Far from the madding crowd - PR Ai CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND GIVEN IN 1891 BY HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE

Far from the madding crowd - PR Ai CORNELL UNIVERSITY...

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Unformatted text preview: PR Ai CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND GIVEN IN 1891 BY HENRY WILLIAMS SAGE Cornell University Library The tine original of tiiis book is in Cornell University Library. There are no known copyright restrictions the United States on the use of the in text. FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD PREFACE 1 N reprinting that was it Crowd," as this story for a new edition I "Far from they appeared month by month chapters of in the magazine, that I first am reminded the Madding in a popular ventured to adopt the word " Wessex " from the pages of early English history, and give fictitious significance as the existing name once included in that extinct kingdom. novels I a it of the district The series of projected being mainly of the kind called local, they seemed to require a to lend unity to their territorial definition of some sort Finding that the area of scene. a single county did not afford a canvas large enough for and that there were objections this purpose, name, I disinterred the old one. The to an invented press and the public were kind enough to welcome the fanciful plan, and willingly joined me in the anachronism of imagining a Wessex population living under Queen Victoria; modern Wessex of reaping machines, labourers who children. But railways, the union penny workhouses, — mowing and lucifer matches, could read and write, and National school I believe I am correct in stating that, until the existence of this contemporaneous nounced post, in the present story, in 1874, Wessex was anit had never been PREFACE heard and of, " a Wessex peasant," that the expression, " a Wessex or would theretofore custom," have been taken to refer to nothing later in date than the Norman Conquest. did not anticipate that this application of the word I a modern to my own use would extend outside the chapters of But the name was soon taken up chronicles. The elsewhere as a local designation. the now Examiner, defunct bearing date July " 15, 1876, The Wessex Labourer," which, first in to the one of entitled do so was impression its articles turning out to the article be no dissertation on farming during the Heptarchy, but on the modern peasant of the south-west counties, and his presentation in these stories. Since then the appellation which had thought I to re- serve to the horizons and landscapes of a merely realistic has become more and more popular as dream-country, a practical provincial definition ; and the dream-country has, by degrees, solidified into a utilitarian region which people can go papers from. be so kind as take to, But I ask house a all to forget this, believe that there are first and write to the good and gentle readers and to to refuse steadfastly to any inhabitants of a Victorian Wessex outside the pages of this which they were in, and the companion volumes in discovered. Moreover, the village called Weatherbury, wherein the scenes of the present story of the series are for the most part laid, would perhaps be hardly discernible by the explorer, without though tale at the was help, in any existing place nowadays time, comparatively written, recent, at ; which the a sufficient reality to meet the descrip- PREFACE both of backgrounds and personages, might have tions, been traced good easily enough. fortune, unrestored houses The church and intact, remains, by great and a few of the old but the ancient malt-house, which was formerly so ; down characteristic of the parish, has been pulled twenty years also ; cottages that were once lifeholds. base, which not so long ago vitality in front of the say, The The game seemed of prisoner's- to enjoy a perennial worn-out stocks, may, so be entirely unknown to the boys there. these most of the thatched and dormered far as I can rising generation of school- practice of divination by Bible and key, the regarding of valentines as things of serious import, the shearing-supper, and the harvest-home, have, too, nearly disappeared in the wake of the old houses have gone, which the change is it said, village at much and with them one time was notoriously prone. at the root of this has The been the recent supplanting of the class of stationary cottagers, who carried on the and humours, by a population of more or local traditions less ; of that love of fuddling to migratory labourers, which has led to a break of con- tinuity in local history, more fatal than any other thing to the preservation of legend, folk-lore, close inter-social relations, and eccentric individualities. For these the in- dispensable conditions of existence are attachment to the soil of one particular spot by generation after generation. T. H. February 1895. CONTENTS CHAPTER FIRST Description of Farmer CHAPTER SECOND Night — The Flock Interior . p^ce Oak—An Incident . — ... — An Another Interior . i CHAPTER THIRD A Girl on Horseback —Conversation 8 . 17 . 26 Departure of Bathshbba — A Pastoral Tragedy 37 CHAPTER FOURTH Gabriel's Resolve —The Visit — The . Mistake CHAPTER FIFTH CHAPTER SIXTH The Fair—The Journey— The Fire CHAPTER SEVENTH Recognition — A Timid Girl . . . 43 -55 , CHAPTER EIGHTH The Malthouse— The Chat — News CHAPTER NINTH The Homestead —A Visitor CHAPTER TENTH Mistress and Men . — Half-Confidences ..... CHAPTER ELEVENTH Outside the Barracks —Snow — A Meeting . 59 80 87 95 CONTENTS CHAPTER TWELFTH Farmers — A Rule — An Exception CHAPTER THIRTEENTH SoRTEs Sanctorum — The page . Valentine . . loi . . 107 CHAPTER FOURTEENTH Effect of the Letter — Sunrise CHAPTER FIFTEENTH A Morning Meeting—The . . Letter again .112 . 117 . 129 CHAPTER SIXTEENTH All Saints' and All Souls'. In the Market-place BoLDwooD IN Meditation . .... CHAPTER SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH . — Regret . 133 .136 CHAPTER NINETEENTH The Sheep-washing —The Offer . CHAPTER TWENTIETH Perplexity — Grinding the Shears —A . 142 Quarrel 149 . 156 . 164 . . 176 . . 184 . 192 . 197 . CHAPTER TWENTY-FIRST Troubles in the Fold —A Message . CHAPTER TWENTY-SECOND The Great Barn and the Sheep-shearers CHAPTER TWENTY-THIRD Eventide —A Second Declaration CHAPTER TWENTY-FOURTH The same Night —The Fir Plantation CHAPTER TWENTY-FIFTH The New Acquaintance described CHAPTER TWENTY-SIXTH Scene on the Verge of the Hay-mead . ..... CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVENTH Hiving the Bees 208 CONTENTS CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHTH PAGE The Hollow amid the Ferns 212 CHAPTER TWENTY-NINTH Walk Particulars of a Twilight 219 CHAPTER THIRTIETH Hot Cheeks and Tearful Eyes 228 CHAPTER THIRTY-FIRST Blame —Fury . CHAPTER THIRTY-SECOND — Horses tramping Night CHAPTER THIRTY-THIRD In the Sun — A Harbinger 244 . 2S4 . 264 CHAPTER THIRTY-FOURTH Home again —A Trickster CHAPTER THIRTY-FIFTH At an Upper Window 276 CHAPTER THIRTY-SIXTH Wealth in —The Jeopardy Revel 281 CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVENTH The Storm—The Two together 291 CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHTH Rain — One Solitary meets Another CHAPTER THIRTY-NINTH Coming Home—A Cry 299 304 CHAPTER FORTIETH On Casterbridge Highway 309 . CHAPTER FORTY-FIRST Suspicion — Fanny is sent for 317 CHAPTER FORTY-SECOND Joseph and his Burden — Buck's Head 329 CHAPTER FORTY-THIRD Fanny's Revenge 342 CONTENTS CHAPTER FORTY-FOURTH Under a Tree — Reaction .... ..... page 354 CHAPTER FORTY-FIFTH Troy's Romanticism CHAPTER FORTY-SIXTH The Gurgoyle : its Doings CHAPTER FORTY-SEVENTH Adventures by the Shore .... .... 363 369 378 CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHTH Doubts Arise —Doubts Vanish . . 382 . . 388 CHAPTER FORTY-NINTH Oak's Advancement —A Great Hope CHAPTER FIFTIETH ...... ..... ..... The Sheep Fair Hand — Troy touches his Wife's 395 CHAPTER FIFTY-FIRST Bathsheba talks with her Outrider . . 412 CHAPTER FIFTY-SECOND Converging Courses 422 CHAPTER FIFTY- THIRD CONCURRITUR — HoRvE MOMENTO . . . 435 CHAPTER FIFTY-FOURTH After the Shock 448 CHAPTER FIFTY-FIFTH The March following — 'Bathsheba Boldwood' 453 CHAPTER FIFTY-SIXTH Beauty in Loneliness — After All . CHAPTER FIFTY-SEVENTH A Foggy Night and Morning — Conclusion . 459 . 470 DESCRIPTION OF FARMER OAK DESCRIPTION OF FARMER OAK AN INCIDENT When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to mere chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance Uke the rays in a rudimentary sketch spread till of the rising sun. His Christian name was Gabriel, and on working days he was a young man of sound judgment, easy motions, proper dress, and general good character. On Sundays he was a man of misty views, rather given to postponing, and hampered by his best clothes and umbrella upon the whole, one who felt himself to occupy morally that vast middle space of Laodicean neutrality which lay between the Communion people : — that is, he went of the parish and the drunken section, to church, but yawned privately by the time the congregation reached the Nicene creed, and thought of what there would be for listening to the sermon. dinner when he meant to be Or, to state his character as stood in the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man ; when they were pleased, he was rather a good man ; when they were neither, he was a man whose moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture. I B it FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Since he lived six times as many working-days as Sundays, Oak's appearance in his old clothes was most peculiarly his own the mental picture formed by his neighbours in imagining him being always dressed in that way. He wore a low-crowned felt hat, spread out at the base by tight jamming upon the head for security in high winds, and a coat like Dr. Johnson's his lower extremities being encased in ordinary leather leggings and boots emphatically large, affording to each foot a roomy apartment so constructed that any wearer might stand in a river all day long and know nothing about it their maker being a conscientious man who always — ; — endeavoured to compensate for any weakness in his cut by unstinted dimension and solidity. Mr. Oak carried about him, by way of watch, what may be called a small silver clock; in other words, it was a watch as to shape and intention, and a small clock This instrument being several years older than Oak's grandfather, had the peculiarity of going either too fast or not at all. The smaller of its hands, as to size. too, occasionally slipped round on the pivot, and thus, though the minutes were told with the greatest precision, nobody could be quite certain of the hour they belonged to. The stopping peculiarity of his watch Oak remedied by thumps and shakes, and he escaped any evil consequences from the other two defects by constant com- parisons with and observations of the sun and stars, and by pressing his face close to the glass of his neighbours' windows, till he could discern the hour marked by the green-faced timekeepers within. It may be mentioned that Oak's fob being painfully difficult of access, by reason of its somewhat high situation in the waistband of his trousers (which also lay at a remote height under his waistcoat), the watch was as a necessity pulled out by throwing the body extremely to one side, compressing the mouth and face to a mere mass of ruddy flesh on account of the exertion required, and DESCRIPTION OF FARMER OAK drawing up the watch by its chain, like a bucket from a well. But some thoughtful persons, who had seen him walking across one of his fields on a certain December morning sunny and exceedingly mild might have regarded Gabriel Oak in other aspects than these. In his face one might notice that many of the hues and curves of youth had tarried on to manhood there even remained in his remoter crannies some relics of the boy. His height and breadth would have been sufficient to make his presence imposing, had they been exhibited with due consideration. But there is a way some men have, rural and urban alike, for which the mind is more responsible than flesh and sinew it is a way of curtailing their dimensions by their manner of showing them. And from a quiet modesty that would have become a vestal, which seemed continually to impress upon him that he had no great claim on the world's room, Oak walked unassumingly, and with a faintly perceptible bend, quite distinct from a bowing of the shoulders. This may be said to be a defect in an individual if he depends for his valuation more upon his appearance than upon his capacity to wear well, which Oak did not. He had just reached the time of life at which young is ceasing to be the prefix of man in speaking of one. He was at the brightest period of masculine growth, for his intellect and his emotions were clearly separated he had passed the time during which the influence of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse, and he had not yet arrived at the stage wherein they become united again, in the character of In prejudice, by the influence of a wife and family. — — : : ' ' ' ' : short, he was twenty-eight, and a bachelor. field he was in this morning sloped steeply to The Through a spur of this a ridge called Norcombe Hill. hill ran the highway from Norcombe to Casterbridge, Casually glancing over the sunk in a deep cutting. 3 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD Oak saw coming down the incline before him an ornamental spring waggon, painted yellow and gaily marked, drawn by two horses, a waggoner walking alongside bearing a whip perpendicularly. The waggon was laden with household goods and window plants, and on the apex of the whole sat a woman, young and attractive. Gabriel had not beheld the sight for more than half a minute, when the vehicle was brought to a standstill just beneath his eyes. hedge, ' The tailboard of the waggon gone, Miss,' said the is waggoner. 'Then I heard it fall,' said the girl, in a soft, though not particularly low voice. I heard a noise I could not account for when we were coming up the hill.' 'I'll run back.' 'Do,' she answered. The sensible horses stood perfectly still, and the waggoner's steps sank fainter and fainter in the distance. The girl on the summit of the load sat motionless, surrounded by tables and chairs with their legs upwards, backed by an oak settle, and ornamented in front by pots of geraniums, myrtles, and cactuses, together with a caged canary- all probably from the windows of the There was also a cat in a willow house just vacated. basket, from the partly-opened lid of which she gazed with half- closed eyes, and affectionately surveyed the small birds around. The handsome girl waited for some time idly in her place, and the only sound heard in the stillness was the hopping of the canary up and down the perches of its prison. Then she looked attentively downwards. It was not at the bird, nor at the cat it was at an oblong package tied in paper, and lying between them. She turned her head to learn if the waggoner were coming. He was not yet in sight ; and her eyes crept back to the package, her thoughts seeming to run upon what At length she drew the article into her was inside it. ' — ; 4 AN INCIDENT kp, and untied the paper covering a small swing looking-glass was disclosed, in which she proceeded to survey herself attentively. She parted her lips and ; smiled. It was a fine morning, and the sun lighted up to a glow the crimson jacket she wore, and painted scarlet a soft lustre upon her bright face and black hair. The myrtles, geraniums, and cactuses packed around her were fresh and green, and at such a leafless season they invested the whole concern of horses, waggon, furniture, and girl with a peculiar vernal charm. What possessed her to indulge in such a performance in the sight of the sparrows, blackbirds, and unperceived farmer who were alone its spectators, whether the smile began as a factitious one, to test her capacity in that art, nobody knows it ended certainly in a real smile. She blushed at herself, and seeing her reflection blush, blushed the more. The change from the customary spot and necessary occasion of such an act from the dressing hour in a bedroom to a time of travelling out of doors lent to the idle deed a novelty it certainly did not intrinsically — — ; — possess. The it Woman's a delicate one. into the sunlight, which picture was prescriptive infirmity had clothed — in had stalked the freshness of an originality. cynical inference was irresistible by Gabriel Oak A he would have as regarded the scene, generous though he fain There was no necessity whatever for her looking been. She did not adjust her hat, or pat her in the glass. hair, or press a dimple into shape, or do one thing to signify that any such intention had been her motive in She simply observed herself as a taking up the glass. fair product of Nature in the feminine kind, her thoughts seeming to glide into far-off though likely dramas in which men would play a part vistas of probable triumphs the smiles being of a phase suggesting that Still, this was hearts were imagined as lost and won. — — 5 FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD but conjecture, and the whole series of actions was so idly put forth as to make it rash to assert that intention had any part in them at all. The waggoner's steps were heard returning. She put the glass in the paper, and the whole again into its place. When waggon had passed on, Gabriel withdrew and descending into the road, followed the vehicle to the turnpike-gate at the bottom of the hill, where the object of his contemplation now halted for the payment of toll. About twenty steps still remained between him and the gate, when he heard from the his point of espial, a dispute. It was a difference concerning twopence between the persons with the waggon and the man at the toll-bar. Mis'ess's niece is upon the top of the things, and she says that's enough that I've offered ye, you great These were the miser, and she won't pay any more.' waggoner's words. 'Very well; then mis'ess's niece can't pass,' said the ' turnpike-keeper, closing the gate. Oak looked from one to the other of the disputants, There was something in the Threepence tone of twopence remarkably insignificant. had a definite value as money it was an appreciable infringement on a day's wages, and, as such, a higgling 'Here,' he said, stepping matter; but twopence forward and handing twopence to the gatekeeper ; let the young woman pass.' He looked up at her then and fell into a reverie. — ' she heard his words, and looked down. Gabriel's features adhered throughout their form so exactly to the middle line between the beauty of St. John and the ugliness of Judas Iscariot, as represented in a window of the church he attended, that not a single lineament could be selected and called worthy either of distinction or notoriety. The red-jacketed and darkhaired maiden seemed to think so too, for she carelessly 6 AN INCIDENT glanced over him, and told her man to drive on. She might have looked her thanks to Gabriel on a minute scale, but she did not speak them ; more probably she felt none, for in gaining her a passage he had lost her her point, and we know how women take a favour of that kind. ' The gatekeeper surveyed the retreating vehicle. That's a handsome maid,' he said to Oak. But she has her faults,' said Gabriel. 'True, farmer.' And the greatest of them is well, what it is ' — ' always.' ' Beating people 'Oh down ? ay, 'tis so.' no.' 'What, then?' perhaps by the comely little piqued glanced back to where he had witnessed her performance over the hedge, and said, Gabriel, a traveller's indifference, 'Vanity.' FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD NIGHT THE FLOCK AN INTERIOR ANOTHER INTERIOR II It was nearly midnight on the eve of A shortest day in the year. from the north over the the yellow waggon and a few days earlier. St. Thomas's, the wandered whereon Oak had watched occupant in the sunshine of desolating wind hill its — Hill forming part of Norcombe Ewelease one of the spots which suggest to a passer-by that he is in the presence of a shape approaching the indestructible as nearly as any to be found on earth. It ...
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