People have found every sort of obscure multilingual pun in every line. A good rule of thumb is to ignore secondary echoes unless they're needed to explain Joyce's exact spellings. Eg, "commodius" seems to require "Commodus" because of the missing "o", but FW2 has restored that "o" so we can ignore Commodus altogether.
The first chapter is a condensed overview of the fundamental archetypes of human history, as Joyce saw them. [digest] We might picture it as the book's "rebooting" sequence.
The first paragraph offers a geographic metaphor of the Liffey River (ALP) flowing through Dublin past Adam and Eve's Church. Howth Castle is chosen mainly for the initials echoing "HCE", which will appear on almost every page.
For "riverrun" I like the French rêverons: "let us dream".
"vicus" can be pronounced VYcus, VEEcus, VIHcus, WIHcus or WEEcus. "Vico" is always VEEco, I think. Howth rhymes with oath.
The second paragraph seems to offer seven primary themes, as "not yet"s (but no neat theory yet accounts for these specific seven):
, the Letter, HCE, red/violet, 4 elements, mishe/tauf, Butt/Taff, Shem/Shaun, 100-letter thunderword, and Left/Right. Numerological patterns like 2, 4, 7, 12,and 29 are fundamental to Joyce's love of symmetry.
FDV: "Howth Castle & Environs! Sir Tristram had not encore arrived from North Armorica, nor stones exaggerated theirselves in Laurens county, Ga, doubling all the time, nor a voice answered mishe mishe to tufftuff thouartpatrick. Not yet had a kidson buttended an isaac not yet had twin sesthers played siege to twone Jonathan. Not a peck of malt had Shem and Son brewed & bad luck to the regginbrew was to be seen on the waterface. The story of the fall is retailed early in bed and later in life throughout most christian minstrelsy. The fall of the wall at once entailed the fall of Finnigan, and the humpty hill himself promptly sends an inquiring one well to the west in quest of his tumptytumtoes. Two facts have come down to us [...] is at the knock out in the park where there have always been oranges on the green always & ever since the Devlin first loved liffey." (Trying to simplify Hayman's FDV is awkward: the oldest layers are hardest to read, and Joyce revised continually as he wrote.)
Healy gives "Environs" the French pronunciation to rhyme with riverrun/reverons.
I.1: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29