heizkörper vertikal wohnzimmer mittelanschluss

heizkörper vertikal wohnzimmer mittelanschluss

chapter viii having mounted beside her, alecd'urberville drove rapidly along the crest of the first hill, chatting compliments totess as they went, the cart with her box being left far behind. rising still, an immense landscapestretched around them on every side; behind, the green valley of her birth,before, a gray country of which she knew nothing except from her first brief visitto trantridge. thus they reached the verge of an inclinedown which the road stretched in a long straight descent of nearly a mile.

ever since the accident with her father'shorse tess durbeyfield, courageous as she naturally was, had been exceedingly timidon wheels; the least irregularity of motion startled her. she began to get uneasy at a certainrecklessness in her conductor's driving. "you will go down slow, sir, i suppose?"she said with attempted unconcern. d'urberville looked round upon her, nippedhis cigar with the tips of his large white centre-teeth, and allowed his lips to smileslowly of themselves. "why, tess," he answered, after anotherwhiff or two, "it isn't a brave bouncing girl like you who asks that?why, i always go down at full gallop.

there's nothing like it for raising yourspirits." "but perhaps you need not now?""ah," he said, shaking his head, "there are two to be reckoned with. it is not me alone.tib has to be considered, and she has a very queer temper.""who?" "why, this mare. i fancy she looked round at me in a verygrim way just then. didn't you notice it?""don't try to frighten me, sir," said tess stiffly.

"well, i don't.if any living man can manage this horse i can: i won't say any living man can do it--but if such has the power, i am he." "why do you have such a horse?" "ah, well may you ask it!it was my fate, i suppose. tib has killed one chap; and just after ibought her she nearly killed me. and then, take my word for it, i nearlykilled her. but she's touchy still, very touchy; andone's life is hardly safe behind her sometimes." they were just beginning to descend; and itwas evident that the horse, whether of her

own will or of his (the latter being themore likely), knew so well the reckless performance expected of her that she hardlyrequired a hint from behind. down, down, they sped, the wheels humminglike a top, the dog-cart rocking right and left, its axis acquiring a slightly obliqueset in relation to the line of progress; the figure of the horse rising and fallingin undulations before them. sometimes a wheel was off the ground, itseemed, for many yards; sometimes a stone was sent spinning over the hedge, andflinty sparks from the horse's hoofs outshone the daylight. the aspect of the straight road enlargedwith their advance, the two banks dividing

like a splitting stick; one rushing past ateach shoulder. the wind blew through tess's white muslinto her very skin, and her washed hair flew out behind.she was determined to show no open fear, but she clutched d'urberville's rein-arm. "don't touch my arm!we shall be thrown out if you do! hold on round my waist!"she grasped his waist, and so they reached the bottom. "safe, thank god, in spite of yourfooling!" said she, her face on fire. "tess--fie! that's temper!" saidd'urberville.

"'tis truth." "well, you need not let go your hold of meso thanklessly the moment you feel yourself our of danger." she had not considered what she had beendoing; whether he were man or woman, stick or stone, in her involuntary hold on him. recovering her reserve, she sat withoutreplying, and thus they reached the summit of another declivity."now then, again!" said d'urberville. "no, no!" said tess. "show more sense, do, please.""but when people find themselves on one of

the highest points in the county, they mustget down again," he retorted. he loosened rein, and away they went asecond time. d'urberville turned his face to her as theyrocked, and said, in playful raillery: "now then, put your arms round my waist again,as you did before, my beauty." "never!" said tess independently, holdingon as well as she could without touching him. "let me put one little kiss on thoseholmberry lips, tess, or even on that warmed cheek, and i'll stop--on my honour,i will!" tess, surprised beyond measure, slidfarther back still on her seat, at which he

urged the horse anew, and rocked her themore. "will nothing else do?" she cried atlength, in desperation, her large eyes staring at him like those of a wild animal. this dressing her up so prettily by hermother had apparently been to lamentable purpose."nothing, dear tess," he replied. "oh, i don't know--very well; i don'tmind!" she panted miserably. he drew rein, and as they slowed he was onthe point of imprinting the desired salute, when, as if hardly yet aware of her ownmodesty, she dodged aside. his arms being occupied with the reinsthere was left him no power to prevent her

manoeuvre. "now, damn it--i'll break both our necks!"swore her capriciously passionate companion."so you can go from your word like that, you young witch, can you?" "very well," said tess, "i'll not movesince you be so determined! but i--thought you would be kind to me, andprotect me, as my kinsman!" "kinsman be hanged! now!""but i don't want anybody to kiss me, sir!" she implored, a big tear beginning to rolldown her face, and the corners of her mouth

trembling in her attempts not to cry. "and i wouldn't ha' come if i had known!"he was inexorable, and she sat still, and d'urberville gave her the kiss of mastery. no sooner had he done so than she flushedwith shame, took out her handkerchief, and wiped the spot on her cheek that had beentouched by his lips. his ardour was nettled at the sight, forthe act on her part had been unconsciously done."you are mighty sensitive for a cottage girl!" said the young man. tess made no reply to this remark, ofwhich, indeed, she did not quite comprehend

the drift, unheeding the snub she hadadministered by her instinctive rub upon her cheek. she had, in fact, undone the kiss, as faras such a thing was physically possible. with a dim sense that he was vexed shelooked steadily ahead as they trotted on near melbury down and wingreen, till shesaw, to her consternation, that there was yet another descent to be undergone. "you shall be made sorry for that!" heresumed, his injured tone still remaining, as he flourished the whip anew."unless, that is, you agree willingly to let me do it again, and no handkerchief."

she sighed."very well, sir!" she said. "oh--let me get my hat!" at the moment of speaking her hat had blownoff into the road, their present speed on the upland being by no means slow. d'urberville pulled up, and said he wouldget it for her, but tess was down on the other side.she turned back and picked up the article. "you look prettier with it off, upon mysoul, if that's possible," he said, contemplating her over the back of thevehicle. "now then, up again!

what's the matter?"the hat was in place and tied, but tess had not stepped forward. "no, sir," she said, revealing the red andivory of her mouth as her eye lit in defiant triumph; "not again, if i know it!""what--you won't get up beside me?" "no; i shall walk." "'tis five or six miles yet to trantridge.""i don't care if 'tis dozens. besides, the cart is behind.""you artful hussy! now, tell me--didn't you make that hat blowoff on purpose? i'll swear you did!"her strategic silence confirmed his

suspicion. then d'urberville cursed and swore at her,and called her everything he could think of for the trick. turning the horse suddenly he tried todrive back upon her, and so hem her in between the gig and the hedge.but he could not do this short of injuring her. "you ought to be ashamed of yourself forusing such wicked words!" cried tess with spirit, from the top of the hedge intowhich she had scrambled. "i don't like 'ee at all!

i hate and detest you!i'll go back to mother, i will!" d'urberville's bad temper cleared up atsight of hers; and he laughed heartily. "well, i like you all the better," he said. "come, let there be peace.i'll never do it any more against your will.my life upon it now!" still tess could not be induced to remount. she did not, however, object to his keepinghis gig alongside her; and in this manner, at a slow pace, they advanced towards thevillage of trantridge. from time to time d'urberville exhibited asort of fierce distress at the sight of the

tramping he had driven her to undertake byhis misdemeanour. she might in truth have safely trusted himnow; but he had forfeited her confidence for the time, and she kept on the groundprogressing thoughtfully, as if wondering whether it would be wiser to return home. her resolve, however, had been taken, andit seemed vacillating even to childishness to abandon it now, unless for graverreasons. how could she face her parents, get backher box, and disconcert the whole scheme for the rehabilitation of her family onsuch sentimental grounds? a few minutes later the chimneys of theslopes appeared in view, and in a snug nook

to the right the poultry-farm and cottageof tess' destination. > chapter ix the community of fowls to which tess hadbeen appointed as supervisor, purveyor, nurse, surgeon, and friend made itsheadquarters in an old thatched cottage standing in an enclosure that had once been a garden, but was now a trampled and sandedsquare. the house was overrun with ivy, its chimneybeing enlarged by the boughs of the parasite to the aspect of a ruined tower.

the lower rooms were entirely given over tothe birds, who walked about them with a proprietary air, as though the place hadbeen built by themselves, and not by certain dusty copyholders who now lay eastand west in the churchyard. the descendants of these bygone owners feltit almost as a slight to their family when the house which had so much of theiraffection, had cost so much of their forefathers' money, and had been in their possession for several generations beforethe d'urbervilles came and built here, was indifferently turned into a fowl-house bymrs stoke-d'urberville as soon as the property fell into hand according to law.

"'twas good enough for christians ingrandfather's time," they said. the rooms wherein dozens of infants hadwailed at their nursing now resounded with the tapping of nascent chicks. distracted hens in coops occupied spotswhere formerly stood chairs supporting sedate agriculturists. the chimney-corner and once-blazing hearthwas now filled with inverted beehives, in which the hens laid their eggs; while outof doors the plots that each succeeding householder had carefully shaped with his spade were torn by the cocks in wildestfashion.

the garden in which the cottage stood wassurrounded by a wall, and could only be entered through a door. when tess had occupied herself about anhour the next morning in altering and improving the arrangements, according toher skilled ideas as the daughter of a professed poulterer, the door in the wall opened and a servant in white cap and apronentered. she had come from the manor-house. "mrs d'urberville wants the fowls asusual," she said; but perceiving that tess did not quite understand, she explained,"mis'ess is a old lady, and blind."

"blind!" said tess. almost before her misgiving at the newscould find time to shape itself she took, under her companion's direction, two of themost beautiful of the hamburghs in her arms, and followed the maid-servant, who had likewise taken two, to the adjacentmansion, which, though ornate and imposing, showed traces everywhere on this side thatsome occupant of its chambers could bend to the love of dumb creatures--feathers floating within view of the front, and hen-coops standing on the grass. in a sitting-room on the ground-floor,ensconced in an armchair with her back to

the light, was the owner and mistress ofthe estate, a white-haired woman of not more than sixty, or even less, wearing alarge cap. she had the mobile face frequent in thosewhose sight has decayed by stages, has been laboriously striven after, and reluctantlylet go, rather than the stagnant mien apparent in persons long sightless or bornblind. tess walked up to this lady with herfeathered charges--one sitting on each arm. "ah, you are the young woman come to lookafter my birds?" said mrs d'urberville, recognizing a new footstep."i hope you will be kind to them. my bailiff tells me you are quite theproper person.

well, where are they?ah, this is strut! but he is hardly so lively to-day, is he? he is alarmed at being handled by astranger, i suppose. and phena too--yes, they are a littlefrightened--aren't you, dears? but they will soon get used to you." while the old lady had been speaking tessand the other maid, in obedience to her gestures, had placed the fowls severally inher lap, and she had felt them over from head to tail, examining their beaks, their combs, the manes of the cocks, their wings,and their claws.

her touch enabled her to recognize them ina moment, and to discover if a single feather were crippled or draggled. she handled their crops, and knew what theyhad eaten, and if too little or too much; her face enacting a vivid pantomime of thecriticisms passing in her mind. the birds that the two girls had brought inwere duly returned to the yard, and the process was repeated till all the pet cocksand hens had been submitted to the old woman--hamburghs, bantams, cochins, brahmas, dorkings, and such other sorts aswere in fashion just then--her perception of each visitor being seldom at fault asshe received the bird upon her knees.

it reminded tess of a confirmation, inwhich mrs d'urberville was the bishop, the fowls the young people presented, andherself and the maid-servant the parson and curate of the parish bringing them up. at the end of the ceremony mrs d'urbervilleabruptly asked tess, wrinkling and twitching her face into undulations, "canyou whistle?" "whistle, ma'am?" "yes, whistle tunes."tess could whistle like most other country- girls, though the accomplishment was onewhich she did not care to profess in genteel company.

however, she blandly admitted that such wasthe fact. "then you will have to practise it everyday. i had a lad who did it very well, but hehas left. i want you to whistle to my bullfinches; asi cannot see them, i like to hear them, and we teach 'em airs that way. tell her where the cages are, elizabeth.you must begin to-morrow, or they will go back in their piping.they have been neglected these several days." "mr d'urberville whistled to 'em thismorning, ma'am," said elizabeth.

"he!pooh!" the old lady's face creased into furrows ofrepugnance, and she made no further reply. thus the reception of tess by her fanciedkinswoman terminated, and the birds were taken back to their quarters. the girl's surprise at mrs d'urberville'smanner was not great; for since seeing the size of the house she had expected no more. but she was far from being aware that theold lady had never heard a word of the so- called kinship.she gathered that no great affection flowed between the blind woman and her son.

but in that, too, she was mistaken.mrs d'urberville was not the first mother compelled to love her offspringresentfully, and to be bitterly fond. in spite of the unpleasant initiation ofthe day before, tess inclined to the freedom and novelty of her new position inthe morning when the sun shone, now that she was once installed there; and she was curious to test her powers in theunexpected direction asked of her, so as to ascertain her chance of retaining her post. as soon as she was alone within the walledgarden she sat herself down on a coop, and seriously screwed up her mouth for thelong-neglected practice.

she found her former ability to havedegenerated to the production of a hollow rush of wind through the lips, and no clearnote at all. she remained fruitlessly blowing andblowing, wondering how she could have so grown out of the art which had come bynature, till she became aware of a movement among the ivy-boughs which cloaked thegarden-wall no less then the cottage. looking that way she beheld a formspringing from the coping to the plot. it was alec d'urberville, whom she had notset eyes on since he had conducted her the day before to the door of the gardener'scottage where she had lodgings. "upon my honour!" cried he, "there wasnever before such a beautiful thing in

nature or art as you look, 'cousin' tess('cousin' had a faint ring of mockery). i have been watching you from over thewall--sitting like im-patience on a monument, and pouting up that pretty redmouth to whistling shape, and whooing and whooing, and privately swearing, and neverbeing able to produce a note. why, you are quite cross because you can'tdo it." "i may be cross, but i didn't swear." "ah!i understand why you are trying--those bullies!my mother wants you to carry on their musical education.

how selfish of her!as if attending to these curst cocks and hens here were not enough work for anygirl. i would flatly refuse, if i were you." "but she wants me particularly to do it,and to be ready by to-morrow morning." "does she?well then--i'll give you a lesson or two." "oh no, you won't!" said tess, withdrawingtowards the door. "nonsense; i don't want to touch you. see--i'll stand on this side of the wire-netting, and you can keep on the other; so you may feel quite safe.now, look here; you screw up your lips too

harshly. there 'tis--so."he suited the action to the word, and whistled a line of "take, o take those lipsaway." but the allusion was lost upon tess. "now try," said d'urberville.she attempted to look reserved; her face put on a sculptural severity. but he persisted in his demand, and atlast, to get rid of him, she did put up her lips as directed for producing a clearnote; laughing distressfully, however, and then blushing with vexation that she hadlaughed.

he encouraged her with "try again!" tess was quite serious, painfully seriousby this time; and she tried--ultimately and unexpectedly emitting a real round sound. the momentary pleasure of success got thebetter of her; her eyes enlarged, and she involuntarily smiled in his face."that's it! now i have started you--you'll go onbeautifully. there--i said i would not come near you;and, in spite of such temptation as never before fell to mortal man, i'll keep myword... tess, do you think my mother a queer oldsoul?"

"i don't know much of her yet, sir.""you'll find her so; she must be, to make you learn to whistle to her bullfinches. i am rather out of her books just now, butyou will be quite in favour if you treat her live-stock well.good morning. if you meet with any difficulties and wanthelp here, don't go to the bailiff, come to me." it was in the economy of this regime thattess durbeyfield had undertaken to fill a place. her first day's experiences were fairlytypical of those which followed through

many succeeding days. a familiarity with alec d'urberville'spresence--which that young man carefully cultivated in her by playful dialogue, andby jestingly calling her his cousin when they were alone--removed much of her original shyness of him, without, however,implanting any feeling which could engender shyness of a new and tenderer kind. but she was more pliable under his handsthan a mere companionship would have made her, owing to her unavoidable dependenceupon his mother, and, through that lady's comparative helplessness, upon him.

she soon found that whistling to thebullfinches in mrs d'urberville's room was no such onerous business when she hadregained the art, for she had caught from her musical mother numerous airs thatsuited those songsters admirably. a far more satisfactory time than when shepractised in the garden was this whistling by the cages each morning. unrestrained by the young man's presenceshe threw up her mouth, put her lips near the bars, and piped away in easeful graceto the attentive listeners. mrs d'urberville slept in a large four-postbedstead hung with heavy damask curtains, and the bullfinches occupied the sameapartment, where they flitted about freely

at certain hours, and made little whitespots on the furniture and upholstery. once while tess was at the window where thecages were ranged, giving her lesson as usual, she thought she heard a rustlingbehind the bed. the old lady was not present, and turninground the girl had an impression that the toes of a pair of boots were visible belowthe fringe of the curtains. thereupon her whistling became sodisjointed that the listener, if such there were, must have discovered her suspicion ofhis presence. she searched the curtains every morningafter that, but never found anybody within them.

alec d'urberville had evidently thoughtbetter of his freak to terrify her by an ambush of that kind. chapter x every village has its idiosyncrasy, itsconstitution, often its own code of morality. the levity of some of the younger women inand about trantridge was marked, and was perhaps symptomatic of the choice spiritwho ruled the slopes in that vicinity. the place had also a more abiding defect;it drank hard. the staple conversation on the farms aroundwas on the uselessness of saving money; and

smock-frocked arithmeticians, leaning ontheir ploughs or hoes, would enter into calculations of great nicety to prove that parish relief was a fuller provision for aman in his old age than any which could result from savings out of their wagesduring a whole lifetime. the chief pleasure of these philosopherslay in going every saturday night, when work was done, to chaseborough, a decayedmarket-town two or three miles distant; and, returning in the small hours of the next morning, to spend sunday in sleepingoff the dyspeptic effects of the curious compounds sold to them as beer by themonopolizers of the once-independent inns.

for a long time tess did not join in theweekly pilgrimages. but under pressure from matrons not mucholder than herself--for a field-man's wages being as high at twenty-one as at forty,marriage was early here--tess at length consented to go. her first experience of the journeyafforded her more enjoyment than she had expected, the hilariousness of the othersbeing quite contagious after her monotonous attention to the poultry-farm all the week. she went again and again. being graceful and interesting, standingmoreover on the momentary threshold of

womanhood, her appearance drew down uponher some sly regards from loungers in the streets of chaseborough; hence, though sometimes her journey to the town was madeindependently, she always searched for her fellows at nightfall, to have theprotection of their companionship homeward. this had gone on for a month or two whenthere came a saturday in september, on which a fair and a market coincided; andthe pilgrims from trantridge sought double delights at the inns on that account. tess's occupations made her late in settingout, so that her comrades reached the town long before her.

it was a fine september evening, justbefore sunset, when yellow lights struggle with blue shades in hairlike lines, and theatmosphere itself forms a prospect without aid from more solid objects, except the innumerable winged insects that dance init. through this low-lit mistiness tess walkedleisurely along. she did not discover the coincidence of themarket with the fair till she had reached the place, by which time it was close upondusk. her limited marketing was soon completed;and then as usual she began to look about for some of the trantridge cottagers.

at first she could not find them, and shewas informed that most of them had gone to what they called a private little jig atthe house of a hay-trusser and peat-dealer who had transactions with their farm. he lived in an out-of-the-way nook of thetownlet, and in trying to find her course thither her eyes fell upon mr d'urbervillestanding at a street corner. "what--my beauty? you here so late?" he said.she told him that she was simply waiting for company homeward."i'll see you again," said he over her shoulder as she went on down the back lane.

