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Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.
This was more or less Constance Chatterley's position. The war had brought the roof down over her head. And she had realized that one must live and learn. She married Clifford Chatterley in , when he was home for a month on leave. They had a month's honeymoon. Then he went back to Flanders: Constance, his wife, was then twenty-three years old, and he was twenty-nine. His hold on life was marvellous. He didn't die, and the bits seemed to grow together again.
For two years he remained in the doctor's hands. Then he was pronounced a cure, and could return to life again, with the lower half of his body, from the hips down, paralysed for ever. This was in They returned, Clifford and Constance, to his home, Wragby Hall, the family 'seat'. They came to start housekeeping and married life in the rather forlorn home of the Chatterleys on a rather inadequate income. Clifford had a sister, but she had departed.
Otherwise there were no near relatives. The elder brother was dead in the war. Crippled for ever, knowing he could never have any children, Clifford came home to the smoky Midlands to keep the Chatterley name alive while he could. He was not really downcast. He could wheel himself about in a wheeled chair, and he had a bath-chair with a small motor attachment, so he could drive himself slowly round the garden and into the fine melancholy park, of which he was really so proud, though he pretended to be flippant about it.
Having suffered so much, the capacity for suffering had to some extent left him. He remained strange and bright and cheerful, almost, one might say, chirpy, with his ruddy, healthy-looking face, and his pale-blue, challenging bright eyes. His shoulders were broad and strong, his hands were very strong. He was expensively dressed, and wore handsome neckties from Bond Street. Yet still in his face one saw the watchful look, the slight vacancy of a cripple. He had so very nearly lost his life, that what remained was wonderfully precious to him.
It was obvious in the anxious brightness of his eyes, how proud he was, after the great shock, of being alive. But he had been so much hurt that something inside him had perished, some of his feelings had gone. There was a blank of insentience. Constance, his wife, was a ruddy, country-looking girl with soft brown hair and sturdy body, and slow movements, full of unusual energy.
She had big, wondering eyes, and a soft mild voice, and seemed just to have come from her native village. It was not so at all. Her father was the once well-known R. Her mother had been one of the cultivated Fabians in the palmy, rather pre-Raphaelite days. Between artists and cultured socialists, Constance and her sister Hilda had had what might be called an aesthetically unconventional upbringing. They had been taken to Paris and Florence and Rome to breathe in art, and they had been taken also in the other direction, to the Hague and Berlin, to great Socialist conventions, where the speakers spoke in every civilized tongue, and no one was abashed.
The two girls, therefore, were from an early age not the least daunted by either art or ideal politics. It was their natural atmosphere. They were at once cosmopolitan and provincial, with the cosmopolitan provincialism of art that goes with pure social ideals.
They had been sent to Dresden at the age of fifteen, for music among other things. And they had had a good time there. They lived freely among the students, they argued with the men over philosophical, sociological and artistic matters, they were just as good as the men themselves: And they tramped off to the forests with sturdy youths bearing guitars, twang-twang! They sang the Wandervogel songs, and they were free. That was the great word. Out in the open world, out in the forests of the morning, with lusty and splendid-throated young fellows, free to do as they liked, and--above all--to say what they liked.
It was the talk that mattered supremely: Love was only a minor accompaniment. Both Hilda and Constance had had their tentative love-affairs by the time they were eighteen. The young men with whom they talked so passionately and sang so lustily and camped under the trees in such freedom wanted, of course, the love connexion.
The girls were doubtful, but then the thing was so much talked about, it was supposed to be so important. And the men were so humble and craving.
Why couldn't a girl be queenly, and give the gift of herself? 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: 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. And however one might sentimentalize it, this sex business was one of the most ancient, sordid connexions and subjections. Poets who glorified it were mostly men. Women had always known there was something better, something higher. And now they knew it more definitely than ever. The beautiful pure freedom of a woman was infinitely more wonderful than any sexual love. The only unfortunate thing was that men lagged so far behind women in the matter.
They insisted on the sex thing like dogs. And a woman had to yield. A man was like a child with his appetites. A woman had to yield him what he wanted, or like a child he would probably turn nasty and flounce away and spoil what was a very pleasant connexion. But a woman could yield to a man without yielding her inner, free self.
That the poets and talkers about sex did not seem to have taken sufficiently into account. A woman could take a man without really giving herself away. Certainly she could take him without giving herself into his power.
Rather she could use this sex thing to have power over him. For she only had to hold herself back in sexual intercourse, and let him finish and expend himself without herself coming to the crisis: Both sisters had had their love experience by the time the war came, and they were hurried home.
Neither was ever in love with a young man unless he and she were verbally very near: The amazing, the profound, the unbelievable thrill there was in passionately talking to some really clever young man by the hour, resuming day after day for months Thou shalt have men to talk to!
It was fulfilled before they knew what a promise it was. And if after the roused intimacy of these vivid and soul-enlightened discussions the sex thing became more or less inevitable, then let it. It marked the end of a chapter. It had a thrill of its own too: When the girls came home for the summer holidays of , when Hilda was twenty and Connie eighteen, their father could see plainly that they had had the love experience.
L'amour avait passe par la , as somebody puts it. But he was a man of experience himself, and let life take its course. As for the mother, a nervous invalid in the last few months of her life, she wanted her girls to be 'free', and to 'fulfil themselves'. She herself had never been able to be altogether herself: Heaven knows why, for she was a woman who had her own income and her own way. She blamed her husband. But as a matter of fact, it was some old impression of authority on her own mind or soul that she could not get rid of.
It had nothing to do with Sir Malcolm, who left his nervously hostile, high-spirited wife to rule her own roost, while he went his own way.
So the girls were 'free', and went back to Dresden, and their music, and the university and the young men. They loved their respective young men, and their respective young men loved them with all the passion of mental attraction.
All the wonderful things the young men thought and expressed and wrote, they thought and expressed and wrote for the young women.
It is the forerunner of a rich harvest. So you were the first to tramp it down. Child, we've done our best. The Earth is like a child that knows many poems. Many, O so many. For the hardship of such long learning she receives the prize.
Strict was her teacher. The white in the old man's beard pleases us. Now, what to call green, to call blue, we dare to ask: She knows, She knows! Buds and seeds prick up their ears and blades of grass show eager spears. And only icicles weep tears when spring appears when spring appears. April is a promise that May is bound to keep, and we know it. When the night wind twists them to pieces, they will die like this: It was that magic, silent hour The branches grew so tall They twined themselves into a bower.
You feel that golden rain? Both of you could not hold, alas, both of you tried, in vain A memory, stranger. It will not come again. The sunflowers are there. Its fragrance, so delicate that it is almost stronger in memory than in reality, is sufficient.
Or the sight of it. Irresistibly you step close enough to inhale from the heart of one bloom, although actually the fragrance is more distinct if you stand back a few steps letting the sun-touched wind bring the perfume to you.
No one can ever forget the smell or the sight of a wide spreading apple tree in full bloom. The famous Japanese poet Basho used it to mean "the beauty of ordinary things spoken of in a simple way". They are as pale in summer time, For herb or grass may never grow Upon their slopes of lime. Within the circle of the hills A ring, all flowering in a round, An orchard-ring of almond fills The plot of stony ground. More fair than happier trees, I think, Grown in well-watered pasture land These parched and stunted branches, pink Above the stones and sand.
O white, austere, ideal place, Where very few will care to come, Where spring hath lost the waving grace She wears for us at home! Fain would I sit and watch for hours The holy whiteness of thy hills, Their wreath of pale auroral flowers, Their peace the silence fills. A place of secret peace thou art, Such peace as in an hour of pain One moment fills the amazed heart, And never comes again.
Robinson, An Orchard in Avignon , O Fairest daughter of Eve's blood, Lest her misprision thine should be, I've nipped temptation in the bud And send this snowy spray to thee. Since the Romans often named months for gods and goddesses , and since April was sacred to Venus, the Roman goddess of love, her festival was held on the first day of Aprilis. Is possible that Aprilis was originally called Aphrilis, a Latin name which comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of lnus?
Fordicidia, the Feast of the Cows on April 15, when ancient rites were conducted to ensure the prosperity of crops.
A cow pregnant with calf was sacrificed, and attendants of the vestal virgins then took the calf from its mother to burn it.
Its ashes, gathered up by the vestals, were used a few days later at the Parilia. The Parilia was the annual Roman festival of flocks and herds, celebrated on April 21 in honor of Pales, the pastoral deity god or goddess and special protector of cattle. The Parilia, essentially a pastoral, or agricultural rite, is believed to have originated long before the founding of the city of Rome B. A public holiday known as the Natalis urbis Romae birthday of the city of Rome , was also a day which was marked by music, street dancing, and general revelry.
Blooming and buzzing, Buzzing and blooming; Married and still in Love. We need it desperately, and, usually, we need it before God is willing to give it to us.
She was married to Zephyrus, the west wind, and her temple is in Aventine. Floralia was a time a great merriment and rejoicing in ancient Rome. During the festival, Romans would cast off their habitual white robes for more colourful garments, especially green ones. They would also deck themselves and everything around them in flowers then engage in all sorts of activities. There would be feasting, singing, dancing, and gaming. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess Flora.
Goats and hares meant to symbolize fertility were let loose in gardens and fields as protectors in Flora's honour. Singing filled the air and dancers stomped the ground to awaken nature and bring it back to life.
Ancient roman prostitutes in particular enjoyed this festival as they considered Flora their patron goddess. So Floralia was especially important to them. They participated in many events, from performing naked in the theatre to gladiatorial feats.
With the occupation of Rome in many countries of the western world at the time, especially in Britain and continental Europe, the festival of Floralia spread, with each country adding its own special touches to the festivities. And finally, Floralia became MayDay. Many countries choose a May Queen to preside over the day's activities and children dance around the Maypole. Some collect flowers on May Eve for the next day and some couples even make love in their garden to ensure fertility.
One belief that has been passed on is that one should wash one's face with the dew from MayDay morn to obtain lasting beauty. The winter blues will soon be gone And birds will soon burst forth in song The coral bells will gently ring The Daphne yells "It's almost Spring!
The Robins will appear at last Oh Wonderous Joy! I too shall sing! Garren, Song for Spring. And there's the windflower chilly With all the winds at play, And there's the Lenten lily That has not long to stay And dies on Easter day. Housman, The Lent Lilly , The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure; But the least motion which they made, It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man? On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar. Glory then in the springs that are yours. When autumn birds in flocks Fly southward, back we turn the clocks, And so regain a lovely thing That missing hour we lost in spring.
Creativity awe-inspiring gives a reason to be living. Plant life showing life anew, a wonder to be found. New born lambs playing in the fields, birds nesting all around People enjoying the sun and the warmth, feeling good to be alive.
Spring gives a purpose to our lives, a touch of Paradise. Sutton, Bring in the Spring. And this I found in an April field: Pure, undiluted, untouched joy. Another year Is quick with import. Such each year has been. Unmoved thou watchest all, and all bequeath Some jewel to thy diadem of power, Thou pledge of greater majesty unseen. The sun peeps through the window pane: Which children mark with laughing eye, And in the wet street steal again To tell each other spring is night.
Its smell reminds us in vestigial ways of fertility, vigor, life-force, all the optimism, expectancy, and passionate bloom of youth. We inhale its ardent aroma and, no matter what our ages, we feel young and nubile in a world aflame with desire. Rain, oh rain, don't go away We need you for flow'rs in May; Drip, drip, drop and do not stop, Send a little rain our way. I must get out and breathe the air deeply again. The Bird is on the Wing. The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: Before me lay a long gray line with a black mark down the center.
The birds were singing. It is also the last month of 'Imbolc', before 'Beltaine'. Mark, of the gospels, features as a strong influence within the early Celtic church at this time of year see February introduction. The need to toil the land, to work to achieve the ends is further symbolised by his work, that of spreading the news of the gospels and in the significance of the pilgrimage, the journey to achieve enlightenment. Early pilgrims were influenced by the laws of nature, in a similar way to the pre-Christians belief and practice of ritual and folklore related to nature, reading the actions of animals to lead them to a place of rest.
Most important in this month are the cattle or oxen, the deer or stag, and of course the ram Aries. The spirit was believed to be renewed in this month and therefore there was a need to let go of unnecessary worries and focus on the purpose, the commitment of faith and practice, to resurrect the slumbering energies if the months ahead were to be of service to the deities and God. I see the snow a melting down and lots of mud and slush around I know the grass will surely sprout and birds and flowers will come about.
But why oh why does it take so long? I'm sure the calendar can't be wrong. Sunshine fills my heart with cheer I wish that spring were really here. Helberg, Longing for Spring.
For every day There's something new That's come to stay. Hammond --just like a trunk on the railway that belongs to somebody.
And you are labelled Arnold B. Oh, you're quite right, you're quite right! The life of the mind needs a comfortable house and decent cooking. It even needs posterity.
But it all hinges on the instinct for success. That is the pivot on which all things turn. Hammond looked rather piqued. He was rather proud of the integrity of his mind, and of his not being a time-server. None the less, he did want success. But it seems to me you might leave the labels off sex.
We're free to talk to anybody; so why shouldn't we be free to make love to any woman who inclines us that way? I can't see I do a woman any more harm by sleeping with her than by dancing with her It's just an interchange of sensations instead of ideas, so why not? What's wrong with rabbits? Are they any worse than a neurotic, revolutionary humanity, full of nervous hate? I have my mind: I have certain calculations to make in certain astronomical matters that concern me almost more than life or death.
Sometimes indigestion interferes with me. Hunger would interfere with me disastrously. In the same way starved sex interferes with me. I don't over-eat myself and I don't over-fuck myself. One has a choice about eating too much. But you would absolutely starve me. It may not suit the process of my mind. I'm not properly pivoted that way All rot and funk, my boy. I must live and do my calculations. I need women sometimes.
I refuse to make a mountain of it, and I refuse anybody's moral condemnation or prohibition. I'd be ashamed to see a woman walking around with my name-label on her, address and railway station, like a wardrobe trunk.
I suppose it's quite true. I suppose we might exchange as many sensations and emotions with women as we do ideas about the weather, and so on. Sex might be a sort of normal physical conversation between a man and a woman.
You don't talk to a woman unless you have ideas in common: And in the same way, unless you had some emotion or sympathy in common with a woman you wouldn't sleep with her. But if you had Just as, when you are interested talking to someone, the only decent thing is to have the talk out. You don't prudishly put your tongue between your teeth and bite it. You just say out your say. And the same the other way. You, for example, May, you squander half your force with women.
You'll never really do what you should do, with a fine mind such as yours. Too much of it goes the other way. You can keep the purity and integrity of your mind, but it's going damned dry. Your pure mind is going as dry as fiddlesticks, from what I see of it. You're simply talking it down. I don't do any high and pure mental work, nothing but jot down a few ideas. And yet I neither marry nor run after women. I think Charlie's quite right; if he wants to run after the women, he's quite free not to run too often.
But I wouldn't prohibit him from running. As for Hammond, he's got a property instinct, so naturally the straight road and the narrow gate are right for him. You'll see he'll be an English Man of Letters before he's done. And what about you, Clifford? Do you think sex is a dynamo to help a man on to success in the world? Clifford rarely talked much at these times. He never held forth; his ideas were really not vital enough for it, he was too confused and emotional. Now he blushed and looked uncomfortable.
You've got the life of the mind sound and intact. So let us hear your ideas. I suppose marry-and-have-done-with-it would pretty well stand for what I think. Though of course between a man and woman who care for one another, it is a great thing. 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 skulking in the army The four men smoked. And Connie sat there and put another stitch in her sewing Yes, she sat there! She had to sit mum. She had to be quiet as a mouse, not to interfere with the immensely important speculations of these highly-mental gentlemen.
But she had to be there. They didn't get on so well without her; their ideas didn't flow so freely. Clifford was much more hedgy and nervous, he got cold feet much quicker in Connie's absence, and the talk didn't run.
Tommy Dukes came off best; he was a little inspired by her presence. Hammond she didn't really like; he seemed so selfish in a mental way. And Charles May, though she liked something about him, seemed a little distasteful and messy, in spite of his stars. How many evenings had Connie sat and listened to the manifestations of these four men! That they never seemed to get anywhere didn't trouble her deeply. She liked to hear what they had to say, especially when Tommy was there.
Instead of men kissing you, and touching you with their bodies, they revealed their minds to you. It was great fun! But what cold minds! And also it was a little irritating. She had more respect for Michaelis, on whose name they all poured such withering contempt, as a little mongrel arriviste, and uneducated bounder of the worst sort. Mongrel and bounder or not, he jumped to his own conclusions.
He didn't merely walk round them with millions of words, in the parade of the life of the mind. Connie quite liked the life of the mind, and got a great thrill out of it. But she did think it overdid itself a little. She loved being there, amidst the tobacco smoke of those famous evenings of the cronies, as she called them privately to herself.
She was infinitely amused, and proud too, that even their talking they could not do, without her silent presence. She had an immense respect for thought But somehow there was a cat, and it wouldn't jump. They all alike talked at something, though what it was, for the life of her she couldn't say.
It was something that Mick didn't clear, either. But then Mick wasn't trying to do anything, but just get through his life, and put as much across other people as they tried to put across him. He was really anti-social, which was what Clifford and his cronies had against him. Clifford and his cronies were not anti-social; they were more or less bent on saving mankind, or on instructing it, to say the least. The tie that binds us just now is mental friction on one another.
And, apart from that, there's damned little tie between us. We bust apart, and say spiteful things about one another, like all the other damned intellectuals in the world. Damned everybodies, as far as that goes, for they all do it.
Else we bust apart, and cover up the spiteful things we feel against one another by saying false sugaries. It's a curious thing that the mental life seems to flourish with its roots in spite, ineffable and fathomless spite.
Always has been so! Look at Socrates, in Plato, and his bunch round him! The sheer spite of it all, just sheer joy in pulling somebody else to bits Protagoras, or whoever it was! And Alcibiades, and all the other little disciple dogs joining in the fray! I must say it makes one prefer Buddha, quietly sitting under a bo-tree, or Jesus, telling his disciples little Sunday stories, peacefully, and without any mental fireworks.
No, there's something wrong with the mental life, radically. It's rooted in spite and envy, envy and spite. Ye shall know the tree by its fruit.
I'm rather worse than anybody else, myself. Because I infinitely prefer the spontaneous spite to the concocted sugaries; now they are poison; when I begin saying what a fine fellow Clifford is, etc. For God's sake, all of you, say spiteful things about me, then I shall know I mean something to you.
Don't say sugaries, or I'm done. I agree with you, Socrates gave the critical activity a grand start, but he did more than that,' said Charlie May, rather magisterially. The cronies had such a curious pomposity under their assumed modesty. It was all so ex cathedra , and it all pretended to be so humble. I was talking about the mental life,' laughed Dukes. The mind can only analyse and rationalize. Set the mind and the reason to cock it over the rest, and all they can do is to criticize, and make a deadness.
I say all they can do. It is vastly important. My God, the world needs criticizing today Therefore let's live the mental life, and glory in our spite, and strip the rotten old show. But, mind you, it's like this: But once you start the mental life you pluck the apple.
You've severed the connexion between the apple and the tree: And if you've got nothing in your life but the mental life, then you yourself are a plucked apple And then it is a logical necessity to be spiteful, just as it's a natural necessity for a plucked apple to go bad. It is Capitalism, among other things. Feelings and emotions are also so decidedly bourgeois that you have to invent a man without them. You must submerge yourselves in the greater thing, the Soviet-social thing.
Even an organism is bourgeois: The only thing that is a unit, non-organic, composed of many different, yet equally essential parts, is the machine. Each man a machine-part, and the driving power of the machine, hate That, to me, is Bolshevism. It's the factory-owner's ideal in a nut-shell; except that he would deny that the driving power was hate.
Hate it is, all the same; hate of life itself. Just look at these Midlands, if it isn't plainly written up The bottom that has no bottom! The Bolshevists will have the finest army in the world in a very short time, with the finest mechanical equipment.
Hate's a growing thing like anything else. It's the inevitable outcome of forcing ideas on to life, of forcing one's deepest instincts; our deepest feelings we force according to certain ideas. We drive ourselves with a formula, like a machine. The logical mind pretends to rule the roost, and the roost turns into pure hate. We're all Bolshevists, only we are hypocrites. The Russians are Bolshevists without hypocrisy. The Bolshevists aren't really intelligent. But sometimes it's intelligent to be half-witted: Personally, I consider Bolshevism half-witted; but so do I consider our social life in the west half-witted.
So I even consider our far-famed mental life half-witted. We're all as cold as cretins, we're all as passionless as idiots. We're all of us Bolshevists, only we give it another name. We think we're gods It's just the same as Bolshevism.
One has to be human, and have a heart and a penis if one is going to escape being either a god or a Bolshevist Love's another of those half-witted performances today. Fellows with swaying waists fucking little jazz girls with small boy buttocks, like two collar studs! Do you mean that sort of love? Or the joint-property, make-a-success-of-it, My-husband-my-wife sort of love?
No, my fine fellow, I don't believe in it at all! Oh, intellectually I believe in having a good heart, a chirpy penis, a lively intelligence, and the courage to say "shit! Tommy Dukes roared with laughter. 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!
It would be wonderful to be intelligent: The penis rouses his head and says: How do you do? Renoir said he painted his pictures with his penis I wish I did something with mine.
Another torture added to Hades! And Socrates started it. The men resented it They hated her admitting she had attended so closely to such talk. I just simply can't vibrate in unison with a woman.
There's no woman I can really want when I'm faced with her, and I'm not going to start forcing myself to it I'll remain as I am, and lead the mental life.
It's the only honest thing I can do. I can be quite happy talking to women; but it's all pure, hopelessly pure. What do you say, Hildebrand, my chicken? On a frosty morning with a little February sun, Clifford and Connie went for a walk across the park to the wood. That is, Clifford chuffed in his motor-chair, and Connie walked beside him. The hard air was still sulphurous, but they were both used to it.
Round the near horizon went the haze, opalescent with frost and smoke, and on the top lay the small blue sky; so that it was like being inside an enclosure, always inside.
Life always a dream or a frenzy, inside an enclosure. The sheep coughed in the rough, sere grass of the park, where frost lay bluish in the sockets of the tufts. Across the park ran a path to the wood-gate, a fine ribbon of pink. Clifford had had it newly gravelled with sifted gravel from the pit-bank. When the rock and refuse of the underworld had burned and given off its sulphur, it turned bright pink, shrimp-coloured on dry days, darker, crab-coloured on wet. Now it was pale shrimp-colour, with a bluish-white hoar of frost.
It always pleased Connie, this underfoot of sifted, bright pink. It's an ill wind that brings nobody good. Clifford steered cautiously down the slope of the knoll from the hall, and Connie kept her hand on the chair.
In front lay the wood, the hazel thicket nearest, the purplish density of oaks beyond. From the wood's edge rabbits bobbed and nibbled. Rooks suddenly rose in a black train, and went trailing off over the little sky. Connie opened the wood-gate, and Clifford puffed slowly through into the broad riding that ran up an incline between the clean-whipped thickets of the hazel. The wood was a remnant of the great forest where Robin Hood hunted, and this riding was an old, old thoroughfare coming across country.
But now, of course, it was only a riding through the private wood. The road from Mansfield swerved round to the north. In the wood everything was motionless, the old leaves on the ground keeping the frost on their underside. A jay called harshly, many little birds fluttered. But there was no game; no pheasants. They had been killed off during the war, and the wood had been left unprotected, till now Clifford had got his game-keeper again.
Clifford loved the wood; he loved the old oak-trees. He felt they were his own through generations. He wanted to protect them. He wanted this place inviolate, shut off from the world.
The chair chuffed slowly up the incline, rocking and jolting on the frozen clods. And suddenly, on the left, came a clearing where there was nothing but a ravel of dead bracken, a thin and spindly sapling leaning here and there, big sawn stumps, showing their tops and their grasping roots, lifeless.
And patches of blackness where the woodmen had burned the brushwood and rubbish. This was one of the places that Sir Geoffrey had cut during the war for trench timber. The whole knoll, which rose softly on the right of the riding, was denuded and strangely forlorn.
On the crown of the knoll where the oaks had stood, now was bareness; and from there you could look out over the trees to the colliery railway, and the new works at Stacks Gate. Connie had stood and looked, it was a breach in the pure seclusion of the wood. It let in the world. But she didn't tell Clifford. This denuded place always made Clifford curiously angry. He had been through the war, had seen what it meant.
But he didn't get really angry till he saw this bare hill. He was having it replanted. But it made him hate Sir Geoffrey. Clifford sat with a fixed face as the chair slowly mounted. When they came to the top of the rise he stopped; he would not risk the long and very jolty down-slope. He sat looking at the greenish sweep of the riding downwards, a clear way through the bracken and oaks. It swerved at the bottom of the hill and disappeared; but it had such a lovely easy curve, of knights riding and ladies on palfreys.
But, as she said it she heard the eleven-o'clock hooters at Stacks Gate colliery. Clifford was too used to the sound to notice.
There was a certain pathos. The wood still had some of the mystery of wild, old England; but Sir Geoffrey's cuttings during the war had given it a blow. How still the trees were, with their crinkly, innumerable twigs against the sky, and their grey, obstinate trunks rising from the brown bracken! How safely the birds flitted among them! And once there had been deer, and archers, and monks padding along on asses. The place remembered, still remembered. Clifford sat in the pale sun, with the light on his smooth, rather blond hair, his reddish full face inscrutable.
Except for us it would go One must preserve some of the old England! It's sad, I know. It's all we can do. We can only do our bit. I feel every man of my family has done his bit here, since we've had the place. One may go against convention, but one must keep up tradition. Connie was not keen on chains, but she said nothing. She was thinking of the curious impersonality of his desire for a son. I don't believe very intensely in fatherhood. If we had the child to rear, it would be our own, and it would carry on.
Don't you think it's worth considering? Do these things really affect us very deeply? You had that lover in Germany 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 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.
But what do the occasional connexions matter? And the occasional sexual connexions especially! If people don't exaggerate them ridiculously, they pass like the mating of birds. And so they should. What does it matter? It's the life-long companionship that matters. It's the living together from day to day, not the sleeping together once or twice.
You and I are married, no matter what happens to us. We have the habit of each other. And habit, to my thinking, is more vital than any occasional excitement.
The long, slow, enduring thing Little by little, living together, two people fall into a sort of unison, they vibrate so intricately to one another. That's the real secret of marriage, not sex; at least not the simple function of sex. You and I are interwoven in a marriage. If we stick to that we ought to be able to arrange this sex thing, as we arrange going to the dentist; since fate has given us a checkmate physically there.
