—Take that one, sir. That’s the real Ally Daly.
Why did Mr Barrett in Clongowes call his pandybat a turkey? But Clongowes was far away: and the warm heavy smell of turkey and ham and celery rose from the plates and dishes and the great fire was banked high and red in the grate and the green ivy and red holly made you feel so happy and when dinner was ended the big plum pudding would be carried in, studded with peeled almonds and sprigs of holly, with bluish fire running around it and a little green flag flying from the top.
It was his first Christmas dinner and he thought of his little brothers and sisters who were waiting in the nursery, as he had often waited, till the pudding came. The deep low collar and the Eton jacket made him feel queer and oldish: and that morning when his mother had brought him down to the parlour, dressed for mass, his father had cried. That was because he was thinking of his own father. And uncle Charles had said so too.
Mr Dedalus covered the dish and began to eat hungrily. Then he said:
—Poor old Christy, he’s nearly lopsided now with roguery.
—Simon, said Mrs Dedalus, you haven’t given Mrs Riordan any sauce.
Mr Dedalus seized the sauceboat.
—Haven’t I? he cried. Mrs Riordan, pity the poor blind. Dante covered her plate with her hands and said:
Mr Dedalus turned to uncle Charles.
—How are you off, sir?
—Right as the mail, Simon.
—I’m all right. Go on yourself.
—Mary? Here, Stephen, here’s something to make your hair curl.
He poured sauce freely over Stephen’s plate and set the boat again on the table. Then he asked uncle Charles was it tender. Uncle Charles could not speak because his mouth was full; but he nodded that it was.
—That was a good answer our friend made to the canon. What? said Mr Dedalus.
—I didn’t think he had that much in him, said Mr Casey.
—I’LL PAY YOUR DUES, FATHER, WHEN YOU CEASE TURNING THE HOUSE OF GOD INTO A POLLING-BOOTH.
—A nice answer, said Dante, for any man calling himself a catholic to give to his priest.
—They have only themselves to blame, said Mr Dedalus suavely. If they took a fool’s advice they would confine their attention to religion.
—It is religion, Dante said. They are doing their duty in warning the people.
—We go to the house of God, Mr Casey said, in all humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear election addresses.
—It is religion, Dante said again. They are right. They must direct their flocks.
—And preach politics from the altar, is it? asked Mr Dedalus.
—Certainly, said Dante. It is a question of public morality. A priest would not be a priest if he did not tell his flock what is right and what is wrong.
Mrs Dedalus laid down her knife and fork, saying: