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Ulysses

RICHIE GOULDING: (Bagweighted, passes the door) Mocking is catch. Best value in Dub. Fit for a prince's. Liver and kidney.

THE FAN: (Tapping) All things end. Be mine. Now.

BLOOM: (Undecided) All now? I should not have parted with my talisman. Rain, exposure at dewfall on the searocks, a peccadillo at my time of life. Every phenomenon has a natural cause.

THE FAN: (Points downwards slowly) You may.

BLOOM: (Looks downwards and perceives her unfastened bootlace) We are observed.

THE FAN: (Points downwards quickly) You must.

BLOOM: (With desire, with reluctance) I can make a true black knot. Learned when I served my time and worked the mail order line for Kellett's. Experienced hand. Every knot says a lot. Let me. In courtesy. I knelt once before today. Ah!

(Bella raises her gown slightly and, steadying her pose, lifts to the edge of a chair a plump buskined hoof and a full pastern, silksocked. Bloom, stifflegged, aging, bends over her hoof and with gentle fingers draws out and in her laces.)

BLOOM: (Murmurs lovingly) To be a shoefitter in Manfield's was my love's young dream, the darling joys of sweet buttonhooking, to lace up crisscrossed to kneelength the dressy kid footwear satinlined, so incredibly impossibly small, of Clyde Road ladies. Even their wax model Raymonde I visited daily to admire her cobweb hose and stick of rhubarb toe, as worn in Paris.

THE HOOF: Smell my hot goathide. Feel my royal weight.

BLOOM: (Crosslacing) Too tight?

THE HOOF: If you bungle, Handy Andy, I'll kick your football for you.

BLOOM: Not to lace the wrong eyelet as I did the night of the bazaar dance. Bad luck. Hook in wrong tache of her... person you mentioned. That night she met... Now!

(He knots the lace. Bella places her foot on the floor. Bloom raises his head. Her heavy face, her eyes strike him in midbrow. His eyes grow dull, darker and pouched, his nose thickens.)

BLOOM: (Mumbles) Awaiting your further orders we remain, gentlemen,...

BELLO: (With a hard basilisk stare, in a baritone voice) Hound of dishonour!

BLOOM: (Infatuated) Empress!

BELLO: (His heavy cheekchops sagging) Adorer of the adulterous rump!

BLOOM: (Plaintively) Hugeness!

BELLO: Dungdevourer!

BLOOM: (With sinews semiflexed) Magmagnificence!

BELLO: Down! (He taps her on the shoulder with his fan) Incline feet forward! Slide left foot one pace back! You will fall. You are falling. On the hands down!

BLOOM: (Her eyes upturned in the sign of admiration, closing, yaps) Truffles!

(With a piercing epileptic cry she sinks on all fours, grunting, snuffling, rooting at his feet: then lies, shamming dead, with eyes shut tight, trembling eyelids, bowed upon the ground in the attitude of most excellent master.)

BELLO: (With bobbed hair, purple gills, fit moustache rings round his shaven mouth, in mountaineer's puttees, green silverbuttoned coat, sport skirt and alpine hat with moorcock's feather, his hands stuck deep in his breeches pockets, places his heel on her neck and grinds it in) Footstool! Feel my entire weight. Bow, bondslave, before the throne of your despot's glorious heels so glistening in their proud erectness.

BLOOM: (Enthralled, bleats) I promise never to disobey.

BELLO: (Laughs loudly) Holy smoke! You little know what's in store for you. I'm the Tartar to settle your little lot and break you in! I'll bet Kentucky cocktails all round I shame it out of you, old son. Cheek me, I dare you. If you do tremble in anticipation of heel discipline to be inflicted in gym costume.

(Bloom creeps under the sofa and peers out through the fringe.)

ZOE: (Widening her slip to screen her) She's not here.

BLOOM: (Closing her eyes) She's not here.

FLORRY: (Hiding her with her gown) She didn't mean it, Mr Bello. She'll be good, sir.

KITTY: Don't be too hard on her, Mr Bello. Sure you won't, ma'amsir.

BELLO: (Coaxingly) Come, ducky dear, I want a word with you, darling, just to administer correction. Just a little heart to heart talk, sweety. (Bloom puts out her timid head) There's a good girly now. (Bello grabs her hair violently and drags her forward) I only want to correct you for your own good on a soft safe spot. How's that tender behind? O, ever so gently, pet. Begin to get ready.

BLOOM: (Fainting) Don't tear my...

BELLO: (Savagely) The nosering, the pliers, the bastinado, the hanging hook, the knout I'll make you kiss while the flutes play like the Nubian slave of old. You're in for it this time! I'll make you remember me for the balance of your natural life. (His forehead veins swollen, his face congested) I shall sit on your ottoman saddleback every morning after my thumping good breakfast of Matterson's fat hamrashers and a bottle of Guinness's porter. (He belches) And suck my thumping good Stock Exchange cigar while I read the Licensed Victualler's Gazette. Very possibly I shall have you slaughtered and skewered in my stables and enjoy a slice of you with crisp crackling from the baking tin basted and baked like sucking pig with rice and lemon or currant sauce. It will hurt you. (He twists her arm. Bloom squeals, turning turtle.)

BLOOM: Don't be cruel, nurse! Don't!

BELLO: (Twisting) Another!

BLOOM: (Screams) O, it's hell itself! Every nerve in my body aches like mad!

BELLO: (Shouts) Good, by the rumping jumping general! That's the best bit of news I heard these six weeks. Here, don't keep me waiting, damn you! (He slaps her face)

BLOOM: (Whimpers) You're after hitting me. I'll tell...

BELLO: Hold him down, girls, till I squat on him.

ZOE: Yes. Walk on him! I will.

FLORRY: I will. Don't be greedy.

KITTY: No, me. Lend him to me.

(The brothel cook, mrs keogh, wrinkled, greybearded, in a greasy bib, men's grey and green socks and brogues, floursmeared, a rollingpin stuck with raw pastry in her bare red arm and hand, appears at the door.)

MRS KEOGH: (Ferociously) Can I help? (They hold and pinion Bloom.)

BELLO: (Squats with a grunt on Bloom's upturned face, puffing cigarsmoke, nursing a fat leg) I see Keating Clay is elected vicechairman of the Richmond asylum and by the by Guinness's preference shares are at sixteen three quaffers. Curse me for a fool that didn't buy that lot Craig and Gardner told me about. Just my infernal luck, curse it. And that Goddamned outsider Throwaway at twenty to one. (He quenches his cigar angrily on Bloom's ear) Where's that Goddamned cursed ashtray?

BLOOM: (Goaded, buttocksmothered) O! O! Monsters! Cruel one!

BELLO: Ask for that every ten minutes. Beg. Pray for it as you never prayed before. (He thrusts out a figged fist and foul cigar) Here, kiss that. Both. Kiss. (He throws a leg astride and, pressing with horseman's knees, calls in a hard voice) Gee up! A cockhorse to Banbury cross. I'll ride him for the Eclipse stakes. (He bends sideways and squeezes his mount's testicles roughly, shouting) Ho! Off we pop! I'll nurse you in proper fashion. (He horserides cockhorse, leaping in the saddle) The lady goes a pace a pace and the coachman goes a trot a trot and the gentleman goes a gallop a gallop a gallop a gallop.

FLORRY: (Pulls at Bello) Let me on him now. You had enough. I asked before you.

ZOE: (Pulling at florry) Me. Me. Are you not finished with him yet, suckeress?

BLOOM: (Stifling) Can't.

BELLO: Well, I'm not. Wait. (He holds in his breath) Curse it. Here. This bung's about burst. (He uncorks himself behind: then, contorting his features, farts loudly) Take that! (He recorks himself) Yes, by Jingo, sixteen three quarters.

BLOOM: (A sweat breaking out over him) Not man. (He sniffs) Woman.

BELLO: (Stands up) No more blow hot and cold. What you longed for has come to pass. Henceforth you are unmanned and mine in earnest, a thing under the yoke. Now for your punishment frock. You will shed your male garments, you understand, Ruby Cohen? and don the shot silk luxuriously rustling over head and shoulders. And quickly too!

BLOOM: (Shrinks) Silk, mistress said! O crinkly! scrapy! Must I tiptouch it with my nails?

