ZOE: Ladies first, gentlemen after.
(She crosses the threshold. He hesitates. She turns and,
holding out her hands, draws him over. He hops. On the
antlered rack of the hall hang a man ‘s hat and waterproof.
Bloom uncovers himself but, seeing them, frowns, then smiles,
preoccupied. A door on the return landing is flung open. A man
in purple shirt and grey trousers, brownsocked, passes with an
ape’s gait, his bald head and goatee beard upheld, hugging a full
waterjugjar, his twotailed black braces dangling at heels. Averting
his face quickly Bloom bends to examine on the halltable the
spaniel eyes of a running fox: then, his lifted head sniffing,
follows Zoe into the musicroom. A shade of mauve tissuepaper
dims the light of the chandelier. Round and round a moth flies,
colliding, escaping. The floor is covered with an oilcloth mosaic of
jade and azure and cinnabar rhomboids. Footmarks are stamped
over it in all senses, heel to heel, heel to hollow, toe to toe, feet
locked, a morris of shuffling feet without body phantoms, all in a
scrimmage higgledypiggledy. The walls are tapestried with a paper
of yewfronds and clear glades. In the grate is spread a screen of
peacock feathers. Lynch squats crosslegged on the hearthrug of
matted hair, his cap back to the front. With a wand he beats time
slowly. Kitty Ricketts, a bony pallid whore in navy costume,
doeskin gloves rolled back from a coral wristlet, a chain purse in
her hand, sits perched on the edge of the table swinging her leg
and glancing at herself in the gilt mirror over the mantelpiece. A
tag of her corsetlace hangs slightly below her jacket. Lynch
indicates mockingly the couple at the piano.)
KITTY: (Coughs behind her hand) She’s a bit imbecillic.
(She signs with a waggling forefinger) Blemblem. (Lynch lifts up
her skirt and white petticoat with his wand she settles them down
quickly.) Respect yourself. (She hiccups, then bends quickly her
sailor hat under which her hair glows, red with henna) O,
ZOE: More limelight, Charley. (She goes to the chandelier
and turns the gas full cock)
KITTY: (Peers at the gasjet) What ails it tonight?
LYNCH: (Deeply) Enter a ghost and hobgoblins.
ZOE: Clap on the back for Zoe.
(The wand in Lynch’s hand flashes: a brass poker. Stephen
stands at the pianola on which sprawl his hat and ashplant. With
two fingers he repeats once more the series of empty fifths. Florry
Talbot, a blond feeble goosefat whore in a tatterdemalion gown of
mildewed strawberry, lolls spreadeagle in the sofacorner, her limp
forearm pendent over the bolster, listening. A heavy stye droops
over her sleepy eyelid.)
KITTY: (Hiccups again with a kick of her horsed foot) O,
ZOE: (Promptly) Your boy’s thinking of you. Tie a
knot on your shift.
(Kitty Ricketts bends her head. Her boa uncoils, slides, glides
over her shoulder, back, arm, chair to the ground. Lynch lifts the
curled caterpillar on his wand. She snakes her neck, nestling.
Stephen glances behind at the squatted figure with its cap back to
STEPHEN: As a matter of fact it is of no importance
whether Benedetto Marcello found it or made it. The rite
is the poet’s rest. It may be an old hymn to Demeter or
also illustrate Coela enarrant gloriam Domini. It is susceptible
of nodes or modes as far apart as hyperphrygian and
mixolydian and of texts so divergent as priests haihooping
round David’s that is Circe’s or what am I saying Ceres’
altar and David’s tip from the stable to his chief bassoonist
about the alrightness of his almightiness. Mais nom de nom,
that is another pair of trousers. Jetez la gourme. Faut que
jeunesse se passe. (He stops, points at Lynch’s cap, smiles,
laughs) Which side is your knowledge bump?
THE CAP: (With saturnine spleen) Bah! It is because it
is. Woman’s reason. Jewgreek is greekjew. Extremes meet.
Death is the highest form of life. Bah!
STEPHEN: You remember fairly accurately all my
errors, boasts, mistakes. How long shall I continue to close
my eyes to disloyalty? Whetstone!
