Backache pills

Richie Goulding apparently works in bed because of back pains. In Proteus, Stephen imagines himself turning down Richie's offer of a hot breakfast, and Richie replying, "Sure? So much the better. We have nothing in the house but backache pills." Bloom thinks several times, compassionately, of Goulding's back problems, and, sardonically, of his patent medicine cure. He believes that Goulding's problems are a symptom of "Bright's" disease, a kidney ailment thought to have been caused by excessive alcohol consumption—a belief that coheres with Stephen's assumption that Richie would be calling for "Whusky!" in the morning hours.

JH 2015

A British brand of over-the-counter backache pills, marketed from 1920 to 1960. Source: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk.