As Haines tries to ingratiate himself with Stephen, Stephen thinks sullenly that the friendly overtures are motivated by guilt: "Speaking to me. They wash and tub and scrub. Agenbite of inwit. Conscience. Yet here's a spot." He reads into Haines’ solicitude about all things Irish a conscience desperate to atone for all the blood on English hands. Two different literary evocations of the gnawing action of conscience, one medieval and one early modern, inform his thoughts.

JH 2011

Lady Macbeth, in an unknown performance. Source: macbethmuskanaulakh.weebly.com.