Ulysses (1922)/Chapter 16
Preparatory to anything else Mr Bloom brushed off the greater bulk of the
shavings and handed Stephen the hat and ashplant and bucked him up generally
in orthodox Samaritan fashion, which he very badly needed. His (Stephen’s)
mind was not exactly what you would call wandering but a bit unsteady and on
his expressed desire for some beverage to drink Mr Bloom, in view of the hour
it was and there being no pumps of Vartry water available for their ablutions,
let alone drinking purposes, hit upon an expedient by suggesting, off the reel,
the propriety of the cabman’s shelter, as it was called, hardly a stonesthrow away
near Butt Bridge where they might hit upon some drinkables in the shape of a
milk and soda or a mineral. But how to get there was the rub. For the nonce he
was rather nonplussed but inasmuch as the duty plainly devolved upon him to
take some measures on the subject he pondered suitable ways and means during
which Stephen repeatedly yawned. So far as he could see he was rather pale in
the face so that it occurred to him as highly advisable to get a conveyance of some
description which would answer in their then condition, both of them being e.
d. ed, particularly Stephen, always assuming that there was such a thing to be
found. Accordingly, after a few such preliminaries, as, in spite of his having
forgotten to take up his rather soapsuddy handkerchief after it had done yeoman
service in the shaving line, brushing they both walked together along Beaver
street, or, more properly, lane, as far as the farrier’s and the distinctly fetid
atmosphere of the livery stables at the corner of Montgomery street where they
made tracks to the left from thence debouching into Amiens Street round by the
corner of Dan Bergin’s. But, as he confidently anticipated, there was not a sign
of a Jehu plying for hire anywhere to be seen except a fourwheeler, probably
engaged by some fellows inside on the spree, outside the North Star Hotel
and there was no symptom of its budging a quarter of an inch when Mr Bloom,
who was anything but a professional whistler, endeavoured to hail it by
emitting a kind of a whistle, holding his arms arched over his head, twice.
This was a quandary but, bringing commonsense to bear on it,
evidently there was nothing for it but put a good face on the matter and foot
it which they accordingly did. So, bevelling around by Mullet’s and the Signal
House, which they shortly reached, they proceeded perforce in the direction of
Amiens Street railway terminus, Mr Bloom being handicapped by the circumstance
that one of the back buttons of his trousers had, to vary the timehonoured adage,
gone the way of all buttons, though, entering thoroughly into the spirit of the
thing, he heroically made light of the mischance. So as neither of them were
particularly pressed for time, as it happened, and the temperature refreshing
since it cleared up after the recent visitation of Jupiter Pluvius, they dandered
along past by where the empty vehicle was waiting without a fare or a jarvey. As it
so happened a Dublin United Tramways Company’s sandstrewer happening to be
returning and the elder man recounted to his companion à propos of the incident
his own truly miraculous escape of some little while back. They passed the main
entrance of the Great Northern railway station, the starting point for Belfast,
where of course all traffic was suspended at that late hour, and passing the back
door of the morgue (a not very enticing locality, not to say gruesome to a degree,
more especially at night), ultimately gained the Dock Tavern and in due course
turned into Store street, famous for its C division police station. Between this
point and the high, at present unlit, warehouses of Beresford Place Stephen
thought to think of Ibsen, associated with Baird’s, the stonecutter’s in his mind
somehow in Talbot Place, first turning on the right, while the other, who was
acting as his fidus Achates inhaled with internal satisfaction the smell of James
Rourke’s city bakery, situated quite close to where they were, the very palatable
odour indeed of our daily bread, of all commodities of the public the primary
and most indispensable. Bread, the staff of life, earn your bread, O tell me
where is fancy bread? At Rourke’s the baker’s, it is said.
En route, to his taciturn, and, not to put too fine a point on it, not yet
perfectly sober companion, Mr Bloom, who at all events, was in complete
possession of his faculties, never more so, in fact disgustingly sober, spoke a
word of caution re the dangers of nighttown, women of ill fame and swell
mobsmen, which, barely permissible once in a while, though not as a habitual
practice, was of the nature of a regular deathtrap for young fellows of his age
particularly if they had acquired drinking habits under the influence of liquor
unless you knew a little juijitsu for every contingency as even a fellow on the
broad of his back could administer a nasty kick if you didn’t look out. Highly
providential was the appearance on the scene of Corny Kelleher when Stephen
was blissfully unconscious that, but for that man in the gap turning up at the
eleventh hour, the finis might have been that he might have been a candidate
for the accident ward, or, failing that, the bridewell and an appearance in the
court next day before Mr Tobias, or, he being the solicitor, rather old Wall,
he meant to say, or Malony which simply spelt ruin for a chap when it got
bruited about. The reason he mentioned the fact was that a lot of those
policemen, whom he cordially disliked, were admittedly unscrupulous in the
service of the Crown and, as Mr Bloom put it, recalling a case or two in the
A Division in Clanbrassil street, prepared to swear a hole through a ten gallon
pot. Never on the spot when wanted but in quiet parts of the City, Pembroke
Road, for example, the guardians of the law were well in evidence, the obvious
reason being they were paid to protect the upper classes. Another thing he
commented on was equipping soldiers with firearms or sidearms of any
description, liable to go off at any time which was tantamount to inciting them
against civilians should by any chance they fall out over anything. You frittered
away your time, he very sensibly maintained, and health and also character
besides which the squandermania of the thing, fast women of the demimonde
ran away with a lot of £. s. d. into the bargain and the greatest danger of
all was who you got drunk with though, touching the much vexed question
of stimulants he relished a glass of choice old wine in season as both
nourishing and bloodmaking and possessing aperient virtues (notably a good
burgundy which he was a staunch believer in) still never beyond a certain point
where he invariably drew the line as it simply led to trouble all round to say
nothing of your being at the tender mercy of others pratically. Most of all
he commented adversely on the desertion of Stephen by all his pubhunting
confrères but one, a most glaring piece of ratting on the part of his brother
medicos under all the circs.
— And that one was Judas, said Stephen, who up to then had said
nothing whatsoever of any kind.
Discussing these and kindred topics they made a beeline across the back
of the Customhouse and passed under the Loop Line bridge when a brazier
of coke burning in front of a sentrybox, or something like one, attracted
their rather lagging footsteps. Stephen of his own accord stopped for no special
reason to look at the heap of barren cobblestones and by the light emanating
from the brazier he could just make out the darker figure of the corporation
watchman inside the gloom of the sentrybox. He began to remember that this
had happened, or had been mentioned as having happened, before but it cost
him no small effort before he remembered that he recognised in the sentry a
quondam friend of his father’s, Gumley. To avoid a meeting be drew nearer
to the pillars of the railway bridge.
— Someone saluted you, Mr Bloom said.
A figure of middle height on the prowl, evidently, under the arches saluted
again, calling : Night! Stephen, of course, started rather dizzily and stopped to
return the compliment. Mr Bloom, actuated by motives of inherent delicacy,
inasmuch as he always believed in minding his own business, moved off but
nevertheless remained on the qui vive with just a shade of anxiety though
not funkyish in the least. Although unusual in the Dublin area, he knew
that it was not by any means unknown for desperadoes who had next to
nothing to live on to be about waylaying and generally terrorising peaceable
pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the
city proper, famished loiterers of the Thames embankment category they might
be hanging about there or simply marauders ready to decamp with whatever
boodle they could in one fell swoop at a moment’s notice, your money or
your life, leaving you there to point a moral, gagged and garrotted.
Stephen, that is when the accosting figure came to close quarters, though
he was not in any over sober state himself, recognised Corley’s breath redolent
of rotten cornjuice. Lord John Corley, some called him, and his genealogy came
about in this wise. He was the eldest son of Inspector Corley of the G Division,
lately deceased, who had married a certain Katherine Brophy, the daughter of
a Louth farmer. His grandfather, Patrick Michael Corley, of New Ross, had
married the widow of a publican there whose maiden name had been Katherine
(also) Talbot. Rumour had it, though not proved, that she descended from
the house of the Lords Talbot de Malahide, in whose mansion, really an
unquestionably fine residence of its kind and well worth seeing, his mother or
aunt or some relative had enjoyed the distinction of being in service in the
washkitchen. This, therefore, was the reason why the still comparatively young
though dissolute man who now addressed Stephen was spoken of by some
with facetious proclivities as Lord John Corley.
Taking Stephen on one side he had the customary doleful ditty to tell.
Not as much as a farthing to purchase a night’s lodgings. His friends had all
deserted him. Furthermore, he had a row with Leneban and called him to
Stephen a mean bloody swab with a sprinkling of other uncalledfor expressions.
He was out of a job and implored of Stephen to tell him where on God’s earth
he could get something, anything at all to do. No, it was the daughter of the
mother in the washkitchen that was fostersister to the heir of the house or
else they were connected through the mother in some way, both occurrences
happening at the same time if the whole thing wasn’t a complete fabrication
from start to finish. Anyhow, he was all in.
— I wouldn’t ask you, only, pursued he, on my solemn oath and God
knows I’m on the rocks.
— There’ll be a job to morrow or the next day, Stephen told him, in a
boys’ school at Dalkey for a gentleman usher. Mr Garrett Deasy. Try it. You
may mention my name.
— Ah, God, Corley replied, sure I couldn’t teach in a school, man. I was
never one of your bright ones, he added with a half laugh. Got stuck twice in
the junior at the Christian Brothers.
— I have no place to sleep myself, Stephen informed him.
Corley, at the first go-off, was inclined to suspect it was something to do
with Stephen being fired out of his digs for bringing in a bloody tart off the
street. There was a dosshouse in Marlborough street, Mrs Maloney’s, but it
was only a tanner touch and full of undesirables but M’Conachie told him you
got a decent enough do in the Brazen Head over in Winetavern Street (which
was distantly suggestive to the person addressed of friar Bacon) for a bob.
He was starving too though he hadn’t said a word about it.
Though this sort of thing went on every other night or very near it still
Stephen’s feelings got the better of him in a sense though he knew that Corley’s
brandnew rigmarole, on a par with the others, was hardly deserving of much
credence. However, haud ignarus malorum miseris succurrere disco, etcetera,
as the Latin poet remarks, especially as luck would have it he got paid his screw
after every middle of the month on the sixteenth which was the date of the
month as a matter of fact though a good bit of the wherewithal was demolished.
But the cream of the joke was nothing would get it out of Corley’s head that he
was living in affluence and hadn’t a thing to do but hand out the needful —
whereas. He put his hand in a pocket anyhow, not with the idea of finding
any food there, but thinking he might lend him anything up to a bob or so
in lieu so that he might endeavour at all events and get sufficient to eat. But
the result was in the negative for, to his chagrin, he found his cash missing. A
few broken biscuits were all the result of his invetiongstia. He tried his hardest
to recollect for the moment whether he had lost, as well he might have, or left,
because in that contingency it was not a pleasant lookout, very much the reverse,
in fact. He was altogether too fagged out to institute a thorough search though
he tried to recollect about biscuits he dimly remembered. Who now exactly gave
them, or where was, or did he buy? However, in another pocket he came across
what he surmised in the dark were pennies, erroneously, however, as it turned
— Those are halfcrowns, man, Corley corrected him.
And so in point of fact they turned out to be. Stephen lent him one of
— Thanks, Corley answered. You’re a gentleman. I’ll pay you back some
time. Who’s that with you? I saw him a few times in the Bleeding Horse in
Camden street with Boylan the billsticker. You might put in a good word
for us to get me taken on there. I’d carry a sandwichboard only the girl in
the office told me they’re full up for the next three weeks, man. God, you’ve
to book ahead, man, you’d think it was for the Carl Rosa. I don’t give a shite
anyway so long as I get a job even as a crossing sweeper.
Subsequently, being not quite so down in the mouth after the two-and-six
he got, he informed Stephen about a fellow by the name of Bags Comisky
that he said Stephen knew well out of Fullam’s, the shipchandler’s, bookkeeper
there, that used to be often round in Nagle’s back with O’Mara and a little
chap with a stutter the name of Tighe. Anyhow, he was lagged the night
before last and fined ten bob for a drunk and disorderly and refusing to go
with the constable.
Mr Bloom in the meanwhile kept dodging about in the vicinity of the
cobblestones near the brazier of coke in front of the corporation watchman’s
sentrybox, who, evidently a glutton for work, it struck him, was having a
quiet forty winks for all intents and purposes on his own private account while
Dublin slept. He threw an odd eye at the same time now and then at Stephen’s
anything but immaculately attired interlocutor as if he had seen that nobleman
somewhere or other though where he was not in a position to truthfully
state nor had he the remotest idea when. Being a levelheaded individual who
could give points to not a few in point of shrewd observation, he also remarked
on his very dilapidated hat and slouchy wearing apparel generally, testifying to
a chronic impecuniosity. Probably he was one of his hangerson but for the
matter of that it was merely a question of one preying on his nextdoor
neighbour all round, in every deep, so to put it, a deeper depth and for the
matter of that if the man in the street chanced to be in the dock himself penal
servitude, with or without the option of a fine, would be a very rara avis
altogether. In any case he had a consummate amount of cool assurance
intercepting people at that hour of the night or morning. Pretty thick that
The pair parted company and Stephen rejoined Mr Bloom, who with his
practised eye, was not without perceiving that he had succumbed to the
blandiloquence of the other parasite. Alluding to the encounter he said,
laughingly, Stephen, that is :
— He’s down on his luck. He asked me to ask you to ask somebody
named Boylan, a billsticker, to give him a job as a sandwichman.
At this intelligence, in which he seemingly evinced little interest, Mr Bloom
gazed abstractedly for the space of a half a second or so in the direction of a
bucket dredger, rejoicing in the farfamed name of Eblana, moored alongside
Customhouse Quay and quite possibly out of repair, whereupon he observed
— Everybody gets their own ration of luck, they say. Now you mention it
his face was familiar to me. But leaving that for the moment, how much did
you part with, he queried, if I am not too inquisitive?
— Half-a-crown, Stephen responded. I daresay he needs it to sleep
— Needs, Mr Bloom ejaculated, professing not the least surprise at the
intelligence, I can quite credit the assertion and I guarantee he invariably
does. Everyone according to his needs and everyone according to his deeds.
But talking about things in general, where, added he with a smile, will you
sleep yourself? Walking to Sandycove is out of the question and, even supposing
you did, you won’t get in after what occurred at Westland Row station. Simply
fag out there for nothing. I don’t mean to presume to dictate to you in the
slightest degree but why did you leave your father’s house?
— To seek misfortune, was Stephen’s answer.
— I met your respected father on a recent occasion, Mr Bloom
diplomatically returned. Today, in fact, or, to be strictly accurate, on
yesterday. Where does he live at present? I gathered in the course of
conversation that he had moved.
— I believe he is in Dublin somewhere, Stephen answered unconcernedly.
— A gifted man, Mr Bloom said of Mr Dedalus senior, in more
respects than one and a born raconteur if ever there was one. He takes great
pride, quite legitimately, out of you. You could go back, perhaps, he hazarded,
still thinking of the very unpleasant scene at Westland Row terminus when it
was perfectly evident that the other two, Mulligan, that is, and that English
tourist friend of his, who eventually euchred their third companion, were
patently trying,as if the whole bally stationbelonged to them, to give Stephen
the slip in the confusion.
There was no response forthcoming to the suggestion, however, such as
it was, Stephen’s mind’s eye being too busily engaged in repicturing his family
hearth the last time he saw it, with his sister Dilly sitting by the ingle, her hair
hanging down, waiting for some weak Trinidad shell cocoa that was in the
sootcoated kettle to be done so that she and he could drink it with the oatmeal
water for milk after the Friday herrings they had eaten at two a penny, with
an egg apiece for Maggy, Boody and Katey, the cat meanwhile under the mangle
devouring a mess of eggshells and charred fish heads and bones on a square of
brown paper in accordance with the third precept of the church to fast and
abstain on the days commanded, it being quarter tense or, if not, ember days or
something like that.
— No, Mr Bloom repeated again, I wouldn’t personally repose much
trust in that boon companion of yours who contributes the humorous element,
Dr Mulligan, as a guide, philosopher, and friend, if I were in your shoes.
He knows which side his bread is buttered on through in all probability he
never realised what it is to be without regular meals. Of course you didn’t notice
as much as I did but it wouldn’t occasion me the least surprise to learn that a
pinch of tobacco or some narcotic was put in your drink for some ulterior object.
He understood, however, from all he heard, that Dr Mulligan was a
versatile allround man, by no means confined to medicine only, who was rapidly
coming to the fore in his line and, if the report was verified, bade fair to enjoy
a flourishing practice in the not too distant future as a tony medical
practitioner drawing a handsome fee for his services in addition to which
professional status his rescue of that man from certain drowning by artificial
respiration and what they call first aid at Skerries, or Malahide was it? was,
he was bound to admit, an exceedingly plucky deed which he could not too
highly praise, so that frankly he was utterly at a loss to fathom what earthly
reason could be at the back of it except he put it down to sheer cussedness or
jealousy, pure and simple.
— Except it simply amounts to one thing and he is what they call picking
your brains, he ventured to throw out.
The guarded glance of half solicitude, half curiosity, augmented by
friendliness which he gave at Stephen’s at present morose expression of features
did not throw a flood of light, none at all in fact, on the problem as to whether
he had let himself be badly bamboozled, to judge by two or three lowspirited
remarks he let drop, or, the other way about, saw through the affair, and, for
some reason or other best known to himself, allowed matters to more or less...
Grinding poverty did have that effect and he more than conjectured that,
high educational abilities though he possessed, he experienced no little difficulty
in making both ends meet.
Adjacent to the men’s public urinal he perceived an icecream car round
which a group of presumably Italians in heated altercation were getting rid of
voluble expressions in their vivacious language in a particularly animated way,
there being some little differences between the parties.
— Putanna madonna, che ci dia i quattrini! Ho ragione? Culo rotto!
— Intendiamoci. Mezzo sovrano più...
— Dice lui, però.
— Farabutto! Mortacci sui!
Mr Bloom and Stephen entered the cabman’s shelter, an unpretentious
wooden structure, where, prior to then, he had rarely, if ever, been before; the
former having previously whispered to the latter a few hints anent the keeper
of it, said to be the once famous Skin-the-Goat, Fitzharris, the invincible, though
he wouldn’t vouch for the actual facts, which quite possibly there was not one
vestige of truth in. A few moments later saw our two noctambules safely
seated in a discreet corner, only to be greeted by stares from the decidedly
miscellaneous collection of waifs and strays and other nondescript specimens of
the genus homo, already there engaged in eating and drinking, diversified by
conversation, for whom they seemingly formed an object of marked curiosity.
— Now touching a cup of coffee, Mr Bloom ventured to plausibly suggest
to break the ice, it occurs to me you ought to sample something in the shape of
solid food, say a roll of some description.
Accordingly his first act was with characteristic sangfroid to order these
commodities quietly. The hoi polloi of jarvies or stevedores, or whatever they
were, after a cursory examinatiou, turned their eyes, apparently dissatisfied,
away, though one redbearded bibulous individual, portion of whose hair was
greyish, a sailor, probably, still stared for some appreciable time before
transferring his rapt attention to the floor.
Mr Bloom, availing himself of the right of free speech, he having just a
bowing acquaintance with the language in dispute though, to be sure, rather in
a quandary over voglio, remarked to his protégé in an audible tone of voice,
apropos of the battle royal in the street which was still raging fast and
— A beautiful language. I mean for singing purposes. Why do you not
write your poetry in that language? Bella Poetria! it is so melodious and full.
Stephen, who was trying his dead best to yawn, if he could, suffering from
dead lassitude generally, replied :
— To fill the ear of a cow elephant. They were haggling over money.
— Is that so? Mr Bloom asked. Of course, he subjoined pensively, at
the inward reflection of there being more languages to start with than
were absolutely necessary, it may be only the southern glamour that
The keeper of the shelter in the middle of this tête-à-tête put a boiling
swimming cup of a choice concoction labelled coffee on the table and a rather
antediluvian specimen of a bun, or so it seemed, after which he beat a retreat to
his counter. Mr Bloom determining to have a good square look at him later on
so as not to appear to... for which reason he encouraged Stephen to proceed with
his eyes while he did the honours by surreptitiously pushing the cup of what
was temporarily supposed to be called coffee gradually nearer him.
— Sounds are impostures, Stephens aid after a pause of some little time.
Like names, Cicero, Podmore, Napoleon, Mr Goodbody, Jesus, Mr Doyle,
Shakespeares were as common as Murphies. What’s in a name?
— Yes, to be sure, Mr Bloom unaffectedly concurred. Of course. Our
name was changed too, he added, pushing the socalled roll across.
The redbearded sailor, who had his weather eye on the newcomers,
boarded Stephen, whom he had singled out for attention in particular,
squarely by asking :
— And what might your name be?
Just in the nick of time Mr Bloom touched his companion’s boot but
Stephen, apparently disregarding the warm pressure, from an unexpected
quarter, answered :
The sailor stared at him heavily from a pair of drowsy baggy eyes,
rather bunged up from excessive use of boose, preferably good old Hollands
— You know Simon Dedalus? he asked at length.
— I’ve heard of him, Stephen said.
Mr Bloom was all at sea for a moment, seeing the others evidently
— He’s Irish, the seaman bold affirmed, staring still in much the same
way and nodding. All Irish.
— All too Irish, Stephen rejoined.
As for Mr Bloom he could neither make head or tail of the whole business
and he was just asking himself what possible connection when the sailor, of
his own accord, turned to the other occupants of the shelter with the remark :
— I seen him shoot two eggs off two bottles at fifty yards over his
shoulder. The left hand dead shot.
Though he was slightly hampered by an occasional stammer and his
gestures being also clumsy as it was still he did his best to explain.
— Bottle Out there, say. Fifty yards measured. Eggs on the bottles. Cocks
his gun over his shoulder. Aims.
He turned his body half round, shut up his right eye completely, then he
screwed his features up some way sideways and glared out into the night with
an unprepossessing cast of countenance.
— Pom, he then shouted once.
The entire audience waited, anticipating an additional detonation, there
being still a further egg.
— Pom, he shouted twice.
— Egg two evidently demolished, he nodded and winked, adding
— Buffalo Bill shoots to kill,
Never missed nor he never will.
A silence ensued till Mr Bloom for agreeableness’ sake just felt like asking
him whether it was for a marksmanship competition like the Bisley.
— Beg pardon, the sailor said.
— Long ago? Mr Bloom pursued without flinching a hairsbreadth.
— Why, the sailor replied, relaxing to a certain extent under the magic
influence of diamond cut diamond, it might be a matter of ten years. He
toured the wide world with Hengler’s Royal Circus. I seen him do that in
— Curious coincidence, Mr Bloom confided to Stephen unobtrusively.
— Murphy’s my name, the sailor continued, W. B. Murphy, of
Carrigaloe. Know where that is?
— Queenstown Harbour, Stephen replied.
— That’s right, the sailor said. Fort Camden and Fort Carlisle. That’s
where I hails from. My little woman’s down there. She’s waiting for me,
I know. For England, home and beauty. She’s my own true wife I haven’t seen
for seven years now, sailing about.
Mr Bloom could easily picture his advent on this scene — the homecoming
to the mariner’s roadside shieling after having diddled Davy Jones — a rainy
night with a blind moon. Across the world for a wife. Quite a number of stories
there were on that particular Alice Ben Bolt topic, Enoch Arden and Rip van
Winkle and does anybody hereabouts remember Caoc O’Leary, a favourite and
most trying declamation piece, by the way, of poor John Casey and a bit of perfect
poetry in its own small way. Never about the runaway wife coming back,
however much devoted to the absentee. The face at the window! Judge of his
astonishment when he finelly did breast the tape and the awful truth dawned
upon him anent his better half, wrecked in his affections. You little expected
me but I’ve come to stay and make a fresh start. There she sits, a grass widow,
at the selfsame fireside. Believes me dead. Rocked in the cradle of the deep. And
there sits uncle Chubb or Tomkin, as the case might be, the publican of the
Crown and Anchor, in shirtsleeves, eating rumpsteak and onions. No chair
for father. Boo! The wind! Her brandnew arrival is on her knee, post mortem
child. With a high ro! and a randy ro and my galloping tearing tandy O!
Bow to the inevitable. Grin and bear it. I remain with much love your
brokenhearted husband, W. B. Murphy.
The sailor, who scarcely seemed to be a Dublin resident, turned to one of
the jarvies with the request :
— You don’t happen to have such a thing as a spare chaw about you, do you?
The jarvey addressed, as it happened, had not but the keeper took a die of
plug from his good jacket hanging on a nail and the desired object was passed
from hand to hand.
— Thank you, the sailor said.
He deposited the quid in his gob and, chewing, and with some slow
stammers, proceeded :
— We come up this morning eleven o’clock. The threemaster Rosevean
from Bridgwater with bricks. I shipped to get over. Paid off this afternoon.
There’s my discharge. See? W. B. Murphy, A. B. S.
In confirmation of which statement he extricated from an inside pocket and
handed to his neighbours a not very cleanlooking folded document.
— You must have seen a fair share of the world, the keeper remarked,
leaning on the counter.
— Why, the sailor answered, upon reflection upon it, I’ve circumnavigated
a bit since I first joined on. I was in the Red Sea. I was in China and North
America and South America. I seen icebergs plenty, growlers. I was in
Stockholm and the Black Sea, the Dardanelles, under Captain Dalton, the best
bloody man that ever scuttled a ship. I seen Russia. Gospodi pomilooy. That’s
how the Russians prays.
— You seen queer sights, don’t be talking, put in a jarvey.
— Why, the sailor said, shifting his partially chewed plug, I seen queer
things too, ups and downs. I seen a crocodile bite the fluke of an anchor same
as I chew that quid.
He took out of his mouth the pulpy quid and, lodging it between his
teeth, bit ferociously.
— Khaan! Like that. And I seen maneaters in Peru that eats corpses and
the livers of horses. Look here. Here they are. A friend of mine sent me.
He fumbled out a picture postcard from his inside pocket, which seemed
to be in its way a species of repository, and pushed it along the table. The
printed matter on it stated : Choza de Indios. Beni, Bolivia.
All focussed their attention on the scene exhibited, at a group of savage
women in striped loincloths, squatted, blinking, suckling, frowning, sleeping,
amid a swarm of infants (there must have been quite a score of them) outside
some primitive shanties of osier.
— Chews coca all day long, the communicative tarpaulin added. Stomachs
like breadgraters. Cuts off their diddies when they can’t bear no more children.
See them there stark ballocknaked eating a dead horse’s liver raw.
His postcard proved a centre of attraction for Messrs the greenhorns for
several minutes, if not more.
— Know how to keep them off? he inquired genially.
Nobody volunteering a statement, he winked, saying :
— Glass. That boggles ’em. Glass.
Mr Bloom, without evincing surprise, unostentatiously turned over the
card to peruse the partially obliterated address and postmark. It ran as follows :
Tarjeta Postal. Señor A. Boudin, Galeria Becche, Santiago, Chile. There was no
message evidently, as he took particular notice. Though not an implicit
believer in the lurid story narrated (or the eggsniping transaction for that
matter despite William Tell and the Lazarillo – Don Cesar de Bazan incident
depicted in Maritana on which occasion the former’s ball passed through
the latter’s hat), having detected a discrepancy between his name (assuming
he was the person he represented himself to be and not sailing under false
colours after having boxed the compass on the strict q. t. somewhere), and the
fictitious addressee of the missive which made him nourish some suspicions of our
friend’s bona fides nevertheless it reminded him in a way of a longcherished
plan he meant to one day realise some Wednesday or Saturday of travelling
to London via long sea not to say that he had ever travelled extensively to
any great extent but he was at heart a born adventurer though by a trick of
fate he had consistently remained a landlubber except you call going to
Holyhead which was his longest. Martin Cunningham frequently said he
would work a pass through Egan but some deuced hitch or other eternally
cropped up with the net result that the scheme fell through. But even suppose
it did come to planking down the needful and breaking Boyd’s heart it was not
so dear, purse permitting, a few guineas at the outside, considering the fare to
Mullingar where he figured on going was five and six there and back. The trip
would benefit health on account of the bracing ozone and be in every way
thoroughly pleasurable, especially for a chap whose liver was out of order, seeing
the different places along the route, Plymouth, Falmouth, Southampton and
so on, culminating in an instructive tour of the sights of the great metropolis,
the spectacle of our modern Babylon where doubtless he would see the greatest
improvement tower, abbey, wealth of Park Lane to renew acquaintance with.
Another thing just struck him as a by no means bad notion was he might
have a gaze around on the spot to see about trying to make arrangements about
a concert tour of summer music embracing the most prominent pleasure resorts,
Margate with mixed bathing and firstrate hydros and spas, Eastbourne,
Scarborough, Margate and so on, beautiful Bournemouth, the Channel
islands and similar bijou spots, which might prove highly remunerative.
Not, of course, with a hole and corner scratch company or local ladies on
the job, witness Mrs C. P. M’Coy type — lend me your valise and I’ll post
you the ticket. No, something top notch, an all star Irish caste, the Tweedy-
Flower grand opera company with its own legal consort as leading lady as a
sort of counterblast to the Elster Grimes and Moody-Manners, perfectly simple
matter and he was quite sanguine of success, providing puffs in the local
papers could be managed by some fellow with a bit of bounce who could pull
the indispensable wires and thus combine business with pleasure. But who?
That was the rub.
Also, without being actually positive, it struck him a great field was to be
opened up in the line of opening up new routes to keep pace with the times
apropos of the Fishguard-Rosslare route which, it was mooted, was once more
on the tapis in the circumlocution departments with the usual quantity of
red tape and dillydallying of effete fogeydom and dunderheads generally. A
great opportunity there certainly was for push and enterprise to meet the
travelling needs of the public at large, the average man, i. e. Brown, Robinson
It was a subject of regret and absurd as well on the face of it and no small
blame to our vaunted society that the man in the street, when the system
really needed toning up, for a matter of a couple of paltry pounds, was
debarred from seeing more of the world they lived in instead of being
always cooped up since my old stick-in-the-mud took me for a wife. After
all, hang it, they had their eleven and more humdrum months of it and
merited a radical change of venue after the grind of city life in the summertime,
for choice, when Dame Nature is at her spectacular best, constituting
nothing short of a new lease of life. There were equally excellent opportunities
for vacationists in the home island, delightful sylvan spots for rejuvenation,
offering a plethora of attractions as well as a bracing tonic for the system
in and around Dublin and its picturesque environs, even, Poulaphouca, to
which there was a steam tram, but also farther away from the madding crowd,
in Wicklow, rightly termed the garden of Ireland, an ideal neighbourhood for
elderly wheelmen, so long as it didn’t come down, and in the wilds of Donegal
where, if report spoke true, the coup d’œil was exceedingly grand, though the
lastnamed locality was not easily getatable so that the influx of visitors was not
as yet all that it might be considering the signal benefits to be derived from
it, while Howth with its historic associations and otherwise, Silken Thomas,
Grace O’Malley, George IV, rhododendrons several hundred feet above sealevel
was a favourite haunt with all sorts and conditions of men, especially in the
spring when young men’s fancy, though it had its own toll of deaths by
falling off the cliffs by design or accidentally, usually, by the way, on their
left leg, it being only about three quarters of an hour’s run from the pillar.
Because of course uptodate tourist travelling was as yet merely in its infancy,
so to speak, and the accommodation left much to be desired. Interesting to
fathom, it seemed to him, from a motive of curiosity pure and simple, was
whether it was the traffic that created the route or viceversa or the two sides in fact.
He turned back the other side of the card picture and passed it along to Stephen.
— I seen a Chinese one time, related the doughty narrator, that had little
pills like putty and he put them in the water and they opened, and every
pill was something different. One was a ship, another was a house, another
was a flower. Cooks rats in your soup, he appetisingly added, the Chinese does.
Possibly perceiving an expression of dubiosity on their faces, the globe-
trotter went on adhering to his adventures.
— And I seen a man killed in Trieste by an Italian chap. Knife in his back.
Knife like that.
Whilst speaking he produced a dangerous looking claspknife, quite in
keeping with his character, and held it in the striking position.
— In a knockingshop it was count of a tryon between two smugglers.
Fellow hid behind a door, come up behind him. Like that. Prepare to meet
your God, says he. Chuk! It went into his back up to the butt.
His heavy glance, drowsily roaming about, kind of defied their further
questions even should they by any chance want to. That’s a good bit of steel,
repeated he, examining his formidable stiletto.
After which harrowing dénouement sufficient to appal the stoutest he snapped
the blade to and stowed the weapon in question away as before in his chamber
of horrors, otherwise pocket.
— They’re great for the cold steel, somebody who was evidently quite in
the dark said for the benefit of them all. That was why they thought the park
murders of the invincibles was done by foreigners on account of them using
At this remark, passed obviously in the spirit of where ignorance is bliss,
Mr Bloom and Stephen, each in his own particular way, both instinctively
exchanged meaning glances, in a religious silence of the strictly entre nous
variety however, towards where Skin-the-Goat, alias the keeper, was drawing
spurts of liquid from his boiler affair. His inscrutable face, which was really a
work of art, a perfect study in itself, beggaring description, conveyed the
impression that he didn’t understand one jot of what was going on. Funny,
There ensued a somewhat lengthy pause. One man was reading by fits and
starts a stained by coffee evening journal; another, the card with the natives
choza de; another, the seaman’s discharge. Mr Bloom, so far as he was personally
concerned, was just pondering in pensive mood. He vividly recollected when
the occurrence alluded to took place as well as yesterday, some score of years
previously, in the days of the land troubles when it took the civilised world
by storm, figuratively speaking, early in the eighties, eightyone to be correct,
when he was just turned fifteen.
— Ay, boss, the sailor broke in. Give us back them papers.
The request being complied with, he clawed them up with a scrape.
— Have you seen the Rock of Gibraltar? Mr Bloom inquired.
The sailor grimaced, chewing, in a way that might be read as yes, ay, or no.
— Ah, you’ve touched there too, Mr Bloom said, Europa point, thinking
he had, in the hope that the rover might possibly by some reminiscences but
he failed to do so, simply letting spurt a jet of spew into the sawdust, and
shook his head with a sort of lazy scorn.
— What year would that be about? Mr Bloom interpolated. Can you
recall the boats?
Our soi-disant sailor munched heavily awhile, hungrily, before answering.
— I’m tired of all them rocks in the sea, he said, and boats and ships. Salt
junk all the time.
Tired, seemingly, he ceased. His questioner, perceiving that he was not
likely to get a great deal of change out of such a wily old customer, fell to
woolgathering on the enormous dimensions of the water about the globe.
Suffice it to say that, as a casual glance at the map revealed, it covered fully
three fourths of it and he fully realised accordingly what it meant, to rule the
waves. On more than one occasion — a dozen at the lowest — near the North
Bull at Dollymount he had remarked a superannuated old salt, evidently derelict,
seated habitually near the not particularly redolent sea on the wall, staring quite
obviously at it and it at him, dreaming of fresh woods and pastures new as someone
somewhere sings. And it left him wondering why. Possibly he had tried to
find out the secret for himself, floundering up and down the antipodes and all
that sort of thing and over and under — well, not exactly under — tempting
the fates. And the odds were twenty to nil there was really no secret about it at
all. Nevertheless, without going into the minutiae of the business, the eloquent
fact remained that the sea was there in all its glory and in the natural course of
things somebody or other had to sail on it and fly in the face of providence
though it merely went to show how people usually contrived to load that
sortof onus on to the other fellow like the hell idea and the lottery and
insurance, which were run on identically the same lines so that for that very
reason, if no other, lifeboat Sunday was a very laudable institution to which
the public at large, no matter where living, inland or seaside, as the case
might be, having it brought home to them like that, should extend its
gratitude also to the harbourmasters and coastguard service who had to man
the rigging and push off and out amid the elements, whatever the season, when
duty called Ireland expects that every man and so on, and sometimes had a terrible
time of it in the wintertime not forgetting the Irish lights, Kish and others,
liable to capsize at any moment rounding which he once with his daughter
had experienced some remarkably choppy, not to say stormy, weather.
— There was a fellow sailed with me in the Rover, the old seadog,
himself a rover, proceeded. Went ashore and took up a soft job as gentleman’s
valet at six quid a month. Them are his trousers I’ve on me and he gave me
an oilskin and that jackknife. I’m game for that job, shaving and brushup. I hate
roaming about. There’s my son now, Danny, run off to sea and his mother
got him took in a draper’s in Cork where he could be drawing easy money.
— What age is he? queried one hearer who, by the way, seen from the
side, bore a distant resemblance to Henry Campbell, the townclerk, away from
the carking cares of office, unwashed, of course, and in a seedy getup and a
strong suspicion of nosepaint about the nasal appendage.
— Why, the sailor answered with a slow puzzled utterance. My son
Danny? He’d be about eighteen now, way I figure it.
The Skibbereen father hereupon tore open his grey or unclean anyhow
shirt with his two hands and scratched away at his chest on which was to be
seen an image tattooed in blue Chinese ink, intended to represent an anchor.
— There was lice in that bunk in Bridgwater, he remarked. Sure as nuts.
I must get a wash tomorrow or next day. It’s them black lads I objects to.
I hate those buggers. Sucks your blood dry, they does.
Seeing they were all looking at his chest, he accommodatingly dragged his
shirt more open so that, on top of the timehonoured symbol of the mariner’s
hope and rest, they had a full view of the figure 16 and a young man’s sideface
looking frowningly rather.
— Tattoo, the exhibitor explained. That was done when we were lying
becalmed off Odessa in the Black Sea under Captain Dalton. Fellow the name
of Antonio done that. There he is himself, a Greek.
— Did it hurt much doing it? one asked the sailor.
That worthy, however, was busily engaged in collecting round the
someway in his. Squeezing or...
— See here, he said, showing Antonio. There he is, cursing the mate.
And there he is now, he added. The same fellow, pulling the skin with his
fingers, some special knack evidently, and he laughing at a yarn.
And in point of fact the young man named Antonio’s livid face did
actually look like forced smiling and the curious effect excited the unreserved
admiration of everybody, including Skin-the-Goat who this time stretched over.
— Ay, ay, sighed the sailor, looking down on his manly chest. He’s gone
too. Ate by sharks after. Ay, ay.
He let go of the skin so that the profile resumed the normal expression of
— Neat bit of work, longshoreman one said.
— And what’s the number for? loafer number two queried.
— Eaten alive? a third asked the sailor.
— Ay, ay, sighed again the latter personage, more cheerily this time,
with some sort of a half smile, for a brief duration only, in the direction of the
questioner about the number. A Greek he was.
And then he added, with rather gallowsbird humour, considering his
alleged end :
— As bad as old Antonio,
For he left me on my ownio.
The face of a streetwalker, glazed and haggard under a black straw hat,
peered askew round the door of the shelter, palpably reconnoitring on her own
with the object of bringing more grist to her mill. Mr Bloom, scarcely knowing
which way to look, turned away on the moment, flusterfied but outwardly
calm, and picking up from the table the pink sheet of the Abbey street
organ which the jarvey, if such he was, had laid aside, he picked it up
and looked at the pink of the paper though why pink? His reason for
so doing was he recognised on the moment round the door the same
face he had caught a fleeting glimpse of that afternoon on Ormond Quay, the
partially idiotic female, namely, of the lane, who knew the lady in the brown
costume does be with you (Mrs B.), and begged the chance of his washing.
Also why washing, which seemed rather vague than not?
Your washing. Still, candour compelled him to admit that he had washed
his wife’s undergarments when soiled in Holles Street and women would and
did too a man’s similar garments initialled with Bewley and Draper’s marking
ink (hers were, that is) if they really loved him, that is to say. Love me,
love my dirty shirt. Still, just then, being on tenterhooks, he desired the
female’s room more than her company so it came as a genuine relief when
the keeper made her a rude sign to take herself off. Round the side of the
Evening Telegraph he just caught a fleeting glimpse of her face round the side of
the door with a kind of demented glassy grin showing that she was not exactly
all there, viewing with evident amusement the group of gazers round Skipper
Murphy’s nautical chest and then there was no more of her.
— The gunboat, the keeper said.
— It beats me, Mr Bloom confided to Stephen, medically I am speaking,
how a wretched creature like that from the Lock Hospital, reeking with disease,
can be barefaced enough to solicit or how any man in his sober senses, if he
values his health in the least. Unfortunate creature! Of course, I suppose some
man is ultimately responsible for her condition. Still no matter what the cause
Stephen had not noticed her and shrugged his shoulders, merely remarking :
— In this country people sell much more than she ever had and do a
roaring trade. Fear not them that sell the body but have not power to buy the
soul. She is a bad merchant. She buys dear and sells cheap.
The elder man, though not by any manner of means an old maid or a
prude, said that it was nothing short of a crying scandal that ought to be put
a stop to instanter to say that women of that stamp (quite apart from
any oldmaidish squeamishness on the subject), a necessary evil, were not
licensed and medically inspected by the proper authorities, a thing he could
truthfully state he, as a paterfamilias, was a stalwart advocate of from the
very first start. Whoever embarked on a policy of that sort, he said, and
ventilated the matter thoroughly would confer a lasting boon on everybody
— You, as a good catholic, he observed, talking of body and soul,
believe in the soul. Or do you mean the intelligence, the brainpower as such,
as distinct from any outside object, the table, let us say, that cup? I believe in
that myself because it has been explained by competent men as the convolutions
of the grey matter. Otherwise we would never have such inventions as X
rays, for instance. Do you?
Thus cornered, Stephen had to make a superhuman effort of memory to
try and concentrate and remember before he could say :
— They tell me on the best authority it is a simple substance and
therefore incorruptible. It would be immortal, I understand, but for the
possibility of its annihilation by its First Cause, Who, from all I can hear, is
quite capable of adding that to the number of His other practical jokes, corruptio
per se and corruptio per accidens both being excluded by court etiquette.
Mr Bloom thoroughly acquiesced in the general gist of this though the
mystical finesse involved was a bit out of his sublunary depth still he felt
bound to enter a demurrer on the head of simple, promptly rejoining :
— Simple? I shouldn’t think that is the proper word. Of course, I grant
you, to concede a point, you do knock across a simple soul once in a blue moon.
But what I am anxious to arrive at is it is one thing for instance to invent
those rays Röngten did, or the telescope like Edison, though I believe it was
before his time, Galileo was the man I mean. The same applies to the laws,
for example, of a farreaching natural phenomenon such as electricity but it’s
a horse of quite another colour to say you believe in the existence of a
— O, that, Stephen expostulated, has been proved conclusively by several
of the best known passages in Holy Writ, apart from circumstantial evidence.
On this knotty point, however, the views of the pair, poles apart as they
were, both in schooling and everything else, with the marked difference in their
respective ages, clashed.
— Has been? the more experienced of the two objected, sticking to his
original point. I’m not so sure about that. That’s a matter of every man’s
opinion and, without dragging in the sectarian side of the business, I beg to
differ with you in toto there. My belief is, to tell you the candid truth,
that those bits were genuine forgeries all of them put in by monks most
probably or it’s the big question of our national poet over again, who precisely
wrote them, like Hamlet and Bacon, as you who know your Shakespeare
infinitely better than I, of course I needn’t tell you. Can’t you drink that coffee,
by the way? Let me stir it and take a piece of that bun. It’s like one of our
skipper’s bricks disguised. Still, no one can give what he hasn’t got. Try a bit.
— Couldn’t, Stephen contrived to get out, his mentlal organs for the
moment refusing to dictate further.
Faultfinding being a proverbially bad hat, Mr Bloom thought well to stir,
or try to, the clotted sugar from the bottom and reflected with something
approaching acrimony on the Coffee Palace and its temperance (and lucrative)
work. To be sure it was a legitimate object and beyond yea or nay did a
world of good. Shelters such as the present one they were in run on teetotal
lines for vagrants at night, concerts, dramatic evenings, and useful lectures
(admittance free) by qualified men for the lower orders. On the other hand,
he had a distinct and painful recollection they paid his wife, Madam Marion
Tweedy who had been prominently associated with it at one time, a
very modest remuneration indeed for her pianoplaying. The idea he was
strongly inclined to believe, was to do good and net a profit, there being no
competition to speak of. Sulphate of copper poison, S O4 or something in
some dried peas he remembered reading of in a cheap eatinghouse somewhere
but he couldn’t remember when it was or where. Anyhow, inspection,
medical inspection, of all eatables, seemed to him more than ever necessary
which possibly accounted for the vogue of Dr Tibble’s Vi-Cocoa on account
of the medical analysis involved.
— Have a shot at it now, he ventured to say of the coffee after being stirred.
Thus prevailed on to at any rate taste it, Stephen lifted the heavy mug
from the brown puddle — it clopped out of it when taken up — by the handle
and took a sip of the offending beverage.
— Still, it’s solid food, his good genius urged, I’m a stickler for solid food,
his one and only reason being not gormandising in the least but regular
meals as the sine qua non for any kind of proper work, mental or manual. You
ought to eat more solid food. You would feel a different man.
— Liquids I can eat, Stephen said. But oblige me by taking away that
knife. I can’t look at the point of it. It reminds me of Roman history.
Mr Bloom promptly did as suggested and removed the incriminated article,
a blunt hornhandled ordinary knife with nothing particularly Roman or
antique about it to the lay eye, observing that the point was the least conspicuous
point about it.
— Our mutual friend’s stories are like himself, Mr Bloom, apropos of
knives, remarked to his confidante sotto voce. Do you think they are genuine?
He could spin those yarns for hours on end all night long and lie like old
boots. Look at him.
Yet still, though his eyes were thick with sleep and sea air, life was full of
a host of things and coincidences of a terrible nature and it was quite within the
bounds of possibility that it was not an entire fabrication though at first blush
there was not much inherent probability in all the spoof he got off his chest
being strictly accurate gospel.
He had been meantime taking stock of the individual in front of him
and Sherlockholmesing him up, ever since he clapped eyes on him. Though
a wellpreserved man of no little stamina, if a trifle prone to baldness,
there was something spurious in the cut of his jib that suggested a jail
delivery and it required no violent stretch of imagination to associate
such a weirdlooking specimen with the oakum and treadmill fraternity.
He might even have done for his man, supposing it was his own case he
told, as people often did about others, namely, that he killed him himself
and had served his four or five goodlooking years in durance vile to say
nothing of the Antonio personage (no relation to the dramatic personage
of identical name who sprang from the pen of our national poet) who expiated
his crimes in the melodramatic manner above described. On the other hand
he might be only bluffing, a pardonable weakness, because meeting unmistakable
mugs, Dublin residents, like those jarvies waiting news from abroad, would
tempt any ancient mariner who sailed the ocean seas to draw the long bow
about the schooner Hesperus and etcetera. And when all was said and done,
the lies a fellow told about himself couldn’t probably hold a proverbial candle
to the wholesale whoppers other fellows coined about him.
— Mind you, I’m not saying that it’s all a pure invention, he resumed.
Analogous scenes are occasionally, if not often, met with. Giants, though, that
is rather a far cry you see once in a way. Marcella, the midget queen. In those
waxworks in Henry street I myself saw some Aztecs, as they are called,
sitting bowlegged. They couldn’t straighten their legs if you paid them because
the muscles here, you see, he proceeded, indicating on his companion the
brief outline, the sinews, or whatever you like to call them, behind the right
knee, were utterly powerless from sitting that way so long cramped up, being
adored as gods. There’s an example again of simple souls.
However, reverting to friend Sinbad and his horrifying adventures (who
reminded him a bit of Ludwig, alias Ledwidge, when he occupied the boards
of the Gaiety when Michael Gunn was identified with the management in the
Flying Dutchman, a stupendous success, and his host of admirers came in
large numbers, everyone simply flocking to hear him though ships of any
sort, phantom or the reverse, on the stage usually fell a bit flat as also did
trains), there was nothing intrinsically incompatible about it, he conceded. On
the contrary, that stab in the back touch was quite in keeping with those
Italianos, though candidly he was none the less free to admit those ice creamers
and friers in the fish way, not to mention the chip potato variety and so forth,
over in little Italy there, near the Coombe, were sober thrifty hardworking
fellows except perhaps a bit too given to pothunting the harmless necessary
animal of the feline persuasion of others at night so as to have a good old
succulent tuckink with garlic de rigueur off him or her next day on the quiet and,
he added, on the cheap.
— Spaniards, for instance, he continued, passionate temperaments like
that, impetuous as Old Nick, are given to taking the law into their own hands
and give you your quietus double quick with those poignards they carry in
the abdomen. It comes from the great heat, climate generally. My wife is,
so to speak, Spanish, half, that is. Point of fact she could actually claim Spanish
nationality if she wanted, having been born in (technically) Spain, i. e.
Gibraltar. She has the Spanish type. Quite dark, regular brunette, black. I, for
one, certainly believe climate accounts for character. That’s why I asked you if
you wrote your poetry in Italian.
— The temperaments at the door, Stephen interposed with, were very
passionate about ten shillings. Roberto ruba roba sua.
— Quite so, Mr Bloom dittoed.
— Then, Stephen said, staring and rambling on to himself or some
unknown listener somewhere, we have the impetuosity of Dante and the
isosceles triangle, Miss Portinari, he fell in love with and Leonardo and san
— It’s in the blood, Mr Bloom acceded at once. All are washed in the
blood of the sun. Coincidence, I just happened to be in the Kildare Street
Museum today, shortly prior to our meeting, if I can so call it, and I was just
looking at those antique statues there. The splendid proportions of hips,
bosom. You simply don’t knock against those kind of women here. An
exception here and there. Handsome, yes, pretty in a way you find, but what
I’m talking about is the female form. Besides, they have so little taste in dress,
most of them, which greatly enhances a woman’s natural beauty, no matter
what you say. Rumpled stockings — it may be, possibly is, a foible of mine,
but still it’s a thing I simply hate to see.
Interest, however, was starting to flag somewhat all round and the
others got on to talking about accidents at sea, ships lost in a fog, collisions
with icebergs, all that sort of thing. Shipahoy, of course, had his own say to
say. He had doubled the Cape a few odd times and weathered a monsoon, a
kind of wind, in the China seas and through all those perils of the deep there
was one thing, he declared, stood to him, or words to that effect, a pious medal
he had that saved him.
So then after that they drifted on to the wreck of Daunt’s rock, wreck of that
illfated Norwegian barque — nobody could think of her name for the moment
till the jarvey who had really quite a look of Henry Campbell remembered it,
Palme, on Booterstown Strand, that was the talk of the town that year
(Albert William Quill wrote a fine piece of original verse of distinctive merit
on the topic for the Irish Times) breakers running over her and crowds and
crowds on the shore in commotion petrified with horror. Then someone said
something about the case of the s. s. Lady Cairns of Swansea, run into by
the Mona, which was on an opposite tack, in rather muggyish weather and
lost with all hands on deck. No aid was given. Her master, the Mona’s, said
he was afraid his collision bulkhead would give way. She had no water, it
appears, in her hold.
At this stage an incident happened. It having become necessary for him to
unfurl a reef, the sailor vacated his seat.
— Let me cross your bows, mate, he said to his neighbour, who was just
gently dropping off into a peaceful dose.
He made tracks heavily, slowly, with a dumpy sort of a gait to the door,
stepped heavily down the one step there was out of the shelter and bore due
left. While he was in the act of getting his bearings, Mr Bloom, who
noticed when he stood up that he had two flasks of presumably ship’s rum
sticking one out of each pocket for the private consumption of his burning
interior, saw him produce a bottle and uncork it, or unscrew, and, applying its
nozzle to his lips, take a good old delectable swig out of it with a gurgling
noise. The irrepressible Bloom, who also had a shrewd suspicion that the old
stager went out on a manœuvre after the counterattraction in the shape
of a female, who, however, had disappeared to all intents and purposes,
could, by straining, just perceive him, when duly refreshed, by his rum
puncheon exploit, gazing up at the piers and girders of the Loop Line,
rather out of his depth, as of course it was all radically altered since his
last visit and greatly improved. Some person or persons invisible directed
him to the male urinal erected by the cleansing committee all over the place
for the purpose but, after a brief space of time during which silence reigned
supreme, the sailor, evidently giving it a wide berth, eased himself close at
hand, the noise of his bilgewater some little time subsequently splashing on the
ground where it apparently woke a horse of the cabrank.
A hoof scooped anyway for new foothold after sleep and harness jingled.
Slightly disturbed in his sentrybox by the brazier of live coke, the watcher of
the corporation, who, though now broken down and fast breaking up, was
none other in stern reality than the Gumley aforesaid, now practically
on the parish rates, given the temporary job by Pat Tobin in all human
probability, from dictates of humanity, knowing him before — shifted
about and shuffled in his box before composing his limbs again in the arms
of Morpheus. A truly amazing piece of hard times in its most virulent form
on a fellow most respectably connected and familiarised with decent home
comforts all his life who came in for a cool £ 100 a year at one time which
of course the doublebarrelled ass proceeded to make general ducks and drakes
of. And there he was at the end of his tether after having often painted the
town tolerably pink, without a beggarly stiver. He drank, needless to be
told, and it pointed only once more a moral when he might quite easily be
in a large way of business if — a big if, however — he had contrived to cure
himself of his particular partiality.
All, meantime, were loudly lamenting the falling off in Irish shipping,
coastwise and foreign as well, which was all part and parcel of the same thing. A
Palgrave Murphy boat was put off the ways at Alexandra Basin, the only launch
that year. Right enough the harbours were there only no ships ever called.
There were wrecks and wrecks, the keeper said, who was evidently au
What he wanted to ascertain was why that ship ran bang against the only
rock in Galway Bay when the Galway Harbour scheme was mooted by a
Mr Worthington or some name like that, eh? Ask her captain, he advised
them, how much palmoil the British Government gave him for that day’s
work. Captain John Lever of the Lever line.
— Am I right, skipper? he queried of the sailor now returning after his
private potation and the rest of his exertions.
That worthy, picking up the scent of the fagend of the song or words,
growled in wouldbe music, but with great vim, some kind of chanty or other
in seconds or thirds. Mr Bloom’s sharp ears heard him then expectorate the
plug probably (which it was), so that he must have lodged it for the time being in
his fist while he did the drinking and making water jobs and found it a bit
sour after the liquid fire in question. Anyhow in he rolled after his successful
libation — cum — potation, introducing an atmosphere of drink into the soirée,
boisterously trolling, like a veritable son of a seacook :
— The biscuits was as hard as brass,
And the beef as salt as Lot’s wife’s arse.
O Johnny Lever!
Johnny Lever, O!
After which effusion the redoubtable specimen duly arrived on the
scene and, regaining his seat, he sank rather than sat heavily on the form
Skin-the-Goat, assuming he was he, evidently with an axe to grind, was
airing his grievances in a forcible-feeble philippic anent the natural resources
of Ireland, or something of that sort, which he described in his lengthy
dissertation as the richest country bar none on the face of God’s earth, far and
away superior to England, with coal in large quantities, six million pounds’ worth
of pork exported every year, ten millions between butter and eggs, and all the
riches drained out of it by England levying taxes on the poor people that paid
through the nose always, and gobbling up the best meat in the market, and a
lot more surplus steam in the same vein. Their conversation accordingly became
general and all agreed that that was a fact. You could grow any mortal thing
in Irish soil, he stated, and there was Colonel Everard down there in Cavan
growing tobacco. Where would you find anywhere the like of Irish bacon? But
a day of reckoning, he stated crescendo with no uncertain voice — thoroughly
monopolising all the conversation — was in store for mighty England, despite
her power of pelf on account of her crimes. There would be a fall and the
greatest fall in history. The Germans and the Japs were going to have their
little lookin, he affirmed. The Boers were the beginning of the end.
Brummagem England was toppling already and her downfall would be Ireland,
her Achilles heel, which he explained to them about the vulnerable point of
Achilles, the Greek hero — a point his auditors at once seized as he completely
gripped their attention by showing the tendon referred to on his boot.
His advice to every Irishman was : stay in the land of your birth and work
for Ireland and live for Ireland. Ireland, Parnell said, could not spare a single
one of her sons.
Silence all round marked the termination of his finale. The impervious
navigator heard these lurid tidings undismayed.
— Take a bit of doing, boss, retaliated that rough diamond palpably a bit
peeved in response to the foregoing truism.
To which cold douche, referring to downfall and so on, the keeper
concurred but nevertheless held to his main view.
— Who’s the best troops in the army? the grizzled old veteran irately
interrogated. And the best jumpers and racers? And the best admirals and
generals we’ve got? Tell me that.
— The Irish for choice, retorted the cabby like Campbell, facial
— That’s right, the old tarpaulin corroborated. The Irish catholic peasant.
He’s the backbone of our empire. You know Jem Mullins?
While allowing him his individual opinions, as every man, the keeper
added he cared nothing for any empire, ours or his, and considered no Irishman
worthy of his salt that served it. Then they began to have a few irascible words,
when it waxed hotter, both, needless to say, appealing to the listeners who
followed the passage of arms with interest so long as they didn’t indulge in
recriminations and come to blows.
From inside information extending over a series of years Mr Bloom was
rather inclined to poohpooh the suggestion as egregious balderdash for, pending
that consummation devoutly to be or not to be wished for, he was fully
cognisant of the fact that their neighbours across the channel, unless they
were much bigger fools than he took them for, rather concealed their strength
than the opposite. It was quite on a par with the quixotic idea in certain
quarters that in a hundred million years the coal seam of the sister island would
be played out and if, as time went on, that turned out to be how the cat
jumped all he could personally say on the matter was that as a host of
contingencies, equally relevant to the issue, might occur ere then it was
highly advisable in the interim to try to make the most of both countries,
even though poles apart. Another littleinteresting point, the amours of whores
and chummies, to put it in common parlance, reminded him Irish soldiers
had as often fought for England as against her, more so, in fact. And now,
why? So the scene between the pair of them, the licensee of the place, rumoured
to be or have been Fitzharris, the famous invincible, and the other, obviously
bogus, reminded him forcibly as being on all fours with the confidence trick,
supposing, that is, it was prearranged, as the lookeron, a student of the
human soul, if anything, the others seeing least of the game. And as for the
lessee or keeper, who probably wasn’t the other person at all, he (Bloom)
couldn’t help feeling, and most properly, it was better to give people like
that the goby unless you were a blithering idiot altogether and refuse to
have anything to do with them as a golden rule in private life and their
felonsetting, there always being the offchance of a Dannyman coning forward
and turning queen’s evidence — or king’s, now — like Denis or Peter Carey,
an idea he utterly repudiated. Quite apart from that, he disliked those careers
of wrongdoing and crime on principle. Yet, though such criminal propensities
had never been an inmate of his bosom in any shape or form, he certainly
did feel, and no denying it (while inwardly remaining what he was), a certain
kind of admiration for a man who had actually brandished a knife, cold steel,
with the courage of his political convictions though, personally, he would
never be a party to any such thing, off the same bat as those love vendettas of
the south — have her or swing for her — when the husband frequently, after
some words passed between the two concerning her relations with the other
lucky mortal (he man having had the pair watched) inflicted fatal injuries on his
adored one as a result of an alternative postnuptial liaison by plunging his
knife into her until it just struck him that Fitz, nicknamed Skin-the-Goat,
merely drove the car for the actual perpetrators of the outrage and so was
not, if he was reliably informed, actually party to the ambush which,
in point of fact, was the plea some legal luminary saved his skin on. In
any case that was very ancient history by now and as for our friend, the
pseudo Skin-the-etcetera, he had transparently outlived his welcome. He
ought to have either died naturally or on the scaffold high. Like actresses,
always farewell — positively last performance — then come up smiling
again. Generous to a fault, of course, temperamental, no economising
or any idea of the sort, always snapping at the bone for the shadow. So
similarly he had a very shrewd suspicion that Mr Johnny Lever got rid of
some £. s. d. in the course of his perambulations round the docks in the
congenial atmosphere of the Old Ireland tavern, come back to Erin and so on.
Then as for the others, he had heard not so long before the same identical lingo,
as he told Stephen how he simply but effectually silenced the offender.
— He took umbrage at something or other, that muchinjured but on
the whole eventempored person declared, I let slip. He called me a jew, and in
a heated fashion, offensively. So I, without deviating from plain facts in the
least, told him his God, I mean Christ, was a jew too, and all his family, like
me, though in reality I’m not. That was one for him. A soft answer turns
away wrath. He hadn’t a word to say for himself as everyone saw. Am I not
He turned a long you are wrong gaze on Stephen of timorous dark pride
at the soft impeachment, with a glance also of entreaty for he seemed to glean
in a kind of a way that it wasn’t all exactly...
— Ex quibus, Stephen mumbled in a noncommittal accent, their two or
four eyes conversing, Christus or Bloom his name is, or, after all, any other,
— Of course, Mr Bloom proceeded to stipulate, you must look at both
sides of the question. It is hard to lay down any hard and fast rules as to right
and wrong but room for improvement all round there certainly is though
every country, they say, our own distressful included, has the government it
deserves. But with a little goodwill all round. It’s all very fine to boast of mutual
superiority but what about mutual equality? I resent violence or intolerance
in any shape or form. It never reaches anything or stops anything. A revolution
must come on the due instalments plan. It’s a patent absurdity on the face of
it to hate people because they live round the corner and speak another
vernacular, so to speak.
— Memorable bloody bridge battle and seven minutes’ war, Stephen
assented, between Skinner’s alley and Ormond market.
— Yes, Mr Bloom thoroughly agreed, entirely endorsing the remark, that
was overwhelmingly right and the whole world was overwhelmingly full of
that sort of thing.
— You just took the words out of my mouth, he said. A hocuspocus of
conflicting evidence that candidly you couldn’t remotely...
All those wretched quarrels, in his humble opinion, stirring up bad blood
— bump of combativeness or gland of some kind, erroneously supposed to
be about a punctilio of honour and a flag — were very largely a question of
the money question which was at the back of everything, greed and jealousy,
people never knowing when to stop.
— They accuse — remarked he audibly. He turned away from the
others, who probably... and spoke nearer to, so as the others... in case
— Jews, he softly imparted in an aside in Stephen’s ear, are accused of
ruining. Not a vestige of truth in it, I can safely say. History, — would you
be surprised to learn? — proves up to the hilt Spain decayed when the
Inquisition hounded the jews out and England prospered when Cromwell,
an uncommonly able ruffian, who, in other respects has much to answer for,
imported them. Why? Because they are practical and are proved to be so. I
don’t want to indulge in any... because you know the standard works on
the subject, and then, orthodox as you are... But in the economic, not
touching religion, domain, the priest spells poverty. Spain again, you saw in
the war, compared with goahead America. Turks, it’s in the dogma. Because if
they didn’t believe they’d go straight to heaven when they die they’d try to
live better — at least, so I think. That’s the juggle on which the p. p.’s raise
the wind on false pretences. I’m, he resumed, with dramatic force, as good an
Irishman as that rude person I told you about at the outset and I want to see
everyone, concluded he, all creeds and classes pro rata having a comfortable
tidysized income, in no niggard fashion either, something in the neighbourhood
of £ 300 per annum That’s the vital issue at stake and it’s feasible and would
be provocative of friendlier intercourse between man and man. At least that’s
my idea for what it’s worth. I call that patriotism. Ubi patria, as we learned a
small smattering of in our classical day in Alma Mater, vita beni. Where you
can live well, the sense is, if you work.
Over his untasteable apology for a cup of coffee, listening to this synopsis
of things in general, Stephen stared at nothing in particular. He could hear, of
course, all kinds of words changing colour like those crabs about Ringsend in
the morning, burrowing quickly into all colours of different sorts of the same
sand where they had a home somewhere beneath or seemed to. Then he
looked up and saw the eyes that said or didn’t say the words the voice he heard
said — if you work.
— Count me out, he managed to remark, meaning to work.
The eyes were surprised at this observation, because as he, the person who
owned them pro. tem. observed, or rather, his voice speaking did : All must
work, have to, together.
— I mean, of course, the other hastened to affirm, work in the widest
possible sense. Also literary labour, not merely for the kudos of the thing.
Writing for the newspapers which is the readiest channel nowadays. That’s
work too. Important work. After all, from the little I know of you, after all the
money expended on your education, you are entitled to recoup yourself and
command your price. You have every bit as much right to live by your pen
in pursuit of your philosophy as the peasant has. What? You both belong to
Ireland, the brain and the brawn. Each is equally important.
— You suspect, Stephen retorted with a sort of a half laugh, that I may be
important because I belong to the faubourg Saint-Patrice called Ireland for short.
— I would go a step farther, Mr Bloom insinuated.
— But I suspect, Stephen interrupted, that Ireland must be important
because it belongs to me.
— What belongs? queried Mr Bloom, bending, fancying he was perhaps
under some misapprehension. Excuse me. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the
latter portion. What was it you?...
Stephen, patently crosstempered, repeated and shoved aside his mug of
coffee, or whatever you like to call it, none too politely, adding :
— We can’t change the country. Let us change the subject.
At this pertinent suggestion, Mr Bloom, to change the subject, looked down,
but in a quandary, as he couldn’t tell exactly what construction to put on belongs
to which sounded rather a far cry. The rebuke of some kind was clearer
than the other part. Needless to say, the fumes of his recent orgy spoke
then which some asperity in a curious bitter way, foreign to his sober state.
Probably the home life, to which Mr Bloom attached the utmost importance,
had not been all that was needful or he hadn’t been familiarised with the
right sort of people. With a touch of fear for the young man beside
him, whom he furtively scrutinised with an air of some consternation,
remembering he had just come back from Paris, the eyes more especially
reminding him forcibly of father and sister, failing to throw much light
on the subject, however, he brought to mind instances of cultured fellows that
promised so brilliantly, nipped in the bud of premature decay, and nobody
to blame but themselves. For instance, there was the case of O’Callaghan,
for one, the half crazy faddist, respectably connected, though of inadequate
means, with his mad vagaries, among whose other gay doings when rotto
and making himself a nuisance to everybody all round he was in the habit
of ostentatiously sporting in public a suit of brown paper (a fact). And
then the usual dénouement after the fun had gone on fast and furious he got
landed into hot water and had to be spirited away by a few friends, after a
strong hint to a blind horse from John Mallon of Lower Castle Yard, so
as not to be made amenable under section two of the Criminal Law
Amendment Act, certain names of those subpœnaed being handed in but
not divulged, for reasons which will occur to anyone with a pick of brains.
Briefly, putting two and two together, six sixteen, which he pointedly
turned a deaf ear to, Antonio and so forth, jockeys and esthetesand the
tattoo which was all the go in the seventies or thereabouts, even in the
House of Lords, because early in life the occupant of the throne, then heir
apparent, the other members of the upper ten and other high personages
simply following in the footsteps of the head of the state, he reflected about
the errors of notorieties and crowned heads running counter to morality
such as the Cornwall case a number of years before under their veneer
in a way scarcely intended by nature, a thing good Mrs Grundy as the law
stands was terribly down on, though not for the reason they thought they
were probably, whatever it was, except women chiefly, who were always
fiddling more or less at one another, it being largely a matter of dress and
all the rest of it. Ladies who like distinctive underclothing should, and every
welltailored man must, trying to make the gap wider between them by
innuendo and give more of a genuine filip to acts of impropriety between
the two, she unbuttoned his and then he untied her, mind the pin, whereas
savages in the cannibal islands, say, at ninety degrees in the shade not
caring a continental. However, reverting to the original, there were on the
other hand others who had forced their way to the top from the lowest rung
by the aid of their bootstraps. Sheer force of natural genius, that. With brains,
For which and further reasons he felt it was interest and duty even to
wait on and profit by the unlookedfor occasion, though why, he could not
exactly tell, being, as it was, already several shillings to the bad, having, in
fact, let himself in for it. Still, to cultivate the acquaintance of someone of no
uncommon calibre who could provide food for reflection would amply
repay any small... Intellectual stimulation as such was, he felt, from time
to time a firstrate tonic for the mind. Added to which was the coincidence
of meeting, discussion, dance, row, old salt, of the here today and gone
tomorrow type, night loafers, the whole galaxy of events, all went to make
up a miniature cameo of the world we live in, especially as the lives of
the submerged tenth, viz., coalminers, divers, scavengers, etc., were very much
under the microscope lately. To improve the shining hour he wondered
whether he might meet with anything approaching the same luck as Mr
Philip Beaufoy if taken down in writing. Suppose he were to pen something
out of the common groove (as he fully intended doing) at the rate of one
guinea per column, My Experiences, let us say, in a Cabman’s Shelter.
The pink edition, extra sporting, of the Telegraph, tell a graphic lie, lay,
as luck would have it, beside his elbow and as he was just puzzling again, far
from satisfied, over a country belonging to him and the preceding rebus the
vessel came from Bridgwater and the postcard was addressed to A. Boudin,
find the captain’s age, his eyes went aimlessly over the respective captions
which came under his special province, the allembracing give us this day our
daily press. First he got a bit of a start but it turned out to be only something
about somebody named H. du Boyes, agent for typewriters or something
like that. Great battle Tokio. Lovemaking in Irish £ 200 damages.
Gordon Bennett. Emigration swindle. Letter from His Grace William +.
Ascot Throwaway recalls Derby of ’92 when Captain Marshall’s dark horse,
Sir Hugo, captured the blue ribband at long odds. New-York disaster, thousand
lives lost. Foot and Mouth. Funeral of the late Mr Patrick Dignam.
So to change the subject he read about Dignam, R. I. P., which, he
reflected, was anything but a gay sendoff.
— This morning (Hynes put in, of course), the remains of the late
Mr Patrick Dignam were removed from his residence, n° 9 Newbridge Avenue,
Sandymount, for interment in Glasnevin. The deceased gentleman was a most popular
and genial personality in city life and his demise, after a brief illness, came as great
shock to citizens of all classes by whom he is deeply regretted. The obsequies, at which
many friends of the deceased were present, were carried out (certainly Hynes wrote
it with a nudge from Corny) by Messrs. H. J. O’Neill & Son, 164 North Strand
road. The mourners included : Patk. Dignam (son), Bernard Corrigan (brother-in-
law), John Henry Menton, solr., Martin Cunningham, John Power eatondph 1/8
ador dorador douradora (must be where he called Monks the dayfather about
Keyes’s ad) Thomas Kernan, Simon Dedalus, B. A., Edward J. Lambert,
Cornelius Kelleher, Joseph M C. Hynes, L. Bloom, C. P. M’Coy, — M’Intosh, and
Nettled not a little by L. Boom (as it incorrectly stated) and the line of
bitched type, but tickled to death simultaneously by C. P. M’Coy and Stephen
Dedalus, B. A., who were conspicuous, needless to say, by their total
absence (to say nothing of M’Intosh), L. Boom pointed it out to his companion
B. A., engaged in stifling another yawn, half nervousness, not forgetting the
usual crop of nonsensical howlers of misprints.
— Is that first epistle to the Hebrews, he asked, as soon as his bottom jaw
would let him, in? Text : open thy mouth and put thy foot in it.
— It is, really, Mr Bloom said (though first he fancied he alluded to the
archbishop till he added about foot and mouth with which there could be no
possible connection) overjoyed to set his mind at rest and a bit flabbergasted
at Myles Crawford’s after all managing the thing, there.
While the other was reading it on page two Boom (to give him for the
nonce his new misnomer) whiled away a few odd leisure moments in fits and
starts with the account of the third event at Ascot on page three, his side-value
1,000 sovs., with 3,000 sovs. in specie added for entire colts and fillies.
Mr F. Alexander’s Throwaway, b. h. by Rightaway, 5 yrs, 9 st 4 lbs, Thrale
(W. Lane) 1. Lord Howard de Walden’s Zinfandel (M. Cannon) 2. Mr W.
Bass’s Sceptre, 3. Bettings 5 to 4 on Zinfandel, 20 to 1 Throwaway (off).
Throwaway and Zinfandel stood close order. It was anybody’s race then the
rank outsider drew to the fore got long lead, beating lord Howard de Walden’s
chestnut colt and Mr W. Bass’s bay filly Sceptre on a 2 1/2 mile course. Winner
trained by Braine so that Lenehan’s version of the business was all pure buncombe.
Secured the verdict cleverly by a length. 1,000 sovs. with 300 in specie. Also
ran J. de Bremond’s (French horse Bantam Lyons was anxiously inquiring
after not in yet but expected any minute) Maximum II. Different ways of
bringing off a coup. Lovemaking damages. Though that halfbaked Lyons ran
off at a tangent in his impetuosity to get left. Of course, gambling eminently
lent itself to that sort of thing though, as the event turned out, the poor fool
hadn’t much reason to congratulate himself on his pick, the forlorn hope.
Guesswork it reduced itself to eventually.
— There was every indication they would arrive at that, Mr Bloom said.
— Who? the other, whose hand by the way was hurt, said.
— One morning you would open the paper, the cabman affirmed, and
read, Return of Parnell. He bet them what they liked.A Dublin fusilier was in
that shelter one night and said he saw him in South Africa. Pride it was killed
him. He ought to have done away with himself or lain low for a time after
Committee Room n° 15 until he was his old self again with no-one to point a
fiinger at him. Then they would all to a man have gone down on their
marrowbones to him to come back when he had recovered his senses. Dead
he wasn’t. Simply absconded somewhere. The coffin they brought over was
full of stones. He changed his name to De Wet, the Boer general. He made a
mistake to fight the priests. And so forth and so on.
All the same Bloom (properly so dubbed) was rather surprised at their
memories for in nine cases out of ten it was a case of tarbarrels, and
not singly but in their thousands, and then complete oblivion because
it was twenty odd years. Highly unlikely, of course, there was even a
shadow of truth in the stories and, even supposing, he thought a return
highly inadvisable, all things considered. Something evidently riled them in
his death. Either he petered out too tamely of acute pneumonia just when his
various different political arrangements were nearing completion or whether it
transpired he owed his death to his having neglected to change his boots and
clothes after a wetting when a cold resulted and failing to consult a specialist
he being confined to his room till he eventually died of it amid widespread
regret before a fortnight was at an end or quite possibly they were distressed
to find the job was taken out of their hands. Of course nobody being
acquainted with his movements even before, there was absolutely no clue as to
his whereabouts which were decidedly of the Alice, where art thou order even
prior to his starting to go under several aliases such as Fox and Stewart, so the
remark which emanated from friend cabby might be within the bounds of
possibility. Naturally then, it would prey on his mind as a born leader of
men, which undoubtedly he was, and a commanding figure, a sixfooter or at
any rate five feet ten or eleven in his stockinged feet, whereas Messrs.
So-and-So who, though they weren’t even a patch on the former man, ruled
the roost after their redeeming features were very few and far between. It
certainly pointed a moral, the idol with feet of clay. And then seventytwo of
his trusty henchmen rounding on him with mutual mudslinging. And the identical
same with murderers. You had to come back — that haunting sense kind of
drew you — to show the understudy in the title rôle how to. He saw him once
on the auspicious occasion when they broke up the type in the Insuppressible
or was it United Ireland, a privilege he keenly appreciated, and, in point of fact,
handed him his silk hat when it was knocked off and he said Thank you,
excited as he undoubtedly was under his frigid expression notwithstanding
the little misadventure mentioned between the cup and the lip, — what’s bred
in the bone. Still, as regards return, you were a lucky dog if they didn’t set the
terrier at you directly you got back. Then a lot of shillyshally usually
followed. Tom for and Dick and Harry against. And then, number one, you
came up against the man in possession and had to produce your credentials,
like the claimant in the Tichborne case, Roger Charles Tichborne, Bella was
the boat’s name to the best of his recollection he, the heir, went down in, as
the evidence went to show, and there was a tattoo mark too in Indian ink,
Lord Bellew, was it? As he might very easily have picked up the details from
some pal on board ship and then, when got up to tally with the description
given, introduce himself with, Excuse me, my name is So-and-So or some such
commonplace remark. A more prudent course, Mr Bloom said to the not over
effusive, in fact like the distinguished personage under discussion beside him,
would have been to sound the lie of the land first.
— That bitch, that English whore, did for him, the shebeen proprietor
commented. She put the first nail in his coffin.
— Fine lump of a woman, all the same, the soi-disant townclerk, Henry
Campbell remarked, and plenty of her. I seen her picture in a barber’s. Her
husband was a captain or an officer.
— Ay, Skin-the-Goat amusingly added. He was, and a cottonball one.
This gratuitous contribution of a humorous character occasioned a fair
amount of laughter among his entourage. As regards Bloom, he, without the
faintest suspicion of a smile, merely gazed in the direction of the door and reflected
upon the historic story which had aroused extraordinary interest at the time when
the facts, to make matters worse, were made public with the usual affectionate
letters that passed between them, full of sweet nothings. First, it was strictly
platonic till nature intervened and an attachment sprang up between them, till
it bit by bit matters came to a climax and the matter became the talk of the
town till the staggering blow came as a welcome intelligence to not a few
evildisposed however, who were resolved upon encouraging his downfal though
the thing was public property all along though not to anything like the
sensational extent that it subsequently blossomed into. Since their names were
coupled, though, since he was her declared favorite, where was the particular
necessity to proclaim it to the rank and file from the housetops, the fact namely,
that he had shared her bedroom, which came out in the witnessbox on oath
when a thrill went through the packed court literally electrifying everybody in the
shape of witnesses swearing to having witnessed him on such and such a
particular date in the act of scrambling out of an upstairs apartment with the
assistance of a ladder in night apparel, having gained admittance in the same
fashion, a fact that the weeklies, addicted to the lubric a little, simply coined
shoals of money out of. Whereas the simple fact of the case was it was simply
a case of the husband not being up to the scratch with nothing in common
between them beyond the name and then a real man arriving on the scene,
strong to the verge of weakness, falling a victim to her siren charms and
forgetting home ties. The usual sequel, to bask in the loved one’s smiles.
The eternal question of the life connubial, needless to say, cropped up. Can
real love, supposing there happens to be another chap in the case, exist between
married folk? Though it was no concern of theirs absolutely if he regarded
her with affection carried away by a wave of folly. A magnificent specimen
of manhood he was truly, augmented obviously by gifts of a high order as
compared with the other military supernumerary, that is (who was just
the usual everyday farewell, my gallant captain kind of an individual in the
light dragoons, the 18th hussars to be accurate), and inflammable doubtless (the
fallen leader, that is not the other) in his own peculiar way which she of course,
woman, quickly perceived as highly likely to carve his way to fame, which
he almost bid fair to do till the priests and ministers of the gospel as a whole,
his erstwhile staunch adherents and his beloved evicted tenants for whom he
had done yeoman service in the rural parts of the country by taking up the
cudgels on their behalf in a way that exceeded their most sanguine
expectations, very effectually cooked his matrimonial goose, thereby heaping
coals of fire on his head-much in the same way as the fabled ass’s kick. Looking
back now in a retrospective kind of arrangement, all seemed a kind of
dream. And the coming back was the worst thing you ever did because it
went without saying you would feel out of place as things always moved with
the times. Why, as he reflected, Irishtown Strand, a locality he had not been
in for quite a number of years, looked different somehow since, as it happened,
he went to reside on the north side. North or south however, it was just the
wellknown case of hot passion, pure and simple, upsetting the applecart with
a vengeance and just bore out the very thing he was saying, as she also was
Spanish or half so, types that wouldn’t do things by halves, passionate abandon
of the south, casting every shred of decency to the winds.
— Just bears out what I was saying, he, with glowing bosom said to
Stephen. And, if I don’t greatly mistake, she was Spanish too.
— The king of Spain’s daughter, Stephen answered, adding something or
other rather muddled about farewell and adieu to you Spanish onions and
the first land called the Deadman and from Ramhead to Scilly was so and so
— Was she? Bloom ejaculated surprised, though not astonished by any
means. I never heard that rumour before. Possible, especially there it was, as
she lived there. So, Spain.
Carefully avoiding a book in his pocket Sweets of, which reminded him
by the by of that Capel street library book out of date, he took out his
pocketbook and, turning over the various contents rapidly, finally he...
— Do you consider, by the by, he said, thoughtfully selecting a faded
photo which he laid on the table, that a Spanish type?
Stephen, obviously addressed, looked down on the photo showing a large
sized lady, with her fleshy charms on evidence in an open fashion, as she was in
the full bloom of womanhood, In evening dress cut ostentatiously low for the
occasion to give a liberal display of bosom, with more than vision of breasts,
her full lips parted, and some perfect teeth, standing near, ostensibly with
gravity, a piano, on the rest of which was In old Madrid, a ballad, pretty in its
way, which was then all the vogue. Her (the lady’s) eyes, dark, large, looked
at Stephen, about to smile about something to be admired, Lafayette of
Westmoreland street, Dublin’s premier photographic artist, being responsible
for the esthetic execution.
— Mrs Bloom, my wife the prima donna, Madam Marion Tweedy, Bloom
indicated. Taken a few years since. In or about ’96. Very like her then.
Beside the young man he looked also at the photo of the lady now his
legal wife who, he intimated, was the accomplished daughter of Major Brian
Tweedy and displayed at an early age remarkable proficiency as a singer having
even made her bow to the public when her years numbered barely sweet sixteen.
As for the face, it was a speaking likeness in expression but it did not do justice
to her figure, which came in for a lot of notice usually and which did not come
out to the best advantage in that getup She could without difficulty, he said,
have posed for the ensemble, not to dwell on certain opulent curves of the... He
dwelt, being a bit of an artist in his spare time, on the female form in general
developmentally because, as it so happened, no later than that afternoon, he had
seen those Grecian statues, perfectly developed as works of art, in the National
Museum. Marble could give the original, shoulders, back, all the symmetry.
All the rest, yes, Puritanism. It does though, St Joseph’s sovereign... whereas
no photo could, because it simply wasn’t art, in a word.
The spirit moving him, he would much have liked to follow Jack Tar’s
good example and leave the likeness there for a very few minutes to speak for
itself on the plea he... so that the other could drink in the beauty for himself, her
stage presence being, frankly, a treat in itself which the camera could not at
all do justice to. But it was scarcely professional etiquette so, though it was a
warm pleasant sort of a night now yet wonderfully cool for the season considering,
for sunshine after storm... And he did feel a kind of need there and then to
follow suit like a kind of inward voice and satisfy a possible need by moving
a motion. Nevertheless, he sat tight, just viewing the slightly soiled photo
creased by opulent curves, none the worse for wear, however, and looked
away thoughtfully with the intention of not further increasing the other’s
possible embarrassment while gauging her symmetry of heaving embonpoint.
In fact, the slight soiling was only an added charm, like the case of linen
slightly soiled, good as new, much better, in fact, with the starch out. Suppose
she was gone when he?... I looked for the lamp which she told me came
into his mind but merely as a passing fancy of his because he then
recollected the morning littered bed etcetera and the book about Ruby with
met him pike hoses (sic) in it which must have fell down sufficiently
appropriately beside the domestic chamberpot with apologies to Lindley
The vicinity of the young man he certainly relished, educated, distingué,
and impulsive into the bargain, far and away the pick of the bunch, though
you wouldn’t think he had it in him... yet you would. Besides he said the
picture was handsome which, say what you like, it was, though at the moment
she was distinctly stouter. And why not? An awful lot of makebelieve went on
about that sort of thing involving a lifelong slur with the usual splash page
of letterpress about the same old matrimonial tangle alleging misconduct with
professional golfer or the newest stage favourite instead of being honest and
aboveboard about the whole business. How they were fated to meet and an
attachment sprang up between the two so that their names were coupled in
the public eye was told in court with letters containing the habitual mushy and
compromising expressions, leaving no loophole, to show that they openly
cohabited two or three times a week at some wellknown seaside hotel and
relations, when the thing ran its normal course, became in due course intimate.
Then the decree nisi and the King’s Proctor to show cause why and, he failing
to quash it, nisi was made absolute. But as for that, the two misdemeanants,
wrapped up as they largely were in one another, could safely afford to ignore
it as they very largely did till the matter was put in the hands of a solicitor,
who filed a petition for the party wronged in due course. He, Bloom, enjoyed
the distinction of being close to Erin’s uncrowned king in the flesh when
the thing occurred in the historic fracas when the fallen leader’s — who
notoriously stuck to his guns to the last drop even when clothed in the
mantle of adultery — (leader’s) trusty henchmen to the number of ten or a
dozen or possibly even more than that penetrated into the prinitng works of
the Insuppressible or no it was United Ireland (a by no means, by the by
appropriate appellative) and broke up the typecases with hammers or
something like that all on account of some scurrilous effusions from the
facile pens of the O’Brienite scribes at the usual mudslinging occuaption,
reflecting on the erstwhile tribune’s private morals. Though palpably a
radically altered man, he was still a commanding figure, though carelessly
garbed as usual, with that look of settled purpose which went a long
way with the shillyshallyers till they discovered to their vast discomfiture
that their idol had feet of clay, after placing him upon a pedestal, which she,
however, was the first to perceive. As those were particularly hot times in the
general hullaballoo Bloom sustained a minor injury from a nasty prod of some
chap’s elbow in the crowd that of course congregated lodging some place about
the pit of the stomach, fortunately not of a grave character. His hat (Parnell’s)
was inadvertently knocked off and, as a matter of strict history, Bloom was
the man who picked it up in the crush after witnessing the occurrence
meaning to return it to him (and return it to him he did with the utmost
celerity) who, panting and hatless and whose thoughts were miles away
from his hat at the time, being a gentleman born with a stake in the
country, he, as a matter of fact, having gone into it more for the kudos of the
thing than anything else, what’s bred in the bone, instilled into him in
infancy at his mother’s knee in the shape of knowing what good form was came
out at once because he turned round to the donor and thanked him with
perfect aplomb, saying : Thank you, sir though in a very different tone of voice
from the ornament of the legal profession whose headgear Bloom also set to
rights earlier in the course of the day, history repeating itself with a difference,
after the burial of a mutual friend when they had left him alone in his glory
after the grim task of having committed his remains to the grave.
On the other hand what incensed him more inwardly was the blatant
jokes of the cabmen and so on, who passed it all off as a jest, laughing
immoderately, pretending to understand everything, the why and the wherefore,
and in reality not knowing their own minds, it being a case for the two parties
themselves unless it ensued that the legitimate husband happened to be a
party to it owing to some anonymous letter from the usual boy Jones, who
happened to come across them at the crucial moment in a loving position
locked in one another’s arms drawing attention to their illicit proceedings and
leading up to a domestic rumpus and the erring fair one begging forgiveness
of her lord and master upon her knees and promising to sever the connection
and not receive his visits any more if only the aggrieved husband would
overlook the matter and let bygones be bygones, with tears in her eyes, though
possibly with her tongue in her fair cheek at the same time, as quite possibly
there were several others. He personally, being of a sceptical bias, believed,
and didn’t make the smallest bones about saying so either, that man, or men in
the plural, were always hanging around on the waiting list about a lady, even
supposing she was the best wife in the world and they got on fairly well
together for the sake of argument, when, neglecting her duties, she chose to be
tired of wedded life, and was on for a little flutter in polite debauchery to
press their attentions on her with improper intent, the upshot being that her
affections centred on another, the cause of many liaisons between still attractive
married women getting on for fair and forty and younger men, no doubt as
several famous cases of feminine infatuation proved up to the hilt.
It was a thousand pities a young fellow blessed with an allowance of brains,
as his neighbour obviously was, should waste his valuable time with profligate
women, who might present him with a nice dose to last him his lifetime. In
the nature of single blessedness he would one day take unto himself a wife when
when Miss Right came on the scene but in the interim ladies’ society was a
conditio sine qua non though he had the gravest possible doubts, not that he
wanted in the smallest to pump Stephen about Miss Ferguson (who was
very possibly the particular lodestar who brought him down to Irishtown so
early in the morning), as to whether he would find much satisfaction basking in
the boy and girl courtship idea and the company of smirking misses without
a penny to their names bi-or tri-weekly with the orthodox preliminary canter
of complimentpaying and walking out leading up to fond lovers’ ways and
flowers and chocs. To think of him house and homeless, rooked by some
landlady worse than any stepmother, was really too bad at his age. The
queer suddenly things he popped out with attracted the elder man who was
several years the other’s senior or like his father. But something substantial
he certainly ought to eat, were it only an eggflip made on unadulterated
maternal nutriment or, failing that, the homely Humpty Dumpty boiled.
— At what o’clock did you dine? he questioned of the slim form and
tired though unwrinkled face.
— Some time yesterday, Stephen said.
— Yesterday, exclaimed Bloom till he remembered it was already
tomorrow, Friday. Ah, you mean it’s after twelve!
— The day before yesterday, Stephen said, improving on himself.
Literally astounded at this piece of intelligence Bloom, reflected. Though they
didn’t see eye to eye in everything, a certain analogy there somehow was, as if
both their minds were travelling, so to speak, in the one train of thought. At
his age when dabbling in politics roughly some score of years previously
when he had been a quasi aspirant to parliamentary honours in the Buckshot
Foster days he too recollected in retrospect (which was a source of keen
satisfaction in itself) he had a sneaking regard for those same ultra ideas.
For instance, when the evicted tenants question, then at its first inception,
bulked largely in people’s minds though, it goes without saying, not contributing
a copper or pinning his faith absolutely to its dictums, some of which wouldn’t
exactly hold water, he at the outset in principle, at all events, was in thorough
sympathy with peasant possession, as voicing the trend of modern opinion, a
partiality, however, which, realising his mistake, he was subsequently partially
cured of, and even was twitted with going a step further than Michael Davitt in
the striking views he at one time inculcated as a backtothelander, which was one
reason he strongly resented the innuendo put upon him in so barefaced a fashion
at the gathering of the clans in Barney Kiernan’s so that he, though often
considerably misunderstood and the least pugnacious of mortals, be it repeated,
departed from his customary habit to give him (metaphorically) one in the gizzard
though so far as politics themselves were concerned, he was only too conscious
of the casualties invariably resulting from propaganda and displays of mutual
animosity and the misery and suffering it entailed as a foregone conclusion on
fine young fellows, chiefly, destruction of the fittest, in a word.
Anyhow, upon weighing the pros and cons, getting on for one as it was,
it was high time to be retiring for the night. The crux was it was a bit risky
to bring him home as eventualities might possibly ensue (somebody having
a temper of her own sometimes) and spoil the hash altogether as on the night
he misguidedly brought home a dog (breed unknown) with a lame paw, not that
the cases were either identical or the reverse, though he had hurt his hand too,
to Ontario Terrace, as he very distinctly remembered, having been there, so to
speak. On the other hand it was altogether far and away too late for the Sandymount
or Sandycove suggestion so that he was in some perplexity as to which of the two
alternatives... Everything pointed to the fact that it behoved him to avail himself to
the full of the opportunity, all things considered. His initial impression was that
he was a bit standoffish or not over effusive but it grew on him someway. For
one thing he mightn’t what you call jump at the idea, if approached, and what
mostly worried him was he didn’t know how to lead up to it or word it exactly,
supposing he did entertain the proposal, as it would afford him very great
personal pleasure if he would allow him to help to pu coin in his way or some
wardrobe, if found suitable. At all events he wound up by concluding,
eschewing for the nonce hidebound precedent, a cup of Epps’s cocoa and a
shakedown for the night plus the use of a rug or two and overcoat doubled into
a pillow. At least he would be in safe hands and as warm as a toast on a trivet.
He failed top erceive any very vast amount of harm in that always with the
proviso no rumpus of any sort was kicked up. A move had to be made because
that merry old soul, the grasswidower in question, who appeared to be glued to
the spot, didn’t appear in any particular hurry to wend his way home to his
dearly beloved Queenstown and it was highly likely some sponger’s bawdyhouse
of retired beauties off Sheriff street lower would be the best clue to that
equivocal character’s whereabouts for a few days to come, alternately racking
their feelings (the mermaids’) with sixchamber revolver anecdotes verging on
the tropical calculated to freeze the marrow of anybody’s bones and mauling
their largesized charms between whiles with rough and tumble gusto to the
accompaniment of large potations of pottheen and the usual blarney about
himself for as to who he in reality was let XX equal my right name and
address, as Mr Algebra remarks passim. At the same time he inwardly chuckled
over his repartee to the blood and ouns champion about his God being a jew.
People could put up with being bitten by a wolf but what properly riled them
was a bite from a sheep. The most vulnerable point too of tender Achilles, your
God was a jew, because mostly they appeared to imagine he came from
Carrick-on-Shannon or somewhere about in the county Sligo.
— I propose, our hero eventually suggested, after mature reflection, while
prudently pocketing her photo, as it’s rather stuffy here, you just come home
with me and talk things over. My diggings are quite close in the vicinity. You
can’t drink that stuff. Wait, I’ll just pay this lot.
The best plan clearly being to clear out, the remainder being plain sailing,
he beckoned, while prudently pocketing the photo, to the keeper, of the
shanty, who didn’t seem to...
— Yes, that’s the best, he assured Stephen, to whom for the matter of
that Brazen Head or him or anywhere else was all more or less...
All kinds of Utopian plans were flashing through his (Bloom’s) busy brain.
Education (the genuine article), literature, journalism, prize titbits, up to
date billing, hydros and concert tours in English watering resorts packed with
theatres, turning money away, duets in Italian with the accent perfectly true
to nature and a quantity of other things, no necessity of course to tell the
world and his wife from the housetops about it and a slice of luck. An
opening was all was wanted. Because he more than suspected he had his
father’s voice to bank his hopes on which it was quite on the cards he had so it
would be just as well, by the way no harm, to trail the conversation in the
direction of that particular red herring just to...
