Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:That Latin phrase (I will go in to God's altar, adapted from Psalm 42:4) is the first part of the versicle a priest says privately when beginning Mass, with the response Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam (To God, who gives joy to my youth). (As it happens, the first part is also found on the gateway into the chancel at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, through which I pass at least once a week as a member of the choir.) The whole versicle is paraphrased, with a perverse and blasphemous twist, by the two priests in the Circe episode:
—Introibo ad altare Dei.
FATHER MALACHI O'FLYNN Introibo ad altare diaboli. [I will go in to the devil's altar.]Go take part in the orgy of language and pick up Ulysses. Read it to your friends. Read it to your cellmate at the office. Just read it.
THE REVEREND MR HAINES LOVE To the devil which hath made glad my young days.