Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 2 - Summary

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      The Vale of Blackmoor in which the village Marlott lay, was surrounded by green hills. Though it was only a four hours journey from London, and was so beautiful that here fields were never brown and the springs were never dry, yet no tourist or a landscape painter had reached it. In former times it was known as ‘the Forest of White Hart’. Now the forests had departed, only the shades of some customs remained. May Day was also an instance of it. It was a kind of dance, known as Club-dance or Club-walking. The spirited ladies of the village would go to a meadow reserved for this performance, and would dance and enjoy.

      On the evening when Jack Durbeyfield was pondering over his future plans, his daughter, Tess, who was tall and beautiful was going to the meadow in the bevy of girls. Mostly they were all young, only two or three aged women with their wrinkles on their faces disturbed their youth. Some of the girls had beautiful eyes, some had beautiful mouths, and some had fair noses but none had all the organs beautiful. Their faces showed that they were unaccustomed to many eyes. All dressed in white gown, carrying peeled-willow-wand in right hand and a bunch of white flowers in the left, were turning to the meadow passing by the side of ‘The Pure Inn’ that they saw Jack Durbeyfield in a coach, his neck quite straight like the stem of a palm. He was humming a tune about his family. The girls saw him in such a laughing situation, whispered something in one another's ears and began to giggle. Tess was surprised at the behavior of her father, and pained by the remarks of her friends.

      Their male partners were yet busy in their fields and therefore they began to dance with one another. Outside the fence of the meadow among the onlookers, three brothers were seeing the dance. All the three were students and belonged to a superior class. One of them who was the youngest, forwarded to participate in the dance. He was prevented from doing so because they were getting late. But he assured to catch them after having a round. The two elders proceeded forward. The youth who entered the meadow was pleased to see an invitation.

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