Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 25 - Summary

Also Read

Phase—The Fourth


Chapter XXV

      The sudden meeting had departed Angel and Tess. They kept apart like the opposite poles of the magnet. At night Tess hid herself in her bed and Angel came out in the darkness to ponder over the day’s experience. The new relationship which had taken birth would someday surely result in the defame of both. Either he should marry Tess or should not go near her because it was just possible that his passions may try to take advantage of the past experience. What a strange situation it was! Till now he had been looking at the world as a spectator and had exercising a great control over himself. But now he himself was an actor. He had to play his part on the stage. What looked to him dull and dry, was now very charming. The woman which was a snare for him, was now his goal. His religious meditations had given him the calm and peace of mind but the serenity and the delight which he found in the amorous pondering, he found nowhere.

      As yet the harm done was very small. To embrace a girl was not a greater sin than to rape her. Moreover, he realized that Tess was a woman of purity and she should not be treated as a trivial thing. She was not a thing to be toyed with. She had her own dignity, her place and her value. His conscience did not allow him anymore to advance in such situations. He decided that he would go to his home and would consult his friends and parents about this marriage. With a decided mind he went to his bed.

      Mr. Clare’s absence from the breakfast had kindled the curiosity of the girls and they asked Crick about his whereabouts. They suspected that he had left the dairy. But the dairyman Crick told them that he had gone to his parents and he had yet four or five months more to stay there and learn. When they were talking about him in Talbothays, Angel on his horse back was nearing the city of his father. When he entered the vicarage he saw Miss Mercy Chant, his play-mate. She was the girl who was chosen by his parents as his bride. Angel was lost in thoughts about Tess. He did not want to encounter her. Though she was much advanced in her religious studies and was very beautiful yet he did not prefer her to Tess as a wife for a farmer and therefore avoiding her, he reached his house. His sudden arrival surprised his parents and two elder brothers, the Rev. Felix and the Rev. Cuthbert. The former brother was a curate in the parish of the adjoining country and the later was the Fellow and the Dean of his college in Cambridge. Both were highly qualified scholars. Though they also had reserved their lives for the religion yet they were not as earnest and as God-fearing as their father was. Angel Clare knew of his divergence from the family and he also knew that he could not mix up with them, yet whenever he came to his home he tried that he should try to please everybody. In the evening he had a walk with his brothers. Both of them were proud of their university education. They sarcastically pointed out that he was losing touch with moral and religious ideas. In high thinking and intellectual grasping he was proving weaker and weaker. These talks were very bitter. The remaining link between the brothers, if there was any, was broken that day.

      Angel, from Talbothays, had brought with him some pudding and mead as a gift from Mrs. Crick for his parents. She had prepared the pudding with much labor. At the dinner he wanted those things to be enjoyed. But his mother told him that pudding was as good as to be given to a needy parishioner and the mead was alcoholic, therefore it was reserved as a medicine. It was the insult of simple love of that lady. It clearly meant that same day if he would send anything to his parents, it would be thrown outside. He felt as if in the shape of simple and frugal love he himself was rejected and declared unfit for such a family. Even then he kept silent. He told his mother that he would tell Mrs. Crick that her gift was enjoyed much by them. But the lovers of God asked him to tell the truth howsoever bitter it might be. Man had no value for them, because they loved the Person who was more Mighty, more Powerful and more Resourceful.

Previous Post Next Post