2nd draft, January 1924, I.7§1 draft level 1

MS British Library 47471b 53v-65 Draft details

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Shem is as short for Shemus as Jim is joky for Jacob. A few |1toughnecks1| are still found |1scattered1| who say that originally |1very originally1| he was of respectable connections (— was among his cousins) but every honest to goodness man in the land |1of today1| knows that his back life will not stand being written about. Putting truth and lies together some shot may be made at how this hybrid actually looked. His bodily |1makeup getup1|, it seems, included |1wh1| |11 halfopen an 1⁄8 of an1| eye, 1 arm, 42 hairs |1on to1| his crown, 18 |1on from1| his upper lip, 5 |1on from1| his chin, |1the wrong shoulder higher than the right1| all ears, no feet, |15 a handful of1| thumbs, 2 fifths of a 2 buttocks, a |1testicle stone1| & a half, — so |1much so1| that |1in the very dawn of history1| even Shem himself |1seeing himself1|, when playing with words in |1his garden nursery |athe garden nursery the nursery gardena|1|, asked |1his brothers of his brethren1| & sisters the first riddle of the universe: When is a man not a man?: offering a prize of a crabapple to the winner. One said when the heavens are rocking, |1another a second1| said when other lips, a third said when the fair land of Poland, the next one said when those angel faces smile, still another said when the wine is in, one of the youngest said when father papered the parlour, still one said when you are old & grey & full of |1tears sleep1|, and still another when we were boys, & another when you come down the vale, another et enim imposuit manus episcopas fecit illum altissimo
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sacerdotem & one when pigs begin to |1 fly1|. All were wrong, he said. So Shem took the cake |1himself1|, the ca correct solution being: when he is a sham.

Shem was a sham and a low sham & his lowness |1was plain from the first in came out first in1| foodstuffs. So low was he that he preferred Lazenby's teatime salmon tinned, as inexpensive as pleasing, to the plumpest roeheavy lax or friskiest troutlet that ever was gaffed between Leixlip & Island Bridge & many was the time he said no fresh pineapple ever tasted like the chunks in Heinz's cans. None of your inchthick blueblooded beefsteaks|1, or1| juicejelly legs of molten mutton or greasily gristly frogs' feet or slice upon slab of luscious goose bosom with lump after load of plumpudding stuffing in a swamp of bogbrown gravy for him. |1He preferred the |amess of Europe's lentils hash of lentils in Europea| to Ireland's tight little pea.1| Once when in a state of helplessly hopeless intoxication he tried to lift the peel of a citron to either nostril and hiccupped, apparently impromptu, that he could live all his days by the smell, as the citr, as the cedron, as the cedar, of the founts, on the mountains, with lemon on, of Lebanon. O, the lowness of him was beyond all that was ever sunk to. No firewater of firstshot usquebagh
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or gutburning gin or honest ruddy beer either. No. O no. Instead he sobbed himself sick on some sort of a wheywhinging rhubarbarous yellagreen applejack squeezed out of his sour grapes and, to lis hear him in his sentimentalising cups |1when he had absorbed enough & too much of a feast of it,1| retching off to his almost as low withswillers, who |1always knew when they had enough &1| were rightly indignant at the wretch's hospitality when they found they could not carry another drop,º it came straight from the noble white fat, the openwide sat, her white hide that, from the winevat of the serene exquisite archduchess fancy |1you're in her you ringing at1|, |1fanny1| you're in her |1yet1|, Fanny Urinia. Talk of lowness! |1Any dog's quantity of1| It visibly oozed out thickly from this dirty black beetle for the very first instant the Kenny |1Turnbull1| girl with her kodak |1saw1| the as yet unremunerated national apostate who was cowardly gun & camera shu shy taking what he |1fondly1| thought was a short cut |1|aafter having buried a friend not long beforea| by the wrong goods entrance1| into Patatapapaveri's fruiterer's & musical |1florist's florists'1|, she knew he was a bad fast man by his walk on the spot.

