Ulysses By James Joyce Chapter 9 - Scylla and Charybdis

Drummond of Hawthornden helped you at that stile.

— Yes, Mr Best said youngly. I feel Hamlet quite young. The bitterness might be from the father but the passages with Ophelia are surely from the son.

Has the wrong sow by the lug. He is in my father. I am in his son.

— That mole is the last to go, Stephen said, laughing.

John Eglinton made a nothing pleasing mow.

— If that were the birthmark of genius, he said, genius would be a drug in the market. The plays of Shakespeare's later years which Renan admired so much breathe another spirit.

— The spirit of reconciliation, the quaker librarian breathed.

— There can be no reconciliation, Stephen said, if there has not been a sundering.

Said that.

— If you want to know what are the events which cast their shadow over the hell of time of King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, Troilus and Cressida, look to see when and how the shadow lifts. What softens the heart of a man, shipwrecked in storms dire, Tried, like another Ulysses, Pericles, prince of Tyre?

Head, redconecapped, buffeted, brineblinded.

— A child, a girl, placed in his arms, Marina.

— The leaning of sophists towards the bypaths of apocrypha is a constant quantity, John Eglinton detected. The highroads are dreary but they lead to the town.

Good Bacon: gone musty. Shakespeare Bacon's wild oats. Cypherjugglers going the highroads. Seekers on the great quest. What town, good masters? Mummed in names: A. E., eon: Magee, John Eglinton. East of the sun, west of the moon: Tir na n-og. Booted the twain and staved.

How many miles to Dublin? Three score and ten, sir. Will we be there by candlelight?

— Mr Brandes accepts it, Stephen said, as the first play of the closing period.

— Does he? What does Mr Sidney Lee, or Mr Simon Lazarus as some aver his name is, say of it?

— Marina, Stephen said, a child of storm, Miranda, a wonder, Perdita, that which was lost. What was lost is given back to him: his daughter's child. My dearest wife, Pericles says, was like this maid. Will any man love the daughter if he has not loved the mother?

— The art of being a grandfather, Mr Best gan murmur. l'art d'etre grand . . .

— Will he not see reborn in her, with the memory of his own youth added, another image?

Do you know what you are talking about? Love, yes. Word known to all men. Amor vero aliquid alicui bonum vult unde et ea quae concupiscimus . . .

— His own image to a man with that queer thing genius is the standard of all experience, material and moral. Such an appeal will touch him. The images of other males of his blood will repel him. He will see in them grotesque attempts of nature to foretell or to repeat himself.

The benign forehead of the quaker librarian enkindled rosily with hope.

— I hope Mr Dedalus will work out his theory for the enlightenment of the public. And we ought to mention another Irish commentator, Mr George Bernard Shaw. Nor should we forget Mr Frank Harris. His articles on Shakespeare in the Saturday Review were surely brilliant. Oddly enough he too draws for us an unhappy relation with the dark lady of the sonnets. The favoured rival is William Herbert, earl of Pembroke. I own that if the poet must be rejected such a rejection would seem more in harmony with — what shall I say? — our notions of what ought not to have been.

Felicitously he ceased and held a meek head among them, auk's egg, prize of their fray.

He thous and thees her with grave husbandwords. Dost love, Miriam? Dost love thy man?

— That may be too, Stephen said. There's a saying of Goethe's which Mr Magee likes to quote. Beware of what you wish for in youth because you will get it in middle life. Why does he send to one who is a buonaroba, a bay where all men ride, a maid of honour with a scandalous girlhood, a lordling to woo for him? He was himself a lord of language and had made himself a coistrel gentleman and he had written Romeo and Juliet. Why? Belief in himself has been untimely killed. He was overborne in a cornfield first (ryefield, I should say) and he will never be a victor in his own eyes after nor play victoriously the game of laugh and lie down. Assumed dongiovannism will not save him. No later undoing will undo the first undoing. The tusk of the boar has wounded him there where love lies ableeding. If the shrew is worsted yet there remains to her woman's invisible weapon. There is, I feel in the words, some goad of the flesh driving him into a new passion, a darker shadow of the first, darkening even his own understanding of himself. A like fate awaits him and the two rages commingle in a whirlpool.

They list. And in the porches of their ears I pour.

— The soul has been before stricken mortally, a poison poured in the porch of a sleeping ear. But those who are done to death in sleep cannot know the manner of their quell unless their Creator endow their souls with that knowledge in the life to come. The poisoning and the beast with two backs that urged it King Hamlet's ghost could not know of were he not endowed with knowledge by his creator. That is why the speech (his lean unlovely English) is always turned elsewhere, backward. Ravisher and ravished, what he would but would not, go with him from Lucrece's bluecircled ivory globes to Imogen's breast, bare, with its mole cinquespotted. He goes back, weary of the creation he has piled up to hide him from himself, an old dog licking an old sore. But, because loss is his gain, he passes on towards eternity in undiminished personality, untaught by the wisdom he has written or by the laws he has revealed. His beaver is up. He is a ghost, a shadow now, the wind by Elsinore's rocks or what you will, the sea's voice, a voice heard only in the heart of him who is the substance of his shadow, the son consubstantial with the father.

— Amen! was responded from the doorway.

Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?


A ribald face, sullen as a dean's, Buck Mulligan came forward, then blithe in motley, towards the greeting of their smiles. My telegram.

— You were speaking of the gaseous vertebrate, if I mistake not? he asked of Stephen.

Primrosevested he greeted gaily with his doffed Panama as with a bauble.

They make him welcome. Was Du verlachst wirst Du noch dienen.

Brood of mockers: Photius, pseudomalachi, Johann Most.

He Who Himself begot middler the Holy Ghost and Himself sent Himself, Agenbuyer, between Himself and others, Who, put upon by His fiends, stripped and whipped, was nailed like bat to barndoor, starved on crosstree, Who let Him bury, stood up, harrowed hell, fared into heaven and there these nineteen hundred years sitteth on the right hand of His Own Self but yet shall come in the latter day to doom the quick and dead when all the quick shall be dead already.

Glo — o — ri — a in ex — cel — sis De — o.

He lifts his hands. Veils fall. O, flowers! Bells with bells with bells aquiring.

— Yes, indeed, the quaker librarian said. A most instructive discussion. Mr Mulligan, I'll be bound, has his theory too of the play and of Shakespeare. All sides of life should be represented.

He smiled on all sides equally.

Buck Mulligan thought, puzzled:

— Shakespeare? he said. I seem to know the name.

A flying sunny smile rayed in his loose features.

— To be sure, he said, remembering brightly. The chap that writes like Synge.

Mr Best turned to him.

— Haines missed you, he said. Did you meet him? He'll see you after at the D. B. C. He's gone to Gill's to buy Hyde's Lovesongs of Connacht.

— I came through the museum, Buck Mulligan said. Was he here?

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