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+<title>The Project Gutenberg eBook of Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy</title>
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+<h1 align="center">The Project Gutenberg eBook, Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy</h1>
+<pre>
+This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
+almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
+re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
+with this eBook or online at <a href = "http://www.gutenberg.net">www.gutenberg.net</a></pre>
+<p>Title: Far from the Madding Crowd</p>
+<p>Author: Thomas Hardy</p>
+<p>Release Date: February, 1994 [eBook #107]</p>
+<p>Most recently updated: May 13, 2005</p>
+<p>Edition: 12</p>
+<p>Language: English</p>
+<p>Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1</p>
+<p>***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD***</p>
+<br><br><center><h3>E-text prepared by anonymous Project Gutenberg volunteers<br>
+ and revised by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.<br>
+ <br>
+ HTML version by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D.</h3></center><br><br>
+<hr noshade>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<center>
+<h1>FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD</h1>
+<br>
+<h4>by</h4>
+<br>
+<h2>Thomas Hardy</h2>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<hr class="narrow">
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<h3>CONTENTS</h3>
+<br>
+<table cellpadding=2>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#Preface" >Preface</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">I.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#1" >Description of Farmer Oak&mdash;An Incident</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">II.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#2" >Night&mdash;The Flock&mdash;An Interior&mdash;Another Interior</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">III.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#3" >A Girl on Horseback&mdash;Conversation</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">IV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#4" >Gabriel's Resolve&mdash;The Visit&mdash;The Mistake</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">V.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#5" >Departure of Bathsheba&mdash;A Pastoral Tragedy</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">VI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#6" >The Fair&mdash;The Journey&mdash;The Fire</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">VII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#7" >Recognition&mdash;A Timid Girl</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">VIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#8" >The Malthouse&mdash;The Chat&mdash;News</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">IX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#9" >The Homestead&mdash;A Visitor&mdash;Half-Confidences</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">X.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#10">Mistress and Men</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#11">Outside the Barracks&mdash;Snow&mdash;A Meeting</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#12">Farmers&mdash;A Rule&mdash;An Exception</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#13">Sortes Sanctorum&mdash;The Valentine</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XIV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#14">Effect of the Letter&mdash;Sunrise</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#15">A Morning Meeting&mdash;The Letter Again</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XVI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#16">All Saints' and All Souls'</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XVII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#17">In the Market-Place</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XVIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#18">Boldwood in Meditation&mdash;Regret</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XIX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#19">The Sheep-Washing&mdash;The Offer</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#20">Perplexity&mdash;Grinding the Shears&mdash;A Quarrel</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#21">Troubles in the Fold&mdash;A Message</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#22">The Great Barn and the Sheep-Shearers</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#23">Eventide&mdash;A Second Declaration</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXIV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#24">The Same Night&mdash;The Fir Plantation</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#25">The New Acquaintance Described</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXVI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#26">Scene on the Verge of the Hay-Mead</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXVII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#27">Hiving the Bees</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXVIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#28">The Hollow Amid the Ferns</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXIX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#29">Particulars of a Twilight Walk</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#30">Hot Cheeks and Tearful Eyes</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#31">Blame&mdash;Fury</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#32">Night&mdash;Horses Tramping</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#33">In the Sun&mdash;A Harbinger</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXIV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#34">Home Again&mdash;A Trickster</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#35">At an Upper Window</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXVI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#36">Wealth in Jeopardy&mdash;The Revel</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXVII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#37">The Storm&mdash;The Two Together</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXVIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#38">Rain&mdash;One Solitary Meets Another</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XXXIX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#39">Coming Home&mdash;A Cry</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XL.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#40">On Casterbridge Highway</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#41">Suspicion&mdash;Fanny Is Sent For</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#42">Joseph and His Burden&mdash;Buck's Head</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#43">Fanny's Revenge</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLIV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#44">Under a Tree&mdash;Reaction</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#45">Troy's Romanticism</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLVI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#46">The Gurgoyle: Its Doings</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLVII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#47">Adventures by the Shore</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLVIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#48">Doubts Arise&mdash;Doubts Linger</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">XLIX.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#49">Oak's Advancement&mdash;A Great Hope</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">L.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#50">The Sheep Fair&mdash;Troy Touches His Wife's Hand</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#51">Bathsheba Talks with Her Outrider</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#52">Converging Courses</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LIII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#53">Concurritur&mdash;Horae Momento</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LIV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#54">After the Shock</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LV.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#55">The March Following&mdash;"Bathsheba Boldwood"</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LVI.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#56">Beauty in Loneliness&mdash;After All</a></td>
+<tr><td align="right" valign="top">LVII.&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><a href="#57">A Foggy Night and Morning&mdash;Conclusion</a></td>
+</table>
+</center>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<center>
+<hr class="narrow">
+<a name="Preface"></a>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<h3>PREFACE</h3>
+</center>
+<br>
+<p>In reprinting this story for a new edition I am reminded that it was
+in the chapters of "Far from the Madding Crowd," as they appeared
+month by month in a popular magazine, that I first ventured to adopt
+the word "Wessex" from the pages of early English history, and give
+it a fictitious significance as the existing name of the district
+once included in that extinct kingdom. The series of novels I
+projected being mainly of the kind called local, they seemed to
+require a territorial definition of some sort to lend unity to their
+scene. Finding that the area of a single county did not afford a
+canvas large enough for this purpose, and that there were objections
+to an invented name, I disinterred the old one. The press and the
+public were kind enough to welcome the fanciful plan, and willingly
+joined me in the anachronism of imagining a Wessex population living
+under Queen Victoria;&mdash;a modern Wessex of railways,
+the penny post, mowing and reaping machines, union workhouses, lucifer
+matches, labourers who could read and write, and National school
+children. But I believe I am correct in stating that, until the
+existence of this contemporaneous Wessex was announced in the present
+story, in 1874, it had never been heard of, and that the expression, "a
+Wessex peasant," or "a Wessex custom," would theretofore have been
+taken to refer to nothing later in date than the Norman Conquest.
+
+<p>I did not anticipate that this application of the word to a modern
+use would extend outside the chapters of my own chronicles. But the
+name was soon taken up elsewhere as a local designation. The first
+to do so was the now defunct <i>Examiner</i>, which, in the impression
+bearing date July 15, 1876, entitled one of its articles "The Wessex
+Labourer," the article turning out to be no dissertation on farming
+during the Heptarchy, but on the modern peasant of the south-west
+counties, and his presentation in these stories.
+
+<p>Since then the appellation which I had thought to reserve to the
+horizons and landscapes of a merely realistic dream-country, has
+become more and more popular as a practical definition; and the
+dream-country has, by degrees, solidified into a utilitarian region
+which people can go to, take a house in, and write to the papers
+from. But I ask all good and gentle readers to be so kind as to
+forget this, and to refuse steadfastly to believe that there are any
+inhabitants of a Victorian Wessex outside the pages of this and the
+companion volumes in which they were first discovered.
+
+<p>Moreover, the village called Weatherbury, wherein the scenes of the
+present story of the series are for the most part laid, would perhaps
+be hardly discernible by the explorer, without help, in any existing
+place nowadays; though at the time, comparatively recent, at which
+the tale was written, a sufficient reality to meet the descriptions,
+both of backgrounds and personages, might have been traced easily
+enough. The church remains, by great good fortune, unrestored and
+intact, and a few of the old houses; but the ancient malt-house,
+which was formerly so characteristic of the parish, has been pulled
+down these twenty years; also most of the thatched and dormered
+cottages that were once lifeholds. The game of prisoner's base,
+which not so long ago seemed to enjoy a perennial vitality in front
+of the worn-out stocks, may, so far as I can say, be entirely unknown
+to the rising generation of schoolboys there. The practice of
+divination by Bible and key, the regarding of valentines as things of
+serious import, the shearing-supper, and the harvest-home, have, too,
+nearly disappeared in the wake of the old houses; and with them have
+gone, it is said, much of that love of fuddling to which the village
+at one time was notoriously prone. The change at the root of this
+has been the recent supplanting of the class of stationary cottagers,
+who carried on the local traditions and humours, by a population of
+more or less migratory labourers, which has led to a break of
+continuity in local history, more fatal than any other thing to the
+preservation of legend, folk-lore, close inter-social relations, and
+eccentric individualities. For these the indispensable conditions of
+existence are attachment to the soil of one particular spot by
+generation after generation.<br>
+<br>
+T. H.<br>
+<br>
+February 1895<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<a name="1"></a>
+<br>
+<br>
+<center>
+<h3>CHAPTER I<br>
+<br>
+Description of Farmer Oak&mdash;An Incident</h3>
+</center>
+<br>
+<p>When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they
+were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were
+reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them,
+extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch
+of the rising sun.
+
+<p>His Christian name was Gabriel, and on working days he was a young
+man of sound judgment, easy motions, proper dress, and general good
+character. On Sundays he was a man of misty views, rather given to
+postponing, and hampered by his best clothes and umbrella: upon the
+whole, one who felt himself to occupy morally that vast middle space
+of Laodicean neutrality which lay between the Communion people of the
+parish and the drunken section,&mdash;that is, he went to church,
+but yawned privately by the time the congregation reached the Nicene
+creed, and thought of what there would be for dinner when he meant to
+be listening to the sermon. Or, to state his character as it stood in
+the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in
+tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man; when they were pleased,
+he was rather a good man; when they were neither, he was a man whose
+moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture.
+
+<p>Since he lived six times as many working-days as Sundays, Oak's
+appearance in his old clothes was most peculiarly his own&mdash;the
+mental picture formed by his neighbours in imagining him being always
+dressed in that way. He wore a low-crowned felt hat, spread out at the
+base by tight jamming upon the head for security in high winds, and a
+coat like Dr. Johnson's; his lower extremities being encased in
+ordinary leather leggings and boots emphatically large, affording to
+each foot a roomy apartment so constructed that any wearer might stand
+in a river all day long and know nothing of damp&mdash;their maker
+being a conscientious man who endeavoured to compensate for any
+weakness in his cut by unstinted dimension and solidity.
+
+<p>Mr. Oak carried about him, by way of watch, what may be called a
+small silver clock; in other words, it was a watch as to shape and
+intention, and a small clock as to size. This instrument being
+several years older than Oak's grandfather, had the peculiarity of
+going either too fast or not at all. The smaller of its hands, too,
+occasionally slipped round on the pivot, and thus, though the minutes
+were told with precision, nobody could be quite certain of the hour
+they belonged to. The stopping peculiarity of his watch Oak remedied
+by thumps and shakes, and he escaped any evil consequences from the
+other two defects by constant comparisons with and observations of
+the sun and stars, and by pressing his face close to the glass of his
+neighbours' windows, till he could discern the hour marked by the
+green-faced timekeepers within. It may be mentioned that Oak's fob
+being difficult of access, by reason of its somewhat high situation
+in the waistband of his trousers (which also lay at a remote height
+under his waistcoat), the watch was as a necessity pulled out by
+throwing the body to one side, compressing the mouth and face to a
+mere mass of ruddy flesh on account of the exertion required, and
+drawing up the watch by its chain, like a bucket from a well.
+
+<p>But some thoughtful persons, who had seen him walking across one of
+his fields on a certain December morning&mdash;sunny and exceedingly
+mild&mdash;might have regarded Gabriel Oak in other aspects than
+these. In his face one might notice that many of the hues and curves of
+youth had tarried on to manhood: there even remained in his remoter
+crannies some relics of the boy. His height and breadth would have
+been sufficient to make his presence imposing, had they been exhibited
+with due consideration. But there is a way some men have, rural and
+urban alike, for which the mind is more responsible than flesh and
+sinew: it is a way of curtailing their dimensions by their manner of
+showing them. And from a quiet modesty that would have become a
+vestal, which seemed continually to impress upon him that he had no
+great claim on the world's room, Oak walked unassumingly and with a
+faintly perceptible bend, yet distinct from a bowing of the shoulders.
+This may be said to be a defect in an individual if he depends for his
+valuation more upon his appearance than upon his capacity to wear well,
+which Oak did not.
+
+<p>He had just reached the time of life at which "young" is ceasing to
+be the prefix of "man" in speaking of one. He was at the brightest
+period of masculine growth, for his intellect and his emotions were
+clearly separated: he had passed the time during which the influence
+of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse,
+and he had not yet arrived at the stage wherein they become united
+again, in the character of prejudice, by the influence of a wife and
+family. In short, he was twenty-eight, and a bachelor.
+
+<p>The field he was in this morning sloped to a ridge called Norcombe
+Hill. Through a spur of this hill ran the highway between Emminster
+and Chalk-Newton. Casually glancing over the hedge, Oak saw coming
+down the incline before him an ornamental spring waggon, painted
+yellow and gaily marked, drawn by two horses, a waggoner walking
+alongside bearing a whip perpendicularly. The waggon was laden with
+household goods and window plants, and on the apex of the whole sat a
+woman, young and attractive. Gabriel had not beheld the sight for
+more than half a minute, when the vehicle was brought to a standstill
+just beneath his eyes.
+
+<p>"The tailboard of the waggon is gone, Miss," said the waggoner.
+
+<p>"Then I heard it fall," said the girl, in a soft, though not
+particularly low voice. "I heard a noise I could not account for
+when we were coming up the hill."
+
+<p>"I'll run back."
+
+<p>"Do," she answered.
+
+<p>The sensible horses stood&mdash;perfectly still, and the waggoner's
+steps sank fainter and fainter in the distance.
+
+<p>The girl on the summit of the load sat motionless, surrounded by
+tables and chairs with their legs upwards, backed by an oak settle,
+and ornamented in front by pots of geraniums, myrtles, and cactuses,
+together with a caged canary&mdash;all probably from the windows of
+the house just vacated. There was also a cat in a willow basket, from
+the partly-opened lid of which she gazed with half-closed eyes, and
+affectionately surveyed the small birds around.
+
+<p>The handsome girl waited for some time idly in her place, and the
+only sound heard in the stillness was the hopping of the canary up
+and down the perches of its prison. Then she looked attentively
+downwards. It was not at the bird, nor at the cat; it was at an
+oblong package tied in paper, and lying between them. She turned her
+head to learn if the waggoner were coming. He was not yet in sight;
+and her eyes crept back to the package, her thoughts seeming to run
+upon what was inside it. At length she drew the article into her
+lap, and untied the paper covering; a small swing looking-glass was
+disclosed, in which she proceeded to survey herself attentively. She
+parted her lips and smiled.
+
+<p>It was a fine morning, and the sun lighted up to a scarlet glow the
+crimson jacket she wore, and painted a soft lustre upon her bright
+face and dark hair. The myrtles, geraniums, and cactuses packed
+around her were fresh and green, and at such a leafless season they
+invested the whole concern of horses, waggon, furniture, and girl
+with a peculiar vernal charm. What possessed her to indulge in such
+a performance in the sight of the sparrows, blackbirds, and
+unperceived farmer who were alone its spectators,&mdash;whether the
+smile began as a factitious one, to test her capacity in that
+art,&mdash;nobody knows; it ended certainly in a real smile. She
+blushed at herself, and seeing her reflection blush, blushed the more.
+
+<p>The change from the customary spot and necessary occasion of such an
+act&mdash;from the dressing hour in a bedroom to a time of travelling
+out of doors&mdash;lent to the idle deed a novelty it did not
+intrinsically possess. The picture was a delicate one. Woman's
+prescriptive infirmity had stalked into the sunlight, which had clothed
+it in the freshness of an originality. A cynical inference was
+irresistible by Gabriel Oak as he regarded the scene, generous though
+he fain would have been. There was no necessity whatever for her
+looking in the glass. She did not adjust her hat, or pat her hair, or
+press a dimple into shape, or do one thing to signify that any such
+intention had been her motive in taking up the glass. She simply
+observed herself as a fair product of Nature in the feminine kind, her
+thoughts seeming to glide into far-off though likely dramas in which
+men would play a part&mdash;vistas of probable triumphs&mdash;the
+smiles being of a phase suggesting that hearts were imagined as lost
+and won. Still, this was but conjecture, and the whole series of
+actions was so idly put forth as to make it rash to assert that
+intention had any part in them at all.
+
+<p>The waggoner's steps were heard returning. She put the glass in the
+paper, and the whole again into its place.
+
+<p>When the waggon had passed on, Gabriel withdrew from his point of
+espial, and descending into the road, followed the vehicle to the
+turnpike-gate some way beyond the bottom of the hill, where the
+object of his contemplation now halted for the payment of toll.
+About twenty steps still remained between him and the gate, when he
+heard a dispute. It was a difference concerning twopence between the
+persons with the waggon and the man at the toll-bar.
+you would wish me not to when I told 'ee or I shouldn't ha'
+thought of doing it," he said, simply. "I have arranged for
+Little Weatherbury Farm and shall have it in my own hands at
+Lady-day. You know I've had a share in it for some time.
+Still, that wouldn't prevent my attending to your business
+as before, hadn't it been that things have been said about
+us."
+
+<p>"What?" said Bathsheba, in surprise. "Things said about you
+and me! What are they?"
+
+<p>"I cannot tell you."
+
+<p>"It would be wiser if you were to, I think. You have played
+the part of mentor to me many times, and I don't see why you
+should fear to do it now."
+
+<p>"It is nothing that you have done, this time. The top and
+tail o't is this&mdash;that I am sniffing about here, and
+waiting for poor Boldwood's farm, with a thought of getting
+you some day."
+
+<p>"Getting me! What does that mean?"
+
+<p>"Marrying of 'ee, in plain British. You asked me to tell,
+so you mustn't blame me."
+
+<p>Bathsheba did not look quite so alarmed as if a cannon had
+been discharged by her ear, which was what Oak had expected.
+"Marrying me! I didn't know it was that you meant," she
+said, quietly. "Such a thing as that is too absurd&mdash;too
+soon&mdash;to think of, by far!"
+
+<p>"Yes; of course, it is too absurd. I don't desire any such
+thing; I should think that was plain enough by this time.
+Surely, surely you be the last person in the world I think
+of marrying. It is too absurd, as you say."
+
+<p>"'Too&mdash;s-s-soon' were the words I used."
+
+<p>"I must beg your pardon for correcting you, but you said,
+'too absurd,' and so do I."
+
+<p>"I beg your pardon too!" she returned, with tears in her
+eyes. "'Too soon' was what I said. But it doesn't matter a
+bit&mdash;not at all&mdash;but I only meant, 'too soon.' Indeed,
+I didn't, Mr. Oak, and you must believe me!"
+
+<p>Gabriel looked her long in the face, but the firelight being
+faint there was not much to be seen. "Bathsheba," he said,
+tenderly and in surprise, and coming closer: "if I only knew
+one thing&mdash;whether you would allow me to love you and win
+you, and marry you after all&mdash;if I only knew that!"
+
+<p>"But you never will know," she murmured.
+
+<p>"Why?"
+
+<p>"Because you never ask."
+
+<p>"Oh&mdash;Oh!" said Gabriel, with a low laugh of joyousness.
+"My own dear&mdash;"
+
+<p>"You ought not to have sent me that harsh letter this
+morning," she interrupted. "It shows you didn't care a bit
+about me, and were ready to desert me like all the rest of
+them! It was very cruel of you, considering I was the first
+sweetheart that you ever had, and you were the first I ever
+had; and I shall not forget it!"
+
+<p>"Now, Bathsheba, was ever anybody so provoking," he said,
+laughing. "You know it was purely that I, as an unmarried
+man, carrying on a business for you as a very taking young
+woman, had a proper hard part to play&mdash;more particular
+that people knew I had a sort of feeling for 'ee; and I
+fancied, from the way we were mentioned together, that it
+might injure your good name. Nobody knows the heat and fret
+I have been caused by it."
+
+<p>"And was that all?"
+
+<p>"All."
+
+<p>"Oh, how glad I am I came!" she exclaimed, thankfully, as
+she rose from her seat. "I have thought so much more of you
+since I fancied you did not want even to see me again. But
+I must be going now, or I shall be missed. Why Gabriel,"
+she said, with a slight laugh, as they went to the door, "it
+seems exactly as if I had come courting you&mdash;how
+dreadful!"
+
+<p>"And quite right too," said Oak. "I've danced at your
+skittish heels, my beautiful Bathsheba, for many a long
+mile, and many a long day; and it is hard to begrudge me
+this one visit."
+
+<p>He accompanied her up the hill, explaining to her the
+details of his forthcoming tenure of the other farm. They
+spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases
+and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such
+tried friends. Theirs was that substantial affection which
+arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown
+together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each
+other's character, and not the best till further on, the
+romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard
+prosaic reality. This
+good-fellowship&mdash;<i>camaraderie</i>&mdash;usually
+occurring through similarity of pursuits, is
+unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes,
+because men and women associate, not in their labours, but
+in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy
+circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling
+proves itself to be the only love which is strong as
+death&mdash;that love which many waters
+cannot quench, nor the floods
+drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name
+is evanescent as steam.
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<a name="57"></a>
+<br>
+<br>
+<center>
+<h3>CHAPTER LVII<br>
+<br>
+A FOGGY NIGHT AND MORNING&mdash;CONCLUSION</h3>
+</center>
+<br>
+<p>"The most private, secret, plainest wedding that it is
+possible to have."
+
+<p>Those had been Bathsheba's words to Oak one evening, some
+time after the event of the preceding chapter, and he
+meditated a full hour by the clock upon how to carry out her
+wishes to the letter.
+
+<p>"A license&mdash;O yes, it must be a license," he said to
+himself at last. "Very well, then; first, a license."
+
+<p>On a dark night, a few days later, Oak came with mysterious
+steps from the surrogate's door, in Casterbridge. On the
+way home he heard a heavy tread in front of him, and,
+overtaking the man, found him to be Coggan. They walked
+together into the village until they came to a little lane
+behind the church, leading down to the cottage of Laban
+Tall, who had lately been installed as clerk of the parish,
+and was yet in mortal terror at church on Sundays when he
+heard his lone voice among certain hard words of the Psalms,
+whither no man ventured to follow him.
+
+<p>"Well, good-night, Coggan," said Oak, "I'm going down this
+way."
+
+<p>"Oh!" said Coggan, surprised; "what's going on to-night
+then, make so bold Mr. Oak?"
+
+<p>It seemed rather ungenerous not to tell Coggan, under the
+circumstances, for Coggan had been true as steel all through
+the time of Gabriel's unhappiness about Bathsheba, and
+Gabriel said, "You can keep a secret, Coggan?"
+
+<p>"You've proved me, and you know."
+
+<p>"Yes, I have, and I do know. Well, then, mistress and I
+mean to get married to-morrow morning."
+
+<p>"Heaven's high tower! And yet I've thought of such a thing
+from time to time; true, I have. But keeping it so close!
+Well, there, 'tis no consarn of of mine, and I wish 'ee joy
+o' her."
+
+<p>"Thank you, Coggan. But I assure 'ee that this great hush
+is not what I wished for at all, or what either of us would
+have wished if it hadn't been for certain things that would
+make a gay wedding seem hardly the thing. Bathsheba has a
+great wish that all the parish shall not be in church,
+looking at her&mdash;she's shy-like and nervous about it, in
+fact&mdash;so I be doing this to humour her."
+
+<p>"Ay, I see: quite right, too, I suppose I must say. And you
+be now going down to the clerk."
+
+<p>"Yes; you may as well come with me."
+
+<p>"I am afeard your labour in keeping it close will be throwed
+away," said Coggan, as they walked along. "Labe Tall's old
+woman will horn it all over parish in half-an-hour."
+
+<p>"So she will, upon my life; I never thought of that," said
+Oak, pausing. "Yet I must tell him to-night, I suppose, for
+he's working so far off, and leaves early."
+
+<p>"I'll tell 'ee how we could tackle her," said Coggan. "I'll
+knock and ask to speak to Laban outside the door, you
+standing in the background. Then he'll come out, and you
+can tell yer tale. She'll never guess what I want en for;
+and I'll make up a few words about the farm-work, as a
+blind."
+
+<p>This scheme was considered feasible; and Coggan advanced
+boldly, and rapped at Mrs. Tall's door. Mrs. Tall herself
+opened it.
+
+<p>"I wanted to have a word with Laban."
+
+<p>"He's not at home, and won't be this side of eleven o'clock.
+He've been forced to go over to Yalbury since shutting out
+work. I shall do quite as well."
+
+<p>"I hardly think you will. Stop a moment;" and Coggan
+stepped round the corner of the porch to consult Oak.
+
+<p>"Who's t'other man, then?" said Mrs. Tall.
+
+<p>"Only a friend," said Coggan.
+
+<p>"Say he's wanted to meet mistress near church-hatch
+to-morrow morning at ten," said Oak, in a whisper. "That he
+must come without fail, and wear his best clothes."
+
+<p>"The clothes will floor us as safe as houses!" said Coggan.
+
+<p>"It can't be helped," said Oak. "Tell her."
+
+<p>So Coggan delivered the message. "Mind, het or wet, blow or
+snow, he must come," added Jan. "'Tis very particular,
+indeed. The fact is, 'tis to witness her sign some law-work
+about taking shares wi' another farmer for a long span o'
+years. There, that's what 'tis, and now I've told 'ee,
+Mother Tall, in a way I shouldn't ha' done if I hadn't loved
+'ee so hopeless well."
+
+<p>Coggan retired before she could ask any further; and next
+they called at the vicar's in a manner which excited no
+curiosity at all. Then Gabriel went home, and prepared for
+the morrow.
+
+
+<br><br><br>
+<p>"Liddy," said Bathsheba, on going to bed that night, "I want
+you to call me at seven o'clock to-morrow, In case I
+shouldn't wake."
+
+<p>"But you always do wake afore then, ma'am."
+
+<p>"Yes, but I have something important to do, which I'll tell
+you of when the time comes, and it's best to make sure."
+
+<p>Bathsheba, however, awoke voluntarily at four, nor could she
+by any contrivance get to sleep again. About six, being
+quite positive that her watch had stopped during the night,
+she could wait no longer. She went and tapped at Liddy's
+door, and after some labour awoke her.
+
+<p>"But I thought it was I who had to call you?" said the
+bewildered Liddy. "And it isn't six yet."
+
+<p>"Indeed it is; how can you tell such a story, Liddy? I know
+it must be ever so much past seven. Come to my room as soon
+as you can; I want you to give my hair a good brushing."
+
+<p>When Liddy came to Bathsheba's room her mistress was already
+waiting. Liddy could not understand this extraordinary
+promptness. "Whatever <i>is</i> going on, ma'am?" she said.
+
+<p>"Well, I'll tell you," said Bathsheba, with a mischievous
+smile in her bright eyes. "Farmer Oak is coming here to
+dine with me to-day!"
+
+<p>"Farmer Oak&mdash;and nobody else?&mdash;you two alone?"
+
+<p>"Yes."
+
+<p>"But is it safe, ma'am, after what's been said?" asked her
+companion, dubiously. "A woman's good name is such a
+perishable article that&mdash;"
+
+<p>Bathsheba laughed with a flushed cheek, and whispered in
+Liddy's ear, although there was nobody present. Then Liddy
+stared and exclaimed, "Souls alive, what news! It makes my
+heart go quite bumpity-bump!"
+
+<p>"It makes mine rather furious, too," said Bathsheba.
+"However, there's no getting out of it now!"
+
+<p>It was a damp disagreeable morning. Nevertheless, at twenty
+minutes to ten o'clock, Oak came out of his house, and
+
+
+<br><br><br>
+<blockquote><blockquote>
+ &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
+ &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
+ Went up the hill side<br>
+ &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
+ &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
+ With that sort of stride<br>
+ A man puts out when walking in search of a bride,<br>
+</blockquote></blockquote>
+<br>
+
+
+and knocked Bathsheba's door. Ten minutes later a large and
+a smaller umbrella might have been seen moving from the same
+door, and through the mist along the road to the church.
+The distance was not more than a quarter of a mile, and
+these two sensible persons deemed it unnecessary to drive.
+An observer must have been very close indeed to discover
+that the forms under the umbrellas were those of Oak and
+Bathsheba, arm-in-arm for the first time in their lives, Oak
+in a greatcoat extending to his knees, and Bathsheba in a
+cloak that reached her clogs. Yet, though so plainly
+dressed, there was a certain rejuvenated appearance about
+her:&mdash;
+
+
+<br><br><br>
+<blockquote><blockquote>
+ As though a rose should shut and be a bud again.
+</blockquote></blockquote>
+<br>
+
+
+<p>Repose had again incarnadined her cheeks; and having, at
+Gabriel's request, arranged her hair this morning as she had
+worn it years ago on Norcombe Hill, she seemed in his eyes
+remarkably like a girl of that fascinating dream, which,
+considering that she was now only three or four-and-twenty,
+was perhaps not very wonderful. In the church were Tall,
+Liddy, and the parson, and in a remarkably short space of
+time the deed was done.
+
+<p>The two sat down very quietly to tea in Bathsheba's parlour
+in the evening of the same day, for it had been arranged
+that Farmer Oak should go there to live, since he had as yet
+neither money, house, nor furniture worthy of the name,
+though he was on a sure way towards them, whilst Bathsheba
+was, comparatively, in a plethora of all three.
+
+<p>Just as Bathsheba was pouring out a cup of tea, their ears
+were greeted by the firing of a cannon, followed by what
+seemed like a tremendous blowing of trumpets, in the front
+of the house.
+
+<p>"There!" said Oak, laughing, "I knew those fellows were up
+to something, by the look on their faces"
+
+<p>Oak took up the light and went into the porch, followed by
+Bathsheba with a shawl over her head. The rays fell upon a
+group of male figures gathered upon the gravel in front,
+who, when they saw the newly-married couple in the porch,
+set up a loud "Hurrah!" and at the same moment bang again
+went the cannon in the background, followed by a hideous
+clang of music from a drum, tambourine, clarionet, serpent,
+hautboy, tenor-viol, and double-bass&mdash;the only remaining
+relics of the true and original
+Weatherbury band&mdash;venerable worm-eaten
+instruments, which had celebrated in
+their own persons the victories of Marlborough, under the
+fingers of the forefathers of those who played them now.
+The performers came forward, and marched up to the front.
+
+<p>"Those bright boys, Mark Clark and Jan, are at the bottom of
+all this," said Oak. "Come in, souls, and have something to
+eat and drink wi' me and my wife."
+
+<p>"Not to-night," said Mr. Clark, with evident self-denial.
+"Thank ye all the same; but we'll call at a more seemly
+time. However, we couldn't think of letting the day pass
+without a note of admiration of some sort. If ye could send
+a drop of som'at down to Warren's, why so it is. Here's
+long life and happiness to neighbour Oak and his comely
+bride!"
+
+<p>"Thank ye; thank ye all," said Gabriel. "A bit and a drop
+shall be sent to Warren's for ye at once. I had a thought
+that we might very likely get a salute of some sort from our
+old friends, and I was saying so to my wife but now."
+
+<p>"Faith," said Coggan, in a critical tone, turning to his
+companions, "the man hev learnt to say 'my wife' in a
+wonderful naterel way, considering how very youthful he is
+in wedlock as yet&mdash;hey, neighbours all?"
+
+<p>"I never heerd a skilful old married feller of twenty years'
+standing pipe 'my wife' in a more used note than 'a did,"
+said Jacob Smallbury. "It might have been a little more
+true to nater if't had been spoke a little chillier, but
+that wasn't to be expected just now."
+
+<p>"That improvement will come wi' time," said Jan, twirling
+his eye.
+
+<p>Then Oak laughed, and Bathsheba smiled (for she never
+laughed readily now), and their friends turned to go.
+
+<p>"Yes; I suppose that's the size o't," said Joseph Poorgrass
+with a cheerful sigh as they moved away; "and I wish him joy
+o' her; though I were once or twice upon saying to-day with
+holy Hosea, in my scripture manner, which is my second
+nature, 'Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.' But
+since 'tis as 'tis, why, it might have been worse, and I feel
+my thanks accordingly."
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<br>
+<center>
+<h3>NOTES</h3>
+</center>
+<br>
+
+<blockquote class="footnote">
+ <a id="footnote1" name="footnote1"></a> <b>Footnote 1</b>:
+
+ <p class="footnote">This phrase is a conjectural emendation
+ of the unintelligible expression, "as the Devil said to the Owl,"
+ used by the natives.
+ <br><a href="#footnotetag1">(return)</a>
+</blockquote>
+
+<blockquote class="footnote">
+ <a id="footnote2" name="footnote2"></a> <b>Footnote 2</b>:
+
+ <p class="footnote">The local tower and churchyard do not
+ answer precisely to the foregoing description.
+ <br><a href="#footnotetag2">(return)</a>
+</blockquote>
+
+<blockquote class="footnote">
+ <a id="footnote3" name="footnote3"></a> <b>Footnote 3</b>:
+
+ <p class="footnote">W. Barnes
+ <br><a href="#footnotetag3">(return)</a>
+</blockquote>
+
+<blockquote class="footnote">
+ <a id="footnotea" name="footnotea"></a> <b>Transcriber's note a</b>:
+
+ <p class="footnote">Alternate text: appears in all three
+ editions on hand:<br>
+ <br>"'Tis a' awkward gift for a man, poor soul," said the
+ maltster. "And ye have suffered from it a long time, we
+ know."<br>
+ <br>
+ "Ay, ever since..."
+ <br><a href="#footnotetaga">(return)</a>
+</blockquote>
+
+<blockquote class="footnote">
+ <a id="footnoteb" name="footnoteb"></a> <b>Transcriber's note b</b>:
+
+ <p class="footnote">Greek word meaning "it is finished"
+ <br><a href="#footnotetagb">(return)</a>
+</blockquote>
+
+
+
+<br>
+<br>
+<hr noshade>
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+ content="text/html; charset=us-ascii">
+<title>
+ A Laodicean: a Story of To-day,
+ by Thomas Hardy
+</title>
+
+<style type="text/css">
+ <!--
+ body { text-align:justify}
+ P { margin:10%;
+ text-indent: 1em;
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+ margin: 15%; font-family: sans-serif; font-size: 95%;}
+ .toc { margin-left: 5%; margin-bottom: .75em; font-size: 80%;}
+ .toc2 { margin-left: 5%;}
+ CENTER { padding: 10px;}
+ PRE { font-style: italic; font-size: 90%; margin-left: 20%;}
+ // -->
+</style>
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+</head>
+<body>
+
+
+<pre>
+
+The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Laodicean, by Thomas Hardy
+
+This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
+almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
+re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
+with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
+
+
+Title: A Laodicean
+
+Author: Thomas Hardy
+
+Release Date: February 9, 2009 [EBook #3258]
+
+Language: English
+
+Character set encoding: ASCII
+
+*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A LAODICEAN ***
+
+
+
+
+Produced by Les Bowler, and David Widger
+
+
+
+
+
+
+</pre>
+
+
+<br><br>
+
+<h1>
+ A LAODICEAN: A STORY OF TO-DAY
+</h1><br>
+
+<h2>
+By Thomas Hardy
+</h2>
+
+
+
+<br>
+<br>
+<hr>
+<br>
+<br>
+
+
+
+<h2>Contents</h2>
+
+
+<center><a href="#2H_PREF">
+PREFACE.
+</a></center>
+
+
+
+<center>
+<table summary="">
+<tr><td>
+
+
+
+ <a href="#2H_4_0002">
+BOOK THE FIRST. </a></td><td>GEORGE SOMERSET.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+ <a href="#2H_4_0003">
+BOOK THE SECOND. </a></td><td>DARE AND HAVILL.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+ <a href="#2H_4_0004">
+BOOK THE THIRD. </a></td><td>DE STANCY.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+ <a href="#2H_4_0005">
+BOOK THE FOURTH. &nbsp;&nbsp;</a></td><td>SOMERSET, DARE AND DE STANCY.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+ <a href="#2H_4_0006">
+BOOK THE FIFTH. </a></td><td>DE STANCY AND PAULA.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+ <a href="#2H_4_0007">
+BOOK THE SIXTH. </a></td><td>PAULA.
+</td></tr><tr><td>
+
+
+
+
+</table>
+</center>
+
+
+<br>
+<br>
+<hr>
+<br>
+<br>
+
+
+<a name="2H_PREF"><!-- H2 anchor --></a>
+
+<div style="height: 4em;"><br><br><br><br></div>
+
+<h2>
+ PREFACE.
+</h2>
+<p>
+The changing of the old order in country manors and mansions may be
+slow or sudden, may have many issues romantic or otherwise, its romantic
+issues being not necessarily restricted to a change back to the original
+order; though this admissible instance appears to have been the only
+romance formerly recognized by novelists as possible in the case.
+Whether the following production be a picture of other possibilities or
+not, its incidents may be taken to be fairly well supported by evidence
+every day forthcoming in most counties.
+</p>
+<p>
+The writing of the tale was rendered memorable to two persons, at least,
+by a tedious illness of five months that laid hold of the author soon
+after the story was begun in a well-known magazine; during which
+period the narrative had to be strenuously continued by dictation to a
+predetermined cheerful ending.
+</p>
+<p>
+As some of these novels of Wessex life address themselves more
+especially to readers into whose souls the iron has entered, and whose
+years have less pleasure in them now than heretofore, so "A Laodicean"
+may perhaps help to while away an idle afternoon of the comfortable ones
+whose lines have fallen to them in pleasant places; above all, of that
+large and happy section of the reading public which has not yet reached
+ripeness of years; those to whom marriage is the pilgrim's Eternal City,
+and not a milestone on the way. T.H.
+</p>
+<p>
+January 1896.
+</p>
+<a name="2H_4_0002"><!-- H2 anchor --></a>
+
+<div style="height: 4em;"><br><br><br><br></div>
+
+<h2>
+ BOOK THE FIRST. GEORGE SOMERSET.
+</h2>
+<center>
+I.
+</center>
+<p>
+The sun blazed down and down, till it was within half-an-hour of its
+setting; but the sketcher still lingered at his occupation of measuring
+and copying the chevroned doorway&mdash;a bold and quaint example of a
+transitional style of architecture, which formed the tower entrance to
+an English village church. The graveyard being quite open on its western
+side, the tweed-clad figure of the young draughtsman, and the tall mass
+of antique masonry which rose above him to a battlemented parapet,
+were fired to a great brightness by the solar rays, that crossed the
+neighbouring mead like a warp of gold threads, in whose mazes groups of
+equally lustrous gnats danced and wailed incessantly.
+</p>
+<p>
+He was so absorbed in his pursuit that he did not mark the brilliant
+chromatic effect of which he composed the central feature, till it was
+brought home to his intelligence by the warmth of the moulded stonework
+under his touch when measuring; which led him at length to turn his head
+and gaze on its cause.
+</p>
+<p>
+There are few in whom the sight of a sunset does not beget as much
+meditative melancholy as contemplative pleasure, the human decline and
+death that it illustrates being too obvious to escape the notice of
+the simplest observer. The sketcher, as if he had been brought to this
+reflection many hundreds of times before by the same spectacle, showed
+that he did not wish to pursue it just now, by turning away his face
+after a few moments, to resume his architectural studies.
+</p>
+<p>
+'I can assure you, you need not be alarmed, madam,' said Havill. 'The
+chief constable is here, and the two town engines, and I am doing all I
+can. The castle engine unfortunately is out of repair.'
+</p>
+<p>
+Somerset and Paula then went on to another point of view near the
+gymnasium, where they could not be seen by the crowd. Three-quarters of
+a mile off, on their left hand, the powerful irradiation fell upon the
+brick chapel in which Somerset had first seen the woman who now
+stood beside him as his wife. It was the only object visible in that
+direction, the dull hills and trees behind failing to catch the light.
+She significantly pointed it out to Somerset, who knew her meaning, and
+they turned again to the more serious matter.
+</p>
+<p>
+It had long been apparent that in the face of such a wind all the pigmy
+appliances that the populace could bring to act upon such a mass of
+combustion would be unavailing. As much as could burn that night was
+burnt, while some of that which would not burn crumbled and fell as
+a formless heap, whence new flames towered up, and inclined to the
+north-east so far as to singe the trees of the park. The thicker walls
+of Norman date remained unmoved, partly because of their thickness, and
+partly because in them stone vaults took the place of wood floors.
+</p>
+<p>
+The tower clock kept manfully going till it had struck one, its face
+smiling out from the smoke as if nothing were the matter, after which
+hour something fell down inside, and it went no more.
+</p>
+<p>
+Cunningham Haze, with his body of men, was devoted in his attention, and
+came up to say a word to our two spectators from time to time. Towards
+four o'clock the flames diminished, and feeling thoroughly weary,
+Somerset and Paula remained no longer, returning to Markton as they had
+come.
+</p>
+<p>
+On their journey they pondered and discussed what course it would be
+best to pursue in the circumstances, gradually deciding not to attempt
+rebuilding the castle unless they were absolutely compelled. True,
+the main walls were still standing as firmly as ever; but there was
+a feeling common to both of them that it would be well to make an
+opportunity of a misfortune, and leaving the edifice in ruins start
+their married life in a mansion of independent construction hard by the
+old one, unencumbered with the ghosts of an unfortunate line.
+</p>
+<p>
+'We will build a new house from the ground, eclectic in style. We will
+remove the ashes, charred wood, and so on from the ruin, and plant more
+ivy. The winter rains will soon wash the unsightly smoke from the walls,
+and Stancy Castle will be beautiful in its decay. You, Paula, will be
+yourself again, and recover, if you have not already, from the warp
+given to your mind (according to Woodwell) by the mediaevalism of that
+place.'
+</p>
+<p>
+'And be a perfect representative of "the modern spirit"?' she inquired;
+'representing neither the senses and understanding, nor the heart and
+imagination; but what a finished writer calls "the imaginative reason"?'
+</p>
+<p>
+'Yes; for since it is rather in your line you may as well keep straight
+on.'
+</p>
+<p>
+'Very well, I'll keep straight on; and we'll build a new house beside
+the ruin, and show the modern spirit for evermore.... But, George, I
+wish&mdash;' And Paula repressed a sigh.
+</p>
+<p>
+'Well?'
+</p>
+<p>
+'I wish my castle wasn't burnt; and I wish you were a De Stancy!'
+</p>
+
+
+<br><br><br><br>
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+<pre class="gutlic">
+
+
+
+
+
+End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of A Laodicean, by Thomas Hardy
+
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+</pre>
+
+</body>
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