Tess of the dUrbervilles

Thomas Hardy
Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Title: Tess of the d'Urbervilles A Pure Woman
Author: Thomas Hardy

Release Date: February, 1994 [eBook #110] This edition 11 released
June 17, 2005
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text transcribed by Steve Menyhert, proof-read by Meredith Ricker
and John Hamm, and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.


A Pure Woman
Faithfully presented by

Phase the First: The Maiden, I-XI
Phase the Second: Maiden No More, XII-XV
Phase the Third: The Rally, XVI-XXIV
Phase the Fourth: The Consequence, XXV-XXXIV
Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays, XXXV-XLIV
Phase the Sixth: The Convert, XLV-LII
Phase the Seventh: Fulfilment, LIII-LIX

Phase the First: The Maiden
On an evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged man was walking
homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale
of Blakemore, or Blackmoor. The pair of legs that carried him were
rickety, and there was a bias in his gait which inclined him somewhat
to the left of a straight line. He occasionally gave a smart nod, as if in
confirmation of some opinion, though he was not thinking of anything
in particular. An empty egg-basket was slung upon his arm, the nap of
his hat was ruffled, a patch being quite worn away at its brim where his
thumb came in taking it off. Presently he was met by an elderly parson
astride on a gray mare, who, as he rode, hummed a wandering tune.

"Good night t'ee," said the man with the basket.
"Good night, Sir John," said the parson.
The pedestrian, after another pace or two, halted, and turned round.
"Now, sir, begging your pardon; we met last market-day on this road
about this time, and I said 'Good night,' and you made reply 'Good
night, Sir John,' as now."
"I did," said the parson.
"And once before that--near a month ago."
"I may have."
"Then what might your meaning be in calling me 'Sir John' these
different times, when I be plain Jack Durbeyfield, the haggler?"
The parson rode a step or two nearer.
"It was only my whim," he said; and, after a moment's hesitation: "It
was on account of a discovery I made some little time ago, whilst I was
hunting up pedigrees for the new county history. I am Parson Tringham,
the antiquary, of Stagfoot Lane. Don't you really know, Durbeyfield,
that you are the lineal representative of the ancient and knightly family
of the d'Urbervilles, who derive their descent from Sir Pagan
d'Urberville, that renowned knight who came from Normandy with
William the Conqueror, as appears by Battle Abbey Roll?"
"Never heard it before, sir!"
"Well it's true. Throw up your chin a moment, so that I may catch the
profile of your face better. Yes, that's the d'Urberville nose and chin--a
little debased. Your ancestor was one of the twelve knights who
assisted the Lord of Estremavilla in Normandy in his conquest of
Glamorganshire. Branches of your family held manors over all this part
of England; their names appear in the Pipe Rolls in the time of King
Stephen. In the reign of King John one of them was rich enough to give

a manor to the Knights Hospitallers; and in Edward the Second's time
your forefather Brian was summoned to Westminster to attend the great
Council there. You declined a little in Oliver Cromwell's time, but to no
serious extent, and in Charles the Second's reign you were made
Knights of the Royal Oak for your loyalty. Aye, there have been
generations of Sir Johns among you, and if knighthood were hereditary,
like a baronetcy, as it practically was in old times, when men were
knighted from father to son, you would be Sir John now."
"Ye don't say so!"
"In short," concluded the parson, decisively smacking his leg with his
switch, "there's hardly such another family in England."
"Daze my eyes, and isn't there?" said Durbeyfield. "And here have I
been knocking about, year after year, from pillar to post, as if I was no
more than the commonest feller in the parish... And how long hev this
news about me been knowed, Pa'son Tringham?"
The clergyman explained that, as far as he was aware, it had quite died
out of knowledge, and could hardly be said to be known at all. His own
investigations had begun on a
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