in the Underworld
THE ARTANE ORPHANS
You hig, you hog, you dirty dog!
You think the ladies love you!
Bloom is pictured
with asses’ ears, arms crossed, sitting in a pillory. The Prison Gate girls
caper round him in a circle one way, and the orphans from the Christian Brothers’ Institute for Destitute Children (at
Artane, north-east of Dublin) caper round the other way. The Artane orphans
taunt and jeer at Bloom pitilessly. Somehow they seem to know that Bloom would
like to regard himself as a ladykiller:
You hig, you hog, you
You think the ladies
The couplet is a puzzling one. Gifford notes
that “The source of this street rhyme is unknown”. More recently, and from a
non-Joycean angle, the verse has attracted further interest:1
I'm trying to track down what I
expect is a very old, probably Irish, song. A guitarist I played with long ago wrote
a song that quoted a song that his Grandmother used to sing. The part that I
remember went like this....
You pig, you hog, you dirty dog
Ya think the girls all love ya
Grand as you think yerself to be
I think myself above ya
When the rhyme does surface - as it does
occasionally - it has an unexpected context, but one to which Bloom has alluded
earlier in Circe.
On Valentine’s Day, 1849 Betsy Pumpkin
writes a letter to her sister Kitty Cucumber, one of a series of her letters
written for the benefit of readers of Bell’s
Life in Sydney. As well as describing a court case that Doodle Pumpkin, of
the Artificial Flower Manufactory, Sydney, has become involved in, she tells
her sister of Doodle’s growing correspondence:2
useless for one to relate the whole of the Valentines that my poor
Doodle has received, - one of which, for I'll not trouble
with any more, shows with what scorn and contempt he has been treated, after
putting us to the expense of the postage, the following
we have received: -
think the girls all love
ugly beast, not fit for a feast,
For the New
Zealanders to eat
Your beautiful locks,
it every one shocks;
're a beauty;
Your mistaken my
dear, in your seventeenth year,
your faults, it's my duty.
would give all the world to find out who wrote this, but I suppose it was one
of Doodles old favorites.
The final comment seems rather confusing,
until one realises that this is a rather special kind of Valentine
anti-message, lovingly pouring vituperation and scorn upon the object of one’s
Fifty years later the same verse is used
in another mock-insulting message from a wife to her husband, recording in the
typescript Diary of Josiah Cocking:3
This is a copy of
Mrs. Reed’s letter in reply to that of W. Reed […]:
"Camperdown, Sep. 27,
1892. Dirty old Reed, I got your insulting ignorant note, & it is like your
] ignorance to
address me in the manner you have. […] I am going to be married to a proper
husband soon. An old, bad brute like you is not fit for my company. […] With
hatred to you for ever. You pig, you hog, you dirty dog, you think that I do
love you; I sent you this to let you know I think myself far above you."
The rhyme is not
restricted to Ireland and Australia. As Joyce was completing Ulysses the following story was told in
the (Hull) Daily Mail, summing up an
earlier discussion in the newspaper:4
The elegant tone
affected by the – er – third sex in their epistles favouring “A Male” with
their opinions of him reminds me of a valentine I once saw in a back-street
shop window. It was a coloured picture of something between a monkey and a man,
and the letterpress beneath it read: -
"You pig, you hog;
You nasty, dirty, dog;
Do you think the ladies love you?
They think themselves above you."
I am, Sir, etc.,
Squibs and Crackers
Hull, Dec. 3
the Artane orphans are made to taunt Joyce with this aggressive verse wrested from
another context, Bloom is perhaps reminded of his lusty wanderings earlier:
know I had a soft corner for you.
’Twas I sent you that
valentine of the dear gazelle. (
http://www.irishgaelictranslator.com/translation/topic78585.html (accessed 1 May 2015). Original contribution dated 6
2 Bell’s Life
in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer
(Sydney, New South Wales) (1849), 24 February, p. 1.
3 Diary of Josiah Cocking (1892) (University of Newcastle library, New South
Wales) (https://downloads.newcastle.edu.au/library/cultural%20collections/pdf/Cocking-A-1884-1893.pdf) p. 90.
4 Daily Mail (Hull) (1921), 5 December, p. 7. A similar rhyme is
recorded in Northwest Folklore (University
of Oregon), vol 6 (1987), p. 27:
You pig, you hog, You dirty dog
You think your Mother loves you.
She sent this note, Just to denote
She thinks herself above you.