(Turns to the gallery.) The royal Dublins, boys, the salt of the earth, known the world over. I think I see some old comrades in arms up there among you. The R.D.F., with our own Metropolitan police, guardians of our homes, the pluckiest lads and the finest body of men, as physique, in the service of our sovereign."
The 'absent-minded war' refers to the Boer War (1880 - 1881 and 1899 - 1902) fought during the reign of Queen Victoria between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics (the Orange Free State and the South African Transvaal Republic). 'General Gough' refers to Hugh 1st Viscount Gough (1779 - 1869), a British field-marshal born in Woodstown, Limerick. Gough obviously did not fight in the Boer war. His son Colonel George Hugh Gough did, and died at Norval's Pont (1900). I also found a Major Hubert Gough, who was part of the relief operation at Ladysmith (1900). The battle of Spion Kop, in which Bloom claims to have fought, took place in January 1900 and resulted in a famous British defeat. Bloemfontein is the capital of the Orange Free State; it was captured in March 1900 by British troops under the command of Lord Roberts (who is mentioned by Molly in Penelope).
Profession or trade."
A statue of General Sir Hugh Gough (1779 - 1869) famously stands in Phoenix Park!
Well, I follow a literary occupation. Author-journalist. In fact we are just bringing out a collection of prize stories of which I am the inventor, something that is an entirely new departure. I am connected with the British and Irish press. If you ring up..."
(His cock's wattles wagging.) Hello, seventyseven eightfour. Hello. Freeman's Urinal and Weekly Arsewiper here. Paralyse Europe. You which? Bluebags? Who writes? Is it Bloom?" (U15.806)
(Indistinctly.) University of life. Bad art.
(shouts) It's a damnably foul lie, showing the moral rottenness of the man! (he extends his portfolio) We have here damning evidence, the corpus delicti, my lord, a specimen of my maturer work disfigured by the hallmark of the beast.
A VOICE FROM THE GALLERY
Moses, Moses, king of the jews,
Wiped his arse in the Daily News.
You low cad! You ought to be ducked in the horsepond, you rotter! (To the court.) Why, look at the man's private life! Leading a quadruple existence! Street angel and house devil. Not fit to be mentioned in mixed society. The archconspirator of the age!
(To the court.) And he, a bachelor, how..."
The King versus Bloom. Call the woman Driscoll.
Mary Driscoll, scullerymaid!
(Mary Driscoll, a slipshod servant girl, approaches. She has a bucket on the crook of her arm and a scouringbrush in her hand.)
Another! Are you of the unfortunate class?"
(indignantly) I'm not a bad one. I bear a respectable character and was four months in my last place. I was in a situation, six pounds a year and my chances with Fridays out and I had to leave owing to his carryings on.
What do you tax him with?
He made a certain suggestion but I thought more of myself as poor as I am.
(In housejacket of ripplecloth, flannel trousers, heelless slippers, unshaven, his hair rumpled, softly.) I treated you white. I gave you mementos, smart emerald garters far above your station. Incautiously I took your part when you were accused of pilfering. There's a medium in all things. Play cricket.
(excitedly) As God is looking down on me this night if ever I laid a hand to them oylsters!
The offence complained of? Did something happen?"
He surprised me in the rere of the premises, Your honour, when the missus was out shopping one morning with a request for a safety pin. He held me and I was discoloured in four places as a result. And he interfered twict with my clothing."
(Scornfully.) I had more respect for the scouringbrush, so I had. I remonstrated with him, Your lord, and he remarked: keep it quiet!"
(Clerk of the crown and peace, resonantly.) Order in court! The accused will now make a bogus statement
(Bloom, pleading not guilty and holding a fullblown waterlily, begins a long unintelligible speech. They would hear what counsel had to say in his stirring address to the grand jury. He was down and out but, though branded as a black sheep, if he might say so, he meant to reform, to retrieve the memory of the past in a purely sisterly way and return to nature as a purely domestic animal. A sevenmonths' child, he had been carefully brought up and nurtured by an aged bedridden parent."