By lorries along sir John Rogerson's quay Mr Bloom walked soberly, past Windmill lane, Leask's the linseed crusher, the postal telegraph office. Could have given that address too. And past the sailors' home. He turned from the morning noises of the quay and walked through Lime street. Slack hour: won't be many there. He crossed Townsend street, passing the frowning face of Bethel. El, yes: house of: Aleph, Beth. And past Nichols' the undertaker. At eleven it is. Time enough. Daresay Corny Kelleher bagged the job for O'Neill's.
In Westland Row he halted before the window of the Belfast and Oriental Tea Company and read the legends of leadpapered packets: choice blend, finest quality, family tea. Rather warm. Tea. Must get some from Tom Kernan. Couldn't ask him at a funeral, though. While his eyes still read blandly he took off his hat quietly and sent his right hand with slow grace over his brow and hair. Very warm morning. Under their dropped lids his eyes found the tiny bow of the leather headband inside his high grade hat. Just there. His right hand came down into the bowl of his hat. His fingers found quickly a card behind the headband and transferred it to his waistcoat pocket.
So warm. His right hand once more more slowly went over his brow and hair.
Then he put on his hat again, relieved: and readº again: choice
blend, made of the finest Ceylon brands. Lovely spot it must be: the garden of the world, big lazy leaves, snaky
lianas they call them. Wonder is it like that. Those Cinghalese lobbing about in the sun, notº doing a damn tap all day. Influence of the climate. Where was the chap I saw in that picture somewhere? Ah yes, in the dead sea floating on his back, reading a book with a parasol open. Couldn't sink if you tried: so thick with salt. Because the weight of the water, no, the weight of the body in the water is equal to the weight of the what?º Or is it the volume is equal to the weight? It's a law something like that. What is weight really when you say the weight? Thirtytwo feet per secondº per second. Law of falling bodies: per secondº per second. They all fall to the ground. The earth. It's the force of gravity of the earth is the weight.
He turned away and sauntered across the road. As he walked he took the folded Freeman from his sidepocket, unfolded it, rolled it lengthwise in a baton and tapped it at each sauntering step against his trouserleg. Careless air: just drop in to see. Per secondº per second. Per second for every second it means. From the curbstone he darted a keen glance through the door of the post office. No-one. In.
He handed the card through the brass grill.
— Are there any letters for me? he asked.
While the postmistress searched a pigeonhole he gazed at the recruiting poster with soldiers of all arms on parade: and held the tip of his baton against his nostrils, smelling freshprinted rag paper. No answer probably. Went too far last time.
The postmistress handed him back through the grill his card with a letter. He thanked and glanced rapidly at the typed envelope.
Henry Flowerº Esq,
c/o P.O. Westland Row,
Answered anyhow. He slipped card and letter into his sidepocket, reviewing
again the soldiers on parade. Where's old Tweedy's regiment? bearskin
cap and hackle
plume. No, he's a grenadier. Pointed cuffs. That's it: royal Dublin
fusiliers. Redcoats. Too showy. That must be why the women go after them.
letter about taking them off O'Connell street at night: disgrace to our Irish capital. Griffith's paper is on the same tack now: an army rotten with venereal disease: overseas or halfseasover empire. Half baked they look: hypnotised like. Eyes front.
He strolled out of the post office and turned to the right. Talk: as if that would mend matters. His hand went into his pocket and a forefinger felt its way under the flap of the envelope, tearing it open in jerks. Women will pay a lot of heed, I don't think. His fingers drew forth the letter the letter and crumpled the envelope in his pocket. Something pinned to the letter: photo perhaps. Hair: no.
M'Coy. Get rid of him quickly.
— Hello, Bloom. Where are you off to?
— Hello, M'Coy. Nowhere in particular.
— How's the body?
— Well. How are you?
— Just keeping alive, M'Coy said.
His eyes on the black tie and clothes he said with soft respect:
— Is there any … no trouble I hope? I see you're …
— O, no, Mr Bloom said. Poor Dignam, you know. The funeral is today.
— To be sure, poor fellow. So it is. What time?
A photo it isn't. A badge maybe.º
— Eeleven, Mr Bloom answered.
— I must try to get out there, M'Coy said. Eleven, is it? I only heard it last night. Who was telling me? Holohan. You know Hoppy?
— I know.
