Urbane, to comfort them, the quaker librarian purred:
And we have, have we not, those priceless pages of Wilhelm Meister.
great poet on a great brother poet. A hesitating soul taking arms against
sea of troubles, torn by conflicting doubts, as one sees in real life.
He came a step a sinkapace forward on neatsleather creaking and a
step backward a sinkapace on the solemn floor.
A noiseless attendant setting open the door but slightly made him a
Directly, said he, creaking to go, albeit lingering. The beautiful
ineffectual dreamer who comes to grief against hard facts. One always feels
that Goethe's judgments are so true. True in the larger analysis.
Twicreakingly analysis he corantoed off. Bald, most zealous by the
door he gave his large ear all to the attendant's words: heard them: and
Monsieur de la Palice, Stephen sneered, was alive fifteen minutes before
Have you found those six brave medicals, John Eglinton asked with
elder's gall, to write Paradise Lost at your dictation? The Sorrows
he calls it.
Smile. Smile Cranly's smile.
I feel you would need one more for Hamlet. Seven is dear to
mind. The shining seven WB calls them.
Glittereyed his rufous skull close to his greencapped desklamp sought
the face bearded amid darkgreener shadow, an ollav, holyeyed. He laughed
low: a sizar's laugh of Trinity: unanswered.
He holds my follies hostage.
Cranly's eleven true Wicklowmen to free their sireland. Gaptoothed
Kathleen, her four beautiful green fields, the stranger in her house. And
more to hail him: ave, rabbi: the Tinahely twelve. In the shadow
of the glen
he cooees for them. My soul's youth I gave him, night by night. God speed.
Mulligan has my telegram.
Our young Irish bards, John Eglinton censured, have yet to create a
figure which the world will set beside Saxon Shakespeare's Hamlet though
I admire him, as old Ben did, on this side idolatry.
All these questions are purely academic, Russell oracled out of his
shadow. I mean, whether Hamlet is Shakespeare or James I or Essex.
Clergymen's discussions of the historicity of Jesus. Art has to reveal
ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of
is out of how deep a life does it spring. The painting of Gustave Moreau
the painting of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet
bring our minds into contact with the eternal wisdom, Plato's world of
ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys.
A. E. has been telling some yankee interviewer. Wall, tarnation strike
The schoolmen were schoolboys first, Stephen said superpolitely.
Aristotle was once Plato's schoolboy.
And has remained so, one should hope, John Eglinton sedately said. One
can see him, a model schoolboy with his diploma under his arm.
He laughed again at the now smiling bearded face.
Formless spiritual. Father, Word and Holy Breath. Allfather, the
heavenly man. Hiesos Kristos, magician of the beautiful, the Logos who
suffers in us at every moment. This verily is that. I am the fire upon
altar. I am the sacrificial butter.
Dunlop, Judge, the noblest Roman of them all, A. E., Arval, the Name
Ineffable, in heaven hight: K. H., their master, whose identity is no secret
adepts. Brothers of the great white lodge always watching to see if they
help. The Christ with the bridesister, moisture of light, born of an ensouled
virgin, repentant sophia, departed to the plane of buddhi. The life esoteric
not for ordinary person. O. P. must work off bad karma first. Mrs Cooper
Oakley once glimpsed our very illustrious sister H. P. B.'s elemental.
O, fie! Out on't! Pfuiteufel! You naughtn't to look, missus, so
naughtn't when a lady's ashowing of her elemental.
Mr Best entered, tall, young, mild, light. He bore in his hand with
grace a notebook, new, large, clean, bright.
That model schoolboy, Stephen said, would find Hamlet's musings about
the afterlife of his princely soul, the improbable, insignificant and
undramatic monologue, as shallow as Plato's.
John Eglinton, frowning, said, waxing wroth:
Upon my word it makes my blood boil to hear anyone compare Aristotle
Which of the two, Stephen asked, would have banished me from his
Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of
allhorse. Streams of tendency and eons they worship. God: noise in the
street: very peripatetic. Space: what you damn well have to see. Through
spaces smaller than red globules of man's blood they creepycrawl after
Blake's buttocks into eternity of which this vegetable world is but a shadow.
Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
Mr Best came forward, amiable, towards his colleague.
Haines is gone, he said.
I was showing him Jubainville's book. He's quite enthusiastic, don't
know, about Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht. I couldn't bring him in
hear the discussion. He's gone to Gill's to buy it.
Bound thee forth, my booklet, quick
To greet the callous public,
Writ, I ween, 'twas not my wish
In lean unlovely English.
The peatsmoke is going to his head, John Eglinton opined.
We feel in England. Penitent thief. Gone. I smoked his baccy. Green
twinkling stone. An emerald set in the ring of the sea.
People do not know how dangerous lovesongs can be, the auric egg of
Russell warned occultly. The movements which work revolutions in the
world are born out of the dreams and visions in a peasant's heart on the
hillside. For them the earth is not an exploitable ground but the living
mother. The rarefied air of the academy and the arena produce the
sixshilling novel, the musichall song. France produces the finest flower
corruption in Mallarmé but the desirable life is revealed only to the poor
heart, the life of Homer's Phaeacians.
From these words Mr Best turned an unoffending face to Stephen.
Mallarmé, don't you know, he said, has written those wonderful prose
poems Stephen MacKenna used to read to me in Paris. The one about
Hamlet. He says: il se promène, lisant au livre de lui-meme,
know, reading the book of himself. He describes Hamlet given in a French
town, don't you know, a provincial town. They advertised it.
His free hand graciously wrote tiny signs in air.
Pièce de Shakespeare
He repeated to John Eglinton's newgathered frown:
Pièce de Shakespeare, don't you know. It's so French. The French
of view. Hamlet ou...
The absentminded beggar, Stephen ended.
John Eglinton laughed.
Yes, I suppose it would be, he said. Excellent people, no doubt, but
distressingly shortsighted in some matters.
Sumptuous and stagnant exaggeration of murder.
A deathsman of the soul Robert Greene called him, Stephen said. Not for
nothing was he a butcher's son, wielding the sledded poleaxe and spitting
his palms. Nine lives are taken off for his father's one. Our Father who
in purgatory. Khaki Hamlets don't hesitate to shoot. The bloodboltered
shambles in act five is a forecast of the concentration camp sung by Mr
Cranly, I his mute orderly, following battles from afar.
Between the Saxon smile and yankee yawp. The devil and the deep
He will have it that Hamlet is a ghoststory, John Eglinton said
Best's behoof. Like the fat boy in Pickwick he wants to make our flesh
My flesh hears him: creeping, hears.
What is a ghost? Stephen said with tingling energy. One who has faded
into impalpability through death, through absence, through change of
manners. Elizabethan London lay as far from Stratford as corrupt Paris
lies from virgin Dublin. Who is the ghost from limbo patrum, returning
the world that has forgotten him? Who is King Hamlet?
John Eglinton shifted his spare body, leaning back to judge.
It is this hour of a day in mid June, Stephen said, begging with a swift
glance their hearing. The flag is up on the playhouse by the bankside.
bear Sackerson growls in the pit near it, Paris garden. Canvasclimbers
sailed with Drake chew their sausages among the groundlings.
Local colour. Work in all you know. Make them accomplices.
Shakespeare has left the huguenot's house in Silver street and walks
the swanmews along the riverbank. But he does not stay to feed the pen
chivying her game of cygnets towards the rushes. The swan of Avon has
Composition of place. Ignatius Loyola, make haste to help me!
The play begins. A player comes on under the shadow, made up in the
castoff mail of a court buck, a wellset man with a bass voice. It is the
the king, a king and no king, and the player is Shakespeare who has studied
Hamlet all the years of his life which were not vanity in order
to play the
part of the spectre. He speaks the words to Burbage, the young player who
stands before him beyond the rack of cerecloth, calling him by a name:
bidding him list. To a son he speaks, the son of his soul, the prince,
Hamlet and to the son of his body, Hamnet Shakespeare, who has died in
Stratford that his namesake may live for ever.
Is it possible that that player Shakespeare, a ghost by absence, and in
vesture of buried Denmark, a ghost by death, speaking his own words to
his own son's name (had Hamnet Shakespeare lived he would have been
prince Hamlet's twin), is it possible, I want to know, or probable that
did not draw or foresee the logical conclusion of those premises: you are
the dispossessed son: I am the murdered father: your mother is the
guilty queen, Ann Shakespeare, born Hathaway?
But this prying into the family life of a great man, Russell began
Art thou there, truepenny?
Interesting only to the parish clerk. I mean, we have the plays. I mean
when we read the poetry of King Lear what is it to us how the poet
As for living our servants can do that for us, Villiers de l'Isle has said.
Peeping and prying into greenroom gossip of the day, the poet's drinking,
the poet's debts. We have King Lear: and it is immortal.
Mr Best's face, appealed to, agreed.
Flow over them with your waves and with your waters, Mananaan,
Mananaan MacLir ....
How now, sirrah, that pound he lent you when you were hungry?
Marry, I wanted it.
Take thou this noble.
Go to! You spent most of it in Georgina Johnson's bed, clergyman's
daughter. Agenbite of inwit.
Do you intend to pay it back?
I paid my way. I paid my way.
Steady on. He's from beyant Boyne water. The northeast corner. You
Wait. Five months. Molecules all change. I am other I now. Other I
But I, entelechy, form of forms, am I by memory because under
I that sinned and prayed and fasted.
A child Conmee saved from pandies.
I, I and I. I.
Do you mean to fly in the face of the tradition of three centuries? John
Eglinton's carping voice asked. Her ghost at least has been laid for ever.
She died, for literature at least, before she was born.
She died, Stephen retorted, sixtyseven years after she was born. She
him into and out of the world. She took his first embraces. She bore his
children and she laid pennies on his eyes to keep his eyelids closed when
lay on his deathbed.
Mother's deathbed. Candle. The sheeted mirror. Who brought me
into this world lies there, bronzelidded, under few cheap flowers. Liliata
I wept alone.
John Eglinton looked in the tangled glowworm of his lamp.
The world believes that Shakespeare made a mistake, he said, and got
of it as quickly and as best he could.
Bosh! Stephen said rudely. A man of genius makes no mistakes. His
errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
Portals of discovery opened to let in the quaker librarian,
softcreakfooted, bald, eared and assiduous.
A shrew, John Eglinton said shrewdly, is not a useful portal of discovery,
one should imagine. What useful discovery did Socrates learn from
Dialectic, Stephen answered: and from his mother how to bring thoughts
into the world. What he learnt from his other wife Myrto (absit nomen!),
Socratididion's Epipsychidion, no man, not a woman, will ever know. But
neither the midwife's lore nor the caudlelectures saved him from the
archons of Sinn Fein and their naggin of hemlock.
But Ann Hathaway? Mr Best's quiet voice said forgetfully. Yes, we seem
to be forgetting her as Shakespeare himself forgot her.
His look went from brooder's beard to carper's skull, to remind, to
chide them not unkindly, then to the baldpink lollard costard, guiltless
He had a good groatsworth of wit, Stephen said, and no truant memory.
He carried a memory in his wallet as he trudged to Romeville whistling
Girl I left behind me. If the earthquake did not time it we should
where to place poor Wat, sitting in his form, the cry of hounds, the studded
bridle and her blue windows. That memory, Venus and Adonis, lay
bedchamber of every light-of-love in London. Is Katharine the shrew
illfavoured? Hortensio calls her young and beautiful. Do you think the
writer of Antony and Cleopatra, a passionate pilgrim, had his eyes
back of his head that he chose the ugliest doxy in all Warwickshire to
withal? Good: he left her and gained the world of men. But his boywomen
are the women of a boy. Their life, thought, speech are lent them by males.
He chose badly? He was chosen, it seems to me. If others have their will
Ann hath a way. By cock, she was to blame. She put the comether on him,
sweet and twentysix. The greyeyed goddess who bends over the boy Adonis,
stooping to conquer, as prologue to the swelling act, is a boldfaced
Stratford wench who tumbles in a cornfield a lover younger than herself.
And my turn? When?
Ryefield, Mr Best said brightly, gladly, raising his new book, gladly,
He murmured then with blond delight for all:
Paris: the wellpleased pleaser.
A tall figure in bearded homespun rose from shadow and unveiled its
I am afraid I am due at the Homestead.
Whither away? Exploitable ground.
Are you going? John Eglinton's active eyebrows asked. Shall we see you
at Moore's tonight? Piper is coming.
Piper! Mr Best piped. Is Piper back?
Peter Piper pecked a peck of pick of peck of pickled pepper.
I don't know if I can. Thursday. We have our meeting. If I can get away
Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book
we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel umbershoot he thrones an
Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma.
faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout
Louis H. Victory. T. Caulfield Irwin. Lotus ladies tend them i'the eyes,
pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god, he thrones, Buddh under plantain.
Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed
wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail.
They say we are to have a literary surprise, the quaker librarian
friendly and earnest. Mr Russell, rumour has it, is gathering together
sheaf of our younger poets' verses. We are all looking forward anxiously.
Anxiously he glanced in the cone of lamplight where three faces,
See this. Remember.
Stephen looked down on a wide headless caubeen, hung on his
ashplanthandle over his knee. My casque and sword. Touch lightly with
two index fingers. Aristotle's experiment. One or two? Necessity is that
virtue of which it is impossible that one can be otherwise. Argal, one
Young Colum and Starkey. George Roberts is doing the commercial
part. Longworth will give it a good puff in the Express. O, will
he? I liked
Colum's Drover. Yes, I think he has that queer thing genius. Do
he has genius really? Yeats admired his line: As in wild earth a Grecian
vase. Did he? I hope you'll be able to come tonight. Malachi Mulligan
coming too. Moore asked him to bring Haines. Did you hear Miss
Mitchell's joke about Moore and Martyn? That Moore is Martyn's wild
oats? Awfully clever, isn't it? They remind one of Don Quixote and Sancho
Panza. Our national epic has yet to be written, Dr Sigerson says. Moore
the man for it. A knight of the rueful countenance here in Dublin. With
saffron kilt? O'Neill Russell? O, yes, he must speak the grand old tongue.
And his Dulcinea? James Stephens is doing some clever sketches. We are
becoming important, it seems.
Cordelia. Cordoglio. Lir's loneliest daughter.
Nookshotten. Now your best French polish.
Thank you very much, Mr Russell, Stephen said, rising. If you will be
kind as to give the letter to Mr Norman ...
O, yes. If he considers it important it will go in. We have so much
I understand, Stephen said. Thanks.
God ild you. The pigs' paper. Bullockbefriending.
Synge has promised me an article for Dana too. Are we going to be
read? I feel we are. The Gaelic league wants something in Irish. I hope
will come round tonight. Bring Starkey.
Stephen sat down.
The quaker librarian came from the leavetakers. Blushing, his mask
Mr Dedalus, your views are most illuminating.
He creaked to and fro, tiptoing up nearer heaven by the altitude of a
chopine, and, covered by the noise of outgoing, said low:
Is it your view, then, that she was not faithful to the poet?
Alarmed face asks me. Why did he come? Courtesy or an inward
Where there is a reconciliation, Stephen said, there must have been
Christfox in leather trews, hiding, a runaway in blighted treeforks,
from hue and cry. Knowing no vixen, walking lonely in the chase. Women
he won to him, tender people, a whore of Babylon, ladies of justices, bully
tapsters' wives. Fox and geese. And in New Place a slack dishonoured body
that once was comely, once as sweet, as fresh as cinnamon, now her leaves
falling, all, bare, frighted of the narrow grave and unforgiven.
Yes. So you think....
The door closed behind the outgoer.
Rest suddenly possessed the discreet vaulted cell, rest of warm and
A vestal's lamp.
Here he ponders things that were not: what Caesar would have lived
to do had he believed the soothsayer: what might have been: possibilities
the possible as possible: things not known: what name Achilles bore when
he lived among women.
Coffined thoughts around me, in mummycases, embalmed in spice of
words. Thoth, god of libraries, a birdgod, moonycrowned. And I heard the
voice of that Egyptian highpriest. In painted chambers loaded with
They are still. Once quick in the brains of men. Still: but an itch
death is in them, to tell me in my ear a maudlin tale, urge me to wreak
Certainly, John Eglinton mused, of all great men he is the most enigmatic.
We know nothing but that he lived and suffered. Not even so much. Others
abide our question. A shadow hangs over all the rest.
But Hamlet is so personal, isn't it? Mr Best pleaded. I mean,
a kind of
private paper, don't you know, of his private life. I mean, I don't care
button, don't you know, who is killed or who is guilty ...
He rested an innocent book on the edge of the desk, smiling his
defiance. His private papers in the original. Ta an bad ar an tir. Taim
shagart. Put beurla on it, littlejohn.
Quoth littlejohn Eglinton:
I was prepared for paradoxes from what Malachi Mulligan told us but I
may as well warn you that if you want to shake my belief that Shakespeare
is Hamlet you have a stern task before you.
Bear with me.
Stephen withstood the bane of miscreant eyes glinting stern under
wrinkled brows. A basilisk. E quando vede l'uomo l'attosca. Messer
Brunetto, I thank thee for the word.
As we, or mother Dana, weave and unweave our bodies, Stephen said,
from day to day, their molecules shuttled to and fro, so does the artist
weave and unweave his image. And as the mole on my right breast is where
it was when I was born, though all my body has been woven of new stuff
time after time, so through the ghost of the unquiet father the image of
unliving son looks forth. In the intense instant of imagination, when the
mind, Shelley says, is a fading coal, that which I was is that which I
that which in possibility I may come to be. So in the future, the sister
past, I may see myself as I sit here now but by reflection from that which
then I shall be.
Drummond of Hawthornden helped you at that stile.
Yes, Mr Best said youngly. I feel Hamlet quite young. The bitterness
might be from the father but the passages with Ophelia are surely from
Has the wrong sow by the lug. He is in my father. I am in his son.
That mole is the last to go, Stephen said, laughing.
John Eglinton made a nothing pleasing mow.
If that were the birthmark of genius, he said, genius would be a drug
the market. The plays of Shakespeare's later years which Renan admired
much breathe another spirit.
The spirit of reconciliation, the quaker librarian breathed.
There can be no reconciliation, Stephen said, if there has not been a
If you want to know what are the events which cast their shadow over
hell of time of King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida,
see when and how the shadow lifts. What softens the heart of a man,
shipwrecked in storms dire, Tried, like another Ulysses, Pericles, prince
Head, redconecapped, buffeted, brineblinded.
A child, a girl, placed in his arms, Marina.
The leaning of sophists towards the bypaths of apocrypha is a constant
quantity, John Eglinton detected. The highroads are dreary but they lead
Good Bacon: gone musty. Shakespeare Bacon's wild oats.
Cypherjugglers going the highroads. Seekers on the great quest. What
town, good masters? Mummed in names: A. E., eon: Magee, John Eglinton.
East of the sun, west of the moon: Tir na n-og. Booted the twain
Mr Brandes accepts it, Stephen said, as the first play of the closing
Does he? What does Mr Sidney Lee, or Mr Simon Lazarus as some aver
his name is, say of it?
Marina, Stephen said, a child of storm, Miranda, a wonder, Perdita, that
which was lost. What was lost is given back to him: his daughter's child.
My dearest wife, Pericles says, was like this maid. Will
any man love the
daughter if he has not loved the mother?
The art of being a grandfather, Mr Best gan murmur. L'art d'être
Will he not see reborn in her, with the memory of his own youth added,
Do you know what you are talking about? Love, yes. Word known to
all men. Amor vero aliquid alicui bonum vult unde et ea quae
His own image to a man with that queer thing genius is the standard
all experience, material and moral. Such an appeal will touch him. The
images of other males of his blood will repel him. He will see in them
grotesque attempts of nature to foretell or to repeat himself.
The benign forehead of the quaker librarian enkindled rosily with
I hope Mr Dedalus will work out his theory for the enlightenment of the
public. And we ought to mention another Irish commentator, Mr George
Bernard Shaw. Nor should we forget Mr Frank Harris. His articles on
Shakespeare in the Saturday Review were surely brilliant. Oddly
he too draws for us an unhappy relation with the dark lady of the sonnets.
The favoured rival is William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. I own that if
poet must be rejected such a rejection would seem more in harmony with
what shall I say? - our notions of what ought not to have been.
Felicitously he ceased and held a meek head among them, auk's egg,
prize of their fray.
He thous and thees her with grave husbandwords. Dost love,
Miriam? Dost love thy man?
That may be too, Stephen said. There's a saying of Goethe's which Mr
Magee likes to quote. Beware of what you wish for in youth because you
will get it in middle life. Why does he send to one who is a buonaroba,
where all men ride, a maid of honour with a scandalous girlhood, a lordling
to woo for him? He was himself a lord of language and had made himself
coistrel gentleman and he had written Romeo and Juliet. Why? Belief
himself has been untimely killed. He was overborne in a cornfield first
ryefield, I should say) and he will never be a victor in his own eyes after
play victoriously the game of laugh and lie down. Assumed dongiovannism
will not save him. No later undoing will undo the first undoing. The tusk
the boar has wounded him there where love lies ableeding. If the shrew
worsted yet there remains to her woman's invisible weapon. There is, I
in the words, some goad of the flesh driving him into a new passion, a
darker shadow of the first, darkening even his own understanding of
himself. A like fate awaits him and the two rages commingle in a whirlpool.
They list. And in the porches of their ears I pour.
The soul has been before stricken mortally, a poison poured in the porch
of a sleeping ear. But those who are done to death in sleep cannot know
manner of their quell unless their Creator endow their souls with that
knowledge in the life to come. The poisoning and the beast with two backs
that urged it King Hamlet's ghost could not know of were he not endowed
with knowledge by his creator. That is why the speech (his lean unlovely
English) is always turned elsewhere, backward. Ravisher and ravished,
what he would but would not, go with him from Lucrece's bluecircled ivory
globes to Imogen's breast, bare, with its mole cinquespotted. He goes back,
weary of the creation he has piled up to hide him from himself, an old
licking an old sore. But, because loss is his gain, he passes on towards
eternity in undiminished personality, untaught by the wisdom he has
written or by the laws he has revealed. His beaver is up. He is a ghost,
shadow now, the wind by Elsinore's rocks or what you will, the sea's voice,
a voice heard only in the heart of him who is the substance of his shadow,
the son consubstantial with the father.
Amen! was responded from the doorway.
Hast thou found me, 0 minee enmy?
A ribald face, sullen as a dean's, Buck Mulligan came forward, then
blithe in motley, towards the greeting of their smiles. My telegram.
You were speaking of the gaseous vertebrate, if I mistake not? he asked
Primrosevested he greeted gaily with his doffed Panama as with a
They make him welcome. Was Du verlachst wirst Du noch dienen.
Brood of mockers: Photius, pseudo Malachi, Johann Most.
He Who Himself begot middler the Holy Ghost and Himself sent
Himself, Agenbuyer, between Himself and others, Who, put upon by His
fiends, stripped and whipped, was nailed like bat to barndoor, starved
on crosstree, Who let Him bury, stood up, harrowed hell, fared into heaven
and there these nineteen hundred years sitteth on the right hand of His
Own Self but yet shall come in the latter day to doom the quick and dead
when all the quick shall be dead already.
Glo o--ri--a in ex--cel--sis De--o.
He lifts his hands. Veils fall. 0, flowers! Bells with bells with bells
Yes, indeed, the quaker librarian said. A most instructive discussion.
Mulligan, I'll be bound, has his theory too of the play and of Shakespeare.
All sides of life should be represented.
He smiled on all sides equally.
Buck Mulligan thought, puzzled.
Shakespeare? he said. I seem to know the name.
A flying sunny smile rayed in his loose features.
To be sure, he said, remembering brightly. The chap that writes like
Mr Best turned to him.
Haines missed you, he said. Did you meet him? He'll see you after at
D. B. C. He's gone to Gill's to buy Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht.
I came through the museum, Buck Mulligan said. Was he here?
The bard's fellowcountrymen, John Eglinton answered, are rather tired
perhaps of our brilliancies of theorising. I hear that an actress played
Hamlet for the fourhundredandeighth time last night in Dublin. Vining
held that the prince was a woman. Has no-one made him out to be an
Irishman? Judge Barton, I believe, is searching for some clues. He swears
(His Highness not His Lordship) by saint Patrick.
The most brilliant of all is that story of Wilde's, Mr Best said, lifting
brilliant notebook. That Portrait of Mr W. H. where he proves that
sonnets were written by a Willie Hughes, a man all hues.
For Willie Hughes, is it not? the quaker librarian asked.
Or Hughie Wills? Mr William Himself. W. H.: who am I?
I mean, for Willie Hughes, Mr Best said, amending his gloss easily. Of
course it's all paradox, don't you know, Hughes and hews and hues, the
colour, but it's so typical the way he works it out. It's the very essence
Wilde, don't you know. The light touch.
His glance touched their faces lightly as he smiled, a blond ephebe.
Tame essence of Wilde.
You're darned witty. Three drams of usquebaugh you drank with
Dan Deasy's ducats.
How much did I spend? O, a few shillings.
For a plump of pressmen. Humour wet and dry.
Wit. You would give your five wits for youth's proud livery he pranks
in. Lineaments of gratified desire.
There be many mo. Take her for me. In pairing time. Jove, a cool
ruttime send them. Yea, turtledove her.
Eve. Naked wheatbellied sin. A snake coils her, fang in's kiss.
Do you think it is only a paradox? the quaker librarian was asking. The
mocker is never taken seriously when he is most serious.
They talked seriously of mocker's seriousness.
Buck Mulligan's again heavy face eyed Stephen awhile. Then, his
head wagging, he came near, drew a folded telegram from his pocket. His
mobile lips read, smiling with new delight.
Telegram! he said. Wonderful inspiration! Telegram! A papal bull!
He sat on a corner of the unlit desk, reading aloud joyfully:
The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the
debtorship for a thing done. Signed: Dedalus. Where did you launch
from? The kips? No. College Green. Have you drunk the four quid? The
aunt is going to call on your unsubstantial father. Telegram! Malachi
Mulligan, The Ship, lower Abbey street. O, you peerless mummer! O, you
Joyfully he thrust message and envelope into a pocket but keened in a
It's what I'm telling you, mister honey, it's queer and sick we were,
Haines and myself, the time himself brought it in. 'Twas murmur we did
a gallus potion would rouse a friar, I'm thinking, and he limp with leching.
And we one hour and two hours and three hours in Connery's sitting civil
waiting for pints apiece.
And we to be there, mavrone, and you to be unbeknownst sending us
your conglomerations the way we to have our tongues out a yard long like
the drouthy clerics do be fainting for a pussful.
Quickly, warningfully Buck Mulligan bent down.
The tramper Synge is looking for you, he said, to murder you. He heard
you pissed on his halldoor in Glasthule. He's out in pampooties to murder
Me! Stephen exclaimed. That was your contribution to literature.
Buck Mulligan gleefully bent back, laughing to the dark
Murder you! he laughed.
Harsh gargoyle face that warred against me over our mess of hash of
lights in rue Saint Andre des Arts. In words of words for words, palabras.
Oisin with Patrick. Faunman he met in Clamart woods, brandishing a
winebottle. C'est vendredi saint! Murthering Irish. His image, wandering,
he met. I mine. I met a fool i'the forest.
Mr Lyster, an attendant said from the door ajar.
.....in which everyone can find his own. So Mr Justice Madden in his
Diary of Master William Silence has found the hunting terms....
There's a gentleman here, sir, the attendant said, coming forward and
offering a card. From the Freeman. He wants to see the files of
People for last year.
Certainly, certainly, certainly. Is the gentleman......?
He took the eager card, glanced, not saw, laid down unglanced,
looked, asked, creaked, asked:
Is he......? O, there!
Brisk in a galliard he was off, out. In the daylit corridor he talked
with voluble pains of zeal, in duty bound, most fair, most kind, most honest
This gentleman? Freeman's Journal? Kilkenny People? To be
day, sir. Kilkenny.... We have certainly....
A patient silhouette waited, listening.
All the leading provincial.... Northern Whig, Cork Examiner,
Enniscorthy Guardian. Last year. 1903.... Will you please... Evans,
conduct this gentleman... If you just follow the atten.... Or, please allow
me.... This way... Please, sir....
Voluble, dutiful, he led the way to all the provincial papers, a bowing
dark figure following his hasty heels.
The door closed.
The sheeny! Buck Mulligan cried.
He jumped up and snatched the card.
What's his name? Ikey Moses? Bloom.
He rattled on:
Jehovah, collector of prepuces, is no more. I found him over in the
museum where I went to hail the foamborn Aphrodite. The Greek mouth
that has never been twisted in prayer. Every day we must do homage to her.
Life of life, thy lips enkindle.
Suddenly he turned to Stephen:
He knows you. He knows your old fellow. O, I fear me, he is Greeker
than the Greeks. His pale Galilean eyes were upon her mesial groove.
Venus Kallipyge. O, the thunder of those loins! The god pursuing the
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
as a patient Griselda, a Penelope stay-at-home.
Antisthenes, pupil of Gorgias, Stephen said, took the palm of beauty
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
that of the lord chancellor of Ireland. His life was rich. His art, more
the art of feudalism as Walt Whitman called it, is the art of surfeit.
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
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
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
with her cup of canary for any cockcanary.
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
Old wall where sudden lizards flash. At Charenton I watched them.
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
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,
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 he has branded her with infamy
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 her first. O, yes, mention there is.
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 jurists.
She was entitled to her widow's dower
At common law. His legal knowledge was great
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 daughters,
For his sister, for his old cronies in Stratford
And in London. And therefore when he was urged,
As I believe, to name her
He left her his
Pretty countryfolk had few chattels then, John Eglinton observed, as
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
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
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
king. O, I must tell you what Dowden said!
What? asked Besteglinton.
William Shakespeare and company, limited. The people's William.
For terms apply: E. Dowden, Highfield house ....
Lovely! Buck Mulligan suspired amorously. I asked him what he thought
of the charge of pederasty brought against the bard. He lifted his hands
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
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
flesh in interest for every money lent. How else could Aubrey's ostler
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
philosophaster with a turn for witchroasting. The lost armada is his jeer
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
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
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, mictum, mingere.
Prove that he was a jew, John Eglinton dared,'expectantly. Your dean
studies holds he was a holy Roman.
He was made in Germany, Stephen replied, as the champion French
polisher of Italian scandals.
A myriadminded man, Mr Best reminded. Coleridge called him
Amplius. In societate humana hoe est maxime necessarium ut sit
amicitia inter multos.
Saint Thomas, Stephen began
Ora pro nobis, Monk Mulligan groaned, sinking to a chair.
There he keened a wailing rune:
Pogue mahone! Acushla machree! It's destroyed we are from this
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
that of the new Viennese school Mr Magee spoke of, likens it in his wise
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
be, hungers for it. Jews, whom christians tax with avarice, are of all
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
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
calls his debts will hold tightly also to what he calls his rights over
whom he calls his wife. No sir smile neighbour shall covet his ox or his
or his manservant or his maidservant or his jackass.
Or his jennyass, Buck Mulligan antiphoned.
Gentle Will is being roughly handled, gentle Mr Best said gently.
Which will? gagged sweetly Buck Mulligan. We are getting mixed.
The will to live, John Eglinton philosophised, for poor Ann, Will's
widow, is the will to die.
Requiescat! Stephen prayed.
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 carvings were the wonder of seven parishes.
old age she takes up with gospellers (one stayed with her at New Place
drank a quart of sack the town council paid for but in which bed he slept
skills not to ask) and heard she had a soul. She read or had read to her
chapbooks preferring them to the Merry Wives and, loosing her nightly
waters on the jordan, she thought over Hooks and Eyes for Believers'
Breeches and The Most Spiritual Snuffbox to Make the Most Devout
Sneeze. Venus has twisted her lips in prayer. Agenbite of inwit: remorse
conscience. It is an age of exhausted whoredom groping for its god.
History shows that to be true, inquit Eglintonus Chronolologos.
succeed one another. But we have it on high authority that a man's worst
enemies shall be those of his own house and family. I feel that Russell
right. What do we care for his wife or father? I should say that only
poets have family lives. Falstaff was not a family man. I feel that the
knight is his supreme creation.
Lean, he lay back. Shy, deny thy kindred, the unco guid. Shy, supping
with the godless, he sneaks the cup. A sire in Ultonian Antrim bade it
Visits him here on quarter days. Mr Magee, sir, there's a gentleman to
you. Me? Says he's your father, sir. Give me my Wordsworth. Enter Magee
Mor Matthew, a rugged rough rugheaded kern, in strossers with a buttoned
codpiece, his nether stocks bemired with clauber of ten forests, a wand
wilding in his hand.
Your own? He knows your old fellow. The widower.
Hurrying to her squalid deathlair from gay Paris on the quayside I
touched his hand. The voice, new warmth, speaking. Dr Bob Kenny is
attending her. The eyes that wish me well. But do not know me.
A father, Stephen said, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary
He wrote the play in the months that followed his father's death. If you
hold that he, a greying man with two marriageable daughters, with
thirtyfive years of life, nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, with
experience, is the beardless undergraduate from Wittenberg then you must
hold that his seventyyear old mother is the lustful queen. No. The corpse
John Shakespeare does not walk the night. From hour to hour it rots and
rots. He rests, disarmed of fatherhood, having devised that mystical estate
upon his son. Boccaccio's Calandrino was the first and last man who felt
himself with child. Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is
unknown to man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from
begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which
the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is
founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro
and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor
matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing
Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any
should love him or he any son?
What the hell are you driving at?
I know. Shut up. Blast you. I have reasons.
Amplius. Adhuc. Iterum. Postea.
Are you condemned to do this?
They are sundered by a bodily shame so steadfast that the criminal annals
of the world, stained with all other incests and bestialities, hardly record
breach. Sons with mothers, sires with daughters, lesbic sisters, loves
dare not speak their name, nephews with grandmothers, jailbirds with
keyholes, queens with prize bulls. The son unborn mars beauty: born, he
brings pain, divides affection, increases care. He is a new male: his growth
is his father's decline, his youth his father's envy, his friend his father's
In rue Monsieur le Prince I thought it.
What links them in nature? An instant of blind rut.
Am I a father? If I were? Shrunken uncertain hand.
Sabellius, the African, subtlest heresiarch of all the beasts of the field,
that the Father was Himself His Own Son. The bulldog of Aquin, with
whom no word shall be impossible, refutes him. Well: if the father who
not a son be not a father can the son who has not a father be a son? When
Rutlandbaconsouthamptonshakespeare or another poet of the same name
in the comedy of errors wrote Hamlet he was not the father of his
merely but, being no more a son, he was and felt himself the father of
race, the father of his own grandfather, the father of his unborn grandson
who, by the same token, never was born, for nature, as Mr Magee understands
her, abhors perfection.
Eglintoneyes, quick with pleasure, looked up shybrightly. Gladly
glancing, a merry puritan, through the twisted eglantine.
Flatter. Rarely. But flatter.
Himself his own father, Sonmulligan told himself. Wait. I am big with
child. I have an unborn child in my brain. Pallas Athena! A play! The
play's the thing! Let me parturiate!
He clasped his paunchbrow with both birthaiding hands.
As for his family, Stephen said, his mother's name lives in the forest
Arden. Her death brought from him the scene with Volumnia in
Coriolanus. His boyson's death is the deathscene of young Arthur
John. Hamlet, the black prince, is Hamnet Shakespeare. Who the girls
The Tempest, in Pericles, in Winter's Tale are we
know. Who Cleopatra,
fleshpot of Egypt, and Cressid and Venus are we may guess. But there is
another member of his family who is recorded.
The plot thickens, John Eglinton said.
The quaker librarian, quaking, tiptoed in, quake, his mask, quake,
with haste, quake, quack.
Door closed. Cell. Day.
They list. Three. They. I you he they.
He had three brothers, Gilbert, Edmund, Richard. Gilbert in his old
told some cavaliers he got a pass for nowt from Maister Gatherer one time
mass he did and he seen his brud Maister Wull the playwriter up in Lunnon
in a wrastling play wud a man on's back. The playhouse sausage filled
Gilbert's soul. He is nowhere: but an Edmund and a Richard are recorded
in the works of sweet William.
Names! What's in a name?
That is my name, Richard, don't you know. I hope you are going to say
good word for Richard, don't you know, for my sake.
In his trinity of black Wills, the villain shakebags, Iago, Richard
Crookback, Edmund in King Lear, two bear the wicked uncles' names.
Nay, that last play was written or being written while his brother Edmund
lay dying in Southwark.
I hope Edmund is going to catch it. I don't want Richard, my name.....
(a tempo) But he that filches from me my good name .....
(stringendo) He has hidden his own name, a fair name, William,
plays, a super here, a clown there, as a painter of old Italy set his face
dark corner of his canvas. He has revealed it in the sonnets where there
Will in overplus. Like John o'Gaunt his name is dear to him, as dear as
coat and crest he toadied for, on a bend sable a spear or steeled argent,
honorificabilitudinitatibus, dearer than his glory of greatest shakescene
the country. What's in a name? That is what we ask ourselves in childhood
when we write the name that we are told is ours. A star, a daystar, a
firedrake, rose at his birth. It shone by day in the heavens alone, brighter
than Venus in the night, and by night it shone over delta in Cassiopeia,
recumbent constellation which is the signature of his initial among the
His eyes watched it, lowlying on the horizon, eastward of the bear, as
walked by the slumberous summer fields at midnight returning from
Shottery and from her arms.
Both satisfied. I too.
Don't tell them he was nine years old when it was quenched.
And from her arms.
Wait to be wooed and won. Ay, meacock. Who will woo you?
Read the skies. Autontimorumenos. Bous Stephanoumenos. Where's
your configuration? Stephen, Stephen, cut the bread even. S. D: sua
Gia: di lui. Gelindo risolve di non amare S. D.
What is that, Mr Dedalus? the quaker librarian asked. Was it a celestial
A star by night, Stephen said. A pillar of the cloud by day.
What more's to speak?
Stephen looked on his hat, his stick, his boots.
Stephanos, my crown. My sword. His boots are spoiling the shape
my feet. Buy a pair. Holes in my socks. Handkerchief too.
You make good use of the name, John Eglinton allowed. Your own name
is strange enough. I suppose it explains your fantastical humour.
Me, Magee and Mulligan.
Fabulous artificer. The hawklike man. You flew. Whereto?
Newhaven-Dieppe, steerage passenger. Paris and back. Lapwing. Icarus.
Pater, ait. Seabedabbled, fallen, weltering. Lapwing you are. Lapwing
Mr Best eagerquietly lifted his book to say:
That's very interesting because that brother motive, don't you know,
find also in the old Irish myths. Just what you say. The three brothers
Shakespeare. In Grimm too, don't you know, the fairytales. The third
brother that always marries the sleeping beauty and wins the best prize.
Best of Best brothers. Good, better, best.
The quaker librarian springhalted near.
I should like to know, he said, which brother you I understand you to
suggest there was misconduct with one of the brothers But perhaps I am
He caught himself in the act: looked at all: refrained.
An attendant from the doorway called:
Mr Lyster! Father Dineen wants ...
O, Father Dineen! Directly.
Swiftly rectly creaking rectly rectly he was rectly gone.
John Eglinton touched the foil.
Come, he said. Let us hear what you have to say of Richard and
Edmund. You kept them for the last, didn't you?
In asking you to remember those two noble kinsmen nuncle Richie and
nuncle Edmund, Stephen answered, I feel I am asking too much perhaps. A
brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella.
Where is your brother? Apothecaries' hall. My whetstone. Him, then
Cranly, Mulligan: now these. Speech, speech. But act. Act speech. They
mock to try you. Act. Be acted on.
I am tired of my voice, the voice of Esau. My kingdom for a drink.
You will say those names were already in the chronicles from which he
took the stuff of his plays. Why did he take them rather than others?
Richard, a whoreson crookback, misbegotten, makes love to a widowed
Ann (what's in a name?), woos and wins her, a whoreson merry widow.
Richard the conqueror, third brother, came after William the conquered.
The other four acts of that play hang limply from that first. Of all his
Richard is the only king unshielded by Shakespeare's reverence, the angel
of the world. Why is the underplot of King Lear in which Edmund
lifted out of Sidney's Arcadia and spatchcocked on to a Celtic legend
That was Will's way, John Eglinton defended. We should not now
combine a Norse saga with an excerpt from a novel by George Meredith.
Que voulez-vous? Moore would say. He puts Bohemia on the seacoast
makes Ulysses quote Aristotle.
Why? Stephen answered himself. Because the theme of the false or the
usurping or the adulterous brother or all three in one is to Shakespeare,
what the poor are not, always with him. The note of banishment,
banishment from the heart, banishment from home, sounds uninterruptedly
from The Two Gentlemen of Verona onward till Prospero breaks his
buries it certain fathoms in the earth and drowns his book. It doubles
in the middle of his life, reflects itself in another, repeats itself,
epitasis, catastasis, catastrophe. It repeats itself again when he is near
grave, when his married daughter Susan, chip of the old block, is accused
of adultery. But it was the original sin that darkened his understanding,
weakened his will and left in him a strong inclination to evil. The words
those of my lords bishops of Maynooth. An original sin and, like original
sin, committed by another in whose sin he too has sinned. It is between
lines of his last written words, it is petrified on his tombstone under
her four bones are not to be laid. Age has not withered it. Beauty and
have not done it away. It is in infinite variety everywhere in the world
has created, in Much Ado about Nothing, twice in As You Like
It, in The
Tempest, in Hamlet, in Measure for Measure - and in all
the other plays
which I have not read.
He laughed to free his mind from his mind's bondage.
Judge Eglinton summed up.
The truth is midway, he affirmed. He is the ghost and the prince. He
He is, Stephen said. The boy of act one is the mature man of act five.
in all. In Cymbeline, in Othello he is bawd and cuckold.
He acts and is
acted on. Lover of an ideal or a perversion, like Jose he kills the real
Carmen. His unremitting intellect is the hornmad Iago ceaselessly willing
that the moor in him shall suffer.
Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuck Mulligan clucked lewdly. O word of fear!
Dark dome received, reverbed.
And what a character is Iago! undaunted John Eglinton exclaimed.
When all is said Dumas Fils (or is it Dumas père?) is right.
Shakespeare has created most.
Man delights him not nor woman neither, Stephen said. He returns after
a life of absence to that spot of earth where he was born, where he has
always been, man and boy, a silent witness and there, his journey of life
ended, he plants his mulberrytree in the earth. Then dies. The motion is
ended. Gravediggers bury Hamlet père and Hamlet fils. A king
prince at last in death, with incidental music. And, what though murdered
and betrayed, bewept by all frail tender hearts for, Dane or Dubliner,
sorrow for the dead is the only husband from whom they refuse to be
divorced. If you like the epilogue look long on it: prosperous Prospero,
good man rewarded, Lizzie, grandpa's lump of love, and nuncle Richie, the
bad man taken off by poetic justice to the place where the bad niggers
Strong curtain. He found in the world without as actual what was in his
world within as possible. Maeterlinck says: If Socrates leave his house
he will find the sage seated on his doorstep. If Judas go forth tonight
it is to
Judas his steps will tend. Every life is many days, day after day.
through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men,
wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves. The
playwright who wrote the folio of this world and wrote it badly (He gave
light first and the sun two days later), the lord of things as they are
the most Roman of catholics call dio boia, hangman god, is doubtless
all in all of us, ostler and butcher, and would be bawd and cuckold too
but that in the economy of heaven, foretold by Hamlet, there are no more
marriages, glorified man, an androgynous angel, being a wife unto himself.
Eureka! Buck Mulligan cried. Eureka!
Suddenly happied he jumped up and reached in a stride John
May I? he said. The Lord has spoken to Malachi.
He began to scribble on a slip of paper.
Take some slips from the counter going out.
Those who are married, Mr Best, douce herald, said, all save one, shall
live. The rest shall keep as they are.
He laughed, unmarried, at Eglinton Johannes, of arts a bachelor.
Unwed, unfancied, ware of wiles, they fingerponder nightly each his
variorum edition of The Taming of the Shrew.
You are a delusion, said roundly John Eglinton to Stephen. You have
brought us all this way to show us a French triangle. Do you believe your
No, Stephen said promptly.
Are you going to write it? Mr Best asked. You ought to make it a
dialogue, don't you know, like the Platonic dialogues Wilde wrote.
John Eclecticon doubly smiled.
Well, in that case, he said, I don't see why you should expect payment
it since you don't believe it yourself. Dowden believes there is some mystery
in Hamlet but will say no more. Herr Bleibtreu, the man Piper met
Berlin, who is working up that Rutland theory, believes that the secret
hidden in the Stratford monument. He is going to visit the present duke,
Piper says, and prove to him that his ancestor wrote the plays. It will
as a surprise to his grace. But he believes his theory.
I believe, O Lord, help my unbelief. That is, help me to believe or help
me to unbelieve? Who helps to believe? Egomen. Who to unbelieve?
You are the only contributor to Dana who asks for pieces of silver.
I don't know about the next number. Fred Ryan wants space for an article
Fraidrine. Two pieces of silver he lent me. Tide you over. Economics.
For a guinea, Stephen said, you can publish this interview.
Buck Mulligan stood up from his laughing scribbling, laughing: and
then gravely said, honeying malice:
I called upon the bard Kinch at his summer residence in upper
Mecklenburgh street and found him deep in the study of the Summa contra
Gentiles in the company of two gonorrheal ladies, Fresh Nelly and Rosalie,
the coalquay whore.
He broke away.
Come, Kinch. Come, wandering Aengus of the birds.
Come, Kinch. You have eaten all we left. Ay. I will serve you your orts
Life is many days. This will end.
We shall see you tonight, John Eglinton said. Notre ami Moore
Malachi Mulligan must be there.
Buck Mulligan flaunted his slip and panama.
Monsieur Moore, he said, lecturer on French letters to the youth of
Ireland. I'll be there. Come, Kinch, the bards must drink. Can you walk
Swill till eleven. Irish nights entertainment.
Stephen followed a lubber...
One day in the national library we had a discussion. Shakes. After.
His lub back: I followed. I gall his kibe.
Stephen, greeting, then all amort, followed a lubber jester, a
wellkempt head, newbarbered, out of the vaulted cell into a shattering
daylight of no thought.
What have I learned? Of them? Of me?
Walk like Haines now.
The constant readers' room. In the readers' book Cashel Boyle
O'Connor Fitzmaurice Tisdall Farrell parafes his polysyllables. Item: was
Hamlet mad? The quaker's pate godlily with a priesteen in booktalk.
O please do, sir...I shall be most pleased
Amused Buck Mulligan mused in pleasant murmur with himself,
A pleased bottom.
Is that...? Blueribboned hat...? Idly writing...? What? .... Looked...?
The curving balustrade: smoothsliding Mincius.
Puck Mulligan, panamahelmeted, went step by step, iambing, trolling:
John Eglinton, my jo, John,
Why won't you wed a wife?
He spluttered to the air:
O, the chinless Chinaman! Chin Chon Eg Lin Ton. We went over to their
playbox, Haines and I, the plumbers' hall. Our players are creating a new
art for Europe like the Greeks or M. Maeterlinck. Abbey Theatre! I smell
the pubic sweat of monks.
He spat blank.
Forgot: any more than he forgot the whipping lousy Lucy gave him.
And left the femme de trente ans. And why no other children born?
first child a girl?
Afterwit. Go back.
The dour recluse still there (he has his cake) and the douce youngling,
minion of pleasure, Phedo's toyable fair hair.
Eh ... I just eh .... wanted ... I forgot ... eh ...
Longworth and M'Curdy Atkinson were there ...
Puck Mulligan footed featly, trilling:
I hardly hear the purlieu cry
Or a Tommy talk as I pass one by
Before my thoughts begin to run
On F. M'Curdy Atkinson,
The same that had the wooden leg
And that filibustering filibeg
That never dared to slake his drouth,
Magee that had the chinless mouth.
Being afraid to marry on earth
They masturbated for all they were worth.
Jest on. Know thyself.
Halted, below me, a quizzer looks at me. I halt.
Mournful mummer, Buck Mulligan moaned. Synge has left off wearing
black to be like nature. Only crows, priests and English coal are black.
A laugh tripped over his lips.
Longworth is awfully sick, he said, after what you wrote about that old
hake Gregory. O you inquisitional drunken jewjesuit! She gets you a job
the paper and then you go and slate her drivel to Jaysus. Couldn't
the Yeats touch?
He went on and down, mopping, chanting with waving graceful
The most beautiful book that has come out of our country in my time.
One thinks of Homer.
He stopped at the stairfoot.
I have conceived a play for the mummers, he said solemnly.
The pillared Moorish hall, shadows entwined. Gone the nine men's
morrice with caps of indices.
In sweetly varying voices Buck Mulligan read his tablet:
Everyman His Own Wife
A Honeymoon in the Hand
(a national immorality in three orgasms)
He turned a happy patch's smirk to Stephen, saying:
The disguise, I fear, is thin. But listen.
He read, marcato:
TOBY TOSTOFF (a ruined Pole)
CRAB (a bushranger)
and (two birds with one stone)
MOTHER GROGAN (a watercarrier)
ROSALIE (the coalquay whore).
He laughed, lolling a to and fro head, walking on, followed by
Stephen: and mirthfully he told the shadows, souls of men:
O, the night in the Camden hall when the daughters of Erin had to lift
their skirts to step over you as you lay in your mulberrycoloured,
multicoloured, multitudinous vomit!
The most innocent son of Erin, Stephen said, for whom they ever lifted
About to pass through the doorway, feeling one behind, he stood
Part. The moment is now. Where then? If Socrates leave his house
today, if Judas go forth tonight. Why? That lies in space which I in time
must come to, ineluctably.
My will: his will that fronts me. Seas between.
A man passed out between them, bowing, greeting.
Good day again, Buck Mulligan said.
Here I watched the birds for augury. Aengus of the birds. They go,
they come. Last night I flew. Easily flew. Men wondered. Street of harlots
after. A creamfruit melon he held to me. In. You will see.
The wandering jew, Buck Mulligan whispered with clown's awe. Did you
see his eye? He looked upon you to lust after you. I fear thee, ancient
mariner. O, Kinch, thou art in peril. Get thee a breechpad.
Manner of Oxenford.
Day. Wheelbarrow sun over arch of bridge.
A dark back went before them, step of a pard, down, out by the
gateway, under portcullis barbs.
Offend me still. Speak on.
Kind air defined the coigns of houses in Kildare street. No birds. Frail
from the housetops two plumes of smoke ascended, pluming, and in a flaw
of softness softly were blown.
Cease to strive. Peace of the druid priests of Cymbeline: hierophantic:
from wide earth an altar.