Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 15 - Circe

(With regret he lets the unrolled crubeen and trotter slide. The mastiff mauls the bundle clumsily and gluts himself with growling greed, crunching the bones. Two raincaped watch approach, silent, vigilant. They murmur together.)

THE WATCH: Bloom. Of Bloom. For Bloom. Bloom.

(Each lays hand on Bloom's shoulder.)

FIRST WATCH: Caught in the act. Commit no nuisance.

BLOOM: (Stammers) I am doing good to others.

(A covey of gulls, storm petrels, rises hungrily from Liffey slime with Banbury cakes in their beaks.)

THE GULLS: Kaw kave kankury kake.

BLOOM: The friend of man. Trained by kindness.

(He points. Bob Doran, toppling from a high barstool, sways over the munching spaniel.)

BOB DORAN: Towser. Give us the paw. Give the paw.

(The bulldog growls, his scruff standing, a gobbet of pig's knuckle between his molars through which rabid scumspittle dribbles. Bob Doran fills silently into an area.)

SECOND WATCH: Prevention of cruelty to animals.

BLOOM: (Enthusiastically) A noble work! I scolded that tramdriver on Harold's cross bridge for illusing the poor horse with his harness scab. Bad French I got for my pains. Of course it was frosty and the last tram. All tales of circus life are highly demoralising.

(Signor Maffei, passionpale, in liontamer's costume with diamond studs in his shirtfront, steps forward, holding a circus paperhoop, a curling carriagewhip and a revolver with which he covers the gorging boarhound.)

SIGNOR MAFFEI: (With a sinister smile) Ladies and gentlemen, my educated greyhound. It was I broke in the bucking broncho Ajax with my patent spiked saddle for carnivores. Lash under the belly with a knotted thong. Block tackle and a strangling pulley will bring your lion to heel, no matter how fractious, even Leo ferox there, the Libyan maneater. A redhot crowbar and some liniment rubbing on the burning part produced Fritz of Amsterdam, the thinking hyena. (He glares) I possess the Indian sign. The glint of my eye does it with these breastsparklers. (With a bewitching smile) I now introduce Mademoiselle Ruby, the pride of the ring.

FIRST WATCH: Come. Name and address.

BLOOM: I have forgotten for the moment. Ah, yes! (He takes off his high grade hat, saluting) Dr Bloom, Leopold, dental surgeon. You have heard of von Blum Pasha. Umpteen millions. Donnerwetter! Owns half Austria. Egypt. Cousin.


(A card falls from inside the leather headband of Bloom's hat.)

BLOOM: (In red fez, cadi's dress coat with broad green sash, wearing a false badge of the Legion of Honour, picks up the card hastily and offers it) Allow me. My club is the Junior Army and Navy. Solicitors: Messrs John Henry Menton, 27 Bachelor's Walk.

FIRST WATCH: (Reads) Henry Flower. No fixed abode. Unlawfully watching and besetting.

SECOND WATCH: An alibi. You are cautioned.

BLOOM: (Produces from his heartpocket a crumpled yellow flower) This is the flower in question. It was given me by a man I don't know his name. (Plausibly) You know that old joke, rose of Castile. Bloom. The change of name. Virag. (He murmurs privately and confidentially) We are engaged you see, sergeant. Lady in the case. Love entanglement. (He shoulders the second watch gently) Dash it all. It's a way we gallants have in the navy. Uniform that does it. (He turns gravely to the first watch) Still, of course, you do get your Waterloo sometimes. Drop in some evening and have a glass of old Burgundy. (To the second watch gaily) I'll introduce you, inspector. She's game. Do it in the shake of a lamb's tail.

(A dark mercurialised face appears, leading a veiled figure.)

THE DARK MERCURY: The Castle is looking for him. He was drummed out of the army.

MARTHA: (Thickveiled, a crimson halter round her neck, a copy of the Irish Times in her hand, in tone of reproach, pointing) Henry! Leopold! Lionel, thou lost one! Clear my name.

FIRST WATCH: (Sternly) Come to the station.

BLOOM: (Scared, hats himself, steps back, then, plucking at his heart and lifting his right forearm on the square, he gives the sign and dueguard of fellowcraft) No, no, worshipful master, light of love. Mistaken identity. The Lyons mail. Lesurques and Dubosc. You remember the Childs fratricide case. We medical men. By striking him dead with a hatchet. I am wrongfully accused. Better one guilty escape than ninetynine wrongfully condemned.

MARTHA: (Sobbing behind her veil) Breach of promise. My real name is Peggy Griffin. He wrote to me that he was miserable. I'll tell my brother, the Bective rugger fullback, on you, heartless flirt.

BLOOM: (Behind his hand) She's drunk. The woman is inebriated. (He murmurs vaguely the pass of Ephraim) Shitbroleeth.

SECOND WATCH: (Tears in his eyes, to Bloom) You ought to be thoroughly well ashamed of yourself.

BLOOM: Gentlemen of the jury, let me explain. A pure mare's nest. I am a man misunderstood. I am being made a scapegoat of. I am a respectable married man, without a stain on my character. I live in Eccles street. My wife, I am the daughter of a most distinguished commander, a gallant upstanding gentleman, what do you call him, Majorgeneral Brian Tweedy, one of Britain's fighting men who helped to win our battles. Got his majority for the heroic defence of Rorke's Drift.

FIRST WATCH: Regiment.

BLOOM: (Turns to the gallery) The royal Dublins, boys, the salt of the earth, known the world over. I think I see some old comrades in arms up there among you. The R. D. F., with our own Metropolitan police, guardians of our homes, the pluckiest lads and the finest body of men, as physique, in the service of our sovereign.

A VOICE: Turncoat! Up the Boers! Who booed Joe Chamberlain?

BLOOM: (His hand on the shoulder of the first watch) My old dad too was a J. P. I'm as staunch a Britisher as you are, sir. I fought with the colours for king and country in the absentminded war under general Gough in the park and was disabled at Spion Kop and Bloemfontein, was mentioned in dispatches. I did all a white man could. (With quiet feeling) Jim Bludso. Hold her nozzle again the bank.

FIRST WATCH: Profession or trade.

BLOOM: Well, I follow a literary occupation, author-journalist. In fact we are just bringing out a collection of prize stories of which I am the inventor, something that is an entirely new departure. I am connected with the British and Irish press. If you ring up . . .

(Myles Crawford strides out jerkily, a quill between his teeth. His scarlet beak blazes within the aureole of his straw hat. He dangles a hank of Spanish onions in one hand and holds with the other hand a telephone receiver nozzle to his ear.)

MYLES CRAWFORD: (His cock's wattles wagging) Hello, seventyseven eightfour. Hello. Freeman's Urinal and Weekly Arsewipe here. Paralyse Europe. You which? Bluebags? Who writes? Is it Bloom?

(Mr Philip Beaufoy, palefaced, stands in the witnessbox, in accurate morning dress, outbreast pocket with peak of handkerchief showing, creased lavender trousers and patent boots. He carries a large portfolio labelled Matcham's Masterstrokes.)

BEAUFOY: (Drawls) No, you aren't. Not by a long shot if I know it. I don't see it that's all. No born gentleman, no-one with the most rudimentary promptings of a gentleman would stoop to such particularly loathsome conduct. One of those, my lord. A plagiarist. A soapy sneak masquerading as a litterateur. It's perfectly obvious that with the most inherent baseness he has cribbed some of my bestselling copy, really gorgeous stuff, a perfect gem, the love passages in which are beneath suspicion. The Beaufoy books of love and great possessions, with which your lordship is doubtless familiar, are a household word throughout the kingdom.

BLOOM: (Murmurs with hangdog meekness glum) That bit about the laughing witch hand in hand I take exception to, if I may . . .

BEAUFOY: (His lip upcurled, smiles superciliously on the court) You funny ass, you! You're too beastly awfully weird for words! I don't think you need over excessively disincommodate yourself in that regard. My literary agent Mr J. B. Pinker is in attendance. I presume, my lord, we shall receive the usual witnesses' fees, shan't we? We are considerably out of pocket over this bally pressman johnny, this jackdaw of Rheims, who has not even been to a university.

BLOOM: (Indistinctly) University of life. Bad art.

BEAUFOY: (Shouts) It's a damnably foul lie, showing the moral rottenness of the man! (He extends his portfolio) We have here damning evidence, the corpus delicti, my lord, a specimen of my maturer work disfigured by the hallmark of the beast.


Moses, Moses, king of the jews, Wiped his arse in the Daily News.

BLOOM: (Bravely) Overdrawn.

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