Thomas Hardy Biographies and Reviews (2023)

The critic


Written in the early months of World War I, this critical work was originally intended as a brief analysis of Hardy's characters, but later became an important statement of Lawrence's philosophy of art. The introduction to this work shows his relationship to Lawrence's final revision of The Rainbow and his place among his ongoing attempts to definitively express his philosophy.

DH Lawrence, the famous writer and poet who was heavily influenced by Hardy












Of poppies and phoenixes and the beginning of the quarrel

Man has undertaken such a tremendous struggle to make himself at home on earth, but he still has not made it. Ever since he first found himself naked between heaven and earth, belonging to neither, he had struggled for more food, more clothing, more shelter; and though he has covered the world with houses, and though the soil has brought forth enormous abundance and surplus of nutrients in his hands, it still cannot be appeased, satisfied. It goes on and on. In his fear he built mighty nations and governments to protect his person and property; his arduous, relentless goal has spawned all the frenzied turmoil of modern industry so that he may have enough to eat and carry enough to keep him safe. Even your religion has as its heartbeat the atonement of the unknown god who controls death and food sources.

But there is more to the diastole of the heartbeat, thank God, more than this relentless rage for self-preservation. Even the passion for being rich is not just the greedy desire to be safe in triple brass walls along with a vast granary of plenty. And the history of mankind is not exclusively the story of an attempt at self-preservation that turned out to be excessive and extravagant.

Contrary to the will of self-preservation, from the beginning man wasted himself fathering children, coloring himself and dancing and howling, putting feathers in his hair, carving pictures on the walls of his caves, and carving pictures of his unspeakable feelings. So he went on wildly and resplendently, not thinking about the morning but thinking about the rose lily in the evening.

In his sleep, however, he must have recognized early on that the lily is a wise flower and housewife who is mindful of herself and secretly builds her small store and granary deep underground, well stocked with provisions. And this providence on the part of the lily man placed in his heart. Eagerly he went out at dawn to kill the largest mammoth so that he would have a huge pile of meat he could never eat.

And the old man at the door of the cave, dreading the approaching winter with his few provisions, when he saw the young man go out, told haunting tales to the children of the ant and the grasshopper; and commended the thrift and diligence of this little red squirrel and drew a moral from the showy and fleeting poppy.

"No, my dear children," continued the old Paleolithic man, as he sat at the door of his cave, "don't behave like that reckless and shameless scarlet flower. Ah my dears, you little know how much work, the careful architecture, all the chemistry, the weaving and energy throwing, the work day after day and night after night, this screaming wreck wastes. Pfff! - and gone, and his place will no longer know him. Now, my dear children, don't be like that."

The old man watched, however, as the last poppy died and the red flame licked into view; watched the flame clinging atop a small delicate d-j^t, and cried as she thought of her youth. By the time the red flag fell in front of him, he lay in tatters on the ground. So he didn't know whether to honor the emptiness or preach.

So he compromised and made a story about a phoenix. "Yes, my dears, in the desolate desert I know the green and graceful tree where the phoenix has its nest. And there I saw the eternal phoenix burst into flames and leave life in its ashes. Suddenly it turned into a red flame and was gone, letting life rise from its ashes.”

"And it was?"

"Oh yes, he got up."

"Then what did he do?"

"It grew and caught fire again."

And the flame was history and triumph. The old man knew that. That was what he praised deep in his heart, the red explosion at the top of the poppy that feared not winter. Even the dormant seeds were secondary in the fire. no red; and there was only one herb, no name or poppy mark. But he saw the flower in all its impermanence and existence.

When his polite grandson told him red was there to repel bees and flies, he knew full well that more bees, flies and wasps would come to a sticky patch around his grandson's mouth than meters of poppy red.

Then his grandson started talking about the excess that always comes with procreation. And the old man died during that conversation and was institutionalized. But his soul was restless, and he came back from the shadows to have the last word, murmuring under his breath at the cave door, "If there's always excess companion reproduction, how can you call it excess? If your mom is baking a cake and there's too much batter, that's too much. Then she carves a dough rose from the leftovers and sticks it on top of the cake. This is the flower of abundance. And kids, when they're little, clap their hands with this dough flower. And when the cake isn't blooming too often with the rose of abundance, they reverently eat the flower-shaped lump of dough. But soon they become refined and know that the rose is not a rose, but only an excess, an excess, a fake, a lump, not uplifting and unattractive, and they say, “No, thank you, mother; no pink.'

"So if you're telling me that the red of my poppy was no more than the pink of the pie, you're an idiot. You mean the young blood had more than it could handle. Gathering its structure of leaves and stems, he hammered the poppy bud into the top, sift and interlocked the essential seeds, sealing them tightly and then said 'Ah!' of leftover poppy stuff. 'Must do something with it - must do something with it - don't waste it' and I got rid of it.'

"My dear son, that's the story of the poppy and the excess that went with its procreation, isn't it? Is that all there is to say about him as he unleashes his red splatter on the world? - that he had some left over from his cake with the twenty-five blackbirds, so he made a red ruffle around it? My son, it is good that you are young, for you are a fool."

Then the old man's shadow came back to reunite with all the shadows. And he shook his head as he went, and murmured, "Diversity, presumption of self-preservation and preservation of race, presumption!" But he had seen his grandson's heart, with the lavish red peeking out like a poppy bud. Then he laughed.

Why do we scream in ecstasy on vacation, "What a lovely field of poppies!"—or "Isn't the poppy sweet, a red dot among the chamomile blossoms!"—only to take it all back, and when trouble comes and we seriously trudge along to later to cry out in a harsh, bitter voice, "Ah, the blatant treachery of those red weeds in the corn!"—or when children invent bouquets, "Angry red flowers, poison, darling, put the baby to sleep," or when we see the scarlet in the Seeing the wind flapping: "Vanity and boasting vanity," and watching with ecstasy the crimson rags disappear into nothingness, saying: "It is good that this scarlet vanity is nullified."

Why do we rarely go on vacation? Why do we insist on taking ourselves seriously, counting our money, possessions, and virtues? We're at the bottom at the end. We rot and decay. And that without ever pushing the button, the tight economic button of caution, thrift and self-preservation.

The phoenix grows to maturity and abundance of wisdom, attaining fat and riches and all desirable things, only to burst into flames and perish in ashes. And the flame and the ashes are the beginning and the end of everything, and the fat and the wisdom and the riches are just the fuel used up. To be sure, it is a waste to order things: but that is the way it is, and what should be, should be.

But we are very smart. If we can't carry our goods and fat, at least we can store our goodness like currency. And if we are unsure of the bank's creditworthiness, we become a limited liability company to manage the future. We must have an apparent eternal storehouse in which to dump our efforts. And because the red of the poppy and the fire of the phoenix contribute to no store, but wear out and vanish with the day, we speak of vanity and foolish mortality.

The phoenix turns to flames, leaving the future unprepared in its ashes. There is no longer a lost poppy that goes home regretfully after wasting the red in a day. Vanity, vanity and the wretched transience of mortality. All we can call eternal is the tick-tock of birth and death, monotonous as time. The vain flame has flown into space and gone, and what remains but the ticking of time, of birth and death?

But I will chase after this flaming phoenix that has disappeared into nothing. Whoop and halloo and off to nowhere in hot pursuit. Tell me, where are the flowers of the past? Ou sont les neiges d'antan? Where is Hippolyta, where is the Thai woman, each of the most beautiful women? Who knows? Where's the snow from last year?

That's all well and good, but they have to be somewhere. They may not be in any bank or department store, but they are not lost forever. Her virtue still breathes the nothing and the something. I can't get up and say, "How are you, Dido?" as ^Eneas did in the shadows. But Dido - Dido! The thrush raises its tail in contempt and, disgusted by the noise, walks away. You can search your own soul just like Dido. "Didon dina dit-on du dos d'un dodu dindon" comes to mind quickly, and some tattered fragments of Virgil and a vision of round, round, round breasts and blue eyes with tears in them; and my heart seizes me: all forces stream into me through my conscience. But I can't say what my subconscious got from Dido. Something, I'm sure, and something that came to me unbeknownst to me, something that flew into the flames long ago, something that flew from that pillar of fire that was her body, day after day as she lived , nothing gathered in the flames to make a difference there. You can discover the calculation of your money and your mortal goods in printed form. But what she is in the vast space of something called nothing is all that matters to me.

She's something, I explain, even if she's been completely forgotten. How could anything new be born if it didn't have a new nothing to breathe? A new creature, breathing old air, or even fresh air: it's awful to think about. A new creature needs new air, absolutely new air to breathe. Otherwise there is no new creature, and birth and death tick.

What Dido was was new, absolutely new. Nothing like it had ever happened before, and it was like that in Dido. In its own degree, the thorn thistle I just picked is for the first time ever. It is something new in itself. And it's liveliest even in its little yellow disk of flowers: liveliest. It is in its prime. In her flower she emits something into the world that has never been emitted before. It's like before, its exact equivalent never. And this richness of new being is richer in the flowery yellow disk of my plant.

What then of this excess that accompanies reproduction? Excess is the thing itself in its maximum being. Had it stopped before this excess, it would not have existed. Absent of this surplus, darkness would cover the face of the earth. In this excess, the plant is transfigured into a flower, it finally realizes itself. The goal, the pinnacle of everything, is the red of the poppy, this flame of the phoenix, this extravagant being of Dido, even its so-called residues.

But no, we dare not. We do not dare to fulfill the last part of our program. We remain inactive in the vegetal stage of self-preservation. As if we preserved each other just to stay the way we are. Even so, like the cabbage of regulation, we remain sullen, a bundle of leaves unable to move forward for fear of losing market value. A cabbage seen astride a slightly fiery flower is a pathetic sight, almost indecent to us. Better be a noxious weed. So we are tightly closed, a bundle of leaves, full of greenery and substance.

But the budding flower pushes and pushes the heart out of us, fighting and fighting while the static will keeps us still. And none of them will budge. But the flower, if it cannot find its way, will devastate itself. So the tied cabbage is beaten until it rots in the heart.

However, we call the poppy “vanity” and write it off as a weed. It is humbling to think that when we take ourselves seriously, we are considering our own self-preservation or the greater plan of humanity's preservation. What really matters? By the poppy, let the poppy reveal its red; Seeds, fruits and produce, these are only subordinate objects: children and good works are subordinate objects. Work in the ordinary sense and all endeavors for the common good are works of self-preservation, they are only a means to an end. The ultimate goal is the flower, the fluttering, singing core, which is a bird in spring, the magical surge of being, which is a rabbit bursting with self-realization in the moonlight; the real walk of a man in the street, without pretense, without shadow, without fake, his eyes glowing blue with his own reality as he moves among things, free as they are, a being; the fluttering under the lamp of an undeniable woman, different from all and everyone, as someone who is herself, of whom Christ said, "Those who have more shall be given".

The ultimate goal of every living being, creature or being is the full realization of itself. When this is done it will produce what it will produce, it will bear the fruit of its nature. But not the fruit, but the flower is the high point and high point, the level to strive for. Not the work I will produce, but the true self I will achieve, that is the reasoning; from the full I will come the full fruit of me, the work, the children.

And I know that the common wild poppy has now indisputably reached its full poppy self. He discovered his red. Your light, your self, rose and shone, walked in the winds for a moment. It is great. The world is a world because of the red of the poppy. Otherwise it would be a piece of clay. And I am me, since disclosure. What is, I breathe and strive, is about me and about me and from me. And I can say that I still don't know everything. There's more to reveal. I don't know what else. I shudder at the incipient infinity of life when I think of what the poppy has to reveal and has not yet had time to bring forth. I make a joke out of it. I say to the flower, "Come on, you've played that red card for a long time. Let's see what else you have in store. But I'm hasty and impertinent. My insolence shames me. He didn't play his red card long enough to please me.

But we must always hold that life is the great struggle for self-preservation, that this struggle for livelihood is the essence and whole of life. As if it were something so pointless, so ingestive. But we chatter, pounding out the same sentence, about the struggle for existence, the right to work, the right to vote, the right to this and the right to that, all in the struggle for existence, as if some outside force could give us the right to give ourselves. what we have within us. And if we don't have it, what's left will be taken from us. "Those who have will be given more, and those who do not have even what they have will be taken away."


Still introductory: on women's suffrage, laws, war and the poor, with some imaginative moralizations

It is so sad that sincere people today serve on the old secondary altar of self-preservation. The suffragette women, who are surely the bravest and, in the old sense, most heroic party among us, are content even to fight the old battles on the old ground, fighting an old system of self-preservation for a system of self-preservation advanced. Voting is only a means, they admit. A means to what? A means to make better laws, laws that protect the unprotected girl from a vicious man, that protect the sweaty working woman from the ruthless greed of the capitalist, that protect the interests of women in the state. And that is certainly worthy and admirable.

Yet it is like protecting the well-being of a cabbage in the cabbage patch while the cabbage in your heart rots because it lacks the strength to thrive. Could you legislate in any country to allow the poppies to thrive? You can make a law by denying freedom to flourish. But that's another matter. Could any law create something that didn't exist before? Could not. The law can only change the conditions of the existing for better or worse.

But the law is a very, very clumsy and mechanical instrument, and we are very, very fine and subtle beings. So all I ask is that the law leave me alone as much as possible. I insist that no law shall have direct power over me, either for my good or for my evil. And I want a lot of laws reversed, not more laws. Let there be a parliament of men and women to carefully and gradually reverse laws.

If women wanted the vote to that end, I'd be happy, and the opposition would be vibrant and intense, rather than just reckless or annoyingly static. Because then the women's movement would be a living human movement. But even then, calling for a vote to reverse the laws would be like getting a disease to cure yourself.

However, women want more laws to be made through the vote. This is the most regrettable and pathetic fact. They will use this clumsy machinery to correct body politics. And by the way, what is the disease of the state? Are some men sex-crazed or sexually degraded and some or many employers money-deprived? And if so, will you make the state safe and sound by passing laws to put sex humiliated in jail and money humiliated from power? Wherever you place them, won't the degradation exist and continue? And so is the state just a tool to weed out destructive members of the public? And is that then the glaring need for more thorough weeding?

Where does humiliation or perversion come from? Is there a great disease in the state? So where and what is it? Is it me or your suffragette wife or your voter full of sex and sane money are we sane people? Have we attained true individuality and sufficient completeness within ourselves? Because if not - then, Doctor, heal yourself.

This is not a provocation, but the best and most scathing criticism ever uttered: "Doctor, heal yourself". No feather can blind us to the inexorable reality of the challenge.

Where is the source of all money sickness and the origin of all sexual perversions? That is the question to be answered. And nothing comes alive unless it contains an answer to that question. The laws and the whole state apparatus regulate only the sick, separate the sick and the whole, awkwardly, oh so awkwardly that it's worse than futile. Who seeks the origin of the disease in hopes of eradicating the disease at its source?

It is in the heart of man, not in the conditions - that is obvious, but always forgotten. It's not malaria that comes through the window and attacks us when we're healthy. Each of us is a swamp, we are like cabbage rotting in the heart. And for the same reason that, instead of producing our flower, instead of continuing our activity, to satisfy our true desire to climb and climb until, like the poppy, we stand on the threshold of the unknown and throw our flag outside the Color and brightness of being, having surpassed the foregoing, we retire, we dare not even look, but, securely locked in the bud, securely locked, dark and comforting, like regulating cabbage, we remain secure until our Hearts rot, saying all the time how safe we ​​are.

No wonder there is war. No wonder there is a great waste and waste of life. Anything, anything, to prove that we are not completely locked into our own self-preservation, like a dying doll. Better to intentionally, ruthlessly put out the light in the strongest wind than to stay safe under a bushel, safe from all draughts.

So we go to war to show that we can throw our lives away. In fact, they have become of so little value to us. We cannot live, we cannot be. So let's fight death, let's run and throw our lives away. At least that's how we'll feel - and "maybe," after all, the value of life is in death.

What does the law matter? What matters money, power or public approval? What matters is that each person is in their own fullness. When something gets in the way, we break it or push it aside like tree buds break London pavements. That is, if life is strong enough in us. If not, we're happy to fight death. Doesn't the war show us how little we care for human life and human suffering, how little we really value ourselves, how we hate our own safety? We have many hospitals and many laws and charities for the poor. And at the same time we allow ourselves to be killed and torn and tormented, we spread pain and devastation, and then, and only then, are we a little satisfied. For haven't we proved that we can overcome our own self-preservation, that we don't care so much about ourselves after all? In fact, we almost hated each other.

Indeed we can speak of a just and right war against Germany, but also against ourselves, our own self-love and caution. It is not a war for man's freedom from militarism or the Prussian yoke; it is a war for freedom from the shackles of our own cowardice and rotten greed for safety and well-being; it is a struggle to free ourselves from the grip of our own caution.

Tell me no more that we care about human life and suffering. Each of us is celebrating the waste of human life right now as if it's something we need. And it's shameful. And all because, in order to live, we are afraid to take risks. We can only die.

So end this whole mess of pity that's just self-pity reflected on an obvious surface. And put an end to this German hatred. We must be grateful to Germany that it still has the power to break through the cabbage's bound skin. Where can I find a man or woman who does not derive deep and complete satisfaction from this war? Out of sheer embarrassment that we look like such cowards, living safe and stunted, not taking a step toward life. And this is the only good that can result from a "world catastrophe": that we realize that self-preservation is not the ultimate goal of life; that we realize we can still squander life and property and inflict indiscriminate suffering. That will perhaps free us from the bushel we're cowering under, from the scarcity of our lives, from the cowardice that doesn't let us be, that only lets us exist safely, flourishing, unreal, fat, under the cozy jam pot of the state , in the social context.

And we must be prepared to fight a renewed post-war activity frenzy for self-preservation, a renewed clamor for a heavier bushel to protect our light. We must also confront the incubus of crippled souls who will return home and crippled souls who will be left behind: men in whom the violence of war must have disturbed the flow of life, arresting or perverting its course; Women who will henceforth cease to exist, but will continue to exist on earth, fixed in a lower point of fear or brutality.

Yet if we are maimed and crippled, if you die or I die, it will not matter as long as there is on earth a new sense of what is and what is not, a new courage to let go of the safeties and be risking ourselves on an adventure of life as we are willing to risk ourselves in a race of death.

Nothing matters as long as life sprout strong again after this winter of cowardice and well-being, sprout into the unknown. Pity is enough for us: the pity that stands in front of the mirror and weeps forever when it sees its own tears. So we have made Christ's commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," a mirror of self-pity tears. How do we love others? He takes his poverty, low salary and the evils that come with it seriously. And do we love our neighbors as ourselves? So do I see myself as a thing with money enjoying benefits, or as a thing without money suffering disadvantages? Obviously yes. So why the tears? They must emerge from the innate knowledge that neither money nor non-money, advantage or disadvantage, matters most: what matters is the light under the bushel, the flower struggling under the shelter of the leaves. I weep for my denied self. And I feel sorry for myself, in the grip of a stronger force. Where can I find a picture of myself?* Ah, the poor, my poor neighbor working in the grip of an unjust capitalist system. Let me look at him, let my heart ache, let me put myself at his service. Poor guy, bad image, he looks so bad. Ah, I love my neighbor as myself: I am as concerned for his fortune as I am for myself. I feel sorry for him, poor X. He is a man like me. So I lie to myself and him. Because I don't care about him and his poverty: I care about my own unsatisfied soul. But I turn to him, my poor neighbor, to take my self-pity out on him.

It is as if a poppy, when it outgrows its neighbors but has not yet flowered, looks down and, being unable to go any further, says: "Oh, for the poor dying ones down there: it isn't raining like that any more ​​much as I do. . He's not growing anymore, and his non-growth makes him sad, and he tries to crouch down so as not to be taller than his neighbor, because he thinks his sadness is for his neighbor; and its neighbor struggles feebly to prosper after its battle for the sun. But the rich young poppy crouches, looks down, and never once raises its head to bloom. He's so afraid to surrender, he can't move forward to show his new nakedness, up there to face the awful space of emptiness, he's afraid to surrender to the unknown. He stays in his shell.

What is the parable of the rich poppy. The truth of this is: * See note 9, p. 66.

it grows as fast as it can, though it does not devour the substance of man, because it has neither storehouse nor granary to devour it, and neither poppy nor man can devour much with his own mouth. It grows as fast as it can, and from within it throws the red fire, bit by bit, a little further, until it gathers and sprout. There he lowers his head, hesitates, pauses, thinks for a moment, flinches before the great climax as he releases the fire. He should now notice his neighbors and be trapped, yelling, "Oh, the poor gnomes!" But his fire erupts from him and he raises his head, slowly, subtly, tensely in an ecstasy of fear overcome by joy, surrendering to the emission of his flame and fire, and there he hovers on the brink of emptiness , scarlet and radiant for a moment, immanent to the unknown, a sign, an outpost, a vanguard, a forsaken and resplendent flag, fluttering at the edge of the unfathomable void in which it floats silently, content while a little ashes, a little dusty seed remains on the solid edge of the earth.

And the day is richer for a poppy, another phoenix flame fills the universe, something is that wasn't.

That's the bottom line: something is what it wasn't. And I wish it were true for us. I want us to be like bonfires lit at the edge of space, marking the outposts. What good is self-preservation if not to drive us squarely into the line of fire; there what is is in contact with what is not. If too many lives are lost along the way, no help can be given, nor if there is too much suffering involved. I do not go to war to avoid any danger or inconvenience: I will fight for myself. Each step I take toward being brings a newer and fairer relationship to the world, requires less storage space and granaries, allows me to leave and take whatever I want, knowing it will always be there ; In the end, allow me to raise the flag of myself at the very end of life.

If you want to save your life, you have to lose it. But why would he go ahead and waste it? Let him safely toss him over the waters. From where, how and to where it returns does not matter in terms of value. But like a sprouted poppy, when he reaches the beach, when he traverses the known and reaches the beach to find the unknown, he must undress, dive in and faint: if he dares. And for the rest of his life he will be a drift in the unknown, thrown into the water. But if he doesn't dare dive in, if he doesn't dare strip and surrender naked to the current, then let him slink around in rotten safexy and weep with pity for those he thinks are worse off than he is Is. He doesn't dare weep aloud at his own cowardice. And he has to cry. Then he will find objects of pity for him.


Contains six novels and the true tragedy. This is a book about the characters in Thomas Hardy's novels. But if someone wrote down everything they evoked, that would fill the book of judgment.

One thing about them is that none of the heroes or heroines care much about money or immediate self-support, and they all struggle hard to survive. What exactly does the struggle for existence consist of is the question. But obviously in Wessex romance the first and most important factor is the struggle for love and the struggle against love: for love, that is, the love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man. The middle way of being, male or female, is love, and love alone. After man has attained and realized love, he passes into the unknown. He became himself, his story is told. Of all that is complete there is no more story to tell. The story is about becoming perfect or failing to achieve perfection.

Thomas Hardy's characters are accused of doing irrational things - downright irrational things. They always go out unexpectedly and do something no one else would do. That is very true, and the accusation is amusing. These Wessex folk are always suddenly bursting with buds and taking a wild flight to the flower, always suddenly plunging from rigid conventions, a rigid and limited cabbage state, into something insanely personal. It would be fun to count the number of special marriage certificates in Hardy's books. Nowhere, except perhaps in Jude, is there the slightest development of personal plot in the characters: everything is explosive. However, Jude more or less sees what he is doing and acts voluntarily. He is consecutive. The rest explode from convention. They are human beings, each with a real, vital, potential self, even the seemingly insipid heroines of the earlier books, and that self suddenly breaks through the veil of manner, convention, and common opinion and acts independently, absurdly, without spiritual knowledge. or consent.

And tragedy usually develops from such an explosion. After all, there is the great plan of self-preservation, and we must all live in it. Living in it after they got out was the problem these Wessex people faced. And they never solved the problem, none of them, except Ethelberta, treated comically and inadequately.

This is because they have to log themselves into the system. They were able to free themselves from the most immediate claims to self-preservation: from money, from striving for social success. None of Hardy's heroes or heroines cared much about these things. But there is the greater notion of self-preservation formulated in the state, in all modeling of the community. And the heroes and heroines of Wessex, like heroes and heroines almost everywhere else, could not shake off this idea. In the long run the State, the Commonwealth, the established form of life, remained intact and unassailable, the individual who tried to break with it died of fear, of exhaustion, or of attack from all sides, like people who left the walled city , to live in the precarious nature,

This is Hardy's tragedy, always the same: the tragedy of those who, more or less pioneers, died in the wilderness, whither they fled voluntarily after leaving the walled safety and relative confinement of established convention. This is the theme from novel to novel: stay within convention, and you will end up fine, safe, and happy, though never having the lively tinge of sympathy on your side: or, on the other hand, passionate, individual, tenacious, You will find the safety of convention like a walled prison, you will escape and die, either from your own powerlessness to endure isolation and exposure, or from outright revenge on the community, or both. That is the tragedy, and that alone: ​​there is nothing more metaphysical than a man's division against himself in such a way: first, that he is a member of the community and, for his honor, must not move towards the disintegration of the community, community, be it in their moral or practical form; second, that the convention of the community is a prison for his natural and individual desire, a desire which, whether he feels justified or not, compels him to go beyond the confines of the community, places him outside the confines of being there alone . , and say, “I was right, my desire was real and inevitable; if I wanted to be myself, I should do it, with or without convention," or else,

to be alone, to doubt and to say: "Am I right, was I wrong? If I'm wrong, let me die' - in this case he is courting death.

The growth and development of this tragedy, the deeper understanding of this division and this problem, the approach to some conclusion, is the sole theme of the Wessex novels.

And so the books have to be taken chronologically to show the development and move towards the conclusion.

1. Desperate Remedies.

Springrove, the boring hero, fast in convention, doesn't dare tell Cytherea that he's already engaged, so he prepares the complication. Portrayed as infatuated with the flesh, Manston breaks convention and commits a very extreme murder under the compulsion of his lust for Cytherea. He is assisted by the darkly passionate and outlaw Ms. Aldclyffe. He and Miss Aldclyffe meet their deaths, and Spring-Rove and Cytherea are united in happiness and success.

2. Under the Greenwood tree.

After a brief detour off the beaten path in search of social ambition and fulfilling the minister's imaginary imagination, Fancy, the little teacher, returns to Dick, renounces the imagination and settles into a stable, solid, and physically satisfying life . Married life, and everything is as it should be. But all her life Fancy will carry in her heart many unopened buds that will die without blooming; and Dick will probably fare badly.

3. A pair of blue eyes.

Elfride gives up on her attempt to jump the first small hurdle of the convention when she returns after running off with Stephen. She can't be alone at all. Knight, with his conventional ideas backed by selfish instincts, can't stand Elfride when he thinks she's not a virgin, even though she now loves him beyond measure. She submits to him and completely adopts the conventional idea, although she is innocent. An aristocrat walks with her while the two men hesitate, and she, the poor innocent victim of a passion not vital enough to overthrow the most banal of conventional ideas, lies in a shiny coffin while the three die-hard lovers weep and say how great the tragedy is. It is.

4. Away from the hustle and bustle.

Although the undisciplined Bathsheba is almost engaged to the Boldwood Farmer, a madly in love middle-aged bachelor who has suddenly and insanely begun to pursue an unrealistic idea of ​​a woman who is Bathsheba, she recklessly elopes and marries Sergeant Troy , an illegitimate aristocrat, ruthless yet sensitive in his pleasures. She loves Troy, he doesn't love her. She is faithfully and persistently loved by the good Gabriel, who is like a dog that watches over bones and bids its time. Sergeant Troy treats Bathsheba badly, never loves her despite being the only man in the book who knows anything about her. Her pride helps her recover. Troy is killed by Boldwood; Abandon the ruthless but discriminatory, almost cynical young soldier and the middle-aged mad stalker of the mirage; enters the good steadfast Gabriel, who marries Bathsheba because he will be a good husband to her, and the flower of imaginative first love has died for her, with Troy's contempt for her.

5. The Hand of Ethelberta.

Ethelberta, a woman of character and shiny clothes, sets out in search of social success, discovers that Julius, the only man she is inclined to love, is too small for her, gives him to the good Picotee and herself and almost cynically sacrifices what is called her heart, marries the old scoundrel Lord Mountclerc, administers him and his lands and governs well, a solid and strong pillar of established society, now she has cut off the bud of her heart. Moral: It is easier for a butler's daughter to marry a lord than to find a husband with her love when she is an exceptional woman.

The Hand of Ethelberta is this almost cynical comedy. It marks the culmination of a certain feeling in the Wessex novels, the culmination of the feeling that it's best to erase the desire for "love" and replace common sense, and leave the feeling to the supporting characters.

This novel is a shrug and a final provocation of hope, it is the end of all happy endings, except where in The Trumpet Major sanity and a little cynicism reappear to bless where they despise. It's the tough, tough, wry pronouncement of personal failure, tough and half-smiling. It gives way to violent, raging passions and real tragedy, real murder of loved ones, suicide. So far only Elfride among the lovers has been killed; Good men always come out on top.

6. The return of the natives.

This is the first tragic and important novel. Eustacia, brunette, wild, passionate, well aware of her desires and not inheriting any tradition that would embarrass her, being of Italo-Roman origin, first loves the unstable Wildeve, who does not satisfy her, and then throws him aside the Newlyweds.-Clym returned,

who she marries. What does she want? She doesn't know, but it's obviously a form of self-actualization; she wants to be herself, to reach herself. But she doesn't know how, by what means, says the romantic imagination, Paris and the beau monde. As if that had curbed his dissatisfaction.

Clym discovered the vanity of Paris and the beau monde. What does he want? He does not know; his imagination tells him that he wants to serve the moral system of the community, since the material system is despicable. He wants to teach the Egdon boys at school. There is easily as much vanity in this as in Eustace's Paris. For what is the moral system but the ratified form of the material system? What is Clym's altruism if not a deep and very subtle cowardice that causes him to flee from his own essence while seemingly acting nobly; leading him to better humanity instead of fighting to become a being. He is unable to take over his own soul, so he will accept a commission for society to enlighten the souls of others. It's a subtle mistake. Thus both Eustacia and he deviate from themselves, each leaving the other incredulous, unsatisfied, unrealized. Eustacia must die because she moves outside of convention; Clym is transferred from Paris to preach because he identifies with the church. He never became a man of integrity because, faced with the demand to produce himself, he remained under the protection of the community and apologized for his altruism.

His remorse for his mother is tainted with sentiment; it is exaggerated by the traditional impulse behind it. Even in that it doesn't sound true. He is always up to date and produces his feelings more or less on demand according to the accepted pattern. It is practically never able to act or even feel in its original self; he is always according to convention. His punishment is the final loss of his whole original self: he preaches from pure emptiness.

There is nothing about Thomasin and Venn that would bring them to the edge of convention. There is always room for them inside. They are real people and they receive the distinction within the walls.

Wildeve, moody and unhappy, always drawn from the outside and never guided from the inside, cannot get along with or without the established system. He doesn't care because he's unstable, he doesn't have a positive nature. He is an eternal assumption.

The other casualty, Clym's mother, is the demise of one of the system's rigid ancient pillars. The pressure on her is too great. She is also weakened from within as her nature is unconventional; it cannot own the limits.

So in this book all extraordinary people, those with strong feelings and unusual characters, are reduced; only the ones that are solid and real and yet commonplace remain. Make a man want for himself and he will be destroyed. He must wish according to the established system.

The true meaning of the tragedy comes from the setting. What is the great and tragic power of the book? It's Egdon Heath. And who are the true spirits of the heathen? First Eustacia, then Clym's mother, then Wildeve. The locals have little or nothing in common with the place.

What is the actual tragedy in the book? It's heath. It is the primitive primordial earth where instinctual life arises. There, in the deep and gross excitement of the instincts, was the reality that triggered the tragedy. Close to the body of things you can hear the excitement that makes and destroys us. The moor heaved with raw instinct. Egdon, whose dark soil was strong and raw and organic, like a beast's body. From the body of this brutal earth were born Eustacia, Wildeve, Mistress Yeobrigln, Clym and all the others. They are an annual random crop. What matters when some are drowned or dead, and others preaching or married: what matters more than the withered moor, the ruddy berries, the rotting gorse and dead fern of an Egdon autumn? Heath persists. Her body is strong and fertile, she will bring many more harvests. Here is the dark, latent power that will keep bubbling up no matter what happens to the product. Here is the deep, black source from which all these little contents of life are drawn. And the contents of small lives are spilled and wasted. There is a wild satisfaction in it: because there is so much more to come, such a black and powerful fertility at work there, what does it matter?

Three people die and are brought back to Heath; they mix their strong earth again with their mighty earth after being broken at their stem. It is very good. No Egdon is purposeless and sends life out of the powerful impulse of passion. It cannot be in vain, for it is eternal. What is in vain is man's purpose.

Man has a purpose which he has separated from the passionate purpose that brought him into being from earth. The moor has shed its shaggy heather, gorse and fern clean. He cast Eustacia and Wildeve and Mistress Yeobright and Clym, but to what end? Eustacia thought she wanted the hats and bonnets of Paris. Maybe she was right. The heavy and strong soil of Egdon creating original natives is as much under Paris as under Wessex, and Eustacia sought herself in the merry city. She thought that life there, in Paris, would be tropical and all her energy and passion would be drawn from Egdon. And if the real Paris was the Paris she imagined, she was undoubtedly right, and her instincts well expressed. But the real Paris was not the Paris Eustacia imagined. Where was her imagined Paris, the place where her powerful nature could thrive? Next to a passionate and boundless man, her mate.

What a fellow Clym could have been. He was born to the passionate Egdon to live as a passionate being whose strong feelings carried him ever further. But very soon his life boiled down to one small goal: he had to start a business and devote his body, soul and spirit to the business and the larger system that he represented. His feelings, which the man should have brought out, were suppressed and contained, he worked according to an externally imposed system. Egdon's dark struggle, a struggle to become as the gorse struggles to thrive, continued within him, but he could not break through the idea's shell, the system that contained it. In order to be powerless he has to transform and live in an abstraction, in a generalization he has to identify with the system. He must live as a man or humanity, or as a community, or as a society, or as a civilization. "An internal effort attacked its external symmetry, and they deemed its appearance unique. . . . His face was covered with legible meanings. Without being a thinker, he did have certain characteristics that came from a perception of his surroundings, such as one not infrequently finds at the end of the four or five years of effort that follow the quiet student's demise. He has already shown that thought is a disease of the flesh, and he has provided indirect evidence that ideal physical beauty is incompatible with emotional development and a full appreciation of the complexities of things. Mental luminosity needs to be fed the oil of life even when there is already a physical seed for it; and here was the pitiful sight of two demands in one offer.

But did Clym's face show that thought is a disease of the flesh, or just that in his case a disease, an ailment of the flesh, produced thought? Thought is not caught like a fever: it is produced. If it is a disease of the flesh at all, it is the rash that indicates the disease rather than the disease itself. "Inner Strife"

von Clym's nature was not to fight against his physical symmetry but against the limits imposed on his physical movement. By nature, a passionate and violent product of Egdon, he should have loved and suffered heart and soul for love long before this age. He should have lived and moved and existed while having only his business and then his idleness. His student years are over, "he was someone who was expected to be original", but he stayed with the student. Because he produced nothing original either in being or in action, and certainly no original thought. None of his ideas were original. He himself was not original either. He was taught too much, he became the echo. His life was cut short and his activity turned into repetition. Far from being emotionally evolved, he was emotionally underdeveloped, almost entirely. Only your mental faculties have been developed. And secretly, his emotions were forced to function according to the label he put on them: a ready-made label.

However, he remained an original, the life force was in him, no matter how much he hindered and suppressed his natural movement. "As is the custom of brilliant natures, the divinity that lay shamefully chained in a mortal human corpse shone like a bolt of lightning from him." But was divinity chained in its mortal human shell or in its limited human consciousness? Was it his blood, rising dark and strong from Egdon, that hindered and restrained the deity, or was it his mind, this house built with strange knowledge and guarded by his will, that formed the prison?

He returned to Egdon - what for? To connect with the strong, free flow of life, rising like a spring from Egdon? No - "preach to the hermits of Egdon that they may rise to serene completeness without going through the process of enrichment." As if the hermits of Egdon were not already much more serene than himself, rooted in the ground of all things and of the root alive! What did it matter how they got rich, as long as they kept that root strong and deep in the primeval soil, as long as their instincts shifted toward action and expression? The system was big enough for her and had no power over her instincts. They should have taught him them instead of him.

And Egdon made him marry Eustacia. Here was action and life, here was movement from your side. But once he achieved it, it became an idea for him, it had to fit into his idea system. According to his way of life, he already knew her, she was labeled, classified and pinned. He got into that way of life and couldn't get out. He had identified with the system and couldn't get rid of it. Little did he know that Eustacia had her essence beyond him. Little did he know that it existed untouched by his system and mind, where no system had taken over and where no consciousness had risen to the surface. Little did he know that she was Egdon, the powerful and eternal origin, seething with production. He thought he knew. Egdon was to him the common piece of land that produced familiar rough grass and had a few unenlightened denizens. So he drove across heaven and hell and after mapping the surface he thought he knew everything. But beneath and between his mapped world, the eternal and mighty fertility worked regardless of him and his arrogance. His preaching, his superficiality made no difference. What did it matter if he had calculated a moral map of the surface of life? Could it affect life more than a celestial map affects the stars, does it affect the entire stellar universe that exists beyond our knowledge? Could the sound of his words affect the workings of Egdon's body, where in the unfathomable womb was created and begotten everything that would ever come to be? Didn't his own heart beat remotely and immune to his thought and speech? Was he able to place even the mysterious resonance of his own heart on his map, from which he drew the course of lives in his moral system? And then how much more completely, in utter ignorance, had he left out the dark and powerful source from which all things spring, from which they will spring on and on, toward some future being? He could see and map part of the static surface. So he thought his map was the thing itself. How blind, utterly blind, he was to the tremendous movement that the surface was supporting and creating. Little did he know that most life is underground, like roots in the dark in contact with the afterlife. He preached that broken lives could be transported from here to there like chicken coops. Indeed, his blindness brought misfortune. But what did it matter if Eustacia or Wildeve or Mrs. It was unfortunate; no longer. Egdon, the primeval impulse body, would produce whatever was to be produced, eternally, though man's will would destroy the still budding flower again and again. Ultimately he has to learn what it means to be in harmony in his mind and will with the primal impulses arising in him. Until then.

let him die or preach. The great reality on which the small tragedies are staged cannot be belittled. The will and the words that speak against it are the only vanity.

This is a constant revelation in Hardy's novels: there's a grand setting, alive and well, that matters more than the people moving across it. Against the background of the dark and passionate Egdon, the green and sentimental passion and feeling of the woods, the unfathomable stars, the smaller scheme of life is drawn: The Return of the Native, The Woodlanders or Two in a Tower. Upon the vast and incomprehensible pattern of an original morality, greater than human reason can ever comprehend, is drawn the pathetic little pattern of man's moral life and struggle, pathetic, almost ridiculous. The little haven of law and order, the little walled city within which man must defend himself against the enormity of nature's waste, is growing too small, and the pioneers who venture upon it with the code of the walled city are dying in the bonds of this code, free and not yet free, preach the walled city and contemplate the waste.

This is the wonder of Hardy's novels and what gives them their beauty. The immense unexplored morality of life itself, which we call the immorality of nature, envelops us in its eternal incomprehensibility, and unfolds in its midst the little piece of human morality, with its strange structure of morality and its mechanized movement; serious, ominous, until one of the protagonists, tired of the stage, has the opportunity to look out of the enchanted circle and at the raging desert all around. Then he is lost, his little drama disintegrates or becomes mere repetition, but the mighty theater outside continues to play out its own incomprehensible, untouched drama. There's that quality in almost all of Hardy's work, and it's the grand irony that holds it all, the defiance, the contempt. It is not the deliberate ironies, little tales of widows or widowers that contain the irony of human life as we live it in our self-aggrandizing seriousness, but the great novels, Return of the Natives, and others.

And this is the quality that Hardy shares with the great writers Shakespeare, Sophocles or Tolstoy, this scenery behind the small action of his protagonists, the fantastic action of an unfathomable nature; the establishment of a subordinate system of morality, grasped and formulated by human consciousness within the vast, misunderstood and incomprehensible morality of nature or life itself, and transcending human consciousness. The difference is that while in Shakespeare or Sophocles the misunderstood great morality or destiny is actively transgressed and actively punished, in Hardy and Tolstoy the lesser human morality, the mechanical system, is actively transgressed, held fast and punished. The protagonist, while exceeding the higher morality only passively and negatively, is presented only as being present in the background, in the background, does not play an active role, has no direct connection with the protagonist. Oedipus, Hamlet, Macbeth confront or confront the unfathomable moral forces of nature, and from this unfathomable force comes death. When Anna Karenina, Eustacia, Tess, Sue and Jude go against the established system of government and human morality, they cannot separate and are overthrown. Their true tragedy is that they are unfaithful to the highest unwritten morality which would have commanded Anna Karenina to be patient and wait until by virtue of a higher right she could take what she needed from society; he would have ordered Vronsky to separate from the system, becoming an individual and creating a new moral colony with Anna; would have ordered Eustacia to fight Clym for her own soul, and Tess to take and claim her angel, since she had the greater light; he would have ordered Jude and Sue to resist with honor, since one must hope for the best that one knows and not succumb to the lesser good.

Had Oedipus, Hamlet, and Macbeth been weaker, less full of real and mighty life, they would not have caused tragedy; They would have understood and planned a settlement of their affairs and protected themselves in human morality from the great stress and onslaught of unknown morality. But as they are human, when they clash, daggers drawn, with the forces of life itself, they can only fight until they themselves are slain, for the morality of life, the supreme morality, is eternally unchanging and invincible. It can be avoided for some time but not fought. On the other hand, Anna, Eustacia, Tess or Sue - what was necessarily tragic about their position? It was necessarily painful, but they were not at war with God, only with society. Yet all of them were struck by the very judgment of humans about them, and they were right with their own souls all along. And the judgment of men killed them, not the judgment of their own souls or the judgment of the eternal God.

This is the weakness of modern tragedy, where transgression of the social code is meant to bring destruction, as if the social code were to effect our irrevocable destiny. Like Clym, the map feels more real to us than the land. As almost blind short-sighted people, we bend over the map, plotting the journeys and confirming them: and we cannot see that life itself is constantly contradicting us.


An attack on the lust for work and money and the state

There is always abundance, say biologists, abundance. For they have made the measure, and provision must be made fit. They have mapped out the course, and if at the end there is a leap across the border into nothingness: well, there is always excess, because they have mapped out the path correctly.

There is always abundance, abundance. In spring a bird overflows with blue and yellow, a firefly with a drop of green moonlight, a lark flies like intoxicating wine with music, a messenger whistles in the street, and aromas overflow in flower measure. So let's say it's spring.

When is a firefly a firefly? When she's got a light up her ass. What is she if she ain't got no light up her ass? Then he's just a worm, an insect.

When is a man a man? When he is blinded by life. you call that excess? If it's missing, there's no human, just a creature, a lump, indistinct.

With humans it is always spring – or maybe it is; with him every day is a day of blossoming, if he will. He is an ever flowering plant, he is an ever rutting animal, he is an ever singing bird. He always has the surplus in his hand, almost every day. It's not about the seasons, spring, autumn and winter. And the happy man, when his excess comes out in blue and gold and sings, if it's not like the pink dough in the cake, a burden, in short, a real illness.

Wild creatures are like springs whose springs gather their waters until spring when they reach their highest point. But man is a source, always playing, jumping, licking, sinking and budding. It is not for him to gather his waters till spring, when his spring, which rises higher, can at last flow like a flower in the air, bubbles with abundance for a time before falling again.

His rhythm is not that easy. A small, pleasant stream of life is a bud in autumn and winter that rushes in droves over the stubble, the fallow land. Until spring, when many waters flow into fountains and every bird is a playing fountain.

Man, happy or unhappy, is seldom like an autumnal bird, delighting in its pleasant stream of life flowing at will. Some men are like that, happy and charming. But these men or women will not read this book. Why should they?

Man's sources of life are overflowing, they take more than they give. It's because? Because a man is a fountain built over and enclosing a strong and evergreen fountain, a fountain from which water can be drawn at will and under which water can be held indefinitely. Sometimes and in a certain way, according to certain rules, the fountain can gush and splash, but only at certain times, always under control. And the spring cannot always wait for permission, in the spring there are dammed waters and therefore so much baseless sadness. World pain and other unfulfilled pains where the source urges expression.

And how is it pronounced? In the pure game of freedom? That can not be. It must express itself in the work, the consciousness decided unanimously. And the door is kept sacred. My life must be used primarily for work - and that despite Mary of Bethany.

I have to live only or very largely in the work I do, my life has to have movement. And why am I working? Food - is the original answer. What happens when I earn enough to eat? Work for more to provide for the future. And when did I make provisions for the future? Work harder to provide for the poor. And if I've worked to support the poor, what will happen? Keep working, the poor are never served, the poor always have them with them.

This is the best that man could do.

But what a terrible program! I do not want to work. You have to, comes the answer. But nobody really wants to work. However, they all work because they have to - it repeats itself. What if he's not working? Let him rest and enjoy himself and get ready for tomorrow morning.

Oh my God, work is the great body of life, and sleep and play are like two wings folded only to carry them. Is that all then?

And Carlyle stands up and says that's all, and humanity follows in strict and earnest assent, rather than conforming, approving, and being religiously correct.

But let's get the tail out of this snake's mouth. Eternity is not a process of eternal self-intuition. We must work to eat and eat to work - that's how it's distributed. But the real problem is quite different. "We have to work to eat, and eat for... what?" No: say "work," that's so unoriginal.

In Nottingham we boys started learning German by learning proverbs. "One must eat to live, but one does not have to live to eat," was the first. "You have to eat to live, but you don't have to live to eat." A good German proverb according to the textbook. One step further back one could write: "One must work in order to eat, but one must not eat in order to work". That's certainly fair, as the second proverb says, "One must eat to live."

"You have to work to eat and eat to live", is the result.

Take the vague and almost uninterpretable word "alive". To what extent are "working" and "living" synonymous? That is the question to be answered if the highest flight our thinking can attain in order to live is to say that we must return to the medieval system of craftsmanship and that every human being must become a working artist , which produces a complete work. Article.

Labor is simply the activity necessary for the production of an adequate supply of food and shelter: nothing is more sacred than that. It is the production of the means of self-support. Hence it is obvious that it is not the beginning and end of existence. We work to make a living, and when we have supplies, we live. But all work is only provision for what is to come.

It can be argued that work has a fuller meaning, that people live more intensely when they work. For a few men, for a few artists whose lives are empty, it may be. But for the masses, for 99.9% of humanity, work is a form of non-life, non-existence, immersion.

It is necessary to produce food and clothing. So the matter must inevitably be settled as quickly as possible. Isn't the highest recommendation for a craftsman to be quick? And how to become fast without finding the shortest path to your goal and repeating a series of actions? A man who can accurately repeat certain movements is an expert when his movements are those that produce the desired result.

And these movements are the computational or scientific movements of a machine. When a man works perfectly, he is the perfect machine. It is aware of certain forces and moves precisely along the line of their resultants. The perfect machine does the same.

All the work is like this, the approximation of a more or less complicated and adjustable perfect mechanism. The doctor, the teacher, the lawyer, as well as the farmer or the mechanic, when they work most perfectly, they work with the greatest mechanical, scientific precision, following a line calculated from known facts calculated at once.

In this work the man derives a certain sharp and definite satisfaction. If he is totally impersonal, if he is just the way in which certain mechanical forces come together to find their resultant, then a human being is a perfect thing, the perfect instrument, the perfect machine.

It is a state that each person aspires to and aspires to in their own lineage. It is a state that satisfies his moral desire, almost the deepest desire in him. It is a state in which he is aligned with the great gravity, participating perfectly in its subtlest motion and movement, even psychic vibration.

But it is a condition from which every human being hopes to free himself. Every man's dream is that in the end he doesn't have to work anymore. The joy of every man when he is laid off from his job is to have done his part for the time being.

What does he want to be liberated from and what does he want to be liberated for? A man is not a machine: when he has finished his work, he does not remain motionless, idle. He starts a new activity. Which is?

It seems to me that man in his normal state is like a pulsing bud of life in which beats and pulsates the unknown, all unresolved, which contains the core of all experience, not yet revealed, not isolated. Outside. But when he thinks, when he moves, he repeats a proven experiment. It is like the guiding bud that for the moment only remembers what is behind it, the solid wood, the cells that lead to its undifferentiated life tissue. It moves as it were in the trunk of the tree, in long canals where the sap has to flow like in a canal. It's aware of all these past experiences that the new point trembles on, becoming again the old life built up in the solid weave, aligning itself with the old movement, not knowing where it breaks, in the growing plasma, into something new, unknown. He is happy, all is known, all is finite, all is established, and knowledge can be perfected here in the trunk of the tree that life has built and over which it has climbed.

Thus a man at work, secure in proven and deposited experience, is exciting as he traverses the fixed channels and tracks of life; it is only a question of some of the open paths that life has opened for its own passage; he only joined what was, and led the old and solid paths through which life still goes: but which in themselves are not alive.

And in the end, that's always a prison for him, that proven and deposited experience that he has to explore, that past life. For isn't he himself a growing point, isn't his own body a quivering plasma of what will be and never was? Isn't your own soul a battle line where what is and what will be separates from what was? Isn't that your pure joy of movement, the indistinguishable and complex movement of being? And isn't that his deepest desire to be himself, to be that trembling bud of growing tissue that he is? He can find knowledge by tracing back the ancient paths, he can satisfy his moral sense by working within the known, certain of what he is doing. But for real and absolute gratification he must surrender to utter trembling uncertainty, a feeling ignorance.

And that is why man always cries out for freedom, for being free. He wants to be free, to be himself. For this reason he has always created a heaven where no work needs to be done, where being is everything, where being understands all that has been done is perfect knowledge and what is to be done is so fast is that it is a sleep, a nirvana, a well.

So there is the deepest desire of everyone to get rid of the need for work. It is evident throughout humanity. "Am I to become one with the old and usual movements?" says Mann. "I have to convince myself that the new is new and the old is old, that all is one like a tree, although I am only the smallest cell in the tree." Then it becomes one with the old and accustomed movement: it is the perfect one Machine, the perfect instrument: it works. But content for the time being with the finite that was and remains now, tired of his own limitless being, the unresolved, trembling, infinitely complex, undefined movement of a new life, he wants to be free.

And as his knowledge of the past grows, he desires more and more freedom to be himself. There is the need for self-preservation, the need to immerse yourself in absolute mechanical movement. But why so much: why repeat the mechanical movement so many times? May I not have so much work, may I not be too preoccupied with my own self-preservation, may I not be caught up in this proven and finite experience all my days.

This has been the cry of mankind since the world began. This is the splendor of kings, the splendor of men who have had the opportunity to be, who have not been compelled to serve. For this reason kings were chosen as heroes because they were the beings, the generators of new life, not the servants of necessity, repeating the old experience.

And mankind has been working to shorten the work so we can all be kings. It is true that the closer we are to the peak of growth, or further from it, we have to work more or less. Some men are far from peak growth. They have little to grow within themselves, only the strength to repeat the old move. You will always find your own level. But let those who have life live.

Thus machines were produced to take the place of the human machine. And the inventor of the labor-saving machine was hailed as a public benefactor, and we rejoiced in his discovery. Now there's a grid against the machine like it's an evil thing. And thinkers speak of a return to the medieval crafting system. What a nonsense.

When I look around this room, at the bed, the bedspread, the books, the chairs and the bottles, and I think they're made by machines, I'm happy. I am very happy with the headboard, with the white enameled iron with the brass grille. As it stands, I'm pleased with its essential simplicity. I wouldn't wish for anything else. Its lines are straight and parallel or at right angles, giving a sense of static immobility. Only the essentials are there, reduced to a minimum. There is nothing that can hurt or stop me; my desire for something that serves my purpose is fulfilled perfectly.

what a machine can do. He can provide me with the perfect mechanical instrument, something mathematically and scientifically correct. What I want. I like books in general, I can hardly imagine them being more comfortable for me, I like the common smelling salts of green glass and the machine-turned feet of the common dresser. I hate the carving machine on a chair and the stenciled pattern on a rug. But I have no reason to ask a machine to do nice things for me. I can ask you for perfect paraphernalia or items that you can use and I will get them.

That's why I honor the machine and its inventor. It will produce what we want and save us a lot of work. That's what it was invented for.

But to what miserable use it is used! Do we use the machine to produce goods for our needs, or is it used as a rake to rake in tons of money? Why, if man in his divine effort has produced a means to freedom, do we then make it a means to still more bondage?

Why? – because the human heart is coarse and greedy. Why is a worker willing to work ten hours a day for starvation wages? Because he serves a system for the enrichment of the individual, a system to which he belongs, because he can be that individual himself, and since his only ideal is to be rich, he owes his allegiance to the system set up to riches galore for him, a scheme to fill your imagination. Why try to change the present industrial system on behalf of the worker when his imagination is only satisfied by such a system?

The poor and the rich are the heads and tails of the same coin. Lay them naked side by side, and which one is better than the other? The rich man probably as he is probably the saddest and the wisest.

The universal ideal, the only conscious ideal of the poor, is wealth. The only hope lies with those people who have experienced real or imagined wealth and have an appetite to match.

It is not true that each of us must know wealth before we can overcome our all-consuming passion to get rich. There are enough people with sound imaginations and normal appetites today to end all monetary tyranny in England.

Money is not evil. If there was a million pounds under my bed and I didn't know, I wouldn't care. If there was a million pounds under my bed and I knew it might make a difference in my way of life, but it wouldn't make a difference in my way of life and my individual goal. since I am not dependent on wealth or poverty for my existence.

Neither poverty nor wealth possess me. I would not be like a monk asking him to renounce everything he owes and has. For I would not admit myself so weak as to abstain altogether from riches, or to succumb to the passion of possession.

I don't have a normal appetite for money, how do I get a normal appetite for food? Do I want to kill a hundred bison to feed my stomach's imaginative need like the redskin did? So why should I want a thousand pounds when ten is enough? "Your eyes are bigger than your belly," says the mother of the child, who is eating more than he can eat. "Your bag is bigger than your pants," one might say to a man eager to get rich.

It's just greed. But it's very tiring. There are many people who are not greedy, who have a normal appetite for money. They need a certain amount and they know they need it. It's no honor to be a poor man. It's only fair that every man has enough and a little left over, and every man worth his salt will see to it that he gets it. But why can't we really grow up when it comes to money and food? Why can't we know when we've had enough, just as we know when we've had enough?

Of course we could if we had a real sense of values. It's okay to go as Christianity tries to leave the food to be devoured by the glutton while the Christian retires in disgust and fasts. But each of us has our place at the table, as we know, and it is indecent to withdraw from the wolverine and allow the earth to devour.

Can't we stay on the council? We must eat to live. And living doesn't just mean not dying. It is the only real thing, it is the goal and end of all life. Work is only a means of subsistence. The work done, the livelihood, how one then enjoys it, is fulfilled, that is the question. How will a man live? What do we mean by living?

Everyone should answer for themselves. We simply know we want freedom of life, freedom of leisure and means. But there are enough means, there is half an eternity of sheer leisure for mankind if he wanted to, if he did not believe in the back of his mind that wealth is the means of freedom. Wealth would be the means of freedom if there were no poor people, if there were equal wealth everywhere. Until then, wealth and poverty are shackles and shackles, for each person must live in the circle of his own defense to defend his property. And this ring is the most secure of prisons.

So, can't we see, rich and poor alike, how we confine, impede and imprison ourselves within the confines of our system of rich and poor until our life is entirely limited to pots? It's not that some of us want more money and some want less. It's just that our money is like walls between us, we're trapped in gold and we starve or wither.

A plant has the power to burst its vase. The buds of London trees have the power to break through London pavements. Isn't there enough life in us to get out of this system? Let everyone go their own way, regardless of system and state, when their time has come. Which is bigger, the state or myself? Myself, as the state, is undoubtedly just an arrangement made for my convenience. If I don't like it, I should walk away from him. There is no need to break the laws. The only necessity is to be a law to yourself.

And if enough men emerged from the walled defenses and took up arms in the open, the walled city would very soon be dependent only on the vacant tents of the desert. Why should we care about tearing down city walls? We can go through the gates to the open world. These state educations with their ideals, their weapons of attack and defense, what are they to me? They must struggle with their own destiny. As for me, I would say to any decent man whose heart is stuck in the precincts: “Get away from the crowd and the community, go away and separate into your own soul and live. Its job is to produce its own real life no matter what the nations do. Nations are made up of individuals, each individual will finally know that they need to stand out and not remain embedded in the matrix of their nation, community or class. Our time has come; let's share Let the doctor heal himself.”

And out there, what matters except a man is a man, himself? If he has to work, let him work a few hours a day, very few, whether it's hauling bricks, putting coal in a kiln, or operating a machine. Depending on the species, let him work about three to four hours a day. This will produce supplies in sufficient quantity. So give him twenty hours to be himself, to bring himself out.


The work and the angel and the unbegotten hero

It's an innate passion, that will to work, it's a zeal to produce, to create, to be like God. Man turns his back on the unknown, on what is to come, turns to what has been and sees, rediscovers, becomes what he was again. But this time he's conscious, he knows what he's doing. It can reproduce at will the movement that life made on its first pass, the movement that life is still making, and it will continue, out of habit, to make the movement it has already made, so often unthinkable that it before a movement to an if became a state, a state of all life: it became matter, or gravity, or cohesion, or heat. or light. People like to rediscover these old, old ways of life » in all their details.

A long, long time ago life turned into a seed and it fell into the earth and slowly covered itself with earth. And a long, long time ago, fortunately, man discovered the process and repeated it like God. He discovered how the ground is shifted. Proud as a god in distress, he dug up the ground and threw the small, silent fragments of life under the dust. And wasn't he doing what life itself had begun, wasn't he even bigger than life in that regard, more defined?

Even further back, in an unimaginable time, long before Chaos, life developed the habit we call gravity. This was almost before any differentiation, before all those later and lesser habits formed which we call matter or something like centrifugal force.* It was a habit of the great mass of life, not of any particular part. Therefore, it took man's consciousness much longer to comprehend it, and even now we have little evidence of it from various quarters. But we're happy with what we know. A long, long time ago, one surface of matter learned to roll on another surface in rolling motion as the tide swept across the land. And long ago man saw this movement, learned a secret, built the wheel and rejoiced.

Looking both ways, like Janus, looking ahead at the trembling, shimmering hem of the unresolved, gazing at the unknown and looking back at the wide undulating expanse of life that follows and represents the initial movement, man is left to his dual task, of being, in blindness and wonder and sheer pity, the living matter of life itself, undisclosed; and to know, with tireless work and ceaseless success, the manner of what was, what was revealed.

And work is the repetition of some of these rediscovered movements, performing an imitated part of life, achieving a result similar to life. And that, even if it's just throwing coals on fire or hammering nails into shoe soles or doing arithmetic in books, that's what work is about, and that's the initial satisfaction of work. The reason for working for wages is simply to overcome inertia. It's not the real driving force. When necessity alone compels man to work from moment to moment, man rebels and dies. The driving force is the joy in the thing, the living will to work.

And man must always fight against the need to work, although the need to work is one of man's inevitable conditions of existence. And no one can continue with any work out of sheer necessity, without any substantial enjoyment in that work.

It seems that the great goal and purpose of human life * See note zo, p. 66.

bring all life into human consciousness. And that is the ultimate meaning of the work: the expansion of human consciousness. The subordinate purpose of work is the attainment of self-preservation. Starting from this small and immediate need, man always struggles to be free. Of the other, greater need to expand human consciousness, man is not struggling to be free.

And man must give in to the immediate need of self-preservation, but always keep in mind the other greater need to which he would hasten.

But bringing life into human consciousness is not an end in itself, but only a necessary condition for the progress of life itself. Man himself is the living body of life, rolling and glowing against the void. In his fullest life he doesn't know what he's doing, his mind, his consciousness, unknown, floating behind, full of strange glimpses and looks and totally ignorant. He is completely without knowledge and conscious motivation when he floats in the uncreated space, when he actually lives and becomes himself.

And yet, in order for him to go on living, it is necessary for his spirit, his consciousness, to reach behind him. The mind itself is one of the habits of life developed later. Knowledge is a power like any other power. Knowledge is only one of the conditions of this power, just as combustion is one of the conditions of warmth. Wanting is just a manifestation of the same power, just as expansion can be a manifestation of heat. And this knowledge is now an inevitable habit of life, developed late; it is an active force at the very end of life, and the greater its activity, the greater the forward motion unknown to it.

It seems that one of the conditions of life is that life differentiates continuously and progressively, almost as if that differentiation were a purpose. Life begins raw and indefinite, a big crowd. And it begins to evolve out of this mass into particular forms that are ever more distinct and defined, an ever-multiplying number of separate species and orders, as if always working toward the production of infinity. Number of perfect individuals, the individual so meticulous that it must not have anything in common with any other individual. It is as if all coagulation were broken, as if the elements acted free and pure from the compound.

Man's consciousness, that is, his spirit, his knowledge, is his greatest manifestation of individuality. With his consciousness he can perceive and know what is not himself. The further he goes, the more expanded his consciousness becomes, the more he perceives things that are not himself. Everything he perceives, everything he knows, everything he feels is alien to him, not himself, and his perception of it is like a cell wall, or rather a real space, separating him. I see a flower because I'm not. I know a tune because I'm not. I'm cold because I'm not. I feel joy when I kiss, because it's not me, the kiss, but one of the borders where I end up. But kissing for me is more of a division of the crowd than a feeling of cold or heat. It cuts the fiercest bare of the brute.

And the more I'm thrown out of the mix, the more I'm singled out in absolute individuality, the more that intrinsic self rejoices. For I am still a gross impurity, I take part in everything. I am still rudimentary, part of a great unfinished mass.

In the beginning, life must have been uniform, a great, immobile, perfectly homogeneous infinity, a great non-being, at the same time a positive and negative infinity: the whole universe, the whole infinity, an immovable homogeneity, a something, an anything. And yet it can never have been entirely homogeneous: mathematically yes; in truth no. There must always have been some reaction, infinitely feeble, somehow stirring through the vast homogeneous inertia.

And from the start, the backlash was widened and intensified; what was a great mass of individual constituencies has been agitated and broken up into many smaller and distinctive parts; What was an absolute and infinite neutrality evolved into still rudimentary but positive orders and species. And so on until we reach bare jelly, and from bare jelly to closed and separate jelly, from homogeneous tissue to organic tissue, and so on, from invertebrates to mammals, from mammals to humans, from humans to tribesmen, from tribesmen to themselves : and so on, until in the future wonderful and excellent individuals move like angels, each himself, perfect as complete melody or pure color.

Now one wishes that one's life were more individual, that you and I and my neighbor were distinct from one another in clarity, totally distinct from the general mass. So it would be a tune walking down the street; if i stayed with my neighbor it would be pure harmony.

Then, since I am my perfect self, could I be selfish? A selfish person is an impure person, someone who wants what is not themselves. Selfishness implies mixture, rudeness, lack of clarity of being. How can I,

a pure man who cannot be anything other than myself in order to belittle my neighbor? What is mine is separated from the crowd for me, and each person has his or her own. And what can a man desire if he is not his own, if he is himself? If he has something that does not belong to him, it is a burden, he is not himself. And how can I help my neighbor except by being completely myself? It gives it to itself: that is the greatest gift that a man can receive.

And, of necessity, this fuller selfhood accompanies the fuller knowledge of what I am not. That is, the more subtle and distinct the individual is, the more subtle and distinct he perceives all other individualities. It takes a tender and pure soul to discern between the souls of others; it takes a thing purely itself to see other things in their purity or impurity.

However, in life, a person often feels like a man. who is by nature an individual is, through practice and knowledge, an impurity, almost a nullity. Each individuality inherently possesses its own knowledge. It seems that every soul that detaches itself from the mass, from the matrix, should come to its own knowledge. However, this is not the case. Many souls that we believe should be separated and separated remain embedded and struggle with knowledge that does not belong to them. It reached a point of discernment and a degree of personal knowledge, and then it got confused, it got lost.

And so he sought his whole being at work. Reenacting an ancient movement of life, a struggling soul seeks to let go, to become pure. He gathers all sorts of knowledge and tries to get the incentive that will help him continue to excel.

“You must be born again,” we are told. Once we are born separate from the flesh and blood of our parents, we come out separate, separate creatures. And later the incomplete germ that is a young soul must be fertilized, the parental womb that encloses the incomplete individuality must conceive, and we must be begotten for ourselves, distinct. That was in his twenties or thirties.

And we, who imagine that we live on knowledge, imagine that the impulse to our second birth must come from knowing that the germ, the sperm impulse, can only arise from some utterance. So when I'm young, at eighteen, twenty, twenty-three, when the torment of desire overcomes me, when I lie in the womb of my time to receive the impulse, the impulse, I send out all my pleas and cries here and there, asking for the word, the word that's the seed that's gonna come and fertilize me and set me free. And it can be the word, the existing idea that will give birth to me, will give birth to me. But it could also be that the word, the idea, was never uttered.

Will I then be able to bring forth my being with all the knowledge in the world if there is no knowledge? I should not.

And yet we believe that only the spoken word can enter us and give us the impetus for our second birth. Give us a religion, give us something to believe in, cries the dissatisfied soul nestled in the womb of our time. Speak the life-giving word, scream it, that will bring us to our essence.

So he looks for the spoken word and he finds it or he doesn't find it. It may not have been said yet. But all that will be said lies mighty in life. Fools don't know that. They think that the fruit of knowledge can only be found in shops. They will go everywhere to find you except to the tree. Fqr the Tree is so obvious and feels so over the top.

Hence the unsatisfied soul remains unsatisfied and chooses work, perhaps good works, for its incomplete action. He thinks he exists in the work, in the knowledge he has attained his distinct self.

Whereas lots of awkward distinctions between ourselves and other things will not bring us to become ourselves, and lots of repetition of even the most complex movements in life will not produce a new movement.

We started on the wrong path: to think, to learn what we are not, to know what we are as individuals: while all human consciousness, as we know, contains not a tenth of what it is, and it therefore useless to proceed is a method of disposal; and think, discover the movement that life has made in order to be able to generate from it the movement that it will make: while we know that in life the new movement is not the result of the old one, but something completely new, completely different , according to our perception.

So we struggle mechanically, formlessly, unbegotten, unborn, repeating an ancient life process, unable to become ourselves, unable to bring forth anything new.

In examining Hardy's novels, it is interesting to see which of the heroes we might call a distinct, more or less attained individuality, which an unrealized potential individuality, and which an impure, non-individualized life embedded in the matrix and his own degree of differentiation. or not reach.

There are almost no people in Desperate Remedies, especially when the plot works. The tiresome thing about Hardy is that he often doesn't write a morality play or a novel. The characters in the first book are plot-wise not characters: you are the heroine, spotless and white; the hero with a white spot; the villain, red and black, but more red than black; the villain, black and red; With the help of the adulteress, the assassin gains power over the maiden, who, saved at the last moment by the maiden's knight, flees from the clutches of evil. Then the vengeful assassin is sentenced to death while divine justice falls upon the adulteress. Then the maiden unites with the maiden knight and receives the divine blessing.

This is a morals game, and if the morals were powerful and original, that's all well and good. But in the breaks we see that the maiden is played by a nice, rather ordinary girl.

In The Laodicean there is a d'artiste fondness for the aristocrat and a moral condemnation of him, with middle-class or lower-class character being substituted for bourgeois virtues in their place. That was the root of Hardy's pessimism. Until he gets to Tess and Jude, he never sympathizes with the aristocrat — unless it's in The Mayor of Casterbridge, and then he only sympathizes to kill. He always, always portrays her as having a vital weakness, a radical ineffectiveness. It's the same from the first to the last.

Miss Aldclyffe and Manston, Elfride and the sick lord she married, Troy and Farmer Boldwood, Eustacia Vye and Wildeve, de Stancy in The Laodicean, Lady Constantine in Two on a Tower, the Mayor of Casterbridge and Lucetta, Mrs Fitzpiers in The Woodlanders, Tess and Alec d'Urberville and, albeit differently, Jude. There's also the blond, passionate, submissive male: Sergeant Troy, Wildeve, and Jew in spirit.

All of these are Hardy's aristocratic characters in their own way. They all have to die, every one of them.

Why does Hardy have this d'artiste fondness for the aristocrat and at the same time this moral antagonism towards him?

It's quite evident in The Laodicean, a book where lamentations about her small mind are contained. The heroine, the daughter of a famous railway engineer, lives in the old man's castle of Stancys. She sighs and wishes she were from the Stancy line: the graves and the portraits enchant her. "But," says the hero to her, have you forgotten your father's lineage: Archimedes, Newcomen, Watt, Tylford, Stephenson?" — "But I have an artistic fondness for ancestors of the other type," Paula sighs. And the hero despairs of impressing her with the list of his architect ancestors: Phidias, Ictinus and Callicrates, Chersiphron, Vitruvius, Wilars of Cambray, William of Wykeham. He bemoans his strong preference for an "animal family tree".

But what is this "animal family tree"? If a family tree had survived from her ancestors, laborers and commoners alike, Paula would not have boasted about it, brutish as it was. Her preference was an artist.

And that's because only the aristocrat occupied a position where he could allow himself to be, to be himself, to create himself, to live as himself. This is his eternal fascination. Therefore, the fondness for him is a fondness of the artist. A liking for the architectural line would be a liking for scholars, a liking for an engineer's pedigree would be a liking for d'economiste.

The Artist's Preference - Hardy possesses it strongly and is ingrained in every imaginative human being. The glory of mankind was in producing life, producing living, independent, individual human beings, not buildings or works of engineering or even art, not even the common good. The glory of mankind lies not in a multitude of safe, comfortable, law-abiding citizens, but in the few lives, beings, diverse, distinguished, and unique individuals who can be part of the public.

And this was chosen by the artist of all times. Then why does the aristocrat in Hardy always have to be killed? Did he focus on community, like the French revolutionaries who were determined to destroy everything that was not average? Sure, in Wessex romance, everyone but the common folk dies. But why? Is there the germ of death in these most isolated and noblest people, or does the artist himself have a bourgeois taint, a jealous vengeance that will now avenge itself after the community, the average, has gained power over the aristocrat, the aristocrat? Exception?

Obviously both are true. Beginning with bourgeois morality, Hardy makes a villain out of every extraordinary human being, every extraordinary individual quality or strength that he sees as a weakness or perverse flaw. So in Desperate Remedies, Under the Greenwood Tree, Far from the Maddened Crowd, The Hand of Ethelberta, The Return of the Native (but in The Greater Trumpet irony runs in the ribs of that communal civic morality), The Laodicean, Two in One Tower, the Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess, in constant debilitation. The darkest villain is Manston, next maybe Troy, next Eustacia and Wildeve becoming less and less villainous and more and more human. The first show of real sympathy, almost conquering bourgeois or communal morality, is for Eustacia, while the dark villain in Dr. Fitzpiers. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, the dark villain is almost the hero. There's a slip squishy, ​​Dr. Fitzpiers weak but not evil, rightly sentenced, Alec d'Urberville is not awkward, and Jude is an utterly tragic hero, at once the old knight of the maiden and the villain of darkness. Fate gradually shifts from dark villain to blonde bourgeois virgin hero, from Alec d'Urberville to Angel Clare, until they are united in Jude and loved, although the preponderance comes from a dark villain who is now a dark hero, loved and passionate . . . . The condemnation eventually shifts from the dark villain to the white maiden, the bourgeoisie of the soul: from Arabella to Sue. Infinitely more subtle and sadder is fate at the end, but there it is: the maiden knight is fiercely hated and yet loved; the white maiden, the beloved, is finally the archsinner against life, and the last touch of hate is against it.

It's a complete and devastating shift, it's a complete reversal of morality. Black does not become white, but takes the place of white as well; white stays white but is considered bad. The old community morality is like leprosy, a white disease: the old antisocial and individualistic morality stands alone on the side of life and health.

But the aristocrat has to die anyway, until the end: also a Jew. Was the germ of death in him from the beginning? Or was he just not in tune with his time, the time of the media in triumph? Would Manston, Troy, Farmer Boldwood, Eustacia, de Stancy, Henchard, Alec d'Urberville, Jude have been true heroes in heroic times without tragedy? It seems that Manston, Boldwood, Eustacia, Henchard, Alec d'Urberville and almost could have been Jewish. In a heroic age they might have lived and more or less conquered. But there is something fatal about Troy, Wildeve, de Stancy, Fitzpiers and Jude. In their midst is a rot. Failure, calamity or tragedy, whatever it was, was inherent in them: as in Elfride, Lady Constantine, Marty South in The Woodlanders and Tess. They have a passionate nature and all flaws are inherent in them.

So among men we have the noble lord in A Pair of Blue Eyes,

Sergeant Troy, Wildeve, de Stancy, Fitzpiers and Jude, all passionate, aristocratic men who are ultimately doomed to tragedy or misfortune by their very nature.

In the same class among women are Elfride, Lady Constantine, Marty South and Tess, all aristocratic women, passionate but inevitably unhappy.

We have among men also Manston, Farmer Boldwood, Henchard, Alec d'Urberville, and perhaps Jude, all passionate and aristocratic men who fell under the weight of the average legal crowd, but who in more primitive times would have been more romantic than tragic shapes formed.

Of the women of the same class are Miss. Aldclyffe, Eustacia, Lucetta, Mrs Chaimond.

The third class, the middle-class or middle-class hero whose aim is to live and exist in the community, contains the successful hero of Desperate Remedies, the unsuccessful but not very injured two heroes of A Pair of Blue Eyes, the good guys - Successful Gabriel Oak, unsuccessful leftist Preacher Clym, unsuccessful but not badly hurt astronomer from Two on a Tower, successful Scotsman from Casterbridge, unsuccessful and late Giles Winter - born of The Woodlanders, the archetype, Angel Clare, and maybe a bit Jewish.

The companions of these men are: the heroine of Desperate Remedies, Bathsheba, Thomasin, Paula, Henchard's daughter Grace in The Woodlanders and Sue.

So this is the moral conclusion drawn from the novels:

J. The physical individual is ultimately a subordinate thing that must fall before the community: Manston, Henchard, etc.

2. The physical and mental individualist is a good thing to fall for its own isolation because it is a sport that does not fall in the true life line: Jude, Tess, Lady Constantine.

3. The physical and bourgeois individualist or spiritual communist is, in short, an ugly, underdeveloped, indistinct or perverse physical instinct and must fall physically. Sue, Angel Clare, Clym, Knight. However, she remains embedded in the community.

4. The indistinct, bourgeois, or average creature with average or bourgeois virtues usually triumphs in the end. If he fails, he's practically unharmed. If he expires during the probationary period, he will have flowers on his grave.

By individualist is meant not a selfish or greedy person striving to satisfy his appetite, but a man of outstanding character who must act in a certain way to satisfy his own individual nature. He is a man who, because he is above average, chooses to rule his own life to the end, and as such he is an aristocrat.

The artist has always had a fondness for him. But Hardy, like Tolstoy, in this matter is forced always to side with the community and condemn the aristocrat. He cannot help himself, but must withstand the means against the exception, he must represent the interests of mankind or the whole in his final judgment and discard the individual interest.

To do this, however, he must take action against himself. His special sympathy is always with the individual against the community: this also applies to the artist. He will therefore create a more or less blameless individual, and in making him seek his own fulfilment, his ultimate goal, he will distinguish him from the community, or from what the community itself represents, or from a near incarnation destroyed the community show bourgeois idea. . . Hence the pessimism. To do this, however, he must choose his individual with a certain weakness, a certain inelastic coldness, a certain inevitable and invincible belonging to the community.

This is evident in Troy, Clym, Tess, and Jude. They have a naturally strong individuality, but at the same time a weak flow of life, so that they cannot break the old bond, cannot detach themselves from the crowd that produced them, cannot detach themselves from the common. Therefore they are pathetic and not tragic figures. They lack the necessary strength: Right from the start, the question of their unfortunate end arises.

While Oedipus or Agamemnon or Clytemnestra or Orestes or Macbeth or Hamlet or Lear these are destroyed by their own conflicting passions. Agamemnon sacrifices Iphigenia out of a thirst for adventure and a desire to set off; moreover, he has his love affairs outside of Troy: and this brings him the death of his daughter's mother and his betrothed wife. How does natural law work. Hamlet, later Orestes, is commanded by his father's Erinyes to kill his mother and uncle*: but his maternal and filial feelings tear him apart. It is almost the same tragedy as Orestes, with no goddess or god granting peace.

In these plays, conventional morality is transcended. The action takes place between the great individual and unique forces of human nature, not between the dictates of the community and primal passion. The commandment says, "Thou shalt not kill." But no doubt Mac - * See note 21, p. 67.

Beth had killed many men who stood in her way. Surely Hamlet had no qualms about killing the old man behind the curtain. Why it should:1 But when Macbeth killed Duncan, he split into two hostile factions. It was all in his own soul and blood: it was nothing outside of him: as it really was with Clym, Troy, Tess, Jude. Troy would probably have remained faithful to his unfortunate little one if she had been a lady and if he hadn't felt inwardly isolated from society, although he was attached to her all the time. Tess allowed herself to be sentenced and asked the angel Klara for punishment. Why? She hadn't done anything particularly, or at least irrevocably, unnatural when her life was young and strong. But she joined the community's condemnation. And almost the bitterest, most pathetic, and most profound part of Jude's misfortune was his failure to be admitted to Oxford, his failure to gain his place and position in the world's knowledge, in the world's work.

There is a lack of rigor, there is a vacillation between life and public opinion, which demeans the Wessex novels from the category of pure tragedy. It is not so much the eternal and unchanging laws of being that are being transgressed, it is not that the vital forces of life come into conflict with one another, bringing with it almost inevitable tragedy - but not necessarily death as we shall in the most beautiful see squirrels. . In Wessex the individual succumbs to what is most superficial, public opinion, most profound, the human compact by which we live together to form a community.


The axle and wheel of eternity

So it is agreed that we work a little - two or three hours a day - work for the community to produce the plentiful necessities of life. Then we are free.

Free for what? The horror of the common man is that he has no leisure. His eternal and divine instinct is to free himself from the work that we in common sense call the necessities of life. And your personal horror is left with nothing to do.

what does a flower do It provides itself with the necessities of life, multiplies in its seeds and has its adventure all in one. From the crest and peak rises beautifully the fiery self, the flower.

This is the fall into the future, like a waterfall falling from the edge of the known world into the unknown. The small, individualized river of life springs from its fountain, its small seed, its fountain, it flows unceasingly, taking its course as it flows, laying down a bed of green tissue and stalks, it flows and approaches the edge where all things disappear . . . Then the stream divides. The part is lagging, recovering and still in the seed. The rest flows, the rest plunges into the unknown and is gone.

The same with the man. He must build his own structure and form, serve the community with the means at his disposal, and then he comes to a climax. And at the climax, he simultaneously begins to roll to the edge of the unknown and at the same moment deposits his seed for safety. This is the secret of life: it contains the smallest movements in the largest. In love, a man, a woman flows to the extreme limit of known feeling, being, and beyond the extreme limit: and taking the great and supreme risk, she leaves a certainty of life in the womb.

Am I here to deposit security Continuing life in the flesh? Or does that only play a minor role for me? Isn't it just a conservation measure, reproduction? The same applies to me and every man or woman. That she gives birth to children is not the meaning of a woman. But let it carry itself, that is its supreme and risky destiny: let it lead to the edge of the unknown and beyond. She can leave the children behind for safety. It's so organized.

It's organized in such a way that the very act that takes us into the unknown is likely to leave the seed of security to be left behind. But the act called the sexual act is not laying the seed. It should leap into the unknown, like from the edge of a cliff, like Sappho into the sea.

It's that simple with my plant, the poppy. From the living river rises a thin silvery stream, flowing through a green bed of his own making. It flows on and on until it reaches the crest behind which is the etheric space. Then a little remains in small concentrated puddles, in reservoirs, which later close as fast but quiet fountains. But the whole, almost the whole drips splendidly, is seen red, dripping into the dark and disappearing.

So does a man in the act of love. Some of it, very little, spills into the quick little puddle to start another fountain. But the whole thing also overflows with waste.

And only at high tide should the small cavities be filled into a new spring. Only when the whole rises to spill a great wave over the brink of all that ever was should the little seed wells be filled. In the woman are the reservoirs. And when the tide comes, then the double stream of woman and man, when the two whole waves meet and break into foam, break into the unknown, these wells and springs will be filled.

Thus man and woman pass beyond that which has already been, and there the two waves meet in tide and rise out of time, leaving their deposited alms for time. For this man needs freedom, and in order to prepare him for it he must use his leisure time.

In order for the wave of his being to meet the other wave, for the two to form a tide that flows across the face of the earth, a man must live. Always the double wave. Where my poppy spills red, but where the two streams flowed and merged, where the pollen stream collided with the pistil stream, where the male collided with the female and the two passed into speech. There, in the simmering of man and woman, the seeds are filled as the tide rises to spill in a red cascade. There, only where the male boils against the female, comes the transcendent flame and seed filling.

In plants where the male and female currents are separated, as in the dog's mercury or the oak, where is the flame? It is not. But in my poppy, where at the summit the two currents, which hitherto had been winding, spreading out in many directions, finally flowed together, and the purely male current, rushing and overflowing, met the purely female current: there, there is the flower in the Did.

And that is happiness: that my poppy gathers its stuff and builds its web until it pushes the flow of life in it steadily to the end, to the whirlpool at the summit where the male seethes and whirls at incredible speed around the fulcrum of the female. , where the two are one, as the axle and the wheel are one, and the movements go to infinity. There, where he is a full stream, migrating with and over the other full female stream, the two make a deluge over the face of the whole earth, which will vanish from the earth. And since I am a man with a fleshly body, I will contain the seed to ensure the continuation of life in this fleshly body, I will contain the seed for the fleshly woman in whom I will beget my children.

But this is a built-in need: it's not really a separate or distinct need. The clear, full, and inescapable need within me is that I, the man, find the feminine flow that must carry mine, so that the two of them run towards the maximum flow, the furthest movement. It is not a primary need of the generation of children. It's reaching my highest activity, being mark; it is your arrival in your most intense self.

Why do we consider the male and female streams to be only in the flesh? It is something other than the physical. The physical, which in its narrower meaning we call sex, is just a clear indication of the great male and female duality and oneness. It's this part that slips into an almost mechanized system to preserve a bit of life that otherwise drags on and gets lost in the full adventure.

As we know, the feminine is separate from the woman and the masculine is separate from the man. In my poppy plant there are males and females, and that is neither male nor female. It is part of the great twin river, each branch eternally resisting the other, eternally flowing into the other.

It can be said that male and female are terms that only refer to physical sex. But this is the consistent reference to the greater importance. Do we believe for a moment that a man is a man and a woman is a woman just for the sake of bearing children and for the purpose of having children? If there were organic reproduction of children, wouldn't there be a difference between male and female? Should we all be asexual?

We know that our vision is partial. Man is man and woman is woman, even if no more children are born forever. As long as time lasts, man is man. In eternity, where infinite movement becomes stillness, the two can be one. But man is man forever. For all eternity there will be this separation, this interplay of man and woman, man and woman, this suffering, this joy, this imperfection. In eternity, the action may be perfect. In infinity, the turning of the wheel on the hub can be a smooth whole, complete, an uninterrupted sleep that is infinite, a movement that is absolute stillness, a duality that is purely one.

But other than infinity, everything in life is male or female, different. But the conscience that belongs to both: and the flower that belongs to both. Every impulse that stirs in life, every single impulse, male or female, is different except for the essence of the complete flower, the complete consciousness that is two in one, merged. These are infinite and eternal. Consciousness, what we call truth, is eternal, beyond change or movement, beyond time or limitation.

But what is not conscious is time and life, this is our field.


Of being and not being

In life, then, nothing new has ever arisen or can arise, except through the impulse of the masculine on the feminine, of the feminine on the masculine. The interaction of the male and female spirits produced the wheel, the plow, and the first expression to emerge on earth.

Just as in my flower the female pistil is the center and the gyrus, the male stamens are firmly attached to the center and the flower is the great outward movement towards the unknown, so in a man's life the female is the gyrus and the center around which it rotates closely and generates its motion. And the female for a male is the obvious form, a female. And usually the center, the fulcrum of a man's life is his sex life, the center and rotation of his being is the sexual act. The rest of his life revolves around it, every movement he betrays emanates from it. And that's what everyone strives for. The supreme effort that any man makes alone is the effort to seize as an axis the woman who will be the axis and compel him to move true without deviation. The supreme desire of every man is to mate with a woman so that the sexual act is the closest and most concentrated movement of his life, closest to the axis, the main movement of himself, from which all other movements are derived in continuity of the same Art. And the vital desire of every woman is that she be fixed like an axis to the man's axis, that her movement represent her immobility, convey her static essence in motion, complete and radiating to infinity, emanating from her stable eternity and reaching again after having traversed all the time.

That's the complete movement: man over woman, woman in man. This is the desire that is impossible to fulfill without friction, but through which every human being will try, with more or less intensity, to achieve more or less success.

This is the desire of every man, that his movement, his way of walking and the supreme exertion of his mind be the external pulsation of the stimulus received in sex, in the sexual act, that the woman of his body be the progenitor of all his life, that she her idea, her movement, has to generate itself in her female spirit. When a man looks at the accomplished work of his hands and knows that it was created within him by the woman of his body, then he will know what basic happiness is. As a woman looks at the child that the man of her mind has conceived in her, she will know what it means to be happy. But when a woman looks at her children begotten within her by a strange man, not the man of her mind, she must know what it means to be happy in torment and to love in pain. The same happens with a man contemplating his work, which was not created in him by the woman of his body. He rejoices, worries, and suffers torment like death containing resurrection.

Because ideally the woman's soul owns the man's soul, breeds it and makes it great with a new idea, movement in the sexual act, but more often this is not the case. Usually, sex is just functional, a matter of relief or sensation, synonymous with eating, drinking, or excretion.

So if a man is to produce labor he must produce it for someone other than the woman of his body: just as in the same case when a woman produces children it must be for someone other than the man of her desires.

In this case, a man must look for the woman elsewhere than in the woman in order to possess his soul, fertilize it and make it grow. And woman exists in much more than her woman. And discovering it for yourself gives man his vision, his God.

And since no man or woman can obtain a perfect mate or complete gratification at any time, every man must have a god, an idea, according to his needs, which will compel him to move his own being. And then, when he lies down with his wife, the man can be with God at the same time, and thus multiply his soul. Or he may commune with his God separately and averse to woman.

Every man looks for the permanent, the eternal in a woman. And if. under his movement it decomposes in her, especially in the woman, so that she is not an axis for his center but is pushed away from him, so he has to seek his stability elsewhere, the center for himself.

So he must either look for another woman, or he must try to become aware of his desire to find a symbol, to create and define the object of his desire in his consciousness so that he can use it at will to his own full gratification may have .

With his desire for the feminine, he looks elsewhere than in the respective woman. Therefore, since everything that exists is male or female or both, whether it be clouds or sunbeams or hills or trees or a feather fallen from a bird, man seeks his complement in other things and in these things. And finally he must always call God unspeakable and unspeakable, unknowable, because he is his unrealized counterpart.

But all gods have some characteristics in common. You are the unspoken absolute: eternal, infinite, unchanging. Eternal, infinite, unchanging: this is the supreme God of all mankind.

But the man, the masculine, is essentially a matter of movement, of time, and of change. Until it is made to think, it is in complete motion and change. But once he thinks, he must have the absolute, the eternal, the infinite, the unchanging.

And man is driven to thought by dissatisfaction or dissatisfaction, just as heat comes from friction. Awareness is the equal effort in man and woman to achieve seamless, frictionless interaction, perfect as Nirvana. It is the reflection of both male and female defects in their dual movement. Reflecting the dual movement, consciousness contains the two in one and is therefore absolute in itself.

And desire is an admission of lack. And the personification of the object of desire reveals the original fault or defect. So that the attributes of God reveal what man lacked in his life and what he longed for. And these attributes are always eternity, infinity, immutability in their essence.

And these are the qualities that a man basically senses in a woman. Let a man walk the earth alone and he feels like a loose grain blown at random. Let him have a woman to own him and he will feel like he has a wall to lean on; even if the woman is mentally a fool. No man can endure the feeling of space, chaos on its four sides. it drives you crazy He must be able to lean his back against the wall. And this wall is his wife.

From her he gets a sense of stability. It gives him a sense of immutability, permanence, eternity. It is itself a frenzied activity, a powerful change within change. He doesn't even dare to think of himself unless he is sure that the woman is below him, beside him. He doesn't dare to leap into the unknown, save for the secure stability of the unyielding woman. Like a wheel when turning without an axle, its motion is a wandering neutrality.

Therefore, a man's fear is always that he will not find an axis for his movement, that no woman will be able to centralize his activities. And always a woman's fear is that she cannot find a center for her stability, a man to set her full stability in motion. Or it is precisely the woman who collapses under the stress of her man, becomes unpredictable, restless, without a centre; or the man is not active enough to realize the static principle of his feminine, his wife.

Thus life consists of the dual form of will to move and will to inertia, and everything we see, know and are is the result of these two wills. But the One Will of which they are dual forms is still unthinkable.

And since the will to movement, or the will to indolence, predominates in the race, this race's conception of One Will must reinforce those attributes which the race lacks or is deficient in.

Since there is never a perfect balance or agreement between the two wills, but always one triumphs over the other, we know that in life there must always be a human effort to restore balance, to symbolize, and thus to possess what is lacking . Which is the religious pursuit of man.

There seems to be a separation, a fundamental and insurmountable difference, between man's artistic striving and his religious striving. The two endeavors are intertwined as they manifest themselves, but at the same time they remain two, not one, and at the same time they are separate, unique, never composite.

The religious effort is to comprehend, to symbolize, what the human soul or the soul of the race lacks, is not, and longs for. It is the representation of that addition to the life of the race known only as desire: it is the symbolization of a great desire, the expression of desire in terms of no meaning save desire.

While the artistic effort is the effort of expression, the supreme effort to express knowledge, that which once was, that which was enacted, where the two wills met and crossed, leaving their result complete for the moment . According to knowledge, the artistic effort is the representation of a moment of the union of the two wills. The religious effort is, depending on the aspiration, the representation or symbolization of the eternal union of the two wills. But in this eternal union the qualities of one will or the other are always prominent.

We call the double will the will to move and the will to inertia. These cause all life, from the ebb and flow of a wave to the stable balance of the entire universe, from birth and existence and realization to death, decay and oblivion. And the will to move we call the masculine will or spirit, the will to inertia feminine. This inertial will is not negative, the other is positive. Instead, according to some views, motion is negative and inertia, the static and geometric idea, is positive. This depends on your point of view.

From the racial image of God we can see whether the male or the female element triumphs, predominates in this race.

But first it must be seen that the division into male and female is arbitrary for reasons of thought. The rapid movement of the rim of a wheel is equivalent to a perfect standstill in the middle of the wheel. How can you split them up? Motion and stillness are the same when viewed fully. Movement only applies to things outside of itself. Strictly speaking, when I sit on a moving train, the earth moves beneath me, the train and I stand still. If I were earth and train, if f were large enough there would be no motion. And if I were very, very small, every fiber of the train would move for me, the still point would diminish infinitely.

How can you say that there is movement and stillness? When all things move together in infinite motion, that is stillness. Rest and motion are but two degrees of motion, or two degrees of rest. Infinite motion and infinite rest are the same. It is obvious. Because if motion were infinite, there would be no fulcrum from which to consider it motion. And the same with rest.

It's easier to imagine that there is no rest. For a thing at rest is, to us, nothing but a thing moving at our own rate of motion; from another point of view, it's a thing that's moving at the slowest rate of motion that we can detect. But this table that I write on, that I call rest, I know it's really moving.

Therefore there is no rest. There is only infinite movement. But infinite motion must contain all degrees of stillness. Therefore, movement and rest are the same. Rest is the lowest movement speed I recognize under normal conditions.

So how can one speak of the will to move or the will to inertia when there is no rest or movement? And yet, starting from any degree of movement and progressing further and further, one arrives at a state of velocity that instantaneously pervades all space and is therefore stillness, absolute stillness. *, and starting from the same speed and infinite reduction of motion, the same state of absolute stillness is reached. And the direction or method of approaching this infinite stillness is different from what we imagine. And only by traversing the slower does the faster reach the infinite remainder of inertia: which resembles the infinite stillness of speed, since the two things have united to surpass our comprehension.

So we can speak of male and female, of will to move and will to inertia. So if we look at a breed we can tell if the will to inertia or the will to move has gained prominence and in which direction that breed is tending to decline.

For it is as if life were a double cycle, of men and women walking opposite paths, walking opposite paths, circling each other, the man with his hand out, the woman with his hand out, and neither of them can move until having clasped their hands, as they approach in opposite directions, they move closer and closer, each in its own cycle, until the two are side by side, and until they again move farther and farther apart, traveling in opposite directions Ways to the same infinite goal.

Each travels towards the same goal of infinity, but enters from opposite ends of space. And the man who remembers what is behind him, how hands met, grasped and parted, speaks his tragic art. Moreover, facing the other side of the unknown, aware of the attraction of the goal in his heart, he greets the woman coming from the place he is traveling, looks for signs in her and makes his god based on the suggestion , which he receives . , -as it advances.

Then she approaches, and he is filled with joy. She's so close they touch, and then there's a cheerful expression of religious art. They are torn apart and he lets out a cry of tragedy and he keeps remembering until the dance slows and ends and there is only a crowd.

It is as if this cyclical dance, in which the female forms the chain with the male, becomes ever wider, ever more extended, and the further away they are from the source, from infinity, the more distinct and “individual” the dancers become. At first it's just characters. In the Jewish cycle, David, with his outstretched hand, misjudges the woman, the feminine. He can only see a few similarities. For both he and she danced not far from the source and origin where both were one. Although she is completely different from him, she is not very different from him. And He salutes them as Father, Almighty, God, Beloved, Strength, salutes them in their own image. And with outstretched hand, fearful and passionate, he reaches for her. But it is Solomon who touches her hand with ecstasy and joy, and proclaims his joy in the Song of Songs. Who is the Shulammit if not God who approaches in physical contact for a moment? The song can be a drama: it's still religious art. It is the development of the Psalms. It's totally different from the book of Job, which is a memory.

Always the threefold expression: the declaration of the approaching God, the rapture of the touch, the painful joy of the memory when the encounter gave way to separation. This is religion, religious art and tragic art.

But the chain is not broken by letting go of the hands. It is broken by the arrogance of one cycle for another. David, when he lay with a woman, he lay with God; Lying with a woman, Solomon knew God and possessed Him and was possessed by Him. For in Solomon and in the woman the man shook hands with the woman.

But in the terrible moment when they had to free themselves again, the masculine in the Jew was too weak, the feminine overpowered him. He stayed in the clutches of the woman. The power of inertia overwhelmed him and he kept remembering. But very real was David's vision and very real was Solomon's contact. So that the living being is preserved, always kept alive and powerful, but enclosed, restricted, partial.

For centuries the Jew has known God as David had known him, as Solomon had known him. He was the god of the body, the rudimentary god of physical laws and physical functions. The Jew lived in physical contact with God. He shared every bodily function with God; He always held his body like the body of a bride ready to serve her husband. He had become the servant of his god, the woman, passive. The feminine in him dominated, keeping him passive, imposing absolute limits on his movement, his wanderings, enslaving his mind to keep intact the state of sensation in which he found himself. What existed from century to century, the secret and conscientious lust of the Jew, became almost self-awareness, preoccupied with the consciousness of his own body, or of the existence drawn from his own body. His own physique naturally included woman, as man's body included woman's, woman's man's. Her religion had become a physical morality, profound and basic, but of a kind. Her vital element was that conscientious physical lust, wonderful and largely gratifying.

The conscious element was a resistance to the masculine or active principle. Feminine, preoccupied with sense of self, age realization, submission to sensation, the Jewish temperament was antagonistic to the active masculine principle, which denied age and denied sensation, always seeking transformation, with a desire to be an instrument of change, to record relationships . Therefore, this race recognized only male sins: they received only commissioned sins, sins of change, of transformation. In all Ten Commandments the woman speaks. It is natural for man to make the male god a god of benevolence and mercy, susceptible to compassion. This is the male idea of ​​God. It was the female spirit who invented the saying: "I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of fathers upon children unto the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, and mercy unto thousands proves. by those who love me."

It was a female conception. For is not the man the son of the woman? Doesn't she see his body there, even livelier than hers? For her, the man is more her body than her own body. Because all flesh is hers. The woman knows that she is the source of all flesh. And her pride is that the man's body is her problem. She can see man as the One Being, knowing that he is her descendant.

It was a male notion to see God as a multiple being, even though He was one God. Because man is always aware of the multiplicity of things and their diversity. But the woman who emerges from the other side of infinity, appearing as flesh, manifesting in sensations, is obsessed with the unity of things, the One, undifferentiated being. The human being, on the other hand, who arises from the desire to separate one thing from another, to reduce each thing to its very self through a process of elimination, cannot help but be obsessed with the infinite variety and opposites of life, with one passionate sense of isolation and a poignant desire to be in one.

This is the basis of the feminine idea: that there is only one being: this necessarily feminine being. While man imagines a multiple being, the supreme of which is male. And because of woman's complete monism, which is essentially static and self-sufficient, the expression of God has always been left to man, so that the supreme God is forever He.

But in the God of the ancient Jews, woman triumphed. He who was born of woman is indeed the God of the Old Testament. He is so completely born of a woman that he hardly needs to pay attention to the woman: she is there unspoken.

And the Jewish race has continued this monism, stable, circumscribed, utterly adventureless, utterly self-sustaining, and yet profoundly alive, into the present century.

But Christ rose from the oppressed male spirit of Judea and gave a new commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. He rejected the woman: "Who is my mother?" He lived the male life completely separate from the female.

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself" - that is the great statement against monism and the commitment to monism. It doesn't say, "You shall love your neighbor because he is yourself," as the old Jew would say. He commands: "You should recognize the difference between your neighbor and yourself and let him be separate, because he too is from God, even if it almost contradicts you."

This is Christianity's cry of anguish: that man is separated from his brother, perhaps even in his measure hostile to him. The Jew had to learn that. The old Jewish identity creed that Eve is identical with Adam and that all men are children of one father and are therefore absolutely identical must be destroyed.

Subtle and in accord with feminine suggestion is the story of creation: that Eve was born of the only body of Adam, without the intervention of the sex, both proceeding from one flesh, as a child seems to proceed from the one flesh of its body at birth Mother. And the birth of Jesus is the recompense: a son is born, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit; and you, woman, shall receive, not for the body, but for the word. "In the beginning was the Word," says the New Testament.

Man's great affirmation was the New Testament and in its beauty the union of man and woman. Christ was born of a woman begotten of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Christ should be called the Son of Man. For He was born of a woman. He was born to the Spirit, the Word, the man, the male.

And the statement implied the sacrifice of the woman's son. The body of Christ must be destroyed, he who was a woman must be put to death to testify that he was spirit, that he was male, that he was male without female parts.

Then the other big camp was set up. At creation, man was expelled from paradise to work for his body and his wife. All was lost to the knowledge of the flesh. From the innocence and nirvana of paradise, the consciousness of the flesh, the body of man and woman, arose with the fall.

This was man's first great movement: the movement towards conscious possession of a body. And this body awareness came through the woman. And that knowledge, that possession, that enjoyment was jealously guarded. Despite all the criticism and attacks, Job remained true to this knowledge, the absolute belief in his body, in the God of his body. Although the woman herself became alluring, he remained faithful to her.

The senses, the sensation, the sensuousness, these things that are definitely me, that is my God, these things belong to God, said Job. And he insisted, and he was right. They start from God on the female side.

But Christ came with His contradiction: That which I am not, that is God. Everything is God except what I immediately know as myself. First I have to lose myself, then I find God. You must be born again.

Why should man be born again? Knowing his own separate existence, as in woman, he is aware of his own embodied existence. Man must be born knowing his own distinctive identity, just as woman was born knowing her identification with the whole. Man must be born knowing that in all beings he is nothing, just as he was born knowing that in all beings he is everything. He must be born knowing that other things exist alongside him and totally separate from everything else, and before he can exist as a separate identity he must allow and acknowledge their separate existence. Whereas earlier on the more feminine Jewish side it was said, “Everything that exists is like me. We are all one family, of one God, of one being."

The monism of the Jews ended with Christ. God, the One God, became a triple Trinity. He was the Father, the All-Containing; He was the Son, the Word, the Transformer, the Divider; and He was the Spirit, the Comforter, the Reconciler between the two.

And according to its conditions, Christianity since Christ has worshiped the Father or the Son, one more than the other. From a superfeminine race came the masculine expression of Christ. Across Europe, the suppressed and improper masculine desires in men and women alike extended to the idea of ​​Christ as a woman to reach out to a man. But Greece, where women were replaced and neglected, was silent. In the Middle Ages, this battle continued in Europe against the body, against the senses, against this ongoing triumph of the senses. The cult of Europe, predominantly female, throughout the Middle Ages, was to man, to the disembodied Christ, like a bridegroom, while the art produced was the collective, wondrous, emotional gesture of the cathedrals, where a blind and collective impulse arose in form . concrete. It was a deep, sensual longing and gratitude that produced an architectural art whose essence lies in absolute stability, in determined and centralized movement, in absolute movement that has no relation to any other form, that does not allow any other form to exist. , but it is coherent and, taken together, suggests the One Being of All.

However, there was already in the cathedrals the denial of monism that uttered the whole thing. All the little figures, the gargoyles, the sprites, the human faces, though subsumed into the Great Perfection of Space, yet from their darkness mocked their mockery of the Absolute and declared multiplicity, polygeny. But all medieval art has an essentially static, architectural, absolute quality, though differentiated and distinct in detail. Dürer too, for example. When your art is successful, it conveys a sense of absolute movement, movement inherent only to the given form and not relative to other movements. It represents the object with its motion content and not the motion that the object contains in one of its moments.

Only when the Greek stimulus is received, with its addition of male influence, its additior. of relative motion, its revelation of the motion directing the object, the greatest revelation ever made, that medieval art was becoming a complete Renaissance art, that there was a union and fusion of male and female spirits, the one created the perfect expression for the age to come. .

In the Middle Ages, the God had been Christ on the cross, the body crucified, the flesh destroyed, the virginal chastity fighting desire. Such was the god of striving. But the God of knowledge, of what they recognized as themselves, had been the Father, the God of the ancient Jews.

But now, with the Renaissance, the god of striving was reconciled with the god of knowledge, and there was a great burst of joy, and the subject was not Christ crucified, but Christ born of woman, the Redeemer child, and the Virgin . ; or of the Annunciation, the Spirit embracing the flesh in a pure embrace.

This was the perfect union of man and woman, here hands met and intertwined, and there was never such an outpouring of joy. This joy perhaps reached its highest expression in Botticelli, as in his Nativity of the Redeemer in our National Gallery. There's still the architectural composition, but what an explosion of movement from the source of movement. Child Jesus is a centre, a radiant spark of movement, the Virgin is bent in absolute motion, the earthly father Joseph is bent like a lump or a stone, obliterated while the angels fly in ecstasy and embrace and join hands.

The biological father is almost obliterated. As compensation for the virgin mother he is there, presented but silenced, transmitting only the movement of his loin. He's not the man. The male is the beaming baby over which the mother is bending. The two are the ecstatic center, the complete origin, the force that is both centrifugal and centripetal.

This is the joyful expression of the Renaissance that we have always heard. Perhaps there is a melancholy in Botticelli, a pain of woman mated with spirit, a nudity of Aphrodite exposed to the light elements, man's lack of flesh. But it's still transparent joy over pain. It is the expression of religious art, complete and perfect, perhaps reluctantly, when the true masculine and feminine meet. In the Song of Songs the woman was predominant, the man was impure, not single. But here the heart is content for the moment, there is a moment to be perfect.

And so it seems in other religions: the most perfect moment revolves around the mother and male child, while the physical male is deified separately, perhaps like a bull.

After Botticelli came Correggio. In him the development of gesture to articulated expression continued unconsciously, the movement from symbolic to representation continued in him, from object to living being. The Virgin and Child are no longer symbolic in Correggio: they no longer belong to religious art but are clearly secular. It's about making people come alive, about perceiving the individual, not the big claim or an idea. The art now passes from the naive and intuitive stage to the knowing state. The female drive to feel and live by feeling is now embraced by the male drive - to know - and almost carried away by knowing. But not yet. But Correggio is unconscious in his art; he is in that state of euphoria which represents marriage between a man and a woman, with the man's pride perhaps predominating. In the National Gallery's Madonna with the Basket, the Madonna is more a wife, the child more triumphantly the son of a man. The father is the source. He works remotely, the true support of this mother and her son. There is no adoration of the Virgin, nothing of the mystery of woman. The artist has attained sufficient knowledge. He knows his wife. What troubles him now is not her great female mystery, but her individual character. The picture became almost lyrical - it is the woman as the man knows her, it is the woman as he has experienced her. But nevertheless it is also unknown, it is also the mystery. But Correggio's main task is to portray the woman of her own experience and knowledge, and not the woman of her longing and fear. The artist is now more concerned with his own experience than his own desire. The female is now more or less within the male's power and reach. But she is still there to center and control his movement, yet the two react and don't resolve. But for the man, the woman is now part of a stream of movement, she herself is a stream of movement carried with her. He sees everything as movement, delayed perhaps by the flesh or by the stable nature of this life in the body. But still the man is supported and rotated by the object, although he tends to nullify the fulcrum.

Thus Correggio leads to the whole of modern art, where the masculine still struggles in an unconscious struggle with the feminine, but where he gradually conquers her, reducing her to nothing. More and more vibration, movement and less and less stability, centering. Man is more and more concerned with his own experience, with his own mastery of resistance, less and less aware of any resistance in the object, less and less aware of any stability, less and less aware of something unknown, more and more concerned with what he knows until his knowledge tends to become an abstraction because it is not limited by any unknown.

It is the contradiction of Dürer as the Parthenon frieze was the contradiction of Babylon and Egypt. For Dürer, woman did not exist; just as for a child at the breast, the woman does not exist separately. It is the overwhelming condition of life. For Dürer, she was what possessed him, not what he possessed. Since she was being dominated by him, he could only see it in her terms, in terms of stability and stability and unchallenged. He is overwhelmed by the immense certainty from whose breasts he is being nursed and how amazed he clings to the unknown. He knows he is resting in a great stability, and as he marvels at his own power of movement, he touches, becomes familiar with, the objects of that stability. It depends on the starting point. Dürer begins with a sense of what he doesn't know and what he would discover; Correggio with a feel for what he knew and would create anew.

And in the Renaissance, according to Botticelli, the movement begins to split in these two directions. The hands no longer close perfectly, but overlap. Botticelli evolves into Correggio and Andrea del Sarto, into Rembrandt and Rembrandt into the Impressionists, towards the male extreme of the movement. But Botticelli, on the other hand, becomes Raphael, Raphael and Michelangelo.

In Raphael we see the stable, the architectural develop further and become geometric: the negation or refusal of all movement. In the Madonna degli Ansidei the child has fallen, the mother is stereotypical, the image is geometric, static, and abstract. When there is some union of masculine and feminine, there is no goal of abstraction: instead, the abstract is used as a means of real union. The goal of the masculine impulse is the herald of movement, endless movement, endless variety, endless change. The goal of the feminine impulse is the proclamation of infinite unity, infinite stability. When the two work in combination, as there must be in life, there is a double movement, so to speak, centrifugal for the man, escaping outward, away from the center, outward in infinite vibration, and centripetal for the woman, escaping into the eternal center the silence. A combination of the two movements gives a satisfying sum of movement and stability at the same time. But in life there always tends to be more of one than the other. Cathedrals, Fra Angelico, frighten or bore us with their definitive proclamation of centrality and stability. We want to flee. The influence is too feminine for us.

In Botticelli the architecture is preserved, but there is the wonderful outward movement, the joyful but awkward escape from the centre. Her religious images are rather stereotypical, resigned. Spring itself is static, melancholic, a stability that has become almost a denial. It's as if instead of being the great unknown positive into which everything must flow, the feminine becomes the great negative, the center that negates all movement. And Aphrodite is not there as a force to draw all things to her, but as a naked, almost reluctant fulcrum, a capstone that has withstood every push and has remained static. But there is still the joy, the great movement around you, sky and sea, all elements and forces alive and happy.

However, Raphael searches and finds nothing there. He goes to the center to ask, "What is this mystery that we all revolve around?" For Fra Angelico, it was the almighty unknown. It was a goal towards which man inevitably went. It was the desired end of the long horizontal journey. But for Raphael it was denial. He is still a seeker, still an aspirant, still his art is religious art. But the virgin, the essential feminine, was for him a negation, a neutrality. That must have been his living experience. But he's still looking for her. Yet he wants stability, the positive cornerstone that holds the arc together, not the negative cornerstone that neutralizes momentum, even a neutrality. As a reaction to his own desire, as a man's reaction to himself, he creates the abstraction, the geometric representation of life. The basis of everything is the geometry of everything. That is Plato's idea. And the desire is to formulate the complete geometry.

So does Raphael, knowing that his desires are beyond the reach of possible experience, conscious that he will not find satisfaction in any woman, conscious that the feminine impulse within him cannot or cannot sufficiently unite with the masculine impulse to create stability . . , for him an eternal moment of truth, of cognition, he closes his eyes and mind to experience, and abstracting himself, reacting to himself, he generates the geometrical conception of fundamental truth, distancing himself from religion, from everyone conception of God, and becomes philosophical.

Raphael is the true end of Renaissance Italy; he is almost the true end of Italy, as Plato was the true end of Greece. When the idea of ​​God merges into the philosophical or geometric idea, then there is a sign that the male impulse has supplanted the female impulse and has withdrawn into itself, become abstract, genderless.

However, Michelangelo was too physically passionate, too much feminine in his body to achieve geometric abstraction, unable to abstract himself and at the same time, like Raphael, unable to find a woman who would resist him in her essence. and still retains something unknown from him, aspires to attain his own bodily satisfaction in his art. He is obsessed with the desire of the body. And he must respond to himself in order to generate his own physical gratification, knowing that he can never obtain it from woman. He must seek the moment, the consummation, the keystone, the pivot within his own flesh. For your own body is male and female.

Raphael and Michelangelo are men of different natures, standing in the same position, solving the same question in different ways. Socrates and Plato are a parallel pair, and to a different degree Tolstoy and Turgeniev and maybe St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist and) maybe Shakespeare and Shelley.

The body connects us directly to the feminine. Sex, as we call it, is the very point where the dual flow begins to split, where it's almost together, almost one. A child does not have a very specific gender, that is, it belongs to both. It is only in puberty that there is a real differentiation, that one is advised to predominate. In what we call happy natures, in lazy and content people, there is a fairly balanced gender ratio. There is enough of the woman in such a man's body to leave him free enough. He doesn't suffer the torment of wanting a more masculine being. Even from the physique of such a man it is evident that in him there is an appropriate ratio of male and female, so that he can be light, balanced and without excesses. The Greek sculptors of the 'better' period, Phidias and later Sophocles, Alcibiades and later Horace, must have been fairly even-tempered men, not too passionate, tending towards lust rather than passion. So did Victor Hugo, Schiller and Tennyson. The true voluptuous man is a man who is both feminine and masculine and who lives according to the feminine side of his nature, like Lord Byron.

The pure man is almost an abstraction, almost disembodied, like Shelley or Edmund Spenser. But as we know humanity, this state comes from the omission of an essential part. In the ordinary sense, Shelley never lived. He transcended life. But we don't want to transcend life because we are of life.

Why would Shelley say of the lark:

"Hail, happy spirit! - Bird you never were! —"? Why should he insist on the disembodied beauty when we can know nothing but embodied beauty? Who would wish that the lark was not a bird but a ghost? If the lark were a ghost, we would all want to be ghosts. That they were godless and disrespectful.

I can't imagine any being in the world as transcendentally male as Shelley. He is phenomenal. The rest of us have bodies that contain both male and female. If we were chosen like Shelley, we wouldn't belong to life like he didn't belong to life. But it was ungodly to want to be like the angels. As long as humanity exists, it must exist in the body, and every body must belong to both male and female.

In the pure manhood stage below Shelley are Plato, Raphael and Wordsworth, then Goethe, Milton and Dante, then Michelangelo, then Shakespeare, then Tolstoy, then St. Paul.

A male who is naturally well balanced between masculine and feminine is usually happy, easy to mate with, easy to please and be content with. It's just a mismatch or dissatisfaction that drives the man to articulate. And the articulation is of two kinds, the cry of desire or the cry of fulfillment, the cry of satisfaction, the effort to prolong the sense of satisfaction, to prolong the moment of accomplishment.

A bird in spring sings with the dawn, echoing in ever-widening circles from the moment of consummation. Dürer, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, they all sing of the moment of completion, some of them still amazed and amazed at the other being, touching Botticelli with excellent memory. Raphael also sings about the moment of completion. But he wasn't lost in the moment, just enough to know what it was. It is currently not fully completed. He must strive to complete his satisfaction with himself. Then, when he makes his great appreciation of the woman, he must add something to her to complete her, he must give her her completion. Then he surrounds it with pure geometry until it becomes almost a geometric figure, an abstraction. The image becomes a large ellipse with a dark pillar running through it. This is the Madonna degli Ansidei. Madonna herself is almost insignificant. You and the child are locked in the bar that slides through the ellipse.

This pillar must always represent the masculine striving, the arc or ellipse for the feminine completeness that contains that striving. And the whole picture is a geometric symbol of the consummation of life.

What we call truth is, in actual experience, that momentary state in which the union of male and female is accomplished in experience. This completion can also be physical, between the male and female bodies. But it can only be spiritual, between male and female spirit.

And the symbol by which Raphael expresses this moment of consummation is a dark, strong rod or pillar that springs up and almost transcends a faint, radiant, and encompassing ellipse.

To express the same moment, Botticelli does not use symbols, but constructs an intricate system of circles, of movements rotating about their fixed centers in their horizontal plane, constructing the whole in the form of a dome, and then the dome covered by another surmounted is wheel. outdoor corner above.

It's always Botticelli: different cycles of joy, different moments of embrace, different forms of round dance, all contained in one photograph, with no solution. He still hasn't solved it.

And Rafael, arriving at the purely symbolic solution, went beyond art and almost became a mathematician. Because the art business can never be solved, only explained.

There is no solution. Nietzsche speaks about eternal return. It's like Botticelli's song cycles. But every cycle is different. There is no real repetition.

And a cycle, picking a moment and stripping that moment of all context and making it timeless, that's what Raphael does and that's what Plato does. So your absolute truth, your geometric truth, is true only in timelessness.

Michelangelo, on the other hand, does not seek absolute truth. His wish is to realize in his body, in his feeling, the moment - the completion, which for man is the true perfect experience. But he doesn't know hugs. For him personally, woman does not exist. For Botticelli she existed as the Virgin Mother, as Spring and as Aphrodite. She existed as the pure source of life on the feminine side, as the bringer of light and joy and as every man's passionate desire, as the known and the unknown in one: for Raphael she existed as a small part of his experience, nothing to do with your striving do, or your striving merely used it as a statement contained in the Great Abstraction.

For Michelangelo, woman hardly existed outside of her own body. He knew her there and he knew her desire. But Raphael, in his passion to be complete, raised his desire for completion to a fiery level that he became fierce, reacting on himself, consuming his own flesh and corporeal life in order to attain the pinnacle of perfection. Abstraction, the resisting body holding back the raging torrent of external force until the two formed a steady glow, a luminous geometric representation of permanence and inviolability. Meanwhile, his body burned in a dominating state of incandescence.

Michelangelo's will was different. The body within him that knew the feminine and was therefore the feminine was stronger and more persistent. His longing for completion was the longing for the satisfying moment when male and female spirits touch each other in the most intimate embrace, enlivening each other, not one destroying the other, but two. He knew that perfection for man is a temporal state. The purely masculine spirit must always grasp the timelessness, the pure feminine of the moment. And Michelangelo, more mestizo than Raphael, must always rage at the limits of time and tenses. So he responded to himself, seeking the feminine within, augmenting it, achieving a wonderful momentary stability of exaggerated flesh until it became thin but filled and balanced by the force pushing outward. And so he reached his consummation, reached the perfect moment when he recognized and revealed his forms in all their wonderful balance. He was drawn to the Jewish tradition with its great physical God, source of the masculine and feminine. He turned to the female goal of total stability and constancy in time and achieved its accomplishment. But only reacting to itself, withdrawing its own mobility. Thus he made his great figures, Moses, static and imposing, proclaiming, like the Jewish god, the glory and eternity of physical law; the David, young, but with too much body for a young figure, the exaggerated physique, the clear, lively, essential spirit of stifled youth, obscures the true masculinity, so that the statue is almost a lie. Then the slaves, swaying in the body and caught in a bondage that prevents them from moving; the immobile Madonna, not a virgin but a woman in the flesh, not the pure female conception but the wife of man, the mother of bodily children. Men are in no way masculine and women are not feminine.

Adam can barely move his whole life. This large body, almost transparent and delicate in texture, is not sufficiently established for movement. It's not that it's too heavy: it's too insubstantial, unreal. Not movement, not life, he longs for, but body. Just give him a tight, focused physique. This is the cry of all Michelangelo's paintings.

But powerful man that he was, he satisfies his desires by emphasizing and exaggerating the body within himself, reaching the point of perfection in the most wonderful balance his characters display. To achieve that balance he has to exaggerate and exaggerate and exaggerate the flesh, make it thinner and thinner, really keep it in true proportions. And then comes the moment, the perfect stable balance, the perfect balance between object and movement, the perfect combination of man and woman in a single figure.

It's wonderful and peaceful, that balance once it's achieved. But it's achieved through fear and self-struggle and self-restraint, so it's sad. Always, Michelangelo's* pictures are full of joy, * Certainly, Raphael's (editor's note).

of self-acceptance and self-proclamation. Michelangelo fought and held captive the agile man within him; Raphael was proud of the man he was and gave himself complete freedom at the expense of the woman.

And it seems that since the Renaissance Italy has been obsessed with the Raphaelian notion of the ultimate geometric basis of life, the geometric essentiality of all things. In Italian everything is based on the basic geometric idea of ​​absolute static combination. Enclosed within the ellipse is the staff as a permanent symbol. There is no axis, no separate ellipse, just the whole complete; there is neither male nor female, but an absolute intertwining of the two into one, an absolute combination so that both disappear into complete identity. There is only the geometric abstraction of the moment of completion, a moment made timeless. And that notion of a long, firm, timeless embrace, that overwhelming notion of timeless perfection, from which there is no beginning and no end, from which there is no escape, gripped the Italian race for three centuries. She is the source of his indifference, his fatalism and positive devotion, and his utter inability to be skeptical in the Russian sense.

This notion, of course, also includes, as part of the same idea, Aphrodite worship and phallic worship. But these are subordinate and belong to a kind of initiation period. The true conception for the individual is marriage, the untouchable marriage that has always existed and always will exist, no matter what apparent variations may or may not exist. And the manifestation of divinity is the child. In marriage, in total and intertwined marriage, man and woman cease to be two beings and become one, one and only one, not two in one as we do, but the absolute one, a geometric absolute, timeless, the absolute, the divine. And the child is greeted with love and joy as a result of this divine and timeless state.

But the Italian is now beginning to retreat from her tight, timeless embrace, her geometric abstraction, towards the Nordic notion of self and woman as two separate identities that meet, connect, but must always withdraw.

So now, with his sculpture Development of a Bottle through Space, the Futurist Boccioni tries to express withdrawal, while at the same time he has to hold on to the conception of this same intertwined state of marriage between centripetal and centrifugal forces, the geometric abstraction of the bottle. But he can do neither one nor the other. He wants to affirm the real abstraction.

And at the same time he has an unsatisfied desire to satisfy. He must insist on centrifugal force, thereby destroying his abstraction immediately. He must insist on the masculine spirit of the outer movement, for for three centuries the feminine has inevitably ruled the race, so that the Italian is now far more feminine than masculine, like all Latin. breed lustfully rather than passionately, very aware of their total bond - male to female, and very desperate to act like males, to be passionate. So when I look at Boccioni's sculpture and see how he tries to express the timeless, abstract essence of a bottle, the pure geometric abstraction of the bottle, I'm fascinated. But then when I see him driven by his male complementary desire to depict movement, simple movement, trying to express the bottle in terms of mechanics, I get confused. It's up to science to explain the bottle in terms of power and movement. Geometry, pure mathematics, is very close to art, and the lively attempt to make the bottle a pure geometric abstraction can create a work of art because of the resistance of the medium, the stone. But a stone representation of the lines of force that create this state of rest called the bottle, that's a model in mechanics.

And the two representations require two different mental states in the estimator, so the result is almost nothing, just confusion. And the representation of a state of mind is impossible. Only scientific diagrams of mental states can be made. A mood is a resultant between an attack and a resistance. And how can you create a resultant without first letting the original forces collide?

The attitude of the Futurists is the scientific attitude, as Italy's attitude is mainly scientific. It is the forgetting of the old and perfect abstraction, it is the separation of the masculine from the feminine, it is the act of withdrawal: the negation of completion and the new beginning, learning the alphabet.


The Light of the World

The climax reached in Italy with Raphael was never reached in England in the same way. there was never

in England the great embrace, the amazing accomplishment that Botticelli recorded and that Raphael fixed in a perfect abstraction.

Correggio, Andrea del Sarto, both men of lesser strength than the other three colonels, continued the direct line of development without turning around. They even found women they could not exhaust: in them the masculine still responded to the undeniable feminine. But there has always been a tendency toward greater movement, toward closer characterization, a tendency to individualize man and present him as embedded in a common divine matrix.

Until after the Renaissance, the supreme god was always God the Father. The Church moved and existed in Almighty God, Christ was but the distant, shining radiance that mankind aspired to but did not know.

Raphael and Michelangelo were both servants of the father, the eternal law, the primordial being. Raphael, confronted with the question of non-being when it was imposed on him that he would never realize his own being in the flesh, that he would never know the completeness, the momentary perfection in the body, realized the geometric abstraction, that is the abstraction of the law that is the Father.

However, there was Christ's great claim to non-being, to non-perfection, to the afterlife that had to be considered. After the Renaissance, Christianity began to exist. It didn't exist before.

In God the Father we are all one body, one flesh. But in Christ we renounce the flesh, there is no flesh. A man must lose his life to save it. All the natural desires of the body a man must be able to deny before he can live. And then, when he lives, he will know that he is himself, so that he can always say, "I am me."

In the Father we are one flesh, in Christ we are crucified and risen, and we are one with him in spirit. It's the difference between law and love. Every human being will live by the law, which does not change, says the old religion. Every human being will live according to the love that will save us from death and the law, says the new religion.

But what is love? What is the deepest desire a human has ever known? It is always for that accomplishment, that momentary touch or union of male and female, spirit and soul and flesh and flesh, when each is complete in themselves and enjoying their own essence, when each is complete and unique in themselves or within themselves . It is important. And love is the great striving for that perfection and that joy; It is the aspiration of every human being that all human beings, all life, should know and rejoice in him. For until all men know him, no one will fully know him. For according to the law we are all one flesh. So love is just a closer look at the law, a broader interpretation: “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one iota or tittle shall pass away from the law until all is fulfilled.”

In Christ I must save my soul by love, I must lose my life and find it that way. The law commands me to preserve my life for the glory of God. But love commands me to lose my life for the glory of God. When in Christ I have overcome all the desires that I know in me, so that I am not clinging to anything but am loose and free and alone, then I will be fearless and have nothing to lose and know what I want. . I am, I, transcendent, inward, eternal.

The Christian commandment "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" is a more indirect and moving, more emotional form of the Greek commandment "Know thyself". This is what Christianity says indirectly: "Know thyself, and so every man will know himself."

Well, in the law no one must recognize himself except in the law. And the law is the immediate law of the body. And every human being's need to know himself in order to achieve his own perfection is satisfied and fulfilled in the body. God, Almighty God, is the Father, and in fatherhood man draws near to Him. In the act of loving, in the act of witnessing, man is with God and from God. Such is the law. And no other god will be conceived. This is the great hindrance.

That's the old religious leap down, absolutely, even if it's not a direct statement. It's the law. But Christ finally explained that in the act of physical love, in the procreation of children, man does not necessarily know himself, does not become like God, nor satisfies his deep and innate longing to BE. The physical act of making love can be an utter disappointment, nothing, and fatherhood can be the least meaningful attribute for a man. And physical love can fail completely, it can turn out to be sterile, nothing. Is a man then deceived and his deepest desire played a joke on him?

There is a law, alongside the known law there is a new commandment. there is love A man will find his perfection in the crucifixion of the body and the resurrection of the spirit.

Christ, the bridegroom, or the bride, whatever it may be, awaits the longing soul that will seek him, and in him all men will find their fulfillment after their new birth. It's the new law; the old law is repealed.

"This is my body, take it and eat it," says Christ at Communion, the ritual that represents consummation. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

For every man there is the bride, for every woman there is the bridegroom, for all there is the Mystical Marriage. It's the new law. In the mystical embrace of Christ, every human being finds fulfillment and relief, every human being becomes himself, a male individual, tried, tried, complete and content. In the mystical embrace of Christ, every human being must say: "I am myself and Christ is Christ"; every woman will be proud and content and will say, "Enough."

Thus, through the New Law, man must satisfy his deepest desire. “You must die in the body as I died on the cross,” says Christ, “that you may have eternal life.” But that is a real contradiction to the Old Law, which says, “In the physical life we ​​are one with the Father". The Old Law commands us to live: It is the old and original commandment that we are to live in the law and not die. So the new Christian preaching of the crucified Christ is actually against the law. “And when you are physically dead you will be one with the spirit, you will know the bride and be made perfect in spirit in her embrace,” the Christian commandment continues.

It's a broader interpretation of the law, but it's also a violation of the law. For according to the law man must not in any way hurt, deny, or profane his living fleshly body, which is the Father's. Although Christ gave the Holy Spirit, the Comforter; though he bowed before his father; though he said that no man should be forgiven for denying the Holy Spirit, the reconciler between the Father and the Son; but the son has denied the father, must he deny the father?

"You are my spirit, in the spirit you know me, and in the marriage of the spirit I am well pleased with you," said the son.

And it is the unpardonable sin to declare that these two are contradictions to each other, even though they are contradictions. Between them the Holy Spirit is bound as reconciliation, and whoever speaks evil against the Holy Spirit will not find forgiveness.

So Christ, armed against the Father, excused himself and bowed down to the Father. However, man must insist on one thing or the other: either he must adhere to the Son or to the Father. And since the Renaissance the northern races, disappointed in the flesh, have sought perfection in love; and they denied the father.

The greatest and deepest human desire for perfection, for self-knowledge, has sought another satisfaction. In love, in the act of loving, what is mixed in me becomes pure, the feminine in me is given to the feminine, the masculine in her attracts me? I am complete, I am purely male, she is purely female; we enjoy perfect contact, naked and clear, individualized upon ourselves, and unparalleled freedom. We no longer see darkly through glass. For she is she and I am I, and by clinging to her I know how perfect she is not me, how perfect I am not her, how perfect we two are, light and dark, and how infinite and eternal incomprehensible to no one ... of us is the one who overcomes us. But of this one thing, of this incomprehensible, we have an idea that satisfies us.

And through Christ Jesus I know that when I overcome the impurity of the flesh I will find my bride. When the flesh in me is taken away I'll embrace the bride and know how I'm known.

But why the schism? Why would the Father say, "You shall have no other god before me"? Why is the Lord our God a jealous God? When the body fails me, why do I still have to abide by the law and extol it as the perfect abstraction, like Raphael did, proclaiming it the absolute? Why must I be imprisoned in the flesh like Michelangelo until I must stop the voice of my screaming and settle for a little where I wanted completeness?

On the other hand, why should I lose my life to save it? Why do I have to die before I can be reborn? Can't I be born again except from my own ashes, except in the resurrection of the dead? Why must I deny the Father to love the Son? Why aren't they gods to me like we always profess they are?

It is time to end the schism so that man will stop contrasting father with son and son with father. It is time for the Protestant Church, the Church of the Son, to become one again with the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of the Father. It is time that man stopped living first in the flesh with joy, and then, dissatisfied, renounced the flesh and mortified it, declaring that only the Spirit exists, that Christ is God.

If a man finds incomplete satisfaction in the body, why should he renounce the body and say it is of the devil? And why should a man say in the beginning, "The body, that is all, and the perfection that is perfected in the flesh, for me."

Does it always have to be that a person begins with passion worship and love blindness and ends with a strict love commandment and passion renunciation?

Doesn't a young man now know that he wants the body as a middle ground, that completion is the completion of body and mind?

How can a person say, "I am this body" when tomorrow he will want beyond the body? And how can a man say, "I am that spirit," when his own mouth belies the words that he forms?

Why is a race like the Italian basically melancholy, apart from having circumscribed its completion in the body? And the Jewish race has now become almost empty for the same reason, with an abyss of emptiness and misery in their eyes.

And why is the English race neutral, indifferent, like a thing fleeing life, except that it said so emphatically, "I am that spirit. This body, not I, is unworthy”? The body eventually begins to atrophy and deteriorate. But before you submit, half the life of the English race must be a lie. The life of the body denied by supposed attachment to the spirit must be something apostate, corrupt, ugly.

Why should worship of the Son go with denial of the Father?

Since the Renaissance, northern humanity has sought perfection in spirit, seeking the feminine separate from woman. “I am I and the mind is the mind; in spirit I am myself”, and that has been an expression of our art since Raphael.

There was the dissolution of the ever-evolving form, the dissolution of the solid body into spirit. He began to break up the clear outlines of the object, to seek more unity, not just between body and body, not the perfect and stable unity of body with body, not the complete completeness and realization of the architectural form with its recurring cycles, but marriage between body and mind or between mind and soul.

It is no longer the Catholic jubilation "God is God", but the Christian proclamation: "Light has come into the world". There is no longer a man to be obeyed, but to die and be born again; he must close his eyes to his own immediate desires and receive perfect light in the darkness. He must know himself in spirit, he must follow Christ to the cross and rise again in the light of life.

And in this light of life he will see his Bride, he will accept her completion and fulfillment and reach her completion. “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh forgets nothing; the words I speak to you are spirit and they are life”.

And although Jesus constantly claims in the Gospel, especially according to John, that the Father sent him and that he is from the Father, there is always the spirit of hostility towards the Father.

"And it came to pass, as he was speaking these things, that a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice and said to him, 'Blessed is the womb that gave birth to you, and the breasts that you suckled.'

"But he said, Yes, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it."

And the woman who heard this knew that she was being denied the honor of her body and the blessing of her breasts taken away.

Again He said: “And there are those who were born eunuchs, and there are those who were castrated by men, and there are eunuchs who castrated themselves for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can receive, shall receive.” But before the father the eunuch is dishonest, and even the childless person has no honor.

So the spirit of Jesus is antagonistic to the spirit of the Father. And St. John reinforces this antagonism. But in St. John the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit is constantly insisted on.

Since the Renaissance there has been a struggle for light and flight from flesh, from the body, from the object. And sometimes there was antagonism with the Father, sometimes reconciliation with Him. In the painting, the Spirit, the Word, love, everything that John represented appeared as light. Light is the constant symbol of Christ in the New Testament. It is the light, the very light of the sun or the luminous quality of the day, which penetrates more and more into the defined body, merging the outlines, absorbing the concrete reality, making a marriage, an embrace between the two things, light and object.

With Rembrandt there is the first great proof of this, the new interpretation of the commandment "Know thyself". It's more than Milton's "Hail, Santa Luz!" It is the declaration that light is our basis of existence, that where light meets our darkness we are: that I am only the point where light and darkness meet and collide.

There is a new concept of life now, a whole new concept of duality, of dual existence, light and dark, object and mind dual and almost hostile.

The old desire for movement around a center of rest, for stability, is gone and in its place comes the desire for pure surroundings, pure spirit of change, free from all laws and conditions of being.

From now on there are two things and not one. But there is again a journey to a thing. There is no longer the one God who contains us all and in whom we live and move and exist and to whom our every movement belongs. I am no longer the father's son, the brother of all men. I am no longer a part of the great body of God as all human beings are a part of it. I am no longer complete in the body of God, identified with him and divine in the act of marriage.

The design has changed completely. There is Spirit and there is myself. I exist in contact with Spirit, but I am not Spirit. I am someone else, I am myself. Now I have become a human being, I am no longer the father's son. I'm a man. And there are many men. And the father lost his importance. We are several, several people, we have only one hope, one desire, one bride, one spirit.

Finally, man insists on his own separate self, insisting that he has a distinct and invincible being that separates even from Spirit, that exists beyond Spirit and that seeks connection with Spirit.

