Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 15 - Circe

MAGINNI: Dansez avec vos dames! Changez de dames! Donnez le petit bouquet a votre dame! Remerciez!

THE PIANOLA:

Best, best of all,
Baraabum!

KITTY: (JUMPS UP) O, they played that on the hobbyhorses at the Mirus bazaar!

(She runs to Stephen. He leaves florry brusquely and seizes Kitty. A screaming bittern's harsh high whistle shrieks. Groangrousegurgling Toft's cumbersome whirligig turns slowly the room right roundabout the room.)

THE PIANOLA:

My girl's a Yorkshire girl.

ZOE:

Yorkshire through and through.

Come on all!

(She seizes Florry and waltzes her.)

STEPHEN: Pas seul!

(He wheels Kitty into Lynch's arms, snatches up his ashplant from the table and takes the floor. All wheel whirl waltz twirl. Bloombella Kittylynch Florryzoe jujuby women. Stephen with hat ashplant frogsplits in middle highkicks with skykicking mouth shut hand clasp part under thigh. With clang tinkle boomhammer tallyho hornblower blue green yellow flashes Toft's cumbersome turns with hobbyhorse riders from gilded snakes dangled, bowels fandango leaping spurn soil foot and fall again.)

THE PIANOLA:

Though she's a factory lass And wears no fancy clothes.

(Closeclutched swift swifter with glareblareflare scudding they scootlootshoot lumbering by. Baraabum!)

TUTTI: Encore! Bis! Bravo! Encore!

SIMON: Think of your mother's people!

STEPHEN: Dance of death.

(Bang fresh barang bang of lacquey's bell, horse, nag, steer, piglings, Conmee on Christass, lame crutch and leg sailor in cockboat armfolded ropepulling hitching stamp hornpipe through and through. Baraabum! On nags hogs bellhorses Gadarene swine Corny in coffin Steel shark stone onehandled nelson two trickies Frauenzimmer plumstained from pram filling bawling gum he's a champion. Fuseblue peer from barrel rev. evensong Love on hackney jaunt Blazes blind coddoubled bicyclers Dilly with snowcake no fancy clothes. Then in last switchback lumbering up and down bump mashtub sort of viceroy and reine relish for tublumber bumpshire rose. Baraabum!)

(The couples fall aside. Stephen whirls giddily. Room whirls back. Eyes closed he totters. Red rails fly spacewards. Stars all around suns turn roundabout. Bright midges dance on walls. He stops dead.)

STEPHEN: Ho!

(Stephen's mother, emaciated, rises stark through the floor, in leper grey with a wreath of faded orangeblossoms and a torn bridal veil, her face worn and noseless, green with gravemould. Her hair is scant and lank. She fixes her bluecircled hollow eyesockets on Stephen and opens her toothless mouth uttering a silent word. A choir of virgins and confessors sing voicelessly.)

THE CHOIR:

Liliata rutilantium te confessorum . . .
Iubilantium te virginum . . .

(from the top of a tower Buck Mulligan, in particoloured jester's dress of puce and yellow and clown's cap with curling bell, stands gaping at her, a smoking buttered split scone in his hand.)

BUCK MULLIGAN: She's beastly dead. The pity of it! Mulligan meets the afflicted mother. (He upturns his eyes) Mercurial Malachi!

THE MOTHER: (With the subtle smile of death's madness) I was once the beautiful May Goulding. I am dead.

STEPHEN: (Horrorstruck) Lemur, who are you? No. What bogeyman's trick is this?

BUCK MULLIGAN: (Shakes his curling capbell) The mockery of it! Kinch dogsbody killed her bitchbody. She kicked the bucket. (Tears of molten butter fall from his eyes on to the scone) Our great sweet mother! Epi oinopa ponton.

THE MOTHER: (Comes nearer, breathing upon him softly her breath of wetted ashes) All must go through it, Stephen. More women than men in the world. You too. Time will come.

STEPHEN: (Choking with fright, remorse and horror) They say I killed you, mother. He offended your memory. Cancer did it, not I. Destiny.

THE MOTHER: (A green rill of bile trickling from a side of her mouth) You sang that song to me. Love's bitter mystery.

STEPHEN: (Eagerly) Tell me the word, mother, if you know now. The word known to all men.

THE MOTHER: Who saved you the night you jumped into the train at Dalkey with Paddy Lee? Who had pity for you when you were sad among the strangers? Prayer is allpowerful. Prayer for the suffering souls in the Ursuline manual and forty days' indulgence. Repent, Stephen.

STEPHEN: The ghoul! Hyena!

THE MOTHER: I pray for you in my other world. Get Dilly to make you that boiled rice every night after your brainwork. Years and years I loved you, O, my son, my firstborn, when you lay in my womb.

ZOE: (Fanning herself with the grate fan) I'm melting!

FLORRY: (Points to Stephen) Look! He's white.

BLOOM: (Goes to the window to open it more) Giddy.

THE MOTHER: (With smouldering eyes) Repent! O, the fire of hell!

STEPHEN: (Panting) His noncorrosive sublimate! The corpsechewer! Raw head and bloody bones.

THE MOTHER: (Her face drawing near and nearer, sending out an ashen breath) Beware! (She raises her blackened withered right arm slowly towards Stephen's breast with outstretched finger) Beware God's hand! (A green crab with malignant red eyes sticks deep its grinning claws in Stephen's heart.)

STEPHEN: (Strangled with rage) Shite! (His features grow drawn grey and old)

BLOOM: (At the window) What?

STEPHEN: Ah non, par exemple! The intellectual imagination! With me all or not at all. Non serviam!

FLORRY: Give him some cold water. Wait. (She rushes out)

THE MOTHER: (Wrings her hands slowly, moaning desperately) O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on him! Save him from hell, O Divine Sacred Heart!

STEPHEN: No! No! No! Break my spirit, all of you, if you can! I'll bring you all to heel!

THE MOTHER: (In the agony of her deathrattle) Have mercy on Stephen, Lord, for my sake! Inexpressible was my anguish when expiring with love, grief and agony on Mount Calvary.

STEPHEN: Nothung!

(He lifts his ashplant high with both hands and smashes the chandelier. Time's livid final flame leaps and, in the following darkness, ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppling masonry.)

THE GASJET: Pwfungg!

BLOOM: Stop!

LYNCH: (Rushes forward and seizes Stephen's hand) Here! Hold on! Don't run amok!

BELLA: Police!

(Stephen, abandoning his ashplant, his head and arms thrown back stark, beats the ground and flies from the room, past the whores at the door.)

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