were upon her mesial groove. Venus Kallipyge. O, the
thunder of those loins! The god pursuing the maiden hid.
—We want to hear more, John Eglinton decided with
Mr Best’s approval. We begin to be interested in Mrs S.
Till now we had thought of her, if at all, as a patient
Griselda, a Penelope stayathome.
—Antisthenes, pupil of Gorgias, Stephen said, took the
palm of beauty from Kyrios Menelaus’ brooddam, Argive
Helen, the wooden mare of Troy in whom a score of
heroes slept, and handed it to poor Penelope. Twenty
years he lived in London and, during part of that time, he
drew a salary equal to that of the lord chancellor of
Ireland. His life was rich. His art, more than the art of
feudalism as Walt Whitman called it, is the art of surfeit.
Hot herringpies, green mugs of sack, honeysauces, sugar of
roses, marchpane, gooseberried pigeons, ringocandies. Sir
Walter Raleigh, when they arrested him, had half a
million francs on his back including a pair of fancy stays.
The gombeenwoman Eliza Tudor had underlinen enough
to vie with her of Sheba. Twenty years he dallied there
between conjugial love and its chaste delights and
scortatory love and its foul pleasures. You know
Manningham’s story of the burgher’s wife who bade Dick
Burbage to her bed after she had seen him in Richard III
and how Shakespeare, overhearing, without more ado
about nothing, took the cow by the horns and, when
Burbage came knocking at the gate, answered from the
capon’s blankets: William the conqueror came before Richard
III. And the gay lakin, mistress Fitton, mount and cry O,
and his dainty birdsnies, lady Penelope Rich, a clean
quality woman is suited for a player, and the punks of the
bankside, a penny a time.
Cours la Reine. Encore vingt sous. Nous ferons de petites
cochonneries. Minette? Tu veux?
—The height of fine society. And sir William Davenant
of oxford’s mother with her cup of canary for any
Buck Mulligan, his pious eyes upturned, prayed:
—Blessed Margaret Mary Anycock!
—And Harry of six wives’ daughter. And other lady
friends from neighbour seats as Lawn Tennyson,
gentleman poet, sings. But all those twenty years what do
you suppose poor Penelope in Stratford was doing behind
the diamond panes?
Do and do. Thing done. In a rosery of Fetter lane of
Gerard, herbalist, he walks, greyedauburn. An azured
harebell like her veins. Lids of Juno’s eyes, violets. He
walks. One life is all. One body. Do. But do. Afar, in a
reek of lust and squalor, hands are laid on whiteness.
Buck Mulligan rapped John Eglinton’s desk sharply.
—Whom do you suspect? he challenged.
—Say that he is the spurned lover in the sonnets. Once
spurned twice spurned. But the court wanton spurned him
for a lord, his dearmylove.
Love that dare not speak its name.
—As an Englishman, you mean, John sturdy Eglinton
put in, he loved a lord.
Old wall where sudden lizards flash. At Charenton I
—It seems so, Stephen said, when he wants to do for
him, and for all other and singular uneared wombs, the
holy office an ostler does for the stallion. Maybe, like
Socrates, he had a midwife to mother as he had a shrew to
wife. But she, the giglot wanton, did not break a bedvow.
Two deeds are rank in that ghost’s mind: a broken vow
and the dullbrained yokel on whom her favour has
declined, deceased husband’s brother. Sweet Ann, I take
it, was hot in the blood. Once a wooer, twice a wooer.
Stephen turned boldly in his chair.
—The burden of proof is with you not with me, he
said frowning. If you deny that in the fifth scene of Hamlet
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he has branded her with infamy tell me why there is no
mention of her during the thirtyfour years between the
day she married him and the day she buried him. All those
women saw their men down and under: Mary, her
goodman John, Ann, her poor dear Willun, when he went
and died on her, raging that he was the first to go, Joan,
her four brothers, Judith, her husband and all her sons,
Susan, her husband too, while Susan’s daughter, Elizabeth,
to use granddaddy’s words, wed her second, having killed
O, yes, mention there is. In the years when he was
living richly in royal London to pay a debt she had to
borrow forty shillings from her father’s shepherd. Explain
you then. Explain the swansong too wherein he has
commended her to posterity.
He faced their silence.
To whom thus Eglinton:
You mean the will.
But that has been explained, I believe, by
She was entitled to her widow’s dower
At common law. His legal knowledge was
Our judges tell us.
Him Satan fleers,
And therefore he left out her name
From the first draft but he did not leave out
The presents for his granddaughter, for his
For his sister, for his old cronies in Stratford
And in London. And therefore when he
As I believe, to name her
He left her his
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—Pretty countryfolk had few chattels then, John
Eglinton observed, as they have still if our peasant plays are
true to type.
—He was a rich country gentleman, Stephen said, with
a coat of arms and landed estate at Stratford and a house in
Ireland yard, a capitalist shareholder, a bill promoter, a
tithefarmer. Why did he not leave her his best bed if he
wished her to snore away the rest of her nights in peace?
—It is clear that there were two beds, a best and a
secondbest, Mr Secondbest Best said finely.
—Separatio a mensa et a thalamo, bettered Buck Mulligan
and was smiled on.
—Antiquity mentions famous beds, Second Eglinton
puckered, bedsmiling. Let me think.
—Antiquity mentions that Stagyrite schoolurchin and
bald heathen sage, Stephen said, who when dying in exile
frees and endows his slaves, pays tribute to his elders, wills
to be laid in earth near the bones of his dead wife and bids
his friends be kind to an old mistress (don’t forget Nell
Gwynn Herpyllis) and let her live in his villa.
—Do you mean he died so? Mr Best asked with slight
concern. I mean ...
—He died dead drunk, Buck Mulligan capped. A quart
of ale is a dish for a king. O, I must tell you what Dowden
—What? asked Besteglinton.
William Shakespeare and company, limited. The
people’s William. For terms apply: E. Dowden, Highfield
—Lovely! Buck Mulligan suspired amorously. I asked
him what he thought of the charge of pederasty brought
against the bard. He lifted his hands and said: All we can say
is that life ran very high in those days. Lovely!
—The sense of beauty leads us astray, said
beautifulinsadness Best to ugling Eglinton.
Steadfast John replied severe:
—The doctor can tell us what those words mean. You
cannot eat your cake and have it.
Sayest thou so? Will they wrest from us, from me, the
palm of beauty?
—And the sense of property, Stephen said. He drew
Shylock out of his own long pocket. The son of a
maltjobber and moneylender he was himself a cornjobber
and moneylender, with ten tods of corn hoarded in the
famine riots. His borrowers are no doubt those divers of
worship mentioned by Chettle Falstaff who reported his
uprightness of dealing. He sued a fellowplayer for the price
of a few bags of malt and exacted his pound of flesh in
interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey’s
ostler and callboy get rich quick? All events brought grist
to his mill. Shylock chimes with the jewbaiting that
followed the hanging and quartering of the queen’s leech
Lopez, his jew’s heart being plucked forth while the
sheeny was yet alive: Hamlet and Macbeth with the coming
to the throne of a Scotch philosophaster with a turn for
witchroasting. The lost armada is his jeer in Love’s Labour
Lost. His pageants, the histories, sail fullbellied on a tide of
Mafeking enthusiasm. Warwickshire jesuits are tried and
we have a porter’s theory of equivocation. The Sea
Venture comes home from Bermudas and the play Renan
admired is written with Patsy Caliban, our American
cousin. The sugared sonnets follow Sidney’s. As for fay
Elizabeth, otherwise carrotty Bess, the gross virgin who
inspired The Merry Wives of Windsor, let some meinherr
from Almany grope his life long for deephid meanings in
the depths of the buckbasket.
I think you’re getting on very nicely. Just mix up a
mixture of theolologicophilolological. Mingo, minxi,
—Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton
dared,’expectantly. Your dean of studies holds he was a
—He was made in Germany, Stephen replied, as the
champion French polisher of Italian scandals.
—A myriadminded man, Mr Best reminded. Coleridge
called him myriadminded.
Amplius. In societate humana hoc est maxime necessarium ut
sit amicitia inter multos.
—Saint Thomas, Stephen began ...
—Ora pro nobis, Monk Mulligan groaned, sinking to a
There he keened a wailing rune.
—Pogue mahone! Acushla machree! It’s destroyed we are
from this day! It’s destroyed we are surely!
All smiled their smiles.
—Saint Thomas, Stephen smiling said, whose
gorbellied works I enjoy reading in the original, writing of
incest from a standpoint different from that of the new
Viennese school Mr Magee spoke of, likens it in his wise
and curious way to an avarice of the emotions. He means
that the love so given to one near in blood is covetously
withheld from some stranger who, it may be, hungers for
it. Jews, whom christians tax with avarice, are of all races
the most given to intermarriage. Accusations are made in
anger. The christian laws which built up the hoards of the
jews (for whom, as for the lollards, storm was shelter)
bound their affections too with hoops of steel. Whether
these be sins or virtues old Nobodaddy will tell us at
doomsday leet. But a man who holds so tightly to what he
calls his rights over what he calls his debts will hold tightly
also to what he calls his rights over her whom he calls his
wife. No sir smile neighbour shall covet his ox or his wife
or his manservant or his maidservant or his jackass.
—Or his jennyass, Buck Mulligan antiphoned.
—Gentle Will is being roughly handled, gentle Mr Best
—Which will? gagged sweetly Buck Mulligan. We are
—The will to live, John Eglinton philosophised, for
poor Ann, Will’s widow, is the will to die.
—Requiescat! Stephen prayed.
What of all the will to do?
It has vanished long ago ...
—She lies laid out in stark stiffness in that secondbest
bed, the mobled queen, even though you prove that a bed
in those days was as rare as a motorcar is now and that its
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