The cabby read out of the paper he had got hold of that the former
viceroy, Earl Cadogan, had presided at the cabdrivers’ association dinner in
London somewhere. Silence with a yawn or two accompanied this thrilling
announcement. Then the old specimen in the corner who appeared to have
some spark of vitality left read out that Sir Anthony MacDonnell had left
Euston for the chief secretary’s lodge or words to that effect. To which absorbing
piece of intelligence echo answered why.
— Give us a squint at that literature, grandfather, the ancient mariner
put in, manifesting some natural impatience.
— And welcome, answered the elderly party thus addressed.
The sailor lugged out from a case he had a pair of greenish goggles which
he very slowly hooked over his nose and both ears.
— Are you bad in the eyes? the sympathetic personage like the town clerk
— Why, answered the seafarer with the tartan beard, who seemingly was a
bit of a literary cove in his own small way, staring out of seagreen portholes
as you might well describe them as, I uses goggles reading. Sand in the Red
Sea done that. One time I could read a book in the dark, manner of speaking,
The Arabian Nights Entertainment was my favourite and Red as a Rose is
Thereupon he pawed the journal open and pored upon Lord only knows
what, found drowned or the exploits of King Willow, Iremonger having made
a hundred and something second wicket not out for Notts, during which time
(completely regardless of Ire) the keeper was intensely occupied loosening an
apparently new or secondhand boot which manifestly pinched him, as he
muttered against whoever it was sold it, all of them who were sufficiently
awake enough to be picked out by their facial expressions, that is to say,
either simply looking on glumly or passing a trivial remark.
To cut a long story short Bloom, grasping the situation, was the first to
rise from his feet so as not to outstay their welcome having first and foremost,
being as good as his word that he would foot the bill for the occasion, taken
the wise precaution to unobtrusively motion to mine host as a parting shot a
scarcely perceptible sign when the others were not looking to the effect that the
amount due was forthcoming, making a grand total of fourpence (the amount he
deposited unobtrusively in four coppers, literally the last of the Mohicans) he
having previously spotted on the printed pricelist for all who ran to read opposite
to him in unmistakable figures, coffee 2d., confectionery d°, and honestly well
worth twice the money once in a way, as Wetherup used to remark.
— Come, he counselled, to close the séance.
Seeing that the ruse worked and the coast was clear, they left the shelter
or shanty together and the élite society of oilskin and company whom nothing
short of an earthquake would move out of their dolce far niente. Stephen, who
confessed to still feeling poorly and fagged out, paused at the, for a moment...
the door to...
— One thing I never understood, he said, to be original on the spur of
the moment, why they put tables upside down at night, I mean chairs upside
down on the tables in cafés.
To which impromptu the neverfailing Bloom replied without a moment’s
hesitation, saying straight off :
— To sweep the floor in the morning.
So saying he skipped around nimbly, considering frankly, at the same
time apologetic, to get on his companion’s right, a habit of his, by the bye
the right side being, in classical idiom, his tender Achilles. The night air was
certainly now a treat to breathe though Stephen was a bit weak on his pins.
— It will (the air) do you good, Bloom said, meaning also the walk, in a
moment. The only thing is to walk then you’ll feel a different man. It’s not
far. Lean on me.
Accordingly he passed his left arm in Stephen’s right and led him on
— Yes, Stephen said uncertainly, because he thought he felt a strange
kind of flesh of a different man approach him, sinewless and wobbly and all
Anyhow, they passed the sentrybox with stones, brazier, etc. where the
municipal supernumerary, ex-Gumley, was still to all intents and purposes
wrapped in the arms of Murphy, as the adage has it, dreaming of fresh fields and
pastures new. And apropos of coffin of stones, the analogy was not at all bad, as it
was in fact a stoning to death on the part of seventytwo out of eighty odd
constituencies that ratted at the time of the split and chiefly the belauded
peasant class, probably the selfsame evicted tenants he had put in their
So they passed on to chatting about music, a form of art for which Bloom,
as a pure amateur, possessed the greatest love, as they made tracks arm-in-arm
across Beresford Place. Wagnerian music, though confessedly grand in its way,
was a bit too heavy for Bloom and hard to follow at the first go off but the
music of Mercadante’s Huguenots, Meyerbeer’s Seven Last Words on the Cross,
and Mozart’s Twelfth Mass, he simply revelled in, the Gloria in that being
to his mind the acme of first class music as such, literally knocking everything
else into a cocked hat. He infinitely preferred the sacred music of the catholic
church to anything the opposite shop could offer in that line such as those
Moody and Sankey hymns or Bid me to live and I will live thy protestant to be.
He also yielded to none in his admiration of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, a
work simply abounding in immortal numbers, in which his wife, Madam
Marion Tweedy, made a hit, a veritable sensation, he might safely say
greatly adding to her other laurels and putting the others totally in the
shade in the jesuit fathers’ church in Upper Gardiner Street, the sacred
edifice being thronged to the doors to hear her with virtuosos, or virtuosi
rather. There was the unanimous opinion that there was none to come
up to her and, suffice it to say in a place of worship for music of a sacred
character, there was a generally voiced desire for an encore. On the whole,
though favouring preferably light opera of the Don Giovanni description, and
Martha, a gem in its line, he had a penchant, though with only a surface
knowledge, for the severe classical school such as Mendelssohn. And talking
of that, taking it for granted he knew all about the old favourites, he
mentioned par excellence Lionel’s air in Martha, M’appari, which, curiously
enough, he heard, or overheard, to be more accurate, on yesterday, a privilege
he keenly appreciated, from the lips of Stephen’s respected father, sung to
perfection, a study of the number, in fact, which made all the others take a
back seat. Stephen, in reply to a politely put query, said he didn’t but launched
out into praises of Shakespeare’s songs, at least of in or about that period, the
lutenist Dowland who lived in Fetter Lane near Gerard the herbalist, who anno
ludendo hausi, Doulandus, an instrument he was contemplating purchasing from
Mr Arnold Dolmetsch, whom Bloom did not quite recall, though the name
certainly sounded familiar, for sixtyfive guineas and Farnaby and son with their
dux and comes conceits and Byrd (William), who played the virginals, he said,
in the Queen’s Chapel or anywhere else he found them and one Tomkins who
made toys or airs and John Bull.
On the roadway which they were approaching whilst still speaking beyond
the swing chain, a horse, dragging a sweeper, paced on the paven ground,
brushing a long swathe of mire up so that with the noise Bloom was not
perfectly certain whether he had caught a right the allusion to sixtyfive guineas
and John Bull. He inquired if it was John Bull the political celebrity of that
ilk, as it struck him, the two identical names, as a striking coincidence.
By the chains, the horse slowly swerved to turn, which perceiving, Bloom,
who was keeping a sharp lookout as usual plucked the other’s sleeve gently,
jocosely remarking :
— Our lives are in peril to night. Beware of the steamroller.
They thereupon stopped. Bloom looked at the head of a horse not worth
anything like sixtyfive guineas, suddenly in evidence in the dark quite near,
so that it seemed new, a different grouping of bones and even flesh, because
palpably it was a fourwalker, a hipshaker, a blackbuttocker, a taildangler, a
headhanger, putting his hind foot foremost the while the lord of his creation
sat on the perch, busy with his thoughts. But such a good poor brute, he
was sorry he hadn’t a lump of sugar but, as he wisely reflected, you could
scarcely be prepared for every emergency that might crop up. He was just a
big foolish nervous noodly kind of a horse, without a second care in the
world. But even a dog, he reflected, take that mongrel in Barney Kiernan’s,
of the same size, would be a holy horror to face. But it was no animal’s fault
in particular if he was built that way like the camel, ship of the desert, distilling
grapes into potheen in his hump. Nine tenths of them all could be caged or
trained, nothing beyond the art of man barring the bees; whale with a harpoon
hairpin, alligator, tickle the small of his back and he sees the joke; chalk a
circle for a rooster; tiger, my eagle eye. These timely reflections anent the
brutes of the field occupied his mind, somewhat distracted from Stephen’s
words, while the ship of the street was manœuvring and Stephen went on
about the highly interesting old...
— What’s this I was saying? Ah, yes! My wife, he intimated, plunging in
medias res, would have the greatest of pleasure in making your acquaintance
as she is passionately attached to music of any kind.
He looked sideways in a friendly fashion at the sideface of Stephen, image
of his mother, which was not quite the same as the usual blackguard type they
unquestionably had an indubitable hankering after as he was perhaps not that
Still, supposing he had his father’s gift, as he more than suspected, it
opened up new vistas in his mind, such as Lady Fingall’s Irish industries
concert on the preceding Monday, and aristocracy in general.
Exquisite variations he was now describing on an air Youth here has End by
Jans Pieter Sweelinck, a Dutchman of Amsterdam where the frows come from.
Even more he liked an old German song of Johannes Jeep about the clear sea
and the voices of sirens, sweet murderers of men, which boggled Bloom a bit :
Von der Sirenen Listigkeit
Tun die Poeten dichten.
These opening bars he sang and translated extempore. Bloom, nodding,
said he perfectly understood and begged him to go on by all means, which
A phenomenally beautiful tenor voice like that, the rarest of boons, which
Bloom appreciated at the very first note he got out, could easily, if properly
handled by some recognised authority on voice production such as Barraclough
and being able to read music into the bargain, command its own price where
baritones were ten a penny and procure for its fortunate possessor in the near
future an entrée into fashionable houses in the best residential quarters of
financial magnates in a large way of business and titled people where, with
his university degree of B. A. (a huge ad in its way) and gentlemanly bearing
to all the more influence the good impression he would infallibly score a
distinct success, being blessed with brains which also could be utilised for the
purpose and other requisites, if his clothes were properly attended to, so as to
the better worm his way into their good graces as he, a youthful tyro in
society’s sartorial niceties, hardly understood how a little thing like that
could militate against you. It was in fact only a matter of months and he
could easily foresee him participating in their musical and artistic conversaziones
during the festivities of the Christmas season, for choice, causing a slight
flutter in the dovecotes of the fair sex and being made a lot of by ladies
out for sensation, cases of which, as he happened to know, were on record,
in fact, without giving the show away, he himself once upon a time, if
he cared to, could easily have... Added to which of course, would be the
pecuniar y emolument by no means to be sneezed at, going hand in hand
with his tuition fees. Not, he parenthesised, that for the sake of filthy
lucre he need necessarily embrace the lyric platform as a walk in life for
any lengthy space of time but a step in the required direction it was,
beyond yea or nay, and both monetarily and mentally it contained no
reflection on his dignity in the smallest and it often turned in uncommonly
handy to be handed a cheque at a muchneeded moment when every little
helped. Besides, though taste latterly had deteriorated to a degree, original
music like that, different from the conventional rut, would rapidly have a great
vogue, as it would be a decided novelty for Dublin’s musical world after
the usual hackneyed run of catchy tenor solos foisted on a confiding public
by Ivan St Austell and Hilton St Just and their genus omne. Yes, beyond a shadow
of a doubt, he could, with all the cards in his hand and he had a capital opening
to make a name for himself and win a high place in the city’s esteem where
he could command a stiff figure and, booking ahead, give a grand concert for
the patrons of the King Street house, given a backer-up, if one were forthcoming
to kick him upstairs, so to speak — a big if, however — with some impetus
of the goahead sort to obviate the inevitable procrastination which often tripped
up a too much fêted prince of good fellows and it need not detract from the
other by one iota as, being his own master, he would have heaps of time to
practise literature in his spare moments when desirous of so doing without
its clashing with his vocal career or containing anything derogatory what soever
as it was a matter for himself alone. In fact, he had the ball at his feet and that
was the very reason why the other, possessed of a remarkably sharp nose for
smelling a rat of any sort, hung on to him at all.
The horse was just then... and later on, at a propitious opportunity he
purposed (Bloom did), without anyway prying Into his private affairs on the
fools step in where angels principle advising him to sever his connection
with a certain budding practitioner, who, he noticed, was prone to disparage,
and even, to a slight extent, with some hilarious pretext, when not present,
deprecate him, or whatever you like to call it, which, in Bloom’s humble
opinion, threw a nasty sidelight on that side of a person’s character — no pun
The horse, having reached the end of his tether, so to speak, halted, and,
rearing high a proud feathering tail, added his quota by letting fall on the floor,
which the brush would soon brush up and polish, three smoking globes of
turds. Slowly, three times, one after another, from a full crupper, he mired.
And humanely his driver waited till he (or she) had ended, patient in his
Side by side Bloom, profiting by the contretemps, with Stephen passed
through the gap of the chains, divided by the upright, and, stepping over a
strand of mire, went across towards Gardiner Street lower, Stephen singing
more boldly, but not loudly, the end of the ballad :
Und alle Schiffe brücken.
The driver never said a word, good, bad or indifferent. He merely
watched the two figures, as he sat on his lowbacked car, both black — one
full, one lean — walk towards the railway bridge, to be married by Father
Maher. As they walked, they at times stopped and walked again, continuing
their tête à tête (which of course he was utterly out of), about sirens, enemies
of man’s reason, mingled with a number of other topics of the same category,
usurpers, historical cases of the kind while the man in the sweeper car or you
might as well call it in the sleeper car who in any case couldn’t possibly hear
because they were too far simply sat in his sest near the end of lower Gardiner
street and looked after their lowbacked car.