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by James Joyce

Ulysses Episode 10: The Wandering Rocks Summary

This episode consists of nineteen short vignettes featuring a large number of characters wandering about the streets of Dublin simultaneously. The action starts off at 3pm. Characters from one vignette often appear briefly in another, as noted below. In this Shmoop guide, each of the vignettes is separated by a space.

  • The Reverend John Conmee S.J. comes down the steps of the church. He thinks of Marty Cunningham's request that he take up a collection for the children of Paddy Dignam.
  • A onelegged sailor asks him for money, and as Conmee crosses into Mountjoy Square he thinks of all the men who suffered war wounds because they served their king and not their god.
  • Conmee makes small talk with the wife of Mr. David Sheep M.P., and then takes his leave.
  • Conmee thinks of Father Bernard's Vaughan's cockney accent and smiles. He reminds himself to get a letter to the father provincial.
  • Conmee stops some Belvedere schoolboys, and gets one of them to go drop his letter in the box.
  • Mr. Denis J. Maginni passes Conmee, and Conmee admires the bust of Mrs. M'Guinness.
  • As Conmee passes a shutup (boarded up) church, he thinks disparagingly (in a mean or belittling manner) of the Protestant faith.
  • Conmee turns the corner onto North Circular road, and greets some schoolboys there. He turns onto North Strand road and salutes Mr. William Gallaher. He sees a newsboard about the steamboat accident in New York. He thinks what a pity it is, and then thinks that at least it was a perfect contrition.
  • Conmee continues to greet people in the street, and admiring a bargeman on a turfbarge, he thinks about the kindness of the Creator.
  • On Newcomen Bridge, Conmee steps onto an outward bound tram just as Nicholas Dudley steps onto an inward bound one.
  • Conmee looks at his ticket and thinks that the inspectors only check tickets when you don't have them. He observes an awkward man across from him and an old woman and thinks about how they might act in church. He imagines the man's head shaking as he tried to give him communion, and the woman repeatedly asking for forgiveness long after he's given it to her.
  • A black man, Eugen Stratton, grins at Conmee and he thinks about the souls of people of other races and how they should increase their missionary efforts to reach all of them.
  • Father Conmee gets off at Howth road.
  • As Conmee walks down Malahide Road, he confuses a story about Lord Plunkett with that of Lord Talbot. Plunkett was to be married, but was called from the altar into battle and killed.
  • Conmee thinks of Mary Belvedere, accused of adultery with her brother-in-law. He can't imagine why humans have to do such disgusting things to procreate.
  • Conmee imagines himself as "Don John," as in Don Juan. He admires the clouds.
  • Conmee pulls out his book of the Divine Office and begins saying his daily prayers.
  • A young man and woman emerge from fooling around in the bushes, and Conmee blesses them gravely.

  • Meanwhile, Corny Kelleher, at the funeral home, examines a coffin lid. He wanders over to the door and sees Conmee hop onto a tram (as he did in the brief section above).
  • Conmee makes small talk with a constable passing by, and on Eccles Street Molly Bloom flings a coin out of her window.

  • The onelegged sailor (from section one) goes around begging. He passes Katey and Boody Dedalus, and nearby J.J. O'Molloy looks for Mr. Lambert.
  • A stout lady gives him a coin. On Eccles Street, some barefoot children stop to stare at his leg. Molly flings a coin from her window, and when of the children picks it up off the sidewalk and gives it to him.

  • Katey Dedalus enters their kitchen and announces that she had no luck selling off their books. Katey and Boody complain about how little there is to eat it, and Maggy serves them a soup she has made. Sister Mary Patrick donated the soup to them.
  • Maggy announces that their sister Dilly has gone to see their father, Simon. Boody prays "Our father who art not in heaven" (10.110). Maggy scolds her for making fun of their father and for being blasphemous; the throwaway that Bloom tossed into the Liffey in Episode 8 comes floating down the river.

  • Blazes Boylan prepares a fruit basket in the fancy English shop Thornton's. The H.E.L.Y.'s boys wearing sandwich boards pass by the shop.
  • Meanwhile, Bloom is looking at books under Merchant's arch. As Boylan is paying, he looks down the girl's blouse and flirts with her shamelessly, taking a red carnation and putting it in his teeth. He asks to use her telephone.

  • Stephen's voice teacher, Almidano Artifoni, compliments him in Italian and suggests that he pursue a music career.
  • Stephen responds in equally fluent Italian, and acts flattered.
  • Artifoni runs, in vain, to catch the Dalkey tram. Some Scottish band boys playing the bicycle races at Trinity pass their instruments through the school gates.

  • Miss Dunne, Boylan's secretary, puts away the sensationalist book that she has gotten from the library. She thinks that the plot is too mysterious.
  • The H.E.L.Y.'s boys pass by and she thinks about going out on the town if Boylan lets her off on time.
  • She takes a call, and as she is writing down the figures, Boylan calls. She informs him that Lenehan wants to meet at the Ormond Hotel at 4pm.

  • As J.J. O'Molloy enters New Lambert's warehouse, Lambert is giving a brief tour to the reverend Hugh C. Love. Love wants to write a history book, and Lambert tells him what he knows about how the warehouse used to be saint Mary's abbey. They make an arrangement to meet again later.
  • Lambert tells O'Molloy a joke he considered passing on to Love, but then worries he wouldn't appreciate it.
  • They begin to discuss O'Molloy's financial troubles, but Lambert goes into a sneezing fit.

  • Tom Rochford shows his invention to Nosey Flynn, Lenehan, and M'Coy. Lenehan says that he'll pass on the idea to Boylan when he sees him at the Ormond Hotel. Lenehan and M'Coy exit.
  • Lenehan and M'Coy recount a heroic instance in which Rochford pulled a man out of a manhole.
  • M'Coy goes into Sceptre to check on a horse that he's betting on. Inside he bumps into Bantam Lyons who is betting on the long-shot that (he thinks) Bloom gave him in Episode 5.
  • Lenehan and M'Coy continue on and see Bloom looking at books under Merchant's Arch. M'Coy recounts a time that Bloom bought a book on astronomy, and Lenehan laughs.
  • Lenehan recounts a time riding back in a carriage with the Blooms when he and Molly fooled around on the seat while Bloom was sitting right there looking out at the stars and naming them. He pants with laughter.
  • M'Coy sticks up for Bloom and thinks that there is a touch of the artist in him.

  • Under Merchant's Arch, Bloom looks through the books at a stand. He searches for something that Molly would like and finds Sweets of Sin.
  • People in the street watch Dennis J. Maginni pass by.
  • Bloom reads an erotic passage from it and imagines Molly as the female character in the book lusting after him.
  • An elderly female who just took place in a case of lunacy passes out of the court.
  • The shopkeeper comes out coughing and spitting disgustingly.
  • Bloom buys Sweets of Sin, and the shopkeeper tells him it is a good one.

  • Dilly Dedalus stands outside the door of Dillon's auctionrooms and listens to the lacquey ring the bell.
  • Her father, Simon, comes around the corner and looks a bit sauced. He tries to act fatherly and tells her stands up straight, but she says everyone is looking at him.
  • She asks him for money and he says he doesn't have any.
  • He thinks that his daughters have turned into "an insolent pack of little bitches" (10.395).
  • He gives her two shillings that he said he borrowed from Jack Power, but denies that he has anything beyond that.
  • Dilly does not believe him, but he wanders off all the same.
  • The viceregal cavalcade (royal procession) begins its journey.

  • Tom Kernan grabs a gin on his way back to work and makes small talk with Mr. Crimmins. They discuss the steamboat accident in America.
  • Simon Dedalus and Father Cowley greet one another.
  • Bloom's throwaway (the newspaper he threw into the river) floats down the Liffey.
  • Kernan wanders past the place where the patriot Robert Emmet was hanged, drawn and quartered.
  • He sees Dennis Breen come out of John Henry Menton's office where he tried to file his complaint regarding the "U.P." postcard.
  • Kernan remembers affectionately Ben Dollard's song The Croppy Boy about Robert Emmet.
  • He sees the cavalcade and rushes toward it, but just misses it by a hair.

  • Simon observes the jeweler, Thomas Russell, at work on an old chain.
  • Stephen wanders down to Bedford row, admires a picture of some boxers, and stops at a bookcart.
  • He wonders if any of these are the prize books he won in school. As he looks at the thumbed pages, he wonders who has read the books before him.
  • Dilly comes up and stops him. She has bought a French primer in an effort to learn French. Stephen tries to act as if this is only natural.
  • Looking at her, Stephen thinks, "She is drowning. Agenbite. Save her. Agenbite. All against us. She will drown me with her, eyes and hair. Lank coils of seaweed hair around me, my heart, my soul. Salt green death" (10. 477).
  • He is torn between the desire to pull her out of her miserable situation, and the fear of being dragged into it with her.

  • Simon Dedalus and Father Cowley make small talk. Cowley tells him about his debts to the Jewish moneylender, Reuben J. Dodd.
  • Ben Dollard comes by wearing ill-fitting clothes. Dedalus gives him a hard time, and he briefly becomes angry.
  • The madman Cashel Farrell wanders past the Kildare Street club.
  • Hugh C. Love also walks past, and Cowley identifies him.
  • Dollard tells Cowley that Dodd's writ won't stand and the three move on together.

  • Martin Cunningham has taken up a collection for the Dignam children. Jack Power and John Wyse Nolan discuss ideas for raising money with him.
  • They discuss Bloom's five shilling donation, and Nolan, with his tongue in his cheek, says, "There is much kindness in the jew" (10.540).
  • They pass Boylan talking to Jack Mooney's brother in law.
  • They meet up with the subsheriff Long John Fanning and Jimmy Henry. Cunningham and Power tell them about Dignam.
  • The cavalcade passes and they all stop to acknowledge it.

  • Buck Mulligan and Haines are getting coffee.
  • Mulligan points out John Howard Parnell, Charles Stewart's brother, playing chess in the corner.
  • Mulligan tells Haines that he missed Stephen's Hamlet discussion, and Haines says Shakespeare is "the happy hunting-ground of all minds that have lost their balance" (10.582).
  • The onelegged sailor passes them.
  • Haines wonders that Stephen has such a fixed idea in his head, one so focused upon morality and a sense of destiny. He thinks that this cannot be found in the Irish myths.
  • Mulligan says Stephen lost his wits due to repeatedly being shown visions of hell as a child. He predicts that he will write something in ten years.
  • Haines thinks that is a long way off.
  • Bloom's throwaway continues to move down the Liffey.

  • Stephen's voice instructor, Artifoni, and Cashel Farrell pass each other in the street. Farrell walks to the corner of Merrion Square and continues down Claire Street.
  • He bumps the cane of the blind stripling (young man) that Bloom helped in Episode 8, but does not help him.
  • The stripling curses Farrell.

  • Patrick Dignam's oldest son is returning home with some porksteaks that he has been sent to fetch.
  • He thinks of how boring it is to sit in mourning.
  • He stops to look at the picture of the boxers that Dedalus stopped to look at earlier. He thinks about boxing.
  • The oldest Dignam son wanders on and wonders if the other kids know that his father is dead. He thinks that if not they'll know tomorrow because his Uncle said he'd put it in the paper. He remembers how his father's coffin looked as they put the screws in and how it bumped on the stairs as they carried it down.
  • Bloom remembers the last time he saw his father, drunk and on his way back to the pub. He remembers his father telling him to be a good son to ma before he headed out. Bloom hopes that his father is in purgatory (place where the dead do penance for their sins before going to heaven) because he remembers that he went to confession before he died.

  • We follow the path of the viceregal cavalcade (procession) that everyone has been observing and saluting from the lower gate of Phoenix Park to Mirius bazaar. The cavalcade contains William Humble earl of Dudley, and Lady Dudley, as well as several others.
  • As the cavalcade moves through the streets of Dublin, we see many of the characters that have been featured in the episode: Thomas Kernan, Simon Dedalus, Hugh C. Love, Lenehan, M'Coy Nosey Flynn, Tom Rochford, Dilly Dedalus, Buck Mulligan, Haines, John Howard Parnell, the H.E.L.Y.'s boys, Blazes Boylan, and many others.
  • Dudley acknowledges everyone's salutes, and the last line is "the salute of Almidano Artifoni's sturdy trousers swallowed by a closing door" (10.616).

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