- زمان مطالعه 34 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
One evening at the end of May a middle-aged man was walking home from Shaston to the village of Marlott in the Vale of Blackmoor. His legs were thin and weak, and he could not walk in a straight line. He had an empty egg-basket on his arm., and his hat was old and worn. After a while he passed an elderly parson riding a grey horse.
‘Good night,’ said the man with the basket.
‘Good night, Sir John,’ said the parson.
After another step or two1’the man stopped and turned round to speak to the parson.
‘Now, sir, last market-day we met on this road at the same time, and I said “Good night” and you answered “Good night, Sir John”, as you did just now.’
‘I did,’ said the parson.
‘And once before that, almost a month ago.
‘I may have.’
‘So why do you call me Sir John, when I am only John Durbeyfield?’
The parson rode nearer and after a moment’s hesitation, explained: ‘It was because I’ve discovered something of historical interest. I am Parson Tringham, the historian. Do you really not know, Durbeyfield, that you are a direct descendant of the ancient and noble family of the d’Urbervilles? They descended from Sir Pagan d’Urberville, who came from Normandy with William the Conqueror in 1066.’
Never heard that before, sir!’
‘Well, it’s true. Let me see your face. Yes, you have the d’Urberville nose and chin. D’Urbervilles have owned land and served their King for hundreds of years. There have been many Sir Johns, and you could have been Sir John yourself.’
‘Well!’ exclaimed the man. ‘And how long has this news about me been known, Parson Tringham?
‘Nobody knows about it at all,’ said the parson. ‘I just happened to discover it last spring, when I was trying to find out more about the d’Urbervilles and noticed your name in the village.’
‘I’ve got an old silver spoon, and an old seal too at home,’ said the man, wondering. ‘So where do we d’Urbervilles live now, parson?’
‘You don’t live anywhere. You have died, as a noble family.’
‘That’s bad. So where do we lie?
‘In the churchyard at Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill.’
‘And where are our family lands?
‘You haven’t any.’
John Durbeyfield paused. ‘And what should I do about it, sir?’
‘Oh, nothing. It’s a fact of historical interest, nothing more. Good night.’
‘But you’ll come and have some beer with me, Parson Tringham?’
‘No, thank you, not this evening, Durbeyfield. You’ve had enough already.’ The parson rode away, half regretting that he had told Durbeyfield of his discovery.
Durbeyfield walked on a few steps in a dream, then sat down with his basket. In a few minutes a boy appeared. Durbeyfield called to him.
‘Boy! Take this basket! I want you to go and do something for me.’
The boy frowned. ‘Who are you, John Durbeyfield, to order me about and call me “boy”? You know my name as well as I know yours!’
‘Do you, do you? That’s the secret! Well, Fred, I don’t mind telling you that the secret is that I’m one of a noble family.’ And Durbeyfield lay back comfortably on the grass. ‘Sir John d’Urberville, that’s who I am. And I’ve got the family seal to prove it!’
‘Now take up the basket, and tell them in the village to send a horse and carriage to me immediately. Here’s a shilling for you.’
This made a difference to the boy’s view of the situation.
‘Yes, Sir John. Thank you, Sir John.’
As they spoke, sounds of music came through the evening air from the village.
‘What’s that?’ said Durbeyfield. ‘Have they heard my news already?’
‘It’s the women dancing, Sir John.’
The boy went on his way and Durbeyfield lay waiting in the evening sun. Nobody passed by for a long time, and he could just hear the faint music in the distance.
The village of Marlott lies in the beautiful Vale of Blackmoor.
Although this valley is only four hours away from London, it has not yet been discovered by tourists and artists. The best view of the vale is from the hills surrounding it; it looks like a map spread out. It is a quiet, sheltered part of the countryside, where the fields are always green and the rivers never dry up. To the south lies the great dividing line of hills. From here to the coast the hills are open, the sun pours down on the huge dry fields, the atmosphere is colourless. But here in the valley lies a completely different countryside, smaller and more delicate. The fields are tiny, the air makes you sleepy, the sky is of the deepest blue.
Everywhere you can see a rich greenery of grass and trees, covering smaller hills and valleys. This is the Vale of Blackmoor.
And in the village of Marlott, following ancient custom, the young women gathered to dance every holiday. For this May Day dance, All wore white dresses. There was a fine handsome girl among them with a red ribbon in her hair. As they danced they noticed a carriage go b. Durbeyfield lay back in and singing “I’m Sir John and I’ve got a spoon and seal and my family lies at King’s bear.”
The girl with a ribbon who was called Tess turned red and said quickly to her friends “Father’s tired, that’s all.”
The other girls just laughed but stopped when Tess looked unhappy. The dancing went on. In the evening the men of the village came to watch and later to join the dancers. Three young strangers who were passing by also stopped to look. They explained they were brothers on a walking tour. The older two continued their walk but the youngest seemed more interested in the girls than his brothers were and stayed to dance with several of them. As he left the dance, he noticed Tess who seemed a little sad that he had not chosen her. He looked back from the road and could still see her in her white dress standing modestly apart from the dancers. He wished he had danced with her. He wished he had asked her name but it was too late. He hurried on to join his brothers. The young stranger had made an impression on Tess but soon worried by her father’s strange appearance that afternoon she decided to walk home.
After the excitement of the dance. Her parents small cottage was a depressing sight. It was dark inside as they had only one candle. The furniture was old and worn. There were six children crowded into the tiny space their mother was doing the washing. At the same time as putting the baby to sleep. Looking after so many children had aged Jane Durbeyfield but she still showed some of her early prettiness which Tess had inherited.
“Let me help with a washing mother.” said Tess gently. “Oh Tess I’m glad you’ve come” said her mother. “ There’s something I must tell you.”
“Is it anything to do with father making such a fool of himself this afternoon?” Asked Tess frowning.
“That’s all part of the excitement. They’ve discovered where the oldest family in the whole country. Going back a long way and our real name is d’Urberville , doesn’t make you proud? That’s why your father rode home in the carriage, not because he’d been drinking as people thought.”
“I’m glad of that. Will it do us any good mother?”
“Oh yes. Great things may come of it. No doubt our noble relations will be arriving in their current year as soon as they find out.”
“Where is father now?” asked Tess suddenly.
Her mother did not answer directly. “ He saw the doctor today, you know. It’s fat around the heart he says. That’s the cause of his illness. He might last ten years . . . might last ten months or days.’
Tess looked anxious. Her father, suddenly a great man, to die so soon! ‘But where is father?1 she asked firmly.
‘Now don’t you get angry!’ said Mrs Durbeyfield. ‘The poor man was feeling so weak after the news that he went to Rolliver’s. He needs to build up his strength to deliver the beehives tomorrow, remember.’
‘Oh my God!’ cried Tess. ‘He went to a public house! And you agreed to it, mother!’
‘No, I didn’t,’ said Mrs Durbeyfield crossly. ‘I’ve been waiting for you to look after the children while I fetch him.’
Tess knew that her mother greatly looked forward to these trips to Rolliver’s. There she could sit by her husband’s side among the beer-drinkers, and forget that the children existed. It was one of the few bright moments in her hardworking life. Mrs Durbeyfield went out, and Tess was left with the children. They were very young, and totally dependent on the Durbeyfield couple: six helpless creatures who had not asked to be born at all, much less to be part of the irresponsible Durbeyfield family.
2 It was eleven o’clock before all the family were in bed, and two o’clock next morning was the latest time to set off with the beehives. It was a distance of twenty or thirty miles on bad roads to Casterbridge, where the Saturday market was held. At half-past one Mrs Durbeyfield came into the bedroom where Tess and all the children slept.
‘The poor man can’t go,’ she whispered. Tess sat up in bed.
L But it’s late for the bees already. We must take them today.’
‘Maybe a young man would go?’ asked Mrs Durbeyfield doubtfully. ‘One of the ones dancing with you yesterday?’
‘Oh no, not for the world!’ said Tess proudly. ‘And let everybody know the reason? I’d be so ashamed! I think I could go if little Abraham came with me.’
Tess and Abraham dressed, led out the old horse Prince with the loaded waggon, and set off in the dark. They cheered themselves up with bread and butter and conversation.
Tess!’ said Abraham, after a silence.
‘Aren’t you glad that we’re a noble family?’
‘But you’re glad you’re going to marry a gentleman?’
‘What?’ said Tess, lifting her face.
‘Our noble relations are going to help you marry a gentleman.’
‘Me? Our noble relations? We haven’t any. Whatever put that into your head?’
‘I heard them talking about it at home. There’s a rich lady of our family out at Trantridge, and mother said that if you claimed relationship with her, she’d help you marry a gentleman.’
His sister became suddenly silent. Abraham talked on, not noticing her lack of attention.
‘Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?’
‘All like ours?’
‘They seem like our apples - most of them good, a few bad.’
‘Which do we live on? A good one or a bad one?’
1A bad one.’
‘If we lived on a good one, how would things be different?’
‘Well, father wouldn’t be ill and cough as he does, and mother wouldn’t always be washing.’
‘And you would have been a ready-made rich lady, and not have to marry a gentleman/
‘Oh, Aby, don’t - don’t talk of that any more!’
Abraham finally went to sleep on the waggon. Tess drove the horse. Gradually she fell into a dream. She could see her father, foolish in his pride, and the rich gentleman of her mother’s imagination laughing at the poor Durbeyfield family.
Suddenly she awoke from her dream to noise and violent movement. Something terrible had happened. She jumped down and discovered that the post carriage, speeding along the dark road, had driven into her slow and unlighted waggon. Poor Prince was seriously hurt, and as she watched he fell to the ground.
‘You were on the wrong side/ said the post driver. ‘I must go on with the post, but I’ll send somebody to help you as soon as I can. You’d better stay here with your waggon/
He went on his way, while Tess stood and waited, tears pouring down her cheeks. Daylight came. Prince lay there, unmoving, his eyes half open.
‘It’s all my fault,’ cried Tess. ‘What will mother and father live on now? Aby, Aby, wake up! We can’t go on with our beehives - Prince is dead!’ When Aby realized what had happened, his face looked like an old man’s.
‘It’s because we live on a bad star, isn’t it, Tess?’ he said through his tears.
Finally a man arrived with a horse, to take the waggon on to Casterbridge to deliver the beehives, and then collect Prince on the way back. When they got home, Tess broke the news to her parents. They were not angry with her, but she blamed herself completely.
When Durbeyfield heard he would only get a few shillings for Prince’s dead body, he rose to the occasion.
‘We d’Urbervilles don’t sell our horses for cat’s meat!’ he insisted. And the following day he worked harder than usual in digging a grave, where Prince was buried. All the children cried.
‘Has he gone to heaven?’ asked Abraham in tears. But Tess did not cry. Her face was dry and pale. She felt she had murdered a friend.
3 Life now became rather difficult for the Durbeyfields. without Prince to carry loads, John Durbeyfield could not buy and sell as he used to. He had never worked hard or regularly, and now he only occasionally felt like working. Tess wondered how she could help her parents. One day her mother made a suggestion.
‘It’s lucky we’ve found out about your noble blood, Tess. Do you know there’s a very rich lady called Mrs d’Urberville living on the other side of the wood? She must be our relation. You must go to her and claim relationship with her, and ask for some help in our trouble/
‘I wouldn’t like to do that,’ said Tess. ‘If there is such a lady, it would be enough to be friendly. We can’t expect help from her/ ‘Yow could persuade anybody, my dear. Besides, something else might happen. You never know/ And her mother nodded wisely.
‘I’d rather try to get work,’ said Tess sadly.
‘What do you say, Durbeyfield?’ said his wife, turning to him.
‘I don’t like my children asking for help,’ said he proudly. ‘I’m the head of the oldest branch of the family and a noble family like ours shouldn’t have to ask for help.’ Tess could not accept his reasons for not going.
‘Well, as I killed the horse, mother, I suppose I ought to go.
But don’t start thinking about her finding a husband for me.’
‘Who said I had such an idea?1 asked Joan innocently.
‘I know you, mother. But I’ll go.’
Next morning Tess walked to Shaston, a town she hardly knew, and went on by waggon to Trantridge. The Vale of Blackmoor was her only world, and she had never been far outside the valley. All the knowledge she had came from her lessons in the village school, which she had left a year or two earlier. As soon as she left school she had tried to earn a little money by helping in the fields or milking cows or making butter.
She blamed her mother for thoughtlessly producing so many children. Joan Durbeyfield was like a child herself, and never thought about the future. It was Tess who worried and worked and felt responsible for her little brothers and sisters. So naturally it was Tess who should represent her family at the d’Urberville home.
From Trantridge she walked up a hill, and turning a corner, saw the house. She stopped in amazement. It was large and almost new, a rich red against the green of the bushes around it.
Behind it lay the woods called The Chase, an ancient forest.
There were greenhouses and well-kept gardens. There was no lack of money here. Tess hesitated, almost frightened.
!I thought we were an old family!’ she said to herself, ‘but this is all new!’ She wished she had not come.
She was right in a way. All this was owned by the d’Urber villes,>r the Stoke-d’Urbervilles as they called themselves at first. The Stokes were a northern business family who took an old-sounding name to add to their own when they moved into the south. So Tess was more of a d’Urberville than any of them, but did not know it.
A young man appeared in the garden. He looked about twenty-four, and was tall and dark, with full red lips and a black moustache curled at the ends.
‘Well, my beauty, what can I do for you?’ he said, looking interestedly at her. Tm Mr d’Urberville.’
It needed all Tess’s courage to reply. ‘I came to see your mother, sir.’
Tm afraid you can’t see her. She’s ill. What do you want to see her about?1
‘I . . . I . . . it seems so foolish!’
‘Never mind,’ said he kindly. ‘I like foolish things. Try again, my dear.’
‘I came, sir, to tell you we are of the same family as you.’
‘Aha! Poor relations?’
‘Oh yes, of course, I mean d’Urbervilles.’
‘We have several proofs that we are d’Urbervilles. We have an old silver spoon and a seal at home. But mother uses the spoon to stir the soup. Mother said we ought to tell you, as we are the oldest branch of the family and we’ve lost our horse in an accident.’
‘Very kind of your mother,’ said Alec d’Urberville, ‘and I certainly don’t regret it.’ He looked admiringly at Tess, whose face blushed a deep pink. ‘And so you’ve come on a friendly visit?’
‘I suppose I have,’ murmured Tess, looking uncomfortable.
‘Let us walk round the gardens until you have to go home, my pretty cousin.’ Tess wanted to leave as soon as possible, but the young man insisted. He took her to the greenhouses.
‘Do you like strawberries?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ said Tess, ‘when they are ready.’
These are ready now,’ and so saying, d’Urberville picked one and held it to her mouth.
‘No no!’ she said. ‘I’d rather take it myself.’
But Alec put it into her mouth. He put roses into her hair and rilled her basket with strawberries and flowers. He gave her food to eat, and watched her, while he quietly smoked a cigarette. She looked more adult and womanly than she really was. Alec could not take his eyes off her. She did not know as she smiled innocently at the flowers that behind the cigarette smoke was the cause of future sorrow in her life.
‘What is your name?’ asked Alec.
‘Tess Durbeyfield. We live at Marlott.’
‘I must see if my mother can find a place for you.’ They said goodbye and she set off home carrying her strawberries and flowers.
This then was the beginning. Why did she have to meet the wrong man, and one who was so strongly attracted to her? Yet to the right man, she was only a half-forgotten impression from an evening’s dancing in a country field. In life, the right man to love hardly ever comes at the right time for loving. Nature does not often answer a call for love, until the caller is tired of calling.
In this case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole who met. A missing half wandered somewhere else, arriving much later. This delay was to have tragic results.
4 When Tess arrived home the following afternoon a letter had already been recieved by her mother. It appeared to come from Mrs d’Urberville, and offered Tess work looking after chickens. Joan Durbeyfield was delighted.
‘It’s just a way of getting you there without raising your hopes. She’s going to recognize you as family, I’m sure of it.’
‘I would rather stay here with father and you,’ said Tess, looking out of the window.
T’d rather not tell you, mother. I don’t really know.’
A few days later when Tess came back from looking for work, the children came running out and danced round her.
The gentleman’s been here!’ they shouted.
Joan was full of smiles. Mrs d’Urberville’s son had called, and asked if Tess could come or not.
‘He’s a very handsome man!’ said Mrs Durbeyfield.
‘I don’t think so,’ said Tess coldly. ‘I’ll think it over.’ She left the room.
‘He’s in love with her, you can see that,’ said Mrs Durbeyfield to her husband. ‘No doubt he’ll marry her and she’ll be a fine lady.’
John Durbeyfield had more pride in his new-found blood than energy or health. That’s what young Mr d’Urberville is trying to do! Improve his blood by marrying into the old line!’
Persuaded by her mother and the children, Tess finally agreed to go. Mrs Durbeyfield secretly made wedding plans. Then the day came when Tess, wearing her best Sunday clothes on her mother’s orders, said goodbye to her family.
‘Goodbye, my girl,’ said Sir John, waking from a short sleep.
Tell young Durbeyfield I’ll sell him the title. Yes. Sell it at a reasonable price. Not for less than a thousand pounds. Cried Lady Durbeyfield . No. Tell him he can have it for a hundred. No fifty. No. Twenty. Yes. Twenty pounds. That’s the lowest, family honor is family honor. I know I won’t take any less.
Tess felt like crying but turned quickly and went out. Her mother went with her to the edge of the village. There she stopped and stood waving goodbye and watched her daughter walking away into the distance. A wagon came to take her bags and then a fashionable little carriage appeared. It was driven by a well-dressed young man smoking a cigar After a moment’s hesitation Tess stepped in. Durbeyfield watching wondered for the first time as she had been right an encouraging Tess to go. That night She said to her husband “perhaps I should have found out how the gentleman really feels about her.” “Yes. Perhaps you would” murmured John half asleep Jane’s natural trust in the future came back to her.
Well if he does not marry her before, he will marry her after. if she plays her cards right. if he knows about her Durbeyfield blood do you mean? no stupid.
If she shows him her pretty face. meanwhile Alec d’Urberville was whipping his horse and driving the carriage faster and faster downhill. The trees rushed past at great speed Tess was feeling thoroughly frightened. He took no notice when she asked him to slow down. She cried out and held on to his arm in fear. “Don’t touch my arm hold on to my waist” he shouted at the top of another hill he said laughing. “Put your arms around me again my beauty” “never” said Tess independently.
“Let me give you one little kiss Tess and I’ll stop” “for nothing else?” cried Tess in despair. “Oh very well” as they raced on he was on the point of kissing her when she suddenly moved aside so that he almost fell off “ I’ll break both our necks.” He swore passionately. “I thought you would be kind to me” said Tess her eyes filling with tears. I “I don’t want to kiss anybody” but he insisted. So in the end she sat still and Durbeyfield kissed her. no sooner had he done so than she wiped the place on her cheek with her handkerchief. Just then her hat blew off into the road and d’Urberville stopped the horse. Tess jumped down to get it then turned triumphantly to Alec.
“I shall walk from here” she said firmly “but it’s five or six miles more”
“I don’t care.” “You made that hat blow off on purpose. You did, didn’t you?” She was silent. He swore angrily at her. “Don’t use such bad words.” Cried Tess. “I shall go back to mother. I hate you.”
d’Urberville suddenly started laughing. “Look! I promise never to do that again” he said. “Come, let me take you in the carriage.” but she refused and began to walk in the direction of Trent Bridge.
So they progressed slowly. d’Urberville driving the carriage beside Tess.
The chicken which Tess was responsible lived in a small cottage in Mrs. d’Urberville’s land. On her first day Tess Had to take some of the chickens to show to their owner. She immediately realized the old lady was blind. Mrs. d’Urberville held each bird and felt it carefully to see that it was in good health.
At the end she suddenly asked her a question “Can you whistle?”
