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^i^e's . 3.IO 


"^'•'^- ' ''' 








far from the madding crowd " *' the woodlanders 
"life's little ironies" Etc. 

** Poor woutidid namt I Afy bosoms as 




\X895 ' • 

HCf V^tl 3, 1t20 f 

Copyright, 1891, by IlARPEit i; Bxiothubs, 
Copyright, 1892, by IUrper & DRoiiiifits. 
Copyright, 1893, by lUnpia Ji Brotqus. 

^a righlt TUlrcrd. 

W ■■ I HJ. 


^\]Mt Hit liXBU 



Jfi\]Mt tl)e Second. 


{Iliase tl)e Sijirb. 


piiase ti)e iTcnrti) 


|)l)a6e tl)e irifti). 


piiase tlje Si^l). 


piiase tl)e SeoentI) 




modtb" FrtmtitpUct 





'ARi TOU AFRAID?'" " 188 

"he went quickly TOWARDS THE DESIRE OF BIS EYES " . . . " 170 



GOWNS" " 226 






The main portion of the following story appeared — with 
L «light modifications — in the Graphic newspaper and Sar- 
per's Bfunr; other chapters, more especially addressed to 
ndiilt readers, in the Fortnightly Reviete and the Katiotinl 
Obsfnvr, as episodic sketches. My thanks are tendered to 
the editors and proprietora of those periodicals for enabling 
me now t'O piece the tronkand limbs of the novel together, 
and print it complete, as originally written two years ago. 

I will jnst add that the story is sent out in all sincerity 
of purpose, as an attempt to give artistic form to a tjHg 
sec j nence of things ; and in respect of the book's opinions I 
would ask any too genteel reader who cannot endure to 
have said what everj'hody nowadays thinks and feels, to 
remember a well-woru sentence of St. Jerome' 
offence come out of the truth, better is it that the 
come than that the truth be concealed." 

Xorember, 1891. 

i feels, to 
:■. 'If ani 
le offence 1 

T. H. , 


Tms novel beiiig one wherein the great cauipn^Ti of the 
lieroiue begins after an event in her espericuct which has 
usually been treated as extinguishing her, in the aspect of 
protagonist at least, and as the virtual ending of her career 
anil hopes, it waa quite contrary to avowed eonventions that 
ihe public should welcome the hook, and agree with me in 
' riding that there was something more to be saidui fiction 
".nn had been said abont the shaded side nt a well-known 
iifastrophe. But the responsive spirit in which Tess of the 
I/UrberviUes has been i-eceived by the readL'i-s of England 
find America would seem to prove that the plan of laying 
down a story on the lines of tacit opinion, instead of mak- I 
uig it to square witli the merely vocal foi-mulae of society, | 
is not altogether a wi-ong one, even when exomplified in so 
imequal and partial an achievement as tlie present. Foe 
this responsiveness I cannot i-efrain from expressing my 
thanks ; and my regret is that, in a world where one so 
iifttn hungers in vain for friendship, where even not to be 
wilfully misunderstfHxi is felt as a kindness, I shall never 
meet in person these appi-eciative readers, male and female, 
and shake them by the hand. 

I include amongst them the reviewers — by far the ma- 
j'ritj- — who have so generously welcomed the tale. Their 
words show that they, like Uie others, have only too largely 
repaired my defects of narration by their own imaginative 
m tuition. 

Nevertheless, thoi^h the novel waa intended to be neither 

* Eighth American Edition. 


didactic nor aggressive, but in the scenic parts to be repra 
sentative simply, and in the conteniplative to be ofteuol 
charged with impressions than with opinions, there hav 
been objectors both to the matter and to the rendering. 

Home of these maintain a conscientious difference < 
sentiment concerning, among other things, subjects fit fo 
art, and reveal an inability to associate the idea of the title 
adjective with any but the licensed and derivative meanin, 
which has resulted to it from tJie ordinances of ci\'ilizatioi| 
They thus ignorp, not only all Nature's claims, all lestheti 
claims on the woi-d, but even the spiritual interpretatim 
afforded by the finest side of Christianity ; and drag in, as 
\'ital point, tlie acts of a woman in her last days of desjiero 
tion, when all her doings lie outside her normal charaetPi 
Others dissent on grounds wliich arc intrinsically no mo 
than an assertion that the novel embodies the views of Ij 
l)ryvaleut at. the end of the nineteenth conturj-, and no 
those of an farlier and simpler generation — an asscrtioi 
whieh I can only hope may be well founded. Let me repea 
that a novel is an impression, not an argument ; and thei 
the matter must rest ; as one is reminded by a passag 
which occurs in the lett«re of Schiller to Goethe on judge 
of this class : " They are those who seek only their own idee 
ill a representation, and prize that which should be a 
liigher than what is. The cause of the dispute, thereforf 
lies in the very first principles, and it would be utterly in 
possible to come to an understanding with them." 
again : " As soon as 1 observe that any one, when jndgiti| 
(if poeticiJ representations, considers anything more in: 
portimt than the inner Necessity and Truth, I have don 
with him." 

In the introdnctory words to tlie first edition I suggesto 
the possible advent of the genteel person who would n'}t h 
able to endure the tone of tJjese pages. That person dul 
oppeared. mostly mixed up with the aforesaid objecton 
In another of Ids forms he felt upset that it was aot poaa 

ble for him to read the book through three times, owing to 
my not liuving made that critical effort which " alone cou 
prove the salvation of such an one." In another, he objected 
to euch ^Tiigar articles as the devil's pitchfork, a lodging. 
bouse cftrviug-knif D, and a shame-bonght parasol appearing 
in a respectable story. In another place he was a gentle- 
man who turned Christian for half an hour the better to 
express his grief that a disrespectful phrase about the Im- 
mortals should ha\-e been used ; though the same innate 
gentility compelled him to excuse the author in words of 
pity that one eannot be too thankful for ; " Ho does but give 
us of hia best." I can assTire this great critic that to exclaim 
illogically against the gods, singular or plural, is not such 
an original sin of mine as he seems to imagine. True, it 
may have some local originalitj' ; though if Shakespeare 
were an authority on history, which perhaps he is not, I 
could show that the sin was introduced into Wessex as early 
as the Hpptarchy itself. Says Glo'ster to Lear, otherwise 

Ilna, king of that country : 
H "As flies to waQton 1xiys are vb U> the gods ; 

H They kill uh for their eport." 

The remaining two or three manipidators of Tess weie 
"f the sort whom most writers and readers would gladly 
; professed literary boxers, who put on their convic- 
i for the occasion; modem "Hammers of Heretics"; 
1 discouragers of effort, ever on the watch to prevent 
K tentative half-snccesa from becoming the whole success ; 
t pervert plain meanings, and grow personal under the 
a of practising the great historical method. However, 
j may have causes to advance, privilegt^a to giiaid, tra- 
[ons to keep gning; some of which a mere tale-teller. 
} writes down how the things of the world strike bim, 
"totit any ulterior intentinntt whatever, baa overlooked, 
1 may bj- pure inadvertence have run foul of when in 

the least aggressive mood. Perhaps some passing peroep- 
tioE, the outcome of a dream-hour, would, if generally act^ 
on, cause such an assailant considerable inconvenience 
with j-ospect to position, interests, family, servant, ox, ass, 
neighbor, or neighbor's wife. He therefore valiantly hides 
his personality behind a publisher's shutters, and cries 
" Shame ! " So densely is the world thronged that any shift- 
ing of positions, even the best warranted advance, hurts . 
somebody's heels. Such shifttngs of ten begin in sentiment, , 
and sncb sentiment sometimes begins iu a novel 

T. H. 
Juts. 1893. 




Ox Ru evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged 

man wns walking homeward from Shastou to the village 

lit Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore or Blaek- 

monr. The pair of legs that carried him wore rickety, and 

ihere was a bias in liii< gait that inclined liim somewhat to 

iLe left of a straight line. He occasionally gave a smai-t 

Dod, as if in eonthmation of some opinion, though he was 

■pot thinking of anything in particnlar. An empty egg- 

Einaket was hhmg upon his arm, the nap of his hat was 

Bed, a patch being quite worn away at its brim where 

B tbiuub came in taking it off. Presently he was met by 

■ elderly parson astride of a gray mare, who, as he rode, 

med a wandyring tnne. 
?• Good-night t'ye," said the man with the basket 
r Good-night. Sir John," said tho parson. 

) pedestrian, after another pace or two, halted, and 
ntmed round. 


"Now, eir, beg^iug your pardon, we met last markct-di 
on this road about this time, and I said ' Good-niglit,' 
you made ifply, ' Grood-night. Sir John,' as now." 
"I did," said the parson. 
" And once before that — neai- a month ago." 
" I may have." 

" Then what might yonr meaning be in calling me ' 
iJohn' these different Umes, when I be plain Jack Durl 
I field, the haggler ? " 

The parson rmle a st#p or two nearer. 
"It -was only my whim," lie said; and, after a mome 
hesitation : " It was on account of a discovery I made som 
little time ago, whilst I was hunting np pedigrues for t" 
new oounty historj-. I am Parson Tringham, the aotiqnat 
! of Stftgfoot Lano. Don't you really know, Diu-beyfleJd 
i.thAt you are the lineal representative of the ancient I 
rknighlly family of tlie I)'Urber\Tl]es, who derive 
' descent from Sir Pagan D'Urberville, that renowned knigl 
L who came from Nonaiuidy with WUliam the Couquere 
mms appears by Battlo Abbey Koll?" 
"Never heard it before, air." 

" Well, it's trtie. Throw up your chin a moment, so t 
I may catch the profile of your face better. Yes, that's ti 
D'Urberville nose and chin — a little debased. Your am 

Itorwn^ one of the twelve knights who assisted the I 
Estremavilla in Normandy in his conquest of Olainoi _ 
shire. Branches of your family held manors over rU I 
part of England ; their names appear in the Pipe I 
the time of King Stepheu. In the reign of King JohO < 
of them was rich enough to give a manor to the Kni^ 
Hospitallers ; and in Edward the Second's time your t 
father Brian was summoned to Westminster to attend ti 
great Council there. You declined a little in Oliver C 
well's time, but to no serioOs extent, and in Charles t 
Second's reign you were made Knights of the Royal C 
for your loyal^. Aye, there have been goneratiouft i 



Mr Johns ainong you, and if knighthood were hereditarj'. 
like » baronetcy, as it practically was in old times, wht-n 
men wen? knighted from father to son, yon wonld lie Sii- 
John now," 

(" You don't say so ! " 
" In short," concluded the parson, decisively smocking 
bl leg with his switch, " there's liardly such another family 
^ England 1" 
"Daze my eyes, and isn't there t" said Dnrbej-fleld. 
And here have I been knocking about, year after year, 
.Mm pillar to post, as if I was no more than the conmioii- 
est feller in the parish, . . . And how long hev this news 
about roe bwn kuowed, Pa'son Tringham ' " 

The clergyman explained that, as far as he was await-. 

; had qnit« died out of knowledge, and could hardly be 

•::r1 to boknownat all. His own investigations had iwgnn 

■ 111 a day in the preceding spring when, having been cii- 

1 tracing the vicissitudes of the D'Urherville family, 

ehad observed Durbej'fleld's uame on his wagon, and had 

reupon been led to make inquiries about his father and 

errujdfather, till he had no doubt on the subject. "At first 

I resolved not to distui'b you with such a useless piece of 

mfomiation," said he. "However, our impulses are too 

^yfaong for our judgment sometimes. I thought you might 

^BMi&T''' Ittiow something of it nil the while." 

^^^"Well, 1 have heard once or twice, 'tis true, that my 

family had seen better days before tliey came to Black- 

■i'->r. But T took no notice o't, thinking it to mean that 

.-■ had once kept two horses where we now keep only one. 

■■ogotawold silver sponn at home, too; and likewise a 

-laven seal ; but, Lord, what's a &{X)on and seal f . - . 

wid to think that I and these uoble D'Urbervilles was one 

'isb, Twae waid that my grandfer had seci-ets, and didn't 

. ni to talk of where ho came from. . . . And where do 

■ niise OUT smoke, now, parson, make so bold ; I mean, 

> licre do we D'Urbervilles live V 


" Yon dont live anywhere. You are extinct — as a coxax 
I family." 

" That" s bad." 

" Yes — what tlie niendacioiis family chi'onicles call < 
I tinct in the male lini» — that is, gone down — gone under," 

"And where do wo He!" 

'• At Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill : rows and i-ows of y( 
I in Tour vaults, with your efBgies under Purbeck-marh 
I cauopieB." 

'■And where be our family mansions and estates?" 

" You haven't any." 

"O! No lands neither T" 

"None; though you once had 'em in abundance, aa 
I said, for your family consist*^ of numerous brauchea. 
I this county tliere was a seat of yours at ICingsbere, ai 
I another at Sherton, and another at Millpoud, and anotk 
I at Lollstead, and another at Wellbridge." 

"And shall we over conio into our own again f 

"Ah, that I can't U'll." 

"And what had I better do about it, sirT" asked Dnrb* 
I field, after a jiause. 

"0 — nothing, nothing; except chasten yourself wi 

[ the thought of 'how arc the mighty fallen.' It is a fe 

[ of some interest to tlte local historian and gcncalugi 

nothing more. There are several families among t 

cottagers of this county of almost eqnal lastrc. Got 

\ night" 

" But youll turn back and have a quart of beer wi' I 
Ion the strength o't, Pa'son TringhamI There's a vo 
I prettj- brew in tap at The Pure Droji — though, to be so; 
not so good as at Rolliver's," 

'■ No, thank you — not this evening, Diirbeyfleld. Yon'' 
' had enough already." Concluding thus, the jwrson m 
I on his way, with doubts as to his discretion in retailing tl 
curious bit of lore. 

Wlicn he was gone Durbeyfield walked a few steps Iq 


■pTofonnd reverie, and theu siit down upon the grassy batik 
bv tie roadside, depositing his basket before him. In ii 
few minutes a youth apptmed in the distance, walking 
m the same direction as .that which had been pursued by 
Duriieyfield. The latter, on seeing him, held np his hand, 
mill the lad qniekeued his paee and eame near. 

■ Btiy, take up that basket ! I want 'ee to go on an 
■ rmnd for me." 

Thf laJh-like striplmg frowned. "Who be you, then, 
-Tohii Diirbeyfield, that order nie abont and call me boyt 

Koa know my name as well as I know yours ! " 
" Do you— do you 1 That's the secret — that's the secret ! 
t>w obey my orders, and take the message I'm going to 
rhai^e 'ee wi'. . . . Well, Fred, I don't mind toiUng yon 
ihftt the se<!ret is that I'm one of a noble rat'e — it lias been 
jcist found out by ine this present afternoon, p.m." And 
iis he made the announcement, Durbej'field, declining fn>ni 
liis sitting position, luxuriously stretched himself out upon 
the baiik among the daisies. 
The lad stood before Durbeyfield, and contemplated his 
1 from crown to toe. 
I "Sir tTohn D'Urberville — that's who I be," continued the 
rata man. " That is if knights were baronets — whieh 
be, Tis recorded in history all about me, Dost 
p of such a place, lad, as Kingsbere-sul>Gre(!nhillT" 
I"vo Ijeen there to Greenhill Fair." 

"WtJl, tinder the chiu'ch of that city there lie " 

l'*''Tisn't a city, tlie place I mean; leastwise 'twasn't 
1 1 was there — 'twas a little one-eyed, blinking sort o' 

pHover you mind the pilaee, boy; that's not the question 

e OS. Under the church of that {parish lie my anoes- 

■bandreds of 'em — in coats of mail and jewels, in 

t lead coffins weigliing tons and tons. There's not a 

a in tlic county o' Wessex that's got grander and nobler 

"'aigtflns in his family than I." 



" Now take up that basket, and go oa to Mai-lott, am 
I when you come to The Pure Drop luu, tell 'em to send i 
I horse and L-amage to me immediately, to cauy me honu 
I And in the bottom o' the carria^ they be to put a noggi 
[ o' rum in a small bottle, and ehalk it up to uiy accouiu 
I And when you've done that, go on to my IfSuse with th 
I banket, and tell my wife to put away that washing, because 
I she needn't finish it, and wait till I come home, as I h^n 
J news to tell her," 

As the lad stood iu a dubious attitude, DurbcySeld pn 
I htR hand in his pocket and produced a sliiUing, one of i 
comparatively few that he posBessod. "Here's for ; 
labor, lad." 

Tliis made a real diffei-ence in tie young man's apprecia-. 
I tion of the position. " Yea, Su- John. Thank you. Any 
L thing else I can do for 'ee, Sir John T " 

■■ Tell 'em at liorae that I should like for supper 
[ lamb'ij fry if they can get it ; and if they can't, black-p 
I and if they can't get that — well, chitterlings will do." 

■'Tes, Sir John." 

The boy took up the basket, and as he set out the noU 
I of a brass band were heard from the direction of the villagl 
I " Wliat'd thatf said Durbej'field. "Not on account o' II 

'"Tifl the women's elul)-walkiug. Sir John. Why, ym 
I daughter is one o' the members." 

"To lie sure; Vd quite forgot it in my thoughts < 
I greater things. Well, vamp on to Marlott, will 'ee, an 
I order that carriage, and maybe Pi! drive raund and ii 
f the dub." 

The lad departed, and Durbeyfleld lay waiting on I 

I grass and daides in the eveniug sun. Not a soul pasee 

I that way for a long while, and the faint notes of the bai 

Were the only humau sounds audible within the rim c 

blue hills. 




The Tillage of Marlott lay amid tlie northeastern imdu- 

lations of the beautiful Vale of Blakeniore or Blackmoor 

aforesaid, an engirdled and secluded region, for the moKt 

part untrodden as yet by tourist or landscape-painter, 

though within a tour hours' journey from London. 

L^B It is a vale whose acquaintance is best made by viewing 

^^Ht from the summits of the hills that surround it — except 

^^Hperhaps during the droughts of siunmer. An nnguided 

^^Kftmble into its recesses in bad weather is apt to engender 

^V cUssatisfactioQ with its narrow, tortuous, and mirj- way 

^H This fertile and sheltered tract of country, in which the 

^K fields are never brown and the springs never dry, 

bounded on the south by the bold cbalk ridge that embraces 
the prominences of Hambledon Hill, Bulbarrow, Nettle- 

combe-Tout, Dogbury, High Stoy, and Bubb Down. The 

traveller from the coast., who, after plodding for a score 
I of miles over calcareous downs and corn-lands, suddenly 
^ Veaches the verge of one of these escarpments, is surprised 
I aDd deIight(^d to behold, extended like a map beneath him, 
a coimtrj- differing absolutely from that which ho has 
passed through. Behind him the hills oro open, the sun 
I idazes dovm upon fields so large as to give an unenclosed 
I ebamcter to the landscape, the lanes are white, the hedges 
lIow and plashed, the atmosphere colorless. Here, in the 
I TaJley, the world seems to be constructed upon a smaller 
I and more delicate scale; the fields arc mere paddocks, so 
I'lvdnced that from this height their hedge-rows appear a 
■ net-work of dark green threads overspreading the paler 
I green of the grass. The atmospliere beneath is longuorons, 
I nd is so tinged with azure that what artists call the mid- 
Idle distauee partakes also of that hue, while the horizon 



ond is of the deepest ultramarine. Aratle lands arff 
and limited ; with but slight exceptions the prospect is 

hroiid rich mass of grass and trees, mantling minor hilla 

id dales within the major, Sucli is t!:c Vale of Blaclonoor. 

The district Ih of historic, no less than of topographicai 
interest. The valo was known in former times as th€ 
Forest of Wliitc Hart, from a curious legend of Khi| 
Henry the Third's reign, in wliieh the killing Iiy a cerUtiD 
Thomas de la Lynd of a beautiful white hart which tliA 
King had nm down and spared, was made the oeeasion of 
a heavy fine In those days, and till comparativdy recent 
times, the country was densely wooded. Even now trace* 
of its earlier condition are to be found in tlie old oak eopsea 
and irregular belts of timber that yet survive upon it» 
slopes, and the hollow-trnnked trees that shade so many ( ' 
its pastures. 

The forests have departed, but some old enstome of thei^ 
shades remain. Many, however, linger only in a metamot^ 
ihosed or disguised form. The May-day dance, for io' 
itauce, was to be discerned on the afternoon under notio^ 
in the guise of the club revel, or "clali-walking,'* as it wai 
there called. 

It was an interesting event to the younger inhabitants o 
Marlott, though the real interest was not observed by tbi 
participators in the ceremony. Its singulai-ity lay less il 
the fact that there was stUl retained a cnetom i>f walkinj 
[in procession and dancing on each auniversao' than tha 
the members were, solely women. In men's clubs suii 
celebrations were, though expiring, less uncommon ; but 
either tho naturid shyness of Uie softer sex, nr a sareastia 
attikude on tho part of male relatives, had denuded such 
women's clnbs as remained (if any other did) of this their 
[■glory and consummation. The club of Marlott alone lived 
to Hphold tiie local Cerealia. It had walked for hundnxl* 
of years, if not as beneflt-club, as votive sisterhood of » 
sort ; and it. walked still, 

Tlie banded one? wprr rill dri'ss^cd in wliite gowns- 

nm MAIDEN. a 

vival from Old Style days, whGii cheerfiJucss and Muy- 
~Eme wero synoujius— days before the habit of taking long 
views liud reduced emotions to a monotonons average. 
Their first eJthibition of themselves was in a processional 
^Hnrch of two and two round the parish. Ideal and real 
^Hhshcd slightly as the sun lit up their figures against the 
^^Heen hedges and creeper-la<^ed house-fronts ; for, though the 
^^Wiolo troop wore white garments, no two whites were alike 
among them. Some gowns were purely blanehed; some 
had a bluish pallor; some worn by the oldt-r tluiraeters 
^^tehich had possibly lain by folded for many a year) in- 
^Hfaied to a cadaverous tint, and to Georgian style. 
^^■In addition to the distinction of a wltite frock, every 
^Vteman and girl carried in her right haiid a peeled wiUow 
wand, and in her left a bnnch of white flowers. The peel- 
ing of the former, and the selection of the latter, had been 
an operation of personal care. 

There were a few middlo-aged and even elderly women in 
the train, their silver wirj- hair and wrinkled faces, scourged 
by time and trouble, hft\-ing almost a grotesque, certainly a 
jiathclie, appearance in such a jaunty situation. In a trae 
\-irtw, jierhaps, tlwe was more to be gathered and told of 
these anxious and experienced ones, to whom the yeais 
were drawing nigh when each should say, "I have no 
pleasure in them," than of the juvenile members. But let 
the elder be passed over here for those under whose bodices 

B life throbbed quick and warm. 

I The young girls formed, indeed, the majority of the 

IDd, and their heads of luxnriant hair reflected in the 

ptihine evei-y tone of gold and black and brown. Some 

i beautiful eyes, others a beautiful nose, others a beauti- 

I mouth and figure ; few, if any, had all. A difficulty of 

Dging their lips in this crude exposni'c to public 

■otiiiy, an inability in balance their heads and to disasso- 

e self -consciousness from their foabires, were apparent 

^ them, and showed that they were genuine co\mtry girls, 

istomed to many eyes. 



^^ And as each and all of them were warmed without by 
the son, so eaeh had a private little sun for her soul to 
bask in — some dream, somu affection, some liobby, at least 
some remote and distant hope, which, though perhaps 
6tar\-ing to nothing, still lived on, as hopes will. Thus, 
they were all cheertiil, and many of them merrj-. 

They came round by The Pui-e Drop Inn, and were 
■ning out of the high-road to pass tlirough a wicket-gate 
nto the meadows, wbeu one of the women said 
\ "The Loi-d-a-Lord ! Wliy, Tess Diu-bej-field, if there 
n't tJiy father riding liome in a carriage ! 
A yonng member of the band turned her head at the 
_ ulamation. She was a fine, handsome girl — not hand- 
somer than some others, cert^nly — but her mobile peony 
month and large innocent eyes added eloquence to color 
and shape. She wore a red ribbon in her hair, and was the 
oly one of the white company who could boast of such a 
ronouuced a*]omnient. As she looked round, DurbcyfieW 
I seen moving along the road in a ehaise belonging 
I The l*uTO Drop, driven by a frizzle-headed, brawny 
[anisel, with her gown sleeves rolled above her elbows. 
a was the chwrful sei-vant of that establishment, who, 
1 her part of factotum, turned groom and ostler at times. 
Darbej-field, leaning back, and with his eyes closed Ini- 
urioiisly, was waving his hand above his bead, and sing- 
ing, in a slow recitativ 

" I've got ft great family vault at Kingsbere, and knighted 
forefathers in lead coffins there ! 

The alubbists tittered, except the girl called Teas — in 
^Lvhom a slow' heat seemed to riBc at Iho sense that hei 
^Hat)ier was making himself foolish in their eyes. 
^M "He's tired, that's all," she said, hastily, "and he has got 
^Hk lift home, Wcaiise tmr own horse has to pest to-day. 
^H " Bless thy simpUcity, Tpss," said her companions. 
^Bf He's got his market-nitcli. Haw-haw ! " 
^B " Look here ; I won't walk another inch vdxh jf if yoi 

^ ' '■ 


J- tiny jokes ftboat him ! " Teas cried, and the color iipoa 
htr cheeks spread over her face aud iieek. Iii a motaval 
hi;r eyes grew moist, and her glance dropped to the 
ground. Perceiving that they had really pained her, they 
said no more, and order again prevailed. Tess's pride 
would not allow her to turn lier head again, to learn what 
her father's meaning was, if he had any; and thus she 

(oved on witli tlie whole body to the eneloaiire where 
ere was to be dancing on the green. By the time the 
Kit was readied slie had recovered her equanimity, and 
pped her neigljbor with her wand and talked as usual. 
Tess Diirlwyfield at this time of her life was a mere 
v essel of emotion , untinctured by experience. The dialect 
was on her tongue to some ejctent, despite the village 
school : the characteristic intonation of that dialect for this 
district being the voicing approximately i-eudered by the 
syllable ur — ^[)robably as rich an utterance as any to be 
found in human speech. The ponted-np deep red mouth 
to which this syllable was native had hardly as yet settled 

Pto its definite shape, and her lower lip had a way of 

sting the middle of her top one upward, when they 

1 tt^ther after a word. 

Phases of her diildhood lurked in her nsi^ct still. As 

s walked along to-day, for all her bouncing handsome 

manlinessi, you could Konu'timfs see her twelfth year in 

■ cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes ; and 

even bev fifth would flit over the curves of her mouth now 

and then. 

Yet few knew, and still fewer considered, this. A small 

ffity, mainly strangers, would look long at her in casually 

iog by, and grow momentarily fascinated by her fresli- 

I, and wonder if thoy would ever see her again ; but lo 

»ost everylwdy she was a flue and picturesiiue country 

1, and no more. 

Nothing was seen or heard further of Durbeyfield in his 
mpbol chariot under tlie conduct of the ostleress, aud. 

as V 



club having entered the allotted space, dancing began. 

As there were no men in the company, the girls danced at 
first with each other, but when tie houi- for the close of 
labor drt'w on, the ma£cnline inhabitants of the village, to- 
gether with other idlers and pedestrians, gathered round 
the spot, and appeared inclined to negotiate for a partner. 
Among these lookers-on were three young men of a 
superior class, carrying small knapsacks strapped to their 
slioiildei-s, and stout sticks in their hands. Their general 
likeness to each other and their consecutive ages would al- 
most have suggested that they might be, what in fact they 
were, brothers. The eldest woi-e the white tie, high waist- 
coat, and thin-brimmed hat of the regidation curate; the 
second was the norma] undergraduate ; the appearance of 
the third aud youngest would hardly have been sufficient 
to characterize him ; there was an uncribbed, nncabined 
it in his eyes and attire, implying that he had hardly 
yet found the entrance to his professioual groove. That 
was a desultory, tentative student of something and 
ything might only have been predicated of him, 
These three brethren tx:i!d casutd ac(|uaintance that they 
spending their Wbitsuo holidaj's in a walking tour 
lugh the Vale of Blackmoor, their course Iwing sonth- 
westcrly from the town of Shaston on the northeast. 
They leant over the gate by the highway, and inqnired 
to the meaning of the dance and the white-froeked 
The two elder of the brothers were plainly not in- 
iding to Hng«?r more than a moment, but the spectacle 
a bevy of girls dancing without male partners seemed to 
'amuse the tliird, and make him in no hurry to move on. 
He unstrapped liis knapsack, jiut it, with his stick, on the 
hedge-bank, and opentnl the gate. 

"AVHiat are you going to do, AngelT" asked the eldest, 
"I am incliued lo go and have a fling with them, Why 
not all of us— just for a minute or two ; it will not dctaiix 
B long T " 


"No— HO; nonsense!" said the first. "Dancing in 

ihlic with a troop of country hoydens I Suppose we 

lould be seen! Come along, or it will be dark before 

get to Stonrcastle, and there's no place we can sleep at 

irer than that; besides, we must get through another 

chapter of A Coutiterhlast to Agnosticism before we turn in, 

now 1 have taken the trouble to bring tbe book." 

"All right; I'll overtake you and Cuthbert in five 
minutes ; don't stop ; I give my word that 1 will, Felix." 
The two elder reluctantly left him aud walked on, tekiug 
ir brother's knapsack to relieve hjn) in followiug, aud 
young*-st enttred the field. 

This is a thousand pities," he said, gallantly, to two or 
te of the girls nearest him, as soon as there was a pause 
in the dance. " Where are your partuers, my dears f " 

"They've not left off work yet," answered one of the 
boldest. " TheyTl be here by-aud-by. Till then will you 
>ne, sir?" 

Certainly. But what^ one aumag so many!" 
Better than none. "Tis melancholy work facing and 
iting it to one of j'our own sort, and no clipsiug and 
ing at all. Now, pick aud choose." 
S-sh ! Don't lie so for'ard ! " said a shyer girl. 
The young man, thus invited, glanced them over, and 
impted somi? discrimination j but as the group were all 
to him, he coiUd not very well exercise it. He took 
the first that came to hand, which was not the 
:er, as she ha<] expected ; nor did it happen to be Tess 
'beyfleld. Pedigree, ancestral skeletons, monumental 
ird, tho D'Urber\-ille lineaments, did not help Tess in 
life's battle as yet, even to the extent of atUw-tiug to 
a dancing partner over the heads of Uie uommonest 
,ntrj-. So much for Norman blood nuaidud by Vic- 
iaa lucre. 

The name of the edipsing girl, whatever it was, has uot 
handed down ; but she was envied by all as the first 


no enjoyed the laswy of a masculine imrtner that even- 

Ynt snch was the force of esample that the village 

^ men, who had not hastened to enter the gat^ while 

d intruder was in the way, now dropped in quiekly, and 

tuples became leavened with rustic youths to a 

krked extent, till at length the plainest woman in the club 

sno longer compelled to foot it on the masculine sido o( 

Bie figure. 

The church clock struck, when suddenly the student sidd 
that he must leave — be had been forgetting himself — ^he 
bad to join his companions. As he fell out of the dance 
bis eyes lighted on Tess Durbeyfield, whose own large orba 
wore, to tell the truth, the faintest aspect of reproach that 
bo had not chosen her. He, too, wos sorry then that, owing 
(<i her backwardness, he had not obeer\'ed her ; and, with 
tliat in his mind, he left the pasture. 
On account of his long delay he started in a flying ran 
ti the lane westward, and hod soon passed tbo hollow 
1 mouuf«d the next rise. He had not yet o\-('rta.ken liis 
fpthers, but he paused to take breath, and lotiked back. 
e could see the white figures of the girls in tb(> grefln en- 
Mure whirling about as they ha<l whirled wbi?u he wait 
Biong them. They seemed to have (juito forgotten him 
I All of tliem, eioept, perhaps, one. This wliite figure stood 
-. by tlie hedge alone. From her position lie knew it 
\ be the pretty maiden with whom he had not danced, 
ling Hfi the matter was, he yet instinctively felt that 
■e was burl by his oversight. He wished that he had 
!ked her ; bo wished that ho had inqnirSd her name. She 
ivas so modest, so expressive, she had looked so soft Ju her 
thin white gown tliat be felt he bad acted stupidly. 
However, it could not be belpetl, and turning, and bend- 
jl^ himself to a rapid walk, he disnusHed the subject from 
% mind. 




^ m. ' ' 

As for Tess Dorbeyfield, ebe did not so easily dislodga 

le incident from ber cousidemtion. She ha*l uo spirit w 

'dance again for a long time, though she might have bad 

]deDty of partners ; but, ah ! they did not speak so nicely oa 

the strange young man hml done. It was not till the rays 

of the Bun had absorbed the young stranger's retreating 

figure on the hill that slie shook off her temjKirary sadness, 

and answered her would-be partner in the affirmative, 

She remained with her comrades till dusk, and partici- 

it<?d with a certain zest in the dancing; though, being 

^leart-whole as yet, she enjoyed treading a measure purely 

for its own sake ; little divining when she saw " the soJ 

torments, the bitter sweets, the pleadug pains, and the 

ayrecahle distresses " of those girls who had been wooed 

and won, what she herself was capable of experiencing in 

Lt kind. The struggles and wrangles of the lads for her 

' in a jig were an amusement to her, no more ; and' 

they became fiei-ce she rebuked them, 

She might have staye^even later, but the incident of her 

kther'a odd appearance and manner returned upon the 

irl's mind to make her anxious, and wondering what had 

le of him she dropped away from the dancers and 

steps towards the end of the village at whicli the 

cottage lay. While yet many score yards oflF, 

rhythmic sounds than those she had quitted became 

to her; soimds that she knew well — so well Thi 
a regular series of thumpings from the interior of tbo 
', occasioned by the violent rocking of a cradle upon 
stone floor, to which movement a feminine voice kept 
by singing, in a vigorous gallopade, the favorite ditty 
~ Spotted Cow " : 


r MW her Ub do — own in yaa — der green gro — 
Come, love, aad Tit tell you where. * 

Irhe cradle-rocking and the song wouJJ cease for a mo- 
nt siniultaneonfily, and an eXL'lauiation at higbeet vocal 
\ntah would take the plo^re of the nii?lody, 

" Uod bleaa thy dimtnt fyos ! And thy waxen cheeks ! 
And thy cherry mouth ! And thy Cubit's lags 1 And 
every bit o' thy blessed body !" 

After this iuvocatiou the rocking and the singing would 
_, recommence, and "The Spotted Cow" proceed us before. 
^kfio matters stood wheu Tess opened the door and paused 
^BiipoQ the mat within it, surveying the scene, 
H^ The interior, iu spit^ of the melody, struck upon tlie 
girl's senses with an unspeakable dreariness. From die 
holiday gayeties of tiie day — the white gowns, iJie nose- 
gays, the willow wands, the whirling movement* on tlio 
reen, tho ila»ih of gyntlc sentiment towards the stranger — 
t tho yellow melancholy of this ono-candlod spevtoolo, 
riist ft step ! Besides the jar of contrast, there came to 
I chill feeling of self-reproach that »ho had not re- 
Tied sooner, before the dancing began, to help her 
rttiother in these domesticities, instead of indulging herself 
out-of-doors. 4 

There stttod her mofJier amid the group of cbildivn, at 
Toss had left her, hanging over the Monday waahing-Cnb, 
ivluch had now, as always, lingered on to the end of \3xt 
wvx'k. Out of that tnb had come the day before — Tess Wt 
it, with a dreadful sting of remorse — tbo very white froek 
upon her back, wJueh sh3 hatl so carelessly greened alionl 
the skirt on the damping grass ; which had been wrung up 
and ironed by her mother's own hand>s. 

As usuid, Mrs. Durbeyfleld was balanced on one foot 

} the tub, the other being engaged in the aforesaid 

msinesE of rocking her youngeet child. The cradle rockera 

i done hard duty for so many years, under the weieht 

» ■* .V 

f THE iun>£y. ^ 

.." • . y ■ ^ - '■ ■.., 

of so many children, on that flag-stNttjB floQ|i^that (hey / 
were worn nearly flat; in consequence of whicAi a Mnge 
jerk accompanied each swing of the cgl 'ttnging the baby 
from side to side like a weaves, shuliuei ^ 1*^ Dnrbey* 
field, excited by her song, trod Ibe rqi^er with all the 
spring that was left in her after l^loii(|j[[ dajr's seething in 
the suds. *^ .,. 

Nick-knock, nick-knock went ihe /n^i^i^e candle- 
flame stretched itself tall, and began ^JplfiM^ up and 
down; the water dribbled from ^^eft iD0npBri|^^ and 

the song galloped on to the end tif the verBe/^^Ers. Durbey- 
field regarding her daughter the 'id^le. Even now, when 
burdened with a young family, Joan Durbeyfield was a 
passionate lover, of tune. No ditty floated into Black- 
moor VakLfrom the outer world but Tess's mother caught 
up its notation in a week. 

Tliere still faintly beamed from the woman's features 
somethinjr of the freshness and even the prettincss of her 
youth, rendering it evident tliat the personal charms which 
Tess could boast of were in main part her mother's gift, 
and therefore unknightly, unhistorical. 

" ril rock the cradle for 'ee, mother," said the daughter, 
gently ; "or I'll take off my best frock and help you -wring 
up ? I thought you had finished long' ago." 

Her mother bore Tess no ill-Tvill for leaving the house- 
work to her single-handed efforts for so long ; and indeed 
she seldom upbraided her thereon at any time, feeling the 
lack of Tess's assistance but slightly, whilst her chief plan 
for relieving herself of her diurnal labors lay in postpon- 
ing them. To-night, however, she was even in a blither 
mood tlian usual. There was a dreaminess, a preposses- 
sion, an exaltation, in the maternal look which the girl 
codid not understand. 

•*' WeD, I'm glad you've come," her mother said, as soon 
as the last note had passed out of her. " I want to go and 
fetch vour father. But what's more'n that, I want to tell 


t6bs op the dtrbervillek. 


Impprtied. TTouTl be tees enough, ray poj*- 
:,.. ....,:. .,,.u know!* 

(ilns. Durbt-yfleld still habitually spoke the dialent ; her 
daughter, who had passi'd tlie Sbilh Standard in the Na- 
tional School, nnder a London-traiued mistress, spoke two 
lanenages; the dialect at home, more or less; oi-dinary 
English abro%i akd to persons of quality.) 
" Since I'to bbon'i^ay I " Tess asked. 
"Ay!" <v^. 

"Had it anytOng to do with father's making such a 
mommet of himself in the carriage this afternoon 1 Why 
did he! I felt inclineti to sink into the ground ! " 

" That was all a part of the larry. We've been found to be 

the greatest gentlefolk in the whole county, reaching all Via«k 

long before Oliver Gruiuble's time, to the days of the pngun 

Turks, with monuments and vaults and crests and si-utch- 

. eons, and the Lord knows what all! In Saint Cliarleis's 

I days we was made Knights of the Royal Oak, our real 

I name being lyUrbenTlIe. . . , Don't that make your bosom 

I swell ? 'Twaa on thin aeeount that your father rode honw 

a the carriage ; not liecauso he'd been drinking, us peoplA- 


"Pm glnd of that. Will it do us any good, mothert' 

"Oh yes. 'Tia thoughted that great things may 

}'t. No doubt a string of folk of (lur own rank will 

down here in their carriages as soon as 'tis known. T< 

father learnt it on liis way home fntm Stourcastle, and 

been telling me the whole i>edigrec of the matter." 

"Where is father uowf asked Tess, suddenly. 

Her mother gave irrelevant information by way nf ansi 

•' He called to see the doctor to-day in Stourcastle. It 

not consumption at all, it seems. It is fat around 

heart, he saj-s. There, it is like this." Joan Durbej'fi* 

as she spoke, curved a sodden thumb and forefinger to 

shape of the letter C, and used the other forefinger 

pointer. '"At the present moment,' he sa)'8 lo 


her, 'yonr heart is enclosed all round there, and all 
"round there; tliis space is still open,' he says. 'As booh 
as it meets, so' — Mrs. Dnrbej-fleld closed her fingers into a 
circle complete — ' ofE yon vriJl go like a shadder, Mr. Durbey- 
field,' he says. ' Ton inid last ten years ; yon mid go off 
in ten months, or ten days.'" 

Tess looked alai-nied. Her father possilily to go behind 
'hf eternal cloud so soon, notwithstanding this sudden 
_-r-.-iitacss ! " Bnt where is father?" she asked ogaiii. 

UiM- mother put on a deprecating look. ">*ow don't 

■ ■■n V)e Vmrsting out angrj'. The poor man — he felt so weak 

. :'UT his excitement at the news^that he went up to RoUi- 

■ r's half an houi- ago. He do want to get up his strength 

ior his journey to-morrow with that load of beehives, 

I must be delivered, family or no. Hell have to start 
f after twelve to-night, as the distance is so long.'' 

" Get up his strength ! " said Tess, impetuously, the tears 
"ing to her eyes. "0, my heavens! go to a public 

e to get up his strength ! And yon bs well agreed as 

r rebuko and her mood seemed to fill the whole room, 
L to impart a cowed look to the furniture and candle, 
1 children playing about, and to her mothei-'s face. 
"So," said the latter, tonehily, "I am not agreed. I 

> boen waiting for 'eo to bide and keep bouse while I 

9 fetch him." 

II go" 

b no, Tees. You see, it would be no use," 
a did not expostulate. She knew what her mother's 

1 meant. Moreover, Mi-s, Dnrbeyfield's jacket and 

met were aln?a<ly hanging slyly npon a chair by her 

I, in readintas for this contemplated jaunt, the reason 

" "th the matron deplored moi-e than its uecessity. 

t take the Comphat Fm-htne-telUr to the out-house," 

tinned, rapidly wiping her hands and donning the 


The Compleat Fortune-teller tras an old tMdt Toluine. 
which lay on a table at her elbow, bo ■worn by pocketing 
that the margins had reached tlie edge of the type. Tees 
took it up, and her mother started. 

This going to hunt up her shiftless husband at the int) 
nas one of Mrs. Durbej'field's still extant enjoyments i 
the muck and muddle of rearing children. To discov* 
him at Rolliver's, to sit tliere for an hour or two by 1 _ 
side, and dismiss all thought and care of the children doKJ 
iug the interval, made her liappy, A sort of halo, an 0« 
cidental glow, came over life then. Troubles and othfi] 
realities took on themselves a metaphysical impalpabill^, 
sinking to mere cerebral phenomena for quiet etmtempb; 
tion, and no longer stood as pressing concretions whi 
chafe body and souL The yonngsters, not immediabe 
within sight, seemed ratiier bright and desirable appB 
finances thau otherwise ; the incidents of daily life ^ 
not without humorousnesa and jollity in their aspect tlies 
She felt a little as she had used to feel when she sat by I| 
now Imsbaud in the same spot during his wooing, ahottifl 
her eyes to Ids dfifectg. of"chan»!ter, an^i^ggrdmgjiil 
I only in his ideal prescntationRs~a lover. 

Teas, being left aloue with the younger children, m 
first to the ont-house with tlie fortnne-tclling hook, 
staffed it into the thatch. A curious fetishistic fear of ti 
grimy volume on the part of her mother preveutcd 1 
r allowing it to stay in the house all nighty and hiti 
it was brought back whenever it had been consulted. 
tween the uiother. with her fast-perishing lumber of su| 
stilious, folk-lore, dialect, and orally trausniitted baUa 
and the daughter, with her traiut-d National teachings s 
Sixth Standard knowledge under an infiuitdy Rovi 
Code, there was a gap of two hundred years as ordins: 
understood. When they were together the Elizab< 
and Ui6 Victorian ages stood juxtaposed. 

Returning along the ganlcu path, Tcss mused < 

3 mother poulJ have wished to ascertain from the bdok 

H this particular day, aud readily guessed it to bear upon 

B recent discover;'. Dismissing this, however, she bn8ie<l 

lelf with sprinkling the hneu dried during the daytime, 

in onrapauy with her nine-year-old brother Abraham and 

her sistJT Eliza Louisa of twf.lve, called " 'Liza Lu," the 

youngest ones being pat t<i bed. There was an interval of 

r years between Tess and the nest of tlje family, the 

9 who had filled the gap ]ia\'iiig died in their infancy, 

i tbis lent her a dtiputy-matf-rDal attitude when she was 

e with her juniors. Next in juvenility to Abraham came 

» more girls, Hope and Modesty ; then a boy of three ; 

I then the baby, who hail just completed his first year. 

AB these young souls were passenger.s in tlie Durhey- 

ficld ship— entirely dependent on the judgment of the two 

Dnrbejiield adults for their pleasures, their necessities, 

their healtli, even their existence. If the heads of the 

'^''ii'beyfield household chose to sail into difflcnlt)', disaster. 

'.irvation, disease, degradation, death, thither were these 

liajf-dozen little captives under hatches compelled to sail 

^^pth them — six helpless ci-eatures, who had never been 

^^^fced if they wished for life on any terms, much less if 

^^■■y wished for it on such hanl conditions as were involved 

^^nliemg of the shiftless house of Dnrbeyfield. Some peo- 

^Hb woTild hke to know whence the poet whoso philosophy is 

^|A these days deemed as profound and trustworthy as his 

8ong is sweet and pure, gets his authority for speaking of 

"Nature's holy plan," 

It grew later, and neither father nor mother appeai-ed, 
T'-hs looked out of the diMir occasionaUy, and took a meii- 
..! jouniej- through Marlott. The \*illage was shutting its 
V.-3. Candles and lamps were being put out everywhere; 
II- could mentally behold the extinguisher and the ex- 
nd<Ml hand. 

"Hvr mother's fetching simply meant one more to fetch. 
T>.T» began to percei\"c that a man in indifferent health. 


who proposed to start ou a joumoy before one in the mom- 
iug, ought not to be at an iaa at tliia late honr celebratis] ~ 
liis OQcient blood. 

"Abraham," she said, presently, to her litUe brott 
" do you put ou your hat — you baiu't afraid I — and go a 
to RoUiver's, aud see wliat has beeonn; of father i 

The boy jumped promptly from his seat and opened I 
door, and the night swallowed him up. Half an hota 
passed yet a^rain ; neither man, wonian, nor child retm 
Abraham, like his parents, seemed to have been limed and ^ 
caught by tlie ensnaring iiin. 

" I must go myself," she said. 

Tjiza Lu then went to bed, and Tess, loeldng: them all in, 
started on her way up the dark and crooked lane or e 
* not mado for hasty progress ; a street laid ont ■ 

inches of land had value, and when one-handed clocks s 
f SoiflDtly subdivided the day. 


RoLLlVER's inn, the single ale-house at this end at t 
long aud bn>ken village, eould boast of only an off-tiecnso : 
hence, as nt>botiy could legally drink ou the premises, t>i. 
amount of overt ateommodation for consumers was atrietly 
limited to a little board about six iuehes wide and two yard^ 
long, fixed to the garden paliugs by pieces of wire, so as tu 
form a ledge. On this board thirsty Btrangers deposite^'l 
their cups as they stood iu the road and drauk, and t" 
the dregs on the dusty ground to the pattern of Polyi 
and wiahed they could have a reHtful seat inside. 

Thus the strangers. But there were also local cuj 
who felt the some wish j aud where there's a will ihtir 


[n a large bedroom npstairs, the window of wbitsh wiis 
ck!3' curtained with a great woollen shawl, lately dis- 
cardi'd by the landlady, Mrs. Bolliver, were gathered ou 
this evening nearly a dozen (wrsons, all seeking beatitude ; 
all old iuhabitante of the nearer end of Marlott, and fre- 
quenters of this retreat. Not only did the distance to The - 
Pure Drop, the fully licensed tavern at the hirther part of 
the dispersed village, render its accommodation practicjilly 
nnavailalde for dweUers at this end, but the far more * 
serious question, the quaUty of the hquor. confirmed tlie 
opinion prevalent that it was betttr to drink with RolHver 
in a comer of the hou8e-top than with the other landlord 
in 8 wide house. 

A gaunt four-post bedstead which stood in the room Cf- 
i ■ 'rded sitting space for several persons gathei-ed roimd three 
■ : its sides ; a couple more men had elevatB3 themselvea 
'■II a chest of drawers; another rested on the earved-oak 
" cwoflfer " ; another on the stool ; and thus all were, some- 
W, seated at their ease. Tlie stage of mental comfort to 
1 they had airived at this hour was one wherein their 
& seemed to expand beyond theii' skins, spreading their 
wnalities warmly through the room. In this process 
B chamljer and its ftirniture grew more and more digni- 
Sed and luxurious; the shawl hanging at the window took 
upon itself the richness of tapestry ; the brass handles of 
the chest of drawers were as golden knockers; and the 
■ jarred bedposts seemed to have some kinsliip with the 
Kjnt pillars of Solomon's temple. 
KHrB. Durbeyfield, having quickly walked hitherward 
r porting from Teas, opened the front door, crossed tlie 
s room, which was in deep gloom, and then iin- 
I the stair door like one whose fingers knew the 
B of the latches well. Her ascent of the crooked stair- 
B was a slower process, and her face, as it rose into the 
^t ahoTe the last stair, encountered the gaze of all the 
Y afiAembled in the bedroom. 


" — Being a few pri\'at« friends I've asked in tn keep tip 
club-walking at my ovm expense," the landlady cxclaiioed. 
at the sound of footsteps, as glibly as a iMld rejieating tLi 
Catechism, while she peered over t!ie stairs, "0, 'tis you. 
Mrs, Ihirbcj-flold ! Lard, how you frightened me! Ithoughi 
it mid be some gaffer sent by tiover'ment," 

Mrs. Dnrbeyfield was welcomed with glances and nods 

by the remainder of the conclave, and turned to where her 

' husband sat. He was humming absently to himself, in a 

low tone : " I be as good as some folks here and there '. 

I've got a great family vault at Kingsbere-sub-Ureeuhill. 

I and finer skellingtons than any man in the county o' 

I Wessex ! " 

"I'vo something to tell 'ee that's come into my head 

about tliftt — a grand project ! " whispered his cheerful wife. 

"Here, John, don't 'ee see me I" She nudged him, while 

he, looking through lier as through a wiudow-pane, went 

\ on with his recitative. 

" Hush ! Don't 'ee sing so loud, my good man," said the 
' landlady j " in case any member of the Gover'meut should 
be passing, and take away my licends." 

" He's told 'ee what's happened to us, I suppose 1 " asked 
Mrs. Burbej-fieid. 

"Yes — in a way. D'ye thiuk there's any money hanging 
I byitf 

"Ah, that's the secret," said Joan Dnrbej-field, sagtdy. 
" But 'tis well to lie kin to a coach, even if you don't ride i 
in en." ' She dropped her public voice, and continued in I 
low tone to her husband : " Pvo been thinking since yoilc 
brought the news that there's a great rich lady out 1 
Trantridge, on the edge o' The Chase, of the name 1 

"Hey — what's that?" said Sir John. 

She repeated the information. "That lady must be o 
relation," she said. "And my project ia to send Tess t 
1 kin." 


^^f "Tlien' M a lady of the name, now yon mention it," said 
^Dnrbcyfield. "Pa'son Tringliam didn't tMnk of that. 
But she's nothinp beEdde we — a jumior branch of us, no 
duabt. long since King Norman's day." 

While this question was being discussed, neither of the 
jiair noticetl, in their preoccupation, that little Abraham 
liad crept into the room, and was awaiting an opportunity 
H ■ ot asking them to return. 

^^ "She is rich, and she'd be sure to take notice o' the 
HfcaJd,'* continued Mrs. Dnrbeyfleld; "and 'twiU be a very 
™'^Dod thing. I don't see why two branches of one family 
should not he on \isiting terms." 

'• Yes ; and we'll all claim kin ! " said Abraliani, brightly, 
from under the bedstead. "And we'll all go and see her 
when Tes-s has gone to live with her ; and we'll ride in her 
i.'fiach, and wear black clothes ! " 

"How do yon come here, child? What uonsenee be yo 
"liking! Go away, and play on the stairs till father and 
: iither be ready. . . . Well, Tess ought to go to this other 
ri'mber of our family. She'd bo snre to win the lady, 
"-■^8 would ; and likely enough 'twould lead to some noble 
:■ ntleman marrj-ing, her. In short,! know it." 

■■ 1 tried her fate in the Foriune-tfVer, and it brought out 
that v€Ty thing. . . . You should ha' seen how prettj- she 
lookvd t-i-day ; her skin is aa sumple as a duchess's." 
*' Whiit says the maid herself to it T " 
" I've not asked her. She don't know there is any such 
lady reUtion yet. But it would certainly put her in tlie way 
uu^Ch grand marriage, and she won't say nay to going." 
IBT " TeBs is queer." 
^H "Bnt she is tractable at bottom. Leave her to mc.'' 

Though this conversation had been private, sufficieiit of 
il* import reached the understandings of those around to 
suggest to tJiera that the Durbeyfields had weightier con. 
eenu to talk of now than common folks had, and that 



Tess, their pretty eldest daughter, had line prospects j 

" Tes3 is a flue figure o' fan, as I said to my8i>lf t 
when I zeed her vamping round parish with the rest," 
8er\'ed one of the elderly boozers in an undertone. 
Joan DurbeyMd must mind tlint she don't get green r 
in floor." It was a local phrase wliieh had a pecuJ 
meaning, and there was no reply. 

The conversation became inclusive, and presently otlM 
footsteps were heard crossing the room heJow. 

" — Being a few private friends asked in to-night to tcfl 
np dull-walking at my own expense." The landlady I 
rapidly reused the formula she kept on haud for intrude! 
before she recognized that the new-comer was Tess. 
I Even to her mother's gaze the girl's young feature? 
I looked sadly out of place amid the alcoholic vajmrs whicL 
I floated here as no unsuitable medium for UTinklcd middl<- 
j age ; and hardly was a reproachful flash from Tess's doi 
' eyes needed to make her father and mother riso from t 
; seata, hastily fini;sh their ale, and descend the stairs b 
I ( her, Mrs, RoUiver's caution following their footsteps : 

"No noiae^ please, if ye'll bo so good, my dears; or J 
mid lose my liceuds, and be summonsed, and I dou't knoi 
what all ! Night t'ye ! " 

They weut home together, Tess holding one arm of her 
father, and Mrs. DurbuyfieKl the olher. Ho had, in trutli, 
drunk verj' little — not a fourth of tlie quantity which n 
systematic tippler could carry to church on a Sunday 
morning without a hitch in Ids eastings or his gcntiller 

Itions; but the weakness of Sir Jolin's constitution niadr 
mountains of his petty sins in this kind. On reat^hing tli- 
fresh air he was sufficiently unsteady to incline the it)w 'if 
three at one moment as if they were marching to London, 
and at another as if they were marching to Bath, whi 
produced a comical efl^ect. frequent enough in families fi 
nocturnal home-goings ; and, like most comical effccta^ d* 


gnqnite so comic, after all. The two women valiantly dis- 
gmsed these forced excursions and countermarches as well 
as they could from Durbeyfield, their cause, and from Alira- 
ham. and from themseh'es j and so thej' approached hy 
degrees their own door, the head of the family bursting 
suddenly into his fomier refrain a.'i he draw neai-, as if to 
fortify his soul at sight of the sniallness of his present 
residence : 

" I've got a fam — ily vault at Kingsbere ! " 
Teas tuniod the subject by saying what was far more 
prominent in her own mind at Uie moment than thoughts 
of her ancestry: 
'■ I am afraid father won't be ablo to take the journey 
t witia the beehives to-morrow so early." 
^H "It I shall be all right in an hour or two," said Dnr- 

It was eleven o'clock before the Durbeyflelds were all in 
bed, and two o'clock next morning was the latest hour for 
starting with the beehives, if they were to be dehvered to 
'tic retailers in Casterbridge before the Saturday market 
i"?an, the way thither Ijing by bad roads over a distance 
■f between twenty and tliirty miles, and the horse and 
wagon being of the slowest. At half-post one Mrs, Dur- 
bcj^cld wune into the large bedroom whire Tees and all 
her little sisters slept 

'• Tlie poor man can't go," she said to her eldest dangh- 
t*r. whose great eyes had opened the moment her mother's 
band touched the door. 

TeJjs sat up in bed, lost in a vague world between a 
dream she had just been having and this information. 

"But somebody must go," she replied to her mother. 
■ It is late for the hives already. Swarming will soon l.e 

irr for the year; and if we put off taking 'em till next 
v-.vk'e market, the call for 'em will be past, and they'll bo 
iliriiwi! on our hands." 


Mrs, Dm-htw'field looked uiieqnai to tbe emergency. 
"Some young feller, perhaps, would goT One of them 
who were so much after daucing with 'cc yesterday," she 
presently Bug^st«d. 

" Oh DO ; I wouldn't have it for the world ! " declared 
Pess, proudly. " And letting everyhody know the reason 
— such a tliiug to be ashamed of! I think / could go if 
Abraham could go with Die to keep me company." 

Her mother at length agreed to this arranirement. Little 
Abraliam was aroused from his deep sleep in a comer of 
the same apaitment, and made to put on his iJothes while 
still mentally in the other world. Meanwhile Tc-ss had 
hastily dressed herself; and the twain, lighting a lantern, 
went out to the stable. The rickety little wagon was ol- 
ready laden, and tbe girl led out the horse Prince, only u 
degree less lickety thau the vehicle. 

The prnir creature looked wondeiingly round at the night, 
at the lantern, at their two figures, as if he could not 
believe that at that hour, when every living tiling was in- 
tended to l>e at shelter and at rest, he was called upon to 
go ont and labor. They put a stock of candle-ends into 
the lantern, liung the latter to the off side of the road, and 
directed the horse ouward, walking at his shoulder at first 

f during the up-hill portion of the way, in order not to OTCr- 
load an animal by no means vigorous. To ch^rr th«n- 

I selves as well as they could, they made an artificial morn- 
ing with the lantern, some bread and butter, and Uu-ir 
own conversation, the real morning being far from oomc, 

I Abraham, as ho more fully awoke (for he had roovf<l in ft 
sort of trance ho far), began to talk of the strange shapt-K 
assiuned by the various dark objects against tlie sky ; of 
this tree that hiokcd like a raging tiger springing from ft 
lair; of that which resembled a giant's head. 

When they had passed the little town of Stourwisth-, 
dumbly fomnolent under its Uiiek brown Ihateli, they 
reached higher ground. Still liigher, on their left, tlie tie- 


T^nrtion called Bulbarrow, or Bealborrow, swelled into the 

akj*, engirdled by its earthen trenches. From lienrabout 

the long roail declined gently for a gi-eat tlislnncc onward. 

They mounted in front of the wagou, and Abraham grew 


" Tess ! " he said, in a preparat«iT tone, after a ailenee. 
" Yes, Abraham," said slip. 

f Bain't yon glad that we've become gentlefolk ? " 
P'Sot particular glad." 

rBnt yon be glad that you are going to marr>" a gentle- 

"What?" said Tess. 

"Thjit unr great relation will help 'ee to marr\' a gentle- 

'■If Onr great relation ( We have no such relation. 
What has put that into your head ! ^ 

"I lietLrd 'em talkiug about it up at Rolliver's when I 
went to find father. There's a rich lady of our family out 
nt Trantridge, and mother said that if youelairaed kin witli 
the lady, she'd put 'ee in the way of marrying a gentle- - 

His £i^t«r became abruptly still, and lapsed into n pon- 

: ring sileuce. Abraham talked on, rather for the pleasure 

: tocpression than for audience, so that his sister's ab- 

rairtion was of no aceonut. lie leant back against the 

"■es, and with uptui-ned face made observations on the 

irs, whose cold pulses were beating amid the black hol- 

is .■( above, in serene dissociation from tliese two wisps of 

I NHian life. He asked how fai- away those twinklcrs were, 

■!i! whether God was on the other side of them. But 

■ T and auon his chiliUsh pmttJe recurred to what im- 

■>'s9e<l hit imagination even more deejtly tlian the won- 

; ra of creation. If Tess were made rich liy marrj-ing a 

:itli)inan, would she have money enough to buy a spy- 

. ':ii>(i, so large that it would draw stars ua near to her as 

-itlpcombe-Tout T 


The renewed subject, which Beemed to have impr^liinU'd 
tha whole family, filled Tess with impatience. 

"Never mind that uoWf slie exclaimed^ 

" Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess T " 

" Yes.'' 

" AU like ours T " 

" I dou't know ; but I think so, They sometimes seem 
to lie like the apples on oiir stnbbard tree. Most of them 
fipleodid and sound — a few bligbtwl." 

"Which do we live on — a splendid one or a blighted 
one I" 

" A blighted one."* 

'"Tis very unlucky that we didn't pitch on a sonnd one, 
when there were so many more of 'cm ! " 


"Is it like that realln, Tess I" said Abraham, taming to 
her, ranch impressed, on ree«nsidemtiou of this rare infor- 
mation. " How would it have been if we had pitched on a 
sound one I " 

"Well, father wouldn't have coughed and creeped about 
&a ho does, and woiddn't have got too tipsy to po this 
journey ; and mother wouldn't have been alwaj-s n-nshinir. 
and ne\'er getting finished," 

" And you woidd have been a rich lady ready-made, unl 
not have to be made rich by marrying a (^enUemiui t " 

" Oh, Aby, don't — don't talk of that any more t " 

Left to his reflections, Abraham soon grew itrowKv 
Tess was not skilful in the management of a horse, but sIji 
thought that she could take upon herself the entire condui : 
of the load for the pwsent, and allow Abraham to gn ti> 
sleep, if he wished to do so. She mado Mni a sort, of ne^t 
in front of the liives, in such a manner that he could w<< 
taM, and, taking the rope reins into her owni hands, jo^ni 

1 as before. 

Prince required but slight attention, lacking enorgj' for 
superfluous movements of any sort. Having no lunger a 


oompanioD to disfJ^et lier, Tess fell moro deeply into reverie 
than ever, ber back leaning against the hives. Tlie mute 
prooessioQ of trees and hedges became attached to fantastic 
scenes, ontside reality, and the occasional heave of the wind 
Ivcaroe the sigh of some immense sad sonl, conterminous 
with tlie universe iu space, and ivith history in time. 

Then examining the mesh of events in her own life, slie 
se«meil to see the vanity of her father's views ; tJie gentle- 
manly match of her mother's fancy ; to see him as a grimac- 
ing personage, laughing at her poverty and her shrouded 
kn^htly anee.stry. Everj-thing grew more and mol^3 ex- 
travagant, and she no longer knew how time passed. A 
sndden jerk shook her in her seat, and Tess awoke from 
flie sleep into which she, too, had fallen. 

They were a long way further on than when she had 

-t CfjnsciouBness, and the wagon hsA stopped. A hollow 
•Tmn,tmlike anything she had ever heard in her life, came 
r I >m tho front, followed by a shout of " Hoi, there ! " 

Tlie lantern hanging at her wagon had gone out, but 
liither was shining in her face — much brighter than her 
■vn had been. Something terrible hud happened. Tho 

irness waa entangled with an object which blocked the 

In consternation Tess jnmped down, and diecovered the 
dreadful truth. The groan had proceeded frfim her father's 
[Kior hor*o I'rinee. The morning mail-cart, with its two 
n-jis-'I'-sx wheelfi, speeding along these lanes like an arrow, 
as it always did, had driven into her slow and unlighted 
equipa^'. The pointed shaft of the cart had entered the 
t of tho unhappy Prince like a sword, and from the 
1 his life's blood was spouling in a stream, and fall- 
Hvitb a hiss into the road. 
& her despair Tess sprang forward and put her hand 
I tlie hole, with the only result thatshe became splashed 
D fiioe to skirt with the crimson drops. Then she stood 
Fpkesly looking on. Prince also stood firm and motion- 


less as long as be could, till lie suddenly sauk down in a 

By this tiuie the moil-cart man had joiiied her, and h<-- 
■gan dragging and uuharuessing the hut fonii of Priuii- 
But he was already dL'ad, and seeing tliat nothing more 
could bo done ininiediati'ly, the mai!-eart man returned to 
his own animiU, whieh wiia uninjured. 

"I am bound to go on with the mail-bags," he saitl, '-so 
tliat the best tiling for you to do is to bide here with your 
load. I'll send somebody to help you as soon as I can. It 
will soon be daylight, and you have nothing to ftar." 
_ He mounted, and sped on bis way, while Tess stood aoil 
^ waited. The atmosphere turned pale ; the birds shtiok 
themselves in the hedges, arose, and twittered; tlio hii" 
showed all its white features, and Tess sliowcd hers, t-li ' 
whiter. The huge pool of hlood infront of her was alrcini 
ssuming the iiidescence of coagulation; and when lli 
I sun rose, a million prismatic hues were reflected fr<tin i! 
Prince lay alongside still and stark, his eyes half ajwrn, tL' 
I I hole in his chest looking scarcely lEirgc enough to haw l> ' 
out all that had animated bim, 

"Tis idl my doing — all mine!" the distressed girl nr.u 

mured, gazing intently at the spectacle. "No excuse T - 

me — none. What will father and mother live on ni'" 

1 ' Aby, Aby!" She shook the child, who had slept soimdi 

] ' tlirough the whole disaster. "We can't go oti with mi" 

loud — Prince is killed ! " 

Wlien Abraliam realized all, the furrows of fifty yvav 
were extemporized on liis young face. 

"Why, I danced and laughed only yesterday ! " slit- w i 
on to herself. " To tliink that I was such a fool ! " 

" Tie because we be on a Iilightwl star, and not n soin 
one, isn't it, Tess T " murmiurd Abnihnni, through hi«T«ii- 

In stagnant blankness they waited through an inU;r\.i 
which seemed endless. At length a suund and un iq 
preaching object proved to them that the driver of tliu iuh.!- ■ 


■ O^unr 


mrt had l.'een as good as his word. A farmer's man froni 
Dear StourcasLle came up, leading a strong cob. He was 
harnessed to tlio wugon of beehives in the place of Prince, 
aDd the load tukeu on towards Casterbiidge. 

The evening of the same day saw the empty wagon 

lb agaijj the spot of the accident. Prinra had lain there 

the diteh sint* tiie morning ; but the place of the blood 

pool was Ktill visible in the middle of the road, though 

- mtriicd aud scraped over by passing vehicles. All that 

■'■AS left of Prince was now hoisted into the wagon he had 

■.urmerly hauled, and with his hoofs in the air, and his 

HhficH shining in the setting sunlight, he retraced the road 

to Klftrlolt. 

Tess had gone in front. How to break the news was 

than she could think. It was a relief to her tongue 

find from the faces of her pai'cnts that they already 

of their loss, though this did not lessen the self-re- 

proRoli which she continued to heap upon herself for her 

igligencc in falling asleep. 

but the very shiftlessness of the household rendered the 

lisfortnnea less terrifying one to them than itwould have 

■ ■'■a to a striving family, though in the present case it 
ii'iuit rriin, and in the other it would only have meant in- 
"tivenience. In the DurbeyfieJd countenances there was 

■ ■thing of the red wrath that would have burnt upon the 
iri from parents more ambitious for herwelfai'e. Nobody 
liimcd Tcss as she blamed herself. 

Wlicn it was discovered that the knacker and tanner 
nuld give only a very few shillings for Prmce's carcass 
'-•■anjR' of his decrepitude. Durbej-field rose to the occasion. 
■No." said he, stoically, "I won't sell his old body. 
Hien we D'Urliervilles was knights iji the lanil, we didn't 
11 ovir fhargers for cat's meat. Let 'em keep their shil- 
(jg8 ! Ho has served mo well in his lifetime, and I won't 
irt from liim now." 

H*- worked harder the next day in digging a grave for 


Prince in tlio gardeii tbao lie had worked for monlbs Xi> 
grow a crop for his family. Wbeii the holi' waa ready, 
Durbeyfield aud his wife tied a rope round the horso ami 
dragfeed liim up the path towards it, the children foUowint; 
Abraham and 'Liza Lu sobbed, Hope luid Modesty ilis 
(ihargnd their jjriefs in loud blares, which echoed from Uic 
walls ; and when Prince was tumbled in tbey patherwi 
n>imd the grave. The bread-winner had been taken away 
from them ; what would tbey do t 

" Is he gone to heaven t " aaked Abraham, between thv 

Then Durbeyfield began to shovel in the eartli, and ibf 
children cried anew. All except TesB. Her face was dry 
aud pale, aa though she regarded herself in the light of u 

'-L .^ k. -■J.itf'ft» -.\t.» V,<-fU/ to^i ' fllU£t^ ,J^'^ w 

0%SLSC*tu^, S^ ^^.j*«iv« <iw*.' Ail. , i^:r,^^k, 

The higgling business, which had mainly depended on J 
the horse, became disorganized forthwith. Distress, if n 
penury, loomed in the distance. Durbeyfletd waa i 
was locally colled a slaek-twist^'d fellow; he had ( 
strength to work at times ; but the times could not be relifld 
on to coincide with the hours of requirement ; and liavi 
been unaccustomed to the regular toil of the day-laborer, 
he was not particularly persistent when they did so i-" 

Teas, meanwhile, as the one who hiKl dragged Uiem inl" 
this quagniire, was silently woudmng what she could do i' 
help them out of it; and then her mother Itroaehed h<' 

" Wo maat take the nps wi' the downs. Teas," mid si]' 
"and never could your high blood have been found i>t 
at a more called-for moraeut. Tou must try your fi-itiDii- 




you know that there is a very rich Mrs. D'Urberville 

living oiu oil the edge of The Chaae. who miist be our 
relattoD I You must go to her and claim kin, and ask for 
some help in our trouble," 

■■ I shouldn't care to do tliat," says Teas. " If there is 
snch a lady, 'twould be enough for us if she were friendly 
— not to expect her to givo ns help," 

"You could win her round to do anything, my dear. 
Besides, perhaps there's more iu it than you know of. I've 
heard what I've heard, good-now.'' 

The oppressive sense of the harm she had done led Tt-ss 
to be more deferential than she might otherwise have been 
m the maternal wish; but she oould not understand why 
her mother should find such satisfaction in contemplating 
an enterprise of, to her, sueh doubtful profit. Her mother 
mi^t have made inquiries, and have discovered that tliis 
Mrs. DTTrberviUe was a lady of unequalled xirtues and 
charity. But Tess's pride made the part of poor relation 
oni.' iif particular dietosto to her. 

" I'd rather try to get work," she mimmired. 
■ Durbeyfleld, you can settle it," said his wife, turning hi 
Lere he sat in the background. " If yon say she ought to 
_■■', she will go." 

■' 1 don't like my childi-en going and making themselves 
' ■ bolden to strange kin." murmui-ed he. " I'm the head of 
I.I' noblest branch of the family, and I ought to live up 
■ it." 

His reasons tor staying away were worse to Tess than 
iir'i- own objection to going. " Well, as I killed the hoi-se. 
BMther" she said, monrnfully. "I suppose I ought to do 
I don't mind going and seeing her, but yon 
leave it to me about asking for help. And dont go 
.g about her making a match for me — it is silly." 
'Very well said, Tess," obser\'ed her father, sontentiously, 
lo said I had such a thought T'' asked Joan, 
fancy it is iu your mind, moUier. But I'll go," 


Rising early nejt day, slif walked to the hill town coJ 
Shastoa, and there took advantage of a von which tw 
ill the week ran from Sbastoii eastward to Chasclioroa^ 
passing near Tranti-idge, the piirish in which the i 
wild mysteiious Mrs. D'Urberrille had her i-esideuiie. 

Toss Durhej'field's route on this niemoi'ablo morning lay 
amid the northeafitem luidulations of the vale in whiyh slii- 

! had been bom, and in which her life had unfolded. Tlip 
Vale of Blackmoor was to her the world, and its inhabitantj^ 
the races tliereof. From the gates and stiles of 3IaHutt 
nhe had looked down its length in the wondering daj-s of 
infancy, and what Lad been mysteiy to her then was not 
mudi less than mystery to her now. She had Been doily 
from her chamber window towers, villages, faint white 
mansions; above all, the town of Shaston atandintr ma- 
jestically on its height ; its windows shining likii Innijis in 

L the evening sun. She bad hardly ever visited it, nidy a 

I small tract even of iLo vale and its environs being known 
to ber by close inspection. Mnch less had she been far 
outmde the valley. Every contom- of the surrounding lulls 
s as iwi'sonal to her as that of ber relatives' faces ; but 

' for what lay beyond, her judgment was dependent on thf 
teaching of the village school, where she had hdil a leading 
jdace in a high staudard at the time of hei- leaving, a year 
or two before this date. 

In those early days she had l>een much loved by othan 

I of her oft-n sex and age, and had used to be seen about tbtr^ 
village as one of thi-ee, all nearly of the same year, ^ 
home from sdiool side by side, Tess being tlie middle d 
— in a pink print pinafore of a finely reticulated patb 
worn overaetuff frock tbiit had l™t it)) original eolor f 
nondescript tertiaiy — man-liing on upcm long stalky I 
in tight stockings which had little ladder-like holes i 
knees, torn by knoeUng in the roads and banks in s 
of vegetable and minei'al treasures; her Uien earth ." 

^ liuir hanging like pot-hooks ; the arms of tb» two {, 


girls resting round the 'najst of Tess ; her arms ou the 
.-lioulderH ot the two BUpporters. 

\s Tess grew older, auil begaji to see how matters stood, 
-i.i? fultquiteaMalthugiau towards her mother forthought- 
Icssily giving her so many little sisters and brothers. Her 
mother's intelUgenco was that of fi happy ehild : Joan Dor- 
l>pyfield was simply an a^lditional one, and tliat not the 
■;ldo6t, to her own long family of waiters on Providence. 

Teas became himianely beneficent towards the small ones, 
and to help tbem aa much as possible, she nsed, as soon as 
she left school, to lend a hand at hay-making or harvestiug 
on neighboring farms; or, bj' preference, at milking or 
batter-making processes, which she had learnt when her 
father had owned cows ; and, being deft-fingered, it was ii 
kind of work at which she excelled. 

Everj- day seemed to throw npon her yoang shonlders 
more of the famUy burdens, and that Tess should bo tho 
1 1 presi-ntative of the Dni'beyfields at the D'Urberville man- 
ion came as a thing of course. In this inntance it must lie 
ulinitted that the Durhcyflelds were putting their fairest 
idrt outward. 

Shtf alighted from the van at Trantridge Cross, and as- 

<'Ddi--d on foot ft hill in the direction of the district known 

i-* Thi' (i'tase, on the borders of which, as she had been 

ifoniifid, Mrs. D'Urber\-ille's seat, The Slopes, wonld be 

iiiud. It was not a manorial home in the ordinary sense, 

lirh fields and pastores, and a grumbling farmer, out of 

■ bioh a living hati to be drugged by the owner and his 

i.urtily by hook or crook. It was more, far mort;, a country 

hnnse. built for enjojTnent pure and simple, with not an 

arrrp i)f Ironhlesome land attaj;hed to it beyond what was 

teqaired for residential purposes, and a little fancy farm 

M/tpCpt in bond by the owner, and tended by a bailiff. 

^Bjt^Iie WUTD red-brick lodge came first in sight, up to its 

^^^taL-Di dense evergreens. Tess thought this was the 

^^^^^bgtoelf, till, passing through the side wickel 


some trepidation, and oowai'd to a point at which the tlrivt 
took a torn, the house proper Btood in full view. 
of recent erection — indeed almost new — and of the s 
rich crimson color that formed such a contrast with 1 
evergreens of the lodge. Far behind the bright-Iiued c 
uer of the house, which rose lite a red geranium s 
the subdued colors around, sti'etched the soft a 
scape of The Chase, a truly venerable tract of forest-la 
ono of the few rt'umining wnodlands in England, of almOd 
piimeval date, wht-rein Dniidical mistletoe was still fot 
on aged oaks, and where enormous yew-trees, not planM 
by the hand of man, grow as they had grown when I' 
were pollarded for bows. All this sylvan antiquity, hOi 
ever, though visible from The Slopes, was outside the ia 
mediat« boondaries of the estate. 

Everj-thing ou this snug property was bright, ihrivi 
and well kept ; acres of glass houses stretched down t 
inclines to the copses at their feet. Everything looked li 
money — like the last coin issued from the Mint. The stable 
partly screened by Austrian pines and evergreen oaks, i 
fittetl with every late appliance, were as dignified as chapel:*- 
of-«a8e, and on the extensive lawn stood an ornamental tent, 
its'door being towards her. 

Simple Tess Durbej'field stood at gaze, in a half-paralyniJ 
attitude, on the edge of the gravel sweep. Her foot L&ii 
brought her onward to this point before she faa4 ijuilc 
reahzed where she was ; and now all was contrary,' lo kiT 

'■I thought we were an old family, but this is all new* 
she said, iu her girlish artlessness. She v,-ished chat sif 
Imd not fallen in so readily with her mother's plans f-n 
'-cliuming kin," and had endeavored to gain a^^istanci 
nearer home. 

The D'Urber^Tlles— or Stoke-D'Urben-illes, as they some- 
times called themselves — who owned all this, were a Bome- 
what nuuaual family to find in this old-fashioned partj 


tlif- couiitrj-. Paj-son Triagham bad spoken truly wben 

■ said that our shambling Joba Diirbeyfield was tho only 

■ -dly lineal representative of the old D'Urberville family 
-isting ill the county, or near it; ho might Lave added, 
ijiit he knew very well, that the Stoke-D'Urben-illes were 
■ more D'Urliervillos of tlio true tree tJjan he was him- 
if. Tct it iijust l>e admitted that this family formed a 

.ijiy good stock whureon to regraft a name which sadly 
wanted snch r*?novatiou. 

WLen old Mr. Simon Stoke, latterly deceased, had made 
ids f urtniie as an honest merchant (some said money-lender) 
in the north, ho decided to settle as a county man in the 
south of England, out of hail of his business district; snd 
in doing this he felt the necessity of recommencing with 

■ iiajiie that would not too readily identify him with the tradesman of the past, and that would be less com- 

oiiplaee than the original bold stark words. Conning 
r an hour in the Britisli Mnseum the pages of works de- 
' t'd to extinct, half-extinct, obscured, and lost families 
;']iertaimng to the ijuarter of England in which he pro- y 
i'-:w] to settle, he considered that IfUrberrilie looked and 
andtd as well as any of them ; and D'Urberville accoid- 
ijirly was annexed to liis own for himself and his heirs 
t'lemally. Yet he was not an extravagant-minded man in 
this, and in constructing his family tree on the new basis 
was duly reasonable in framing his intennarriag:es and 
arifitocrntic links, never inserting a single title above a 
rank of strict moderation. 

Of this work of imagination poor Tess and her parents 
Hvere nohirally in ignorance — mueh to their own discom- 
^■farp; indeed, the very possibility of such annexaUons 
^Bh unknown to them, who supposed that tliongh to be 
^Irdl favored might be the gift of foi-tune, a family name 
rtimr by natnn\ 

Te*» still stitod hesitating, like a bather about to make 
Lpiuiige, hardly knowing whether t« retreat or to per- 



■ severe, wheu a figure came forth from the dark trinugnJar 
I door of the tent. It was that of a tall youiig: Jiiaii, SDiokii 
He had an almost swarthy complexiou, vi-ilh full li] 
I hadlf moulded, though red and pmooth, above which 

well-groomed black mustache wilJi curled poiuts, lhou| 
I hifi age could not he more thao three- or four-and-twenty. 
' Yet, despite the touches of barbarism in his coutours, Umtp 
I was a singular foi-ce in the gentlemiui's face, luid iu bis 
I bold rolling eye. 

" Well, my big beauty, what can I do for yon ? " said he, 

I airily, coming forwai-d. And, pertieiviug that she stood 

I quite confounded; "Never mind me- I am Mr, Stoko-. 

D'Urberville. Have you come to see me or my mother!" 

This embodiment of a Stoke-D'Urberville and a iiiuiio- 

sake differed even more from what Tess had expi-cted tham 

' the honse and grounds had differed. She had dreamwl 

of an aged and dignified faoe, the mihiimati()n of all dis- 

tiuctive D'Urberville lineaments, fuirowed \Tith incamat* 

memories, representing in hieroglyphic the centuries of her 

family and Eugland's history. But she screwed herself up 

to tlie work in hand, since ijte could not get out of it, and 

I answered: 

" I came to see your mother, sir." 

"I am afraid yon cannot see her — she is an iu^'^alid." re 
plied the present representative of the spurious hoo^e ; ff>r 
he was Mr. Alee, the only son of the lately dec«ftsi>d g»-ii- 
Ueman. " Cannot I answer your purjwse 1 Wliat is Hit 
bufiitiess you wish to see her about t" 

" It isn't business ; it is — 1 can hardly say what ! " 
- " Pleasure ! " 

"Oh no. Why, sir, if I t^ll you, it will seem " 

Tes^s sense of the extreme siUiness of her errand was 
now so strong that, notwithstanding her awe of liun and 
her general discomfort at being here, her rosy hps curved 
towHjds a smile, much to the attraction of the swarthy 



"It is SO very foolish,'' she stammered; "I fear I can't 
tell 'ee ! ^ 

"Never mind; I like foolish things. Try again, my 
dear," said he, kindly. 

" Mother asked me to come," Tess continued ; " and, in- 
deed, I was inclined to do so myself, likewise. But I did 
not think it would be like this. I came, sir, to tell you 
that we be of the same family as you." 

" Ho I Poor relations T " 



"No; lyUrbervilles." 

"Ay, ay; I mean IVUrbervilles." 

" Our names are corrupted to Durbeyfield ; but we have 
several proofs that we be D'Urbervilles. Antiquarians say 
we are — and — and we have a very old sUver spoon, round 
in the bowl, like a little ladle, with a ramping lion on the 
handle, and a castle over him. But it is so old that mother 
uses it to stir the pea soup." 

" A castle argent is certainly my crest," said he, blandly. 

" And so mother said we ought to make ourselves be- 
known to you, as we've lost our horse by a bad accident, 
and are 'the oldest branch o' the family." 

" Very kind of your mother, Pm sure. And I, for one, 
don't regret her step." Alec looked at Tess as he spoke 
in a way that made her blush a little. "And so, my 
pretty girl, you've come on a friendly visit to us, as rela- 
tions ! " 

" I suppose I have," faltered Tess, looking round at the 

"Well — there's no harm in it. Where do you livef 
What are you ? " 

She gave him brief particulars; and, after further in- 
quiries, told him that she was intending to go back by the 
same carrier who had brought her. 

"It is a long while before he returns past Trantridge 


Cross. Supposiug we walk i-ound tbe grounds to 
time, my pretty coz f " 

Tess wished to abridge her visit as much as possible, bir 
the young man was pressing, and she consented to accoiu 
pauy him. He conducted her about the lawns and fiowpi- 
beds and conservatories, and thence to the fmit-garden. 
where ho asked her if she liked strawberries, 

" Yes," said Tess, " when they come." 

" They are already here." ffUrbervUle began gathering 
specimens of the fi-uit for her, handing them bade to her its 
he stooped ; and presently, selecting a specially fine prod- 
uct of the '■ ErJtidb Queen " variety, be stood up, and held 
it by the stem to her month. 

" No, no ! " she said, quickly, putting her fingers betwecD 
his hand and her lips. " I would rather take it, sir, in tny 
own hand." 

"Nonsense!" he insisted; and, in a slight distress, slir 
parted her lips and took it in. 

They had spent some time wanderii^ desultorily thiu, 
Tess eating, in a half -pleased, half-reluctant state, whatever 
I>'Urber\'ille offered her. When she could consume Bo 
more nf the strawl terries, he filled her little basket witii 
them ; and then the two passed round to the rose-trees, 
whence he gathered blossoms, and gave her to put in hti 
bosom. She obeyed like one in a dream, and wh^'u shi 
could affti no more he himself tucked a bud or two int'i 
her hat, and heaped her basket with them, in the proiii 
gality of his bounty. At last, looking at his watch, he saiiJ 
" Now, by the time yon have had something to eat, it wUJ 
be time for yo;i to leave, if you want to catch tiie carrirr 
to Shastou. Come here, and I'll see what grub I can fim! 

Sloke-DUrberi-illc took her back to tho la\vn and iiii' 
the tent, where he left her, soon reappearing witJi a baeki 
of light Inucjjeon, which he put before her himself, 
was evidently the young gtmtleman's wish not to be 
tm-bed in this pleasant ttte-A-UU by the 8en.'aDtry. 

oasiii'i 1 
elf. It 
be di»- J 


n yon miml my smoking?" lie asked. 

"Oil, not at all, sir," 
~ He watched her pretty and unconscious muDcliing 
tUroagli the skeins of smoke that pervaded the tent, and 
Tesa Durbcyfield did not divine, as she innocently looked 
domi at the roses in her bosom, that there, behind the blue 
narcotic haze, was potentially the '■ tragic mischief" of her 
(Iratno — one who stood fair to hv. the blood-red ray in the 
spectrum of her young life. She had an attribute which 
amounted to a disadvantage just now ; and it was this that 
caiUKid Alec D'Urberville's eyes to rivet themselves upon 
her. It was a luxuriance of aspect, a ftdness of growth, 
which made her appear more of a woman than she really 
,WBS. She had inherited the feature from her mother, 
without the quality it denoted. It had troubled her mind 
oocastoually, till her companions had said that it was a fault 

1 time would cure. 

I soon had finished her lunch. "Now I am going 

\, sir," she said, rising. 

jid what do they cjUI youf " he asked, a-s he accom- 

i her along the drive till they wero out of sight of the 

s Durbej'field down at Marlott, sir." 
1 you say your peojJe have lost their horse?" 
'illed him ! " she answered, her eyes filling with 
vftB she gave particulai-s of Pi-ince's death. "And I 
I, know what t<j do for father on account of it ! " 
I must think if 1 cannot do something. My mother 
1 l)oith for you. But, Tess, no nonsense about 
'Durbeyfleld' only, you know— quit« an- 

f wish for DO better, sir," said she, calming herself 
vigil to dignity. 

f a moment — only for a moment — when they were in 
ifiming of the drive, between the tall rhododendrons 
fanirestiues, before the lodge became visible, he incline d 


^^H his face towai-ds her as if — Bnt, no ! he thonght 'bett 
^^H uf it, find let her go. 

^^B^ Thus the thing began. Had she perceived this meeting's 
^^B[ import^ she might have asked why she was doomud tu 1»-> 
^^H\ seen and marked and coveted that day by the wrong miui. 
^^H j and not by a certain other man, the right and desired out: 
^^W^ in all respects — as nearlyas humanity can supply the rigbt 
^^B and desired; yet to him ivho amongst her accjaaintam-'' 
^^M I'might have approximated to this kind she was but a tran- 
^^M i^sient impression, half-forgotten. 

^^ In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan *>f 

things, the call seldom produces the comer, tlie man to \<i\ 
rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Xatnre does n^r 
often say " See ! " to a poor creature at a time when sc - 
^Ltal ing can lead to happy doing ; or reply " Here ! " to n Ixidj'V 
^^n cry of "Where?" till the hide-and-seek has bectiine nn 
^H^ irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the 
^^B acme and summit of the human progress these anaclm- 
^^H nisms will become corrected by a finer intuition, a closer 
^H[ intora«tiou of tlie social machhiery than that which now 
^^B jolts ua round and along ; but such completeness is not to 
^^B be prophesied, or oven conceived as possible. Enough thai 
^^B in the present case, as in millions, the two halves of an ap- 
^BEJ proximately perfect whole did not confront each other at 
^Bl the perfect moment; part and counterjiart wandered tnih-^ 
^BA pendently about the eartii in the stupidest manner for n 
^HA while, till the lat* time carae. Out of which niala<lndt H'-- 
^^m lay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, ejitastrupln- 
^^B — and what was called n strange destiny. 
^^B When D'Urber^Tlle got back to the tent, he sat dow: 
^^B astride on a chaii*, reSecting, with a pleased gleiun in hi-- 
^^B face. Then he broke into a loud Inugh. 
^^B "Well, I'm damned! What a funny thing! Ha-Iin-iia .' 
^^M And what a obanning girl I " 

Tess went down the hill to Trantridge Cross, and auto- 

matically waited to take ht-r seat in thevun returning lirom 

(.'haseborougb to Shaston. Slie did not know whtit the 

■ '.A-r ocoujmnts said to liei- as she entered, though she an- 

red them ; and when they had stai-tfid anew she rode 

ijir with an inward and uot an outward eye. 

' 'lie among her fellow-travellers addressed her more 

iiledly than any had spoken before: "Why, you he 

. 1 [i^ a l>osy 1 And suoh roBCB in early June ! " 

Theu she became aware of the spectacle she presented to 

their surprised vision ; roses at her breast ; roses in her 

hat; roees and strawberries in her basket to the brim. 

Sbo blnshed, and sidd, confusedly, that the flowci-s had been 

given to herj when the piisai-ngere woi* not looking', she 

Ktealthily remoifd the more prominent blooms from her 

* -f and placed them in the bosket, where she eovered theni 

'i her handken-iief. Then she fell to reflecting again, 

I in looking downwards a thorn of the rose remaining 

h'T breast KceidentaUy pricked her chin. Like all the 

Mgt-rs of Blackaioor Vale, Tess was et«eped iu fancies 

1 pn^flgnrative superstitions; she thought this an ill 

. ,_!i.-n — the firet she had noticed that day. 

^^Xfae van travelled only so far as Shaston, and there were 

^^Mltl miles of jiedestrian descent from that mountain 

■Snt into the vale to Marlott. Her mother had adnsod 

h«T to stay here for the night, at the house of a cottage 

iroman they knew, if she felt too tired to come on ; and 

Hub Teas did, not descending to her home till the following 


When she enteifd tlie house she jierceived in a moment 

Sbcr motbet's triumphuit manotir that something had 
red in the iute ' 


"Oh yes; I know all alxiat itl I told you it 'woiilil l"_ 
all right, and now 'tis proved." ■ 

"Since I've been awayf What has?" said Tess, ratlM 

Her mother survej-ed the gij-1 up and down with anli 
approval, and went on, bant^ringly, " So you've hronghi 
'em roond ! " 

"How do you know, mother I" 

" I've had a letter," 

Tess then remembered that there would have been jn^t 
time for this. 

'■ They say — Mrs. D'Urberville says — that she wants y ■ 
to look after a little poultry farm which is her hobi 
But this is only her artful way of getting yon there wilh' 
nut raising your hopes. She's going to acknowledge 'ee 
kin — ^that's the meaning o't." 

'• But I didn't see her." 

"Yon zeed somebody, I suppose!" 

"I saw her son." 

"And did he acknowledge 'eef 

" Well — he called me coz." 

" An' I knew it ! Jacky, he called her coz ! " cried Jo:: 
to her husband. " Well, he spoke to his mother, of pour>. 
and she do want 'ee there." 

"But I don't know that I am apt at nmuaging foul-, 
said the dubious Tess. 

"Then I don't know who is apt. You've ben bom li 
the business, and bi-ougbt np in it. Them tbet's bom 
business always know more about it than any 'prentii 
Besides, that's only just a show of something for 
do, that you midn't feel dependent." 

"I don't altogether think I onght to po." said 
thonghtfully. " Who wrote the letter ! Will 
look at it t " 

" Mrs. D'Urberville wrote it. Here it is." 

The letter was in Ihe third pei-son, and briefly infomirti 


lom 111 ■ 

- yo^H 
id ftH 

1 let miT 


. Darbej-field that her daughter's services would be 
usefnl to that lady in the management of her poultry farm, 
that a comfortable room would be provided for her if she 
could come, and that the emolument would be on a liberal 
scale if they liked her, 
'■ O — that's all." said Tess. 

" Ton couldn't expect her to throw her arms round 'ee, 
au' to kiss and to coll 'ec all at once." 

Trss lookwl out of the window. "I would rather stay 
here with father and yon," she said. 
" Bnt why t " 

"I'd rather not tell you why, mother; indeed, I don't 
quite know why." 

A week afterwards she came in one evening from an un- 
a^'ailing search for some light occupation in the immediate 
neighborhood. Her idea had been to get together sofflcient 
money during the summer to purchase another horse. 
Hardly had she crossed the threshold before one of the 
children <lauced aeross the i-coni, saying, '• The gentleman 
hius, l»eeQ here ! " 

Her mother hastened to explain, smiles bi-eaking from 
every inch of her person. Mrs, D'Urbei-ville's son had 
Vfiiled on horseback, hariiig lieen ridiug by chance in tho 
direction of Mai-lott. He had wished to know, finally, in 
the name of his mother, if Tess could really come to mau- 
I old lady's fowl fann or not, the lad who had 
> superintended the birds having proved untrust- 
"Mr. D'Urberville says you must be a good girl 
t are at all as you ajipear ; he knows you must be 
|t yomr weight in gold. He is very much interest.ed iu 
" itilh to t*lL" 

B seemed for the moment really pleased to hear that 

1 won such liigh opinion from a stranger when, in 

jem, ahe had sunk so low. " It is very good of 

I think tiiat," she murmured ; " and if I was qiut« 

r it would be liriug tltere I would go any-when." 



" He is ft mighty handsome man," 

" I don't thinlc ao.^ said Tess, coldly. 

" Well, there's yonr chance, whether or no ; and I'm «i 
he wears a beautiful diamond i-ing ! " 

"Yes," said little Abraham, brightly, from the windi' 
benoh; "and I seed it! and it did twinklewhen he jtut jn- 
hand up Ui hia mistarehers. Mother, why did our noMi- 
relation keep on putting his hand up to his mistarshers f " 

" Hark at that child ! " cried Mrs.- Durbeyfield, with par- 
enthetic admiration. 

"Perhaps to show hiB diamond ring," mnrmmrd Sir 
John, dreamily, from his chair. 

"ITl think it over," said Teas, leaving the room. 

"Well, she's made a conquest o' the junior branch of v.- 
straight off," continued the matron to her husband, "ai.i 
she's a fool if she don't follow it up." 

" I don't quite like my children going away from honii 
said the higglfr. "As the head of the family, the ri -■ 
ought to come to me." 

" But do let her go, Jaeky," coaxed his jioor witless wit 
"He'sstruck wi'her — yon can see that. He called her<'<' 
Hell marry her, most likely, and make a lady of her; 
then she'll be what her forefathers was." 

John Durbeyfield had more conceit than eni 
health, and this supposition was jileasant to him. 
jRThaps that's what, young Mr. IVUrberville meaOR," bi 
raitted, ■' and he really may have serious thoughts 
improving bw blood by linking on to the old line, 
the little rogue ! jind have she really paid 'em a 
finch an end as this T '' 

Meanwhile Tess was walking thoughtfully among 
goosebeiTy-bushes in the garden, and over Prince' 
When she came in. her mother pnrsned her ad' 
" Wi'll, what be you going to doT" she asked. 

" I wish I had seen Mi-s. D'tTrbennlle," eaid Tee& 


" I tliink you raid as well Bettle it. Then you'll see her 
soon enough." 

Her futlier eonghed in his chair. 

'■ I ilou't know what to eay," answered the girl, restlessly, 
■' It is for you to decide. I killed the old horse, and 1 sup- 
[Hiso I ought to do something to get ye a new one. But— 
lint — I dou't quite like Mr. D'Urborville! " 

The ohildreu, who had made use of thJa idea of Tesa 
being taken up by their wealthy kinsfolk (as they imagined 
iLf other family n> be) as a species of dolorifuge aft*T the 
death of the Iioise, began to cry at Tess's reluctance, and 
tease<l and reproaehcd her for hesitating. 
'■ Tess won't go and be made a la — a — dy of 1 No, she 
ivs she wo — o — on't!" they wailed, with square mouths. 
;^Jld we shan't have a nice new horse, and lots o' golden 
iiniiey to buy fairlings! And Tess won't look pretty in 
.' r l>est cloae no mo — o — ore I " 

lier mother chimed in to the same tune ; a certain way 

J.'.- had of making her labors in the house seem hea^^er 

I iiuai they were by prolonging them indefinitely also weighed 

bn the argument. Her father alone preserved an attitude 


" I will go," said Tess at last. 

Her mother could not repress her consciousness of the 
Hitial Vision coujui-ed up by the girl's consent, "Thai's 
. jht ! For such a pretty giil, it is a fine chance ! " 

" I hope it is a chance for earning money. It is no other 
.iiid of chane«. Yon had better say notliiug of that silly 
■ rt Bl>out parisli." 
Mrs, Ourbeyfleld <lid not promise. She was not quite 
irn that she did not feel proud enongh, after the visitor's 
■i;[irk«. to say a good deal. 

' «aa arranged j and the yonug girl wi-ote, ogree- 

r-_ady to set out on any day on which she might 

■ - j> ', iiL-il. She was duly informed that Mrs. lyCrber- 


" OS 

viile vae glad of her decision, and that a spring cart shot 
be sent to meet lier and her Inggage at tlie top of the Vi 
on the day after the morrow, wlien she must hold hcrsc 
prepared to start, Mrs, D'Urbervillo's handwriting seei 
rather masculine. 

"A cartf " nmnnnred Joan Durbej-fleld, donbtingly. 

Having at last taken her course, Teas was less ret 
and abstracted, going al>out her business with some se 
assurance in the thought of acquiring another horse for he 
fatlier by an occupation which would not bo onerous. 
had hoped to be a teacher at the school, but the fates seemed 
to decide otherwise. Being mentally older tlian her mother, 
she did not regard Mrs, Durbeyfleld's matrimonial hopes for 
her in a serious asjiect for a moment. The light-minded 
woman had been discovering good matches for her daughter 
almost from the year of her birth. 

^ Ua^SXT^ -iki <....«.^-|kc: yiwi3t,.t. . -t rtv^ fliai^Cj 


On the morning appointed for her departure Teas wa*' 
awake befor* dawn — at the marginal miuute of the ditrk 
when the grove is still mute save for one prophetii:binl,wb' 
sings with a clear-voiced conviction that he at least know- 
the correct time of day, the n-st preserving Bileme, as if 
equally convinced that he is mistaken. She reuiiunt?d up- 
stairs packing till breakfa^t^time, and then cftuii- down in 
her ordinary working-clothes, hor Sunday upjiiirel " 
carefully folded in her bos. 

Her mother expostulated. "You will never sot oatj 
see yonr folks without dressing up more the duiid 
that!" • 

" But I am going to work ! " said Tess. 

"Well, yes," said Mrs. Durbe>-field; adding, iu a prii 


tone, ■■ at flret there may be a little pretence o't. . . . But I 
iitink it will be wiser of 'ee to put your best side outward,'' 

;. said. 

Vrrj-well; I suppose you know best," replied TeBs,witJi 
ilm indifference. And to please her parent the girl put 

rself quite in Joan's hands, saying, serenely, "Do what 

■u like ipvith me, mother." 

Mrs. I>nrbej'field was only too delighted at this tracta- 
bility. First she fetched a great basin, and washed Tess's 
hair wilb such thoroughness that when dried and brushed it 
looked twice as much as at other times. She tied it with a 
broatifir red ribbon than usual. Then she put upon her the 
white frock that Tess had worn at the club-walking, the 
airy fulness of which, supplementing her enlarged coiffure, 
imparti^d to her developing figure an amplitude which be- 
lied her age, and might cause her to be addressed as a 
woman when she was not much more than a child. 

" I declare, there's a hole in my stocking heel ! " said 


'- Never mind holes in your stockings — they don't speak ! 
When I was a maid, so long as I had a pretty bonnet, the 
lle^^I might ha' found me in heels." 

Her mother's pride in the girl's appearance led her to step 
back, like a painter from his easel, and survey her work as « 
whole. '■ You must see yourself," she cried. " It is mneb 
better tban you wa.^ toother day." 

