"A misty English morning the imp hypostasis tickled his brain": strangely, Stephen pairs a most abstruse thought (how Occam imagined that Christ's body could be simultaneously present in different wafers) with a bit of a nursery rhyme from Mother Goose. This incongruous intrusion of a popular ditty in Proteus resembles another in Hades.
A common form of the nursery rhyme goes as follows:
One misty moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
And I began to grin,
How do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do again?
Does this flirtatious, silly meeting somehow cohere with
Stephen's thoughts about the Eucharist? It is conceivable that
the catchy triplet that ends the rhyme ("How do you do
. . . how do you do . . . how do you do again?")
has been sounding in his mind as, just before this, he
imagines a triplet of sacring
bells ("Dringdring! . . . Dringadring! . . .
Dringdring!") Or perhaps he is not even consciously
thinking of the rhyme. If he is, it would suggest that
Stephen's spirit is becoming lighter and more whimsical as he
moves from tortured thoughts
about clerics in the previous
paragraph to dismissal of his "holy"
phase in the next.