Bone them young

The cruelties depicted in Ruby: the Pride of the Ring turn Bloom's thoughts to acts that he has personally witnessed in circuses: "Cruelty behind it all. Doped animals. Trapeze at Hengler's. Had to look the other way. Mob gaping. Break your neck and we'll break our sides. Families of them. Bone them young so they metempsychosis." The training of trapeze acrobats from a very young age, so that they could carry on a family tradition, strangely brings him back to the word whose appearance in the novel Molly has asked him about.

JH 2017

Carte de visite portrait of two child trapeze artists, ca. 1860s-70s. Source:

1892 program for "Hengler's Grand Cirque." Source: