To ourselves .... new paganism .... omphalos.
- Let him stay, Stephen said. There's nothing wrong with him except at night.
- Then what is it? Buck Mulligan asked impatiently. Cough it up. I'm quite frank with you. What have you against me now?" (U1.172)
- Do you wish me to tell you? he asked.
- Yes, what is it? Buck Mulligan answered. I don't remember anything.
He looked in Stephen's face as he spoke. A light wind passed his brow, fanning softly his fair uncombed hair and stirring silver points of anxiety in his eyes.
Stephen, depressed by his own voice, said:
- Do you remember the first day I went to your house after my mother's death?
Buck Mulligan frowned quickly and said:
- What? Where? I can't remember anything. I remember only ideas and sensations. Why? What happened in the name of God?
—You were making tea, Stephen said, and went across the landing to get more hot water. Your mother and some visitor came out of the drawingroom. She asked you who was in your room.
- Yes? Buck Mulligan said. What did I say? I forget." (U1.182)
A flush which made him seem younger and more engaging rose to Buck Mulligan's cheek.
- Did I say that? he asked. Well? What harm is that?
He shook his constraint from him nervously.
-And what is death, he asked, your mother's or yours or my own? You saw only your mother die. I see them pop off every day in the Mater and Richmond and cut up into tripes in the dissectingroom. It's a beastly thing and nothing else. It simply doesn't matter. You wouldn't kneel down to pray for your mother on her deathbed when she asked you." (U1.198)
'Beastly dead' may be an inversion of the common Irish expression 'beo beithioch', Irish for 'beastly alive.' [suggested by Michael Reidy, a visitor to the site]
His head halted again for a moment at the top of the staircase, level with the roof:
- Don't mope over it all day, he said. I'm inconsequent. Give up the moody brooding.
His head vanished but the drone of his descending voice boomed out of the stairhead:
- And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love's bitter mystery
For Fergus rules the brazen cars." (U1.231)
A cloud began to cover the sun slowly, wholly, shadowing the bay in deeper green. It lay beneath him, a bowl of bitter waters. Fergus' song: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love's bitter mystery." (U1.242)
Her secrets: old featherfans, tasselled dancecards powdered with musk, a gaud of amber beads in her locked drawer." (U1.254)
I am the boy
That can enjoy
Phantasmal mirth, folded away: musk perfumed.
And no more turn aside and brood.
Folded away in the memory of nature with her toys. Memories beset his brooding brain. Her glass of water from the kitchen tap when she had approached the sacrament. A cored apple, filled with brown sugar, roasting for her at the hob on a dark autumn evening." (U1.256)
In a dream, silently, she had come to him, her wasted body within its loose graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, bent over him with mute secret words, a faint odour of wetted ashes." (U1.268)
Clongowes Wood S.J. is a boy's preparatory school in Co. Kildare. Both James Joyce and Stephen Dedalus attended it. Here we see the main castle-like building, with the Boy's Chapel (built in 1906).