Lady Chatterley's Lover
Connie was aware, however, of a growing restlessness. Out of her
disconnection, a restlessness was taking possession of her like madness. It
twitched her limbs when she didn't want to twitch them, it jerked her spine when
she didn't want to jerk upright but preferred to rest comfortably. It thrilled inside
her body, in her womb, somewhere, till she felt she must jump into water and
swim to get away from it; a mad restlessness. It made her heart beat violently for
no reason. And she was getting thinner.
It was just restlessness. She would rush off across the park, abandon Clifford,
and lie prone in the bracken. To get away from the house. . .she must get away
from the house and everybody. The wood was her one refuge, her sanctuary.
But it was not really a refuge, a sanctuary, because she had no connection with
it. It was only a place where she could get away from the rest. She never really
touched the spirit of the wood itself. . .if it had any such nonsensical thing.
Vaguely she knew herself that she was going to pieces in some way. Vaguely
she knew she was out of connection: she had lost touch with the substantial and
vital world. Only Clifford and his books, which did not exist. . .which had nothing
in them! Void to void. Vaguely she knew. But it was like beating her head against
Her father warned her again: "Why don't you get yourself a beau, Connie? Do
you all the good in the world."
That winter Michaelis came for a few days. He was a young Irishman who had
already made a large fortune by his plays in America. He had been taken up
quite enthusiastically for a time by smart society in London, for he wrote smart
society plays. Then gradually smart society realized that it had been made
ridiculous at the hands of a down-at-heel Dublin street-rat, and revulsion came.
Michaelis was the last word in what was caddish and bounderish. He was
discovered to be anti-English, and to the class that made this discovery this was
worse than the dirtiest crime. He was cut dead, and his corpse thrown into the
Nevertheless Michaelis had his apartment in Mayfair, and walked down Bond
Street the image of a gentleman, for you cannot get even the best tailors to cut
their low-down customers, when the customers pay.
Clifford was inviting the young man of thirty at an inauspicious moment in that
young man's career. Yet Clifford did not hesitate. Michaelis had the ear of a few
million people, probably; and, being a hopeless outsider, he would no doubt be
grateful to be asked down to Wragby at this juncture, when the rest of the smart
world was cutting him. Being grateful, he would no doubt do Clifford `good' over
there in America. Kudos! A man gets a lot of kudos, whatever that may be, by
being talked about in the right way, especially "over there". Clifford was a coming
man; and it was remarkable what a sound publicity instinct he had. In the end
Michaelis did him most nobly in a play, and Clifford was a sort of popular hero.
Till the reaction, when he found he had been made ridiculous.