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.
—Mrkgnao! the cat cried.
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.
Cruel. Her nature. Curious mice never squeal. Seem to like it.
—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 north-west.
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:
—Good day, Mr O’Rourke.
—Good day to you.
—Lovely weather, sir.
—’Tis all that.
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 thin 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.
—Now, my miss, he said.
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.
—Thank you, sir. Another time.
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.
—Good morning, sir.
No sign. Gone. What matter?
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 twenty-eight. 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.
—Who are the letters for?
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.
—Do you want the blind up?
Letting the blind up by gentle tugs halfway his backward eye saw her glance at the letter and tuck it under her pillow.
—That do? he asked, turning.
She was reading the card, propped on her elbow.
—She got the things, she said.
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:
—Scald the teapot.
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.
—What a time you were! she said.
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.
Bold hand. Marion.
—O, Boylan, she said. He’s bringing the programme.
—What are you singing?
—La 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:
—What time is the funeral?
—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.
—No: that book.
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.
—Met him what? he asked.
—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…
—Did you finish it? he asked.
—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.
He turned the pages back.
—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 Iovely 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
Your fond daughter, MILLY.
P. S. Excuse bad writing am in hurry. Byby. M.
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 Cafe 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.
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:
—Come, come, pussy. Come.
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.l5. 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, 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.
—How’s the body?
—Fine. How are you?
—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.
—E… eleven, Mr Bloom answered.
—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.
—Why? I said. What’s wrong with him? I said.
Proud: rich: silk stockings.
—Yes, Mr Bloom said.
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.
—One of the best, M’Coy said.
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 twenty-fifth.
—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.
—O, well, he said. That’s good news.
He moved to go.
—Well, glad to see you looking fit, he said. Meet you knocking around.
—Yes, Mr Bloom said.
—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:
La 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, Mary 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?
To keep it up.
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.
To keep it up.
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:
Quis est homo.
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.
The priest prayed:
—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.
—About a fortnight ago, sir?
—Yes, Mr Bloom said.
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.
—And white wax also, he said.
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.
—Good, Mr Bloom said.
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.
—You can keep it, Mr Bloom said.
—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.
—Come on, Simon.
—After you, Mr Bloom said.
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.
—Who is that?
—Your son and heir.
—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:
—Was that Mulligan cad with him? His fidus Achates!
—No, Mr Bloom said. He was alone.
—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.
—Are we late? Mr Power asked.
—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.
—Where are we?
Mr Bloom put his head out of the window.
—The grand canal, he said.
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.
—We’re off again.
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?
—Who? Mr Dedalus asked.
—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.
Mr Power asked:
—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…
—Are you going yourself?
—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.
Have you good artists?
—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:
—Well, nearly all of us.
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.
—Yes. Isn’t it awfully good?
—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.
—No, Mr Bloom said, the son himself…
Martin Cunningham thwarted his speech rudely:
—Reuben 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.
Mr Dedalus sighed.
—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.
—What’s wrong now?
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.
—Emigrants, Mr Power said.
—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.
Mr Power pointed.
—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.
All walked after.
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.
Has the laugh at him now.
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.
—And how is Dick, the solid man?
—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. Domine-namine. 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.
—Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
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.
Mr Kernan added:
—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.
—It does, Mr Bloom said.
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.
Mr Kernan assured him.
—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. He 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.
Ned Lambert smiled.
—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.
—I know, Hynes said. I know that.
—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 laugh sometimes so better do it that way. Gravediggers in Hamlet. Shows the profound knowledge of the human heart. Daren’t joke about the dead for two years at least. De mortuis nil nisi prius. Go out of mourning first. Hard to imagine his funeral. Seems a sort of a joke. Read your own obituary notice they say you live longer. Gives you second wind. New lease of life.
—How many have-you for tomorrow? the caretaker asked.
—Two, Corny Kelleher said. Half ten and eleven.
The caretaker put the papers in his pocket. The barrow had ceased to trundle. The mourners split and moved to each side of the hole, stepping with care round the graves. The gravediggers bore the coffin and set its nose on the brink, looping the bands round it.
Burying him. We come to bury Caesar. His ides of March or June. He doesn’t know who is here nor care. Now who is that lankylooking galoot over there in the macintosh? Now who is he I’d like to know? Now I’d give a trifle to know who he is. Always someone turns up you never dreamt of. A fellow could live on his lonesome all his life. Yes, he could. Still he’d have to get someone to sod him after he died though he could dig his own grave. We all do. Only man buries. No, ants too. First thing strikes anybody. Bury the dead. Say Robinson Crusoe was true to life. Well then Friday buried him. Every Friday buries a Thursday if you come to look at it.
O, poor Robinson Crusoe! How could you possibly do so?
Poor Dignam! His last lie on the earth in his box. When you think of them all it does seem a waste of wood. All gnawed through. They could invent a handsome bier with a kind of panel sliding, let it down that way. Ay but they might object to be buried out of another fellow’s. They’re so particular. Lay me in my native earth. Bit of clay from the holy land. Only a mother and deadborn child ever buried in the one coffin. I see what it means. I see. To protect him as long as possible even in the earth. The Irishman’s house is his coffin. Embalming in catacombs, mummies the same idea.
Mr Bloom stood far back, his hat in his hand, counting the bared heads. Twelve. I’m thirteen. No. The chap in the macintosh is thirteen. Death’s number. Where the deuce did he pop out of? He wasn’t in the chapel, that I’ll swear. Silly superstition that about thirteen.
Nice soft tweed Ned Lambert has in that suit. Tinge of purple. I had one like that when we lived in Lombard street west. Dressy fellow he was once. Used to change three suits in the day. Must get that grey suit of mine turned by Mesias. Hello. It’s dyed. His wife I forgot he’s not married or his landlady ought to have picked out those threads for him.
The coffin dived out of sight, eased down by the men straddled on the gravetrestles. They struggled up and out: and all uncovered. Twenty.
If we were all suddenly somebody else.
Far away a donkey brayed. Rain. No such ass. Never see a dead one, they say. Shame of death. They hide. Also poor papa went away.
Gentle sweet air blew round the bared heads in a whisper. Whisper. The boy by the gravehead held his wreath with both hands staring quietly in the black open space. Mr Bloom moved behind the portly kindly caretaker. Wellcut frockcoat. Weighing them up perhaps to see which will go next. Well, it is a long rest. Feel no more. It’s the moment you feel. Must be damned unpleasant. Can’t believe it at first. Mistake must be: someone else. Try the house opposite. Wait, I wanted to. I haven’t yet. Then darkened deathchamber. Light they want. Whispering around you. Would you like to see a priest? Then rambling and wandering. Delirium all you hid all your life. The death struggle. His sleep is not natural. Press his lower eyelid. Watching is his nose pointed is his jaw sinking are the soles of his feet yellow. Pull the pillow away and finish it off on the floor since he’s doomed. Devil in that picture of sinner’s death showing him a woman. Dying to embrace her in his shirt. Last act of Lucia. Shall i nevermore behold thee? Bam! He expires. Gone at last. People talk about you a bit: forget you. Don’t forget to pray for him. Remember him in your prayers. Even Parnell. Ivy day dying out. Then they follow: dropping into a hole, one after the other.
We are praying now for the repose of his soul. Hoping you’re well and not in hell. Nice change of air. Out of the fryingpan of life into the fire of purgatory.
Does he ever think of the hole waiting for himself? They say you do when you shiver in the sun. Someone walking over it. Callboy’s warning. Near you. Mine over there towards Finglas, the plot I bought. Mamma, poor mamma, and little Rudy.
The gravediggers took up their spades and flung heavy clods of clay in on the coffin. Mr Bloom turned away his face. And if he was alive all the time? Whew! By jingo, that would be awful! No, no: he is dead, of course. Of course he is dead. Monday he died. They ought to have some law to pierce the heart and make sure or an electric clock or a telephone in the coffin and some kind of a canvas airhole. Flag of distress. Three days. Rather long to keep them in summer. Just as well to get shut of them as soon as you are sure there’s no.
The clay fell softer. Begin to be forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.
The caretaker moved away a few paces and put on his hat. Had enough of it. The mourners took heart of grace, one by one, covering themselves without show. Mr Bloom put on his hat and saw the portly figure make its way deftly through the maze of graves. Quietly, sure of his ground, he traversed the dismal fields.
Hynes jotting down something in his notebook. Ah, the names. But he knows them all. No: coming to me.
—I am just taking the names, Hynes said below his breath. What is your christian name? I’m not sure.
—L, Mr Bloom said. Leopold. And you might put down M’Coy’s name too. He asked me to.
—Charley, Hynes said writing. I know. He was on the Freeman once.
So he was before he got the job in the morgue under Louis Byrne. Good idea a postmortem for doctors. Find out what they imagine they know. He died of a Tuesday. Got the run. Levanted with the cash of a few ads. Charley, you’re my darling. That was why he asked me to. O well, does no harm. I saw to that, M’Coy. Thanks, old chap: much obliged. Leave him under an obligation: costs nothing.
—And tell us, Hynes said, do you know that fellow in the, fellow was over there in the…
He looked around.
—Macintosh. Yes, I saw him, Mr Bloom said. Where is he now?
—M’Intosh, Hynes said scribbling. I don’t know who he is. Is that his name?
He moved away, looking about him.
—No, Mr Bloom began, turning and stopping. I say, Hynes!
Didn’t hear. What? Where has he disappeared to? Not a sign. Well of all the. Has anybody here seen? Kay ee double ell. Become invisible. Good Lord, what became of him?
A seventh gravedigger came beside Mr Bloom to take up an idle spade.
—O, excuse me!
He stepped aside nimbly.
Clay, brown, damp, began to be seen in the hole. It rose. Nearly over. A mound of damp clods rose more, rose, and the gravediggers rested their spades. All uncovered again for a few instants. The boy propped his wreath against a corner: the brother-in-law his on a lump. The gravediggers put on their caps and carried their earthy spades towards the barrow. Then knocked the blades lightly on the turf: clean. One bent to pluck from the haft a long tuft of grass. One, leaving his mates, walked slowly on with shouldered weapon, its blade blueglancing. Silently at the gravehead another coiled the coffinband. His navelcord. The brother-in-law, turning away, placed something in his free hand. Thanks in silence. Sorry, sir: trouble. Headshake. I know that. For yourselves just.
The mourners moved away slowly without aim, by devious paths, staying at whiles to read a name on a tomb.
—Let us go round by the chief’s grave, Hynes said. We have time.
—Let us, Mr Power said.
They turned to the right, following their slow thoughts. With awe Mr Power’s blank voice spoke:
—Some say he is not in that grave at all. That the coffin was filled with stones. That one day he will come again.
Hynes shook his head.
—Parnell will never come again, he said. He’s there, all that was mortal of him. Peace to his ashes.
Mr Bloom walked unheeded along his grove by saddened angels, crosses, broken pillars, family vaults, stone hopes praying with upcast eyes, old Ireland’s hearts and hands. More sensible to spend the money on some charity for the living. Pray for the repose of the soul of. Does anybody really? Plant him and have done with him. Like down a coalshoot. Then lump them together to save time. All souls’ day. Twentyseventh I’ll be at his grave. Ten shillings for the gardener. He keeps it free of weeds. Old man himself. Bent down double with his shears clipping. Near death’s door. Who passed away. Who departed this life. As if they did it of their own accord. Got the shove, all of them. Who kicked the bucket. More interesting if they told you what they were. So and So, wheelwright. I travelled for cork lino. I paid five shillings in the pound. Or a woman’s with her saucepan. I cooked good Irish stew. Eulogy in a country churchyard it ought to be that poem of whose is it Wordsworth or Thomas Campbell. Entered into rest the protestants put it. Old Dr Murren’s. The great physician called him home. Well it’s God’s acre for them. Nice country residence. Newly plastered and painted. Ideal spot to have a quiet smoke and read the Church Times. Marriage ads they never try to beautify. Rusty wreaths hung on knobs, garlands of bronzefoil. Better value that for the money. Still, the flowers are more poetical. The other gets rather tiresome, never withering. Expresses nothing. Immortelles.
A bird sat tamely perched on a poplar branch. Like stuffed. Like the wedding present alderman Hooper gave us. Hoo! Not a budge out of him. Knows there are no catapults to let fly at him. Dead animal even sadder. Silly-Milly burying the little dead bird in the kitchen matchbox, a daisychain and bits of broken chainies on the grave.
The Sacred Heart that is: showing it. Heart on his sleeve. Ought to be sideways and red it should be painted like a real heart. Ireland was dedicated to it or whatever that. Seems anything but pleased. Why this infliction? Would birds come then and peck like the boy with the basket of fruit but he said no because they ought to have been afraid of the boy. Apollo that was.
How many! All these here once walked round Dublin. Faithful departed. As you are now so once were we.
Besides how could you remember everybody? Eyes, walk, voice. Well, the voice, yes: gramophone. Have a gramophone in every grave or keep it in the house. After dinner on a Sunday. Put on poor old greatgrandfather. Kraahraark! Hellohellohello amawfullyglad kraark awfullygladaseeagain hellohello amawf krpthsth. Remind you of the voice like the photograph reminds you of the face. Otherwise you couldn’t remember the face after fifteen years, say. For instance who? For instance some fellow that died when I was in Wisdom Hely’s.
Rtststr! A rattle of pebbles. Wait. Stop!
He looked down intently into a stone crypt. Some animal. Wait. There he goes.
An obese grey rat toddled along the side of the crypt, moving the pebbles. An old stager: greatgrandfather: he knows the ropes. The grey alive crushed itself in under the plinth, wriggled itself in under it. Good hidingplace for treasure.
Who lives there? Are laid the remains of Robert Emery. Robert Emmet was buried here by torchlight, wasn’t he? Making his rounds.
Tail gone now.
One of those chaps would make short work of a fellow. Pick the bones clean no matter who it was. Ordinary meat for them. A corpse is meat gone bad. Well and what’s cheese? Corpse of milk. I read in that Voyages in China that the Chinese say a white man smells like a corpse. Cremation better. Priests dead against it. Devilling for the other firm. Wholesale burners and Dutch oven dealers. Time of the plague. Quicklime feverpits to eat them. Lethal chamber. Ashes to ashes. Or bury at sea. Where is that Parsee tower of silence? Eaten by birds. Earth, fire, water. Drowning they say is the pleasantest. See your whole life in a flash. But being brought back to life no. Can’t bury in the air however. Out of a flying machine. Wonder does the news go about whenever a fresh one is let down. Underground communication. We learned that from them. Wouldn’t be surprised. Regular square feed for them. Flies come before he’s well dead. Got wind of Dignam. They wouldn’t care about the smell of it. Saltwhite crumbling mush of corpse: smell, taste like raw white turnips.
The gates glimmered in front: still open. Back to the world again. Enough of this place. Brings you a bit nearer every time. Last time I was here was Mrs Sinico’s funeral. Poor papa too. The love that kills. And even scraping up the earth at night with a lantern like that case I read of to get at fresh buried females or even putrefied with running gravesores. Give you the creeps after a bit. I will appear to you after death. You will see my ghost after death. My ghost will haunt you after death. There is another world after death named hell. I do not like that other world she wrote. No more do I. Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. Let them sleep in their maggoty beds. They are not going to get me this innings. Warm beds: warm fullblooded life.
Martin Cunningham emerged from a sidepath, talking gravely.
Solicitor, I think. I know his face. Menton, John Henry, solicitor, commissioner for oaths and affidavits. Dignam used to be in his office. Mat Dillon’s long ago. Jolly Mat. Convivial evenings. Cold fowl, cigars, the Tantalus glasses. Heart of gold really. Yes, Menton. Got his rag out that evening on the bowlinggreen because I sailed inside him. Pure fluke of mine: the bias. Why he took such a rooted dislike to me. Hate at first sight. Molly and Floey Dillon linked under the lilactree, laughing. Fellow always like that, mortified if women are by.
Got a dinge in the side of his hat. Carriage probably.
—Excuse me, sir, Mr Bloom said beside them.
—Your hat is a little crushed, Mr Bloom said pointing.
John Henry Menton stared at him for an instant without moving.
—There, Martin Cunningham helped, pointing also. John Henry Menton took off his hat, bulged out the dinge and smoothed the nap with care on his coatsleeve. He clapped the hat on his head again.
—It’s all right now, Martin Cunningham said.
John Henry Menton jerked his head down in acknowledgment.
—Thank you, he said shortly.
They walked on towards the gates. Mr Bloom, chapfallen, drew behind a few paces so as not to overhear. Martin laying down the law. Martin could wind a sappyhead like that round his little finger, without his seeing it.
Oyster eyes. Never mind. Be sorry after perhaps when it dawns on him. Get the pull over him that way.
Thank you. How grand we are this morning!
IN THE HEART OF THE HIBERNIAN METROPOLIS
Before Nelson’s pillar trams slowed, shunted, changed trolley, started for Blackrock, Kingstown and Dalkey, Clonskea, Rathgar and Terenure, Palmerston Park and upper Rathmines, Sandymount Green, Rathmines, Ringsend and Sandymount Tower, Harold’s Cross. The hoarse Dublin United Tramway Company’s timekeeper bawled them off:
—Rathgar and Terenure!
—Come on, Sandymount Green!
Right and left parallel clanging ringing a doubledecker and a singledeck moved from their railheads, swerved to the down line, glided parallel.
—Start, Palmerston Park!
THE WEARER OF THE CROWN
Under the porch of the general post office shoeblacks called and polished. Parked in North Prince’s street His Majesty’s vermilion mailcars, bearing on their sides the royal initials, E. R., received loudly flung sacks of letters, postcards, lettercards, parcels, insured and paid, for local, provincial, British and overseas delivery.
GENTLEMEN OF THE PRESS
Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince’s stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen out of Prince’s stores.
—There it is, Red Murray said. Alexander Keyes.
—Just cut it out, will you? Mr Bloom said, and I’ll take it round to the Telegraph office.
The door of Ruttledge’s office creaked again. Davy Stephens, minute in a large capecoat, a small felt hat crowning his ringlets, passed out with a roll of papers under his cape, a king’s courier.
Red Murray’s long shears sliced out the advertisement from the newspaper in four clean strokes. Scissors and paste.
—I’ll go through the printingworks, Mr Bloom said, taking the cut square.
—Of course, if he wants a par, Red Murray said earnestly, a pen behind his ear, we can do him one.
—Right, Mr Bloom said with a nod. I’ll rub that in.
WILLIAM BRAYDEN, ESQUIRE, OF OAKLANDS, SANDYMOUNT
Red Murray touched Mr Bloom’s arm with the shears and whispered:
Mr Bloom turned and saw the liveried porter raise his lettered cap as a stately figure entered between the newsboards of the Weekly Freeman and National Press and the Freeman’s Journal and National Press. Dullthudding Guinness’s barrels. It passed statelily up the staircase, steered by an umbrella, a solemn beardframed face. The broadcloth back ascended each step: back. All his brains are in the nape of his neck, Simon Dedalus says. Welts of flesh behind on him. Fat folds of neck, fat, neck, fat, neck.
—Don’t you think his face is like Our Saviour? Red Murray whispered.
The door of Ruttledge’s office whispered: ee: cree. They always build one door opposite another for the wind to. Way in. Way out.
Our Saviour: beardframed oval face: talking in the dusk. Mary, Martha. Steered by an umbrella sword to the footlights: Mario the tenor.
—Or like Mario, Mr Bloom said.
—Yes, Red Murray agreed. But Mario was said to be the picture of Our Saviour.
Jesusmario with rougy cheeks, doublet and spindle legs. Hand on his heart. In Martha.
Co-ome thou lost one, Co-ome thou dear one!
THE CROZIER AND THE PEN
—His grace phoned down twice this morning, Red Murray said gravely.
They watched the knees, legs, boots vanish. Neck.
A telegram boy stepped in nimbly, threw an envelope on the counter and stepped off posthaste with a word:
Mr Bloom said slowly:
—Well, he is one of our saviours also.
A meek smile accompanied him as he lifted the counterflap, as he passed in through a sidedoor and along the warm dark stairs and passage, along the now reverberating boards. But will he save the circulation? Thumping. Thumping.
He pushed in the glass swingdoor and entered, stepping over strewn packing paper. Through a lane of clanking drums he made his way towards Nannetti’s reading closet.
WITH UNFEIGNED REGRET IT IS WE ANNOUNCE THE DISSOLUTION OF A MOST RESPECTED DUBLIN BURGESS
Hynes here too: account of the funeral probably. Thumping. Thump. This morning the remains of the late Mr Patrick Dignam. Machines. Smash a man to atoms if they got him caught. Rule the world today. His machineries are pegging away too. Like these, got out of hand: fermenting. Working away, tearing away. And that old grey rat tearing to get in.
HOW A GREAT DAILY ORGAN IS TURNED OUT
Mr Bloom halted behind the foreman’s spare body, admiring a glossy crown.
Strange he never saw his real country. Ireland my country. Member for College green. He boomed that workaday worker tack for all it was worth. It’s the ads and side features sell a weekly, not the stale news in the official gazette. Queen Anne is dead. Published by authority in the year one thousand and. Demesne situate in the townland of Rosenallis, barony of Tinnahinch. To all whom it may concern schedule pursuant to statute showing return of number of mules and jennets exported from Ballina. Nature notes. Cartoons. Phil Blake’s weekly Pat and Bull story. Uncle Toby’s page for tiny tots. Country bumpkin’s queries. Dear Mr Editor, what is a good cure for flatulence? I’d like that part. Learn a lot teaching others. The personal note. M. A. P. Mainly all pictures. Shapely bathers on golden strand. World’s biggest balloon. Double marriage of sisters celebrated. Two bridegrooms laughing heartily at each other. Cuprani too, printer. More Irish than the Irish.
The machines clanked in threefour time. Thump, thump, thump. Now if he got paralysed there and no-one knew how to stop them they’d clank on and on the same, print it over and over and up and back. Monkeydoodle the whole thing. Want a cool head.
—Well, get it into the evening edition, councillor, Hynes said.
Soon be calling him my lord mayor. Long John is backing him, they say.
The foreman, without answering, scribbled press on a corner of the sheet and made a sign to a typesetter. He handed the sheet silently over the dirty glass screen.
—Right: thanks, Hynes said moving off.
Mr Bloom stood in his way.
—If you want to draw the cashier is just going to lunch, he said, pointing backward with his thumb.
—Did you? Hynes asked.
—Mm, Mr Bloom said. Look sharp and you’ll catch him.
—Thanks, old man, Hynes said. I’ll tap him too.
He hurried on eagerly towards the Freeman’s Journal.
Three bob I lent him in Meagher’s. Three weeks. Third hint.
WE SEE THE CANVASSER AT WORK
Mr Bloom laid his cutting on Mr Nannetti’s desk.
—Excuse me, councillor, he said. This ad, you see. Keyes, you remember?
Mr Nannetti considered the cutting awhile and nodded.
—He wants it in for July, Mr Bloom said.
The foreman moved his pencil towards it.
—But wait, Mr Bloom said. He wants it changed. Keyes, you see. He wants two keys at the top.
Hell of a racket they make. He doesn’t hear it. Nannan. Iron nerves. Maybe he understands what I.
The foreman turned round to hear patiently and, lifting an elbow, began to scratch slowly in the armpit of his alpaca jacket.
—Like that, Mr Bloom said, crossing his forefingers at the top.
Let him take that in first.
Mr Bloom, glancing sideways up from the cross he had made, saw the foreman’s sallow face, think he has a touch of jaundice, and beyond the obedient reels feeding in huge webs of paper. Clank it. Clank it. Miles of it unreeled. What becomes of it after? O, wrap up meat, parcels: various uses, thousand and one things.
Slipping his words deftly into the pauses of the clanking he drew swiftly on the scarred woodwork.
HOUSE OF KEY(E)S
—Like that, see. Two crossed keys here. A circle. Then here the name. Alexander Keyes, tea, wine and spirit merchant. So on.
Better not teach him his own business.
—You know yourself, councillor, just what he wants. Then round the top in leaded: the house of keys. You see? Do you think that’s a good idea?
The foreman moved his scratching hand to his lower ribs and scratched there quietly.
—The idea, Mr Bloom said, is the house of keys. You know, councillor, the Manx parliament. Innuendo of home rule. Tourists, you know, from the isle of Man. Catches the eye, you see. Can you do that?
I could ask him perhaps about how to pronounce that voglio. But then if he didn’t know only make it awkward for him. Better not.
—We can do that, the foreman said. Have you the design?
—I can get it, Mr Bloom said. It was in a Kilkenny paper. He has a house there too. I’ll just run out and ask him. Well, you can do that and just a little par calling attention. You know the usual. Highclass licensed premises. Longfelt want. So on.
The foreman thought for an instant.
—We can do that, he said. Let him give us a three months’ renewal.
A typesetter brought him a limp galleypage. He began to check it silently. Mr Bloom stood by, hearing the loud throbs of cranks, watching the silent typesetters at their cases.
Want to be sure of his spelling. Proof fever. Martin Cunningham forgot to give us his spellingbee conundrum this morning. It is amusing to view the unpar one ar alleled embarra two ars is it? double ess ment of a harassed pedlar while gauging au the symmetry with a y of a peeled pear under a cemetery wall. Silly, isn’t it? Cemetery put in of course on account of the symmetry.
I should have said when he clapped on his topper. Thank you. I ought to have said something about an old hat or something. No. I could have said. Looks as good as new now. See his phiz then.
Sllt. The nethermost deck of the first machine jogged forward its flyboard with sllt the first batch of quirefolded papers. Sllt. Almost human the way it sllt to call attention. Doing its level best to speak. That door too sllt creaking, asking to be shut. Everything speaks in its own way. Sllt.
NOTED CHURCHMAN AN OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTOR
The foreman handed back the galleypage suddenly, saying:
—Wait. Where’s the archbishop’s letter? It’s to be repeated in the Telegraph. Where’s what’s his name?
He looked about him round his loud unanswering machines.
—Monks, sir? a voice asked from the castingbox.
—Ay. Where’s Monks?
Mr Bloom took up his cutting. Time to get out.
—Then I’ll get the design, Mr Nannetti, he said, and you’ll give it a good place I know.
Three months’ renewal. Want to get some wind off my chest first. Try it anyhow. Rub in August: good idea: horseshow month. Ballsbridge. Tourists over for the show.
He walked on through the caseroom passing an old man, bowed, spectacled, aproned. Old Monks, the dayfather. Queer lot of stuff he must have put through his hands in his time: obituary notices, pubs’ ads, speeches, divorce suits, found drowned. Nearing the end of his tether now. Sober serious man with a bit in the savingsbank I’d say. Wife a good cook and washer. Daughter working the machine in the parlour. Plain Jane, no damn nonsense. AND IT WAS THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER
He stayed in his walk to watch a typesetter neatly distributing type. Reads it backwards first. Quickly he does it. Must require some practice that. mangiD kcirtaP. Poor papa with his hagadah book, reading backwards with his finger to me. Pessach. Next year in Jerusalem. Dear, O dear! All that long business about that brought us out of the land of Egypt and into the house of bondage Alleluia. Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu. No, that’s the other. Then the twelve brothers, Jacob’s sons. And then the lamb and the cat and the dog and the stick and the water and the butcher. And then the angel of death kills the butcher and he kills the ox and the dog kills the cat. Sounds a bit silly till you come to look into it well. Justice it means but it’s everybody eating everyone else. That’s what life is after all. How quickly he does that job. Practice makes perfect. Seems to see with his fingers.
Mr Bloom passed on out of the clanking noises through the gallery on to the landing. Now am I going to tram it out all the way and then catch him out perhaps. Better phone him up first. Number? Yes. Same as Citron’s house. Twentyeight. Twentyeight double four.
ONLY ONCE MORE THAT SOAP
He went down the house staircase. Who the deuce scrawled all over those walls with matches? Looks as if they did it for a bet. Heavy greasy smell there always is in those works. Lukewarm glue in Thom’s next door when I was there.
He took out his handkerchief to dab his nose. Citronlemon? Ah, the soap I put there. Lose it out of that pocket. Putting back his handkerchief he took out the soap and stowed it away, buttoned, into the hip pocket of his trousers.
What perfume does your wife use? I could go home still: tram: something I forgot. Just to see: before: dressing. No. Here. No.
A sudden screech of laughter came from the Evening Telegraph office. Know who that is. What’s up? Pop in a minute to phone. Ned Lambert it is.
He entered softly.
ERIN, GREEN GEM OF THE SILVER SEA
—The ghost walks, professor MacHugh murmured softly, biscuitfully to the dusty windowpane.
Mr Dedalus, staring from the empty fireplace at Ned Lambert’s quizzing face, asked of it sourly:
—Agonising Christ, wouldn’t it give you a heartburn on your arse?
Ned Lambert, seated on the table, read on:
—Or again, note the meanderings of some purling rill as it babbles on its way, tho’ quarrelling with the stony obstacles, to the tumbling waters of Neptune’s blue domain, ‘mid mossy banks, fanned by gentlest zephyrs, played on by the glorious sunlight or ‘neath the shadows cast o’er its pensive bosom by the overarching leafage of the giants of the forest. What about that, Simon? he asked over the fringe of his newspaper. How’s that for high?
—Changing his drink, Mr Dedalus said.
Ned Lambert, laughing, struck the newspaper on his knees, repeating:
—The pensive bosom and the overarsing leafage. O boys! O boys!
—And Xenophon looked upon Marathon, Mr Dedalus said, looking again on the fireplace and to the window, and Marathon looked on the sea.
—That will do, professor MacHugh cried from the window. I don’t want to hear any more of the stuff.
He ate off the crescent of water biscuit he had been nibbling and, hungered, made ready to nibble the biscuit in his other hand.
High falutin stuff. Bladderbags. Ned Lambert is taking a day off I see. Rather upsets a man’s day, a funeral does. He has influence they say. Old Chatterton, the vicechancellor, is his granduncle or his greatgranduncle. Close on ninety they say. Subleader for his death written this long time perhaps. Living to spite them. Might go first himself. Johnny, make room for your uncle. The right honourable Hedges Eyre Chatterton. Daresay he writes him an odd shaky cheque or two on gale days. Windfall when he kicks out. Alleluia.
—Just another spasm, Ned Lambert said.
—What is it? Mr Bloom asked.
—A recently discovered fragment of Cicero, professor MacHugh answered with pomp of tone. Our lovely land. SHORT BUT TO THE POINT
—Whose land? Mr Bloom said simply.
—Most pertinent question, the professor said between his chews. With an accent on the whose.
—Dan Dawson’s land Mr Dedalus said.
—Is it his speech last night? Mr Bloom asked.
Ned Lambert nodded.
—But listen to this, he said.
The doorknob hit Mr Bloom in the small of the back as the door was pushed in.
—Excuse me, J. J. O’Molloy said, entering.
Mr Bloom moved nimbly aside.
—I beg yours, he said.
—Good day, Jack.
—Come in. Come in.
—How are you, Dedalus?
—Well. And yourself?
J. J. O’Molloy shook his head.
Cleverest fellow at the junior bar he used to be. Decline, poor chap. That hectic flush spells finis for a man. Touch and go with him. What’s in the wind, I wonder. Money worry.
—Or again if we but climb the serried mountain peaks.
—You’re looking extra.
—Is the editor to be seen? J. J. O’Molloy asked, looking towards the inner door.
—Very much so, professor MacHugh said. To be seen and heard. He’s in his sanctum with Lenehan.
J. J. O’Molloy strolled to the sloping desk and began to turn back the pink pages of the file.
Practice dwindling. A mighthavebeen. Losing heart. Gambling. Debts of honour. Reaping the whirlwind. Used to get good retainers from D. and T. Fitzgerald. Their wigs to show the grey matter. Brains on their sleeve like the statue in Glasnevin. Believe he does some literary work for the Express with Gabriel Conroy. Wellread fellow. Myles Crawford began on theIndependent. Funny the way those newspaper men veer about when they get wind of a new opening. Weathercocks. Hot and cold in the same breath. Wouldn’t know which to believe. One story good till you hear the next. Go for one another baldheaded in the papers and then all blows over. Hail fellow well met the next moment.
—Ah, listen to this for God’ sake, Ned Lambert pleaded. Or again if we but climb the serried mountain peaks…
—Bombast! the professor broke in testily. Enough of the inflated windbag!
—Peaks, Ned Lambert went on, towering high on high, to bathe our souls, as it were…
—Bathe his lips, Mr Dedalus said. Blessed and eternal God! Yes? Is he taking anything for it?
—As ’twere, in the peerless panorama of Ireland’s portfolio, unmatched, despite their wellpraised prototypes in other vaunted prize regions, for very beauty, of bosky grove and undulating plain and luscious pastureland of vernal green, steeped in the transcendent translucent glow of our mild mysterious Irish twilight…
HIS NATIVE DORIC
—The moon, professor MacHugh said. He forgot Hamlet.
—That mantles the vista far and wide and wait till the glowing orb of the moon shine forth to irradiate her silver effulgence…
—O! Mr Dedalus cried, giving vent to a hopeless groan. Shite and onions! That’ll do, Ned. Life is too short.
He took off his silk hat and, blowing out impatiently his bushy moustache, welshcombed his hair with raking fingers.
Ned Lambert tossed the newspaper aside, chuckling with delight. An instant after a hoarse bark of laughter burst over professor MacHugh’s unshaven blackspectacled face.
—Doughy Daw! he cried.
WHAT WETHERUP SAID
All very fine to jeer at it now in cold print but it goes down like hot cake that stuff. He was in the bakery line too, wasn’t he? Why they call him Doughy Daw. Feathered his nest well anyhow. Daughter engaged to that chap in the inland revenue office with the motor. Hooked that nicely. Entertainments. Open house. Big blowout. Wetherup always said that. Get a grip of them by the stomach.
The inner door was opened violently and a scarlet beaked face, crested by a comb of feathery hair, thrust itself in. The bold blue eyes stared about them and the harsh voice asked:
—What is it?
—And here comes the sham squire himself! professor MacHugh said grandly.
—Getonouthat, you bloody old pedagogue! the editor said in recognition.
—Come, Ned, Mr Dedalus said, putting on his hat. I must get a drink after that.
—Drink! the editor cried. No drinks served before mass.
—Quite right too, Mr Dedalus said, going out. Come on, Ned.
Ned Lambert sidled down from the table. The editor’s blue eyes roved towards Mr Bloom’s face, shadowed by a smile.
—Will you join us, Myles? Ned Lambert asked.
MEMORABLE BATTLES RECALLED
—North Cork militia! the editor cried, striding to the mantelpiece. We won every time! North Cork and Spanish officers!
—Where was that, Myles? Ned Lambert asked with a reflective glance at his toecaps.
—In Ohio! the editor shouted.
—So it was, begad, Ned Lambert agreed.
Passing out he whispered to J. J. O’Molloy:
—Incipient jigs. Sad case.
—Ohio! the editor crowed in high treble from his uplifted scarlet face. My Ohio!
—A perfect cretic! the professor said. Long, short and long.
O, HARP EOLIAN!
He took a reel of dental floss from his waistcoat pocket and, breaking off a piece, twanged it smartly between two and two of his resonant unwashed teeth.
Mr Bloom, seeing the coast clear, made for the inner door.
—Just a moment, Mr Crawford, he said. I just want to phone about an ad.
He went in.
—What about that leader this evening? professor MacHugh asked, coming to the editor and laying a firm hand on his shoulder.
—That’ll be all right, Myles Crawford said more calmly. Never you fret. Hello, Jack. That’s all right.
—Good day, Myles, J. J. O’Molloy said, letting the pages he held slip limply back on the file. Is that Canada swindle case on today?
The telephone whirred inside.
—Twentyeight… No, twenty… Double four… Yes.
SPOT THE WINNER
Lenehan came out of the inner office with SPORT’S tissues.
—Who wants a dead cert for the Gold cup? he asked. Sceptre with O. Madden up.
He tossed the tissues on to the table.
Screams of newsboys barefoot in the hall rushed near and the door was flung open.
—Hush, Lenehan said. I hear feetstoops.
Professor MacHugh strode across the room and seized the cringing urchin by the collar as the others scampered out of the hall and down the steps. The tissues rustled up in the draught, floated softly in the air blue scrawls and under the table came to earth.
—It wasn’t me, sir. It was the big fellow shoved me, sir.
—Throw him out and shut the door, the editor said. There’s a hurricane blowing.
Lenehan began to paw the tissues up from the floor, grunting as he stooped twice.
—Waiting for the racing special, sir, the newsboy said. It was Pat Farrell shoved me, sir.
He pointed to two faces peering in round the doorframe.
—Out of this with you, professor MacHugh said gruffly.
He hustled the boy out and banged the door to.
J. J. O’Molloy turned the files crackingly over, murmuring, seeking:
—Continued on page six, column four.
—Yes, Evening Telegraph here, Mr Bloom phoned from the inner office. Is the boss…? Yes, Telegraph… To where? Aha! Which auction rooms ?… Aha! I see… Right. I’ll catch him.
A COLLISION ENSUES
The bell whirred again as he rang off. He came in quickly and bumped against Lenehan who was struggling up with the second tissue.
—Pardon, monsieur, Lenehan said, clutching him for an instant and making a grimace.
—My fault, Mr Bloom said, suffering his grip. Are you hurt? I’m in a hurry.
—Knee, Lenehan said.
He made a comic face and whined, rubbing his knee:
—The accumulation of the anno Domini.
—Sorry, Mr Bloom said.
He went to the door and, holding it ajar, paused. J. J. O’Molloy slapped the heavy pages over. The noise of two shrill voices, a mouthorgan, echoed in the bare hallway from the newsboys squatted on the doorsteps:
—We are the boys of Wexford Who fought with heart and hand.
—I’m just running round to Bachelor’s walk, Mr Bloom said, about this ad of Keyes’s. Want to fix it up. They tell me he’s round there in Dillon’s.
He looked indecisively for a moment at their faces. The editor who, leaning against the mantelshelf, had propped his head on his hand, suddenly stretched forth an arm amply.
—Begone! he said. The world is before you.
—Back in no time, Mr Bloom said, hurrying out.
J. J. O’Molloy took the tissues from Lenehan’s hand and read them, blowing them apart gently, without comment.
—He’ll get that advertisement, the professor said, staring through his blackrimmed spectacles over the crossblind. Look at the young scamps after him.
—Show. Where? Lenehan cried, running to the window.
A STREET CORTEGE
Both smiled over the crossblind at the file of capering newsboys in Mr Bloom’s wake, the last zigzagging white on the breeze a mocking kite, a tail of white bowknots.
—Look at the young guttersnipe behind him hue and cry, Lenehan said, and you’ll kick. O, my rib risible! Taking off his flat spaugs and the walk. Small nines. Steal upon larks.
He began to mazurka in swift caricature across the floor on sliding feet past the fireplace to J. J. O’Molloy who placed the tissues in his receiving hands.
—What’s that? Myles Crawford said with a start. Where are the other two gone?
—Who? the professor said, turning. They’re gone round to the Oval for a drink. Paddy Hooper is there with Jack Hall. Came over last night.
—Come on then, Myles Crawford said. Where’s my hat?
He walked jerkily into the office behind, parting the vent of his jacket, jingling his keys in his back pocket. They jingled then in the air and against the wood as he locked his desk drawer.
—He’s pretty well on, professor MacHugh said in a low voice.
—Seems to be, J. J. O’Molloy said, taking out a cigarettecase in murmuring meditation, but it is not always as it seems. Who has the most matches?
THE CALUMET OF PEACE
He offered a cigarette to the professor and took one himself. Lenehan promptly struck a match for them and lit their cigarettes in turn. J. J. O’Molloy opened his case again and offered it.
—Thanky vous, Lenehan said, helping himself.
The editor came from the inner office, a straw hat awry on his brow. He declaimed in song, pointing sternly at professor MacHugh:
—’Twas rank and fame that tempted thee, ‘Twas empire charmed thy heart.
The professor grinned, locking his long lips.
—Eh? You bloody old Roman empire? Myles Crawford said.
He took a cigarette from the open case. Lenehan, lighting it for him with quick grace, said:
—Silence for my brandnew riddle!
—Imperium romanum, J. J. O’Molloy said gently. It sounds nobler than British or Brixton. The word reminds one somehow of fat in the fire.
Myles Crawford blew his first puff violently towards the ceiling.
—That’s it, he said. We are the fat. You and I are the fat in the fire. We haven’t got the chance of a snowball in hell.
THE GRANDEUR THAT WAS ROME
—Wait a moment, professor MacHugh said, raising two quiet claws. We mustn’t be led away by words, by sounds of words. We think of Rome, imperial, imperious, imperative.
He extended elocutionary arms from frayed stained shirtcuffs, pausing:
—What was their civilisation? Vast, I allow: but vile. Cloacae: sewers. The Jews in the wilderness and on the mountaintop said: It is meet to be here. Let us build an altar to Jehovah. The Roman, like the Englishman who follows in his footsteps, brought to every new shore on which he set his foot (on our shore he never set it) only his cloacal obsession. He gazed about him in his toga and he said: It is meet to be here. Let us construct a watercloset.
—Which they accordingly did do, Lenehan said. Our old ancient ancestors, as we read in the first chapter of Guinness’s, were partial to the running stream.
—They were nature’s gentlemen, J. J. O’Molloy murmured. But we have also Roman law.
—And Pontius Pilate is its prophet, professor MacHugh responded.
—Do you know that story about chief baron Palles? J. J. O’Molloy asked. It was at the royal university dinner. Everything was going swimmingly …
—First my riddle, Lenehan said. Are you ready?
Mr O’Madden Burke, tall in copious grey of Donegal tweed, came in from the hallway. Stephen Dedalus, behind him, uncovered as he entered.
—Entrez, mes enfants! Lenehan cried.
—I escort a suppliant, Mr O’Madden Burke said melodiously. Youth led by Experience visits Notoriety.
—How do you do? the editor said, holding out a hand. Come in. Your governor is just gone.???
Lenehan said to all:
—Silence! What opera resembles a railwayline? Reflect, ponder, excogitate, reply.
Stephen handed over the typed sheets, pointing to the title and signature.
—Who? the editor asked.
Bit torn off.
—Mr Garrett Deasy, Stephen said.
—That old pelters, the editor said. Who tore it? Was he short taken?
On swift sail flaming From storm and south He comes, pale vampire, Mouth to my mouth.
—Good day, Stephen, the professor said, coming to peer over their shoulders. Foot and mouth? Are you turned…?
SHINDY IN WELLKNOWN RESTAURANT
—Good day, sir, Stephen answered blushing. The letter is not mine. Mr Garrett Deasy asked me to…
—O, I know him, Myles Crawford said, and I knew his wife too. The bloodiest old tartar God ever made. By Jesus, she had the foot and mouth disease and no mistake! The night she threw the soup in the waiter’s face in the Star and Garter. Oho!
A woman brought sin into the world. For Helen, the runaway wife of Menelaus, ten years the Greeks. O’Rourke, prince of Breffni.
—Is he a widower? Stephen asked.
—Ay, a grass one, Myles Crawford said, his eye running down the typescript. Emperor’s horses. Habsburg. An Irishman saved his life on the ramparts of Vienna. Don’t you forget! Maximilian Karl O’Donnell, graf von Tirconnell in Ireland. Sent his heir over to make the king an Austrian fieldmarshal now. Going to be trouble there one day. Wild geese. O yes, every time. Don’t you forget that!
—The moot point is did he forget it, J. J. O’Molloy said quietly, turning a horseshoe paperweight. Saving princes is a thank you job.
Professor MacHugh turned on him.
—And if not? he said.
—I’ll tell you how it was, Myles Crawford began. A Hungarian it was one day… LOST CAUSES
NOBLE MARQUESS MENTIONED
—We were always loyal to lost causes, the professor said. Success for us is the death of the intellect and of the imagination. We were never loyal to the successful. We serve them. I teach the blatant Latin language. I speak the tongue of a race the acme of whose mentality is the maxim: time is money. Material domination. Dominus! Lord! Where is the spirituality? Lord Jesus? Lord Salisbury? A sofa in a westend club. But the Greek!
A smile of light brightened his darkrimmed eyes, lengthened his long lips.
—The Greek! he said again. Kyrios! Shining word! The vowels the Semite and the Saxon know not. Kyrie! The radiance of the intellect. I ought to profess Greek, the language of the mind. Kyrie eleison! The closetmaker and the cloacamaker will never be lords of our spirit. We are liege subjects of the catholic chivalry of Europe that foundered at Trafalgar and of the empire of the spirit, not an imperium, that went under with the Athenian fleets at Aegospotami. Yes, yes. They went under. Pyrrhus, misled by an oracle, made a last attempt to retrieve the fortunes of Greece. Loyal to a lost cause.
He strode away from them towards the window.
—They went forth to battle, Mr O’Madden Burke said greyly, but they always fell.
—Boohoo! Lenehan wept with a little noise. Owing to a brick received in the latter half of the matinée. Poor, poor, poor Pyrrhus!
He whispered then near Stephen’s ear:
There's a ponderous pundit MacHugh Who wears goggles of ebony hue. As he mostly sees double To wear them why trouble? I can't see the Joe Miller. Can you?
In mourning for Sallust, Mulligan says. Whose mother is beastly dead.
Myles Crawford crammed the sheets into a sidepocket.
—That’ll be all right, he said. I’ll read the rest after. That’ll be all right.
Lenehan extended his hands in protest.
—But my riddle! he said. What opera is like a railwayline?
—Opera? Mr O’Madden Burke’s sphinx face reriddled.
Lenehan announced gladly:
—The Rose of Castile. See the wheeze? Rows of cast steel. Gee!
He poked Mr O’Madden Burke mildly in the spleen. Mr O’Madden Burke fell back with grace on his umbrella, feigning a gasp.
—Help! he sighed. I feel a strong weakness.
Lenehan, rising to tiptoe, fanned his face rapidly with the rustling tissues.
The professor, returning by way of the files, swept his hand across Stephen’s and Mr O’Madden Burke’s loose ties.
—Paris, past and present, he said. You look like communards.
—Like fellows who had blown up the Bastile, J. J. O’Molloy said in quiet mockery. Or was it you shot the lord lieutenant of Finland between you? You look as though you had done the deed. General Bobrikoff.
—We were only thinking about it, Stephen said.
—All the talents, Myles Crawford said. Law, the classics…
—The turf, Lenehan put in.
—Literature, the press.
—If Bloom were here, the professor said. The gentle art of advertisement.
—And Madam Bloom, Mr O’Madden Burke added. The vocal muse. Dublin’s prime favourite.
Lenehan gave a loud cough.
—Ahem! he said very softly. O, for a fresh of breath air! I caught a cold in the park. The gate was open.
YOU CAN DO IT!
The editor laid a nervous hand on Stephen’s shoulder.
—I want you to write something for me, he said. Something with a bite in it. You can do it. I see it in your face. In the lexicon of youth …
See it in your face. See it in your eye. Lazy idle little schemer.
—Foot and mouth disease! the editor cried in scornful invective. Great nationalist meeting in Borris-in-Ossory. All balls! Bulldosing the public! Give them something with a bite in it. Put us all into it, damn its soul. Father, Son and Holy Ghost and Jakes M’Carthy.
—We can all supply mental pabulum, Mr O’Madden Burke said.
Stephen raised his eyes to the bold unheeding stare.
—He wants you for the pressgang, J. J. O’Molloy said.
THE GREAT GALLAHER
—You can do it, Myles Crawford repeated, clenching his hand in emphasis. Wait a minute. We’ll paralyse Europe as Ignatius Gallaher used to say when he was on the shaughraun, doing billiardmarking in the Clarence. Gallaher, that was a pressman for you. That was a pen. You know how he made his mark? I’ll tell you. That was the smartest piece of journalism ever known. That was in eightyone, sixth of May, time of the invincibles, murder in the Phoenix park, before you were born, I suppose. I’ll show you.
He pushed past them to the files.
—Look at here, he said turning. The New York World cabled for a special. Remember that time?
Professor MacHugh nodded.
—New York World, the editor said, excitedly pushing back his straw hat. Where it took place. Tim Kelly, or Kavanagh I mean. Joe Brady and the rest of them. Where Skin-the-Goat drove the car. Whole route, see?
—Skin-the-Goat, Mr O’Madden Burke said. Fitzharris. He has that cabman’s shelter, they say, down there at Butt bridge. Holohan told me. You know Holohan?
—Hop and carry one, is it? Myles Crawford said.
—And poor Gumley is down there too, so he told me, minding stones for the corporation. A night watchman.
Stephen turned in surprise.
—Gumley? he said. You don’t say so? A friend of my father’s, is it?
—Never mind Gumley, Myles Crawford cried angrily. Let Gumley mind the stones, see they don’t run away. Look at here. What did Ignatius Gallaher do? I’ll tell you. Inspiration of genius. Cabled right away. Have you Weekly Freeman of 17 March? Right. Have you got that?
He flung back pages of the files and stuck his finger on a point.
—Take page four, advertisement for Bransome’s coffee, let us say. Have you got that? Right.
The telephone whirred.
A DISTANT VOICE
—I’ll answer it, the professor said, going.
—B is parkgate. Good.
His finger leaped and struck point after point, vibrating.
—T is viceregal lodge. C is where murder took place. K is Knockmaroon gate.
The loose flesh of his neck shook like a cock’s wattles. An illstarched dicky jutted up and with a rude gesture he thrust it back into his waistcoat.
—Hello? Evening Telegraph here… Hello?… Who’s there?… Yes… Yes… Yes.
—F to P is the route Skin-the-Goat drove the car for an alibi, Inchicore, Roundtown, Windy Arbour, Palmerston Park, Ranelagh. F.A.B.P. Got that? X is Davy’s publichouse in upper Leeson street.
The professor came to the inner door.
—Bloom is at the telephone, he said.
—Tell him go to hell, the editor said promptly. X is Davy’s publichouse, see? CLEVER, VERY
—Clever, Lenehan said. Very.
—Gave it to them on a hot plate, Myles Crawford said, the whole bloody history.
Nightmare from which you will never awake.
—I saw it, the editor said proudly. I was present. Dick Adams, the besthearted bloody Corkman the Lord ever put the breath of life in, and myself.
Lenehan bowed to a shape of air, announcing:
—Madam, I’m Adam. And Able was I ere I saw Elba.
—History! Myles Crawford cried. The Old Woman of Prince’s street was there first. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth over that. Out of an advertisement. Gregor Grey made the design for it. That gave him the leg up. Then Paddy Hooper worked Tay Pay who took him on to the Star. Now he’s got in with Blumenfeld. That’s press. That’s talent. Pyatt! He was all their daddies!
—The father of scare journalism, Lenehan confirmed, and the brother-in-law of Chris Callinan.
—Hello?… Are you there?… Yes, he’s here still. Come across yourself.
—Where do you find a pressman like that now, eh? the editor cried. He flung the pages down.
—Clamn dever, Lenehan said to Mr O’Madden Burke.
—Very smart, Mr O’Madden Burke said.
Professor MacHugh came from the inner office.
—Talking about the invincibles, he said, did you see that some hawkers were up before the recorder?
—O yes, J. J. O’Molloy said eagerly. Lady Dudley was walking home through the park to see all the trees that were blown down by that cyclone last year and thought she’d buy a view of Dublin. And it turned out to be a commemoration postcard of Joe Brady or Number One or Skin-the-Goat. Right outside the viceregal lodge, imagine!
—They’re only in the hook and eye department, Myles Crawford said. Psha! Press and the bar! Where have you a man now at the bar like those fellows, like Whiteside, like Isaac Butt, like silvertongued O’Hagan. Eh? Ah, bloody nonsense. Psha! Only in the halfpenny place.
His mouth continued to twitch unspeaking in nervous curls of disdain.
Would anyone wish that mouth for her kiss? How do you know? Why did you write it then?
RHYMES AND REASONS
Mouth, south. Is the mouth south someway? Or the south a mouth? Must be some. South, pout, out, shout, drouth. Rhymes: two men dressed the same, looking the same, two by two.
........................ la tua pace .................. che parlar ti piace .... mentreché il vento, come fa, si tace.
He saw them three by three, approaching girls, in green, in rose, in russet, entwining, per l’aer perso, in mauve, in purple, quella pacifica oriafiamma, gold of oriflamme, di rimirar fe piu ardenti. But I old men, penitent, leadenfooted, underdarkneath the night: mouth south: tomb womb.
—Speak up for yourself, Mr O’Madden Burke said.
SUFFICIENT FOR THE DAY…
J. J. O’Molloy, smiling palely, took up the gage.
—My dear Myles, he said, flinging his cigarette aside, you put a false construction on my words. I hold no brief, as at present advised, for the third profession qua profession but your Cork legs are running away with you. Why not bring in Henry Grattan and Flood and Demosthenes and Edmund Burke? Ignatius Gallaher we all know and his Chapelizod boss, Harmsworth of the farthing press, and his American cousin of the Bowery guttersheet not to mention Paddy Kelly’s Budget, Pue’s Occurrences and our watchful friend The Skibbereen Eagle. Why bring in a master of forensic eloquence like Whiteside? Sufficient for the day is the newspaper thereof. LINKS WITH BYGONE DAYS OF YORE
—Grattan and Flood wrote for this very paper, the editor cried in his face. Irish volunteers. Where are you now? Established 1763. Dr Lucas. Who have you now like John Philpot Curran? Psha!
—Well, J. J. O’Molloy said, Bushe K.C., for example.
—Bushe? the editor said. Well, yes: Bushe, yes. He has a strain of it in his blood. Kendal Bushe or I mean Seymour Bushe.
—He would have been on the bench long ago, the professor said, only for … But no matter.
J. J. O’Molloy turned to Stephen and said quietly and slowly:
—One of the most polished periods I think I ever listened to in my life fell from the lips of Seymour Bushe. It was in that case of fratricide, the Childs murder case. Bushe defended him.And in the porches of mine ear did pour.
By the way how did he find that out? He died in his sleep. Or the other story, beast with two backs?
—What was that? the professor asked.
ITALIA, MAGISTRA ARTIUM
—He spoke on the law of evidence, J. J. O’Molloy said, of Roman justice as contrasted with the earlier Mosaic code, the lex talionis. And he cited the Moses of Michelangelo in the vatican.
—A few wellchosen words, Lenehan prefaced. Silence!
Pause. J. J. O’Molloy took out his cigarettecase.
False lull. Something quite ordinary.
Messenger took out his matchbox thoughtfully and lit his cigar.
I have often thought since on looking back over that strange time that it was that small act, trivial in itself, that striking of that match, that determined the whole aftercourse of both our lives. A POLISHED PERIOD
J. J. O’Molloy resumed, moulding his words:
—He said of it: that stony effigy in frozen music, horned and terrible, of the human form divine, that eternal symbol of wisdom and of prophecy which, if aught that the imagination or the hand of sculptor has wrought in marble of soultransfigured and of soultransfiguring deserves to live, deserves to live.
His slim hand with a wave graced echo and fall.
—Fine! Myles Crawford said at once.
—The divine afflatus, Mr O’Madden Burke said.
—You like it? J. J. O’Molloy asked Stephen.
Stephen, his blood wooed by grace of language and gesture, blushed. He took a cigarette from the case. J. J. O’Molloy offered his case to Myles Crawford. Lenehan lit their cigarettes as before and took his trophy, saying:
A MAN OF HIGH MORALE
—Professor Magennis was speaking to me about you, J. J. O’Molloy said to Stephen. What do you think really of that hermetic crowd, the opal hush poets: A. E. the mastermystic? That Blavatsky woman started it. She was a nice old bag of tricks. A. E. has been telling some yankee interviewer that you came to him in the small hours of the morning to ask him about planes of consciousness. Magennis thinks you must have been pulling A. E.’s leg. He is a man of the very highest morale, Magennis.
Speaking about me. What did he say? What did he say? What did he say about me? Don’t ask.
—No, thanks, professor MacHugh said, waving the cigarettecase aside. Wait a moment. Let me say one thing. The finest display of oratory I ever heard was a speech made by John F Taylor at the college historical society. Mr Justice Fitzgibbon, the present lord justice of appeal, had spoken and the paper under debate was an essay (new for those days), advocating the revival of the Irish tongue.
He turned towards Myles Crawford and said:
—You know Gerald Fitzgibbon. Then you can imagine the style of his discourse.
—He is sitting with Tim Healy, J. J. O’Molloy said, rumour has it, on the Trinity college estates commission.
—He is sitting with a sweet thing, Myles Crawford said, in a child’s frock. Go on. Well?
—It was the speech, mark you, the professor said, of a finished orator, full of courteous haughtiness and pouring in chastened diction I will not say the vials of his wrath but pouring the proud man’s contumely upon the new movement. It was then a new movement. We were weak, therefore worthless.
He closed his long thin lips an instant but, eager to be on, raised an outspanned hand to his spectacles and, with trembling thumb and ringfinger touching lightly the black rims, steadied them to a new focus.
In ferial tone he addressed J. J. O’Molloy:
—Taylor had come there, you must know, from a sickbed. That he had prepared his speech I do not believe for there was not even one shorthandwriter in the hall. His dark lean face had a growth of shaggy beard round it. He wore a loose white silk neckcloth and altogether he looked (though he was not) a dying man.
His gaze turned at once but slowly from J. J. O’Molloy’s towards Stephen’s face and then bent at once to the ground, seeking. His unglazed linen collar appeared behind his bent head, soiled by his withering hair. Still seeking, he said:
—When Fitzgibbon’s speech had ended John F Taylor rose to reply. Briefly, as well as I can bring them to mind, his words were these.
He raised his head firmly. His eyes bethought themselves once more. Witless shellfish swam in the gross lenses to and fro, seeking outlet.
—Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: Great was my admiration in listening to the remarks addressed to the youth of Ireland a moment since by my learned friend. It seemed to me that I had been transported into a country far away from this country, into an age remote from this age, that I stood in ancient Egypt and that I was listening to the speech of some highpriest of that land addressed to the youthful Moses.
His listeners held their cigarettes poised to hear, their smokes ascending in frail stalks that flowered with his speech. And let our crooked smokes. Noble words coming. Look out. Could you try your hand at it yourself?
—And it seemed to me that I heard the voice of that Egyptian highpriest raised in a tone of like haughtiness and like pride. I heard his words and their meaning was revealed to me.
FROM THE FATHERS
It was revealed to me that those things are good which yet are corrupted which neither if they were supremely good nor unless they were good could be corrupted. Ah, curse you! That’s saint Augustine.
—Why will you jews not accept our culture, our religion and our language? You are a tribe of nomad herdsmen: we are a mighty people. You have no cities nor no wealth: our cities are hives of humanity and our galleys, trireme and quadrireme, laden with all manner merchandise furrow the waters of the known globe. You have but emerged from primitive conditions: we have a literature, a priesthood, an agelong history and a polity.
Child, man, effigy.
By the Nilebank the babemaries kneel, cradle of bulrushes: a man supple in combat: stonehorned, stonebearded, heart of stone.
—You pray to a local and obscure idol: our temples, majestic and mysterious, are the abodes of Isis and Osiris, of Horus and Ammon Ra. Yours serfdom, awe and humbleness: ours thunder and the seas. Israel is weak and few are her children: Egypt is an host and terrible are her arms. Vagrants and daylabourers are you called: the world trembles at our name.
A dumb belch of hunger cleft his speech. He lifted his voice above it boldly:
—But, ladies and gentlemen, had the youthful Moses listened to and accepted that view of life, had he bowed his head and bowed his will and bowed his spirit before that arrogant admonition he would never have brought the chosen people out of their house of bondage, nor followed the pillar of the cloud by day. He would never have spoken with the Eternal amid lightnings on Sinai’s mountaintop nor ever have come down with the light of inspiration shining in his countenance and bearing in his arms the tables of the law, graven in the language of the outlaw.
He ceased and looked at them, enjoying a silence.
J. J. O’Molloy said not without regret:
—And yet he died without having entered the land of promise.
—A sudden—at—the—moment—though—from—lingering—illness—often— previously—expectorated—demise, Lenehan added. And with a great future behind him.
The troop of bare feet was heard rushing along the hallway and pattering up the staircase.
—That is oratory, the professor said uncontradicted. Gone with the wind. Hosts at Mullaghmast and Tara of the kings. Miles of ears of porches. The tribune’s words, howled and scattered to the four winds. A people sheltered within his voice. Dead noise. Akasic records of all that ever anywhere wherever was. Love and laud him: me no more.
I have money.
—Gentlemen, Stephen said. As the next motion on the agenda paper may I suggest that the house do now adjourn?
—You take my breath away. It is not perchance a French compliment? Mr O’Madden Burke asked. ‘Tis the hour, methinks, when the winejug, metaphorically speaking, is most grateful in Ye ancient hostelry.
—That it be and hereby is resolutely resolved. All that are in favour say ay, Lenehan announced. The contrary no. I declare it carried. To which particular boosing shed?… My casting vote is: Mooney’s!
He led the way, admonishing:
—We will sternly refuse to partake of strong waters, will we not? Yes, we will not. By no manner of means.
Mr O’Madden Burke, following close, said with an ally’s lunge of his umbrella:
—Lay on, Macduff!
—Chip of the old block! the editor cried, clapping Stephen on the shoulder. Let us go. Where are those blasted keys?
He fumbled in his pocket pulling out the crushed typesheets.
—Foot and mouth. I know. That’ll be all right. That’ll go in. Where are they? That’s all right.
He thrust the sheets back and went into the inner office. LET US HOPE
J. J. O’Molloy, about to follow him in, said quietly to Stephen:
—I hope you will live to see it published. Myles, one moment.
He went into the inner office, closing the door behind him.
—Come along, Stephen, the professor said. That is fine, isn’t it? It has the prophetic vision. Fuit Ilium! The sack of windy Troy. Kingdoms of this world. The masters of the Mediterranean are fellaheen today.
The first newsboy came pattering down the stairs at their heels and rushed out into the street, yelling:
Dublin. I have much, much to learn.
They turned to the left along Abbey street.
—I have a vision too, Stephen said.
—Yes? the professor said, skipping to get into step. Crawford will follow.
Another newsboy shot past them, yelling as he ran:
DEAR DIRTY DUBLIN
—Two Dublin vestals, Stephen said, elderly and pious, have lived fifty and fiftythree years in Fumbally’s lane.
—Where is that? the professor asked.
—Off Blackpitts, Stephen said.
Damp night reeking of hungry dough. Against the wall. Face glistering tallow under her fustian shawl. Frantic hearts. Akasic records. Quicker, darlint!
On now. Dare it. Let there be life.
—They want to see the views of Dublin from the top of Nelson’s pillar. They save up three and tenpence in a red tin letterbox moneybox. They shake out the threepenny bits and sixpences and coax out the pennies with the blade of a knife. Two and three in silver and one and seven in coppers. They put on their bonnets and best clothes and take their umbrellas for fear it may come on to rain.
—Wise virgins, professor MacHugh said.
LIFE ON THE RAW
—They buy one and fourpenceworth of brawn and four slices of panloaf at the north city diningrooms in Marlborough street from Miss Kate Collins, proprietress… They purchase four and twenty ripe plums from a girl at the foot of Nelson’s pillar to take off the thirst of the brawn. They give two threepenny bits to the gentleman at the turnstile and begin to waddle slowly up the winding staircase, grunting, encouraging each other, afraid of the dark, panting, one asking the other have you the brawn, praising God and the Blessed Virgin, threatening to come down, peeping at the airslits. Glory be to God. They had no idea it was that high.
Their names are Anne Kearns and Florence MacCabe. Anne Kearns has the lumbago for which she rubs on Lourdes water, given her by a lady who got a bottleful from a passionist father. Florence MacCabe takes a crubeen and a bottle of double X for supper every Saturday.
—Antithesis, the professor said nodding twice. Vestal virgins. I can see them. What’s keeping our friend?
A bevy of scampering newsboys rushed down the steps, scattering in all directions, yelling, their white papers fluttering. Hard after them Myles Crawford appeared on the steps, his hat aureoling his scarlet face, talking with J. J. O’Molloy.
—Come along, the professor cried, waving his arm.
He set off again to walk by Stephen’s side. RETURN OF BLOOM
—Yes, he said. I see them.
Mr Bloom, breathless, caught in a whirl of wild newsboys near the offices of the Irish Catholic and Dublin Penny Journal, called:
—Mr Crawford! A moment!
—Telegraph! Racing special!
—What is it? Myles Crawford said, falling back a pace.
A newsboy cried in Mr Bloom’s face:
—Terrible tragedy in Rathmines! A child bit by a bellows!
INTERVIEW WITH THE EDITOR
—Just this ad, Mr Bloom said, pushing through towards the steps, puffing, and taking the cutting from his pocket. I spoke with Mr Keyes just now. He’ll give a renewal for two months, he says. After he’ll see. But he wants a par to call attention in the Telegraph too, the Saturday pink. And he wants it copied if it’s not too late I told councillor Nannetti from the Kilkenny People. I can have access to it in the national library. House of keys, don’t you see? His name is Keyes. It’s a play on the name. But he practically promised he’d give the renewal. But he wants just a little puff. What will I tell him, Mr Crawford? K.M.A.
—Will you tell him he can kiss my arse? Myles Crawford said throwing out his arm for emphasis. Tell him that straight from the stable.
A bit nervy. Look out for squalls. All off for a drink. Arm in arm. Lenehan’s yachting cap on the cadge beyond. Usual blarney. Wonder is that young Dedalus the moving spirit. Has a good pair of boots on him today. Last time I saw him he had his heels on view. Been walking in muck somewhere. Careless chap. What was he doing in Irishtown?
—Well, Mr Bloom said, his eyes returning, if I can get the design I suppose it’s worth a short par. He’d give the ad, I think. I’ll tell him … K.M.R.I.A.
—He can kiss my royal Irish arse, Myles Crawford cried loudly over his shoulder. Any time he likes, tell him.
While Mr Bloom stood weighing the point and about to smile he strode on jerkily.
RAISING THE WIND
—Nulla bona, Jack, he said, raising his hand to his chin. I’m up to here. I’ve been through the hoop myself. I was looking for a fellow to back a bill for me no later than last week. Sorry, Jack. You must take the will for the deed. With a heart and a half if I could raise the wind anyhow.
J. J. O’Molloy pulled a long face and walked on silently. They caught up on the others and walked abreast.
—When they have eaten the brawn and the bread and wiped their twenty fingers in the paper the bread was wrapped in they go nearer to the railings.
—Something for you, the professor explained to Myles Crawford. Two old Dublin women on the top of Nelson’s pillar.
SOME COLUMN!—THAT’S WHAT WADDLER ONE SAID
—That’s new, Myles Crawford said. That’s copy. Out for the waxies Dargle. Two old trickies, what?
—But they are afraid the pillar will fall, Stephen went on. They see the roofs and argue about where the different churches are: Rathmines’ blue dome, Adam and Eve’s, saint Laurence O’Toole’s. But it makes them giddy to look so they pull up their skirts…
THOSE SLIGHTLY RAMBUNCTIOUS FEMALES
—Easy all, Myles Crawford said. No poetic licence. We’re in the archdiocese here.
—And settle down on their striped petticoats, peering up at the statue of the onehandled adulterer.
—Onehandled adulterer! the professor cried. I like that. I see the idea. I see what you mean.
DAMES DONATE DUBLIN’S CITS SPEEDPILLS VELOCITOUS AEROLITHS, BELIEF
—It gives them a crick in their necks, Stephen said, and they are too tired to look up or down or to speak. They put the bag of plums between them and eat the plums out of it, one after another, wiping off with their handkerchiefs the plumjuice that dribbles out of their mouths and spitting the plumstones slowly out between the railings.
He gave a sudden loud young laugh as a close. Lenehan and Mr O’Madden Burke, hearing, turned, beckoned and led on across towards Mooney’s.
—Finished? Myles Crawford said. So long as they do no worse.
SOPHIST WALLOPS HAUGHTY HELEN SQUARE ON PROBOSCIS. SPARTANS GNASH MOLARS. ITHACANS VOW PEN IS CHAMP.
—You remind me of Antisthenes, the professor said, a disciple of Gorgias, the sophist. It is said of him that none could tell if he were bitterer against others or against himself. He was the son of a noble and a bondwoman. And he wrote a book in which he took away the palm of beauty from Argive Helen and handed it to poor Penelope.
Poor Penelope. Penelope Rich.
They made ready to cross O’Connell street.
HELLO THERE, CENTRAL!
At various points along the eight lines tramcars with motionless trolleys stood in their tracks, bound for or from Rathmines, Rathfarnham, Blackrock, Kingstown and Dalkey, Sandymount Green, Ringsend and Sandymount Tower, Donnybrook, Palmerston Park and Upper Rathmines, all still, becalmed in short circuit. Hackney cars, cabs, delivery waggons, mailvans, private broughams, aerated mineral water floats with rattling crates of bottles, rattled, rolled, horsedrawn, rapidly.
—But what do you call it? Myles Crawford asked. Where did they get the plums?
VIRGILIAN, SAYS PEDAGOGUE. SOPHOMORE PLUMPS FOR OLD MAN MOSES.
—Call it, wait, the professor said, opening his long lips wide to reflect. Call it, let me see. Call it: deus nobis haec otia fecit.
—No, Stephen said. I call it A Pisgah Sight of Palestine or the Parable of The Plums.
—I see, the professor said.
He laughed richly.
—I see, he said again with new pleasure. Moses and the promised land. We gave him that idea, he added to J. J. O’Molloy.
HORATIO IS CYNOSURE THIS FAIR JUNE DAY
J. J. O’Molloy sent a weary sidelong glance towards the statue and held his peace.
—I see, the professor said.
He halted on sir John Gray’s pavement island and peered aloft at Nelson through the meshes of his wry smile.
DIMINISHED DIGITS PROVE TOO TITILLATING FOR FRISKY FRUMPS. ANNE WIMBLES, FLO WANGLES—YET CAN YOU BLAME THEM?
—Onehandled adulterer, he said smiling grimly. That tickles me, I must say.
—Tickled the old ones too, Myles Crawford said, if the God Almighty’s truth was known.
Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother. Some school treat. Bad for their tummies. Lozenge and comfit manufacturer to His Majesty the King. God. Save. Our. Sitting on his throne sucking red jujubes white.
A sombre Y.M.C.A. young man, watchful among the warm sweet fumes of Graham Lemon’s, placed a throwaway in a hand of Mr Bloom.
Heart to heart talks.
Bloo… Me? No.
Blood of the Lamb.
His slow feet walked him riverward, reading. Are you saved? All are washed in the blood of the lamb. God wants blood victim. Birth, hymen, martyr, war, foundation of a building, sacrifice, kidney burntoffering, druids’ altars. Elijah is coming. Dr John Alexander Dowie restorer of the church in Zion is coming.
Is coming! Is coming!! Is coming!!! All heartily welcome. Paying game. Torry and Alexander last year. Polygamy. His wife will put the stopper on that. Where was that ad some Birmingham firm the luminous crucifix. Our Saviour. Wake up in the dead of night and see him on the wall, hanging. Pepper’s ghost idea. Iron nails ran in.
Phosphorus it must be done with. If you leave a bit of codfish for instance. I could see the bluey silver over it. Night I went down to the pantry in the kitchen. Don’t like all the smells in it waiting to rush out. What was it she wanted? The Malaga raisins. Thinking of Spain. Before Rudy was born. The phosphorescence, that bluey greeny. Very good for the brain.
From Butler’s monument house corner he glanced along Bachelor’s walk. Dedalus’ daughter there still outside Dillon’s auctionrooms. Must be selling off some old furniture. Knew her eyes at once from the father. Lobbing about waiting for him. Home always breaks up when the mother goes. Fifteen children he had. Birth every year almost. That’s in their theology or the priest won’t give the poor woman the confession, the absolution. Increase and multiply. Did you ever hear such an idea? Eat you out of house and home. No families themselves to feed. Living on the fat of the land. Their butteries and larders. I’d like to see them do the black fast Yom Kippur. Crossbuns. One meal and a collation for fear he’d collapse on the altar. A housekeeper of one of those fellows if you could pick it out of her. Never pick it out of her. Like getting l.s.d. out of him. Does himself well. No guests. All for number one. Watching his water. Bring your own bread and butter. His reverence: mum’s the word.
Good Lord, that poor child’s dress is in flitters. Underfed she looks too. Potatoes and marge, marge and potatoes. It’s after they feel it. Proof of the pudding. Undermines the constitution.
As he set foot on O’Connell bridge a puffball of smoke plumed up from the parapet. Brewery barge with export stout. England. Sea air sours it, I heard. Be interesting some day get a pass through Hancock to see the brewery. Regular world in itself. Vats of porter wonderful. Rats get in too. Drink themselves bloated as big as a collie floating. Dead drunk on the porter. Drink till they puke again like christians. Imagine drinking that! Rats: vats. Well, of course, if we knew all the things.
Looking down he saw flapping strongly, wheeling between the gaunt quaywalls, gulls. Rough weather outside. If I threw myself down? Reuben J’s son must have swallowed a good bellyful of that sewage. One and eightpence too much. Hhhhm. It’s the droll way he comes out with the things. Knows how to tell a story too.
They wheeled lower. Looking for grub. Wait.
He threw down among them a crumpled paper ball. Elijah thirtytwo feet per sec is com. Not a bit. The ball bobbed unheeded on the wake of swells, floated under by the bridgepiers. Not such damn fools. Also the day I threw that stale cake out of the Erin’s King picked it up in the wake fifty yards astern. Live by their wits. They wheeled, flapping.
The hungry famished gull Flaps o'er the waters dull.
That is how poets write, the similar sounds. But then Shakespeare has no rhymes: blank verse. The flow of the language it is. The thoughts. Solemn.
Hamlet, I am thy father's spirit Doomed for a certain time to walk the earth. —Two apples a penny! Two for a penny!
His gaze passed over the glazed apples serried on her stand. Australians they must be this time of year. Shiny peels: polishes them up with a rag or a handkerchief.
Wait. Those poor birds.
He halted again and bought from the old applewoman two Banbury cakes for a penny and broke the brittle paste and threw its fragments down into the Liffey. See that? The gulls swooped silently, two, then all from their heights, pouncing on prey. Gone. Every morsel.
Aware of their greed and cunning he shook the powdery crumb from his hands. They never expected that. Manna. Live on fish, fishy flesh they have, all seabirds, gulls, seagoose. Swans from Anna Liffey swim down here sometimes to preen themselves. No accounting for tastes. Wonder what kind is swanmeat. Robinson Crusoe had to live on them.
They wheeled flapping weakly. I’m not going to throw any more. Penny quite enough. Lot of thanks I get. Not even a caw. They spread foot and mouth disease too. If you cram a turkey say on chestnutmeal it tastes like that. Eat pig like pig. But then why is it that saltwater fish are not salty? How is that?
His eyes sought answer from the river and saw a rowboat rock at anchor on the treacly swells lazily its plastered board.
Kino’s 11/- Trousers
Good idea that. Wonder if he pays rent to the corporation. How can you own water really? It’s always flowing in a stream, never the same, which in the stream of life we trace. Because life is a stream. All kinds of places are good for ads. That quack doctor for the clap used to be stuck up in all the greenhouses. Never see it now. Strictly confidential. Dr Hy Franks. Didn’t cost him a red like Maginni the dancing master self advertisement. Got fellows to stick them up or stick them up himself for that matter on the q. t. running in to loosen a button. Flybynight. Just the place too. POST NO BILLS. POST 110 PILLS. Some chap with a dose burning him.
No, no. I don’t believe it. He wouldn’t surely?
Mr Bloom moved forward, raising his troubled eyes. Think no more about that. After one. Timeball on the ballastoffice is down. Dunsink time. Fascinating little book that is of sir Robert Ball’s. Parallax. I never exactly understood. There’s a priest. Could ask him. Par it’s Greek: parallel, parallax. Met him pike hoses she called it till I told her about the transmigration. O rocks!
Mr Bloom smiled O rocks at two windows of the ballastoffice. She’s right after all. Only big words for ordinary things on account of the sound. She’s not exactly witty. Can be rude too. Blurt out what I was thinking. Still, I don’t know. She used to say Ben Dollard had a base barreltone voice. He has legs like barrels and you’d think he was singing into a barrel. Now, isn’t that wit. They used to call him big Ben. Not half as witty as calling him base barreltone. Appetite like an albatross. Get outside of a baron of beef. Powerful man he was at stowing away number one Bass. Barrel of Bass. See? It all works out.
A procession of whitesmocked sandwichmen marched slowly towards him along the gutter, scarlet sashes across their boards. Bargains. Like that priest they are this morning: we have sinned: we have suffered. He read the scarlet letters on their five tall white hats: H. E. L. Y. S. Wisdom Hely’s. Y lagging behind drew a chunk of bread from under his foreboard, crammed it into his mouth and munched as he walked. Our staple food. Three bob a day, walking along the gutters, street after street. Just keep skin and bone together, bread and skilly. They are not Boyl: no, M Glade’s men. Doesn’t bring in any business either. I suggested to him about a transparent showcart with two smart girls sitting inside writing letters, copybooks, envelopes, blottingpaper. I bet that would have caught on. Smart girls writing something catch the eye at once. Everyone dying to know what she’s writing. Get twenty of them round you if you stare at nothing. Have a finger in the pie. Women too. Curiosity. Pillar of salt. Wouldn’t have it of course because he didn’t think of it himself first. Or the inkbottle I suggested with a false stain of black celluloid. His ideas for ads like Plumtree’s potted under the obituaries, cold meat department. You can’t lick ’em. What? Our envelopes. Hello, Jones, where are you going? Can’t stop, Robinson, I am hastening to purchase the only reliable inkeraser Kansell, sold by Hely’s Ltd, 85 Dame street. Well out of that ruck I am. Devil of a job it was collecting accounts of those convents. Tranquilla convent. That was a nice nun there, really sweet face. Wimple suited her small head. Sister? Sister? I am sure she was crossed in love by her eyes. Very hard to bargain with that sort of a woman. I disturbed her at her devotions that morning. But glad to communicate with the outside world. Our great day, she said. Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Sweet name too: caramel. She knew I, I think she knew by the way she. If she had married she would have changed. I suppose they really were short of money. Fried everything in the best butter all the same. No lard for them. My heart’s broke eating dripping. They like buttering themselves in and out. Molly tasting it, her veil up. Sister? Pat Claffey, the pawnbroker’s daughter. It was a nun they say invented barbed wire.
He crossed Westmoreland street when apostrophe S had plodded by. Rover cycleshop. Those races are on today. How long ago is that? Year Phil Gilligan died. We were in Lombard street west. Wait: was in Thom’s. Got the job in Wisdom Hely’s year we married. Six years. Ten years ago: ninetyfour he died yes that’s right the big fire at Arnott’s. Val Dillon was lord mayor. The Glencree dinner. Alderman Robert O’Reilly emptying the port into his soup before the flag fell. Bobbob lapping it for the inner alderman. Couldn’t hear what the band played. For what we have already received may the Lord make us. Milly was a kiddy then. Molly had that elephantgrey dress with the braided frogs. Mantailored with selfcovered buttons. She didn’t like it because I sprained my ankle first day she wore choir picnic at the Sugarloaf. As if that. Old Goodwin’s tall hat done up with some sticky stuff. Flies’ picnic too. Never put a dress on her back like it. Fitted her like a glove, shoulders and hips. Just beginning to plump it out well. Rabbitpie we had that day. People looking after her.
Happy. Happier then. Snug little room that was with the red wallpaper. Dockrell’s, one and ninepence a dozen. Milly’s tubbing night. American soap I bought: elderflower. Cosy smell of her bathwater. Funny she looked soaped all over. Shapely too. Now photography. Poor papa’s daguerreotype atelier he told me of. Hereditary taste.
He walked along the curbstone.
Stream of life. What was the name of that priestylooking chap was always squinting in when he passed? Weak eyes, woman. Stopped in Citron’s saint Kevin’s parade. Pen something. Pendennis? My memory is getting. Pen …? Of course it’s years ago. Noise of the trams probably. Well, if he couldn’t remember the dayfather’s name that he sees every day.
Bartell d’Arcy was the tenor, just coming out then. Seeing her home after practice. Conceited fellow with his waxedup moustache. Gave her that song Winds that blow from the south.
Windy night that was I went to fetch her there was that lodge meeting on about those lottery tickets after Goodwin’s concert in the supperroom or oakroom of the Mansion house. He and I behind. Sheet of her music blew out of my hand against the High school railings. Lucky it didn’t. Thing like that spoils the effect of a night for her. Professor Goodwin linking her in front. Shaky on his pins, poor old sot. His farewell concerts. Positively last appearance on any stage. May be for months and may be for never. Remember her laughing at the wind, her blizzard collar up. Corner of Harcourt road remember that gust. Brrfoo! Blew up all her skirts and her boa nearly smothered old Goodwin. She did get flushed in the wind. Remember when we got home raking up the fire and frying up those pieces of lap of mutton for her supper with the Chutney sauce she liked. And the mulled rum. Could see her in the bedroom from the hearth unclamping the busk of her stays: white.
Swish and soft flop her stays made on the bed. Always warm from her. Always liked to let her self out. Sitting there after till near two taking out her hairpins. Milly tucked up in beddyhouse. Happy. Happy. That was the night…
—O, Mr Bloom, how do you do?
—O, how do you do, Mrs Breen?
—No use complaining. How is Molly those times? Haven’t seen her for ages.
—In the pink, Mr Bloom said gaily. Milly has a position down in Mullingar, you know.
—Go away! Isn’t that grand for her?
—Yes. In a photographer’s there. Getting on like a house on fire. How are all your charges?
—All on the baker’s list, Mrs Breen said.
How many has she? No other in sight.
—You’re in black, I see. You have no…
—No, Mr Bloom said. I have just come from a funeral.
Going to crop up all day, I foresee. Who’s dead, when and what did he die of? Turn up like a bad penny.
—O, dear me, Mrs Breen said. I hope it wasn’t any near relation.
May as well get her sympathy.
—Dignam, Mr Bloom said. An old friend of mine. He died quite suddenly, poor fellow. Heart trouble, I believe. Funeral was this morning.
Your funeral’s tomorrow While you’re coming through the rye. Diddlediddle dumdum Diddlediddle…
—Sad to lose the old friends, Mrs Breen’s womaneyes said melancholily.
Now that’s quite enough about that. Just: quietly: husband.
—And your lord and master?
Mrs Breen turned up her two large eyes. Hasn’t lost them anyhow.
—O, don’t be talking! she said. He’s a caution to rattlesnakes. He’s in there now with his lawbooks finding out the law of libel. He has me heartscalded. Wait till I show you.
Hot mockturtle vapour and steam of newbaked jampuffs rolypoly poured out from Harrison’s. The heavy noonreek tickled the top of Mr Bloom’s gullet. Want to make good pastry, butter, best flour, Demerara sugar, or they’d taste it with the hot tea. Or is it from her? A barefoot arab stood over the grating, breathing in the fumes. Deaden the gnaw of hunger that way. Pleasure or pain is it? Penny dinner. Knife and fork chained to the table.
Opening her handbag, chipped leather. Hatpin: ought to have a guard on those things. Stick it in a chap’s eye in the tram. Rummaging. Open. Money. Please take one. Devils if they lose sixpence. Raise Cain. Husband barging. Where’s the ten shillings I gave you on Monday? Are you feeding your little brother’s family? Soiled handkerchief: medicinebottle. Pastille that was fell. What is she?…
—There must be a new moon out, she said. He’s always bad then. Do you know what he did last night?
Her hand ceased to rummage. Her eyes fixed themselves on him, wide in alarm, yet smiling.
—What? Mr Bloom asked.
Let her speak. Look straight in her eyes. I believe you. Trust me.
—Woke me up in the night, she said. Dream he had, a nightmare.
—Said the ace of spades was walking up the stairs.
—The ace of spades! Mr Bloom said.
She took a folded postcard from her handbag.
—Read that, she said. He got it this morning.
—What is it? Mr Bloom asked, taking the card. U.P.?
—U.P.: up, she said. Someone taking a rise out of him. It’s a great shame for them whoever he is.
—Indeed it is, Mr Bloom said.
She took back the card, sighing.
—And now he’s going round to Mr Menton’s office. He’s going to take an action for ten thousand pounds, he says.
She folded the card into her untidy bag and snapped the catch.
Same blue serge dress she had two years ago, the nap bleaching. Seen its best days. Wispish hair over her ears. And that dowdy toque: three old grapes to take the harm out of it. Shabby genteel. She used to be a tasty dresser. Lines round her mouth. Only a year or so older than Molly.
See the eye that woman gave her, passing. Cruel. The unfair sex.
He looked still at her, holding back behind his look his discontent. Pungent mockturtle oxtail mulligatawny. I’m hungry too. Flakes of pastry on the gusset of her dress: daub of sugary flour stuck to her cheek. Rhubarb tart with liberal fillings, rich fruit interior. Josie Powell that was. In Luke Doyle’s long ago. Dolphin’s Barn, the charades. U.P.: up.
Change the subject.
—Do you ever see anything of Mrs Beaufoy? Mr Bloom asked.
—Mina Purefoy? she said.
Philip Beaufoy I was thinking. Playgoers’ Club. Matcham often thinks of the masterstroke. Did I pull the chain? Yes. The last act.
—I just called to ask on the way in is she over it. She’s in the lying-in hospital in Holles street. Dr Horne got her in. She’s three days bad now.