approaching the hay-trussers, she couldhear the fiddled notes of a reel proceeding from some building in the rear; but nosound of dancing was audible--an exceptional state of things for these parts, where as a rule the stamping drownedthe music. the front door being open she could seestraight through the house into the garden at the back as far as the shades of nightwould allow; and nobody appearing to her knock, she traversed the dwelling and went up the path to the outhouse whence thesound had attracted her. it was a windowless erection used forstorage, and from the open door there

floated into the obscurity a mist of yellowradiance, which at first tess thought to be illuminated smoke. but on drawing nearer she perceived that itwas a cloud of dust, lit by candles within the outhouse, whose beams upon the hazecarried forward the outline of the doorway into the wide night of the garden. when she came close and looked in shebeheld indistinct forms racing up and down to the figure of the dance, the silence oftheir footfalls arising from their being overshoe in "scroff"--that is to say, the powdery residuum from the storage of peatand other products, the stirring of which

by their turbulent feet created thenebulosity that involved the scene. through this floating, fusty debris of peatand hay, mixed with the perspirations and warmth of the dancers, and forming togethera sort of vegeto-human pollen, the muted fiddles feebly pushed their notes, in marked contrast to the spirit with whichthe measure was trodden out. they coughed as they danced, and laughed asthey coughed. of the rushing couples there could barelybe discerned more than the high lights--the indistinctness shaping them to satyrsclasping nymphs--a multiplicity of pans whirling a multiplicity of syrinxes; lotis

attempting to elude priapus, and alwaysfailing. at intervals a couple would approach thedoorway for air, and the haze no longer veiling their features, the demigodsresolved themselves into the homely personalities of her own next-doorneighbours. could trantridge in two or three shorthours have metamorphosed itself thus madly! some sileni of the throng sat on benchesand hay-trusses by the wall; and one of them recognized her."the maids don't think it respectable to dance at the flower-de-luce," he explained. "they don't like to let everybody see whichbe their fancy-men.

besides, the house sometimes shuts up justwhen their jints begin to get greased. so we come here and send out for liquor." "but when be any of you going home?" askedtess with some anxiety. "now--a'most directly.this is all but the last jig." she waited. the reel drew to a close, and some of theparty were in the mind of starting. but others would not, and another dance wasformed. this surely would end it, thought tess. but it merged in yet another.

she became restless and uneasy; yet, havingwaited so long, it was necessary to wait longer; on account of the fair the roadswere dotted with roving characters of possibly ill intent; and, though not fearful of measurable dangers, she fearedthe unknown. had she been near marlott she would havehad less dread. "don't ye be nervous, my dear good soul,"expostulated, between his coughs, a young man with a wet face and his straw hat sofar back upon his head that the brim encircled it like the nimbus of a saint. "what's yer hurry?to-morrow is sunday, thank god, and we can

sleep it off in church-time.now, have a turn with me?" she did not abhor dancing, but she was notgoing to dance here. the movement grew more passionate: thefiddlers behind the luminous pillar of cloud now and then varied the air byplaying on the wrong side of the bridge or with the back of the bow. but it did not matter; the panting shapesspun onwards. they did not vary their partners if theirinclination were to stick to previous ones. changing partners simply meant that asatisfactory choice had not as yet been arrived at by one or other of the pair, andby this time every couple had been suitably

matched. it was then that the ecstasy and the dreambegan, in which emotion was the matter of the universe, and matter but anadventitious intrusion likely to hinder you from spinning where you wanted to spin. suddenly there was a dull thump on theground: a couple had fallen, and lay in a mixed heap.the next couple, unable to check its progress, came toppling over the obstacle. an inner cloud of dust rose around theprostrate figures amid the general one of the room, in which a twitching entanglementof arms and legs was discernible.

"you shall catch it for this, my gentleman,when you get home!" burst in female accents from the human heap--those of the unhappypartner of the man whose clumsiness had caused the mishap; she happened also to be his recently married wife, in whichassortment there was nothing unusual at trantridge as long as any affectionremained between wedded couples; and, indeed, it was not uncustomary in their later lives, to avoid making odd lots ofthe single people between whom there might be a warm understanding. a loud laugh from behind tess's back, inthe shade of the garden, united with the

titter within the room. she looked round, and saw the red coal of acigar: alec d'urberville was standing there alone.he beckoned to her, and she reluctantly retreated towards him. "well, my beauty, what are you doing here?" she was so tired after her long day and herwalk that she confided her trouble to him-- that she had been waiting ever since he sawher to have their company home, because the road at night was strange to her. "but it seems they will never leave off,and i really think i will wait no longer."

"certainly do not. i have only a saddle-horse here to-day; butcome to the flower-de-luce, and i'll hire a trap, and drive you home with me." tess, though flattered, had never quite gotover her original mistrust of him, and, despite their tardiness, she preferred towalk home with the work-folk. so she answered that she was much obligedto him, but would not trouble him. "i have said that i will wait for 'em, andthey will expect me to now." "very well, miss independence. please yourself...then i shall not hurry...

my good lord, what a kick-up they arehaving there!" he had not put himself forward into thelight, but some of them had perceived him, and his presence led to a slight pause anda consideration of how the time was flying. as soon as he had re-lit a cigar and walkedaway the trantridge people began to collect themselves from amid those who had come infrom other farms, and prepared to leave in a body. their bundles and baskets were gathered up,and half an hour later, when the clock- chime sounded a quarter past eleven, theywere straggling along the lane which led up the hill towards their homes.

it was a three-mile walk, along a dry whiteroad, made whiter to-night by the light of the moon. tess soon perceived as she walked in theflock, sometimes with this one, sometimes with that, that the fresh night air wasproducing staggerings and serpentine courses among the men who had partaken too freely; some of the more careless womenalso were wandering in their gait--to wit, a dark virago, car darch, dubbed queen ofspades, till lately a favourite of d'urberville's; nancy, her sister, nicknamed the queen of diamonds; and theyoung married woman who had already tumbled

down. yet however terrestrial and lumpy theirappearance just now to the mean unglamoured eye, to themselves the case was different. they followed the road with a sensationthat they were soaring along in a supporting medium, possessed of originaland profound thoughts, themselves and surrounding nature forming an organism of which all the parts harmoniously andjoyously interpenetrated each other. they were as sublime as the moon and starsabove them, and the moon and stars were as ardent as they.

tess, however, had undergone such painfulexperiences of this kind in her father's house that the discovery of their conditionspoilt the pleasure she was beginning to feel in the moonlight journey. yet she stuck to the party, for reasonsabove given. in the open highway they had progressed inscattered order; but now their route was through a field-gate, and the foremostfinding a difficulty in opening it, they closed up together. this leading pedestrian was car the queenof spades, who carried a wicker-basket containing her mother's groceries, her owndraperies, and other purchases for the

week. the basket being large and heavy, car hadplaced it for convenience of porterage on the top of her head, where it rode on injeopardized balance as she walked with arms akimbo. "well--whatever is that a-creeping down thyback, car darch?" said one of the group suddenly.all looked at car. her gown was a light cotton print, and fromthe back of her head a kind of rope could be seen descending to some distance belowher waist, like a chinaman's queue. "'tis her hair falling down," said another.

no; it was not her hair: it was a blackstream of something oozing from her basket, and it glistened like a slimy snake in thecold still rays of the moon. "'tis treacle," said an observant matron. treacle it was.car's poor old grandmother had a weakness for the sweet stuff. honey she had in plenty out of her ownhives, but treacle was what her soul desired, and car had been about to give hera treat of surprise. hastily lowering the basket the dark girlfound that the vessel containing the syrup had been smashed within.

by this time there had arisen a shout oflaughter at the extraordinary appearance of car's back, which irritated the dark queeninto getting rid of the disfigurement by the first sudden means available, andindependently of the help of the scoffers. she rushed excitedly into the field theywere about to cross, and flinging herself flat on her back upon the grass, began towipe her gown as well as she could by spinning horizontally on the herbage anddragging herself over it upon her elbows. the laughter rang louder; they clung to thegate, to the posts, rested on their staves, in the weakness engendered by theirconvulsions at the spectacle of car. our heroine, who had hitherto held herpeace, at this wild moment could not help

joining in with the rest.it was a misfortune--in more ways than one. no sooner did the dark queen hear thesoberer richer note of tess among those of the other work-people than a long-smouldering sense of rivalry inflamed her to madness. she sprang to her feet and closely facedthe object of her dislike. "how darest th' laugh at me, hussy!" shecried. "i couldn't really help it when t'othersdid," apologized tess, still tittering. "ah, th'st think th' beest everybody,dostn't, because th' beest first favourite with he just now!

but stop a bit, my lady, stop a bit!i'm as good as two of such! look here--here's at 'ee!" to tess's horror the dark queen beganstripping off the bodice of her gown--which for the added reason of its ridiculedcondition she was only too glad to be free of--till she had bared her plump neck, shoulders, and arms to the moonshine, underwhich they looked as luminous and beautiful as some praxitelean creation, in theirpossession of the faultless rotundities of a lusty country-girl. she closed her fists and squared up attess.

"indeed, then, i shall not fight!" said thelatter majestically; "and if i had know you was of that sort, i wouldn't have so letmyself down as to come with such a whorage as this is!" the rather too inclusive speech broughtdown a torrent of vituperation from other quarters upon fair tess's unlucky head,particularly from the queen of diamonds, who having stood in the relations to d'urberville that car had also beensuspected of, united with the latter against the common enemy. several other women also chimed in, with ananimus which none of them would have been

so fatuous as to show but for therollicking evening they had passed. thereupon, finding tess unfairlybrowbeaten, the husbands and lovers tried to make peace by defending her; but theresult of that attempt was directly to increase the war. tess was indignant and ashamed.she no longer minded the loneliness of the way and the lateness of the hour; her oneobject was to get away from the whole crew as soon as possible. she knew well enough that the better amongthem would repent of their passion next day.

they were all now inside the field, and shewas edging back to rush off alone when a horseman emerged almost silently from thecorner of the hedge that screened the road, and alec d'urberville looked round uponthem. "what the devil is all this row about,work-folk?" he asked. the explanation was not readilyforthcoming; and, in truth, he did not require any. having heard their voices while yet someway off he had ridden creepingly forward, and learnt enough to satisfy himself.tess was standing apart from the rest, near the gate.

he bent over towards her."jump up behind me," he whispered, "and we'll get shot of the screaming cats in ajiffy!" she felt almost ready to faint, so vividwas her sense of the crisis. at almost any other moment of her life shewould have refused such proffered aid and company, as she had refused them severaltimes before; and now the loneliness would not of itself have forced her to dootherwise. but coming as the invitation did at theparticular juncture when fear and indignation at these adversaries could betransformed by a spring of the foot into a triumph over them, she abandoned herself to

her impulse, climbed the gate, put her toeupon his instep, and scrambled into the saddle behind him. the pair were speeding away into thedistant gray by the time that the contentious revellers became aware of whathad happened. the queen of spades forgot the stain on herbodice, and stood beside the queen of diamonds and the new-married, staggeringyoung woman--all with a gaze of fixity in the direction in which the horse's trampwas diminishing into silence on the road. "what be ye looking at?" asked a man whohad not observed the incident. "ho-ho-ho!" laughed dark car.

"hee-hee-hee!" laughed the tippling bride,as she steadied herself on the arm of her fond husband. "heu-heu-heu!" laughed dark car's mother,stroking her moustache as she explained laconically: "out of the frying-pan intothe fire!" then these children of the open air, whomeven excess of alcohol could scarce injure permanently, betook themselves to thefield-path; and as they went there moved onward with them, around the shadow of each one's head, a circle of opalized light,formed by the moon's rays upon the glistening sheet of dew.

each pedestrian could see no halo but hisor her own, which never deserted the head- shadow, whatever its vulgar unsteadinessmight be; but adhered to it, and persistently beautified it; till the erratic motions seemed an inherent part ofthe irradiation, and the fumes of their breathing a component of the night's mist;and the spirit of the scene, and of the moonlight, and of nature, seemed harmoniously to mingle with the spirit ofwine. chapter xi the twain cantered along for some timewithout speech, tess as she clung to him

still panting in her triumph, yet in otherrespects dubious. she had perceived that the horse was notthe spirited one he sometimes rose, and felt no alarm on that score, though herseat was precarious enough despite her tight hold of him. she begged him to slow the animal to awalk, which alec accordingly did. "neatly done, was it not, dear tess?" hesaid by and by. "yes!" said she. "i am sure i ought to be much obliged toyou." "and are you?"she did not reply.

"tess, why do you always dislike my kissingyou?" "i suppose--because i don't love you.""you are quite sure?" "i am angry with you sometimes!" "ah, i half feared as much."nevertheless, alec did not object to that confession.he knew that anything was better then frigidity. "why haven't you told me when i have madeyou angry?" "you know very well why.because i cannot help myself here." "i haven't offended you often by love-making?"

"you have sometimes.""how many times?" "you know as well as i--too many times." "every time i have tried?" she was silent, and the horse ambled alongfor a considerable distance, till a faint luminous fog, which had hung in the hollowsall the evening, became general and enveloped them. it seemed to hold the moonlight insuspension, rendering it more pervasive than in clear air. whether on this account, or from absent-mindedness, or from sleepiness, she did not

perceive that they had long ago passed thepoint at which the lane to trantridge branched from the highway, and that her conductor had not taken the trantridgetrack. she was inexpressibly weary. she had risen at five o'clock every morningof that week, had been on foot the whole of each day, and on this evening had inaddition walked the three miles to chaseborough, waited three hours for her neighbours without eating or drinking, herimpatience to start them preventing either; she had then walked a mile of the way home,and had undergone the excitement of the

quarrel, till, with the slow progress oftheir steed, it was now nearly one o'clock. only once, however, was she overcome byactual drowsiness. in that moment of oblivion her head sankgently against him. d'urberville stopped the horse, withdrewhis feet from the stirrups, turned sideways on the saddle, and enclosed her waist withhis arm to support her. this immediately put her on the defensive,and with one of those sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable she gavehim a little push from her. in his ticklish position he nearly lost hisbalance and only just avoided rolling over into the road, the horse, though a powerfulone, being fortunately the quietest he

rode. "that is devilish unkind!" he said."i mean no harm--only to keep you from falling." she pondered suspiciously, till, thinkingthat this might after all be true, she relented, and said quite humbly, "i begyour pardon, sir." "i won't pardon you unless you show someconfidence in me. good god!" he burst out, "what am i, to berepulsed so by a mere chit like you? for near three mortal months have youtrifled with my feelings, eluded me, and snubbed me; and i won't stand it!""i'll leave you to-morrow, sir."

"no, you will not leave me to-morrow! will you, i ask once more, show your beliefin me by letting me clasp you with my arm? come, between us two and nobody else, now. we know each other well; and you know thati love you, and think you the prettiest girl in the world, which you are.mayn't i treat you as a lover?" she drew a quick pettish breath ofobjection, writhing uneasily on her seat, looked far ahead, and murmured, "i don'tknow--i wish--how can i say yes or no when- -" he settled the matter by clasping his armround her as he desired, and tess expressed

no further negative. thus they sidled slowly onward till itstruck her they had been advancing for an unconscionable time--far longer than wasusually occupied by the short journey from chaseborough, even at this walking pace, and that they were no longer on hard road,but in a mere trackway. "why, where be we?" she exclaimed."passing by a wood." "a wood--what wood? surely we are quite out of the road?""a bit of the chase--the oldest wood in england.it is a lovely night, and why should we not

prolong our ride a little?" "how could you be so treacherous!" saidtess, between archness and real dismay, and getting rid of his arm by pulling open hisfingers one by one, though at the risk of slipping off herself. "just when i've been putting such trust inyou, and obliging you to please you, because i thought i had wronged you by thatpush! please set me down, and let me walk home." "you cannot walk home, darling, even if theair were clear. we are miles away from trantridge, if imust tell you, and in this growing fog you

might wander for hours among these trees." "never mind that," she coaxed."put me down, i beg you. i don't mind where it is; only let me getdown, sir, please!" "very well, then, i will--on one condition. having brought you here to this out-of-the-way place, i feel myself responsible for your safe-conduct home, whatever you mayyourself feel about it. as to your getting to trantridge withoutassistance, it is quite impossible; for, to tell the truth, dear, owing to this fog,which so disguises everything, i don't quite know where we are myself.

now, if you will promise to wait beside thehorse while i walk through the bushes till i come to some road or house, and ascertainexactly our whereabouts, i'll deposit you here willingly. when i come back i'll give you fulldirections, and if you insist upon walking you may; or you may ride--at yourpleasure." she accepted these terms, and slid off onthe near side, though not till he had stolen a cursory kiss.he sprang down on the other side. "i suppose i must hold the horse?" saidshe. "oh no; it's not necessary," replied alec,patting the panting creature.

"he's had enough of it for to-night." he turned the horse's head into the bushes,hitched him on to a bough, and made a sort of couch or nest for her in the deep massof dead leaves. "now, you sit there," he said. "the leaves have not got damp as yet.just give an eye to the horse--it will be quite sufficient." he took a few steps away from her, but,returning, said, "by the bye, tess, your father has a new cob to-day.somebody gave it to him." "somebody?

you!"d'urberville nodded. "o how very good of you that is!" sheexclaimed, with a painful sense of the awkwardness of having to thank him justthen. "and the children have some toys." "i didn't know--you ever sent themanything!" she murmured, much moved. "i almost wish you had not--yes, i almostwish it!" "why, dear?" "it--hampers me so.""tessy--don't you love me ever so little now?""i'm grateful," she reluctantly admitted.

"but i fear i do not--" the sudden visionof his passion for herself as a factor in this result so distressed her that,beginning with one slow tear, and then following with another, she wept outright. "don't cry, dear, dear one!now sit down here, and wait till i come." she passively sat down amid the leaves hehad heaped, and shivered slightly. "are you cold?" he asked. "not very--a little."he touched her with his fingers, which sank into her as into down."you have only that puffy muslin dress on-- how's that?"

"it's my best summer one.'twas very warm when i started, and i didn't know i was going to ride, and thatit would be night." "nights grow chilly in september. let me see."he pulled off a light overcoat that he had worn, and put it round her tenderly."that's it--now you'll feel warmer," he continued. "now, my pretty, rest there; i shall soonbe back again." having buttoned the overcoat round hershoulders he plunged into the webs of vapour which by this time formed veilsbetween the trees.

she could hear the rustling of the branchesas he ascended the adjoining slope, till his movements were no louder than thehopping of a bird, and finally died away. with the setting of the moon the pale lightlessened, and tess became invisible as she fell into reverie upon the leaves where hehad left her. in the meantime alec d'urberville hadpushed on up the slope to clear his genuine doubt as to the quarter of the chase theywere in. he had, in fact, ridden quite at random forover an hour, taking any turning that came to hand in order to prolong companionshipwith her, and giving far more attention to tess's moonlit person than to any waysideobject.

a little rest for the jaded animal beingdesirable, he did not hasten his search for landmarks. a clamber over the hill into the adjoiningvale brought him to the fence of a highway whose contours he recognized, which settledthe question of their whereabouts. d'urberville thereupon turned back; but bythis time the moon had quite gone down, and partly on account of the fog the chase waswrapped in thick darkness, although morning was not far off. he was obliged to advance with outstretchedhands to avoid contact with the boughs, and discovered that to hit the exact spot fromwhich he had started was at first entirely

beyond him. roaming up and down, round and round, he atlength heard a slight movement of the horse close at hand; and the sleeve of hisovercoat unexpectedly caught his foot. "tess!" said d'urberville. there was no answer. the obscurity was now so great that hecould see absolutely nothing but a pale nebulousness at his feet, which representedthe white muslin figure he had left upon the dead leaves. everything else was blackness alike.d'urberville stooped; and heard a gentle

regular breathing. he knelt and bent lower, till her breathwarmed his face, and in a moment his cheek was in contact with hers.she was sleeping soundly, and upon her eyelashes there lingered tears. darkness and silence ruled everywherearound. above them rose the primeval yews and oaksof the chase, in which there poised gentle roosting birds in their last nap; and aboutthem stole the hopping rabbits and hares. but, might some say, where was tess'sguardian angel? where was the providence of her simple faith?

perhaps, like that other god of whom theironical tishbite spoke, he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, orhe was sleeping and not to be awaked. why it was that upon this beautifulfeminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, thereshould have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finerthus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong woman the man, many thousand years ofanalytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order. one may, indeed, admit the possibility of aretribution lurking in the present

catastrophe. doubtless some of tess d'urberville'smailed ancestors rollicking home from a fray had dealt the same measure even moreruthlessly towards peasant girls of their time. but though to visit the sins of the fathersupon the children may be a morality good enough for divinities, it is scorned byaverage human nature; and it therefore does not mend the matter. as tess's own people down in those retreatsare never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: "it was to be."there lay the pity of it.

an immeasurable social chasm was to divideour heroine's personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped fromher mother's door to try her fortune at trantridge poultry-farm. end of phase the first chapter xii the basket was heavy and the bundle waslarge, but she lugged them along like a person who did not find her especial burdenin material things. occasionally she stopped to rest in amechanical way by some gate or post; and then, giving the baggage another hitch uponher full round arm, went steadily on again.

it was a sunday morning in late october,about four months after tess durbeyfield's arrival at trantridge, and some few weekssubsequent to the night ride in the chase. the time was not long past daybreak, andthe yellow luminosity upon the horizon behind her back lighted the ridge towardswhich her face was set--the barrier of the vale wherein she had of late been a stranger--which she would have to climbover to reach her birthplace. the ascent was gradual on this side, andthe soil and scenery differed much from those within blakemore vale. even the character and accent of the twopeoples had shades of difference, despite

the amalgamating effects of a roundaboutrailway; so that, though less than twenty miles from the place of her sojourn at trantridge, her native village had seemed afar-away spot. the field-folk shut in there tradednorthward and westward, travelled, courted, and married northward and westward, thoughtnorthward and westward; those on this side mainly directed their energies andattention to the east and south. the incline was the same down whichd'urberville had driven her so wildly on that day in june. tess went up the remainder of its lengthwithout stopping, and on reaching the edge

of the escarpment gazed over the familiargreen world beyond, now half-veiled in mist. it was always beautiful from here; it wasterribly beautiful to tess to-day, for since her eyes last fell upon it she hadlearnt that the serpent hisses where the sweet birds sing, and her views of life hadbeen totally changed for her by the lesson. verily another girl than the simple one shehad been at home was she who, bowed by thought, stood still here, and turned tolook behind her. she could not bear to look forward into thevale. ascending by the long white road that tessherself had just laboured up, she saw a

two-wheeled vehicle, beside which walked aman, who held up his hand to attract her attention. she obeyed the signal to wait for him withunspeculative repose, and in a few minutes man and horse stopped beside her. "why did you slip away by stealth likethis?" said d'urberville, with upbraiding breathlessness; "on a sunday morning, too,when people were all in bed! i only discovered it by accident, and ihave been driving like the deuce to overtake you.just look at the mare. why go off like this?

you know that nobody wished to hinder yourgoing. and how unnecessary it has been for you totoil along on foot, and encumber yourself with this heavy load! i have followed like a madman, simply todrive you the rest of the distance, if you won't come back.""i shan't come back," said she. "i thought you wouldn't--i said so! well, then, put up your basket, and let mehelp you on." she listlessly placed her basket and bundlewithin the dog-cart, and stepped up, and they sat side by side.

she had no fear of him now, and in thecause of her confidence her sorrow lay. d'urberville mechanically lit a cigar, andthe journey was continued with broken unemotional conversation on the commonplaceobjects by the wayside. he had quite forgotten his struggle to kissher when, in the early summer, they had driven in the opposite direction along thesame road. but she had not, and she sat now, like apuppet, replying to his remarks in monosyllables. after some miles they came in view of theclump of trees beyond which the village of marlott stood.

it was only then that her still face showedthe least emotion, a tear or two beginning to trickle down."what are you crying for?" he coldly asked. "i was only thinking that i was born overthere," murmured tess. "well--we must all be born somewhere.""i wish i had never been born--there or anywhere else!" "pooh!well, if you didn't wish to come to trantridge why did you come?"she did not reply. "you didn't come for love of me, that i'llswear." "'tis quite true.

if i had gone for love o' you, if i hadever sincerely loved you, if i loved you still, i should not so loathe and hatemyself for my weakness as i do now!... my eyes were dazed by you for a little, andthat was all." he shrugged his shoulders.she resumed-- "i didn't understand your meaning till itwas too late." "that's what every woman says." "how can you dare to use such words!" shecried, turning impetuously upon him, her eyes flashing as the latent spirit (ofwhich he was to see more some day) awoke in "my god!i could knock you out of the gig!

did it never strike your mind that whatevery woman says some women may feel?" "very well," he said, laughing; "i am sorryto wound you. i did wrong--i admit it." he dropped into some little bitterness ashe continued: "only you needn't be so everlastingly flinging it in my face.i am ready to pay to the uttermost farthing. you know you need not work in the fields orthe dairies again. you know you may clothe yourself with thebest, instead of in the bald plain way you have lately affected, as if you couldn'tget a ribbon more than you earn."

her lip lifted slightly, though there waslittle scorn, as a rule, in her large and impulsive nature."i have said i will not take anything more from you, and i will not--i cannot! i should be your creature to go on doingthat, and i won't!" "one would think you were a princess fromyour manner, in addition to a true and original d'urberville--ha! ha! well, tess, dear, i can say no more.i suppose i am a bad fellow--a damn bad fellow.i was born bad, and i have lived bad, and i shall die bad in all probability.

but, upon my lost soul, i won't be badtowards you again, tess. and if certain circumstances should arise--you understand--in which you are in the least need, the least difficulty, send meone line, and you shall have by return whatever you require. i may not be at trantridge--i am going tolondon for a time--i can't stand the old woman.but all letters will be forwarded." she said that she did not wish him to driveher further, and they stopped just under the clump of trees. d'urberville alighted, and lifted her downbodily in his arms, afterwards placing her

articles on the ground beside her. she bowed to him slightly, her eye justlingering in his; and then she turned to take the parcels for departure.alec d'urberville removed his cigar, bent towards her, and said-- "you are not going to turn away like that,dear! come!""if you wish," she answered indifferently. "see how you've mastered me!" she thereupon turned round and lifted herface to his, and remained like a marble term while he imprinted a kiss upon hercheek--half perfunctorily, half as if zest

had not yet quite died out. her eyes vaguely rested upon the remotesttrees in the lane while the kiss was given, as though she were nearly unconscious ofwhat he did. "now the other side, for old acquaintance'sake." she turned her head in the same passiveway, as one might turn at the request of a sketcher or hairdresser, and he kissed theother side, his lips touching cheeks that were damp and smoothly chill as the skin ofthe mushrooms in the fields around. "you don't give me your mouth and kiss meback. you never willingly do that--you'll neverlove me, i fear."

"i have said so, often.it is true. i have never really and truly loved you,and i think i never can." she added mournfully, "perhaps, of allthings, a lie on this thing would do the most good to me now; but i have honourenough left, little as 'tis, not to tell that lie. if i did love you, i may have the best o'causes for letting you know it. but i don't." he emitted a laboured breath, as if thescene were getting rather oppressive to his heart, or to his conscience, or to hisgentility.

"well, you are absurdly melancholy, tess. i have no reason for flattering you now,and i can say plainly that you need not be so sad. you can hold your own for beauty againstany woman of these parts, gentle or simple; i say it to you as a practical man andwell-wisher. if you are wise you will show it to theworld more than you do before it fades... and yet, tess, will you come back to me!upon my soul, i don't like to let you go like this!" "never, never!i made up my mind as soon as i saw--what i

ought to have seen sooner; and i won'tcome." "then good morning, my four months' cousin--good-bye!" he leapt up lightly, arranged the reins,and was gone between the tall red-berried hedges. tess did not look after him, but slowlywound along the crooked lane. it was still early, and though the sun'slower limb was just free of the hill, his rays, ungenial and peering, addressed theeye rather than the touch as yet. there was not a human soul near. sad october and her sadder self seemed theonly two existences haunting that lane.

as she walked, however, some footstepsapproached behind her, the footsteps of a man; and owing to the briskness of hisadvance he was close at her heels and had said "good morning" before she had beenlong aware of his propinquity. he appeared to be an artisan of some sort,and carried a tin pot of red paint in his hand. he asked in a business-like manner if heshould take her basket, which she permitted him to do, walking beside him."it is early to be astir this sabbath morn!" he said cheerfully. "yes," said tess."when most people are at rest from their

week's work."she also assented to this. "though i do more real work to-day than allthe week besides." "do you?""all the week i work for the glory of man, and on sunday for the glory of god. that's more real than the other--hey?i have a little to do here at this stile." the man turned, as he spoke, to an openingat the roadside leading into a pasture. "if you'll wait a moment," he added, "ishall not be long." as he had her basket she could not well dootherwise; and she waited, observing him. he set down her basket and the tin pot, andstirring the paint with the brush that was

in it began painting large square letterson the middle board of the three composing the stile, placing a comma after each word, as if to give pause while that word wasdriven well home to the reader's heart-- thy, damnation, slumbereth, not.2 pet. ii. 3. against the peaceful landscape, the pale,decaying tints of the copses, the blue air of the horizon, and the lichened stile-boards, these staring vermilion words shone forth. they seemed to shout themselves out andmake the atmosphere ring. some people might have cried "alas, poortheology!" at the hideous defacement--the

last grotesque phase of a creed which hadserved mankind well in its time. but the words entered tess with accusatoryhorror. it was as if this man had known her recenthistory; yet he was a total stranger. having finished his text he picked up herbasket, and she mechanically resumed her walk beside him."do you believe what you paint?" she asked in low tones. "believe that tex?do i believe in my own existence!" "but," said she tremulously, "suppose yoursin was not of your own seeking?" he shook his head.

"i cannot split hairs on that burningquery," he said. "i have walked hundreds of miles this pastsummer, painting these texes on every wall, gate, and stile the length and breadth ofthis district. i leave their application to the hearts ofthe people who read 'em." "i think they are horrible," said tess."crushing! killing!" "that's what they are meant to be!" hereplied in a trade voice. "but you should read my hottest ones--themi kips for slums and seaports. they'd make ye wriggle!

not but what this is a very good tex forrural districts.... ah--there's a nice bit of blank wall up bythat barn standing to waste. i must put one there--one that it will begood for dangerous young females like yerself to heed.will ye wait, missy?" "no," said she; and taking her basket tesstrudged on. a little way forward she turned her head. the old gray wall began to advertise asimilar fiery lettering to the first, with a strange and unwonted mien, as ifdistressed at duties it had never before been called upon to perform.

it was with a sudden flush that she readand realized what was to be the inscription he was now halfway through--thou, shalt, not, commit-- her cheerful friend saw her looking,stopped his brush, and shouted-- "if you want to ask for edification onthese things of moment, there's a very earnest good man going to preach a charity-sermon to-day in the parish you are going to--mr clare of emminster. i'm not of his persuasion now, but he's agood man, and he'll expound as well as any parson i know.'twas he began the work in me." but tess did not answer; she throbbinglyresumed her walk, her eyes fixed on the

ground. "pooh--i don't believe god said suchthings!" she murmured contemptuously when her flush had died away. a plume of smoke soared up suddenly fromher father's chimney, the sight of which made her heart ache.the aspect of the interior, when she reached it, made her heart ache more. her mother, who had just come down stairs,turned to greet her from the fireplace, where she was kindling barked-oak twigsunder the breakfast kettle. the young children were still above, as wasalso her father, it being sunday morning,

when he felt justified in lying anadditional half-hour. "well!--my dear tess!" exclaimed hersurprised mother, jumping up and kissing the girl."how be ye? i didn't see you till you was in upon me! have you come home to be married?""no, i have not come for that, mother." "then for a holiday?""yes--for a holiday; for a long holiday," said tess. "what, isn't your cousin going to do thehandsome thing?" "he's not my cousin, and he's not going tomarry me."

her mother eyed her narrowly. "come, you have not told me all," she said.then tess went up to her mother, put her face upon joan's neck, and told."and yet th'st not got him to marry 'ee!" reiterated her mother. "any woman would have done it but you,after that!" "perhaps any woman would except me." "it would have been something like a storyto come back with, if you had!" continued mrs durbeyfield, ready to burst into tearsof vexation. "after all the talk about you and him whichhas reached us here, who would have

expected it to end like this! why didn't ye think of doing some good foryour family instead o' thinking only of yourself? see how i've got to teave and slave, andyour poor weak father with his heart clogged like a dripping-pan.i did hope for something to come out o' this! to see what a pretty pair you and he madethat day when you drove away together four months ago!see what he has given us--all, as we thought, because we were his kin.

but if he's not, it must have been donebecause of his love for 'ee. and yet you've not got him to marry!"get alec d'urberville in the mind to marry her! he marry her!on matrimony he had never once said a word. and what if he had? how a convulsive snatching at socialsalvation might have impelled her to answer him she could not say.but her poor foolish mother little knew her present feeling towards this man. perhaps it was unusual in thecircumstances, unlucky, unaccountable; but

there it was; and this, as she had said,was what made her detest herself. she had never wholly cared for him; she didnot at all care for him now. she had dreaded him, winced before him,succumbed to adroit advantages he took of her helplessness; then, temporarily blindedby his ardent manners, had been stirred to confused surrender awhile: had suddenly despised and disliked him, and had runaway. that was all. hate him she did not quite; but he was dustand ashes to her, and even for her name's sake she scarcely wished to marry him.

"you ought to have been more careful if youdidn't mean to get him to make you his wife!" "o mother, my mother!" cried the agonizedgirl, turning passionately upon her parent as if her poor heart would break."how could i be expected to know? i was a child when i left this house fourmonths ago. why didn't you tell me there was danger inmen-folk? why didn't you warn me? ladies know what to fend hands against,because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but i never had the chance o'learning in that way, and you did not help

me!" her mother was subdued."i thought if i spoke of his fond feelings and what they might lead to, you would behontish wi' him and lose your chance," she murmured, wiping her eyes with her apron. "well, we must make the best of it, isuppose. 'tis nater, after all, and what do pleasegod!" chapter xiii the event of tess durbeyfield's return fromthe manor of her bogus kinsfolk was rumoured abroad, if rumour be not too largea word for a space of a square mile.

in the afternoon several young girls ofmarlott, former schoolfellows and acquaintances of tess, called to see her,arriving dressed in their best starched and ironed, as became visitors to a person who had made a transcendent conquest (as theysupposed), and sat round the room looking at her with great curiosity. for the fact that it was this said thirty-first cousin, mr d'urberville, who had fallen in love with her, a gentleman notaltogether local, whose reputation as a reckless gallant and heartbreaker was beginning to spread beyond the immediateboundaries of trantridge, lent tess's

supposed position, by its fearsomeness, afar higher fascination that it would have exercised if unhazardous. their interest was so deep that the youngerones whispered when her back was turned-- "how pretty she is; and how that best frockdo set her off! i believe it cost an immense deal, and thatit was a gift from him." tess, who was reaching up to get the tea-things from the corner-cupboard, did not hear these commentaries. if she had heard them, she might soon haveset her friends right on the matter. but her mother heard, and joan's simplevanity, having been denied the hope of a

dashing marriage, fed itself as well as itcould upon the sensation of a dashing flirtation. upon the whole she felt gratified, eventhough such a limited and evanescent triumph should involve her daughter'sreputation; it might end in marriage yet, and in the warmth of her responsiveness to their admiration she invited her visitorsto stay to tea. their chatter, their laughter, their good-humoured innuendoes, above all, their flashes and flickerings of envy, revivedtess's spirits also; and, as the evening wore on, she caught the infection of theirexcitement, and grew almost gay.

the marble hardness left her face, shemoved with something of her old bounding step, and flushed in all her young beauty. at moments, in spite of thought, she wouldreply to their inquiries with a manner of superiority, as if recognizing that herexperiences in the field of courtship had, indeed, been slightly enviable. but so far was she from being, in the wordsof robert south, "in love with her own ruin," that the illusion was transient aslightning; cold reason came back to mock her spasmodic weakness; the ghastliness of her momentary pride would convict her, andrecall her to reserved listlessness again.

and the despondency of the next morning'sdawn, when it was no longer sunday, but monday; and no best clothes; and thelaughing visitors were gone, and she awoke alone in her old bed, the innocent youngerchildren breathing softly around her. in place of the excitement of her return,and the interest it had inspired, she saw before her a long and stony highway whichshe had to tread, without aid, and with little sympathy. her depression was then terrible, and shecould have hidden herself in a tomb. in the course of a few weeks tess revivedsufficiently to show herself so far as was necessary to get to church one sundaymorning.

she liked to hear the chanting--such as itwas--and the old psalms, and to join in the morning hymn. that innate love of melody, which she hadinherited from her ballad-singing mother, gave the simplest music a power over herwhich could well-nigh drag her heart out of her bosom at times. to be as much out of observation aspossible for reasons of her own, and to escape the gallantries of the young men,she set out before the chiming began, and took a back seat under the gallery, close to the lumber, where only old men and womencame, and where the bier stood on end among

the churchyard tools. parishioners dropped in by twos and threes,deposited themselves in rows before her, rested three-quarters of a minute on theirforeheads as if they were praying, though they were not; then sat up, and lookedaround. when the chants came on, one of herfavourites happened to be chosen among the rest--the old double chant "langdon"--butshe did not know what it was called, though she would much have liked to know. she thought, without exactly wording thethought, how strange and god-like was a composer's power, who from the grave couldlead through sequences of emotion, which he

alone had felt at first, a girl like her who had never heard of his name, and neverwould have a clue to his personality. the people who had turned their headsturned them again as the service proceeded; and at last observing her, they whisperedto each other. she knew what their whispers were about,grew sick at heart, and felt that she could come to church no more. the bedroom which she shared with some ofthe children formed her retreat more continually than ever. here, under her few square yards of thatch,she watched winds, and snows, and rains,

gorgeous sunsets, and successive moons attheir full. so close kept she that at length almosteverybody thought she had gone away. the only exercise that tess took at thistime was after dark; and it was then, when out in the woods, that she seemed leastsolitary. she knew how to hit to a hair's-breadththat moment of evening when the light and the darkness are so evenly balanced thatthe constraint of day and the suspense of night neutralize each other, leavingabsolute mental liberty. it is then that the plight of being alivebecomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions.

she had no fear of the shadows; her soleidea seemed to be to shun mankind--or rather that cold accretion called theworld, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in itsunits. on these lonely hills and dales herquiescent glide was of a piece with the element she moved in. her flexuous and stealthy figure became anintegral part of the scene. at times her whimsical fancy wouldintensify natural processes around her till they seemed a part of her own story. rather they became a part of it; for theworld is only a psychological phenomenon,

and what they seemed they were. the midnight airs and gusts, moaningamongst the tightly-wrapped buds and bark of the winter twigs, were formulae ofbitter reproach. a wet day was the expression ofirremediable grief at her weakness in the mind of some vague ethical being whom shecould not class definitely as the god of her childhood, and could not comprehend asany other. but this encompassment of her owncharacterization, based on shreds of convention, peopled by phantoms and voicesantipathetic to her, was a sorry and mistaken creation of tess's fancy--a cloud

of moral hobgoblins by which she wasterrified without reason. it was they that were out of harmony withthe actual world, not she. walking among the sleeping birds in thehedges, watching the skipping rabbits on a moonlit warren, or standing under apheasant-laden bough, she looked upon herself as a figure of guilt intruding intothe haunts of innocence. but all the while she was making adistinction where there was no difference. feeling herself in antagonism, she wasquite in accord. she had been made to break an acceptedsocial law, but no law known to the environment in which she fancied herselfsuch an anomaly.

chapter xiv it was a hazy sunrise in august. the denser nocturnal vapours, attacked bythe warm beams, were dividing and shrinking into isolated fleeces within hollows andcoverts, where they waited till they should be dried away to nothing. the sun, on account of the mist, had acurious sentient, personal look, demanding the masculine pronoun for its adequateexpression. his present aspect, coupled with the lackof all human forms in the scene, explained the old-time heliolatries in a moment.one could feel that a saner religion had

never prevailed under the sky. the luminary was a golden-haired, beaming,mild-eyed, god-like creature, gazing down in the vigour and intentness of youth uponan earth that was brimming with interest for him. his light, a little later, broke thoughchinks of cottage shutters, throwing stripes like red-hot pokers upon cupboards,chests of drawers, and other furniture within; and awakening harvesters who werenot already astir. but of all ruddy things that morning thebrightest were two broad arms of painted wood, which rose from the margin of yellowcornfield hard by marlott village.

they, with two others below, formed therevolving maltese cross of the reaping- machine, which had been brought to thefield on the previous evening to be ready for operations this day. the paint with which they were smeared,intensified in hue by the sunlight, imparted to them a look of having beendipped in liquid fire. the field had already been "opened"; thatis to say, a lane a few feet wide had been hand-cut through the wheat along the wholecircumference of the field for the first passage of the horses and machine. two groups, one of men and lads, the otherof women, had come down the lane just at

the hour when the shadows of the easternhedge-top struck the west hedge midway, so that the heads of the groups were enjoying sunrise while their feet were still in thedawn. they disappeared from the lane between thetwo stone posts which flanked the nearest field-gate. presently there arose from within a tickinglike the love-making of the grasshopper. the machine had begun, and a movingconcatenation of three horses and the aforesaid long rickety machine was visibleover the gate, a driver sitting upon one of the hauling horses, and an attendant onthe seat of the implement.

along one side of the field the whole wainwent, the arms of the mechanical reaper revolving slowly, till it passed down thehill quite out of sight. in a minute it came up on the other side ofthe field at the same equable pace; the glistening brass star in the forehead ofthe fore horse first catching the eye as it rose into view over the stubble, then thebright arms, and then the whole machine. the narrow lane of stubble encompassing thefield grew wider with each circuit, and the standing corn was reduced to a smaller areaas the morning wore on. rabbits, hares, snakes, rats, mice,retreated inwards as into a fastness, unaware of the ephemeral nature of theirrefuge, and of the doom that awaited them

later in the day when, their covert shrinking to a more and more horriblenarrowness, they were huddled together, friends and foes, till the last few yardsof upright wheat fell also under the teeth of the unerring reaper, and they were every one put to death by the sticks and stonesof the harvesters. the reaping-machine left the fallen cornbehind it in little heaps, each heap being of the quantity for a sheaf; and upon thesethe active binders in the rear laid their hands--mainly women, but some of them men in print shirts, and trousers supportedround their waists by leather straps,

rendering useless the two buttons behind,which twinkled and bristled with sunbeams at every movement of each wearer, as if they were a pair of eyes in the small ofhis back. but those of the other sex were the mostinteresting of this company of binders, by reason of the charm which is acquired bywoman when she becomes part and parcel of outdoor nature, and is not merely an objectset down therein as at ordinary times. a field-man is a personality afield; afield-woman is a portion of the field; she had somehow lost her own margin, imbibedthe essence of her surrounding, and assimilated herself with it.

the women--or rather girls, for they weremostly young--wore drawn cotton bonnets with great flapping curtains to keep offthe sun, and gloves to prevent their hands being wounded by the stubble. there was one wearing a pale pink jacket,another in a cream-coloured tight-sleeved gown, another in a petticoat as red as thearms of the reaping-machine; and others, older, in the brown-rough "wropper" or over-all--the old-established and mostappropriate dress of the field-woman, which the young ones were abandoning. this morning the eye returns involuntarilyto the girl in the pink cotton jacket, she

being the most flexuous and finely-drawnfigure of them all. but her bonnet is pulled so far over herbrow that none of her face is disclosed while she binds, though her complexion maybe guessed from a stray twine or two of dark brown hair which extends below thecurtain of her bonnet. perhaps one reason why she seduces casualattention is that she never courts it, though the other women often gaze aroundthem. her binding proceeds with clock-likemonotony. from the sheaf last finished she draws ahandful of ears, patting their tips with her left palm to bring them even.

then, stooping low, she moves forward,gathering the corn with both hands against her knees, and pushing her left gloved handunder the bundle to meet the right on the other side, holding the corn in an embracelike that of a lover. she brings the ends of the bond together,and kneels on the sheaf while she ties it, beating back her skirts now and then whenlifted by the breeze. a bit of her naked arm is visible betweenthe buff leather of the gauntlet and the sleeve of her gown; and as the day wears onits feminine smoothness becomes scarified by the stubble and bleeds. at intervals she stands up to rest, and toretie her disarranged apron, or to pull her

bonnet straight. then one can see the oval face of ahandsome young woman with deep dark eyes and long heavy clinging tresses, which seemto clasp in a beseeching way anything they fall against. the cheeks are paler, the teeth moreregular, the red lips thinner than is usual in a country-bred girl. it is tess durbeyfield, otherwised'urberville, somewhat changed--the same, but not the same; at the present stage ofher existence living as a stranger and an alien here, though it was no strange landthat she was in.

after a long seclusion she had come to aresolve to undertake outdoor work in her native village, the busiest season of theyear in the agricultural world having arrived, and nothing that she could do within the house being so remunerative forthe time as harvesting in the fields. the movements of the other women were moreor less similar to tess's, the whole bevy of them drawing together like dancers in aquadrille at the completion of a sheaf by each, every one placing her sheaf on end against those of the rest, till a shock, or"stitch" as it was here called, of ten or a dozen was formed.they went to breakfast, and came again, and

the work proceeded as before. as the hour of eleven drew near a personwatching her might have noticed that every now and then tess's glance flittedwistfully to the brow of the hill, though she did not pause in her sheafing. on the verge of the hour the heads of agroup of children, of ages ranging from six to fourteen, rose over the stubblyconvexity of the hill. the face of tess flushed slightly, butstill she did not pause. the eldest of the comers, a girl who wore atriangular shawl, its corner draggling on the stubble, carried in her arms what atfirst sight seemed to be a doll, but proved

to be an infant in long clothes. another brought some lunch.the harvesters ceased working, took their provisions, and sat down against one of theshocks. here they fell to, the men plying a stonejar freely, and passing round a cup. tess durbeyfield had been one of the lastto suspend her labours. she sat down at the end of the shock, herface turned somewhat away from her companions. when she had deposited herself a man in arabbit-skin cap, and with a red handkerchief tucked into his belt, held thecup of ale over the top of the shock for

her to drink. but she did not accept his offer. as soon as her lunch was spread she calledup the big girl, her sister, and took the baby of her, who, glad to be relieved ofthe burden, went away to the next shock and joined the other children playing there. tess, with a curiously stealthy yetcourageous movement, and with a still rising colour, unfastened her frock andbegan suckling the child. the men who sat nearest consideratelyturned their faces towards the other end of the field, some of them beginning to smoke;one, with absent-minded fondness,

regretfully stroking the jar that would nolonger yield a stream. all the women but tess fell into animatedtalk, and adjusted the disarranged knots of their hair. when the infant had taken its fill, theyoung mother sat it upright in her lap, and looking into the far distance, dandled itwith a gloomy indifference that was almost dislike; then all of a sudden she fell to violently kissing it some dozens of times,as if she could never leave off, the child crying at the vehemence of an onset whichstrangely combined passionateness with contempt.

"she's fond of that there child, though shemid pretend to hate en, and say she wishes the baby and her too were in thechurchyard," observed the woman in the red petticoat. "she'll soon leave off saying that,"replied the one in buff. "lord, 'tis wonderful what a body can getused to o' that sort in time!" "a little more than persuading had to dowi' the coming o't, i reckon. there were they that heard a sobbing onenight last year in the chase; and it mid ha' gone hard wi' a certain party if folkshad come along." "well, a little more, or a little less,'twas a thousand pities that it should have

happened to she, of all others.but 'tis always the comeliest! the plain ones be as safe as churches--hey,jenny?" the speaker turned to one of the group whocertainly was not ill-defined as plain. it was a thousand pities, indeed; it wasimpossible for even an enemy to feel otherwise on looking at tess as she satthere, with her flower-like mouth and large tender eyes, neither black nor blue nor grey nor violet; rather all those shadestogether, and a hundred others, which could be seen if one looked into their irises--shade behind shade--tint beyond tint-- around pupils that had no bottom; an almost

standard woman, but for the slightincautiousness of character inherited from her race. a resolution which had surprised herselfhad brought her into the fields this week for the first time during many months. after wearing and wasting her palpitatingheart with every engine of regret that lonely inexperience could devise, commonsense had illuminated her. she felt that she would do well to beuseful again--to taste anew sweet independence at any price.the past was past; whatever it had been, it was no more at hand.

whatever its consequences, time would closeover them; they would all in a few years be as if they had never been, and she herselfgrassed down and forgotten. meanwhile the trees were just as green asbefore; the birds sang and the sun shone as clearly now as ever. the familiar surroundings had not darkenedbecause of her grief, nor sickened because of her pain. she might have seen that what had bowed herhead so profoundly--the thought of the world's concern at her situation--wasfounded on an illusion. she was not an existence, an experience, apassion, a structure of sensations, to

anybody but herself.to all humankind besides, tess was only a passing thought. even to friends she was no more than afrequently passing thought. if she made herself miserable the livelongnight and day it was only this much to them--"ah, she makes herself unhappy." if she tried to be cheerful, to dismiss allcare, to take pleasure in the daylight, the flowers, the baby, she could only be thisidea to them--"ah, she bears it very well." moreover, alone in a desert island wouldshe have been wretched at what had happened to her?not greatly.

if she could have been but just created, todiscover herself as a spouseless mother, with no experience of life except as theparent of a nameless child, would the position have caused her to despair? no, she would have taken it calmly, andfound pleasure therein. most of the misery had been generated byher conventional aspect, and not by her innate sensations. whatever tess's reasoning, some spirit hadinduced her to dress herself up neatly as she had formerly done, and come out intothe fields, harvest-hands being greatly in demand just then.

this was why she had borne herself withdignity, and had looked people calmly in the face at times, even when holding thebaby in her arms. the harvest-men rose from the shock ofcorn, and stretched their limbs, and extinguished their pipes. the horses, which had been unharnessed andfed, were again attached to the scarlet machine. tess, having quickly eaten her own meal,beckoned to her eldest sister to come and take away the baby, fastened her dress, puton the buff gloves again, and stooped anew to draw a bond from the last completedsheaf for the tying of the next.

in the afternoon and evening theproceedings of the morning were continued, tess staying on till dusk with the body ofharvesters. then they all rode home in one of thelargest wagons, in the company of a broad tarnished moon that had risen from theground to the eastwards, its face resembling the outworn gold-leaf halo ofsome worm-eaten tuscan saint. tess's female companions sang songs, andshowed themselves very sympathetic and glad at her reappearance out of doors, thoughthey could not refrain from mischievously throwing in a few verses of the ballad about the maid who went to the merry greenwood and came back a changed state.

there are counterpoises and compensationsin life; and the event which had made of her a social warning had also for themoment made her the most interesting personage in the village to many. their friendliness won her still fartheraway from herself, their lively spirits were contagious, and she became almost gay. but now that her moral sorrows were passingaway a fresh one arose on the natural side of her which knew no social law. when she reached home it was to learn toher grief that the baby had been suddenly taken ill since the afternoon.

some such collapse had been probable, sotender and puny was its frame; but the event came as a shock nevertheless. the baby's offence against society incoming into the world was forgotten by the girl-mother; her soul's desire was tocontinue that offence by preserving the life of the child. however, it soon grew clear that the hourof emancipation for that little prisoner of the flesh was to arrive earlier than herworst misgiving had conjectured. and when she had discovered this she wasplunged into a misery which transcended that of the child's simple loss.her baby had not been baptized.

tess had drifted into a frame of mind whichaccepted passively the consideration that if she should have to burn for what she haddone, burn she must, and there was an end of it. like all village girls, she was wellgrounded in the holy scriptures, and had dutifully studied the histories of aholahand aholibah, and knew the inferences to be drawn therefrom. but when the same question arose withregard to the baby, it had a very different colour.her darling was about to die, and no salvation.

it was nearly bedtime, but she rusheddownstairs and asked if she might send for the parson. the moment happened to be one at which herfather's sense of the antique nobility of his family was highest, and hissensitiveness to the smudge which tess had set upon that nobility most pronounced, for he had just returned from his weekly boozeat rolliver's inn. no parson should come inside his door, hedeclared, prying into his affairs, just then, when, by her shame, it had becomemore necessary than ever to hide them. he locked the door and put the key in hispocket.

the household went to bed, and, distressedbeyond measure, tess retired also. she was continually waking as she lay, andin the middle of the night found that the baby was still worse.it was obviously dying--quietly and painlessly, but none the less surely. in her misery she rocked herself upon thebed. the clock struck the solemn hour of one,that hour when fancy stalks outside reason, and malignant possibilities stand rock-firmas facts. she thought of the child consigned to thenethermost corner of hell, as its double doom for lack of baptism and lack oflegitimacy; saw the arch-fiend tossing it

with his three-pronged fork, like the one they used for heating the oven on bakingdays; to which picture she added many other quaint and curious details of tormentsometimes taught the young in this christian country. the lurid presentment so powerfullyaffected her imagination in the silence of the sleeping house that her nightgownbecame damp with perspiration, and the bedstead shook with each throb of herheart. the infant's breathing grew more difficult,and the mother's mental tension increased. it was useless to devour the little thingwith kisses; she could stay in bed no

longer, and walked feverishly about theroom. "o merciful god, have pity; have pity uponmy poor baby!" she cried. "heap as much anger as you want to upon me,and welcome; but pity the child!" she leant against the chest of drawers, andmurmured incoherent supplications for a long while, till she suddenly started up."ah! perhaps baby can be saved! perhaps it will be just the same!" she spoke so brightly that it seemed asthough her face might have shone in the gloom surrounding her. she lit a candle, and went to a second anda third bed under the wall, where she awoke

her young sisters and brothers, all of whomoccupied the same room. pulling out the washing-stand so that shecould get behind it, she poured some water from a jug, and made them kneel around,putting their hands together with fingers exactly vertical. while the children, scarcely awake, awe-stricken at her manner, their eyes growing larger and larger, remained in thisposition, she took the baby from her bed--a child's child--so immature as scarce to seem a sufficient personality to endow itsproducer with the maternal title. tess then stood erect with the infant onher arm beside the basin; the next sister

held the prayer-book open before her, asthe clerk at church held it before the parson; and thus the girl set aboutbaptizing her child. her figure looked singularly tall andimposing as she stood in her long white nightgown, a thick cable of twisted darkhair hanging straight down her back to her waist. the kindly dimness of the weak candleabstracted from her form and features the little blemishes which sunlight might haverevealed--the stubble scratches upon her wrists, and the weariness of her eyes--her high enthusiasm having a transfiguringeffect upon the face which had been her

undoing, showing it as a thing ofimmaculate beauty, with a touch of dignity which was almost regal. the little ones kneeling round, theirsleepy eyes blinking and red, awaited her preparations full of a suspended wonderwhich their physical heaviness at that hour would not allow to become active. the most impressed of them said:"be you really going to christen him, tess?"the girl-mother replied in a grave affirmative. "what's his name going to be?"

she had not thought of that, but a namesuggested by a phrase in the book of genesis came into her head as she proceededwith the baptismal service, and now she pronounced it: "sorrow, i baptize thee in the name of thefather, and of the son, and of the holy ghost."she sprinkled the water, and there was silence. "say 'amen,' children."the tiny voices piped in obedient response, "amen!"tess went on: "we receive this child"--and so forth--"anddo sign him with the sign of the cross."

here she dipped her hand into the basin,and fervently drew an immense cross upon the baby with her forefinger, continuingwith the customary sentences as to his manfully fighting against sin, the world, and the devil, and being a faithful soldierand servant unto his life's end. she duly went on with the lord's prayer,the children lisping it after her in a thin gnat-like wail, till, at the conclusion,raising their voices to clerk's pitch, they again piped into silence, "amen!" then their sister, with much augmentedconfidence in the efficacy of the sacrament, poured forth from the bottom ofher heart the thanksgiving that follows,

uttering it boldly and triumphantly in the stopt-diapason note which her voiceacquired when her heart was in her speech, and which will never be forgotten by thosewho knew her. the ecstasy of faith almost apotheosizedher; it set upon her face a glowing irradiation, and brought a red spot intothe middle of each cheek; while the miniature candle-flame inverted in her eye-pupils shone like a diamond. the children gazed up at her with more andmore reverence, and no longer had a will for questioning. she did not look like sissy to them now,but as a being large, towering, and awful--

a divine personage with whom they hadnothing in common. poor sorrow's campaign against sin, theworld, and the devil was doomed to be of limited brilliancy--luckily perhaps forhimself, considering his beginnings. in the blue of the morning that fragilesoldier and servant breathed his last, and when the other children awoke they criedbitterly, and begged sissy to have another pretty baby. the calmness which had possessed tess sincethe christening remained with her in the infant's loss. in the daylight, indeed, she felt herterrors about his soul to have been

somewhat exaggerated; whether well foundedor not, she had no uneasiness now, reasoning that if providence would not ratify such an act of approximation she,for one, did not value the kind of heaven lost by the irregularity--either forherself or for her child. so passed away sorrow the undesired--thatintrusive creature, that bastard gift of shameless nature, who respects not thesocial law; a waif to whom eternal time had been a matter of days merely, who knew not that such things as years and centuriesever were; to whom the cottage interior was the universe, the week's weather climate,new-born babyhood human existence, and the

instinct to suck human knowledge. tess, who mused on the christening a gooddeal, wondered if it were doctrinally sufficient to secure a christian burial forthe child. nobody could tell this but the parson ofthe parish, and he was a new-comer, and did not know her. she went to his house after dusk, and stoodby the gate, but could not summon courage to go in. the enterprise would have been abandoned ifshe had not by accident met him coming homeward as she turned away.in the gloom she did not mind speaking

freely. "i should like to ask you something, sir."he expressed his willingness to listen, and she told the story of the baby's illnessand the extemporized ordinance. "and now, sir," she added earnestly, "canyou tell me this--will it be just the same for him as if you had baptized him?" having the natural feelings of a tradesmanat finding that a job he should have been called in for had been unskilfully botchedby his customers among themselves, he was disposed to say no. yet the dignity of the girl, the strangetenderness in her voice, combined to affect

his nobler impulses--or rather those thathe had left in him after ten years of endeavour to graft technical belief onactual scepticism. the man and the ecclesiastic fought withinhim, and the victory fell to the man. "my dear girl," he said, "it will be justthe same." "then will you give him a christianburial?" she asked quickly. the vicar felt himself cornered. hearing of the baby's illness, he hadconscientiously gone to the house after nightfall to perform the rite, and, unawarethat the refusal to admit him had come from tess's father and not from tess, he could

not allow the plea of necessity for itsirregular administration. "ah--that's another matter," he said."another matter--why?" asked tess, rather warmly. "well--i would willingly do so if only wetwo were concerned. but i must not--for certain reasons.""just for once, sir!" "really i must not." "o sir!"she seized his hand as she spoke. he withdrew it, shaking his head. "then i don't like you!" she burst out,"and i'll never come to your church no

more!""don't talk so rashly." "perhaps it will be just the same to him ifyou don't?... will it be just the same? don't for god's sake speak as saint tosinner, but as you yourself to me myself-- poor me!" how the vicar reconciled his answer withthe strict notions he supposed himself to hold on these subjects it is beyond alayman's power to tell, though not to excuse. somewhat moved, he said in this case also--"it will be just the same."

so the baby was carried in a small dealbox, under an ancient woman's shawl, to the churchyard that night, and buried bylantern-light, at the cost of a shilling and a pint of beer to the sexton, in that shabby corner of god's allotment where helets the nettles grow, and where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards,suicides, and others of the conjecturally damned are laid. in spite of the untoward surroundings,however, tess bravely made a little cross of two laths and a piece of string, andhaving bound it with flowers, she stuck it up at the head of the grave one evening

when she could enter the churchyard withoutbeing seen, putting at the foot also a bunch of the same flowers in a little jarof water to keep them alive. what matter was it that on the outside ofthe jar the eye of mere observation noted the words "keelwell's marmalade"?the eye of maternal affection did not see them in its vision of higher things.

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