Mr Bloom gazed across the road at the outsider drawn up before the door of
the Grosvenor. The porter hoisted the valise up on the well. She stood still,
waiting, while the man, husband, brother, like her searched his pockets for
change. Stylish kind of coat with that roll collar, warm for a day like this,
looks like blanket cloth. Careless stand of her with her hands in those
— I was with Bob Doran, he's on one of his periodical bends, and what do you call him Bantam Lyons. Just down there in Conway's we were.
Doran Lyons in Conway's. She raised a gloved hand to her hair. In came
Hoppy. Having a
wet. Drawing back his head and gazing far from beneath his vailed eyelids he
saw the bright fawn skin shine in the glare, the braided drums.
Talking of one thing or another. Lady's hand. Which side will she get up?
— And he said: Sad thing about our poor friend Paddy! What Paddy? I said. Poor little Paddy Dignam, he said.
Off to the country: Broadstone probably. High brown boots with laces dangling. Wellturned foot. What is he foosteringº over that change for?
— Why? I said. What's wrong with him, I said.
Proud: rich: silk stockings.
— Yes, Mr Bloom said.
He moved a little to the side of M'Coy's talking head. Getting up in a minute.
— What's wrong with him?º he said. He's dead, he said. And, faith, he filled up. Is it Paddy Dignam? I said. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. I was with him no later than Friday last or Thursday was it in the Arch. Yes, he said. He's gone. He died on Monday, poor fellow.
Watch! Watch! Silk flash rich stockings white. Watch!
A heavy tramcar honking its gong slewed between.
Lost it. Curse your noisy pugnose. Always happening like that. The very moment.
— Yes, yes, Mr Bloom said after a dull sigh. Another gone.
— One of the best, M'Coy said.
The tram passed. They drove off towards the Loop Line bridge, her rich
gloved hand on the steel grip. Flicker, flicker: the laceflare of her hat in the sun: flicker, flick.
— Wife well, I suppose? M'Coy's changed voice said.
— O, yes, Mr Bloom said. Tiptop, thanks.
He unrolled the newspaper baton idly and read idly:
What is home without
Plumtree's Potted Meat?
With it an abode of bliss.º
— My missus has just got an engagement. At least it's not settled yet.
Valise tack again. I'm off that, thanks.
Mr Bloom turned his largelidded eyes in unhasty surprise, friendlily:
— My wife too, he said. She's going to sing at a swagger affair in the Ulster Hall Belfast on the twentyfifth.
— That so? M'Coy said. Glad to hear that, old man. Who's getting it up?
Mrs Marion Bloom. Not up yet. No book. Blackened court cards laid along her thigh by sevens. Dark lady and fair man. Letter. Cat furry black ball. Torn strip of envelope.
— It's a kind of a tour, don't you see, Mr Bloom said thoughtfully. Sweeeet song. There's a committee formed. Part shares and part profits.
M'Coy nodded, picking his moustache stubble.
— O, well, he said. That's good news.
He moved to go.
— Well, glad to see you looking fit, he said. Meet you knocking around.
— Yes, Mr Bloom said.
— Tell you what, M'Coy said. You might put down my name
at the funeral, will you? I'd like to go but I mightn't be able, you
see. You just shove in my name if I'm not there, will you?
— I'll do that, Mr Bloom, moving. That'll be all right.
— Right, M'Coy said brightly. Thanks, old man. I'd go if I possibly could. Well. Tolloll. Just C.P. M'Coy will do.
— That will be done, Mr Bloom answered firmly.
Didn't come off that wheeze.
Mr Bloom, strolling towards Brunswick street, smiled. My missus has just got
an. Reedy freckled soprano. Nice enough in its way: for a little ballad. No guts
in it. You and me, don't you know: in the same boat. Give you the needle
that would. Can't he hear the difference? Thought that Belfast would fetch him. Your wife and my wife.
Wonder is he pimping after me?
Mr Bloom stood at the corner, his eyes wandering over the multicoloured hoardings. Cantrell and Cochrane's. Ginger Ale (Aromatic). Clery's Summer Sale. No, he's going on straight. Hello. Leah tonight. Mrs Bandman Palmer. Like to see her again in that. Poor papa! How he used to talk of Kate Bateman in that. Outside the Adelphi in London waiting all the afternoon to get in. Year before I was born that was: sixtyfive. And Ristori in Vienna. What is this the name is? By Mosenthal it is. Rachel, is it? No. The scene he spoke of where the old blind Abraham recognises the voice and puts his fingers on his face.
— Nathan's voice! His father's voice! I hear the voice of Nathan who left his father to die in my hands of grief and misery, who left the house of his father and the God of his father.
So deep, Leopold. Every word.
Poor Papa! Poor man! I'm gladº I never looked at his face after he did it. That day! O, dear! O, dear! Ffoo! Well, perhaps it was best for him.
Mr Bloom went round the corner and passed the drooping horses of the hazard.
No use thinking of it any more. Nosebag time. Wish I hadn't met that M'Coy fellow.
He came nearer and heard the crunching of the oats, their gently champing teeth. Their full buck eyes regarded him as he went by. Poor jugginses! Damn all they know or care about anything with their long noses stuck in nosebags. Still they get their feed all right and their doss. Gelded too: a stump of black guttapercha wagging limp between their haunches. Might be happy all the same that way. Good poor brutes they look.
He drew the letter from his pocket and folded it into the newspaper he carried. Might just walk into her here. The lane is safer.
He hummed, passing the cabman's shelter:
Là ci darem la mano
La la lala la la.
He turned into Cumberland street and, going on some paces, halted in the lee
of the station wall. No-one. Meade's timberyard. Ruins and
tenements. He opened the letter within the newspaper.
A flower. A yellow flower with flattened petals. Not annoyed then? What does she say?
I got your last letter to me and thank you very much for it. I am sorry you
did not like my last letter. Why did you enclose the stamps? I am awfully angry
with you. I do wish I could punish you for that. I called you naughty boy
because I do not like that other world. Please tell me what is the real
meaning of that word? Are you not happy in your home you poor little naughty boy? I do wish I could do something for you. Please tell me what you think of poor me. I often think of the beautiful name you have. Dear Henry, when will we meet? I think of you so often you have no idea. I have never felt myself so much drawn to a man as you. I feel so bad about. Please write me a long letter and tell me more. Remember if you do not I will punish you. So now you know what I will do to you, you naughty boy, if you do not write. O how I long to meet you. Henry dear, do not deny my request before my patience are exhausted. Then I will tell you all. Goodbye now, naughty darling, I have such a bad headache. today. and write soon to your longing.
P.S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.º
X X X X
He tore the flower gravely from its pinhold and placed it in his heart pocket. Then walking slowly forward he read the letter again, murmuring here and there a word. Having read it all he took it from the newspaper and put it back in his sidepocket.
Weak joy opened his lips. Changed since the first letter. Doing the
indignant: a girl of good family like me, respectable character. Could meet one
Sunday after mass. Thank you: not having any.
Go further next time. Naughty boy: punish: afraid of words of course. Brutal, why not? Try it anyhow. A bit at a time.
Fingering still the letter in his pocket he drew the pin out of it. Common pin, eh? He threw it on the road. Out of her clothes somewhere: pinned together. Queer the number of pins they always have.
Flat Dublin voices bawled in his head. Those two sluts that night in the Coombe, linked together in the rain:
Mairy lost the pin of her drawers
She didn't know what to do
To keep it up,
To keep it up.
It? Them. Such a bad headache. Has her monthlies probably. What perfume does your wife use. Now could you make out a thing like that?º
To keep it up.
Martha, Mary. I saw that picture somewhere I forget now. He is sitting in their house, talking. Mysterious. Also the two sluts in the Coombe would listen.
To keep it up.
Nice kind of evening feeling. No more wandering about. Just loll there: quiet dusk: let everything rip. Tell about places you have been, strange customs. The other one was getting the supper: fruit, olives, lovely cool water out of a well,º things like that. She listens with big dark soft eyes. Tell her: more and more: all. Then a sigh: silence. Long long long rest.
Going under the railway arch he took out the envelope, tore it swiftly in shreds and scattered them towards the road. The shreds fluttered away, sank in the dank air: a white flutter, then all sank.
Henry Flower. You could tear up a cheque for a hundred pounds in the same way. Simple bit of paper. Lord Iveagh once cashed a cheque for a million in the bank of Ireland. Shows you the money to be made out of porter. A million pounds, wait a moment. Twopence a pint, fourpence a quart, eightpence a gallon of porter, no, one and fourpence a gallon of porter. One and four into twenty: fifteen about. Yes, exactly. Fifteen millions of barrels of porter.
What am I saying barrels? Gallons. About a million barrels all the same.
An incoming train clanked heavily above his head, coach after coach. Barrels
bumped in his head: dull porter slopped and churned inside. The bungholes sprang
open and a huge dull flood leaked out, flowing together, winding through
mudflats all over the level land, a lazy pooling swirl of liquor bearing along wideleaved flowers of its froth.
He had reached the open backdoor of All Hallows. Stepping into the porch he doffed his hat, took the card from his pocket and tucked it again behind the leather headband. Damn it. I might have tried to work M'Coy for a pass to Mullingar.
Same notice on the door. Sermon by the very reverend John Conmee S.J. on saint Peter Claver and the African Mission.º Conmee: Martin Cunningham knows him: distinguishedlooking. He's not going out to baptise blacks, is he? Like to see them sitting round in a circle, listening. Lap it up like milk, I suppose.
The cold smell of sacred stone called him. He pushed the swingdoor and entered softly by the sideway.
Something going on: some sodality. Women knelt in the benches with crimson halters round their necks, heads bowed. A batch knelt at the altarrails. The priest went along by them, murmuring, holding the thing in his hands. He stopped at each, took out a communion, shook a drop or two (are they in water?) off it and put it neatly into her mouth. Her hat and head sank. Then the next one. Her hat sank at once. Then the next one: a small old woman. The priest bent down to put it into her mouth, murmuring all the time. Latin. The next one. What? Corpus: body. Corpse. They don't seem to chew it: only swallow it down. Strange idea: eating bits of a corpse.º
He stood aside watching their blind masks pass down the aisle, one by one, and seek their places. He approached a bench and seated himself in its corner, nursing his hat and newspaper. They were about him here and there, their heads still bowed in their crimson halters, waiting for it to melt in their stomachs. Something like those mazzoth: it's that sort of bread: unleavened bread, same thing. Look at them. Now I bet it makes them feel happy. It does. Yes, bread of angels it's called. There's a big idea behind that, kind of heavenly inside. Then feel all like one family, all in the same swim. They do. I'm sure of that. Not so lonely. Thing is if you really believe in it.
He saw the priest stow the communion cup away, well in, and kneel an instant before it showing a large grey bootsole from under the lace affair he had on. Letters on his back:º I.H.S. Molly told me one time I asked her. I have sinned: or no: I have suffered it is.
Meet one Sunday after mass. Do not deny my request. She might be here with a ribbon round her neck and do the other thing all the same on the sly. Their character. That fellow that turned queen's evidence on the invincibles he used to receive the, Carey was his name, the communion every morning. This very church. Peter Carey, yes. No, Peter Claver I am thinking of. Denis Carey. And just imagine that. And plotting that murder all the time. Those crawthumpers, now that's a good name for them, there's always something shifty looking about them. They're not straight men of business either. O, no, she's not here: the flower: no, no. By the way, did I tear up that envelope? Yes: under the bridge.
The priest was rinsing out the chalice: then he tossed off the dregs
smartly. Doesn't give them any of the wine: only the other. Quite
right: otherwise they'd have one old booser worse than another coming along, cadging for a drink. Spoil the whole atmosphere of the. Quite right. Perfectly right that is.
Mr Bloom looked back towards the choir. Not going to be any music. Pity. Who has the organ here I wonder? Old Glynn he knew how to make that instrument talk, the vibrato: fifty pound a year they say he had. Molly was in fine voice that day, the Stabat Mater of Rossini. I told her to pitch her voice against that corner. I could feel the thrill in the air, the full,º the people looking up:
Quis est homo.º
Some of that old sacred music isº splendid. Mercadante: seven last words. Mozart's twelfth mass: theº Gloria in that. Those old popes wereº keen on music, on art and statues and pictures of all kinds. Palestrina for example too.º They had a gay old time while it lasted. Still, having eunuchs in their choir that was coming it a bit thick. What kind of voice is it? Must be curious to hear. Connoisseurs. Suppose they wouldn't feel anything after. Kind of a placid. No worry. Fall into flesh, don't they? Who knows? Eunuch. One way out of it.
He saw the priest bend down and kiss the altar and then face about and bless all the people. All crossed themselves and stood up. Mr glanced about him and then stood up, looking over the rising hats. Stand up at the gospel of course. Then all settled down on their knees again and he sat back back quietly in his bench. The priest came down from the altar, holding the thing out from him, and he and the massboy answered each other in Latin. Then the priest knelt down and began to read off a card:
O God our refuge and our strength.
Mr Bloom put his face forward to catch the words. Gloriousº and immaculate virgin. Joseph, her spouse. Peter and Paul. More interesting if you understood what it was all about. Wonderful organisation certainly, goes like clockwork. Squareheaded chaps those must be in Rome: they work the whole show. And don't they rake in the money? Bequests too: to say so many masses. The priest in that Fermanagh will case in the witnessboxº. No browbeating him. He had his answer pat for everything. Liberty and exaltation of our holy mother the church. The doctors of the church: they mapped out the whole theology of it.
