Episode 11

The blond and red haired barmaids hear the lively rhythm of the horses’ hoofs. They look out the window and when they see the Vice-Regal carriage are very excited. The jingling and clippity clop of the horses intermingles with the sound of one of the barmaid’s snapping her garter. The sounds create an abbreviated premonition (an overture) of the music that will unfold over the next hour at the Ormond Hotel.

Two heads, one bronze and one gold watch the cavalcade over the blinds of the Ormond Hotel. Bronze headed Miss Douce gets the attention of a man in the second carriage and is absolutely thrilled when he looks back at her. Blond Miss Kennedy twiddles her hair and is not quite so excited about men.

Bloom walking along carries a book on the sweets of sin, in his breast pocket, for Molly.
Pat the waiter gets the attention of the barmaids by crashing the tray of tea on the counter. Blonde Miss Kennedy discreetly puts the tray on a crate out of sight of the customers. Pat the waiter asks bronze headed Miss Douce who is the man she is so eagerly saluting through the window and she haughtily refuses to tell and upbraids him for his impertinence. The barmaids manage to have a little private tea party with the sound of the cavalcade still in the background. Blond Miss Kennedy inspects Bronze Miss Douce’s sun-burned skin suggesting some glycerin from the chemist. Blond headed Miss Kennedy, mocking being shocked, blocks her ears from stories about the outrageous old fellow in Boyd’s chemist. They sip their tea and mimicking the hideous behaviour of Mr Boyd snorting and buffing they roar with laughter.

Bloom thinks of figs as he walks past a shop owned by Fignater. Today at the gallery he could not see if the statues of the Greek goddesses had orifices as the student Mulligan came by and disturbed him. He then saw him later in the library talking with Stephen Dedalus. Bloom carries a book on the sweets of sin for Molly.

The barmaids are in hysterical giggles with hair becoming undone as they splutter their tea. They imagine being married to a greasy old man and give vent to a full mixture of indignation followed by yells of joy until they are flushed and breathless from the laughter.

Bloom is reminded of his days hawking from door to door and that people buy religious items. It is getting closer to 4.00 o’clock when Molly will meet Boylan. He decides he will eat before he brings the Keyes image back to Nannetti at the Freeman. The advertisement is worth up to five guineas and he can buy the violet silk petticoat for Molly. He is disturbed by the impending rendezvous between Molly and Boylan and is reminded of the book on the sweets of sin in his pocket.

Simon Dedalas arrives at the Ormond Hotel and welcomes back bronze headed Miss Douce from her holidays. They happily flirt and she serves him a whiskey and she hums to herself as she polishes the glasses. Simon Dedalus blows two five pound notes from the stem of his pipe. He inquires if Mr Lidwell has been in today. Lenehan arrives looking for Boylan.

Bloom decides to buy some notepaper to reply to Martha’s letter.

Lenehan tries to flirt with blond headed Miss Kennedy who pretends to ignore him as she reads her book. Lenehan tells Simon Dedalus about meeting his son in Mooney’s pub earlier in the day where Stephen held court and awed the literary elite of Dublin including the editor Hugh McHugh. Simon Dedalus is not impressed and takes a drink with a far away look in his eyes. He notices that the piano has moved and Miss Douce informs him that a talented blind tuner has been working on it earlier in the day. Simon Dedalus has another drink and walks away upset that his son keeps company with Mulligan whom he regards as a bad influence. Pat the waiter comes into the bar to get some lagers for the restaurant. Lenehan waits for Boylan. Simon Dedalus lifts the lid of the piano and tinkers with the keys. Miss Kennedy continues to read her book.

Bloom purchasing notepaper to write his letter looks up at a poster of a mermaid advertising cigarettes and spots Blazes Boylan for the third time that day as he goes by in a jaunting car travelling towards Ormond Quay. It is getting closer to four o’ clock and this looms large in Bloom’s mind.

Simon Dedalus strikes the tuning fork left on the piano, hums and checks the keys. Lenehan persists in his efforts to flirt with blond headed Miss Kennedy who closes her book but give him short shift. Blazes Boylan’s footsteps make him turn around in greeting. Pat the waiter whispers to bronze headed Miss Douce.

Bloom carefully avoids being seen by Boylan as he enters the dining room of the Ormond Hotel. Ritchie Goulding walks in carrying his legal bag and they sit down together.

Miss Kennedy smiles at Boylan but is outshone by Miss Douce who is more lavish in her charms as she smartens her hair to get his attention. Bonze Miss Douce shamelessly flaunts herself as she reaches for a flagon on the top shelf and blond Miss Kennedy talks sweetly as she pours a liquor. Boylan tosses a coin on the bar to pay for the drinks. He confides in Lenehan that he has a big bet on Sceptre to win the Gold Cup. Blond Miss Kennedy wonders who gave Boylan the flower in the lapel of his coat. When the clock strikes four Lenehan asks bronze Miss Douce to ring out the time with a snap of her garter for Boylan. Teasing and full of game, she does her party piece being careful that Miss Kennedy does not overhear her. When the clock strikes Bloom wonders if Boylan has forgotten his appointment with Molly. Miss Douce has excited Boylan with her seductive party trick and he swallows his drink and takes his leave in a hurry. He tells Lenehan to come with him so he can listen to him about Tom Rochford’s invention. On the way out he salutes Ben Dollard who arrives with Father Cowley. Their good humour immediately lifts the somber mood of Simon Dedalus and they lead him back into the saloon for a song. Pat the waiter comes to the bar and gets a whiskey for Ritchie and a cider for Bloom. When Bloom hears the sound of Boylan departing he sighs in resignation and looks blankly at some blue flowers. Bronze Miss Douce at the window watches Boylan and is a little puzzled by his hasty departure. Simon Dedalus, Cowley and Dollard become absorbed in conversation around the piano. Ben Dollard remembers an occasion when Molly and Bloom running a costume hire service came to the rescue with a dress suit and trousers that were much too tight for him.

Blazes Boylan is travelling in a jaunting car, which has a lively jingle.

Ritchie and Bloom order steak and kidney and liver and bacon. Bloom’s mind races with thoughts of his morning with Molly and her literal pronunciation of words like metempsychoses.

Simon Dedalus lights his pipe and tells his friends at the piano that Molly is from the Rock of Gibraltar as her father was posted there with the army.

Ritchie and Bloom eat in silence.

Blazes Boylan has got the driver to flick the whip to speed his journey.

Ben Dollard sings loudly over the loud chords from the piano and laughs when Simon Dedalus says he would burst the ear drum of the woman that is serenaded by the song. Father Cowley suggests another membrane as he intervenes to take over at the keyboard.

Blond Miss Kennedy makes lively and polite conversation as she serves beer to the gentlemen, a very professional barmaid indeed.

Ben Dollard’s song carries through into the dining room. Bloom mashes his potatoes. Ben Dollard’s voice reminds him of the night he borrowed a dress suit for a concert. The trousers were too tight for him and Molly roared with laughter imagining the view of the women in the front row. Bloom hearing the fine musicianship on the piano decides it must be Father Cowley.

Bronze Miss Douce has an intimate hello to Mr Lidwell the young solicitor as he arrives and she directs him to his friends.

Bloom appreciates the ordered dining room with flowers and linen as he quietly eats his liver. He imagines Cowley sitting close into the piano and remembers Molly falling asleep during a cello recital. He prefers the harp with the strings being touched by a girl’s hands. A memory of Howth and rhododendrons takes him back to his first touching with Molly.

Blazes’s jaunting car continues to jingle along towards Eccles Street.

Cowley coaxes Simon Dedalaus to sing and he starts to hum A Last Farewell and becomes less hesitant as Cowley accompanies him on the piano.

Ritchie and Bloom become absorbed in Simon’s rendition of M’Appari and they start to talk about music. Bloom notices Ritchie wince with back pain. He knows he squanders money and tells too many tall tales and as he eulogizes about bird song Bloom’s attention waver, he is absorbed back into his thoughts, which start to escalate as he panics about Molly and the impending meeting with Boylan. Bloom straightens the linen to calm himself and starts to listen to the words of the song. He is helpless against the tide and can do nothing to stop Molly and Boylan meeting at 4.00 o’clock. He becomes absorbed in the voice of Simon Dedalus and notices that the piano has been tuned. Ritchie recognizes the voice of his brother in law Simon Dedalus. Bloom gets Pat the waiter to leave the door to the bar slightly open and they both become lost in the music. Bloom takes an elastic band and concentrates on winding it round his fingers. Bloom’s thoughts shift between the attraction of the tenor voice to women, extracts from Martha’s letter and Molly checking herself in the mirror before she opens the hall door. Bloom thinks the soft timbre of Simon’s voice may be because he is from Cork. He does not understand why he didn’t go on stage and make money with such a voice but it is difficult to understand the circumstances of anyone’s life from the outside. He continues to fiddle with the elastic band as he lets the music flow through him. A song from Martha he thinks is a coincidence as he is about to write a letter to a girl with that same name. The music sweeps Bloom back to the first night he met Molly and the game of musical chairs. He turned her music as she sang and noticed her dark eyes and her bosom and perfume. Simon’s voice soars higher and they are all carried to a crescendo and applaud loudly with calls of bravo at the end.

Boylan’s mare slows down on the Rotunda Hill and he becomes impatient.

The chords of the piano hold in the air and fade slowly out. People renew their drinks. Tom Kernan swaggers into the bar. Ritchie tells Bloom of a night at Ned Lambert’s and the unforgettable beauty of Simon Dedalus’s voice. Ritchie is estranged from his brother in law Simon Dedalus but he is still able to acknowledge and admire his talent. Bloom contemplates the miracle of two tiny chords producing such beauty as the human voice. He continues to fiddle with the elastic band. Tom Kernan joins the men at the piano and speaks to Father Cowley. Bloom notes that so many songs are about loss and the sundering of human contact which is inevitable in death. One day he and Molly will also die and he imagines her snivels if he should die first and the elastic band snaps.

Boylan has reached Dorset Street.

Bronze Miss Douce plays hard to get while still flirting with Mr Lidwell.

Bloom decides to write his letter to Martha and asks the waiter for a pen and ink. All music is numbers dividing by two and forming octaves. The sound though is what makes music alive. Bloom has no tolerance for music scales being practiced and wonders why their daughter Milly has not inherited any musical talent. Simon Dedalus tells Ben Dollard that Italian is the only language for music and remembers walking in the moonlight in Cork and the singing in Queenstown harbour when the Italian ships were docked. He takes out his pipe and coos a note from the moonlight memory.
Bloom hides his letter writing from Ritchie Goulding. He calculates his day’s spending and decides he will enclose two and six as a small gift. He encourages Martha to write back a long letter. He will not tell Molly about his clandestine correspondence.

Boylan dressed to kill is travelling along to the jingle of the hackney car.

Bloom pretends to Ritchie that he is replying to an advertisement and decides to end the letter with a sad note for effect before putting it in an envelope. He will post it on his way to Barney Kiernan’s where he has promised to meet Martin Cunningham in order to arrange insurance matters for Paddy Dignam’s widow. He waits to get the waiters attention and is amused by the circumstance of waiting for a waiter. Bronze Miss Douce is getting George Lidwell to listen to her seashell brought back from her holiday.

One tap is heard in the distance.

Bloom watches Miss Douce holding the shell and can tell by her sun-burned skin that she has been to the seaside. He reminds himself to collect the skin lotion for Molly and he recalls a glimpse of her eyes over a sheet, her pretend yashmak, to create a secret allure. It is the blood flow of the ear and not the sea that is heard from the shell. Miss Douce and Mr Lidwell are absorbed in the magic of the shell.

Boylan has reached Larry O Rourke’s swaying and turning as they pass by at a racy pace.

Miss Douce confides to Mr Lidwell about her walks in the moonlight by the sea.

Father Cowley has returned to the piano, playing a minuet from Don Giovanni and Bloom is transported to the Opera. The link between joy and music is elemental and Molly always lilts when she is happy. Bloom is still irate that McCoy should compare the squealing voice of his wife with Molly.

The jingling stops and Boylan hops out.

Bloom explores ideas about acoustics and moisture levels.

Boylan raps on Molly’s door with the bold loud knock.

One tap heard in the distance.

Tom Kiernon wants Ben Dollard to sing The Croppy Boy. Bloom pays the waiter and gives him a tip. He takes leave of Ritchie and stops when he hears the words of the great Irish ballad. Ben Dollard who is singing once had a successful chandler’s business. The story of the ballad unfolds of the young man going to make his last confession and is blessed by the priest.

One tap heard in the distance.

Bloom notices that Bronze Miss Douce is aware she is being admired and thinks this is characteristic of all women.

Boylan bangs boldly on the knocker.

The sounds that make music are endless. Again Bloom thinks of Molly in concert and her sense of fun with words.

The ballad now tells of the young man’s father and brothers already having died for Ireland and that now he also will nobly prepare to do the same even though he is the last of his name. Bloom thinks he also is the last of his name because Rudy died but maybe it is still not too late for him to have another child.

The young man in the song asks for a blessing only to have the priest remove his cassock and reveal himself as a yeoman Captain.

Two taps heard closer.

Bloom watches Bronze Miss Douce and decides she is still a virgin. It is important that women are admired otherwise they become old. Women have three orifices but he was unable to confirm if this is true for the Greek statues. He decides it is better not to be too polite with women, they want sex too.

The final verse of the song and the yeoman tells the young man he has one hour to live.

Two taps heard closer.

All things born must die. Bloom wonders how Mrs Purfoy’s labour is progressing at Holles Street. Bloom can see that Lidwell is infatuated with Bronze Miss Douce. He sees the reality of empty crates of beer behind the bar which is not so romantic. Miss Douce strokes the beer tap provocatively as she enjoys being watched by her admirers.

Boylan is still rapping on the door.

Three taps outside the Ormond Hotel.

The song ends sadly with the inevitable hanging of the young man and Bloom decides to slip away and gets his hat. He feels the soap sticky in his pocket.

Three taps outside the Ormond Hotel.

Breathe a tear for the croppy boy. Bloom hears the cheers for Ben Dollard from the hallway. They all head for the bar and celebrate his great rendition of the ballad. Ritchie now sits in the dining room by himself.

Four taps outside the Ormond.

The barmaids also compliment Ben Dollard. Bloom decides to post his letter to Martha and is glad to be out in the fresh air.

The blind tuner taps his way along the curbstone.

Father Cowley is perhaps a little too technically exacting with the music. Bloom remembers old Glynn playing the organ for hours all alone in the gallery.

Simon Dedalus is informed that Bloom was in the dining room and is disappointed he has missed him saying he saw him earlier at Dignam’s funeral.

Four taps outside the Ormond Hotel.

The tuning fork still rests on the piano.

Every tap is now audible.

Bloom thinks about litigation as he passes by the solicitors. He wonders how people end up in different professions such as a drummer in a brass band.

The blind piano tuner reaches Daly’s window. Tap. Tap.

There are so many things which can make music. It is past four o’ clock and Bloom knows that the inevitable has happened between Boylan and Molly. He continues to distract himself and wonders who was the fellow in the macintosh coat at the funeral. Suddenly the whore from the lane is directly in his path. Bloom has encountered her before and is wary that she knows Molly his wife. Bloom looks in a shop window to avoid her when he sees what a horror she looks in broad daylight. He conveys the impression he is examining the melodeon, which is for sale for six shillings.

A little party has developed back at the Ormond Hotel.

There is a tap on the doorway of the Ormond Hotel.

Bloom studies Robert Emmet’s final words in the shop window.

At the Ormond Hotel they all toast Ben Dollard.

Tip. The blind man stands at the door and sees nobody because he does not see!

Bloom reads the final words of Robert Emmet until the whore goes by without recognizing him. He relieves himself with a large belch brought on he thinks by the burgundy.

Ulysses comprises 18 EPISODES June 16th 1904 Dublin