— I propose, our hero eventually suggested after mature reflection while prudently pocketing her photo, as it's rather stuffy here you just come home with me and talk things over. My diggings are quite close in the vicinity. You can't drink that stuff. Do you like cocoa? Wait. I'll just pay this lot.
The best plan clearly being to clear out, the remainder being plain sailing, he beckoned, while prudently pocketing the photo, to the keeper of the shanty who didn't seem to.
— Yes, that's the best, he assured Stephen to whom for the matter of that Brazen Head or him or anywhere else was all more or less.
All kinds of Utopian plans were flashing through his (B's) busy brain, education (the genuine article), literature, journalism, prize titbits, up to date billing, concert tours in English watering resorts packed with hydros and seaside theatres, turning money away, duets in Italian with the accent perfectly true to nature and a quantity of other things, no necessity, of course, to tell the world and his wife from the housetops about it, and a slice of luck. An opening was all was wanted. Because he more than suspected he had his father's voice to bank his hopes on which it was quite on the cards he had so it would be just as well, by the way no harm, to trail the conversation in the direction of that particular red herring just to.
The cabby read out of the paper he had got hold of that the former viceroy, earl Cadogan, had presided at the cabdrivers' association dinner in London somewhere. Silence with a yawn or two accompanied this thrilling announcement. Then the old specimen in the corner who appeared to have some spark of vitality left read out that sir Anthony MacDonnell had left Euston for the chief secretary's lodge or words to that effect. To which absorbing piece of intelligence echo answered why.
— Give us a squint at that literature, grandfather, the ancient mariner put in, manifesting some natural impatience.
— And welcome, answered the elderly party thus addressed.
The sailor lugged out from a case he had a pair of greenish goggles which he very slowly hooked over his nose and both ears.
— Are you bad in the eyes? the sympathetic personage like the townclerk queried.
— Why, answered the seafarer with the tartan beard, who seemingly was a bit of a literary cove in his own small way, staring out of seagreen portholes as you might well describe them as, I uses goggles reading. Sand in the Red Sea done that. One time I could read a book in the dark, manner of speaking. The Arabian Nights Entertainment was my favourite and Red as a Rose is She.
Hereupon he pawed the journal open and pored upon Lord only knows what, found drowned or the exploits of King Willow, Iremonger having made a hundred and something second wicket not out for Notts, during which time (completely regardless of Ire) the keeper was intensely occupied loosening an apparently new or secondhand boot which manifestly pinched him as he muttered against whoever it was sold it, all of them who were sufficiently awake enough to be picked out by their facial expressions, that is to say, either simply looking on glumly or passing a trivial remark.
To cut a long story short Bloom, grasping the situation, was the first to rise from his seat so as not to outstay their welcome having first and foremost, being as good as his word that he would foot the bill for the occasion, taken the wise precaution to unobtrusively motion to mine host as a parting shot a scarcely perceptible sign when the others were not looking to the effect that the amount due was forthcoming, making a grand total of fourpence (the amount he deposited unobtrusively in four coppers, literally the last of the Mohicans), he having previously spotted on the printed pricelist for all who ran to read opposite him in unmistakable figures, coffee 2d, confectionery do, and honestly well worth twice the money once in a way, as Wetherup used to remark.
— Come, he counselled to close the seance.
Seeing that the ruse worked and the coast was clear they left the shelter or shanty together and the elite society of oilskin and company whom nothing short of an earthquake would move out of their dolce far niente. Stephen, who confessed to still feeling poorly and fagged out, paused at the, for a moment, the door.
— One thing I never understood, he said to be original on the spur of the moment. Why they put tables upside down at night, I mean chairs upside down, on the tables in cafes. To which impromptu the neverfailing Bloom replied without a moment's hesitation, saying straight off:
— To sweep the floor in the morning.
So saying he skipped around, nimbly considering, frankly at the same time apologetic to get on his companion's right, a habit of his, by the bye, his right side being, in classical idiom, his tender Achilles. The night air was certainly now a treat to breathe though Stephen was a bit weak on his pins.
— It will (the air) do you good, Bloom said, meaning also the walk, in a moment. The only thing is to walk then you'll feel a different man. Come. It's not far. Lean on me.
Accordingly he passed his left arm in Stephen's right and led him on accordingly.
— Yes, Stephen said uncertainly because he thought he felt a strange kind of flesh of a different man approach him, sinewless and wobbly and all that.
Anyhow they passed the sentrybox with stones, brazier etc. where the municipal supernumerary, ex Gumley, was still to all intents and purposes wrapped in the arms of Murphy, as the adage has it, dreaming of fresh fields and pastures new. And apropos of coffin of stones the analogy was not at all bad as it was in fact a stoning to death on the part of seventytwo out of eighty odd constituencies that ratted at the time of the split and chiefly the belauded peasant class, probably the selfsame evicted tenants he had put in their holdings.