—O, Mr Bloom said. I’m sorry to hear that.
—Yes, Mrs Breen said. And a houseful of kids at home. It’s a very stiff birth, the nurse told me.
—-O, Mr Bloom said.
His heavy pitying gaze absorbed her news. His tongue clacked in compassion. Dth! Dth!
—I’m sorry to hear that, he said. Poor thing! Three days! That’s terrible for her.
Mrs Breen nodded.
—She was taken bad on the Tuesday…
Mr Bloom touched her funnybone gently, warning her:
—Mind! Let this man pass.
A bony form strode along the curbstone from the river staring with a rapt gaze into the sunlight through a heavystringed glass. Tight as a skullpiece a tiny hat gripped his head. From his arm a folded dustcoat, a stick and an umbrella dangled to his stride.
—Watch him, Mr Bloom said. He always walks outside the lampposts. Watch!
—Who is he if it’s a fair question? Mrs Breen asked. Is he dotty?
—His name is Cashel Boyle O’Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell, Mr Bloom said smiling. Watch!
—He has enough of them, she said. Denis will be like that one of these days.
She broke off suddenly.
—There he is, she said. I must go after him. Goodbye. Remember me to Molly, won’t you?
—I will, Mr Bloom said.
He watched her dodge through passers towards the shopfronts. Denis Breen in skimpy frockcoat and blue canvas shoes shuffled out of Harrison’s hugging two heavy tomes to his ribs. Blown in from the bay. Like old times. He suffered her to overtake him without surprise and thrust his dull grey beard towards her, his loose jaw wagging as he spoke earnestly.
Meshuggah. Off his chump.
Mr Bloom walked on again easily, seeing ahead of him in sunlight the tight skullpiece, the dangling stickumbrelladustcoat. Going the two days. Watch him! Out he goes again. One way of getting on in the world. And that other old mosey lunatic in those duds. Hard time she must have with him.
U.P.: up. I’ll take my oath that’s Alf Bergan or Richie Goulding. Wrote it for a lark in the Scotch house I bet anything. Round to Menton’s office. His oyster eyes staring at the postcard. Be a feast for the gods.
He passed the Irish Times. There might be other answers Iying there. Like to answer them all. Good system for criminals. Code. At their lunch now. Clerk with the glasses there doesn’t know me. O, leave them there to simmer. Enough bother wading through fortyfour of them. Wanted, smart lady typist to aid gentleman in literary work. I called you naughty darling because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the meaning. Please tell me what perfume does your wife. Tell me who made the world. The way they spring those questions on you. And the other one Lizzie Twigg. My literary efforts have had the good fortune to meet with the approval of the eminent poet A. E. (Mr Geo. Russell). No time to do her hair drinking sloppy tea with a book of poetry.
Best paper by long chalks for a small ad. Got the provinces now. Cook and general, exc. cuisine, housemaid kept. Wanted live man for spirit counter. Resp. girl (R.C.) wishes to hear of post in fruit or pork shop. James Carlisle made that. Six and a half per cent dividend. Made a big deal on Coates’s shares. Ca’ canny. Cunning old Scotch hunks. All the toady news. Our gracious and popular vicereine. Bought the Irish Field now. Lady Mountcashel has quite recovered after her confinement and rode out with the Ward Union staghounds at the enlargement yesterday at Rathoath. Uneatable fox. Pothunters too. Fear injects juices make it tender enough for them. Riding astride. Sit her horse like a man. Weightcarrying huntress. No sidesaddle or pillion for her, not for Joe. First to the meet and in at the death. Strong as a brood mare some of those horsey women. Swagger around livery stables. Toss off a glass of brandy neat while you’d say knife. That one at the Grosvenor this morning. Up with her on the car: wishswish. Stonewall or fivebarred gate put her mount to it. Think that pugnosed driver did it out of spite. Who is this she was like? O yes! Mrs Miriam Dandrade that sold me her old wraps and black underclothes in the Shelbourne hotel. Divorced Spanish American. Didn’t take a feather out of her my handling them. As if I was her clotheshorse. Saw her in the viceregal party when Stubbs the park ranger got me in with Whelan of the Express. Scavenging what the quality left. High tea. Mayonnaise I poured on the plums thinking it was custard. Her ears ought to have tingled for a few weeks after. Want to be a bull for her. Born courtesan. No nursery work for her, thanks.
Poor Mrs Purefoy! Methodist husband. Method in his madness. Saffron bun and milk and soda lunch in the educational dairy. Y. M. C. A. Eating with a stopwatch, thirtytwo chews to the minute. And still his muttonchop whiskers grew. Supposed to be well connected. Theodore’s cousin in Dublin Castle. One tony relative in every family. Hardy annuals he presents her with. Saw him out at the Three Jolly Topers marching along bareheaded and his eldest boy carrying one in a marketnet. The squallers. Poor thing! Then having to give the breast year after year all hours of the night. Selfish those t.t’s are. Dog in the manger. Only one lump of sugar in my tea, if you please.
He stood at Fleet street crossing. Luncheon interval. A sixpenny at Rowe’s? Must look up that ad in the national library. An eightpenny in the Burton. Better. On my way.
He walked on past Bolton’s Westmoreland house. Tea. Tea. Tea. I forgot to tap Tom Kernan.
Sss. Dth, dth, dth! Three days imagine groaning on a bed with a vinegared handkerchief round her forehead, her belly swollen out. Phew! Dreadful simply! Child’s head too big: forceps. Doubled up inside her trying to butt its way out blindly, groping for the way out. Kill me that would. Lucky Molly got over hers lightly. They ought to invent something to stop that. Life with hard labour. Twilight sleep idea: queen Victoria was given that. Nine she had. A good layer. Old woman that lived in a shoe she had so many children. Suppose he was consumptive. Time someone thought about it instead of gassing about the what was it the pensive bosom of the silver effulgence. Flapdoodle to feed fools on. They could easily have big establishments whole thing quite painless out of all the taxes give every child born five quid at compound interest up to twentyone five per cent is a hundred shillings and five tiresome pounds multiply by twenty decimal system encourage people to put by money save hundred and ten and a bit twentyone years want to work it out on paper come to a tidy sum more than you think.
Not stillborn of course. They are not even registered. Trouble for nothing.
Funny sight two of them together, their bellies out. Molly and Mrs Moisel. Mothers’ meeting. Phthisis retires for the time being, then returns. How flat they look all of a sudden after. Peaceful eyes. Weight off their mind. Old Mrs Thornton was a jolly old soul. All my babies, she said. The spoon of pap in her mouth before she fed them. O, that’s nyumnyum. Got her hand crushed by old Tom Wall’s son. His first bow to the public. Head like a prize pumpkin. Snuffy Dr Murren. People knocking them up at all hours. For God’ sake, doctor. Wife in her throes. Then keep them waiting months for their fee. To attendance on your wife. No gratitude in people. Humane doctors, most of them.
Before the huge high door of the Irish house of parliament a flock of pigeons flew. Their little frolic after meals. Who will we do it on? I pick the fellow in black. Here goes. Here’s good luck. Must be thrilling from the air. Apjohn, myself and Owen Goldberg up in the trees near Goose green playing the monkeys. Mackerel they called me.
A squad of constables debouched from College street, marching in Indian file. Goosestep. Foodheated faces, sweating helmets, patting their truncheons. After their feed with a good load of fat soup under their belts. Policeman’s lot is oft a happy one. They split up in groups and scattered, saluting, towards their beats. Let out to graze. Best moment to attack one in pudding time. A punch in his dinner. A squad of others, marching irregularly, rounded Trinity railings making for the station. Bound for their troughs. Prepare to receive cavalry. Prepare to receive soup.
He crossed under Tommy Moore’s roguish finger. They did right to put him up over a urinal: meeting of the waters. Ought to be places for women. Running into cakeshops. Settle my hat straight. There is not in this wide world a vallee. Great song of Julia Morkan’s. Kept her voice up to the very last. Pupil of Michael Balfe’s, wasn’t she?
He gazed after the last broad tunic. Nasty customers to tackle. Jack Power could a tale unfold: father a G man. If a fellow gave them trouble being lagged they let him have it hot and heavy in the bridewell. Can’t blame them after all with the job they have especially the young hornies. That horsepoliceman the day Joe Chamberlain was given his degree in Trinity he got a run for his money. My word he did! His horse’s hoofs clattering after us down Abbey street. Lucky I had the presence of mind to dive into Manning’s or I was souped. He did come a wallop, by George. Must have cracked his skull on the cobblestones. I oughtn’t to have got myself swept along with those medicals. And the Trinity jibs in their mortarboards. Looking for trouble. Still I got to know that young Dixon who dressed that sting for me in the Mater and now he’s in Holles street where Mrs Purefoy. Wheels within wheels. Police whistle in my ears still. All skedaddled. Why he fixed on me. Give me in charge. Right here it began.
—Up the Boers!
—Three cheers for De Wet!
—We’ll hang Joe Chamberlain on a sourapple tree.
Silly billies: mob of young cubs yelling their guts out. Vinegar hill. The Butter exchange band. Few years’ time half of them magistrates and civil servants. War comes on: into the army helterskelter: same fellows used to. Whether on the scaffold high.
Never know who you’re talking to. Corny Kelleher he has Harvey Duff in his eye. Like that Peter or Denis or James Carey that blew the gaff on the invincibles. Member of the corporation too. Egging raw youths on to get in the know all the time drawing secret service pay from the castle. Drop him like a hot potato. Why those plainclothes men are always courting slaveys. Easily twig a man used to uniform. Squarepushing up against a backdoor. Maul her a bit. Then the next thing on the menu. And who is the gentleman does be visiting there? Was the young master saying anything? Peeping Tom through the keyhole. Decoy duck. Hotblooded young student fooling round her fat arms ironing.
—Are those yours, Mary?
—I don’t wear such things… Stop or I’ll tell the missus on you. Out half the night.
—There are great times coming, Mary. Wait till you see.
—Ah, gelong with your great times coming.
Barmaids too. Tobaccoshopgirls.
James Stephens’ idea was the best. He knew them. Circles of ten so that a fellow couldn’t round on more than his own ring. Sinn Fein. Back out you get the knife. Hidden hand. Stay in. The firing squad. Turnkey’s daughter got him out of Richmond, off from Lusk. Putting up in the Buckingham Palace hotel under their very noses. Garibaldi.
You must have a certain fascination: Parnell. Arthur Griffith is a squareheaded fellow but he has no go in him for the mob. Or gas about our lovely land. Gammon and spinach. Dublin Bakery Company’s tearoom. Debating societies. That republicanism is the best form of government. That the language question should take precedence of the economic question. Have your daughters inveigling them to your house. Stuff them up with meat and drink. Michaelmas goose. Here’s a good lump of thyme seasoning under the apron for you. Have another quart of goosegrease before it gets too cold. Halffed enthusiasts. Penny roll and a walk with the band. No grace for the carver. The thought that the other chap pays best sauce in the world. Make themselves thoroughly at home. Show us over those apricots, meaning peaches. The not far distant day. Homerule sun rising up in the northwest.
His smile faded as he walked, a heavy cloud hiding the sun slowly, shadowing Trinity’s surly front. Trams passed one another, ingoing, outgoing, clanging. Useless words. Things go on same, day after day: squads of police marching out, back: trams in, out. Those two loonies mooching about. Dignam carted off. Mina Purefoy swollen belly on a bed groaning to have a child tugged out of her. One born every second somewhere. Other dying every second. Since I fed the birds five minutes. Three hundred kicked the bucket. Other three hundred born, washing the blood off, all are washed in the blood of the lamb, bawling maaaaaa.
Cityful passing away, other cityful coming, passing away too: other coming on, passing on. Houses, lines of houses, streets, miles of pavements, piledup bricks, stones. Changing hands. This owner, that. Landlord never dies they say. Other steps into his shoes when he gets his notice to quit. They buy the place up with gold and still they have all the gold. Swindle in it somewhere. Piled up in cities, worn away age after age. Pyramids in sand. Built on bread and onions. Slaves Chinese wall. Babylon. Big stones left. Round towers. Rest rubble, sprawling suburbs, jerrybuilt. Kerwan’s mushroom houses built of breeze. Shelter, for the night.
No-one is anything.
This is the very worst hour of the day. Vitality. Dull, gloomy: hate this hour. Feel as if I had been eaten and spewed.
Provost’s house. The reverend Dr Salmon: tinned salmon. Well tinned in there. Like a mortuary chapel. Wouldn’t live in it if they paid me. Hope they have liver and bacon today. Nature abhors a vacuum.
The sun freed itself slowly and lit glints of light among the silverware opposite in Walter Sexton’s window by which John Howard Parnell passed, unseeing.
There he is: the brother. Image of him. Haunting face. Now that’s a coincidence. Course hundreds of times you think of a person and don’t meet him. Like a man walking in his sleep. No-one knows him. Must be a corporation meeting today. They say he never put on the city marshal’s uniform since he got the job. Charley Kavanagh used to come out on his high horse, cocked hat, puffed, powdered and shaved. Look at the woebegone walk of him. Eaten a bad egg. Poached eyes on ghost. I have a pain. Great man’s brother: his brother’s brother. He’d look nice on the city charger. Drop into the D.B.C. probably for his coffee, play chess there. His brother used men as pawns. Let them all go to pot. Afraid to pass a remark on him. Freeze them up with that eye of his. That’s the fascination: the name. All a bit touched. Mad Fanny and his other sister Mrs Dickinson driving about with scarlet harness. Bolt upright lik surgeon M’Ardle. Still David Sheehy beat him for south Meath. Apply for the Chiltern Hundreds and retire into public life. The patriot’s banquet. Eating orangepeels in the park. Simon Dedalus said when they put him in parliament that Parnell would come back from the grave and lead him out of the house of commons by the arm.
—Of the twoheaded octopus, one of whose heads is the head upon which the ends of the world have forgotten to come while the other speaks with a Scotch accent. The tentacles…
They passed from behind Mr Bloom along the curbstone. Beard and bicycle. Young woman.
And there he is too. Now that’s really a coincidence: second time. Coming events cast their shadows before. With the approval of the eminent poet, Mr Geo. Russell. That might be Lizzie Twigg with him. A. E.: what does that mean? Initials perhaps. Albert Edward, Arthur Edmund, Alphonsus Eb Ed El Esquire. What was he saying? The ends of the world with a Scotch accent. Tentacles: octopus. Something occult: symbolism. Holding forth. She’s taking it all in. Not saying a word. To aid gentleman in literary work.
His eyes followed the high figure in homespun, beard and bicycle, a listening woman at his side. Coming from the vegetarian. Only weggebobbles and fruit. Don’t eat a beefsteak. If you do the eyes of that cow will pursue you through all eternity. They say it’s healthier. Windandwatery though. Tried it. Keep you on the run all day. Bad as a bloater. Dreams all night. Why do they call that thing they gave me nutsteak? Nutarians. Fruitarians. To give you the idea you are eating rumpsteak. Absurd. Salty too. They cook in soda. Keep you sitting by the tap all night.
Her stockings are loose over her ankles. I detest that: so tasteless. Those literary etherial people they are all. Dreamy, cloudy, symbolistic. Esthetes they are. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that kind of food you see produces the like waves of the brain the poetical. For example one of those policemen sweating Irish stew into their shirts you couldn’t squeeze a line of poetry out of him. Don’t know what poetry is even. Must be in a certain mood.
The dreamy cloudy gull Waves o'er the waters dull.
He crossed at Nassau street corner and stood before the window of Yeates and Son, pricing the fieldglasses. Or will I drop into old Harris’s and have a chat with young Sinclair? Wellmannered fellow. Probably at his lunch. Must get those old glasses of mine set right. Goerz lenses six guineas. Germans making their way everywhere. Sell on easy terms to capture trade. Undercutting. Might chance on a pair in the railway lost property office. Astonishing the things people leave behind them in trains and cloakrooms. What do they be thinking about? Women too. Incredible. Last year travelling to Ennis had to pick up that farmer’s daughter’s ba and hand it to her at Limerick junction. Unclaimed money too. There’s a little watch up there on the roof of the bank to test those glasses by.
His lids came down on the lower rims of his irides. Can’t see it. If you imagine it’s there you can almost see it. Can’t see it.
He faced about and, standing between the awnings, held out his right hand at arm’s length towards the sun. Wanted to try that often. Yes: completely. The tip of his little finger blotted out the sun’s disk. Must be the focus where the rays cross. If I had black glasses. Interesting. There was a lot of talk about those sunspots when we were in Lombard street west. Looking up from the back garden. Terrific explosions they are. There will be a total eclipse this year: autumn some time.
Now that I come to think of it that ball falls at Greenwich time. It’s the clock is worked by an electric wire from Dunsink. Must go out there some first Saturday of the month. If I could get an introduction to professor Joly or learn up something about his family. That would do to: man always feels complimented. Flattery where least expected. Nobleman proud to be descended from some king’s mistress. His foremother. Lay it on with a trowel. Cap in hand goes through the land. Not go in and blurt out what you know you’re not to: what’s parallax? Show this gentleman the door.
His hand fell to his side again.
Never know anything about it. Waste of time. Gasballs spinning about, crossing each other, passing. Same old dingdong always. Gas: then solid: then world: then cold: then dead shell drifting around, frozen rock, like that pineapple rock. The moon. Must be a new moon out, she said. I believe there is.
