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CHAPTER XXIII : EVENTIDE—A SECOND DECLARATION

8 September 2023

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For the shearing-supper a long table was placed on the grass-plot beside the house, the end of the table being thrust over the sill of the wide parlour window and a foot or two into the room. Miss Everdene sat inside the window, facing down the table. She was thus at the head without mingling with the men.

This evening Bathsheba was unusually excited, her red cheeks and lips contrasting lustrously with the mazy skeins of her shadowy hair. She seemed to expect assistance, and the seat at the bottom of the table was at her request left vacant until after they had begun the meal. She then asked Gabriel to take the place and the duties appertaining to that end, which he did with great readiness.

At this moment Mr. Boldwood came in at the gate, and crossed the green to Bathsheba at the window. He apologized for his lateness: his arrival was evidently by arrangement.

“Gabriel,” said she, “will you move again, please, and let Mr. Boldwood come there?”

Oak moved in silence back to his original seat.

The gentleman-farmer was dressed in cheerful style, in a new coat and white waistcoat, quite contrasting with his usual sober suits of grey. Inwardy, too, he was blithe, and consequently chatty to an exceptional degree. So also was Bathsheba now that he had come, though the uninvited presence of Pennyways, the bailiff who had been dismissed for theft, disturbed her equanimity for a while.

Supper being ended, Coggan began on his own private account, without reference to listeners:—

I’ve lost my love, and I care not,
I’ve lost my love, and I care not;
    I shall soon have another
    That’s better than t’other;
I’ve lost my love, and I care not.

This lyric, when concluded, was received with a silently appreciative gaze at the table, implying that the performance, like a work by those established authors who are independent of notices in the papers, was a well-known delight which required no applause.

“Now, Master Poorgrass, your song!” said Coggan.

“I be all but in liquor, and the gift is wanting in me,” said Joseph, diminishing himself.

“Nonsense; wou’st never be so ungrateful, Joseph—never!” said Coggan, expressing hurt feelings by an inflection of voice. “And mistress is looking hard at ye, as much as to say, ‘Sing at once, Joseph Poorgrass.’”

“Faith, so she is; well, I must suffer it!... Just eye my features, and see if the tell-tale blood overheats me much, neighbours?”

“No, yer blushes be quite reasonable,” said Coggan.

“I always tries to keep my colours from rising when a beauty’s eyes get fixed on me,” said Joseph, differently; “but if so be ’tis willed they do, they must.”

“Now, Joseph, your song, please,” said Bathsheba, from the window.

“Well, really, ma’am,” he replied, in a yielding tone, “I don’t know what to say. It would be a poor plain ballet of my own composure.”

“Hear, hear!” said the supper-party.

Poorgrass, thus assured, trilled forth a flickering yet commendable piece of sentiment, the tune of which consisted of the key-note and another, the latter being the sound chiefly dwelt upon. This was so successful that he rashly plunged into a second in the same breath, after a few false starts:—

I sow′-ed th′-e.....
I sow′-ed.....
I sow′-ed th′-e seeds′ of′ love′,
    I-it was′ all′ i′-in the′-e spring′,
I-in A′-pril′, Ma′-ay, a′-nd sun′-ny′ June′,
    When sma′-all bi′-irds they′ do′ sing.

“Well put out of hand,” said Coggan, at the end of the verse. “‘They do sing’ was a very taking paragraph.”

“Ay; and there was a pretty place at ‘seeds of love.’ and ’twas well heaved out. Though ‘love’ is a nasty high corner when a man’s voice is getting crazed. Next verse, Master Poorgrass.”

But during this rendering young Bob Coggan exhibited one of those anomalies which will afflict little people when other persons are particularly serious: in trying to check his laughter, he pushed down his throat as much of the tablecloth as he could get hold of, when, after continuing hermetically sealed for a short time, his mirth burst out through his nose. Joseph perceived it, and with hectic cheeks of indignation instantly ceased singing. Coggan boxed Bob’s ears immediately.

“Go on, Joseph—go on, and never mind the young scamp,” said Coggan. “’Tis a very catching ballet. Now then again—the next bar; I’ll help ye to flourish up the shrill notes where yer wind is rather wheezy:—

Oh the wi′-il-lo′-ow tree′ will′ twist′,
And the wil′-low′ tre′-ee wi′-ill twine′.

But the singer could not be set going again. Bob Coggan was sent home for his ill manners, and tranquility was restored by Jacob Smallbury, who volunteered a ballad as inclusive and interminable as that with which the worthy toper old Silenus amused on a similar occasion the swains Chromis and Mnasylus, and other jolly dogs of his day.

It was still the beaming time of evening, though night was stealthily making itself visible low down upon the ground, the western lines of light raking the earth without alighting upon it to any extent, or illuminating the dead levels at all. The sun had crept round the tree as a last effort before death, and then began to sink, the shearers’ lower parts becoming steeped in embrowning twilight, whilst their heads and shoulders were still enjoying day, touched with a yellow of self-sustained brilliancy that seemed inherent rather than acquired.

The sun went down in an ochreous mist; but they sat, and talked on, and grew as merry as the gods in Homer’s heaven. Bathsheba still remained enthroned inside the window, and occupied herself in knitting, from which she sometimes looked up to view the fading scene outside. The slow twilight expanded and enveloped them completely before the signs of moving were shown.

Gabriel suddenly missed Farmer Boldwood from his place at the bottom of the table. How long he had been gone Oak did not know; but he had apparently withdrawn into the encircling dusk. Whilst he was thinking of this, Liddy brought candles into the back part of the room overlooking the shearers, and their lively new flames shone down the table and over the men, and dispersed among the green shadows behind. Bathsheba’s form, still in its original position, was now again distinct between their eyes and the light, which revealed that Boldwood had gone inside the room, and was sitting near her.

Next came the question of the evening. Would Miss Everdene sing to them the song she always sang so charmingly—“The Banks of Allan Water”—before they went home?

After a moment’s consideration Bathsheba assented, beckoning to Gabriel, who hastened up into the coveted atmosphere.

“Have you brought your flute?” she whispered.

“Yes, miss.”

“Play to my singing, then.”

She stood up in the window-opening, facing the men, the candles behind her, Gabriel on her right hand, immediately outside the sash-frame. Boldwood had drawn up on her left, within the room. Her singing was soft and rather tremulous at first, but it soon swelled to a steady clearness. Subsequent events caused one of the verses to be remembered for many months, and even years, by more than one of those who were gathered there:—

For his bride a soldier sought her,
    And a winning tongue had he:
On the banks of Allan Water
    None was gay as she!

In addition to the dulcet piping of Gabriel’s flute, Boldwood supplied a bass in his customary profound voice, uttering his notes so softly, however, as to abstain entirely from making anything like an ordinary duet of the song; they rather formed a rich unexplored shadow, which threw her tones into relief. The shearers reclined against each other as at suppers in the early ages of the world, and so silent and absorbed were they that her breathing could almost be heard between the bars; and at the end of the ballad, when the last tone loitered on to an inexpressible close, there arose that buzz of pleasure which is the attar of applause.

It is scarcely necessary to state that Gabriel could not avoid noting the farmer’s bearing to-night towards their entertainer. Yet there was nothing exceptional in his actions beyond what appertained to his time of performing them. It was when the rest were all looking away that Boldwood observed her; when they regarded her he turned aside; when they thanked or praised he was silent; when they were inattentive he murmured his thanks. The meaning lay in the difference between actions, none of which had any meaning of itself; and the necessity of being jealous, which lovers are troubled with, did not lead Oak to underestimate these signs.

Bathsheba then wished them good-night, withdrew from the window, and retired to the back part of the room, Boldwood thereupon closing the sash and the shutters, and remaining inside with her. Oak wandered away under the quiet and scented trees. Recovering from the softer impressions produced by Bathsheba’s voice, the shearers rose to leave, Coggan turning to Pennyways as he pushed back the bench to pass out:—

“I like to give praise where praise is due, and the man deserves it—that ’a do so,” he remarked, looking at the worthy thief, as if he were the masterpiece of some world-renowned artist.

“I’m sure I should never have believed it if we hadn’t proved it, so to allude,” hiccupped Joseph Poorgrass, “that every cup, every one of the best knives and forks, and every empty bottle be in their place as perfect now as at the beginning, and not one stole at all.”

“I’m sure I don’t deserve half the praise you give me,” said the virtuous thief, grimly.

“Well, I’ll say this for Pennyways,” added Coggan, “that whenever he do really make up his mind to do a noble thing in the shape of a good action, as I could see by his face he did to-night afore sitting down, he’s generally able to carry it out. Yes, I’m proud to say, neighbours, that he’s stole nothing at all.”

“Well, ’tis an honest deed, and we thank ye for it, Pennyways,” said Joseph; to which opinion the remainder of the company subscribed unanimously.

At this time of departure, when nothing more was visible of the inside of the parlour than a thin and still chink of light between the shutters, a passionate scene was in course of enactment there.

Miss Everdene and Boldwood were alone. Her cheeks had lost a great deal of their healthful fire from the very seriousness of her position; but her eye was bright with the excitement of a triumph—though it was a triumph which had rather been contemplated than desired.

She was standing behind a low arm-chair, from which she had just risen, and he was kneeling in it—inclining himself over its back towards her, and holding her hand in both his own. His body moved restlessly, and it was with what Keats daintily calls a too happy happiness. This unwonted abstraction by love of all dignity from a man of whom it had ever seemed the chief component, was, in its distressing incongruity, a pain to her which quenched much of the pleasure she derived from the proof that she was idolized.

“I will try to love you,” she was saying, in a trembling voice quite unlike her usual self-confidence. “And if I can believe in any way that I shall make you a good wife I shall indeed be willing to marry you. But, Mr. Boldwood, hesitation on so high a matter is honourable in any woman, and I don’t want to give a solemn promise to-night. I would rather ask you to wait a few weeks till I can see my situation better.

“But you have every reason to believe that then—”

“I have every reason to hope that at the end of the five or six weeks, between this time and harvest, that you say you are going to be away from home, I shall be able to promise to be your wife,” she said, firmly. “But remember this distinctly, I don’t promise yet.”

“It is enough; I don’t ask more. I can wait on those dear words. And now, Miss Everdene, good-night!”

“Good-night,” she said, graciously—almost tenderly; and Boldwood withdrew with a serene smile.

Bathsheba knew more of him now; he had entirely bared his heart before her, even until he had almost worn in her eyes the sorry look of a grand bird without the feathers that make it grand. She had been awe-struck at her past temerity, and was struggling to make amends without thinking whether the sin quite deserved the penalty she was schooling herself to pay. To have brought all this about her ears was terrible; but after a while the situation was not without a fearful joy. The facility with which even the most timid women sometimes acquire a relish for the dreadful when that is amalgamated with a little triumph, is marvellous. 

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Articles
Far from the Madding Crowd
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Far From the Madding Crowd is Hardy’s fourth novel and this is considered to be his warmest and sunniest novel. Most of his major novels especially those written in his later years like Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure have tragic endings. But this novel is in line with happy, meaningful and conventional endings, with the marriage of the female protagonist Bathsheba to the unpretentious hero, Gabriel Oak who has been in love with her right through the narrative. This is a conventional love story where constancy in love, however unflashy and restrained, gets its just reward.
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PREFACE

24 August 2023
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In reprinting this story for a new edition I am reminded that it was in the chapters of “Far from the Madding Crowd,” as they appeared month by month in a popular magazine, that I first ventured to ad

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CHAPTER I : Description of Farmer Oak—An Incident

24 August 2023
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When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extendin

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CHAPTER II : NIGHT—THE FLOCK—AN INTERIOR—ANOTHER INTERIOR

24 August 2023
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It was nearly midnight on the eve of St. Thomas’s, the shortest day in the year. A desolating wind wandered from the north over the hill whereon Oak had watched the yellow waggon and its occupant in t

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CHAPTER III : A GIRL ON HORSEBACK—CONVERSATION

24 August 2023
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The sluggish day began to break. Even its position terrestrially is one of the elements of a new interest, and for no particular reason save that the incident of the night had occurred there Oak went

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CHAPTER IV : GABRIEL’S RESOLVE—THE VISIT—THE MISTAKE

24 August 2023
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The only superiority in women that is tolerable to the rival sex is, as a rule, that of the unconscious kind; but a superiority which recognizes itself may sometimes please by suggesting possibilities

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CHAPTER V : DEPARTURE OF BATHSHEBA—A PASTORAL TRAGEDY

24 August 2023
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The news which one day reached Gabriel, that Bathsheba Everdene had left the neighbourhood, had an influence upon him which might have surprised any who never suspected that the more emphatic the renu

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CHAPTER VI : THE FAIR—THE JOURNEY—THE FIRE

24 August 2023
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Two months passed away. We are brought on to a day in February, on which was held the yearly statute or hiring fair in the county-town of Casterbridge. At one end of the street stood from two to thre

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CHAPTER VII : RECOGNITION—A TIMID GIRL

24 August 2023
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Bathsheba withdrew into the shade. She scarcely knew whether most to be amused at the singularity of the meeting, or to be concerned at its awkwardness. There was room for a little pity, also for a ve

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CHAPTER VIII : THE MALTHOUSE—THE CHAT—NEWS

24 August 2023
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Warren’s Malthouse was enclosed by an old wall inwrapped with ivy, and though not much of the exterior was visible at this hour, the character and purposes of the building were clearly enough shown by

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CHAPTER IX : THE HOMESTEAD—A VISITOR—HALF-CONFIDENCES

24 August 2023
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By daylight, the bower of Oak’s new-found mistress, Bathsheba Everdene, presented itself as a hoary building, of the early stage of Classic Renaissance as regards its architecture, and of a proportion

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CHAPTER X : MISTRESS AND MEN

24 August 2023
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Half-an-hour later Bathsheba, in finished dress, and followed by Liddy, entered the upper end of the old hall to find that her men had all deposited themselves on a long form and a settle at the lower

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CHAPTER XI : OUTSIDE THE BARRACKS—SNOW—A MEETING

24 August 2023
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For dreariness nothing could surpass a prospect in the outskirts of a certain town and military station, many miles north of Weatherbury, at a later hour on this same snowy evening—if that may be call

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CHAPTER XII : FARMERS—A RULE—AN EXCEPTION

24 August 2023
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The first public evidence of Bathsheba’s decision to be a farmer in her own person and by proxy no more was her appearance the following market-day in the cornmarket at Casterbridge. The low though e

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CHAPTER XIII : SORTES SANCTORUM—THE VALENTINE

24 August 2023
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It was Sunday afternoon in the farmhouse, on the thirteenth of February. Dinner being over, Bathsheba, for want of a better companion, had asked Liddy to come and sit with her. The mouldy pile was dre

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CHAPTER XIV : EFFECT OF THE LETTER—SUNRISE

24 August 2023
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At dusk, on the evening of St. Valentine’s Day, Boldwood sat down to supper as usual, by a beaming fire of aged logs. Upon the mantel-shelf before him was a time-piece, surmounted by a spread eagle, a

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CHAPTER XV : A MORNING MEETING—THE LETTER AGAIN

7 September 2023
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The scarlet and orange light outside the malthouse did not penetrate to its interior, which was, as usual, lighted by a rival glow of similar hue, radiating from the hearth. The maltster, after havin

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CHAPTER XVI : ALL SAINTS’ AND ALL SOULS’

7 September 2023
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On a week-day morning a small congregation, consisting mainly of women and girls, rose from its knees in the mouldy nave of a church called All Saints’, in the distant barrack-town before-mentioned, a

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CHAPTER XVII : IN THE MARKET-PLACE

7 September 2023
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On Saturday Boldwood was in Casterbridge market house as usual, when the disturber of his dreams entered and became visible to him. Adam had awakened from his deep sleep, and behold! there was Eve. Th

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CHAPTER XVIII : Boldwood in Meditation—Regret

8 September 2023
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Boldwood was tenant of what was called Little Weatherbury Farm, and his person was the nearest approach to aristocracy that this remoter quarter of the parish could boast of. Genteel strangers, whose

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CHAPTER XIX : THE SHEEP-WASHING—THE OFFER

8 September 2023
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Boldwood did eventually call upon her. She was not at home. “Of course not,” he murmured. In contemplating Bathsheba as a woman, he had forgotten the accidents of her position as an agriculturist—that

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CHAPTER XX : PERPLEXITY—GRINDING THE SHEARS—A QUARREL

8 September 2023
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“He is so disinterested and kind to offer me all that I can desire,” Bathsheba mused. Yet Farmer Boldwood, whether by nature kind or the reverse to kind, did not exercise kindness here. The rarest of

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CHAPTER XXI : TROUBLES IN THE FOLD—A MESSAGE

8 September 2023
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Gabriel Oak had ceased to feed the Weatherbury flock for about four-and-twenty hours, when on Sunday afternoon the elderly gentlemen Joseph Poorgrass, Matthew Moon, Fray, and half-a-dozen others, ca

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CHAPTER XXII : THE GREAT BARN AND THE SHEEP-SHEARERS

8 September 2023
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Men thin away to insignificance and oblivion quite as often by not making the most of good spirits when they have them as by lacking good spirits when they are indispensable. Gabriel lately, for the f

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CHAPTER XXIII : EVENTIDE—A SECOND DECLARATION

8 September 2023
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For the shearing-supper a long table was placed on the grass-plot beside the house, the end of the table being thrust over the sill of the wide parlour window and a foot or two into the room. Miss Eve

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CHAPTER XXIV : THE SAME NIGHT—THE FIR PLANTATION

8 September 2023
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Among the multifarious duties which Bathsheba had voluntarily imposed upon herself by dispensing with the services of a bailiff, was the particular one of looking round the homestead before going to b

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CHAPTER XXV : THE NEW ACQUAINTANCE DESCRIBED

8 September 2023
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Idiosyncrasy and vicissitude had combined to stamp Sergeant Troy as an exceptional being. He was a man to whom memories were an incumbrance, and anticipations a superfluity. Simply feeling, consideri

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CHAPTER XXVI : SCENE ON THE VERGE OF THE HAY-MEAD

8 September 2023
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“Ah, Miss Everdene!” said the sergeant, touching his diminutive cap. “Little did I think it was you I was speaking to the other night. And yet, if I had reflected, the ‘Queen of the Corn-market’ (trut

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CHAPTER XXVII : HIVING THE BEES

8 September 2023
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The Weatherbury bees were late in their swarming this year. It was in the latter part of June, and the day after the interview with Troy in the hayfield, that Bathsheba was standing in her garden, wat

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CHAPTER XXVIII : THE HOLLOW AMID THE FERNS

8 September 2023
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The hill opposite Bathsheba’s dwelling extended, a mile off, into an uncultivated tract of land, dotted at this season with tall thickets of brake fern, plump and diaphanous from recent rapid growth,

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CHAPTER XXIX : PARTICULARS OF A TWILIGHT WALK

8 September 2023
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We now see the element of folly distinctly mingling with the many varying particulars which made up the character of Bathsheba Everdene. It was almost foreign to her intrinsic nature. Introduced as ly

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CHAPTER XXX : HOT CHEEKS AND TEARFUL EYES

8 September 2023
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Half an hour later Bathsheba entered her own house. There burnt upon her face when she met the light of the candles the flush and excitement which were little less than chronic with her now. The farew

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CHAPTER XXXI : BLAME—FURY

8 September 2023
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The next evening Bathsheba, with the idea of getting out of the way of Mr. Boldwood in the event of his returning to answer her note in person, proceeded to fulfil an engagement made with Liddy some f

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CHAPTER XXXII : NIGHT—HORSES TRAMPING

14 September 2023
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The village of Weatherbury was quiet as the graveyard in its midst, and the living were lying well-nigh as still as the dead. The church clock struck eleven. The air was so empty of other sounds that

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CHAPTER XXXIII : IN THE SUN—A HARBINGER

14 September 2023
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A week passed, and there were no tidings of Bathsheba; nor was there any explanation of her Gilpin’s rig. Then a note came for Maryann, stating that the business which had called her mistress to Bath

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CHAPTER XXXIV : HOME AGAIN—A TRICKSTER

14 September 2023
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That same evening at dusk Gabriel was leaning over Coggan’s garden-gate, taking an up-and-down survey before retiring to rest. A vehicle of some kind was softly creeping along the grassy margin of th

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CHAPTER XXXV : AT AN UPPER WINDOW

14 September 2023
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It was very early the next morning—a time of sun and dew. The confused beginnings of many birds’ songs spread into the healthy air, and the wan blue of the heaven was here and there coated with thin w

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CHAPTER XXXVI : WEALTH IN JEOPARDY—THE REVEL

14 September 2023
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One night, at the end of August, when Bathsheba’s experiences as a married woman were still new, and when the weather was yet dry and sultry, a man stood motionless in the stockyard of Weatherbury Upp

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CHAPTER XXXVII : THE STORM—THE TWO TOGETHER

14 September 2023
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A light flapped over the scene, as if reflected from phosphorescent wings crossing the sky, and a rumble filled the air. It was the first move of the approaching storm. The second peal was noisy, wit

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CHAPTER XXXVIII : RAIN—ONE SOLITARY MEETS ANOTHER

14 September 2023
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It was now five o’clock, and the dawn was promising to break in hues of drab and ash. The air changed its temperature and stirred itself more vigorously. Cool breezes coursed in transparent eddies ro

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CHAPTER XXXIX : COMING HOME—A CRY

14 September 2023
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On the turnpike road, between Casterbridge and Weatherbury, and about three miles from the former place, is Yalbury Hill, one of those steep long ascents which pervade the highways of this undulating

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CHAPTER XL : ON CASTERBRIDGE HIGHWAY

14 September 2023
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For a considerable time the woman walked on. Her steps became feebler, and she strained her eyes to look afar upon the naked road, now indistinct amid the penumbræ of night. At length her onward walk

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CHAPTER XLI : SUSPICION—FANNY IS SENT FOR

