D.H. Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence“Not knowing what he was doing- he often did the right thing by instinct- he sat beside her, inclining reverentially.”

 

“But she felt very lonely, miles away from her own people.  She felt lonely with him now, and his presence only made it more intense.”

 

“As such, he looked spruce, and what his clothes would not do, his instinct for making the most of his good looks would.”

 

“Nothing, however, could prevent his inner conscious inflicting on him the punishment which ate into his spirit like rust, and which he could only alleviate by drinking.”

 

“He was glad.  In a minute or two they had thawed all responsibility out of him, all shame, all trouble, and he was clear as a bell for a jolly night.”

 

“Paul was laid up with an attack of bronchitis.  He did not mind much.  What happened happened, and it was no good kicking against the pricks.  He loved the evenings, after eight o’clock, when the light was put out, and he could watch the fire-flames spring over the darkness of the walls and ceiling; could watch huge shadows waving and tossing, till the room seemed full of men who battled silently.”

 

“Her movements were light and quick.  It was a pleasure to watch her.  Nothing she ever did, no movement she ever made, could have been found fault with by her children.  The room was warm and full of scent of hot linen.”

 

“So she talked to her son, almost as if she were thinking out loud to him, and he took it in as best he could, by sharing her trouble to lighten it.  And in the end she shared almost everything with him without knowing.”

 

“‘What do you want to be,’ said Mrs Morel.

’Anything.’

‘That is no answer,’ said Mrs Morel.

But it was quite truthfully the only answer he could give.  His ambition, as far as this world’s gear went, was quietly to earn his thirty or thirty-five schillings a week somewhere near home, and then, when his father died, have a cottage with his mother, paint and go out as he liked, and live happy ever after.”

 

“As they were crossing a large meadow that sloped away from the sun, along the path embedded with innumerable tiny glittering points.  Paul, walking alongside laced his fingers in the strings of the bag Miriam was carrying, and instantly she felt Annie behind, watchful and jealous. But the meadow was bathed in a glory of sunshine, and the path was jewelled, and it was seldom that he gave her any sign.  She held her fingers very still among the strings of the bag, his fingers touching; and the place was golden as a vision.”

 

“With Miriam he was always on the high plane of abstraction, when his natural fire of love was transmitted into the fine stream of thought.  She would have it so.  If he were jolly and, as she put it, flippant, she waited till he came back to her, till the change had taken place in him again, and he was wrestling with his own soul, frowning, passionate in his desire for understanding.”

 

“He had not the faintest knowledge what it really was, but he would never have sunk so low as to confess that to his womenfolk.  They had listened and believed him.  He believed himself.”

 

“‘Now,’ said Paul, beginning to frown, ‘you’re not going to take worry your soul about this, do you hear.’

‘I suppose I’m to take it as a blessing,’ she flashed, turning on her son.

‘You’re not going to mount it up to a tragedy, so there,’ he retorted.

‘The fool!– the young fool!’ she cried.

‘He’ll look well in uniform, said Paul irritatingly.

His mother turned on him like a fury.

‘Oh, will he!’ she cried. ‘Not in my eyes!’

‘He should get in a cavalry regiment; he’ll have the time of his life, and will look awful swell.’

‘Swell- swell!- a mighty swell indeed!- a common soldier!’

‘Well,’ said Paul, ‘what am I but a common clerk?’

‘A good deal, my boy!’ cried the woman, stung.

‘What?’

‘At any rate, a man, and not a thing in a red coat.’

‘I shouldn’t mind being in a red coat- or dark blue, that would suit me better- if they didn’t boss me about too much.’”

 

“‘I can’t understand why it upsets you,’ said Paul.

‘No, perhaps you can’t.  But I understand’; and she sat back in her chair, her chin in one hand, holding her elbow in the other, brimmed up with wrath and chagrin.

 

“‘Why don’t you praise me to the skies?’

She laughed.

‘I should have the trouble of dragging you down again,’ she said.”

 

“‘Why can’t you laugh?’ he said.  ‘You never laugh laughter.  You only laugh when something is odd and incongruous and then it almost seems to hurt you.’

She bowed her head as if he were scolding her.

‘I wish you could laugh at me just for one minute- just for one minute.  I feel as if it would set something free.’

‘But’- and she looked at him with eyes frightened and struggling- ‘I do laugh at you- I do.’

‘Never!  There’s always a kind of intensity.  When you laugh I could always cry; it seems as if it shows up your suffering.  Oh, you make me knit the brows of my very soul and cogitate.’

Slowly she shook her head despairingly.

‘I’m sure I don’t want to,’ she said.

‘I’m so damned spiritual with you always!’ he cried.

She remained silent, thinking.  ‘Then why don’t you be otherwise?’  But he saw her crouching, brooding figure, and it seemed to tear him in two.

‘But there; it’s autumn,’ he said, ‘and everybody feels like a disembodied spirit then.’”

 

“He dropped down the hills on his bicycle.  The roads were greasy, so he had to let it go.  He felt a pleasure as the machine plunged over the second, steeper drop in the hill.  ‘Here goes!’ he said.  It was risky, because of the curve in the darkness at the bottom, and because of the brewers’ wagons with drunken wagoneers asleep.  His bicycle seemed to fall beneath him and he loved it.  Recklessness is almost a man’s revenge on his woman.  He feels he is not valued, so he will risk destroying himself to deprive her altogether.”

 

“He could not bear to look at Miriam.  She seemed to want him, and he resisted.  He resisted all the time.  He wanted now to give her passion and tenderness, and he could not.  He felt that she wanted the soul out of his body, and not him.  All his strength and energy she drew into herself through some channel which untied them.  She did not want to meet him, so that there were two of them, man and woman together.  She wanted to draw all of him into her.  It urged him to an intensity like madness, which fascinated him, as drug-taking might.”

 

“In a vague way he hated her for it.  And he knew he was as much to blame himself.  This, however, did not prevent his hating her.”

 

“At this time he gave all his friendship to Edgar.  He loved the family so much, he loved the farm so much; it was the dearest place on earth to him.  His home was not so lovable.  It was his mother.  But then he would have been just as happy with his mother anywhere.  Whereas Willey Farm he loved passionately.  He loved the little pokey kitchen, where men’s boots tramped, and the dog slept with one eye open for fear of being trodden on; where the lamp hung over the table at night and everything was so silent.  He loved Miriam’s long, low parlour, with its atmosphere of romance, its flowers, its books, its high rosewood piano.  He loved the gardens and the buildings that stood with their scarlet roofs on the edges of the fields, crept towards the wood as if for cosiness, the wild country scooping down a valley and up the uncultured hills of the other side.  Only to be there was an exhilaration and a joy to him.  He loved Mrs Leivers, with her unworldliness and her quaint cynicism; he loved Mr Leivers, so warm and young and lovable; he loved Edgar, who lit up when he came, and the boys and the children and Bill- even the sow Circe and the Indian game-cock called Tippoo.  All this besides Miriam.  He could not give it up.”

 

“She fretted him to the bottom of his soul.  There she remained- sad, pensive, a worshipper.  And he caused her sorrow.  Half the time he grieved for her, half the time he hated her.  She was his conscience; and he felt, somehow, he had got a conscience that was too much for him.  He could not leave her, because in one way she did not hold the best of him.  He could not stay with her because she did not take the rest of him, which was three-quarters.  So he chafed himself into the rawness over her.”

 

“‘May I speak of our old, worn love, one last time.  It, too, is changing, is it not?  Say, has not the body of that love died, and left you this invulnerable soul?  You see, I can give you a spirit love, I have given it you this long, long time; but not embodied passion.  See, you are a nun.  I have given you what I would give a holy nun- as a mystic monk to a mystic nun.  Surely you esteem it best.  Yet you regret- no, have regretted- the other.  In all our relations no body enters.  I do not talk to you through the senses- rather through the spirit.  That is why we cannot love in the common sense.  Ours is not an everyday affection.  As yet we are mortal, and to live side by side with one another would be dreadful, for somehow with you I cannot long be trivial, and, you know, to be always beyond this mortal state would be to lose it.  If people marry, they must live together as affectionate humans, who may be commonplace with each other without feeling awkward- not as two souls.  So I feel it.’”

 

“There was something in Clara that Paul disliked, and much that piqued him.  If she were about, he always watched her strong throat or her neck, upon which the blonde hair grew low and fluffy.  There was a fine down, almost invisible, upon the skin of her face and arms, and when once he had perceived it, he saw it always.”

 

“He marvelled at her coldness.  He had to do everything hotly.  She must never be something special.

‘What would you prefer to do?’ he asked.

She laughed at him indulgently, as she said:

‘There is so little likelihood of my being given a choice, that I haven’t wasted time considering.’”

 

“‘But what was the matter with you?’ he asked.  ‘I know you were brooding something special.  I can see the stamp of it on your face yet.’

‘I think I will not tell you,’ she answered.

‘All right, hug it,’ he answered.”

 

“He was suddenly intensely moved.  He was filled with the warmth of her.  In the glow he could almost feel her as if she were present- her arms, her shoulders, her bosom, see them, feel them, almost contain them.”

 

“‘She seems to draw me and draw me, and she wouldn’t leave a single hair of me to fall out and blow away- she’d keep it.’

‘But you like to be kept.’

‘No,’ he said, ‘I don’t.  I wish it could be normal, give and take- like me and you.  I want a woman to keep me, but not in her pocket.’

‘But if you love her, it couldn’t be normal, like you and me.’

‘Yes; I should love her better then. She sort of wants me so much that I can’t give myself.’

‘Wants you how?’

‘Wants the soul out of my body.  I can’t help shrinking back from her.’

‘And yet you love her!’

‘No, I don’t love her.  I never kissed her.’

‘Why not?’ Clara asked.

‘I don’t know.’

‘I suppose you’re afraid,’ she said.

‘I’m not.  Something in me shrinks from her like hell- she’s so good, when I’m not good.’

‘How do you know what she is?’

‘I do!  I know she wants a sort of soul union.’

‘But how do you know what she wants?’

‘I’ve been with her for seven years.’

‘And you haven’t found out the very first thing about her.’

‘What’s that?’

‘That she doesn’t want any of your soul communion.  That’s your own imagination.  She wants you.’

He pondered over this.  Perhaps he was wrong.

‘But she seems-’ he began.

‘You’ve never tried,’ she answered.”

 

“He could not have faced his mother.  It seemed to him that to sacrifice himself in marriage he did not want would be degrading, and would undo all his life, make it a nullity.  He would try what he could do.”

 

“‘Clouds are on fire,’ he said.

‘Beautiful!’ she cried . . .

‘And how long will you stay?’

‘While the sunset lasts.’

She went to the fence and sat there, watching the gold clouds fall to pieces, and go in immense, rose-coloured  ruin toward the darkness.  Gold flamed to scarlet, like pain in its intense brightness.  Then the scarlet sank to rose, and rose to crimson, and quickly the passion went out of the sky.  All the world was dark grey.”

 

“It was very dark among the firs, and the sharp spines pricked her face.  She was afraid.  Paul was silent and strange.

