His tuneful whistle sounds again, finely shaded, with rushes of the air, his fists bigdrumming on his padded knees.
This wind is sweeter.
Houses of decay, mine, his and all. You told the Clongowes gentry you had an uncle a judge and an uncle a general in the army. Come out of them, Stephen. Beauty is not there. Nor in the stagnant bay, of Marsh’s library where you read the fading prophecies of Joachim Abbas. For whom? The hundredheaded rabble of the cathedral close. A hater of his kind ran from them to the wood of madness, his mane foaming in the moon, his eyeballs stars. Houyhnhnm, horsenostrilled. The oval equine faces. Temple, Buck Mulligan, Foxy Campbell, Lantern jaws. Abbas father, furious dean, what offence laid fire to their brains? Paff ! Descende, calve, ut ne nimium decalveris. A garland of grey hair on his comminated head see him me clambering down to the footpace (descende), clutching a monstrance, basliskeyed. Get down, bald poll ! A choir gives back menace and echo, assisting about the altar’s horns, the snorted Latin of jackpriests moving burly in their albs, tonsured and oiled and gelded, fat with the fat of kidneys of wheat.
And at the same instant perhaps a priest round the corner is elevating it. Dringdring ! And two streets off another locking it into a pyx. Dringadring ! And in a ladychapel another taking housel all to his own cheek. Dringdring ! Down, up, forward, back. Dan Occam thought of that, invincible doctor. A misty English morning the imp hypostasis tickled his brain. Bringing his host down and kneeling he heard twine with his second bell the first bell in the transept (he is lifting his) and, rising, heard (now I am lifting) their two bells (he is kneeling) twang in diphthong.
Cousin Stephen, you will never be a saint. Isle of saints. You were awfully holy, weren’t you? You prayed to the Blessed Virgin that you might not have a red nose. You prayed to the devil in Serpentine avenue that the fubsy widow in front might lift her clothes still more from the wet street. O si, certo ! Sell your soul for that, do, dyed rags pinned round a squaw. More tell me, more still ! On the top of the Howth tram alone crying to the rain : naked women ! What about that, eh?
What about what? what else were they invented for?
Reading two pages apiece of seven books every night, eh? I was young. You bowed to yourself in the mirror, stepping forward to applause earnestly, striking face. Hurray for the Goddamned idiot ! Hray ! No-one saw : tell no- one. Books you were going to write with letters for titles. Have you read his