Study Guide

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Summary

By Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Summary

Tess Durbeyfield is a (totally and completely doomed) country girl living in the late 19th Century in an English village that seems secluded, even though it's only a four-hour journey from London. Her father learns in the first chapter that he is the last lineal descendent of the D'Urbervilles—one of the oldest, most aristocratic, families in all of England. He foolishly assumes that his aristocratic heritage will suffice to pull his family out of poverty, and so he sends Tess off to "claim kin" (i.e., to borrow money on the strength of their distant family ties) from a wealthy branch of the D'Urbervilles.

Tess is a very pretty girl, and very "womanly" (i.e., sexy) for her age, and the son of the wealthy D'Urbervilles, Alec, tries to seduce her. He finds her too proud and modest to fall into his snares, and so he tricks her into accepting a ride from him back to the family house at night, and cuts through the woods. After getting lost (possibly on purpose), Alec leaves Tess to fall asleep under a tree while he tries to find the path. He comes back, and, finding her asleep, takes advantage of their solitude to rape her under the trees.

The next phase of the book ("Maiden No More") opens with Tess back at her parents' house in the village of Marlott. She's had a baby as a result of her connection with Alec, and has secluded herself from her former friends out of a combination of shame and pride. She works a few odd jobs to make money, and things are going okay until her baby suddenly gets sick... and dies. Tess is more worried about the baby's soul than anything else, so she buries it in the churchyard on the sly.

Time passes, and most of her friends and neighbors have forgotten about Tess's troubles. But she hasn't, so she decides to go to a neighboring county to work at a dairy farm where nobody knows her. One of the other workers at the dairy, Angel Clare, is the son of a gentleman. Angel is learning about farming so that he can move to the colonies in America and become a wealthy farmer there. He and Tess gradually fall in love.

Tess wants to tell Angel about her past, but she can't bring herself reveal it to him. Finally, the night before they're supposed to get married, she slips a note under his door confessing everything. When he doesn't say anything about it the next morning, she assumes all is forgiven—but really, he never saw the note. On their wedding night, he confesses to her that he'd had a brief fling with a strange woman in London long before he'd met Tess. So Tess feels like she can tell him about Alec, since that wasn't her fault.

But Angel doesn't see it that way. He's shocked and horrified that she's not a virgin, and runs off to South America to try and forget about her. Tess is heart-broken and wanders from job to job, trying to leave her problems behind her. But her problems keep finding her. Alec runs into her on the road, and even though he's become a Christian, he becomes obsessed with her again. Eventually he persuades her to live with him, even though she's legally married to Angel. But she's given up hope that Angel will ever come back to her.

But he does come back to her, and when she sees Angel, she stabs Alec in their hotel room. Angel realizes that he's partly responsible for the murder, and runs away with her. They flee together across the countryside, and are finally caught by the authorities at Stonehenge, an ancient monument of huge stones in the English countryside that was built by the druids or even earlier. "Justice" catches up with Tess, and she is hanged.

  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter One

    • The novel opens on the road: a "middle-aged man" is walking home from Shaston to Marlott (both fictional towns, set in an area southwest of London—see "Setting" for more on the location of Tess of the D'Urbervilles). The time is evening in late May, and the year is sometime in the late nineteenth century.
    • The man passes an elderly parson (i.e., a pastor or minister of the Church of England). The man says "Goodnight t'ye" politely, and the parson responds, "Good night, Sir John."
    • This puzzles the man—apparently the parson has passed him on the road twice in the last month, and has called him "Sir John" on both occasions. He asks the parson what he means by it, when he's not "Sir John," but only "plain Jack Durbeyfield, the haggler" (1.9).
    • The parson hesitates before explaining himself. He says that he is Parson Tringham, and that he is an antiquary (someone who studies local history and genealogy), and that he had discovered recently that Durbeyfield was the "direct lineal representative" of the ancient, aristocratic family of the D'Urbervilles, and that his ancestor, Sir Pagan D'Urberville, came to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror (1.11).
    • Let's break for a Historical Context Lesson:
    • It's important for you to understand the history here, because Jack Durbeyfield so often gets it wrong: the current line of kings and queens in England (yes, even down to the present-day royal family) descends directly from King William I, who is often referred to as William the Conqueror.
    • He was a Duke in the northern region of France called Normandy and, for various reasons, felt that he had a claim to the throne of England. Never mind that England already had a king at that point (his name was Harold).
    • So William set off across the English Channel with a group of knights and their armies, and in the great Battle of Hastings in 1066, they conquered the Saxons in England, and Harold died in battle with an arrow in his eyeball (ouch). So the French Normans became the rulers of England from that time forward.
    • For a long time, the ruling class in England spoke French, and the peasants and lower classes spoke old English—they had a hard time communicating with each other. After a while, the two languages kind of merged.
    • But many of the Norman, or French-sounding names, lived on in the aristocratic families that descended from William the Conqueror's knights, and their names were recorded in a list (which was possibly a fake) called the "Abbey Roll," which Parson Tringham refers to here.
    • If you've read Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, for example, you'll remember that Darcy's snobby aunt's name is "Lady Catherine De Bourg"—a very French, and therefore very "old-money," kind of aristocratic name.
    • In the context of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, D'Urberville is most certainly a French-sounding name, while "Durbeyfield" sounds more English, and therefore more common and less aristocratic (see Tess's "Character Analysis" and the "Tools for Characterization" section for more on those names).
    • Now, back to the story:
    • Jack Durbeyfield has never heard any of this before, and he's very interested.
    • Parson Tringham goes on to tell him the history of his family in brief—although his family is now debased, there have been "generations of Sir Johns among you, and if knighthood were hereditary, like a baronetcy […] you would be Sir John now" (1.13).
    • Another quick historical side note, again:
    • Jack Durbeyfield can't quite get his head around this. Knights, as you know, are called "Sir whoever." So are baronets, who are below dukes and earls and such on the social ladder, and just above knights. But knights can't pass on their title to their sons—only baronets, dukes, earls, and other "hereditary" titles can do that.
    • So, for example, Paul McCartney might be "Sir Paul McCartney," thanks to the Queen's appreciation of the Beatles, but he can't pass the title on to his children. Jack Durbeyfield doesn't quite understand all this. He seems to think that because his ancestors were knights, he just needs to get his name to the right people to become recognized as "Sir John" himself.
    • Back to our story:
    • The parson explains that no one else knows anything about Jack Durbeyfield's connection to the noble family of D'Urberville, because the D'Urbervilles have all but died out—they no longer have a family estate anywhere in England.
    • Jack reflects that he remembers hearing his father and grandfather say that their family had known better times, but he had assumed that that only meant that they used to keep two horses, instead of just one.
    • They also have a "graven seal" and an old silver spoon in the family (a "graven seal" would be the distinctive family crest and motto carved into a small, flat shape that could be pressed into hot wax to seal a letter closed, so that the recipient would know from whom it came. Only fancy families had them.)
    • The parson concludes by informing Jack Durbeyfield that his ancestors are buried in a little place called "Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill."
    • Jack Durbeyfield is eager to know whether his family might ever rise to power again.
    • The parson doesn't know, of course.
    • Jack asks what he should do about it—the parson says he shouldn't do anything, and closes their conversation with the cliché about "how the mighty have fallen."
    • Jack offers the parson a quart of beer "on the strength of it" at the local pub (he already seems to think that he'll have some money coming to him based on this new knowledge of his family history).
    • The parson declines and rides on, reflecting that he probably shouldn't have told Jack Durbeyfield about his aristocratic connections.
    • Jack sits under a tree to daydream until a young man walks by. Jack calls to him, and the young man hurries over, rather displeased that Jack called him "boy" in such a patronizing way.
    • Jack explains that he's just discovered that he's of noble blood, and that he is actually "Sir John D'Urberville." (You see, he doesn't understand about how knighthoods aren't actually passed down from father to son.)
    • He tells the young man, whose name is Fred, to take his basket and run into town to send a horse and carriage to carry him home, and then to run to his house to tell Mrs. Durbeyfield that he has something important to tell her.
    • Fred seems hesitant, until Jack Durbeyfield gives him a shilling (one of rather few that Durbeyfield has in his pocket) for his trouble.
    • Just before Fred leaves "Sir John" on his errand, Jack hears some music over the hills, and asks what it is.
    • Fred reminds him that it's the "women's club-walking," and that Durbeyfield's own daughter is one of the members. ("Club-walking" gets explained more in the next chapter. Basically it's a neighborhood women's club that parades through the town every spring before dancing on the town green—it's a holdover from old pseudo-pagan May Day celebrations of springtime.)
    • Then Fred leaves, and Durbeyfield stays lying in the grass, listening to the music.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Two

    • The chapter opens with a description of the "Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor" (see the "Setting" section for more on why the valley has two names), where the village of Marlott is situated.
    • The narrator gives us a historical, as well as a geographical and topographical, description of the area. Apparently the valley used to be covered by an ancient forest, most of which has since been cleared for farming, but occasional bits of the ancient woods survive here and there.
    • The ancient customs associated with the forest still survive in the valley in some form or another. The May-Day dance survives in the form of the club-walking mentioned in the previous chapter.
    • The club-walkers are all women, because the custom is a holdover from the ancient festival to the earth goddess, which was traditionally celebrated by women. The group includes women of all ages, from teenagers to old women, but the majority of them are young.
    • The women are parading around the outskirts of the town as part of the celebration.
    • As they pass the Pure Drop Inn (a pub), one of the women points out Jack Durbeyfield riding home in a carriage to his daughter, Tess.
    • Tess is described for the first time: she's a very pretty girl, wearing white like the others, but with a red ribbon in her hair.
    • Jack Durbeyfield is reclining in the carriage, waving to anyone who happens to be watching him, chanting, "I've-got-a-great-family-vault-at-Kingsbere—and-knighted-fore-fathers-in-lead-coffins-there!" (2.15).
    • Tess is understandably embarrassed by her father's behavior, and tries to excuse it to her friends by saying that he must have gotten a ride home because he was tired.
    • Her friends laugh and say that he got a ride home because he was drunk (which he pretty obviously is).
    • Tess is hurt by their snide remarks, and they feel bad and leave her alone about it.
    • Jack Durbeyfield rides on, and no one sees anything more of him.
    • The women arrive at the open space where they dance at the end of the parade, but at first dance only with each other, since most of the local men are still working.
    • A few random passers-by gather around and think about joining in the dance.
    • Three of these are a group of brothers "of a superior class," who are on a walking tour of the valley (2.24).
    • They watch the women dancing, and ask a few of the other spectators what the festival is.
    • The older two brothers are ready to move on, but the youngest seems amused at the group of women dancing without male partners, and starts to enter the field.
    • His brothers ask him what he's doing—his name is "Angel."
    • Angel says he's going to join them for a moment, and suggests that his brothers do likewise.
    • They aren't interested—they want to keep going so that they'll make it to their next stop before dark, and one of the brothers particularly wants to leave time to read the next chapter of the book he brought with him: A Counterblast to Agnosticism. (Sounds exciting. We can't really blame Angel for preferring a dance with a huge group of pretty young women to listening to his brother read from A Counterblast to Agnosticism.)
    • Angel says he'll catch up with his brothers—they're named Felix and Cuthbert—after a quick dance.
    • They agree, and leave the spot.
    • Angel is quickly approached by one of the boldest of the young women—she tells him that the young men of the village haven't arrived yet, and that he would be welcome to pick and choose from among the women there until the village men arrive.
    • Angel is overwhelmed by the choices, and picks almost the first pretty girl he sees. It isn't Tess.
    • Other young men from the village arrive soon afterwards, and start dancing with other women, but Tess's feelings are hurt by the strange young man's neglect.
    • As Angel leaves to catch up with his brothers, he looks back and sees Tess standing a little apart from the rest of the group, looking sad. She looks so lovely and so reproachful, that he regrets not having danced with her or at least having asked her name.
    • But Angel can't help it now, and so moves on to catch up with his brothers.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Three

    • Tess takes some time to dismiss the strange young man from her mind. Other men want to dance with her, but she's not in the mood anymore.
    • After the stranger is out of sight, she's able to shake off her melancholy and dance again.
    • She dances for a while, but she remembers her father's strange behavior, and gets worried, so she hurries home.
    • She finds her mother at home with her younger siblings.
    • Joan Durbeyfield, Tess's mother, is singing and rocking the baby's cradle with one foot, while balancing on the other foot and washing clothes in a tub (multitasking is not a recent phenomenon).
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield, the narrator tells us, has a knack for putting off her household work until the last minute, which makes it seem much harder and more of a pain than it needs to be. Sound like a familiar habit, anyone?
    • Tess feels bad that she was out having fun all afternoon while her mother was at home doing the wash (even though the wash should have been done several days earlier), so she offers to rock the baby or to help with the wash, after changing out of her best gown.
    • Tess's mother is described as aging (she has, after all, given birth to nine children, seven of whom have survived infancy), but still fresh and pretty.
    • Tess's mother explains to Tess about the discovery of their aristocratic family, and that he had taken the carriage home because of that, and not because he'd been drinking.
    • Tess asks if the news will do them any good, and her mother says that great things might come of it.
    • Tess then asks where her father is. Her mother avoids the question, telling Tess what the doctor had said about Jack Durbeyfield's heart. Apparently his heart is weakened and could go at any time.
    • Tess is alarmed by the news, but asks again where her father is.
    • Her mother admits that Jack Durbeyfield is at Rolliver's—a nearby pub—to "get up his strength for his journey to-morrow with that load of beehives," even though he'll have to be leaving before 1 a.m. to get the hives delivered on time (3.27).
    • Tess is dismayed that her father would be so irresponsible, and that her mother must have agreed to his going.
    • Her mother says that she didn't agree, but had to wait for Tess to come back to take care of the younger children while she went to fetch him back.
    • Tess offers to go, but Mrs. Durbeyfield insists on going herself.
    • The narrator informs us that Mrs. Durbeyfield enjoys "fetching her husband from Rolliver's," and that it's one of the few bits of fun she has still in her married life. At Rolliver's, she can pretend that she isn't responsible for seven children back home, and she can be as irresponsible as her husband.
    • On her way out the door, she asks Tess to take the Complete Fortune-Teller to the outhouse. (The Complete Fortune-Teller is just what it sounds like: a fortune-telling book that Mrs. Durbeyfield consults from time to time. She has a superstitious fear of having it stay in the house overnight, which is why she asks Tess to take it to the outhouse.)
    • Tess wonders what her mother was consulting in the Complete Fortune-Teller, and guesses that it has something to do with the news about their family. She doesn't guess that it was how the news about their family would affect her in particular.
    • Tess finishes doing the laundry, with help from her nine-year-old brother, Abraham, and her twelve-year-old sister, Eliza-Louisa (called "'Liza-Lu"), and put the youngest ones to bed.
    • 'Liza-Lu is the next oldest sibling, but there's a four year difference between her and Tess (two siblings had died in infancy between them). So the age difference makes Tess a kind of foster mother to her younger siblings when their mother is away.
    • After 'Liza-Lu and Abraham there are two more girls, then a three-year-old boy, and then the one-year-old baby, making for a total of seven living children, besides the two that had died. That's a lot of children.
    • Time goes by, and neither of her parents returns. Tess knows that her mother just wanted to join Jack Durbeyfield at the pub for a bit of fun, and that she never intended to fetch him right back.
    • So Tess sends Abraham out to bring both parents home.
    • But half an hour passed, and Abraham doesn't return, either.
    • Tess realizes she must go herself.
    • She locks up the house, and hurries down the "dark and crooked lane" towards Rolliver's.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Four

    • Rolliver's is the only alehouse at the Durbeyfield's end of Marlott, and it has a funny set-up: most customers take their drink at an outdoor ledge from the yard, because Rolliver's doesn't have a legal license to serve alcohol on the premises indoors. But regular customers are invited into the house to take their drinks in the bedroom, with a shawl hanging over the window to keep people from seeing them.
    • About ten or twelve regular customers are piled into the bedroom when the chapter opens—perching on the dresser, sitting on the side of the bed, etc.
    • Mrs. Rolliver is always nervous whenever someone new arrives, thinking that it might be some government agent who would take away her license for serving liquor indoors.
    • But it's only Mrs. Durbeyfield, arrived to join her husband.
    • Joan Durbeyfield sits down by her husband, and tells him that she's learned that there's a rich lady out by Trantridge (at the other end of the valley) named D'Urberville, and that she wants to send Tess over to "claim kin" (in other words, to borrow money on the strength of their family relationship).
    • Jack Durbeyfield says that this other family must only be a "junior branch" to their family, "long since King Norman's day" (4.15). (Jack is confusing to pieces of information he picked up from Parson Tringham—there was never a "King Norman," but a King William, who was from Normandy.)
    • Abraham creeps into the room at this point, and overhears the rest of the conversation.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield says that the rich Mrs. D'Urberville will be sure to take notice of Tess if they send her to visit, and the two families ought to visit back and forth, since they are, after all, family.
    • Abraham cheerfully suggests that they all visit, and ride in coaches, and wear nice clothes.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield seems remarkably undisturbed by the appearance of her young son at an unlicensed alehouse, and continues telling her husband that she thinks that Tess will marry a gentleman.
    • In fact, she knows it—because the Complete Fortune-Teller told her so.
    • The people around them can't hear everything that's being said, but they pick up enough to understand that Tess has something great in store for her because of this new discovery about their family.
    • One older man mutters that Tess is pretty, but that Joan "must mind that she don't get green malt in flower" (4.27). Hardy doesn't translate this local figure of speech for you, but we will: it means that Mrs. Durbeyfield had better make sure that Tess doesn't get pregnant before she's married.
    • Just then, Tess herself appears to fetch her parents and younger brother home.
    • Her parents scramble to their feet as soon as they see her.
    • Jack Durbeyfield has had so much to drink that he can hardly walk, so Tess and Joan support him between them, and walk home unevenly three abreast.
    • Jack hasn't actually had all that much to drink, but his bad health means that he can't hold his booze.
    • Jack continues to sing about his "family vault" at Kingsbere. Mrs. Durbeyfield hushes him, and reminds him that a number of other families in the area were once almost as noble as their own. Then she "thanks God" that her own family was never noble, so she doesn't have to be "ashamed" of her family being debased (4.34).
    • Tess says that her father won't be able to make the trip with the beehives, but he insists that he'll be okay in a couple of hours.
    • Of course he's not. Mrs. Durbeyfield goes to wake Tess at 1:30am. 2 a.m. is the latest they'd be able to leave in order to make it to the market on time.
    • Tess points out that someone has to go, since it's almost too late in the season to be selling beehives, anyway.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield suggests that they ask one of the young men who had danced with Tess the day before, but Tess is too proud to ask favors from someone like that—they'd probably read more into it, or expect something in return and, anyway, she doesn't want to let anyone know that her father can't go because he's too drunk.
    • Tess volunteers to go herself, if Abraham went with her to keep her company.
    • They get the cart ready to go in a hurry, and Abraham joins her, still half asleep.
    • Once on the road, Abraham asks Tess if she's glad that they're now "gentlefolk." Tess says she's not, particularly.
    • Abraham repeats what he heard at Rolliver's about Tess marrying a gentleman. Tess doesn't answer, but stares off into space.
    • When Abraham asks again, she cuts him off, and they start talking about the stars.
    • Abraham asks if the stars are all other worlds, and Tess says yes. He asks if they're all like ours, and she says that most of them are splendid, but a few are "blighted." And they happen to live on a blighted one.
    • Abraham thinks this is very unlucky, since there are so many good ones out there.
    • After a while, Abraham gets sleepy, so Tess makes space in the cart for him to curl up and go to sleep.
    • Without anyone to talk to, Tess starts getting sleepy herself, and starts to doze off while sitting up in the cart.
    • She wakes up with a jolt, and hears a great groan. Another lantern is shining in her face.
    • It turns out that the mail coach (mail coaches were notorious for driving too fast along country roads to get the mail delivered on time) had been zooming along silently on its new and un-squeaky wheels, and had skewered Tess's horse with the shaft of the cart. The groan she had heard was from the horse, Prince, who collapses on the road in a puddle of blood.
    • The driver of the mail cart sees that nothing can be done for the horse, so he says that he'll send someone to help as soon as he can, and that she should wait here.
    • Tess is horrified by what she's done (she feels responsible).
    • She wakes up Abraham, who thinks it's because they live on a blighted star instead of on a good one.
    • Later that day, Prince gets carried home in the cart. Jack Durbeyfield was going to sell the body to get some money for the meat (for dog food) and for the skin (for leather), but because Prince is so old and ragged, his body wouldn't be worth all that much.
    • Even though they could probably use even that little bit of money, Jack Durbeyfield refuses to sell the horse's body, and buries it instead. He says that, back in the old days, the D'Urbervilles didn't sell the carcasses of their great war horses, so he won't sell Prince's.
    • The chapter ends with a brief description of Prince's "funeral," at which Tess feels like a murderess.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Five

    • Tess's guilt over having contributed to the death of Prince makes her more open to her mother's proposal that she go to the rich Mrs. D'Urberville.
    • She's willing to visit her as a distant relation, but reluctant to ask for money.
    • Tess would rather try to get work somewhere, but since her mother is so set on it, Tess agrees. Still, she tells her mother it is "silly" to think of the rich Mrs. D'Urberville setting Tess up with a rich man.
    • The next day, Tess takes a passing cart to get to Trantridge, where "the vague and mysterious Mrs. D'Urberville" lived (5.14).
    • As she leaves the village of Marlott, she looks back, and reflects on the childhood she's spent there.
    • The narrator describes scenes of Tess with her girlish friends playing in the grass; he then describes Tess's growing "Malthusian vexation" that her parents should continue having so many children (5.17).
    • Historical side note:
    • The expression "Malthusian vexation" could use some explanation. Thomas Malthus was a political economist and philosopher who wrote an influential book called Essay on the Principle of Population in 1803. In it, he argues for the control of population growth through celibacy, because if the poorer classes continued to reproduce at the rate they were going, they would just perpetuate the cycle of poverty and starvation—they were reproducing faster than the food supply could support them. So Tess's "Malthusian vexation" refers to this consciousness that her parents were producing more little mouths than they were capable of feeding.
    • Back to the story:
    • Tess, the narrator informs us, is better educated and more sensible than either of her parents, and as she has gotten older, more and more of the family responsibilities have fallen to her. So it's a "matter of course" that she should be the one to go on the first visit to the rich D'Urbervilles.
    • She climbs off of the cart and starts walking in the direction of the D'Urberville house, called The Slopes.
    • The Slopes is a modern country house, without any farmland associated with it, or any tenants—it is intended for "enjoyment pure and simple" (5.20).
    • The house itself, she finds, is almost new, but is set within a big piece of forest called The Chase—a reminder of the ancient and "Druidical" (5.21) forest that once covered that whole region.
    • Everything on the estate, from the stables to the greenhouses, is shiny and new—not at all what Tess expected.
    • She begins to feel hesitant again.
    • The narrator explains something of the history of the D'Urbervilles, or Stoke-D'Urbervilles, "as they at first called themselves" (5.25).
    • Mrs. D'Urberville's husband, Simon Stoke (who is now dead) made his fortune as "an honest merchant (some said money-lender) in the North" of England (5.26). He felt the need to change his name—the narrator doesn't explain why—and spends a while going through old family names in the British Museum before choosing "D'Urberville" as being appropriately old and aristocratic. And, importantly, there were no modern branches of that family—the name had virtually died out.
    • So the rich branch of the D'Urberville family isn't related to the Durbeyfields at all, but of course Tess's parents don't realize that. They have no idea, the narrator tells us, that it's possible to change your name, or to choose an ancient name because you liked the sound of it at the British Museum.
    • Tess is standing on the edge of the lawn hesitating when a tall young man comes out of a tent that's pitched on the lawn.
    • He's smoking a cigarette, and has a curly black moustache (like a stage villain—think Captain Hook or something here).
    • He greets her with, "Well, my big Beauty, what can I do for you?" (5.30).
    • Tess doesn't know what to say, so he adds that his name is Mr. D'Urberville, and asks if she's there to see him, or his mother.
    • She says she'd like to see his mother, but Mr. D'Urberville answers that that would be impossible, as his mother is an invalid and cannot see visitors. He asks what the business is.
    • Tess becomes embarrassed—her errand seems ridiculous now. She stammers that her mother had sent her to say that they were of the same family.
    • He at first assumes that she's part of his father's family, the Stokes, but of course she corrects him, and he glosses over his slip.
    • She says that, since she can't visit his mother, she'll just catch the cart back to Marlott on its way back.
    • He reminds her that the cart won't be by for some hours, and suggests that he show her around the grounds and garden before she goes.
    • He calls her his "pretty Coz" (5.53), which is a Shakespearean shortening of "Cousin."
    • Tess feels encouraged by this—she thinks he's acknowledging her as a relation. But she still wants to cut the visit as short as possible.
    • But the young man is pushy enough that she feels that it would be rude to refuse.
    • He takes her through the fruit garden, and feeds her strawberries, much to Tess's embarrassment—she says she would rather feed herself. But he insists.
    • When she can't eat any more, he fills a basket for her, and then cuts her roses and pins them to her hat and dress, and piles more onto her basket.
    • Finally, he looks at his watch, and suggests that they have something to eat (besides strawberries) before she has to catch her cart back to Marlott.
    • They eat in the big tent as though they were at a medieval tournament.
    • He smokes, and watches her eat with evident enjoyment, and the narrator tells us his first name: Alec.
    • The narrator describes Tess's "innocence" of the "tragic mischief" Alec would cause her as she sits "munching" (5.63).
    • As Alec walks Tess back to the road where she'll meet the cart, he asks her name, and for more particulars about her family.
    • Tess explains about Prince.
    • Alec says he'll try to do something, and that his mother will surely be able to find work for her. He concludes with the reminder that she is not really a D'Urberville, but a Durbeyfield—"quite another name" (5.69).
    • Tess proudly answers that she "wishes for no better" name (5.70).
    • Alec almost kisses her as they part, but thinks better of it, and lets her go.
    • The narrator says that if Tess had realized the importance of this first meeting, she might have questioned the injustice of her fate, especially since Alec is so clearly the wrong man.
    • The right man had seen her, but she had left no definite impression on him yet. The narrator doesn't say which man that is, but we're left to guess that it was the young man named Angel who didn't dance with her at the club-walking.
    • The narrator then questions the bad planning of the universe, and shakes his fist at the tragic frequency of missed connections.
    • Then Alec D'Urberville went back into his tent on the lawn, looks very pleased, and thinks about what a "charming girl" Tess is.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Six

    • Tess takes the same cart back to Marlott that she had taken out to Trantridge that morning. The basket of roses and the bouquets that Alec had pinned to her hat and dress attract the attention of the other passengers, so she tries to hide them as though ashamed of them.
    • As she removes one of the roses from under her chin, it pricks her skin.
    • It's getting late, so she spends the night at a friend's house on her way back to Marlott (she'd told her mother that she might do that).
    • When she arrives at home the next morning, her mother looks triumphant—she's received a letter from Mrs. D'Urberville.
    • The letter invites Tess to come stay at the house and look after a little poultry-farm there, which is Mrs. D'Urberville's special hobby.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield assumes that Mrs. D'Urberville is just asking Tess to work as a means of getting her there, but that she really means to bring Tess up in her own family and make a lady of her.
    • Tess is confused, since she didn't actually meet Mrs. D'Urberville.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield asks whom she did meet, then—and when Tess reports that Alec had called her "Coz," Mrs. Durbeyfield is exultant, thinking that he's acknowledged her as a relation.
    • Tess is still hesitant about going, and asks to see the letter. She isn't convinced that it was written by Mrs. D'Urberville, and would rather stay at home with her parents.
    • She holds out for a week, looking for work in her own neighborhood.
    • One day she comes home, and her younger siblings inform her that "the gentleman has been here!" (6.30).
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield explains that Mrs. D'Urberville's son happened to be passing by, and stopped to ask whether Tess would come to manage the old lady's poultry-farm or not.
    • Tess is pleased that Alec thinks that she would do a good job managing the poultry-farm, but is still reluctant to go—she doesn't know what it will be like, living there.
    • Her parents and her younger siblings can't stop talking about Alec's moustache or his diamond ring.
    • Tess wanders off to think it over in the garden, while her mother triumphantly asserts that Alec is in love with Tess, and will marry her and make her a lady.
    • Jack Durbeyfield likes this idea—it flatters his vanity.
    • Tess comes back, and says she still doesn't know—but she's the one who killed the old horse, and she feels responsible for helping to get a new one. But she can't help not liking Mr. D'Urberville.
    • The younger children start crying because they want Tess to become a lady.
    • Tess finally agrees to go.
    • Her mother is relieved—it's a fine opportunity, she says.
    • Tess says it's an opportunity for making money, and that her mother had better not tell the neighbors that it's any other kind of opportunity.
    • Her mother understands her, but doesn't promise.
    • Tess writes to Mrs. D'Urberville, agreeing to come whenever she is sent for.
    • Mrs. D'Urberville writes back, saying that a cart would be sent to pick her up the day after tomorrow. The narrator notes that Mrs. D'Urberville's handwriting looks rather masculine.
    • Tess is happy at the prospect of helping her father to buy a new horse, but would rather have been a teacher at the school. She doesn't take her mother's hopes that she would marry Alec at all seriously.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Seven

    • Tess wakes up early the day she is supposed to set out for The Slopes.
    • Her mother insists that she wear her finest dress, and Tess objects that she's going to work, not for a holiday.
    • Her mother presses her, and Tess finally agrees to let her mother dress her in any way she sees fit.
    • Her mother washes and dries Tess's hair so that it's all soft and fluffy, and ties it back with a big pink ribbon.
    • The narrator tells us that Tess's huge hair, combined with her… ahem, other assets—make her seem older than she is.
    • Her mother is very pleased with how pretty Tess looks.
    • Tess says goodbye to her father, who tells her that he's willing to sell the other branch of the family the rights to the family name for a thousand—no, a hundred—no, for fifty—okay, fine, for twenty pounds.
    • Tess feels rather bitter as she turns to leave.
    • Her mother and some of the younger children walk with Tess to where she's arranged to meet the cart.
    • Tess is about to climb into the cart when they see a second one coming. This one is a fancy two-person carriage, driven by—you guessed it—Alec D'Urberville himself.
    • Tess is hesitant to climb up with him—she would have preferred the plain country cart that is carrying her luggage. But, after a moment's hesitation, she climbs in with him.
    • As soon as Tess is out of sight, the younger children start to cry. Even Mrs. Durbeyfield tears up.
    • That night in bed, she expresses her misgivings to her husband—maybe, she thinks, she ought to have looked into the young man's character a bit before trusting her daughter with him so far from home. But then she comforts herself with the thought that "if he don't marry her afore he will after" (7.38).
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Eight

    • Alec drives Tess up the first hill as they leave Marlott, "chatting compliments" to Tess as they go (8.1).
    • Tess is rather nervous in carriages ever since the accident with Prince, so she asks Alec to go down the hill slowly.
    • Alec says he likes going down quickly, and is surprised that Tess doesn't.
    • When Tess persists, Alec says that Tib (the mare) is a wicked horse, and does what she wants—he can barely control her sometimes.
    • So the horse bolts down the hill (Alec probably encouraged her), and Tess clutches at Alec's arm.
    • Alec cries out for her to hold his waist—clutching his arm interferes with his ability to control the horse.
    • She's pretty angry when they reach the bottom, and lets go of him.
    • When they reach the top of the next hill, he takes off again.
    • She clutches the side of the carriage this time, to avoid touching him.
    • He tells her that he'll stop if she allows him to kiss "those holmberry lips" (8.29).
    • Tess is surprised and pulls away from him as best she can, and he rocks the carriage even harder.
    • She miserably agrees, but dodges at the last minute.
    • He's angry, and swears he'll break both their necks if she goes back on her word like that.
    • Tess agrees again, but complains that she thought he was going to protect her, as her "kinsman."
    • Alec (who, as we know, isn't her kinsman at all) insists on the kiss.
    • Tess doesn't want to be kissed, but allows it anyway. But as soon as he's kissed her, she rubs her cheek with her handkerchief.
    • Alec is annoyed that she felt the need to wipe it off, so when they reach the top of the final hill, he threatens to race down it unless she allows him to kiss her again, and not to wipe it off.
    • Tess starts to agree, and then her hat blows off. She asks to climb down to get it.
    • Once she's down, she refuses to climb back up, even though it's still five or six miles to Trantridge.
    • Alec suspects that she let the hat blow off on purpose. She doesn't answer.
    • He scolds her and calls her names, and she yells at him for using bad words, and tells him she hates him, and will go back to her mother.
    • Alec cheers up in response, and offers to allow her back into the carriage without pressing her for any more kisses.
    • She doesn't trust him, even though she probably could at this point.
    • So she walks the rest of the way to Trantridge, and Alec walks the carriage along beside her.
    • She considers going back home to her parents, but is afraid that she would seem wishy-washy.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Nine

    • The chapter opens with a description of the poultry farm at The Slopes where Tess is going to work.
    • The poultry house is an old cottage where tenant farmers (folks who paid the lord of the manor yearly rent for the privilege of eking out a living by farming) used to live. But now it's all overrun with chickens.
    • Tess begins to tidy the place up, when a maid comes in and tells her that Mrs. D'Urberville "wants the fowls as usual" (9.4).
    • Apparently, Mrs. D'Urberville is a blind old lady, and likes to inspect the chickens individually each day by feeling them with her hands.
    • So Tess and the maid bring the chickens and roosters to her, one at a time, and allow her to inspect them.
    • Mrs. D'Urberville then "inspects" Tess herself—and unexpectedly asks if she can whistle.
    • Whistling wasn't considered all that "ladylike" at this point in time, but Tess admits that she knows how.
    • Mrs. D'Urberville wants Tess to whistle tunes to her pet finches. Because she can't see them, she likes to hear them tweet, and they learn tunes if someone's there to whistle to them.
    • Tess goes back to the poultry farm and practices whistling alone.
    • She hasn't tried in so long, she's having a hard time remembering.
    • Suddenly she realizes she's not alone—Alec is watching her pucker up her lips through the fence.
    • She's embarrassed.
    • Alec offers to show her how it's done, and after a few tries she gets it again.
    • So Tess starts whistling to the birds every day, and Alec continues to hang out near her and flirt with her, until she gradually gets used to his company. Although she still doesn't love him, she doesn't mind him as much.
    • One day, as she's whistling to the finches in Mrs. D'Urberville's room, she notices Alec's feet sticking out at the bottom of Mrs. D'Urberville's canopied four-poster bed.
    • Tess starts checking the bed every morning before starting her whistling routine, but apparently Alec has given up the idea of "ambush[ing]" her in that way.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Ten

    • The narrator tells us how the regular folks in Tess's new neighborhood spend their free time: they drink. A lot.
    • On Saturdays, they all walk as a group to a nearby town, and walk back late at night. Or early the next morning.
    • Tess doesn't go with them for a long time, but finally starts to go along with them—some of the women pressure her, and she gives in.
    • She enjoys the company, especially after hanging out with chickens and an eccentric old lady all week.
    • Tess has gone several times on these weekly trips to the next town, and has gotten in the habit of walking home with the group—they come home so late that she doesn't feel comfortably walking back alone.
    • One week, Alec sees her standing in the street waiting for her comrades to walk home with her.
    • He offers her a ride home, but she politely refuses, saying that she'd rather wait for her peers.
    • The other villagers join her soon, and they begin their three-mile walk together.
    • Tess is the only sober one in the group.
    • Car Darch, one of the women in the group (a.k.a. "the Queen of Spades") has it in for Tess because Tess is Alec's new favorite, and she's jealous.
    • Car is in the front of the group, and is balancing a basket of groceries on her head.
    • Someone in the group suddenly notices a trickle of something going down Car's back.
    • It's treacle (which is like a cross between molasses and cane syrup—very sticky, thick, and sweet).
    • Everyone starts laughing at her, so Car throws herself on the grass and starts rubbing her back against the ground to get the sticky goop off.
    • Of course, they only laugh harder.
    • Tess joins in the laughter. Big mistake.
    • Car immediately picks a fight with her about it.
    • Tess defends herself, saying that everyone else was laughing.
    • Car actually wants a fist-fight, and pulls off her outer clothes (remember, women wore really huge gowns that would have been awfully hard to manage in a brawl).
    • Some of the men in the group try to make peace and defend Tess, but that only makes their wives jealous and angry.
    • Suddenly, Alec D'Urberville appears on horseback.
    • He asks what's going on (even though he overheard it all), and then offers to rescue Tess.
    • She's about ready to faint from a combination of shame and anger and fear, and agrees to climb up with him.
    • The women in the group watch Alec ride off with Tess, and chuckle quietly amongst themselves.
    • "Out of the frying-pan into the fire!" as Car's mother explains it.
  • Phase I: "The Maiden," Chapter Eleven

    • Alec canters off with Tess, and slows to a walk when she asks him to.
    • He asks why she doesn't like him to kiss her, and she answers that it's because she doesn't love him.
    • There's some more back-and-forth here—she says that he makes her angry, and offended when he flirts with her, and he doesn't argue (the narrator says Alec prefers anger to indifference).
    • The horse walks slowly through the wood until they're surrounded by a deep fog.
    • Alec hasn't taken the usual Trantridge path through the woods.
    • Tess is exhausted—she's been up early and working hard all week, and it's now almost 1 a.m.
    • At one point she starts to fall asleep, and slumps forward against Alec's back.
    • He twists around to put his arm around her—but she wakes quickly enough to push him away.
    • He's off balance and almost falls off of his horse.
    • Alec says that he was only trying to keep her from falling, so Tess apologizes.
    • He goes on to complain that she has "no confidence" in him and has been jerking him around for months now. He says he loves her.
    • Tess stammers out a reply, and he puts his arm around her again.
    • Tess realizes that they should already be back by this time, and asks where they are.
    • He says that they're in The Chase—the oldest forest in the area. It's such a nice night, he says, why not enjoy it? Extend their ride a bit?
    • Tess is mad—he lulled her into a false sense of security by making her feel guilty about shoving him.
    • She asks to get down and walk home, but he says that she'd wander for hours in the fog and the trees.
    • Alec says that he's not exactly sure where they are anyway, because of the fog.
    • So they both dismount, and Alec says that he'll take a look around to get his bearings.
    • Alec spreads his jacket on the ground for Tess to sit on while he looks around.
    • Just then, he tells her that "someone" gave her father a new horse that day.
    • Tess thanks him (of course) but feels awkward that she has to thank him at that moment.
    • He asks if she's cold (she's only wearing a light summer dress), and she admits that she is, a little.
    • He takes a bottle out of the saddlebag, and puts it to her lips before she knows what he's up to.
    • She swallows as he pours to keep it from spilling on her best dress.
    • He assures her that it's medicinal, and then disappears into the fog and the trees.
    • Alec really doesn't know where they are—he wasn't just trying to tease Tess. But after climbing up a nearby hill he finds the edge of the highway and figures out where they are.
    • When he gets back, he calls her name.
    • She doesn't answer—she's asleep under the trees.
    • The narrator asks, "where was Tess's guardian angel? where was Providence?" (11.61), but neither her guardian angel nor Providence comes to help her.
    • There are good men and women waking up in cottages not too far away from them, but not one of them knew "that their sister was in the hands of the spoiler" (11.62). ("Sister" is being used figuratively—her real little brothers are far away in Marlott).
    • The narrator muses that perhaps one of Tess's distant knighted ancestors had "dealt the same wrong […] upon peasant girls of their time" (11.63).
    • The first phase of the novel ends with the "fatalistic" remark common to Tess's neighbors: "it was to be" (11.64).
    • Note that Hardy never once uses the word "rape" in this scene—he leaves it slightly ambiguous.
  • Phase II: "Maiden No More," Chapter Twelve

    • Tess is walking up the road between Trantridge and her home in Marlott, carrying a heavy bundle.
    • She's thinking sadly about what a difference there is between the girl she was last June, when she came to Trantridge, and the girl she is now.
    • She's just reached the top of a hill—the very one that Alec had driven down so wildly—when she is overtaken by a cart coming up behind her.
    • It's Alec. He offers to drive her the rest of the way, if he can't persuade her to come back.
    • He can't, of course.
    • Tess climbs into the cart, and answers his questions spiritlessly.
    • She's clearly depressed. She cries a bit when she sees the edge of her village, and says she wishes that she'd never been born.
    • Alec asks why she had come to Trantridge, if she didn't wish to—it surely wasn't "for love of [him]" (12.17).
    • Tess says that, if she had loved him, she wouldn't "hate [her]self" for her "weakness" as she does. But, she says, "I didn't understand your meaning till it was too late" (12.18-20).
    • Alec answers flippantly: "That's what every woman says" (12.21).
    • Wrong answer: Tess gets frustrated, and says that she really feels that way. She actually was innocent of what he was trying to do until it was too late.
    • Alec gets defensive. He admits that he has done wrong, but tells her not to keep guilting him about it. He offers to pay for it—and he does mean, literally, to pay for it.
    • But Tess doesn't want his money. That would make her "his creature" even more than she already is. Basically, it would make her feel like a prostitute (12.25).
    • He thinks she's being too proud, but he doesn't push the point, other than to hint that if "certain circumstances should arise" (i.e., if she should become pregnant), she should let him know, and he'd take care of her (12.26).
    • Tess doesn't answer, but asks to get down from the cart. They've reached the edge of Marlott.
    • She starts to walk away, but he stops her, and asks for a kiss.
    • She turns her mouth up to him indifferently, saying, "see how you've mastered me!" (12.30).
    • He kisses her, but she doesn't kiss him back.
    • He remarks on this, and she says it's because she doesn't love him. Lying to herself or to him, and saying that she did love him, might make her feel better, but she has "honour enough left […] not to tell that lie" (12.35).
    • Alec feels either hurt or guilty (or both), and says goodbye.
    • Tess walks along the road into the village.
    • After a few minutes, a man catches up with her, and says "Good morning!" He's carrying a pot of paint.
    • He offers to carry her basket, and chats about how early it is on a Sunday morning to be out walking.
    • But, he says, he works "for the glory of God" on Sundays.
    • He pauses at a stile to paint a verse from the Bible on it: "Thy damnation slumbereth not" (see "Shout Outs" for more on this quotation) (12.51).
    • Given what has just happened to her, the lines horrify Tess.
    • She asks if he believes the words—of course he does. He walks around every Sunday painting them on blank walls and gates.
    • Tess thinks the words are "crushing," but he says they're supposed to be (12.59).
    • But what, she asks, if "your sin was not of your own seeking?" (12.56).
    • He shakes his head.
    • He stops at another wall, and asks if she'll wait.
    • She continues without him, but pauses long enough to see him write "Thou Shalt Not Commit—" (again, check out the "Shout-Outs" for more on this) (12.62).
    • As she walks away, he calls after her that a preacher is in Marlott who would be able to explain it all to her, if she liked. His name is Clare.
    • Tess walks along, trying to persuade herself that she doesn't believe a word of it.
    • Tess gets to her parents' house, and walks in.
    • Her mother asks if she's come home to be married, or for a holiday?
    • Tess tells her what happened.
    • Her mother is shocked and horrified that Tess isn't going to be married, after what happened. She says that "any woman would have" gotten him to marry her.
    • Tess isn't like other women.
    • And her mother doesn't understand her feelings towards Alec—she doesn't quite hate him, but he's nothing to her, and she wouldn't want to marry him even to save her good name (to have had sex before marriage wasn't quite so bad, socially, if you married the person afterwards).
    • Besides, Alec hadn't said anything about marriage. He'd given the horse to her father in an attempt to get Tess to trust him, so that he could seduce her. It wasn't because he was trying to persuade her to marry him.
    • Her mother continues to complain as Tess thinks all these things to herself, and Tess is about to cry.
    • She asks her mother how she could have known? She was a girl when she left Marlott, and didn't know there was any danger from men, and her mother didn't warn her.
    • Her mother recognizes the truth in this, and stops complaining.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield says that they'll just have to make the best of it, because it is, after all, natural.
  • Phase II: "Maiden No More," Chapter Thirteen

    • The afternoon of Tess's arrival, several old friends come over to see her, dressed in their best clothes.
    • They assume that she's going to marry Alec D'Urberville, and are fascinated by the idea of their old friend marrying a gentleman—especially a gentleman with a reputation for being a player and a heart-breaker.
    • The cheerfulness of her friends is contagious, and Tess becomes almost cheerful herself.
    • The next morning, though, is a Monday—a workday—and there are no visitors to cheer her up. She's terribly depressed.
    • One week she goes to church, because she loves to hear the music (she inherited that love of music from her mother), but everyone looks around and whispers about her.
    • She spends much of her time in the bedroom that she shares with the younger children.
    • She hardly goes out anymore, and many of their neighbors think that she's gone away.
    • Only after dark does she venture outside the house. She doesn't worry about the dark in the woods, but she does want to avoid other people as much as possible.
    • Tess feels guilty about her past, even though it was a social law that she was "made" to break, according to the narrator (13.15).
  • Phase II: "Maiden No More," Chapter Fourteen

    • It's now August, and the sun is just coming up, casting a red glow on everything in the country.
    • The sun makes the reaping machine (a cross-shaped machine used to gather grain) appear even redder than it is.
    • The reaper moves around the edge of the field, slowly moving inward as it cuts the grain.
    • All the animals that live in the field are forced into an ever-shrinking area, until the last square yards are cut down by the reaper, and the animals are beaten to death by the workers.
    • The female workers follow the machine, tying up the wheat into bundles as it falls from the machine.
    • One of the women in the group of workers draws the particular attention of onlookers, because, unlike the others, she seems completely intent on what she's doing.
    • When she stands up between tying bundles, one can see her face—she's a good-looking young woman.
    • It's Tess, of course—the same, but not the same, as she was before.
    • The whole group takes a break for breakfast, and then continues to work as before.
    • After a while, Tess sees a group of children approaching the field. One of them is carrying a baby, and another is carrying some lunch.
    • The other workers pause in their labor to go sit under the tree and eat. Tess is one of the last to stop.
    • Tess's sister hands her the baby and runs off to play with the other children.
    • Tess looks around with some embarrassment, and then begins to nurse the child.
    • After the baby has had enough, Tess plays with it absent-mindedly, and then starts kissing it.
    • Her fellow workers discuss her actions among themselves—some say that she loves the baby, though she pretends not to, and others remark that she'll get used to being an unwed mother in time.
    • After the birth of the baby, Tess realized that, by secluding herself, she was only making herself miserable—the opinions of the rest of the world didn't matter much.
    • So she got herself this job with the harvesters, because she wanted to do something that would make her relatively independent.
    • Her friends are happy to see her out of doors again, and their friendliness and cheerfulness are contagious.
    • But then when she gets home, she learns that her baby, which was already kind of weak and sickly, has gotten sick and might not make it.
    • Tess is horrified—of course she wants her baby to live.
    • But what makes her even more horrified is the thought that her baby hasn't been baptized.
    • She takes what she'd been taught about baptism and salvation very literally and very seriously, so this is a matter of great concern to her. From what she's been taught, she believes that, if her baby dies without being baptized, it will go to hell.
    • She asks her father to send for the parson, but he's drunk, and tells her that she's shamed their family honor enough, and that he doesn't want a parson snooping around their house.
    • So Jack Durbeyfield locks the house and goes to bed.
    • Tess goes to bed, too, but she's terribly upset.
    • She prays to God to have pity on the baby.
    • Suddenly she has a thought: what if she baptizes it herself? Perhaps that would be just the same.
    • So she wakes the other children to witness the ceremony.
    • She names the infant "Sorrow," and recites the part of the baptismal service that goes, "Sorrow, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (14.48).
    • The children pipe up with "Amen!" when called upon to do so, as Tess goes on with the rest of the service that she has memorized.
    • The baby, Sorrow, dies in the early hours of the morning.
    • Tess starts to worry about its soul again—will her service count? Will she be allowed to bury the child in the holy ground at the church, or will she have to bury it in the woods somewhere?
    • She goes to the parson to ask.
    • She first asks if her baptismal service will "count" with God—if it will keep the baby from burning in hell.
    • He assures her that her service will get the job done.
    • So then she asks if he'll give the baby a Christian burial at the church, and he feels trapped. He says that he can't for reasons of Church politics.
    • She then asks, with some passion, whether it will be the same (from God's point of view) if she buries the baby herself in the churchyard.
    • He reassures her that it would be the same.
    • So Tess gathers some flowers and makes a wooden cross, tips the sexton (the guy who holds the key to the churchyard), and buries her baby in the dead of night.
  • Phase II: "Maiden No More," Chapter Fifteen

    • Tess stays in her father's house in Marlott through the winter, making money doing odd jobs around the village, and turning the fancy clothes Alec had given her into good working clothes for her brothers and sisters.
    • Tess takes note of dates as they pass—the date of her rape in The Chase, the birth and the death of the baby.
    • Then she begins to think about her own death. On what day of the year will it occur? Will it be on a crisp October morning, or a sunny June afternoon?
    • These meditations make Tess's already complex character even more complicated.
    • Tess had stayed out of the way of most people since her "trouble," and since more than a year has passed, most people in Marlott had almost forgotten about it.
    • But Tess knows that she'll never be really comfortable again in the place where she had known such tragedy.
    • She wants to escape the past, but knows she can't, so she resolves at least to escape her hometown.
    • It's a fine spring, and Tess is chomping at the bit—she wants out of there.
    • Her mother happens to receive a letter from an old friend of her mother's—it's from a dairy farmer who's looking for a good dairymaid to come and work for him during the summer.
    • It's not all that far away, but Tess decides that it's far enough, since she wasn't known outside of the Vale of Blackmoor and Trantridge.
    • Tess doesn't want anyone at the dairy to know about her D'Urberville heritage. It's brought her nothing but trouble in the past, and she's embarrassed that her father has gotten so ridiculously snooty about it.
    • But the dairy where she's going to work is actually very close to the ancient estate of the D'Urbervilles, her ancestral lands.
    • Tess perks up at the prospect of leaving her troubles behind her.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Sixteen

    • Tess is traveling from her home town of Marlott to the town where the dairy farm is.
    • It's been just over two years since she returned from Trantridge.
    • Tess hitches a ride part of the way with a farmer in a cart, even though she can tell he only offered her a lift because she's pretty.
    • Tess feels a connection to the country here, because it was the country of her "useless ancestors" (16.6).
    • The first thing Tess notices about this valley, as compared to the Vale of Blackmoor where she's grown up, is that the fields and farms are larger.
    • She also notices that the air seems lighter, and that lifts her mood.
    • The narrator reminds us that Tess is only just twenty years old, and that she's hardly finished developing (emotionally and mentally, that is), so it's no wonder that she should find joy in the physical pleasure of sunshine and a beautiful view, despite her tragic history.
    • Tess goes down the hill into the valley, and isn't sure which way to turn.
    • She hears someone calling to the nearby herd of cattle, and the cows turn to enter a gate.
    • Tess follows the cows, which are going in to be milked.
    • The cows that kick and move around while being milked are put in stalls in the barn, while the better behaved ones wait in rows in the middle of the yard.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Seventeen

    • This was long before the days of milking machines, so when the cows are all in the barnyard, the dairymaids and dairymen come out of their cottages to start milking.
    • The dairymaids all sit alongside the cows on their stools, with their cheeks pressed against the animals' flanks, watching Tess curiously as they milk the cows.
    • One of the men comes over to her—it's "Dairyman Dick," a.k.a. "Mr. Richard Crick," the owner of the farm and Tess's new boss.
    • He looks her over, asks about her experience, and says he knew her mother well—she had come from this part of the country, and had only moved to Blackmoor Vale after marrying Jack Durbeyfield.
    • He offers Tess a cup of tea, but she says she'll start milking immediately.
    • Tess begins milking, and finds the rhythmic pumping of the cow's udders to be soothing and meditative.
    • Dairyman Crick does his share of the milking, too, and they all set to work in silence.
    • There are more than one hundred cows in his herd—quite a lot.
    • Someone remarks that the cows aren't giving up their usual yield. Some think it's because there's a new dairymaid.
    • They sing a ballad as a group, because tradition has it that singing helps induce the cows to give more milk.
    • One of the dairymen asks someone to bring out his harp, while admitting that a fiddle would be better.
    • The dairyman in question asks why fiddles are better.
    • Tess hadn't seen him before, and still can't. He's on the other side of his cow.
    • The first dairyman gives a lengthy explanation in the form of a folktale about a man who played a Christmas hymn to a bull on a fiddle, and tricked the bull into thinking it was the Nativity.
    • The second dairyman finishes his cow, under the watchful eye of Dairyman Crick, who gives him a few pointers.
    • The second dairyman stands up, and Tess has a good look at him.
    • He's dressed the same as everyone else, but he looks different—more educated, more reserved, more sad.
    • He looks familiar to her. She realizes that it's the man who had been walking through Marlott on the day of the club-walking—it's the man who had not danced with her.
    • She panics momentarily. What if he has connections in Blackmoor, and is able to learn about her past?
    • But he doesn't seem to recognize her.
    • He's grown up a fair amount in the last couple of years, too.
    • She doesn't see him at supper, and asks no questions about him.
    • Her bedroom is over the milk house, and she shares it with three other milkmaids.
    • Tess is ready to fall asleep immediately, but the girl in the bed next to her insists on telling her about the strange milkman.
    • His name is Mr. Angel Clare, and he's learning about milking, and about all kinds of farming so that he can be a gentleman farmer somewhere. He plays the harp, and is the son of a parson, and is too busy "wi' his own thoughts to notice girls." His father, the parson Mr. Clare, is a very good preacher.
    • That's the parson that the man had told Tess about on her way back from Trantridge, so she perks up a bit, and asks more about him.
    • The girl tells Tess that both of Angel's brothers are parsons now, like their father, but Angel opted for a different career route.
    • Tess isn't able to stay awake for much more gossip, so she falls asleep.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Eighteen

    • The chapter starts with a description of Angel Clare—he's not altogether sure what he's going to do in the future, although he's smart enough that everyone always used to say that he could do anything he wanted.
    • His decision to go into farming was a surprise to himself and to his family.
    • Angel's father was a lot older than his mother, so his father is old enough to be his grandfather.
    • (Here the narrator goes into a flashback.)
    • About three years before Tess first saw Angel at the Marlott club-walking, Angel orders a book of philosophy.
    • His father found the book, and got angry at Angel, claiming that the book might be "moral," but was not "religious" enough for a young man like Angel, who is intending to become a minister.
    • Um, said Angel. About that. He told his father that he didn't want to become a minister. He loved the church, but he thought that the church, as an institution, was too closed-minded.
    • His father was devastated, and said that if Angel weren't going to become a minister, he wouldn't pay for him to attend Cambridge University.
    • Angel said he would do without a university education.
    • So Angel had to find another career, one that wouldn't require a university degree.
    • He decided that farming in the American colonies would be his best bet, and so he started learning about all the different branches of farming.
    • (The flashback ends here.)
    • Now, at the Talbothays dairy, he's learning about cows and dairy farming.
    • He's twenty-six years old, and loving the company of his fellow dairymen and dairymaids.
    • Spending time with them has made him realize how bogus all his assumptions about farm workers were.
    • Tess has been there for several days, and Angel has hardly noticed her, because she doesn't talk once.
    • One day, though, he sits up and pays attention when he hears her talking with some of the other workers about out-of-body experiences.
    • She's telling them that if you lie on your back, and watch the stars, you'll suddenly feel that you're hundreds of miles away from your body.
    • She realizes that Angel is watching her, and becomes self-conscious at the breakfast table.
    • Angel thinks that she is "a genuine daughter of Nature," and wonders why she looks so familiar to him.
    • He figures he must have seen her in the country on a walk sometime (which is true, anyway), and this sense of familiarity, combined with his interest in what she was saying about the stars and her soul, makes him prefer her to the other women at the farm.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Nineteen

    • Dairyman Crick has a rule that the cows should be milked randomly—if the cow develops a preference for a particular milkmaid or milkman, he ends up having problems after they leave his farm.
    • Knowing this, Tess tries to take whatever cows happen to be next in line, but notices that she keeps ending up with the eight or so cows that she particularly likes.
    • She realizes that it's because Angel has been sneakily arranging the cows in that order as they come in from the field.
    • She accuses him of sending her favorites her way, and he shrugs, and says "So what? You'll always be here to milk them."
    • She hopes she will be… but she doesn't know that.
    • She later regrets that she called him on it.
    • One evening in June, the air is so still that you can hear a pin drop from across the yard.
    • Tess hears the notes of a harp out in the garden, and wanders out towards it.
    • Tess, as we know, loves music.
    • The harp music she hears now gives her the same kind of out-of-body experience that she described before at the breakfast table.
    • The description of her reaction to the music makes it sound sexy.
    • The music stops, and Tess waits for him to begin again.
    • He doesn't, so she tries to slip away unseen, but he spots her light-colored dress against the darkness in the garden.
    • He calls her back, and asks why she's afraid.
    • She says she's not—at least, not of outdoor things.
    • He asks if she's afraid of life in general, and she says yes.
    • He says he agrees with her, but asks her why she finds life to be a burden.
    • She innocently describes her sense of how oppressive the future is, like an inescapable progression of tomorrows.
    • Angel is startled to find such sad thoughts in a young milkmaid, and he finds her even more interesting because of it.
    • On her side, Tess is startled to find that the wealthy son of a parson should find life to be a burden.
    • Neither of them understands the other, but both are interested in learning more as the opportunity presents itself.
    • Every day they learn more about each other.
    • She feels daunted by his superior intelligence, so he offers to teach her anything she'd like to know that he's able to teach—history, for example.
    • She doesn't see the use in learning history. She doesn't want to know that her own life isn't unique, and that countless others have gone through similar experiences before her.
    • All she wants to know is why the world is so unjust.
    • Again, he's startled to find so much bitterness in such a young woman, and he walks away.
    • Tess is ashamed of her childishness, and wonders what she can do to restore his good opinion of her.
    • She thinks about telling him about her D'Urberville heritage, but decides to test the waters a bit first.
    • She asks Dairyman Crick if Mr. Clare respects old families.
    • Not at all, he tells her. Mr. Clare thinks that old families are all dried up and useless.
    • Hearing this, Tess is glad that she hadn't told Angel about her family.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty

    • Time passes at the dairy. Everyone's enjoying the summer weather.
    • Tess and Angel are studying each other day by day—but not quite in love yet.
    • Tess is happier now than she's ever been in recent memory.
    • She and Angel see each other frequently—often they're the first ones up. And dairy farmers have to get up really early in the morning. We're talking 3:30 a.m.
    • Being the first ones up makes them feel like they're the only two people in the world. They're like Adam and Eve.
    • He calls her "Artemis" and "Demeter" (both Greek goddesses), but she prefers to be called Tess (20.10-11).
    • In the pale light of the early morning, Tess's beauty seems almost supernatural to Angel, and he seems the same to her.
    • But then their solitude would be ended by the arrival of the other milkmen and milkmaids, and the milking would begin.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-One

    • One day there's a crisis at the dairy: they can't make the butter come (we're no experts, but apparently if you churn cream long enough, it turns into butter). The churn goes around and around, but the cream just goes swish, swish, and doesn't thicken into butter.
    • Everyone is paralyzed—their livelihood at the farm depends on their ability to sell butter in London.
    • Dairyman Crick is almost ready to call on a local conjuror for some magical spell or charm to make the butter come.
    • Mrs. Crick has another idea. Perhaps, she suggests, someone in the house is in love? She's heard that that can cause it.
    • But Dairyman Crick remembers the story his wife is referring to. It wasn't because someone was in love, it's because a girl had been seduced, and her lover had hidden himself in the huge churn to hide from the girl's mother, who was understandably angry.
    • It's really a funny story—the girl's mother starts turning the churn, which paddles the young man inside repeatedly.
    • But Tess doesn't think it's very funny—it reminds her too much of her own history.
    • She starts to escape outside, and just then they hear the sound of the cream turning to butter, so no one notices that she's upset.
    • That night, she goes to bed early, and is dozing when the other three girls (Marian, Izz, and Retty) come up to go to bed.
    • They think she's asleep, so they speak softly amongst themselves about how much they're all in love with Angel.
    • They know he's more interested in Tess, though, but they're too generous and fair to hold it against her.
    • Tess blushes, but doesn't say anything, and the other three go to bed and cry themselves to sleep.
    • They all wonder whether Angel might marry a dairywoman instead of a fine lady, since a dairywoman would make a better farmer's wife.
    • Tess knows that Angel does prefer her to her friends, but has to ask herself whether she has any moral right to try to keep him to herself, when she doesn't feel that she can allow any man to marry her.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Two

    • The next morning, Dairyman Crick is all in a huff because he's had a letter complaining of a funny taste in the butter.
    • He can taste it himself, and realizes that there must be garlic in the fields that the cows have been munching.
    • So all the dairymaids and dairymen gather up and go over every inch of the field in a row, trying to find the offending plants.
    • This, as you can imagine, is very tedious work—like hunting meticulously for a needle in the proverbial haystack.
    • Angel is sure to put himself next to Tess in the row, so that they can speak quietly to each other as they scour the field.
    • After a while, Tess separates herself from the rest of the group, and Angel follows after a few minutes.
    • Tess remarks on how pretty the other dairymaids look, especially Izz and Retty.
    • After this, she tries to avoid Angel as much as possible, to give the other dairymaids a fair chance.
    • After all, she thinks that she can't, in good conscience, marry anyone after having had a baby out of wedlock.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Three

    • It's now July, and they've had a lot of rain.
    • One Sunday morning, Tess and the other milkmaids decide to walk to church.
    • On their way, they find that part of the road is flooded.
    • It's not very deep, and on a working day they would have marched on across in their work boots.
    • But they're wearing fancy Sunday shoes, and don't want to mess them up.
    • Luckily for them, Angel happens to be out walking (remember, he has problems with the way the church is run).
    • He offers to carry them each across.
    • Of course the girls all agree.
    • The first three are all blushing and excited as he lifts them up. After all, this might be the only time they get to be in his arms.
    • He saves the best for last, and carries Tess across slowly so that he can whisper to her.
    • She still tries to flatter her friends to make them seem better than she is.
    • He almost kisses her, but doesn't want to take advantage of the situation.
    • After he leaves them all, Tess's friends look despondent.
    • She asks them what's up, and they say that they're miserable because Angel likes her the best.
    • But still, they don't hold it against her. Especially when Tess cries out that they're all better than she is.
    • That night, as they're getting ready for bed, she cries and says that she'd never marry him, or any man.
    • They all convince themselves that Angel has no idea of marrying any of them.
    • Izz is so depressed that she says she'll leave the dairy and go home.
    • Later on, Izz mentions that there's some fine lady that Angel's family wants him to marry.
    • Tess is shocked, and for the first time, feels some jealousy. But she no longer has any hope that he might intend to ask her to marry him.
  • Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Four

    • It's hot and it's July: the weather conditions for falling in love are just perfect.
    • It's so hot that everyone's feeling it. The cows are crowding around even the smallest trees, trying to stay in the shade.
    • The dairymaids and dairymen do the milking out in the field, rather than herding the cows into the barnyard, because it's cooler and easier.
    • Tess picks up her stool and goes to milk one of her favorite cows, which is standing at a distance from the main part of the herd.
    • Angel starts milking a cow that's close to it, so that he can watch her.
    • He sneezes, and Tess becomes aware that he's there, watching her. She blushes.
    • He jumps up, and rushes to her and hugs her.
    • She at first relaxes into the hug, and hugs him back, but the cow gets grumpy and stamps its feet and reminds Tess that she shouldn't be hugging anyone.
    • Angel pulls back, and admits that he loves her, and apologizes for surprising her when he should have asked first.
    • Tess blushes and doesn't say much, and they both go back to their milking.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Twenty-Five

    • Angel wanders around that evening after Tess has gone to bed, thinking about what has happened.
    • He hadn't meant to tell her he loved her—he hadn't meant to fall in love at all.
    • But he's not toying around with her, either. He's got a conscience, and doesn't want to break any hearts.
    • He decides to go home to see his folks for a few days, and talk it over with them.
    • He's almost finished studying farming, and will soon be ready to start one of his own. He tells himself that it would make more sense to marry a woman who understands the business.
    • But he decides to go see his parents anyway.
    • The next morning at breakfast one of the girls comments that Mr. Clare isn't there.
    • Dairyman Crick says that Angel has gone home to see his parents—probably to plan for the future, since he's almost finished his time at the dairy.
    • Marian, Izz, Retty, and of course Tess all sigh and look sad at the news.
    • Meanwhile, Angel is riding his horse towards his parents' house, thinking things over. Should he marry Tess? Would they be happy together? Does he really love her, or does he just have the hots for her?
    • He's carrying a basket with some black puddings and a bottle of mead as a gift from Mrs. Crick to his parents. (Culinary note: black puddings aren't some tasty chocolate treat. They're basically sausages made out of blood.)
    • As he passes the church where his father preaches, he sees a young woman—it's Mercy Chant, the daughter of his parents' friend and neighbor. They hope he'll marry her someday.
    • He decides she hasn't seen him, so he's not obliged to say hi.
    • He gets to his parents' house just as they're all sitting down to breakfast.
    • His brothers, Felix and Cuthbert, are there as well.
    • Mr. Clare is an old man to have such a young son, and he's very set in his ways and thoroughly convinced that his way of viewing the world and religion is the right one.
    • At least he's sincere about it, though.
    • His family greets him, and Angel sits down to breakfast with them.
    • They notice that he's lost some of his fancy polish—he's started to behave "like a farmer."
    • After breakfast, he goes for a walk with his brothers. They might be noticing his lack of social graces, but he's starting to notice their closed-mindedness.
    • Their parents, meanwhile, have gone out to do good work among the poor in their community, as they do everyday.
    • At lunch, he looks around for the black puddings, but his mother tells him that they had given them to some poor folks.
    • Angel then looks for the mead, and they tell him it was too alcoholic to drink at the table, so they've put it in the medicine cabinet with the brandy.
    • Angel is disappointed—he likes both mead and black puddings, and wanted his family to enjoy them so that he could tell Mrs. Crick that her gift was appreciated.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Twenty-Six

    • Later that evening, Angel and his father are left alone together, and Angel seizes the opportunity to talk to his dad about his plans.
    • His father tells him that, since he didn't pay for his college education like he did for Angel's brothers, he instead put aside that money for Angel to buy land with.
    • Angel is appropriately grateful, and mentions that he might, you know, be thinking about getting married.
    • His father agrees that marriage is great—provided it's to a saintly and devout Christian woman.
    • Angel's father tries to push the Mercy Chant card, but Angel interrupts.
    • Yes, yes, Angel says, but isn't it also important that she be good at farming?
    • Angel's mother comes in, and says she hopes that the young lady in question is, in fact, a "lady"—someone he wouldn't be embarrassed to invite among polite, fancy company.
    • He tells them all about Tess, emphasizing that she is a regular church-goer.
    • They finally agree to meet her, and advise him to take things slowly.
    • Even though Angel can legally do what he likes as far as marriage, he doesn't push the point.
    • He goes back to the dairy to see Tess, and his father rides part of the way with him.
    • His father tells him about his efforts to convert wealthy, party-animal types, and how he has (not surprisingly) often failed.
    • One of the rich people Mr. Clare had been trying to work with was a Mr. D'Urberville.
    • Angel perks up—he's heard of that old family, since their estates were close to the dairy, and knows something about their family history, including a ghost story about a coach and four (horses).
    • Mr. Clare says it's some new family that has adopted the old name. The original family died out more than sixty years before.
    • Anyway, this Alec D'Urberville guy is a total jerk, and when Mr. Clare tried gently to point out the errors of his ways, Alec made fun of him in public.
    • Angel gets upset on his father's behalf, of course, but his father takes it all in stride, and says he'll just keep trying.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Twenty-Seven

    • When Angel gets back to Talbothays dairy, all the workers are taking their afternoon nap (remember, they have to get up at 3:30am for the first milking).
    • The place seems deserted, and he takes care of his horse by himself.
    • Tess is the first one to come down from her nap, and Angel startles her at the bottom of the stairs.
    • He holds her tight, and she doesn't struggle away.
    • They go off to the milk house together to skim the cream off the top of the milk—Dairyman Crick and his wife are off running errands, so it's just the two of them.
    • Angel asks her to marry him, but she says she can't.
    • He asks her reasons. She says it's because his parents wouldn't like it, and that it's too sudden.
    • Angel tells her more about his parents—how they're simple and don't care about money. And then he tells her about his father preaching to some scoundrel named D'Urberville.
    • Of course that gets Tess upset again, and she repeats that she can never marry him.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Twenty-Eight

    • A few days later, Angel asks why Tess said "no" so definitely, even after she's admitted that she loves him.
    • Tess says that she's not a fine lady, and makes up various other excuses about not being good enough, etc.
    • Tess almost wishes someone would tell him about her past, because she sure can't bring herself to do it. But no one around there knows about it.
    • He keeps pressing her, and she's afraid of giving in. Finally she promises to tell him all her reasons, and all her history.
    • Angel laughs, because what kinds of "experiences" can a seemingly inexperienced young girl like Tess have?
    • She's not laughing, though, and says she'll tell him everything on Sunday.
    • She's so agitated that she can't go help with the milking, and shuts herself up in her room, going back and forth between hope and fear. She wants to say yes, but thinks she shouldn't.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Twenty-Nine

    • Dairyman Crick announces at breakfast the next day that a local guy named Jack Dollop just got married to a widow with some money.
    • It's the same Jack Dollop who tried to hide in the big butter churn from the mother of a girl he'd seduced.
    • Apparently getting paddled by the churn wasn't enough to make him marry the girl, and he married this widow lady instead, because of her money. But Jack Dollop got the worst of it, because getting remarried meant that the widow lost her income. Everyone at the table laughs, except for Tess, who doesn't like the idea of getting married without being open with one's future partner.
    • After breakfast Angel asks Tess again, and the story about the widow and Jack Dollop has strengthened her resolve: she says no again.
    • More time passes, and Angel continues to pressure her to decide—especially after he accidentally sees her in her nightgown.
    • One evening they're helping to load up the cart to take the butter to the train station to be sent to the London market, and Dairyman Crick realizes that they're running late.
    • Angel volunteers to drive the load to the station, and asks Tess to come along.
    • She starts to object, since she's not wearing a jacket and it's getting late, but Angel insists, and she agrees.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty

    • 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.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty-One

    • The chapter opens with Mrs. Durbeyfield's response to Tess's letter. Mrs. Durbeyfield thinks that on no account should Tess mention her "trouble" to Angel, since it was so long ago and not at all her fault, anyway.
    • Tess might not trust her mother's judgment in most things, but this piece of advice makes Tess feel better about her decision to marry Angel, and she's actually happy for a while.
    • It's October, and the custom among the country folks is that engaged couples can hang out as much as they want outside, without a chaperone.
    • So Tess and Angel wander around the countryside, holding hands and being all mushy.
    • One evening, they're sitting by themselves in the house. Everyone else is out working or on errands.
    • She cries out suddenly that she's not worthy of him.
    • And he says of course she is—the world's "conventions" about social status don't mean a thing, since she's lovely and pure.
    • Of course, that only makes her feel worse, since she feels that she isn't "pure."
    • He asks her what day they'll get married. He needs to start thinking about where to set up as a farmer, and he wants to get married before all that business stuff.
    • Tess gets nervous again as they discuss it, and she's sitting very close to him just as Dairyman Crick and Mrs. Crick and the other workers come in.
    • Tess is embarrassed to be caught so close to him, and jumps up with a blush and runs away.
    • Of course, Dairyman Crick doesn't care—and Angel announces that they're going to be married.
    • The Cricks are pleased to hear it.
    • The other milkmaids go upstairs to see Tess.
    • They're not angry with her, although Retty says she wants to be.
    • Tess gets upset again, and starts sobbing that he ought to marry one of them.
    • They calm her down again, and Tess resolves that she'll go against her mother's advice, and tell Angel her whole history. Not to tell him would seem wrong both to him, and to her friends.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty-Two

    • Tess still hasn't named the wedding day by the time November rolls around (note that it was traditional for the woman to name the day of the wedding after agreeing to get married).
    • It's calving season, and Tess and Angel walk together between the cow hospital, where the calves are born, and the dairy.
    • Angel points out that, with calving season, there are fewer cows to milk (the cows give all their milk to the calves), and so she won't be needed at the dairy anymore.
    • He suggests that they get married at around Christmas, and she agrees.
    • When they get back to the house, they tell the Cricks, and they are congratulated appropriately.
    • Tess still feels anxious, and wants to tell him everything before they're married, since she thinks that a man like Angel wouldn't appreciate being told after the fact.
    • She writes to her mother asking for advice on this subject, but her mother already said her piece, and doesn't respond.
    • The date they agree upon is December 31—New Year's Eve.
    • One Sunday, about three weeks before the wedding, Izz Huett comes home from church and tells Tess that her name hasn't been read out.
    • Historical Context time:
    • Back in the day, it was traditional for a proposed wedding to be announced three Sundays in a row at church before the ceremony. That way, if anyone knew of a reason why the couple shouldn't marry, they'd have a chance to get their say in. This tradition was called "reading the banns," or "publishing the banns."
    • And that's why Izz thought it was important to tell Tess that the banns hadn't been read that Sunday: because now there would only be two Sundays left until the ceremony, instead of the required three.
    • But Angel says that he didn't want to have a big public ceremony, anyway, and that he'd just applied for a marriage license, instead. It would be more private that way.
    • Tess is relieved—if anyone knew about her history and saw or heard the banns, they might say something.
    • The next question is about her wedding clothes—should she wear her best white dress, or should she buy something new? Before she's able to ask Angel, he presents her with a package. He'd ordered a whole new outfit for her, down to gloves and shoes. It's not all that fancy, but it's nicer than anything she's ever had.
    • She's very grateful, and goes to try it on, but can't seem to shake her sense of dread.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty-Three

    • Angel wants to spend a day with Tess, just the two of them, before they get married. It'll be their last day as an engaged couple.
    • So they go shopping together on Christmas Eve.
    • Angel leaves Tess briefly in front of an inn (inns doubled as bars in those days).
    • While she's waiting, a couple of men pass by.
    • One of them is from Trantridge (the town where Alec D'Urberville lives), and he recognizes her.
    • He's starting to say so, when Angel comes back.
    • Angel sees the horrified expression on Tess's face, and punches the guy in the jaw.
    • The guy staggers back, and says that it must be a mistake—it must be some other girl, forty miles off.
    • Angel realizes that he overreacted, and gives the guy a few shillings for a bandage.
    • Tess is depressed by the incident, and asks if it would be possible to postpone the wedding.
    • Angel says no, and Tess is silent the whole way home. She's thinking that they're going to move hundreds of miles away, where no one who knew her before could possibly ever see her.
    • That night, Tess gets woken up by the sound of a scuffle from Angel's room overhead.
    • She runs upstairs, and he tells her that he was having a dream that he was fighting that guy again, and was beating up his suitcase in his sleep.
    • Tess makes up her mind at last: since she can't bring herself to tell him her history in person, she writes it all down in a letter, seals it up, and tiptoes upstairs and pokes it under Angel's door.
    • The next morning, she meets him downstairs as usual, and he kisses her as usual.
    • Even when they're alone, he doesn't allude to the letter. Could he have read it?
    • She peeps into his room that afternoon, and doesn't see the note. He must have read it, and he must have forgiven her.
    • The last few days before the wedding slip by.
    • The morning of their wedding, she begins to suspect that he never got the letter.
    • She slips up to his room, and finds the corner of the letter sticking out from under his carpet. It must have gone under the rug when she stuck it under the door. He never saw it.
    • She burns the letter in her room, and pulls Angel aside downstairs.
    • She wants to tell him all of her faults now, before they are married, so that he can never blame her for not telling him later.
    • But Angel says that he doesn't want to hear them, since that they'll have plenty of time to talk over both of their faults later on, after they're married. She has to be "perfect" on her wedding day.
    • He promises that he'll confess his own faults later, too.
    • They have to take a coach to the church, because it's a long way off and it's the middle of winter.
    • Because the Dairyman's cart is open, they've rented a closed coach from a local inn. It's old and rickety.
    • There aren't very many people at the church to watch the ceremony, because they hadn't advertised it by publishing the banns (see the historical context note for Chapter Thirty-Two).
    • Tess repeats her vows in a low voice, and they are married.
    • Angel knows that she loves him, but he doesn't realize that she'd lie down in front of a cart and get run over repeatedly for him.
    • After the service, Tess stares for a while at the old coach—she thinks it looks familiar.
    • Angel assumes that it's because it reminds her of the legend of the D'Urberville coach, but she's never heard it before.
    • Angel doesn't want to tell her the whole story, since it's pretty gloomy. But he gives the bare bones of it: some member of the D'Urberville family committed some horrible crime in the family coach and, after that, members of the family have a vision of the coach whenever… but that's as far as Angel gets with the story.
    • Tess asks whether it's when they've committed a crime, or when they're about to die, that D'Urbervilles see the coach?
    • Angel doesn't answer, and kisses her.
    • They get back to the dairy, and Tess manages to get a few minutes by herself to calm down.
    • As they leave the dairy, all the workers and Mr. and Mrs. Crick line up to say good-bye.
    • Angel kisses each in turn as a formal farewell, and the dairymaids get all agitated. But Angel doesn't notice.
    • As they're starting to leave through the gate, a rooster crows.
    • Hearing a rooster crow in the afternoon, apparently, is bad luck, and they hurry away as Dairyman Crick threatens to ring the bird's neck.
  • Phase IV: "The Consequence," Chapter Thirty-Four

    • Angel has rented an old manor house that used to belong to the D'Urbervilles for their wedding night.
    • The house is pretty dilapidated, and an old woman from a neighboring cottage has been hired to come over and bring them meals, and make sure there's a fire going when they get there so that they won't freeze.
    • The woman has left them what they need, and they're happy to have the house to themselves.
    • The house is full of old portraits of the D'Urbervilles, and Angel can see the family resemblance to Tess.
    • As they eat their supper together, Angel reflects on how dependent she is on him, and swears to himself that he'll never betray her trust.
    • After a while it starts to rain.
    • Their luggage had been sent separately, and they're surprised that it hasn't arrived yet.
    • When they hear a knock on the door, they assume it's old Jonathan with their luggage, but it's not—it's someone delivering a package.
    • Turns out Angel's godmother had left some jewelry in his mother's keeping, to be given to Angel's wife if he should ever marry. So the package contains a set of diamonds.
    • She tries them on, and looks totally gorgeous.
    • Then, finally, Jonathan arrives with their luggage.
    • Angel asks why he's so late, and he explains:
    • It's because Retty Priddle tried to drown herself that afternoon. She was found in time, though, and will be okay. And Marian was found dead drunk in a gutter somewhere in the next town.
    • Izz is okay, but very depressed.
    • After Jonathan leaves, Angel says that he's sorry that Tess should have heard the bad news about the girls on what was supposed to be the happiest night of her life.
    • Then, suddenly, Angel reminds her that they had promised to tell each other their faults after they were married.
    • He says that he has something to confess, and wants her to forgive him, and not be angry that he hadn't told her before.
    • She's shocked—he's saying exactly what she wanted to say.
    • He tells her that although he has a problem with the way the church is organized, he's a stickler for good morals. So he's been beating himself up for this for a long time. But the long and short of it is, he was really depressed this one time, and went to London, and had a brief fling with some strange woman.
    • But he never did it again. He realized that it was wrong, and went home, and never talked to her again.
    • Of course Tess forgives him, and says she's actually kind of glad about it, because she wants to confess something, too.
    • He says that it can't be more serious than his offense, and she gets hopeful: maybe it isn't, and he'll be able to forgive her, after all.
    • So she sits next to him, and holds his hand, and tells him all about it.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Five

    • Tess finishes her story without raising her voice or shedding a single tear.
    • Angel is beyond shocked. He can't believe it.
    • He asks why she didn't tell him before, and then remembers that she had tried, repeatedly.
    • She begins to cry now, and begs to be forgiven.
    • He says that forgiveness has nothing to do with it—she isn't the same person he was in love with.
    • She continues to cry, and promises to do anything he asks her to do.
    • Angel still loves her, but is trying to suppress his feelings.
    • He goes outside and, after a few moments, she follows him.
    • He ignores her.
    • She tells him she was a child when it happened, and didn't understand her danger until it was too late.
    • He admits that she was "more sinned against than sinning," but even as he admits that it wasn't her fault, he can't bring himself to say that he still loves her.
    • As they walk along the river, Tess offers to drown herself so that she'll be out of his way.
    • Of course he tells her not to be a fool, and asks her to go inside and go to bed.
    • She obeys.
    • He wanders around more before coming upstairs, and he finds her asleep.
    • He's inclined to relent, and forgive her, but then he catches another glimpse of one of the D'Urberville ladies in one of the portraits. He sees the resemblance again, and it seems to him that her relationship to that old family is part of her guilt.
    • He leaves the room, and lies on a couch in the living room, totally miserable.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Six

    • Angel wakes up early, and sees their supper still sitting on the table, untouched.
    • The woman from the cottage next door arrives to fix their breakfast, and Angel tells her from the window to leave the milk on the doorstep.
    • He gets the rest of their breakfast together from the supplies in the pantry, and calls Tess down to eat.
    • She comes down looking hopeful—maybe he's decided to forgive her.
    • But he looks cold, and they barely speak.
    • She looks so pure that he can hardly believe that her story was true. But she repeats that it was all true.
    • Angel then asks if he's still alive.
    • Tess thinks he means the baby, and replies that the baby died.
    • But Angel meant the man—yes, the man is still alive, and still lives in England.
    • Tess says that he can still get rid of her, if he wants to, by divorcing her. She had assumed that her confession would give him legal grounds to do so, if he wanted to.
    • But he says he can't do that—it would be impossible, because it had happened before their marriage. (Divorces could only be gotten in cases of adultery or abuse during marriage.)
    • Tess feels terribly guilty, and says that if she hadn't thought he'd be able to divorce her if he wanted, she would never have married her, and would have killed herself the night before, as she had planned.
    • He asks what she means—apparently she had considered hanging herself from the bedstead, but had lost her courage.
    • He tells her never to think of such a thing again, and she promises.
    • Then Angel goes out and walks to the mill, since he does, after all, need to learn how mills work if he wants to be a farmer.
    • Tess, meanwhile, stays at home to get lunch ready for when he comes home that afternoon.
    • She's so eager to please him that she has the meal on the table exactly as he walks in the door.
    • They discuss the mill as they eat, and he tells her to stop working so hard: she's his wife, not his servant.
    • Tess is so glad to hear him call her his wife that she cries, and says she would never have married him, only he urged her to.
    • Another couple of days pass in the same way.
    • At one point, she puckers up for a kiss, but he turns away, and says that they must part soon, and that he's only stayed with her this long so that people won't gossip.
    • He says that he can't live with her without hating himself, and growing to hate her. He can't live with her while Alec is still alive.
    • Tess had hoped that spending time together, even though they're not talking, would slowly soften him and make him forgive her.
    • But he points out that if they ever had children, their children would be disgraced as much as she would be if anyone ever found out.
    • The next day, Tess says that he's right—they can't be together, and she'll go home to her parents.
    • Angel agrees that that's the only option, and they both begin to pack.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Seven

    • That night, Tess wakes up when she hears a noise on the stairs.
    • It's Angel: he's having another sleepwalking episode.
    • He comes into her room, and stands over her bed, murmuring, "Dead, dead, dead!" and sounding very, very sad.
    • She's not afraid of him, even though he doesn't know what he's doing.
    • Then he murmurs, "My poor, poor Tess—my dearest, darling Tess! So sweet, so good, so true!" (37.8).
    • Now she really doesn't want to wake him up. He hasn't murmured sweet nothings to her in days, and she's missed it.
    • Then it becomes clear that he's dreaming that she is dead, and he picks up her body and carries her downstairs, and out the door.
    • He carries down towards the river, and Tess remembers the time he carried her, and the other three dairymaids, across the flood.
    • There's a small footbridge over the river, which is running high because of the recent rain. The bridge is narrow and Tess is a little nervous as he carries her across it—more for his sake than for her own, of course. But they reach the far side safely.
    • He carries her to a ruined abbey, and puts her down in an empty stone coffin without a lid, and kisses her mouth.
    • Then he lies down on the ground and falls asleep.
    • She's afraid they'll both freeze to death if they stay there, but she doesn't want to embarrass him by waking him up.
    • So she takes him by the arm and leads him back to the house.
    • The next morning, it's clear that he has no recollection of any of it.
    • She thinks about telling him, but doesn't want to embarrass him or make him angry.
    • He had ordered a carriage the day before to come and pick her up after breakfast, and it arrives promptly.
    • They swing by the Talbothays dairy, because Angel needs to wrap things up with Dairyman Crick, and they have to pretend everything is okay between them while they're there.
    • Afterwards, Angel tells her that he'll let her know where he's going as soon as he's decided, and that eventually he might come back to her. But she shouldn't try to come to him. It's totally a "don't call us, we'll call you" kind of conversation.
    • He says that she can write him if she's sick or needs anything, but that he hopes that won't happen. He's certainly not encouraging her to write love letters.
    • He gives her an envelope of money, and advises her to put it in the bank.
    • Then he helps her climb back in the carriage, and sends her on her way back to her parents' house.
    • He watches the carriage disappear, totally miserable because, of course, he still loves her.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Eight

    • Tess's carriage pulls up to the gate of the village of Marlott, and she asks the turnpike-keeper if anything's new in the village.
    • He says that John Durbeyfield's daughter recently got married, and that "Sir John," as the villagers now call him, honored the occasion by getting drunk at The Pure Drop tavern and buying drinks for his neighbors.
    • This is obviously not very cheering news for Tess—she doesn't know how she's going to be able to face her family.
    • She decides it would be easier to approach the house on foot, so she leaves her luggage at the turnpike-keeper's house and walks into town.
    • An old friend meets her in the street, and asks where her husband is.
    • Tess answers that he's away on business, and goes into her parents' house.
    • Her mother is surprised to see her (obviously), and asks if she were married, and where her husband was.
    • Tess says that he went away, because she told him what had happened.
    • Her mother is furious, and calls her a fool.
    • But her mother's anger doesn't last long—she's so chill that she calms down and takes a "whatever happens, happens" attitude about it.
    • Her father soon gets home. He's been drinking at Rolliver's and bragging about his daughter's fine marriage.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield tells him that Tess is home, and that Angel has left her.
    • Mr. Durbeyfield is pretty depressed about it, because he knows that they'll laugh at him at Rolliver's.
    • He asks if Tess is actually married this time, or if it's like before, with Alec.
    • Tess overhears all this from upstairs, and decides that if her own parents can doubt her word, she won't stay there for long.
    • Tess gets a letter from Angel the next morning, saying that he is going to look at farm in the north of England.
    • She uses that letter as an excuse to leave, and they all assume that the letter was asking Tess to join him.
    • She leaves half of the fifty pounds of cash that Angel had given her to her parents, and leaves their house.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Nine

    • Three weeks after the wedding, Angel goes to visit his parents again.
    • As he walks, he considers the last few weeks: all the philosophy he's ever read tells him that he shouldn't be disturbed by crises like this one, but he's pretty disturbed, anyway. How could he not be?
    • He blames the whole thing on the fact that Tess is a D'Urberville. Why didn't he abandon her when he found that out?
    • Now Angel is moving through life with a kind of passive indifference—he's just going through the motions, because he's incredibly depressed.
    • Of course his parents want to know why he's come without his wife.
    • He explains that she went to her parents' house, temporarily, while he goes to Brazil to see about setting up a farm there.
    • Mrs. Clare is curious about Tess, and asks Angel a lot of questions.
    • Angel gets agitated, especially when his father reads some Bible verses in praise of virtue in a wife.
    • He leaves the table early to go to bed.
    • His mother follows him after a few minutes, and asks him what's wrong. She guesses pretty easily that he's had some kind of quarrel with Tess.
    • She asks if it has something to do with her past, but Angel replies, lying through his teeth, that Tess is "spotless."
    • The narrator points out that the real trouble was not with Tess, but with Angel, and his limitations. He's bound by conventional ideas about purity and virtue, and ignores Tess's innate purity because of the "stain" of her history.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Forty

    • At breakfast, Angel and his parents discuss his Brazil plan. Everyone tries to be optimistic, but Brazil has a bad reputation—a lot of farmers have emigrated there to seek their fortunes, and have returned disappointed within a year.
    • Angel goes to the town after breakfast to withdraw his money from the bank.
    • While he's there, he arranges for thirty pounds to be sent to Tess in eight months, along with instructions that she write to his father in case of any emergency.
    • On his way back, he runs into Mercy Chant.
    • She asks him about his plans in Brazil, and the conversation turns to the Roman Catholicism of most of the people there.
    • Since she, like Angel's own parents, is a strict Protestant, she's shocked when he makes light of the religious differences of Catholicism.
    • He apologizes for having shocked her, and wonders if he's going nuts.
    • Angel has one other errand before leaving for Brazil. He has to go back to the place where he and Tess spent those few nights after their wedding to pay the rent and pick up a few things they'd left.
    • When he gets there, he remembers how happy they were when they arrived, and wonders if he made a mistake.
    • Then Izz Huett shows up—she says she came to visit them.
    • Angel explains that they're not living there, and tells Izz that Tess is at her parents' house because he's going to find a farm in Brazil.
    • Angel asks how everyone's doing at the dairy, and Izz says that she left, because the dairy was just too depressing, what with Retty's attempted suicide and Marian's descent into alcoholism.
    • Angel offers Izz a ride home, since she lives pretty close by.
    • On the way, she admits that she was pretty depressed, herself, since Angel and Tess left the dairy.
    • Angel asks why, and Izz is like, "hellooooo, I've had a crush on you for months!"
    • Angel's quiet for a while, and then thinks about how the whole system of marriage has screwed him (at least, that's the way he sees it).
    • So he tells Izz that he and Tess separated for personal reasons—not just because he's going to Brazil first to check out the farm situation. And then he asks Izz if she'll go with him.
    • She says yes, even though it would be wrong and immoral in the eyes of most people.
    • Angel asks if she really loves him—loves him more than Tess?
    • Izz says she loves him, but not more than Tess – no one could love him more than Tess.
    • That honesty from Izz snaps Angel out of his momentary lunacy, and he turns the cart around to drop Izz off at home.
    • Izz starts crying, of course, but calms down and, when they say good-bye, is able to forgive Angel for totally messing with her head.
    • He sends his farewells to Marian and Retty through Izz, and asks her to tell them to be strong and good.
    • He wavers as he drives away—he almost turns around to drive back to Tess at her parents' house, but decides that if he was right before, he's right now. The state of Tess's feeling for him has nothing to do with it.
    • So, five days later, he leaves for Brazil from a ship out of London.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Forty-One

    • Eight months later—it's now October.
    • Tess has spent the summer working at a dairy on the far side of Blackmoor Vale, and since the busy time at the dairy is over, working at the harvest.
    • She prefers to keep busy, rather than to live on the money Angel gave her, because she hates the idea of giving to strangers the money he handed her. And working keeps her mind occupied.
    • But, after the harvest, there's a long run of wet weather, so Tess has trouble finding fieldwork.
    • She starts spending the twenty-five pounds that her husband had left her (she had left the other twenty-five with her parents).
    • That money is almost gone when she gets a letter from her mother asking for twenty pounds to pay for a new roof.
    • Tess has just received the additional thirty pounds from Angel, so she sends the twenty pounds to her mother immediately.
    • Tess is too proud to write to Angel's father for help, and she doesn't let her own parents know that Angel hasn't returned to her.
    • She doesn't even want to go back to her friends at the Talbothays Dairy, because she doesn't want them to talk about her, or to think badly of Angel for deserting her.
    • So she works and lives alone.
    • Things aren't going great for Angel, either—at this moment, he's sick with a bad fever in Brazil.
    • But to return to Tess: Tess is on her way to a farm to the north, where Marian is working.
    • Marian had sent her a letter, saying that it wasn't a bad place to work—if it were really true that Tess was separated from Angel, and was working for a living like she used to.
    • Being a pretty young woman on her own was never a problem while she was wearing the fancier clothes that she'd gotten just before the marriage, but once she starts wearing common field clothes again, her prettiness attracts unwanted attention.
    • One night it's particularly bad. She's on a lonely stretch of road, and a man catches sight of her, recognizing her from Trantridge. In fact, it's the same man who had recognized her in town the week before the wedding, when Angel punched him in the face.
    • Tess panics and runs through the fields. She makes a nest for herself under a hedge, and tries to sleep there.
    • She thinks she's the most miserable being in the world as she lies there shivering.
    • During the night, she's awoken by gasping sounds and the noise of small thumps.
    • When she wakes, she realizes what it was—there must have been a hunting party the day before, and some of the birds that were only wounded hid themselves in the trees overhead. But during the night, they fell one by one from the loss of blood.
    • Some of the birds are still lying on the ground, half-alive.
    • Tess pities them, and puts them out of their misery.
    • She's ashamed of her despair the night before—at least she's better off than those poor birds.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Forty-Two

    • The next day, several more young men bother her with compliments about her good looks.
    • So Tess decides to try to make herself ugly, and clips off her eyebrows and ties a handkerchief around her face as though she had a toothache.
    • This has the desired effect—now when she passes men on the road, they mumble to each other about what an ugly girl she is.
    • Tess arrives at the place where Marian has been working, and is happy to see her, even though it's clear that Marian's fallen on hard times, too.
    • Marian is surprised at Tess's appearance, since she's married to a gentleman and all.
    • Marian assumes that whatever's wrong, it must be the fault of something outside both Tess and Angel, since she won't admit that either of them has any real faults.
    • Marian offers to help Tess to get a job at the farm where she's working, even though it's tough work and not much fun.
    • Tess doesn't really care what she does, so long as Marian agrees not to tell anyone about Angel—Tess doesn't want Angel's name to be associated with farm labor.
    • Tess signs an agreement with the farmer's wife (the farmer's out for the day) to stay and work until "Old Lady Day" (in late March/early April).
    • She sends a letter to her parents telling them where she's living, but not how poor she is—she's afraid that they'd think badly of Angel if they knew.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Forty-Three

    • The farm where Tess and Marian are working is described repeatedly as a "starve-acre place" (42.34; 43.1). It really is a poor and dismal place.
    • Their job basically consists of pulling turnips out of the ground—not very exciting, and kind of hard on the back.
    • Marian offers a nip from her flask to Tess, and Tess refuses.
    • Marian excuses her own drinking by saying that she lost Angel, and Tess didn't, so that's why she needs the booze more.
    • Marian is so happy to have Tess there that she proposes that they write to Izz and Retty, and tell them to come and work there as well. It would be like old times.
    • The winter weather is brutally cold.
    • The next day, the weather is so bad that it keeps them from working in the fields, and they hang out in the barn.
    • Izz arrives that afternoon—along with two other new farm workers, Car and Nancy Darch, the two women who wanted to fight with Tess in Trantridge the night Alec raped her.
    • They don't seem to recognize her, though, and everyone sets to work in the field the next day.
    • The farmer gets back, and it turns out he's the Trantridge man whom Angel popped in the face, and who scared Tess on the road. And now she's signed something agreeing to work for him through the winter.
    • He gives her a hard time about it, but she takes it calmly.
    • Marian and Izz want to reminisce about the good old days at Talbothays, and how they all used to be in love with Angel, but Tess refuses to join in—after all, she married the guy.
    • Izz makes a few sarcastic remarks about Angel's having left her, but she's really not a mean girl, so she lets up when she sees how it upsets Tess.
    • After working in silence for a while, Tess sinks to the ground in exhaustion.
    • Marian offers to help her, and Tess accepts, although she feels bad about it.
    • While she's resting, Tess has the feeling that Marian and Izz are discussing Angel, and she doesn't like it.
    • After a while, Tess gets up and gets back to work.
    • Izz goes in early—she'd been walking all day, after all.
    • Once Izz is gone, Marian shakes her head and says she wouldn't have believed it.
    • Tess asks what she means—Marian's been drinking from her hip flask, and is inclined to be honest.
    • Izz has told Marian about how Angel asked her to go to Brazil with him, and then changed his mind, and now Marian tells Tess.
    • Tess bursts into tears, and resolves to write him a letter. But she never finishes the letter, and doesn't mail it.
  • Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Forty-Four

    • Tess begins to think again about contacting Angel's parents at Emminster Vicarage. After all, why had she not heard from Angel? Was he really indifferent to her, as his proposal to Izz would suggest? Or was he sick and dying?
    • Sunday is the only day she has off, so she resolves to walk to the vicarage from the farm on the first Sunday when the roads are clear of snow, leaving early in the morning.
    • Marian and Izz know that she's going, and help her to dress up prettily before she leaves.
    • It's a very far walk, and Tess's hopes droop as she gets tired.
    • Once Tess arrives in the village, she stashes her walking boots in a bush and puts on her nice pretty shoes.
    • She rings the bell on the vicarage door, but no one answers—they're all at church, including the servants.
    • She knows she'll just have to wait until they get back. As she's walking back to the main street, the service lets out and the congregation pours out into the street around her.
    • Everyone stares at her, so she hurries through the crowd to find a place to rest for a while—she doesn't want to appear on the Clares' doorstep until after they've had a chance to eat lunch.
    • Two young men are walking together in the same direction, and she hears them call after a young woman—her name is Mercy Chant.
    • Tess recognizes the name—it's the young woman Angel was supposed to marry.
    • Before the young men catch up with Mercy, she overhears them discussing Angel's hasty marriage to a dairymaid.
    • The men catch up with Mercy, and reach the top of the hill where Tess had stashed her boots just before.
    • Cuthbert Clare, one of the two brothers, spots the boots, and pulls them out.
    • They assume that the boots must have been left by a beggar, who wanted to get more sympathy by begging in bare feet, so they take the boots with them to give to a more deserving poor person.
    • Tess doesn't say anything, and cries to herself under her veil.
    • She thinks there's no way she can go to the vicarage to ask for help now.
    • This is a mistake—she shouldn't have judged Angel's father by his brothers. His father would have pitied her and helped her.
    • She walks back towards the farm slowly, pausing frequently to rest.
    • On her way back, she passes through a village in which a lay preacher (one who isn't officially ordained by the church, but gives informal sermons and religious speeches to anyone who will listen) is giving a sermon.
    • She overhears part of it: the man is saying that he used to be a sinner, but he found the light, and all that.
    • Tess is shocked—the man's voice sounds exactly like Alec D'Urberville's.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Five

    • Tess is rooted to the spot: she hasn't seen or heard from Alec since she left Trantridge four years before, and here he is, clearly a convert, giving a rabble-rousing sermon in the village square about how sinful he used to be.
    • She's unconvinced of his sincerity, and then wonders if maybe it could be true. It wouldn't be the first time.
    • But then she moves to leave, and he sees her.
    • He's momentarily distracted by her beauty, and Tess walks away quickly.
    • After a while, he comes up behind her on the road.
    • He says that he followed after her to see what he could do for her, since he had done such horrible things to her before. Her appearance had distracted him, it's true, but God had helped him through it to finish his sermon.
    • Tess asks how he came to become a preacher.
    • Alec tells her about this great, earnest minister named Mr. Clare…
    • Yes, Tess tells him, she's heard of him somewhere.
    • Alec starts to tell her about his sudden conversion, but Tess doesn't believe in sudden conversions. It's too quick, she argues—and it's unfair for people like him to make other people miserable, and then to decide it's time to start thinking about getting right with God.
    • Alec is miffed, and asks why she doesn't believe in conversions like that.
    • Tess says it's because "a better man" than he is doesn't believe in them. She means Angel, of course, but she doesn't tell Alec whom she means.
    • Alec doesn't say much in response, but, after staring at Tess, asks her to put her veil down—her beauty is just blinding, and he doesn't want to relapse into his old wicked ways.
    • They walk on along the road together, and Alec asks Tess about what's happened to her over the last four years.
    • Tess tells him the only thing that related at all to him—that she'd had his baby, and that it had died.
    • Alec is shocked that she hadn't told him sooner.
    • As they're about to part ways, he makes her swear never to "tempt" him with her womanly wiles. As if she'd want to, she says, but she promises anyway.
    • She walks along back towards the farm, and comes along a young woman talking with a young man —the man is clearly hitting on the woman, and the woman is less enthusiastic about it than the guy is.
    • The woman turns out to be Izz Huett; the man is someone she knows from home, who has followed her out here because he's been in love with her for the last couple of years.
    • Izz still isn't over her crush on Angel, though, so she doesn't really answer the man's proposals one way or the other.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Six

    • Several days later, Tess is working in the field at her turnip chopping when Alec shows up.
    • She's irritated that he's there at all—she told him before that she never wanted to see him again.
    • He says that he's there to ask how she's doing, money-wise. She was dressed nicely when he met her on the road, so he didn't think to ask her. But now that he sees that she's working in the field, he's afraid she's strapped for cash, and that it might be his fault.
    • Tess doesn't want to get drawn into this conversation emotionally, so she keeps working.
    • Then Alec tells her what he really came for: he offers to marry her, because he thinks that would make things right.
    • She refuses—she says she loves somebody else.
    • He doesn't think that's a good enough reason, until Tess admits that she married that other man, and that he's far away—because he found out about Alec.
    • Alec feels bad, and tries to take Tess's hand.
    • She pulls back, and tells him to go away.
    • Just then the farmer approaches, and gives her a hard time for slacking off.
    • Alec tries to defend her, but Tess would rather get scolded by the farmer than defended by Alec.
    • So the farmer continues to yell at her as Alec walks off.
    • The farmer has it in for Tess because he's still embarrassed about the time Angel punched him in the face, but at least his dislike for her has nothing to do with sex.
    • She wonders what she would have done if she were free to marry Alec, and then mentally slaps herself for even asking the question. She's always hated him, after all.
    • That night she writes another letter to Angel, assuring him of her affection, but not telling him about her troubles. Anyone with half a brain would be able to read between the lines, though.
    • She mails the letter that night.
    • Candlemas (a holiday in February) rolls around, and most of the laborers go to a fair in the town.
    • Tess remains behind, and Alec shows up again.
    • He asks about her religion—he's curious about why she doesn't believe in instantaneous conversions.
    • She says that she believes what her husband believed, even though he had tried to help her form her own opinions.
    • Whatever he said of his own thoughts, she adopted into her own religion.
    • Angel might be far from perfect, but she is so devoted to him that she practically memorized everything he ever said about his opinions on religion and the supernatural.
    • Alec asks her to repeat some of what Angel had said, and she happily repeats it, word-for-word, even though she doesn't fully understand all of it herself.
    • Alec listens with rapt attention.
    • When she's finished her recital, he tells her that he was supposed to give a sermon in town that afternoon, but that he came to see her, instead.
    • Seeing her again revived his old love for her, even though he thought he'd stamped all that passion stuff out when he converted.
    • Tess becomes alarmed—after all, she didn't seek him out.
    • Alec gets agitated and talks about how her husband deserted her, but Tess cuts him off, defends Angel, and asks Alec to leave.
    • Alec wants a goodbye smooch, but Tess tells him off, and he's humiliated by his weakness.
    • Alec has relapsed back to his old wicked ways. Being around Tess is just too much for him.
    • As he walks away, he thinks about how ironic it is that Angel's teachings, repeated by Tess, should have had a part in bringing Alec back to her.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Seven

    • Izz and Tess are out working in the fields at sun-up on a day in early March—the farmer wants them to finish the field by the end of that day, if possible.
    • The farmer has rented a steam-powered threshing machine, and the field workers have to try to keep up with the machine, untying sheaves of grain to feed into the machine, which then separates the grains from the stalks.
    • They take brief breaks at breakfast, and then again at lunchtime.
    • They don't take any other breaks, and Tess is never allowed to pause in her labor—the machine never stops, and always needs to be fed, so Tess is never able to stop untying the grain to feed into it.
    • Marian is working at a different spot, and is better able to look around her. She notices that Alec is at the edge of the field, and that he's no longer dressed like a preacher.
    • They finally stop again at dinnertime, and Tess is so tired she can hardly stand.
    • She starts to climb down off of the pile of stalks to eat her dinner, but when she sees Alec approaching, she decides to stay where she is.
    • The pile of stalks doesn't deter him, he hops on up and sits down with her.
    • She asks why he keeps harassing her, but he asks her the same thing—her eyes haunt him, he says.
    • But he admits it's not her fault that she's pretty, but he did give up preaching all on her account.
    • He was all too easily persuaded by what she repeated against dogma and organized religion, so he gave it all up.
    • She tries to persuade him that it's not ethics or good morals that her husband disagrees with, it's the fact that so many people only practice good morals because they're afraid of going to hell if they don't.
    • But Alec doesn't buy it, and he's happy to throw out good morals with the preaching and go back to his old ways.
    • He tells her that he brought a carriage with him to carry her away, because he doesn't like to see her working so hard. And she might be married, but her husband is gone, and he's here.
    • Tess takes one of her work gloves and slaps him across the mouth with it.
    • He starts to jump up, but controls himself and just mops the blood up with his handkerchief.
    • Alec leaves, and tells her harshly that she's his wife by natural law, and that he'll be back later on to get a final answer from her.
    • The other workers have almost finished their dinner, and soon after Tess is back to work with everyone else.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Eight

    • Later that afternoon, Tess notices that Alec has come back. When he sees her look up, he waves and blows her a kiss to show her there are no hard feelings about the slap.
    • The farmer says that they'll finish the field even if they have to work into the night—there's a full moon, so they'll have light to work by.
    • All the workers are already exhausted.
    • Tess is the only one of the women who is working on top of the machine itself, and the vibration of it shakes her from head to toe.
    • At one point, the farmer comes up and tells Tess that she can go join her friend if she likes, but Tess knows that Alec must have had something to do with this, and so she refuses, and continues to work.
    • After they're finished, Alec offers to walk her home.
    • He says he's sorry she had to work so hard—most farms don't make women stand on the machine, since it's too back-breaking.
    • Tess is thankful for his kindness, but has a hard time telling when he's being nice, and when he's trying to put her off her guard.
    • He asks about her family, and says that he saw them recently. He went to them to ask where she was working.
    • She feels so sorry for her little brothers and sisters that she's tempted to give in to him, and he knows it.
    • She tells him not to bring them up, and that she doesn't want to accept anything from him, either for herself or for him.
    • That night, Tess writes another letter to Angel, begging him to come to her, or to ask her to come to him. She doesn't give any details, but she says that she's being pressed and harassed to do what she doesn't want to do.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Forty-Nine

    • Tess's letter is addressed to Angel's parents, since they are the ones who had his current address in Brazil.
    • Mrs. Clare forwards it to Angel immediately, and hopes that it will make him hurry home for the visit he's been planning.
    • Mr. Clare still feels guilty about not allowing Angel to go to the university like his brothers, and blames himself for Angel's unhappy marriage.
    • Angel, meanwhile, has grown up an awful lot since he left for Brazil.
    • The fever he caught soon after arriving almost killed him, and he's still weak.
    • He's re-considering a lot of things he used to take for granted. He's decided that morality has more to do with your intentions than your actions. And Tess never intended to be raped, so was she still pure?
    • At one point, Angel meets another Englishman in Brazil, and they become friends.
    • Angel confides his whole story to the man, and the man tells Angel that deserting Tess was the dumbest move, ever.
    • The man dies shortly afterwards, but his words have a lasting effect on Angel.
    • He realizes how wrong he's been about Tess.
    • Tess, meanwhile, is convinced that Angel will soon come back in response to her letter, and so she starts thinking about what she can do to please him when he gets back.
    • She starts studying up on all the ballads and songs that he liked best, and daydreaming about life with Angel after his return.
    • One day in late March, her sister 'Liza-Lu shows up at her door, telling her that their mother is sick, and their father isn't doing well, either. And their father is refusing to work on account of his noble background.
    • Tess decides she has to go home, even though she's supposed to stick around until Old Lady Day (April 6).
    • 'Liza-Lu is too tired to head back that night (she's been walking all day), so Tess decides to let her sister spend the night in her bed, and follow her in the morning.
    • Tess herself leaves a message with Marian and Izz to try to excuse her to the farmer, and then sets out for home.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Fifty

    • Tess walks all the way back to Marlott, and passes all the old scenes of her childhood on her way.
    • She arrives in the middle of the night, and opens the door of the family house as quietly as she can so that she won't wake anybody up.
    • The next morning, her father tells her of his bright idea to get money without having to work: he'll send a letter around to all the historians in the area, and ask them to contribute money to a fund to save the D'Urbervilles. He figures they'd be happy to do it, since the D'Urbervilles are such an important old family.
    • Tess doesn't argue with him, but persuades him to start working in the garden so that they'll have something to eat that summer.
    • She herself starts working in an additional garden plot that they rented from a landowner nearby.
    • The extra plot has tough soil, and requires a lot of digging and weeding to get it ready for planting.
    • Tess works on it every evening. After spending all day indoors taking care of her sick mother, it's a relief to work outside, even after dark.
    • There are a lot of plots close together, and various other families work there in the evenings, too.
    • One evening, Tess and 'Liza-Lu are working together at dusk. It's chilly, but there's enough warmth still in the air that they're happy to continue working.
    • Tess sings to herself (the ballads that Angel prefers), and notices that a man working the plot next to theirs is slowly working his way closer to her.
    • After a while, Tess realizes that it's Alec.
    • Alec asks after her husband, and she bitterly answers that she doesn't have one.
    • He then offers his help again, and again she refuses.
    • He offers to help her family, and she refuses that, too.
    • He leaves in a huff, and Tess is too agitated to continue working.
    • When she gets home, the house is in an uproar—she assumes that her mother must be dead, but their mother is on the mend. It's their father. He died suddenly of a heart attack.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Fifty-One

    • It's April 6—Old Lady Day—the day that lots of farm workers change positions and move from farm to farm looking for new work.
    • When Joan Durbeyfield was a girl, everyone stayed their whole lives on one farm, but nowadays everyone likes to be on the move all the time. All the big farm owners liked to have as many cottages and houses available as possible to rent out to the migrant workers.
    • Now that Jack Durbeyfield is dead, the local farm owners are legally able to evict the rest of the Durbeyfields.
    • They might not have been evicted, except that Tess has a reputation as an "improper" woman.
    • Tess, Mrs. Durbeyfield, 'Liza-Lu, Abraham, and the younger children all have to move someplace else.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield and the children are all out running errands in preparation for their departure, so Tess is home alone.
    • Tess is bitter, and angry at the universe. She's even angry with Angel, and in the heat of her despair she scribbles him an angry note and mails it before she can think better of it.
    • Alec comes up, and asks through the open window why they're moving.
    • Tess tells him that it's because her father is dead, and because she's not considered a "proper" woman.
    • They're going to Kingsbere, where the D'Urbervilles originally lived.
    • Alec asks that they come and live in the garden cottage at Trantridge, which used to be used as the poultry house. He says that they can fix it up quickly, and her mother can take care of the poultry, and the younger children can go to school.
    • She refuses, but is clearly tempted by the offer to look after her siblings.
    • He's determined, and asks her to let her mother decide.
    • He gets a little bit too flirty in saying goodbye, so she slams the window on his fingers.
    • That night, Tess gets her younger siblings to sing to her, and they choose a sad song, but it goes with her mood.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield sees the tracks of Alec's horse, and asks if he had come, and what he had said.
    • Tess promises to tell her after they've settled at Kingsbere.
  • Phase VI: "The Convert," Chapter Fifty-Two

    • Before dawn the next day, Tess, 'Liza-Lu, Abraham, and Joan get up to pack the wagon for their big move.
    • Lots of families are moving, because lots of laborers have signed up for new jobs starting that day. But the Durbeyfields don't have any work lined up where they're headed.
    • On their way, they see Izz and Marian, who are also moving.
    • When they arrive in Kingsbere, someone comes out of the rooms that they had written ahead to rent, and tells them that there aren't actually any rooms available—their letter came too late.
    • They try to find rooms elsewhere, but aren't successful. Everything's already full.
    • The wagon driver tells them that they have to unload somewhere—he's supposed to drive back that night.
    • He unloads their furniture close to the church, and drives off.
    • The D'Urberville family vault is in this church, so Mrs. Durbeyfield sets up a bed for the younger children in the vault where all the family tombs are.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield, 'Liza-Lu, and Abraham set out to look for rooms again, leaving Tess in the vault to look after the little ones.
    • When they get out of the church, they see Alec D'Urberville.
    • Mrs. Durbeyfield doesn't like him very much, so she nods to him, and walks on.
    • After tucking in the children, Tess wanders around the churchyard, and checks out the family tombs.
    • Alec surprises her there, and asks her what he can do for her.
    • She tells him to go away, and he agrees to go—but only to look for her mother, who he figures will be unsuccessful in her search for housing.
    • Tess is left alone in the tombs of her ancestors, and wishes she were with them.
    • In the meanwhile, Marian and Izz are traveling, too, and discussing Angel and Tess.
    • They guess what's going on with Alec, since they've seen him hovering around her, and wonder if there's anything they can do to help mend things between Tess and Angel. After all, they're smart enough to realize that neither one of them will ever get Angel, so why shouldn't they try to help Tess?
    • They write a letter to Angel, and address it to him care of his parents at Emminster Vicarage.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Three

    • Angel arrives at his parents' house after his long trip.
    • Mrs. Clare is shocked to see how frail and scrawny he is after his illness.
    • The first thing he asks is whether any letters have come from Tess.
    • They've held her most recent letter, the angry one, and he reads it and almost despairs of ever making things up with her.
    • He tells his parents about her being a D'Urberville, and then goes to bed.
    • He writes to Mrs. Durbeyfield at Marlott to tell them of his return, but Mrs. Durbeyfield writes back saying that they no longer live in Marlott, that Tess isn't living with her, and that she doesn't want to say where Tess is now living.
    • Angel figures they're all just mad at him, and doesn't worry too much about it.
    • Angel waits to hear again from Mrs. Durbeyfield, figuring that she'd write again once she'd had a chance to tell Tess that he was back. But no note comes.
    • Then a letter that had been forwarded to him in Brazil, but which was returned, reaches him. It's the one in which Tess begs him to hurry back, because she's being pressed to do what she doesn't want to.
    • Angel immediately sets out to find her, especially when he sees the note sent by Marian and Izz.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Four

    • Only fifteen minutes after reading the two letters, Angel is setting out to find Tess.
    • He traces her to the farm where she had worked all winter, and he learns there that she wasn't using her married name at all.
    • From there he traces her to her parents' house in Marlott.
    • He asks around, and finds that the Jack Durbeyfield was dead, and that the rest of the family had intended to go live at Kingsbere, but had instead moved someplace else.
    • Angel gets the address, and leaves Marlott.
    • He arrives at Mrs. Durbeyfield's house that evening, and Tess isn't there.
    • He asks where she is, and Mrs. Durbeyfield says that she's not sure whether Tess would want to see him.
    • Angel begs to know where she is, and Mrs. Durbeyfield finally says that Tess is in the town of Sandbourne, but doesn't know the exact address.
    • Angel then offers to help them if they need anything, but Mrs. Durbeyfield declines the offer, saying that they have enough.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Five

    • Later that night, Angel arrives in Sandbourne, which is a fancy town with a spa that attracts tourists.
    • He's surprised that Tess, a country girl, would have chosen such a bustling, modern place to live.
    • The next morning, he goes to the post office to ask for the address of a Mrs. Clare.
    • No luck. But Angel remembers that Tess wasn't using her married name, so he asks for a Miss Durbeyfield.
    • Still nothing. But there's a D'Urberville staying at a nearby hotel…
    • Angel hurries to the hotel, and asks for Mrs. D'Urberville. He asks the messenger to say that it's "Angel."
    • She appears on the stairs in a beautiful gown—Angel can't understand how she got the money for it.
    • He reaches for her, begging her forgiveness for leaving, and she shrieks that it's too late.
    • She says that "he" had won her back to him, by swearing up and down that Angel would never come back to her.
    • They look at each other in anguish, and Tess runs back upstairs, and Angel walks slowly back out into the street.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Six

    • The landlady at the hotel, Mrs. Brooks, overheard part of the conversation between Angel and Tess.
    • After Angel leaves, she tiptoes partway up the stairs, and hears anguished moaning from the D'Urberville room.
    • She peeps in at the keyhole, and sees Tess crying at the breakfast table in the outer room, and overhears Alec asking what is wrong.
    • She overhears part of the explanation—Tess saying that she had lost Angel again because of Alec, and that Alec had torn her life to shreds and had caged her forever.
    • Mrs. Brooks is afraid of being caught eavesdropping, so she hurries back downstairs, and heads back to the kitchen to finish her own breakfast.
    • After a while, she looks out the window, and sees Tess leaving the hotel.
    • She doesn't think much of it —her wealthy guests must have had a spat, that's all.
    • But then, after a while, she glances towards the ceiling, and sees a bright red splotch there.
    • She climbs up on a table and touches it—it's blood.
    • She gets a couple of male servants to go with her, and goes upstairs to investigate.
    • Alec has been stabbed to death and is lying in the bed.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Seven

    • Angel, meanwhile, has walked back to his hotel.
    • He receives a telegram saying that his brother is engaged to marry Mercy Chant.
    • He decides to leave Sandbourne immediately, and sets out along the road.
    • Tess sees him in the street, and catches up to him at a run.
    • She says that she's killed Alec, and that she owed it to herself and to Angel, for what Alec had done to her when she was young, and for coming between them again now.
    • Angel is horrified, but he only thinks of protecting her and swears never to desert her, no matter what she's done.
    • They set out from the city, walking in a random direction, with no more plans than a couple of kids playing hooky.
    • They decide to head towards London. Angel hopes that they'll be able to get passage on a ship and go to some remote corner of the world together.
    • They walk for more than twenty miles before wearing out.
    • They find an abandoned mansion to spend the night in, and sneak in through one of the windows.
    • The caretaker of the mansion comes in to check the windows that evening, but doesn't enter the room where Tess and Angel have hidden themselves, and they spend the night there.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Eight

    • The next morning, Angel wakes up early and sneaks out to buy some food at a nearby village.
    • Tess doesn't want to leave the house, since they're so secluded there from the outside world.
    • Angel agrees to stay another night.
    • Unfortunately, the caretaker of the house comes by to check things out early the next morning, and sees them while they're asleep.
    • She assumes that they're a rich couple who decided to elope, and doesn't wake them, but she does go to ask her neighbors about what to do.
    • They wake up a few minutes later, and have a vague fear that something's wrong, so they set out again.
    • Angel decides that they had better avoid London and try to make for Bristol, a coastal town where they can find a ship, instead.
    • They head cross-country, and walk well into the night.
    • The moon is behind a cloud, and they almost walk into a huge upright stone.
    • After asking themselves where they could possibly be, they feel around and discover that they're in a huge circle of upright stones, some of which have equally huge stones lying crossways above them.
    • It's Stonehenge, they realize. (Stonehenge is an ancient monument or temple—experts still don't know exactly what it was used for, but the current hypothesis is that it was used for astronomy and star mapping. It's older than old.)
    • Tess stretches out on one of the horizontal stones, which is still warm from the sun, even though it's dark now.
    • She asks Angel to look after 'Liza-Lu if anything should happen to her.
    • Angel promises.
    • Tess goes further, and asks if he would marry 'Liza-Lu if she should die, which she figures she probably will.
    • Angel objects—he doesn't want Tess to die, and it would be kind of weird to marry his sister-in-law.
    • Eventually, Tess falls asleep, and Angel stays next to her, holding her hand.
    • Just as the sun comes up, Angel realizes that they're surrounded by men coming to arrest Tess.
    • He looks for a weapon, but the man in front tells him it's no use.
    • Angel then begs for them at least to allow Tess to finish her sleep, which they agree to.
    • She's not surprised when she wakes up, and says she's ready.
  • Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Nine

    • Angel and 'Liza-Lu are in the county capitol of Wintoncester, looking completely anguished and walking hand in hand.
    • They stand in the street outside the prison, staring at an empty flagpole in the ugly tower.
    • A few minutes past the hour, a black flag is raised on the pole, indicating that "justice" had been done (in other words, Tess has been executed for murder—but Hardy doesn't come right out and say it.)
    • Angel and 'Liza-Lu both kneel on the ground to pray.
    • After a while, they stand, join hands again, and walk slowly away.