STATELY, PLUMP BUCK MULLIGAN CAME FROM THE STAIRHEAD, bearing a bowl of
lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown,
ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He
held the bowl aloft and intoned:
--INTROIBO AD ALTARE DEI.
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
--Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about
and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the
awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent
towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and
shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms
on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling
face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured
hair, grained and hued like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered
the bowl smartly.
--Back to barracks! he said sternly.
He added in a preacher's tone:
--For this, O dearly beloved, is the genuine Christine: body and soul and
blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A
little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence, all.
He peered sideways up and gave a long slow whistle of call, then paused
awhile in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there
with gold points. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered
through the calm.
--Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the
current, will you?
He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at his watcher, gathering
about his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plump shadowed face and
sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. A
pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips.