The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Fate and Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
But the momentum of his character knew no patience. (27.4)
Henchard makes a lot of mistakes, but they are the fault of his personality. The narrator describes Henchard's "character" as if it were its own entity. He doesn't say, "Henchard had no patience," but rather that his "character knew no patience."
The movements of his mind seemed to tend to the thought that some power was working against him. (27.4)
Henchard is superstitious, and so many bad things happen to him that he can't help but wonder whether some force outside himself – some "power" – might be plotting against him. Of course, it isn't some abstract Fate that's causing Henchard's misfortunes – it's his own flaws and mistakes. (And the fact that he's a main character in a Hardy novel.)
"I wonder," he asked himself with eerie misgiving; "I wonder if it can be that somebody has been roasting a waxen image of me, or stirring an unholy brew to confound me! I don't believe in such power, and yet – what if they should ha' been doing it!" (27.5)
This is one of the rare moments when Henchard looks for a cause for his misfortunes outside himself. Generally he takes the whole blame for everything that happens to him; he doesn't try to shift it onto anyone else.