Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Part 2 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

"Oh? What's up to-night, then?"

"Nothing. Only I want the house to myself. He's shy;
and I can't get un to come in when you are here. I shall let
him slip through my fingers if I don't mind, much as I care
for 'n!"

"If it is fine we med as well go, since you wish."

In the afternoon Arabella met and walked with Jude, who had now for weeks
ceased to look into a book of Greek, Latin, or any other tongue.
They wandered up the slopes till they reached the green track along the ridge,
which they followed to the circular British earth-bank adjoining,
Jude thinking of the great age of the trackway, and of the drovers
who had frequented it, probably before the Romans knew the country.
Up from the level lands below them floated the chime of church bells.
Presently they were reduced to one note, which quickened,
and stopped.

"Now we'll go back," said Arabella, who had attended to the sounds.

Jude assented. So long as he was near her he minded little where he was.
When they arrived at her house he said lingeringly: "I won't come in.
Why are you in such a hurry to go in to-night? It is not near dark."

"Wait a moment," said she. She tried the handle of the door and found
it locked.

"Ah--they are gone to church," she added. And searching
behind the scraper she found the key and unlocked the door.
"Now, you'll come in a moment?" she asked lightly. "We shall be
all alone."

"Certainly," said Jude with alacrity, the case being unexpectedly altered.

Indoors they went. Did he want any tea? No, it was too late:
he would rather sit and talk to her. She took off her jacket and hat,
and they sat down--naturally enough close together.

"Don't touch me, please," she said softly. "I am part
egg-shell. Or perhaps I had better put it in a safe place."
She began unfastening the collar of her gown.

"What is it?" said her lover.

"An egg--a cochin's egg. I am hatching a very rare sort.
I carry it about everywhere with me, and it will get hatched
in less than three weeks."

"Where do you carry it?"

"Just here." She put her hand into her bosom and drew out the egg,
which was wrapped in wool, outside it being a piece of pig's bladder,
in case of accidents. Having exhibited it to him she put it back,
"Now mind you don't come near me. I don't want to get it broke,
and have to begin another."

"Why do you do such a strange thing?"

"It's an old custom. I suppose it is natural for a woman to want
to bring live things into the world."

"It is very awkward for me just now," he said, laughing.

"It serves you right. There--that's all you can have of me"

She had turned round her chair, and, reaching over the back of it,
presented her cheek to him gingerly.

"That's very shabby of you!"

"You should have catched me a minute ago when I had put
the egg down! There!" she said defiantly, "I am without
it now!" She had quickly withdrawn the egg a second time;
but before he could quite reach her she had put it back
as quickly, laughing with the excitement of her strategy.
Then there was a little struggle, Jude making a plunge for it
and capturing it triumphantly. Her face flushed; and becoming
suddenly conscious he flushed also.

They looked at each other, panting; till he rose and said:
"One kiss, now I can do it without damage to property;
and I'll go!"

But she had jumped up too. "You must find me first!" she cried.

Her lover followed her as she withdrew. It was now dark inside the room,
and the window being small he could not discover for a long time what had
become of her, till a laugh revealed her to have rushed up the stairs,
whither Jude rushed at her heels.


IT was some two months later in the year, and the pair had met
constantly during the interval. Arabella seemed dissatisfied;
she was always imagining, and waiting, and wondering.

One day she met the itinerant Vilbert. She, like all
the cottagers thereabout, knew the quack well, and she began
telling him of her experiences. Arabella had been gloomy,
but before he left her she had grown brighter. That evening
she kept an appointment with Jude, who seemed sad.

"I am going away," he said to her. "I think I ought to go.
I think it will be better both for you and for me. I wish
some things had never begun! I was much to blame, I know.
But it is never too late to mend."

Arabella began to cry. "How do you know it is not too late?"
she said. "That's all very well to say! I haven't told you yet!"
and she looked into his face with streaming eyes.

"What?" he asked, turning pale. "Not ... ?"

"Yes! And what shall I do if you desert me?"

"Oh, Arabella--how can you say that, my dear! You _know_ I
wouldn't desert you!"

"Well then----

"I have next to no wages as yet, you know; or perhaps I should have thought
of this before.... But, of course if that's the case, we must marry!
What other thing do you think I could dream of doing?"

"I thought--I thought, deary, perhaps you would go away all the more for that,
and leave me to face it alone!"

"You knew better! Of course I never dreamt six months ago,
or even three, of marrying. It is a complete smashing up
of my plans--I mean my plans before I knew you, my dear.
But what are they, after all! Dreams about books, and degrees,
and impossible fellowships, and all that. Certainly we'll marry:
we must!"

That night he went out alone, and walked in the dark self-communing. He
knew well, too well, in the secret centre of his brain, that Arabella
was not worth a great deal as a specimen of womankind. Yet, such being
the custom of the rural districts among honourable young men who had
drifted so far into intimacy with a woman as he unfortunately had done,
he was ready to abide by what he had said, and take the consequences.
For his own soothing he kept up a factitious belief in her. His idea
of her was the thing of most consequence, not Arabella herself, he sometimes
said laconically.

The banns were put in and published the very next Sunday.
The people of the parish all said what a simple fool
young Fawley was. All his reading had only come to this,
that he would have to sell his books to buy saucepans.
Those who guessed the probable state of affairs, Arabella's parents
being among them, declared that it was the sort of conduct
they would have expected of such an honest young man as Jude
in reparation of the wrong he had done his innocent sweetheart.
The parson who married them seemed to think it satisfactory too.
And so, standing before the aforesaid officiator, the two swore
that at every other time of their lives till death took them,
they would assuredly believe, feel, and desire precisely
as they had believed, felt, and desired during the few
preceding weeks. What was as remarkable as the undertaking
itself was the fact that nobody seemed at all surprised at what
they swore.

Fawley's aunt being a baker she made him a bride-cake, saying
bitterly that it was the last thing she could do for him,
poor silly fellow; and that it would have been far better if,
instead of his living to trouble her, he had gone underground
years before with his father and mother. Of this cake Arabella
took some slices, wrapped them up in white note-paper, and
sent them to her companions in the pork-dressing business,
Anny and Sarah, labelling each packet _"In remembrance of good

The prospects of the newly married couple were certainly
not very brilliant even to the most sanguine mind.
He, a stone-mason's apprentice, nineteen years of age,
was working for half wages till he should be out of his time.
His wife was absolutely useless in a town-lodging, where he at
first had considered it would be necessary for them to live.
But the urgent need of adding to income in ever so little a degree
caused him to take a lonely roadside cottage between the Brown House
and Marygreen, that he might have the profits of a vegetable garden,
and utilize her past experiences by letting her keep a pig.
But it was not the sort of life he had bargained for,
and it was a long way to walk to and from Alfredston
every day. Arabella, however, felt that all these make-shifts
were temporary; she had gained a husband; that was the thing--
a husband with a lot of earning power in him for buying her
frocks and hats when he should begin to get frightened a bit,
and stick to his trade, and throw aside those stupid books for
practical undertakings.

So to the cottage he took her on the evening of the marriage,
giving up his old room at his aunt's--where so much of the hard
labour at Greek and Latin had been carried on.

A little chill overspread him at her first unrobing. A long tail of hair,
which Arabella wore twisted up in an enormous knob at the back of her head,
was deliberately unfastened, stroked out, and hung upon the looking-glass
which he had bought her.

"What--it wasn't your own?" he said, with a sudden distaste for her.

"Oh no--it never is nowadays with the better class."

"Nonsense! Perhaps not in towns. But in the country it is supposed
to be different. Besides, you've enough of your own, surely?"

"Yes, enough as country notions go. But in town the men expect more,
and when I was barmaid at Aldbrickham----"

"Barmaid at Aldbrickham?"

"Well, not exactly barmaid--I used to draw the drink at
a public-house there--just for a little time; that was all.
Some people put me up to getting this, and I bought it just
for a fancy. The more you have the better in Aldbrickham,
which is a finer town than all your Christminsters. Every lady
of position wears false hair--the barber's assistant told
me so."

Jude thought with a feeling of sickness that though this might be true to
some extent, for all that he knew, many unsophisticated girls would and did go
to towns and remain there for years without losing their simplicity of life
and embellishments. Others, alas, had an instinct towards artificiality
in their very blood, and became adepts in counterfeiting at the first glimpse
of it. However, perhaps there was no great sin in a woman adding to her hair,
and he resolved to think no more of it.

A new-made wife can usually manage to excite interest for a few weeks,
even though the prospects of the house-hold ways and means are cloudy.
There is a certain piquancy about her situation, and her manner to her
acquaintance at the sense of it, which carries off the gloom of facts,
and renders even the humblest bride independent awhile of the real.
Mrs. Jude Fawley was walking in the streets of Alfredston one market-day
with this quality in her carriage when she met Anny her former friend,
whom she had not seen since the wedding.

As usual they laughed before talking; the world seemed funny
to them without saying it.

"So it turned out a good plan, you see!" remarked the girl to the wife.
"I knew it would with such as him. He's a dear good fellow, and you ought
to be proud of un."

"I am," said Mrs. Fawley quietly.

"And when do you expect?"

"Ssh! Not at all."


"I was mistaken."

"Oh, Arabella, Arabella; you be a deep one! Mistaken! well, that's clever--
it's a real stroke of genius! It is a thing I never thought o', wi'
all my experience! I never thought beyond bringing about the real thing--
not that one could sham it!"

"Don't you be too quick to cry sham! 'Twasn't sham.
I didn't know."

"My word--won't he be in a taking! He'll give it to 'ee o'
Saturday nights! Whatever it was, he'll say it was a trick--
a double one, by the Lord!"

"I'll own to the first, but not to the second.... Pooh--
he won't care! He'll be glad I was wrong in what I said.
He'll shake down, bless 'ee--men always do. What can 'em
do otherwise? Married is married."

Nevertheless it was with a little uneasiness that Arabella
approached the time when in the natural course of things she
would have to reveal that the alarm she had raised had been
without foundation. The occasion was one evening at bedtime,
and they were in their chamber in the lonely cottage by the
wayside to which Jude walked home from his work every day.
He had worked hard the whole twelve hours, and had retired
to rest before his wife. When she came into the room he was
between sleeping and waking, and was barely conscious of her
undressing before the little looking-glass as he lay.

One action of hers, however, brought him to full cognition.
Her face being reflected towards him as she sat, he could perceive
that she was amusing herself by artificially producing in each
cheek the dimple before alluded to, a curious accomplishment
of which she was mistress, effecting it by a momentary suction.
It seemed to him for the first time that the dimples were
far oftener absent from her face during his intercourse
with her nowadays than they had been in the earlier weeks of
their acquaintance.

"Don't do that, Arabella!" he said suddenly. "There is no harm
in it, but--I don't like to see you."

She turned and laughed. "Lord, I didn't know you were awake!" she said.
"How countrified you are! That's nothing."

"Where did you learn it?"

"Nowhere that I know of. They used to stay without any trouble when I
was at the public-house; but now they won't. My face was fatter then."

"I don't care about dimples. I don't think they improve a woman--
particularly a married woman, and of full-sized figure like you."

"Most men think otherwise."

"I don't care what most men think, if they do. How do you know?"

"I used to be told so when I was serving in the tap-room."

"Ah--that public-house experience accounts for your knowing
about the adulteration of the ale when we went and had some
that Sunday evening. I thought when I married you that you
had always lived in your father's house."

"You ought to have known better than that, and seen I was a little
more finished than I could have been by staying where I was born.
There was not much to do at home, and I was eating my head off, so I
went away for three months."

"You'll soon have plenty to do now, dear, won't you?"

"How do you mean?"

"Why, of course--little things to make."


"When will it be? Can't you tell me exactly, instead of in such general
terms as you have used?"

"Tell you?"

"Yes--the date."

"There's nothing to tell. I made a mistake."


"It was a mistake."

He sat bolt upright in bed and looked at her. "How can that be?"

"Women fancy wrong things sometimes."

"But--! Why, of course, so unprepared as I was, without a stick of furniture,
and hardly a shilling, I shouldn't have hurried on our affair, and brought you
to a half-furnished hut before I was ready, if it had not been for the news
you gave me, which made it necessary to save you, ready or no.... Good God!"

"Don't take on, dear. What's done can't be undone."

"I have no more to say!"

He gave the answer simply, and lay down; and there was silence between them.

When Jude awoke the next morning he seemed to see the world
with a different eye. As to the point in question he was
compelled to accept her word; in the circumstances he could
not have acted otherwise while ordinary notions prevailed.
But how came they to prevail?

There seemed to him, vaguely and dimly, something wrong in a social ritual
which made necessary a cancelling of well-formed schemes involving years
of thought and labour, of foregoing a man's one opportunity of showing
himself superior to the lower animals, and of contributing his units
of work to the general progress of his generation, because of a momentary
surprise by a new and transitory instinct which had nothing in it
of the nature of vice, and could be only at the most called weakness.
He was inclined to inquire what he had done, or she lost, for that matter,
that he deserved to be caught in a gin which would cripple him,
if not her also, for the rest of a lifetime? There was perhaps something
fortunate in the fact that the immediate reason of his marriage had proved
to be non-existent. But the marriage remained.


THE time arrived for killing the pig which Jude and his wife had
fattened in their sty during the autumn months, and the butchering
was timed to take place as soon as it was light in the morning,
so that Jude might get to Alfredston without losing more than
a quarter of a day.

The night had seemed strangely silent. Jude looked out of the window
long before dawn, and perceived that the ground was covered with snow--
snow rather deep for the season, it seemed, a few flakes still falling.

"I'm afraid the pig-killer won't be able to come," he said to Arabella.

"Oh, he'll come. You must get up and make the water hot,
if you want Challow to scald him. Though I like singeing best."

"I'll get up," said Jude. "I like the way of my own county."

He went downstairs, lit the fire under the copper, and began
feeding it with bean-stalks, all the time without a candle,
the blaze flinging a cheerful shine into the room; though for
him the sense of cheerfulness was lessened by thoughts on
the reason of that blaze--to heat water to scald the bristles
from the body of an animal that as yet lived, and whose voice
could be continually heard from a corner of the garden.
At half-past six, the time of appointment with the butcher,
the water boiled, and Jude's wife came downstairs.

"Is Challow come?" she asked.


They waited, and it grew lighter, with the dreary light of a snowy dawn.
She went out, gazed along the road, and returning said, "He's not coming.
Drunk last night, I expect. The snow is not enough to hinder him, surely!"

"Then we must put it off. It is only the water boiled for nothing.
The snow may be deep in the valley."

"Can't be put off. There's no more victuals for the pig.
He ate the last mixing o' barleymeal yesterday morning."

"Yesterday morning? What has he lived on since?"


"What--he has been starving?"

"Yes. We always do it the last day or two, to save bother with the innerds.
What ignorance, not to know that!"

"That accounts for his crying so. Poor creature!"

"Well--you must do the sticking--there's no help for it.
I'll show you how. Or I'll do it myself--I think I could.
Though as it is such a big pig I had rather Challow had done it.
However, his basket o' knives and things have been already sent
on here, and we can use 'em."

"Of course you shan't do it," said Jude. "I'll do it, since it must be done."

He went out to the sty, shovelled away the snow for the space
of a couple of yards or more, and placed the stool in front,
with the knives and ropes at hand. A robin peered down at
the preparations from the nearest tree, and, not liking
the sinister look of the scene, flew away, though hungry.
By this time Arabella had joined her husband, and Jude, rope in hand,
got into the sty, and noosed the affrighted animal, who, beginning
with a squeak of surprise, rose to repeated cries of rage.
Arabella opened the sty-door, and together they hoisted
the victim on to the stool, legs upward, and while Jude held
him Arabella bound him down, looping the cord over his legs
to keep him from struggling.

The animal's note changed its quality. It was not now rage,
but the cry of despair; long-drawn, slow and hopeless.

"Upon my soul I would sooner have gone without the pig than have had this
to do!" said Jude. "A creature I have fed with my own hands."

"Don't be such a tender-hearted fool! There's the sticking-knife--
the one with the point. Now whatever you do, don't stick un
too deep."

"I'll stick him effectually, so as to make short work of it.
That's the chief thing."

"You must not!" she cried. "The meat must be well bled,
and to do that he must die slow. We shall lose a shilling a score
if the meat is red and bloody! Just touch the vein, that's all.
I was brought up to it, and I know. Every good butcher keeps
un bleeding long. He ought to be eight or ten minutes dying,
at least."

"He shall not be half a minute if I can help it, however the meat may look,"
said Jude determinedly. Scraping the bristles from the pig's upturned throat,
as he had seen the butchers do, he slit the fat; then plunged in the knife
with all his might.

"'Od damn it all!" she cried, "that ever I should say it!
You've over-stuck un! And I telling you all the time----"

"Do be quiet, Arabella, and have a little pity on the creature!"

"Hold up the pail to catch the blood, and don't talk!"

However unworkmanlike the deed, it had been mercifully done. The blood
flowed out in a torrent instead of in the trickling stream she had desired.
The dying animal's cry assumed its third and final tone, the shriek of agony;
his glazing eyes riveting themselves on Arabella with the eloquently keen
reproach of a creature recognizing at last the treachery of those who had
seemed his only friends.

"Make un stop that!" said Arabella. "Such a noise will bring somebody or
other up here, and I don't want people to know we are doing it ourselves."
Picking up the knife from the ground whereon Jude had flung it, she slipped it
into the gash, and slit the windpipe. The pig was instantly silent, his dying
breath coming through the hole

"That's better," she said.

"It is a hateful business!" said he.

"Pigs must be killed."

The animal heaved in a final convulsion, and, despite the rope,
kicked out with all his last strength. A tablespoonful of black clot
came forth, the trickling of red blood having ceased for some seconds.

"That's it; now he'll go," said she. "Artful creatures--
they always keep back a drop like that as long as they can!"

The last plunge had come so unexpectedly as to make Jude stagger,
and in recovering himself he kicked over the vessel in which the blood
had been caught.

"There!" she cried, thoroughly in a passion. "Now I can't make any blackpot.
There's a waste, all through you!"

Jude put the pail upright, but only about a third of the whole
steaming liquid was left in it, the main part being splashed
over the snow, and forming a dismal, sordid, ugly spectacle--
to those who saw it as other than an ordinary obtaining of meat.
The lips and nostrils of the animal turned livid, then white,
and the muscles of his limbs relaxed.

"Thank God!" Jude said. "He's dead."

"What's God got to do with such a messy job as a pig-killing, I
should like to know!" she said scornfully. "Poor folks must live."

"I know, I know," said he. "I don't scold you."

Suddenly they became aware of a voice at hand.

"Well done, young married volk! I couldn't have carried it out much
better myself, cuss me if I could!" The voice, which was husky,
came from the garden-gate, and looking up from the scene of slaughter
they saw the burly form of Mr. Challow leaning over the gate,
critically surveying their performance.

