Ulysses: Chapter 3 Proteus

Author: James Joyce

Category: Novel

Posted on 2007-05-11, updated at 2007-05-27. By anonymous.


  • Author: James Joyce


Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that

rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he

adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By

knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di

color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put

your five fingers through it, it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.

Stephen closed his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. You are

walking through it howsomever. I am, a stride at a time. A very short space of time

through very short times of space. Five, six: the nacheinander. Exactly: and that is the

ineluctable modality of the audible. Open your eyes. No. Jesus! If I fell over a cliff

that beetles o'er his base, fell through the nebeneinander ineluctably. I am getting on

nicely in the dark. My ash sword hangs at my side. Tap with it: they do. My two feet in

his boots are at the end of his legs, nebeneinander. Sounds solid: made by the mallet of

Los Demiurgos. Am I walking into eternity along Sandymount strand? Crush, crack, crick,

crick. Wild sea money. Dominie Deasy kens them a'.

Won't you come to Sandymount,

Madeline the mare?

Rhythm begins, you see. I hear. A catalectic tetrameter of iambs marching. No, agallop:

deline the mare.

Open your eyes now. I will. One moment. Has all vanished since? If I open and am for ever

in the black adiaphane. Basta! I will see if I can see.

See now. There all the time without you: and ever shall be, world without end.

They came down the steps from Leahy's terrace prudently, Frauenzimmer: and down the

shelving shore flabbily their splayed feet sinking in the silted sand. Like me, like Algy,

coming down to our mighty mother. Number one swung lourdily her midwife's bag, the other's

gamp poked in the beach. From the liberties, out for the day. Mrs Florence MacCabe, relict

of the late Patk MacCabe, deeply lamented, of Bride Street. One of her sisterhood lugged

me squealing into life. Creation from nothing. What has she in the bag? A misbirth with a

trailing navelcord, hushed in ruddy wool. The cords of all link back, strandentwining

cable of all flesh. That is why mystic monks. Will you be as gods? Gaze in your omphalos.

Hello. Kinch here. Put me on to Edenville. Aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one.

Spouse and helpmate of Adam Kadmon: Heva, naked Eve. She had no navel. Gaze. Belly

without blemish, bulging big, a buckler of taut vellum, no, whiteheaped corn, orient and

immortal, standing from everlasting to everlasting. Womb of sin.

Wombed in sin darkness I was too, made not begotten. By them, the man with my voice and

my eyes and a ghostwoman with ashes on her breath. They clasped and sundered, did the

coupler's will. From before the ages He willed me and now may not will me away or ever A

lex eterna stays about him. Is that then the divine substance wherein Father and Son are

consubstantial? Where is poor dear Arius to try conclusions? Warring his life long on the

contransmagnificandjewbangtantiality. Illstarred heresiarch. In a Greek watercloset he

breathed his last: euthanasia. With beaded mitre and with crozier, stalled upon his

throne, widower of a widowed see, with upstiffed omophorion, with clotted hinderparts.

Airs romped around him, nipping and eager airs. They are coming, waves. The whitemaned

seahorses, champing, brightwindbridled, the steeds of Mananaan.

I mustn't forget his letter for the press. And after? The Ship, half twelve. By the way

go easy with that money like a good young imbecile. Yes, I must.

His pace slackened. Here. Am I going to Aunt Sara's or not? My consubstantial father's

voice. Did you see anything of your artist brother Stephen lately? No? Sure he's not down

in Strasburg terrace with his aunt Sally? Couldn't he fly a bit higher than that, eh? And

and and and tell us Stephen, how is uncle Si? O weeping God, the things I married into. De

boys up in de hayloft. The drunken little costdrawer and his brother, the cornet player.

Highly respectable gondoliers. And skeweyed Walter sirring his father, no less. Sir. Yes,

sir. No, sir. Jesus wept: and no wonder, by Christ.

I pull the wheezy bell of their shuttered cottage: and wait. They take me for a dun,

peer out from a coign of vantage.

-- It's Stephen, sir.

-- Let him in. Let Stephen in.

A bolt drawn back and Walter welcomes me.

-- We thought you were someone else.

In his broad bed nuncle Richie, pillowed and blanketed, extends over the hillock of his

knees a sturdy forearm. Cleanchested. He has washed the upper moiety.

-- Morrow, nephew.

He lays aside the lapboard whereon he drafts his bills of costs for the eyes of Master

Goff and Master Shapland Tandy, filing consents and common searches and a writ of Duces

Tecum. A bogoak frame over his bald head: Wilde's Requiescat. The drone of his misleading

whistle brings Walter back.

-- Yes, sir?

-- Malt for Richie and Stephen, tell mother. Where is she?

-- Bathing Crissie, sir.

Papa's little bedpal. Lump of love.

-- No, uncle Richie...

-- Call me Richie. Damn your lithia water. It lowers. Whusky!

-- Uncle Richie, really...

-- Sit down or by the law Harry I'll knock you down.

Walter squints vainly for a chair.

-- He has nothing to sit down on, sir.

-- He has nowhere to put it, you mug. Bring in our Chippendale chair. Would you like a

bite of something? None of your damned lawdeedaw air here; the rich of a rasher fried with

a herring? Sure? So much the better. We have nothing in the house but backache pills.


He drones bars of Ferrando's aria de sortita. The grandest number, Stephen, in the

whole opera. Listen.

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,

basiliskeyed. 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. Dringdringl 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 F? O yes, but I prefer Q. Yes, but W is wonderful. O

yes, W. Remember your epiphanies on green oval leaves, deeply deep, copies to be sent if

you died to all the great libraries of the world, including Alexandria? Someone was to

read them there after a few thousand year, a mahamanvantara. Pico della Mirandola like.

Ay, very like a whale. When one reads these strange pages of one long gone one feels that

one is at one with one who once...

The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a damp crackling

mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by

the shipworm, lost Armada. Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles,

breathing upward sewage breath. He coasted them, walking warily. A porter-bottle stood up,

stogged to its waist, in the cakey sand dough. A sentinel: isle of dreadful thirst. Broken

hoops on the shore; at the land a maze of dark cunning nets; farther away chalkscrawled

backdoors and on the higher beach a dryingline with two crucified shirts. Ringsend:

wigwams of brown steersmen and master mariners. Human shells.

He halted. I have passed the way to aunt Sara's. Am I not going there? Seems not.

No-one about. He turned northeast and crossed the firmer sand towards the Pigeonhouse.

-- Qui vous a mis dans cette fichue position?

-- C'est le pigeon, Joseph.

Patrice, home on furlough, lapped warm milk with me in the bar MacMahon. Son of the

wild goose, Kevin Egan of Paris. My father's a bird, he lapped the sweet lait chaud with

pink young tongue, plump bunny's face. Lap, lapin. He hopes to win in the gros lots. About

the nature of women he read in Michelet. But he must send me La Vie de J

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More on This Book:
  1. Ulysses: Chapter 5 Lotus Eaters
  2. Ulysses: Chapter 1 Telemachus
  3. Ulysses: Chapter 16 Eumaeus
  4. Ulysses: Chapter 18 Penelope
  5. Ulysses: Chapter 14 Oxen of the Sun
  6. Ulysses: Chapter 13 Nausicca
  7. Ulysses: Chapter 11 Sirens
  8. Ulysses: Chapter 15 Circe
  9. Ulysses: Chapter 12 Cyclops
  10. Ulysses: Chapter 10 Wandering Rocks
  11. Ulysses: Chapter 9 Scylla and Charybdis
  12. Ulysses: Chapter 7 Aeolus
  13. Ulysses: Chapter 8 Lestrygonians
  14. Ulysses: Chapter 6 Hades
  15. Ulysses: Chapter 4 Calypso
  16. Ulysses: Chapter 2 Nestor
  17. Ulysses: Chapter 17 Ithaca

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