‘I like the darkness,’ he said.  ‘I wish it were thicker- good, thick darkness.’”

 

“Later it began to rain.  The pine-trees smelled very strong.  Paul lay with his head on the ground, on the dead pine needles, listening to the sharp hiss of the rain- a steady, keen noise.”

 

“He laughed.  There was a new strange note in his voice, one that made her pant.”

 

“To him now, life seemed a shadow, day a white shadow; night, and death, and stillness, and inaction, this seemed like being.  To be alive, to be urgent and insistent- that was not-to-be.  The highest of all was to melt out into the darkness and sway there, identified by the great Being.”

“Sons and Lovers”

-[]-

“So they had given the gift of themselves, each to the youth with whom she had the most subtle and intimate arguments.  The arguments, the discussions were the great thing: the love-making and connexion were only a sort of primitive reversion and a bit of an anti-climax.  One was less in love with the boy afterwards, and a little inclined to hate him, as if he had trespassed on one’s privacy and inner freedom.  For, of course, being a girl, one’s whole dignity and meaning in life consisted in the achievement of an absolute, a perfect, a pure and noble freedom.  What else did a girl’s life mean?  To shake off the old and sordid connexions and subjections.”

 

“With the stoicism of the young she took in the utter, soulless ugliness of the coal-and-iron Midlands at a glance, and left it at what it was: unbelievable and not to be thought about.”

 

“What the eyes doesn’t see and the mind doesn’t know, doesn’t exist.”

 

“Time went on.  Whatever happened, nothing happened, because she was so beautifully out of contact.  She and Clifford lived in their ideas and his books.  She entertained . . . there were always people in the house.  Time went on as the clock does, half past eight instead of half past seven.”

 

“The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few in most personal experience.  There’s lots of good fish in the sea . . . maybe . . . but the vast masses seemed to be mackerel or herring, and if you’re not mackerel or herring yourself, you are likely to find very few good fish in the sea.”

 

“‘Oh . . . it perfects intimacy,’ said Clifford, uneasy as a woman in such talk.

‘Well, Charlie and I believe that sex is a sort of communication like speech.  Let any woman start a sex conversation with me, and it’s natural for me to go to bed with her to finish it, all in due season.  Unfortunately no woman makes any particular start with me, so I go to bed by myself; and am none the worse for it . . . I hope so, anyway, for how should I know?  Anyhow I’ve no starry calculations to be interfered with, and no immortal works to write.  I’m merely a fellow in the army . . .’”

 

“‘Me?  Oh, intellectually I believe in having a good heart, a chirpy penis, a lively intelligence, and the courage to say “shit!” in front of a lady.’

Tommy Dukes roared with laughter.  ‘You are an angel boy!  If I only had!  If only I had!  No; my heart’s as numb as a potato, my penis droops and never lifts its head up, I dare rather cut him clean off than say “shit!” in front of my mother or my aunt . . . they are real ladies, mind you; and I’m not really intelligent, I’m only a “mental-lifer”.  It would be wonderful to be intelligent: then one would be alive in all the parts mentioned and unmentionable.  The penis rouses his head and says: How do you do?- to any really intelligent person.  Renoir said he painted his pictures with his penis . . . he did too, lovely pictures!  I wish I did something with mine.  God! when one can only talk!  Another torture added to Hades!  And Socrates started it!’”

 

“‘One may go against convention, but one must keep up tradition.’”

 

‘“It seems to me that it isn’t these little acts and little connexions we make in our lives that matter so very much.  They pass away, and where are they?  Where . . . Where are the snows of yesteryear? . . . It’s what endures through one’s life that matters; my own life matters to me, in its long continuance and development.’”

 

“He stared straight into Connie’s eyes, with a perfect, fearless, impersonal look, as if he wanted to see what she was like.  He made her feel shy.”

 

“And dimly she realized one of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers.  But this is only appearance.  It is really only the mechanism of the reassumed habit.  Slowly, slowly, the wound to the soul begins to make itself felt, like a bruise, which only slowly deepens its terrible ache, till it fills all the psyche.  And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible after-effects have to be encountered at their worst.”

 

“When Clifford was roused, he could still talk brilliantly and, as it were, command the future: as when, in the wood, he talked about her having a child, and giving an heir to Wragby.  But the day after, all the brilliant words seemed like dead leaves, crumpling up and turning to powder, meaning really nothing, blown away on any gust of wind.  They were not the leafy words of an effective life, young with energy and belonging to the tree.  They were the hosts of fallen leaves of a life that is ineffectual.”

 

“There was Michaelis, whom she loved; so she said to herself.  But her love was somehow only an excursion from her marriage with Clifford; the long, slow habit of intimacy, formed through years of suffering and patience.  Perhaps the human soul needs excursions, and must not be denied them.  But the point of an excursion is that you come home again.”

 

“Michaelis had seized upon Clifford as the central figure for a play; already he had sketched in the plot, and written the first act.  For Michaelis was even better than Clifford at making a display of nothingness.  It was the last bit of passion left in these men: the passion for making a display.  Sexually they were passionless, even dead.  Clifford had never been primarily out for money; though he made it where he could, for money [the bitch-goddess] was the seal and stamp of success.  And success was what they wanted.”

 

“This speech was one of the crucial blows of Connie’s life.  It killed something in her.  She had not been so very keen on Michaelis; till he started it, she did not want him.  It was as if she never positively wanted him.  But once he had started her, it seemed only natural for her to come to her own crisis with him.  Almost she had loved him for it . . .  almost that night she loved him, and wanted to marry him . . .

And she went through the days drearily.  There was nothing now but this empty treadmill of what Clifford called the integrated life, the long living together of two people, who are in the habit of being in the same house with one another.

Nothingness!  To accept the great nothingness of life seemed to be the one end of living.  All the many busy and important little things that make up the grand sum-total of nothingness!”

 

“‘Why don’t men and women really like one another nowadays?’ Connie asked Tommy Dukes, who was more or less her oracle.

‘Oh, but they do!  I don’t think since the human species was invented, there has ever been a time when men and women liked one another as much as they do today.  Genuine liking!  Take myself . . . I really like women better than men; they are braver, one can be more frank with them.’

Connie pondered this.

‘Ah, yes, but you never have anything to do with them!’ she said.

‘I?  What am I doing but talking perfectly sincerely to a woman at this moment?’

‘Yes, talking . . .’

‘And what more could I do if you were a man, than talk perfectly sincerely to you?’

‘A woman wants you to like her and talk to her, and at the same time love her and desire her; and it seems to me the two things are mutually exclusive.’

‘But they shouldn’t be!’

‘No doubt water ought not to be so wet as it is; it overdoes it in wetness.  But there it is!  I like women and talk to them, and therefore I don’t love then and desire them.  The two things don’t happen at the same time in me.’

‘I think they ought to.’”

 

“‘Well,’ he said. ‘I don’t know.  What’s the use of my generalizing?  I only know my own case.  I like women, but I don’t desire them.  I like talking to them; but talking to them, though it makes me intimate in one direction, sets me poles apart from them as far as kissing is concerned.  So there you are!  But don’t take me as a general example, probably I’m just a special case: one of the men who likes women, but don’t love women, and even hate them if they force me into pretense of love, or an entangled appearance.’

‘But doesn’t it make you sad?’

‘Why should it?  not a bit!  I look at Charlie May, and the rest of the men who have affairs . . . No, I don’t even envy them a bit!  If fate sent me a woman I wanted, well and good.  Since I don’t know any woman I want, and never see one . . . why, I presume I’m cold, and really like some women very much.”

 

“Since, of course, it’s not your own fault you are alive.  Once you are alive, money is a necessity, and the only absolute necessity.  All the rest you can get along without, at a pinch.  But not money.  Emphatically, that’s that!”

 

“She wanted nothing more than what she’d got; only she wanted to get ahead with what she’d got: Clifford, the stories, Wragby, the Lady-Chatterley business, money and fame, such as it was . . . she wanted to go ahead with it all.  Love, sex, all that sort of stuff, just water-ices!  Lick it up and forget it.  If you don’t hang on to it in your mind, it’s nothing.  Sex especially . . . nothing!  Make up your mind to it, and you’ve solved the problem.  Sex and a cocktail: they both lasted about as long, had the same effect, and amounted to about the same thing.”

 

“It had been impossible to find a man in the Jerusalem of the prophet, though there were thousands of male humans.  But a man!  C’est une autre chose!

 

“Connie was surprised at her own feeling of aversion from Clifford.  What is more, he felt she had always really disliked him.  Not hate: there was no passion in it.  But a profound physical dislike.”

 

“Connie was fascinated, listening to her.  But afterwards always a little ashamed.  She ought not to listen with this queer rabid curiosity.  After all, one may hear the most private affairs of other people, but only in a spirit of respect for the struggling, battered thing which any human soul is, and in a spirit of the fine, discriminative sympathy.  For even satire is a form of sympathy.  It is the way our sympathy flows and recoils that really determines our lives.  And here lies the vast importance of the novel, properly handled.  It can inform and lead into new places the flow of our sympathetic consciousness, and it can lead our sympathy away in recoil from things gone dead.  Therefore, the novel, properly handled, can reveal the most secret places of life: for it is in the passional secret places of life, above all, that the tide of sensitive awareness needs to ebb and flow, cleansing and refreshing.”

 

“Now he realized the distinction between popular success and working success: the populace of pleasure and the populace of work.  He, as a private individual, had been catering with his stories for the populace of pleasure.  And he had caught on.  But beneath the populace of pleasure lay the populace of work, grim, grimy, and rather terrible.  They too had to have their providers.  And it was a much grimmer business, providing for the populace of work, than for the populace of pleasure.”

 

“One evening, guests or no guests, she escaped after tea.  It was late, and she fled across the park like one who fears to be called back.  The sun was setting rosy as she entered the wood, but she pressed on among the flowers.  The light would last long overhead.”

 

“It was not the woman’s fault, not even love’s fault, nor the fault of sex.  The fault lay there, in those evil electric lights and diabolical rattlings of engines.  There, in the world of the mechanized greed, sparkling with lights and gushing hot metal and roaring with traffic, there lay the vast evil thing, ready to destroy whatever did not conform.  Soon it would destroy the wood, and bluebells would spring no more.  All vulnerable things must perish under the rolling of iron.”

 

“He went home with his gun and his dog, to the dark cottage, lit the lamp, started the fire, and ate his supper of bread and cheese, young onions and beer.  He was alone in a silence that he loved.”

 

“Connie had played this woman [a hostess] so much, it was second nature to her; but still, decidedly second.  Yet it was curious how everything disappeared from her consciousness while she played it.”

 

“He put his face down and rubbed his cheek against her belly and against her thighs again and again.  And again she wondered a little over the sort of rapture it was to him.  She did not understand the beauty he found in her, through touch upon her living secret body, almost the ecstasy of beauty.  For passion alone is awake to it.  And when passion is dead, or absent, then the magnificent throb of beauty is incomprehensible and even a little despicable; warm, live beauty of contact so much deeper than the beauty of vision.  She felt the glide of his cheek on her thighs and belly and her knees began to quiver.  Far down in her she felt a new stirring, a new nakedness emerging.  And she was half afraid.  Half she wished he would not caress her so.  He was encompassing her somehow.  Yet she was waiting, waiting.”

 

“So Connie played with the child and was amused by its little female dauntlessness, and got a deep voluptuous pleasure out of its soft young warmth.  Young life!  And so fearless!  So fearless, because so defenceless.  All the other people, so narrow with fear!”

 

“‘I could die for the touch of a woman like thee,’ he said in his throat.  ‘If tha’ would stop another minute.’”

 

“He led her through the wall of prickly trees, that were difficult to come through, to a place where was a little space and a pile of dead boughs.  He threw one or two dry ones down, put his waistcoat over them, she had to lie down there under the boughs of the trees, like an animal, while he waited, standing there in his shirt and breeches, watching with haunted eyes.  But still he was prominent- he made her lie properly, properly.  Yet he broke the band of her underclothes, for she did no help him, only lay inert.

He too had bared the front part of his body and she felt his naked flesh against her as he came into her.  For a moment he was still inside her, turgid there and quivering.  Then as he began to move, in the sudden helpless orgasm, there awoke in her new strange thrills rippling inside her.  Rippling, rippling, rippling, like a flapping overlapping of soft flames, soft as feathers, running to points of brilliance, exquisite and melting her all molten inside.  It was like bells rippling up and up to a culmination.  She lay unconscious of the wild little cries she uttered at last.  But it was over too soon, too soon, and she could no longer force her own conclusion with her own activity.  This was different, different.  She could do nothing.  she could no longer harden and grip for her own satisfaction upon her.  She could only wait, wait and moan in spirit as she felt him withdrawing, withdrawing and contracting, coming to the terrible moment when he would slip out of her and be gone.  Whilst all her womb was open and soft, and softly clamouring, like a sea-anemone under the tide, clamouring for him to come in again and make a fulfillment for her.  She clung to him unconscious in passion, and he never quite slipped from her, and she felt the soft bud of him within her stirring, and strange rhythms flushing up into her with a strange rhythmic growing motion, swelling and swelling till it filled all her cleaving consciousness, and then began again the unspeakable motion  that was not really motion, but pure deepening whirlpools of sensation swirling deeper and deeper through all her tissue and consciousness, till she was one perfect concentric fluid of feeling, and she lay there crying in unconscious inarticulate cries.  The voice out of the uttermost night, the life!  The man heard it beneath him with a kind of awe, as his life sprang out of her.  And as it subsided, he subsided too and lay there utterly still, unknowing, while her grip on him slowly relaxed, and she lay inert.  And they lay and knew nothing not even each other, both lost.  Till at last he began to rouse and become aware of his defenceless nakedness, and she was aware that his body was loosening its grasp on her.  He was coming apart; but in her breast she felt she could never bear him to leave her uncovered.  He must cover her now for ever. . .

He looked back into her eyes.  ‘Glad,’ he said, ‘Ay, but never mind.’  He did not want her to talk.  And he bent over her and kissed her, and she felt, so he must kiss her for ever.”

 

“She did not really see him, she was somebody else.”

 

“Again he was frightened at the deep blue blaze of her eyes, and of her soft stillness, sitting there.  She had never been so utterly soft and still.  She fascinated him helplessly, as if some perfume about her intoxicated him.  So he went on helplessly with his reading, and the throaty sound of the French was like the wind in the chimneys to her.”

 

“She [the nurse] had a woman’s queer faculty of playing even chess well enough, when she was three parts asleep, well enough to make her worth beating.”

 

“It was cold and he was coughing.  A fine draught blew over the knoll.  He thought of the woman.  Now he would have given all he had or ever might have to hold her warm in his arms, both of them wrapped in one blanket, and sleep.  All hopes of eternity and all gain from the past he would have given to have her there, to be wrapped warm with him in one blanket, and sleep, only sleep.  It seemed the sleep with the woman in his arms was the only necessity.”

 

“Standard Five girls were having a singing lesson, just finishing the la-me-doh-la exercise and beginning a ‘sweet children’s song’.  Anything more unlike song, spontaneous song, would be impossible to imagine: a strange bawling yell that followed the outlines of a tune.  It was not like savages: savages have subtle rhythms.  It was not like animals: animals mean something when they yell.  It was like nothing on earth, and it was called singing.  Connie sat and listened with her heart in her boots, as Field was filling petrol.  What could possibly become of such people, a people whom the living intuitive faculty was dead as nails, and only queer mechanical yells and uncanny will-power remained?”

 

“She wanted to hide her head in the sand; or, at least, in the bosom of a living man.”

 

“Connie went to the woods directly after lunch.  It was really a lovely day, the first dandelions making suns, the first daisies so white.”

 

“And when he said, with a sort of little sigh: ‘Eh, that’rt nice!’ something in her quivered, and something in her spirit stiffened in resistance: stiffened from the terribly physical intimacy, and from the peculiar haste of his possession.  And this time the sharp ecstasy of her own passion did not overcome her; she lay with her hand inert on his striving body, and do what she might, her spirit seemed to look from the top of her head, and the butting of his haunches seemed ridiculous to her, and the sort of anxiety of his penis to come to its little evacuating crisis seemed farcical.  Yes, this was love, this ridiculous bouncing of the buttocks, and the wilting of the poor, insignificant, moist little penis.  This was divine love!“

 

“He took her in his arms again and drew her to him, and suddenly she became small in his arms, small and nestling.  It was gone, the resistance was gone, and she began to melt in a marvelous peace.  And as she melted small and wonderful in his arms, she became infinitely desirable to him, all his blood-vessels seemed to scald with intense desire, for her, for her softness, for the penetrating beauty of her arms, passing in his blood.”

 

“Angels’ eggs”

 

“They looked up the shallow valley at the mine, and beyond it, at the black-lidded houses of Teveshall crawling like some serpent up the hill.  From the old brown church the bells were ringing: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

‘But will the men let you dictate terms?’ she said.

‘My dear, they will have to: if one does it gently.’

‘But mightn’t there be a mutual understanding?’

‘Absolutely: when they realize that the industry comes before the individual.’”

 

“At the top of the hill they rested, and Connie was glad to let go.  She had had fugitive dreams of friendship between these two men: one her husband, the other the father of her child.  Now she saw the screaming absurdity of her dreams.  The two males were as hostile as fire and water.  They mutually exterminated one another.  And she realized for the first time what a queer subtle thing hate was.  For the first time, she had consciously and definitely hated Clifford, with vivid hate: as if he ought to be obliterated from the face of the earth.  And it was strange, how free and full of life it made her feel, to hate him and to admit it fully to herself- ‘Now I’ve hated him, I shall never be able to go on living with him,’ came the thought into her mind.”

 

“She went up to her room, furious, saying to herself: ‘Him and buying people!  Well, he doesn’t buy me, and therefore there’s no need for me to stay with him.  Dead fish of a gentleman, with his celluloid soul!  And how they take one in, with their manners and their mock wistfulness and gentleness.  They’ve got about as much feeling as celluloid has.’”

 

“‘Have you ever read Proust?’ he asked her.

‘I’ve tried, but he bores me.’

‘He’s really very extraordinary.’

‘Possibly!  But he bores me: all that sophistication!  He doesn’t have feelings, he only has streams of words about feelings.  I’m tired of self-important mentalities.’”

 

“‘You say a man’s got no brain, he’s a fool: and no heart, when he’s mean; and no stomach when he’s a funker.  And when he’s got none of that spunky wild bit of a man in him, you say he’s got no balls.  When he’s sorta tame.’

She pondered this.

‘And is Clifford tame?’ she asked.

‘Tame, and nasty with it: like most such fellows, when you come up against ‘em.’”

 

“‘The rest?  There is no rest.  Only to my experience the mass of women are like this: most of them want a man, but don’t want the sex, but they put up with it, as part of the bargain.  The old-fashioned sort just lie there like nothing and let you go ahead.  They don’t mind afterwards: then they like you.  But the actual thing itself is nothing to them, a bit distasteful.  And most men like it that way.  I hate it.  But the sly sort of women who are like that pretend they’re not.  They pretend they’re passionate and have thrills.  But it’s all cockaloopy.  They make it up. -Then there’s the ones that love everything, every kind of feeling and cuddling and going off, every kind except the natural one.  They always make you go off when you’re not in the only place you should be, when you go off.  -Then there’s the hard sort, that are the devil to bring off at all, and bring themselves off, like my wife.  They want to be the active party.  -Then there’s the sort that’s just dead inside: but dead: and they know it.  Then there’s the sort that puts you out before you really “come”, and you go on writhing their loins till they bring themselves off against their thighs.  But they’re mostly the Lesbian sort.  It’s astonishing how Lesbian women are, consciously and unconsciously.  Seems to me they’re nearly all Lesbian.’”

 

“‘You see I couldn’t fool myself.  That’s where most men manage.  They take an attitude, and accept a lie.  I could never fool myself.  I knew what I wanted with a woman, and I could never say I’d got it when I hadn’t.’

‘But have you got it now?’

‘Looks as if I might have.’

‘Then why are you so pale and gloomy?’

‘Bellyful of remembering: and perhaps afraid of myself.’

She sat in silence.  It was growing late.

‘And do you think it’s important, a man and a woman?’ she asked him.

‘For me it is.  For me it’s the core of my life: if I have a right relation with a woman.’”

 

“‘Yes, I do believe in something.  I believe in being warm-hearted.  I believe especially in being warm-hearted in love, in fucking with a warm heart.  I believe if men could fuck with warm hearts, and the women take it warm-heartedly, everything would come all right.  It’s all the cold-hearted fucking that is death and idiocy.’”

 

“And she nestled up to him, feeling both small and enfolded, and they both went to sleep at once, fast in one sleep.”

 

“‘John Thomas!  John Thomas!’ and she quickly kissed the soft penis, that was beginning to stir again.

‘Ay!’ said the man, stretching his body almost painfully.  ‘He’s got his root in my soul, has that gentleman!  An’ sometimes I don’ know what ter do wi’ him.  Ay, he’s got a will of his own, an’ it’s hard to suit him.  Yet I wouldn’t have him killed.’”

 

“‘You must get up, mustn’t you?’ he muttered.

‘What time?’ came her colourless voice.

‘Seven o’clock blowers a bit sin’.’

‘I suppose I must.’

She was resenting as she always did, the compulsion from outside.”

 

‘It was a clear clean morning with birds flying and triumphantly singing.  If only there weren’t the other ghastly world of smoke and iron!  If only he would make her a world.”

 

“To keep industry alive there must be more industry, like a madness.’

 

“Ms Bolton looked into the man’s face, that was smooth and new-looking with love.  She met his half-laughing, half-mocking eyes.  He always laughed at mischance.  But he looked at her kindly.”

 

“‘But that is really rather extraordinary, because there’s no denying it’s an encumbrance.  But then a woman doesn’t take a supreme pleasure in the life of the mind.’

‘Supreme pleasure?’ she said, looking up at him.  ‘Is that the sort of idiocy the supreme pleasure of the life of the mind?  No thank you!  Give me the body.  I believe the life of the body is a greater reality than the life of the mind: when the body is really wakened to life.  But so many people, like our famous wind-machine, have only got minds tacked to their physical corpses.’

He looked at her in wonder.

‘The life of the body,’ he said, ‘is just the life of the animals.’”

 

“Clifford, who couldn’t sleep, gambled all night with Mrs Bolton, till she was too sleepy almost to live.”

 

“‘Oh, I don’t know, I never did.  Even when he was in the wrong, if he was fixed, I gave in.  You see, I never wanted to break what was between us.  And if you really set your will against a man, that finishes it.  If you care for a man, you have to give in to him once he’s really determined; whether you’re in the right or not, you have to give in.  Else you break something.’”

 

“‘And men like you,’ she said, ‘ought to be segregated: justifying their own vulgarity and selfish lust.’

‘Ay, ma’am!  It’s a mercy there’s a few men left like me.  But you deserve what you get: to be left severely alone.’”

 

“She had often wondered what Abelard meant, when he said that in their year of love he and Heloise had passed through all the stages and refinements of passion.  The same thing, a thousand years ago: ten thousand years ago!  The same on the Greek vases, everywhere!  The refinements of passion, the extravagances of sensuality!  And necessary, forever necessary, to burn out false shames and smelt out the heaviest ore of the body into purity.  With the fire of sheer sensuality.

In the short summer night she learnt so much.  She would have thought a woman would have died of shame.  Instead of which, the shame died.  Shame, which is fear: the deep organic shame, the old, old physical fear which crouches in the bodily roots of us, and can only be chased away by the sensual fire, at last it was roused up and routed by the phallic hunt of the man, and she came to the very heart of the jungle of herself.  She felt, now, she had come to the real bedrock of her nature, and was essentially shameless.  She was her sensual self, naked and unashamed.  She felt a triumph, almost a vainglory.  So!  That was how it was!  That was life!  That was how oneself really was!  There was nothing left to disguise or be ashamed of.  She shared her ultimate nakedness with a man, another being.”

 

“She was half-dreaming of life, a life together with him: just a life.”

 

“Till his rousing awakened her completely.  He was sitting up in bed, looking down at her.  She saw her own nakedness in his eyes, immediate knowledge of her.  And the fluid, male knowledge of herself seemed to flow to her from his eyes and wrap her voluptuously.  Oh, how voluptuous and lovely it was to have limbs and body half-asleep, heavy and suffused with passion.”

 

“Connie sat next to him [her father] at the opera.  He was moderately stout, and had stout thighs, but they were still strong and well knit, the thighs of a healthy man who had taken his pleasure in life.  His good-humoured selfishness, his dogged sort of independence, his unrepenting sensuality, it seemed to Connie she could not see all in his well-knit straight thighs.  Just a man!  And now becoming an old man, which is sad.  Because in his strong, thick male legs there was none of the alert sensitiveness and power of tenderness which is the very essence of youth, that which never dies, once it is there.”

 

“The Lido, with its acres of sun-pinked or pyjamaed bodies, was like a strand with an endless heap of seals come up for mating.  Too many people in the piazza, too many limbs and trunks of humanity on the Lido, too many gondolas, too many motor launches, too many steamers, too many pigeons, too many ices, too many cocktails, too many menservants wanting tips, too many languages rattling, too much, too much sun, too much smell of Venice, too many cargoes  of strawberries, too many silk shawls, too many huge, raw-beef slices of water-melon on stalls: too much enjoyment, altogether far too much enjoyment!”

 

“Even Michaelis almost sun-burned: though sun-cooked is more appropriate to the look of the mass of human flesh.”

 

“It was pleasant in a way.  It was almost enjoyment.  But anyhow, with all the cocktails, all the lying in warmish water and sun-bathing on hot sand in hot sun, jazzing with your stomach up against some fellow in the warm nights, cooling off with ices, it was complete narcotic.  And that was what they all wanted, a drug: the slow water, a drug; the sun, a drug; jazz, a drug; cigarettes, cocktails, ices, vermouth.  To be drugged!  Enjoyment!  Enjoyment!

Hilda half liked being drugged.  She liked looking at all the women, speculating about them.  The women were absorbingly interested in the women.  How does she look! what man has she captured? what fun is she getting out of it?- The men were like great dogs in white flannel trousers, waiting to be patted, waiting to wallow, waiting to plaster some woman’s stomach against their own, in jazz.

Hilda liked jazz, because she could plaster her stomach against the stomach of some so-called man, and let him control her movement from the visceral centre, here and there across the floor, and then she could break loose and ignore ‘the creature’.  he had been merely made use of.  Poor Connie was rather unhappy.  She wouldn’t jazz, because she simply couldn’t plaster her stomach against some ‘creature’s’ stomach.  She hated the conglomerate mass of nearly nude flesh on the Lido: there was hardly enough water to wet them all.”

 

 

“Giovanni was very nice: affectionate, as the Italians are, and quite passionless.  The Italians are not passionate: passion has deep reserves.  They are easily moved, and often affectionate, but they rarely have any abiding passion of any sort.”

 

“Daniele was beautiful, tall and well-shapen, with a light round head of little close-pale-blond curls, and a good-looking man’s face, a little like a lion, and long-distance blue eyes.”

 

“But how hateful!  Now everything was messed up.  How foul those low people were!  How nice it was here, in the sunshine and the indolence, compared to that dismal mess of that English Midlands!  After all, a clear blue sky was almost the most important thing in life.”

 

“‘Ay,’ he said.  ‘Folks should do their own fuckin’, then they wouldn’t want to listen to a lot of clatfart about another man’s.’”

 

“‘Have you ever thought,’ he said to her one day, ‘how very little people are connected with one another.  look at Daniele!  He is handsome as a son of the sun.  But see how alone he looks in his handsomeness.  Yet I bet he has a wife and family, and couldn’t possibly go away from them.’

‘Ask him,’ said Connie.

Duncan did so.  Daniele was married, and has two children, both male, aged seven and nine.  But he betrayed no emotion over the fact.

‘Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe,’ said Connie.  ‘The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass, like Giovanni.’ ‘And,’ she thought to herself, ‘like you, Duncan.’

 

“‘But you’ve put it [a baby] into me.  Be tender to it, and that will be its future already.  Kiss it!’

He quivered, because it was true.  ‘Be tender to it, and that will be its future.’- At that moment he felt a sheer love for the woman.  He kissed her belly and her mound of Venus, to kiss close to the womb and the foetus within the womb.”

 

“‘I could wish the Cliffords and Berthas dead,’ he said.

‘It’s not being very tender to them,’ she said.

‘Tender to them?  Yea, even then the tenderest thing you could do for them, perhaps, would be to give them death.  They can’t live!  They only frustrate life.  Their souls are awful inside them.  Death ought to be sweet to them.  And I ought to be allowed to shoot them.’”

 

“‘But he’ll only shit on you on canvas.’

‘But I don’t care.  He’s only painting his feeling for me, and I don’t mind if he does that.  I wouldn’t have him touch me, not for anything.  But her thinks he can do anything with his owlish arty staring, let him stare.  He can make as many empty tubes and corrugations out of me as he likes.  It’s his funeral.  He hated you for what you said: that his tubified art is sentimental and self-important.  But of course it’s true.’”

 

“‘But why should  you believe in it?  You have only to divorce me, not to believe in my feelings.’”

 

“Suddenly, he had become almost wistfully moral, seeing himself the incarnation of good, and people like Mellors and Connie the incarnation of mud, of evil.  He seemed to grow vague, inside his nimbus.”

 

“The young ones get mad because they’ve no money to spend.  Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they’ve got none to spend.  That’s our civilization and our education: bring up the masses to depend entirely to spending money, and then the money gives out. . .

If you could only tell them that living and spending isn’t the same thing!  But it’s no good.  If only they were educated to live instead of earn and spend, they could manage very happily on twenty-five shillings. If the men wore scatlet trousers as I said, they wouldn’t think so much about money: if they could dance and hop and skip, and sing and swagger and be handsome, they could do with very little cash.  And amuse the women themselves, and be amused by the women.  They ought to learn to be naked and handsome, and to sing in a mass and dance the old group dances, and carve the stools they sit on, and embroider their own emblems.  Then they wouldn’t need money.  And that’s the only way to solve the industrial problem: train the people to be able to live and live in handsomeness; without needing to spend.  But you can’t do it.  They’re all one-tracked minds nowadays.  Whereas the mass of people oughtn’t even to try to think, because they can’t.  They should be alive and frisky, and acknowledge the great god Pan.  He’s the only god for the masses, forever.  The few can go in for higher cults if they like.  But let the mass be forever pagan.

But the colliers aren’t pagan, far from it.  They’re a sad lot, a deadened lot of men: dead to their women, dead to life.  The young ones scoot about on motor-bikes with girls, and jazz when they get a chance.  But they’re very dead.  And it needs money.  Money poisons you when you’ve got it, and starves you when you haven’t.”

 

“That’s why I don’t like to start to think about you actually.  It only tortures me, and does you no good.  I don’t want you to be away from me.  But if I start fretting it wastes something.  Patience, always patience.  This is my fortieth winter.  And I can’t help all the winters that have been.  But this winter I’ll stick to my little Pentecost flame, and have some peace.  And I won’t let the breath of people blow it out.  I believe in a higher mystery, that doesn’t let even the crocus be blown out.  And if you’re in Scotland and I’m in the Midlands, and if I can’t put my arms round you, and wrap my legs round you, yet I’ve got something of you.  My soul softly flaps in the little Pentecost flame with you, like the peace of fucking.  We fucked a flame into being.  Even the flowers are fucked into being between the sun and the earth.  But it’s a delicate thing, and it takes patience and the long pause.

So I love chastiy now, because it is the peace that comes of fucking.  I love being chaste now.  I love it as snowdrops love the snow.  I love this chastity, which is the pause of peace of our fucking, between us now like a snowdrop of forked white fire.  And when the real spring comes, when the drawing together comes, then we can fuck the little flame brilliant and yellow, brilliant.  But not now, not yet!  Now is the time to be chaste, it is good to be chaste, like a river of cool water in my soul.  I love the chastity now that it flows between us.  It is like fresh water and rain.  How can men want wearisomely to philander.  What a misery to be like Don Juan, and impotent ever to fuck oneself into peace, and the little flame alight, impotent and unable to be chaste in the cool between-whiles, as by a river.

Well, so many words, because I can’t touch you.  If I could sleep with my arms round you, the ink could stay in the bottle.  We could be caste together just as we can fuck together.  But we have to be separate for a while, and I suppose it is really the wiser way.  If only one were sure.

Never mind, never mind, we won’t get worked up.  We really trust in the little flame, and in the unnamed god that shields it from being blown out.  There’s so much of you here with me, really, that it’s a pity you aren’t all here.

Now I can’t even leave off writing to you.

But a great deal of us is together, and we can but abide by it, and steer our courses to meet soon.  John Thomas says good-night to Lady Jane, a little droopingly, but with a hopeful heart.”

 

-Lady Chatterley’s Lover

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