Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 18 - Summary

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      Angel who had abstracted eyes and small delicate mouth, was not very beautiful but no one could ignore his personality. He had such a thing in his simple face that he was liked and loved by everybody. He was the youngest son of the Vicar of Emminster. Reverend James Clare, his father had been living quite religiously devoting everything in the name of church. His two, elder sons had also adopted the same life. Mr. Clare, the father wanted that his son, Angel should also become an earnest clergyman. But Angel, though he loved Church, as one can love one’s parents, could not act upon his father’s advice, because he was more a lover and worshipper of humanity than divinity. When James Clare came to know about the foul intentions and materialistic notions of Angel, he refused him university education, because, he thought that university education was only for those who were ready to use their knowledge in the service of God. Angel did not object. He started studying at his home. Self-study and self-contemplation gave him a thing what a university education could never give. He became a man in real sense.

      He went to London to seek some career but to his bad luck he found a woman, who was older than him and was a flirt. He was almost entrapped that before his complete ruin, he ran away and returned to his home. He thought and thought and at last, came to the conclusion that his humanity would best suit to farming. Since then, he began his work and learned so many things by working hard in the fields. Now he was a student of dairy. Seeing his position Mr. Crick had given him so many privileges, though he asked none. He was allowed to live in the attic of his own building. Even at the breakfast, he was given a separate table to keep his position high. For long, his meditative temperament did not allow him to mix with the ordinary men and women. He kept himself almost aloof. In the seclusion, he would play upon his flute or fiddle or would contemplate. In his previous days, in this dairy, he went on wandering in his attic and his foot-steps could be easily heard.

      One day on the breakfast table he heard a very sweet voice as if some musical notes were set free in the air. It was Tess who was talking to the dairyman Crick, Mrs. Crick and her three room-mates and was telling that how can a person feel his soul wandering outside the body. She told that it could be done by laying the body straight on the grass and by fixing the eyes on some bright big star. Her innocent talks made at once a place in the heart of Angel. But when he saw her fully, some lines were formed on his fore-head. He was trying to remember that where he had seen her, because she looked to him somewhat familiar. He tried and tried but failed. Tess became a problem for him. Unconscious of these mental wriggles of Angel, Tess was busy with her breakfast.

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