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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  

by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty Summary

  • Angel and Tess drive along towards the train station with the load of butter for the market. At first they don't talk.
  • After a while it starts to drizzle.
  • They snuggle up, and Angel takes a large piece of cloth and puts it over both of their shoulders.
  • Now that they're all cozy and more-or-less dry, Angel asks her again for her reasons against marrying.
  • She says she'll try to tell him before they get home.
  • They pass an old manor-house, and Angel tells her it's the old seat of the D'Urbervilles—remember, he still doesn't know that she's related to that family.
  • Tess doesn't say much in response.
  • They get to the train station, and unload the butter and milk from the cart.
  • Angel asks her why she won't marry him, if she loves him.
  • She says it's because of something to do with her history.
  • Again, Angel almost laughs. What kind of "history" can a country girl like Tess have?
  • Tess starts to relate the story of childhood, but when she says that her father discovered that they were D'Urbervilles, and not Durbeyfields, Angel stops her.
  • He has a romantic interest in old families, because he likes the history, he tells her. He just doesn't like it when people seem to think that good blood is everything.
  • He asks if her D'Urberville connection was the only objection she had to marrying him.
  • She loses courage, and says yes.
  • Angel thinks it's awesome that she's a D'Urberville, and is very happy that that was the only obstacle. He calls her "Mistress Theresa D'Urberville."
  • She says she likes the old spelling of her name better.
  • He tries to remember where he just heard the name D'Urberville recently… oh right, it was the name of that rascal who insulted his father.
  • Tess gets more distressed at this reminder of Alec, but Angel doesn't seem to see it. He thinks she's just agitated with emotion.
  • He asks if she'll marry him, now that her secret is out, and he doesn't mind it.
  • She asks if he's very sure, and if he really, really wants to marry her.
  • Of course he does, and she says yes, but then bursts into hysterical sobs.
  • Angel asks what's up. She says she's broken her vow never to get married.
  • She calms down a bit when she realizes that her crying is hurting his feelings, and she smooches him to show him just how much she loves him.
  • After this make-out session, they climb back in the cart to drive home.
  • She tells him she has to write to her mother, and he asks where her mother lives.
  • When she tells him, he realizes that he had seen her before—at the dance on the village green.
  • Tess, of course, had remembered it long since, and says that she hopes it's not a bad omen for them now, that he didn't dance with her then.

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