Episode III.4

A short paraphrase and guide to the episode

Prepared by Danis Rose

Finnegans Wake Book III Chapter 4

2010 edition FW pages 432-459
1939 edition FW pages 555-590

Gallicium: The Fourth Watch of the Night

Dd: Dawn

The uneven, complexly structured III.4 was written by piecing together a large number of separately written passages (§4A to 4T). It is the second chapter in the book, the other being II.4, narrated principally by X (the four old men). They seem to be watching a series of stills of the interiors of the bedrooms taken by four hidden cameras.

The action begins with the crying of a child waking the sleepers. A picture gallery, extending to 434.39 (558.31), of the HCE household follows.[340] It is the final quarter of the night. Everybody is in bed. The narrative is a long elaboration of a pivotal statement at 434.35 (558.26): ‘in their bed of trial they are.’ The picture gallery itself describes the local environment. They are in their bed while this, while that, while the other takes place.

We are presented with four graphic accounts of what happens in the parents' bed related by the four historians, each offering a tableau, a visual image as seen from his particular perspective. The tableaux are each followed by a lively communal discussion. The views are presently not synchronically, but diachronically. The ass is present as the load-bearing mattress. The four watchers are located at (or are) the four bedposts. One thinks of the table-legs described in ‘Oxen of the Sun’:

And in the castle was set a board that was of the birchwood of Finlady and it was upheld by four dwarfmen of that country but they durst not move for enchantment.

The scenes in the bed culminate in an act of copulation silhouetted by a bedside lamp on the window blind and witnessed by a policeman (Sigurdsen) strolling along the road outside. The intercourse is unsatisfactory or it is frustrated.[341] The tableaux, each of which opens with a notational anagram of the letters HCE, encapsulate progressively ever more of the world-space enclosing the household.[342] These are:

1) Matthew's view: interior of the tavern
2) Mark's view: view 1 extended to encompass the Phoenix Park
3) Luke's view: view 2 extended to encompass the Dalkey-Kingstown-Blackrock wagon-line
4) John's view: view 3 extended to encompass the eastern horizon and the tip of the emerging solar disk.

Throughout the chapter the bedroom is looked on as a stage set and its occupants as actors. Their copulation, in the end, is reduced to the level of a cricket match. Then all fall back sleep, exhausted, e.d.ed.

III§4A–4E: 432–434.39 (555–558.31)

Asked to expatiate on ‘how much times we live in’, when are we, a narrator responds.

nightly, while ‘kinderwardens’ (X) mind the twins' bed, while the four, the lousy boozy dying coughing old palaeontologists from the four corners of the room with their quartan ague[343], watch the sleeping twins and while they are gladdened when the nice one, little Kevin (D), who is going to become commander of a fire brigade as soon as he grows up, smiles in his sweet way in sleep, dribbling cream and orange mustard and dressed cabbage, and while they are frightened when the other one, the bold brat brother Jerry (C), who is hoping to get into a night refuge as soon as he is cured enough to leave all the hospitals, frowns as down his wrinkled vest drip fuming methylated spirits and sticky ink (‘ick’) and lemon and squashed rhubarb;

while infant Isobel (I), who is going to be a beautiful nun when she reaches twenty, or a nurse with starched cuffs, and at eighteen a beautiful widow with an apricot-coloured veil, while she sleeps sweetly, serenely, silently, with her eyes of bluebell blue and her primrose hair, while she sleeps like a blowing leaf stilled, a little whistle of straw by her on the quilt in her little cot in her little room;

while with his tumbrel[344] the watchman, Police Constable Sigurdsson, punctually on schedule goes along the road that prevents the public from passing and while he is sequestering for the lost property office the accumulated debris and junk of last night, ‘kikkers, brillers, knappers and bands, handshoon and strumpers, sminkysticks and eddiketsflaskers’[345];

while Kate the Slop meanwhile in her own bedroom mutters to her pillow how she thought she heard a knock at the downstairs door break the silence of the hour in Persse O'Reilly's and how she got up and went down step by step to see was it the man with the Schweppe's minerals or Shaun the Post with a telegram for HCE or the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and heard a creak upon the stairs and rose her candle to see and down she went on her knees that were knocking together as if it were a ghost how she saw sliding over the sawdust floor of the lobby out of the back room that was everyone's in turn something in its birthday suit holding up a finger for her to whisht, you sow-belly, with the whites of its eyes swearing her to silence;[346];

while night by night the twelve try HCE over and over again in their minds and find him guilty of those imputations of intercrural fornication with two of his relations or if not so of partial denudation and intention of excitation of some soldiers albeit with unusual atmospheric pressure in reasonable mitigation[347] he insisting in any case of being worthy of alimentation for having displayed so much toleration more especially as he was suffering from a medical complication and having only strength enough to curse, confessing of his faults to make obliteration, though a man of estimation and high station, still they sum him up as there can be no extenuation for contravention of legislation: three months[348] for the pest of the park, as per Act 1, Section 2, Schedule 3, Clause 4 of the law, this sentence to be carried out tomorrow morning at six o'clock sharp, and may the Lord have mercy on his soul;

while night after night in sleep's happy gardens the twenty-nine Leixlip darlings, daughters all, trip in glee to play, What are little boys made of, made of, and to hope for the one they love to be gone as they are never happier than when they are saddest;

while in their bed, on the bolster, by the light of the lamp, under the covers they lie, Humphrey and Livia, his penis ‘mortified’, her beauty-skin (her gown) hung upon a nail.

III§4F: 434.40–440.07 (558.32–565.16)

Someone asks:

Where are we at all? And whenabouts in the name of space?

He cannot understand. He fails to see. We daresay he does. The response is a description of HCE's conjugal positions as seen from each of the four corners of the marital bed. But before this fine detail is introduced the bedroom itself is located in space.

The stage we are viewing is in a house, Finn's house, a tavern with a vineyard[349], or it could be the Hole in the Wall, a pub located on the outskirts of the city on Blackhorse Avenue abutting on the Phoenix Park. Peering, as it were, through the stone walls of the house we perceive a bedroom. It is an ordinary, lower-class room decorated with pink wallpaper. Against the back wall is a grate (empty) with Adam mantelpiece (condemned). To the north is a party wall.

A double-bed occupies centre stage. It is covered with a strawberry-coloured bedspread. Beside it is a chair. On the chair is a woman's garment. On a bed knob hang a man's pair of trousers with cross-belt braces and a collar minus a tie. Over the mantelpiece is displayed a picture of the archangel Michael slaying the satanic Serpent. From a nail driven into a wall hang a coat, his, and a gown, hers. A small table is situated near the bed. On it are set a lighted lamp without globe, a scarf, a newspaper, a tumbler containing a quantity of water, a watch, and other odds and ends, most notably a man's ‘gummy article, pink.’[350]

It is precisely/imprecisely a time.[351] A dumb show follows. Our attention is drawn to the leading actors, seen now in close-up. In the foreground is a man wearing a nightcap in the bed. Behind him is the woman, her hair done up with curl pins. We see them in side point of view: Say! Eh? Ha! — CEH (Matt's view).

The male party partly masks the female from our view. His expression is beastly and he exhibits rage. She sits up, looks at the ceiling, and exhibits fear. Compared to the physical grossness of the man, she is a featherweight. From offstage a direction is heard: Play! Footage of film reels past. We watch as the woman jumps out of bed, takes up the lamp and exits. The man follows her.[352]

The scene shifts. We watch as props and backdrops are changed. We perceive spotlights, moving walls, cloths, the room sink, the stairs sink. The first view of the parents terminates. The four discuss the implications of what they have seen, considering first the house itself. The ‘old humburgh’ looks incomplete certainly, but it will be just dandy when it is finished. The architect has put in a one-step staircase[353], which the two players have ascended in exiting. The four witnesses are impressed; it is rather scenic here, to be sure, truly an ideal residence, a homely house, if a little haunting. There are bottles and noggins below in the cellar.[354]

The Porters (see their photographs in the newspapers) are very nice people, one of the witnesses says, are they not? Yes, very, he is assured. Mr Porter (behind, on stair) is an excellent father and Mrs Porter (ahead, leading) is a most kind-hearted mother. A more united family does not exist. One can tell it must be a very long time ago by their costumes.

The four now wonder where the parents have gone to. Upstairs, Matthew explains, there are two rooms: one on the right and one on the left.[355] The infants sleep there. Once it was otherwise, but it is so now. A little Issy missy sleeps in room number two. Asked if she has a name, Matthew says that she does and it is Buttercup. The others agree that Buttercup is indeed a lovely name. Matthew adds that Buttercup's mirror alone can show the young lady her truest friend. To speak of her grace, he says, would require the voice of a poet. In her room, he tells them, there are pictures on the wallpaper: images of flowers, the Pasque flower, the anemone, heliotrope, sweet William, amaranth, and marigold. If one were to go in and pull apart her hands a little, one would see that she has made as if to grasp a moth in the air. But to approach is forbidden. It is dormition. Asked if she sleeps alone, Matthew replies that she sleeps otherwise; for Buttercups is never alone. She can always speak to Tiddles, who sits on the mat.[356] When she speaks to Tiddles, she does so in a nice baritone:

Ah Biddles es ma plikplak. Ah plikplak wed ma Biddles.

Tiddles is her playmate. And Buttercup shall be a lovely girl when she grows up.[357]

Talking of broken sleep and cradle-days, can Matthew explain who sleeps in room number one. The two boys sleep there. They are two twins as attached to each other as could possibly be. Perhaps they are Siamese twins. Frank Kevin (Shaun), a fair-haired boy sleeps on ‘heartsleeveside.’ Do not wake him! He is happily asleep with his bacall-Iosa[358] beside him, the blessed angel, and his mouth half-open as though he were blowing on a bugle or pedalling on a bicycle. He will grow up to be a fine knight, quit these shores, emigrate to America, and land a cushy job. He is adorable, ‘too audorable really, eunique.’[359]

The other, weaned on cod-liver oil, is on the liver-side and has been crying in his sleep, grinding his incisors on some sweets fished out from the muck of the road. He is a snake in our midst, the teething wretch. There are tears on his pillowcase. He has spilled ink over himself while filling his fountain pen from the ink-pot. It is Jerry (Shem). In his hand is a heel.[360] He and his brother sleep a foetal sleep. They are two very intimate little Porters, to be sure.

Afraid to disturb the children, the watchers whisper in hushed tones. Before they leave (we must accept that they must have momentarily departed from the bedposts) the speaker pauses to leave a single copper down on the bed between the two brothers, Rose-mouth and Green-fang.[361] Blessing them, he bids them goodnight.

Adieu, soft adieu, for these nice presents, kerryjevin! Still tosorrow!

At 439.03 (564.01), the watchers take up their second position. The stage scenery has been rotated slightly. It is now Mark's view: the meseedo: EHC.[362]

From this angle, the male partly masks the female. The impressive spectacle of HCE and, probably, of his buttocks puts Mark in mind of the chryselephantine statue of Zeus in Olympia and also of an elephant in the Phoenix Park zoological gardens. His rump reminds him forcibly of the park itself in miniature. With the aid of a relief map he posits the correspondences for the benefit of the others. It (the park-arse) is the admiration of many, he boasts. It is the largest of its kind in the world and is bisected, as they can plainly see, right down the middle by a straight line (Chesterfield road-bum crack). On the right one can see the celebrated Viceregal Lodge, while on the left is the equally fine Chief Secretary's residence. Seats are provided, he explains, for those who choose to sit. Some splendid trees are planted here and there is boscage and sylvan belts where people can ride on horses and deer can browse. A single flower marks the spot where a murder once took place. At the lowest end, he continues, of this magnificent park which is open to the public until late at night, one can find the Hollow, a gloomy spot indeed that may give curious thoughts to the head, although the Dublin Metropolitan Band often play there.

Mark's explorations are terminated by the sudden trembling of one of his three fellows. He trembles like a very jelly. He trembles just as Mark places a reassuring hand on his knee. Mark tells him to stop shaking as there is nothing to tremble about. He just heard a voice, a woman's voice, one Mark is familiar with: ‘I have heard her voice somewhere else's before me in these ears still that now are for mine.’

III§4G: 440.08–440.31 (565.17–566.06)

The watchers hush and listen. They hear ALP softly speak:

You were dreaming, dear.

She calms the child (Shem) woken from a troubled sleep by the moving shadows of the four. There are no phantoms in the room, she reassures her bairn. Father is not here. He has gone to town to conduct his grocery business.[365] The watchers whisper:

Does he not sleep?

Sh! He sleeps badly.

What is he saying?

Child's words. Sh![366]

Ann's voice resumes, soothing the crying Shem. The phantom is only in his imagination, she explains. So let him hush, ‘dim of mind’ (son of mine). She sings a lullaby and tells him it's better to be in bed than out on the road. Tuck in under the warm blankets. With nothing but onions and bread in the house to eat, he should dream of blueberry pie. Warmed so, let him dream!

III§4H: 440.32–445.02 (566.07–571.26)

Dressed in curious old-fashioned castle costume as the seneschals of Esker, Newcastle, Saggard, and Crumlin, the four stand talking. Sigurdsson, dressed as a beefeater, holds up a match. The ‘swabsister’, Kate the Slop, has done talking. The twelve barons stand duodecimally by with folded arms. The ‘dame dowager’, ALP, remains as she was, kneeling by the twins' bed, by the ‘princes’ who remain out of sight. HCE, the ruler or ‘duffgerent’, with ‘weapon’ drawn to the full, wheels about careful lest he is seen by the woken Shem. The Infanta, Isabella, sleeps sweetly.

The four gaze at HCE. Hornless as they are, they are aghast. God of Heaven! They are entranced at the sight of the size of his British penis and fear lest they have lost ‘theirs’ (their virility) ‘respecting these wildy parts.’ They are agog: that ‘crag!’ Those ‘hullocks!’ On another plane, they have somehow wandered out of the tavern and lost their way in the Phoenix Park. The ‘wappon’ is now a sign post. They gaze at it, eagerly seeking directions. Distances are written on it.

To the Dun Laoghaire Obelisk: ‘vhat myles’ (8 miles)
To the General Post Office, O'Connell Street: ‘howsands of patience’ (thousands of paces; 2 miles)
To the Wellington Memorial: half a league (1.5 miles)
To Sarah Bridge: ‘good hunter and nine to meet her’ (190 metres)
To the point: 1 yard.

One of them leers because he sees a hunting-cap of pink ‘on the point.’[367] The cap has significance. It is a sign that the King, the queen's liege, is to come tomorrow, Michaelmas, between three and four o'clock.[368] He is to come with his retinue, with beagles and terriers, to go a-hunting for ‘our littlego illcome faxes’ (foxes but also taxes). It promises to be a splendid day. Everyone will lean out of their window to watch. All the people will be there, arriving in throngs on trams and trains, on bicycles, tricycles and on penny-farthings. Polo and pelouta, bowls and lawn tennis and golf will be played. Ladies under parasols will loll and gasp. For a while old enmities will be reconciled. The clouds will let fall a sprinkling of rain and bells everywhere will toll out loud. If the papers are to be believed, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, ‘Thorsman’ (H), dressed in his best suit of clothes, wellingtons over his babushkas, hod hoisted and a cane at his side, will make an appearance among the people restrained only by chains of hands. His whole corporation, bayonets fixed, will attend him. He shall receive the king with a kiss ‘on his pompey cushion’ and aver:

My humble duty to Your Gracious Majesty!

The king will respond:

Arise, Sir Pompkey Dompkey. Ear! Ear! Weakear!

The mayor will address his majesty and read a prepared speech from a miniated vellum. The gallant king will drink toasts to the ladies. After that all the carillons of the churches will be heard to peal. Later the king will watch the good mayor ceremoniously bless the water of the river, his ‘goldwhite swaystick aloft ylifted.’ The Mayor will bless everyone, benedictus benedicat, and bid all feast, mahlzeit, on the foisons of our fields: unjointed bittern and frusted chickens, cranes displayed and pigeons thighed, rabbits unlaced and pheasants allayed, culponed trout, salmon chined and tranched sturgeon, sanced capons and lobster barbed.

