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It is 1 p.m. Bloom continues his wanderings through the streets of Dublin. He has memories of his past life. He is obsessed by memories of his wife’s lovers. It is lunchtime. But the sight of a crowd of men eating is too disgusting for his heightened sensibilities. He recoils from the restaurant. First he passes by a sweet shop. Thoughts of food and the approaching lunch hour come to him. He is handed a religious pamphlet, with the opening phrase "Blood of the Lamb." He thinks about evangelism. He recollects a luminous cross that had recently been marketed. He sees Stephen’s sister, Dilly, in the street. He is filled with sympathy and compassion for the motherless and poor Dedalus family. As he crosses the O’Connell Bridge he throws the religion tract into the water. He watches the seagulls swoop around. They pay no attention to the falling paper. He is filled with compassion for them. Bloom buys two buns and flings them to the birds.
A succession of advertisements catches his eye. He admires a notice attached to a barge in the river. But he is scornful of a group of sandwich men advertising Wisdom Hely’s. He recollects that he used to work for Hely, the stationer. He had good ideas for advertising tricks, which had been rejected. He feels glad that he longer works there. He remembers the difficult task of collecting payments from the nunneries. He had been employed by Hely’s immediately after his marriage. Rudy died ten years ago. His mind is filled with recollections of Molly as a young wife. Some of her lovers come into his memory too, such as Bartell d’Arcy, the distinguished tenor.
Two groups of policemen pass by. One group comes flushed from lunch. The other is heading in to eat. Bloom thinks of the brutality of some policemen at breaking up demonstrations and revolutionary activities in general. The sun passes behind a cloud. The sudden gloom of the day and thoughts of anarchism, rouse a moment of despair, "No one is anything." But the sun comes out again. The sight of Parnell’s brother walking by and the display of telescopes and binoculars in a store window divert his thoughts and cheer him up. He dreams of mixing with astronomers and finding the answer to the question that keeps running through his mind. He moves past the rich displays of luxury goods in the windows of Grafton Street shops. He revives briefly his earlier vision of Dublin as a splendid exotic oriental market-place.
Bloom goes into Burton’s restaurant. But he is overwhelmed with nausea at the sight of the gobbling diners. Instead, he goes to Davy Byrne’s. He enjoys a light, vegetarian snack. Nosey Flynn is in the bar, and he talks with Bloom about Molly and her forthcoming tour. The name of Blazes Boylan crops up. It distresses him for a moment. After his lunch, Bloom begins to feel more relaxed. He takes in the scene at the bar and meditates on eating and on erotic orgies with some equanimity. He remembers moments in his courtship. He determines to visit the museum, to enjoy the ideal and tranquil beauty of the statuary. After Bloom leaves the bar, the others speak of him briefly. He is, they agree, "not too bad." "Give the devil his due. O, Bloom has his good points."
Bloom continues his walk. He responds cheerfully to the various scenes around him. He helps a young blind man to cross the road. As he moves along, he is stunned by the sight ahead of him of "Straw hat in sunlight. Tan shoes. Turned-up trousers." It is presumably Blazes Boylan. Bloom darts aside into the museum. Boylan does not see him. Bloom ritualistically checks his pockets, finds his soap and feels safe.