—.^ the looking-glass was only large enough to i-efleet a 
/ siDsll portion of Tess's person at one time, Mrs. Dm-- 
jtnAA bong a black doak outside the easement, and su 
iiodi! a large reflector of tlie panes, as it is the wont of be 
'•-king cottagers to do. After this she went dt'wnstairt- 
II liw tiusband. who was sitting in the lower room. 
^"111 teD 'ee what 'tis, Diirbcyfield," said she, exnltingly, 

EU never have the heart not to love her. But whatever 
do, don't say too much to Tess of his faney for her and 
duuiee she has got. She is such an odd maid that it 
■ I 


mid set her against him, or against going there even noi 
If (Ul goes well, I shall certainly be for making some reti 
to that pa'sfni at Stagfoot Lane for tilling us — dear 
man ! " 

However, na the moment for the girl's getting ont di 
nigh, when the first excitement of the dressing had pi 
ofE, a slight niisgi\Tug found place in Joan Diirboyfiel^' 
mind, It pi-ompted the matron to say that she wonld -walk 
I little way — as far as to the point where the acclivity from 
Ihe vall<;y began its first steep ascent to the outer world. 
At the top Tess was going to be met with the spring carl 
6«it by the D'TJrbervilles, and her box had already beeu 
wheeled ahead towards this summit by a lad with truck.^. 
t'O be in readiness. 

Seeing then- mother put on her bonnet, thi- yoiinfrf-r 
children clamored to go with her. '■' I do want to walk a 
r little ways wi' Sissy, now she's going to marry our gwntle- 
I man consin, and wear fine cloze ! " 

"Now "said Tess, flushijig and turning (jniekly, "I'lllieitf 
r no more o' that 1 Mother, how eonld you ever put snrfl 
stnff into their heads T" 

" Going to work, my deal's, for om* rich relation, and help 
get enough money for a new horse," said Mrs. Durbeyfleld, 
I i>aoifieaUy. 

" Good-by, father," said Tess, with a himpy throat. 

" Good-by, my maid," aaid Sir Johu, raising his head fi-om 
hie Ijpeast^ as he suspended his nap, induced by a aliglit 
^ss tliis tnorniug in honor of the occasion. ■' Well. 1 
hope my yonug friend will like such a comely saiupUt nl 
liis own blood. And tell'n, Tess, that being reduced qi 
from our former grandeur. I'll sell him the title — yes, 
it, — and at no onreasonable figm-e." 

■' Not for leas than a thousand jHiund ! " cried Lady 

■' Tell'n — I'll take a thousand pound. Well, Til taka 
when 1 come to tliink o't, He'll adorn it better 


• jifxtT broken-down feUer like myself can. Tdl'n lie shall 
■ ii' it Tor a hnndred. But I won't stiind upon trifles — 
i ll'n he shall ha« it for fit'tj' — for twenty iwund! Yes, 
.'.-ijnty pound — tiiat's the lowest- Damniy, family honor 
- fiimily honor, and I won't take a penny less ! " 

Tess's eyes were too fidl and her voice too choked to 
liter the bitter reproaches that were in her. 8ht^ turned 
iiiiickly and went ont. 

So the girls and their motiier all walked together — a 
'■hdd on each side of Toss, holding her hand, imd lookinj,' 
at her meditatively from time to time, as at ime who was 
aboat to do great things; her mother*' jnst behind — the 
group forming a pietnre of honest beauty flanked by innit- 
cenee and backed by simple-sotiled vanity. They followed 
the way till they reached the beginning of the ascent, on 
the cn-st of which the vehiele from Trantridge was to re- 
ceive her, this limit having been fixed to save the Iiorse 
the labor of the slope. Par away behind the first hills thv 
eliff.Uktt dwellings of Shaslou bn>kc the lijie of the riilge. 
Viibody was visible in the elevated road that skirted th« 
I -ci-Jit save the lad whom they had sent on before them, 
itjngon the handle of the baiTow that contained all Tess's 
Murkily possessions. 

Elide here a bit, and the cart will soon come, no doubt,'' 
Mrs, I>nrbeyfleld. " Tes ; I see it yonder ! " 
had come, appearing suddenly from behind the fore- 
o£ the nearest upland, and stopping beside the boy 
the barrow. Her mother and the children thereupon 
deciiled to go no farther, and bidding them a hasty good- 
'••'■•. Tess bent. her steps up the hill. 
They saw her white shape draw near to the spring cart, 
1: which her l>ox was already placed. But l>efore shp had 
, liie reached it, anotlier vehicle shot out from a clump 
1 trees on the summit, canio round tho bend of the mad 
■liere, passed the cart, and halted beside Teas, who turned 
if in great surprise. 


Her mother perceived, for the first time, that the secoi 
vehicle was not an humble conveyance lite the flret, I 
a spick-and-span gig or dog-cart, highly vamished ; 
equipped. The driver was a young man of one- or two 
twenty, with a cigar between his teeth ; M-earing a daud] 
cap, drab jacket, bi-eeches uf the some hue, white neckeloth 
slick-up collar, and brown driviug.gloves — in short, he v 
the handsome, horsey ytmng buck who had visited her a 
week or two before to get her answer about Tess. 

Mrs. Durbej-fleld clapped her hands like a cliild. Tlieii 
she looked down and stared again. Could she be deceived 
as to the meaning of this F 

"Is dat the geutleniaii kinsman who'll make Hissy u 
ladyT" asked the youngest child. 

Meanwhile the muslined (onii of Tpbs could be seeu 
standing still, undecided, beside this turnout, whose owner 
was talking to her. Her seeming indecision was, iu fact, 
more than indecision ; it was misgiving. She would havi- 
preferred the humble cai-t. The young man dismounted, 
and appeared to urge lier to ascend. She turned her facu 
down the hill to her relatives, and regarded the little gronp. 
Soinetiiing seemed to tiuicken her to a det«miinatiou ; pos^ 
sibly the thought that she had killed Prince. She suddenlr 
stepjied up; he mounted beside her, and immediatcli 
whippetl on the horse. In a moment they had passed tlv 
slow cart with the box, and disappeared behind the shoiUdc i 
of the hiU. 

Directly Tess was out of sight, and the interest of tht 
matter as a drama was at an end, thw little one's eyes tUUxi 
with tears, The youngest child said, " I wish poor Te** 
wasn't gone away to be a lady I ' tind, lowering thf oonit'i> 
of her lips, burst out ci-ying. The new point of Wew y 
iiifeetjous, and the next child did likewise, and then t 
next, till the whole row of them wailed loud. 

Then? were tears aJso in Jouu Durbej-field's eyes a 
turned to go home. But by the time liiie had got bftokl 


b villn^i- she was passively trusting to the favor of itcoi- 
;. However, in bed that night she sighed, and her hus- 
1 asked her what was the matter. 
"O, I don't know exactly," she said. "I was thinking 
mt perhaps it would ha' been bttter if Tess had not gone." 
"Oughtn't ye to have thought of that before f" 
" Well, "tis n ehance for the maid — Still, if 'twere the 
f sgiun, I wouldn't let her go till I had found out 
lietherthe gentleman is really a good-hearted young man, 
1 interested in her as his kinswoman." 
" Yes, you ought, perhaps, to ha' done that," snonid Kir 

l^oan Dnrbe^-field always managed to Snd consolation 

P W«ll, as one of the genuine stock, she ought to make 

t wy with en, if she plays her trump card aright. And 

e don't marry her afore he will after. For that he's all 

p wi' love for her any eye can see," 

i " What's her trump card ! Her D'Urberville blood, you 

" No, stupid ; her face- 

^iBaviko mounted beside her, Alec D'Urberville lirove 
d]y along by the crest of the hill, chatting compliment,'^ 
I^Tess as they went, tho eart with her box being left far 
iiid. An immense landscape stretched around tliem on 
y aide ; behind, the t[reen valley of her birth ; befow. » 
f eoiiutiy of which she knew nothing except from her 
' \-mt to Trantridge. Thus they reached thi' 
> of an incline down which the road stretched in a 
J straight descent of nearly a mile. 


Ever since the accident with her father's horse, Ttsw; 
DurbeyfieW, courageous us she naturally was, lioil l>f>:ii 

^ediiigly timid on wheels ; the least irregulttrity of id'>- 
tion startled her. She began to tr^t uneasy at a ctrtaiii 
recklessness in her conductor's driving. 

"You will go down slowly, sir, I suppose!" she said. 
with attempt*-!! tmconeem. 

lyUrberiTUc looked round upon her, uipi)ed his cipii 
with the tips of his large white centre-t«eth, and itUoweii 
his lips to smile slowly of themselves. 

"Why, Tess," he answered, after another whiff or iwi-, 
" it isn't a brave, bouncing ^rl Uke you who asks that ' 
Why, I always go down at full gallop. There's uotluui: 
like it for raising your spirits." 

" But perhiips you need not now 1 " 

"Ah," he said, shaking his head, "there are two lu l"- 
reckoned with. It is not me alone. Tib has to bi- eonsid- 
ered, and she has a very queer temper." 

" Who f " 

'■ Why, this mare. I fancy she looked round at mv in n 
very grim way ,iiist then. Didn't yon notice it! " 

'■ Don't trj' to frighten me, sir,'" said Tess, stifly. 

"Well, I don't. If any li\Tug man can manage this 
horse I can — I won't say any living man can do it — but il 
such has the power, I am he." 

" Why do you have such a horse 1 " 

"Ah, wi.'ll may you ask it ! Il was my fate, T supj 
Tib has killed one chap; and just aftt'r I bought her 
nearly killed me, And titn, tjjie my word for it, I near] 
killed IitT. But she's queer still, very queer ; and 
life is hardly safe behind her sometimes." 

They were just beginning tn descend ; and it was oviden' 
tliat the horse, whether of her own will or of his (the latfr 
being the more likely) knew so well the reckless perform 
anoe expected of her, that she hardly required a hint tnm 




Down, down, they Bped, tlie whefls humming like a top, 
the dog-cart rocking right and left, its axis acquiring a 
elightly obUqae set in relation to the line of progress ; the 
figure of the horse riaiog and falling in uuduladons before 
tliem. Sometimes a wheel was off tlie ground, it seemed 
for many yards ; sometimes a stone was sent spinning over 
the hedpe, and flinty sparks from the horse's hoofs outshone 
'Jie daylight. The fore part of the straight road enlarged 
with their advance, the two banks dividing like a spUttiug 
stick ; and one rushed past at each shoulder. 

The wind blew through Tesa's white muslin to her very 
skin, and her washed hair flew out behind. She was deter- 
mined to show no open fear, but she clutched D'Urberville's 

^B " Don't touch my arm ! We shall bo thrown out if you 
^ns I Hold on round my waist ! " 

She grasped his waist, and so they reached the bottom. 
" Safe, thank 6od, in spite of your folly t " said she, her 
isice on fire. 
^^m^ Teas — fie ! that's temper ! " said D'Urberville. 
^Hnis truth." 

^^VWell, yon need not let go your hold of nio so thank- 
^^fciiy the moment yon feel yourself out of danger." 

She hud not considered what aho had been doing ; whether 

he were man or woman, stick or stone, in her involuntary 

' i on him. Recovering her reserve, she sat without 

[dying, and thus they reached the summit of another 

ity, i'Now then, again ! " said D'Urberville. 
"Ko, no," said Tesa. "Show more sense, do, please. 

Bnt when people find themselves on the highest pomt 
the county, they must get down again," he retorted. He 
ined rein, and away they went a second time. D'Urber- 
turned his face to her as they rocked, and said, in play- 
raiU^y, "Now then, put your arms round my -waist 
I, as yon did before, my beauty ! " 


'■Never!" said Tess, independently, holding on 
as Bbe could withuut touching him. 

•' Let me pnt one little kiss on those holmbeirj- lips, Tes 
or even on that warmed cheek, and I'll stop— on my fa 
I wiU!" 

Tees, surprised beyond measure, slid further back t 
oil her seat, at which he urged the horse anew, and i 
her the more. 

"Will nothing else doT" she cried at length, in despei* 
lion, her large eyes staring at him like those of a wild ani- 
mal. This dressing her up so prettily by her mother had 
apparenUy been to lamentable purpose. 

" Nothing, dear Ttrss," he replied. 

" 0, 1 don't know — very well ; I don't mind ! ■" she panted. 

He drew rein, and as they slowed he was on the point 
of imprinting the desired salute, when, as if hardly vi-i 
aware of her own modesty, she dotlged aside. His arms 
being occupied with tfie reins, there was Ii'ft him no power 
to prevent her mauc^u^Te. ^m 

" Now, damn it — I'll break both oar necks ! " swore l^| 
capriciously passionate companion. "So yon isan go fM^| 
your word like that, you young witch, can yon ! " 1^ 

" Very well," said poor Tesa, " I'll not move sineo you l- 
90 determined ! But I — thought you would be kind to iin'. 
and protect me, as my kinsman ! '' 

" Kinsman bo hanged ! Now ! " 

"But I don't want aajlKMly to kiss me, sir!" she i 
plored, a big tear beginning to roll down her fane, and I 
comers of her mouth trembling in her attempts not V 
" And I wouldn't ha' come if I had known ! " 

He was inexorable, and she sat still, and D'Urben 
gave her the kiss of mastery. No sooner had he d 
than she Hushed with shame, took out her haiidkercbl 
and wiped the spot on her cheek that had been t^ 

his lips. His ardor was nettled at the sight, for the act on 
her part had been unconsciously done. 

" Ton are mighty seneitive for a farm girl ! " said the 
young man. * 

Tees made no reply to this remark, of which, indeed, she 
did not quite comprehend the drift, unheeding the snub she 
bad administered by her automatic rub upon her cheek. 
Slie had, in fact, undone the kiss, as far as sucli a thing 
wiiK physically possible. With a dim sense that he was 
vexed, she looked steadily ahead as they ti-otted on, till she 
saw, to her consternation, that there was yet another descent 
to be undergone. 

" You shall be made sorry for that ! " he resumed, his in- 
jured tone stdll remaining, as he flourished the whip anew. 
■ Unless, that is, yon agree willingly to let me do it again, 
and no handkerchief." 

She sighed. " Very well, sir ! " she said. '• O — let me 
get my hat I " 

At the moment of speaking, her hat had blown off into 
the road, their present speed on the upland l>eing by uu 
means slow. D*I.'rIx^n,-ille pulled up, and said he would g'-t 
it for her, hut Tess was down ou the other side. 

She turned back and picked up the article. " You look 
prf:tlier with it off, upon my soul, if thafs possible," he said, 
eoritemi>!ating her over the back of the vehicle. "Now 
Mn'ii. up again ! What's the matterl" 

The liat was in place and tied, but Tess had not stepped 
"rward, ''No, sir," she said, revealing the red and ivorj' 
i«f her month in defiant triumph ; " not again, if I know it ! " 

"What — yon won't get up Ijeeide met" 

"No; I shall walk." 
^'••Tis five or six miles yet to Trantridge." 

"T don't care if 'tis dozens. Besides, the cart is behind," 

^ You artful hussy ! Now, tell me — didn't you make thst 

I on purpose T 111 swenv you did ! " 



Her guarded silence conflrmed liis suspicion. 

Then D'Urberville cureed and swore at, her, and c( 
her everj-thing he could think of for the trick. Ti 
tlie horae suddenly, he tried to drive back upon her, and. 
heui her in between the gig and the hedge. But he & 
not do this short of injuring her. _ 

" Yon ought to be ashamed of yourself for using snell 
wicked words ! " cried Tess, with spirit, from the top of tli'- 
hedge into which she had scrambled. •'! don't like you 
at bJI ! I hate and detest you ! I'll go back to mother, I 

D'Uriwrvi lie's bad temper cleared up at sight of hws; 
and he laughed heartily. " Well, I like you all the better," 
he Bald. '■ Come, let there be peace. I'll never do it again 
against your will. My Ufe upon it now ! " 

Still Teas could not Iw induced to remount. She did U"t, 
however, objei't to his keeping his gig alongside her; tuiit. 
in this manner, at a slow pace, they advanced tuwards th'* 
viUa^ of Trantridge. From time to time D'Urber^'ille r\ 
hibited a sort of fierce distress at the sight of the trampiujr 
he had driven her to by his misdemeanor. She iiiight< iu 
truth, have safely trusted hirri now ; bnt he had forfeit^ 
her confidence for the tinie, and she kept on the grotuid, 
progressing thoughtfully, as if wondering whether it would 
be wiser to rotnm home. Her resolve, however, had bi*ii 
taken, and it seemed vacillating even to childishness '" 
abandon it now, unless for gi-aver reasons. How could sli' 
face her parfuts, get hack her box, and disconceii the wh^' 
scheme for the rehabilitation of her family ou such skuu 
mental grnmidsf 

A few minut*« later the chimneys of The Slopes nppean'i 
anil ui a sunt^ uook to Uie right the poaltty^faim 
cottage of Tess's destination. 




^BtlHE conuntinity of fowls to which TesE had been ap- 
fpsted as supervisor, purveyor, iinrse, surgeon, and friend 
made their headquartei-s in an old thatched cottage stand- 
ing in an enclosure that bad once been a garden, but was 
now a trampled and sanded square. Tlie house was over- 
-u with ivy, its ehimney being eniai-ged by the boughs of 
. parasito to the aspect of a mined tower. The lower 
"iius vrere entirely given over to the birds, who walked 
iir"jijt them with a jiroprietary air, as though the place had 
(nM-n built by anil for themselves, and not by and for cer- 
tain dusty copyholders who now lay east and west in thi' 
(■hnrcbyai-d. The descendants of these bygone owners felt 
it almost as a slight to their family when the house which 
bail so muL'h of their affection, had eost so much of their 
*'■ irp father^ money, and had been in their possession for 
rral generations before the D'HrlMarilles came and built 
! I . waa indifferently turned into a fowl-house by Mrs. 

■ kfj-D'L'rbcrville as soon as the property fell into hand 
■nling lo law, '-Twas good enough for Christians in 

iiidfatlier's time," they said. 

liii' nioms in which dozeus of infants had wailed at their 
r^ing i]ow resounded with the tapping of nascent chicks, 
imctfd hens in coops occupied spots where formerly 
" nl chairs supporting sedate agriculturists. The cbimoey 
uer anil once blazing hearth was now filled with inverted 
(lives, in which the hens laid their eggs; while oul^of- 

■ rn the plots that each succeeding householder had enre- 
: idly shaped with his spade were torn by the cocks in wildest 
fashion. . 

The ganleu in which the cott'^i^pod was surrounded 
1 ■■ ;i wuUf^d could only he- cutomWlt 

K rough a door. 


When Tfss had occmpietl herself alxitit tin hour in all 

ing and improving the arrangements, according to 

skilled ideas as the daughter of a professed poulterer, 

door in the wall opened and a scn'ant in white cap 

r apron entered. She had come from the manor-house. 

" Mrs. D'Urbervillo wants the fowls as usual." she said 
but perceiving that Tess did not quite uuderstjind, she en 
plained, "Mis'ees is a old lady, and blind." 

" Blind ! " said Tess. 

Almost before her misgiving at the news conld find thm 
to shape itself, she took, under her companiou's directiou, 
two of the most beautiful of the Hamburghs in her arms, 
and followed the maid-serrant, who ha*! likenjee taken two. 
to the adjacent mansion, which, though omat« and impiv<! 
ing, showed marks on this side which bore out the sumii- 
that some oceupant of its chambers could bend to the 1. n 
of dimib creatures — feathers floating within ^-iew of ll;< 
front, and hen-coops standing on the gross. 

In a sitting-room on the ground-floor, ensconcetl iu an 
arm-chair with her back to the light, was the o\vncr and 
mistress of tbe estate-, a whit^-hairwl woman of not mow 
than sixtj', or even less, wearing a large enp. Shu had tin) 
mobile face frequent in those whose eight has dwayed \sf 
stages, has been laljoriously striven afttir and reluctaaf 
let go, rather than the stagnant mien apparent iu pei 
long sightless or honi blind. Tess walked up to this 
•with her f(;athered charges — one sitting on each arm. 

"All, you are the yonng woman como to look after] 
birds T" said Mrs. D'Urberville, recognizing a new ft 
" I hope you will be kind to them. My bailiff tells nifl. 
are quite the proper person. Well, where are they^f 
this is Strut ! But he is hardly so lively to-day, is hcl 
is alarmed at being handled by a stranger, I suppoiw. 
Phena too — yes, they are a little frightened — areut 
dearxT But tliey wifaapu get nsed to yon." 

While the old JadjWfc* been spv-aking Tess ai^^he 

r^iliaid, in obedience to her gestures, had plaeeii the fowls 
Bevemlly in her lap, and she bad felt thenj over from heed 
to tail, examining their beaks, their combs, the manes of 
the ooeks, their wings, and their claws. Her touch enabled 
her to recognize them in u momeut, and to discover if a 
single feather were crippled or draggled. She handled 
their crops, and knew what they had eaten, and if ton little 
or too much ; her face enacting a vivid pantomime of the 
criticLsms passing in her mind. 

The birds that the two girls had brought in were duly 
rt'tumcd to the yai-d, and the process was repeated till all 
the pet cocks and hens had been submitted to the old 
woman — Hai^burghs, Bantams, Cochins, Brahmas, Dor- 
kings, and such other soi-ts as were in fashion jnst then — 
her perception of each visitor being seldom at fault as she 
received the bird upon her knees. 

Tf, reminded Tess of a Confirmation, in which Mrs. D'Ur- 

n,-iUe was the bishop, the fowls the young people pre- 

ncd. and herself and the maid-ser\-aut the parson and 
, Lir;ite of the parish bringing them up. At the end of the 
oetwnony Mrs, D'Urberville abruptly asked Tess, wrink- 
ling and twitching her face into undulations, "Can yon 
iL^^Whistle, ma'amT" 
^Kf*T<», whistle tunes." 

Teas coiUd whistle, like most other country girls, though 
I 111- accomplishment was one which she did not eare to pr^i* 

* in gcnt#el company. However, she blandly admitted 

nt iuc-h was the fact. 

■ Then you will have to practise it every day. I had n 
■■': who did it very well, but he has left. I want you to 
:.:.'(tle to my bullfinches; as I cannot see them I like to 

■ nr tbem, and we teach 'em airs that way, Tell her where 

■ oajrts are, Elizabeth. You must begin to-morrow, or 
' >■ mil go back in their piping- They have been ueg- 

■ ■■■d ihefie several days."' 


" Mr, D'Urberville ■whistled to 'em this momiug, lua'fu 
swd Elizabeth. 

'• He ! Pooh I " 

The old lady's face creased into furrows of rei)ui?uftiiMi,^ 
and she made no further reply, 

Thus the reception of Tess by her fancied kioswomau 
terminated, and the birds were taken back to their quarter* 
The girl's surprise at Mrs. Stoke-D'Urbenille'a maimer wa:- 
not great: for since seeing the size of the house she h:i': 
expee.ted no more. But she was far from being aware tijii* 
the old lady had never heard a word of the so-called kiu 
ship. She gathered that no great affection flowed betwe'U 
tlie blind woman and her son. But in that, too, she va- 
mistakeu. Mrs. D'Urberville was not the first njothKr 
compelled to love her offspring scornfully, and to a Teraelr 
jeam. i 

In spil^e of the nnpleasant initiation of the day beior-' 
Tess uiclineil to the fi-eedom and novelty of her new posi 
tion in the morning when the sun shone, now that she waa 
once installed there ; and she wafi curious to test her powen 
1 tlie unexpected direction asked of her, so a« to aeeertain 
her chance of retaining her post. Accordingly, so booq at 
she was alone within the walled garden, &hu sat hemelt 
down on a coop, and seriously screwed up her mouth for 
the lonp-ncglccted practice. It was* with a dismal face tin' 
■fehe found her former ability to have degenerated to lii 
production of a hoUow sepulchral rusJi of wiud through t-' 
iipB, and no clear note at all. 

She remained fruitlessly blowing and blowinp. ;■ 
impatient oxijletives. and wondering how e!ie eoul 
grown out of the art whicli had come by nature, till 
came awai-e of a movement among tlie ivj'-bough 
cloaked the garden wall no Iobb than the cottage. 
that way, she beheld a form springing from thv 
to the plot- It was Alec D'Urberville 

ii; - .. .- , 


■ THE MAIDEN. 6!> 

not act eyes on since he had conducted her the day before 

■ the door of the gardener's cottage where she had Icm^- 

"■ Ci>o!i my carcass I " cried he, " there was never before 
^uch a Wautifnl thing in Nature or Art as yon look, 
' Cousin' Tess. ["Cousin'' had a faint ring of nioekery.j 
t have 1)0(11 watching you from over the wall — sitting l^e 
/jjipatience ou a uiouunient, and pouting up that pretty red 
mouth lo whistling shape, and whooing and whooing, and 
r rivately swearing, and never being able to produce a note. 
ft"hy, you are yuitc cross because you can't do it." 

■■ I am not cross^ and I didn't swear." 

" Ah '. I understand why you are trying — those bullies ! 
My mother wants you to carry on their musical education. 
How selfish of her ! As if attending to these curst cocks 
and hens here were not enough work for any girl. I would 
n;itly refuse, if I were you." * 

■■ But she wants me particularly to do it, and to lie ready 

■ y to-mori-ow morning," 

■ Does she 1 Well then — I'll give you a lesson or two." 
'■ Oh no, you won't," said Tess, withdrawing towards tJie 

" Nonsense ; I don't want to touch you. See — I'll stand 
H this side of the wire-netting, and you can keep on the 

■ iibcT; so you may feel quite safe. Now, look here; you 
I i-i'W up your lips too harshly. There 'tis — so." 

He suited the action to the word, and whistled a line of 
T;ike, O take those lipa_sway." But the allusion was lost 
'!!..m Tess. 

"Xow try," said D'Urbcr\'illc, 

She attempted to took reser\'ed ; her face put on its ut- 
most phase of sculptural severity. But how inueh could 
-J.e be cTiiecttid to accomplish of that sort in such cireiim- 
::uiCMf He persisted in hia demand, and at last, to get 
"1 of him, (she did put up her lips as directed, laughing 
-JuitTiissftmy, liowcver, before she could succeed in produc- 


i«g a clear note, and then blushing with vexation tJiat 4 
had laughed. 

He eneonraged her with " Try again I " 

Tess was quite serious, painfully serious by this time" 
and she tried — ultimately and unespectedly emitting a n-iil 
round soimd. The momentary pleasure of suceess got tlf 
better of her; her eyes enlarged, and she involuntarily 
smiled in his face. 

"That's it ! Now I have started you — yotfU go on beati- 
tifully. There — I said I would not come near yon : and, in 
spite of Buch temptation as never before fell to mortal mon, 
I'll ke!^ ray word. I say, Tessie, isn't my mother a fine'i 
old sotd 1 " 

" I don't know much of her yet, sir." 

" You'll find her so ; slio must be, to make you leam to 
whistle to her bullfinches. I am mther out of her boitkr- 
just now, but you will be quite ju favor if you treat Ini 
hve-atock well. Good-moming. If you meet vn\h nn;. 
difficulties and want heljj here, dou't ^ to the bailiff, coin- 
to me." 

It was in the economy of this rfgitnfi that Tc»s Durbey- 
&eld had undertaken to fill a place. Her first days i^si^- 
rie&ceB were fairly typical of those which followtil ■ 
many Buceoeding days. A familiarity with Ah-e 1 ' 
vine's presence — which that young man carefully (ti| 
in her by playful dialogue, and by jestingly caUing hor l.i 
cousin when they were alone — removed most of her origui^: 
shyness of him, without, however, implanting any feeUiiL' 
which could engender shyness of a new and tenderer khul 
But she wan more pliable under his hands than a mi^re com 
panionship would have made her, owing to her inevitalili' 
dependent upon his mother, and, through her compomtjv^ 
helplessness, upon him. j^m 

Hhe soon found that whisthng tllTOifti^aUfinches in 3 
D'lTrber.-ilk''8 room was no such onerous bu)^inc«« wW 



■he had regaintd the art, for she had caught from litr 

musical mother Dunierous aii-s that suited those songsttrs 

:i>liiiiMibly. A far more satisfaiitory time than when alie 

pnietised in the garden -vras this whistling by the cages 

L. M cb morning. Unrestrained by the young man's presence, 

Bfep threw up her mouth, put her tips near the bars, and ' 

^^qied away in easeful grace to the attentive liati'uerw, 

Mrs. D'Urbenille slept in a large fom--p08t bedstead hung 
i!h ht'avj- dainaek curtains, and the bulltinehes owiopied 
' :..* same apartment, where thi-y flitted about freely at cer- 
iu hours, and made littJe spots on the fumituro. Once 
iide Tess was at the window where the cages were ranged, 
_ I aug her lesson as usual, she thought she heard a rustling 

■ hind the bed. The old lady was not present, and turning 
iiud the ^rl had an impression that the toes of a pair of 
■i>t« were vigiblo Mow the fi-inge of the curtains. There- 

iipMO her whistling he<yune so disjointed that the listeuer.if 
Mtirh there were, must have discovered her suspicion of his 
I>r>'.*eiioe- She searched the cmlaius every morning aftei- 
rbat, but never found anybody within^era. -\lec IVUrlwr- 
iOpi had e\'idently thought better (|Bis freak to terrify 

■ r by an ambush o^Abt kind. ^^ 

#. . . ...I..,.- S..U. 

EVEST village has its idiosyncrasy, its constitntiqi 
ivn code of morality. The levity of some of the yX 
. 'iiQcn in and about Trautridgo was marked, and v 
ijifi symptomatic of the choice spiiit who ruled The S 
L that vicinity. The place had also a more abidiugd 

ilrauk hard. The staple conversation on 
:''<iiDil was on the use1essQ(>ss of saving money; and 
injckfnjcked arithmeticians, leaning on their ploughs or 
I i'i«, would enter into calculations of great nicety to provt' 




tliftt parish relief was a fuller provision for a man in his 
old age tlian any which could resull fi'oiu savings out >jt 
their wages during a whole lifetime. 

The chief pleasure of these philosophers lay in goiiiL 
every Satui-day uight, when work was done, to Chast 
horough, a decayed market-town two or three miles dis- 
tant ; and, returning in thu small hours of the next morn- 
ing, to siiend Sunday in sleeping off the dyspeptic i-ffccis 
uf the enrioua compounds sold Ut them as beer by the mn 
uopolizers of the onee independent inns. 

For a long time Tess did not join in the weekly pilgriin 
ages. But under pressure fi'om matrons uot much olilfi 
than herself — for marriage before means was the rule hrn 
as elsewhere— ffess at length consented U) go. Her &^^;l 
experience of the journey afforded her more cnjoym-'Eii 
than she had expected, the hilariousness of the olhrrs In 
ing quite contagious after her monotonous attt>ntkin tu 
the ponltr^'-farm all the week. She went again and again. 
Being gi-aceful and interesting, standing moreover on the 
momentaiy threshed of womanhood, her appearau«e,drew 
down upon her soi^By regards froniJoungers in thej^trett- 
of Chaseborough ;^nice, though s^Dtimes her journey i' 
the town was mo^uidependently, sne alwaj's seareht-d f<>: 
her fellows at tuPlfall, t^ have the protection of tlui: 
companionship homeward, ^ 

This had gone on for a moutJi or two, when n ^^^B"} 
in early September ou which a fair and a^l^frkv: 
and the pilgrims from Trantridge sought doolil 
nt the inns ou that account. It was long pa>: 
and Tesa waited for the troop till she was quit' 
weary. While she stood at acomer bythe tavera in whul 
they sat she heard a footstep, and loo^ig round saw iIji 
i;ed coal of a cigar. IVUrlierville was ^oniling there al-"i 
He beckoned to her, and she reluctantly went to him. 

"My Pretty, what are you doing here at tJiis tliuv u:^ 
night T " 


She was so tired after her long day and her wtdk that 
8h« confided her trouble to him. 

'■I have been waiting ever so long, sir, to have their 
company home, because the road is rather strange to me at 
night. But I really thiuk I will ivait no longer." 

'Do not. I have ouly a saddle-horse here to-day; Imt 
come to the Plower-de-Luce, aud Fll hire a trap, and drive 
you home with me." 

Tess had never quit« got over her original mistrust of 
him. and, with all their tardiness, she prefeired to walk 
home with the work-folk. Ho she answered wiat she was 
much obliged to liim but on second thoughts would not 
trouble him. " I have said that I will wait for 'em, and 
they will expect me to now," 

•' Very well, silly 1 Please yourself," 

As soon as he had re-Ut a cigar and, walked away the 
Trantridge villagers within began also to i%collect how time 
waa fljing, and prepared to leave in a body. Their bundles 
and baskets were gathered up, and half an hour later, 
when the clock-chime sounded a quarter past eleven, they 
were straggling along the lane which led up the hill towards 
tieir homes. 

It was a three-mile walk, along a dry white road, made 
whiter to-night by the light of the moon. 

T««6 soon perceived as she walked in the Hoek, some- 
nmes with this one, sometimes with that, that the fresh 
ju.'ht air was producing staggeriugs and serpentine courses 
rimng the men who had partaken too freely; some of the 
iirtre ear^'less women also were wandering in their gait^ — 
■ wit, n dark virago. Car Dai-ch, dubbed Queen of Spades. 
111! lately a favorite of D'Urberville's ; Nancy, her sister, 
ni^lmnmod the Queen of Diamonds: and a young married 
wiiiiijin who had already tumbled down. Yet however ter- 
r-strinl and lumpy their appearance just now to the mean 
iiighunoorcd ej'e, to theraeelves the case was different. 


They followed tlie mad with a knowledgi- that thflj- ivew 
soaring along in u supporting medium, possessed of origi- 
nal and profouDd thoughts, tberasclves and snrroutidini,' 
nature forming an oi-ganism of which all the partB har 
moniously and joyously interpenetrated each other. Thcr 
were as sublime as the moon and stars above them, and Uii 
moon and atara were as ai-dent as they. 

Tess, however, ha<l undergone such painful espm«uces 
iu this kind in her father's hot^e that the discovery ot 
their eondition spoiled the pleasure she waa beginning tn 
feel in flie moonlight journey. Tet she stuck to the part} , 
for reasons above given. 

In the open highway they had progressed in scuttert^ : 
order ; but a^ their i-outo was through a field-gate, uui) 
the foremost finding a difficulty iu opening it. thi-j- closed 
np together. 

This leading pedestrian was Car the Queen of !Spad<v$, 
who carried a wicker-basket containing her mother's 
groceries, hor own draperies, and other purchases for tb»' 
week. The basket being large and heavy, Car bad plaoe<l 
it for convenieuce of porterage on the top of her bwul, 
where it rode on in jeopardized balance as she walked witL 

ois akimbo. 

" Well — whatever is that aKireepiug down thy buck. Car 
Darch ? " said one of the group suddenly. 

All looked at Car. Her gown was a light cotton prin'. 
and from the back of her head a kind of ropo could '" 
seen descending to some distance below her waist likt' ■' 
Chinaman's queue. 

■' 'Tis her hair falling down," said another. 

No ; it was not her haii' ; it was a black sti-eaiii of Doni' 
thing oozing from her basket, and it glistened likv u fiUu>> 
snake in the cold still rays of the moon. 

'•'Tis treacle," said an observant matron. 

Treacle it was. Car's pwjr old grajidmother had a wcrL 
less for the sweet stuff. Honey she hiwl in plenty oat l> 



own hives, 1ml treavle was what her soul desired, and 
Car had tieen about U> give hfT n treat of surprise. Hastily 
I<nvmng tlie basket, the dark girl found that the vt-sscl con- 
tainiug the liquid had beeu emashed within. 

By this time there had arisen a shout of laughter at the 

itraordiuary appearance ot Car's back, which irritated the 

■k queen into getting rid of tlie disfigurement by the first 
sndd^n means availabli?, and independently of tJie help of 
the scoffei-s. She rushed eseitodly iulo the field they were 
about to cross, and flinging hcrsi^lf Hat on her back upon 
the grass, liegau to wipe her gown as well as she could by 
gjTating horizontally on the herbage and dragging herself 
over it npon her elbows. 

The laughter rang louder ; they clung to the gate, to the 
posts, rested on their staves, in the weakness engendered 
iiy their eon\Tilsions at the spectacle of Car. Oivc heroine, 
who had hitherto held her peace, at this T\-ild moment 
could not help joining in with the i-cst, 

It wasn misfortune — in more ways than one. No sooner 
did the dark queen hear the soberer, richer note of Teas 
::ioug those of the other work-people than a long smolder- 
■■ sense of rivalry inSamed her to madness. She sprang 
1 ' her feet and closely faced the object of her dislike. 

'■ How (larest th' laugh at me, hussy ! " she cried. 

" I couldn't really help it when t'others did," apologized 
Tess, still tittering. 

" Ab, th'st think th' beest everj-body, dostn't, because th' 
becst first favorite witli He jnst now ! But stop a bit, my 
lady, stop a bit ! I'm as good as two of such I Look here 
— here's at *ee." . 

To Tcss's horror the dark queen began stripping off tlie 

"lir-e of her gown — which for the atlded reason of its 

' '1 'ondition she was only too glad tfl be five of — 

id bared her plump neck, shouldoi-s, and arms In 

^liine, under which they looked as luminous and 

■ nHiml lis some Praxitolean creation, in their possession 


of the faultless rotundities of a lustj- country girl. SLr 
closed her fists and squared up Bt Tess, 

" Indeed, then, I shall not fight ! " said the latter, majes- 
tically; ■■and if I had known roii was of that sort, 1 
wouldn't have so let myself down as to come with sneh a 
whorage as this is I " 

The rather too inclusive spoech brought down a torrent 
I of vituperation from other quarters upon fair Tess's un- 
I lucky head, particularly from the Queen of Diamondu, 
who, having stood in the relations to D'Urber\*iUe that Car 
had also been suspected of, united with the latter against 
tlie common enemy. Several other women also chimed in. 
with an animus which none of them would have b<*n w. 
fatuous as to show but for the rollicking evening they hail 

ised. Thereupon, finding Tess unfairly browbeaten, the 
husbands and lovers tried to makepeace by defending her; 
but the result of that attempt was directly to increase the 

Tese was indignant and ashamed. She no longer 
minded the loneliness of the way and the lateness of the 
hour ; her one object was to get away from the wliole crew 
as soon as possible. She knew well enough that the better 
among them would repent of their passion next day. Thcj- 
were all now inside the field, and she was edging about t« 
rush off alone when a horseman emci-ged almost silently 
from the comer of the hedge that sa-eened the road, and 
Aloe D'Urberville looked round upon them. 

"What the devil is all this row about, work-Eolkl" 

The explanation wts not readily forthcoming; 
truth, he did not require any. na\Tng heard their vtA 
while yet some way off, he had ridden creepingly ton 
and learned enougli to satisfy himself. 

Tess was standing apai't from the rest, near the gat*. 
beat over towards her. "Jump up behind me," \iv wld_ 
pered, " and well get shot of the siTcamiug cats in n jUff ifl 



felt almost ready to faint, so vivid was her sense of 
the crisis. At almost any other moment of her life she 
would have refused such proffered aid and company, as she 
had refused them several times before ; and now the loneli- 
Dfsfi would not of itself have forced her to do otherwise. 
Bat comiug as the invitation did at the particular juncture 
when feai' and indignation at these adversaries could l>e 
transformed by a spring of the foot into a triumph over 
them, she abandoned herself to her impulse, put her toe 
upon his instep, and leaped into the saddle behind him. 
The pair were speeding away into the distant gray by the 
time lliat the contentious revellers became aware of what 
had happened. 

The Queen of Spades forgot the stain on her bodice, and 
.stood beside the Queen of Diaraouds and the new-married, 
sta^ering young woman — all with a gazo of fixity in the 
directioD in which the horse's tramp was diminishing into 
sdenee on tk^ mad. 

"What be ye looking at?" asked a man who had not 
obsen'ed the incident. 

"Ho-ho-ho ! " laughed dark Car. 

" Hec-hee-hee ! " laughed the tippling bride, as she 
steadied herself on the ann of her fond husband. 

" Heu-heu-hea ! " laughed dark Car's mother, stroking 
i-r mustache as she esplained laconically: "Out of the 
' > ying-pan into the fire ! " _ 

And then these children of the open aaf whom even 
\iess of alcohol could scarce injure permanently, betook 
■ii'.'mselves to the field-path ; and as they went there moved 
■iiward with them, around the shadow of ea«h one's head, 
I L'irelo of opalized light, formed by the moon's rays npon 
'ii' glistening sheet of dew. Each pedestrian could see no 
il') but his or her own. which never deserted the head- 
' idow, whatever its vnlgar unsteadiness might be; Irtit 
.'llierwl tn it, and persistently beautified it; till the erratic 
iM.'tions .seemed an inherent part of the irradiation, aud the 


fiimes of their breatliing a component of the night'B n 
and the spirit of the scene, and of the moonlight, a 
Nature, seemed harmoniously to mingle with the epiribi 

The twain cantered along for some time withoat speol 
Tess as she clung to liiin still panting in her triumph, i 
in other respects dubious. She had perceived that thr 
horse was not the spiril^;d one he sometimes rode, ami fuh 
no oiona on that score, though her seat was procariou> 
DQOiigh. She asked liim to slow the animal to a walk, 
which Alec accordingly did. 

" Neatly done, was it not, dear Teas ! " he said by-ajid-b\ 

" Yes ! " eaid she, " I am sure I ought to be much ohligcil 
to yon." 

"And are youT" 

She did not reply. 

'•Tess, why do you always dislike my kissing yoaf 

" I suppose — because I don't love you." 

" You are quite sure T " 

" I am angry with you sometimes 1 " 
* "Ah, I h^ feared as much." Nevertheless, Alec di' 
not object t<mlint confessiou. He knew that anything v. 
better than frigidity. " Why haven't you toM me whm 1 
have made you angiy T " 

" You know very well why. Because I cannot hi-lp »' 
self here." 

" I haven't offended you often by love-making." 

" Yon have sometimes." 

" How many times ! " 

"Yon know as wt-ll as 1 — too many times." 

I St 

^i— II, 


She was silent, and the horse ambled along for a cousid- 
f-rabje distance, till a faint luminous fog, which had hang 
111 the hollows all the evening, l)ecamL' general and envel- 
( i|«?d them. It seemed to hold the moonlight in suspension, 
I'udering it more per^-asivo than in deai- aii-. Whether 
II this aecoont, or from absent-mindedness, or from sleepi- 
.■■S8, she did not perceive that they had long ^o passed 
ilii- point at which the lane to Trantridge branched from 
tJie highway, and that her conductor had not taken the 
Trantridge track. 
She was inexpressibly wearj'. She had I'isen at fivt> 
lock every morning of tliat week, had been on foot tha 
le of each day, and on this evening had in addition 
trtlked the three miles to Chaseborongh, waited tliree hours 
for her neighbors withont eating or drinking, her impatience 
to start tliem preventing either; sho had then walked a 
Hjile of the way home, and had undergone the excitement 
: the quarrel, till it was now nearly one o'clock. Only 
ijre, however, was she overcome by actual drowainees. In 
■ iit moment of oblivion she sank gently against him. 

I Vt'rbenTUe withdrew his feet from the stirrups, turned 
ul-'ways on the saddle, and enclosed her waist with his 
mil to support her. 

This immediately put her on the defensive, and with one 
' f I hose sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable 
in- gave him a Uttle push from her. In his ticklish position 
' ■■ nearly lost his balance and only just avoided rolling 
. rr into the road, the hoi-se, though a powerful one, being 
-■' n-ttmalely the quietest he rode. 

" That ia devilish unkind t " he said. " I mean no harm 
— only to keep you from falling." 

She pondered snspiciously ; till, thinking that this might 
ilier ail be true, she relented, and said quite humbly, " I 
' • ir your pardon, sir." 

■ i won't pardon yon nnless yon show some confldem-e 
iri pie. Good tiod P he burst out, " what am I. to be ri.-- 


pulsed so by a mere chit like you ! For near three mofl 
months have you trided with my foeUiigB, eluded me, ai 
snubbed me ; and I won't stand it ! " 

*' 111 leave you to-morrow, sir." 

"No, you will uot leave mo to-morrow ! Will you, I a 
once more, show your belief in me by letting me encin 
you with my arm? Come, between us tvro and noboi 
else, now. We know each other well ; and you know tl 
I love you, and think you are the prettiest girl in 1 
world, which you are. May 1 treat you as a lover T" 

She drew a quiek pettish breath of objection, writhii 
uneasily on her seat, looketl far ahead, and murmure<l, ' 
don't know — I wish — how can I say yea or no when— 

He settled the matter by clapping hb arm round her 
he desired, and Teas expressed no further negative. Tli 
they sidled onward till it struck her they had been adVM 
ing for an unconscionable time — far longer than n 
usually occupied by the short journey from Cliaseboroo^ 
even at this walking pace, and that tliey were no longer c 
bard road, but in a mere trackway. I 

" Why, where be wef " she exclaimed. 

" Passing by a wood," 

"A wood — what woodJ Surely we are quitts out of the 

"A bit of The Chase — the oldest wood iu Enclond. 
is a lovely night, and why should we not prolong our r 
a little!" 

" How eoiUd you be so treacherous 1 " said Tess, 1 
archness and real disma}', and getting rid of his arm i 
])ulling open his fingers one by one, though at the r 
slipping off herself. " Just when I've been putting e 
trust in you, and obliging yon to please you, beoaof 
thought I had wronged you by that push 1 Plenw) set m^ 
down, and let me walk home." 

" You eaniiot walk home, even if the air were tUtm. 
We are miles away from Trautridge, if T must tell j 


in this growing fog you might wander for hours among 
these trees." 

'■ Never mind that," she coaxed. '■ Pat me down, I Iwg 
y-iu. I don't mind where it is ; only let me get down, sii-, 
pleasf ! " 

'■Very well, then, I will — on one condition. Having 
Ijronght you here to this ontrof-the-way place, I feel myself 
iL-sponsiljle for your safe conduct home, whatever you may 
yourself feel ahout it. As to your getting to Trantridge 
srithout assist-anee, it is quit« impossible ; for, to tell the 
Truth, owing to this fog, which so disguises everything, I 
don't quit<i know where we arc myself. Now, if you will 
jiromise to wait beside the horse while I walk through the 
luishes till I come to some road or house and ascert^ 

■ xactly our wht-rt-abouts, I'll deposit jon hero willingly. 
When I I'ome liack I'll give you full directions, and if you 
insist upon walking you may; or you may ride — at your 

She accepted these terms, and slid off on the near side, 
Lkongh not till he had stolen a cursory kiss. He sprang 
on the other side. 
I suppose I must hold the horse 1 " said she. 
Oh no; it's not necessary," replied Alec, patting the 
i':i!iting creature. "He's had enough of it for to-night." 
He turned the horse's head into the bushes, hitched him 
ij to a l)ough, and made a sort of couch or nest for her in 

■ LI- deep mass of dead leaves. 

■Xow, you sit there," he said. "That will keep away 
In- damp. Just give an eye to the horse — it will be quite 

He took a few st^ps away from her, but, retuming, 
oiiid, '* By the by, Toss, yoiur father has a new cob to-day. 
6(nnebody gave it to him." 
"Somebody I Yon!" 
" '>beTVTlle nodded- 
Oh, how very good of you that is ! " she exclmmed, 



witii a painfiil sense of the awkn'ordsees of having to f 
him just then. 

" And the children have some toys." 

"I didn't know — you ever sent them anything t* 
murmured, much moved. '■ I almost wish yoa had i 
yes, 1 almost wish it ! ' 

" 'Why, dear?" 

" It — hampers me so." 

" Tessie — don't you love me ever so little now f " 

" Pm grateful," she reluctantly admitted. " Bnt 1 1 

do not " The sudden vision of his passion for h( 

as a factor iii this result so distressed her that^ begin 
with one slow tear, and then following with anothet 
wept outright 

" Don't erj-, dear, dear one ! Now sit down here, 
wait till I come." She passively sat down amid the I 
that he had heaped, and shivered slightly. "Aw 
coldf" he asked. 

" Not very— a little." 

He touched her with his fingers, which t<auk into I 
into a billow. "Ton have only that Jinffy muslin d 
— how's that f ' 

'• It's my best summer one. 'Twae very warm wl 
started, and I didn't know I was going to ride, and tf 
would be night," 

"Nights grow fhilly in September. Let me see." 
pulled off a light ovcreoat that he had worn, and ] 
round her tenderly. '' That's it^ — now you feel ^ 
he continued. '■ Now, my Pretty, rest Uiere ; I i 
ho ba<^k again." 

Ha\-ing buttoned the overcoat round her shoolde 
pUinged into the webs of vapnr which by this time t 
veils between the trees. She could hear the rustiing | 
branches as he ascended the ailjoining slope, till hu l 
ments were no louder than the liopping of i 
Anally diud away. With the sotting of the moon t 


lielit lessened, and Tess became invisilile as she fell into 
r- verie upon Uie leaves where he had left her. 

In the meantime Alec DTrberville had .pushed on tip 
1 Nu slope to clear his genuine doubt as to the quarter of 
The Chase they were in. Ho had, in fact, ridden quite at 
random for over an hour, taking any turning that came to 
liand in order to prolong companionship with her, and giv- 
ing far more attention to Tess's mooiilit person than to any 
waj-side object. A little rest for the jaded animal being 
durable, be did not hasten his search for landmarks. A 
■ f.imlter over the hill into the adjoining vale broi^ht him 
' the fence of a highway whose aspect he recognized, 
■■ hich nettled the question of tlieir whereabouts. lyUr- 
: 1 rvilla thereupon turned back ; but by this time the ntoos 
tiail quite goue down, and partly on account of the fog 
The Chase was wi-appe<l in thick dai-kness, although mom- 
iiiir was not far off. He was obliged to advance with 
iU£tretebed hands to avoid contact with the boughs, and 
: ; •jcovered that to hit tlie exact spot from which ho had 
Tju-ted was at first entirely beyond him. Roaming up and 
■ . n, ii.iind and round, ho at length heard a slight raove- 
■■■: ' 1' tiie horse close at baud; and the sleeve of hie 
■.!!■•- ml unexpectedly caught his foot. 
"Tees!" said D'Urbcrvillo. 
|[9niere was no answer. The obsenrity was now so great 
I he could see absolately nothing but a pale nebulous- 
B at his feet, which repi-esented the white muslin figure 
I left upon the dead leaves. Everj-thing else was 
nesa alike. D'Urborville stooped, and heard a gentle 
r^-gnlar brpathing. Ho knelt and bent lower, till her lireath 
iriued his face, and in a moment his cheek was in con- 
;,it-L witli hers. She was sleeping soundly, and upon her 

EHfTB lingered tears. 
t and alienee ruled everj"where around. Above 
tlio primeval yews and oaks of The Chaae, in 
poised geiille roosting birds in their last nap ; 


and aroiind them tlie hopping rabbits and harea. 
where was Tesa's guardian angel f where was the Pi 
denoe of her simple faith T Perhaps, liJtt> that ottier 
of whom the ironical Tishbite spoke, he was talking, c 
was pursuing, or he was in a jouniey, or peradventure 
was sleeping and was not to be awaked. 

Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine lissins' 
' sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank aa snow as vtt. 
there should have been traced such a coarse i>att«Ti as it 
was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appii- 
priates tlie finer thus, many thousand yeoi's of analjlical 
philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of 
One may, indeed, wlmit the jwssibility of a retribnti 
lurking in the catastrophe. Doubtless some of Tdsa DTr 
berville's mailed ancestors rollicking home from a fray hsiJ 
dealt tlie same wrong even more ruthlessly npou [K-nauni 
girls of their time. But though to visit the sin.* of ll"- 
fathers upon tlie children may be a morality good ennngii 
for divinities, it is seonied by average human nature ; ami 
it therefore does not mend the matter. 

As Tess's own people down in those retreats arrfftpwr 
^ired of saying among each other in their f atalisti^mr : 
"It was to be," There lay the pity of it. An imnieMon- 
ble social chasm was to divide oiu- hei-oine's pentonali^ 
thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from 
her mother's door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry- 



I The bfisket was heavy and the bundle was large, but she 

lirged them along like a person who did not find any espe- 

-;ii harden in material things. Occasionally she stopped 

rest iu a mechanical way by some gate or post ; and 

. :.>-n, givipg the baggage another hitch upon her full round 

rrji, went steadily on again. 

It was a Sunday morning in late October, about four 

I'.'Dths after Tese Durbeyfield'a arrival at Trauti-idge, and 

"iiie few weeks subsequent to the night ride in The Chase. 

i iif- time ipas not long past daybreak, and tiie yellow lumi- 

i i^ty upon the horizon behind her back lighted the ridge 

' rtards which her face was set — the barrier of the vol© 

' ijerein she had of late been a stranger — which she would 

ijve to climb over to reach her birthplace. The ascent 

^ as gradual tm this side, and the soil and scenery difftrod 

Liiidi from those witliin Blakemoro Vale. Even the char- 

■ter and accent of the two peoples had shades of difference, 

I ■spito Uio amalgamating effects of a roundabout railway ; 

■ that, though less than twenty miles fi-ora the place of 

r aojonm at Ti-antridge, her native village had seemed a 

ray spot The field-folk shut in there traded north- 

Ijuid westward, travelled, courted; and married north 

t WCBtward. tliought northward and westward ; 




those i;d tliiij hide maiuly directed tlieir energies and 
teution to the east aud south. 

The incline was the same down which D'Urben'ille 
driven with her so wildly on that day in Juno, Teas w( 
Qp Uie reniaiuiler of itH length without stopping, and 
reaching the edge ot the escarpment gazed over the tamilii 
gi-een world beyond, now half veiled in mist. It ws 
ways beautiful from hei-e ; it was terribly beautiful to 
to-day, for since her eyes last fell upon it she had lei 
that the serpent hisses whore sweet birds sing, and 
\news of life liad been totally changed for her by the h 
Verily another girl than the simple one she had been 
home was she who, bowed by the thought, stood still h< 
aud turned to look behind her. She could not bear to look 
fonvard into the Vale. 

Ascending by the long white road that Toss li*7»ii 
had just labored up she saw a two-wheeled vehicle, bewdr' 
which walked a man, who held up his hand to attract bt-i 

She obeyed the signal to wait for hin> with un8pccul»*'i\"t 
repose, and in a few minutes man and horse stopped besi/u 

"Wliy did you slip away by stealth like this?" eai<i 
D'UrberviUe, with upbraiding breatlilessness ; ''on a Sun 
day morning, too, when people were all in bed 1 I only 
discovered it by accident, and I have been dri%Tng like th' 
deuce to overtake you. Just look at the more. VThy p^ 
off like this! You know that nobody wished to hind-r 
your going. And how unnecessary it has boon for yon i' 
toil along on foot, and encumber yourself with this hear, 
load 1 1 have followed like a madman, siinply to dri%'e yr i 
the rest of the distance, if you won't come back." 
1 shan't come back," said she, 
I thought you wouldn't — I said so. Well, then, put 
your baskets, and let me help yon oi^" 

8he listlessly placed her basket and bundle ■ttilivv ■ 



■dog-cart, and stepped up, and they sat side by side. Slio 
;had no fear of him now, and in the cause of her confidence 
"her soiTOw lay. 

^ D'TTrbei-viile mechanically lit a cigar, and the journey 
was continued with broken unemotional conversation on 
the commonplace objects by the wayside. He had quite 
forgotten his struggle to kiss her when, in the early sum- 
mer, they had driven in the opposite direction along the 
same road. But she had not, and she sat now like a puppet, 
replying to his remarks in monosyllables. After a space 
they came in view of the clump of trees beyond which the 
village of Marlott stood. It was only then that her face 
still showed the least emotion, a tear or two beginning to 
trickle down. 

"What are you crying for?" he coldly asked. 

" I was only thinking that I was born over there," mur- 
mured Tess. 

" Well — we must aU be bom somewhere." 

"I wish I had never been bom — there or anywhere 
else ! " 

" Pooh ! Well, if you didn't wish to come to Trantridge 
why did you come ? " 

She did not reply. 

" You didn't come for love of me, that I'll swear." 

" Tis quite true. K I had gone for love o' you, if I had 
ever sincerely loved 'ee, if I loved you stiU, I should not so 
loathe and hate myself for my weakness as I do now ! . . . 
My eyes were dazed by you for a little, and that was all." 

He shrugged his shoulders. She resumed : 

"I didn't understand your meaning till it was too 

** That's what every woman says." 

" How can you dare to use such words ! " she cried, turn- 

ag impetuously upon him, her eyes flashing as the latent 

pirit (of which he was to see more some day) awoke in 

iier. " My God ! I could knock you out of the gig ! Did 


it never strike your mind that what every woniaD s 

me women may feel T" 

"Very well," he said, laughing; "I am sorry to woui 
you. I did wrong — I admit it," He dropped into s 
little bitterness as he continued : " Only you needn't b 
everlastingly flinging it in my face. 1 am ready to pay t 
the uttermost farthing. You know you need not work ii 
the fields or the dairies again. You know yoii may cloU 
yourself with the best, instead of in the bald plaiu way y 
have latii'ly affected, as if you couldn't get a ribbou moa 
than you earn." 

Her lip lifted slightly, though there was little sooru, as a 
rule, in her lai-ge and impulsive nataro. 

" I have said I will not take unytliing more from yon, 
and I will not — I cannot ! I should be your creatont to gi> 
on doing that, and I won't ! " 

" One would think you were a princess fi-oni yonr man- 

r, in addition to a true aud original lyUrbon-ille — ha ! ha ! 
Well, Tess, dear, 1 can say no more. I imppose 1 am a bad 
fellow — a damn bad fellow, I was bom bad, and I haw 
lived bad, and I sliall die bud in all probability. Bat, upon 
my lost soul, I won't be bad towards you again, Tesa. And 
if certain circumstances should arise — you understand — in 
which you are in the least need, the least difficulty, aeni! 
me one line, and you shall have by retTiru what«very<iu 
require, I may not be at Traiiti'idge — I am going t*) Ldu 
don for a time — I can't stand the oM woman. But all 
letters will be forwarded." 

She said Uiat she did not wish Him to drive her fartbu', 
and they stopped just under the rlimip of trees, D'Utbi 
^■ille alighted, and lifted her down bodily in his arms, a 
wards placing her articles on the ground beside her. 
bowed to him slightly, her eye just lingering in Itis; 
then she turned to take the parcels for departure. 

Alec D'Urberville remo\-ed his cigar, bent townnla li 
and said : 


"You are not going to turn away like that, dear! 
Come ! " 

"K you wish,'' she answered, indifferently. "See how 
you've mastered me ! " 

She thereupon turned round and lifted her face to his, 
and remained like a marble term while he imprinted a kiss 
upon her cheek — ^half perfunctorily, half as if zest had not 
yet quite died out Her eyes vaguely rested upon the re- 
motest trees in the lane while the kiss was given, as though 
she were nearly unconscious of what he did. 

" Now the other side, for old acquaintance* sake." 

She turned her head in the same passive way, as one 
might turn at the request of a sketcher or hairdresser, and 
he kissed the other side, his lips touching cheeks that were 
damp and smoothly chill as the skin of the mushrooms 
growing around them. 

" You don't give me your mouth and kiss me back. You 
never willingly do that — ^you'll never love me, I fear." 

" I have said so, often. It is true. I have never really 
and truly loved you, and I think I never can." She added 
mournfully, " Perhaps, of all things, a lie on this thing 
would do the most good to me now; but I have honor 
enough left, little as 'tis, not to teU that lie. If I did love 
you I may have the best o' causes for letting you know it. 
But I don't." 

He emitted a labored breath, as if the scene were getting 
rather oppressive to his heart, or to his conscience, or to 
his gentiUty. 

"Well, you are absurdly melancholy, Tess. I have no 
Teaaon for flattering you now, and I can say plainly that 

(you need not be so sad. You can hold your own for 
beauty against any woman of these parts, gentle or simple ; 
1 say it to you as a practical man and well-wisher. If you 

wise you will show it to the world more than you do 
"before it fades. . . . And yet, Tess, will you come back to 
me t Upon my soul I don't like to let you go like this ! " 



" Nevei'i ii''Viir ! I made up my mind as soon as I m^ 
what I ought to liavc sceu sooner ; and I won't come.' 

"Then gijod-moming, my four mimtlis' couiou- 

Ho lenjit up liglitiy, atranged the i-eina, and was 
K'twcen the liill red-berried hedges. 

Tess dill u"t look after him, Ijut slowly wound along Uw 
crooked laue. It was still oarly, and though the sun's lowecj 
limb was just free of the hill, his rays, uiigenial and peep^j 
ing, addressed the eye rathrr than the touch as yet. Thete' 
was not a humau soid near. Sad October and her Ntdilt^ 
self seemed the only two existences haunting that lauo. 

As she walked, however, some footsteps approachwl li»- 
hind her, the footsteps of a man ; and owing to thf brUk 
uess of his advance he was close at her heels and }iad sniil 
•■ Good-morning " before she had been long avau^ of hi> 
propinquity. He appeared to be an artisan of some son, 
and carried a tin pot of red paiut in his hand. Ho askol 
in a business-like manner if he (Jiould take her basket, 
which she permitted him to do, walking beside him. 

'■It is early to be astir this Sabbath mom," be mid, 

" Yes," said Teas. 

" When most people are at rest from their wet'k'8 work.' 

She also assented to this. 

" Though I do more real work today than all the wedt 

"Do youT" 

" All the week I work for the glorv" of mar, and on San- 
day for the glorj' of God. That's more real than tlie odn i 
— hey! I have a Uttle to do here at this stile." Tlie niai 
turned as he spoke to an opening at the roadside leadiuc 
into a pasture. '■ If you'll wait a moment," be added, 
shall not be long." 

As ho had her Imsket she could not wdl do othi 
and sbf waited, observing hini. He set down her 


End the tin pot, aud stiniiig the paint with the bnish that 
was in it began painting Ieit^ equai'e lett«ra on the uiiilille 
1 mard of 4]*lhree composing the stile, placing a eorama 
lictween eaoEword, as if to give pause while that word was 
driven well Home t^ the reader's heart — 


Against the peac«fnl landscape, the pale, decaying tints 
of the copses, the blue air of the horizon, and the liohened 
>tile boards, these staring vermilion words shone forth. 
They seemed to shout themselves out and make the atmos- 
|ii]pre ring. Some people might have ci-ied, "Alas, poor 
Tli.?olog5* 1 " at the hideous defacement — the last grotesque 
'ijtse of a creed which had ser\'ed mankind well in its 
tue. But the words entered Tess with accusatory horror. 
! r was as if this man had known her recent history ; yet he 
<iS a total stranger. 

Uttving finished his text he picked up her baaket, and 
;:•- mechanically resumed her walk beside him. 
■Do you beheve what you paint?" she asked in low 

■ Believe that ten 1 Do I believe in my own existence ! " 
'■ But," said she, tremulously, ^' suppose your sin was not 
f yonr own seeking 1 " 
Be shook bis head. 

■I cannot split hairs on that burning query," he said. 

I have walked bimdreds of miles during this past suni- 

■-kt, {tainting these texes on every wall, gate, and stile in 

II- length and breadth of this district. I leave their 

: I'tication to the hearts of the people who read 'em.'' 

I think they are horrible," said Tcss. "Omshing! 

■ That's what they are meant to be!" he replied, in a 
: TTidu voice. " But yon should read my hottest ones — them 



I ldp8 for slums and seaports. Thej^'d make ye 'wrigi 
Not but what this is a very gctod tex for tlie rural distrie 
. . , Ah — there's a nice bit of blank wall up by that ba 
standing to waste. I must put oni? there — one that will ] 
.good for dangei'ouB young females hke yourself to hel 
Will you wait, missy ! " 

"No," said she; and taking her basket Tess trudged a 
A little way forward she tamed her head. The old % 
■wall began to advertise a similar fierj- lettering t<i the firi 
with a strange and unwonted mien, as if distressed at dntif 
it had never before been called npon to ]ierfonn. It v 
with a sudden flash that she read and realized what was tl 
be the inscription he was now half-way through — 


Her cheei-ful friend saw her looking, stopped liis I 
nud shouted : 

" If yon want to &ek anything of the sort we was taUdii 
about, there's a very earnest good man going to preouh 
charity-sermon to-day in the parish you arc going to — Ji 
Clare, of Emminster, I'm not of his jiersuasion now, 1 
he is a good man, and he'll explain as well as any |i 
know, 'Twas he began the work in me." 

But Tess did not answer ; she throbbingly resumed 1 
walk, her eyes fixed on the ground. " Pooh — I dont 1 
lievo God said snch things ! " she murmured contvmpl 
ously when her flush had died away. 

A plume of smoke soared up suddenly from her fathi-r' 
chimney, the sight of which made her heart achf. Tii<- 
ospect of the interior, when she reached it, made luT liM 
ache more. Her mother, who bad just come dow 
turned to greet her from the fireplace, where she was It 
ling barked-oak twigs under the breakfast kettle, 
young children were still above, as was also her father, 3 
being Sunday morning, when he felt justified in l^gi 
additional half-hour. 

" Well ! — my dear Teas ! " exclaimed her surprised mother, 
jomping nil and kissing the girl. " How be yet I didu't 
sw you lill you was in upon mr ! Have you come home to 
be married t " 

RNo, I Lave not come for that, mother." 
Then for a holiday 1 " 
Yes — for a holiday ; for a long holiday," said Tess. 
What, isn't your cousin going to do the handsome 
He's not my cousin, and he's not going to marry me." 
zier niotlier eyed her narrowly. 
" Come, you have not told me all," she said. 
Then Tess went np to her mother, put her face upon 
Joun's neck, and told. 

■■ And yet th'st not got him to many 'ee ! " reiterated her 
mother. -'Any womEin would have done it but you ! " 
■■ Perhaps any woman would except me," 
■■ It would have been something like a storj- to come bock 
with, if you had ! " continued Mrs. Durbej-field, ready to 
burst into tears of vexation. " After iiU the talk about you 
and him which has reached us here, who would have ex- 
pected it to end like this ! Why didn't ye think of doing 
some good for your family instead & thinking only of your- 
^. If ! See how I've got to teave and slave, and your poor 
■..-;ik father with his heart clogged like a dripping-pan. I 
. 1 1 1 hope for something to come out o' this ! To see what 
; pretty pair you and he made that day when you drove 
;^\-ay frigother four months ago! See what he has given 
-'— all, a8 we thought, because we were his kin. But if 
* not, it mu«t have been doue because of his love for "ee. 
\ ii'l yet you've not got him to marrj' ! " 
Oet Alec DTJrberville iu the mind to marry her! Ho 
.iirrj- lifr! On matrimony he had never once said a word. 
Mill what if ho had? How she might have been impelled 
-. . answer him by a convulsive snatjdiing at social salvation 
I,'- conid not say. But her poor foolish mother little know 


her present feeling tflwarOs Iliis iiinn. Perhaps it was u 

usaiU in the cireiuustanees, unnatural,>le ; 

there it was ; and this, as she had said, vas what made li 

*■ dettst herself. She had never cared for him, she did b 

I ciin^ for him now. She had dreaded him, winced 1 

him, suconmbed to a cruel advantage h« took of her h*l 

; then, temporarily blinded hy bis flash mannet 

I had been stirred to confused surrender awhile ; had e 

i deiily despised and disliked him. and hod mn away. 

V was all. Hate him she did not quite ; but he was dust a 

ashes to her, and even for her name's sake she e 

wished to marry him. 

'■Yoa ought to have been moi-e cai-eful if yon > 
mean to get liim to make you his wife ! " 

" mother, my motlier ! " eried the agonized girl, lum 
iug passionately upon her parent as if her poor bean 
woidd break. "How could I bo expected to kaowt I 
was a child when I left this house four months ago. WLi 
didn't yon tell me there waa danger in men-frdkf Wliv 
didn't you warn me f Ladies know what to fend band? 
against, because they read novels that tell them of Qtese 
tricks 1 but I never had the chance o' learning in that way, 
and you did not help me I " 
Her mother was subdued. 

" I thought if I spoke of bis fond feelings and whot tht ;> 
might lead to. you would tie hontish wi' him and lose your 
chance," she murmured, wiping her eyes with her aproti 
" Well, we must make the best of it, 1 suppose. 'Tis nater, 
after all, and what do please God." 

...-.hi. * 



The event of Tess Dnrbeyfield's return from the h 
of her rich kinsfolk wils rumored abroad, if rumor be n 


) Large a word for a space of a square mile. In the after- 

K>u several young girls of Marlott, foi-mer schoolfellows 

Bbld acqaaintances of Teas, called to nne her, arri\-ing dressed 

I their hest starched and ironed, as became visitors to a 

I who had made a ti-auseendent couquest (as they 

pc»sed), and sat round the room looking at her with 

mat (cariosity. For tho fact that it was Uiis said thirtj-- 

firet cousin, Mr. I>'UrberviIle, who had fallen in love with 

her, a gentleman not altogether local, whose reputation as a 

recklese gallant and heart-breaker was beginning to spread 

Qh^ond the immediate boundaries of Trantridge, lent Tess's 

KjUiposed position, by its fearsomeness, a fai' higher fascina- 

iton than it would have exercised if unhazardous. 

Their interest was so deep that the younger ones whis- 
["■red when her hack was turned : 
" How pretty she is ; and how that best frock do set liar 
il! I believe it cost an immense deal, and ttiat it was a 
L'lft from him." 

Tess, who. was reaehiug up to get the t«a-thinga from the 
'■>>nier cupboard, did not hear these commentaries. If she 
liftil heai-d them, she might soon have set her friends right 

■ 111 the matter. But her mothei' heard, and Joan's simple 

■ riiiity. liaving been denied the hope of a dashing marriage, 

1 itw.'lf as well as it could npon the sensation of a dash- 
jj'jT flirtation. Upon tho whole she felt gratified, even 
;lifmgh such a hmitcd and meretricious triumph should 
involve her daiighter's reputation ; it might end in mar- 
riage yet, and in the warmth of her responsiveness to their 
ti>buiratJon she ui\-ited her visitors to stay to tea. 

Their chatter, their laughter, their good-humored innuen- 
dtips, aljove all, their flashes and flickerings of envj-, revived 
Te«a"8 s|)irits also ; and, as the evening wore cju, she caught 
the infet'tion of then- excitement, and grew almost goy. 
The in4U-ble hardness left her face, she moved witli some- 
Itdng of her old bounding step, and flushed in all her young 


I thi 

^^M mi 


At moments, in spite of tliougbt, she would reply to 
inquiries with a manner of superiority, aa if rwognud 
that her experiences in the field of court«hip had, ind* 
been sliglitly enviable. But so for was she from being, 
the words of Robert South, " in love with her own niJn 
that the illusion was transient as lightning; cold 
came back to mock her spasmodic weainess ; the [__ 
ness of her momentary pride would convict her, and recat 
her to reserved listlessness again. 

And the despondency of the nest morning's dawn, whi 
it was no longer Sunday, but Monday ; and no best clothi 
and the laughing visitors were gone, and she awoke al< 
in her old bed, the innocent younger children breath! 
softly around her. In place of the excitement of her 
tnm, and the Interest it had inspired, she savr before 1 
a long and stony highway which slie had to tread, wil 
aid, and with little sjTnpathy. Her depression was 
terrible, and she could have hidden herself in a tomb. 

In the coiu-se of a few weeks Tese revived sufficiently 
show herself so far as was necessary to get to church 
Sunday morning. She liked to hear the chanting — snch 
as it wn* — aud the old Psalms, and to join in the Moniin? 
Hymn. That innate love of melody, which she had in- 
hmted from her ballad-singing mother, gave the simplest 
music a power over lier which eovdd well-nigh drag her 
heart out of her bosom at times. 

To be as much oiit of observation as possible for reasons 
of her own, and to escjipe the gallantries of the young men, 
she set out before the chiming began, and took a ba«k se** 
under the gallery, close to the lumber, where only old men 
and women came, and where the bier stood on end among 
the chiirchyard tools. ^ 

Parishioners dropped in by twos and threes, d-Tpowti^l 
themselves in rows before her, rested threeK^juiirliTs of i 
minute on their foreheads as if they were pmyinp, ihiU(£fc 
they were not, then Rat up, and looked iiround. \VLcn 

diautiB came on, one of her favorites liappened to be chosen 
amuQg the rest — the double chant '■ Langdou " — but ahe 
did not know what it was called, though she would much 
have liked to know. She thought, without exactly wording 
ibc thought, how strange and godlike was a composer's 
[■'iwer, who from the grave could lead through sequences 

■ t emotion, wliich he alone had felt at first, a girl like her 
who had never heard of his name, and never would have a 
clue to Itis personality. 

Tlie people who had turned tlieLr heads turned them 
::gaiu as the service proceeded} and at last observing her, 
f liey whispered to each other. She knew what their whis- 
1 "-rs were Jtbout, grew sick at heart, and feJt that she could 
(ume to church no more. 

Tlie bedi-oom which she shared with some of the children 
formed her retreat more continually than ever. Here, 
i:uder her few square yards of thatch, she watched winds, 
iiud snows, and rains, gorgeous sunsets, aud successive 
moons at their full. So close kept she that at length almost 
evcryhady thought she had gone away. 

The only exercise that Tess took at this time was after 
Jarfc ; and it was then, when out in the woods, tliat she 
s.-. med least solitary. She knew how to hit to a haii-'s- 
I i-i-sdth that moment of evening when the hght and the 

■ :irkiie*s are so evenly balanced that the consti-aint of day 
I ill the suspense of night neutralize each other, leaving 

. i < wlute mental libeHy. It is then that the pHght of being 
live becomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions. 
-lie hiid no fear of the shadows; her sole idea seemed to 
K.' to shun mankind — or rather that cold accretion called 
llie world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so uuformida- 
l.lf?, evtrn pitiable, in its units. 

On t]ic«e lonely hills aud dales her quiescent glide was 
■ fa piece with tlie element she moved in. Her flemous 
-md isteallhy fipiu*e became an integnil part of the scene, 
"ler wliimsicnl fancy would intensify natural pro- 


cesses ai-ounil her till they seemed a jiart of her own 
Rather they became a part of it; for the world i 
a psychological phenomenon, and what they seemed t 
were. The midnight airs and gnst«, moaning among d 
tightly wrapped buds and bark of the winter twigs, ' 
formuhe of bitter reproach. A wet day was the exprt 
of irremediable grief at her weakness in the mind of s 
vague ethical being whom she could not class definitely I 
the God of her childhood, and could not compn-liend ■ 
any other. 

But this encompassment of her own charact^^rizatjd 
based on shreds of convention, peopled by phantoms • 
voiccB antipathetic to her, was a sony and mitttakeD ( 
tion of Tess's fancy — a cloud of moral hobgoblins by ^ 
she was terrified without reason. It was they that i 
out of harmony with the actual world, not she. Wal 
among the sleeping birds in the hedges, watching the sidjK^ 
K ping rabliits on a moonlit warren, or standing under » 
pheasant-laden bough, she looked upon herself as a figiir<' 
. of tfuilt intruding into the haunts of Innocence. But all 
I the while she was making a distinction where there was li 
. difference. Peeling herself in antagonism, she vnis qTiil^ I 
j in accord. She had Ijeen made to break an accepted aoa ik | 
law, but no law known to the en\'ironment in which I 
. . fancied herself such an anomaly. 


It was a hazy siimise in Aiignst, The denser n 
vapors, attacked by the warm Ireams, were di%4diiig t 
shrinkinti into isolated fleeces within hollows and eo 
where they waited till they should be tlritid an-uy to not 

The sun, on account of the mist, hud a curioun BOiitiJ 


personal look, demanding the masculine pronoun for its 
adequate expression. His present aspect, coupled with the 
lack of all human forms in the scene, explained the old- 
time heUolatries in a moment. One could feel that a saner 
religion had never prevailed imder the sky. The lumi- 
nary was a golden-haired, beaming-faced, mild-eyed, god- 
like creature, gazing down in the vigor and intentness of 
youth upon an earth that was brimming with interest for 

His light, a little later, broke through chinks of cottage 
shutters, throwing stripes like red-hot pokers upon cup- 
boards, chests of drawers, and other furniture within, and 
awakening harvesters who were not already astir. 

But of all ruddy things that 'morning the brightest were 
two broad arms of painted wood, which rose from the mar- 
gin of a yeUow corn-field hard by Marlott village. They, 
with two others below, formed the revolving Maltese cross 
of the reaping-machine, which had been brought to the field 
on the previous eveuing to be ready for operations this day. 
The paint with which they were smeared, intensified in hue 
by tlie sunlight, imparted to them a look of having bee;i 
dipped in liquid fire. 

The field had already been " opened '' ; that is to say, a 
lane a few feet wide had been hand-cut through the wheat 
along the whole circumference of the field for the first 
passage of the horses and machine. 

Two groups, one of men and lads, the other of women, 
had come down the lane just at the hour when the shadows 
of the eastern hedge-top struck the west hedge midway, so 
that the heads of the groups were enjoying sunrise while 
their feet were still in the dawn. They disappeared from 
the lane between the two stone posts which flanked the 
nearest field-gate. 

Presently there arose from within a ticking like the love- 
Tnating of the grasshopper. The machine had begun, and 
« moving concatenation was visible over the gate, a driver 



shting uiK>n one of tbe hauling Iioi-spb, and iin attondi 
cm the seat of the implement. Along ono side of the 
the whole wain went, the arms of the me^-hanical re 
revolving slowly, till it passed down the hill quite oi 
sight In a minute it came up on the other side of the 
at the same equable pace, the glistening hrass star in 
forehea*! of the fore horse catching the eye as it rose 
view over the stuhble, then the bright arms, and then 
whole machine. 

The narrow lane of stubble encompassing 'the field 
wider with each circuit, and the standing com was rw 
to smaller area as the morning wore on. Rabbits, 
(makes, rata, mice, retreated inward as into a fajstnej 
aware of the ephemeral nature of their refuge, anil 
doom that awaited them later in the day when, their eown 
shrinking to a more and more horrible narrownesw. the; 
were huddled together, friends and foes, till the last few 
yanls of upright wheat fell also niider the teeth of the nn- 
erring reaper, and they were every one put to death by thi- 
sticks and stones of the harvesters. 

The reaping-machine left the fallen com behind it in lit- 
tle heaps, ea«h heap being of tbe quantity for a slK-af ; aoi) 
npon these tlie active binders in the rear laid their LnDd«— 
mainly women, but some of them men in print »hir1«, nmi 
trousers supported around their waists by Ieatht*r simps, 
rendering useless the two buttons behind, whicli twinkW 
and bristled with sunbeams at every movement of eai-b 
Wearer, as if they were a pair of eyes in the small of Ui? 

But those of the other sex were the most intere«tingj 
tJiis company of binders, by reason of tbe charm wbii " 
acj^uired by woman when she becomes part and jtt 
outdoor nature, and is not merely an objeet set down thi 
as at ordinary times. A Geld-man is a [lerHonality afl< 
a lield-woman is a portion of the field ; she has 


lost her own mtirgin, imbibed the esseuce of her surround- 
ing, and iiasimilated herself with it. 

The women — or rather girls, for they were mostly young 
— woTO drawn cotton bonnets i^'ith great flapping uurtaina 
to ket-p off tht) 8UU, and gloves to prevent their hands be- 
ilia: woundtwi by the stubble. There was one wearing a 
jinle-piDk jacket; another in a cream-eolored, tight-sleeved 
goini; another in a petticoat as red a^ the arms of the 
reaping-machine; and others, older, in the brown-rough 
'■wrop{^>cr" or over-all — th« old-established and most ap- 
propriate dress of tho fluid -womun, whieli the young one-S 
\yrv abandoning. Tliia morning the eye returns involim- 
iHvily U} the girl in tho pink cotton jacket, she being the 
most flexnous and finely drawn figure of them all. But 
her bonnet is pulled so far over her brow that none of her 
face is disclosed wliile she hinds, though her complexion 
may be guessed from a stray twine or two of dark-brown 
hair which extemls bdo* the curtain of her bonnet. Per- j 
h.'ips one reason why she seduces casual attention is that 
.■'he never courts it, though the other women often gaze 
around tiiera. 

Her binding proceeds with clock-like monotony. Prom 
the slieaf last finished she draws a handful of ears, patting 
■h,-ir tips with her left palm to bring them even. Then, 
-■iioping low, she moves fom'ard, gathering the com with 
i '■ iih bauds against her knees, and pushing her left gloved 
i.iud under the bundle to meet the right on tho other side, 
ij'liUng the com in an embrace like that of a lover, Hhe 
■rings tlie ends of the bond together, and kneels on the 
-ij.'af while she ties it, beating back her skirts now and 
iiiu when lifted by the breeze. A bit of her naked arm is 
:-ible between the buff leather of the gauntlet and the 
[ .eve of her gown; and as the day we^rs on its feminine 
^liiiKitlmess becomes scarified by the stubble, and bleeds. 
At intervals she stands up to rest, and to re-tie her ills- 



airanged aproii, or to piill her bonnet straight. Then < 
Clin see the oval face of a, handsome young womaD, 
deep, dark eyus, and long, hea^-y, clinging tresses, w 
!6e«m to clasp in a beaeeclmig woy anything they : 
against. Tlie cheeks are paler, the teetli more regular, d 
red lips thinner than is usual in a conntrj'-bred girL 

It is Tess Durbeyfield, otherwise D'Urber^ille, somewlii 
changed — tho same, bnt not the same ; at the present s 
of her exietence living as a stranger and an alion I 
though ib was no strange land that she was in. 
long seclusion she had come to a i-esolve, during the v 
under notice, to undertake outdoor work in her native * 
lage, the busiest season of the year in the agriciiltm-al woi 
having arrived, and nothing that she could do nilhin ti 
house being so remunerative for tho time as harvesting Jl 
the fields. 

The movements of the other women were more or U 
similar to Tess's, the whole bevy of them drawing tngfthfr 
like danwra in a quadrille at tho completiou of a sheaf by 
eaeh, every one placing her sheaf on end against thosie of 
the rest, till a shock, or '■ stitch " as it was here culled, of 
ten or a dozen was formed. 

They went to breakfast, and eamfl again, and the work 
proceeded as before. As tho hour of eleveo di-ew near (i 
person wat<^hing her might have noticed that Tcsk'r glanw 
flitted wistfully to tlie brow of the hill every now and then, 
though she did not panse in her sheafing. On the verge itf 
the hour the heads of a group of children, of agos ranging 
from six to fourteen, rose above the stnbbly convexitv of 
the hill. 

Tho face of Tess flushed slightly, but still eho did sol 

The eldest of the comers, a girl who wore a triiiiifn'nr 
shawl, its corner draggling oa tlie stubbV, carrii.'-] iil ]:<-' 
arms what at first sight seemed to he a doll, but jinniii hi 
be an infant in long clothes. Another brongbt some lui 


■ harvesters waaod working, took their provisioos, and 
sat down against ouo of the shocks. Here thoy fell lo, the 
men plying a st^no jar frenly, and passing round a cup. 

Tess Durbeyfleld had been one ot the last to suBpi'ud her 
lal>or«. She sat down at the end of the shock, her face 
tnmed somewhat away from her eompauious, When she 
had deposited hemelf a man in a rabbil^sbin cap and with 
a red handkerchief tucked into his belt held the cup of ale 
over the top of the shock for her to diink. But she did not 
accept his offer. As soon as her lunch was spread she 
I 111 led up the big girl, her sist«r, and took the baby of her, . 
. ho, glad to be relieved of the burden, went away t^ the 
u'Xt shock and joined the other children playing there, 
less, with a curiously stealthy yet courageous movement, 
and with a stall rising color, unfastened her frock and be- 
gan suckling the child. 

The men who eat nearest considerately turned tlieir faces 
towards tlie other end of the field, some of them beginning 
to smoke ; one, with absent-minded fondness, regretfully 
-'mkjng the jar that would no longer >-ield a stream. All 
ii-' women but Tess fell into animated talk, and adjusted 
!]■' disarranged knots of their hair. 
When tiie infant liad taken its fill tbe young mother sat 
it upright in her lap, and, looking into the far distance, 
dandled it witi a gloomy indifference tint was almost dis- 
like : then aU of a sudden she fell to violently kissing it 
line doRens of times, as if she could never leave off, tie 
!:Ud ci-jing at tlio vehemence of an onset which strangely 
-'iiibiued passion ateness with contempt. 

'■She's fond of that there child, though slie mid pretend 
not to be, and say she wishes th« baby and her too were in 
<)i'i rhnrchyard," obser\'ed the woman in the red petticoat. 
■Shell soon leave off saying that," replied the one in 
i iff. "Lord, 'tis wonderful what a body can get used to 
' that sort in time!" 
"A little more than persuading had to do wi' the coming 





o't, I reckon. There were they that heard a sobbing 
uiglit last year in The Chase ; and it mid ha' gone hard 
a certain party if folks had come along."' 

Weil, a httle more or a little less, 'twas a thoi 
pities that it should have happened to she, of all othi 
But 'tis always the eomeliest ! The plain oues l>e us 
as churches — ^hey, Jenny T " The speaker turned to on 
the group, who certainly was not ill-defined as plain. 

It was a thousand pities, indeed; it was impossible 
even an enemy t« feel otherwise on looking at Tess as 
eat there, with her flower-like month and laige, tender 
neither black nor lilue nor gray nor violet ; rather all tin 
shades together, and a liundred others, which could be 
if one looked into their irises — shade behind shadi 
beyond tint — round depths that had no bottom ; on 
tj-pical woman, but for the slight in cautiousness of 
ter inherited i^m her race. 

A resolution which had surprised herself hatl brougiit 
besT into the fields this week for the first time during maii\ 
months. After wearing and wasting her palpitating bcarf 
with every engine of regret that lonely inexperioneo ooulJ 
devise, common-sense had illumined her. She felt that 
she would do well to be useful again — to taste anew swwt 
independence at any price. The past was past; whatevei' 
it had been, it was no more at hand. Whate^'er its noatf- 
qnenoes, time would close over them ; they would all in a 
few years be as if they had never l>een, and sho herself 
graced down aud forgotten. Meanwhile the trves were 
just as greeu as before; the birds sang and the sun shone 
as clearly now as ever. The familiar surroundings had net 
darkened because of her grief, nor sickened because of her 

She might have seen that what had bowed hrr lii-idl -n 
profoundly — the thought of the world's concern ai. ii. ;- ~\u: 
atjon — was founded on an illusion. She was. not an 'M^: 
ence, an exjierience, a passion, a strocture of seusatioo^, '■ 


^^b SUIDEN NO UORE. 101 

^^btybody but herself. To all hnniankiud besides, Tess ivas 
only a pa&shig thought. If she mado herself uiiserablo the 
livelong iiight and day it was only this much to ttem — 
'■Ah, she makes herself unhappy." If siie tried to be cheer- 
fnl, to dismiss all care, to take pleasoro in the dayligbt, 
the flowers, the baby, she cotild only be this idea to them — 
"Ah, she bears it very well." Alone in a desert island 
would she have been wretched at what had happened to 
herf Not greatlj'. If she could have been but just cre- 
ated, to discover herself as a spouseless mother, with no 
experience of life except as the parent of a nameless child, 
would the position have caused her to despair t No, she 
would have taken it calmly, and found pleasiu^^ therein- 
Most of the misery had been generated by her conventional 
aspect, and not by her innate sensations. 

Whatever Tess's reasoning, some spirit had induced her 
to dress herself up neatly as she had formerly done, and 
come out into the fields, har\'est-hands being gi-eatly in de- 
mand just then. This was why she had borne herself with 
dignity, and had looked people culmly in the face at times, 
even when holding the baby in her arms. 

The har\-e5t-men rose from the shock of com, and 

^atretched their limbs, and exUuguished their pipes. The 

Hfeatsen, which had been unharnessed and fed, were again at^ 

^■■(ifaed to the scarlet machine. Tess, having quickly eat«n 

Ti«- own meal, beckoned to her sister to come and 

'ike away the baby, fastened her dress, put on the bnff 

_'1rives f^ain, and stooped anew to draw a bond from the 

last completed sheaf for the tj-ing of the next. 

^K lo the afternoon and evening the proceedings of the 

^Horning were continued, Tess staying on till dusk with 

■Uio body of harvesters. Then they all rode homo in one of 

th<> largest wagons, in the company of a broad tarnished 

moon thnt bad risen from the ground to the eastwards, its 

face resembling the outworn gold-leaf halo of some worm- 

BMen Tuscan saint Tess's female companions saug soa^. 




[ o! 

^K dra 

■ lini 


aad showed themselvea very ejinpathetjc and glad at 
nappearance outxif -doors, though they could iKit re" 
from mischievously tlirowing in n few veiws of the bal 
about the maid who went t« the merry grv-eu wood t 
came back a changed person. There are counterpoiws i 
compensations in life ; and the want which had madt 
her a soeial warning had also for tho moim'nt made her 
most interesting personage in the nllage to many. Thi 
friendliness won her still furtJier away from herself, tfai 
lively spirits were contagious, and she became almost 

But now that her moi-al sorrows were paseiug awai 
fr^h one arose on the natural side of her which knew 
social law. When she rea<!hed home it was to learn to I 
grief that the baby had been suddenly taken ill since I 
afternoon. Some such coUapse,had been probable, so V 
der and puny was its frame ; but the event came aa a 

The baby's offence against society in coming into 
world was forgotten by the girl-mother; her soul's Ae 
was to continne that offence by preserving the life of 
child. However, it soon grew (Jaur that the hour of 
cipation for that little prisoner of the flesh was to 
earlier than her worst misgivings had conjectured. 4 
vhenshe had discovered this she was plunged intoami 
which transcended that of the child's simple loss, 
baby had not been baptized. 

Tess had drifted info a frame of mind which bc«| 
passively the consideration that if she should ha^-e to 
for what she had done, bum she must, and there was 
end of it. Like all village girls, she was well grounded 
the Holy Scriptures, and had dutifully studied the histoi 
of Aholali and Aholibah, and knew the inferences lo 
drawn therefrom. But when the same question arose w 
regard to the baby, it had a verj- different color. Her d 
ling was about to die, and no salvation. 

It was nejirly bedtime, but she rushed downstairs I 


asked if she might send for the pnrsoD. The moment hap- 
peDiid to be one at which her father's sense of the antique 
nobility of bl» family was highest, and his sensitiveness to 
the smudge wlueb Tess had set upon that nobility most 
pronooneed, for he had just returned from his evening 
booze at Rolliver's Inn. No pai-son should come inside his 
door, he declared, prying into his affairs just then, when, 

^to her shame, it had become more necessary than ever 

^B&lude them. He locked the door and put the key in his 


The household went to bed, and, distressed beyond 
raeasore, Tess retired also. She was continually waking 
as she lay, and in the middle of the night found that the 

i/liaby was still worse. It was obviously djing — (jiiietly and 

^Hbunlessly, but none the less surely. 

^K ii her misery she rocked herself npou the bed. The 
i7loek struck the solemn honr of one, that hour when 
. :.riught stalks ontsitle reason, and malignant possibilities 
■ Lind roek-firm as facts. She thought of Uie child eon- 
^i^ned to the nethermost corner of hull, as its double doom 
for lack of baptism and lack of legitimacy ; saw the arch- 
Send tossing it with his three-prougtMl fork, like the one 
they used for heating the oven on baking days ; to which 
picture she added many other quaint and curious details 
of torment tauglit the young in this Christian country. 
The lurid jiresentment so powerfully affected her imagina- 
tion in the silence of the sleeping house, that her night- 
gown became damp with perspiration, and the bedst^catl 
shook with each throb of her heart. 

The infant's breathing grew more difBcolt, and the 
tnutber'a mental tension increased. It was useless to 
devour tJie little thing with kisses ; she could stay in bed 
p longer, and walked feverislJy about tlie room, 
"0 meitufnl God, have pity; have pity upon my poor 
' she cried. " Heap as much anger as you want to 
1 me, and welcome ; but pity tlic child ! ^ 



She leant against the chest of drawers, and niurmui 
incoherent supplications for a long wliile, till she suddt^l 
&I4u1;(h1 up. 

" Ah 1 perhaps baby can be saved ! Perhaps it will 
jnst the same I " 

She spoke so brightly that it seemed as though her fa 
might have shone in the gloom surrounding her. 

She Ut a candle, and went to a seeoud and a third t 
under the wall, where she awoke her little Bisters a 
brothers, all of whom occupied the same room, Pnlli 
ont tlie washing-staud so that she conld get behind it, s 
poured some water from a jug, and mado them kni 
around, putting their hands together with Angers e 
vertical. While tho children, scarcely awake, awe-Btrick 
at her manner, their eyes growing larpir and lai^er, M 
mained in this position, she took the baby from her bed- 
child's child — so immature as scarce to seem a sufflciei 
personality to endow its producer with the nmtoroal t 
Tess then stood erect with the infant on herann beside t 
basin, the next sister held the Prayer-Book open before h 
as tlie clerk at church held it before the parson ; and th 
the emotional girl set about baptizing her cliild. 

Her figure looked sinfrulorly tall and imposing as i 
stood in her long white nightgown, athick cable of t 
dark hair hanging straight down her bock to her vti 
The kindly dimness of the weak candle abstracti'd f 
her form and features the little blemishes which sutili| 
might have revealed — tho stubble Hcratches upon her wrii 
' and the weariness of her eyes — her high enthusiasm h»vi 
a transflgming effect upon the face which had been I 
undoing, showing it as a tiling of immaculate beauty, wi 
an impress of dig:nity which was almost i-egaL Tho Ut 
ones kneeling round, their sleepy eyes blinking and reA 
awaited her preparations full of a suspended wonder which 
their phv-sieal heaviness at that hour would not allow to 
become active. 


Illie eldest of them gaid : 
"Be you reaUv going to eliristeii him, TessT" 
The girl-mollier n-plied in a ffi"ave aflirmative. 
" ^Vhat's his name going to lie ! " 

She had not thonght of that, but a name came into her 
head as she proceeded with the baptismal eerviee, and now 
sh e pronounced it : 

" SOBROW, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and 
' B Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 
Ihe ^rinkled the water, and there was silence. 
^Say 'Amen,' children." 

B tiny voices piped in obedient response : " Araen ! " 
» went on : 
"We receive tliis child" — and so forth — "and do sign 
1 with the sign of the Cross." 
[ Here she dipped her hand into the basin, and fervently 
3rew an immense cross upon the baby with lier forefinger, 
continuing with the customary sentences as to his manfully 
fighting against sin, the world, and the devil, and being a 
faithful soldier and servant unt« his life's end. She duly 
went on with thoLonl's Prayer, the childi-en lisping it after 
her iu a thin, gnat-like wail, till, at the conclusion, raising 
their voices to clerk's pitcli, they again piped into the 
silence, " Amen ! " 

Then their sister, with mneh augmented confidence in 
the efficacy of this sacrament, poured forth fi-om the bottom 
of her heart the thanksgiving that follows, uttering it 
boldly and triimiphantly in the stopt-diapason note which 
her voice acquired when her heart was in her speech, ond 
which will never be forgotten by those who knew her. The 
ecstasy of faith almost apotheosized her; it set upon her 
fiwe n glowing irradiation, and brought a red spot into the 
!!ii'l(Jlc of each cheek; while theminiature candle-flame in- 
rled in her eye-pupils shone like a diamond. Thechildren 
.\i/Ail Up at her with more and more revei-enee, and no 
I'joger had a will for questioning. She did not look like 


Sissy to them now, but as a being latgp. towering, asii 
awful — a diviue perBonago with whom they had nothing in 

Poor Sorrow's campaign against sin, tho world, and the 
devil was doomed to be of limited brilliancy — luckily per- 
haps for himself, considering his beginnings. In the blue 
of tbe morning tliat fragile soldier and servant breatbwi 
his last, and when the other children awoke thoy cried 
bitterly, and begged Sissy to have another pretty baby. 

The calmness which had possessed Tess since tlie christen- 
ing remained with her in theinfant's loss. In thedayhght, 
indeed, she felt her terrors about his soul to have been 
' somewhat ejsaggerated ; whether well founded or not, slie 
had no uneasiness now, reasoning that if Providence would 
uot ratify such an act of approximation she, for one, liid 

Inot value the kind of heaven lost by the irregularity — t'ithtj 
for herself or for her child. 
So passed away Sorrow the I'ndesired — tJiat intrnsive 
' creature, tliat bastard gift of shameless Nature who respecte 
not the ci\-il law; a waif to whom etenial Time had been a 
I matter of days merely, who knew not that sucli things as 
years and centuries ever wei-e ; to whom the cottage interinr 
j was the universe, the week's weather climate, new-boro 
I babyhood human existence, and the instinct to suck hnmiD 
I knowledge. 

Tess, who mused on tho christening a good deal, won- 
dered if it were doctrinally sufKcient to secure a Christiso 
burial for the eliild. Nobody could tell tliis but tbcpersoo 
of the parish, and he was a new-comer, and a very rcecrved 
man. She went to Ids house after dusk, and stood by thf 
gate, but could not summon courage to go in. The euta'- 
prise would have been abandoned if she had not by accideol 
met him coming homeward ns she turned away. In 
gloom she did not mind speaking freely. 
"I should like to ask you something, sir." 
He expresse<l his willingness to listen, and she told 




' of the baby's iUness and the extemporized ordi- 

"And now, sir," she added, earnestly, "can yon tell me 
tbia — will it be just the same for him as if yon had baptized 

Having the natural feelings (rf n tradesman at finding 
that a job be should have been called in for had been nn- 
skilfulty botched by his enstomers among themselves, he 
wag disposed to say no. Yet the dignity of the girl, the 
strange tenderness in her voice, combined to affect his 
nobler impulses — or ratlier those that he had left in him 
after ten years of endeavor to graft techmcal belief on 
actual scepticism. The man and the ecclesiastic fought 
within him, and the rict«ry fell to the man. 

" My dear gii"i," ho said, " it will be just the same." 
" Then will you give bim a Christian bnrial I " she asked, 

The vicar felt, himself cornered. Hearing of the baby's 
illuess, lie had consdentionsly come to the house after 
nightfall to perform the rite, and, unaware that the refusal 
to admit him had come from Tess's father and not from 
Tpbs, he could not allow the plea of necessity'. 
■■ .\h — that's another matter," he said. 
A nother mattei- — why ? " asked Tens, rather warmly. 
WtU^ — T would willingly do so if only we two were con 
Bnt I must not — for litiirgical reasons." 
t for once, sir ! " 
Jly, I must not ! " 
) sir, for pity's sake ! " She seized his band as sh« 

He withdrew it, shaking his head. 

" Then I don't like you ! " she burst out, '■ and I'll never 
■'111' Ut your church no more ! " 
1 >ont titlk so rashly, Tess," 
'■I'crhaps it will be just the same to bim if you don'tT 
^^Will it be just thesamof Dont. forGod's sake,6'5>e\)JK. 


as saint to sinner, but as you yourself to me mysulf— 

How the viear reconciled his answer with the e 
tions he supposed himself to hold on these subjecta 
beyond a laj-moii's power to tell, though not to ( 
Somewhat moved, he said in this case also : 

" It will be just the same." 

So the baby was carried in a small deal box, iindi 
ancient woman's shawl, to the chnrehyard that night) 
buried by lantern-light, at the cost of a sliilling and a 
of beer to the sexton, in that shabby corner of God's 
ment where He lets the nettles grow, and where all d 
tized infants, notorious drunkards, suieides, and oth 
the eonjecturally damned are hiid- In spite of the unt* 
surroundings, however, Teas bravely made a little c 
two laths and a piece of Btring, and having bound it 
flowers, she stuck it up at the head of the grave one 
ing when she eouU enter the churchyapd withont 1 
seen, putting at the foot also a bnnch of the some ft 
in a littio jar of water to keep them alive. What e 
was it that on tlie cmtside of the jar the eye of niei 
ser%'ation noted the words "Keelwell's Marmalade"! 
^e of matemsl afifeotion did not see them in its via 
higher things. 


"By erperienee," says Roger Ascham, "we find 
short way by a long wandering." Not seldom fJinl 
wandering unfits us for further travel, and of what 
our exjierience to us then T Tees Durljcyfleld's ejcpa 
was of this ineapaeitating kind. At last she had 1< 
what to do ; but who would now accept her doing t 

If before going to tlie D'Urlwrvilles' she had rigoi 

koved under the guidance of sundry gnomio texts and 
phrasea known to her and to the world in general, no 
dijubt she would never have been imposed on. But it had 
not been in Tess's power — nor is it in anybody's power — to 
(eel the whole truth of golden opinions when it is possible 
1« protit by them. She — and how many more — might have 
ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, " Thou hast ' 
c'cjuHselled a better course than Tliou hast permitted." 

She remained in her fatlier's liouse during tlie winter 
iiii.nths, plucking fowls, or pramming tui-keys and geese, or 
making clothes for her sisters and brothers out of 8ome 
liuery which D'Urberville had given her, and which she had 
jmt by with conteuipt. Apply to him she would not. But 

><4lbe would oft«n dasp her hands behind her hetid and muse 

■dlKti she niu gii])po3ed t« be working hard. 

BftSbe philosopliieaUy noted dates as they came post in the 

"Swwolntion of the year ; the disastrous night of lier undo- 
ing at Traiitridge, with its dark background of The Cliase; 
tdun the dates of the baby's birth and death ; also her own 
birthday; and every other day individualized by incidente 
in whi<:h she had taken some sliare. She suddenly thought 
one afternoon, when looking in the glass at her fairness, 
that there was yet another date, of greater importance to 
her than those: that of her own death, when all these 
charms would have disappeared ; a day which lay sly and 
miseen among nil the other days of the year, giving no 
i'.ni or sound when she annually passed over it; but not 
I less surety there. When was it! Why did she not 
- "l the chill of each yearly encounter with such a cold re- 
lation f She had Jeremy Taylor's thought that some time 
ill the future those who had known her would say, ''It is 
the — til, the day that poor Tess Durbeyfleld died"; and 
•Lire would bo notliing singular to their minds in the 
■ement. Of tliat day, doomed to be her tci-miiius in 
ue through uD the ages, she did not know the place in 
muntli, ivei-k, season, or year. 


Almost at a leap Tess thus changed from simple girl 
complex woman. Symbols of reflectiveness passtnl into her 
face, and a note of tragedy at times into her voice. H-i 
eyes grew larger and more eloquent. She became wiim 
would have been called a fine creature ; her aspect waa fair 
and arresting ; her soul that of a woman whom the turtra- 
lent eiperiences of the last year or two had quit-c C&ilcd to 
demoralize. But for tJie world's opinion those experiencM 
wonid liave been simply a liberal education. 

She had held so aloof of late that her trouble, never g«i- 
erally known, was nearly forgotten in Marlott. But it be- 
came evident to her that she could uever bo really comfort- 
able ogtuu in a place which had seen the collapse of her 
fiamily's attempt to "claim kin" — and, through her, e\-*n 
closer union — with the rich D'Urlien-illes. At least slw 
coidd not be comfortable there till long years should hait) 

I obliterated her keen consciousness of it. Yet evca now 
Teas felt the pulse of hopeful life still warm within her; 
she might be happy in some nook which had no memorie*. 
To escape the past and all that appertained thereto was to 
auuiliilate it, and to do that she would have to get away. 
j Wfts'bnce lost always loat'Veally tme of chiutityt difi 
I would ask herself. She might prove it false if she conld 
I veil bygones. The i-ecnperative power which pervaded or* 
I ganic nature was surely not denied to maidenhood alone. 
She waited a long time without finding opportiini^ tor 
a new departure. A particularly fine spring camu roiuii 
and the stir of germination was almost audible in th>- bn(l)»; 
it moved her, as it moved the wild animals, and mndc her 
passionate to go. At last, one day in early May. a lettff 
reached her from an old friend of her mother's, to wliom 
she had addressed inquiries long before — a dairyman whom 
she had never seen — that a skilful milkmaid was rcqnjreii 
at his daiiy-housc, and that he would be glad to faavu hT 
for the summer months, if she bad found nothing^ tu do a 
the interim. 



^^Vwafi not quite so far off as could have been wished ; 

^Bit was probably far ouougli, her radius of movement 
and reput« having been so small. To persons of limited 
spheres, miles are as geographical degrees, parishes as 
comities, counties as pro\-inces and kingdoms. 

On one point she was resolved : there should be no more 
lyUrbeirville air-castles in the dreams and deeds of her new 
life. She would be the dairjinaid Tess, and nothing more. 
Her mother knew Tess'a feeling on this point so well, 
though no words had passed between them on the subject, 
that she never alluded to the knightly ancestrj' now. 

Yet such is human inconsistency that one of the interests 
of thenewplaee to her was the accidental virtneof its lj"ing 
near her forefathers' coimtry (for they were not Blakemore 
men, though her mother was Blakemore to the bone). 
The dairy called Talbothays, for whiuli she was hound, 
stood not remotely from some of the former estates of the 
D'Urbervilles, near the great family vaidts of her grand- 
dmnes ami their powerful husbands. She would be able to 
look at them, and think not only that D'Urber\Tlle, like 
Babylon, had fallen, but that tlffe indi\'idnal innocence of a , 
humble de.seeDdaut could lap's»>as silently. All the while 
she wondered if any strange good thing might come of her 
being in her ancestral laud ; and some spirit within her rose 
astomntically as the sap in the twigs. It was unexpended 
yoatli, surging np anew after its temporary cheek, and 
brhtging with it hope, and the in^dncible instinct towards 

^^ wl 


XVI. ^ '^ 

On a thyme-scented, bii-d-aingrag morning in JIay. l* 

tween two and three years aftpr the return tKim Traiitridit« 
— two Bilent i-econsfructivo years for Tesa Durbeyfiidd— 
she left her home for tlie second time. 

Having packed up her luggage so that it eonlil bt- seflt 
tn her later, slie started in a hired trap for the little ti)ini 
of StoiTTcastJe, through which it was necessary Ui pass on 
her journey, now in a direction almost opi)osit*« to that tif 
her first adventuring. On* the curve of the nearest hill she 
looked back regretfully at Marlott and her father's houw, 
although Bhe ha4l lieeu so anxious to get a4ay. 

Her kindred dwelling there would probably ixitiliiiui^ 
their daily lives as heretofore, with no great diiiitniiiioti of 
pleasure in their eonficiousness, although she would tm far 
off, and they deprived of her sonilft. In a few tlayti tlr' 
children would engage in their games as merrily as i-mt, 
without the sense of any gap left by her dei>artuiv. Tlii- 
leaving of the younger cljildren she had decidi^d wtu, (it 
the best; were she to remain they would pmbably gab 
less good by her precepts than harm by licr example. 

Shu went through Stnureastle without pausing, nnil i%j 
wanl to a junetiou of highways, where she ooulil 
carrier'a van that ran to the southwest ; for th« rail 
whioh engii-dled this interior tract of country had 

tance ii 
■l Tess 


TUJi BA1J.V, 113 

yet struuk acroBS it. WMb waiting, however, there came 
along a farmer iq his spring cart, di-iviiig approximately in 
the direction that she wished to pm-sue ; though he was a 
stranper to her she accepted his offer of a seat beside liim, 
ignoring that its motive was a mere tribute to h^r eounte- 
nance. He was going to Weatherburj', and by accompany- 
ing hini thitlier she eould walk the remainder of the dia- 
UuQee instead of travelling in the van by way of Gasterbridge. 
L.Tess did not stop at Weatherbury, after this long drive, 
^er t};aa to make a sliglit nondescript meal at noon at 
ft cottage to which the farmer recommended her. Thence 
she started on foot, basket in hand, to reach the wide up- 
land of lieatli dividing this district from the low-lying 
meads of a f&rther valley in which the dairy stood that 
^MVas tlie aim and end of her day's pilgrimage, 
^H Tess ha<l never before visited this paH of the country, 
^HBld 3%t she felt akin to the landscape. Not so very tar to 
^ili« left of her she could discern a dark patch in the sceneiy, 
which inquiry confli-med her in supposing to be trees, mark- 
ing the environs of Kingsbere — in the church of which par- 
isli the bones of her ancestors — her useless ancestors — lay 

She had no admiration for them now ; she almost bated 
g^jbtnu for the dance they had led her ; not a thing of all 
■■iMt bad been theirs did she retain but the old seal ami 
^HJkkhi. "Pooh — I have as much of mother as father in 
^THe!" she said. "j\Jl my prettiness comes from her, and 
site was oidy a dairj'niaid." 

The journey over the intervening uplands and lowlands 
of Egdim, when she reached them, was a more Inmblesome 
walk than she had anticipated, the distance being actually 
but a f(;w miles. In two hours, after sundry wrong turn- 
ing*, rfii' found herself on a snmnm commanding the long- 
«ought-for vale, the valley of the Great Daii-ies. tile valley 
iu which milk and Imtter grew to rankness, and were pro- 
doe td more jirofusely, if less delicately, than at her home 


verdant plain so well watered by Uie river Var ( 

It was intrinsically different from the Vale of luti 
I Dairies, Blac-kmoor Vale, which, save during her disasti 
Bojouni at Trantiidge, she had exclusively known till u 
' The world was drawn to a larger imtt«rn here. Tlie c 
I closui-es numheved fifty acres instead of ten, the farmst«a( 
, were more extended, the groups of cattle formed Iribl 
I hereabout; there only families. These myriads of c 
I stretching under her eyes from the far east to the far n 
outnumbered any she had ever seen at oue glance I 
The green lea was speckled as thickly with them as a canvi 
by Van Alaloot or Sallaert with bui^hers. The ripe I 
of the red and dun kine absorbed the evening sun] 
which the white-coatod animals returned to the eye in r 
' almost dazzhng, even at the distant elevation on which a 

The bird's-eye perspective Iwfore her was not so Ini 

antly beautiful, perhaps, as that other one which she 1 

I BO well ; yet it was more cheering. It lacked the intense 

blue atmosphere of tlie rival vale, and its heavy aoila b 

scents ; the new air was clearer, more ethei-eal, bnoyai 

bracing. The river itself, which nourished the grasa i 

cows of these renowned dairies, flowed not like the streai 

in Blackmoor, Those were slow, silent, tinged. Bowing o 

beds of mud into which the incautious wader might s 

I and rani^ unawares. The Froom waters were dear | 

I the pure River of Life shown to tlie Evangelist, rapj 

I the shallow of a cloud, with pebbly shallows that prattll 

tci the sky all day long. There the wat«r-flower wb 
I lily ; the crowfoot hcr*^. 

Either tlie change in the quality of the air from I 
tfl light, or the sense m being amid new seen*?* i 
there were no invidious eyi« upon her, sent np her s 
wonderfnlly. Her hojtes mingled with the sunshine i 
ideal photosphere which surrouiide<l her as she I 


along ^^net.tlie soft south wind. She heard a pleasant 
!Very breeae, and in every bird's note seemed to 
k a joy. 

Her foee had latterly ebanged with phangmg states of 

ind. It might have been said t« be eontinuaUy flnctn- 

iHg between beauty and ordinariness, according a* the 

lOnghts were gay or gi-ave. One day slie was pink and 

^ another she was pale and tragical. When she 

I pink alie was feeling less than when she was pale; 

: more jwrfect beauty accorded with her less elevated 

mood ; her more intense mood with her less perfect beauty. 

It was her best face, physically, that was now set against 

the south wind. 

The irresistible, universal, automatic tendency to find 
enjoyment, which pervades all life, from the meanest to 
tlie highest, had at length mastered her, no longer counter- 
acted by external pressures. Being even now only a young 
and immature woman, one who mentally and sentimentally 
had not finished growing, it was impossible that any event 
should have left upon Teas an impression that was not at 
least capable of transmutation. 

And thus her spirits and her thankfulness and her hopes 
rose higher and higher. She tried several ballads, but 
' I .iiad them inadequate ; till, recollecting the book that her 
yi-a had bq often wandered over of a Sunday morning be- 
■'•re she had eaten of the tree of knowledge, she hummed, 
■ O ye Sun and Moon ; ye Stars; ye Green Things upon 
tlic Earth ; ye Fowls of the Air ; Beasts and Cattle ; O all 
}■<■ Children of Men: bless yo the Lord, praise Him and 
'iniTiiify Him forever." 

Slie suddenly stepped and murmured, "But perhaps I 
ii'ii't quite know the Lord as yet." , 

Ami probably the half-uneonscious rhapsody was a Pan- 
theistic ntterance in a Monotheistic falsetto ; women, whose 
' liiof companions are the forms and forces of outdoor Na- 
turp, rctftin in their sonls far more of the Pagan instincts 


I of their remoter forefathers than of the eyatematized r 

il ione taught theii- race at later dat«. However, Tesa foi 
at least approximate ejcpressiou for ier feelings in t 
Benedicite that she had lisped from infaupy; and it i 
enoogh. Such high contentment with sueh a slight and ii 
itial perforuiaueo as that of having started tonardx n iiieaiU! 
of independent living was a part of the Dnrheyficld t^-m- 
perament. Tess really wished to walk uprightly ; to sef'k 
out whatsoever things were true and honest, and of gooil 
report., while her father did nothing of the kind ; Imt she 
resembled him with being content with immediate auil 
small achievements, and iu having no mind for laborious 
effort towards such petty monetary and social advauc«meiit 
as could alone l>o effected by a family so heavily handi- 
capped as the once knightly D'Urbervilles were now, 

Thei-e was, of course, the energj- of her mother's UDcx- 
pended family, as well as the natural euei^ of Tt^s's y<!or* 
and frame, rekindled after the experience which liad ft' 
overwhelmed her for the time. Let the trnlh 1k> toW— 
women do as a rule live tlirough such humiliations, ami 
regain tJieir spirits, and again look about them with an in- 
terested eye. Wliile tbei-e's Ufa tlicre's hojie, isaeoiivi'-liiin 
not so entirely nnknown to the " deceived " as sotuo amialile 

' theorists would have us believe. 

Tess DurlicyHcld, in good heart, and full of zeat for life, 
lescended the Egdon dopes lower and lower towards the 
dairy of her pilgrimage. 

The mai-ked difference, in the final jwirticnlar, bc-tweeo 
the rival vales now showed itself. The secret of Blad^ ■ 

\ moor was best discovered from the heights around; tun 
aright the valley before her it was absolutely neeiusarvl 
descend into its midst. When Tess hud micomplislied t 
feat she found herself to ho standing on a i:arpeted le»( 
which sti-etclied to the east and west as far as thp i 

The river had stolen from the higher tra«ts and, broa| 

1 partiftles to the vale all this horizontal land * nnd uow, 
exliiinst<^l, aged, and attenuated, lay serpentining along 
throng^ the midst of its former spoils. 

Not quite sure of her direction, Tess stood still upon th« 
hemmed expanse of verdant flatness, like a fly on a billiard- 
table of indefinite length, and of no more conseqnence to 
the sitnation than that fly. The sole effeet of her presence 
apon the placid valley so far had been to excite the mind 
of a solitarj" heron, which, after descending to the ground 
not far from her path, stood, with neck erect, looking at 
■ her. 

m Bnt suddenly there arose from all parts of the lowland a 
POK^onged and repeated call — 
Li " Waow ! waow ! waow I " 

Prom the farthest east to the fartlit'st west the ones 
spread as if by contagion, accompanied in pome cases by 
the barking of a dog. It was not the expression of the 
" sy'fi consciousness that beautiful Tess had arrived, bnt 
' ordinary announcement of milldng-time — balf-paat 
r o'clock, when the dairymen set about getting in the 

The red and white herd nearest at hand, which had been 
1 'lilfgmaf ically waiting for the call, now trooped towards 
tht' stea<ling in the backgroimd, their great bags of milk 
swinging under them as they walked. Tess followed slowly I 
in their i-ear, and entered the barton by the open gate I 
longh which they had entered before her. Long, thatched 
8 stretched round the enclosure, their slopes encrusted 
b vivid green moss, and their eaves supported by wooden 
J rubbed to a glassy smoothness by tlie flanks of in- 
fite cows and calves of bygone years, now passed to no 
iCTion almost inconceivable in its profnndity. Between 
B posts wei-e ranged the milkers, each exhibiting herself 
t flic present moment to an eye in tlie rear as a circle on 
D Ktnlks, down the centre of whieh a swit^'h moved pend- 
i-wise ; while the sun, lowering itself behind this par 


[ tient row, threw their shadows accurately inwards upon tj 
wall. There and thus it threw ghudow;^ of theso obsoi^ 
and unstudied figures every evening with as niucli t 

' over each contour as if it had been the jiroSle of a C 
beauty on a palace wall ; copied them aa diligently as 1 
had copied Olympian shapes on marble facades long agf 
or the outlines of jUexander, Ca'sai-, and the Fhara«^ih8. 

They were the less restful eows that were stalled. Thoi 
that would stand still of their own &ee will were milked j| 
the middle of the yard, where many of such better-beban 

s stood waiting now — all prime niilchers, such aa v 
seldom seen out of this valley, and not nlways within i 
nourished by the succulent feed which the water-met 
supplied at this prime season of the year. Those of t 
that were spotted with white reflected tJie snnsbiue in d 
zling brilliancy, and the polished brass knobs oa tJieir hoi 
glittered with sometliing of militarj- display. Their L 
veined ndders hung ponderous as sand-bags, tho teats ^click- 
ing out like the legs of a gipsy's croi'k ; and, lis each 

I lingered for her turn to arrive, the milk fell in drops to U:f 


The dairymaids and men had flocked down from I 
cottages and out of Uie dairj-bouse with the arrival of d 
cows from the meads \ the maids i^'alking in pattens, |] 
on account of the weather, but to keep their shoes a 
the mulch of the barton. Kaob girl sat down on lier t 
legged stool, her fa*ie sidewaji*, her right cheek 
ogninst the cow, and looked musingly along th»? a 
flank at Tess as she approiwbeil. The male miUcerB, will" 
I hat-brims turned down, restiug on their foreheads and gni 


L did not obBearro t 


_ One of these was a stnrdy middle-aged man — whose long 
while "pinner" was somewhat finer and cleaner than the 
wraps of the othei-s, and whtJBu jatket underneath had 
» pi-esentable marketing aspect — the master-d&iryinan, of 
whom slie was iu quest, his double character aa a working 
milker and hutter-maker hero during six days, and on the 
seventh as a man in sliining broadcloth iu his family pew 
chui-eh, being so marked as to have inspired a rhjme : 



Dalrjmaii Dick 
All the week— 
On Sundays Mr. Rictiard^C 

ing Tess standing at gaze, he went across to her. 
The majority of dairjinen have a cross manner at milk- 
ing-time, but it happened that Mr. Crick was glad to get a 
new hand — for the days were busy ones now — and he re- 
ceived her warmly ; inquiring for ]ier mother and the rest 
of the family (though this as a matter of form mainly, for 
he really had quite forgotten Mrs. Durbeyfield's existence till 
ttminded of the fact by her daughter's letter). 

'■ O — ay, as a lad I knowed your mother very well," he 
siaid, lerminatively. " And I heard of her marriage, tliough 
"" never heard of her since. And a aged woman of 

tty that used to live nigh here, but is dead and gone 
ago, once told me that the family yer mother married 
mto in Blackmoor Vale came originally from these parts, 
and that 'twere a old ancient race that had all but perished 
oflE the earth — though the new generations didn't know it. 
~ Lord, I took no notice of the old woman's rumblings, 


Oh no — it is nothing," said Tess. 

"len the talk was of business only. 

You can milk 'em clean, my maidyl I don't want my 
going azew at tliis time o" year." 

Ihe reassured him on that point, and he surveyed hernp 






and down. She had beenstayingindoorasuu'etheHntiini 
and liw complexioii had grown delicate. 

" Qmt« sure you can stand it T Tis eomfortablp onouj 
here for rough folk; bnt we don't live in a (.'owciunl 

She declared that she could stand it, and her zest an 
willingness seemed to win him over. 

"Well. I suppose youTl want a dish o' tay, or victnals 
Bome sort, hey t Not yet? Well, do as you like abunt 
But faith, if 'twas I, I should be as dry as a kex wi' 
ling 80 far." 

"I'll begin milking now, to get my hand in," said Tes*. 

She drank a, little milk as temporary refreshment, to I 
enrprise — indeed, sliglit contempt — of Dairyman Crick, 
whose mind it had apparently never occurred that in 
was good as a beverage. "Oh, if ye can swidlir that, 
it so," be said, indifferently, while holding up the pail 
she sipped from. '"Tis what I hain't touched for years 
not I. Rot the stuff; it would lie in my innerds like lit 
Ton can try your band upon she," he pursued, nodding 
the nearest cow. "Not but what she do milk ratlu-r hai 
We've hard ones and we've easy ones, like other foil 
However, you'll find out that soon enough." 

When Tess had changed her bonnet for a hood, and K 
really on her stool under the eow, and the milk was sqt 
ing from her fists into the ]iail, she appeared to fed 
she really hail laid a new foundation for her future. T 
conviction bred serenity, her pidse slowed, and she wa» a1 
to look about her. 

The milkers formed quit* a little hatf.alion of men a 
muds, the men operating on the bard-teatod animals, t 
maids on the kindlier natures. It was a large dai 
There were more than a liundred milcbers imder 
management, all told ; and of the herd the master-daii 
man milked six or eight with his own hands, unless nw 
from home. These were the cows tijat milked hiutlest 


for his joiimey-milkmen hi-mg more or less casnally 
hired, he would not entrust this hulf-tlozen to tlieir treat- 
ment, lest, from indifference, they should not milk them 
clean ; nor to the maids, lest they should fail in tie same 
way for lack of finger-grip ; with the result that in course 
of time the cows would "go azew" — that is, dry up. It 
was not the loss for the moment that made slack milking 
so serious, bat that with the decline of demand tJiere came 
decline, and ultiniately cessation, of supply. 

After Tcss hod settled down to lier cow there was for a 
time no talk in the barton, and nut a sound interfered with 
the purr of the milk-jets into the numerous pails, except a 
momentary exclamation to one oi- other of the beasts request- 
ing her to turn round or stand still. The only movements 
were those of the milkers' hands np and down and the 
swing of the cows' tails. Thus they all worked on, encom- 
passed by the vast flat mead which extended t« either rfope 
of the valley — a level landscape compounded of old land- 
scapes long forgotten, and, no doubt, differing in character 
very greatly from the landscape they composed now. 

"To my thinking," said the dairjTnan, rising suddenly 
from a cow he had just finished off, and snat'Ching up his 
three-legged stool in one Iiand and the pail in the other, 
■I " iving on to the next hard-yielder in his vicinity ; " to my 
iiinking, the cows don't gie down then" milk to-day as 
isiiaL Upon my life, if Winker do begin keeping back 
like tliis, shell not be worth going under by midsummer ! " 

'■Tilt because there's a new hand come among us," said 
•Tiinathan Kail. " Pve noticed such things afore." 

-■ To be sure. It rany be so. I didn't thijik o't," 

" Pve been told that it goes np into their horus at such 
( lull's," B&id a dabymaid. 

■Well, as to going up into their horns," replied DaJry- 
, in Crick, dubiously, as though even witclicraft might bo 
:;fiiire<l by anatomical possibilities, "I couldn't aay; I cer- 
litinly could not. But as nott cows wiH keep it back as 




well as tlie lionied ones, I don't quite agree to it. Do j 
know that riddle about the nott eoivs, JonaUianT 
do nott con's give less milk iu a year than homed T " 

" I don't ! " interposed the milkmaid. " Why do thi 

" Because there hain't so many of 'em," said the < 
man. "Howaoraever, these gam'stt'rs do certainly 
back their milk to-day. Folks, we must lift up a s 
two — that's the ouly cure for't." 

Songs were ofteu resorted to in dairies hereabout as I 
enticement to the eows when they showed signs i>t vr'm 
holding their usual peld ; and the band of milkers at I 
request burst iut« melody — iu purely bu6iness-hkt.i tones 
is true, and with no great spontaneity ; the result, ik'Ci 
ing to their own belief, being a decided improvfiui-n 
ing the song's continuance. Wlieii they had gone th 
fourteen or fifteen verses of a cheerful ballad about a a 
derer who was afraid to go to bed in tlie dark because 1 
saw certain brimstone Hames around him, one of the miil 
milkers said : " I wish singing ou the stoop didu't use ti: 
so much of a man's wind ! You should get your harp, Bir 
not but what a fiddle is best." 

Tess, who had given ear to this, thought the words Wen 
addressed to the dairyman, but she was wrong. A replr. 
in the shape of " Wliy f " came, as it were, ont of the h 
of a dun cow in the stalls ; it had been spoken by a luiOl 
behind the animal, whom she had not hitherto percei\-ci 

'■ Oh yes ; there's nothing like a fiddle," sMd Uic i 
man. " Though I do think that bidls are more luot'cd if ' 
a tune than cows — at leasti that's my experienoe. Om 
there was a old man over at Mellstoek — ^William Dew 
name — one of the family that used to do a good deal 
business as tranters over tliere, Jonathan, do ye mindfl 
I knowed the man by sight as well as I kuow my a 
brother, in a manner of speaking. Well, this man i 
coming home along from « wedding where he liful t 
plajTDg his fiddle, one fine moonlight night, and for Am 


^ sake he touk a cut across Forty-aci-es, a field lying that 
vray,whtn.'a bull was out to grass. Thu bull seed WMam 
aud took after hiiu, lionis aground, begad ; and tkougli 
William runued his best, and hadn't niueU di-iuk in him 
(considering 'twaa a wedding, and the folks well off), he 
found he'd never reach the fence and get over iji time to 
save himself. Well, as a last thought, he pulled out his 
fiddle as he runncd, and struck up a jig. tumiug to the bull 
as he played, and backing towards the corner. The bull 
softened down, and stood still, looking hard at William 
Dewj', who fiddled on and on ; till a sort of a smile stole 
over the bidl'a face. But no sooner did William stop 
iiis playing and turn to get over hedge, than the bull 
would stop his smiling, aud lower lus horns and step for- 
nird. Well. William had to turn about and play on, willy- 
nilly ; and 'twas only three o'clock in the world and 'a 
knowed that nobody wotdd come that way for hoars, and 
he BO leerj- and tired that 'a didn't know what to do. When 
he'd Bcraiied till al>ont four o'clock he felt that he verily 
would have to give over soon, and he said to himself, 
' There's only this last tune between me and eternal welfare. 
Heaven save me, or I'm a done nmn.' Well, then he called 
to mind how he'd seed thecattle kneel o' Christmas Eves in 
■I I? dead o' the night. It was not Christmas Eve then, but 
■ '-ame into his head to play a trick upon the bull. So he 
i'loke into the 'Tivity Hj-mn, just as at Ctristmas carol- 
Binging; when, lo and Iwhold, down went the bull on his 
hended knees, in his ignorance, just as if 'twere the true 
Tivitj' night and horn-. As soon as his homed friend were 
[iiwn, William turned, clinked off like a long-dog, and 
jiiiped safe over hedge, before the praj-ing bull had got 
:■ his feet again to take after him, William used to 
.y that he'd seen a man look a fool a good many times, 
jt never snch a fool as that buU looked when he found 
ii£iM>Uag8 had been played upon, aud 'twas noi 
~ Yes, William Dewy, that was the l^^H 


name ; aud I can tell ye to a foot where he's a-lyiiig I 
Mellstock Churchyard at this very moment — ^jnst Ix-ti 
the second yew-tree aud the north aisle." 

"It's a curious story; it carries us back to niedice 
times, when faith was a living thing." The remark, i 
Iat for a dairj--yard, was murmured by tie voice l>ehind t 
dun cow ; but as noI)ody understood the reference nv mA' 
was taken, except that the narrator seemed to I' " " 
might imply scepticism as to his taie. 

" Well, 'tis quite true, sir, whether or no. I ksowed ^ 
man weU." 

" Oh yes ; I have no doubt of it," &^d the person 1 
hind tlie dun cow. 

Tess's attention was thus attraeted to the dairyman's fl 
terloeiitor, of whom she could see but the merest pate 
owing to his burjing his head so j>ersiatently in the flta 
of the milcher. She could not understand why he shooH'" 
be addressed as "Sir" even by the dairjTnau himself. But 
no explanation was discernible ; he resigned under the dun 
cow long enough to liave milked three, uttering a prirato 
ejaotdation now and then, as if he could not got on. 

" Take it gentle, sir ; take it gentle," said the dai 
'"Tis knack, not strength, that does it." 

"So I find," said the other, standing up at 1 
stretching his arms, " I think I have fioishod her, I 
ever, though she made my fingers ache." 

Tess could then see him at full length. Ho wore H 
ordinary whito pinner and leather leggings of a dai»y-f 
when milking, and his boot*" were clogged with the tnnl 
of the yard ; but this was aU his local liven,-, Beneatlt^ 
was sometliing educated, reserved, subtle, sad. differing. 

But the details of his corporeal aspect she conld i 
readily observe, so much was her mind arrested by t 
discovery that he was one whom she had seen befoi 
Such vicisffltudes had Tese pa^ed through since thai t 
that for ft moment she coiUd not i-emember where a 


seen bim ; aud then it fla&lied upon her tiiat he was the 
pedestrian who Lad joined in the clul>-dan(.-e at Mai-lolt — 
the passing stranger who had come she knew not whence, 
liad danced with others but not with her, had sUghtiugly 
left her and gone on his way with hia fricndB. 

The flood of memories broiif^ht baek by this nnival of 
;in incident dating from a time ant*:riiir tfl h<'r troubles 
j.roduccfi a miimentai"y dismay lest, recognizing her also, 
ti'' should by some means diaeovcr herst^ry. But it {lassed 
riiv:iy ivlion shu found no sign of remembrance in him, She 
-Njiw by degrees that since their first and only encounter 
liis mobile face had grown more thoughtful, and had ac- 
<inired a young man's shapely nmstaohc and beard — the 
latt«r of the palest straw-color where it began upou his 
checks, and deepening to a warm brown farther fiom its 
root. Under his milking-pinner and leggings he wore a 
dark velveteen jacket, woollen ti-onsei's, and a starched 
whit*" shii't, Witliont the milking-gear, nobody ctmld have 
gnensed what ho was. He might witli equal probability 
have iK'cn an eeeeutrio landowner or a gentlemanly plough- 
nan. That he was but a novice at dairy-work she had 
ulized in a moment, from the time he had spent upon the 
!iiiiking of one cow. 
^^ Meanwhile, many of the milkmaids had said to one an- 
^BUier, " How pretty she is ! " with something of real gen- 
^■MpBty and ndjiiinition, though with a half hope that the 
^^BUtors would deny the assertion — which, strictly speaking, 
^^^fir might have done, prettiuess being but an inexact defi- 
^^Htm of what stmek the eye in Tess. When the milking 
^||ne finished for the evening th*^ straggled Indoors, where 
Mrs. Oick, the daiI7^nan'8 wife — who was too respectable 
to go out milking herself, and wore a hot stuff gown in 
VKrm weather because the dairj-maids wore prints — was 
gi^Tiig an eye to the leads and things. Only two or three 
of the maids, Tess learnt, slept in Ihe dairv-hoiise besides 
lelf, most of the helpers going to tlieu- homes. She 


saw notliing at supper-tiitie of tlio Bii[)tTior milkiv who 1^| 
commeut^d on the story, and asked uo (lueations about lum. 
the remainder of the evening being occupied iii ammfrii . 
her plaee in the bed-ehamber. It was a large room over tl 
milk-honse, some thirty feet long ; the sleeping cots of ili 
other three indoor n.'V maids being in the same apartmti 
They were blooming yo ng women, and. except one, ralli' 
older than herself. By bedtime Tess was thoroughly tin li 
and fell asleep immediately. 

But one of the girls who occupied an adjoining l>ed wi 
more wakeful than Tess, and would insist upon i-olatiuc ■ 
the latter various particulars of the homestead iiilo wli]i 
she had just entered. The tprl's whispered words miufrl' 
with the shades, and, to Tt^ 'ft drowsj- mind, they s«>wiji 
to be generated by the darkness in which they floalod. 

" Mr. Angel Cla re — he that is learning milking, nnil !)i 
plays the harp — never says mueh to us. He is a paVn 
son. and is too much taken up wi' his own thoughts to iioti' 
^Is. He is the dairj-raan"? pupil — learning fiinuing : 
all its branches. Ho has learnt sheep-farming ftt iinotli- ■ 
place, and he's now mastering dairj--work. . . . Yw, b<- 
quite the gentle man-bom. His father is the Rijvcrcnt M 
Clare at t-nminst^r — a good many miles from hero," 

"0 — I have heard of him," said her com|)atiioa, ij" 
awake. " A very earnest clergyman, is he not t " 

"Yes, that he is — the eamestest man in all W«>s»ex, ti - 
say — the Iiist of the old Low Church sort, they tell me — i 
all alwrat here U- what they call High. All his eons, cxr- ■ 
our Mr, Clare, be made ■ fi.-r *■->." 

Tese had not at this car the curinsitj' to ask v,i|-,- ;] 
present Mr. Clare was not made a parson like hi- '<■• 'r. 
and gradually fell asleep again, the words of hei 
coming to her along wilh the smell of the c 
adjoining cheese-loft, and the dripping of the i 
the wrings downstairs. 

a clie^Drm in J^u 


Akoel Ci^abe rises out of tlio past not altogetlier as a 
distinct figure, but as an apprc dn , t' voic-p, a long regard 
of fixed, abfitraeted cjqb, and a mtiljihty of mouth aomewliat 
too small and delicately lined for a man's, though with an 
unexpectedly firm close of the lower Up now and then; 
enough to do away with any suggestion of indecision. 
Xevertheless, fiomctliiug nehulous, preoccupied, vague, in his 
hertring and rcganl, marked him as one who probably had 
im very definite aim or conec"i about his material future. 
Yet &H a liui people had sail of him that he was one wliu 
might do anything if he tried. 

lie was the yomigP8t son of bis father, a poor parson at 
the other end of the county, and had arrived at Talbothays 
Dairj- as a six months' pupil, aft*r going the round of some 
i.ther farms, his object being to acquire a practical skill in 
tiif various proeosscB of farming, with a view either to the 
' nlonies or the tenure of a homo-fann, as circnmstanees 
i^i^ht decide. 

His futr}' into the ranks of the agrieultnriBts and breeders 
was a. step in the young man's career wliich had been an- 
ticipated neither by himself nor by others. 

Mr. Clare the elder, whose first wife had died and left 
him a ilaugliter, irinrried a second late iu life. Tliis lady 
hiwl somewhat unexpectedly brought him three sons, so 
thut between Angel, the yonngesf'*'ind his father the vicar, 
;!iHre seemed to Vh.' almnHt a misfi^g generation. Of tlipse 
■i.ys the afor^'JMiid Angel, the child of his old age, was the 
. tily son who had not taken a University degri'P, though 
lie was the single one of them whose early promise might 
have done full justice Ui an academical training. 

Some vearorso before Angel's (ifjjwirance at the Marlott 


liis studies at home, a parcel came to tlio vicarag* from ti 
local bookseller's, directed to the Reverend James ( 
The vicar having opened it and found it to contjiiu a b 
read a few pages ; whereupon he jumped up from 1 
aud went straight to the shop with the book under his n 

"Why has this been sent to my house!" he ( 
peremptorily, holding up the volume. 

"It was oi-dered, sir." 

"Not by me, or any one belonging to me, I am happy li 

The shopkeeper looked into his order-book. " Oh, i 
been misdirected, sir," ho said. " It was orden-d by ] 
Angel Clare, and should have been sent to him." 

Mr, Clare winced as if be had been struck. He 
home pale and dejectfid, and called Angel into his study. 
"Look into tlds book, my boy," ho said. "What do you 
know about it T " 

"I ordered it," said Angel, simply. 

"What for!" 

" To read." 

"How can yon think of reading it!" 

" How can I f Why, it is a system of philosophy. Thei¥ 
is no more moral, or even religious, work published.* 

"Yes — moral enough; I don't deny that. But rvU^otu ' 
— and for you, who intend to be a minister of tbu Hof- 
pel!" I 

" Since you have alluded to the matter, father," said tii-; , 
son, with anxious thought upou his face, " I should hke i" 
say, once for all, that I should prefer not to take Onlt;re ia J 
the Church. I fear I could not conscientiously do so, i* 
love the tlnu-ch as one loves & parent. I shall always b 
the warmest afTection for her. There is no institution j 
whose histoiy I have a deeper aflmiration ; but I c 
I honestly be ordained her minisltr, as my brothers i 
J while she refuses to liberate her mind from an UQt«t 
I redemptive thcolatrj'," 

■It had never ocfiured to the straightforward and simple- 

ppded vicar that one of his own flesh and blood could 
to this. He was stultified, shocked, paralyzed. And 
jigel were not going to enter tlic Chiirch, what was the 

i of Bonding him to Cambridge 1 The University as a 
p t« anything but ordination seemed, to tliis man of fixed 
s. a i>refu«e without a volume. He was a man not merely 

^gious, but devout ; a fii*m lieliever — not as (he phrase is 
^ elusively construed by tlieolo^cal tbiinble-riggera in 

t Chm-ch and out of it, TiutTn the old and ardent sense 
pthe Evangelical school; one who could 

Indeed opine 
That tho Etomol and Divin 
Did, eighteen 
lu very truth 


Jigel's father tried argument, persuasion, euti-eaty. 
^No, father; I cannot underwrite Article Four (leave 
oe the rest), taking it *in the lit<.ral and gi-ammatical 
required by the Deelai-ation ; and therefore I can't 
hi- a parson," said Angel. " My whole instinct in matters 
i/i religion is towards reconstruction ; to quote your favorite 
i;pi«^le to the Hebrews, ' Uie removing of those things that 
am Bliaken, as of things that are made, that those things 
■Khi'Ai eimnot be shaken may remain.'" 

His father grieved so deeply tliat it made Angel quite 

ill to see liim. "What is the good of j-our mother and 

nie economizing and stinting ourselves to give yon a Uni- 

j ve rsity education, if it is not to be used for the honor and 

■^toy of God ? " his father repeated. 

^^^vWhy, tliat I may put it to otiier nses, father," pleaded 

I'erhaps if Angel had persevered he might have gone lo 
■ imbridge like his brothers. But the vicar's ^new of that 

iit of learning as a 8t«pping-stone to Onlers alone was 
ijiuto n family tradition; and so rooted was the idea in Mb 


Liid that pei-aeverance began to appear to the s«nsiti 

n akin to an iutent to misappi-opriate a trust, aud wm 
the pious hoads of the houBchold, who had been and w 
in truth, as his fatJier liad hinted, compelled to exert 
much thrift to cam- out this nniform plan of education 1 
the three young men. 

'■ I will do without Cjimbridge," said Angel at last, 
feel that I have no right to go tliere in the cireumstancoB 

Tlie effects of this decisive debate were not long in s 
ing themselves. He spent two or three years in dcsiiUa 
studies, nndertaMnga, and meditations ; hr begun to e 
f considerable indifference to social ft>nns and obscr%*ttno< 
The material distinetious of rank and wealth lie eommen 
obly despised. Even the *' good old family " (to use a favori 
I i^irase of a late local worthy) had no aroma for him ual 
there -were good new resolutions in its representatives. 
a balance to these austerities, when lie went to London 
see what the world was like he was carried off hi* he 
and noai-ly cntrapi>ed by a woman much older than hin 
though luckUy he returned not greatly the worse for t 

Early association with country solitudes had brod in li 
an uiiconqnerable and almost unreasonable aversiuyi 
modem town life, and shut him out from sueh success 
he might have aspired fo by entering a mundane profa 
in the impracticability of the spiritual one. But Honictli 
had to be done; and having on acquaintance who wit) 
starting on a thriring life as a Colonial farmer, it occutpmI 

I to Angel that this might be a lead in the right dinvtioti. 
Farming — either in the Colonies, Ammcii, or at homo — 
farming, at any rate, after biH^ioming well qualtfiod for tlie 
businese by a careful apprenticeship — tliut wiw a vocatiOB _ 
wliich would probably afford an independence witliont ti" 
sacrifice of what ho valued even more than u compcteng 
intt^llectual liberty. 
So we find Angel Clare at six-and-twenty hen? at 1 


tothays Ds a ishtdent of kiue, and, as there were no liuiisos 
r at hanH in which he coiild get a comfortable lodging, 
|» boarder at the dairymau's. 

im was ail immense attic which ran the whole 
leii(^h of the dairy-honse. It could only he reached by a 
Imlder fi-om the cheese-loft, and had I>cen closed up for a ' 
long time till he arrived and selected it as his retreat. 
Here Clare had plenty of spaee, and could oft^n be heard 
by the dairy-folk pacing up Eind down when the household 
bail gone to rest. A portion was divided off at one end by 
a cortain, behind which was his bed, the outer part being 
fumiahed as a homely sitting-room. 

At first he lived up above entirely, reading a good deal, 
and stmmniing upon an old harp which he had bought at a 
«ilo, feaying when in a bitter humor that he might have 
to get a living by it in the streets stmie day. But he soon 
jireferred to read human nature by taking his meals down- 
stairs in the general dining-kitcheu, with tlie dairyman and 
his wife, and the maids and men, who all together formed 
a lively assembly ; for though but few milking hands slept 
ill the hfiuse, sevei-al joined the family at meals. The 
lunger Clare resided hero tlie less objection ha<l he to his 
I'orapany, and the more did he like to share quarters with 
them in common. 

^uch to his sm-prise, he took, indeed, a real delight in 
I heir companionship. The convputional fai-m-folk of his 
jiiaginatioi) — personified by the pitiable dnmmy known as 
' I ■ I'igy — were obliterated after a few days' residence. At 
!i >se ijaartere no Hodge was to be seen. At first, it is true, 
-iica Clare's intelligence was fresh from a contrasting 
I " iety, these friends with whom he now hobnobljed seemed 
little strange. Sitting down as a level member of the 
i lin,^uan's household seemed at the ontset an undignified 
, -iiceeding. The ideas, the modes, the surroundings, ap- 
, . iired retrogressive and unmeaning. But with living on 
Liii-re, day after day, the acute sojourner became conscious 



of a new aspect iu the spectacle. Without any objec 
chaage whatever, variety had taken the place of raonol 
nousueBs. His host and his host's househuM, Ills men a 
his maids, as they became iutimatfly known t« Claw, t 
gan to differentiate themselves as in a ehemical pm 
The tliought of Pascal's was brought home to him : 
mesmt; qn'on a plus d'esprit, ou trouve qu'il y 
dliommes origiuaux. Les gens du comuian lie trouve^ 
pas de diffi'rence entro les homiues." The ij"pical and i 
varying Hodge ceased to exist. He iiad been disiutcg 
into a number of varied fellow-creatures — beings of i 
minds, beings infinite in difference; some happy, ina| 
serene, a few depresswl, one liere and thei-e bright otpb ■ 
genius, some stupid, othei-s wanton, otiiers austere j 
mutely Miltonic, eomo potentially Cromwellian ; into i 
who had private views of each other, as he hod of 1 
friends ; who could applaud or condemn each other, a 
or sadden themselves by the contemplation of eanh otliq 
foibles or vices; men every one of whom walked in 1 
own individual way the road to dusty death. 
^ Unexpectedly he began to Uke the outdoor life for I 
own sake, and for what it brought, ajiai-t from its I 
on his own proposed career. Considering his position, helj 
came wonderfully free from the chronic melancholy i 
is taking hold of the civilized races with tJie decline of I 
lief in a beneficeut power. For the first time of lato yet 
he could rea^l as his mnsings inclined him, witlioot any eys 
to cranimiug for a profession, since the few farming hand- 
books which he deemed it desirable to master occupied him 
l)nt little time. 

Ho grew away from old associations, and saw sometbinK 
new in life and humanity. Secondarily, he modi* close »■- 
qnaintance with phenomena which lie had Iiefore knowr< 
but darkly — the seasons in tlieir moods, morning and ev^n 
ing, night and noon in theii- tempeniments, winds in then 
sevei-al dispositions, ti-ees, waters and clouds, aliadee ac'l 


bili'iices, ignes-falm, eonstfiltttions, and tbe vniocs of iiiani- 
mate things. 

The early mornings were still Buffleiently cool to render 
.1 fire acceptable in the large room wherein they break- 
I iistwl ; and by Mrs, Crick's ordei-s, who held that he was 
Ml genteel to mess at their table, it was Angel Clare's 
1 iif^tom t« sit in the yawning chiiuney-comt-r during the 
meal, his enp and sancer and plate being placed on a hinged 
bracket at his elbow. The light from the long, wide, 
mollioned window opimsitc shone in upon his nook, and, 
assisted by a secondary Ijght of cold blue quality which 
shone down the chimney,' enabled him to read there easily 
whenever disposed to do so. Between Clare and tbe win- 
dow was the table at which his companions sat, their 
mnnching profiles rising shaip against the panes; wliile to 
the rear was the milk-honse door, through which were visi- 
'■!■? the rectangidar leads in rows, full to the brim with the 
timing's milk. At the farther end the great dium conld 
'■ seen revolving and its shp-slopping heard — the moving 
ower being discernible through the window in the form of 
spiritless horse walking in a circle and driven by a boy. 
Sor several days aftor Tess's arrival Clare, sitting ab- 
■ ■^lctedly reading from some book, periodical, or piece of 
iiiaid just come bv post, hardly noticed that she was present 
Lr.4able. She talked so little, and the other maids talked 
' ■ much, that the babble did not strike him as possessing 
a new note, and he was ever in the habit of neglecting the 
particulars of an outward scene for the general impreseinn. 
One day, however, when he had been conning one of hia 
lUDsic scores, and by foree of ima^nation was hearing the 
lune in bis head, he lapsed into listJessneBs, and tlu' music- 
sheet rolled to thu hearth. lie looked at the fire of logs, 
with its one flame pirouetting on the top ju a dj-ing dance 
after the breakfast cooking and boihng; and it seemed to 
jig to his inward tune ; also at the two chimney crocks 
daoeliug down from the eross-bar, plumed with sont which 



quivered to tlie some melody ; also at tlie half-empty ki 
whining an acconipaniuient. The conversatioTi at the t. 
mixed in witli tils phantasmal orchestra till he thougli 
'■ What a fluty voice one of those milkmaids has ! I an 
pose it ie the new one." Clare looked round upon bi 
seated with the others, 

8he was not looking towards him. Indeed, owing to 
long silenee, his presence in the room was almost fot^l 

" I don't know about ghosts," she was saying ; ■' but I 
know that our souls can be made to go outride our bodj 
when we are alive." 

The dairjTnan turned to her with liis mouth full, his e] 
charged witli serious inquirj-, and his great knifo and ft 
(breakfasts were breakfasts here) planted erei^t on the lal 
like the beginning of a gallows, "What — really no 
And is it so, maidy ! " he said. 

*' A very easy way to feel 'em go," continued Tesa, '• in 
lie on the grass at night and look straight up at some h 
bright star; and, by fixing your mind upon il, yi 
soon find that you are hundreds and hundreds o 
away from your body, which you don't seem to want at 

The dairjTnau removed his hard gaxe from Toss, 
fixed it on his wife. 

'Now that's arum thing, Christiannei' — heyT To 
g' the miles I've vamped o' nights Ihesn last thirty 
oourtiug, or trading, or for doctor, or for imrse, atul yflti 
er had tlie least notion o" Uiat till now, or f eeled my tswil 
rise so mneh as an inch above ray shirtr^^oUar." 

The general attention being drawn to her, includlug thlt 
of the dairyman's pnpil, Tess tloshed, and remarking indif- 
ferently that it was only a fancy, resomcd her bntakfasl. 

Clare continued to observe her. She soon fiiUKlicd her 
eating, and having a consciousness that Clare was* regard- 
ing her, began to traoe imaginary patterns on the table- 
dotli with her forefingei" with the constraint of a domestiil 
animal that perceives itself to be watcht»d. 


" What a fresh and virgin daughter of Nature tliat milk- 
mud its ! " he said to himself. 

And then he seemed to iHscem in Ler something that 
was familiar, something whieh carried him back into a 
joycus and iinforeseeiug past, before the neeessitj' of tak- 
ing; thought had made the heavens gray. He concluded 
tliat he had beheld her before ; where, he could not tell. 
A casual eu counter during some country ramble it certainly 
bad been, and he was not greatly curious about it. But 
the circumstance was sufficient to lead him to select Tess 
B preference to the other pretty milkmaids when he wished 
ft contemplate contiguous womankind. 



In general the cows were milked as they presented them- 
fwlves, without fancy or choice. But certain cows will 
how a foudnes.3 for a particular paii' of bands, sometimes 
' .Lrrying this predilection so far a& to refuse to stand at all 
ixcept to their favorite, the pail of a stranger being un- 
^^nemoniously kicked over. 

^Hpit was Dairyman Crick's rule to insist on breaking down 

^^■688 partialities and aversions by constant interchange, 

^Hkee, in the event of a milkman or maid going away from 

^^^p dairy, he was otherwise placed in u difficulty. The 

^^^dds' private aims, however, were the reverse of the dair>~- 

nwn's rule, the daily selection by each damsel of the eight 

or ten cows to which she had growni accustomed rendering 

the operation on their willing udders surprisingly easy and 

^BTesH, like her compeers, soon discovered which of the 

^^gnn bad a predilection for her style of mauipulation, and 

' Tier fingers having become delicate from the long domiciliniy 




iiDpnsouuiGiits to which &ho ha<I snlijected herself at intc 
vala duiing the last tw*i or three years, she wanld 1 
been giad to meet Uie milcliers' views in this respect, 
of the whole huiidi-ed and five tl\erc. were eight in par 
lar — ^Dumpling, Fancy, Lofty, Wint, Old Pretty, Yoiu 
Pretty, Tfdy, and Loud — who, thou{;h the teats of one or H 
were as hard as carrots, gave dowu to her witii a readinefl 
that made her work on thein a mere toaeh of the tiugeilj 
Knowing, however, Uie dairyman's wish, she endeavors 
conscientiously to take the animals just as they came, < 
cepting the very hard yieJders, which she eoidd not 3 
manage. . 

But she soon found a curious corrcspondenc' lictweed 
the ostensibly chuucc position of the cows and her wiitbfl 
in this iQftlter, till at length she felt that thcii- order eonl* 
not be the result of a^-cidcut. The dairyman's pupil 1 
lent a hand in gottiug the cows together of lato, and at t3 
fifth OP sixth time she turned her face, as it rested against 
the cow, full of sedate inquiry upon him. 

" Mr. Clare, you have ranged the cows I " sJie Bnid. hhiah- 
iug ; and iu making the accusation s\-mptoms of a 8 
lifted her upper Up gently in the middle in spit« of her, I 
as t« show tlie lips of her t«eth, tlie lower lip rtunoi 
severely still. 

" Well — it makes no difference," said he. " Yon will i 
ways be here to milk tliem." 

" Do you tliiuk so T I hope I shalL But I dont htm 

She was angrj' with herself afterwards, thinldng that h 
not aware of her grave reasons for lildng this st^ulttsioi 
might have mist^aken her meaning. Slie liiid spukcn t 
eameslly to liim, as if his presence were somehow a factor 
in her wisli. Her misgiving was such that at dmsk, whi-it 
the milking was over, she walked in the ganU'ii alouc, i^h 
grctdng that she had disclosed to him her discovi^ry of 1^| 
consideratcueiuj. ^| 

It was a typical summer evening in June, tln> atmo^ 



"tar and 11,, ,.. Jtcro ^^ „„ .„ "™ ""1 Iw,, „. 

" positive fnlU '^"S 801i,.A1 ™^ 'O epHm, 

P fowimi, tie „ J° ""> spot. P„ ^' !"'« « '«■■ 

"','' ■«" We™SX«^ "iiei S,""' "■■" "^ 
Metoo-TO- ,, ^'°<f'' 'Ws bIt^ """eni- She 

^H "' ™ garteu, 


the weeping of the garden's 8c?n8ibility. Though i 
iiightfall, the rank-smelling wced-fluwers glowfii as if tl 
would not close for iutentness, and th^ waves of color Q 
with the waves of sound. 

The light which still shone was derivfd entirely f 
largo hole in the western hank of cloud; it wu» likvnpi 
of tJio day left behind by accident, dnsk having t 
in elsewhere. Ho concluded his plaintive melody, 
simple performance, demanding no great skill: u 
waited, thinking another might be begim. But, t 
playing, he had desnltorilyi come ronnd the fenw, and f 
rambling up behind her. Tess, her cheeks on fire, m<A 
away furtively, as if hardly moving iit all. 

Angel, however, saw her light summer gown, I 
gpoko; hia low tones qnite reaclung her, Uiutl|rli 1 
some distance off. 

"What makes you draw off in that way, Tesst" a 
"Are you afraid t" 

"Oh no, sir, . , . That is, not of outdoc)r thtn^l 
pecially jnist now, when the apple-blootli is ftdUng, i 
everything so green." 

" But you have your indoor fears— ^'h ? " 

"Well — ^j'es, sh"." 

"What off" 

" I couldn't quite say." 

" The milk turning sonr f " 


" Life in general ? " 

"Tcs, sir." 

" Ah — BO have I, very oft*n. Tliis hobble of 1: 
IB rather serious, don't you think sot" 

"It is — now you put it that way, sir." 

"All the same, I shouldn't have expected a yoaog'l 
like you to see it so just yet. How is it you do!" 

She miuntained a hesitating silence. 

"Come, Teas, tell me in confidence." 



She thought that he meant what were the aspects of 
things to her, and replied shyly : " The trees have inquisi- 
tive eyes, haven't they? — that is, seem as if they had. 
And the river says, *Why do ye trouble me with your 
looks ? ' And you seem to see numbers of to-morrows just 
all in a line, the first of 'em the biggest and clearest, the 
others getting smaller and smaller as they stand farther 
away ; but they aU seem very fierce and cruel and as if they 
said, * Tm coming ! Beware o' me ! Beware o' me ! ' . . . 
But you, sir — you,^ she exclaimed, with almost bitter envy ; 
"you can raise up dreams with your music, and drive aU 
such horrid fancies away ! " 

He was surprised to find this young wcnnan — ^who, though 
but a milkmaid, had just that touch of rarity about her 
which might make her the envied of her housemates — shap- 
ing such sad imaginings. But he was more surprised when ! 
he considered that she was expressing in her own native \ 
phrases — assisted a little by her Sixth Standard training — . 
feelings which might almost have been called those of the 
age, the ache of modernism. The perception arrested him 
less when he reflected that what are called advanced ideas 
are really in great part but the latest fashion in definition 
— a more accurate expression, by words in logy and isniy of 
sensations which men and women have vaguely grasped for 

StiK, it was strange that they should have come to her 
while yet so young ; more than strange — it was impressive, 
interesting, pathetic. Not guessing the cause, there was 
nothing to remind him that experience is as to intensity, 
and not as to duration. He did not know that Tess's pass- 
ing corporeal blight had been her mental harvest. 

Tess, on her part, could not understand why a man of 
clerical family and good education, and above physical 
want, should look upon it as a mishap to be alive. For 
the unhappy pilgrim herself there was very good reason. 
But how could this admirable and poetic man ever have 

f lU 


deecended into the Valley of Htunilmtinu, Lavi> felt i 
thp man of Uz — as she Lerst-lf had foil two or three yed 
ago — "My Botd chooseth eti'angliDg and death rather tlti 
my life, I loathe it ; I would not live alway." 

It was True that he was at present ont of Im class, 
she knew that was tmly because, like PcU>r the Great io^ 
shipwright's yard, he was stadying what he wanted to knOl 
Hii did not milk eows heeause he was obliged to milk (s 
but because hewa-sleaminghow to bearichand prnsjKTt 
dairyman, landowner, agrieultimst, and breeder uf 
He would become an American or Australian Abnthni 
commanding like a monarch his flocis and his herds, t 
spotted and his ring-straked, Ids men-servants and ! 
maids. At times, nevertheless, it did seem nnaeeouDtahlti 
to her that a decidedly bookish, musical, thinking young 
man should have chosen deliberately to be a farmer, and 
not a elor^-man, like his father and brothers. 

Thus, neither having the elue to tlie other's secret, thi-y 
were mutually puzzled at what each revealed, and awaitiil 
_ 1 new knoM-ledge of each other's charaeter and mood« wilh- 
II out attempting to pry into each other's history. 

Every day, every hour, brought to him one more lil 
_ stroke of her nature, and to her one more of lii-i. 1 
li wae trying to lead a repressed life, but slie little recked 
1 1 intensity of her own vitality. 

' At first Tess seemed to regard Angel Clare as an intiiUi 
gence rather than ns a man. And as such she eompaiv.) 
him with herself ; and at every discovery of the abundance 
of his illuminations, of the immense dLstanee between her 
own poor mental standpoint and the nnmeasiirahle, Andean 
altitude of his, die became quite dejected, hiunOiatHl, dis- 
heartened from all further effort on her own part. whiit*^"eT. 
He observed Jier dejection one day, when he had eai^uallv 
I mentioned Bomethiog to her about the pastoral life in on 



{■it-nt Greece. She was gatheriug tlie Imds called " lords aud 
ladies " from the bank while he spoke. 

'■ Wliy do you look so woebegone all of a Buddt-n ? " he 

■• Oh, 'tis only — about my own self," she said, with a fnul 
laugh of saduoss, fitfully beginning to peel " a lady " mean- 
w'ldle. ''Juet a flash of a sense of what might have been 
\\ ith ine ! My life looks as if it had been wasted for want 
lit chances! When I see what you know, what you have 
r.'jid, and seen, and tliouglit, I feel what a nothing I am ! 
Tin like the poor Queen of Sheba who lived in the Bible. 
There is no more spirit in me." 

■' Bless my soul, don't go troubling about that ! Why," 
I:e said, with some enthusiasm, " I should be only too glad, 
ciy dear Tess, to help you to auything in the way of histoiy, 
or any line of reading you would like to take up " 

"It is a lady again," interrupted slie, holding out the bud 
she hud peeled. 

"What I" 

" I meant that there are always more ladies than loi-ds 
when you eonio to peel them." 

"Never mind about the lords and ladies. Would you 
like to take up any line of study — history, for example?" 

*■ Well, sometimes I feel I don't want to know auything 
more about it than I know already.'' 

"WHiy not!" 

■ Because what's the use of letuTiing that I am one of a 
■iig row only — finding out that there is set down in some 

■ lid book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall 

only act her part ; making me sad, that's all. The best is 

to remember that your nature and yonr past doings 

been just like thouaauds and thousands, and that 

>ur coming life aud doings '11 be Uke thousands aud 


■ What, really, then, you don't want to learn auything T " 


" I shotildn't mind learuijig wliy — why die sun shines 
the just and on the nnjnst aiikf," she answi-red, with a slii 
quaver in her voice. "Eat that is what bookii will 
tell me ! " 

'" Tess, fie for such bitterness ! " Of coiu^e he spoke 
a conventional sense of duty only, for tliat sort of worn 
ing had not been unknown to himself in bygwno daj 
And as he looked at the unpractised mouth and lips, 
thought that siich a dew-fresh daughter of the soil 
only have caught up the sentiment by rote. She wt 
peelinfT the lords and ladies till Clare, regarding for a 
ment the wave-liko etirl of her lashes as they drooped 
her bent gaze, Ungeringly went away. When he was 
she stood awhile, tlionghtfully peeling the last bad ; 
then, awakening from her reverie, flung it, and all tli>' 
crowd of floral nobility, impatiently on the groim<l. in an 
ebullition of displeasure with herself for her niaiserifs. ami 
with a quickening warmth in her heart of hearts. 

How stupid he must think her ! In au access of liung- r 
for his good opinion she bethought lierself of what slie bail 
latterly endeavored to forget, so unpleasant hwi Ixt'u ils 
issues i the identity of her family with that of tho knightly 
D'TJi'bervilles. Barren attribute as it was, di$astnni» as its 
discoverj' had been in many ways to her, perhaps Mr. CI 
as a gi'ntleman and a student of history, would respert 
sufficiently to forget her childish conduct witli the loi 
and ladies if he knew that those Purbeck-marble and ala- 
baster people in Kingsbere ehurcli really repn-eentt-d h-r 
own lineal forefathers ; that she was no spurious DT'rbcr- 
ville, compoundtHl of money and ambition like those lit 
Trantridge, bnt tru,^ D'Urberville tf) tho bone. 

But before venturing to make tho revelation poorTwt 
indirectly sounded the dain-man as to its possiWo 4>ffeet 
upon Mr. Clare, by asking the former if Mr. Clare hud »Bi" 
great respect for old eonnty fniuUieii when they bad luat 
their monpy and land. 

U) lt8 



"Mr. Clare," said the dairyman, emplmtically, "is one of 
the most rebellest rozmns you ever knowed — not a bit like 
the rest of his family ; and if there's one thing that he do 
hate more than another 'ti» the notion of wliut's called an 
old family. He says that it stands to reason that old fam- 
ilies have done their spurt of work in past days, and can't 
have anything left in 'em now. There's the Billette, and 
the Drenkhards, and the Greys, and the St. Qnintins, and 
the Hardys, and the Goulds, wlio used to own the lands for ^ 
miles down this valley ; you could buy 'em all up now for v 
un old song a'most Why, our little Retty Priddle here, 
\.iu know, is one of the Paridelles — the old family that 
u-ii'd to own lots o' the lands out by Eiog's-Hintock now 
owTU'd by the Earl o' Wessex, afore even he and his was 
hiard of. Well, Mr. Clare found tliis out, and spoke quite 
s'.'omf nl to the p<)or girl for days. 'Ah ! ' he says to her, 
' you'll never mfUve a gotid dairj-maid ! Ail your skill was 
QSfd up ages ago in Palestine, and yim must lii' fallow for 
a thousand years to git strength for more deeds \ ' A boy 
i';im« here t'other day asking for a job, and said his name 
lis Matt, and when we asked him his sm-name, he said 
, id never heard that 'a had any surname, and when we 
: -ked why, he said he supposed his folks hadn't been 'atab- 
■'-lied long enough. 'Ah! you're the very Iwy Iwantl' 
i\a Mr. Claro, jumping up and shaking hands wi' en ; 
Ivo great hopes of you ; ' and gave him half-a-ci-own. Oh 
no. be eant st.omaeh old families ! " 

After bearing this caricature of Clare's opinions, poor 
Tcsa was glad that she had not said a word in a weak mo- 
Tiient— even though her family was so unusually old as to have gone round the circle and become a new 
I'lie. Besides, another dairy-girl was as good as she, it 
■I'med, in that respect. She held hor tongue about the 
. ' ^rber^^lle vaidt, and the Knights of the Conqueror, one 
: Mhos*' names she bore. A flash of insight int« Clare's 
-liara«t«r suggested to her that it was largely owing to her 


8U]ipoRiHl uiil.i-aditioual ni'wness tliat slie bad won intu 
iu liis eyes. 


The seafion developed and matured. Another year's 
stalment of flowers, leaveB, nightiogaleg, tbmshtw. ^idif^, 
and other creatui-cs, took up their positious whi-re only n 
year ago others had slood_ in their place* and they wni 
nothing more than ^erms'aud iuorgauie [lartidL-s. 'Ray 
sti-aight from tho drew forth the buds and Btn't^h'.-l 
them into long stalks, lifted up sap in noiselesjs strvaiii-' 
opened petals, and brought out sceuts in inTisiblo jots uii' : 

Dairyman Criek's household of m^ds and meu livc?d "v 
comfoi-tolily. placidly, even merrily. Their position w. • 
perhaps the happiest of all positious iu the social scale, tlur 
s to say, above the line at whieh neediuess ends, uiil bchi" 
the line at which the cotirenances befjin to eramp nntani' 
feeUug, and the stress of threadbare modishness mnkos t<>< 
little of enough. 

Thus passed the leafy time, when nrl>orese-cne« mctOA to 
I be the one thing aimed at out-of-doors. Tps* aud Clm 
nneonscioosly studied each other, ever lialauRod on the 
edge of a passion, yet apparently keeping out of i(, AH 
t3ie wliile they were none the less eonvei^ng, nnd^'t* ll" 
foree of irresiBtible law, as surely oa two streams in fm 

Tess had never in her recent life l>een so generaiiy \M\^'y 
as site was now, probably uevei" would be so happy again 
She wftf, for ono tiling, physically and sooiiUIy iit •■liM' 
among these new surroundings. Tlie sajiliug wbii li hml 
rooted down to a i>oisomjti« stratum on the spot nf i-.> -.iw 
ing had been transjilanted to a dee]jer soil. Moreovrr ulit. 


nBtd Clare also, stood aB yet on the debatable land l^etween 
predilection and love, where no profundities have been 
reavheil, no reflections have set in, awkwardly inquiring 
" WTiither does this new current I^ud to carry me ! what 
does it niean to my future T how does it stand towards my 
post I " 

Tpss was the merest ideal phenomenon to Angel Clare 
ft» yet — a rosy, warming apparition, which had hai-dly ac-. 
ijoired the attribute of pei-sistence in his consciousness. So 
he allowed hia mind to be occupied with her, yet would 
not own his preoccupation to be more than a philosopher's 
repani of an exceedingly novel, fresh, and interesting speci- 
men of womankind. 

They met eoutinually; they could not help it. They 
met daily in that strange and solemn interval of time, the 
twilight of tJie morning, in the violet or pink dawn ; for 
it waa necessary to rise early, so very early, here. Milking 
was done betimes; and before the milking came the skim- 
ming, which began at a little past three. It usually fell to 
the lot of some one or other of them to wake the rest, the 
first one being arfiused by an alarm-clock ; and as Tess waa 
the latest anival. and they soon discovered tliat she could 
be depended upon not to sleep through the alarm as the 
others did. this task was thrust most frequentJy upon her. 
No sooner had the hour of three stmok and wliizzod than 
she left her room and ran to tlie dairvnian's door; Uicn up 
the ladder to Angel'a. calling him in a loud whisper; tlien 
' woke her fellow-milkmaids. By the time that Tess was 
dressod, Clare was dowTistairs and out in the humid air ; 
■ 'ii- remaining maids and the dftirymen usually gave thom- 

■.f-s another turn on the pillow, and did not appear till a 

■ irter of an hour later. 

Tim gray half-tones of daybreak are not tlie gray half- 

iti» of the day's close, though the degree of tlu^ir shade 
V be thf same. In the twilight of the morning^lightlj 
j!i» active, darkness passive ; in the twilight of evening ^ 


[ it i» U»e darkness whkli b active and cntsoeat, and the I 

y wbkii is the cirowsv reverse. 

Bang «» utt«u — pussiblv not olways by chance — Ihe 
two persoiLs to g«t np ot the dairj'-hoase, they seeme 
Ihemselves ihe first persons up of all the world. In ti 
early days of het residence ht-re Tess did not skini. 
went ont-of-doors at orn-e after rising, where he was ge 

I ally awaiting her. The spectral, half-compounded, a 
light wiudi pen-aded the open mead impresses! them i 

' a feeling of isolation, as if thfv were Adam and Eve. 

' this dim, inceptive stnge of the day, Tess seemed to ( 

' to exhibit a dignified lai^ness, both of disposition 
physique, and almost regnant power — ^possibly becansfl 
knew that at that preteniatnral time hai^y any womai 
well endowed in person as she was likely to be wnlkini 
the open air within the bonndtmes of his horizon ; t 
few in all England. Fair women are usually asloep at n 
sonimer dawns. She was close at hand, and the rest n 

The mixed, singular, luminous gloom in which t 
walked along together to the spot where the cows lay vi 
made him think of the Resurrection hour. He little tiion 
that the Mngdalen might be at his side. Whilst nil 
landsi'upe was in nentral shade, his companion's face, wl 
was the focus of his eyes, rising above the niirit strut: 
seemed to have a sort of phosphorescence upon iL 
looked ghostly, as if she were merely a soul at largn. 
reality her faee, without appearing to do so, had eaiigfat 
cold gleam of day from the northeast ; his own fner, tho* 
he did not think of it, wore the same aspect tfl her. 
It was then, as has l>een eaitl, that she irupressed '. 

I moat dee]Jy. She was no longer the milkmaid, but K 
innary essence of woman — a whole sex condensed bito 
topical form. lie called her Artemis, Demeter, aud ol 
fanciful names, half-tensingly, which bIio did not lik 
cause ahe did not understand them. 


" CttU me Tess," slie would say, askance ; and he did. 
Tln'Ti it would grow lighter, and her featui-es would be- 
come simply feminine ; they had changed from those of 
a divinity who could confer bliss to those of a being who 
craved it. 

At these non-hmnan hours they could get quite dose to 
the water-fowL Herons came, with a great bold uoisc as 
opening doors and shutters, out of the boughs of a plan- 
Ion which they frequentt-d at the sidf of the mead ; or, 
already on the spot, maintained their etanding in the 
water as the pair walked by, merely wat<'hing them by 
moving their heads round in a slow, horizoutal, passionless 
wheel, like the turn of puppets by ttlockwork. 

They coidd theu see the faint summer fogs in layers, 
woolly, level, and apparently no thicker than counterpanes, 
spread about the meadows in detached rerauunts of small 
extent. On tlie gray moisture of the grass were marks 
where the cows had Iain through the night — dark islands 
of dry herbage the size of their carcasses in the general sea 
of dew. From each island proceeded a serpentine traU, by 
which the eow had rambled away to feed after getting up, 
at the end of which trail they found her; the snoring 
breath fi-om her nostrils, when she recognized them, mak- 
ing ftn intcnscr little fog of her own amid the previuling 
■ n.-. Then they drove the animals bai;k to the barton, or 
it down to milk them on the spot, as the case might re- 

Ltr yjerliaps the simimer fog was more general, and the 
iitcadows lay like a white sea, out of which the scattered 
tfttfs rose like daugei-ous rocks. Birds woidd rise throtigh 
il into the upper radiance, and hang on tlie wing sumiiug 
themtMOvPs, or alight ou the wet rails subdividing the 
rni'ads, which now shone like glass rods. Minute diamonds 
I' moisture from the mist hung, t«o, npon Tess's eyelashes, 
■id drops npon her hair like seed pearls. When tiio day 
.nw quite strong and commonplace these dried off her; 




moreover, Tess then lost her istilated tmd ethereal beai^ 
and waa again the dazzlingly fair dairj-maid only, who b 
to hold her own agaiust the other women of the worliL 

Alwnt this tine they would hear Dairjinan Crick's ■ 
leeturing the non-resident milkers for arri\Tn|f late, 
speaking sharply to old Deborah Fyander for not wusliii 
her hands. 

" For Heaven's sake, pop thy hands under the puiup. 
Deb! Upon ray sonl, if the Loudon folk only knowed «{ 
thee and thy slovenly ways, they'd swaller their milk and 
butter more mincing than they do a'ready ; and that's say- 
ing a good deaL" 

T1j(> milking progressed till, towards the end, Tess atui 
Clare, in common with the rest, could hear the hi^vy bre 
toat-table dragged out from the wall in the kitchen by S 
Crick, this being the invariable pnJiminary to each i 
the same horriblo scrape acoompauyiug its retiira joui 
Tviien the table had been cleared. 

There was a great stir in the milk-honse just after b 
fast. The chum revolved as usual, but the butter wot 
not come. Whenever this happened the dairy was | 
lyzed. " Squish ! si^uash ! " eehoed the milk i 
cylinder, but never arose the sound tliey waited for. 

Dairyman Criek and his wife, the milkmaids Tesa, M«r^ 
ian, Hetty Priddle, Izz Huett, and the married om-i- froni 
the cottages, also Mr. Clare, Jonathan Kail, old Dcbonili 
and the rest, stood gazing hopelessly at the cbam ; and 
the boy who kept the horse going ontfdde put on moou-Iiki' 
eyes to show his sense of the mtuatiou. Even tho ntekn- 
oholy horse himself seemed to look in ut the window tit m 
inquiring despair at each walk round. 


"'Tis years since I weiit to Coujuror Treadle's son iii 
Egdnn — years," »aid the dairjTiiau, bitterly. "And he vraa 
nothing to what his fatlier had been. I Itav-e said fifty 
times, if I have said once, that I don't believe in him. And 
I don't believe in him. Bnt I shall have to go to 'n. Oh 
yes, I shall have U> go to 'n, if this sort of thing contiimys ! " 

Even Mr. Clare began to feel tragical at the dairyman's 

'• C-onjtiror Fall, 'tother side of Casterbridge, that they 
used to call ' Wide-0,' was a very good man when I was a 
boy " said Jonathan KaiL " But he's rotten as touchwood 
by now." 

" My grandfather used to go to Conjuror Mynteme, out 
at Owlscombe, and a dever man 'a were, so I've beard 
grandfer say," continued Mr. Crick. " But there's no such 
genuine folk about nowadays ! " 

Mrs, Crick's muid kept nearer to the matter in hand. 
" Perhaps somebody in the house is in love," she said, ten- 
tatively. ■' Fvo heard tell in my younger days that that will 
cause it Why, Crick — that maid wo knew years ago, do 
ye mind, and how the butter didn't come then " 

"Ah yea, yes! — bnt that isn't the rights o't It had 
nothing to do with the love-making. I remember all about 
it — 'twos tlie damage to the crhm-n." He turned to Clare. 
■■ Jack Dollop, a 'hore's-bird of a fellow we had hei'c as 
milker nt one time, air, courted a young woman o\-er at 
Utdlstock, and deceived her as he had deceived many afore. 
But he had another sort o' woman to reckon with this time, 
and it was not the girl herself. One Holy Thursday, of all 
'lays in the almanac, we was here ns we mid be now, only 
rlicre was no churning in hand, when wo saw the girl's 
mother coming up to the door, with a great brass-monntcd 
umbrella in her hand that would have felled an ox, and 
raying, ' Do Jack Dollop work here ? — because I want liim I 
1 ImrO A big bone to pick with he, I eau assure 'n ! ' And 
^>ehind her mother walked Jack's young woman, 


crying bitterly iuto lier baaidkereUer. ' Lard I hcre'a a 
time ! ' said Jack, louking uut o' winder ut 'vm. ' She'B 
murder me ! Where shall I get — where ehull I — DoD't 
toll her whei'e I be 1 ' aiid witli that he Eeraiubled iiit<j tlif 
chura through the trap-door, and shut himself infiido, ju*t 
as tlie youug womaD's mother bu&ted into the niilk-hnuse. 
'The villain — where is he I' says she; 'I'll elaw Ills fai-e 
for 'ii, let me only catch him 1 ' Well, she hunted about 
everywhere, ballyragging Jack by side and by seam, Jack 
lying a'most b%tifled inside the chum, and the poor maid 
standing at the door crying her eyes out, I shall never 
forget it, never! 'Twould have melted a marble stone. 
But she couldu't find him nowhere at all ! " 

The dairyman paused, and one or two words of comment 
came from tho listeners. 

But Dairyman Crick's stories ofl*n Beemed ia bts endeii 
when they were not really so, aud strangers were betrayeii 
into prematui-e inteijectioas of finalit;, though old friends 
knew better. The narrator went on : 

" Well, how the woman should have had th« wit to guess it 
I I could never tdl, but elie fojmd out that he was inside tiat 
there churn. Without saying a word she took hold of the 
winch (it was turned by hand-power then), and round i 
swung him, and Jack began to flop about inside, 
stop tji(! chum ! let me out ! ' says he, popping out hie 1 
' I shall be churned into a pummy ! ' (He was a cowar 
chap in his heart, as such men mostly be.) * Not till yoo 
make amends for ravaging her ti-ustful iunoetniKo ! ' says 
the old woman. ' Stop tie ehura, you old wit«h ! ' screanis 
' You call me old witch, do ye, you deceiver,' B03S sb<-. 
' when ye ought to ha' been calliiig me mother-in-law thi->' 
last five months ! ' And on went the chum, and Jack'> 
bones rattled round again. Well, none of us ventored lo 
interfere ; and at la«t 'a promised to make it right hy n 
rying her. 'Yes — HI be as good as my word!' lu a 
And BO it ended that day.'' 

i or tlif 
ind h1^^ 



"Wtilo the listeners wt>re smiling their comments there 
was a qnick movemeut behind their baoks, and they looked 
round. Tess, pale-faced, had gone to the door. 

" How warm it ia to-day I " she said, almost inaudibly. 

It was warm, and nono of them eonneeted her withdrawal 
with the remuiiseencea of the dairyman. He went forward 
and opened the door for her, eaj-ing with tender raillery, 
*' Why, maidy " (he frequently, with unconBcious irony, gave 
her this pet name], "the prettiest milker Pve got in my 
dairj- ; you mustn't get so fagged as this at the first breath 
of smmner weather, or we shall be finely pnt to for want of 
'ee by dog-days ; shan't we, Mr. Clare!" 

"I was faint — and — I think I am better out-of-dotjrs," 
she said, meehanically, and disappeared ontside. Fortn- 
uately for her, the milk in Hie revolving ehum at that mo- 
ment elianged its stjuashing for a decided flick-flack. 

" 'Tis ('oming ! " cried Mi-s, Crick, and the attention of all 
was called off from Tess. 

That fair sufferer soon recovered herself externally ; bnt 
f,be n'mained much depressed all the afternoon. "When the 
evening milking was done she did not care to be with the 
resP of them, and went out-of-doors, wandering along she 
knew not whither. She was wretched — oh, so wretched — 
at the perception that to her companions the dairyman's 
-lory had Ijeen rather a humorous narration than other- 
■■\i»e ; that none of them but herself seemed to see the sor- 
mw of it; to a certainty, not one knew how cruelly it 
tiiached the tender place in her experience. The evening 
was DOW ugly to her, Uka a great inflamed wound in 
8ky. Only a solitary cracked-voiced roed-sparrow 
ited her from the bnshes by the river, in a sad, machine- 
tone, resembling that of a past friend whose friend- 

ip she had now outworn. 

In these long June dBj*s the milkmaids, and indeed most 
if the honsehold, went to bed at sunset, or sooner, the 



I tliis time of full pails. Ttws nsnally acconipaniwl her fal- 
lows upstairs. To-nigLt, however, she wa« tlii^ Rret to go 
to their commoii chamber ; aud she had dozed when the 
other giria came in. Shesaw them iinilressiiiff iu tht^ornngi- 
' light of tiho Tttnished sun, which Hushed their fuiins with | 

its color ; she dozed a^ain, but she was rcnwakctit-'d by tl 
' voices, and quietly turned her eyes towards tlifm. 

Neither of her three chamber companions had i^t into 
' bed. They were standing in a group, in Uieir Qightg<>wii%<J 
barefooted, at the window, the last red raj's of the west s " 
warming their faces and necks, and the walht around them. 1 
All were watching somebody in the garden with deep in- 
terest, their three faces close together : a jorial unc^round 
one, a pole one with dark hair, and a fair one whose treswe 

ti-e anhum, 

" Don't push i You can see as well as I,'" said Rettr, tl 
aabum-haired and youngest girl, without removing hor ei 
from the window, 

'"Tis no use for you to be in love with him any inc| 
than me, Retty Priddlo," said jolly.faced Slarian, the cldcd 
slyly. " His thoughts be of other cheeks than thiuc." 

Hetty Priddle still looked, and the others looked tiguio.1 

"There he is again! " cried Izz Hnett, the pale fnrl, ' 
I dark, damp hair, and keenly cut hps- 

"Yoa needn't soy anjiMng, Izz," answered Retty. ' 
I seed you kissing his ^ade." 

" y\'/iat did yon see her doing I" asked Marian. 

"Why, he was standing over the whey-tub to let off thfi 
whey, and the shade of his face came upon the wall Ixihiwl, 
close to Izz, who was standing there filling a vat. Bh« pirt 
her mouth against the wall and kissed the sliadfi of hit 
mouth ; I seed her, though he didn't." 

" O Izz Huett ! " saJd Marian. 

A rosy spot came into the middle of Izz Hnett* « che«k. 

" Well, ^ere was no harm in it," she declared, with at- 


tempted coolness. "And if I be in love with liim, so is 
Betty, too ; aiid so be you, Mariun, come to that." 

Alariaa's full face could not blush past its chronic pink- 
nefi& "11" she said. " What a tale ! Ah, there he is again ! 
Deffr eyes — dear face — dear Mr. Clare ! " 

" There — ^you've owned it ! " 

"So have yon — so hiivc we all," saidMarian, with the 
dry frankness of complete indifference to opinion. "It is 
silly to pretend otherwise nmongst onrselves, though we 
need not own it to other folks. I would just marry 'n to- 
morrow ! " 

" So woidd I," murtnured Izz Huett, slowly. 

".Vnd I. too," whispered the more timid Retty. 

The listener grew warm. 

" We can't all have him," said Izz. 
' " We shan't, either of ns, which is worse still," said the 
eldest. " There he is again ! '' They all three blew him a 
dlcnt kiss. 

"Why!" asked Retty, qnickly. 

" Because he likes Tess Durbeyfield best," said Marian, 
lowering her voice. " I have watched him every day, and 
have found it out." 

There was a reflective silence. 
I "But she dont care anj-tliing for him I" at length 
\ breathed Retty. 

*■ Well, I Boroetimes think that, too." 

'■ But how Billy all this is ! " said Izz Huett, impatiently. 

Of course he wouldn't marr>- any one of us, or either — 

ii t^>Dtleman's son, who's going to be a great landowner 

and farmer abroad ! More likely to aak us to come wi' en 

as farm-hands at so much a year ! " 

One sighed, and another sighed, and Marian's plump 
figure sighed most of all. Somebody in bed hard by sighed 
too. Tears came into the eyes of Retty Priddlc, the pretty 
red-haired youngest — ^thc last bud of the Paridelles, so im- 



portant in the county liistorj-. They watclicd Bil*?ntly 
little longer, tlieLr tlireo faces still close together fi« Ix'fore. 
and the triple hues of their hair mingling. But the ime 
scious Mr. Clare had gone indoors, and they saw him 
more ; and, the shades bcginniug to deepen, they crept 
their be<ls. In a few minutj^s they hcanl hini asocnd 
ladder to his own room. Marian was soon snoring, but 
did not drop into forgetfnlness for a long time. 
Priddle cried herself to sluep. 

The deeper-paesioned Tesg was very far from Rlocpin^ 
even then. This conversation was another of the bitti r 
pills she had been obliged t« swallow that day, Scarce ili- 
least feeling of jealousy arose in her breast. For liar 
matter, she knew herself to have the preferenee. Bci 
more finely formed, better educated, more woman 
either, she percei\-ed that only the shghteet ordiuaiy 
was necessary for holding her own in Angel Clare's hi 
against these her candid friends. But the grai 
was, ought she to do this 1 There was, to be sure, hard] 
ghost of a chance for eitlier of them, in a serious 
but there was, or bad been, a chance of one or tlie 
inspiring him with a passing fancy for her, and enjo; 
the pleasure of his attentions while he stayed here. Si 
unequal atta^rhmouts had led to marriage; and she ' 
heard from Mrs. Crick that Mr. Clare had one day 
in a laughing way, what vrnxHd he the use of hja marr>' 
n fine huly, and all the while a tliousaud acres of Cnloi 
pasture to feed, and cattJe to rror, and com to reap. A 
farm-woman would be the only Hen8ihlt> kind of wife f«r 
him, But whether Mr. Clare had spoken smirasly or not, 
why should she, who coiUd never eonseientiimsly allow my 
man to marry her now, and who had religiously dctrr- 
mined that she never would be tempted to do so, draw iJT 
Mr. Clare's attention from otJier woiui-n, for the brief hap- 
piness of sunning herself in his eyes while he rvouuucd *l 



Thkt came downstairs yawning next morning j but 
skimmiiig and milking wei-e proceeded witli as usual, and 
lliey went indoors to breakfaist. Dairyman Crick was dis- 
covered stamping about tlie Louse. He had received a 
letter, in wLich a customer had complained that the butter 
had a twang. 

" And begad, 60*1 have ! " said the dairyman, who held in 
his left hand a wooden slice, on wliioh a lump of butter 
tuts stack. " Yes — taste for yourself ! " 

Several of them gathered round him; and Mr, Clare 
tasted, Tese tasted, also the other indoor milkmaids, one 
or two of the milkiug-men, and last of all Mrs. Crick, who 
eanic out from the waiting breakfast-table. Tliere certainly 
was a tn-aug. 

Tile dairj-man who had thrown himself into abstraction 
to better realize the toate, and bo divine the particular spe- 
cies of noxious weed to which it appertained, suddenly ex- 
claimed, '■ Tis garlic ! and I thought theR> wasn't a blade 
left in tliat mead ! " 

Then all the old hands remembered tbat a certain dry 

mead, into which a few of the cows had been admitted of 

^ late, had in years gone by spoilt the butter in the same 

The dairJ^uan had not recognized the taste at that 

le, and thought the butter bewitched. 

"Wo must examine that mead," lie resumed; "tlua 

n't con tinny." 

pAn having armed themselves with old pointed knives, 
/ went out together. As the inimical plant could only 
• present in very microscopic dimensions to have escaped 
• linai-y observation, it seemed rather a hopeless attempt 
' find it in the ctretch-of rich grass before them. How- 
vc-r, they formed themselves into line, all assistfcg, owing 






to the inipoitaDce nf the search ; tlie dfiirvmaii iit the ti] 
end with Mr. Clare, who had voliinteiered to help ; th«i 
Teas, Marian, Izx Huctt, and Retty; then Bill Lewdl. .Ton- 
athaii, and tlie married dairywoineu — namely, Beck Knibbe, 
with hiT woolly black hair and rolling eyes, and flnxi 
Frances, i^onsmnptive from the winter damps of the vi 
meadf — who lived in their respective cottages. 

With eyes fixed upon tlie ground, they crept sloi 
across a atrip of the field, returning a littJe further down^^ 
in such a manner that, when tliey should have fitii^f " 
not a single inch of tJio pasture but would have ftillra 
under the eye of some one of them. It was a most t«-dioua 
business, not more than half a dozen shoots of g^liv Ix-iog 
discoverable in the whole field ; yet such was the herb*! 
pungency tliat probably one bite o( it by one cow liad h 
sufficient to season the whole dairy's produce for the dayj 

Differing one from another in natures ai^d mtKxls 
greatly as they did, they yet formed a curiously unifc 
row — automatic, noiseless ; and an alien observer 
down the neighboring lane might well have been txct 
for massing them as " Hodge." As they crept along, stt 
ing low to discpm the plant, a soft, yellow gleam wiw 
fleeted from the hiittercups into their shaded faces, gii 
them an elfish, moonlit aspect, though the sun wua [muring 
upon their backs in all tJie strength of noon. 

Angel Clare, who commnnisticaUy stuck to hi» rule irf 
taking part with the rest in everything, glanced up now 
and then. It was not, of course, by accident that he walked 
next to Tess. 

" Well, how are you T " he mnmuu^d. 

" Very well, tltank you, sir," she replied, demurcdy. 

As tliey had been discussing a score of personal matten 
only half an hour before, the introductory style sei^raed a 
little superHuous. But they got no fnrther in K])ep<'h just 
then. They crept and crept, the hem of her pettieoat jw4 
touching his foot, and his ellxnv- sometimes brushing hcr& 


At la£t the dairyman, who came next, could stand it uo 

•' Upon my soul and body, this here stooping do fairly 
make my back open and slint ! " he exclaimed, straightening 
himseU slowly with on excruciated look till quite upright. 
'■And you, maidy Tess, you wasn't well a day or two ago — 
this will make your head ache finely. Don't do any more, 
if yon feel fainty ; leave the rest to finish if 

Daityman Criek withdrew, and Tess dropped behind, 
itr. Clare also slipped out. of line, and began privateering 
;ibout for the weed. When she found him near her, her 
'. ery tensioii at what she had heard the night before made 
]i>;r the fir^t to speak. 

"Don't they look pretty I" she said. 


" Izzy Huett and Retty." 

Tess had moodily deeided that either of these maidens 
would make a good fanner's wife, and that she ought to 
n-cominend them, and obscure her own wretched charms. 

" Pretty I Well, yes, tliey are pretty girls — fresh-looking. 
I have often thought so." 

'* Though, poor things, pi-ettiness won't last long." 

" Oh no, unfortunately." 

" They be excellent dairywomen." 

"Yes; though not better thau you." 

"They skim better than I." 

■■Do Hieyt" 

CTare remained observing them — not without their ob- 
-i-rving him, 

" Slie is coloring up," continued Tess, heroically. 


" Retty Priddle." 

'•O* WhyiathatT" 

" Because you ai-e looking at her." 

Self-sacrificing as her mood might be, Tess could not 
Well go furtlier and say, "Mam- one of them, if you really 



do U'ant a (lair}"wonian and not a lady ; and dou't. Iliiok 4 
man^*uig me." She followed Dairjioai] Crict, aud Lad tli* ! 
moumfol satisfaction of seeing that Clan; remaini-d behind. 

From this day she forced herself to take pains to avoid 
him — never allowing herself, as formerly, to remain loj^H 
in his company, evea if their jostaposition iras purely ^H 
eidental. She gave the other thl-ee every eJianee. ^^^ 

Tess was woman enough to realize from theii- avowals to 
herself that Angel Clare had the honor of all the dain- 
maifls in his keeping, and her pirception of his Jwire Ii^ 
avoid compromising the happiness of either in the le.i-; 
degree bred a tender respect in Tess for what she decnini 
rightly or wrongly, the self -controlling sense of duty show v. 
by him, a quality which slie had never expected to find a 
one of the opposite ses, and in the absence of wliich i 
tlian one of the simple hearts who were bis houscm 
might have gone weeping on her pilgrimage. 


d to undt^ 

The hot weather of Jidy had crept onward upon ftwf 
unawares, and the atmosphere of the flat vale hung bt-av;, 
as an opiate over the dairy folk, the eows, aud tbt' tiv^- 
Hot st^^^aming rains fell frequently, making the. graiw wh«v 
the cows fed yet more rank, and hindering tho lato lay- 
making in the other meads. 

It was Sunday morning; the milking was done; the 
outdoor milkers had gone home, Tesa and tin.- <)tber thn-o 
were dressing themselves rapidly, the whole four hawnir 
agreed to go together to Mcllstoek Church, wliieh Uiy bobw 
three miles distant from the daiiy-hoase, She bad nnw 
Iwen two months at Talbothays, and this wa« ]i«r fin4 rx- 


All tlio prccfding Kft«nioon and night liea\-y thiinder- 
.stonus had hissed down upon the meails. aud wnshed some 
c i the hay into the river ; hut this morning the suu shone 
out all the more brilliautly for the delnge, and the air was 
lialmy and clear. 

Tlie crooked lane leading from their own parish to Mell- 
stock ran along Uie lowest levels in a portion of its length, 
;iiid when the gii-ls reached the most depressed spot tJiey 
Tiund that the reeiilt of the rain had been to flood the lane 
vcT shoo to a distance of some fifty yards. This wnnld 
!i;ive been no serious hindrance on a week-day; tbey wonld 
!.;ive clicked through it in their liigh pattens and boots 
[iiito uneoneemed; but on this day of vanity, this Sun's- 
liay, when flesh went forth to coquet with^esh while hypo- 
flritically affecting business with spiritual things; on this 
occasion for wearing their whito stockings and thin shoes, 
and their pink, white, and lilac gowns, on which every 
mnd'Spot would be visible, the pool was an awkward im- 
pediment. They could hear the church-bell calling — as yet 
nearly a mile off. 

" Who would have expected such n rise in the river in 
Bnmmer-time 1 " said Marian, from llie top of the roadside 
bank on which they hod climbed, and were muiDtaiuing a 
preuariont) f.Kitiug in the hope of creeping along its slope 
HJl they were past the pool. 

"We can't get there anyhow, without walking right 
ilii-ongh it, or else going round Stone Bridge way; and 
:l\:it would make ns ao very late!" said Retty, pausing 

" Ami I do color up so hot, walking into church late, and all 
rho pi'ople staring ronnd," said Marian, "that I hardly cool 
(iown again till we get into the ' That-it-may-please-Thees.'" 

Wliile they stood clinging to the bank they heard a 
ilasljing round the bend of the road, and presently ap- 
, - ;irc(l Angel Clare, advancing along the lane towards them 
liirodgh the water. 



Four hearts gave a big tlirob sinmltttn(H>u8l)'. 

His uspeub was probably as un-Subbntoriun a i.>ue as .> 
dogmatic parson's son often presented, being attin-il iii iit;. 
dairy clothes and long wading boots, with a thistlo-«piid to 
fiui^ him off. 

•* He's not going to church," said Marian. 

'' No — I wish he was," nmrmured Tess. 

Angel, in fact, rightly or wTongly (to adopt the safe 
phrase of e\'asive controversialists), preferred sermons in 
stones to sermons in churches and chapels on fine siimm^ 
daj'B. This morning, moreover, he had gone ciut to see if 
the damage to the hay by the flood was considera))le or n-it 
On his walk he observed tlie gii-ls from a hing diMAin^ 
though they had been so ocenpied with their difficult Jes t.t 
passage as not to notice him. He knew that the wnttr had 
risen at that spot, and that it would (luite check their prvf- 
So he had hastened on, with a dim idea of Iww he 
could help them — one of them in jiarticular. 

The rosy-eheeked, bright-eyed quartet looked so rhuni- 
ing iu titeir light snuuuer attire, clinging to thp rtiadstile 
bank like pigeons on a pent-roof, that h^Bt*ipped a tuoni^nt 
to regai'd them before coming close. Their gaiu^ ddrti 
hod brashed up from the grass during tlieir pronwnade 
innumerable flies and Imtterflies which, unaltle to «8i»4M; 
remained caged iu the transparent tissae as in au nvtajy. 
Angel's eye at last fell upon Tess, the hindmost of lie fow; 
and, being full of suppressed laughter at fteir dilemma, she 
Conld not help meeting his glance ruiiianim 

He came beneath tliem in the water, iraich did not rise 
over his long boots, and stood lookiug at the entni[»]»d 
flies and butterflies. 

"Are yon trjing to get to church!" he said to 
who was ill fi-ont, including the next two in his 
but avoiding Tess. 

;■ Yes, sir; and 'tis getting late; and my colors dn 
up BO " 


" ril carry you throa^b tiie pool— every Jill of yon." 

The wliole four fioshtd as if one heart beat tlirougli 

" I tbiiik you can't, sir," saiJ Marian. 

"It is tbo onlyway for you to get past. Stand still. 
Nonsense, you are not too heavy ! I'd carry you all four 

*'Now, Maiiau, attend," he continued, "and put your 
arms ronnd my shoulders, so. Now ! Hold on. That's 
well done." 

Maiian had lowered herself upon his arm and shoulder 
OS directed, and Angel sti-ode off with her, his slim figure, 
as viewed from behind, looking like the mere stem to the 
great nosegay suggested by hfts. They disappeared round 
the cunc of llie road, and only liis sousing footsteps and 
the top ribbon of Marian's bonnet told where they were, 
lu a few minutes he i-eapi>eared. Izz Huett was the next 
in order upon tlie bauk. 

" Here he cornea," she murmured, and they could hear 
that her lips were drj- with emotion, '■ and I have to put 
mv arms round liia neck and look into his face as Marian 

"There's nothing in that," said Tess. quickly, 

"There's a time for everythmg,"' continueti Izz, unheed- 
■ iig- '• A time to embrace, aud a time to refrain from em- 
iiracing; the first is now going to be mine." 

" Fie — it is Scripture, Izz ! '' 

" Yes," said l2z, " I've always a' ear at chiu^h for good 


I Augel Clare, to whom three-quarters of this performance 

^■Bs a eominonptace act of kindness, now approached Izz ; 

Pble quietly and dreamily lowered herself into his arms, and 

Augel methodically marched off with her, Wlicu he was 

^(.-ard returning for the third time, Hetty's throbbing heart 

^uki Iw alioost seen to shake her. He went up to the jred- 

I seizing her he glai 

, 163 TES3 OP THE ffUKBER\1LL£S. 

Teas. His Ups coiild not liave pronounced more p1aiii}y, 
"It will soon be you and I." Her comprehension nppc&mt 
in her face ; she ciiuld not help it. There was an under- 
standing between tliem. 

P(M>r little Retty, though by far the lightest weight, was 
the most troublesome of Clare's burdens. Marian had beet) 
like a sack of meal, or dead weight of plumpness nndi'i 
which he had literally staggered, Izz had ridden scusibW 
and cahnly. Retty was a bunch of hj-sterics. 

However, he got through with tlie disquieted eri'atnre, 
deposited her, and returned. Tess could see over the hedgp 
the distant three in a group, standing as he bad plact-d 
them on the next rising ground. It was now her turn. 
She was embarrassed to discover that tlie excitement at tin 
proximity of Mr. Clare's breath and eyes, which slie had 
contemned in her companions, was intensified in licrv^lf 
and as if fearful of betraying her secret, she paltered witli 
him at the last moment. 

" I may be able to dim' along the bank, perhaps, sir — 1 ea u 
dim' better than they. You must be so tired, Mr. Clare ; ' 

" No, no, Tess ! " said he, quiddy. And ahnost before sh^ 
vaa aware she was seated in his arms and resting againi^i 
his shotilder. 

" Three Leabs to get one Rachel," he wliispered. 

" They are better women than I," she replied, magnani- 
mously slicking t« her resolve. 

" Not to me," said Angel. 

He felt her grow warm at this; and they went son - 
steps in silence. 

" I hope I am not too heavy," she said, timidly. 

" Oil no. You should lift Marian ! Such a lump 1 Yo« 
are like an undulating billowwarmed by the sun. And ill 
this fluff of muslin about you is the froth." 

" It is verj- pretty — if I seem like that to yon." 

" Do you know that I have undergone three quailcrs ti 
this labor entirely for the sake of the fourth quarterT' 


" No.'' 

" I did not expect such an event to-day.'^ 

" Nor I. . . . The water came up so sudden.'^ 

That the rise in the water was what she understood him 
to refer to^ the state of her breathing belied. Clare stood 
still, and inclined his face towai'ds hers. 

'^ O Tessie ! " he said, pressing close against her. 

The girl's cheeks burned to the breeze, and she could not 
look into his eyes for her emotion. It reminded Angel that 
he was somewhat unfairly taking advantage of an acci- 
dental position, and he went no further with it. No definite 
words of love had crossed their lips as yet, and suspension 
at this point was desirable now. However, he walked 
slowly, to make the remainder of the distance as long as 
possible -f but at last they came to the bend, and the rest 
of their progress was in full view of the other three. The 
dry land was reached, and he set her down. 

Her friends were looking with round, thoughtful eyes at 
her and him, and she could see that they had been talking 
of her. He hastily bade them farewell, and splashed back 
along the stretch of submerged road. 

The four moved on together as before, till Marian broke 
the silence by saying, " No — in all truth, we have no chance 
against her ! " She looked joylessly at Tess. 

" What do you mean ? ^ asked the latter. 

" He likes 'ee best — the very best ! We could see it as 
he brought 'ee. He would have kissed 'ee if you had en- 
couraged him to do it, ever so little.'' 

" No, no," said she. 

The gaiety with which they had set out had somehow 
vanished ; and yet there was no enmity or malice between 
them. They were generous young souls; they had been 
reared in the lonely country nooks where fatalism is a 
strong sentiment, and they <Hd not blame her. Such sup- 
planting was to be. 

