Tess of the d’Urbervilles

by: Thomas Hardy

Chapters VIII–XI

1

She gathered that no great affection flowed between the blind woman and her son. But in that, too, she was mistaken. Mrs. d’Urberville was not the first mother compelled to love her offspring resentfully, and to be bitterly fond.

2

She felt almost ready to faint, so vivid was her sense of the crisis. At almost any other moment of her life she would have refused such proffered aid and company, as she had refused them several times before; and now the loneliness would not of itself have forced her to do otherwise. But coming as the invitation did at the particular juncture when fear and indignation at these adversaries could be transformed by a spring of the foot into a triumph over them, she abandoned herself to her impulse, climbed the gate, put her toe upon his instep, and scrambled into the saddle behind him.

3

An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine’s personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother’s door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm.