- زمان مطالعه 36 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
Only once did Tess try to get closer to her husband. As he was leaving for the flourmill, she put up her mouth to be kissed. He ignored the invitation, and said goodbye coldly. She felt as if he had hit her.
How often had he wanted to kiss her in those happy days at Talbothays!
But on his way to the mill Angel regretted his coldness. He wished he had been kinder to her and kissed her once at least.
So they lived through another day - together in the same house, but more separately than ever before. Clare was desperately wondering what to do. Tess no longer even hoped for forgiveness. That evening she said bravely: ‘I suppose you aren’t going to live with me long, are you, Angel?’ She found it difficult to control the muscles of her face.
‘No. How can we live together as man and wife while that man lives? He is your natural husband, I’m not. If he were dead, that might be different. Anyway, have you thought of the future? Have you thought we might have children? They would find out about this. Everybody would talk about it. Can you imagine them growing up under a cloud like that? They would hate you for it.’
Tess’s head was bent. Her eyes felt so heavy they were almost closed. ‘No, I can’t ask you to stay with me,’ she whispered. ‘I hadn’t thought of it like that.’
She had hoped, as women do, that living together for a time would break down his coldness. Being near him every day was her only hope of winning him back. But she had never imagined she might have children who would reject her. She now remembered how she had criticized her mother for bringing babies into the world without being able to look after them. She realized that she might have made the same mistake as Joan Durbeyfield. She completely accepted Angel’s argument.
She could have argued that if they went as planned to farm in another country, nobody would know about her past. But perhaps she was right not to argue. A woman knows not only her own sorrow but also her husband’s. He might keep the bitterness alive in his heart, even if nobody knew or talked about it at all. She had lost.
On the third day she said, T accept what you say. We must separate.’
‘But what can you do?’
‘I can go home.’
Clare had not thought of that. ‘Can you really?’
‘Yes. If I am with you all the time, I may persuade you to stay, against your better judgement. Then you and I would both be sorry. I must go.’
‘Right,’ said Angel. His face was pale but his voice was determined.
Tess was slightly shocked. He had agreed so quickly to her generous offer!
‘1 didn’t like to suggest it,’ he said, ‘but as you have, I think it’s a good idea to part - at feast for a while. God knows, we may come together again one day!’
So they both prepared to leave tht following day. That night Tess was woken by a noise in the house. At first she thought Angel was coming to her bedroom, and her heart beat wildly with joy. But then she saw his eyes staring emptily ahead of him, and knew he was walking in his sleep. He came to the middle of her room and said very sadly, ‘Dead! Dead! Dead! Poor darling Tess! So sweet, so good, so pure! My wife, dead!’
These words, which he would never say when awake, were very sweet to Tess. She would not have moved to save her life.
She lay in absolute stillness, trying not to breathe, wondering what he was going to do with her. Her trust in him was complete.
He picked her up and carried her to the stairs. Was he going to throw her down? She knew he was leaving her the next day, perhaps for ever. She almost hoped they would fall and die together.
He continued downstairs, taking her out of the house towards the river. She had given herself totally up to him, and did not care what happened to her as long as she was with him. They arrived at a place where the river was fast and deep, and Angel started to cross it on the narrow footbridge, still holding Tess.
Perhaps he wanted to drown her. Even that would be better than separation.
As they crossed, the water rushed fiercely below them. If Tess had moved in his arms, they would both have fallen into the dangerous water. But she had no right to take his life, although her own was worthless, so she stayed still.
Angel walked purposefully towards a ruined church near the river. Against the old wall was an empty stone tomb. In this he carefully laid Tess, and kissing her lips, sighed deeply and happily. He immediately lay down on the ground next to the tomb, and looked fast asleep.
Tess stepped out of the tomb and managed to persuade Angel to walk back to the house, without waking him. It was very cold outside, and both had only night clothes on. She helped him to his sofa bed in the living room, and he still did not wake up. Next morning he seemed to remember nothing of the night’s experiences, and Tess did not refer to his sleepwalking. They finished packing and left the farmhouse, where they had hoped to be so happy. After driving some distance Angel stopped the carriage to get down and continue on foot. Tess was going further on in the carriage. He spoke seriously to her as they separated.
‘Now remember,’ he said, ‘I am not angry with you, but I cannot bear to live with you at the moment. I will try to accept it. But until I come to you, you should not try to come to me.’
The punishment seemed a heavy one to Tess. Had she really deserved this?
‘May I write to you?’
‘Oh yes, if you are ill or need anything. You probably won’t, so I might be the first to write.’
‘I agree to the conditions, Angel, because you know best.
Only don’t make it too much for me to bear!’
That was all she said. If she had sobbed or fainted or begged him, he would probably have given way. But she made it easy for him. He gave her some money and they said goodbye. He stood on the road watching the carriage continue up the hill, secretly hoping that Tess would look back. But she was lying half dead with misery inside. He turned to walk on alone, not realizing that he still loved her.
As the carriage drove on through Blackmoor Vale, Tess now began to awake from her sorrow and wonder how she could face her parents. She left the carriage and came into Marlott on foot. When she entered the little cottage, her mother was doing the washing as usual.
‘Why Tess!’ she cried when she saw her daughter, ‘I thought you were married! Really married this time!’
‘Yes, mother, I am.’
‘Then where’s your husband?’
‘Gone away for a time.’
‘Gone away! When were you married then? Tuesday, as you said?’
‘Married on Tuesday and today it’s only Saturday, and he’s gone away! What strange husbands you seem to find, Tess!’
‘Mother!’ Tess ran across to Joan and put her head on Joan’s shoulder. ‘You told me I mustn’t tell him. But I did — I couldn’t help it - and he went away!’
‘Oh you fool, you little fool!1 cried her mother.
T know, I know,’ sobbed Tess. ‘But he was so good! I couldn’t lie to him, And if only you knew how much I loved him and how much I wanted to marry him!’
‘Well, it’s too late now,’ said Mrs Durbeyfield. ‘Whatever will your father say? He was very proud of your marriage. He’s been telling them at the public house that you’ll help his noble family become great again. Oh, there he is now!’
Tess ran upstairs, but through the thin walls she could hear the whole story being told to Sir John.
‘People will laugh at me in the village!’ he said. ‘Do you think he really did marry her, Joan? Or is it like the first?’
Tess could listen no more. Even her own family did not believe her. She could not stay. She gave her mother half the money which Clare had given her, and told her family she was going to join him. And so she left Marlott again, looking for work.
Angel Clare also returned home. He had spent three weeks since his wedding trying to remain calm and continue his studies, but with the disturbing picture of Tess always in his mind. He was beginning to wonder if he had treated her unfairly. She had been so much a part of his plans for the future that he was now thinking of countries where they could farm together. The idea of Brazil attracted him. The countryside, people and habits would be so different. Perhaps they could make a new life there together. So he went back to Emminster to tell his parents his new plan.
‘But where’s your wife, dear Angel?’ cried his mother when he arrived.
‘She’s at her mother’s for the moment. I’ve come home in rather a hurry, because I’ve decided to go to Brazil.’
‘Brazil! But they’re all Roman Catholics there!’
‘Are they? I hadn’t thought of that.’
But Mr and Mrs Clare were even more interested in their son’s marriage than in Brazil’s religion.
‘Angel, we do want to meet your wife. We are not in the least angry about this rather hurried wedding, so why haven’t you brought her? It seems strange.’
Angel explained that she would be staying at her mother’s while he went to Brazil alone to see if the country was suitable.
He planned to bring her to meet his parents before he went there a second time, with her. But his mother was disappointed at not seeing Tess. She watched her son as he ate, and asked questions.
‘Is she very pretty?’
‘She certainly is!’
‘And a maiden of course?’
‘I imagine you were her first love?’
His father asked no questions, but when the moment for evening prayers arrived, he chose a passage from the Bible.
This passage is very suitable, as you are here, Angel. It is in praise of a pure wife.’
‘We shall all think of her as your father reads it,’ added his mother. As they listened to the ancient, beautiful words, Angel felt like crying.
His mother said, ‘You see, Angel, the perfect woman, the Bible tells us, is a working woman, not a fine lady, a girl just like your wife. A girl who uses her hands and heart and head for others. I wish I could have met her, Angel. As she is pure, she is fine enough for me.’
Clare’s eyes were full of tears. He quickly said goodnight and went to his room. His mother followed and stood at his door looking anxiously at him.
‘Angel, why are you going away so soon? Have you quarrelled with your wife in these three weeks? Angel, is she …
is she a woman with a past?’ The mother’s instinct had found the cause of her son’s worries.
‘She is totally pure!’ he replied, and felt that he had to tell that lie, even if he went to hell there and then for it.
Then never mind the rest. There are few better things in nature than a pure country girl.’
Clare felt furious with Tess, because she had forced him to deceive his parents. Then he remembered her sweet voice, and the touch of her fingers on his face, and her warm breath on his lips. But this well-meaning young man, despite his advanced ideas, was still limited in his thinking. He could not see that Tess was in character as pure as the pure wife in the Bible.
The next day Clare left Emminster and began to prepare for his journey to Brazil. One day, returning from doing some business with a farmer, he happened to meet one of the dairymaids from Talbothays, Izz Huett. He knew her secret: she was an honest girl who loved him and who might have made as good a farmer’s wife as Tess. He learnt from Izz that, of the other dairymaids, Retty had become ill, and Marian had started drinking. And Izz herself?
‘Suppose I had asked you to marry me, Izz?’ he asked.
‘I would have said “yes”> an^ You would have had a woman who loved you!’
A wild anger took hold of Clare. Society and its rules had trapped him in a corner. Why shouldn’t he take his revenge on society?
‘I’m going to Brazil, Izz, without Tess. We have separated for personal reasons. I may never be able to love you, but will you come with me?’
‘Yes, I will,’ said Izz after a pause.
‘You know it’s wrong in the eyes of the world, don’t you? Do you love me very much? More than Tess?1
‘I do, yes, oh, I do love you, but not more than Tess. Nobody could! She would have laid down her life for you.’
Clare was silent. A sob rose inside him. He heard Izz’s words again and again in his head: She would have laid down her life for you.
Tm sorry, Izz,1 he said suddenly. ‘Please forget what I said just now! I must be mad!’
‘Oh please take me! Oh, I shouldn’t have been so honest!’
‘Izz, by your honesty you have saved me from doing something wicked. Thank you for that. And please forgive me!’
And so Angel said goodbye to the miserable girl. But he did not turn towards Tess’s village. He continued with his plan, and five days later left the country for Brazil.
And so the months passed. Tess found occasional dairy work for the spring and summer. She sent all Angel’s money to her family, who as usual had many expenses and hardly any income.
She was too proud to ask Angel’s family for more money. That winter she went to work at another farm, where Marian was working. Here the earth was poor, and the work was difficult.
But Tess did not mind the hard work in the fields. As she and Marian dug out the vegetables in the pouring rain, they talked of Talbothays and of the sunny green fields and of Angel Clare.
Tess did not tell Marian everything, so Marian could not understand why the couple were apart.
They wrote to Izz, asking her to join them if she had no other work. It was the coldest winter for years, but Tess and Marian had to go on working in the snow. Tess realized that the farmer was the same Trantridge man who had recognized her in the market town, and had been knocked down by Angel. He made her work twice as hard as the others.
When Izz came, Tess saw her whispering to Marian. Tess had a feeling it was important. ‘Is it about my husband?’ she asked Marian later.
‘Well yes, Izz said I shouldn’t tell. But he asked her to run away to Brazil with him!’
Tess’s face went as white as the snow on the ground.
‘He changed his mind. But he was going to take her!’
Tess burst out crying. ‘I must write to him! It’s my fault! I shouldn’t have left it to him! He said I could write to him! I’ve been neglecting him!’
But in the evening, in her room, she could not finish her letter to him. She looked at her wedding ring, which she wore round her neck in the day, and kept on her finger all night. What kind of husband would ask Izz to go to Brazil with him so soon after parting from his wife?
But this new information made her think again of visiting Angel’s family in Emminster. She wanted to know why he had not written to her. She could meet his parents, who would surely be kind to her in her loneliness. So she decided to walk there from the farm at Flintcomb-Ash on a Sunday, her only free day.
It was fifteen miles each way. She dressed in her best, encouraged by Marian and Izz, who sent her on her way at four o’clock in the morning. The girls sincerely loved Tess and wished for her happiness. It was a year since her wedding, and on that bright cold morning her unspoken hope was to win over her husband’s family and so persuade him back to her.
Although she started cheerfully, she began to lose her courage as she approached Emminster. The church looked forbidding.
Perhaps the rather strict parson would not approve of her travelling so far on a Sunday. But she had to go on. She took off her thick walking boots and hid them behind a tree, changing into her pretty shoes. She would collect the hoots on the way out of town.
She took a deep breath and rang the bell at the parson’s house.
Nobody answered. She tried again. Silence. It was almost with relief that she turned and walked away. Then she suddenly remembered that they must all be at church. So she waited in a quiet part of the street until people began to stream out of church. She immediately recognized Angel’s brothers and even overheard some of their conversation.
‘Poor Angel!’ one of them said. ‘There’s that nice girl, Mercy Chant. Why on earth didn’t he marry her instead of rushing into marriage with a dairymaid?’
‘It’s certainly very strange. But his ideas have always been most odd.’
They joined Mercy Chant as she came out of church, and walked together along the road Tess had walked into Emminster.
‘Look, here’s a pair of old boots,’ said one of the brothers, noticing Tess’s boots behind the tree.
‘Excellent walking boots, I see,’ said Miss Chant. ‘How wicked to throw them away! Give them to me. I’ll find a poor person who would like them.’
Tess walked quickly past them, tears running down her face.
She continued walking as fast as she could away from Emminster. How unlucky that she had met the sons and not the father! Angel’s parents would have taken poor lonely Tess to their hearts immediately, as they did every other lost soul, without thought of family or education or wealth.
She grew more and more tired and depressed as she walked the fifteen miles back to Flintcomb-Ash, where only hard work awaited her. But on the way she noticed a crowd listening to a preacher and she stopped for a while to join them. The preacher was describing with enthusiasm how he had been wicked for years and how a certain parson had pointed it out to him: this had gradually turned him from wickedness. But Tess was more shocked by the voice than the words. She moved round behind the crowd to look at his face. As the afternoon sun shone full on him, she recognized Alec d’Urberville.
A Changed Man
This was the first time she had seen or heard of d’Urberville since she had left Trantridge. And although he stood there openly as a preacher, as a religious man, she still felt afraid of him. He had changed his clothes, his hair, his moustache and his expression, but could she really believe that he had changed his most secret thoughts and beliefs?
As soon as she recovered from her surprise, she moved away so that he would not notice her. But he suddenly caught sight of her, and the effect on him was electric. His enthusiasm faded, his voice hesitated, his lips trembled, his eyes dropped in confusion.
Tess walked rapidly away along the road.
However, as she walked she felt he must be looking at her back as she walked away. And now she knew she could never escape the past, as she had hoped. Reminders of her past would surround her until she died. As she walked uphill she heard footsteps behind her, and, turning, saw that it was the one person in the whole world she did not want to meet this side of the grave.
‘Tess!’ he said. Tm Alec d’Urberville!’
‘I see you are,’ she said coldly. They walked on together.
‘You may wonder why I’m following you. Well, I feel you are the person I would most like to save from hell. So I have come to do that.’
‘Have you saved yourself?’ Tess asked bitterly.
‘God has done it all, not me! I must tell you how I came to believe in Him. Have you ever heard of the parson of Emminster, old Mr Clare? A very strict, sincere man.’
‘I have,’ said Tess.
‘Well, he came to Trantridge once and tried to show me how wicked my life was, I insulted him at the time. But later my mother died, and somehow I began to think about what old Mr Clare said. Since then my one desire has been to help others to understand God too . . .’
‘Don’t go on!’ cried Tess. ‘1 can’t believe in such a sudden change! I almost hate you for talking to me like this, when you know how you’ve ruined my life! You enjoy yourself for a while and then you make sure of your place in heaven!’ As she spoke she looked him full in the face with her great beautiful eyes.
‘Don’t look at me like that!’ said Alec. ‘Your eyes remind me of - well, women’s faces have too much power over me. Don’t look at me! It might be dangerous for you!’
Eventually they came to a crossroads, where a strange stone stood. It was a lonely, unfriendly place, where people did not like to stay for long. Alec stopped here.
‘I must go to the right here. I’m preaching at six this evening.
Tell me, how has your life been since we last met?’
Tess told him about the baby. Alec was shocked.
‘You should have told me! But before we part, come, put your hand on this stone. It was once a holy cross. I’m afraid of your power over me. Swear on the cross that you will never tempt me into wickedness!’
‘Good God! How can you ask such an unnecessary thing! I don’t want to see you ever again!’
‘No, but swear it.’
Tess placed her hand on the stone and swore.
‘I shall pray for you,’ called Alec as he walked away. ‘Who knows, we may meet again!’
Tess went on her way, feeling upset, and soon met a man on the road. He told her that the cross was not religious, but marked the place where a criminal was put to death and buried.
Trembling a little at this information, she finally arrived at Flintcomb-Ash.
One day the following week when Tess was working in the fields as usual, Alec d’Urberville came to see her. He explained to her that he intended to sell his land at Trantridge and go to help poor people in Africa.
‘Will you help me put right the wicked thing I did to you? Will you be my wife?’
‘Oh no, sir!’ she cried, horrified.
‘Why not?’ Disappointment was visible in his face. It was not only duty which pushed him to make this offer, but also his old passion for her.
‘You know I don’t love you,’ answered Tess. ‘In fact, I love somebody else.’
‘Perhaps that is only a passing feeling . . .’
‘Yes! Why not? You must tell me!’
‘Well, then . . . I have married him.’
‘Ah!’ he cried and looked hard at her.
‘It’s a secret here,’ she begged. ‘Please don’t tell anybody.’
‘Who is he?’ asked d’Urberville. ‘Where is he? Why isn’t he here to look after you? What sort of husband can he be, leaving you to work like this?’
‘Don’t ask!’ cried Tess, her eyes flashing.
‘Your eyes!’ whispered Alec. ‘I thought I no longer felt anything for you, but when I look into your eyes . . .’ He took her hand.
She pulled it quickly away.
‘Go now, please, in the name of your new religion, go!
Respect me and my husband!’
‘Don’t worry, I can control myself. I just hoped that our marriage would take away the bad in both of us. But that plan is no good now.’ He walked slowly away, his head bent in thought.
The farmer approached at that moment and was angry with Tess for wasting time talking to a stranger. Tess preferred hard words from this man of stone to sweet ones from Alec d’Urberville. For a moment, however, she imagined escaping from her present hard life by marrying Alec, but rejected it immediately.
At home that night she began a letter to Clare, telling him of her great love for him. Reading between the lines he would have seen her secret fear for the future. But again she could not finish the letter, thinking of his offer to Izz, and so he never received it.
On a Sunday in February she was eating her lunch in the cottage where she lived, when d’Urberville knocked at the door.
He rushed in and threw himself into a chair.
Tess!’ he cried desperately. T can’t help it! I can’t stop thinking of you! Pray for me, Tess!’
Tess did not pity him. ‘1 cannot because I don’t believe God would change His plans just because I asked Him.’
‘Who told you that?’
‘Ah, your dear husband . . . Tell me what he believes.’
Tess explained, as clearly as she could remember, Angel’s beliefs. Alec watched her closely.
The fact is, you just believe whatever he says. That’s just like you women!’
‘Ah, that’s because he knows everything!’ Tess replied with enthusiasm. ‘What is good enough for him is good enough for me.’
‘H’m, interesting,’ murmured d’UrberviUe. ‘Perhaps he under stands religion better than old Mr Clare. Perhaps he’s right not to attach too much importance to the Bible and to fixed ideas.
Perhaps I was wrong to become a preacher. Today I should be preaching at half-past two, and here I am! My passion for you was too strong for me!’
‘You have let all those people down? They are waiting for you!’
‘What do I care? You are the one woman I have always wanted. Why have you tempted me away from religion? I can’t resist you!’ His black eyes flashed passionately. He advanced towards her.
‘I couldn’t help your seeing me again!’ cried Tess, moving nervously away from him. ‘Please leave me! Remember I am married! Remember I can’t defend myself!’
Alec stopped, turned, and went out without another word.
But he went on thinking of Angel’s religious logic, as explained by Tess. It seemed to make sense. That clever husband doesn’t know that his ideas may lead me back to her!’ he laughed to himself.
In March the threshing-machine came for a day to Flintcomb Ash. It was a huge red machine which ate all the corn the farm workers could feed it. Next to it stood the engine which ran it, and the engineer. He lived in a world of fire and smoke, and was permanently black, as if he came from hell. The farmer put Tess next to the threshing-machine, so that she had the hardest and most tiring job of all. She had little chance to talk or rest, and at lunch time was about to start eating when she noticed d’Urberville approaching. He had changed his parson’s clothes and now looked just like the young gentleman she had first met at Trantridge.
‘I am here again, you see,’ he said, smiling at her.
‘Why do you bother me like this?’ she cried.
‘You trouble me Your eyes look at me night and day. I can’t forget them. Tess, when you told me about that child of ours, my feelings for you became strong again. I have lost interest in religion and it is your fault!’
‘You have stopped preaching?’ asked Tess, shocked.
‘I have. What a lot of stupid people they are to listen to a preacher anyway! And I am convinced that your wonderful husband’s views are better than old Parson Clare’s. I don’t know how 1 became so enthusiastic! So now, here I am, my love, just as in the old times!’
‘Not like that at all, no, now it’s different!’ she said firmly.
‘Oh why couldn’t you stay religious?’
‘Because you’ve explained your husband’s ideas so well to me that I accept them! Ha ha! But seriously, Tess, you need help. I am here and this husband of yours is not. Come with me! My carriage is waiting the other side of the field! You have tempted me, now share my life for ever!’ He put an arm round her waist.
Tess was red with anger but said nothing. She picked up a heavy leather glove and hit him in the face with it. It was an action which her ancestors must have often practised. Alec jumped up and wiped the blood from his mouth.
‘Remember one thing!’ he said angrily, only just controlling himself as he held her by the shoulders. ‘Remember, my lady, if you are any man’s wife, you are mine! I will have you again! I’ll come back for an answer later on!’
So he left, and the farm-workers started the afternoon’s threshing. It went on until the evening, as the work had to be finished that day. Tess became more and more exhausted and was near to fainting when they finally stopped. Alec d’Urberville, who had been waiting for this moment, appeared at her side.
‘You are so weak,’ he said, holding her arm. ‘I’ve told the farmer he should not use women for work with the threshing machine. It’s too hard. I’ll walk home with you.’
‘Oh yes, please do!’ murmured Tess, too tired to be afraid of him. ‘You are kind sometimes. And at least you wanted to put right the wrong by offering to marry me.’
‘If I can’t marry you, at least I can help you. I have finished with religion. But you must trust me! I have enough money to help your family and make them comfortable.’
‘Have you seen them lately?’ asked Tess quickly. ‘God knows they need help . . . but no - no, I can take nothing from you, either for them or for me! Please leave me alone!’
As soon as she reached her room she wrote a passionate letter to Angel.
My own husband,
I must call you that. I must ask you for help — I have no one else! I am so open to temptation, Angel! I cannot tell you who it is. Can’t you come to me now, before anything terrible happens? I know you are far away, but I need help!
I know I deserved the punishment you gave me, but please, Angel, please be kind to me! If you would come, I could die in your arms!
I live only for you. Don’t think I shall be bitter because you left me. I am so lonely without you, my darling!
Haven’t you ever felt one little bit of your love for me at the dairy? I am the same woman you fell in love with then, the very same. As soon as I met you, the past was dead for me. Can’t you see this?
How silly I was to trust that you would always love me!
I ought to have known I couldn’t be so lucky.
People say I am still rather pretty, Angel. But I don’t care about my looks because you are not here.
If you won’t come to me, could I come to you? I’m so worried! I’m afraid I may fall into some wicked trap. Save me from what threatens me!
Your faithful heartbroken
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