He held his caved hands a cubit from him, frowning:
— I was tucking the rug under her and settling her boa all the time. Know what I mean?
His hands moulded ample curves of air. He shut his eyes tight in delight, his body shrinking, and blew a sweet chirp from his lips.
— The lad stood to attention anyhow, he said with a sigh. She's a gamey mare and no mistake. Bloom was pointing out all the stars and the comets in the heavens to Chris Callinan and the jarvey: the great bear and Hercules and the dragon, and the whole jingbang lot. But, by God, I was lost, so to speak, in the milky way. He knows them all, faith. At last she spotted a weeny weeshy one miles away. And what star is that, Poldy? says she. By God, she had Bloom cornered. That one, is it? says Chris Callinan, sure that's only what you might call a pinprick. By God, he wasn't far wide of the mark.
Lenehan stopped and leaned on the riverwall, panting with soft laughter.
— I'm weak, he gasped.
M'Coy's white face smiled about it at instants and grew grave. Lenehan walked on again. He lifted his yachtingcap and scratched his hindhead rapidly. He glanced sideways in the sunlight at M'Coy.
— He's a cultured allroundman, Bloom is, he said seriously. He's not one of your common or garden . . . you know . . . There's a touch of the artist about old Bloom.
* * * * *
Mr Bloom turned over idly pages of The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, then of Aristotle's Masterpiece. Crooked botched print. Plates: infants cuddled in a ball in bloodred wombs like livers of slaughtered cows. Lots of them like that at this moment all over the world. All butting with their skulls to get out of it. Child born every minute somewhere. Mrs Purefoy.
He laid both books aside and glanced at the third: Tales of the Ghetto by Leopold von Sacher Masoch.
— That I had, he said, pushing it by.
The shopman let two volumes fall on the counter.
— Them are two good ones, he said.
Onions of his breath came across the counter out of his ruined mouth. He bent to make a bundle of the other books, hugged them against his unbuttoned waistcoat and bore them off behind the dingy curtain.
On O'Connell bridge many persons observed the grave deportment and gay apparel of Mr Denis J Maginni, professor of dancing &c.
Mr Bloom, alone, looked at the titles. Fair Tyrants by James Lovebirch. Know the kind that is. Had it? Yes.
He opened it. Thought so.
A woman's voice behind the dingy curtain. Listen: the man.
No: she wouldn't like that much. Got her it once.
He read the other title: Sweets of Sin. More in her line. Let us see.
He read where his finger opened.
— All the dollarbills her husband gave her were spent in the stores on wondrous gowns and costliest frillies. For him! For raoul!
Yes. This. Here. Try.
— Her mouth glued on his in a luscious voluptuous kiss while his hands felt for the opulent curves inside her deshabille.
Yes. Take this. The end.
— You are late, he spoke hoarsely, eying her with a suspicious glare. The beautiful woman threw off her sabletrimmed wrap, displaying her queenly shoulders and heaving embonpoint. An imperceptible smile played round her perfect lips as she turned to him calmly.
Mr Bloom read again: The beautiful woman.
Warmth showered gently over him, cowing his flesh. Flesh yielded amply amid rumpled clothes: whites of eyes swooning up. His nostrils arched themselves for prey. Melting breast ointments (for Him! For Raoul!). Armpits' oniony sweat. Fishgluey slime (her heaving embonpoint!). Feel! Press! Crushed! Sulphur dung of lions!
An elderly female, no more young, left the building of the courts of chancery, king's bench, exchequer and common pleas, having heard in the lord chancellor's court the case in lunacy of Potterton, in the admiralty division the summons, exparte motion, of the owners of the Lady Cairns versus the owners of the barque Mona, in the court of appeal reservation of judgment in the case of Harvey versus the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation.
Phlegmy coughs shook the air of the bookshop, bulging out the dingy curtains. The shopman's uncombed grey head came out and his unshaven reddened face, coughing. He raked his throat rudely, puked phlegm on the floor. He put his boot on what he had spat, wiping his sole along it, and bent, showing a rawskinned crown, scantily haired.
Mr Bloom beheld it.
Mastering his troubled breath, he said:
— I'll take this one.
The shopman lifted eyes bleared with old rheum.
— Sweets of Sin, he said, tapping on it. That's a good one.
* * * * *
The lacquey by the door of Dillon's auctionrooms shook his handbell twice again and viewed himself in the chalked mirror of the cabinet.
Dilly Dedalus, loitering by the curbstone, heard the beats of the bell, the cries of the auctioneer within. Four and nine. Those lovely curtains. Five shillings. Cosy curtains. Selling new at two guineas. Any advance on five shillings? Going for five shillings.
The lacquey lifted his handbell and shook it:
Bang of the lastlap bell spurred the halfmile wheelmen to their sprint. J. A. Jackson, W. E. Wylie, A. Munro and H. T. Gahan, their stretched necks wagging, negotiated the curve by the College library.
Mr Dedalus, tugging a long moustache, came round from Williams's row. He halted near his daughter.
— It's time for you, she said.
— Stand up straight for the love of the lord Jesus, Mr Dedalus said. Are you trying to imitate your uncle John, the cornetplayer, head upon shoulder? Melancholy God!
Dilly shrugged her shoulders. Mr Dedalus placed his hands on them and held them back.
— Stand up straight, girl, he said. You'll get curvature of the spine. Do you know what you look like?
He let his head sink suddenly down and forward, hunching his shoulders and dropping his underjaw.
— Give it up, father, Dilly said. All the people are looking at you.
Mr Dedalus drew himself upright and tugged again at his moustache.
— Did you get any money? Dilly asked.
— Where would I get money? Mr Dedalus said. There is no-one in Dublin would lend me fourpence.
— You got some, Dilly said, looking in his eyes.
— How do you know that? Mr Dedalus asked, his tongue in his cheek.
Mr Kernan, pleased with the order he had booked, walked boldly along James's street.
— I know you did, Dilly answered. Were you in the Scotch house now?
— I was not, then, Mr Dedalus said, smiling. Was it the little nuns taught you to be so saucy? Here.
He handed her a shilling.
— See if you can do anything with that, he said.
— I suppose you got five, Dilly said. Give me more than that.