Aggressively caricaturing Stephen's expectation of sympathy in Telemachus, Mulligan charges that "you sulk with me because I don't whinge like some hired mute from Lalouette's." In Victorian and Edwardian Britain, professional mourners called mutes 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 was a Dublin mortuary whose rental services included mutes.

JH 2011

Victorian mutes. Source: