Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 3, Chapter 4

By Thomas Hardy

Book 3, Chapter 4

An Hour of Bliss and Many Hours of Sadness

  • After studying all day, Clym heads out to the heath to watch an eclipse. And to meet Eustacia, of course.
  • The two of them make out for a bit and talk about their true love.
  • Eustacia is worried about Mrs. Yeobright not liking her, and Clym tries to reassure her.
  • Then Eustacia starts asking Clym about Paris.
  • Clym sounds bored by this line of conversation; it seems that Eustacia never shuts up about Paris.
  • The two discuss their marriage plans at length and Eustacia agrees to marry Clym right away if he'll promise to bring her back to Paris.
  • Clym isn't enthused by this idea, and Eustacia says she doesn't care if he goes to Paris, she'll marry him anyway.
  • It's like these two are having two separate conversations, but they somehow manage to finalize their engagement.
  • After Eustacia leaves, Clym starts to worry that they're rushing into marriage and that she only loves him because of his ties to Paris.
  • He also worries about his strained relationship with his mother.