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Unformatted text preview: 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy The Project Gutenberg eBook, Tess
of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re‐use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Tess of the d'Urbervilles
A Pure Woman
Author: Thomas Hardy
Release Date: February, 1994 [eBook #110]
This edition 11 released June 17, 2005
Most recently updated: October 13, 2013
Character set encoding: ISO88591
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TESS OF THE
D'URBERVILLES*** Etext transcribed by Steve Menyhert,
proofread by Meredith Ricker and John Hamm,
and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D. HTML version prepared by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D. h/110h.htm 1/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
A Pure Woman Faithfully presented by Thomas Hardy CONTENTS Phase the First: The Maiden Chapter I Chapter II Chapter III Chapter IV Chapter V Chapter VI Chapter VII Chapter VIII Chapter IX Chapter X Chapter XI h/110h.htm 2/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy Phase the Second: Maiden No More Chapter XII Chapter XIII Chapter XIV Chapter XV
Phase the Third: The Rally Chapter XVI Chapter XVII Chapter XVIII Chapter XIX Chapter XX Chapter XXI Chapter XXII Chapter XXIII Chapter XXIV Phase the Fourth: The Consequence Chapter XXV Chapter XXVI Chapter XXVII Chapter XXVIII Chapter XXIX Chapter XXX Chapter XXXI Chapter XXXII Chapter XXXIII Chapter XXXIV
Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays Chapter XXXV Chapter XXXVI Chapter XXXVII Chapter XXXVIII Chapter XXXIX Chapter XL Chapter XLI Chapter XLII h/110h.htm 3/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy Chapter XLIII Chapter XLIV
Phase the Sixth: The Convert Chapter XLV Chapter XLVI Chapter XLVII Chapter XLVIII Chapter XLIX Chapter L Chapter LI Chapter LII Phase the Seventh: Fulfilment Chapter LIII Chapter LIV Chapter LV Chapter LVI Chapter LVII Chapter LVIII Chapter LIX Phase the First: The Maiden, IXI I On an evening in the latter part of May a middleaged man was walking
homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of
Blakemore, or Blackmoor. The pair of legs that carried him were rickety, and
there was a bias in his gait which inclined him somewhat to the left of a
h/110h.htm 4/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy straight line. He occasionally gave a smart nod, as if in confirmation 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 on a gray mare, who, as he rode, hummed
a wandering tune.
"Good night t'ee," said the man with the basket.
"Good night, Sir John," said the parson.
The pedestrian, after another pace or two, halted, and turned round.
"Now, sir, begging your pardon; we met last marketday on this road about
this time, and I said 'Good night,' and you made reply 'Good night, Sir John,'
"I did," said the parson.
"And once before that—near a month ago."
"I may have."
"Then what might your meaning be in calling me 'Sir John' these different
times, when I be plain Jack Durbeyfield, 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 renowned knight who
came from Normandy with William the Conqueror, as appears by Battle
"Never heard it before, sir!"
"Well it's true. Throw up your chin a moment, so that I may catch the
profile of your face better. Yes, that's the d'Urberville nose and chin—a little
debased. Your ancestor was one of the twelve knights who assisted the Lord of
Estremavilla in Normandy in his conquest of Glamorganshire. Branches of
your family 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
h/110h.htm 5/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy Edward the Second's time your forefather Brian was summoned to
Westminster to attend the great Council there. You declined a little in Oliver
Cromwell's time, but to no serious extent, and in Charles the Second's reign
you were made Knights of the Royal Oak for your loyalty. Aye, there have
been generations of Sir Johns among you, and if knighthood 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."
"Ye 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 commonest 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
engaged in tracing the vicissitudes of the d'Urberville family, he had observed
Durbeyfield's name on his waggon, and had thereupon been led to make
inquiries about his father and grandfather till he had no doubt on the subject.
"At first I resolved not to disturb you with such a useless piece of
information," said he. "However, our impulses are too strong for our
judgement sometimes. I thought you might perhaps know something of it all
"Well, I have heard once or twice, 'tis true, that my family had seen better
days afore they came to Blackmoor. 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, and a wold graven seal at home, too; but, Lord, what's a
spoon and seal? … And to think that I and these noble d'Urbervilles were one
flesh all the time. 'Twas said that my gr'tgranfer had secrets, and didn't care to
talk of where he came from… And where do we raise our smoke, now, parson,
if I may make so bold; I mean, where do we d'Urbervilles live?"
"You don't live anywhere. You are extinct—as a county family."
"Yes—what the mendacious family chronicles call extinct in the male line
—that is, gone down—gone under."
h/110h.htm 6/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy "Then where do we lie?"
"At KingsberesubGreenhill: rows and rows of you in your vaults, with
your effigies under Purbeckmarble canopies."
"And where be our family mansions and estates?"
"You haven't any."
"Oh? No lands neither?"
"None; though you once had 'em in abundance, as I said, for you family
consisted of numerous branches. In this county there was a seat of yours at
Kingsbere, and another at Sherton, and another in Millpond, and another at
Lullstead, and another at Wellbridge."
"And shall we ever come into our own again?"
"Ah—that I can't tell!"
"And what had I better do about it, sir?" asked Durbeyfield, after a pause.
"Oh—nothing, nothing; except chasten yourself with 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 his 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 profound reverie,
and then sat down upon the grassy bank by the roadside, depositing his basket
before him. In a few minutes a youth appeared in the distance, walking in the
same direction as that which had been pursued by Durbeyfield. The latter, on
seeing him, held up his hand, and the lad quickened his pace and came near.
"Boy, take up that basket! I want 'ee to go on an errand for me."
The lathlike stripling frowned. "Who be you, then, John Durbeyfield, to
order me about and call me 'boy'? You know my name as well as I know
h/110h.htm 7/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy "Do you, do you? That's the secret—that's the secret! Now obey 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, 梂�.�." And as he made the
announcement, Durbeyfield, declining from his sitting position, luxuriously
stretched himself out upon the bank among the daisies.
The lad stood before Durbeyfield, and contemplated his length from crown
"Sir John d'Urberville—that's who I am," continued the prostrate man.
"That is if knights were baronets—which they be. 'Tis recorded in history all
about me. Dost know of such a place, lad, as KingsberesubGreenhill?"
"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 'twaddn' when I was there—'twas
a little oneeyed, blinking sort o' place."
"Never you mind the place, boy, that's not the question before us. Under the
church of that there parish lie my ancestors—hundreds of 'em—in coats of
mail and jewels, in gr't lead coffins weighing tons and tons. There's not a man
in the county o' SouthWessex that's got grander and nobler skillentons in his
family than I."
"Now take up that basket, and goo on to Marlott, and when you've come to
The Pure Drop Inn, tell 'em to send a horse and carriage to me immed'ately, to
carry me hwome. And in the bottom o' the carriage they be to put a noggin o'
rum in a small bottle, and chalk it up to my account. And when you've done
that goo 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 hwome, as I've
news to tell her."
As the lad stood in a dubious attitude, Durbeyfield put his hand in his
pocket, and produced a shilling, one of the chronically few that he possessed.
"Here's for your labour, lad."
This made a difference in the young man's estimate of the position.
"Yes, Sir John. Thank 'ee. Anything else I can do for 'ee, Sir John?"
h/110h.htm 8/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy "Tell 'em at hwome that I should like for supper,—well, lamb's fry if they
can get it; and if they can't, blackpot; 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 direction of the village.
"What's that?" said Durbeyfield. "Not on account o' I?"
"'Tis the women's clubwalking, Sir John. Why, your da'ter is one o' the
"To be sure—I'd quite forgot it in my thoughts of greater things! Well,
vamp on to Marlott, will ye, 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 within the rim of blue
The village of Marlott lay amid the northeastern undulations of the
beautiful Vale of Blakemore, or Blackmoor, aforesaid, an engirdled and
secluded region, for the most part untrodden as yet by tourist or landscape
painter, though within a four hours' journey from London.
It is a vale whose acquaintance is best made by viewing 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 never
brown and the springs never dry, is bounded on the south by the bold chalk
ridge that embraces the prominences of Hambledon Hill, Bulbarrow,
NettlecombeTout, Dogbury, High Stoy, and Bubb Down. The traveller from
the coast, who, after plodding northward for a score of miles over calcareous
downs and cornlands, suddenly reaches the verge of one of these escarpments,
is surprised and delighted to behold, extended like a map beneath him, a
country differing absolutely from that which he has passed through. Behind
h/110h.htm 9/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy him the hills are open, the sun blazes down upon fields so large as to give an
unenclosed character to the landscape, the lanes are white, the hedges low and
plashed, the atmosphere colourless. Here, in the valley, 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 hedgerows appear a network
of dark green threads overspreading the paler green of the grass. The
atmosphere beneath is languorous, and is so tinged with azure that what artists
call the middle distance partakes also of that hue, while the horizon beyond is
of the deepest 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 III's reign, in which the killing by a certain Thomas de la Lynd
of a beautiful white hart which the king had run down and spared, was made
the occasion of a heavy fine. In those days, and till comparatively recent times,
the country 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 hollowtrunked trees that shade so many of its
The forests have departed, but some old customs of their shades remain.
Many, however, linger only in a metamorphosed or disguised form. The May
Day dance, for instance, was to be discerned on the afternoon under notice, in
the guise of the club revel, or "clubwalking," as it was there called.
It was an interesting event to the younger inhabitants of Marlott, though its
real interest was not observed by the participators in the ceremony. Its
singularity lay less in the retention of a custom of walking in procession and
dancing on each anniversary than in the members being solely women. In
men's clubs such celebrations were, though expiring, less uncommon; but
either thenatural 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)
or this their glory and consummation. The club of Marlott alone lived to
uphold the local Cerealia. It had walked for hundreds of years, if not as
benefitclub, as votive sisterhood of some sort; and it walked still.
The banded ones were all dressed in white gowns—a gay survival from Old
Style days, when cheerfulness and Maytime were synonyms—days before the
habit of taking long views had reduced emotions to a monotonous average.
Their first exhibition of themselves was in a processional march of two and
two round the parish. Ideal and real clashed slightly as the sun lit up their
figures against the green hedges and creeperlaced housefronts; for, though
the whole troop wore white garments, no two whites were alike among them.
h/110h.htm 10/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy Some approached pure blanching; some had a bluish pallor; some worn by the
older characters (which had possibly lain by folded for many a year) inclined
to a cadaverous tint, and to a Georgian style.
In addition to the distinction of a white frock, every woman and girl carried
in her right hand a peeled willow wand, and in her left a bunch of white
flowers. The peeling of the former, and the selection of the latter, had been an
operation of personal care.
There were a few middleaged and even elderly women in the train, their
silverwiry hair and wrinkled faces, scourged by time and trouble, having
almost a grotesque, certainly a pathetic, appearance in such a jaunty situation.
In a true view, perhaps, there was more to be gathered and told of each anxious
and experienced one, to whom the years were drawing nigh when she should
say, "I have no pleasure in them," than of her juvenile comrades. But let the
elder be passed over here for those under whose bodices the life throbbed
quick and warm.
The young girls formed, indeed, the majority of the band, and their heads of
luxuriant hair reflected in the sunshine every tone of gold, and black, and
brown. Some had beautiful eyes, others a beautiful nose, others a beautiful
mouth and figure: few, if any, had all. A difficulty of arranging their lips in this
crude exposure to public scrutiny, an inability to balance their heads, and to
dissociate selfconsciousness from their features, was apparent in them, and
showed that they were genuine country girls, unaccustomed to many eyes.
And as each and all of them were warmed without by the sun, so each had a
private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some
hobby, at least some remote and distant hope which, though perhaps starving
to nothing, still lived on, as hopes will. They were all cheerful, and many of
They came round by The Pure Drop Inn, and were turning out of the high
road to pass through a wicketgate into the meadows, when one of the women
"The LoadaLord! Why, Tess Durbeyfield, if there isn't thy father riding
hwome in a carriage!"
A young member of the band turned her head at the exclamation. She was a
fine and handsome girl—not handsomer than some others, possibly—but her
mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and
shape. She wore a red ribbon in her hair, and was the only one of the white
company who could boast of such a pronounced adornment. As she looked
round Durbeyfield was seen moving along the road in a chaise belonging to
h/110h.htm 11/367 1/26/2017 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy The Pure Drop, driven by a frizzleheaded brawny damsel with her gown
sleeves rolled above her elbows. This was the cheerful servant of that
establishment, who, in her part of factotum, turned groom and ostler at times.
Durbeyfield, leaning back, and with his eyes closed luxuriously, was waving
his hand above his head, and singing in a slow recitative—
"I'vegotagr'tfamilyvaultatKingsbere—and leadcoffinsthere!" knightedforefathersin The clubbists tittered, except the girl called Tess—in whom a slow heat
seemed to rise at the sense that her father was making himself foolish in their
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