Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 26 - Summary

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      Since his arrival here, Angel had been waiting for the moment when he could talk to his father privately. In the evening, he found this opportunity and without wasting his time he came to his subject. He told his father that he wanted to set up a farm on an extensive scale. His father, though he had considered him unfit for the university education, had reserved for him the equal amount of the money he had spent on the education of the other sons. Angel came more near to the subject of his heart. He asked what type of woman would suit him best? His father then talked of the qualities of Miss Mercy Chant. Her ecclesiastical studies, her religious temperament, her respected lineage, her purity of character, everything was elaborated by Mr. Clare.

      Angel told his father that those qualities would be of little use for a farmer because he needed a woman who should be more a helping hand than a wife. She should be such as might manage his farm when he was out. His father was convinced. For a while he was lost in deep thought. Angel gave one more stroke at the red iron. He said that he had met a girl at the dairy, who, though a daughter of a cottager, was a lady by her virtues. Her beauty and character were of higher quality than Mis Chants. Angel‘s mother also appeared at the scene. She had beared the last words of Angel. For some time, the discussion passed through many hot stages. At last the parents agreed on the condition that they would see the girl and then decide. Angel did not want to drag the topic ahead he conceded. To his brothers he did not mention a thing of this sort. Had he been devoid of the sense of respect and duty towards his parents, he would not have consulted this parents even, because he had attained his maturity. But, the humanity had not breathed its last yet, in his heart!.

      At last, the morning came when he had to depart. Howsoever different his ideas might be from those of his father’s, he respected his father much and in response, he loved him much. Therefore his father accompanied him for some distance to see him off. On the way he began to talk of the difficulties, he had to face in discharging his duties. But even in the most critical moments, he did not lose his courage and was always awarded with success in his mission. He told that once in the neighborhood of Trantrigde, he was trying to reform a passionate d’Urberville whom, after the death of his father, money had spoiled. He had raped many girls and was in the habit of teasing every woman. The youth proved very harsh and he insulted him much. He abused him and was at the point of slapping that he (Mr. Clare) was saved by the surrounding men.

      Angel asked his father to leave such practices but he told that it was his duty to set the men right. To show them the right path to tread, the right way to live, the right words to speak and the right life to adopt, was the aim of his life. Angel saw in his father a great spirit.

      It was in such things that he perceived that he was nearer to his father than his brothers were.

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