Urbane, to comfort them, the quaker librarian purred:
— And we have, have we not, those priceless pages of Wilhelm Meister. A great poet on a great brother poet. A hesitating soul taking arms against a 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 noiseless beck.
— 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 was gone.
— Monsieur de la Palice, Stephen sneered, was alive fifteen minutes before his death.
— Have you found those six brave medicals, John Eglinton asked with elder's gall, to write Paradise Lost at your dictation? The Sorrows of Satan he calls it.
Smile. Smile Cranly's smile.
First he tickled her
Then he patted her
Then he passed the female catheter.
For he was a medical
Jolly old medi . . .
— I feel you would need one more for Hamlet. Seven is dear to the mystic mind. The shining seven W.B. 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.
Orchestral Satan, weeping many a rood
Tears such as angels weep.
Ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta.
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 one 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. Good hunting.
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 to us ideas, formless spiritual essences. The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. The painting of Gustave Moreau is 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 me!
— 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 the 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 to adepts. Brothers of the great white lodge always watching to see if they can 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 is 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 you 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 with Plato.
— Which of the two, Stephen asked, would have banished me from his commonwealth?
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.
— Is he?
— I was showing him Jubainville's book. He's quite enthusiastic, don't you know, about Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht. I couldn't bring him in to 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 of corruption in Mallarme but the desirable life is revealed only to the poor of heart, the life of Homer's Phaeacians.
From these words Mr Best turned an unoffending face to Stephen.
— Mallarme, 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 promene, lisant au livre de lui-meme, don't you 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.
Piece de Shakespeare
He repeated to John Eglinton's newgathered frown:
— Piece de Shakespeare, don't you know. It's so French. The French point 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.