Epiphanies :: James Joyce

(( I ))

[Dublin: at Sheehy’s, Belvedere Place]

Joyce – I knew you meant him. But you’re wrong about his age.
Maggie Sheehy -(leans forward to speak seriously) Why, how old is he?
Joyce – Seventy-two.
Maggie Sheehy – Is he?

*

(( II ))

[Dublin: at Sheehy’s, Belvedere Place]

Fallon -(as he passes)- I was told to congratulate you especially on your performance.
Joyce – Thank you.
Blake -(after a pause) . . I’d never advise anyone to . . . O, it’s a terrible life! . . . .
Joyce – Ha.
Blake -(between puffs of smoke)- Of course . . . it looks all right from the outside . . . to those who don’t know . . . . But if you knew . . . . it’s really terrible. A bit of candle, no . . . dinner, squalid . . . . poverty. You’ve no idea simply . . . .

*

(( III ))

[Dublin: at Sheehy’s, Belvedere Place]

Dick Sheehy – What’s a lie? Mr. Speaker, I must ask . . .
Mr. Sheehy – Order, order!
Fallon – You know it’s a lie!
Mr. Sheehy – You must withdraw, sir.
Dick Sheehy – As I was saying . . . .
Fallon – No, I won’t.
Mr. Sheehy – I call on the honourable member for Denbigh . . . . Order, order! . . .

*

(( IV ))

[Dublin: in the National Library]

Skefflington – I was sorry to hear of the death of your brother . . . . sorry we didn’t know in time . . . . . to have been at the funeral . . . . .
Joyce – O, he was very young . . . . a boy . . . .
Skefflington – Still . . . . . it hurts . . . .

*

(( V ))

[London: in a house at Kennington]

Eva Leslie – Yes, Maudie Leslie’s my sister an’ Fred Leslie’s my brother – yev ‘eard of Fred Leslie? . . . . (musing) . . . O, ‘e’s a whoite-arsed bugger . . . ‘E’s awoy at present . . . . . . .
(later)
I told you someun went with me ten toimes one noight . . . . That’s Fred – my own brother Fred . . . . (musing) . . . ‘E is ‘andsome . . . O I do love Fred . . . .

*

(( VI ))

[Bray: in the parlour of the house
in Martello Terrace]

Mr. Vance -(comes in with a stick) . . . O, you know, he’ll have to apologise, Mrs. Joyce.
Mrs. Joyce – O yes . . . Do you hear that, Jim?
Mr. Vance – Or else – if he doesn’t – the eagles’ll come and pull out his eyes.
Mrs. Joyce – O, but I’m sure he will apologise.
Joyce – (under the table, to himself)

– Pull out his eyes,
Apologise,
Apologise,
Pull out his eyes.

Apologise,
Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes,
Apologise.

*

(( VII ))

A white mist is falling in slow flakes. The path leads me down to an obscure pool. Something is moving in the pool; it is an arctic beast with a rough yellow coat. I thrust in my stick and as he rises out of the water I see that his back slopes towards the croup and that he is very sluggish. I am not afraid but, thrusting at him often with my stick drive him before me. He moves his paws heavily and mutters words of some language which I do not understand.

*

(( VIII ))

[Dublin: at the corner of Connaught St, Phibsborough]

The little Male Child -(at the garden gate) . . Na . . o.
The First Young Lady -(half kneeling, takes his hand)- Well, is Mabie your sweetheart?
The Little Male Child – Na . . . o.
The Second Young Lady -(bending over him, looks up)- Who is your sweetheart?

*

(( IX ))

[Dublin: on Mountjoy Square]

Joyce -(concludes) . . . . That’ll be forty thou-sand pounds.
Aunt Lillie -(titters)- O, laus! . . . . I was like that too . . . . . .  . . . When I was a girl I was sure I’d marry a lord . . . or something . . .
Joyce -(thinks)- Is it possible she’s compare-ing herself with me?

[The following appears in pencil in the manuscript.]
Kinahan

Civilizing work of the Jesuit in Paraguay, Mexico and Peru and in the Seychelle Islands, described as an earthly paradise the nomad races into seductions, wardance.

*

(( X ))

Yes, they are the two sisters. She who is churning with stout arms (their butter is famous) looks dark and unhappy: the other is happy because she had her way. Her name is R . . . . Rina. I know the verb ‘to be’ in their language.
– Are you Rina? –
I knew she was.
But here he is himself in a coat with tails and an old-fashioned high hat. He ignores them: he walks along with tiny steps, jutting out the tails of his coat . . . . My goodness! how small he is! He must be very old and vain . . . . . Maybe he isn’t what I . . . It’s funny that those two big women fell out over this little man . . . . But then he’s the greatest man in the world . . . .

*

(( XI ))

[Dublin: at Sheehy’s, Belvedere Place]

Hanna Sheehy – O, there are sure to be great crowds.
Skeffington – In fact it’ll be, as our friend Jo-cax would say, the day of the rabblement.
Maggie Sheehy -(declaims)- Even now the rabblement may be standing by the door!

*

(( XII ))

She stands, her book held lightly at her breast, reading the lesson. Against the dark stuff of her dress her face, mild-featured with downcast eyes, rises softly outlined in light; and from a folded cap, set carelessly forward, a tassel falls along her brown ringletted hair . . . What is the lesson that she reads – of apes, of strange inventions, or the legends of martyrs? Who knows how deeply meditative, how reminiscent is this comeliness of Raffaello?

*

(( XIII ))

[Dublin: in the Stag’s Head, Dame Lane]

O’Mahony – Haven’t you that little priest that writes poetry over there-Fr Russel?
Joyce – O, yes . . . I hear he has written verses.
O’Mahoney -(smiling adroitly) . . . Verses, yes . . . that’s the proper name for them . . . .

*

(( XIV ))

Two mourners push on through the crowd. The girl, one hand catching the woman’s skirt, runs in advance. The girl’s face is the face of a fish, discoloured and oblique-eyed; the woman’s face is small and square, the face of a bargainer. The girl, her mouth distorted, looks up at the woman to see if it is time to cry; the woman, settling a flat bonnet, hurries on towards the mortuary chapel.

*

(( XV ))

She comes at night when the city is still; invisible, inaudible, all unsummoned. She comes from her ancient seat to visit the least of her children, mother most venerable, as though he had never been alien to her. She knows the inmost heart; therefore she is gentle, nothing exacting; saying, I am susceptible to change, an imaginative influence in the hearts of my children. Who has pity for you when you are sad among the strangers? Years and years I loved you when you lay in my womb.

*

(( XVI ))

The human crowd swarms in the enclosure, moving through the slush. A fat woman passes, her dress lifted boldly, her face nozzling in an orange. A pale young man with a Cockney accent does tricks in his shirtsleeves and drinks out of a bottle. A little old man has mice on an umbrella; a policeman in heavy boots charges down and seizes the umbrella:  the little old man disappears. Bookies are bawling out names and prices; one of them screams with the voice of a child – “Bonny boy!”  “Bonny Boy!” . . . Human creatures are swarming in the enclosure, moving backwards and forwards through the thick ooze. Some ask if the race is going on; they are answered “Yes” and “No.” A band begins to play . . . . . . A beautiful brown horse, with a yellow rider upon him, flashes far away in the sunlight.

*

(( XVII ))

[Dublin: in the house in Glengariff Parade: eveining]

Mrs. Joyce -(crimson, trembling, appears at the parlour door) . . . Jim!
Joyce -(at the piano) . . . Yes?
Mrs. Joyce – Do you know anything about the body? . . What ought I do? . . . There’s some matter coming away from the hole in Georgie’s stomach . . . . Did you ever hear of that happening?
Joyce -(surprised) . . . I don’t know . . . .
Mrs. Joyce – Ought I send for the doctor, do you think?
Joyce – I don’t know . . . . . . What hole?
Mrs. Joyce -(impatient) . . . The hole we all have . . . . . here (points)
Joyce -(stands up)

*

(( XVIII ))

[Dublin, on the North Circular Road: Christmas]

Miss O’Callaghan -(lisps)- I told you the name, The Escaped Nun.
Dick Sheehy -(loudly)- O, I wouldn’t read a book like that . . . I must ask Joyce. I say, Joyce, did you ever read The Escaped Nun?
Joyce – I observe that a certain phenomenon happens about this hour.
Dick Sheehy – What phenomenon?
Joyce – O . . . the stars come out.
Dick Sheehy -(to Miss O’Callaghan) . . Did you ever observe how . . . the stars come out on the end of Joyce’s nose about this hour? . . . (she smiles) . . Because I observe that phenomenon.

*

(( XIX ))

[Mullingar: a Sunday in July: noon]

Tobin -(walking noisily with thick boots and tapping the road with his stick) . . . . O there’s nothing like marriage for making a fellow steady. Before I came here to the Examiner I used to knock about with fellows and boose…. Now I’ve a good home and . . . . . I go home in the evening and if I want a drink . . . . . . well, I can have it . . . . My advice to every young fellow that can afford it is: marry young.

*

(( XX ))

[In Mullingar: an evening in autumn]

The Lame Beggar -(gripping his stick) . . . . . It was you called out after me yesterday.
The Two Children -(gazing at him) . . . No, sir.
The Lame Beggar – O, yes it was, though . . . . (moving his stick up and down) . . . . But mind what I’m telling you . . . . D’ ye see that stick?
The Two Children – Yes, sir.
The Lame Beggar – Well, if ye call out after me any more I’ll cut ye open with that stick. I’ll cut the livers out o’ ye . . . . (explains himself) . . . D’ ye hear me? I’ll cut ye open. I’ll cut the livers and the lights out o’ ye.

*

(( XXI ))

[Dublin: at Sheehy’s, Belvedere Place]

O’Reilly -(with developing seriousness) . . . . Now it’s my turn, I suppose . . . . . (quite seriously) . . . . Who is your favourite poet?

(a pause)

Hanna Sheehy – . . . . . . . German?
O’Reilly – . . . . . . Yes.

(a hush)

Hanna Sheehy – . . I think . . . . . Goethe . . . . .

*

(( XXII ))

I lie along the deck, against the engine-house, from which the smell of lukewarm grease exhales. Gigantic mists are marching under the French cliffs, enveloping the coast from head-land to headland. The sea moves with the sound of many scales . . . . Beyond the misty walls, in the dark cathedral church of Our Lady, I hear the bright, even voices of boys singing before the altar there.

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