Quarter to

At the end of Telemachus Stephen recalls words from the prayer for the dying in a peculiar way, clipping three phrases from the longer text: "Liliata rutilantium. / Turma circumdet. / Iubilantium te virginum." At the end of Calypso Bloom does something similar, repeating a phrase three times on separate lines of the novel's text: "Heigho! Heigho! / Heigho! Heigho! / Heigho! Heigho!" Only after a reader carefully considers the second of these details can the first one make any sense. In separate locations, and filtered through dissimilar sensibilities, the two men must be hearing the same time of day announced by ringing bells. That time is "Quarter to," 8:45 AM. Later chapters will show Stephen, Bloom, and Molly all hearing the time through the bells of St. George's church.

JH 2020

Bells in St. Mary's Church, Felmersham, Bedfordshire. Source: www.felmersham.net.

The tunes of the Westminster Quarters, scored for five bells. Source: www.goathlandstmary.com.

A studio recording of the Westminster Quarters. Source: www.youtube.com.

Page from All the Prettiest Nursery Rhymes (London: Morrison & Gibb, 1896?). Source: ufdc.ufl.edu.

Page from Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes (Chicago: Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1896). Source: www.klinebooks.com.