14 September 2023
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Bathsheba said very little to her husband all that evening of their return from market, and he was not disposed to say much to her. He exhibited the unpleasant combination of a restless condition with

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CHAPTER XLII : JOSEPH AND HIS BURDEN—BUCK’S HEAD

14 September 2023
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A wall bounded the site of Casterbridge Union-house, except along a portion of the end. Here a high gable stood prominent, and it was covered like the front with a mat of ivy. In this gable was no win

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CHAPTER XLIII : FANNY’S REVENGE

14 September 2023
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“Do you want me any longer ma’am?” inquired Liddy, at a later hour the same evening, standing by the door with a chamber candlestick in her hand and addressing Bathsheba, who sat cheerless and alone i

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CHAPTER XLIV : UNDER A TREE—REACTION

14 September 2023
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Bathsheba went along the dark road, neither knowing nor caring about the direction or issue of her flight. The first time that she definitely noticed her position was when she reached a gate leading i

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CHAPTER XLV : TROY’S ROMANTICISM

15 September 2023
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When Troy’s wife had left the house at the previous midnight his first act was to cover the dead from sight. This done he ascended the stairs, and throwing himself down upon the bed dressed as he was,

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CHAPTER XLVI : THE GURGOYLE: ITS DOINGS

15 September 2023
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The tower of Weatherbury Church was a square erection of fourteenth-century date, having two stone gurgoyles on each of the four faces of its parapet. Of these eight carved protuberances only two at t

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CHAPTER XLVII : ADVENTURES BY THE SHORE

15 September 2023
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Troy wandered along towards the south. A composite feeling, made up of disgust with the, to him, humdrum tediousness of a farmer’s life, gloomy images of her who lay in the churchyard, remorse, and a

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CHAPTER XLVIII : DOUBTS ARISE—DOUBTS LINGER

15 September 2023
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Bathsheba underwent the enlargement of her husband’s absence from hours to days with a slight feeling of surprise, and a slight feeling of relief; yet neither sensation rose at any time far above the

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CHAPTER XLIX : OAK’S ADVANCEMENT—A GREAT HOPE

15 September 2023
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The later autumn and the winter drew on apace, and the leaves lay thick upon the turf of the glades and the mosses of the woods. Bathsheba, having previously been living in a state of suspended feelin

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CHAPTER L : THE SHEEP FAIR—TROY TOUCHES HIS WIFE’S HAND

15 September 2023
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Greenhill was the Nijni Novgorod of South Wessex; and the busiest, merriest, noisiest day of the whole statute number was the day of the sheep fair. This yearly gathering was upon the summit of a hill

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CHAPTER LI : BATHSHEBA TALKS WITH HER OUTRIDER

15 September 2023
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The arrangement for getting back again to Weatherbury had been that Oak should take the place of Poorgrass in Bathsheba’s conveyance and drive her home, it being discovered late in the afternoon that

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CHAPTER LII : CONVERGING COURSES

15 September 2023
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I Christmas-eve came, and a party that Boldwood was to give in the evening was the great subject of talk in Weatherbury. It was not that the rarity of Christmas parties in the parish made this one a

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CHAPTER LIII : CONCURRITUR—HORÆ MOMENTO

15 September 2023
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Outside the front of Boldwood’s house a group of men stood in the dark, with their faces towards the door, which occasionally opened and closed for the passage of some guest or servant, when a golden

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CHAPTER LIV : AFTER THE SHOCK

15 September 2023
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Boldwood passed into the high road and turned in the direction of Casterbridge. Here he walked at an even, steady pace over Yalbury Hill, along the dead level beyond, mounted Mellstock Hill, and betwe

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CHAPTER LV : THE MARCH FOLLOWING—“BATHSHEBA BOLDWOOD”

15 September 2023
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We pass rapidly on into the month of March, to a breezy day without sunshine, frost, or dew. On Yalbury Hill, about midway between Weatherbury and Casterbridge, where the turnpike road passes over the

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CHAPTER LVI : BEAUTY IN LONELINESS—AFTER ALL

15 September 2023
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Bathsheba revived with the spring. The utter prostration that had followed the low fever from which she had suffered diminished perceptibly when all uncertainty upon every subject had come to an end.

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CHAPTER LVII : A FOGGY NIGHT AND MORNING—CONCLUSION

15 September 2023
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“The most private, secret, plainest wedding that it is possible to have.” Those had been Bathsheba’s words to Oak one evening, some time after the event of the preceding chapter, and he meditated a f

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