The Oxen of the Sun

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  • Topic: Thou
  • Pages : 7 (2805 words )
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  • Published : April 22, 2013
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The Oxen of the sun.
1) But one evening, says Mr Dixon, when the lord Harry was cleaning his royal pelt to go to dinner after winning a boatrace (he had spade oars for himself but the first rule of the course was that the others were to row with pitchforks) he discovered in himself a wonderful likeness to a bull and on picking up a blackthumbed chapbook that he kept in the pantry he found sure enough that he was a lefthanded descendant of the famous champion bull of the Romans, Bos Bovum, which is good bog Latin for boss of the show. After that, says Mr Vincent, the lord Harry put his head into a cow's drinkingtrough in the presence of all his courtiers and pulling it out again told them all his new name. Then, with the water running off him, he got into an old smock and skirt that had belonged to his grandmother and bought a grammar of the bulls' language to study but he could never learn a word of it except the first personal pronoun which he copied out big and got off by heart and if ever he went out for a walk he filled his pockets with chalk to write it upon what took his fancy, the side of a rock or a teahouse table or a bale of cotton or a corkfloat. In short, he and the bull of Ireland were soon as fast friends as an arse and a shirt. 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, loaded themselves and their bundles of chattels on shipboard, set all masts erect, manned the yards, sprang their luff, heaved to, spread three sheets in the wind, put her head between wind and water, weighed anchor, ported her helm, ran up the jolly Roger, gave three times three, let the bullgine run, pushed off in their bumboat and put to sea to recover the main of America.

2) Valuing himself not a little upon his elegance, being indeed a proper man of person, this talkative now applied himself to his dress with animadversions of some heat upon the sudden whimsy of the atmospherics while the company lavished their encomiums upon the project he had advanced. The young gentleman, his friend, overjoyed as he was at a passage that had late befallen him, could not forbear to tell it his nearest neighbour. Mr Mulligan, now perceiving the table, asked for whom were those loaves and fishes and, seeing the stranger, he made him a civil bow and said, Pray, sir, was you in need of any professional assistance we could give? Who, upon his offer, thanked him very heartily, though preserving his proper distance, and replied that he was come there about a lady, now an inmate of Horne's house, that was in an interesting condition, poor body, from woman's woe (and here he fetched a deep sigh) to know if her happiness had yet taken place. Mr Dixon, to turn the table, took on to ask of Mr Mulligan himself whether his incipient ventripotence, upon which he rallied him, betokened an ovoblastic gestation in the prostatic utricle or male womb or was due, as with the noted physician, Mr Austin Meldon, to a wolf in the stomach. For answer Mr Mulligan, in a gale of laughter at his smalls, smote himself bravely below the diaphragm, exclaiming with an admirable droll mimic of Mother Grogan (the most excellent creature of her sex though 'tis pity she's a trollop): There's a belly that never bore a bastard. 

3) A sigh of affection gave eloquence to these words and, having replaced the locket in his bosom, he wiped his eye and sighed again. Beneficent Disseminator of blessings to all Thy creatures, how great and universal must be that sweetest of Thy tyrannies which can hold in thrall the free and the bond, the simple swain and the polished coxcomb, the lover in the heyday of reckless passion and the husband of maturer years. But indeed, sir, I wander from the point. How mingled and imperfect are all our sublunary joys. Maledicity! he exclaimed in anguish. Would to God that foresight had but remembered me to take my cloak...
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