Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 15 - Circe

VIRAG: (His face impassive, laughs in a rich feminine key) Splendid! Spanish fly in his fly or mustard plaster on his dibble. (He gobbles gluttonously with turkey wattles) Bubbly jock! Bubbly jock! Where are we? Open Sesame! Cometh forth! (He unrolls his parchment rapidly and reads, his glowworm's nose running backwards over the letters which he claws) Stay, good friend. I bring thee thy answer. Redbank oysters will shortly be upon us. I'm the best o'cook. Those succulent bivalves may help us and the truffles of Perigord, tubers dislodged through mister omnivorous porker, were unsurpassed in cases of nervous debility or viragitis. Though they stink yet they sting. (He wags his head with cackling raillery) Jocular. With my eyeglass in my ocular. (He sneezes) Amen!

BLOOM: (Absently) Ocularly woman's bivalve case is worse. Always open sesame. The cloven sex. Why they fear vermin, creeping things. Yet Eve and the serpent contradicts. Not a historical fact. Obvious analogy to my idea. Serpents too are gluttons for woman's milk. Wind their way through miles of omnivorous forest to sucksucculent her breast dry. Like those bubblyjocular Roman matrons one reads of in Elephantuliasis.

VIRAG: (His mouth projected in hard wrinkles, eyes stonily forlornly closed, psalms in outlandish monotone) That the cows with their those distended udders that they have been the the known . . .

BLOOM: I am going to scream. I beg your pardon. Ah? So. (He repeats) Spontaneously to seek out the saurian's lair in order to entrust their teats to his avid suction. Ant milks aphis. (Profoundly) Instinct rules the world. In life. In death.

VIRAG: (Head askew, arches his back and hunched wingshoulders, peers at the moth out of blear bulged eyes, points a horning claw and cries) Who's moth moth? Who's dear Gerald? Dear Ger, that you? O dear, he is Gerald. O, I much fear he shall be most badly burned. Will some pleashe pershon not now impediment so catastrophics mit agitation of firstclass tablenumpkin? (He mews) Puss puss puss puss! (He sighs, draws back and stares sideways down with dropping underjaw) Well, well. He doth rest anon. (He snaps his jaws suddenly on the air)

THE MOTH:

I'm a tiny tiny thing
Ever flying in the spring
Round and round a ringaring.
Long ago I was a king
Now I do this kind of thing
On the wing, on the wing!
Bing!

(He rushes against the mauve shade, flapping noisily) Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty petticoats.

(From left upper entrance with two gliding steps Henry Flower comes forward to left front centre. He wears a dark mantle and drooping plumed sombrero. He carries a silverstringed inlaid dulcimer and a longstemmed bamboo Jacob's pipe, its clay bowl fashioned as a female head. He wears dark velvet hose and silverbuckled pumps. He has the romantic Saviour's face with flowing locks, thin beard and moustache. His spindlelegs and sparrow feet are those of the tenor Mario, prince of Candia. He settles down his goffered ruffs and moistens his lips with a passage of his amorous tongue.)

HENRY: (In a low dulcet voice, touching the strings of his guitar) There is a flower that bloometh.

(Virag truculent, his jowl set, stares at the lamp. Grave Bloom regards Zoe's neck. Henry gallant turns with pendant dewlap to the piano.)

STEPHEN: (To himself) Play with your eyes shut. Imitate pa. Filling my belly with husks of swine. Too much of this. I will arise and go to my. Expect this is the. Steve, thou art in a parlous way. Must visit old Deasy or telegraph. Our interview of this morning has left on me a deep impression. Though our ages. Will write fully tomorrow. I'm partially drunk, by the way. (He touches the keys again) Minor chord comes now. Yes. Not much however.

(Almidano Artifoni holds out a batonroll of music with vigorous moustachework.)

ARTIFONI: Ci rifletta. Lei rovina tutto.

FLORRY: Sing us something. Love's old sweet song.

STEPHEN: No voice. I am a most finished artist. Lynch, did I show you the letter about the lute?

FLORRY: (Smirking) The bird that can sing and won't sing.

(The Siamese twins, Philip Drunk and Philip Sober, two Oxford dons with lawnmowers, appear in the window embrasure. Both are masked with Matthew Arnold's face.)

PHILIP SOBER: Take a fool's advice. All is not well. Work it out with the buttend of a pencil, like a good young idiot. Three pounds twelve you got, two notes, one sovereign, two crowns, if youth but knew. Mooney's en ville, Mooney's sur mer, the Moira, Larchet's, Holles street hospital, Burke's. Eh? I am watching you.

PHILIP DRUNK: (Impatiently) Ah, bosh, man. Go to hell! I paid my way. If I could only find out about octaves. Reduplication of personality. Who was it told me his name? (His lawnmower begins to purr) Aha, yes. Zoe mou sas agapo. Have a notion I was here before. When was it not Atkinson his card I have somewhere. Mac Somebody. Unmack I have it. He told me about, hold on, Swinburne, was it, no?

FLORRY: And the song?

STEPHEN: Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

FLORRY: Are you out of Maynooth? You're like someone I knew once.

STEPHEN: Out of it now. (To himself) Clever.

PHILIP DRUNK AND PHILIP SOBER: (Their lawnmowers purring with a rigadoon of grasshalms) Clever ever. Out of it out of it. By the bye have you the book, the thing, the ashplant? Yes, there it, yes. Cleverever outofitnow. Keep in condition. Do like us.

ZOE: There was a priest down here two nights ago to do his bit of business with his coat buttoned up. You needn't try to hide, I says to him. I know you've a Roman collar.

VIRAG: Perfectly logical from his standpoint. Fall of man. (Harshly, his pupils waxing) To hell with the pope! Nothing new under the sun. I am the Virag who disclosed the Sex Secrets of Monks and Maidens. Why I left the church of Rome. Read the Priest, the Woman and the Confessional. Penrose. Flipperty Jippert. (He wriggles) Woman, undoing with sweet pudor her belt of rushrope, offers her allmoist yoni to man's lingam. Short time after man presents woman with pieces of jungle meat. Woman shows joy and covers herself with featherskins. Man loves her yoni fiercely with big lingam, the stiff one. (He cries) Coactus volui. Then giddy woman will run about. Strong man grapses woman's wrist. Woman squeals, bites, spucks. Man, now fierce angry, strikes woman's fat yadgana. (He chases his tail) Piffpaff! Popo! (He stops, sneezes) Pchp! (He worries his butt) Prrrrrht!

LYNCH: I hope you gave the good father a penance. Nine glorias for shooting a bishop.

ZOE: (Spouts walrus smoke through her nostrils) He couldn't get a connection. Only, you know, sensation. A dry rush.

BLOOM: Poor man!

ZOE: (Lightly) Only for what happened him.

BLOOM: How?

VIRAG: (A diabolic rictus of black luminosity contracting his visage, cranes his scraggy neck forward. He lifts a mooncalf nozzle and howls.) Verfluchte Goim! He had a father, forty fathers. He never existed. Pig God! He had two left feet. He was Judas Iacchia, a Libyan eunuch, the pope's bastard. (He leans out on tortured forepaws, elbows bent rigid, his eye agonising in his flat skullneck and yelps over the mute world) A son of a whore. Apocalypse.

KITTY: And Mary Shortall that was in the lock with the pox she got from Jimmy Pidgeon in the blue caps had a child off him that couldn't swallow and was smothered with the convulsions in the mattress and we all subscribed for the funeral.

PHILIP DRUNK: (Gravely) Qui vous a mis dans cette fichue position, Philippe?

PHILIP SOBER: (Gaily) c'etait le sacre pigeon, Philippe.

(Kitty unpins her hat and sets it down calmly, patting her henna hair. And a prettier, a daintier head of winsome curls was never seen on a whore's shoulders. Lynch puts on her hat. She whips it off.)

LYNCH: (Laughs) And to such delights has Metchnikoff inoculated anthropoid apes.

FLORRY: (Nods) Locomotor ataxy.

ZOE: (Gaily) O, my dictionary.

LYNCH: Three wise virgins.

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