The following exchange in the Cyclops episode was one of those that got a good laugh from the crowd gathered outside James Joyce center on Bloomsday centenary. It is about Paddy Dignam who is now the familiar dead figure whose funeral occurred earlier in the day.
So I saw there was going to be bit of a dust. Bob's a queer chap when the porter's up in him so says I just to make talk:
-- How's Willy Murray those times, Alf?
-- I don't know, says Alf. I saw him just now in Capel Street with Paddy Dignam. Only I was running after that.
-- You what? says Joe, throwing down the letters. With who?
-- With Dignam, says Alf.
-- Is it Paddy? says Joe.
-- Yes, says Alf. Why?
-- Don't you know he's dead? says Joe.
-- Paddy Dignam dead? says Alf.
-- Ay, says Joe.
-- Sure I'm after seeing him not five minutes ago, says Alf, as plain as a pikestaff.
-- Who's dead? says Bob Doran.
-- You saw his ghost then, says Joe, God between us and harm.
-- What? says Alf. Good Christ, only five... What?... and Willie Murray with him, the two of them there near what-doyoucallhim's... What? Dignam dead?
-- What about Dignam? says Bob Doran. Who's talking about... ?
-- Dead! says Alf. He is no more dead than you are.
-- Maybe so, says Joe. They took the liberty of burying him this morning anyhow.
Inevitably, Bloom makes an appearance, albeit without the interior monologue. The Cyclops episode is delivered to the reader via the first person account of an unnamed narrator, an anonymous Dubliner. There is more spoken dialogue in this episode than in any other. The spoken parts are interspersed with paragraphs of progressively increasing size that parody the topics being discussed.
-- There he is again, says the citizen, staring out.
-- Who? says I.
-- Bloom, says he. He's on point duty up and down there for the last ten minutes.
And, begob, I saw his physog do a peep in and then slidder off again.
Bloom is invited in by the citizen...
Old Garryowen started growling again at Bloom that was skeezing round the door.
-- Come in, come on, he won't eat you, says the citizen.
So Bloom slopes in with his cod's eye on the dog and he asks Terry was Martin Cunningham there.
Bloom is unable to listen quietly to the conversation about various topics, but his contribution is not well received. Joyce parodies the Dubliners' opinion of Bloom's ability to talk endlessly thus...
-- That can be explained by science, says Bloom. It's only a natural phenomenon, don't you see, because on account of the...
And then he starts with his jawbreakers about phenomenon and science and this phenomenon and the other phenomenon.
The distinguished scientist Herr Professor Luitpold Blumenduft tendered medical evidence to the effect that...
Bloom lets out that he is here to see Martin about Paddy Dignam's insurance. He makes what could not then have been known as a Freudian slip:
-- Well, that's a point, says Bloom, for the wife's admirers.
-- Whose admirers? says Joe.
-- The wife's advisers, I mean, says Bloom.
Joyce makes the characters come around to the topic of cattle and foot and mouth disease, which appeared earlier in the Nestor and Aeolus episodes. Once again Bloom has to educate the audience about humane methods having had prior experience.
Gob, he'd have a soft hand under a hen.
Ga Ga Gara. Klook Klook Klook. Black Liz is our hen. She lays eggs for us. When she lays her egg she is so glad. Gara. Klook Klook Klook. Then comes good uncle Leo. He puts his hand under black Liz and takes her fresh egg. Ga ga ga ga Gara. Klook Klook Klook.
The topic turns to Irish sport...
So off they started about Irish sport and shoneen games the like of the lawn tennis and about hurley and putting the stone and racy of the soil and building up a nation once again and all of that. And of course Bloom had to have his say too about if a fellow had a rower's heart violent exercise was bad. I declare to my antimacassar if you took up a straw from the bloody floor and if you said to Bloom: Look at, Bloom. Do you see that straw? That's a straw. Declare to my aunt he'd talk about it for an hour so he would and talk steady.
So far Bloom has not been doing too badly except for putting off his company with his unwelcome lectures. But then, he soon ventures into dangerous territory...
-- Pity about her, says the citizen. Or any other woman marries a half and half.
-- How half and half? says Bloom. Do you mean he.
-- Half and half I mean, says the citizen. A fellow that's neither fish nor flesh.
-- Nor good red herring, says Joe.
-- That what's I mean, says the citizen. A pishogue, if you know what that is.
Begob I saw there was trouble coming.
Things take a turn towards the anti-semitic and Garrett Deasy's claim (in the Nestor episode) that Ireland never let them in is shown to be untrue.
-- Those are nice things, says the citizen, coming over here to Ireland filling the country with bugs.
So Bloom lets on he heard nothing and he starts talking with Joe telling him he needn't trouble about that little matter till the first but if he would just say a word to Mr Crawford. And so Joe swore high and holy by this and by that he'd do the devil and all.
-- Because you see, says Bloom, for an advertisement you must have repetition. That's the whole secret.
-- Rely on me, says Joe.
-- Swindling the peasants, says the citizen, and the poor of Ireland. We want no more strangers in our house.
-- O I'm sure that will be all right, Hynes, says Bloom. It's just that Keyes you see.
-- Consider that done, says Joe.
-- Very kind of you, says Bloom.
-- The strangers, says the citizen. Our own fault. We let them come in. We brought them. The adulteress and her paramour brought the Saxon robbers here.
-- Decree nisi, says J. J.
And Bloom letting on to be awfully deeply interested in nothing, a spider's web in the corner behind the barrel, and the citizen scowling after him and the old dog at his feet looking up to know who to bite and when.
And a little while later...
J. J. puts in a word doing the toff about one story was good till you heard another and blinking facts and the Nelson policy putting your blind eye to the telescope and drawing up a bill of attainder to impeach a nation and Bloom trying to back him up moderation and botheration and their colonies and their civilisation.
-- Their syphilisation, you mean, says the citizen. To hell with them! The curse of a goodfornothing God light sideways on the bloody thicklugged sons of whores' gets! No music and no art and no literature worthy of the name. Any civilisation they have they stole from us. Tonguetied sons of bastards' ghosts.
While the citizen's temper is rising, the news about the horse race comes through...
-- What's up with you, says I to Lenehan. You look like a fellow that had lost a bob and found a tanner.
-- Gold cup, says he.
-- Who won, Mr Lenehan? says Terry.
-- Throwaway, says he, at twenty to one. A rank outsider. And the rest nowhere.
-- And Bass's mare? says Terry.
-- Still running, says he. We're all in a cart. Boylan plunged two quid on my tip Sceptre for himself and a lady friend.
-- I had half a crown myself, says Terry, on Zinfandel that Mr Flynn gave me. Lord Howard de Walden's.
-- Twenty to one, says Lenehan. Such is life in an outhouse. Throwaway, says he. Takes the biscuit and talking about bunions. Frailty, thy name is Sceptre.
Bloom flirts with danger by trying to get the others to see both sides of a new argument...
And J. J. and the citizen arguing about law and history with Bloom sticking in an odd word.
-- Some people, says Bloom, can see the mote in others' eyes but they can't see the beam in their own.
The citizen complains about Ireland's deforestation and Joyce quickly jumps in with a long parody...
The fashionable international world attended en masse this afternoon at the wedding of the chevalier Jean Wyse de Neaulan, grand high chief ranger of the Irish National Foresters, with Miss Fir Conifer of Pine Valley. Lady Sylvester Elmshade, Mrs Barbara Lovebirch, Mrs Poll Ash, Mrs Holly Hazeleyes, Miss Daphne Bays, Miss Dorothy Canebrake, Mrs Clyde Twelvetrees, Mrs Rowan Greene, Mrs Helen Vinegadding, Miss Virginia Creeper, Miss Gladys Beech, Miss Olive Garth, Miss Blanche Maple, Mrs Maud Mahogany, Miss Myra Myrtle, Miss Priscilla Elderflower, Miss Bee Honeysuckle, Miss Grace Poplar, Miss O. Mimosa San, Miss Rachel Cedarfrond, the Misses Lilian and Viola Lilac, Miss Timidity Aspenall, Mrs Kitty Dewey-Mosse, Miss May Hawthorne, Mrs Gloriana Palme, Mrs Liana Forrest, Mrs Arabella Blackwood and Mrs Norma Holyoake of Oakholme Regis graced the ceremony by their presence. The bride who was given away by her father, the M'Conifer of the Glands, looked exquisitely charming in a creation carried out in green mercerised silk, moulded on an underslip of gloaming grey, sashed with a yoke of broad emerald and finished with a triple flounce of darkerhued fringe, the scheme being relieved by bretelles and hip insertions of acorn bronze. The maids of honour, Miss Larch Conifer and Miss Spruce Conifer, sisters of the bride, wore very becoming costumes in the same tone, a dainty motif of plume rose being worked into the pleats in a pinstripe and repeated capriciously in the jadegreen toques in the form of heron feathers of paletinted coral. Senor Enrique Flor presided at the organ with his wellknown ability and, in addition to the prescribed numbers of the nuptial mass, played a new and striking arrangement of Woodman, spare that tree at the conclusion of the service. On leaving the church of Saint Fiacre in Horto after the papal blessing the happy pair were subjected to a playful crossfire of hazelnuts, beechmast, bayleaves, catkins of willow, ivytod, hollyberries, mistletoe sprigs and quicken shoots. Mr and Mrs Wyse Conifer Neaulan will spend a quiet honeymoon in the Black Forest.
The anti-British tirade resumes...
-- That's your glorious British navy, says the citizen, that bosses the earth. The fellows that never will be slaves, with the only hereditary chamber on the face of God's earth and their land in the hands of a dozen gamehogs and cottonball barons. That's the great empire they boast about of drudges and whipped serfs.
-- On which the sun never rises, says Joe.
-- And the tragedy of it is, says the citizen, they believe it. The unfortunate yahoos believe it.
They believe in rod, the scourger almighty, creator of hell upon earth and in Jacky Tar, the son of a gun, who was conceived of unholy boast, born of the fighting navy, suffered under rump and dozen, was scarified, flayed and curried, yelled like bloody hell, the third day he arose again from the bed, steered into haven, sitteth on his beamend till further orders whence he shall come to drudge for a living and be paid.
But, says Bloom, isn't discipline the same everywhere? I mean wouldn't it be the same here if you put force against force?
Didn't I tell you? As true as I'm drinking this porter if he was at his last gasp he'd try to downface you that dying was living.
Bloom doesn't sense danger and blissfully talks himself into trouble...
-- Persecution, says he, all the history of the world is full of it. Perpetuating national hatred among nations.
-- But do you know what a nation means? says John Wyse.
-- Yes, says Bloom.
-- What is it? says John Wyse.
-- A nation? says Bloom. A nation is the same people living in the same place.
-- By God, then, says Ned, laughing, if that's so I'm a nation for I'm living in the same place for the past five years.
So of course everyone had a laugh at Bloom and says he, trying to muck out of it:
-- Or also living in different places.
-- That covers my case, says Joe.
-- What is your nation if I may ask, says the citizen.
-- Ireland, says Bloom. I was born here. Ireland.
The citizen said nothing only cleared the spit out of his gullet and, gob, he spat a Red bank oyster out of him right in the corner.
-- And I belong to a race too, says Bloom, that is hated and persecuted. Also now. This very moment. This very instant.
Gob, he near burnt his fingers with the butt of his old cigar.
-- Robbed, says he. Plundered. Insulted. Persecuted. Taking what belongs to us by right. At this very moment, says he, putting up his fist, sold by auction off in Morocco like slaves or cattles.
-- Are you talking about the new Jerusalem? says the citizen.
-- I'm talking about injustice, says Bloom.
But Bloom ever the two-eyed balanced man (unlike the one-eyed Cyclops), immediately comes around to...
-- But it's no use, says he. Force, hatred, history, all that. That's not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it's the very opposite of that that is really life.
-- What? says Alf.
-- Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred. I must go now, says he to John Wyse. Just round to the court a moment to see if Martin is there. If he comes just say I'll be back in a second. Just a moment.
Who's hindering you? And off he pops like greased lightning.
-- A new apostle to the gentiles, says the citizen. Universal love.
Bloom is actually off to meet Martin on a charitable mission on behalf of Dignam's surviving family members. But his exit is misinterpreted as...
-- I know where he's gone, says Lenehan, cracking his fingers.
-- Who? says I.
-- Bloom, says he, the courthouse is a blind. He had a few bob on Throwaway and he's gone to gather in the shekels.
-- Is it that whiteyed kaffir? says the citizen, that never backed a horse in anger in his life.
-- That's where he's gone, says Lenehan. I met Bantam Lyons going to back that horse only I put him off it and he told me Bloom gave him the tip. Bet you what you like he has a hundred shillings to five on. He's the only man in Dublin has it. A dark horse.
-- He's a bloody dark horse himself, says Joe.
And then Martin comes around asking where Bloom is, obviously their paths have crossed and they've missed each other. This presents yet another opportunity for Dubliners to talk about Bloom behind his back and Joyce takes full advantage...
-- And after all, says John Wyse, why can't a jew love his country like the next fellow?
-- Why not? says J. J., when he's quite sure which country it is.
-- Is he a jew or a gentile or a holy Roman or a swaddler or what the hell is he? says Ned. Or who is he? No offence, Crofton.
-- We don't want him, says Crofter the Orangeman or presbyterian.
-- Who is Junius? says J. J.
-- He's a perverted jew, says Martin, from a place in Hungary and it was he drew up all the plans according to the Hungarian system. We know that in the castle.
-- Isn't he a cousin of Bloom the dentist? says Jack Power.
-- Not at all, says Martin. Only namesakes. His name was Virag. The father's name that poisoned himself. He changed it by deed poll, the father did.
-- That's the new Messiah for Ireland! says the citizen. Island of saints and sages!
-- Well, they're still waiting for their redeemer, says Martin. For that matter so are we.
-- Yes, says J. J., and every male that's born they think it may be their Messiah. And every jew is in a tall state of excitement, I believe, till he knows if he's a father or a mother.
-- Expecting every moment will be his next, says Lenehan.
-- O, by God, says Ned, you should have seen Bloom before that son of his that died was born. I met him one day in the south city markets buying a tin of Neave's food six weeks before the wife was delivered.
-- En ventre sa mere, says J. J.
-- Do you call that a man? says the citizen.
-- I wonder did he ever put it out of sight, says Joe.
-- Well, there were two children born anyhow, says Jack Power.
-- And who does he suspect? says the citizen.
After a while, Bloom returns and is noticed by the unnamed narrator...
I was just looking round to see who the happy thought would strike when be damned but in he comes again letting on to be in a hell of a hurry.
-- I was just round at the courthouse, says he, looking for you. I hope I'm not...
-- No, says Martin, we're ready.
Courthouse my eye and your pockets hanging down with gold and silver. Mean bloody scut. Stand us a drink itself. Devil a sweet fear! There's a jew for you! All for number one. Cute as a shithouse rat. Hundred to five.
-- Don't tell anyone, says the citizen.
-- Beg your pardon, says he.
-- Come on boys, says Martin, seeing it was looking blue. Come along now.
-- Don't tell anyone, says the citizen, letting a bawl out of him. It's a secret.
And soon things get heated and Bloom loses his cool and starts dropping famous Jewish names (Mendelssohn, Marx, Mercadente, Spinoza and finally Jesus)...
But begob I was just lowering the heel of the pint when I saw the citizen getting up to waddle to the door, puffing and blowing with the dropsy and he cursing the curse of Cromwell on him, bell, book and candle in Irish, spitting and spatting
out of him and Joe and little Alf round him like a leprechaun trying to peacify him.
-- Let me alone, says he.
And begob he got as far as the door and they holding him and he bawls out of him:
-- Three cheers for Israel!
Arrah, sit down on the parliamentary side of your arse for Christ' sake and don't be making a public exhibition of yourself. Jesus, there's always some bloody clown or other kicking up a bloody murder about bloody nothing. Gob, it'd turn the porter sour in your guts, so it would.
And all the ragamuffins and sluts of the nation round the door and Martin telling the jarvey to drive ahead and the citizen bawling and Alf and Joe at him to whisht and he on his high horse about the jews and the loafers calling for a speech and Jack Power trying to get him to sit down on the car and hold his bloody jaw and a loafer with a patch over his eye starts singing If the man in the moon was a jew, jew, jew and a slut shouts out of her:
-- Eh, mister! Your fly is open, mister!
And says he:
-- Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.
-- He had no father, says Martin. That'll do now. Drive ahead.
-- Whose God? says the citizen.
-- Well, his uncle was a jew, says he. Your God was a jew. Christ was a jew like me.
Gob, the citizen made a plunge back into the shop.
-- By Jesus, says he, I'Il brain that bloody jewman for using the holy name. By Jesus, I'll crucify him so I will. Give us that biscuitbox here.
-- Stop! Stop! says Joe.
This is followed by a parody of a farewell ceremony given in traditional Irish fashion to the departing Hungarian Virag (reference to Bloom's ancestry). Other references include the musical, Come back to Erin and Rakoczy's March. Joyce sneakily refers to Bloom as "phenomenologist" which is what the patrons of Barney Kiernan would have called him if they were wordsmiths. Joyce also pokes fun at Gaelic fanatics.
A large and appreciative gathering of friends and acquaintances from the metropolis and greater Dublin assembled in their thousands to bid farewell to Nagyaságos uram Lipóti Virag, late of Messrs Alexander Thom's, printers to His Majesty, on the occasion of his departure for the distant clime of Százharminczbrojúgulyás-Dugulás (Meadow of Murmuring Waters). The ceremony which went off with great éclat was characterised by the most affecting cordiality. An illuminated scroll of ancient Irish vellum, the work of Irish artists, was presented to the distinguished phenomenologist on behalf of a large section of the community and was accompanied by the gift of a silver casket, tastefully executed in the style of ancient Celtic ornament, a work which reflects every credit on the makers, Messrs Jacob agus Jacob. The departing guest was the recipient of a hearty ovation, many of those who were present being visibly moved when the select orchestra of Irish pipes struck up the wellknown strains of Come back to Erin, followed immediately by Rakoczy's March. Tarbarrels and bonfires were lighted along the coastline of the four seas on the summits of the Hill of Howth, Three Rock Mountain, Sugar-loaf, Bray Head, the mountains of Mourne, the Galtees, the Ox and Donegal and Sperrin peaks, the Nagles and the Bograghs, the Connemara hills, the reeks of M'Gillicuddy, Slieve Aughty, Slieve Bernagh and Slieve Bloom. Amid cheers that rent the welkin, responded to by answering cheers from a big muster of henchmen on the distant Cambrian and Caledonian hills, the mastodontic pleasureship slowly moved away saluted by a final floral tribute from the representatives of the fair sex who were present in large numbers while, as it proceeded down the river, escorted by a flotilla of barges, the flags of the Ballast office and Custom House were dipped in salute as were also those of the electrical power station at the Pigeon-house. Visszontlátlására, kedvés baráton! Visszontlátásra! Gone but not forgotten.
Gob, the devil wouldn't stop him till he got hold of the bloody tin anyhow and out with him and little Alf hanging on to his elbow and he shouting like a stuck pig, as good as any bloody play in the Queen's royal theatre.
-- Where is he till I murder him?
And Ned and J. G. paralysed with the laughing.
-- Bloody wars, says I, I'll be in for the last gospel.
But as luck would have it the jarvey got the nag's head round the other way and off with him.
-- Hold one citizen, says Joe. Stop. Begob he drew his hand and made a swipe and let fly. Mercy of God the sun was in his eyes or he'd have left him for dead. Gob, he near sent it into the county Longford. The bloody nag took fright and the old mongrel after the car like bloody hell and all the populace shouting and laughing and the old tinbox clattering along the street.
This is followed by a description of the effect of the hurled biscuit tin...Joyce also makes a tangential reference to Silken Thomas who is mentioned in one of the Wandering Rocks episodes...
The catastrophe was terrific and instantaneous in its effect. The observatory of Dunsink registered in all eleven shocks, all of the fifth grade of Mercalli's scale, and there is no record extant of a similar seismic disturbance in our island since the earthquake of 1534, the year of the rebellion of Silken Thomas. The epicentre appears to have been that part of the metropolis which constitutes the Inn's Quay ward and parish of Saint Michan covering a surface of fortyone acres, two roods and one square pole or perch. All the lordly residences in the vicinity of the palace of justice were demolished and that noble edifice itself, in which at the time of the catastrophe important legal debates were in progress, is literally a mass of ruins beneath which it is to be feared all the occupants have been buried alive. From the reports of eyewitnesses it transpires that the seismic waves were accompanied by a violent atmospheric perturbation of cyclonic character. An article of headgear since ascertained to belong to the much respected clerk of the crown and peace Mr George Fottrell and a silk umbrella with gold handle with the engraved initials, coat of arms and house number of the erudite and worshipful chairman of quarter sessions sir Frederick Falkiner, recorder of Dublin, have been discovered by search parties in remote parts of the island, respectively, the former on the third basaltic ridge of the giant's causeway, the latter embedded to the extent of one foot three inches in the sandy beach of Holeopen bay near the old head of Kinsale. Other eyewitnesses depose that they observed an incandescent object of enormous proportions hurtling through the atmosphere at a terrifying velocity in a trajectory directed south west by west. Messages of condolence and sympathy are being hourly received from all parts of the different continents and the sovereign pontiff has been graciously pleased to decree that a special missa pro defunctis shall be celebrated simultaneously by the ordinaries of each and every cathedral church of all the episcopal dioceses subject to the spiritual authority of the Holy See in suffrage of the souls of those faithful departed who have been so unexpectedly called away from our midst. The work of salvage, removal of debris human remains etc has been entrusted to Messrs Michael Meade and Son, 159, Great Brunswick Street and Messrs T. C. Martin, 77, 78, 79 and 80, North Wall, assisted by the men and officers of the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry under the general supervision of H. R. H., rear admiral the right honourable sir Hercules Hannibal Habeas Corpus Anderson K.G., K.P., H.T., P.C., K.C.B., M.P., J.P., M.B., D.S.O., S.O.D., M.F.H., M.R.I.A., B.L., Mus. Doc., P.L.G., F.T.C.D., F.R.U.I., F.R.C.P.I. and F.R.C.S.I.
The unnamed narrator resumes...
You never saw the like of it in all your born puff. Gob, if he got that lottery ticket on the side of his poll he'd remember the gold cup, he would so, but begob the citizen would have been lagged for assault and battery and Joe for aiding and abetting. The jarvey saved his life by furious driving as sure as God made Moses. What? O, Jesus, he did. And he let a volley of oaths after him.
-- Did I kill him, says he, or what?
And he shouting to the bloody dog:
-- After him, Garry! After him, boy!
And the last we saw was the bloody car rounding the corner and old sheepsface on it gesticulating and the bloody mongrel after it with his lugs back for all he was bloody well worth to tear him limb from limb. Hundred to five! Jesus, he took the value of it out of him, I promise you.
And finally, Bloom's Elijah theme returns to close out the episode. The prophecy (Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." -- Malachi 4:5-6) that Bloom received in a "throwaway" earlier in the day is fulfilled thus...
When, lo, there came about them all a great brightness and they beheld the chariot wherein He stood ascend to heaven. And they beheld Him in the chariot, clothed upon in the glory of the brightness, having raiment as of the sun, fair as the moon and terrible that for awe they durst not look upon Him. And there came a voice out of heaven, calling: Elijah! Elijah! And he answered with a main cry: Abba! Adonai! And they beheld Him even Him, ben Bloom Elijah, amid clouds of angels ascend to the glory of the brightness at an angle of fortyfive degrees over Donohoe's in Little Green Street like a shot off a shovel.
Thus ends the Cyclops episode in Ulysses. A great candidate for the choice of first chapter for first time readers of Ulysses.