"'Tis well for 'ee to stand there and glane!" said Arabella.
"Owing to your being late the meat is blooded and half spoiled!
'Twon't fetch so much by a shilling a score!"

Challow expressed his contrition. "You should have waited
a bit" he said, shaking his head, "and not have done this--
in the delicate state, too, that you be in at present,
ma'am. 'Tis risking yourself too much."

"You needn't be concerned about that," said Arabella, laughing.
Jude too laughed, but there was a strong flavour of bitterness
in his amusement.

Challow made up for his neglect of the killing by zeal in the scalding
and scraping. Jude felt dissatisfied with himself as a man at what
he had done, though aware of his lack of common sense, and that the deed
would have amounted to the same thing if carried out by deputy.
The white snow, stained with the blood of his fellow-mortal, wore
an illogical look to him as a lover of justice, not to say a Christian;
but he could not see how the matter was to be mended. No doubt he was,
as his wife had called him, a tender-hearted fool.

He did not like the road to Alfredston now. It stared him
cynically in the face. The wayside objects reminded him so much
of his courtship of his wife that, to keep them out of his eyes,
he read whenever he could as he walked to and from his work.
Yet he sometimes felt that by caring for books he was not escaping
common-place nor gaining rare ideas, every working-man being
of that taste now. When passing near the spot by the stream
on which he had first made her acquaintance he one day
heard voices just as he had done at that earlier time.
One of the girls who had been Arabella's companions was talking
to a friend in a shed, himself being the subject of discourse,
possibly because they had seen him in the distance. They were
quite unaware that the shed-walls were so thin that he could hear
their words as he passed.

"Howsomever, 'twas I put her up to it! 'Nothing venture nothing have,'
I said. If I hadn't she'd no more have been his mis'ess than I."

"'Tis my belief she knew there was nothing the matter when she told him she
was ..."

What had Arabella been put up to by this woman, so that he should make
her his "mis'ess," otherwise wife? The suggestion was horridly unpleasant,
and it rankled in his mind so much that instead of entering his own cottage
when he reached it he flung his basket inside the garden-gate and passed on,
determined to go and see his old aunt and get some supper there.

This made his arrival home rather late. Arabella however,
was busy melting down lard from fat of the deceased pig,
for she had been out on a jaunt all day, and so delayed her work.
Dreading lest what he had heard should lead him to say something
regrettable to her he spoke little. But Arabella was very talkative,
and said among other things that she wanted some money.
Seeing the book sticking out of his pocket she added that he ought
to earn more.

"An apprentice's wages are not meant to be enough to keep a wife on,
as a rule, my dear."

"Then you shouldn't have had one."

"Come, Arabella! That's too bad, when you know how it came about."

"I'll declare afore Heaven that I thought what I told you was true.
Doctor Vilbert thought so. It was a good job for you that it
wasn't so!"

"I don't mean that," he said hastily. "I mean before that time.
I know it was not your fault; but those women friends of yours
gave you bad advice. If they hadn't, or you hadn't taken it,
we should at this moment have been free from a bond which, not to
mince matters, galls both of us devilishly. It may be very sad,
but it is true."

"Who's been telling you about my friends? What advice?
I insist upon you telling me."

"Pooh--I d rather not."

"But you shall--you ought to. It is mean of 'ee not to!"

"Very well." And he hinted gently what had been revealed to him.
"But I don't wish to dwell upon it. Let us say no more about it."

Her defensive manner collapsed. "That was nothing," she said,
laughing coldly. "Every woman has a right to do such as that.
The risk is hers."

"I quite deny it, Bella. She might if no lifelong penalty
attached to it for the man, or, in his default, for herself;
if the weakness of the moment could end with the moment,
or even with the year. But when effects stretch so far she
should not go and do that which entraps a man if he is honest,
or herself if he is otherwise."

"What ought I to have done?"

"Given me time.... Why do you fuss yourself about melting down that pig's
fat to-night? Please put it away!"

"Then I must do it to-morrow morning. It won't keep."

"Very well--do."


NEXT morning, which was Sunday, she resumed operations about ten o'clock;
and the renewed work recalled the conversation which had accompanied it
the night before, and put her back into the same intractable temper.

"That's the story about me in Marygreen, is it--that I entrapped 'ee?
Much of a catch you were, Lord send!" As she warmed she saw some of Jude's
dear ancient classics on a table where they ought not to have been laid.
"I won't have them books here in the way!" she cried petulantly; and seizing
them one by one she began throwing them upon the floor.

"Leave my books alone!" he said. "You might have thrown them aside
if you had liked, but as to soiling them like that, it is disgusting!"
In the operation of making lard Arabella's hands had become smeared
with the hot grease, and her fingers consequently left very perceptible
imprints on the book-covers. She continued deliberately to toss
the books severally upon the floor, till Jude, incensed beyond bearing,
caught her by the arms to make her leave off. Somehow, in going so,
he loosened the fastening of her hair, and it rolled about her ears.

"Let me go!" she said.

"Promise to leave the books alone."

She hesitated. "Let me go!" she repeated.


After a pause: "I do."

Jude relinquished his hold, and she crossed the room to the door,
out of which she went with a set face, and into the highway. Here she
began to saunter up and down, perversely pulling her hair into a worse
disorder than he had caused, and unfastening several buttons of her gown.
It was a fine Sunday morning, dry, clear and frosty, and the bells
of Alfredston Church could be heard on the breeze from the north.
People were going along the road, dressed in their holiday clothes;
they were mainly lovers--such pairs as Jude and Arabella had been
when they sported along the same track some months earlier.
These pedestrians turned to stare at the extraordinary spectacle she
now presented, bonnetless, her dishevelled hair blowing in the wind,
her bodice apart her sleeves rolled above her elbows for her work, and her
hands reeking with melted fat. One of the passers said in mock terror:
"Good Lord deliver us!"

"See how he's served me!" she cried. "Making me work Sunday mornings
when I ought to be going to my church, and tearing my hair off my head,
and my gown off my back!"

Jude was exasperated, and went out to drag her in by main force.
Then he suddenly lost his heat. Illuminated with the sense that all
was over between them, and that it mattered not what she did, or he,
her husband stood still, regarding her. Their lives were ruined,
he thought; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union:
that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling which
had no necessary connection with affinities that alone render a lifelong
comradeship tolerable.

"Going to ill-use me on principle, as your father ill-used
your mother, and your father's sister ill-used her husband?"
she asked. "All you be a queer lot as husbands and wives!"

Jude fixed an arrested, surprised look on her. But she said
no more, and continued her saunter till she was tired.
He left the spot, and, after wandering vaguely a little while,
walked in the direction of Marygreen. Here he called upon his
great-aunt, whose infirmities daily increased.

"Aunt--did my father ill-use my mother, and my aunt her husband?"
said Jude abruptly, sitting down by the fire.

She raised her ancient eyes under the rim of the by-gone
bonnet that she always wore. "Who's been telling you that?"
she said.

"I have heard it spoken of, and want to know all."

"You med so well, I s'pose; though your wife--I reckon 'twas she--
must have been a fool to open up that! There isn't much to know after all.
Your father and mother couldn't get on together, and they parted.
It was coming home from Alfredston market, when you were a baby--
on the hill by the Brown House barn--that they had their last difference,
and took leave of one another for the last time. Your mother soon
afterwards died--she drowned herself, in short, and your father went away
with you to South Wessex, and never came here any more."

Jude recalled his father's silence about North Wessex and Jude's mother,
never speaking of either till his dying day.

"It was the same with your father's sister. Her husband offended her,
and she so disliked living with him afterwards that she went away
to London with her little maid. The Fawleys were not made for wedlock:
it never seemed to sit well upon us. There's sommat in our blood that
won't take kindly to the notion of being bound to do what we do readily
enough if not bound. That's why you ought to have hearkened to me,
and not ha' married."

"Where did Father and Mother part--by the Brown House, did you say?"

"A little further on--where the road to Fenworth branches off,
and the handpost stands. A gibbet once stood there not onconnected
with our history. But let that be."

In the dusk of that evening Jude walked away from his old
aunt's as if to go home. But as soon as he reached the open
down he struck out upon it till he came to a large round pond.
The frost continued, though it was not particularly sharp,
and the larger stars overhead came out slow and flickering.
Jude put one foot on the edge of the ice, and then the other:
it cracked under his weight; but this did not deter him.
He ploughed his way inward to the centre, the ice making sharp
noises as he went. When just about the middle he looked
around him and gave a jump. The cracking repeated itself;
but he did not go down. He jumped again, but the cracking
had ceased. Jude went back to the edge, and stepped upon
the ground.

It was curious, he thought. What was he reserved for?
He supposed he was not a sufficiently dignified person for suicide.
Peaceful death abhorred him as a subject, and would not
take him.

What could he do of a lower kind than self-extermination; what was
there less noble, more in keeping with his present degraded position?
He could get drunk. Of course that was it; he had forgotten.
Drinking was the regular, stereotyped resource of the despairing worthless.
He began to see now why some men boozed at inns. He struck down the hill
northwards and came to an obscure public-house. On entering and sitting
down the sight of the picture of Samson and Delilah on the wall caused him
to recognize the place as that he had visited with Arabella on that first
Sunday evening of their courtship. He called for liquor and drank briskly
for an hour or more.

Staggering homeward late that night, with all his sense of depression gone,
and his head fairly clear still, he began to laugh boisterously,
and to wonder how Arabella would receive him in his new aspect.
The house was in darkness when he entered, and in his stumbling state
it was some time before he could get a light. Then he found that,
though the marks of pig-dressing, of fats and scallops, were visible,
the materials themselves had been taken away. A line written by his wife
on the inside of an old envelope was pinned to the cotton blower of
the fireplace:


All the next day he remained at home, and sent off the carcase
of the pig to Alfredston. He then cleaned up the premises,
locked the door, put the key in a place she would know if she
came back, and returned to his masonry at Alfredston.

At night when he again plodded home he found she had not visited the house.
The next day went in the same way, and the next. Then there came a letter
from her.

That she had gone tired of him she frankly admitted. He was such
a slow old coach, and she did not care for the sort of life he led.
There was no prospect of his ever bettering himself or her.
She further went on to say that her parents had, as he knew,
for some time considered the question of emigrating to Australia,
the pig-jobbing business being a poor one nowadays. They had at last
decided to go, and she proposed to go with them, if he had no objection.
A woman of her sort would have more chance over there than in this
stupid country.

Jude replied that he had not the least objection to her going.
He thought it a wise course, since she wished to go,
and one that might be to the advantage of both. He enclosed
in the packet containing the letter the money that had been
realized by the sale of the pig, with all he had besides,
which was not much.

From that day he heard no more of her except indirectly,
though her father and his household did not immediately leave,
but waited till his goods and other effects had been sold off.
When Jude learnt that there was to be an auction at the house
of the Donns he packed his own household goods into a waggon,
and sent them to her at the aforesaid homestead, that she
might sell them with the rest, or as many of them as she
should choose.

He then went into lodgings at Alfredston, and saw in a shopwindow
the little handbill announcing the sale of his father-in-law's furniture.
He noted its date, which came and passed without Jude's going
near the place, or perceiving that the traffic out of Alfredston
by the southern road was materially increased by the auction.
A few days later he entered a dingy broker's shop in the main street
of the town, and amid a heterogeneous collection of saucepans,
a clothes-horse, rolling-pin, brass candlestick, swing looking-glass,
and other things at the back of the shop, evidently just brought
in from a sale, he perceived a framed photograph, which turned out to
be his own portrait.

It was one which he had had specially taken and framed by a
local man in bird's-eye maple, as a present for Arabella,
and had duly given her on their wedding-day. On the back
was still to be read, "JUDE TO ARABELLA," with the date.
She must have thrown it in with the rest of her property at
the auction.

"Oh," said the broker, seeing him look at this and the other
articles in the heap, and not perceiving that the portrait
was of himself: "It is a small lot of stuff that was knocked
down to me at a cottage sale out on the road to Marygreen.
The frame is a very useful one, if you take out the likeness.
You shall have it for a shilling."

The utter death of every tender sentiment in his wife, as brought home to him
by this mute and undesigned evidence of her sale of his portrait and gift,
was the conclusive little stroke required to demolish all sentiment in him.
He paid the shilling, took the photograph away with him, and burnt it,
frame and all, when he reached his lodging.

Two or three days later he heard that Arabella and her parents had departed.
He had sent a message offering to see her for a formal leave-taking, but she
had said that it would be better otherwise, since she was bent on going,
which perhaps was true. On the evening following their emigration,
when his day's work was done, he came out of doors after supper, and strolled
in the starlight along the too familiar road towards the upland whereon
had been experienced the chief emotions of his life. It seemed to be his
own again.

He could not realize himself. On the old track he seemed to be
a boy still, hardly a day older than when he had stood dreaming at
the top of that hill, inwardly fired for the first time with ardours
for Christminster and scholarship. "Yet I am a man," he said.
"I have a wife. More, I have arrived at the still riper stage
of having disagreed with her, disliked her, had a scuffle with her,
and parted from her."

He remembered then that he was standing not far from the spot at which
the parting between his father and his mother was said to have occurred.

A little further on was the summit whence Christminster,
or what he had taken for that city, had seemed to be visible.
A milestone, now as always, stood at the roadside hard by.
Jude drew near it, and felt rather than read the mileage
to the city. He remembered that once on his way home
he had proudly cut with his keen new chisel an inscription
on the back of that milestone, embodying his aspirations.
It had been done in the first week of his apprenticeship,
before he had been diverted from his purposes by an unsuitable woman.
He wondered if the inscription were legible still, and going
to the back of the milestone brushed away the nettles.
By the light of a match he could still discern what he had cut so
enthusiastically so long ago:

J. F.
[with a pointing finger]

The sight of it, unimpaired, within its screen of grass
and nettles, lit in his soul a spark of the old fire.
Surely his plan should be to move onward through good and ill--
to avoid morbid sorrow even though he did see uglinesses
in the world? BENE AGERE ET LOETARI--to do good cheerfully--
which he had heard to be the philosophy of one Spinoza,
might be his own even now.

He might battle with his evil star, and follow out his original intention.

By moving to a spot a little way off he uncovered the horizon
in a north-easterly direction. There actually rose the faint halo,
a small dim nebulousness, hardly recognizable save by the eye of faith.
It was enough for him. He would go to Christminster as soon as the term
of his apprenticeship expired.

He returned to his lodgings in a better mood, and said his prayers.

Part Second


"Save his own soul he hath no star."--SWINBURNE.

"Notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit;
Tempore crevit amor."--OVID.


THE next noteworthy move in Jude's life was that in which he appeared
gliding steadily onward through a dusky landscape of some three years'
later leafage than had graced his courtship of Arabella, and the
disruption of his coarse conjugal life with her. He was walking towards
Christminster City, at a point a mile or two to the south-west of it.

He had at last found himself clear of Marygreen and Alfredston:
he was out of his apprenticeship, and with his tools at his back
seemed to be in the way of making a new start--the start to which,
barring the interruption involved in his intimacy and married
experience with Arabella, he had been looking forward for about
ten years.

Jude would now have been described as a young man with a forcible,
meditative, and earnest rather than handsome cast of countenance.
He was of dark complexion, with dark harmonizing eyes,
and he wore a closely trimmed black beard of more advanced growth
than is usual at his age; this, with his great mass of black
curly hair, was some trouble to him in combing and washing out
the stone-dust that settled on it in the pursuit of his trade.
His capabilities in the latter, having been acquired in the country,
were of an all-round sort, including monumental stone-cutting, gothic
free-stone work for the restoration of churches, and carving of a
general kind. In London he would probably have become specialized
and have made himself a "moulding mason," a "foliage sculptor"--
perhaps a "statuary."

He had that afternoon driven in a cart from Alfredston to the village
nearest the city in this direction, and was now walking the remaining
four miles rather from choice than from necessity, having always fancied
himself arriving thus.

The ultimate impulse to come had had a curious origin--
one more nearly related to the emotional side of him than
to the intellectual, as is often the case with young men.
One day while in lodgings at Alfredston he had gone to Marygreen
to see his old aunt, and had observed between the brass
candlesticks on her mantlepiece the photograph of a pretty
girlish face, in a broad hat with radiating folds under
the brim like the rays of a halo. He had asked who she was.
His grand-aunt had gruffly replied that she was his cousin
Sue Bridehead, of the inimical branch of the family; and on
further questioning the old woman had replied that the girl lived
in Christminster, though she did not know where, or what she
was doing.

His aunt would not give him the photograph. But it haunted him;
and ultimately formed a quickening ingredient in his latent intent
of following his friend the school master thither.

He now paused at the top of a crooked and gentle declivity, and obtained
his first near view of the city. Grey-stoned and dun-roofed, it stood
within hail of the Wessex border, and almost with the tip of one small
toe within it, at the northernmost point of the crinkled line along
which the leisurely Thames strokes the fields of that ancient kingdom.
The buildings now lay quiet in the sunset, a vane here and there on their
many spires and domes giving sparkle to a picture of sober secondary and
tertiary hues.

Reaching the bottom he moved along the level way between
pollard willows growing indistinct in the twilight, and soon
confronted the outmost lamps of the town--some of those lamps
which had sent into the sky the gleam and glory that caught
his strained gaze in his days of dreaming, so many years ago.
They winked their yellow eyes at him dubiously, and as if,
though they had been awaiting him all these years in disappointment
at his tarrying, they did not much want him now.

He was a species of Dick Whittington whose spirit was touched
to finer issues than a mere material gain. He went along
the outlying streets with the cautious tread of an explorer.
He saw nothing of the real city in the suburbs on this side.
His first want being a lodging he scrutinized carefully such
localities as seemed to offer on inexpensive terms the modest
type of accommodation he demanded; and after inquiry took a room
in a suburb nicknamed "Beersheba," though he did not know this
at the time. Here he installed himself, and having had some tea
sallied forth.

It was a windy, whispering, moonless night. To guide himself he opened
under a lamp a map he had brought. The breeze ruffled and fluttered it,
but he could see enough to decide on the direction he should take to reach
the heart of the place.

After many turnings he came up to the first ancient
mediaeval pile that he had encountered. It was a college,
as he could see by the gateway. He entered it, walked round,
and penetrated to dark corners which no lamplight reached.
Close to this college was another; and a little further
on another; and then he began to be encircled as it were
with the breath and sentiment of the venerable city.
When he passed objects out of harmony with its general
expression he allowed his eyes to slip over them as if he did
not see them.

A bell began clanging, and he listened till a hundred-and-one
strokes had sounded. He must have made a mis-take, he thought:
it was meant for a hundred.

When the gates were shut, and he could no longer get into the quadrangles,
he rambled under the walls and doorways, feeling with his fingers
the contours of their mouldings and carving. The minutes passed,
fewer and fewer people were visible, and still he serpentined among
the shadows, for had he not imagined these scenes through ten bygone years,
and what mattered a night's rest for once? High against the black sky
the flash of a lamp would show crocketed pinnacles and indented battlements.
Down obscure alleys, apparently never trodden now by the foot of man,
and whose very existence seemed to be forgotten, there would jut into
the path porticoes, oriels, doorways of enriched and florid middle-age design,
their extinct air being accentuated by the rottenness of the stones.
It seemed impossible that modern thought could house itself in such decrepit
and superseded chambers.

Knowing not a human being here, Jude began to be impressed with the
isolation of his own personality, as with a self-spectre, the sensation
being that of one who walked but could not make himself seen or heard.
He drew his breath pensively, and, seeming thus almost his own ghost,
gave his thoughts to the other ghostly presences with which the nooks
were haunted.

During the interval of preparation for this venture, since his wife
and furniture's uncompromising disappearance into space, he had read
and learnt almost all that could be read and learnt by one in his position,
of the worthies who had spent their youth within these reverend walls,
and whose souls had haunted them in their maturer age. Some of them,
by the accidents of his reading, loomed out in his fancy disproportionately
large by comparison with the rest. The brushings of the wind against
the angles, buttresses, and door-jambs were as the passing of these
only other inhabitants, the tappings of each ivy leaf on its neighbour
were as the mutterings of their mournful souls, the shadows as their
thin shapes in nervous movement, making him comrades in his solitude.
In the gloom it was as if he ran against them without feeling their
bodily frames.

The streets were now deserted, but on account of these things he could
not go in. There were poets abroad, of early date and of late, from the
friend and eulogist of Shakespeare down to him who has recently passed
into silence, and that musical one of the tribe who is still among us.
Speculative philosophers drew along, not always with wrinkled foreheads
and hoary hair as in framed portraits, but pink-faced, slim, and active as
in youth; modern divines sheeted in their surplices, among whom the most real
to Jude Fawley were the founders of the religious school called Tractarian;
the well-known three, the enthusiast, the poet, and the formularist,
the echoes of whose teachings had influenced him even in his obscure home.
A start of aversion appeared in his fancy to move them at sight of those
other sons of the place, the form in the full-bottomed wig, statesman rake,
reasoner and sceptic; the smoothly shaven historian so ironically civil
to Christianity; with others of the same incredulous temper, who knew
each quad as well as the faithful, and took equal freedom in haunting
its cloisters.

He regarded the statesmen in their various types, men of firmer
movement and less dreamy air; the scholar, the speaker, the plodder;
the man whose mind grew with his growth in years, and the man whose
mind contracted with the same.

The scientists and philologists followed on in his mind-sight
in an odd impossible combination, men of meditative faces,
strained foreheads, and weak-eyed as bats with constant research;
then official characters--such men as governor-generals
and lord-lieutenants, in whom he took little interest;
chief-justices and lord chancellors, silent thin-lipped
figures of whom he knew barely the names. A keener regard
attached to the prelates, by reason of his own former hopes.
Of them he had an ample band--some men of heart, others rather
men of head; he who apologized for the Church in Latin;
the saintly author of the Evening Hymn; and near them the great
itinerant preacher, hymn-writer, and zealot, shadowed like Jude
by his matrimonial difficulties.

Jude found himself speaking out loud, holding conversations
with them as it were, like an actor in a melodrama who
apostrophizes the audience on the other side of the footlights;
till he suddenly ceased with a start at his absurdity.
Perhaps those incoherent words of the wanderer were heard
within the walls by some student or thinker over his lamp;
and he may have raised his head, and wondered what voice it was,
and what it betokened. Jude now perceived that, so far
as solid flesh went, he had the whole aged city to himself
with the exception of a belated townsman here and there,
and that he seemed to be catching a cold.

A voice reached him out of the shade; a real and local voice:

"You've been a-settin' a long time on that plinth-stone, young man.
What med you be up to?"

It came from a policeman who had been observing Jude without
the latter observing him.

Jude went home and to bed, after reading up a little about these men
and their several messages to the world from a book or two that
he had brought with him concerning the sons of the university.
As he drew towards sleep various memorable words of theirs that he had
just been conning seemed spoken by them in muttering utterances;
some audible, some unintelligible to him. One of the spectres
(who afterwards mourned Christminster as "the home of lost causes,"
though Jude did not remember this) was now apostrophizing
her thus:

"Beautiful city! so venerable, so lovely, so unravaged by the fierce
intellectual life of our century, so serene! ... Her ineffable charm
keeps ever calling us to the true goal of all of us, to the ideal,
to perfection."

Another voice was that of the Corn Law convert, whose phantom
he had just seen in the quadrangle with a great bell.
Jude thought his soul might have been shaping the historic words
of his master-speech:

"Sir, I may be wrong, but my impression is that my duty towards a country
threatened with famine requires that that which has been the ordinary remedy
under all similar circumstances should be resorted to now, namely, that there
should be free access to the food of man from whatever quarter it may come....
Deprive me of office to-morrow, you can never deprive me of the consciousness
that I have exercised the powers committed to me from no corrupt or
interested motives, from no desire to gratify ambition, for no personal gain."

Then the sly author of the immortal Chapter on Christianity:
"How shall we excuse the supine inattention of the Pagan
and philosophic world, to those evidences [miracles] which were
presented by Omnipotence? ... The sages of Greece and Rome
turned aside from the awful spectacle, and appeared unconscious
of any alterations in the moral or physical government of
the world."

Then the shade of the poet, the last of the optimists:

How the world is made for each of us!
. . . . . . . . . . .
And each of the Many helps to recruit
The life of the race by a general plan.

Then one of the three enthusiasts he had seen just now,
the author of the APOLOGIA:

"My argument was ... that absolute certitude as to the truths of natural
theology was the result of an assemblage of concurring and converging
probabilities ... that probabilities which did not reach to logical
certainty might create a mental certitude."

The second of them, no polemic, murmured quieter things:

Why should we faint, and fear to live alone,
Since all alone, so Heaven has will'd, we die?

He likewise heard some phrases spoken by the phantom with the short face,
the genial Spectator:

"When I look upon the tombs of the great, every motion of envy dies in me;
when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out;
when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts
with compassion; when I see the tombs of the parents themselves, I consider
the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow."

And lastly a gentle-voiced prelate spoke, during whose meek,
familiar rhyme, endeared to him from earliest childhood,
Jude fell asleep:

Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die ...

He did not wake till morning. The ghostly past seemed to have gone,
and everything spoke of to-day. He started up in bed, thinking he had
overslept himself and then said:

"By Jove--I had quite forgotten my sweet-faced cousin, and that she's
here all the time! ... and my old schoolmaster, too." His words
about his schoolmaster had, perhaps, less zest in them than his words
concerning his cousin.


NECESSARY meditations on the actual, including the mean
bread-and-cheese question, dissipated the phantasmal for a while,
and compelled Jude to smother high thinkings under immediate needs.
He had to get up, and seek for work, manual work; the only kind
deemed by many of its professors to be work at all.

Passing out into the streets on this errand he found that the colleges had
treacherously changed their sympathetic countenances: some were pompous;
some had put on the look of family vaults above ground; something barbaric
loomed in the masonries of all. The spirits of the great men had disappeared.

The numberless architectural pages around him he read, naturally, less as
an artist-critic of their forms than as an artizan and comrade of the dead
handicraftsmen whose muscles had actually executed those forms.
He examined the mouldings, stroked them as one who knew their beginning,
said they were difficult or easy in the working, had taken little or
much time, were trying to the arm, or convenient to the tool.

What at night had been perfect and ideal was by day the more
or less defective real. Cruelties, insults, had, he perceived,
been inflicted on the aged erections. The condition of several
moved him as he would have been moved by maimed sentient beings.
They were wounded, broken, sloughing off their outer shape in
the deadly struggle against years, weather, and man.

The rottenness of these historical documents reminded him that he was not,
after all, hastening on to begin the morning practically as he had intended.
He had come to work, and to live by work, and the morning had nearly gone.
It was, in one sense, encouraging to think that in a place of crumbling
stones there must be plenty for one of his trade to do in the business
of renovation. He asked his way to the workyard of the stone-mason whose name
had been given him at Alfredston; and soon heard the familiar sound of the
rubbers and chisels.

The yard was a little centre of regeneration. Here, with keen
edges and smooth curves, were forms in the exact likeness
of those he had seen abraded and time-eaten on the walls.
These were the ideas in modern prose which the lichened
colleges presented in old poetry. Even some of those
antiques might have been called prose when they were new.
They had done nothing but wait, and had become poetical.
How easy to the smallest building; how impossible to
most men.

He asked for the foreman, and looked round among the new traceries,
mullions, transoms, shafts, pinnacles, and battlements standing on
the bankers half worked, or waiting to be removed. They were marked
by precision, mathematical straightness, smoothness, exactitude:
there in the old walls were the broken lines of the original idea;
jagged curves, disdain of precision, irregularity, disarray.

For a moment there fell on Jude a true illumination; that here in
the stone yard was a centre of effort as worthy as that dignified
by the name of scholarly study within the noblest of the colleges.
But he lost it under stress of his old idea. He would accept any
employment which might be offered him on the strength of his late
employer's recommendation; but he would accept it as a provisional
thing only. This was his form of the modern vice of unrest.

Moreover he perceived that at best only copying, patching and imitating went
on here; which he fancied to be owing to some temporary and local cause.
He did not at that time see that mediaevalism was as dead as a fern-leaf in a
lump of coal; that other developments were shaping in the world around him,
in which Gothic architecture and its associations had no place. The deadly
animosity of contemporary logic and vision towards so much of what he held in
reverence was not yet revealed to him.

Having failed to obtain work here as yet he went away,
and thought again of his cousin, whose presence somewhere at hand
he seemed to feel in wavelets of interest, if not of emotion.
How he wished he had that pretty portrait of her!
At last he wrote to his aunt to send it. She did so,
with a request, however, that he was not to bring disturbance
into the family by going to see the girl or her relations.
Jude, a ridiculously affectionate fellow, promised nothing,
put the photograph on the mantel-piece, kissed it--he did not
know why--and felt more at home. She seemed to look down and
preside over his tea. It was cheering--the one thing uniting
him to the emotions of the living city.

There remained the schoolmaster--probably now a reverend parson.
But he could not possibly hunt up such a respectable man just yet;
so raw and unpolished was his condition, so precarious
were his fortunes. Thus he still remained in loneliness.
Although people moved round him he virtually saw none.
Not as yet having mingled with the active life of the place it
was largely non-existent to him. But the saints and prophets
in the window-tracery, the paintings in the galleries, the statues,
the busts, the gargoyles, the corbel-heads--these seemed to breathe
his atmosphere. Like all new comers to a spot on which the past
is deeply graven he heard that past announcing itself with an
emphasis altogether unsuspected by, and even incredible to,
the habitual residents.

For many days he haunted the cloisters and quadrangles of the colleges at odd
minutes in passing them, surprised by impish echoes of his own footsteps,
smart as the blows of a mallet. The Christminster "sentiment," as it
had been called, ate further and further into him; till he probably knew
more about those buildings materially, artistically, and historically,
than any one of their inmates.

It was not till now, when he found himself actually on the spot
of his enthusiasm, that Jude perceived how far away from the object
of that enthusiasm he really was. Only a wall divided him
from those happy young contemporaries of his with whom he shared
a common mental life; men who had nothing to do from morning till
night but to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. Only a wall--
but what a wall!

Every day, every hour, as he went in search of labour,
he saw them going and coming also, rubbed shoulders
with them, heard their voices, marked their movements.
The conversation of some of the more thoughtful among them
seemed oftentimes, owing to his long and persistent preparation
for this place, to be peculiarly akin to his own thoughts.
Yet he was as far from them as if he had been at the antipodes.
Of course he was. He was a young workman in a white blouse,
and with stone-dust in the creases of his clothes; and in passing
him they did not even see him, or hear him, rather saw through
him as through a pane of glass at their familiars beyond.
Whatever they were to him, he to them was not on the spot at all;
and yet he had fancied he would be close to their lives by
coming there.

But the future lay ahead after all; and if he could only be so fortunate
as to get into good employment he would put up with the inevitable.
So he thanked God for his health and strength, and took courage.
For the present he was outside the gates of everything, colleges included:
perhaps some day he would be inside. Those palaces of light and leading;
he might some day look down on the world through their panes.

At length he did receive a message from the stone-mason's yard--
that a job was waiting for him. It was his first encouragement,
and he closed with the offer promptly.

He was young and strong, or he never could have executed with such zest
the undertakings to which he now applied himself, since they involved
reading most of the night after working all the day. First he bought
a shaded lamp for four and six-pence, and obtained a good light.
Then he got pens, paper, and such other necessary books as he had been
unable to obtain elsewhere. Then, to the consternation of his landlady,
he shifted all the furniture of his room--a single one for living
and sleeping--rigged up a curtain on a rope across the middle,
to make a double chamber out of one, hung up a thick blind that no-body
should know how he was curtailing the hours of sleep, laid out his books,
and sat down.

Having been deeply encumbered by marrying, getting a cottage,
and buying the furniture which had disappeared in the wake
of his wife, he had never been able to save any money since
the time of those disastrous ventures, and till his wages
began to come in he was obliged to live in the narrowest way.
After buying a book or two he could not even afford himself
a fire; and when the nights reeked with the raw and cold air
from the Meadows he sat over his lamp in a great-coat, hat,
and woollen gloves.

From his window he could perceive the spire of the cathedral,
and the ogee dome under which resounded the great bell of the city.
The tall tower, tall belfry windows, and tall pinnacles of the college
by the bridge he could also get a glimpse of by going to the staircase.
These objects he used as stimulants when his faith in the future
was dim.

Like enthusiasts in general he made no inquiries into details of procedure.
Picking up general notions from casual acquaintance, he never dwelt
upon them. For the present, he said to himself, the one thing necessary
was to get ready by accumulating money and knowledge, and await whatever
chances were afforded to such an one of becoming a son of the University.
"For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence; but the excellency
of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it." His desire
absorbed him, and left no part of him to weigh its practicability.

At this time he received a nervously anxious letter from his poor
old aunt, on the subject which had previously distressed her--
a fear that Jude would not be strong-minded enough to keep
away from his cousin Sue Bridehead and her relations.
Sue's father, his aunt believed, had gone back to London,
but the girl remained at Christminster. To make her still
more objectionable she was an artist or designer of some
sort in what was called an ecclesiastical warehouse,
which was a perfect seed-bed of idolatry, and she was no doubt
abandoned to mummeries on that account--if not quite a Papist.
(Miss Drusilla Fawley was of her date, Evangelical.)

As Jude was rather on an intellectual track than a theological,
this news of Sue's probable opinions did not much influence him one way
or the other, but the clue to her whereabouts was decidedly interesting.
With an altogether singular pleasure he walked at his earliest spare
minutes past the shops answering to his great-aunt's description;
and beheld in one of them a young girl sitting behind a desk,
who was suspiciously like the original of the portrait.
He ventured to enter on a trivial errand, and having made his purchase
lingered on the scene. The shop seemed to be kept entirely by women.
It contained Anglican books, stationery, texts, and fancy goods:
little plaster angels on brackets, Gothic-framed pictures of saints,
ebony crosses that were almost crucifixes, prayer-books that were
almost missals. He felt very shy of looking at the girl in the desk;
she was so pretty that he could not believe it possible that she
should belong to him. Then she spoke to one of the two older
women behind the counter; and he recognized in the accents certain
qualities of his own voice; softened and sweetened, but his own.
What was she doing? He stole a glance round. Before her lay a piece
of zinc, cut to the shape of a scroll three or four feet long,
and coated with a dead-surface paint on one side. Hereon she was
designing or illuminating, in characters of Church text, the single


"A sweet, saintly, Christian business, hers!" thought he.

Her presence here was now fairly enough explained, her skill
in work of this sort having no doubt been acquired from her
father's occupation as an ecclesiastical worker in metal.
The lettering on which she was engaged was clearly intended to be
fixed up in some chancel to assist devotion.

He came out. It would have been easy to speak to her there and then,
but it seemed scarcely honourable towards his aunt to disregard her request
so incontinently. She had used him roughly, but she had brought him up:
and the fact of her being powerless to control him lent a pathetic force
to a wish that would have been inoperative as an argument.

So Jude gave no sign. He would not call upon Sue just yet.
He had other reasons against doing so when he had walked away.
She seemed so dainty beside himself in his rough working-jacket
and dusty trousers that he felt he was as yet unready
to encounter her, as he had felt about Mr. Phillotson.
And how possible it was that she had inherited the antipathies
of her family, and would scorn him, as far as a Christian could,
particularly when he had told her that unpleasant part of his history
which had resulted in his becoming enchained to one of her own
sex whom she would certainly not admire.

Thus he kept watch over her, and liked to feel she was there.
The consciousness of her living presence stimulated him.
But she remained more or less an ideal character,
about whose form he began to weave curious and fantastic

Between two and three weeks afterwards Jude was engaged with some
more men, outside Crozier College in Old-time Street, in getting
a block of worked freestone from a waggon across the pavement,
before hoisting it to the parapet which they were repairing.
Standing in position the head man said, "Spaik when he heave!
He-ho!" And they heaved.

All of a sudden, as he lifted, his cousin stood close to his elbow,
pausing a moment on the bend of her foot till the obstructing object
should have been removed. She looked right into his face with liquid,
untranslatable eyes, that combined, or seemed to him to combine,
keenness with tenderness, and mystery with both, their expression,
as well as that of her lips, taking its life from some words just spoken
to a companion, and being carried on into his face quite unconsciously.
She no more observed his presence than that of the dust-motes which his
manipulations raised into the sunbeams.

His closeness to her was so suggestive that he trembled, and turned
his face away with a shy instinct to prevent her recognizing him,
though as she had never once seen him she could not possibly
do so; and might very well never have heard even his name.
He could perceive that though she was a country-girl at bottom,
a latter girlhood of some years in London, and a womanhood here,
had taken all rawness out of her.

When she was gone he continued his work, reflecting on her.
He had been so caught by her influence that he had taken
no count of her general mould and build. He remembered now
that she was not a large figure, that she was light and slight,
of the type dubbed elegant. That was about all he had seen.
There was nothing statuesque in her; all was nervous motion.
She was mobile, living, yet a painter might not have called her
handsome or beautiful. But the much that she was surprised him.
She was quite a long way removed from the rusticity that was his.
How could one of his cross-grained, unfortunate, almost accursed
stock, have contrived to reach this pitch of niceness? London had
done it, he supposed.

From this moment the emotion which had been accumulating in his breast
as the bottled-up effect of solitude and the poetized locality he dwelt in,
insensibly began to precipitate itself on this half-visionary form;
and he perceived that, whatever his obedient wish in a contrary direction,
he would soon be unable to resist the desire to make himself known
to her.

He affected to think of her quite in a family way, since there were crushing
reasons why he should not and could not think of her in any other.

The first reason was that he was married, and it would be wrong.
The second was that they were cousins. It was not well for cousins
to fall in love even when circumstances seemed to favour the passion.
The third: even were he free, in a family like his own where marriage
usually meant a tragic sadness, marriage with a blood-relation would
duplicate the adverse conditions, and a tragic sadness might be
intensified to a tragic horror.

Therefore, again, he would have to think of Sue with only
a relation's mutual interest in one belonging to him;
regard her in a practical way as some one to be proud of;
to talk and nod to; later on, to be invited to tea by,
the emotion spent on her being rigorously that of a kinsman
and well-wisher. So would she be to him a kindly star,
an elevating power, a companion in Anglican worship, a tender


BUT under the various deterrent influences Jude's instinct
was to approach her timidly, and the next Sunday he went
to the morning service in the Cathedral church of Cardinal
College to gain a further view of her, for he had found
that she frequently attended there.

She did not come, and he awaited her in the afternoon, which was finer.
He knew that if she came at all she would approach the building
along the eastern side of the great green quadrangle from which it
was accessible, and he stood in a corner while the bell was going.
A few minutes before the hour for service she appeared as one of
the figures walking along under the college walls, and at sight of her
he advanced up the side opposite, and followed her into the building,
more than ever glad that he had not as yet revealed himself.
To see her, and to be himself unseen and unknown, was enough for him
at present.

He lingered awhile in the vestibule, and the service was some way advanced
when he was put into a seat. It was a louring, mournful, still afternoon,
when a religion of some sort seems a necessity to ordinary practical men,
and not only a luxury of the emotional and leisured classes. In the dim
light and the baffling glare of the clerestory windows he could discern the
opposite worshippers indistinctly only, but he saw that Sue was among them.
He had not long discovered the exact seat that she occupied when the chanting
of the 119th Psalm in which the choir was engaged reached its second part,
IN QUO CORRIGET, the organ changing to a pathetic Gregorian tune as the
singers gave forth:

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?

It was the very question that was engaging Jude's attention at this moment.
What a wicked worthless fellow he had been to give vent as he had
done to an animal passion for a woman, and allow it to lead to such
disastrous consequences; then to think of putting an end to himself;
then to go recklessly and get drunk. The great waves of pedal music
tumbled round the choir, and, nursed on the supernatural as he had been,
it is not wonderful that he could hardly believe that the psalm was not
specially set by some regardful Providence for this moment of his first
entry into the solemn building. And yet it was the ordinary psalm for
the twenty-fourth evening of the month.

The girl for whom he was beginning to nourish an extraordinary
tenderness was at this time ensphered by the same harmonies as those
which floated into his ears; and the thought was a delight to him.
She was probably a frequenter of this place, and, steeped body and soul
in church sentiment as she must be by occupation and habit, had, no doubt,
much in common with him. To an impressionable and lonely young man
the consciousness of having at last found anchorage for his thoughts,
which promised to supply both social and spiritual possibilities,
was like the dew of Hermon, and he remained throughout the service in a
sustaining atmosphere of ecstasy.

Though he was loth to suspect it, some people might have said to him
that the atmosphere blew as distinctly from Cyprus as from Galilee.

Jude waited till she had left her seat and passed under the screen
before he himself moved. She did not look towards him, and by
the time he reached the door she was half-way down the broad path.
Being dressed up in his Sunday suit he was inclined to follow
her and reveal himself. But he was not quite ready; and, alas,
ought he to do so with the kind of feeling that was awakening in him?

For though it had seemed to have an ecclesiastical basis during
the service, and he had persuaded himself that such was the case,
he could not altogether be blind to the real nature of the magnetism.
She was such a stranger that the kinship was affectation, and he said,
"It can't be! I, a man with a wife, must not know her!" Still Sue
WAS his own kin, and the fact of his having a wife, even though she
was not in evidence in this hemisphere, might be a help in one sense.
It would put all thought of a tender wish on his part out of
Sue's mind, and make her intercourse with him free and fearless.
It was with some heartache that he saw how little he cared
for the freedom and fearlessness that would result in her from
such knowledge.

Some little time before the date of this service in the cathedral
the pretty, liquid-eyed, light-footed young woman Sue Bridehead
had an afternoon's holiday, and leaving the ecclesiastical
establishment in which she not only assisted but lodged,
took a walk into the country with a book in her hand.
It was one of those cloudless days which sometimes occur
in Wessex and elsewhere between days of cold and wet,
as if intercalated by caprice of the weather-god. She went
along for a mile or two until she came to much higher
ground than that of the city she had left behind her.
The road passed between green fields, and coming to a stile
Sue paused there, to finish the page she was reading,
and then looked back at the towers and domes and pinnacles new
and old.

On the other side of the stile, in the footpath, she beheld
a foreigner with black hair and a sallow face, sitting on the grass
beside a large square board whereon were fixed, as closely as they
could stand, a number of plaster statuettes, some of them bronzed,
which he was re-arranging before proceeding with them on his way.
They were in the main reduced copies of ancient marbles, and comprised
divinities of a very different character from those the girl was
accustomed to see portrayed, among them being a Venus of standard pattern,
a Diana, and, of the other sex, Apollo, Bacchus, and Mars.
Though the figures were many yards away from her the south-west sun
brought them out so brilliantly against the green herbage that she could
discern their contours with luminous distinctness; and being almost
in a line between herself and the church towers of the city they awoke
in her an oddly foreign and contrasting set of ideas by comparison.
The man rose, and, seeing her, politely took off his cap, and cried
"I-i-i-mages!" in an accent that agreed with his appearance.
In a moment he dexterously lifted upon his knee the great board
with its assembled notabilities divine and human, and raised
it to the top of his head, bringing them on to her and resting
the board on the stile. First he offered her his smaller wares--
the busts of kings and queens, then a minstrel, then a winged Cupid.
She shook her head.

"How much are these two?" she said, touching with her finger the Venus
and the Apollo--the largest figures on the tray.

He said she should have them for ten shillings.

"I cannot afford that," said Sue. She offered considerably less,
and to her surprise the image-man drew them from their wire stay
and handed them over the stile. She clasped them as treasures.

When they were paid for, and the man had gone, she began to be
concerned as to what she should do with them. They seemed so very
large now that they were in her possession, and so very naked.
Being of a nervous temperament she trembled at her enterprise.
When she handled them the white pipeclay came off on her gloves
and jacket. After carrying them along a little way openly an idea
came to her, and, pulling some huge burdock leaves, parsley,
and other rank growths from the hedge, she wrapped up her burden
as well as she could in these, so that what she carried appeared
to be an enormous armful of green stuff gathered by a zealous lover
of nature.

"Well, anything is better than those everlasting church fallals!" she said.
But she was still in a trembling state, and seemed almost to wish she had not
bought the figures.

Occasionally peeping inside the leaves to see that Venus's
arm was not broken, she entered with her heathen load into
the most Christian city in the country by an obscure street
running parallel to the main one, and round a corner to
the side door of the establishment to which she was attached.
Her purchases were taken straight up to her own chamber,
and she at once attempted to lock them in a box that was her
very own property; but finding them too cumbersome she wrapped
them in large sheets of brown paper, and stood them on the floor
in a corner.

The mistress of the house, Miss Fontover, was an elderly lady in spectacles,
dressed almost like an abbess; a dab at Ritual, as become one of her business,
and a worshipper at the ceremonial church of St. Silas, in the suburb
of Beersheba before-mentioned, which Jude also had begun to attend.
She was the daughter of a clergyman in reduced circumstances,
and at his death, which had occurred several years before this date,
she boldly avoided penury by taking over a little shop of church
requisites and developing it to its present creditable proportions.
She wore a cross and beads round her neck as her only ornament, and knew
the Christian Year by heart.

She now came to call Sue to tea, and, finding that the girl did not respond
for a moment, entered the room just as the other was hastily putting a string
round each parcel.

"Something you have been buying, Miss Bridehead?" she asked,
regarding the enwrapped objects.

"Yes--just something to ornament my room," said Sue.

"Well, I should have thought I had put enough here already,"
said Miss Fontover, looking round at the Gothic-framed prints
of saints, the Church-text scrolls, and other articles which,
having become too stale to sell, had been used to furnish
this obscure chamber. "What is it? How bulky!" She tore
a little hole, about as big as a wafer, in the brown paper,
and tried to peep in. "Why, statuary? Two figures?
Where did you get them?"

"Oh--I bought them of a travelling man who sells casts"

"Two saints?"


"What ones?"

"St. Peter and St.--St. Mary Magdalen."

"Well--now come down to tea, and go and finish that organ-text, if there's
light enough afterwards."

These little obstacles to the indulgence of what had been
the merest passing fancy created in Sue a great zest for unpacking
her objects and looking at them; and at bedtime, when she was sure
of being undisturbed, she unrobed the divinities in comfort.
Placing the pair of figures on the chest of drawers,
a candle on each side of them, she withdrew to the bed,
flung herself down thereon, and began reading a book she
had taken from her box, which Miss Fontover knew nothing of.
It was a volume of Gibbon, and she read the chapter dealing
with the reign of Julian the Apostate. Occasionally she looked
up at the statuettes, which appeared strange and out of place,
there happening to be a Calvary print hanging between them,
and, as if the scene suggested the action, she at length jumped
up and withdrew another book from her box--a volume of verse--
and turned to the familiar poem--

Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean:
The world has grown grey from thy breath!

which she read to the end. Presently she put out the candles, undressed,
and finally extinguished her own light.

