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[A dream-like sequence of merging stories ranging from the spread of Hosty's story of the Encounter with the Cad and the story of the Sin in Phoenix Park, to a variation of the encounter which eventually has a Cad type bashing the door of Earwicker's cottage demanding reimbursement for a suit, that then becomes a seige of Dublin.]
Just see! What a mix up Hosty’s ballad caused! It released into the Dublin community a cloud of poison, but all those who heard it or sang it are all now dead along with the bards of olden days. Perhaps they will perform for us in due course the Mime of Mick, Nick and the Maggies. Of all the people in this story of poor Hosty, who is a musical genius in a small way and quite a good tenor, and a major poet of low merit, no one end is known.
Yet, if they whistled for Hosty before the curtains went up, they were whistling his tune after he died. He died. His husband, poor old O’Mara, down at heel, joined the army at the end of the Crimean War. He enlisted in Tyrone’s horse and soldiered a bit with Viscount Wolseley under an assumed name of Buckley and he and his homeland parted evermore, for he perished on the field of Vasileff’s Corner, the final words being ‘this paper leaflet give to my father, and real chocolates for my mother’. He died. Poor old Peter Cloran was thrown into a mental asylum set aside for the northern Irish for his criminal literary activities. Under the name of Orani, he may have been a utility man in a criminal gang. He died. The unwashed Sordid Sam, always haunted by his sidekick Frisky Shorty, passed away drunk and naked, kicked to death by his bedmates, a Norwegian and his mate. As he died he said, ‘My dreams, Dubliners, have come true, now let the hundredfold selves of my ego – even as they are about to disappear as I die – by the coincidence of their contraries, reamalgamate into the non-identity…
… where individual identities, such as the Bakers and the Butchers, are no longer relevant, and this out-and-out candlestick melts everyone into pea soup! He died. Disliking the dreary drama, Frisky Shorty disappeared so spoorlessly as to cause speculation that the hobo had been buried under the surface of the earth. He died. If Father Brown, the tea-and-toast reverend sodality director whose sermons attracted many female devotees, who was objectionable ass who wore raffle tickets in the band of a hat tilted to one side, and was convicted of malpractices with his hot table knife (glossing over the cork in his pocket), this snob of the dunghill several years later was to confront the General on that fateful redletter morning or May noon Thursday. He died.
When Phishlin Phil (or Hosty), wants to throw his voice, it is folly to flaunt such good fortune – and whoever’s dead and gone to Mick’s Hotel by the sea, there’s nothing we can do for he’s never again going to see. It is a fact that the shape…
… of the average human face has altered its appearance with the passing of the generations. Accordingly it is an imprecise matter to describe exactly the exact face of the scruffy, balding man who was asked by three truant school children in trench coats over a wall to tell them that fishy ghost story of the Haberdasher [Earwicker], the two maidens and three men in bearskin uniforms. Nonetheless, girls and boys, he had changed a lot since Viking times. So many warts, patches, wrinkles and the large beard he had grown!
Sport’s a common thing, and it was a very wet day as he was waiting for a regatta to begin, when the request was put to the portly man. By his accent, eyes, a complexion said to be Turkish, he was thought to be either from Meath or from the Middle East – although his blocked nose and sneezing made him seem Welsh – who had accomplished the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca and made his refuge from persecution in Ireland. He was alone in the rain waiting for the bar to open smoking a pipe ...
...and throwing stones at two stout bottles. Having reprimed his watch and put it away, he rose to his feet and as though in an English country garden spoke of the One, and told them of the Compassionate who was called up before the three soldiers to wear the mythical raiment of Our Father and Author of our Doom.
Just as television will kill the radio, our eyes demand to see evidence. Let wolfbone fires light the trail so that we may see what every son of a bitch would like to know. So he drew a picture of Earwicker, with his beaver hat and pugaree scarf, his tie and overcoat, his umbrella and thick walking stick with the silver-bronze knob, and the gloved hand that killed d’Esterre. Then, going one better, he sketched for the children, who would one day be our ancestors, the scene of the sin. The silence of that still picture. One might hear…
… a pin drop. The loud thunder of the fall! It looks like a landscape from a picturesque wilderness, or some scene on a dumb arras, dumb as ‘Mum’s’ muteness, and the silence of this image of the 77th cousin of Christiandom, Dublin, is audible to us across wineless Ireland, through the wireless air, no more desolate or dreary nor less potent with suggestion than in the tales of the Thingmote.
Thereafter, shoulder to shoulder, a Jew will tell a Christian about the ‘Humphriad’ of that fall and rise, while nature takes its course, the daisies opening on the field and the couple kissing between the mine shafts and in the car. And you who might, look on the other side of the big belfry, dry your eyes and close your nose, for a paradise might re-arise in Ireland. Follow his whip [belt] indicative and gaze at his picture! Lo and behold, the tree and the stone. The oaks [monuments of Ireland’s unsung heroes such as Parnell] and the Wellington Monument in the pinebarren. It shows as angelus hour approached and a midnight [or noon] bell chimed, as Earwicker got out his smoke wallet and gave the Cad a hank of chewing tobacco, saying, ‘Suck on that boyo and spend a half hour in Havana’. Afterwards, the Cad met Earwicker, the master, the best of publicans, at the Eagle Cock hotel and wished him the best of God, Mary, Bridget and Patrick, and then gave him a stiff boxing to his stomach. A strange wish for you, and those hits would frighten your son’s son’s grandchildren.
The cheers for King Billy and Cromwell…
… Up guards and at them! These phrases and the picture recall the past, but where are the remembrances of your Irish past? The rich, with their paintings and possessions, are farseeing in this respect, and so too was the hen Anna who preserved our presence (genetically) from the past. The dead are gone – or are they merely sleeping soundlessly? Speak of them often.
Any dogs life you like, you may still hear the dead talking, they’re still at it, like sixes and sevens, and as sure as Haley’s comet - men and women all over the world saying – ‘How are you, my young ladies?’ and, ‘How are you?’ the ladies ask in return, etc. [These are the old words of our ancestors.]
And to continue the story, then the Cad said with muggers tears: ‘Would you give me a small coin?’ (Maggies, get your nightnovel! The Master Publican Earwicker’s on the mike again! And that big belly is the one to take it from you!) And in response, Earwicker said to the Cad: ‘M-m-my dear fellow, as the universe is a witness, and as my eggs are known here and in England, my business dealings are open and as straight as the Wellington Monument is on the gllll...’ (Meanwhile the story-teller, the both sabbath and bottle breaker, lifted his tri-coloured boater hat and, with fat dripping down the two tails of his waxed moustache, in his growing understanding of the three truant adolescents, added)…
… ‘…globe before the Great Schoolmaster’s smile.’
The House of Earwicker is fallen into the dust, blighted like the muddy banks of the Liffey – but the dead are bound to rise again. Life, Earwicker himself once said, is a wake, live it or croak it. The basis of our breadwinning is the corpse of our fathers – a phrase which the publisher of the world might pertinently write across the chest of every man or woman born. The scene, redrawn by the storyteller, was never to be forgotten – Anna the collector hen and ‘crusader for her man’ coming into play - for later in that century one of the three adolescents – now retired - rehearsed it in a trans-Ireland pullman, [or jaunting car] dressed in modern black style wearing tan burlingtons and pointing his pipe like the Cad and bowing in a dignified manner in imitation of Earwicker before a namecousin of the late archdeacon F.X. Preserved Coppinger [Earwicker] and there described the sad circumstance which is a through-and-through heart skewer that would bring tears from marble eyes. Through the windows of the jaunting car, the tourists saw the mighty tree monument [symbolic green memorial of Ireland’s Celtic and nationalist heroes] bare, green, frozen and the clad again depending on the season. After, the archdeacon’s namecousin was asked to explain the particulars of the story, and because of his acting and oratory gifts…
… his reading of the story, as told to him by the now retired ‘school boy over a wall’ fact-ferreter, transported his listeners across the abyss of time as they listened to the old bottle shooter’s story of the doomed Earwicker, with the reciter dressed in a silk hat and sporting a walrus moustache – and is that the call of a Muezzin harking back to Earwicker’s middle eastern origins? – with his great manslayer hand pointing at the Wellington Monument which was to be Earwicker’s mausoleum and, as the noon or midnight bell rang, a tear welled in his eye, silencing his joy, a ghost of resignation diffused upon his features like a spectral appealingness, similar to a beam of sunshine on a coffin plate.
No different from the days in the beginning, nearby do we find a lone traveller, a poet perhaps, escaped from transportation to Van Dieman’s Land, wearily lifting his eyes to the stars and examining the zodiac, considering that at the ‘Angel Hotel’ there is food, wine and women singing, and he almost began to smile. (Nonsense! There is not very much reflection going on in the mind of Mr Melancholy Slow!)
What on earth made him smile? And who was this viewer? O’Brien’s not his name, nor Brown. And where has he been? Why? Who? How long? Wither? Talk about being away since the fall. Cornwall? Orkney? Yarmouth? Norfolk? Wales? Or all over the world? Ah, what the kings…
… will raise, the rains will level into a morass – but we can still examine the remains and see the evidence, just as the melody of a song reveals the mood, and the mood reveals the man: policeman, fancy man, ploughman or pleb. And of course reveals the sin – the forefather [Finnegan] seeking the prize of the two peachy girls, while the three ancient warriors lay in wait for him. We could wait about in the hope of seeing the troubled ghost of the old tax collector, but he is not here, his spiritual historians answer from their four Zones, or provinces of Ireland. Hear them: ‘Hark the roar of them!’ says Ulster; ‘I am proud of it’, says Munster; ‘God help us!’ says Leinster; ‘I say nothing’, says Connacht; and what’s that fifth one, a donkey? – ‘Hee haw!’ Before he fell and became the hill of Howth, he filled a heaven: a stream, the Liffey, his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle, coiled about him cooling him with her curls. We were not much different from termites in those days with Dublin made of mud and rock, and as our ant heap it was like the Hill of Allen, Finn MacCool’s headquarters: the barrow tomb of a people, a giant’s mountain, that thundered and crumbled among us Phoenix Park people and was the wonder of our civilisation.
Yet the facts are too imprecise and uncertain to warrant any certainty about who he was and the evidence givers are too unreliable, especially given that the judgement would lacks testimony from the three soldiers and the two affronted maidens. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop the museum janitrix Kate assembling the relics and charging us an entry fee, and our national gallery, which is somewhat notional, quite airy inside, contains his monument, even if it is the massive perennial tree of the nationalist monuments. Forget your English umbrellas – show us your blackthorn sticks! In this notional gallery, many have stopped to peer at the picture of him, as described by his four spiritual historians, a flashback of him sitting wrapped in a clerical-like robe, watching the sun set upon him, as a tear wells and trickles onto his cheek and we hear the ‘tata’ of a girl pressed into his cloak.
Yet one thing is certain, before the winter had covered over the pages of nature’s book, people were talking of this large foreigner or traveller in the bar of numerous ‘tribunals’ and in manor halls as much as in thieves’ kitchens, and even in pillow talk and chitchat – and on Marlborough Green as much as Molesworth Fields – where he was variously tried and sentenced in absentia, and even acquitted…
… with the help of the clergy. His Thing might have undone him, and his girl [G. maedchen] done him in. It was claimed that his beneficiaries in those parts were legion. Also that ‘Great Wheel Dunlop’ was one name he was known as, and that we’re all his beserk bicycles. He was priest and king in his house, and they have waved green boughs over his head, just as they have torn him limb from limb [as a tree] to annihilate him. You can picture the hysteria - with shrieks and cries and profound sighs – Steady soldiers, the girls are about to urinate! Earwicker’s trousers are down, but Grania [the prankquean] has run away! ‘Ah do stay, lovely girls’, he would have said, for at his wake they played Phil the Fluter’s ball, and ‘O have a drink and sing well.’ And of course everyone joined in with the utmost joviality, drinking rum and red wine, cider and citronella. Oh. Mister Big, you’re about to be buried like a bug in the bog again! Then there were soft sighs of ‘Ah me, we forget!’ and by the laws of re-circulation, he re-arose as a huge tree behind them as a remnant of those unrecapturable days.
Three soldiers were walking along Montgomery Street, and one voiced the opinion – which the others concurred with – that it was the first woman who sealed his fate on that fatal Wednesday – Lili Coninghams [ALP] – who suggested they go into a field. ‘She was angry with the old fellow, and we helped’, confessed private Marchinson. A Vauxhall actress was interviewed in a West End beauty parlour, and looking beautifully flushed in her cherry…
… coloured clothes, Miss Fanny Adams [Issy] said in a stage whisper to her mirror, while adjusting her hat, that she hoped that Sir Arthur [Earwicker] would get a Christmas present of orange-and-lemon sized orchids with holly and ivy, as a fee from the Incident, as the world had been most unkind. While the flowers would be an odious comparison to the spring flowers of his birthday [Wake] – which was a veritable garden party for earthworms, the scarlatinas and branches of Clematis family – it had been a wonderful night entirely, with regards to his mother’s franjapanis. A prehistoric old man, dictated into his phone: ‘his proper name is a properismenon.’ A dustman nicknamed ‘Sevenchurches’ [Sackersoun] and in the employ of Messrs Achburn, Soulpetre and Ashreborn, priarmakers, was asked by the sisterhood over a midday lunch, and he responded impulsively: ‘We have just been talking about his exposure in the bushes, and what they took out of his rear has been put in with my rubbish.’ All our fellows at O’Dea’s say he is a cemented brick, buck it all! A usually sober cardriver, who was washing his car, Ginger Jane, took a strong view – Larry hosed her as he talked, saying: ‘Earwicker is just a plain pink prison reformee in private life but folks all think he has by old laws parliamentary honours.’ Eiskaffier said: ‘Mon foie, you wish to ave some omelette, yes lady! Good, mein leber! Your hegg he must be broken. See, I crack, so he sit in the frying pan.’ A perspiring tennis player (over sixty) panted: ‘he knew how hard it was if you became notorious but a pair of girls in their underwear climbed his wall and pressed the doorbell. So afterwards the salmon showed his little trout.’ A railways barmaid’s view – they call her…
…Spilltears Rue [ALP] – was expressed thus to the sympathisers of the Dole line, Death Avenue regarding, to wit, the man and his siphon: ‘Ahem, it’s too late to whistle after Phyllis flees her stable: it would be a scarlet shame to jail him in the lock up, as was proposed by the Siddon’s creature despite the things that went on between them, because he was an orphan and enjoying such wicked health, ehim!’ ‘Well done, Dublin! Kitty Tyrrel is proud of you’, was the reply of Board of Trade officer, while the Daughters Benkletter murmured in unison – ‘God forgive his wooden legs!’ Brian Lynnsky, the cub courser [a dog] was questioned at his box ‘Bowl on a Braggart’ and gave a snappy comeback, saying: ‘Paw! Once more I’ll howl – for I believe in caveman chase and wild Sahara sex – bark you! But those two bitches should be leashed, beware of the dogs! Up hog and boar hunt! Paw!’ A would-be martyr, when grilled on the point, revealed the undoubted fact that the consequence would be that ‘so long as Earwicker played his tricks under the mystery tree with shady snakes and maidens hidden amongst the leaves and his followers were terrified by bolts of his lightning, then there will be fighting all over the world!’ Missionary Ida Wombwell, the seventeen-year-old revivalist, said concerning the intermixing of soldiers and civilians in the park: ‘That perpendicular person is brut – but a magnificent brut!’ ‘Caligula’, also known as Daniel Macgrath, a bookmaker well-known to perusers of the Syndey Parade Bulletin in Eastern Australia, had an antipodean slant on the story of the sin: ‘Striving today, hoping for tomorrow. Beware of the splash, cobber.’ ‘We have met too early’, sang out Captain Boycott, with a cast of his famous torredor cape, ‘Met too early, mother dear!’ Dan Meiklejohn, choir leader of the S.S. Smack Alley theatre waxed proverbial by saying, ‘The necessary changes have been made.’ Dauran Lord (‘Sniffbox’) and Moirgan’s lady (‘Flatterfun’) took sides and crossed themselves and bowed. ‘The dirty Dubliners went too free’ said the dainty drabs, amidst…
… their obscenities. Silvia Silence, the girl detective, when supplied with the facts of the case, leant back in her easy chair and said: ‘Have you evew thought, that sheer gweatness was his twagedy? Nevertheless, he should pay the full penalty, pending pursuance, as per Subsection 32, section 11, of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 [Oscar Wilde], anything contwawy in this act notwithstanding.’ Charley Jilke began to sulk because he couldn’t get home to Chelsea, but he did say: ‘He’s got to wear a sack instead of his glad rags.’ Meagher, a naval rating seated on one of the granite cromlechs seats in Fishambles, for the usual smoking after the ever popular act - was accompanied by Questa and Puella, and was encouraged by one of the co-affianced to ‘Get your breath Walt’ and when chidden by her foster sister to ‘Settle up your pence, Neville’ she replied to the other’s ‘thanksgiving’: ‘I lay my two finger buttons as a bet, fiance Meagher, that he was to blame about the two velvet thighs up on Horniman’s Hill, but I also think, by the seat of his trousers, Wally, there was someone else behind it – about those three soldiers being there.’
Is this mere gossip amongst a race ruled by a foreign king? But is it [the events of sin] all to be forgotten? Can it be, as one is tempted to think in this age of letters, that so many outrages could be carried out against such a staunch covenanter- and if it is the case that the outrages took place, as some accounts are provided by those who use the truth but sparingly, we should sad on account of their malicious pens. The seventh city of Christendom, Dublin…
… his citadel of refuge where, beyond the gales of the Adriatic and after changing clothes with a burgermeister, the fugitive had fled, silently in the night like Buddha, in a ship, to forget and expiate manslaughter and to rebirth after a grave sickness, and begin his fortunes by marrying a catholic girl. ‘For my queen I thee take, and by my husband ring I thee halter.’ In this was-to-be land, an island of lotus eaters, an emerald isle, as sorrowful as Troy – in which, by the fourth commandment [honour thy mother and father], it was murmured that his apostolic days would be long by the mercy of He Who Thundered On High – all rose against him with all that they had, from franchised citizens to helots, to hurt him, the poor jink, as he made a course for them, in red insurrection as though they wished to convince him, pharoah Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, of their proper sins. Bred to speak with a stiff upper lip, he had little short of a fighting chance, but for all that he was subjected to the full horrors of the premier land of Ireland.
We seem now to be reading the Amenti in the sixth chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead – a book about the fate of Earwicker. It was after the Christy Minstrels show on the Wednesday that a tall man, humping a suspicious parcel, when returning home late in the fog had a pistol placed in his face, accompanied by the words, ‘You’re shot major’, by a masked assailant, who was jealous of him over a girl, probably Lotta Crabtree or Pomona Evelyn. More than that – the assailant, Whenn the Waylayer, mentioned…
… that in addition to a cutless, a loaded Hobsons, which left only two alternatives – either he would shoot her, the aunt, or failing that, bash in Patch’s [Earwicker’s] face beyond recognition – and pointedly asked what he had to with Kane’s fender (the package) and the assaulted replied that he could bloody well go and find out if he was able. (But this is transparently untrue, gentle reader. Six foot one is not a tall man, not at all. There was no such person and no such fender (parcel).) Was it in connection with girls – Myramy Huey or Colored Archer - or just to explode his gun and force a sheriff’s entrance, that the heavily-built man, who was seized after dark by the town guard, was there in the gateway under Flaggy Bridge with a bottle of single malt Scotch in his pocket?
Fiftly [?] how true-to-life was the wretch’s first statement that he’d had gloriously a lot too much to drink in the House of Blazes hotel, the Parrot in Hell hotel, the Orange Tree hotel, the Glibt hotel and many others, since first thing in the morning up until closing time, that he was only falling up against the gatepost, which he mistook for a cattle post, with the purest and peaceful intentions. Yet how lamely this now fits with his subsequent statement that he was a process server and was merely trying to open a bottle of stout by hammering it against the gate. The policeman, Maurice Behan, who had quickly put on his shoes and went down with a hop...
… skip and jump - attracted by the noise of guns playing ‘Cathage must be destroyed’ - and onto the rocky road to Dublin, said he ‘was surprised safe in bed’ by hearing a loud hammering and he had never heard anything like it in the history of the Mullingar Inn. This battering all over the door and the sideposts’, he said, ‘was not at all like a bottle of boose, which would not rouse him out of his sleep’, but reminded him more of the martial marches of foreign musicians’ instruments, or the Overture to the third last days of Pompeii, if anything. And, after this most loud knocking, the rain [or stout from the broken bottle] came down heavily and the Liffey flooded over the plains, mad and mad could be, ruining all the butcher’s shirts, the baker’s washing and by the candlelight of the jail they were all night washing their whites again.
Just to stop the narrative for one moment, at that exact time, musketeers Alphos, Burkos and Caramis [Shem/Shaun/Shem-Shaun], set sail from Astrelea in the constellation of Virgo bound for the some astrolabe [?] flowers [Issy], and by all the saints in heaven they hit land. Watch this newsreel - and now we call our blushing girls, Snow White and Rose Red to hear what really happened. Now for the strawberry frolic! Let’s hear it for the girls!