So they turned on to chatting about music, a form of art for which Bloom, as a pure amateur, possessed the greatest love, as they made tracks arm in arm across Beresford place. Wagnerian music, though confessedly grand in its way, was a bit too heavy for Bloom and hard to follow at the first go-off but the music of Mercadante's Huguenots, Meyerbeer's Seven Last Words on the Cross and Mozart's Twelfth Mass he simply revelled in, the Gloria in that being, to his mind, the acme of first class music as such, literally knocking everything else into a cocked hat. He infinitely preferred the sacred music of the catholic church to anything the opposite shop could offer in that line such as those Moody and Sankey hymns or Bid me to live and i will live thy protestant to be. He also yielded to none in his admiration of Rossini's Stabat Mater, a work simply abounding in immortal numbers, in which his wife, Madam Marion Tweedy, made a hit, a veritable sensation, he might safely say, greatly adding to her other laureis and putting the others totally in the shade, in the jesuit fathers' church in upper Gardiner street, the sacred edifice being thronged to the doors to hear her with virtuosos, or virtuosi rather. There was the unanimous opinion that there was none to come up to her and suffice it to say in a place of worship for music of a sacred character there was a generally voiced desire for an encore. On the whole though favouring preferably light opera of the Don Giovanni description and Martha, a gem in its line, he had a penchant, though with only a surface knowledge, for the severe classical school such as Mendelssohn. And talking of that, taking it for granted he knew all about the old favourites, he mentioned par excellence Lionel's air in Martha, M'appari, which, curiously enough, he had heard or overheard, to be more accurate, on yesterday, a privilege he keenly appreciated, from the lips of Stephen's respected father, sung to perfection, a study of the number, in fact, which made all the others take a back seat. Stephen, in reply to a politely put query, said he didn't sing it but launched out into praises of Shakespeare's songs, at least of in or about that period, the lutenist Dowland who lived in Fetter lane near Gerard the herbalist, who anno ludendo hausi, Doulandus, an instrument he was contemplating purchasing from Mr Arnold Dolmetsch, whom B. did not quite recall though the name certainly sounded familiar, for sixtyfive guineas and Farnaby and son with their dux and comes conceits and Byrd (William) who played the virginals, he said, in the Queen's chapel or anywhere else he found them and one Tomkins who made toys or airs and John Bull.
On the roadway which they were approaching whilst still speaking beyond the swingchains a horse, dragging a sweeper, paced on the paven ground, brushing a long swathe of mire up so that with the noise Bloom was not perfectly certain whether he had caught aright the allusion to sixtyfive guineas and John Bull. He inquired if it was John Bull the political celebrity of that ilk, as it struck him, the two identical names, as a striking coincidence.
By the chains the horse slowly swerved to turn, which perceiving, Bloom, who was keeping a sharp lookout as usual, plucked the other's sleeve gently, jocosely remarking:
— Our lives are in peril tonight. Beware of the steamroller.
They thereupon stopped. Bloom looked at the head of a horse not worth anything like sixtyfive guineas, suddenly in evidence in the dark quite near so that it seemed new, a different grouping of bones and even flesh because palpably it was a fourwalker, a hipshaker, a blackbuttocker, a taildangler, a headhanger putting his hind foot foremost the while the lord of his creation sat on the perch, busy with his thoughts. But such a good poor brute he was sorry he hadn't a lump of sugar but, as he wisely reflected, you could scarcely be prepared for every emergency that might crop up. He was just a big nervous foolish noodly kind of a horse, without a second care in the world. But even a dog, he reflected, take that mongrel in Barney Kiernan's, of the same size, would be a holy horror to face. But it was no animal's fault in particular if he was built that way like the camel, ship of the desert, distilling grapes into potheen in his hump. Nine tenths of them all could be caged or trained, nothing beyond the art of man barring the bees. Whale with a harpoon hairpin, alligator tickle the small of his back and he sees the joke, chalk a circle for a rooster, tiger my eagle eye. These timely reflections anent the brutes of the field occupied his mind somewhat distracted from Stephen's words while the ship of the street was manoeuvring and Stephen went on about the highly interesting old.
— What's this I was saying? Ah, yes! My wife, he intimated, plunging in medias res, would have the greatest of pleasure in making your acquaintance as she is passionately attached to music of any kind.
He looked sideways in a friendly fashion at the sideface of Stephen, image of his mother, which was not quite the same as the usual handsome blackguard type they unquestionably had an insatiable hankering after as he was perhaps not that way built.
Still, supposing he had his father's gift as he more than suspected, it opened up new vistas in his mind such as Lady Fingall's Irish industries, concert on the preceding Monday, and aristocracy in general.