James joyce. ulysses / 1: telemachus

STATELY, PLUMP BUCK MULLIGAN CAME FROM THE STAIRHEAD, bearing a bowl of
Lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing gown,
Ungirdled, was sustained gently-behind him by the mild morning air. He held
The bowl aloft and intoned:
– Introibo ad altare Dei.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called up coarsely:
– Come up, Kinch. Come up, you fearful jesuit.
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about
And blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding country and the
Awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards
Him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking
His head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top
Of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed
Him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and
Hued like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the
Bowl smartly.
– Back to barracks, he said sternly.
He added in a preacher’s tone:
– For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul
And blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A
Little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long low whistle of call, then paused
Awhile in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there
With gold points. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered through
The calm.
– Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off
The current, will you?
He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering
About his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plump shadowed face and
Sullen oval jowl recalled

a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. A
Pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips.
– The mockery of it, he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek.
He pointed his finger in friendly jest and went over to the parapet,
Laughing to himself. Stephen Dedalus stepped up, followed him wearily half
Way and sat down on the edge of the gunrest, watching him still as he
Propped his mirror on the parapet, dipped the brush in the bowl and lathered
Cheeks and neck.
Buck Mulligan’s gay voice went on.
– My name is absurd too: Malachi Mulligan, two dactyls. But it has a
Hellenic ring, hasn’t it? Tripping and sunny like the buck himself. We must
Go to Athens. Will you come if I can get the aunt to fork out twenty quid?
He laid the brush aside and, laughing with delight, cried:
– Will he come? The jejune jesuit.
Ceasing, he began to shave with care.
– Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly.
– Yes, my love?
– How long is Haines going to stay in this tower?
Buck Mulligan showed a shaven cheek over his right shoulder.
– God, isn’t he dreadful? he said frankly. A ponderous Saxon. He thinks
You’re not a gentleman. God, these bloody English. Bursting with money and
Indigestion. Because he comes from Oxford. You know, Dedalus; you have the
Real Oxford manner. He can’t make you out. O, my name for you is the best:
Kinch, the knife-blade.
He shaved warily over his chin.
– He was raving all night about a black panther, Stephen said. Where is
His guncase?
– A woful lunatic, Mulligan said. Were you in a funk?
– I was, Stephen said with energy and growing fear. Out here in the


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James joyce. ulysses / 1: telemachus