Dog of my enemy
U 1.534-6 He walked on. Behind him he heard Buck Mulligan club with his heavy bathtowel the leader shoots of ferns or grasses.
- Down, sir! How dare you, sir!
Readers today may not realize that Buck Mulligan punishes the vegetation using the language of a dog owner of the time. "Sir" was a common term of address to a dog:
Down, Romulus, down, sir," said he to the dog, who had jumped up at the kids. "How dare you, sir? Down, I say.
(1836), ch. 30
Gently press the dog down, repeating "Down! Down Sir!" hold over him a twig or a whip; if he resist, (as most probably he may,) use the whip very lightly, and increase in severity, according to the obstinacy of the animal [...]
Breeding, training, management, diseases, &c. of dogs
(1860), p. 73
Let me hold him! He will obey me!" she cried, placing her little hand on the great dog's neck. "Down, Emperor! Down! How dare you! Down sir!
Sorrows of Satan
(1895), ch. 20
In "The Dead" we find the same term of address applied to a horse, as 'the late lamented Patrick Morkan' reached the 'statue of King Billy' on his way to a military review before his mill-horse Johnny reverted to type and started circling King William:
"Round and round he went," said Gabriel, "and the old gentleman, who was a very pompous old gentleman, was highly indignant.
'Go on, sir
What do you mean, sir
Most extraordinary conduct
Can't understand the horse
Perhaps the most nicely observed disambiguation of ‘Sir!’ comes from the German traveller in Britain, Charles Moritz (Karl Philipp Moritz), in a letter of 15 July 1782:
in English has a great variety of significations. With the appellation of
, an Englishman addresses his
, and his
in a surly tone, [signifies] a box on the ear at your service! To a dog it means a good beating.
(ed. 2, 1797), p. 260
For Stephen, who has memories of a traumatic confrontation with Mulligan's dog, this little scene may contribute to his ever deepening resentment against the ‘usurper’ of the tower.
The dog’s bark ran towards him, stopped, ran back. Dog of my enemy. I just simply stood pale, silent, bayed about. Terribilia meditans. A primrose doublet, fortune’s knave, smiled on my fear.