My kneecap is hurting me. Ow. That's better.
The priest took a stick with a knob at the end of it out of the boy's bucket and shook it over the coffin. Then he walked to the other end and shook it again. Then he came back and put it back in the bucket. As you were before you rested. It's all written down: he has to do it.
— Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
The server piped the answers in the treble. I often thought it would be better to have boy servants. Up to fifteen or so. After that, of course . . .
Holy water that was, I expect. Shaking sleep out of it. He must be fed up with that job, shaking that thing over all the corpses they trot up. What harm if he could see what he was shaking it over. Every mortal day a fresh batch: middleaged men, old women, children, women dead in childbirth, men with beards, baldheaded businessmen, consumptive girls with little sparrows' breasts. All the year round he prayed the same thing over them all and shook water on top of them: sleep. On Dignam now.
— In paradisum.
Said he was going to paradise or is in paradise. Says that over everybody. Tiresome kind of a job. But he has to say something.
The priest closed his book and went off, followed by the server. Corny Kelleher opened the sidedoors and the gravediggers came in, hoisted the coffin again, carried it out and shoved it on their cart. Corny Kelleher gave one wreath to the boy and one to the brother-in-law. All followed them out of the sidedoors into the mild grey air. Mr Bloom came last folding his paper again into his pocket. He gazed gravely at the ground till the coffincart wheeled off to the left. The metal wheels ground the gravel with a sharp grating cry and the pack of blunt boots followed the trundled barrow along a lane of sepulchres.
The ree the ra the ree the ra the roo. Lord, I mustn't lilt here.
— The O'Connell circle, Mr Dedalus said about him.
Mr Power's soft eyes went up to the apex of the lofty cone.
— He's at rest, he said, in the middle of his people, old Dan O'. But his heart is buried in Rome. How many broken hearts are buried here, Simon!
— Her grave is over there, Jack, Mr Dedalus said. I'll soon be stretched beside her. Let Him take me whenever He likes.
Breaking down, he began to weep to himself quietly, stumbling a little in his walk. Mr Power took his arm.
— She's better where she is, he said kindly.
— I suppose so, Mr Dedalus said with a weak gasp. I suppose she is in heaven if there is a heaven.
Corny Kelleher stepped aside from his rank and allowed the mourners to plod by.
— Sad occasions, Mr Kernan began politely.
Mr Bloom closed his eyes and sadly twice bowed his head.
— The others are putting on their hats, Mr Kernan said. I suppose we can do so too. We are the last. This cemetery is a treacherous place.
They covered their heads.
— The reverend gentleman read the service too quickly, don't you think? Mr Kernan said with reproof.
Mr Bloom nodded gravely looking in the quick bloodshot eyes. Secret eyes, secretsearching. Mason, I think: not sure. Beside him again. We are the last. In the same boat. Hope he'll say something else.
Mr Kernan added:
— The service of the Irish church used in Mount Jerome is simpler, more impressive I must say.
Mr Bloom gave prudent assent. The language of course was another thing.
Mr Kernan said with solemnity:
— I am the resurrection and the life. That touches a man's inmost heart.
— It does, Mr Bloom said.
Your heart perhaps but what price the fellow in the six feet by two with his toes to the daisies? No touching that. Seat of the affections. Broken heart. A pump after all, pumping thousands of gallons of blood every day. One fine day it gets bunged up: and there you are. Lots of them lying around here: lungs, hearts, livers. Old rusty pumps: damn the thing else. The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead you are dead. That last day idea. Knocking them all up out of their graves. Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. Get up! Last day! Then every fellow mousing around for his liver and his lights and the rest of his traps. Find damn all of himself that morning. Pennyweight of powder in a skull. Twelve grammes one pennyweight. Troy measure.
Corny Kelleher fell into step at their side.
— Everything went off A1, he said. What?
He looked on them from his drawling eye. Policeman's shoulders. With your tooraloom tooraloom.
— As it should be, Mr Kernan said.
— What? Eh? Corny Kelleher said.
Mr Kernan assured him.
— Who is that chap behind with Tom Kernan? John Henry Menton asked. I know his face.
Ned Lambert glanced back.
— Bloom, he said, Madame Marion Tweedy that was, is, I mean, the soprano. She's his wife.
— O, to be sure, John Henry Menton said. I haven't seen her for some time. He was a finelooking woman. I danced with her, wait, fifteen seventeen golden years ago, at Mat Dillon's in Roundtown. And a good armful she was.
He looked behind through the others.
— What is he? he asked. What does he do? Wasn't he in the stationery line? I fell foul of him one evening, I remember, at bowls.
Ned Lambert smiled.
— Yes, he was, he said, in Wisdom Hely's. A traveller for blottingpaper.
— In God's name, John Henry Menton said, what did she marry a coon like that for? She had plenty of game in her then.
— Has still, Ned Lambert said. He does some canvassing for ads.
John Henry Menton's large eyes stared ahead.
The barrow turned into a side lane. A portly man, ambushed among the grasses, raised his hat in homage. The gravediggers touched their caps.
— John O'Connell, Mr Power said pleased. He never forgets a friend.
Mr O'Connell shook all their hands in silence. Mr Dedalus said:
— I am come to pay you another visit.
— My dear Simon, the caretaker answered in a low voice. I don't want your custom at all.
Saluting Ned Lambert and John Henry Menton he walked on at Martin Cunningham's side puzzling two long keys at his back.
— Did you hear that one, he asked them, about Mulcahy from the Coombe?
— I did not, Martin Cunningham said.
They bent their silk hats in concert and Hynes inclined his ear. The caretaker hung his thumbs in the loops of his gold watchchain and spoke in a discreet tone to their vacant smiles.
— They tell the story, he said, that two drunks came out here one foggy evening to look for the grave of a friend of theirs. They asked for Mulcahy from the Coombe and were told where he was buried. After traipsing about in the fog they found the grave sure enough. One of the drunks spelt out the name: Terence Mulcahy. The other drunk was blinking up at a statue of Our Saviour the widow had got put up.
The caretaker blinked up at one of the sepulchres they passed. He resumed: