Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Page 571 (16.70-107) "was blissfully unconscious... before but it cost"

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was blissfully unconscious that, but for that man in the gap turning up at the eleventh hour, the finis might have been that he might have been a candidate for the accident ward, or, failing that, the Bridewell and an appearance in the court next day before Mr Tobias, or, he being the solicitor, rather old Wall, he meant to say, or Malony which simply spelt ruin for a chap when it got bruited about.

60yo in 1901
Wall, see p154

The reason he mentioned the fact was that a lot of those policemen, whom he cordially disliked, were admittedly unscrupulous in the service of the Crown and, as Mr Bloom put it, recalling a case or two in the A Division in Clanbrassil street, prepared to swear a hole through a ten gallon pot.

Never on the spot when wanted but in quiet parts of the City, Pembroke Road, for example, the guardians of the law were well in evidence, the obvious reason being they were paid to protect the upper classes.

Another thing he commented on was equipping soldiers with firearms or sidearms of any description, liable to go off at any time, which was tantamount to inciting them against civilians should by any chance they fall out over anything.

You frittered away your time, he very sensibly maintained, and health and also character besides which the squandermania of the thing, fast women of the demimonde ran away with a lot of £.s.d. into the bargain and the greatest danger of all was who you got drunk with though, touching the much vexed question of stimulants, he relished a glass of choice old wine in season as both nourishing and bloodmaking and possessing aperient virtues (notably a good burgundy which he was a staunch believer in) still never beyond a certain point where he invariably drew the line as it simply led to trouble all round to say nothing of your being at the tender mercy of others practically.

Most of all he commented adversely on the desertion of Stephen by all his pubhunting confrères but one, a most glaring piece of ratting on the part of his brother medicos under all the circs.

— And that one was Judas, said Stephen, who up to then had said nothing whatsoever of any kind.

Discussing these and kindred topics they made a beeline across the back of the Customhouse and passed under the Loop Line bridge when a brazier of coke burning in front of a sentrybox, or something like one, attracted their rather lagging footsteps.

Stephen of his own accord stopped for no special reason to look at the heap of barren cobblestones and by the light emanating from the brazier he could just make out the darker figure of the corporation watchman inside the gloom of the sentrybox.

He began to remember that this had happened, or had been mentioned as having happened, before but it cost




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