STEPHEN: (Nods, smiling and laughing) Gentleman, patriot, scholar and judge of impostors.
PRIVATE CARR: I don't give a bugger who he is.
PRIVATE COMPTON: We don't give a bugger who he is.
STEPHEN: I seem to annoy them. Green rag to a bull.
(Kevin Egan of Paris in black Spanish tasselled shirt and peep-o'-day boy's hat signs to Stephen.)
KEVIN EGAN: H'lo! Bonjour! The vieille ogresse with the dents jaunes.
(Patrice Egan peeps from behind, his rabbitface nibbling a quince leaf.)
DON EMILE PATRIZIO FRANZ RUPERT POPE HENNESSY: (In medieval hauberk, two wild geese volant on his helm, with noble indignation points a mailed hand against the privates) Werf those eykes to footboden, big grand porcos of johnyellows todos covered of gravy!
BLOOM: (To Stephen) Come home. You'll get into trouble.
STEPHEN: (Swaying) I don't avoid it. He provokes my intelligence.
BIDDY THE CLAP: One immediately observes that he is of patrician lineage.
THE VIRAGO: Green above the red, says he. Wolfe Tone.
THE BAWD: The red's as good as the green. And better. Up the soldiers! Up King Edward!
A ROUGH: (Laughs) Ay! Hands up to De Wet.
THE CITIZEN: (With a huge emerald muffler and shillelagh, calls)
May the God above Send down a dove With teeth as sharp as razors To slit the throats Of the English dogs That hanged our Irish leaders.
THE CROPPY BOY: (The ropenoose round his neck, gripes in his issuing bowels with both hands)
I bear no hate to a living thing, But I love my country beyond the king.
RUMBOLD, DEMON BARBER: (Accompanied by two blackmasked assistants, advances with gladstone bag which he opens) Ladies and gents, cleaver purchased by Mrs Pearcy to slay Mogg. Knife with which Voisin dismembered the wife of a compatriot and hid remains in a sheet in the cellar, the unfortunate female's throat being cut from ear to ear. Phial containing arsenic retrieved from body of Miss Barron which sent Seddon to the gallows.
(He jerks the rope. The assistants leap at the victim's legs and drag him downward, grunting the croppy boy's tongue protrudes violently.)
THE CROPPY BOY:
Horhot ho hray hor hother's hest.
(He gives up the ghost. A violent erection of the hanged sends gouts of sperm spouting through his deathclothes on to the cobblestones. Mrs Bellingham, Mrs Yelverton Barry and the Honourable Mrs Mervyn Talboys rush forward with their handkerchiefs to sop it up.)
RUMBOLD: I'm near it myself. (He undoes the noose) Rope which hanged the awful rebel. Ten shillings a time. As applied to Her Royal Highness. (He plunges his head into the gaping belly of the hanged and draws out his head again clotted with coiled and smoking entrails) My painful duty has now been done. God save the king!
EDWARD THE SEVENTH: (Dances slowly, solemnly, rattling his bucket, and sings with soft contentment)
On coronation day, on coronation day, O, won't we have a merry time, Drinking whisky, beer and wine!
PRIVATE CARR: Here. What are you saying about my king?
STEPHEN: (Throws up his hands) O, this is too monotonous! Nothing. He wants my money and my life, though want must be his master, for some brutish empire of his. Money I haven't. (He searches his pockets vaguely) GAVE IT TO SOMEONE.
PRIVATE CARR: Who wants your bleeding money?
STEPHEN: (Tries to move off) Will someone tell me where I am least likely to meet these necessary evils? Ca se voit aussi a paris. Not that I... But, by Saint Patrick...!
(The women's heads coalesce. Old Gummy Granny in sugarloaf hat appears seated on a toadstool, the deathflower of the potato blight on her breast.)
STEPHEN: Aha! I know you, gammer! Hamlet, revenge! The old sow that eats her farrow!
OLD GUMMY GRANNY: (Rocking to and fro) Ireland's sweetheart, the king of Spain's daughter, alanna. Strangers in my house, bad manners to them! (She keens with banshee woe) Ochone! Ochone! Silk of the kine! (She wails) You met with poor old Ireland and how does she stand?
STEPHEN: How do I stand you? The hat trick! Where's the third person of the Blessed Trinity? Soggarth Aroon? The reverend Carrion Crow.
CISSY CAFFREY: (Shrill) Stop them from fighting!
A ROUGH: Our men retreated.
PRIVATE CARR: (Tugging at his belt) I'll wring the neck of any fucker says a word against my fucking king.
BLOOM: (Terrified) He said nothing. Not a word. A pure misunderstanding.
THE CITIZEN: Erin go bragh!
(Major Tweedy and the Citizen exhibit to each other medals, decorations, trophies of war, wounds. Both salute with fierce hostility.)
PRIVATE COMPTON: Go it, Harry. Do him one in the eye. He's a proboer.
STEPHEN: Did I? When?
BLOOM: (To the redcoats) We fought for you in South Africa, Irish missile troops. Isn't that history? Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Honoured by our monarch.
THE NAVVY: (Staggering past) O, yes! O God, yes! O, make the kwawr a krowawr! O! Bo!
(Casqued halberdiers in armour thrust forward a pentice of gutted spearpoints. Major Tweedy, moustached like Turko the terrible, in bearskin cap with hackleplume and accoutrements, with epaulettes, gilt chevrons and sabretaches, his breast bright with medals, toes the line. He gives the pilgrim warrior's sign of the knights templars.)
MAJOR TWEEDY: (Growls gruffly) Rorke's Drift! Up, guards, and at them! Mahar shalal hashbaz.
PRIVATE CARR: I'll do him in.
PRIVATE COMPTON: (Waves the crowd back) Fair play, here. Make a bleeding butcher's shop of the bugger.
(Massed bands blare Garryowen and God save the King.)
CISSY CAFFREY: They're going to fight. For me!
CUNTY KATE: The brave and the fair.
BIDDY THE CLAP: Methinks yon sable knight will joust it with the best.
CUNTY KATE: (Blushing deeply) Nay, madam. The gules doublet and merry saint George for me!
The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave Old Ireland's windingsheet.
PRIVATE CARR: (Loosening his belt, shouts) I'll wring the neck of any fucking bastard says a word against my bleeding fucking king.
BLOOM: (Shakes Cissy Caffrey's shoulders) Speak, you! Are you struck dumb? You are the link between nations and generations. Speak, woman, sacred lifegiver!
CISSY CAFFREY: (Alarmed, seizes Private Carr's sleeve) Amn't I with you? Amn't I your girl? Cissy's your girl. (She cries) Police!
STEPHEN: (Ecstatically, to Cissy Caffrey)
White thy fambles, red thy gan And thy quarrons dainty is.
DISTANT VOICES: Dublin's burning! Dublin's burning! On fire, on fire!
(Brimstone fires spring up. Dense clouds roll past. Heavy Gatling guns boom. Pandemonium. Troops deploy. Gallop of hoofs. Artillery. Hoarse commands. Bells clang. Backers shout. Drunkards bawl. Whores screech. Foghorns hoot. Cries of valour. Shrieks of dying. Pikes clash on cuirasses. Thieves rob the slain. Birds of prey, winging from the sea, rising from marshlands, swooping from eyries, hover screaming, gannets, cormorants, vultures, goshawks, climbing woodcocks, peregrines, merlins, blackgrouse, sea eagles, gulls, albatrosses, barnacle geese. The midnight sun is darkened. The earth trembles. The dead of Dublin from Prospect and Mount Jerome in white sheepskin overcoats and black goatfell cloaks arise and appear to many. A chasm opens with a noiseless yawn. Tom Rochford, winner, in athlete's singlet and breeches, arrives at the head of the national hurdle handicap and leaps into the void. He is followed by a race of runners and leapers. In wild attitudes they spring from the brink. Their bodies plunge. Factory lasses with fancy clothes toss redhot Yorkshire baraabombs. Society ladies lift their skirts above their heads to protect themselves. Laughing witches in red cutty sarks ride through the air on broomsticks. Quakerlyster plasters blisters. It rains dragons' teeth. Armed heroes spring up from furrows. They exchange in amity the pass of knights of the red cross and fight duels with cavalry sabres: Wolfe Tone against Henry Grattan, Smith O'Brien against Daniel O'Connell, Michael Davitt against Isaac Butt, Justin M'Carthy against Parnell, Arthur Griffith against John Redmond, John O'Leary against Lear O'Johnny, Lord Edward Fitzgerald against Lord Gerald Fitzedward, The O'Donoghue of the Glens against The Glens of The O'Donoghue. On an eminence, the centre of the earth, rises the feldaltar of Saint Barbara. Black candles rise from its gospel and epistle horns. From the high barbacans of the tower two shafts of light fall on the smokepalled altarstone. On the altarstone Mrs Mina Purefoy, goddess of unreason, lies, naked, fettered, a chalice resting on her swollen belly. Father Malachi O'Flynn in a lace petticoat and reversed chasuble, his two left feet back to the front, celebrates camp mass. The Reverend Mr Hugh C Haines Love M. A. in a plain cassock and mortarboard, his head and collar back to the front, holds over the celebrant's head an open umbrella.)
