Genetic Joyce Studies - Issue 2 (Spring 2002)
Further Oxcavations: Joyce’s "Oxen" Notes from Swift, Steele, Goldsmith, Landor and De Quincey
Robert Janusko

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.

Joyce's Published Sources
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.

"ToaT" and

"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]

SlaM [Savannah-la-Mar]

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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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

scantling [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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, 14.92)

ungrates [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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 14.195)

disembowel [uncancelled]

derived from:

"In this posture he disembogues whole tempests upon his auditory"

Swift ToaT 100

Lapland [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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"

Steele 52

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 pains.

Grand Turk [cancelled in blue]


--- Cairo [uncancelled]

derived from:

"A Turk drank me off two Bottles of Wine"

Steele 45

"in your Voyage to or from Grand Cairo"

Steele 54

U 12.1369 Even the Grand Turk sent us his piastres.

"Turks" changed to "Grand Turk" on first placard (U-G 708.37).

to sot [uncancelled]

derived from:

"He continued to doze and sot"

Goldsmith 296

Herring reads "jot" where I read "sot".

queerity [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"That no Person whatsoever shall be admitted without a visible Quearity in his Aspect, or peculiar Cast of Countenance"

Steele 54

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, 14.141).

gibbosity [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"That a singular Regard be had, upon Examination, to the Gibbosity of the Gentlemen that offer themselves, as Founder’s Kinsmen"

Steele 54

U 14.855 a cropeared creature of a misshapen gibbosity

Added to second extant draft (JJA 14.115).

parish beadle [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"yet I soon died for want of a drop of something comfortable, and fairly left my body to the care of the beadle"

Goldsmith 297

U 14.558 more familiar with the justiciary and the parish beadle

Added between second extant draft and UWM typescript (JJA 14.91, 14.141).

the happiest turn to science, an heathen [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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"

Goldsmith 370

"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"

Goldsmith 371

imagined his life to be ….& that [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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"

Goldsmith 372

Such ?won’t…, glory of her own sex & astonishm.

of ours [cancelled in red] derived from:

"Such was the end of Hypatia, the glory of her own sex and the astonishment of ours."

Goldsmith 372

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]

derived from:

"but the story of Taffy in the sedan-chair was sure to set the table in a roar:"

Goldsmith 127

I was for returning [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"I was for going on without taking any notice "

Goldsmith 126

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]

derived from:

"By this means the mother country, being abridged in its commerce, grew poorer"

Goldsmith 124

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]

derived from:

"Thus shoved from shore without ill-nature to protect, or cunning to guide, or proper stores to subsist me in so dangerous a voyage"

Goldsmith 127

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]

derived from:

"and Deborah, my life, grief, you know, is dry"

Goldsmith 35

"But let us have one bottle more, Deborah, my life;"

Goldsmith 36

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]

derived from:

"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 mansions.

toothache—rheumatism [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

The squabble begins "Coleridge, therefore, was doubly in error" and continues for several pages.

De Quincey EOE 22ff

held such language [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"to sustain through twenty-four consecutive hours the else drooping animal energies"

De Quincey EOE 22

tootache (Haines) [uncancelled]

not deadly [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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)

hamated [uncancelled]

derived from:

"nothing less than a violent heat can disentangle these creatures from their hamated station of life"

Swift MOS 179

hawking [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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.

evil [uncancelled]

derived from:

"A twofold result of evil would follow:"

De Quincey EOE 55

sorrow [uncancelled]

derived from:

"he sat with eyes upraised, like one that prayed in sorrow, under some extremity of doubt,"

De Quincey EMC 374

hurricane [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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.

burden [uncancelled]

groom [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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,

naughty [uncancelled]

derived from:

"There were no naughty people among them: most of them were rich"

De Quincey EOE 34

avveruncation [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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

elders [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"So shall he read elder truths, sad truths, grand truths, fearful truths."

De Quincey LofS 412

God smote Savannah la mar [uncancelled]

derived from:

"God smote Savannah-la-mar, and in one night, by earth-quake, removed her,"

De Quincey SlaM 413

& his voice swelled [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"(and his voice swelled like a sanctus rising from the choir of a cathedral)"

De Quincey SlaM 414

road sank into silence [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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---- [uncancelled]

derived from:

"Us, our bulk and impetus charmed against peril in any collision"

De Quincey EMC 371

1 1/2 min, 70 sec—[uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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.

grassmongers [uncancelled]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"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 (JJA 14.135).

What then? [uncancelled]

derived from:

"The keeper of my privy-seal is an earl: what then?"

Landor QE&C 10

propensely [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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]

derived from:

"’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 (will)."

In yr. ear! [cancelled in red]

derived from:

"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).