The priest prayed:
— Blessed Michael, archangel, defend us in the hour of conflict. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil (may God restrain him we humbly pray!): and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell and with him those other wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
The priest and the massboy stood up and walked off. All over. The women remained behind: thanksgiving.
Better be shoving along.
He stood up. Hello. Were those two buttons of my waistcoat open all the time?º He passed discreetly down the aisle and out through the main door into theº light. Trams: a car of Prescott's dyeworks, a widow in her weeds. He covered himself. How goes the time? Quarter past. Time enough yet. Better get that facewash made up. Where is this? ah yes, the last time. Sweny's in Lincoln Place.
He walked southward along Westland row. But the prescription is in the other
trousers. O, and I forgot that latchkey too. Bore this funeral affair. O well,
poor fellow, it's not his fault. When was it I got it made up last? Wait.
I changed a sovereign I remember. First of the month it must have been or the second. O, he can look it up in the prescriptions book.
The chemist turned back page after page. Sandy shrivelled smell he seems to have.º Living all the day among herbs and ointments. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to send you off.
— About a fortnight ago, sir?
— Yes, Mr Bloom said.
He waited by the counter, inhaling slowly the keen reek of drugs, the dusty dry smell of sponges.
— Sweet almond oil and tincture of benzoin, Mr Bloom said, and then orangeflower water …
It certainly did make her skin so delicate white like wax.
— And white wax also, he said.
Brings out the darkness of her eyes. Looking at me, the sheet up to her eyes, when I was fixing the links in my cuffs. Those homely recipes are often the best: oatmeal they say steeped in buttermilk. But you want a perfume too. That orangeflower waterº is so fresh. Nice smell these soaps have. Time to get a bath round the corner. Feel fresh then all the day. Funeral be rather glum.
— Yes, sir, the chemist said. That was two and nine. Have you brought a bottle?
— No, Mr Bloom said. Make it up, please. I'll call later in the day and I'll take one of these soaps. How much are they?
— Fourpence, sir.
Mr Bloom raised a cake to his nostrils. Sweet lemony wax.
— I'll take this one, he said. That makes three and a penny.
— Yes, sir, the chemist said. You can pay altogether, sir, when you come back.
— Good, Mr Bloom said.
He strolled out of the shop, the newspaper baton under his armpit, the cool wrappered soap in his left hand.
At his armpit Bantam Lyons' voice and hand said:
— Hello, Bloom? Is that today's? Show us a minute.
Shaved off his moustache again, by Jove! Long cold upper lip. To look younger. He does look balmy.
Bantam Lyons's yellow blacknailed fingers unrolled the baton. Wants a wash too
— I want to see about that French horse that's running today, Lyonsº said. Where the bugger is it?
He rustled the pleated pages, jerking his chin on his high collar. Better leave him the paper and get shut of him.
— You can keep it, Mr Bloom said.
— I was just going to throw it away, Mr Bloom said.
Bantam Lyons raised his eyes suddenly and leered weakly.
— What's that? he said sharply
— I say you can keep it, Mr Bloom. I was going to throw it away that moment.
Bantam Lyons doubted an instant, leering: then thrust the outspread sheets back on Mr Bloom's arms.
— I'll risk it, he said. Here, thanks.
He sped off towards Conway's corner.
Mr Bloom folded the sheets again to a neat square and lodged the soap in it,
smiling. Silly lips of that chap. He walked cheerfully towards the mosque of the
baths. Remind you of a mosque,º redbaked
bricks, the minarets. College sports today I see. He eyed the horsehoe poster
over the gate of college park: cyclist doubled up like a cod in a pot. Damn bad
ad. Now if they had made it round like a wheel. Then the spokes: sports, sports,
sports: and the hub big: college. Something to catch the eye.
There's Hornblower standing at the porter's lodge. Keep him on hands: might take a turn in there on the nod. How do you do, Mr Hornblower? How do you do, sir?
Heavenly weather really. If life was always like that. Won't last. Always passing, the stream of life, which in the stream of life we trace is dearer thaaanº them all.
Enjoy a bath now: clean trough of water, cool enamel, the gentle tepid stream. He foresaw his pale body reclined in it at full, naked, oiled by scented melting soap, softly laved. He saw his trunk and limbs riprippled over and sustained, buoyed lightly upward, lemonyellow: saw the dark tangled curls of his bush floating, floating hair of the stream around a languid floating flower.