Page:Ulysses, 1922.djvu/688

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685
 

his, her and their natured natures, of dissimilar similarity. As not as calamitous
as a cataclysmic annihilation of the planet in consequence of collision with a
dark sun. As less reprehensible than theft, highway robbery, cruelty to children
and animals, obtaining money under false pretences, forgery, embezzlement,
misappropriation of public money, betrayal of public trust, malingering,
mayhem, corruption of minors, criminal libel, blackmail, contempt of court,
arson, treason, felony, mutiny on the high seas, trespass, burglary, jailbreaking,
practice of unnatural vice, desertion from armed forces in the field, perjury,
poaching, usury, intelligence with the king’s enemies, impersonation, criminal
assault, manslaughter, wilful and premeditated murder. As not more abnormal
than all other altered processes of adaptation to altered conditions of existence,
resulting in a reciprocal equilibrium between the bodily organism and its
attendant circumstances, foods, beverages, acquired habits, indulged inclinations,
significant disease. As more than inevitable, irreparable.

       Why more abnegation than jealousy, less envy than equanimity?
       From outrage (matrimony) to outrage (adultery) there arose nought but
outrage (copulation) yet the matrimonial violator of the matrimonially
violated had not been outraged by the adulterous violator of the adulterously
violated.

       What retribution, if any?
       Assassination, never, as two wrongs did not make one right. Duel by
combat, no. Divorce, not now. Exposure by mechanical artifice (automatic
bed) or individual testimony (concealed ocular witness), not yet. Suit for
damages by legal influence or simulation of assault with evidence of injuries
sustained (selfinflicted), not impossibly. If any, positively, connivance,
introduction of emulation (material, a prosperous rival agency of publicity :
moral, a successful rival agent of intimacy), depreciation, alienation,
humiliation, separation protecting the one separated from the other, protecting
separator from both.

       By what reflections did he, a conscious reactor against the void
incertitude, justify to himself his sentiments?
       The preordained frangibility of the hymen, the presupposed intangibility
of the thing in itself : the incongruity and disproportion between the
selfprolonging tension of the thing proposed to be done and the selfabbreviating