BELLO: (Points to his whores) As they are now so will you be, wigged, singed, perfumesprayed, ricepowdered, with smoothshaven armpits. Tape measurements will be taken next your skin. You will be laced with cruel force into vicelike corsets of soft dove coutille with whalebone busk to the diamondtrimmed pelvis, the absolute outside edge, while your figure, plumper than when at large, will be restrained in nettight frocks, pretty two ounce petticoats and fringes and things stamped, of course, with my houseflag, creations of lovely lingerie for Alice and nice scent for Alice. Alice will feel the pullpull. Martha and Mary will be a little chilly at first in such delicate thighcasing but the frilly flimsiness of lace round your bare knees will remind you...

BLOOM: (A charming soubrette with dauby cheeks, mustard hair and large male hands and nose, leering mouth) I tried her things on only twice, a small prank, in Holles street. When we were hard up I washed them to save the laundry bill. My own shirts I turned. It was the purest thrift.

BELLO: (Jeers) Little jobs that make mother pleased, eh? And showed off coquettishly in your domino at the mirror behind closedrawn blinds your unskirted thighs and hegoat's udders in various poses of surrender, eh? Ho! ho! I have to laugh! That secondhand black operatop shift and short trunkleg naughties all split up the stitches at her last rape that Mrs Miriam Dandrade sold you from the Shelbourne hotel, eh?

BLOOM: Miriam. Black. Demimondaine.

BELLO: (Guffaws) Christ Almighty it's too tickling, this! You were a nicelooking Miriam when you clipped off your backgate hairs and lay swooning in the thing across the bed as Mrs Dandrade about to be violated by lieutenant Smythe-Smythe, Mr Philip Augustus Blockwell M. P., signor Laci Daremo, the robust tenor, blueeyed Bert, the liftboy, Henri Fleury of Gordon Bennett fame, Sheridan, the quadroon Croesus, the varsity wetbob eight from old Trinity, Ponto, her splendid Newfoundland and Bobs, dowager duchess of Manorhamilton. (He guffaws again) Christ, wouldn't it make a Siamese cat laugh?

BLOOM: (Her hands and features working) It was Gerald converted me to be a true corsetlover when I was female impersonator in the High School play Vice Versa. It was dear Gerald. He got that kink, fascinated by sister's stays. Now dearest Gerald uses pinky greasepaint and gilds his eyelids. Cult of the beautiful.

BELLO: (With wicked glee) Beautiful! Give us a breather! When you took your seat with womanish care, lifting your billowy flounces, on the smoothworn throne.

BLOOM: Science. To compare the various joys we each enjoy. (Earnestly) And really it's better the position... because often I used to wet...

BELLO: (Sternly) No insubordination! The sawdust is there in the corner for you. I gave you strict instructions, didn't I? Do it standing, sir! I'll teach you to behave like a jinkleman! If I catch a trace on your swaddles. Aha! By the ass of the Dorans you'll find I'm a martinet. The sins of your past are rising against you. Many. Hundreds.

THE SINS OF THE PAST: (In a medley of voices) He went through a form of clandestine marriage with at least one woman in the shadow of the Black church. Unspeakable messages he telephoned mentally to Miss Dunn at an address in D'Olier street while he presented himself indecently to the instrument in the callbox. By word and deed he frankly encouraged a nocturnal strumpet to deposit fecal and other matter in an unsanitary outhouse attached to empty premises. In five public conveniences he wrote pencilled messages offering his nuptial partner to all strongmembered males. And by the offensively smelling vitriol works did he not pass night after night by loving courting couples to see if and what and how much he could see? Did he not lie in bed, the gross boar, gloating over a nauseous fragment of wellused toilet paper presented to him by a nasty harlot, stimulated by gingerbread and a postal order?

BELLO: (Whistles loudly) Say! What was the most revolting piece of obscenity in all your career of crime? Go the whole hog. Puke it out! Be candid for once.

(Mute inhuman faces throng forward, leering, vanishing, gibbering, Booloohoom. Poldy Kock, Bootlaces a penny Cassidy's hag, blind stripling, Larry Rhinoceros, the girl, the woman, the whore, the other, the...)

BLOOM: Don't ask me! Our mutual faith. Pleasants street. I only thought the half of the... I swear on my sacred oath...

BELLO: (Peremptorily) Answer. Repugnant wretch! I insist on knowing. Tell me something to amuse me, smut or a bloody good ghoststory or a line of poetry, quick, quick, quick! Where? How? What time? With how many? I give you just three seconds. One! Two! Thr...

BLOOM: (Docile, gurgles) I rererepugnosed in rerererepugnant

BELLO: (Imperiously) O, get out, you skunk! Hold your tongue! Speak when you're spoken to.

BLOOM: (Bows) Master! Mistress! Mantamer!

(He lifts his arms. His bangle bracelets fill.)

BELLO: (Satirically) By day you will souse and bat our smelling underclothes also when we ladies are unwell, and swab out our latrines with dress pinned up and a dishclout tied to your tail. Won't that be nice? (He places a ruby ring on her finger) And there now! With this ring I thee own. Say, thank you, mistress.

BLOOM: Thank you, mistress.

BELLO: You will make the beds, get my tub ready, empty the pisspots in the different rooms, including old Mrs Keogh's the cook's, a sandy one. Ay, and rinse the seven of them well, mind, or lap it up like champagne. Drink me piping hot. Hop! You will dance attendance or I'll lecture you on your misdeeds, Miss Ruby, and spank your bare bot right well, miss, with the hairbrush. You'll be taught the error of your ways. At night your wellcreamed braceletted hands will wear fortythreebutton gloves newpowdered with talc and having delicately scented fingertips. For such favours knights of old laid down their lives. (He chuckles) My boys will be no end charmed to see you so ladylike, the colonel, above all, when they come here the night before the wedding to fondle my new attraction in gilded heels. First I'll have a go at you myself. A man I know on the turf named Charles Alberta Marsh (I was in bed with him just now and another gentleman out of the Hanaper and Petty Bag office) is on the lookout for a maid of all work at a short knock. Swell the bust. Smile. Droop shoulders. What offers? (He points) For that lot. Trained by owner to fetch and carry, basket in mouth. (He bares his arm and plunges it elbowdeep in Bloom's vulva) There's fine depth for you! What, boys? That give you a hardon? (He shoves his arm in a bidder's face) Here wet the deck and wipe it round!

A BIDDER: A florin.

(Dillon's lacquey rings his handbell.)

THE LACQUEY: Barang!

A VOICE: One and eightpence too much.

CHARLES ALBERTA MARSH: Must be virgin. Good breath. Clean.

BELLO: (Gives a rap with his gavel) Two bar. Rockbottom figure and cheap at the price. Fourteen hands high. Touch and examine his points. Handle him. This downy skin, these soft muscles, this tender flesh. If I had only my gold piercer here! And quite easy to milk. Three newlaid gallons a day. A pure stockgetter, due to lay within the hour. His sire's milk record was a thousand gallons of whole milk in forty weeks. Whoa my jewel! Beg up! Whoa! (He brands his initial C on Bloom's croup) So! Warranted Cohen! What advance on two bob, gentlemen?

A DARKVISAGED MAN: (In disguised accent) Hoondert punt sterlink.

VOICES: (Subdued) For the Caliph. Haroun Al Raschid.

BELLO: (Gaily) Right. Let them all come. The scanty, daringly short skirt, riding up at the knee to show a peep of white pantalette, is a potent weapon and transparent stockings, emeraldgartered, with the long straight seam trailing up beyond the knee, appeal to the better instincts of the blas´┐Ż man about town. Learn the smooth mincing walk on four inch Louis Quinze heels, the Grecian bend with provoking croup, the thighs fluescent, knees modestly kissing. Bring all your powers of fascination to bear on them. Pander to their Gomorrahan vices.

BLOOM: (Bends his blushing face into his armpit and simpers with forefinger in mouth) O, I know what you're hinting at now!

BELLO: What else are you good for, an impotent thing like you? (He stoops and, peering, pokes with his fan rudely under the fat suet folds of Bloom's haunches) Up! Up! Manx cat! What have we here? Where's your curly teapot gone to or who docked it on you, cockyolly? Sing, birdy, sing. It's as limp as a boy of six's doing his pooly behind a cart. Buy a bucket or sell your pump. (Loudly) Can you do a man's job?

BLOOM: Eccles street...

BELLO: (Sarcastically) I wouldn't hurt your feelings for the world but there's a man of brawn in possession there. The tables are turned, my gay young fellow! He is something like a fullgrown outdoor man. Well for you, you muff, if you had that weapon with knobs and lumps and warts all over it. He shot his bolt, I can tell you! Foot to foot, knee to knee, belly to belly, bubs to breast! He's no eunuch. A shock of red hair he has sticking out of him behind like a furzebush! Wait for nine months, my lad! Holy ginger, it's kicking and coughing up and down in her guts already! That makes you wild, don't it? Touches the spot? (He spits in contempt) Spittoon!

BLOOM: I was indecently treated, I... Inform the police. Hundred pounds. Unmentionable. I...

BELLO: Would if you could, lame duck. A downpour we want not your drizzle.

BLOOM: To drive me mad! Moll! I forgot! Forgive! Moll... We... Still...

BELLO: (Ruthlessly) No, Leopold Bloom, all is changed by woman's will since you slept horizontal in Sleepy Hollow your night of twenty years. Return and see.

(Old Sleepy Hollow calls over the wold.)

SLEEPY HOLLOW: Rip van Wink! Rip van Winkle!

BLOOM: (In tattered mocassins with a rusty fowlingpiece, tiptoeing, fingertipping, his haggard bony bearded face peering through the diamond panes, cries out) I see her! It's she! The first night at Mat Dillon's! But that dress, the green! And her hair is dyed gold and he...

BELLO: (Laughs mockingly) That's your daughter, you owl, with a Mullingar student.

(Milly Bloom, fairhaired, greenvested, slimsandalled, her blue scarf in the seawind simply swirling, breaks from the arms of her lover and calls, her young eyes wonderwide.)

MILLY: My! It's Papli! But, O Papli, how old you've grown!

BELLO: Changed, eh? Our whatnot, our writingtable where we never wrote, aunt Hegarty's armchair, our classic reprints of old masters. A man and his menfriends are living there in clover. The Cuckoos' Rest! Why not? How many women had you, eh, following them up dark streets, flatfoot, exciting them by your smothered grunts, what, you male prostitute? Blameless dames with parcels of groceries. Turn about. Sauce for the goose, my gander O.

BLOOM: They... I...

BELLO: (Cuttingly) Their heelmarks will stamp the Brusselette carpet you bought at Wren's auction. In their horseplay with Moll the romp to find the buck flea in her breeches they will deface the little statue you carried home in the rain for art for art' sake. They will violate the secrets of your bottom drawer. Pages will be torn from your handbook of astronomy to make them pipespills. And they will spit in your ten shilling brass fender from Hampton Leedom's.

BLOOM: Ten and six. The act of low scoundrels. Let me go. I will return. I will prove...

A VOICE: Swear!

(Bloom clenches his fists and crawls forward, a bowieknife between his teeth.)

BELLO: As a paying guest or a kept man? Too late. You have made your secondbest bed and others must lie in it. Your epitaph is written. You are down and out and don't you forget it, old bean.

BLOOM: Justice! All Ireland versus one! Has nobody...? (He bites his thumb)

BELLO: Die and be damned to you if you have any sense of decency or grace about you. I can give you a rare old wine that'll send you skipping to hell and back. Sign a will and leave us any coin you have! If you have none see you damn well get it, steal it, rob it! We'll bury you in our shrubbery jakes where you'll be dead and dirty with old Cuck Cohen, my stepnephew I married, the bloody old gouty procurator and sodomite with a crick in his neck, and my other ten or eleven husbands, whatever the buggers' names were, suffocated in the one cesspool. (He explodes in a loud phlegmy laugh) We'll manure you, Mr Flower! (He pipes scoffingly) Byby, Poldy! Byby, Papli!

BLOOM: (Clasps his head) My willpower! Memory! I have sinned! I have suff...

(He weeps tearlessly)

BELLO: (Sneers) Crybabby! Crocodile tears!

(Bloom, broken, closely veiled for the sacrifice, sobs, his face to the earth. The passing bell is heard. Darkshawled figures of the circumcised, in sackcloth and ashes, stand by the wailing wall. M. Shulomowitz, Joseph Goldwater, Moses Herzog, Harris Rosenberg, M. Moisel, J. Citron, Minnie Watchman, P. Mastiansky, The Reverend Leopold Abramovitz, Chazen. With swaying arms they wail in pneuma over the recreant Bloom.)

THE CIRCUMCISED: (In dark guttural chant as they cast dead sea fruit upon him, no flowers) Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad.

VOICES: (Sighing) So he's gone. Ah yes. Yes, indeed. Bloom? Never heard of him. No? Queer kind of chap. There's the widow. That so? Ah, yes.

(From the suttee pyre the flame of gum camphire ascends. The pall of incense smoke screens and disperses. Out of her oakframe a nymph with hair unbound, lightly clad in teabrown artcolours, descends from her grotto and passing under interlacing yews stands over Bloom.)

THE YEWS: (Their leaves whispering) Sister. Our sister. Ssh!

THE NYMPH: (Softly) Mortal! (Kindly) Nay, dost not weepest!

BLOOM: (Crawls jellily forward under the boughs, streaked by sunlight, with dignity) This position. I felt it was expected of me. Force of habit.

THE NYMPH: Mortal! You found me in evil company, highkickers, coster picnicmakers, pugilists, popular generals, immoral panto boys in fleshtights and the nifty shimmy dancers, La Aurora and Karini, musical act, the hit of the century. I was hidden in cheap pink paper that smelt of rock oil. I was surrounded by the stale smut of clubmen, stories to disturb callow youth, ads for transparencies, truedup dice and bustpads, proprietary articles and why wear a truss with testimonial from ruptured gentleman. Useful hints to the married.

BLOOM: (Lifts a turtle head towards her lap) We have met before. On another star.

THE NYMPH: (Sadly) Rubber goods. Neverrip brand as supplied to the aristocracy. Corsets for men. I cure fits or money refunded. Unsolicited testimonials for Professor Waldmann's wonderful chest exuber. My bust developed four inches in three weeks, reports Mrs Gus Rublin with photo.

BLOOM: You mean Photo Bits?

THE NYMPH: I do. You bore me away, framed me in oak and tinsel, set me above your marriage couch. Unseen, one summer eve, you kissed me in four places. And with loving pencil you shaded my eyes, my bosom and my shame.

BLOOM: (Humbly kisses her long hair) Your classic curves, beautiful immortal, I was glad to look on you, to praise you, a thing of beauty, almost to pray.

THE NYMPH: During dark nights I heard your praise.

BLOOM: (Quickly) Yes, yes. You mean that I... Sleep reveals the worst side of everyone, children perhaps excepted. I know I fell out of bed or rather was pushed. Steel wine is said to cure snoring. For the rest there is that English invention, pamphlet of which I received some days ago, incorrectly addressed. It claims to afford a noiseless, inoffensive vent. (He sighs) 'Twas ever thus. Frailty, thy name is marriage.

THE NYMPH: (Her fingers in her ears) And words. They are not in my dictionary.

BLOOM: You understood them?

THE YEWS: Ssh!

THE NYMPH: (Covers her face with her hands) What have I not seen in that chamber? What must my eyes look down on?

BLOOM: (Apologetically) I know. Soiled personal linen, wrong side up with care. The quoits are loose. From Gibraltar by long sea long ago.

THE NYMPH: (Bends her head) Worse, worse!

BLOOM: (Reflects precautiously) That antiquated commode. It wasn't her weight. She scaled just eleven stone nine. She put on nine pounds after weaning. It was a crack and want of glue. Eh? And that absurd orangekeyed utensil which has only one handle.

(The sound of a waterfall is heard in bright cascade.)

THE WATERFALL:

Poulaphouca Poulaphouca
Poulaphouca Poulaphouca.

THE YEWS: (Mingling their boughs) Listen. Whisper. She is right, our sister. We grew by Poulaphouca waterfall. We gave shade on languorous summer days.

JOHN WYSE NOLAN: (In the background, in Irish National Forester's uniform, doffs his plumed hat) Prosper! Give shade on languorous days, trees of Ireland!

THE YEWS: (Murmuring) Who came to Poulaphouca with the High School excursion? Who left his nutquesting classmates to seek our shade?

BLOOM: (Scared) High School of Poula? Mnemo? Not in full possession of faculties. Concussion. Run over by tram.

THE ECHO: Sham!


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