Laetification will be general. All shall join in the jubilation, the whole populace of the city, every last man Jack of them. They will sing Old King Cole, he's a merry old soul and For he's a jolly good fellow. All through the night great thespian masterpieces will be enacted and classic works of music performed. To be sure, it promises to be some ‘wholetime in hot town tonight!’[369] Have they not heard about it? All this was said in the ‘book of that which is.’ All this shall be, though tomorrow and today can never meet.

The conversation about what tomorrow is to bring (what yesterday brought already) is abruptly terminated and the viewers revert to the subject of HCE whom they now see, wheeled about. Was he always in such strong health? The inquirer is told that Mr Porter is exceedingly fine, if a lot stouter than formerly. One would think he kept a litter of pigs under his apron! Has he been long married? Mr Porter has been married for ever so long and he has two fine sons.

As they are now out at the ‘point’, the Four argue whether or not they should go for a stroll and admire the scenery.[370] There are little springs hereabouts that arise from a well in the park. Should they not visit them? The water is said to cure the blind. And over yonder is Chapelizod, ‘chapelofeases.’ It is a truly beautiful village. There is a church there covered in dark ivy that creeps over the stones. Someone sighs. Asked why, he says he sighs not for Humphrey but for Sarah (ALP).

Their environing and sighing is brought to a close by the unfreezing of the image. Movement begins anew. They hear anew sounds in the bedrooms:

Hoarsehem coughs enough. Annshee lispes privily.

What is afoot?

III§4J: 445.03–445.10 (571.27–571.34)

The Four speak in turn (twice) to say that Shem is quieter now and that someone bearing a lamp approaches. They must hush and listen.[371] They begin to debate HCE's legal right of (sexual) access to his partner, to have her and to hold her.

III§4K: 445.11–445.17 (571.35–572.06)

The young (Norwegian ungdommer, the ‘youngdammers’) are digging graves for the old. It is the ineluctable succession of youth over age. Underground spirits, ‘our netherworld's bosomfoes’, are working tooth and nail overtime in earth-pits, death-mines, salt-cellars: underfed, nagging, nibbling forerunners.

III§4L: 445.18–448.25 (572.07–576.09)

The four observe the door of the bedroom as it opens. Who is entering, they wonder? It is ALP. They deliberate her case. Their deliberation is pedantic, prolix, circuitous, and framed as a question in law. The bedroom protagonists are directly implicated in the case, though they appear here under various pseudonyms.

Honuphrius (HCE) is imputed with the commission of incest with his virgin daughter, Felicia (Issy); with the seduction of his sons Eugenius (Shaun) and Jeremias (Shem); with voluntary self-chastisement (flagellism) and with the attempted prostitution of his spouse, Anita (ALP). Anita, who has herself been guilty of adultery with Father Michael (a curate who wishes to seduce Eugenius), wishes to save the virginity of Felicia for Magravius (Magrath), who is urged by Mauritius (Sigurdsen) acting on the instructions of Honuphrius his master, to solicit the chastity of Anita after the death of his schismatical wife Gillia (who is visited clandestinely by Barnabas, an advocate of Honuphrius corrupted by Jeremias and who had been early debauched by Honuphrius). Magravius threatens to have Anita molested by Sulla, the leader of a band of thugs called the Sullivani (the Twelve), who (Sulla) wishes to procure Felicia for Gregorius, Leo, Vitellius, and Macdugalius (the Four) if she (ALP) will not submit to him and render Honuphrius conjugal duty. Anita meanwhile is prepared to so do but she fears that she will thereby cause reprehensible conduct between Eugenius and Jeremias. For his part, Michael comminates that he will reserve her case. Fortissa (Kate) is urged by the four excavators to forewarn Anita by describing to her the chastisements of Honuphrius and the depravities of Canicula, the deceased wife of the slave Mauritius, with Sulla, who repents.

Has Humphrey hegemony? Shall Ann Submit?

A second restatement of the marital problem is given. It also is couched in legalese and in this case deals principally with a cheque. The resolution of the litigation is that as no property in law can exist in a corpse, debts accrued by the deceased do not require compellable payment by the surviving spouse.