FATHER MALACHI O'FLYNN: Introibo ad altare diaboli.
THE REVEREND MR HAINES LOVE: To the devil which hath made glad my young days.
FATHER MALACHI O'FLYNN: (Takes from the chalice and elevates a blooddripping host) Corpus meum.
THE REVEREND MR HAINES LOVE: (Raises high behind the celebrant's petticoat, revealing his grey bare hairy buttocks between which a carrot is stuck) My body.
THE VOICE OF ALL THE DAMNED: Htengier Tnetopinmo Dog Drol eht rof, Aiulella!
(From on high the voice of Adonai calls.)
THE VOICE OF ALL THE BLESSED: Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!
(From on high the voice of Adonai calls.)
(In strident discord peasants and townsmen of Orange and Green factions sing Kick the Pope and Daily, daily sing to Mary.)
PRIVATE CARR: (With ferocious articulation) I'll do him in, so help me fucking Christ! I'll wring the bastard fucker's bleeding blasted fucking windpipe!
OLD GUMMY GRANNY: (Thrusts a dagger towards Stephen's hand) Remove him, acushla. At 8.35 a.m. you will be in heaven and Ireland will be free. (She prays) O good God, take him!
(THE RETRIEVER, NOSING ON THE FRINGE OF THE CROWD, BARKS NOISILY.)
BLOOM: (Runs to lynch) Can't you get him away?
LYNCH: He likes dialectic, the universal language. Kitty! (To Bloom) Get him away, you. He won't listen to me.
(He drags Kitty away.)
STEPHEN: (Points) exit Judas. Et laqueo se suspendit.
BLOOM: (Runs to Stephen) Come along with me now before worse happens. Here's your stick.
STEPHEN: Stick, no. Reason. This feast of pure reason.
CISSY CAFFREY: (Pulling Private Carr) Come on, you're boosed. He insulted me but I forgive him. (Shouting in his ear) I forgive him for insulting me.
BLOOM: (Over Stephen's shoulder) Yes, go. You see he's incapable.
PRIVATE CARR: (Breaks loose) I'll insult him.
(He rushes towards Stephen, fist outstretched, and strikes him in the face. Stephen totters, collapses, falls, stunned. He lies prone, his face to the sky, his hat rolling to the wall. Bloom follows and picks it up.)
MAJOR TWEEDY: (Loudly) Carbine in bucket! Cease fire! Salute!
THE RETRIEVER: (Barking furiously) Ute ute ute ute ute ute ute ute.
THE CROWD: Let him up! Don't strike him when he's down! Air! Who? The soldier hit him. He's a professor. Is he hurted? Don't manhandle him! He's fainted!
A HAG: What call had the redcoat to strike the gentleman and he under the influence. Let them go and fight the Boers!
THE BAWD: Listen to who's talking! Hasn't the soldier a right to go with his girl? He gave him the coward's blow.
(They grab at each other's hair, claw at each other and spit)
THE RETRIEVER: (Barking) Wow wow wow.
BLOOM: (Shoves them back, loudly) Get back, stand back!
PRIVATE COMPTON: (Tugging his comrade) Here. Bugger off, Harry. Here's the cops! (Two raincaped watch, tall, stand in the group.)
FIRST WATCH: What's wrong here?
PRIVATE COMPTON: We were with this lady. And he insulted us. And assaulted my chum. (The retriever barks) Who owns the bleeding tyke?
CISSY CAFFREY: (With expectation) Is he bleeding!
A MAN: (Rising from his knees) No. Gone off. He'll come to all right.
BLOOM: (Glances sharply at the man) Leave him to me. I can easily...
SECOND WATCH: Who are you? Do you know him?
PRIVATE CARR: (Lurches towards the watch) He insulted my lady friend.
BLOOM: (Angrily) You hit him without provocation. I'm a witness. Constable, take his regimental number.
SECOND WATCH: I don't want your instructions in the discharge of my duty.
PRIVATE COMPTON: (Pulling his comrade) Here, bugger off Harry. Or Bennett'll shove you in the lockup.
PRIVATE CARR: (Staggering as he is pulled away) God fuck old Bennett. He's a whitearsed bugger. I don't give a shit for him.
FIRST WATCH: (Takes out his notebook) What's his name?
BLOOM: (Peering over the crowd) I just see a car there. If you give me a hand a second, sergeant...
FIRST WATCH: Name and address.
(Corny Kelleker, weepers round his hat, a death wreath in his hand, appears among the bystanders.)
BLOOM: (Quickly) O, the very man! (He whispers) Simon Dedalus' son. A bit sprung. Get those policemen to move those loafers back.
SECOND WATCH: Night, Mr Kelleher.
CORNY KELLEHER: (To the watch, with drawling eye) That's all right. I know him. Won a bit on the races. Gold cup. Throwaway. (He laughs) Twenty to one. Do you follow me?
FIRST WATCH: (Turns to the crowd) Here, what are you all gaping at? Move on out of that.
(The crowd disperses slowly, muttering, down the lane.)
CORNY KELLEHER: Leave it to me, sergeant. That'll be all right. (He laughs, shaking his head) We were often as bad ourselves, ay or worse. What? Eh, what?
FIRST WATCH: (Laughs) I suppose so.
CORNY KELLEHER: (Nudges the second watch) Come and wipe your name off the slate. (He lilts, wagging his head) With my tooraloom tooraloom tooraloom tooraloom. What, eh, do you follow me?
SECOND WATCH: (Genially) Ah, sure we were too.
CORNY KELLEHER: (Winking) Boys will be boys. I've a car round there.
SECOND WATCH: All right, Mr Kelleher. Good night.
CORNY KELLEHER: I'll see to that.
BLOOM: (Shakes hands with both of the watch in turn) Thank you very much, gentlemen. Thank you. (He mumbles confidentially) We don't want any scandal, you understand. Father is a wellknown highly respected citizen. Just a little wild oats, you understand.
FIRST WATCH: O. I understand, sir.
SECOND WATCH: That's all right, sir.
FIRST WATCH: It was only in case of corporal injuries I'd have to report it at the station.
BLOOM: (Nods rapidly) Naturally. Quite right. Only your bounden duty.
SECOND WATCH: It's our duty.
CORNY KELLEHER: Good night, men.
THE WATCH: (Saluting together) Night, gentlemen. (They move off with slow heavy tread)
BLOOM: (Blows) Providential you came on the scene. You have a car?...
CORNY KELLEHER: (Laughs, pointing his thumb over his right shoulder to the car brought up against the scaffolding) Two commercials that were standing fizz in Jammet's. Like princes, faith. One of them lost two quid on the race. Drowning his grief. And were on for a go with the jolly girls. So I landed them up on Behan's car and down to nighttown.
BLOOM: I was just going home by Gardiner street when I happened to...
CORNY KELLEHER: (Laughs) Sure they wanted me to join in with the mots. No, by God, says I. Not for old stagers like myself and yourself. (He laughs again and leers with lacklustre eye) Thanks be to God we have it in the house, what, eh, do you follow me? Hah, hah, hah!
BLOOM: (Tries to laugh) He, he, he! Yes. Matter of fact I was just visiting an old friend of mine there, Virag, you don't know him (poor fellow, he's laid up for the past week) and we had a liquor together and I was just making my way home...
(The horse neighs.)
THE HORSE: Hohohohohohoh! Hohohohome!
CORNY KELLEHER: Sure it was Behan our jarvey there that told me after we left the two commercials in Mrs Cohen's and I told him to pull up and got off to see. (He laughs) Sober hearsedrivers a speciality. Will I give him a lift home? Where does he hang out? Somewhere in Cabra, what?
BLOOM: No, in Sandycove, I believe, from what he let drop.
(Stephen, prone, breathes to the stars. Corny Kelleher, asquint, drawls at the horse. Bloom, in gloom, looms down.)
CORNY KELLEHER: (Scratches his nape) Sandycove! (He bends down and calls to Stephen) Eh! (He calls again) Eh! He's covered with shavings anyhow. Take care they didn't lift anything off him.
BLOOM: No, no, no. I have his money and his hat here and stick.
CORNY KELLEHER: Ah, well, he'll get over it. No bones broken. Well, I'll shove along. (He laughs) I've a rendezvous in the morning. Burying the dead. Safe home!
THE HORSE: (Neighs) Hohohohohome.
BLOOM: Good night. I'll just wait and take him along in a few...
(Corny Kelleher returns to the outside car and mounts it. The horse harness jingles.)
CORNY KELLEHER: (From the car, standing) Night.
(The jarvey chucks the reins and raises his whip encouragingly. The car and horse back slowly, awkwardly, and turn. Corny Kelleher on the sideseat sways his head to and fro in sign of mirth at Bloom's plight. The jarvey joins in the mute pantomimic merriment nodding from the farther seat. Bloom shakes his head in mute mirthful reply. With thumb and palm Corny Kelleher reassures that the two bobbies will allow the sleep to continue for what else is to be done. With a slow nod Bloom conveys his gratitude as that is exactly what Stephen needs. The car jingles tooraloom round the corner of the tooraloom lane. Corny Kelleher again reassuralooms with his hand. Bloom with his hand assuralooms Corny Kelleher that he is reassuraloomtay. The tinkling hoofs and jingling harness grow fainter with their tooralooloo looloo lay. Bloom, holding in his hand Stephen's hat, festooned with shavings, and ashplant, stands irresolute. Then he bends to him and shakes him by the shoulder.)
BLOOM: Eh! Ho! (There is no answer; he bends again) Mr Dedalus! (There is no answer) The name if you call. Somnambulist. (He bends again and hesitating, brings his mouth near the face of the prostrate form) Stephen! (There is no answer. He calls again.) Stephen!
STEPHEN: (Groans) Who? Black panther. Vampire. (He sighs and stretches himself, then murmurs thickly with prolonged vowels)
Who... drive... Fergus now And pierce... wood's woven shade?...
(He turns on his left side, sighing, doubling himself together.)
BLOOM: Poetry. Well educated. Pity. (He bends again and undoes the buttons of Stephen's waistcoat) To breathe. (He brushes the woodshavings from Stephen's clothes with light hand and fingers) One pound seven. Not hurt anyhow. (He listens) What?
... shadows... the woods ... white breast... dim sea.
(He stretches out his arms, sighs again and curls his body. Bloom, holding the hat and ashplant, stands erect. A dog barks in the distance. Bloom tightens and loosens his grip on the ashplant. He looks down on Stephen's face and form.)
BLOOM: (Communes with the night) Face reminds me of his poor mother. In the shady wood. The deep white breast. Ferguson, I think I caught. A girl. Some girl. Best thing could happen him. (He murmurs)... swear that I will always hail, ever conceal, never reveal, any part or parts, art or arts... (He murmurs)... in the rough sands of the sea... a cabletow's length from the shore... where the tide ebbs... and flows ...
(Silent, thoughtful, alert he stands on guard, his fingers at his lips in the attitude of secret master. Against the dark wall a figure appears slowly, a fairy boy of eleven, a changeling, kidnapped, dressed in an eton suit with glass shoes and a little bronze helmet, holding a book in his hand. He reads from right to left inaudibly, smiling, kissing the page.)
BLOOM: (Wonderstruck, calls inaudibly) Rudy!
RUDY: (Gazes, unseeing, into Bloom's eyes and goes on reading, kissing, smiling. He has a delicate mauve face. On his suit he has diamond and ruby buttons. In his free left hand he holds a slim ivory cane with a violet bowknot. A white lambkin peeps out of his waistcoat pocket.)
— III —
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 pump 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 brushing, in spite of his having forgotten to take up his rather soapsuddy handkerchief after it had done yeoman service in the shaving line, 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 common sense 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 Mullett'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 happened to be returning and the elder man recounted to his companion a 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 backdoor 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 jiujitsu 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 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 Mahony 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 l 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 practically. Most of all he commented adversely on the desertion of Stephen by all his pubhunting confreres but one, a most glaring piece of ratting on the part of his brother medicos under all the circs.
