Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 15 - Circe

BELLA: (Screams) After him!

(The two whores rush to the halldoor. Lynch and Kitty and Zoe stampede from the room. They talk excitedly. Bloom follows, returns.)

THE WHORES: (Jammed in the doorway, pointing) Down there.

ZOE: (Pointing) There. There's something up.

BELLA: Who pays for the lamp? (She seizes Bloom's coattail) Here, you were with him. The lamp's broken.

BLOOM: (Rushes to the hall, rushes back) What lamp, woman?

A WHORE: He tore his coat.

BELLA: (Her eyes hard with anger and cupidity, points) Who's to pay for that? Ten shillings. You're a witness.

BLOOM: (Snatches up Stephen's ashplant) Me? Ten shillings? Haven't you lifted enough off him? Didn't he . . . ?

BELLA: (Loudly) Here, none of your tall talk. This isn't a brothel. A ten shilling house.

BLOOM: (His head under the lamp, pulls the chain. Puling, the gasjet lights up a crushed mauve purple shade. He raises the ashplant.) Only the chimney's broken. Here is all he . . .

BELLA: (Shrinks back and screams) Jesus! Don't!

BLOOM: (Warding off a blow) To show you how he hit the paper. There's not sixpenceworth of damage done. Ten shillings!

FLORRY: (With a glass of water, enters) Where is he?

BELLA: Do you want me to call the police?

BLOOM: O, I know. Bulldog on the premises. But he's a Trinity student. Patrons of your establishment. Gentlemen that pay the rent. (He makes a masonic sign) Know what I mean? Nephew of the vice-chancellor. You don't want a scandal.

BELLA: (Angrily) Trinity. Coming down here ragging after the boatraces and paying nothing. Are you my commander here or? Where is he? I'll charge him! Disgrace him, I will! (She Shouts) Zoe! Zoe!

BLOOM: (Urgently) And if it were your own son in Oxford? (Warningly) I know.

BELLA: (Almost speechless) Who are. Incog!

ZOE: (In the doorway) There's a row on.

BLOOM: What? Where? (He throws a shilling on the table and starts) That's for the chimney. Where? I need mountain air.

(He hurries out through the hall. The whores point. Florry follows, spilling water from her tilted tumbler. On the doorstep all the whores clustered talk volubly, pointing to the right where the fog has cleared off. From the left arrives a jingling hackney car. It slows to in front of the house. Bloom at the halldoor perceives Corny Kelleher who is about to dismount from the car with two silent lechers. He averts his face. Bella from within the hall urges on her whores. They blow ickylickysticky yumyum kisses. Corny Kelleher replies with a ghastly lewd smile. The silent lechers turn to pay the jarvey. Zoe and Kitty still point right. Bloom, parting them swiftly, draws his caliph's hood and poncho and hurries down the steps with sideways face. Incog Haroun al Raschid he flits behind the silent lechers and hastens on by the railings with fleet step of a pard strewing the drag behind him, torn envelopes drenched in aniseed. The ashplant marks his stride. A pack of bloodhounds, led by Hornblower of Trinity brandishing a dogwhip in tallyho cap and an old pair of grey trousers, follow from fir, picking up the scent, nearer, baying, panting, at fault, breaking away, throwing their tongues, biting his heels, leaping at his tail. He walks, runs, zigzags, gallops, lugs laid back. He is pelted with gravel, cabbagestumps, biscuitboxes, eggs, potatoes, dead codfish, woman's slipperslappers. After him freshfound the hue and cry zigzag gallops in hot pursuit of follow my leader: 65 C, 66 C, night watch, John Henry Menton, Wisdom Hely, V. B. Dillon, Councillor Nannetti, Alexander Keyes, Larry O'rourke, Joe Cuffe Mrs O'dowd, Pisser Burke, The Nameless One, Mrs Riordan, The Citizen, Garryowen, Whodoyoucallhim, Strangeface, Fellowthatsolike, Sawhimbefore, Chapwithawen, Chris Callinan, Sir Charles Cameron, Benjamin Dollard, Lenehan, Bartell d'Arcy, Joe Hynes, red Murray, editor Brayden, T. M. Healy, Mr Justice Fitzgibbon, John Howard Parnell, the reverend Tinned Salmon, Professor Joly, Mrs Breen, Denis Breen, Theodore Purefoy, Mina Purefoy, the Westland Row postmistress, C. P. M'Coy, friend of Lyons, Hoppy Holohan, maninthestreet, othermaninthestreet, Footballboots, pugnosed driver, rich protestant lady, Davy Byrne, Mrs Ellen M'Guinness, Mrs Joe Gallaher, George Lidwell, Jimmy Henry on corns, Superintendent Laracy, Father Cowley, Crofton out of the Collector-general's, Dan Dawson, dental surgeon Bloom with tweezers, Mrs Bob Doran, Mrs Kennefick, Mrs Wyse Nolan, John Wyse Nolan, handsomemarriedwomanrubbedagainstwide behindinClonskeatram, the bookseller of Sweets of Sin, Miss Dubedatandshedidbedad, Mesdames Gerald and Stanislaus Moran of Roebuck, the managing clerk of Drimmie's, Wetherup, colonel Hayes, Mastiansky, Citron, Penrose, Aaron Figatner, Moses Herzog, Michael E Geraghty, Inspector Troy, Mrs Galbraith, the constable off Eccles Street corner, old doctor Brady with stethoscope, the mystery man on the beach, a retriever, Mrs Miriam Dandrade and all her lovers.)

THE HUE AND CRY: (Helterskelterpelterwelter) He's Bloom! Stop Bloom! Stopabloom! Stopperrobber! Hi! Hi! Stophim on the corner!

(At the corner of Beaver Street beneath the scaffolding Bloom panting stops on the fringe of the noisy quarrelling knot, a lot not knowing a jot what hi! hi! row and wrangle round the whowhat brawlaltogether.)

STEPHEN: (With elaborate gestures, breathing deeply and slowly) You are my guests. Uninvited. By virtue of the fifth of George and seventh of Edward. History to blame. Fabled by mothers of memory.

PRIVATE CARR: (To Cissy Caffrey) Was he insulting you?

STEPHEN: Addressed her in vocative feminine. Probably neuter. Ungenitive.

VOICES: No, he didn't. I seen him. The girl there. He was in Mrs Cohen's. What's up? Soldier and civilian.

CISSY CAFFREY: I was in company with the soldiers and they left me to do — you know, and the young man run up behind me. But I'm faithful to the man that's treating me though I'm only a shilling whore.

STEPHEN: (Catches sight of Lynch's and Kitty's heads) Hail, Sisyphus. (He points to himself and the others) Poetic. Uropoetic.

VOICES: Shes faithfultheman.

CISSY CAFFREY: Yes, to go with him. And me with a soldier friend.

PRIVATE COMPTON: He doesn't half want a thick ear, the blighter. Biff him one, Harry.

PRIVATE CARR: (To Cissy) Was he insulting you while me and him was having a piss?

LORD TENNYSON: (Gentleman poet in Union Jack blazer and cricket flannels, bareheaded, flowingbearded) Theirs not to reason why.

PRIVATE COMPTON: Biff him, Harry.

STEPHEN: (To Private Compton) I don't know your name but you are quite right. Doctor Swift says one man in armour will beat ten men in their shirts. Shirt is synechdoche. Part for the whole.

CISSY CAFFREY: (To The Crowd) No, I was with the privates.

STEPHEN: (Amiably) Why not? The bold soldier boy. In my opinion every lady for example . . .

PRIVATE CARR: (His cap awry, advances to Stephen) Say, how would it be, governor, if I was to bash in your jaw?

STEPHEN: (Looks up to the sky) How? Very unpleasant. Noble art of selfpretence. Personally, I detest action. (He waves his hand) Hand hurts me slightly. Enfin ce sont vos oignons. (To Cissy Caffrey) Some trouble is on here. What is it precisely?

DOLLY GRAY: (From her balcony waves her handkerchief, giving the sign of the heroine of Jericho) Rahab. Cook's son, goodbye. Safe home to Dolly. Dream of the girl you left behind and she will dream of you.

(The soldiers turn their swimming eyes.)

BLOOM: (Elbowing through the crowd, plucks Stephen's sleeve vigorously) Come now, professor, that carman is waiting.

STEPHEN: (Turns) Eh? (He disengages himself) Why should I not speak to him or to any human being who walks upright upon this oblate orange? (He points his finger) I'm not afraid of what I can talk to if I see his eye. Retaining the perpendicular.

(He staggers a pace back)

BLOOM: (Propping him) Retain your own.

STEPHEN: (Laughs emptily) My centre of gravity is displaced. I have forgotten the trick. Let us sit down somewhere and discuss. Struggle for life is the law of existence but but human philirenists, notably the tsar and the king of England, have invented arbitration. (He taps his brow) But in here it is I must kill the priest and the king.

BIDDY THE CLAP: Did you hear what the professor said? He's a professor out of the college.

CUNTY KATE: I did. I heard that.

BIDDY THE CLAP: He expresses himself with such marked refinement of phraseology.

CUNTY KATE: Indeed, yes. And at the same time with such apposite trenchancy.

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