visiting a mistress

His eyes passed lightly over Mr Power’s goodlooking face. Greyish over the ears. Madame: smiling. I smiled back. A smile goes a long way. Only politeness perhaps. Nice fellow. Who knows is that true about the woman he keeps? Not pleasant for the wife. Yet they say, who was it told me, there is no carnal. You would imagine that would get played out pretty quick. Yes, it was Crofton met him one evening bringing her a pound of rumpsteak. What is this she was? Barmaid in Jury’s. Or the Moira, was it?

They passed under the hugecloaked Liberator’s form.

Martin Cunningham nudged Mr Power.

—Of the tribe of Reuben, he said.

A tall blackbearded figure, bent on a stick, stumping round the corner of Elvery’s Elephant house, showed them a curved hand open on his spine.

—In all his pristine beauty, Mr Power said.

Mr Dedalus looked after the stumping figure and said mildly:

—The devil break the hasp of your back!

Mr Power, collapsing in laughter, shaded his face from the window as the carriage passed Gray’s statue.

—We have all been there, Martin Cunningham said broadly.

His eyes met Mr Bloom’s eyes. He caressed his beard, adding:

—Well, nearly all of us.


elverys-elephant-houseI wondered what the reference to “the hugecloaked Liberator’s form.” meant. I found out that it’s referring the to the statue of Daniel O’Connell. ( source ) 

This passage also mentions Elvrery’s Elephant House, which was a sporting goods store and rubber merchant in Dublin at the time. The store had a large elephant display in the front. ( source ) 

I assume the “tall blackbearded figure, bent on a stick” is a Jewish man. The blatant anti-Semitism of his carriage mates obviously make Bloom uncomfortable.  His isolation and his discomfort is an obvious reference to Bloom being in hell.