He went on by la maison Claire.
Wait. The full moon was the night we were Sunday fortnight exactly there is a new moon. Walking down by the Tolka. Not bad for a Fairview moon. She was humming. The young May moon she’s beaming, love. He other side of her. Elbow, arm. He. Glowworm’s la-amp is gleaming, love. Touch. Fingers. Asking. Answer. Yes.
Stop. Stop. If it was it was. Must.
Mr Bloom, quickbreathing, slowlier walking passed Adam court.
With a keep quiet relief his eyes took note this is the street here middle of the day of Bob Doran’s bottle shoulders. On his annual bend, M Coy said. They drink in order to say or do something or cherchez la femme. Up in the Coombe with chummies and streetwalkers and then the rest of the year sober as a judge.
Yes. Thought so. Sloping into the Empire. Gone. Plain soda would do him good. Where Pat Kinsella had his Harp theatre before Whitbred ran the Queen’s. Broth of a boy. Dion Boucicault business with his harvestmoon face in a poky bonnet. Three Purty Maids from School. How time flies, eh? Showing long red pantaloons under his skirts. Drinkers, drinking, laughed spluttering, their drink against their breath. More power, Pat. Coarse red: fun for drunkards: guffaw and smoke. Take off that white hat. His parboiled eyes. Where is he now? Beggar somewhere. The harp that once did starve us all.
I was happier then. Or was that I? Or am I now I? Twentyeight I was. She twentythree. When we left Lombard street west something changed. Could never like it again after Rudy. Can’t bring back time. Like holding water in your hand. Would you go back to then? Just beginning then. Would you? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? Wants to sew on buttons for me. I must answer. Write it in the library.
Grafton street gay with housed awnings lured his senses. Muslin prints, silkdames and dowagers, jingle of harnesses, hoofthuds lowringing in the baking causeway. Thick feet that woman has in the white stockings. Hope the rain mucks them up on her. Countrybred chawbacon. All the beef to the heels were in. Always gives a woman clumsy feet. Molly looks out of plumb.
He passed, dallying, the windows of Brown Thomas, silk mercers. Cascades of ribbons. Flimsy China silks. A tilted urn poured from its mouth a flood of bloodhued poplin: lustrous blood. The huguenots brought that here. La causa è santa! Tara tara. Great chorus that. Taree tara. Must be washed in rainwater. Meyerbeer. Tara: bom bom bom.
Pincushions. I’m a long time threatening to buy one. Sticking them all over the place. Needles in window curtains.
He bared slightly his left forearm. Scrape: nearly gone. Not today anyhow. Must go back for that lotion. For her birthday perhaps. Junejulyaugseptember eighth. Nearly three months off. Then she mightn’t like it. Women won’t pick up pins. Say it cuts lo.
Gleaming silks, petticoats on slim brass rails, rays of flat silk stockings.
Useless to go back. Had to be. Tell me all.
High voices. Sunwarm silk. Jingling harnesses. All for a woman, home and houses, silkwebs, silver, rich fruits spicy from Jaffa. Agendath Netaim. Wealth of the world.
A warm human plumpness settled down on his brain. His brain yielded. Perfume of embraces all him assailed. With hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore.
Duke street. Here we are. Must eat. The Burton. Feel better then.
He turned Combridge’s corner, still pursued. Jingling, hoofthuds. Perfumed bodies, warm, full. All kissed, yielded: in deep summer fields, tangled pressed grass, in trickling hallways of tenements, along sofas, creaking beds.
—Kiss me, Reggy!
His heart astir he pushed in the door of the Burton restaurant. Stink gripped his trembling breath: pungent meatjuice, slush of greens. See the animals feed.
Men, men, men.
Perched on high stools by the bar, hats shoved back, at the tables calling for more bread no charge, swilling, wolfing gobfuls of sloppy food, their eyes bulging, wiping wetted moustaches. A pallid suetfaced young man polished his tumbler knife fork and spoon with his napkin. New set of microbes. A man with an infant’s saucestained napkin tucked round him shovelled gurgling soup down his gullet. A man spitting back on his plate: halfmasticated gristle: gums: no teeth to chewchewchew it. Chump chop from the grill. Bolting to get it over. Sad booser’s eyes. Bitten off more than he can chew. Am I like that? See ourselves as others see us. Hungry man is an angry man. Working tooth and jaw. Don’t! O! A bone! That last pagan king of Ireland Cormac in the schoolpoem choked himself at Sletty southward of the Boyne. Wonder what he was eating. Something galoptious. Saint Patrick converted him to Christianity. Couldn’t swallow it all however.
—Roast beef and cabbage.
Smells of men. His gorge rose. Spaton sawdust, sweetish warmish cigarette smoke, reek of plug, spilt beer, men’s beery piss, the stale of ferment.
Couldn’t eat a morsel here. Fellow sharpening knife and fork to eat all before him, old chap picking his tootles. Slight spasm, full, chewing the cud. Before and after. Grace after meals. Look on this picture then on that. Scoffing up stewgravy with sopping sippets of bread. Lick it off the plate, man! Get out of this.
He gazed round the stooled and tabled eaters, tightening the wings of his nose.
—Two stouts here.
—One corned and cabbage.
That fellow ramming a knifeful of cabbage down as if his life depended on it. Good stroke. Give me the fidgets to look. Safer to eat from his three hands. Tear it limb from limb. Second nature to him. Born with a silver knife in his mouth. That’s witty, I think. Or no. Silver means born rich. Born with a knife. But then the allusion is lost.
An illgirt server gathered sticky clattering plates. Rock, the head bailiff, standing at the bar blew the foamy crown from his tankard. Well up: it splashed yellow near his boot. A diner, knife and fork upright, elbows on table, ready for a second helping stared towards the foodlift across his stained square of newspaper. Other chap telling him something with his mouth full. Sympathetic listener. Table talk. I munched hum un thu Unchster Bunk un Munchday. Ha? Did you, faith?
Mr Bloom raised two fingers doubtfully to his lips. His eyes said:
—Not here. Don’t see him.
Out. I hate dirty eaters.
He backed towards the door. Get a light snack in Davy Byrne’s. Stopgap. Keep me going. Had a good breakfast.
—Roast and mashed here.
—Pint of stout.
Every fellow for his own, tooth and nail. Gulp. Grub. Gulp. Gobstuff.
He came out into clearer air and turned back towards Grafton street. Eat or be eaten. Kill! Kill!
Suppose that communal kitchen years to come perhaps. All trotting down with porringers and tommycans to be filled. Devour contents in the street. John Howard Parnell example the provost of Trinity every mother’s son don’t talk of your provosts and provost of Trinity women and children cabmen priests parsons fieldmarshals archbishops. From Ailesbury road, Clyde road, artisans’ dwellings, north Dublin union, lord mayor in his gingerbread coach, old queen in a bathchair. My plate’s empty. After you with our incorporated drinkingcup. Like sir Philip Crampton’s fountain. Rub off the microbes with your handkerchief. Next chap rubs on a new batch with his. Father O’Flynn would make hares of them all. Have rows all the same. All for number one. Children fighting for the scrapings of the pot. Want a souppot as big as the Phoenix park. Harpooning flitches and hindquarters out of it. Hate people all round you. City Arms hotel table d’hôte she called it. Soup, joint and sweet. Never know whose thoughts you’re chewing. Then who’d wash up all the plates and forks? Might be all feeding on tabloids that time. Teeth getting worse and worse.
After all there’s a lot in that vegetarian fine flavour of things from the earth garlic of course it stinks after Italian organgrinders crisp of onions mushrooms truffles. Pain to the animal too. Pluck and draw fowl. Wretched brutes there at the cattlemarket waiting for the poleaxe to split their skulls open. Moo. Poor trembling calves. Meh. Staggering bob. Bubble and squeak. Butchers’ buckets wobbly lights. Give us that brisket off the hook. Plup. Rawhead and bloody bones. Flayed glasseyed sheep hung from their haunches, sheepsnouts bloodypapered snivelling nosejam on sawdust. Top and lashers going out. Don’t maul them pieces, young one.
Hot fresh blood they prescribe for decline. Blood always needed. Insidious. Lick it up smokinghot, thick sugary. Famished ghosts.
Ah, I’m hungry.
He entered Davy Byrne’s. Moral pub. He doesn’t chat. Stands a drink now and then. But in leapyear once in four. Cashed a cheque for me once.
What will I take now? He drew his watch. Let me see now. Shandygaff?
—Hello, Bloom, Nosey Flynn said from his nook.
—Tiptop… Let me see. I’ll take a glass of burgundy and… let me see.
Sardines on the shelves. Almost taste them by looking. Sandwich? Ham and his descendants musterred and bred there. Potted meats. What is home without Plumtree’s potted meat? Incomplete. What a stupid ad! Under the obituary notices they stuck it. All up a plumtree. Dignam’s potted meat. Cannibals would with lemon and rice. White missionary too salty. Like pickled pork. Expect the chief consumes the parts of honour. Ought to be tough from exercise. His wives in a row to watch the effect. There was a right royal old nigger. Who ate or something the somethings of the reverend Mr MacTrigger. With it an abode of bliss. Lord knows what concoction. Cauls mouldy tripes windpipes faked and minced up. Puzzle find the meat. Kosher. No meat and milk together. Hygiene that was what they call now. Yom Kippur fast spring cleaning of inside. Peace and war depend on some fellow’s digestion. Religions. Christmas turkeys and geese. Slaughter of innocents. Eat drink and be merry. Then casual wards full after. Heads bandaged. Cheese digests all but itself. Mity cheese.
—Have you a cheese sandwich?
Like a few olives too if they had them. Italian I prefer. Good glass of burgundy take away that. Lubricate. A nice salad, cool as a cucumber, Tom Kernan can dress. Puts gusto into it. Pure olive oil. Milly served me that cutlet with a sprig of parsley. Take one Spanish onion. God made food, the devil the cooks. Devilled crab.
—Quite well, thanks… A cheese sandwich, then. Gorgonzola, have you?
Nosey Flynn sipped his grog.
—Doing any singing those times?
Look at his mouth. Could whistle in his own ear. Flap ears to match. Music. Knows as much about it as my coachman. Still better tell him. Does no harm. Free ad.
—She’s engaged for a big tour end of this month. You may have heard perhaps.
—No. O, that’s the style. Who’s getting it up?
The curate served.
—How much is that?
—Seven d., sir… Thank you, sir.
Mr Bloom cut his sandwich into slender strips. Mr MacTrigger. Easier than the dreamy creamy stuff. His five hundred wives. Had the time of their lives.
He studded under each lifted strip yellow blobs. Their lives. I have it. It grew bigger and bigger and bigger.
—Getting it up? he said. Well, it’s like a company idea, you see. Part shares and part profits.
—Ay, now I remember, Nosey Flynn said, putting his hand in his pocket to scratch his groin. Who is this was telling me? Isn’t Blazes Boylan mixed up in it?
A warm shock of air heat of mustard hanched on Mr Bloom’s heart. He raised his eyes and met the stare of a bilious clock. Two. Pub clock five minutes fast. Time going on. Hands moving. Two. Not yet.
His midriff yearned then upward, sank within him, yearned more longly, longingly.
He smellsipped the cordial juice and, bidding his throat strongly to speed it, set his wineglass delicately down.
—Yes, he said. He’s the organiser in point of fact.
No fear: no brains.
Nosey Flynn snuffled and scratched. Flea having a good square meal.
—He had a good slice of luck, Jack Mooney was telling me, over that boxingmatch Myler Keogh won again that soldier in the Portobello barracks. By God, he had the little kipper down in the county Carlow he was telling me…
Hope that dewdrop doesn’t come down into his glass. No, snuffled it up.
—For near a month, man, before it came off. Sucking duck eggs by God till further orders. Keep him off the boose, see? O, by God, Blazes is a hairy chap.
Davy Byrne came forward from the hindbar in tuckstitched shirtsleeves, cleaning his lips with two wipes of his napkin. Herring’s blush. Whose smile upon each feature plays with such and such replete. Too much fat on the parsnips.
—And here’s himself and pepper on him, Nosey Flynn said. Can you give us a good one for the Gold cup?
—I’m off that, Mr Flynn, Davy Byrne answered. I never put anything on a horse.
—You’re right there, Nosey Flynn said.
Mr Bloom ate his strips of sandwich, fresh clean bread, with relish of disgust pungent mustard, the feety savour of green cheese. Sips of his wine soothed his palate. Not logwood that. Tastes fuller this weather with the chill off.
Nice quiet bar. Nice piece of wood in that counter. Nicely planed. Like the way it curves there.
—I wouldn’t do anything at all in that line, Davy Byrne said. It ruined many a man, the same horses.
Vintners’ sweepstake. Licensed for the sale of beer, wine and spirits for consumption on the premises. Heads I win tails you lose.
—True for you, Nosey Flynn said. Unless you’re in the know. There’s no straight sport going now. Lenehan gets some good ones. He’s giving Sceptre today. Zinfandel’s the favourite, lord Howard de Walden’s, won at Epsom. Morny Cannon is riding him. I could have got seven to one against Saint Amant a fortnight before.
—That so? Davy Byrne said…
He went towards the window and, taking up the pettycash book, scanned its pages.
—I could, faith, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling. That was a rare bit of horseflesh. Saint Frusquin was her sire. She won in a thunderstorm, Rothschild’s filly, with wadding in her ears. Blue jacket and yellow cap. Bad luck to big Ben Dollard and his John O’Gaunt. He put me off it. Ay.
He drank resignedly from his tumbler, running his fingers down the flutes.
—Ay, he said, sighing.
Mr Bloom, champing, standing, looked upon his sigh. Nosey numbskull. Will I tell him that horse Lenehan? He knows already. Better let him forget. Go and lose more. Fool and his money. Dewdrop coming down again. Cold nose he’d have kissing a woman. Still they might like. Prickly beards they like. Dogs’ cold noses. Old Mrs Riordan with the rumbling stomach’s Skye terrier in the City Arms hotel. Molly fondling him in her lap. O, the big doggybowwowsywowsy!
Wine soaked and softened rolled pith of bread mustard a moment mawkish cheese. Nice wine it is. Taste it better because I’m not thirsty. Bath of course does that. Just a bite or two. Then about six o’clock I can. Six. Six. Time will be gone then. She…
Mild fire of wine kindled his veins. I wanted that badly. Felt so off colour. His eyes unhungrily saw shelves of tins: sardines, gaudy lobsters’ claws. All the odd things people pick up for food. Out of shells, periwinkles with a pin, off trees, snails out of the ground the French eat, out of the sea with bait on a hook. Silly fish learn nothing in a thousand years. If you didn’t know risky putting anything into your mouth. Poisonous berries. Johnny Magories. Roundness you think good. Gaudy colour warns you off. One fellow told another and so on. Try it on the dog first. Led on by the smell or the look. Tempting fruit. Ice cones. Cream. Instinct. Orangegroves for instance. Need artificial irrigation. Bleibtreustrasse. Yes but what about oysters. Unsightly like a clot of phlegm. Filthy shells. Devil to open them too. Who found them out? Garbage, sewage they feed on. Fizz and Red bank oysters. Effect on the sexual. Aphrodis. He was in the Red Bank this morning. Was he oysters old fish at table perhaps he young flesh in bed no June has no ar no oysters. But there are people like things high. Tainted game. Jugged hare. First catch your hare. Chinese eating eggs fifty years old, blue and green again. Dinner of thirty courses. Each dish harmless might mix inside. Idea for a poison mystery. That archduke Leopold was it no yes or was it Otto one of those Habsburgs? Or who was it used to eat the scruff off his own head? Cheapest lunch in town. Of course aristocrats, then the others copy to be in the fashion. Milly too rock oil and flour. Raw pastry I like myself. Half the catch of oysters they throw back in the sea to keep up the price. Cheap no-one would buy. Caviare. Do the grand. Hock in green glasses. Swell blowout. Lady this. Powdered bosom pearls. The élite. Crème de la crème. They want special dishes to pretend they’re. Hermit with a platter of pulse keep down the stings of the flesh. Know me come eat with me. Royal sturgeon high sheriff, Coffey, the butcher, right to venisons of the forest from his ex. Send him back the half of a cow. Spread I saw down in the Master of the Rolls’ kitchen area. Whitehatted chef like a rabbi. Combustible duck. Curly cabbage à la duchesse de Parme. Just as well to write it on the bill of fare so you can know what you’ve eaten. Too many drugs spoil the broth. I know it myself. Dosing it with Edwards’ desiccated soup. Geese stuffed silly for them. Lobsters boiled alive. Do ptake some ptarmigan. Wouldn’t mind being a waiter in a swell hotel. Tips, evening dress, halfnaked ladies. May I tempt you to a little more filleted lemon sole, miss Dubedat? Yes, do bedad. And she did bedad. Huguenot name I expect that. A miss Dubedat lived in Killiney, I remember. Du, de la French. Still it’s the same fish perhaps old Micky Hanlon of Moore street ripped the guts out of making money hand over fist finger in fishes’ gills can’t write his name on a cheque think he was painting the landscape with his mouth twisted. Moooikill A Aitcha Ha ignorant as a kish of brogues, worth fifty thousand pounds.
Stuck on the pane two flies buzzed, stuck.
Glowing wine on his palate lingered swallowed. Crushing in the winepress grapes of Burgundy. Sun’s heat it is. Seems to a secret touch telling me memory. Touched his sense moistened remembered. Hidden under wild ferns on Howth below us bay sleeping: sky. No sound. The sky. The bay purple by the Lion’s head. Green by Drumleck. Yellowgreen towards Sutton. Fields of undersea, the lines faint brown in grass, buried cities. Pillowed on my coat she had her hair, earwigs in the heather scrub my hand under her nape, you’ll toss me all. O wonder! Coolsoft with ointments her hand touched me, caressed: her eyes upon me did not turn away. Ravished over her I lay, full lips full open, kissed her mouth. Yum. Softly she gave me in my mouth the seedcake warm and chewed. Mawkish pulp her mouth had mumbled sweetsour of her spittle. Joy: I ate it: joy. Young life, her lips that gave me pouting. Soft warm sticky gumjelly lips. Flowers her eyes were, take me, willing eyes. Pebbles fell. She lay still. A goat. No-one. High on Ben Howth rhododendrons a nannygoat walking surefooted, dropping currants. Screened under ferns she laughed warmfolded. Wildly I lay on her, kissed her: eyes, her lips, her stretched neck beating, woman’s breasts full in her blouse of nun’s veiling, fat nipples upright. Hot I tongued her. She kissed me. I was kissed. All yielding she tossed my hair. Kissed, she kissed me.
Me. And me now.
Stuck, the flies buzzed.
His downcast eyes followed the silent veining of the oaken slab. Beauty: it curves: curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires. Can see them library museum standing in the round hall, naked goddesses. Aids to digestion. They don’t care what man looks. All to see. Never speaking. I mean to say to fellows like Flynn. Suppose she did Pygmalion and Galatea what would she say first? Mortal! Put you in your proper place. Quaffing nectar at mess with gods golden dishes, all ambrosial. Not like a tanner lunch we have, boiled mutton, carrots and turnips, bottle of Allsop. Nectar imagine it drinking electricity: gods’ food. Lovely forms of women sculped Junonian. Immortal lovely. And we stuffing food in one hole and out behind: food, chyle, blood, dung, earth, food: have to feed it like stoking an engine. They have no. Never looked. I’ll look today. Keeper won’t see. Bend down let something drop see if she.
Dribbling a quiet message from his bladder came to go to do not to do there to do. A man and ready he drained his glass to the lees and walked, to men too they gave themselves, manly conscious, lay with men lovers, a youth enjoyed her, to the yard.
When the sound of his boots had ceased Davy Byrne said from his book:
—What is this he is? Isn’t he in the insurance line?
—He’s out of that long ago, Nosey Flynn said. He does canvassing for the Freeman.
—I know him well to see, Davy Byrne said. Is he in trouble?
—Trouble? Nosey Flynn said. Not that I heard of. Why?
—I noticed he was in mourning.
—Was he? Nosey Flynn said. So he was, faith. I asked him how was all at home. You’re right, by God. So he was.
—I never broach the subject, Davy Byrne said humanely, if I see a gentleman is in trouble that way. It only brings it up fresh in their minds.
—It’s not the wife anyhow, Nosey Flynn said. I met him the day before yesterday and he coming out of that Irish farm dairy John Wyse Nolan’s wife has in Henry street with a jar of cream in his hand taking it home to his better half. She’s well nourished, I tell you. Plovers on toast.
—And is he doing for the Freeman? Davy Byrne said.
Nosey Flynn pursed his lips.
—-He doesn’t buy cream on the ads he picks up. You can make bacon of that.
—How so? Davy Byrne asked, coming from his book.
Nosey Flynn made swift passes in the air with juggling fingers. He winked.
—He’s in the craft, he said.
—-Do you tell me so? Davy Byrne said.
—Very much so, Nosey Flynn said. Ancient free and accepted order. He’s an excellent brother. Light, life and love, by God. They give him a leg up. I was told that by a—well, I won’t say who.
—Is that a fact?
—O, it’s a fine order, Nosey Flynn said. They stick to you when you’re down. I know a fellow was trying to get into it. But they’re as close as damn it. By God they did right to keep the women out of it.
Davy Byrne smiledyawnednodded all in one:
—There was one woman, Nosey Flynn said, hid herself in a clock to find out what they do be doing. But be damned but they smelt her out and swore her in on the spot a master mason. That was one of the saint Legers of Doneraile.
Davy Byrne, sated after his yawn, said with tearwashed eyes:
—And is that a fact? Decent quiet man he is. I often saw him in here and I never once saw him—you know, over the line.
—God Almighty couldn’t make him drunk, Nosey Flynn said firmly. Slips off when the fun gets too hot. Didn’t you see him look at his watch? Ah, you weren’t there. If you ask him to have a drink first thing he does he outs with the watch to see what he ought to imbibe. Declare to God he does.
—There are some like that, Davy Byrne said. He’s a safe man, I’d say.
—He’s not too bad, Nosey Flynn said, snuffling it up. He’s been known to put his hand down too to help a fellow. Give the devil his due. O, Bloom has his good points. But there’s one thing he’ll never do.
His hand scrawled a dry pen signature beside his grog.
—I know, Davy Byrne said.
—Nothing in black and white, Nosey Flynn said.
Paddy Leonard and Bantam Lyons came in. Tom Rochford followed frowning, a plaining hand on his claret waistcoat.
—Day, Mr Byrne.
They paused at the counter.
—Who’s standing? Paddy Leonard asked.
—I’m sitting anyhow, Nosey Flynn answered.
—Well, what’ll it be? Paddy Leonard asked.
—I’ll take a stone ginger, Bantam Lyons said.
—How much? Paddy Leonard cried. Since when, for God’ sake? What’s yours, Tom?
—How is the main drainage? Nosey Flynn asked, sipping.
For answer Tom Rochford pressed his hand to his breastbone and hiccupped.
—Would I trouble you for a glass of fresh water, Mr Byrne? he said.
Paddy Leonard eyed his alemates.
—Lord love a duck, he said. Look at what I’m standing drinks to! Cold water and gingerpop! Two fellows that would suck whisky off a sore leg. He has some bloody horse up his sleeve for the Gold cup. A dead snip.
—Zinfandel is it? Nosey Flynn asked.
Tom Rochford spilt powder from a twisted paper into the water set before him.
—That cursed dyspepsia, he said before drinking.
—Breadsoda is very good, Davy Byrne said.
Tom Rochford nodded and drank.
—Is it Zinfandel?
—Say nothing! Bantam Lyons winked. I’m going to plunge five bob on my own.
—Tell us if you’re worth your salt and be damned to you, Paddy Leonard said. Who gave it to you?
Mr Bloom on his way out raised three fingers in greeting.
—So long! Nosey Flynn said.
The others turned.
—That’s the man now that gave it to me, Bantam Lyons whispered.
—Prrwht! Paddy Leonard said with scorn. Mr Byrne, sir, we’ll take two of your small Jamesons after that and a…
—Stone ginger, Davy Byrne added civilly.
—Ay, Paddy Leonard said. A suckingbottle for the baby.
Mr Bloom walked towards Dawson street, his tongue brushing his teeth smooth. Something green it would have to be: spinach, say. Then with those Rontgen rays searchlight you could.
At Duke lane a ravenous terrier choked up a sick knuckly cud on the cobblestones and lapped it with new zest. Surfeit. Returned with thanks having fully digested the contents. First sweet then savoury. Mr Bloom coasted warily. Ruminants. His second course. Their upper jaw they move. Wonder if Tom Rochford will do anything with that invention of his? Wasting time explaining it to Flynn’s mouth. Lean people long mouths. Ought to be a hall or a place where inventors could go in and invent free. Course then you’d have all the cranks pestering.
He hummed, prolonging in solemn echo the closes of the bars:
Don Giovanni, a cenar teco M’invitasti.
Feel better. Burgundy. Good pick me up. Who distilled first? Some chap in the blues. Dutch courage. That Kilkenny People in the national library now I must.
Bare clean closestools waiting in the window of William Miller, plumber, turned back his thoughts. They could: and watch it all the way down, swallow a pin sometimes come out of the ribs years after, tour round the body changing biliary duct spleen squirting liver gastric juice coils of intestines like pipes. But the poor buffer would have to stand all the time with his insides entrails on show. Science.
—A cenar teco.
What does that teco mean? Tonight perhaps.
Don Giovanni, thou hast me invited To come to supper tonight, The rum the rumdum.
Doesn’t go properly.
Keyes: two months if I get Nannetti to. That’ll be two pounds ten about two pounds eight. Three Hynes owes me. Two eleven. Prescott’s dyeworks van over there. If I get Billy Prescott’s ad: two fifteen. Five guineas about. On the pig’s back.
Could buy one of those silk petticoats for Molly, colour of her new garters.
Today. Today. Not think.
Tour the south then. What about English wateringplaces? Brighton, Margate. Piers by moonlight. Her voice floating out. Those lovely seaside girls. Against John Long’s a drowsing loafer lounged in heavy thought, gnawing a crusted knuckle. Handy man wants job. Small wages. Will eat anything.
Mr Bloom turned at Gray’s confectioner’s window of unbought tarts and passed the reverend Thomas Connellan’s bookstore. Why I left the church of Rome? Birds’ Nest. Women run him. They say they used to give pauper children soup to change to protestants in the time of the potato blight. Society over the way papa went to for the conversion of poor jews. Same bait. Why we left the church of Rome.
A blind stripling stood tapping the curbstone with his slender cane. No tram in sight. Wants to cross.
—Do you want to cross? Mr Bloom asked.
The blind stripling did not answer. His wallface frowned weakly. He moved his head uncertainly.
—You’re in Dawson street, Mr Bloom said. Molesworth street is opposite. Do you want to cross? There’s nothing in the way.
The cane moved out trembling to the left. Mr Bloom’s eye followed its line and saw again the dyeworks’ van drawn up before Drago’s. Where I saw his brillantined hair just when I was. Horse drooping. Driver in John Long’s. Slaking his drouth.
—There’s a van there, Mr Bloom said, but it’s not moving. I’ll see you across. Do you want to go to Molesworth street?
—Yes, the stripling answered. South Frederick street.
—Come, Mr Bloom said.
He touched the thin elbow gently: then took the limp seeing hand to guide it forward.
Say something to him. Better not do the condescending. They mistrust what you tell them. Pass a common remark.
—The rain kept off.
Stains on his coat. Slobbers his food, I suppose. Tastes all different for him. Have to be spoonfed first. Like a child’s hand, his hand. Like Milly’s was. Sensitive. Sizing me up I daresay from my hand. Wonder if he has a name. Van. Keep his cane clear of the horse’s legs: tired drudge get his doze. That’s right. Clear. Behind a bull: in front of a horse.
Knows I’m a man. Voice.
—Right now? First turn to the left.
The blind stripling tapped the curbstone and went on his way, drawing his cane back, feeling again.
Mr Bloom walked behind the eyeless feet, a flatcut suit of herringbone tweed. Poor young fellow! How on earth did he know that van was there? Must have felt it. See things in their forehead perhaps: kind of sense of volume. Weight or size of it, something blacker than the dark. Wonder would he feel it if something was removed. Feel a gap. Queer idea of Dublin he must have, tapping his way round by the stones. Could he walk in a beeline if he hadn’t that cane? Bloodless pious face like a fellow going in to be a priest.
Penrose! That was that chap’s name.
Look at all the things they can learn to do. Read with their fingers. Tune pianos. Or we are surprised they have any brains. Why we think a deformed person or a hunchback clever if he says something we might say. Of course the other senses are more. Embroider. Plait baskets. People ought to help. Workbasket I could buy for Molly’s birthday. Hates sewing. Might take an objection. Dark men they call them.
Sense of smell must be stronger too. Smells on all sides, bunched together. Each street different smell. Each person too. Then the spring, the summer: smells. Tastes? They say you can’t taste wines with your eyes shut or a cold in the head. Also smoke in the dark they say get no pleasure.
And with a woman, for instance. More shameless not seeing. That girl passing the Stewart institution, head in the air. Look at me. I have them all on. Must be strange not to see her. Kind of a form in his mind’s eye. The voice, temperatures: when he touches her with his fingers must almost see the lines, the curves. His hands on her hair, for instance. Say it was black, for instance. Good. We call it black. Then passing over her white skin. Different feel perhaps. Feeling of white.
Postoffice. Must answer. Fag today. Send her a postal order two shillings, half a crown. Accept my little present. Stationer’s just here too. Wait. Think over it.
With a gentle finger he felt ever so slowly the hair combed back above his ears. Again. Fibres of fine fine straw. Then gently his finger felt the skin of his right cheek. Downy hair there too. Not smooth enough. The belly is the smoothest. No-one about. There he goes into Frederick street. Perhaps to Levenston’s dancing academy piano. Might be settling my braces.
Walking by Doran’s publichouse he slid his hand between his waistcoat and trousers and, pulling aside his shirt gently, felt a slack fold of his belly. But I know it’s whitey yellow. Want to try in the dark to see.
He withdrew his hand and pulled his dress to.
Poor fellow! Quite a boy. Terrible. Really terrible. What dreams would he have, not seeing? Life a dream for him. Where is the justice being born that way? All those women and children excursion beanfeast burned and drowned in New York. Holocaust. Karma they call that transmigration for sins you did in a past life the reincarnation met him pike hoses. Dear, dear, dear. Pity, of course: but somehow you can’t cotton on to them someway.
Sir Frederick Falkiner going into the freemasons’ hall. Solemn as Troy. After his good lunch in Earlsfort terrace. Old legal cronies cracking a magnum. Tales of the bench and assizes and annals of the bluecoat school. I sentenced him to ten years. I suppose he’d turn up his nose at that stuff I drank. Vintage wine for them, the year marked on a dusty bottle. Has his own ideas of justice in the recorder’s court. Wellmeaning old man. Police chargesheets crammed with cases get their percentage manufacturing crime. Sends them to the rightabout. The devil on moneylenders. Gave Reuben J. a great strawcalling. Now he’s really what they call a dirty jew. Power those judges have. Crusty old topers in wigs. Bear with a sore paw. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul.
Hello, placard. Mirus bazaar. His Excellency the lord lieutenant. Sixteenth. Today it is. In aid of funds for Mercer’s hospital. The Messiah was first given for that. Yes. Handel. What about going out there: Ballsbridge. Drop in on Keyes. No use sticking to him like a leech. Wear out my welcome. Sure to know someone on the gate.
Mr Bloom came to Kildare street. First I must. Library.
Straw hat in sunlight. Tan shoes. Turnedup trousers. It is. It is.
His heart quopped softly. To the right. Museum. Goddesses. He swerved to the right.
Is it? Almost certain. Won’t look. Wine in my face. Why did I? Too heady. Yes, it is. The walk. Not see. Get on.
Making for the museum gate with long windy steps he lifted his eyes. Handsome building. Sir Thomas Deane designed. Not following me?
Didn’t see me perhaps. Light in his eyes.
The flutter of his breath came forth in short sighs. Quick. Cold statues: quiet there. Safe in a minute.
No. Didn’t see me. After two. Just at the gate.
His eyes beating looked steadfastly at cream curves of stone. Sir Thomas Deane was the Greek architecture.
Look for something I.
His hasty hand went quick into a pocket, took out, read unfolded Agendath Netaim. Where did I?
He thrust back quick Agendath.
Afternoon she said.
I am looking for that. Yes, that. Try all pockets. Handker. Freeman. Where did I? Ah, yes. Trousers. Potato. Purse. Where?
Hurry. Walk quietly. Moment more. My heart.
His hand looking for the where did I put found in his hip pocket soap lotion have to call tepid paper stuck. Ah soap there I yes. Gate.
Urbane, to comfort them, the quaker librarian purred:
—And we have, have we not, those priceless pages of Wilhelm Meister. A great poet on a great brother poet. A hesitating soul taking arms against a sea of troubles, torn by conflicting doubts, as one sees in real life.
He came a step a sinkapace forward on neatsleather creaking and a step backward a sinkapace on the solemn floor.
A noiseless attendant setting open the door but slightly made him a noiseless beck.
—Directly, said he, creaking to go, albeit lingering. The beautiful ineffectual dreamer who comes to grief against hard facts. One always feels that Goethe’s judgments are so true. True in the larger analysis.
Twicreakingly analysis he corantoed off. Bald, most zealous by the door he gave his large ear all to the attendant’s words: heard them: and was gone.
—Monsieur de la Palice, Stephen sneered, was alive fifteen minutes before his death.
—Have you found those six brave medicals, John Eglinton asked with elder’s gall, to write Paradise Lost at your dictation? The Sorrows of Satan he calls it.
Smile. Smile Cranly’s smile.
First he tickled her Then he patted her Then he passed the female catheter. For he was a medical Jolly old medi...
—I feel you would need one more for Hamlet. Seven is dear to the mystic mind. The shining seven W.B. calls them.
Glittereyed his rufous skull close to his greencapped desklamp sought the face bearded amid darkgreener shadow, an ollav, holyeyed. He laughed low: a sizar’s laugh of Trinity: unanswered.
Orchestral Satan, weeping many a rood Tears such as angels weep. Ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta.