Edward the seventh: (Dances slowly, solemnly, rattling his bucket, and sings with soft Contentment)
On coronation day, on coronation
O, won’t we have a merry time,
Drinking whisky, beer and wine!
Private Carr: Here. What are you saying about my king?
Stephen: (Throws up his hands) O, this is too monotonous! Nothing. He wants my money and my life, though want must be his master, for some brutish empire of his. Money I haven’t. (He searches his pockets vaguely) gave it to someone.
Private Carr: Who wants your bleeding money?
Stephen: (Tries to move off) Will someone tell me where I am least likely to meet these necessary evils? Ca Se Voit AUSSI A paris. Not that I ... But, by Saint Patrick ...!
(The women’s heads coalesce. Old gummy granny in sugarloaf hat appears seated on A toadstool, the DEATHFLOWER of the potato blight on her breast.)
Stephen: Aha! I know you, gammer! Hamlet, revenge! The old sow that eats her farrow!
Old gummy granny: (Rocking to and fro) Ireland’s sweetheart, the king of Spain’s daughter, alanna. Strangers in my house, bad manners to them! (She Keens with banshee woe) Ochone! Ochone! Silk of the kine! (She wails) You met with poor old Ireland and how does she stand?
Stephen: How do I stand you? The hat trick! Where’s the third person of the Blessed Trinity? Soggarth Aroon? The reverend Carrion Crow.
Cissy Caffrey: (Shrill) Stop them from fighting!
A rough: Our men retreated.
Private Carr: (Tugging at his belt) I’ll wring the neck of any fucker says a word against my fucking king.
Bloom: (Terrified) He said nothing. Not a word. A pure misunderstanding.
The citizen: Erin go BRAGH!
(Major Tweedy and the citizen
exhibit to each other medals,
trophies of war, wounds. Both salute with fierce hostility.)
Private Compton: Go it, Harry. Do him one in the eye. He’s a proboer.
Stephen: Did I? When?
Bloom: (To the redcoats) We fought for you in South Africa, Irish missile troops. Isn’t that history? Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Honoured by our monarch.