(weakly) They challenged me to a sprint. It was muddy. I slipped.


(with contempt) Goim nachez! Nice spectacles for your poor mother!




(In pantomime dame's stringed mobcap, widow Twankey's crinoline and bustle, blouse with muttonleg sleeves buttoned behind, grey mittens and cameo brooch, her plaited hair in a crispine net,"


Widow Twankey is a character in the pantomime Aladdin. She is a pantomime dame (i.e., a female character played by a man) who runs a Chinese laundry in Peking, China. She has 2 sons: Aladdin, the hero of the pantomime, and Wishy Washy (or Wishee Washee), who just helps in the laundry. She is not pivotal in the plot, but more a source of jokes and innuendo, mostly centred on items of underwear on the washing line. The first Widow Twankey was played by James Rogers at the Strand Theatre in 1861. This photo shows Dan Leno in the role.

(Image courtesy of the ZJJF)
"appears over the staircase banisters, a slanted candlestick in her hand, and cries out in shrill alarm.) O blessed Redeemer, what have they done to him! My smelling salts! (She hauls up a reef of skirt and ransacks the pouch of her striped blay petticoat."

"A phial, an Agnus Dei,"


* In Christian theology, Agnus Dei (Latin = Lamb of God) refers to Jesus Christ in his role of sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man (after John 1:29).
* In Christian art, an Agnus Dei is a representation of Jesus as a lamb bearing a cross or a banner.
* Falling from Ellen Bloom's pocket, it refers to a tablet of wax stamped with a representation of Jesus as the Agnus Dei, blessed by the pope.
From CE 1907: "The name Agnus Dei has been given to certain discs of wax impressed with the figure of a lamb and blessed at stated seasons by the Pope. They are sometimes round, sometimes oval in diameter. The lamb usually bears a cross or flag, while figures of saints or the name and arms of the Pope are commonly impressed on the reverse. These Agnus Deis may be worn suspended round the neck, or they may be preserved as objects of devotion. In virtue of the consecration they receive, they are regarded, like holy water, blessed palms etc, as Sacramentals." The making and consecration of Agnus Dei traditionally took place during the Holy Week, in the 1st year of a new pope's pontificate, then every 7th year he remained in office. The wax used was the collected remnants of paschal candles from the Sistine and other chapels. The picture shows an Agnus Dei from 1922.
The fragile Agnus Dei (or a fragment of it) was often enclosed in a pouch of cloth or leather, that was then embroidered or decorated with lace. This work of devotion was usually entrusted to cloistered nuns. Carrying an Agnus Dei provided 'Immunities' including Protection against floods, thunderstorms and wind-storms, Aid toward atonement, Security against a sudden and unexpected death, Guard against the wiles of the devil and the snares of witchcraft etc. The tradition of the Vatican consecrating and distributing Agnus Dei may have started as early as the 6c., was well established in the 9c., and was last performed in 1964.
"a shrivelled potato and a celluloid doll fall out.)"


'Celluloid' is a class of synthetic compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, and considered to be the first thermoplastic. It was first created as Parkesine (1856) and as Xylonite (1869) before being registered as Celluloid (1870). Celluloid is easily molded and shaped. Initially used as an ivory replacement, it became widely used in the 19c. and the first half of the 20c. in knife handles, fountain pen bodies, collars and cuffs, toys, etc. and later in photographic film as well. However, it was highly flammable easily and easily decomposed, and in time was replaced by cellulose acetate plastics then polyester. It is no longer used today, except for table tennis ball and guitar picks. The image is a hand-painted celluloid postcard from the 1900s.
"Sacred Heart of Mary, where were you at all, at all?

(Bloom, mumbling, his eyes downcast, begins to bestow his parcels in his filled pockets but desists, muttering.)


(sharply) Poldy!


Who? (he ducks and wards off a blow clumsily)."

"At your service.

(He looks up."

"Beside her mirage of datepalms a handsome woman in Turkish costume stands before him. Opulent curves fill out her scarlet trousers and jacket slashed with gold. A wide yellow cummerbund girdles her."

"A white yashmak, violet in the night, covers her face, leaving free only her large dark eyes and raven hair.)




Welly? Mrs Marion from this out, my dear man, when you speak to me. (satirically) Has poor little hubby cold feet waiting so long?


(shifts from foot to foot) No, no. Not the least little bit.
(He breathes in deep agitation, swallowing gulps of air, questions, hopes, crubeens for her supper, things to tell her, excuse, desire, spellbound. A coin gleams on her forehead. On her feet are jewelled toerings. Her ankles are linked by a slender fetterchain."

"Beside her a camel, hooded with a turreting turban, waits. A silk ladder of innumerable rungs climbs to his bobbing howdah. He ambles near with disgruntled hindquarters. Fiercely she slaps his haunch, her goldcurb wristbangles angriling, scolding him in Moorish.)


Nebrakada! Femininum!
(The camel, lifting a foreleg, plucks from a tree a large mango fruit, offers it to his mistress, blinking, in his cloven hoof, then droops his head and, grunting, with uplifted neck, fumbles to kneel."

"Bloom stoops his back for leapfrog.)


I can give you... I mean as your business menagerer... Mrs Marion... if you..."


So you notice some change? (Her hands passing slowly over her trinketed stomacher, a slow friendly mockery in her eyes.) O Poldy, Poldy, you are a poor old stick in the mud! Go and see life. See the wide world.


I was just going back for that lotion whitewax, orangeflower water. Shop closes early on Thursday. But the first thing in the morning. (He pats divers pockets.) This moving kidney. Ah!
(He points to the south, then to the east. A cake of new clean lemon soap arises, diffusing light and perfume.)"


We're a capital couple are Bloom and I.
He brightens the earth. I polish the sky.

(The freckled face of Sweny, the druggist, appears in the disc of the soapsun.)


Three and a penny, please.


Yes. For my wife. Mrs Marion. Special recipe.


(softly) Poldy!


Yes, ma'am?


Ti trema un poco il cuore?" (U15.337)