Mulligan says that he stole his shaving mirror from "the skivvy's room" in his parents' house. "Skivvy" is British slang for a female servant who does menial domestic labor like housecleaning—not far from the role of dogsbody that Mulligan has just assigned to Stephen. To the injury of stealing possessions from this very poor woman, Mulligan adds an insult about her looks and behavior: "The aunt always keeps plainlooking servants for Malachi. Lead him not into temptation. And her name is Ursula." The allusion to the Lord’s Prayer (“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”) is compounded by a reference to Ursula, a 3rd century Christian martyr passionately devoted to virginity.

JH 2011

The martyred St. Ursula, in a painting attributed to Hans Burgkmair, ca. 1440-50. Source: www.wilsonsalmanac.com.