Thomas Hardy.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles; a pure woman faithfully presented online

. (page 1 of 36)
Online LibraryThomas HardyTess of the D'Urbervilles; a pure woman faithfully presented → online text (page 1 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


^



^








«.



j;






«r




)






$1




T$



9*



*%






IWS




University of California • Berkeley
Purchased as the gift of



Russell Miller




7




J




ct^ip^ynt e^




[Page 42.1

"selecting a specially fine product of the 'BRITISH QUEEN ' TAUIETY,
HE STOOD UP AND HELD IT DY THE STEM TO HER MOUTH."



TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES



A PUKE WOMAN

Faithfully Presented



By THOMAS HARDY

AUTHOR OF
A GROUP OF NOBLE DAMES " " THE AVOODLANDERS " ETC.



^^ Poor wozmded name! my bosom, as a bed.
Shall lodge thee.'"

W. Shakespeare.



ILLUSTRATED



NEW AXD COMPLETELY REVISED EDITIOS




NEW YORK
HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE

1893



Copyright, 1891, by Harper «S: Brothers.
Coi3yright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers.



Copyright, 1893, by Harper & Brothers.



All rights reserved.



CONTENTS



p[)a5c tl)e i^irst.



PAGE



THE MAIDEN, I.-XI 1



lase tl)e Scconb.

MAIDEN NO MORE, XII.-XV 81

THE RALLY, XYI.-XXIV 112

THE CONSEQUENCE, XXV.-XXXIV 172

pi)asc l\]c i'iftli.

THE WOMAN PAYS, XXXV.-XLIV 258

THE CONVERT, XLV.-LII 348

FULFILMENT, LIII.-LIX 420



ILLUSTRATIONS.



" SELECTING A SPECIALLY FINE PRODUCT OF THE * BRITISH QUEEN '
VARIETY, HE STOOD UP AND HELD IT BY THE STEM TO HER

MOUTH " Frontispiece

" so MATTERS STOOD WHEN TESS OPENED THE DOOR AND PAUSED

UPON THE MAT WITHIN IT, SURVEYING THE SCENE" . . . FuceS p. 16

"TESS followed slowly IN THEIR REAR, AND ENTERED THE
BARTON BY THE OPEN GATE THROUGH WHICH THEY HAD EN-
TERED BEFORE her" " 118

" ' WHAT MAKES YOU DRAW OFF IN THAT WAY, TESS ?' SAID HE,

'ARE YOU AFRAID?'" " 138

"he WENT QUICKLY TOWARDS THE DESIRE OF HIS EYES " . . . " 170

"SHE FLUNG HERSELF DOWN UPON THE RUSTLING UNDERGROWTH

OF SPEAR-GRASS AS UPON A BED " " 202

"they hung ABOUT HER IN THEIR FLOWING WHITE NIGHT-
GOWNS" " 226



" * IN THE NAME OP HEAVEN, FORGIVE ME !' SHE WHISPERED " . . " 260

"his father and MOTHER WERE BOTH IN THE DRAWING-ROOM " " 298

" THE PREACHER WAS ALEC d'uRBERVILLE " " 348

"'what shall we do NOW, TESS?'" " 416



EXPLANATOEY NOTE TO THE FIEST

EDITION.

The main portion of tlie following story appeared — with
slight modifications — in the GrapMc newspaper and Har-
pei^s Bazar ; other chapters, more especially addressed to
adnlt readers, in the Fortnightly Review and the Kational
Ohserver, as episodic sketches. My thanks are tendered to
the editors and proprietors of those periodicals for enabhng
me now to piece the trnnk and hmbs of the novel together,
and print it complete, as originally written two years ago.

I will just add that the story is sent out in all sincerity
of purpose, as an attempt to give artistic form to a true
sequence of things ; and in respect of the book's opinions I
would ask any too genteel reader who cannot endnre to
have said what everybody nowadays thinks and feels, to
remember a weU-worn sentence of St. Jerome's : ''If an
offence come out of the truth, better is it that the offence
come than that the truth be concealed."

T. H.

November, 1891.



PREFACE TO THE FIFTH (ENGLISH)

EDITION.*

This novel being one wherein the great campaign of the
heroine begins after an event in her experience wliich has
usually been treated as extinguishing her, in the aspect of
protagonist at least, and as the virtual ending of her career
and hopes, it was quite contrary to avowed conventions that
the public should welcome the book, and agree with me in
holding that there was something more to be said in fiction
than had been said about the shaded side of a well-known
catastrophe. But the responsive spirit in w^hich Tess of the
J>' UrherviUes has been received by the readers of England
and America would seem to prove that the plan of laying
down a story on the lines of tacit opinion, instead of mak-
ing it to square with, the merely vocal formulae of society,
is not altogether a wTong one, even when exemplified in so
unequal and partial an achievement as the present. For
this responsiveness I cannot refrain from expressing my
thanks ; and my regfet is that, in a world where one so
often hungers in vain for friendship, where even not to be
wilfuUy misunderstood is felt as a kindness, I shall never
meet in person these appreciative readers, male and female,
and shake them by the hand.

I include amongst them the reviewers — by far the ma-
jority — who have so generously welcomed the tale. Their
w^ords show that they, Uke the others, have only too largely
repaired my defects of narration by their own imaginative
intuition.

Nevertheless, though the novel was intended to be neither

* Eighth American Edition.



X PREFACE.

didactic nor aggressive, but in the scenic parts to be repre-
sentative simply, and in the contemplative to be oftener
charged with impressions than with opinions, there have
been objectors both to the matter and to the rendering.

Some of these maintain a conscientions difference of
sentiment concerning, among other things, subjects fit for
art, and reveal an inability to associate the idea of the title-
adjective with any bnt the hcensed and derivative meaning
which has resulted to it from the ordinances of civilization.
They thus ignore, not only all Nature's claims, all aesthetic
claims on the word, but even the spiritual interpretation
afforded by the finest side of Christianity ; and drag in, as a
vital point, the acts of a woman in her last dtiys of despera-
tion, when all her doings he outside her normal character.
Others dissent on grounds which are intrinsically no more
than an assertion that the novel embodies the views of life
prevalent at the end of the nineteenth century, and not
those of an earlier and simpler generation — an assertion
which I can only hope may be well founded. Let me repeat
that a novel is an impression, not an argument ; and there
the matter must rest; as one is reminded by a passage
which occurs in the letters of Schiller to Goethe on judges
of this class : " They are those w^ho seek only their own ideas
in a representation, and prize that which should be as
higher than what is. The cause of the dispute, therefore,
lies in the ver}^ fij'st principles, and it would be utterly im-
possil)le to come to an understanding with them." And
again : '' As soon as I observe that any one, when judging
of poetical representations, considers anything more im-
portant than the inner Necessity and Truth, I have done
with him."

In the introductory words to the fii'st edition I suggested
the possible advent of the genteel person who would not be
able to endure the tone of these pages. That person duly
appeared, mostly mixed up with the aforesaid objectors.
In another of his forms he felt upset that it was not possi-



PREFACE. xi

ble for liim to read the book tlirougli tliree times, owing to
my not having made that critical effort which " alone can
prove the salvation of such an one/^ In another, he objected
to such vnlgar articles as the devil's pitchfork, a lodging-
honse carving-knife, and a shame-bought parasol appearing
in a respectable story. In another place he was a gentle-
man who tiu'ned Christian for half an hour the better to
express his grief that a disrespectful phrase about the Im-
mortals shoidd have been used ; though the same innate
gentility compelled him to excuse the author in w^ords of
pity that one cannot be too thankfid for : " He does but give
us of his best." I can assui'e this great critic that to exclaim
iUogically against the gods, singular or plural, is not such
an original sin of mine as he seems to imagine. True, it
may have some local originahty ; though if Shakespeare
were an authority on history, which perhaps he is not, I
could show that the sin was introduced into Wessex as early
as the Heptarchy itself. Says Glo'ster to Lear, otherwise
Ina, king of that country :



It



As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods ;
Tliey Idll us for their sport."



The remaining tw^o or three manipulators of Tess were
of the sort whom most winters and readers would gladly
forget : professed hterary boxers, who put on their convic-
tions for the occasion ; modern '^ Hammers of Heretics '^ ;
sworn discoui'agers of effort, ever on the watch to prevent
the tentative half-success from becoming the whole success ;
W'ho pervert plain meanings, and grow^ personal under the
name of practising the great historical method. However,
they may have causes to advance, pri^dleges to guard, tra-
ditions to keep going; some of w^hich a mere tale-teller,
who writes down how the things of the world strike him,
without any ulterior intentions whatever, has overlooked,
and may by pure inadvertence have run foul of when in



xii PREFACE.

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

T. H.

July, 1892.



TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES.



THE MAIDEN.



I.

On ail evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged
man was walking homeward from Shaston to the village
of Mario tt, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore or Black-
moor. The i^air of legs that carried him were rickety, and
there was a bias in his gait that inclined him somewhat to
the left of a straight line. He occasionally gave a smart
nod, as if in confii*mation of some opinion, though he was
not thinking of anything in particular. An empty egg-
basket was slung upon his arm, the nap of his hat was
ruffled, a patch being quite worn away at its brim where
his thumb came in taking it off. Presently he was met by
an elderly parson astride of a gray mare, who, as he rode,
hummed a wandering tune.

" Good-night t'ye," said the man with the basket.

" Good-night, Sir John,'^ said the parson.

The pedestrian, after another pace or two, halted, and

turned round.
1



2 TESS OF THE D'URBEm^LLES.

''Now, sir, begging your pardon, we met last market-day
on this road about this time, and I said ' Good-night,' and
you made reply, '■ Good-night, Sir John,' as now."

" I did," said the parson,

'^ And once before that — near a month ago."

'' I mav have."

'' Then what might your meaning be in calling me ' Sir
John ' these different times, when I be plain Jack Durbey^
field, the haggler ? "

The parson rode a step or two nearer.

" It was only my whim," he said : and, after a moment's
hesitation : " It was on account of a discovery I made some
little time ago, whilst I was hunting up pedigrees for the
new county history. I am Parson Tringham, the antiquary,
of Stagfoot Lane. Don't you really know, Durbeyfield,
that you are the lineal representative of the ancient and
knightly family of the D'Urbervilles, who derive their
descent from Sir Pagan D'Urberville, that renoT^aied knight
who came from Normandy mtli WiUiam the Conqueror,
as appears by Battle Abbey Roll ? "

'' Never heard it before, sir."

" WeU, it's true. Throw up your chin a moment, so that
I may catch the profile of yom' face better. Yes, that's the
D'Urberville nose and chin — a little debased. Your ances-
tor was one of the twelve knights who assisted the Lord of
Estremavilla in Normandy in his conquest of Glamorgan-
shire. Branches of vom* familv held manors over all this
part of England ; their names appear in the Pipe Rolls in
the time of King Stephen. In the reign of King John one
of them was rich enough to give a manor to the Knights
Hospitallers ; and in Edward the Second's time your fore-
father Brian was summoned to Westminster to attend the
great Council there. You declined a little in Oliver Crom-
well's time, but to no serious extent, and in Charles the
Second's reign yoii were made Knights of the Royal O^k
for your loyalty. Aye, there have been generations of



THE MAIDEN. 3

Sir Johns among you, and if kuigiitliood were hereditary,
like a baronetcy, as it practically was in old times, when
men were knighted from father to son, you would be Sir
John now."

^' You don't say so ! "

^'In short," concluded the parson, decisively smacking
his leg with his switch, " there's hardly such another family
in England ! "

'^ Daze my eyes, and isn't there ? " said Durbeyfield.
" And here have I been knocking about, year after year,
from pillar to post, as if I was no more than the common-
est feller in the parish. . . . And how long hev this news
about me been knowed, Pa'son Tringham "? "

The clergyman explained that, as far as he was aware,
it had quite died out of knowledge, and could hardly be
said to be known at all. His own investigations had begun
on a day in the preceding spring when, having been en-
gaged in tracing the ^dcissitudes of the D'Urberville family,
he had observed Dm-beyfiekVs name on his wagon, and had
thereupon been led to make inquiiies al)Out his father and
grandfather, till he had no doubt on the subject. "At first
I resolved not to distiu'b you with such a useless piece of
information," said he. "However, our impulses are too
strong for oiu* judgment sometimes. I thought you might
perhaps know something of it all the while."

"Well, I have heard once or twice, 'tis true, that my
family had seen better days before they came to Black-
moor. But I took no notice o't, thinking it to mean that
we had once kept two horses where we now keep only one.
I've got a wold silver spoon at home, too ; and likewise a
gi-aven seal; but. Lord, what's a spoon and seal? . . .
And to think that I and these noble D'Urbervilles was one
flesh. 'Twas said that my grandfer had secrets, and didn't
care to talk of where he came from. . . . And where do
we raise our smoke, now, parson, make so bold ; I mean,
where do we D'Urber\dlles live ? "



4 TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES.

^' You don't live anywhere. You are extinct— as a county
family."

'^ That's bad."

"Yes — what the mendacious family chronicles call ex-
tinct in the male line — that is, gone down — gone under."

" And Avhere do we he f "

"At Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill : rows and rows of you
in your vaults, with yoiu^ effigies under Purbeck-marble
canopies."

" And where be our famil}^ mansions and estates ? "

" You haven't anv."

" O ! No lands neither ? "

" None ; though you once had 'em in abundance, as I
said, for jouv family consisted of numerous branches. In
this county there was a seat of yours at Kingsbere, and
another at Sherton, and another at Millpond, and another
at Lullstead, and another at Wellbridge."

" And shall we ever come into our own again ? "

" Ah, that I can't teU."

" And what had I better do about it, sir ? '' asked Durbey-
field, after a pause.

"O — nothing, nothing; except chasten yourself Avith
the thought of 'how are the mighty fallen.' It is a fact
of some interest to the local historian and genealogist,
nothing more. There are several families among the
cottagers of this county of almost equal lustre. Good-
night."

" But you'll turn back and have a quart of beer wi' me
on the strength o't, Pa'son Tringham ? There's a very
pretty brew in tap at The Pure Drop — though, to be sure,
not so good as at Rolliver's."

" No, thank you — not this evening, Durbeyfield. You've
had enough already." Concluding thus, the parson rode
on liis way, with doubts as to his discretion in retailing this
curious bit of lore.

When he was gone Durbeyfield walked a few steps in a



THE INIAIDEX. 5

profound reverie, and then sat down npon the gi'assy bank
by the roadside, depositing his basket before liini. In a
few niinntes a yonth appeared in the distance, walking
in the same direction as that which had been pnrsned by
Dnrbeyfield. The latter, on seeing him, held np his hand,
and the lad qnickened his pace and came near.

^' Boy, take np that basket ! I want 'ee to go on an
errand for me."

The lath-like stripling frowned. "Who be yon, then,
John Diu'be^^eld, that order me abont and call me bov?
Yon know my name as well as I know yours ! "

" Do you — do you ? That's the secret — that's the secret !
Now o])ey my orders, and take the message I'm going to
charge 'ee wi'. . . . Well, Fred, I don't mind telling you
that the secret is that I'm one of a noble race — it has been
just found out by me this present afternoon, p.m." And
as he made the announcement, Dnrbeyfield, dechning from
his sitting position, luxuriously stretched himself out upon
the bank among the daisies.

The lad stood before Dnrbeyfield, and contemplated his
length from crown to toe.

" Sir John D'Urberville — that's who I be," continued the
prostrate man. " That is if knights were baronets — which
they be. 'Tis recorded in history aU about me. Dost
know of such a place, lad, as Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill ? "

" Ees. I've been there to Greenhill Fair."

"Well, under the church of that city there lie "

"'Tisn't a city, the place I mean; leastwise 'twasn't
when I was there — 'twas a little one-eyed, blinking sort o'
place."

^' Never you mind the place, boy ; that's not the questioii
l^efore us. Under the church of that parish lie my ances-
tors — hundreds of 'em — in coats of mail and jewels, in
great lead coffins weighing tons and tons. There's not a
man in the county o' Wessex that's got grander and nobler
skellingtons in his family than I."



6 TESS OF THE D'URBERYILLES.

''Now take uj) that basket, and go on to Marlott, and
wlien you come to The Pure Drop Inn, tell 'em to send a
horse and carriage to me immediately, to carry me home.
And in the bottom o' the carriage they be to put a noggin
o' rum in a small bottle, and chalk it uj) to my account.
And when youVe done that, go on to my house with the
basket, and tell my wife to put away that washing, because
she needn't finish it, and wait till I come home, as I have
news to tell her."

As the lad stood in a dul3ious attitude, Diu'beyfield put
his hand in his pocket and produced a shilling, one of the
comparatively few that he possessed. ''Here's for your
labor, lad."

This made a real diiference in the young man's apprecia-
tion of the position. "Yes, Sir John. Thank you. Any-
thing else I can do for 'ee. Sir John ? "

" Tell 'em at home that I should like for supper — well,
lamb's fry if they can get it ; and if they can't, black-pot ;
and if they can't get that — well, chitterlings will do."

"Yes, Sir John."

The boy took up the basket, and as he set out the notes
of a brass band were heard from the dii'ection of the \dllage.
" What's that ? " said Durbevfield. " Not on account o' I ? "

"'Tis the women's club-wall^ing, Sii' John. Why, your
daughter is one o' the members."

"To be sure ; I'd quite forgot it in my thoughts of
greater things. Well, vamp on to Marlott, will 'ee, and
order that carriage, and maybe I'll drive round and inspect
the club."

The lad departed, and Durbeyfield lay waiting on the
grass and daisies in the evening sun. Not a soul passed
that way for a long while, and the faint notes of the band
were the only human sounds audible Tvithin the rim of
blue hills.



THE 3IAIDEX.



II.

The village of Marlott lay amid tlie nortlieastern undu-
lations of the beautiful Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor
aforesaid, an engii'dled and secluded region, for the most
part untrodden as yet by toui-ist or landscape-painter,
though within a four hours' journey from London.

It is a yale whose acquaintance is best made by ^dewing
it from the summits of the hills that surround it — except
perhaps during the droughts of summer. An unguided
ramble into its recesses in bad weather is apt to engender
dissatisfaction with its narrow, tortuous, and miry ways.

This fertile and sheltered tract of country, in which the
fields are neyer brown and the springs neyer dry, is
bounded on the south by the bold chalk ridge that embraces
the prominences of Hambledon Hill, Bulbarrow, Nettle-
combe-Tout, Dogbury, High Stoy, and Bubb DoTvm. The
trayeller from the coast, who, after plodding for a score
of miles oyer calcareous downs and corn-lands, suddenly
reaches the yerge of one of these escarpments, is surj^rised
and delighted to behold, extended Like a map beneath him,
a country differing absolutely from that which he has
passed through. Behind him the hiUs are open, the sun
blazes do^yn upon fields so large as to giye an unenclosed
character to the landscape, the lanes are white, the hedges
low and plashed, the atmosphere colorless. Here, in the
yalley, the world seems to be constructed upon a smaller
and more delicate scale ; the fields are mere paddocks, so
reduced that from this height their hedge-rows appear a
net-work of dark green threads overspreading the paler
green of the grass. The atmosphere beneath is languorous,
and is so tinged mth azure that what artists call the mid-
dle distance partakes also of that hue, while the horizon



8 TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES.

beyond is of the cleej)est ultramarine. Arable lands are
few and limited ; with but slight exceptions the prospect is
a broad rich mass of grass and trees, mantling minor hills
and dales within the major. Such is the Vale of Blackmoor.

The district is of historic^ no less than of topographical
interest. The vale was known in former times as the
Forest of White Hart, from a curious legend of King
Henry the Third's reign, in which the killing by a certain
Thomas de la L^md of a beautiful white hart which the
King had run down and spared, was made the occasion of
a hea^y fine. In those days, and till comparatively recent
times, the countrv was densely wooded. Even now traces
of its earlier condition are to be found in the old oak copses
and irregular belts of timber that yet survive upon its
slopes, and the hollo w-trunked trees that shade so many of
its pastures.

The forests have departed, but some old customs of their
shades remain. Many, however, linger only in a metamor-
phosed or disguised form. The May-day dance, for in-
stance, was to be discerned on the afternoon under notice,
in the guise of the club revel, or ''club- walking," as it Avas
there called.

It was an interesting event to the younger inhabitants of
Marlott, though the real interest was not observed b}^ the
participators in the ceremony. Its singularity lay less in
the fact that there was still retained a custom of walking
in procession and dancing on each anniversary than that
the members were solely women. In men's clubs such
celebrations were, though expiring, less uncommon ; but
either the natural shyness of the softer sex, or a sarcastic
attitude on the part of male relatives, had denuded such
women's clubs as remained (if any other did) of this their
glory and consummation. Tlie club of Marlott alone lived
to uphold the local Cerealia. It liad walked for hundreds
of years, if not as benefit-club, as votive sisterhood of some
soi-t ; and it walked still.

The banded ones were all dressed in white c:owns — a G'f^v



THE MAIDEN. 9

survival from Old Style clays, when cheerfulness and May-
time were sjTionyms — days before the habit of taking long
views had reduced emotions to a monotonous average.
Theii- fii'st exhibition of themselves was in a processional
march of two and two round the parish. Ideal and real
clashed shghtly as the sun lit up their figures against the
gTeen hedges and creeper-laced house-fronts ; f or, though the
whole troop wore white garments, no two whites were ahke
among them. Some gowns were purely blanched; some
had a bluish pallor; some worn by the older characters
(which had possibly lain by folded for many a year) in-
clined to a cadaverous tint, and to Georgian style.

In addition to the distinction of a white frock, every
woman and gii4 carried in her right hand a peeled willow
wand, and in her left a bunch of white flowers. The peel-
ing of the former, and the selection of the latter, had been
an operation of personal care.

There were a few middle-aged and even elderly women in
the train, theii' silver mry hair and -^Tinkled faces, scoiu-ged
by time and trouble, ha\ing almost a grotesque, certainly a
pathetic, appearance in such a jaunty situation. In a true
^'iew, perhaps, there was more to be gathered and told of
these anxious and experienced ones, to whom the years
were drawing nigh when each should say, "I have no
pleasure in them," than of the juvenile members. But let



Online LibraryThomas HardyTess of the D'Urbervilles; a pure woman faithfully presented → online text (page 1 of 36)