Episode 6

Martin Cunningham, Mr. Power, Simon Dedalus and Leopold Bloom climb into a carriage travelling to Dignam’s funeral. There is a respectful silence as wreaths are loaded in the back. The carriage jolts forward and then slowly moves down the street. Mr. Power asks which route they are taking to the cemetery and Martin Cunningham says, via Irishtown and Ringsend. They watch the passersby respectfully salute the funeral procession. They discuss who else is at the funeral. Bloom spots Stephen Dedalus, also dressed in mourning, through the window and his disgruntled father Simon wants to know if he is with Mulligan? Simon Dedalus supposes his son has been to visit his aunt, who married the dubious Richie Goulding, who in a sham of respectability, always carries a legal bag imprinted with the name of his firm. Ritchie’s years of wild nights have left him with a bad back. Simon blasts vitriolic about Buck Mulligan and the family he comes from, with real concerns, that he will destroy his son. Bloom is touched by this paternal behavior, he thinks about Rudy his own son, that died in infancy. He remembers the brief erotic encounter when he was conceived one morning. Bloom feels he could have guided well the upbringing of his son. He is glad to have his daughter Milly, who will soon be a woman, and is like another version of Molly. The carriage tosses them around and they notice that the undertaker has not cleaned the carriage, there are old crumbs of bread on the seats and dubious stains growing fungi on the leather. Bloom is glad he had a bath. Gasworks near the canal obstruct the roadway and hold up the journey. They pass by a Dog’s Home and Bloom is reminded of his father’s dying wish that he care for his dog, Athos. Martin Cunningham makes them all laugh as he mimics the elaborate words used by Tom Kiernan to introduce Ben Dollard’s rendition of, the national ballad, The Croppy Boy. He then quotes from Dan Dawson’s political speech and Bloom proffers the paper with a transcript of the whole speech. They all laugh and Simon Dedalus reestablishes decorum. Bloom becomes absorbed in the death columns of the paper. They pass the National School, the Antient Concert Rooms, St Mark’s Church. Bloom has a thought about Blazes Boylan visiting Molly in the afternoon, just as Martin Cunningham notices Boylan on the street, Simon Dedalus leans across to salute him. Bloom stares at his nails, his mind racing with thoughts of Molly, he tries to keep his composure. He manages to make polite conversation about the concert tour. Molly will be up now doing her voice exercises as she fixes her hair. He smiles at Mr. Power and wonders about the barmaid he keeps, supposedly as a friend. The black bearded, Jewish, Mr. J. Reuben catches all their attention. Bloom, wanting to participate in the camaraderie, works hard at telling a funny story about Reuben’s son, who having fallen in love, jumps in the Liffey, to avoid being sent to the Isle of Man by his father.

A grateful father gave the boatman a florin for having saved his life. Simon Dedalus’s quick wit immediately suggests he was only worth ‘tuppence’ and once again they all break into laughter and have to restrain themselves. Paddy Dignam, they surmise fondly, would not begrudge them a laugh. They talk kindly about his drinking and his heart attack. A child’s coffin goes by reminding Bloom again of his dead son Rudy.

Mr. Power’s discussion about suicide and the sympathetic manner in which Martin Cunningham looks away, makes Bloom realize that he knows about his father’s suiside. Bloom’s father had poisoned himself, leaving a letter, for his son Leopold. Bloom knows about Martin Cunningham’s alcoholic wife and the havoc this wreaks in his life. The carriage has been galloping to make up time and is brought to a stop by a herd of cattle on the street. Bloom cannot fathom why they don’t have a tramline direct to the quays and another one for funerals out to the cemetery as it would prevent terrible accidents. Martin Cunningham reminds them of when the hearse turned over and a coffin fell out on the road. Bloom wonders if a corpse would still bleed even though the circulation had stopped? They watch a raft on the Royal Canal that runs all the way to Mullingar.

Bloom thinks about visiting his daughter Milly. They go past a house, where someone was murdered, it has closed shutters and an overgrown garden. People are fascinated by all the gruesome details. The carriage reaches Glasnevin cemetery and they are relieved to get out of the cramped carriage. Corney Kellegher takes the wreaths from the hearse. There are funerals happening everywhere in the world all the time with mourners and coffin bearers. Martin Cunningham quietly tells Mr. Power about Bloom’s father. They discuss insurance for Dignam’s widow and five young children and decide to take a collection to tide them over. Bloom watches Master Dignam holding a wreath for his father. The coffin is carried into the church. They kneel and Father Coffee says prayers in Latin and Bloom looks at the priest’s swollen belly as he walks around the coffin and shakes holy water. Bloom thinks it would be a bit repetitious to do this day after day. They move from the Mortuary Chapel to the graveside. Bloom has to stop himself from lilting a little tune. Simon Dedalus grieves for his wife buried close by and Mr. Power consoles him. Bloom’s literal interpretation of the resurrection, has him imagining the mix up of livers and hearts, on the last day. John Henry Menton, the solicitor for whom Paddy Dignam worked, before he succumbed to the demon drink, recognizes Bloom and wonders why the lively Marion Tweedy ended up choosing Bloom, when she had such great prospects, including his own good self. The caretaker tells a joke to lighten the atmosphere. How could an undertaker ask any woman to marry him? Bloom acknowledges that it cannot be a deterrent as he has eight children. The ground must be fertile from all the corpses over the years. The gravediggers close in the grave and Bloom has a moment of panic that Dignam is being buried alive. Hynes the journalist asks Bloom his christian name and he asks him to include the name McCoy. Hynes asks about a stranger just as Bloom refers to a man wearing a macintosh coat and this results in the inclusion of ‘Macintosh’ in his list of names. Hynes wants to pay a visit to Parnell’s grave. Bloom wanders through the elaborate headstones and thinks it would be far better to spend the money on the living. Maybe each grave should have a gramophone recording so you could hear the dead person’s voice. Pebbles move and Bloom spots a fat rat and thinks he would soon devour the meat of a corpse and that cremation is a more sensible option. He is relieved to get to the cemetery gate and is glad to return back to the land of the living. Martin Cunningham is in serious conversation with John Henry Menton, the solicitor. Bloom recognizes him from years ago and remembers how hostile he became when he beat him at bowls, in front of Molly. Bloom approaches him and politely mentions a dint in his hat but Menton’s thank you, is abrupt, and he looks down. Bloom holds back from further contact. Bloom evaluates that Martin Cunningham will be able to run rings around this rather pompous character.

Ulysses comprises 18 EPISODES June 16th 1904 Dublin