"with a wreath of faded orangeblossoms and a torn bridal veil,"

"her face worn and noseless, green with gravemould. Her hair is scant and lank. She fixes her bluecircled hollow eyesockets on Stephen and opens her toothless mouth uttering a silent word. A choir of virgins and confessors sing voicelessly.)"


Liliata rutilantium te confessorum...
Iubilantium te virginum...

(From the top of a tower Buck Mulligan, in particoloured jester's dress of puce and yellow and clown's cap with curling bell, stands gaping at her, a smoking buttered split scone in his hand.)


She's beastly dead. The pity of it! Mulligan meets the afflicted mother. (He upturns his eyes.) Mercurial Malachi!"


(With the subtle smile of death's madness.) I was once the beautiful May Goulding. I am dead.


(horrorstruck) Lemur, who are you? No. What bogeyman's trick is this?"


(shakes his curling capbell) The mockery of it! Kinch dogsbody killed her bitchbody. She kicked the bucket. (tears of molten butter fall from his eyes on to the scone) Our great sweet mother! Epi oinopa ponton.


(comes nearer, breathing upon him softly her breath of wetted ashes) All must go through it, Stephen. More women than men in the world. You too. Time will come.


(choking with fright, remorse and horror) They say I killed you, mother. He offended your memory. Cancer did it, not I. Destiny."


a green rill of bile trickling from a side of her mouth) You sang that song to me. Love's bitter mystery.


(eagerly) Tell me the word, mother, if you know now. The word known to all men."


Who saved you the night you jumped into the train at Dalkey with Paddy Lee? Who had pity for you when you were sad among the strangers?"

"Prayer is allpowerful. Prayer for the suffering souls in the Ursuline manual and forty days' indulgence. Repent, Stephen.


The ghoul! Hyena!"


I pray for you in my other world. Get Dilly to make you that boiled rice every night after your brainwork. Years and years I loved you, O, my son, my firstborn, when you lay in my womb.


(fanning herself with the gratefan) I'm melting!


(points to Stephen) Look! He's white.


(goes to the window to open it more) Giddy."


(With smouldering eyes.) Repent! O, the fire of hell!


(Panting.) The corpsechewer! Raw head and bloody bones.


(Her face drawing near and nearer, sending out an ashen breath.) Beware! (She raises her blackened withered right arm slowly towards Stephen's breast with outstretched finger.) Beware God's hand!

(A green crab with malignant red eyes sticks deep its grinning claws in Stephen's heart.)"


(Wrings her hands slowly, moaning desperately.)"

"O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on him! Save him from hell, O Divine Sacred Heart!


No! No! No! Break my spirit, all of you, if you can! I'll bring you all to heel!


(In the agony of her deathrattle.) Have mercy on Stephen, Lord, for my sake! Inexpressible was my anguish when expiring with love, grief and agony on Mount Calvary."



"(He lifts his ashplant high with both hands and smashes the chandelier. Time's livid final flame leaps and, in the following darkness, ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppling masonry.)"


(snatches up Stephen's ashplant) Me? Ten shillings? Haven't you lifted enough off him? Didn't he ....?


(loudly) Here, none of your tall talk. This isn't a brothel. A tenshilling house."


Do you want me to call the police?


O, I know. Bulldog on the premises. But he's a Trinity student. Patrons of your establishment."

Circe Pages: