10 February 2012

The Last Kick

W. N. P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man (London: Chatto & Windus, 1919), p. 42:
My body is chained to me -- a dead weight. It is my warder. I can do nothing without first consulting it and seeking its permission. I jeer at its grotesqueness. I chafe at the thongs it binds on me. On this bully I am dependent for everything the world can give me. How can I preserve my amour propre when I must needs be for ever wheedling and cajoling a despot with delicate meats and soft couches? -- I who am proud, ambitious, and full of energy! In the end, too, I know it intends to carry me off... I should like though to have the last kick and, copying De Quincey, arrange to hand it over for dissection to the medical men -- out of revenge. 'Hope thou not much: fear thou not at all' -- my motto of late.