III§4M: 448.26–449.40 (576.10–577.35)

The legal debate of the four solicitors is terminated as Shem sighs yet again in sleep. Moving surreptitiously, they return to the parents' bedroom lest the infant waken. Fragments of ALP's lullaby are heard. She sings that quivering dreams folding round her manikin hide him from harm, guard him, her bairn.

Lines 448.34-449.40 (576.18-577.35) form the text of a prayer to ‘the divinity that built our roads:’ the ‘boomooster giant builder of all causeways’, all roads whether straight or corkscrewed. The Four pray that God protect this man and this woman, our first parents, and guide them safely down the staircase, so that they may join in bed, that he may cover her, that she may couple with him, as they have done before and shall do again, in this place or in that place.

III§4N: 450.01–450.02 (577.36–578.02)

They are conscious of movement and they interrupt their prayer to see what it is that stirred; but all is quiet. It was only the wind whistling among the trees outside.

III§4P: 450.03–455.40 (578.03–585.21)

For God's sake, they wonder, who is it that appears before them, this bonneted man, some king of the east, with his grey hair, so bulk of build. He has on only a nightcap and a woolly surplice, and on his feet two pairs of socks that he wears to ensure warm sleep between fleecy blankets. Can it be Mr O'Reilly who keeps the tavern, and looking right well into the bargain. And who could it be there with him, the tail of her gown tripping her up. Why, if it isn't his missus, ‘Missness Wipethemdry’, holding the lamp. The same old ha'penny-worth of dripping.

Whispering, the old men watch as the couple go past: the man in the shirt and the little woman of the house, coming back down the stair the way they went up. May the Lord assist them! For they met and mated and bedded and bucked and got and gave and reared and raised and planted and plundered and pawned and pillaged and fought and feigned and broke all banks and hated the sight of one another and bequeathed their ills and turned their coats and hid their origins and never learned the first day's lesson and tried to mingle and managed to save and feathered their nest and fouled their own and escaped from drowning by the skin of their teeth and were responsible for congested districts and took to drink and published their private lives and came down in the world and were cuffed by their customers and bit the dust and went and came; and yet they come back, lamp in hand and shirt on high, peek-a-booing in the thickness of the dark, and whispering.

They near the foot of the stair, the portly publican such as he is, and his ambling partner, slave of the ring, that carries the lamp that lights the way that leads to bed the businessman that met the cad in the Phoenix Park that told his wife that blabbed to the priest that passed it round till it filled the ear of Treacle Tom and Frisky Shorty that mumbled in sleep to Cloran and O'Donnell and Hosty the busker that rhymed the rann that went the rounds the length and breadth of the land that picked the pockets and tickled the ribs of all its listeners lewd and lay that bought the ballad that Hosty made.

A narrator now ponders on the nature of HCE, how he was called a foreigner by those notables the Sullivani, muttering in their beards libel about him and about her and about the family they had between them, roaring that he never was worth a roasted fart and her being a bit of a tart as they wend their zigzag way home full to the pores of booze and roaring for more from his opulent vinery, stottering through the bottleneck pass and seeking cold consolation from the light of the stars and the March frost.

Did they not, these small traders, abhor him who himself did not discriminate? And is there not among cis-marine dwellers not at least a belief that for those so-called excesses and that hard-of-hearingness of the old bugger in his groping and stumbling through their taunts and their treason another like that other but not quite such another and still one not just the same and all the same one more and the latest to date no later than today have nevertheless been made amenable? In short, that he and she are now amenable.

‘Yet’, the narrator seeks to remind us, ‘he begottom.’ Wherefore let us propose a vote of thanks a lot to the ‘huskiest coaxing experimenter that ever gave his best hand into chancerisk’ and wish him and his family ‘no end of slow poison’ and pray that in the bright future as in the dark past we turn a deaf ear to those that curse them as long as there's a tail tied to the testicles on a man.

There is, he continues, little hope to escape their ‘semperidentity’ by insisting on variables. What we must strive for before ‘smellful’ demise overtakes us on the road to nowhere is to recognise a replication of patterns down throughout the ages and to behold ourselves in others as in a mirror even though we have arrived now after the torments of eras to see who exactly it is that stares us in the face. We have to have it as it is whether we like it or not. As others have to have us: so cheer up and sing,

There was a raughty tinker
Who in London town did dwell
And when he had no work to do
His meat axe he did sell.
With me solderin' iron and taraway
Hammer legs and saw.

Philosophic speculations are laid aside as the second view terminates. We are taken back to the original setting. HCE and ALP lie side by side in bed. The third view, Luke's, begins at 453.34 (582.28). Sidome: HCE.[372]

In Luke's view the big event is the coition of the parents. It is first seen as the movement of the heavenly bodies,[373] then viewed in cricket terms,[374] and finally seen as straightforward sexual congress.

Looking at HCE's red face, Luke thinks the man should take a purgative. He enjoys an excellent view of him as he lies abed, half naked, partly masked by his consort. Luke sympathises with ALP, whose teeth are chattering, the weight she bears. Her mouth (‘smirk’) is looking behind at her heels (‘hills’). Her lamp or ‘fairy setalite’ throws a shadow on the blind and Sigurdsson, the ‘man in the street’ outside the room, can see ‘the coming event.’ It will be broadcast throughout the whole village in no time. Night after night, HCE floods ALP. Outside on the road the peeler goes filing by and sees the morals of county Dublin.

She has to laugh at the way her old stick-in-the-mud was shoving his weight about at half past six in the morning! And the lamp was all askew with a smoky wick in it. She had to laugh to think of her daft pig of a wicked man (whenever she looked behind at the bounder balling). It tickled her pink to such a pitch at six o'clock in the morn. She egged him on to ride her faster, faster, with lubrication to make the going easier lest he tire himself or waken her bairns with his baby-making, the game old merry man in the nursery shirt, holding her down clean bowled over with her face where the back of her head ought to be[375] when, keek, the cock in the yard began kikiriki in a kikiri key to crow, the way it was woken, to cock-a-doodle-doo at that small hour of the morning.

The coming together is viewed as the interplay of geographical and topographical systems. HCE appears as a straight wagon-line (453.37):

Thon's the dullakeykongsbyogblagroggerswagginline that drew all ladies please to our great mettrollops.

The not so straight meandering of the Liffey (ALP) is noted.

Another take is that of a horserace (454.08):

The galleonman jovial on his bucky brown nightmare. Bigbrob dignagging his lilyputtana. One to one bore one! Old Pairamere goes it a gallop, a gallop One to one on!

A sixth interpretation reduces HCE and ALP to cock on hen. In this aspect, he is the ‘at all times long past conquering cock of the Morgans’ (455.13) and she is the woken ‘hen in the Doran's shantyqueer.’

The seventh view is of a candlewick burning. Here the wick is contrasted with HCE's penis (wick) and the lamp with ALP's vagina: and ‘her lamp was all askew and a trumbly wick-in-her She had to spofforth, she had to kicker, too thick of the wick of her pixy's loomph, lickering jessup the smooky shiminey’ (454.28).

So there they are, belle and beau. The four investigators return thanks to them for the sevenfold exhibition. Humphrey (‘Tubbernacul’) thanks Anne for her action towards him personally.

The Four unite in offering thanks to the two of them for exclusive pictorial rights to the portrait of ‘Herehear fond Tiplady’ to appear ‘in next eon's issue of The Neptune's Centinel and Tritonville Lightowler with, well, the widest circulation round the whole universe’.[376] And thanks are due also to ‘modest Miss Glimglow’, the lamp, and ‘neat Master Mettresson’, the humble mattress. Also, some thanks are due to ‘ringasend’, the condom, ‘detachably replaceable.’

III§4Q: 456.01–457.05 (585.22–587.02)

Humphrey and Anne lie coupled, ‘wedded now evermore in annastomoses.’ Cleaving,they cleave. He withdraws his member. The voyeurs leave the chamber. Such behaviour! It is largely the cause of a general lack of continence in fields and orchards everywhere. Humphrey can put the shutter up. Anne can blow the wick out. They can fold away the tablecloth. But he ‘never wet the tea.’

