Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 15 - Circe

STEPHEN: No, I flew. My foes beneath me. And ever shall be. World without end. (He cries) Pater! Free!

BLOOM: I say, look . . .

STEPHEN: Break my spirit, will he? O merde alors! (He cries, his vulture talons sharpened) Hola! Hillyho!

(Simon Dedalus' voice hilloes in answer, somewhat sleepy but ready.)

SIMON: That's all right. (He swoops uncertainly through the air, wheeling, uttering cries of heartening, on strong ponderous buzzard wings) Ho, boy! Are you going to win? Hoop! Pschatt! Stable with those halfcastes. Wouldn't let them within the bawl of an ass. Head up! Keep our flag flying! An eagle gules volant in a field argent displayed. Ulster king at arms! Haihoop! (He makes the beagle's call, giving tongue) Bulbul! Burblblburblbl! Hai, boy!

(The fronds and spaces of the wallpaper file rapidly across country. A stout fox, drawn from covert, brush pointed, having buried his grandmother, runs swift for the open, brighteyed, seeking badger earth, under the leaves. The pack of staghounds follows, nose to the ground, sniffing their quarry, beaglebaying, burblbrbling to be blooded. Ward Union huntsmen and huntswomen live with them, hot for a kill. From Six Mile Point, Flathouse, Nine Mile Stone follow the footpeople with knotty sticks, hayforks, salmongaffs, lassos, flockmasters with stockwhips, bearbaiters with tomtoms, toreadors with bullswords, greynegroes waving torches. The crowd bawls of dicers, crown and anchor players, thimbleriggers, broadsmen. Crows and touts, hoarse bookies in high wizard hats clamour deafeningly.)


Card of the races. Racing card!
Ten to one the field!
Tommy on the clay here! Tommy on the clay!
Ten to one bar one! Ten to one bar one!
Try your luck on Spinning Jenny!
Ten to one bar one!
Sell the monkey, boys! Sell the monkey!
I'll give ten to one!
Ten to one bar one!

(A dark horse, riderless, bolts like a phantom past the winningpost, his mane moonfoaming, his eyeballs stars. The field follows, a bunch of bucking mounts. Skeleton horses, Sceptre, Maximum the Second, Zinfandel, the Duke of Westminster's Shotover, Repulse, the Duke of Beaufort's Ceylon, prix de Paris. Dwarfs ride them, rustyarmoured, leaping, leaping in their, in their saddles. Last in a drizzle of rain on a brokenwinded isabelle nag, Cock of the North, the favourite, honey cap, green jacket, orange sleeves, Garrett Deasy up, gripping the reins, a hockeystick at the ready. His nag on spavined whitegaitered feet jogs along the rocky road.)

THE ORANGE LODGES: (Jeering) Get down and push, mister. Last lap! You'll be home the night!

GARRETT DEASY: (Bolt upright, his nailscraped face plastered with postagestamps, brandishes his hockeystick, his blue eyes flashing in the prism of the chandelier as his mount lopes by at schooling gallop)

Per vias rectas!

(A yoke of buckets leopards all over him and his rearing nag a torrent of mutton broth with dancing coins of carrots, barley, onions, turnips, potatoes.)

THE GREEN LODGES: Soft day, sir John! Soft day, your honour!

(Private Carr, Private Compton and Cissy Caffrey pass beneath the windows, singing in discord.)

STEPHEN: Hark! Our friend noise in the street.

ZOE: (Holds up her hand) Stop!


Yet I've a sort a Yorkshire relish for . . .

ZOE: That's me. (She claps her hands) Dance! Dance! (She runs to the pianola) Who has twopence?

BLOOM: Who'll . . . ?

LYNCH: (Handing her coins) Here.

STEPHEN: (Cracking his fingers impatiently) Quick! Quick! Where's my augur's rod? (He runs to the piano and takes his ashplant, beating his foot in tripudium)

ZOE: (Turns the drumhandle) There.

(She drops two pennies in the slot. Gold, pink and violet lights start forth. The drum turns purring in low hesitation waltz. Professor Goodwin, in a bowknotted periwig, in court dress, wearing a stained inverness cape, bent in two from incredible age, totters across the room, his hands fluttering. He sits tinily on the pianostool and lifts and beats handless sticks of arms on the keyboard, nodding with damsel's grace, his bowknot bobbing)

ZOE: (Twirls round herself, heeltapping) Dance. Anybody here for there? Who'll dance? Clear the table.

(The pianola with changing lights plays in waltz time the prelude of My Girl's a Yorkshire Girl. Stephen throws his ashplant on the table and seizes Zoe round the waist. Florry and Bella push the table towards the fireplace. Stephen, arming Zoe with exaggerated grace, begins to waltz her round the room. Bloom stands aside. Her sleeve filling from gracing arms reveals a white fleshflower of vaccination. Between the curtains Professor Maginni inserts a leg on the toepoint of which spins a silk hat. With a deft kick he sends it spinning to his crown and jauntyhatted skates in. He wears a slate frockcoat with claret silk lapels, a gorget of cream tulle, a green lowcut waistcoat, stock collar with white kerchief, tight lavender trousers, patent pumps and canary gloves. In his buttonhole is an immense dahlia. He twirls in reversed directions a clouded cane, then wedges it tight in his oxter. He places a hand lightly on his breastbone, bows, and fondles his flower and buttons.)

MAGINNI: The poetry of motion, art of calisthenics. No connection with Madam Legget Byrne's or Levenston's. Fancy dress balls arranged. Deportment. The Katty Lanner step. So. Watch me! My terpsichorean abilities. (He minuets forward three paces on tripping bee's feet) Tout le monde en avant! Reverence! Tout le monde en place!

(The prelude ceases. Professor Goodwin, beating vague arms shrivels, sinks, his live cape filling about the stool. The air in firmer waltz time sounds. Stephen and Zoe circle freely. The lights change, glow, fide gold rosy violet.)


Two young fellows were talking about their girls, girls, girls, Sweethearts they'd left behind . . .

(From a corner the morning hours run out, goldhaired, slimsandalled, in girlish blue, waspwaisted, with innocent hands. Nimbly they dance, twirling their skipping ropes. The hours of noon follow in amber gold. Laughing, linked, high haircombs flashing, they catch the sun in mocking mirrors, lifting their arms.)

MAGINNI: (Clipclaps glovesilent hands) Carre! Avant deux! Breathe evenly! Balance!

(The morning and noon hours waltz in their places, turning, advancing to each other, shaping their curves, bowing visavis. Cavaliers behind them arch and suspend their arms, with hands descending to, touching, rising from their shoulders.)

HOURS: You may touch my.

CAVALIERS: May I touch your?

HOURS: O, but lightly!

CAVALIERS: O, so lightly!


My little shy little lass has a waist.

(Zoe and Stephen turn boldly with looser swing. The twilight hours advance from long landshadows, dispersed, lagging, languideyed, their cheeks delicate with cipria and false faint bloom. They are in grey gauze with dark bat sleeves that flutter in the land breeze.)

MAGINNI: Avant huit! Traverse! Salut! Cours de mains! Croise!

(The night hours, one by one, steal to the last place. Morning, noon and twilight hours retreat before them. They are masked, with daggered hair and bracelets of dull bells. Weary they curchycurchy under veils.)

THE BRACELETS: Heigho! Heigho!

ZOE: (Twirling, her hand to her brow) O!

MAGINNI: Les tiroirs! Chaine de dames! La corbeille! Dos a dos!

(Arabesquing wearily they weave a pattern on the floor, weaving, unweaving, curtseying, twirling, simply swirling.)

ZOE: I'm giddy!

(She frees herself, droops on a chair. Stephen seizes Florry and turns with her.)

MAGINNI: Boulangere! Les ronds! Les ponts! Chevaux de bois! Escargots!

(Twining, receding, with interchanging hands the night hours link each each with arching arms in a mosaic of movements. Stephen and Florry turn cumbrously.)

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