“Yes. Whistle tunes, I want you to practice and whistle to my birds every day.” “Yes. ma’am.” Tess was not surprised at Mrs. d’Urberville old cold manner and did not expect any more of such a great lady. However she did not realize that the old lady had never even heard about the family connection. Tess began to enjoy her new work with the chickens and the next day in the cottage garden she decided to practice whistling as instructed. She was shocked to find that she had completely forgotten how to whistle. Suddenly she noticed a movement behind a tree near the war.
It was an Allec d’Urberville . “Well cousin Tess” he said “I’ve never seen such a beautiful thing as you. I’ve been watching you from over the wall. Look! I can give you a lesson or two.” “Oh no you won’t.” Cried Tess going back towards the door. “Don’t worry I won’t touch you. Just look.” and he showed her how to whistle. From that moment Tess found she could whistle tunes to the birds just as Mrs. d’Urberville wanted and as the weeks passed. She often met d’Urberville in the garden and began to lose her shyness of him.
Every Saturday night the other farm workers from the surrounding area used to go to drink and dance in the market town two or three miles away. On Sundays they would sleep late. For a long time Tess did not go with them. But after a while she wanted a change from her routine and began to go on the weekly trips regularly. She always came home with the others at night, preferring the protection of being in a group. One Saturday night she was in the town looking for her companions as it was time to go home, when she met Alec d’Urberville.
‘What, my beauty? Here so late?1 he said, smiling at her.
‘I’m just waiting for my friends,’ she answered.
Til see you again,’ he said as she moved away.
She became worried when she realized the workers were still dancing wildly and would not be going home soon. Again she caught sight of Alec, waiting in a doorway, his cigar glowing red in the dark. Eventually she joined a group wandering home.
They had all been drinking, but she felt safer with them than alone. But after a while she became involved in a quarrel with them, and was trying to get away from the angry group, when Alec d’Urberville rode by. He offered to take her home on the back of his horse. She hesitated, then accepted.
Together they rode along in the dark, Tess holding on to Alec.
She was very tired: every day that week she had got up at five. So she did not notice that they were riding off the main road and into The Chase, the oldest wood in England. It began to get foggy, and finally Alec admitted honestly that he was lost.
‘Put me down here, sir,’ cried Tess at once. ‘Let me walk home from here. How wrong of you to bring me away from the main road! I knew I shouldn’t trust you!’
‘Don’t worry, my beauty,’ laughed Alec. ‘I thought you would enjoy a longer ride on such a lovely night. But I can’t let you go.
The fog is so bad now that you couldn’t possibly find your way.
I’ll leave you here and go to find out where we are. When I come back, I’ll tell you, and you can come with me on horseback or go alone on foot — just as you like.’
She agreed to this. ‘Shall I hold the horse?’ she asked.
‘No, he’ll stay quiet,’ answered Alec. ‘By the way, your father has a new horse today. And the children have some new toys.’
‘Was i t . . . was it you who gave them? Oh, how good of you!’
murmured Tess with a heavy heart. ‘I almost wish you hadn’t!’
‘Tessy, don’t you love me just a little now?’
‘I’m grateful,’ she admitted, ‘but I’m afraid I don’t . . .’ and slowly she started to cry.
‘Now don’t cry, my dear. Sit here and wait for me.’ He made a bed for the tired girl among the dead leaves, and covered her with his coat. He set off into the fog to find out where he was, and came back to find Tess fast asleep. He saw her in her white dress among the leaves, a pale, shining figure in the dark. He bent down,and/touched her cheek with his. Everywhere there was darkness and silence. The birds and animals slept, safe in and under the trees. But who was looking after Tess? Who was protecting “her innocence?
‘Tess!’ said d’Urberville, and lay down beside her. The girl was not strong enough to resist him.
Why was Tess’s girlish purity lost? Why does the wrong man take the wrong woman? Why do the bad so often ruin the good?
Why is beauty damaged by ugliness? Thousands of years of philosophy cannot give us the answers to these questions. These things happen, and have always happened. Perhaps in the past, rolling home after a battle, Tess’s ancestors, the real d’Urber villes, had done the same, even more cruelly, to young country girls. But we cannot accept that that is Tess’s fault, and should happen to her. As the people of her village say, ‘It was to be.’
And from now on, Tess’s life was to be completely different.
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