Connie sat and listened in a sort of wonder, and a sort of fear. She did not know if he was right or not. 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. You just wouldn't let the wrong sort of fellow touch you. I don't believe you would ever care for a man who was purely antipathetic to me. Your rhythm wouldn't let you. But you do agree with me, don't you, that the casual sex thing is nothing, compared to the long life lived together?
Don't you think one can just subordinate the sex thing to the necessities of a long life? Just use it, since that's what we're driven to?
After all, do these temporary excitements matter? Isn't the whole problem of life the slow building up of an integral personality, through the years? There's no point in a disintegrated life. If lack of sex is going to disintegrate you, then go out and have a love-affair. If lack of a child is going to disintegrate you, then have a child if you possibly can. But only do these things so that you have an integrated life, that makes a long harmonious thing.
And you and I can do that together Connie was a little overwhelmed by his words. She knew he was right theoretically. But when she actually touched her steadily-lived life with him she Was it actually her destiny to go on weaving herself into his life all the rest of her life? Was it just that? She was to be content to weave a steady life with him, all one fabric, but perhaps brocaded with the occasional flower of an adventure.
But how could she know what she would feel next year? How could one ever know? How could one say Yes? The little yes, gone on a breath! Why should one be pinned down by that butterfly word? Of course it had to flutter away and be gone, to be followed by other yes's and no's! Like the straying of butterflies. And as far as I can see I agree with you. Only life may turn quite a new face on it all.
She was watching a brown spaniel that had run out of a side-path, and was looking towards them with lifted nose, making a soft, fluffy bark. A man with a gun strode swiftly, softly out after the dog, facing their way as if about to attack them; then stopped instead, saluted, and was turning downhill. It was only the new game-keeper, but he had frightened Connie, he seemed to emerge with such a swift menace. That was how she had seen him, like the sudden rush of a threat out of nowhere.
He was a man in dark green velveteens and gaiters He was going quickly downhill. The man at once slung his gun over his shoulder, and came forward with the same curious swift, yet soft movements, as if keeping invisible. He was moderately tall and lean, and was silent. He did not look at Connie at all, only at the chair.
You haven't spoken to her ladyship yet, Mellors? The man lifted his hat as he stood, showing his thick, almost fair hair. 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. She bent her head to him shyly, and he changed his hat to his left hand and made her a slight bow, like a gentleman; but he said nothing at all. He remained for a moment still, with his hat in his hand.
He gave another slight bow, turned, put his hat on, and strode to take hold of the chair. His voice on the last words had fallen into the heavy broad drag of the dialect He might almost be a gentleman. Anyhow, he was a curious, quick, separate fellow, alone, but sure of himself. Clifford started the little engine, the man carefully turned the chair, and set it nose-forwards to the incline that curved gently to the dark hazel thicket. The engine isn't really strong enough for the uphill work.
The spaniel looked at him and faintly moved its tail. A little smile, mocking or teasing her, yet gentle, came into his eyes for a moment, then faded away, and his face was expressionless. They went fairly quickly down the slope, the man with his hand on the rail of the chair, steadying it. He looked like a free soldier rather than a servant.
And something about him reminded Connie of Tommy Dukes. When they came to the hazel grove, Connie suddenly ran forward, and opened the gate into the park. Sign Making for the Women's March. Jan 19 Friday 1pm, Seal Beach: Jan 19 Friday pm, Laguna Hills: Laguna Woods Democratic Club: Jan 19 Friday pm, Irvine: Democratic Socialists of America-OC: Jan 20 Saturday 8am-noon, Irvine: Women's March-Get On the Bus!
Jan 20 Saturday 8: Jan 20 Saturday 9am-noon, Fullerton: Homelessness presented by Fullerton ACT. Jan 20 Saturday 11am Jan 20 Saturday 1: Flicks for Thought - " Roger Williams: Freedom's Forgotten Hero ". Jan 20 Saturday Garden Grove Democratic Club: Jan 21 Sunday Jan 22 Monday 5: Women for American Values and Ethics: Jan 22 Monday Jan 22 Monday 6pm, Orange: Democratic Party of OC: Jan 23 Tuesday 5: Jan 23 Tuesday pm, Costa Mesa: Foley for Mayor Campaign Kickoff.
Jan 23 Tuesday 6: Jan 23 Tuesday pm, Santa Ana: Jan 25 24 Thursday noon Wednesday 3pm -Friday 3pm, Irvine: Peace and Justice Week: The Power of Advocacy. Jan 24 Wednesday 5: Jan 24 Wednesday pm, Irvine: Meet the Women Running for Congress. Jan 24 Wednesday 6: Banning Ranch Conservancy Board Meeting. Jan 24 Wednesday pm, Diamond Bar: The 39th Congressional District Candidate Forum! Jan 27 Saturday 8: Jan 27 Saturday 4pm, Costa Mesa: Meet and Greet with Hans Keirstead.
Jan 28 Sunday 9: Jan 28 Sunday Jan 28 Sunday 3: Jan 28 Sunday 4: Jan 29 Monday 9am-9pm, Anaheim: Jan 29 Monday Racial Bias in America: Jan 30 Tuesday 10am-noon, Fountain Valley: Jan 30 Tuesday pm, Huntington Beach: Jan 30 Tuesday Truth About the Death Penalty.
Jan 30 Tuesday 6: Local Climate Action Panel: Jan 30 Tuesday pm, Irvine: Jan 31 Wednesday pm, Corona Del Mar: Hans Keirstead for Congressal: Jan 31 Wednesday 6pm, Irvine: Feb 1 Thursday Feb 1 Thursday 6: Feb 1 Thursday pm, Costa Mesa: Feb 1 Thursday pm, Whittier: Whittier Peace Free Film Night: Feb 2 Friday pm, Santa Ana: Feb 3 Saturday 9: League of Women Voters: Civil Discourse Facilitator Training. Feb 3 Saturday 10am-noon, Laguna Beach: Feb 3 Saturday 10am, Santa Ana: Meeting to Plan Tijuana Trip.
Feb 3 Saturday 10am-4pm, Santa Ana: Feb 3 Saturday pm, San Clemente: Feb 3 Saturday pm, Irvine: Feb 4 Sunday pm, Irvine: Feb 5 Monday 6: Feb 6 Tuesday Feb 7 Wednesday Feb 8 Thursday 8am-3pm, Anaheim: Association of California School Administrators: Feb 8 Thursday pm, Irvine: Breaking Out of the Social Closet. Feb 8 Thursday pm, Tustin: Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice: Architects for Justice Feb 8 Thursday pm, Santa Ana: Defend the Sacred 2nd Annual Gala. Feb 9 Friday Feb 10 Saturday 9: Precinct Walk to ResistTheRecall.
TrumpTax Teach-In with Rep. Feb 10 Saturday pm, Buena Park: Feb 10 Saturday pm, Santa Ana: Democratic Socialists of America OC reading group: Feb 11 Sunday pm, Fountain Valley: Feb 12 Monday 6: Aliso Niguel Democratic Club: Meet Senate Candidate Pat Harris.
If you are not at the table, you are on the menu! Feb 15 Thursday pm, Huntington Beach: Laura Oatman Fundraiser with guest speaker Marianne Williamson. Feb 15 Thursday 6: Feb 15 Thursday 4: Feb 15 Thursday pm, Fullerton: How to Write a Ballot Initiative. Feb 16 Friday 4: Feb 17 Saturday 8am-noon, Westminster: Feb 17 Saturday 10am-noon, Huntington Beach: What's the Deal with Single Payer?
Feb Saturday 10am Feb 17 Saturday 1: Feb 17 Saturday pm, Anaheim: Feb 17 Saturday pm, Diamond Bar: Feb 18 Sunday 1: Feb 18 Sunday pm, Irvine: Democrats of Greater Irvine February Meeting: Feb 18 Sunday 4: Feb 19 Monday 7pm, Newport Beach: Housing Is a Human Right: Feb 20 Tuesday pm, Huntington Beach: Feb 20 Tuesday Feb 20 Tuesday 7pm, Aliso Viejo: Soka Univ Critical Conversations: Feb 21 Wednesday Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council: Feb 21 Wednesday pm, San Juan Capistrano: South OC Democratic Club.
Feb 21 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: Feb 22 Thursday 10am-2pm, Costa Mesa: Feb 22 Thursday noon-2pm, Laguna Beach: No More Offshore Oil Rigs! Feb 22 Thursday 6: Feb Friday-Sunday 9am-5pm, San Diego: Feb 24 Saturday Canvassing for Tacos in Turtle Rock.
Feb 25 Sunday pm, Newport Beach: Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project: Feb 25 Sunday pm, Irvine: Moms Demand Action - CA: Feb 27 Tuesday pm, Huntington Beach: Feb 27 Tuesday pm, Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach Democratic Club: Talking Across the Partisan Divide. Feb 27 Tuesday 6pm, Irvine: Feb 27 Tuesday pm, Santa Ana: OC Racial Justice Collaborative book club discussion: Feb 28 Wednesday 11am-1pm, Irvine: Feb 28 Wednesday 11am-2pm, Laguna Beach: Feb 28 Wednesday noon-2pm, Irvine: Feb 28 Wednesday 5: Support Our Disneyland Workers: Feb 28 Wednesday pm, Irvine: The Voice of Sojourner Truth.
Mar 1 Thursday 2: Mar 1 Thursday Privatization's Threat to the American Public. Mar 1 Thursday 6: Mar 1 Thursday pm, Orange: Chapman University Young Democrats: Delaine Eastin for Governor Mar 1 Thursday pm, Whittier: Mar 2 Friday pm, Huntington Beach: Mar 3 Saturday 9am, Fullerton: Friends of Josh Newman Opposed to the Recall: Mar 3 Saturday 10am-noon, Anaheim: Immigration Relief for Victims of Crime.
Mar 3 Saturday pm, Santa Ana: Regionalia with John Spiak. Mar 4 Sunday pm, Irvine: Mar 4 Sunday pm, Fullerton: California Women's Society for Democracy in Iran: Women, A Pivotal Force for Change. Mar 5 Monday Mar 5 Monday pm, Fullerton: Mar 5 Monday pm, Irvine: The Intersection Between Faith and Politics. People for Housing OC: A Conversation Among Advocates. Mar 6 Tuesday 6: Mar 6 Tuesday pm, Irvine: CA Congressional Debate Series: Mar 7 Wednesday pm, Fullerton: Clean Dream Act Textbank!
Mar 7 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 8 Thursday noon-1pm, Huntington Beach: Mar 8 Thursday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 8 Thursday 6: Latinx Young Democrats of OC: Public education under attack.
Mar 10 Saturday 9am-1pm, Orange: Mar 10 Saturday 9am-3pm, Santa Aa: OC National Organization for Women: Girls Know CS Conference. Mar 10 Saturday pm, Irvine: Mar 11 Sunday 11am-3pm, San Clemente: Sacred Activism, Rise Up and Protect.
Mar 11 Sunday pm, Garden Grove: Democratic Socialists of America - OC: Police Brutality Against Women. It's All About Political Engagement. Mar 12 Monday 7pm, Anaheim: Mar 13 Tuesday 1: Can Adversaries Hack Our Elections? Can We Stop Them? Mar 13 Tuesday 5: Rally Demanding Justice for Shayan Mazroei. Mar 13 Tuesday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 14 Wednesday 5: Mar 14 Wednesday The New Tax Plan: Mar 14 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: MeToo Beyond the Hashtag.
Mar 15 Thursday 6pm, Huntington Beach: Mar 15 Thursday pm, Costa Mesa: Socialist Feminist Meet Up. Mar 15 Thursday pm, Newport Beach: Laura Oatman's Issues Series: Mar 15 Thursday pm, Santa Ana: Women's Empowerment and Discussion Group. Mar 15 Thursday Indivisible OC 48 All Hands. Mar 16 Friday pm, Irvine: Mar 17 Saturday 9: Mar 17 Saturday Vigil and March Against the Death Penalty. Mar 17 Saturday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 17 Saturday 1: Mar 18 Sunday pm, Santa Ana: OC Racial Justice Collaborative: A New Hispanic Heritage Tradition.
Mar 19 Monday 6: Mar 20 Tuesday 5: Mar 20 Tuesday 7: Mar 21 Wednesday 5: Mar 21 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 22 Thursday 6: Mar 24 Saturday 8am-3pm, Anaheim: Womxn of Color Conference: Mar 24 Saturday 8: Mar 24 Saturday am, San Clemente: Mar 24 Saturday 9: Mar 24 Saturday 10am-noon, Irvine: Mar 24 Saturday 10am March For Our Lives. Mar 24 Saturday noonpm, Anaheim: The Decolonizing Mental Health Festival.
Mar 25 Sunday Mar 26 Monday pm, Costa Mesa: CA48 Candidate Town Hall. Mar 27 Tuesday am, Santa Ana: Stand Up to the OC Supervisors. Mar 27 Tuesday 6pm, Irvine: Mar 27 Tuesday 6: League of Women Voters of Orange Coast: Solutions for the Homeless.
Mar 27 Tuesday pm, Santa Ana: Win Local with Petition Campaigns: Mar 28 Wednesday pm, Irvine: Mar 28 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: Mar 29 Thursday noon-1pm, Newport Beach: Mar 29 Thursday pm, Newport Beach: Give a Blue Wave Mimi's Donors.
Mar 29 Thursday 5: Mar 29 Thursday Mar 29 Thursday 6: Mar 30 Friday Mar 31 Saturday am, Irvine: Farrah's Irvine Listening Tour: Khan for Irvine City Council Mar 31 Saturday 10am-noon, Orange: Mar 31 Saturday 10am-4pm, Santa Ana: Building Power through Grassroots Organizing Part 2. Apr 2 Monday Housing is a Human Right: Apr 3 Tuesday pm, Irvine: Apr 4 Wednesday 6: Apr 4 Wednesday pm, Santa Ana: Apr 5 Thursday 8am Apr 5 Thursday Stand up for OC Lives!
Apr 5 Thursday 6: Apr 5 Thursday pm, Garden Grove: Apr 6 Friday 6: Electoral Politics Committee Meeting. Apr 7 2 nd Saturday 10am, Santa Ana: OC Peace Coalition Meeting. Apr 7 Saturday 5: Apr 9 Monday pm, Orange: People on the Move: An Exploration of Global Displacement. Apr 9 Monday 5pm, Los Alamitos: Residents Defend Sanctuary and Immigrant Rights.
Apr 9 Monday Displacement in the West Bank: A Conversation with Eid Suleman. Apr 9 Monday 6: Apr 9 Monday pm, Irvine: Students for Justice in Palestine Gaza Now. Apr 10 Tuesday Celebrate Equal Pay Day Luncheon. Apr 10 Tuesday 5: Progressives of South OC. Apr 11 Wednesday pm, Orange: Apr 12 Thursday pm, Santa Ana: Apr 12 Thursday 5: Democratic Women of South OC. Apr 12 Thursday 6pm, Huntington Beach: Human Flow Documentary Screening.
Apr 12 Thursday pm, To be provided: High Level Social Media Training. Apr 14 Saturday 9: Apr 14 Saturday Apr 14 Saturday 3pm, Irvine: Apr 15 Sunday 10am-1pm, Anaheim: Apr 15 Sunday noon-5pm, Santa Ana: Finding Compassion Despite Our Differences. Apr 15 Sunday Apr 15 Sunday 2pm, Irvine: Democrats of Greater Irvine Monthly Meeting. Apr 15 Sunday 5: Apr 15 Sunday pm, Fullerton: Apr 16 Monday 6: Apr 17 Tuesday 5: Newport Beach Women's Democratic Club.
Apr 17 Tuesday 7: Cousins Club of OC: Josef Avesar " Surviving Peace ". Apr 18 Wednesday 6: Apr 18 Wednesday 7pm, PBS: So Cal Sustaining CA: Apr 19 Thursday 3: Moms Demand Action Rally: Dana Rohrabacher-Enough Is Enough! Apr 19 Thursday 7pm, Irvine:
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