With circumspection, as invariably when entering an abode (his own or
not his own) : with solicitude, the snakespiral springs of the mattress being old,
the brass quoits and pendent viper radii loose and tremulous under stress and
strain : prudently, as entering a lair or ambush of lust or adders : lightly, the
less to disturb : reverently, the bed of conception and of birth, of consummation
of marriage and of breach of marriage, of sleep and of death.
What did his limbs, when gradually extended, encounter?
New clean bedlinen, additional odours, the presence of a human form,
female, hers, the imprint of a human form, male, not his, some crumbs, some
flakes of potted meat, recooked, which he removed.
If he had smiled why would he have smiled?
To reflect that each one who enters imagines himself to be the first to enter
whereas he is always the last term of a preceding series even if the first term
of a succeeding one, each imagining himself to be first, last, only and alone
whereas, he is neither first nor last nor only nor alone in a series originating
in and repeated to infinity.
What preceding series?
Assuming Mulvey to be the first term of his series, Penrose, Bartell d’Arcy,
professor Goodwin, Julius Mastiansky, John Henry Menton, Father Bernard
Corrigan, a farmer at the Royal Dublin Society’s Horse Show, Maggot O’Reilly,
Matthew Dillon, Valentine Blake Dillon (Lord Mayor of Dublin), Christopher
Callinan, Lenehan, an Italian organgrinder, an unknown gentleman in the
Gaiety Theatre, Benjamin Dollard, Simon Dedalus, Andrew (Pisser) Burke,
Joseph Cuffe, Wisdom Hely, Alderman John Hooper, Dr Francis Brady,
Father Sebastian of Mount Argus, a bootblack at the General Post Office,
Hugh E. (Blazes) Boylan and so each and so on to no last term.
What were his reflections concerning the last member of this series and late
occupant of the bed?
Reflections on his vigour (a bounder), corporal proportion (a billsticker),
commercial ability (a bester), impressionability (a boaster).