[Issy:] Come on, you ordinary man with the large, knobbly head, and that blank, perplexed expression, your leg must be getting muscular from being pulled so often. Noah Berry [HCE] weighed a thousand stone when Hazel was ten – she’s losing her fat fast, how come you haven’t lost yours? [fat - boom boom] There a 29 sweet reasons why blossom time in spring is best. The old boys fall for the young girls if like Earwicker they…
… eat bruised root ginger, although it makes them go bald and makes them put on weight around the middle. If you put pins in your hair, you wouldn’t look so horrible. Now listen Mr Leer! And stow that Sweet Fanny Adams simper on your face! Picture an old geezer visiting his piece of skirt. Note how his hair is slicked back so elegantly. He vows that she is his little love lamb and they will be best friends, and share good times in a little love nest way down west, when the May moon shines and the stars are a-twinkle, and the tail of a comet is shooting sparks at the stars. Eating cream puffs all the time – very nice, Miss Mackenzie! For dear old grandpapa has gone on the razzledazzle through gazing and crazing and then blazing at the starlets. And she needs her wardrobe, and expects cash from him by return post so that she can buy that new Peter Robinson trousseau and make an impression on the younger men, Art, Bert or possibly Charlie Chance – so goodbye Mister Humphrey, you’re too old to dance with – and that’s how half the girls in town have acquired their lingerie, namely while grandpapa was trying to hitch his braces onto his trousers. But old grandpapa is not so stupid, between you and me, some place on the sly he’s got his second girl. He would like to canoodle her soon too, as he’s very fond of his number one girl, but he’s ‘fair mashed’ on his number two girl. He dreams of canoodling both of them, and all three would be so happy if they were in a ‘dreamlife boat’ ark, hugging two by two, with a tofftoff bloke for you and a two missymissy’s for me, and a ‘where-did-you-come-from’ and a ‘How’s-Your-Father’ – all in his tippy up-and-down dippy canoe.
With an ‘ack ack ack’ the newsreel finishes. To continue: our mutual friends, the man with the fender parcel and the man with the bottle at the gate seem to be in the same boat, so to say…
… and what the girl in the newsreel described matches them perfectly, for those sorts of male-female inspired contretemps and conflicts are happening once or twice a day by all sorts of promiscuous individuals both here and abroad. And will be continued forever. Fuck!
But to continue our enquiries. Next morning, the post office received a huge chain envelope, written in seven different coloured inks, with the hand clearly that of the washer woman, albeit signed by A Laughable Party [ALP], and addressed to Hyde and Cheek, Edenberry, [HCE] Dublin, WC. It was written in Lappish, with bursts of Magyar imposed, a black language looking white, and ‘white-guarding’ the black, in a Siamese two-talk that varied from the literacy of a Stern or Swift, to the earthiness of a Jolly Roger. Will the letter bring brightness to us in the night, as we plunge into our plight? Well, it might now, darkness, it might bring light. Always and ever, until the hen collects the fragments of literary litter in her bag [after the fall] and gives them to us via her postman son, Shaun the post.
The coffin, a triumph of the illusionist’s art, was at first glance taken for a harp [Hans Arp] (it’s hard to distinguish [Tristan Zara] the musical instruments when they had only just been invented), had been removed from the premises of Oetzmann and Nephew, which supplies funerary requisites of every description. Why was it needed though? Indeed, because if we didn’t bury the dead, then the brides in their…
… lily boleros that one games with at the Nivynubies’ fine ball, and the grooms that come right up to you – and by jingo when they do - would return in the naked flesh back here at the stroke of midnight, with their horses and carriages.
To proceed. We might leave the question of the nitrogen and oxygen up in the air and just analyse the chemical combination by listening to the testimony of the gasbag with the waterworks. In the case of the bottle knocking on the gate post, Long Lally Tobkids, a ‘special’, sporting a fine breast of medals and a conscientious scripture reader to boot in the brick and tin church around the corner – swore like a Norwegian tailor on the stand before the proper functionary that the previous evening he had been ‘up against’ a right queer sort of man, dressed like a butcher who, after delivering some carcasses, mutton chops and meat juices, to his astonishment began banging on the gate post against all the rules. When Tomkins was challenged about this on oath by the accused he said: ‘Why upon my oath, felix culpa. You did as I so stressed before.’ In reply, MackPartland, of the oldest meat trade name in the world, said: ‘You are knee deep in error, sir, Lady Tomkins, let me tell you’, and he curtsied with a playful expression upon his face. But afterwards his face fell.
Now to the obverse. To feel from the expensive velveteen outer garment to the dimity undergarment, is only a hand span, and hence these excesses are thought to be instigated by either one or both of the ‘causing causes’ of everything, namely the girls of the rushy hollow in their underskirts, be it a Margarita or a Arrah na Pogue. It’s a horrible thing to say, but one day Lupita Lorette quite unexpectedly drank carbolic acid, with all her life still before her, and died. He sister-in-love, Luperca Latouche, finding…
…that she could dodge work by stripping teasily for the old man wearing glasses, and that her happy limbs enjoyed this, very soon after that naughty girl found that her fruit bowl hat was too small for her, so she soon began necking for money, then selling her favours all over town for a bit of soft coal, or an array of thin trunks, which served to cook the same rabbit a la Zingari which our Grania of the red cheeks served to the great-sire of Oscar, namely Finn MacCool. An houri of the emerald isle, Arrah na Pogue, resigned herself to her fate. Did she not, with a licence that sent many a poor sucker to perdition, again and again – tease him as though a dog until stopping him was a problem, calling him a ‘dug of a dog of a dgiaour!’ [Middle Eastern]. And did he not from afar misbrand her sexual behaviour with a downright mean and false outcry? A queen of the fairies, a hotel quean, a Prankquean – and he a kingly man, of royal mien and dressed in regal robes, exalted be his glory! She gives – so take: ‘Not now’, he answers. He would have her wait. Hark! He hears, and his eyes are ravenous upon her rippling lips [Liffey], but he wont. He hears her voice of the day going by, but by the beer of his profit he cannot answer. Instead, he’s up to bed until rise and shine. What behaviour! No-one needs a monument, or a people’s clock or a folkstory or a sunken patch in Tomas Woods, to make known how the blackmailers and pressgangs feed upon the poor and wretched. The mouth that does not speak will always attract unthinking tongues, and so long as the unseen [gods?] draw those who do not hear, so shall the blind lead the deaf. The column of lamps shows the pattern in the leaves behind us. If violence, as often…
…as not, has been the expression, either directly from a male or through his agent, of womanhood offended, has not the levy of blackmail from the times of the fairies followed an impressive private reputation [of women?] for whispering sins?
Now, by memory inspired, turn, wheel, once again to the hole in the wall. Where the ancient giants rests beside his wife the Liffey [Dublin] there once was a wall and a high, high wall it was, and such a wall hole did exist. Before there was iron or the ‘Ire’ in Ireland. Or even before Finn MacCool [white hair] or Anna [digging turves] or before their children’s horses and chariots garbled with their different languages the Viking Valhalla and the Garden of Eden, or before the lost paradise where all the men said ‘Ave’, or before the time of Adam and Eve. The doing is theirs and it still can be seen by us if we strike a match, and we’ll come to those barefaced girls if you just shove over for a second. And let us be the audience [gaggle] and watch Issy play Yesther Asterr in the drama of Sorespot Areas Diseased (SAD). A stonehinged gate then, was an amazing thing – while the sure optimist had bought and enlarged a shack to grow happy in for the remainder of his years - when everything was fitted out he put up a gate – not, as some say, to keep out donkeys – but because the iron gate, which by custom was left open, was triple padlocked on him by his porters to keep him inside – and probably afterwards he felt like sticking his chest out and tempting providence by taking a stroll at Easter, unused as he was to being entombed.
By the way, lest we brag of potatoes, it ought to be remembered in connection with what has gone before that there was a northerner named Herr Betreffender, out for his summer holidays with diggings at number 32 at the Rum and Puncheon in Leixlip, (prior to that, he was an advertising salesman [commercial] …
… from Austria) paying 11 shillings a week board, mixing business with pleasure and mixing broken Irish with broken German, and covering the case of ‘Adam’ for a continental periodical called the Frankfurt Zeitung, and he asserted that one [of the two men] was wearing a Brian O’Lynn sheepskin coat and further, amid much swearing, that he’d said he would make the other a damaged monkey unless he received £500 in damages. Now you must know that assertions about being a butcher when on the stand was just a lot of lies, the sort of nonsense that a dying Rubek [Ibsen] might roar at a mountain. Humphrey Earwicker’s unsolicited visitor [the assailant, Whenn the Waylayer] seemed to be on a Buckley’s clan march, an excellent rural man who knew his Belfast Mountains like a starling, and after doing a long dance, sat his big arse down and blew in some Quaker’s Oats [wild?] through the keyhole of the gate to attract Earwicker’s attention, then tearing at his clothes bellowed: ‘In the name of the tailor, I am going to break your bushy Earwicker’s head for you.’ Then he bellowed, ‘In the name of the shoemaker, I’ll break your head like you break a nut with a monkey wrench’, and lastly: ‘ In the name of the cook [stirabouter] I’ll give you your blood to drink, and your step-brother’s into the bargain’. Then he demanded more alcohol, alleging that his grandfather’s was all taxes and only available after ten o’clock, and that the cottage [containing Earwicker] was a public still that made true Irish whiskey and, not easily discouraged, opened a wrathful flood of invective and went on at a wicked rate, firing an artillery of mixed metaphors from eleven thirty to two in the afternoon, without stopping for lunch – demanding that he come out, ‘you jew beggar’ [Middle Eastern] to be executed. Earwicker, that patent mind and excellent listener, was long suffering…
… although whitening under self-imposed restraint in his ‘conservatory’ with a thermos and fan by his side, and a walrus whisker for a toothpick, and compiled a list of all the abusive names he was called: Firstnighter, Informer, Old Fruit [list of abusive names]…
…[list of abusive names] Mister Fatmate, In Custody of the Polis, Boawwll’s Alocutionist, Deposed, but respectful of the liberties of the non-invasive individual did not respond, although it would have been easy for him in his cottage to have used the telephone to ring the police, because, as he later explained about the wounding of his feelings, the Dominican mission to convert the socialist party was on at the time and he thought the holy rosary might have reformed his would-be assailant. That more than unpleasant bloke, drunkenly threw a couple of stones, by way of a final mocking, at the door in support of his words, but then thought twice, and sobered somewhat wondering what he might have done if he had carried out his terrible intentions, and this caused him to cease his bawling and drop his pebbles, and pace the ground like a lion cursing, then this backblock bristler extinguished…
… his foul language and quite the scene. He later explained in an ordinance that he had left Ireland on the dissecting table, after exhorting Earwicker, or Mrs Earwicker as he thought should apply, to step outside for the honour of Dublin with all his bloody old fishgods, so that he could slog his brains out and build rocks over him and if he didn’t, by Cacao Campbell, he didn’t know what he wouldn’t do to him (and listening to the changes in his Majesty’s voice, the poet Malbruk was able to write the first heroic couplet of the ‘Tropical Fugue’ Opus 11, 32: ‘My schemes into abeyance for/This time they had to fall’). Then he said goodbye to his mum, and with his bandolier over his shoulder, went 1100 leagues away to pat himself on the back on a beach.
And with this rocky exeunt of such a bully brought to a close the last siege round our citadel, which we would like to remember – with a wink at old Nestor Alexis - as ‘Bar the Iron Duke’, and ‘The Dog at the Door’ and ‘Bangen up then Zoom’.
Yet, he made his leave to many such doors, judging from all the silent chambered cairns of Dublin, that can be seen on the hills and in the valleys and on Howth, Coolock and Ennisketty [HCE], a theory not in line with current views of the evolution of human society, but perhaps a testament of the all the rocks that have been thrown at the dead by the living, or visa versa. Oliver’s lambs [Cromwell’s army] we do call them, and they shall be gathered to him, like the herd to the paladin, or small clouds to a larger cloud, in that day when – like Arthur…
… and Finn – he shall wake from his sleep in the earth, in the valley of briars of Greenman’s Rise, and the Wolf Overlord’s mighty horn shall roll as did Roland’s or Orlando’s.
For in those days, his God shall ask of the pro-home-rule Earwicker, calling to him: ‘Earwicker!’ And he shall answer: ‘Soul to the devil, did ye think me dead?’ Silence was in thy festive halls, when your green woods dried in drought, but there will be sounds of mirth when the patriarch of Dublin pulls on his boots.
Liver poorly? Not a bit of it. His brains are cool porridge, his pelt wet, his heart’s droning, his bloodstream’s crawling, his breath puffing, and his extremities extremely so: he’s alive in all the areas of Dublin. Words weigh upon him no more than raindrops. Which we are like – when we sleep – drops. But wait until our sleeping brains stop sleeping.