About that time it was generally hoped or suspected he would develop hereditary pulmonary T.B. |1and one pelting |anighta| blanketed folk hearing a coarse song and splash off Eden Quay thought all was safely over1| but|1, though he fell heavily & locally into debt,1| of course
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not even then |1was he could he be1| true to type |1but cheated even death1|. You see he was low. All the time he kept on treasuring with condign satisfaction to himself all unkind words and if ever, during a conversazione in the nation's interest, delicate hints were |1put thrown out1| to him about it, |1by some wellwisher in vain pleading with him to be a man1| such as: What is the meaning of that foreign word |1if you ever came across it1| we think it is |1something like1| canaille?: or: Did you anywhere, captain, in your tales of travel happen to |1meet stumble |aover upona|1| a gentleman |1by answering to the1| the name of |1something like1| Low Bugger who lives on loans and is 35 years of age?: without one sign of haste like the supreme prig he was he would pull on a vacant landlubber's face & then|1, |awith what closely approached a lie with what closely resembled a lispa| lisping to kill time,1| begin to tell all the |1persons in intelligentsia at1| the conversazione |1consciously1| the whole lifelong story of his entire low existence |1giving unsolicited testimony on behalf of others as glib as eaves' water1|, explaining the various senses of all the foreign words he misused and telling every lie |1imaginable unthinkable1| about all the other people in the story except the simple word & person they had cornered him about until they were completely undeceived about him.

It went without
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saying that he disliked |1anything anyway approaching1| a plain comm straightforward standup or knockdown row & once when he was called in to umpire an octagonal argument among |1slangwhangers1| the |1low accomplished1| washout always agreed rubbed shoulders with the last speaker and agreed to every word as soon as |1half1| uttered with all his heart and then at once |1turned focussed1| his whole |1unbalanced1| attention |1to on1| the next octagonist who managed to catch a listener's eye, |1asking &1| imploring him out of his piteous one |1blinker winker1| |1whether there was anything in the wide world he cd do |afor to pleasea| him &1| to overflow his tumbler for him |1yet once more1|. One |1holiday kailkannon1| night as recently as 20 yrs ago he was |1therefore |atreated with what closely approached personal violence, beinga|1| kicked alternately through the deserted village from 82 Dublin square as far as the lefthand corner of Europa Parade by rival teams of argumentalists who finally |1as they had been detained out rather late1| thought they had better be |1going streaking for1| home disgustedly one and all, reconciled to a friendship, fast & furious, which |1only merely1| arose out of his perfect lowness. Again there was a hope that people |1treating him with comparative contempt1| might, after first giving him a roll in the dust, pity & forgive him but he was born low and sank lower till he sank out of sight.

|1No force could tug him out Darkies never done tug that fellow out1| to play flesh & blood
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children of nature's rational games like |1pickanninny1| hat in the ring, Shiela Harnett & her cow, |1put the wind up the other fellow, Healy Baba & the 40 Thieves,1| here's the fat to grease the priest's boots, and it is now notoriously known how on |1that surprisingly1| bloody Unity Sunday when the grand germogall all star bout was gaily the rage between our fighting men extraordinary & eyes of Irish blue were smiling up their sleeves |1rank funk getting the better of him,1| the scut fled for his bare life|1, without |astriking having strucka| one blow,1| & corked himself up tight in his inkbottle house badly the worse for drink |1& where he1| hid under a bedtick with his face enveloped in |1an a dead warrior's1| overcoat |1moaning feebly that his punishment was more than a nigger man could bear, and1| hemiparalysed by all the shemozzle, his |1face cheeks1| & trousers changing colour every time a gat croaked. How is that |1for1| low, ladies and |1gentlemen laymen1|? Why, whole continents rang with his lowness!

But would anyone |1believe it out of a madhouse short of a madhouse believe it1|? Nero or Nabuchodonosor himself never nursed such a spoiled opinion of his |1monster1| marvellosity as did this mental defective who |1bragged was known to brag1| on one occasion to an interlocutor |1he used to pal around with1| in a gipsy's bar that he was aware of no other person either exactly unlike or precisely the same as what he fancied or
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guessed he |1was himself himself was1|. After the thorough fright he got that bloody Sunday, though every doorpost in muchtried Lucalizod was smeared with generous gore & every cobbleway |1free for all1| slippery with the blood of heroes, the low waster never had the common |1baa lamb's1| pluck to stir out & about while everyone else of the city throng, slashers & sliced alike, waded around on their |1daily bonafide1| avocations |1or stonestepped across the human bridge some others stonestepping on their usual quest for after higher things, l across the human bridge, set up over the slop by Messrs the charitable government,1| for the only once he took a tompeep |1through a 3draw telescope1| through his westernmost keyhole |1with an eachway hope in his |ashiveringa| soul1| to find out whether conciliation was forging ahead or falling back & why he found himself at point blank range blinking into the barrel of an irregular revolver of the true bulldog pattern handled by an unknown quarreler who supposedly had been told off to shade |1& shoot shy1| Shem should the shit show his |1shiny1| nose out awhile |1to look facts in the face1| before he got |1hosed &1| creased |1by 1 or 2 of the playboys1|.

What was this extremely low human type really engaged on? The answer is: a drug |1& drunkery1| addict megalomane at a loose end. This explains the litany of letters, honorific, highplaced, erudite, neoclassical which he loved to place after his name. It would have diverted much if ever seen
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the |1shuddersome1| spectacle of this zany in the grime of his den making believe to read his |1tattered eminently unreadable1| chapbook turning over 3 |1pages at a time sheets in the wind1| for what with the murky light, the botchy print, |1the tattered jacket1| the jigjagged page, |1the fumbling fingers, the itch in his palm, the tickle of his tail, |athe |bitch digb| in his ribs, the gush in his fundament,a|1| the scum in his eye, the drink in his pottle, the rats in his garret, the hullabaloo |1and the dust1| in his ears he was hardly fit to memorise t more than a word a minute. Was there ever heard of such lowdown blackguardism? Yet |1he the bumpersprinkler1| used to boast aloud to himself how he had been put out of all the best families of the Klondykers who had settled in the capital city after its metropoliarchialisation |1ordered off the premises1| in nine cases out of ten on account of his smell which all the cookmaids objected to as resembling |1sinkwater the smell that came out of the sink1|. Instead of tutoring those best families plain wholesome handwriting (a thing he never possessed of his own) what do you think he did but study with stolen fruit how best to copy all their various styles of signature so as one day to utter a colossal forged cheque in public for his own private profit until, as just related, the Dublin United Scullerymaids' & Housekeeps' Sorority |1, treating him1| kicked the source of annoyance
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out of the place altogether in the heat of the moment, making some pointed |1remark remarks1| as they did so about the |1low1| way he stunk.

|1One cannot even begin to imagine how really low such a creature really was.1| Who knows how many unsigned first copies of original masterpieces, how many pseudostylous shamiana, how few of the most venerated public impostures, how very many palimpsests slipped from that plagiarist pen?

|1Be that as it may1| But for his nose's glow as it slid so close to the parchment he would never have penned a word to paper. By that rosy lamp's effluvious burning he scribbled & scratched nameless shamelessness about everybody ever he met, even sheltering for 5 minutes from a |1spring1| shower under the dogs' umbrella of a public wall, |1while1| all over |1& up & down1| the |1two1| margins of his foul text |1he the evilsmeller1| used to draw |1endless endlessly inartistic1| portraits of himself as a strikingly handsome young man with love lyrics in his eyes |1a tiptop tenor voice, |aan a ducala| income of £20,000 a year |aderiveda| from landed property, Oxford manners, morals and blank, a brandnew 3 guinea evening suit for a party,1| & a lovely pair of inky |1Italian Italian's1| moustaches. How unwhisperably low!

The house of |1Shem Shame1|, |1infested with the raps &1| known as the haunted inkbottle, in which he groped through life at the expense of the taxpayers, injected into day & night by 40
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quacks, grown day by day |1increasing exceeding1| in violent abuse of self & others, was the worst, it is |1practically1| believed, |1even1| in our |1playboyish1| western world for pure filth. The |1warped1| |1floor flooring of his lair1| was persianly |1carpeted literatured1| with burst |1love1| letters, |1citizens'1| throwaways, |1telltale stories, |astickyback snapshotsa|1| |1bull1| cockroaches, |1dated |apostdated{sup>{small>a|1| eggshells, you owe mes, |1fluefallen fluefoul1| smut, fallen lucifers, vestas |1which had served blank1|, |1|xborrowed brogues, cutthroat ties, reversible jackets, |ablackeyed blackeyea| glasses,x| |xneverworn breeches, Godforsaken scapulars, falsehair shirts,x|1| twisted goose quills, ejaculated seedy ejaculations, crocodiles' tears, spilt ink, blasphematory spits, stale chestnuts, |1girls' ladies' schoolgirls' |ayoung wedablea| ladies' peasant1| maidens' |1|acity marrieda|1| wives' |1merry1| widows' |131| nuns' |1womens' workwomens'1| |1fat1| abbess's |1prudent1| virgins' |1wedable impudent1| whores' |1silent1| sisters' |1Charleys1| aunts' grandmothers' mothers-in-laws' fostermothers' godmothers' garters, snotworms, worms of snot, |1counterfeit francs, good best intentions, new quotatoes, limerick damns, |astale oncea| current puns, |aunquestionable issue papers, messes of mottage,a|1| princess promises, lees of wine, broken wafers, |1showered ornaments1| unloosed shoe latchets, deoxidised carbons, crushed straight waistcoats, globules of mercury, undeleted glete, toothsome pickings, dam fireproof fireworks, ohs ouis sees gras jas neys thaws ahs yeses and yeses and yeses, tress clippings. |1To which |aif one has the stomacha| add |athea| breakages, upheavals, inversions, distortions, of |aalla| this chambermade music & one |aactually sees stands a fair chance of actually seeinga| the whirling dervish, exiled in upon his ego, |anoonday terrorised by an ineluctable shadowa| writing the history of himself in furniture1| Of course |1the low creature our low hero1| was |1& had to be1| a selfvaleter so he got up |1what whatever1| is meant by a kitchenette & fowlhouse for the sake of eggs in what was meant
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for a closet. Naturally he never needed such an |1alcove alcohove1| for his purpose and when George D Robber, the |1paper stat paper1| king, boycotted him of |1all1| stationary |1& muttonsuet candles1| for any purpose he went away & made |1it synthetic ink for & unruled |afoolscap parchmenta| for1| himself |1with out of1| his wits'ends. |1How? Let |athe manner & the matter ofa| it |afor these |bourb| sporting timesa| be |aveiled cloaked upa| in the language of |ablushing blushfeda| cardinals |alest that thea| Anglican ordinals ordinal, |anota| reading his own |awords rude speecha|, |amay alwaysa| behold the scarlet |abranda| on the brown of the her of Babylon yet feel not the pink one in his |aown damneda| cheek.1| Primum |1ad terram viviparam |aet sine et cunctipotentema| nec ullo pudori nec venea natibus nudis uti nudi |afuerant fuissanta| sese adpropinquans1| flens et gemens in manum suam evacuavit (sh-t) in his hand, sorry) postea stercus proprium, quod appellaviat dejectiones meas, in |1poculum vasum olim honorabilem1| tristitiae posuit, eodem |1lentiter lente1| ac melliflue minxit psalmum qui incipit: Lingua mea calamus scribae velociter scribentis: magna voce cantitans (did a p-ss, says he was dejected, asks to be exonerated) denique ex stercore turpi cum divi Orionis jucunditate mixto, cocto, frigorique exposito encaustum sibi fecit indelibilem (made O'Ryans, the devil's own ink).

With this |1double1| dye he wrote minutely, appropriately over every part of the only foolscap available, his own body, till |1one1| integument slowly unfolded universal history |1|xthe |a|bvaried progressiveb|a| reflection from his |aindividuala| person of |alived life life unlivablea| transaccidentated in the slow fire of consciousness into a dividual chaos, perilous, potent, common to all flesh, mortal only,x|1| & that self which he hid from the world grew darker & darker in |1its1| outlook. So perhaps when he las at his last |1public1| disappearance the blond cop, who thought it was ink, was out. Petty constable
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Sigurdsen, it was, who had been detailed to save him from the effects of lynch law & mob mauling that greeted |1him the tenderfoot1| just as he was butting in with a hideful through his door, saying as usual: Where ladies have they that a dogmean |1sort1| herring? Search me, the |1other incapable1| said |1& in he |ashot skittleda|1|. The peace officer was literally astounded at the capacity of his wineskin & even more so when informed by that human outcome of dirt plus drink that he was merely bringing home 2 gallons of porter to his mother. What mother? Whose porter? Why merely? |1But we But enough of such black lowness too base for words! We1| cannot stay here |1for1| the rest of the day discussing Mr Ham of Tenman's thirst.