—And that one was Judas, Stephen said, 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 where 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 he 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:
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. Though 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 abroad 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 an 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, her mother or aunt or some relative, a woman, as the tale went, of extreme beauty, 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 Lenehan and called him to Stephen a mean bloody swab with a sprinkling of a number 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 tomorrow or 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. I 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 investigation. 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 he wondered 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 out.
—Those are halfcrowns, man, Corley corrected him.
And so in point of fact they turned out to be. Stephen anyhow lent him one of them.
—Thanks, Corley answered, you're a gentleman. I'll pay you back one 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. Palpably 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 was certainly.
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 is 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 bucketdredger, rejoicing in the farfamed name of Eblana, moored alongside Customhouse quay and quite possibly out of repair, whereupon he observed evasively:
—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 somewhere.
—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 or 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. Why?
—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 legitimate, out of you. You could go back perhaps, he hasarded, 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 station belonged to them to give Stephen the slip in the confusion, which they did.
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 oatmealwater 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 though 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 they 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.
—Puttana madonna, che ci dia i quattrini! Ho ragione? Culo rotto!
—Intendiamoci. Mezzo sovrano piu...
—Dice lui, pero!
—Farabutto! Mortacci sui!
—Ma ascolta! Cinque la testa piu...
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 could not 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 examination 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 protege in an audible tone of voice a propos of the battle royal in the street which was still raging fast and furious:
—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. Belladonna. Voglio.
Stephen, who was trying his dead best to yawn if he could, suffering from 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 surrounds it.
The keeper of the shelter in the middle of this tete-a-tete 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, Stephen said 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 and water.
—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 eavesdropping too.
—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 lefthand 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.
—Bottles 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 someway 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 bloodthirstily:
—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 Stockholm.
—Curious coincidence, Mr Bloom confided to Stephen unobtrusively.
—Murphy's my name, the sailor continued. D. 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. I belongs there. 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 finally 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 grasswidow, 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. Broo! 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 D 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?
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? D. B. Murphy. A. B. S.
In confirmation of which statement he extricated from an inside pocket and handed to his neighbour 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. We was chased by pirates one voyage. 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 pomilyou. 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 at the scene exhibited, 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, the communicative tarpaulin added. Stomachs like breadgraters. Cuts off their diddies when they can't bear no more children.
See them sitting 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 generally.
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, Senor 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 his 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 and Co.
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 the matter of a couple of paltry pounds was debarred from seeing more of the world they lived in instead of being always and ever 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 steamtram, 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'oeil 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 chinks does.
Possibly perceiving an expression of dubiosity on their faces the globetrotter 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 dangerouslooking 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 denouement 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 knives.
At this remark passed obviously in the spirit of where ignorance is bliss Mr B. 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, not turning a hair, 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, very!
There ensued a somewhat lengthy pause. One man was reading in 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, roughly 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 spirt a jet of spew into the sawdust, and shook his head with a sort of lazy scorn.
—What year would that be about? Mr B interrogated. 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 obliviously 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 sort of 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 highly 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. Suck 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 Iying 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 before.
—Neat bit of work, one longshoreman 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. Ate. 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 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 is from...
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 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, w ere 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 the sort, he said, and ventilated the matter thoroughly would confer a lasting boon on everybody concerned.
—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 Rontgen did or the telescope like Edison, though I believe it was before his time Galileo was the man, I mean, and 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 supernatural God.
—O that, Stephen expostulated, has been proved conclusively by several of the bestknown 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 with a smile of unbelief. I'm not so sure about that. That's a matter for everyman'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 mental 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 SO4 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 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 O, 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 of 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 icecreamers 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 tuckin 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 doublequick 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 Tommaso Mastino.
—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 890 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 then the others got on to talking about accidents at sea, ships lost in a fog, goo 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 off 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 910 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 doze.
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 nozz1e 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 manoeuvre 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, gaping 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 closer at hand, the noise of his bilgewater some little time subsequently splashing on the ground where it apparently awoke 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 stones 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 to the arms of Morpheus, a truly amazing piece of hard lines 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 pounds 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 wreckers, the keeper said, who was evidently au fait.
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 the then 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 soiree, 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 provided. 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 that colonel Everard down there in Navan 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 blemishes apart.
—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 everyman 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 little interesting 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 (B.) 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 coming 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 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 l 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 other he had heard not so long before the same identical lingo as he told Stephen how he simply but effectually silenced the offender.