—By hell, I’m delighted with that name. A smiler.
A stout student who stood below them on the steps said:
—Come back to the mistress, Temple. We want to hear about that.
—He had, faith, Temple said. And he was a married man too. And all the priests used to be dining there. By hell, I think they all had a touch.
—We shall call it riding a hack to spare the hunter, said Dixon.
—Tell us, Temple, O’Keeffe said, how many quarts of porter have you in you?
—All your intellectual soul is in that phrase, O’Keeffe, said Temple with open scorn.
He moved with a shambling gait round the group and spoke to Stephen.
—Did you know that the Forsters are the kings of Belgium? he asked.
Cranly came out through the door of the entrance hall, his hat thrust back on the nape of his neck and picking his teeth with care.
—And here’s the wiseacre, said Temple. Do you know that about the Forsters?
He paused for an answer. Cranly dislodged a figseed from his teeth on the point of his rude toothpick and gazed at it intently.
—The Forster family, Temple said, is descended from Baldwin the First, king of Flanders. He was called the Forester. Forester and Forster are the same name. A descendant of Baldwin the First, captain Francis Forster, settled in Ireland and married the daughter of the last chieftain of Clanbrassil. Then there are the Blake Forsters. That’s a different branch.
—From Baldhead, king of Flanders, Cranly repeated, rooting again deliberately at his gleaming uncovered teeth.
—Where did you pick up all that history? O’Keeffe asked.
—I know all the history of your family, too, Temple said, turning to Stephen. Do you know what Giraldus Cambrensis says about your family?
—Is he descended from Baldwin too? asked a tall consumptive student with dark eyes.
—Baldhead, Cranly repeated, sucking at a crevice in his teeth.
—PERNOBILIS ET PERVETUSTA FAMILIA, Temple said to Stephen.
The stout student who stood below them on the steps farted briefly. Dixon turned towards him, saying in a soft voice:
—Did an angel speak?
Cranly turned also and said vehemently but without anger:
—Goggins, you’re the flamingest dirty devil I ever met, do you know.
—I had it on my mind to say that, Goggins answered firmly. It did no one any harm, did it?
—We hope, Dixon said suavely, that it was not of the kind known to science as a PAULO POST FUTURUM.
—Didn’t I tell you he was a smiler? said Temple, turning right and left. Didn’t I give him that name?
—You did. We’re not deaf, said the tall consumptive.
Cranly still frowned at the stout student below him. Then, with a snort of disgust, he shoved him violently down the steps.
—Go away from here, he said rudely. Go away, you stinkpot. And you are a stinkpot.
Goggins skipped down on to the gravel and at once returned to his place with good humour. Temple turned back to Stephen and asked: