Monday, October 15, 2007

How Beastly the Bourgeois Is

by D.H. Lawrence

How beastly the bourgeois is

especially the male of the species--

Presentable, eminently presentable--

shall I make you a present of him?

Isn't he handsome? Isn't he healthy? Isn't he a fine specimen?

Doesn't he look the fresh clean Englishman, outside?

Isn't it God's own image? tramping his thirty miles a day

after partridges, or a little rubber ball?

wouldn't you like to be like that, well off, and quite the


Oh, but wait!

Let him meet a new emotion, let him be faced with another

man's need,

let him come home to a bit of moral difficulty, let life

face him with a new demand on his understanding

and then watch him go soggy, like a wet meringue.

Watch him turn into a mess, either a fool or a bully.

Just watch the display of him, confronted with a new

demand on his intelligence,

a new life-demand.

How beastly the bourgeois is

especially the male of the species--

Nicely groomed, like a mushroom

standing there so sleek and erect and eyeable--

and like a fungus, living on the remains of a bygone life

sucking his life out of the dead leaves of greater life

than his own.

And even so, he's stale, he's been there too long.

Touch him, and you'll find he's all gone inside

just like an old mushroom, all wormy inside, and hollow

under a smooth skin and an upright appearance.

Full of seething, wormy, hollow feelings

rather nasty--

How beastly the bourgeois is!

Standing in their thousands, these appearances, in damp


what a pity they can't all be kicked over

like sickening toadstools, and left to melt back, swiftly

into the soil of England.

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