Further Oxcavations: Joyce’s "Oxen" Notes from Swift, Steele, Goldsmith, Landor and De Quincey
This potpourri accounts for some 70 additional entries on the "Oxen"
notesheets, half of which appear in the completed text. The notes from
Swift, Goldsmith, Landor and De Quincey supplement the lists already published
in The Sources and Structures of James Joyce’s "Oxen" (Ann Arbor:
UMI Research Press, 1983). Those from Steele represent the harvesting of
a new source text. The catalogues of Joyce’s Trieste and Paris libraries
do not contain an edition of The Spectator, although he may have
owned or consulted one while writing this chapter, but I suspect it is
entirely possible that Joyce found Steele’s essay on The Ugly Club, the
notes for which are mixed with a group from Goldsmith, in an anthology
which has yet to be identified. A few of the source attributions are inevitably
speculative, but included in the hope that future research will more conclusively
demonstrate a higher degree of assurance or correction.
For Period-Style Language
In the "Oxen" Notesheets
For an overview of these sources see "Joyce's ‘Oxen of the Sun’ Notesheets: A Transcription and Sourcing of the Stylistic Entries" by Greg Downing elsewhere in this issue.
"The History of Martin"
Jonathan Swift. A Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books and other Satires. Everyman's Library, 347. London: J M Dent & Sons Ltd, 1916. Gillespie item 483 (p.227). These notes are found in the margins of NS 1 and 3, and in the left column of NS 15. That only two of the nine notes used in the final text appear in the Swift parody, the rest in the Pepys-Defoe-Sterne and Carlyle-Slang sections, would indicate that Joyce was attracted to them simply as interesting period words, rather than for any contextual overtones.
Sp17 [Spectator No. 17, March 20, 1711]
Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele. The Spectator. London: J M Dent & Sons Ltd, and New York: E P Dutton & Co., 1964. Like the notes from Swift, those from Steele’s Spectator Letter no. 17, an account of The Ugly Club, appear to be vocabulary items. The four lines from Steele, in the bottom left corner of NS 14, are surrounded by others from Goldsmith.
Oliver Goldsmith. The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith. London: MacMillan and Co., Ltd, 1925. Gillespie (items 192, 193) lists editions in Joyce’s library published by Tauchnitz and John Dicks. The Goldsmith notes, also on NS 14, are taken from The Citizen of the World, Letters XXV, XXVI and XXVII; Essay V, "A Reverie at the Boar’s-Head Tavern"; "The History of Hypatia" in The Bee, No. III; and The Vicar of Wakefield. Two of them, both references to women, repay closer examination. Joyce copied four items, two of them lengthy, from the story of Hypatia, a heathen woman of Alexandria renowned for her beauty and learning, who died at the hands of rioting Christians. The final phrases of her story, "the glory of her own sex, and the astonishment of ours," are part of Dixon’s rebuke to the drunken Costello’s insulting comments about Nurse Callan, who is no doubt learned in her profession and is earlier described as beautiful. From The Vicar of Wakefield Joyce copied "Deborah, my life," which becomes "Wilhelmina, my life" in "Oxen." The Vicar is here calling upon his wife to fill his glass as the family celebrates the coming wedding of their daughter Olivia. Theodore Purefoy, "old Glory Allelujurum," also calls upon his wife, not for a drink but for news of their latest child. However, Olivia runs off, frustrating the plans of her father, and Mulligan questions the paternity of Mortimer Edward, both incidents thus containing elements of disappointed joy.
QE&C [Queen Elizabeth and Cecil]
S&M [Joseph Scaliger and Montaigne]
B&D [Bossuet and the Duchess de Fontange]
B&S [Archbishop Boulter and Philip Savage]
Walter Savage Landor. Imaginary Conversations. London: Walter Scott, n.d. Gillespie (item 272) lists a 1913 printing. On NS 15 Joyce copied eight notes from four essays in Imaginary Conversations: "Queen Elizabeth and Cecil," "Joseph Scaliger and Montaigne," "Bossuet and the Duchess de Fontange" and "Archbishop Boulter and Philip Savage."
EOE [Confessions of an English Opium-Eater]
DofL [The Daughter of Lebanon]
MFA [On Murder, Considered as one of the Fine Arts]
EMC [The English Mail-Coach]
LofS [Levana and our Ladies of Sorrow]
Thomas De Quincey. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater: Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, The English Mail-Coach, & a Selection from Suspiria de Profundis. London: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1908. Item 66 in Thomas E. Connolly. The Personal Library of James Joyce: a Descriptive Bibliography. Buffalo: University of Buffalo Press, 1957. Joyce took copious notes from De Quincey; however, I find that only four of the over 30 in the current list can be located in Ulysses with any degree of assurance, and only one in the De Quincey parody. Moreover, since many of the words Joyce chose to note occur several times in the De Quincey text, I have sometimes selected items for inclusion here based on their proximity to each other. The De Quincey notes here included, then, may have more value for an exploration of Joyce’s note-taking procedure than for any immediate gloss on "Oxen."
For transcription conventions see "Joyce's ‘Oxen of the Sun’ Notesheets:
A Transcription and Sourcing of the Stylistic Entries" by Greg Downing
elsewhere in this issue. I also use the convention U-G followed
by page and line reference to indicate the synoptic display in Volume 2
of the 3-volume Gabler edition.
at cuffs with [uncancelled]
"when a man's fancy gets astride on his reason, when imagination is at cuffs with the senses, and common understanding, as well as
common sense, is kicked out of doors"
Swift ToaT 109
(reason) just at yr. elbow [uncancelled]
"and the reason is just at our elbow, because imagination can build nobler scenes, and produce more wonderful revolutions than fortune or
nature will be at expense to furnish"
Swift ToaT 109
"this I have produced as a scantling of Jack's great eloquence, and the force of his reasoning upon such abstruse matters"
Swift ToaT 123
slap his posteriors [cancelled in red]
"He would stand in the turning of a street, and, calling to those who passed by, would cry to one, 'Worthy sir, do me the honour of a good slap in
the chaps'; to another, 'Honest friend, pray favour me with a handsome kick on the arse'"
Swift ToaT 125
U 14.593 So be off now, says he, and do all my cousin german the lord Harry tells you and take a farmer's blessing, and with that he "slapped
his posteriors" very soundly.
Added between the first and second extant drafts (JJA 14.41,
ungrates [cancelled in red]
"the base detracting world would not then have dared to report that something is amiss, that his brain hath undergone an unlucky shake; which even his brother modernists themselves, like ungrates, do whisper so loud, that it reaches up to the very garret I am now writing in"
Swift ToaT 108
U 14.640: They were, says Mr Stephen, and the end was that the men of the island seeing no help was toward, as the "ungrate" women
were all of one mind, made a wherry raft
Added to first extant draft (JJA 14.43)
towardly word [cancelled in red]
"For I have remarked many a towardly word to be wholly neglected or despised in discourse, which has passed very smoothly, with some
consideration and esteem, after its preferment and sanction in print"
Swift ToaT 132
displode [cancelled in red]
"whence, in every age, the zealous among their priesthood have brought over their choicest inspiration […] and disploding it among the sectaries in all nations"
Swift ToaT 100
U 14.1432-33 It displodes for thee
Early drafts not extant for this passage; present in TS V.B.12.a (JJA
"In this posture he disembogues whole tempests upon his auditory"
Swift ToaT 100
Lapland [cancelled in red]
"whereof that polite nation of Laplanders are, beyond all doubt, a most authentic branch"
Swift ToaT 102
U 14.1482 Well, doc? Back fro Lapland?
Present in Cornell fragment (JJA 14.135-36)
laudable fortitude [cancelled in red]
"Since our Persons are not of our own Making, when they are such as appear Defective or Uncomely, it is, methinks, an honest and laudable Fortitude to dare to be Ugly"
U 14.822 which she had borne with a laudable fortitude
Present in second extant draft (JJA 14.109). The "laudable fortitude"
of daring ugliness is transferred to Mina Purefoy’s suffering of her labor
Grand Turk [cancelled in blue]
--- Cairo [uncancelled]
"A Turk drank me off two Bottles of Wine"
"in your Voyage to or from Grand Cairo"
U 12.1369 Even the Grand Turk sent us his piastres.
"Turks" changed to "Grand Turk" on first placard (U-G
to sot [uncancelled]
"He continued to doze and sot"
Herring reads "jot" where I read "sot".
queerity [cancelled in red]
"That no Person whatsoever shall be admitted without a visible Quearity in his Aspect, or peculiar Cast of Countenance"
U 14.528 sometimes they are found in the right guess with their queerities
Added between first extant draft and UWM typescript (JJA 14.37,
gibbosity [cancelled in red]
"That a singular Regard be had, upon Examination, to the Gibbosity of the Gentlemen that offer themselves, as Founder’s Kinsmen"
U 14.855 a cropeared creature of a misshapen gibbosity
Added to second extant draft (JJA 14.115).
parish beadle [cancelled in red]
"yet I soon died for want of a drop of something comfortable, and fairly left my body to the care of the beadle"
U 14.558 more familiar with the justiciary and the parish beadle
Added between second extant draft and UWM typescript (JJA 14.91,
the happiest turn to science, an heathen [uncancelled]
"Nature was never more lavish of its gifts than it had been to her, endued as she was with the most exalted understanding and the happiest turn to science"
"we should never have been able to judge of what religion was Hypatia, were we not informed, from other circumstances, that she was an heathen"
imagined his life to be ….& that [uncancelled]
"At this very juncture five hundred monks of Mount Nitria, imagining the life of their chief to be in danger, and that their religion was threatened in his fall"
Such ?won’t…, glory of her own sex & astonishm.
"Such was the end of Hypatia, the glory of her own sex and the astonishment of ours."
U 14.830 Miss Callan, who is the lustre of her own sex and the astonishment of ours?
Present in second extant draft (JJA 14.109).
set the table in a roar [uncancelled]
"but the story of Taffy in the sedan-chair was sure to set the table in a roar:"
I was for returning [cancelled in red]
"I was for going on without taking any notice "
U 14.836 some were for ejecting the low soaker
Present in second extant draft (JJA 14.110).
abridged in its commerce [cancelled in red]
"By this means the mother country, being abridged in its commerce, grew poorer"
U 14.838-39 had he not abridged his transgression by affirming with a horrid imprecation
Present in second extant draft (JJA 14.110).
without cunning to protect or … [cancelled in red]
"Thus shoved from shore without ill-nature to protect, or cunning to guide, or proper stores to subsist me in so dangerous a voyage"
U 14.823-24 I want patience, said he, with those who, without wit to enliven or learning to instruct, revile an ennobling profession
Present in second extant draft (JJA 14.109)
Deborah, my life, [cancelled in red]
"and Deborah, my life, grief, you know, is dry"
"But let us have one bottle more, Deborah, my life;"
U 14.890 Wilhelmina, my life, as he calls her
"wife" changed to "life" in second extant draft (JJA 14.117).
Know all men [cancelled in red]
"Know all men by these presents, that I, S.T.C., a noticeable man with large grey eyes, am a licensed opium-eater, whereas this other man is a buccaneer, a pirate, a flibustier, and can have none but a forged license in his disreputable pocket"
De Quincey EOE 25
U 14.289 Know all men, he said, time’s ruins build eternity's
"Most truly I have told the reader, that not any search after pleasure, but mere extremity of pain from rheumatic toothache—this and nothing else was it that first drove me into the use of opium. Coleridge’s bodily affliction was simple rheumatism. Mine, which intermittently raged for ten years, was rheumatism in the face combined with toothache."
De Quincey EOE 23
Squabble STC & TdQ [uncancelled]
The squabble begins "Coleridge, therefore, was doubly in error" and continues for several pages.
De Quincey EOE 22ff
held such language [uncancelled]
"It is really memorable in the annals of human self-deceptions, that Coleridge could have held such language in the face of such facts."
De Quincey EOE 26
to that you can speak [uncancelled]
"It is notorious, that in Bristol (to that I can speak myself, but probably in many other places) he went so far as to hire men—porters, hackney-coachmen, and others—to oppose by force his entrance into any druggist’s shop."
De Quincey EOE 27
opium >< wine [uncancelled]
"what a man may lawfully seek in wine, surely he may lawfully find in opium;"
De Quincey EOE 22
"Coleridge, professing to believe (without reason assigned) that opium-eating is criminal, and in some mysterious sense more criminal than wine-drinking or porter-drinking,"
De Quincey EOE 27
lancinating [cancelled in red]
"In both, there are at times what surgeons call ‘lancinating’ pangs---keen, glancing, arrowy radiations of anguish"
De Quincey EOE 24 note
U 14.1089 the lancinating lightnings of whose brow are scorpions
Added to second extant draft (JJA 14.129)
else drooping [uncancelled]
"to sustain through twenty-four consecutive hours the else drooping animal energies"
De Quincey EOE 22
tootache (Haines) [uncancelled]
not deadly [uncancelled]
"that supposing toothache liable in ever so small a proportion of its cases to a fatal issue, it would be generally ranked as the most dreadful amongst human maladies; whereas the certainty that it will in no extremity lead to death, and the knowledge that in the very midst of its storms sudden changes may be looked for, bringing long halcyon calms, have an unfair effect in lowering the appreciation of this malady considered as a trial of fortitude and patience."
De Quincey EOE 23 note
These two entries seem to me to be connected: "tootache not deadly"
(Joyce’s spelling), with Haines in parentheses, associating him with the
toothache. If he does indeed, like De Quincey (and Joyce?) suffer from
this pain, perhaps it explains why he appears at 14.1012-27 carrying a
phial of laudanum "marked Poison."
house of (astron.) [cancelled in red]
"Still there is a hope: and nothing can so frightfully expound the hellish nature of him whose baleful shadow, to speak astrologically, at this moment darkens the house of life, than the simple expression of the ground on which this hope rested."
De Quincey MFA 321-22
"If it by bills at ninety days after date that you are made unhappy---if noters and protestors are the sort of wretches whose astrological shadows darken the house of life---"
De Quincey EMC 342
U 14.1099 till it looms, vast, over the house of Virgo
banter & brigue [uncancelled]
"Peter’s banter (as he calls it in his Alsatia phrase) upon transubstantiation"
Swift ToaT 18
"where wit has any mixture of raillery, it is but calling it banter, and the work is done"
Swift ToaT 21
"when our adversaries, by briguing and caballing, have caused so universal a defection from us"
Swift ToaT 49
sublunary [cancelled in blue]
"But the greatest maim given to that general reception which the writings of our society have formerly received (next to the transitory state of all sublunary things"
Swift ToaT 49
U 14.771: How mingled and imperfect are all our sublunary joys.
"sublunary" replaces "human" between first and second extant drafts
(JJA 14.51, 14.105)
sackposset [cancelled in red]
"it is a sack-posset, wherein the deeper you go, you will find it the sweeter"
Swift ToaT 49
U 14.539-40 he picked up between his sackpossets much loose gossip.
Added to typescript overlay D (U-G 856.33; JJA 14.180)
"nothing less than a violent heat can disentangle these creatures from their hamated station of life"
Swift MOS 179
hawking [cancelled in red]
"Hawking, spitting, and belching, the defects of other men’s rhetoric, are the flowers, and figures, and ornaments of his"
Swift MOS 181
U 14.1566 Ware hawks for the chap puking
Present in Cornell fragment (JJA 14.138)
a covey of [cancelled in red]
"the votaries not flying in coveys, but sorted into couples:"
Swift MOS 185
U 14.505: sitting snug with a covey of wags
"covey" replaces "party" between first extant draft and TS V.B.12.a
(JJA 14.37, 14.179)
thorn in the flesh [cancelled in red]
"and thus the thorn in the flesh serves for a spur to the spirit"
Swift MOS 186
Present in first and second extant drafts (JJA 14.44, 14.99).
Not crossed off on JJA 14.99, but "made his heart bleed" is written
in the margin. Replaced by "made his heart weep" on UWM typescript (JJA
14.143) and at U 14.679.
"A twofold result of evil would follow:"
De Quincey EOE 55
"he sat with eyes upraised, like one that prayed in sorrow, under some extremity of doubt,"
De Quincey EMC 374
hurricane [cancelled in red]
"ah! What a sublime thing does courage seem, when some fearful summons on the great deeps of life carried a man, as if running before a hurricane, up to the giddy crest"
De Quincey EMC 374
? U 7.399 Throw him out and shut the door, the editor said. There's
a hurricane blowing.
groom [cancelled in red]
"Gathering courage from the silence, the groom hoisted his burden again, and accomplished the remainder of his descent without accident."
De Quincey EOE 90
The words "burden" and "groom" appear several times on pp. 89-90.
U 14.346 she to be in guise of white and saffron, her groom in
white and grain,
"There were no naughty people among them: most of them were rich"
De Quincey EOE 34
"there arose a deep buzz of anxiety, which soon ripened into an articulate expression of fear, that the bishop would think himself bound, like the horrid eikonoclasts of 1645, to issue his decree of averruncation to the simple decoration overhead"
De Quincey EOE 36 note
"leaning for support upon some great mysteries dimly traced in the background, and commemorated in certain great church festivals by the elder churches of Christendom"
De Quincey EOE 34
cresset spearmen [uncancelled]
"Whose voice is that which calls upon the spearmen, keeping watch for ever in the turret"
De Quincey DofL 238
"a festal company of youths, revelling under a noonday blaze of light, from cressets and from bright tripods that burned fragrant woods"
De Quincey DofL 238
bequeathed by the Horn [uncancelled]
"But upon the forests of Lebanon there hung a mighty mass of overshadowing vapours, bequeathed by the morning’s storm"
De Quincey DofL 242
This note may indicate that Joyce had the "Oxen" cloudburst in mind
as early as the note-taking stage.
offense that walks [uncancelled]
"the Furies are three, who visit with retribution called from the other side of the grave offences that walk upon this;"
De Quincey LofS 408
sad truths, elder truths [uncancelled]
"So shall he read elder truths, sad truths, grand truths, fearful truths."
De Quincey LofS 412
God smote Savannah la mar [uncancelled]
"God smote Savannah-la-mar, and in one night, by earth-quake, removed her,"
De Quincey SlaM 413
& his voice swelled [cancelled in red]
"(and his voice swelled like a sanctus rising from the choir of a cathedral)"
De Quincey SlaM 414
road sank into silence [uncancelled]
"By sunset, therefore, it usually happened that, through utter exhaustion amongst men and horses, the roads sank into profound silence"
De Quincey EMC 369
"Us, our bulk and impetus charmed against peril in any collision"
De Quincey EMC 371
1 1/2 min, 70 sec—[uncancelled]
"Between them and eternity, to all human calculation, there is but a minute and a half."
De Quincey EMC 373
"must, within seventy seconds, stand before the judgment-seat of God"
De Quincey EMC 374
sweet moonlight, dreamlight [uncancelled]
fluttering, whispering love [uncancelled]
"From the silence and deep peace of this saintly summer night—from the pathetic blending of this sweet moonlight, dawnlight, dreamlight—from the manly tenderness of this flattering, whispering, murmuring love—"
De Quincey EMC 376
combustion of heretics [cancelled in red]
"He was rather urgent, indeed, on the combustion of the heretic Michael Servetus some years past"
Landor S&M 47
U 14.385 combustion
Added between first extant draft and TS V.B 12.a (JJA 14.29,
14.177). This earthly combustion parallels the hellish "blister of combustion’
which the senior Hamlet lacks in the Browne parody.
Who supposes it? [cancelled in red]
"Who supposes it? Whatever is mild and kindly is there"
Landor S&M 46
U 14.1115 Who supposes it?
Present in UWM typescript (JJA 14.151). Landor’s Montaigne is
here defending the New Testament against Calvin’s interpretation. In "Oxen"
Stephen is describing himself as Holy Ghost, "lord and giver of life" (U
14.1116), through his bardic art, to the phantoms of the past.
Reminder of my errors (SD to Lynch) [cancelled in red]
"They remind me of my own family"
Landor S&M 50
U 14.1124-25 All could see how hard it was for him to be reminded him of his promise and of his recent loss.
Present in UWM typescript (JJA 14.151). "They" are the tattered
banners of the Montaigne family, reminding Scaliger of his own lineage.
Montaigne goes on to reject the importance of familial heritage, just as
Stephen seeks to escape from his.
"As for that grassmonger, he shall eat this rasher of bacon with me this blessed night, or I’ll be damned:"
Landor B&S 119
Painful to be born [cancelled in red]
"Lord Bacon conjectures that it may be as painful to be born as to die."
De Quincey EOE 224
U 14.1165 It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision
as to be born.
obligated [cancelled in red]
"The moneys are given to such men, that they may not incline nor be obligated to any vile or lowly occupation"
Landor QE&C 7
U 14.1471 Obligated awful.
"obliged" added, with "at" inserted above "ge", in Cornell fragment
What then? [uncancelled]
"The keeper of my privy-seal is an earl: what then?"
Landor QE&C 10
propensely [cancelled in red]
"Those are the worst of suicides, who voluntarily and propensely stab or suffocate their fame, when God hath commanded them to stand on high for an example."
Landor QE&C 9
U 14.1162 perhaps this draught of his may serve me more propensely.
Present in UWM typescript (JJA 14.152).
That, said master of shop, was once [cancelled in red]
"’That,’ said the master of the shop, ‘was once a leading merchant in our town….’"
De Quincey EOE 42
U 14.1117-18 That answer and those leaves, Vincent said to him, will adorn you
"That" replaces "The" in source typescript (B) (U-G 894.01).
This entry from De Quincey appears solitary in a group of entries from
Landor and Hazlitt. Joyce seems to have used it for the sequence "That…said…was
In yr. ear! [cancelled in red]
"let me whisper it in your ear"
Landor B&D 71
U 14.1153 And in your ear, my friend
Present in UWM typescript (JJA 14.151). The Duchess de Fontange
is telling Bossuet of the compliments that have been paid to her beauty.
On the same page she says that Louis XIV sat with her and held her hand,
"when he might have romped with me and kissed me," which may have become
"mad romp that she is" (NS 19.71; U 14.1152-53). Bossuet warns that
if she accepts flattery, "you are undone," which may be the source for
Phyllis’ "I am undone" (No NS entry; U 14.1134).