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Women in Love

The days went by, and she received no sign. Was he going to ignore her, was he
going to take no further notice of her secret? A dreary weight of anxiety and acrid
bitterness settled on her. And yet Ursula knew she was only deceiving herself,
and that he would proceed. She said no word to anybody.
Then, sure enough, there came a note from him, asking if she would come to tea
with Gudrun, to his rooms in town.
'Why does he ask Gudrun as well?' she asked herself at once. 'Does he want to
protect himself, or does he think I would not go alone?' She was tormented by
the thought that he wanted to protect himself. But at the end of all, she only said
to herself:
'I don't want Gudrun to be there, because I want him to say something more to
me. So I shan't tell Gudrun anything about it, and I shall go alone. Then I shall
She found herself sitting on the tram-car, mounting up the hill going out of the
town, to the place where he had his lodging. She seemed to have passed into a
kind of dream world, absolved from the conditions of actuality. She watched the
sordid streets of the town go by beneath her, as if she were a spirit disconnected
from the material universe. What had it all to do with her? She was palpitating
and formless within the flux of the ghost life. She could not consider any more,
what anybody would say of her or think about her. People had passed out of her
range, she was absolved. She had fallen strange and dim, out of the sheath of
the material life, as a berry falls from the only world it has ever known, down out
of the sheath on to the real unknown.
Birkin was standing in the middle of the room, when she was shown in by the
landlady. He too was moved outside himself. She saw him agitated and shaken,
a frail, unsubstantial body silent like the node of some violent force, that came
out from him and shook her almost into a swoon.
'You are alone?' he said.
'Yes--Gudrun could not come.'
He instantly guessed why.
And they were both seated in silence, in the terrible tension of the room. She was
aware that it was a pleasant room, full of light and very restful in its form--aware
also of a fuchsia tree, with dangling scarlet and purple flowers.
'How nice the fuchsias are!' she said, to break the silence.
'Aren't they! Did you think I had forgotten what I said?'
A swoon went over Ursula's mind.
'I don't want you to remember it---if you don't want to,' she struggled to say,
through the dark mist that covered her.
There was silence for some moments.
'No,' he said. 'It isn't that. Only---if we are going to know each other, we must
pledge ourselves for ever. If we are going to make a relationship, even of
friendship, there must be something final and infallible about it.'