She was of an age which usually sleeps soundly, yet to-night
she kept waking up, and every time she opened her eyes there
was enough diffused light from the street to show her the white
plaster figures, standing on the chest of drawers in odd contrast
to their environment of text and martyr, and the Gothic-framed
Crucifix-picture that was only discernible now as a Latin cross,
the figure thereon being obscured by the shades.

On one of these occasions the church clocks struck some small hour.
It fell upon the ears of another person who sat bending
over his books at a not very distant spot in the same city.
Being Saturday night the morrow was one on which Jude had not
set his alarm-clock to call him at his usually early time,
and hence he had stayed up, as was his custom, two or three hours
later than he could afford to do on any other day of the week.
Just then he was earnestly reading from his Griesbach's text.
At the very time that Sue was tossing and staring at her figures,
the policeman and belated citizens passing along under his window
might have heard, if they had stood still, strange syllables
mumbled with fervour within--words that had for Jude an
indescribable enchantment: inexplicable sounds something
like these:--


Till the sounds rolled with reverent loudness, as a book was heard to close:--



HE was a handy man at his trade, an all-round man, as artizans
in country-towns are apt to be. In London the man who carves
the boss or knob of leafage declines to cut the fragment of moulding
which merges in that leafage, as if it were a degradation to do
the second half of one whole. When there was not much Gothic
moulding for Jude to run, or much window-tracery on the bankers,
he would go out lettering monuments or tombstones, and take
a pleasure in the change of handiwork.

The next time that he saw her was when he was on a ladder
executing a job of this sort inside one of the churches.
There was a short morning service, and when the parson entered
Jude came down from his ladder, and sat with the half-dozen
people forming the congregation, till the prayer should be ended,
and he could resume his tapping. He did not observe till
the service was half over that one of the women was Sue, who had
perforce accompanied the elderly Miss Fontover thither.

Jude sat watching her pretty shoulders, her easy, curiously nonchalant
risings and sittings, and her perfunctory genuflexions, and thought what
a help such an Anglican would have been to him in happier circumstances.
It was not so much his anxiety to get on with his work that made him
go up to it immediately the worshipers began to take their leave:
it was that he dared not, in this holy spot, confront the woman
who was beginning to influence him in such an indescribable manner.
Those three enormous reasons why he must not attempt intimate acquaintance
with Sue Bridehead, now that his interest in her had shown itself
to be unmistakably of a sexual kind, loomed as stubbornly as ever.
But it was also obvious that man could not live by work alone;
that the particular man Jude, at any rate, wanted something to love.
Some men would have rushed incontinently to her, snatched the pleasure of easy
friendship which she could hardly refuse, and have left the rest to chance.
Not so Jude--at first.

But as the days, and still more particularly the lonely evenings,
dragged along, he found himself, to his moral consternation,
to be thinking more of her instead of thinking less of her,
and experiencing a fearful bliss in doing what was erratic,
informal, and unexpected. Surrounded by her influence all day,
walking past the spots she frequented, he was always thinking
of her, and was obliged to own to himself that his conscience
was likely to be the loser in this battle.

To be sure she was almost an ideality to him still. Perhaps to know her
would be to cure himself of this unexpected and unauthorized passion.
A voice whispered that, though he desired to know her, he did not desire
to be cured.

There was not the least doubt that from his own orthodox point
of view the situation was growing immoral. For Sue to be the loved
one of a man who was licensed by the laws of his country to love
Arabella and none other unto his life's end, was a pretty bad second
beginning when the man was bent on such a course as Jude purposed.
This conviction was so real with him that one day when,
as was frequent, he was at work in a neighbouring village church alone,
he felt it to be his duty to pray against his weakness. But much
as he wished to be an exemplar in these things he could not get on.
It was quite impossible, he found, to ask to be delivered from
temptation when your heart's desire was to be tempted unto seventy
times seven. So he excused himself. "After all," he said,
"it is not altogether an EROTOLEPSY that is the matter with me,
as at that first time. I can see that she is exceptionally bright;
and it is partly a wish for intellectual sympathy, and a craving
for loving-kindness in my solitude." Thus he went on adoring her,
fearing to realize that it was human perversity. For whatever
Sue's virtues, talents, or ecclesiastical saturation, it was
certain that those items were not at all the cause of his affection
for her.

On an afternoon at this time a young girl entered the stone-mason's yard
with some hesitation, and, lifting her skirts to avoid draggling them
in the white dust, crossed towards the office.

"That's a nice girl," said one of the men known as Uncle Joe.

"Who is she?" asked another.

"I don't know--I've seen her about here and there. Why, yes, she's the
daughter of that clever chap Bridehead who did all the wrought ironwork
at St. Silas' ten years ago, and went away to London afterwards.
I don't know what he's doing now--not much I fancy--as she's come
back here."

Meanwhile the young woman had knocked at the office door and asked
if Mr. Jude Fawley was at work in the yard. It so happened
that Jude had gone out somewhere or other that afternoon,
which information she received with a look of disappointment,
and went away immediately. When Jude returned they told him,
and described her, whereupon he exclaimed, "Why--that's my
cousin Sue!"

He looked along the street after her, but she was out of sight.
He had no longer any thought of a conscientious avoidance
of her, and resolved to call upon her that very evening.
And when he reached his lodging he found a note from her--
a first note--one of those documents which, simple and commonplace
in themselves, are seen retrospectively to have been pregnant with
impassioned consequences. The very unconsciousness of a looming
drama which is shown in such innocent first epistles from women
to men, or VICE VERSA, makes them, when such a drama follows,
and they are read over by the purple or lurid light of it,
all the more impressive, solemn, and in cases, terrible.

Sue's was of the most artless and natural kind. She addressed
him as her dear cousin Jude; said she had only just learnt
by the merest accident that he was living in Christminster,
and reproached him with not letting her know. They might have
had such nice times together, she said, for she was thrown
much upon herself, and had hardly any congenial friend.
But now there was every probability of her soon going away,
so that the chance of companionship would be lost perhaps
for ever.

A cold sweat overspread Jude at the news that she was going away.
That was a contingency he had never thought of, and it spurred
him to write all the more quickly to her. He would meet her that
very evening, he said, one hour from the time of writing, at the cross
in the pavement which marked the spot of the Martyrdoms.

When he had despatched the note by a boy he regretted that in his
hurry he should have suggested to her to meet him out of doors,
when he might have said he would call upon her. It was, in fact,
the country custom to meet thus, and nothing else had occurred to him.
Arabella had been met in the same way, unfortunately, and it might not
seem respectable to a dear girl like Sue. However, it could not be
helped now, and he moved towards the point a few minutes before the hour,
under the glimmer of the newly lighted lamps.

The broad street was silent, and almost deserted, although it was not late.
He saw a figure on the other side, which turned out to be hers, and they both
converged towards the crossmark at the same moment. Before either had reached
it she called out to him:

"I am not going to meet you just there, for the first time in my life!
Come further on."

The voice, though positive and silvery, had been tremulous.
They walked on in parallel lines, and, waiting her pleasure,
Jude watched till she showed signs of closing in,
when he did likewise, the place being where the carriers'
carts stood in the daytime, though there was none on the
spot then.

"I am sorry that I asked you to meet me, and didn't call,"
began Jude with the bashfulness of a lover. "But I thought it
would save time if we were going to walk."

"Oh--I don't mind that," she said with the freedom of a friend.
"I have really no place to ask anybody in to. What I meant was that
the place you chose was so horrid--I suppose I ought not to say horrid--
I mean gloomy and inauspicious in its associations.... But
isn't it funny to begin like this, when I don't know you yet?"
She looked him up and down curiously, though Jude did not look much
at her.

"You seem to know me more than I know you," she added.

"Yes--I have seen you now and then."

"And you knew who I was, and didn't speak? And now I am going away!"

"Yes. That's unfortunate. I have hardly any other friend.
I have, indeed, one very old friend here somewhere, but I
don't quite like to call on him just yet. I wonder if you
know anything of him--Mr. Phillotson? A parson somewhere
about the county I think he is."

"No--I only know of one Mr. Phillotson. He lives a little way
out in the country, at Lumsdon. He's a village schoolmaster."

"Ah! I wonder if he's the same. Surely it is impossible!
Only a schoolmaster still! Do you know his Christian name--
is it Richard?"

"Yes--it is; I've directed books to him, though I've never seen him."

"Then he couldn't do it!"

Jude's countenance fell, for how could he succeed in an enterprise
wherein the great Phillotson had failed? He would have had a day
of despair if the news had not arrived during his sweet Sue's presence,
but even at this moment he had visions of how Phillotson's failure
in the grand university scheme would depress him when she had gone.

"As we are going to take a walk, suppose we go and call upon him?"
said Jude suddenly. "It is not late."

She agreed, and they went along up a hill, and through some prettily
wooded country. Presently the embattled tower and square turret
of the church rose into the sky, and then the school-house. They
inquired of a person in the street if Mr. Phillotson was likely
to be at home, and were informed that he was always at home.
A knock brought him to the school-house door, with a candle in his hand
and a look of inquiry on his face, which had grown thin and careworn
since Jude last set eyes on him.

That after all these years the meeting with Mr. Phillotson should be of this
homely complexion destroyed at one stroke the halo which had surrounded
the school-master's figure in Jude's imagination ever since their parting.
It created in him at the same time a sympathy with Phillotson as an obviously
much chastened and disappointed man. Jude told him his name, and said
he had come to see him as an old friend who had been kind to him in his
youthful days.

"I don't remember you in the least," said the school-master thoughtfully.
"You were one of my pupils, you say? Yes, no doubt; but they number so many
thousands by this time of my life, and have naturally changed so much, that I
remember very few except the quite recent ones."

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest