Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl
of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown,
ungirdled, was sustained gently behind
him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:
Introibo ad altare Dei.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed
gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains. Then,
catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses
in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased
and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at
the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine
in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued
like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly.
Back to barracks! he said sternly.
He added in a preachers tone:
For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine:
body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music,
please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about those white
corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long slow whistle of call, then paused awhile
in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there with gold
points. Chrysostomos. Two
strong shrill whistles answered through the calm.
Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the
current, will you?
He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering about
his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plump shadowed face and sullen oval
jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle
ages. A pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips.
The mockery of it! he said gaily. Your absurd
name, an ancient Greek!
He pointed his finger in friendly jest and went over to the parapet, laughing
to himself. Stephen Dedalus stepped up, followed him wearily halfway and sat
down on the edge of the gunrest, watching him still as he propped his mirror
parapet, dipped the brush
in the bowl and lathered cheeks and neck.
Buck Mulligans gay voice went on.
My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan,
two dactyls. But it has a Hellenic ring, hasnt it? Tripping and sunny
like the buck himself. We must go to Athens. Will you come if I can get the
aunt to fork out twenty quid?
He laid the brush aside and, laughing with delight,cried:
Will he come? The jejune jesuit!
Ceasing, he began to shave with care.
Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly.
Yes, my love?
How long is Haines going to stay in this tower?
Buck Mulligan showed a shaven cheek over his right shoulder.
God, isnt he dreadful? he said frankly. A ponderous Saxon. He thinks
youre not a gentleman. God, these bloody English! Bursting with money
and indigestion. Because he comes from Oxford. You know, Dedalus, you have the
real Oxford manner. He cant make you out. O, my name for you is the best:
Kinch, the knife-blade.
He shaved warily over his chin.
He was raving all night about a black panther,
Stephen said. Where is his guncase?
A woful lunatic! Mulligan said. Were you in a funk?
I was, Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the dark
with a man I dont know raving and moaning to himself about shooting a
black panther. You saved men from drowning. Im not a hero, however. If
he stays on here I am off.
Buck Mulligan frowned at the lather on his razorblade. He hopped down from his
perch and began to search his trouser pockets hastily.
Scutter! he cried thickly.
He came over to the gunrest and, thrusting a hand into Stephens upper
pocket, said: Lend
us a loan of your noserag to wipe my razor.
Stephen suffered him to pull out and hold up on show by its corner a dirty crumpled
handkerchief. Buck Mulligan wiped the razorblade neatly. Then, gazing over the
handkerchief, he said:
The bards noserag!
A new art colour for our Irish poets: snotgreen.
You can almost taste it, cant you?
He mounted to the parapet again and gazed out over Dublin bay, his fair oakpale
hair stirring slightly. (6)
God! he said quietly. Isnt the sea what Algy calls it: a great
sweet mother? The snotgreen sea.
The scrotumtightening sea. Epi
oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You
must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother.
Come and look.
Stephen stood up and went over to the parapet. Leaning on it he looked down
on the water and on the mailboat clearing the harbourmouth of Kingstown.
Our mighty mother! Buck Mulligan said.
He turned abruptly his grey searching eyes from the sea to Stephens face.
The aunt thinks you killed your mother, he said. Thats why she wont
let me have anything to do with you.
Someone killed her, Stephen said gloomily.
You could have knelt down, damn it, Kinch, when your dying mother asked
you, Buck Mulligan said. Im hyperborean as much as you. But to think of
your mother begging you with her last breath to kneel down and pray for her.
And you refused. There is something sinister in you
He broke off and lathered again lightly his farther cheekA tolerant smile curled
But a lovely mummer! he murmured to himself. Kinch, the loveliest mummer
of them all!
He shaved evenly and with care, in silence, seriously.
Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his
brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coat-sleeve. Pain, that
was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart. Silently, in a dream she had
come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes
giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him,
mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes. Across the threadbare cuffedge
he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him.
The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of liquid. A bowl of white
china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile which she
had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning vomiting.
Buck Mulligan wiped again
Ah, poor dogsbody! he said in a kind voice. I must give you a shirt and
a few noserags. How are the secondhand breeks?
They fit well enough, Stephen answered.
Mulligan attacked the hollow beneath his underlip.
The mockery of it, he said contentedly. Secondleg they should be. God
knows what poxy bowsy left them off. I have a lovely pair with a hair stripe,
grey. Youll look spiffing in them. Im not joking, Kinch. You look
damn well whenyoure dressed.
Thanks, Stephen said. I cant wear them if they are grey.
He cant wear them, Buck Mulligan told his face in the mirror. Etiquette
is etiquette. He kills his mother but he cant wear grey trousers.
He folded his razor neatly and with stroking palps of fingers felt the smooth
Stephen turned his gaze from the sea and to the plump face with its smokeblue
That fellow I was with in the Ship last night, said Buck Mulligan, says
you have g.p.i. Hes up in Dottyville with Connolly Norman. General paralysis
of the insane!
He swept the mirror a half circle in the air to flash the tidings abroad in
sunlight now radiant on the sea. His curling shaven lips laughed and the edges
of his white glittering teeth. Laughter seized all his strong wellknit trunk.
Look at yourself, he said, you dreadful bard!
Stephen bent forward and peered at the mirror held out to him, cleft by a crooked
crack. Hair on end. As he and others see me. Who chose this face for me? This
dogsbody to rid of vermin. It asks me too.
I pinched it out of the skivvys room, Buck Mulligan said. It does
her all right. The aunt always keeps plainlooking servants for Malachi. Lead
him not into temptation. And her name is Ursula.
Laughing again, he brought the mirror away from Stephens peering eyes.
The rage of Caliban at not seeing his face in a mirror,he said. If Wilde
were only alive to see you!
Drawing back and pointing, Stephen said with bitterness:
It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked looking-glass of a servant.
Buck Mulligan suddenly linked his arm in Stephens and walked with him
round the tower, his razor and mirror clacking in the pocket where he had thrust
Its not fair to tease you like that, Kinch, is it? he said kindly.
God knows you have more spirit than any of them.
Parried again. He fears the lancet of my art as I fear that of his. The cold
Cracked lookingglass of a servant! Tell that to the oxy chap downstairs
and touch him for a guinea. Hes stinking with money and thinks youre
not a gentleman. His old fellow made his tin by selling jalap to Zulus or some
bloody swindle or other. God, Kinch, if you and I could only work together we
might do something for the island. Hellenise it.
Cranlys arm. His arm.
And to think of your having to beg from these swine. Im the only
one that knows what you are. Why dont you trust me more? What have you
up your nose against me? Is it Haines? If he makes any noise here Ill
bring down Seymour and well give him a ragging worse than they gave Clive
Young shouts of moneyed voices in Clive Kempthorpes rooms. Palefaces:
they hold their ribs with laughter, one clasping another. O, I shall expire!
Break the news toher gently, Aubrey! I shall die! With slit ribbons of his shirt
whipping the air he hops and hobbles round the table, with trousers down at
heels, chased by Ades of Magdalen with the tailors shears. A scared calfs
face gilded with marmalade. I dont want to be debagged! Dont you
play the giddy ox with me!
Shouts from the open window startling evening in the quadrangle. A deaf gardener,
aproned, masked with Matthew Arnolds face, pushes his mower on the sombre
lawn watching narrowly the dancing motes of grasshalms.
Let him stay, Stephen said. Theres nothing wrong with him except
Then what is it? Buck Mulligan asked impatiently. Cough it up. Im
quite frank with you. What have you against me now?
They halted, looking towards the blunt cape of Bray Head that lay on the water
like the snout of a sleeping whale. Stephen freed his arm quietly.
-Do you wish me to tell
you? he asked.
-Yes, what is it? Buck Mulligan answered. I don't remember anything.
He looked in Stephen's face as he spoke. A light wind passed his brow, fanning
softly his fair uncombed hair and stirring silver points of anxiety in his eyes.
Stephen, depressed by his own voice, said:
-Do you remember the first day I went to your house after my mother's death?
(9) Buck Mulligan frowned quickly an said:
What? Where? I can`t remember anything. I remember only ideas and sensations.
Why? What happened in the name of God?
-You were making tea, Stephen said, and went across the landing to get more
hot water. Your mother and some visitor came out of the drawingroom. She asked
you who was in your room.
-Yes? Buck Mulligan said. What did I say? I forget.
-You said, Stephen answered, O, it's only Dedalus whose mother is beastly dead.
A flush which made him seem younger and more engaging rose to Buck Mulligan's
-Did I say that? he asked. Well? What harm is that?
He shook his constraint from him nervously.
-And what is death, he asked, your mother's or yours or my own? You saw only
your mother die. I see them pop off every day in the Mater and Richmond and
cut up into tripes in the dissecting room. It's a beastly thing and nothing
else. It simply doesn't matter. You wouldn't kneel down to pray for your mother
on her deathbed when she asked you. Why? Because you have the cursed jesuit
strain in you, only it's injected the wrong way. To me it's all a mockery and
beastly. Her cerebral lobes are not functioning. She calls the doctor sir Peter
Teazle and picks buttercups off the quilt. Humour her till it's over. You crossed
her last wish in death and yet you sulk with me because I don't whinge like
some hired mute from Lalouette's. Absurd! I suppose I did say it. I didn't mean
to offend the memory of your mother.
He had spoken himself into boldness. Stephen, shieldingthe gaping wounds which
the words had left in his heart, said very coldly:
-I am not thinking of the offence to my mother.
Of what then? Buck
Of the offence to me, Stephen answered.
Buck Mulligan swung round on his heel.
O, an impossible person! he exclaimed.
He walked off quickly round the parapet. Stephen stood at his post, gazing over
the calm sea towards the headland. Sea and headland now grew dim. Pulses were
beating in his eyes, veiling their sight, and he felt the fever of his cheeks.
A voice within the tower called loudly:
Are you up there, Mulligan?
Im coming, Buck Mulligan answered.(10)
He turned towards Stephen and said:
Look at the sea. What does it care about offences? Chuck Loyola, Kinch,
and come on down. The Sassenach wants his morning rashers.
His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with the
Dont mope over it all day, he said. Im inconsequent. Give
up the moody brooding.
His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
And no more turn aside
Upon loves bitter mystery
For Fergus rules the brazen cars.
Woodshadows floated silently
by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore
and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying
feet. White breast of the dim sea. The twining stresses, two by two. A hand
plucking the harpstrings, merging their twining chords. Wavewhite wedded words
shimmering on the dim tide.
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green.
It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus song: I sang it alone
in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted
to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying
in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: loves bitter mystery.
Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards, powdered with musk, a gaud
of amber beads in her locked drawer. page A
birdcage hung in the sunny window of her house when she was a girl. She heard
old Royce sing in the pantomime of Turko the Terrible and laughed with others
when he sang:
I am the boy
That can enjoy
Phantasmal mirth, folded
And no more turn aside
Folded away in the memory
of nature with her toys. Memories beset his brooding brain. Her glass of water
from the (11) kitchen tap when she had approached
the sacrament. A cored apple, filled with brown sugar, roasting for her at the
hob on a dark autumn evening. Her shapely fingernails reddened by the blood
of squashed lice from the childrens shirts.
In a dream, silently, she had come to him, her wasted body within its loose
graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, bent over
him with mute secret words, a faint odour of wetted ashes.
Her glazing eyes, staring out of death, to shake and bend my soul. On me alone.
The ghostcandle to light her agony. Ghostly light on the tortured face. Her
hoarse loud breath rattling in horror, while all prayed on their knees. Her
eyes on me to strike me down. Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet:
iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat.
Ghoul! Chewer of corpses!
No, mother! Let me be and let me live.
Buck Mulligans voice sang from within the tower. It came nearer up the
staircase, calling again. Stephen, still trembling at his souls cry, heard
warm running sunlight and in the air behind him friendly words.
Dedalus, come down, like a good mosey. Breakfast is ready. Haines is apologising
for waking us last night. Its all right.
Im coming, Stephen said, turning.
Do, for Jesus sake, Buck Mulligan said. For my sakeand for all our
His head disappeared and reappeared.
I told him your symbol of Irish art. He says its very clever. Touch
him for a quid, will you? A guinea, I mean.
I get paid this morning,
The school kip? Buck Mulligan said. How much? Four quid? Lend us one.
If you want it, Stephen said.
Four shining sovereigns, Buck Mulligan cried with delight. Well
have a glorious drunk to astonish the druidy druids. Four omnipotent sovereigns.
He flung up his hands and tramped down the stone stairs, singing out of tune
with a Cockney accent:
O, wont we have
a merry time,
Drinking whisky, beer and wine!
On coronation, (12)
O, wont we have a
On coronation day!
Warm sunshine merrying over the sea. The nickel shavingbowl shone, forgotten,
on the parapet. Why should I bring it down? Or leave it there all day, forgotten
He went over to it, held it in his hands awhile, feeling its coolness, smelling
the clammy slaver of the lather in which the brush was stuck. So I carried the
boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same. A servanttoo.
A server of a servant.
In the gloomy domed livingroom of the tower Buck Mulligans gowned form
moved briskly to and fro about the hearth, hiding and revealing its yellow glow.
Two shafts of soft daylight fell across the flagged floor from the high barbacans:
and at the meeting of their rays a cloud of coalsmoke and fumes of fried grease
Well be choked, Buck Mulligan said. Haines, open that door, will
Stephen laid the shavingbowl on the locker. A tall figure rose from the hammock
where it had been sitting, went to the doorway and pulled open the inner doors.
Have you the key? a voice asked.
Dedalus has it, Buck Mulligan said. Janey Mack, Im choked!
He howled, without looking up from the fire:
Its in the lock, Stephen said, coming forward.
The key scraped round harshly twice and, when the heavy door had been set ajar,
welcome light and bright air entered. page  Haines
stood at the doorway, looking out. Stephen haled his upended valise to the table
and sat down to wait. Buck Mulligan tossed the fry on to the dish beside him.
Then he carried the dish and a large teapot over to the table, set them down
heavily and sighed with relief.
Im melting, he said, as the candle remarked when
Not a word more on that subject! Kinch, wake up! Bread, butter, honey. Haines,
come in. The grub is ready. Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts. Wheres
the sugar? O,jay, theres no milk.
(13) Stephen fetched the loaf and the pot of honey
and the buttercooler from the locker. Buck Mulligan sat down in a sudden pet.
What sort of a kip is this? he said. I told her to come after eight.
We can drink it black, Stephen said thirstily. Theres a lemon in
O, damn you and your Paris fads! Buck Mulligan said. I want Sandycove
Haines came in from the doorway and said quietly:
That woman is coming up with the milk.
The blessings of God on you! Buck Mulligan cried, jumping up from his
chair. Sit down. Pour out the tea there. The sugar is in the bag. Here, I cant
go fumbling at the damned eggs.
He hacked through the fry on the dish and slapped it out on three plates, saying:
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
Haines sat down to pour out the tea.
Im giving you two lumps each, he said. But, I say, Mulligan, you
do make strong tea, dont you?
Buck Mulligan, hewing thick slices from the loaf, said in an old womans
When I makes tea I makes tea, as old mother Grogan said. And when I makes
water I makes water.
By Jove, it is tea, Haines said.
Buck Mulligan went on hewing and wheedling:
So I do, Mrs Cahill, says she. Begob, maam, says MrsCahill, God
send you dont make them in the one pot.
He lunged towards his messmates in turn a thick slice of bread, impaled on his
Thats folk, he said very earnestly, for your book, Haines. Five
lines of text and ten pages of notes about the folk and page
 the fishgods of Dundrum. Printed by the weird sisters in the year
of the big wind.
He turned to Stephen and asked in a fine puzzled voice, lifting his brows:
Can you recall, brother, is mother Grogans tea and water pot spoken
of in the Mabinogion or is it in the Upanishads?
I doubt it, said Stephen gravely.
Do you now? Buck Mulligan said in the same tone. Your reasons, pray?
I fancy, Stephen said as he ate, it did not exist in or out of the Mabinogion.
Mother Grogan was, one imagines, a kinswoman of Mary Ann.
Buck Mulligans face smiled with delight.
Charming! he said in a finical sweet voice, showing his white teeth and
blinking his eyes pleasantly. Do you think she was? Quite charming!
Then, suddenly overclouding all his features, he growled in a hoarsened rasping
voice as he hewed again vigorously at the loaf:
For old Mary Ann
She doesnt care a damn.
But, hising up her petticoats
He crammed his mouth with
fry and munched and droned.
The doorway was darkened by an entering form.
The milk, sir!
Come in, maam, Mulligan said. Kinch, get the jug.
An old woman came forward and stood by Stephens elbow.
Thats a lovely morning, sir, she said. Glory be to God.
To whom? Mulligan said, glancing at her. Ah, to be sure!
Stephen reached back and took the milkjug from the locker.
The islanders, Mulligan said to Haines casually, speak frequently of the
collector of prepuces.
How much, sir? asked the old woman.
A quart, Stephen said.
He watched her pour into the measure and thence into the jug rich white milk,
not hers. Old shrunken paps. She poured again a measureful and a tilly. Old
and secret she had entered from a morning world, maybe a messenger. She praised
the goodness of the milk, pouring it out. Crouching by a patient cow at daybreak
in the lush field, a witch on her toadstool, her wrinkled fingers quick at the
squirting dugs. They lowed about her whom they knew, dewsilky cattle. Silk of
the kine and poor old woman, names given her in old times. A wandering crone,
lowly form of an immortal serving her conqueror and her gay betrayer, their
common cuckquean, a messenger from the secret morning. To serve or to upbraid,
whether he could not tell: but scorned to begher favour.
It is indeed, maam, Buck Mulligan said, pouring milk into their
Taste it, sir, she said.
He drank at her bidding.
If we could live on good food like that, he said to her somewhat loudly,
we wouldnt have the country full of rotten teeth and rotten guts. Living
in a bogswamp, eating cheap food and the streets paved with dust, horsedung
and consumptives spits.
Are you a medical student, sir? the old woman asked.
I am, maam, Buck Mulligan answered.
Look at that now, she said.
Stephen listened in scornful silence. She bows her old head to a voice that
speaks to her loudly, her bonesetter, her medicineman: me she slights. To the
voice that will shrive and oil for the grave all there is of her but her womans
unclean loins, of mans flesh made not in Gods likeness, the serpents
prey. And to the loud voice that now bids her be silent with wondering unsteady
Do you understand what he says? Stephen asked her.
Is it French you are talking, sir? the old woman said to Haines.
Haines spoke to her again a longer speech, confidently.
Irish, Buck Mulligan said. Is there Gaelic on you?
I thought it was Irish, she said, by the sound of it. Are you from the
I am an Englishman, Haines answered.
Hes English, Buck Mulligan said, and he thinks weought to speak
Irish in Ireland.
Sure we ought to, the old woman said, and Im ashamed I dont
speak the language myself. Im told its a grand language by them
Grand is no name for it, said Buck Mulligan. Wonderful entirely. Fill
us out some more tea, Kinch. Would you like a cup, maam?
No, thank you, sir, the old woman said, slipping the ring of the milkcan
on her forearm and about to go.
Haines said to her:
Have you your bill? We had better pay her, Mulligan, hadnt we?
Stephen filled again the three cups.
Bill, sir? she said, halting. Well, its seven mornings a pint at
twopence is seven twos is a shilling and twopence over and these three mornings
a quart at fourpence is three quarts is a shilling. Thats a shilling and
one and two is two and two, sir.
Buck Mulligan sighed and, having filled his mouth with a crust thickly buttered
on both sides, stretched forth his legs and began to search his trouser pockets.
Pay up and look pleasant, Haines said to him, smiling.
Stephen filled a third cup, a spoonful of tea colouring faintly the thick rich
milk. Buck Mulligan brought up a florin, twisted it round in his fingers and
He passed it along the table towards the old woman, sayingAsk nothing
more of me, sweet. All I can give you I give.
Stephen laid the coin in her uneager hand.
Well owe twopence, he said.
Time enough, sir, she said, taking the coin. Time enough. Good morning,
She curtseyed and went out, followed by Buck Mulligans tender chant:
Heart of my heart, were it more,
More would be laid at your feet.
He turned to Stephen and said:
Seriously, Dedalus. Im stony. Hurry out to your school kip and bring
us back some money. Today the bards must drink and junket. Ireland expects that
every man this day will do his duty.
That reminds me, Haines said, rising, that I have to visit your national
Our swim first, Buck Mulligan said.
He turned to Stephen and asked blandly:
Is this the day for your monthly wash, Kinch?
Then he said to Haines:
The unclean bard makes a point of washing once a month.
All Ireland is washed by the gulfstream, Stephen said as he let honey
trickle over a slice of the loaf.
Haines from the corner where he was knotting easily a scarf about the loose
collar of his tennis shirt spoke:
I intend to make
a collection of your sayings if you will let me.