THE CAP: Bah!
STEPHEN: Here’s another for you. (He frowns) The
reason is because the fundamental and the dominant are
separated by the greatest possible interval which ...
THE CAP: Which? Finish. You can’t.
STEPHEN: (With an effort) Interval which. Is the
greatest possible ellipse. Consistent with. The ultimate
return. The octave. Which.
THE CAP: Which?
(Outside the gramophone begins to blare The Holy City.)
STEPHEN: (Abruptly) What went forth to the ends of
the world to traverse not itself, God, the sun, Shakespeare,
a commercial traveller, having itself traversed in reality
itself becomes that self. Wait a moment. Wait a second.
Damn that fellow’s noise in the street. Self which it itself
was ineluctably preconditioned to become. Ecco!
LYNCH: (With a mocking whinny of laughter grins at
Bloom and Zoe Higgins) What a learned speech, eh?
ZOE: (Briskly) God help your head, he knows more
than you have forgotten.
(With obese stupidity Florry Talbot regards Stephen.)
FLORRY: They say the last day is coming this
ZOE: (Explodes in laughter) Great unjust God!
FLORRY: (Offended) Well, it was in the papers about
Antichrist. O, my foot’s tickling.
(Ragged barefoot newsboys, jogging a wagtail kite, patter past,
THE NEWSBOYS: Stop press edition. Result of the
rockinghorse races. Sea serpent in the royal canal. Safe
arrival of Antichrist.
(Stephen turns and sees Bloom.)
STEPHEN: A time, times and half a time.
(Reuben I Antichrist, wandering jew, a clutching hand open
on his spine, stumps forward. Across his loins is slung a pilgrim’s
wallet from which protrude promissory notes and dishonoured
bills. Aloft over his shoulder he bears a long boatpole from the
hook of which the sodden huddled mass of his only son, saved
from Liffey waters, hangs from the slack of its breeches. A
hobgoblin in the image of Punch Costello, hipshot, crookbacked,
hydrocephalic, prognathic with receding forehead and Ally Sloper
nose, tumbles in somersaults through the gathering darkness.)
THE HOBGOBLIN: (His jaws chattering, capers to and
fro, goggling his eyes, squeaking, kangaroohopping with
outstretched clutching arms, then all at once thrusts his lipless face
through the fork of his thighs) Il vient! C’est moi! L’homme qui
rit! L’homme primigene! (He whirls round and round with
dervish howls) Sieurs et dames, faites vos jeux! (He crouches
juggling. Tiny roulette planets fly from his hands.) Les jeux sont
faits! (The planets rush together, uttering crepitant cracks) Rien va
plus! (The planets, buoyant balloons, sail swollen up and away.
He springs off into vacuum.)
FLORRY: (Sinking into torpor, crossing herself secretly)
The end of the world!
(A female tepid effluvium leaks out from her. Nebulous
obscurity occupies space. Through the drifting fog without the
gramophone blares over coughs and feetshuffling.)
THE GRAMOPHONE: Jerusalem!
Open your gates and sing
(A rocket rushes up the sky and bursts. A white star fills from
it, proclaiming the consummation of all things and second coming
of Elijah. Along an infinite invisible tightrope taut from zenith to
nadir the End of the World, a twoheaded octopus in gillie’s kilts,
busby and tartan filibegs, whirls through the murk, head over
heels, in the form of the Three Legs of Man.)
THE END OF THE WORLD: (with a Scotch accent)
Wha’ll dance the keel row, the keel row, the keel row?
(Over the possing drift and choking breathcoughs, Elijah’s
voice, harsh as a corncrake’s, jars on high. Perspiring in a loose
lawn surplice with funnel sleeves he is seen, vergerfaced, above a
rostrum about which the banner of old glory is draped. He thumps
ELIJAH: No yapping, if you please, in this booth. Jake
Crane, Creole Sue, Dove Campbell, Abe Kirschner, do
your coughing with your mouths shut. Say, I am
operating all this trunk line. Boys, do it now. God’s time is
12.25. Tell mother you’ll be there. Rush your order and
you play a slick ace. Join on right here. Book through to
eternity junction, the nonstop run. Just one word more.
Are you a god or a doggone clod? If the second advent
came to Coney Island are we ready? Florry Christ,
Stephen Christ, Zoe Christ, Bloom Christ, Kitty Christ,
Lynch Christ, it’s up to you to sense that cosmic force.
Have we cold feet about the cosmos? No. Be on the side
of the angels. Be a prism. You have that something
within, the higher self. You can rub shoulders with a Jesus,
a Gautama, an Ingersoll. Are you all in this vibration? I say
you are. You once nobble that, congregation, and a buck
joyride to heaven becomes a back number. You got me?
It’s a lifebrightener, sure. The hottest stuff ever was. It’s
the whole pie with jam in. It’s just the cutest snappiest line
out. It is immense, supersumptuous. It restores. It vibrates.
I know and I am some vibrator. Joking apart and, getting
down to bedrock, A. J. Christ Dowie and the harmonial
philosophy, have you got that? O. K. Seventyseven west
sixtyninth street. Got me? That’s it. You call me up by
sunphone any old time. Bumboosers, save your stamps.
(He shouts) Now then our glory song. All join heartily in
the singing. Encore! (He sings) Jeru ...
THE GRAMOPHONE: (Drowning his voice)
Whorusalaminyourhighhohhhh ... (The disc rasps gratingly
against the needle)
THE THREE WHORES: (Covering their ears, squawk)
ELIJAH: (In rolledup shirtsleeves, black in the face, shouts at
the top of his voice, his arms uplifted) Big Brother up there,
Mr President, you hear what I done just been saying to
you. Certainly, I sort of believe strong in you, Mr
President. I certainly am thinking now Miss Higgins and
Miss Ricketts got religion way inside them. Certainly
seems to me I don’t never see no wusser scared female
than the way you been, Miss Florry, just now as I done
seed you. Mr President, you come long and help me save
our sisters dear. (He winks at his audience) Our Mr
President, he twig the whole lot and he aint saying
KITTY-KATE: I forgot myself. In a weak moment I
erred and did what I did on Constitution hill. I was
confirmed by the bishop and enrolled in the brown
scapular. My mother’s sister married a Montmorency. It
was a working plumber was my ruination when I was
ZOE-FANNY: I let him larrup it into me for the fun
FLORRY-TERESA: It was in consequence of a
portwine beverage on top of Hennessy’s three star. I was
guilty with Whelan when he slipped into the bed.
STEPHEN: In the beginning was the word, in the end
the world without end. Blessed be the eight beatitudes.
(The beatitudes, Dixon, Madden, Crotthers, Costello,
Lenehan, Bannon, Mulligan and Lynch in white surgical
students’ gowns, four abreast, goosestepping, tramp fist past in
THE BEATITUDES: (Incoherently) Beer beef battledog
buybull businum barnum buggerum bishop.
LYSTER: (In quakergrey kneebreeches and broadbrimmed
hat, says discreetly) He is our friend. I need not mention
names. Seek thou the light.
(He corantos by. Best enters in hairdresser’s attire, shinily
laundered, his locks in curlpapers. He leads John Eglinton who
wears a mandarin’s kimono of Nankeen yellow, lizardlettered,
and a high pagoda hat.)
BEST: (Smiling, lifts the hat and displays a shaven poll from
the crown of which bristles a pigtail toupee tied with an orange
topknot) I was just beautifying him, don’t you know. A
thing of beauty, don’t you know, Yeats says, or I mean,
JOHN EGLINTON: (Produces a greencapped dark lantern
and flashes it towards a corner: with carping accent) Esthetics
and cosmetics are for the boudoir. I am out for truth. Plain
truth for a plain man. Tanderagee wants the facts and
means to get them.
(In the cone of the searchlight behind the coalscuttle, ollave,
holyeyed, the bearded figure of Mananaun Maclir broods, chin on
knees. He rises slowly. A cold seawind blows from his druid
mouth. About his head writhe eels and elvers. He is encrusted
with weeds and shells. His right hand holds a bicycle pump. His
left hand grasps a huge crayfish by its two talons.)
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