Tess of the d’Urbervilles

by: Thomas Hardy

Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays, Chapters XXXV–XXXIX

1

There was, it is true, underneath, a back current of sympathy through which a woman of the world might have conquered him. But Tess did not think of this; she took everything as her deserts, and hardly opened her mouth. The firmness of her devotion to him was indeed almost pitiful; thought no evil of his treatment of her.

2

“Now, let us understand each other,” he said gently. “There is no anger between us, though there is that which I cannot endure at present. I will try to bring myself to endure it. And if I can bring myself to bear it—if it is desirable, possible—I will come to you. But until I come to you it will be better that you should not try to come to me.”

3

This night the woman of his belittling deprecations was thinking how great and good her husband was. But over them both hung a deeper shade than the shade which Angel Clare perceived, namely, the shade of his own limitations.