Speaking to me. They wash and tub and scrub. Agenbite of inwit. Conscience.
Yet heres a spot.
That one about the cracked lookingglass of a servant being the symbol
of Irish art is deuced good.
Buck Mulligan kicked Stephens foot under the table and said with warmth
Wait till you hear him on Hamlet, Haines.
Well, I mean it, Haines said, still speaking to Stephen. I was just thinking
of it when that poor old creature came in.
Would I make any money by it? Stephen asked.
Haines laughed and, as he took his soft grey hat from the holdfast of the hammock,
I dont know, Im sure.
He strolled out to the doorway. Buck Mulligan bent across to Stephen and said
with coarse vigour:
You put your hoof in it now. What did you say that for?
Well? Stephen said. The problem is to get money. From whom? From the milkwoman
or from him. Its a toss up, I think.
I blow him out about you, Buck Mulligan said, and then you come along
with your lousy leer and your gloomy jesuit jibes.
I see little hope, Stephen said, from her or from him.
Buck Mulligan sighed tragically and laid his hand on Stephens arm.From
me, Kinch, he said.
In a suddenly changed tone he added:
To tell you the Gods truth I think youre right. Damn all else
they are good for. Why dont you play them as I do? To hell with them all.
Let us get out of the kip.
He stood up, gravely ungirdled and disrobed himself of his gown, saying resignedly:
Mulligan is stripped of his garments.
He emptied his pockets on to the table.
Theres your snotrag, he said.
And putting on his stiff collar and rebellious tie he spoke to them, chiding
them, and to his dangling watchchain. His hands plunged and rummaged in his
trunk while he called for a clean handkerchief. God, well simply have
to dress the character. I want puce gloves and green boots. Contradiction. Do
I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. Mercurial Malachi.
A limp black missile flew out of his talking hands.
And theres your Latin quarter hat, he said.
Stephen picked it up and put it on. Haines called to them from the doorway:
Are you coming, you fellows?
Im ready, Buck Mulligan answered, going towards the door. Come out,
Kinch. You have eaten all we left, I suppose. Resigned he passed out with grave
words and gait, saying, wellnigh with sorrow:
And going forth he met Butterly.
Stephen, taking his ashplant from its leaningplace, followed them out and, as
they went down the ladder, pulledto the slow iron door and locked it. He put
the huge key in his inner pocket.
At the foot of the ladder Buck Mulligan asked:
Did you bring the key?
I have it, Stephen said, preceding them.
He walked on. Behind him he heard Buck Mulligan club with his heavy bathtowel
the leader shoots of ferns or grasses.
Down, sir! How dare you, sir!
Do you pay rent for this tower?
Twelve quid, Buck Mulligan said.
To the secretary of state for war, Stephen added over his shoulder.
They halted while Haines surveyed the tower and said at last:
Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it?
Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on
the sea. But ours is the omphalos.
What is your idea of Hamlet? Haines asked Stephen.
No, no, Buck Mulligan shouted in pain. Im not equal to Thomas Aquinas
and the fiftyfive reasons he has made out to prop it up. Wait till I have a
few pints in me first.
He turned to Stephen, saying, as he pulled down neatly the peaks of his primrose
You couldnt manage it under three pints, Kinch, could you?
It has waited so long, Stephen said listlessly, it can waitlonger.
You pique my curiosity, Haines said amiably. Is it some paradox?
Pooh! Buck Mulligan said. We have grown out of Wilde and paradoxes. Its
quite simple. He proves by algebra that Hamlets grandson is Shakespeares
grandfather and that he himself is the ghost of his own father.
What? Haines said, beginning to point at Stephen. He himself?
Buck Mulligan slung his towel stolewise round his neck and, bending in loose
laughter, said to Stephens ear:
O, shade of Kinch the elder! Japhet in search of a father!
Were always tired in the morning, Stephen said to Haines. And it
is rather long to tell.
Buck Mulligan, walking forward again, raised his hands.
The sacred pint alone can unbind the tongue of Dedalus, he said.
I mean to say, Haines explained to Stephen as they followed, this tower
and these cliffs here remind me somehow of Elsinore. That beetles oer
his base into the sea, isnt it?
Buck Mulligan turned suddenly. for an instant towards Stephen but did not speak.
In the bright silent instant Stephen saw his own image in cheap dusty mourning
between their gay attires.
Its a wonderful tale, Haines said, bringing them to halt again.
Eyes, pale as the sea the wind had freshened, paler, firmand prudent. The seas
ruler, he gazed southward over the bay, empty save for the smokeplume of the
mailboat vague on the bright skyline and a sail tacking by the Muglins.
I read a theological interpretation of it somewhere, he said bemused.
The Father and the Son idea. The Son striving to be atoned with the Father.
Buck Mulligan at once put on a blithe broadly smiling face. He looked at them,
his wellshaped mouth open happily, his eyes, from which he had suddenly withdrawn
all shrewd sense, blinking with mad gaiety. He moved a dolls head to and
fro, the brims of his Panama hat quivering, and began to chant in a quiet happy
Im the queerest young fellow that ever you heard.
My mothers a jew, my fathers a bird.
With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree.
So heres to disciples and Calvary.
He held up a forefinger of warning.
If anyone thinks that I amnt divine
Hell get no free drinks when Im making the wine
But have to drink water and wish it were plain
That i make when the wine becomes water again.
He tugged swiftly at Stephens ashplant in farewell and, running forward
to a brow of the cliff, fluttered his hands at his sides like fins or wings
of one about to rise in the air, and chanted:Goodbye, now, goodbye! Write
down all I said
And tell Tom, Dick and Harry I rose from the dead.
Whats bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
And Olivets breezy
Goodbye, now, goodbye!
He capered before them down towards the fortyfoot hole, fluttering his winglike
hands, leaping nimbly, Mercurys hat quivering in the fresh wind that bore
back to them his brief birdsweet cries.
Haines, who had been laughing guardedly, walked on beside Stephen and said:
We oughtnt to laugh, I suppose. Hes rather blasphemous. Im
not a believer myself, that is to say. Still his gaiety takes the harm out of
it somehow, doesnt it? What did he call it? Joseph the Joiner?
The ballad of joking Jesus, Stephen answered.
O, Haines said, you have heard it before?
Three times a day, after meals, Stephen said drily.
Youre not a believer, are you? Haines asked. I mean, a believer
in the narrow sense of the word. Creation from nothing and miracles and a personal
Theres only one sense of the word, it seems to me, Stephen said.
Haines stopped to take out a smooth silver case in which twinkled a green stone.
He sprang it open with his thumb and offered it.
Thank you, Stephen said, taking a cigarette.
Haines helped himself and snapped the case to. He put it back in his sidepocket
and took from his waistcoatpocketa nickel tinderbox, sprang it open too, and,
having lit his cigarette, held the flaming spunk towards Stephen in the shell
of his hands.
Yes, of course, he said, as they went on again. Either you believe or
you dont, isnt it? Personally I couldnt stomach that idea
of a personal God. You dont stand for that, I suppose?
You behold in me, Stephen said with grim displeasure, a horrible example
of free thought.
He walked on, waiting to be spoken to, trailing his ashplant by his side. Its
ferrule followed lightly on the path, squealing at his heels. My familiar, after
me, calling, Steeeeeeeeeeeephen! A wavering line along the path. They will walk
on it tonight, coming here in the dark. He wants that key. It is mine. I paid
the rent. Now I eat his salt bread. Give him the key too. All. He will ask for
it. That was in his eyes.
After all, Haines began
Stephen turned and saw that the cold gaze which had measured him was not all
After all, I should think you are able to free yourself. You are your
own master, it seems to me.
I am a servant of two masters, Stephen said, an English and an Italian.
Italian? Haines said.
A crazy queen, old and jealous. Kneel down before me.
And a third, Stephen said, there is who wants me for odd jobs.
Italian? Haines said again. What do you mean?The imperial British
state, Stephen answered, his colour rising, and the holy Roman catholic and
Haines detached from his underlip some fibres of tobacco before he spoke.
I can quite understand that, he said calmly. An Irishman must think like
that, I daresay. We feel in England that we have treated you rather unfairly.
It seems history is to blame.
