Part One of the Ulysses Sketch Crawl across Dublin, Dublin Sketchers headed for the Martello Tower and Forty Foot bathing place in Sandycove to dive into the first chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce.
I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality.
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air.
He mounted to the parapet again and gazed out over Dublin bay,
his fair oakpale hair stirring slightly.
Rather bleak in wintertime, I should say. Martello you call it?
Woodshadows floated silently by through the morning peace from the stairhead seaward where he gazed. Inshore and farther out the mirror of water whitened, spurned by lightshod hurrying feet.
Buck Mulligan’s voice sang from within the tower. It came nearer up the staircase, calling again. Stephen, still trembling at his soul’s cry, heard warm running sunlight and in the air behind him friendly words.
Dedalus, come down, like a good mosey. Breakfast is ready. Haines is apologising for waking us last night. It’s all right.
In the gloomy domed livingroom of the tower Buck Mulligan’s gowned form moved briskly to and fro about the hearth, hiding and revealing its yellow glow. Two shafts of soft daylight fell across the flagged floor from the high barbacans: and at the meeting of their rays a cloud of coalsmoke and fumes of fried grease floated, turning.
A tall figure rose from the hammock where it had been sitting, went to the doorway and pulled open the inner doors.
When I makes tea I makes tea, as old mother Grogan said. And when I makes water I makes water.
By Jove, it is tea, Haines said.
Buck Mulligan went on hewing and wheedling:
So I do, Mrs Cahill, says she. Begob, ma’am, says Mrs Cahill, God send you don’t make them in the one pot.
Seriously, Dedalus. I’m stony. Hurry out to your school kip and bring us back some money. Today the bards must drink and junket. Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty.
Eyes, pale as the sea the wind had freshened, paler, firm and prudent. The seas’ ruler, he gazed southward over the bay, empty save for the smokeplume of the mailboat vague on the bright skyline and a sail tacking by the Muglins.
Billy Pitt had them built, Buck Mulligan said, when the French were on the sea. But ours is the omphalos.
Our swim first, Buck Mulligan said.
He turned to Stephen and asked blandly:
Is this the day for your monthly wash, Kinch?
Then he said to Haines:
The unclean bard makes a point of washing once a month.
I intend to make a collection of your sayings if you will let me.
Speaking to me. They wash and tub and scrub. Agenbite of inwit. Conscience.
Yet here’s a spot. That one about the cracked lookingglass of a servant
being the symbol of Irish art is deuced good.
They followed the winding path down to the creek. Buck Mulligan stood on a stone, in shirtsleeves, his unclipped tie rippling over his shoulder. A young man clinging to a spur of rock near him, moved slowly frogwise his green legs in the deep jelly of the water.
The bard’s noserag! A new art colour for our Irish poets: snotgreen.
You can almost taste it, can’t you?
Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother?
The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea.
Is she up the pole?
Better ask Seymour that.
Seymour a bleeding officer! Buck Mulligan said.
He nodded to himself as he drew off his trousers and stood up, saying tritely:
Redheaded women buck like goats.
Are you going in here, Malachi?
Yes. Make room in the bed.
The young man shoved himself backward through the water and reached the middle of the creek in two long clean strokes. Haines sat down on a stone, smoking.
We’ll see you again, Haines said, turning as Stephen walked up the path
and smiling at wild Irish.
Horn of a bull, hoof of a horse, smile of a Saxon.
The Ship, Buck Mulligan cried. Half twelve.
There's a touch of the artist about old Bloom...