- زمان مطالعه 25 دقیقه
- سطح ساده
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
Maiden No More
6 It was a Sunday morning in late October about four months after Tess’s arrival at Trantridge, and a few weeks after night ride in The Chase. Carrying a heavy basket and bundle, Tess was walking towards the hills which divided her from the Vale, her place of birth. The scenery and people on this side were very different from those in her village. Marlott people mainly thought and travelled northward and westward, while on this side people were interested in the east and the south. She walked up the same hill which d’Urberville had driven down so wildly that June day. On reaching the top of the hill, Tess paused and looked for a long time at the familiar green world of home. It was always beautiful from here, but since she had last seen it, her view of life had changed. She had learnt that wickedness exists, even where there is beauty, and now she could hardly bear to look down into the Vale.
Then she looked behind her and saw a carriage coming up the same hill that she had just climbed, with a man leading the horse. Soon he caught up with her.
‘Why did you slip away in secret like that?’ asked d’Urberville breathlessly. ‘I’ve been driving like mad to catch up with you.
Just look at my horse! You know nobody would have prevented you from going. I’m going to drive you the rest of the way, if you won’t come back with me.’
‘I won’t come back,’ she said quietly.
‘I thought so! Well, let me help you up. Give me your basket.’
She stepped up into the carriage and sat beside him. She had no fear of him now. The reason for this was also the reason for her sorrow. They drove along, d’Urberville making conversation and Tess thinking her own thoughts. When they approached the village of Marlott a tear rolled down her cheek.
‘Why are you crying?’ he asked coldly.
‘I was only thinking I was born over there.’
‘Well, we must all be born somewhere.’
‘I wish I had never been born, there or anywhere else!’ she said quietly.
‘Well, you shouldn’t have come to Trantridge if you didn’t want to. You didn’t come for love of me, anyway.’
‘That’s quite true. If I had ever loved you, if I loved you still, I could not hate myself for my weakness as much as I do now.’
He did not look at her.
She added, ‘I didn’t understand your intention until it was too late.’
‘That’s what every woman says.’
‘How dare you say that!’ she cried angrily, her eyes flashing at him. ‘My Godl’I could hit you! Did you never think that some women may not only say it but feel it?’
‘All right,’ he said laughing, ‘I am sorry to hurt you. I did wrong - I admit it. Only don’t keep accusing me. I am ready to pay for it. You need never work on the farms again/ Her lip lifted slightly as she replied, ‘I will not take anything from you! I cannot!’
‘One would think you were a queen as well as being one of the real d’Urbervilles! Well, Tess dear, I suppose I’m a bad sort of man. I’ve always ,been One, and I always will be one. But I promise I won’t be bad to you again. And if anything should happen — you understand — if you are in any trouble or need anything, just drop me a line and I’ll send by return whatever you want.’
She stepped down from the carriage and was going to leave him, when he stopped her and said, ‘You’re not going to turn away from me like that, dear? Come, let me kiss you!’
‘If you wish,1 she answered coldly. She offered her cool cheek to him, but her eyes rested on a distant tree as if the kiss had nothing to do with her.
‘You don’t give me your lips, Tess. I’m afraid you’ll never love me.’
‘It’s true. I have never loved you, and I never can.’ She added sadly, ‘Perhaps I should tell a lie and then I could lead a comfortable life. But I have enough honour not to tell that lie. If I loved you, I might have a very good reason to tell you so. But I don’t.’
Alec sighed heavily, as if this scene were depressing him.
‘Well, you’re very sad, Tess, and you have no reason to be.
You’re still the prettiest girl for miles around. Will you come back with me? Say you will!’
‘Never, never! I’ve made up my mind, and I won’t come.’
‘Then goodbye!’ and Alec jumped up into his carriage and drove off.
Tess did not watch him go, but continued her walk alone. It was still early in the day and the sun was not yet giving any warmth. Tess felt even sadder than the autumn sadness which surrounded her.
But soon a man came up behind her, a man with a pot of red paint in his hand.
‘Good morning,’ he said, and offered to carry her basket.
‘You’re up early on a Sunday,’ he continued.
‘Yes,’ said Tess.
‘A day of rest for most people, although / do more real work today than in the rest of the week put together.’
‘In the week I work for man, but on Sunday I work for God.
That’s better work, don’t you think? Wait a moment, I have something to do here.’ He stopped at a gate, and in large red letters on the middle bar of the gate he painted some words from the Bible:
PUNISHMENT AWAITS YOU
In the soft air, against the gentle green of the trees and the peaceful fields, these great red words stared at Tess. They pointed a ringer at her. This man was a stranger and could not know her story, but the words accused her.
‘Do you believe what you paint?’ she asked in a low voice.
‘Do I believe those words? Do I believe I am alive!’
‘But,’ she whispered, trembling, ‘suppose you were forced to do wrong?’
He shook his head. ‘I can’t answer that question. I paint the words and leave others to think about them in their own hearts.’
‘I think they are horrible words!’ cried Tess. Til take my basket and go on now,’ and she walked away from him, her heart beating fast. ‘I don’t believe God said those things!’ she thought, as she reached her village.
There was smoke coming from her father’s chimney, but seeing the inside of the cottage made her heart ache. It was as poor as ever. Her mother jumped up, surprised to see her.
‘Well, my dear Tess!’ she said, kissing her. ‘How are you?
Have you come home to be married?’
‘No, not for that, mother.’
‘What, isn’t your cousin going to marry you?’
‘He’s not my cousin, and he’s not going to marry me.’
Her mother looked at her closely. ‘Come, you haven’t told me everything.’
Then Tess went up to her mother, put her head on Joan’s shoulder, and told her the whole story.
‘And you haven’t persuaded him to marry you!’ cried Joan.
‘What’s the good of going there? Why didn’t you think of doing some good for your family instead of thinking only of yourself?’
Tess was confused. Alec had never mentioned marriage to her. But even if he had, she would never have accepted him, because she did not love him. This made her hate herself for what she had done. She would certainly never love him in the future. She did not quite hate him, but did not wish to marry him, even to remain respectable.
‘You ought to have been more careful if you didn’t want to marry him!’
‘Oh mother!’ cried the poor girl, her heart breaking. ‘Why didn’t you warn me about men? I was a child when I left home! I didn’t know how dangerous they can be, and you didn’t tell me!’
‘Well, we must make the best of it,’ said her mother. ‘It’s only human nature, after all.’
That afternoon the little cottage was full of Tess’s friends, girls who lived in the village and who had missed her while she had been away. They whispered to each other that Tess was sure to marry that handsome gentleman. Fortunately Tess did not hear them. She joined in their laughing and talking, and for a short time almost forgot her shame.
But the next day was Monday, the beginning of the working week, when there were no best clothes and no visitors. She awoke with the innocent children asleep around her, she who had lost her innocence. She looked into her future, and grew very depressed. She knew she had to travel on a long, stony road, without help or sympathy. She had nothing to look forward to, and she wanted to die.
In the next few weeks, however, she became more cheerful, and went to church one Sunday morning. She loved listening to the well-known tunes, and gave herself up to the beauty of the music. She wondered at the composer’s power. From the grave he could make a girl like her, who had never known him, feel extremes of emotion. She sat in a quiet, dark corner listening to the service. But when the village people arrived at church they noticed her and started whispering to each other. She knew what they were saying and realized she could come to church no more.
So she spent almost all her time in her bedroom, which she shared with the children. From here she watched the wind, the snow, the rain, beautiful sunsets and full moons, one after another. People began to think she had gone away. She only went out after dark, to walk in the woods and the fields. She was not afraid of the dark or the shadows; it was people she was anxious to avoid. She was at home on the lonely hills, but she felt guilty surrounded by innocent nature. When it rained, she thought nature was crying at her weakness, and when the midnight wind blew she thought nature was angry with her. But she did not realize that although she had broken an accepted social rule, she had done nothing against nature. She was as innocent as the sleeping birds in the trees, or the small field animals in the hedges.
7 One day in August the sun was rising through the mist. In a yellow cornfield near Marlott village it shone on two large arms of painted wood. These, with two others below, formed the turning cross of the reaping-machine. It was ready for today’s harvest. A group of men and a group of women came down the road at sunrise. As they walked along, their heads were in the sun while their feet were in the shadow of the hedge.
They went into the field.
Soon there came a sound like the love-making of the grasshopper. The machine had begun, and three horses pulled it slowly along the field. Its arms turned, bright in the sunlight.
Gradually the area of standing corn was reduced. So was the living space of the small field animals, who crowded together, not knowing that they could not escape the machine in the end.
The harvesters followed the machine, picking and tying up bundles of corn. The girls were perhaps more interesting to look at. They wore large cotton hats to keep off the sun, and gloves to protect their hands from the corn. The prettiest was the one in the pale pink jacket, who never looked around her as she worked. She moved forward, bending and tying like a machine.
Occasionally she stood up to rest. Then her face could be seen: a lovely young face, with deep dark eyes and long heavy curling hair. Her cheeks were paler, her teeth more regular, and her red lips thinner than most country girls’.
It was Tess Durbeyfield, or d’Urberville, rather changed, living as a stranger in her home village. She had decided to do outdoor work and earn a little money in the harvest.
The work continued all morning, and Tess began to glance towards the hill. At eleven o’clock a group of children came over the’hill. Tess blushed a little, but still did not pause in her work.
The eldest child carried in her arms a baby in long clothes.
Another brought some lunch. The harvesters stopped work, sat down and started to eat and drink.
Tess also sat down, some way from the others. She called the girl, her sister, and took the baby from her. Unfastening her dress, and still blushing, she began feeding her child. The men kindly turned away, some of them beginning to smoke. All the other women started to talk and rearrange their hair. When the baby had finished Tess played with him without showing much enthusiasm. Then suddenly she kissed him again and again, as if she could not stop. The baby cried out at the violence of her kisses.
‘She loves that child, though she says she hates him and wishes they were both dead,’ said one of the women, watching the young mother.
‘She’ll soon stop saying that,’ replied another. ‘She’ll get used to it. It happens to lots of girls.1
‘Well, it wasn’t her fault. She was forced into it that night in The Chase. People heard her sobbing. A certain gentleman might have been punished if somebody had passed by and seen them.’
‘It was a pity it happened to her, the prettiest in the village.
But that’s how it happens! The ugly ones are as safe as houses, aren’t they, Jenny?’ and the speaker turned to one who was certainly not beautiful.
Tess sat there, unaware of their conversation. Her mouth was like a flower, and her eyes were large and soft, sometimes black, blue or grey, sometimes all three colours together. She had spent months regretting her experience and crying over it, but suddenly decided that the past was the past. In a few years her shame, and she herself, would be forgotten. Meanwhile the trees were just as green, and the sun shone just as brightly, as before.
Life went on.
She most feared what people thought of her, and imagined that they talked constantly about her behind her back. In fact she was not often discussed, and even her friends only thought about her occasionally. Other things of more importance took up their time. If there had been no people around her, Tess would not have made herself so unhappy. She would have accepted the situation as it was. She was miserable, not because she felt unhappy, but because she imagined herself rejected by society.
Now she wanted to be useful again, and to work. So she dressed neatly, and helped in the harvest, and looked people calmly in the face, even when holding her baby in her arms.
Having eaten her lunch quickly, Tess went back to work with the harvesters in the cornfield until it was dark. They all came home on one of the largest waggons, singing and laughing together.
But when Tess reached home, she discovered that the baby had fallen ill that afternoon. He was so small and weak that illness was to be expected, but this still came as a shock to Tess.
She forgot the shame surrounding his birth, and only wished passionately to keep him alive. However, it became clear that he was dying. Now Tess had a greater problem. Her baby had not been baptized.
Her ideas on religion were not very developed. She had more or less accepted that she would go to hell for her crime, and did not much care what would happen to her after death. But for her baby it was different. He was dying, and must be saved from hell.
It was nearly bedtime, but she rushed downstairs and asked if she could send for the parson. Her father had just returned from the public house, and was at his most sensitive to the shame brought upon his noble name by Tess. He refused to allow the parson in, and locked the door.
The family went to sleep. As the night passed, Tess realized, in great misery, that the baby was close to death. She walked feverishly up and down the room, until an idea came to her.
‘Ah! Perhaps baby can be saved! Perhaps it will be just the same!’
She lit a candle, and woke her young brothers and sisters.
Having poured some water into a bowl, she made them kneel around, with their hands together as in church. The children were hardly awake and watched Tess with big round eyes.
She looked tall in her long white nightdress, her long dark hair hanging down her back to her waist. Her enthusiasm lit up her face, giving it a beautiful purity - the face which had caused her shame.
She picked up the baby. One of the children asked, ‘Are you really going to baptize him, Tess? What’s his name going to be?’
She had not thought of that, but remembered the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. Because they did wrong together, God said they would live in sorrow for the rest of their lives.
She said firmly, ‘SORROW, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’
She splashed some water on the child, and there was silence.
‘Say Amen, children.’
‘Amen,’ they replied.
Tess put her hand into the water, and drew a huge cross upon the baby with her finger. She continued the service in the well-known words, asking for the baby to be protected against the world and against wickedness. Her belief gave her hope; her sweet warm voice rang out the thanks that follow the baptism. The single candle was reflected in her shining eyes like a diamond. The children asked no more questions, but looked up at her in amazement. She seemed almost like a god to them.
Poor Sorrow’s fight against the world and wickedness was a short one, fortunately perhaps, taking into account his situation.
In the blue light of the morning he breathed his last. Tcss had been calm since the baptism and she remained calm. She was no longer worried about Sorrow’s afterlife. If God did not accept the baptism, she did not value His Heaven, either for herself or for her child.
Tess thought a good deal about the baptism, however, and wondered if it might mean that Sorrow could be buried in the churchyard, with a church service. She went to the parson’s house after dark, and met him near his gate.
‘I should like to ask you something, sir. My baby was very ill, and I wanted you to baptize him, but my father refused to allow it. So I baptized him myself. Now sir, can you tell me this,’ and she looked him straight in the eyes, ‘will it be just the same for him as if you had baptized him?’
The parson wanted to say no. She had done what should have been his job. But the girl’s strong feeling impressed him. The man and the parson fought inside him, and the man won.
‘My dear girl,’ he said, ‘it will be just the same.’
Then will you bury him in the churchyard?’ she asked quickly.
The parson felt trapped. It was a difficult question to answer.
‘Ah, that’s a different matter,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry, 1 cannot.’
‘Oh sir!’ She took his hand as she spoke.
He took it away, shaking his head.
‘Then I’ll never come to church again!’ she cried. ‘But perhaps it will be the same for him? Tell me, have pity on me, poor me, tell me what you really think!’
The parson was deeply touched by her emotion. For a surprising moment he forgot the strict rules of his church.
‘It will be just the same,’ he answered kindly.
So the baby was carried in a cheap wooden box to the churchyard at night. There is a corner of the churchyard where the grass grows long, and where the suicides, drunks, unbaptized babies and other supposed criminals are laid. Sorrow was buried here, at the cost of a shilling and a pint of beer for the gravedigger. Tess bravely made a little cross and put it at the head of the grave one evening, when she could enter the churchyard without being seen.
It is all very well saying that we learn from experience. Tess had certainly learnt from experience, but could not see how to use her knowledge, so painfully gained.
So she stayed in her parents’ home during the winter, helping to look after the children, making clothes for them and earning a little money whenever she could. Important dates came round again: the night of her shame in The Chase, the baby’s birth and death, her own birthday. One day when she was looking at her pretty face in the mirror, she thought of another date, even more important — her own death. When it came it would swallow up all her prettiness and everything that had happened to her.
When was it? It was a day lying hidden among all the other days of the year, so that she noticed nothing when it came round, and did not know what week, month, season or year it would be.
In a flash Tess changed from simple girl to complicated woman. Her face was often thoughtful, and there was sometimes a tragic note in her voice. Her eyes grew larger and more expressive. She became a beautiful woman. She had suffered, but had gained a certain self-confidence from her experiences.
Although the village people had almost forgotten her trouble, she decided she could never be really happy in Marlott. Trying to claim relationship with the rich d’Urbervilles seemed so foolish and shameful to her. She thought her family would never be respected there again. Even now she felt hope rise within her, hope of finding a place with no family connections and no memories. In escaping from Marlott she intended to destroy the past. Perhaps now she could make up for her crime against society.
Consequently she looked hard for work away from Marlott.
She finally heard that a dairyman some miles to the south needed a good milkmaid for the summer. Having decided to go there, she promised herself there would be no more hopeless dreams. She would simply be the dairymaid Tess, and nothing more. Even her mother no longer talked about their connection with the noble d’Urbervilles.
But in spite of Tess’s decision to forget her ancestors, the dairy, called Talbothays, especially attracted her because it was near the former lands of the old d’Urberville family. She would be able to look at them, and not only observe that the noble d’Urberville family had lost its greatness, but also remember that a poor descendant had lost her innocence. She wondered if some good might come of being in the land of her ancestors.
Hope and youthful energy rose up in her again, like leaves on a young tree in spring.
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