Episode 5
HENRY FLOWER 10.00 a.m.

Bloom walks along the quays full of lorries and early morning activity. He notices the malnourished children and a boy smoking a cigarette butt. He wants to tell him it will stunt his growth but realizes it probably provides some solace in a tough home life. He checks the time of the funeral as he passes the premises of an undertaker. Corney Kellegher, who sings with closed eyes, will probably bury Dignam. He stops in front of the Oriental Tea Company and reminds himself to get some tea from Tom Kernan. He is very warm in his black suit, he removes his hat to cool himself, takes the card from under the headband and puts it in his pocket. He notes the tea is from Ceylon and he imagines the lazy lifestyle of the Cinghalese, the drowsy apathy caused by a hot climate, so that no one would bother to quarrel, preferring to lie down and doze off to sleep. A photo of a man, floating on the Dead Sea reading a book, causes Bloom to ponder a theory about the law of falling bodies and gravity. He crosses to the post office, unfolding his copy of the Freeman he tries to convey a casual air as he hands the postmistress his card and asks if there is a letter for him. She hands him an envelope addressed to Henry Flower. He distracts himself from wanting to open the letter by focusing on a recruiting poster for the army. Arthur Griffith’s campaign to educate the public about venereal disease in the forces will have no effect because women will always be attracted to men in uniform. Outside Bloom surreptitiously begins to open the letter in his pocket and is irritated to see McCoy approaching him. They discuss Paddy Dignam’s funeral but Bloom is preoccupied watching a woman in front of the Grosvenor Hotel and notices her high brown boots and silk stockings. Bloom is fascinated by the lofty dignity of well to do women and decides good sex would relieve them of their stiff demeanor. A tramcar goes by just as the woman is climbing into the carriage and the voyeur is disgusted to have missed his chance to view the display of leg in silk stockings. McCoy asks about his wife and Bloom idly reads an advertisement in the paper. Molly is going to sing at a concert in Belfast. He knows she will still be in bed reading the tarot cards with the torn strip of envelope under the pillow. McCoy asks Bloom to put down his name at Dignam’s funeral. He is annoyed that McCoy should presume to compare Molly’s talent as a singer with that of his own wife.

He spots a poster advertising a production of Hamlet. He thinks of Ophelia and how his father loved the actress Kate Bateman having queued for tickets to see her perform in London and Vienna. His father would eulogize about a scene from a play where Nathan returns to the house of his blind father. The suicide of Ophelia reminds him of his own father’s tragic end and he decides that it was perhaps for the best after all. The horses with their big eyes watch Bloom as they crunch oats from their nosebags. He moves down a lane, near the Cabman’s Shelter and making sure no one is watching begins to read his letter. Martha playfully reprimands him. A yellow flower is attached to the letter with a pin and this reminds him of a bawdy ditty about pins and drawers sung by two whores in the Coombe. Bloom, alias Henry Flower, puts the flower close to his heart, forget-me-nots, tulips and roses all convey a different message. Walking under a railway bridge Bloom tears up the envelope and thinks that a cheque, even for a great sum of money, is also only a simple bit of paper. The brewery owner Lord Iveagh once wrote a cheque for over a million pounds. Bloom calculates this would amount to fifteen million barrels of Guinness but then becomes confused between barrels and gallons. A train full of beer barrels rattles heavily overhead. Bloom reaches the back door of All Hallows church and removes his hat replacing the Henry Flower card back under the band. The porch is full of missionary notices. Bloom decides that Saint Patrick’s explanation of the ‘trinity’ as a shamrock that has three leafs on one stem could be converted to a chopsticks version suitable for the Chinese concept of yin and yang. Inside the church he watches the women communicants. The priest reminds each one that the wafer is the body of Christ, a clever idea to convert cannibals. The priest drinks wine from the Chalice, n excellent choice of beverage, as Guinness might attract drunks wanting free booze. Denis Carey received communion every day in this very church whilst plotting betrayal and murder. The women’s heads are all bent in prayer. The Eucharist wafer is a bit like the Jewish unleavened bread. Bloom acknowledges the power of belief bringing about cures in Lourdes. He could plan to meet Martha in a church. Bloom is disappointed there is no choir as he would like to hear some fine church music, like Molly’s excellent rendition of Rossini’s ‘Stabat Mater’ and the beautiful ‘Gloria’ in Mozart’s Twelfth Mass. Eunuchs however are a bit extreme even in the interests of music. The power of the confession impresses him, the enterprise of Rome to set it all up and make money is he thinks a great achievement. The priest chants the final blessing. Bloom decides to move on before the collection plate is passed along. He does up some buttons on his waistcoat as he walks down the aisle. He checks his watch and decides he has time to go to Sweeny’s chemist to have a lotion made up for Molly. Half way along Westland Row he realizes he has left the recipe and the house key in his other trouser pocket. The chemist goes through his books to find the ingredients. Bloom thinks how extraordinary that the substances that provide cures for us are also the ones that can poison us. He advocates the effectiveness of homely recipes and sees Molly’s dark eyes highlighted because of using white wax on her skin. He will not have time for a massage but he purchases some lemon soap for his bath and walks out with the Freeman newspaper rolled up under his arm. Bantam Lyons comes by and takes the paper to check the name of a French horse running in the Gold Cup. Bloom to get rid of him, tells him, he was about to throw it away, just as Bantam Lyons spots a horse called Throwaway running, assuming Bloom has given him a tip, he thanks him and races away to place a bet. Bloom folds the paper around the soap and thinks about the current craze for gambling. The turrets of the red bricked bathhouse remind Bloom of a mosque. He reworks a badly designed advertisement over the College Park gateway and salutes Mr Hornblower. It is a lovely day and perfect for a game of cricket. Ireland is not much good at cricket, although once at the Kildare Street Club, some wild batting by Captain Butler, to his leg-side, resulted in a broken window. Bloom luxuriates in the bath, naked in the warm, soft, liquid womb. The dark curls of his pubic hair float around his limp penis with the potential to father thousands of progeny.

Ulysses comprises 18 EPISODES June 16th 1904 Dublin