Aggressively caricaturing Stephen's expectation of sympathy, Mulligan charges that "you sulk with me because I don't whinge like some hired mute from Lalouette's." In Victorian and Edwardian Britain, these professional mourners were hired to stand around the home, church, or cemetery, looking somber, sad, and sympathetic, and wearing certain prescribed forms of formal black dress. Lalouette’s, Gifford notes, was a Dublin mortuary whose rental services included mutes.

JH 2011

Victorian mutes. Source: ladygraceflowers.webs.com.