Sons and Lovers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 635 pages of information about Sons and Lovers.
sunny leaves in the morning, or sat in her bedroom aloft, alone, when it snowed.  That was life to her.  For the rest, she drudged in the house, which work she would not have minded had not her clean red floor been mucked up immediately by the trampling farm-boots of her brothers.  She madly wanted her little brother of four to let her swathe him and stifle him in her love; she went to church reverently, with bowed head, and quivered in anguish from the vulgarity of the other choir-girls and from the common-sounding voice of the curate; she fought with her brothers, whom she considered brutal louts; and she held not her father in too high esteem because he did not carry any mystical ideals cherished in his heart, but only wanted to have as easy a time as he could, and his meals when he was ready for them.

She hated her position as swine-girl.  She wanted to be considered.  She wanted to learn, thinking that if she could read, as Paul said he could read, “Colomba”, or the “Voyage autour de ma Chambre”, the world would have a different face for her and a deepened respect.  She could not be princess by wealth or standing.  So she was mad to have learning whereon to pride herself.  For she was different from other folk, and must not be scooped up among the common fry.  Learning was the only distinction to which she thought to aspire.

Her beauty—­that of a shy, wild, quiveringly sensitive thing—­seemed nothing to her.  Even her soul, so strong for rhapsody, was not enough.  She must have something to reinforce her pride, because she felt different from other people.  Paul she eyed rather wistfully.  On the whole, she scorned the male sex.  But here was a new specimen, quick, light, graceful, who could be gentle and who could be sad, and who was clever, and who knew a lot, and who had a death in the family.  The boy’s poor morsel of learning exalted him almost sky-high in her esteem.  Yet she tried hard to scorn him, because he would not see in her the princess but only the swine-girl.  And he scarcely observed her.

Then he was so ill, and she felt he would be weak.  Then she would be stronger than he.  Then she could love him.  If she could be mistress of him in his weakness, take care of him, if he could depend on her, if she could, as it were, have him in her arms, how she would love him!

As soon as the skies brightened and plum-blossom was out, Paul drove off in the milkman’s heavy float up to Willey Farm.  Mr. Leivers shouted in a kindly fashion at the boy, then clicked to the horse as they climbed the hill slowly, in the freshness of the morning.  White clouds went on their way, crowding to the back of the hills that were rousing in the springtime.  The water of Nethermere lay below, very blue against the seared meadows and the thorn-trees.

It was four and a half miles’ drive.  Tiny buds on the hedges, vivid as copper-green, were opening into rosettes; and thrushes called, and blackbirds shrieked and scolded.  It was a new, glamorous world.

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Sons and Lovers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.