The proud potent titles clanged over Stephens memory the triumph of their
brazen bells: et unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam: the slow
growth and change of rite and dogma like his own rare thoughts, a chemistry
of stars. Symbol of the apostles in the mass for pope Marcellus, the voices
blended, singing alone loud in affirmation: and behind their chant the vigilant
angel of the church militant disarmed and menaced her heresiarchs. A horde of
heresies fleeing with mitres awry: Photius and the brood of mockers of whom
Mulligan was one, and Arius, warring his life long upon the consubstantiality
of the Son with the Father, and Valentine, spurning Christs terrene body,
and the subtle African heresiarch Sabellius who held that the Father was Himself
His own Son. Words Mulligan had spoken a moment since in mockery to the stranger.
Idle mockery. The void awaits surely all them that weave the wind: a menace,
a disarming and a worsting from those embattled angels of the church, Michaels
host, who defend her ever in the hour of conflict with their lances and their
Hear, hear! Prolonged applause. Zut! Nom de Dieu!Of course Im a
Britisher, Hainess voice said, and I feel as one. I dont want to
see my country fall into the hands of German jews either. Thats our national
problem, Im afraid, just now.
Two men stood at the verge of the cliff, watching: businessman, boatman.
Shes making for Bullock harbour.
The boatman nodded towards the north of the bay with some disdain.
Theres five fathoms out there, he said. Itll be swept up that
way when the tide comes in about one. Its nine days today.
The man that was drowned. A sail veering about the blank bay waiting for a swollen
bundle to bob up, roll over to the sun a puffy face, saltwhite. Here I am.
They followed the winding path down to the creek. Buck Mulligan stood on a stone,
in shirtsleeves, his unclipped tie rippling over his shoulder. A young man clinging
to a spur of rock near him, moved slowly frogwise his green legs in the deep
jelly of the water.
Is the brother with you, Malachi?
Down in Westmeath. With the Bannons.
Still there? I got a card from Bannon. Says he found a sweet young thing
down there. Photo girl he calls her.
Snapshot, eh? Brief exposure.
Buck Mulligan sat down to unlace his boots. An elderly man shot up near the
spur of rock a blowing red face. He scrambled up by the stones, water glistening
on his pate and on its garland of grey hair, water rilling over his chest andpaunch
and spilling jets out of his black sagging loincloth.
Buck Mulligan made way for him to scramble past and, glancing at Haines and
Stephen, crossed himself piously with his thumbnail at brow and lips and breastbone.
Seymours back in town, the young man said, grasping again his spur
of rock. Chucked medicine and going in for the army.
Ah, go to God! Buck Mulligan said.
Going over next week to stew. You know that red Carlisle girl, Lily?
Spooning with him last night on the pier. The father is rotto with money.
Is she up the pole?
Better ask Seymour that.
Seymour a bleeding officer! Buck Mulligan said.
He nodded to himself as he drew off his trousers and stood up, saying tritely:
Redheaded women buck like goats.
He broke off in alarm, feeling his side under his flapping shirt.
My twelfth rib is gone, he cried. Im the Uebermensch. Toothless
Kinch and I, the supermen.
He struggled out of his shirt and flung it behind him to where his clothes lay.
Are you going in here, Malachi?
Yes. Make room in the bed.
The young man shoved himself backward through the water and reached the middle
of the creek in two long cleanstrokes. Haines sat down on a stone, smoking.
Are you not coming in? Buck Mulligan asked.
Later on, Haines said. Not on my breakfast.
Stephen turned away.
Im going, Mulligan, he said.
Give us that key, Kinch, Buck Mulligan said, to keep my chemise flat.
Stephen handed him the key. Buck Mulligan laid it across his heaped clothes.
And twopence, he said, for a pint. Throw it there.
Stephen threw two pennies on the soft heap. Dressing, undressing. Buck Mulligan
erect, with joined hands before him, said solemnly:
He who stealeth from the poor lendeth to the Lord. Thus spake Zarathustra.
His plump body plunged.
Well see you again, Haines said, turning as Stephen walked up the
path and smiling at wild Irish.
Horn of a bull, hoof of a horse, smile of a Saxon.
The Ship, Buck Mulligan cried. Half twelve.
Good, Stephen said.
He walked along the upwardcurving path.
Iubilantium te virginum.
The priests grey nimbus in a niche where he dressed discreetly. I will
not sleep here tonight. Home also I cannotgo.
A voice, sweettoned and sustained, called to him from the sea. Turning the curve
he waved his hand. It called again. A sleek brown head, a seals, far out
on the water, round.