studies lighting the fire. Stephen closed the door quietly and approached the fireplace.
----Good morning, sir! Can I help you?
The priest looked up quickly and said:
----One moment now, Mr Dedalus, and you will see. There is an art in lighting a fire. We have the liberal arts and we have the useful arts. This is one of the useful arts.
----I will try to learn it, said Stephen.
----Not too much coal, said the dean, working briskly at his task, that is one of the secrets.
He produced four candlebutts from the side-pockets of his soutane and placed them deftly among the coals and twisted papers. Stephen watched him in silence. Kneeling thus on the flagstone to kindle the fire and busied with the disposition of his wisps of paper and candlebutts he seemed more than ever a humble server making ready the place of sacrifice in an empty temple, a levite of the Lord. Like a levite's robe of plain linen the faded worn soutane draped the kneeling figure of one whom the canonicals or the bellbordered ephod would irk and trouble. His very body had waxed old in lowly service of the Lord----in tending the fire upon the altar, in bearing tidings secretly, in waiting upon worldlings, in striking swiftly when bidden----and yet had remained ungraced by aught of saintly or of prelatic beauty. Nay, his very soul had waxed old in that service without growing towards light and beauty or spreading abroad a sweet odour of her sanctity----a mortified will no more responsive to the thrill of its obedience than was to the thrill of love or combat his ageing body, spare and sinewy, greyed with a silverpointed down.
The dean rested back on his hunkers and watched the sticks catch. Stephen, to fill the silence, said:
----I am sure I could not light a fire.
----You are an artist, are you not, Mr Dedalus? said the dean, glancing up and blinking his pale eyes. The object