Exquisite variations he was now describing on an air Youth here has End by Jans Pieter Sweelinck, a Dutchman of Amsterdam where the frows come from. Even more he liked an old German song of Johannes Jeep about the clear sea and the voices of sirens, sweet murderers of men, which boggled Bloom a bit:
Von der Sirenen Listigkeit
Tun die Poeten dichten.
These opening bars he sang and translated extempore. Bloom, nodding, said he perfectly understood and begged him to go on by all means which he did.
A phenomenally beautiful tenor voice like that, the rarest of boons, which Bloom appreciated at the very first note he got out, could easily, if properly handled by some recognised authority on voice production such as Barraclough and being able to read music into the bargain, command its own price where baritones were ten a penny and procure for its fortunate possessor in the near future an entree into fashionable houses in the best residential quarters of financial magnates in a large way of business and titled people where with his university degree of B. A. (a huge ad in its way) and gentlemanly bearing to all the more influence the good impression he would infallibly score a distinct success, being blessed with brains which also could be utilised for the purpose and other requisites, if his clothes were properly attended to so as to the better worm his way into their good graces as he, a youthful tyro in — society's sartorial niceties, hardly understood how a little thing like that could militate against you. It was in fact only a matter of months and he could easily foresee him participating in their musical and artistic conversaziones during the festivities of the Christmas season, for choice, causing a slight flutter in the dovecotes of the fair sex and being made a lot of by ladies out for sensation, cases of which, as he happened to know, were on record — in fact, without giving the show away, he himself once upon a time, if he cared to, could easily have. Added to which of course would be the pecuniary emolument by no means to be sneezed at, going hand in hand with his tuition fees. Not, he parenthesised, that for the sake of filthy lucre he need necessarily embrace the lyric platform as a walk in life for any lengthy space of time. But a step in the required direction it was beyond yea or nay and both monetarily and mentally it contained no reflection on his dignity in the smallest and it often turned in uncommonly handy to be handed a cheque at a muchneeded moment when every little helped. Besides, though taste latterly had deteriorated to a degree, original music like that, different from the conventional rut, would rapidly have a great vogue as it would be a decided novelty for Dublin's musical world after the usual hackneyed run of catchy tenor solos foisted on a confiding public by Ivan St Austell and Hilton St Just and their genus omne. Yes, beyond a shadow of a doubt he could with all the cards in his hand and he had a capital opening to make a name for himself and win a high place in the city's esteem where he could command a stiff figure and, booking ahead, give a grand concert for the patrons of the King street house, given a backerup, if one were forthcoming to kick him upstairs, so to speak, a big if, however, with some impetus of the goahead sort to obviate the inevitable procrastination which often tripped-up a too much feted prince of good fellows. And it need not detract from the other by one iota as, being his own master, he would have heaps of time to practise literature in his spare moments when desirous of so doing without its clashing with his vocal career or containing anything derogatory whatsoever as it was a matter for himself alone. In fact, he had the ball at his feet and that was the very reason why the other, possessed of a remarkably sharp nose for smelling a rat of any sort, hung on to him at all.
The horse was just then. And later on at a propitious opportunity he purposed (Bloom did), without anyway prying into his private affairs on the fools step in where angels principle, advising him to sever his connection with a certain budding practitioner who, he noticed, was prone to disparage and even to a slight extent with some hilarious pretext when not present, deprecate him, or whatever you like to call it which in Bloom's humble opinion threw a nasty sidelight on that side of a person's character, no pun intended.
The horse having reached the end of his tether, so to speak, halted and, rearing high a proud feathering tail, added his quota by letting fall on the floor which the brush would soon brush up and polish, three smoking globes of turds. Slowly three times, one after another, from a full crupper he mired. And humanely his driver waited till he (or she) had ended, patient in his scythed car.
Side by side Bloom, profiting by the contretemps, with Stephen passed through the gap of the chains, divided by the upright, and, stepping over a strand of mire, went across towards Gardiner street lower, Stephen singing more boldly, but not loudly, the end of the ballad.
Und alle Schiffe bruecken.
The driver never said a word, good, bad or indifferent, but merely watched the two figures, as he sat on his lowbacked car, both black, one full, one lean, walk towards the railway bridge, to be married by Father Maher. As they walked they at times stopped and walked again continuing their tete-a-tete (which, of course, he was utterly out of) about sirens enemies of man's reason, mingled with a number of other topics of the same category, usurpers, historical cases of the kind while the man in the sweeper car or you might as well call it in the sleeper car who in any case couldn't possibly hear because they were too far simply sat in his seat near the end of lower Gardiner street and looked after their lowbacked car.