Balm of Gilead

The "Junius"-like voice which accuses Bloom of hypocrisy for criticizing  the rowdy young wankers in the hospital when he himself is guilty of substituting masturbation for conjugal bliss describes his moral pronouncements as a "balm of Gilead." The reference would seem to be to a biblical-era healing substance, but Joyce seems also to be slyly alluding to a late 18th century patent medicine that was produced and marketed by a hugely successful Irish-born Jewish doctor.

JH 2018

Portrait of Samuel Solomon, M.D. taken from a painting by I. Steel, held in the Liverpool Central Records Office and photographed by Arnold Lewis. Solomon's  hand rests on his book A Guide to Health, or advice to both Sexes in Nervous and Consumptive Complaints (1796); beneath the portrait is a spurious coat of arms. Source: Gabriel Sivan, "Samuel Solomon."

Photograph by Arnold Lewis of a January 1799 advertisement held in the Liverpool Central Records Office. Source: Gabriel Sivan, "Samuel Solomon."

Two Balm of Gilead bottles, embossed to deter fraudulent imitators, held in the Jeremy M. Kemp collection, York. Source: Gabriel Sivan, "Samuel Solomon."

Another advertisement published in the 7 November 1805 issue of the London Times. Source: Gabriel Sivan, "Samuel Solomon."