which Shem asks Shaun questions about the main characters and symbols of FW.
The first question concerns HCE, the second is about ALP, the third the motto
of Dublin, the fourth is Dublin (as told by the respective historians of the
four main cities of Ireland), the fifth Old Joe, the sixth Kate, the seventh
concerns the 12 Murphys, the eighth the 28 Rainbow girls or Magdalene girls,
the nineth is the core vision of FW, the kaleidoscope of history, the tenth
In which Shem asks Shaun questions about the main characters and symbols of FW. The first question concerns HCE, the second is about ALP, the third the motto of Dublin, the fourth is Dublin (as told by the respective historians of the four main cities of Ireland), the fifth Old Joe, the sixth Kate, the seventh concerns the 12 Murphys, the eighth the 28 Rainbow girls or Magdalene girls, the nineth is the core vision of FW, the kaleidoscope of history, the tenthIssy, the eleventh is Mick or Shaun and the twelth is about Nick or Shem.
Who do you know [of the characters of FW] tonight, ladies and gentlemen?
There is an echo way back in the woods: call him forth!
(Shaun, son of Earwicker, a postman, all for a
bottle of Jameson whiskey, rated one hundred and ten percent in his responses
to this nightly quiz about the 12 apostles, as set by Shem, son of Earwicker.
In his answers, he misunderstood the aim in number three, and in number four
referred to the Four Historians [instead of just
1. [Question one is a list of desciptive phrases concerning HCE – most are included here, mainly for navigational purposes]. What second-to-none mythical erector and bridgemaker:
… like an unstoppable clock and the Big Ben of all belles;
… and a bent for drinking to the dregs;
… hope is with the future;
… years before he wallowed round Regents’ Circus;
… he bared his backside at
…was in Cornwall being Mark the Merry, the queen was amongst the trees deeply in love and feeling fine and ‘furry’, the maids were in the hedge, pulling up their hose, when out jumps the blackguards and used pump guns on him;
…mosque, but can be as noisy as a synagogue;
…and sugar, and a dash of boiling water;
…by the fireside, wondering whether it was the mountain brew or the onions that was making him cry [?];
…of nature sets the veiled sex grinning
and went close to going for the three soldiers [three castles on
Answer: Finn MacCool! [i.e. HCE]
2. The second question is: Who’s your mother Mick?
The answer is [in lines of six or seven syllables in the text]:
When I turn my eyes
From suburban prospects,
My son’s bosom
Sees with pride
That bridge and
With his woman, so garrulous by night,
Sleeping by his side.
Anna Livia, the slip of her,
So the mountains whisper of her
the icebergs of
Melt in waves of fire,
And her spooning poetry
And her ‘tickle me on your knee’,
Make the raging Ocean [Ossian]
Kneel and play a lyre.
If Humphrey was a Dane, Ann’s dirty [‘mixed blood’?]
If he’s plain, she’s pretty
If he longs for her, she’s flirty,
With her auburn streams of hair
Her coy cajoleries
To rouse him to put his rudder up
And quench his dreams.
either hot Hammurabi [a king of
Or cold Ecclesiastes
Could see her playful pranks
They’d burst their self-imposed bounds
Renounce their rueful interment
And denounce whatever they had been doing
In favour of her river, forever
And a night, Amen!
3. The third question is: what is the motto for those ticking and teak thatched houses, painted over with darkness [as HCE sleeps], where a snake lies under cover, and birds of prey are in the brothels, and maids go to convents, and a [U. black] panther was seen – it is not ‘a crofters suburb’, nor ‘the foreign home of the three soldiers’, nor a ‘Haralby’s the grocers’, or ‘Vatican the vintners’, nor the ‘Houseboat’ or the ‘Beehive’, nor ‘Nighttown’ or ‘Phoenix Park’, nor ‘One Square Room’ [FW symbol] or ‘Dublin Downs’, nor the ‘Mayor and …
…his Minx’, nor named after any of its pubs, nor ‘Nothing Grand, Nothing Splendid’, nor ‘It was, It is, It will be’, nor ‘“It wasn’t me”, said Lucifer’.
Answer is the motto of
4. Question four is: What Irish capitol city (dear o dear!) with a Celtic beginning, but ruinous end (dust to dust) boasts, a) the largest public park in the world, b) the largest brewing industry, c) the widest street in the world, and, d) the most horse-loving, god and drink worshipping population of paupers in the world: answer using a, b, c, d.
[it is something of trick question because while it appears to refer to just
abcd) The bells ring on Shandon steeple,
And we’ll go to mass on Christmas, people,
Shall praise goodness [Guinness], our first Anna nipple [?],
Our pain shall deepen, pay me my fee pence,
Money, not equality! [an alcoholic’s/church’s plaint??]
5. The fifth question goes, What sort of low lad would serve dirty glasses [of ale], empty out the draught stout overflow, milk a vicious goat, scare away children, clean out waste paper baskets, pee around the village, sell newspapers, tobacco and sweets, listen for the church bell, kick would-be frauds out, shriek ‘help’ after burglars, hold the three children, polish the shoes, put out the fires at night, serve his ‘time’ till death, grind his knives, is lewd but godly, sometimes takes the tram, swobs doorways and windows, will do gardening or work in the stable, must understand the Irish language, is preferably a big Jutlander or Norwegian, does all duties without any rights, no commission, mustn’t be a drinker, is a father-in-law, a sound-minded person but an ale inspector, nay, he mustn’t be?
Answer: Poor Old Joe [the old servant of the pub]
6. Question six asks: When heard in the pub, what does the phrase ‘Summon in the House Sweep’ mean?
(Tock [similar to the repeated ‘Tip’ in the Museyroom episode, where old Kate
shows us around]) A glorious bit of sailcloth and beeswax to wipe away the mud
of the pigs. I thought it was his stain on the flower [cf Letter], if you ask me,
and when he could speak, he called me by my maiden name (Tick). ‘I am your
honey, honeysuckle phwhtphwht I am the bee’, and ‘who broke the candles’ and
‘who seen the black current jam for tomorrow’s big picnic’. I hope it’ll pour
with rain, praise the climate of old
…birds calling while I was spreading the dripping on your sandwiches, thripence a duck’s leg. (Tock.) And ‘who ate the last of the gooseberries’ that were mouldy anyway, and ‘who left that there’ and ‘who put that here’ and ‘who let the Kilkenny [cat] steal the chop’. (Tick.) And ‘who was, you was it?, left the pot in the yard’ and ‘what in the name of St Luke are you rubbing the floor of the lobby with? Shite! You could eat a plateful of that [expensive beeswax?].’ [Tock] [i.e. the answer is Kate Strong, an old servant of the pub]
7 asks: Who are those people in our society, like the doorboy, cleaner, soldier
etc, the peekaboo tramp, the gunpowder plotter… the porters of the passions…
all contributing to the controversial stories arising from their
differentiation, who unify their voices in a vote for the Vatican, who must eat
old crusts due to the depredation of others, and drink to intoxication, who
condone evil by every possible justification, and leave good to be its own
reward, who are ruled, roped, duped and driven by those numerous demons the
lawyers and fee gatherers. They suffer nightly consternation, enjoy fortnightly
fornication, monthly charity and recreation once a year. They are Doyles in the
act of deliberation, but Sullivans when they are armed with swords; nine
Answer: the Murphies [i.e. Irish males]
8. Question eight asks: And how are your Maggies? [the 28 rainbow girls/Magdalene laundry girls]
They fight in love and love laughing and smile hating and hate thinking…they live for love and will be wives and rule through rile and ruse in a rose-wreathed…
… home, and when marriage comes, with a coach and four, the sweet girl will just have picked one man more.
9. Question nine asks, how do we understand the process of our renewal, our linear basking in the refreshed panorama of the flowering of our culture, for what if an average human, fatigued by his daily labour, hapless behind the shared dreams of accuracy, and a certain as any Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, were at this instant given an instantaneous vision of all the historical ingredients, the different peoples and languages, which persist through history and shape the present – all those ‘yes’ and ‘no’ decisions, the dissolving of one thing into another, that shape the Whole of it – could such a person, even as his wife is asking him to come to bed and sleep away til dawn, behold in that vision what is ‘main’ – even though it has diffracted so that all things and people have melted one into the other before passing away, with people sharing the features of one ancestor or another, and that beautiful distant ancestor that we all share has split like the spectrum of rainbow colours amongst us all – if that person could see where we all came from, what would he be seeing?
Answer: a Kaleidoscope [of all the historical inputs perceived in the present at once – a key concept that lies behind the content and form of Finnegans Wake itself!]
10. Question ten asks: What embitters love more than yearning, what’s our love but a brief burning, until she who draws on the cigarette does to the smoke return? [love is like a nicotine addiction!]
Answer: [Shaun doing an impression of Issy speaking to her mirror image] But listen precious – delicious [chocolates or cakes – cf the letter] - and my what beautiful hands you have, if you didn’t bite your fingernails. I bet you use her [ALP’s] best Parisian cream from her vanity table…
use it three times a day. By my shawl,
when I think of that Clancarthy, the footballer saying ‘Predregast, is that you
Innkeeper?’ and he and the fourteen other members of the team baiting my Lord
Ornery [HCE] just because they won an ‘egg and spoon’ race at Baldoyle. He [a
foreign Lord Ornery?] admires my Irish accent, he said. He is looking for an
opening, and wants me to be his beautiful consort. ‘And you must not play the
hot one! Always calm!’ such are the Spanish. ‘Come a little closer, please!’ [to
put a sweet in her mouth] Simply delightful. Like Julio and Romiette. I haven’t
felt like Turkish Delight for ages! This one I will call ‘Squishious, the
chocolate with a soul’. They are a mucky lot, and I wouldn’t pay three hairpins
for them [cheap chocolates? Footballers?]. Pull! [Pulls out a hairpin]. Come to
Don’t forget it has been my expressed wish to go to Show Week which will be coming around again wearing red heels [a big fashion event]. But look what the fool bought me, the cabbage head, [chocolates] Anyway I’ll always have plenty of snappy new garters, me being the one to charm the men, and can live on my loving, even if the revered Mr Polkingtone [Father Michael – or Joyce in an alternate career?] is a million miles away from my youthfulness, the fishmonger Mother Browne [ALP] solicited me for conversations with, with her pot of tea, and him creaking around on his shanks like a crusty old bird. ‘I’m fine, thanks ever! [to the offer of more tea] Ha! O mind your pour quickly. Shall I put it in my mouth? [chocolate or tea cake] Mummm. ‘Funny spot to have a thingy. I’m terribly sorry, I swear to you I am!’ [tea stain of the Letter]
May he never see me in my …
… birthday clothes, and the white hands rot with leprosy off whatever winking Maggie he goes flirting after, with all her glass jewellery and the jump marks on her stomach. Haha! I suspected Mrs Browne was [having it on with Polkingtone?/a Maggie?]! Sink her [drown her]! May they burn her like a barren ewe!
So Mrs Browne [ALP] says ‘Tea for you?’ ‘Well’, I said, ‘Thanks so much’, and hoped she wouldn’t take it badly if I thought her odd. ‘Pleased to make your acquaintance’: my diaper has more life in it [than Mr Polkingtone] – someone drowned him in ‘drears’, or he was sick from all the ink he uses. Did some little sorrow get past the gates of your pride, I wonder? Am I treading on your clover, sweetness? I’ll kiss you back to life – I mean to make you suffer – and I like to be courted. Did I cheat you, sweet sir? You know I’m tender-hearted, surely you can see through me? Make me laugh, make me cry! Tell me everything you know, speak volumes with your eyes, cast a spell over me, and send me swooning. Call me ‘Loveliness’ and transport me now and for all time! I’d risk a policeman passing by [to kiss him].
Pardon? Did you speak? [Mr Polkingtone] Poetry from Shakespeare? Or choral music? Or something from the Garden of the Soul prayer book? Flesh and immorality, or life in the colonies? O, you mean the struggle for love and the survival of the prettiest? Yes, we often talk about that at home. And once a week I improve on myself – I’m keen on that magazine The New Free Women with the novel inside [by Harriet Shaw Weaver]. I liked the story: ‘Man in a Surplice’ [Polkington/or ‘surplus’]. Let’s get out Bramstoker’s Dracula and read it for a fright! Draw the shades, I’ll beat any son-of-a-monk in the game of love [i.e. block out the vision of anyone out there pining with love]. I’d make his hair bandana burn into two if I ran about with a torch [and pretended to be Dracula?] (and he adores…
…me, then dies [as in D, ’The Dead’] – but whatever for?) Or burn your hat, if you had one. Am I laughing at you? Not in the least. The reason I said that was because I’m just any old girl, you lovely fellow, and because old somebody [Polkingtone] is not about, my dear Tristan amongst the tulips, like some old pope-defying Lutheran assailing us. He thinks that’s what the vestry is for:
How vain is that hope in cleric’s heart,
Who still pursues the adulterous art,
For sure that rusty gown of his,
Will make fair Sue forget his face!
I hope they threw away his mould, or else we’ll have Belshazzars and Sardanapalus all over the place [Middle Eastern kids], but wait until I’m old enough to vote, and I’ll teach him when to wear his Roman colours. Because I hate the very thought of you [Polkingtone], and was meant to have an engineer from the French college as a husband, and you are married to reading and writing - although that won’t last long now that he is loopy about me, after the day he carried me from the boat to the beach and I left a fair hair on his shoulder to remind him of my softness.
‘Ever so sorry! I beg your pardon [to Polkington], I was listening to myself think, otherwise I would have realised you were really interested in my granny [??]’.
It was a bit like throwing out the shaving water [rather than the baby with the bath water].
‘Here’s my arm, it’s yours. [Polkingtone to her] Move your mouth towards mine, precious. To please me, treasure’.
‘Don’t be a…’
‘I’m not going to! Sh!’
Nothing! A cry somewhere! Bye bye! [she imagines herself being assaulted or losing her virginity?] Here father under the lime trees. You know the big tree near the gravestones. The snakes [soldiers] got him, the nasty man. So cheer up for the love of Mike.
… Listen – there’s the train, and the sounds of all the four courts, and the big guy and the eleven boozers [Last Supper/Middle East] causing a nuisance, and my eight and twenty classmates [Rainbow girls]! There’s A B C D… and me! The reformatory boys are in church, so we’re come to feast like grasshoppers and got absolution and penance. When I get married all my girls will sing and bright pigeons all over the world will fly with mistletoe around their necks and a crumb from my cake – we keep all the wrapping paper [the Letter]. Oh my Darling! Close your eyes – now open your lips Pepette [mirror image - for cake/or chocolate], like I used to with Dan Holohan. Whoever would have ears like ours – do you like [the sound of the cake/chocolate wrapper] my silent one [looking into mirror]? Do you like the…
…whispering of the paper? Is it not divinely delicious? Isn’t it bad for you? I’ll not open this one, I’m enjoying the sound – why do I prefer it in is dark wrapper, you may ask? It’s like my dress, all gold and silvery, the newest tones that make me look like a princess. Oh yes, there’s a cost for such wrappings, you don’t have to tell me! But I would be sold dear – not like a cheap unwrapped conversation lozenge. I didn’t, or was going to, or thinking of it… but don’t start, you wretch! But have you never spoken about clothes to a girl before? Of course I believe you, my doting liar, when you tell me. I’d love to open [the chocolate wrapper], I live to! Listen, I must know! If you take away my clothes, then bitter will be the forbidden fruit of this hour! It is with my whiteness [of my bridal gown?] I thee woo and with my silk breaths I bind you! Always! As long as lady luck lasts!
you met on a binge a poor aching exile from
With his trembling shaking even the trousers on his legs [?],
While his contrary [brother] raged in the wake [aftermath] of his wailing
Like a pugilant roaring lion or Brian O’Lynn;
If he moaned in his miserliness,
Complaining of his…
…his plight, playing fox and a louse
Picking then dropping his teeth, or wringing his hands for peace,
A blind blighter playing deaf and dumb, for something to eat;
If he wept when he leapt then he fell with a whimper,
And ‘cold blooded’ for him was as easy as a ‘Blue Monday’, and he ‘made no bones’ without meat,
Took a kiss, cake or a kick each with a sigh, suck or simper,
Was a ‘devil to learn’ and a ‘devil to teach’;
If the Sinn Feiner begged you to save his immortal
Small schoolmaster soul with his, ‘Oh how do you do!’
Breaking wind, and saying that to wine women and song, he was partial,
We don’t think, Jones, we’d care to this evening - would you?
[Shaun replies – realising that it is about what he would do for his own brother] No, f**k you! So you think I’m a Bolshevik? And they told you I had a wig? And my lifestyle is not natural? But before refuting the content of this question, it would be better for you to pause and consider the time-money problem from the ‘spatialist’ viewpoint [i.e. why Shaun’s stance on life is correct…]. And you will also notice that the sophistry of Bergson’s time arguments [i.e. Shem’s perspective] are not without ‘money’ characteristics, necessitated by the fairy godmother of misfortune, and that these theories are in reality a chance debasement of the theories of Einstein. The writing is sorrowfully bad and the quality alternatively provincial and erroneous, as the case may be.
‘Such’ is a word often abused by many people. (I’m working out a theory about time because it is really most traumatising [i.e. the Cad].) A person may say: ‘Have you…
seen much of ‘such and such’ these times?’ Meaning, ‘Will you buy me a drink?’
Or as a man might ask a lady: ‘Is So and so, the sword swallower at the Criterion
Theatre, the same as Such von such, the writer on the Daily Mail?’ [Shaun is perhaps suggesting that Shem is asking these
questions about people to get something, or that they are irrelevant]. Or
here is another example: a lecturer
Professer Levi-Bruel, in his talk which caused such uproar about ‘Why am I not born a Gentleman and why am I now speaking about the contents of my intestines’, takes off his gabardine coat and wig to allow us to see that the inception, the descent and end of Man through time is borne out of obscenity, when one takes a longer or far-off view [i.e. we are a jumbling together of the sexes down through time – the kaleidoscope], and [listening to this] I can easily believe in my own theory that the immensity of space…
…is mirrored in my own microcosm, when I consider that the space occupied by my books [volumes] outweighs their subject matter like a globe compared to a vacuum. [??] I need not apologise for an intentional downtrodding of my foes (contrary to the new Italians and old Parisians who say I’m wrong because of their revolt from Romanticism). Professor Levi-Bruel finds, from an experiment holding an egg and watching a watch boil in a witch’s cauldron - though it’s like a rebellion behind the Pope’s back, because the number of square [correct] views will not be diminished by their backstabbing of these clods – is that like all time-champions looking for the escapement device explaining time, it is, like the search for the Holy Grail, all just a waste of time. [i.e. theories such as evolution that distinguish changes in life – and therefore individuals – over time, are not important.] Hear him squawk, that thief, about how well he uses language! What a fine shot! ‘When Mulligan won the gold’, ‘When we were stripping in number three’, and ‘I would like the neat drop of malt that would melt in my mouth’ – but I fail to see when. [Shaun depreciating Shem or Joyce’s writing, a parody of Wyndham Lewis’s criticism of U and WiP, and therefore Shem’s question.] Merde alors! as old Marshal Cambronne put it. On Professor Levi-Bruel’s showings, the plea [i.e. to explain or represent time] is stuff and rubbish, since his ‘when is a man not another man’ quandary [i.e. ‘Why is it that Such and such is like So and so?’] has the same sort of [vapid?] answer as ‘all’s fair in love and war’ and …
…‘where my arts soar you will also get thunder’ and ‘because I cling, it is true once I climbed a tree’ and ‘where Innocent looks best, there’s holly and ivy’.
[I think Shaun is suggesting that Nick/Shem, as author of FW which presents a blurred ‘kaleidoscope’ of culture and humanity over time, cannot then ask questions concerning the specific characteristics of character at any fixed point in time – even though a champion of the ‘space’ argument, such as Mick/Shaun, might ordinarily insist we do exactly that!].
As my explanations are probably above your understanding, little brother, I shall revert to a method I use when I lecture middle-class pupils. Imagine that you are squad of urchins, cloth-headed and tangled in your laces, etc. ‘You Bruno Nolan, take your tongue out of your inkpot! As none of you knows Javanese I will give you my translation of a fable. Allaboy Minor take your head out of your satchel!’ Christ hear us…
The Parable of the Mookse and the Gripes [based on Aesop’s ‘The Fox and the Grapes’]
Gentlemen and ladies!
Once within a Space there lived a Mookse. When his solitariness was all too lonely he would go walking, so one evening he put on his impermeable raincoat, picked up his sword, put on his crown, stepped out of his home ‘The White Country’ [Arse?] (so called because of all the plasterers, with gorgeous gardens, cascades and aqueducts) and set off to see how badness was badness [i.e. ‘Why is it that Such and such is like So and so?’] in the weirdest of conceivable ways.
And he set off with his sword, like a Pope Breakspear, clanking about as though every inch an immortal.
He had not walked far from home when…
… he came upon (according to the prophecy of ALP) the most boggy stream he had ever seen [i.e. the Liffey]. It was small and brown and he thought it narrow and shallow. And as it ran it trickled, purring ‘My my my! Me and me!’ [Mookse thought] ‘Little brown stream don’t I love thee!’ [The river is metaphor of the passage of time in FW!]
And, what was there on the other bank of the stream, perched on a tree, upside down but the Gripes? [tree/stone on opposite sides of the river] And no doubt he was fit to be tied, for had he not been able to drink the juice [wine?] of his times [unlike the rich pope the Mookse]?
His peeps [eyes] were tear-filled, his nose had changed colour, he was forgetting any sense of design and had been put onto his backside in the street by the Bailiff. The Mookse had never seen anyone in such a pickle.
- ‘Good afternoon, Sir Mookse! How do you do?’ said the Gripes in a maudlin voice, and jackasses…
…all laughed because they knew what a sly fox he was. ‘I am blessed to see you, master. Will you not tell me everything? All about the tree and stone and Anna Livia, and all-in-all about Shawn and Issy?’
Consider the situation! The pitiful tempter was a Gripes! [i.e. a Grape instead of a fox]
- ‘Rats!’ bellowed the Mookse, and everyone quailed at his noise. ‘Blast you and your inferior anatomy! No, you’re but a rural animal. I am a supreme pontiff! Abase yourself! Get thee behind me satan!’ [For not talking about the Christian religion]
- ‘I am till infinity obliged to you’, bowed the Gripes. ‘I have still to wash all my extremities [ablations]. By the watch, what is the time, please?’ [i.e the question the Cad asks HCE which prefigures his downfall.]
Go figure! Imagine saying that to Mookse!’
- ‘Read the index of prohibited books, mind my Achilles heel, swell my coffers and worship the Nazerene [Christ]’, answered the Mookse. ‘What’s the hour? That’s what I wanted to settle with you, grape. Let’s have a war. Now, measure your length. Now, estimate my capacity. Well sir? Will you give up? What do you say?’
Holy Patience! You should have heard the little voice that answered him.
‘I was considering that, sweet Mookse, but, for all the rhyme and reason, I
cannot submit’, the Gripe whimpered. ‘My temple is my own [i.e.
…because my father was a sort-of waiter, when your time is up [or, whose cloaca you are]’.
Incredible! Well, hear the inevitable.
‘Your temple? The space in my
Standing up and pointing his jewelled stick at the sky, through sheer luck he blew out a cluster of stars and a firefly in Teresa street and a stop sign in front of Sophie Barratt’s, then he gathered together the odd dozen of his books, Greek, Latin and Russian up into his arms, and set about conducting his wider proof leading to the extinction of the Gripes (Shem having once been the name of the Gripes). Referring to many books, he proved it altogether…
…if not in that order then in a different one, 333 times, referring to mathematics and history and legend, the blessings of experience, and the Book of the Dead.
While the Mookse was preoccupied and promulgating his ipso facto and said contradictions, the rascally Gripes has all but succeeded in monopolising his [in]subordinates. But as he had taught his naked seminarians to consider the origins of his immaculate conception, and the followers of his Holy Ghost to understand the procession of the Holy Ghost as a synthesis, so eventually they were all loggerheads and at variance with the synod of his symbolism, and papal infallibility was given the hoof by the schism.
- ‘After a thousand years, O Gripes, you will be blind to the world’, essayed Mookse the pious. [blind like Joyce]
- ‘After a thousand years’, answered the Gripes, ‘by the god of Mohammed, you will still be, O Mookse, deaf.’
- ‘We [the Mookse] shall be chosen as the first amongst the last [standing] by Electra of Vale Hollow’ [Issy], observed the Mookse nobly, ‘for by the unicorn of Elijah, we are in the saddle [or own the constabulary] and that is what the common person falls for [i.e. authority], bless ‘em.
his pills, aftershave and a cigarette – [the Mookse was] as British military as
‘We’, confessed the Gripes, ‘shall not even be the last amongst the first, we
hope, when we are visited by the Veiled Horror [ALP?] of death and
Blind ambusher, foe to social and business success! It might have been a happy night out but…. [the Gripe showed up].
And they insulted each other:
- ‘Horned one!’
- ‘Whiskey sot!’
Volley after volley.
little cloud girl Nuvoletta [Issy – as the judge?] in her nightdress was
looking down on them from the stairs and listening like a child. How she was
frightened when the Mookse [now a customer in the pub] raised his walking-stick
into the sky, and how she was overawed when the knobbly-kneed Gripes made such
a putz of himself! All of the 28 Rainbow girls were sleeping like squirrels. Her
mother, Mrs Moonan [ALP] was scrubbing the backsteps and her father, that
Scandinavian, was in the bar eating an
…to be the bride of Tristan. But the sweet maid had no chance, for the Mookse, a dogma-driven acolyte was not amused, and the Gripes, a Dublin Catholic, was plainly oblivious.
‘I see’, she sighed. ‘They are men.’
The wind whistled though the reeds and shadows began to gather along the banks of the Liffey as the gloomy dusk approached. The Mookse had good eyes, but he could not hear everything. The Gripes had good ears but he could not see well. As the dusk overwhelmed them, the Mookse thought he could think profoundly until the morning and the Gripes thought of the logical traps he would escape, if he had enough luck.
And now it was dusk! Adieu! Then it began to rain!
Then there came down to the opposite side a black woman and she gathered up the Mookse, where he was spread out and carried him away. Then there came down to this side another comely woman and angrily plucked down the panicky Gripes [from his tree] and carried him away in beautitude to her…
… hut. And so the poor Gripes got it wrong, for that is always how a Gripes is and always will be. And there was only the elm tree and the stone each of them had been sitting on left, and Nuvoleta, the little cloud, a girl.
Then Nuvoletta reflected for the last time in her life and coalesced her myriad of minds [i.e. her reflections] into one. She climbed over the banisters of the stairs, gave a cry of, ‘Rain! Rain!’ Her dress fluttered as she jumped and she was gone. And into the river she went (like a thousand tears, when she became stout and liked dancing, and her name became Mrs Liffey) And then fell a perfect tear: a leap tear. But the river swept her away, tripping along, lapping as though she just a brook. Why o why! I can’t stop myself flowing!
‘No applause, please!’ [said Shaun] ‘The shaking coin bowl will be circulated in due course’.
‘Allaboy Major, I’ll take your views of the story another time [or place]. Nolan Browne, you may leave the classroom. ‘
[Why does the parable suggest the ‘space’ argument is superior – simply because a Gripes is ‘always wrong’? The Nuvoletta ending suggests that both sides of the river are irrelevant compared to the motion of the river itself – a metaphor of the argument for ‘time’. This argument for time – i.e. the flow - again suggests that Shem’s question does not apply to Shaun – even though he argues against ‘time’ as the character differentiation is unimportant.]
I have explained, my reasons why my genius is much more deserving. I feel
sympathy for my friend [Shem] Knackers Dopeyvitch. He’s so bally clever but
awful careless and I am a slave to method. I think he should live on the
…should be classified under the genus Inexhaustable, when we reflect how much red cedar is there…) ‘I am the Voice of the People’, and ‘I wish I had another glass of that harbour whisky’. [Shem will often say] But why should he rot by the roadside or fawn over an alms bowl? He aught to go away for a change of ideas. If I weren’t a Jonah myself I be his dolphin [to carry him there] because he’s such a barefaced robber [of ideas], with my socks pulled over his face [as a disguise]. But I falter and am a bit husky in the throat.
please come closer and we will murmur in low voices. Everyone is mixed: I am
My listeners will recall with pleasure how I trespassed where…
…even Michaelangelos would fear to tread, when I proved how his subject is ‘cash-time’ [or ‘space’ related because he asks questions about individuals] and for this degraded intellectual time is money and the cash system means that I cannot now have and not have a piece of cheese in your pocket at the same time – unless Burrus and Caseous [Butter and Cheese, Brutus and Cassius] have and have not simultaneously disentangled themselves.
Burrus is a genuine prime choice, full of natural grace, the mildest of milkstuffs and completely unadulterated, whereas Caseous is not an ideal choice by any means, although the former is addicted to the meltingly casual side of the later. It was the same old ‘Home and History’ story, five and sixpence, that we used to read, until Daddy died and Mother brought us our supper. [The story –FW -was all about…] Our old family united round a bowl [or ‘bowel’ – bodily functions] at prayer: Father Salmon [HCE] himself and Petersen [Shaun - Stone] and Time [Shem - Tree] and a dozen of the Murphy’s and twenty plus of the Rainbow Girls and Lettucia [Issy - Lucia] and you and me [Shem and Shaun] were twins. But there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip, and knowing how backward you are I have completed the following lesson on the ‘coarse use of tools’ [for Shem on the island?], and if I don’t do you in [to his school pupil Schott] I must be a murdered Caesar.
older Caesar becomes unendurable in old age (the composer makes the mistake of
making a joke at the outset), having been nine-lived (the composer is another
of those bubbles whose Sandhurst training makes the campaign he describes as
flat as a pancake) and the twins are billed to make an appearance as the new
knife-to-neck, neck and neck, rulers in a newly deserted battlefield of the Pub.
(A cursory reading of the Persse-O’Reilly history shows how Finn McCool picked
up the proper name [of Earwicker] out of collection of prefixes [U.
god as a collector of prepuses, i.e. Christian names?] though, of the
permeating uncertainty of this his offspring are certain.) But although I deny
wanting to waste time, I could paint that story better if you gave me some
[white?] wash [the Picture]. Casseous may think of himself as a Cavalier
[knight] but Burrus is closer to a Roundhead, which goes better with a soft-thinking,
defender of the faith. He [Burrus] has a lake of wisdom teeth in his head,
while the other fellow’s sweet tooth is but a milk tooth [?]. It was aptly
stated that his [Burrus/Shaun’s] seeing was so good [bad?] that if a whole
barrow of putrescence was poured over him he could with his ‘ostrich eye’ make
out the mote in
… everything about him, you would say I giving you the principles of a list of fame. Eating butter [i.e. Burrus] was in the biblical prophesy of Jesus! And that is why we learned the [anti-semitic] song in childhood: Hans eats bread and butter but Jacob eats pork fat bread [or stinking shit]!
To compare with Caseous, his brother ‘scotch’ or poor cheese, with a hole or two [in his clothes] and a high stink that you notice before he arrives. ‘Cheeugh!’ you complain, and you are not wholly or holey in the wrong!
[Shaun now returns to his criticism of Shem’s question] Thus we cannot escape our likes and dislikes, the exiles and robbers, or beggars or neighbours – this is why the time-show believers advocate temporal welfare relief – let us be tolerant of antipathies. [Hence the saying] ‘You cannot make pure cheese from butter’? I am not giving my endorsement to the ‘Learned Ignorants’ of the Cusa philosophy, in which old Nicholas [of Cusa] suggests the smarter the top [brain], the bigger the bottom (what he ought to have said was that the more immobile in space is the bottom, the better it can be used in time by the ‘top’). And I shall be misunderstood if I were to give an unconditional endorsement to the ‘Heroic Enthusiasts’ theory of Bruno of Nola, or that part where Theophilus swears that while eggs are cheap all over the world [i.e. when HCE has fallen or lots of HCE types ??], butter [Mike] will be dearer than cheese [Shem].
Now I would not want to be understood as recommending the Silkebjorg cheese-making machine for more economical production of butter and cheese until I can look into it a little more closely, and I shall make a decision after showing how both products…
… are mutually exclusive, and any suggestion otherwise is a delusion stemming from his [Shem’s] fixation [about all things being blended over time]. As suggested above, the two twins, as males we feel we must focus on a female, and at this stage there appears a cow maid who introduces herself to Burrus and Caseous at zero hour [midnight]. And so we meet ‘Margareen’.
We now hear the lyrics of shameful music, having the words ‘I cream for thee, Sweet Margareen’, and ‘O Margareena! I left a lump of gold in the bowl!’ [butter, but ref. the ‘family around the bowl’ above]. (Correspondents always ask what is the correct garnish to serve with sheep’s intestine: tansy sauce). The pathos of the first reveals it as a Caseous effort, while Burrus’s song is often used for a toast. The study of hair can tell us how this yellow colour first appeared on the bowl, that is the human head, where amongst all the other colours it was like a wig. Of course the unskilled singer would pervert our wiser ears by subordinating the space-element of the song and singing in time, a practice which should be killed. I advise all singers to forget musical time…
… and sing a roulade with a swift glottal stop, then on the third beat, to close her eyes and open her mouth and see what I give her. What will I give her? Butter!
I do have something to say about the acoustic and architectural management of the music hall, but for the moment I will pursue the Burrus and Caseous story. All my admirers have seen my painting of Marge, which I titled ‘The Very Picture of a Needless Woman’, which decorates our national gallery. This genre of portrait painting should evoke the ‘bush soul’ of the female, and I leave it to the viewer complete the picture by mentally adding a wallaby or kangaroo tail. The hatboxes [I have painted] that compose ‘Rhomba, Lady Trabezond’ (or Marge in her excelsis mode) form a staircase that you can imagine Burrus and Caseous ascending, each level like the archaeological clay layers of the morphological development of our body politic, and each one a box of surprises. The boxes are worth about four pence each, but am inventing a new process, foolproof and pry-perfect, after which their cost can be reduced to a fragment of …
…of their true worth by even the youngest of Marges when she sits on them [for her portrait, and breaks them?] and smiles.
Now there can be no question that I have not got the ‘size’ of young Marge, whose type may be met in any public garden wearing a very ‘dressy’ affair, wearing fur and matching cap, ostentatiously ‘hemming’ [coughing] over a garment, when she is not sitting on ‘all’ the free benches, reading about ‘it’ but on the look out for ‘him’, and so thrilled about the best-dressed dolly pram, or at the movies swallowing down sobs, or blowing biscuit crumbs at the latest Chaplin comedy, or beside the gutter with someone’s toddler, teaching the infant majesty how to make water.
(I am closely watching Master Pules [the toddler] as I have reasons to suspect that her ‘little man’ is really a secondary school teacher who is being used by Marge to conceal her own more masculine personality by flaunting frivolous finery over mens’ underwear, but she will always lack the muscularity of the real thing. But my solutions concerning the proper behaviour of mothers and the education of their toddlers must stand aside until I finish tackling this hussy for occupying my attentions.)
Margareena is very fond of Burrus, but alack! She is also fond of cheese. A ‘cleopatrician’ in her own right, she complicates matters, while Burrus and Caseous contend for her mastery [mistress, mystery…], by implicating her-…
…self with an elusive Antonius [Mark Antony], an Italian who would appear to take a personal interest in refined cheese, but at the same time makes an art of being as rude as the boor [Hun?]. This Anotnious-Burrus-Caseous triad equate in the same way as X is to Y as Y is to Z, like your godchild’s ABC. [Here again the principle that all people merge…] And this is why any simple fool, an atheist [amethyst-hued] lowdown, legless fratricide, may be green on one side and frightfully blue on the other, but this does not disguise him from me as I know him to be a blasted, bleating, bloated, blasphemous idiot who cannot tell a bomb from a pineapple when he steals one, and will not sing his psalms with the congregation.
The thundering legion has stormed
…of god’s law, who never was happy with himself and leaves his toil to wash his head – if he came into my reach to beg for a bite in our ship [pub] ‘Noisdanger’, would MacJaffet and I kick him out? – ay – were he my own brother, Dublined with love, were we bred by the same fire and made from the same salt, had we worked for the same master and both robbed from his till, were we tucked in the one bed and bitten by the same flea, though it breaks my heart to pray it, I don’t think I could say it! [i.e. words that would save Shem’s soul, as per the question]
Question 12. And the cursed one is?