and munched and droned.
The doorway was darkened by an entering form.
—Come in, ma’am, Mulligan said. Kinch, get the jug.
An old woman came forward and stood by Stephen’s elbow.
—That’s a lovely morning, sir, she said. Glory be to God.
—To whom? Mulligan said, glancing at her. Ah, to be sure!
Stephen reached back and took the milkjug from the locker.
—The islanders, Mulligan said to Haines casually, speak frequently of the collector of prepuces.
—How much, sir? asked the old woman.
He watched her pour into the measure and thence into the jug rich white milk, not hers. Old shrunken paps. She poured again a measureful and a tilly. Old and secret she had entered from a morning world, maybe a messenger. She praised the goodness of the milk, pouring it out. Crouching by a patient cow at daybreak in the lush field, a witch on her toadstool, her wrinkled fingers quick at the squirting dugs. They lowed about her whom they knew, dewsilky cattle. Silk of the kine and poor old woman, names given her in old times. A wandering crone, lowly form of an immortal serving her conqueror and her gay betrayer, their common cuckquean, a messenger from the secret morning. To serve or to upbraid, whether he could not tell: but scorned to beg her favour.
—It is indeed, ma’am, Buck Mulligan said, pouring milk into their cups.
—If we could live on good food like that, he said to her somewhat loudly, we wouldn’t have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts. Living in a bogswamp, eating cheap food and the streets paved with dust, horsedung and consumptives’ spits.
—Are you a medical student, sir? the old woman asked.
—I am, ma’am, Buck Mulligan answered.
Stephen listened in scornful silence. She bows her old head to a voice that speaks to her loudly, her bonesetter, her medicineman: me she slights. To the voice that will shrive and oil for the grave all there is of her but her woman’s unclean loins, of man’s flesh made not in God’s likeness, the serpent’s prey. And to the loud voice that now bids her be silent with wondering unsteady eyes.
—Do you understand what he says? Stephen asked her.
—Is it French you are talking, sir? the old woman said to Haines.
Haines spoke to her again a longer speech, confidently.
—Irish, Buck Mulligan said. Is there Gaelic on you?
—I thought it was Irish, she said, by the sound of it. Are you from the west, sir?
—I am an Englishman, Haines answered.
—He’s English, Buck Mulligan said, and he thinks we ought to speak Irish in Ireland.
—Sure we ought to, the old woman said, and I’m ashamed I don’t speak the language myself. I’m told it’s a grand language by them that knows.
—Grand is no name for it, said Buck Mulligan. Wonderful entirely. Fill us out some more tea, Kinch. Would you like a cup, ma’am?
—No, thank you, sir, the old woman said, slipping the ring of the milkcan on her forearm and about to go.
—Have you your bill? We had better pay her, Mulligan, hadn’t we?
Stephen filled again the three cups.
—Bill, sir? she said, halting. Well, it’s seven mornings a pint at twopence is seven twos is a shilling and twopence over and these three mornings a quart at fourpence is three quarts is a shilling. That’s a shilling and one and two is two and two, sir.
Buck Mulligan sighed and, having filled his mouth with a crust thickly buttered on both sides, stretched forth his legs and began to search his trouser pockets.
—Pay up and look pleasant, Haines said to him, smiling.
Stephen filled a third cup, a spoonful of tea colouring faintly the thick rich milk. Buck Mulligan brought up a florin, twisted it round in his fingers and cried:
He passed it along the table towards the old woman, saying:
—Ask nothing more of me, sweet. All I can give you I give.
Stephen laid the coin in her uneager hand.
—We’ll owe twopence, he said.
—Time enough, sir, she said, taking the coin. Time enough. Good morning, sir.
She curtseyed and went out, followed by Buck Mulligan’s tender chant:
—Heart of my heart, were it more, More would be laid at your feet.
He turned to Stephen and said:
—Seriously, Dedalus. I’m stony. Hurry out to your school kip and bring us back some money. Today the bards must drink and junket. Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty.
—That reminds me, Haines said, rising, that I have to visit your national library today.
—Our swim first, Buck Mulligan said.
He turned to Stephen and asked blandly:
—Is this the day for your monthly wash, Kinch?
—The unclean bard makes a point of washing once a month.
—All Ireland is washed by the gulfstream, Stephen said as he let honey trickle over a slice of the loaf.
Haines from the corner where he was knotting easily a scarf about the loose collar of his tennis shirt spoke:
—I intend to make a collection of your sayings if you will let me.
Speaking to me. They wash and tub and scrub. Agenbite of inwit. Conscience. Yet here’s a spot.
—That one about the cracked lookingglass of a servant being the symbol of Irish art is deuced good.
Buck Mulligan kicked Stephen’s foot under the table and said with warmth of tone:
—Wait till you hear him on Hamlet, Haines.
—Well, I mean it, Haines said, still speaking to Stephen. I was just thinking of it when that poor old creature came in.
—Would I make any money by it? Stephen asked.
Haines laughed and, as he took his soft grey hat from the holdfast of the hammock, said:
He strolled out to the doorway. Buck Mulligan bent across to Stephen and said with coarse vigour:
—You put your hoof in it now. What did you say that for?
—Well? Stephen said. The problem is to get money. From whom? From the milkwoman or from him. It’s a toss up, I think.
—I blow him out about you, Buck Mulligan said, and then you come along with your lousy leer and your gloomy jesuit jibes.
—I see little hope, Stephen said, from her or from him.
Buck Mulligan sighed tragically and laid his hand on Stephen’s arm.
In a suddenly changed tone he added:
—To tell you the God’s truth I think you’re right. Damn all else they are good for. Why don’t you play them as I do? To hell with them all. Let us get out of the kip.
He stood up, gravely ungirdled and disrobed himself of his gown, saying resignedly:
—Mulligan is stripped of his garments.
He emptied his pockets on to the table.
—There’s your snotrag, he said.
And putting on his stiff collar and rebellious tie he spoke to them, chiding them, and to his dangling watchchain. His hands plunged and rummaged in his trunk while he called for a clean handkerchief. God, we’ll simply have to dress the character. I want puce gloves and green boots. Contradiction. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. Mercurial Malachi. A limp black missile flew out of his talking hands.
—And there’s your Latin quarter hat, he said.
Stephen picked it up and put it on. Haines called to them from the doorway:
—Are you coming, you fellows?
—I’m ready, Buck Mulligan answered, going towards the door. Come out, Kinch. You have eaten all we left, I suppose. Resigned he passed out with grave words and gait, saying, wellnigh with sorrow:
—And going forth he met Butterly.
Stephen, taking his ashplant from its leaningplace, followed them out and, as they went down the ladder, pulled to the slow iron door and locked it. He put the huge key in his inner pocket.
At the foot of the ladder Buck Mulligan asked:
—I have it, Stephen said, preceding them.
He walked on. Behind him he heard Buck Mulligan club with his heavy bathtowel the leader shoots of ferns or grasses.
—Do you pay rent for this tower?
—Twelve quid, Buck Mulligan said.
—To the secretary of state for war, Stephen added over his shoulder.
They halted while Haines surveyed the tower and said at last:
—Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it?
—Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos.
—What is your idea of Hamlet? Haines asked Stephen.
—No, no, Buck Mulligan shouted in pain. I’m not equal to Thomas Aquinas and the fiftyfive reasons he has made out to prop it up. Wait till I have a few pints in me first.
He turned to Stephen, saying, as he pulled down neatly the peaks of his primrose waistcoat:
—You couldn’t manage it under three pints, Kinch, could you?
—It has waited so long, Stephen said listlessly, it can wait longer.
—You pique my curiosity, Haines said amiably. Is it some paradox?
—Pooh! Buck Mulligan said. We have grown out of Wilde and paradoxes. It’s quite simple. He proves by algebra that Hamlet’s grandson is Shakespeare’s grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father.
—What? Haines said, beginning to point at Stephen. He himself?
Buck Mulligan slung his towel stolewise round his neck and, bending in loose laughter, said to Stephen’s ear:
—O, shade of Kinch the elder! Japhet in search of a father!
—We’re always tired in the morning, Stephen said to Haines. And it is rather long to tell.
Buck Mulligan, walking forward again, raised his hands.
—The sacred pint alone can unbind the tongue of Dedalus, he said.
—I mean to say, Haines explained to Stephen as they followed, this tower and these cliffs here remind me somehow of Elsinore. That beetles o’er his base into the sea, isn’t it?
Buck Mulligan turned suddenly for an instant towards Stephen but did not speak. In the bright silent instant Stephen saw his own image in cheap dusty mourning between their gay attires.
—It’s a wonderful tale, Haines said, bringing them to halt again.
Eyes, pale as the sea the wind had freshened, paler, firm and prudent. The seas’ ruler, he gazed southward over the bay, empty save for the smokeplume of the mailboat vague on the bright skyline and a sail tacking by the Muglins.
—I read a theological interpretation of it somewhere, he said bemused. The Father and the Son idea. The Son striving to be atoned with the Father.
Buck Mulligan at once put on a blithe broadly smiling face. He looked at them, his wellshaped mouth open happily, his eyes, from which he had suddenly withdrawn all shrewd sense, blinking with mad gaiety. He moved a doll’s head to and fro, the brims of his Panama hat quivering, and began to chant in a quiet happy foolish voice:
—I’m the queerest young fellow that ever you heard. My mother’s a jew, my father’s a bird. With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree. So here’s to disciples and Calvary.
He held up a forefinger of warning.
—If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine He’ll get no free drinks when I’m making the wine But have to drink water and wish it were plain That I make when the wine becomes water again.
He tugged swiftly at Stephen’s ashplant in farewell and, running forward to a brow of the cliff, fluttered his hands at his sides like fins or wings of one about to rise in the air, and chanted:
—Goodbye, now, goodbye! Write down all I said And tell Tom, Dick and Harry I rose from the dead. What’s bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly And Olivet’s breezy... Goodbye, now, goodbye!
He capered before them down towards the fortyfoot hole, fluttering his winglike hands, leaping nimbly, Mercury’s hat quivering in the fresh wind that bore back to them his brief birdsweet cries.
Haines, who had been laughing guardedly, walked on beside Stephen and said:
—We oughtn’t to laugh, I suppose. He’s rather blasphemous. I’m not a believer myself, that is to say. Still his gaiety takes the harm out of it somehow, doesn’t it? What did he call it? Joseph the Joiner?
—The ballad of joking Jesus, Stephen answered.
—O, Haines said, you have heard it before?
—Three times a day, after meals, Stephen said drily.
—You’re not a believer, are you? Haines asked. I mean, a believer in the narrow sense of the word. Creation from nothing and miracles and a personal God.
—There’s only one sense of the word, it seems to me, Stephen said.
Haines stopped to take out a smooth silver case in which twinkled a green stone. He sprang it open with his thumb and offered it.
—Thank you, Stephen said, taking a cigarette.
Haines helped himself and snapped the case to. He put it back in his sidepocket and took from his waistcoatpocket a nickel tinderbox, sprang it open too, and, having lit his cigarette, held the flaming spunk towards Stephen in the shell of his hands.
—Yes, of course, he said, as they went on again. Either you believe or you don’t, isn’t it? Personally I couldn’t stomach that idea of a personal God. You don’t stand for that, I suppose?
—You behold in me, Stephen said with grim displeasure, a horrible example of free thought.
He walked on, waiting to be spoken to, trailing his ashplant by his side. Its ferrule followed lightly on the path, squealing at his heels. My familiar, after me, calling, Steeeeeeeeeeeephen! A wavering line along the path. They will walk on it tonight, coming here in the dark. He wants that key. It is mine. I paid the rent. Now I eat his salt bread. Give him the key too. All. He will ask for it. That was in his eyes.
Stephen turned and saw that the cold gaze which had measured him was not all unkind.
—After all, I should think you are able to free yourself. You are your own master, it seems to me.
—I am a servant of two masters, Stephen said, an English and an Italian.
A crazy queen, old and jealous. Kneel down before me.
—And a third, Stephen said, there is who wants me for odd jobs.
—Italian? Haines said again. What do you mean?
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—The imperial British state, Stephen answered, his colour rising, and the holy Roman catholic and apostolic church.
Haines detached from his underlip some fibres of tobacco before he spoke.
—I can quite understand that, he said calmly. An Irishman must think like that, I daresay. We feel in England that we have treated you rather unfairly. It seems history is to blame.
The proud potent titles clanged over Stephen’s memory the triumph of their brazen bells: et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam: the slow growth and change of rite and dogma like his own rare thoughts, a chemistry of stars. Symbol of the apostles in the mass for pope Marcellus, the voices blended, singing alone loud in affirmation: and behind their chant the vigilant angel of the church militant disarmed and menaced her heresiarchs. A horde of heresies fleeing with mitres awry: Photius and the brood of mockers of whom Mulligan was one, and Arius, warring his life long upon the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and Valentine, spurning Christ’s terrene body, and the subtle African heresiarch Sabellius who held that the Father was Himself His own Son. Words Mulligan had spoken a moment since in mockery to the stranger. Idle mockery. The void awaits surely all them that weave the wind: a menace, a disarming and a worsting from those embattled angels of the church, Michael’s host, who defend her ever in the hour of conflict with their lances and their shields.
Hear, hear! Prolonged applause. Zut! Nom de Dieu!
—Of course I’m a Britisher, Haines’s voice said, and I feel as one. I don’t want to see my country fall into the hands of German jews either. That’s our national problem, I’m afraid, just now.
Two men stood at the verge of the cliff, watching: businessman, boatman.
—She’s making for Bullock harbour.
The boatman nodded towards the north of the bay with some disdain.
—There’s five fathoms out there, he said. It’ll be swept up that way when the tide comes in about one. It’s nine days today.
The man that was drowned. A sail veering about the blank bay waiting for a swollen bundle to bob up, roll over to the sun a puffy face, saltwhite. Here I am.
They followed the winding path down to the creek. Buck Mulligan stood on a stone, in shirtsleeves, his unclipped tie rippling over his shoulder. A young man clinging to a spur of rock near him, moved slowly frogwise his green legs in the deep jelly of the water.
—Is the brother with you, Malachi?
—Down in Westmeath. With the Bannons.
—Still there? I got a card from Bannon. Says he found a sweet young thing down there. Photo girl he calls her.
—Snapshot, eh? Brief exposure.
Buck Mulligan sat down to unlace his boots. An elderly man shot up near the spur of rock a blowing red face. He scrambled up by the stones, water glistening on his pate and on its garland of grey hair, water rilling over his chest and paunch and spilling jets out of his black sagging loincloth.
Buck Mulligan made way for him to scramble past and, glancing at Haines and Stephen, crossed himself piously with his thumbnail at brow and lips and breastbone.
—Seymour’s back in town, the young man said, grasping again his spur of rock. Chucked medicine and going in for the army.
—Ah, go to God! Buck Mulligan said.
—Going over next week to stew. You know that red Carlisle girl, Lily?
—Spooning with him last night on the pier. The father is rotto with money.
—Seymour a bleeding officer! Buck Mulligan said.
He nodded to himself as he drew off his trousers and stood up, saying tritely:
—Redheaded women buck like goats.
He broke off in alarm, feeling his side under his flapping shirt.
—My twelfth rib is gone, he cried. I’m the Übermensch. Toothless Kinch and I, the supermen.
He struggled out of his shirt and flung it behind him to where his clothes lay.
—Are you going in here, Malachi?
The young man shoved himself backward through the water and reached the middle of the creek in two long clean strokes. Haines sat down on a stone, smoking.
—Are you not coming in? Buck Mulligan asked.
—Later on, Haines said. Not on my breakfast.
—Give us that key, Kinch, Buck Mulligan said, to keep my chemise flat.
Stephen handed him the key. Buck Mulligan laid it across his heaped clothes.
—And twopence, he said, for a pint. Throw it there.
Stephen threw two pennies on the soft heap. Dressing, undressing. Buck Mulligan erect, with joined hands before him, said solemnly:
—He who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord. Thus spake Zarathustra.
—We’ll see you again, Haines said, turning as Stephen walked up the path and smiling at wild Irish.
Horn of a bull, hoof of a horse, smile of a Saxon.
—The Ship, Buck Mulligan cried. Half twelve.
He walked along the upwardcurving path.
Liliata rutilantium. Turma circumdet. Iubilantium te virginum.
The priest’s grey nimbus in a niche where he dressed discreetly. I will not sleep here tonight. Home also I cannot go.
A voice, sweettoned and sustained, called to him from the sea. Turning the curve he waved his hand. It called again. A sleek brown head, a seal’s, far out on the water, round.
—You, Cochrane, what city sent for him?
The boy’s blank face asked the blank window.
Fabled by the daughters of memory. And yet it was in some way if not as memory fabled it. A phrase, then, of impatience, thud of Blake’s wings of excess. I hear the ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppling masonry, and time one livid final flame. What’s left us then?
—Asculum, Stephen said, glancing at the name and date in the gorescarred book.
—Yes, sir. And he said: Another victory like that and we are done for.
That phrase the world had remembered. A dull ease of the mind. From a hill above a corpsestrewn plain a general speaking to his officers, leaned upon his spear. Any general to any officers. They lend ear.
—You, Armstrong, Stephen said. What was the end of Pyrrhus?
—Wait. You, Armstrong. Do you know anything about Pyrrhus?
A bag of figrolls lay snugly in Armstrong’s satchel. He curled them between his palms at whiles and swallowed them softly. Crumbs adhered to the tissue of his lips. A sweetened boy’s breath. Welloff people, proud that their eldest son was in the navy. Vico Road, Dalkey.
All laughed. Mirthless high malicious laughter. Armstrong looked round at his classmates, silly glee in profile. In a moment they will laugh more loudly, aware of my lack of rule and of the fees their papas pay.
—Tell me now, Stephen said, poking the boy’s shoulder with the book, what is a pier.
—A pier, sir, Armstrong said. A thing out in the water. A kind of a bridge. Kingstown pier, sir.
Some laughed again: mirthless but with meaning. Two in the back bench whispered. Yes. They knew: had never learned nor ever been innocent. All. With envy he watched their faces: Edith, Ethel, Gerty, Lily. Their likes: their breaths, too, sweetened with tea and jam, their bracelets tittering in the struggle.
—Kingstown pier, Stephen said. Yes, a disappointed bridge.
The words troubled their gaze.
—How, sir? Comyn asked. A bridge is across a river.
For Haines’s chapbook. No-one here to hear. Tonight deftly amid wild drink and talk, to pierce the polished mail of his mind. What then? A jester at the court of his master, indulged and disesteemed, winning a clement master’s praise. Why had they chosen all that part? Not wholly for the smooth caress. For them too history was a tale like any other too often heard, their land a pawnshop.
Had Pyrrhus not fallen by a beldam’s hand in Argos or Julius Caesar not been knifed to death. They are not to be thought away. Time has branded them and fettered they are lodged in the room of the infinite possibilities they have ousted. But can those have been possible seeing that they never were? Or was that only possible which came to pass? Weave, weaver of the wind.
—Where do you begin in this? Stephen asked, opening another book.
—After, Stephen said. Go on, Talbot.
A swarthy boy opened a book and propped it nimbly under the breastwork of his satchel. He recited jerks of verse with odd glances at the text:
—Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor...
It must be a movement then, an actuality of the possible as possible. Aristotle’s phrase formed itself within the gabbled verses and floated out into the studious silence of the library of Saint Genevieve where he had read, sheltered from the sin of Paris, night by night. By his elbow a delicate Siamese conned a handbook of strategy. Fed and feeding brains about me: under glowlamps, impaled, with faintly beating feelers: and in my mind’s darkness a sloth of the underworld, reluctant, shy of brightness, shifting her dragon scaly folds. Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all that is: the soul is the form of forms. Tranquility sudden, vast, candescent: form of forms.
—Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves, Through the dear might...
—Turn over, Stephen said quietly. I don’t see anything.
—What, sir? Talbot asked simply, bending forward.
His hand turned the page over. He leaned back and went on again, having just remembered. Of him that walked the waves. Here also over these craven hearts his shadow lies and on the scoffer’s heart and lips and on mine. It lies upon their eager faces who offered him a coin of the tribute. To Caesar what is Caesar’s, to God what is God’s. A long look from dark eyes, a riddling sentence to be woven and woven on the church’s looms. Ay.
Riddle me, riddle me, randy ro. My father gave me seeds to sow.
Talbot slid his closed book into his satchel.
—Have I heard all? Stephen asked.
—Who can answer a riddle? Stephen asked.
They bundled their books away, pencils clacking, pages rustling. Crowding together they strapped and buckled their satchels, all gabbling gaily:
—This is the riddle, Stephen said:
The cock crew, The sky was blue: The bells in heaven Were striking eleven. ’Tis time for this poor soul To go to heaven.
Their eyes grew bigger as the lines were repeated. After a silence Cochrane said:
Stephen, his throat itching, answered:
—The fox burying his grandmother under a hollybush.
He stood up and gave a shout of nervous laughter to which their cries echoed dismay.
A stick struck the door and a voice in the corridor called:
They broke asunder, sidling out of their benches, leaping them. Quickly they were gone and from the lumberroom came the rattle of sticks and clamour of their boots and tongues.
Sargent who alone had lingered came forward slowly, showing an open copybook. His tangled hair and scraggy neck gave witness of unreadiness and through his misty glasses weak eyes looked up pleading. On his cheek, dull and bloodless, a soft stain of ink lay, dateshaped, recent and damp as a snail’s bed.
He held out his copybook. The word Sums was written on the headline. Beneath were sloping figures and at the foot a crooked signature with blind loops and a blot. Cyril Sargent: his name and seal.
—Mr Deasy told me to write them out all again, he said, and show them to you, sir.
Stephen touched the edges of the book. Futility.
—Do you understand how to do them now? he asked.
—Numbers eleven to fifteen, Sargent answered. Mr Deasy said I was to copy them off the board, sir.
—Can you do them yourself? Stephen asked.
Ugly and futile: lean neck and tangled hair and a stain of ink, a snail’s bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother’s prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled underfoot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped.
Sitting at his side Stephen solved out the problem. He proves by algebra that Shakespeare’s ghost is Hamlet’s grandfather. Sargent peered askance through his slanted glasses. Hockeysticks rattled in the lumberroom: the hollow knock of a ball and calls from the field.
Across the page the symbols moved in grave morrice, in the mummery of their letters, wearing quaint caps of squares and cubes. Give hands, traverse, bow to partner: so: imps of fancy of the Moors. Gone too from the world, Averroes and Moses Maimonides, dark men in mien and movement, flashing in their mocking mirrors the obscure soul of the world, a darkness shining in brightness which brightness could not comprehend.
—Do you understand now? Can you work the second for yourself?
In long shaky strokes Sargent copied the data. Waiting always for a word of help his hand moved faithfully the unsteady symbols, a faint hue of shame flickering behind his dull skin. Amor matris: subjective and objective genitive. With her weak blood and wheysour milk she had fed him and hid from sight of others his swaddling bands.
Like him was I, these sloping shoulders, this gracelessness. My childhood bends beside me. Too far for me to lay a hand there once or lightly. Mine is far and his secret as our eyes. Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants, willing to be dethroned.
—It is very simple, Stephen said as he stood up.
—Yes, sir. Thanks, Sargent answered.
He dried the page with a sheet of thin blottingpaper and carried his copybook back to his bench.
—You had better get your stick and go out to the others, Stephen said as he followed towards the door the boy’s graceless form.
In the corridor his name was heard, called from the playfield.
—Run on, Stephen said. Mr Deasy is calling you.
He stood in the porch and watched the laggard hurry towards the scrappy field where sharp voices were in strife. They were sorted in teams and Mr Deasy came away stepping over wisps of grass with gaitered feet. When he had reached the schoolhouse voices again contending called to him. He turned his angry white moustache.
—What is it now? he cried continually without listening.
—Cochrane and Halliday are on the same side, sir, Stephen said.
—Will you wait in my study for a moment, Mr Deasy said, till I restore order here.
And as he stepped fussily back across the field his old man’s voice cried sternly:
—What is the matter? What is it now?
Their sharp voices cried about him on all sides: their many forms closed round him, the garish sunshine bleaching the honey of his illdyed head.
Stale smoky air hung in the study with the smell of drab abraded leather of its chairs. As on the first day he bargained with me here. As it was in the beginning, is now. On the sideboard the tray of Stuart coins, base treasure of a bog: and ever shall be. And snug in their spooncase of purple plush, faded, the twelve apostles having preached to all the gentiles: world without end.
A hasty step over the stone porch and in the corridor. Blowing out his rare moustache Mr Deasy halted at the table.
—First, our little financial settlement, he said.
He brought out of his coat a pocketbook bound by a leather thong. It slapped open and he took from it two notes, one of joined halves, and laid them carefully on the table.
—Two, he said, strapping and stowing his pocketbook away.
And now his strongroom for the gold. Stephen’s embarrassed hand moved over the shells heaped in the cold stone mortar: whelks and money cowries and leopard shells: and this, whorled as an emir’s turban, and this, the scallop of saint James. An old pilgrim’s hoard, dead treasure, hollow shells.
A sovereign fell, bright and new, on the soft pile of the tablecloth.
—Three, Mr Deasy said, turning his little savingsbox about in his hand. These are handy things to have. See. This is for sovereigns. This is for shillings. Sixpences, halfcrowns. And here crowns. See.
He shot from it two crowns and two shillings.
—Three twelve, he said. I think you’ll find that’s right.
—Thank you, sir, Stephen said, gathering the money together with shy haste and putting it all in a pocket of his trousers.
—No thanks at all, Mr Deasy said. You have earned it.
Stephen’s hand, free again, went back to the hollow shells. Symbols too of beauty and of power. A lump in my pocket: symbols soiled by greed and misery.
—Don’t carry it like that, Mr Deasy said. You’ll pull it out somewhere and lose it. You just buy one of these machines. You’ll find them very handy.
—Mine would be often empty, Stephen said.
The same room and hour, the same wisdom: and I the same. Three times now. Three nooses round me here. Well? I can break them in this instant if I will.
—Because you don’t save, Mr Deasy said, pointing his finger. You don’t know yet what money is. Money is power. When you have lived as long as I have. I know, I know. If youth but knew. But what does Shakespeare say? Put but money in thy purse.
He lifted his gaze from the idle shells to the old man’s stare.
—He knew what money was, Mr Deasy said. He made money. A poet, yes, but an Englishman too. Do you know what is the pride of the English? Do you know what is the proudest word you will ever hear from an Englishman’s mouth?
The seas’ ruler. His seacold eyes looked on the empty bay: it seems history is to blame: on me and on my words, unhating.
—That on his empire, Stephen said, the sun never sets.
—Ba! Mr Deasy cried. That’s not English. A French Celt said that. He tapped his savingsbox against his thumbnail.
—I will tell you, he said solemnly, what is his proudest boast. I paid my way.
—I paid my way. I never borrowed a shilling in my life. Can you feel that? I owe nothing. Can you?
Mulligan, nine pounds, three pairs of socks, one pair brogues, ties. Curran, ten guineas. McCann, one guinea. Fred Ryan, two shillings. Temple, two lunches. Russell, one guinea, Cousins, ten shillings, Bob Reynolds, half a guinea, Koehler, three guineas, Mrs MacKernan, five weeks’ board. The lump I have is useless.
—For the moment, no, Stephen answered.
Mr Deasy laughed with rich delight, putting back his savingsbox.
—I knew you couldn’t, he said joyously. But one day you must feel it. We are a generous people but we must also be just.
—I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy.
Mr Deasy stared sternly for some moments over the mantelpiece at the shapely bulk of a man in tartan fillibegs: Albert Edward, prince of Wales.
—You think me an old fogey and an old tory, his thoughtful voice said. I saw three generations since O’Connell’s time. I remember the famine in ’46. Do you know that the orange lodges agitated for repeal of the union twenty years before O’Connell did or before the prelates of your communion denounced him as a demagogue? You fenians forget some things.
Glorious, pious and immortal memory. The lodge of Diamond in Armagh the splendid behung with corpses of papishes. Hoarse, masked and armed, the planters’ covenant. The black north and true blue bible. Croppies lie down.
Stephen sketched a brief gesture.
—I have rebel blood in me too, Mr Deasy said. On the spindle side. But I am descended from sir John Blackwood who voted for the union. We are all Irish, all kings’ sons.
—Per vias rectas, Mr Deasy said firmly, was his motto. He voted for it and put on his topboots to ride to Dublin from the Ards of Down to do so.
Lal the ral the ra The rocky road to Dublin.
A gruff squire on horseback with shiny topboots. Soft day, sir John! Soft day, your honour!... Day!... Day!... Two topboots jog dangling on to Dublin. Lal the ral the ra. Lal the ral the raddy.
—That reminds me, Mr Deasy said. You can do me a favour, Mr Dedalus, with some of your literary friends. I have a letter here for the press. Sit down a moment. I have just to copy the end.
He went to the desk near the window, pulled in his chair twice and read off some words from the sheet on the drum of his typewriter.
—Sit down. Excuse me, he said over his shoulder, the dictates of common sense. Just a moment.
He peered from under his shaggy brows at the manuscript by his elbow and, muttering, began to prod the stiff buttons of the keyboard slowly, sometimes blowing as he screwed up the drum to erase an error.
Stephen seated himself noiselessly before the princely presence. Framed around the walls images of vanished horses stood in homage, their meek heads poised in air: lord Hastings’ Repulse, the duke of Westminster’s Shotover, the duke of Beaufort’s Ceylon, prix de Paris, 1866. Elfin riders sat them, watchful of a sign. He saw their speeds, backing king’s colours, and shouted with the shouts of vanished crowds.
—Full stop, Mr Deasy bade his keys. But prompt ventilation of this allimportant question...
Where Cranly led me to get rich quick, hunting his winners among the mudsplashed brakes, amid the bawls of bookies on their pitches and reek of the canteen, over the motley slush. Even money Fair Rebel. Ten to one the field. Dicers and thimbleriggers we hurried by after the hoofs, the vying caps and jackets and past the meatfaced woman, a butcher’s dame, nuzzling thirstily her clove of orange.
Shouts rang shrill from the boys’ playfield and a whirring whistle.
Again: a goal. I am among them, among their battling bodies in a medley, the joust of life. You mean that knockkneed mother’s darling who seems to be slightly crawsick? Jousts. Time shocked rebounds, shock by shock. Jousts, slush and uproar of battles, the frozen deathspew of the slain, a shout of spearspikes baited with men’s bloodied guts.
—Now then, Mr Deasy said, rising.
He came to the table, pinning together his sheets. Stephen stood up.
—I have put the matter into a nutshell, Mr Deasy said. It’s about the foot and mouth disease. Just look through it. There can be no two opinions on the matter.
May I trespass on your valuable space. That doctrine of laissez faire which so often in our history. Our cattle trade. The way of all our old industries. Liverpool ring which jockeyed the Galway harbour scheme. European conflagration. Grain supplies through the narrow waters of the channel. The pluterperfect imperturbability of the department of agriculture. Pardoned a classical allusion. Cassandra. By a woman who was no better than she should be. To come to the point at issue.
—I don’t mince words, do I? Mr Deasy asked as Stephen read on.
Foot and mouth disease. Known as Koch’s preparation. Serum and virus. Percentage of salted horses. Rinderpest. Emperor’s horses at Mürzsteg, lower Austria. Veterinary surgeons. Mr Henry Blackwood Price. Courteous offer a fair trial. Dictates of common sense. Allimportant question. In every sense of the word take the bull by the horns. Thanking you for the hospitality of your columns.
—I want that to be printed and read, Mr Deasy said. You will see at the next outbreak they will put an embargo on Irish cattle. And it can be cured. It is cured. My cousin, Blackwood Price, writes to me it is regularly treated and cured in Austria by cattledoctors there. They offer to come over here. I am trying to work up influence with the department. Now I’m going to try publicity. I am surrounded by difficulties, by... intrigues by... backstairs influence by...
He raised his forefinger and beat the air oldly before his voice spoke.
—Mark my words, Mr Dedalus, he said. England is in the hands of the jews. In all the highest places: her finance, her press. And they are the signs of a nation’s decay. Wherever they gather they eat up the nation’s vital strength. I have seen it coming these years. As sure as we are standing here the jew merchants are already at their work of destruction. Old England is dying.
He stepped swiftly off, his eyes coming to blue life as they passed a broad sunbeam. He faced about and back again.
—Dying, he said again, if not dead by now.
The harlot’s cry from street to street Shall weave old England’s windingsheet.
His eyes open wide in vision stared sternly across the sunbeam in which he halted.
—A merchant, Stephen said, is one who buys cheap and sells dear, jew or gentile, is he not?
—They sinned against the light, Mr Deasy said gravely. And you can see the darkness in their eyes. And that is why they are wanderers on the earth to this day.
On the steps of the Paris stock exchange the goldskinned men quoting prices on their gemmed fingers. Gabble of geese. They swarmed loud, uncouth about the temple, their heads thickplotting under maladroit silk hats. Not theirs: these clothes, this speech, these gestures. Their full slow eyes belied the words, the gestures eager and unoffending, but knew the rancours massed about them and knew their zeal was vain. Vain patience to heap and hoard. Time surely would scatter all. A hoard heaped by the roadside: plundered and passing on. Their eyes knew their years of wandering and, patient, knew the dishonours of their flesh.
—What do you mean? Mr Deasy asked.
He came forward a pace and stood by the table. His underjaw fell sideways open uncertainly. Is this old wisdom? He waits to hear from me.
—History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
From the playfield the boys raised a shout. A whirring whistle: goal. What if that nightmare gave you a back kick?
—The ways of the Creator are not our ways, Mr Deasy said. All human history moves towards one great goal, the manifestation of God.
Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:
—A shout in the street, Stephen answered, shrugging his shoulders.
Mr Deasy looked down and held for awhile the wings of his nose tweaked between his fingers. Looking up again he set them free.
—I am happier than you are, he said. We have committed many errors and many sins. A woman brought sin into the world. For a woman who was no better than she should be, Helen, the runaway wife of Menelaus, ten years the Greeks made war on Troy. A faithless wife first brought the strangers to our shore here, MacMurrough’s wife and her leman, O’Rourke, prince of Breffni. A woman too brought Parnell low. Many errors, many failures but not the one sin. I am a struggler now at the end of my days. But I will fight for the right till the end.
For Ulster will fight And Ulster will be right.
Stephen raised the sheets in his hand.
—I foresee, Mr Deasy said, that you will not remain here very long at this work. You were not born to be a teacher, I think. Perhaps I am wrong.
—A learner rather, Stephen said.
And here what will you learn more?
—Who knows? he said. To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher.
Stephen rustled the sheets again.
—Yes, Mr Deasy said. You have two copies there. If you can have them published at once.
Telegraph. Irish Homestead.
—I will try, Stephen said, and let you know tomorrow. I know two editors slightly.
—That will do, Mr Deasy said briskly. I wrote last night to Mr Field, M.P. There is a meeting of the cattletraders’ association today at the City Arms hotel. I asked him to lay my letter before the meeting. You see if you can get it into your two papers. What are they?
—That will do, Mr Deasy said. There is no time to lose. Now I have to answer that letter from my cousin.
—Good morning, sir, Stephen said, putting the sheets in his pocket. Thank you.
—Not at all, Mr Deasy said as he searched the papers on his desk. I like to break a lance with you, old as I am.
—Good morning, sir, Stephen said again, bowing to his bent back.
He went out by the open porch and down the gravel path under the trees, hearing the cries of voices and crack of sticks from the playfield. The lions couchant on the pillars as he passed out through the gate: toothless terrors. Still I will help him in his fight. Mulligan will dub me a new name: the bullockbefriending bard.
Running after me. No more letters, I hope.
—Yes, sir, Stephen said, turning back at the gate.
Mr Deasy halted, breathing hard and swallowing his breath.
—I just wanted to say, he said. Ireland, they say, has the honour of being the only country which never persecuted the jews. Do you know that? No. And do you know why?
He frowned sternly on the bright air.
—Why, sir? Stephen asked, beginning to smile.
—Because she never let them in, Mr Deasy said solemnly.
A coughball of laughter leaped from his throat dragging after it a rattling chain of phlegm. He turned back quickly, coughing, laughing, his lifted arms waving to the air.
—She never let them in, he cried again through his laughter as he stamped on gaitered feet over the gravel of the path. That’s why.
On his wise shoulders through the checkerwork of leaves the sun flung spangles, dancing coins.
Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.
Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff that beetles o’er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably! I am getting on nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do. My two feet in his boots are at the ends of his legs, nebeneinander. Sounds solid: made by the mallet of Los Demiurgos. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick, crick. Wild sea money. Dominie Deasy kens them a’.
Won’t you come to Sandymount, Madeline the mare?
Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop: deline the mare.
Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever in the black adiaphane. Basta! I will see if I can see.
See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.
They came down the steps from Leahy’s terrace prudently, Frauenzimmer: and down the shelving shore flabbily, their splayed feet sinking in the silted sand. Like me, like Algy, coming down to our mighty mother. Number one swung lourdily her midwife’s bag, the other’s gamp poked in the beach. From the liberties, out for the day. Mrs Florence MacCabe, relict of the late Patk MacCabe, deeply lamented, of Bride Street. One of her sisterhood lugged me squealing into life. Creation from nothing. What has she in the bag? A misbirth with a trailing navelcord, hushed in ruddy wool. The cords of all link back, strandentwining cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos. Hello. Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one.
Spouse and helpmate of Adam Kadmon: Heva, naked Eve. She had no navel. Gaze. Belly without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, no, whiteheaped corn, orient and immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting. Womb of sin.
Wombed in sin darkness I was too, made not begotten. By them, the man with my voice and my eyes and a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath. They clasped and sundered, did the coupler’s will. From before the ages He willed me and now may not will me away or ever. A lex eterna stays about Him. Is that then the divine substance wherein Father and Son are consubstantial? Where is poor dear Arius to try conclusions? Warring his life long upon the contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality. Illstarred heresiarch! In a Greek watercloset he breathed his last: euthanasia. With beaded mitre and with crozier, stalled upon his throne, widower of a widowed see, with upstiffed omophorion, with clotted hinderparts.
Airs romped round him, nipping and eager airs. They are coming, waves. The whitemaned seahorses, champing, brightwindbridled, the steeds of Mananaan.
I mustn’t forget his letter for the press. And after? The Ship, half twelve. By the way go easy with that money like a good young imbecile. Yes, I must.
His pace slackened. Here. Am I going to aunt Sara’s or not? My consubstantial father’s voice. Did you see anything of your artist brother Stephen lately? No? Sure he’s not down in Strasburg terrace with his aunt Sally? Couldn’t he fly a bit higher than that, eh? And and and and tell us, Stephen, how is uncle Si? O, weeping God, the things I married into! De boys up in de hayloft. The drunken little costdrawer and his brother, the cornet player. Highly respectable gondoliers! And skeweyed Walter sirring his father, no less! Sir. Yes, sir. No, sir. Jesus wept: and no wonder, by Christ!
I pull the wheezy bell of their shuttered cottage: and wait. They take me for a dun, peer out from a coign of vantage.
A bolt drawn back and Walter welcomes me.
—We thought you were someone else.
In his broad bed nuncle Richie, pillowed and blanketed, extends over the hillock of his knees a sturdy forearm. Cleanchested. He has washed the upper moiety.
He lays aside the lapboard whereon he drafts his bills of costs for the eyes of master Goff and master Shapland Tandy, filing consents and common searches and a writ of Duces Tecum. A bogoak frame over his bald head: Wilde’s Requiescat. The drone of his misleading whistle brings Walter back.
—Malt for Richie and Stephen, tell mother. Where is she?
Papa’s little bedpal. Lump of love.
—Call me Richie. Damn your lithia water. It lowers. Whusky!
—Sit down or by the law Harry I’ll knock you down.
Walter squints vainly for a chair.
—He has nothing to sit down on, sir.
—He has nowhere to put it, you mug. Bring in our chippendale chair. Would you like a bite of something? None of your damned lawdeedaw airs here. The rich of a rasher fried with a herring? Sure? So much the better. We have nothing in the house but backache pills.
He drones bars of Ferrando’s aria di sortita. The grandest number, Stephen, in the whole opera. Listen.
His tuneful whistle sounds again, finely shaded, with rushes of the air, his fists bigdrumming on his padded knees.
Houses of decay, mine, his and all. You told the Clongowes gentry you had an uncle a judge and an uncle a general in the army. Come out of them, Stephen. Beauty is not there. Nor in the stagnant bay of Marsh’s library where you read the fading prophecies of Joachim Abbas. For whom? The hundredheaded rabble of the cathedral close. A hater of his kind ran from them to the wood of madness, his mane foaming in the moon, his eyeballs stars. Houyhnhnm, horsenostrilled. The oval equine faces, Temple, Buck Mulligan, Foxy Campbell, Lanternjaws. Abbas father, furious dean, what offence laid fire to their brains? Paff! Descende, calve, ut ne nimium decalveris. A garland of grey hair on his comminated head see him me clambering down to the footpace (descende!), clutching a monstrance, basiliskeyed. Get down, baldpoll! A choir gives back menace and echo, assisting about the altar’s horns, the snorted Latin of jackpriests moving burly in their albs, tonsured and oiled and gelded, fat with the fat of kidneys of wheat.
And at the same instant perhaps a priest round the corner is elevating it. Dringdring! And two streets off another locking it into a pyx. Dringadring! And in a ladychapel another taking housel all to his own cheek. Dringdring! Down, up, forward, back. Dan Occam thought of that, invincible doctor. A misty English morning the imp hypostasis tickled his brain. Bringing his host down and kneeling he heard twine with his second bell the first bell in the transept (he is lifting his) and, rising, heard (now I am lifting) their two bells (he is kneeling) twang in diphthong.
Cousin Stephen, you will never be a saint. Isle of saints. You were awfully holy, weren’t you? You prayed to the Blessed Virgin that you might not have a red nose. You prayed to the devil in Serpentine avenue that the fubsy widow in front might lift her clothes still more from the wet street. O si, certo! Sell your soul for that, do, dyed rags pinned round a squaw. More tell me, more still! On the top of the Howth tram alone crying to the rain: Naked women! Naked women! What about that, eh?
What about what? What else were they invented for?
Reading two pages apiece of seven books every night, eh? I was young. You bowed to yourself in the mirror, stepping forward to applause earnestly, striking face. Hurray for the Goddamned idiot! Hray! No-one saw: tell no-one. Books you were going to write with letters for titles. Have you read his F? O yes, but I prefer Q. Yes, but W is wonderful. O yes, W. Remember your epiphanies written on green oval leaves, deeply deep, copies to be sent if you died to all the great libraries of the world, including Alexandria? Someone was to read them there after a few thousand years, a mahamanvantara. Pico della Mirandola like. Ay, very like a whale. When one reads these strange pages of one long gone one feels that one is at one with one who once...
The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada. Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles, breathing upward sewage breath, a pocket of seaweed smouldered in seafire under a midden of man’s ashes. He coasted them, walking warily. A porterbottle stood up, stogged to its waist, in the cakey sand dough. A sentinel: isle of dreadful thirst. Broken hoops on the shore; at the land a maze of dark cunning nets; farther away chalkscrawled backdoors and on the higher beach a dryingline with two crucified shirts. Ringsend: wigwams of brown steersmen and master mariners. Human shells.
He halted. I have passed the way to aunt Sara’s. Am I not going there? Seems not. No-one about. He turned northeast and crossed the firmer sand towards the Pigeonhouse.
—Qui vous a mis dans cette fichue position?
Patrice, home on furlough, lapped warm milk with me in the bar MacMahon. Son of the wild goose, Kevin Egan of Paris. My father’s a bird, he lapped the sweet lait chaud with pink young tongue, plump bunny’s face. Lap, lapin. He hopes to win in the gros lots. About the nature of women he read in Michelet. But he must send me La Vie de Jésus by M. Léo Taxil. Lent it to his friend.
—C’est tordant, vous savez. Moi, je suis socialiste. Je ne crois pas en l’existence de Dieu. Faut pas le dire à mon père.
My Latin quarter hat. God, we simply must dress the character. I want puce gloves. You were a student, weren’t you? Of what in the other devil’s name? Paysayenn. P. C. N., you know: physiques, chimiques et naturelles. Aha. Eating your groatsworth of mou en civet, fleshpots of Egypt, elbowed by belching cabmen. Just say in the most natural tone: when I was in Paris; boul’ Mich’, I used to. Yes, used to carry punched tickets to prove an alibi if they arrested you for murder somewhere. Justice. On the night of the seventeenth of February 1904 the prisoner was seen by two witnesses. Other fellow did it: other me. Hat, tie, overcoat, nose. Lui, c’est moi. You seem to have enjoyed yourself.
Proudly walking. Whom were you trying to walk like? Forget: a dispossessed. With mother’s money order, eight shillings, the banging door of the post office slammed in your face by the usher. Hunger toothache. Encore deux minutes. Look clock. Must get. Fermé. Hired dog! Shoot him to bloody bits with a bang shotgun, bits man spattered walls all brass buttons. Bits all khrrrrklak in place clack back. Not hurt? O, that’s all right. Shake hands. See what I meant, see? O, that’s all right. Shake a shake. O, that’s all only all right.
You were going to do wonders, what? Missionary to Europe after fiery Columbanus. Fiacre and Scotus on their creepystools in heaven spilt from their pintpots, loudlatinlaughing: Euge! Euge! Pretending to speak broken English as you dragged your valise, porter threepence, across the slimy pier at Newhaven. Comment? Rich booty you brought back; Le Tutu, five tattered numbers of Pantalon Blanc et Culotte Rouge; a blue French telegram, curiosity to show:
—Mother dying come home father.
The aunt thinks you killed your mother. That’s why she won’t.
Then here’s a health to Mulligan’s aunt And I’ll tell you the reason why. She always kept things decent in The Hannigan famileye.
His feet marched in sudden proud rhythm over the sand furrows, along by the boulders of the south wall. He stared at them proudly, piled stone mammoth skulls. Gold light on sea, on sand, on boulders. The sun is there, the slender trees, the lemon houses.
Paris rawly waking, crude sunlight on her lemon streets. Moist pith of farls of bread, the froggreen wormwood, her matin incense, court the air. Belluomo rises from the bed of his wife’s lover’s wife, the kerchiefed housewife is astir, a saucer of acetic acid in her hand. In Rodot’s Yvonne and Madeleine newmake their tumbled beauties, shattering with gold teeth chaussons of pastry, their mouths yellowed with the pus of flan bréton. Faces of Paris men go by, their wellpleased pleasers, curled conquistadores.
Noon slumbers. Kevin Egan rolls gunpowder cigarettes through fingers smeared with printer’s ink, sipping his green fairy as Patrice his white. About us gobblers fork spiced beans down their gullets. Un demi sétier! A jet of coffee steam from the burnished caldron. She serves me at his beck. Il est irlandais. Hollandais? Non fromage. Deux irlandais, nous, Irlande, vous savez ah, oui! She thought you wanted a cheese hollandais. Your postprandial, do you know that word? Postprandial. There was a fellow I knew once in Barcelona, queer fellow, used to call it his postprandial. Well: slainte! Around the slabbed tables the tangle of wined breaths and grumbling gorges. His breath hangs over our saucestained plates, the green fairy’s fang thrusting between his lips. Of Ireland, the Dalcassians, of hopes, conspiracies, of Arthur Griffith now, A E, pimander, good shepherd of men. To yoke me as his yokefellow, our crimes our common cause. You’re your father’s son. I know the voice. His fustian shirt, sanguineflowered, trembles its Spanish tassels at his secrets. M. Drumont, famous journalist, Drumont, know what he called queen Victoria? Old hag with the yellow teeth. Vieille ogresse with the dents jaunes. Maud Gonne, beautiful woman, La Patrie, M. Millevoye, Félix Faure, know how he died? Licentious men. The froeken, bonne à tout faire, who rubs male nakedness in the bath at Upsala. Moi faire, she said, Tous les messieurs. Not this Monsieur, I said. Most licentious custom. Bath a most private thing. I wouldn’t let my brother, not even my own brother, most lascivious thing. Green eyes, I see you. Fang, I feel. Lascivious people.
The blue fuse burns deadly between hands and burns clear. Loose tobaccoshreds catch fire: a flame and acrid smoke light our corner. Raw facebones under his peep of day boy’s hat. How the head centre got away, authentic version. Got up as a young bride, man, veil, orangeblossoms, drove out the road to Malahide. Did, faith. Of lost leaders, the betrayed, wild escapes. Disguises, clutched at, gone, not here.
Spurned lover. I was a strapping young gossoon at that time, I tell you. I’ll show you my likeness one day. I was, faith. Lover, for her love he prowled with colonel Richard Burke, tanist of his sept, under the walls of Clerkenwell and, crouching, saw a flame of vengeance hurl them upward in the fog. Shattered glass and toppling masonry. In gay Paree he hides, Egan of Paris, unsought by any save by me. Making his day’s stations, the dingy printingcase, his three taverns, the Montmartre lair he sleeps short night in, rue de la Goutte-d’Or, damascened with flyblown faces of the gone. Loveless, landless, wifeless. She is quite nicey comfy without her outcast man, madame in rue Gît-le-Cœur, canary and two buck lodgers. Peachy cheeks, a zebra skirt, frisky as a young thing’s. Spurned and undespairing. Tell Pat you saw me, won’t you? I wanted to get poor Pat a job one time. Mon fils, soldier of France. I taught him to sing The boys of Kilkenny are stout roaring blades. Know that old lay? I taught Patrice that. Old Kilkenny: saint Canice, Strongbow’s castle on the Nore. Goes like this. O, O. He takes me, Napper Tandy, by the hand.
Weak wasting hand on mine. They have forgotten Kevin Egan, not he them. Remembering thee, O Sion.
He had come nearer the edge of the sea and wet sand slapped his boots. The new air greeted him, harping in wild nerves, wind of wild air of seeds of brightness. Here, I am not walking out to the Kish lightship, am I? He stood suddenly, his feet beginning to sink slowly in the quaking soil. Turn back.
Turning, he scanned the shore south, his feet sinking again slowly in new sockets. The cold domed room of the tower waits. Through the barbacans the shafts of light are moving ever, slowly ever as my feet are sinking, creeping duskward over the dial floor. Blue dusk, nightfall, deep blue night. In the darkness of the dome they wait, their pushedback chairs, my obelisk valise, around a board of abandoned platters. Who to clear it? He has the key. I will not sleep there when this night comes. A shut door of a silent tower, entombing their blind bodies, the panthersahib and his pointer. Call: no answer. He lifted his feet up from the suck and turned back by the mole of boulders. Take all, keep all. My soul walks with me, form of forms. So in the moon’s midwatches I pace the path above the rocks, in sable silvered, hearing Elsinore’s tempting flood.
The flood is following me. I can watch it flow past from here. Get back then by the Poolbeg road to the strand there. He climbed over the sedge and eely oarweeds and sat on a stool of rock, resting his ashplant in a grike.
A bloated carcass of a dog lay lolled on bladderwrack. Before him the gunwale of a boat, sunk in sand. Un coche ensablé Louis Veuillot called Gautier’s prose. These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted here. And these, the stoneheaps of dead builders, a warren of weasel rats. Hide gold there. Try it. You have some. Sands and stones. Heavy of the past. Sir Lout’s toys. Mind you don’t get one bang on the ear. I’m the bloody well gigant rolls all them bloody well boulders, bones for my steppingstones. Feefawfum. I zmellz de bloodz odz an Iridzman.
A point, live dog, grew into sight running across the sweep of sand. Lord, is he going to attack me? Respect his liberty. You will not be master of others or their slave. I have my stick. Sit tight. From farther away, walking shoreward across from the crested tide, figures, two. The two maries. They have tucked it safe mong the bulrushes. Peekaboo. I see you. No, the dog. He is running back to them. Who?
Galleys of the Lochlanns ran here to beach, in quest of prey, their bloodbeaked prows riding low on a molten pewter surf. Dane vikings, torcs of tomahawks aglitter on their breasts when Malachi wore the collar of gold. A school of turlehide whales stranded in hot noon, spouting, hobbling in the shallows. Then from the starving cagework city a horde of jerkined dwarfs, my people, with flayers’ knives, running, scaling, hacking in green blubbery whalemeat. Famine, plague and slaughters. Their blood is in me, their lusts my waves. I moved among them on the frozen Liffey, that I, a changeling, among the spluttering resin fires. I spoke to no-one: none to me.
The dog’s bark ran towards him, stopped, ran back. Dog of my enemy. I just simply stood pale, silent, bayed about. Terribilia meditans. A primrose doublet, fortune’s knave, smiled on my fear. For that are you pining, the bark of their applause? Pretenders: live their lives. The Bruce’s brother, Thomas Fitzgerald, silken knight, Perkin Warbeck, York’s false scion, in breeches of silk of whiterose ivory, wonder of a day, and Lambert Simnel, with a tail of nans and sutlers, a scullion crowned. All kings’ sons. Paradise of pretenders then and now. He saved men from drowning and you shake at a cur’s yelping. But the courtiers who mocked Guido in Or san Michele were in their own house. House of... We don’t want any of your medieval abstrusiosities. Would you do what he did? A boat would be near, a lifebuoy. Natürlich, put there for you. Would you or would you not? The man that was drowned nine days ago off Maiden’s rock. They are waiting for him now. The truth, spit it out. I would want to. I would try. I am not a strong swimmer. Water cold soft. When I put my face into it in the basin at Clongowes. Can’t see! Who’s behind me? Out quickly, quickly! Do you see the tide flowing quickly in on all sides, sheeting the lows of sand quickly, shellcocoacoloured? If I had land under my feet. I want his life still to be his, mine to be mine. A drowning man. His human eyes scream to me out of horror of his death. I... With him together down... I could not save her. Waters: bitter death: lost.
A woman and a man. I see her skirties. Pinned up, I bet.
Their dog ambled about a bank of dwindling sand, trotting, sniffing on all sides. Looking for something lost in a past life. Suddenly he made off like a bounding hare, ears flung back, chasing the shadow of a lowskimming gull. The man’s shrieked whistle struck his limp ears. He turned, bounded back, came nearer, trotted on twinkling shanks. On a field tenney a buck, trippant, proper, unattired. At the lacefringe of the tide he halted with stiff forehoofs, seawardpointed ears. His snout lifted barked at the wavenoise, herds of seamorse. They serpented towards his feet, curling, unfurling many crests, every ninth, breaking, plashing, from far, from farther out, waves and waves.
Cocklepickers. They waded a little way in the water and, stooping, soused their bags and, lifting them again, waded out. The dog yelped running to them, reared up and pawed them, dropping on all fours, again reared up at them with mute bearish fawning. Unheeded he kept by them as they came towards the drier sand, a rag of wolf’s tongue redpanting from his jaws. His speckled body ambled ahead of them and then loped off at a calf’s gallop. The carcass lay on his path. He stopped, sniffed, stalked round it, brother, nosing closer, went round it, sniffling rapidly like a dog all over the dead dog’s bedraggled fell. Dogskull, dogsniff, eyes on the ground, moves to one great goal. Ah, poor dogsbody! Here lies poor dogsbody’s body.
—Tatters! Out of that, you mongrel!
The cry brought him skulking back to his master and a blunt bootless kick sent him unscathed across a spit of sand, crouched in flight. He slunk back in a curve. Doesn’t see me. Along by the edge of the mole he lolloped, dawdled, smelt a rock and from under a cocked hindleg pissed against it. He trotted forward and, lifting again his hindleg, pissed quick short at an unsmelt rock. The simple pleasures of the poor. His hindpaws then scattered the sand: then his forepaws dabbled and delved. Something he buried there, his grandmother. He rooted in the sand, dabbling, delving and stopped to listen to the air, scraped up the sand again with a fury of his claws, soon ceasing, a pard, a panther, got in spousebreach, vulturing the dead.
After he woke me last night same dream or was it? Wait. Open hallway. Street of harlots. Remember. Haroun al Raschid. I am almosting it. That man led me, spoke. I was not afraid. The melon he had he held against my face. Smiled: creamfruit smell. That was the rule, said. In. Come. Red carpet spread. You will see who.
Shouldering their bags they trudged, the red Egyptians. His blued feet out of turnedup trousers slapped the clammy sand, a dull brick muffler strangling his unshaven neck. With woman steps she followed: the ruffian and his strolling mort. Spoils slung at her back. Loose sand and shellgrit crusted her bare feet. About her windraw face hair trailed. Behind her lord, his helpmate, bing awast to Romeville. When night hides her body’s flaws calling under her brown shawl from an archway where dogs have mired. Her fancyman is treating two Royal Dublins in O’Loughlin’s of Blackpitts. Buss her, wap in rogues’ rum lingo, for, O, my dimber wapping dell! A shefiend’s whiteness under her rancid rags. Fumbally’s lane that night: the tanyard smells.
White thy fambles, red thy gan And thy quarrons dainty is. Couch a hogshead with me then. In the darkmans clip and kiss.
Morose delectation Aquinas tunbelly calls this, frate porcospino. Unfallen Adam rode and not rutted. Call away let him: thy quarrons dainty is. Language no whit worse than his. Monkwords, marybeads jabber on their girdles: roguewords, tough nuggets patter in their pockets.
A side eye at my Hamlet hat. If I were suddenly naked here as I sit? I am not. Across the sands of all the world, followed by the sun’s flaming sword, to the west, trekking to evening lands. She trudges, schlepps, trains, drags, trascines her load. A tide westering, moondrawn, in her wake. Tides, myriadislanded, within her, blood not mine, oinopa ponton, a winedark sea. Behold the handmaid of the moon. In sleep the wet sign calls her hour, bids her rise. Bridebed, childbed, bed of death, ghostcandled. Omnis caro ad te veniet. He comes, pale vampire, through storm his eyes, his bat sails bloodying the sea, mouth to her mouth’s kiss.
Here. Put a pin in that chap, will you? My tablets. Mouth to her kiss. No. Must be two of em. Glue em well. Mouth to her mouth’s kiss.
His lips lipped and mouthed fleshless lips of air: mouth to her moomb. Oomb, allwombing tomb. His mouth moulded issuing breath, unspeeched: ooeeehah: roar of cataractic planets, globed, blazing, roaring wayawayawayawayaway. Paper. The banknotes, blast them. Old Deasy’s letter. Here. Thanking you for the hospitality tear the blank end off. Turning his back to the sun he bent over far to a table of rock and scribbled words. That’s twice I forgot to take slips from the library counter.
His shadow lay over the rocks as he bent, ending. Why not endless till the farthest star? Darkly they are there behind this light, darkness shining in the brightness, delta of Cassiopeia, worlds. Me sits there with his augur’s rod of ash, in borrowed sandals, by day beside a livid sea, unbeheld, in violet night walking beneath a reign of uncouth stars. I throw this ended shadow from me, manshape ineluctable, call it back. Endless, would it be mine, form of my form? Who watches me here? Who ever anywhere will read these written words? Signs on a white field. Somewhere to someone in your flutiest voice. The good bishop of Cloyne took the veil of the temple out of his shovel hat: veil of space with coloured emblems hatched on its field. Hold hard. Coloured on a flat: yes, that’s right. Flat I see, then think distance, near, far, flat I see, east, back. Ah, see now! Falls back suddenly, frozen in stereoscope. Click does the trick. You find my words dark. Darkness is in our souls do you not think? Flutier. Our souls, shamewounded by our sins, cling to us yet more, a woman to her lover clinging, the more the more.
She trusts me, her hand gentle, the longlashed eyes. Now where the blue hell am I bringing her beyond the veil? Into the ineluctable modality of the ineluctable visuality. She, she, she. What she? The virgin at Hodges Figgis’ window on Monday looking in for one of the alphabet books you were going to write. Keen glance you gave her. Wrist through the braided jesse of her sunshade. She lives in Leeson park with a grief and kickshaws, a lady of letters. Talk that to someone else, Stevie: a pickmeup. Bet she wears those curse of God stays suspenders and yellow stockings, darned with lumpy wool. Talk about apple dumplings, piuttosto. Where are your wits?
Touch me. Soft eyes. Soft soft soft hand. I am lonely here. O, touch me soon, now. What is that word known to all men? I am quiet here alone. Sad too. Touch, touch me.
He lay back at full stretch over the sharp rocks, cramming the scribbled note and pencil into a pocket, his hat tilted down on his eyes. That is Kevin Egan’s movement I made, nodding for his nap, sabbath sleep. Et vidit Deus. Et erant valde bona. Alo! Bonjour. Welcome as the flowers in May. Under its leaf he watched through peacocktwittering lashes the southing sun. I am caught in this burning scene. Pan’s hour, the faunal noon. Among gumheavy serpentplants, milkoozing fruits, where on the tawny waters leaves lie wide. Pain is far.
And no more turn aside and brood.
His gaze brooded on his broadtoed boots, a buck’s castoffs, nebeneinander. He counted the creases of rucked leather wherein another’s foot had nested warm. The foot that beat the ground in tripudium, foot I dislove. But you were delighted when Esther Osvalt’s shoe went on you: girl I knew in Paris. Tiens, quel petit pied! Staunch friend, a brother soul: Wilde’s love that dare not speak its name. His arm: Cranly’s arm. He now will leave me. And the blame? As I am. As I am. All or not at all.
In long lassoes from the Cock lake the water flowed full, covering greengoldenly lagoons of sand, rising, flowing. My ashplant will float away. I shall wait. No, they will pass on, passing, chafing against the low rocks, swirling, passing. Better get this job over quick. Listen: a fourworded wavespeech: seesoo, hrss, rsseeiss, ooos. Vehement breath of waters amid seasnakes, rearing horses, rocks. In cups of rocks it slops: flop, slop, slap: bounded in barrels. And, spent, its speech ceases. It flows purling, widely flowing, floating foampool, flower unfurling.
Under the upswelling tide he saw the writhing weeds lift languidly and sway reluctant arms, hising up their petticoats, in whispering water swaying and upturning coy silver fronds. Day by day: night by night: lifted, flooded and let fall. Lord, they are weary; and, whispered to, they sigh. Saint Ambrose heard it, sigh of leaves and waves, waiting, awaiting the fullness of their times, diebus ac noctibus iniurias patiens ingemiscit. To no end gathered; vainly then released, forthflowing, wending back: loom of the moon. Weary too in sight of lovers, lascivious men, a naked woman shining in her courts, she draws a toil of waters.
Five fathoms out there. Full fathom five thy father lies. At one, he said. Found drowned. High water at Dublin bar. Driving before it a loose drift of rubble, fanshoals of fishes, silly shells. A corpse rising saltwhite from the undertow, bobbing a pace a pace a porpoise landward. There he is. Hook it quick. Pull. Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor. We have him. Easy now.
Bag of corpsegas sopping in foul brine. A quiver of minnows, fat of a spongy titbit, flash through the slits of his buttoned trouserfly. God becomes man becomes fish becomes barnacle goose becomes featherbed mountain. Dead breaths I living breathe, tread dead dust, devour a urinous offal from all dead. Hauled stark over the gunwale he breathes upward the stench of his green grave, his leprous nosehole snoring to the sun.
A seachange this, brown eyes saltblue. Seadeath, mildest of all deaths known to man. Old Father Ocean. Prix de Paris: beware of imitations. Just you give it a fair trial. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.
Come. I thirst. Clouding over. No black clouds anywhere, are there? Thunderstorm. Allbright he falls, proud lightning of the intellect, Lucifer, dico, qui nescit occasum. No. My cockle hat and staff and hismy sandal shoon. Where? To evening lands. Evening will find itself.
He took the hilt of his ashplant, lunging with it softly, dallying still. Yes, evening will find itself in me, without me. All days make their end. By the way next when is it Tuesday will be the longest day. Of all the glad new year, mother, the rum tum tiddledy tum. Lawn Tennyson, gentleman poet. Già. For the old hag with the yellow teeth. And Monsieur Drumont, gentleman journalist. Già. My teeth are very bad. Why, I wonder. Feel. That one is going too. Shells. Ought I go to a dentist, I wonder, with that money? That one. This. Toothless Kinch, the superman. Why is that, I wonder, or does it mean something perhaps?
My handkerchief. He threw it. I remember. Did I not take it up?
His hand groped vainly in his pockets. No, I didn’t. Better buy one.
He laid the dry snot picked from his nostril on a ledge of rock, carefully. For the rest let look who will.
Behind. Perhaps there is someone.
He turned his face over a shoulder, rere regardant. Moving through the air high spars of a threemaster, her sails brailed up on the crosstrees, homing, upstream, silently moving, a silent ship.
Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were in the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him feel a bit peckish.
The coals were reddening.
Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn’t like her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout stuck out. Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry. The cat walked stiffly round a leg of the table with tail on high.
—O, there you are, Mr Bloom said, turning from the fire.
The cat mewed in answer and stalked again stiffly round a leg of the table, mewing. Just how she stalks over my writingtable. Prr. Scratch my head. Prr.
Mr Bloom watched curiously, kindly the lithe black form. Clean to see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her tail, the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees.
—Milk for the pussens, he said.
They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we understand them. She understands all she wants to. Vindictive too. Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it. Wonder what I look like to her. Height of a tower? No, she can jump me.
—Afraid of the chickens she is, he said mockingly. Afraid of the chookchooks. I never saw such a stupid pussens as the pussens.
—Mrkrgnao! the cat said loudly.
She blinked up out of her avid shameclosing eyes, mewing plaintively and long, showing him her milkwhite teeth. He watched the dark eyeslits narrowing with greed till her eyes were green stones. Then he went to the dresser, took the jug Hanlon’s milkman had just filled for him, poured warmbubbled milk on a saucer and set it slowly on the floor.
—Gurrhr! she cried, running to lap.
He watched the bristles shining wirily in the weak light as she tipped three times and licked lightly. Wonder is it true if you clip them they can’t mouse after. Why? They shine in the dark, perhaps, the tips. Or kind of feelers in the dark, perhaps.
He listened to her licking lap. Ham and eggs, no. No good eggs with this drouth. Want pure fresh water. Thursday: not a good day either for a mutton kidney at Buckley’s. Fried with butter, a shake of pepper. Better a pork kidney at Dlugacz’s. While the kettle is boiling. She lapped slower, then licking the saucer clean. Why are their tongues so rough? To lap better, all porous holes. Nothing she can eat? He glanced round him. No.
On quietly creaky boots he went up the staircase to the hall, paused by the bedroom door. She might like something tasty. Thin bread and butter she likes in the morning. Still perhaps: once in a way.
He said softly in the bare hall:
—I’m going round the corner. Be back in a minute.
And when he had heard his voice say it he added:
—You don’t want anything for breakfast?
A sleepy soft grunt answered:
No. She didn’t want anything. He heard then a warm heavy sigh, softer, as she turned over and the loose brass quoits of the bedstead jingled. Must get those settled really. Pity. All the way from Gibraltar. Forgotten any little Spanish she knew. Wonder what her father gave for it. Old style. Ah yes! of course. Bought it at the governor’s auction. Got a short knock. Hard as nails at a bargain, old Tweedy. Yes, sir. At Plevna that was. I rose from the ranks, sir, and I’m proud of it. Still he had brains enough to make that corner in stamps. Now that was farseeing.
His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat and his lost property office secondhand waterproof. Stamps: stickyback pictures. Daresay lots of officers are in the swim too. Course they do. The sweated legend in the crown of his hat told him mutely: Plasto’s high grade ha. He peeped quickly inside the leather headband. White slip of paper. Quite safe.
On the doorstep he felt in his hip pocket for the latchkey. Not there. In the trousers I left off. Must get it. Potato I have. Creaky wardrobe. No use disturbing her. She turned over sleepily that time. He pulled the halldoor to after him very quietly, more, till the footleaf dropped gently over the threshold, a limp lid. Looked shut. All right till I come back anyhow.
He crossed to the bright side, avoiding the loose cellarflap of number seventyfive. The sun was nearing the steeple of George’s church. Be a warm day I fancy. Specially in these black clothes feel it more. Black conducts, reflects, (refracts is it?), the heat. But I couldn’t go in that light suit. Make a picnic of it. His eyelids sank quietly often as he walked in happy warmth. Boland’s breadvan delivering with trays our daily but she prefers yesterday’s loaves turnovers crisp crowns hot. Makes you feel young. Somewhere in the east: early morning: set off at dawn. Travel round in front of the sun, steal a day’s march on him. Keep it up for ever never grow a day older technically. Walk along a strand, strange land, come to a city gate, sentry there, old ranker too, old Tweedy’s big moustaches, leaning on a long kind of a spear. Wander through awned streets. Turbaned faces going by. Dark caves of carpet shops, big man, Turko the terrible, seated crosslegged, smoking a coiled pipe. Cries of sellers in the streets. Drink water scented with fennel, sherbet. Dander along all day. Might meet a robber or two. Well, meet him. Getting on to sundown. The shadows of the mosques among the pillars: priest with a scroll rolled up. A shiver of the trees, signal, the evening wind. I pass on. Fading gold sky. A mother watches me from her doorway. She calls her children home in their dark language. High wall: beyond strings twanged. Night sky, moon, violet, colour of Molly’s new garters. Strings. Listen. A girl playing one of those instruments what do you call them: dulcimers. I pass.
Probably not a bit like it really. Kind of stuff you read: in the track of the sun. Sunburst on the titlepage. He smiled, pleasing himself. What Arthur Griffith said about the headpiece over the Freeman leader: a homerule sun rising up in the northwest from the laneway behind the bank of Ireland. He prolonged his pleased smile. Ikey touch that: homerule sun rising up in the northwest.
He approached Larry O’Rourke’s. From the cellar grating floated up the flabby gush of porter. Through the open doorway the bar squirted out whiffs of ginger, teadust, biscuitmush. Good house, however: just the end of the city traffic. For instance M’Auley’s down there: n. g. as position. Of course if they ran a tramline along the North Circular from the cattlemarket to the quays value would go up like a shot.
Baldhead over the blind. Cute old codger. No use canvassing him for an ad. Still he knows his own business best. There he is, sure enough, my bold Larry, leaning against the sugarbin in his shirtsleeves watching the aproned curate swab up with mop and bucket. Simon Dedalus takes him off to a tee with his eyes screwed up. Do you know what I’m going to tell you? What’s that, Mr O’Rourke? Do you know what? The Russians, they’d only be an eight o’clock breakfast for the Japanese.
Stop and say a word: about the funeral perhaps. Sad thing about poor Dignam, Mr O’Rourke.
Turning into Dorset street he said freshly in greeting through the doorway:
Where do they get the money? Coming up redheaded curates from the county Leitrim, rinsing empties and old man in the cellar. Then, lo and behold, they blossom out as Adam Findlaters or Dan Tallons. Then think of the competition. General thirst. Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub. Save it they can’t. Off the drunks perhaps. Put down three and carry five. What is that, a bob here and there, dribs and drabs. On the wholesale orders perhaps. Doing a double shuffle with the town travellers. Square it you with the boss and we’ll split the job, see?
How much would that tot to off the porter in the month? Say ten barrels of stuff. Say he got ten per cent off. O more. Fifteen. He passed Saint Joseph’s National school. Brats’ clamour. Windows open. Fresh air helps memory. Or a lilt. Ahbeesee defeegee kelomen opeecue rustyouvee doubleyou. Boys are they? Yes. Inishturk. Inishark. Inishboffin. At their joggerfry. Mine. Slieve Bloom.
He halted before Dlugacz’s window, staring at the hanks of sausages, polonies, black and white. Fifteen multiplied by. The figures whitened in his mind, unsolved: displeased, he let them fade. The shiny links, packed with forcemeat, fed his gaze and he breathed in tranquilly the lukewarm breath of cooked spicy pigs’ blood.
A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last. He stood by the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling the items from a slip in her hand? Chapped: washingsoda. And a pound and a half of Denny’s sausages. His eyes rested on her vigorous hips. Woods his name is. Wonder what he does. Wife is oldish. New blood. No followers allowed. Strong pair of arms. Whacking a carpet on the clothesline. She does whack it, by George. The way her crooked skirt swings at each whack.
The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off with blotchy fingers, sausagepink. Sound meat there: like a stallfed heifer.
He took a page up from the pile of cut sheets: the model farm at Kinnereth on the lakeshore of Tiberias. Can become ideal winter sanatorium. Moses Montefiore. I thought he was. Farmhouse, wall round it, blurred cattle cropping. He held the page from him: interesting: read it nearer, the title, the blurred cropping cattle, the page rustling. A young white heifer. Those mornings in the cattlemarket, the beasts lowing in their pens, branded sheep, flop and fall of dung, the breeders in hobnailed boots trudging through the litter, slapping a palm on a ripemeated hindquarter, there’s a prime one, unpeeled switches in their hands. He held the page aslant patiently, bending his senses and his will, his soft subject gaze at rest. The crooked skirt swinging, whack by whack by whack.
The porkbutcher snapped two sheets from the pile, wrapped up her prime sausages and made a red grimace.
She tendered a coin, smiling boldly, holding her thick wrist out.
—Thank you, my miss. And one shilling threepence change. For you, please?
Mr Bloom pointed quickly. To catch up and walk behind her if she went slowly, behind her moving hams. Pleasant to see first thing in the morning. Hurry up, damn it. Make hay while the sun shines. She stood outside the shop in sunlight and sauntered lazily to the right. He sighed down his nose: they never understand. Sodachapped hands. Crusted toenails too. Brown scapulars in tatters, defending her both ways. The sting of disregard glowed to weak pleasure within his breast. For another: a constable off duty cuddling her in Eccles’ Lane. They like them sizeable. Prime sausage. O please, Mr Policeman, I’m lost in the wood.
His hand accepted the moist tender gland and slid it into a sidepocket. Then it fetched up three coins from his trousers’ pocket and laid them on the rubber prickles. They lay, were read quickly and quickly slid, disc by disc, into the till.
A speck of eager fire from foxeyes thanked him. He withdrew his gaze after an instant. No: better not: another time.
—Good morning, he said, moving away.
He walked back along Dorset street, reading gravely. Agendath Netaim: planters’ company. To purchase waste sandy tracts from Turkish government and plant with eucalyptus trees. Excellent for shade, fuel and construction. Orangegroves and immense melonfields north of Jaffa. You pay eighty marks and they plant a dunam of land for you with olives, oranges, almonds or citrons. Olives cheaper: oranges need artificial irrigation. Every year you get a sending of the crop. Your name entered for life as owner in the book of the union. Can pay ten down and the balance in yearly instalments. Bleibtreustrasse 34, Berlin, W. 15.
Nothing doing. Still an idea behind it.
He looked at the cattle, blurred in silver heat. Silverpowdered olivetrees. Quiet long days: pruning, ripening. Olives are packed in jars, eh? I have a few left from Andrews. Molly spitting them out. Knows the taste of them now. Oranges in tissue paper packed in crates. Citrons too. Wonder is poor Citron still in Saint Kevin’s parade. And Mastiansky with the old cither. Pleasant evenings we had then. Molly in Citron’s basketchair. Nice to hold, cool waxen fruit, hold in the hand, lift it to the nostrils and smell the perfume. Like that, heavy, sweet, wild perfume. Always the same, year after year. They fetched high prices too, Moisel told me. Arbutus place: Pleasants street: pleasant old times. Must be without a flaw, he said. Coming all that way: Spain, Gibraltar, Mediterranean, the Levant. Crates lined up on the quayside at Jaffa, chap ticking them off in a book, navvies handling them barefoot in soiled dungarees. There’s whatdoyoucallhim out of. How do you? Doesn’t see. Chap you know just to salute bit of a bore. His back is like that Norwegian captain’s. Wonder if I’ll meet him today. Watering cart. To provoke the rain. On earth as it is in heaven.
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly. Grey. Far.
No, not like that. A barren land, bare waste. Vulcanic lake, the dead sea: no fish, weedless, sunk deep in the earth. No wind could lift those waves, grey metal, poisonous foggy waters. Brimstone they called it raining down: the cities of the plain: Sodom, Gomorrah, Edom. All dead names. A dead sea in a dead land, grey and old. Old now. It bore the oldest, the first race. A bent hag crossed from Cassidy’s, clutching a naggin bottle by the neck. The oldest people. Wandered far away over all the earth, captivity to captivity, multiplying, dying, being born everywhere. It lay there now. Now it could bear no more. Dead: an old woman’s: the grey sunken cunt of the world.
Grey horror seared his flesh. Folding the page into his pocket he turned into Eccles street, hurrying homeward. Cold oils slid along his veins, chilling his blood: age crusting him with a salt cloak. Well, I am here now. Yes, I am here now. Morning mouth bad images. Got up wrong side of the bed. Must begin again those Sandow’s exercises. On the hands down. Blotchy brown brick houses. Number eighty still unlet. Why is that? Valuation is only twentyeight. Towers, Battersby, North, MacArthur: parlour windows plastered with bills. Plasters on a sore eye. To smell the gentle smoke of tea, fume of the pan, sizzling butter. Be near her ample bedwarmed flesh. Yes, yes.
Quick warm sunlight came running from Berkeley road, swiftly, in slim sandals, along the brightening footpath. Runs, she runs to meet me, a girl with gold hair on the wind.
Two letters and a card lay on the hallfloor. He stooped and gathered them. Mrs Marion Bloom. His quickened heart slowed at once. Bold hand. Mrs Marion.
Entering the bedroom he halfclosed his eyes and walked through warm yellow twilight towards her tousled head.
He looked at them. Mullingar. Milly.
—A letter for me from Milly, he said carefully, and a card to you. And a letter for you.
He laid her card and letter on the twill bedspread near the curve of her knees.
Letting the blind up by gentle tugs halfway his backward eye saw her glance at the letter and tuck it under her pillow.
She was reading the card, propped on her elbow.
He waited till she had laid the card aside and curled herself back slowly with a snug sigh.
—Hurry up with that tea, she said. I’m parched.
—The kettle is boiling, he said.
But he delayed to clear the chair: her striped petticoat, tossed soiled linen: and lifted all in an armful on to the foot of the bed.
As he went down the kitchen stairs she called:
On the boil sure enough: a plume of steam from the spout. He scalded and rinsed out the teapot and put in four full spoons of tea, tilting the kettle then to let the water flow in. Having set it to draw he took off the kettle, crushed the pan flat on the live coals and watched the lump of butter slide and melt. While he unwrapped the kidney the cat mewed hungrily against him. Give her too much meat she won’t mouse. Say they won’t eat pork. Kosher. Here. He let the bloodsmeared paper fall to her and dropped the kidney amid the sizzling butter sauce. Pepper. He sprinkled it through his fingers ringwise from the chipped eggcup.
Then he slit open his letter, glancing down the page and over. Thanks: new tam: Mr Coghlan: lough Owel picnic: young student: Blazes Boylan’s seaside girls.
The tea was drawn. He filled his own moustachecup, sham crown Derby, smiling. Silly Milly’s birthday gift. Only five she was then. No, wait: four. I gave her the amberoid necklace she broke. Putting pieces of folded brown paper in the letterbox for her. He smiled, pouring.
O, Milly Bloom, you are my darling. You are my lookingglass from night to morning. I’d rather have you without a farthing Than Katey Keogh with her ass and garden.
Poor old professor Goodwin. Dreadful old case. Still he was a courteous old chap. Oldfashioned way he used to bow Molly off the platform. And the little mirror in his silk hat. The night Milly brought it into the parlour. O, look what I found in professor Goodwin’s hat! All we laughed. Sex breaking out even then. Pert little piece she was.
He prodded a fork into the kidney and slapped it over: then fitted the teapot on the tray. Its hump bumped as he took it up. Everything on it? Bread and butter, four, sugar, spoon, her cream. Yes. He carried it upstairs, his thumb hooked in the teapot handle.
Nudging the door open with his knee he carried the tray in and set it on the chair by the bedhead.
She set the brasses jingling as she raised herself briskly, an elbow on the pillow. He looked calmly down on her bulk and between her large soft bubs, sloping within her nightdress like a shegoat’s udder. The warmth of her couched body rose on the air, mingling with the fragrance of the tea she poured.
A strip of torn envelope peeped from under the dimpled pillow. In the act of going he stayed to straighten the bedspread.
—Who was the letter from? he asked.
—O, Boylan, she said. He’s bringing the programme.
—Là ci darem with J. C. Doyle, she said, and Love’s Old Sweet Song.
Her full lips, drinking, smiled. Rather stale smell that incense leaves next day. Like foul flowerwater.
—Would you like the window open a little?
She doubled a slice of bread into her mouth, asking:
—Eleven, I think, he answered. I didn’t see the paper.
Following the pointing of her finger he took up a leg of her soiled drawers from the bed. No? Then, a twisted grey garter looped round a stocking: rumpled, shiny sole.
Other stocking. Her petticoat.
—It must have fell down, she said.
He felt here and there. Voglio e non vorrei. Wonder if she pronounces that right: voglio. Not in the bed. Must have slid down. He stooped and lifted the valance. The book, fallen, sprawled against the bulge of the orangekeyed chamberpot.
—Show here, she said. I put a mark in it. There’s a word I wanted to ask you.
She swallowed a draught of tea from her cup held by nothandle and, having wiped her fingertips smartly on the blanket, began to search the text with the hairpin till she reached the word.
—Here, she said. What does that mean?
He leaned downward and read near her polished thumbnail.
—Yes. Who’s he when he’s at home?
—Metempsychosis, he said, frowning. It’s Greek: from the Greek. That means the transmigration of souls.
—O, rocks! she said. Tell us in plain words.
He smiled, glancing askance at her mocking eyes. The same young eyes. The first night after the charades. Dolphin’s Barn. He turned over the smudged pages. Ruby: the Pride of the Ring. Hello. Illustration. Fierce Italian with carriagewhip. Must be Ruby pride of the on the floor naked. Sheet kindly lent. The monster Maffei desisted and flung his victim from him with an oath. Cruelty behind it all. Doped animals. Trapeze at Hengler’s. Had to look the other way. Mob gaping. Break your neck and we’ll break our sides. Families of them. Bone them young so they metamspychosis. That we live after death. Our souls. That a man’s soul after he dies. Dignam’s soul...
—Yes, she said. There’s nothing smutty in it. Is she in love with the first fellow all the time?
—Never read it. Do you want another?
—Yes. Get another of Paul de Kock’s. Nice name he has.
She poured more tea into her cup, watching it flow sideways.
Must get that Capel street library book renewed or they’ll write to Kearney, my guarantor. Reincarnation: that’s the word.
—Some people believe, he said, that we go on living in another body after death, that we lived before. They call it reincarnation. That we all lived before on the earth thousands of years ago or some other planet. They say we have forgotten it. Some say they remember their past lives.
The sluggish cream wound curdling spirals through her tea. Better remind her of the word: metempsychosis. An example would be better. An example?
The Bath of the Nymph over the bed. Given away with the Easter number of Photo Bits: Splendid masterpiece in art colours. Tea before you put milk in. Not unlike her with her hair down: slimmer. Three and six I gave for the frame. She said it would look nice over the bed. Naked nymphs: Greece: and for instance all the people that lived then.
—Metempsychosis, he said, is what the ancient Greeks called it. They used to believe you could be changed into an animal or a tree, for instance. What they called nymphs, for example.
Her spoon ceased to stir up the sugar. She gazed straight before her, inhaling through her arched nostrils.
—There’s a smell of burn, she said. Did you leave anything on the fire?
—The kidney! he cried suddenly.
He fitted the book roughly into his inner pocket and, stubbing his toes against the broken commode, hurried out towards the smell, stepping hastily down the stairs with a flurried stork’s legs. Pungent smoke shot up in an angry jet from a side of the pan. By prodding a prong of the fork under the kidney he detached it and turned it turtle on its back. Only a little burnt. He tossed it off the pan on to a plate and let the scanty brown gravy trickle over it.
Cup of tea now. He sat down, cut and buttered a slice of the loaf. He shore away the burnt flesh and flung it to the cat. Then he put a forkful into his mouth, chewing with discernment the toothsome pliant meat. Done to a turn. A mouthful of tea. Then he cut away dies of bread, sopped one in the gravy and put it in his mouth. What was that about some young student and a picnic? He creased out the letter at his side, reading it slowly as he chewed, sopping another die of bread in the gravy and raising it to his mouth.
Thanks ever so much for the lovely birthday present. It suits me splendid. Everyone says I am quite the belle in my new tam. I got mummy’s lovely box of creams and am writing. They are lovely. I am getting on swimming in the photo business now. Mr Coghlan took one of me and Mrs. Will send when developed. We did great biz yesterday. Fair day and all the beef to the heels were in. We are going to lough Owel on Monday with a few friends to make a scrap picnic. Give my love to mummy and to yourself a big kiss and thanks. I hear them at the piano downstairs. There is to be a concert in the Greville Arms on Saturday. There is a young student comes here some evenings named Bannon his cousins or something are big swells and he sings Boylan’s (I was on the pop of writing Blazes Boylan’s) song about those seaside girls. Tell him silly Milly sends my best respects. I must now close with fondest love
P. S. Excuse bad writing am in hurry. Byby.
Fifteen yesterday. Curious, fifteenth of the month too. Her first birthday away from home. Separation. Remember the summer morning she was born, running to knock up Mrs Thornton in Denzille street. Jolly old woman. Lot of babies she must have helped into the world. She knew from the first poor little Rudy wouldn’t live. Well, God is good, sir. She knew at once. He would be eleven now if he had lived.
His vacant face stared pityingly at the postscript. Excuse bad writing. Hurry. Piano downstairs. Coming out of her shell. Row with her in the XL Café about the bracelet. Wouldn’t eat her cakes or speak or look. Saucebox. He sopped other dies of bread in the gravy and ate piece after piece of kidney. Twelve and six a week. Not much. Still, she might do worse. Music hall stage. Young student. He drank a draught of cooler tea to wash down his meal. Then he read the letter again: twice.
O, well: she knows how to mind herself. But if not? No, nothing has happened. Of course it might. Wait in any case till it does. A wild piece of goods. Her slim legs running up the staircase. Destiny. Ripening now. Vain: very.
He smiled with troubled affection at the kitchen window. Day I caught her in the street pinching her cheeks to make them red. Anemic a little. Was given milk too long. On the Erin’s King that day round the Kish. Damned old tub pitching about. Not a bit funky. Her pale blue scarf loose in the wind with her hair.
All dimpled cheeks and curls, Your head it simply swirls.
Seaside girls. Torn envelope. Hands stuck in his trousers’ pockets, jarvey off for the day, singing. Friend of the family. Swurls, he says. Pier with lamps, summer evening, band.
Those girls, those girls, Those lovely seaside girls.
Milly too. Young kisses: the first. Far away now past. Mrs Marion. Reading, lying back now, counting the strands of her hair, smiling, braiding.
A soft qualm, regret, flowed down his backbone, increasing. Will happen, yes. Prevent. Useless: can’t move. Girl’s sweet light lips. Will happen too. He felt the flowing qualm spread over him. Useless to move now. Lips kissed, kissing, kissed. Full gluey woman’s lips.
Better where she is down there: away. Occupy her. Wanted a dog to pass the time. Might take a trip down there. August bank holiday, only two and six return. Six weeks off, however. Might work a press pass. Or through M’Coy.
The cat, having cleaned all her fur, returned to the meatstained paper, nosed at it and stalked to the door. She looked back at him, mewing. Wants to go out. Wait before a door sometime it will open. Let her wait. Has the fidgets. Electric. Thunder in the air. Was washing at her ear with her back to the fire too.
He felt heavy, full: then a gentle loosening of his bowels. He stood up, undoing the waistband of his trousers. The cat mewed to him.
—Miaow! he said in answer. Wait till I’m ready.
Heaviness: hot day coming. Too much trouble to fag up the stairs to the landing.
A paper. He liked to read at stool. Hope no ape comes knocking just as I’m.
In the tabledrawer he found an old number of Titbits. He folded it under his armpit, went to the door and opened it. The cat went up in soft bounds. Ah, wanted to go upstairs, curl up in a ball on the bed.
Listening, he heard her voice:
He went out through the backdoor into the garden: stood to listen towards the next garden. No sound. Perhaps hanging clothes out to dry. The maid was in the garden. Fine morning.
He bent down to regard a lean file of spearmint growing by the wall. Make a summerhouse here. Scarlet runners. Virginia creepers. Want to manure the whole place over, scabby soil. A coat of liver of sulphur. All soil like that without dung. Household slops. Loam, what is this that is? The hens in the next garden: their droppings are very good top dressing. Best of all though are the cattle, especially when they are fed on those oilcakes. Mulch of dung. Best thing to clean ladies’ kid gloves. Dirty cleans. Ashes too. Reclaim the whole place. Grow peas in that corner there. Lettuce. Always have fresh greens then. Still gardens have their drawbacks. That bee or bluebottle here Whitmonday.
He walked on. Where is my hat, by the way? Must have put it back on the peg. Or hanging up on the floor. Funny I don’t remember that. Hallstand too full. Four umbrellas, her raincloak. Picking up the letters. Drago’s shopbell ringing. Queer I was just thinking that moment. Brown brillantined hair over his collar. Just had a wash and brushup. Wonder have I time for a bath this morning. Tara street. Chap in the paybox there got away James Stephens, they say. O’Brien.
Deep voice that fellow Dlugacz has. Agendath what is it? Now, my miss. Enthusiast.
He kicked open the crazy door of the jakes. Better be careful not to get these trousers dirty for the funeral. He went in, bowing his head under the low lintel. Leaving the door ajar, amid the stench of mouldy limewash and stale cobwebs he undid his braces. Before sitting down he peered through a chink up at the nextdoor windows. The king was in his countinghouse. Nobody.
Asquat on the cuckstool he folded out his paper, turning its pages over on his bared knees. Something new and easy. No great hurry. Keep it a bit. Our prize titbit: Matcham’s Masterstroke. Written by Mr Philip Beaufoy, Playgoers’ Club, London. Payment at the rate of one guinea a column has been made to the writer. Three and a half. Three pounds three. Three pounds, thirteen and six.
Quietly he read, restraining himself, the first column and, yielding but resisting, began the second. Midway, his last resistance yielding, he allowed his bowels to ease themselves quietly as he read, reading still patiently that slight constipation of yesterday quite gone. Hope it’s not too big bring on piles again. No, just right. So. Ah! Costive. One tabloid of cascara sagrada. Life might be so. It did not move or touch him but it was something quick and neat. Print anything now. Silly season. He read on, seated calm above his own rising smell. Neat certainly. Matcham often thinks of the masterstroke by which he won the laughing witch who now. Begins and ends morally. Hand in hand. Smart. He glanced back through what he had read and, while feeling his water flow quietly, he envied kindly Mr Beaufoy who had written it and received payment of three pounds, thirteen and six.
Might manage a sketch. By Mr and Mrs L. M. Bloom. Invent a story for some proverb. Which? Time I used to try jotting down on my cuff what she said dressing. Dislike dressing together. Nicked myself shaving. Biting her nether lip, hooking the placket of her skirt. Timing her. 9.15. Did Roberts pay you yet? 9.20. What had Gretta Conroy on? 9.23. What possessed me to buy this comb? 9.24. I’m swelled after that cabbage. A speck of dust on the patent leather of her boot.
Rubbing smartly in turn each welt against her stockinged calf. Morning after the bazaar dance when May’s band played Ponchielli’s dance of the hours. Explain that: morning hours, noon, then evening coming on, then night hours. Washing her teeth. That was the first night. Her head dancing. Her fansticks clicking. Is that Boylan well off? He has money. Why? I noticed he had a good rich smell off his breath dancing. No use humming then. Allude to it. Strange kind of music that last night. The mirror was in shadow. She rubbed her handglass briskly on her woollen vest against her full wagging bub. Peering into it. Lines in her eyes. It wouldn’t pan out somehow.
Evening hours, girls in grey gauze. Night hours then: black with daggers and eyemasks. Poetical idea: pink, then golden, then grey, then black. Still, true to life also. Day: then the night.
He tore away half the prize story sharply and wiped himself with it. Then he girded up his trousers, braced and buttoned himself. He pulled back the jerky shaky door of the jakes and came forth from the gloom into the air.
In the bright light, lightened and cooled in limb, he eyed carefully his black trousers: the ends, the knees, the houghs of the knees. What time is the funeral? Better find out in the paper.
A creak and a dark whirr in the air high up. The bells of George’s church. They tolled the hour: loud dark iron.
Heigho! Heigho! Heigho! Heigho! Heigho! Heigho!
Quarter to. There again: the overtone following through the air. A third.
By lorries along sir John Rogerson’s quay Mr Bloom walked soberly, past Windmill lane, Leask’s the linseed crusher, the postal telegraph office. Could have given that address too. And past the sailors’ home. He turned from the morning noises of the quayside and walked through Lime street. By Brady’s cottages a boy for the skins lolled, his bucket of offal linked, smoking a chewed fagbutt. A smaller girl with scars of eczema on her forehead eyed him, listlessly holding her battered caskhoop. Tell him if he smokes he won’t grow. O let him! His life isn’t such a bed of roses. Waiting outside pubs to bring da home. Come home to ma, da. Slack hour: won’t be many there. He crossed Townsend street, passed the frowning face of Bethel. El, yes: house of: Aleph, Beth. And past Nichols’ the undertaker. At eleven it is. Time enough. Daresay Corny Kelleher bagged the job for O’Neill’s. Singing with his eyes shut. Corny. Met her once in the park. In the dark. What a lark. Police tout. Her name and address she then told with my tooraloom tooraloom tay. O, surely he bagged it. Bury him cheap in a whatyoumaycall. With my tooraloom, tooraloom, tooraloom, tooraloom.
In Westland row he halted before the window of the Belfast and Oriental Tea Company and read the legends of leadpapered packets: choice blend, finest quality, family tea. Rather warm. Tea. Must get some from Tom Kernan. Couldn’t ask him at a funeral, though. While his eyes still read blandly he took off his hat quietly inhaling his hairoil and sent his right hand with slow grace over his brow and hair. Very warm morning. Under their dropped lids his eyes found the tiny bow of the leather headband inside his high grade ha. Just there. His right hand came down into the bowl of his hat. His fingers found quickly a card behind the headband and transferred it to his waistcoat pocket.
So warm. His right hand once more more slowly went over his brow and hair. Then he put on his hat again, relieved: and read again: choice blend, made of the finest Ceylon brands. The far east. Lovely spot it must be: the garden of the world, big lazy leaves to float about on, cactuses, flowery meads, snaky lianas they call them. Wonder is it like that. Those Cinghalese lobbing about in the sun in dolce far niente, not doing a hand’s turn all day. Sleep six months out of twelve. Too hot to quarrel. Influence of the climate. Lethargy. Flowers of idleness. The air feeds most. Azotes. Hothouse in Botanic gardens. Sensitive plants. Waterlilies. Petals too tired to. Sleeping sickness in the air. Walk on roseleaves. Imagine trying to eat tripe and cowheel. Where was the chap I saw in that picture somewhere? Ah yes, in the dead sea floating on his back, reading a book with a parasol open. Couldn’t sink if you tried: so thick with salt. Because the weight of the water, no, the weight of the body in the water is equal to the weight of the what? Or is it the volume is equal to the weight? It’s a law something like that. Vance in High school cracking his fingerjoints, teaching. The college curriculum. Cracking curriculum. What is weight really when you say the weight? Thirtytwo feet per second per second. Law of falling bodies: per second per second. They all fall to the ground. The earth. It’s the force of gravity of the earth is the weight.
He turned away and sauntered across the road. How did she walk with her sausages? Like that something. As he walked he took the folded Freeman from his sidepocket, unfolded it, rolled it lengthwise in a baton and tapped it at each sauntering step against his trouserleg. Careless air: just drop in to see. Per second per second. Per second for every second it means. From the curbstone he darted a keen glance through the door of the postoffice. Too late box. Post here. No-one. In.
He handed the card through the brass grill.
—Are there any letters for me? he asked.
While the postmistress searched a pigeonhole he gazed at the recruiting poster with soldiers of all arms on parade: and held the tip of his baton against his nostrils, smelling freshprinted rag paper. No answer probably. Went too far last time.
The postmistress handed him back through the grill his card with a letter. He thanked her and glanced rapidly at the typed envelope.
Henry Flower Esq, c/o P. O. Westland Row, City.
Answered anyhow. He slipped card and letter into his sidepocket, reviewing again the soldiers on parade. Where’s old Tweedy’s regiment? Castoff soldier. There: bearskin cap and hackle plume. No, he’s a grenadier. Pointed cuffs. There he is: royal Dublin fusiliers. Redcoats. Too showy. That must be why the women go after them. Uniform. Easier to enlist and drill. Maud Gonne’s letter about taking them off O’Connell street at night: disgrace to our Irish capital. Griffith’s paper is on the same tack now: an army rotten with venereal disease: overseas or halfseasover empire. Half baked they look: hypnotised like. Eyes front. Mark time. Table: able. Bed: ed. The King’s own. Never see him dressed up as a fireman or a bobby. A mason, yes.
He strolled out of the postoffice and turned to the right. Talk: as if that would mend matters. His hand went into his pocket and a forefinger felt its way under the flap of the envelope, ripping it open in jerks. Women will pay a lot of heed, I don’t think. His fingers drew forth the letter the letter and crumpled the envelope in his pocket. Something pinned on: photo perhaps. Hair? No.
M’Coy. Get rid of him quickly. Take me out of my way. Hate company when you.
—Hello, Bloom. Where are you off to?
—Hello, M’Coy. Nowhere in particular.
—Just keeping alive, M’Coy said.
His eyes on the black tie and clothes he asked with low respect:
—Is there any... no trouble I hope? I see you’re...
—O, no, Mr Bloom said. Poor Dignam, you know. The funeral is today.
—To be sure, poor fellow. So it is. What time?
A photo it isn’t. A badge maybe.
—I must try to get out there, M’Coy said. Eleven, is it? I only heard it last night. Who was telling me? Holohan. You know Hoppy?
Mr Bloom gazed across the road at the outsider drawn up before the door of the Grosvenor. The porter hoisted the valise up on the well. She stood still, waiting, while the man, husband, brother, like her, searched his pockets for change. Stylish kind of coat with that roll collar, warm for a day like this, looks like blanketcloth. Careless stand of her with her hands in those patch pockets. Like that haughty creature at the polo match. Women all for caste till you touch the spot. Handsome is and handsome does. Reserved about to yield. The honourable Mrs and Brutus is an honourable man. Possess her once take the starch out of her.
—I was with Bob Doran, he’s on one of his periodical bends, and what do you call him Bantam Lyons. Just down there in Conway’s we were.
Doran Lyons in Conway’s. She raised a gloved hand to her hair. In came Hoppy. Having a wet. Drawing back his head and gazing far from beneath his vailed eyelids he saw the bright fawn skin shine in the glare, the braided drums. Clearly I can see today. Moisture about gives long sight perhaps. Talking of one thing or another. Lady’s hand. Which side will she get up?
—And he said: Sad thing about our poor friend Paddy! What Paddy? I said. Poor little Paddy Dignam, he said.
Off to the country: Broadstone probably. High brown boots with laces dangling. Wellturned foot. What is he foostering over that change for? Sees me looking. Eye out for other fellow always. Good fallback. Two strings to her bow.
Proud: rich: silk stockings.
He moved a little to the side of M’Coy’s talking head. Getting up in a minute.
—What’s wrong with him? He said. He’s dead, he said. And, faith, he filled up. Is it Paddy Dignam? I said. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. I was with him no later than Friday last or Thursday was it in the Arch. Yes, he said. He’s gone. He died on Monday, poor fellow.
Watch! Watch! Silk flash rich stockings white. Watch!
A heavy tramcar honking its gong slewed between.
Lost it. Curse your noisy pugnose. Feels locked out of it. Paradise and the peri. Always happening like that. The very moment. Girl in Eustace street hallway Monday was it settling her garter. Her friend covering the display of. Esprit de corps. Well, what are you gaping at?
—Yes, yes, Mr Bloom said after a dull sigh. Another gone.
The tram passed. They drove off towards the Loop Line bridge, her rich gloved hand on the steel grip. Flicker, flicker: the laceflare of her hat in the sun: flicker, flick.
—Wife well, I suppose? M’Coy’s changed voice said.
—O, yes, Mr Bloom said. Tiptop, thanks.
He unrolled the newspaper baton idly and read idly:
What is home without Plumtree’s Potted Meat? Incomplete. With it an abode of bliss.
—My missus has just got an engagement. At least it’s not settled yet.
Valise tack again. By the way no harm. I’m off that, thanks.
Mr Bloom turned his largelidded eyes with unhasty friendliness.
—My wife too, he said. She’s going to sing at a swagger affair in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on the twentyfifth.
—That so? M’Coy said. Glad to hear that, old man. Who’s getting it up?
Mrs Marion Bloom. Not up yet. Queen was in her bedroom eating bread and. No book. Blackened court cards laid along her thigh by sevens. Dark lady and fair man. Letter. Cat furry black ball. Torn strip of envelope.
Love’s Old Sweet Song Comes lo-ove’s old...
—It’s a kind of a tour, don’t you see, Mr Bloom said thoughtfully. Sweeeet song. There’s a committee formed. Part shares and part profits.
M’Coy nodded, picking at his moustache stubble.
—Well, glad to see you looking fit, he said. Meet you knocking around.
—Tell you what, M’Coy said. You might put down my name at the funeral, will you? I’d like to go but I mightn’t be able, you see. There’s a drowning case at Sandycove may turn up and then the coroner and myself would have to go down if the body is found. You just shove in my name if I’m not there, will you?
—I’ll do that, Mr Bloom said, moving to get off. That’ll be all right.
—Right, M’Coy said brightly. Thanks, old man. I’d go if I possibly could. Well, tolloll. Just C. P. M’Coy will do.
—That will be done, Mr Bloom answered firmly.
Didn’t catch me napping that wheeze. The quick touch. Soft mark. I’d like my job. Valise I have a particular fancy for. Leather. Capped corners, rivetted edges, double action lever lock. Bob Cowley lent him his for the Wicklow regatta concert last year and never heard tidings of it from that good day to this.
Mr Bloom, strolling towards Brunswick street, smiled. My missus has just got an. Reedy freckled soprano. Cheeseparing nose. Nice enough in its way: for a little ballad. No guts in it. You and me, don’t you know: in the same boat. Softsoaping. Give you the needle that would. Can’t he hear the difference? Think he’s that way inclined a bit. Against my grain somehow. Thought that Belfast would fetch him. I hope that smallpox up there doesn’t get worse. Suppose she wouldn’t let herself be vaccinated again. Your wife and my wife.
Wonder is he pimping after me?
Mr Bloom stood at the corner, his eyes wandering over the multicoloured hoardings. Cantrell and Cochrane’s Ginger Ale (Aromatic). Clery’s Summer Sale. No, he’s going on straight. Hello. Leah tonight. Mrs Bandmann Palmer. Like to see her again in that. Hamlet she played last night. Male impersonator. Perhaps he was a woman. Why Ophelia committed suicide. Poor papa! How he used to talk of Kate Bateman in that. Outside the Adelphi in London waited all the afternoon to get in. Year before I was born that was: sixtyfive. And Ristori in Vienna. What is this the right name is? By Mosenthal it is. Rachel, is it? No. The scene he was always talking about where the old blind Abraham recognises the voice and puts his fingers on his face.
Nathan’s voice! His son’s voice! I hear the voice of Nathan who left his father to die of grief and misery in my arms, who left the house of his father and left the God of his father.
Every word is so deep, Leopold.
Poor papa! Poor man! I’m glad I didn’t go into the room to look at his face. That day! O, dear! O, dear! Ffoo! Well, perhaps it was best for him.
Mr Bloom went round the corner and passed the drooping nags of the hazard. No use thinking of it any more. Nosebag time. Wish I hadn’t met that M’Coy fellow.
He came nearer and heard a crunching of gilded oats, the gently champing teeth. Their full buck eyes regarded him as he went by, amid the sweet oaten reek of horsepiss. Their Eldorado. Poor jugginses! Damn all they know or care about anything with their long noses stuck in nosebags. Too full for words. Still they get their feed all right and their doss. Gelded too: a stump of black guttapercha wagging limp between their haunches. Might be happy all the same that way. Good poor brutes they look. Still their neigh can be very irritating.
He drew the letter from his pocket and folded it into the newspaper he carried. Might just walk into her here. The lane is safer.
He passed the cabman’s shelter. Curious the life of drifting cabbies. All weathers, all places, time or setdown, no will of their own. Voglio e non. Like to give them an odd cigarette. Sociable. Shout a few flying syllables as they pass. He hummed:
Là ci darem la mano La la lala la la.
He turned into Cumberland street and, going on some paces, halted in the lee of the station wall. No-one. Meade’s timberyard. Piled balks. Ruins and tenements. With careful tread he passed over a hopscotch court with its forgotten pickeystone. Not a sinner. Near the timberyard a squatted child at marbles, alone, shooting the taw with a cunnythumb. A wise tabby, a blinking sphinx, watched from her warm sill. Pity to disturb them. Mohammed cut a piece out of his mantle not to wake her. Open it. And once I played marbles when I went to that old dame’s school. She liked mignonette. Mrs Ellis’s. And Mr? He opened the letter within the newspaper.
A flower. I think it’s a. A yellow flower with flattened petals. Not annoyed then? What does she say?
I got your last letter to me and thank you very much for it. I am sorry you did not like my last letter. Why did you enclose the stamps? I am awfully angry with you. I do wish I could punish you for that. I called you naughty boy because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the real meaning of that word? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? I do wish I could do something for you. Please tell me what you think of poor me. I often think of the beautiful name you have. Dear Henry, when will we meet? I think of you so often you have no idea. I have never felt myself so much drawn to a man as you. I feel so bad about. Please write me a long letter and tell me more. Remember if you do not I will punish you. So now you know what I will do to you, you naughty boy, if you do not wrote. O how I long to meet you. Henry dear, do not deny my request before my patience are exhausted. Then I will tell you all. Goodbye now, naughty darling, I have such a bad headache. today. and write by return to your longing
P. S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.
He tore the flower gravely from its pinhold smelt its almost no smell and placed it in his heart pocket. Language of flowers. They like it because no-one can hear. Or a poison bouquet to strike him down. Then walking slowly forward he read the letter again, murmuring here and there a word. Angry tulips with you darling manflower punish your cactus if you don’t please poor forgetmenot how I long violets to dear roses when we soon anemone meet all naughty nightstalk wife Martha’s perfume. Having read it all he took it from the newspaper and put it back in his sidepocket.
Weak joy opened his lips. Changed since the first letter. Wonder did she wrote it herself. Doing the indignant: a girl of good family like me, respectable character. Could meet one Sunday after the rosary. Thank you: not having any. Usual love scrimmage. Then running round corners. Bad as a row with Molly. Cigar has a cooling effect. Narcotic. Go further next time. Naughty boy: punish: afraid of words, of course. Brutal, why not? Try it anyhow. A bit at a time.
Fingering still the letter in his pocket he drew the pin out of it. Common pin, eh? He threw it on the road. Out of her clothes somewhere: pinned together. Queer the number of pins they always have. No roses without thorns.
Flat Dublin voices bawled in his head. Those two sluts that night in the Coombe, linked together in the rain.
O, Mairy lost the pin of her drawers. She didn’t know what to do To keep it up, To keep it up.
It? Them. Such a bad headache. Has her roses probably. Or sitting all day typing. Eyefocus bad for stomach nerves. What perfume does your wife use. Now could you make out a thing like that?
Martha, Mary. I saw that picture somewhere I forget now old master or faked for money. He is sitting in their house, talking. Mysterious. Also the two sluts in the Coombe would listen.
Nice kind of evening feeling. No more wandering about. Just loll there: quiet dusk: let everything rip. Forget. Tell about places you have been, strange customs. The other one, jar on her head, was getting the supper: fruit, olives, lovely cool water out of a well, stonecold like the hole in the wall at Ashtown. Must carry a paper goblet next time I go to the trottingmatches. She listens with big dark soft eyes. Tell her: more and more: all. Then a sigh: silence. Long long long rest.
Going under the railway arch he took out the envelope, tore it swiftly in shreds and scattered them towards the road. The shreds fluttered away, sank in the dank air: a white flutter, then all sank.
Henry Flower. You could tear up a cheque for a hundred pounds in the same way. Simple bit of paper. Lord Iveagh once cashed a sevenfigure cheque for a million in the bank of Ireland. Shows you the money to be made out of porter. Still the other brother lord Ardilaun has to change his shirt four times a day, they say. Skin breeds lice or vermin. A million pounds, wait a moment. Twopence a pint, fourpence a quart, eightpence a gallon of porter, no, one and fourpence a gallon of porter. One and four into twenty: fifteen about. Yes, exactly. Fifteen millions of barrels of porter.
What am I saying barrels? Gallons. About a million barrels all the same.
An incoming train clanked heavily above his head, coach after coach. Barrels bumped in his head: dull porter slopped and churned inside. The bungholes sprang open and a huge dull flood leaked out, flowing together, winding through mudflats all over the level land, a lazy pooling swirl of liquor bearing along wideleaved flowers of its froth.
He had reached the open backdoor of All Hallows. Stepping into the porch he doffed his hat, took the card from his pocket and tucked it again behind the leather headband. Damn it. I might have tried to work M’Coy for a pass to Mullingar.
Same notice on the door. Sermon by the very reverend John Conmee S. J. on saint Peter Claver S. J. and the African Mission. Prayers for the conversion of Gladstone they had too when he was almost unconscious. The protestants are the same. Convert Dr William J. Walsh D.D. to the true religion. Save China’s millions. Wonder how they explain it to the heathen Chinee. Prefer an ounce of opium. Celestials. Rank heresy for them. Buddha their god lying on his side in the museum. Taking it easy with hand under his cheek. Josssticks burning. Not like Ecce Homo. Crown of thorns and cross. Clever idea Saint Patrick the shamrock. Chopsticks? Conmee: Martin Cunningham knows him: distinguishedlooking. Sorry I didn’t work him about getting Molly into the choir instead of that Father Farley who looked a fool but wasn’t. They’re taught that. He’s not going out in bluey specs with the sweat rolling off him to baptise blacks, is he? The glasses would take their fancy, flashing. Like to see them sitting round in a ring with blub lips, entranced, listening. Still life. Lap it up like milk, I suppose.
The cold smell of sacred stone called him. He trod the worn steps, pushed the swingdoor and entered softly by the rere.
Something going on: some sodality. Pity so empty. Nice discreet place to be next some girl. Who is my neighbour? Jammed by the hour to slow music. That woman at midnight mass. Seventh heaven. Women knelt in the benches with crimson halters round their necks, heads bowed. A batch knelt at the altarrails. The priest went along by them, murmuring, holding the thing in his hands. He stopped at each, took out a communion, shook a drop or two (are they in water?) off it and put it neatly into her mouth. Her hat and head sank. Then the next one. Her hat sank at once. Then the next one: a small old woman. The priest bent down to put it into her mouth, murmuring all the time. Latin. The next one. Shut your eyes and open your mouth. What? Corpus: body. Corpse. Good idea the Latin. Stupefies them first. Hospice for the dying. They don’t seem to chew it: only swallow it down. Rum idea: eating bits of a corpse. Why the cannibals cotton to it.
He stood aside watching their blind masks pass down the aisle, one by one, and seek their places. He approached a bench and seated himself in its corner, nursing his hat and newspaper. These pots we have to wear. We ought to have hats modelled on our heads. They were about him here and there, with heads still bowed in their crimson halters, waiting for it to melt in their stomachs. Something like those mazzoth: it’s that sort of bread: unleavened shewbread. Look at them. Now I bet it makes them feel happy. Lollipop. It does. Yes, bread of angels it’s called. There’s a big idea behind it, kind of kingdom of God is within you feel. First communicants. Hokypoky penny a lump. Then feel all like one family party, same in the theatre, all in the same swim. They do. I’m sure of that. Not so lonely. In our confraternity. Then come out a bit spreeish. Let off steam. Thing is if you really believe in it. Lourdes cure, waters of oblivion, and the Knock apparition, statues bleeding. Old fellow asleep near that confessionbox. Hence those snores. Blind faith. Safe in the arms of kingdom come. Lulls all pain. Wake this time next year.
He saw the priest stow the communion cup away, well in, and kneel an instant before it, showing a large grey bootsole from under the lace affair he had on. Suppose he lost the pin of his. He wouldn’t know what to do to. Bald spot behind. Letters on his back: I.N.R.I? No: I.H.S. Molly told me one time I asked her. I have sinned: or no: I have suffered, it is. And the other one? Iron nails ran in.
Meet one Sunday after the rosary. Do not deny my request. Turn up with a veil and black bag. Dusk and the light behind her. She might be here with a ribbon round her neck and do the other thing all the same on the sly. Their character. That fellow that turned queen’s evidence on the invincibles he used to receive the, Carey was his name, the communion every morning. This very church. Peter Carey, yes. No, Peter Claver I am thinking of. Denis Carey. And just imagine that. Wife and six children at home. And plotting that murder all the time. Those crawthumpers, now that’s a good name for them, there’s always something shiftylooking about them. They’re not straight men of business either. O, no, she’s not here: the flower: no, no. By the way, did I tear up that envelope? Yes: under the bridge.
The priest was rinsing out the chalice: then he tossed off the dregs smartly. Wine. Makes it more aristocratic than for example if he drank what they are used to Guinness’s porter or some temperance beverage Wheatley’s Dublin hop bitters or Cantrell and Cochrane’s ginger ale (aromatic). Doesn’t give them any of it: shew wine: only the other. Cold comfort. Pious fraud but quite right: otherwise they’d have one old booser worse than another coming along, cadging for a drink. Queer the whole atmosphere of the. Quite right. Perfectly right that is.
Mr Bloom looked back towards the choir. Not going to be any music. Pity. Who has the organ here I wonder? Old Glynn he knew how to make that instrument talk, the vibrato: fifty pounds a year they say he had in Gardiner street. Molly was in fine voice that day, the Stabat Mater of Rossini. Father Bernard Vaughan’s sermon first. Christ or Pilate? Christ, but don’t keep us all night over it. Music they wanted. Footdrill stopped. Could hear a pin drop. I told her to pitch her voice against that corner. I could feel the thrill in the air, the full, the people looking up:
Some of that old sacred music splendid. Mercadante: seven last words. Mozart’s twelfth mass: Gloria in that. Those old popes keen on music, on art and statues and pictures of all kinds. Palestrina for example too. They had a gay old time while it lasted. Healthy too, chanting, regular hours, then brew liqueurs. Benedictine. Green Chartreuse. Still, having eunuchs in their choir that was coming it a bit thick. What kind of voice is it? Must be curious to hear after their own strong basses. Connoisseurs. Suppose they wouldn’t feel anything after. Kind of a placid. No worry. Fall into flesh, don’t they? Gluttons, tall, long legs. Who knows? Eunuch. One way out of it.
He saw the priest bend down and kiss the altar and then face about and bless all the people. All crossed themselves and stood up. Mr Bloom glanced about him and then stood up, looking over the risen hats. Stand up at the gospel of course. Then all settled down on their knees again and he sat back quietly in his bench. The priest came down from the altar, holding the thing out from him, and he and the massboy answered each other in Latin. Then the priest knelt down and began to read off a card:
—O God, our refuge and our strength...
Mr Bloom put his face forward to catch the words. English. Throw them the bone. I remember slightly. How long since your last mass? Glorious and immaculate virgin. Joseph, her spouse. Peter and Paul. More interesting if you understood what it was all about. Wonderful organisation certainly, goes like clockwork. Confession. Everyone wants to. Then I will tell you all. Penance. Punish me, please. Great weapon in their hands. More than doctor or solicitor. Woman dying to. And I schschschschschsch. And did you chachachachacha? And why did you? Look down at her ring to find an excuse. Whispering gallery walls have ears. Husband learn to his surprise. God’s little joke. Then out she comes. Repentance skindeep. Lovely shame. Pray at an altar. Hail Mary and Holy Mary. Flowers, incense, candles melting. Hide her blushes. Salvation army blatant imitation. Reformed prostitute will address the meeting. How I found the Lord. Squareheaded chaps those must be in Rome: they work the whole show. And don’t they rake in the money too? Bequests also: to the P.P. for the time being in his absolute discretion. Masses for the repose of my soul to be said publicly with open doors. Monasteries and convents. The priest in that Fermanagh will case in the witnessbox. No browbeating him. He had his answer pat for everything. Liberty and exaltation of our holy mother the church. The doctors of the church: they mapped out the whole theology of it.
—Blessed Michael, archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil (may God restrain him, we humbly pray!): and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell and with him those other wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
The priest and the massboy stood up and walked off. All over. The women remained behind: thanksgiving.
Better be shoving along. Brother Buzz. Come around with the plate perhaps. Pay your Easter duty.
He stood up. Hello. Were those two buttons of my waistcoat open all the time? Women enjoy it. Never tell you. But we. Excuse, miss, there’s a (whh!) just a (whh!) fluff. Or their skirt behind, placket unhooked. Glimpses of the moon. Annoyed if you don’t. Why didn’t you tell me before. Still like you better untidy. Good job it wasn’t farther south. He passed, discreetly buttoning, down the aisle and out through the main door into the light. He stood a moment unseeing by the cold black marble bowl while before him and behind two worshippers dipped furtive hands in the low tide of holy water. Trams: a car of Prescott’s dyeworks: a widow in her weeds. Notice because I’m in mourning myself. He covered himself. How goes the time? Quarter past. Time enough yet. Better get that lotion made up. Where is this? Ah yes, the last time. Sweny’s in Lincoln place. Chemists rarely move. Their green and gold beaconjars too heavy to stir. Hamilton Long’s, founded in the year of the flood. Huguenot churchyard near there. Visit some day.
He walked southward along Westland row. But the recipe is in the other trousers. O, and I forgot that latchkey too. Bore this funeral affair. O well, poor fellow, it’s not his fault. When was it I got it made up last? Wait. I changed a sovereign I remember. First of the month it must have been or the second. O, he can look it up in the prescriptions book.
The chemist turned back page after page. Sandy shrivelled smell he seems to have. Shrunken skull. And old. Quest for the philosopher’s stone. The alchemists. Drugs age you after mental excitement. Lethargy then. Why? Reaction. A lifetime in a night. Gradually changes your character. Living all the day among herbs, ointments, disinfectants. All his alabaster lilypots. Mortar and pestle. Aq. Dist. Fol. Laur. Te Virid. Smell almost cure you like the dentist’s doorbell. Doctor Whack. He ought to physic himself a bit. Electuary or emulsion. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Simples. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to chloroform you. Test: turns blue litmus paper red. Chloroform. Overdose of laudanum. Sleeping draughts. Lovephiltres. Paragoric poppysyrup bad for cough. Clogs the pores or the phlegm. Poisons the only cures. Remedy where you least expect it. Clever of nature.
He waited by the counter, inhaling slowly the keen reek of drugs, the dusty dry smell of sponges and loofahs. Lot of time taken up telling your aches and pains.
—Sweet almond oil and tincture of benzoin, Mr Bloom said, and then orangeflower water...
It certainly did make her skin so delicate white like wax.
Brings out the darkness of her eyes. Looking at me, the sheet up to her eyes, Spanish, smelling herself, when I was fixing the links in my cuffs. Those homely recipes are often the best: strawberries for the teeth: nettles and rainwater: oatmeal they say steeped in buttermilk. Skinfood. One of the old queen’s sons, duke of Albany was it? had only one skin. Leopold, yes. Three we have. Warts, bunions and pimples to make it worse. But you want a perfume too. What perfume does your? Peau d’Espagne. That orangeflower water is so fresh. Nice smell these soaps have. Pure curd soap. Time to get a bath round the corner. Hammam. Turkish. Massage. Dirt gets rolled up in your navel. Nicer if a nice girl did it. Also I think I. Yes I. Do it in the bath. Curious longing I. Water to water. Combine business with pleasure. Pity no time for massage. Feel fresh then all the day. Funeral be rather glum.
—Yes, sir, the chemist said. That was two and nine. Have you brought a bottle?
—No, Mr Bloom said. Make it up, please. I’ll call later in the day and I’ll take one of these soaps. How much are they?
Mr Bloom raised a cake to his nostrils. Sweet lemony wax.
—I’ll take this one, he said. That makes three and a penny.
—Yes, sir, the chemist said. You can pay all together, sir, when you come back.
He strolled out of the shop, the newspaper baton under his armpit, the coolwrappered soap in his left hand.
At his armpit Bantam Lyons’ voice and hand said:
—Hello, Bloom. What’s the best news? Is that today’s? Show us a minute.
Shaved off his moustache again, by Jove! Long cold upper lip. To look younger. He does look balmy. Younger than I am.
Bantam Lyons’s yellow blacknailed fingers unrolled the baton. Wants a wash too. Take off the rough dirt. Good morning, have you used Pears’ soap? Dandruff on his shoulders. Scalp wants oiling.
—I want to see about that French horse that’s running today, Bantam Lyons said. Where the bugger is it?
He rustled the pleated pages, jerking his chin on his high collar. Barber’s itch. Tight collar he’ll lose his hair. Better leave him the paper and get shut of him.
—Ascot. Gold cup. Wait, Bantam Lyons muttered. Half a mo. Maximum the second.
—I was just going to throw it away, Mr Bloom said.
Bantam Lyons raised his eyes suddenly and leered weakly.
—What’s that? his sharp voice said.
—I say you can keep it, Mr Bloom answered. I was going to throw it away that moment.
Bantam Lyons doubted an instant, leering: then thrust the outspread sheets back on Mr Bloom’s arms.
—I’ll risk it, he said. Here, thanks.
He sped off towards Conway’s corner. God speed scut.
Mr Bloom folded the sheets again to a neat square and lodged the soap in it, smiling. Silly lips of that chap. Betting. Regular hotbed of it lately. Messenger boys stealing to put on sixpence. Raffle for large tender turkey. Your Christmas dinner for threepence. Jack Fleming embezzling to gamble then smuggled off to America. Keeps a hotel now. They never come back. Fleshpots of Egypt.
He walked cheerfully towards the mosque of the baths. Remind you of a mosque, redbaked bricks, the minarets. College sports today I see. He eyed the horseshoe poster over the gate of college park: cyclist doubled up like a cod in a pot. Damn bad ad. Now if they had made it round like a wheel. Then the spokes: sports, sports, sports: and the hub big: college. Something to catch the eye.
There’s Hornblower standing at the porter’s lodge. Keep him on hands: might take a turn in there on the nod. How do you do, Mr Hornblower? How do you do, sir?
Heavenly weather really. If life was always like that. Cricket weather. Sit around under sunshades. Over after over. Out. They can’t play it here. Duck for six wickets. Still Captain Culler broke a window in the Kildare street club with a slog to square leg. Donnybrook fair more in their line. And the skulls we were acracking when M’Carthy took the floor. Heatwave. Won’t last. Always passing, the stream of life, which in the stream of life we trace is dearer than them all.
Enjoy a bath now: clean trough of water, cool enamel, the gentle tepid stream. This is my body.
He foresaw his pale body reclined in it at full, naked, in a womb of warmth, oiled by scented melting soap, softly laved. He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled over and sustained, buoyed lightly upward, lemonyellow: his navel, bud of flesh: and saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around the limp father of thousands, a languid floating flower.
Martin Cunningham, first, poked his silkhatted head into the creaking carriage and, entering deftly, seated himself. Mr Power stepped in after him, curving his height with care.
Mr Dedalus covered himself quickly and got in, saying:
—Are we all here now? Martin Cunningham asked. Come along, Bloom.
Mr Bloom entered and sat in the vacant place. He pulled the door to after him and slammed it twice till it shut tight. He passed an arm through the armstrap and looked seriously from the open carriagewindow at the lowered blinds of the avenue. One dragged aside: an old woman peeping. Nose whiteflattened against the pane. Thanking her stars she was passed over. Extraordinary the interest they take in a corpse. Glad to see us go we give them such trouble coming. Job seems to suit them. Huggermugger in corners. Slop about in slipperslappers for fear he’d wake. Then getting it ready. Laying it out. Molly and Mrs Fleming making the bed. Pull it more to your side. Our windingsheet. Never know who will touch you dead. Wash and shampoo. I believe they clip the nails and the hair. Keep a bit in an envelope. Grows all the same after. Unclean job.
All waited. Nothing was said. Stowing in the wreaths probably. I am sitting on something hard. Ah, that soap: in my hip pocket. Better shift it out of that. Wait for an opportunity.
All waited. Then wheels were heard from in front, turning: then nearer: then horses’ hoofs. A jolt. Their carriage began to move, creaking and swaying. Other hoofs and creaking wheels started behind. The blinds of the avenue passed and number nine with its craped knocker, door ajar. At walking pace.
They waited still, their knees jogging, till they had turned and were passing along the tramtracks. Tritonville road. Quicker. The wheels rattled rolling over the cobbled causeway and the crazy glasses shook rattling in the doorframes.
—What way is he taking us? Mr Power asked through both windows.
—Irishtown, Martin Cunningham said. Ringsend. Brunswick street.
Mr Dedalus nodded, looking out.
—That’s a fine old custom, he said. I am glad to see it has not died out.
All watched awhile through their windows caps and hats lifted by passers. Respect. The carriage swerved from the tramtrack to the smoother road past Watery lane. Mr Bloom at gaze saw a lithe young man, clad in mourning, a wide hat.
—There’s a friend of yours gone by, Dedalus, he said.
—Where is he? Mr Dedalus said, stretching over across.
The carriage, passing the open drains and mounds of rippedup roadway before the tenement houses, lurched round the corner and, swerving back to the tramtrack, rolled on noisily with chattering wheels. Mr Dedalus fell back, saying:
Best arab beard styles Arab beard styles 2013
—Was that Mulligan cad with him? His fidus Achates!
—Down with his aunt Sally, I suppose, Mr Dedalus said, the Goulding faction, the drunken little costdrawer and Crissie, papa’s little lump of dung, the wise child that knows her own father.
Mr Bloom smiled joylessly on Ringsend road. Wallace Bros: the bottleworks: Dodder bridge.
Richie Goulding and the legal bag. Goulding, Collis and Ward he calls the firm. His jokes are getting a bit damp. Great card he was. Waltzing in Stamer street with Ignatius Gallaher on a Sunday morning, the landlady’s two hats pinned on his head. Out on the rampage all night. Beginning to tell on him now: that backache of his, I fear. Wife ironing his back. Thinks he’ll cure it with pills. All breadcrumbs they are. About six hundred per cent profit.
—He’s in with a lowdown crowd, Mr Dedalus snarled. That Mulligan is a contaminated bloody doubledyed ruffian by all accounts. His name stinks all over Dublin. But with the help of God and His blessed mother I’ll make it my business to write a letter one of those days to his mother or his aunt or whatever she is that will open her eye as wide as a gate. I’ll tickle his catastrophe, believe you me.
He cried above the clatter of the wheels:
—I won’t have her bastard of a nephew ruin my son. A counterjumper’s son. Selling tapes in my cousin, Peter Paul M’Swiney’s. Not likely.
He ceased. Mr Bloom glanced from his angry moustache to Mr Power’s mild face and Martin Cunningham’s eyes and beard, gravely shaking. Noisy selfwilled man. Full of his son. He is right. Something to hand on. If little Rudy had lived. See him grow up. Hear his voice in the house. Walking beside Molly in an Eton suit. My son. Me in his eyes. Strange feeling it would be. From me. Just a chance. Must have been that morning in Raymond terrace she was at the window watching the two dogs at it by the wall of the cease to do evil. And the sergeant grinning up. She had that cream gown on with the rip she never stitched. Give us a touch, Poldy. God, I’m dying for it. How life begins.
Got big then. Had to refuse the Greystones concert. My son inside her. I could have helped him on in life. I could. Make him independent. Learn German too.
—Ten minutes, Martin Cunningham said, looking at his watch.
Molly. Milly. Same thing watered down. Her tomboy oaths. O jumping Jupiter! Ye gods and little fishes! Still, she’s a dear girl. Soon be a woman. Mullingar. Dearest Papli. Young student. Yes, yes: a woman too. Life, life.
The carriage heeled over and back, their four trunks swaying.
—Corny might have given us a more commodious yoke, Mr Power said.
—He might, Mr Dedalus said, if he hadn’t that squint troubling him. Do you follow me?
He closed his left eye. Martin Cunningham began to brush away crustcrumbs from under his thighs.
—What is this, he said, in the name of God? Crumbs?
—Someone seems to have been making a picnic party here lately, Mr Power said.
All raised their thighs and eyed with disfavour the mildewed buttonless leather of the seats. Mr Dedalus, twisting his nose, frowned downward and said:
—Unless I’m greatly mistaken. What do you think, Martin?
—It struck me too, Martin Cunningham said.
Mr Bloom set his thigh down. Glad I took that bath. Feel my feet quite clean. But I wish Mrs Fleming had darned these socks better.
Mr Dedalus sighed resignedly.
—After all, he said, it’s the most natural thing in the world.
—Did Tom Kernan turn up? Martin Cunningham asked, twirling the peak of his beard gently.
—Yes, Mr Bloom answered. He’s behind with Ned Lambert and Hynes.
—And Corny Kelleher himself? Mr Power asked.
—At the cemetery, Martin Cunningham said.
—I met M’Coy this morning, Mr Bloom said. He said he’d try to come.
The carriage halted short.
Mr Bloom put his head out of the window.
Gasworks. Whooping cough they say it cures. Good job Milly never got it. Poor children! Doubles them up black and blue in convulsions. Shame really. Got off lightly with illnesses compared. Only measles. Flaxseed tea. Scarlatina, influenza epidemics. Canvassing for death. Don’t miss this chance. Dogs’ home over there. Poor old Athos! Be good to Athos, Leopold, is my last wish. Thy will be done. We obey them in the grave. A dying scrawl. He took it to heart, pined away. Quiet brute. Old men’s dogs usually are.
A raindrop spat on his hat. He drew back and saw an instant of shower spray dots over the grey flags. Apart. Curious. Like through a colander. I thought it would. My boots were creaking I remember now.
—The weather is changing, he said quietly.
—A pity it did not keep up fine, Martin Cunningham said.
—Wanted for the country, Mr Power said. There’s the sun again coming out.
Mr Dedalus, peering through his glasses towards the veiled sun, hurled a mute curse at the sky.
—It’s as uncertain as a child’s bottom, he said.
The carriage turned again its stiff wheels and their trunks swayed gently. Martin Cunningham twirled more quickly the peak of his beard.
—Tom Kernan was immense last night, he said. And Paddy Leonard taking him off to his face.
—O, draw him out, Martin, Mr Power said eagerly. Wait till you hear him, Simon, on Ben Dollard’s singing of The Croppy Boy.
—Immense, Martin Cunningham said pompously. His singing of that simple ballad, Martin, is the most trenchant rendering I ever heard in the whole course of my experience.
—Trenchant, Mr Power said laughing. He’s dead nuts on that. And the retrospective arrangement.
—Did you read Dan Dawson’s speech? Martin Cunningham asked.
—I did not then, Mr Dedalus said. Where is it?
—In the paper this morning.
Mr Bloom took the paper from his inside pocket. That book I must change for her.
—No, no, Mr Dedalus said quickly. Later on please.
Mr Bloom’s glance travelled down the edge of the paper, scanning the deaths: Callan, Coleman, Dignam, Fawcett, Lowry, Naumann, Peake, what Peake is that? is it the chap was in Crosbie and Alleyne’s? no, Sexton, Urbright. Inked characters fast fading on the frayed breaking paper. Thanks to the Little Flower. Sadly missed. To the inexpressible grief of his. Aged 88 after a long and tedious illness. Month’s mind: Quinlan. On whose soul Sweet Jesus have mercy.
It is now a month since dear Henry fled To his home up above in the sky While his family weeps and mourns his loss Hoping some day to meet him on high.
I tore up the envelope? Yes. Where did I put her letter after I read it in the bath? He patted his waistcoatpocket. There all right. Dear Henry fled. Before my patience are exhausted.
National school. Meade’s yard. The hazard. Only two there now. Nodding. Full as a tick. Too much bone in their skulls. The other trotting round with a fare. An hour ago I was passing there. The jarvies raised their hats.
A pointsman’s back straightened itself upright suddenly against a tramway standard by Mr Bloom’s window. Couldn’t they invent something automatic so that the wheel itself much handier? Well but that fellow would lose his job then? Well but then another fellow would get a job making the new invention?
Antient concert rooms. Nothing on there. A man in a buff suit with a crape armlet. Not much grief there. Quarter mourning. People in law perhaps.
They went past the bleak pulpit of saint Mark’s, under the railway bridge, past the Queen’s theatre: in silence. Hoardings: Eugene Stratton, Mrs Bandmann Palmer. Could I go to see Leah tonight, I wonder. I said I. Or the Lily of Killarney? Elster Grimes Opera Company. Big powerful change. Wet bright bills for next week. Fun on the Bristol. Martin Cunningham could work a pass for the Gaiety. Have to stand a drink or two. As broad as it’s long.
He’s coming in the afternoon. Her songs.
Plasto’s. Sir Philip Crampton’s memorial fountain bust. Who was he?
—How do you do? Martin Cunningham said, raising his palm to his brow in salute.
—He doesn’t see us, Mr Power said. Yes, he does. How do you do?
—Blazes Boylan, Mr Power said. There he is airing his quiff.
Just that moment I was thinking.
Mr Dedalus bent across to salute. From the door of the Red Bank the white disc of a straw hat flashed reply: spruce figure: passed.
Mr Bloom reviewed the nails of his left hand, then those of his right hand. The nails, yes. Is there anything more in him that they she sees? Fascination. Worst man in Dublin. That keeps him alive. They sometimes feel what a person is. Instinct. But a type like that. My nails. I am just looking at them: well pared. And after: thinking alone. Body getting a bit softy. I would notice that: from remembering. What causes that? I suppose the skin can’t contract quickly enough when the flesh falls off. But the shape is there. The shape is there still. Shoulders. Hips. Plump. Night of the dance dressing. Shift stuck between the cheeks behind.
He clasped his hands between his knees and, satisfied, sent his vacant glance over their faces.
—How is the concert tour getting on, Bloom?
—O, very well, Mr Bloom said. I hear great accounts of it. It’s a good idea, you see...
—Well no, Mr Bloom said. In point of fact I have to go down to the county Clare on some private business. You see the idea is to tour the chief towns. What you lose on one you can make up on the other.
—Quite so, Martin Cunningham said. Mary Anderson is up there now.
—Louis Werner is touring her, Mr Bloom said. O yes, we’ll have all topnobbers. J. C. Doyle and John MacCormack I hope and. The best, in fact.
—And Madame, Mr Power said smiling. Last but not least.
Mr Bloom unclasped his hands in a gesture of soft politeness and clasped them. Smith O’Brien. Someone has laid a bunch of flowers there. Woman. Must be his deathday. For many happy returns. The carriage wheeling by Farrell’s statue united noiselessly their unresisting knees.
Oot: a dullgarbed old man from the curbstone tendered his wares, his mouth opening: oot.
—Four bootlaces for a penny.
Wonder why he was struck off the rolls. Had his office in Hume street. Same house as Molly’s namesake, Tweedy, crown solicitor for Waterford. Has that silk hat ever since. Relics of old decency. Mourning too. Terrible comedown, poor wretch! Kicked about like snuff at a wake. O’Callaghan on his last legs.
And Madame. Twenty past eleven. Up. Mrs Fleming is in to clean. Doing her hair, humming: voglio e non vorrei. No: vorrei e non. Looking at the tips of her hairs to see if they are split. Mi trema un poco il. Beautiful on that tre her voice is: weeping tone. A thrush. A throstle. There is a word throstle that expresses that.
His eyes passed lightly over Mr Power’s goodlooking face. Greyish over the ears. Madame: smiling. I smiled back. A smile goes a long way. Only politeness perhaps. Nice fellow. Who knows is that true about the woman he keeps? Not pleasant for the wife. Yet they say, who was it told me, there is no carnal. You would imagine that would get played out pretty quick. Yes, it was Crofton met him one evening bringing her a pound of rumpsteak. What is this she was? Barmaid in Jury’s. Or the Moira, was it?
They passed under the hugecloaked Liberator’s form.
Martin Cunningham nudged Mr Power.
—Of the tribe of Reuben, he said.
A tall blackbearded figure, bent on a stick, stumping round the corner of Elvery’s Elephant house, showed them a curved hand open on his spine.
—In all his pristine beauty, Mr Power said.
Mr Dedalus looked after the stumping figure and said mildly:
—The devil break the hasp of your back!
Mr Power, collapsing in laughter, shaded his face from the window as the carriage passed Gray’s statue.
—We have all been there, Martin Cunningham said broadly.
His eyes met Mr Bloom’s eyes. He caressed his beard, adding:
Mr Bloom began to speak with sudden eagerness to his companions’ faces.
—That’s an awfully good one that’s going the rounds about Reuben J and the son.
—About the boatman? Mr Power asked.
—What is that? Mr Dedalus asked. I didn’t hear it.
—There was a girl in the case, Mr Bloom began, and he determined to send him to the Isle of Man out of harm’s way but when they were both.....
—What? Mr Dedalus asked. That confirmed bloody hobbledehoy is it?
—Yes, Mr Bloom said. They were both on the way to the boat and he tried to drown.....
—Drown Barabbas! Mr Dedalus cried. I wish to Christ he did!
Mr Power sent a long laugh down his shaded nostrils.
Martin Cunningham thwarted his speech rudely:
—Reuben J and the son were piking it down the quay next the river on their way to the Isle of Man boat and the young chiseller suddenly got loose and over the wall with him into the Liffey.
—For God’s sake! Mr Dedalus exclaimed in fright. Is he dead?
—Dead! Martin Cunningham cried. Not he! A boatman got a pole and fished him out by the slack of the breeches and he was landed up to the father on the quay more dead than alive. Half the town was there.
—Yes, Mr Bloom said. But the funny part is.....
—And Reuben J, Martin Cunningham said, gave the boatman a florin for saving his son’s life.
A stifled sigh came from under Mr Power’s hand.
—O, he did, Martin Cunningham affirmed. Like a hero. A silver florin.
—Isn’t it awfully good? Mr Bloom said eagerly.
—One and eightpence too much, Mr Dedalus said drily.
Mr Power’s choked laugh burst quietly in the carriage.
—Eight plums a penny! Eight for a penny!
—We had better look a little serious, Martin Cunningham said.
—Ah then indeed, he said, poor little Paddy wouldn’t grudge us a laugh. Many a good one he told himself.
—The Lord forgive me! Mr Power said, wiping his wet eyes with his fingers. Poor Paddy! I little thought a week ago when I saw him last and he was in his usual health that I’d be driving after him like this. He’s gone from us.
—As decent a little man as ever wore a hat, Mr Dedalus said. He went very suddenly.
—Breakdown, Martin Cunningham said. Heart.
He tapped his chest sadly.
Blazing face: redhot. Too much John Barleycorn. Cure for a red nose. Drink like the devil till it turns adelite. A lot of money he spent colouring it.
Mr Power gazed at the passing houses with rueful apprehension.
—He had a sudden death, poor fellow, he said.
—The best death, Mr Bloom said.
Their wide open eyes looked at him.
—No suffering, he said. A moment and all is over. Like dying in sleep.
Dead side of the street this. Dull business by day, land agents, temperance hotel, Falconer’s railway guide, civil service college, Gill’s, catholic club, the industrious blind. Why? Some reason. Sun or wind. At night too. Chummies and slaveys. Under the patronage of the late Father Mathew. Foundation stone for Parnell. Breakdown. Heart.
White horses with white frontlet plumes came round the Rotunda corner, galloping. A tiny coffin flashed by. In a hurry to bury. A mourning coach. Unmarried. Black for the married. Piebald for bachelors. Dun for a nun.
—Sad, Martin Cunningham said. A child.
A dwarf’s face, mauve and wrinkled like little Rudy’s was. Dwarf’s body, weak as putty, in a whitelined deal box. Burial friendly society pays. Penny a week for a sod of turf. Our. Little. Beggar. Baby. Meant nothing. Mistake of nature. If it’s healthy it’s from the mother. If not from the man. Better luck next time.
—Poor little thing, Mr Dedalus said. It’s well out of it.
The carriage climbed more slowly the hill of Rutland square. Rattle his bones. Over the stones. Only a pauper. Nobody owns.
—In the midst of life, Martin Cunningham said.
—But the worst of all, Mr Power said, is the man who takes his own life.
Martin Cunningham drew out his watch briskly, coughed and put it back.
—The greatest disgrace to have in the family, Mr Power added.
—Temporary insanity, of course, Martin Cunningham said decisively. We must take a charitable view of it.
—They say a man who does it is a coward, Mr Dedalus said.
—It is not for us to judge, Martin Cunningham said.
Mr Bloom, about to speak, closed his lips again. Martin Cunningham’s large eyes. Looking away now. Sympathetic human man he is. Intelligent. Like Shakespeare’s face. Always a good word to say. They have no mercy on that here or infanticide. Refuse christian burial. They used to drive a stake of wood through his heart in the grave. As if it wasn’t broken already. Yet sometimes they repent too late. Found in the riverbed clutching rushes. He looked at me. And that awful drunkard of a wife of his. Setting up house for her time after time and then pawning the furniture on him every Saturday almost. Leading him the life of the damned. Wear the heart out of a stone, that. Monday morning. Start afresh. Shoulder to the wheel. Lord, she must have looked a sight that night Dedalus told me he was in there. Drunk about the place and capering with Martin’s umbrella.
And they call me the jewel of Asia, Of Asia, The geisha.
He looked away from me. He knows. Rattle his bones.
That afternoon of the inquest. The redlabelled bottle on the table. The room in the hotel with hunting pictures. Stuffy it was. Sunlight through the slats of the Venetian blind. The coroner’s sunlit ears, big and hairy. Boots giving evidence. Thought he was asleep first. Then saw like yellow streaks on his face. Had slipped down to the foot of the bed. Verdict: overdose. Death by misadventure. The letter. For my son Leopold.
No more pain. Wake no more. Nobody owns.
The carriage rattled swiftly along Blessington street. Over the stones.
—We are going the pace, I think, Martin Cunningham said.
—God grant he doesn’t upset us on the road, Mr Power said.
—I hope not, Martin Cunningham said. That will be a great race tomorrow in Germany. The Gordon Bennett.
—Yes, by Jove, Mr Dedalus said. That will be worth seeing, faith.
As they turned into Berkeley street a streetorgan near the Basin sent over and after them a rollicking rattling song of the halls. Has anybody here seen Kelly? Kay ee double ell wy. Dead March from Saul. He’s as bad as old Antonio. He left me on my ownio. Pirouette! The Mater Misericordiae. Eccles street. My house down there. Big place. Ward for incurables there. Very encouraging. Our Lady’s Hospice for the dying. Deadhouse handy underneath. Where old Mrs Riordan died. They look terrible the women. Her feeding cup and rubbing her mouth with the spoon. Then the screen round her bed for her to die. Nice young student that was dressed that bite the bee gave me. He’s gone over to the lying-in hospital they told me. From one extreme to the other.
The carriage galloped round a corner: stopped.
A divided drove of branded cattle passed the windows, lowing, slouching by on padded hoofs, whisking their tails slowly on their clotted bony croups. Outside them and through them ran raddled sheep bleating their fear.
—Huuuh! the drover’s voice cried, his switch sounding on their flanks. Huuuh! out of that!
Thursday, of course. Tomorrow is killing day. Springers. Cuffe sold them about twentyseven quid each. For Liverpool probably. Roastbeef for old England. They buy up all the juicy ones. And then the fifth quarter lost: all that raw stuff, hide, hair, horns. Comes to a big thing in a year. Dead meat trade. Byproducts of the slaughterhouses for tanneries, soap, margarine. Wonder if that dodge works now getting dicky meat off the train at Clonsilla.
The carriage moved on through the drove.
—I can’t make out why the corporation doesn’t run a tramline from the parkgate to the quays, Mr Bloom said. All those animals could be taken in trucks down to the boats.
—Instead of blocking up the thoroughfare, Martin Cunningham said. Quite right. They ought to.
—Yes, Mr Bloom said, and another thing I often thought, is to have municipal funeral trams like they have in Milan, you know. Run the line out to the cemetery gates and have special trams, hearse and carriage and all. Don’t you see what I mean?
—O, that be damned for a story, Mr Dedalus said. Pullman car and saloon diningroom.
—A poor lookout for Corny, Mr Power added.
—Why? Mr Bloom asked, turning to Mr Dedalus. Wouldn’t it be more decent than galloping two abreast?
—Well, there’s something in that, Mr Dedalus granted.
—And, Martin Cunningham said, we wouldn’t have scenes like that when the hearse capsized round Dunphy’s and upset the coffin on to the road.
—That was terrible, Mr Power’s shocked face said, and the corpse fell about the road. Terrible!
—First round Dunphy’s, Mr Dedalus said, nodding. Gordon Bennett cup.
—Praises be to God! Martin Cunningham said piously.
Bom! Upset. A coffin bumped out on to the road. Burst open. Paddy Dignam shot out and rolling over stiff in the dust in a brown habit too large for him. Red face: grey now. Mouth fallen open. Asking what’s up now. Quite right to close it. Looks horrid open. Then the insides decompose quickly. Much better to close up all the orifices. Yes, also. With wax. The sphincter loose. Seal up all.
—Dunphy’s, Mr Power announced as the carriage turned right.
Dunphy’s corner. Mourning coaches drawn up, drowning their grief. A pause by the wayside. Tiptop position for a pub. Expect we’ll pull up here on the way back to drink his health. Pass round the consolation. Elixir of life.
But suppose now it did happen. Would he bleed if a nail say cut him in the knocking about? He would and he wouldn’t, I suppose. Depends on where. The circulation stops. Still some might ooze out of an artery. It would be better to bury them in red: a dark red.
In silence they drove along Phibsborough road. An empty hearse trotted by, coming from the cemetery: looks relieved.
Crossguns bridge: the royal canal.
Water rushed roaring through the sluices. A man stood on his dropping barge, between clamps of turf. On the towpath by the lock a slacktethered horse. Aboard of the Bugabu.
Their eyes watched him. On the slow weedy waterway he had floated on his raft coastward over Ireland drawn by a haulage rope past beds of reeds, over slime, mudchoked bottles, carrion dogs. Athlone, Mullingar, Moyvalley, I could make a walking tour to see Milly by the canal. Or cycle down. Hire some old crock, safety. Wren had one the other day at the auction but a lady’s. Developing waterways. James M’Cann’s hobby to row me o’er the ferry. Cheaper transit. By easy stages. Houseboats. Camping out. Also hearses. To heaven by water. Perhaps I will without writing. Come as a surprise, Leixlip, Clonsilla. Dropping down lock by lock to Dublin. With turf from the midland bogs. Salute. He lifted his brown straw hat, saluting Paddy Dignam.
They drove on past Brian Boroimhe house. Near it now.
—I wonder how is our friend Fogarty getting on, Mr Power said.
—Better ask Tom Kernan, Mr Dedalus said.
—How is that? Martin Cunningham said. Left him weeping, I suppose?
—Though lost to sight, Mr Dedalus said, to memory dear.
The carriage steered left for Finglas road.
The stonecutter’s yard on the right. Last lap. Crowded on the spit of land silent shapes appeared, white, sorrowful, holding out calm hands, knelt in grief, pointing. Fragments of shapes, hewn. In white silence: appealing. The best obtainable. Thos. H. Dennany, monumental builder and sculptor.
On the curbstone before Jimmy Geary, the sexton’s, an old tramp sat, grumbling, emptying the dirt and stones out of his huge dustbrown yawning boot. After life’s journey.
Gloomy gardens then went by: one by one: gloomy houses.
—That is where Childs was murdered, he said. The last house.
—So it is, Mr Dedalus said. A gruesome case. Seymour Bushe got him off. Murdered his brother. Or so they said.
—The crown had no evidence, Mr Power said.
—Only circumstantial, Martin Cunningham added. That’s the maxim of the law. Better for ninetynine guilty to escape than for one innocent person to be wrongfully condemned.
They looked. Murderer’s ground. It passed darkly. Shuttered, tenantless, unweeded garden. Whole place gone to hell. Wrongfully condemned. Murder. The murderer’s image in the eye of the murdered. They love reading about it. Man’s head found in a garden. Her clothing consisted of. How she met her death. Recent outrage. The weapon used. Murderer is still at large. Clues. A shoelace. The body to be exhumed. Murder will out.
Cramped in this carriage. She mightn’t like me to come that way without letting her know. Must be careful about women. Catch them once with their pants down. Never forgive you after. Fifteen.
The high railings of Prospect rippled past their gaze. Dark poplars, rare white forms. Forms more frequent, white shapes thronged amid the trees, white forms and fragments streaming by mutely, sustaining vain gestures on the air.
The felly harshed against the curbstone: stopped. Martin Cunningham put out his arm and, wrenching back the handle, shoved the door open with his knee. He stepped out. Mr Power and Mr Dedalus followed.
Change that soap now. Mr Bloom’s hand unbuttoned his hip pocket swiftly and transferred the paperstuck soap to his inner handkerchief pocket. He stepped out of the carriage, replacing the newspaper his other hand still held.
Paltry funeral: coach and three carriages. It’s all the same. Pallbearers, gold reins, requiem mass, firing a volley. Pomp of death. Beyond the hind carriage a hawker stood by his barrow of cakes and fruit. Simnel cakes those are, stuck together: cakes for the dead. Dogbiscuits. Who ate them? Mourners coming out.
He followed his companions. Mr Kernan and Ned Lambert followed, Hynes walking after them. Corny Kelleher stood by the opened hearse and took out the two wreaths. He handed one to the boy.
Where is that child’s funeral disappeared to?
A team of horses passed from Finglas with toiling plodding tread, dragging through the funereal silence a creaking waggon on which lay a granite block. The waggoner marching at their head saluted.
Coffin now. Got here before us, dead as he is. Horse looking round at it with his plume skeowways. Dull eye: collar tight on his neck, pressing on a bloodvessel or something. Do they know what they cart out here every day? Must be twenty or thirty funerals every day. Then Mount Jerome for the protestants. Funerals all over the world everywhere every minute. Shovelling them under by the cartload doublequick. Thousands every hour. Too many in the world.
Mourners came out through the gates: woman and a girl. Leanjawed harpy, hard woman at a bargain, her bonnet awry. Girl’s face stained with dirt and tears, holding the woman’s arm, looking up at her for a sign to cry. Fish’s face, bloodless and livid.
The mutes shouldered the coffin and bore it in through the gates. So much dead weight. Felt heavier myself stepping out of that bath. First the stiff: then the friends of the stiff. Corny Kelleher and the boy followed with their wreaths. Who is that beside them? Ah, the brother-in-law.
Martin Cunningham whispered:
—I was in mortal agony with you talking of suicide before Bloom.
—What? Mr Power whispered. How so?
—His father poisoned himself, Martin Cunningham whispered. Had the Queen’s hotel in Ennis. You heard him say he was going to Clare. Anniversary.
—O God! Mr Power whispered. First I heard of it. Poisoned himself?
He glanced behind him to where a face with dark thinking eyes followed towards the cardinal’s mausoleum. Speaking.
—Was he insured? Mr Bloom asked.
—I believe so, Mr Kernan answered. But the policy was heavily mortgaged. Martin is trying to get the youngster into Artane.
—How many children did he leave?
—Five. Ned Lambert says he’ll try to get one of the girls into Todd’s.
—A sad case, Mr Bloom said gently. Five young children.
—A great blow to the poor wife, Mr Kernan added.
—Indeed yes, Mr Bloom agreed.
He looked down at the boots he had blacked and polished. She had outlived him. Lost her husband. More dead for her than for me. One must outlive the other. Wise men say. There are more women than men in the world. Condole with her. Your terrible loss. I hope you’ll soon follow him. For Hindu widows only. She would marry another. Him? No. Yet who knows after. Widowhood not the thing since the old queen died. Drawn on a guncarriage. Victoria and Albert. Frogmore memorial mourning. But in the end she put a few violets in her bonnet. Vain in her heart of hearts. All for a shadow. Consort not even a king. Her son was the substance. Something new to hope for not like the past she wanted back, waiting. It never comes. One must go first: alone, under the ground: and lie no more in her warm bed.
—How are you, Simon? Ned Lambert said softly, clasping hands. Haven’t seen you for a month of Sundays.
—Never better. How are all in Cork’s own town?
—I was down there for the Cork park races on Easter Monday, Ned Lambert said. Same old six and eightpence. Stopped with Dick Tivy.
—Nothing between himself and heaven, Ned Lambert answered.
—By the holy Paul! Mr Dedalus said in subdued wonder. Dick Tivy bald?
—Martin is going to get up a whip for the youngsters, Ned Lambert said, pointing ahead. A few bob a skull. Just to keep them going till the insurance is cleared up.
—Yes, yes, Mr Dedalus said dubiously. Is that the eldest boy in front?
—Yes, Ned Lambert said, with the wife’s brother. John Henry Menton is behind. He put down his name for a quid.
—I’ll engage he did, Mr Dedalus said. I often told poor Paddy he ought to mind that job. John Henry is not the worst in the world.
—How did he lose it? Ned Lambert asked. Liquor, what?
—Many a good man’s fault, Mr Dedalus said with a sigh.
They halted about the door of the mortuary chapel. Mr Bloom stood behind the boy with the wreath looking down at his sleekcombed hair and at the slender furrowed neck inside his brandnew collar. Poor boy! Was he there when the father? Both unconscious. Lighten up at the last moment and recognise for the last time. All he might have done. I owe three shillings to O’Grady. Would he understand? The mutes bore the coffin into the chapel. Which end is his head?
After a moment he followed the others in, blinking in the screened light. The coffin lay on its bier before the chancel, four tall yellow candles at its corners. Always in front of us. Corny Kelleher, laying a wreath at each fore corner, beckoned to the boy to kneel. The mourners knelt here and there in prayingdesks. Mr Bloom stood behind near the font and, when all had knelt, dropped carefully his unfolded newspaper from his pocket and knelt his right knee upon it. He fitted his black hat gently on his left knee and, holding its brim, bent over piously.
A server bearing a brass bucket with something in it came out through a door. The whitesmocked priest came after him, tidying his stole with one hand, balancing with the other a little book against his toad’s belly. Who’ll read the book? I, said the rook.
They halted by the bier and the priest began to read out of his book with a fluent croak.
Father Coffey. I knew his name was like a coffin. Dominenamine. Bully about the muzzle he looks. Bosses the show. Muscular christian. Woe betide anyone that looks crooked at him: priest. Thou art Peter. Burst sideways like a sheep in clover Dedalus says he will. With a belly on him like a poisoned pup. Most amusing expressions that man finds. Hhhn: burst sideways.
—Non intres in judicium cum servo tuo, Domine.
Makes them feel more important to be prayed over in Latin. Requiem mass. Crape weepers. Blackedged notepaper. Your name on the altarlist. Chilly place this. Want to feed well, sitting in there all the morning in the gloom kicking his heels waiting for the next please. Eyes of a toad too. What swells him up that way? Molly gets swelled after cabbage. Air of the place maybe. Looks full up of bad gas. Must be an infernal lot of bad gas round the place. Butchers, for instance: they get like raw beefsteaks. Who was telling me? Mervyn Browne. Down in the vaults of saint Werburgh’s lovely old organ hundred and fifty they have to bore a hole in the coffins sometimes to let out the bad gas and burn it. Out it rushes: blue. One whiff of that and you’re a goner.
My kneecap is hurting me. Ow. That’s better.
The priest took a stick with a knob at the end of it out of the boy’s bucket and shook it over the coffin. Then he walked to the other end and shook it again. Then he came back and put it back in the bucket. As you were before you rested. It’s all written down: he has to do it.
The server piped the answers in the treble. I often thought it would be better to have boy servants. Up to fifteen or so. After that, of course...
Holy water that was, I expect. Shaking sleep out of it. He must be fed up with that job, shaking that thing over all the corpses they trot up. What harm if he could see what he was shaking it over. Every mortal day a fresh batch: middleaged men, old women, children, women dead in childbirth, men with beards, baldheaded businessmen, consumptive girls with little sparrows’ breasts. All the year round he prayed the same thing over them all and shook water on top of them: sleep. On Dignam now.
Said he was going to paradise or is in paradise. Says that over everybody. Tiresome kind of a job. But he has to say something.
The priest closed his book and went off, followed by the server. Corny Kelleher opened the sidedoors and the gravediggers came in, hoisted the coffin again, carried it out and shoved it on their cart. Corny Kelleher gave one wreath to the boy and one to the brother-in-law. All followed them out of the sidedoors into the mild grey air. Mr Bloom came last folding his paper again into his pocket. He gazed gravely at the ground till the coffincart wheeled off to the left. The metal wheels ground the gravel with a sharp grating cry and the pack of blunt boots followed the trundled barrow along a lane of sepulchres.
The ree the ra the ree the ra the roo. Lord, I mustn’t lilt here.
—The O’Connell circle, Mr Dedalus said about him.
Mr Power’s soft eyes went up to the apex of the lofty cone.
—He’s at rest, he said, in the middle of his people, old Dan O’. But his heart is buried in Rome. How many broken hearts are buried here, Simon!
—Her grave is over there, Jack, Mr Dedalus said. I’ll soon be stretched beside her. Let Him take me whenever He likes.
Breaking down, he began to weep to himself quietly, stumbling a little in his walk. Mr Power took his arm.
—She’s better where she is, he said kindly.
—I suppose so, Mr Dedalus said with a weak gasp. I suppose she is in heaven if there is a heaven.
Corny Kelleher stepped aside from his rank and allowed the mourners to plod by.
—Sad occasions, Mr Kernan began politely.
Mr Bloom closed his eyes and sadly twice bowed his head.
—The others are putting on their hats, Mr Kernan said. I suppose we can do so too. We are the last. This cemetery is a treacherous place.
They covered their heads.
—The reverend gentleman read the service too quickly, don’t you think? Mr Kernan said with reproof.
Mr Bloom nodded gravely looking in the quick bloodshot eyes. Secret eyes, secretsearching. Mason, I think: not sure. Beside him again. We are the last. In the same boat. Hope he’ll say something else.
—The service of the Irish church used in Mount Jerome is simpler, more impressive I must say.
Mr Bloom gave prudent assent. The language of course was another thing.
Mr Kernan said with solemnity:
—I am the resurrection and the life. That touches a man’s inmost heart.
Your heart perhaps but what price the fellow in the six feet by two with his toes to the daisies? No touching that. Seat of the affections. Broken heart. A pump after all, pumping thousands of gallons of blood every day. One fine day it gets bunged up: and there you are. Lots of them lying around here: lungs, hearts, livers. Old rusty pumps: damn the thing else. The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead you are dead. That last day idea. Knocking them all up out of their graves. Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. Get up! Last day! Then every fellow mousing around for his liver and his lights and the rest of his traps. Find damn all of himself that morning. Pennyweight of powder in a skull. Twelve grammes one pennyweight. Troy measure.
Corny Kelleher fell into step at their side.
—Everything went off A1, he said. What?
He looked on them from his drawling eye. Policeman’s shoulders. With your tooraloom tooraloom.
—As it should be, Mr Kernan said.
—What? Eh? Corny Kelleher said.
—Who is that chap behind with Tom Kernan? John Henry Menton asked. I know his face.
Ned Lambert glanced back.
—Bloom, he said, Madame Marion Tweedy that was, is, I mean, the soprano. She’s his wife.
—O, to be sure, John Henry Menton said. I haven’t seen her for some time. She was a finelooking woman. I danced with her, wait, fifteen seventeen golden years ago, at Mat Dillon’s in Roundtown. And a good armful she was.
He looked behind through the others.
—What is he? he asked. What does he do? Wasn’t he in the stationery line? I fell foul of him one evening, I remember, at bowls.
—Yes, he was, he said, in Wisdom Hely’s. A traveller for blottingpaper.
—In God’s name, John Henry Menton said, what did she marry a coon like that for? She had plenty of game in her then.
—Has still, Ned Lambert said. He does some canvassing for ads.
John Henry Menton’s large eyes stared ahead.
The barrow turned into a side lane. A portly man, ambushed among the grasses, raised his hat in homage. The gravediggers touched their caps.
—John O’Connell, Mr Power said pleased. He never forgets a friend.
Mr O’Connell shook all their hands in silence. Mr Dedalus said:
—I am come to pay you another visit.
—My dear Simon, the caretaker answered in a low voice. I don’t want your custom at all.
Saluting Ned Lambert and John Henry Menton he walked on at Martin Cunningham’s side puzzling two long keys at his back.
—Did you hear that one, he asked them, about Mulcahy from the Coombe?
—I did not, Martin Cunningham said.
They bent their silk hats in concert and Hynes inclined his ear. The caretaker hung his thumbs in the loops of his gold watchchain and spoke in a discreet tone to their vacant smiles.
—They tell the story, he said, that two drunks came out here one foggy evening to look for the grave of a friend of theirs. They asked for Mulcahy from the Coombe and were told where he was buried. After traipsing about in the fog they found the grave sure enough. One of the drunks spelt out the name: Terence Mulcahy. The other drunk was blinking up at a statue of Our Saviour the widow had got put up.
The caretaker blinked up at one of the sepulchres they passed. He resumed:
—And, after blinking up at the sacred figure, Not a bloody bit like the man, says he. That’s not Mulcahy, says he, whoever done it.
Rewarded by smiles he fell back and spoke with Corny Kelleher, accepting the dockets given him, turning them over and scanning them as he walked.
—That’s all done with a purpose, Martin Cunningham explained to Hynes.
—To cheer a fellow up, Martin Cunningham said. It’s pure goodheartedness: damn the thing else.
Mr Bloom admired the caretaker’s prosperous bulk. All want to be on good terms with him. Decent fellow, John O’Connell, real good sort. Keys: like Keyes’s ad: no fear of anyone getting out. No passout checks. Habeas corpus. I must see about that ad after the funeral. Did I write Ballsbridge on the envelope I took to cover when she disturbed me writing to Martha? Hope it’s not chucked in the dead letter office. Be the better of a shave. Grey sprouting beard. That’s the first sign when the hairs come out grey. And temper getting cross. Silver threads among the grey. Fancy being his wife. Wonder he had the gumption to propose to any girl. Come out and live in the graveyard. Dangle that before her. It might thrill her first. Courting death. Shades of night hovering here with all the dead stretched about. The shadows of the tombs when churchyards yawn and Daniel O’Connell must be a descendant I suppose who is this used to say he was a queer breedy man great catholic all the same like a big giant in the dark. Will o’ the wisp. Gas of graves. Want to keep her mind off it to conceive at all. Women especially are so touchy. Tell her a ghost story in bed to make her sleep. Have you ever seen a ghost? Well, I have. It was a pitchdark night. The clock was on the stroke of twelve. Still they’d kiss all right if properly keyed up. Whores in Turkish graveyards. Learn anything if taken young. You might pick up a young widow here. Men like that. Love among the tombstones. Romeo. Spice of pleasure. In the midst of death we are in life. Both ends meet. Tantalising for the poor dead. Smell of grilled beefsteaks to the starving. Gnawing their vitals. Desire to grig people. Molly wanting to do it at the window. Eight children he has anyway.
He has seen a fair share go under in his time, lying around him field after field. Holy fields. More room if they buried them standing. Sitting or kneeling you couldn’t. Standing? His head might come up some day above ground in a landslip with his hand pointing. All honeycombed the ground must be: oblong cells. And very neat he keeps it too: trim grass and edgings. His garden Major Gamble calls Mount Jerome. Well, so it is. Ought to be flowers of sleep. Chinese cemeteries with giant poppies growing produce the best opium Mastiansky told me. The Botanic Gardens are just over there. It’s the blood sinking in the earth gives new life. Same idea those jews they said killed the christian boy. Every man his price. Well preserved fat corpse, gentleman, epicure, invaluable for fruit garden. A bargain. By carcass of William Wilkinson, auditor and accountant, lately deceased, three pounds thirteen and six. With thanks.
I daresay the soil would be quite fat with corpsemanure, bones, flesh, nails. Charnelhouses. Dreadful. Turning green and pink decomposing. Rot quick in damp earth. The lean old ones tougher. Then a kind of a tallowy kind of a cheesy. Then begin to get black, black treacle oozing out of them. Then dried up. Deathmoths. Of course the cells or whatever they are go on living. Changing about. Live for ever practically. Nothing to feed on feed on themselves.
But they must breed a devil of a lot of maggots. Soil must be simply swirling with them. Your head it simply swurls. Those pretty little seaside gurls. He looks cheerful enough over it. Gives him a sense of power seeing all the others go under first. Wonder how he looks at life. Cracking his jokes too: warms the cockles of his heart. The one about the bulletin. Spurgeon went to heaven 4 a.m. this morning. 11 p.m. (closing time). Not arrived yet. Peter. The dead themselves the men anyhow would like to hear an odd joke or the women to know what’s in fashion. A juicy pear or ladies’ punch, hot, strong and sweet. Keep out the damp. You must l