einrichtung landhaus modern

einrichtung landhaus modern

chapter li at length it was the eve of old lady-day,and the agricultural world was in a fever of mobility such as only occurs at thatparticular date of the year. it is a day of fulfilment; agreements foroutdoor service during the ensuing year, entered into at candlemas, are to be nowcarried out. the labourers--or "work-folk", as they usedto call themselves immemorially till the other word was introduced from without--whowish to remain no longer in old places are removing to the new farms. these annual migrations from farm to farmwere on the increase here.

when tess's mother was a child the majorityof the field-folk about marlott had remained all their lives on one farm, whichhad been the home also of their fathers and grandfathers; but latterly the desire foryearly removal had risen to a high pitch. with the younger families it was a pleasantexcitement which might possibly be an advantage. the egypt of one family was the land ofpromise to the family who saw it from a distance, till by residence there it becameit turn their egypt also; and so they changed and changed. however, all the mutations so increasinglydiscernible in village life did not

originate entirely in the agriculturalunrest. a depopulation was also going on. the village had formerly contained, side byside with the argicultural labourers, an interesting and better-informed class,ranking distinctly above the former--the class to which tess's father and mother had belonged--and including the carpenter, thesmith, the shoemaker, the huckster, together with nondescript workers otherthan farm-labourers; a set of people who owed a certain stability of aim and conduct to the fact of their being lifeholders liketess's father, or copyholders, or

occasionally, small freeholders. but as the long holdings fell in, they wereseldom again let to similar tenants, and were mostly pulled down, if not absolutelyrequired by the farmer for his hands. cottagers who were not directly employed onthe land were looked upon with disfavour, and the banishment of some starved thetrade of others, who were thus obliged to follow. these families, who had formed the backboneof the village life in the past, who were the depositaries of the village traditions,had to seek refuge in the large centres; the process, humorously designated by

statisticians as "the tendency of the ruralpopulation towards the large towns", being really the tendency of water to flow uphillwhen forced by machinery. the cottage accommodation at marlott havingbeen in this manner considerably curtailed by demolitions, every house which remainedstanding was required by the agriculturist for his work-people. ever since the occurrence of the eventwhich had cast such a shadow over tess's life, the durbeyfield family (whose descentwas not credited) had been tacitly looked on as one which would have to go when their lease ended, if only in the interests ofmorality.

it was, indeed, quite true that thehousehold had not been shining examples either of temperance, soberness, orchastity. the father, and even the mother, had gotdrunk at times, the younger children seldom had gone to church, and the eldest daughterhad made queer unions. by some means the village had to be keptpure. so on this, the first lady-day on which thedurbeyfields were expellable, the house, being roomy, was required for a carter witha large family; and widow joan, her daughters tess and 'liza-lu, the boy abraham, and the younger children had to goelsewhere.

on the evening preceding their removal itwas getting dark betimes by reason of a drizzling rain which blurred the sky. as it was the last night they would spendin the village which had been their home and birthplace, mrs durbeyfield, 'liza-lu,and abraham had gone out to bid some friends goodbye, and tess was keeping housetill they should return. she was kneeling in the window-bench, herface close to the casement, where an outer pane of rain-water was sliding down theinner pane of glass. her eyes rested on the web of a spider,probably starved long ago, which had been mistakenly placed in a corner where noflies ever came, and shivered in the slight

draught through the casement. tess was reflecting on the position of thehousehold, in which she perceived her own evil influence. had she not come home, her mother and thechildren might probably have been allowed to stay on as weekly tenants. but she had been observed almostimmediately on her return by some people of scrupulous character and great influence:they had seen her idling in the churchyard, restoring as well as she could with alittle trowel a baby's obliterated grave. by this means they had found that she wasliving here again; her mother was scolded

for "harbouring" her; sharp retorts hadensued from joan, who had independently offered to leave at once; she had beentaken at her word; and here was the result. "i ought never to have come home," saidtess to herself, bitterly. she was so intent upon these thoughts thatshe hardly at first took note of a man in a white mackintosh whom she saw riding downthe street. possibly it was owing to her face beingnear to the pane that he saw her so quickly, and directed his horse so close tothe cottage-front that his hoofs were almost upon the narrow border for plantsgrowing under the wall. it was not till he touched the window withhis riding-crop that she observed him.

the rain had nearly ceased, and she openedthe casement in obedience to his gesture. "didn't you see me?" asked d'urberville."i was not attending," she said. "i heard you, i believe, though i fanciedit was a carriage and horses. i was in a sort of dream.""ah! you heard the d'urberville coach, perhaps. you know the legend, i suppose?""no. my--somebody was going to tell it me once,but didn't." "if you are a genuine d'urberville i oughtnot to tell you either, i suppose. as for me, i'm a sham one, so it doesn'tmatter.

it is rather dismal. it is that this sound of a non-existentcoach can only be heard by one of d'urberville blood, and it is held to be ofill-omen to the one who hears it. it has to do with a murder, committed byone of the family, centuries ago." "now you have begun it, finish it.""very well. one of the family is said to have abductedsome beautiful woman, who tried to escape from the coach in which he was carrying heroff, and in the struggle he killed her--or she killed him--i forget which. such is one version of the tale...i see that your tubs and buckets are

packed.going away, aren't you?" "yes, to-morrow--old lady day." "i heard you were, but could hardly believeit; it seems so sudden. why is it?" "father's was the last life on theproperty, and when that dropped we had no further right to stay.though we might, perhaps, have stayed as weekly tenants--if it had not been for me." "what about you?""i am not a--proper woman." d'urberville's face flushed."what a blasted shame!

miserable snobs! may their dirty souls be burnt to cinders!"he exclaimed in tones of ironic resentment. "that's why you are going, is it?turned out?" "we are not turned out exactly; but as theysaid we should have to go soon, it was best to go now everybody was moving, becausethere are better chances." "where are you going to?" "kingsbere.we have taken rooms there. mother is so foolish about father's peoplethat she will go there." "but your mother's family are not fit forlodgings, and in a little hole of a town

like that.now why not come to my garden-house at trantridge? there are hardly any poultry now, since mymother's death; but there's the house, as you know it, and the garden. it can be whitewashed in a day, and yourmother can live there quite comfortably; and i will put the children to a goodschool. really i ought to do something for you!" "but we have already taken the rooms atkingsbere!" she declared. "and we can wait there--""wait--what for?

for that nice husband, no doubt. now look here, tess, i know what men are,and, bearing in mind the grounds of your separation, i am quite positive he willnever make it up with you. now, though i have been your enemy, i amyour friend, even if you won't believe it. come to this cottage of mine. we'll get up a regular colony of fowls, andyour mother can attend to them excellently; and the children can go to school."tess breathed more and more quickly, and at length she said-- "how do i know that you would do all this?your views may change--and then--we should

be--my mother would be--homeless again.""o no--no. i would guarantee you against such as thatin writing, if necessary. think it over."tess shook her head. but d'urberville persisted; she had seldomseen him so determined; he would not take a negative."please just tell your mother," he said, in emphatic tones. "it is her business to judge--not yours.i shall get the house swept out and whitened to-morrow morning, and fires lit;and it will be dry by the evening, so that you can come straight there.

now mind, i shall expect you."tess again shook her head, her throat swelling with complicated emotion.she could not look up at d'urberville. "i owe you something for the past, youknow," he resumed. "and you cured me, too, of that craze; so iam glad--" "i would rather you had kept the craze, sothat you had kept the practice which went with it!""i am glad of this opportunity of repaying you a little. to-morrow i shall expect to hear yourmother's goods unloading... give me your hand on it now--dear,beautiful tess!"

with the last sentence he had dropped hisvoice to a murmur, and put his hand in at the half-open casement. with stormy eyes she pulled the stay-barquickly, and, in doing so, caught his arm between the casement and the stone mullion."damnation--you are very cruel!" he said, snatching out his arm. "no, no!--i know you didn't do it onpurpose. well i shall expect you, or your mother andchildren at least." "i shall not come--i have plenty of money!"she cried. "where?""at my father-in-law's, if i ask for it."

"if you ask for it. but you won't, tess; i know you; you'llnever ask for it--you'll starve first!" with these words he rode off. just at the corner of the street he met theman with the paint-pot, who asked him if he had deserted the brethren."you go to the devil!" said d'urberville. tess remained where she was a long while,till a sudden rebellious sense of injustice caused the region of her eyes to swell withthe rush of hot tears thither. her husband, angel clare himself, had, likeothers, dealt out hard measure to her; surely he had!she had never before admitted such a

thought; but he had surely! never in her life--she could swear it fromthe bottom of her soul--had she ever intended to do wrong; yet these hardjudgements had come. whatever her sins, they were not sins ofintention, but of inadvertence, and why should she have been punished sopersistently? she passionately seized the first piece ofpaper that came to 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 forgive you!you know that i did not intend to wrong you--why have you so wronged me? you are cruel, cruel indeed!i will try to forget you. it is all injustice i have received at yourhands! t. she watched till the postman passed by, ranout to him with her epistle, and then again took her listless place inside the window-panes. it was just as well to write like that asto write tenderly. how could he give way to entreaty?the facts had not changed: there was no new

event to alter his opinion. it grew darker, the fire-light shining overthe room. the two biggest of the younger children hadgone out with their mother; the four smallest, their ages ranging from three-and-a-half years to eleven, all in black frocks, were gathered round the hearthbabbling their own little subjects. tess at length joined them, withoutlighting a candle. "this is the last night that we shall sleephere, dears, in the house where we were born," she said quickly."we ought to think of it, oughtn't we?" they all became silent; with theimpressibility of their age they were ready

to burst into tears at the picture offinality she had conjured up, though all the day hitherto they had been rejoicing inthe idea of a new place. tess changed the subject."sing to me, dears," she said. "what shall we sing?" "anything you know; i don't mind." there was a momentary pause; it was broken,first, in one little tentative note; then a second voice strengthened it, and a thirdand a fourth chimed in unison, with words they had learnt at the sunday-school-- here we suffer grief and pain,here we meet to part again;

in heaven we part no more. the four sang on with the phlegmaticpassivity of persons who had long ago settled the question, and there being nomistake about it, felt that further thought was not required. with features strained hard to enunciatethe syllables they continued to regard the centre of the flickering fire, the notes ofthe youngest straying over into the pauses of the rest. tess turned from them, and went to thewindow again. darkness had now fallen without, but sheput her face to the pane as though to peer

into the gloom. it was really to hide her tears. if she could only believe what the childrenwere singing; if she were only sure, how different all would now be; how confidentlyshe would leave them to providence and their future kingdom! but, in default of that, it behoved her todo something; to be their providence; for to tess, as to not a few millions ofothers, there was ghastly satire in the poet's lines-- not in utter nakedness but trailing cloudsof glory do we come.

to her and her like, birth itself was anordeal of degrading personal compulsion, whose gratuitousness nothing in the resultseemed to justify, and at best could only palliate. in the shades of the wet road she soondiscerned her mother with tall 'liza-lu and abraham.mrs durbeyfield's pattens clicked up to the door, and tess opened it. "i see the tracks of a horse outside thewindow," said joan. "hev somebody called?""no," said tess. the children by the fire looked gravely ather, and one murmured--

"why, tess, the gentleman a-horseback!""he didn't call," said tess. "he spoke to me in passing." "who was the gentleman?" asked the mother."your husband?" "no.he'll never, never come," answered tess in stony hopelessness. "then who was it?""oh, you needn't ask. you've seen him before, and so have i.""ah! what did he say?" said joan curiously. "i will tell you when we are settled in ourlodging at kingsbere to-morrow--every

word."it was not her husband, she had said. yet a consciousness that in a physicalsense this man alone was her husband seemed to weigh on her more and more. > chapter lii during the small hours of the next morning,while it was still dark, dwellers near the highways were conscious of a disturbance oftheir night's rest by rumbling noises, intermittently continuing till daylight-- noises as certain to recur in thisparticular first week of the month as the

voice of the cuckoo in the third week ofthe same. they were the preliminaries of the generalremoval, the passing of the empty waggons and teams to fetch the goods of themigrating families; for it was always by the vehicle of the farmer who required his services that the hired man was conveyed tohis destination. that this might be accomplished within theday was the explanation of the reverberation occurring so soon aftermidnight, the aim of the carters being to reach the door of the outgoing households by six o'clock, when the loading of theirmovables at once began.

but to tess and her mother's household nosuch anxious farmer sent his team. they were only women; they were not regularlabourers; they were not particularly required anywhere; hence they had to hire awaggon at their own expense, and got nothing sent gratuitously. it was a relief to tess, when she lookedout of the window that morning, to find that though the weather was windy andlouring, it did not rain, and that the waggon had come. a wet lady-day was a spectre which removingfamilies never forgot; damp furniture, damp bedding, damp clothing accompanied it, andleft a train of ills.

her mother, 'liza-lu, and abraham were alsoawake, but the younger children were let sleep on.the four breakfasted by the thin light, and the "house-ridding" was taken in hand. it proceeded with some cheerfulness, afriendly neighbour or two assisting. when the large articles of furniture hadbeen packed in position, a circular nest was made of the beds and bedding, in whichjoan durbeyfield and the young children were to sit through the journey. after loading there was a long delay beforethe horses were brought, these having been unharnessed during the ridding; but atlength, about two o'clock, the whole was

under way, the cooking-pot swinging from the axle of the waggon, mrs durbeyfield andfamily at the top, the matron having in her lap, to prevent injury to its works, thehead of the clock, which, at any exceptional lurch of the waggon, struckone, or one-and-a-half, in hurt tones. tess and the next eldest girl walkedalongside till they were out of the village. they had called on a few neighbours thatmorning and the previous evening, and some came to see them off, all wishing themwell, though, in their secret hearts, hardly expecting welfare possible to such a

family, harmless as the durbeyfields wereto all except themselves. soon the equipage began to ascend to higherground, and the wind grew keener with the change of level and soil. the day being the sixth of april, thedurbeyfield waggon met many other waggons with families on the summit of the load,which was built on a wellnigh unvarying principle, as peculiar, probably, to therural labourer as the hexagon to the bee. the groundwork of the arrangement was thefamily dresser, which, with its shining handles, and finger-marks, and domesticevidences thick upon it, stood importantly in front, over the tails of the shaft-

horses, in its erect and natural position,like some ark of the covenant that they were bound to carry reverently. some of the households were lively, somemournful; some were stopping at the doors of wayside inns; where, in due time, thedurbeyfield menagerie also drew up to bait horses and refresh the travellers. during the halt tess's eyes fell upon athree-pint blue mug, which was ascending and descending through the air to and fromthe feminine section of a household, sitting on the summit of a load that had also drawn up at a little distance from thesame inn.

she followed one of the mug's journeysupward, and perceived it to be clasped by hands whose owner she well knew.tess went towards the waggon. "marian and izz!" she cried to the girls,for it was they, sitting with the moving family at whose house they had lodged."are you house-ridding to-day, like everybody else?" they were, they said.it had been too rough a life for them at flintcomb-ash, and they had come away,almost without notice, leaving groby to prosecute them if he chose. they told tess their destination, and tesstold them hers.

marian leant over the load, and lowered hervoice. "do you know that the gentleman who follows'ee--you'll guess who i mean--came to ask for 'ee at flintcomb after you had gone?we didn't tell'n where you was, knowing you wouldn't wish to see him." "ah--but i did see him!"tess murmured. "he found me.""and do he know where you be going?" "i think so." "husband come back?""no." she bade her acquaintance goodbye--for therespective carters had now come out from

the inn--and the two waggons resumed theirjourney in opposite directions; the vehicle whereon sat marian, izz, and the ploughman's family with whom they hadthrown in their lot, being brightly painted, and drawn by three powerful horseswith shining brass ornaments on their harness; while the waggon on which mrs durbeyfield and her family rode was acreaking erection that would scarcely bear the weight of the superincumbent load; onewhich had known no paint since it was made, and drawn by two horses only. the contrast well marked the differencebetween being fetched by a thriving farmer

and conveying oneself whither no hirerwaited one's coming. the distance was great--too great for aday's journey--and it was with the utmost difficulty that the horses performed it. though they had started so early, it wasquite late in the afternoon when they turned the flank of an eminence whichformed part of the upland called greenhill. while the horses stood to stale and breathethemselves tess looked around. under the hill, and just ahead of them, wasthe half-dead townlet of their pilgrimage, kingsbere, where lay those ancestors ofwhom her father had spoken and sung to painfulness: kingsbere, the spot of all

spots in the world which could beconsidered the d'urbervilles' home, since they had resided there for full fivehundred years. a man could be seen advancing from theoutskirts towards them, and when he beheld the nature of their waggon-load hequickened his steps. "you be the woman they call mrsdurbeyfield, i reckon?" he said to tess's mother, who had descended to walk theremainder of the way. she nodded. "though widow of the late sir johnd'urberville, poor nobleman, if i cared for my rights; and returning to the domain ofhis forefathers."

"oh? well, i know nothing about that; but if yoube mrs durbeyfield, i am sent to tell 'ee that the rooms you wanted be let. we didn't know that you was coming till wegot your letter this morning--when 'twas too late.but no doubt you can get other lodgings somewhere." the man had noticed the face of tess, whichhad become ash-pale at his intelligence. her mother looked hopelessly at fault."what shall we do now, tess?" she said bitterly.

"here's a welcome to your ancestors' lands!however, let's try further." they moved on into the town, and tried withall their might, tess remaining with the waggon to take care of the children whilsther 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, thedriver of the waggon said the goods must be unloaded, as the horses were half-dead, and he was bound to return part of the way atleast that night. "very well--unload it here," said joanrecklessly. "i'll get shelter somewhere."

the waggon had drawn up under thechurchyard wall, in a spot screened from view, and the driver, nothing loth, soonhauled down the poor heap of household goods. this done, she paid him, reducing herselfto almost her last shilling thereby, and he moved off and left them, only too glad toget out of further dealings with such a family. it was a dry night, and he guessed thatthey would come to no harm. tess gazed desperately at the pile offurniture. the cold sunlight of this spring eveningpeered invidiously upon the crocks and

kettles, upon the bunches of dried herbsshivering in the breeze, upon the brass handles of the dresser, upon the wicker- cradle they had all been rocked in, andupon the well-rubbed clock-case, all of which gave out the reproachful gleam ofindoor articles abandoned to the vicissitudes of a roofless exposure forwhich they were never made. round about were deparked hills and slopes--now cut up into little paddocks--and the green foundations that showed where thed'urberville mansion once had stood; also an outlying stretch of egdon heath that hadalways belonged to the estate. hard by, the aisle of the church called thed'urberville aisle looked on imperturbably.

"isn't your family vault your ownfreehold?" said tess's mother, as she returned from a reconnoitre of the churchand graveyard. "why, of course 'tis, and that's where wewill camp, girls, till the place of your ancestors finds us a roof!now, tess and 'liza and abraham, you help me. we'll make a nest for these children, andthen we'll have another look round." tess listlessly lent a hand, and in aquarter of an hour the old four-post bedstead was dissociated from the heap ofgoods, and erected under the south wall of the church, the part of the building known

as the d'urberville aisle, beneath whichthe huge vaults lay. over the tester of the bedstead was abeautiful traceried window, of many lights, its date being the fifteenth century. it was called the d'urberville window, andin the upper part could be discerned heraldic emblems like those ondurbeyfield's old seal and spoon. joan drew the curtains round the bed so asto make an excellent tent of it, and put the smaller children inside."if it comes to the worst we can sleep there too, for one night," she said. "but let us try further on, and getsomething for the dears to eat!

o, tess, what's the use of your playing atmarrying gentlemen, if it leaves us like this!" accompanied by 'liza-lu and the boy, sheagain ascended the little lane which secluded the church from the townlet. as soon as they got into the street theybeheld a man on horseback gazing up and down."ah--i'm looking for you!" he said, riding up to them. "this is indeed a family gathering on thehistoric spot!" it was alec d'urberville."where is tess?" he asked.

personally joan had no liking for alec. she cursorily signified the direction ofthe church, and went on, d'urberville saying that he would see them again, incase they should be still unsuccessful in their search for shelter, of which he hadjust heard. when they had gone, d'urberville rode tothe inn, and shortly after came out on foot. in the interim tess, left with the childreninside the bedstead, remained talking with them awhile, till, seeing that no morecould be done to make them comfortable just then, she walked about the churchyard, now

beginning to be embrowned by the shades ofnightfall. the door of the church was unfastened, andshe entered it for the first time in her life. within the window under which the bedsteadstood were the tombs of the family, covering in their dates several centuries. they were canopied, altar-shaped, andplain; their carvings being defaced and broken; their brasses torn from thematrices, the rivet-holes remaining like martin-holes in a sandcliff. of all the reminders that she had everreceived that her people were socially

extinct, there was none so forcible as thisspoliation. she drew near to a dark stone on which wasinscribed: ostium sepulchri antiquaefamiliae d'urberville tess did not read church-latin like acardinal, but she knew that this was the door of her ancestral sepulchre, and thatthe tall knights of whom her father had chanted in his cups lay inside. she musingly turned to withdraw, passingnear an altar-tomb, the oldest of them all, on which was a recumbent figure. in the dusk she had not noticed it before,and would hardly have noticed it now but

for an odd fancy that the effigy moved. as soon as she drew close to it shediscovered all in a moment that the figure was a living person; and the shock to hersense of not having been alone was so violent that she was quite overcome, and sank down nigh to fainting, not, however,till she had recognized alec d'urberville in the form.he leapt off the slab and supported her. "i saw you come in," he said smiling, "andgot up there not to interrupt your meditations.a family gathering, is it not, with these old fellows under us here?

listen."he stamped with his heel heavily on the floor; whereupon there arose a hollow echofrom below. "that shook them a bit, i'll warrant!" hecontinued. "and you thought i was the mere stonereproduction of one of them. but no. the old order changeth.the little finger of the sham d'urberville can do more for you than the whole dynastyof the real underneath... now command me. what shall i do?""go away!" she murmured.

"i will--i'll look for your mother," saidhe blandly. but in passing her he whispered: "mindthis; you'll be civil yet!" when he was gone she bent down upon theentrance to the vaults, and said-- "why am i on the wrong side of this door!" in the meantime marian and izz huett hadjourneyed onward with the chattels of the ploughman in the direction of their land ofcanaan-- the egypt of some other family who had left it only that morning. but the girls did not for a long time thinkof where they were going. their talk was of angel clare and tess, andtess's persistent lover, whose connection

with her previous history they had partlyheard and partly guessed ere this. "'tisn't as though she had never known himafore," said marian. "his having won her once makes all thedifference in the world. 'twould be a thousand pities if he were totole her away again. mr clare can never be anything to us, izz;and why should we grudge him to her, and not try to mend this quarrel? if he could on'y know what straits she'sput to, and what's hovering round, he might come to take care of his own.""could we let him know?" they thought of this all the way to theirdestination; but the bustle of re-

establishment in their new place took upall their attention then. but when they were settled, a month later,they heard of clare's approaching return, though they had learnt nothing more oftess. upon that, agitated anew by theirattachment to him, yet honourably disposed to her, marian uncorked the penny ink-bottle they shared, and a few lines were concocted between the two girls. honour'd sir--look to your wife if you do love her as much as she do love you.for she is sore put to by an enemy in the shape of a friend.

sir, there is one near her who ought to beaway. a woman should not be try'd beyond herstrength, and continual dropping will wear away a stone--ay, more--a diamond. from two well-wishers this was addressed to angel clare at theonly place they had ever heard him to be connected with, emminster vicarage; afterwhich they continued in a mood of emotional exaltation at their own generosity, which made them sing in hysterical snatches andweep at the same time. end of phase the sixth

chapter liii it was evening at emminster vicarage.the two customary candles were burning under their green shades in the vicar'sstudy, but he had not been sitting there. occasionally he came in, stirred the smallfire which sufficed for the increasing mildness of the spring, and went out again;sometimes pausing at the front door, going on to the drawing-room, then returningagain to the front door. it faced westward, and though gloomprevailed inside, there was still light enough without to see with distinctness. mrs clare, who had been sitting in thedrawing-room, followed him hither.

"plenty of time yet," said the vicar. "he doesn't reach chalk-newton till six,even if the train should be punctual, and ten miles of country-road, five of them incrimmercrock lane, are not jogged over in a hurry by our old horse." "but he has done it in an hour with us, mydear." "years ago." thus they passed the minutes, each wellknowing that this was only waste of breath, the one essential being simply to wait. at length there was a slight noise in thelane, and the old pony-chaise appeared

indeed outside the railings. they saw alight therefrom a form which theyaffected to recognize, but would actually have passed by in the street withoutidentifying had he not got out of their carriage at the particular moment when aparticular person was due. mrs clare rushed through the dark passageto the door, and her husband came more slowly after her. the new arrival, who was just about toenter, saw their anxious faces in the doorway and the gleam of the west in theirspectacles because they confronted the last rays of day; but they could only see hisshape against the light.

"o, my boy, my boy--home again at last!"cried mrs clare, who cared no more at that moment for the stains of heterodoxy whichhad caused all this separation than for the dust upon his clothes. what woman, indeed, among the most faithfuladherents of the truth, believes the promises and threats of the word in thesense in which she believes in her own children, or would not throw her theology to the wind if weighed against theirhappiness? as soon as they reached the room where thecandles were lighted she looked at his face.

"o, it is not angel--not my son--the angelwho went away!" she cried in all the irony of sorrow, as she turned herself aside. his father, too, was shocked to see him, soreduced was that figure from its former contours by worry and the bad season thatclare had experienced, in the climate to which he had so rashly hurried in his firstaversion to the mockery of events at home. you could see the skeleton behind the man,and almost the ghost behind the skeleton. he matched crivelli's dead christus. his sunken eye-pits were of morbid hue, andthe light in his eyes had waned. the angular hollows and lines of his agedancestors had succeeded to their reign in

his face twenty years before their time. "i was ill over there, you know," he said."i am all right now." as if, however, to falsify this assertion,his legs seemed to give way, and he suddenly sat down to save himself fromfalling. it was only a slight attack of faintness,resulting from the tedious day's journey, and the excitement of arrival."has any letter come for me lately?" he asked. "i received the last you sent on by themerest chance, and after considerable delay through being inland; or i might have comesooner."

"it was from your wife, we supposed?" "it was."only one other had recently come. they had not sent it on to him, knowing hewould start for home so soon. he hastily opened the letter produced, andwas much disturbed to read in tess's handwriting the sentiments expressed in herlast hurried scrawl to him. o why have you treated me so monstrously,angel! can never, never forgive you! you know that i did not intend to wrongyou--why have you so wronged me? "it is quite true!" said angel, throwingdown the letter.

"perhaps she will never be reconciled tome!" "don't, angel, be so anxious about a merechild of the soil!" said his mother. "child of the soil!well, we all are children of the soil. i wish she were so in the sense you mean;but let me now explain to you what i have never explained before, that her father isa descendant in the male line of one of the oldest norman houses, like a good many others who lead obscure agricultural livesin our villages, and are dubbed 'sons of the soil.'" he soon retired to bed; and the nextmorning, feeling exceedingly unwell, he

remained in his room pondering. the circumstances amid which he had lefttess were such that though, while on the south of the equator and just in receipt ofher loving epistle, it had seemed the easiest thing in the world to rush back into her arms the moment he chose toforgive her, now that he had arrived it was not so easy as it had seemed. she was passionate, and her present letter,showing that her estimate of him had changed under his delay--too justlychanged, he sadly owned,--made him ask himself if it would be wise to confront herunannounced in the presence of her parents.

supposing that her love had indeed turnedto dislike during the last weeks of separation, a sudden meeting might lead tobitter words. clare therefore thought it would be best toprepare tess and her family by sending a line to marlott announcing his return, andhis hope that she was still living with them there, as he had arranged for her todo when he left england. he despatched the inquiry that very day,and before the week was out there came a short reply from mrs durbeyfield which didnot remove his embarrassment, for it bore no address, though to his surprise it wasnot written from marlott. sir,j write these few lines to say that my

daughter is away from me at present, and jam not sure when she will return, but j will let you know as soon as she do. j do not feel at liberty to tell you whereshe is temperly biding. j should say that me and my family haveleft marlott for some time.-- yours, j. durbeyfield it was such a relief to clare to learn thattess was at least apparently well that her mother's stiff reticence as to herwhereabouts did not long distress him. they were all angry with him, evidently.

he would wait till mrs durbeyfield couldinform him of tess's return, which her letter implied to be soon.he deserved no more. his had been a love "which alters when italteration finds". he had undergone some strange experiencesin his absence; he had seen the virtual faustina in the literal cornelia, aspiritual lucretia in a corporeal phryne; he had thought of the woman taken and set in the midst as one deserving to be stoned,and of the wife of uriah being made a queen; and he had asked himself why he hadnot judged tess constructively rather than biographically, by the will rather than bythe deed?

a day or two passed while he waited at hisfather's house for the promised second note from joan durbeyfield, and indirectly torecover a little more strength. the strength showed signs of coming back,but there was no sign of joan's letter. then he hunted up the old letter sent on tohim in brazil, which tess had written from flintcomb-ash, and re-read it. the sentences touched him now as much aswhen he had first perused them.... i must cry to you in my trouble--i have noone else!... i think i must die if you do not come soon,or tell me to come to you... please, please, not to be just--only a little kindto me ...

if you would come, i could die in yourarms! i would be well content to do that if so beyou had forgiven me!... if you will send me one little line, and say, "i am comingsoon," i will bide on, angel--o, so cheerfully!... think how it do hurt myheart not to see you ever--ever! ah, if i could only make your dear heartache one little minute of each day as mine does every day and all day long, it mightlead you to show pity to your poor lonely one.... i would be content, ay, glad, to live withyou as your servant, if i may not as your wife; so that i could only be near you, andget glimpses of you, and think of you as

mine.... i long for only one thing in heaven orearth or under the earth, to meet you, my own dear!come to me--come to me, and save me from what threatens me! clare determined that he would no longerbelieve in her more recent and severer regard of him, but would go and find herimmediately. he asked his father if she had applied forany money during his absence. his father returned a negative, and thenfor the first time it occurred to angel that her pride had stood in her way, andthat she had suffered privation.

from his remarks his parents now gatheredthe real reason of the separation; and their christianity was such that,reprobates being their especial care, the tenderness towards tess which her blood, her simplicity, even her poverty, had notengendered, was instantly excited by her sin. whilst he was hastily packing together afew articles for his journey he glanced over a poor plain missive also lately cometo hand--the one from marian and izz huett, beginning-- "honour'd sir, look to your wife if you dolove her as much as she do love you," and

signed, "from two well-wishers." -chapter liv in a quarter of an hour clare was leavingthe house, whence his mother watched his thin figure as it disappeared into thestreet. he had declined to borrow his father's oldmare, well knowing of its necessity to the household. he went to the inn, where he hired a trap,and could hardly wait during the harnessing. in a very few minutes after, he was drivingup the hill out of the town which, three or

four months earlier in the year, tess haddescended with such hopes and ascended with such shattered purposes. benvill lane soon stretched before him, itshedges and trees purple with buds; but he was looking at other things, and onlyrecalled himself to the scene sufficiently to enable him to keep the way. in something less than an hour-and-a-halfhe had skirted the south of the king's hintock estates and ascended to theuntoward solitude of cross-in-hand, the unholy stone whereon tess had been compelled by alec d'urberville, in his whimof reformation, to swear the strange oath

that she would never wilfully tempt himagain. the pale and blasted nettle-stems of thepreceding year even now lingered nakedly in the banks, young green nettles of thepresent spring growing from their roots. thence he went along the verge of theupland overhanging the other hintocks, and, turning to the right, plunged into thebracing calcareous region of flintcomb-ash, the address from which she had written to him in one of the letters, and which hesupposed to be the place of sojourn referred to by her mother. here, of course, he did not find her; andwhat added to his depression was the

discovery that no "mrs clare" had ever beenheard of by the cottagers or by the farmer himself, though tess was remembered wellenough by her christian name. his name she had obviously never usedduring their separation, and her dignified sense of their total severance was shownnot much less by this abstention than by the hardships she had chosen to undergo (of which he now learnt for the first time)rather than apply to his father for more funds. from this place they told him tessdurbeyfield had gone, without due notice, to the home of her parents on the otherside of blackmoor, and it therefore became

necessary to find mrs durbeyfield. she had told him she was not now atmarlott, but had been curiously reticent as to her actual address, and the only coursewas to go to marlott and inquire for it. the farmer who had been so churlish withtess was quite smooth-tongued to clare, and lent him a horse and man to drive himtowards marlott, the gig he had arrived in being sent back to emminster; for the limit of a day's journey with that horse wasreached. clare would not accept the loan of thefarmer's vehicle for a further distance than to the outskirts of the vale, and,sending it back with the man who had driven

him, he put up at an inn, and next day entered on foot the region wherein was thespot of his dear tess's birth. it was as yet too early in the year formuch colour to appear in the gardens and foliage; the so-called spring was butwinter overlaid with a thin coat of greenness, and it was of a parcel with hisexpectations. the house in which tess had passed theyears of her childhood was now inhabited by another family who had never known her. the new residents were in the garden,taking as much interest in their own doings as if the homestead had never passed itsprimal time in conjunction with the

histories of others, beside which the histories of these were but as a tale toldby an idiot. they walked about the garden paths withthoughts of their own concerns entirely uppermost, bringing their actions at everymoment in jarring collision with the dim ghosts behind them, talking as though the time when tess lived there were not onewhit intenser in story than now. even the spring birds sang over their headsas if they thought there was nobody missing in particular. on inquiry of these precious innocents, towhom even the name of their predecessors

was a failing memory, clare learned thatjohn durbeyfield was dead; that his widow and children had left marlott, declaring that they were going to live at kingsbere,but instead of doing so had gone on to another place they mentioned. by this time clare abhorred the house forceasing to contain tess, and hastened away from its hated presence without oncelooking back. his way was by the field in which he hadfirst beheld her at the dance. it was as bad as the house--even worse. he passed on through the churchyard, where,amongst the new headstones, he saw one of a

somewhat superior design to the rest.the inscription ran thus: in memory of john durbeyfield, rightlyd'urberville, of the once powerful family of that name, and direct descendant throughan illustrious line from sir pagan d'urberville, one of the knights of theconqueror. died march 10th, 18--how are the mighty fallen. some man, apparently the sexton, hadobserved clare standing there, and drew nigh. "ah, sir, now that's a man who didn't wantto lie here, but wished to be carried to kingsbere, where his ancestors be.""and why didn't they respect his wish?"

"oh--no money. bless your soul, sir, why--there, iwouldn't wish to say it everywhere, but-- even this headstone, for all the flourishwrote upon en, is not paid for." "ah, who put it up?" the man told the name of a mason in thevillage, and, on leaving the churchyard, clare called at the mason's house.he found that the statement was true, and paid the bill. this done, he turned in the direction ofthe migrants. the distance was too long for a walk, butclare felt such a strong desire for

isolation that at first he would neitherhire a conveyance nor go to a circuitous line of railway by which he mighteventually reach the place. at shaston, however, he found he must hire;but the way was such that he did not enter joan's place till about seven o'clock inthe evening, having traversed a distance of over twenty miles since leaving marlott. the village being small he had littledifficulty in finding mrs durbeyfield's tenement, which was a house in a walledgarden, remote from the main road, where she had stowed away her clumsy oldfurniture as best she could. it was plain that for some reason or othershe had not wished him to visit her, and he

felt his call to be somewhat of anintrusion. she came to the door herself, and the lightfrom the evening sky fell upon her face. this was the first time that clare had evermet her, but he was too preoccupied to observe more than that she was still ahandsome woman, in the garb of a respectable widow. he was obliged to explain that he wastess's husband, and his object in coming there, and he did it awkwardly enough."i want to see her at once," he added. "you said you would write to me again, butyou have not done so." "because she've not come home," said joan."do you know if she is well?"

"i don't. but you ought to, sir," said she."i admit it. where is she staying?" from the beginning of the interview joanhad disclosed her embarrassment 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?" "well, she is not there now." in her evasiveness she paused again, andthe younger children had by this time crept

to the door, where, pulling at his mother'sskirts, the youngest murmured-- "is this the gentleman who is going tomarry tess?" "he has married her," joan whispered."go inside." clare saw her efforts for reticence, andasked-- "do you think tess would wish me to try andfind her? if not, of course--" "i don't think she would.""are you sure?" "i am sure she wouldn't."he was turning away; and then he thought of tess's tender letter.

"i am sure she would!" he retortedpassionately. "i know her better than you do.""that's very likely, sir; for i have never really known her." "please tell me her address, mrsdurbeyfield, in kindness to a lonely wretched man!" tess's mother again restlessly swept hercheek with her vertical hand, and seeing that he suffered, she at last said, is alow voice-- "she is at sandbourne." "ah--where there?sandbourne has become a large place, they

say.""i don't know more particularly than i have said--sandbourne. for myself, i was never there."it was apparent that joan spoke the truth in this, and he pressed her no further."are you in want of anything?" he said gently. "no, sir," she replied."we are fairly well provided for." without entering the house clare turnedaway. there was a station three miles ahead, andpaying off his coachman, he walked thither. the last train to sandbourne left shortlyafter, and it bore clare on its wheels.

chapter lv at eleven o'clock that night, havingsecured a bed at one of the hotels and telegraphed his address to his fatherimmediately on his arrival, he walked out into the streets of sandbourne. it was too late to call on or inquire forany one, and he reluctantly postponed his purpose till the morning.but he could not retire to rest just yet. this fashionable watering-place, with itseastern and its western stations, its piers, its groves of pines, its promenades,and its covered gardens, was, to angel clare, like a fairy place suddenly created

by the stroke of a wand, and allowed to geta little dusty. an outlying eastern tract of the enormousegdon waste was close at hand, yet on the very verge of that tawny piece of antiquitysuch a glittering novelty as this pleasure city had chosen to spring up. within the space of a mile from itsoutskirts every irregularity of the soil was prehistoric, every channel anundisturbed british trackway; not a sod having been turned there since the days ofthe caesars. yet the exotic had grown here, suddenly asthe prophet's gourd; and had drawn hither tess.

by the midnight lamps he went up and downthe winding way of this new world in an old one, and could discern between the treesand against the stars the lofty roofs, chimneys, gazebos, and towers of the numerous fanciful residences of which theplace was composed. it was a city of detached mansions; amediterranean lounging-place on the english channel; and as seen now by night it seemedeven more imposing than it was. the sea was near at hand, but notintrusive; it murmured, and he thought it was the pines; the pines murmured inprecisely the same tones, and he thought they were the sea.

where could tess possibly be, a cottage-girl, his young wife, amidst all this wealth and fashion?the more he pondered, the more was he puzzled. were there any cows to milk here?there certainly were no fields to till. she was most probably engaged to dosomething in one of these large houses; and he sauntered along, looking at the chamber-windows and their lights going out one by one, and wondered which of them might behers. conjecture was useless, and just aftertwelve o'clock he entered and went to bed. before putting out his light he re-readtess's impassioned letter.

sleep, however, he could not--so near her,yet so far from her--and he continually lifted the window-blind and regarded thebacks of the opposite houses, and wondered behind which of the sashes she reposed atthat moment. he might almost as well have sat up allnight. in the morning he arose at seven, andshortly after went out, taking the direction of the chief post-office. at the door he met an intelligent postmancoming out with letters for the morning delivery."do you know the address of a mrs clare?" asked angel.

the postman shook his head.then, remembering that she would have been likely to continue the use of her maidenname, clare said-- "of a miss durbeyfield?" "durbeyfield?"this also was strange to the postman addressed. "there's visitors coming and going everyday, as you know, sir," he said; "and without the name of the house 'tisimpossible to find 'em." one of his comrades hastening out at thatmoment, the name was repeated to him. "i know no name of durbeyfield; but thereis the name of d'urberville at the herons,"

said the second. "that's it!" cried clare, pleased to thinkthat she had reverted to the real pronunciation."what place is the herons?" "a stylish lodging-house. 'tis all lodging-houses here, bless 'ee."clare received directions how to find the house, and hastened thither, arriving withthe milkman. the herons, though an ordinary villa, stoodin its own grounds, and was certainly the last place in which one would have expectedto find lodgings, so private was its appearance.

if poor tess was a servant here, as hefeared, she would go to the back-door to that milkman, and he was inclined to gothither also. however, in his doubts he turned to thefront, and rang. the hour being early, the landlady herselfopened the door. clare inquired for teresa d'urberville ordurbeyfield. "mrs d'urberville?""yes." tess, then, passed as a married woman, andhe felt glad, even though she had not adopted his name."will you kindly tell her that a relative is anxious to see her?"

"it is rather early.what name shall i give, sir?" "angel.""mr angel?" "no; angel. it is my christian name.she'll understand." "i'll see if she is awake." he was shown into the front room--thedining-room--and looked out through the spring curtains at the little lawn, and therhododendrons and other shrubs upon it. obviously her position was by no means sobad as he had feared, and it crossed his mind that she must somehow have claimed andsold the jewels to attain it.

he did not blame her for one moment. soon his sharpened ear detected footstepsupon the stairs, at which his heart thumped so painfully that he could hardly standfirm. "dear me! what will she think of me, soaltered as i am!" he said to himself; and the door opened. tess appeared on the threshold--not at allas he had expected to see her-- bewilderingly otherwise, indeed. her great natural beauty was, if notheightened, rendered more obvious by her attire.

she was loosely wrapped in a cashmeredressing-gown of gray-white, embroidered in half-mourning tints, and she wore slippersof the same hue. her neck rose out of a frill of down, andher well-remembered cable of dark-brown hair was partially coiled up in a mass atthe back of her head and partly hanging on her shoulder--the evident result of haste. he had held out his arms, but they hadfallen again to his side; for she had not come forward, remaining still in theopening of the doorway. mere yellow skeleton that he was now, hefelt the contrast between them, and thought his appearance distasteful to her."tess!" he said huskily, "can you forgive

me for going away? can't you--come to me?how do you get to be--like this?" "it is too late," said she, her voicesounding hard through the room, her eyes shining unnaturally. "i did not think rightly of you--i did notsee you as you were!" he continued to plead."i have learnt to since, dearest tessy mine!" "too late, too late!" she said, waving herhand in the impatience of a person whose tortures cause every instant to seem anhour.

"don't come close to me, angel! no--you must not.keep away." "but don't you love me, my dear wife,because i have been so pulled down by illness? you are not so fickle--i am come on purposefor you--my mother and father will welcome you now!""yes--o, yes, yes! but i say, i say it is too late." she seemed to feel like a fugitive in adream, who tries to move away, but cannot. "don't you know all--don't you know it?yet how do you come here if you do not

know?" "i inquired here and there, and i found theway." "i waited and waited for you," she went on,her tones suddenly resuming their old fluty pathos. "but you did not come!and i wrote to you, and you did not come! he kept on saying you would never come anymore, and that i was a foolish woman. he was very kind to me, and to mother, andto all of us after father's death. he--""i don't understand." "he has won me back to him."

clare looked at her keenly, then, gatheringher meaning, flagged like one plague- stricken, and his glance sank; it fell onher hands, which, once rosy, were now white and more delicate. she continued--"he is upstairs. i hate him now, because he told me a lie--that you would not come again; and you have come! these clothes are what he's put upon me: ididn't care what he did wi' me! but--will you go away, angel, please, andnever come any more?" they stood fixed, their baffled heartslooking out of their eyes with a

joylessness pitiful to see.both seemed to implore something to shelter them from reality. "ah--it is my fault!" said clare.but he could not get on. speech was as inexpressive as silence. but he had a vague consciousness of onething, though it was not clear to him till later; that his original tess hadspiritually ceased to recognize the body before him as hers--allowing it to drift, like a corpse upon the current, in adirection dissociated from its living will. a few instants passed, and he found thattess was gone.

his face grew colder and more shrunken ashe stood concentrated on the moment, and a minute or two after, he found himself inthe street, walking along he did not know whither. -chapter lvi mrs brooks, the lady who was thehouseholder at the herons and owner of all the handsome furniture, was not a person ofan unusually curious turn of mind. she was too deeply materialized, poorwoman, by her long and enforced bondage to that arithmetical demon profit-and-loss, toretain much curiousity for its own sake, and apart from possible lodgers' pockets.

nevertheless, the visit of angel clare toher well-paying tenants, mr and mrs d'urberville, as she deemed them, wassufficiently exceptional in point of time and manner to reinvigorate the feminine proclivity which had been stifled down asuseless save in its bearings to the letting trade. tess had spoken to her husband from thedoorway, without entering the dining-room, and mrs brooks, who stood within thepartly-closed door of her own sitting-room at the back of the passage, could hear fragments of the conversation--ifconversation it could be called--between

those two wretched souls. she heard tess re-ascend the stairs to thefirst floor, and the departure of clare, and the closing of the front door behindhim. then the door of the room above was shut,and mrs brooks knew that tess had re- entered her apartment. as the young lady was not fully dressed,mrs brooks knew that she would not emerge again for some time. she accordingly ascended the stairs softly,and stood at the door of the front room--a drawing-room, connected with the roomimmediately behind it (which was a bedroom)

by folding-doors in the common manner. this first floor, containing mrs brooks'sbest apartments, had been taken by the week by the d'urbervilles.the back room was now in silence; but from the drawing-room there came sounds. all that she could at first distinguish ofthem was one syllable, continually repeated in a low note of moaning, as if it camefrom a soul bound to some ixionian wheel-- "o--o--o!" then a silence, then a heavy sigh, andagain-- "o--o--o!"the landlady looked through the keyhole.

only a small space of the room inside wasvisible, but within that space came a corner of the breakfast table, which wasalready spread for the meal, and also a chair beside. over the seat of the chair tess's face wasbowed, her posture being a kneeling one in front of it; her hands were clasped overher head, the skirts of her dressing-gown and the embroidery of her night-gown flowed upon the floor behind her, and herstockingless feet, from which the slippers had fallen, protruded upon the carpet.it was from her lips that came the murmur of unspeakable despair.

then a man's voice from the adjoiningbedroom-- "what's the matter?" she did not answer, but went on, in a tonewhich was a soliloquy rather than an exclamation, and a dirge rather than asoliloquy. mrs brooks could only catch a portion: "and then my dear, dear husband came hometo me ... and i did not know it!... and you had used your cruel persuasion uponme ... you did not stop using it--no--you did not stop! my little sisters and brothers and mymother's needs--they were the things you

moved me by ... and you said my husbandwould never come back--never; and you taunted me, and said what a simpleton i wasto expect him!... and at last i believed you and gave way!...and then he came back! now he is gone. gone a second time, and i have lost him nowfor ever ... and he will not love me the littlest bit ever any more--only hateme!... o yes, i have lost him now--again becauseof--you!" in writhing, with her head on the chair,she turned her face towards the door, and mrs brooks could see the pain upon it, andthat her lips were bleeding from the clench

of her teeth upon them, and that the long lashes of her closed eyes stuck in wet tagsto her cheeks. she continued: "and he is dying--he looksas if he is dying!... and my sin will kill him and not killme!... o, you have torn my life all to pieces ...made me be what i prayed you in pity not to make me be again!... my own true husband will never, never--ogod--i can't bear this!--i cannot!" there were more and sharper words from theman; then a sudden rustle; she had sprung to her feet.

mrs brooks, thinking that the speaker wascoming to rush out 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. but mrs brooks felt it unsafe to watch onthe landing again, and entered her own parlour below. she could hear nothing through the floor,although she listened intently, and thereupon went to the kitchen to finish herinterrupted breakfast. coming up presently to the front room onthe ground floor she took up some sewing, waiting for her lodgers to ring that shemight take away the breakfast, which she

meant to do herself, to discover what wasthe matter if possible. overhead, as she sat, she could now hearthe floorboards slightly creak, as if some one were walking about, and presently themovement was explained by the rustle of garments against the banisters, the opening and the closing of the front door, and theform of tess passing to the gate on her way into the street. she was fully dressed now in the walkingcostume of a well-to-do young lady in which she had arrived, with the sole additionthat over her hat and black feathers a veil was drawn.

mrs brooks had not been able to catch anyword of farewell, temporary or otherwise, between her tenants at the door above. they might have quarrelled, or mrd'urberville might still be asleep, for he was not an early riser. she went into the back room, which was moreespecially her own apartment, and continued her sewing there.the lady lodger did not return, nor did the gentleman ring his bell. mrs brooks pondered on the delay, and onwhat probable relation the visitor who had called so early bore to the coupleupstairs.

in reflecting she leant back in her chair. as she did so her eyes glanced casuallyover the ceiling till they were arrested by a spot in the middle of its white surfacewhich she had never noticed there before. it was about the size of a wafer when shefirst observed it, but it speedily grew as large as the palm of her hand, and then shecould perceive that it was red. the oblong white ceiling, with this scarletblot in the midst, had the appearance of a gigantic ace of hearts.mrs brooks had strange qualms of misgiving. she got upon the table, and touched thespot in the ceiling with her fingers. it was damp, and she fancied that it was ablood stain.

descending from the table, she left theparlour, and went upstairs, intending to enter the room overhead, which was thebedchamber at the back of the drawing-room. but, nerveless woman as she had now become,she could not bring herself to attempt the handle.she listened. the dead silence within was broken only bya regular beat. drip, drip, drip.mrs brooks hastened downstairs, opened the front door, and ran into the street. a man she knew, one of the workmen employedat an adjoining villa, was passing by, and she begged him to come in and go upstairswith her; she feared something had happened

to one of her lodgers. the workman assented, and followed her tothe landing. she opened the door of the drawing-room,and stood back for him to pass in, entering herself behind him. the room was empty; the breakfast--asubstantial repast of coffee, eggs, and a cold ham--lay spread upon the tableuntouched, as when she had taken it up, excepting that the carving-knife wasmissing. she asked the man to go through thefolding-doors into the adjoining room. he opened the doors, entered a step or two,and came back almost instantly with a rigid

face."my good god, the gentleman in bed is dead! i think he has been hurt with a knife--alot of blood had run down upon the floor!" the alarm was soon given, and the housewhich had lately been so quiet resounded with the tramp of many footsteps, a surgeonamong the rest. the wound was small, but the point of theblade had touched the heart of the victim, who lay on his back, pale, fixed, dead, asif he had scarcely moved after the infliction of the blow. in a quarter of an hour the news that agentleman who was a temporary visitor to the town had been stabbed in his bed,spread through every street and villa of

the popular watering-place. chapter lvii meanwhile angel clare had walkedautomatically along the way by which he had come, and, entering his hotel, sat downover the breakfast, staring at nothingness. he went on eating and drinkingunconsciously till on a sudden he demanded his bill; having paid which, he took hisdressing-bag in his hand, the only luggage he had brought with him, and went out. at the moment of his departure a telegramwas handed to him--a few words from his mother, stating that they were glad to knowhis address, and informing him that his

brother cuthbert had proposed to and beenaccepted by mercy chant. clare crumpled up the paper and followedthe route to the station; reaching it, he found that there would be no train leavingfor an hour and more. he sat down to wait, and having waited aquarter of an hour felt that he could wait there no longer. broken in heart and numbed, he had nothingto hurry for; but he wished to get out of a town which had been the scene of such anexperience, and turned to walk to the first station onward, and let the train pick himup there. the highway that he followed was open, andat a little distance dipped into a valley,

across which it could be seen running fromedge to edge. he had traversed the greater part of thisdepression, and was climbing the western acclivity when, pausing for breath, heunconsciously looked back. why he did so he could not say, butsomething seemed to impel him to the act. the tape-like surface of the roaddiminished in his rear as far as he could see, and as he gazed a moving spot intrudedon the white vacuity of its perspective. it was a human figure running. clare waited, with a dim sense thatsomebody was trying to overtake him. the form descending the incline was awoman's, yet so entirely was his mind

blinded to the idea of his wife's followinghim that even when she came nearer he did not recognize her under the totally changedattire in which he now beheld her. it was not till she was quite close that hecould believe her to be tess. "i saw you--turn away from the station--just before i got there--and i have been following you all this way!" she was so pale, so breathless, soquivering in every muscle, that he did not ask her a single question, but seizing herhand, and pulling it within his arm, he led her along. to avoid meeting any possible wayfarers heleft the high road and took a footpath

under some fir-trees. when they were deep among the moaningboughs he stopped and looked at her inquiringly. "angel," she said, as if waiting for this,"do you know what i have been running after you for?to tell you that i have killed him!" a pitiful white smile lit her face as shespoke. "what!" said he, thinking from thestrangeness of her manner that she was in some delirium. "i have done it--i don't know how," shecontinued.

"still, i owed it to you, and to myself,angel. i feared long ago, when i struck him on themouth with my glove, that i might do it some day for the trap he set for me in mysimple youth, and his wrong to you through he has come between us and ruined us, andnow he can never do it any more. i never loved him at all, angel, as i lovedyou. you know it, don't you? you believe it?you didn't come back to me, and i was obliged to go back to him.why did you go away--why did you--when i loved you so?

i can't think why you did it.but i don't blame you; only, angel, will you forgive me my sin against you, now ihave killed him? i thought as i ran along that you would besure to forgive me now i have done that. it came to me as a shining light that ishould get you back that way. i could not bear the loss of you anylonger--you don't know how entirely i was unable to bear your not loving me!say you do now, dear, dear husband; say you do, now i have killed him!" "i do love you, tess--o, i do--it is allcome back!" he said, tightening his arms round her with fervid pressure."but how do you mean--you have killed him?"

"i mean that i have," she murmured in areverie. "what, bodily?is he dead?" "yes. he heard me crying about you, and hebitterly taunted me; and called you by a foul name; and then i did it.my heart could not bear it. he had nagged me about you before. and then i dressed myself and came away tofind you." by degrees he was inclined to believe thatshe had faintly attempted, at least, what she said she had done; and his horror ather impulse was mixed with amazement at the

strength of her affection for himself, and at the strangeness of its quality, whichhad apparently extinguished her moral sense altogether. unable to realize the gravity of herconduct, she seemed at last content; and he looked at her as she lay upon his shoulder,weeping with happiness, and wondered what obscure strain in the d'urberville blood had led to this aberration--if it were anaberration. there momentarily flashed through his mindthat the family tradition of the coach and murder might have arisen because thed'urbervilles had been known to do these

things. as well as his confused and excited ideascould reason, he supposed that in the moment of mad grief of which she spoke, hermind had lost its balance, and plunged her into this abyss. it was very terrible if true; if atemporary hallucination, sad. but, anyhow, here was this deserted wife ofhis, this passionately-fond woman, clinging to him without a suspicion that he would beanything to her but a protector. he saw that for him to be otherwise wasnot, in her mind, within the region of the possible.tenderness was absolutely dominant in clare

at last. he kissed her endlessly with his whitelips, and held her hand, and said-- "i will not desert you! i will protect you by every means in mypower, dearest love, whatever you may have done or not have done!" they then walked on under the trees, tessturning her head every now and then to look at him. worn and unhandsome as he had become, itwas plain that she did not discern the least fault in his appearance.to her he was, as of old, all that was

perfection, personally and mentally. he was still her antinous, her apollo even;his sickly face was beautiful as the morning to her affectionate regard on thisday no less than when she first beheld him; for was it not the face of the one man on earth who had loved her purely, and who hadbelieved in her as pure! with an instinct as to possibilities, hedid not now, as he had intended, make for the first station beyond the town, butplunged still farther under the firs, which here abounded for miles. each clasping the other round the waistthey promenaded over the dry bed of fir-

needles, thrown into a vague intoxicatingatmosphere at the consciousness of being together at last, with no living soul between them; ignoring that there was acorpse. thus they proceeded for several miles tilltess, arousing herself, looked about her, and said, timidly-- "are we going anywhere in particular?""i don't know, dearest. why?""i don't know." "well, we might walk a few miles further,and when it is evening find lodgings somewhere or other--in a lonely cottage,perhaps.

can you walk well, tessy?" "o yes!i could walk for ever and ever with your arm round me!"upon the whole it seemed a good thing to do. thereupon they quickened their pace,avoiding high roads, and following obscure paths tending more or less northward. but there was an unpractical vagueness intheir movements throughout the day; neither one of them seemed to consider any questionof effectual escape, disguise, or long concealment.

their every idea was temporary andunforefending, like the plans of two children. at mid-day they drew near to a roadsideinn, and tess would have entered it with him to get something to eat, but hepersuaded her to remain among the trees and bushes of this half-woodland, half-moorland part of the country till he should comeback. her clothes were of recent fashion; eventhe ivory-handled parasol that she carried was of a shape unknown in the retired spotto which they had now wandered; and the cut of such articles would have attractedattention in the settle of a tavern.

he soon returned, with food enough forhalf-a-dozen people and two bottles of wine--enough to last them for a day ormore, should any emergency arise. they sat down upon some dead boughs andshared their meal. between one and two o'clock they packed upthe remainder and went on again. "i feel strong enough to walk anydistance," said she. "i think we may as well steer in a generalway towards the interior of the country, where we can hide for a time, and are lesslikely to be looked for than anywhere near the coast," clare remarked. "later on, when they have forgotten us, wecan make for some port."

she made no reply to this beyond that ofgrasping him more tightly, and straight inland they went. though the season was an english may, theweather was serenely bright, and during the afternoon it was quite warm. through the latter miles of their walktheir footpath had taken them into the depths of the new forest, and towardsevening, turning the corner of a lane, they perceived behind a brook and bridge a large board on which was painted in whiteletters, "this desirable mansion to be let furnished"; particulars following, withdirections to apply to some london agents.

passing through the gate they could see thehouse, an old brick building of regular design and large accommodation."i know it," said clare. "it is bramshurst court. you can see that it is shut up, and grassis growing on the drive." "some of the windows are open," said tess."just to air the rooms, i suppose." "all these rooms empty, and we without aroof to our heads!" "you are getting tired, my tess!" he said."we'll stop soon." and kissing her sad mouth, he again led heronwards. he was growing weary likewise, for they hadwandered a dozen or fifteen miles, and it

became necessary to consider what theyshould do for rest. they looked from afar at isolated cottagesand little inns, and were inclined to approach one of the latter, when theirhearts failed them, and they sheered off. at length their gait dragged, and theystood still. "could we sleep under the trees?" sheasked. he thought the season insufficientlyadvanced. "i have been thinking of that empty mansionwe passed," he said. "let us go back towards it again." they retraced their steps, but it was halfan hour before they stood without the

entrance-gate as earlier.he then requested her to stay where she was, whilst he went to see who was within. she sat down among the bushes within thegate, and clare crept towards the house. his absence lasted some considerable time,and when he returned tess was wildly anxious, not for herself, but for him. he had found out from a boy that there wasonly an old woman in charge as caretaker, and she only came there on fine days, fromthe hamlet near, to open and shut the windows. she would come to shut them at sunset."now, we can get in through one of the

lower windows, and rest there," said he. under his escort she went tardily forwardto the main front, whose shuttered windows, like sightless eyeballs, excluded thepossibility of watchers. the door was reached a few steps further,and one of the windows beside it was open. clare clambered in, and pulled tess inafter him. except the hall, the rooms were all indarkness, and they ascended the staircase. up here also the shutters were tightlyclosed, the ventilation being perfunctorily done, for this day at least, by opening thehall-window in front and an upper window behind.

clare unlatched the door of a largechamber, felt his way across it, and parted the shutters to the width of two or threeinches. a shaft of dazzling sunlight glanced intothe room, revealing heavy, old-fashioned furniture, crimson damask hangings, and anenormous four-post bedstead, along the head of which were carved running figures,apparently atalanta's race. "rest at last!" said he, setting down hisbag and the parcel of viands. they remained in great quietness till thecaretaker should have come to shut the windows: as a precaution, puttingthemselves in total darkness by barring the shutters as before, lest the woman should

open the door of their chamber for anycasual reason. between six and seven o'clock she came, butdid not approach the wing they were in. they heard her close the windows, fastenthem, lock the door, and go away. then clare again stole a chink of lightfrom the window, and they shared another meal, till by-and-by they were enveloped inthe shades of night which they had no candle to disperse. chapter lviii the night was strangely solemn and still. in the small hours she whispered to him thewhole story of how he had walked in his

sleep with her in his arms across the froomstream, at the imminent risk of both their lives, and laid her down in the stonecoffin at the ruined abbey. he had never known of that till now."why didn't you tell me next day?" he said. "it might have prevented muchmisunderstanding and woe." "don't think of what's past!" said she."i am not going to think outside of now. why should we! who knows what to-morrow has in store?"but it apparently had no sorrow. the morning was wet and foggy, and clare,rightly informed that the caretaker only opened the windows on fine days, venturedto creep out of their chamber and explore

the house, leaving tess asleep. there was no food on the premises, butthere was water, and he took advantage of the fog to emerge from the mansion andfetch tea, bread, and butter from a shop in a little place two miles beyond, as also a small tin kettle and spirit-lamp, that theymight get fire without smoke. his re-entry awoke her; and theybreakfasted on what he had brought. they were indisposed to stir abroad, andthe day passed, and the night following, and the next, and next; till, almostwithout their being aware, five days had slipped by in absolute seclusion, not a

sight or sound of a human being disturbingtheir peacefulness, such as it was. the changes of the weather were their onlyevents, the birds of the new forest their only company. by tacit consent they hardly once spoke ofany incident of the past subsequent to their wedding-day. the gloomy intervening time seemed to sinkinto chaos, over which the present and prior times closed as if it never had been. whenever he suggested that they shouldleave their shelter, and go forwards towards southampton or london, she showed astrange unwillingness to move.

"why should we put an end to all that'ssweet and lovely!" she deprecated. "what must come will come." and, looking through the shutter-chink:"all is trouble outside there; inside here content."he peeped out also. it was quite true; within was affection,union, error forgiven: outside was the inexorable. "and--and," she said, pressing her cheekagainst his, "i fear that what you think of me now may not last.i do not wish to outlive your present feeling for me.

i would rather not.i would rather be dead and buried when the time comes for you to despise me, so thatit may never be known to me that you despised me." "i cannot ever despise you.""i also hope that. but considering what my life has been, icannot see why any man should, sooner or later, be able to help despising me.... how wickedly mad i was!yet formerly i never could bear to hurt a fly or a worm, and the sight of a bird in acage used often to make me cry." they remained yet another day.

in the night the dull sky cleared, and theresult was that the old caretaker at the cottage awoke early. the brilliant sunrise made her unusuallybrisk; she decided to open the contiguous mansion immediately, and to air itthoroughly on such a day. thus it occurred that, having arrived andopened the lower rooms before six o'clock, she ascended to the bedchambers, and wasabout to turn the handle of the one wherein they lay. at that moment she fancied she could hearthe breathing of persons within. her slippers and her antiquity had renderedher progress a noiseless one so far, and

she made for instant retreat; then, deemingthat her hearing might have deceived her, she turned anew to the door and softlytried the handle. the lock was out of order, but a piece offurniture had been moved forward on the inside, which prevented her opening thedoor more than an inch or two. a stream of morning light through theshutter-chink fell upon the faces of the pair, wrapped in profound slumber, tess'slips being parted like a half-opened flower near his cheek. the caretaker was so struck with theirinnocent appearance, and with the elegance of tess's gown hanging across a chair, hersilk stockings beside it, the pretty

parasol, and the other habits in which she had arrived because she had none else, thather first indignation at the effrontery of tramps and vagabonds gave way to amomentary sentimentality over this genteel elopement, as it seemed. she closed the door, and withdrew as softlyas she had come, to go and consult with her neighbours on the odd discovery. not more than a minute had elapsed afterher withdrawal when tess woke, and then clare. both had a sense that something haddisturbed them, though they could not say

what; and the uneasy feeling which itengendered grew stronger. as soon as he was dressed he narrowlyscanned 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 isabout the house. at any rate, the woman will be sure to cometo-day." she passively assented, and putting theroom in order, they took up the few articles that belonged to them, anddeparted noiselessly. when they had got into the forest sheturned to take a last look at the house.

"ah, happy house--goodbye!" she said."my life can only be a question of a few weeks. why should we not have stayed there?""don't say it, tess! we shall soon get out of this districtaltogether. we'll continue our course as we've begunit, and keep straight north. nobody will think of looking for us there.we shall be looked for at the wessex ports if we are sought at all. when we are in the north we will get to aport and away." having thus persuaded her, the plan waspursued, and they kept a bee-line

northward. their long repose at the manor-house lentthem walking power now; and towards mid-day they found that they were approaching thesteepled city of melchester, which lay directly in their way. he decided to rest her in a clump of treesduring the afternoon, and push onward under cover of darkness. at dusk clare purchased food as usual, andtheir night march began, the boundary between upper and mid-wessex being crossedabout eight o'clock. to walk across country without much regardto roads was not new to tess, and she

showed her old agility in the performance. the intercepting city, ancient melchester,they were obliged to pass through in order to take advantage of the town bridge forcrossing a large river that obstructed them. it was about midnight when they went alongthe deserted streets, lighted fitfully by the few lamps, keeping off the pavementthat it might not echo their footsteps. the graceful pile of cathedral architecturerose dimly on their left hand, but it was lost upon them now. once out of the town they followed theturnpike-road, which after a few miles

plunged across an open plain. though the sky was dense with cloud, adiffused light from some fragment of a moon had hitherto helped them a little. but the moon had now sunk, the cloudsseemed to settle almost on their heads, and the night grew as dark as a cave. however, they found their way along,keeping as much on the turf as possible that their tread might not resound, whichit was easy to do, there being no hedge or fence of any kind. all around was open loneliness and blacksolitude, over which a stiff breeze blew.

they had proceeded thus gropingly two orthree miles further when on a sudden clare became conscious of some vast erectionclose in his front, rising sheer from the grass. they had almost struck themselves againstit. "what monstrous place is this?" said angel."it hums," said she. "hearken!" he listened.the wind, playing upon the edifice, produced a booming tune, like the note ofsome gigantic one-stringed harp. no other sound came from it, and liftinghis hand and advancing a step or two, clare

felt the vertical surface of the structure.it seemed to be of solid stone, without joint or moulding. carrying his fingers onward he found thatwhat he had come in contact with was a colossal rectangular pillar; by stretchingout his left hand he could feel a similar one adjoining. at an indefinite height overhead somethingmade the black sky blacker, which had the semblance of a vast architrave uniting thepillars horizontally. they carefully entered beneath and between;the surfaces 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?" feeling sideways they encountered anothertower-like pillar, square and uncompromising as the first; beyond itanother and another. the place was all doors and pillars, someconnected above by continuous architraves. "a very temple of the winds," he said. the next pillar was isolated; otherscomposed a trilithon; others were prostrate, their flanks forming a causewaywide enough for a carriage; and it was soon obvious that they made up a forest of

monoliths grouped upon the grassy expanseof the plain. the couple advanced further into thispavilion of the night till they stood in its midst. "it is stonehenge!" said clare."the heathen temple, you mean?" "yes.older than the centuries; older than the d'urbervilles! well, what shall we do, darling?we may find shelter further on." but tess, really tired by this time, flungherself upon an oblong slab that lay close at hand, and was sheltered from the wind bya pillar.

owing to the action of the sun during thepreceding day, the stone was warm and dry, in comforting contrast to the rough andchill grass around, which had damped her skirts and shoes. "i don't want to go any further, angel,"she said, stretching out her hand for his. "can't we bide here?""i fear not. this spot is visible for miles by day,although it does not seem so now." "one of my mother's people was a shepherdhereabouts, now i think of it. and you used to say at talbothays that iwas a heathen. so now i am at home."he knelt down beside her outstretched form,

and put his lips upon hers. "sleepy are you, dear?i think you are lying on an altar." "i like very much to be here," shemurmured. "it is so solemn and lonely--after my greathappiness--with nothing but the sky above my face. it seems as if there were no folk in theworld but we two; and i wish there were not--except 'liza-lu." clare though she might as well rest heretill it should get a little lighter, and he flung his overcoat upon her, and sat downby her side.

"angel, if anything happens to me, will youwatch over 'liza-lu for my sake?" she asked, when they had listened a long timeto the wind among the pillars. "i will." "she is so good and simple and pure.o, angel--i wish you would marry her if you lose me, as you will do shortly.o, if you would!" "if i lose you i lose all! and she is my sister-in-law.""that's nothing, dearest. people marry sister-laws continually aboutmarlott; and 'liza-lu is so gentle and sweet, and she is growing so beautiful.

o, i could share you with her willinglywhen we are spirits! if you would train her and teach her,angel, and bring her up for your own self!... she had all the best of me without the badof me; and if she were to become yours it would almost seem as if death had notdivided us... well, i have said it. i won't mention it again."she ceased, and he fell into thought. in the far north-east sky he could seebetween the pillars a level streak of light.

the uniform concavity of black cloud waslifting bodily like the lid of a pot, letting in at the earth's edge the comingday, against which the towering monoliths and trilithons began to be blackly defined. "did they sacrifice to god here?" askedshe. "no," said he."who to?" "i believe to the sun. that lofty stone set away by itself is inthe direction of the sun, which will presently rise behind it.""this reminds me, dear," she said. "you remember you never would interferewith any belief of mine before we were

married? but i knew your mind all the same, and ithought as you thought--not from any reasons of my own, but because you thoughtso. tell me now, angel, do you think we shallmeet again after we are dead? i want to know."he kissed her to avoid a reply at such a time. "o, angel--i fear that means no!" said she,with a suppressed sob. "and i wanted so to see you again--so much,so much! what--not even you and i, angel, who loveeach other so well?"

like a greater than himself, to thecritical question at the critical time he did not answer; and they were again silent. in a minute or two her breathing becamemore regular, her clasp of his hand relaxed, and she fell asleep. the band of silver paleness along the easthorizon made even the distant parts of the great plain appear dark and near; and thewhole enormous landscape bore that impress of reserve, taciturnity, and hesitationwhich is usual just before day. the eastward pillars and their architravesstood up blackly against the light, and the great flame-shaped sun-stone beyond them;and the stone of sacrifice midway.

presently the night wind died out, and thequivering little pools in the cup-like hollows of the stones lay still. at the same time something seemed to moveon the verge of the dip eastward--a mere dot.it was the head of a man approaching them from the hollow beyond the sun-stone. clare wished they had gone onward, but inthe circumstances decided to remain quiet. the figure came straight towards the circleof pillars in which they were. he heard something behind him, the brush offeet. turning, he saw over the prostrate columnsanother figure; then before he was aware,

another was at hand on the right, under atrilithon, and another on the left. the dawn shone full on the front of the manwestward, and clare could discern from this that he was tall, and walked as if trained.they all closed in with evident purpose. her story then was true! springing to his feet, he looked around fora weapon, loose stone, means of escape, anything.by this time the nearest man was upon him. "it is no use, sir," he said. "there are sixteen of us on the plain, andthe whole country is reared." "let her finish her sleep!" he implored ina whisper of the men as they gathered

round. when they saw where she lay, which they hadnot done till then, they showed no objection, and stood watching her, as stillas the pillars around. he went to the stone and bent over her,holding one poor little hand; her breathing now was quick and small, like that of alesser creature than a woman. all waited in the growing light, theirfaces and hands as if they were silvered, the remainder of their figures dark, thestones glistening green-gray, the plain still a mass of shade. soon the light was strong, and a ray shoneupon her unconscious form, peering under

her eyelids and waking her."what is it, angel?" she said, starting up. "have they come for me?" "yes, dearest," he said."they have come." "it is as it should be," she murmured."angel, i am almost glad--yes, glad! this happiness could not have lasted. it was too much.i have had enough; and now i shall not live for you to despise me!"she stood up, shook herself, and went forward, neither of the men having moved. "i am ready," she said quietly.

-chapter lix the city of wintoncester, that fine oldcity, aforetime capital of wessex, lay amidst its convex and concave downlands inall the brightness and warmth of a july morning. the gabled brick, tile, and freestonehouses had almost dried off for the season their integument of lichen, the streams inthe meadows were low, and in the sloping high street, from the west gateway to the medieval cross, and from the medieval crossto the bridge, that leisurely dusting and sweeping was in progress which usuallyushers in an old-fashioned market-day.

from the western gate aforesaid thehighway, as every wintoncestrian knows, ascends a long and regular incline of theexact length of a measured mile, leaving the houses gradually behind. up this road from the precincts of the citytwo persons were walking rapidly, as if unconscious of the trying ascent--unconscious through preoccupation and not through buoyancy. they had emerged upon this road through anarrow, barred wicket in a high wall a little lower down. they seemed anxious to get out of the sightof the houses and of their kind, and this

road appeared to offer the quickest meansof doing so. though they were young, they walked withbowed heads, which gait of grief the sun's rays smiled on pitilessly. one of the pair was angel clare, the othera tall budding creature--half girl, half woman--a spiritualized image of tess,slighter than she, but with the same beautiful eyes--clare's sister-in-law,'liza-lu. their pale faces seemed to have shrunk tohalf their natural size. they moved on hand in hand, and never spokea word, the drooping of their heads being that of giotto's "two apostles".

when they had nearly reached the top of thegreat west hill the clocks in the town struck eight. each gave a start at the notes, and,walking onward yet a few steps, they reached the first milestone, standingwhitely on the green margin of the grass, and backed by the down, which here was opento the road. they entered upon the turf, and, impelledby a force that seemed to overrule their will, suddenly stood still, turned, andwaited in paralyzed suspense beside the stone. the prospect from this summit was almostunlimited.

in the valley beneath lay the city they hadjust left, its more prominent buildings showing as in an isometric drawing--amongthem the broad cathedral tower, with its norman windows and immense length of aisle and nave, the spires of st thomas's, thepinnacled tower of the college, and, more to the right, the tower and gables of theancient hospice, where to this day the pilgrim may receive his dole of bread andale. behind the city swept the rotund upland ofst catherine's hill; further off, landscape beyond landscape, till the horizon was lostin the radiance of the sun hanging above it.

against these far stretches of countryrose, in front of the other city edifices, a large red-brick building, with level grayroofs, and rows of short barred windows bespeaking captivity, the whole contrasting greatly by its formalism with the quaintirregularities of the gothic erections. it was somewhat disguised from the road inpassing it by yews and evergreen oaks, but it was visible enough up here. the wicket from which the pair had latelyemerged was in the wall of this structure. from the middle of the building an uglyflat-topped octagonal tower ascended against the east horizon, and viewed fromthis spot, on its shady side and against

the light, it seemed the one blot on thecity's beauty. yet it was with this blot, and not with thebeauty, that the two gazers were concerned. upon the cornice of the tower a tall staffwas fixed. their eyes were riveted on it. a few minutes after the hour had strucksomething moved slowly up the staff, and extended itself upon the breeze.it was a black flag. "justice" was done, and the president ofthe immortals, in aeschylean phrase, had ended his sport with tess.and the d'urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing.

the two speechless gazers bent themselvesdown to the earth, as if in prayer, and remained thus a long time, absolutelymotionless: the flag continued to wave silently. as soon as they had strength, they arose,joined hands again, and went on.

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