The watchers disappear into the bedposts without disturbing the household. It is strictly requested that no smoking, spitting, loud talk, sparring-matches, noisy kissing, etc., will take place during hours devoted to repose. And absolutely no water is to be discharged against the grate or out of a window. This is a house, not a brothel. After the excesses of the copulation, everything is about as normal as it could be. If Sigurdsson, the patrolman pounding his beat, attracted by the crowing of the cock, weak with hunger, were to pass by at this point in time he would perceive if he was not mistaken no sign of light at any of the windows (‘eithanny of thuncle's windopes’) and if he brought his boots to pause one by the other on the road outside he would hear no sound except the flow of water (the river), and the wind among the trees.

III§4R: 457.06–458.22 (587.03–588.34)

Three of the four gospellers (Luke excepted) speak out and claim that they had only a haze to see by but that it was certainly HCE who gave them the Woodbine cigarettes and the Cadbury chocolates in the snug that time in the Cambridge Arms. Honeysuckle was his name at the time. He took off his hat and, blowing the froth off his pint, declared:

Lads, with all respect to the old country, long life to the King!

He put them a question touching the park rangers and the pests of the park: were they trespassing at the time? That's him all right, with the wig on him, a great one indeed, among the very greatest as he used to say himself. He was the gentleman they were spying on, notwithstanding the poor visibility. Aye, he had his trousers down. He had paid for the two bottles of stout and the glass of shandy and a fine wine.

Luke asks them what they saw when they followed him out of the pub.[377] Were they truly there? Was it snowing or raining or did it thunder? They can speak freely, all three of them, Jimmy D'Arcy and Fred Walkins and Mr Black Atkins. There is nobody here to hear, only the trees, only the bark and the briars and the shrubs and the wind.

III§4S: 458.23–458.33 (588.35–589.11)

It is stated that HCE exposed himself to the ‘pretty mistletots’, as we suspected all along. But what of it? Money still makes money the world over, and roads to riches cross slums of the poor, and the old bugger put himself ahead in his brewery business. He gave and he took, he bought and he sold. He made his capital out of self-interest, the huge commercial, with his two sons booing him from afar and his daughters bridling up by his side.

III§4T: 458.34–459 (589.12–590)

Luke asks how HCE ended up with the balance he has in his account at the bank. How exactly did he ‘bank it up’, prowling as he was by night and creeping home by day? How? Simple: by repeated failure. They list his seven failures: he failed by:

1. Ill-health
2. Fire
3. Flood
4. Wind
5. Burglary
6. Explosion.

An ‘explosium of his distilleries deafandumped all his dry goods down to his most favoured sinflute and dropped him, what remains of a heptark, leareyed and lotterish, weeping worrybound on his bankrump.’ (deaf, dumb, broken, blear-eyed, liverish, moribund, bankrupt).

How does one succeed by failure? He had to be paid on foot of insurance policies! But ‘never again, by Phoenix, swore on him Lloyd's.’ They knew him at last for the chameleon he was in his false colours. So that was his last attempt to cod them. Never again! His bolt was shot. So how does he like that, with all his premiums and his policies?

The final, fourth view, John's, begins at 459.25 (590.13).[378] In this case, the discussion is given before the image is presented. All fully agree that he was chockfull to the backside with a volpine cunning, to be sure he was, but for all that he was the foremost of the firm. He was preferable, surely, to either of his two sons: ‘Jeebies [Shem], ugh, kek, ptah, that was an ill man’ and ‘Jawboose [Shaun], puddigood, this is for true one sweetish mand’. In the heel of the hunt, HCE is your all-round man!

We see the parents in a fourth position, post-coital, the ‘finest view from horizon. Tableau final.’ Two me see: CEH.[379]

Male and female are unmasked. Neither conceals the other. Hum lies by Ann, spent, worked out to within an inch of his core. His stomach rumbles. Though this view is stated to be John's, ‘How johnny’, we hear for the last time from each of the quartet in turn:

Who now broothes oldbawn. Dawn!

The nape of his nameshielder's scalp. Halp!

After having drummed all he dun. Hun!

Worked out to an inch of his core. More!

The performance is over. The lights go on. We see the audience, row on row of them, moved, applauding:

Tiers, tiers and tiers. Rounds.