Tess's heart ached. There was no concealing from her- 


Keif tlic fact that slie loved Angpl Clare, perliaps all 
more pa£sioiiately from kDowing that the others hod also 
I lost their hearts to him. There is;iuii in tliiii sctiti- 
meDt, especially among womeu. And yet that same bnngr}' 
heart of hers compassionated her friends. Ti^ae's hcumt 
□aturo had fought against this, but too feebly, and ihe 
natural result had folloT\'ed. 

"I will never stand in your "way, nor iu tlje way of 
either of 'ee 1 " she declared to Retty that iiigbt in the bni- 
(her tears running down). "I can't help this, m? 
dear ! I don't think manying is in his mind at idl ; bnt it 
3 eveu to ask me I should refuse him, as I xlioulil 
refuse any man." 

" ! would you I Why I " said wondering Rctty. 

"It caunot be. But I will be plain. Putting myaiU 
quite on one side, I don't think he will clioosb either of yon." 

"I have never expected it — thought of it!" moaneil 
Retty. " But ! I wish I was dead ! "' 

Tlic poor child, torn bj" a feeling which slip hardly ondLT- 
Btood, turned to the two other girls who came upstain josl 

" We be friends with her again," she said to them. "She 
thinks no more of his choosing her than we do." So tbv 
reserve went off, and they were confiding and n~nnii. 

"I don't seem to care what I do now," said Mariati, wha-i 
mood was tuned to its lowest bass. '' I was going to nukrn 
a dairyman at Htickleford, who's asked me twie^t) but — mr 
word — I would put an end to myself rather'n bo his wift 
now ! Wliy don't ye speak, Izz T " 

" To eonfess, then," said Izz, " I made sure to-J»y tliai 
he was going to kiss me as he held me ; and I etavM :'till 
against liis shoulder, hoping and hoping, and never mnvwl 
at all. But he did not. I don't like biding Iiere lU T«ft«> 
thsys any longer. I sJiall go )ifiitie." 

The air of the sleeping-ehamber seemed to palpttsU- with 
the hopeless passion of the girls. They writlied fe' 

^— TUE BALLY. leS 

^^nder tlie oppressiveness of an emotion thnist on them by 
<>rH€4 Nature's law — an emotion wliicli they had neither 
i-xpected nor denied. The incident of the day had fauned 
llie flame that was homing the inside of their hearts out, 
;md the tortnre was almost more than they could endnre. 
llio differences which distingTiished them as individuals ' abstracted by this passion, and each was bnt portion 
t' one organism called sex. There was so much frankness 
: (jd so litfJe jealousy because there was no hope. Each one 
■.'.as a, girl of fair common sense, and she did Jiot delude ' 
lit-rself with any vain couceits, or deny her love, or give 
herself aire, in the idea of outshining the others. The full 
recognition of the futility of their infatuation, from a social 
jojjnt of view; its purposeless beginning; its self-bounded 
iiutlook; its lack of everything to justify its existence in 
I lie eye of ci\'ilizfttion (wliilo laeljing nothing in the eye of 
Nature) ; the one fact that it did exist e^^stftBizing tliem to a 
killing joy — all Mii^ imparted to them a resignation, a dig- 
uity, which a practical and sordid ex]ioctatiou of winning 
hiui as a husbaud would have destroyed. 

They tossed and turned on their little beds, and the 
rlieese- wring dripped monotonously downstairs. 

" B' you awake, Tess T " whispered one, half an hour later. 
It was Izz Huett's voice. 
TeS8 replied in the affirmative; whereupon also Retty 

- and Muriun anddenly flung the bedclothes off them, and 

■ sighed, " Ho be we ! " 

I "I wonder what she is like — the lady they say his family 

■■ have lookwl out for him." 

■i " I wonder," said Izz. 

^^k ** Some lady looked out for him T " ga-sped Tess, starting. 

^^X have never heard o' that 1 " 

"Oh yes, 'tis whispered a young lady of his own rank, 
!.i>sMi by liis family, a Doctor of Divinity's daughtir near 
[ ]i fatlicr's parish of Kmmiiister; he don't, mueh care for 
iitT, they say. But he is sure to marry her." 


They had heart! ko very Uttlo of this, yet it wa« av 
to build lip wretched dolorous drenms upou, then- hi 
shade of the night. They pietnred all thi* lU^tuils uf 
being won round to consent, of the weddiiifj; prepiu-utiai 
of the bride's happiness, of her dress and veil, of her 
fnl home with hini, when oblivion would have fallen 
themselves as far as he aud their love were eoneei 
Thus they talked, and a«hed, and wept till sleep eha 
their sorrow away. 

After this diaclosure Tesa nourished no furtbur ft 
thought that there lurked any grave and deliberate import 
in Chire's attentions to her. It was a passing suniiuer lo\ > 
of her face, for love's own teinjioraty sake — notliing mon- 
And the thorny crown of this sad eonelusion vas that sin 
whom he really did prefer in a cursory way to 1 lo rest, sin 
who knew herself to be more impassioned in tutore, clev 
erCr, more beautiful than they, was in the eyes of 
far less worthy of him than tho homelier ones wlioin 



Aism the oozing fatness and warm ferment* of thp 
Vale, at a season when the rush of juices could almost 
heard below the hiss of fertilization, it was impossible thai 
the most fanciful love should not grow passional^-. Tli 
ready hearts existing there were impregnated by tJn-Jr sui 

July passed over tiieir heads, and the Therrnidi>reaB 
weatlior which came in its wake seemed an effi>rt, mi tir 
part of Natui-e to match the state of hearts at TaIl)othavs 
Dairj'. The air of the place, so fo'jth in tlie spring ami 
early summer, was stagnaut and i'ner\'ating now. 1> 
heavy scents weighed upon them, and at midday 

dday the haj^^ 

jape seemed lying in n swoon. Ethiopic scorcJiings 
^'bmwDed tbe upper slopes of tlie pastures, but thei-e was 
still bright grei-u horbuge hei-e where the water-coorEes 
purled. And as Clare was oppressed by the outward heats, 
so was ho burdened inwardly by a waxing fervor of passion , 
for tbe soft, and silent Teas. 

Tlie rains having passed, the uplands were drj'. The 
wheels of the dairyman's spring cart, aa he sped homo from 
mai'ket, licked up the pulverized surface of the highway, 
and were followed by white ribands of dust, as if tliey had 
^^get a thin powder-traiu on fire. The cows jumped wildly 
^Dner the five-baiTcd barton-gate, maddened by the gadfly; 
^■pBiryman Crick kept his shirt-sleeves permanently rolled 
B^^ past his elbows from Monday till Saturday ; open win- 
dows produced no effect in ventilatiou without open doors, 
and in llio dairy-garden the blackbirds and thrushes crept 
about uuder the currant-bushes, rather in the inamier of 
iiiaUnipeds than of winged creatures. The flies in the 
i.iti-heu were lazy, teasing, aud familial', crawling about in 
iiiwontfd places, on the floor, into drawers, and overtJiB 
li^ieks of the milkmaids' hands. Conversations were oon- 
i-t^niing Bunstroke, while butter-making, and still more, 
fmtter-kcepuig, was a despair. 

They milked entirely in tlie meads for coolness and con- 
silience, witliout driving in the cows. During the day 
ill' animals obsequiously followed the shadow of the small- 
■'•.t treo at hand, as it moved round the stem with the dhjr- 
nal roll : and when the milkoi-s came they could hardly 
stand atill for the flies. 

On or»! of these afternoons four or five luimilked cows 

chanced to stand apart from the general herd, behind the 

corner of a hedge, among them being Dumpling aud Old 

_ Pretty, who loved Tess's hands above those of any other 

BpAid. When she rose from her stool under a finished 

^Bnw, Angel Clare, who had been musingly obsor\-ing her 

TESS OF TiiE D'ntBEI{\TIA£.=.. 

the aforesaid creatures next. She eilently assented, i 
L with her stool at arm's leugtJi, and the pail 
I knee, she went round to where they stood. Soon the soi 
1 of Old Prettj''s milli fizzing into the pail came through 
r hedge, and then ^Vngel felt iuelineil to go round the 

also, to finish off a hard-yielding niiloher who had straj 
I there, lie beine now as capable of this a& the daii^ii 
[ himself. 

All the men, and some of the women, when milking, di 
I their foreheads into the cows and gazed into the pail. Bd# 
a few — mainly the younger ones — rested tlieir heads sid 
ways. This was Tess Durbeyfield's habit, her temple pw 
ing the mileher's flank, her eyes fixed on the far end of ti 
meadow with the gaze of one lost in meditation. She w 
milking Old Pretty thus, and !he sun chancing to Iw on I; 
milking side, it shone flat npon her fliuk-gow^led form, ai 
her white curtain-bonnet, and upon her i)rofile, nnileri] 
it dozzliugly keen, as a canico cut front the dnn baokg: 
if t-he cow, 

She did not know that Clare had followed her rona 
and that he sat under his cow wat^hinp her. Tbo abl 
lute stillness of her head and features was remarkahle ; d 
might have been in & trance, her eyes open, yet unseeia 
Nothing in the picture moved but Old Prettj-'s tail i 
Tesa's pink hands, the latter so gently as to be a rhytfan 

I pulsation only, convejing the fancy tliat they were obey 
a merely reflex stimulus, like a beating heart. 
How very lovable her face was to him ! There 1 
nothing ethereal about it ; all was real vitality, i-eal waniit 
real incarnation. Yet when all was thought and felt th 
could be thonpht and felt alwint her features in general, it 
was her mouth which turned out to be the magnolio ]>oie 
then-of. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had i* 
before, and cheeks perhaps as fair ; bi-ows as arched, a 
and tliroat almo.-^t as shapely ; her mouth he had « 
liotliing at all to ei^uol on the face of the earth. ToJ 


young man with the least fire in bim, that little upward 
lift m the middle of her top lip was distracting, infatuating, 
maddening. He had never before seen a woman's lips and 
teeth which forced upon his Oiind, with bucIi persistent 
iteration, the old Elizabetlian simile of roses filled with 
SDOW. Perfect, he, as a lover, might have failed thi'm tiff- 
hand. But no ; tliey were not perfect. And it was thi 
touch of the imperfect upon the intended perfect that gavl 
the sweetness, because it was that wliich gave the huniauityl 

Clare had studied tlie curves of those lips so many hours 
that he could reproduce them mentally with comparative 
ease ; and now, as they again confronted him, clotlied with 
color and life, they sent an aura over his flesh, a cold 
breeze through his nerves, which well-nigh produced a 
qualm ; and (witnally produced, by some mysterious physi- 
uliigical process, a prosaic sneeze. 

She then became conscious that he was observing her ; 
1 lut she would not show it by any change of position, Uiough 
the curious dream-like fixity disappeared, and a close eye 
might easily have discerned that the rosiness of her face 
slowly deepened, and then faded till oulv a tinge of it was 

Tlie gtimulns that had passed into Clare like on annnn- 
■iiition from the sky did not die down. Rosolntious, reti- 

iices, prudences, fears, fell back like a defeated battalion. 
: [ I jniDped up from his seat, and, leaving his pail to be 
I iked oviT if the niilcher had such a mind, went qiuckly 

vsords the desire of his eyes, and, kneeUug down beside 
I ! ■ r. clasped her in his arms. 

Toss was taken c>omjtli-tcIy by surprise, and she yielded 
It' his emhrace with nureflectiiig inevitableuesa. Having 
ii'ii tiint it, was really her lover who had advanced, and no 
else, her lips parted, and she sank npou him in her ino- 
itarj' joy, with something veiy like an eest*itie cry. 

fie had been on the point of kissing that too tempting 
'toonth of hei'S. but he checked himself, even for tender con- 





Bcioiipc' Buko, " Forgave me, Tess dear," he wliUiiered. 
out^lit to liave asked. I — did not know vimt 1 was doii 
I til) not mean it ae a liberty at all — I — am devoted to j'l 
Te«sie, dearest, with all my soul." 

Old Pretty by tliis time had looked romid, puzzled ; a 
seeing two people crouohing under her where, accoi 
to ijumeraorial custom, there sliould have been only oi 
lifted her liind leg crossly. 

" She is angry — she doesn't know what we mean — sh( 
kick over the milk ! " exclaimed Tess, gently striving to fi 
herself, her eyes c^ionuemed with the quadruped's aetioi 
her heart moi-e deeply coneonied with hei-aclf and Clare. 

" Let me lift you up — lean upou me." 

He raised licr from her seat, and they stood together, 1 
arm still encircling her. Teas's eyes, fixed on di^aufie, I 
gau to fill. 

" Wliy do you cry, my darling?" he said. 

" — I don't know ! " shu murmured regretfully. As » 
saw and felt more dearly the position she vrjis in, she 1 
came agitattnl, and tried to withdraw. 

■' Well, I have betrayed luy feeling, Tess, at last," si 
he, with a curious sigh of desperation, signifj-iug, nncc 
sciously, that his heart had outrun his judgment. "Th 
I love you dearly and truly I noed not say. But I — it sbal 
go no further now — it distresses you — I am as surprised : 
you are. You will not think I have presumed xt\K>n yi 
(lefencelessness — been too quick and unreflecting, will yon 

" I don't know ! " 

He had reluctantly allowed her to free herself ; and 
minute or two the milkiug of each was resumed. Nobi-ilv 
had beheld the impremeditated gravitation of the tw*.. into 
one; and when tlic dairyman eame round by that ficniJi'ii 
nook a few minutes later there was not a sign to r-'V^l 
that the markedly sundered pair were more to each .ulirr 
than mere acquaintance. Yet, in the iut*Tval siufv (.'m'k.-i 
view of them, something had oe<!urred wbidi clum^ 



the pivot of the universe for their two natures — ^whilst it 
should last; something which, had he known its quality, 
the dairyman would have despised, as a practical man, yet 
which was based upon a more stubborn and resistless ten- 
dency than a whole heap of so-called practicalities. A veil 
had been whisked aside ; the tract of each one's outlooks 
was to have a new horizon thenceforward — ^for a short 
time or for a long. 



Clare, restless, went out into the dusk as soon as even- 
in^f (li'ew on, she who liail won him having retired to her 

The iii^ht was as sultry as the day. There was no eool- 
upsa after dark unless on the gross. Roads, garden patbs^ 
the house fronts, the barton walls were warm as hearUia, 
and reflected the noontide temperature into tiie noctam- 


alcove he coold calmly view the absorbing woi'Id sarging 
without, and, apostrophiziug it with WaJt Whitman — 

Cronds of men snd women nttiiod in the usual coBtiuneB, 
How GuriouB you are to me ! — 

resolve upon a plan for plnnging into that world anew. 
But, behold, the absorbing scene hadbi^en impoifed Mther, 
and what had been the engrossing world had dissolved 
■ into an nniuteresting, outer dumb show ; while hero, in this 
apparently dim and unimpassioued plaee, uovelty had vol- 
eanically started up, as it had never, for him, started up 

Every window of the honse being open, Clare could hear 
across the yard each faint and trivial sound of the retiring 
hQpsehold. That dairy-house, so humble, so insignificant, 
so purely, to him, a plaee of constrained sojourn that he 
had never hitherto deemed it of sufficient importance to be 
re«onnoitred as an object of any quality whatever in the 
landscape — what was it now f The aged and hchened brick 
gables breathed forth " 8tay ! " The windows smiled, the 
door coaxed and beckoned, the creeper blushed confedraacy. 
A personahty within it was so far-reaehiug in her influence 
as to spread into and make the bricks, mortar, and whole 
overhaugiug sky throb with a bimiing sensibility. Whose 
was this mighty persoualityf A milkmaid's. — ■ 

It was amazing, indeed, to Bud how great a matter the 
life of the ohscm-e daiiT had become to him. And though 
new love was to bo held jiai-tly responsible for this, it was 
not Boldy BO: ' Many besides Angel Clare have learnt that 
the magnitude of lives is not as to their external displace- 
ments, but as to their subjective esperienees. The imprea- 
sionable peasant leads a larger, fuller, more dramatic life 
than the pachydermatous Mng. Looking at it thus, he 
found tliat life had much the same magnitude here ns else- 
where. — -^ 


Despite his heterodoxy, faulte, and weaknes^^■K, 
VBB-a man witli a conscience. Tess "was no msi^iifltrai 

I creature to t«y with and dismiss ; but a womnn living h 
precious life — a life which to herself, who eudured or a 
joyed it, possessed as great a dimension as the life of tl 
mightiest to himself. Upon her sensations the whole n 
depended to Tess; through her existence all her felloi 
creatures existed, to L&. The universe itself only canj 
into being for Tess on the particular day in the partieul 
year in which she was bom. 

This coDsciouBuess upon which he had intraded was t 
' single opportunity of existence ever vouchsafed to Tess by 
unsympathetic First Cause — her all ; her every and only 
I obance. How then shoidd he look upon her as of less eon- 
sequence than himself; as a pretty trifle to patronizingly 
I caress and grow wearj' of ; and not deal in the grv^'AlieT 
. serionsness with the affection which be knew that he had 
awakened in her — so fervid and so impresfionablo an sh* 
was under her reserve ; in order that it might not ngonize 
and wreck her T 

To encounter her daily in the accustomed manner wonld 
1 be to develop what had begun. Liring in such cloite rela- 
tions, to meet meant to fall into endearment ; flesli anil 
I blood could not resist it; and, having arrived at, no condo- 
I sion as to the issue of such a tendency, he decided to h<»td 
f Aloof for tlie present from occupations in which they wouM 
[ be mutually engaged. As yet the harm done was ^maU. 

Bnt it was not easy to carrj- out the resolution never to 
' approach her. He was continually burning to be with hw; 
driven towards her by ever)' impulse within him. 

He thought ho would go and see his friends. It miglil 
be possible to sound them upon this. In less than flvi* 
months his t.orm here would have ended, and, after a ft* 
atlditional months spent upon other farms, he would *"' 
fnlly equipped in agricultural knowledge, and in a poaitioD 
to start on his own account. Woidd not a fanner want a 



wife, and should a farmer's wife be a drawing-room wax 
figure, or a woman who understood farming T Notwith- 
BtaDdiQg; the pleasing answer returned to Mm by the silence, 
he resolved to go his journey. 

One morning when tliey sat down to breakfast at Tal- 
liothaya Dairy, some inaid observed that she had not seen 
anything of Mr. Clare that day, 

"Oh no," said DairjTnan Crick. "Mr. Clare ha.s gone 
home to Emminster to spend a few days wi' his relations.'' 

For four impassioned ones around that table tlie sun- 
sliine of the morning went out at a stroke, and the birds 
muffled their song. But neither girl, by word or gesture, 
revealed her inner blankuess. 

" He's getting ou towai-ds the end of his time wi' me," 
added the dairj-man, with a phlegm which unconsciously 
.-D^inital ; " and so I suppose he is beginning to see aboat 
-3 plans elsewhere." 

" How much longer is he to stay here ! " asked Izz Huett, 
only one of the gloom-stricken bevy who could trust her 

ace with the question. 

The tithers waited for the dairyman's answer as if their 
lives hung njmn it ; Rettj-, with parted lips, gazing on the 
table-cloth, Marian with heat added to her i-edneas, TeBS 
(bn)bbing and looking out at the meads, 

" Well, I can't mind the exact day without looking at my 
(nemorandum-book," replied Crick, witli the same intoler- 
able nneoneem, "And even that may be altered a bit. 
He'll bide to get a little practice in the calving, out at the 
straw-yard, for certain. He'll bang on to the cud of the 
■l -ar, I Bhoiild say." 

Four months or so of torturing ecstasy in his society — 
f "pleasure girdled about with pain," After that the 
of unutterable night. 

, J7« 


in the dii-ectiou of his father's vioamtro at Emminster, 
r>-ing as well as he could a little basket which coutaii 
some black puddings and a bottle of mead, sent by ' 
Crick, with her kind respects, to his parents. The wl 
lane stretched before him, and his eyes were upon it; 
they were staring into next year, and not at the laue. 
loved her; ought ho to marrj'her? Dared he tfl pu 
hert What would bis parents and his brothers say T "WlMit 
would he himself say a couple of years after tlie eveiir " 
I That would depend upon whether the germs of 8lJiaii> I: 
I comradeship (without which no inarringe should be niail- 
nnderlay the temporary emotion, or wliether it were a »■ i: 
Buous joy in her form only, with no substrBtoffl of eve 

His fathei's hill-surrounded little town, tlie Tndop fihoni 
tower of red stone, the clump of trees near the %-i<:a9k^ 
came at last into view beneath him, aud lie rode iliiwii !■> I 
wards the well-known gate. Casting a glance in the dircDj 
tiou of the church before entering hie bomi', ho belidH 
standing by tlie vestrj'-door a gi-oup of girlsy <>f age» hb- 
twoen twelve and sixteen, appai-ently awaiting tJie arrival 
of some other one, who in a moment hwamu Wsible in th* 
ahape of a tigure, somewhat older than the schtiolgiris, wear 
ing a broad-bnnuuod hat and highly stan-lied cambric tumn- 
ing-gown, with a couple of IniokH iu her hand. 

Clare kuL'w htr well. He emdd not be sun- that she ob^ 
served him ; he hoped she did u()t. so as tu n-iidtir it dM 
necessary that he should go and speak ta her, blamdfl 
creatnro tliat she was. An overpowering relnetiutc^H 
greet her made him deride that she had not Be«m him. "HP 
j'oung lady was Miss Mercy Chant, the only daiiL-ii! - ' 
his fathei'a neighbor and friend, whom it wiis hi.- \ i - 1 
quiet hope that ho might wed some day- She w:is ]' ' 
Antinomtanism mid Itiblo-chinaos. aiid was plniidy l- i; 
h^ a doss now in the veslr}-. Chirro mind For ik i < ' ' 


heathens in Var Vale, and to tbe most living, teudeifst, in- 
tcueeKt of them all 

It was on the impulse of the moment that he had resolved 
to trot over to Emminster, and hence had not written to 
apprise his mother and father, aiming, however, to arrive 
about the breakfast hom-, before they should have gone out 
t'j their parish duties. He was a little late, and they liad 
ah-eady sat down to the morning meaJ. The group at table 
jumped up to welcome him as soon as bo entered. They 
were his father and mother, his brother, the Reverend Felix 
__ ^-curate at a town in the adjoining county, home for the 
Uj^nde of a fortnight — and liis other brother, the Reverend 
Klhlthbert, the classical scholar, and Fellow and Dean of his 
I A oollege, down from Cambridge for the long vacation. His 
mother appeared in a cap and silver spectacles, and his 
fatlior looked what in fact he was — an earnest, God-fearing 
man, somewhat gaunt, in years about sixty-five, his pale 
fat-e Hned with thought and purpose. Over their heads 
hung tlie picture of Angel's half-sister, the eldest of the 
family, sixteen years his senior, who had married a mission- 
ary and gone out to Africa. 

Old Mr. Clare was a clei^yTnau of a type whieh, within 
the last twenty years, has di-opped out of contemporary 
life with well-nigh starthng suddenness. A spiritual de- 
i^ecudant in the direct lino from Wycliff, Huss, Luther, Cal- 
^-io; an Evangelical of the Evangelicals, a Conversionist, 
a man of Apostolio simphcity in life and thought, he had 
in his youth made up his mind once for all on the deeper 
ijugBtJons of existence, and admitted no further I'easoning 

• HI them thenceforward. He was regarded even by those 

• •i Ids own date and school of thinking as extreme ; while, 
>iii the other hand, those totally opposed to him were un- 
willingly won to admiration for his thoroughness, and for 
the remarkable power he showed iji dismissing all question- 
ing as to principles in his energy for applying them. He 
lovi^d Paul of Tarsus, liked Saint Jolm, bated Heiat Jamee 




as mxtuh as Iip (Ui-e<l, and regarded witt mixed feelini 
Timothy, TitTis, and Philemon. Tlie New Tostameat 1 
less a Chrietiad than a Paaliad to his intelligence- 
argnment than an intoxication. His creed of deten 
was such that it almost amounted to a vice, and qn] 
amonntcd, on its nsgative eide, to a renunciative philosopl 
which had eousinshi]! witi that oi Schopenhauer and Led 
pardi He despised the Canons and Kubrio, s 
Ai-tieli-B, and deemed himself consistent with the whole o 
gory — which in a way he might have been. One thing ^ 
certainly was — sincere. 

To the ipsthetic, sensuous, pagan pleasure in natural life 
and womanhood which his son Angel had lately been experi- 
encing in Var Vale, his temper would have been autipnthetir 
in a high degree had he either by inquijy or imagination li^n 
able t-o apprehend it. Once upon a time Angel liml Iriti 
so unlucky as to say tn his father, in a moment of irritjition. 
that it might have resulted far better for mankind if Gixto' 
had beeu the source of tlie religion of modern civiliziitioii, 
and not Palestine ; and his father's grief was of that blauk 
description which eoidd not ri'alize that there miglit Itirk b 
thousaudtli part of a truth, much less a half Iriitli, or a 
whole truth, in such a proposition. He had simply preached 
austerely at Angel for a long time after. Bnt the kiiiduew 
of his heart was such that he never resented anything for 
long, and welcomed Ids son to-day with a smile which w» 
BS candidly sweet as a child's. 

Angel sfit down, and the place feJt like home ; yel he liil 
not so much as formerly feel himself one of tlie fami!; 
gathered there. Every time that he returned thither ln' 
was conscious of this divergence, and since he had last 
shaped in tiie vicarage lifo it had grown even more dis- 
tinctly foreign to his own than usual. Its tmnsoendental 
a^irationa — still uuconscionsly based on tJao geooentric 
view of tlnugs, a zenithal pai-adise, a nadiral hell — wen> as 
remote from his own as if they had been the dreams ol 


penple on another planet. Latterly he ha<l seen only Life, 
felt only the gi-eat possionatj! pulso of existence, nuwai'peil, 
uncontorted, untrammelled by tliose creeds which futilely 
attempt ia cheek what wisdom would be content to disci- 

On tlieir part tiioy saw a great difference In him, a grow- 
ing divergenee from the Angel Clare of former times. It 
waa chiefly a difference in his manner that they noticed just 
now, particularly his brothers. He was getting to beha^-e 
like a farmer ; he flung his legs about ; the muscles of hia 
face had grown more espressivp; liis eyes looked as much 
information as his tongne spoke, and more. The manner 
of the BchoUtr had nearly disappeared ; still more, the man- 
ner of the drawing-rfjom young man. A i>rig would have 
said that lie had lost culture, and a prude that he had be- 
come coarse. Such was the contagion of domiciliary fel- 
lowship with the Talbothays nymphs and ewaina. 

jVft*r breakfast ho walked with his two brothetv, non- 
EvangelicaJ, well-educated, hall-marked young men, correct 
m their remotest fibre ; such unimpeachable models as are 
turned out yearly by the lathe of a systematic tuition. They 
were both somewhat short-sighted, and when it was the cus- 
tfini to wear a single eyeglass and string they wore a single 
eyeglass and string j when it was the custom to wear a dou- 
ble glass they wore a double glass ; when it was the custom 
to wear spectacles they wore spectacles straightway, all 
without reference to the particular variety of defect in their 
ftwii Hfiion. When Wordsworth was enthroned they carried 
pocket copies ; and when Shelley was belittied tiiey allowed 
him to grow dusty on their shelves. When Correggio|p 
Hilly Families were admired they admired CoiTeggio's Holy 
Families ; when he was decried iu favor of Velasqnez tliey 
■.■ilHlotisIy followed suit without any personal objection. 

If these two noticed Angel's growing social ineptness. he 
olieed their jptiwing mental hmitations. Felix seemed to 
" ~ * - - - -^ College. His Diocesan ~ 


and Visitations were the maiusprings of the worltl to 

; Ciunbridge to the other, Etich brotlier eandltUy 
nized that there were ii few Tuiiiiii>ortaut scores of ni 
C outsiders in civilized society, persons who were i 
University men nor Chui'chmen ; but they were to be pit 

I and tolerated rather than reckoned with and respected. 

They were both dutifnl and attentive sons, and were 

nlar in their visits to their parents. Felix, thouj^h an 

I shoot from a far more recent point in the devolution nl 

I theology than his father, was less self-sacrificing atid disiii- 
terestc'd. More tolerant than his father of a coutnwlielorj' 
opinion, in its aspect ns a danger to its holder, he wa« Ics* 
rea*ly than liis father to pardon it as a slight tfl his o>ni 
teaching. Cuthbert was, upon the whole, the more liberoi- 
minded, though, with greater subtk-ty, he had not so innt'b 

As they walked along the hill-side, Angel's former feeline 
revived in him — namely, that whatever tlieir advantAg^ !ij' 

I comparison with himself, neither saw or set forth life as it 

' really was lived. Perhaps, as witli many men, their opimr 
tonities of observation were not so good as their opj>ortuiu- 
ties of expression. Xeither had an adequate eonceptiou of 
the complicated fornes at work ont.«ide the smooth anil 
gentle cuiTcnt in which they and their asstxriateB floated 
Neither saw tlie difference between local Irnth and uuiver- 
sal tmth ; that what the inner worhl said in tlieir clerical 

. and academic heai'iug was (luite a different thing from 

I what the outer world was thinking. 

"I suppose it is farming or nothing for you now, my 
dear fellow," Felix was saying, among other thiDfca, to hit 
youngest brother, as he looked through his spectacles ot 
the distant fields with sad austerity. "And, therefore, we 
must make the best of it. But 1 do entreat yon to endeavnr 
to keep OS much as possible in touch with moral iduU 
Farming, of coui-se, means roughing it Ut*>paUy; Imt lufA 
thinking may go with plain liring, nevertheless," 


"Of course it may," said Angel. "Was it not proved 
nineteen hundred years ago — if I may trespass upon your 
duDiain a UttleT Wliy eLoiild you think, Felix, ^lat I am 
likely to drop my bigh-tliiuking and moral idealsP 

" Well, I fancied, from the tone of youi' letters and our 
conversation — it may be fancy only — that you were some- 
how losing intelleetAal grasp. Hasn't it struck you, Cuth- 

"Now, Felix," said Angel, dryly, "we are very good 
friends, yon know, eaeb of us treading our allotted cireles; 
but if it comes to intellectual grasp, I think you, as a con- 
tt-ntwl theologian, hatl better leave mine alone, and inquire 
what has become of yoors." 

They returned down the hill to dinner, which was fixed 
at any time at which their father's and mother's morning 
work in the parish usually eoiichided. Convenience as re- 
garded afternoon callers was tlie last tiling to enter into 
the consideration of unselfish Mr. and Mrs. Clare ; though 
the three sons were suiBciently in unison on this matter to 
wish that tbeir parents would conform a little to modem 

The walk had made them hungrj-, Angel in particular, 
who was now an outdoor man, accustomed to the profuse 
ihtpi's xnempUt of the dairyman's somewhat coarsely laden 
tiible. But neither of the old people had arrived, and it 
I as not till the sons were almost tired of waiting that their 

I rents entered. The self-denying pair had been occupied 
] coaxing the appetites of some of their sick parishioners, 
. Iiom they, somewhat inconsistently, tried to keep impris- 

II ■■d in the flesh, and had totally foi^tten tlieir own. 
The family sat down to table, and a frugal meal of cold 

i;iuds was deposited before tbem. Angel looked round for 
>\vH. Ch-ick's hlack puddings, which he hod directed to be 
. ii'fly grilled, as they did them at the dairj-, and of which 
ij'- wished his father and mother to appreciate the niarvel- 
!i)ns herbal savors as highly as he did himself. 



" Ah ! yoii are looking for the hhtck puddiDgs, my 
toy," obser\'ed Clare's niotLer, " But I am sure you 
iiot mind doing without them, as I am sure your fnthtr 
I shall not, when you know the reason. I siij^ested 
him that we should take Mrs. Crick's kind present to 
children of the man who can earn nothing just now beci 
of his attacks of delirium tremens; Aid li*tatriiicd ^h{^ , 
would be a great pleasure to them iMtLje did." '- 

"Of course," said Angel, cheerfullj^oiiffiirg rfin53'frir' 
the mead. 

" I fonnd the mead so extremely aleoholJe," contiuni-d his 
mother, "that it was quite unfit for use as a lieVL-mp-, Iml 
as valuable as rum or hraiidy in an emergency ; so I lisve 
put it in my medicine-chest." 

" We never di-ink spirits at this table, on piTnciple," added 
his father. 

"But what shall I tell the dairyman's wife T" said Angd 

" The truth, of course," said his father. 

" I rather wanted to say we enjoyed the roea<l and ill* 
black puddings verj* much. She is a kind, jolly sort of 
body, and is sure to ask me directlj' I return." 

" You cannot if we did not/' Mr. Clare answered, loddljr. 

" Ah — no ; though that mead was a drop of pretty tjpple" 

"A what!" 

"O — 'tis an expression they use down at TalW>tljays.' 
replied Angel, blushing. He felt that his parents wcn- nght 
in their practice if wrong in their want of sentimeut, nntl 
said no more. 

■ ,x/^-.i'--'j^..' j^ ' -.'- -' _; ' -; ■ - ■ ,.-»^^^''^'^^ ■ ■ 
|l'(iJC>A^ . xxvi. 

It was not till the evening, after family prajTrs. ikiJ 
Angel found opportunity of broacliing to Iiii* father ••ut 
or two subjects near his heart. He had strung hini^rtll' I'F 
to the purpose while kni^cling heliitid hi< brothers on llir 

■ aope 


carpet, regarding tbe soles of their walking-boots and the 
little nails in their heels. When the Berviee was over they 
went ont of the room with their mother, and Mr. Clare and 
himself were left alone. 

The yoanp man first discussed with the elder his plan 
for the attainment of his position as a fanner on an exten- 
sive scale — either in Eugland or in the Colonies. His 
father then told Mm that, as he had not been put to the ex- 
pense of sending Angel np to Cambridge, he had felt it his 
doty to set by a sum of money every year towards the pur- 
chase or lease of land for him some day, that he might not 
feel himself unduly slighted. " As far as worldly wealth 
goes," continued his father, "you will no doubt stand far 
floperior to your brothers in a few years," 

This considerateness oq old Mr. Clare's part led Angel 
ard to the other and dearer subject. He observed to 
Lis father that he was then six-and-twenty, and that when 
]]v should start in the farming business he would require 
vt-s in tlto back of his head to see to all matters — some 
ciue woidd be necessary to superintend the domestic labors 
of his establishment whilst he was afield. Would it not be 
well, therefore, for him to marrj- 1 

His father seemed to think this idea not unreasonable ; 
md then jVngel put the question.- "What kind of wife do 
1 'U think would be best for me as a thrifty, hard-working 

"A truly Christian woman, who will be a help and a 
comfort to you in yoiu- goings-out and your eomings-in. 
Beyond that, it really matters httle. Such an one can be 
found ; indeed, my eomest^minded friend and neighbor, 
Or. Chant " 

'• Bat ought she not primarily to be able to milk cows, 
■ imm good butter, make ijnmense cheeses; know how to 
■ t hens and turkeys and rear chickens, to direct a field of 
tabOTME in an eniBrBmig'', and, eatimate the vriae oi riiwp , 


" Tes ; a fanner's wife ; yes, wrtaiuly. It woulil be d 
airable." Mr. Clai-e. the elder, liad plainly never though 
of these poiuts before. "I wiu) going to add," 
"that, for a ((Ui-e and saintly womnn. yoii will not fiud o 
more to your true advantage, and eertainly not i 
your mother's mind and my own, than tout friend Men 
whom yon nsed to show a certain interest in. It is t 
that my neighbor Chant's daughter has lately caught I 

I the fashion of tlie younger clergj' round about ns for de^ 
orating the Communion-table — altar, as I was shocked ( 

I hear her call it one day — with flowers and other stuff o 

I festival occasions. But her father, who is quite as oppoaq 
to sncli flummery aa I, says that can tte cured. It is 
mere girlish outbreak which, I am sure, will not be pepi^ 

I manent." 

"Yes, yes: Mercy is good and devont, I know. But, 
father, don't you think that a y<mng woman eqnally pm 
and virtuous as Mias Chant, but one who, in plat*- of tl 
lady's ecclesiastical accomplishments, undcrHlands the diiti 

' of farm life as well as a faimer himself, would snit u 

\ finitely better T" 

His father persisted in Iiis connction that a kmtwli.tli 

I of a farmer's wife's duties came second to a PauUnu v 
of hmnanity ; and tlie impulsive Angel, wishing ta li 

I bis father's feelings and to advance the cause of hts hci 

I at the same time, gi'ew specious. He said tliat fotu i 
Providence had tlirown in his way a woman who p 
everj' qualification to be the helpmate of an agricultt 
and was decidedly of a serious turn of mind. He v 
not say whether or not slie had attached herself to 1 

\ sound Low Clinrch School of his father; but she i 
probably bo open to c«nnction on that point ; she m 
regnlar church-gner of simple faith ; bonest-hearb?d, p 
tive, intelligent, graceful to a degree, chaatp ns a i 

. and. in personal appearance, exceptionally boaatifoL 
" Is she of a family such os you would core to many ii 


lady, in short t" asked his stnilled mother, who had 
oome softly into the study during the convei'satioii. 

'• She is not what in common parlance is called a lady," 
said Angel, unflinchingly, " for she is a cottager's daughter, 
as I am prond to say. But she is a lady, nevertheless — in 
feeling and nature." 

" Mercy Chant is of a very good family." 
" Pooh ! — what's the advantage of that, mother ? " said 
Clare, quickly. " How is family to avail the wife of a man 
who has to rough it as I have, and shall have to do J " 

"Mercy is accompUshed. And aecomplishnieuts have 
their charm," returned his mother, looking al him through 
her silver spectacles. 

"As to external accomptisluueDtg, what will be the use 
of them in the life I am going to lead f — while as to her 
reading, I can take that in hand. She'll be apt pupil 
enough, as you woiJd say if you knew her. She's brimful 
of poetrj- — actualized poetry, if I may use the expregsion. 
She /ires what paper-poets only write. . . . And she is an 
nnitapeachable Christian, I am sure; perhaps of the very 
tribe, genus, and species you desire to propagate." 
" O Angel, you are mocking ! " 

" Mother, I beg pardon. But as she really does attend 

ohnrch almost every Sunday morning, and is a good 

Christian girl, I am sure you will tolerate any social shorts 

{■oinings for the sake of tliat quality, and feel that I may do 

SM irse thau choose her." Angel almost unconsciously waxed 

1 iiliinsiastic on that rather automatic orthodoxy in his be- 

'.■■\-r,\ Tess, which (never dreaming that it might stand hira 

-in'h good stead) he had been prone to B!ip;ht when ol>- 

1 iiig it practised by her and the other niilkmaide— less 

L'l'ount of hisown scepticism than becaiise of it« obvious 

■ filitj- in lives essentially naturahstic. 

' ij their sad doubts as to whether their son had liimself 

-.., . right wliatever to the title he claimed for the unknown 

J woman, Mr. and Mrs. Clare began to feel it as an 



ftilvantape not to be overlwuked that she at least was 
in her views ; especially as the conjunctioD of the jiair 
have arisen by chance or l*rovideace ; for jViijfel i 
would have made orthodoxy a eondidon of his cl 
They said finally that it was better not to act in a hnrry, 
but that they would not object to see her. 

Angel therefore refrained from dcflaring more partim- 
lars now. He felt that, single-minded and eelf-sacrifipini- 
as his pareuts were, there yet existed certain lat<-ut jur ■ 
ndices of theirs, as middle-class people, which would :■ 
quire some tact to overcome. For thongh legally at lib<-i ; 
to do as he chose, and though their dang)itt>r-iu-]nw'8 ijiuii 
ficationa could make no practical difference to their ii\ ■ 
in the probability of her h^dng far away from ttieni, li' 
wished for affection's sake not to wound their sentiment iu 
the most important decision of his life. 

He observed his own inconsistencies in dwelling upon 
accidents in Tess's life as if they were ^-ital features. It «m 
for herself that he loved Tess ; her soul, her heart, her sab- 
stance — not for her skill in the dairy, her aptness as to 
scholar, and certainly not for her simple, formal faith-piv- 
fession. Her unsophisticated, open-air existence reqttilHl 
no varnish of conventionality to make it ])alatable to Um- 
He held that education had as yet but little affected tltf 
beats of emotion and impulse on which domestic happiMff 
depends. It was probable that, in the lapse of ages, m- 
proved systems of moral and inU'Uectnal Inaininf! w<n" 
appreciably, perhaps considerably, elevate the inTolunta- 
and eveu the unconscious, instincta of human nalunt : t 
lip to the present day, culture, as far as he conld see, mit" 
be said to have affected only the mental epidemi of tb"- 
lives which had been brought under its iniluene*'. Tb'^ 
belief was coiiflrraed by his experience of wonn-n, whitti 
having latterly been extended fi-oni the cultivairtl nii<Ml(- 
clftss into the rural community, had taught liim hfiw mart 
lew was the iutrinfitc difference between th- "■■■■■' ■•• ■' >"- 


woman of one social strntum, and tlie good and wise wo- 
man of another social stratum, than between the good and 
bad, the wise and the foohsh, of the same stratum or chtss. 

It was the morning of his departure. His brothers had 
already left the vicarage to proceed on a walking tout in 
the north, whence one was to return to his college, and the 
other to hia curacy. Augt'l might have accompanied them, 
but preferred to rejoiu his sweetheart at Talbothays. He 
would have been an awkward member of the party ; for, 
though the most appreciative humanist, the most ideal re- " 
ligionist, even the finest theologian and Christologist of the 
three, there was alienation in the standing consciousness 
that hia squareness wonld not fit the round hole that had 
been prepared for him. To neither Felix nor Cuthbert had 
he ventured to mention Tess. 

His mother made him sandwiches, and his father accom- 
panied him, on his own marc, a httle way along the road. 
Having fairly well advanced hisown affairs, Angel listened 
in a willing silence, as they jogged on together through the " 
'brtiiy lanes, to his father's account of his parish difilcnlties, 
I jil tlie coldness of brother clergymen whom he loved, he- 
iiiseof his strict interpretations of the New Testament 
I . ;. the light of what they deemed a pernicious Calvinistic 
ihrttrine. •■ Pemicions ! " said Mr. Clare, with genial scorn ; 
and he proceeded to recount experiences which would show 
tin* absurdity of that idea. He told of wondrous conrer- 
- 'mos of evil livers of which lie had been the instrument, 
."t only amongst the poor, hut amongst the rich and well- 
r.'-ilo; and he also candidly admitted many failures. 

As an instance of the latter, he mentioned the case of a 
young upstart squire named lyUrberville, living some forty 
Hiiles off, in the neighborhood of Trantridge, 

• Not one of the ancient D'Urber^-illes of Kingsbere and 

licr placesT" asked his son. "That curiously historic, 
A r >rn-ont family, with its ghostly legend of the ooach-and- 


"Oh no. The original I>'Urbervilles decayed niid 
pearod sixty or eighty years ago — at least, I believe j' 
This seems to be a new family which lias taken the naim 
for the credit of the former knightly line, I hope they hi- 
spurious, I'm sure. But it is odd to hear you express in 
terest in old families. I thought you set less stwre by them 
even than I." 

"You misapprehend me, father; yon oft«n do," smd 
AngeJ,with a httio impatience. " Politieally I itm sceptical 
as to the virtue of their being old. Some of the wise even 
among themselves ' exclaim against their own suocesston,' 
as Hamlet puts it ; but 1 jTically, di-amatically, nud even his- 
torically, I am tenderly attached to them." 

This distinction, though by no means a subtle one, wn- 
yet too subtle for Mr. Clare the elder, and he went on wir : 
the story lie had been about to relate ; which was that aft' 
the death of the senior so-called D'Urberville the young 
man developed the most reckless passions, though he haA 
an afficted mother whose condition should have made htm 
know better. A knowledge of his career having ooioe to 
the ears of Mr. Clare, when he was in that part of the 
country preaching missionttry sennous, he boldly took oc- 
casion it) sjK.'ak to him point-blank on his spiritual gtatt. 
Though he was a stranger, occupjing another's pulpit, he 
had felt this to be his duty, and took for his text tto 
words from St, Luke, " Thou fool, this night thy fwol 
be required of thee," The young man much resented 
dii-eetness of attack, and in the war of words which f ol 
when they met he did not scruple to publicly insolt 
Clare, without respect for his gray hairs. 

Angel flushed with distress. "Dear father." he 
sadly, "I wish you woidd not ex^tose yourself to 
gratuitous pain from scoundrels ! " 

" Pain T " said his father, his ru^ed face shining in 
Hfdor of self-abnegation. " The only pain to mo was 
account, poor, foolish young man. Do jxra 



i could give me any pain, or eveu Lis 
•ml 'Beiiig reviled wc bless; Ix-ing persecuted we siif- 
it ; Ijeing defamed we entreat j we are made as the filth 
the world, and as the oflscoimng of all tliingB unto this 
'.' Those ancient and noble words to the Corinthians 
strictly true at this present hour." 
'Not blows, father t Ho did not proceed to blows T" 
'No, he did not. Tliough I have borne blows from men 
% mad state of intoxication." 

'A dozen times, ray boy. What then? I have saved 
m&om the guilt of murdering their own flesh and blood 
reby ; and they have lived to thank me, and praise God." 
'Mny this young man do the same! " said Angel, fer- 
lUy. " But I fear otherwise, from what yon say." 
'Well hope, nevertheless," said Mr. Clare. " And I con- 
<" to pmy for him, thoagh on this side of the grave we 
(irobalily never meet again. But, after all, one of 
imor words of mine may spring up in his heart as a 
i ^.-.•dsome day." 
>!ow, as always, Clare's father was sang^iuie as a child; 
L though the younger could not accept his parent's narrow 
rma, he revered his practice, and recognized the hero 
1>T the pietist. Perhaps he revered his father's practiee 
II more now than ever, seeing that, in tlie question of 
Idijg Tess Lis wife, his fa^er Lad not once tliought of 

iiijg whether she were well provided or penniless. 
line unworldliness was what Lad necessitated Angel's 

!L' a living as a farmer, and would probably keep Iiis 
ts in the position of poor pai-sons for the term of 

^ictivitiBS; yet Augel admired it none the less. In- 

il<spit4-" his own het*>rodoxy, Augel often felt that ho 
i iioftri'r tu his father ou the human side than either of 



■^L — ? 


^H BOtI 

^M Uie 

u 1>fd\u^^ (wis V> ■ V i Jy^-^T 


An up-hill and down-dale ride of twenty-odd t)4H 
througli a clear, garish midday atmosphfre brougbl hiiafll 
liie afternoon to a detached knoll a mile or two west *rf' 
Talbothays, whonee he again looked into that green trouL' 
of sappiuess and humidity, the valley of the Kiver V. : 
Immediately he began to descend from the upland to :;: 
fat alluvial soil below the atmosphere gruw heavier, i'; 
languid perfume of the summer fruits, tho mists, the hu ■ 
the flowers, formed therein a va^t pool of odor ivhidi 
this hour seemed to make the animals, the verj- l>t«8 ik 
butterflies, drowsy. Clare was now so familhir with t 
spot that he knew the indi\'idual cows by their mimes wli>ii. 
a long distance off, he saw them dotted about tho n 
It was with a sense of Inxury that he was conscious < 
recently acquired power of riewiiig life here from it* 
side, in a way that had been quite foreign to him ii 
student-days ; and, much as he loved hie parents, he 
not help being aware that to come here, as now, tfit 
ejperience of home-life, affected him like throwingoff: 
and bandages; oven the one customary curb on the hi 
of English rural societies b^g absent in thi« {Jaoe,! 
bothays ha\'ing no resident landlord. 

Not a human being was out-of-doors at the doity. 
denizens were all enjoj-ing the usnal aft^^moon oap 
hour or so which the exceedingly early htftirs kept in 
mer-tune rendered a neet^ssity to those engaged i 
butter-making trades. At the door the wood-hoopet! 
Bodden and bleached by infinite scnibbings, hnn^ likt 
Btand upon the forked and peeled limb of thi' 
fixed theif for that pnrpose ; all of them reaily and "liy 
the evening milking. Angel entered, and went tiiroueb 


kges of the house to the hm-k quarters, where h 
• a moment Sustained suores eume from th( 
lOUse, where some of the men were lying down ; 
■ and squeal of sweltering pigs arose from the stil 
;r distance. The large-leaved rhubarb and cabbagf 
i slept too, tlieir broad limp surfaces hanging in thn 
ke half -closed umbrellas. 
unbridled and fed his liorse, and aa he re-entered tlie * 
I the clock struck three. Three was the afternoon 
ning-hour ; and, shortly after the stroke, Clare heard 
■eaking of the floor-boards above, and then the touch, 
lescending foot on the stairs. It was Tcss'u, who ill 
ler moment came down before his eyes. 
) had not heard Mm cuter, and hardly realized his pre 
there. She was yawning, and lie saw the red interim 
rmouth as if it had been a snake's. She had stretchec 
mi so high above her eoiled-np cable of hair, that h 
J its delicacy above the sunburn ; her face wai 
1 sleep, and her eyelids hung heavy over theifi 
6 brim-fulness of her nature breathed fromhei 
t moment when a woman's soul is more incarnate 
I ether time ; when the most spiritual beauty in- 
corporeal ; and sex takes the outside place in 

an those eyes flashed brightly through their fllmyi 
nese, before the rcniaindor of her face was well awakeu 1 
an oddlj' compounded look of gladness, shyness, andl 
ise, she exclaimed, •' O Mr. Clare, how you frightened J 

;re had not at first been time for her to tliiuk of the ■ 

fed relations which his declaration had introduced; 

tie full sense of the matter rose up in her fac* when 

jouutered Clare's tender look as he stepped forward 

Ittom stair. 

r, darling Tessie ! " he whispered, putting his arm 
pt, and his face to here. " Don't, for Heaven's sake, 


Mister me any more. I have haf tciied bock so soon I 
cause of you ! " 

Tess's excitable heart beat agaiust Ids by way of nyil} 
and there they stood upou the red-brick floor of the entrj 
the sun slanting in by the window of the front room 
through the doorway upon his baek, as he held her ti| 
to his breast, upon her declining face, upon the blue 
of her temple, upon her arm, and her neck, and into 
depths of her hair. Having been lying down in her cloth' ■ 
she was warm as a sunned cat. 

At first she would not look straight up at him, but If 
eyes aeon hfted, and his met their violet^black det-pnff.- 
while she regarded him as Eve at her eecoud waking mit!l< 
have regarded Adam. 

"I have to go skimming," she pleaded, " and I liave otiV 
old Deb to help me to-day. Mrs. Crick is gone to markt'i 
wi' Mr. Crick, and Eotty is not will, and the iither;! arc 
gone out somewhere, and wont be home till milking." 

As they retreated to the milk-house, Deborah Fyui<l' 
appeared on the stairs. 

" I have come back, Deborah," said Mr. Clare, npirard^ 
"So I c'ftu help Tesa with tbe skimming ; aud^^nmwe 
tired, I lun sm-e, you needn't eonio down till mu^HtilBe.' 

Possibly the Talbothays milk was not very thorougUj 
skimmed tliat afternoon. Tess was in a dream, wbtmn 
famiUar objects appeared as having light and .'diade imi 
position, but no particular outline. Every time (dii 
the skimropr under the pump tt» cool it ftir tbe work 
baud trembled, the ai-dor of his affeetion being so palp 
that she seemed to flinch under it like a plant in ton bi 
lug a sun. 

Tlien he pi-essed her again to his side, and when she 
done running her forefinger round the It^ads to rut niT 
cream-edge, he cleaned it in nature'a -Kay, for tlis' i;'i 
stnuned manners of Talbothayii Dairy ciune ciju.i;! 

THE conseqcenct;. 

" I may as well say it now as later, dearest," lie resumed, 
gently. '■ I wish to ask you soinetliing of a very practicaJ 
nature, which I have been thinking o£ ever sinew that day 
List week in the meads. I shall soon want to marry, and, 
being a farmer, you see I shall require for my wife a wo- 
roau who knows all about the munagenient of farmK. Will 
you bo that woman, Tessie ! " Hn put it in that way that 
ghe might not think ha had yielded to an iiupulae o( which 
his hcud would disapprove. 

She turned quite careworn. She had bowed to the in- 
ev-itable result of proximity, the necessity of loving him ; 
but she had not calculated ujwn this hiidden corollary, 
which, indeed, Clare had put before her without quite mean- 
ing liiinself to do it so soon. With pain that was like the 
bitterness of dissolution, she miUTnurt'd tlic words of her 
iudispeDsable and sworn answer — her indispensable and 
Bwom answer as an honorable woman. " O Mr. Clare — I 
cannot be your wife — I cannot be ! " The sound of her own 
decision seemed to break Tess'a very lieart, and she bowed 
her face in her grief, 

" But, Tess ! " ho said, amazed at her reply, and holding 
her still more grt'edily eloao, "Do you say no! Sorely 
you love me ! " 

" Oh yes, yea ! And I would rather be yours than any- 
Ibodya in the world," returned the sweet, honest voice of 
' B distressed girl. " But I cannot many yon."" 

"Tise," he said, holding her at arm's length, "you aro 
Bgaged to many some one else ! " 

" No, no ! " 

"Then why do you reiuse meT" 
J "I don't want to many. I have not thought o' doing it. 
Iisaiinot. I only want to love you-" 
^ "But why T" 
I Driven to subterfuge, she stammered : " Tonr father is a 

reon, and your mother wouldn't like you to marry Bueh 
~ 6 will want you to marry a lady.", 


'•Nonsense — I have spokeii to them both, Thut 
pHTtly why I went home," 

'• I feel I comiot — ^ncver, never ( " she echoed. 

" Is it too sudden to bo asked thus, my Pretty ! " 

" Yes — I did not expect it" 

"If you will let it pass, please, Tessie, I will give j-od 
time," ho said, " It was very abrupt to come home and 
speak to you all at once. I'll not allude to it again for n 
wliile." She again took up tlio shining skimmer, hi-ld it 
boncatli tlie pump, and began anew. But she could nol, 
as at other times, hit the exact under-surface of the cn-itm 
with the delicate dexteritj' required, trj- as she mi^it ; 
sometimes she was cutting down into the milk, somtttinj'> 
in the aJr. She could hardly see, her eyes having fiUtii 
with two blun-ing tears drawn forth by a grief which, lu 
this her best friend and dear sd'\'ocat«, she could never 

"I can't skim — I can't!" she said, turning away from 

Not to a^tatc and hinder her any longer, thv gentle 
</lare began talking in a more general way. "Tou t^uite, 
misapprehend my pai'ents. They are the moKt 
mannered people ahve, and quite imambitious. Th#y 
two of the few remaining Evangehcal school. TcKsio, 
you an Evangelical f" 

" I don't know." ^^ 

"You go to church veiy regularly, and our panwu Iwn' | 
is not ver>- High, they tell me." 

• Tcss'a ideas on the i.-iewa of the parish dergj-maii, w!i'ir 
she heard evorj- week, seemed to be ratliermore \a.: 
Clare's, who had never heard him at all. " I wi 
fix my mind on what I hear mon.- firmly than I d ■ 
marked. '■ It is <jfteu a gveat stirruw to lae. 

8he spoke no imaffeetedly that Angel was sin 
heart that his father could not object U> hor on 
grounds, even though she did not know whether btr pr.: 

lentle I 



ciples were High, Low, or Broad. He himself kuew that, 
in reality, the confused beliefs which she held, apparently 
imbibed in childhood, were, if an^'thing, Tract&ritui as to 
phraseology, and Pantheistic as to essence. Confused or 
lerwise, to distorb them was his last desire. 


Leave thon thj sister, ^ben she prajs. 
Her early Heaven, licr Lappy views ; 
Nor thou with sbailow'il hint confuae 

A life that leads melodioua dnys. 

He had occasionally thought the coansel less honest than 
musical ; but he gladly conformed to it now. 

He spoke further of the incidents of Ma visit, of his 
father's mode of life, of his zeal for his principles; she 
firew K.-rener, and the undiUations disappeared from her 
skimming; as she finished one lead after another, he fol- 
lowed her, and drew the plugs for letting down the milk. 

" I fancied you looked a little downcast when you came 
Hi." sh« ventiu^d to observe, anxious to keep away from 
the subject of herself, 

" Yes — well, my father has been tnlking a good deal to 
lue of his ti-oubles and difficulties, and the subject always 
lends to depress me. He is so zealous that he gets many 
snubs and buffetings from people of a different way of 
thinking from himself, and I don't like to hear of sneh 
humiliations to a man of his age, the more partictdarly as 
I don't think earnestness does any good when carried so 
far. He has been telling me of a ver>- unpleasant scene in 
which he took part quite recently. He went as the depal^ 
i)f some missionary society to preach in the neighborhood 
nf Trantridge, a place forty miles from here, and made it 
his business to expostulate with a yonng rake-hell he met 
\rith somewhere about there — son of some landowner up 
that way, who has an afflicted mother. My father ad- 
dressef] himself to the gentleman point-blank, and there was 
'imte a disturbance. It was very foolish of my father. I 


must say, to intrude his conversation upon a etranger whwii 
the probabilities were so obvious tliat it would he ust^Icss 
But whatever he thinks to be his duty, that he'll do, in 
season or out of season ; and, of eourse, he makes luaiiy 
enemies not only among the absolutely vicious, but unions' 
tlie en«y-going, who hate being hotheri^d. He says he 
glories in what hapjiened, and that good may !«> done in- 
direotly; hut I wish he would not so wear himsell out now 
that hu is getting old, and would leave sHcb pigs to thiir 

Tess's look had grown hard and worn, and her rijif 
month tragical ; but she no longer showed any tremnlous- 
t. Clare'srevived thoughts of his father prevented him 
noticing her particularly ; and so they went on down tiw 
white row of liquid rectangles till they had Slushed and 
drained them off, when the other maids returned, at\ji took 
the pails, and Deb came to scald out tlie leads for the new 
milk. As Tess withdi-ew, to go a-field to the cows, he said 
to her softly, "And my question, Tessief" 

" Oh no — no '. " replied she, with grave firmness, as one 
who heard anew the moaning and turmoil of her own put 
in the allusion to Alec D'lTrberville. "It can't be! " 

She went out towards the mead, joining tJie ollior milk- 
maidfl with a bound, as if tTj"ing to make the open airdrivt- 
away her sail constraint. All the girls drew onward t*> tbf 
spot where the cows were grazing in the farther meail, ihi' 
bevj' advancing with the bold grace of wild animals — lli' 
reckless unchastened motion of women accustomed to m; 
limited space — in which they abandoned theniseKi's t.. i! 
air as a swimmer to the wave. It seemed natur:!'. 
to him now that Teas was again in sight to chin' 
from unconstrained Nature, and not from the H' 



Heb refasal, tbotigb tmespected, did not permanently 
daunt Clai-o. His experience of women was great enough 
for l>im to bo aware that the negative often meant nothing 
luorc tliau the jn-eface to the affirmative ; and it was Uttle 
t'uough for him not to know that in the manner of the pres- 
ent negative there lay a great exception to the dallyinga of 
co\Tiess. That she had already permitt«d him to moke love 
tfl her be read as an additional assurance, not fully trow- 
ing that in the fields and pastures to "sigh gratis" is by no 
ni-'ans disesteemed ; love-making being here moi-e often ac- 
1 epted inconsiderately and tor its own sweet sake than in 
ti)f carking, anxions homos of the ambitious, where a girl's 
craving for an establishment paralyzes her natural thought 
of a passion as an end. 

" Tess, why did you say ' no ' in snch a positive way f " he 
asked her in the course of a few days. 

She started. " Don't ask nie. I told you — partly. lam 
not good enough — not worthy enough." 

I" How T Mot fine lady enough ? " 
"Yes — something like that," murmured she. "Your 
friends would scorn mc." 

■Indeed, yon mistake them — my father and mother. As 

■ ir my brothers, I don't care " He clasxjed his fingers 

■ "-hind her back to keep her from slipping away. " Now — 
yon did not mean it, Sweet! — lam sure you did not! Ton 

I bave made me so restless that I cannot read, or play, or do 
I anything. I am in no harry, Teas, hut I want to know — 
J to ht-ar from your own waiin lips — that you will Kome day 
I he mine — any time you may choose ; hut some day I " 

SIio could only shako her hend and look away from him, 
Clare wgarded her attentively, comied the characters of 


f her face as if tbcy had been hieroghThifa. Tlie dena 
I Beemed real. " TJjeu I ought not to hold yon in this w 

ought IT I have no right to yon — no right to seek i 
i where yon are, or walk with yon ! Honestly, Teas, do j 

love any other manT" 

"How can yon aakT" she said, with continued self-si 

" I almost know that yoa do not. Bnt tlien, why do y 
pulse me ! " 

" I don't repulse yon. I like you to— tell me yon 1 
me : and you may always tell me as yon go ahout with r 
— oh yes, you may — and never offend me I " 
" But you will not accept me as a hnsband t " 
"Ah, that's different — it is for your good, indeed, my 
dearest I O, believe me, it is only for yonr sake ! I don'i 
like to give myself the great happiness o' promising to ht' 
yours in that way, beeause — ^because I am sure I onght nufc , 
to do it." ■ 

" But yon will make me happy ! " I 

" Ah — you think so, but you don't know I " I 

At snch times as this, apprehending the grounds of her 
refusal to be her sense of inoompetoneo for tlie pomtion 
proper to the wife of a man like himself, he wonld thttn ear 
that she was wonderfully well informed and versatile— 
which was certainly tme, her natural qnickness, and her ad- 
miration for hijn, having li-d her to pick up his vuenl •iilun', 
his aecent, and fragments of his knowledge, to a iiiin' i i ^' 
extent. After these tender eontests,a3 theymav I'l . . ' 
and her victory, she wonld go away by herself niirii r iN 
remotest cow, if at milking-time, or into the sedge, or in'ii 
her room, if at a leisure interval, and mourn silently, not t 
minute after an apparently phlegmatic negative. 

The struggle whs so fearful: her own hejiv 
strongly on'the side of his — two ardent hearts a^- 
poor httle conscience — that she tried to fort,ify l.i 
tion by every means in her power. She ha<l ooni.- 


bothays with a made-up mind. On no account conld she 
agree to a step which, by reason of her history, might cause 
bitter meiug to her husbaud for iiiu blindness in wedding 
her. And she lield that what her conscience had decided 
for her when her mind was unbiassed ought not to be over- 
ruled now. 

For two or three days no moi-e was said. She guessed 
from the sad coimtenances of her cliamber compauions ■• 
that they regarded her not only as the favorite, but as the 
chosen ; but they could see for themselves that she did not 
put herself in his way. 

Teas had never before known a time in which the thread I 
of her life was bo distinctly twisted of two strands, positive I 
pleasure and positive pain. At the next cheese-making the | 
pair were again left alone together. The dairj-man him- 
self had been lending a hand ; but Mr. Crick, aa well as his 
wife, seemed latterly to have acquired a suspicion of mutual 
interest between these two, though they walked so circum- 
.'ipeetly that suspicion was but of the faintest. Anyhow, 
tlie dairyman left them to themselves. 

They were breaking up the masses of curd before putting 
tliem into the vats. The operation resembled the act of 
.rumbling bread on a large scale; and amid the immacu- 
late whiteness of the curds Tess Durbeyfleld's bands showed 
themselves of the pinkness of the rose. Angel, who was 
filling the vats ■witJi his hondftds, suddenly ceased, and laid 
his liands flat upon hers. Bending lower, he kissed th« in- 
nide vein of her soft, bare arm. 

Although the early September weather wa« sultry, her 
arm, from dabbling in the curds, was as cold and diunp to 
his mouth as a new-gathered mushroom, and tasted of the 
■Rdwy. But she was such a sheaf of susceptibilities tliat her 
pnlse was accelerated by the touch, her blood was driven to 
her finger-ends, and the cool arms flushed hot. Then, as 
tlionj^ her heai-t had said, ■' Is cojniesa longer necessary f 
"" :th is truth between man and woman, as between man 




and man," she turned up her eyes, and tiiey beamed c 
votedly into his as her hp rose in a tender half -smile, 

" Do you know why I did that, TeBs T " he said. 

"Because you love nie veiy much," she replied, 

" Yes, and as a preliminary to a new entreaty." 

'* Not again ! " She looked a sudden fear that her r 
ance might break down under her own desire. 

" Teas ! " he went on, " I cannot think why you are 4 
tAntoliziug. Why do you disappoiut me so T You £ 
almost like a coyuette, upon my lift; yon do — a enquett* 4 
the first urbaa water ! They blow hot and blow rold, josf ' 
as you do ; and it is the very last sort of tiling; to export 
to find in a i-etreat like Talbothays. . . . And yet, dearesl," 
be quickly added, obser\'iug how the remark had cut I 
'* I know you to be the most honest, spotless ci-eatui-e t 
ever lived. So liow ean I suppose you a flirt 1 Ti««, v 
don't you like the idea of being my wife, if you Xow n 
you seem to do 1 " 

"I have never said 1 don't like the idea,ftndlDer(>rootl] 
Bay it ; because — it isn't true ! " The stress now getting b 
yond endurance, her hp quivered, and she was obligvd tn 
go away. 

Clare was so pained and perplexed that he nui after and 
oanght her iu the passage, " Tell me, tell me ! " he »id, 
passionately clasping her, in forgetfulness of hia curdy 
hands, " do tell me that yoo wout belong to anybody but 

"I will, I will t«ll you!" she exclaimed. ''And I will 
give yon a complete auewi?r, if you will let mo go now, Mr. 
Clare. I will tell you my experiences — all about mvself— 

" Tour experiences, dear ; yea, certaiuly ; any niuniM 
He expressed the assent in loiiing satire, lookiiig into I 
face, " My Tess has, no doubt., almost as many experiena 
as that wild convohidus out there on tliv gardi'n hec 
that opened itself this morning for the first time. Toll J 

raelf— ><| 




anything:, but don't use thut wretched expression any more 
alxjut not being worthy of lue." 

'• I will not- And I'll give you my reasons to-morrow — 
next week " 

*• Say on Sunday I " 

" Tes, on Sunday." 

At last she got away, and did not stop in her retreat till 
she was in the thicket of pollurd willowB at the lower aide 
of tie barton, where she could be quite unseen. Here Tess 
flunghei-self down upon the rustling undergrowth of spear- 
' Tiiss, as upon a bed, and remained ci-ouching in palpitating 
iiserj' broken by momentary shoots of joy, which her fears 
l*out tlie ending could not altogether suppress. 

In reality, she was drifting into acquiescence. Every 
-■■( -saw of her breath, every wave of her blood, every pidse 
luging in her ears, wt^a voice that joined with Nature in 
revolt against her sempulousnesa. Reckless, inconsiderate 
ftceeptance of him ; to close with him at the altar, revealing 
nothing, and chancing discovery at tliat fli-st act in her 
drama ; to snatnli ripe pleasure before the iron t*eth of 
piwn could have time to sluit upon her ; that was what love 
eotmselled ; and in almost u ten-or of ecstasy Tess eonfusedly 
divined that, despite her many months of lonely self-chas- 
tisement, wrestlings, communings, schemes tt:> lead a future 
of aostere isolation, love's counsel would prevail. 

The afternoon advanced, and still she remained among 
■]:■:■ willows. She heard the rattle of the pails when token 
: -im from tlie forked stands; tlie "waow-waow!" wliich 
' i^ompanied the getting together of tlie cows. But she did 
rmt go to thcniilkuig. They would see her agitation; and 
tlie dairj'raan, thinking tJie cause to be love alone, would 
good-naturedly tease her; and that harassment could not 
i>e borne. 

Her lover must have guessed her overwrought state, and 
invented some excuse for her non-appearance, for no in. 
(juirieB were made or coils given. At half-past six the sun. 


I eetUed down iipou the levels, nith tliv sspMt Of a | 
1 forge ui tlie Ijeavens, and presently a tiu>Ufi(niitg pntii|il 
I like moon ai-ose on the other hau<]. The ]HiUfinl willod 
I tortured out of their natural shape liy iuce&^aiit. f>huiip 

liecame spiny-haired monsters as they stoi^ up a 
I She went inland upstairs — without a Uglit. 

It was now Wednesciay. Thilrsilay lamo, Aud j 
looked thoughtfully at her from a distance, but inlmcli'c] I 
no way upon her. Tlie indoor niilkiiiaids, Marian nnd t 
rest, seemed to gnes,s that something definile wti^ nfuot,! 
tiiey did not force any remarks upon her in the iMil-cbiu 
ber, Friday passed ; Saturday. To-morruw was tins d 

"I Khali gie way — I shall say yes — 1 slinJl let 
mnrry him — I cannot help it ! " she suddvnly win 
with her hot face to the pillow that night, tm lirariog dj 
of the other girls sigh his name in her sleep. '■! i 
bear to let anybody have him bnt me ! Yet it u a n 
to hitn, and may kill him when he knows ! O niv htmit— 
O— O— O!" 


"Now, who mid ye think I've heard news o' Uiiit idani- 
I ingT" said Dairyman Crick, as ho sat down to breakfiL-t 
I next day, with a riddling gaze round upon th« miimhuj- 
I men and muid^s. ' "Xow just who mid ye think f" 

One guessed, and another guessed. Mrs, Orirk .Ud ii"' 
I guess, because she knew already. 

" Well," said the dairj-man, " 'tis that sJncktwisted IrtwV 
I bird of a feller. Jack Dollop. He's lately got marriifd l« n 
[ widow-woman." 

•'Not Jack Dollop 1 A villain 7 — to tliink rf tliut ' ' -;i ■ 
[ a milker. 

The name entered ritnckly into Tess DurbcyUeld's 

yUeUl's o^^i 


5, for it -was the name of the lover vrho harl wronged 
his sweetheart, and had afterwards been so ruughly used 
by the young woman's mother in the butter-chum. 

'■And has he married the valiant matron's daughter, as 
he promised I " asked Angel Clare, absently, as he turned 
over the newspaper he was reading at the little table to 
whitih he was alwaj-s banished by Mrs. Crick in her sense 
of his gentility, 

"Xiit he, sir. Never meant to," replied the dairyman. 
"As I say, 'tis a widow-woman, and she had money, it seems 
— fifty pounds a year or so ; and that was all he was after. 
Tliey were married in a great hiuTy ; and then she told 
him that by marrying she had lost her fifty pounds a year. 
Just fancy the state o' my gentleman's mind at that news ! 
Never such a eat-and-dog life as they've been leading ever 
since I Serves hini well beright. But onluckily the poor 
woman gets the worst o't." 

" Well, the silly body should have told him sooner that 
the ghost of her first man would trouble him," said Mrs. 
( 'riek. 

" Ay, ay," responded the dairyman, indecisively. " Still, 
you ean see exactly Iiow it was, She wanted a home, and 
didn't like to run the risk of losing him. Don't ye think 
that was somelhing like it, maidens T " He glanced towards 
the row of girls. 

" She onght to ha' told liim just beforo they went to 
I'hureh, when he could hardly have backed out," exclaimed 
Mali an. 

'• Yes, she onght," agreed Izz. 

" She must have seen what he was after, and should ha' 
refused him ! " cried Retty, siiaemodically. 

"And what do yon say, my doarT" asked the dairj-man 
of Teas. " Ought women to tell everything at snch times I " 

" I think she ought — to have told Iiim the tmo state of 
^isg& — or else refused him — I don't know," replied Teas, 
' e bread-aud-huttcr choking her. 


" Be cust if I'd La\-e done either iVt," stud Bwk Knibb 
I B married hdper from one of the cottages. "All's fmr I 
) tuid war. I'd La' married eu ju^t as slie did, Hud j 
J he'd .said two words to me about uot telling him beforeliui 
au}"thing whatsomdever about my fli«t ehap that I luidl 
r chose to tell, I'd ha' Jmockcd him down wi' tha roUiug-pin 
a scrum little fellow like he ! Any womim eoidd do it."" 
The laughter ■which followed tlds sully was siipplemcntw 
r ouly by a sorry smile, for form's sake, from Tes*t. \Vlmt 
I was comedy to them was tragedy to herj and she could 
I hardly bear their miilh. Shesoourosefrom table, and. with 
au impression that Clare would follow her, she weut along 
[ n httle wriggling path, now stepping U) one side of the ir- 
rigating channels, and now to tlie otlier, till she i<tood by 
main stream of tlieVar. Men had been cutting tlK" 
water-weeds higher up the river, and masses of th(.'m were 
floating past liei- — mo\Hng islands of green crowfoot, on 
I which she might almost have ridden ; long locks of which 
' weed had lodged against the piles driven to beep the cow's 
I from crossing. 

~res, there was the pain of it. This question of a woiutui 
I telling her storj' — the heaviest of crosses to herself — M^-cuneil 
I but amusement to others. It was as if people should laugh 
I at martyrdom. 

" Tess I " came from beiiind her, and Clare spraug marost 
I the guUy, aHghting beside her feet. ■' My wife — eoou ! " 

"No, no ; I CJinnot.. For your sake, dear ilr. Clftrej for 
k your sake, I say no," 

" Still I say no ! " she repeated. 

Not expecting this, he had put his arm lightly mimd Iwr 
1 waist the moment after speaking, beueath lier haugin^ itil 
of hair. (The younger daiiymaids, iiiduding Ti-sw. break- 
fasted with their hair loose on Sunday nioming?!, liel'Mr^' 
building it up extra high for atteudiug church, a style ihr 
could not adojit when milking, because! of butting tljuir . 


beads against the cows.) If she had said "Yes" instead 
of "No" he would have kissed her; it had evidently been 
his intention; but ber detenuincd negative deterred his 
scrupulous heart. Their condition of domiciliary comrade- 
ship put her, as the woman, to sueb disadvantage by its 
enforced intercourse, that he felt it to be unfair to her 
to exercise any pressure of blandishment which he might 
have honestly employed had she been better able lo avoid 
him. He released her momentarily imprisoned waist, and 
withheld the kiss. 

It all turned on tbat release of her. What had given her 
strengtli to refuse him this time was solely the tale of the 
vridow told by the dairyman ; and that would have been 
overcome in another moment. But Angel said no more; 
his fa«e was perplexed ; be went away. 

Day after day they met — Bomewhat less constioitly than 
before, and thus two or three weeks went by. The end of 
■September drew near, and she could see in his eye that he 
meant to ask ber again. 

Hisi plan of procedure was different now. It seemed as 
though he had made up bis mind that her negatives were, 
after all, only the result of coyness and yoiith, startled 
by the novelty of the proposal. The fitful e^'asiveness of 
her manaor when the subject was under discussion counte- 
Danced the idea. So he played a more coaxiog game ; and 
while never going beyond words, or attempting the renewal 
of caresses, he did his utmost orally. 

In this way Clare persistently wooed her — with qTuet., 
never-ceasing pressure — in undertones like that of the purl- 
ing milk, gently yet firmly — at the cow's side, at ekimmings, 
nt butf«r-niaking8, at cheese-makings, among broody poul- 
try, and among farrowing pigs — as no milkmaid was over 
^jTooed before by sneh a sort of man. 

( knew that she must break down. Neither convio- 
! on the moral validity of the previous union, nor a 
• of fairness to Clare, could hold out against it much 



longer. She loved him bo paasionately, and he wae so g 
like in her eyes ; ami beiiig, though iintraint'd, iastiiicttvc| 
rtiflued, her nature uried for his tiitcJiuy gitidanw, 
thus, though Tess kept repeating to herself, " I ain ncii 
he his wife," the words were vain. A proof of her weal 
lay in the verj- nttfrauce of what calm strength would : 
have taken the trouble to formulate. Everj' sound o 
voice heginning on the old subject stirred her with a t 
fyiug bliss, and she coveted the rccantatiou she feared. 

His manner was — ^what man's is nott — so much tbatg 
oue who would love her, and cherish her, aud defend b(4 
under any conditions, changes, charges, or revelations, that 
her gloom lessened as she basked in it. The season nitfun- 
while was drawing onwaitl to the equinox, nud though it 
was still fine, the days were much shorter. The dairy h 
agnju worked by morning cAudle-light for a long t 
and a fresh renewal of Clare's pleading occurred one moi 
ing between three and four. 

She had run up in her bedgown to his door to call 1 
as usual ; then had gone back to dress and call tlie other 
and, in t^'n minutes, was walking to the head of the stai!^ 
with the candle in her hand. At the same monunt. !j( 
came down his steps from the binding above in his shirt- 
sleeves, without any shoes, and put his arm mctoss liic 

"Now, Miss FUi-t, before you go down," he said, pMnnj'- 
torily. " It is a fortnight since 1 spoke, and tin* won't i 
any longer. You mtist tell rne what yon mean, or J » 
have to leave this house. My door was ajar just now, i 
1 saw you. For your own safety I must go. You c 
know. Well I Is it to be yes at last 1 " 

" I am only just up, Mr. Clare, and — it is too early t" 
take mo to task," she poutied. " You need not call me Plirt- 
'Tis cruel aud untrue. Wait till by and by. Please wfiil 
till by and by ! I will really think seriously about it '"^ 
twuen now and then. Let me go downstaire ! " 


Slie Iiiokf J a little like what he said she was, ns, holding 
the candle sideways, she tried to smile away the seriousuess 
i.if her words. 

" Call me Angel, then, and not Mr. Clare." 

'■ Angel." 

•' Aiigel, dearest^ — why not?" 

■''TwDuld mean that I agree, wouldn't it!" 

" It wiiuld only mean that you love me, even if you can- 
not many me ; and you were so good as to own that long 

" Verj' well, then, 'Angel, dearest,' if I must," she mor- 
ntarcd, looking at her candle, a roguish curl coming nport 
her month, notwithstanding her suspense. 

Clai-e had resolved never to kiss her nntil ho had ob- 
' lined her promise; but somehow, as Tess stood' there in 
i.r prettily tuckcd-np milking-gowu, her hair carelessly 
li'iiped upon her head till there should be leisure to arrange 
It when skimming and milking were done, he broke his re- 
snlve, and brought his lips to hfr eheek for one moment. 
Siie passed downstairs very qniekly, never looking back 
It him, or saying another wonl. The other maids were 
Iri-ady down, and the subject was not pm-sued. Except 
.Miiinan, they all looked wistfully and suspiciously at Uie 
[-tiir, in the sad yellow rays which the morning caudles 
iniitted in cx)ntrast with the first cold signals of the dawn 

ViHii-u sbininiing was done — which, as the milk dimin- 
iied with the a]i]iroach of autumn, was a lessening process 
tky by day — Retty and the rest went out. The lovers fol- 
lowed them. 

■Oar tremulous lives are so different from theii-s, are 

I'-y not!" he musingly obsei-ved to her, as he regnrdod 

tiifi three figures tripping before him through the frigid 

Eor of opening day. 
Not no verj- diiferent. I think," she said. 
Why do you think thatt" 


" There be very few women's lives Uiat are no! 
lous," Tess replied, pausing over tlie new word as if il 
' pressed ber. " There's more in those three IJian yoi 

" What is in them T " 

" Almost — either of 'cm," she began hoskily, '• « 
make — ^perhaps would moke — a properer wife than L 
perhaps they love you as well a* I — almost" 

" O Tessie ! " 

There were signs that it was aji exquisite relief to bei 
hear the impatient exclamation, though she had resolvt 
so intrepidly to let generosity make one bid against 1; 
self. That was now done, and she had not the power It* 
attempt self-immolation a second time then. They wen- 
joined by a milker from one of the cottages, and no mor-' 
was said on that which concerned them so dwtply. hui 
Tess knew that this day would decide it. 

In the afternoon several of the dairyman's household ami 
assistants went down to the meads as usual, a long way 
from the dairy, where many of the cx)ws were milked with- 
out being driven home. The supply was getting lessen 
the animals were advancing in calf, and the sui>emumei 
milkers of the lush green season had been dismissed. 

The work progressed leisurely. Each pailful WQ*i pou 
into tall cans that stood in a lat^e spring wagon whidi h 
been brought ujion the scene ; and when they were milluil 
the cows trailed away. 

Dairyman Crick, who was there with the rest, his WMp?, J 
per gleaming miraculously white against the leaden arenini 
sky, suddenly looked at his heavy wateh. 

" Why, 'tis later tiian I thought," he said. " Begad ! 
shan't be soon enough witli tliis milk at the station, if D 
don't mind. There's no time lo-day to take it home a 
mix it with the bulk afore sending off. It must go to tr 
tion straight from here. WTioll drive it acr 

Mr. Clare volunteered to do so, though it wiw none i 
his business, asking Tess to accompany tiini. The uveniii 


li sunless, had beeu warm and muggy for the season, 
1 Tess had come out with her milking-hood only, and 
aked-anned and jacketless; certainly not dressed for a 
nve. She therefore replied by glancing over her scant 
abiliments ; but Clare gently urged her. She assented by 
lently relinquishing her pail and stool to the dairyman to 
ike home ; and mounted the epriug wagon beside Clare. 

Vp the dimi 


f the diminishing daylight Ihey went along the lerel 
ladway through the meads, which stretched away into 
■ayness, and were backed in tlie extreme mist of distance 
;' the swarthy and abrupt slopes of Egdon Heath. On its 
iminit stood clumps and stretches of fir-trees, whose tips 
rmed in some spots a saw-notched line upon the sky, and 
others appeared like battlemented towers crowning black- 
onted castles of enchantment. I 

They were so absorbed in the sense of being close to each / 
lier that they did not begin talking for a long while, the 1 
Lence being broken only by the eJuoking of the milk in \ 
le tall cans behind them. The lane they followed was so 
tlitary that the hazel-nuts had remained on the boughs 
II they slipped from their shellB, and the blackberries hnng 

hea\y clusters. Every now and then Angel would fling 
le lash of his whip round one of these, pluck it off. and 

< it to his companion. 
:.•'■ dull sky soon began to tell its meaning by sending 

. :; herald drops of rain, and the stagnant air of the day 
luiiged into a fitful breeze which played about tlieir fa^es. 
be qnicksilTery glaze on the rivers and pools vanished ; 

S broad mirrors of light they changed to lustreloss 



cle did uot affect her preoccnpation. Her coimteuaix 
□aturai camatioD slightly embrowned liy the seattoii, 
deepeued its tinge with the beating of the rain-drops, 
a portion of her hair, which the pressure of the cows' ~ 
had, as usual, caused to tumble dou'n fi-om its fasten] 
hung below the curtain of her calico bouuet; and the 
began to make it clammy, till it hardly was better tbnn 

"I ought not to have come, I suppose," she murmurt-.!, 
looking at the sky, 

" I am sorry for the rain," said he. " But bow glad I am 
to have you here ! " 

R4!mot« Egdou disappeared by degrees behind tlie liijiiid 
gauze. The evening grew darker, and tlieruad being i5Ff>fwi>iI 
by gates, it was not safe to drive faster tiian at a wiilkiL :■ 
poce. The air was rather chill. 

" I am so afraid you will get cold, with nothing upon yinu 
anus and shoulders,'' he said, surve,ving her. •' Crpep el'X" 
to me, and perhaps it won't hurt you much. I ahoold I-' 
sorrier still if I did uot think that the rain might be bclpiiif.- 

She imperceptibly crept closer, and he wrappod rorai'i 
them both a large piece uf sail-clutli which was somiitisu? 
used I« keep the sun off the milk-cans. Tc»s hold it &(>m 
alippiug off him as well as herself, Clare's hands being **• 

"Now we are all right again. Ah — no, we an t " 

runs down into ray neck a little, and it must still i 
yonrs. That's better. Tour arms are like wet nm i 
Wipe them in the cloth. Now, if yon stay qoii-t, 
uot get another drop. Well, dear — about tliut qnratit 
mine — that long-standing question f" 

The only reply tliat he could hear for a wfailu 
smack of the horse's hoofs on the moist<;Ding rood and 
cluck of the milk in the cans behiud them. 

" Do you remember what you said T " 


Pl do," she replied. 

" Before we get home, mind.'' 


He said no more then. As they drove the fragment of 
ail fild manor-house of Caroline date rose against the sky, 
ami was in due course passed and left behind. 

" That," he observed, to entertain her, " is an iuteresticg 
old place — one of the several seats which belonged to an 
ancient Norman family, formerly of gi'eat influence in this 
county — the D'Urbervilles. T never pass one of their resi- 
dences without thinking of them. There is something very 
sad in the extinction of a family of renown, even if it is 
fierce, domineering, feudal renowu." 

"Yes," said Tess, 

They t-rept along towards a point in the expanse of ^ode 
before them at which a feeble light was beginning to aasert 
its presence, a spot where, by day, a fitful white streak of j 
steam at intervals upon the dai-k green ba<?kground denoted j 
intennitteDt moments of contact between their secluded I 
world and modem life. Modem life stretched out it» steam t 
feeler to this point tlireo or four times a day, touched tiie I 
native exiBttuoes, and quickly withdrew its feeler again, as I 
if what it touched had been uncongenial J 

They reached the feeble light which came from the smoky 
Jump of a little railway station ; a poor enough terrestrial 
sffir, yet in one sense of more importance to Tidbotliaya 
Diiirj' and mankind than the celestial ones to which it stood 
in sTicli humiliating contrast. The cans of new milk were 
Niiliidcn in the rain, Tess getting a little shelter from a 

I'jhboring holly-free. 

riicn there was the hissing of a train, which drew up 

'ii' silently upon the wet rails, and the milk was rapi<Uy 
lifted into the -van. The light of tJie engine flashed for a 
second upon Tess Durbeyfleld's figure, motionless under 
iljtbe great holly-tree. No object could have looked mora 
fl^pgn to the gleaming cranks and wheels than tJiis-O^^H 


sophisticated gii'l, with Uie i-onud bore arme, the nuny 
(uid hair, the stispeiided attitude of a friendly leopard 
jianse, the cottou gown of no date or fasluoti, and thi 
bonnet drooping on her brow. 

She mounted again beside her lover, with a mute oV 
dienco characteristic of impassioned natures at times, 
when they had TVTapped themseJves up over head and 
in sail-cloth again, they plnnged hack into the now tludt 
night. Tess was so receptive that the few minnifs of t"on- 
tact with the whirl of material progress lingered in her 

"Londoners will drink it at their breakfasts tivmorrow 
woD't theyT" she asked. "Strange people that we bav' 
never seen." 

" Yea — I suppose they will. Though not as wl> send it 
When its strength has been lowered, so that it may not p-i 
up into their heads." 

"Koble men and noble women, ambassadors and oartn- 
rions, ladies and tradeswomen, and babies who have nenr 
seen a cow." 

" Well, yes ; perhaps ; particularly centurions." 

"Who don't know anything of ub, and when* il oonn^ 
from; or think how we two drive miles aoroea the nwr 
to-night in the rain that it might reach 'em in tiini'T" 

" We did not drive entirely on account of thesi- prwHooi 
Londoners ; we drove a little on our own— on afcoaot nf 
that (uixious matter which you will, I am sur**, set at jr^ 
dear Tess. Now. permit me to put it in tills way, Y' 
belong to me already, you know ; your heart, I nam'- 
Does it notf " 

" You know as well as T. Oh yes — yva ! " 

" Then, if your heart does, why not your hand T " 

"My only reason was on account of you— on aecomtl ofjl 
aqneslion. I have something tfl tell you " ^M 

" But suppose it to be entirely for my happbess, >ad ^M 
worldly convenience also>'' ^M 


POh yes ; if it is for your happiness and worldly con- 
venienee. Bat my Ufe afore I came here — I want " 

" Well, it is for my eonvenience as well as my happiness. 
If I have a verj- large farm, either English or Colonial, ydu 
will he invaluable as a wife to me j better than a woman 
out of the largest mansion in the country. So please — 
please, dear Tese — disabuse your mind of the feeling that 
you will stand in my wa}'." 

" But my historj-. I want you to know it — you must let 
me t«ll you — ^j'ou will not like me so well ! " 

'■ Tell it if you wish io, dearest. This precious history, 
then. Yes, I was bom at so-and-so. Anno Domini " 

"I was bom at Marlott," she said, eat<rhing at his words 
aa a help, lightly as they were spoken. "And I grew up 
there. And I was iu the Sixth Standard when I left school, 
and they said I had great aptness, and should make a good 
teacher, so it was settled that I should be one. But there 
was trouble in my family ; my father was not very indas- 
trious, and he drank a little." 

"Yes,3'e8. Poor child! Nothing new." He pressed her 
more closely to his side. 

"And then — there is something very uniiauat about it — 
nbODt me." Tess's breath quickened. 

■* Yes. dearest. Never mind." 

■' I — I . . . am not a Dnrbeyfield, but a DTJrbervTlle — 
n tlt-soendant of the old family that owned the house we 
poesccl. And — we be all gone to nothing ! " 
; "A D'Urberville ! . . . Indeed! And is that all the 
trouble, dear Tees I " 

■ Yea," she answered, faintly. 

•Well, why should I love yon loss after knowing thist" 

- 1 was told by the dairj-man that you hated old families." 

He laughed. " Well, it is true, in one sense. I do hato 
the Bristocralie prindplo of blood before everything, and do 
y^ink that the only pedigrees we ought to respect as reason- 
■JifrBre those spiritual ones of the wii>e and virtuous, with- 



out regard to ooi-poreal pateruity. But I am 6x0*111017 in- 
terestt-d in this news — you can have no idea how interested 
I am. Ais not you interested yourself in being one ut , 
that well-known line I " 

" 1 have thought it interesting— once or twice, cspefial^ ■ 
since coming here, and knowing tliat many of the Mild anl 
fields I aee once belonged to my father's people. But otlicrl 
hills and fields belonged to Betty's people, and perliaps \ 
otJiers to Marian's, so that I don't value it partioulariy." 

" Yes — it is surprising how many of the pre-sent tillL-rs of I 
the soil were once owners of it, and I sometimes wonder 
that a certain school of politidaus don't make capital of 
tht! circumstance ; bat they don't seem to know it. ... I 
wonder that I did not see the resemblance of your name to ' 
D'Urbcrville, and trace the manifest i irruption. And th, 
was the earking secret ! " 

At the last moment her eonrago had failed her, she fearf. 
his blame for not telling Iiim sooner; and her instinct •>! j 
self-preservation was stronger than her candor. 

•'Of course," continued the imwitting Clare, '■! shw 
have been glad to know you to be desccndetl exdnsivi 
from the long-suffering, dumb, unrecorded rank and fl 
the English nation, and not from the self-seeking few «i 
made themselves jiowerful at the expense of the rest. 
I am coiTupt^d away from that by my affection for yiw. 
Tess [he laughed as he spoke], and raiido selfish likowisfcj 
For your own sake I rejoice in your desci^'ut. SocietyJ^ 
hopelessly snobbish, and tliis fact of j-our ejctruction t 
make an appreciable difference to its acceptance of yon I 
ray wife, aft*r I have made you tlie well-read H'onian IT 
I mean to make you. My mother, loo, poor soul, will ti 
BO much better of you on aeeount of it, Tiiss, yon t 
spell your name correctly — fyUrberville — from tim 1 

" I like the other way ratiier Iwst." 

" But you mital, dearest ! Good heavens 1 why, donusd 


mushroom millionaires woald jump at such a poesessioii ! 
By the by, there's one of that kidaey who has taken the 
mame — where have I heard of him T — up iu tlie neighbor- 
"liood of The Chase, I think. Why, he is tlie very man who 
had that rumpus with my father I told you of. What an 
odd coincidence ! " 

'' Angel, I thiuk I would rather not take the name i It 
is imlncky. perhaps." She was agitated, 

'■ Now then, Mistress Tess D'Urberville, I have you. 
Taku my name, and so you wiJl escape youre ! The secret 
is ont, so why should you any longer refuse mo I " 

'■ If it is stire to make you happy to have me as your 
■wifo, and you feel that you do wish to marry me, very, very 

n„M.-h " 

■ 1 ilo, dearest, of coui-se ! " 

- 1 mi-an,that it is only your wanting me very much, and 
I ■■ uig hardly able to keep alive without me, whatever my 
itt( iioe is, that would make me feel I ought to say I will." 

- You will — you do say it, I know. You will bo mine 
' 1 r'*\er and ever." He clasped her close and kissed her. 

- Yes." She had no sooner said it than she burst into a 
, liard sobbing, so violent that it seemed to rend her. 

- was not a hysterical gu-1 by any means, and he was 
: ri'iised. 

Why do you crj-, dearest I" 

I can't tell — quite ! — I am so glad to thiuk — of being 
1 1 rs. and making you happy." 
Hut this doesn't seem veiy much like gladness, my 

1 mean — I cry because I have broken down in my vow 1 
'[li I would die unmaiTicd." 
! int, if you love ine, you would like me to be your hus- 

Y>>s, yes, yes 1 But 0, 1 sometimes wish I had never 

n bom ! " 

r^ow, my deju" Tess, if I did not know that you are 


very much excited, and very inexperienced, 1 should s»j 
that remai'k was not very complimeutary. How nauii^ 
to wish that if yoii care for me ? Do you care for inu 1 
wish you would prove it in some way." 

" How can I prove il more than I have done f " she iiirf, 
in a. distraction of tenderness. " Will this prove it mon- 
She clasped his neck, and for the first time Clare Icanit 
what an impassioned woman's kisses were like upon tLc 
lips of one whom she loved witJi b11 her heart and sjul, tn 
Tess loved him. " There — now do you believe f " she oskeO, 
wiping her eyes. 

" Yes. I never really doubted — never, never ! " 

So they drove on through the gloom, forming one bnadle 
infiide the sail-cloth, the hors.- goiug as he wonld, and tht 
rain diiving against them. She had consented. She 
as well have agreed at first. The " appetite for joy," 
stimulates all creation ; that tn>meiidous force wliieh 
hmuauity to its purposp. as the tide sways the holpUs 
weed, was not to be controlled by va^e lucubratiouit ova 
the social rubric. 

"I must write to my mother," she said. "Tou dout 
mind ray doing that J " 

" Of course not, dear, dear child. You are a child to mc, 
Tess, uot to know how very proper it is to write to vcmr 
mother at sucli a time, and how wrong it would be in me !■' 
object. Where does she Uvet" 

"At the same place — Marlott On the farther »i]a|t 
Blackmoor Vale." ■ 

" Ah, tlicn I ^iwseen you before this summer ' fl 

" Toe ; at that daneo on the green. But you would M 
dance with me. 0, 1 hope that is of no ill-otuen for w 
DOW I " 1 




■ ^ n ■ .^ I ■ 


Tess wrote a most touching and urgent letter to her 
mother the very next day, and by the end of the week a re- 
sponse to her communication arrived in Joan Durbeyfleld's 
wandering, last-century hand. 

"Dear Tess, — 

" J write these few lines hoping they will find you well, 
as they leave me at presentj^thank God for it. De^ur Tess, 
we are all glad to hear that you are really going to be mar- 
ried soon. But with respect to your question, Tess, J say 
between ourselves, quite private but very strong, that on 
no account do you say a word of your bygone trouble to 
him. J did not tell everything to your father, he being so 
proud on account of his respectability, which, perhaps, your 
Jntended is the same. Many a woman — some of the High- 
est in the Land — have had a Trouble in their time ; and 
why should you Trumpet yours when others don't Trumpet 
theirs ! No girl would be such a fool, especially as it is so 
long ago, and not your Fault at all. J shall answer the 
same if you ask me Fifty Times. Besides, you must bear 
in mind that, knowing it to be your childish nature to tell 
all that's in your heart — so simple ! — J made you promise 
me never to let it out by Word or Deed| having your Wel- 
fare in my Mind; and you solemnly did promise going 
from this Door. J have not mentioned either that question 
or your coming marriage to your father, as he would blab 
it everywhere, poor Simple Man. 

" Dear Tess, keep up your Spirits, and we mean to send 
you a Hogshead of Cider for your wedding, knowing there 
is not much in your ports, and thin Sour Stuff what there 




is. So no more at present, and wilh kind lore to j 
Toimg Man, 

" From yonr affeetiouatu Mother, 


"O mother, mother ! " miirmuretl Tess. 

She was recognizing how light was the touch of eveni.- 
the most oppressive upou Mrs, Durbeyfield's elastic syiirii. 

Her mother did not gee life as Tess saw it. That tianii' 
iug experieuoe of the past, of which the scar still reniaiiml 
upon her soul, concealed as it might be by overgrcunh; 
was to her mother but a passtug accident. But jK-rhaiu^ 
her mother was right as to the course to be foUowi^l. what 
ever she might be in her reasons. Silence seemed, on 
face of it, best for her adored one's happiness : ailei 
should be. 

Thus steadied by a command from the only person 
world who had any shadow of right to control her action, 
Tess grew calmer. The responsibility was shifted, aud her 
heart was lighter than it had been for weeks. "Kie ilays d 
declining autumn which followed her assent^ beginning witii 
Uie month of October, formed a season through whieJi she 
lived in spiritual altitudes more nearly approaching eislsA- 
than any other period of her life 

There was Iiai-dly a tout^li of earth in her love tar Clnn- 
To her subUme ti-ustfulucss he was all that goodnefis 
be — knew all that n guide, philosopher, and friend sbi 
know. She thought every lino in the contour of hispii 
the perfection of mascuhne betiuty, his soul tbi> soul 
saint, bis intellect that of a seer. The wisdom of her 
for him, as love, sustained her dignity ; she seemed tO' 
wearing a crown. Tlie compassion of his love for hi 
she saw it, made her lift up her heai-t to him in di 
He would sometimes catch her large, worshipfid ey***!, 
had no bottom to iliera, looking at him from their di;] 
she saw Bometbing immortal before her. 


She dismissed the past — ^trod upon it and put it out, as 
one treads on a coal that is smouldering and dangerous. 

She had not known that men could be so disinterested, 
chivalrous, protective, in their love for women as he. 
Angel Glare was far from aU that she thought him in this 
respect; but he was, in truth, more spiritual than animal ;\ 
lie had himself well in hand, and was singularly fi^ee from 
grossness. Though not cold-natured, he was rather bright 
than hot — ^less Byronic than Shelleyan ; could love desper- 
ately, but his love more especially inclined to the imagina- 
tive and ethereal ; it was a fastidious emotion which could 
jealously guard the loved one against his very self. This 
amazed and enraptured Tess, whose slight experiences had 
l^een so infelicitous till now ; and in her reaction from in- 
dignation against the male sex she swerved to excess of 
honor for Clare. 

They unaffectedly sought each other's company ; in her 
honest faith she did not disguise her desire to bn with him. 
The sum of her instincts on this matter, if clearly stated, 
would have been that the elusive quality in her sex which 
attracts men in general must be distasteful to so perfect a 
man after an avowal of love, since it must in its very nature 
carry with it a suspicion of ait. 

The country custom of unreserved comradeship out-of- 
doors during betrothal was the only custom she knew, and 
to her it had no strangeness ; though it seemed oddly an- 
ticipative to Clare till he saw how normal a thing she, in 
common with all the other dairy-folk, regarded it. Thus, 
during this October month of wonderful afternoons they 
roved along the meads by creeping paths which followed 
the brinks of trickling tributary brooks, hopping across by 
little wooden bridges to the other side, and back again. 
They were never out of the sound of some purling weir, 
"whose buzz accompanied their own murmuring, while the 
l^eams of the sun, almost as horizontal as the mead itself, 
:f ormed a pollen of radiance over the landscape. They saw 



tiny biTie fogs in tlie shadows of trees and hedges aU 
time that there was bright sunshine elsewhere. The 
was so near the ground, and the sward so Qni, ihai 
shadows of Clare aud Tess would streteh a (jiiarter 
inile ahead of them, like two loug fingers pointing a£ 
where tfae green alluvial reaehes abutted ag^st thealo] 
sides of the vale. 

Men were at work here and tJiere — for it was the Beas-'i; 
for " taking up " the meadows, or digging the little wat' ; 
ways clear for the ivinter irrigation, and meudiug thi i: 
banks where trodden down by the cows. The shoveKui^ 
of loam, black as jet, brought there by the river when r 
was as wide as the whole valley, were an essence of soi! . 
pounded champaigns of the past, steeped, refined, and »ui>- 
tilized to extraordinary richness, out of which came all the 
fertdity of the mead, and of the cattle grazing ther*-. 

Clare hardily kept his arm round her waist lu *.ighl of 
these watermen, with the air of a man who was luywctoninl 
to public dalliance, though actniUly as sby as slie who, with 
lips parted and eyes askance on the laborers, wore the look 
of a wary animal the while. 

"You are not ashamed of owning me as yours bcftn* 
them ! " she said, gladly. 

" Ob no — no ! " 

" Bat if it should reach the ears of your friends at 
minster tliat yon be walking about like this with 
milkmaid " 

" The most bewitching milkmaid ever seen." 

"They might fee! it n hurt to their dignity." 

"My dear girl — a D'Urberville hurt the digni^ 
Clare ! It is a grand card to play — that of your " 
to such a family, and I am reser\-iug it for a grand 
when we arc married, and have the proofs of your ili 
from Parson '^^i^gh^ml. Ajiart from that, my fntnn- 
bo totally foreign to my family's — it wiU not tiifect eroi 
surface of their lives. We shall leave this port of Eo| " 


— ^perhaps England itself — and what does it matter how 
people regard us here 1 You will like going, will you not T ^ 
She could answer no more than a bare affirmative, so 
great was the emotion aroused in her at the thought of go- 
ing through the world with him as his own familiar friend. 
Her feelings almost filled her ears like a babble of waves, 
and surged up to her eyes. She put her hand in his, and 
thus they went on, to a place where the reflected sun glared 
up from the river, under a bridge, with a molten-metallic 
glow that dazzled their eyes, though the sun itself was 
hidden by the bridge. They stood still, whereupon little 
furred and feathered heads popped up from the smooth 
surface of the water ; but, finding that the disturbing pres- 
ences had paused and not passed by, they disappeared 
again. Upon this river-brink they lingered till the fog 
began to close round them — which was very early in the 
evening at this time of the year — settling on the lashes of 
her eyes, where it rested like crystals, and on his brows 
and hair. 

They walked later on Sundays, when it was. quite dark. 
Some of the dairy-people, who were also out-of-doors on 
the first Sunday evening after their engagement was sus- 
pected, heard her impulsive speeches, ecstasized to frag- 
ments, though they were too far off to hear the words dis- 
coursed ; heard the spasmodic catch in her remarks, broken 
into syllables by the leapings of her heart between joy and 
fear, as she walked leaning on his arm ; noted her con- 
tented pauses, the occasional little laugh, upon which her 
eoul seemed to ride — ^the laugh of a woman in company 
xrith the man she loves and has won from all other women 
- — unlike anything else in civilization. They saw the buoy- 
ancy of her tread, like the skim of a bird which has not 
cjuite alighted. 

Her affection for him was now the breath and life of 
Bess's being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated 
l:ier into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back 


tbe gloomy spectres that would persist in their attempts 
I touch her— doubt, fear, moodiness, care, shame. Shi 
[ that they were waiting like wolves just outside tJie ci 
I scribing light, but she had long spells of power to ke 
them in hungry subjection there. 

A spiritual forgetfulncss coexisted with an iiit4j]«i*ti 
remembrance. She walked in brightness, but shu knew tl 
in the background tlioSe shapes of darkness were alnn 
spread. They might be receding, or they might be c 
proachiug, one or tlie other, a little every day. 

One evening Tess and Clare were obliged to sit indo< 
keeping liouse, all the otier occupants of the domicile bea 
away. As they talked she looked admiringlT up at hi 
and met his two appreoiativo eyes. 

" I am not worthy of you — no, I am not ! " slic bnrsi. oi 
jTinipiug up from her low stool with wild suddenness, 
though appalled at his homage, and the fulness of her 01 
joy thei-eat. 

Clare, deeming the whole h&se of her excitement lo 
that which was only the smaller part of it, said, "I wrt 
have you speak like it, dear Tess I Distinction does n 
consist in the facile use of a contemptible set of ecnW 
tions, but in being uumbei-ed among those who ore tn 
and honest, and just, and pure, and lovely, and of good I 
port — as yon are, my Tess." 

She struggled with the sob in her throat. How oft 
had that string of excellences made her yonng heart ae 
in chnrch of late yeais. and how sti-ange that ho Ehou 
have cited them now. 

"Wliy didn't yon stay and love me when I — waanstM 
living with my little sisters and brothers, and yon dsM 
on the green? 0, why didn't you, why didn't yon!" I 
cried, impetuously clBSping her hands. 

Angtd began to soothe and reassure her, tbinluni;' 
himaelf, truly ennngii, what a creature of moods and I 


piilsfS she was, and how careful he woiild have to be of 
her when she depended for her happiness enth-eJy on 

" Ah — why didn't I come ! " he said, seutimentally. " That 
i-i just what I feel. 1£ I had only known ! But you must 
i; I ii Im- sn bitter in your regret — why should you be ? " 

Willi the woman's instinct to hide compromising events, 
Uie answered hastily : 

'' I should have had three years more of your heart than 
1 can ever have now. Then I should not have wasted my 
time as I have done — I should have had so much longer 

It was no mature woman witli a long dark vista of in- 
trigue behind her who was tonnented thus by her past ; but 
& girl of simple life, not yet one-and-twenty, who had been 
fanght during her days of Immatwity like a bird in a 
springe. To calm herself the more completely, slie arose 
■'from her little stool and left the room, overturning the 
stool with her skirts as she went. 

He sat on by the cheerful fli-elight thrown from a bundle 
•pt green ash-sticks laid across the dogs ; the sticks snapped 
kleasantly, and hissed out bubbles of sap from their ends. 
"When she came back she was herself ag:ain. 

" Do you not think yon arc just a wee bit capricious, flt- 
■ial, Tess!" he said, good-linmoretlly, as he s[)read acushion 
^^r her on the stool, and seated liimself in the settle beside 
' " I wanted to ask you sometliing, and just then you 
Smn away." 

"Yes, i)erhap8 I am capricious," she mnrmnred. She 

.'Itii'nly approached him, and put a hand upon each of his 

: -. " No, Angel, I hain't really so — by nature. 1 mean ! " 

more particiUarly to assure lum that she was not, 

placed herself close to him in the settle, ajid allnweii 

i head to find a resting-place against Clare's shoulder. 

■ hat did you want to ask me — 1 am sure I will answer 

■ L. S'he continued, humbly. 



"Well, you love me, and have agreed to marrj- me. tmi 
benco there follows a thirdly, ' When shaU the (lay beJ" 

"I like living like this." 

"But I must think of starling in buginess on my own 
hook with the new year, or a little later. And before I gi t 
involved in the multifarious details of my new positiou. I 
should like to have secured my partner/' 

" But," she timidly answei-ed, " to speak quite ptactioalij', 
wouldn't it bo best not to marrj' till after ail that ! — thou^ 
I caii't bear the Diought o' your going away and If^tvisfl 
me here ! " ' 

"Of course you nanuot — and it is not best in thh- case, 
I want you to help mo in many ways in mafcing,my start 
When shall it be I Why not a fortnight from now I " g 

" No," she said, becoming grave ; " I have so many tlu]a| 
to think of first." ^ 

" But " He drew her gently nearer to him. ■ 

The reality of marriage y-as startling now that it loomfl 
so near. Before discussion of the question had proeeedfl 
further, thei-o walked round the comer of tbesetlJe into tfl 
full firelight of the apartment Mr. Dairyman Criok, Mil 
Crick, and two of the inilkmuidH, ■ 

Tess sprang like an elastic ball from his side to her fi^| 
while her face flushed, and her eyes slione in the fireliglfl 

"I knew how it would be if I sat ho closu to him ! " jj 
cried, with vexation. "I said to myself, they are sorefl 
come and catch us I But I wasn't really tutting on bi$knH 
though it might have seemed as if I was almost ! " il 

"Well — if so be you hadn't told us, I am sure 1M 
shonldn' ha' noticed that you had been sitting an^irbcrR M 
oil, in this liglit." repliod the dair^iiiati. lie coiitinafd fil 
his wife, with the mien of a roan who tmderstixMl uotlda 
of the emotions relating to matrimony ; " Xow, Cliristi^B 
ner, that shows that folk should never faney other fti^| 
be supposing things when they baio't. Oh no, I shflifl 


_ r ha' thought of her Bitting on his knee if she hadn't 
1 me — not I," 

' Wo are going t« be married soon," said Clare, with im- 
ivised phlegm. 

' Ah — and he ye ! WrU, I am truly glad to liear it. sir. 
3 thought you mid do sunh a Ihiug for some time. Slie's 
I good for a dairjinaid — I said soUie veryfii-st day I saw 
■ — and a prizp for any man ; and what's more, a wonder- 
woman for a gentleman-farmer's wife ; he won't be at 
I mercy of his baily wi' her at his side." 
Somehow Tesa disappeared. She had been even more 
ack with the look of the girls who followed Crick tlian 
ished bv Crick's blunt praise. 

Uter supper, when she reached hor bedroom, thoy were 
present. A light was burning, and each girl was sit- 
g tip ill her lied, awaiting Tess, the whole like a row of 
■nging ghosts. 

But she saw in a few momenta that there was no malice 
their mood. They could scai-eely feel as a loss what they 
1 never expected to have. Their condition was objective, 

' He's going to marry her ! " mnrmured Retty, never tak- 
; her eyes off Tess. " How her faoe do show it ! " 
■ You be going to inarrj' him T" asked Marian. 
' Yes," said Tess. 

' Some day, perhaps." 
Phey tliought that this was evasiveness only. " Tes — go- 
r to marnj him — a gentleman ! " repeated Izz Hnett. And 
a sort of fascuiation the three girls, one after another, 
pt out of their beds, and came and stood barefooted 
ind Tess. Rettj- put her hands upon Tess's shoulders, as 
\ti realize her friend's corporeabty after such a miracle, 
i the other two laid their arms round her waist, all look- 
'. into her faoe. 


■' How it do seem ! AJtuust more than I oftn tlnnlt of!" 
B&id liiii Unett. 

Marian kieged Teiis. "Tes," she munnonHl. 

" Was tliat because of love for liur, or bet-'ftuae athfr tip* 
touched there by now It " continued Izz, drj'Iy, t^i Slnrinn, 

';I wasn't tliinkingo' that/'eiiul ikluriiiu, sinjily. I ' l- 
on'y feeling all the strungeni'ss ot^ — that shi; is !>■ '■■ ^! 
wife, and nobody else, J don't say nay Ui it, nor t"' ■ ■ 
OS, beoause we did not think of it — only loved h'u 
nobody else is to niarrj' him in the world — no ri ■ 
nobody in jewels and g;old, in silks and sating; 1...L . .. 
who do live like we." 

" Are you sure you don't dislike nie for it I " said TcsK b 
n low voice. 

They Ining about her in their flowing while iiIl-I 
beforn replying, as if they eonsideri'd Uieir unnni 
lie in her look. "I don't know — I don't know," nui 
Rctly Priddle. "I want to hate 'ee ; but I cjuiuolt " 

"Tiiat's how I feel," echoed Izz and Marian. "I coi. 
hate her. Somehow she do hinder me ! " 

" He ought to marry one of you," murmun'd Tiwin. 


" Ton ore all bettflr than I," 

''Wo better than youf" said the girls, in a low, di ' 
whisper. " No, no, dear Tcss ! " 

"You are!" she contradicted, impetnonMy. .AM *i^i 
denly ti'arinjf awny from their clintri""!-' 
into a hystcrieal fit of tf ars, bowing hen ■ 
drawers, and reiwating ineessantly, " Oli ■ 

Hft\-ing once given way. she could ntit sl'ip Ikt w'-jiiiu- 

" Ho ought to have had one of ytin ! I tliitik I otig^t to 
make him even now! Yon would Im betl^-r fia* hlni Umh 
— I don't know what I am saying. 1 O I " 

They went up to liw and elaspwl her round, but ictill liw 
sobs tore her. "fiet sonie water," said Marian. "SUe^ 
npaet by us, poor thing, i>oor thing ! " They guatly led 


l^k to the side of Iier bed, whei-e tliey kissed liep wamJy. 
■■ You ai-B hest foi-'n," said Mai-ian. " More ladylike, and a 
li.'ltor scholar than we, especially since he has taught 'ee 
su much. But even yon onglit to be proud. You 6e proud, 

■' Yes, I ajn," she said ; '■ and I am ashamed at so break- 
iu^' down! " 

When they were all in bed, and the light was out, Maiian 
whi.spi='rcd across to her, " You will think of us when you 
1 iL- his wile, Tess, and of how we told 'ee that we loved IJira, 
jind how "we tried not t« hate you, and did not hate you, 
nud could liot bate you, because yon were his choice, and 
wi* never boj^ed to be chose by him." 

Thoy wijre not aware that, at those words, salt, stinging 
t.:ii-s trickled down upon Trss's pillow anew, und how she 
it'.iolved, with a bursting heart, to tell all her liistory to 
.\iigel Clare, despite her mother's command — to let him for 
whom she lived and breathed despise her if he would, and 
li'T mother regard her as a fool, rather than preserve a 
-iliuce which might be deemed a treachery to liim, and 
-■. liich somehow eeemed a wrong to these. 

yxxn . 

This penitential mood kept her from naming the wedding- 
day. The beginning of November found its date stiil in 
abeyance, though he asked her at the most tempting times. 
But Tess's desire seemed to be for a perpetual betrothal, in 
■which everything should remain as it was then. 

Tlie meads were changing now ; but it was still warm 
iNougli in early afternoons before milking to idle there 
^nvhile, and the state of daii-y-work at tliis time of year al- 
Iitttfd a spare horn- for idling. Looking over the dampsod 



in the direction of the sun, agligteniog ripp]e of gossanif 
webs was visible to their eyes Tinder the lumiuar}-, like 
track of moonlight on the sea. Gnats, knowing noth. 
their brief glorification, wandered acro&s the air uIhivc liiw| 
pathway, irradiated as if they bore fire within them, Ibai 
passed out of its line, and were quite extinct. In the 
enee uf these tilings he would remind her that the dat 
was still the qnestion. 

Or he would ask her at night, when he accompanied i 
on some mission invented by Mrs. Crick to give him tw^ 
opportunity. This was mostly a journey to the farmhotise 
on the slopes above the vale, to inquire how the tulvani^Lnl 
COW3 were getting on in the straw-barton to which Uiov 
were relegated. For it was a time of the year that brought 
great changes to the world of kine. Batches of theauimals 
were Kent away daily to this lying-in hospital, where they 
lived on straw tiU their calves were bom, after wlu«h event, 
and as soon as the calf coidd walk, mother and offspring 
were driven back to the dairy. In the intervnl which ela|»ed 
before the calves were sold there wan, of course, little milk- 
ing to be done, but ae soon as the calf had Wtgi taken away 
the milkmaids woiJd have to set to work as usual. 

Betuming from one of these dark walks, tliey reafbed a 
great gravel-cliff immediately over the levels, whinv tJi<'\ 
atood still and listened. The water was now high in th' 
streams, squirting through the weirs, and tinkling under 
ciUverts ; the Kmallest gidleys were all fnll ; there was bo 
taking short cuts anj-where, and foot-passengers were toib- 
pelled to follow the permanent ways. From the whole la- i 
tent of the invisible vale came a multitudinous inlnnatioii ; 
it forced upon the fancy that a great city lay below tbent. 
and that the murmur was the vocifemtion of ita popo" 

"It seems like tens of thousands of tliem," said 1 
"holding public meetings in their market- pi atwa, a 
preaching, quarrelliug, sobbing, groauing, praying, i 


dare was not i»articiilarly heediug. " Did Crick speak 
lu you [o-Jay, dear, about hU uot wanting much nesistauce 
(hiring the winter uiontLs!" 


■• The cows are going dry rapidly." 

" Yes," she answered. " Six or seven went to the straw- 
barton yesterday, and three the day before, making near 
twenty in the straw ah-eady. Ah — ia it that the fiirmer 
don't want my help for the calving 1 O, I am not wanted 
here any more ! And I have tried so hard to " 

"Crick didn't exactly say that he would no longer re- 
quire you. But, knowing what our relations were, he «aid, 
in the most gt)od-natured and respectful manner possible, 
that he supposed, on my leaving at CliriBtraas, I should take 
you with me, and on my asking what he would do without 
you, he merely observed tliat, as a matter of taut, it was a 
time of year when he could do with a very little female 
help, I am afraid I was sinner enough to feel rather glad 
that he was in this way forcing your hand." 

" I don't think you ought to have felt glad. Angel. Be- 
<'aase 'tis always mournful not to be wanted, even if at the 
same time tis convenient." 

■' Well, it is convenient — you have admitted that." He 
put his finger upon her cheek. " Ah ! " he stud. 


"I feel the red rising up at her having been caught! 
But why should I trifle so ! We will not trifle — life is too 

" It is — I saw that before you did." 

8he was seeing it then. To decline to marrj' him after 
;ill — in obedience to her emotion of last night^ — and leave 
rill.' dairy, meant to go to some strange place, uot a dairy; 
for milkmaids were not in request now iialving-timo was 
coming on ; to go to some arable farm, where no divine being 
liky Aiigcl Clare was. She hated the thought, and she 
lialed more the thought of going home. 


"So thiit, seriously, dearest Tess," he Gontinaed, "bui^ 
[ j*ou vnH probfll)ly have U> letive ut Christinas, it is in ei 
way ilesiriible and eoBveaient tliat I should carry you 
then UK my propei-ty. Besides, if you were not the in4 
tmealculating ^rl ia the world yop would know Ihsl 
could not go on like this forever." 

" I wish wc could. That it would always be summer 
aatumn, ajd you always courting me, and always tJ 
as mucli of me as you have done through the past snntme 
time 1 " 

"I always sliiill," 

" O, I know yon will ! " she cried, with a sudden fervor of 
faitli in him. "Angel, 1 will fix tlie day when I will !>.?- 
pome yours for always." Thus at last it was arrauLi-il Ik 
tween them, during that dark walk home, amid the iiiyri.i-l^ 
of liquid voices on the right and left 

Wlien tliey reached the dairy Mr. and Mrs. (5rirJ£ t*"::- 
promptly told — with injunctions to secrecy ; forencli* I '1' 
lovers was demons that the man'iage shoidd I'o '.■ | : - 
private as possible. The dairyman, though he hail ilj.-i.i::r 
of dismissing. her soon, now made a gre^t eouoeni a'-' ." 
losing her. What should he do about his skimming? U't " 
woidd make the ornamental butter-pats for the .M-l- ii- -'■ 
and Sandboume ladiesf Mrs. Crick congrntul-ti' ■ i 
on tho sMUy-shaJlj-ing having at last come to iin ■ : : 
said that directly she eet eyes on Tess she divined !'<.-a' - 
wag to be the chosen one of somebody who was no i'omiu'i 
outdoor man ; Tess had looked so genteel and impcrior il- 
she walked across the barton on that afternoon of h^r ar 
rival; tliat she was of a good family she could have sworn. 
In point of fact, Mrs. Orick did distinctly rememWr think- 
, iug that Tess was uunsuuUy graceful and pretty as she ap- 
proached ; as for the gentility and suppriority, ihey mi;,'ht 
have been a growth of the imagination aided by fcaliaeqwot 

Tess was now carried along upon the winge of the b< 


without tlie sense of a wiU. The woiti bad bet-n given ; 
ilio numlwr of the day written down. Her uatnrally bright 
intelligence bad begun to admit the fatalistic convictions 
roinmon to field-folk and those who associate more exten- 
di \-ely with natural phenomena Uian with theii- fellow- 
I.' re at Tire 9 ; and slie accordingly diifted into that passive 
rej^itoneiveiiess to all things her lover suggested, character- 
iBtic of the fi-ame of mind. 

But she wrote anew to her rnotlier, ostensibly to notify 
the wedding-day ; really to again implore her advice. It 
was a gentleman who had chosen her, which perhaps her 
jjiother had not sufficiently considered. A post-nuptial ex- 
planation, which might be accepted with a light heart by a 
rougher man, might not be received with the same feeling 
by him. But this communication brought no reply from 
Mrs. Diirbej-fleld. 

Despite Angel Clare's plausible representations to himself 
and tt> TcBS of the pra«licid need for their immediate mar- 
Tiu-^f. there was, in truth, an element of precipitancy in the 
M.-p, an became apparent at a later dat«. Ho loved her 
'■■:irly, Uiough perhapa rather ideally and fancifully than 

ith the impajisioned thoroughness of her feeling for hiin. 
ilf had entertained no notion, when doomed, as he had 
ihoughi. to an imintellectnal bucolic life, that such charms 
as he beheld in this idyllic creatnre would be found behind 
the Bcenes. Unsophietication was a thing to talk of ; but 
he had not known how it really etnick gno until he eame 
here. But he was very far from seeing bis future track 
(dearly, and it might be a year or two before he wonld be 
III lie to consider himself fairly started in life. The secret 
ly in the tinge of recklessness imparted to his career and 
i iiaractei- by the sense that he had been made to miss his 
true destiny through the prejudices of his family. 

" Don't you think 'twould ha' been better for us to wait 
till yon were quite settled in your midland farm ! " slie once 
.i-ked timidly. (A midland fann was the idea just then.) 

I 2S2 


" To tell the truth, my Tess, I don't like ymi to lie left 1 
[ anjT\-here away from my iiifiueucL* and symjmtliy." 

The reason was a good one, so far as it wenL His 
I fluence over her had been so marked tliat die had cmihi 
I his manner and habits, liis speech and phrases, his likii 
and his aversions, And to leave hi>r in t'arm-lond woi 
be to let her slip bat-t again out of aeeord with him. 
■wished to have her under his eliarge for another reai 
.HiB parents had naturally desired to see her ouce at U 
before he cairied her off to a distant settlement, 1-lnglish 
Colonial ; and as no opinion of theirs was to be ollowcfl 
ehaitge his intention, he judged that a oouple of months.' 
life with him in lodgings whilst seeking for an advantageons 
opening would be of some social assistauee to her at wliai 
she might feel to be a trying ordeal — her presentation to 
his mother at the vicarage. 

Next, he wished to see a little of the working of a flour- 
mill, having an idea that lie might oombintf the ttse of nne 
with corn-growing. The proprietor of a lairgn old walfT' 
_ mill at Wellbridgt — once the mill of an alibey — bad ofFervd 
him the inspection of his time-honored mode of proccdim-. 
and a hand in the operatious for a few days, wbt-nevet hf 
should choose to come. Clare paid a mit to the plan: 
some few miles distant, one day at this time, tii iuqnire j«r- 
tieulars. and returned to Talbothays in the ovening. ^l- 
found him determined to spend a short time at the Weil- 
brii^e flour-mills? and what had determined hiniT Lc« 
the opportunity of an insight into giinding and txiltinp 
than the casual fact that lodgings were to be obtained jn 
that vei-y farmhouse which, before its mutilation, had b«« 
the mansion of a bi-anch of th<' D'Urbcrville family. TWs 
was always how Clare settled practical qpestions; hy * 
sentiment which ha^I nothing to do with them. They dt- 
cided to go immediately after the wedding, and renuiin 
for a fortijight, instead of joumering to towtia sad inn* 
"Then wtf^rill start off lo examine some faruui oo llic 


oUipr aide of London that I Lavt; heard of," he said, " and 
by March or April wr will pay a \'isit to my fatliei* and 

Questions of procedure sueh as these arose and passed, 
and tlie day, the incredible day, on which she was to hecome 
his, loomed large in the near future. The thirty-fii-st of 
December, New Tear's Eve, was the date. TWs ivife, she 
said to ha-Bolf. Could it ever be? ^Tieir two selves to- 
gether, nothing to divide them, every incident shared by 
them: whytiot! And yet why! 

One Sunday morning Izz Huett returned from church, 
and spoke privately to Tess. 

"Ton was not called home* this morning," 


'* It should ha' lieen the first time of asking to-day," she 
answered, looking quietly at Tess, "You meant to be 
married New Tear's Eve, deary ! " 

The other returned a quick affirmativo. 

" And there must Ije three times of asking. And now 
tliere be only two Sundays left between." 

TeSB felt her cheek paling. Izz was right; of course 
there must be three. Perhaps he had forgotten. If so, 
there most be a week's postponement, and that was un- 

How could she remind her lover f She who hail been ro 
backward was suddenly fired with impatience and alarm 
kst she should lose her dear prize. 

A natural incident relieved her anxiety. Izz mentioned 
llie omission of the banns to Mrs. Crick, and Mrs. Crick 
i<"'ka matron's privilege of speaking to Angel on the point 

■' Have ye forgot 'em, Mr. Clare. The banns, I mean." 

"No, 1 have not forgot 'em," said Clare. 

As soon as he eanght Tess alone he assured her. "Dont 
l.'t them tease you about the banns. A license will be 
ipiieter for ns, and I have decided on a license without con- 

■ "Called IioniB "— lociil phrapp for publication olbMiiis. 



aultiug you. So if you go to <-lmn"b on SuuilHy moruinj 
you will not bear your ovni name, if you wislied to.' 

" I (liduT. wisli to Lear it, dearest," she saiil, proudly. 

Bub to kuow tbat thiugs were iii train wn^ nii imtr 
relief to Tess iiotwithBtauding, who had well-nigh ft*i 
that some ijudy would staud uji aud forbid tbebnuuii 
groiiudjgtlSer history. How events were favoring biT! 

" I dou't feel q«iFeasy," she said to herself. •' Ah this 
good fortiuje may bo scoiirged out o' mo afterwards by a 
lot of ill. Tliat's how God mostly does. I wish 1 uoulJ 
have had commou banns ! " 

But everything went smootWy. t^ie wondered whftiitT 
he would like her to he mamed in her present best wlil' 
frofik, or if she ought to buy a new one. The question w;i- 
set at rest by his forethought, diselosed by the arrini! < i 
some large packages addressed to her. Inside iJii-ni si- 
found a whole stock of clothing, from bonnctt to «lii*s. m 
eluding a perfect moniiug costume, such as would wvD smi 
the simple wedding they planned. He entered tiii' lioiw 
shortly after the an-ival of the packages, and heard bar up- 
stairs undoing them. 

A minute later she came down with a flash oa her fsw 
and tenrs in hep eyes. 

"How thoughtful you've Ijeeu!" she raurmurt'd, her i4i" : 
upon his shoulder. " Even to tlie gloves and handken-iii ' 
My own love — liow good, how kind .' " 

"No, no, Teesie; just an order to a trudeswnmui 
London — nothing more," said he; and to <livirt her 
thinking too liiglily of him he told her to go upotainv 
take her time, and see if it all fitted ; imd, if not, to gvl tit 
village seamstress t^^) make a few iJlerationx. 

She (lid return upstairs, and put on the gown. AloM 
she stood for a moment before the gloKS looking al. Uleeff'^' 
of her silk attire ; ond then thcru came into hvr bead li>t 
mother's balliid of the mystio robe, 

-"•I I 

xx ynr . 


wliii'Ii Mrs. Durbeyfield had nsed to sing to her as a child, 
sii ijlitliely and so ai-chly, her foot on the cradle, which she 
nukfd to the time. Suppose this i-obe sliould betray her 
icnilition by its changing color, as her rolje had betrayed 
Qiieeu Guenever. Since she had been at the dairy she had 
not once thonght of the lines till now. ,' _ 

^HjCore the wedding somewhere away from the dau-y, as a 

Hk jftiint in her company while they were yet mim; lover 

^■d mietresB ; a romantic day, in ciremnatances that wotdd 

TicvcT bo repeated ; witli that other and greater day beam- 

u' close ahead of them. Diuing the pre^odiiig week, 

' lefore, be suggested making a few purchases in the 
iitarest town, and they started together. 

Clare's life at tlie dairy had been that of a recluse in re- 
spect to the world of his own class. For mouths he had 
never gone near a town, and, requiring no vehicle, had 
nevpr ki?pt one, hiring the dairj-man's cob or gig if he rode 
or drove. They went in the gig that day. 

And then for tho first time in their lives they shopped 
as partners in one eoncem, that of their future domicile. 
It ■was Cliristmas Eve, with its loads of holly and mistletoe, 
and the town was very full of strangers who had come in 
from all parts of the eountiy on aecount of the day. Tees 
|iaid the i>enalty of walking about with happiness snper- 
addfd to beauty on her countenance by being much stared 
at us she moved amid them on liis arm. 

Tn the evening they returned to the inn at which they 

had put up, and Tcss waited in the entry while Angel went 

) eee the horse and gig brought to the door. The general 

no see: 


i Bitting-room was fiill of gneetK, wba were continouUy gnmg 
I in and out. As the door opened aiid tJiut each time 
the passage of these, the light within the parlor Tell 
upon Tess's face. Two men esme out and passL'd by 
among the rest. One of them had stared her up luid doi 
in surprise, and she fancied be was a Trantridgc 
though that village lay so many miles off that Tnuitri< 
folk were rarities htre, 

"A comely maid that," said the other. 

" True, comely enough. But unless 1 make a gntX 

_ take " And he negatived the remainder of the reiiH 


Clare had just retuj"ne<l from the stable-yard, and, wid. 
fronting the niaii on the threshold, heard tlie words, ami 
saw tlie slirinking of Tetm. The insult to her stung Inw id 
the cpiick, and, before lie had considei-ed anvQiing iil nil. l^'' 
struek the man on the chin with the fidl foree of liis iL-!. 
Eenduig liiin sfa^ering backwanis into the piKsuge. 

The man recovered himself, and seemed inclined tOMuu'' 
on, and Clare, stepping outside the door, put hlmi*eif in a 
posture of defence. But his opponent began to think ) ■ ■ 
ter of the matter. Ho looked anew at Tess as In- ];;-• 
her, and Faid to Clare, " T beg pai-don, sir; 'twas a ivuiijiLr' 
mistake. I tliouglit she was another woman, forty uiiir- 
froM here." 

Clai-e, feeling then that he had been Uto hash', and thai 
he was, moreover, to blame for leaving her standing in aL 
inn passage, did what he umiolly did in sneh cases, g»vt 
the man five diillings to ptafltoi- the blow ; and thus iius 
parted, bidding each other a paoifie good-night. A» wwo 
as Clare had taken the reins from tte ostler, and Ihe yoni^ 
oouple had driven off, the two men went in Umj olbw 

" And was it a mistake T " said the second one. 

"Not a bit of it But I didnt want to hurt tlio genth-- 
man's feelings — not 1." 


In the meantime tjie lov-ers were driving onward. " Could 
we pnt off our wedding till a little later ! " Tess afiked, in a 
<iry, dull voice. "1 mean, if we wisliedT" 

■■ No, my love. Calm yoiu-self Do you mean that the 
ft'llow may have time to summon me for aRsaultt" he 
a-sked, good-hum oredly. 

■• Xo — I only meant — if it sliould have to be put off." 

What Khe meant was not veiy clear, and he dii-ecfed her 
t""! dLsmiss sueh fancies from her mind, which she obedi- 
ently did as well as she cotild. But she was grave, veiy 
prave, all the way home ; till she thought, " We shall go 
away, a verj- long distance, hundreds of miles from these 
parts, and such as this can never happen again, and no 
L-liost of the past reach there." Even now, this Trautridgo 

in was the first she had seen in this part of the country 
iiring her residence here. 

Tbcy parted tenderly that night on the landing, and 
(.'lare ascended to his attic. Tess sat up finishing ^)me 
little requisites, lest the few remaining days should not 
iiff"rd Bufficient time, and, while she sat, she heard a noise 

! Angel's room overhead, a sound of thumping and strng- 

iiiig. Everybody else in the house was asleep, and, in her 
uiLxiety lest Ware should be ill, nhe ran up and knocked at 

Ibis door, and asked him what was the matter. 
" Oh, nothing, dear," he said from within. " I am so sorry 
I diHturbed you ! But the reason is rather an anmsiug 
. n.': I fell asleep and dreamed that I was fighting that 
I low again who insulted yon, and the noise you heard 
ih my pummelling away with my fists at my portmanteau, 
> liifL I pulled out to-day for packing. I am occasionally 
: ible to these freaks in my sleep. Go to bed, and think 
■ ' it no more." 

This was the last drachm required to turn the scale of 
■■■■ r indecision. Declare the past to him by wtjrd of mouth 
f]'- conld not; but there was another way, She sat down 
nnd wrote on the four pages of a note-sheet a succinct nar^ 




rative of IhoBo eveiite of threu or four years ago; put 
iuto an fuvelopo and directed it to Clare. Then, lust 
tiesh should agaiu be weak, slie crept upstairs wttbtmt 
shoes and slipped tlie note under his door. 

Her night was a bi-oken ouc, as it well might be, and 
listuned for the first faint noise overhead. It L-ani)!, 
UBual ; he descended, as ti&ual. She descended. Ui 
hur at tlie bottom of the Ktairs and kissed her. Sarplyl 
was as warmly as ever. 

He looked a little distorbed and worn, she tfatingfal. 
But he said not a word to her about her revelation, l-viii 
when they were alone. Could he have had it I Tntf* Ir 
began the subject, she felt that slie ootdd say nothing. ^ 
the day passed, and it was evident that whatever he thinii:!.' 
he meant to keep to himself. Yet he was frank (iml .n 
tionate as before. Could it ho tliat her doubts « <-. 
ishT that he forgave herJ tliat he loved her fur \m i; - 
was, just as she was, aud smiled at her disquit-l ii> .^i :> 
foolish nightmare T Had he n'e(j\'ed Iter not« t Sin- yiiiinT-l 
into his room, and coidd see nothing of it. It tnijihi V* 
that he forgave her. But even if he had not n%ri\-ird il At 
had a sudden eutliusiastic trust tiiat he sorely wouU foii^M 

Every morning and night he was the some, and tinu Jtafl 
Tear's Eve brokt — the wedding-day. fl 

The lovers did not rise at milkiug-time, bainng thrmfl 
the whole of this last week of their sojoura at the dlH 
iH'en accorded something of tlie position uf guefttA, "BH 
being honoreil with a room of her own. When tbey^| 
ri\x'd downist/iirs at breakfast-time they were KurjiriM^H 
see what effects had been produced iu the large kiti'hei^| 
their glory since they had last beheld iL At Home unn«ti^| 
hour of tliu morning the dairyman had oauntHl thexTtWn^^ 
chiraniy-eomcr to be whitened, and the bri«k bt-jir-l v^ ' 
dened, and u blazing yellow damask blower d- In ' - l 
[ matoaa the arch in the plaee of the old grimy Wue cm>»»* | 


one with a black sprig pattern wliich had fonneriy done 
duty hcrt'. This reiiovattd aspect of what was tho focus 
indeed of the room oa a didl winter morning tlirew a smil- 
ing demeanor over the whole apartment. 

■■ I was determined to do aiimmat in honor o't ," said the 
d;tin,*man. "And as yoii wouldn't hear of my gieing a 
rattling good randy i' fiddles and bass-viols complete, as we 
should ha' done in old times, this was all I could think o' 
as a noiseless thing." 

Tess's friends lived so far off that none could conven- 
iently have been present at the ceremony, even had any 
been asked ; bnt as a fact nobody was invited from Marlott. 
As for Angel's family, he had written and duly informed 
them of the time, and assured them that he would be glad 
to see one at least of them there for the day if hewoidd like 
to come. His brothers had not replied at all, seeming to 
be indignant witli him ; while bis father and mother had 
m-itti-n a rather st«l letter, deploring his precipitancy in 
rushing into marriage, but making the best of the matter 
by Rftying that, though a dairywoman was the last dangh- 
ti.-r-in-lftw they could have expected, their son badarrivedat 
an age at which he might be supposed to be the best judge. 
This coolness in hisrcUtions distressed Oare less than it 
I would have done had he been without the grand card with 
I which he meant to sm-prise them ere long. To produce 
Tesa, fresh fi-om the doirj', as a D'Urbervillo and a lady, 
ia- had feit to be temerarious and risky; hence he had 
<'<ineealed her lineage till such time as, familiarized with 
MiiHdly ways by a few months' travel and reading with 
nil, be could take her on a visit to bis parents, and im- 
irt the knowledge while triumphantly producing her as 
■. 'rlliy of such an aneient hno. It wag a pretty lover's 
dn-am, if no more. Perhaps Tess's lineage had more value 
for himself than for anybody in the world besides. 

Her perception that Angel's bearing towai-ds her still re- 
mained in no whit altei-ed bv lier own communication ren- 


(lereil Tess gruiltily donlitful if Le cinild have receivod 
She rose from breakfast lief ore he bad Bnii«bod, aud baxt*?i 
upstairs. It oceurred to her to look once more iulo I 
queer, gaunt room which had Iji-ea Clai-c's dcQ, or mtJ 
eyrie, for so long, and elimbiug the ladder, she stood at i 
open door of the ai>artmeiit, regarding and pondering. 9 
I stooped to the threshold of the dooi-way, where she hi 
pushed in the iiote two or three days earlier in such extai 
ment. The carpet reaohed close tn the sill, and under t 
edge of the carpet she discerned the faint whit* margin 
the envelope containing her letter to him, which lie obvioui 
had never seen, owing to her ha\ing in her lui&te thrufct 
beneati tho carpet as well as beneath the door. 

With a feeling of faintness slie withdrew ibe leth 
There it was — sealed up, just as it bad left her ham 
The inonntuin had not yet been removed. She could fl 
let him read it now, the house being in full bustle of ]>n 
aration ; and descending to her own mom, she dc^struj 
the letttT there, 

Shu WHS so pale when he saw her again that he felt qo 
anxious. The incident of tbe misplaced letter, thnugli i 
bad guessed that it might be so, overwhelmed her; wl 
could she do at tlus late moment ? Everj-thing waa in 
stir; there waa coming and going; all bad to chfuw, !)• 
dair>'niau and Mrs. Crick having b(?en askml to acmmpaci; 
them an witnesses ; and reflection or delibcraU- Inll t. ,.- 
well-nigh impossible. The only moment Tesa coiiln 
be alone with CUare was when they met upon tli-' 1 

"I am so anxious to talk to you — T want t*i cm . 
ray faults aud blunders," she said, with att^mptiMl liulilo' 

" No, un — we can't have faults tidked of — ^_von mvt 
. deemed iwrfeet t«-day at lea**t. Sweet," !»■ cnciL 
shall have plenty of time hereaftw, I hope, ti) uDc 
faihngK. I will confess mine at tbc same tiini-." 

" But it would be betU'r (or me to do it ntiw, I tbisk, 
that you could not say " 

" Well, you shall tell me anj'tMug — say, as soon as ■we 
tirp st'ttled in our lodging; not now. I, too, will tell you 
my faults then. But do not let us spoil the day with them; 
they will be excellent matter for a dull time." 

"Then you don't wish me to, dearest?" 

'■ I do not, Tess, really." 

The hnrry of di-essing: and starting left no time for more 
1 iiou this. Those words of his seemed to reassure her on 
I'uilher reflection, especially that the subject was one on 
H hich he would not have liked to speak to her. She was 
wliirled onward through the next couple of critical hours 
by the mastering tide of her devotion to him, which closed 
up further meditation. Her one desire, so long resisted, to 
make herself hia, to call him her lord, her own — then, if 
neoessary, to die — had at last lifted her up from her plod- 
ding reflective pathway. In dressing, she moved about in 
a mental cloud of many-colored idealities, which eclipsed 
all siDister contingeneies by its brightness. 

The church was a long way off, and tliey were obliged to 
drive, particularly as it was winter. A close carriage was 
o!-dered from a roadside inn, a vehicle which had been kept 
there ever since the old days of post-chaise travelling. It 
had stout whcel-spokes and heavy felloes, a great ciuTed 
hed. immense straps and springs, and a jtole like a batter- 
iiig-rani. The postilion was a venerable "boy" of sixty — 
a martjT to rheumatic gout, the result of excessive exposure 
in youth, counteracted by strong liquors — who had stood 
at inn-doors, doing nothing, for the whole flve-and-twenty 
yc&TB that had ela])sed since he had no longer betin required 

ride professionally, as if expecting the old times to come 
again. He had a permanent running wound on the 
tde of his right leg, originated by tlie constant bruis- 
higB of aristocratic carriage-poles during tfie mauy years 
tlmt he had been in regular employ at the Golden Crown, 
( tistorbridge. 

inside this cunibrons and creaking structure, and behind 




this decayed conductor, the partie carr^e took their seati 
the bridpi and bridegroom and Mr. aiid Mrs. Crick. Ai 
would have liked oue at least of hie brothers to ^ie pi 
as groomsman, but their silence after his gentle hint to 
effect by letter had signified that they did not care to coi 
They disapproved of the marriage, and could not be 
peeted to countenance it. Perhaps it was well that tl 
could not bo present ; they were not worldly young feiloi 
but fratemiziiig: with dairj--folk would have struck impl' 
aiitly upon their biassed niceness, apart from their views 
the match. 

Upheld by the momentum of the time, Tess knew notli- 
ing of this ; did not see it ; did not know the road the^* were 
taking to the church. She knew tliat Angel was close to 
her ; all tlie rest wae a luminous mist She was a sort of, 
celestial person, who owed her being to poetry — one 
those classical divinities Clare was accnstomed to talk 
her ftl)out when they took their walks together. 

The marriage being by Ueeuse, there were only a di 
or so of people in the church ; had there been a thoi 
they wonld have produced no more effect npon her. Thfy 
were at stellar distances from her present world. In tin 
ecstatic solemnity with which she swore her faith to him, 
the ordinary sensibilities of sex seemed a flippancy. At n 
pause in the service, while they were kneeling tog(.'tht'r. ah- 
nnconseiously inclined herself towai-ds him, sn that li'J 
shoulder touched his ami; she bad been frightened by* 
passing thought, and the movejuent had been aiitotualir, ■ 
assure herself that he was really there, and to fortify 14 
behef that his fidehty would be proof against all thin^ " 

Clai-e knew that she loved him — ever>" curve of her iorel 
showed that — bat he did not know at that time tlip foU 
depth of her devotion, its dngle-miudedness, its iiieekiww: 
what long.suffering it guai'auteed — what honesty, whai su 
durance, what good faith. 

As they came out of church the ringers swung the bdlf 


iilT their rests, and a modest peal of three notes broke forth 
— that limited amount of expression having been deemed 
-ufflcient for the joys of such a small parish. Fussing by 
the tower with her husband on the path to the gate, shi^ 
r-oiild feel the vibrant oii- humming round them from 
tlie lonvred belfry in a circle of sound, and it matched 
Ihe higlily charged mental atmosphere in which she was 

Tliis condition of mind wherein she felt glorified by aii 
irradiation not her own, like the Angel whom St. John saw 
in the sun, lasted till the sound of the church-bells had died 
nway, and the emotions of the wedding service tiad calmed 

Her eyes could dwell upon details more clearly now, and 
My. and Mrs. CricJi having directed their own gig to be 
- lit for them, to leave the carriage to the young couple, 
-iio observed the build and character of that conveyance 
for the first time. Sitting in silence, she regarded it long. 

" I fancy you seem oppressed, Tessie ! " said Clare. 

"Yes," she answered, putting her hand to her brow. "I 
tremble at many things. It is all so serious, AngeL Among 
other things I seem to have seen this carriage before, to be 
very well acquainted with it. It is verj- odd — I must have 
^een it in a di-eam." 

■ O — you have heard the legend of the D'TJrberville 

iftch — that well-known superstition of this county about 
family when they were verj- popular here ; and this 
ibering old thing reminds you of it," 
I have never heard of it to my knowledge," said she. 
""What is the legend — may I know iti" 

■■Well — I would r^lher not tell it in detail just now. A 
certain D'Urberville of the sixteenth or eeventeenth centnr>- 
committed a drentlful crime in his family coach ; and since 
that time members of the family see or hear this old coach 

whenever But I'll tell yon another day — it is rathor 

Evidently some dim knowledge of it has heca 


~ ttTPT, 




brought back to your iniud by the sight of tiiis veiierable 

" I don't remember hearing it before," she mormured. 
" Is it when we are going to die, Augt'I, that mumtiers of 
my family seo it, or is it when we havu eoinmitted aerimer 

" Now, Tefis ! " He eilenoed her by a kias. 

By the time they reached home she was contritfl anil 
8piritl(«s. Slie was Mrs. Aiigel Clare, indeed, but had ahf 
auy moral right to the namu J Wns she not mot« tnHy 
Mrs. Alexander IHUrbervtlle 1 Could intensity of love jus 
tify what might be considered in upright houIb as culpable, 
reticence T She knew not what was expected of woroeo m 
sueli ca^es ; and Khe hud no counsellor. i 

However, when she found herself alone in her room fori 
& few minutes — the last day this on which she waa cvertu 
enter it — she knelt down and prayed. She tried to pray U< 
God, but it was her huslmnd who really had her supplira- 
tiou. Her idolatry of this man was such that she heiseW 
almost feaied it to be ill-omened. She wa8 vouscious of 
the notion expressed by Friar LanTtnice : " These viiAnnl 
delights have violent ends." It might bo too dRsperaCe for 
linniaii conditions — ^too rank, too wild, too deadly. " mj' 
love, my love, why do I love you so ! " she whispered thw* 
alone ; " for she you love ia not my real self, but onti in my 
image ; the one I might ha\'e been." 

Aftt-moon cojne, and with it the hour for departnTc. 
They had decided to fulfil the plan of going for a tew daji 
tf) the lodgings in tlie old farmhouse near Wcllbridgc Mill, 
at which he meant to reside during his investigatiun of 
flour-processes. At two o'elock there was nothing leftW 
do but start. All the sen-autry of the dairj- wi-re stoadinE 
•'in the red-brick entry to see them go out, the dairyman mil 
his wife following to the door. Tess saw her tliree eluuo- 
ber-mates in a row against the wall, pensively iurUmny 
tbeir heads. She had much questioned if they would »p- 
-pear at the parting moment ; but there they were, sloictl 



and staunch to the last. She knew why the delicate Retty 
looked so fragile, and Izz so tragically sorrowful, and Mar- 
ian so blank ^ and she forgot her own dogging shadow for 
a moment in contemplating theirs. 

She impulsively whispered to him: "Will you kiss 'em 
all, once, poor things, for the first and last time t " 

Clare had not the least objection to such a farewell for- 
mality — ^which was all that it was to him — ^and as he passed 
them he kissed them in succession where they stood, sa}ring 
" Good-by " to each as he did so. When they reached the 
door Tess femininely glanced back to discern the effect of 
that kiss of charity ; there was no triumph in her glance, 
as there might have been. If there had it would have dis- 
appeared when she saw how moved the girls all were. The 
kiss had obviously done harm by awakening feelings they 
were trying to subdue. 

Of all this Clare was unconscious. Passing on to the 
wicket-gate he shook hands with the dairyman and his 
wife, and expressed his last thanks to them for their atten- 
tions ; after which there was a moment of silence before 
they had moved off. It was interrupted by the crowing of 
a cock. The white one with the rose comb had come and 
settled on the palings in front of the house, within a few 
yards of them, and his notes thrilled their ears through, 
dwindling away like echoes down a valley of rocks. 

*' O ? " said Mrs. Crick. " An afternoon crow ? " 

Two men were standing by the yard-gate, holding it 

" That's bad,'' one murmured to the other, not thinking 
that the words could be heard by the group at the door- 

The cock crew again — straight towards Clare. 

" Well ! " said the dairyman. 

" I don't like to hear him ! " said Tess to her husband. 
" Tell the man to drive on. Good-by, good-by ! " 

The cock crew again. 




"Hoosh! Jiist you be off, sir, or I'll twist your neoil* 
bald the dair^inan with some iiritatioD, tuming to the bird 
and driviug him away. And to his wife as they went in- 
diH>rs : " Now, to think o" that just ttniay ! I've not heui 
his erow of im afternoon all the year afoit?," 

" It only means a change in the weather," said she r " n« 
what you think : 'tis impossible ! " 

They drove by the lovel road along the valley to a difr 
tanee of a few miles, and, reaching Wellbridge, tnmed any 
from the village to the left, and over the great Elizabethao 
l«idge which gave the place half its name. Immt'diatelv 
behind it stood the house in which they had enga^'d IfiJf 
inga, whose exterior is so well known to all trnv^-Iler^ 
through tJie Froom Valley ; once portion <if a fine nianoriftl 
residence, the property and home of a D'Urber\'iU>-, ixU 
since its partial demolition a farmhouse ; an adaptJitiMi I? 
no means singular in this district, where there arw few«U 
form homesteads which have not, at some time or otLtlu 
before ten estates were merged in one, been the seat flid 
landowner. H 

•'Welcome to one of your ancestral mantdoDB*" i^| 
Clare as he handed her down. But he repented the pl4P 
antry ; it was too near a satire. 

On entering they found that, though they had only (» 
paged a couple of rooms, the famii-r had taken ailvanU^ 
of their proposed presence during the few cnming diiy^H 
pay a New Tear's visit to some friendii, leanug a voaH 
from a neighboring cottage to minl8t<r to their few wai^l 
Thp absoluteness of possession pleased them, and they !*•' 
iwd it AS the first moment of their experience under tlictf 



But he found that the mouldy old habitation somewhat 
depressed his bride. When the carriage was gone they 
ascended the stairs to wash their hands, the charwoman 
showing the way. On the landing Tess stopped and started. 

" What's the matter t '' said he. 

" Those horrid women ! " she answered, with a smile. 
" How they frightened me ! ^ 

He looked up and perceived two life-size portraits on 
panels built into the masonry. As all visitors to the man- 
sion are aware, these paintings represent women of middle 
age, of a date some two hundred years ago, whose linea- 
ments once seen can never be forgotten. "The long, pointed 
features, narrow eye, and smirk of the one, so suggestive 
of merciless treachery, the bill-hook nose, large teeth and 
bold eye of the other, suggesting arrogance to the point of 
ferocity, haunt the beholder afterwards in his dreams. 

" Whose portraits are those ? " asked Clare of the char- 

'* Pve been told by the old folk that they were ladies of 
the lyUrberville family, the ancient lords of this manor," 
she said. " Owing to their being builded into the wall they 
can't be removed." 

The unpleasantness of the matter was that, in addition 
to their effect upon Tess, her fine features were imquestion- 
ably traceable in their exaggerated forms. He said nothing 
of this, however ; and regretting that his romantic plan of 
choosing this house for their bridal time was proving to 
be a mistake, went on into the adjoining room. The place 
having been rather hastily prepared for them, they washed 
their hands in one basin. Clare touched hers under the 

^* Which are my fingers and which are yours t" he said, 
looking up. " They are very much mixed." 

" They are all yours," said she, very prettily, and endeav- 
ored to be gayer than she was. He had not been displeased 
with her thoughtfulness on such an occasion ) it was what 

248 'fi^i »-•'■' ''"i^ D'i.ittiiKuvim;«. 

I eveiy sensible woman would show ; bat Tess knew that 
had been thoughtful to exoess, aud stniggled ugainf^ 

The Buu was so low on that ehort last afternoon n 
year that it shone in through a simdl oiK'niug and for 
a golden staff which strtitcht-d aci-oss to Ikt Bkirt, whi 
made a spot like a paint-mark set upt)n her. They 
down to till" ancient parlor to tea, and here they sfai 
their first common meal alone. Such was their chili 
neBB, or rathor his, tliat he found it interesting to 
same bread-and-buttt-r plato as hersi^lf. and to brush 
from hor lips with his own. He wondered a little th; 
did not enter into these frivolities witli his own zest. 

Looking at her silently tor a long time, "She is a Hear. 
I dear Tcss," he thought to himself, as ono dwiding on tli' 
true construction of a difficult passage. " Do I reftUif 
solemnly enough how utterly and in-etrievably this littlr 
womanly thing is the creatm-e of my good or bad faith and 
fortune f I think not. I think I could not. unless I wo* i 
woman mysplf. What I am, slie is. What I beeome slii' 
must become. What I caunot be she cannot be. Ajjd shal! 
I ever neglect her, or hurt her, or even forget to consiil«r 
lierT God forbid sueh a erlme ! " 

They sat on over the tea-table, waiting for their lu^ag^. 
which the dairjinan had promised to send befoi-e it grew 
dark. But evening began to elose in, and the lusrgugp ilii 
not arrive, aud they had brought nothing more tliuu ihi-} 
stood in. With the departure of the sun the calm luoud "f 
the winter day changed. Out-of-doors there began BOi«* 
as of silk smartly nibbed ; the restful dead leavi^* of tii 
preceding autumn were stirred to irksome regnrrectiou, •O'l 
whirled about unwillingly, and tap])ed against the shattcn- 
It soon began to rain. 

" That cock knew the weather was going to ohongc,*' add 
CUre. M 

The woman who had attended upon tljeni had gone hu^B 
|torti»gii^ but die bad plaoad wia^wapgg-jftgfllj 


and now they lit them. Eu(?li candlo-tlame drew towards 
the fireplace. 

"These old houses are so draughty," continued Angel, 
looking at the flames, and at the grease guttering down die 
sides. '' I wonder where that luggage iet We havent even 
a 'brush aud comb." 

" I don't know," she answered, absent-minded. 

" Tess, yoQ are not a bit cheerful this evening — ^uot at all 
as you used to be. Those harridans upstairs have unsettled 
j'oa. I am sorr^' I bi-oughtyou here. I wonder if you really 
love mc, after all ? " 

He knew that she did, and the words had no serious in- 
tent; but she was surcharged with emotion, and winced 
like a wounded animal. Though she tried not to shed tears, 
ho could not help showing one or two, 

■■ I did not mean it," said he, sorry. " You are worried 
lit not hai.'ing your things, I know. I cannot think why 
old Jonathan lias not come with tJiem. Why, it is seven 
I I'clock ! Ah, there he is ! " 

A knock had come to the door, and, there being nobody 
else to answer it, Clare went out. He returned to the room 
with a §mall package in his hand. 

" It ia not Jonathan, utter all," he said. 

" How vexing ! " said Tess. 

The jiacket hsul been brought by a special messenger, who 

\ arrived -at Tulljothaj-s from Emminster Vicarage im- 
Lately after the departure of the married couple, and 

I followed them hither, being under injunction to deliver 

into nobody's Iiands but theirs. Clare brought it to the 
It was less than a foot long, sewed up in canvas, 

^ed in i-ed wax with his father's seal, and direc-t^-d in his 

tiler's hand t« " Mrs. Angel Clare." 

"It is a little wedding-present for yon, Tess," said he, 
handing it to her. " How thoughtful they are ! " 

Tcs& looked a littk Mustered us she took it 


she, after examiiiing the parceL " I don't like to break 
those great bp-hIs j they look so serioiia. Please open it for 
me I" 

He undid the parcel, Inside vraa a, case of monwco 
leather, on the top of which lay a uol« and a key. 

The note was for Clare, in the following words: 

"My dear Son, — 

" Possibly you have forgotten that on the desUi of yonr 
godmother, Mrs. Pitney, when you were a lad, she — vain, 
kind woman that she was — left to me a portion of the win- 
tents of her jewcl-caso in trust for your wife, if yon ahonJil | 
ever have one, ae a mark of her affection fur you and whom- 
soever yon should choose. This trust I have fulfilled, oni! 
the diamonds have betm locked up at my banker's ever sinw. 
Though I ffel it to bo a somewhat incongruous act ia tbi^ 
circumstances, I am, as you wiU see, bonnd to baud o^-frtlif 
articles to the woman to whom they will now rightly Wloo^ 
and they are therefore promptly sent. They Itetromc, I bfcl 
lieve, heirlooms, strictly speaking, aceording to the temi^lll 
your godmother's will, the precise words of which that «BfT 
to this matter are enclosed." 

" I do remember," said Clare ; " but I had quite f< 

te fotSD^ 
ime otl^H 


Unlocking tie case, they found it to contain a o 
with pendaut, bracelets, and ear-rings ; and also some a 
small ornaments. 

Tess seemed afraid to touch them at firet, bnt her «j<-^ 
sparkled for a moment ds much as tiie stones when CUr 
spread out the set. 

"Are they mine?" she asked, incredulously. 

■' They arc, certainly," said he. 

He turned to the Arc. He reracnibi-rtd how. ■'. 
was a lad of fifteen, his godmother, tie Squire's- ■' 
only rich pei-son witli whoui iw luJ«WB'>io«Wdtfi. ri 



had piiiaed her faith to his euueess; had prophesied a woii- 
drouB career fop him. There had seemed nothing at all out 
of keeping with snch a conjectured career in the storiug 
up of these showy omameut* for his wife, aad the wives of 
lier descendauts. They gleamed somewhat ii-ouically uow. 
'■ YctwhyT" he asked himself. It was but a question of 
vanity throughout ; and if tliat were admitted into one side 
i>f the equation it should bo admitted into the other. His 
wife was a D'Urberville : whom could they become better 
than her ! 

SaddeiJy he said with enthusiasm, " Tess, put them on — 
tliem on ! " And he tiUTied fi-om the fire to help her. 

As if by magic she had ah-eady donned them — necklace, 
■rings, bracelets, and all. 

" But the gown isn't right, Tess," said Clare. " It ought 
to be a low one for a set of brilliants like that." 

" Ought it T " said Tess. 

" Yes," said he. He suggested to her how to tuck in the 
apper edge of her bodice, so as to make it roughly approx- 
imate to the cut for evening wear ; and when she had done 
this, and the pendant to the necklace hung isohited smid 
the whiteness of her throat, as it was designed to do, be 
stepped back to survey her. 

" My heavens," said Clare, " how beautiful you are ! " 

She B&tonished him. As everybody knows, fine feathers 
;e line birds : a peasant girl but very moderately pre- 
possessing to the casual obser\'er in her simple condition 
and attire will bloom us an amazing beauty if elothed as a 
womjin of fashion with the aids that Art can render ; wlule 
thi.' beauty of the midnight cnish would ofteu cut but a 
-iirrj- figro-e if placed iuside the field-woman's wrapper 
upon a monotonous acreage of turnips on a dull day. He 
had never till now realized the artistic excellence of Tess^ 

lbs and features. 

"If you were only to appear in a ballroom!" he said. 
fBnt no — no, dearest ; I think I love you best in the wing- 

m "I 


bonin^t ami cotton frock — yes, better than in t]iis, well J 
yoii suiiiKtrt tlieee dignitie*," 

Tess's sense of her striking appearance had given lui| 
flash of escit«raent, which was yet not happiness. 

" I'll take them off," she said, " iu case Jonathan shim 
see me. They are not fit for mo, ai-e they t Thoy must 1>? 
sold, I supi>ose(" 

"Let tliera stay a few minutes longer. Sell them! 
Never. It would be a breach of faith." 

Influenced by a second thought, she readily obeyed : ah ■ 
had something to tell, and there might be help in the«^ 
She sat down with the jewels upon her ; and they a 
indulged in conjeetm-es as to whei-o Jonathan conid p 
bly be with their baggage. The ale they had poured o 
for his consumption when he came had gone flat with li 

Shortly after this they began supper, which was sire 
laid on a side-table. Befoi-e they ha<l finished there B 
jerk in the flre-snioke, the rising skein of which bulgtd 9 
into the room, as if some giant hatl laid his hand on 6 
cMmncy-top for a moment. It had been canscd bytl 
npening of the outer door. A heavy st«p was now bea 
in the passage, and Angel went out. 

" I eoiildn' mal;e nobody hear at all by kmwking," a 
gized Jonatiiau KaU, for it was he at last ; " and as 'twa^ 
nulling out I opened the door. I've brought the thine*, 

" I am very glad tfl see them. But yon arc very late." 

" Well, yes, sir." There was something subdued in Jonn 
than Kail's tone which had not been there in the day. i 
lines of concern were ]>loughed upon his fowhcad in u 
tion to the lines of years. He continued : '■ We've all h 
gallied at the dairy at what might ha' been a most lorr 
affliction since you and your rata'eBs — bo to name bw n 
— ^left us this a'temoon. Perhaps you lia'nt forgoe i 
cocfc'e aftfmoon crow 1 " 


" Dear me ; — ^what ^ 

^^ Welly some says it do mane one thing, and some an- 
other J but what's happened is that poor little Retty Priddle 
hev tried to drown herself .'^ 

"No! Eeally! Why, she bade ns good-by with the 
rest " 

" Yes. Well, sir, when you and your mis'ess — so to name 
what she lawful is — when you two drove away, as I say, 
Retty and Marian put on their bonnets and went out; and 
as there is not much doing now, being New Year's Eve, 
and folks mops and brooms from what's inside 'em, nobody 
took much notice. They went on to Lew-Everard, where 
they had some'at to drink, and then on they vamped to 
Dree-armed Cross, and there they seem to have parted, 
Retty striking across the water-meads as if for home, and 
Marian going on to the next village, where there's another 
public-house. Nothing more was seed or heard o' Retty 
tUl the waterman, on his way home, noticed some'at by the 
Great Pool, and 'twas her bonnet and shawl packed up. In 
the water he found her. He and another man brought her 
home, thinking 'a was dead ; but she came round by de- 

Angel, suddenly recollecting that Tess was overhearing 
this gloomy tale, went to shut the door between the passage 
and the ante-room to the inner parlor where she was j but 
his wife, flinging a shawl round her, had approached and 
was listening to the man's narrative, her eyes resting ab- 
sently on the luggage and the drops of rain ghstening 
upon it. 

" And, more than this, there's Marian ; she's been found 
dead drunk by the withy-bed — ^a girl who hev never been 
inown to touch anything before except shilhng ale ; though 
to be sure, 'a was always a good trencher- woman, as her 
face showed. It seems as if the maids had all gone out o' 
their minds ! " 

" And Izzl^ asked Tess. 


" Izz is about house as usual -, bat 'a do say 'ft (>An 
how it h«pi«'iied ; and she swms to be veiy low in ml 
about it, pool- maid, as well she mid be. And so ycm 
sir, Bn all this liappen»d just when we was packing your 
traps and your mis'ess's iiight-raU and dressing things into 
the cart, why, it belated me." 

"Yes. WeU, Jonathan, will you get the trunks upstflirs. 
and drink a cup of ale, and hasten hack as soon ni; rnu 
can, in case you should he wanted ? " 

Tess had gone hack to the inner jiarlor, and sal down 
by the fire, looking wistfully into it. She heard Jonathan 
Kail's heavy footsteps up and down the stairs till he Iw'! 
done placing the luggage, aud heard him expn«s hisrhaiii- 
for the ale her husband took out to him, and for llie gratu 
ity he received. Jonathan's footsteps then died from \i» 
door, and his cart creaked away. 

Angel slid forward the massive oak bar wliieh faitt^ned 
the door, and coming in to where she sat over the heartli. 
pressed her cheeks between his hands from behintl. R"- 
expected her to jump up gaily and unpack the toilet geir 
that she had been so ansious about, but as she did not ris«. 
he sat down with her in the firelight, the candles on tb* 
supper-table being too thin aud glimmering to ipterfwfl 
with it« glow. ~ 

" I am so sorry you should have beard this sad story," 
swd. " Still, don't lot it depress you. Retty 
morbid, you know." 

''Without the least cause," said Tess. ""While they*!"' 
have cause to be, Jiido it, and pretend they are noL' 

This incident had turned the scale for her. They met 
simple and innocent girls on wliom the nuhappiness of q* 
requited love had fallen ; they had deserved better at thf 
hands of Fate. She had deser\'ed worse, yet she wiw tb' 
chosen one. It wa.s wicked of her to take all wilhinn pny 
ing. She would pay to tlie uttermost farthing; sJn- w<itilii 

ipterfi wB J 




telly there and then. This final determination she came to 
when she looked into the fire, he holding her hand. 

A steady crimson glare from the now flameless embers 
painted the sides and back of the fireplace with its color, 
and the well-i)olished andirons, and the old brass tongs that 
would not meet. The underside of the mantel-shelf was 
flushed with the unwavering blood-colored light, and the 
legs of the table nearest the fire. Tess's face and neck re- 
flected the same warmth ; which each diamond turned into 
an Aldebaran or a Sinus — a constellation of white, red, and 
green flashes, that interchanged their hues with her every 

"Do you remember what we said to each other this 
morning about telling our f aidts f " he asked, abruptly, find- 
ing that she still remained immovable. " We spoke lightly, 
perhaps, and you may well have done so. But for me it 
was no light promise. I want to make a confession to you, 

This, from him, so unexpectedly apposite, had the effect 
upon her of a Providential interposition. 

" You have to confess something 1 ^ she said, quickly, and 
even with gladness and relief. 

"You did not expect it! Ah — ^you thought too highly 
of me. Now, listen. Put your head there, because I want 
you to forgive me, and not to be indignant with me for not 
telling you before, as perhaps I ought to have done." 

How strange it was ! He seemed to be her double. She 
did not speak, and Clare went on : 

" But, darling, I did not mention it because I was afraid 
of endangering my chance of you, the great prize of my 
life — my fellowship I call you. My brother's fellowship 
was won at his college, mine at Talbothays Dairy. Well, I 
would not risk it. I was going to tell you a month ago — 
at the time you agreed to be mine, but I could not ; I 
thought it might frighten you away from me. I put it off; 


tbeu I llioughl I would tfU you yesterday, to give to 
clianue at least of escapiug me. Bat I did ntit. And I 
not this inoniiiig, when yon pi-oposed our eonfessiny 
faults nu tlio Ijinding — the sannur that I was ! Bnt I in 
uow I see you sitting thei'o so solemnly. 1 wonder if 
will forgive me T " 

" Oh yes 1 I am sure that " 

"Well, I hope so. But wait a minnt*. You ilou't 
To hegiu at the begiuniiig, Thongh I helievo my 
father fears that I am one of the eternally lost for my 
triues, I am of ciourse a believer in good morals, Te«a, 
much as you. I used to wish to lie a teacher of men, 
it was a great disappointmeut to me when I found I et 
not enter the Church. I loved sputlesKue^ oveji thott) 
eonld lay uo elaim to it, and hated impurity, bb I hope I 
now. Whatever one may think of jileuary insi)imtioii. i 
must heartily Fuhseribe to these words of Paul : ■ He tl 
an exami)le — in word, in conversation, in eharity. in spi 
in faith, in pmit>'.' It is tlie only safeguard for ua p 
hiunan beings. ' Integer vit«,' says a Komau poet, 
strange company for St Paul i 


The man of upright life, frnm frntltias ft«e, 
O Fusou3, needs ao Uooriab apoar tmd bow. 

Well, a certain placft is paved with good intcuUouis J 
having felt all that so strongly, you will spe what a H-ir 
remorse it bred in rae when, in the midst of my high i 
for other jieoplc, I myself fell" 

He then told her of that time of his life tJi which allui 
has been made when, Uissod about by doubts and ilifEeiil 
like a cork on the waves, he went to London aud plm 
into eight-and-fort>' hours' dissipation mth a stranger. 

" Happily I awoke almost immediately to a sense o 
fiilly," be continued. '■ I would have no more to say to 
Said I CEimc home. I have never rtjiciited tli 



I should like to treat you with perfect franknesa and 
nr, and I could not do so without telling this. Do yoi^l 
ive me I " 

It) jtressed his hand tightly for an answer, 
riu-n we will diamiaa it at once and forever — too pai 
IS it is for the occasion — and talk of something lighteij 

Angel — I am almoBt glad — becauBe now yon a 
nil' ! I have not made my confession. I have a eon^ 

ion, too — ^remember, I said so." — 

Ah. to be fiiu-o ! Now then for it, wicked little one." 

Perhaps, although you smile, it is as serious as yours, 

lore so," 

rt can hardly be more serious, dearest." 

It cannot — oh no, it cannot ! " She jumped wp at tJ 

^ " No, it cannot be more serions, certainly," sht 

lanse 'tis just the same 1 I will tell you now." 

heir hands were still joined. The ashes under the graf 

■ lit by tijo fire vertically, like a torrid waste, Imagina- 

might have beheld a Last-Day luridness in this red- 
ed glow, which still fell on his face and hand, and on 
, peering into the loose hair about her brow, and firing 
delicate skin underneath. A large shadow of her shape 

npon the wall and ceiling. She bent forward, at which 

1 diamond on her neck gave a sinister wink like a toad's, 
pressing her forehead against his temple she entered 

ihe story of her acquaintance with Alec D'Urberville 
I results, muminring the words without flinching;, 
li her eyelids drooping dowa. 



Her narrative ended ; even its re-assertions and second- 
ary cxplftiijitions were done. Tess's voice throughout had 
hardly risen higher than its opening t«ne ; there had been 
no oxculpatorj- plirase of any kind, and she had not wept 

But the complexion even of external things seemed to 
suffer transmutation as her announcement progressed. The 
firi' iu the gi'ate looked impish — demoniacally funny, as if 


Iq tlie atrennonsaees of his eoticeutration 1 
1 fitfully ou Uie floor. He could uot, by any o 
^ think closely enough ; tliat was the meaning c 
B movement. When he sptjke it was in the most 
late, commonplace voico of the many varied toneu 
, heard from liim. 

^ dearest." 

; I to believe this I From your manner I am to t 

le. 0, yon cannot be out of yom- mind ! Yon om 

Yet you arc not. . . . My wife, my own Tess !- 
; in j'ou warrants such a sujiposition as that T " 
s not out of my mind," she said. 

" He looked vacantly at her, to rest 

led senses : '" Why didn't you tell nie before 1 
I would have told me, in a way — but I hindered ym 

i and other of his words were nothing hut the p 
f babble of the surface while the depths romai! 
He turned away, and bent over a chair. 1 
i him to the middle of the room where ho wa«, i 

ipre staruig at him with eyes that did not v 

' she slid down upon her knees beside bis foolj 

D this position she crouched in a heap. 
lie name of our love, forgive me ! " she whispere 
by mouth. " I have forgiven you for the s 
I lie did not answer, she said again, ''Forgive i 

e for^veu." 

B no such hope," said he. 
fgive you, Angel.'' 
s, you do." 

yon do not forgive me ? " 

B8, forpveness does not apply to the case ! Y 

1 perKOu ; now you are another. 3[y Uod — he 
^veness meet such a grotesiiue — prestidigitation a 



He paused, Bontcmplating this idea ; then Euddenly Imk' 
into liomblo lauglit«r — oh tmaatural aud ghastly as s lauch 
in bell. Siddy white, slie jumped np, 

" Don't — don't ! It WUa me quifo, tliat ! " she shritkiiL 
" O, have mercy upon me — have mercy ! , . . Angvl ! An- 
gel! what do you mean by that UughT" she cried out. 
" Do you know what this is to met" 

Hu shook his heiul. 

"I have been lioping, longing, praying, to make y" 
happy. I have thought what joy it will be to du il. w1i;l 
an unworthy ^vifo I shall be if I do not ! That's wbai ! 
ha\-e felt, Angel ! " 

" I know that." 

'■ I thought, Angel, that you loved me — me, my wiy »eM! 
It it is 1 you do love, O, how can it be fiiat yon look and 
s(>cak BO I It frightens me ! Having begun to lore *«. 
I love 'ee forevt-p — in all e-hanges, in all disgraces, Imwnt 
yon are yourself. I ta-k no more. Then how can yvn. 
my own husband, stop loving me T " 

"I rc^ieat, the woman I have been loving is nut yon." 

•' But who ! " % 

"Another woman in your shape." ,■ 

She perceived in his words the realixation of \}er omt 
appri'henave foreboding in former times. He looked npw 
her as a species of impostor ; a guilty woman in the giAt 
of an innocent one. Terror was upon l|Dr white faoc ■• 
she saw it ; her check was fiaccidjjnidilM' month luui altuotl 
tile aspect of a round little h«lf. 3Tie horrible senw of lat 
view of her so doademd her appearance that ho stejipMl 
forward, tliinking she was going to fall. 

"Sit down, sit down," he said, gently. "Yon are ill; «ii ■ 
It is natural tiiat you should l>e." 

She did sit down, without knowing wfaoro eh« wue, (lu' 
strained look Btill upon her fac<.', and her cyoa sodi Mfl 
make his flush creep. ^M 


she asked, helplessly. "It is not me, but auother woman 
liki! me that he loved, he says." 

By a momentaiy power of introspection, she seemed to 
fake pity upon herself as one who was ill-tised. Her eyes 
filled us she regarded ber position further; she turned 
round and burst into a flood of self-sympathetic tears. 

Angel Clai-e was relieved at this change, (or the effect on 
her of what had happened was beginning to be a trouble 
to him only less than the woe of the disclosure itself. He 
waited patiently, apathetically, till tljc violence of her grief 
had worn itself out, and her rush of weeping had lessened 
to a cateliing gasp at intervals. 

" Angul," b1i6 said, suddenly, in her uatural tones, the in- 
sime, dry voice of terror having luf t her now ; ■' Angel, am 
1 tL>o wicked for you and me to live together f" 

" I have not been able to think what we can do." 

" I shan't ask you to let me live with you, Augel, because 
I have no right to. I shall not write to motiier and sisters 
to say we be married, as I said I would do ; and I shan't the good-hussif I cut out and meant to make while 
wr were in lodgings." 

■■Shan't you I" 

'■ No, I shan't do anything, unless you order me to ; and 
if you go away from me 1 shall not follow 'ee; and if yon 
never speak to mo any more I shall not ask why, imless 
you tell me I may." 

■ And if I do order you to do anything f " 

■ I %vill obey you like your perfect slave, even if it i? to 
lie down and die." 

"You are verj* good. But it strikes nie that there is o 
want of harmony between your present mood of self-sacri- 
fice and your past mood of self-preservation." 

These were the first words of antagonism. To lling elab- 
jTiite sarcasms at Tess, however, was much like flinging 
tlii-ni at a dog or cat. The charms of their subtlety passed 
hy her unappreciated, and she only received theiu as inimicid 


Konnds wliicb ineaut. that anger ruli-d. She reoioitieil loni. 
not knowing that, be was desperately Kmotbcriiig his rS:- 
tion for her. Slie hardly observed tliut n tear di-setinl' 
slowly iiiwn his cheek, so large that it maguitied the jhh' 
of the skin overwhieh it rolled, like the object-lens of a hj 
erosuoiw. Meanwhile re-illmuination as to tia terrible aij. 
total eJiauge that her confession had wrought in hi» life. i< 
his universe, retumeil Ui him, and he tried desperately to ad- 
vance among the new conditions in wiiich be stood. Sotnt 
eonsequent action was nee,esBary ; yet what ! 

" Tess," he said, as gently as he could speak, " I cannui 
stay — in tliia room — ^just now. "I wUl walk out a liltlc 
way." He quietly left the room, and the two glasses ut 
wine that he had poured out for their supper— one for ha. 
one for him — i-eniained on the table untssted. This wb» 
what their supper — their Agajie — had oonie to. At i«a,tWH 
or three hours earher, they had, in the freakishuessi of iiSit- 
tion, dnink from one cup. 

The closing of the door behind him, gently as it had birii 
pulled to, roused Tess from herstnpor. He was gcini! ; dw 
could not stay. Hastily ^ugiug her cloak round h&. Kin- 
opened the door and followed, putting out the candliui as ii 
she were never coming back. The rain was over, and ll"' 
night was now clear. 

She was soon close at his heels, for Clare wiUhed slowl; 
and without purpose, Hia form beside her light gniy lii 
nre looked black, sinister, and forbidding, and die fi-it <^ 
sarcasm the touch of the jewels of which she bad been mo- 
mentarily so proud, Clare turned at hearing ht_T loob'U'j*, 
but his recognition ot ber presence seemed to moku i. ■ 
diffia^ncfl iu him, and he went on over the fivB yawBi-'!- 
arches of the great bridge in front ot the house. 

The cow and horse tracks in tlie road were full of vrhUt. 
the rain ha^'ing been enough to charge them, bul n^ 
enough to wash tliem away. Across those minnUt pool* 
the reflected stars flitted in a quick tmii«it a^ shv jMUw!- 


she woulil not have known they were shiniag overhead if 
she liatl not seen them there — the vastest things of the imi- 
\ iTfie imaged in objects so mean. 

The place to which they had ti-aveUed to-day was in the 
same valley as Talbothays, but some miles lower down the 
river; and the siuroiindings being open she kept easily 
in sight of him. Away from tlie house the road wound 
through tiie meads, and along these she followed Clare- 
without any attempt to come np with him or to attract him, 
but with dumb and vacant fidelity. 

At last, however, her listless walk bought her up along- 
eide him, and still ho said nothing. The cruelty of fooled 
honesty is often great after enlightenment, and it was great 
in Clare now. The ouUoor air had apparently taken away 
from him all tendency ta act on impulse : he^saw her with- 
out inwiiation — in all her bareness. She knew that Time 
was chauttug his satiric psahn at her then : 

Deholil, when tbf (ace is mado bare, he that loved thco shall Late ; 

Tli>- ^e shall be no more fair at the (all ol tbj- fate. 

For Uiy life shaU fnH as a !enf and bo shed as the rain ; 

And the Tell t.( thinp head shall be grief, auil the crown shall be pain. 

He was still intently thinking, and her companionship 
had now insuffieieut jjowcr to break or divert the strain of 
thouglit. What a weak thing her presence must have be- 
come to him ! She could not help addressing Clare. 

'■ What have I done — what have I done T I have not told 
of anj-thing that interferes with or belies my love for yon. 
You don't think I planned it, do you t It is in your own 
mind what you are angry at, Angel; it is not in me. O, 
it is not in me, and I am not that deceitful woman you 
think me ! " 

'■ Wm — well. Xot deceitful, my wife ; but not the same. 
No, not tho Slime. But do not make me reproach you! 
I fia\"e sworn that I will not; and I do everj-thing to 
.void it." 


But s)ie went on pleading in lier ilistractidQ j anil jjer- 
hapEsaid tilings that would liavebeen better left tosUcci!!'- 
"O Angel — j\ngel: I was a child — a chilti wlwm it lutf- 
pened ! I knew uothing of men." 

" You were more sinued against than amung, that I u<I 

" Then will you not forgive me T " 

" I do forgive you. But f orgivenoas is not all." 

" And love me ? " 

To Uiia question he did not answer. 

"O Angel — my motlier says that it sometimes happeu 
80 — she knows several cases where they were worse than I, 
and the husband Las not minded it much — has forgiven h« 
at least. And yet the woman has not loved Mm as I ite 

"Don't, Tees, don't ai^e. Different eocietips, differatt 
manners. You seem like an unappreciative peasant woraai, 
who has never been initiated into the proportions of things. 
Tou don't know wliat you say." 

"I am only a peasant by position, not by nature." Sh 
spoke with an impulse to anger, but it went as it camp. 

" So much the worse for you. I think that parson wlio 
unearthed your pedigree would have domi lietter if be bud 
held his tongue. I cannot help associating your decJinu tw 
a famUy wiUi this other fact- — ot your want of flrmnRM 
Decrepit families imply decrepit wills, decrepit cfimhift 
God, why did you give me a handle for despising jon mow 
by informing nie of your descent ! Hero was I thinkiiig 
you a now-spruug child of Nature ; tliere were yon. thw f* 
haust^d seed of an effetu aristocracy ! " 

" Lots o' families arc as bad as mine in that, 
family were once large landowners, and so were Diii 
And the Debbyhouses, who now bu carters, 
tile Do Bayeux family. Yon find such as I nvery- 
s a feature of our county, and I cant help It-' 
So much the worse for the oouutj'." 

She took these reproaches in their bulk siini)ly, not in 
tlieir particulars ; Le did not love her as he hod loved her 
hitlierto, and to all else she wae indifferent. 

They wandered on again in silfnce. It was said after- 
wards that a cottager of Wellbridge, who went out late 
that night for a doctor, met two lovers in Uie pastures, 
walking very slowly, without converse, one behind the other, 
as Id a funeral procession, and tlie glimpse that lio ob- 
taiued of their faces seemed to denote that they were 
anxious and sad. Returning later, he passed tht-iu again 
in the same Held, progressing just as slowly, and as regard- 
less of the hour and of the cheerless night as before. It 
was only on account of his preocenpation with his own 
affairs, and the illness in his house, that he did not bear in 
mind the curious incident, wliieh, however, he recalled a 
long while after. 

Dniing the interval of the cottager's going and coming, 
she had said to her husband, " I don't see how I can help 
being the cause of much misery to you all your life. The 
river is down there. I can put an end to myself in it. I 
am not afraid." 

"I don't wish to add murder to my otlier follies,'' he 

" I will leave something to sliow that I did it myself — on 
account of my shame. They will not blame you then." 

" Don't speak so — I don't want to hear it ! It is absurd 
to have such thoughts in this kind of case, which is rather 
one for satirical laughter than for tnigedy. You don't in 
the least understand the quality of the mishap. It would 
be viewed in the light of a joke by nine-tenths of tie world, 
if it were known. Please obh'ge me by returning to the 
honse, and going to bed." 

" I will," said she, dutifnlly. 

They had rambled^onnd by a road which led to the well- 
known ruina of the Cistercian Abbey behind tlie mill, the 
r having, in centuries jiust, been attached to Uie mouas- 




tic establishineiit. The mill etill worked on, food being a 
iwreniiial iiecessity ; the abbey had perished, crewLt lieiuk' 
tmmdent. One eontinaally aws the miiustrutiou of iL 
temporary outlasting the mmistTation of thtt eteriu^ 
Their walk having been eircuitoiis, they were still not 
from the house, and in oheying his direction she ouJy 
to reach tho large stone bridge across the main J " 
and follow the road for a few yai-ds. When she 
everything remained as she had left it, the fire Ixjiiig sliH 
burning. She did not stay downstAirs for uuire Ihan a 
few moments, but proceeded to her chamber, whithiT tlis 
luggage had been taken. Hero she sat down on the edge 
ol the lied, looking vacantly around, and presently b<*gan W 
undr«8B. In removing the light towards tiio btrdstead il* 
rays fell upon tlie tester of whitfl dimity ; som«tluDg wi? 
hanging beneath it, and she liftvd the candle to see wiiU it 
was. A bough of mistletoe. Angel had put it there; *li« 
knew tliat in an instant. This was the explanation of that 
mysterious parcel which it had been so diffieidt to pnck Bad 
bring; whoso eontents he would not explain to her, sayiiif 
that time would soon show her tlie purpose tlicrvot In 
his zest and his gaiety he had hung it tJiere. How foolttb 
and inopportune that mistJetoe looked now I 

Having nothing more to fear, having scarce anyUiinjf w 
hope, for that he would relent there seemetl no prunitM 
whatever, she lay down dully. When sorrow eeft«<»» to li^ 
specnlatjvo sleep sees her opportunity. Among eo 
happier moods which forbid rejHise tiis was a uioud 
welcomed it, and in a few minutes the lonely T<i8» foi 
existence, suiTounded by the aromatic stiUueiis of llie 
bei- that had once, possibly, been the bride-chaioher o( iff 
own ancestry. 

Later on that night Clare also retraced his Htvym to 
house. Entering softly to the sitting-room be ohtaii 
lights and with tlie manner of one who had cousidorvd 
p he spread his rugs upon the ohi h 


wliicli stood there, and roughly shaped it to a sleepmg-couch. 
Before lying down he crept shoeless npstturs, and listened 
at the door of her apartment. Her measured breathing 
told that she was sleeping profoundly. 

'•Tliaiik God!" murmured Clare; and yet he was eon- 
soiouB of a pang of bitterness at the thought — approxi- 
inati'ly true, though not wholly so — that having shift-ed the 
burden of her life to his shoulders, she was now reposing 
wi til out care. 

He ttinied away to descend ; tljen, irresolute, faced round 
to her door again. In the act bo caught sight of one of the 
lyUrberville dames, whoso portrait was immediately over 
the entrance to Tess's bed-chamber. lu the candle-light 
the painting was more than unpleasant. Sinistt'r design 
larked in its features, a concentrated pm-poso of itvenge 
on the other sex — so it seemed to him tlien. The Caroline 
bodice of the jwrtrait was low, precisely as Tesa's had been 
when he tucked it in to show the necklace; and again he 
experienced the distressing sensation of a resemblance be- 
tween tliera. 

The cheek was snfficient. He resumed his retreat, and 

liis uir remained calm and eohl, his small, compressed 
mouth indexing his powers of self-control; his face wear- 
ing still that terribly sterile expression which had spread 
thereon since her disclosure. It was the face of a man wlio 
was no longer passion's slave, yet who found no advantagi- 
in his enfranchiBement. He was simply regnnling the har- 
rowing contingencies of human experience, the uueiqject^d- 
ness of things. Nothing so pure, so sweet, so (nithful as 
Tess had seemed possible all the long while that he had 

■idored her, np to an hour ago ; but 

^^L The little less, and wb&t worlds avmy ! 

Hnrgrnnl erroneously when he said to himself that her 
T^iirt WW not indexed in the honest freshness of her face; 


but Tess had no advocate to set him right. Could it (>■ 
possible, he oontinued, that eyes •xhiah as tliey guzvd ne^^r 
expressed any divergeuce from what tht; ton^e vriut telliuir, 
were yet ever seeing another world behind her appaivct 
me, discordant and conti-asting T 

He reclined on his conch in the sitting-room, and cjKtiu 
goished tliehght. Tlie night came in. and tooknp its pW< 
there, nnconeemod and indifferent; the night which hi\.. 
already swallowed up his happiness, and was now digestiin' 
it listleBsly; and vnih roiidy to swallow up the happiness i; 
a thousand other people wit h as httle disturbance or chauer' 
of mien. " I 


Clare arose in the light of a dawn that wati ashy nnd 
Enrtive, as though associated with crime. The firpplue 
confronted him with its extinct embers ; the spread snpp«* 
table, whereon stood the two full glasses of uutasted whie, 

w flat and filmy ; her vacated seat and his own; lie 
other articles of furniture, with their eternal look of not 
being able to help it. their intolerable inqniry whut WM 
to be done 1 From above there was no sound ; hut in > 
few minutes tliere came a knock at the door. He n-ilMsa- 
bered that it wonld Imj the neighboring cottager's wife, *ri» 
was to minister to their wants while they reinainod hcna 

The presence of a third person in the house would hcei- 
treraely awkward just now, and, being aln>ady dressed, V 
opened the window, and infomied hfr that thej- could mftO- 
age to shift for themselves that morning. She had a milk- 
can in her hand, which he told her tu leave at Uw il""" 
When tlie dame htul gone away he searched in tht! Im- 
quart«r8 of tiie honse for fuel, and spoeihly lit n tiT 
There was plenty of t-.^gs, hntlcr, bread, and so on in lli 


t, and Clare snou had breakfast laid, his experieucfs at 
ie dairy having i-eudei-ed liim facile in domestic pi-epara- 
ans. The smoke of the kindled wood rose from the 
limney without like a lotus-headed culunm ; local people 
ho were passing by saw it, and tbonght of the newly 
aiTied couple, and enried their happiness. 
Angel east a final glance round, and then, going to the 
ot of the stairs, said, " Breakfast is ready." 
He opened the front door, and took a few steps in the 
ominfj air. Wlien, after a short space, he eame baek,8he 
as alreiuly in the sitting-poom, mechanically readjusting 
i6 breakfast things. As she was folly attired, and the 
terval si.iee his eidling her had been but two or three 
inutes, she must have been dressed, or nearly so, before ho 
ent to summon lier. Her hair was twisted np in a large 
>und mass at the back of her head, and slie had put on one 
' the now frocks — a palo blue woollen garment with neck- 
illings of white. Her hands and faee appeared to be 
lid, and she had possibly been sitting dressed in the bed- 
■om a long time without any fire. The extreme civility 
' Clare's tone in calling her seemed fo have inspired her, 
r the moment, with anew glimmer of hope. But it soon 
ed when she looked at him. 

The pair were, in truth, but the lushes of their former fires. 

the hot sorrow of the previous night lind succeeded 

lavincBS; it seemed as if nothing could kindle cither of 

lem to fervor of sensation any more. 

He spoke gently to her. and she replied with a like un- 

?monstrativenes9. At kst she came up to him, looking 

li-^ sharply definetl face as one who had no muscious- 

itiat her own formed a visible objwt also. 

\iisrel ! " she said, and paused, toucliing him witli her 

rs liglitly as a breeze, as though she cimld hardly be- 

1 1 > Ik.' there in the flesh the man who was oucv liei- lover. 

. . -yi'K were bright, her cheek, though pale, still sliowed 

iBtwl rotmdness, though dried tears had left a vitrified 



glieteiiing thereon ; and tlie usually ripe red luoiitti wa.- 
ulmoBt as pole B.S her eht-ck. But she was still thniltbiiigly 
alive, uotwithfitanding that under the stress of her rui-utal 
grief the life beat so hrokenly that a little further pull ni>"ii 
it might titMse real illness, render her eyes dull, lUK'lumi'- 
t«ristie, and her mouth thin. 

But she looked absolutely pure. Nature, in her foDta.'» 
tic trickerj', had set such a seal of ^lishncss upon Tesa's 
countenance that he gazed at her vnth a stupefied air. 

" TesB ! Say it is not true ! No, it is not true ! '^ 

" It is true." 

"Everj' word?" 

" Every word." 

He looked at her imploringly, as if he woolil wUlingli 
have taken a lie fi-om her lips, knowing it to lie one, and 
have made of it, by some sort of sophistrj', a valiil denial 
However, she only repeated, " It is true," 

■' Is he living 1 " Angel then aaked. 

" The baby died." 

" But the man T " 

'■ He is alive." 

A last despair jiassed over Clare's fat^e. " Is b« in £dk 


He took a few steps vaguely. "Mypoeition — is this,'li* 
said, abruptly. " I thoiight^ — any man would have thmifiht 
— that by giving up (ill ambition to win a wife with sofial 
standing, with fortune, with knowledge of th« wiirid, I 
should secure rustle innoi'ence as surely as I should swnrft 

pink ehceks ; hut However, I am no man to n-tiKw* 

you. and I will not." 

Tess felt his position so entirely that the remjundif 
not been nwdcd. Therein lay just the distress of it 
saw that lie had lost nil rouud. 

"Angel — I should not have let it ^ on tn mi 
witli 'ee if I ha*l not known that, after all, there wiw A 


-^ .'-A.. 

■ " *«*i.'. 


way out of it for yon ; though I hoped yon would never " 

Her voice grew husky. 

"Alast wayt" 

" I mean, to get rid of me. Yon can get rid of me." 


" By divorcing me.'' 

" Good heavens — ^how can yon be so simple ! How can I 
divorce yout" 

" Can't yon — now I have told yon thist I thought my 
confession would give you grounds for that." 

" O Tess — ^you are too, too— childish — ^unformed — crude, 
I suppose ! I don't know what you are. You don't under- 
stand the law — ^you don't understand ! " 

" What — ^you cannot 1 " 

"For what happened before our marriage f Indeed I 

A quick shame mixed with the misery upon his listener's 
face. " I thought — ^I thought," she whispered. " 0, now I 
see how wicked I seem to you. Believe me — ^believe me, 
on my soul, I never thought but that yon could ! I hoped 
you would not ; yet I believed, without a doubt, that yon 
could cast me off if you were determined, and didn't love 
me at — at — all ! " 

" You were mistaken," he said. 

" O, then I ought to have done it, to have done it last 
night ! But I hadn't the courage. That's just like me ! " 

" The courage to do what t " 

As she did not answer he took her by the hand. " What 
were you thinking of doing t" he inquired. 

" Of putting an end to myself." 

" When ? " 

She writhed under this inquisitorial manner. "Last 
aiight," she answered. 

" Where t" 

" Under^your mistletoe." 

" My good God ! — ^how t " he asked, sternly. 


"Ill tell you, sir, if you won't be imgry with tavl^ :■■■■■ 
said, shrinking. " It was witli tlie ooixl of my liox. h<v ' 
could not — do tlie last tiling ! I vr&s aii-aiii Uiat il mi^i 
cauKQ a scjiudal to your name," 

Till! iini'xpeeted quality of this ponfeasion, wrung from 
her, and not vohuit^ered, shook bim indescribably, Bui 
ho etill held her, and, letting his glance fall from her hn 
downwards, ho said tremulously, " Now, listen to tiiis. T«» 
must not dare to think of snt-h a horrible thing I H(W 
co»]ld you ! You will promise mo as yonr husband M 
attempt that no more." 

" I am ready to promisa I saw how wicked it was." 

"Wicked! The idea was unwortliy of yon bciyoDddr 

'■But, Angel," she pleaded, enlarging her eyes in c.J 
iineoucem upon him, " it was thought of entirely on y ii 
account. — to set you free without the scandal of the divw:: 
that I thot^ht you would have to got, I shunld avft 
Imve dreamed of doing it on mine. However, to doitiriA 
my own hand is too good for me, after all. It is yon, my 
mined husband, who ought to strike the blow. ! thiiii i 
should love yon more, if that were possible, if you wn 
bring yonrself to do it. siuce there's no othtr way of eee;ii' 
for 'ee. I feel I am so utterly worthless. 80 very gffailj 
in the way I " 


" Well, since you say so, I won't. I have un wish oppoM^ 
to yours." 

He knew this to be tme enough. Since the dii^Mmtiia 
of the night her a^^tivitics had dropped to zero, tui<l tlKff 
was no further rashness to ho ft-ared. 

TesB tried to busy herself again over the breakfasl-t^ 
with more or less snccesB, and they sat down Iwth on tl* 

lie side, so that fhcir glances did not meet. Tbcru w* 
at first Bometliing awkwanl in hearing each otbt-r wil BiA 
drmk, but this could not be escap^nl ; moreover, thv amoiut 


if etitiug done was smaU on both siiles. Breakfast over, 
le n>se, and, telling her the hour at which he might be ex- 
teoted to dinner, went off to the miller's in a mechanical 
inrsuance of the plan of studying that business, which had 
)een liis only practical reason for coining hore. 

When iie was gone Tess stood at tbe window, and pres- 
ntly saw his form crossing the great stone bridge which 
ondueted to the mill premises. He sank behind it, crossed 
he railway beyond, and disappeared. Then, without asigh, 
lie turned her attention to the room, and began (.■learing 
be table and setting it in order. 

The charwoman soon came. Her presence was at first a 
train upon Tess, but afterwards an alle-viation. At half- 
last twelve she left her assistant alone in the kitehen, and, 
©turning to the sitting-room, waited for the reappearance 
if Angel's form behind the bridge. 

Alxmt one he showed himself. Her face flushed, although 
le was a (inarter of a mile off. She ran to the kitchen to 
fCt the dinner served by the time he should enter. He 
rent first t^i the room where they had washed their hands 
ogether the day before, and as he entered the sitting-room 
he dish-covers rose from the dishes as if by his own motion. 

*' How punctual ! " he said. 

■' Tes. I saw you coming over the bridge," said she. 

The meal was passed in commonplace talk of what he had 
leen doing during the monung at the Abbey Mill, of the 
nethods of bolting and the old-fashioned machinery, which 
le feared would not enlighten him greatly on modem im- 
iroved methods, some of it seeming to have been in use 
(ver since the days it ground for the monks in the adjoin- 
ng conventual buildings — now a heap of ruins. He left 
he house again in the course of an hour, coming home at 
Insk, and occupying himself through the evening witii his 
tapers. She feared she was in the way, and, when the old 
^man was gone, retired to the kitcJien, whore she made 
jMidf basv as well as she could for more tlian ou hour. 


Clai-e"s Eliape appeared at tLo door. ''You ninsi tui 
work like this," he said. " Yoa are not my servant, yci 
know; you are my wifo." 

Her face brightened. "I may think myself that — in- 
deed ?"* she murmorod in piteous raillery. "You mean n: 
name ! Well, I don't want to 1jl> anything more." 

"You niaij think so, Tess! You arc. What do yiiu 

*'I ilon't know," she said, hastily, with t<^Ars in her cjr*, 
"I thought I — because I am not respectable, I mean. 1 
told you I thought I was not i-espectable enough loui: 
ngo — and I didn't want to marrj- you, on that account— 
ouly you urgi-d rae ! " 

She broke into sobs, and turned her back to him. It 
would almost have won round any man but Angvl Clan 
Within the remote depths of his constitution, so guotlo Mtl 
affectionate as he was in general, tliere lay hidden a haii 
logical deposit, like a vein of metal in a soft loam. whi''li 
Inmed tlie edge of everj-tliing that attempted to lra«?rsc it. 
It had blocked his way with the Church ; it bloidii^ li:> 
way with Tess. Moreover, his affection it^solf was less fii 
than radiance, and, with regard to the other sex. when !i 
ceased to beUeve he ceased to follow; contrasting iu tl;^ 
with many impressionable natures, who remain acnEnaosly 
infatuated with what they intellectnally despisf, Wlitu 
put upon his mettie his power of self -marten' waa appalling 
— almost inhuman. He waited till her sobbing eeascd 

"1 wish half the women in England wer« as rcspeidaljle 
as you," he said, in an ebullition of bitttimess agoiiui wiHn- 
aukind in general " It isnt a question of rc«peutabttiir, 
but one of principle." 

He spoke sueh things as these and more of a kinilr<!d 
sort to her, being still swayed by the antiptithutii; w»n 
which worps direct souls with such persistencu when iflMX 
their \'iKion finds itself mocked by appearancKs. Tbtn 
WHS, it in true, underneath, « bnr^k .■uir.-ni i.t" ttTMi,..ilir 


through which a woman of the world might have conquered 
him. But Tess did not think of this ; she took everything 
as her deserts, and hardly opened her mouth. The firmness 
of her devotion to him was indeed almost pitiful ; quick- 
tempei*ed as she naturally was, nothing that he could say 
made her imseemly; she sought not her own; was not 
provoked ; thought no evil of his treatment of her. She 
might just now have been Apostolic Charity herself returned 
to a self-seeking modem world. 

This evening, night, and morning were passed precisely 
as the preceding ones had been passed. On one, and only 
one, occasion did she — the formerly free and independent 
Tess — ^venture to make any advances. It was on the third 
occasion of his starting after a meal to go out to the flour- 
mill. As he was leaving the table he said " Gk)od-by,'^ and 
she replied in the same words, at the same time inclining 
her mouth in the way of his. He did not avail himself of 
the invitation, saying, as he turned hastily aside, " I shall 
be home punctually." 

Tess shrank into herself as if she had been struck. Often 
enough had he tried to reach those lips against her consent 
— often had he said gaily that her mouth and breath tasted 
of butter and eggs and milk and honey, on which she mainly 
lived, that he drew sustenance from them, and other follies 
of that sort. But he did not care for them now. He ol> 
served her sudden shrinking, and said gently, "You know, 
I have to think of a course. It was imperative that we 
should stay together a little while, to avoid the scandal to 
you that would have resulted from our immediate parting. 
But you must see it is only for form's sake." 

" Yes," said Tess, absently. 

He went out, and on his way to the mill stood still, and, 
faint as his love for her had waned, wished for a moment 
that he had responded yet more kindly, and kissed her once 
at least. 

Thus they lived through this despairing day or two ; in 


the same house, truly ; but more widely apart than belon 
they were lovers. It was erident to her that be was, bb lii 
luui said, liviQg with paralv'zed activities, in his eodeavor 
to think of a plan of procedure, She was awe^trickon i" 
discover such determination under such apparent flexibility 
Bhe no longer expected forgiveness now. More than ourt 
she tliought of going away from him during his altseuce ut 
the mill; but she feared that this, instead of benefiting him. 
might be the means of hampering and humiliating him yd 
more, if it should become known. 

Meanwhile Clare was meditating verily. His thouplt 
had been nn8U8i>ended ; he was becoming ill with thinking ; 
eaten out iv-ith thinking, withered by thinking; scourgui 
out of bII his former pulsating, flesuoua domestiiutj-. fi.' 
walked about saying to himself, " ASTiat's to be done — what .- 
to be done ! " and by chance she overheard him It cAts^fi 
hsp to breuk the reserve about their future which hod hitli- 
erto prevailed, 

•' I suppose — you are not going f« live wi' me — long, uiv 
yon, Ajigel f " she asked, the sunk comers of her mouth 1>>- 
traying how purely mechanical were the means by wbi'ii 
she retained that expression of chaatened nalm iipou Ikt 

'■ I cannot," he said, '• without despising myself, and what 
is worse, perhaps, despising you. I mean, of course, can* 
not live with you in the ordinary sense. At present, whal- 
evcr I feel, I do not despise you. And, since we have Iwffm 
to speak, Tess, let me speak plainly, otherwise yon nuir 
not perceive all my difficulties. How can v.v live tugelhiT 
while that man lives, he being your husband in the sight ot 
Nature, if not really ! Now I put it to you. Don't think 
of me or of yourself, my feelings or your feelings. Thai'* 
not all the difficulty ; it Ues in another eonsiderntinn — ""'-■ 
bearing upon the future of other people than • i. 
Think of years to c^me, and children bom to u^^ 
past matter getting known — for it must get known 


moor Valp and The Cliase, even Uie yonder sidp of it, an! 
uot eiich iitteniioBt parts of the earth that nobody ever 
comes from or goes to them from elsewhere. Well, think 
()f these wretches of our flesh and blood growing up under 
doubts which they will gradually get to feel the full force 
of with their expanding years. What an awakening for 
them ! What a prospect ! Can you honestly say Remain, 
aft*r contemplating tliis contingency! Don't you think 
we had better endure the ills wo have than fly to others)'' 

She did not lift her eyelids, weighted with trouble. 

" I cannot say Remain," she answered. " I cannot ; I had 
uot thought so far." 

Tess's feminine hope — shall we confess it — hod been so 
obstinately recuperative as to revive in her surreptitious 
visions of a domiciliary intimacy continued long enough 
to break down his coldness even against his judgment. 
Though unsophisticated in the usual sense, she was uot in- 
complete; audit would have denoted deficiency of woman- 
hood if she had not instinctively known what an argument 
lies in propinquity. Nothing else would serve her, she 
iknew, if this failed. It was wrong to hope in what was of 
the nature of strategy, she said to herself : yet that sort of 
hope she could not extinguish. His last representation had 
now been made, and it was, as sne said, a new view. She 
had truly never thought so far as that, and his lucid picture 
of possible offspring who would scorn her was one that 
brought deadly conviction to an honest heart which was 
humanitariau to its centre. Sheer experience had already 
tanght her, that, in some circumstances, there was one 
thing better than to lead a good life, and that was to be 
saved from leading any life whatever. Like all who had 
been previsioned by suffering, she could, in the words of 
?I- Sully-Prudliomme, hear a penal scntcneo in the fiat. 

Yim shflU be bom." 

Yet such is the vulpine slyness of Damo Nature, that, till 
now, Tesa had been hoodwinked bv her love for Clare into 


for^tting it might result in \italizHtioiis that wonld iaSiii 
upon others what she had bewailed ne; a iiiisfurtune to her- 

She therefore could not witlistAud hia nr^umi-nt But 
with the self-eonibatiiig proclirity of the siiperst-nsitivr, u 
answer thereto arose in Chore's own mind, nud he almofi 
feared it. It was based on her exceptional phj-sionl niUuiv; 
and she might have used it promisingly. Morpo^tr. ehit 
might have added: "On an Australian upland or Texan 
plain, who ia to know or care aboni my misfortune*, or lo 
reproach me or you I" Yet, like the majoritj- of wotu>^, 
she accepted the momentaiy presentment as if it wvre the 
inevitable. And she may have been right Tlio bwrt n( 
womau knoweth not only its own bitterness, but its hujt 
band's, and who sliouid say that, even if the^o assuninl re- 
proaches were not likely to bo addressed to him or to hit 
Viy strangers, they might not have readiMl hm cars frau 
his own fastidious brain. 

It was the third day of the estrangement. Some iniglll 
risk the odd paradox that with moi-e ARimalisni li.' wimiU 
have been the nobler man. Wo do not say it. "\ . 
love was etliereal to a fault, imaginative toimpni' 
With these natuivs, corjioreal presence is Bonn r. 
appealing than eorpoi-eal absence; the latter on-,it;iig m 
ideal presenile that eonvenientJy drops Hie defwii 
real. She found that her pereonalitj- did not pk>ad ha 
cause so forcibly as she had anticipated. Tho figwattn.- 
phrase was true: she was another woman lluui ihv • 
who had excited his desire. 

" I have thought over what yon say," she renuu 
him, moving her forefinger over the table-cloth, hirr < 
hand, which bore the ring that mocked them both, siijip 
ing her forehead. '■ It is quite true, all of it : 
You must go away trom me." 

" But what can yoa do t " 

" I can go home." 


Clart- had not thought of that. " Are you sure ! " he said. 

'■ Qtiile sure. We ought to poi-t, and wo may as well get 
it past aud done. You once said that I was apt to wiu 
men against their better judgment ; and if I am eonstantly 
before your eyes I may cause you to change your plans in 
opposition to your reason and wish ; and aftcrwai-ds your 
repentance and my sorrow will be terrible." 

He was silent. "And you woidd like to go home?" he 

■' I want to leave you, and go home." 


Though she did not look up at him, she started. There 
w;i.s a diffi'rence between the proposition and the covenant, 
wliich she had felt only too quickly. 

" I feared it would come to this," she mm-mnred, her coun- 
tenance meekly fixed. "I don't complain, Angel. I — I 
think it best. What you said has quite convinced me. 
' V— though nobody else should reproach me, if we should 
v together, yet somewhen, years hence, yon might get 

_'iy with me for any ordinary matter, aud knowing what 
1 dy of my bygones, you yourself might be tempted to 

> words, aud they might be overheard, perhaps by my 
n childreu, 0, what only hurts me now would torture 

il kill me then ! I will go — to-morrow." 

-Vnd I t-liall not stay here. Though I did not like to 
iiiiiiate it, I have seen that it was advisable we should 
jiiiT-^t for a while, till I can better see the shape that 
liiingKave taken, and can write to you." 

Tess st<de a glance at her husband. He was pale, even 
rremulous ; but, as before, she was appalled by the deter- 
mination I'ewnled in the depths of this geutle being she had 
married — the will to subdue the grosser emotion to the sub- 
tler emotion, tlie iubstance to the conception, the desh to 
the ^irit. Propesatties, tendencies, habits, were as dead 
leaver jipoa the Qfrannous wind of his ima^^ative ascend- 



He may liave obser\'ed her look, for Jie cxplalucd: "I 
think of people more kiudly when I am away from them;' 
adding cynically, "God knows; perhaps we shall ishate 
down together some day, for weariness; ihoosouds Imw 
done it ! " 

That day he began to pack np, and she went upst^ 
and began to pack also. Both knew that it was in thW 
two minds that they might part the next morning forever, 
despite the gloss of assuaging conjectures thrown over th«r 
proceeding by reason of their being of the sort to whom 
any parting which has an air of flnshty about it is a tor- 
ture, He knew, and she knew, tiat, thongh the fuscinatioa 
which each had exercised over the other — on her piirt in- 
dependently of accomplishments — would probably in the 
first days of their separation be even more pot«ut this 
ever, time must attenuate that effect ; the praotjcal Argtf 
ments against accepting her as a honsemat« would pro- 
nounce themselves more strongly in the lioreal Itffht «i t 
remoter time. Moreover, when two people are ontw parted 
— have abandoned a common domicile and a common on- 
viroument^ — new growths insensibly bud upward to lU 
eaoh vacated place ; unforeseen accidents hinder tntentioB^ 
and old plans are forgotten. 


Midnight came and passed sili^ntly, for there wm noth- 
ing to announce it in the Valley of the Var, 

Mot long after one o'clock there waj^ a sljglit cr^ak id tkr 
darkened old farmhouse once the mauion of thu D'Urb^ 
villes. Tcss, who used the upper o^Bber, heard it 
awoke. It had come from the tbA^omered Btejl of 
f, which, as usual, was loosely >nailed. Mug 


door of her bedroom open, and the figure of her liu8ban<l 
crossed the stream of moonlight with a euriously careful 
tread. He was in his shirt and trousers only, and her first 
flush of joy died when she perceived that his eyes were fixed 
in an unnatural stare on vacancy. When he reached the 
middle of the room he stood still and murmured, in tones 
of indescribable sadness, " Dead ! dead ! dead ! " 

Under the influence of any strongly disturbing force 
Clare would occasionally walk in his sleep, and even per- 
form strange feats, such as he had done on the niglit of 
their return from market just before their marriage., when 
lie re-enacted in his bedroom his combat with the man who 
had insulted her. Tess saw that continued mental distrfss 
had wrought that somnambulistic state in him now. 

Her loyal confidence iu him lay so deep down in her 
heart tliat. awake or asleep, he inspired her with no sort of 
personal fear. If he had entered with a pistol in his hand 
he would scarcely have disturbed her trust in his protee- 

Clare came close, and bent over her. " Dead, dead, dead ! " 
he murmured. 

After fixedly regarding her for some moments with the 
same gaze of unmeasurable woe he bent lower, enclosed 
her in his arms, and rolled her in the sheet as iu a shroud. 
Then lifting her from the Iwd with as much respect as one 
would show to a dead body in such circumstances, he car- 
ried her across the room, mummring, " My poor, p<ior Tesa 
— ^niy dearest, darling Tess ! So sweet, bo good, so true ! " 

The words of endearment, withheld so severely in his 
waking hours, were inexpressibly sweet to her forlorn and 
hnogry heart. If it had been to save her wearj- life she 
wonld not, by moving or struggling, have put an end to 
thp position she found herself in. Thus she lay in altsolute 
gtilliioss, Bcarccly venturing to breathe, and, wondering what 
he was going to do with her, suffered herself to be bomfi 

It upon tlie lauding. 


" My wife — deiid, deml ! " lie saiil. 

Ho paused in liis labors for a moment to lean with ho 
agniniit tlie banister. Was he going to throw herdovnjj 
Self -solicitude was near cstini-tion in her, and in ihf kiiovl- 
edgis that ho had planned to depaj-t from her on Uii- tnot- 
row, possibly for always, she lay in his arms in this pre- 
carious position with rather a sense of luxury than a sense 
of terror. If they uould only fall together, anil both bo 
dashed to pieees, how fit, how desirable ! 

However, he did not let her fall, but took advantage of 
the support of the handrail to imprint a kiss upon her lipa 
— lips in the daytime scorned. Then he claeiied her with 
a renewed firnuiess of hold, and descended the tttain^aet 
The creak of the comer stair did not awaken him, and they 
reached the grouud-floor safely. Freeing one of his baiiiU 
from its grasp of her for a moment, he slid ba<rk Ilie dow^ 
bar and pa&sed out, slightly striking his Btockinge<l toe 
against the edge of the door. But this he seemed nol to 
inmd, and, ha^'ing room for extension in the open air, in 
got her upon his shoulder, so that he could carTTF* Iter ^liAf i 
more ease, the absence of clothes taking much fnim 
burden. Thus he bore her off the preinises, in the di 
of tht> rivL'r, a few yards distant. 

His ultimate intention, if ho had any, she had noCJ^ffi 
div-ined ; and sho found herself eonjetturing on tJie nuiltw 
as a third pei-sou might have done. So eastfuliy hat! sb* 
delivered her whole being up to liim that it pleaded hi* to 
think he vtrs regarding her as his absolute possesGiou, to 1 1 
dispose of aa he should rhoose. It was consoling, under 
the hovering terror of to-morrow's separation, to foeJ 
he really recognized her now as his wife Tcss, and did 
cast her off, even if in Uiat recognition he went 8o fof 
arrogate to himself the right of harming her. 

Ah! now she knew he was dn-anjing of — that 
morning when he had borne her along throng iJiij 
with the other dairj-maids, who had loved him ncartvi 


muoJi as she, if that were possibto, wliieli Tess could hardly 
admit. Ckre did not cross tho bridge with lier, but pro- 
ceeding several paces on the sanie aide towards the adjoin- 
ing mill, at length stood still ou the brink of the Proom. 

Its watei-B, in creeping down these mites of meadow-land, 
froqnently divided, serpentining in purposeless cur\'es, loop- 
ing themselves around little islands that had no name, re- 
turning, and i-e-enibodying themselves as a broad main 
stream farther on. Opposite the spot to which he had 
brought her was snch a general confluence, and the river 
was proportionately voluminons and deep. Across it was 
a narrow foot-bridge; but now the autumn rains had 
washed the handrail away, len^g the bare plank only, 
whieh, lying a few iuclies above the sjveeding current, 
formed a giddy patliway for even steady heads ; and Tess 
had noticed from the window of the house in the daytime 
young men trying to cross upon it as a feat in balancing. 
Her husband had possibly observed the same jMjrformanee ; 
anyhow, he now mounted tlie bridge, and, shdiug one foot 
furward, advanced idong it, 

Was lie going to drown herT Probably he was. The 
spot was lonely, tbe river deep and wide enough to make 
anch a purpose easy of accomplishment. He might drown 
her if he would ; it would be better than parting to-morrow 
to lead severed lives. 

The swift stream raced and gj-rated under them, tossing, 

distorting, and splitting the moon's reflected face. Spots of 

froth travelled past, and intercepted weeds waved behind 

the piles. K they could both fall together into the current 

now, their arms wonld be so tightly clasped together that 

they oould not be saved ; they would go out of the world 

slmoat painlessly, and there would l)e no more i-eproaeh to 

her, or to him for marrjing her. His last half-hour with 

I her would have been a lo\-ing one, while if they lived till 

^njis awoke his daytime aversion would return, and this hoiu- 

^^■Duld remain to be contemplated only as a transient dreanx. 





The impulse stiired in her, jet she dared not indulge i^ 
to make a movement tliat would have precipitAt4^<(l then 
both int« the gulf. How she valued her own life had b«B 
proved ; but liis — she had no right to tamper with it. flfl 
reached the other side with her in safety. 

Here they were witliin a plantation which formed the 
Abbey grounds, and taking a new hold of her, he went on- 
ward a few steps till they reached the ruined choir nf the 
Abbey church. Agaiust the north wall was Ilie empty 
stone coffin ()f an abbot, without a lid, in which v\ery tour- 
ist with a turn for grim humor was owustomod to stn*4 
himeelf. In thia Clare carefully laid Tcss. Ha^-ing kissed 
her lips a Becond time, he breathed deeply, as if n grCMllf 
desired end were attained. Clare then laid down beeids^ 
her, when he immediately fell into the deep dead slu 
of exhaustion, and remained motionless as a log. 
spurt of mental excitement which had produced the 
was now over. 

Tess eat up in the coffin. The night, though drj' 
mild for the season, vr&s more than sufficiently eold 
make it dangerous for him to remain here long, in his ~ 
clothed Btat#. If he were left to himself, he would ii 
probability stay there till the morning, and he chilled 
certain death. Hhe ha<l heard of such deaths aft^-r 
walking. But how could slie dare to awaken Mm, and Irt 
him know what he had been doing, when it wotild luortiJy 
liim to discover Ids folly in respect of her T TeitB, bowextr, 
stepping out of her stone confine, shook him slightly, Hnt 
was unable to arouse him without being ^-iolenl, II wi* 
indispensable to do something, for she vas bediming 
shiver, the sheet being but a poor protection. Her 
ment had in a measure kept her warm during tlit) odi 

■e ; but that beatific interval was over. 

It suddeiUy occurred to her to try per8ua«i(iu ; and 
cordingly she whispere<l in his ear, with aa mur;h (Irir 
and decision as she could summon, "Let as walk on, 


ling," at the same time taking tiim suggestively by tlie arm. 
To her relief, lie tmresiatiiigly ttciinieseed ; lier words had 
apparently thrawn him bavk into his dream, whieh theuce- 
furward aeemed to ent«r on a new phase, wherein be fancied 
she had risen as a spiiit, and was leading liim to Heaven. 
Thns she condnct«d him by the ami to the stone bridge in 
front of their residence, cnissing which they stood at the 
tnannr-hDiise door. Tess'a feet were quite bare, and the 
Btones hurt her, and chilled her to the bone ; bnt Clare was 
m his woollen stockings, and appeared to feel no discomfort 
There was no farther difftculty. She induced bim to lie 
down on his own sofa-bed, and covered him np waimly, 
lighting a t«mporar>' fire of wood, to ^i^y any dampness 
ont of bim. The noise of these attentions she thought 
night awaken him, and secretly wished that tbey might. 
But the exhaustion of bis mind and body was such that he 
«Iiiaiued undisturbed. 

As soou as they met the next morning, Tess divined that 
Ingel knew little or notliing of bow far she had been con- 
ned in the night's excursion, though as regarded himself 
s may Itavo hiul an inkli ng tliat lie had not lain still. In 
■nth, be liad awakened that morning fi'om a sleep deep aa 
inihilation ; and diu-ing those fii-st few moments in which 
the bridn, like a Samson shaking himself, is trpng its 
Btrengtb. he bad some dim notion of an unusual nocturnal 
proceeding. But the realities of liis situation soon dis- 
placed conjecture on tbo other subject. 

He waited in expectancy to discern somo mental point- 
ing; be knew that if any intention of bis, concluded over- 
Elight, did not vanish in the light of morning, it etood on n 
buns ajipruximating to one of pure reason, even if initiated 
by impulse of feeling ; that it was so far, therefore, to be 

H« ihuB beheld in the pale morning light the resolve to 
ratii from her ; not as a hot and inilignant instinct, but 
lenuded of tlic possionateness wbicli had made it scorch 


ouil bam ; standiug in ifs bones ; nothing bnt a skdenni, 
but none the less there. Clare no longer heititatn]. 

At breakfast, and while tliey were paekiug tin.* fiiw i* 
maiiiing articles, be showed his weariness from tin' nigtit^ 
effort so unmistakably tbnt Tt-ss was on the jmint o? sjreak* 
ing and revealing all that had happened ; but the reJIiMticm 
that it would anger him, grieve hini, stultify him, bv h-ttin; 
him know that he had instinctively manifested a tonAncm 
for her of which hia common-sense did not a])pro%f ; that 
his inclination had compromised his dignity when n«s<Nl 
slept, again deterred her, It was too much like latighiugat 
n man when sober for his erratic deeds during intoxication. 

It jnst crossed her mind, too, that he might hnv*- n faint 
recollection of his tender vagar>', and was dtsin dimd fc 
allude to it from a conviction that she would 
tago of the undoubted opi»ortunity it gave her 
to him anew not to gi>. 

He had ordered by letter a vehicle from the. 
t«wn, and soon after breakfast it arrived. She saw 
the be^iiuniug of Uie end — the temporarj- end, at least, 
tJie revelation of hia tenderness by the incident of 
night led her to think of a possible future with him. 
luggage was imt on the top, and th'> miui drove them 
the miller and the old waitiug-womtin expressing some 
prise at tlieir preei]>itate departure, which Claro ntlril 
to hia diseoverj- that the mill-work wa« not of tbi 
kind wlueh he wished to investigate, a statement that 
true BO far as it went. Beyond this there was nothing 
the manner of their leaving to sug^-st ajfasco, or that 
were not going together to visit frieuds, 

Tlieir ronte lay near tlio dair>- from whieh tbfj 
start^'d with such solemn joy in t^nt^i other n tvw daj^ " 
and as Claris wished to wind up his busini**:" with Mr. 
Tess eoidd hanlly avoid jiaying Mrs. Crick a vail I 
same time, unless she would excite' saeiueiuii of their 
happy state. 

«-■ .-' t. 



To make the call as unobtrasive as possible they left the 
carriage at the end of the short lane leading down from 
the high road to the dairy-honse, and descended the track 
on foot, side by side. The withy-bed had been cut, and 
they could see over the stumps the spot on which Clare had 
followed her when he pressed her to be his wife ; to the 
left the enclosure in which she had been fascinated by his 
harp ; and far away over the roofs of the cowstalls, the 
mead which had been the scene of their first embrace. The 
gold of the summer picture was now gray, the colors mean, 
the rich soil mud, and the river cold. 

Over the barton-gate the dauyman saw them, and came 
forward, throwing into his face the kind of joviality deemed 
appropriate in Talbothays and its vicinity on the reappear- 
ance of tlie newly married. Then Mrs. Crick emerged from 
the house, and several others of their old acquaintance, 
though Marian and Retty did not appear to be there. 

Tess valiantly bore their sly attacks and friendly humors, 
which affected her far otherwise than they supposed. In 
the tacit agreement of husband and wife to keep their 
estrangement a secret they behaved as would have been 
ordinary. And then, although she would rather there had 
been no word spoken on the subject, Tess had to hear in 
detail the story of Marian and Retty. The latter had gone 
home to her father's, and Marian had left to look for em- 
ployment elsewhere. They feared she would come to no 

To dissipate the sadness of tliis recital Tess went and 
bade all her favorite cows good-by, touching each of them 
with her hand, and as she and Clare stood side by side at 
leaving as if united body and soul, there would have been 
something pecuUarly sorry in their aspect to one who 
should have seen it truly : two Umbs of one life, as they 
outwardly were, his arm touching hers, her skirts touching 
him, facing one way, as against all the dairy facing the 
other, speaking in their adieux as " we,'' and yet sundered 


like t)ie jioles. Perhaps something uuusunlly Ktiff mid cit.- 
barrassed in tlieir attitude, some awkvrardutt^s iti iK'titii: m}> 
to their pi-of ession yf unity, different from tiie ti»tiir:il -Ky 
uess of young couples, may liave been apparent, f"r vriim 
they were gone Mrs. Crick said to hpr husliaiid, " Ho* oa- 
uatnral the biightness of her eyes did seem, and bow the 
pair stood like waxen images aud talked as if tlwiy were 
in a dreain ! Didn't it strike 'ee that 'twas so T T(9Sit bad 
always sonunat strange in tier, aud she's not now cjaite IQb 
the proud young bride of a well-be^oing nuin.^ 

They re-entered the vehieJe, and were dri%'eu aloog tto 
roads through "Weatherbmy and Stagfoot Luni^, till U»y 
n>aphed Nuzzlebury, when* Clare dLsiiiisscd the fly and man. 
Th^ rested here awhile, and entering the Vale yrtn wart 
driven onwanl towards her home hy a Htrauger wbo did 
not know their new relationship. At a midway point, 
when many miles had been passed over, aud whliro ~ 
were cross-roads, Clare stopped the man, aiid snjd to 
that if she meant to return to her mother's liuoseit 
here that he would leave her. As tJiey ranld uot talk 
freedom in the driver's presence, he asked her to 
him for a few steps on foot along one of the !>rati4di 
she assented, and directing the man to wait a few niiniil'^? 
they strolled away. 

'■Now, let us uuderstuud each other." be sail 
" There is no anger between as. though there ia Ij:!i . 
I cannot endwre at present, I will try l<i bring myself !■ 
endure it. I will let you know wherv I gn tn as mmb u 1 
know myself. And if I can bring mj-self to bear H— if iJ 
is desirable, possible — I Kill come to yon. But ttntil I com 
to }'on it will be better that you should not try to nniH- ' 

Tlie severity of the decree seemed deadly t*» T'-^ ■ 
saw his view of her clearly enough; he could n-L-ir. 
no other light th«.u that of one who had prai*l.isf.i ■.: ■ 
oeit upon him, Yet could a woman who hiu] . 



what siie had done deserve all this T Bnt she cotild contest 
the point with him no further. She simply repeated after 
him his own words. 

"Until you come to me I must not trj'to come t« you I" 

"Just so." 

" May I write to you I " 

" Oh yes — if you are iU, or want anjihing at all. I hope 
that wiU not be the case ; so that it may happen that I 
write fh-st to you." 

" I agree to the conditions, Angel ; because you know 
best what my punishment ought to be ; only — only — don't 
'oe make it more than I can bear ! " 

That was all she said on the matter. If Tess had been 
artful, had she made a scene, faulted, wept hysterically, in 
that lonely lane, notwithstanding the fury of fastidiousness 
with which he was possessed, he would probably not have 
withstood her. But her mood of long-suffering made his 
way easy for him, and she herself was his best advocat*-. 
In her submission — which perhaps was a symptom of that 
re<;kless awjuiescence in chance too apparent iu the whole 
D'Urberville family — the many effective chords which she 
could have stirred by an appeal were left untouched. 

The remainder of theb- discourse was on practical matters 
only. He now handed her a packet containing a fairly 
^ood sum of money, which he had obtained fi-om his bank- 
ers for the purpose. The brilliants, the interest in which 
seemed to be Tess's for her life only (if he understood the 
wording of the "ftTll), he advised her to let him send to a 
bank for safety ; and to this she readily agreed. 

These things arranged, he walked with Tess back to tlie 
caiTiagc, and handed her in. He paid the coachman, and 
told him where to drive her. Taking then his own hag 
and umbrella — the sole articles he had brought with him 
hitherwarda — he bade her good-by ; and they parted thero 
Aod then. 

Ke flv moved creepingly up the hill, and Clare watched 


it go with an onpi-eineditated hope that Tess would look 
out of tJio window for one momenta But that she ntjrcr 
thought of doing, would not have ventured to do, lying in 

I a half-dettd faint inside. Thus he watflhed Iter oat of sight, 
and in th^ iinguish of IiIs heortr quoted a line of a poet 

^ with a few improvements of his own : 

God's Ml Ja Hie heaven ; bU's irronj; with the world! 

When Tesa ha<i passed over the crest of the hill he tnroed 
to go his own way, and did not know that he loved her stilL 


As she drove ou through Blaekmoor Vale, and the land- 
acRpe of her youth begau to open around her, Tess aroused 
herself from her stiipor. Her first tJiought was how would 
sh^ he able to face ber parent«t 

She reached the turnpike gate which stood near the w- 
trance to the \Tllage. It was thrown open bj' a stranp^ 
not by the old man who had kept it for many years, om 
to whom she had been known ; he had probably Itift ir 
New Year's Day, the date when sudi cJiiuiges wore mail 
Having received no intelligence lately from her homp, sii-' 
asked the turnpike-keeper the news. 

"O — nothing, miss " he answered. "MarloH. is MarloU 
still. Folks have died, and that. John Durbeyflt'ld, ttio, 
hev had a danght«r mairied this week to a gnntlimm- 
farmer : not from John's own house, you knejw ; Uiuy w 
married elsewhere : thL' guntleman being of that higli 
standing that John's own folk wan not considered well-tie- 
doing enough to have any part in it, the bridegroom Bwan- 
itigly not knowing how't have been diBcovered that Jtilin 
is a old and ancient nobleman himself liy blood, with Busily 


skellingtons in their own vaults to this day, but done out 
of his property in the time o' the Romans. However, Sir 
John, as we call 'n now, kept up the wedding-day as well 
as he could, and stood treat to everybody in the parish ; and 
John's wife sung songs at The Pure Drop till past eleven 

Hearing this, Tess felt so sick at heart that she could not 
decide to go home publicly in this fly with her luggage and 
belongings. She asked tlie turnpike-keeper if she might 
deposit her things at his house for a while, and, on his 
offering no objection, she dismissed her carriage, and went 
on to the village alone by a back lane. 

At sight of her father's chimney she asked herself how 
she could possibly enter the house? Inside that cottage 
her relations were calmly supposing her far away on a 
wedding tour with a comparatively rich man, who was to 
conduct her to bouncing prosperity ; while here she was, 
f liendless, creeping up to the old door quite by herself, 
with no better place to go to in the world. 

She did not reach the house unobserved. Just by the 
garden-hedge she was met by a girl who knew hei^ — one 
of the two or three with whom she had been intimate at 
school. After making a few inquiries as to how Tess came 
there, her friend, unheeding her tragic look, interrupted 
with, "But Where's thy gentleman, Tess?'' 

Tess hastily explained that he had been called away on 
business, and, leaving her interlocutor, clambered over the 
garden-hedge, and thus made her way to the house. 

As she went up the garden-path she heard her mother 
singing by the back door, coming in sight of which she 
perceived Mrs. Durbeyfield on the doorstep in the act of 
wi'inging a sheet. Having performed this without observ^- 
ing Tess, she went indoors, and her daughter followed her. 

The washing-tub stood in the same old place on the same 
old quarter-hogshead, and her mother, having thrown the 
sheet aside^ was about to plunge her arms in anew. 


" Why — Tess ! — my chil' — I thought yon was goinjf to be 
mamed — some days ago — really and truly this time — we 
eent the cider " 

" Yes, mother ; ao I am." 

" Going to be t " 

"I mean — I am married." 

" Married ! Then where'a thy hosband T " 

"O, he's gone away for a time." 

" Gone away 1 When was you married, then I Thi? day 
you said T " 

" Tea, Tuesday, mother." 

"And now 'tis on'y Saturday, and he gone a^vay!" 

" Yes J he's gone." 

'■ What^s the meaning <f that J 'Nation seize such hue- 
liands as you seem to get, say I ! " 

■' Mother ! " — Tess went across to Jonn Durbcyfield, laid 
her face upon the matron's bosom, and burst into sobs — 
'• I don't know how to tell 'ee, mother ! You said to me, 
and WTotc to me, that I was not to tell him. Bat I did tcB 
him — I couldn't help it — and he went away ! " 

" O you little fool — you little fool ! " burst out Mrs. Dor 
bej-field. " My good God ! that ever I should ha' lived V> 
eay it, but I say It again, you little fool ! " 

Tess was convulsed with weeping, the tension of so many 
d^s having relaxed at last. "I know it — I know — I 
" :now ! " she gasped through her sobs. " But, O my mothtr, 
I could not help it; he was so good — and I felt the wicked- 
ness of trying to blind him as t<^i what hml hapiH>ned ! If 
— if — it were to be done again — I should An thu ssmo. I 
could not — I dared not — so sin — against him ! " 

" But yon sinned enough to marry him first ' " 

" Yes, yes ; that's where my misery do lie. But I tlionglit 
he could get rid of me by law if he were determined not t« 
overlook it. vVnd 0. if yon knew — if }*oo conid only hiilf 
know how I loved him — how auxions I was to have bim— 
and how wi-ung I was between 

l>e fair to him ! " Tess was so slinken that she 
DO further, aud siuik a helpless thing into a chaii-. 
well ; whafs done can't be undone ! I'm sure I 
ff why children o' my bringing forth should all bo 
ipletons than other people's — not to know better j 
Hb such a thing as that, when be couldn't ha' f ouml ( 
too late ! " Here Mrs. Durbeyfleld began shed- 

) on her own account as a mother to be pitied. 
our father will say I don't luiow," she continued ; 

been talking about the wedding up at Rolliver'A j 
l^ire Drop every day since, and about his family 
>ck to their rightful position through you — ^poor I 

! — and now you've mode this mess of it. The 

1 bring matters to a focns, Tess's father was heard 
pg at that moment. Ho did not, however, enter 
Hy, and Mrs. Durhej-flcld said tliat she would | 

I bad news to him herself, Tess keeping out of 
the present. Joan began to take the mishap as J 
iall such mishaps after her first burst of disap- I 
1^ aa she bad taken Tess's original trouble, as she ] 
Ire taken a wet holiday or a failure iu the potAto 

II thing which had come upon them irrespective 
j law, or desert, or folly ; a chance external ini- 
B to be borne with ; not a lesson. 
boated upstairs, and beheld casually that the beds I 
shifted, and new aiTangements made. Her old j 
Ken adapted for two younger children. There | 
ice here for her now. 
im below being nnceiled, she could hear most of 

I on there. Presently her father entered, nppar- 
nng a live hen. He was a foot-higgler now, hav- I 
obliged to sell his second horse, and he travelled , 
Wket on his arm. The hen hod been carried with j 
looming SB it was often carried, to show peopla j 
■6 in bia work, though the bird had really lain^ 

TEss OF THE irmcBtatviu^s. 

I with its l''gs tiotl, noder tiie table at Rolliver'8 for mora 
f than an hour. 

"We've juet had np a story about " Diirl>ej'fi*M be- 

I f au, nuil tlierenpnu related in detail to his wife a discD^on 
I whipJi had arisen at the inn about the clergy, oritnnal 
I liy tihe iaot nt his daughter ha\'iiig married into a clerit 
I family. •' They was formerly styled ' sir,' like my own 
i cestry," ho said, " thongh nowadays their true style, rtrietly 
ppeaking, is 'elerk' only." As Tess had wished that u" 
I great publicity should be given to the event, he had mru- 
tioned no particulars. He hoped she would remove thai 
prohibition soon. He proposed that the couple should take 
Tess's own name, D'Urber^-ille, as iincorrupt«d. It was Wt- 
It-r than her husband's. He a^ked if any letter luid ootu« 
from her that day. 

Then Jlrs. Durbeyfield informed him that no letter had 
I'.ome, Iiut Tess unfortunately had come herself. 

When at length the collapse was explained to him n wiil- 
len mortification, not usual with Durbeyfield, overpowi'ni! 
the effect of the cheerinf* glass. Yet the intrinKio qualily. 
of the event affected his touchy sensitiveDese less than 
'Onjeetured effect upon the minds of others. 
" To think, now, that this was to be the end ot," mSi 
I Sir John. "And I with a family vault undpr Umt th'tv 
I church of Kingsbere as big as Squire Jollard's ttlp-ecllar, 
and my folk lying thert' in sixes and sevens, as genniw 
countj" bones and marrow as any recorded in history. Al 
now to be sure what they fellers at RolUver's and The 
Drop will say to mo : how they'll squint and glance, 
say, 'This is yer mighty grand match is it; this w 
getting back to tlie true family level of yer forefathi-rs 
King Norman's time ! ' I feel tills is too much, Joan 
shall put an end to myself, title and all — I can bear it Ql 
I h'Dgerl . . . But she can make him keep her if he's mA^ 
I riedherf" 

"Why, yes. But she won't think o' doing that." 


tliink he really have married her. Or is it ti 
tith t'other?" 
pess, who had heard as far as this, coold not beBFl 
jtoore. The perception that her word cotild bfrl 

even here, in her own parental house, set her mind 
the spot as nothing else could have done. How 
ted were the attacks of destiny ! And if lier father 
iter a little, would not neighhors and acquaintance i 
Jr much * 0, she could not live long at homo ! 
I days, accordingly, were all that she allowed her-j 
i^ at the end of which tiuie she received a short not^ 
Ire, infonning her that he had gone to the Nort 
pid to look at a farm. In her craving for the dig. 
^er true position as his wife, and to hide from hei 
(the vast extent of the division between them, ehel 
i/t of this letter as her reason for again departing', I 
Biem under the impression that she was se4.ting oufel 
|dm. Still further to screen her husband from anyl 
|pu, of unkindness to her, she took twenty-five oCl 
[pounds Clare had given her, and handed the sum 
per mother, as if the wife of a man like Angel Clart 
Ul afford it, saying that it was a slight return foi 
pie and humiliation she had brought upon them i: 
ut. With this assertion of her dignity she bad( 
Tfiwell ; and after that there were lively doings iul 

[wj-field household for some time on the streugtiiS 
I bounty, her moUier sajTng, and iodood believing, 
[quarrel which had arisen lietweeu the young hui;- 
Bwifehadadjnstcd itself under their strong feeling 
f conld not live apait fi-om each oth'JT- 





It was three weeks after the marriage that Clare foiin 
himself descending on foot the hill whifh led to the wd 
known parsonage of his fatlier. With his downwanl ccinn 
the Winare tower of the ehlireh rose into the still evenin 
sky in a manner of inquiry as to why he had come ; and e 
living person in the twihghted town seemed to notiee bii 
Btill less to expect him. He was arriving like a gbost, an 
the Bound of his own footsteps was almost an eucambraiic 
to be got rid of. 

The picture of life had changed for Clare, Before th 
time he had known it speculatively only ; now he thougl 
he knew it as a practical man ; though perha]iB he did no 
even yet. Nevertheless, humanity stood before liim n 
[longer in the pensive sweetness of Italian art, but in ti 
Blaring and ghajrtly attitudes of a Wiertz Mnsetim, au 
with the liideous leer of a Van Beers, 

His conduct during theee first weeks had been deeultoi 
'beyond description. After mechanically att^mjtting I 
pursue his agricultiu^ plans as though nothing unusiu 
had happened, in the manner recommt-nded by the great 
and wise men of nil ages., he concluded that very few i>! 
those gi-eat and wise men had ever gone bo far outride 
themselves as to test the f easibihty of their counsel. " Tlii« ) 
is the chief thing : be not perturbed," said tlie Pagau iiiop- 
alist. That was just Clai-e's own opinion. But lie w« 
pi'rturbed. " Let not your heart be troul>lwl, neithw hi it 
bo afraid," said the Nazai-ene. Clare chimed in onliaQy; 
but hie heart was ti-oubled all the same. How be wocUil 
have hfced to confi-ont those two great thinkers, aud ear- 
nestly appeal to them as fellow-man to fellow-men, nnd ask 
them to toll him their method ! 


[is mood transmuted itself into a dogged indifference 
at length he fancied he was looking on his own existence 
li the passive interest of an outsider. 
[e was embittered by the conviction that oil this desola- 
i had been brought about by the accident of her being 
t'Urberville. Wlien he found that Tess came of that 
aust^d ancient line, and was not of the new tribes from 
)w, as he had fondly dreamed, why liad he not stoically 
iidoned her, in fidelity to his principles? This was 
it he had got by apostasy, and liis punishment was do- 

Tien he became weary and anxious, and his anxiety in- 
ised. He wondered if he had treated her unfairly. He 
without knowing that he ate, and drank without lasting. 
the hours dropped past, as the motive of each act in the 
a; series of bygone days presented itself to liis view, he 
reived how intimately the notion of having Tess as a 
r possession was mixed up with all schemes, and words, 


a going hither and thither he observed in the outskirts 
1 small town a red-and-blue placard setting forth the 
Qt advantages of the Empire of Brazil as a field for the 
grating agriculturist. Land was offered there on ex- 
tionaJly advantageous terms. Brazil somewhat attracted 
I as a new idea. Tess could eventually join him there, 
, perhaps in that country of contrastiug scenes, and 
ions, and habits, the conventions would uol be so opera- 
! wMch made life wit-h her seem impracticable 1o him 
t\ In brief, be was strongly inclined to tr>' Brazil, espe- 
ly as the season for going thither was just at hand. 
Vith this view he was returning to Emmiuster to d' 
plan to his parent*, and to make the best explanation 
;ou]d make of arrivmg without Tess short of revealing 
it had aiitually separated them. As he reached the door 

new moon shoue upon his face, just as the old oue had 
a the small hours of that morning wheu he had car- 



tried his wife in his amis across Uie river to the [rniT«yaitl 
Jof tbe monks; but Ms face was thinner now. 

Cliire had giveu his parents no warning of his vi^t, and 

Flifi arrival stirrod the atmosphere of thu vicarage as the 

iUve of the kiiigflsher stirs a qniet pool. His father and 

toother were both in the drawing-room, bnt neither of his 

brothsru was now at home. Angel entered, and idosed tha 

I door quietly behind hint, 

"But — where'a your wife, dear Angel?" cried hismothi 
I " How you surprise ua ! " 

" Mhe is at her motlier's — tempomrily. 1 have come homr 

I rather in a liuiTy hecauBe I've decided to go to Brazil. 

" Brazil ! Why, tliey are all CathoHcs theiv, surely '. " 

" Are they T I hadn't thought of that." 

But even the novelty and paiufulnese of his going, pur 

I tieularly to a PapisticaJ land, could not displace for loo^' 

I Ml', auii Mi-a. Clare's natural interest in their son's marrifto^i' 

" We had your brief note three weeks ago nnuouudci) 

that it had takeu place," said Mrs. Clare, "and your falhe 

sent your godmother's gift to her, as you know. Of pmii^i 

it was best that noue of ua should be present, especially a.- 

you preferred to marry her from tlie dairy, ami not at hi 

home, wherever that may be. It would have euibarrwsixl 

!you, and given us no pleasure. Your brothcjw ttit thas 
very strongly. Of course, now it is done we do not 
plain, particuloi'Iy if she suits ynu for Ihe bnsiuI-.1^ 
iavo chosen to follow instead of the ministry of ' i 
pel, . . . Yet I wish I coidd have seen her first, A 
invo known a httle more about her. We sent hi-r 1 1 
ent of oui- own, not knowing what wonld li6«t givi 
pleasure, but you must suppose it only delaywl. A 
there is no irritation in my mind or your fathiT's 
you for this maniage ; but we have thought it much 
to reserve our liking for your wife till we oonhl st 
And now you have not broiight hei. It setnus 
Wliat has happened f " 
Be replied that il \va4 bft«n tlioiiKbt best by them 


,8he should go to her parents' home for the present, whilst 
he came there. 

" I dont mind tilling j'oii, dear motlier," he said, " that 
I always meant to keep her away (rom this bouse till I 
should feel she could come with credit to you. But Uiia 
idea of Brazil is nuite a recent one. If I do go it will 1» 
nnodvisable for nie to Udte her on this my first journey. 
She will remain at her motht-r'a till I come back." 

" And I'aliidl not see her before you utart T " 

He wn8 afraid they would not. His oi-iginal plan had 
he&i, as he had said, to refrain from bnnging her there for 
some little while — not to wound their prejudices — feelings 
— in any way ; and for other reasons he had adhered to it. 
He would have to visit home in the course of a year, if he 
■went out at once ; and it would Iw possiljlc for them to see 
ber before he started a second time — with her. 

A hastily preiMired supper was brought iu, and Clare 
gave fiu-ther explanation of his plans. His mother's tlis- 
api>otntment at uot seeing the bride still remained with 
her. Clare's lat« enthusiasm for Tess had infected her 
tlirough ber maternal sjtnpathies, till she had abuost fan- 
cied that a good thing could come out of Nazareth — a 
ohBrming woman oiit of Talbotliaya Dairy. She watched 
her son as he ate. 

" Cfinnot yon describe her ! I am sure she is very pretty, 

" Of that there can be no question ! " saJd he, with a zest 
-which covered its bitterness. 

"And that she is pore and virtuous goes without ques- 
tion t " 

•' Pure and virtuous, of course, she is." 

" I can see her quite distinctly. Yon said the other day 
tliat she was fine in figure; roundly built : had deep red 
lips like Ciipid"s bow ; dark eyelashes and brows, an im- 

■nse rope of hair like a s hifrtl Cftbtej and Jtrgt eyWTlO- ] 
bl ncy-blaekish ." 
I did, mother." 


" I quite see her. And living in such sedusiou she natu- 
rally had Hcarce ever seen any young man from the worM 
withont till she saw you." 

" Scareely." 

" You were her flrst love T " 

" Tes." 

" Thei-e are worse wives than these simple, rosy-mouthwl, 
robust girls of the farm. Ceilaiuly I coiJJ liave winhrtl— 
well, since my eon is to be an agriculturist, it is iierhajw 
but proper that his wife should have been aecnsttimed Vi 
an outdoor life." 

His father was less inqnisitive ; bnt wheu the time came 
for the chapter from the Bible which was always read hp. 
fore evening prayers, the ^icar observed to Mrs. Clare, " I 
think, since Angel has corae, that it will be more appnipri- 
atc to read the thirtj-first of Proverbs than tlin chapt-'r 
which we should have had in the nsual course of our waii- 

" Tes, certainly ," said Mrs Clare. " The words of Kin ,' 
Lemuel " (she could cite cliapter and verse a.-* well »t*. Iim 
husband). " My dear son, your father has decitled (it rca-l 
us tlie chapter in Proverbs in praise of a virtuous wift' 
We shall not need to be reminded to apply the words tfi 
the absent one. May Heaven shield her in all her waj-s!' 

A lump rose in Clare's throat. The domestie lecterri wa» 
taken out from the comer and set iu the middle of the fire- 
place, the Bible opened upon it ; the two old servantH eiune 
in, and Angel's father began to read at the tenth verse ot 
the aforesaid chapter : 

"'Who can find a virtuous woman! for her prir. :- fj- 
above rubies. She riseth while it is yet night, iiinl i :■ 
meat to her household. She girdeti her loins with -in ij: 
and strengtheneth her arms, She peroeivt'th that hur ni^ : 
chandise is good ; her candle goeth not out by nighL Sl- 
looketh well to the ways of her household, and i>at<.'th ni 
' e bread of idleness. Her ehildren arise up and call hii 


lier IiusliaDd also, and he praJseth her. Many 
daughters hare done virtuously, but thoa exc-ellest tliem 

When prayers were over, his mother stud : " I could not 
help thinking bow very aptly that chapter your dear father 
read applied, in some of its particulars, to the woman you 
have chosen. The perfect womau, you see, was a working 
woman ; not an idler, not a Que lady, but one who used 
her bands and her head and her heart for the good of 
others. ' Her cbildren arise up and call lier blessed ; her 
husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have 
done vii-tuously, but she exeelleth Hiem all.' Well, I wish 
I could have seen her, Angel. Since she is pure and chaste 
she would have been refined enough for me." 

Clare could beai- this no longer. His eyes were full of 

t^flrs, which seemed like drops of molten lead. He bade a 

I quick good-night to these sincere and simple souls whom 

V he loved so well ; who knew neither the world, the flesh, 

I nor the dei-il in their own hearts ; only as something vague 

I and asternal to themselves. He went to his own chamber. 

His mother followed Mm, and tapped at his door. Clare 

d it to discover ber standing without, with ansionseyes. 

'■ Angel," she asked, " is there something wrong that you 

I go away so soon T I am quite sure yon are not yourself." 

" I am not quite, mother," said he. 

"About herf Now, my son, I know it is that — I know 
^ ia about her. Have you quarrelled in these three weeks 1 " 
, " Wb have not exactly quarrelled," he said. " But we 

lave had a difference " 

*' Angel — is she a yonng woman whose hist«ry will bear 
restigation J " With a raotlier's instinct Mrs. Clai-e had 
t her finger on the kind of ti-ouble that would cause such 
E disquiet as seemed to agitate her son. 
1 " She is spoUefis ! " he replied, and felt that if it had sent 
X to eternal hell there and then he would have told that 


"Then never miud the rest After all. tliere are few 
sweeU-r things m nature than im uusullii'il uooutr^- maid. 1 
Any crudenesB of manner wliich may offend your mora I 
educated sense at first will, I am siiiv, disappear iindtr the I 
influence of your eompanionsbip and tuition." 

Such tirrilile sarcasm of blind mo^iuiiiuity hrougll 
home to Clare the gloomy perception that ht' had utl4-H> 
wrecked his career by this marriage, which had not bnn 
among his early thoughts after the disclosure. True, mi 
his own account he cared very little about his career ; Imi 
he had wished to moke it at least a respeetablo om* on at- 
couut of his parents and brothers. And now, n» he looki-ti 
into the candle, its flame dumbly expressed to him that Ji 
was made to sliine on sensible people, and that it sbhonwi 
lighting the face of a dupe and a failure. j 

When his agitation hod cooled, he would be at momeutt I 
iueeusedwith Lis jioorwife for causing a situation in whinii ' 
he was obliged to practise deception on his parents. Hl' 
almost talked to her in his anger, as if slie hafl heeu in lJ)« 
im. And then her cooing voice, plaintive in cjcpostulfl- 
tion, distm-bed the darkness, the velvet touch of licr liji- 
passed over bis brow, and he could distinguish in tlie m 
the waiTuth of her lireath. 

This night the woman of his belittling deprecation)* wa.- 
thinking how great and good her husband W8«<. Whil' 
over tJjem both there hung a deeper siiade than ilie tiiadv 
which Augel Clare pereeived, namely, the Hhatle i 
own limitations. With all his attempteti iudejteudeDce ol 
judgment, tliis advanced and well-meaning young n 
sample product of the last flve-aud-twenty yeat>'— was J 
tlie slave tfl eustflm and couventionolitT,' when 
hack into his early teachings. No prophet had told li 
and he was not prophet enough to tell himself, that e 
tially this young wife of his was as deserving of the p 
of King Lemuel as any other woman endowed i 
ic dislike of evil, her moral valne having to Iw t 


not by achievement but by tendency. Moreover, the figure 
near at hand suffers on such occasions, because it shows up 
its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off 
are honored, in that their distance makes artistic virtues 
of their stains. In considering what Tess was not, he over- 1| 
looked what she was, and forgot that the deficient can be// 
more than the entira i' 


At breakfast Brazil was the topic, and all endeavored to 
take a hopeful view of Clare's proposed experiment with that 
country's soil, notwithstanding the discouraging reports of 
some farm-laborers who had emigrated thither and returned 
home within the twelve months. After breakfast Clare 
went into the little town to wind up such trifling matters 
as he was concerned with there, and to get from the local 
bank all the money he possessed. On his way back he 
encountered Miss Mercy Chant by the church, from whose 
walls she seemed to be a sort of emanation. She was carry- 
ing an armful of Bibles for her class, and such was her 
view of life that events which produced heartache in othei'S 
wrought beatific smiles upon her — an enviable result, al- 
though, in the opinion of Angel Clare, it was obtained by 
a curiously unnatural sacrifice of humanity to mysticism. 

She had learnt that he was about to leave England, and 
observed what an excellent and promising scheme it seemed 
to be. 

"Yes; it is a likely scheme enough in a commercial 
sense, no doubt,'' he replied. "But, my dear Mercy, it 
snaps the continuity of existence. Perhaps a cloister would 
be preferable." 

"A cloister! O' Angel Clare!" 



" Why, you wicked man, a cloister implies a monlc, Uii 
a monk Catholicism ! " 

"And Gatholifism sin, and sin damnation. Thou art is 
a parlous state, Angel Clare ! " 

"/glory in my Protestajitism ," said she, severely. 

Theu Claro, thrown by sheer misery int« onu of the d* 
monia*^ moods in which a man does despite ta his tme 
principles, called her close to him, and fiendisUy wlii^p^T'tl 
in her ear the most heterodox ideas he could think of. Hi> 
momentary laughter at the horror which appeared oh her 
fan- face ceased when it merged in pain and anjuet^ for Lis 
welfare. "Dear Mercy," he said, "you must forgivn me. 
I think I am going crazy ! " 

She thought that he was ; and thus the interview eudci], 
and Clare re-entered the \'iearage. With the lo«aI hautit." 
he deposited the jewels till happier days should arise. U- 
also paid into the bank thirty pounds — to bo sent to T^^^ 
in a few montlis, as she might require ; aud wrote to her ;i! 
her parents' home in Bla^kmoor Vale to inform her m 
what he had done. This amount, witli the sum he bad al 
ready placed in her hands — about fifty pounds — he hopi"! 
would be amply sufficient for her wants just at pre-iem, 
partieularly as in an emergency she liad bct-n direot<><] hi 
apply to his father. 

He deemed it best not to put his parents into cummmu- 
cation with her by informing them of her mldi'ess : anJ, 
being unaware of what had really happened to cstraB?' 
the two, neither his father nor his mother suggvst-cd thni 
he should do so. During the day he left th« parsiniat"- 
for what he had to complete he wished to get dom- .:■■■'-'■ 

As the last duty before leaving this part of Km-l i . 
was necessary for him to cjill at theWeUbridgefunnli 
in which he had spent with Tess tlie first thn- ; 
their marriage, the trifle of rent ha\-ing to lie pai>: 
given up of tiie rooms they had occupied, and two ■ 


siaoll articles fetched away that they had left behind. It 
was nnder this roof that the deepest Bbadow ever thrown 
upon his life had stretched its gloom over him. Yet when he 
liad unlocked the door of the sitting-room and looked into 
it, the memory which returned first upon him was that of 
their happy arrival on a similar afternoon, the first fresh 
sense of sharing a habitation conjointly, the first meal to- 
gether, tlie chatting by the fire with joined hands. 

The fanner and bis wife were in the fields at the moment 
of his ^neit, and Clare was in the rooms alone for some time. 
Inwardly swollen with a renewal of sentiments that he had 
not quite reckoned with, he went npstairs to her chamber, 
■which had never been his. The bed was smooth as she 
had made it with her own hands on the morning of leaving. 

The mistletoe hung under the tester jost as he had placed 
it. Hanng been there three or four weeks, it was turning 
color, and the leaves and berries were wrinkled. Angel 
took it down and crushed it into the grate. Standing 
ttiere, he for the first time doubted whether bis course in this 
eonjuneture had been a wise, much less a generous, one. But 
had he not been cruelly blinded I In the incoherent mnlti- 
tnde of his emotions he knelt down at the bedside wet-eyed. 
"O Tesa! If you had only told me sooner, I would have 
fOTgiven yon ! " he moumed- 

Hearing a footstep below, he rose and went to the top of 
the stairs. At the bottom of the flight he saw a woman 
standing, and on her turning up her face recognized the 
pale, dark-eyed Izz Huett. 

"Mr. Clare," said she, "I've called to see yon and Mrs. 
Clare, and to inquire if ye be well. I thought you would 
be back." 

This was a girl whose secret he had gneased. but who 
had not yet guessed his ; au honest girl who loved him — 
one who would have made as good, or nearly aa good, a 
practical farmer's wife as Teas. 
» " I am here alone," ho said ; •' we are not lining here 


uuw." Esplnining why he had come, he asked, "Which 
way ore you going home, IzzP 

"I Imve uo home at Taibothays Dairy now, sir," she said. 

"Why is that f" 

Izz looked down. " It was so diemal tht>re that I U-fL 
I am Et«ying out this way." She puintfd in a contrary 
tlirci'.tion — the direction in which lie was journeyiiig. 

" Well — are yon going there nowy I i»n take you if you 
wish for a lift." 

Her olive complexion grew richer in hue. "Thank V. 
Mr. Clare," she said. 

He soon found the farmer, and settled liie acwouot f«i 
his rent and the few other items which had to be voosider'. 'i 
by reason of the sudden abandonment of the lodgiugs. On 
Clare's return to his horse and gig Ikz jumped up besiil< 

"lam going to leave England, Izz,"ht) said, as tlieydrnv 
on. " Going to BraziL" 

"And do Mrs. Clare like tlie notion of such a journey ' 
she asked. 

"She is not going at present — say for a year or ao. I aiii 
going out to reconnoitre — to see what life there is like." 

They sped along eastward for some considerable disluii-'' 
Izz making no observation. "How are tlie ahhersf " he in 
quired. " How is Hetty 1 " 

" She is in a sort of nervous stat43 ; and so thin and bol 
low-cheeked that 'a do seem in a decline. Nobody will uvit 
fall in love wi' her any more," said Izz, absently. 

"And Marian t" 

Izz lowered hpr voice. " Marian drinks." 

" Indeed ! " 

" yes. The dairyman has got rid of her." 

" And yon T " 

" I don't drink, and I baint lu a. decline. But — I am mJ 
great things at singing afore breakfast now ! " 

"How is that? Do yon remember how neatly you vseA 


til turn ''Twas dowu in Cupid's Gardens' aiid 'The Tailor's 
Urfticlies ' at morning milkiugT" 

■'Ah yes! When yon first eame, sir, that was. Not 
when you had been there a bit." 
■' Why was that fiilling-off t " 

Hpr black eyes flaslied up to his face for one monienLby 
way of answer. 

Izz — how weak of you — for such aa I ! " he said, and fell 
into reverie. " Then — suppose I had asked you to marrj' 

If you had I should have said ' Tes,' and you would 
have married a woman who loved 'ee." 

" Down to the ground ! " she whispered. " my God I 
did you never guess it till uow ! " 

By and by they readied a branch road to the village. 
I must get down, I live out there," said Izz, abniptly, 
never having spoken since her avowsj. 

Clare slowed the horse. He was incensed agaiust his 
fate, bitterly disposed towards social ordinances; for they 
had cooped him^^ up iii a comer, out of which there was no 
legitimate pathway. Why not be revenged on society by 
ruling his future domesticities himself, instead of kissing 
the pedagogic rod of convention in this lonely maunerf 

I am going to Brazil alone, Izz," said be. "I have 
separated from my wife for personal, not voyaging, reawns. 
~ may never live with her again. I maymit be able to love 
you i but — will you go with ine instead of her f '',' ""~ 

Do you truly wish me to go 1 " 
I do. I have been badly used enough to wish for re- 

And you at least love nie disinterestedly." i 
Tes — I win go," said Izz, after a pause. 
You will f You know what it means. Izz I " 
If means that I shall hve with you for the time yoi 
p there — that's good enough for me." 
Remember, you are not to trust me in mornlii i 


But I ought to remittd you that it will be ftroug-doing in 
the eyes of civilization — Western d^'iliration, that is lo 

■■ I don't mind that ; no woman do whoa it poim-s to 
agony-point, and there's no other way," 

■' Then don't get down, but sit where you arc' 

He drove past the cross-roads, one milt', two niUes, mth- 
out showing any signs of affection. 

'■ You love me very, verj- much, Izz T ' he suddenly asked 

■' I do — I have said I do. 1 loved yo^i all the time we 
was at the dairy together." 

"More than Tesst" 

She shook her head, 

'■No," she mormured, "not more than she." 

" How's that T " 

"Because nobody could love 'ee more than Tees<lidl 
. . „ She would have laid down her life for 'ee, I could Uo 
no more ! " 

Like the prophet on the top of Peor, Izz Hnett would fil^ 
have spoken per\-er8ely at such a moment, but the 
tion exercised over her rougher natiu-e by Teas's ehi 
compelled her to grace, 

Clare was silent ; his heart, had risen at tliest- fltraii 
forward words from such an unexpected, iiuim|>vni 
([narter. In his throat was something a* if b sob hnd mW 
fied there. His ears repeat*?d, " Shf teould liatt tai^ 
hiT life- for 'ee. I could do im mure ! " 

" Forget our idle talk, Izz," lie said, turning bU 
head suddenly. " I don't know what Pve been saj-fn^l 
will now drive you back to where your lane IirauchM "ff." 

•■ So much for honest^' towards '.-e ! — Iiow cun I b-av 
it — ^how can I — how ean If" Izz Huett burst into wUii 
tears, and beat her forehead as she saw what the had d< 

"Do you regret that poor little act of justice to la 
Sent one 1 O Izz, dou't spoil it by regret ! ' 

She stilled hei-self by degi-ees. 


■' Very well, sir. Perhaps I didn't kuow wliat I was sa^-- 
I "■<! either, when I agreed to go, I wish — what caQUot be. " 
% " Because I have a loving wife already." 
" Yes, yes ! You have." 

They reached the comer of the laue which they had 
[iiL.-;sed half an hour earher, and she hopped down. 

■■You will forget my momentary lenity'" he said. "It 
\i as ill-considered, ill-advised." 

" Forget it ? Never, never ! 0, it was no levitj- to me 1 " 
He felt how richly he deserved the reproach that the 
ivouudcd cry conveyed, and, in a sorrow that was iuexpres- 
viMe, leaped down and, took her hand. "Well, but, Izz, 
\VL-'11 [Mu-t friends, anyhow? You don't know what I've 
bad to bear ! " 

She was a really generous girl, and allowed no further 
"bitterness to mai" their adieux. " I forgive 'ee, sir," she said. 
" Now, Izz," he said, solenmlj', while she stood beside him 
Ithere, forcing himself to the mentor's part he was far from 
seliug ; '• I want yon to t«ll Marian when you see her that 
Ishe is to jbc a good woman, and not to give way to folly. 
■Promiiie - ^t, and tell Retty that there are more worthy 
■men than I in the world, that for my sake she is to ai^t 
■wisely and well — remember the words — wisely and well— 
Ifor tny sake. I send this message to them as a dying man 
■■to the dying; for I shall never see them again. And you, 
l&zy, you have saved me by your honest words about my 
"fe from an ijicredible piecs of f oUy and treacherj-. Wom- 
t may be bad, but they are not so bail as men in these 
On that one account I can never forget yon. Be 
rays the good and sincere girl yon have hitherto been ; 
1 think of me as a worthless lover, but a faithful fiiend- 

' Heaven bless and keep 

bill! gave tJie promise gravely. 

tcu. sir. Good-by ! " 

Ho drnvt! on ; Imt no sooner bad Izz turned into the 

, and Clam was out of sight, than she flung herself 


,m iiu tlw lnvnk in a fit of racking ttuguish ; and it wa.- 

witli a Btrained, unnatural fact- that she cutereJ her mother's 

I'Ottage late tJiat night. Nohodj' over knew boir la sprtit 

the dark hours that. iuter\-ened between Angel C'Lare'a i>art' 

' iug fi-om her and hor anival honip. 

Clai-e, too, after bidding the girl farewell, was wroiight 
lo aching thoughtsand qnivering lipK. But Iubsoitowwib 
not for Izz. That evening he was within a featJier-weighfs 
tm-n of altandoning his i-oad to the neoivst station, and 
driving ai^ross tliat elevated dorsal line of South Wi'ssat 
whieh divided him from his Tess's home. It was nciUier a 
contempt for her nature, nor the probable state of her heart, 
which deferred him. 

No ; it was a sense that, despite hoi- love, as corrobomtcd i 
hy Izz's admissioa, the facts had not changed. If liP n:i 
right at first, he was right now. And the inomentnin c: 
the course on which he had embarked tended to kr-tji lii. 
going in it, unless diverted by a stronger, nior>> -u i 
force than liad played upon him this aftomoon. ! 1 
soon come back to her. He took the train that uil:: ■ 
Loudon, and five days after ehook hands in farewell "f !i.^ 
brothers at the port of embarkation. 


5'rom the foregoing events of the winter-tim« I«t \t» i*rp« 
• m to an October day, more than eight monthj) fnibi •?':"'' 
to the parting of Clare and Tesa, We discover ili 
in changed conditions; instead of a bride vith }>•» 
trunks which others bore, we see her a lonely worn;-. i 
basket and a bundle in her own porterage, as ai nv. 
time, when she was no bride: instead of the nni|'i- i: 
that were anticipated by her luisbHnd for hi-r 



tiirfnigli this probationorj' period, she can produce only a 
flattened purse. 

After a^aiii leaving Marlott,her home, sbehad got through 
the spring and summer without any great stress upon her 
physical powers, the time being mainly spent in rendering 
light, irregular sei-vice at daiiy-work near Port Bredy, to 
the west of the Blaekmoor Valley, equaUy remote from her 
native place and from Talbothays. She preferred this to liv- 
ing on his allowance. Mentally she remained in utter stag- 
nation, a condition which the mechanical occupation rather 
fostered than checked. Her conscionsnesa was at that 
iither dairy, at that other season, in the presence of the 
tender lover who had confronted her there— ho who, the 
moment she had gi-asjicd him to keep him for her own, had 
disappeared like a shape in a vision. 

The <laii-y-work lasted only till the milk began to lessen, 
for she had not met with a second regular engagement as 
at Talbothays, but had done duty as a supernumerary only. 
However, as harvest was now beginning, she had simply 
to remove from the pasture to the stubble to find plenty of 
further occupation, and this continued till harvest was done. 

Of the fivo-and-twenty pounds which had remained to 
her of Clare's allowance, after deducting the other half of 
the fifty as a contribution to her parents for the trouble 
uitd expense to wliich she had put them, she had as yet 
spent but little. But there now followe<l an tmfortunate 
iiiter\-al of wet -weather, dming which she was obliged to 
{*:iil l)ack Upon her sovereigns. 

She could not bear to let them go. Angel had put them 
into her hand, had obtained them bright and new from his 
bank for her; his touch had consecrated them to souvenira 
of himself — they appeared to have had as yet no other his- 
tor\- than such ns was created by his and her own experi- 
•■nee — and to disperse them was like giving away relies. 
Biit she had to do it, and one by one they left her hands. 

She had bei>n compelled to send her mother her address 



from time to tune, bat she concealed her circnmstAito 
When her money had alniost gone a letter from her mo( 
i-eacbed her. Joan stated that they were m drauU 
ditDcnlty ; the ftutumn rains had gone through tJie Ibat 
of the house, which required entire renewal ; but this con 
not bo done because the previtius thatching had iiover be 
paid for. New rat'ters and a new ceiling upstairs ahton'e 
required, which, with the previons bill, would amount to 
sum of twentj- pounds. As b«r hnsbtmd was a man 
means, and had doubtless i-eturued by this time, could d 
not send them the money t 

Tess had thirty ]>ouuds coming to her almost immet 
from Angel's bankers, and, the case being so dvplomlil 
as soon as the sum was received she sent the twonty as 

Part of the remaiudei- ehe was obliged to expeud in t 
t«r clothing, leaving only a nominal simi for the whole il 
clement season at hand. When the last pound hnd gunfl, 
remark of Angel's that whenever she reipiirvd further r 
sources she was to apply t« his father, remained to be «il 

But the more Tess thought of the step the more nJncb 
was she to take it. The same delieacy, pride, falso «liai 
whatever it may be called, on Clare's account, which 1 
led her to hide fi-om her own parents the pr(>Ii>ngnlioti t 
the estrangement, hindered her in owning to his tliftt si 
was in want after the fair allowance he hadlefl htir. 
probably despised her already ; how much more uiiuld tlia 
despise her in the character of a mendicant T Thti e 
quenee was thot by no effort could the parson's dnu^ti) 
in-law bring herself to let him know her state. 

Her reluctance to communicate witJi her huflbaiid's p 
ents might, she tliought, lessen with the lapse of lime ; t« 
with her own the reverse obtained. Oii her leariug tbfl 
houRo afttT tlie short visit Bul)6e(iuent to her miuriage thi 
were under the impression that she was nltimatidy gtiiii 


to join her husband ; and from that tirae to tlie present she 
had done nothing to disturb their erroneous belief that she 
was awaiting his retiuTi in comfort, hoping against hope 
that his jouiTiey t<) Brazil would result in a short stay only, 
aft4?r which he would come to fetch her, or that he would 
wnt* for her to joiu him ; in any case that tliej' would soon 
preeent a united front to their families and the world. This 
hope (die still fostered. To let her parents know that she 
was a deserted wife, dependent, now that she had relieved 
their necessities, on her obti hands for a living, after the 
triumph of a marriage which was to nullify the coUapsc of 
the first attempt, would be too much indeed. 

The set of brilliants returned to her mind. Whero Clare 
had deposited them she did not know, and it mattered 
little, if it were true that she could only use and not sell 
them. Even had they ^een absolutely hers, it would be 
passing mean to enrich herself by a legal title to them which 
was not essentially hers at all. 

Meanwhile, her husband's days had been by no means 
free fn»m triaL At this moment he was lying ill of fe^-er 
in the clay lands near Curitiba in BrazU, having been 
drenched with thnnder-storms and persecuted by other hard- 
ships, in common with all the English farmers and farm 
laborers who, just at this time, were deluded into going 
thither by the promises of Uio Brazilian Govemnien t, and by 
the baseless assimiption that those frames whii'h, plough- 
ing 8rd sowing on English uplands, had resisted all the 
weathers to whose moods they had been bom, could resist 
iMpially well all the weathei-s by which they were surprised 
on Brazilian plains. 

To return. Thus it happened that when the lastof TeBs'a 
sovereigns had been spent she was nnpro\-ided with others 
to take their place, while, on aecoimt of the season, she 
found it increasingly difficult to get emploj-meut. Not 
bung awiure of the rarity of intelligence, energy. heultb,aiid 
iphwc of lif e, she refrained frurnBeciiMI 


iHi indoor occupation ; fearing towiis, largif houses, 
of mcaiis anil social sophisticatioii, tiuil of macnur 
thim niral. Prom tLat direction of (^iiitility Blac 
had come — ^all the troubles she had ever known. To 
work, indeed, Tess had never taken kindly- Atanta 
ing she hatted, so far as she knew anything of it ; a 
not stitch gloves with rapidity sufficient to earn a 
nance, as some girls in the district were wont to d 
upon the whole, the work she was compelied to sock 
work she preferred — that which involved hving in ti 
air. Of the wintj?r wind she knew the wnrst, and 
bitter sky. Sooiety might he better than sho 
from her slight experience of it. Bnt she had m> p 
this, and her instinct in the circnmslanceB wa« to ai 

The small daii-ies in which she hadBorved aasupto; 
arj' milkmaid during tlie spring and summer reqnJ 
further aid. Room would probably have been tn 
her at Tidbotliays, if only out of sheer coiiipajMlci 
eomforta!)lo as her life had been there, she could 
back. Tlie anti-climax woidd bo too intolerable ; ■ 
return might bring i-epronch ui>on her idolized Iii 
She could not have borne their pity, and their whl 
remarks to one another upon her Btningc situation 
oddly enough, she woiild almost have fiuied s bn« 
of her eireunistances by every individniil then*, so 1 
her Btory had remained isolated in tlie mind of 
was the intereliange of ideas about her tliut made li 
sitiveness winee, Tess could not account for this 
tion ; she simply knew that she felt it. 

She wns now nu her way to an Ti[)luiid fftmi in Ui 
of the county, to which she had bei-ii r<^i<x»unK>ndm 
v,Tinderi!ig letter which had nwlicd her from 
Mnrian liaii somehow heard thrtt. Tc«8 wan utepantei 
her husband — probalJy tbrongli Ixz Huett — ntid thi 
naturi-d and now tippling girl, deeming Tc«« in 
^dliaMf^'iird to inf(.i-m her foanW " 


had gone to this upland spot aft«r leaving the dairy, and 
would like to see her tlipre, where there was room for otlier 
hiuidH, if it was really true that she worked again as of old- 

With the shortening of the days all hope of obtaining 
lii-r htisband*8 forgiveness began to leave her; and there 
was fioniethiug of the habitude of the wild animal in the 
liiirefleeting automatism with which she rambled on — dis- 
'■(■iinecting herself by littles from her eventful past at every 
fitep, obUternting her identity, giving no thought to accidents 
or contingencies which might make a quick discovery of 
her whereabouts by others of importance to her own happi- 
ness, if not to theirs. 

Among the difficulties of her lonely position, not the least 
was tlie attention she excited by her appcai-iinee, a certain 
liearing of dislincfion, which she had caught from Clare, 
1 id ng superadded to her natural attractiveness. Wliilst Uie 
ilothos lasted which ha<l been prepared for her marriage, 
these casual glances of interest caused her no ineonvenience, 
bnt as soon as she was compelled to don the wrapper of a 
field-woman, mde words were addressed to her more than 
ouee ; but nothing occurred to cause her bodily fear till a 
partienlar Noi-eraber afternoon. 

8he bad preferred the fertile eonntry of the southwest to 
the upliind farm for which she was now bound, because, for 
onethiug, it was nearer to the home of her husband's father; 
and to hover about that region unrecognized, with the 
notion that slie might decide to call at tie ricarage some 
day, gave her pleaanre. But having once decided to try 
the higher and drj'er levels, she pressed on, marching afoot 
towards the \-illage of Chalk-Newton, where she meant to 
pass the night. 

The lane was long and unvaried, and, owing to the rapid 
-iiortemiig of the days, dusk came upon her before she was 
, nare. She had reached the top of a hill down which the 
■.i!io stretched its serpentine length in glimpses, when ahe 
.:' ai-d footsteps behind her bock, and in a few moments 


she ws£ overtaken by a man. He Htopped up alongsidi 
"jes and said, "Good-uigbt, iny pretty maid," to w-hicb shi 
tfilly replied. 

The light still remaining in the sky lit np her fact-, tliotigU 
landsiiape was nearly dark. The man turoed and staml 
at hei-. 

"Why, surely, it is the young wench who was at Traiil- 
■jdge awhile — young Squire D'Urberville'a fanny ? I 
lere at that time, though I don't live there nnw,'' 
She recognized in him the well-to-do Tjoor whom Angel 
id knocked down at the iun for addressing her coajwily, 
'heii they went shopping together before Uit-ir marria^. 
spasm of anguish shot through her, and she retnmi-d him 
fio answer. 

" Be honest enough to own it, and that what I said at thti 
public-houae was true, thougli your fancy-man was so ujf 
about it — hey, my sly onef You ought lo beg my pardon 
that blow of his, considering." 
Still no answer came from Tess. There seemed onlymnf 
Lpe for her hunted sonl. She suddenly took to hw bi<(^ 
ith the speed of the wind, and, without luoUing \ySaBd 
ler, ran along the road till she came U> a gnt*? which opem-d 
;ctly into a plantation. Into this she pluuged, and did 
Dot pause till she was deep enough in its shade tu bu tate 
against any possibility of discovery. 

Under foot tlie leaves were diy, and the foliagw of boIM 
.holly bushes 'vhich grew among the deeidnous Lrctts WB« 
ugh to keep off draughts. She sorajH-d iDgrtber 
<e dead leaves till she had formed them int'^ n Wgv bt'spi 
making a soit of nest in the middle. Into this Tcsa crppt. 
Snch sleep as she got was natnrally fitful ; shu tiuic^' 
she heard sti-ange noises, but persuatled her^ielf that tibcf 
were caused by the breeze. She thought of Ikt hnsbtnd 
in Home vagne, warm clime on the other nide of this gliibr. 
while she was here in the cold. Was there itmither sop!" 
wretched being as she in the world t Tess a^sked herscU; 


and, thinking of her wasted life, said, " AH is vanity." She 
repeated the words mochanicallj-, till she reflected that this 
was a most inadequate thought for modem days. Solomon 
had thought as far as that more than two thousand years 
ago ; she herself, though not in the van of thinkers, had 
got much further. If all were only vanitj-, who would 
mind itf Ail was, alas, worse than vanity ! The wife of 
Angel Clare put her hand to her brow, and felt its curve, 
and edges of her eye-sockets as perceptible under the soft 
skin, and thought as she did so that there would be a time 
when that bone would be bare. " I wisli it were now," she 

In the midst of these whimsical fancies she heard a new 
strange sound among the leaves. It might be the wind; 
> ct there was scarcely any wrind. Sometimes it was a pal- 
]ittAtion, sometimes a flutter; sometimes it was a sort of 
^asp or gurgle. Soon she was certain that the noisesc&me 
from wild creatnres of some kind, the more so when, origi- 
nating in the boughs overhead, they were followed by the 
fall of a heavj' body upon the ground. Had she been en- 
sconced hereunder other and more pleasant conditione, ahe 
would have become alarmed; but, outside humanity, she 
had at present no fear. 

Day at length broke in the sky. When it had been day 
aloft for some UtUo while it became day in the wood. 

Directly the assuring and prosaic liglit of the world's 
active hours had grown strong, sbo crept from under her 
hillock of leaves, and looked around boldly. Then she per^ 
ceived what had been going on to disturb her. The plan- 
tation whei-cin she had taken shelter ran down at this spot 
into a peak, which ended it hitherward, outside the hedge 
being arable ground. Under the trees several pheasants 
lay about, their rich plumage dabbled with blood; some 
were dead, some feebly moi-ing their wings, some staring 
up at the 8k\', some pulsating feebly, some contorted, some 
Mtretfihed <mt — all of tliem writldug in agony, except tho 


fortunate ones wlioso tortui-eB liad ended during tlie n 
by the inftbility of Nature to bear more. 

Tees guoH^ed at once the nieatung of this. Tbe birds b 
been driven down into this corner the day before by eon 
shooting party; and while those tliat had dropped Ava 
under the shot, or had died befoi-e nightfall, had tw 
eearched for and carritid off, the slightly wounded birds h 
escaped and hidden themselves away, or rieen among t 
thick boiigbs, wljere they had maintained their jMisitiou C 
they grow weaker with loss of blood in the ulght'ti 
when they had falk-n one by one as she had heard tbam. 

She had oecasionally canght glimpses of the^e men 1 
girlhood, hjoking over hedges or peering throngU hnslw 
and pointing their guns, atrangely accoutred, a bloodthire 
light in their eyes. She had been told that, rtmgh e 
bnital as they seemed jnst tlion, tlu-y were not Uke this a 
tlie year round, but were, in fact, quite civil persona, s 
during certsUn weeks of autumn and winter, when, like ill 
inhabitants of the Mahiy Peninsula, they ran umnek, o 
made it their purpose to destroy life — in this ease kannle 
feathered creatures, brought into being by urtjfieiftl mcai 
solely to gratify these propensities — couduct at u 
maunerly and so unchivalrous towards their weaker fdloi 
in Nature's teeming family. 

With the impulse of a soul who eould f i-el for MailR 
sufferers as mnch as for herself, Tess's first thought wm. " 
put the still living birds out of their torture, and u> ll 
end with her own trembling bauds she bnike the nrcks* 
as many as she could find, leaving them to lie nrbure iT 
had found them till the gamekeeptra should comi' — wt tit 
probably would come — to look for them a second tiroe. 

"Poor darlings — to suppose myself the mfwt raiiw 
being on earth in the sight of such misery as yonn 
she exclaimed. "And not a twingo of Ijodilypaiii all 
Jne ! I be not mangled, and I be not bleeding, and I ll 
two hands to feed and clothe me" She wni 11-4l1Hi11.1l t 


herself for her gloom of the night, based on Eothing more 
tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrarj' 
law of society which had no foiindation in natm-e. 


It was now broad day, and she started again, emer^ag 
cautiously upon the highway. But there was no need for 
caution; uot a soul was at hand, and Tess went onward 
with fortitude, her recollection of the binls silently endur- 
ing their night of E^ny impressing upon Iicr the relativity 
of sorrows and the tolerable nature of her own, if she could 
rise high enoagh to despise opinion. But that she could 
not do so long as it was heJd by Clare. 

She reached Ghalk-Newton, and breakfasted at an inn, 
^vlierti several young men were troubtesoniely compliment- 
ary to her good looks. Somehow she felt hopeful, for was 
it not possible that her husband also might say these same 
tilings to hereven j-ett Surely she was bound to take care 
(.f bersi'lf on the chance of it. To this end Tess resolved 
to mn no farther risks from her appearance. As soon as 
slie got out of the village she entered a thicket and took 
fi'om her basket one of the old fleld-gowns which she had 
never put on even at the dairj- — never since she had worked 
iinmug the stubble at Marlott. She also, by a felicitous 
Uiooght, took a handkerchief from her bimdle and tied it 
triiiud her face nnder her bonnet, covering her chin and 
half her cheeks and her temples, as if she were suffering 
from toothache. Then with her little scissors, by tbe aid of 
(I ^Kwket looking-glass, she mercilessly snipped her eyebrows 
. T, and thus insured against aggressive admiration she 
, lut on her uneven way. 

■' What a moniniet of a maid ! " said the nest man who 
luvt her to a companion. 

gone away, ana ne\ 

him just the same, ai 

'em think scornful o' 

Thus Tess walks o 

scape ; a field-woman 

gray serge cape, a red 

by a whitey-brown roi 

Every thread of that o 

thin under the stroke c 

and the stress of winds. 

in her now : 

The ma 

• • 

Her hail 
Fold ove 

Inside this exterior, ov 
as over a thing scarcely 
was the record of a pulsii 
months of pleasure, an 
heart which had learnt 
of the crueltv of lust anc 

Next day the weather 
honesty, directnefto — ^ " 


stringencies being the reverse of tempting. First she in- 
quired for the lighter kinds of employment, and, as accept- 
ance in any variety of these grew hopeless, applied next for 
the less light, til^ beginning with the dairy and poultry 
tendance that she liked best, she ended with the heavy and 
coarse pursuits that she liked least — work on arable land : 
work of such roughness, indeed, as she woidd never have 
deliberately volunteered for. 

Towards the second evening she reached the irregular 
chalk table-land or plateau, bosomed with prehistoric semi- 
globular tumuli — as if Cybele the Many-breasted were su- 
pinely extended there — ^which stretched between the valley 
of her birth and the valley of her love. 

Here the air was dry and cold, and the long cart-roads 
were blown white and dusty again within a few hours after 
rain. There were few trees or none, those that would have 
grown in the hedges being mercilessly plashed down with 
the quickset by the tenant-farmers, the natural enemies of 
tree, bush, and brake. In the middle distance ahead of her 
she could see the summits of Bulbarrow and of Nettle- 
combe-Tout, and they seemed friendly. They had a low 
and unassuming aspect from this upland, though as seen 
on the other side from Blackmoor in her childhood they 
were as lofty bastions against the sky. Southerly, at many 
miles' distance, and over the hills and ridges coastward, she 
could discern a surface like polished steel : it was the Eng- 
lish Channel at a point far out towards France. 

Before her, in a slight depression, were the remains of a 
village. She had, in fact, reached Flintcomb-Ash, the place 
of Marian's sojourn. There seemed to be no help for it ; 
hither she was doomed to come. The stubborn soil around 
lier showed plainly enough that the kind of labor in demand 
liere was of the roughest kind ; but it was time to rest from 
searching, and here she resolved to stay, particularly as it 
began to rain. At the entrance to the village was a cottage 
Whos0 gable jutted into the road, and before applying for 


I a lodging she stood under its shelter, and wat«lied I 
evening (dose io. 

" Who would think I was Mrs. Angfl Clare ! " she s 

The wall felt worm to her baok imd shoulders, aj 
found that iiiunediately within the gable was Ihe * 
fireplace, the heat of which came through the bric-ks. 
wamied her hands upon them, and also put bpr nhe*k— 
and moist with the drizzle — against their wimforting sni 
face. The wall seemed to be the only friend she bad. Slip 
had so htUe wish to leave it that she coold have etsyeii 
there all night 

Tes8 t'onld hear the occapants of the cottage — gHthd 
together after their day's labor — talMDg to each other w" 
in, and the rattle of their snpper-plates was idno sudih 
But in the village street she had seen no soul as yet. 
solitude was at last broken by the approach of nue f« 
nine figure, who, though the eveuiiig was cold, wore t 
print gown and the tilt-boimet of numuier-time. Tees i 
stinutively thought it might be Mariau, and when she n 
near enough to be distinguishable in the gloom su 
enough it was she. Marian was even stouter and reiM 
in the face than formerly, and decidedly shobhier in i 
At any preWous penod of her existence Teas would ti 
have eared to renew the aequointanee in such condition 
but her lonehness was excessive, and she responded r 
to Marian's greeting. 

Marian was quite respectful in her inquiries, but » 
much moved by the fact that Tess should still itooliniie 
no better i^oudition than at first; though she bad din) 
heard of the separation. 

" Tess — Mrs. Clare — the dear wif i> of dear Ii« t And rt 
really so bad as this, my child 1 IrVHiy is your comely tl 
tied up in such a way? Anybodv been beating Wt !) 

"No, no, no I I merely did it to keep off cJiprans * 
colling, Marian." She pullwi nff in disgust it Ijaniu 
which coiUd suggest such wild tlioughts. 



"And you've got no cdllar on." (Tess had been occns- 
tonied to wear a litlle wliit* collar at the dairy.) 

" I know it, Marian." 

"You've lost it travellingf 

■' I've not lost it. The truth is, I don't care anything 
about my appearance ; and so I didn't put it on." 

" And yon don't wear yonr wedding-ring I " 

■' Tee, I do ; but not publicly. I wear it round my neck 
on n ribbon. I don't wish people to think who I am by 
marriage, or that I am married at all ; it would be bo awk- 
ward while I lea<l ray present life." 

Mariau paused. " But you be a gentleman's wife ; and 

it seems hardly fair that you should live like this ! " 

Oh yes it is, quite fair; though I am very unhappy." 

Well, well. He married you — and you can be unhappy ! " 

Wives are unhappy sometimes; from no fault of their 

tmsbands — from their own." 

" You've no fanlts, deaiy ; that I'm sure of. And he's 
none. So it muet be something outside ye both." 

•' Mmian. dear Marian, will you do me a good turn with- 
out aifking questions f My husband has gono abroad, and 
Bomeliow I' have overrun my allowance, so that I have to 
fiill back upon my old work for a time. Do not call me 
Mrs, Clare, but Tens, as before. Do they want a hand 
here I " 

"Oh yes; theyTI take one always, because few care to 
come. 'Tis A starve-acre place. Com and swedes are aU 
they grow. Though I be here myself, I feel 'tis a pity for 
>itich as you to eome." 

" But you used to be as good a dairj-woman as I." 

"Yes; but I've got out o' that since I took to drink. 
Lord, that's the only happiness I've got now ! If you en- 
t:age, you'll be set swede-hacking. That^s what I be doing j 
but you won't like it." 

'■ O — anj'thing ! Will yon speak for me T " 

■' You will do better by speakiug for ^"onrsclf ." 



him, if I get. tiie pla«e. I don't wisb to bring hts t 
dowii to the dirt." 

Mariiin, who was really a truBtwnrthy giri, tlioiqclil 
coai-ser graiu tlmii Tess, promised anything iihe i 
"This is pay-night," she said, "and if y«a were to ( 
with me you wonid know at once. I be rt-al ftony I 
you are not happy ; bnt 'tis beeau&o h«'H away, I bid 
You uouldn't be unhappy if he were here, even if he s 
you no money — even if he used you like a drudge." 

" That's true ; I could not ! " 

They walked on together, and soon n-acbed Uib i 
house, wlii<^rh was almost sublime in its dreurineaa. 
was not a tree witliin sight; there was not. at tliia a 
a green pasture — nothing but fallow and tomijis ( 
where ; in largo fields divided by hedges looDutc 
plashed to unrelieved levels. 

Tesa waited outside the door of tJie familiouaa till \ 
group of work-folk had received tlieir wages, and t 
Marian introduced her. The farmer hiniisrtf, it appt 
was not at home, but his wife, who ri-jiretn-nli'd him tJ 
evening, made no objection to hiring T^-ss, on her a 
to remain till Old Lady-Day. Female fleld-lalwr n 
dom offered now, and its cheapness inadu it profltaUefl 
tasks which women could perform as rwadily ax i 

Having signed the agreement, tbeiw wiui nothint; i 
for Tess to do at present tlian to get a lod^ ' 
found one in the house at whose galile-wall she b 
herself. It was a poor subsistence that slie 1 
but it would afford a shelter for the winter at a 

That night she wrot* to inform her porenta i J 
address, in ease a letter slioiild arrive at Mnrlfri 

husband. Bnt she did not tell them of the 80rr 

situation : it might have brought reproaoh [1|m>d ttak. 




There was no exaggeration in Marian's definition of 
Fluik;omb-Ash farm tis a starve-acre place. The single fat 
thing on the soil was Marian herself: and ehe was an im- 
portation. Of the three classes of village, the village cared 
for by its lord, the village cared for by itself, and the villf^ 
anoared for either by itself or by its lord — (in other words, 
the village of a resident sqnire's tenantry, the village of 
free or copyholders, and the absentee-owner's village, fanned 
with tlie land) — tliis place, Plintcomb-Ash, was the third. 

But Tess set to work. Patience, that blending of moral 
'courage with physical timidity, was now no longer a minor 
foaturt* iu Mrs. Angel Clare ; and it sustained her. 

The Bwede-field, in which she and her companion were 
set hacking, was a stretch of a hundred odd acres, in one 
patch, on the highest ground of the farm, rising above 
stony lunchets or Ijiichets — the outcrop of silicions veins 
in the chalk formation, compo.sed of myriads of loose while 
flints in bulbous, euspcd, and phallic shapes. The upper 
half of each turnip had been eaten off by the live-stock, 
and it was the business of the two women to grub out tlie 
hivrvr or earthy half of the rcfot with a hooked fork called 
it liacke-T, that this might be eaten also. Every leaf of the 
vegetable having previously been consumed, the whole field 
was in color a desolate drab; it was a complexiou witliout 
features, aft if a face, from phiii t<i brow, should be only an 
expanse of skin. The sky wore, in another color, the same 
likeness; a white vacuity of eoimtenauce with the linea- 
ments gone. So these two Mpi>er and nether visages con- 
fronted each other all day long, the white face looking 
down on the brown face, and the bi-own face looking np at 
^e white face, witiiout anything standing between them 




■t tile two girls crawling over the surface of the former 

Nobody came near them, and their movemeuts showed a 
mechanical regulaiity; their forms enshrouded in rough 
~~,essian " wroppers " — sleeved brown piuaforos, tied behimi 

the bottom, to keep their gowns from blowing at>oat — 

lort skills revealing " ekitty boots" that reached high np 
the ankle's, and yellow sheepskin gloves with gatintli-U. 
The pensive character which the curtained hood lent to 
their bent heads would have reminded the obsen'er of Bomc 
early Italian conception of the two Marj'S. 

They worked on hour after hour, imconsciuus of tht 
forlorn aspect they bore in the landscape, not thinking of 
the justice or injustice of their lot. Even in such u posi- 
tion as theirs it was possible to exist bi a dream. In thf 
afternoon the rain came ou again, and Marian suid thu 
they need not work any more, though if they did not work 
they woiild not be j>aid ; so they worked on. It wo* w> 
liigh a situation, this field, that the rain had no occaKion to 
fall, but nu^ed along horiznutally upon the yelling nind, 
stinking into them like glass splinters, till by degrees they J 
wore wet through. Tess had not known till now — ind«^, J 
few peoi)le of either sex know — what is really mtr&nt by 1 
that. There are degrees of dampness, and a very little is I 
called being wet through iu common talk. But Id Miuil I 
vorking slowly in a field, and feel thu cn-ep of rain-wat^r. I 
first in legs and shoulders, then on hips and head, then a 
ba<rk, front, and sides, and yet to work on till the ieadoi I 
light diminishes and marks that the siui is down, dnmauds | 

distinct modicum of etoicism, even of valor. 

Yet tliey did not feel the wetness so much as might be I 

ipIMised. They were both young, and they were bdkil^; 1 

the time when they lived and loved together at Talbo- I 

s Diiirj', that happy green tract of land where sumni'V 

been liberal in her gifts : in substance to all, emotliin 

to these. Tess would faiji not hava conversed wiUi 



MarinQ df the man who was legallj-, if uot obviously, her 
hushaud ; but the irresistible faseinatiou of the subject be- 
traj'i'd her into reuiprocat.iug Marian's remarks. jViid thus, 
as hn^ beeu said, though the datup curtains of their Imunets 
flapped smartly into their faces, and their wrappers dung 
about them to wearisomeness, they lived all this afternoon 
in memories of green, sunny, romantic Talbotliays. 

" Ton can see a gleam of a hill within a few miles of 
Frooni Valley from here when it is flue," said Maiian. 

•' Ah '. Can you T " said Tess, awake to the new value of 
the locality. 

So the two forces were at work here as everywhere, the 
inherent will to enjoy, and the cii'ciunstantial will against 
enjoyment, Marian's will had a method of assisting itaelf 
by taking from her pocket, as the afternoon wore on, a pint 
bottle corked with a white rag, from which she invited Tess 
to drink. Tess's unassisted power of dreaming, however, 
being enough for her sublimation at present, she declined 
except tlie merest sip, and then Maiian took a pull herself 
from the bottle, 

"I've got used to it," she said, "and can't leave it off 

now. 'Tia my only comfort You sec I lost hiin : you 

didn't; and you can do without it perhaps." 

Toss thought her loss as great as Marian's, but upheld 
by the dignity of being Angel's wife, in the letter at least, 
abe accepted Marian's differentiation. 

Amid this scene Tess slaved in the morning frosts and in 
the afternoon rains. When it was not swedo-ha«king it 
was swede-trimming, in which process they aheed off the 
earth and the fibres with a biU-hook before storing the 
roots for future use. At this occupation they could sheltei- 
themselves by a (hatched hurdle if it rained ; but if it was 
frosty, even their thick leather gloves could not prevent 
l!n^ frozen masses (hey handled from biting their fingers. 
Still Teiw hoped. She hail a i'on\'ictiou that sooner or later 
Iho magnanimity which she jiemsted in reckoning as ii 



chief ingredient of Clare's eharaetcr would lead him 
rejoin her; and what would a «'int«'r of Awtde-trirom 
matter if it resulted in such a oonsuniniation ! 

They often looked across the country to wher© 1 
Vallej' was known to stretch, even though they might i 
be able to see it ; and, fixing tlieir eyes on the cloakin 
gray miat, imapnod the old timcB they had sjtent out thei* 

" Ah," said Marian, " how I should like another or t 
of our old set t*i come hero ! Then we could lirinp ■ 
TallKfthays every day here afield, and talk of he, and c 
what nieo tiroes we had there, and o' the old things w 
to know, and make it all come bask again a'most, in * 
ing I " Marian's eyes eoftened, and her voice grew v 
as the vieionB returned. " I'll write to Izz Huett," she k 
" She's biding at home doing notliing now, I know, and 1 
tell her we be here, and ask her t^ oomo ; and perhaiK) K«4 
is well enough now." 

Tess had nothing to say against the propoNil, nud ti 
next she heard of this plan for importing oki TallH-iiha^i 
joys was two or thi-ee days later, when Marian infamM^] 
her that Izz had reiilied to her inquiry, and had promiwd 
to come if she couiO. 

There had not be(?n suoli a winter for years. It eani« on 
iu stealthy and mcjutured glides, like the moves of a che* 
player. One morning the few lonely trees and tlie iLiin'..- 
of the hedgerows appeare<i as if they hud put off a ^-L'lt* 
bh' for un animal integument. Every twig was lu-.F-r'-'i 
with a whit* nap as of fiir grown from the rind tlnriui; :}(•■ 
night, giving it four times its usual dimensions; Ih.> » h.-'- 
bush or tree forming a stiirtliug sketeh in white lini-^ ..n rV 
mournful gray of the sky and horizon. Cobwebi* n-Miil"! 
their presence on sheds and walls where none luid ■■.^t 
been obsen-cd till brought ont into visibilitj- by the eryr 
lallizing atmosphere, hanging like loops of whitv woi^cJ 
from salient points of the <iulhouBes, posts, and gat«ft. 

Alter this season of cougeiilcd d 


<lrj- frost, "when striiiige birds from l>ehi]id tJie North Pole 
begau to arrive silently on the upland of Flintcomb-Asb ; 
gannt spectral creatures witli tragleal eyes — eyes wliieh 
had witnessed scenes of cataclysmal horror in inaccessible 
polar regions, of a magnitude such as no human being had 
ever conceived, in curdling temperatures that no man could 
endure; which had beheld the crash of icebergs and the 
slide of snow-hills by the shooting light of the Aurora ; 
been half blinded by the whirl of colossal stonns and ter- 
raqueous distortions ; and retained the espresaion of fea- 
ture that such scenes had engendered. Tliese nameless 
bu-ds came quite near to Tess and Marian, but of all they 
liad seen which himianity would never see they brought 
no accoimt. Tlie traveller's ambition to tell wna not tJieirs, 
and, with dumb impassivity, they dismissed experiences 
which they did not value for the immediate incidents of 
this upland — the trivial movements of the two girls in 
disturbing the clods with their fragile hackei-s so as to un- 
i-over something or other that these visitants relished as 

Then one day a peculiar quality invaded the air of this 
open conntrj'. There c^me a moisture wliich was not the 
moisture of rain, and a cold which was not the cold of frost. 
It chilled the eyeballs of the tivatn, made their brows ache, 
penetrated to their skeletons, affecting the surface of the 
body less than its core. They knew that it meant snow, 
itid in the night the suow came. Tees, who continued to 
■V- at the cottage with the wai*m gable that cheered the 
I iieiy pedestrian who paused bc«ide it, awoke in the night, 
and heard above the thatch noises which soeiiied to signify 
that the roof had turned itself into a gyninMsium of all the 
winds. When slie lit her lamp to get up in the morning, 
lihy found that the snow had blown thrtmgh a chink in the 
easement, forming a white cone of the finest powder against 
tho iu&ide, and had also come down (he chimney, so that it 
soh^dcep upon the floor, on which her shoes left tracks 



when she moved about. Without, the stomi drove so { 
as to create a snow-mist in the kitchen ; but as j'ut it Vi 
too dark out-of-doors to see anything. 

Tess knew that it was bnpossible to go on with I 
swedes ; and by the time she had finished breakfast by tl 
light of the solitary little lamp, Marian arrived to tell fa 
that they were to join the rest of the women at ree^-dnuM 
ing in the barn till the weather chimged. As soon, tJiui 
fore, as the uniform cloak of darkness without begun dj 
turn to a disordered medley of feeble grays, they blew ^ 
the lamp, wrapped themselves up in their thickest pinni 
tied their woollen cravats round their necks and i 
their chests, and started for the barn. The snow had I 
lowed the birds from the polar basin as a white pillar a 
cloud, and individual flakes could not be seen. Thu lib 
smelt of icebei^, arctic seas, whaler, and ^ hite bi-ars, c 
ing the snow so that it licked the land but did not lie oa J 
They trudged onwards with slanted bodies through I 
Aossy fields, keeping as well as they could in the shd 
of hedges, which, however, acted as strainoi-s rather t 
screens. The air, afSicted to pallor with the hoary miu 
tndcs that infested it, twisted and spun them ot^eeutricalk, 
suggesting an achromatic chaos of things. But both iln 
youug women were fairly cheerful ; such weather on a tli^' 
n]iland is not in itself dispiriting. 

"Tlio ennuing northern birds knew this was coiniitn| 
said Marian. " Depend upon 't, they kept just in frontal 
it all the way from the Kortb Star. Tour husband, dH 
dear, is, I make no doubt, having scorching weatlno- ^M 
this time. Lord, if he could only see his pretty wife nti^H 
Not that this weather hurls your beauty at all — in £a^|S 
rather does it good." fl 

*' You mustn't talk abont him to me, Marian," said TmH 

"Well, but — surely yon care for him. Do youT" 

Instead of aneweriug, Tess, with teu? ia liec lun^^^ 


pulsively faced in the direction in which she imagined 
South America to lie, and, putting up her lips, blew out a 
passionate kiss upon the snowy wind. 

^' Well, well, I know you do. But 'pon my body, it is a 
rum life for a married couple ! There — ^I won't say another 
word ! Well, as for the weather, it won't hurt us in the 
wheat-bam j but reed-drawing is fearful hard work — ^worse 
than swede-hacking. I can stand it because Fm stout ; but 
you be slimmer than I. I can't think why maister should 
have set 'ee at if 

They reached the wheat-bam and entered it. One end 
of the long structure was full of com ; the middle was 
where the reed-drawing was carried on, and there had al- 
ready been placed in the reed-press the evening before as 
many sheaves of-wheat as would be sufficient for the women 
to di*aw from during the day. 

" Why, here's Izz ! " said Marian. 

Izz it was, and she came forward. She had walked all 
the way from her mother's home on the previous afternoon, 
and not deeming the distance so great had been belated, 
arriving, however, just before the snow began, and sleeping 
at the ale-house. The farmer had agreed with her mother 
at market to take her on if she came to-day, and she had 
been afraid to disappoint him by delay. 

In addition to Tess, Marian, and Izz, there were two 
women from a neighboring village ; two Amazonian sis- 
ters, whom Tess with a start remembered as Dark Car the 
Queen of Spades, and her junior the Queen of Diamonds — 
those who had tried to fight with her in the midnight quar- 
rel at Trantridge. They showed no recognition of her, and 
possibly had none. They did all kinds of men's work by 
preference, including well-sinking, hedging, ditching, and 
excavating, without any sense of ftitigue. Noted reed-draw- 
ers were they too, and looked round upon the other three 
with some superciliousness. 

Putting on their gloves, they all set to work, «>ta\i!Sxxi.^ vcl 



a row in front of the press. That erection was formed ] 
two upright poste counected by a crosa-beam, uniler whii4 
the sheaves to be drawn from were laid eiirs outwtird, the 
beam being pegged down by pins in the uprights, nnil 
lowered as tlie sheaves diminished. Each woman soiz 
Uaudful of the ears, and drew out the stalks thereby, ] 
ering the straw so drawn — now straight, and ca]li<d t 
nnder her left arm, where, when a lai-ge armful was ^ 
(■red, she cut off the ears with a bill-hook. 

The day hardened in color, the light coming in at ( 
bam-dtMirs upwanls from the ground instead of downwia 
from the sky. The gu-ls pulled handful after hanilful frq 
the press; but by reason of the presence of the 
women, who were reeoouting local scandals, Marian i 
X7J! could not at first talk of old times an they wished to a 
Presently they heard the muffled tread of a horse, and I 
former rode up to the barn-door, Wlien lie had dismom 
and entered he came cIcm; to Tess, and remained look] 
musingly at the side of her face. She had not tamed'^ 
first, but Ms fixed attitude led her to look round, when 4 
perceived tliat her employer was the native of Trantr 
from whom she had taken flight on the high-road h 
of his allusion to her history. 

He waited til! she had carried the drawn bundles to th*^ 
pile outside, when he said, " 80 you bo the yoimg v 
who took my civility in such ill partt Be drowned if II 
didn't think you might be as soon as I heard of your h 
hired. Well, you tliought you had got the better of me i 
first, time at the inn with your faney-man, and the 1 
time on the road, when you bolted; but now 1 think V 
got the better of you." He concluded with a hard liiiigfa.a 

Tess, between the Aniazoniau.1 and tlie fanner, like a lif 
caught in a springe clap-net, n-tumetl no answer, uan^ 
ing to pull Ihe straw. She coul<l read eliaraet#r ^uffidn: 
Well to know by this time that she had nothing to luarb 
her employer's gaUantry ■, it was rather the tynxay ti 


iHon ftt Clare's treatment of him. Upon the 
pi-eferred that seutiment in man, and felt brave 
endure it, 

tonght I was in love with 'ee, I suppose f Some 
1 sneh fools, to take every look as serious earuest. 
I nothing like a winter afield for taking that nou- 
f yonng women's bead^ ; and you've signed and 
liady-Day. Now, are yon going to beg my par- 

: you ou^ht to b^ mine," 

rell — as yon like. But we'll see which is master 

they all the sheaves you've done to-day!" 


«rypoor show. Just see what they've done over 
Intiug to the two stalwart women), "The rest, 
lone better than you." 

B all practised it befoi-e, and I have not. And 1 
made no difference to you as it is task work, and 
f paid for what we do." 
it does. I want the bam cleared," 
oiug to work all the aftemoou instead of leaving 
be others will do." 

)d sullenly at her and went away, Tess felt tliat 
not have come to a much worse place,- but any- 
better than gallantry, in her unprotected state. 
I o'clock arrived the professional reed-drawers 
ibe last half-piut iu their flagon, put down their 
their last sheaves, and went away. Marian and 
have done likewise, but on hearing that Tess 
Itay, to make up by longer hours for her lat'k of 
irould not leave her. Looking out at the snow, 
fell, Marian exclaimed, '■ Now we've got it all to 
: And so at last the conversation turned to their 
pc«8 at the dairy ; and, of course, the incidents 
bction for Angel Clare. 
\ Marian," said Mrs. Angel Clare, with a dignity 


wlii(!h was extremely pretty and touciiing:, seeing how ^ny 
little of a wife sbe was: "I can't join in talk with you mnr, 
OS I used to do, about Mr. Clare ; you will see that I hbi- 
uot ; becaufiP, although he t§ gone away from «ie for tiit 
I present, he is my husband." 

Izz was by nature the sauniest and most caiistip of all tlir 
four girls who had loved Olaro, " He was a verj- splendid 
lover, uo doubt," ehe said ; " but I don't think he is a nir 
good husband to go away from you so soon." 

'' He had to go — he was obliged to go, to see aliont tiut 
land over thore." pleaded Tess. 

"He might have titled 'ee over t)ie wint^M"." 

"Ah — tliat's owing to an accident — a niisnnderslAndtit^, 
and we won't aiyuc it," Tess answered, with tvarfiilne?^ in 
her words. " Perhaps there's a good deal t<i hv said t«t 
him! He did not go awiiy, like some husbands, witliuiit 
teUing me; and I can always find outwheru he U." 

After this, they continued to seize, pull, and mt off ih* 
ears for some long time in a reverie, nothing sounding in 
the bara but the swish of the drawn straw and tht- cmiioh 
of the liook. Then Tess suddenly flagged, luid sank 
upon the heap of wheat ears ut her feet. 

" I knew you wouldn't be able to stand it ! " eriwl V* 
" It wants harder flesh than yours for tliia work." 

Just then the farmer entered. "O, Hint's how 
ou when I am away," he siud to her. 

" But it is my own loss," she plewlwl. "Not youre." 

" I want it finished," he said, doggudly, ns he emawd 
bam, and went ont at the other door. 

" Don't 'ee mind him, there's a dear," said Harinn. "!"■ 
worked here liefore. Now you go and lie down then, tiw 
Izz and I will make up your number," 

" I don't like to let you do that. I'm taller than wm, 

Howevei', she was so overcome that she eonseiiKtl d 
down awhile, and reclined on a lieap of pnlllftil-i — lh« 
use after the straight straw " " * 


been thrown up at the farther side of the bam. Her suc- 
cumbing had been as largely owing to agitation at reopen- 
ing the subject of her separation from her husband as to 
the hard work. She lay in a state of percipience without 
volition, and the rustle of the straw and the cutting of the 
ears had the weight of bodily touches. 

She could hear from her comer, in addition to these 
noises, the murmur of their voices. She felt certain that 
they were continuing the subject already broached, but their 
voices were so low tiiat she could not catch the words. At 
last Tess grew more and more anxious to know what they 
were saying, and, persuading herself that she felt better, 
she got up and resumed work. 

Then Izz Huett broke down. She had walked more than 
a dozen miles the previous evening, had gone to bed at 
midnight well-nigh supperless, and had risen again at five 
o'clock. Marian alone, thanks to the bottle of liquor and 
her stoutness of build, stood the strain upon back and arms 
without suffering. Tess urged Izz to leave off, agreeing, as 
she felt better, to finish the day without her, and make 
equal division of the number of sheaves. 

Izz accepted the offer gratefully, and disappeared through 
the great door into the snowy track to her lodging. Marian, 
as was the case every afternoon at this time, on account of 
the bottle she had emptied, began to feel in a romantic vein. 

" I should not have thought it of him — never ! '' she said 
in a dreamy tone. "And I loved him so ! I didn't mind his 
having you. But this about Izz is too bad ! " 

Tess, in her start at the words, narrowly missed cutting 
off a finger with the bill-hook. 

" Is it about my husband T " she stammered. 

" Well, yes. Izz said, * Don't 'ee tell her ' ; but I am sure 
I can't help it ! It was what he wanted Izz to do. He 
wanted her to go off to Brazil with him." 

Tess's face faded as white as the scene without, and its 
curves straightened. "And did Izz refuse to go T " she aakfid. 



" I dou't know. Anyhow, he cbaiigod his mind," 

" Pooh — then he didn't mean it ! Twas jiwt a 
jest ! " 

" Yes, he did ; for he drove her a good way towards 

" Anyhow, he didn't take her ! " 

Tlioy pulled on in silence till Tess, without any prenif 
tory symptoms, burst ont crying. 

" There ! " said Marian. '• Now I wish I hadn't t<ild 'eej 

" No. It is a very good tiling that you have done ! 
have been living on in n thirtover, laekadaisifal 
have not seen what it may lead to ! I ought to have 
liim a letter oft*ner. Ho said I could not go to him, 
he didn't say I was not to write as often as I liked. I 
stay like this any longer ! I have been very wrong tai 
neglectful in leaving everj'thing to be done by him ! " 

The ditn light in the barn grew dimmer, and tJicy iwiiild 
see to work no longer. When Tess had reached home that 
evening, and hud entered into the privacy of her littl* 
whitewashed chamber, she began impetuously wriling ■ 
letter to Clare. But falling into doubt, she could not 
it. Afterwards she took the ring from the ribbon on i 
she wore it next her heart, and retained it on her finger I 
night, as if t« fortify herself in the sensation that she 
really tlie wife of this elusive hiver of hern, who could pr* 
pose that Izz should go with him abroad, so shortly after he 
had left her. Knowing that, how could she write eutrtAti^n 
to him, or show that she coi-ed for him any more 1 

By the disclnsuro in the bam lier thongbts were led «M« 
in the direction which tbev bad taken more than odm d 



lier husband^s parents that she had been charged to send a 
letter to Clare if she desired j and to write to them direct 
if in difficulty. But that sense of her having morally no 
elaim upon hira had always led Tess to suspend her im- 
pulses to send these notes ; and to the family at the vicar- 
age, therefore, as to her own parents since her marriage, 
she Avas virtually non-existent. This self-effacement in both 
directions had been quite in consonance with her inde- 
pendent character of desiring nothing by way of favor or 
pity to which she was not entitled on a fair consideration 
of her deserts. She wished to stand or fall by her qualities, 
and to waive such merely nominal claims upon a strange 
family iis she had established by the flimsy fact of a mem- 
ber of that family having, in a moment of impulse, written 
liis name in a church-book beside hers. 

But now that she was stung to a fever by Izz's tale there 
was a limit to her powers of renunciation. Why had her 
Imsband not written to her? He had distinctly implied 
that he would at least let her know of the locality to which 
lie ha(^l journeyed ; but he had not sent a line to notify his 
address. Was he really indifferent? But was he ill? Was 
lie waiting for her to make some advance? Surely she 
might summon the courage of solicitude, call at the vicar- 
age for intelligence, make herself known, and express her 
^ief at his silence. K AngePs father were the good man 
she had heard him represented to be, he would be able to 
enter into her heart-starved situation. Her social hard- 
ships she could conceal. 

To leave the farm on a week-day was not in her power ; 
Sunday was the only possible opportunity. Flintcomb-Ash 
being in the middle of the cretaceous table-land over which 
[lo railway had climbed as yet, it would be necessary to 
ivalk. And the distance being fifteen miles each way it 
wrould be necessary to allow herseH a long day for the un- 
iertaking, by rising early. 

A fortnight later, when the snow had gone, and had been 




followed by a hard, black frost, &Le resolvMl to take adi 
ta^e of the stat« of the roads tu try the exporunecl. 
three o'clock that Sunday iDomiug she «ime ilo' 
and stepped out into the starlight. The weather 
still favorable, the ground ringing under her fuet 

Marian and Izz were much interested in her cxciirsii 
knowing that the journey concerned her husband. Tlwfr 
lodgings were in a cottage a little farther along the laiu', 
but they came and assisted Tess in her depiuiiin', wiii 
argued that she should dress up in her very prettiest girist 
to captivate the hearts of her pareuts-in-law ; though bIib, 
knowing of the austere and CalAinistio tenets of old Mr. 
ClarCj was indifferent, and even doubtful. A yuar had now 
elapsed since her sad marriage, but she had preserved ml- 
ficient draperies from the wreck of her then full wanlml)* 
to clothe her very charmingly as a simple eounlrj' girl wili 
no pretensions to recent fashion ; a soft gray woc^eti gown, 
with white crape quilling against the pink &kin uf faer but 
and neck, and a black velvet jacket and hat. 

" Tis a thousand pities your husband can't seo 'ee 
you do look a real beauty ! " said Izz Huett, regardin); ' 
as she stood on the threshold, between the steely si 
vrithont aud the yeUow candle-light within. Izz spok* 
a magnauimous abandonment of herself to tbo aitoul 
she could not be — no woman with a heart bigger 
liazel-nut could be — antagonistic to Tesa in her pi 
the influence which she exercised over those of her oh 
being of a warmth and strength quite unin^nal, euii 
overiioweriug the less worthy feminine feeliugB of 
and rivalry. 

Witli a final tug and touch here, and a slight hmsb 
they let her go ; and she was absorbed Into the pearly 
of tlie fore-dawn. They hi"ard her footsteps tnp alimi; 'W 
hard road as she step])ed out to her full jiace, \m 
hoped she would win, and, though withoat any porticalir I 


respect for her own virtue, felt glad tliBt she had been pre- 
VL'iiti-'d wronging her friend when momentaiily tempted by 

It was a yeai- ago, all but a day, that Clai-o had married 
Tess, and only a few days less thau a year that he had been 
absent from hep. Still, to start on a brisk walk, aud on 
such an errand as hers, on a dry, dear winter morning, 
through the rarefied air of these chalky hogs'-backs, wa» 
not depressing ; and there is no doubt that her dream at 
starting was to win the heart of her mother-in-law, tell her 
wliole history to that matron, enlist her on her side, and so 
gain bock the truant. 

She soon reached the edge of the vast escarpment below 
■wliieh stretched the wide and loamy Vale of Blackmoor, 
lying now misty and still in the dawn. Instead of the 
colorless air of the uplands, the atmosphere down there was 
a deep blue. lust^ad of the great enclosures of fifty to a 
liuudred acres in which she was now accustomed to toil, , 
there were little fields below her of leas tlian half-a-dozen 
acres, so numerous that they looked from this height lik« 
the meshes of a net. Here the landscape was whitey-bi-own j 
down lliere, as in Froom Valley, it was always green. Yet 
it was in that vale that her sorrow had taken shape, and 
she did not love it as formerly. Beauty to her, as to all , 
who have felt, lay not in the thing, but in what the thing ' 

Keeping the Vale on her right, she steered steadily west- 
ward i passing above the Hiutocks, crossing at right angles 
the high-road from Sherton-Abbas to C^terbridge, ajid 
.■skirling Dogbury Hill and High-Stoy, with the dell between 
(hem .yilled "liie Devil's Kilehen," StUl following the 
F-lfviited way, she reached Cross-in-Haud, where the stone 
j I i IliLT Ntauils desolate and silent, to mark the site of a mira- 
I li', OP murder, or both. Three miles fartJier she cut acrosa 
lilt; &tnuj{Lt and deserted Roman i-oad called Long-A*b 


down the hUI by a traus^'crse lane into iht small towu n 
I villagG of Ererslii'nd, being now aliout liulf-way over ih 
disUmce. She iiiadr' a halt beri*, and ItrotLkfusted a s^wii 
tiinc, heartily enough — not at the Sow and Acorn, for sli 
a%*oided inns, bnt at. a i"f>tt4igo hy the church. 

The second half of her journey was through a mon* 
tie country, by way of Bonvill Laue. But as the mill 
I lessened betweea her nud the sj>ot of her pilgrimage, 
Tess's confidenee decrease, and her enterprise looiu oat 
forraidalily. She saw her purpose in such staring liuM, 
the hindseapt! so faintly, that she was sometimea in di 
of losing her way. However, about noon slie stood on 
edge of the ha.iiu in whieh Enmiiuster and its vienmgc 
Mounting upon a gate by tJie wayside, she sat then- 
teniiiiating the scene. The sfiiiare tower, bem-Atli wliii 
she knew that at that niontent the vicar and lii^ boiiM-holil 
and congregation were gathereil, had a se\'ero look in liw 
eyes. She wished that she had somehow ooiitri%-ud to com* 
oil a week-day. Sueh a ^>od man might \w pn'judi>-!*I 
against a woman who had ehosi'n Sunday, never n-alixing 
the necessities of her case. But it was iueumbeut njKm " 
to go on now. She took off tlie thick btiots in whieli 
had walked thus far, pnt on her pretty thin ones v>f i«ili 
leather, and, stuffing the fonner into the hedge wht-n' 
might readily find them again, descended the hill ; the ft^!: 
ness of color she had derived from the keen air Ihinnini 
away in spite of her as she drew near the parsonapt' 
Tess hopal for some accident that might fav-ij- i. 
nothing favored her. Tlie shrubs on the vicar.ii' 
rustled nnoorafortably in the frosty breeze; slie ■■! 'iJ . ;■ 
feel, by any stretch of imagination, dressed to h'v injl 
as she was, that the house was the residence of H' i' r 
tions; and yet nothing essential, in nature or -in-*;' 
dinded her from them : in pains, jileasurea, thoughts, hir! 
deatii, and after-death, they were tlie same. 
■ fi^.s8r?«dlHn^to«U6agitkqUHirij|^HHJHBl 




iind rang the door-bell. The thing was done ; there could 
\'i.- no ri'treat. No ; the thiug was not done. Nobody aa- 
swort'd to her ringing. Tlie effort had to be risen to and 
made again. She rang a second time, and the agitation of 
the act, coupled with her weariness after the fourt,een miles' 
w-alk.led her to support, herself while she waited by resting 
her hand on her hip, and her elbow against the wall of the 
porch. The wind was so drying that the ivy-leaves had 
become wizened and gray, each tapping incessantly upon 
its neighbor with a disquieting stir of her nerves. A piece 
of blood-stained paper, caught up from some meat-buyer's 
dust-heap, beat up and down the road without the gate ; 
too flimsy to rest, too heavy to fly away ; and a few straws 
kept it company. 

The second peal had been louder, and still nobody eame. 
Then she walked out of tho porch, opened the pite, and 
jiiisseil through. And though, when she had half-closed it, 
sh'! rt'tained it in her hand, looking dubiously at the house- 
frimt as if incJined to retiu^, it was with a breath of i-elief 
that she dosed t.he gat«. A fueling haunted her that she 
might have been obsfr\-ed, and recognized (though how she 
ooidd not tell), and that orders had been given not to admit 

Tess went as far as the comer with a sense that she had 
tione all she could do ; but determined not to escape present 
trepidation at tlie expense of future distress, slie walked 
back again quite past the house, looking up at all the win- 

Ah — tlie explanation was tliat they wore all at church, 
ivcry one. She remembered her husband saying that his 
fiithcr idways insisted upon the household, servants in- 
cluded, going to morning service, and, as a consequence, 
lilting cold food when they came home. It was therwfon) 
only necessary to wait till the ser\4ce was over. She would 
not make herself conspicuous bj- waiting on the spot, and 
tahu tilart<:d to get pafit thu church into thu haui. Bat as 


ulie reached the churchyard gate the people bcgran poniing 
out, and Tess found herself in tho midst of them, ~ 

The Emminsl*?r eougregation lonki'd at her as only 
coDgregation of small emmtry townsfolk walking bum* 
its leisure can look at a womau whom it perceives to 
6tranger. She quickeiicd her pace, aud asfended th** 
by which she had come, to find a retreat Ix-tweien its hei 
till the ■riear's family should have lunched, and it mi|^t 
oouvenient for them to receive her. She soon distan(.i<d 
churoh-jfoers, except two youngish men, who had comi- 
iu the rear of t.he majority, and, linked anu-in-ann, 
lieating up behind her at a quick step. 

As they drew nearer slie could hear their roiees pngsgcdl 
in earuest discourse, aud, with the natural qnickncsK of* 
woman in lier situation, did not fail to recognize in thow 
voices the quality of her husband's tones. The pedestrian* 
were his two brotbers, ob%n<*uely. Forgetting all her plans, 
Tesa's one dread was lest they should overtAke LtT now, in 
her disorganized condition, before she was prepared to iwn- 
front thcni; for, though she knew that they could nOl 
identify her, she instinctively dreaded their scrutiny. ~~ 
more biiskly they walked the more briskly wulkod 
Tliey were plainly bent upon taking a short, qniok 
before going indooi-s to lunch or dinner, to restoni 
to limbs chilled with sitting through a long scrviw. 

Only one person had preceded Tess up the hill — b 
like young woman, somewhat interesting, though, piitai 
a trifle guitidie and prudish. Tess had nearly ovifrlJLke 
her when the speed of her brothers-in-law brought tlwm i 
nearly behind her back that she could hear every whp 
their conversation. They said nothing, however, which ' 
ticularly interested her till, observing the young lady 
farther in front, one of tliem remarked, " Tlien.- is M< 
Chant Let ns overtake her," 

Tubs knew the name. It wns th( 
destined for Angel's life-compti 


and whom he probably would have married but for her 
iutriiyive self. She would bavft knowii as much without 
juvvious infonnation if she liad wait*d a momeut, for one 
of the brothers proceeded to say : " Ah I poor Augel, poor 
Aiigel ! I never see that nice girl without more and uiore 
regretting his precipitancy in throwing hunaelf away upon 
a dauTmaid, or whatever ehe may be. It is a queer busi- 
ness, apjmrently. Whether slie has joined him yet <)r not 
I don't know ; but she had not done so some months ago 
when I heard fram him." 

" I can't say. He never tells me anything nowadaj^s. 
His ill-considered marriage seems to have completed that 
estrangement from me which was begun by his estraordi- 
nar>' opinions." 

Tess beat up the long hill still faster; but she could not 
outwalk them without exciting notice. At last they out- 

eti her altogether, and passed her by. The young lady 
1 farther ahead heard their footsteps and turned. Then 
jiere was a greeting and a shaking of hands, and the three 
went on together. 

They soon reached the summit of tlie hill, and, evidently 
intending this point to be the limit of their promenade, 
they slackened pace and turned all three aside to the 
gat« whereon Tess had paused an hour before that time to 
reconnoitre the town before descending the hill. During 
tlioir discourse one of the clerical brothers probed the hedge 
carefully with his umbrella, and dragged something to 

" Here's a pair of old boots," he said. " Thrown away, I 
suppose, by some tramp or other." 

"Some impostor who wished to come into the town bare- 
foot, perhaps, and so excite our sj-mpathies," said Miss 
Chant. " Yes, it must have been, for tliey are excellent 
walking-boots — by no means worn nut. What a wicked 
^-tiling to do ! I'll carry them home for some poor person." 
^k Cuthbert Clare, who had been the one to tind them, 



■ 344 TIi;:<t* Ul' THE IVLIBBERVr :'-. 

■ ■picked them up for Iier with tlie crook of his stick, and 
I Tess'a boots were uppropriatud. 

I She, who had lii-ard tJiis. walked past under the screen ot 

I liei- woollen VL'il, till, presently lookiug buck, she pcrct'ivcfi 

I that tlio ehureli party had left the gate with her boots and 

I retreatt'd down the hilL 

I Thereupou our heroine resumed hpr walk. Tears, blind- 

I jug tt'ars, were running down her face. She know tlmt it 

I was all sentiment, all baseless impressibility, which hiu! 

I caused her to read the scene as her own condemnation^ 

I nevertJieless, she could not get over it ; she could not eon- 

I traTCue in her own defenceless person all these tuitowanl 

I omens. It was imjwssible to think of retiimiug to ihu 

I vicarage. Angel's wife felt almost as if she hat! Ixtti 

I hounded up that hill like a scorned thing by t-iioai' — to her 

[ — supcrSne clerics. Innocently as tiio slight had iKvn 

I inflicted, it was somewhat unfortunate that she ha<l eiicoim- 

I tered the sons and nofc the father, wlio, despite his narrow. 

I ness, was far less starched and ironed than they, and liu'l 

I to the full the gift of charity. Assliengatu thought uf her 

I dusty boots, she almost pitied those habilimenU for t^^ 

I quizzing to which they hud been subjected, uiid felt i><^| 

I hopeless life was for their ovrner, ^M 

I "Ah!"' she said, still weeping iii jiity r>f herw-lf, ''fA^| 

I didn't know that I wore those over the roughest jmrl of tl^| 

I road to save these pretty ones hr boufrht. ffir me — ik- — ih^f 

f did not know it! And they didn't think that hf cba^M 

I the color o' my pretty fniek — no — how could they t If tiu^| 

I had kno^'n jjerhaps they would not have cored, for tln^| 

I don't earo much for him, poor thing! " ^H 

I Then she wept for tlie beloved man whose eoiivrntk>n^| 

I standartl of judgment ha<l caused her nil these lattrr (t^f 

I rows; and she went her way without knowing that ^^M 

I greatest misfortune of her life was tliis feniiiiini* lo* ^H 

I courage at the last and critical mnmeiit throuf^h h>-r e4^| 


flition Was precisely onti which would have enlisted the 
.■-\iiipathies of old Mr. and Mrs. Clare, Their hearts went 
t'tit of them at a bonud towards extreme cases, wlieu the 
subtle mental troubles of the less desperate among man- 
kind failed to win their interest or regard. In jumping 
at Pablieans and Sinners they would forget that a word 
might be said for the worries of Scribes and Pharisees; 
and thi.s dtfect or limitation might have recommended tieir 
ovm daughter-in-law to them at this moment as a fairly 
choice sort of lost person for their love. 

Thereupon she began to plod back along the rood by 
which she had come not altogether full of hope, but fnll at 
a etmviction that a crisis in her life was approaching. No 
' tisis, apparently, had come; and there was nothing left 
1 1 u- her U' do but to continue for the remainder of tlie win- 
li^r upon that starve-acre farm. She did, indeed, take suf- 
ficient interest in herself to throw up her \-eil on tliis return 
journey, as if to let the world ace tha' she could at least ex- 
hibit a face such as Mercy Chant could not show. But it 
was done witli ft sorry shake of the head. "It is uoUiiug — ■ 
it is nothing ! " she said. " Nobody loves it ; nobody sees 
it. Who cares about the looks of a castaway like me ! " 

Her journey back was rather a meander tliau a march. 
It had no sprightliness ; no purpose; only a tendency. 
Along the tedious length of Benvill Lane she began to 
grow tired, and she leaned upon gat«s and paused by mile- 

She did not enter any house till, at the sevtntlj or eighth 
mile, she descended the steep long hill below which lay the 
\ illiifie or townlet of ISvcrshead, where in the morning she 
liiid breakfasted with such contrasting expectations. The 
eottivge by the church, in which she again sat down, wa» 
uimust the first at that end of the village, and while tho 
woman fetched her some milk from the pantry, Tess, look- 

v.iug <Iown the street, perceived tliat the place seemed quite 





" The people ai-e gone to afternoon service, I suppi 
she said. 

"No, my dear," said the old woman, "Tis too a 
that; the bells haint strook out yet. They be nil gow 
hear the preaching in Spiing Bam. A rant«r ] 
there between Ihe services — a excellent, fiery, Chi 
man, they say. But, Lord, I don't go to hear'n ! " 
comes in the regular way over the pulpit ia hot » 
for I." 

Tees soon went onward into the viUage, her foou 
echoing against the houses as though itwere a ploc-c 
dead. Nearing the ceutraJ part, her eehnes wen* intmv 
on by other sounds ; and seeing the bam Iiefurc her, / 
guessed these to bo the utterances of the preacher. 

His voice became so distinct in the still, clear i 
slie coidd soon cat<rh his sentences, though she was on | 
closed side of the bam. The sermon, as might be L's:i)ecW< 
waa the extremest antinomian type; on justification lir 
faith, as expounded in the theology of 8t. Paul. This tiii-d 
idea of the rhapsodist was delivered with animated enthna- 
asm, in a manner entirely declamatniy, for he had i)Iainlv 
no skill fls a diale^iciau. Although Tess had not heard tlic 
beginning of the address, she learned what the text hml 
been from its constant iteration : 

" fimlisJi Ottlaliam, teha hath bfvitcheii you, that y< 
shouU not nhvy the tniih, before ivhosr eyfs Jems Christ hith 
been eriilently set forth, crucijied among you t '' 

Tess was all the more interested, as she stood [tstvnin!; 
behind, in finding that the preacher's doctrine was n v^fep- 
ment fomi of the views of Angel's father, and her iiiti-rust 
intensified when the speaker began to defad his own ayir 
itual experiences of how he had come by those views. R* 
had, he said, been the greatest of sinners. He had .-(■..fT«'I. 
ho had wantonly associated with the reckless and tli.' 1.. L 
But a day nf awakening had come, and, in a huniiin >' i:- . 
it had been brought ttb«aiifaB(|ynJ^^fi the influci 


P^ertain clergymao, whom ho had at first grossly iusiilted ; 
but wJiose parting words had sirnk iuto his heart, and liad 
remained there, till by the grace of Heaven they had worked 
this change in him, and made him what they saw him. 

But more startiiug to Teas than the doctrine had been 
the voice, whieh, impossible as it seemed, had been precisely 
like that of Alee D'Urberville. Her face fixed in painful 
Bnspense, she came round to the fi-ont of the bam, and 
passed before it. The low winter sun shone directly upon 
tlie great double-doored entrance on this side ; one of the 
doors being open, so that the rays stretched far in over the 
tlireshing-floor to the preacher and his audience, all snugly 
sheltered from the northern breeze. The listeners were en- 
tirely villagers, among them being the man whom she had 
seen carrying the paint-pot on a former memorable occasion. 
But her attention was given to the central figure, who stood 
upon some sacks of com, facing the people and the door. 
The thi¥e o'clock sun Bhone full upon him, and the strange 
enervating conviction that her seducer eonfront^-d her, 
which had been gaining ground in Tess ever since she had 
beard hiB words distinctly, was at last established as a fact 

pSast t&t *irtft. 


Till this moment she bad never scec or lieard 

I DTrbennlle since her dcpai-tiirt' fn>m Tniniri.!.^,-. 

The rencounter cauie at a heavy mi'iu 

moments was calculated to permit its imi' 

emotional shouk. But such was the inilu 

I ing memory that, though he stood there "!■ 

I a converted man, who was sorrowing for I 

ities, a sense of fear overcame her, paral.vzii. . 
I so that she neither retreated nor advanced. 

To think of what emanated froru thnt ccuntciiaiioil 
I she saw it last, and to behold it now ! 

There was the same handsome nnplcji 
I bat now lie wore dark, neatly trimmdl, • 
I kers-lJie sable mustache havinji di»fip[)f;i 
was half -clerical ; a modification wliieh 
' expression sufficiently to abstract the il. 
I featm-ea, and to hinder for a second berbr 
To Tess's sense there was, jnst at tirsi, 
arierie, a grim incongruity, in the march of 
I words of Scripture out of sneh a moutli. This 
intonntion, less than four years earlier, had 
ears expressions of such divergent purpose that lierlii-ur' 
I heeame quit* sick at the mere irony of th« coutnift. Vi 
he -was in earnest, nnmistukahly. 





It was less a reform than a transfignration. The fonner 
curves of sensuousuess were now modulated to Hues of de- 
votional passion. The lip-shapes that had meant seductive- 
ness were now made to express divine supplication; the 
glow on the cheek that yesterday could be translated as 
riotoiisness was evangelized to-day into the splendor of 
pious enthusiasm ; animalism bad become fanaticism ; Pa- 
ganism, Paidinism ; tlio bold, i-oUing eye that bad flashed 
upoji iier shrinking form in the old time with such gross mas- 
teiy now beamed with the rude energy of a theolntry that 
wasalniost ferocious, Those hard, black angularities which 
his t'ai-e bad used to put on when his wishus were thwarted 
by her modesty now did duty in picturing the incorrigible 
backslider who would insist upon turning again to his wal- 
lowing in tlie mire. 

The lineaments, as such, fieemed to complain. They had 
been diverted from then- hereditary eouuotation to signify 
impressions for which nature did not intend them. Strange 
tiiat (heir very ele\'ation was a misapplicatiou, that to raise 
Nccmed to falsify. 

Vet coidd it bo so! Was she not wrong in thist She 
winild admit the ungenerous sentiment no longer. D'Ur- 
lierville was not the first wicked man who had turaed away 
from his wickedness to save his soul abve, and why should 
she deem it nnnatoral in Mm T It was but the usage of 
tliought which had been jarred in her at hearing good new 
words in had old notes. The greater the sinner the greater 
the saint ; it was not neeessai-y to dive far into Cliristiaa 
history to discover that. 

Such impressions as these moved her vaguely, and with- 
out strict definitx)ne.ts. As soon as the nerveless pause of 
her Hurprise would allow her to stir, her impulse was to pass 
(HI out of his sight He had obviously not discerned her 
yet in her position against the sun. But the moment that 
she moved again he recognized her. 

Tbu efiEeet upon her old lover was electric, far stronger 


than the L'ffecit of his presence npoE Iwr. His fin?, 1 
tumnltuous ring of liis eloquence, seemed to g:o out of hi 
His lip struggled and trembled under the words that ] 
upon it ; but deliver them it eoiJd not as long as she fae 
him. His eyes, after their first glance upon her faoi'fhu 
determinedly in every other direction but hers, but <>ai 
back in a desperate leap every few seconds. Thisparaly 
lasted, however, but a short time ; for Tess's ener^ce i 
turned with the atrophy of liis. aud she walked as fast 
she could do past the bam and onward. 

As soon as she could reflect it appalled her, this ohan 
in their relative platforms. He who hsd wrought her c 
doing was now on the side of tlie Spirit, while she 
um-egenerat* ; and, as in the legend, it had resulted t 
her Cj-prian image had suddenly appeared uiion his all 
and the fire of the priest had been well-nigh extiiigui&hf 

She went on without turning her head. Her back seen 
to be endowed with a sensitiveness to ocular beams — e' 
her ciothlng — so alive was she to a faneied gaze wb 
might be resting upon her from the outside of that 
All the way along to this point her heart had been bei 
with an inactive sorrow ; now there was a change in 
quahty of Its trouble. That himger for affection too Ic 
■withheld was for the time displaced by an almost physi 
sense of an implacable past whiiJi still engirdled her. 
intensified her consciousness of error to a practical de<iiM 
the break of continuity between her past and present exi 
ence, which she had hoped for, had not, aftj>r all, tali 
place. Bygones would never lie complete bygones till i 
was a bygone herself. 

Thus absorbed, she recrossed iJie northern half of Lni 
Ash Lane at right angles, and presently saw before her I 
road ascending whitely to the upland along whoiup marj 
the remainder of her journey lay. Its dry, pale 
stretched severely onward, unbroken by a single 
Vehicle, or mark, 



dotU'il its cold aridity here and tliere. Wliilt^ slowly bitast- 
ing this aseent Tess became cooscious of footsteps behind 
her, and, turning quickly, she saw approaehing that well- 
known form, so strangely accoutred as a minister — the one 
personage in all the world she wished not to encounter alone 
on this side of the grave. 

There was not much time, however, for thought or elusion, 
and she j-ielded as calmly as she could to the necessity of 
letting him overtake her. She saw that he wa« excited, 
less by the speed of his walk than by the feelings within 

" Tesa ! " he said. 

Slie slackened speed without looking ronnd. 
" Tess ! " he repeated. " It is I — Alec ! " 
She then looked bank at him, and ho came up. " I see it 
is," she answered, coldly. 

" Well — is that all 1 Yet I deserve no more. Of course,'' 
he added, with a slight laugh, " there is something of the 
ridiculous to your eyes in seeing me like this. But — I 
must put up with that. ... I heard you had gone away, 
nobody knew where. Tess, do yon wonder why I have fol- 
lowed youT" 

" I do, rather ; and I would that you had not, with all 

my heart I " 

"Yes — you may well say it," he returned, gravely, as 

I they moved onward together, she with unwilling tread. 

" But don't mistake me ; and I ask this because you may 

I have U'en led to do so in noticing — if you did notice it — 

low your sudden appearance unnerved me down there. It 

I but a momentary spasm; and considering what j-ou 

beon to me, it wiia natural enough. But Ileaven 

me through it — though perhaps yon think me a 

mbug for saying it — and immediately afterwards I felt 

ai, of all persons in the world whom it was ray duty and 

u to save from the wrath to come — sneer if you llk^— 

~ ' ' 'i grievously wronged was that 



ppi-sou. I have come with that sole purpose in riew — 
iiiithinp mori'." 

Tlici'i' ivay the smallest vein of scorn in her words of 
rfjdiuder : " Have you saved yourself f Charitj- begins at 
lionu-, tliey suv."' 

■•/ Ikivi' i]oin'iiulliiuir! " said he, inipetnously. "Heaven, 

us 1 li;ivi lii I II ii'Uiii^' Tiiy hean'rs, has done all. Noaniuunt 

nl' I'onti'iniil ihiit vuii cau pour upon mc, Teas, will equal 

wViiit I hiiYd poured upon myself — the old Adam of ray 

In ^^ II t is a strange storj-; fesJeve it oniot. 

B I I a t 11 ou tl e means by which my conversion was 

1 1 1 b t d 1 1 ope you will be interested enough in 

lit He 1 ever heard the name of the parson 

t I t — o u ist have done sol — old Btr. Clare; 

of tl t ean t of his school ; one of the few in- 

t n n 1 f t th Church ; not so intense as tlie ei- 

t f thr tian believers to which I Iielong, bat 

] i *^ 1 K f hi- established clei^y, the yooi^w 

I 1 11 iLttenuating the true doctrines by 

] I 1 11 1 y aro but tfie shadow of what thfj 


that 1 have preached hereabout: the first months of my 
ministry have lieen spent in the North of England among 
strangei-s, where I preferred to make my earUest clumsj' 
attempts, so as to acquire courage before undergoing that 
■severest of oil tests of one's sincerity, addressing those who 
Imve known one, and have been one's companions in the 
lays of darkness. K you could only know, Tess, the sense 
1 if security, the cerimuty, you would, I am sure " 

'Don't go on with itl" she cried, passionat«ly, as she 
turned away I.-om him to a stile by the wayside, on whicli 
she bowed her face. "I can't beheve in such sudden 
things ! I feel indignant with yon for talking to me like 
this, when you know — when you know what harm you've 
ikiiienie! You, and those Uke you, take your fill of pleasure 
>>ii earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black 
with sorrow ; and then it is a fine thing, when you have 
had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in 
heaven by becoming converted. Out upon such — I don't 
beheve in you — I hate it ! " 

" Tess," he insisted ; " don't speak so ! It came to me 
like a shining light ? And you don't believe me t What 
don't you believe 1 " 

" Tiiur couversion." 


She dropped her voice. 
does not believe in such." 

" What a woman's reaso 

" I cannot tell you." 

"Well," he declared, 

' Bei^anse a better man than you 

! Who is this better man 1 " 

\ resentment beneatlj bis words 
seeming ready to spring out at a moment's notice ; " God 
forbid that I should say I am a good man — and you know 
I don't say any such thing. I am new to goodness, truly ; 
but new-comers see farthest sometimes." 

" Tee," she replied. " But I cannot bcUevo in your con- 
vrrsion to a new sjiirit. Such flashes as you feel, Aloe, I 
I'lir don't last! " 

f 8H 


Thus Epeaklng, she turned from the stile ovftr wfaieh i 
had l>een leaning, aud faced him ; whe«up«iD bU eyes, & 
iiig nccidentally njion th<' fiimiluLr ccrnQtunBUoc and for 
remained contemplating hc-r. The inferior man was r 
tainly qniet in him now ; but it was snreJy not extnKte 
I nor even entirely snbdned. 

" Don't look at me like that ! " he i^d, abruptly. 

Tess, who had been qnite unconscious of her actinu a 
mien, instantly withdrew the large, dnrk gaz(> of her ej-ai, 
etammenng, with a Hush, " I beg your pardon," And there 
was revived in her the wretched sentiment which had often 
I come to her before, that in inliabiting the fie&by tabernacle 
mth which natnre had endowed her she was aomebow daia^ 

" No, no. Don't beg my pardon. But ^ce you wear a 
veil to hide your good looks, why dont you keep it down!' 

She pulled down the veil, saving hastily, '* It waa In k«^ 
ofE the wind." 

" It may seem harsh and imperious of me to dietAlv like 
this," he went on. " But it is better that I should not iimk , 
too often on you. It might be dangerous for bdth-" 

" Ssh ! " said Tess. 

" Well, women's faees have had too mnch jiower overa 
already for me not to fear them. An evangulist has noth 
to do with such as that ; and it reminds uie of tho otil ti 
tliat I would forget." 

After this their conversation dwindled to a eastial r 
now and then as they rambled onwartl, Tess iawi 
wondering how far he was going with her, and not li 
to send him back by positive mandate. Frequently n 
they came to a gate or stile they found painted thirr 
rod lett^^rs some test of Scripture, and she asked him If ■ 
knew who had been at the pains to blazon these annniuia 
ments. He told her that the mau was cinployitl by I ' 
self and others who were workingwith him in tliat diain 
to paint these rcmindexs, XbaX^ttO BU 


triftl which might move the hearts of a wicked geuera- 

At length the road touched the spot caUed "Cross-in- 
Himd." Of all spots on this bleached and desolate uplaiid 
this was the most forlorn. It was so far removed from the 
iliarm which is sought in landscape by artists and view- 
sut'bei-s as to reach a new kind of beaaty, a negative beauty 

iof ti-agical blankness. The place took its name from a 
stone pillar which stood there, a strange, rude monoUth, 
from a stratum unknown in any local quarry, on which 
was rudely carved a human hand. DifEeriug accounts 
were piven of its hJstorj' and purport. Some authorities 
stated that a devotional cross had once formed thecomplet* 
t-reclion there, of which the present rehc was but the stump ; 
I ithers that the stone as it etflod was entire, and that it bad 
been placed there to mark a boundary" or a phwo of meet- 
JTiiT. ;Vnyhow. whatever the origin of the relic, there was 
!!id is something sinister, or solemn, according to mood. 
Hi the scene amid which it stands; something tending to 
;iii press the most phlegmatic passer-by. 

" I think I must leave you now," he remarked, as they 
ilrew near to this place. "I have to preach at Abbot's 
Cernel at six this evening, and my way Ues across to tlie 
right from here. And you upset me somewhat too, Ttjssie 
— I cannot, will not, say why. I must go away and got 
strength. . . . How is it that you speak so fluently nowT 

IrWho has taught yon such good English f" 
K " I have learnt things in my troubles," she said, evasively. 
^ "What troubles have you haj f '' 
She told him of the first one — the only one that related 
t<> bim. 

IKtTrbeni'iUe was struck mute. " I knew nothing of this 
till mnvl " he murmured. "Why didn't you writt- to me 
when yon felt your trouble coming on 1 '' 

SliL' did not i"eply, and ho broke the silence l»j' adding, 
Well — ^j-ou will see me again." 


" No," she answered. " Do not again oome near m 

"I will think. But before we part, come here.' 
slt'IipL'd up to the pillar. " This was ouce a Holy Cross, 
Relii's are not in my crt-i'd ; but 1 fear you at moment^!— 
far more than yon need fcai' me ; and to leBsen my fear, 
put yoiir hand ni>on that stone band, and swear that yon 
will never tempt me — by your charms or ways.'' 

"Good God — ^how can you ask what ie so unueceiLsarT ! 
All that is f nrtheat from my Ihonght ! " 

" Yes — but swear it, swear it ! " be pleaded. 

Toss, half frightened, gave way to his iraportaiiity, plac^ 
her hand upon the stone and swoi-e. 

"I am sorry you are not a beUevcr," ho continoMl: 
" that some nulwliever should Imvo got hold of you an'J 
unsettled your mind, But no uiori' now. At homr rI 
least I can pray for you ; and 1 will j and who knowKwhitl 
may not happen ! I'm off, Good-by ! " 

He turned to a gap in the hedge, and withont lettiutf l"* 
eyes again rest upon her, leaped over, aud struck out afnw» 
the down in the direetion of Abbot's Cenid. As he wolkrd 
his pace showed perturbation, and by and by, as if iostijtiitrd 
by a bra<'ing thought, he drow irovx his ixteket a sm*il 
Bible, between tlie leaves of which was folded a letter, wom 
and soiled, as from much re-readiiif,'. D'UrbtTvUle ojwnwl 
the letter. It was dated several months before this tiuK 
and was signed by Parson ClRre, 

The letter began by exi)ressing the writer's nfifnimiiC 
joy at D'Urberville's conversion, and thanked liirr 
kindness in communieatingM-ith the parBou on tli. 
It expressed Mr. Clare's warm assurance of forgi\t i - ■ 
D'tfrljerviUe's former conduct, and his interest iu the jkuh;; 
man's plans for the future. He, Mr. Clare, wonld mnol' 
have liked to see D'Urbcrville in tlie Church to whom niin- 
isti-y he had devoted so many yeai-s of his ov,-n life, anJ 
woidd have helped hJm toenttrri theological college t*' dal 
■ fl^jbut since his corrw^gn^gnt faMt^^ffl^nt-rtj^fcliM 


■ HI a<;coiint of the delay it would liavo entailed, he was not 
thf man to insist iipou its paramount importance. Every 
inau must work as ho could l*est work, and in the method 
towards which he felt impelled by the Spirit. 

D'Urber%'ille read and re-read this letter, and seemed to 
fortify himself thereby. He also read some passages from 
his Bible as he walked ; till his face assumed a calm, and 
jippareutly the image of Tess no longer troubled his mind. 

She meanwhile had kejit along the edge of the hill by 
which lay her nearest way home. Within this distance of 
rt mile she met a solitary shepherd. 

■■ What is the meaning of that old stone I have passed T " 
slie asked of him. '■ Was it ever a Holy Cross I " 

" Cross — no ; 'twere not a cross ! 'Tis a thing of ill-omfl^ 
miss. It was put op in wuld times by the relations of a 
malefactor who was tortured there by nailing his hand to 
a post, and afterwards hung. The bones lie imdemeath. 
They say he sold his soul to the devil, and that he walks at 

She felt the petite mort at the nnespectedly gruesome 
iufoi-mation, and left the solitary man behind her. It was 
dusk when she drew near to Fiintooml>-ABh, and in the lane 
at the entrance to the hamlet she approached a girl and 
her lover without their obser\'ing her. Thoy were talking 
no secrets, and tlie cJear, nneoncemed voice of the yoxmg 
woman, in response to the warmer accents of the man, 
s^>read into the chilly air as the one soothing thing within 
the dusky horizon, full of a stagnant obscurity upon which 
nothing else intruded. For a moment the voices cheered 
I he heart of Tess, till slie reasoned that this interview had 
it? origin, on one side or the other, in the game attraction 
'shich hml been the pretude to her own tribiUatiou. ^Vhen 
■ihe came close the girl turned serenely suid recognized her, 
the young man walking off in embarras.sment. The woman 
WHS Izz Hnelt, whose interest in Tess's excursion immedi- 
itt'Jy superseded her own proceedings. Tess did not ex ' 


c ■■ 



- I 



«"a Has followed me. 
these two year. But I 

Several days had pa 
Tess was afield. The r 

turail^sheing machine w 
seemed ahnost vocal £t 

cut swedes, the fi^^h sZi 

companied by thT^i'^ 

THE COXViatT. 350 

legs being those of lioraes, two those of the man, the plow 
(^iiig between them, turning up the deared ground for a 
spring sowing. 

For hours nothing relieved the joyless monotony of 
things. Then, far beyond the plougiiing-teams, a blaok 
speck was seen. It had come from tlie corner of a fence, 
where there was a gap, and its tendency was up the incline, 
towards the swede-outters. From the proportions of a mere 
]ioint, it advanced to the shape of a ninepin, and could 
soon be perceived to be a man in black, arriving from the 
(lii-oction of Flintcomb-Ash. The man at the elicer, having 
nothing else to do with his eyes, continually ob8er\'ed the 
comer, but Tess, who was occupied, did not perceive him 
till he was quite near, when her companion directed her at- 
tention to ills approach. 

It was not her hard taskmaster, Farmer Groby ; it was 
one in a semi-clerio costume, who now represented what had 
'iiice been the dare-de\'il Alec D'Urberville. He had evi- 
il-'iitly been hoping to find her there alone, and the sight of 
the grinder seemed to embarrass him. Not being caught 
in the midst of his pri^-uching, there was less enthnsiasm 
about hi Til now. A pale distress was already on Tess's face, 
and she pulled her curtained hood further over it, DTJr- 
iierville came up and said quietly, " I want to speak to you, 

■' You have refused my last request," said she, " not to 
6 near me." 

'•Yee, but I have a good reason." 

"Well, t«U it." 

" lU is more serious tJion you may think." He glanced 
md to atfe'if he were overheard. They were at some 
tancefrom the muti%ho turned the sUecr.and the move- 
mctit of the machine, too, sufficiently prevented ^Uec's words 
■ fichiug other ears. However. D'Url)er\'ille placed himself 
' ' lis to screen Tess from the lahcjgrer, turning his back to 
the latter. " It is this," he continued, with impetuous 


gravity : *' in tJiinking of yoiir soul and mine when we ; 
met, I neglected to inquii-e as to yonr worldly couditi 
You were well dressed, and I did not think of it. Bo 
see now that it is hard — harder than it used to be when 
knew you — harder than you deserve. Perhaps ft good < 
of it is owing to me." 

She did not answer, and there they stood, he watch 
her inquiringly, she, with bent head, her face coniplil 
screened by the hood, resuming her trinuning of the swia 
By going on with her work she felt better able to keep 1 
outside her emotions. 

" Tess," he added, with a eigh tiiat veiled on a ( 
" yours was the very worst ease I ever was coaoemCTl 
Wretch that I was to foul that innocent life ! Tli 
blame was mine — the whole blackness of the sin, Ilie hm 
awful iniquity. You, too, the real blood of which I am 
the imitation, what a blind young thing you were u 
< poBsihilities ! I say in all oamef'tness that it is a aii 
I shame for parents to bring up their girls in such danga 
I ignorance of the gina and nets that the wicked may set 
them, whether their motive be a good one or tha 
'simple indifference." 

Tess still did no more than listen, throwing down 
globular root and taking another with automatic 
ity, the pensive contour of the mere field-woman 
marking her. 

" But it is not that I came to say," iyUrber\T]le went 
"My eircumstances are these. I have lost my Toother 
you were at Trantridge, and the place is my own 
intend to sell it, and devote myself to misaionaiT. 
Africa, either as an ordained deacon or as an outs: > I 
— I care veiy little which. Now, what I want to i > 
will you pnt it in my power to do my duty — (■> ; 
only reparation I eati make for thu wrong I did \ . 
is. will you be my irifc. and go with me t I h;i\ . 
obfnjrM this to save time,'' He drew 

Ft;! . 


ment from his pocket, with a, slight fumbling of embarrass- 

" What is it T " said she. 

"A marriage license." 

"Oh no, sir — uo! " she said, quickly. 

"Ton will not! Why is thatf" jVud as he asked the 
question a strange wretchedness, which was not entirely 
^e ■RTetchednees of thwarted duty, crossed D'Urberville's 
face. It was unmistakably a Kj-mptoni that something of 
hie old passioQ for her ha<i bei>n nivived ; dnty and desire 
ran hand-in-hand. " Surely," ho began ngaiu, iu more im- 
petuous tones, and then looked round at the laborer who 
turned the sliccr. 

Tess, too, felt that the argument could not be ended 
there. Informing the man that a friend had come to see 
lier, with whom slie wislied to walk a little way, she moved 
off with D'UrbervUle across the zebra-striped field. When 
tliey reaeJied tlie first newly ploughed section he held out 
his hand to help her over it ; but ahe stepped forward on 
the summits of the em-th-rolls as if she did not see him. 

"You will not marrj- me, TessT" ho repeated, as soon as 
they were over the furrows, 

"I cannot." 

" But why 1 " 

" 1 have no affection for yon." 

" But you would get to feel that in time, perhaps — as 
soon as you really could forgive met" 

'■ Never ! " 

" Why 80 positive f ' 

'■ I love somebody else." 

The wordsBceroed toastonisb him. "You dot" hesaid. 
" Somebody else 1 But ha.'! not a sense of what is morally 
[.right and proper any weight wit h yon f " 

" No, 110, no — don't say that ! " 
Anyhow, then, your love for this other man may be 
a passing feeling which you ivill overcome " 



I '■ Xo — no ; for ... I have married him," 
I "Ah!" he exclaimed; and he stopped dead aud 

I at her. 

I "1 did not wish to tell — I did not mean to ! " she 

I on, rapidly. " It is a secret here, or at any rate but 

I known. SowiU yo\i,plrme will you, keep from qai'stiouii 

I me T You must remeuiber tliat we are now etrangcre.'' 
1 " Strangers — are we T Strangers ! " For a moment 

I fiash of Ms old irony marked his face ; hut he determined! 

I chastened it down. " Is that man your husbimd f '' 

I asked, meehanically, deuotiug by a sign the laboi-er ' 

I turned the machine. 

I " That niau ! " she said, proudly, " I should think uot' 
I "Who theuT" 

I " Do not ask what I do not wish to t«U I " she liegg 

I aud iu her eagerness flushed an appeal to bim fn>m her 

I tiuTied face aud lash-shadowed eyes. 
I Dllrberville was distiu-bed. " Bol I only asked f(»r y 

I sake ! " he plead^, hoUy. " Thunder of heaven, I ea 

I here, I swear, as I thought I'or your good. Teas — don't li 

I at me so — I cannot stand your looks ! There never w 

I such eyes, surely, before Christianity or since ! There 

I won't lose my head ; I dare not. I own that the (tight 

I you has revived my love for you, which, I believed, 

I extinguished with oU snch feeliugs. But I tbouglit i 

I our mamage might be a sanctificatiou for us lioth. ' 

I unbelieving husband is sauetified by the wife, and tiie 

I believing wife is sanctified by the husband,' I naid to 

I self. But my plan is prevented ; and I must bear tlie 

I appoinlmenl." Hu reflected with his eyes ou the gn>nn 

I *• Married — married ! Well, that being so." he- added, quit'' 

I calmly, tearijig the license slowly into halves, aud pattiiii; 

I thorn in his poeiet ; " that being prevented. I should Ck-' 

I to do some good to you and your husband, whooi-cr I"' 
|*TQBy be. There ai-e many questions that I am tcmpti^d in 


ask, but I will not do so, of course, in opposition to your 
ivishes. Though, if I could know your husband, I might 
more easily benefit him and you. Is he on this farm T " 

" No," she mmTnured. " He is Ear away." 

■' Far away ! From you t What sort of husband can 

" 0, do not speak against him ! It was through you " 

"Ah, is it so T . . . That's bad, Tess! " 
■ "Yes." 

^ " But to stay away from yon — t^ leave you t.i. work like 

"He does not leave me to work!" she cried, springing 
to the defence of the absent one with all her fervor. "He 
don't know it. It is by my own arrangement." 

"Then, does he write!" 

"I — I cannot tell you. There are things which are 
private to ourselves." 

" Of course that means that he does not. You are a de- 
serted wife, my poor Tess ! " In an impulse, he turned sud- 
deidy to take her hand ; the buff-glove was on it, and he 
seized only the rough leather fingers which did not express 
tlic life or shape of those within. 

" Yon must not — you must not ! " she cried, fearfnlly, 

_jili])piiig her hand from the glove as from a pocket, and 

Biaving it in his grasp. "O, will yon go away — for the 

salii' of me — my husband — go, in the name of your own 


■Yes. yes; I will," he said, hastily, and thrusting the 
■e back to her turned to leave. Facing round, however, 
le said, " Tess, a.s God is my judge, I meant no sin in tok- 
■our hand ! " 

A pattering of hoofs on the soQ of the field, which they 
had not noticed in their preoccnpat-ion, ceased close bi'hind 
them; and a voice reached her ear: "Wlint the devil aro 
je doing away from yoiu" work at this time o' day I " 


Fanner Groby had espied the two figoree ErotD the dll 
tance, and had inquisitively ridden across, to learn wfafl 
IS their bnsiDess in his field. I 

" Don't speak like that to her ! " said lyUrlwrrille, n 
face blackening with something that was not Cliristiauitn 
" Indeed, Mister ! And what mid Methodist pa'sous had 
o do with she T " I 

"Who is the fellow I" asked D'UrlHT\Tlle, taming ■ 
resB. I 

She went cIobo up to Imn. " Go — I do beg yon .' " m 
said. I 

"What? And leave yon to that tyrant? I can see ■ 
his faee what a chnrl he is." I 

"He won't hurt me. He's not in love with me. I cm 
leave at Lady-Day." I 

"Well, I have no right but to obey, I suppose. ButFl 
well, good-by." I 

Her defender, whom she dreaded more tliau her as^nilaiH 
having reluctantly disappeared, the farmer contiuin>d IM 
reprimand, which Teas took mth the gTeati&Ms cuolncM 
, that sort of attack being independent of sex. To bSM 
I as a master this man of stone, who would have culfed U 
if he had dared, was almost a relief, after her fonner <l 
I periences. She silently walked back towards the sitmnfl 
J of the field that was the scene of her labor, bo absorlHH) m 
' the interview which had jiist taken place that she was hard 
aware that tlit> nose of Grobys horse almost tou'^lK^l hfl 
shoulders, "If so be you make an agre*>ment to wtirk n 
me till Lady-Day, I'll see that you carry it out," he griiwlfa 

I" 'Od rot tlie women — now 'tis one thing, and then "ti* sm 
other ! But I'll put up with it no longer ! " I 

Knowing verj' well that he did not harass the othfl 
women of the furm, as he harassed her, out of spite for td 
flooring he had once receivt'd, she did for one moment pM 
tore what might have l>een the result if she had iieen tm 
to accept the offer just made to her, of '^Wg. AlwhJPM 


It would have lifted her completely out of subjection, not 
oiily lo her oppressive employer, but to a whole world who 
Keenied to despise her. " But no, no ! " she aaid, breath- 
lepsly, '■ I uouJd not have married him now. He ie so un- 
[ilt'asant to me! " 

That ver>' night she began an appealing letter to Clare, 
ruueealiug fi'om him her hardt^hips, and ofisuring him of 
Uer undying affection. Any one who had been in a position 
to read Ijetween the lines would have seen that at the back 
t>f her great love was some monstrous fear — almost a des- 
peration — as to some secret eb-enmstances which were not 
(liKclosed. But again she did not finish her effusion: he 
had asked Izz to go witli him, and perhaps ho did not care 
for her at all. She put the letter in her box, and wondered 
if it would Bver reaeh Angel's hands. 

After this her daily tasks were gone through heavily 
enough, and brought on the day which was of gi-eat import 
to agiTculturistji — the day of the Candlemas Fair. It was 
at this fan- that new engagements were eutered into for the 
twelve uionths following the ensuing Lady-Day, and those 
tif the farming population who thought of changing their 
plat^es duly attended at the countj'-towu where the fair was 
held. Nem-ly all the laborcre on Flint^^omb-Ash Farm in- 
tended flight, and early in the morning there was a general 
exodus in the direction of the town, wliieh lay at a distance 
(if from ten to a dozen miles over hilly country. Though 
Tess also meant to leave at the quarter-day, she was one of 
Uie few who did not go to the fair, having a vaguely sliaped 
Iwpe that something would happen to render anotlier out- 
■r engagement nnneceBsary. 

It was a peaceful Febrnaiy day, of wonderful softness 
for the time, and one would almost have thought thatwin- 
ti-r was over. She had hardly finished her dinner when 
D'Urber^Tlle's figure darkened the windows of the cottage 
ivherein she was a lodger, which she had all to herself to- 

■ top 


Tess iiistantJy jumped up, bnt her visitor had faiwh 
I at the door, aud she could hardly in reason run awi 
DTJrberville's kniwA, his walk np ta tiie door, liad Rotue i 
describable quality of difference from his air when she li 
saw him. They Beenied to be performed as acts of wlii 
the doer is ashamed. At first she thought that s]je woo 
not open the door; but, as there was no sense in ti 
either, she arose, and, having lifted the latch, stepped ba 
quickly. He came in, saw her before him, aud Hung hi 
self down in a chair before s[)eaking. 

" Teas — I couldn't help it," he began, despt-rately, as '. 
wiped his heated face, which had abo a snperimijosed fla 
of excitement. " I felt that I must call to at leaat oak hi 
you are. I assure you I had not been thinking of you 
all till I saw you that Sunday ; now I cannot get ritl of yo 
image, try how I may ! It is hard that a good wnm 
should do harm to a bad man ; yet so it is. If you wot 
only pray for me, Tess ! " 

The distraction of his manner was almosl pitiable, a 
1 yet Tess did not pity him. " How can I pniy for yon," i 
I said, "when I am forbidden to believe that the great Pci« 
f who moves the world would alter His plans on my occonnt 

" Ton really think that I " 

"Yes, I have Jjeen cured of the presumption of tlmi 
ing otherwise." I 

" Cured I By whom T " 

" By my husband, if I must tell." 

"Ah — ^your husband — yi">ur husband. How strango 
seems! I remember you hinted something of the sort, t 
other day. What do you really believe in thee<i mntl«] 
Tess?" he asked. "You seem to have no religion — pt 
haps owing to me." 

" But I have." 

DTJrbertTlle looked at her with miBgi\'ing. ''Do yon 
think that the ]j pn T take is all wrong T* 

'■ V good deal of it* 


" ffm — and yet I've felt so enre about it," he said, un- 

'■ I believe in the spirit of the Seniion on the Mount, and 

^u did my dear husband. But I don't believe " Here 

siie gave her negations. 

The fact is," said D'Urbenille, drj'ly, "whatever your 
r hosband believed you accept, and whatever he re- 

:ted you reject, without the least inquiry or reasoning 
on your own part. That's just hko you women. Your 
raind is enslaved t« Ms." 

" Ah, because he knew everything ! " stud she, with a 
triumphant simplicity of faith in Angel Clare that the 
most perfect man could hardly have deserved, much less 
her husband. 

'■ Yes, but yon should not take opinions wholesale from 
anothei' person like that. A prettj' fellow he must be, to 
teach you such scepticism ! " 

" He never forced my judgment ! He would never argue 
on the subject wi' me. But I looked at it in tJiis way; 
what he believed, aft«r inquiinng deep into doctrines, was 
much more likely to be right than what I might believe, 
who hadn't looked into the doctrines at aU." 

"What used he to sayl He must have said something." 

She reflected ; and with her acute memory for tlie letter 
of Angel Clare's remarks, even when slie did not compre- 
hend their spirit, she recalle<l a merciless pol^nioal syllo- 
gism that she had heard iiim use when, as it oeca^onally 
hapjieued, he indulged in a species of thinking aloud with 
her at his side. In delivering it she gave also Clare's accent 
and manner with reverential fidelity. 

'• Say that again," asked DTrberville, who had listened 
ivilh the gnjfttcst attention. 

Slie repeated the argument, and D'Urberville murmured 
the words after her. " Anj-thing else I " he presently asked. 
I " Ho said at another time something like this ; " and she 
Igave another, which might possibly have been paralleled 


in many a work of the pedigree ranging from the J 
tiuire Fhiloxophiqiie to Huxleya Eisaya. 

" Ah — ha ! How do you remember them ! " 

" I wanted to believe what he believed, tbotigh he d 
wish me to ; and I managed to coax him to toll me a 
of his thoughts. I can't say I quite understand that c 
but I know it is right ! " 

" ffm. Fancy your being able to teach me what j 
don't know yoiu-self ." 

He teU into thought. 

" And so I throw in my spiritual lot wi' his," she v 
"I didn't wish it to be different What's good enough fl 
him is good enough for me." 

" Does he know that you are as big an infidel as he I " 

" No — I never told him — if L am an infidel." 

" Well — you are better off to-day than I am, Ttws, all' • 
all. You don't believe that you ought to preach my di-' 
trine, and, therefore, do no despite to your conscience in 
abstaining. I do beUeve I ought to preacli it, bnt Uke iht 
devils I beUeve and tremble, for I suddenly leave off prcadr 
ing it, and give way to my passion for you." 

'■ How I " 

"Why," he said, wearilj'. "I have come all the way hr 
to see you to-day. But I started from home to go to C.i> 
terbridge Pair, where I have undertaken to preach th 
Word from a wagon at half-past two thie afternoon, m: . 
where all the brethren are expecting me this i 
Here's the anuouucement." 

He drew from his breast-pocket a poster whereon ^ 
printed the day, hour, ajid place of meeting, at which | 
D'Urberville, would preach as aforesaid. 

" But how can you get there t " said Tess, looking atl 

" 1 cjinnot get there. I have come here." 

" Wliat. — you have really arranged t« preaoli— 
^l*! have arranged to preach and I shajXa 

^H TH£ CONVERT. 369 

^^HfiOQ of my buramg di^giru to see a womau whom I onct> 
^uespised ! — No, by my worj and tnitli, I never despised 
you i if I Lad I should not love you now, WLy I did not 
despise you was on Eiccouut of your intrinsiu purity in spito 
of all ; you withdrew yourself from lue so quickly and res- 
1 ilulely wlien you saw the situation ; you did not remain 
:i' my pleasure; bo there was one victim in the world for 
whom I had no contempt, and you aie she. But you may 
well despise mo uow. I thought I worshipped on tlie moun- 
tains, but I find I still serve in the groves. Ha! ha! " 

'■ Alec D'UrberviUe ! what does this moan f Wliat have 
1 done?" 

"Doue?" he said, with a soulless sneer at himself. 
■■Nothiug intentionally. But you have been the moons — 
the innoeeut means — of my ba^^^kelidiug, as they call it. I 
ask myself, am I, indeed, one of tliose ' servants of corrup- 
tion ' who, ' after they have escaped the pollutions of tlie 
world, are agaiu entangled thei-ein and overcome ' — whose 
latter end is worse than their beginning!" He laid his 
hand on lier sliouldet. " Tess, Tess, I was on the way to, 
;it least, social salvation till I saw yon agmn," he said, shak- 
iiig her us if she were a child, temper and mood showing 
wann in him. "j\nd wliy, then, have you tempted met I 
njis finn as a man could bo till I saw that mouth agaiu — 
f [irely there never was such a maddening mouth since Eve's." 
Jlis voice sank, and a hot archness shot fi-om his black eyes, 
'■ Ton temptress, Tess ; you dear damned witch (if Babylon 
— I could not resist you as soon as I met you again ! " 

" I couldn't help your seeing me again ! " said Teas, ru- 

'■ I know it — I repeat Uiat I do not blame you. But the 
fact remains. When I saw you ill-used on the farm that 
day I was nearly mad to think that I had no legal right to 
protect you — that I could not have it ; whilst he who has it 
seems to neglect you utttrly." 

" Don't sptrnk against him — ho is absent I " she cried, ei- 




citedly. "Treat him boiiorable — he has never wronj 
yoo t Leave his wife, before any scandal spreads that n 
do grievoTis harm to his hoaest name ! " 

" I will — ^I will," he said, like a man awakeuitig froii 
lurid dream. " I have broken my engagement to prei 
the Gospel to those poor eimiers — it is the first time 1 hi 
done sncb a monstrons thing ! A month ago I should lu 
been horrified at such a possibility. Ill go an^y — to It 
— and — ah, can I ! — pray." Then, suddenly : " One els 
Tesde — one ! Only for old friendship "' 

" 1 am without defence, Alec — a good man's honor is 
my keeping — think — think ! " 

" Oh yes — yes ! My God ! " He clenclied his Uj>s, tiioi 
fled Mith himself for his weakness. His eyes were tx{uil 
barren of amatory and religions hope. The corpsfss of till 
old black passions which had lam manimate amid the lil 
of his (ace ever since his eonversion seemed to woke a 
come together as in a resurrection. He went ont indefi 
miuatrcl}', hardly i-esponsible for his acts, 

Though DTJrberville ha<l declared that this breach of '. 
engagement to-day was the simple backsliding of a Iw-licv 
Tess's words, as echoed from Angel Clare, had made n de 
impression npon him, and continued to do so after be h 
left her. He moved on in silence, as if his enei^*s wi 
benumbed by the hitlierto undreamtof possibility titat ] 
faith was vain. Reason had had uothing to do witli 1 
conversion, and the drops of logic that Tesshad let tall ii 
the sea of his enthusiasm served to chill it« effenn-wwi 
to etagnation. He said to himself, as he ]»onilMT'd ii^ 
and again over the crystallized phrases that she had hand 
on to him, "That fellow little thonpht that, by t«Ili»g t 
those things, he might be paving my way ba<?k to her ! ' 




It is tlie tlii"eBMng of the la^t wheat-riek at Flintvomb- 
' Asli Farm. The dawn of the March mnming is siDgularly 
inexpressive, and there ie uothing to show when' the east- 
em horizon lies. Against the twilight rises the trapezoidal 
summit of the etaek, which has stood forlornly here through 
the washing and bleaching of the winter weather. 

When Izz Huett and Tess arrived at the scene of opera- 
tions only a nisfling denoted that others had preceded 
them ; to which, as the light increased, there were presently 
added the silhouettes of two men on the summit. 

They were busily "luihaling" the ricJt, that ie, stripping 

off the thateh before beginning to throw down the sheaves ; 

and while this was in progress Izz and Tias, with tie other 

women-workeiB, in their whit*'y- brown pinners, stood wait> 

lug and Nhivuring,Famier(Tniby having insisted upon their 

being on the spot thus early to got the job over if possible 

by the end of the day. Close under the shadow of the 

stack, and as yet barely visible, was the red tyrant that the 

wiiiueu had come to serve — a timber-framed construction, 

with straps and wheels appertaining — the threshing-ma- 

^(jhine, which, whilst it was gi>ing, kept up a despotic do- 

^nvuid upon the endurance of their muscles and nerve.«. 

^^ A little way off there was another indistinct figure ; this 

one black, with a. sustained hiss that spoke of strength very 

mucli in reserve. The long ehimney running np bcwde 

an ash-tree, and the warmtJi which radiated from the spot, 

explained without the ueeessitr of much daylight that here 

was the engine which was to act as the primum Ptoliih of 

this little world. By the engine stood a dark, motionless 

B being, a sooty and grimy embodiment of tallness, in a sort 

Htf tnmoe, with a heap of coals by his side : it was the engine- 


t man. The isolatiou of his manDer tiiid t-ulor leut him t 

appearoucu of a creature from Tophet, who hail fitrayotl in 

the pfUucid smokelessuess of this rejfioii of yi'Uow (rra 

aiid pale soil, with which he hod nothing iu commoD, 

amaz« and to discompose its aborigines. 

I What he looked he felt. He was in the agripitltia 

world, but not of it. He served fire and snioko ; Ihi 

denizens of the fields served vegetation, weather, frost, a 

sun. He travelled with this engine from farm Ut far 

from county to county, for as yet the steam-thrcshi 

machine was itinerant iii Wessex. Ho spoke in a strait 

northern accent, his thoughts turned inwards upon lib 

self, his eye on his iron charge, hardly pereeiring the seen 

around him, and caring for them not at all : holding on 

strictly necessary intercourse with the natives, as if soB 

ancient doom compelled liim to wander here against 1 

will in the service of his Plutonic master. The long str 

which ran from the driving-wheel of his engine t* the i 

thresher under the rick was the sole tie-line between Hg 

eullurt- and him. 

I ■ While they uncovered the sheaves he stood apalhu 

I Iwside his portable repository of force, round wbo^ I 

' blackness the moiniug aii' quivered. He bad nothing 

I do with preparatory laboi'. His fire was waiting incanti 

I cent, his steam was at high pressure, in a few KeiH>udtt 

could make tlie long strap move at on invisible Tclnt 

Beyond its extent the environment might bo corn, 

or chaos -, it was all the same to him. If any of the n 

idlers asked him what he called himself, he replied, slioi 

'• an engineer." 

The rick was nuhaled by full dayUght; the men I 
took .their places, the women mountfd.und the wort bc^ 
Ftii-mer Groby— or, as they called him. '■ he " — hud ttrriv 
ere Uiis, and by his orders Tess waa jilaeed on the platfoi 
of the machine, close to the man who fed it, her hw' 


Hiiett, who stood next, but on the ripk j so that the feoder 
iMHild seize it and spreiul it over the revolving drum whieh 
whisked out every graiu in one moment. 

They were soon in full progress, afterapreparatorj'hit^h 
or two, which rejoiced the hearts of those who hated ma- 
chinery. The work sped on till breakfast-time, when the 
thresher was stopped for half an honrj and on starting 
again after the meal the whole supplementary strength of 
tht^ farm was thrown inU.i the labor of constructing the 
- straw-stack, which began to grow beside the stack of corn. 
A hasty limch was eaten as they stood, without leaving their 
[wsitions, and then another couple of hours brought them 
near to dinner-time ; the inexorable wheels continuing to 
spin, and the penetrating hum of the thresher to thrill to 
the verj' marrow aU who were near the revolvingwire cage. 

The old men on the rising straw-rick talked of the past 
days when they had been accustomed to thresh with flails 
on the oaken barn floor ; when everything, even to winnow- 
ing, was effected by baud labor, which, to their thinking, 
though slow, produced better rCKults. Thosej too, on the 
com-riok talked a little; but the perspiring ones at th6 
ina«)hine, inelnding Tess, conld not lighten their duties by 
the exchange of many words. It was the ceaselessness of 
the work which tried her so severely, and began to make 
her wiali that she had never come to Fliutcomb-Ash. The 
women on the eorn-riek — Marian, who was one of them, in 
partimilar — could stop to drink ale or cold tea from the 
tlagou now and then, or to exchange a f«w gossiping re- 
marks while they wiped their faces or eleflred the Erag- 
Kiiufs of straw and husk from their elothing; but for Teas 

ii re was no respite; for, as the drum never stopped, the 
rri;iu who fed it coidd not stop, and she, who had to supply 
the man witli untied sheaves, conld not stop either, except 
nt thoBe intervals of relief which were absolutely neoessaiy. 

For some probably economical reason it was usually a 
woman who was chosen for this particular duty, and Groby 

EUb motive in fldecting Tees that du was one of tiwK 

It combined streogtli tritb quickDc-ss iu imtriog. oo^i 
1 Etayiug power, and this may have liwn trot 
Iram of the thresher, whieli prevent^ epevcb, incPi'JU 

to a raving wbent-ver the finpply of com wns in excese d 

the regular quantity. AsTess and the man who f«l c 
[ never torn tieir beads, she did not know that jost before" 
I the dinner-hour a person had eome silently into the field by 
I the gate, and had been standing under a second rick watch- 
[ ing the scene, and Tess in partienlar. lie was in a tweed 

suit of ftuiliionable pattern, and he twirled a gay waUdite 
I eaue. 

I "Who is that?" said Izz Huett to Marian. She bad nl 
[ first addressed the inquiry to Tess, bat the lalter could not 

hear it. 
I " 8omebod3''s faucj'-mao, I s'pose,^ said Marian, laouu- 


" I'll lay a guinea bo's after Tess." 
I " Ob uo. 'TIS a i-auter jia'son who's been sniffing afUf 
I her lately, not a daudy like this." J 

I "Well — this is the same man." H 

I "The sanie mau as the pre-aoher? But he's qoltti diffc^| 
I cut." fl 

L "He hev left off bis block coat and white ueckcrchcr. nd 
I hev eut off his whiskers ; but he's the same man for all tfaat*^ 
I "D'yo really think sol Then I'll tell her," aaid Marian. 
I " Don't, She'll see him soon enough." 
I " Well, I don't think it at all right for him to ji>in \» 
I preaching to eoui-ting a married woman, even thongh b^H 
1 husband mid be nbruad, and she, in n sense, a widow." H 
I '-O — he can do her no harm," said Izz, drj'ly. "H^l 
I mind can no more be heaved from that one place whvn' » 
r do bide than a stooded wagon from the hole he's in, Loni 
I love 'ec neither court-paj-iug, nor preaching, nor Ibe tii:<rrD 
I thunders tbvmselves, can wean a woman wheu 'twould bta 
I better for her that she should be weaned." fl 



Dinner-time eame, aud the whirling ceased, whereupon 
Tess left her post, her knees trenibling so wretchedly with 
the ehiitdug of the machine that she could scarcely walk. 

" You ought to het a quart o' di'iok into 'ee, as Tve done," 
said Marian. " You wouldn't look so white then. Why, 
souls above us, your face is as if you'd been hag-rode ! " 

It occurred to the good-natured Marian that, as Tess was 
so tired, her discovery of her risitxjr's presence might have 
the bad effect of taking away her appetite; and Marian 
was thinking of inducing Tess to descend by a ladder on 
the further side of the stat^^k, when the gentleman came for- 
ward and looked up. 

Tess uttered a short httle " ! " and a moment after 
she said, quickly, " I shall eat my dinner here — right on the 

Sometimes, when they were so far from their cottars, 
they all did this ; but as there was rather a keen wind going 
to-day, Marian and the rest descended, and sat under the 
growing stack of straw. 

The new-comer was, indeed. Alec D'Urberville, tlie late 
Evangelist, despite his changed attire and aspect. It was 
obvious at a glance that the original Weltlust had come 
back ; that he had restored himself, as nearly as a man could 
do who had grown three years older, to the old jaunty, slap- 
dash guise under which Tess bad first known her admirer, 
and cousin so-called. Having decided to remain where she 
was, Tess sat down among tlie bundles out of sight on the 
ground, and began her meal ; till, by and by, she heard 
footsteps on the ladder, and immeiliately after Alec ap- 
peared upon the stack — now an oblong and level platform 
of sheaves. He strode across them, and sat down opposite 
to her without a woi-d. 

Tens continued to eat her modest dinner, a slice of thick 
pancake which she hail brought with her. The other work- 
folk were by this time all gathered under the rick, where 
tile louse straw formed a comfortable nest. 


" I mil lif-re ngain, as you see," at length said D'UrberviUe. 

'■ \V"]i_v do yoo trouble nie so ! " she cried, repi-oach flash- 
ing' from her very finger-ends. 

'■ J trouble you f I think I may ask, why do you trouble 

" Indeed I don't troiihle you ! " 

"You say you don't? Bat you do! Tou haunt me. 
Those veiy i-yes Ihat you turaed upon me with such a bitter 
tlasli a luouicut ago, they eonie to me just as you showed 
rlii'iii tlu'n, in the night and in the day. Tess, it is jiist as 
il my i-niolifrnK, which havo beeu flowing in a strong stream 
iit-ii\'i'inviinl, hud Kuddculy found a sluice oi>en in the diiw- 
iiuii nl' you, whii'h Ihcy have at once gushed through. The 
L'lisp.'l I'liaiiTK'l is k-ft diy forthwith; and it is you who 
liavi' done it — yimy 

She gazed witli parted lips. " What. — you have given up 
\-"ur preacliing eutii-ely?" she asked. She had gathered 
t'riim Angel sufReieiit nf the incredulity of modem thou^t 
III d<' llasli cuthutiiasms; but, as the woman, she was 
sni,i, apiiallfd, 

D'UrbcrWIle continued : " Entirely. 


lavo doue nothiiig except retain your pretty face and 
apely fignre. I saw it on the riek before you saw me — 
kat tight pinafore-thiuir sets it off, aud that tUtbonnet — 
a field-girls sliould never wear those Innuets if you wish 
D keep out of danger." 
He regarded her silently for a few moments, and, with a 
cynical laugh, resumed : " I believe that if the bach- 
jor-apostle, whose deputy I thought I was, had been 
tnpted by such a pretty face he would have let go the 
]ougii for her eoke as I do." 

■ Tesa attempted to expostulate, but at this juncture all her 

tency failed her, and without heeding he added ; " Well, 

' I Parailise that you supply is perhaps as good as any 

ther. after all. But to speak seriously, Tess." D'Urber- 

I rose and came nearer, reclining sideways amid the 

■aves, and resting upon his elbow. "Since I last saw 

, I have been thinking of what you said that Af said 

lOut religion. I have come to tiie conclusion that there 

ra rather a want of common sense in tiie propitia- 

I tnry scheme ; how I could have been so fired by poor old 

' 'lare's enthusiasm, and have gone so madly to work, trans- 

1 riding even him, I cannot make out. As for what you 

>;>id lost time, on the strength of your wonderful husband's 

intelligence — whose name you have never told me — about 

having what they call an ethical system without any dogma, 

I don't see my way to that at all." 

" Wliy, you can have the religion of loving-kindness and 
purity at. lenat, if yon can't have more." 

"Oh no. I'm a diiferent sort of fellow from that! If 
there's no Power to say, ' Do this, and it will be a goo<l 
thing for yon after yon are dead- do tliat, and it will be a 
)i!ul thing for yon,' I can't warm up. Hang it, I am not 
'.'■■ing to feel responsible for my deeds aud passions any 
ini^re, if there's nobody to be responsible to; and if I were 
i .III. my dear, I wouldn't either." 
She tried to argue and tell him that he had mited in his 

: and 


dull brain two distinct matters, tlieolog}- and morula, nhiili 
in the primitive days of mankind had been i^nitv 
and had nothing in common bat long association, 
owing to Angel Clare's reticence, to her absolutv 
training in polemics, and to he^r being a vessel of eoiol 
rather than reasons, she could not gf^t on. 

"Well, never mind," he resumed, "here I am, my love, 
as in the old times ! " 

" Not as then — never as then — it is different ! " site eriei. 
" And there was never wai-rath with me. 0, why didnt yon 
keep yonr faith, if the loss of it have brought 'eo to apeak 
to me like this ! " 

" Because you've knocked it out of me ; so the tnl 
be upon your sweet head. Yonr husband Uttly thoujilil 
how his teaching would recoil upon him ! Hu-ha — I'm 
awfully giml you have ma«le an apostato of tne, all iii'- 
same. Tess. I am more taken wilb you than ever, jmd 1 
pity yon, too. For all yoiir closeness, I see you are in a 
bad way — neglected >»y one who ought to cherish yt». 
The words of the stfm prophet that I used to rend come 
back to me. Don't you know them, TessT — 'And shpsball 
follow after her lover, but sho sliall not overtake him . 
and she shall seek him, but shall uot find him : tlii-n f-hi\\ '■ 
she say, I will go and return to my first husband ; for tht;u 
was it better with me than now.' " 

She could not get her morsels of food down her 
her lips were dry, and she was ready to choke. Thi 
and laughs of the work-folk eating luid drinking under 
rjej( came to her as if they were a quarter of a mile off. 

" It is cmelty to me ! " ahe said. " How — how can 
treat me to this talk, if you care ever so little for uief ' 

"True, true," he said, wincing ft little. "I did not ci 
to reproach you for my fall. I came, Tess, to say that I di 
like yon to be working like thi*. and I have come on 
pose for yoii. Yon say yon havo a husband wh«i is not' 
I Well, pei^biipg yon hays j hut I've aovw we ft hj ipyj 

THE CON^'ERT. 370 

Dot told nte lus name; and altogether he seems rather a 
mythological personage. However, even if you have une, I 
think I lun nearer to you than he is, I, at any rate, try to 
help you out of trouble, but he does not, bless his invieible 
face ! Tess, my trap is waiting just under the hill, and — 
darling; mine, not his ! — ^you know tlie rest." 

Her face had been rising to a dull crimson fire while he 
spoke ; but she did not answer. 

■' Tou have been the cause of my biwksliding."' he con- 
tinued, stretching his arms towards lier waist. "Yon 
should be willing to share it, and leave that mule you call 
busbnud forever." 

One of her leather gloves, which she had taken off to eat 
ber skimmer-cake, lay in her lap, and without the slightest 
Avaming ahe passionately swung the glove by the gauntlet 
ilirectly iu his face. It was hea^-y and Uiit-k as a warrior's, 
and it struck him flat on the mouth. Fancy might have 
regai-ded the act as the reerudesecnco of a triiik in which 
Llt mailed progenitors were not unpractised. Men fiercely 
started up from his i-ecliniug position ; a scarlet ooziug 
appeared where her blow had alighted, and in a moment 
the blood bogau di-opping from his mouth upon the straw. 
But he soou controlled himself, calmly drew his handker- 
eliief from his pocket, and mopped his bleeding lips. 

She too had sprung up, but she sank down agtiiu. 

" Now punish me .' " she said, turning up her eyes to his 
with the hopeless de6auce of the eparrow's gaze before its 
cnptor twists its neck. " Whip me, crush me : you need not 
mind those people under tlie rick. I shall not cry out, 
Ouce victim, always victim — that's the law." 

" Oh no, no, Tess," he said, blandly. " I can make full al- 
Ifiwance for this. Yet you most unjustly forget one tiling, 
tliat I would have married you if you had not put it out of 
1 iiy power to d" so. Did I not ask you flatly to be my wife 
— beyf Answer me." 
H " You did." 


"And you cannot be. Bat reinember one thing." Bu 
voic€ hai-dened as his temper got the better of him n-irh iJ 
recollection of his sincerity in asking her and her pre 
ingratitude, and he stepped across to ber side and held 1| 
by the shoulders, so that she shook under his grasp, 
member, my lady, I was once yomr mast«r. I will be your 
master again. If you are any man's wife you are mine ! " 

The threshere now began to stir below. "So ma<!h f« 
our quarrel," he said, letting her go. '' Now I shall leavaj 
you, and shall come again for your answer during t 
afternoon. You don't know me yet. But I know yon." 

She had uot spoken again, remaining as if stunned. 
D'Urberville retreated over the sheaves, and descended the 
ladder, whUe the workers below rose and stretched their 
arms, and shook down the beer they had dnmk. Then ti 
thrt'shing-machine started afresh ; aud amid Uio renewi 
rusUe of the straw Tess resumed her position by tJie boj 
iug drum, imtying sheaf after slieaf in endless succeesioi 


In the afternoon the farmer made it known thnt Ihe t 
was to be finished that night, since there was a inooti I 
which they could see to work, and the man with the eiigi 
was engaged for another farm on tJie morrow. He-uct* ti 
twanging and humming aud iiisthng proceeded with tfvn 
less intermission than was usual. 

It was not till - nammet ' time, about three irVJoek, tin 
Tess raised her ej'es and gave a momeutarj' glanee t 
She felt but little surprise at seeing that j^Uee DTrben-fl 
had come back, and was st«.ndii^ under tlie hedge by l" 
gate. He had seen her lift, her eyes, and waved hb* 1 
loriianBiy to her, vluie he Mew W « 


down again, and earefuUy abstained troai gaziug in that 

Thus the afternoon dragged on. The wheat-rick shrank 
lower, and the straw-rick grew higher, and the corn-sacks 
wiTe carted away. At six o'clock the wheat-rick was about 
i-hoiilder-liigh from the ground. But the uu threshed sheaves 
iftuainiiig untouched seemed eouutless still, uotwitbstaud- 
iug the t-normous numbers that had been gnJped down by 
the iuBatialile swallower, fed by the man and Tess, through 
whose two young hands the greater part of them had 
passed; and the enormous stack of straw, where in the 
iiK.rmng there had been nothing, appeared as the /ace* of 
the same buzzing i-ed glutton. Prom the west sky a wrath- 
ful shine — all that wild March could afford in the way of 
sunset — had burst forth after the cloudy day, flooding the 
linnl and sticky faces of the threshers and dyeing them 
witii a copperj' light, as also the flapping garments of the 
vomen, which clung to them like dull flameii. 
I A panting ache ran through tlierick. The man who fetl 
I was weary, and Tess could see that the red iia)>e of his neck 
was covered with dirt, husks. She still stood at her post, 
her flushed and pei-spiriitg face coated with the corn-dust, 
and her white Iwiunet embrowned by it. She was the only 
woman wliose place was upon the machine, so as to be 
shaken iKxiily by its spinning, and this incessant whirring 
mid quivering, in which every fibre of her body parlicipated, 
hiid thrown her into a stupefied reverie, in which her arms 
\(-iirked on independently of her consciousness. She hardly 
knew where she was, and did not hear Izz Iluett — who, with 
the sinking of the rick, had necessarily inove<l further down 
from her side — offer to change places with her. 

By degrees the freshest among them began t« grow cadav- 

1 and saucer-eyed, WTienever Tess lifted her head sh» 

i> iield always the great upgrown straw-stack, with the men 

,u ^Juct'SlceTesuiion it, against the gray north sky, in front 

^^■Mfagdong, str^ght elevator like a Jacob's lad<' 


which a perpetual stream of thifshed straw ascended, a yi- 
low liver ninning up-hili, aud .sjM>utiug out on the toji i 
the riek. 

She kiiew that Alva D'Urljerii-ille was still on the soeu' 
obsening her from soma point (ir otlier, though she vm 
not Bay where. There was an esense for his r^iuaiuing, 1 
when the threshed rick drew near its final sheaves, a lit 
ratting was always done, and men unconueetod with I 
threshing aometlnies dropped in fur that perCormaad 
sporting ehai-acters of all descriptions, gent* with t«?i 
aud facetious pipes, roughs with sticks and stones. 

But there was another hour's work befoi-e the lavw 
live rats at the base of the stack would I>o reached ; and 
the eveniug light in the direction of the Giant's Hill 
Abbot's Cemel dissolved away, the whitt^face<l moou 
the season arose from the horizon thnt lay t^jwards Midd 
tfln and Shottsfoi-d on the other side. For the last hour 
two Marian had felt uneasy aboiit Tess, whom she eo 
not get near enough t* speak to, the other women hav 
kept Tip their strength by drinking ale, and Tess hftv 
done without it through traditionaiy dread, owing to 
residts at her home in childhood. But Teas still kept _ 
if she coidd not fill her part she woidd have to leave 
this contingency, which she would have regarded 
equaniuiitj', aud even with rehef, a month or two earik 
had become a terror since D'Urben'ille hatl liegun to h«>i 
round her. 

The sheaf-pitchers and feeders had now workni tlm r 
BO low that people on the ground could talk to them. 
Tgss's sm-prise, Farmer Grohy came up on the niaehina 
her, and said that If she desii-ed to join her friend he 
not wish her W) keep on any longer, and would send sol 
body else to take her place. The " friend " was IVUrl 
ville, she knew, and also that this concession had U 
granted in obedience to the request of that friend, or t 
t my. She afaook her bead and tofleg on.- ^fl 

THE CON\-EHT. 388 

The time for the rat-catching arrived at last, and the 
hunt began. The creatures had wept downwards witli the 
subsidence of the rick till they were all together at the 
bottom, and, being now uncovered from their last refuge, 
they ran across the open ground Ui all directions, a loud 
shriek from the by this time half-tipsy Marian informing 
her companions that one of the rats had invaded her per- 
son — a terror which the rest of the women had guarded 
against by various schemes of skirt-tucking and self -eleva- 
tion. Tlic rat was at last dislodged, and, amid tlie bark- 
ing of the dogs, masculine shouts, feminine screams, oaths, 
stampings, and confusion as of Pandemonium, Tess untied 
her last sheaf ; the drum slowed, thoi whizzing ceased, and 
sJje stepped from the plationn of the machine to the grouud. 

Her lover, who had only looked ou at the rat^atchiug, 
was prr>mptly at her side, 

" What — after all — my insulting slap, too ! " said she in 
an nnderbreath. She was so utterly exliansted that she 
hud not strength to speak louder. 

" I should indeed be foolish to feel offended at anything 
you say or do," he answered, in the seductive voice of the 
Trantridge time. " How the little limbs tremble ! Yon are 
as weak as a bled calf, you know you are ; and yet you 
need have done nothing since I arrived. How could you 
be 60 obstinate 1 However, I have told the farmer that he 
has no right to employ women at steam-threshing. It is 
not proper work for them; and on all the better class of 
farnts it has been given np, as he knows very well. I will 
walk with you as far as your home." 

'■ Oh yes," she answered, with a jaded gait, " Walk with 
me if you will ! I do bear in mind that you came to marry 
me before you knew of my stjite. Perhaps — perhaps you 
hv a little better and kinder than I have been thinking you 
vren: Whatever is meant as kindness I am grateful for ; 
wliatever is meant in any other way I am angrj- at. I can- 
not sense your meanings sometimes," 


" If I cannot legitimize our former relatiooahip, nt ic 
I cou assist yoii. And I will do it wiUi uuch an 
for your feelings than I formerly sliuwud. My religicd 
mania, or wliatever it was, is over. But I retain a lit| 
good naturo ; I hope I do. Xow, Toss, by all tUnt'd 
, and strong between man and woman, trust me. I I 
I euongli, and more than enough, to put you out of nuxief 
I botli for youi-aelf and your parejits and sisters I < 
make them all comfortable if you will only shov coufideii 
in me." 

" Have yon seen them lately ! " she quickly iuquin^d. 

"Yes. They didn't know whei-e you ware. It v 
by chuncB that I found yon here." 

The cold moon looked aslant upon Tesa's fs^r^ Psoo l| 
tween the twigs of the garden-hedge, as she pausvd outs'' 
the cottage whioh was her temporary home, D'Hrbenill 
]iaiising beside her. "Don't mention my little bnotli 
and sisters — don't make me break down quite ! " she s 
" If you want to help them — God knows they need it- 
it without telling me. But no, no ! " she cried. " I i 
accept nothing from you, either for thejn or for n 

He did not accompany her furtJier, aintH!, as she liv 
witli the hcaiseholil, all was public indoors, Nti soodi 
hod she herself entered, laved herself in a washing-tub. a 
meelianically shared supper witli the family, iJian she fdj 
into thought, and, withdrawing to the table under tJie 
by the light of her own UtUe lamp, wrtjle in a jwssioi 
mood : 

"My own Husband, — 

"Let mo call you so — I mnst^ — even if it makiM yon li 
gry to think of such an unworthy wife as I, T must ctj'I 
you in my trouble — I have no one else. I am is 
to temptation. Angel. I fear to say who it ia. and I do 
like to write about it at all. But I uUng to you iii ■ v 

THE CO>r\'ERT. 3S9 

before anything terible happens 1 0, 1 know you cannot, 
because you are so far away. I think I must die if you do 
not come soon, or t«ll me to come to you. The puni^unent 
you have measured out to me is deserved, indeed — I do 
kuow that — well deserved — and you are right Eind just to 
tjf angrj- with me. But, Ange], please, please not to be just 
— only a little kind to mo, even if I do not desen'e it, and 
«ome to me ! If yon would come, I could die in your arms ! 
I would Iw well content to do that if yon had forgiven me, 
" Angel, I live entirely for you. I love you too much tol 
blame yon for going away, and I know it was necessary' 
you should find a farm. Do not think I shall Bay a word 
of sting or bitterness. Only come back to me. I am deao- 
liU* without you, my darling, O, so de.solate 1 I do not mind 
having to work ; but if you will send me one little line, and 
sav, '/ am coming soon,' I will bide on, Angel — 0, so cheer- 

■' It haTO been bo much my rehgion ever since we were 
married to bo faithful to you in every thought and look, 
(hat even when a man speaks a compliment to me before I 
am aware, it seems wronging you. Have you never felt 
one little bit of what you used to feel when we were at the 
■lairy T If you have, how can you keep away from me t I 
urn the same woman. Angel, as she you fell in love with ; 
yi'-s, the very same ! — not the one you disliked but never 
>yiw. What was the past to me as soon as I met you I 
It was a dca<l thing alt-ogether. I became another woman, 
lilled full of new life from yon. How coul<l I be the early 
one I Why do you not see this ! Dear, if you would only 
l»e a littJe more conceited, and believe in yourself so far as 
!o see that you was strong enough to work this change in 
me, yon would perhaps be in a mind to come to me, your 
poor wife. 

"How silly I was in my happiness when I thought I 
(lid trust you always to love me! I ought to have 
fewn that such as that was not for poor me. But I am 



Biek at heart, not only for old times, bat for thit prearW, 
Think — think how it do hart my heart not to see you cth 
— ever ! Ah, if I conld only make yoiir dear hciui 
one little minute of each day as mine does everj- day 
all day long, it might lead yon to show pitj- to your 
lonely one. 

" People still say that I am rather pretty, Aiigel (h(in<i 
some is the woi'd they use, siniiu I wish to he tnillifiil 
Perhaps I am what they say. But I do not ^-alue luy p^>""i 
looks : I only like to have them beeaose they l>eIong to jn-'i 
my dear, and that there may be at least one thing nixw 
me worth your ha\'ing. So much have I felt this, that wtru 
I met with aunoyaneo on account of the same I tied ui- 
my face iu a bandage as long as people wonld belicvo in ii 
Angel, I tell you all this not from vanity — yon will «*- 
tainly know T do not — but only that you may come t« nH 

" If you really cannot come to me will yon let mv f^^W 
to you 1 I am, as I say, harried, pressed to do wfant I inl 
not do. It cannot be that I shall yield one incL, yet I urn 
in terror as to what an accident might lead to, and I ^ 
defenceless on account of my first error. I cannot *-'i> 
moi-e about this — it makes me too miserable. But if I 
break down by falling into some fearful snare, my l.i-: 
state will l)e worse than my first, O Heaven, I caiiuii 
think of it 1 Let mo come at once, or at onea come f ) ui>' 

" I would be content, ay, glad, to live with you as yoiir i^-r 
vant, if I may not eis your wife ; so that I could only In* awLi 
you, and get glimpses of you, and tliink of yon as mine. 

" The daylight has nothing to show me, since you be m ' 
here, and I don't like to see the rooks and starlings In th- 
fields, because I grieve and grieve to miss you who o^nl * 
see them with me. I long for only one thing in hcawn ' - 
earth or under earth, to meet yon, my own dear ! Come ' 
me — come to me, and save me from what threatens nw '. 
" Tfinr faithful, heartbrokim 

appeal duly found its way to the breakfasHable of 
icarage to the westward, in that valley whore the 
air IB so soft and the soil is sti ri(?h that the effort of growth 
requu'cs but superfidal aid by comparison with the tillage 
of Fliiit^ouiU-Asli, and where to Tess the bumau world 
seemed bo different (though it was much the sanie). It 
was purely for security that she had been requested by 
Angel to send her communications through his father, 
whom he kept pretty well informed of his changing ad- 
dresses in tie countrj' he had gone to exploit for himself 
with a heavy heart. 

•' Now," said old Mr. Clare to his wife, when he had read 
the envelope, "if Angel proposes lea\ing Rio for n visit 
home at the end of nejit month, as he told us that he hoped 
to do, I tliink tliis may hasten his plans, for 1 believe it to 
be from bia wife," He breatlied deeply at the thought of 
her, and the letter was redirected, to he promptly sent on to 

" Dear fellow, I hopo he i^Hll get home safely," murmured 
Mrs, Clare. " To my d_ving day I shall feel that he has been 
ill-ased. You should have sent him to Cambridge in spit« 
of his heterodoxv', and given him tlu' samo chance as the 
other Iwys liaii He would have gi-own out of it under 
proper influence, and perhaps would liave taken Orders 
aft*>r idl. Church or no Churci, it would have bceu fairer 
to him." 

This was the only wail with whicli Mrs. Clare ever dis- 
turlicd her husband's peace in i-esjiect of their sons. And 
she did not vent this often : for she was as eonsideratfl aa 
ehe wa.« devout, and knew that his mind too was troubled 
doubts as to his justice in this matter. Only tt>o often 



|,liad she lieard him, lyiug awake at night, stifling si^is fw 
I Angel with prayers. But the uneoHipn>misiiig Evangvlical 
I did not even now hold tiiat he would have been jnstified i 
I giving his son, an miheliover, tiie same at-ademic advs 
I tiiges that he had given to tJje two brothers, when it m 
I possible, if not probable, that those verj' advantagua inij 
1 have been naed to decry the doctrines which he had oioi 
I it Ids life's mission and desire to propagate, and t,b<; iitisrio 
I of his ordained sous likewise. To put with one baud a |W 
I estal under the feet of the two faithful ones, and with t] 
I other to elevate the nnfaithful by the same artifieial mmi 
I he deemed to he alike iuconsist^'nt with Ids convietious, I 
I i>oBitiou, and his hopes. Nevei'theless, he loved his mi 
I named Angel, and in secret monmed over this troatmei 
I of bim as Abraham might ha^'e mourned uver the doom 
I Isaac while they went up the hill together. His silent m 
[ geuoiTited regrets were tar bitterer than the roproMch 
\ which his wife rendered audible. 

They blamed themselves for this unlucky marriage. 

' Augel had never been destined for a fai-mer he w<,>idd nev 

I have been thrown with ugrieultural girls- They did n 

[ distinctly know what had separated him and his wife, ii 

I the date on which the separation had takeu place. At fii 

they had supposed it must be something of the uatnro i 

a serious aversion. But in his later letters he occasiouaJ 

ftUnded to the intention of coming home to fetcli her ; fro 

which expressions they hoped Ihf division might not on 

its origin to anything so hopelessly permanent as that- 

} had told them that she was with hi'r relatives, and in the 

doubts they had deeided not U> intrude into a situstJl 

[ wldch they knew no way of liettering. 

The eyea for which Tess's letter had been intended wfl 
f gazing at this time on a limitless expanse of eonutry fro 
the back of a mule, which was hearing him from the Inl 
I rior of the SonthAmerican Continent towards the ( 


His eiperienees of this strange land had been sad. Tlio 
severe illness from which he had suffered shortly after his 
arrival had never wholly left him, and he hiid by degrees 
almost decided to relintinish his hope of farming here, 
though, as long as the bare possibility existed of his re- 
maining, he kept this change of view a secret fi'om his 

The crowds of agricultural laborers who had come out to 
the country in his wake, dazzled by representations of easy 
independence, Lad suffered, died, and wasted away. He 
saw mothers from English farms trudging along with their 
infants in their arms, when the child would be stricken 
with fever and would die ; the mother would pause to dig a 
hole in the loose eai-th with her baro hands, would bury the 
infant therein ■with the same natural grave-tools, shed one 
tciir, and again trudge on. 

Angel's original intention had not been emigration to 
Brazil, but a northern or eastern farm in his own country. 
He had come to this place in a fit of desperation, the Brazil 
inoveme«t among the English agriculturists having by 
chance coincided with his desire to escape from his past 

During this time of his absence he had mentally aged a 
dozen years. What arrested him now as of value in life 
was less its beauty Iban its pathos. Having long discred- 
iti'd the old systt^ms of mysticism, he now began to dis- 
.-redit the old appraisements of morality. He thought lliey 
wanted readjn-sting. W*ho was the moral man t Still mure , 
pertinently, who was the moral woman f The beautj- or 
ugliness of a character lay, not only in it« achievements, j 
but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not 
among things done, but among things willed- 

How, then, about Tess I 

Viewing her in these lights, a regret for his hasty judg- 
ment began to oppress him. Did he reject her eternally, 


or did he not! He could no longer say that be woi 
always reject her, and not to say that was, in spirit, 
accept her now. 

This growing fondness for her memory coincided in poi 
of time with her residence at FUntoomL-Asli j but it w 
before she had felt herself at liberty to trouble bim abo 
her cireiun stances or her feelings. He was gi-catly p< 
plexed ; and in his perplexity as to her motives m wil 
holding intelligence he did not inquire. Thus her silen 
of docility was misint^rpi-eted. How mUdi it really s& 
if he had understood ! That she adhered with litiiral exa 
ness to orders which he had given and forgotten ; th 
despite her natural fearlessness of nature, she asserted 
rights, made no claim, admitted his judgment to be in eve 
respect the true one, ajid bent her head dumbly (hereto. 

In the bef ore-men lioued journey by midus thniugh t 
intmor of the country another nian rode beside hiiu. A 
gel's companion was also an Englishman, bent on the sai 
errand, though he came from another part of the islai 
They were both in a state of mental ilepression, ami ti 
spoke of home affairs. Confidence begat confidence. W] 
that euiious tendency evincedby men, more especially wh 
in distant lands, to entrust to strangers details of their lis 
which they would on no account mention to friends, An) 
admitted to this man as they rode along the sorrowful tm 
of his marriage. 

The stranger had sojourned in many more lands B 
among many more peoples than Angel; to his cosmopolit 
mind such de^nations from the social norm, so immense 
domesticity, were no more than are the irregnlaritjes 
vale and mountain -chain to the whole tfirestrial cur 
He viewed the matter in quite a different light from Angt 
thought that what Tess had been was of no important 1 
side what she would be, and plainly told Clare that h« n 
wrong in coming away from her. 

The next day they vjevi' tlreuehed in a thundcrstoo 


Angel's companion was struck down with fever, and died 
by the week's end. Clare waited a few hours to bury him, 
and then went on his way. 

The cursory remarks of the large-minded stranger, of 
whom he knew absolutely nothing beyond a commonplace 
name, were sublimed by his death, and influenced Clare 
more than all the reasoned ethics of the philosophers. His 
own parochialism made him ashamed by its contrast. His 
inconsistencies rushed upon him in a flood. He had per- 
sistently elevated Hellenic Paganism at the expense of 
Christianity; yet in that civilization an illegal surrender 
was not certain disesteem. Surely then he might have 
regarded that abhorrence of the un-intact state, which he 
had inherited with the creed of mysticism, as at least open 
to correction when the result was due to treachery. A 
remorse struck into him. The words of Izz Huett, never 
quite stUled in his memory, came back to him. He had 
asked Izz if she loved him, and she had replied in the 
affirmative. Did she love him more than Tess did! No, 
she had replied ; Tess would lay down her life for him ; 
and she herself could do no more. 

He thought of Tess as she had appeared on the day of 
the wedding. How her eyes had lingered upon him ; how 
she had hung upon his words as if they were a god's. And 
during the terrible evening over the hearth, when her 
simple soul uncovered itself to his, how pitiful her face had 
looked in the rays of the fire, in her inability to realize that 
his love and protection could possibly be withdrawn. 

Thus from being her critic he grew to be her advocate. 
Cynical things he had uttered to himself about her ; but no 
man can be a cynic and live ; and he withdrew them. The 
mistake of expressing them had arisen from his allowing 
himself to be influenced by general principles, to the disre- 
gard of the particular instance. 

But the reasoning is somewhat musty ; lovers and hus- 
bands have gone over the ground before to-^^^ Osx^\^sb^ 

f 382 TE3S OP THE ffURBEmiLLES. 

I bwn Larsh towEirds her j there is no doubt of it. Men I 
I ■ too often harsh with women they love or have lov* 

I I women with men. And yet these harshnesses lire tend 

I ness itself when compared with the nuiversBJ horshtu 

I ] out of which they grow; the harshness of the poRiti 

I I towards the temperament, of the means towards the n 
I of to-day towards yesterday, of hereafter towards to-dai^i 
I The historic interest of her family — that ancient i 
I miuiterfnl line of D'UrberviUes — whom he had despised 
I a spent force, touched his sentiments now. Why had 
I not known the difference between the political value fl 
L the imaginative value of these things ? In the latter qual 
I hei- D'UrberviUe descent was a fact of great dimeusioi 
I worthless to economies, it was a most Qseful ingredient 
I the dreumer, to the morajizer on declines and falls, II vi 
I a faet that would soon be forgotten — that bit of (listiurti 
I in poor Tess's blood and name, and oblivion would fall n 
I her hereditary link witli the marble monument.s and leads 
I skeletons at Kiiigsbere. So does Time ruthlessly dest 
t hia own romances. In recalling her face again and again. ' 
I ho thought now that he could see therein a flash of tho di^ 

I nity which must have graced her grand-dames ; and tin 

I vision sent that aura thiough Iiis veins which he bad &«■■ , 

I merly felt, and which left behind it a sense of airless. ^ 
I Despite her not iiiviolat<> past, what still abode in sodlfl 

I a woman as Teas ontvalned the freshness of her fellowaT 

I Was not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraira better than 

[ the vintage of Abi-ezer 1 

r So spoke Love renascent preparing the way for Tess's 

I devoted oatptmring which was th(^ii just being forwardeii 

I to him by his father, tliongh owing to his distance inland 

I it was to be a long time in reaching him. 
I Meanwliile the writeHs expectation that Angel would 

I come soon in response to tlie entreaty was nlt^niafOv 

I great and small, Wliat lessened it was that the tml* *ii 

I JjtT Ufa which had led to the parting had not ( 



conld never change; and that, if her presence had not 
attenuated Ihem, her absence conld not Nevertheless ahfi 
addi-essed her miud to the tender question of what she 
fould do to please him best if he should arrive. 

Sighs were expended on the wish that she had taken 
more notice of the tunes he played on his harp, that she 
had inquired more curiously of him which were his favnrit* 
liaUads among those the eonntry girls sang. She indu-ectly 
inquired of Aniby Seedling, who had followed Izz from 
Talbothays, and by chance Amby remembered tJiat, among 
the snatohps of melody in which they had indulged at the 
dairj-man's, to induce the cows to let down their uiillc, Clare 
bad seemed to like " Cupid's Gardens," " I have parks, I 
liave hounds," and " The break o' the day " ; and hatl seemed 
not to care for "The Tailor's Breeches," and "Such a 
I leauty I did grow," excellent ditties as they were. 

To perfect the ballads was her whimsical desire; she 
practiced them privately at odd moments, especially "The 
break o' the day " : 

Anil pick your love a poEjr, 
All of the sweetest flowers 
Thftt in the garden grow. 
The turtle dovos nnd sniaJl birda 
In every bough a building, 
So early iu the gpring-time, 
At (he break o" tLe day! 

It woiild have melted the heart of a stone to hear her 
eingbig these ditties, whenever she worked apart from the 
n*t of the girls in this cold, dry time ; the t«ars running 
down her cheeks all the while at the thought that perhaps 
he woidd not, after all, come to hear her, and the simple, 
silly words of thi^ songs resounding in painful mockery of 
the nehiiig heart of the singer. 

Tess was so wi-apt up in this fanciful dream that she 
ted not to know how the season was advancing ; that 

downstairs room wifc 
body knocked at the ( 
the doorway she saw 
with the height of a 
, tall, thin, girlish creat 

; ' the twilight till the gii 

t " What— is it 'Liza 1 

\ Her sister, whom a lit 

home as a child, had s 
form of this presentatit 
self scarce able to under 
visible below her once L 
ing, and her uncomforta 
youth and inexperience. 
" Yes, I have been trai] 
with unemotional gravil 
very tired." 
" What is the matter a 
" Mother is took very 
ing; and as father is n< 
wrong for a man of such 
drave at common labori 

Tess stoofi i-- - 




► that night would be a gain of twelve hours ; bnj 
r was too tii-ed to uudertabo sucli a distance t 
row. TeS8 ran down to when* Marian and Izz live^j 
i them of what liad liappened, and begged tliem t 
3 best of her case to the farmer. Returning, s 
K a sopper, and after that, having tucked the youngi 
ler own bed, packed up as many of her belongings a 
1 go into a withy basket, and etart«d, directing J 
low her next moruiug. 

proged into the chilly equinoctial darkness as 

Tick ten, for her fifteen miles' walk under the stet 

1 lonely districts night is a protection rather tbt 

r to a noiseless pedestrian, and knowing this from 

icnce, Tese pursued the neai-est coui-se along by-laues 

she would almost have feai-ed in the daytime; but 

liders were lacking now, and spectral fears were driven 

""ler mind by thoughts of her mother. Thus she pro- 

l mile after mile, ascending and descending till she 

» Bulbarrow, and about midnight looked from that 

Into the abyss of chaotic shade which was all that 

I itaelf of tho vale on whose fartlier side she was 

Saving already ti^versed about five miles on the 

^ she had now some ten or eleven in the lowland 

Un* journey would be finished. The winding road 

' ) became jiiat visible to her nnder the wan atar- 

i she followed it, and soon she paced a soil so coi 

J with that above it that the difference was \}ei 

p tho tread and to the smell. It was the beavj- 

[ Blackmoor Vale, and a part of the Vale to wbii 

B roads had nev'er penetrated. Superstitions Uni 



ered" at you as you 
in them still, and tlie; 

At Nuzzlebury sh( 
creaked in response U 
not a human soul hea: 
roofs her mind's eye 
muscles, spread out in 
of little purple patchwo 
process at the hands ol 
row, as soon as a hint o 
bledon Hill. 

At three she turned 
she had threaded, and e: 
which, as a club-girl, sht 
he had not danced with 
remained with her yet 
house she saw a light. 1 
and a branch waved in f 
As soon as she could d 
newly thatched with hei 
upon Tess's imagination, 
seemed to be; the slop 
gables, the broken cours 
ncy, all Im^ ^^^ 


THE CON^■EHT. 397 

KlE!f!piiig: just theii. TesK prepared herself a breakfast, and 
then took Iior plaee as uurse in Ler mother's chamber. 

In the morning, when she contemplated the diildren, they 
had all a curioujily donated hxik ; although she bad been 
away little more than a yejir, their growth was astounding ; 
and the necessity of appljing herself heart and soul to 
their needs took her out of her owii earea. 

Her father's ill-health was of tlie same indefinite kind, 
and he sat in his chair as asuoL But the day after her ar- 
rival he was unusually bright. He had a ratioual scheme 
for living, and Tess asked him what it was. 

" I'm thinking of sending round to all the old antiqueer- 
uns in this part of Elngland," he eaid, " asking them to sub- 
scribe to a fund to maintain me. I'm sure they'd see it as 
a romantical, artistical, and proper thing to do. They spend 
Ii>t« o' money in keeping up old ruins, and finding the hones 
o' things, and such like -, and living remains must he mure 
int€resting to 'em still, if they only knowe*l o' me. Would 
that somebody would go round and tell 'em what there is 
living among 'em, and they thinking nothing of him ! If 
Pa'son Tringham, who discovered me, had lived, he'd ha' 
done it, I'm sure." 

Tees postponed her arguments on this high project till 
she had grapjJed with pressing matters in hand, which 
seemed little improved by her remittances. When indoor 
necessities had been eased, she turned her attention to ex- 
ternal things. It was now the season for jtlanting and sow- 
ing; many gardens and allotments of the -villagcTS liad 
already received their sjiring tillage ; but tlie garden and 
the allotment of the Durbej-ficlds were behindhand. Sh« 
found to her dismay that this was owing to their having 
eaten all the seed potatoes — that last lapse of the improvi- 
dent. With Iier slender means she obtained what others 
she could procnrc, and in a few days her father was well 
enough to see to the garden under Tees's persuasive efforts ; 
nhile slit' herself undertook the iJlotment-plol which they 


indeft- I 
Mead | 



rtnti'il m a field a conple of himdred yards oat of the i( 

She liked doing it after the confinement of the sick cham- 
ber, where she was uot now required by reason of her moth- 
el's improvement. Violent motion rdieved thought. Tta 
plot of ground was in a high, dry, open enclosure, wl 
there were forty or fifty such pieces, and where labor 
at its briskest when the hired labor of the day had 
Digging began nsually at six o'clock, and extended indefr 
nitely into tiie dusk or moonlight. Jnst now heaps of dead 
weeds and refuse were burning on many of the jdote, tJu 
dry weather favoring their combustion. 

One fine day Teas and Tjiza Lu worked on here with 
neighbors till the last rays of the sim smoto flat upon 
white pegs that divided the plots. As soon as twilight 
ceeded to sunset, the flare of the couch-grass and cabbage- 
stalk fires began to light up the allotinent fitfully, Iheir oot- 
liues appearing and disappearing under the dense smoke m.! 
wafted by the wind. When a fire glowed, banks of snu 
blown level along the ground, would themselves 
illuminated to an opaque lustre, screening the work- 
from one anotlier; and the meaning of the "pillar of 
cloud," which was a wall by day and a light by night, 
be understood. 

As evening thickened, some of the gardening men ami 
women gave over for the night, but the greater nonilxT 
remameil to get their planting done, Teas being arooi 
them, thongh she sent her sister home. It was on oni 
the eoneh-biuTiing plots that slie labored with her fork, 
four shining prongs resounding against the stonveand 
clods in little clicks. Sometimes she was completely in- 
vol\-ed in the smoke of her fii-e ; then it would leave h-r 
figure free, irradiated by the brassy glare from the heap. 
She was oddly dressed to-night, and presented a some«^fl 
staring aspect, her attire being a govm bleached by mi^l 
wadiiagB, with a ghort black iackatcrwwfi^tlwtfliwbqftj 


THE CON'\'ERT. 399 

whole being tliat of a wedding aud funeral gnest in one. 
The women farther baek wore white aprons, which, with 
their pale faces, were all that could be seen of them in the 
gloom, except when at moments they caught a flash from 
the flames. 

Westward, the wiry boughs of the bare thorn hedge which 
fortnei:l the boundaiy of the field rose against the pale 
opalescence of the lower sky that deepened upward to bine- 
black, where Jupiter hung like a full-blown jonquil, bo 
bright as almost to throw a shade. A few small nonde- 
sfript stars were appearing elsewhere. In the distance a 
dog barked, and wheels occasionally rattled along the dry 

Still the prongs continued to click busily, for it was not 
late, and though the air was fresh and keen there was a 
whisper of spring in it that cheered the workers on. Some- 
thing in the place, the hour, the ci-ackling fli-es, the fantastic 
mysteries of light and shade, made others as well as Tess 
enjoy being Uiere. Nightfall, which iu the frost of winter 
comes as a fiend, and in the wannth of summer as s lover, 
came as a tranquillizer on this March day. 

Nobody looked at his or her companions. The eyes of 
all were on the soil as its turned surface was revealed by 
the fires. Hence, as Tess stirred the clods, and sang her 
foolish little songs with scarce now a hope that Clare would 
ever hear them, she did net for a long time notice the per- 
son who worked nearest to her — a man in a long smock- 
frock who, she found, was forking the same plot as herself, 
and whom she siipposed her father had sent there to ad- 
vance the work. She became more conscious of him when 
the direction of his digging brought him closer to her. 
Sometimes the smoke di^^ded them ; then it swerved, and 
the two were \TSJbIe to each other, but divided from all the 

Tess did not speak to her feUow- worker, nor did he speak 
to her. Nor did she think of him further than to recollect 


that he bad not been tLere wlien it was liii>a«l dayiiglit, i 
that she did not know hiin as auy one uf the Marlott lal 
ers, which was no wonder, her absences having been so Ii 
and freqaeiit of late years. By and by he dug bo close 
her that the fire-beams were reflected as distinctly 
the stee! prongs of his fork as from her own. On 
op to the Are to throw a pitch of dead weeds npon it, 
found that he did the same on the other side. The 
flared up, and she beheld the faee of D'Urberville. 

The unexpectedness of his presence, the grotesquei 
of his appearance in a gathered smock-frock, such as < 
now worn only by the niost old-fashioned of the labor 
had a ghastly comicality that chilled her as to its 
D'Urberville emitted a low, long laugh. 

" If I were inclined to joke I should say. How much 
seems like Paradise 1" he remarked, whimsically looki 
at her with an inclined head. 

" What do you say f " she weakly asked. 

'• A jester might say this is just like Paradise. You 
Eve, and I am the old Other One eomc to tompt yon in 
disguise of an inferior animal. I used to bo quite up. 
that scene of Milton's when I wa« theological Some 

'"Empress, tlie wnj- le ready, and not loo^. 

. . . If thou accept 
My conduct, I can bring thee thither eoon.' 
'Lend then,' said Eve. 

And so on. My dear, dear Tess, I am only putting this 
yoa as a thing that you might have supposed or eaiil qi 
untruly, because you think so badly of me." 

" I never said you were Satan, or Hiotight it. 1 di 

think of you in that way at nil. My thoughts of yoa 

quite cold, except when you affront me. What, did ; 

come digging here in such a dnas entirely liocaase of lOi 

I "Entirety. To see you; notliing motg. ^hy.ggl 


frock, which I saw bangiug for sale as I came along, was 
au after- thought, that I mightii't be noticed. I come to 
]irutest against your working like this." 

" But I like doing it — it is for my father." 

"Your engagement at the other place is ended!" 

" Yes." 

" Where are you going to next f To join your dear hus- 

She conld not bear the humiliating reminder. "O — I 
.kiu't know," she said, bitterly. " I have no husband I " 

" It is quito true — in the sense you mean. But yoa have 
a friend, and I have determined that you shall be comfort- 
able in spite of yourself. When you get down to your 
house you will see what I have sent there for you." 

"O jMee, I wish yon woiUdn't give me anything at 
all ! I cannot take it from you ! I don't like — ^it is not 

'■ It is right ! " he cried, firmly. " I am not going to see 
II woman whom I feel so tenderly for as I do for yon in 
trouble without trying to help her." 

" But I am very well off ! I am only in trouble abont — 
about — not about li^^ng at all ! " She turned, and deapor- 
"jptely resumed her digging, tears dripping upon the fork- 

mdlc and upon the clods. 
I "About the children — your brotliers and sisters," he r<.- 

ttied. " IVo been thinking of them." 
k Tess's heart quivered — he was touching her iu a weikk 
i. He had divined her chief anxiety. Since returning 
e her soul had gone out to those children with an affet-- 

3 that was passionate. 
I " If yiior mother does not recover, somebody ought to ilo 
lethiug for them ; since your father will not be able Irt 
ft much, I suppose." 

" Ho cjin with my assistance. He must ! " 

'And with mine." 

"No, sir!" 


ing It intx) the couch-fire, y 

Tess could not get on 
felt restless; she wonder 
father's house ; and, takin{ 

Some twenty yards froi 
of her sisters. " O Tess- 
a-crying, and there's a lot 
is a good deal better, but i 

The child i^alized the : 
yet its sadness, and stood 
importance, till, beholding 
she said, " What, Tess, shi 
more ? " 
\ " But father was only a 

; distract<jdly. 

; 'Liza Lu ctune up. "I 

the doctor who was there 
chance for him, because hi 

Yes; the Durbeyfield c 
dying one was out of dan| 
dead. The news meant e 
father's life had a value c 
ments. or nerhans it would 


little freeholders, becatise of their independence of mauuir, 
and when a lease determined it was never renewed. 

Thus the Durbej-fields, onee D'Urber\illes, saw descends 
iut; uiKin them the destiny which, no doubt, when they were^ 
among the 01\Tiii)iaus of the county, they had caused to 
descend many a time, and severely enough, upon the heads 
Af Hueh landless ones as they themselves were now. So do 
fltix and reflux — the rhj'thm of change — alternate and per- 
sist in everything under the sky. 


At length it was the eve of Old Lady-Day, and the ngri- 
iltiiral world was in a fever ot mobility sucli as only ec- 
us at that particular date of the year. It ia a doy of 

I illUment; agreements (or outdoor service during tht en- 
iiing year, entered into at Candlemas, are to be now car- 
I'll out. Tlie laborers — or "workfolk," as they used to 
;ill thfmselves immemorially, till the other word was intro- 

luced from without — who wish tti i*emain no longer in old 

pliiws are remo\-ing to the new farms. 
These anniuiJ migrations from farm to farm were on the 

i inTcase here. MTien Tess's niotlier was a child, the major- 
';. of the flold-folk almnt Marlott had rejuained all their 

iives on one farm, which had been the home also of their. 

I iitliers and grandfathers : but latterly the desire for yearly 

ninova] had risen to a high jiit^h. Witli the younger fom- 

ill's it was a pleasant excitement which might possibly Im> 
III arhTintage. The Egy^it of one family was Ihe Land of 

I 'ninxiso to the family who saw it from a distance, till by 
^idenee there it became in turn tlipir Egj'jit also j and so 

1 lit-v changed and changed. 

However, all the mntdtions so increasingly discernible 



• -. 

script workers other tha 
who owed a certain stabi] 
of their being life-holders 
or, occasionally, small fre 
ings fell in they were se 
and were mostly pulled d< 
the farmer for his hands, 
employed on the land wei 
rule, and the banishment o 
who were thus obliged to 
formed the backbone of 
were the depositaries of tl 
refuge in the large centres 
nated by statisticians as " 
tion towards the large to'w 
wat^r to flow up-hill when 
tage accommodation at M« 
considerably curtailed by 
remained standing was req 
work-people. Ever since t 
had cast such a shadow < 
family (whose descent was 
looked on as one which w< 
ended, if onlv in tl^p info^w: 


lage hart to be kept pui-e. So, on this the first. Lady-Dfly 
on nvliich thi-> Diirliey fields were expellable, tiie hoiiec, bein^ 
roomy, was reqiiii-ed for a carter with ii large family ; aud 
Widow Jooii, her daughters Tess and 'Liza Lu. the bny 
Alji-aham (now the representative of the D'UrberviUe male 
line), and the younger childi'en, luwl to go elsewhei-e. 

On the pvening preceding their removal it was getting 
dark betimes, by reason of a drizzling rain which blurred 
tho sky. As it was the last night they would spend in the 
tillage which had been their home and birthplaee, Mrs, 
Durbeyfield, 'Liza Lu, and Abraham had gone out to bid 
^ome friends good-by, and Tess was keeping house till they 
should return. 

She was kneeling in the window-bench, her face close to 
the casement, where an outer pane of rain-water was sliding 
down the inner pane of glass. Her eyes rested on the web 
of a spider, probably star\'ed long ago, which had been 
mistakenly placed in n conier where no flies ever came, and 
shivered in the slight draught through the casement, Tess 
was reflecting on the position of the household, in which 
she perceived her own evil influence. Had she not come 
home, her mother and the children might probably have 

n allowed to stay on as weekly tfuauts. But s^he had 

' ■ II seen almost inunedial^Jy on her return by some ]>eople 
' <( scrupnlons character and great influence : they had seen 
her idling in the churehyanl, restoring as well as she could 
a baby's grave. By this means they had foimd that she 
(vas living here again ; her mother was scolded for '■ har- 
iKiring" her; sharp words had ensued from Joan, who had 
independently oflfered to leave at once ; she had been taken 
at her word ; and here was the reault. 

■ I ought never to have come home," said Tess to herself, 

She was so intent upon these thoughts that she hardly at 
lirst took note of a man in a white mackintosh whom she 
saw riding don-Q the street. Possibly it was owing to her 



face being near to the pane that he saw her 8Ci qoickly, tni 
direL'ted his horse so close to the cottage front that lii; 
hoofs were almost upon the narrow bonier for plants gnw- 
ing under the wall. It was not till he touched the wiudnw 
with his riding-whip that she observed him. The rain bud 
nearly ceaeed, and she opened the casement in obedit-m . 
to his gestnre. 

" Didn't you see me T " asked D'Urberville. 

" I was not attending," she said. " I heard yon, I believ. , 
though I fancied it was a carriage and horses. I was in :i 
sort of dream." 

"Ah I you heard the DX'rberville Coach, perhaps. You 
know the legend, I suppose 1 " 

"No, My — somebody was going to tell it me once, bill 

" If you are a genuine D'Urberville I ought not to IvlJ 
yon either, I suppose. As for me, I'm a sham one, so it 
doesn't matter. It is rather dismal. It is that this soai " 
of a non-existent coach can only be heard by one of D'D 
ber\'Tlle blood, and it is held to Iw of ill-omen to th« 
who hears it. It has to do with a murder, cominilti'd Ij 
ona of the family eentnries ago." 

"Now you have begun it, finish it." 

" Very well. One of the family is said to havd al)du(4 
gome beautiful woman, who tried to escape from the coal 
in which he was carrying her off, and in the struggle I 
killed her — or she killed hini — I forget which. Such is if 
t.ale. I see that your tubs and buckets are packed togethj 
Going away, aren't you!" 

"Yes, to-morrow — Old Lady-Day." 

" I heard you were, but could hardly belie\'e it j it s 
so sudden. Why is it T " 

'■ Father's was the last hfe on the property, and wli 
that dropped we had no further right to hide. Thongb 1 
might, perhaps, have stayed as weekly tenants — if it 1 
l^tOt been for rae." 

lut about youl" 


" I am not a — bright example." 

D'Urberville's face flushed, 

" What a blasted shame ! Miserable snobs ! May their 
dir^' souls be burned to cinders," he exclaimed iu tones 
of fierce resentment. "That's why you are going, is it! 
Turned out I" 

"We are not turned out exactly; but as they said we 
should have to go soon, it was best to go now eveiybody 
was moving, because there are better chances," 

'■Where are you going to!" 

" Kingsbere. We have taken rooms there. Mother is so 
foolish about father's people that she will go there." 

" But your mother's family are not fit for lodgings, and 
in a little hole of a town liko that ! Now, why not come to 
my garden-house at Trantridgot There are hardly any 
poultiy now since my mother's death ; but there's Uie house, 
as you know it, and the garden. It can be whitewashed in 
a day, and your mother can live there quite comfortably ; 
and 1 will put the children to a good school Really I finght 
U-i do something for you ! " 

" But we have already takea the roomB at Eingst^re ! " 
.she deelarttd. "And we can wait there " 

"Wait, what fori For that nice husband, no doubt, 
Now look here, Tess. I know what men are, and bearing 
in mind the ipvaiuls of your separation, I am quite positive 
he will never make it up with you. Now, though I have 
been your enemy, I am your friend, even if you won't be- 
lieve it. C-ome to this cottjige of mine. We'll pet up a regu- 
lar colony of fowls, and your mother can attend to them 
. \eellouUy; aiid the children can go to school." 

Toss breathed more and more quickly, anil at length she 
.^:iid, " How do I know that you would do all this ! Your 
\-iews may change— and then — we should be — ray mother 
"■ould be^bomeiess again." 

"Oh DO — no. I would guarantee yon agmnst such as 
that in writing, if necessary. Think it over." 

Tess shook her head. But DTJrberville persisted-, dift 


a^aiii suuoK iier He 
plicated emotion. She coi 

"I owe you something 
sumed. "And you cured 
glad " 

" I would rather you had 
kept the practice which we 

" I am glad of this oppc 
To-morrow I shall expect t» 
loading. . . . Give me youi 
f ul Tess ! " 

With the last sentence he 

mm*, and put his hand in at 

pulled the stay-bar qidckly 

i arm between the casement i 

I "Damnation — ^you are v» 

'. out his arm. " No, no ! — I 

pose. Well, I shall expect 
children, at least." 

" I shall not come — ^I havi 

" Where ? " 

" At my father-in-law's, if 

"Tjfyou ask for it But ; 
you'll never ask for it — ^you' 



relwllions sense of injustice caused the region of her eyee 
to swell with the rush of hot t«ars thither. Her husband, 
Angel Ciare himself, had. like others, dealt out hard meas- 
ure to her ; surely he had ! She had never before admitted 
sucha thought; but he had surely! Never in her life — 
she could swear it from the bottom of her sonl — had she 
intended to do wrong; yet these hard judgments had come. 
Whatever her ains, they were not sins of iuteution, but of 
inadvertence, and why should she have been punished so 
persistently t 

She passionately seized the first piece of paper that eanie 
t« hand, and scribbled the following lines : 

" O, why have you treated me so monstrously, Angel ! I 
do not deserve it. I have thought it all over carefully, and 
I can never, never forgivo you ! You know that I did not 
intend to ^vrong you — why have yon so wronged me I You 
are cruel, cruel indeed ! I will try to forget you. It is all 
injustice I have received at your hands! — T." 

She watched till the postman passed by, ran out to him 
with lier epistle, and then again took her listless place in- 
(iido the -window-ijanes. 

It wiiB just as well to write like that as to write tenderly. 
How could ho give way to entreaty I Tho facts had not 
changed -■ thero was no new event to alt«r his opinion. 

It grew darker, Uie fire-light shining over llie room. Tho 
two biggest of tho younger children had gone out with tlieir 
mother : the four smallest, their ages ranging from threo 
and a lialf years to eleven, all in black frocks, were gathered 
round the hearth babbling their own little subjects. Teas 
at length joined them, without lighting a caudle. 

'■ This is the last night that we shall sleep here, dears, in 
the bouse where we were bom," she said, quickly. " We 

Kght to think of it, oughtn't wet" 
They all became silent; with tho impresKihility of their 


age, tliey were ready to burst into tears at the picture 't 
finality she had wmjured ap, though all the day hjtheri- 
they had been rejoicing in the idea of a new place. Tew 
clianged the eilbject. 

" Sing to me, dears," she said. 

"What shall we singf 

"Anything you know; I don't mind what." 

There was a momMitarj- pause ; it was broken, fiist, by 
one little tentative note ; then a seeond voice 8trengthoni_tl 
it, and a third and a fourth ehinied in in unisoDj with words 
they had learnt at the Simday-school : 

Here ne sofTer gri^t and pain, 

Hbtb wo tnuct to part again ; 

In heaven we part no more. 

The four sang on with the phlegmatic passivity of i 
sons who had settled the question a long time ago, a 
.there being no mistake about it, felt that further thou] 
was not required. With features strained hard to enunei 
the syllables, they continued to regard the centre of i 
flickering fire, the notes of the youngest straying over ii 
the pauses of the rest. 

Tess turned from them, and went to tJie window agi 
Darkness had now fallen without, hut she put her face 
the pane as though to peer into the gloom. It was rea 
to hide her tears. If she could only beheve what the d 
dren were singing ; if she were oidy sure, how diffen-iit 
would now be ; how confidently she would \e&vc them 
Proridenec and their futmu kingdom ! But, in default 
that, it behooved her to do something ; to be their ~ 
deuce ; for to Tess, as to some few niilhons of oth^s, 
was ghastly satire in the poet's lines : 

Not in utter nakedness 
But trailliig clouds of glory do we oomo. 


To her and her like, birtli itself was an ordeal of degrading 
pei-sonal compulsion, whose gratuitotiauess uotLiuy in the 
fcsiilt seemed to justify, and at best could only paUiate, 

lu the shade's of the wet road she eoon disiwrned her 
mother with 'Liza Lu and Abraham. Mrs. Durbeyfleld'a 
pattens clicked up to the door, and Tcss opened it. 

■' I see the tracks of a horse outside the window," said 
Joan. " Hev somebody called f " 

" No." said Tess. 

The children by the fire looked gravely at her, and one 
miu-mured, "Why, Tess, the gentleman a-horsebaek ! " 

" He didn't eall," said Tess. " He spoke to me in passing," 

" Who was the gentleman t" asked her mother. "Totir 
bmibtuid J " 

" No, no ; he will never, never come," answered Tess, in 
stony hopelessness. 

'■Then who was itT" 

"O, you needn't ask. You've seen him befon-, nud so 
have L" 

" Ah t What did he say i " said Joan, curiously. 

" I will tell you when we are settled in our lodgings at 
Kingsbere to-morrow — werj' word." 

^^^DtmiNa the small hours of the next morning, while it 
was still dark, dwellers near the highways were eouBcious 
of a disturbance of their night's i-est by rumbling noises, 
intermittently continuing till daylight — noises as certain to 
reeur in this particular first week of the month ns the voice 
of the enckoo in the thinl week of the same. They were 
the preliminaries of the general removal, the passing of the 
empty wagons and teams to fetch tlie goods of the niigrat- 


But to Tess and her mc 
farmer sent his team. 1 
not regular laborers; the 
anywhere ; hence they ha 
expense, and got nothing i 

It was a relief to Tess, 
dow that morning, to fin< 
windy and lowering, it di 
had come. A wet Lady-D. 
families never forgot ; dan 
clothing accompanied it, a 

Her mother, 'Liza Lu, \ 
but the younger children 
breakfasted by the thin 
was taken in hand. 

It proceeded with some ( 
or two assisting. When tl 
been packed in position i 
beds and bedding, in which 
children were to sit throu] 
there was a long delay bef oi 
having been unharnessed di 
about two o'clock, the who 

pot swinrnnor frnw fli/i «'«»'l^ 


They had called on a few ueighlwrs that morning and the 
I re^-ioiis L'veriiug, and some came to sue them off, all wish- 
ing tlieiu well, though, in their secret hearts, hardly expect- 
ing welfare possible to such a family, harmless people as 
the l>urbeyfle]ds were to all except themselves. Soon the 
equipage began to ascend to higher ground, and the wind 
■ew keener with tlie change of level and soil. 

I The day being the sixth of April, the Dnrbeyfield wagon 
t many other wagons with famiheg on the summit of th« 
id, which was built on a well-nigh unvarying principle, 

^ peculiar, probably, to the rural laborer as tlie hexagon 
f ihe bee. The groundwork of the arrangement was the 
■ition of the family dresser, which, with its shining han- 
i. and finger marks, and domestic evidences thick upon 
P stood importantly in front, over the tails of the sbaft- 
ses, in its ei-ect and natural position, like some Ark of 
B Covenant which must not be carried slightingly. 
"Some of the households were lively, some mournful ; some 
L- stopping at the doors of wayside inns; where, in due 
Htne, the house of Durbeyiield dso drew up to bait horses 
nil refresh the travellers. 
I hiring the halt Tess's eyes fell upon a three-pint blue 
mug, which was ascending and descending through the air 
tu and from the feminine section of a household, sitting on 
(he summit of a load that had also drawn up at a little dis- 
tuuco from the same inn. She followed one of the mug's 

II iiimeys upward, and perceived it to be clasped by hands 
M hose o^vners she well knew. Tess went towards the wagon. 

" Marian and Izz I " she cried to the girls, for it was they, 

"log with the moving family at whose house they had 

"Are you house-ridding to-dav, like everybody 

!hey were, they said. It had been too rough a life for 

1 at Flintcomb-Ash, and they had come away, almost 

boat notice, Iea%'ing Groby to prosecute them if he chose. 

y told Tess their destination, aud Tess told them hers 

" And do he know whe: 

" I think so.'' 

^' Husband come back f 

" No." 

She bade her acquainti 
carters had now come c 
wagons resumed their jou 
vehicle whereon sat Maria 
ijy with whom they had ti 
painted, and drawn by tin 
brass ornaments on theii 
which Mrs. Durbeyfield an 
erection that would scarc< 
incumbent load ; one whi( 
was made, and drawn by 
i weU marked the differen( 

thriving farmer and conv 
waited one's coming. 

The distance was great, 
early it was quite late in 
flank of an eminence which 
Greenhill. While the hoi 
themselves Tess looked ar 
ahead of thpw T«ro« *^- ^- 




A man could be seen advajiciDg from the ontsMrtB to- 
■wRrds tliem, and when be beheld the nature of their vragon- 
load he quickened his steps. 

" You be the woman tliey call Mrs. Durbej-field, I reckon 1 " 
lie stud to Testf 8 mother, who had descended to walk the 
remaiuder of the way. 

She uodded. '■ Though widow of the late Sir John IVUr- 
ber\-illt', poor nobleman, if I cared for my rights; and re- 
tnming to the domain of my knight's forefathers." 

" f Well, I know nothing about that ; but if you be 
Mrs. Durbeyfleld, I Eim sent to tell 'ee that the rooms you 
wanted be let. We didn't know you was coming till we 
got your letter this morning — when 'twas too late. But no 
dimbt yim can get other lodgings somewhere." 

Tiio man had noticed the face of Teas, which had become 
iish-pale at his intelligence. Her mother looked hopelessly 
at fault. " What shall we do now, Tess T " she said, bitterly. 
"Hertz's a welcome to your ancestors' lands! However, 
let's trj- farther." 

Tliey moved on into the town, and tried with all their 
might, Tess remaining with the wagon to take care of the 
children whilst her mother and 'Liza Lu made inquiries. 
At the last return of Joan to the vehicle, an hour later, 
when her search for accommodation had still been fruitless, 
the driver of the wagon said the goods must be unloaded, 
lis he was bound to return part of the way that night. 

■' Very well — unload it here," said Joan, recklessly. " 111 
\iQi shelter somewhere." 

The wagon bad drawn up under the churcbyanl wall, in 
n spot screened from view, and the driver, nothing loth, 
noon hauled down the poor battered heap of household 
^■| lods. She paid him witli almost her last shilling, and be 
n'ved off and left tliem, only too glad to get out of farther 
!<.'nliug8 with such a family. It was a dry night, and be 
guessed that they would come to no harm. 

Tess gazed desperately at the pile of f aruiture. The cold 




uuvics ui a rooness exj: 
Round about were d< 
into little paddocks — \ 
where the IKUrbervil 
outlying stretch of Eg 
to the estate. Hard 1 
D'Urb^rville Aisle lool 

" Isn't your family \ 
mother, as she retucn< 
and graveyard. " Wh 
will camp, girls, till th 
roof ! Now, Tess and 
We'll make a nest for 
another look round.'' 

Tess listlessly lent a 
the old four-post bedste 
goods, and erected und 
part of the building ki 
neath which the huge '^ 
bedstead was a beautiful 
its date being the fifteen 
berville Window, and ii 
heraldic emblems like 1 


Ac(K>mpaiued by 'Liza Lu and the boy, she again ascended 
the little lane which secluded the church from the townlet. 
^Vs soon us they got into the street tliey beheld a man oil 
lioi-sebttck goziug np and down. "Ah — I'm looking (or 
you," he said, riding up to them. " TLis is indeetl a family 
gathering on the historic spot ! " 

It was Alec EKUrberville. "Where is TessT" he asked. 

Personally Joan had no liking for Alec. She cursorily 
sitrnified the dirwrtion of the church, and went on, D'Urber- 
\ille saying that he would see them again, in ease they 
>honld be again unsuccessful in their search for a house, of 
^vliieh he had just heard. When they had gone D'Crber- 
lille rode to tht* inn, and shortly after came out on foot. 

Ill Ihe interim Tess, left with the children inside the bed- 
stiwl, remained talking with tlieni a while, till, seeing that 
no more could he done to make tht-m comfortable just then, 
she walked about the chnrchyai-d, now beginning to be em- 
browned by the shades of nightfall. The door of the church 
was unfastened, and she ent*rrfd it for the first time in her . 

Within the window under which the bedstead stood were 
the tombs of the family, covering in their dates si^veral ce«- 
tiii-ips. They were canopied, altar-shaped, and plain ; their 
(jmings being defaced and broken ; their brasses torn from 
ihe matrices, the rivet-holes remaining like marten-boles in 
ii sand-cliff. Of all the reminders that she had ever received 
that her people were socially extinct there was none 30 
forcible as this spoliation. 

She di-ew near to a dark stone on whieli wa^; inscribed: 

Ostium stpubim antlquec famitia £)'artitiiiilU. 

Tess did not read Cburdi-Latin like a Canlinal, bnt she 
know that this was the door of her ancestral sepnlchre, and 
that the tall knights of whom her father had chanted in hiz) 
cnp» lay inside. 


SliL' lausinjjly tiinu'd tii withdraw, passing near an altar- 
iiiiiili, tile oUU-st t»f tlu'iii aU, ou vrliioh was a reenmbeol 
figiii-L'. Ill the dusk she had not noticed it before, and woold 
hiiTiUy have uotict-d it mow but for an odd fancy that the 
i-ftipy moved. As soou as she di-ew close to it she discoT- 
tr-'d iill ill a moment that the figiire was a lii-ing pereoni 
iiiid the shofk to her sense of not having been aloue was bo 
vjnliut ihiit she was qnite overcome, and sank down nigh 
I- 1 I'iii mill ^„', not, however, till she had reeoguized jVlec D'tlr 
'■•■■f\ ;l[.- Ill llir form. 

Ill' Ii'iipt oil tlie slab and supported her. 

-I s;iw you i.'ome in,'' he said, smiling, '-and wonld not 
inteiTuiit your meditations. A family gathering, is it no^ 
with these old fellows under us here? Listen." 

lie stamped with his heel heavily on the floor, wherenpon 
tiii-n- iinise a hollow echo fi-om below. 

- Thiit shook them a bit, I'll warrant ! " he continued 
"And ynii thought I was the niera stone reproduction ot 
■ iiiH of tliem. But no. Tlie old order changeth. The Utile 
iiiiLT-r iif tlie sham D'Urber\-il]e can do more for vou than 


Irhcwe connection with Tess's previous history tiiey had 
mi-tly heard and partly guessed ere this. 

" "Tisn't aa though she had never known him aforp," smd 
Parian. " His having won her once makes all the differ- 
ince in the world. Twould be a thoosaud i)ities if he were 
o tole her away again. Mr. Clare can never bo auj-thing 
o us, Izz ; and why should we grudge him to her, and not 
ay to mend this quarrel f If he could on'y know what 
(trwts she's put to, and what's hovering round, he might 
!ome to take care of his own." 

" Could we let him know ! " 

They thought of this all the way to their destination ; 
mt the bnstle of re-establishmt-nt in their new place took 
ip all theii- attention then. But when they were settled, a 
Qoutli lat*r, they heard of C'lai-e's approaching return, 
Jiougb they had learnt nothing more of Tess. Upon tliat, 
^tat«d anew by their attjichment to him, let honorably 
lisposed to her, Marian macorked the peuny ink-lRittle they 
ihared, and a few lines were concocted between the two 

• HoNoit'D Sm, — 

' 1-ook to your Wife if yon do love her as much as die 
i 111 -' you. For she is sore put to by an Enemy in the 
u jif of a Fiiend. Sir, there is one near her who ought to 
le Away, A woman should not be try'd beyond lier 
strength, and continual dropping will wear away a Stone 

Kuore— a Diamond. 
"From Two Well-Wishebs." 
tlii^ addressed to Angel Clare at the oidy place tiey 
er heard him to be connected with, Emminster Vioar- 
igO; after wliich they continued in a mood of emotional 
acnltatton at their own generosity, which made tliem sing 
a hysterical snatches and weep at the same time. 

i?'U J 






It was evening at Ei 

tomary shaded candles ^ 

but he had not been sit 

in, stirred the small fire 

mildness of spring, and v 

at the front door, going 

turning again to the froE 

It faced westward, anc 

there was still light enouf 

Mrs. Clare, who had beei 

lowed hiTiri hither. 

" Plenty of time yet,» s 
Chalk-Newton till six, eve 
and ten miles of countn 
crock Lane, are not jogi 

" But he has done it in 
" Tears sum » 


V BUght therefrom a form which they affected to recog- 
nize, but would actually have passed by in the street with- 
out identifying had he not got out of their carriage at the 
particular moment when a particular person was due. 

Mrs. Clare rushed through the dark passage to the door, 
and her husband came more slowly aft«r. The new arrival, 
who was just about to ent«r, saw their anxious faces in the 
doorway and the gleam of the west in their spectacles be- 
cause they confronted the last rays of day, but tliey could 
only see his shape against the light, 

" O my boy, my boy — home again at last ! " cried Mrs, 
Clare, who eared no more at that moment for the stains of 
heterodoxy which had caused all this separation tlian for 
the dnst upon his clothes. What woman, indeed, among 
tiie most faithful adherents to the truth, believes in the 
promises and threats of the Word in the sense in which 
she believes in her own children, or would not throw her 
theology to the wind if weighed against their happiness! V 
As soon as they reached the room where the candles were 
lighted she looked at his face. 

" 0, it is not Acgol — not my son — the Angel who wont 
away ! " she cried, in all the irony of sorrow, as she turned 
lurself away. 

His father, too, was shocked to see him, so reduced was 
t):iit. figure from its former contours by worry and the bad 
styisou which Clare had experienced, in the climatfi to which 
he had so rashly hurried in his first aversion to the mockery 
• >E events at home. Ton could see the skeleton behind the 
' tn, and almost the ghost behind the skelet-on. His sunken 
pits wei-e of morbid hue, and the light in his eyes had 

d. Tlie angular hoUows and lines of his aged ances- 

- iiad sueceeded to their reign in his face twentj' years 

! >io their time. 
i was ill over there, you know," he said. "I am all 
right now." 

Aa if, bowe^'er, to falsify this assertion, his legs seemed 

v>ume sooner." 
" It was from yom 
i "It was." 


, 1* 


Only one other ha 
1^ t it on to him, knowing 

^ He hastily opened 

\ disturbed to read in '. 

pressed in her last hn 

" O, why have you 
I do not deserve it I 
and I can never, nevei 
not intend to wrong y 
You are cruel, cruel ii 
is all injustice I have r 

"It is quite true ! '^ SI 
" Perhaps she will neve 

" Don't, Angel, be s( 
soil ! " said his mother. 

" ChUd of the soil ! 
soil ; but let me now e 
plained before, that he 
line of one of the oM»e 



cpipt of her loving epistle, it had seemed the easiest thing 
ID the world to rush hack into her arms ; now tlmt he had 
airived it was not so easy as it had sL'emed, She was pas- 
sionate, and her present lettei-. showing that her estimate of 
him had changed imder his dehiy — too jiisUy changed, he 
sadly owned, made him ask himself if it would l>e wise to 
confront her unannotmced in tJio presence of her parents. 
Supposing that her love had indeed turned to dislike duj^ 
ing the separation, a sudden meeting might lead to bitter 

Clare therefore thought it woidd be best to prepare Teas 
aud her family by sending a line to Marlott aunoimciug 
his retoro, and his hope that she was still living with tliem 
there, as he had arranged for her to do when he left Eng- 
land. He despatched the inquiry that very day. and before 
the week was out there come a short reply from Mrs. Dnr- 
beyfield, which did not remove his embarrassment, for it 
bore no address, though it was not written from Marlott. 

"Sib, — 

" J wrote these few lines to say that ray Daughter is away 
from home at present, aud J am not snre when she will re- 
turn, but J will let you know as Soon as she do, J do not 
feel at liberty to tell you \Vhero she is staying. J should 
say that me aud my Family have left Mai'lott for some Time. 
'■ Yours, 


It was such a i-elief to Clare to learu that Tess waa at 
least still alive that her mother's n-ticcnce as to her where- 
abouts ilid not long distress him. He would wait till Mrs. 
DurbeyfloJd coidd inform him of Toss's return, wliieh her 
letter implied to be soon. He deserved no more. His luul 
been a love "which alters when it alteration finds." Hu 
had undergone some strange csperienoes in his abscncv; 
he hud seen the virtual Faustina in the lit«rHl Comelis, a 


-Iih-itiml Lucretia in a corporeal Phiyne; he had thottgbt 
- it thi; ivoman taken and set ill the midst as one deeepviag 
I II bt' stoueil, imd of the wife of Uriah being made a queen ; 
and he had asked himself why had he not judged Tess eoa- 
^tiTictively mther than biogi-apMcally, by the will rather 
ilmu by the deed? 

Day after day passed wliile he waited at his father's 
liiiiise for the promised second letter from Joan Durbeyfield. 
;iihI indirectly to recover a httle more strength. The 
^ir.-iiL'tli showed signs o£ coming back, but there was no 
sii;ii oE the letter. Then he hunted up the old letter sent 
I 111 to 1dm in Bra^, whieh Tess had written from Flint- 
romb-Ash, and whieh had brought him back. He re-read 
it. The sentences touched him as much as when he hud 
tirst jHTUsed thoui. 

"I iimst I'l-y to you in my trouble^I have no one else. 

. . I tliink I must die if you do not come soon, or tell me 

lo eonie to you. . . . Please, please not to lie just. — only a 

little kind to me. ... If vou would come, I could die in 


recent and severer regard of him ; but vroiUd go and find 
hej- immcdiatelj". He asked liia father if she had applied 
for any inouf^y during his abst-nee. His father returned a 
ufgative, and then for the first time it occurred to Angel 
that her pride had stood in her way, and that slie had suf- 
f-ri'd privation. Prum his remarks his parents now gath- 
irod the real reason of the separation ; and their Christian- 
ity was such that, rt^probates being their especial care, the 
tenderness towards Tess which her blood, her simplicity, 
even her poverty, had not engendered, was instantly excited 
by her san. 

Whilst he was hastily packing together a few articles for 
his journey he glanced over a poor, plain missive lately 
come U) hand, the one fi'om Marian and Izz Euett, begin- 

'■ Hokor'd Sm. — 

"Look to your Wife if you do love her as much as she 
do love you," and signed, 

"Fbom Two Well-Wisheiis." 


In a (|Uarter of an hour Clare was leaving the house, 
nlience his motlier watched his thin figure as it disappeared 
into the street, He had declined to borrow his father's old 
mare, well kuoning of its necessity to the household. He 
Mf'ut to the inn, where he hired a trap, and could hardly 
wiiit during the harnessing. In a very few minutes aft«r 
lie was di-iving up the bill out of Uie towu.twhich, three or 
four months earlier in the year, Tess had descended with 
such hopes, and ascended with such shattered puriKises. 

Beni-ill Lane soon stretched before him, its hedgt« and 
IJtreea purple witli buds; but he was looking at other things 


and only recalled himself to the scene sufBciontly to euah 
him to keep the way. In sometliing less thtm an hour 
a half be hud ekii-t^d the south of the King's Hiutock est 
and ascended to the untoward solitude of Cross-in-Hi 
the imlioly etone whereon Tess liad been compelled b 
D'Urben-Ule, in his converted character, to swear the stranp* 
oath that she would never wilfully tempt him again. Tb- 
pale and blasted nettle-stems of the preceding year rven 
now lingered nnkedly in the banks, young green nettles 
the present spring growing from their roots. 

Thence he went along the verge of the upland overl 
ing the other Hintocks, and, turning to the right, 
into the bracing calcareous region of Fliiitcomb-Ash, tli 
address from which she had writt^'n to him in one of lie 
fttters, and which he supposed to lie the phice of soj< 
referred to by her mother. Here, of coarse, he did not 
her now ; and what abided to his depression was the 
oovery that no " Mrs. Clare " had ever been heard of by 
cottagers or by the farmer himself, though Tess was t» 
mcmbere<l well enough by her Christian name. His nanie 
she had obvionsly never used during their separation, ami 
her dignified sense of their total severance was sho-wn nol 
much less by this abstention than >iy the hardships .--he hail 
chosen to undergo {of which he now learned for the 
time) iTithei- than apply to his fattier for more fnnds. 

Ppora this place they told him Tess I>nrbeTfi?ld had 
"without due notice, to the home of her parents on the 
side of Blackmoor, and it therefore became n 
Jlrs. Durbeyfield. She had told him she was not now at 
Jlarlott, hut had been cimously reticent as to her actual ad- 
di'css, and the only course was to go to Marlott and iiiqi " 
for it. The farmer who had been so ehnrlish with 
waa quite smooth -tjingued to Clare, and lent liini a lioi 
and nian to drive him to Marlott, the gig he had airived 
[)g sent back to Emuiinster ; for the limits of a di 
■ journey with that horse was reached. 


or ft'i'i I 


tranp* ' 

, n- I 

p tvea ' 

» 1 
ih, til. 
of lie I 

ELS rt> 

I. anil 
n nol 
e hail 


r. Antl il 


Clare would not accept the loan of the farmer's vehicle 
fur a farther distance than to the outskirts of the Valc.aiid, 
Blinding it hack irith the man who had driven him, he put 
up at an inn, and next day entered on foot the region 
wherein was the spot of his dear Tess's birth. It was as 
yet too early in the year for much color to appear in the 
gardens and foliage; the sceno was but winter overlaid 
witli a thiu coat of green, and it was of a parcel with his 

The house in which Tess had passed the years of her 
cluiilhocid was now inhabited by another family who had 
never kuown her. The new residents were in the garden, 
taking as much interest in their own doings a^ if the home- 
steiul had never passed its primal time in conjunction with 
the histories of others, beside which the histories of theAe 
would Itflrat as a tale that is told. They walked about the 
_'nrd''n paths with thoughts of their own concerns entirely 
ilJpcrmoBt, bringing their actions at everj- moment into 
j;iiring eoUimou with the dim figures behind them, talking 
as though the time when Tess lived there were not one wiut 
intenser in story than now. Even the spring birds sang 
over their heads as if they thought there was nobody miss- 
ing in particular. 

On inquirj' of these precious innocents, to whom even 
the name of their predecessors was a fading memory, Clare 
learned that John Durbej'field was dead ; that his widow 
and diildren had left Marlott, declaring they were going to 
live at Kiugsliere, but instead of doing so they had gone 
■u to a place near Chaseborough. By tliLs time Clare al>- 
I'lrred the house for ceasing to contain Ti'ss, and hastened 
wiiy from its hati'd presence without onoe lookiug back. 
His way was by the field in which he had first beheld her 
at the dance. It was as bad as the house — even worse. He 
passed on through the churchyard, where, among the new 
headstouL's, he saw one of a somewhat sujierior design to the 
rest. The inscription ran thus .- 



" In Memory of John Durbeyfielil, rightly D'UrbtirvUIei 

the once Powerful Family of that Name, and Direct 

F Descendant through an lUustiious Line from Sir Bryui 

I D'Urlierville, one of the Knights of the Conqneror. Dii'd 

( March lOth, 18—. 


Somo man, apparently the sexton, had observed Clan 
standing tJiere, and drew nigh. ''All, sdr, now that's a tnu 
who didn't want to lie hero, but wished to be carried to 
Kingsbere, where his ancestors be." 

" And why didn't they respect his wish ? " 

" O — no money. Bless your soul, sir, why — there, I 
woiddn't wish to say it everywhere, but — even this head- 
stone, for all the flourish wrote upon en, is not paid far." 

" Ah — who put it up T " 

The man fold tlie name of a mason in the villaji;^, and, 
on leaving the churchyard, Clare called at the i 
hou^, He found that the statement was true, and paid 
the bilL This done, he turned in the direction of C 

The distance was too long for a walk, but Clare felt suck 
a strong desire for isolation that at first he would neither 
hire a conveyance nor go to a circuitous line of railway \^ 
which he might eventually reach the place. At S"" 
however, he found he must hire ; but tlie way was such thi 
he did not approach Joan's retreat till about seven o'doa 
in the evening, having travei'sed a distance of over twentg! 
miles since leaving Mai-lott. 

The village being small, he had littJe difficulty in flndi:^ 
Mrs. Durbeyfield's tenement, which was a house in a wallA 
garden remote from the main street, where she had atom 
away her awkward old furniture as best she could. It wi 
plain that for some reason or other she had not wished hi 
to visit her, and he felt his call to be somewhi^t if on intr 


eion. She came to the door herself, and the light from the 
evening sky (eU upon her face. 

This was the first time that Clare had ever met her, but 
he was too preoccupied to observe more than that she was 
still a handsome woman, in the garb of a respectable widow. 
lie was obliged to explain that he waa Tess's husbEind, and 
liis object in coming there, and he did it awkwardly enough. 
"I want to see hei- at once," he added. "Ton said yon 
would writ*' to me again, but you have not done so," 

" Becanse she've not come home," said Joan. 

" Do you know if she is well 1 " 

" I don't. But yon ongbt to, sir," said she. 

"I admit it. Where is she staying T" 

Prom the beginning of tho interview Joan Lad disclosed 
lier embarrassniL'nt by keeping her hand to the side of her 
cheek. "I — don't know exactly where she is staying," she 
answered. " She was — but " 

'•Where was she I" 

" Well, she is not there now." In her evasiveness she 
paused again, and the younger children had by this time 
rrept to tho door, where, pulling at his moUier'a skirts, the 
'.-oimgest murmured, '• Is this the gentleman who is going 
to marry Tess T " 

" lie has married her." Joan whiajiered. " Go inside." 

Clare saw her efforts for rL'tieencc, and asked, "Do j"oa 

~ ik Tess would wish me to try and find herl If not, of 

" I don't rtiinlc she? would." 
"Are you sure?" 
" I am sure she wouldn't." 
, He was turning away ; and then be thought of Tess's 
Oder letter. " I am sure she wonld ! " be retorte<l, passion- 
dy. " I know her better thaji yon do," 
"Tliftt^s very likely, sir; for I have never really known 




^-,^v/, vxirsy say. 

" I don't know more 
bourne. For myself, ] 

It was apparent that 
he pressed her no furtl 

" Are you in want of 

" No, sir," she replied. 

Without entering the 
was a station tliree mile 
man, he walked thither, 
shortly after, and it bon 

At eleven o'clock that : 
of the hotels and telegra] 
mediately on his arrival, 
Sandboume. It was too 
one, and he reluctantly pc 


FUUn-MENT. 431 

ttetiofi noveJIty ns tliis pleasure-city had chosen to spring 
. Within thf space of a mile from ite outskirts ever^- 
egulftrity of the soQ was prehistoric, every ravine au uu- 
iturlwil British trackway, not a sod ha\ing beeu turned 
lee till' ilays of the Caesars. Yet the exotic had grown 
re. snddi-uly eis the prophet's gourd-, and had drawn 
Jier Tfss. 

B^ the midnight lamps he went up and down the wiud- 
i; ways of tiiis new world in an old one, and could discern 
tween the trees and against the stars the lofty roofs, chim- 
es, gazebos, and towers of the numerous fanciful resi- 
uces of which the place was composed. It was a city of 
tached mansions ; a Mediterrauean lounging-place on the 
iglish Channel ; and as seen now ty night, it seemed even 
ire imposing than it was. 

The sea was near at hand, but not intmsive ; it murmured, 
il he thought it was the pines ; the pines murmured in 
•cisely the same tones, and he thought they were the sea. 
WTiere could Tess possibly be, a cottage girl, his young 
Ee, amidst all tliis wealth and fasliiou ? The more he 
ndoved the more was he puzzled. Were there any cows 
milk here T There certainly were no fields to tiU. She 
» moHt probably engaged to do something in one of these 
ge houses ; and ho sauntered along, Wikiug at the cham- 
p-windows, and tlu'ir lights going out one by one. and 
udeifd which of them might I>e hers. 
Conjecture was useless, and just after twelve o'clock he 
tercil and went to bed. Before putting out his light, he 
read Tcss's impassioned letter. Sleep, however, ho could 
t — so near her, yet so far from her — and he continnally 
ted ihc window-blind and regai-ded the backs of opposite 
uses, and wondered behind whieh of tlie sashes she rv 
^ at that moment. 
Qe might almost aa well have sat np all night. In the 

Kg he arose at soveu, and shortly after went out,tek- 
direction of the chief poet-officfl. £A ^wt ^»»«« '^'o^ 

addressed. " There 
as you know, sir," i 
house 'tis impossible 
i '■ One of his comra^ 

4 name was repeated ' 

* " I know no name 

of D'UrberviUe at T. 

" That's it," cried < 
verted to the real w 

"A stylish lodgin 
bless 'ee." 

Clare received dii 

hastened thither, arr 

though an ordinary ^ 

: certainly the last pla 

find lodgings, so pri-N 
were a sei-vant here, ; 
door to that milkmai 
also. However, in h 

The hour being ei 
door. Clare inquirei 

*Tt is rather early. What name sliall I pve, eir!" 

'■ Angel." 
■Mr. Augelf 

"No; Angel, Itismy Chiisfianname. She'll understand." 

" I'll see if she is awake." 

He was shown into the front room — the dining-room — 
and looked out throngh the spring curtains at the little 
lawu, and the rhododendrons and other shrabH upon it. 
Obviously, her position was by no means eo bad aa he had 
feared, and it crossed his mind that she must somehow have 
claimed and sold the jewels to attain it. He did not blame 
lier for one moment. 8oon his sharpened ear deteete<l 
footsteps upon the stairs, at which his heart thomped so 
painfully that he could hardly stand firm. "Dear me! 
what will she think of me, so altered as I am ! " ho said to 
himself j and the door opened. 

Tess appeared on the threshold — not at all as he had ex- 
pet, d to sc her — bewilderingly otherwise, indeed. Her 
great natural beauty was, if not heightened, rendered more 
obvious by her attire. She was loosely wrapped in a gray- 
white easiiir-"6 dressing-gown embroidered in lialf-nioum- 
inp tints, and she wore sUppers of the same hue. Her neck 
rose out of a frill of down, and her well-remembered cable 
of dark-brown hair was partially coiled up in a mass at the 
back of her head anil ^miUy hanging on her shoulder — tJie 
evident result of haste. 

He held out his arms, but they had fallen again to his 
aide ; for she had not come forwai-d, remaining still in tht 
opening of the doorway. Mere yellow skeleton tliat he was 
now, ho felt the contrast between them, and thought his 
appearance distasteful to her. 

■Tessie!'' he said, huskily, "can you forgive mo for 
■■'■<,'• awav? Can't you — come to me! How do yon get 

■ I".— like this t" 

'■ It is too late I ' aaid she, bcr voice sounding hard 
^■Migh the room, and her eyes shining unnaturally. 


" I did not think rightly of you — I did not sec yoi: 
you were," he continued to plead. " I have learnt to bti-- 
dearest Tesiue mine 1 " 

" Too late, too late ! " ehe said, waving her hand in U- 
impatience of a person whose tortures caose every inslai 
to feel an hour, "Don't come close to me, Angdl Kn- 
yon must not. Keep away ! " 

"But don't you love me, my dear wife, hecauBe I lifn 
been so pulled down by iUnesat Ton are not so fickh— : 
am come on purpose for you — my mother and father w- 
welcome yon now." 

" Yes — oh yes, yes ! But I say, I say, it is too late ! " -i 
almost slirieked. She seemed like a fugitive in a drr^:: 
who tried to move away, but could not. "Don't you km' 
all — don't you know it? Yet how do you come here if yi 
do not know T " 

" I inquired here and there, and I found the way." 

" I waited and waited for yon 1 " she went on, her tori' 
suddenly resuming then- old fluty pathos. " But yon li 
not come, and I \\Tote to you, and you did not eomel El 
kept on saying you would never come any more, and tlw' 
was afoolish woman. He was very kind to me, outlrootbir 
and to all of us after fathei'a death. He "* 

"I don't undei-stand." 

" He has won me — back to him." 

Clare looked at her keenly, then, gathering lier maaiiii:i' 
flagged like one plagne-stricken, and his glance sank: ■ 
fell on her liands, which, once rosy, were now w1iit« r^ ■ 

She continued: "He is upstairs, ... I hate liim aMr-j 
iK'cause he told me a lie — that you would not com« a 
and you Jtave come. These clothes are what he 1 
upon me : I didn't care what he did wi' me. Bnt irill| 
go away, Angel, please, and never come any more ! " 

They stood fixed, their baffled hearts looking ont of d 


8 until a joylessuesa pitiful to see. Botb seeiued tu im- 
plore soraetliing to shelter them from reality. 

" Ah — it is my fault ! " said Clare. But he could uot get 
on. Speech was as iuexpressive as silence. But he hud 
n \'agiie consciousness of oue thing, though it was not eloai" 
to him till Iat«r ; that his original Tess had spiritually eeBsed 
to recognize the body liefore him as hers — allowing it to , 
diif t, Uke a corpse upon the current, in a direction dissoci- 
ated from its h^iug will. 

A few instants passed, and he found that Tess watt gone. 
His face grew colder and more shrunken as he stood, con- 
centrated on the moment, and a minute or two after he 
found himself in the street, walking along, he did not know 

BS. Bhooks, the lady who was the householder at 1 
ms, and owner of all the handsome furniture, wbj; nut 
Ron of an unusually curious tm-n uf mind. She was 
Seeply materialized, iK)or woman, hy her loiig and en- 
forced bondage to t.hnf. nrithftiptipnl dpiiirii)^ IVM|i]-iiTijlJj2g» _ 

to retain much curiosity for its own sake, anil apart from 
pos^ble lodgers' pockets. Nevertheless, the visit of jVugel 
Clare to her well-paj-ing tenants, Mr. and Mi-s. DTrbcrvillc. 
was sufficiently exceptional in poiut of time and nmiiiier to 
rcitisngorate the feminine proclivity wliicL had been stifled 
down as nseless, save in its Iwariiig on the letting trade. 

Ti.-ss had g]>oken to her husband from the doorway, with- 
inif enttrring the dining-room, and Mrs. Brooks, who stood 
I Ilia the partly closed door of her own sitting-room at 
hack of the passage, could hear fragments of the con- 
ization — ^if conversation it could be called — between those 


two wretched souls, Slie heard Tess reascend the stuiv 
tlio first floor, Bud the departiire of Clare, and the dm 
ut the front door behind Mm. Then the door of the ro 
above was shot, and Mrs. Brooks knew that Tess had 
entered her apartment. As the young lady was not h 
lirefised, Mrs. Brooks kiiew that she would not emerge ofi 
for some time. 

She accordingly ascended the stairs softly and stood 
the door of the front room — a drawing-room, connect 
with the room immediately btihind it (which was a bedwx 
by folding-doors in the common maimer. This first fli 
containing Mrs, Brooks's best apartments, ba<l beeu ta 
by the week by the D'Urber\TlIea. The back room was lii 
in silence ; but from the drawing-room ttere came souni 

All that she coiUd at first distinguish of them was ( 
syllable, continually repeated in a low note of moaning, 
if it came fi-om a soiil bound to some Ixionian wheel — 


Then a silence, then a heavy sigh, and again — 


The landlady looked through the keyhole. Only a sik 
space of the room inside was visible, but within that spi 
came a comer of the breakfast-table, which was aire* 
spread for the meal, and also a chair beside. Over tlie seat 
the chair Tess's face was bowed, her posture being a knefil 
one in front of it ; her hands were clasped over her h« 
tlie ddrts of her dressing-gown and the embroidery nt 
nightgown flowed upon the floor behind her and upon 
i-hair, and her stockinglesa feet, from which the slippers 1 
fallen, protruded upon the carpet It was from her li 
that came the mnmuir of unspeakable despair. 

Then a man's voice fi'om the adjoining bedroom, " Wlutfs 
t.ho matter I " 

She did not answer, but went on in a tone which was k 
Bcliloquy rather than an exclamation, and a dirge mthtJ 
than a soliloquy. Mrs. Brooks conld only oatab 


"And then my dear, dear husband came home tome . . . 
iind I did not know it! . , , And you had used your cnii'l 
] .ersua-sion npou me , , . yon did not stop using it — no — 
y..u did not stop ! My Uttlo sisters and brothers and my 
mother's needs — they were, the things you moved me by 
. . and yon said my husbaud woidd never come haak — 
ii'ver; and you taimted me, and said what a tdmpleton I 
.. :is to expect him. . . . ^Vnd at last I beheved you and 
_uveway! . . . And tlieu he camebaek ! Nowheisgonc. 
LJone a second time, and I have lost him now forever . . . 
and he will not love me the littlest bit ever any more — only 
hate me ! ... Oh yes, I have lost him now — again because 
n!' — you I " 

In writhing, with her head on tho chair, she turned her 

■ Li-e towards the door, and Mrs. Brooks coidd see the pain 
ijion it; and that her tips were bleeding from Uie clench 

■ .f her teeth Upon them, aud that the long lashes of her 

■ losed eyes stuck in wet tags to her cheeks. She con- 
tinued: "And he is dying — he looks as if he is dying! 
. . . And my sdn will kill him and not kill mo ! . . . O, 
you have torn my life all to pieces . . , made me a victJm, 
a caged wreteh ! . . . My own true husband will never, 
iKV^r — Heaven — I can't bear this ! — I cannot ! ^ 

There were more and sharper wonls from the man: then 
a sudden rustle ; she had sprung to her feet, Mi-s. Brooks, 
thinking that the speaker was eoming to rush oiit of the 
door, hastily retreated down the stairs. 

.She need not have done so, however, for the door of the 
sitting-room was not opened. Mrs. Brooks feit it unsafe 
til listen on the lauding again, and entered her own jxirlor 
below. She cotdd hear nothing through the tloor, although 
slif listened int^intly, and thereupon went to the kitehcn to 
finish her intemipted breakfast. C.'-oming up presently to 
tin- front room ou tlie ground tioor, slie took up some sew- 
iiisi, waiting for her lodgi-rs to riug, that she might take 
.may the breakfast, which slie niefmt to do hers>.-lf, to ^s^ 



I cover what waa the matter, if possible. Owrhead, as sh 

I Bat, she vovHd now hear the floor-boards slightly creak, ao i 

I some one were walking about, and presently thu movemenl 

\ was explained by the rustle of garments aguiiist the ban* 

\ tei-s,the opening and the dosing of the front door, and th^ 

I form of Tess passing to the gftt« on her way into the stred 

She was fully dressed now in the walking-coetaiiie of a weli 

tiO-do young huly, in whieh slie had anived, with the sal 

addition that over her hat and black feather a veil w 

drawn. Mrs, Brooks had not been able to catch any woid 

of farewell, temporary or otherwise, between the tcnaula 

[ of the rooms above. They might have quarrelled, or Mr. 

I D'Urhen,-ille might still be asleep, for he was not an early 

f riser. 

She went into the back room which was more egpeciaflv 
her owni apai-tinent, and continued her sewing theni, Ths 
la<ly lodger did not return, nor did the gentleman ring bu 
bell. Mrs. Brooks pondered on the delay, and on what' 
probable relation the \Tsitor who had called so early stofid 
to the couple upstairs. In reflecting she leant back in her 

As she did so her eyes glanced casually over the cejhni 
till they were arrested by a spot in the middle of its whil 
surface whieh she had never uolieed there before. It » 
about the size of a wafer when she first observed it, but il 
speedily grew as large as the palm of her hand, and thia* 
she could perceive that it was red. The oblong wliit« oeil 
ing, with its scarlet blot in the midst, had the appennmo 
of a gigantic ace of heai-ts. 

Mrs. Brooks had strange qualms of misgiving. She go 
upon the table, and touched the spot in the ceiling with ti 
I fingers. It was damp, and she fancied that it wi 
I stain. 

Descending from the table, she left the parlor, and wet 
I upstairs, intending to enter the mom overhead, which wol 
L the eh am her at the back of the drawing-room. Bac,u 


B woman as she had now become, she could not bring 
self to attempt the handle. She listened. The dead 

tence within was broken only by a regular beat. 

Drip, (Jrip, drip. 

Mrs. Brooks hastened downstairs, opened the front door, 

1 ran into the street. A man she knew, one of the work- 
1 employed at an adjoining villa, was passing by, and 

! beggt'd him to come in and go upstairs jrith her; she 
d something had happened to one of her lodgers. The 

irkman assented, and followed her to the landing. 

She o|)ened the door of the drawing-room, and stood back 
for him to pass in, entering herself behind him. The room 
was empty ; the breakfast — a substantial repast of coffee, 
eggs, and a cold ham — ^lay spread upon the table untouoJied, 
as when she had taken it np, excepting that the carving- 
knife was missing. She asked the man to go through thu 
folding-doors into tJie adjoining room. 

He opened the door, entered a step or two, and come 

back almost instantly, with a rigid face. " My good , 

the gentleman in bed is dead 1 I think he has been hurt 
with a knife — a lot of blood has run down upon the floor ! ' 

The alarm was soon given, and the house which had lately 
been so finiet resounded with the tramp of many footsteps, 
n surgeon among the rest. The wound was deep ; the point 
of the blade had touehod the heart of the victim, who lay 
on his back, pale, fixed, dead, as if he had scarcely moved 
after Uie infliction of the blow. In a quarter of an hour 
the news that a gentleman who was a temporary visitor to 
the town had been stabbed to tlie heart in Iiis bed, spread 
thi-ough every street and villa of the popular wateiiug- 

» ■ 

»■■ nni^ vv 111! ii-i Am ii^vi. 

i the way by which he 

down over the^ break 
on eating and drink! 
demanded his bill ; hi 
bag in his hand, the o 
^ and went out. 

^ At the moment of 1 

< to him — a few words 

were glad to know his 
brother Cnthbert had 
Mercy Chant. 

Clare crumpled up tl 
the station ; reaching it 
train leaving for an hou 
and having waited a qui 
wait there no longer. I 
\ nothing to hurry for, b 

■ which had been the seen 

to walk to the first stat 
him up there. 
; The highway that he 

distance dipped into a v 
running from edfi^ ^^ '*' 


ut was a human fif^ure, running. Oare waited, vdth a 

e that somebody was trying to overtake him. 

5ie form descending the incline was a woman's, yet so 

irely was his mind blinded to the idea of his wife's fol- 

bg him that, even when she came nearer, he did not 

Wgxuza her under the totally changed attire in which he 
f beheld her. It wa.s not till she wa^quite close that he 
' cotUd believe hor to be Teas. 

" I saw you — turn away from the station — jnst before I 
got there — and I have been following you all this way ! " 

She was so pale, so breathless, so quivering in every 
muscle, that he did not ask her a single question, but seis- 
ing lier Land, and pulling it within his arm, he led her along. 
To avoid meeting any possible wa>"farers, he left the high- 
road, and took a footpath under some fir-trees. When they 
were deep among the moaning boughs he stopped and 
looked at her inquiringly. 

" j\jige!,'' she said, as if waiting for this, " do you know 
what I have been running after you fort To tell you that 
I have killed him ! " A pitiful white smile lit her face as 
tshe spoke. 

" What ! " said he, thinking from the strangeness of her 
manner that she was in some delirium. 

"I have done it — I don't know how," she contiuned. 
" Still, I owed it to 'ee, and to myself, Angel. I feare<l long 
ago. when I struck him on the mouth with ray glove, that 
I might do it some day for the wrong he did to me in my 
.simple youth, and to yon through me. He has come be- 
tween Hs and ruined iis, and now he (•an never do it any 
jriore. I never loved him at all, Angel, as I loved yon. 
You know it, dont you T You believe it t You didn't come 
back to me, and I was obliged to go back to him, or sell 
what was not mine to sell, the heir-things of yoTir family. 
Whji did yon go away — why did you — when I loved you 
soT I can't think whyj-oudid it. But I don't bhime you; 
only, Augcl, will vou forgivo me my sin against yon, now 


E have killed him* T thought as I run along (hat ytn 
-oiild be sure to forgive me now I have done that It 
tnie to me as a shining light that I shonld got yon but 
lat way, I could not bear the loss of 'et- any longer — yn, 
don't know how entirely I was unable to bear your not lov- 
ing inc. Say you do now, dear, dear hasbaad ; «y yon 
I do, now I have killed liim ! " 
'■ I do love you, Tess — 0, 1 do — it is all come back 
iftid, tightening his amis round her with fevered 
rBut how do you mean — ^>-ou have killed himJ" 
I " I mean that I have," she murmured in a reverie 
" What, boilily ? Is he dead T " 
" Yes. He heard me erjing about yon, and he blUorly 
I taunted me ; and called you by a foid name : and tliL'ti 
did it. My heart could not bear it. He had tnuut^d me 
about yon befon.«. And then I dressed myself and coino 
-Oway U> find you.^ 

By degrees ho was inelined to beheve that she bad faifaJy 
btt^mpted, at least, what she said she had done ; and his hor- 
Jor at her impuli^e was mixed with amazement at the streuglh 
t hei' Eiffeetion for himself, and at the strangeae^ of its 
Sqnahty, whieli had apparently extinguished her moral sensB 
Paltogothor. Unahlo to realize the gravity of her condiuil, 
she seemed at last content; and he looked at hera-s sht Uy 
upon his slioulder, weeping with liappiness, and wondered 
what obscure strain in the D'Urberville blood had W 
this aberration — if it were an aberration. There ninnn 
tarily flashed thi'ough his mind tliat the family traditioiL 
might have arisen because the D'Urliervilles ha<l Ihhti 
^knowu to do these tilings. As well as his confused and 
ixeited idcaR could reason, lie supjiosed that in tlie nin- 
toeut of mild giief of which she spoke her mind had 
'lost its balance, and plunged her ln£o Uiis abyBS, It was 
vfiy terrible if true ; if a temporary ballncinalion, sad. 
But, anyhiiw, here was tJiis dee^ileijl 
^^ionately fond womao, 



t he would be anjthiiig to her but a protector. He saw 

t for him to be otherwise was not, in lier mind, within 

t region of the possible. Tenderness was absolutely 

nant ill Clare at last. He kissed her endlessly iiith 

^ white hps, and held her hand, and said. " I will not de- 

! I will protect you by every means in my power, 

3st love, whatever you may have done or not have 

r then walked itu nnder the trees, Tess turning her 

1 ever;- now and then t'l look ftt him. Worn and un- 

as hf had beeome, it was plain that she did not 

wm the least fault in his appeai-anee. To her ho was, 

f old, all that was perfection, personally and mentally. 

He was still her Autinons,her Apollo even; his sickly face 

8 beautifid as the morning to her affectionate regard on 
this day no less than wlieu she first beheld him ; for was it 
not the face of the one man on earth who had loved her 
\) .■ely, and who had believed in her as pure 1 

With an instinct as to iMissibilities, he did not now, as 
ill' had intended, make for the first stiition beyond the 
U inn, but plunged still farther under the flrw, which here 
idiounded for miles. Each elasping the other ritnnd the 
waist, they promenaded over tin' ib-y lied of fir-needles, 
tlirown into a vague, int^ixicaling atmoBphere at the eon- 
sciouBuess of being together at last, with no hving soul be- 
tween them, ignoring that there was a Corpse. Thus they 
jiroceeded for several miles till Tess, arousing lierself, looked 
about her, and said, timidly, "Are we goiug anywhere in 

'■ I don't, know, dearest. Why I " 

'■ I don't know.'' 

" Well, we might walk a few miles farther, and when it 
is evening find lodgings somewhore or other — ui a lonely 
eottJige, perlinps. Can you walk well, Tessief" 

" Oh yes ! I could walk for ever and ever with your arm 
i-ouiid me ! " 



ceabnent. Their e 
ing, like the plans « 
At midday they 
would have enterec 
but he persuaded he 
'^^ of this half-woodlai 

^ till he should come 

\ fashion; even the i\ 

^ was of a shape unkn< 

had now wandered; t 
attracted attention in 
turned, with food eno 
bottles of Tivine — enoi 
should any emergency 
They sat down upor 
meal. Between one ai 
\ maindcr and went on i 

' " I feel strong enou[ 

" I think we may as 
the interior of the con 
and are less likely to b 
coast," Clare remarke< 
gotten us, we can mak 
She rno/i- - 


.d an ornamental ^te a large board qn which was jiainted 
trhite letters, '"Ttia desirable Mansion to be Let Pur- 
; ■parlii'uljtrs foUowing, witb directions to apply to 
■;iime London agents. Passing tlirongli tlie gale they could 
~'p the house, a dignified building, of reguhir design and 
l:uge acconiniodatiou. 

"I know it," said Clare. "It is Bramshurst Manor- 
bouee. Yon can see tliat it is shut up, and grass is growing 
on the drive." 

" Some of the windows are open," said Tess. 

" Jnst to ail- the rooms, I suppose." 

"All these rooms empty, and wo without a roof to oor 
beads! " 

'■You are getting tired, my Tess," ho said. "Well stop 
soon." And kissing her sad mouth, he again led her on- 

He wfus growing wean,- likewise, for they had walked not 
less tlmn twenty miles, and it became necessarj- to consider 
what thej- should do for rest. They looked tVoni afar at 
isolated cottages and little inns, and were inclined to ap- 
]iroucb one of the latt«r, when theu- hearts failed tbem, and 
they sheered off. At length their gait dragged, and tbey 
stood still. 

"Could we sleep nnder the trees f slic asked. 

H(i thought the season insufficiently advanced. "I have 
been flunking of that empty mansion we passed," he smd. 
■ Let us gi> back towards it again." 

They rbtraced their steps, but it was lialf on liour before 
they stood without the entrance-gate as earber. He then 
retjuested her to stay where she was, whilst be went to see 
who was within. • 

81ie sat down among the bushes within the gate, and 
t'liirfl crept toward-s the house. His absence lasted some 
conwderabie time, and Tess was wildly nnxions. not for 
lierBelf, but for him. He had fotmd cut from a boy that 
there was only an old woman in charge as care-taker, and 

• I" 


\ by a flight of steps 

open. Clare clamb 
Except the hall, tl 
ascended the stairc 
vt tightly closed, the vi 

* the day at least, by 

\ an npper window be 

large chamber, felt h 
ters to the width of 
zling sunlight glancei 
fashioned furniture, 
enormous four-post be 
carved running fignret 
"Rest at last!'' sai( 
parcel of viands. 
: They remained in gn 

: have come to shut th( 

themselves in total dai 


fore, lest the woman si 
for any casual reason, 
came, but did not nr\n' 



The night was strangely solemn and stilL In the small 
honrs she whispered to him the whole story of how he had 
walked in his sleep with her in his arms across the Froom 
stream, at the imminent risk of both their lives, and laid 
her down in the stone cofin at the ruined abbey. He had 
never known of that till now. 

" Why didn't you tell me next day f '^ he said. " It might 
have prevented much misunderstanding and woe.'' 

"Don't think of what's past!" said she. "I am not 
going to think outside of now. Why should wef Who 
knows what to-morrow has in store f " 

But it apparently had no sorrow. The morning was wet 
Mid foggy, and Clare, rightly informed that the care-taker 
only opened the windows on fine days, ventured to creep 
out of their chamber and explore the house, leaving Tess 
asleep. There was no food on the premises, but there was 
water, and he took advantage of the fog to emerge from 
the mansion, and fetch tea, bread, and butter from a shop 
in the little town two miles beyond, as also a small tin ket- 
tle and spirit-lamp, that they might get fire without smoke. 
His re-entry awoke her ; and they breakfasted on what he 
had brought. 

They were indisposed to stir abroad, and the day passed^ 
and the night following, and the next, and the next ; till, 
almost without their being aware, five days had slipped by 
in absolute seclusion, not a sight or sound of a human 
being disturbing their peacefulness, such as it was. The 
changes of the weather were their only events, the birds of 
the New Forest their only company. By tacit consent they 
hardly once spoke of any incident of the past subsequent 
to their wedding-day. The gloomy intervening time seemed 

I ' 




^ is tPonbJ 
, Se peeped 
Section, onion, 

"And— and, 
fear what you 

^^^ tooQtIive 
°o^- Iwonld 

comes for you t 
to lue that you , 

^ J cannot ere 
^/ alBo hope 
^°' i cannot s 
^ »We to help 


s*3 cleared, and ti 
the cottage awoke 
unusually brisk, a. 


tlie door, and softly tried the handle. The lock was out 
•>t' order, but a piece of furniture had been moved (orwai"d 

■ ■n the inside, which prevented her opening the door mort- 
titaa an inch or two. A stream of morning light through 
the shutter-chink fell npon the faces of the pair, wrapped 
in pi-ofound sluinb'.'r, Tess's lips heiog parted like a half- 
iij^n flower near his cheek. The eare-taker was so struck 
vrilh their innocent appearance, and with the elegance ot 
Tess's gown hanging across a chair, her silk stockings be- 
si<ie it, and Uie otlier habits in which she had arrived, be- 

■ iiiise she had none else, that her first indignation of the 
'■ffronterv of tramps and vagabonds gave way to a momen- 
tai-j' sen ti mentality over this gent«el elopement, as it seemed. 
She closed the door, and withdrew as softly as she had come, 
to go and consxUt with her neighbors on the odd discovery. 

Not more than a minute had elapsed aft^-r her withdrawal. 
ivhcn Tees woke, and then Clare, Both had a sense that 
-nmething had disturbed them, though they could not say 
uhat ; and the uneasy feeling which it engendered grew 
stronger. As soon as he was dressed he narrowly scanned 
the lawn through the two or three inches of shutter-chink. 

" I think we will leave at once," said he. " It is a fine day. 
And I cannot help fancying somebody is about the house. 
At any ratf, the woman will be sure to come to-day," 

Slie passively assented, and, putting the room in order, 
they took up the few articles that l)elonged to them, and 
lieparted noiselessly. When they had got into the forest she 
turned to take a last look at, the house. "Ah, happy housv 
— good-by!" she said. "My life can only l)e a question 
i)f a few weeks. Why should we not have stayed tieret" 

" Don't say it, Tess ! We shall soon get out of this dis- 
trict altogether. We'll continue our course as we have 
begun it, and keep straight north. Nobody will think of 
looking for us that way. We shall 1>e looked for at the 
Wesses ports if we are sought at all. When we are in the 
fcorth WB will get to a port and ftway.'" 


I Having thus perenaded her the plan was pursued, » 

I they kept a boe-line northward. Their long repose at i 

manor-house lent them walking power now ; and tomui 

midday they approached the stecnlnl eity of MeIchi.«M 

which lay directly in their way. Ho decided to rest her 

I a dump of trees during the afternoon, and push onwa 

I under cover of darkness. At dusk Clare purchased food 

I usual, and their night march began, the boundary betww 

f Upper and Mid-Wessex being crossed about eight o'cloek 

To walk across country without much regard to ro« 

' was not new to Teas, and she showed her old agility 

Uie perfomiance. The intercepting city, ancient Melcli«et4 

they were obliged to pass through in order to take adva 

tage of the town bridge for crossing a large river thai 

u stracted them. It was about midnight when they wa 

^along the deserted street, lighted fitfully liy their few" lamp 

I keeping off the pavement that it might not echo their ft« 

t steps. The graceful pile of cathednd architecture rose 

^ their right hand, but it was lost upon them now. Once t 

of the town they followed the turnpike road, which plang 

across an open plain. 

Tliongh the skj- was dense with eloud, a diffused lighl ' 

from some fragment of a moon had hitherto heljied them :i 

little, But the moon had now sunk, the clouds seemed (■' 

settle almost on their heads, and the night grew an daric a> 

a oave. liowevcr, they found their way along, koepiiig lu- 

, much on the turf as possible, that their treacl might n-fi 

I resound, which it was easy to ,do, there btung no hedge or 

[ fence of any kind. All around was open loneliness anil 

I black solitude, over whicli a stiff breeze blew. 

They ha<l proceeded thus gropingly several miles wht-ii 

on a sudden Clare became conseioua of some vast orectieii 

close in his front, rising sheer from the grass. They luid , 

almost struck themselves against it. h 

"What monstrous place is tliisT" said Augcl. ^M 

I " It hums," said she, " Bearken ! '' ^H 


He listened. The wind, playing upon the edifice, pro- 
duced a booming tune, like the note of some gigantic one- 
stringed harp. No other sound came from it, and lifting 
his hand and advancing a step or two, Clare felt the vertical 
surface of the wall. It seemed to be of solid stone, without 
joint or moulding. Carrying his fingers onward, he found 
that what he had come in contact with was a colossal rect- 
angular pillar; by stretching out his left hand he could 
feel a similar one adjoining. At an indefinite height over- 
head something made the black sky blacker, which had the 
semblance of a vast architrave uniting the pillars horizon- 
tally. They carefully entered beneath and between ; the sur- 
faces echoed their soft rustle ; but they seemed to be still 
out-of-doors. The place was roofless. Tess drew her breath 
fearfully, and Angel, perplexed, said, " What can it be ? " 

Peeling sideways, they encountered another tower-like 
pillar, square and uncompromising as the first; beyond it 
another and another. The place was all doors and pillars, 
some connected above by continuous architraves. 

" A very Temple of the Winds," he said. 

The next pillar was isolated ; others composed a trilithon ; 
others were prostrate, their flanks forming a causeway wide 
enough for a carriage ; and it was soon obvious that they 
made up a forest of monoliths grouped upon the grassy 
expanse of the plain. The couple advanced farther into 
this pavilion of the night, till they stood in its midst. 

"It is Stonehenge ! ^ said Clare. 

*-' The heathen temple, you ^ean ? " 

"Yes. Older than the centuries; older than the D'Ur- 
berviUes. Well, what shall we do, darling t We may find 
shelter farther on." 

But Tess, really tired by this time, flung herself upon an 
oblong slab that lay close at hand, and was sheltered from 
the wind by a pillar. Owing to the action of the sun dur- 
ing the preceding day the stone was warm and dry, in 
comfotiing contrast to the rough and chill grass around, 


which had dumped her skirts and shoes. " I don't want 
go any farther, Angel," she said, stretching out her h 
for his. " Can't we bide here f " 

" I fenr not. This spot is visible for miles by d«y, 
though it does not seem so now." 

"One of my mother's people was a shepherd hereaboi 
now I think of it. And you used to say at Talbothaj-s U 
I was a heathen. So now 1 am at home." 

He knelt dowu beside her outstretched fomi, and pot 
lipH upon hers. " Sleepy are you, deart I Ihiok yon i 
lying on an altar." 

'■I hke very much to be here," she murmured. "It is 
solemn and lonely — after my great happiness — with UHtli 
but the sky above my face. It seems as if there were 
folk in the world but we two ; and I wish there were n 
except 'Liza Lu." 

Clare thought she might as well rest here till it s 
gvt a httle lighter, and he flung his overcoat upon her, i 
sat down by her side. 

"Angel, if anything happens to me, will you watch oi 
'Liza Ln for my sake f " she a^ed, when they had listei 
a long time to the wind among the pillars. 

" I will" 

" She is so good and simple and pure. Angel — I ¥ 
you would marry her if you lose me, as you will do shortly 
O, if you woold ! " 

" If I lose you I lose all ! And she is my eister-iD-law." 

'* That's nolliiug, dearest. People marry sister-law)« cim- 
tinually about Mnriott ; ana 'Liza Lu U so geutJe and 
sweet. O, I could share you with her willingly when w* 
are spirits ! If you would U-ain her, Angel, and bring lidh 
up for your own self ! She has all the best nf mo vitb^l 
the bad of me, and if she were to l»ecome yours it ivo)^| 
almost seem as if death had not divided ns. WfIl,S 
have said it. I won't mention it again. How could I ^| 
pect it! " She ceased, and he fell into thought Id jfl 



fiir northenst skj- he could see between the pillars r level 
strfak of light. Tlie uniform ponea\'ity of black clou<l wna 
iifliuf,' bodily like the lid of a pot, letting in at the eartii's 
edge the coining day, against which the towering monoliths 
and tiilithons began to be blackly deflned- 
" Did they saciTfice to God here ? " asked she. 
*'lso" said he. 
"Who to T" 

*' I believe to the sun. That loft;i' stone set away by itself 
■ in the direction of the sun, which will presently riae be- 
Ind it." 
" This reminds me, dear," she said. " Tou remember you 
prer would interfere with any belief o' mine before we 
e married t But I knew your niiud all the same, and I 
tought as yon thought — not from any reasons o' my own, 
t because you thought so. Tell me now, Angel, do yon 
ink we shall meet again aft«r we are deadT I n-ant to 


I He kissed her to avoid a I'eply at such a time. 
" O Angel — I fear that means no ! " said she, with a snp- 
, BOb, '■ And I wanted so to see you again — so 
1, so much ! Wliat — not even you and I, Angel, who 
e each other so well f " 
lldke A greater than himself, to the critical question at 
B critical time he did not answer ; and they were agiun 
snti. In a minnte or two her breathing became more 
tdar, her clasp of his hand relaxed, and she fell adeep. 
s band of silver paleness along the oast horizon made i 
n the distant parts of the Great Plain api)ear dark and \ 
; nntl the whole enormous landscape liore that impress 1 
ser>'e, tacit iimity, and hesitation which is usual just. ] 
Ifore day. Tlie eastward pillars and their architrav*-: 
1 up blackly against the light, and the great flajn^ 
i ^nu-stone bcj-ond them ; and the stone of sacrifice 
Hway. Presently the night wind died out, and the qniv- 
t Httie pools in the cup-lite hollows of the stones lay 


t still. At the same tiiiio sometliiiig seemed to move on Uit 
verge of tlie dip eastwai-d — a iiiei-e dot. It was the heeA 

L of a mau approaching tijem from the hollow hcyoiid t!; 

I Sun-8toue. Clare ^vished they had gone ouword, but in tl 

I circumstances decided to remain quiet. The figure cann 

I straight towards tlio circle o£ pillars iu which they were. 

I He heard somtithiug behind him, the brush of fcrt. 

I Turning, lie saw over the prostrate column anotlier fifiuv; 

I then, before he was aware, another was at hand on the 

I right, under a ti-ilithon, and another on the left. The diiwn 

I shone full on tlie fi-ont of the man westward, and Ciajr 

I could discern from tliis that he was tall, and walked as :^ 

I trained. They all closed in with evident puipose, B'f 

I story tbcn was true ! Springing to his feet, he look'-l 

I around for a weapon, means of escape, anjiJiing. By tLi." 

I time the nearest man was upon liim. 

I " It is no use, sir," lie Baid, " There are sixteen of us oa 

I the Plain, and the whole connti-y ia reared." 

I "Let her finish her sleep ! " ho implored in 

I the men as they gathered round, 

I When they saw where slio lay, which they had not 

I till then, they showed no objection, and stood wal 

I her, as still as the pillars around. He went to the 

I and bent over her, holding one poor little liand ; hvr bi 

I lug now was quick nnd small, like that of a lesser crtatun' 

I than a woman. All waited hi the growing light, their tiw^ 
and hands as if they were silvered, tlie remainder of their 

I figures dark, the stones glistening a green-gray, the Plain 
still a mass of shade. Soon the light was strong, and s 

I ray shone upon her uneonseions form, peeling under her 

I eyelids and waking her. 

I " Wliat is it. Angel T " she said, stai-tiugnp. "Havethin 

I come for me f " 

"Tea, deai-est," 

e said. 


"It is as it should be," she murmured. "Angel, I a 


Iast«d. It tras too uracil. I have had enongh ; and now I 
pliall not live for you to despise nii> ! " 

She stood up, shook herself, and went forward, neither 
■>i the men having moved, 

" I am ready," she said, tiiiietly. 


The eitTi' of Wintonoester, that fine old city, aforetimo 
I'lijiital of We8sex,lay amidst its convex and concave down- 
liiuds in all the brightness and warmth of a July momiug. 
The gabled brick-aud-tile and freestone bouses had almost 
diit'd off tor the season tlieir integument o£ lichen, the 
hti-eams iu the meadows were low, and in the sloping High 
Street, from the AVest Gateway to the media'val oross, and 
fi-om tlie medifcval cross to the bi-idge, tiint leism^y dust- 
ing and sweeping was iu progress which usually ushei-s iu 
:lii olil-fasliioned market-day. 

From the western gate aforesaid the liighway, as eveiy 
'i"intonoestrian knows, ascends a long and regular incline 
' : the exact length of a measured mile, leaving the houses 
'^ i-.idually behind. Up this road from the precincts of the 
1 Lty two persons were walking rapidly, as if unconscious of 
tfie trjTng ascent — unconscious thi-ough preoccupation, and 
not through buoyancy. They had emerged npon this road 
UiTOUgb a narrow barred wicket in a high wall a little lower 
down. They seemed anxious to get out of the fiight o£ the 
lir.uHos and of their kind, and this road appeared to offer 
t he quickest means of doing so. Though they were young, 
■lipy walked witli bowed heade, which gait of grief the sun's 
r:iy9 smUed on pitileaaly. 

One of the pair was Angel Clare, the other a tall, Blbn, 
Imddiug creature — half girl, half woman — a spiritoalixed 




image of Tess, slighter than she, but with the same b^Anw 
fill eyee — Clare's sister-in-law, 'Liza Lu. Their pale facfl' 
seemed to have sliruiik to half their natural size. Th^y mtn'KJ 
on haud in liand, and never spoke a word, the droo|>iiig <i 
their heads being that of Giotto's "Two Apostles." 

When they had nearly reached the top of the great Wti 
Hill the clocks in the town struck eight. Each gave a s 
at the notes, and, walking onward yet a few steps, thi!| 
reached the first mile-stone, standing whitely on the g 
margin of the grass, and backed by the down, which her 
was open to the road. They entered upon the turf, a 
impelli'd by a force whieh seemed to oven-ulo their will, eni- 
denly stood still, turned, and waited in paralyzed suBpen»i 
behind the stone. 

The prospect from this Gummit was almost uulimit*^ 
In the valley beneath lay the city they had just left, itf 
more prorainent buildings showing as iu an ieometrif 
drawing — among tlicm the broad cathedral tower, with its 
Norman windows and ^meuse length of aislo and nav?, 
the spii-es of St. Thomas^, the pinnacled tower of the Col- 
lege, and, more to the right, the tower and gables of the 
ancient hospice, where to this day the pilgrim may receiw 
his dole of bread and ^e. Behind the city swept the rotm 
npland of St. Catherine's Hill ; farther off, landscape 1 
yond landscape, till the horizon was lost in the radiance i 
the sun hanging above it. 

Agiunst tliese far stretches of country rose, in &ont ^ 
tlie other city edifices, a large red-brick bnildiiig, with lei 
gray roofs, and rows of short barred windows liespeukifl 
captivity, the wltole contrasting greatly l>y its fomiali 
with the quaint irregalaritjps of the Gothic t'reetione. 
was somewhat disguised from the road in passing it I 
yews and evergreen oaks, hut it was visible enough up h«i 
Tlie wicket from which the pair had lately emerged was J 
the wall of this structure. From the middle of the bui]^ 
ing an ugly flat-topped octagonal tower ascended S 


ill'- east horizon, and viewed fi-om tliis spot, on its shady 
^ille and agaimt the liglit, it seemed the one blot on the 
city's beauty. Yet it was with this blot, and not with the 
lieauty, that the two gazers were coucemed. 

Upon the cornice oE the tower a tall stsft was fixed. j^O^ 
Their eyes were riveted on it. A few minutes after the 
huiu- had Btruek something moved slowly up the stalf, and I' 
Intended itself upon the breeze. It was a black flag, 

"Justice" was done, and the President of the Immoitals \ 
(in ^schylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess. And I 
the D'UrveiTille knights and dames slept on in their tombs 
iinknowijig. The two speechless gazers bent themsi'lves 
doHTi to tlie eaiih, as if in prayer, and remained thus a 
h>ng time, absolutely motionless; the flag continued to 
wave silently. As soon as they had strength they a 
joined hands again, and went on. 

THE F N n .' 


Ifi^ OF TUE D'Urbervillkb. a Pare Woman, Faithfully 

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NuL odIj b; fur (be best work Hr, Kardjr hiu) done; it U one of tlie 
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^MTrthiiig In thia rolunie is fresh and oharaeterink. . . . The itoriM 
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