And he must study himself and marvel in the light of the spirit, he must become lyrical: but above all he must glorify the spirit. Because this is the bride. So Rembrandt paints his own portrait again and again, sees it again and again in the light.

He has no hatred of the flesh. That he was not made perfect in the flesh, even in bodily marriage, is inevitable. But he is physically married and his wife is physically with him, he loves her body which she has given him completely and he loves her body which is not himself but which he has come to know. He met and rejoiced with the earthly bride, he will always cling to her. But there is the spirit beyond her: there is his desire that transcends her, there is the bride he still longs for and woos. And he knows that's the mind, not the body. And he paints her like the light. And he paints himself in the light. Because he has a deep desire to recognize himself in the embrace of the spirit. For he does not know himself, he is never finished.

In the Old Law fulfilled in him he is not appeased, he must transcend the law. The woman is embraced, raptured and carried away, the male spirit, passing half-satisfied, must seek a new bride, another accomplishment. Because for him there is no bride on earth.

For Dürer, the whole earth was like an unknown and incomplete bride that offered him satisfaction. And he searched the earth endlessly, as a man seeks a bride to surpass him. It was everything: the bride.

But for Rembrandt the bride could not be found, he had to react to himself, he had to seek his own perfection within himself. There was the light, the spirit, the bridegroom. But when Rembrandt searched for the complete bride, for her own perfection, he knew she would not be found, he knew she did not concretely exist. He knew, as Michelangelo knew, that there was no woman in the world who could satisfy him, be his mate. He must seek the Bride beyond the physical woman; he must seek the great feminine principle in an abstraction.

But the abstraction was not a geometric abstraction created from knowledge, a state of absolute memory that made the absolute the perfection it had been, like Raphael. It was the desired unknown, the good unknown, the spirit, the light. And with this light, Rembrandt even has to seek the marriage of the body. Everything he has done is nearing completion, but he can never realize it. He always paints Faith, Faith, Hope; never Raphael's terrible, dead certainty.

For Dürer every moment of his existence was busy. He existed in the Bride's embrace, an embrace he could never comprehend or exhaust.

Raphael knew and outraged the bride, but he responded, obsessed with the consummation that had taken place.

For Rembrandt, the woman was only the first contact with the bride. From the woman he neither received nor expected complete satisfaction. He knew he should go beyond the woman. But though the flesh could not find its perfection, yet he did not deny the flesh. He was an artist, and no artist could ever blaspheme the Holy Spirit, the Reconciler, in his art. Only a dogmatist can do that. Rembrandt did not deny the flesh as so many artists try to do. He passed from her to the fuller knowledge of the Bride, in true progress. What Rembrandt makes wonderfully beautiful.

But like Michelangelo, who possesses the flesh, and a North Christian who seeks personal salvation, personal fulfillment in the flesh, how a Christian feels with us when he receives the sacrament and hears the words, "This is my body, take and eat" Rembrandt longed to marry the flesh and the spirit, to attain perfection in the flesh through marriage with the spirit.

What is the great confusion of the north. For the flesh is of the flesh, and the Spirit of the Spirit, and they are two, as the Father and the Son are two, and not one.

Raphael imagined the two as one, thereby abolishing time. Michelangelo would have created wedding meat to please himself. Rembrandt would have married his own flesh to Spirit, would have received the consummate kiss of light on his fleshly cheek.

What a mess. For the father cannot know the son, nor the son the father. Thus, with Rembrandt, the marriage is always imperfect, the embrace never closed or completed, as with Botticelli or Raphael or Michelangelo. There is an eternal non-marriage between the flesh and the spirit. they are two; they are never two-in-one. So that with Rembrandt there is never a complete marriage between light and body. They are contiguous, never.

That was the confusion and error of the northern countries, but especially of Germany, this desire to couple the spirit to the flesh, the flesh to the spirit. Spirit can mate with spirit and flesh with flesh, and the two mates can be separate, flesh with flesh or spirit with spirit. But trying to connect flesh with spirit leads to confusion.

The bride I marry with my body may or may not be the bride I find my fulfillment in. It may be that at times the great feminine principle does not abide abundantly in woman: that at certain times in the body woman is not the supreme representative of the bride. It may be that the Bride is hidden from man, like the light or like the darkness he can never know in the flesh.

It may just as well be that the great masculine principle is only dimly expressed in man at certain times, that the bridegroom is hidden from woman for a century or more, and that she can only find him as the voice or the wind. I believe it was with her in the Middle Ages; that the greatest women of the time knew that the Bridegroom did not exist for them in the body, but as the Christ, the Spirit.

And in times of the Bridegroom's absence from the body, the woman in the body must either die in the body or copulate in the body with the Bridegroom in the spirit in a separate marriage. She cannot pair her body with the mind, nor her mind with the body. This is confusion. Let her marry the man in body and his spirit in spirit in a separate marriage. But don't let her try to mate her mind with the man's body, it doesn't mate with her mind.

The effort to pair mind with body, body with mind, is the glaring confusion and pain of our time.

Rembrandt made the first attempt. But art has since developed a clarity. It culminated in our own Turner. He did not seek to pair the body with the mind. He connected to his body easily, he didn't deny it. But what he sought was the mating of the spirit. He always sought perfection in the spirit and finally attained it. He always sought the light for the light to permeate the body, until the body was taken, a mere smudge of blood became a reddish smudge of red sunlight in white sunlight. This was the perfect accomplishment in Turner when, bodyless, reddish light meets crystalline light in perfect merging, the absolute dawn, the absolute golden sunset, the end of all life where all is one, unique, a perfect and brilliant unity .

Like Raphael, it becomes an abstraction. But this is in Turner the abstraction of spiritual marriage and consummation, the ultimate transcendence of all laws, the realization of what is almost nothing to us. If Turner had painted his last picture, it would have been an incandescent expanse, the same whiteness when he finished and when he began, from nothing to nothing, throughout the gamut of colors.

Turner is perfect. A picture like Norham Castle, Sunrise, where only the faintest shadow of life stains the light, is the last word that can be uttered... before the burning, timeless stillness.

He sought and found the perfect marriage in spirit. He was separated from his wife. His bride was the light. Or he was the bride herself and the light - the bridegroom. Anyway, he became one and perfected with the light and gave us the perfect revelation.

Also Corot, closer to the Latin tradition of total completion in the body, made a wonderful connection between light and darkness in the spirit, only with a touch of life. But it contained more of the two accomplishments together, the marriage in body represented in geometric form, and the marriage in spirit represented by the shimmering transfusion and infusion of light through darkness.

But Turner is the crisis in this endeavor: he achieves pure, pure, singing light. In him perfection is perfect, marriage perfect in spirit.

Physically, their marriage was different. He never tried to mix the two. Marriage in the body, with the woman, was separated, consummated outside of marriage in the spirit, with the Bride, the Light.

But I cannot look at a later Turner painting without abstracting, without denying that I have limbs and knees and thighs and breasts. When I look at Norham Castle and remember my own knees and my own chest, the picture means nothing to me. I must not know. And when I look at Raphael's Madonna degli Ansidei, I am separated from my future, from my aspirations. The gate is closed in front of me, I can go no further. Turner's thought of sunrise becomes magical and intriguing, contradicting this complete symbol. I know that I am the other too.

So whenever art or any expression becomes perfect, it becomes a lie. For it is only perfect through the abstraction of that context through which and in which it exists as truth.

So Turner is a lie, and Raphael is a lie, and marriage in spirit is a lie, and marriage in body is a lie, each is a lie without the other. Since in these cases each excludes the other, both are lies. If they were brought together and reconciled, there would be a jubilee. But where is the Holy Spirit who will reconcile Raphael and Turner?

There must be a marriage of body to body and mind to mind and two to one. And physical marriage must not deny spiritual marriage, for that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; and marriage in the spirit will not deny marriage in the body, for that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But the two must be reconciled forever, even if they exist from each other on different occasions.

For in Botticelli the double marriage is perfect or almost perfect, body and mind reconciled or almost reconciled in a perfect double perfection. And in all art there is testimony to the wonderful double marriage, the true consummation. But in Raphael marriage is so neglected in spirit that it is almost denied, so that the picture is almost a lie, almost a blasphemy. And in the case of Turner, physical marriage is refused almost as much, so that his image is downright blasphemous. But neither in Raphael nor in Turner is the negation positive: it is just an exaggeration of the one to the detriment of the other.

But with some men, with some little men, like bishops, bodily denial of marriage is positive and blasphemous, a sin against the Holy Spirit. And for some men, such as B. Prussian army officers, the denial of marriage is a blasphemy in spirit. But which of the two is the greater sinner, who works better for the destruction of his neighbor, that is for a God to judge.


for our sheep

What is most fascinating about all artists is this antinomy between law and love, between flesh and spirit, between father and son.

For the moralist it is easy. He can insist on whatever aspect of law or love stands in the immediate line of development for his age, and he can severely and severely exclude or suppress all others.

So that all morale is of temporary value, useful in time. But art must give deeper satisfaction. It should play fair in every way.

However, every work of art adheres to a certain moral system. But if it is truly a work of art, it must contain the essential critique of the morality to which it adheres. And hence the antinomy, hence the conflict necessary for every tragic conception.

The extent to which a work of art's moral system or metaphysics within the work of art is exposed to criticism determines that work's enduring value and satisfaction. Aeschylus, who has grasped the oriental idea of ​​love and uses this new idea to correct the enormous Greek legal conception, produces the intoxicating satisfaction of the Oresta trilogy. Law and love are the two-in-one here in all its glory. But Euripides, with his pursuit of love, the supreme love, and his quasi-hatred of the law, the law triumphant but the nearest basis of perdition, is less satisfying, if only for the fact that he loved love always and yet so holds high so it must last. the dissatisfaction of seeing love continually transcended and overthrown. This is how he completes his tragedy: what is superior is forever overthrown by what is inferior. And this injustice in the use of terms, higher and lower, but above all the injustice in showing the love that is always hurt and suffered, never exalted and triumphant, finally makes us doubt Euripides. Because we have to bring compassion, we have to admit that love is fundamentally at a disadvantage before the law and therefore can never assert itself. What a weak philosophy.

If Aeschylus has a metaphysics for his art, that metaphysics is that love and law are two, eternally in conflict and eternally reconciled. This is the tragic meaning of Aeschylus.

But the metaphysics of Euripides holds that law and love are two eternally conflicted and unequally related, so that love must always be suppressed. In love man will only suffer. There is also a reconciliation, otherwise Euripides wouldn't be so great. But there is always the unjust marriage, this determination is insisted on, which leads to the person remaining cold and incredulous.

The moments of pure satisfaction appear in the choruses, in the pure lyrics, when love places itself in a true relationship with the law, detached from knowledge, transcending knowledge, transcending metaphysics, where the pursuit of love requires the recognition of the law in a Marriage finds completion, for now.

Where Euripides sticks to his metaphysics, he is unsatisfactory. Where he transcends his metaphysics, he gives the supreme balance where we know satisfaction.

Clinging to a metaphysics does not necessarily give an artistic form. Indeed, a strong adherence to metaphysics usually destroys any possibility of artistic form. The artistic form is a revelation of the two principles of love and law in a state of conflict but reconciled: pure movement struggling against the spirit and yet reconciled: active force, the encounter and overcoming, but not overcoming, inertia. It's the connection between the two that creates the shape. And since both have to meet again and again under new conditions, the form always has to be different. Each work of art has its own form that is not related to any other form. When a young painter studies an old master, he does not study the form, which is an abstraction that does not exist: he may study the method of the old great artist: but he studies mainly to understand how the old great artist in suffered himself. the conflict of love and law and brought them to a reconciliation. Apart from the artistic method, the young man does not study the art, but the state of mind of the great old artist, so that he, the young artist, can understand his own soul and achieve a reconciliation between striving and resistance.

It is most wonderful in poetry, this sense of conflict contained in a reconciliation:

Greetings to you, joyful spirit!

bird you never were, that of the sky or close to it,

Pour your whole heart out in luscious melodies of unintentional art.

What Shelley means is that the lark is a pure and unhindered spirit, a pure movement. But the "bird you never were" himself admits that the lark is actually a bird, a concrete, momentary thing. If the line said, "bird, you never are," that would ruin everything. Shelley is about to say the music was poured from heaven: but "or close," he admits. There is the perfect relationship between heaven and earth. And the last line is the trembling sound of a lark singing, the true two-in-one.

The adherence to rhymes and regular rhythms is itself a concession to the law, a concession to the body, to being and to the demands of the body. They are an acknowledgment of the living, positive inertia that is the other half of life beyond the mere will to move. In this consummation they are the resistance and response of the Bride in the Bridegroom's arms. And the closer the bride and groom come, the finer and more indistinguishable is the reaction and resistance, the more in this accomplishing act is the motion of two-in-one, indistinguishable from each other, and not the motion of two awkwardly joined together .

So much so that in Swinburne, where almost everything is a concession to the body, so that poetry becomes almost a sensation rather than an experience or accomplishment, justifying Spinoza's 'Amor est titillatio, concomitante idea causae externae' we find constant clinging to the body, to the rose, to the flesh, to the physical in everything, to the sea, to the swamps; there is an imbalance in favor of the Highest Law; Love is not love but passion, part of the law; there is no love, there is only the highest law. And the poet sings the Supreme Law to rebalance himself, for he always hovers on the brink of death, of nonbeing, he is always beyond the reach of the law, bodyless, in the weakness of love that triumphed and destroyed . they denied the law in the terror of an overdeveloped and oversensitive soul always on the point of detaching itself from the body.

But he is not divided against himself. The novelists and playwrights have the most difficult task of reconciling their metaphysics, their theory of being and epistemology, with their living sense of being. Because a novel is a microcosm, and because man, when contemplating the universe, must see it in the light of a theory, every novel must have the background or structural skeleton of a theory of being, a metaphysics. But metaphysics must always serve an artistic purpose that transcends the artist's conscious aim. Otherwise the novel becomes a treatise.

And the danger is that a person becomes metaphysical in order to excuse or cover up their own faults or shortcomings. In fact, a sense of guilt or failure is the usual reason a person becomes a metaphysician to justify themselves.

Then, having made himself a metaphysic of self-justification or a metaphysic of self-denial, the novelist applies the world to them instead of applying it to the world.

Tolstoy is a striking example of this. Probably because of the debauchery of his youth, being disgusted with his own flesh, whether through excesses or through prostitution, Tolstoy later renounced the flesh altogether in his metaphysics when he tried to obtain full marriage and failed in the flesh. But above all Tolstoy was a child of the law, he belonged to his father. He had wonderful sensory understanding and very little mental clarity.

So that in his metaphysics he had to deny himself, his own nature, in order to avoid his own disgust at what he had done to himself and the admission of his own failure.

Which made the whole later part of his life a blatant lie and shame. Reading Tolstoy's memoirs one can only be ashamed of how Tolstoy, with vehement cowardice, denied everything great about him. He humbled himself infinitely, committing much more perjury than Peter when he denied Christ. Peter repents. But Tolstoy denied the father and propagated a great system of his denial, elaborating on his own weakness and blaspheming his own strength. "What are the difficulties in writing about how an officer fell in love with a married woman?" he used to say of his Anna Karenina; "there is no difficulty in that, and above all no good."

Being the Father's mouthpiece in enunciating the law of passion, he said there was no difficulty in it because it was natural to him. Christ could easily have said that there is no difficulty and no good in the parable of the sower because it emanated effortlessly from him.

And Thomas Hardy's metaphysics is something like Tolstoy's. "There is no reconciliation between love and law," says Hardy. "The spirit of love must always be subject to the blind, foolish, but overwhelming power of the law."

Already in The Return of the Native he came to this theory to explain his own sense of failure. But before that, he had an arrogant theoretical antagonism to the law from the start. "The physical, corporeal is weak, despicable, bad," he said at the outset. He portrayed his meaty heroes as villains, but very weak, stray villains. At its worst, the law is weak and cowardly sensuality; at best it is passive inertia. It's the gap in the armor, it's the hole in the foundation.

Such metaphysics is almost silly. If it weren't for the fact that man is much stronger in feeling than in thinking, the Wessex novels would be sheer nonsense, because in parts they are. The bem-amado is pure nonsense, nonsense as is a good part of the notion of dynasties.

But Hardy should not be viewed as a metaphysician. Then he cuts a bad figure. For nothing in his work is so pathetic as his clumsy efforts to reconcile events with his theory of being and to wreak havoc on those who represent the principle of love. He does this extremely badly and because of this effort his form is extremely despicable.

His feeling, his instinct, his sensuous mind, however, goes beyond his metaphysics, very large and deep, deeper than perhaps that of any other English novelist. Apart from his metaphysics, which must always apply when he thinks of people and turns to the earth, to the landscape, then he is true to himself.

He must always start from the earth, from the great source of law, and his people move almost insignificantly in his landscape, something like domesticated animals in the wild. The earth is the manifestation of the Father, the Creator who created us in law. God still speaks loudly in His works, both to Job and Hardy, exceeding human imagination and human law. "Do you know the balance of the clouds, the wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge? How warm is your robe when he stills the earth with the south wind? Did you stretch out the strong sky with him?”

That's Hardy's true attitude - "With God is awful majesty." Epistemology, the metaphysics of man, is much smaller than man himself. So with Tolstoy.

"Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock give birth? Or can you score when the deer stop? Can you count the months they serve? Or do you know the time of birth? They bend, they give birth to their children, they drive away their pains. Her children are tasty, they grow with corn; they go and do not return to them.

There's a lot of that in Hardy. But there's more to Hardy than the concept of Job protesting his integrity. Job says at the end: “Therefore I said that I did not understand; Things that are too wonderful for me, that I didn't know.

“I have heard of you by ear; but now my eyes see you

"Therefore I despise myself and repent to dust and ashes."

But Judas ends where Job began, cursing the day and services of his birth, cursing so much the act of the Lord "that produced him in the womb."

It's the same cry in Hardy, that curse about being born in the flesh, and that unconscious clinging to the flesh. The instincts, the physical passions, are strong and sudden in all of Hardy's men. They are very strong and sudden. They throw Jude into Arabella's arms years after they met Sue and against their own will.

Because every man includes man and woman in his being, whereby the masculine always strives for dominance. A woman also consists of man and woman, with the woman predominating.

And a strongly masculine man tends to deny, to refute the feminine in him. A real "man" doesn't care about his body, which is the most feminine part of him. He sees himself only as an instrument used in the service of an idea.

The real woman, on the other hand, will feel eternally superior to any idea, she will consider full life in the body as true happiness. The masculine exists in doing, the feminine in being. The man lives in the gratification of an end achieved, the woman in the gratification of an end denied.

With Aeschylus, with the Eumenides, there is Apollo, Loxias, the cod of the sun, the prophet, the man: There are the Erinyes, daughters of the original Mother of the Night, who here represent the woman, who in vengeance for a crime against the flesh is risen ; and there is Pallas, the unbegotten daughter of Zeus, who is like the Holy Spirit in the Christian religion, the spirit of wisdom.

Orestes is commanded by the male god Apollo to avenge his mother's murder of his father Agamemnon: that is, the man murdered by the woman must be avenged by the man. But Orestes is his mother's son. He is intrinsically female. So the conscience within himself, the madness, the hurt part of himself, his own body, drives him to the furies. On the male side, he's right; wrong with the woman. But peace is finally given by Pallas, the arbiter, the spirit of wisdom.

And though in his conscience Aeschylus makes the Furies terrible and Apollo great, yet in himself and indeed makes the Furies wonderful and noble with their mighty hymns, and makes Apollo mean, boastful, sixth-class, and garrulous. Clytemnestra too, wherever she appears, is wonderful and noble. Her sin is the sin of pride: she was the first to be wounded. Next to her, Agamemnon is a weak thing.

So Aeschylus still holds fast to the law, the right, the Creator who created man in His image and His law. He still doesn't believe what he's learned about love.

Hardy has the same belief in the law, but imagining his own understanding, which cannot understand the law, says the law is nothing, a blind confusion.

And in the concept of understanding, he demeans and destroys both women and men, who would represent the ancient primal law, the great law of the womb, the original feminine principle. The feminine will not exist. Where it shows up, it's a criminal tendency to be eradicated.

That's Manston, Troy, Boldwood, Eustacia, Wildeve, Henchard, Tess, Jude, everyone. Recognized women are not actually female. They are passive subjects for the masculine, the echo of the masculine. As in the Christian religion, the worship of the Virgin is not true female worship, but the worship of woman as she is passive and subordinate to man. Hence the sadness of Botticelli's Virgins.

So Tess does not present herself as something positive, all-purpose, but as a docile complement to the man. The feminine in her grew sluggish. Then Alec d'Urberville appears and has her. From the man who takes her, Tess expects her own completion, the singularization of herself, the addition of the male complement. She is of ancient lineage and has the aristocratic quality of respect for another being. She does not see the other person as an extension of herself, existing in a universe of which she is the center and pivot. She knows that other people are outside of her. In this she is an aristocrat. And from this attitude toward the other person came his passivity. It's not the same passive quality as other little heroines, like the girl in The Woodlanders who is passive because she's small.

Tess is passive out of self-acceptance, a truly aristocratic trait that borders on indifference. She knows she's controversial, and she knows other people aren't herself. This is a very rare quality even in a woman. And in such an unequal civilization, it's almost a weakness.

Tess never tries to change or change or change or change or deviate from anyone. What someone else decides is your decision. She fully respects each other's right to be. She is always herself.

But others don't respect your right to be. Alec d'Urberville sees her as the embodied fulfillment of his own desire: something that belongs to him. She cannot, in his mind, exist apart from him or be separate from his essence. For she is the embodiment of your desire.

It's very natural and common in men, this attitude towards the world. But with Alec d'Urberville, this only applies to the woman of his desire. He only cares about her. Such a male clings to the female like a parasite.

It is a masculine quality to dissolve a purpose for its attainment. It is the male quality to seek the driving force in the woman and to bring it to fruition; receive an impulse in your senses and express it.

Alec d'Urberville doesn't do that. He's quite manly in his own way; but only physically male. He is inherently hostile to the principle of self-submission inherent in every human being. It is this principle that drives a man, a real man, to do his job, no matter what the cost. A man is strictly himself only when he fulfills a purpose that he has thought up: the principle is therefore not that of self-subordination, but that of continuity, of development. Only when it is insisted on, as in Christianity, does it become self-sacrifice. And this resistance to Alec d'Urberville's self-sacrifice does not make him an individualist, an egoist, but a non-individual, an incomplete, almost fragmentary thing.

There seems to be an inherent antagonism in d'Urberville to progress itself. However, he tries with all his might to find the source of the stimulus in the woman. He takes the woman's deep thrust. In this he is exceptional. No ordinary man could really have betrayed Tess. Even if she had had an illegitimate child with another man, like Angel Clare, it wouldn't have shaken her as much as her liaison with Alec d'Urberville. For Alec d'Urberville could reach and draw from some of the true sources of the feminine in a woman. Troy could do that too. And as a woman instinctively knows, such men are rare. Hence they have power over a woman. They draw from the depths of your being.

And they reveal what they draw. In a natural man, what he draws from the source of the feminine, the impulse he receives from the source, he transmits through his own being in language, movement, action and expression. But Troy and Alec d'Urberville knew what they received only as sense gratification; some perverse will prevented her from submitting to her, from becoming an instrument for her.

Because of this, Tess was destroyed by Alec d'Urberville and she ended up murdering him. The murder is badly done, the book is utterly spoiled, by the author's way of thinking, by the weak but stubborn theory of being. But the murder is true, the whole book is true in conception.

Angel Clare has the opposite characteristics of Alec d'Urberville. For the latter, the woman herself is the only part of him that he recognizes: the body, the senses, what he shares with the woman, what the woman shares with him. For Angel Clare, woman herself is despicable, the body, the senses, what it shares with a woman is degraded. What he really wants is to receive the female impulse in other ways than through the body. But his thinking led him to criticize Christianity, his deepest instinct forbade him to deny his body any longer, an impasse in his being that denied him any purpose, so he took it in hand out of sheer impotence at it had to work to solve it. reluctantly he even takes it to his wife. But he is only allowed to see her as the female principle, he cannot bear to see her as the woman in the body. He considers her humiliated. To marry her, to enter into physical marriage with her, he must overcome all his ascetic disgust, he must cast off in his own spirit his own divinity, his pure masculinity, his uniqueness, his pure completeness, and descend into a hearty mess of the flesh . He hates it. But his body, his life, is too strong for him.

Who is he to be purely male and to deny the existence of woman? That is the question the Creator asks you. Is the masculine then the exclusive whole of life? - is it really the highest or highest part of life? The angel Clara thinks like Christ thought.

However, this is not the case, as even the angel Klara has to find out. Life means two-in-one, male and female. No part is bigger than the other.

It's not Angel Clare's fault that he can't go to see Tess when he finds out he says she's contracted it. It is the result of generations of ultra-Christian upbringing that left him with an innate dislike of women and everything that belonged to women in him. What he understood as woman in his Christian sense was only the servant and steward of the human spirit. Little did he know there was a positive woman like the feminine, another great living principle that balances his own masculine principle. He imagined the world as consisting of the One, the male principle.

This idea was already gendered by Botticelli, hence the melancholy of the Virgin. This conception reached its climax in Turner's paintings, which were entirely disembodied; and also in the great scientists or thinkers of the last generation, even Darwin, Spencer and Huxley. For the latter conceived the evolution of a spirit or principle that begins at the end of time and alone traverses time. But there is not one principle, there are two, always moving towards each other, each step of each narrowing the distance between the two. And the space that scared Herbert Spencer so much is like a bride to us. And the cry of man does not echo in the void. That sounds like the woman we don't know.

Tess knew that subconsciously. She was an aristocrat, developed over generations to believe in her own self-determination. She could help, but she couldn't be helped. She could give, but she could not receive. She could grant the other person's wishes, but no other person but another aristocrat - and there are few - anything like another aristocrat - could grant her wishes, her deepest wishes.

Thus only the aristocrat has a real and living feeling for the "neighbor", for the other person; who has the habit of immersing himself, putting himself completely in front of others: because he expects nothing from the other. So now he has lost much of his initiative and exists almost in isolation, detached and without the common man's growing ego, having controlled his nature according to the other man, to the exclusion of him.

AncL Tess, who despised herself in the flesh, despised the deep woman she was because Alec d'Urberville had betrayed his own beloved source Angel Clare, who also despised and hated the flesh. She didn't hate d'Urberville. What a man did, he did, and when he did that to her, he was her guardian. She didn't see him as a human duty to her.

The same goes for Angel Clare and Alec d'Urberville. She was very grateful to him for saving her from her despair of contamination and her bewildering isolation. But when he accused her, she couldn't disagree or answer. For she had no claim to his kindness. She was left alone.

The woman was strong in her. She was herself. But she was out of place, totally out of her element and time. Hence his total confusion. That's why she was so overwhelmed. She was exhausted from the start, in her spirit. Because only by receiving from all our fellow human beings do we keep ourselves fresh and vital. Tess was herself, feminine, a woman by nature.

The feminine in her was untamed, unchanging, she was herself. But she was an intact reproduction of humanity for a long time. Although not related to her, Alec d'Urberville always had a kinship quality throughout the book. It was as if only a relative, an aristocrat, could approach her. And this to your downfall. Angel Clare would never have reached her. She would have given herself to him, but he would never have reached her. Required a physical aristocrat. She would have lived with her husband Clare in a state of devotion to him as if she were in a coma. Alec d'Urberville forced her to fulfill him and to fulfill herself. He approached her in a way Clare could never have done. So she murdered him. Because she was herself.

And just as aristocratic principle isolated Tess, it isolated Alec d'Urberville. For though Hardy consciously made the young traitor a commoner and a swindler, unconsciously, with the artist's supreme justice, he made him an equal of De Stancy, a true aristocrat, or like Fitzpiers or Troy. It didn't give him the weariness, the touch of exhaustion Hardy needed in an aristocrat. But he gave him the inner qualities.

Both men and women of ancient descent have nothing to do with humanity in general, they are highly personal.

For many generations they have been accustomed to regard their own desires as their own supreme laws. They were not bound by conventional morality: they transcended it by being a code to themselves. The other person has always been spectacularly present in your imagination. He always existed for her. But he always existed as something other than themselves.

Hence the inevitable isolation, detachment of the aristocrat. Their only goal for centuries has been to remain unbound. Eventually he finds himself naturally isolated.

So he must either forge his own path or he must fight to reunite with the mass of humanity. Either he must be an incomplete individualist, like de Stancy, or, like the famous Russian nobles, he must become a wild philanthropist and reformer.

For since the noble has gradually been stripped of all powers of government, and since by tradition and by innate inclination he has no other calling than government, how is he then to use this power which is within him and which is his due? ?

It is a perfect instrument because of its breed and long training. He knows, as every purebred creature knows, that his root and source is in his wife. He looks for the driving force in women. And having taken it, it has nothing to do with it, it cannot find any means in this democratic and plebeian age of translating it into action, expression, utterance. So there's a constant gnawing of dissatisfaction, a constant search for another woman, yet another woman. Because every time the impulse comes back, everything feels good.

It may also be that a certain fatigue makes the aristocrat useless, vicious, like a form of death. However, this is not required. You can feel good things gone wrong at Manston, Troy, Fitzpiers and Alec d'Urberville. As with Angel Clare, good things go wrong the other way.

There can never be one extreme of wrong without the other extreme. If there had never been the extravagant puritanical idea that the feminine principle should be denied, expelled from man's soul, that only the masculine principle, of abstraction, of good, of the common good, of community, was incarnated in "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," had it really existed, the utterly carefree type would never have emerged to say that only the feminine principle endures in man, that all abstraction, goodness, public exaltation, fellowship was a creeping cowardice, and so on further man lived on pleasure, through his senses, pleasure ending in his senses Or perhaps better, if the extreme cavalier type had never been produced, we wouldn't have the puritan, the extreme corrective.

One extreme breeds the other. It's inevitable that Angel Clare and Alec d'Urberville will mutually destroy the woman they both loved. Everyone does the utmost evil, so she gets destroyed.

The book is handled with very unsafe skill, spoiled and damaged. But it contains the elements of the greatest tragedy: Alec d'Urberville killing the male in himself as Clytemnestra symbolically killed Agamemnon for Orestes; Angel Clare, who slew the woman in himself, as Orestes slew Clytemnestra: and Tess, the woman, life destroyed by mechanical fate, in communal law.

There is no reconciliation. Tess, Angel Clare, Alec d'Urberville, they're all dead. For Angel Clare, though seemingly alive, is really just a mouth, a piece of paper like the ones Clym left behind while preaching.

There is no reconciliation, only death. And so Hardy really makes his case, which is by no means his consciously formulated metaphysics, but a statement of how man erred and brought death upon himself: how man broke the law, how he overcame himself, was gone . . so far in his manly vanity as to replace the Creator and receive death as his reward. Indeed, the works of overcoming our masculine zeal bring us greater salvation.

Jude's just upset, Tess. Instead of the heroine containing the two principles, male and female, in conflict in her one being, it is Jude who contains both, since with him the two women take the place of the two men for Tess. Arabella is Alec d'Urberville, Sue is Angel Clare. These represent the same pair of principles.

But first, again, Hardy is a terrible artist. Because he has to judge Alec d'Urberville for his personal beliefs, he portrays him as a vulgar schemer of boorish girls and a ridiculous convert to evangelism. But Alec d'Urberville is neither, according to the artist. He is a rare man in real life who searches and searches among women for such a character and such a feminine being as Tess. The average sensualist avoids such characters. They involve you very deeply. A common sensualist would be too common, too afraid, to turn to Tess. In a way, d'Urberville was his companion. And his subsequent passion for her is noble enough. But whatever his passion, as a man he must be a traitor, even if he was the most faithful husband in the world. He betrayed the feminine in a woman, took her, and responded with no masculine impulses of his own. He aroused her, but he never satisfied her. He could never satisfy her. It was like a mental illness with him: he was impotent in the strict sense, but not in the technical sense. But later he must have wanted not to be like that. But he couldn't help it. He was mentally impotent in love.

Arabella was the same. Like d'Urberville, she was converted by an evangelical preacher. It is significant in both. They weren't just superficial, as Hardy would have imagined.

In his personal attitude, however, he is more contemptuous of women than of men. “He insists she is a pig butcher's daughter; he insists that she drag Jude to slaughter pigs; it accentuates her fake tail of hair. That is not the point. That's just bad Hardy art. He himself, as an artist, manages to make this rudeness of the false hair on her almost insignificant throughout the painting of Arabella. But he has to take revenge on her personally for her rudeness, which offends him because he's a kind of Angel Clare.

The gluing and so on are not so important in the real picture. As for the fake tail of hair, few women dared to be so open and natural about it. In fact, few women dared to force Judas to marry. With Arabella it may have been a case of "fool's run". But she wasn't that stupid. And their motives are explained in the book. Life really isn't that easy to find a partner and get married. For Arabella, too, it is a topic that she has completely dedicated herself to. No waitress marries anyone, the first man she gets her hands on. She can not. It must be a personal thing for her. And no ordinary woman would want Jew. Besides, no ordinary woman could have touched Jude.

This is an absurd fallacy that a short man wants a woman taller and prettier than him. A man is only as great as his true desires. Let a man, seeing through his eyes a woman of strength and character, desire her for himself, then that man is naturally equal to that woman. And the same with a woman.

A rough and superficial woman does not want to marry a sensitive man with deep feelings. She doesn't desire him, she's not attracted to him, she's repelled because she knows he'll despise her. She wants a man who suits her: that is, if she is a young woman looking for a partner like Arabella was.

What a tired but still unsatisfied old woman or man wants is another matter. However, not even one of them will accept a young being with real character and superior strength. Instinct and fear hold you back.

Arabella was in all her disguise of lard and fake hair, and she spoke vulgarly, in a somewhat aristocratic manner. She, like Eustacia, was terribly lawless, even great. She believed in herself and was not influenced by any external opinion about herself. Her fault was pride. She considered herself the center of life, that everything that existed was hers as far as she wanted.

In this she was something like Job. His attitude was, "I'm strong and rich, and I'm a good man too." He gave according to his own generosity and felt no guilt. Arabella was almost the same. She, too, felt strong and voluptuous, arrogant in her mastery of life. She needed a supplement; and the closest thing to their satisfaction was Jew. Because just as she was a naturally strong woman dominating her annies and her friends from afar, so was he a strong man.

The difference between them was less a difference in quality or degree than a difference in form. Jude, like Tess, wanted total accomplishment. Arabella, like Alec d'Urberville, had something in her that resisted total accomplishment, she just wanted to enjoy contact with the man. She would not send.

There are two attitudes to love. A man in love with a woman also says, "I, the man, the man, am supreme, I am the only one, and the woman is administered to me, and this is her supreme function to be administered to me . " That was the conscious attitude of the Greeks. But their unconscious attitude was the opposite: they were really afraid of the feminine principle, their boast was empty, they had a deep, inner fear of it. Just like the Jews, just like the Italians. But after the Renaissance there was a change.Then began the conscious reverence for woman and an instinctive lack of reverence, just an instinctive pity.It is in harmony with the balance between the masculine and feminine principles.

The other attitude of a man in love, besides this "she is fed into my manhood", is: "She is the unknown, the undiscovered in which I lose myself in order to discover myself".

And what we call true love always has this last attitude.

The first attitude that goes with passion makes a man feel proud and great. It is a powerful stimulant for him, the feminine that is administered to him. He feels full of blood, he walks the earth like a lord. And this is the state Nietzsche strives for in his Will to Machl. That's what passionate nations want.

And beneath all of that, of course, there's the sense of dread and transition and the sadness of mortality. For cannot woman, as an independent force, withdraw and leave a man empty as ashes, as is so often seen in a Jew or Italian?

Again, this first attitude of male pride in receiving female guidance can and often does contain the woman's corresponding intense fear and awe of the unknown. Thus out of the male affirmation of old came full perfection; As always, it comes to completion.

But not always. Man can at all times keep the feeling of himself, the primary man receiving satisfaction. This constant reaction to yourself eventually dulls your senses and sensitivity, making you mechanical, automatic. He gradually becomes unable to obtain any satisfaction from the woman and becomes a vagabond who is just automatically lively and frantic when he knows it.

It is – or was – the tendency of Parisians to adopt this attitude towards love and intercourse. The woman has known herself all along as the main woman managed by the man. Then he becomes hard and tired on the outside and on the inside, exhausted. English women also tend to adopt this attitude. And it is above all this attitude of love that makes a race devitalized and sterile.

It's a pretty natural attitude to start with. Every young man should think that the highest honor he can do a woman is to receive from her her feminine stewardship of his masculine nature, while giving her the satisfaction of himself. But intimacy usually corrects it, love or use or marriage: a married man ceases to regard himself as the primary man: hence often his monotony. Unfortunately, in many cases he also fails to perceive a man's joy in contact with the unknown in a woman, giving him a sense of richness and oneness with all life, as if he is infinitely different by being part of life is rich. . Which is different than feeling the power to rule life. The will to power is a false feeling.

For a man who dares to look and venture into the unknown of woman loses himself, like a man who surrenders to the sea, or a man who enters a jungle and jungle feels,

when he comes back, the greatest joy in singing. This is indeed the joy of a male bird in his song, the incredible joy of returning from adventure into the unknown, rich in addition to his soul, rich in the knowledge of the absolute boundless depth and breadth of the unknown; the always flexible extension of the non-acquired, the unattainable; the inexhaustible riches lie under unknown skies over unknown seas, all the splendor that is and yet is unknown to any of us. And the knowledge of the reality that awaits me, the masculine, the knowledge of the call and struggle of all the unknown, limitless feminine to me, not yet embraced, for those men who will endlessly follow me, who will endlessly fight for me , beyond me, further into this call, unfulfilled expanse, stretched closer to the unknown, eager, penetrating woman.

It is in this feeling of all the glory unknown to me, all that stretches out its arms and chest for the inexhaustible embrace of all time, for me whose arms are outstretched, for this momentary embrace that gives me a foreshadowing the inexhaustible embrace that every man should have and desires. And whether he is a wanderer and vice, or young and virgin, that is the reason of every man's longing, for the embrace, for reaching into the unknown, for landing on the shore of the unknown half of the world, where the woman's wealth lies infront of us.

What applies to men also applies to women. If we turn our faces west, toward the dawn and the unknown in a wife's dark embrace, they turn their faces east, toward the sunrise and the bright, confusing, active embrace of a man. And just as we are stunned by the unknown in her, she is stunned by the unknown in us. And so. And we throw our joy in the sky like towers and spiers and fountains and leaping flowers, so happy are we.

But we are always divided within ourselves. am i not wonderful Isn't it gratifying to me when a stranger lands on my shores and delights in what he finds there? Shouldn't I appreciate it too? Shouldn't I enjoy the strange movement of the stranger, like a comfortable feeling of silk and warmth against me, moving unfamiliar fibers? Shouldn't I enjoy this pleasure without venturing into dangerous waters, losing myself, maybe destroying myself in search of the unknown? Shall I not stay at home, and as I feel the gentle swift breezes blowing over my body from the unknown, shall I not have rich enjoyment of myself?

And because they feared the unknown and because they wanted to retain the full gratification of self-pleasure, men kept their wives strictly enslaved. But when the men feared the unknown no more than they thought exhausted, they said: “There are no women; there are only daughters of men” – as we say now, as the Greeks tried to say. Hence the "virginal" conception of woman, the passive and dispassionate conception that progresses from Fielding's Amelia to Dickens' Agnes to Hardy's Sue.

While Arabella in Jude the Obscure has what one might call the selfish love instinct, Jude herself has the other, the altruistic one. She sees in him a man who can satisfy her. She takes it and is happy with it. What makes him a man. In Arabella's arms, he grows into a grown, independent man, aware that he has found and satisfied the feminine desire within him. That makes a man out of any youth. He turned out to be a male being initiated into the freedom of life.

But Arabella denied her purpose. She purposely refused to match him. Like Alec d'Urberville, from the beginning she had a resistance to any change within herself, to any evolution. She wanted to stay where she was, static, absorbing and draining every impulse she was getting from the man. Whereas in a normal woman the impulse received from the man leads her to a sense of joy, wonder and happy freedom in contact with the unknown, of which she becomes aware so that she exists in ecstasy on the edge of the unknown half. What condition do the authors want to represent in "Amelia" and "Agnes", but especially in the former; that Reynolds wants to portray in his pictures of women.

Arabella was hostile to all of this. It feels like a perversion about her, like she destroyed the stuff she was made of like Alec d'Urberville did. At the same time, she always remained unwaveringly feminine, never letting herself be carried away by male thoughts, but instead was responsible and fearless. It is easier to imagine such a woman out of desire than to meet her in real life. Because where there is a semi-criminal type, a frivolous and daring type like her on the periphery of society, they are still no Arabella. What kind of criminal or reckless little woman would want to marry Jude? Arabella wanted Jew. And it's obvious that she wasn't too rude to him as she didn't show any sophistication from the start. The woman in her, ruthless and uninhibited, was strong enough to drag him and her husband behind her to the end. What other woman could have done that? At the very least, this recognition should be for her great female strength of character. Her rudeness seems excessive to justify the moralist's case against her.

Jude could never hate her. She has done much for his true formation, to make him a grown man. She handed it to herself.

And there was a danger from the start that he would never become a man but would remain disembodied, suffocated by his idea of ​​learning. He was somewhat in Angel Clare's position. Not that generations of private training have rendered him almost rigid and paralyzed for women: but all his passion has been focused away from the woman to amplify in him the masculine impulse to expand consciousness. His family was difficult to marry. And that's because, while men were physically vigorous, with a passion for woman from which no moral education would deter them, like a plant tied to a branch and turned away, they at the same time had a total innate contempt for woman , just appreciation what it was male. So that they were sharply divided against themselves, with no outside support such as a moral system to hold on to.

Could it have been that Jew, monk, passionate, medieval, belonged to a woman, but anxious to distance himself from her, refusing to know her, denying a side of his being, holding on to his idea of ​​learning until he had been stunned. the physical impulse of his being and completely perverts it. Arabella brought it to her, gave it to herself, let it go, sounded like a physical man.

The fact that she was unwilling or unable to join her life with him for the fulfillment of any purpose was her misfortune. But in any case his aim was to become an Oxford professor, a routine purpose unrelated to his living body and for which probably no woman could have sided with him.

Undoubtedly, Arabella hated her books and her whole attitude towards her studies. What did he, passionately and emotionally, have to do with learning for the sake of learning, with mere academics? Every woman should know that it was ridiculous. But he persisted in the tenacity of all wickedness. And she, something of an aristocrat like Tess, felt she had no right to him, no right to get anything from him except his sex, which she felt she gave and didn't receive as she imagined herself . as the primary woman, as the one who bestowed upon him her greatest benefit by taking man, she left him alone. Her attitude was that if he looked for her, he would find anything he wanted. She was busy with herself. Not that she wanted him. She wanted to feel in touch with him. She rejected her nature. She only allowed her own being.

So she hardly bothered him when he was earning little money and didn't notice her. He didn't refuse to notice her because he hated her or had been deceived by her or disappointed by her. He was not. He refused to think seriously about it, because with all tenacity he clung to the idea of ​​study, from which he excluded it.

What she saw and knew and allowed. She wasn't going to force him to notice her or seriously consider her. She wouldn't force him into anything. She got a certain satisfaction from him that she wouldn't get if she stayed forever. Because it didn't evolve. Knowing him in her mind, she knew his end as far as she was concerned. That's all.

So she just went on her way. He didn't blame her. He almost didn't miss her. He turned back to his books.

In fact, he had lost nothing by marrying Arabella: no innocence, no faith, no hope. He really has gained his manhood. She made him stronger and fuller.

And now he would be totally focused on his masculine idea of ​​catching himself, becoming himself, an undeveloped quality, an academic mechanism. That was his obsession. That was his wish: to have nothing to do with his own life. That was the same as Tess when she approached Angel Clare. She only wanted life in a secondary, outer form, in consciousness.

It was another form of the sickness or decay of the old family that gripped Alec d'Urberville; a different but closely related way. D'Urberville wanted to capture all his activity in his senses. Jude Fawley wanted everything she did to be in her head. Each of them wanted to become an impersonal force that works automatically. Each of them wanted to deny or run away from the responsibility and work of living as a complete person, a complete individual.

And none of them could do it. Judas' true desire was not to live in the body. He just wanted to exist in his head. He looked like he was bored or physically jaded, just like Tess. This seems to be the result of the coming of an old family, long conscious, long self-conscious, specialized, separate, exhausted.

That led him to Sue. She was related to him, just as d'Urberville was related to Tess. She was like him in manner and in cleire. Like Jude, she wanted to live partly, in consciousness, only in spirit. She didn't want to experience the senses, she just wanted to know.

Like Tess, she belonged to the type of old witch or prophetess who clung to the masculine principle and destroyed the feminine. But with the true prophetess, such as Cassandra, it took a strong and almost maddening [effort] to deny the woman. But with Sue, it was done before she was born.

She was born with a stunted vitality of the feminine: she was almost masculine. His will was male. It was wrong for Jude to take her physically, it was an injury on her part. She wasn't the virgin type, but the witch type who doesn't have sex. Why should she be forced into sex that wasn't natural to her?

It was not natural for her to have children. It is inevitable that your children will die. It doesn't come naturally to Tess or Angel Clare to have children, nor does it come naturally to Arabella or Alec d'Urberville. Because none of them wanted to indulge their lover, none of them wanted to mate: they just wanted their own experience. Only Judas took it for granted that he would have children, and against his will.

Sue wanted to fully identify with the male principle. She wanted to consume the feminine within her in the masculine power, to consume in the fire of understanding, of expression. While an ordinary woman knows that she contains all understanding, that she is the unspeakable that man must forever try to express, Sue felt that everything must be said, given to the man who, in truth, is only a man. that all was the word and the word was all.

Sue is the production of man's long selection from woman, in which the feminine is subordinated to the masculine principle. A long line of Amélias and Inês, . those women who submitted to the male imagination, flattered and bored the man, the heroines Gretchens and Turgeniev, those who betrayed the feminine and therefore seem to exist only to be betrayed by their men, these finally brought a Sue , the thing out clean. And once it's produced, it's cursed.

What Cassandra and Aspasia were to the Greeks, Sue was to the northern civilization. But the Greeks never felt sorry for women. They didn't show her the greatest impertinence - not even Euripides.

But Sue is hardly a woman, despite being quite feminine.

Cassandra submitted to Apollo and gave him the word of betrothal, brought him prophecies, no children. She received the embrace of the Spirit, He breathed His Grace into her: and she received and produced a prophecy. It was still a wedding. Not the marriage of the virgin with the spirit, but the marriage of the female spirit with the male spirit without a body.

For Sue, however, marriage was not marriage, but submission, service, servitude. Her female spirit did not marry the male spirit: she could not prophesy. His spirit submitted to the male spirit, possessed the primacy of the male spirit, wanted to become the male spirit. What was feminine and resistant about her only gave her the ability to criticize. When she sought the physical quality from the Greeks, she sought to make even the unknowable physical a part of knowledge, to include the body in the mind.

One of the best products of our civilization is Sue, and a product that scares us. It is natural that, for all her mental agility, she should marry Phillotson without ever considering the physical quality of the marriage. Deep instinct made her avoid deliberation. And the duality of their nature made them extremely vulnerable to self-destruction. The oppressed, stunted woman inside her was always there like a strong anger, hinting that she was making the fatal mistake. She always contained the rarest and deadliest anarchy in her being.

She needed to have a place in society where the clarity of her spirit, which was itself a form of death, could shine through without arousing a desire for her body. She needed refinement with Angel Clare. For she herself was a more specialized and highly civilized product of the female side than Angel Clare was of the male side. However, the stunted woman in her would still desire the physical man.

She pulled Jude towards her. For now, his experience with Arabella completely diverted his attention from the woman. His attitude was one of service to the pure male spirit. But the physical male in him, the one that knew the female and belonged to him, was strong, and it brought out the female in Sue as much as she wanted, so much that it was a stimulant to her and her mind made brighter.

It was a terribly difficult situation. She must remain physically intact by the constitution of her nature, as the female within her has atrophied for the male's increased activity. However, she wanted some stimulation for this wasted woman. She even wanted kisses.

That the new excitement could give her a sense of life. But she could only live in her head.

So where could she find a man who could feed her his masculine vitality through kisses and closeness without demanding the woman's return? Because she was such that she could only be stimulated by a strong man, because she herself was not small. Could she then find a man, a strong and passionate man, who would focus entirely on bringing out the spirit within her, bringing out male activity or female activity that is crucial to the man?

She could only get the greater stimulation she inevitably needed to seek from a man who put her in constant danger. Its essentiality rested on its remaining intact. Any reference to the physicist was utter confusion for them. His principle was the Ultra-Christian principle - to live fully in harmony with the Spirit, with the One, male Spirit, which knows and speaks and shines, but exists beyond feeling, beyond joy or sorrow or pain, exists only in knowing. . Accordingly, she was herself. However, let her transform under the influence of woman's other dark, silent and strong principle, and she will break like a fine instrument under discord.

However, in order to live in harmony with the male spirit, she must receive male stimulation from a man. Otherwise she was like an instrument without a player. She had to feel a man's hands on her, she had to be imbued with his masculine vitality, or she wouldn't be alive anymore.

Here then lay her difficulty: finding a man whose vitality she could penetrate and bring to life, and who would not at the same time demand a return from her, the return of the feminine impulse in him. What man could receive such a drain and get nothing in return? He must die or revolt.

A man had died. She knew that very well. She knew her own destiny. She knew it drained a man of his vital masculine impulse and brought forth in him only spiritual knowledge, only mental clarity: that which a man must always strive for, but which is not life in him, but the product of life.

Just as Alec d'Urberville, on the other hand, drained a woman of the feminine vitality and gave her only sensation, only sense experience, sense of self, nothing for soul and spirit, and thereby exhausted her.

Well, Jew, following Arabella and her own obsession, [wanted] that clarity of mind, that knowledge, before anything else. Whatever masculine and feminine drive he carried within he wished to bring forth, to bring to awareness, to dissolve into understanding, as a lantern dissolves what keeps it in bloom.

Sue could do that for him. By creating a vacuum, she could evoke the lively flow that cleared it. By waking him, draining his turgid vitality that had become thick and heavy and corporeal with Arabella, she was able to become aware of what he contained. For he was heavy and full of unrealized life, clogged with untransformed knowledge supplemented by his senses. His whole life up to now had been a striving, a recording. Arabella had been a vital experience for him that had flowed into his blood. And how was he to bring all this fullness into knowledge or expression? Meanwhile he was awakened to a new physical desire, a new experience of life, a new enrichment of the senses, and he could not fulfill his masculine function of conveying this in expression or action. He could not find the particular form that his blossom should take. So he searched and studied to find the call, the call that would awaken what was in him.

And great was her transport when the call came from Sue. At first she just wanted his words. That of him that could come to her through speech, through her conscience, her mind cried out like a bottomless abyss. She wanted mental gratification and cried out to him for mental gratification.

So great was his joy in devoting himself to her. He gave because giving was more blessed than receiving. He gave and she received some satisfaction. But where she wasn't satisfied, he still had to try to satisfy her. He struggled to bring it all up. She wondered how he was, what he was. And he tried to answer in a transport.

And he responded in a big way. He broke away from the old matrix of accepted ideas, he created his own individual flower.

That's why he loved Sue. She did for him quickly what he would slowly have done for himself through learning. By patient and diligent study he would have used up the excess of that turgid energy within himself, and by long contact with the ancient truth he would have arrived at the form of truth that was within him. What he actually wanted to get out of his studies was neither a stock of scholars, nor the vanity of education, a kind of superiority in educational wealth, although that also gave him pleasure. He wanted to find conscious expression of what was in his blood through acquaintance with real thinkers and poets, especially classical and theological thinkers because of their comparative sensuality. And for that he had to dissolve and reduce his blood, overcome the female sensuality in himself, transform his sensual being into another state, into a state of clarity, of consciousness. Slowly, laboriously, struggling with Greek and Latin, he would have burned his thick blood like fuel and come to his true light.

That's what Sue did for him. In marriage, each part performs a double function in relation to the other: exhausting and enriching. The female simultaneously exhausts and invigorates the male, the male simultaneously exhausts and invigorates the female. Exhaustion and refreshment are temporary and relative. The male, striving to penetrate the female, exhausts himself and revives her. But what he finally discovers and takes from her, a seed of being, enriches and exhausts him. Arabella accepted very little from him when she took Jude. She absorbed very little of his strength and vitality. Because she only wanted to be aware of herself in contact with him, she didn't want him to penetrate her being until he had transported her into his depths, until she had revealed a little of herself to him for his enrichment. She was powerless in her own right, just like Alec d'Urberville.

So Jude made very little progress in her knowledge or in her self-awareness. He has only taken the first steps: knowing himself sexually as a sexual man. This is just the first, necessary but rudimentary first step.

When he sought out Sue, he found her physically impotent but mentally strong. That's what he wanted. He had quite a wealth of knowledge in his blood: more than he could handle. He wanted the next step, the reduction, the essentialization of knowledge. That Sue gave him.

So that his experience with Arabella, plus his first experience of trembling intimacy and white-hot fulfillment with Sue, formed a complete marriage: that is, the two women together formed a bride.

When Jude has exhausted his excess self in spiritual intimacy with Sue, when through her he has gained all the wonderful understanding that she was able to evoke in him, when he is enlightened to himself, then his marriage to Sue is over. Jude's marriage to Sue ended before he met her in person. She had nothing to give him physically.

Which she knew in her deepest instincts. She made no mistake in marrying Phillotson. She acted according to the pure logic of her nature. Phillotson was a man who did not want to marry his wife. Sexually, he wanted her as an instrument through which to get relief and some satisfaction: but real relief. Spiritually he wanted her to be admired and delighted, but quite separate from him. He knew very well that he could never marry her. He was a human as close to mechanical function as human beings can get. The whole process of digesting, chewing, swallowing, digesting, excreting is a kind of supermechanical process. And Phillotson was like that. It was an organ, an organ that performed functions, it had no separate existence. He could not create a single new movement, thought or expression. Everything he did was a repetition of what he had been. All his studies were a study of what he had been. It was a mechanical and functional process. He was a true, if small, form of scholar. He could only understand the functional laws of life, but he honestly understood them. He was true to himself, not dominated by hypocrisy or sentimentality. So he was great at that. But it is a cruel thing for a complete or spiritual individuality to be subjected to a functioning organism.

The widow Edlin said that there are some men that no woman could touch with any feelings, and Phillotson was one of them. If the widow knew that, why was Sue's instinct so short?

But Mrs. Edlin was a perfect human being who, through her personality, created life in a new way. She must have known about Sue's disability. It was natural for Sue to read it and come back to it:

You have won, you pale Galilean!

The world turned gray with your breath.

In this the pale Galilean really triumphed. His body was as numb as frost. She knew very well that she was not living in the ordinary human sense. She did not receive everything she knew through her senses, her instinct, like an ordinary woman, but through her conscience. Pale Galilee had in her a pure disciple: in her He was realized. For the senses, the body, did not exist in her; it existed as consciousness. So much so that she was almost a renegade. She turned to Venus and Apollo. As if she could know Venus or Apollo except as ideas. Neither Venus nor Aphrodite had anything to do with her, only Pallas and Christ.

She was miserable every moment of her life, poor Sue, knowing her own non-existence in life. She felt the terrible sickness of dissolution all the time, like an emptiness inside.

So she married Phillotson, the only man she could actually marry. To him she could be a wife: she could give him the sexual liberation he craved from her, and the transcendence that pleased him; it was up to her to seal him with the seal that made him an honorable man. For deep down he felt something that a reptile feels. And she was his surety, his crown.

Why does a snake or even a newt frighten us? Why was Phillotson like a merman? What corresponds to a merman in our life or in our feelings? Does life have both sides of growth and decay, which is most clearly symbolized in our bodies by semen and excrement? Does the newt, the reptile, belong to the rotten activity of life? the bird, the fish for growth activity? Are newts and reptiles suggested to us by these sensations associated with elimination? And was Phillotson more or less connected to the decadent activity of life? Was it his task to rearrange the waste of life through the ages? In any case, one can honor him as he has remained true to himself.

Sue married Phillotson on her true instincts. But being an almost pure Christian, in the sense that she had no physical life, she turned to the Greeks, and with her spirit she was a worshiper of Aphrodite. She craved the highest form of what she lacked and worshiped Aphrodite. There are two groups of Aphrodite worshipers: the daughters of Aphrodite and the almost neutral daughters of Mary of Bethany. Sue was, oh, cruelly far from being Aphrodite's child. She was the most distant alien from Aphrodite. She could apologize through her Venus Urania - but it was pointless.

Therefore, when she left Phillotson, at whose marriage she performed her own crucifixion to go to Judas, she left the God of her being for the God of her desperate desire. How much could she become a living, physical woman? But she would get away from Phillotson.

She went to Judas to continue the spiritual marriage without a body. That was fine if he was happy. Had he been content, they could have lived the rest of their lives in this spiritual intimacy without physical contact, so strong was their true instinct for themselves.

However, he was not satisfied. He reached the point where he was enlightened, where he had brought everything that had not previously been composed back into his consciousness from his blood. He had become himself as best he could, he had realized himself. Everything he had collected in his youth, everything he had collected from Arabella, was now assimilated, fused and transformed into a clear Judas.

Now he wants what it takes to keep going. He wants at least physical and sexual redemption. Because the constantly inhibited sexual desire or need makes people incapable of living freely, punishes them, dumbs them down. And where a man is most aroused, as Jude was aroused by Sue, then the main connection becomes a necessity, if only for relief. Anything else is a violation.

Sue fled to escape physical connection with Phillotson, only to find herself in Jude's arms. But Jude wanted her more than Phillotson. That was what frightened her deeply. While Phillotson only ever wanted sexual relief for her, Jude wanted the marriage to be consummated. He wanted that deeper experience, that deep penetration into the unknown and undiscovered that is in the body and blood of man and woman during life. He wanted to receive from her the awakening, the primordial seed and the impulse that would lead him to a new birth. And for that he must go deep back into the original, unseen and unknown life of the blood, the dense source of life within.

And she was afraid he would find out, that she missed him. That was her greatest fear, seeing him inevitably disappointed in her. She couldn't bear to be put on the scales where she knew they would call her flawed.

For she knew within herself that she was cut off from the fountain and source of life. The way back was irrevocably lost for them. And when Jude came to her and wanted to retrace her way back to the springs and the well, she was more afraid than death. Well she couldn't. She was like a flower plucked from a tree, living a little in water and even germinating. So Sue lived sustained and nurtured by the refined life of books and art and the influx of people. But because of centuries of weaning from the body of life, centuries of insisting on the supremacy and disembodiment of love, centuries of striving to escape from the conditions of being and attaining the state of knowledge, centuries of pure Christianity, it was too far away . She had climbed and climbed to be close to the stars. And now, finally, on the highest peak, exposed to all the horrors and splendor of space, she could not go back. Her strength had fallen from her. At that great height, almost no support but only space, space around her, rising towards her from below, she was like a floating thing, carried almost to extinction by the density of the medium. Her body was lost to her, fallen, gone. It existed there as a point of awareness, no more than someone passed out at high altitude, held at the tip of a slender spike reaching nowhere.

Jude climbed to this height with her. But he didn't die like she died. Beneath him, the fulcrum was larger, he didn't faint. At some point he wanted to come back with his feet on the ground. But she was trapped like Andromeda.

Possibly; If Jude hadn't known about Arabella, Sue might have convinced him that he didn't have a body either, just a point of consciousness. But she was too late; another had been in front of her and had lied to her.

Arabella was never as jealous of Sue as Sue was of Arabella. Like the saint pointing to the top, Saint Simon Stylite, thrown upon the highest needle that pierces the sky, will he be envied by the man who walks on horizontal earth? But Sue was cruelly plagued by jealousy of Arabella. The very knowledge that Jude Arabella wanted prompted Sue to allow him access to her own body.

As she did so, she died. The Sue, who had hitherto been the bright, pale, starry Sue, died and was recanted the night Arabella was visiting her home in Aldbrickham and Jude went out in slippers to look for her and could not find her. her, but returned to Sue, who in her agony then granted him access to her body. Up to this day Sue had remained true to one movement in her will and in herself, the love, the knowledge, the light, the upward movement. Phillotson hadn't changed that. As she suffered him, she said: 'He does not touch me; I am superior to him.”

But now she has to give Jude her body. At that moment her light began to go out, everything she lived for and began to turn into falsehood, Sue began to cancel herself.

She could never become physical. She could never come back to earth. But there, tied to the top of the tower, she had to pretend to lie on the horizontal earth, struck down with a man.

It was a profanation and defilement worse than the defilement of Cassandra or the Vestals. Sue had her own form: to break that form was to destroy it. Her destruction only began when she told Jude, "I give up."

As for Jude, he dragged his body behind his conscience. His instincts could never have made him really want a physical connection with Sue. He was awakened by an appeal to his conscience. This call automatically awakened his senses. Sue wanted his conscience. So their senses were forced to follow their conscience.

But he must have felt a shiver of sacrilege at meeting them, something like the Frenchman lying with a corpse. Her body, the body of a Vestal Virgin, collapsed into that state of bloodless ecstasy in which she was dead to all senses. Or was it the body of a mad woman whose senses are ruled by the confused mind, whose mind is not subject to the senses.

But Jude was physically underdeveloped. Altogether he was medieval. His senses were strong but not sensitive. He never realized what taking Sue meant to him. He thought he was satisfied.

But if for her it was death or obscenity or pollution or destruction, for him it was unnatural, blasphemy. How could he, a man alive and loving, warm and productive, take away the cold, moonlit body of a woman who didn't live for him and didn't want him? It was outrageous and it drove him crazy.

She knew it was wrong, she knew it never should have been. But what else could she do? Jude now loved her with his will. Giving it to Arabella would have meant destroying it. Sharing it with Arabella would have been possible for Sue, but impossible for him, for he had a strong, puristic idea that a man's body should follow and be subordinate to his mind, his senses should be subordinate and follow his mind . . . Which idea is completely wrong.

So Jude and Sue are doomed, partly by their own nature, but mostly by their inability to accept the terms of their own and each other's beings. If Jude had known he didn't want Sue physically and then made his choice, maybe they wouldn't have wasted their lives. But he couldn't know.

After a while, after taking them many times, if he knew that was wrong, they could still have lived. He should have known that after taking Sue he was just as depressed as she was. He should have known worse. He must have felt the overwhelming sense of lifelessness of life, things must have ceased to exist for him as he stood up after taking Sue, and he must have felt himself walking in an eerie emptiness confronted only with space , empty . . .

But he wouldn't admit what he felt. He must feel according to his imagination and his will. However, they were too sincere to marry. A man as real and personal as Judas, because of his deep religious sense, cannot marry a woman unless he can actually marry her, unless he can find or approach with her the true fulfillment of marriage. And Sue and Jude couldn't lie to themselves in their last, deepest feelings. They knew it wasn't a marriage; they knew it was wrong all along; They knew they were sinning against life by forcing physical marriage between them.

How many people, men and women, live together in England and have children and are never, ever asked if they witnessed the wedding ceremony together? Then why should Jude and Sue have been reprimanded? Just because of their own uneasy sense of wrong, of sin, which they shared with other people. And this error or this sin was not directed against the community, but against his own nature, against life. And that's why they, the two of them, were instinctively disliked.

You have never known happiness, real and sure happiness, not even for a moment. That wasn't compatible with Sue's nature. But what they did know was a very pleasant, but poignant and unhealthy state of enlightened consciousness. They reacted to each other to stimulate consciousness. So when they went to the flower show, their perception of roses and Jude's perception of roses were most poignant. There's always that pathos, that sharpness, that trembling on the edge of pain and tears in her happiness.

"Happy?" he mumbled. She nodded.

The roses, how the roses shone on them! The flowers had more existence than he or she. But when their ecstasy over things subsided a little, they both felt as if they themselves lacked a real body, as if they were very insubstantial, very thin and ephemeral in substance, as if other solid people could be superimposed upon one another. . right through them, two wandering shadows as they were.

They felt it themselves. Hence his insecurity in dealing with other people, hence his abnormal sensitivity. But they had their own form of bliss, the trembling on the verge of ecstasy when the senses, greatly aroused to the service of consciousness, the things they saw took on flaming existence, becoming flaming symbols of their own emotions to them. She.

So Jude and Sue's true marriage was in the roses. Then, in the third state, in spirit, these two beings met in the roses, and the roses symbolized accomplishment. In its beauty, the rose is the symbol of the consummation of marriage. For her it's more than a symbol, it's a fact, a flaming experience.

They went home trembling with joy. And then the horror when he has to take Sue sexually because of Jude's dissatisfaction. The flaming experience became a lie or an ignis fatuus that fueled it.

They have used up their lives, he in consciousness, she in body. She was happy to have children to prove she was a woman. But it was perverted of her to want to prove that she was a woman. She wasn't a woman. And her children, proof of it, vanished from her like frost.

It wasn't the masonry that exhausted, weakened, and sickened him. It was that perpetual feeding of his consciousness through his senses, that perpetual glowing state of consciousness as his body, his vital tissues, the very protoplasm within, were slowly being consumed. Because he had no life in his body. Every time he went to Sue physically, his inner experience must have been a jolt from life and an extroverted form, like that of a man lying with a dead body. He had no life in the senses: He had no inflow from the Source to make up for the enormous waste. So it gradually became exhausted, burning more and more until it was as brittle as embers.

And her, her body suffered too. But it was mindful that it existed, and it was mindful that it paid its price. She tried and tried to conceive and gratify Jude physically. She bore him children, she devoted herself to physical life.

But while it was being formed, it was being formed and there was no way to change it. She needed all the life that was hers and more to feed her mind, since a mind like hers is only found sane in a person of mighty vitality. For the mind of an ordinary person is created from the excess of vitality, or from what remains after all sensual life has been replenished.

She needed all the life that was hers for her sanity. It was her shape. To disrupt this arrangement was to turn her into someone else, not herself. Therefore, in becoming a biological wife and mother, she renounced her own being. She swore off her own sanity, she denied it, she took her faith, her faith, her whole life.

It is more likely that she lived mainly from her children. They were her guarantee as a physical woman, the being she now claimed. She had abandoned the ideal of an independent mind.

She would love her children with fear, always fearing for their safety, never sure of their stable existence, never sure of their true reality. When they were out of sight she was restless, restless, almost as if they didn't exist. She would be tortured until they came back. She would not be satisfied until she had her clutched to her chest. And even then she wouldn't be sure, she wouldn't be sure. She couldn't be sure about anything in life. At the time, she could only be sure of what she saw in her head. Of that she was absolutely sure.

Meanwhile, Jude was exhausted, confused, aimless, lost, pathetically unproductive.

Once again you see what instinct, what feeling, led Arabella's son to bring about the deaths of the children and himself. He, sensitive, so incorporeal, so altruistic like some kind of automaton, is very poorly implied, exaggerated, but you can see what is meant. And he feels as every child will feel, as many children today feel, that they are really anachronisms, accidents, fatal accidents, unreal, false records of their mothers' lives, which he believes have no existence: that if it existed, so she doesn't. Then he takes away all the children.

And then Sue ceases to be: she pushes her own existence to the limit, cancels herself out. There is no more Sue Fawley. She breaks off. She wants to cease to exist as a person, she wants to be absorbed, to no longer be responsible for herself.

For it has denied, abandoned and broken its own true form, its own independent and enlightened spiritual life. And now her children are not only dead but dead themselves, those pawns of physical life for which she left the others.

She has a passion for atonement, atonement, atonement. Your children should never have been born: your instinct has always known that. Now their corpses drive them mad with a sense of blasphemy. And she blasphemed the Holy Spirit, who told her that she was to blame for her birth and her death for the terrible nothingness that they were. She is even guilty of her small, throbbing sufferings and joys of mortal life, nothing more now. She can't take it - who could? And she wants to atone, atone twice. As a fire is quenched, she must quench her spirit, which she has placed in her arrogance and then abandoned. She would never think or decide for herself again. The world, the past, should have written every decision for her. The final act of her intellect was the total departure from her mind and the acceptance of a total orthodoxy where every belief, every thought, every decision was prepared for her, lest she exist on her own. And then his hated body, which had committed the crime of giving birth to dead children, which had been brought back to life to spread nihilism like a plague, should also be obliterated. Returning to Phillotson, she chose the harshest punishment.

There was no more Sue. Body, soul and spirit, she destroyed herself. All that remained of her was the will, through which she destroyed herself. It remained solid, a closed center of self-hatred, hatred of life so absolute that there was no hope of death. He knew that life is life and there is no death in life.

Jude was too exhausted to save her. He says she's not worth a man's love. But that wasn't the point. It wasn't a question of value. It was about being her. If he had said that she was unable to receive a man's love as he wished to give it, he might have been closer to the truth. But she practically told him. She made it clear to him what she wanted, what she could take. But he replaced her. She aspired to fulfill her own form. But he forced her. He had nothing against her unless she was begging him greatly that he should flow into her, while at the same time she could not fully absorb him in body and mind.

She asked for what he could not give - what perhaps no man can give: passionate love without physical desire. She had no fault for him: she had no love for him. Self-love triumphed in her when she met him. She almost intentionally asked for more, much more than she intended to give. In the end, self-loathing won out. So it had to be.

Jude had been dying slowly since the first night she took him, but much faster than her. It was better to do this quickly at the end.

And this tragedy is the result of the overdevelopment of one principle of human life at the expense of the other; an excessive imbalance; a placing of all emphasis on the masculine, on love, on spirit, on mind, on consciousness; a denial, a blasphemy against the feminine, the law, the soul, the senses, the feelings. But it is developed to the extreme, it hardly lives in the body. As a female gender, she is neither woman nor man; she is almost neutral. He is closer to balance, closer to center, closer to wholeness. But every human effort in the sense of a pure spiritual life, in the sense of a pure becoming Sue, pulls him along; he identifies himself with this effort, he destroys himself and them in his clinging to this identification.

But why, by rejecting one form of religion or another, has man ceased to be fully religious? Why doesn't he recognize Sue and Jude as Cassandra was recognized long ago, and Achilles and the Vestals and the nuns and the monks? Why must it be totally denied?

Sue had a special and beautiful nature. Why shouldn't Judas recognize him in all his specialness? Why should man be so utterly disrespectful that he approaches every being as if it were non-being? Why assume Sue is a "normal" woman - as if such a thing exists? Why should she be embarrassed when she specializes? And because of the conception he was raised in, why would Jude force her to pretend she was his "ordinary" abstraction, a woman?

She wasn't a woman. She was Sue Bridehead, something very private. Why wasn't there room for her? Cassandra had the Temple of Apollo. Why are we so filthy that we have no reverence for what we are and what is beneath us? If we had reverence for our life, our life would immediately take on a religious form. But as it is, in our useless disrespect, it remains a disgusting swamp in which each of us walks around so completely cloaked in filth that we are all equal and indistinguishable.

If we were in awe of who we are, our lives would take real form, and Sue would have a place as Cassandra had a place; She would have a place that doesn't exist yet, because we're all so vulgar, we don't have anything.


It seems that human history has been divided into two epochs: the epoch of law and the epoch of love. It seems that mankind has made two great efforts during its activity on earth: the effort to appreciate the law and the effort to overcome the law in love. And in both endeavors she attained, attained and proved the two complementary Absolutes, the Absolute of the Father, Law, Nature and the Absolute of the Son, Love, Knowledge. What remains is the reconciliation of the two.

In the beginning man said, "What am I, and where did this world around me come from, and why is it the way it is?" So he continued to explore, personify and idolize the natural law he called Father. And when he got to the point where he received natural law in its purity, he ended his journey and was arrested.

But he found he could not remain in peace. He has to go further. Then it was a matter of figuring out by what principle he should act beyond the law. And he received a glimmer of love. Likewise, throughout the world, the second great epoch began with the incipient conception of love and lasted until the principle of love was conceived in all its purity. So the man was at the end again, in a dead end.

The law is why we exist. It was the Father, the Lawgiver, who said, "Let there be light": it was He who breathed life into the handful of dust and made man. “So I created man in my own image. I ordered him to leave and enter, and I imposed the punishment that he has to walk for. That's what the father said. And the man went out and in according to the command of the Lord; he walked in the line of the Lord and did not deviate from it. Until the way became barren and man knew all the way and the end seemed to be near.

Then he said: “I will leave the path. I will go out as the Lord has not commanded, and I will come in when my hour is fulfilled. For it is written: Man shall eat and drink with the Lord; but I will neither eat nor drink; I will starve but I will not die. It is written that a man should take a wife and bear seed to the glory of God. But I will not take a wife and have no offspring, but I will not know a wife. However, I will not die. And it is written: A man shall keep his body from harm, and keep his flesh from harm, for he was created in the image and likeness of the Father. But I will give my body to pain and my flesh to dust; but I will not die, but live. For man does not live by bread alone, nor by the universal law of the Father. Beyond this common law, I am me. If my body is destroyed and my bones perish, then it's me. Yes, not until my body is consumed and my bones mix with dust, until then I'm not whole, until then I'm not alive. But I die in Christ and rise again. And when I'm resurrected, I live in the spirit. Neither hunger nor cold can seize me, nor longing can seize me. When I rise again I will know. Then I will live in the unspeakable happiness of knowledge. When the sun rises in the morning I will know the glory of God passing the sun from his left hand to his right hand to his right hand in the peace of his understanding. When the night comes in its many shades, know the peace that surpasses understanding. Because God knows. He neither wills nor commands nor desires nor acts, but exists perfectly in the peace of knowing.”

If a man must live quietly and act in the body, then his action should be in recognition of life in other bodies. Every human being is the law of nature to himself. He can only imagine the law of nature as he knows it within himself. The hardest thing for any human being is to recognize and know that his neighbor's natural law is different and perhaps even hostile to his own natural law, and yet it is true. This was the harsh lesson Christ tried to teach the doctrine of the other cheek. Orestes could not understand that it was the natural law of Clytemnestra's nature that she should murder Agamemnon because he had sacrificed her daughter and allowed himself to be abandoned in the pride of her womanhood without a partner, because he wanted the pleasure of war, and because of his unfaithfulness to her. with other women; Clytemnestra could not understand that Orestes wanted to kill her because she was fulfilling the law of his own nature. The natural law of the mother was different from the natural law of the child. They couldn't see that: hence the slaughter. This Christianity would teach them: to recognize and allow the law of the other, outside and different from the law of being itself. It's the hardest lesson in love. And the lesson of love has to be learned, the next lesson has to be learned, the reconciliation between different, maybe hostile, things. This is the last lesson. Christianity ends in submission, acknowledgment and submission to the law of others. "Thou shalt love thy enemy."

Since then man must act or move according to the law, his movement should be the expression of the God of peace, the perfect and inexpressible peace of knowledge.

And man has endeavored in this way to express the universal peace of God. And struggling, he transcended the limits of expression and regained the stillness of the beginning.

After Sue, after Dostoevsky's Idiot, after Turner's last paintings, after the symbolist poetry of Mallarmé and the others, after Debussy's music, there is no longer any possible expression for the peace that surpasses all understanding, the peace of God that is perfect knowledge. . Behind it is just silence.

As after Plato, after Dante, after Raphael, there was no longer any statement about the absolute of the law, about the immutability of divine conception.

Just as the great pause came over Greece and Italy after the Renaissance, when the law was pronounced in its absolute form, so now comes over us, over England, Russia and France, the pause of finality, having seen the purity of knowledge, the great, white, unbroken light, infinite and eternal.

But that's not the end. The two great ideas of law and knowledge or love are not different and accidental, but complement each other. In a way, they are contradictions to each other. But they complement each other. They are the solid absolute, the geometric absolute, and they are the radiant absolute, the unthinkable absolute of pure and free movement. They are perfect stability and they are perfect mobility. They are the fixed condition of our being and they are the transcendent condition of knowing within us. They are our soul and our spirit, they are our feelings and our mind. They are our body and our brain. They are two in one.

And everything that has ever been brought into being has been brought into being through the combined activity of the two, in humanity, through the combined activity of soul and spirit. When the two act together, then life is produced, then life or expression, something is created. And nothing can be created except through the combined effort of the two principles of Law and Love.

Throughout the Middle Ages, law and love struggled together to give the law a perfect expression, to arrive at the perfect conception of law. During the rise of the Greek nation, right up to its climax, law and love worked in that nation to bring about the full expression of law. They were guided by the unknown desire, the Holy Spirit, the unknown and the unspoken. But the Holy Spirit is the Reconciler and the Author. We don't know him.

The greatest of all statutes of law expressed the law as it is in relation to love, both of which are governed by the Holy Spirit. Such is the Book of Job, such is Aeschylus in the trilogy, such is more or less Dante, such is Botticelli. Those who subsequently expressed the law suppressed contact and achieved abstraction. Plato, Raphael.

The greatest declaration of love expressed love as related to the law: so Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Shelley, Wordsworth, Goethe, Tolstoy. But there was also Turner, who suppressed the context of the law; there was also Dostoyevsky, Hardy, Flaubert. These showed love in conflict with the law and only resulting death without reconciliation.

Lest humanity long accept the conclusions of these writers, not even Euripides and Shakespeare forever. These great tragic writers all actively endure because of the truth of the conflict they describe, because of their integrity, their law, their love and reconciliation. But as for their conclusions, they eventually leave the soul unsatisfied and incredulous.

Now man's goal remains to know and seek the Holy Spirit, the Reconciler, the Author, the One who advances the twin principles of law and love through the ages.

Now it remains for us to know the law and love and later to seek reconciliation. It is time for us to build our temples to the Holy Spirit and raise our altars to the Holy Spirit, the Most High, who is beyond us but with us.

We know the law and we know love, and what little we know of each of them we have given our full expression. But he didn't finish a perfect utterance, not one. Small as the circle of our knowledge is, we cannot fill it. In Aeschylus' Eumenides, Apollo is a fool, Athena is a mechanic. In Shakespeare's Hamlet the conclusion is utterly silly. If we had conceived each faction in its own strength, if Apollo had been equally powerful with the Furies, and no Pallas had come forward to settle the matter with a stone's throw, how would Aeschylus have solved his riddle? He couldn't figure out the solution he knew was coming, so he forced it.

And so it was always, always: either a wrong conclusion or a forced conclusion on the part of the artist, as if putting his finger on the scales to balance a balance he could not strike. Now it remains for us to seek the true balance, to give each part, Apollo and the furies, love and law, its right and so seek the reconciler.

Now the principle of law is found most strongly in woman and the principle of love in man. Mobility, the law of change, is exemplified in every creature; Stability, conservatism is found in the feminine. In woman, man finds his root and seat. In man, woman finds her exfoliation and flowering. The woman grows downwards, like a root, to the center and the dark and the origin. Man grows upward, like the stalk, towards discovery, light and expression.

Roughly speaking, man and woman are the personifications of love and law: they are the two complementary parts. In the body they are very similar, in the genitals they are almost one. Starting from the connection, almost union, of the genitals, and moving on to the feelings and the mind, it becomes an ever-widening difference and a finer distinction between the two, man and woman, until finally the other comes full circle. , in pure expression the two are truly one again, so that each pure expression is a perfect unity, the two as one, united by the Holy Spirit.

We start from one side or the other, feminine or masculine, but what we always want is the perfect union of the two. This is the law of the Holy Spirit, the law of consummated marriage. Every living being seeks this individually and collectively. Every man begins with his deepest desire, a desire for the consummation of the marriage between him and the woman, a desire for completeness, that completeness of being that gives complete satisfaction and complete expression. No man can yet find the perfect consummation of marriage between himself and the bride, whether the bride is a woman or an idea, but he can approach it, and each generation can approach it a little closer.

But it is necessary that a man first reverently know and submit to the natural law of his own individual being: that he also know that he is contained in the great natural law, that he is but a son of God, and not God himself: that he might poignantly and personally recognize that the law of another man's nature is different from the law of his own nature, that it might even be hostile to him, and yet part of the great law of God is admitted to be: that is the Christian Act of "charity" and dying to be born again: finally, that a man may know that there is a kinship between his law and that of his neighbor, that all is contained in one, by the Holy Spirit.

It is necessary for man to know the natural law of his own being in order then to seek the law of the Feminine with which to unite as a complement. He must know that he is half and the woman is the other half: that they are two, but they are two - in one.

He must reverently submit to the law of himself: and he must know and submit to the law of woman with suffering and joy: and he must know that the two together are one in the Great Law, reconciled in the Great Peace. From this definitive knowledge will emerge your highest art. There will be an art that recognizes and expresses its own law; there will be the art that recognizes its own law and also that of the woman, her neighbor, expressing the joyful embraces and fights between them and the submission of the one; there will be the art that knows the struggle between the two contradictory laws and knows the final reconciliation where both are equal, two in one, complete. This is the highest art yet to be accomplished. A few men have tried and left us the results of their efforts. But it has yet to be made complete.

But if the two hold hands for a moment, man and woman, they hold hands and are one, the poppy, the happy poppy blooms again; and when the two embrace, the moonlight rushes and strikes against the shadow; and when both throw back their hair, all the larks begin to sing; and when they kiss on the mouth there is again a lovely human expression - and so it is.


THOMAS HARDY von Leon H. Vincent

Leon H. Vincent (1859-1941) was an American author, literary critic, and lecturer. He has taught English and American literature at schools and colleges across the country and has written numerous books and essays on famous authors. This chapter is from Vincent's critical work The Bibliotaph and Other People.


"The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything." Thus said a man who, during a busy career, found time to add several excellent volumes to the meager number of good books . And in a lively paragraph following that opening sentence, he humorously curses the literary life. He shows convincingly that "isolated habits do not lend themselves to eloquence". He says that the "indifferent apathy" so common among hardworking people is in no way conducive to the vividness of the narrative. He proves that people who will not live cannot write; that people who lock themselves in libraries are brain-dehydrated. He professes his faith in the "original way of writing books," the way of the first author who must have made his own picture, "since there were no books to copy"; and he challenges the reader to prove that this original way is not the best way. "Where," he asks, "are the amusing books by voracious students and ordinary writers?"

This amazing charge against the perpetrators was made by men other than Walter Bagehot. Hazlitt teaches virtually the same doctrine in his essay on "The Ignorance of the Scholars." Its general truth is undeniable, although Bagehot himself makes an exception in favor of Sir Walter Scott. But the two famous critics share the belief that scholars are generally boring and books by habitual writers are not amusing.

Of course there are more exceptions than one. Thomas Hardy is a clear exception. Thomas Hardy is a "normal writer" but always entertaining. The following paragraphs are intended to highlight specific reasons for this quality in his work, a quality to which he is alert and which proves to be the most readable novelist alive today. That he attracts and lasts is clear to anyone who hasn't tried more than half a dozen pages of one of his best stories. It has a fatal habit of being interesting - fatal because it robs you of the time you could have devoted to "improving" literature such as history, economics, or light science. He destroys your peace of mind by forcing your compassion in favor of people who never existed. It weakens your willpower and makes you its slave. You state that you will only read one more chapter and weakly agree to write two chapters. As a special treat, spoiling a day's work to learn about the return of the natives, perhaps agreeing with a supposed "better self" who won't waste any more time on romance novels for the next six months. But you are really ascetic if you don't follow the book with a reading of The Woodlanders and The Mayor of Casterbridge.

There's a reason for that. If the experienced author often fails to make a good book because he knows nothing, then Mr. Hardy must succeed in large part because he knows so much. The more a person reads it, the more impressed he is with the breadth of his knowledge. He has an intimate knowledge of an immense number of interesting things.

He knows men and women - if not all kinds and all conditions, then many varieties of the human animal. Your husbands are also men and your wives are women. He does not use them as figures to accentuate a landscape, or as ventriloquist dummies to divert attention from the fact that he is speaking himself. Its people have individuality, power of speech, power of movement. He doesn't tell you that such a person is intelligent or witty; The character he created does this for himself by doing clever things and making witty remarks. In an excellent story by a celebrated modern master, there is a young woman who is pronounced intelligent and brilliant. Of the forty or fifty remarks she makes, the most extraordinary concerns her father; she says, "Isn't dear papa lovely?" At another point she asks if another gentleman isn't also charming. Hardy's resources aren't that scarce. When your people speak, we listen - we can't take it.

He knows other things than men and women. He knows the ground, the trees, the sky, the sunset, the endless variations of landscape under clouds and sun. He knows horses, sheep, cows, dogs, cats. He understands the interpretation of sounds - a detail that few novelists understand or cover in detail; The pages of his books vibrate with the sounds of the house, the road and the countryside. Beyond that, there is nothing conventional about his writing of the facts. There is no evidence that he was influenced by other men's thinking. He takes the raw material that novels are made of and molds it as he pleases. It has an absolutely new look, as painters sometimes say. He approaches life as if he were the first man of letters, "and no one has ever lived before him". To paraphrase Ruskin, one could say of Hardy that instead of studying the old masters, he studied what the old masters studied. But your point of view is his. Your pages do not resemble other pages. It never makes you think of something you've read, but always something you've seen or want to see. He is an original author, which means he gets his material first hand and avoids documents. There is ample evidence that he read books, but there is no reason to assume that books harmed him.

The doctor. Farmer proved that Shakespeare had no "learning". Thomas Hardy may turn out to be just as fortunate. If so, he and Shakespeare can congratulate each other. However, if we remember that in our day it is scarcely possible to avoid a tincture of learning, we are perhaps doing the fairest of these two men when we say that one had a little Greek, and the other the measure of Greek skillfully concealed, big or small, that is your possession. To put it another way, although Hardy may have "drank the breath spirit of men who have died of their kind", Hardy did not get intoxicated by his potions.

It is unlikely that this paragraph will be misunderstood except by an honest soul who has not yet learned that "literature is not an affidavit." Dictionaries and encyclopedias, along with a decent listing of those works that people call "standard". He belonged to the class that Emerson describes with pale sarcasm as "humble men in libraries." . “Let's look at some of their virtues.


First, it tells a good story. He deserves no raving praise for that; It's your business, your craft. He has to do it, and that's why he's doing it. A novelist's "first moral" is to be able to tell a story, just as a painter's first moral is to wield his brush skillfully and get it to fulfill his brain's intention. After all, admirable storytelling is an all-too-familiar achievement these days. Many men, many women, are capable of writing stories of considerable inventiveness in plot and exciting interest in the unfolding of events. Countless writers are cunning and intelligent at constructing their "fable," but they are unable to do much more than that. Walter Besant writes good stories; Robert Buchanan writes good stories; Grant Allen and David Christie Murray are acceptable to many readers. But unless I make a big mistake and do these men an injustice, which I should feel sorry for, their ability stops at that point. They tell good stories and do nothing else. They write books and do not make literature. They are authors of their own free will and not by the grace of God. They may be said, as Augustine Birrell said of Professor Freeman and the Bishop of Chester, to be the children of hard work and worthy of their reward. But I want to say a little bit more. Granted, this is a compliment, but it's so quiet it's barely audible. If Hardy only wrote good stories, he would only be doing his duty and therefore would be considered a useless servant. But he does a lot more than that.

He fulfills a great function of the literary artist, which is to mediate between nature and the reading public. This man is an ophthalmologist. Through their friendly offices the blind are made to see. Myopic people wear glasses - which they generally refuse because they do not bother with literature that clarifies their spiritual vision.

Hardy opens the reader's eyes to the magic, the beauty, the mystery found in everyday life and everyday objects. Such an alert and energetic intelligence rarely applies its energies to fiction. The result is that he reaches an almost hopelessly high level. The extraordinary man who comes after him may be a rival, but most gentlemanly writers can do little more than admire him with envy. He seems to have set himself a rule like this: he doesn't write pages that aren't interesting. He pours the treasures of his observation into each chapter. He sees everything, feels everything, empathizes with everything. Certainly he has an extraordinarily rich field of work. There is an account of the discovery of the remains of an ancient Roman soldier in The Mayor of Casterbridge. One would expect Hardy to do something graphic with the episode. And he does. You can almost see the warrior lying there “in an oval hollow in the chalk, like a hen in a shell; knees pressed to chest; his spear against his arm; an urn at his knees, a pitcher at his throat, a bottle at his mouth; and mystified conjectures that fell upon him from the eyes of the street urchins and men of Casterbridge.'

The real value of this descriptive fragment lies in the few words that express the state of mind of the viewers. And it is a nice distinction that Hardy makes when he says that "imaginative residents, who would have been uneasy at the discovery of a comparatively modern skeleton in their gardens, were unmoved by these ancient forms". They lived so long ago, their hopes and motives so distant from ours, that there seemed to be a gulf between them and the living too great for even a spirit to bridge.'

He notes that this language, although not articulated, is in common use among small landowners, dairies, farmers, and the denizens of his small world. It is a language superimposed on ordinary language. "To express his satisfaction the Casterbridge merchant added to his speech a broadening of the cheeks, a slit of the eyes, and a sloping back of the shoulders." taking the form of "several attacks on the moss on the adjacent walls with the end of his stick" or "changing his hat from the horizontal to the smaller".

The novel, entitled The Woodlanders, is full of remarkable illustrations of an interest in tiny things. Facts are presented subtly and presented without much emphasis. But they cling to the memory. Giles Winterbourne, the main character of this story, "had a wonderful power to make trees grow." Though he seemed to be digging up the earth rather carelessly with a shovel, there was a sort of sympathy between him and the spruce, oak, or beech he was working on; so that in a few days the roots took hold of the ground. "When one of the newsboys planted, a quarter of the trees died. There is a small graphic scene where Winterbourne is planting and Marty South is holding the trees for him. "Winterbourne's fingers were endowed with a gentle magical touch as they spread the roots of each small tree, resulting in a kind of caress that laid all the delicate fibers in the proper direction of growth." Marty explained that the trees "sigh" too. began as soon as they were set upright, "although they do not sigh at all when lying down". Winterbourne had never noticed. “She lifted one of the young pines into her hole and held up her finger; the gentle breathing music began immediately, which continued day and night until the mature tree was felled - probably long after the two planters had been felled.'

Later in the story there is a description of the same Giles Winterbourne returning from a neighboring village with his horses and cider apparatus. "He looked and smelled like Autumn's brother, his face sunburnt the color of wheat, his eyes blue as cornflowers, his sleeves and trousers stained with fruit stains, his hands sticky with sweet apple juice, his hat sprinkled with seeds and all over it that cider vibe that, on its first return of each season, exerts an indescribable fascination on those born and raised in the orchards.'

Hardy makes little sketches of this sort with an intriguing aura of unconsciousness…. It can be a sunset, or it could just be a snowflake falling on a young woman's hair, or the light from lanterns filtering through the blinds and flickering on the ceiling of a room on an early winter morning - no matter the circumstance or Event is caught in the act, photographed in enduring colour, indelibly and beautifully made.

Hardy's art is tyrannical. It forces a person to be interested in what pleases him. It sets its own standards. The man has a raw power that readers can endure because they are unwilling to be slaves to genius. You dislike sheep and care little about the poetic aspect of cows, when in fact you are not inclined to question the existence of poetry in cows; but whoever reads Far from the Madding Crowd never gets past a flock of sheep without becoming aware of a multitude of new thoughts, new images, new subjects of comparison. All that dormant part of his soul that has lain in a coma over the sheep for years is suddenly and widely awakened. Read Tess and instantly cows and a dairy take on new meaning for you. They are a remarkable part of the scenery of the stage on which the drama of poor Tess Durbeyfield's life was performed.

But Hardy doesn't put his knowledge in front of the reader's face. These things are clearly a means to an end, not an end in themselves. He has no theory to offer about keeping bees or making cider. He did not make small trips around the world. On the contrary, where he travelled, he traveled a great deal. He's like a tourist who's been abroad so often that his allusions are said naturally and calmly. But the man, who has just returned from his first continental trip, has astonishment written all over his face and speaks of Paris and the Alps as if he had discovered them. Zola is one of those practitioners who, full of newfound knowledge, seem to be working with the idea that the main purpose of a novel is to convey diverse information. This is most likely an error. Novels are not handbooks on floristry, banking, railroads, or department store management. One can flaunt minute details and endlessly tedious learning and earn some credit for it; but what if details and learning in a science and trade dictionary are primarily valuable? Wisdom of this kind should be used sparingly in a work of art.

In these matters I cannot help feeling that Hardy has such a commendable restraint that praise for her is superfluous and impudent. After all, men and women are better than sheep and cows and if he had been clearer I would have tried to ask him if he intends to make a story or volume called The Wessex Farmer's Own Hand-Book and contains wise advice on pigs, fowls, and the useful art of growing two cabbages where only one grew before.


One of this author's most compelling qualities is his sense of humor. Hardy is a good-natured man and fully appreciates the humor of others. According to a respected philosopher, intelligence and humor breed love. Hardy must receive large amounts of this "growing passion" daily from his many readers on both sides of the Atlantic.

His humor manifests itself in many ways; by using a witty epithet; by the ingenious description of a thing not surprisingly ridiculous in itself, but rendered so by the nearness of its presentation; by a slow and broad portrayal of a character with humorous traits - traits artistically brought out when an actor enhances complexion in stage make-up; and finally for his vivid reproductions of the conversations of villagers and peasants - a class of society whose everyday language need only be heard to be appreciated. I do not intend to exhaust the sources of Hardy's humor in this analysis, but most of the illustrations can be traced back to one of these divisions.

He is generally considered the best when it comes to describing farmers, village mechanics, labourers, milkmen, men who slaughter pigs, herd sheep, gorse cutters, bricklayers, grooms, idlers who do nothing in particular and are now busy at work .Lady Fortune scolds on good terms. Certainly he paints these people with loving fidelity. Her masculine and cheeky language enchants him. His reproductions of this lecture are often extremely realistic. Almost every book has its chorus of human grotesques, the very names of which are a source of joy. William Worm, Grandfer Cantle, 'Corp'el' Tullidge, Christopher Coney, John Upjohn, Robert Creedle, Martin Cannister, Haymoss Fry, Robert Lickpan and Sammy Blore - so-called men have to do funny things, and these men do. William Worm, for example, was deaf. His deafness took on an unusual form; he heard fish frying in his head and was not shy about the subject of his illness. He often described himself by the nickname “vagrant” and protested that he would never repay the Lord for his creation—a level of self-knowledge that many have attained but few have the courage to admit. He was once observed becoming a "civilian and friendly passer-by, his face breaking into a broad smile that seemed unrelated to his mood." I guarantee that frying the fish will take nights and days. And you know, sometimes it's not just fish, it's bacon and onions. Yes, I can hear the pops and hisses as natural as life."

He was asked what remedies he had tried.

"Oh bless you, I've tried everything. Yes, Providence is a merciful man, and I hoped he would have found it out by now, having also lived in a pastor's family for as many years as I had; but 'a doesn't seem to exonerate me. Yes I am a poor wanderer and life is trouble.

It is not known which could be more admired, the appetizing realism in William Worm's account of his illness, or the primitive state of his theological views, which enabled him to seek special divine favor because of the ecclesiastical prominence of his late residence.

Hardy must have listened with consolation to the following dialogue about the wisdom of women as he considered his literary possibilities. Occurs in the final chapter of The Woodlanders. A man always referred to as "Hookhead," a term that apparently describes his line of business and refers to wooden bowls, faucets, cheese vats and funnels, speaks to John Upjohn.

“What do women know these days!” he says. "You can't fool them like you did in my day."

"What they knew then was no small thing," said John Upjohn. "Always much more than men! Just as I was taking my wife to court, the skill she showed in holding me on her pretty side as I walked was incredible. Maybe you noticed that besides her simplicity, she also has a cute side to her face?

"Can't say I noticed that much," the elusive said softly.

"Well," Upjohn continued undeterred, "she did. All women under the sun are prettier on one side than the other. And, like I said, the efforts she would make to get me to walk on the pretty side were endless. I guarantee you, whether we were driving with or against the sun, up or down the hill, wind or weather, that wart was always toward the hedge and that dimple was always toward me. There I was too easy to see its twists and turns; and she was so skilful, though she was two years younger, that she could guide me with a cotton thread like a ham; ... no, I don't think women have gotten any smarter, because they've never done it any differently.'


These men have juice and juice in their conversations. When you think, think clearly. When they speak, they express themselves with an energy and directness that kills off the fine language of conventional people. Here is Farfrae, the young Scotsman, in the tavern of the Three Mariners Inn in Casterbridge, singing his ain contree with a pathos quite unknown in this part of the world. The nobles who visit the place are deeply moved. "Damn if our country is worth singing down here," says Billy Wills, the glazier - while the literal Christopher Coney asks, "Why did you come from your own country, young master, if you are so amazed? about it?" It then occurs to him that it wasn't worth it for Farfrae to leave the pretty face and homeland he was singing about to join them. "We're tough people here - the best of us are sometimes scarcely honest what with bitter winters and so many mouths to feed and the mighty god sending his little paps so awfully small to feed them We don't think in terms of flowers and pretty faces, do we - except in the form of cauliflowers and pork chops .”

I would love to see the man who sat in the portrait of Corporal Tullidge in The Trumpet-Major for artist Hardy. This dignified man, who was deaf and spoke in a loud and uncompromising voice, was hit in the head by a grenade in Valenciennes in 1993. His left arm was crushed. Time and nature did what they could, and under their benevolent influences the arm became something of an anatomical rattle box. People interested in Corp'el Tullidge could see his head and hear his arm. The corp'el offered these private views at any time and were willing to show off, although perhaps a little bored by showing them. His companions displayed him as if he were an "errant" in a cheap museum.

"You've got a silver plate in your head, haven't you, Corp'el?" said Anthony Cripple Straw. "I heard the way they mortified your skull was a beautiful work of art. Maybe the young lady would like to know the place.”

The young woman was Anne Garland, the sweet heroine of the story; and Anne would not see the silverware, the memory of which almost made her faint. Nor could she be tempted to hear that such a "miracle" could not be seen every day. Then, to please her, Cripplestraw suggested that Tullidge shake his arm, which Tullidge did, much to Anne's chagrin.

"Oh it didn't hurt him, God bless him. Are you doing it, Corp'el?” said Cripplestraw.

"Not at all," said the corporal, still working his arm with great energy. However, his manner was perfunctory, "as if the luster of the exhibition had lost some of its novelty, although still ready to commit". "as loose as a bag of needles" and showed eagerness to escape. At which the corporal, "feeling his time wasted," asked, "Does she want to see or hear anything else, doesn't she?"

This is but a single detail in the account of a party Miller Loveday threw for invited soldiers in honor of his son John - a description whose enduring vibrancy can only be appreciated by reading these brilliant early chapters of the story.

Half of these men's joy comes from the openness with which they confess their true thoughts. Ask a man of average morals and achievement why he doesn't go to church. You won't know any better after he gives you the answer. Ask Nat Chapman about the novel Two on a Tower and you won't have a problem with ambiguities. He doesn't like going because Mr. Torkingham made him think of saving souls and other confusing and uncomfortable subjects. When the son of Torkingham's predecessor Nat asks how he gets along with him, the tiller promptly replies: 'Pa'son Tarkenham so touches a lad's conscience that the church is not a day of rejoicing for the members it was in your reverend's time father's!'

The unflinching honesty with which they ascribe utilitarian motives to behavior is delightful. Three men discuss a wedding that did not take place in the bride's house, but in a neighboring parish and was therefore very private. The first doesn't blame the newlyweds, because "marrying at home means spooling five and six hands an hour, and those aren't good for a man's legs over forty." A second confirms the observation and says: "Right. Once in the woman's house, it's hard to say no when you're on the alert, knowing all the time that you're expected to collect your keep."

The third puts the whole issue beyond the need for further discussion, adding: “Personally, I like a good funeral as much as anything else. They have food and drink as great as other parties and even better. And he doesn't tire his legs when he talks about a poor fellow's manners, how he stands up on bugles.'

Beings who speak in this way know their opinions - a circumstance most unusual among the children of men - and knowing them do the next most natural thing in the world, which is to speak their minds.

There is another phase of Hardy's humor that needs to be noted: this humor, sometimes defiant, sometimes philosophical, in relation to death and its attendants. It cannot be considered pathological. Hardy loves nature too much to degenerate into mere morbidity. He's been outdoors a lot, which always corrects a tendency toward "steam". He takes little delight in horror, a claim that can be quoted in all of his works up until 1892, the date of Tess's appearance. This article does not include detailed commentary on later books; but as far as Tess is concerned, it would be critical folly to call it morbid. It's sad, it's awful, like Lear is awful, or like any of the great tragedies written by men we call "masters," it's awful. Jude is undoubtedly psychologically terrible; but not entirely untenable. Even if it were as dismal a book as some critics have described, it would not undermine the general truth of the health claims made by Hardy's work. Overall, this work is solid and refreshing. Can't fault him for being overly fond of cemeteries or ghosts. He does not speak of tombs and tombs to evoke that terror that the thought of death inspires. It shouldn't make the reader uncomfortable. If you are interested in the tomb, it is because of the reflections it evokes. "Man, proud man" needs that stimulus to remember that the pageantry of funerals and the appearance of tombstones give. Hardy has a keen sense of that humor, which glows in the presence of death and on the edge of the grave. The living have such an advantage over the dead that they can't help but feel it, nor refrain from showing it. When the lion is buried, the dogs joke at the burial. They do it sparingly and with a sense of decency, no doubt, but they do it anyway. Their immense superiority is never more evident than at this moment.

This humor that you see in Hardy is similar to the humor of the gravediggers in Hamlet, but not as dark. I have heard a mortician describe the details of the least attractive branch of his lumbering business with a pride and complacency that would have been a farce had the subject not been so depressing. That would have been an issue for Hardy's pen. There are few scenes in her books more revealing than those showing the operations in the Luxellian family tomb as John Smith, Martin Cannister and old Simeon prepare the place for Lady Luxellian's coffin. It doesn't seem sensible to consider this episode as good as the gravedigger scene in Hamlet; that would shock someone and earn the author a reputation for being enthusiastic rather than critical. But I confess I enjoy the conversation between old Simeon and Martin Cannister as much as I enjoy the conversation between the first and second gravedigger.

Simeon, the shriveled mason, was "a wonderful old man, whose skin seemed so magnificent for his physique that he would not stay in place." Here was the majestic and irascible Lord George:

'Ah, poor Lord George,' said the mason, looking thoughtfully at the huge coffin; “He and I were as feuding as one can be when one is a lord and the other just a mortal. Poor guy! He slapped my shoulder with his hand and called me names in a familiar and friendly manner, as if he were an ordinary guy. Yes, 'a cursed me up the hill and 'a cursed me down; and then she raged again, and the gold pincers of her beautiful new teeth gleamed in the sun like brass shackles, while I, poor little man, said nothing. A gentleman, as elegant as he is! Yes, I prefer to compare sometimes. But every now and then, as I gazed up at its imposing height, I thought in my heart, "What weight you will weigh, my lord, when our arms shall one day fall beneath the interior of Endelstow Church!"

"And was that him?" asked a young worker.

'He was. He weighed five hundred if it were a pound. With his lead and his oak and his cables and his thing and other' - here the Elder slammed his hand down on the lid with a force that rattled the bones inside - 'he almost broke my back when I gave it to you took feet to go down the steps there. "Ah," I said to John there - didn't it, John? - "that one man's fame should be a burden to another!" But sometimes I liked my Lord George.”

Hardy's humor can be seen to become more subtle or disappear altogether as he ages, as if serious matters are besetting him and there is no time for jokes. When it may one day attain the dignity of an English classic, it will be referred to as its third period, and critics will be wise to explain it. But only now is this third period characterized by the terms “pessimistic” and “unhealthy”.

There is little doubt that he is a pessimist in the colloquial sense. It's not surprising either; it's hard enough not to be. Many people are pessimistic and don't count. They maintain a beautiful exterior but secretly claim that all flesh is grass. Some people escape the disease because they have too much philosophy, too much religion, or too much work. Many who have not settled permanently under Schopenhauer's or von Hartmann's roof are occasional guests. Then there is this great pessimism that is not the result of thought but of sheer physical and transphysical discomfort. One can have bouts of pessimism from a variety of small causes. A bad stomach will produce it. Financial difficulties will produce it. The reckless get it from weather changes.

That melancholic note that we discover in many of Hardy's novels is as it should be. Because no one can understand life properly and still see it as a carnival. He can achieve composure about it, but he can never be cheerful and frivolous. He can never pat life on the back and call it by familiar names. He can argue that the world is undeniably getting better, but he will have to admit that the world is finding it difficult to do so.

Hardy would certainly have a reputation as a pessimist in some circles, if only because of his attitude toward marriage or what people think his attitude is. He devoted many pages and much thought to the problems of relations between men and women. He is very interested in matters of "marriage strife". He acknowledges the most obvious of all obvious truths, that marriage is not always a success; no, more than what is often an improvisation, an apology, a pretext. But he insists he's doing nothing but stating the facts. It is up to the audience to juxtapose their testimony with their experience and observation, and thus gauge the fidelity of their art.

He points to the variety of motives that prompt people to choose husbands and wives. In the novel The Woodlanders, Grace Melbury, the daughter of a wealthy but humble landowner, has unusual opportunities for a girl of her class and is raised to a point of physical and mental delicacy that makes her appear superior to her home. Surroundings. Her father expected her to marry her country lover, Giles Winterbourne, who, by the way, is a man in every fiber of his being. Grace is largely unaffected by her life in a fashionable boarding school, but upon her return her father feels (and Hardy makes the reader feel) that by marrying Giles she will sacrifice herself. she marries dr Fitzspiers, a brilliant young doctor, has just arrived in the neighborhood and is choosing the worst. The character of dr. Fitzspiers is summed up in a statement he once made (presumably to a friend) that "he realized on one occasion that he was possessed simultaneously by five different passions".

His blatant infidelity leads to a temporary breakup; Grace is unable to understand "such double and triple hearts". When they finally meet again, the problem in their lives is still waiting for a proper solution. Because the reason that brings the girl back to her husband is just a more complex phase of the same reason that made her marry him. Hardy says that as a lover, Fitzspiers treated Grace "like a drink." with experience.'

But the same story contains two other characters who are unparalleled in fiction as embodiments of pure love and abandonment. Giles Winterbourne, whose devotion to Grace is without a wish for happiness that will bring no greater happiness for her, dies lest suspicion fall on her. He, in turn, is loved by Marty South with an integrity that destroys any thought of himself. She enjoys no measure of reward as long as Winterbourne lives. He never knows about Marty's love. But in that last beautiful paragraph of this remarkable book, as the poor girl lays the flowers on her grave, she expresses a little lament unparalleled in modern literature for its beauty, emotion, and realistic simplicity. Hardy was never a greater artist than when he was writing the final chapter of The Woodlanders.

For a book in which selfless love is described both fairly and nobly cannot be dangerously pessimistic, even if it also deals with desperate cases as a man with a chronic tendency to palpitations.

The point can be summed up like this: in Hardy's novels one sees the artistic result of the effort to paint life as it is, with much joy and a little sadness, with its good and selfish people, its positive characters. . . and your Laodiceans, your men and women who rule the circumstances, and your wretches who are under the water. These books are the record of what a wise, sensible, energetic, compassionate, and good-humored man knows about life; a man too conscious of things to grossly exaggerate or sugarcoat them; and at the same time so aware of how much poetry and irony God has mixed into the world order so that he cannot hide that either. It has such a broad intellectual structure that it makes the petty quarrels of the literary schools seem silly. I find a measure of Hardy's spirit in passages that explain his idea of ​​the preciousness of life, no matter how life is expressed. He is particularly tender towards brute creation. In this paragraph describing Tess discovering the wounded pheasants in the woods, Hardy proposes the notion, quite new to many people, that chivalry is not limited to male-to-male or male-to-female relationships. There are still weaker creatures in nature's numerous family. What if we are rude or impolite to them?

It is full of all sorts of succinct sayings, many wise, some profound, and none unworthy of a second reading. It is to be hoped that he escapes the dubious honor of being scattered throughout a Thomas Hardy's Space and Wisdom. They are too important to postpone with Christmas cards and not important enough to receive gifts of any predictable value.

One has to commend the tremendous spirit and liveliness of the scenes in which something of a battle, a moral duel, takes place. In such passages all the power at the scribe's disposal is required; unfailing directness of thought and words that carry that thought, as an athlete's clothing conforms to the body. Everything must count, and the movement of the narrative must be maintained as much as possible. The chess scene between Elfride and Knight in A Pair of Blue Eyes is an illustration. Another example is Sergeant Troy showing off his swordsmanship - by bewitching Bathsheba in true snake fashion. The game scene is even brighter in The Return of the Native, where Wildeve and Diggory Venn gamble for Thomasin's money by lantern light on the moor at night. Venn the Reddleman, in the Mephistophelic garb of his profession, is the embodiment of a good spirit and wins the guineas from the clutches of his prodigal husband. The scene is immensely dramatic, with its accompaniments of darkness and stillness, Wildeve's gaunt face, the circle of ponies known as heather planters being attracted to the light, the skull moth blowing out the candle, and the game's ending to the light of the fireflies . It is a splendid writing in true bravery style.

There is a quality in his books that I dare to call "space" in the hope that the word conveys the meaning I am trying to express. There is obviously a difference between big books and just long books. The first epithet refers to the atmosphere, the other to the page number. Hardy writes great books. In them there is room for the reader to expand his mind. They are decidedly outdoor books "that don't smell like a monastery or a library". This quality of size does not depend on the number of pages; Length is also not absolute when applied to books. A book can be a hundred pages and ninety-nine more, because its truth, its teaching, its literary virtue, are no greater than can be expressed in a single page.

Space is even less dependent on miles. The narrowness, geographically speaking, of Hardy's range of expression is remarkable. In this respect there are great contrasts between him and Stevenson. The Scot has incorporated life experiences in a dozen different parts of the world into his beautiful books. Hardy, in better health, traveled from Portland to Bath and from 'Wintoncester' to 'Exonbury' - voyages scarcely more serious than from blue to brown bed. And it's better that way. No reader of The Native's Return would have been satisfied that Eustacia Vye persuaded her husband to return to Paris. Rather than the boulevards, preference is given to the moor of Egdon, as Hardy paints it, 'the great unbroken place', the 'indomitable Ismaili thing' which its nemesis civilization could not subdue.

He is undoubtedly one of the finest writers of our time, whether of comedy or tragedy; and also for extravagance, as attests to his lively farce entitled The Hand of Ethelberta. He can write dialogues or descriptions. He is so excellent at both that when you read him he seems to be taking the greatest pleasure in it. If your characters can talk, you'd be happy to see them talk by the end of the book. When he, the author, speaks, you don't want to interrupt him. More than most able writers, he maintains that right balance between narrative and colloquialism.

His best novels before Tess came out are The Woodlanders, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge. These four are the bulwarks of his reputation, while great and separate fame can rest only on this mighty tragedy, called by its author Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

Criticism that glorifies any book by a particular author at the expense of all his other books is pointless, if not dangerous. Also, having a favorite author and a favorite book by that favorite author is dangerous. A man's choice of books, like his friends, is usually inexplicable to everyone but himself. However, the main purpose of recommending books is to convert people to the gospel of literature, according to the author of these books. For this legitimate purpose, I would recommend the two volumes, The Woodlanders and The Return of the Native, to the reader who has hitherto denied the pleasure of knowing Thomas Hardy. The first of them is the most ingenious because it depicts a more ingenious side of nature. But the other is a fine piece of literary work, a mighty book, ingeniously framed, strongly realized in every detail; a book dramatic, humorous, sincere in its pathos, rich in verbal colour, eloquent in its descriptive passages; a book that embodies so much life and poetry that reading it gives one a sense of intellectual excitement.

It is certainly not wise for the critical Jeremiahs to raise their voices so desperately and bemoan the state of literature today with such passion. The literature of the time was very good, as you would see if you could only divert your fascinated gaze from the humorous and spectacular elements of that literature to the works of Thomas Hardy and George Meredith. With such men among the most influential in modern literature, and with Barrie and Stevenson among the idols of the reading world, it seems that Jeremiah's public office should consist of courtesy rather than an overwhelming sense of the needs of the moment. .


Sir Edmund William Gosse (1849–1928) was an English poet, author and critic. This chapter is taken from Gosse's review of Some Diversions of a Man of Letters.

Sir Edmund Gosse


When, about Christmas 1898, Mr Hardy, expecting a new novel from him, received instead a thick volume of verse, in whose sympathy and respect mingled a little disappointment and a great lack of apprehension. Those not so rude as to suggest that a shoemaker should stay to the end recalled that many novelists sought relaxation by playing with the muses. Thackeray was publishing ballads and George Eliot was working on a Jubal legend. No one thought Coningsby bad because its author had written a revolutionary epic. It took even intelligent criticism some time to realize that the new Wessex poems did not fall into this casual category, and yet after twenty years a tendency survives, Mr. Robust, copious and solid as it became, as a mere ancillary and ornamental appendix to his novels. It is still necessary to insist on the total independence of his career as a poet and to point out that if he had never published a page in prose he would have deserved to be included in the score of eight among the writers of his country volumes. your verse. As a poet, and only as a poet, I want to talk about him today.

It was considered extraordinary that Cowper was in his fifties when he published his first secular verse, but Mr Hardy was approaching his sixtieth year when he sent Wessex Poems to the press. This self-control - "No one has striven more diligently, and no one strives more tirelessly" - has always fascinated the true artist, but few have practiced it so tenaciously. When Mr. Hardy's work is completed, nothing should impress posterity more than his unity, his consistency. Hardly any other modern writer has shown his tireless steadfastness and determination. His novels formed an unbroken line from Desperate Remedies from 1871 to The Beloved in 1897. In the fullness of his success and tempted by no temptation, he closed and kept this chapter of his career closed. Since 1898 he has been a persistent and periodic poet and nothing else. The fact that, for reasons left to his own judgment, he decided to postpone the performance of his verses until he had completed his prose work should not affect the critic's analysis of the texts and the colossal dramatic panorama. Mister. Hardy, unique as a poet, demands our full attention.

It is legitimate to discuss other probable causes of Mr. Winterhart. From information scattered before us, we gather that originally from 1865 to 1867 he considered poetry his calling. The passages from the volume, dated 1898, help us to form an idea of ​​the original character of his utterance. On the whole, much remains of the pieces composed at the end of half a century. From a very young age Mr. Hardy possessed his extraordinary insight into the movements of the human character and his eloquence in translating what he had observed of the tragedy and pain of peasant life. No one for sixty years took seriously Wordsworth's admonitions in his famous preface to the 1800 edition of Lyrical Ballads to be inspired by those conditions in which "the passions of men are embodied in the beautiful forms of nature. ' But it may be doubted whether the poems of Mr. Hardy would have been received with favor or even understood in the middle of the Victorian era. Fifty years ahead of his time, he asked for new ideas in 1866, and he must have been aware that his questioning would seem inappropriate. He needed a different atmosphere and left the task of revolt to another, at first sight very alien force, that of the poems and ballads of the same year. But Swinburne succeeded in his revolution, and although he approached art from an opposite direction, it prepared the way for a definitive appreciation of Mr. Winterhart.

We must therefore regard him, despite his forty years of silence, as a poet who, like Swinburne, worked in a revolution against the optimism and superficial sweetness of his day. While Swinburne tended to emphasize the poetic side of poetry, Mr. Hardy approximated verse, verbal in some respects, to prose. This does not change their common attitude, and the sympathy these great artists have for each other's work has already been shown and will continue to be shown. But they were strangers to each other in 1866, when both the cheap philosophy of the moment, the glittering femininity of the "line of jewels," the intense respect for Mrs. are trampled. We do not find in the opening verses of Mr. Hardy any echo of the passionate belief in personal immortality professed by Ruskin and Browning. He opposed the Victorian theory of human "progress"; the Tennysonian blissful vision seemed ridiculous to him. He rejected the idea of ​​nature's sympathy and goodness and rebelled against the selfishness of the Romantics. We can surmise that he combined great reverence for the book of Job with considerable contempt for the In Memoriam.

This wasn't just a passing rebellious fantasy; it was something of my own that stayed and today the last letters from Mr. Winterhart. But before examining the characteristics of this personal way of interpreting poetry for the world, we can glean as little light as possible about its historical development. In the plays, dated between 1865 and 1867, we find the germ of almost everything that has characterized the poet since then. In "Amabel" the ruinous course of the years, which still obsess Hardy to this day, is already dealt with rudely. The habit of turning small scenes into poetic negatives—"your face, and the god-cursed sun, and a tree, and a lake surrounded by gray leaves" ("Neutral Times")—which hasn't existed in English verse since more had been days of crabbe resurfaces. A sense of terror and resentment at the blind moves of chance is already evident - In "Hap" the author would welcome a certainty of divine hatred as a release from the tension of "gross accident" dependency. Here and there in these first pieces an extreme difficulty of pronunciation makes itself felt, given the ease the poet later achieved in expressing his strangest images and fantastic revelations. We read in “At a Wedding”:

"Should I also marry a slave of fashion's edict, And each so apart, from false desire, An impassive line that will ignite no lofty aim, How our fire could never have mingled us!"

This, while perfectly reducible, takes time to think about and at first glance seems muted in the darkness beyond Donne's gloom; besides, it is hardly worthy of the virtuoso that Mr. Hardy would soon become. Of the poems that certainly belong to this early period, the little sonnet cycle entitled 'She to Him' gives perhaps the clearest promise of what was to come. The mood is that of Ronsard's famous "Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir, à la chandelle", but as Mr. Hardy loves to do, man to woman, and full of ingenuity, as the latter says, that if her temper wears off, the habit of loving will remain, and it will be

"Too deaf as a weathervane rotting at its tip, Faithful to the wind that kissed before the cancer came."

which testify to a mental complexity unknown to Ronsard's society.

On the whole, perhaps we can safely surmise that the final dedication of the verse has been postponed for whatever reason. Now novel-writing is Mr. Hardy, and ten years passed before we found another poet in this life. But it is interesting to note that when the huge success of Far from the Madding Crowd introduced him to a circle of the finest readers, it had an effect that once again dashed his ambition for the moment. Mister. Hardy was once again tempted to change the way he worked. He wanted to "return to the verse" but was dissuaded by Leslie Stephen, who prompted him to begin writing The Return of the Native. On March 29, 1875, Coventry Patmore, then a complete stranger, wrote to express his regret that 'the almost matchless beauty and vigor which appears in romances should not have secured the immortality which verse would have bestowed on them. This was just as we see Mr. Hardy's conversations with 'the long velvet-coated Leslie Stephen' doggedly revolving around 'decayed and extinct theologies, the origin of things, the nature of matter and the unreality of time'. ’ This period also saw the earliest conception of The Dynasts, an old notebook dated 20 June 1875 suggesting that the author should attempt an ‘Iliad of Europe from 1789 to 1815’.

This period also seems to include the execution of what appears to be the most attractive part of Mr Hardy, The Narratives or Short Ballads of Wessex. The method by which these came into the world is very strange. Many of these stories were jotted down into a stanza or two when the subject first entered the author's mind. For example, The Fire at Tranter Sweatley's, first published in 1894 by Lionel Johnson, was begun in 1867 and completed ten years later. The long ballad of "Leipzig" and the wild "San Sebastian", both very characteristic, were conceived long before they were completed and a few lines each were commented on. 'Valenciennes', on the other hand, dates from 1878, and 'Tanz im Phoenix', of which only the stanza beginning ''Twas Christmas' was written years earlier, seems to have been completed at the same time. What evidence do we have before us to prove that Mr. Hardy became a consummate master of verse, and that his poetic style was already established by that time. He still kept poetry out of the public eye, but over the next twenty years, like a backwater from the stream of his novels, he wrote the poems that make up the bulk of the 1898 volume. Plenty of good things, but our general introduction little would be changed of his genius.

However, we must be remiss in treating subsequent volumes as mere repetitions of the original Poems of Wessex. They have interesting differences that I can quickly observe before going into the characteristics that characterize Mr. Winterhart's entire body. Poems of the Past and Present, which came out in the early days of 1902, could not but be somewhat disappointing, comparing its three-year-old product with the thirty-year-old Wessex Poems. Old plays were published in it, and it was evident that Mr. Hardy could have chosen from his so-called "portfolio" the specimens he found most attractive. But on closer inspection it turned out that this was not quite the case. In 1887, after pondering Napoleon's age for twelve years, he began to make him sing:

"Should I whistle a palinody or keep quiet about it?"

He decides that silence has become impossible:—

"NO; I'll sing 'The Bridge of Lodi' - That romantic and long-loved thing, Though no one shows it by smiling or nodding, he guess why and what I'm singing!

Here is the seed of The Dynasts. But in the meantime the crisis of the Boer War a hundred years before had thwarted the poet's dream of Europe, and a group of records of the Dorsetshire elements of the British Army, dated late 1899, showed in Mr. suspect there—a military talent of a remarkable kind. A other set of pieces composed in Rome was not so interesting; Mister. Hardy always looks a little sluggish when he leaves the confines of his native Wessex. Another section of Poems of the Past and Present is grim, almost didactic, metaphysical, expanding in various languages ​​the bold thought so constantly expressed in Mr. Hardy that God himself forgot the existence of the earth, this "little sphere", this "dirty ball", "so poor thing", and has left all human life to the pawn of blind chance. This sad belief is hardly disturbed by "The Darkling Thrush," which stretches as far in the direction of optimism as Mr. Hardy can get carried away, or by thoughts like those in "On a Fine Morning":

"Where does Consolo come from? Not seeing what you are doing, suffering, being; Not by heeding the conditions of life, not by heeding the warnings of the times; But in clinging to the dream and looking at the glow that makes gray things appear golden.”

Eight more years elapsed, years marked by tremendous dynastic effort, before Mr. Hardy to present another collection of lyrical poems. Time's Laughingstocks confirmed and more than confirmed the great promise of Wessex Poems. The author, in one of his modest prefaces, in which he seems to whisper as we lean forward in our eagerness not to miss a spare sentence, expresses the hope that Risos do Tempo as a whole will lead the reader even forward if not far, then behind.”

While the book does not take us "far" simply because the writer's style and scope have already been definitively revealed to us, it is "onward" because the Master's hand is visibly firmer and clearer at the boldest touch. The Laughters themselves are fifteen tragic tales of separation and isolation, of failure in passion, of betrayal of physical decay. No landscape by Mr. Hardy was more vivid than the nocturnal imagery in The Revisitation, where the old soldier in the barracks sneaks into the pass and (by one of Mr. Hardy's coincidences) meets his former lover, and no image is more terrifying than the revelation of each other in a burst of sunrise. What future document is Reminiscences of a Dancing Man? If only Shakespeare could have left us such a song from London in 1585! But the poet's power culminates in the pathos of The Tramp Woman - perhaps the greatest of all Hardy's lyric poems - and the terror of A Sunday Morning's Tragedy.

It is noticeable that Time's Laughingstocks is in some ways a more unusual collection than its predecessors. We find the poet here entirely emancipated from convention and guided, both religiously and morally, only by the inner light of his reflection. His energy now interacts with his clairvoyance with a completeness he has never shown before and here we find Mr Hardy in a special way the quintessence of himself. Especially in the narrative plays - which are mostly Wessex romances which distilled in a glass of wine, like "Rose-Ann" and "The Vampirine Fair" -- he leaves no room for speculation as to what the reader might find "cool" or "enjoyable." . Shackle your sincerity or your determination; and it is for this reason that it is Time's Laughingstocks that the reader repeats himself to Mr. Hardy as a moralist. We note here, more than elsewhere in his poetry, Mr Hardy's sympathy with the local music of Wessex and particularly with its expression through the village choir, which he uses as a spiritual symbol. A fairly large part of Time's Laughingstocks takes us to the old-fashioned gallery of a church where the minstrels bow to "New Sabbath" or "Mount Ephraim", or to a later scene in which the ghosts, in their melancholy appearance Mr. Hardy enjoys it so much that they sing their goblin tunes and strum "the violins of the dead" in the moonlit graveyard. For example, the essence of Mr. Hardy at this point in his career can be found in The Dead Quire, where the former ghost minstrels seek revenge on their boorish grandchildren outside of the brewery.

Almost immediately after the outbreak of the current war, Mr. Hardy presented another collection of his poetry to a somewhat distraught and inattentive audience. It cannot be said that Satires of Circumstance is the most satisfying of these volumes; it is perhaps what we could, with the slightest defiance, be persuaded to ignore. Such a statement here refers to the high quality of other pages rather than a positive drop in performance or processing. There is no less dexterity and penetrating vision in this book than elsewhere, and the poet once again arouses our admiration for his ability to lend poetic value to minimal living conditions that have escaped the less observant observer. But in Satires of Circumstance the ugliness of the experience is more pronounced than elsewhere, and it is thrown in our faces with less regret. The pieces that give the volume its name are only fifteen, but the spirit that inspires them is very often repeated in other parts of the collection. This spirit is a mocking sarcasm and in all cases acts by presenting a beautifully draped illusory figure from which the poet, like a sardonic showman, draws back the cloak to reveal a skeleton beneath. Reading the Satires of Circumstances it is safe to assume that Mr. Hardy was having a nervous breakdown while writing it. This appears to be the Troilus and Cressida of his life's work, the book in which he reveals himself most distracted by conjecture and most troubled by abortion. The sources of human hope have been poisoned to him by a condition of which we know nothing, and even the picturesque features of the Dorsetshire countryside, which have ever before dispelled his melancholy, cannot attract his attention:—

"Luminous yellow hammers made joyous shouts, And waved long straws with excited air, And carried his burden, Flew down the road Which he alone took, unconcerned there."

The strongest of the disillusionment poems that result from this mindset is "The Newcomer's Wife," with the horrific harshness of its last stanza. It is not for critics to criticize the subject of a work of art, only to comment on its execution. There can be no doubt of the merit of these monotonously sinister satires of circumstance; whether the poet's indulgence in the mood that produced it does not tend to lower our moral temperature and lessen the recovery of our energy is another question. In any case, everyone should welcome an afterword in which a blow on the war horn seems to have snapped the poet out of his somber meditation and into the spirit of a new chapter in the story.

In the fourth year of the war, the veteran poet published Moments of Vision. These show a remarkable recovery of spirit and an ingenuity never matched. Over the years Mr Hardy, observing everything in the little world of Wessex and forgetting nothing, became almost preternaturally wise and, if you may say so, 'knowing', with a sort of magic, like that of a wizard. He learned to trace the suppleness of the human heart with the familiarity of a game warden who finds many vermin in the woods and nails what he finds, be it ermine or squirrel, to the barn door of his poetry. But there is much in these latter fruits of Mr. Hardy, too, that is quite detached from the bitterness of satire, much that is simply chronicling, with an infinite delicacy of pathos, small incidents of earlier personal life and of the art in these fleeting fantasies in the Head of the Japanese sculptor when carving the smelt, imparting immortality to a cloud, or the flight of an insect on the hilt of his sword:—

“I lazily cut a stalk of parsley and blew towards the moon; I had not thought that ghosts would walk to my sound with trembling steps.

“I went and knelt and took my hand as if to drink, in the brook, and a faint figure seemed to be over me, of bygone appearance.

“I happened to be spouting rough rhymes, not willingly, I wasn't thinking about what my words would be; Then a voice came to my ear, which became a verse softer for me.”

We now have before us a brief historical survey of the various volumes in which Mr. Hardy was originally collected. Before examining its general character more closely, it is worth pointing out its technical quality, which at first was singularly misunderstood and which we believe was never boldly tackled. In 1898 and later, when a melodious falsetto was very much in fashion among us, critics found Mr. Winterhart very critical; They judged him a rude and false verse. As for the single line, it may be admitted that Mr. Hardy is often constipated and rigid in his eagerness to present his thinking in its unadulterated form. A line like

(Video) Where to start with Thomas Hardy

"Melted in Ecstasy from Their Separation"

it hisses at us like a snake and crawls like a wounded snake. Mister. Hardy tends to clog his lines with consonants and seems indifferent to the rigidity that accompanies this neglect. Ben Jonson said that "Donne deserved to be hanged for not keeping his accent"; Perhaps we can go so far as to say that Mr. Hardy exposes himself to mild rebuke by his indifference to a savory breed. He neglects that eternal flourish of English verse, audible complexity, probably because Swinburne abuses it. But most of what is labeled harshness should be labeled nudity, and is the result of a conscious or unconscious revolt against Keats' recipe for "loading the cracks with ore."

That says all that an enemy could rightly blame for their metric quirks. No doubt he occasionally strays, like Robert Browning, toward cacophony. But as we turn to the greater part of the prosody, we must recognize that Mr. Hardy is not only a very ingenious metrician, but a very correct and admirable one. His strophic invention is rich; No other Victorian poet, not even Swinburne, used so many forms, largely his own, and used them so appropriately, that is, in so close harmony with the subject or story enshrined in them. First, to give an example of her purely reflective lyrics from The Bullfinches:

"Brother Bulleys, let's sing from dawn to dusk! 'Cause we don't know we won't when the faint visions of the day bend for those who have sung of old.

In the delicate tenderness and sadness of the stanza, we seem to hear the voices of the birds singing softly at sunset. Once again, the hasty, timid indecisiveness of an always-late lover is beautifully portrayed in the form of "Lizbie Browne":

"And Lizbie Browne, who else had hair as red as yours, or meat so fair, free range bred, Sweet Lizbie Browne?"

On the other hand, the savagery of "I said to Love" is interpreted in a verse that fits the climate of denunciation, while "Tess' Lament" wails in a meter that seems to sway like an old woman sitting alone in front of the fire, with an infinitely haunting sadness. .

It is, however, in the narrative plays, the Little Tales of Wessex, that Mr. Hardy is more triumphant. None of them are identical in form, and for each he chooses or invents a perfectly appropriate stanza. He makes many experiments, one of the strangest being the introduction of rhyming lines at regular intervals. Of these, “Cicely” is an example that draws attention: –

"And still fierce I went on, That highway, the ice That draws its pale ribbon through Wessex O'er Lynchet and Lea.

"Along the forum encircled by Stour, where legions roamed, and where the slow river reflects its green canopy";

and an even more notable one is the delightful Friends Beyond, to which we will now return. The slurred voice of a tired old activist is rendered beautifully in the verse of "Valenciennes":

"Well: Paradise with its halls of jasper is now the only city I want to be in. My God, if Nick would bomb the walls like we did in Valencieën!”

whereas for long Napoleonic tales like "Leipzig" and "The Peasant's Confession" a ballad beat is artistically chosen that contemporaries like Southey or Campbell might have used. In stark contrast is the elaborate verse form of The Souls of the Slain, in which the pulsing verse ebbs and flows like the cloud of moth-like spirits it describes. It is difficult to follow this subject without citations more often than I have space here, but the reader who follows it carefully will not repeat the rumor that Mr. Hardy is a careless or "wrong" metrician. On the contrary, he is a metric artist of great achievement.

The outlook on life that this meticulous artist reveals in his verses reveals very accurately the inclination of his temperament. Throughout his long career, Mr. Hardy has never deviated from his original direction. He holds that man, forsaken by God, treated with contempt by nature, is helplessly at the mercy of "these stupid doomsters," chance, chance and time, from which he has suffered injuries and insults from cradle to grave Grave had to endure. . This is meant to express Hardy's doctrine in its extreme form, but it is not a very strong statement. This has been called his "pessimism," an expression objected to by some admirers, reluctant to give things their proper name. But of course Mr. Hardy is a pessimist, Browning is an optimist because white is not black and day is not night. Our paradoxical juggling of words often tends to mask a lack of decision-making in thought. Let's admit that Mr. Hardy's conception is "pessimistic" about the fatal forces plaguing human life, otherwise the words are meaningless.

However, it is necessary to define what this pessimism consists of. It's not Byron's egotism or Chateaubriand's morbid melancholy. It is directed towards the observation of others, not the analysis of oneself, and this gives it greater philosophical importance, for although romantic sullenness is very common among modern poets and although boredom inspires a multitude of sonnets, it is a conscious study and imaginative useless suffering in the world around us is rare among poets. It is particularly noteworthy that Mr. Although Hardy is one of the most deeply tragic of all modern writers, he is neither feminine nor sickly. His melancholy could never have dictated the third verse of Shelley's Lines Written in Despond in the Bay of Naples. His pessimism is involuntary, forced by his experience and constitution, and no analysis could better define what separates him from the stubborn despair of a poet like Leopardi than the lines "À Vida":

"Oh life, with a sad and frightened face I got tired of seeing you, and your torn cloak, and your limp crotch, and your forced kindness!

"I know what you would say about death, time, fate - I've known that for a long time, and I also know very well what it all means to me.

"But can't you dress up in a rare disguise and pretend earth is paradise for one crazy day?

"I'll set the mood, And sing into the night with you, And maybe what I'm faking as an interlude, I think!"

But the murmur is no deeper than in the exquisite poem "The Darkling Thrush," where the songs of an old bird on a frosty night are so ecstatic that they inspire a vague hope in the listener's mind that the thrush may know something "a." blessed hope”, of which the poet “knows nothing”. That's the best Mr. Hardy can do, the Victorian way of gratification.

In a way, it's not uncommon to see a parallel between Mr. Hardy and George Crabbe. Each is the mouthpiece of a district, each has a passion for the study of mankind, each has acquired a deep knowledge of the local human species through years of observation, and each has dug into the open moor and carries it in his cloak, the colorless flower of the Disappointment. But there is a big difference in the aim of the two poets. Crabbe, as he describes himself in The Parish Register, was "the real doctor" who "enters the dirtiest ward". He was utilitarian in his morals; he revealed the pathos of tragedy, dwelling on the mistakes that had led to it and forgetting the doom he saw in more consistent moments. Crabbe was a realist with a moral plan, even in Tales from the Hall, where he gallantly struggled to at last achieve mental detachment. For Mr. Hardy, who does not have the instincts of a preacher and who regards moral improvement as beyond his responsibility. He admits this with his great French contemporary

"Every wish is a lie, every joy is fleeting, every sip at the bottom of the cup is bitter."

but he is anxious to uncover the cause of this devastation and will not waste time in its consequences. In the end, he presents a panacea neither Crabbe nor Byron dreamed of - resignation.

But the poet did not reach the end of his disillusionment. He thinks of finding rest in the bosom of nature, the alma mater to which Goethe, Wordsworth and Browning, each in his own way, have turned and been rewarded with comfort and refreshment. We must be prepared, Mr. Hardy, with his remarkable aptitude for the perception of natural forms, is easily comforted by the influences of the landscape and the inanimate world. Its field of view is wide and extremely accurate; He has the gift of rendering scenes of different characters before us with a sometimes surprising vibrancy. But the contempt of Mr. He has no more confidence in visible earth than in invisible heaven, and neither here nor there can he persuade himself to find a counselor or friend. In this regard, we would do well to follow the poet's train of thought in the lyric entitled "In the Forest," where he enters a grove and dreams that in this realm of "wild peace," nature finds "a gentle deliverance from the of man” would offer unrest. ." He immediately notices that pine and beech are fighting for existence, trying to destroy each other with dripping poison. He sees the ivy trying to strangle the elm and the thorns choking the holly. Even the poplars sulk and darken himself.under the shadow of a rival.In the end, horrified by all these crimes of nature, the poet flees the woods as if from a cursed place, finding that life offers him no other consolation than the company of these people so besieged him is: -

"Since then no mercy has taught me about trees, I return to my kind which is so worthy. There at least there is much smiling, There trills of language, There one finds fidelity to life from time to time.”

It is absurd, he decides, to love nature that has no answer to give or answers with irony. Let us even avoid, as far as we can, a deep concentration of thought on the mysteries of nature, lest we become demoralized by contemplating her negligence, her blindness, her implacability. We find here a violent reaction against the poetry of selfish optimism which had dominated the Romantic school in England for more than a hundred years, and we recognize a branch of Mr. Winterhart. He lifts the veil of Isis and finds no benevolent mother of men beneath it, but the tomb of an illusion. A short text, "Yell'ham-Wood's Story", expresses this in its unflinching rawness, again with a forest backdrop:

"Coomb-Firtrees say life is a groan, and Clyffe-hill Clump says 'Yes!' But Yell'ham says something of his own: It doesn't say, 'Grey, grey, it's life forever!' That Yell'ham says, nor that life has an unknown ending.

“It says that life would mean a frustrated purpose: that we came to live and are called to die. Yes, it is In the fall, in the spring That Yell'ham says: - Life offers - deny!'

Hence Hardy devotes his poetic function almost entirely to the obscure tale of those suffering and stumbling around him, victims of general disillusionment, men and women who "come to life but are called to die". 'Lizbie Browne' speaks to us as a quintessential example of her rustic pathos, direct and touching tenderness, and if we compare Wordsworth's poems like 'Lucy Gray' or 'Alice Fell' we see that he is beginning to approach the level markedly of the subject than its great predecessor. Wordsworth is the benevolent philosopher seated in a carriage or crossing the 'wide moor' in meditation. Mister. Hardy is the trusted neighbor, the shy mourner at the grave; Their relationship is more intimate: he is patient, humble, implacable. At times, as in the remarkable conversation entitled The Ruined Maid, their sympathies are so close that they completely disregard the Victorian moral system. Mister. In fact, Hardy is not concerned with sentimental morality, but with the primitive instincts of the soul, applauding them, or at least holding onto them smugly even as they outrage the ethical tradition, as they do in the lyrical tale entitled The Wife and other. The stanzas "To an Unborn Pauper Child" sum up what it is about Mr. Hardy that stops the ambitious life forms he enjoys contemplating.

His temper is not always so low as in the class of poems just mentioned, but his ultimate view is never more optimistic. He likes to play the fiddler in a dance, eyeing the sultry couples and goading them with the cadence of his instrument, but he's always aware that they'll have to "pay dearly for their dancing" at the end of it all. No example of this is more remarkable than the poem "Julie-Jane," a perfect example of Mr. Hardy, which begins:

"Sing; how they would sing! How would the melody grow if we left the harvest in the wagon in the light of the moon!

“Dance, how would a dance! If a violin string was just plucked, they would hold their mantles, take a slanted look, and go round and round.

"Laugh; how she would laugh! Her peony lips would part as if there were no place for a lover to drink deep in a heart,"

and which then turns into the most melancholic and irretrievable tragedy, woven like a black drawing on a golden ground on this basis of spirited joy.

Alphonse Daudet once said that Edmond de Goncourt's great gift was "rendre l'irrendable". This is all the more true of Mr. Hardy than of Goncourt, and truer than of any other English poet except Donne. There is absolutely no remark too small, no memory vibration too weak for Mr. Hardy took as subject a metaphysical lyric, and his ability in this direction grew in him; nowhere is it more remarkable than in his latest volume, aptly named Moments of Vision. Everything in village life is raw material for your mill; he seems to make no choices, and his field is humble to the point of humility, yet practically limitless. We have a poem about the attitude of two people with nothing to do and no book to read, waiting in a hotel room for the rain to end, a memory after more than forty years. The fact that the poet dropped a pencil in the corner of an old church where he was drawing inspired a lengthy letter. The disappearance of a rotting summer cottage, the appearance of a line of silver mist-drops condensing on a gatepost, the effect of candlelight years ago on a woman's neck and hair, the sight of a giant at a faire led by a red-stringed dwarf - such subjects are among the subjects raised in Mr. Harte's thoughts, often too deep for tears, and requiring interpretation in verse. The skeleton of a woman's parasol captured by Swanage Cliffs, the pages of a will scattered by the fly in a railway waiting room, a boy traveling in a third class carriage with his ticket caught in the brim of his hat - such are among the themes that in Mr. Harte's imagination daydreams, which are always dead serious and often deeply tragic.

The notation of Mr. Hardy's human touch, hitherto excluded from the realm of poetry, is one of the most striking features of his originality. This informed his work from the start, as in the opening ballad of The Widow, where the suitor's sudden dampening of love as a result of his jealousy of the child is portrayed with extraordinary finesse. The difficulty, of course, is knowing when to stop. There is always the danger that a poet, in his search for the infinitely brilliant, will fall into amphigory, sheer absurdity and triviality, which Cowper, despite his elegant lightness, does not always escape. Wordsworth, more serious in intention, fell head over heels in love with Peter Bell parts and ballads like "Betty Foy". Mister. Hardy, whatever the poverty of his incident, generally redeems it by the strangeness of his remark; as in "The Pedigree":-

“I bowed in the middle of the night over a family tree which the chronicler gave as mine; and as I leaned there half-naked, the unveiled panes of my square window let in the watery light of the moon in its old age: And greenish clouds sped by where dumb and cold whirled like the eye of a dying dolphin seen surging through a wave."

Mr. Resilient's love of strange experiences and adventures, based on the balance of conscience and instinct, is constantly exemplified in these ballads and verse-anecdotes, which form that part of his poetry most appreciated by the general public. Among them, extraordinarily representative of the poet's mind, is 'My Cicely', an 18th-century tale in which a man rides headlong from London through Wessex to be present at the wrong woman's funeral; On his return, he happens to meet the right woman he loved and is horrified by "her face covered in alcohol, her heavy accent". He determines that through an effort of will the dead woman (whom he never saw) will remain as she looked during his wild ride, "my Cicely", and the living woman will be erased from memory. A similar conscious choice, that dream will take the place of fact, is the motif of The Beloved. The ghastly humor of "The Curate's Kindness" is a kind of reverse action of the same mental subtlety. The misunderstanding occupies a very prominent place in Mr. Winterhart's irony; as, almost painfully, in "The Rash Bride," a hideous suicide story that follows the duplicity of a tender, innocent widow.

Mister. Hardy was born in 1772 and survived until 1857. From her lips he heard many obscure legends about life in Wessex in the 18th century. It was she who told him the terrible tale of Exmoor from The Sacrilege; the opening story of The Two Men, which could be the bare-bones setting for an entire lavish novel; or that incomparable verse comedy The Fire at Tranter Sweatley's with its great human touch at the very end? We guess so; and perhaps from the same source he acquired his dangerous insight into the woman's heart, whether extraordinarily feeble, as in The Home-coming, with its tender, wry surprise, or treacherous, as in the sombre ballad of Rose-Ann. No one, in prose or verse, spoke more poignantly than Mr. Hardy on what our ancestors called "cases of conscience." He seems to have shared the experiences of souls for whom life was "a forest before its doors, and a maze within the forest, and locks and bolts on every door within that maze," as Jeremy Taylor describes that of the anxious penitent who came to him to confess. The probably very old tale of The Captains of Casterbridge is a delicate study in regret, and a more important example is The Alarm, where the balance between conscience and instinct gives way to what in the rudest of hands can seem the most difficult trivia of Actions. an important character in the tragedy.

That's one of Mr. Hardy's military history where he's almost always uniquely lucky. His portrayals of the corporal of the old service are as excellent in verse as in the prose of the trumpet major or the melancholic hussar. The reader of the novels need not be reminded that "Valenciennes" and the other ballads have their parallel prose in Simon Burden's memoirs of Minde. Mister. Hardy, with a keen curiosity about the science of war and a knowledge approaching the common soldier's mind, pondered the philosophy of battle. "The Man he Killed", written in 1902, expresses the amazement of the marine who is urged to shoot his brother in arms, though

"If he and I had met, In an old ol' inn, We should have wet many nippers."

In this connection, the poems of war and patriotism, which form an important part of the 1918 volume, must be carefully examined by those who ponder the tremendous problems of the moment.

A poet so absorbed in the study of life could not help but speculate on the chances of immortality. Here Mr. Hardy presents us with his usual composure in denial. He sees the beautiful human body "clothed with the tools of time" and asks what will become of it when its dissolution is complete. He sees no signs of a state of consciousness after death, which in old or weary people should be a rebirth of spiritual power, and in general he is not inclined to cling to belief in a future life. He asserts that a dead man's immortality resides in the memory of the living, its "nobler part shining in the ever-faithful hearts of the bereaved". He pursues this theme in some of his more serious and moving lyrics, perhaps most seriously in The To-be-Forgotten and The Superseded. This sense of the desolate state of the dead, surviving only in the fading memory of the living, inspires what some say is the fairest of all Mr. Hardy, "Friends Beyond," which in its tenderness, humor and pathos falls upon a few pages contains all the hallmarks of his genius.

His speculation sees the dead as a multitude of slowly fading ghosts crowding in their ineffective lust for the footsteps of those for whom only they continue to exist. This performance inspired Mr. Hardy with several wondrous visions, the most notable of which is the spectacle of 'The Souls of the Dead' in the Boer War, descending like huge swarms of moths over Portland Bill at night. It has the grandeur and much of the character of an apocalyptic Blake project. The 1902 volume contains quite a number of phantasmatic pieces of this type, frequently mentioning specters addressing the poet in accents of nature, as in the unrhyming ode called 'A Mãe Cries'. The obsession with old age and its physical decline (“I look into my glass”), the inevitable split that leads to that isolation which the poet regards as the greatest adversity (“O Impercipiente”), the tragedies of moral indecisiveness, the contrast between tangible earth and disembodied spirits, and the endless repetition of the cry, "Why are we here?" and the question, "Did we do some great bullshit for fun and now leave us in danger?" - it all begins with the irresistible love of physical life and knowledge of its possibilities which Mr. Hardy possesses in excess.

It would be ridiculous to attempt, at the end of an essay, a discussion of the vast dramatic panorama which many believe Mr. Hardy has for English literature. The sprawling theater of The Dynasts, with its sweeping and succinct renderings of vast passages in human history, is a work that calls for comment as long as it does, but needs no comment at all. No work of the imagination is more its own interpreter than this sublime historical peep show, this rolling vision of the Napoleonic chronicles drawn in the broadest lines yet pieced together in detail through intensely focused and vivid glimpses of reality. But the subject of my present study, Mr. Hardy's poetry, is not amply illustrated in The Dynasts, save for the choral interludes of the Phantom Intelligences, which are of great lyrical value, and for three or four songs admirable.

Resuming the effect of Mr. Hardy causing the attentive reader, as I have already indicated, to notice a sense of unity of direction throughout. Mister. Hardy expressed himself in a thousand ways, but he never changed his vision. From 1867 to 1917, during half a century of imaginative work, he did not change the broad outlines of his art in the slightest. To early readers of his poetry, his voice sounded discordant before its full meaning became apparent, at odds with the exquisite melodies of the late Victorian era. But Mr. Hardy, with characteristic obstinacy, did not attempt to change his language in the slightest, and we can all see now, if we bother, that what seemed harsh about his poetry was his peculiar and personal way of speaking. to interpret your thoughts of the world.

As in his novels, as in his poetry, Mr. Hardy chose to stay local to be the present and future interpreter of a prosperous and neglected province of the British kingdom. From his vantage point he looks at the broad aspect of life, but it seems huge and nebulous to him, and he broods over small incidents of Wessex idiosyncrasy. His irony is bold and even sardonic, and few poets have been less concerned to please their weaker brethren. But no modern poet has been more careful to avoid the abstract and touch on the real.


This essay was published by novelist David Christie Murray and is adapted from My Contemporaries in Fiction of 1897. The essay explores the influence of French fiction on Hardy's novels.

Novelist and critic David Christie Murray


During the last half dozen years an extraordinary urge for freedom in the artistic representation of life has touched some of our English writers. Thackay, in Pendennis, laments that no English novelist "has dared to draw a man" since Fielding. to properly and honestly reveal the character of Baron de Rothie, who is a seducer by trade. Perhaps Thackeray's most outstanding trait was that he was a gentleman and that his good upbringing and manliness were broadly up to English standards. Dr. Macdonald advocates the purity of life as an integral necessity for communion with eternal fatherhood, which he preaches with such earnestness and charm. The fact that two of these men felt their work faced painful limitations on one side is significant, but it is a fact that can be used as an argument by proponents of old methods and proponents of old methods alike. the new. It's perfectly true that they felt the restraint, but it's also true that they respected it and were determined not to break it. Their cases are cited here, not as an argument for one side or the other, but simply to show that the argument itself is not new - that the question of how far liberty is permitted has been debated in the minds of honest people. . . writers and chose a path long before it was discussed by another group of honest writers who chose otherwise.

There has never been a time when honest honesty was indecent. There has never been a time when lust in any form has stopped being lewd. There was never a time when the fad of frank honesty did not offer an obvious excuse for lust; and it is this fact, that freedom in the artistic representation of sexual problems has inevitably led to licentiousness, that in many successive epochs of literature has forced the artist into restraint and contented him with a rigid puritanism. In swinging the eternal pendulum of taste, it seems preordained that Puritanism will become so puritanical that art will tire of its snares, and that liberty in its turn will become offensive and, through a dominating instinct, will compel art to return. to puritanism.

It was France that led the latest protest against the limitations of modern taste in art. It may be admitted as a fact that these bonds were greatly felt, for it is evident that until they began to irritate there was no likelihood of them being forcibly broken. The chief apostle of the new total freedom movement is, of course, Emile Zola. After many years of arousing incredulous awe and loathing, he is now almost universally recognized as an honest and honorable artist and a great master of his craft. No educated person dares say that Zola is naughty because he loves naughtiness or delights in contemplating the filthy and lewd. We see him for what he really is - a pessimist of humanity - sad and dejected and embittered with the impertinence of a desperate sympathy with suffering and distorted humanity.

An English artist who, in the fair language of contemporary criticism, is without exaggeration great, decided (rather late in life for such a strong batch) to join the new school. That his ambitions are perfectly honorable would be mere vanity or injustice to deny. That his new methods differ so unfavorably from the old, that he lends the weight of his authority to a malicious movement, that in obeying an artistic impulse with all sincerity, he does his own art in particular a distinct disservice, and for English art in the In general, I have so many deep-rooted personal beliefs; but I dare not say there is more. Mister. Hardy is as sincere in his belief that he is right as I and other of his critics are in our belief that he is wrong. The matter must be discussed impartially and judicially when confronted. It cannot be resolved by appealing to the personal feelings of both sides. But within the confines to which I am now confining myself, it is impossible to do justice to the discussion, and it would hardly be possible even to give all of its terms.

I am therefore forced to settle for a spirited expression of opinion rather than a judicial one, asking only that the arguments against me be acknowledged and respected, although I have no opportunity at this time to recapitulate and dispute them. So it seems to us - to speak only as ex-parte lawyers - old school that an essential part of the novelist's duty is to be harmless. This, of course, seems a very milky sort of proclamation to men of the cayenne faith, but to us it is a matter of serious moment. For my part, I have always thought that the novelist might take as his motto the last five words of that passage in The Tempest, where we read: "This island is full of noises, noises, and sweet breezes, delighting and pitying." not! As simple as the motto sounds, it is as wide-ranging. When Reade took a stand against the abuses of the prison and the abuses of the private institution, or when Dickens in his day attacked the law of the administered chambers, or when Thackay castigated snobbery and selfishness in society, everyone was within the bounds of its rule. We experience a pleasure that does not hurt but, on the contrary, is empowering and inspiring as satire whips its whip over the bare back of hypocrisy or cruel and willful vice. We experience a joy that does not hurt but, on the contrary, refreshes the whole flow of emotions in us when a true artist really confronts the sorrows and sufferings of our kind. Offering this as our intention to please and not hurt is not a mere confession of artistic grundyism. It is the proclamation of what is for us the simple truth, that fiction should be a joyful, inspirational, sympathetic and useful art. There are certain topics that we deliberately avoid discussing in public. There are certain manifestations of character that we consider to be something of a crime to display.

Mister. Hardy would argue, and with obvious decency, that he does not choose to write for "the young man." But I answer that it's not his fault. He can't choose his audience. Fiction pleases everyone, and fiction as robust, tender, and charming as his will find its way into everyone's hands. If a man can occupy a hall and openly announce that he intends to speak "for men only", he is reasonably allowed some leeway. Leaving his wagon on the village lawn and chatting with the village boys and girls, if he is a decent fellow he will avoid dealing with certain subjects.

To give the most striking example: - In "Jude the Obscure" Mr. Hardy narrates in detail the emotions and reasons that go through a young woman when she decides not to sleep with her husband, when she decides sleeping with her husband when she chooses to sleep with a man who is not her husband and when she chooses not to sleep with a man who is not her husband. Well, none of that matters to the sane, balanced reader. On the one hand, it's not very interesting, and apart from being surprisingly well done from a worker's point of view, it wouldn't be interesting at all. Mister. Hardy offers it as a temperament study. Very good. It's an excellent study of temperament, but a lengthy one. The topic is not big enough to be worth the effort. Here's a hysterical, misguided, confused little bitch who can't decide right or wrong and is the victim of the rush of the moment, mentally or physically. I don't think there are many people like her. I don't think it matters very much from a broad human-natural point of view how she decides. But I am sure that the more this kind of little monstrosity is publicly analyzed, analyzed and evaluated, the more its morbidity in it will increase and the more unbearable it will probably become in real life. Mister. Hardy in this regard is a direct encouragement to the study of hysteria as an art among women who are naturally inclined to it. One of the greatest dangers for women is hysterical self-deception. The sensible way to deal with them when they are suffering in this way is to kindly and gently ignore their symptoms until common sense returns. Making them believe that their emotions are worthy of the scrutiny of a great analyst of the human heart is to amplify their morbid temptations and ultimately make them irresistible. The only type of person that Judas the Obscure must necessarily address most strongly is the type of person portrayed in its pages, and the trend of the book is inevitably toward the development and proliferation of the type described. That is the only purpose the book can serve, apart from the fact that it gives us Mr. Hardy's special knowledge of a dangerous and unpleasant form of insanity. Hysteria cast in an endearingly popular form, and making hysteria look like an interesting and romantic thing, will spread the disease as surely as a spark ignites gunpowder. This, at least, is not mere opinion, but solid scientific fact that no student of this disorder but Mr. Hardy has handled it so masterfully that he will deny it. So in that sense the book is contagious, and the fact that the author of A Pair of Blue Eyes wrote it is both a source of wonder and sadness. That said, it's a matter of wonder and regret for me and those who think like me. There is a large and growing body of writers and readers who happily congratulate it. It is one of the rules of the game we are playing now to respect all honest beliefs.

From Mr. Hardy, on the purely artistic side, there's little time to talk. On this page, let me first say what needs to be said about disapproval, only to leave a sweet taste in your mouth at the end. Even from his own perspective—that vaunted “sense of modern life's overwhelming sadness” that captivates admirers of his latest style—it's possible to spread the epic table of sadness without finding room for pork crumbs on it. Anatomy unnameable except in strictly scientific or downright crude language. But it seems necessary to the new realism that its follower should be able to write for the reading of gentlemen and ladies about things which he dared not mention orally in the presence of either of them; so that what a drunken coachman would have deservedly kicked if he had said it before a ladies' audience may be honorably printed by a scholar and sage for a ladies' reading. It has been thought otherwise, but I am not arguing here against realism per se, but against the inartistic introduction of gross episodes. Any reader of Mr. Hardy will see what I mean, and the passage in my head seems baseless and unnecessarily offensive.

Moving on to less awkward subjects, where, if one still expresses disapproval, one could do so with some grace, one of Mr. Hardy's few limitations as a writer is his tendency to overload his page with detail. In a most romantic moment, one of his people sits down to gaze at a colony of ants and watches them across two fully printed pages. In another case, a man in imminent danger of his life searches two pages for the history of geological changes that have taken place on our planet. Each pass on its own is good enough. Except where it is, each one is terribly tiresome and wrong.

I don't know if Mr. Hardy ever criticized for inventing the plot. Speaking from memory, at this moment I can't recall any novel of his in which an issue isn't circulating about a marriage certificate, and I can recall many instances where he went to church to get got married and returned single. This is indeed Mr. Hardy inventing himself, popping up in book after book with a helpless inevitability that eventually turns comical.

But here we can afford to be done with the criticism and move on to the much more pleasant task of praising. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that Mr Hardy studied his own particular part of England, mastering its countryside, its town and village, its lore and general sentiments and spiritual atmosphere, to such triumphant effect. to set himself apart from all other English novelists. His devotion to his beloved Wessex has earned him this rich and well-deserved reward - of being the first and last acknowledged champion in his field. His knowledge of farm life within his own borders is beautifully personable and profound. His impression of the landscape in which this life presents itself is vast, noble and lively. His literary style is something to be admired, studied and admired again. All worthy readers of English fiction owe you a debt of gratitude for many idyllic happy hours and many deep breaths of healthy English air. And as we resolutely bid him farewell at the crossroads, we do not forget the time when he was the best and dearest of our comrades, and we leave him certain that whatever path he chose, he was guided in his choice by an ambition , who is perfectly honorable and sincere.

THOMAS HARDY von John Cowper Powys

This essay is adapted from Powys' critical book Visions and Revisions. Powys was a British writer and lecturer, and a respected literary critic.

John Cowper-Powys


With an evocative name of purest English origin, Mr. Hardy has been identified with that part of England where the various racial deposits in our national "strata" are most dear and distinct. In Wessex, Saxon and Celtic, Norman and Danish, Roman and Iberian traditions grew side by side in the ground, and every village and town, every hill and brook in this country has preserved the rumor of what it saw.

In the Celtic legend, the land of the West Saxons is wonderfully rich. Camelot and the Isle of Avalon meet in the Somersetshire valley. And Dorsetshire, Hardy's immediate home, adds the Roman traditions of Casterbridge to the tragic memories of King Lear. Tribe by tribe, race by race, as they come and go, leaving behind their monuments and their names, Mr. Hardy ponders them, watches their survival, their stubborn marks, their long decline.

In his beloved Dorchester we find him brooding as one of his own spirits of piety and irony, while the moonlight shines on the enchanted amphitheater where the Romans held their games. He is careful to note all those little "side omens" that make traveling the great highways of Wessex so full of imaginative clues.

It is the history of the human race that draws you into a hypnotic spell as it unfolds its deeds and scenes century after century beneath the indifferent stars. The continuity of life! The long and woeful "rise of man," from those strange fossils in the quarries of Portland - to what we see today, so tangible, so real! And yet, for all his tragic pity, Mr. Hardy is an astute and whimsical chronicler. He keeps one point of the little game the gods play with us - the little long game - alive. With a sort of goblin alert, he's jumping here and there, watching these weird scene-shifters at work. Mr. Hardy's double stops are cut from the same reed. With this he challenges the immortals in the name of mankind; with the other he plays a Priapian melody so sensitive that all the satyrs dance.

Sometimes I think that only those who were born and raised in the countryside can do justice to this great writer. This double whistle of his worries the townspeople. They overemphasize the "magnanimity" of their art, or they overemphasize their "Miching-Mallecho." They don't understand the mystery of this mixed lineage. The same kind of cultured "foreigner" is fascinated by Mr. Winterhart. He should have committed more, or he shouldn't have committed at all! Something seems to them, they are tempted to put it, like the cloven hoof of the most satirical cunning in their attitude towards certain things. That scathing little ruse, for example, with which he confronts the established order, never blanketly denouncing it like Shelley or blanketly accepting it like Wordsworth - and always with a smack, a pinch of bile and absinthe, a mischievous malice.

The truth is that in Mr. Hardy, one is infinitely sad and tender, the other moody, elfish, and evil.

The first spirit rises in severe Promethean revolt against the decrees of fate. The second spirit consciously allies itself in wanton and bitter joy with the humorous provocation of humanity by the cruel forces of the air. The psychology of it all is not difficult to unravel. The same abnormal sensitivity that makes him feel sorry for the victims of fate does not let him ignore what can be sweet to the gods about such "funny pranks". These two tendencies seem to have grown in him over the years and are becoming more and more pronounced. The opposite often happens with artists. Each person has their own secret reaction, their own secret escape from the strange trap we all fall into - their own little private method of retaliation. But many writers are very unscrupulous when they are young. The changes and opportunities of this mortal life soften them to a more neutral tone. Her vendetta against life becomes less personal and more objective as she ages. You become balanced and resigned. They reach “the wisdom of Sophocles”.

The opposite of that was the story of Mr. Winterhart. He began with a rather harmless, imaginative and picturesquely rustic realism. Then came his masterpieces, in which the power and grandeur of a great artist's inspiration all blended harmoniously. Finally, in its third period, we have the exaggeration of all that is most personal in its extremely heightened emotion.

It is absurd to turn one's back on these books, books like Judas, the Obscure, and the Beloved. If Mr. If Hardy hadn't had such sardonic feelings, such a desire to "fight back" the great "unchallenged wills," and such goblin delight at the pranks they play on us, he never would have been able to say, "Tess. Against God's ways for this sweet girl he raises a hand of terrible revolt, but it is with more than human "pity" that he lays her on the sacrificial altar.

But after all, it's the supreme passages of sheer imaginative grandeur, the Mr. Hardy is bigger. Here he is "with Shakespeare" and we forget Titan and Goblin. How difficult it is to put into words exactly what this "imaginative grandeur" is! It is certainly an intensification of our general awareness of the drama of life as a whole, but in a poetic light, not in a scientific one, and with scientific facts - they too are not without drama. Meaning - specified and allowed. It is a clarification of our mental vision and an increase in our sensory awareness. It is a certain departure from the purely personal pull of our own destiny, into a finer air where the tragic beauty of life gains perspective and, looking at the world in a clear mirror, we surrender for a moment to the "will to live." " revoke. "

On such occasions it is as if we were "carried up upon a high mountain, seeing without desire and without despair the kingdoms of the world and their glory". Then we feel the wind of the earth revolution, and the passing hours touch us with a tangible hand.

And the turmoil of the world so far away, then we simultaneously feel the greatness of humanity and the smallness of what it longs for. We are seized by a shuddering tenderness for man. This confused animal struggling with it in the dark doesn't know what.

And if we look in that mirror long and long, the sharpness of what we see is strangely softened. After all, whatever happens to us, it is something to be aware of. There is something about watching over Arcturus and feeling the "sweet influences" of the Pleiades. Matching such humor is the way Mr. Hardy is opposed to Christianity, he cannot forget it. He "can't rid the congested chest of that dangerous substance that weighs down the heart." It annoys and annoys him. it haunts you And his work wins and suffers. He hurls scorn after scorn at "God," but through his anger falls the shadow of the cross. How could it not be? "Everything is allowed", but the wheel that breaks our "little ones" must not be burdened with the weight of a spring.

This sets Hardy's work apart from so many modern novels, which are clever and "philosophical" but fail to satiate the imagination. Everything about Mr. Hardy - even the facts of geology and chemistry - is treated with that imaginative clairvoyance that gives them their place in human comedy. And isn't Christianity itself one of these facts? How incredible that something like this appeared on Earth! Reading Meredith, with her brilliant intellectual intelligence, one finds that Christianity is "taken for granted" and dismissed as having little relevance to modern issues.

But Mr. Hardy is too pagan in the truest sense of the word, too fascinated by the poetry of life and the essential rituals of life, to dismiss any great religion in that way. The thing is always with him, just as the Gothic spire of St Peter's Church in Casterbridge is always with him. He may explode in mischievous anger at his teachings, but like one of those strange demons that lurk in such sacred places but never leave, his imagination needs that atmosphere. For the same reason, despite his intellectual understanding of the mechanical workings of destiny, his muteness and mechanical blindness, he is always driven to embody these ultimate powers; impersonating her or them, as if one would get gratification from hell outwitting their hapless creations; in teasing them and beating them insane.

Mr. Hardy's last thought is that the universe is blind and unconscious; who doesn't know what he's doing. But as he stands among the gravestones of these Wessex cemeteries, or watches the twisted threads of evil fate that haunt these wretched hearts beneath the roofs of a thousand villages, it is impossible for him not to wish to oppose this accursed system of " strike back". things that alone is responsible. And how can one "fight back" unless one turns the unconscious machinery into an arbitrary providence? where Mr. Hardy is so incomparably greater than Meredith and all her modern followers that there are none of those insufferable "ethical discussions" in these Wessex novels that obscure "the ancient essential openness" of the human situation.

The reaction of men and women to each other in the face of the elements of celebration and derision; it will outlast all social reorganizations and all ethical reforms.

As the sun shines and the moon draws in the tides, men and women will suffer from jealousy, and the lover will not be the beloved! Long after a bunch of new "cool modern ideas" has replaced the present, kids will break their parents' hearts and parents will break their children's hearts. Mister. Hardy is quite outraged by society's ridiculous conventions, but he knows that at heart we are "the dust we are made of"; the eternal illusion and disillusionment that must drive and “take away” us until the last hour of the planet.

Mr. Hardy's style, at its best, has an imaginative lewdness that approaches, though perhaps not quite, the elusive note of Shakespeare's tragedies. There is also a quality inherent in him – menacing and silent; a thunderous repression, a mighty restraint, an iron tenacity. Sometimes we are reminded of the ancient Roman poets and not infrequently the rhythmic incantations of Sir Thomas Browne, that majestic and perverted Latinist.

Egdon Heath's description at the beginning of Return of the Natives, for example, has an obscure architectural splendor resembling the portico of an Egyptian temple. The same can be said of the sudden appearance of Stonehenge when Tess and Angel stumble upon it as they fly through the darkness.

Remember the words of William Blake: "He who does not love form more than color is a coward." For it is form above all that Mr. Winterhart. The iron plow of his unrelenting style cuts mercilessly through the soft flesh of the earth until it reaches the architectural foundation. Anyone trying to imagine any scene from the Wessex novels will be forced to see the figures of the people involved 'cut out' against an impressive skyline. You see them, these poor lovers, moving in tragic procession along the edge of the world, and when the procession ends, darkness returns. The quality that Mr. A refuge from the frivolity and seriousness of "reform writers" is a quality that springs from the ground. The floor has the gift of “proportions” like nothing else. Things are put into perspective on Egdon Heath, and in the damp meadows of Blackmoor life feels as the tribes of men have felt from the beginning.

The modern trend is to poke fun at sexual passion and take social and artistic issues seriously. Mister. Hardy eliminates the social and artistic issues and "takes nothing seriously" - not even "God" - except the love and hate of men and women and the natural elements that are their accomplices. It's this lack of them, this nagging hilarity about the only thing that really matters, that makes reading many funny and endearing modern writers so difficult except on trains and cafes. They thought it wise to deprive the passion of our poor heart of its essential poetry. They did not understand that man would rather suffer the bitterness of death than be deprived of his right to suffer the bitterness of love.

I suppose that these irreverent little things are so optimistic about their reforms, their ethical ideals, and their sanitation projects, that for them such things as the sun rises on Shaston and sets on Budmouth; Things like what Eustacia felt as she walked across the devastated moor and "talked to herself"; Things like Henchard's humor when he cursed the day he was born are mere coincidences and trivia, totally off topic.

Well, maybe they're wise to be so hopeful. But for the rest of us, for whom the world is unlikely to "get better" anytime soon, it is an indescribable relief that there is at least one writer interested in the things that interested Sophocles and Shakespeare, and one to match Possessing style reminiscent of the work of such hands, do not shame our generation.

Walter Pater

What are the qualities that make this shy and stealthy recluse, this shadowy walker, the biggest critic? First the imagination, and then that rare, unusual, divine gift of boundless reverence for the human senses. The imagination has a double power. Visualize and create. With clairvoyant ubiquity it ebbs and flows into the innermost corners, the most involuntary places of refuge for alien human souls. With a clear architectural will, she is building her own Byzantium from the ruins of all centuries.

We remember fondly how Father left the country of Olney, where he 'hated' hearing more of 'the Cowper poet', and indulged his strange boyish fantasies in the safety of the monasteries of Canterbury. The most passionate and devoted spirit he could - to sulk and dream and hide and love and "watch others play" in that quiet retreat - as the great soul of Christopher Marlowe burned there in his conscience!

And then Oxford. And it is fitting and right, at such a point, to lay our sacrifice, humble, secret, timid—a shadow, a nothing—at the feet of that gracious alma mater; "Who doesn't need June to increase beauty!" Sometimes someone rebels against them. The charm is very exclusive, very withdrawn. And something - what can I say? – of wry, haughty disillusionment makes your brow weary and your eyelids heavy. But what exquisite children, how rare and exotic flowers, she finally has the power to give birth! But did you know, you for whom the syllables “Oxford” are a charm, that even to the even more subtle, even more reclusive and even more artful soul of Walter Pater, Oxford seemed a little vulgar and vulgar nonsense over time?

In fact, he fled from her and took refuge - sometimes with his sisters, for like Charles Lamb Father was "conventual" in his tastes - and sometimes with the "original" of Marius the Epicurean. But what does it matter where he fled to - he who has always followed the "dark side" of the road? Not only did he manage to escape himself with all his "alabaster boxes" to the sanctuary of the ivory tower, which not even Oxford can reach, but he took us there with him.

And there, from the opal-clouded windows of that high place, he still shows us the secret realms of art, philosophy, and life, and their farthest glories. We all see them - from these windows - a little more beautifully, a little more rarely, a little more "selectively" than perhaps they really are. But what does it matter? What do you expect when you look through windows of opal clouds? And finally, these are the windows from which one can best gaze upon the dazzling limbs of the immortal gods!

No, but sometimes it allows us to open those "magic windows". And then, in what clear air, in what pure, fresh morning of reality, stand out those pure forms and divine forms, their bare feet in the cold, clear dew!

Because with Walter Pater two things can be said. Over comparatively fleeting and uninterrupted objects he can throw the glittering cloak of his sophisticated sophistry of the senses. And it is able to compel us to follow, line by line, curve by curve, contour by contour, the tactile body itself and the presence of imperishable beauty.

Put more simply, he is a great and accurate scholar - diligent, patient, tireless, reserved; and at the same time a multiform wizard, breathing forbidden life into the Tyrian-tainted coils of many enchanted Lamia! At a thousand points, he is the only modern literary figure who draws us to himself with the old Leonardo and Gothic spell. Because like Goethe and Da Vinci, he is never far from these eternal “partings of the way”. that alone makes life interesting.

He is, for example, more deeply drenched, colored, and endowed with "Christian mythology" than any mortal writer save the saints themselves. He is more a native of pure Hellenic air than anyone since Walter Savage Landor. And he is more subtle in his understanding of "German philosophy" as opposed to "Celtic romance" than anyone - outside inner circles - since Hegel - or Heine! The greedy and capricious "Uranian childishness" of her pupil Oscar, with its cantankerous penchant for all things smooth, slinky and shiny, is child's play compared to the deep, dark vampirism with which this stealthy hermit sucks the scarlet blood of the Vestal Virgins. every sanctuary.

How little mainstream critics understood this master of his craft! How many desperate people "ran" to play this super subtle performer! Mister. However, Gosse did one thing for us. Somewhere, somehow, he once painted a picture of Walter Pater somersaulting in the moonlight on the velvet lawn of his own secluded Oxford garden like a satin-legged wombat! I always think of this photo. It's prettier than Mark Pattison running through his gooseberry bushes chasing big, boisterous girls. But both are touching sketches and no doubt very indicative of life under the Bodleian's shadow.

Why have professional philosophers - since that Master of Baliol who spent his time boring holes in the ship that carried him - "femininely fought against Father's philosophy"? For a good reason! For like Protagoras the Sophist and like Aristippus the Cyrenean, he subverted metaphysics with metaphysics.

For Walter Pater - is that clearly understandable? - long before the beginning of Nietzsche's campaign was a master at showing human desire behind the mask of "pure reason", human desire, human ferocity, human resentment.

He treats every great system of metaphysics as a great work of art - with a very human, often all too human, craftsman behind it - a work of art that we have every right to appropriate, to enjoy, to see through the world. and then pass it on!

Every philosophy has its "secret", according to Father, its "formula", its lost Atlantis. Good! It's up to us to look for it; to take the color out of his dimly lit underworld; feed on its billowing Sea-Lotus - and then, surfaced, swim away in search of other dive sites!

No philosopher except Father dared to push esoteric eclecticism so far. And mind you, he's no frivolous dilettante. This draining of the secret wine from the great embalmed sarcophagus of thought is its life-bait, its secret madness, its great obsession. Walter Pater approaches a metaphysical system of thought as a rather stealthy cupid would approach a sleeping nymph. He approaches with light, brisk steps - and the hand that moves his pajama sleeve is as gentle as the flapping of a moth's wings. "I don't like," he once said, "to be called a hedonist. It makes such a strange impression on people who don't know Greek.

Enthusiastic young people sometimes come to me when, as part of my patient academic duties, I am speaking about Father and ask me directly to tell them what their "view" is - as they like to put it - "actually and truly" was. Dear Reader, do you know the pain of these "really and truly" questions? I'm trying to answer so awkwardly. I'm trying to explain why nothing in this world was certain or set for him; how everything "flowed"; like everything we do touched tasted or seen disappeared changed nature became something else just as we disappear over the years and change our nature and become something else I'm trying to explain that to him we are ourselves but the meeting points of alien forces traveling freely and at random through a changing world; as do we, these meeting points of such forces, waver and flutter and change and transform, like dreams within dreams!

I'm trying to explain how, since we are and nothing is "written in heaven," we have the right to try all experiences life can offer except those that make things more bitter, difficult, narrower, less easy would do, for "the other person".

And when my innocents ask - which they sometimes do - innocents are like that! — "Why should we consider the other person?" I answer - for no reason and without threat or danger or categorical imperative; but simply because we've become the kind of animal, the weird kind of fish, that can't do the things "that it would do"! I am trying to point out that these are not questions of conscience; It's a matter of taste; and as to that, there are certain things that an animal of such taste cannot do even if it chooses to. And one of those things is hurting other trapped creatures that happen to be trapped in the same "gin" as us.

In relation to art and literature, Pater has the same method as in relation to philosophy. Everything in a world this fluid is obviously relative. It is ridiculous to dream that there is an absolute standard - even for beauty itself. These high and immutable principles of good and true are as much an illusion as any other human dream. There are no such principles. Beauty is the child of life and is ever changing as life changes and we change who needs to live. The lonely and tragic belief of some great souls in this high and cold "mathematics" of the universe, whose ordered rhythm of harmony is the music of the spheres, is a belief which may very well inspire and solemnize us; it cannot persuade or persuade us.

Beauty isn't mathematics; it is physiological and psychological, so to speak, and although this austere rigor of pure line and pure colour, the impersonal technique of art, has an apparent predetermined appeal, it is in fact much less immutable than it appears. appears and has much more of the arbitrariness of life, of growth and change than we sometimes want to admit.

Walter Pater's magnetic pull is never more wondrous than when he engages with the materials artists use. And above all with words, the material so depraved and corrupted and outraged - and yet the richest of all. But with what tenderness he always speaks of materials! What boundless awe he has for the subtle interplay and correspondence between the human senses and what - so exciting, sometimes so dangerous! - they understand. wood and clay and marble and bronze and gold and silver; these—and the fabrics of refined looms and dexterous, insatiable fingers—he treats with the reverence of a priest touching sacred elements.

He not only loves the great main rivers of art history, but also the small streams and tributaries. Perhaps he loves some of them more than all, for the paths to its exquisite shores are less traveled than others and one tends to find oneself there alone.

Of all his essays, perhaps three can be singled out as the most characteristic of certain recurring moods. The one in Denys L'Auxerrois, where the sweet and dangerous legend of the banished god - was he really far from us, this treacherous son of burned white flesh? - takes us so far, so strangely far. The one about Watteau, the prince of court painters, where his passion for things fades and withdraws, reaches its climax. Because Pater, like Antoine, is one of those people who are always ready to escape a little from the pressure of their own very busy days and seek a melancholic escape into a fantastic valley of dreams. Watteau's "happy valley" is indeed sadder than our busiest hours - how could it not be when it's not a "valley" but the melancholy cypresses of Versailles? - but, though sadder, it is so good; so good and rare and cheerful!

And along its banks and beneath its felled trees, through its fountains and haunted lawns, still at dusk one can see the splendor of the phantom Pierrot's dancing feet and the desperation in his smile! For him – for Gilles the Mummer – as well as for Antoine Watteau and Walter Pater, the melancholy of such places does not contradict their lightness. The music was about to stop. Soon it just has to be a garden, "just a garden by Lenotre, right, ridiculous and charming". For the lips of Pierrot's despair cannot always touch the lips of Columbine's mockery; in the end, Ultimate Futility will turn them both to stone!

And finally the essay on Leonardo with the lines "we tell our friend" about her who "is older than the rocks on which she sits".

What really makes Father so great, so wise, so wholesome a writer is his continued insistence on the criminal and mad folly of silly chatter and insipid sermons escaping the days of our youth of no return! "Carry, O young men and girls," he seems to be saying. “Carry with infinite devotion this vase of many scents, which is your life on earth. Spill as little of your worthless wine as possible; let no raindrop or dew or floating seed of a net fall in and spoil its taste. 'Cause it's all you've got and it can't last long!

He is a great writer because from him we can learn the difficult and subtle art of drinking the cup of life to savor every drop.

One can delve into his attitude toward Christianity—his ultimate desire to be “ordained a priest”—his alternate piety and unbelief. His willful adherence to what "experience" brought him as the ultimate test of "truth" made it fairly easy for him to dip his arms deep into the Sacred Well. Maybe he won't find the grail; he sees nothing but his own shadow! What matters? The well itself was so cool, chaste, dark, and cavernous that it was worth spending long summer days dreaming of it—dreaming of it in the monastery gardens, far from the dust and madness and rudeness of the brutal world that neither Apollo nor does Christ know!


Arthur Symons (1865–1945) was a British poet, critic and magazine editor. This short chapter is taken from his critical work Figures of Various Centuries.

Arthur Symons, a noted poet and critic


He has a kind of bare face in which one sees the brain always at work, with an almost painful simplicity - saved only from pain by a humorous sense of external things that also becomes a kind of intellectual criticism. A fatalist, he studies the workings of fate in life's most important life-giving and disruptive influencers, women. His image of women is more French than English; it's subtle, a little cruel, not as forgiving as it sounds, totally masculine and not masculine and feminine at the same time like Meredith's. He sees everything irresponsible for good and evil in a woman's character, everything unreliable in her brain and will, everything attractive in her variability. He is their apologist, but always with a certain reserve of private judgement. No one has created more attractive women, women that a man would either love or regret loving. Judas the Obscure is perhaps the most unbiased account of the most complicated sexual issues we can find in English fiction. At the same time, there is almost no passion in his work, neither the author nor any of his characters, under the influence of any emotion, ever seem to overcome the state of curiosity, the most interesting of all intellectual limitations. In your sense of nature, curiosity sometimes seems to expand into a more intimate type of community. The moor, the village with its farmers, the hourly change between the fields and on the streets means more to him than the spectacle of man and woman in their blind, torturous, gripping struggle for survival. Existence. His acquaintance with the woman encourages him to postpone the sentence; his knowledge of nature brings him closer to the unchanging and comforting element of the world. All the rather happy entertainment he gets from life comes to him from his contemplation of the farmer, himself a rooted part of the earth, translating the muteness of the fields into humour. His pawns have been compared to Shakespeare's; that is, because he has the Shakespearean flair for their quiet vegetation alongside the hurried animal life to which they form part in the chorus, with an unconscious wisdom in their narrow, narrow, and undistracted view of things.

There is something brooding, dark, trembling, something inarticulate in his verse as he contemplates man, nature and destiny: nature 'waking only by touch' and destiny that sees and feels. In The Mother Mourns, a strange, dark and ironic song of science, nature laments that her greatest achievement, man, has displeased her in his ungrateful dissatisfaction with himself. It is like the moaning of a wounded animal, and the strange, cunning meter, with its single rhyme set at wide but distinct and strongly repeated intervals, rings like a bell in the ear. Blind and dumb forces speak, speculate, half waking from sleep, stomping back to sleep again. Many poets lamented man, were angry with nature in man's name. Here is a poet who feels sorry for nature, who feels the earth and its roots as if he had sap in his veins instead of blood, and could get closer to the things of earth than any other human being.

Who else could have written this sullen, subtle, and oddly impressive poem?


A shadowy lamp and a billowing curtain,

And the ticking of a clock from a floor away;

Enter into this scene - winged, with horns and thorns -

A Longleg, a Moth, and a Dumbledore;

While 'middle of my side there's idle over

A sleepy fly rubbing its hands.

So the five of us met in this quiet place

At this point in time, at this point in space.

— My guests show my newly written ink,

Or hit the lamp glass, spin and sink.

"Oh dear, she!" I think. But why?

You know the secrets of the earth that I don't know.

No such drama has been written in verse since Browning, and the characters of the drama are condensed into an expression almost as fruitful as Adam, Lilith, and Eve.

Why are there so few novels that can be read twice while all good poetry can be read over and over? Is it something inherent in form, one of the natural reasons why a novel cannot have the same sublime imaginative substance as a poem? I think so, and that it will never be otherwise. But among novels, why does one here and the other call us back to the shelf with almost the insistence of a song's lyrics, when a story read is mostly a finished story? Balzac is always a good read, but Tolstoy is not: and I've put two of the giants together. To pick fewer artists I would say we can reread Lavengro but not Romola. But what seems fascinating is that Hardy, who is first and foremost a storyteller and whose stories are the kind that evoke suspense and satisfy, can be read more than once and never runs out of novelty. There is often much history in his books, as in The Mayor of Casterbridge, where the action expands in almost inextricable entanglements; and yet this is just one of those books to read again. Is it this hidden poetry, never absent though often invisible, that gives these fantastic or real stories meaning beyond the sense of fact, underneath like an undercurrent, around them like an atmosphere? Facts, once known, end; Stories of mere action gallop through the brain and disappear; but in Hardy there is a vision or interpretation, an attitude to life like the growth of the earth and as many mysteries between earth and sky as corn that draw people back to stories with an interest that transcends their interest in history.

It's a bit hard to get used to or live up to Hardy without more than living up to him. He is always right, always a seer, when he writes of "the seasons in their moods, morning and evening, night and noon, winds in their different moods, trees, waters and mists, shadows and silences, and the voices of inanimate beings". Things.” (What seriousness and intimacy in his numbering!) He is always right, always impeccable in subject and style, when he shows that “the impressionable pawn lives a larger, fuller, more dramatic life than the thick-skinned king. But it takes a degree of emotion to shake off the natural lethargy of his style, and when he has only one annoying fact to mention, he puts it this way: "He lay down on his sofa in the living room and turned off the TV light." ' In the next sentence, in which he is interested in expressing the incomprehensible emotion of the situation, we get this flawless and unusual use of words: 'The night came in and took its place there, carefree and indifferent; the night that had already devoured her happiness and was now digesting it indifferently; and was ready to swallow the happiness of a thousand others at the slightest disturbance or change in appearance.'

No one has ever studied the effect of emotions on inanimate things as diligently as Hardy, or seen emotions in humans so visually. For example: “There was horror on her white face when she saw him; her cheek was sagging and her mouth looked almost like a small round hole.' But his preoccupation with these visual effects is so intense that sometimes he can't resist noticing the slightest appearance, although he assures us that the person looking at it hasn't. "Barely noticing, a tear rolled slowly down her face, a tear so large it enlarged the pores of the skin it rolled over, like the lens of a microscope." And it's that ability, in excess to see and confine himself to a vision that is often strangely revealing, sometimes rendering him powerless in the face of the naked words that a sovereignly seen situation demands to conclude. The only flaw in what is perhaps his masterpiece, The Return of the Native, is the words put into Eustacia and Yeobright's mouths in the perfectly crafted scene in front of the mirror, a scene that should have been the book's climax; and it's everything but the words: the words are pops and embellishments.

What, then, constitutes the bulk of Hardy's value and appeal, and how is it that what at first sight appear, and may well be, mistakes, mistakes, scraps of formal sermons, grotesque ironies of events and ideas, do well at last look in themselves or well where they are, part of the man if not the artist? You start by reading the story, and the story is of great interest. Here's a good old fashioned storyteller, a storyteller whose plot is enough to captivate his readers. At this point, no doubt, many readers pause and are glad. But go ahead, and after the storyteller comes the philosopher. He is haggard and a little sinister, and you can gauge your enjoyment of his tale by paying close attention to his criticism. But a new meaning dawns on facts as you observe his attitude toward them, and you may be content to stop and let the philosopher's thoughts feed you. But if you go further, you will find the poet in the end, and you need look no further. I am inclined to question whether any novelist has been more truly a poet without ceasing to be a novelist proper. The poetry of Hardy's novels is a poetry of roots and a voice of the earth. He often seems closer to the land (which is sometimes, as in The Return of the Native, the main character or chorus of the story) than men and women, and he sees men and women outside the country. Eyes of wild creatures and weeds and bog stones. How often, and for what profound reason, does he show us not ourselves, not as we or those around us see us, but through humanity's constant observation, seen in the careful and inquiring eyes of the birds, in the thoughtful eyes and indifferent consideration for the cattle and the pejorative indifference and inspection of the sheep?


The biographies

THE FIRST LIFE OF THOMAS HARDY, 1841-1891 by Florence Hardy

Shortly after Hardy's death, the estate executors burned his letters and notebooks. Twelve entries survive, one containing notes and extracts from newspaper articles from the 1820s. In the year of his death, Hardy's second wife, his former secretary Florence, published this biography, compiled largely from contemporary notes, letters, biographical diaries and memos, as well as oral ones information in long-term discussions. Many critics believe that the biographies were primarily written by Hardy himself. A second biography later followed, covering Hardy's later years and his poetic output.

Florence Hardy, 1915

















  • "Far from the hustle and bustle", marriage and another romance



























For a long time Mr. Hardy was that he wouldn't mind if his life was written down. And although he was often asked to record his memories, he said he "didn't have enough admiration for himself" to do so. Later, however, after observing many erroneous and grotesque statements presented as his experiences and a call to life published as official, his hand was forced and he agreed to my insistence that the facts of his career for in the event that they should be used, it turns out to be necessary to print them out.

To do this, he wrote down chapter headings, etc., and particularly reminiscences of his early days, whenever they came to mind, and from time to time passed on many details by word of mouth. Also of great help were the dated notes he made in paperbacks during the years he was writing his novel, apparently with the idea that if one follows the craft of fiction, one should be taking notes and not taking notes. Trend, for when he quit writing fiction and went back to writing verse, he stopped taking notes, except to a very limited extent.

The opinions quoted in these pocket books and cursory papers are often to be understood only as his fleeting thoughts, temporarily retained there for consideration, rather than as permanent conclusions - a fact which is reminded by his frequent remarks on the tentative character of his theories.

Since such memos were not meant to be printed, at least as they were, and are therefore often harsh, a few words of explanation were said from time to time.

It may be added that in the book generally Mr. Hardy were used or approximated whenever they could remember or were written at the time of their oral utterance. At this point, attention was paid to accuracy.

Some of the incidents of his experiences in the country recorded here may be considered trivial or not necessarily pertinent to any personal biography, but they are included in the sense that they embody customs and manners of ancient life in the West of England which are now entirely deceased away.





1840-1855: Eat. 1-15

June 2, 1840. In a lonely and quiet place between woods and moors, Thomas Hardy was born on Tuesday, June 2, 1840, about eight o'clock in the morning. His birthplace was the seven-room house which is the most easterly of the few scattered dwellings called Higher Bockhampton in the parish of Stinsford, Dorset. The houses were quaint, with brass knockers and green shutters at the time, some with green garden doors and white balls on the jambs, and occupied mainly by large property owners like the Hardys themselves. In his childhood years or shortly before, the tenants of these few houses included two retired military officers, an old naval lieutenant, a small farmer and transvestite, a corporal and clerk, and an old militiaman whose wife was the monthly nurse who helped Thomas Hardy into the world bring. Because the majority is elderly, the place was once nicknamed Veterans' Valley. It also has the nickname "Cherry Alley" as the alley or street that runs through it is planted with an avenue of cherry trees. But the bodyguards fell into the hands, and the quaint dwellings, with their trees, trimmed hedges, orchards, white poles, naval officers' masts, and weather vanes, have all now perished and been replaced by brickworkers' cottages and other new agricultural constructions, a convenient pump which the location of the moss-covered pit and bucket. The Hardy estate, too, is worn and reduced, comprising, besides the house, two gardens (one part of an orchard), a corral for horses, and sand and gravel pits, later depleted and overgrown: since then stables and similar buildings have also been removed; while the leaves and mold that the rain had brought from the plantation climbed high against the back wall of the house, previously covered with ivy. Gone is the broad, gleaming white inglenook fireplace that was in the living room in its infancy.

A few Wordsworth lines - the first to be discovered in young Hardy's essays in verse - give with obvious and naïve fidelity the appearance of his father's homestead at a time nearly half a century before its author's birth, when his grandparents were looking after theirs Great-grandmother settled there -grandma. the grandfather had built the first house in the valley for his residence.1

Hardy's paternal family, like all Southwest Hardys, was descended from Jersey le Hardys who crossed

1 The poem, written between 1857 and 1860, reads as follows:


It faces west and is rounded at the back and sides.

Tall beeches, bent, hang a veil of branches,

And sweep against the roof. wild honeysuckle

Climb the walls and seem to sprout a wish

(If we can imagine wishes for trees and plants)

To overtake the apple trees nearby.

Red roses, lilacs, colorful box

They are plentiful and the flowers are so hardy

How to thrive better without training. Adjacent to this

They are herbs and esculentas; and even further

A field; then chalets with trees and finally

The distant hills and the sky.

Beyond that, the scene is wilder. heather and gorse

Are all that seems to grow and prosper

Over uneven terrain. a crippled thorn

It actually says here and there; and from a well

An oak tree arises, sprouting from a seed

Dropped by a bird a hundred years ago.

In past days -

Far away - my father's mother who is now

Blessed with the blessed, would take me for a walk.

At such a time I asked her once

What the place had looked like when she settled here.

The answer I remember. ' Fifty years

Since then, my son, the change has taken place

The face of all things. beyond the vegetable gardens

And the orchards were uncultivated slopes

Overgrown by brambles, gorse and thorn bushes:

This road is a narrow path closed by ferns,

Which, almost like trees, overshadowed the passers-by.

“Our house was all alone and those tall firs

And the beeches were not planted. Snakes and Efts

Swarm on summer days and night bats

It would fly over our rooms. heather farmers

They lived in the mountains and were our only friends;

It was so wild when we settled here.'

to Dorset - the coasts are the complete opposite. Hardy always thought he would like to restore the "le" in his name and call himself "Thomas le Hardy"; but he never did. The Dorset Hardys are traditionally said to be descended in particular from Clement le Hardy, Baily of Jersey, whose son John settled here in the 15th century, probably after having landed in Wareham, then a port. They all had the characteristics of an old family with spent social energy, revealed even in the Thomas Hardy of this memoir (as with his father and grandfather), who never bothered to take advantage of the many worldly opportunities that his popularity and Appreciation accounted for as an author provided. They lived for many generations in or near the valley of the River Froom or Frome, which extends to Wareham, and occupied various lands, the locations of which stretched across Woolcombe, Toller-Welme and Up-Sydling (near the headwaters of the river) downstream stretched Dorchester, Weymouth and on to Wareham where the Froom flows into Poole Harbour. It was a family whose various parts of Dorset included Elizabethan Thomas Hardy who had donated Dorchester Grammar School, Captain Thomas Hardy of the Victory at Trafalgar, Thomas Hardy an influential citizen of Wareham, Thomas Hardy of Chaldon and others of Local reputation, The plaque commemorating the first mention still in St Peter's Church, Dorchester, although moved from its original position in 'Hardy Chapel', the inscription reads as follows:



But at the birth of the subject of this biography the family had, as far as their representatives in Dorset were concerned, rejected any importance which they might previously have claimed there; and at the death of his father the latter was believed to be the only landowner of the same name in the county, his possessions being, besides an acre and a half at Bockhampton, a small farm at Tal-bothays, with a few houses there, and about a dozen vacants country houses and a pottery and kiln elsewhere. Talbothay's farm was a small, secluded estate, demarcated by a ring fence, owned in the reign of Henry VTII Talbots, by a seventeenth-century daughter from whom Hardy had borrowed the name Avis or Avice in The Well-Beloved .

He was Anglo-Saxon on his mother's side, descended from the Chiles, Childs or Childses (after whom the villages of Child-Okeford, Chilfrome, Childhay etc.), the Swetmans and other families of north-west Dorset. who were small landowners there in the reign of Charles I (see Hutchins' History of Dorset): and also the Hanns or Hands of the Pidele Vale, Dorset, and before the Vale of Blackmore. (In the Affpuddle parish register the spelling is Hann.) The Swetmans and Childs appear to have been involved in the Monmouth rebellion, and one of the former was brought before Jeffreys 'for being absent from home at the time of the rebellion'. As his name does not appear on the lists of those executed, he was probably transported, and this association with Monmouth's adventures and misfortunes seems to have served to obscure the prospects of the maternal line of Hardy's ancestors, if they had ever been bright.

Several traditions about the rebellion survive in the Swetman family. What was undoubtedly true was that after the Battle of Sedge - Moorland, two of the Swedish daughters - Grace and Leonarde - were molested in their home by some of the victorious soldiers and only escaped the breach by escaping the back stairs from the upper rooms into the orchard. Hardy's great-grandmother is said to have remembered them as very old women. Part of the house now owned by the Earl of Ilchester, divided into two cottages, still stands with its old Elizabethan windows; but the hall and the open oak staircase are gone, as are the stone chimneys of Ham-Hill. The place is called 'Townsend'.

Another tradition of more dubious authenticity is that which Hardy's short story entitled The Duke's Reappearance approximates. Certainly a mysterious man came to Swetman after the battle, but it was widely believed that he was one of Monmouth's defeated officers.

Thomas Hardy's maternal grandmother, Elizabeth1 or Betty, was 1 year old [she married George Hand (or Hadd). His daughter Jemima used the earlier spelling.]

The daughter of one of these Swedes by his wife Maria Childs, sister of Christopher Childs, who had married into the Cave family, became a mining engineer in Cornwall and founded the West Briton newspaper, the portrait of which was painted by Sir Karl when he was about eighty years old Eastlake. Tradition has it that Betty, Mary's daughter, was tall, beautiful, had thirty dresses, was an omnivore, and possessed a stash of books of exceptional length for the daughter of a far-flung farmer

1 A curious reminiscence of his daughter is evidenced by his rather striking facial features. She was crossing the fields in this one as a child, a few years after Waterloo, when a gentleman called after her, 'A Wellington relative? You must be! That nose!' He enthusiastically followed them until they got scared, jumping over spikes until they reached home. He was believed to be an officer who had fought under Wellington and had been wounded in the head, so he was distraught at times.

She knew the writings of Addison, Steele and others in the Spectator group almost by heart, was familiar with Richardson and Fielding, and of course standard works like Paradise Lost and The Pilgrims Progress. From the old medical books she possessed, she treated half the village, her anchor being Culpepper's Herbal and Dispensary; and if ever there was any doubt as to the location of certain graves in the cemetery, the vicar, sacristan, and relatives turned to them as infallible authority.

But unfortunately! Her brilliant intelligence in the literary direction did not serve her in domestic life. After the death of her mother, she was secretly married to a young man whom her father vehemently disapproved of. The burly fellow countryman, apparently a strict and unyielding father, never forgave her and would never see her again. His unyielding temper is illustrated by the only known anecdote about him. A psychic gypsy had camped at the edge of one of her fields and went to send her away one Sunday morning. He found her obstinate, saying, "If you don't back down, I'll have you burned like a witch!" She pulled her handkerchief out of her pocket, threw it on the fire and said: "If it burns, I'll burn". Flames engulfed the shawl, which was of his finest Indian silk, but it did not burn and she returned it unharmed. The story goes that he was so impressed by her magic that he left her alone.

Not long after the death of Elizabeth's strict father - Hardy's maternal great-grandfather - her husband also died, leaving her with several children, the youngest of whom was only a few months old. Her father, though comfortably off, had left her nothing, and she was at her wit's end to support herself and her family if she were ever widowed. Among Elizabeth's children was one, a girl, of unusual ability and insight, and an energy that could have gotten her into untold trouble. This was the child Jemima, the mother of Thomas Hardy. Due to the death of her parents and resulting poverty under the burden of a young family, Jemima endured some very distressing experiences during her childhood and adolescence that she was never able to speak of in her pain-free mature years, although this appears to have alleviated her problems by being her read every book she could get her hands on. Furthermore, she turned her craft to whatever came her way; became exceptionally adept at "slapping" gloves, among other things; he was also good at making mantua, and excellent at the oddly different occupation of cooking. She decided to become a chef in a London club; but her plans in this direction ended when she met her future husband and married him at the age of twenty-five.

He ran an old building and bricklaying business (the designation "master builder" as administrator and entrepreneur of all trades was unknown in the districts at the time). It was occasionally large, requiring twelve to fifteen men, but often smaller; and the partner with whom she had cast her lot, although in considerable circumstances and in all other respects blameless, had not the art of enriching himself through business. In addition, like his father and brother, he devoted himself to sacred music and, secondarily, to secular music, the description of country dance, French horn and old waltz. It may be mentioned that an ancestor, Thomas Hardy, who lived in Dorchester in 1724, was a subscriber to Dr. W. Croft, organist at the Chapel Royal and Westminster Abbey, suggesting that the family had an early interest in sacred music.

Jemima's husband's father, our subject's grandfather (the first Thomas of three successive Thomases), as a youth living in Puddle Town before the year 1800, expressed his strong musical inclinations by playing the cello in that parish church. He married ruthlessly at the age of twenty-one when his father, John, went into business for him by buying a piece of land in Bockhampton in the neighboring parish of Stinsford and building him a house there. When Thomas Hardy the First (of these Stinsford Hardys) moved with his wife into this house provided by his father John in 1801, he found the sacred music there in a deplorable state, being played by a lonely old man with an oboe from the gallery was conducted from. With the warm approval of the easy-going vicar, he immediately set about improving it, and gathered some instrumentalists, themselves playing as before the bass viol, which he played in the gallery of Stinsford Church for two services every Sunday until 1801 or his death 1837, later his two sons joined them, who continued to play with additional reinforcements until about 1842, so that the performance of the three Hardys even included almost forty years.

It was and is an interesting old church of various styles, from Norman to late Perpendicular. In its vaults are many members of the Gray and Pitt families, the latter related to the famous Prime Minister; there also lies the actor and playwright William O'Brien with his wife Lady Susan, daughter of the 1st Earl of Ilchester, whose clandestine marriage in 1764 to the handsome Irish comedian whom Garrick discovered and brought to Drury Lane made one such in aristocratic circles sparked a scandal. "Even a servant was preferable," wrote Walpole. 'I couldn't believe Lady Susan would have bowed so low.'

Although nowadays the 'slant' might have been viewed the other way around - for O'Brien was not only Jeune Premier at Drury but also a gifted and learned man whose performances of the cheerful Lothario in Rowes Fair Penitent, Brisk in The Double Dealer, Sir Harry Wildair in The Constant Couple, Archer in The Beaux' Stratagem, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the Prince in Henry the Fourth, and many other leading roles made him very popular, and his own plays were of considerable value. His marriage ruined a promising career, as his wife's father did not want to know about his stint on stage. The coincidence that young Hardy O'Brien's two grandmothers had seen and admired, that he had been a member of the Stinsford parish for many years, that young Thomas's great-grandfather and grandfather knew him well, and that the latter, like the local builder, had built the vault for himself and his wife (according to surviving old construction logs, his workers drank 40 gallons of beer while working); they had been asked by her to 'make it just big enough for the two of us' to put her in and erect her memorial, instilled from an early age in the occupants of the small vault in the sanctuary a romantic interest in the boy's psyche. Age.

It was in this church (see attached plan, taken from a drawing Hardy made many years ago under his father's supervision) that the Hardys became known after his early childhood as the fiddler, Thomas II, father of the poet and novelist already mentioned as a choirboy, beginning in his youth with the "contra" viola, later with tenor and treble.

They were considered the best church musicians in the neighborhood as the accident aided their natural inclination. This was the fact that in 1822, shortly after the death of the old pastor Mr. Flyer, Rev Edward Murray, a connection to the Earl of Ilchester, Patron of the living, was introduced to him. Mister. Murray was a keen musician and fiddler, and the two youngest Hardys, and sometimes his father, practiced with him two or three times a week in his office at Stinsford House, where he lived rather than at the vicarage.

It was thus that Hardy's instrumentalists, although never more than four, easily outnumbered the larger groups in nearby parishes. For while Puddletown's West Gallery, for example, had eight players and Maiden Newton nine players, there were also woodwind and leather instruments - that is, clarinets and snakes - which could be a little too sonorous, even shrill, when played eagerly. But Stinsford's few well-trained violists have traditionally never been overly insistent.

Elaborate singing services such as the remarkable 'Jackson in F' and in 'E' - popular in the west of England, possibly because Jackson was an Exeter man - were performed by the artists every Sunday, with what actual success is unknown but to their own great satisfaction and the warm approval of the musical vicar.

In their psalmody they adhered strictly to Tate-and-Brady - over which, admittedly, the modern hymnal has brought little improvement - such tunes as "Old Hundredth", "New Sabbath", "Devizes", "Wilton", "Lydia" . ' and 'Cambridge New' are the most important; while "Barthelemon" and "Tallis" were played for Ken's morning and evening hymns, respectively, every Sunday throughout the year: a practice now obsolete but a great inspiration for congregational singing.

As if supervising the Stinsford Choir wasn't enough of a distraction from business for Thomas Hardy the First, whenever the opportunity arose he went and assisted other choirs by playing his cello in the galleries of their parish churches, mostly the big ones delight of the public. . communities. Although Thomas the Third was not in the world long enough to meet his grandfather in person, there is no doubt that Fairway's description in The Return of the Native of Thomasin's father's awe as he rendered his services to the Kingsbere Choir is a humorous exaggeration of Traditions Concerning the Musical Triumphs of Thomas Hardy the First as Locum-Tenens.

It should also be noted that he had volunteered until the end of the war and from time to time stayed in Weymouth with his company to await Bonaparte, who never appeared.

Conducting the church choir all year round meant carols, the playing and singing at Christmas that Thomas Hardy II loved as much as his father. Besides the usual practice, the work of preparing and copying Christmas carols a month in advance was not easy, and the overheads were considerable. As the congregation was large and scattered, it was the habit of Thomas Hardy the First to assemble the fairly flat base of the choir at his home; and that required supper, and supper required (then) much drinking. This was especially the case on Christmas Eve itself, when the rule was to go to the northern part of the church and play in every house before supper; then return to Bockhampton, and sit down to supper till noon, during which interval much was consumed at the expense of the Hardys, the chorus being chiefly poor and starving men. Then they went to the other parts of the church and didn't come home until it was all over around six in the morning, since the artists themselves at church the next day felt "no more than Malkins,"1 as they used to explain. The practice was continued by Thomas Hardy II as described in Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire, although its author, Thomas Hardy III, invented the characters, incidents, manners, etc., without having seen or heard the refrains as such. , end of term when he was about a year old. He used to say that he had mocked her for this reason, since the story did not adequately reflect, as he would have wished in later years, the poetry and romance that had colored her time-honoured celebrations.

The Hardys' preoccupation with parish church music and less solemn gatherings did not help their building affairs, to say the least, and was a relief of sorts to the young wife of Thomas Hardy II - although she was musical to some degree herself. . – when ecclesiastical changes after the death of Thomas Hardy the First, including Murray's Disposal of the Living, caused her husband 1 Malcin, a damp cloth for cleaning a stove.

1841 or 1842 giving up all connection with the choir. As the death of First Thomas was quite unexpected, as he was playing at church on a Sunday and being taken away for the funeral the next, it could be because of the The remaining players are the main mourners. And so ended his dedicated musical services for Stinsford Church, during which for thirty-five years he occupied the middle seat of the gallery with his bass guitar on Sundays - without worldly gain; But on the contrary.

After his death, the construction and bricklaying business, which was carried on by his widow with the help of her children, also changed - an unsatisfactory arrangement which eventually led to a division of goodwill between the brothers.

The second Thomas Hardy, the author's father, was a man who could and did be called handsome in his prime. Of the politeness of his manners there was much testimony among the local district ladies with whom he came into contact as a master builder. All Dorset Hardys share more or less a family resemblance (with the Admiral being considered an intermediate type) and the current one was a fine specimen. He was about six feet tall, of good build, with dark brown Vandyke hair and a beard trimmed all the way around in the manner of her suitor; with teeth that were white for almost the last years of her life, and blue eyes that never faded from gray; a brisk step and a habit of tilting the head slightly to one side when walking. He didn't carry a cane or an umbrella well into middle age and was a total outdoorsman and always a great hiker. As a young man he was also good at horns and jigs and other folk dances and would perform them with all the old moves of crossing legs and jumping to the delight of the children until he was warned by his wife that this was fast becoming the style of death might tend to teach them something they didn't necessarily need to be familiar with, since the softer "country dance" has replaced the former.

Woman. Hardy once described him to her son as he looked when she first saw him in the now-distant west gallery of Stinsford Church, and appeared to her far-travelled gaze (she lived in London, Weymouth and other towns for a time) and one Art Vision satirically, "somewhat amusingly old-fashioned, although decidedly pretty - in then-customary blue swallowtail coat with gold-embossed buttons, red-and-black floral waistcoat, rubber boots and blue French breeches". The following sonnet expresses her first view of him.

A CHURCH NOVEL (Mellstock, around 1836)

She turned on the high stool up to her vision

Swept through the west gallery and caught your leash

By musicians with viola, book and bow

Against the dim, sad light of the tower window.

She turned back; and in spite of your pride

The inspirer of a strenuous viola seemed to start

A message from your string to her below,

Who said: 'I claim you as my own right!'

Thus began the bond of their hearts signed in due time

And long years later, when old age had terrified romance,

In some old attitude of him or his looks

This gallery scene would come to her mind

With him like minstrels, fiery, young and elegant,

Bowing "New Sabbath" or "Mount Ephraim".

Ms. Hardy herself was slightly below average height, with brown hair and gray eyes and a slim, erect figure. Since her movement had always been erratic, even when walking, strangers who approached her from behind, even when she was almost seventy, thought they were about to overtake a very young woman. The Roman nose and facial features inherited from her mother would have suited a taller stature better. Like her mother, she read omnivores. She sang songs of the time such as Haynes Bayly's then-popular "Isle of Beauty" and "Gaily the Troubadolir"; also 'Why are you wandering here, please?' and 'Jeannette and Jeannot'. The kids had a quaint old piano to practice on, which she sighed because she couldn't play it herself.

Thomas Hardy III, the eldest child of a family of four (and the only one of the four to marry, so not a blood nephew or niece), did not display his father's build. Had it not been for the common sense of the esteemed wife who served as monthly nurse, he might never have walked the earth. At birth he was cast aside as dead until he was saved by her when she yelled to the surgeon, "Dead! Stop a minute: he's alive safe enough!'

Nothing is recorded of his childhood except the curious fact that when his mother came home one hot afternoon and slept in his crib, she found a large snake wrapped around his chest, sleeping comfortably like himself. He had come into the house from the bog, where there were many.

Although healthy, he was to some extent frail and precocious, able to read from a young age before he could walk and to tune a violin. He was of an ecstatic temper, remarkably sensitive to music and amidst the endless jigs, hornpipes, reels, waltzes and country dances that his father played at night in their early married years and to which the boy in their early married years would dance a passeoul in the middle of the room were three or four, which always moved the child to tears, though he tried hard to hide them. Incidentally, among the arias (although he didn't know their names at the time) were "Enrico" (popular in the Regency), "The Fairy Dance", "Miss Macleod of Ayr" (an old Scottish song that Burns may have danced) and a tune called "My Fancy-Lad" or "Johnny Went to Sea". That quirk in itself troubled the mind of "Tommy," as he was known, leaving him fascinated by a phenomenon he dared not admit. He said later in life that, like Calantha in Ford's Broken Heart, he danced at these times to hide his tears. At that time he was no older than four years.

One or two other traits of his personality at this time in childhood may be related. It was then that his father had the walls of the staircase at Bockhampton (later removed) painted a Venetian red, and was so situated that the afternoon sun shone upon it, lending its color a great intensity for a quarter of an hour or more. . Tommy used to wait for that chromatic effect and, while sitting alone, would recite, "And Now Another Day Is Gone" by Dr. Watts with great fervor, if perhaps not for religious motives but out of a sense that the scene fitted the lyrics.

No wonder, then, that such a boy should have a dramatic sense of worship and, on a damp Sunday morning, wrap himself in a tablecloth and stand in a chair reading the bugle prayer while his cousin plays the scribe with a loud Amen, and his grandmother the congregation represents. The sermon that followed was just a patchwork of phrases used by the pastor. Everyone said Tommy had to be a parish priest, obviously not cut out for practical work; Observation that caused many doubts in his mother.

An event of that date or a little later, he used to say, stands out more than any other. He lay on his back in the sun thinking how useless he was and covered his face with his straw hat. The sun's rays penetrated the gaps in the straw, the fodder was gone. As he reflected on his experiences in the world he had come into, he came to the conclusion that he didn't want to grow up. The other boys always talked about when they would be men; I didn't want to be a man or own things, I just wanted to stay who I was, in the same place, and not meet more people than I already knew (about half a dozen). However, this early evidence of the lack of social ambition which accompanied him throughout his life was shown when he was in perfect health and in fortunate circumstances.

After that, he shared his conclusions about existence with his mother, thinking that she would agree with his views. But to her great surprise, she was badly hurt, which was natural enough considering she'd been on the brink of death when she'd brought it to light. And she never forgot what he said, something he deeply regretted years later.

When he was a little older, he was fascinated by what struck him as a resemblance between two marches with diametrically opposite sentiments - Behold the Conquering Hero Coming and The March of the Dead on Saul. A few dozen years passed before he found out they were by the same composer.

It could be added here that although he was not an experienced musician, this sensitivity to melody accompanied him throughout his life.

1848. First School Up until the age of five or six, his parents hardly believed he would survive to adulthood, but by the age of eight he was considered strong enough to go to the village school to learn the basics before being sent elsewhere. and by a curious coincidence he was the first student to enter the new school building, arriving on opening day and trembling and alone in the empty room awaiting the formal entry of the other students two and two with the teacher and tutor from the premises nearby in the interim. The school is largely in its original condition.

Here he worked on Walkingame's arithmetic and geography, at which he excelled, though his handwriting was indifferent. At this time his mother gave him Virgil of Dryden, Rasselas of Johnson and Paul and Virginia. He also found in a cupboard A History of the Wars - a magazine about the war with Napoleon, to which his grandfather had subscribed at the time, having been a volunteer himself. The torn pages of these contemporary editions, with their melodramatic prints of serrated rows, crossed bayonets,

Oversized backpacks and corpses were the first to get him on the train of thought that led to The Trumpet-Major and The Dynasts.

A Journey The boy Thomas' first experiences of travel came when his mother took him on a journey at the age of eight or nine - "for protection," as she used to say - then an attractive woman and still young - to visit his sister in Hertfordshire. Since the visit lasted three weeks or a month, he was sent to a private school that appears to be modeled on Squeers. As he was only an outside student, it didn't bother him too much, although he was bullied mercilessly by the bigger boys, who he beat in math and geography.

The return from that visit was marked by an experience that became interesting in the light of later events. The Great Northern Railway to London was then under construction and it was necessary to travel by bus from Hertfordshire to catch the train to Dorchester at Waterloo Station. Woman. Hardy hadn't been to London since he'd lived there a few months, twelve years ago. The inn was The Cross-Keys, St. John Street, Clerkenwell, and here mother and son stayed the night. It was the inn where Shelley and Mary Godwin met on weekends less than twenty years ago, and then its condition had not changed during the lovers' romantic experiences there - the oval stone staircase, the skylight and the immaculate hotel entrance. As Mrs. Hardy and his son took a room high up the stairs to economize, and the poet probably took it for the same reason, there's a chance it's the same room as our most wonderful lyricist is inhabited. .

They were only in London for a short time, but long enough to see and remember some of the streets, the Pantheon, then a fancy Pantechnicon, Cumberland Gate in Hyde Park, which didn't have Marble Arch then, and the The Smithfield pandemonium with its mud, curses and screams of abused animals. Passing through town on their way up, they stopped at what is now called Swiss Cottage and looked back at the outskirts of London crawling toward them across green fields.


A year later he was deemed strong enough to progress beyond the village school, and after some delay he was sent to a day school in Dorchester, where the headmaster had come to know his mother as an exceptionally able man and a good teacher. in Latin, which was enough to dissuade her that the school was nonconformist, despite having no nonconformist tendencies.

It is somewhat strange and shows the honor with which the school was run that the boy did not know it was a non-conformist school until he had been there for a few months, a large number, probably the majority, of the boys who came like him . from the homes of the Church of England, drawn thither by the call of said teacher; although Thomas has always wondered why the familiar but somewhat tedious catechism of the church has disappeared - or rather, everything but the Ten Commandments, which students mastered once a week. Although Thomas was nominally heterodox during the week, he was kept strictly in church as usual on Sundays until he had memorized the morning and evening services, including the rubrics, and large portions of the New Version Psalms. . What this time looked like for him becomes clear in the lines "Evening Service in Mellstock", which are contained in Moments of Vision.

The boy's removal from Bockhampton School seriously hurt the lady of the manor who raised him, although she must have suspected that he was only sent there until he was strong enough to go further. This was an uncomfortable misunderstanding for his mother. While not wishing to be rude, of course she did not consult the other to take him away, merely considering her interests as the Hardys were comparatively independent of the manor, as their home and adjoining lands were family property and ownership was just part of work Mr Winterhart. The fact that the school he was transferred to was not a Church of England church was a further bone of contention for this very sensitive lady, although it has been said it was an accident, as was the boy's mother was less welcome than his wife. from the farmer. . The latter had just built a model school at her own expense, and though small she had provided her with a well-trained master and tutor; he had made it his hobby until it was far superior to an ordinary village school. Besides, beneath her dignity was a tender heart, and she was childless and had been passionate about Tommy almost from childhood - they say he was a handsome little fellow then - whom she took for granted. his lap and kiss until he was a big kid. He returned her affection a little.

Shortly before or after the boy's move, construction work on the estate was taken out of the hands of Tommy's father, who went on to replace it, soon receiving a villa to enlarge and other commissions, and so not suffering too much at the loss of her property. Shop near where you live. He would have left the community altogether, since the house his grandfather John had built for his father Thomas I was, as I said, awkwardly small and ill-furnished, and an awkward place for a builder. But since he owned the dilapidated dwelling, the field and the associated sandpits for life, he stayed.

However, Thomas Hardy, the youngest, secretly mourned the loss of his friend, the farmer's wife, to whom he was more attached than he cared to possess. In fact, his feelings for her were almost that of a lover, even though he was only nine or ten years old and she must be in her forties. He made watercolor drawings of animals for her and sang to her. One of his songs was "I've traveled many countries, I've sailed all the seas," which was pretty funny considering how far he'd traveled. He was so eager to see her that he accepted the offer of a young woman from the village to take him to a harvest dinner, where he knew she would be present, one of the farms on the estate, which the owner himself considers one hobby, with the help of a bailiff - to his great financial loss, as it turned out. The young woman, the daughter of a small farmer, called young Tomás on the afternoon of the party. Together they left as his mother wasn't home, although they left a note of where he had gone. The 'dinner', a morning meal that day, probably around four o'clock, was finished when they reached the barn and tea was being served, after which there was singing and dancing, some NCOs had been invited by the barracks police by the squire as partners of the Girl. The Squire was by no means strict about this. What his wife thought is not recorded. Incidentally, this is probably where Thomas' wide acquaintance with soldiers in old uniforms and long service began, which would serve him well in the writing of The Trumpet Major and The Dynasts.

Soon after, the owner of the mansion, her husband, and a delegation arrived to start some dancing. When she saw little Thomas, who had no business there, she went up to him and said in a reproachful tone:

"Oh Tommy, how is it? I thought you left me!'

Tommy tearfully assured her that he hadn't and never would, and so the dancing continued. Since he was very fond of dancing, she gave him a niece of about the same age as his partner, who lived in her house and had come with her. The manor entourage stayed a few more paces and then left, but Tommy was forced to stay, dreading going home without his burly young companion, who danced with the soldiers. There he tiredly waited for her until three in the morning, having not eaten or drunk since one o'clock the previous day, afraid to ask the revelers for food. What would the landowner's tender wife have given him if she had known of his hunger and thirst, and how cautiously would she have sent him home if she had known of his dilemma! A scolding from his parents when Tommy got home ended the day's adventure. It was the only harvest dinner and dance he had ever seen, save for one he happened to appear at years later.

Despite his oath of allegiance to his lordship, the two never met again until he was a young man of twenty-two and she a very old woman; Although it was no fault of her own, her husband soon sold the property and moved into a house in London.

It may be worth noting that this Harvest House was among the last where the old traditional ballads were sung, as the railway was then extended to Dorchester and the oral ditties of centuries were killed at once by the London comedian. songs performed. The particular ballad he remembered from the lips of the farm women that night was called "The Outlandish Knight," "May Colvine," "The Western Tragedy," etc. The young women in their light dresses were seated on a bench by the barn wall and leaned against each other as they sang the Dorset version of the ballad, slightly different from the northern one:

"Lay there, lie there, false-hearted man,

lie down instead of me;

For six beautiful girls you drowned here

But the seventh drowned you!'

"Oh, say no more, my pretty parrot,

Don't blame me;

And your cage will be made of shining gold

With a door of white ivory!'

The question alluded to above of moving out of the community and into more comfortable quarters nearby or in town came up time and again with the Hardys—yes, it always did. Mrs. Hardy, and she thought he should see her about his growing family. It must be admitted that a lonely place between a bog and a forest, which messengers and other businessmen often found tedious and tedious to pursue, was almost unacceptable as a place for construction work to be carried out. But Thomas Hardy II was not a merchant soul. Rather than seek out a possible need for bricks and stones in the market or elsewhere, he preferred to go alone into the forest or bog, where he could delve into the depths with a telescope he had inherited from a minor ancestor who was a captain of a merchant ship stared at distance for half an hour; or, in warm weather, lying on a thyme or chamomile bank while the locusts hop over him. Other childhood memories of his son included men in the camp, stirring corn, mail trucks, wagons, lighter boxes, and blowing out candles. As a young boy, he was taken by his father to witness the burning of the effigy of the Pope and Cardinal Wiseman in the ancient Roman amphitheater in Dorchester during the riots of the Popeless. Young Hardy's vision was very sinister, and he never forgot it; and when the habit of one of the monks in the dreadful procession flew aside, revealing the features of one of his father's laborers, his astonishment was great.

His earliest memory is of being given a small accordion by his father. He knew he was only four at the time because his name and date were written on the toy by his father: Thomas Hardy. 1844

Another memory, some two or three years later, is connected to the Corn Law agitation. The boy had a small wooden sword his father had made for him and he dipped it in the blood of a pig that had just been killed and brandished it as he walked through the garden shouting, "Free trade or blood!"

A member of his family sixty years later recalled the innocent joy with which young Thomas and his mother went on various expeditions. They were excellent companions, each with a great sense of humor and a love of adventure. Hardy told a prank as he and his mother dressed in fancy dresses and pulled cabbage nets over their faces to disguise themselves. Thus strangely dressed they crossed the moor to meet a sister of Mrs. Hardy, who lived in Puddletown, whose astonishment was great at seeing these strange visitors at her door.

It was natural that, with a boy's imitation ability, he would try his hand at fiddle playing from an early age, and under his father's tutelage he was soon able to jot down a few hundred jigs and country dances which he found in his father's book. . . and grandfather's old books. After tuning violins as a boy, as a teenager he kept his mother's old table piano in tune whenever he had time, and he worried about "The Wolf" in a musical octave that he thought was a defect in his own ear held.

Another childhood experience may be mentioned which, although funny in itself, caused him much emotional distress. That was in church while listening to the sermon. Some malicious movement of his mind led him to believe the vicar was preaching mockingly, and he began attempting a humorous twitch at the corners of Mr. S... as if he could barely keep a straight face. After imagining that, the mischievous boy found to his dismay that he couldn't dismiss the idea. Like stars in the pulpit, the vicar seemed "always to laugh," and Thomas could hardly contain his joy until he found it uncomfortable.

Luckily, the report that the schoolmaster was an able teacher turned out to be true - and when he found that he had an able student who galloped happily around in the normal classroom of the school, he either agreed with Hardy's parents' suggestion or hit out suggests to himself that he should teach the boy Latin immediately, Latin is considered an extra.


Thus, at the age of twelve, young Thomas was initiated into the ancient grammar of Eton and the reading of Eutropius and Caesar. Though extraordinarily quick at acquisition, he was undoubtedly a rather lazy student; and as for grammar, being concerned, like so many thousands of students before him, about the propria quae maribus, he devised a plan to avoid problems in learning the genders by coloring the nouns three shades at a time ; but it is unknown whether he benefited much from his plan. Once, many years later, he regretted to a friend, a classical scholar and member of his faculty, that he had been taught with the venerable Etonian 'Introduction to the Latin' and not with the acclaimed New Latin Foundation that later came out. . His friend said somberly, 'The old one was as good as the new one.'

But despite the classics and his fondness for books, he loved adventures with the violin, now and in his youth, although it was strange that his mother, a "progressive" woman, ambitious for his sake if not her own, did not contradicted these representations. Maybe it was the feeling that they would help teach him what life was about. His father, however, vehemently opposed them, and although he himself had not disliked them as a young man, all he could do was wink at them. So little Thomas sometimes played at village weddings, where the bride, all in white, kissed him in her intense joy of dancing; once at a New Year's Eve party at the house of the tailor who betrayed him; also in the halls of the peasants; and on another occasion at an estate, where he was stopped by his hostess, who grabbed his bow-arm at the end of forty-five minutes and pounded incessantly his notes of twelve tireless pairs in the country-dance favorite of 'The New - Rigged Send'. . The matron had done this lest he "tear a blood vessel", fearing that the sustained exertion would be too much for a boy of thirteen or fourteen.

His mother had always told him not to be paid for his services as a violinist, but for once the temptation was too great. A hatful of pennies was collected, which amounted to four or five shillings, and Thomas had seen a copy of The Boys' Own Book in a Dorchester shop that morning, which could be bought for that sum. He accepted the money and soon possessed the coveted volume. Her mother shook her head at the transaction and refused to see any value in a book that was primarily about games. This volume was carefully guarded and remained in his library until the end of his life.

Among the strange occurrences that accompany these merry minstrels, one can be described as occurring when he was returning home with his father at three o'clock in the morning from a farmhouse, where for six or seven years he had been playing second fiddle after the first of his father's watch. , his father for some reason had a generous desire to offer artists as much as possible. It was very cold and the moon was shining brightly on the crusted snow, in the middle of which they saw what appeared to be a headless white human figure, motionless in the hedge. Very tired and with tingling in his fingertips from tightening the strings, the boy ran past the grisly sight, but the elder went to the object, which turned out to be a very tall, thin man in a long white apron. . . , leaning against the bank in a drunken daze, his head tilted so far forward that from a distance it appeared he had no head at all. Hardy senior, seeing the danger of leaving the man where he might freeze to death, woke him after a great effort and they took him to a nearby shack where he lived and pushed him out the door, greeting his ears , when they left. with a barrage of insults from the man's wife, which also spilled over her hapless husband, whom she promptly overthrew. Hardy's father commented that to risk freezing to death it would be better to leave him where he was.

At this age Thomas also enjoyed reading Dumas Pkres novels, which he presented in English translation, and Shakespeare's tragedies just for the plot, without thinking too much about Hamlet because the ghost didn't play his part to the end like he should have . . . .


A year or two later, their talented schoolmaster opened a secondary school called Academy, where they got boarding school. His abilities did, indeed, catch the attention of parents and guardians, and had not a bosom affection later compelled him to give up teaching he would no doubt have been widely known. (His son famously became a well-known science master in South Kensington.) Hardy accompanied him to the new school - the primary school founded by his namesake was then considered irrelevant - and stayed there the whole time. for the rest of his school life, he continued his Latin with the same teacher and won Beza's Latin Testament Prize for his progress in the language - a small paperback edition that he often carried with him years later. His classes also included elementary drafting, advanced arithmetic, geometry and algebra, all of which he was quite good at, always saying he found a certain poetry in the cube root rule for its rhythm and in some of the 'various' questions from Walkingame. In applied mathematics, you work your way all the way through Tate Mechanics and Nesbitt Measurement.

Hardy was popular - almost too popular - among his schoolmates, as their friendship sometimes became a burden. He loved being alone, but to his hidden discomfort some of the other boys would often volunteer to accompany him on his journey back to Bockhampton. How much this annoyed him, he recalled many years later. He also tried to avoid being touched by his teammates. One guy with more insight than the rest figured it out: "Hardy, how come you don't like it when we touch you?" That quirk never left him, and to the end of his life he disliked even the kindest hand laid on his arm or shoulder. Probably no one else noticed.

One day, about this time, Hardy, then a boy of fourteen, fell madly in love with a pretty girl, who passed him on horseback near South Walk, Dorchester, as he was leaving school, and from inexplicable reasons reasons. . She was a total stranger. The next day he saw her with an old gentleman, presumably her father. He wandered miserably, looked for her for several days, and saw her again—this time riding with a young man. Then she disappeared forever. He secretly told other boys, who sympathized but could do nothing even though some inmates were watching over them on his behalf. It took him over a week to overcome this desperate attachment.

At the age of fifteen he was sent to French lessons by a lady who was the French governess at his sister's school, and he began studying the German language in a magazine called The Popular Educator, in which he took a keen interest had , edited by that homeschooling genius, John Cassell. Hardy's mother had begun buying the company's publications for her son, and he continued to buy them whenever he had a little money.

And around this date he was training one of three young people (the other two being the parish priest's sons) who were teaching in the parish catechism school, where he had a milkmaid four years his senior as a pupil in his class. , who later appeared in Tess of the d'Urbervilles as Marian - one of the few life portraits in her works. This rosy plump girl had a marvelous ability to memorize whole chapters of the Bible, and in class, to his boredom, would repeat to him the long Gospels before Easter by heart, without missing a word, and with evident delight in their ease; though she was by no means a paragon of virtue in her love affairs.

A little later, although it may be mentioned here among other things, he lost his heart for a few days to a young lady who came down from Windsor shortly after reading Worth's Ains - Windsor Castle. But she disappointed him when she revealed she had no interest in Heme the Huntsman or Anne Boleyn. In this guy was another young woman, a game warden's beautiful daughter,

who won Hardy's youthful admiration for her beautiful red hair. But she despised him because he was two or three years younger than her, and she married early. He later celebrated her as "Lizbie Browne". Another bond that deepened a little later was with a farmer's daughter named Louisa. There were probably more. However, all of them seem to have been quite the fugitives, except perhaps Louisas.

He believed his bond with this young woman was mutual, for once when he returned home from Dorchester he saw her strolling down the street as if to meet him. He longed to speak to her, but his shyness got the better of him, and he left with a murmured "good night" while poor Louisa had not a word to say.

He later learned that she had gone to a girls' boarding school in Weymouth, and he went there Sunday after Sunday until he discovered the church which the girl of his affection attended with her fellow pupils. But alas, all that emerged from those efforts was a shy smile from Louisa.

That the vision remained can be deduced from a poem “Louisa in the Lane” written a few months before her death. Louisa is located under an unnamed hill in the 'Mellstock' churchyard. That "good night" was the only word exchanged between them.



1856-1862: Eat. 16-21

At sixteen, although he was just beginning to study French and Latin classics, the question of a profession or business arose. His father was a contractor who carried out the designs and was therefore associated with Mr. John Hicks, an architect and church restorer, originally practicing in Bristol and now in Dorchester. After seeing Thomas Hardy, Jr. when his father, along with another builder, carried out the restoration of Mr. It is believed that Hicks was from Woodsford Castle and put him to the test by inviting him to help with the research . Hicks wanted him as a student and offered to take him on for slightly less than the normal price, payable in the middle of a period of 3 years. Since her father was an easy-money man, Mrs. Hardy proposed a substantial discount to the architect to pay the entire premium at the beginning of the term, and with that Mr. Hicks, not a man of easy money, agreed. Hardy was a born avid reader, that and that alone was constant in him; sometimes he also wished to enter the church; but he happily agreed to Mr. Hicks.

July 1856

The architect's office was at 39 South Street, Dorchester, now part of a Temperance Hotel, although the space where Hardy used to draw remains unchanged. When he arrived he found a twenty-one-year-old student who was at the end of the year and had just left; also a pupil in his first year of papers, a year or so older than himself, who had been well educated in a good school in or near London, and who, having a fondness for classical languages, regretted his recent necessity to interrupt his studies studies to study architecture. They later began to read together and often spent more time reading books than drawing over the next two or three years. Hicks was exceptionally well trained even for a common land architect. The son of a Loucestershire provost, who had been a fine classical scholar, had read some Greek and had a smattering of Hebrew (probably taught by his father); though strangely enough he was less comfortable with Latin. A gentleman, almost jovial in nature, he allowed the two young men some free time beyond their architecture studies, although much of Hardy's reading for the next few years was finished between five and eight in the morning before he left home for school the day The office. On the long summer days he even got up at four and started. In these circumstances he read a fair number of the usual classic pages - several books from the Aeneid, some Horace and Ovid, etc.; and indeed he got to know his authors so well that he often found himself talking to himself in Latin about their various drafts on his walks in and out of town. He also studied Greek, which he had not learned at school, and continued with some books from the Iliad. He once said that he did almost all of his reading in the latter work in the morning before breakfast.

Hicks was ahead of them in Greek, although they could beat him in Latin, and he used to scoff at their interpretations, often when they were more correct than his own. When he was cornered and found wrong, he resorted to the excuse that his schooling predates theirs.

At the time, the Rev. William Barnes, a Dorset poet and philologist, ran a school next door. Knowing that he was an authority on grammar, Hardy often rushed to ask Barnes to settle a sensitive point in an argument between himself and his colleague. Hardy would claim in later years that the verdict was almost always in his favour.

During his stint at Hicks's, an unusual incident occurred that, while unrelated to his own life, was dramatic enough to warrant mention. One summer morning in Bockhampton, just before he sat down to breakfast, it occurred to him that a man was to be hanged in Dorchester at eight o'clock. He took the large brass telescope that had been supplied to the family and hurried to a hill on the moor a quarter of a mile from the house, from which he looked out over the town. The sun behind his back shone directly on the white stone facade of the prison, the gallows above and the figure of the murderer in white barschian, the executioner and officers in dark robes and the crowd below, invisible at that distance of almost three miles. Just as he raised the binoculars to his eye, the white figure fell and the faint chime of the city clock struck eight.

It all happened so suddenly that Hardy almost dropped his glass. He seemed to be alone on the moor with the hanged man, and he crept home, wishing he hadn't been so curious. It was the second and last execution he had witnessed, the first being that of a woman two or three years ago when he was near the gallows.

So it was that Bastow, the other student (who, oddly enough, had been brought up a Baptist for an architect who was mainly concerned with church work), became very doctrinaire at this time; he said he would be baptized, and indeed he was baptized shortly thereafter. He so impressed young Hardy with his seriousness and his need to do the same that the young student, though brought up on High Church principles, almost felt as though he needed to be baptized again as an adult. He went to the vicar of his parish and laid the case. The vicar, an Oxford man, looked puzzled and said the only book he had that could help Hardy was Hooker's Ecclesiastical Politics, which he had lent his questioner . Finding this scholarly work of little help in the particular circumstances, Hardy turned to the pastor of another church he knew. But all the pastor had was a handbook of elementary sacraments.

However, he obtained as many books and records on infant baptism as he could, and though he was appalled at the weakness of the arguments for infant baptism (assuming New Testament practice was followed), he was steadfastly determined to "hold on “. on his own side” as he viewed the Church, at the expense of his conscience. The arguments between the two students in the office sometimes reached such an uproar that the architect's wife sent a message from the room on the first floor, asking them not to make so much noise. To add to the heat, two of the sons of the Baptist vicar of Dorchester, friends of Bastow, wayward young Scots fresh from the University of Aberdeen, good classics who could always recite the original Greek of any New Testament passage as they entered the room. Controversy. But although Hardy was in the one against three position, he fought the wall as if he were working the Greek Testament at night to refute his opponents, and for this purpose he was given a new text, that of Griesbach, which he had regarded as more correct than the former, and conceded to his earnest quarrelers as much as he thought a clergyman could concede, namely, that in the future he would confine his Greek reading to the New Testament, abandoning pagan authors, and show his open Spirit by attending a prayer meeting in the chapel sacristy.

At half past six on a hot August night he entered the chapel for the meeting. There was not a soul in the building, and he waited in the melancholy little sacristy until the allotted time had elapsed nearly half an hour, the yellow sun shining through the skylight on the dull paint, through which the faint tones of a brass band also penetrated. When he was about to leave at seven-fifteen, Bastow and the minister's sons came in breathless and apologized for being late. Cooke's then-popular circus had come to town at the time of the prayer meeting, and they'd all called off the engagement for a while and stayed for the show. Hardy knew the circus entry was going to happen; but he faithfully fulfilled his obligation. By the time the meeting ended, Hardy had forgotten as he recounted the experience.

Their belief in the need for adult baptism gradually eroded. Although younger than his peers, he seemed to have a mental breadth that they lacked; and though he recognized that there was not the slightest evidence for infant baptism in the New Testament, he saw that Christianity did not depend on passing details which convenience might alter, and that the practice of a few people at an early age was not enforced could. in its masses under different circumstances when it became the religion of the continents.

However, it would be unfair for the Baptist minister Perkins and his quarrelsome family to omit Hardy's observations of their finer qualities from these earlier collections. They formed a strict and frugal family and won his admiration for their meticulousness and dedication. He visited them often, and one of the sons about his age, who did not insist on Baptist teachings like his two brothers, was a good friend of Hardy's until he died of consumption a year or two later. It was through these Scots that Thomas Hardy was impressed by the need for the "simple life and high thoughts" which served him so well in later years. Among the few portraits of real people in Hardy's novels is that of the Baptist minister in A Laodicean - it is a recognizable drawing of Perkins the Father as he appeared to Hardy at the time, although the incidents are fabricated.

Back to the architect's students. The Greek Testament had been accepted by both - although the younger had to learn a new dialect for it - and Homer and Virgil had been cast aside (a shame for Hardy, who only enjoyed them). As this study progressed, it became an occasional practice for the youth to take their will into the field and sit by a gate to read it. The gateway to Kingston Mirward Eweleaze's grounds, now the cricket ground, was the site of some readings. They ended with the end of Bastow's four years of schooling and his departure to the office of a London architect, which he left soon after to set up his own business in Tasmania.


With Bastow's departure, Hardy's duties became more demanding, and although his ward's tenure was extended by a year or two in recognition of his immaturity, there came a time when it became necessary for him to devote more attention to practical architecture than he had previously done had. The 'restoration' of churches was well under way in Dorsetshire and the surrounding counties and young Hardy had to survey, survey and sketch many old churches in view of such changes. Very fine early Gothic, as well as Jacobean and Georgian works, he was passively instrumental in destruction or change beyond identification; a matter of his deep regret in later years.

Despite architecture's greater demands on his attention, Hardy appears to have retained his classics for some time after his colleague's departure for Tasmania; as in an old letter from Bastow replying to Hardy of Hobart Town in May 1861, the emigrant says:

"You really are a troublesome guy because you've been so busy with Homer and everything else. I'm not an iota farther than Dorchester; In fact, I don't think I've touched a book - Greek, I mean - since then. I see you're trying everything to eliminate me!'

The allusion to Homer seems to indicate that after the departure and weakening of his Baptist veteran, Hardy,

St. Augustine fell back from the Greek New Testament to the pagan writers, although impulsive rather than "dragged" in his studies, his strength lay in the power to press on in the most daunting circumstances.

By the chance of being student architects in a county town, from assizes and councilors rising to railways, telegraphs and London dailies; Not yet living there, but walking every day from a world of shepherds and farmers to a village three miles away, where modern improvements were still a miracle, he saw rural and urban in strange closeness. To these phenomena are added the peculiarities of his inner life, which one could almost call academic - an unusual threefold existence for a young man - what he retrospectively called a life twisted into three strands - the professional life, the scholarly life and the farm life, combined in the twenty-four hours of the day as it was with him in those years. From six to eight in the morning he read the Iliad, the Aeneid or the Greek Testament, studied Gothic architecture all day and went out at night with his violin under his arm, sometimes in the company of his friends. Father as first fiddle and uncle as 'cellist' to play country dances, wagon wheels and horns at a country wedding, christening or Christmas party in a remote estate amidst fallow fields, sometimes not returning until dawn, with the Hardys traditionally still having strings available standing on such occasions, and with the further recommendation not to charge anything for their services, which was an established principle with them, as the performers were mostly known; although the indefatigable zeal of young couples at the dance often made the Hardys' act of friendship far from enjoyable for them. But young Hardy's physical strength was now much greater than when he was a child, and it enabled him, like an illusionist at a carnival, to keep the three balls of architecture, erudition, and fiddle in the air without ill effects Clear that the manipulation is not daily like the other two.

His immaturity, alluded to above, was greater than usual for his age, and it may be said here that a clue to much of his character and actions throughout his life is given by his lag in the development of manhood, though he was was mentally precocious. . He later said humorously that he was a child until he was sixteen, a youth until he was twenty-five, and a youth until he was almost fifty. Whether this was intrinsic or a result of living in a remote location early in life is an open question.

While studying architecture, Hardy had two other literary friends in Dorchester. One of them was Hooper Tolbort, the orphaned nephew of one of the partners in an engineering company, who had an exceptional gift for learning languages. He was a student of the Reverend W. Barnes and was preparing for Indian civil service. The other was Horace Moule of Queens' College, Cambridge, who was just starting out as a writer and proofreader. Country walks with each of these friends continued to lead Thomas Hardy to books, two works under which he was featured made a great impression on him - the recently published Essays and Critiques of 'The Seven against Christ', as the authors were called; and Walter Bagehot's Estimates (later called Literary Studies). He began to write verse and also some prose articles which apparently never got printed. The first shock of his to see the light of day in the press was an anonymous sketch in a Dorchester newspaper of the disappearance of the Aims House clock, then as now lying on a stand in South Street, heel in shape one a melancholic letter from uhrgeist. (It had been neglected, having been taken out for cleaning.) As the author was supposed to be an influential city councillor, the clock was promptly replaced. He would never have been known as Hardy if it hadn't been for the conspiracy of a postal worker to study the handwriting of mail until he found the culprit. This was followed by descriptive 'Domicilium' verses and accounts of Hicks' church restorations prepared by Hardy for the Dorset Chronicle's grateful correspondent.

It seems that he had also begun work on Agamemnon or Oedipus, but upon his question to Moule - who was an excellent Greek scholar and always ready to tutor in all classical difficulties - whether he should not read on based on the pieces of Greek houses, Moule was reluctant to believe that if Hardy really did have an income of any kind in 1862 (as his father had insisted, and it was sensible indeed, since he had never earned a penny in his life). architecture to earn, he would hardly do it was worth it for him to read Aeschylus or Sophokles in 1859-61. He secretly wished that Moule would advise him to continue with Greek plays, despite the serious damage it might do to his architecture; but he felt obliged to listen to reason and prudence. So he had to be content with as much Greek as he could, as the language was almost abandoned from that date; for although some years later he picked up one or two of the playwrights, it was but a fragmentary way. However, his extensive knowledge of her was not small.

One wonders whether Hardy's career would have been very different if Moules had taken the opposite view and advised going on with the Greek plays. The younger man could hardly have resisted the suggestion and might have risked the consequences, so strong was his prejudice in the matter. The result may have been that he gave up architecture for a university career, but his father never absolutely refused to lend him money for a good cause. With all the instincts of a scholar, he could have ended his life as the Don, which can be said to be

He settled Hod's affairs,

Oun duly justified.

But that wasn't supposed to happen, and maybe it was a good thing.

Another young man from Dorchester who has been mentioned superficially—the pupil of Hicks, whose time had expired shortly after Hardy's arrival, and who then departed from the west of England for good—may be said again as to what had attracted him to the newcomer - his one or two trips to London during his passing acquaintance, and his return with whistling quadrilles and other popular tunes, with accounts of his dancing adventures at the Argyle Rooms and Cremorne, both then in full swing. Hardy reported that one particular quadrille, its progenitor Fippard, could whistle flawlessly, and as he did so, he pranced across the office to an imaginary dancing figure and hugged an imaginary Cremorne or Argyle dancer. The intriguing gang stuck with Hardy for life, but he was never able to identify them. As Hardy was some six years younger than this young comet, Hardy was treated by him with the arrogance such a boy usually receives from such seniority, and with the other's departure from Dorchester he vanished entirely from Hardy's attention.



1862-1867: Et. 21-27 A new beginning

On Thursday, April 17, 1862, Thomas Hardy set out alone for London to pursue the art and science of architecture in more advanced directions. He had left Bockhampton as a permanent resident for some time, living except at weekends in Dorchester with Hicks or in a hostel; although later he often stayed in Bockhampton.

That year's Great Exhibition was about to open, which may have influenced him in choosing a date for his migration. The only previous trip to the capital had been with his mother in 1848 or 1849 when, as already mentioned, they passed her on the way to and from Hertfordshire to visit a relative. Cautiously he bought a return ticket for the journey so that when he ran out of funds he could travel back to Dorchester. After six months, he threw away the unused half.

Hardy used to tell humorously that on the afternoon of his arrival he telephoned to ask for a room in a house where a bachelor ten years his senior worked whose cousin Hardy had known. This acquaintance, who looked him up and down, was skeptical about settling in London. "Wait til you've been walking the streets for a few weeks," he said satirically, "and your elbows are starting to shine and your cuffs are frayed like they're being gnawed by rats! Only practitioners are required here. Hardy began to wish he'd been thinking less about the Greek Testament and more about Iron Beams.

However, he had at least two letters of introduction in his pocket - one from an ebullient lady to Mr. Benjamin Ferrey, F.R.I.B.A., of Trinity Place, Charing Cross, an architect who had been a pupil of old Pugin, connected with the West of England and designing a mansion in Dorset, the builder of which was Hardy's father's work to the fullest satisfaction of the Lord. But as is so often the case, this anchor was less reliable than expected. Mister. Ferrey was polite to the young man, he remembered his father, he promised any help; and that was the end of it.

The other presentation was for Mr. John Norton of Old Bond Street, also an architect in full practice. Mister. In any case, Norton received young Thomas Hardy with great kindness, and as his friendship came at just the right time when it was needed, he proved to be one of the best resources Hardy ever had. The generous architect told him not to sit idle in London (Hardy still looked like a rosy-cheeked young man even now) and arranged for him to come daily and make drawings in his office for a small fee more. over the city. as Mr. Norton didn't really need the help, the offer was very considerate of him.

Last week of April 1862

Here really was as good as it could have been. It was a dock, and Hardy never forgot it. Oddly enough, when Mr Norton informed him that a friend he had met at the Institute of British Architects had asked if he knew a young Gothic draftsman who could restore and design churches and vicarages. -Houses. He had strongly recommended Hardy and taken him straight to Mr Arthur Blomfield, the friend in question.

Blomfield was the son of the late Dr. Blomfield, Bishop of London; a Rugbeian, graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he had been a great seaman; and a noted church designer and restorer whose architecture student was Philip C. Hardwicke. Hardy found him, a lithe, energetic man of thirty-three, with whom Hardy would remain friends for almost forty years. Arrangements were made and the following Monday, May 5th, he started as Assistant Architect at Mr Blomfield - then at 8 St Martinsplatz, in rooms also used by the Alpine Club. This was another connecting coincidence with later times, for Leslie Stephen, a keen climber and member of the club, was a visitor to these rooms, although ten years elapsed before Hardy met and was spiritually influenced by him. deep. However, the following autumn or winter, more spacious and brighter design offices were occupied at 8 Adelphi Terrace on the first floor; which Blomfield occupied for the remaining five years that Hardy worked with him. Shortly after entering there, Hardy had an experience that was potentially profound:

March 10th: Went out into the streets at night to see the illuminations to mark the wedding of the Father of Wales. By the fortunate coincidence of starting my walk at the end of the city route, I had left the Mansion House area before the large crowd reached it, but I had enough to do to stick to the end of Bond Street, where the buttons ripped off my vest and bent my ribs before I could get through a door. Molsey and Paris [two of Ferrey's students, friends of Hardy] were infatuated with the Mansion House, having started out like most West End viewers. Six people were killed near them and they didn't expect to get out alive.'

In a letter written many years later to an interrogator interested in his association with Adelphi Terrace, Hardy states:

“I sat and drew by the east-most window of the first-story front room above the ground floor, occasionally varying the experience by being lazy on the porch. I saw the Embankment and the Charing Cross Bridge built from there and of course I used to think of Garrick and Johnson. The rooms at that time had beautiful white marble Adam fireplaces on which we drew caricatures in pencil.'

It may be added that the ground floor rooms of this 8 Adelphi Terrace were occupied by the Reform League during Hardy's stay and that] Swinburne, in one of his letters, speaks of a correspondence with the League on that day. "The Reform League," he says, "a group of extreme reformers who, I believe, did not exist now but had some importance and power for a time, demanded that I sit in Parliament - representing more advanced Democrat or Republican opinions than those represented. There." Swinburne consulted Mazzini, who dissuaded him from agreeing. The leaders of the League were figures familiar to Blomfield students who, as was to be expected from conservative and religious youth, indulged in satire at the League's expense, ironic slips dropping the heads of the members and once almost colliding with the dignified resident secretary, Mr George Howell - to whom they had to apologize for their annoying behavior - all this was Mr Blomfeld.

The following letters were written to his sister, Miss Mary Hardy, in 1862 and 1863, Hardy's first year in St. Louis. Martin's Place and Adelphi Terrace.

'Kilburn, 17. August 1862.


"My dear Mary" "After the fire a still little voice" - I have just come from evening service at St Mary's Kilburn and this verse which always strikes me was in the first hour.

'This Ch. of St. Mary's is to my liking and they sing most of the Salisbury Hymns there.

'H. M.M. was awake the week before last. On Thursday evening we went to a Roman Catholic chapel. It was a very impressive service. The chapel was built by Pugin. We then took a taxi to old Hummums, a hotel near Covent Garden, where we had dinner. Maybe he'll come and settle down permanently in London in a few months, but that's not quite right yet.

"I- was up last week. I spent half a day with him at the exhibition. He now lives at home and is looking for a job. I don't think he's going to commit to anything else.

'I haven't been to the theater since you got here. I usually walk to the exhibition two or three nights a week for an hour; After I leave, I go to the reading room of the Kensington Museum.

"It rained heavily all day and last night, a major disappointment for thousands of Londoners whose only public holiday is Sunday.

“I would love to see the old cathedral etc in about a month or so. Autumn seems like the right time of year to see Salisbury. Do you often go to St. Thomas? Be careful not to get cold again and don't go out at night.

'P S. reads me excerpts from Ruskin's Modern Painters, which explains the poor composition of this letter, as I am forced to make comments etc. about what he is reading.

'Always your,

'T. H.'

„ Kilburn, February 19.

"My dear Mary:

"I don't think it's been that long since I wrote, and Saturdays [Saturday Reviews] were sent out regularly, but I really planned on writing this week.

“You see we have moved so my address will be on the other side for the future. We still haven't recovered from the mess and our drawings and papers don't exist.

“The new office is an important place. It is on the first floor and on a terrace overlooking the river. We can see across the River Thames from our window and on a clear day all the bridges can be seen. Everyone says we have a beautiful place.

‘Today was miserable. It was almost pitch black in the middle of the day and everything visible looked like brown paper or pea soup.

“There are many preparations for the upcoming wedding. The princess will arrive on March 7th and the wedding will take place on the 10th. On landing at Gravesend, she is received by the Prince, the Mayor, the Mayor, etc. They then travel by train to Bricklayers' Arms Station, then in procession across London Bridge, along Fleet Street, the Strand, Charing Cross, Pall Mall, Piccadilly, through Hyde Park and up Edgware Road to Paddington Station - thence to Windsor . The shop windows along the route are full of indications of places where the procession can be seen. There will be illumination on the night of the 10th.

“I went to Richmond yesterday to see Lee. He's better, but goes to Kent briefly before returning to the office.

"I haven't heard anything about the rehearsal. The winner's name will be known in approximately fifteen days. I am now very busy preparing a design for a country house, which will be offered a small prize - £3 first and £2 second best. Must be submitted by March 27th.

'I'm glad you won a raffle prize, but you won't say what. I think you did that really well. Tell me about the organ and what Sundays are like - I'm extremely interested. How is your blind friend etc, school, clergy etc. Tell me how you are, don't forget. I'm really fine. Horace Moule is ill. H.A. too, as I'm sure you know. Has she written yet? I sent Harry and Kate a valentine to make them happy. Harry wrote me a letter, and Kate printed one off and mailed it—an oddity in her way.

“I have photos for Mrs Rolls and she sent me a piece of paper and a letter.

She says that Parsons is postmaster in place of Lock, who has resigned.

“One day I tried the subway – everything is excellently organised.

“Are you thinking of running until Easter? Then you shouldn't mind being alone all day - but you know what to do.

'T S. has started sketching our house for you. He says it will be ready soon.

"Katie is coming to you and when is mom coming?

'Always your loving 'Tom'

'8 Adelphi Terrace', December 19, 1863.

"My dear Mary,

'When your letter arrived I thought you'd given up writing altogether. In any case, try to spend as much time as possible at Christmas.

'I'm glad you've been back to Oxford. It must be a happy place. Sooner or later I'll try to get down there. You don't have the right to say you're not interested in art. Everyone is to some extent; The only difference between a professor and an amateur is that the former has an (often uncomfortable) need to earn bread and cheese by doing it—and often making what other people enjoy “boring” by doing so.

"About Thackeray. You must read something by him. He is considered the greatest novelist of his time - he regards novel-writing of the highest kind as a perfect and truthful portrayal of real life - which is undoubtedly the correct view. Because his novels are as sublime as works of art or truth, they often have anything but a penchant for exaggeration and are therefore unsuitable for young people precisely because of their truthfulness. People say it is beyond Mr. Thackay to paint a perfect man or woman - a great failure if novels are meant to instruct, but quite the opposite if they are meant to be viewed only as pictures. Vanity Fair is considered one of the best.

"I'm hoping to get home around Tuesday or Wednesday after Christmas, and then of course I'll meet you there.

"Always loving" Tom.

aet. 21-27

"I can write 40 words a minute. The average rating of a speaker is 100 to 120 and occasionally 140; so I still have a lot to do.”

In the first months of Hardy's life in London he had not forgotten to visit the lady of his first crush as a child, who had been so tender to him at the time and had taken him in her arms. She and her husband now lived on Bryton Street. The butler who answered the door was, he recalled, the same who had been with the family in Kingston Maurward all those years before, and seemed little changed. But the lady of his dreams - alas! For her, too, the encounter must have been no less painful than pleasant: she was visibly embarrassed to have a young man over twenty-one in her presence, who was very difficult compared to the innocent, rosy-cheeked little boy she I almost expected that 'Tommy' stays. Talking wasn't enough to dissipate the stiffness from the changed conditions, although during the warm-up she asked him to come back. But, immersed in London life, he did not respond to her invitation, showing that the fickleness was only his. But they corresponded occasionally, as we shall see.

It goes without saying that the metropolis in which he immersed himself that day was very different from London, which followed shortly thereafter, as he himself describes it elsewhere. It was the London of Dickens and Thackeray, and the Evans dining rooms still existed in an underground hall in Covent Garden that Hardy visited at least once. The Cider Cellars and Coal Hole still thrived, with mock judge and jury trials where "Baron Nicholson" or his successor was the judge. and dr Donovan, the phrenologist, surveyed the heads on the beach and told Hardy his were up to no good.

The ladies mentioned by the architects' students and other young people in whose company Hardy was thrown were Cora Pearl, 'Skittles', Agnes Willoughby, Adah Isaacs Menken and others in succession, many of whom they declared romantic and risky Knowing details but really didn't know anything at all; Another of his romantic interests that Hardy recalled a little later was the legend of Lady Florence Paget's moorhen, which was sold in the Marshall & Snelgrove shop away from Mr. Chaplin, her fiance, and her appearance at the other door in the arms of Lord Hastings and her marriage to him - sensational news that took her breathless the week it happened.

There was Hungerford Market where Charing Cross station now stands, and Hardy occasionally ate in a 'cafe' there. He also ate lunch or dinner at Bertolini's house with some of Ferrey's students, the architect who had known his father and had been Pugin's student. This restaurant on St. They were still polished like they used to be. A few years after Hardy visited, Swinburne used to have dinner there as a member of the "Cannibal Club". Tennyson also often dines at Bertolini's. Much to Hardy's regret, this building was demolished for many clubs in later years.

On his way to Adelphi Terrace he cut short near Seven Dials and daily passed the drinking-rooms of Alec Keene and Tom King(?) on West Street (now demolished) and Nat Langham on the top of St. Louis . Martin's Lane, when I could sometimes make out the outlines of these famous boxers behind their respective bars.

There was no Thames Embankment. Temple Bar was still in place and the huge block of buildings known as the Courthouse was not constructed. Holborn Hill was still a steep and noisy lane that nearly broke the legs of the slippery horses, and Skinner Street was close by, Godwin's house presumably still standing, where Shelley first saw Mary. St. Paul and the whole neighborhood has no bridge over Ludgate Hill. The South Kensington Museum was housed in iron sheds nicknamed 'Brompton Boilers', which Hardy visited frequently this year to obtain materials for an essay he was sending to the Royal Institute of British Architects; received the award the following spring. The Underground Railroad was still in its infancy, and bus drivers exiting "Kilburn Gate," near which Hardy lived for a time, yelled, "More passengers to London?" The list of such changes can be endless.

Charles Kean and his wife were still playing Shakespeare at the Princess's Theater and Buckstone was at the Haymarket in the new play by The American Cousin, in which he starred. In most theaters around nine o'clock there was a pounding of feet and the audience whispered, 'Half price in.' The game stopped for a few moments and when all was still it started up again.

Balls were often held at Willis's Rooms, formerly Almack's, and by 1862 Hardy was dancing in these rooms, or Almack's as he preferred to call the place, to appreciate its historical character. He always told that the beautiful spearmen and Caledonians of the olden days were still there with the original and enchanting tunes that enhanced the beauty of the figures like no later tunes ever did, and every move was a correct square step and a correct gesture. Because these dances had not yet degenerated into a waltz step, which was followed by a galloping game in loud pieces.

Cremorne and the Argyle he also sought, he remembered Hiccup's cheerful senior student frequenting these gallant resorts. But he didn't dance much himself, if at all, and the fascinating place disappeared like a ghost, although one day he went to second-hand music shops and also to the British Museum and tracked down a lot of such music and did a search for it. Allusions to these experiences can be found in more than one of his poems, most notably "Reminiscences of a Dancing Man"; and they were used extensively, as he once remarked, in the ruined novel The Poor Man and the Lady - of which later.

With corresponding musical enthusiasm, he also bought an old violin at the time, with which he practiced pieces from the romantic Italian operas of Covent Garden and Her Majesty, the latter also a house of the opera, places they used to go two or three times a week; not, except on rare occasions, in the best parts of the houses, as is well imagined, but in the half-crown amphitheater.

The foreign operas in vogue were those of Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Meyerbeer, Bellini: and so Hardy learned singers like Mario (Grisi had just left), Tietjens, Nilsson, Patti (just arrived), Giuglini, Parepa and others of the time know . There was also an English Opera Company, and Hardy patriotically supported it, often attending operas by Balfe, Wallace and others. Here he had the painful experience of hearing the gradual collapse of William Harrison's once-beautiful voice, which began with Miss. Louisa Pyne, founded the company and worked hard to keep this opera house running. Hardy claimed that, as if defying fate, Harrison sang his favorite songs night after night, such as "Drop Me Down Like a Soldier" in Maritana and particularly "When Other Lips" in The Bohemian Girl, in which his utter failure at the final attempts would bring tears to a sensitive listener: he thought that Harrison's courage in battle, hope against hope,

he can probably be remembered longer than his biggest hit.

In Blomfield, Mr. Blomfield (later Sir Arthur), the son of a late Bishop of London, was considered the proper man and fit to oversee the removal of human bodies in cases where the railways were empowered to use the city's cemeteries to make cuts that it must be done decently and in order. There was one case where this function was considered properly performed by the bishop. But then Mr. Blomfield went to see Hardy and, looking worried, informed him that he had just returned from a visit to the site where all the bodies removed by the company were reburied; but nothing seemed to have been deposited, the surface of the ground remaining quite even as before. There were also rumors of mysterious sacks rattling with something and being transported to bone mills. He was terrified that he hadn't monitored closely enough and that somehow the railroad company had overtaken him. "I think these people are all devastated!" Blomfield said grimly.

A similar process would soon be followed on a much larger scale by another company; a cut with the Midland Railway through Old St. Pancras Churchyard, which would require the removal of many hundreds of coffins and bones in bulk. In this business Mr. Blomfield would represent the bishop as before. The architect said there should now be no doubt as to the full execution of the oversight. So he hired a clerk at the cemetery who was never supposed to go out during working hours; and as removals were done at night and the clerk might be careless or tardy, he instructed Hardy to go at unsafe hours of the night to see that the clerk was performing his duties; while Hardy's own boss called in at odd hours during the weekday, presumably to check that neither his assistant nor the clerk were in default.

The plan worked, and in late fall and early winter (probably around 1865) Hardy visited the cemetery—every night between five and six, and sometimes at other times. There, after dark, behind a high fence that could not go unnoticed and in the light of torches, the exhumation of the coffins discovered during the day continued, and new coffins were provided for those that had fallen apart during the examination. , and for loose skeletons; and those who held together were carried to new ground only on a plank; Hardy oversees these mournful processions when he is present, with what thoughts one can imagine, and Blomfield sometimes meets him there. A skeleton and two skulls were found in a crumbling coffin. He used to relate that when he met Arthur Blomfield again after some fifteen years of separation and their friendship was totally renewed, one of the latter's first words was, "Do you remember how we saw the man with the two heads in St. Ludwig?" ? pancreas? '

It is conceivable that there were some rumors about the possibility of this unfortunate turn of events at Old St Pancras Churchyard from the railway company in the near future, leading Sir Percy, son of Mary Shelley, to transport his parents' bodies from there to St. Peter's, Bournemouth, where she was buried in 1851 and where they now lie beside her, although few people seem to know that such a famous group is in the churchyard.

Hardy often told amusing stories about his boss, a true humorist like his father the bishop. Among other odd ways he and his students, including Hardy, developed their architecture, they sang cheers and songs at intervals during office hours. Always musically inclined and, as previously mentioned, a childhood fiddler of countless jigs and reels, Hardy sang at first sight with moderate notational accuracy, although his voice was not strong. So Blomfield welcomed him to the house choir, where he took over the bass himself while the rest waited until he had 'his low E'. Hardy also sang in the church choir at the organ opening in St. Louis, at Blomfield's request. Matthias' Church in Richmond, where Blomfield played bass and one of his students was organist. But in the office the contralto was the problem, and Blomfield said, 'If you see a contralto anywhere on the beach, Hardy, ask him to come to us.

Among other things, the architect reported that the day before his (Hardy) arrival, there was a Punch and Judy concert outside the St. Louis office. Martin's place. Soon after, the housekeeper, a London-bred woman, ran up the stairs shouting, 'Why, Mr Arthur, I explain there's a man inside! And I never knew that before!'

On one occasion, when a contractor was visiting on business and Hardy and some students were present, Blomfield happily said to the contractor:

"Well, sir, what can I do for you? What are you having this morning – sherry or port?”

As, of course, there was no wine or other spirits in the offices, Blomfield was comically alarmed at the worthy builder's seriousness, but he kept his word, and the office boy was secretly sent to the beach to buy a bottle of port and beg the housekeeper to borrow a glass.

Grotesque incidents that rarely happened to others seemed to happen to Blomfield. One day he and Hardy went together to a slum near Soho to inspect the site for a new building. The inspection left his boots muddy, and on the way back Blomfield suggested cleaning them when two shoeshine boys appeared and pointed pointedly. When he and Hardy were settled, Blomfield asked Hardy why he wasn't getting on with the brushing like he did when he first started. "Because he has neither fat nor brush," said the first. "Then what's the use?" Blomfield asked. “I broke my tanning bottle and it dried up; so I pay him a penny a day to spit for me.'

Sometimes, however, things were more serious. Hardy recalled arriving on the terrace one morning to find Blomfield with his back to the fire and a very worried face. The architect said slowly, without preamble, 'Hardy, this tower has collapsed. His eyes were directed to the opposite wall, where hung a drawing of a new church that had just been completed. It was a serious matter, especially since a few years earlier another well-known architect had been sentenced to a year in prison for manslaughter, dropped one of his new erections and killed some people. Fortunately no one was killed in the present case and the designer was largely exonerated by having the tower rebuilt brick by brick as it was before, proving the flawless construction as it has stood without a crack ever since. What caused the crash has always been a mystery.

It used to remind Hardy of another steeple story. Mister. Hicks, with whom he served as a pupil, once told him that early in his practice he had built a church tower near Bristol, and one night, shortly after its construction, he dreamed that as he approached, he saw a huge crack in its west wall looked down the parapet. He was so desperate that he mounted his horse the next morning; it was before railways, and architects rode horses to oversee their buildings; As I trotted toward the village, the tower came into view. There was the crack in her face, just as he had seen it in his dream.

I had settled in somewhat with Blomfield, but felt that the architectural design, of which the actual design had little part, was drab and mechanical; Furthermore, Hardy had little inclination to find his way into influential ensembles that would help him establish a practice of his own, and returned to literary activities, which he was forced to abandon in 1861 and did not resume except for the Architecture Prize Essay write previously mentioned. At the end of 1863 he began to read widely again, with an increasing tendency towards poetry. But he had to think of ways and means, and he was suggested to combine literature with architecture and become an art critic for the press, especially in the field of architecture. He probably would have been able to do that without any problems, because proofreaders with a special field were in demand then and possibly also today. However, his preparations for such a course were quickly abandoned, and in 1865 he began to write poetry and in 1866 he sent his productions to magazines. That these were rejected by the editors and that he so respected their judgment that he almost never sent an MS. twice it was fortunate for him, as years later he was able to examine the poems of which he kept copies and, by merely changing a few words or rewriting a line or two, make them quite worthy of publication. Those from these years were all written in his rooms at 16 Westbourne Park Villas. He also began converting the book of Ecclesiastes into Spenserian stanzas, but found the original unmatched and abandoned the task.

As a further result of the same spirit, he would give Blomfield's students and assistants short speeches or lectures on poets and poetry on afternoons when there was not much to do, or at any rate when there was not much to do. . There is no tradition as to what Blomfield thought of this method of spending office hours rather than making architectural plans.

The only thing he published at the time, so far as is known, was a trifle in Chambers' Journal of 1865 entitled How I Built My Own House, written to amuse Blomfield's students. Perhaps it was the acceptance of this jeu d'esprit that brought him to prose; however, he made notes such as the following:

"April 1865. The form on canvas that immortalizes the painter is but the latest in a series of experimental and abandoned sketches, each containing a distinct feature nearer perfection than any part of the finished product."

"Public opinion is a woman's nature."

Women do not have the same regular gradation as men. You can find 999 exactly the same, and then the thousandth - not a little bit better, but way above it. Practically, therefore, it is useless for a man to seek this thousandth part in order to make it his own.'

'It could. How often do we see a vital truth thrown carelessly into a common subject, without the slightest notion on the part of the speaker that his words contain unmelted treasures.'

“In architecture, men who are clever in detail are generally clumsy. So whatever it is, it's in everything.'

"Being content with ignorance of irrelevant things is more conducive to success in life than the desire for much knowledge."

“The world does not despise us; it just neglects us.'

Like it or not, he did not take prose seriously until two or three years later, when he was practically forced to try his luck, when he came perilously close to falling between the two benches of architecture and literature .

Later historical events reminded him that that year he went to New Windsor with Blomfield to lay a memorial stone for the Crown Princess of Germany (the English Princess Royal) in a church there. She was accompanied by her husband, the Crown Prince, who later became Emperor Friedrich. 'Blomfield gave her the trowel and during the ceremony she painted the glove with the mortar. In her agony, she handed the spatula back to him with an impatient whisper of "Get it, get it!"

Here is another note from him relating to this period:

July 2 (1865). He was working on J.H. Newman's Apology, which we've all been talking about lately. A great desire to be convinced by him, because Moule is very fond of him. Charming style and its truly human logic based not on syllogisms but on converging probabilities. Only - and here comes the fatal catastrophe - there is no first link in your excellent chain of arguments, and you fall head over heels. . . . Read something from Horace; also Childe Harold and Lalla Rookh to J after 12.'

Still, he did not abandon the verses he was constantly writing, but kept them secret throughout 1866 and most of 1867, deciding no longer to send them to periodicals whose editors were probably not between good and bad poetry, and the unworldly opinion formed, however, that since the essence of all imaginative and emotional literature is concentrated in verse, reading verse and nothing else was the shortest route to its source, for those who didn't know much had free time. Indeed, for almost or a few years he did not read a word of prose, except what came to his attention in the dailies and weeklies. Therefore, of course, his reading covered a fairly large area of ​​English poetry and can be cited as evidence that he had some opinions of his own, that he preferred Scott the poet to Scott the novelist, and never ceased to regret that the author von 'the Most Homeric poems in English - "Marmion" - should later have been eliminated from the prose literature.

He was not as eager to publish as many young people; in this indifference, as in some qualities of his verse, he strangely resembles Donne. The horatic exhortation he encountered while reading to keep his own compositions up to the ninth year made a deep impression on him. Nescit vox missa reverti; and by preserving his poems and destroying those he thought hopelessly bad—though he later fancied he had destroyed many—he might have been spared the annoyance of seeing his first rude outpourings come later in life.

At the same time, there is no doubt that a closer association with living poets and the art of the time would have given Hardy considerable inspiration and help. But his unfortunate shyness - or rather indifference, for he was not shy in the ordinary sense - helped him greatly at this time in his life. During part of his residency at Westbourne Park Villas he lived less than a mile from Swinburne and scarcely more than a stone's throw from Browning, who was easily introduced through Blomfield's literary friends. He could at least have taken encouragement from them and, if he was interested, possibly published some of their poems in a small volume. But an attempt to get to know these contemporaries never seems to have crossed his mind.

While in London he attended French classes at King's College, where he studied the language for an hour or two with Professor Stivevenard, without taking it seriously, for in his childhood he had worked on exercises under the tutelage of a housekeeper. He always said that Stifevenard was the most charming Frenchman he had ever met and also a great teacher. However, Hardy's thoughts became so absorbed in the practice and study of English poetry that he paid only superficial attention to his French readings.

march ii The woman in a first interview will know as much about the man as he will know about her on the morning of the wedding; while sne will know as little about him then as he knew about her when they first shook hands. Their knowledge will have come upon them like a flood and will have gradually evaporated.'

"2. June. My 25th birthday. Not very happy. I feel like I've lived too much and done too little.

“We went for a walk in the moonlight at night. I wonder which woman, if any, I should be thinking about in five years."

'9. July. The greatest and most majestic being on earth will take pleasure in the most insignificant.'

'19 July. Patience is the union of civil courage with physical cowardice.'

'End of July. The boring period in the life of an event is when it stops being news and doesn't start being history.'

'August. The fear of defeat is felt most intensely when we look to the weak who believed us invincible and made preparations for our victory.'

'August. 23. The poetry of a scene varies according to the mind of the perceiver. It's not really in the scene.'

At the time, Hardy was cultivating a highly visionary character schema. From the impossibility of having his verses accepted by magazines, he realized that he could not make a living from poetry and thought (strangely enough) that architecture and poetry - especially architecture in London - would not go well together. So he had the idea of ​​combining poetry and church - to which he had long been inclined - and wrote to a friend in Cambridge to ask for details of enrollment at that university, which he would have found easy with his late classical reading. . . He knew his father would loan him out for a few years, whatever he couldn't muster to maintain the terms as his idea was that of a spa in an inland village. This failed less from its difficulty than from a conscientious feeling, after some theological study, that it could scarcely take the step with honor while espousing the views it found on an examination. And so he allowed the strange plan to slip from view, but only after he began practicing orthodoxy. For example:

"5. July - Sunday. For the Westminster Abbey morning service. Stayed in Sacramento. A very strange experience in a crowd of strangers.'

Among other events of his life in London during these years there was also one which he recalled with interest while writing The Dynasts - hearing Palmerston speak in the House of Commons shortly before his death, as Palmerston had been Secretary of War during the hostilities' crucial battles with Napoleon, in the third part of Hardy's epic drama, embodies a personal connection that confronted its author not only with real participants in the great struggle - as was the case with his numerous acquaintances at the base who fought at the front Peninsula and at Waterloo - but with one who helped direct the affairs of that war. The only reference to the fact that can be found is the following:

'Oct. 18 . Wet afternoon. In the Regent Circus, returning home, the death of Ld. Palmerston, whom I heard speaking in the House of Commons a year or two ago.'

'Oct. 27. To Westminster Abbey with Mr. Heaton and Lee. I positioned myself in the triforium from where I Ld. Palmerston dropped to the grass. Purcell service. Death march on Saul."

The following letter to her sister describes the ceremony:

'Saturday, October 28, 1865.

'My dear Mary' I sent B.P.'s Barchester Towers and you probably already know Eleanor Bold etc. This novel is considered Trollope's best.

“Lord Palmerston was buried yesterday – the Prime Minister. The Lees and I got tickets through a friend of Mr B's friend and of course we went. Our entrance tickets to the triforium or the monks

walk, from Westminster Abbey, and from there we had a full view of the ceremony. You will know what. Part of the Abbey, I mean when you think of Salisbury Cathedral and the series of small arches above the great arches, wh. Open the space between the ceiling of the corridors and the vault.

“Where I put the X in section I was; about the gj in plan. The * sign shows where the tomb is located, between L.T.H—E

Pitt's and Fox's and near Canning's. All cabinet ministers were present as porters. The funeral service was by Purcell. The opening lines "I am the resurrection, etc." were sung to Croft's music. Beethoven's funeral march was played on the way from the choir to the vault, and at the end the death march to Saul was played. I don't think I've ever been so impressed by a ceremony in my life, and I would be. I didn't miss it for nothing. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were present.

"Ld. John Russell, or Earl Russell as he is now known, becomes Prime Minister in Pam's place. Just fantasy, Ld.P. has been associated with government on and off for the past 60 years and was a contemporary of Pitt, Fox, Sheridan, Burke, etc. I mean, your life sort of intersected with hers. I sent dad a newspaper with the story of his life and today another one with the story of the funeral. Since you're not a politician, I didn't send one, but these things interest you.

“If you can get Pelham, read it if you need anything. Don't rush to Barchester, I've got a lot to do. I think Wells is the place to be. Is it good or is it weird for you if H.A. and I come on Christmas day and the next?

"I am very glad that the hot, blustery weather has passed and the fresh air has returned. I think I already told you that I was in the French class at King's College.

'Always sincere.

'T. H.'

"A tall man went to Chang, the Chinese giant, and when he offered to pay, the porter said, 'No way sir, we don't get paid from the profession!' At least that's what Punch says.

During this winter the following note keeps appearing: "Read more Horace".

His interest in painting led him, for many months, to devote himself twenty minutes after lunch to an inspection of the masters hanging there every day the National Gallery was open, confining his attention to a single master on each visit and his to prohibit eyes from wandering to others. He went there purely for pleasure and not for practical reasons; but he used to commend the plan to the youth, telling them that in this way they would imperceptibly gain a better view of schools and styles than through any guides to the works and customs of painters.

During Phelps' series of Shakespeare plays at Drury Lane, Hardy accompanied them all, his companion being one of Blomfield's pupils. They used to carry a good copy of the play and were among the first in the crowd to hold the book across the barrier in front of it (near the orchestra at the time) during the performance - a hard enough test for the actors, the two fell enthusiasts up. He's always said that Phelps never got what he deserved as a Shakespearean actor — especially as Falstaff.

Later he also attended readings by Charles Dickens in the Hanover Square Rooms and oratorios at Exeter Hall.

Sommer 1867

As everyone knows, Adelphi Terrace faces the river, and in the summer heat when Hardy was there, the stench of mud increased at low tide, as the Met's main drainage system had not yet been built. Whether through the effects of that smell on a constitution brought up in a purely rural atmosphere (as he himself supposed) or because he had taken to locking himself in his rooms at Westbourne Park Villas from six to twelve every night, he read incessantly , in Instead of going outside to breathe after the day's confinement, Hardy's health was very poor. He always said that when he sat down to start drawing in the morning, he barely had enough physical strength left to hold the pencil and set the square. When he visited his friends in Dorset, they were shocked at the pallor that covered a face once flushed with health. His lassitude increased month by month. Blomfield, who must have been annoyed, suggested Hardy go to the country for a while to regain his strength. Hardy was starting to think he'd rather go to the country. Naturally shy of the social advancement business, he viewed life as a thrill rather than a climbing science, which he was questioned about by his acquaintance due to his lack of ambition. However, Blomfield felt it would be a mistake to stay in the country permanently and advised him to return to London no later than the following October.

However, an opportunity to try the experiment came when a message arrived from Mr. Hicks, his former architecture teacher, asking if he could recommend a good assistant who was knowledgeable about church restoration, as he was often handicapped by gout sufferers may be. Hardy wrote that he was going himself, and at the end of July (1867) he went to Dorchester, leaving most of his books and other belongings in Westbourne Park, including some of his handwritten poems which he considered valuable. guard. Of these the only ones not finally destroyed were forgotten until their printing thirty or forty years later—chiefly in IVessex Poems, though some, at first forgotten, appeared in later volumes. Among the first were 'Amabel', 'Hap', 'In Vision I Roamed', 'At a Bridal', 'Postponement', 'A Confession to a Friend', 'Neutral Tones', 'Her Dilemma', 'Revulsion' , "Your Reproach", "The Ruined Girl", "Heiress and Architect" and four sonnets entitled "You, to Him" ​​(part of a much larger number that perished). Some had been sent to magazines, a sonnet he was very fond of and which began "Many loved as much as I did" had been lost, the publisher never returned it, and Hardy kept no copies. But most were never sent anywhere.

It should be noted that a few months before leaving London he had the idea of ​​writing plays in blank verse - and planned to try his hand as an extra on the stage for six or twelve months in order to acquire technical skills in its construction - and went so far as to use an introduction to Mark Lemon, Punch's then editor and avid amateur actor, for his take on the point. Nothing came of the idea, however, save for a visit to the brilliant lecturer and Mr Coe, Buckstone's leased Haymarket stage manager, with whom he had an interview. The first dampened the young man's enthusiasm by reminding him that old Mathews had said he would not let a dog of his on the stage and that, much as he loved the art of acting, he preferred his daughter to her grave would see than on the boards of a theater. In fact, almost the first moment he saw the realities of the stage released him to move in that direction; and his only real contact with the stage at this time was his appearance at Covent Garden as Indefinite in the pantomime of 'The Forty Thieves' and in a depiction of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race - this came about through the accident of the Smith, who who made the hardware for the pantomime was the man who carried out some of Blomfield's designs for church metallurgy, and who made crucifixes and harlequin traps with equal steadfastness. More than forty years passed before Hardy returned to the same stages - this time rehearsing Baron Frdddric d'Erlanger's Italian opera based on Tess of the d'Urhervilles.

at. 21-27 works in London55

"Late ten. 1865. To insects the period of twelve months was an age, to leaves a life, to songbirds a generation, to man a year.'

Notes from 1866-67

'A certain man: he drags himself into an encounter with his own feelings.'

“He feels reduced to nothing when he thinks about other people's tools. When he looks at his ends he swells with triumph.'

"There is no more painful lesson an open-minded man can learn than to exclude common knowledge by particular."

'The shortcomings of a class are more noticeable to the class immediately below than to itself.'

"6. June. I went to Hatfield. That has changed since my first visit. A young man thought that the changed highway had always worked as before. Spotted rabbits in the park, descendants of those I knew. Children were once very old residents. I regretted that the beautiful sunset was not in a place without memories so I could enjoy it without its hue.'

'19 June. A generally appreciative mind often fails to do great work through mere long-term vision. The clarity with which he perceives distant possibilities almost never inherently coexists with the microscopic vision required to trace the narrow path that leads to them.'

'13 July. There's something ridiculous about a man's pain unless it's so great it's terrible.'

"18. February. Remember that evil dies as well as good.”

"29. April. If the lessons of experience had grown cumulatively with the age of the world, we would have been as great as God.'



1867-1870: Eat. 27-30

Late summer 1867

A few weeks in the country - where he returned to his former habit of walking from his mother's house to the architecture firm in Dorchester every day - brought him back completely. He easily slipped into the rut he had been following before, although having between five and six years of experience as a young man in London he had very different ideas about things.

Among the churches for restoration or rebuilding which Hicks had in hand, or had in mind, was one which may here be named--that of St. Juliot in Cornwall--to which remote place Mr. said building, shortly after Hardy had returned to help him. Hardy memorized the romantic name of the church and community — but had no idea what it would mean going forward.

One of the effects of his return to the country was to lift him out of the restless but mechanical and monotonous existence that befalls many a young man in the apartments of London. Almost suddenly he became more practical, wondering how he could get some tangible result from his restless but arduous work in literature over the past four years. He felt he knew very well both life in the west of the country in its less explored corners, and the life of an isolated schoolboy thrown on the waves of London with no protection other than his brain - the young man from whom can be said more truly than perhaps of one who "has no star but his own soul. The two contrasting experiences seemed to provide him with ample material for developing an impressive socialist novel - not that he had mentally defined it as such, for the word had probably never, or almost never, been heard at the time.

So he sat down on one of the breaks in his visits to Mr.

Hicks (who were not regulars), and abandoning the verse as a waste of time—though he resumed it for some time upon his arrival in the country—he began the novel, the title of which is here written as originally intended. be:


A story without a plot

Contains some original verses

He clearly didn't like this, however, as it eventually became a synopsis


from the poor man

And the tale went on until, in October of that year (1867), he made a brief visit to London to fetch his books and other paraphernalia.

So it came about that, under the pressure of necessity, he turned to a literature in which he had hitherto had little interest, prose literature; so little that in one of the brief literary lectures or speeches he occasionally gave to Blomfield's students in a spare half-hour of an afternoon, he expressed, to their astonishment, an indifference to the fame of a popular novelist.

1868. January 16 ff. We find from an entry in a notebook that on this date he began making a faithful copy of the projected history, so that the whole must have been written during about the last five months at the intervals of his architectural work for hiccups. The following February, a memo shows that he composed lyrics entitled "A Departure by Train," which has disappeared. In April he read Browning and Thackay; also notated the exact sound of the nightingale's song - the latter showing that he must have been living at the time in his parents' house in the shade of the forest, or at least sleeping where nightingales were then singing only a meter from bedroom windows, but don't do it now.

On June 9th he writes: "The transcription of the manuscripts is ready." It was never finished, but it shows that he already had the war with Napoleon in mind as the subject of some kind of poetry.

On July 1st he writes – presumably after a period of mental depression – about his work and prospects:

"Cure for Despair:

"To read Wordsworth's Resolution and Independence.

"The "Individuality" of Stuart Mill (in Liberty).

"Jean Paul Richter" by Carlyle.

On July 17 he writes: "Perhaps I can make a book of poetry made up of the flip side of ordinary feelings." What that means is not entirely clear.

On July 25 he published MS. from "The Poor Man and the Lady" to "Mr. Alexander Macmillan, now free of it, assisted Mr. Hicks in his drawings for church restorations, Reading Book Seven of the Aeneid Between the Ages.

"12. August. A response from Macmillan to MS.'

The letter was very long and interesting, and is reproduced in full in Letters of Alexander Macmillan. The well-known editor begins by stating that he has read the novel "with care and with much interest and admiration, but at the same time feels that it fatally detracts from my success, which I believe the author of the book would judge for himself." You feel his truthfulness and justice even more.

Then he went into critical detail. 'I am afraid the utter heartlessness of all the speeches you make about the working class in drawing rooms and ballrooms has a grain of truth, and may justly be criticized as you intend; but his punishment would be harmless because of his own debauchery. Will's speech to the workers is full of wisdom. . . .

“Much of the writing strikes me as admirable. The scene on Rotten Row is full of power and wit. . . . You see, I am writing to you as a writer who strikes me as at least potentially of considerable brand, power and purpose. If this is your first book, I think you should go ahead. May I ask if that is it, and - you are not a lady, so perhaps forgive the question - are you young?

'I showed you your MS. to a friend whose judgment agrees with mine.'

Friend's opinion - who was Mr John Morley - was attached. He said the book was "a very odd and original performance: the opening images of Christmas Eve at the Transvestite's House are of really good quality: much of the writing is strong and fresh". But he added that "things get pretty loose" and that some of the scenes were extremely cheesy "to the point of making them look like a smart boy's dream". He ended by saying, 'When the man is young he has things and a purpose in him.'

Perhaps it was unusual for a casual first attempt at novel to receive so much attention from an editor as experienced as Mr Macmillan and a literary man as genuine as Mr Morley. Hardy, however, seems to have done little on the subject in the fall other than rewriting some of the pages; but in December he paid a short visit to London and saw Mr. Macmillan.

The gist of the interview was that, although The Poor Man and the Lady, when printed, might arouse considerable curiosity, it was a sort of book which Macmillan himself could not publish; but if Hardy were determined to exhibit it, he probably would have no trouble doing so through another firm like Chapman and Hall. The young man was reportedly as inclined as Mr Macmillan introduced him to Mr Frederick Chapman and Hardy attended the latter with MS. under the arm. He notes on December 8 that he went to see Chapman, adding, "I'm afraid the interview was unfortunate." He returned to Dorchester and left MS. in the hands of Mr. Chapman, and this brought the year to an unsatisfactory end - as far as Hardy's desire to publish as the author of a three-volume novel was concerned, since as a poet he could not do so without paying for publication.

Amidst these attempts at becoming a writer and preparing architectural drawings at times, Hardy found time to read many books. The only reference found includes several of Shakespeare's plays, Walpole's letters to Sir Horace Mann in six volumes, Thackeray, Macaulay, Walt Whitman, Virgil's Aeneid (of which he never tired), and other books during his leisure time.

This fall, the following note will appear in your wallet:

"The Village Sermon. If it was very bad, the congregation concluded that he [the pastor] had written it; if very good that his wife wrote it; if average who bought it so they could take a nap without offending him.' It is not known which municipality this is.

A few days later there is another note:

“How will people laugh in the midst of misery! Some would soon start whistling in hell.”


Presumably it was the uncertainty of his position between architecture and literature and a vague sense of danger in not receiving an answer (as far as can be ascertained) from the gentlemen. Chapman and Hall, who brought Hardy back to London in January of the new year.

Suggestions that he should try to write review articles were made to him by Mr. Macmillan, and also by his manuscript's critic, Mr. Morley, whom he met about this time. Morley offered him an introduction to the editor. of the Saturday magazine. But Hardy needed less a livelihood - always having his father's house to fall back on, plus architectural work readily offered to him by Blomfield and other London architects - than a clear calling for him to study in the following life - which, of course, he loved he, and this was his natural instinct, that of literature, or the course that all practical wisdom prescribed, that of architecture.

He stayed in London, studying pictures in the South Kensington Museum and elsewhere, and reading wildly, until finally a letter arrived from Chapman and Hall. When Chapman called their Piccadilly address he was standing at the back of the shop and when Hardy came up to him he said casually, ignoring Hardy's request, 'See that old man talking to my clerk? He is Thomas Carlyle. Hardy turned to see an elderly figure in an Inverness robe and wide-brimmed hat, propped up on one elbow on the receptionist's desk. "Take a good look at him," Chapman went on. "You'll be glad I referred him to you one day." Hardy was quite surprised that Chapman didn't think enough of Thomas Carlyle to meet his personal needs, but said nothing.

The publisher stated that he could not buy the MS. direct, but that they would publish it if he guaranteed a small sum against losses - say £20. The offer overall was fair and reasonable: Hardy agreed to the guarantee, Chapman promised to pick up the book and a letter of intent to send it to publish; and Hardy left London soon after, hoping that the proofs would soon be mailed.

Since they did not come, he may have written to inquire about them; however, Messrs. Chapman was suddenly in a note asking if he could visit and "meet the gentleman who has read your manuscript" - whose opinion they would like him to have.

It is believed he went there by appointment in March, unaware that the 'gentleman' was George Meredith. He was ushered into a back room of the publisher's offices (across from Sackville Street and where Prince's Restaurant now stands); and before him, in the dusty, untidy apartment, piled high with books and papers, stood a handsome man in a frock coat - "buttoned at the waist but loose at the top" - none other than Meredith himself, his thick dark brown coat beard, wavy Curly hair and a somewhat dramatic manner that made her look striking in the eyes of the young man who didn't know her name until then.

Meredith had the manuscript in hand and began teaching Hardy about it in a booming voice. The latter kept no notes of their conversation, but he remembered the essentials very well. It was that the company was willing to publish the novel as agreed, but that he, the speaker, strongly advised his author not to so definitively "nail the flag to the mast" in a first book if he had anything practical wanted to do literature; for if he printed anything so prominent he would be attacked from all sides by conventional reviewers and his future would be tarnished. The story was indeed a stirring dramatic satire of the squirearchy and nobility, London society, middle-class vulgarity, modern Christianity, church restoration, and political and domestic morality in general, according to the author's views. indeed, evidently that of a young man passionate about reforming the world - that of many young people before and after him; the tendency of writing to be socialist, not to say revolutionary; but not argumentative, the style has the affected simplicity of Defoe (who long ago attracted Hardy, as Stevenson did years later, to emulate him). This naïve realism, in circumstantial details that were mere inventions, was so well received that both Macmillan and Morley were perhaps a little, or more than a little, misled by its apparent reality; to Hardy's surprise, when he pondered the matter years later, his raw imagination should have produced inventions that could win credibility from such experienced minds.

The satire was obviously taken too far - as sometimes in Swift and Defoe themselves - and parts of the book that were evidently taken seriously by both readers had no basis in either Hardv's beliefs or experience. One example he could recall was a chapter in which he described in full detail in the first person his introduction to his mistress, who was being tended to by an architect who was "doing the laundry" (as he was known professionally) - thus working in her own office for other architects - said mistress increases her lover's income by designing for him the pulpits, altars, altarpieces, texts, sacred vases, crucifixes and other ecclesiastical furniture given to her by the nominal architects who employed her protector - the lady - herself a dancer in a music hall when she was not involved in the creation of Christian emblems - all told so plausibly that it seems to be real evidence of the degeneration of the time.

Whatever the case with the other two, Meredith was undeterred by the stilted simplicity of the tale, so he apparently warned his young acquaintance that the press would be like wasps on their ears if he published his manuscript. For although the novel would have been received fairly quietly by critics and public at the time, in the mild mid-Victorian era of 1869 it would no doubt have drawn, as Meredith judged, severe criticism that would have long damned a young writer. It may be added that the most important scenes took place in London, a city in which Hardy had had consistent and varied experience of just between five and six years - as only a young man free in the metropolis - and every street and alley knew west of St. Paul is like a native Londoner, which he often should be; an experience largely ignored by the reviewers of his later books, which, if he so much as touched London in their pages, immediately reminded him not to write about a place he did not know, but to return to his pens.

The result of this interview was that Hardy got his MS. with him to decide on a course.

Meredith added that Hardy could rewrite history and soften it considerably; or, what would be far better, to put it aside for the moment and attempt a novel of purely artistic purpose, giving it a more complicated "plot" than that attempted with The Poor Man and the Lady.

So it came about that a first and probably very rough manuscript by an unknown young man who had no connection to the press or literary circles was read by a very experienced editor and by two authors who were among the most important letter writers of their time. Time. Also that they showed an above-average interest in his work, as shown by their desire to see him and their willing good advice. With the exception of the author himself, these three seem to have been the only ones whose eyes ever examined the manuscript.

It was surprising enough for Hardy to discover that in the opinion of such seasoned critics he had written so aggressive and even dangerous work (Mr Macmillan said it meant 'doom') almost without knowing it, for his wits had been chief given to poetry and other forms of pure literature. What did he do with MS? it is uncertain, and years later he could not remember exactly, although he did find some unimportant leaves - which are now also missing. He figured he could have sent it as is to another editor to get another opinion before finally deciding its fate, an editor who might also have thought it too risky. What happened in relation to the new writing was that he took Meredith's advice very literally and set about building the utterly "sensational" storyline of Desperate Remedies, which he's about to get off of.

Meanwhile, during his winter sojourn in London, Hardy received news of the death of Mr. John Hicks, whose pupil he had been and had lately assisted; and at the end of April received an inquiry from Mr. G. R. Crickmay, a Weymouth architect who wished to assist Mr. Hicks in the execution of the church restorations which Hicks had begun or had undertaken to begin. Hardy visited Mr. Crickmay, who does not seem to have studied Gothic architecture specially, if he studied it at all, but was a kind and honest man; and Hardy agreed to help him complete the churches. He probably thought of his book and at first only agreed for two weeks, although Mr. Crickmay had asked for more time.

During the month of May, in Hicks' old office in Dorchester, Hardy continued to prepare the church drawings for Crickmay, on which he had already made some progress; and the settlement proved extremely satisfactory, as is evident, Mr. Crickmay proposes that Hardy's services be suspended directly from his Weymouth office for three months, the church work left unfinished by Hicks proving to be more than expected. concluded that Hardy believed that this brief employment would definitely give him time to breathe while he must ponder what is best for him to do to write the novels, and he signed a deal with Crickmay for a period later extended by unforeseen circumstances.

He always recalled that after leaving the interview with Crickmay with much lightness of heart, having put more thought about himself on the back burner for at least three months, he stopped outside the Burdon Hotel on the Esplanade, overlooking the beautiful sunny bay, and heard the town band perform a set of enchanting new waltzes by Johann Strauss. He asked her name and found out it was "Morgenblatter". The lines "At a Seaside Town" must, in their background, refer to that place at that time and a little later, although their gist may only be fantasy.

He has now become a regular resident of Weymouth and has stayed there, paddling around the bay most nights this summer and bathing at 7am on the shingle beach towards Preston or diving from a boat. Being - like Swinburne - a swimmer, he lay for long periods on his back on the surface of the waves, which rose and fell with the tide in the heat of the morning sun. He used to say that after the enervation of London, this invigorating life by the sea seemed ideal to him, and that physically, almost as if by the touch of a magic wand, he slipped ten years in his age.

In August or September, a new assistant joined Mr. Crickmay, later sketched in Desperate Remedies as "Edward Springrove" — and in November, this young man persuaded Hardy to take a square-dancing class in town, which worked for both of them was a source of great amusement. Dancing was still an art then, although Hardy once remarked that he found Weymouth girls harder to hug than their London sisters. By winter he had completed all the drawings for the church's restoration that had been put into his hands, but he stayed in his quarters in Weymouth and worked on the MS. of Desperate Remedies, the melodramatic novel, far below the level of The Poor Man and the Lady, which was the unfortunate consequence of Meredith's advice to "write a story with a plot".

A Development Thus passed the year 1869, and in early February of the following year Hardy gave up his rooms in Weymouth and returned to his country house to concentrate particularly on MS. when he could do it in a busy city and as a member of a dance class where there was a great deal of flirting, the so-called "class" actually being a merry gathering for dances and trysts of devotees of both sexes. The poem, titled "The Dawn after the Dance" and dated "Weymouth, 1869", is said to have some relation to these dances, albeit without evidence.

He had not been in the seclusion of his mother's house for more than a week when he received the following letter from Mr. Crickmay, which, as it led to unexpected emotional developments, might be worth recounting verbatim:

"Weymouth", 19. Februar 1870.

'Dear Sir:

'Will you go to Cornwall for me to get a plan and details of a church I will rebuild there? It should be ready early next week and I'd love to see you on Monday morning. — Sincerely, y''G. R.Crickmay.'

This was the Church of St Juliot, near Boscastle, of which Hardy was vaguely in Mr. Despite the somewhat urgent summons, he declined the job as the timing was ill-timed with the new novel in hand. But get a more convincing request from Crickmay later and end the MS. of Desperate Remedies (except for the last three or four chapters) in early March, he agreed to do the mission.

So the previous Saturday he sent the copy of his second novel to Mr Alexander Macmillan, whom he now considered a friend, on Monday March 7 he set out for the aforesaid remote community, in a county he had never seen before. entered, although it was not far. It was a seemingly insignificant journey and one undertaken reluctantly, but it turned out to have lifelong ramifications. The restoration of this church was actually the work that ended Hardy's work in Gothic architecture, although he didn't know it at the time.

Although the distance was not great, the journey was arduous as there were few railways in Cornwall at the time. Rising at four o'clock in the morning, he left his starlit country home armed with a sketch-book, tape measure and ruler, and did not reach Launceston until four o'clock in the afternoon, where he hired a carriage for extra transport. sixteen or seventeen miles away on the Boscastle Road towards the north shore, and the charmingly named place - the ruined church, parish and residence of the Rev. Caddell Holder, M.A. oxon.

It was a cloudy night at the end of a fine day, there was a dry breeze; and left the Boscastle Highway by a shortcut on the left and reached St. John's Rectory. Juliot when it was quite dark. His arrival and entry are best described in the words of the lady he first met that night and who later became his wife. Much later she wrote: "Memories",

which are reproduced in full in the following pages as they relate to her husband and make up the entire second half of her manuscript, the first half dealing exclusively with other members of her family and with herself before she met him.

She was born at 10 York Street, Plymouth, and was a lawyer at St. Andrew, the youngest daughter of Mr. J. Attersoll Gifford. She'd grown up in a house near the Hoe, which she always called "the playground of her childhood." She told how, to her horror, at first she was dipped like a little girl into the pools under the hoe; and on its cliffs - much steeper than now - she lived out her youthful adventures, one of which, clinging to a cliff, would have cost her her life had it not been for the timely assistance of a good boatswain. Her education was conducted at a girls' school, also overlooking the verdant slopes of the Hoe, where, to use her own words, "military drills took place on frequent mornings, and then our dear governess drew down the shutters". She moved away from Plymouth with her parents when she was nineteen.



1870: Eat. 29-30

The final part of Mrs. (Emma Lavinia) Hardy, found after her death and titled "Some Recollections"

[Words in square brackets added to clarify allusions]

“My only sister married Reverend Caddell Holder, son of a judge in Barbados, where he was born: he spoke often of his beautiful home, where oranges grew in his bedroom window. At Trinity College, Oxford, he was an "ordinary gentleman" (this has now been abolished), where, as far as he could ascertain, his only privilege [of distinction] was to be able to walk on grass and wear a collar with gold tassels. Cap, he used to say. He was Rector of St Juliot, North Cornwall, where I met him [first]; and there my husband met me, which later turned out to be a full-fledged romance for us. . . .

“[He was] a man many years older than her, and quite frail from his West Indian birth; however, he was energetic and a true Boanerges in preaching, a style much appreciated by the common people of his scattered congregation. At that time the clergy were [often] very lax in their duties, but they were quite exacting and faithful, and [having lived there with my sister] we were referred to the services as regular officers. On Sundays there were only two and the choir was zero - all performed by the vicar, his wife, me and the clerk. The congregation was silent or only occasionally murmured. However, the shift was difficult only on Sundays.

“They were married in our house and soon afterwards went to his – and I went with them – what is called the Rectory of St. Louis. Julia. My sister needed my help as it was a difficult parish due to the neglect of a former regent whose wife had done all she could, even ringing the bell for the service.

"At this date [of writing, i.e. 1911] everything seems to have been arranged for me in an orderly sequence, link by link in a chain of movements that bring me to the point where my own happiness began.

'st Juliot is a truly romantic place in North Cornwall. It was then sixteen miles from a station [and place] where belief in witchcraft was practiced among the primitive inhabitants. Traditions and weird gossip [were] the common talk. . . permitted by those isolated natives [of a community] where newspapers seldom invaded, or [were] cast aside for local news; where new books or strangers seldom came, and where hard toil on stony ground produced a cold and often ill-tempered working class; still with some good features and good exceptions. Our neighbors beyond the villages were nine miles away, or most of them.

“When we arrived at the Vicarage there was a great gathering and greeting from the parishioners and a tremendous volley of greetings, applause and bells ringing - a great tumult to welcome the Rector and his new wife. Then these ushers (all male and almost all young) entered the hall to toast the bride and groom's health, and the first young peasant made a speech, duly answered by my brother-in-law. ... It was indeed an eventful day for me, for my future was tied to that day in ways I could not have foreseen.

“The whole community seemed delighted at the event and at the prospect of things being right again after a long period of neglect. . . . Riding my Fanny [her pony] I liked the place very much, Ana helped my sister around the house, visited the parishioners and played the harmonium on Sundays. . . .

“It was a very poor community; the church could no longer be repaired for lack of money; the Patronus lived abroad: in contrast to those days of frequent services [and attendance], attendance was sparse, the Sunday morning church not large, evening [afternoon] not much larger. No weekday services were performed. The tower collapsed from year to year, and the bells remained open-mouthed in the small north transept [to which they were taken for safety]. The carved ends of the benches rotted more and more, the ivy hung merrily from the roof beams, and the birds and bats roamed about unmolested; no one seemed to care. The architect hesitated and hesitated to come or send his boss to start the operation, although my sister was active in the matter and both client and architect received urgent appeals from her until the former finally decided to start.

“It was the time of church restoration, most of the churches were more or less dilapidated. My life has started now. . . .

Few authors and their wives could have had a more romantic encounter with their unusual circumstances, coming together from two different, albeit contiguous, counties in this very remote place of beautiful coastline and wild nature. The Atlantic Ocean rolls in with its magnificent waves and splashes, its white gulls, black jackdaws and gray puffins, its cliffs and rocks and beautiful sunsets shimmering red in a trail that widens from horizon to shore. All of this must be seen in winter to be truly appreciated. No summer guest can have any real idea of ​​its power to awaken the heart and soul. [It was] an unforgettable experience for me, walking up and down the hills alone on my beloved mare, not wanting shelter, the rain falling on my back frequently and my hair blowing in the wind.

"I wore a soft dark brown habit, longer than my heels (as was then used), which had to be pulled to the side as I walked and draped gracefully and carefully over my left arm, and this was to be practiced during riding lessons - all of those my father had taught me with great joy and pride in my looks and talent. I also wore a brown felt hat, turned up at the sides. Fanny and I were one creature and very happy. She was also a lovely brown color and would stop where she wanted to drink or chew, often with me while I drew and picked flowers. The villagers stopped and stared at me as I made my way down the hills, and a butterman once dropped his basket to shout out loud. Nobody but me dared to drive like that.

"Sometimes I left Fanny and went down to the rocks and seal caves. Sometimes I would visit a favorite in the scattered community. . . .

“When it became known that the restoration of the church was going ahead, the whole village was excited. Mister. Crickmay of Weymouth - Mr Hicks, the first consulting architect, has since passed away. The [Assistant Architect] from his office should come on a certain day. The letter that brought this information interested the whole house and, by the end of the day, the whole community; it seemed almost miraculous that after so many years of waiting, difficulties and delays since the time of the previous owner, a firm date was finally given and work began. Everyone was excited. I myself worked hard for my brother-in-law, raising small sums every now and then and selling watercolor sketches I had painted, saving on household expenses so the historic old church could be rebuilt - there was no landowner, there were no "equals". the congregation (as the Dean used to explain miserably). So we were all ready to see the fruits of our efforts, that is, my sister's and mine in particular.

“I must confess to being curious about the approaching event as to what the architect would be like; Since we saw few strangers, we took a keen interest in anyone who came: a foreign minister, an occasional deputy, a school superintendent, a missing missionary, or school teachers—everyone was welcome, including this architect to correct us right away.

“It was a beautiful Monday night in March, after a wild winter, when we embarked on the stranger1 who was going to have an arduous journey, his home being two counties from the route and having to change trains many times. and waiting at railway stations, a sort of cross-jumping journey like a chess knight's train. The only sorrow to our delight was my brother-in-law's sudden gout, who was suddenly bedridden and the warden could not be present when our guest arrived. The tablecloth for supper was laid; My sister had visited her husband, who demanded her constant attention. At that moment the doorbell rang and the architect was let in. I had to receive him alone, and felt strangely embarrassed to receive anyone, especially one as necessary as the Architect. I was immediately drawn by his familiar appearance, as if I had seen him in a dream - his slightly different accent, his soft voice; I also noticed a blue paper sticking out of his pocket. I was explaining who I was, for I saw that he thought I was the vicar's daughter or wife, when, to my great relief, my sister appeared and took her to Mr. Halter's.

"Then I met my husband. I found him much older than he was. He had a beard, a shabby coat and a very professional appearance. He looked younger afterwards, especially in daylight. . . . The blue paper turned out to be MS. from a poem, not from a church plan, he told me, to my surprise.

“After this first meeting there were many visits to the church, and these visits, which were of great interest to both, merged with those of 1. The verses headed 'A man approached me' obviously refer to this arrival. But in them Hardy assumes that she was not thinking of his coming, although it appears from this diary that she was; which seems to indicate that in writing he either did not read or forgot her recollection of the night printed above.

more knowledge and affection to end in marriage, but not before four years.

“Ecclesiastical matters came first, though I was interested, and so one morning I laid the cornerstone [of the hall and tower to be rebuilt]; with a bottle containing a record of the procedure, the students present. Well towed, said the foreman. Mister. Holder gave a speech to young people to remember the event and share it with their descendants - as if it were a matter of world importance. I wonder if they remember that and me.

“Work progressed quickly under the direction of the architect, who on his first visit had stayed a little longer than intended. We took him through the neighborhood, some clergymen and their wives came to visit: at first we were all very satisfied. Mister. Holder recovered. The Patron of the Living, who lived in Antigua, wrote to inquire about it; An invoice was duly sent and he replied that he would come and see if he could and would certainly be at the opening.

“My architect came to visit me two or three times a year. I mounted my beautiful mare, Fanny, and he walked beside me, and I showed him some [more] of the neighborhood—the cliffs, along the roads, and through the scattered villages, sometimes overlooking the small grave beaches below, where the seals lived very occasionally emerge from large deep caves. We draw and talk about books; We often went to the port of Boscastle, down the beautiful Vallency valley, where we had to leap over rocks and climb a low wall on rough steps, or pass a narrow path, only to find ourselves suddenly in great wide spaces with a little sparkling stream. .. follow the same path where we once lost a small picnic cup, and there it is no doubt still standing between two of the rocks

“Sometimes we all drove to Tintagel and Trebarwith Strand, where donkeys [word illegible] worked, transporting seaweed for farmers; Also Strangles Beach, Bossiney, Bude and other coastal locations. They were beautiful walks, always with a view of the sea, and very slow and pleasant; sometimes to visit a neighboring clergyman and his family. We were very interested in each other. I found a whole new subject for him to study and enjoy, and he found "my own" in me, he said. He was very different from all the others who came to us, as they were lazy in terms of language and ideas.

“Between her visits we corresponded and I studied and drew and took my brother-in-law and sister to the nearest market.

City, Camelford, nine miles away, or to Launceston to see my cousins. The servant taught me on Fanny how to jump hurdles, but Fanny, although she didn't mind, was limping a little, so we stopped jumping.

"I like to think about those details and little events, and I imagine other people might be happy about that.

“It was a pleasant time, although there were difficulties in the community. I have never liked work assignments in Cornwall as I like people in Devonshire; living with his so-called admirable independence of character was very uncomfortable, and generally resulted in his taking no friendly interest in others, though imperceptible to casual acquaintances. . . . There was a certain luster to her nature, however—that of an old-world romantic expression; and then, sometimes, someone they cared about would get to know someone in the villages.

“This is how the days passed between visits. The opening of the church was quite impressive, however the element of unusualness was made more evident by the immense number of people outside waiting for it to end and for lunch to begin than the many attentive and admiring parishioners gathered inside to greet the wife of Deans and himself. Lord. Holder was in good health and good spirits; My sister was very important. The Patron of the Living, Rev. Richard Rawle, [who owned land in the parish and was at that time ordained Bishop of Trinidad] was present; but no architect appeared on this brilliant occasion.1 However, he kept appearing in the same scene.

“I've had two pleasant changes - one to stay with an old family friend in Bath; and when my chosen one arrived there too, we had an interesting time together through her kindness. And I went as a country cousin to my brother in London and was duly surprised, which pleased him even more than I did.

"After a while I copied quite a lot of the manuscripts that came and went in the mail and I was very proud and happy about it - which I did in the privacy of my room, where I also read and wrote the letters.

"The rarity" of the visits made them very agreeable to both; we talked a lot about plots, possible scenes, short stories and poems as well as his own work. He came from Dorset or London and drove eighteen [sixteen and a half] miles from Launceston station.

"The day we married was a perfect day in September - the 17th of the month - 1874 - not bright sunshine, but a soft sunny light; As he should be.

1 For unknown reasons, neither Hardy nor Crickmay could attend.

“Since that beautiful day I have had various experiences, some interesting, some sad, but all show that an unseen force of great benevolence is guiding my ways; I have a bit of philosophy, mysticism, and an ardent belief in Christianity and the life behind it that makes every existence oddly interesting. In observing events (and even when unfortunate events occur), external circumstances matter less when Christ is our highest ideal. A strange unearthly glow shines in our path, penetrating and dispelling trouble with its heat and radiance.

‘E. L. Hardy.

"Maximum goal. January 4, 1911.'1

This transcript of Mrs. Hardy (whose existence he only knew of after her death) brings us four years after Thomas Hardy's arrival in Cornwall that March night in 1870. He himself made some rough notes in a memorandum of his visit to this May we easily collect your impressions of the experience.

It is evident that he was soon, if not immediately, struck by the nature and looks of the lady who received him. She was so alive, he used to say. Though her features were not regular, her complexion at that time was of perfect hue, her figure and movement graceful, and her corn-colored hair full of curls.

It is worth mentioning here that the short story A Pair of Blue Eyes (which Hardy himself counts among his novels and fantasies - as if to indicate his visionary nature) was taken at that visit as a reflection of his own personality as an architect. But beyond Hardy's own testimonies, there is evidence that this is not the case, he has always been reluctant to bring his personal traits into his novels. The Adonis portrayed was notoriously, both in appearance and temperament, an idealization of a student whom Hardy attended Mr. John Hicks on his temporary return from London; a nephew of that architect, and of the exact age ascribed to Stephen Smith. He is portrayed as altogether younger and more upbeat than Hardy, a brooding 29-year-old man with years of slapping in London and architectural and literary experience at the time. Many of his verses, with which readers have now become familiar in JVessex Poems, had already been written. Stephen Smith's father was a stonemason in the service of Hardy's father, along with one near Boscastle, during Smith's genius Art 1. We shall see later that she died a year after this was written.

The Latin lessons were based on a story Hardy had about Holder, like that of a man he knew. Its practicality is however doubtful, Henry Knight the Critic, Elfride's second lover, was really much more like Thomas Hardy, as described in his future wife's diary which we have just given; while the event of the young man arriving as a stranger in a village with which he was well acquainted, and the catastrophe that followed when his acquaintance with it was discovered, was an experience of one of his uncles, whose dramatic possibilities held him captivated.. for a long time. Indeed, his own promotion of the Delectable Duchy went smoothly from start to finish and with the encouragement of everyone involved.

But the whole story, apart from the lonely drive over the hills towards the coast, the architectural details and a few other external scenes and incidents, is so at odds with all sorts of facts as to be quite misleading, Hardy's intention in his early novels until Far from the Madding Crowd appeared, if not later, to puzzle the reader as to their place, origin, and originator through various interchanges and inventions, probably because of his doubt as to whether he would follow the craft, and his perception of the shadow would loom over one Architects fall who had failed as a novelist. He modified the landscape and in the first editions called the rectorate a vicariate showing a church from which the sea is visible, which was not the case with São Julio. Elfride's character and appearance share similarities with those of Mrs. Hardy in her youth, a few years before Hardy met her (although her eyes have been described as deep gray rather than blue); moreover, like Elfride, the moment she mounted a horse, she was part of the animal. But that's all that can be said, because the plot of the story was something he had in mind and written long before he met her.

What he says about the visit is laconic and hasty, but interesting enough to recount here:

'7. March. The sad but poetic ride through the hills. Arrived at St Juliot's Vicarage between 6 and 7. Greeted by a young woman in brown (Miss Gifford, the Dean's sister-in-law). Drops from Mr. Halter. Saw Mrs Halter. The meal. Speak. To Mr. Holder. Went back down. Music.

"8th. March. Stern gray view of hills from bedroom window. A funeral. Man struck the bell (which lay upside down on the floor in the deserted transept) by lifting the clapper and letting it fall against the side. Five bells were strung in this way (removed from the broken tower for safety). Remain there all day drawing and measuring, with breaks for meals at the vicarage.

'March 9th Drive with Mrs Halter and Mrs Gifford to Boscastle and then to the slate quarries of Tintagel and Penpethy with a view of the roof of the church. Mister. Symons accompanied us to the quarries. Mister. Symons did not consider himself a native; he was just born there. Well, Mrs. Symons was a native; his family had lived there for 500 years. He spoke about the return of Douglas Cook [the first Saturday Review editor the Holders knew; buried on the hill above Tintagel]. . . . music at night. The two ladies sang duets including 'The Elfin Call', 'Let us dance on the sands' etc. • • Miss Gifford said a man asked her for 'a drop of what is not gin, please, miss' . He meant Dutch, which he knew they kept at the vicarage.

'10. March. Went to Beeny Cliff with ELG. you on horseback. ...on the cliff. . . . "One Day's Tender Grace", etc. The race to the edge. The return home.

'I walked to Boscastle in the afternoon, Mrs H. and E.L.G. with me three quarters of the way: the overshot mill: E. reads provocatively as we go; night in the garden; music later in the evening.

'11. March. Dusk. Good bye. He had turned on the light ELG six times in his eagerness to summon the servants early enough for me. The ride home. Photograph of the Bishop of Exeter (for Mrs Holder). . . .'

The poem entitled "By the word 'Farewell'" seems to refer to this or the following visit; and that entitled 'When I went to Lyonnesse' certainly refers to this first visit, as it was their habit to apply the name 'Lyonnesse' to all of Cornwall. The last poem to be mentioned was hailed as his sweetest lyric poetry by a voice from far west America, an opinion he himself did not disagree with.

"12. March. (Sa) Went to Weymouth. Mr Crickmay's account £6:10:9."

On April 5th, after being quartered in Weymouth, presumably to do with the detailed drawings for the restoration of St Juliot. In light of the research and measurements he had undertaken, Hardy received a letter from the gentlemen. publish Desperate Remedies, MS. from which they returned, due to (it is presumed) their disapproval of what had happened. By this time he seemed to have realized that Macmillan Publishing wasn't preventing the publication of novels of the sensational kind, so he wrapped up the MS. again and to Mr. Tinsley, a company to which he was an outsider but which published such novels. It is inexplicable why he did not send it to the gentlemen. Chapman and Hall, with whom he now had an easy connection, and whose reader, George Meredith, had recommended he write what Hardy saw as such a story. Perhaps it was an adventurous feeling that he wanted the story to be judged on its own merits by a house that did not know how it came about; possibly out of inexperience. In any case, it was a mistake he suffered from, for there is no doubt that Meredith would have been interested in a book he had or should have suggested; and would have made some suggestions on how to make better use of the good material at the end of the book. He had gone to Tinsley, however, and on May 6 Tinsley wrote, stating the terms on which he would publish it if Hardy completed the remaining three or four chapters, only one prize of which had been broadcast.

About the second week of May, and possibly as a result of the correspondence, Hardy left Mr. the following Monday the 16th, he left again for London - unfortunately, he said, for his heart had left Cornwall.

'18 May. Royal Academy. No. 118. 'Death of Ney', by Gerome. The presence of death makes the picture great.

'NO. 985. “Jerusalem,” from same. Only the shadows of the three crucified can be seen. A nice idea.'

He seems to have spent his days in the city dreamy and incoherent - mostly visiting museums and art galleries, and it's not clear what awaited him there. In his spare time he seems to have written the 'Little Song' in IVessex Poems, which bears Miss Gifford's initials. In May he read Comte. Walking through Hyde Park one morning in June, he saw the announcement of Dickens' death. It was made by Mr. Blomfield whom he helped complete some drawings. Meeting another well-known Gothic architect, Mr. Raphael Brandon, too, Hardy helped him for a few weeks, though not continuously.

Brandon was a man who interested him deeply. In collaboration with his brother David he had published a few years earlier the analysis of Gothic architecture in two quarto volumes and an extra volume on the open wooden roofs of the Middle Ages. Both works were familiar to Hardy, having been a textbook for architecture students until recently, when a gripping interest in French Gothic led to their being replaced by works by Norman Shaw, Nesfield and Viollet-le-Duc. . However, Brandon was convinced that the development of modern English architecture should be based on English Gothic rather than French, as shown in his well-known design for the Catholic Apostolic Church in Gordon Square; and that their opinion was the true one was proved in hindsight, although the more elegant architects, including Arthur Blomfield, at this point had their hearts and souls in different opinions. Perhaps it was partly because, partly because he was a "literary architect" — a person who was always a suspect in the profession at the time, Hardy used to say — that Brandon's practice had recently been declining and he had reached an impasse , spent a lot of time on strange projects and hopes, including a plan to unify rail fares on the principle of the post office. Hardy himself found himself in a similar impasse - as far as there could be resemblances between a man of twenty-nine and a man of sixty and the far corner of the old world of Clements Inn, where Brandon's offices were located. , which makes his weeks with Brandon even more appealing to him since Knight's quarters are drawn from Brandon's quarters in A Pair of Blue Eyes. While the latter tended to his plan for the train journey, Hardy tended from time to time to Brandon's architecture that had been left behind. Hardy sometimes helped him with the details of his plan, too; although he had proved his utter futility, he found himself in a strange predicament; either to show Brandon his futility and insult him, or to act against his own conscience by abandoning him to the hobby.

However, the summer was thus spent, and his friend Horace Moule, the leading critic and editor, who was also in London, had a pleasant time. Nothing seems to have been done about the novel, the manuscript of which, about seven-eighths of the complete work, appears to have still been in Tinsley's house. He maintained a regular correspondence with "the young lady in brown" who introduced him to the vicarage of St. and Islam from Bosworth Smith, his friend in later years; although it does not appear that he wrote any verses.

'30. June. What the world says and what the world thinks: It's the man who acts according to what the world thinks, no matter what he says, that comes out on top.

"Men find her not by running straight to fame but by matching the direction of his path to theirs that at some point the two must inevitably cross."

On July 15, France declared war on Prussia - a cause of great emotion for Brandon, who during the first weeks of fighting went to the beach to bring in every copy of the evening papers that came out and read them. her to Hardy, who was just as excited as he was; although the young man probably did not realize that if England became involved in continental combat, he could be one of the first called up for service outside the regular army. All he seems to have done was go to a service at Chelsea Hospital and look at the tattered flags being mended with nets and talk to the old asthmatics and cripples, many of whom were then at the hospital near Waterloo had fought and some further up the peninsula. .

On August 6th the Battle of Worth took place: and on the 8th he broke, as he had done on his earlier visit, his temporary connection with Brandon, and sailed to Cornwall.

Here he found what he called the "young woman in brown" of last winter—then smothered in the wind—transformed into a young woman in summer blue that went so much better with her light complexion; and the visit was very happy. His hosts took him to various scenic spots on the wild and rugged coast near the Rectory, including King Arthur's Castle, Tintagel, which he was now seeing for the first time; and where they found themselves imprisoned in the ruins from staying too long, narrowly escaping confinement in the night, signaling with their handkerchiefs to the peasants in the valley. The lingering may have been seen as prophetic as, after being buried in his memory for forty to fifty years, he constructed the Queen of Cornwall's famous tragedy from the legends of this romantic site. Why he didn't do this earlier, while she was still alive, who knew the scene so well and painted it often, is impossible to say.

H. M. Moule, aware at this point of the vague understanding between the two, sent them the daily and weekly newspapers from time to time with his most important articles on the war. Regarding these wars, Hardy noted in his notebook: "Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi!" On the day that the bloody battle of Gravelotte took place, they read Tennyson in the grounds of the vicarage. It was at this time and place that Hardy was struck (the incident of the old horse that tormented the arable field in the valley below, which, when years much later was recalled from an even bloodier war, he turned into the little poem of three lines with entitled "In Time of "the Breaking of Nations". Several of the pieces - of course - grouped as "Poems of 1912-13" in the same volume with Satires of Circumstance, and three in Moments of Vision, i.e. "A figura on the scene ', 'Why I Sketched' and 'It Never Feels Like Summer Now', among many others which are no doubt also memories of the present and later stays here in this vaguely romantic land of 'Lyonnesse'.

During this time he also saw the last St. up to then the nave) and the transept. Hardy greatly regretted the obliteration of church history by this form, and also that he should have contributed to such obliteration, since the building as he had first seen it was so connected to what was romantic about his life. However, his instrumentality was involuntary, the decision to alter and reduce his territory was made before he entered the scene. What else could be made of the dilapidated building is difficult to say if it has to be maintained for use. The ancient walls of the old nave, dating back to Norman times or earlier, may have survived. A north door, similar to the Saxon one, was accidentally destroyed, but Hardy made a design of it which survives in the present church, though his designs of highly carved seaters and other details have disappeared. Fortunately, the old south aisle with its arcades has been preserved and the nave has now been converted into a nave.

It was in this church that his humorous experience of the builder's vision of the old main screen took place. Hardy had carefully sketched it with its tracery, jambs, and decaying gilding, and marked where various patches and scarves would be applied. Arriving at the building one day, he found in its place a new, heavily varnished forgery of the old canvas. 'Well, Mr. Hardy,' answered the builder to his astonished questions, I told myself I shall not get a pound or two from it, and I shall give them a new canvas. instead of this patched up old thing.”




1870-1873: Eat. 30-33

He must have gotten MS from Tinsley while he was in London. of Desperate Remedies—for in the fall of that year, 1870, he and Miss. Gifford turned over her chapter of the story to make a clean copy, the original manuscript. interspersed and altered so that, he thought, it might have suffered from being difficult to read in the eyes of a publisher's reader. In the meantime he wrote the remaining three or four chapters, and the novel – completed this time – was sent to Tinsley in December. However, one tiny fact seems to indicate that Hardy was anything but excited about this book and its future at the time. In the margin of his Hamlet copy is the following passage dated '15. December 1870” marked:

'You wouldn't think how bad my heart is here: but whatever!'

Tinsley rewrote her terms, which for some inexplicable reason were now worse than before, as an advance of £75 was required; and what follows is a transcript of Hardy's letter to the editor on these points in late December:

"I think I'm right as I understand your terms that if the gross receipts reach publishing expenses I get £75 back and if they are more than expenses I get £75 added up to half the receipts. plus costs (i.e. assuming expenses are £100 and income is £200, I should have returned £75 + £50 = £125).

"Would you please also tell me whether the amount includes advertising at the usual level and how long after I have paid the money the book will be published."

This adventurous arrangement of the would-be author, who at the time was just £123 in the world, more than what he could have gotten from his father - which wasn't much - and who was practically, if not significantly, engaged to a penniless girl , except in reversal after the death of relatives, it was actually taken from him the following January (1871): when he was back in London and paying Tinsley £75 in Bank of England notes (instead of, it seemed, to the Astonishments Tinsley, said Hardy) and retired to Dorset to do proofreading, filling his free time not with anything practical but writing snippets of old country ballads for old folk to hear. On March 25, the book was published anonymously in three volumes; and on the 30th he went back to his apartments at Weymouth to tell Mr. Crickmay more about his church restorations.

On April 1, Desperate Remedies received an impressive review in the Athenaum as a powerful novel, and on April 13 even better news in the Morning Post as an outstanding success. But, alas, on the 22nd the Spectator brought down its heaviest crook in the prematurely happy volumes, the reason for this violence being principally the author's audacity in assuming that an unmarried owner of property could bear an illegitimate child.

"This is an absolutely anonymous story," the review began: "no adoption of a pseudonym that might at a later date bring the surname, and still more the first name, of a penitent and penitent novelist out of favor - and rightly so." Please let him bury the secret in the depths of his own heart, out of the reach of his own conscience if possible. The law is hardly fair, which prevents the Tinsley Brothers from hiding their involvement as well.'

When Moule, whom Hardy had not consulted about the project, read the Spectator's reception of the novel, he wrote a short line to Hardy asking him not to bother with the tablet. After its initial impact, which was justifiably surprising, it doesn't seem to have bothered Hardy much, or at least not for long (although one of the critic's personalities did hint with awkward humor that the novel likes "a desperate remedy for a tight purse". irritating enough.) And indeed, he remarked at this point: "We must resent injustice severely, be serene in justice, and grateful for favours. But I know one serene in error, and would be grateful for simple justice 'while a favor, if given, would change his brain.' He still remembered reading this review many years later as he sat on a stairway leading to the seagrass he had to cross on his way home to Bockhampton Wishing He Were Dead.

But this humorous remark didn't seriously bother him, shows what he typed immediately afterwards:

'End. April. At the dairy. The dog seems happy to be a dog. The cows look at him with a melancholy expression, as if they are sorry they are cows and need to be milked, showing too much dignity to roll about in the straw like he does. . . . The milkmaid throws her feet across the milk floor as she walks, as if they were mops.”

Anyway, he paid another visit to Cornwall in May. But on his return the day after his birthday in June, he was faced with new circumstances when he spotted Desperate Remedies in the men's surplus catalogue. Smith and son for sale in zs. 6d. the three volumes and thought that the viewer had deleted the book, which he probably had.

While this was serious business for a beginner who had dared romanticize 75 pounds out of the 123 pounds he owned, one reason for mitigating his problem might well be that in a forceful, not to say wild, melodramatic situations had been invented in a style totally contrary to its natural grain, through a very crude interpretation of George Meredith's advice. He had never thought of writing such a thing until, finding himself in a corner, it seemed necessary to attract public attention at all costs. What Meredith would have thought of the outcome of her class has not been ascertained. However, there was nothing in the book - admittedly an extremely intelligent novel - that called for such chastisement, oddly dumbed down with certain concessions to the unnamed author's abilities. Moreover, some time later he was surprised by a letter from the reviewer, a stranger - whether dictated by remorse, a nagging suspicion that he had been wrong about his husband, or for other reasons it is unknown - expressing some regret for his showed violence. Hardy replied to the letter—albeit belatedly and succinctly at first—but when he realized that the harm had been done to him not out of malice but out of honest obstinacy, he ceased to harbor resentment and became known by his critic, the Viewers later reviewed it with great generosity.

In June and July he sort of marked the time by making a few more Gothic drawings for Crickmay, though not very excitedly, judging by a marginal marking "July 1871" on his Shakespeare, opposite the passage in Macbeth:

The worst things will stop or they will rise

For what they were before.

At the end of the summer he finished the short and rather crude story entitled Under the Greenwood Tree. A Dutch School country painting - its execution from an observation by Mr. John Morley of The Poor Man and the Lady that the country scenes in the latter are the best in the book, since the 'Tranter' from The Poor Man and the Lady again is introduced.

The pages of this idyll - originally called The Mell - contained Quire, but were changed to Under the Greenwood Tree because poetry titles were then in fashion - were mailed to the gentlemen. Macmillan sometime that same autumn, and in due course Hardy received a letter from them which, after making him sensitive to events, he read to signal that the firm had nothing to do with his "Country Painting of the Dutch School". they said they were "strongly inclined to take up his offer"; so he wrote to them to return the MS. That was an unfortunate misunderstanding. Only when it was accepted and published by another publisher the following year did he realize that they had never rejected it and would have actually been willing to print it a little later.

In writing about the story, they took the trouble to include the opinion of the "consummate critic" to whom they submitted it, whose main points can be quoted here:

"The work on this story is extremely careful, natural and delicate, and the author deserves more than usual credit for the effort he has put into his style and the harmony of its construction and treatment. It is a simple and monotonous sketch of a rural courtship, with a climax of genuine delicacy of idea. ... I don't see a big market for it because the work is so delicate that it doesn't appeal to all tastes. But it's a good job and would appeal to people whose tastes haven't been ruined by over-the-top action novels or forced ingenuity. . . . The writer would do well to close his ears to the follies of the critics, which, as his letter to you shows, he does not do.'

Given her reaction to the question of publishing the story, however, at least ambiguous, did he get her back, the MS accused. in a box of his old poems, got pretty fed up and started thinking about other ways and means. He consulted Mrs. Gifford by letter, in which he stated that he had banned the writing of novels forever and would henceforth pursue architecture. But she, without much opportunity to reason, and yet, as Hardy used to think and say—true or not—with that quick instinct that becomes women so well and can almost be described as unearthly vision, answered his at once Craving him to accept the authorship that she was sure would be her true calling. The very fact that she wanted it that way and retired completely - architecture was obviously the quickest way to a marriage income - forced him to consider her interests more than his own. Unlike the case of Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, there are no letters between the couple that show the vacillations in their opinions on this important issue. But what happened was that in the winter of 1871-72 Hardy threw himself more steadfastly into the work of architecture than he had ever done in his previous life, and in the spring of last year set out again for London, determined to quell his constitutional leanings. .. to treat life only as an emotion and not as a scientific game and to be fully committed to maintaining the profession his parents chose for him and not his own; but with a vague dream in the back of his mind that he might be able to write verse as an occasional hobby.

The years 1872 and 1873 were eminently unforeseen years. After being hired to design Mr. T. Roger Smith, a well-known London architect and Professor of Architecture at the Royal Institute of British Architects, upon arrival in the first year found himself designing as Professor Smith's assistant. Schools to the London School Board, recently formed, open competition between architects for such projects, organized from time to time by the Board. Hardy was hardly prepared to make the best of this deal when he found his friend Moule, whom he had not seen for a long time, in the middle of Trafalgar Square. Moule, a scholar and critic with perfect taste, believed strongly in Hardy's potential as a writer and said he hoped he would still keep his hand to the pen; but Hardy seems to have declared that he has relinquished authorship for good. Moule was saddened by this, but only advised him not to give up writing altogether, as literature would be a resource for him provided something happened to his eyes from the beautiful architectural design; He could dictate a book, article, or poem, but not a geometric design. That, Hardy used to say, was basically all that happened between them; but by a strange coincidence, Moule's words came back to him shortly thereafter one morning when, for the first time in his life, he saw what appeared to be floating dots on the white drawing paper in front of him.

For some reason he wrote to his publishers that day - a year after its publication - to report his dealings with Desperate Remedies, which he had once asked for, but had not been very curious about; for although the Saturday Review brought the volumes to life after their massacre by the Spectator, they felt they had wasted time and money in the process. On returning the post, the Tinsley brothers gave a report stating that they had printed 500 copies of the novel in three volumes and sold 370, and included a check for £60 as that was all they were sent back was paid 75 €. as a guarantee - after weighing up the costs and income, without entitlement to a part of the income.

Using those numbers, Hardy, who didn't examine them closely, found that all he'd ended up losing was his job and £15 in cash - and he was delighted about that.

A moment later, as he was reading an Italian Opera poster in the Strand, a heavy hand landed on his shoulder and he turned to see Tinsley himself, asking him when Hardy would let him read another novel.

Hardy, thinking of the swing, told him dryly, never.

"Wow, now!" Tinsley said. 'Didn't you write anything?'

Hardy noted that he had written a short story a while back, but he didn't know what happened to MS and didn't care. He also wrote one to three volumes; but left him. He was now doing better things and attending to his profession as an architect.

"Damn it, I didn't think you were that!" Mr. Tinsley exclaimed. "Well, can't you take this story and show it to me?"

Hardy did not promise, reminding the editor that the account he had given for the other book was unlikely to persuade him to publish a second one.

'By my soul, Mr Hardy,' said Tinsley, 'you wouldn't have another man in London to print it! Oh hang yourself if you want! 'was a bloodthirsty story! Now please try to find this new manuscript and let me see it.'

At first, Hardy couldn't remember what he had done with the MS, but when he remembered he ended up writing to his parents at home telling them where to look for it and forward it to him.

When Under the Greenwood Tree arrived the first week of April, Hardy mailed it to Tinsley without looking at it, saying it had nothing to do with any release. This was probably why Tinsley offered him £30 for the royalties, which Hardy accepted. It should be added that Tinsley later sent him an additional £10, voluntarily, which he believed was half the amount he had received from Tauchnitz for the Continental copyright, a transaction of which Hardy was unaware.

Hardy's indifference to selling Under the Greenwood Tree for a pittance could not be because he still had goals other than fiction, as he had the winter before; for he casually mentioned to Tinsley that he was thinking of continuing the aforementioned three-volume novel. Moule's words about keeping his hand on the pen and the spots in his eyes as he drew may have influenced him in this memory.

In early May he was grading rural history exams. Most were done late at night in Westbourne Park, where he now lived again, the day being taken up with the competition—drawings for council schools in the various boroughs of London—and the occasional evening making drawings for Blomfield, with whom Hardy was with more frequently and friendship - although at the time he did not tell Blomfield of his adventures as a novelist.

Under the Greenwood Tree was published about the last week of May (1872), and was met with a very kind and gentle reception, being reviewed in the Athenceum as a book which might induce men to 'sacrifice valuable time to see 'how a marriage is consummated' in his book Pages' and in the Pall Mall Gazette as a story of much freshness and originality.

As the author was every day in Bedford Chambers on Bedford Street - Professor Smith's office - and the publisher's office was only a block or two down the Strand, it was not uncommon for him to meet Tinsley, who one day asked him - the book went on getting good news - how long he would be writing a story for Tinsley's Magazine, twelve months, the question is probably prompted by that press tone about Under the Greenwood Tree.

Hardy pondered the sketchy novel he had given up — he figured he could do it in six months — but "to resist temptation" (as he put it) he multiplied by two the maximum he could in architecture could reach at that time, and told his questioner the sum.

"All right, all right, Mr. Hardy - very reasonable," said the sympathetic editor, patting Hardy on the shoulder. 'Now come here to the office, let's sign the agreement and we won't bother with the work anymore.'

For some reason, however, Hardy became cautious and said he would call the next day. In the afternoon he went to a legal bookseller, bought Copinger on Copyright, the only book he could find on the subject, and spent half the night studying it. The next day he went to Tinsley and said that he would write the story for the above amount, understanding that the amount paid was only for editing the magazine, after publication of which all rights would revert to the author .

"Well, dammit!" Tinsley said with a dark laugh. "Who the hell are you talking to, Mr. Hardy, if I may ask, since I saw you yesterday?"

Hardy said "Nobody". (Which was true, if only literally.)

"Well, but... Well, Mr. Hardy, you're being hard, very hard on me! I like your spelling, though: and if you add the three-volume edition of the novel with the magazine rights, I agree.'

Hardy agreed, having, as he used to say, some sympathy for Tinsley's keen sense of humor, even if he opposed it; and the deal was completed soon after, the author agreed to shortly finish the first monthly part of his story for the magazine, give an artist time to prepare an illustration for it and have it printed in the September issue, which in the case of this magazine came out on August 15th.

It was now July 24, and as Hardy walked back to Professor Roger Smith's quarters, he began to feel that he had done something rash. He only vaguely knew the value of a three-volume edition, and as for the story, as I have already mentioned, he had thought of a possible one some time before, roughly written down the first chapters and general outline, and then abandoned with that the rest of his schemes literary. He had never written a serial fiction and had no journalistic experience; and he was bound to the committee's school drawings for at least another week when they were sent to the committee. However, after making a promise to Tinsley, he decided to fulfill it and agreed in writing on July 27.

Without apparently saying anything about his new job, he told the likeable architecture professor that he was thinking of taking a vacation in August when there were few more pressing things to do that year; and going home to Westbourne Park, between then and midnight he wrote the first or second chapter of A Pair of Blue Eyes. Even if he roughly thought out and wrote the beginning of the novel, the writing must have been done very quickly, despite the physical exertion that London always demanded of him. (It may be noted that he gave the young man who first appears in the novel the surname of the architecture professor he was attending.) Anyway, MS. from the first issue, with something different, it was done in incredibly quick time for the illustrator. Then, although he had not worked out anything about how later chapters would play out, he dismissed the matter as Sheridan opposed a bill he had supported, and on 7) down on London Bridge to take the waterway to Cornwall to get.

In Cornwall he was visiting some friends - Captain and Mrs went to St. A cat was shown. He went to Tintagel Castle and there sketched a stone altar with early English decoration around the edge; which altar he could never find in later years; and during the lulls in these and other excursions he continued his manuscripts, having, of course, received an urgent letter from the publisher for further copies. He returned to London via Bath, where he left Miss d'Arville, who had accompanied him until then.

However, he was unable to continue his romance in London and went into seclusion in Dorset at the end of September for a more thorough treatment. That day, Under the Greenwood Tree was reviewed by Moule on Saturday. However, the Spectator who so attacked Desperate Remedies paid little attention to the book.

A diary entry at the time read: “September. 30. Posted MS. from A Pair of Blue Eyes for Tinsley to page 163.'

Before the date came, he received a letter from Professor Roger Smith informing him that another of the six board school competitions for which Hardy was helping him prepare projects was successful and suggesting that he been "in the grass" for a long time. enough, and he would be welcome back on more liberal terms if he were dissatisfied.

This architectural success, which he would have given a lot for if it had happened earlier, was now only provocative. However, Hardy confessed to the surprised and amused Smith what he was up to and still busy; and so, to his great regret, a most agreeable, if brief, professional association with an able and amiable man was severed; Although their friendship was not broken, it was renewed from time to time and lasted until the death of the eldest of them.

At the end of the year he was in Bockhampton to complete A Pair of Blue Eyes, which is known to take place on the coast near 'Lyonnesse' - not far from King Arthur's Castle in Tintagel. Its setting, he said, would have been clearly marked by naming the novel Elfride de Lyonnesse, but to avoid drawing attention to nearby St Juliot while his friends lived there. After a brief visit to the parsonage, he stayed at his mother's house through the spring; and it may here be mentioned that it was at this place, or in the Rectory, or possibly in London, that Hardy received a report of the death of 'the Tranter', after whom the character in Under the Greenwood Tree was named, though it was not a portrait, yet Tranter's fictional lineage to the other musicians was based on fact. He was the Hardy's neighbor for many years and transported building materials for Hardy's father, from whom he also rented a field for his horses. The scene of his final moments was detailed in a letter to Hardy by a bystander on his deathbed: "He was fully conscious but unable to speak. A dark purple stain began on his leg, injured many years ago when his car drove over it; the stain rose as fast as a fly goes. It ran through his body in the same way until it reached the level of his fingers, latched onto them and worked its way up his arms, neck and face to the crown of his head as he breathed his last. Then pure white started at his foot and rose at the same rate and in the same way, and he became as white as he had been purple a minute before.'

In this context it might be interesting to add that the real name of the shoemaker "Robert Penny" in the same story was Robert Reason. He is buried, like Tranter and Tranter's wife, in Stinsford Churchyard near the Hardys' graves, although his name is barely legible. Hardy once said that he would have preferred to use his real name as it suited the character better, but thought at the time of writing that there might be possible relatives who might be harmed by the use, although he did found out later there were none. The only real name in the story is that of "Voss," who brought the hot mead and goodies to the choir on their rounds. It can still be read on a tombstone, also very close to where the Hardys are. It is remembered that these tombstones are mentioned in the poem entitled "The Dead Quire" -

There lay Dewy by the withered yew,

There Reuben and Michael, a step behind,

And Bowman with his family

On the wall that the ivy holds.

Old Dewy has been said to be a portrait of Hardy's grandfather, but that wasn't the case; He died three years before the Storyteller was born, just before his prime and long before he was the assumed age of William Dewy. In fact, there was no family portrait in the story.

A Pair of Blue Eyes was published in three volumes at the end of May.

5th of May. "Maniel" [Immanuel] Riggs found dead. [A minister Hardy knew.] A curious man who wet his lips after every two or three words.”

»9. June 1873. To London. Went to French plays. Saw Brasseur etc.'

'15 June. I met H.M. Moule at the Golden Cross Hotel. I had dinner with him at the British Hotel. Moule then went to Ipswich to perform his duties as Inspector of Poor Law.'

"16. until June 20th. About London with my brother Henry.

"20. June. With the night train to Cambridge. Stayed at college - in Queens - hung out with H.M.M. after dinner. A magnificent sunset: sun on the "back".

"The next morning I went early with H.M.M. to the King's Chapel. M. opened the large west doors to show the view inside: we reached the roof where we saw Ely Cathedral gleaming in the light of the distant sun. An unforgettable morning. HMM accompanied me to London. Your last smile.'

From London Hardy traveled to Bath, arriving late at night and settling at 8 Great Stanhope Street, where his dear friend Miss d'Arville was visiting. The following dates are from the periodical journal that Hardy kept during those years.

"23. June. Guided tours of Bath and Bristol with the women.'

"28. June. To Clifton with Miss. Gifford.' - Where they were surprised to happen to see a rave review of A Pair of Blue Eyes in the Spectator on a newsstand.'

'30. June. About Bath only. . . . Bath has a rural atmosphere in an urban substance. . . .'

'1. July. A day trip with Mrs. G. To Chepstow, Wye, Wynd Cliff, which we climbed, and Tintern, where we repeated some of Wordsworth's lines.

“Silence is a part of Tintern. Destroy this and you remove a limb from an organism. ... A wooded hillside visible from every window, with no trellis. But compare the age of the building to that of the marble mounds from which it was designed! . . .'

Here, in reference to the above words about the age of the mounds, it may be asserted that this deficiency of the older architecture in comparison with the geology was a consideration which often troubled Hardy's mind in measuring and drawing the old Norman and other antiquity buildings, because he 'The Wolf” in his musical mood and the thought that Greek literature was at the mercy of dialects.

"2. July. Bath to Dorchester.'


"Far from the hustle and bustle", marriage and another romance

1873-1876: Eat. 33-36

Six months earlier, in December 1872, Hardy had received a letter in Bockhampton from Leslie Stephen, the editor of Cornhill - then known as a man of letters, Saturday critic and climber - asking for a serial for his magazine. He had recently read Under the Greenwood Tree and found "the descriptions admirable." It had been "a long time since he had taken pleasure in a new author", and it occurred to him that such writing would probably please the readers of Cornhill Magazine as much as it had pleased him.

Hardy replied that he was concerned that the date by which he could write a story for the Cornhill would be for Mr. ; but that the following Mr. Stefan. He had thought of making this into a pastoral tale called Far From the Hustle - and that the main characters would likely be a young farmer, a herdsman and a cavalry sergeant. That's all he did. Mister. Stephen replied that he regretted not being able to anticipate a Hardy story sooner; however, that he did not intend to fix a specific time; that he liked the idea of ​​the story as much as the proposed title; and that he wanted Hardy to call and talk about it when he came into town. There the matter was dropped. Now Hardy had begun to tell the pastoral tale, the success of A Pair of Blue Eyes had meanwhile surpassed his expectations, the influential Saturday Review proclaimed it the finest novel of its time - a quality which, by the way, would find little praise in these days looser Construction and indifference to organic homogeneity.

But Hardy did not visit Stephen at the time.

In fact, it was pure coincidence that he ever received Cornhill's letter. At this point the Dorset post office was so primitive that the only delivery of letters to Hardy's father's house was made by a friendly neighbor who had come from the nearby village, and Stephen's request for a story was made by a workman received in the Lane Lama, the schoolchildren to whom it had been entrusted dropped it on the path.

As we write Far from the Madding Crowd in the seclusion of Bockhampton, we find him on September 21st en route to the Woodbury-Hill Fair, roughly described in the novel as the 'Green Hill Fair'. On the 24th he was shocked to learn of the tragic death of his friend Horace Moule, whom he had happily separated in Cambridge in June. The body was taken to Ford-ington, Dorchester for burial, and Hardy attended the funeral. It grieved him deeply now, and for a long time after, that Moule and the woman Hardy was so fond of had never seen each other; and that she could never meet Moule or be her friend.

On September 30, he sent most of the MS to Leslie Stephen at his request. by Far from the Madding Crowd, as written - apparently between two and three parts a month, but some only in broad outline - and a few days later a letter arrived from Stephen explaining that the story was with him, so far she was enough, I liked it excellently. , and that while it was usually desirable to see the entire novel before finally accepting it, under the circumstances he chose to accept it at once.

So Hardy kept writing Far from the Madding Crowd — sometimes inside, sometimes outside — if he occasionally found himself without a sheet of paper just as he was feeling the volumes. In such circumstances he used large dead leaves, white shavings left behind by lumberjacks, or pieces of stone or slate that he had on hand. He always said that when he carried a wallet his mind was as desolate as the Sahara.

That fall, Hardy helped his father make cider — a process he's enjoyed since childhood — the apples came from huge old trees that are long dead. It was the last time he participated in a work whose sweet smells and scents in the fresh autumn air will never be forgotten by those involved.

Note from T.H.:

"I met J.D., one of the old Mellstock fiddlers - who kept me talking endlessly: a man who speaks neither truth nor lies, but a kind of unproven connection that is very palatable. He told me of Jack, who spent all his money - sixpence - at the Oak Inn, who took sixpence from the register when the landlady turned her back, and spent it again; then he stole again, and again he spent until he had a really full skin. "He was too honest to take any money other than his own," said J.D. (Some of J.D.'s traits appear in "The Tranter" from Under the Greenwood Tree.)

In late October, an unexpected note from Cornhill's editor asked if Hardy, assuming he would begin Far from the Madding Crowd in the January issue (which would appear in the third week of December) rather than in the spring as intended, could keep it pre-print your copy the printers. He later learned that MS had happened. of a novel the publishers had started in January had been lost in the mail, at least according to the author. Hardy figured that January wasn't too early for him and that he could keep the presses running. Terms were accordingly agreed with the publishers, and proofs of the first number sent forthwith, with Hardy, in a letter of October 1873, passing as to any illustrations, stating "a hope that the peasants, though picturesque, might appear intelligent, and nothing rude." . ; In a later letter I added: "Regarding the illustrations, I sketched in my notebook during the summer some correct outlines of aprons, gaiters, sheep staves, rick 'Statdles', a basin for washing sheep, one of the old fashioned malting houses and some other unusual things that may need to be shown. I could send these to you if they would be of use to the artist, but if he's a sane man and you think he'd prefer not to be disturbed, I wouldn't."

To this he received no reply and he was not quite sure that Leslie Stephen had finally decided to leave so early when he returned from Cornwall on a fine December afternoon (it was New Year's Eve 1873-74) and he opened up on Plymouth Hoe inspected a copy of the Cornhill he had bought at the station and was surprised to see his story on the front cover of the magazine with a stunning illustration, the artist - also to his surprise - not being a man. but a woman, Miss Helen Paterson. Just because of the unclear position of the characters in the story, he was hoping that it would be placed at the end and possibly without a picture. The reason this was sent to him without notice was that he was accidentally away from his permanent residence for several days and nothing was forwarded. You can imagine how delighted Miss Gifford was to receive the first number of the story, the contents of which he had withheld from her in order to pleasantly surprise her, and to find that her wish for a literature course for Hardy was about to be realized. justified.

In the first week of January, 1874, the story was widely noticed by the Spectator, and a suspicion ventured that it might have been penned by George Eliot—why, the author could never understand, since when, how far he had read, that a great thinker—one of the greatest living, he thought, though not a born storyteller—had never touched country life: her peasants, too, seemed to her more peasant than peasant; and as evidence of a woman's intelligence thrown into country dialogue rather than true country humor, which he considered more Shakespearean and Fielding. As a possible reason for his flattering assumption, however, he suggested that he had recently been reading Comte's Positive Philosophy and writings of that school, some of which had entered his vocabulary, terms also familiar to George Eliot. LeslieStephen wrote:

“I am pleased to congratulate you on your first edition. In addition to the friendly Spectator, who thinks you must be George Eliot because he knows the names of the stars, several good judges spoke warmly to me about Madding Crowd. Additionally, while fickle-minded, the Spectator actually has a healthy dose of judgment. I always enjoy getting compliments from him - and even from other people! . . . The story comes across pretty well I think and I have nothing to criticize.'

Respecting the public interest in the opening of the story, Ms. Thackeray has in recent days shared with him, with her father's humor, that she has been pestered with questions about the author's gender and requests that he or she to be introduced would reply, "He lives in the country, and I couldn't introduce him to you in the city."

Here is a passage from the life of Leslie Stephen by Mr. F.W. Maitland (to which Hardy has contributed half a chapter or more through Stephen as editor), which offers a humorous illustration of the difficulties of "series" writing in Victorian days. Stephen had written that Fanny Robin's seduction "should be treated with caution", adding that it stemmed from "an excessive modesty of which I am ashamed".

"I wondered what had prompted the implied 'excessive puritanism' in someone who looked anything but puritanical. But I didn't learn until I saw him in April. Then he told me that an unexpected Grundian cloud, though still no bigger than a human hand, had appeared on our placid horizon. Three respectable ladies and subscribers, arguing that he did not know how many more there were, wrote to reprimand him for an inadmissible passage on an already published page of the story.

"I was speechless until I said, 'Well, if you value the opinion of people like that, why didn't you think of them first and delete the passage?'" 'I should have done that too, because it's their opinion, eh it doesn't matter to me or not,' he said, half groaning, 'but it never occurred to me that I would object!' could write their disapproval, three hundred who might agree, wouldn't bother to write, and so he might have a wrong impression of the public in general... "Yes, I agree. Still, I suppose that I should foresee and overlook these nobles,” he murmured.

“To end this detail (though I anticipate the dates) it might be added here that when the novel came out in tape form, The Times quoted in an enthusiastic review the very passage which offended it. As soon as I met him I said, 'See what the Times says about this paragraph; and you can't say the Times isn't serious. He smoked and belatedly replied, "No, I can't say the Times isn't serious." I then claimed that had he omitted the sentences, as he wished, I would never have bothered to restore them in the new edition, and the Times could not have quoted them approvingly. I suppose my demeanor was slightly triumphant; Anyway, he said: "I spoke as an editor, not as a man. You are no more aware of these things than a child.'”

To go back for a moment. Having attracted so much attention, Hardy now retired again to a retreat in Bockhampton to pursue the novel, which was in a woefully unprepared state, and wrote to Stephen when he asked that the proofs be sent to her Hermitage: "I've decided to lock up here, which is just a walk away from the district where the incidents were supposed to be taking place. I think it's a great advantage to actually be among the people described at the time of the description.'

That he cared less for a reputation as a novelist, however, than for being able to pursue the quest for poetry - now forever hampered, it seemed - emerges from a remark made to Mr Stefan this time:

“The truth is that I am willing and genuinely anxious to give up all desirable points in a story, if read as a whole, in favor of others, which will please those who read it in numbers. Maybe one day I can aim higher and be a big advocate of proper artistic balance in completed work, but given the circumstances, I just want to be considered a good contributor to a series.”

The fact is that on this day he was engaged in the execution of a project, to which a great reputation as an artistic novelist was even less important than usual—a project which deserves brief mention.

He found that he had slipped back into a position which, based on his past experiences, he had vowed to refrain from in the future - holding in his hands an unfinished novel, the beginning of which was already before the public and therefore had to be against them write time. . In fact, he wrote so quickly that he was able to send the editor a copy in February for another two or three months and another in April.

On a winter visit to London, Hardy met Leslie Stephen, the man whose philosophy was to influence his philosophy for many years, more indeed than any contemporary, and was introduced to her house, which was renovated from time to time, by whom he met Mrs .Stephen and his sister Miss. Thackeray. He also met Mr. G. Murray Smith, the editor, and his family in April. At a dinner there in May, he met his capable illustrator, Miss. Helen Paterson and gave her some stitches; Mister. Frederick Greenwood; and Mrs. Procter, wife and soon thereafter widow of the poet "Barry Cornwall". The immense familiarity of Mrs. Procter's dealings with past celebrities was startling, and his humor in telling anecdotes endeared Hardy. She always told him that sometimes, after confessing to Americans that she knew a long list of famous people who had passed away, she was forced to withhold knowledge of others she had known just as well in order to restore her shaky faith .Hearer in his truthfulness.

Back in Dorsetshire he continued his application for the story and by July he had written it all, the last few chapters written at a gallop for a reason which could be directly related. In the middle of the month he returned to London, where he hastily corrected the last few pages and turned in the end of the manuscript. to the editors in early August.

The following month, Thomas Hardy and Miss Emma Lavinia Gifford were married in St. Louis. Peter's, Elgin Avenue, Paddington, by his uncle Dr. The following November, Far from the Madding Crowd was published in two volumes, with illustrations by Miss Helen Paterson, who, by a strange coincidence, also saw fit to marry William Allingham as the story progressed. As an aside, the development of the chapters from month to month includes these lines from Mrs. Procter:

"You would be delighted to know what a shock Bathsheba's wedding was. I looked like Mr Boldwood - and fooling an old romance reader like me is a triumph. We're always on the lookout for traps and sense a surprise from afar. . . .

"I hear you're moving to heartless London. Our big mistake is that we are all the same. . . . We press so close together that all the small shoots are cut off at once and the young tree grows in the same shape as the old one.”

When the book appeared complete, the author and his wife, after a brief visit to the continent - spending their first continental days in Rouen - took up temporary residence in Surbiton, and stayed there for a considerable time, scarcely realizing the full extent of it. of the interest the novel aroused in the reading public, whose lack of sophistication was only partially offset by the unusual frequency of ladies with Mudie's label on the covers carrying copies of it on their trips to and from London.

Meanwhile Mr. George Smith, head of Smith and Elder—a man of great experience who introduced Charlotte Bronte to the reading public and became a disinterested friend of Hardy—suggested that, if possible, he return the copyright to Under the Greenwood Tree that he sold to Tinsley Brothers for £30. Tinsley initially replied that he would not return it for any sum: after that he would sell it for £300. Hardy offered half, an offer Tinsley didn't respond to and the matter was dropped. .

Among the strange consequences of Far from the Madding Crowd's popularity was a letter from the lady he had so admired as a child, when he was the grande dame of the community in which he was born. He had only seen her once since then - at her house on Bruton Street, it was said. But it is fair to say of her that his writing was not just an interest rekindled by the popularity of his book, for she had written to him in his obscurity before he had published a line, asking him to visit her Calling her and him their dear Tommy, like they did when he was a little boy, and apologizing because there was nothing she could do about it. She was now a very old lady, but by signing her letter "Julia Augusta" she reawakened in him the pounding heart of tenderness and reminded him of the exciting "frou-frou" of her four gray silk ruffles when she used to bow over him and when they brushed against the baptismal font on Sundays when she went to church. He answered, but apparently he didn't go to her.

Meanwhile, the most tangible result of the demand for Far from the Madding Crowd was an immediate request from Cornhill's editor and publisher for another story to begin as early as possible in 1875.

This was the means of urging Hardy on the ill-fated course of rushing a new production before he was aware of what was of value in his previous one: before he had learned, that is, not only what appealed to audiences, but also what it was substance, true and genuine, on which to build a writing career with a genuine literary message. He cared little for mere popularity, any more than for high pay; but now he had to live by the pen - or, as he would put it, "to keep the basic life going" - he had to reckon with popularity. This request for more of her writing not only from Cornhill but from other counties coincided with scrutinizing personal gossip, including that novel writing was ending as the author of Lorna Doone had declared herself a gardener's market. , and the author of Far from the Madding Crowd was discovered as an interior designer (!). Criticisms like these caused him to put aside a woodland tale he had been pondering (which later took shape in The Woodlanders) and delve into a new and unprecedented direction. He was aware of the financial value of a reputation for expertise; and as mentioned above, it has become important to have something like a steady income. However, he had no intention of writing forever about sheep farming, as the reading public apparently expected of him and actually resented him for not doing so. So, to the dismay of his editor and publishers, in March, in response to their requests, he sent the beginning of a short story titled The Hand of Ethelberta – A Comedy in Chapters, which bore no relation to anything he had previously written.

In March he went to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat-Race and entered rented premises at Newton Road, Westbourne Grove, a light which shed the domestic and practical side of his life at that time by the following:

'Newton Road, Westbourne Grove, March 19, 1875.

— Senhores Townly und Bonniwell, Surbiton.

"Gentlemen: Please keep the crates and boxes sent with this document and number them as follows:

'NO. 1. Size 3 feet. 6 inches. x 2 feet. 6 in. x 2 ft 2 in., includes linen and books.

'NO. 2. Size 2ft or ins. x 1ft 9in x 1ft inch books contains.

'NO. 3. Size 2 feet or inches. xi ft 4 in. xf ft. 2 in. Contains books.

"No - 4th size 1 foot. 5 inches x 1 foot or ins. x 1 foot or ins. Miscellaneous contains.

'A receipt for the same obliged'.

All his worldly goods were contained in this little compass.

They spent the next three months at the above address, going about a normal museum, theater and concert routine, with a few dinners out, according to (what he had previously written to Mr George Smith: 'We're coming into town three months for Ethelberta, some scenes in London, taking place in her difficult career, which I want to make as energetic as possible - having already visited Rouen and Paris for the same purpose, other adventures of hers taking place there. He also sought Smith's advice on a German translation of Far from the Madding Crowd that had been requested.

The comedy in chapters was accepted by the magazine, although it had strayed from the path desired by its new readers, and to some extent by him. The beginning appeared at Cornhill in May, when Hardy finally had the satisfaction of proving, amid the general disappointment at the lack of sheep and shepherds, that he intended not to imitate anyone, whatever the satisfaction. The subtitle did not appear in the magazine, Mr. Stefan wrote about:


"I'm sorry to bother you with a little something! I fully endorsed your suggestion to add the descriptive title "A Comedy in Chapters" to "Ethelberta's Hand". However, I find from others that this conveys a rather unfortunate notion. By comedy they mean something like a description of a farce, and they expect you to be funny in the Mr. way or some professional prankster. This of course

It's stupid; but advertising is for stupid people. Unfortunately, the question is not what they should feel, but what they feel. ... So I think it's better if you don't have a valid reason against giving up the second title for now. When the book is reprinted it can appear natural because then the illusion would be dispelled immediately.'

A reflection of himself on that date sometimes made Hardy uneasy. He realized that he was "against" the position of having to take his life not as an emotion but as a scientific game; that he was bound by circumstance to writing novels as a regular profession, as he had been to architecture before; and that he must therefore, he reasoned, look for material in manners - in ordinary social and elegant life, as other novelists did. However, he was not interested in manners, only in the substance of life. What he had written hitherto were not novels in the general sense—that is, pictures of modern customs and customs—and perhaps they would not long sustain the interest of library subscribers, who were chiefly concerned with such things. On the other hand, going out to dinner, going to clubs, and flirting like a business wasn't much for him. However, this was a necessary food and drink for the popular author. Not that he was unsociable, but events and long habits had accustomed him to a solitary life. It was the same with his wife, about whom he later wrote in the poem Ein Traum oder nicht:

I found her lonely

the seabirds around you,

And also to know almost irrelevant things.

He mentioned these self-doubts one day to Ms. Thackay, who confirmed his dark doubts by saying in surprise, "Sure; a novelist must like society!'

Another incident that reinforced his doubts was the arrival of a letter from Coventry Patmore, a complete stranger, in which he expressed the opinion that A Pair of Blue Eyes was not inherently a term for prose and that he was "repent on almost all occasions". Page that such matchless beauty and power should not have secured for themselves the immortality which would have been impressed upon them by the form of verse. Hardy was very impressed with this opinion of Pat - more. However, feeling committed to prose, he renewed his reflections on a style of prose, as evidenced by the following note: "Reread Addison, Macaulay, Newman, Sterne, Defoe, Lamb, Gibbon, Burke, Times Leaders, etc., in a style study. I'm being confirmed more and more in an idea I've had for a long time, for reasons of common sense, long before I thought of an old aphorism on the subject: "Ars est celare artem". The whole secret of a living style and how it differs from a dead style is not to have too much style - actually being a little sloppy here and there, or rather appearing to be. He brings wonderful life to writing:

'A sweet mess in the dress. . .

A careless shoelace in whose tie I see a wild courtesy

Amazes me more than when the art is so precise in each part.

"Otherwise, your style is like a penny spent - all new images are rounded off with rubbing, and there's no sharpening or moving.

"Of course it's easy to apply the knowledge I've gained in poetry to prose - that imprecise rhymes and rhythms are sometimes much more beautiful than correct ones."

About the time the Hardys left Surbiton for Newton Road, an incident occurred which can best be described by quoting Hardy's own account, as quoted in Mr FW Maitland:

“One day (March 23, 1875) I received a mysterious message from Stephen asking me to telephone as late as I wanted in the evening. I went and found him alone, pacing up and down his library in his slippers; her tall, slender figure, shrouded in a heather-colored robe. After some remarks about our magazine arrangements, he said he wanted me to witness his signing, which for a moment I thought was his will; but it turned out to be a renunciation of Holy Orders under the 1870 Act. He said sternly that he was still a dignified gentleman, small as it might seem, and that he thought it better to walk away from a vocation as a priest, which he had always found grossly inadequate, to say the least. The deed was signed in the required form. Our conversation then turned to decadent and extinct theologies, the origin of things, the nature of matter, the unreality of time, and the like. He told me he "wasted"

long in systems of religion and metaphysics, and that the new theory of vortex rings held "an overwhelming fascination" for him.'

Commenting on this description of Life's editor, Mr. Maitland: “Obviously this scene is well drawn. If you walked up to this elegant office in the middle of the night, you would see a tall, thin figure wrapped in a heather-colored robe.”

In May, Hardy was part of a delegation to Mr. Disraeli in support of a motion for a special committee to examine the state of copyright law; and on Waterloo Day he and his wife went to Chelsea Hospital - it was the 60th anniversary of the battle - and made the acquaintance of the Waterloo men who still live there. Hardy recounted that one of them - a charming old activist named John Bentley, whom he knew very well - put his arm around Mrs Hardy and his "my dear young lady" speech as he shared his experiences of that memorable day describes is a rather poignant twist in his story for her that through the veil of smoke all that could be discerned was 'all that glowed' like bayonets, helmets and swords. On the rainy eve of the battle, as they slept naked in the rain, he spoke of "last night" as if he were speaking of the real day. Another experience he told her was a love affair was billeted in Brussels he had a mistress. When he was ordered to advance on Waterloo, his friends offered to hide him if he deserted, as the French would surely win. He refused, sticking to the oath he had taken, but he was strongly tempted for she loved him very much and he loved her. She asked him to write to him if he survived the campaign and to make sure he got a Belgian or French to address the letter or she wouldn't find it. and when he was in Paris he wrote and received a reply that she would come to Paris and meet him at 3 o'clock on Christmas Day. Hardy forgot where. But he thought of her and wondered if she was coming. "Yes, you see, 'It was God's will that we should not meet again,' said Bentley, speaking of her with particular tenderness.

It may be interesting to find in the same month of 1875 the first mention of the idea of ​​an epic about the war with Napoleon in Hardy's memoranda - realized so many years later in The Dynasts. This older note works as follows:

'Mem: A Ballad From A Hundred Days. Then another from Moscow. Others from earlier campaigns – forming an Iliad of Europe from 1789 to 1815.”

That Hardy was struggling to live both practically and imaginatively at this time, however, is demonstrated by an entry immediately following:

"House in Childe-Okeford, Dorset. To be auctioned on June 10; and for being in Dorsetshire for a day or two on the 22nd in search of a house, first visiting Shaftesbury, where he found a country house for £25 a year, but it did not suit; thence to Blandford, and thence to Wimborne, where, on arriving at ten o'clock in the evening, he entered the minster, having seen a light in it, and sat in an alcove listening to the organist practice, while the rays shone from the solitary candle of the musician streamed through the arches. . This incident seems to have led him to Wimborne; but he wasn't there yet.

In July the couple sailed to Bournemouth, and from there by steamer to Swanage, where they found lodging at a disservice captain's house with cigarettes and ketchups; and Hardy interrupted his search for a home and settled there for the fall and winter to complete The Hand of Ethelberta.

After completing it, he published in Gentleman's Magazine a ballad he had written nine or ten years previously while at Blomfield, entitled "The Fire at Tranter Sweatley's" (and in some issues "The Bride-night Fire ") - which, as with his other verses, he neglected to print the date of their composition for the rather superficial efforts he made.

'November. 28. I am sitting under a tree and I feel lonely: I think of certain insects around me, magnified through the microscope: creatures like elephants, flying dragons, etc. And I feel that I am by no means alone.

'29. A good read is he who has learned that there is more to read outside of books than in them.'

Their host, the "captain," used to tell them, like sailors, strange tales of his sea voyages; mostly smuggling stories - one that Hardy always remembered due to its odd development. The narrator was on a fishing boat about to meet a French logger in the middle of the English Channel in order to obtain barrels of spirits and disembark. He and his companions were about nine miles from Portland, which was the legal limit, when they were sighted by the IRS. When they saw the cutter coming near, they said, "We must pretend we are fishing for mackerel." But they had no bait, and the ruse would be discovered. They broke off the stems of their whistles and unhooked a line they had with them and slipped the pieces of pipe over the stem. The officers came - saw them fishing and only noticed that they were far from shore, and questioned doubtfully why, and when they were innocently told why the fish were there, left them. Then, as if the bait were real, to their surprise, as they pulled in the wrong line, they began pulling in the mackerel. The fish had turned their lie into truth.

The Masters also told them that when people drown at sea in West (or Deadman's) Bay, "the sea strips them naked" - tearing their clothes off and leaving them naked.

While walking the cliffs and coast daily here in Swanage, Hardy observed:

'Night. Right after sunset. Sitting with E. on a rock under the wall in front of the refreshment hut. Sounds are two and only two. To the left, Durlstone Head rumbled up and down like a sleeping giant. A thrush on the right. Above the bird hovers the new moon and a stable planet.'

That same winter of 1875, the Revue des Deux Mondes published an article about Far from the Madding Crowd entitled Le roman pastoral en Angleterre.

Ethelberta was completed in January of the following year (1876) and the MS. sent. In anticipation of the publication of the story in volumes, the pair moved into accommodation in Yeovil in March to ease their search for a small apartment. This is where they lived when the novel was published. It was warmly received and even admired in some quarters - even more than Hardy expected - one veteran critic even wrote that it was the best ideal comedy since the days of Shakespeare. "Show me the lady in the flesh," he said in a letter to the author, "and I swear on my honor as a bachelor to make myself a humble addition to your devoted entourage." had celebrated both of its progenitors, whereby the main objection seemed to be that it was "impossible". It was indeed thirty years too soon for a society comedy of this kind - as was The Poor Man and the Lady too soon for a socialist story, and like other of his writings - in prose and verse - too soon for them Were Your Date. The most impossible situation is said to be where the heroine is seated at a table at a "Best People" dinner, where her father is present as butler at the counter. However, a similar situation has been depicted in a play by Mr. Bernard Shaw in recent years, without any sense of improbability.

This ended Hardy's association with Leslie Stephen as an editor, if not as a friend; and in the course of a letter expressing hope for renewal, Stephen wrote (May 16, 1876):

“My remark about modern lectures [?] was, of course, 'sarcastic writing,' as Artemus Ward says, and intended as a passing stab in the ribs of some modern critics who think they can legislate in art as the pope in religion; For example. The whole Rossetti-Swinburne1 school thinks like a critic, the fewer writers read about criticism the better. You have a totally new and original streak, for example, and I think the less you care about critical canons, the less likely you are to become self-conscious and limited. . . . Ste. Beuve and Mat Arnold (to a lesser extent) are the only modern critics I find worth reading. . . . In general, we're a poor bunch, terrified of going out of style and willing to show off in a very small space.”

(Video) Chatting Thomas Hardy | Ranking, Where to Start, and more!

1st of May. In an orchard in Closeworth. Primroses under the trees. A light emanates from them, like Chinese lanterns or fireflies.'



1876-1878: Eat. 36-37

From their quarters in Yeovil they set out for Holland and the Rhine at the end of May - the first thing that struck them was that "the Dutch looked like policemen who are constantly holding back a stubborn crowd of waves". They visited Rotterdam - "looking very clean and new, not enough shade and with houses almost all deviating from vertical"; then The Hague, Scheveningen, Emmerich, and Cologne, where Hardy was disappointed by the machine-converted Gothic cathedral, and whence they in a few days "between the banks that support the vine," to Bonn, Koblentz, Ehrenbreitstein, and Mainz, where they were impressed by a great confirmation in the cathedral, which incidentally was accompanied by a tune like that of Keble's Evening Hymn. They loved Heidelberg, and as Hardy looked west one night from the top of the tower on the Königsstuhl, he observed a unique optical effect that was almost tragic. Because of the fog, the vast landscape itself was not visible, but "the Rhine glowed like a streak of blood, as if snaking through the atmosphere above the surface of the earth". From there they went to Carlsruhe, where they attended a mass, and looked for a German lady Hardy had met in England, but she could not find her. Baden and the Black Forest followed, then on to Strasbourg and then back to Brussels via Metz. Here Hardy - perhaps with his mind on The Dynasts - was exploring Waterloo Field and a day or two later spent some time investigating the problem of the actual scene of the Duchess of Richmond's ball, with no result to his satisfaction, while writing a letter here wrote to a London newspaper with this content - a letter that could not be traced.

A short stay in Brussels was followed by the journey home through Antwerp, where they stopped for a while; and Harwich, who had a miserable crossing on a windy night in a small steamer with cattle on board.

In London they were very surprised and amused to see in large letters on newspaper posters that there had been riots in Antwerp; and they recalled noticing a brass band marching through the streets, with about a dozen workers walking silently behind.

June (1876). Arriving back at Yeovil after another Hardy's Waterloo Day visit to Chelsea (where in the private room of 'The Turk's Head' with glasses of grog the match was fought again by the dwindling number of pensioners attending), his first consideration was to resume the question of a cottage, having previously been intimated by relatives, he and his wife "seemed wandering about like two tramps"; and also resent the accumulation of luggage in boxes, especially books, since they did not yet have a stick of other furniture; until one day they went to an auction and bought a door scraper and a bookshelf, two items that laid the groundwork for household goods and gadgets.

"25. June. The nagging must abide by rules which in themselves have no virtue.'

"26. June. If it's possible to sum up everything a man learns between the ages of 20 and 40 in one sentence, it's that it all flows together - good into evil, generosity into justice, religion into politics, year after year, the world into the universe. In view of this, the evolution of species seems to be just a tiny, obvious process in the same movement.'

A fine country house overlooking the Dorset Stour - called 'Riverside Villa' - was offered at Sturminster Newton and they lived in it in the dead of summer, partly hastily furnished by driving to Bristol and within two hours had Victorian furniture's worth bought from £100; coming on July 3rd. It was their first home and although small, it was probably where they spent their happiest days. Several poems are reminiscent of his almost two-year tenure. A note dated shortly after his entry reads as follows:

'Cleared on the Stour at night, the sun setting over the river. Soon after, a slight exhalation was visible on the surface of the water as we moved it with the oars. A fishy smell from the numerous eels and other fish below. Cutters greet us. He rowed between the water lilies to pick them. Its long, rope-like stems.

As he passed the island, he drove away from the bushes and reeds a flock of swallows that had come to sleep there. Collected Meadow Candy.

He paddled hard through the weeds, the reeds on the border standing like palisades against the clear sky. ... A cloud in the sky like a giant quill.'

Another entry at this time:

“I was told the story of a doctor in Maiden Newton who treated a woman who couldn't afford it. He said he would take the dead baby as payment. He had it and it was kept in his hearth in a large glass jug of brandy which turned the body brown. The young doctor later married and abused his wife by insisting on keeping the other woman's dead baby in his chimney.'


'Mister. Warry says that a farmer who was a tenant of a friend of his would take the heart of each calf that died and impale it with black thorns and hang it on the cotter pin or crosspiece of his chimney: it was done to stop the spread of the disease prevent that killed the calf. When the next tenant arrived the chimney was smoking heavily, and on examining it they found it to be clogged with hearts treated in the manner described—in this dry and parched season.'


"Frog Mass." An old man, a magician, used to take frogs' legs in sacks to Bagber Bridge [near where Hardy lived], where he encountered crowds of people coming by vehicle and on foot, and bought them as charms to treat scrofula to heal -a on the neck. These legs would occasionally squirm in the pouch, which they likely did, as it "flipped" the user's blood and altered the course of the disease."

“There are two kinds of church people; those who go and those who don't: there is only one kind of chapel people; those who go-"

"All is vanity," says the preacher. But if it was all just vanity, who would care? Unfortunately, it is often worse than vanity; Agony, darkness, death too.'

"A man would never laugh if he didn't forget his situation or if he weren't someone who had never learned it. After the ridiculousness of comedy, how often does the pensive mind berate itself for having forgotten the truth? Laughter always means blindness—whether by accident, choice, or coincidence.”

During a visit to London in December, Hardy attended an Eastern Question Conference in St. Louis. James' Hall and heard Mr. Gladstone, Lord Shaftesbury, Hon. E. Ashley, Anthony Trollope,

and the Duke of Westminster. Trollope exceeded the five or seven minutes allotted for each speech, and the Duke, who was presiding, after several chimes and other cues to stop, tugged desperately at Trollope's coattails. Trollope turned, casually called out, "Please leave my coat alone," and continued talking.

They spent Christmas with Hardy's mother and father; and while they were there their father told them that as a boy the hobby-horse was still a Christmas pastime. Once the West Stafford village band was at Mr. Floyer's (the landowner's) house at a party which included that of the hobby horse mentioned. One of the servants turned deathly pale at the sight of him and ran into an adjacent dark room where the band's cello was standing, and ran in with such force that he broke the instrument's fingerboard.

A pair of blue eyes appealed greatly to French readers and was reviewed favorably in the Revue des Deux Mondes early the following year (1877). It also seems to have been a novel that Hardy himself did not want to die, as we found him writing for Mr. George Smith the following April:

"There are circumstances surrounding A Pair of Blue Eyes that make me eager to favor him, even at the expense of profit if I can do so. ... I know that sometimes, not to say often, you have an interest as a publisher in producing a book that is far removed from commercial sentiment, and I want to capture that interest in this one of mine. ... I can get a photograph of the scenic Cornish coast, the setting of the story, from which a draft for the cover might be made.'

Mister. Smith replied that although he had not printed the original edition he would buy it, profit or not; but for some inexplicable reason the book was published by other hands, and the reprint received much praise.

'1. May. A man comes to the cliff in front of our house every night to watch the sunset and plans to arrive a few minutes before the descent. Last night he came but there was a cloud. your disappointment.'

'30. May. Walk to Marnhull. The height of the birdsong. Thrushes and blackbirds are the most prominent, earnestly pleading rather than singing, and with such modulation that you seem to see their little tongues curling in their beaks at their stress. A bullfinch sings from a tree with a piercing metallic sweetness like a whistle. Further back I come to a hideous carcass of a house in a green landscape, like a skull on a dessert table.”

Same date:

"Sometimes I see all things in inanimate nature as thoughtful seedlings."

'3. June. Mister. Young says that his grandfather [c. 1750-1830] was very excited, as was everyone in Sturminster, when a stagecoach left Poole for Bristol. In the morning, when he first ran, he got up early, swept the whole street, and threw sand for the vehicle and horses to pass.'

Same date:

"The world often thinks of certain works of genius as great without knowing why: hence it may be that certain poets and novelists have noticed the wrong quality in them and applauded as what makes them great."

We also find in this June 1877 an entry which once again refers to The Dynasts - showing that the idea had by this time reached a stage - from a ballad, or a series of ballads, to a 'great drama', namely:

“Imagine a great drama based on the wars with Napoleon, or a campaign (but not like Shakespeare's historical dramas). It can be "Napoleon" or "Josefina" or some other person's name.'

He also writes in another context:

"There is enough poetry in what remains [in life], after all false romance has been abstracted, to make a sweet pattern: e.g. H. Coleridge's poem:

"It's not fair to the outside world.

"If then the flaws of nature are to be addressed and written down, where does the art in poetry and novel-writing come from? which certainly has to show art, or it will just be a mechanical reportage. I think the art is in making these imperfections the basis of a beauty hitherto unrealized, in illuminating them with 'the light which has never been upon their surface' but which is seen by the spiritual eye as latent in them.'

"28. June. On Coronation Day, there will be Newtons played and danced on the lawn at Sturminster. Butler with white rosettes. One is very concerned, fearing that the leg of mutton will go wrong on the pole while he is tending the runners; so he paces back and forth with a pinched face and distant eyes.

“Pretty girls are about to dance in inviting positions on the grass. As the couples in each picture pass near their immediate friends, each friend gives those friends a smirking look and moves on.

'29. June. I've just had a painful night and morning. Our maid, who is very dear to us, went on holiday to Bournemouth yesterday with her husband. I got home at ten last night looking overwhelmed. About half past twelve when we should have been asleep she went downstairs and out and when I looked out the back window of our room I saw her coming out of the bathroom with a man. She appeared to be only in her nightgown and something around her shoulders. Next to his white, slender form in the moonlight, his form seemed dark and gigantic. She preceded him to the door. Before I could think of what to do, E. ran downstairs, found her and ordered her to bed. The man disappeared. He noticed that the latches on the back door were oiled. Apparently he stayed home.

"She was quiet until between four and five when she slipped out the dining room window and disappeared."

June 1, 30 Around one o'clock she went to her father's house in the village where we thought she had gone. I found them poorer than I expected (as they are said to be an old county family). His father was mowing in the field and a little girl fetched him from the reapers. He came toward me through the haystacks and seemed to be reading bad news in my face. She wasn't at home. I remembered that she was in her best clothes and had probably gone to Stalbridge to visit her lover."

The later career of this young woman has not been handed down except for one insignificant detail.

'4. July. I went to Stalbridge. Woman. she is a charming woman.

As we looked at the church, she suggested I try an odd seat, adding, though we were only talking about the church itself, "That's where I sat when Jamie was baptized, and I got a very good look at him." Another seat she referred to with seeming indifference as the one she sat in when she went to church; as if it was quite interesting that she was in those seats even though she wasn't a romantic person. When we got to her house, she told us that Jamie was really out of sight - he was in a terrible state - covered in hay; half laughing and catching our eyes as she spoke, as if we should have known at once how exceedingly good-natured he must look under the circumstances. Jamie was obviously her life, flesh and clothes. . . . Her husband is what we call a "barking or barking man." He forces his face to smile and keeps it there for a certain amount of time so there's no way you can lose your smile and the subject of the words that created it. He buys pictures and china for eighteenpence, which are worth much more. Give the farmers a new set of handles for old ones without handles - a bargain they are happy to make.

“Country life in Sturminster. Vegetables go from growing to cooking, fruit from bush to pudding without a break, and currants that ripen on the branches at midday are in the cake an hour later.”

'13 July. The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar that the ultimate realization of that hope never quite erases.'

"27. July. James Bushrod of Broadmayne saw the two German soldiers [of the York Hussars] shot at Bincombe Down [for desertion] in 1801. It was on its way across the Down, or near it. James Selby of the same village believes there is a sign." [The tragedy was used in The Melancholy Hussar, giving the real names of the deserters.]

"13. August. We hear that Jane, our late maid, is about to have a baby. Yet there is never a sign of one for us.'

"25. September. I was at the Shroton show. On one show, Two Cent saw a woman beheaded. In another, a man with hair growing on one side of his face. As we returned through Hambledon Hill (where the Club - Men met, Temp. Cromwell) a mist formed. I almost got lost in the darkness inside the earthen ramparts, the hunchbacked old man I parted with on the other side of the hill, going somewhere else before crossing the earthen ramparts towards me, was down just like me. A man can go round and round and you spend all night in a place like this.'

"28. September. An object or sign erected or made by humans in a scene is worth ten times as much as any other created by unconscious nature. So clouds, fog and mountains are not important next to the wear of a sill or the imprint of a hand.'

"31. October. Bathe. I have booked accommodation for my father near the spa and abbey. I met him at G.W. Railroad station. He took him to the barracks. In the evening to the theatre. I was in Bath. The next day I went to the bathroom with my father to start the cure.'

In that year, 1877, Hardy was saddened to learn, at a critical juncture in his own career, of the death of Raphael Brandon, the literary architect with whom he had been associated seven years earlier. At this time he also carried on an interesting correspondence with Mrs. Chatteris, daughter of Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, about some facts of his life. But his main occupation at Riverside Villa (or "Rivercliff" as it was sometimes called) was writing The Return of the Native. The only observation he makes of his progress is that on November 8th parts 3, 4 and 5 of the story were sent to Messrs. Chatto and Windus for publication in Belgravia (of all places) - then a monthly magazine. Oddly enough, at that time it was not the rich alluvial plain of Sturminster Newton, where the author now lived, that served as the setting for the story he was building there, but the moorland twenty miles away. It may be mentioned here that the name "Eustacia" he gave to his heroine was that of the wife of the proprietor of the manor house of Ower Moigne in the reign of Henry IV, whose parish includes part of the historic "Egdon" heath (see Hutchins Dorset )- and that 'Clement', the hero's name, was born to one of his putative ancestors, Clement le Hardy of Jersey, whose family had migrated from that island to the west of England in the early sixteenth century.

On the same day he notes:

"8th. November. Mister. and Mrs. Dashwood came to tea. Dash-Wood [a local attorney and landowner] says poachers lift a pot of sulfur on a pole under the pheasants on the pole and stun them so they fall over.

“Sometimes keepers make dummy pheasants and attach them to places where pheasants normally rest: then watch them. The hunters are coming; shoot and shoot again when the goalies run away.

“During a recent battle, many birds ran to the keeper's house for shelter.

'Mister. D. says that a poacher whom he defended at the quarterly sessions asked for a deadline to pay the fine and gave him until the next session of the judiciary. He told Mr D. 'I can get them out by then' and indeed in a week he had stolen enough birds from the judges' reserves to pay the five pounds.'

12.11. A flooded river after yesterday's rains. Chunks of foam float like swans in front of our house. Foam has accumulated in the arches of the great stone bridge and lies like heaps of salt against the bridge; then the bow chokes and after a pause coughs up the air and foam and gurgles.'

End of November. Tonight the West is like a giant foundry casting new worlds.'

"22. December. In the evening I was with Dr. Leach, the coroner, on an inquest to be held at Stourton Caundell into the body of a boy. He reached the Trooper Inn after a lonely journey through dark, muddy streets. Greeted at the door by the Superintendent of Police and a plainclothes officer. Also from Mr. Long, who started the autopsy. So we went to the hut; one or two women and children were sitting by the fire, looking at us intimidated. Above, the boy's body lay on a box covered with a sheet. It was discovered and Mr. Long proceeded with his autopsy, I held one candle and the officer held another. He found a clot in the heart but no irritating toxin in the stomach as suspected. The inquiry was then held at the inn.'

"26. December. In literature, young people usually begin their careers as judges, and when wisdom and old experience are added, they acquire the dignity of presenting themselves guilty in court to new young people who have in turn risen in court. .'

A correspondence with Baron Tauchnitz about the continental editions of his books was part of the end of the year.

Despite the enjoyment of life in Sturminster, Newton Hardy decided that the practical side of his vocation as a novelist required his headquarters in or near London. He later questioned the wisdom of his decision, given the nature of his writing. So, the first week of February, he and Mrs Hardy went house hunting and in the middle of the month signed a three year lease on a house in Upper Tooting, off Wandsworth Common.

"5. March. Concert in the Sturminster. A Miss Marsh from Sutton [Keinton?] Mandeville sang "He should scold" to the old Bishop's tune. She is the sweetest of singers - like a thrush in the descending scale and like a lark in the ascending scale - she draws the listener's soul into a gradual thread of excruciating dampening like silk from a cocoon.'

Many years later, Hardy would say that this was the most wonderful old song in English music that could move an audience. There was no safer card than an encore, even when executed, but no matter what. He wrote a few lines entitled "The Maid of Keinton Mandeville".

'18 March. End of the Sturminster-Newton idyll. . .' [The following will be written later] 'Our happiest time.'

It was also a poetic moment. Several poems in Moments of Vision contain reminders of this, such as "Overlooking the River Stour", "The Musical Box" and "On Sturminster Foot-Bridge".

On the night of March 18, a man came to pack his furniture, and the next day all was out of the house. They slept at Mrs. Dashwood's after breakfast, lunch and dinner there; and in the morning they took leave of their goods and left Sturminster for London.



1878-1880: Eat. 37-39

Two days later they saw their furniture coming down from two vans at No. 1 Trinity Road Arundel Terrace ('The Larches'), just past Wandsworth Common. They had stayed in Bolingbroke Grove to stay close by.

"22. March. We came to Arundel Terrace from Bolingbroke Grove and stayed here for the first time. Our house is on the south east corner where Brodrick Road crosses Trinity Road towards Wandsworth Common Station, the side entrance is on Brodrick Road.'

'April - notice. A conspiracy or tragedy must emerge from the gradual closure of a situation born of shared human passions, prejudices, and ambitions, since the characters are uninterested in avoiding the catastrophic events brought about by those passions, prejudices, and ambitions.

"The advantages of the card storytelling system (which outweigh the disadvantages) are that when you listen to what one side has to say, you are constantly being led to imagine what the other side must be feeling, and ultimately you're dying to know if this is the case. The other side really feels what you're imagining.'

"22. April. The method of Boldini, the painter of 'The Morning Walk' at the French Gallery two or three years ago (a young woman beside an ugly blank wall on an ugly street) - of Hobbema, in his vision of a street with formally felled trees and flat and tame scenery - consists in instilling emotion in the most absent external objects, either through the presence of a human figure among them or through the sign of a human connection with them.

'This agrees with my opinion of, say, Heidelberg and Baden versus Scheveningen - as I wrote at the beginning of The Return of the Native - that the beauty of association is altogether superior to the beauty of looks and the shabby old jug of a dear relative is up to 120

the best Greek vase. Paradoxically, there is beauty in ugliness.”

"29. April. Mister. George Smith (Smith Elder and Co.) informed me that he met Thackeray through "a mutual friend" - to whom Smith said, "Tell Thackeray I will publish whatever he chooses to write." Thackeray is well known, and as he had only published the stuffed newspapers Titmarsh and Yellow. However, Thackeray did not appear. When they finally met, Thackeray said he wanted to edit Vanity Fair, and Smith agreed. Thackeray also said he offered it to three or four publishers, who declined. "Why didn't you come to me?" Smith asked. "Why didn't you come to me?" Thackeray said.

'8th. June. For the Grosvenor Gallery. He seemed to have left the flesh and entered the world of the soul. In some photos, e.g. A. Tadema's "Sculpture" (men carving the Sphinx) and "Ariadne left by Theseus" (a dreary and uninteresting bank, a small tent in a corner, etc.), the principles I mentioned were applied to the choice of the topic applied. '

'16 June. Sunday night. At Mr. Alexander Macmillan with E. He told me a story which the late Mrs. Carlyle told him. One day, when she was alone on Craigenputtock Moor, where she and Mr Carlyle were staying, she saw a spot of red in the distance. It was the red cloak of a woman who was considered a witch in these parts. Woman. Carlyle met her and eventually learned her story. She was the daughter of a laird who owned about 80 acres and had come to her house as a young man, a young cattle dealer. He and his daughter fell in love, married and both lived with their father, whose farm the young man ran. But he got into debt with the landowner and eventually (I think) the house and land had to be sold. The young man disappeared. A boy was born to the woman, and after a while she went to find her husband. She returned in a state of great misery but did not say where she was. It has been leaked that the husband was a married man. She was proud and did not complain; but his father died; the boy grew up destined for a schoolmaster, but one night he crossed the moor and got lost; was buried in the snow and frozen to death. She lived there in a cottage and became the old woman in the red coat, Mrs. Carlyle.'

In June he was elected a member of the Savile Club and gradually became a Londoner again. Dined at Mr. Kegan Paul's, Kensington Square, the same summer they met Mr. Leighton (father of Sir F. Leighton), his daughter Mrs. previously met at Mr. Macmillans. "We sat in daylight, and while we ate the moon illuminated the trees in the garden and shone into the room beneath them." him as a man who combined a fearless spirit with the warmest of hearts and the most humble of manners.

'July. In a hotel, when a couple is shown their room, the wife has found the mirror and is fixing her cap before the husband can see that it is a room.'

"3. August. Minto had dinner with me at the club. W. H. Pollock joined at the end of supper, and the three of us went to the Lyceum. It was Irving's last night, appearing in a scene from Richard III; then as a "jingle"; then he recited "The Dream of Eugene Aram" - (the only piece of literature outside of the plays that the actors seem to know). Like "Jingle", he forgot his part, held up one shoulder like in Richard III. We went into his dressing room and found him naked from the waist up; Champagne in glasses."

"31. August to September 9th. In Dorset. He invited the poet William Barnes. I went to Kingston Lacy to see the pictures. They ate at the West Stafford Rectory. He went to Ford Abbey with C.W. Moule [Fellow of Corpus, Cambridge].”

"20. September. I went back and visited G. Smith. I have agreed to your terms for the release of The Return of the Native.'

Shortly thereafter he wrote to the gentlemen. Smith and Elder:

“I enclose a sketch of the alleged scene of the return of the natives, copied from the one I used to write the story; and my suggestion is that we place an engraving of his as the frontispiece of the first volume. The unit of location is so rarely preserved in novels that a scene map is usually quite impractical. But as the present story offers an opportunity, I think it would be a desirable innovation.' The editors accepted the idea and the map was created.

A peculiarity in the local descriptions which runs through all of Hardy's writings can be exemplified here - that he never uses the word "Dorset", never mentions the county (except possibly in an explanatory footnote), but the names of the six counties, which territory he traverses in his scenes under the general name "Wessex" - an old word that became quite popular after the date of Far from the Madding Crowd, where he first introduced it. So far did he carry this idea of ​​the unity of Wessex that he used to say he had forgotten the crossing of county lines within the old kingdom - in this respect quite unlike the poet Barnes, who was 'Dorset emphatically'.

Woman. Hardy always said that that summer, she couldn't tell exactly when she looked out of a window at the back of the house and saw her hatless husband running down Brodrick Road and disappearing around a corner down a side street. Before she could stop wondering what could have happened, he came back and everything was explained to her. As he sat in his study, he heard a street organ of the kind formerly called a harmonica playing somewhere near the very same quadrille on which the cheerful young man, who had come to the end of his days, had spoken Hiccup had more than before exuded such an intriguing halo twenty years ago as he described the glory of dancing to his beats on the Cremorne Platform or the Argyle Rooms that Hardy had never been able to identify. He dropped the quill and, as she had seen, flew up and approached the organ grinder with such speed that the hurdy-gurdy man began to back away, his face startled. Hardy yelled, "What's the name of the song?" The grinder - a young foreigner who spoke no English - called out shakily as he stopped, "Quad-ree-ya! Quad-Ree-ya! ' and pointed to the index on the face of the instrument. Hardy looked: "Quadrille" was the only word there. He hadn't heard it up until then, since his smart boss whistled; he was never heard from again and never verified his name. It was possibly one of Jullien's – unfashionable at the time – sparked more by Hardy's youthful imagination at sixteen than by any virtue in music itself.

"27. October. Sunday. After Chelsea Hospital and Ranelagh Gardens: I met a paralyzed pensioner - deaf. He is 88 years old - he was in the Seventh (?) Hussars. He entered in 1807 or 1808, served in retreat under Sir John Moore on the Peninsula, and was at Waterloo. It was extraordinary to speak and shake hands with a man who had been on that dreadful winter march to Corunna and seen Moore face to face.

"Then I spoke to two or three others. When an incorrigible was driven from the barracks to the sound of the march of vampires - (as my father told me) - his uniform had all the lining and buttons cut off and he was given a shilling. The whistles and drums accompanied him just beyond the barracks gates.

"Back then, if you just rolled your eyes, you were punished. My informant knew that men were given 600 lashes - 300 at a time, or 900 if the doctor said he could take it. After the punishment, salt was rubbed on the victim's back to harden him. He didn't feel the pain, his back was numb from the lashes. The men held a bullet between their teeth and chewed it during the operation.'

The Return of the Natives was published by the Lords. Smith and Elder in November, The Times commented on the book that the reader was further removed from the maddening crowd than ever before. Old Mrs. Procter wrote in a letter: 'Poor Eustacia. I completely understood your desire for beauty. I love the ordinary; but still one could wish for something more. I'm glad Venn [a character] is happy. A man is never healed by loving a stupid woman [Thomasin]. Beauty fades and intelligence and wit become irritating; but your dear stupidity is always the same.'

"28.11. I woke up before dawn. I felt like I didn't have enough strength to keep myself in the world.'

On the last day of the year, Hardy's father wrote that his mother was ill and that he "drank them both healthily with gin and rhubarb wine, hoping they would see many, many more New Year's days." He suggested that they should come soon.

'1879. January New Year Thoughts. Perceiving the FAILURE of THINGS as what they should be gives them a new and greater interest of an unintended kind instead of the intended interest.'

The poem "A January night. 1879' in Moments of Vision refers to an incident of this New Year (1879) which took place here in Tooting, where they seemed to feel that 'a glory of the earth had passed away'. And it was in this house that his troubles began. However, this is too anticipated.

"30. January 1879. In Stevens Bookshop, Holywell Street. An excited, energetic young minister enters—his face is red and full of life—hot breath puffs out of his mouth in a jet into the icy air, and religion looms over him with sickly grace.

"Did you manage to save?"

"The contacted shopkeeper doesn't know and relays the question to the foreman standing behind him with his hat on his head: 'Can you save money?

"'I don't know - hoi! (to the boy on the other side). Did you manage to save? Why the hell can't you come!"

'"I'm sorry, what?"

'"Can be saved/"

"The boy's face is blank. Shopman to curator: "Get it tomorrow afternoon, sir."

"And please take words of comfort."

"Comforting words. Yes sir." Leave the cure.

'Master: "Why the hell doesn't anyone here know what's in store?" Business is moderate.”

'February i. to Dorchester. Cold. rain on snow. Henry saw him advancing to the entrance of the station with wagon and bob [his father's horse]. It took me to Bockhampton through the eastern sleet and rain that scratched us like a razor blade. The wind on Fordington Moor cut my sleeves and wrapped around my wrists - to the elbows. The light from the lamp at the back of town shone on the reins in Henry's hands, making them glitter with ice. Bob's back was a gray ribbon; their front parts invisible.'

"4. February. To Weymouth and Portland. As for the crumbling walls at Lower Chesil, one woman says the house was swept away by the November 1824 storm. The owner never rebuilt it, but emigrated with his family. She says that one person drowned in her house (everyone except the fishermen was in bed) and two people in the house next door. It was around four in the morning when the wave came."

"7. February. Papa says that when he was hanged in Dorchester in his youth it was done at one o'clock, because it was the custom in case of a reprieve to wait for the mail coach to arrive from London.

“He says that at Puddletown Church in the days of the Wild West, fiddle, oboe, and gallery clarinettist, Tom Sherren (one of them), copied tunes during sermons. Just like my grandfather at Stinsford Church. Old Squibb, the parish clerk, also stayed up late helping my grandfather with his "stitch notation" (as he called it).

"He says that William, son of Mr. The Dean of W,

He became a miller in Omill and married a German woman whom he had met playing the tambourine at the Puddletown Fair. When her husband went to market, she'd call John Porter, who could play the violin and lived nearby, and give him some gin if she banged the tambourine to his tune. She was a good-natured woman with blue eyes, brown hair, and a round face; pretty sloppy.

Her husband was a hot and hasty fellow, although one could tell from his speech that he was a more polite man than the common miller.

'G. R. (who is a comedian) showed me his chicken coop,

which was built from old church materials purchased at the Wellspring Builder's Sale. R.'s chickens crouch under the Lord's Prayer and the Creed in gold letters, and the rooster crows and flaps its wings against the Ten Commandments. This reminded me that I had earlier seen the same Ten Commandments, Our Father, and Creed on the sides of the bricklayer's shed in the same yard, and that he had casually remarked that they did not prevent workers from "cursing and condemning." the same as always. It also reminded me of seeing the old well at Church, Dorchester, in a garden, used as a flower pot and still bearing the initials of the church's former godparents and wardens. A strange business - church restoration.

"A villager says of the pastor who was asked to pray for a sick person: 'Your prayers would not save a mouse.'"

"12. February. I sketched the English Channel from Mayne Down.

“I am told that when Town Pump [Dorchester]'s Jack Ketch was flogged, the prisoners' coats were thrown over their bleeding backs and they were herded back into prison, guarded by the town constables with their long sticks. Right behind them came J.K., the cats upright - there was one cat for every man - the whips were knotted whips.

“Also, about 100 years ago, in a village near Yeovil, there lived a stupid woman who was well known to my informant's mother. One day the woman suddenly spoke and said:

"A cold winter, an early spring, a damned summer, a dead king" j "Then she fell down dead. The French Revolution followed immediately afterwards."

"15. February. Back to London.”

"5. April. Mary writes to me that “there is a very strange church in Steepleton Church. It's just a shoemaker playing the bass guitar and his mother singing the aria.”

"9. June. For the International Literature Congress in the rooms of the Society of Arts. I met Mr de Lesseps. A few days later to the Soiree Musicale at the Hanover Square Club to meet members of the Literary Congress and the Com^die Française: a great meeting. The whole thing is free and easily confused. I was a total stranger and wondered why I was there: many others were total strangers to everyone else; sometimes two or three of these complete strangers would fraternize in great despair. But a little old Frenchman, wearing a cap and a frilly shirt, seemed to know everyone.”

"21. June. With E. to Bosworth Smith's, Harrow (over the weekend). In the aviary he has a crow and a barn owl. A ridiculous little boy was wearing tails - he must have been a smart boy but I forgot to ask about him. One of the boys in tails could have eaten it.

“Bos' brother, Henry the Invalid, has I'm afraid a graveyard cough [he died not long after]. His cough pleases the baby, so he artificially coughs much more than the illness requires in order to continue to please the baby. Woman. H.S. begs her husband not to do it; but he nonetheless displays the extraordinary indifference to death that many of his family show.

“In the chapel – which we visited – the small plaques commemorating the boys who died at school were a moving sight.

"Sunday night we went to the boys' dormitories with Bos. A boy was sick and we spoke to him as he lay in bed with his arm thrown over his head. Another boy has his room decorated with Landseer proofs. In another room, Clyffes were two Ks. In another, a big boy and a boy—the boy is very serious about bird eggs, and the big boy is silently influencing a spirit who is above the matter, though secretly interested.

'27. From Tooting back to town. In the carriage a very statuesque girl; but her features were absolutely perfect. She sat very still, and her smile didn't extend more than a fingernail's width from the edge of her mouth. The stillness of her face was so great that it looked painful as the train shook her. Her mouth was very small and her face not unlike that of a nymph. On the train going home there was a contrasting girl with a sly sense of humor - the pupil of her eye almost halfway under her lid.'

That year, Pourparlers spoke to Leslie Stephen about a different story for Cornhill; and Hardy informed him that he was writing a history of the reign of George III; Stephen comments on historical novels:

"I can only say what my tastes are, but I prefer to think that my tastes are general in this case. I think a historical character in a novel is almost always a nuisance; but I like to have a bit of history as a backdrop, so to speak; feel that George III. it's just around the corner, although it doesn't quite present itself up front.'

Since coming into contact with Leslie Stephen around 1873, Hardy has been shown to be greatly influenced by his philosophy as well as his criticism. He quotes the following sentence from Stephen in his July 1, 1879 notebook:

"The poet's ultimate aim should be to touch our hearts by showing his own, and not to show his knowledge, good taste, or ability to imitate the notes of his predecessors." Hardy adhered closely to this Principle when he wrote poetry again, it can hardly be denied.

July 8th or 9th. With E. in Mrs.'s garden. [Alexander] Macmillan - Party in Knapdale, near our house. Many gifts. I spoke to Mr. White of Harvard University and to Mr. Henry Holt, the New York editor, who said that American spelling and language should take precedence over English since it's sixty million against thirty. I forgot to say for a moment that I didn't follow it as the usage established by some class, educated and fashion people was the determining factor. Also to John Morley, whom I haven't seen since he read my first manuscript. He recalled and said in his disinterested voice, "Well, since we met you've... .” etc. etc. I also met a Mrs. H. who posed as an admirer of my books and apparently had never read any. She had with her an American lady, pale, with dancing black eyes, dangling earrings, a yellow dress and a merry laugh.' It was at that party in Mrs. Scene's garden in Laodicea.

"12. July. To Chislehurst for the funeral of young Louis Napoleon. I met [Sir G.] Greenhill in the crowd. We stood in the courtyard while the procession passed. I was struck by the profile of Prince Napoleon as he walked bareheaded, a son in each arm: complexion dark, pale, even sinister: a round, prominent chin: a face exceedingly reminiscent of Boney,” said Hardy long after this one Vision of Napoleon. The nephew - "Plon-Plon" - was of enormous use to him in writing The Dynasties, as he envisioned what the Emperor would look like. And it has been mentioned somewhere in print that when the prince was received in Paris at night without warning and crossed one of the bridges over the Seine, the spectator recoiled at the impression of seeing the ghost of the great Napoleon.

"29. July. Charles Leland – a man of the highest literary rank he has ever attained [the American author of Hans Breitmann's Ballads and translator of Heine] – told some of his gypsy stories at the Savile Club, including one of him visiting a mansion in the field, and while While there he visited a gypsy family living in a tent on the Lord's land. He spoke Romani to them and was received by the whole family as a close friend. The chief gypsy told him that his brother, the gypsy, would like to meet him when he got out of prison, but that he was doing six months for a horse. As Leland sat by the fire with this friend, drinking brandy and water, the arrival of several gentlemen and ladies, other guests of the house where he was staying, was announced. They came to the gypsies out of curiosity. Leland threw the brandy from his glass onto the fire lest he be seen drinking there, but when they entered, to their great astonishment, it glowed with a blue glow, as if they thought it an unholy libation, which added to theirs surprise to find him. I don't remember how he explained it."

In the second half of August Hardy visited his parents in Dorset and a week later Mrs Hardy joined him there. They spent a few days touring the district and then stayed overnight in Weymouth, right on the harbour, her mother came to see her and went with her to Portland, Upwey etc. Most of the time in the harbor it was wet ; ' the [excursion] bell rang insistently, and no one got on except an unfortunate school of boys who had traveled eight miles by train that morning for a happy day by the sea. The rain falls on their lunch baskets, spilling a strange mixture of cake juice and mustard water, but they try to look like they're enjoying it - all except for the pale and thin assistant master who came with them, whose face is tragic. with his responsibilities. The quay seems fairly deserted until behind every jutting corner of the wall groups of boaters are spotted - martyrs of countenance talking about what they would have received if the season had gone well; and the landlady's faces at every guesthouse window, looking out at the drizzle and the half-darkened sea. Two adventurous visitors have emerged from their quarters towards the door, where they stand in their raincoats and galoshes and cheerfully say: "The air is good for us and we can change as soon as we enter". Young people rush to the bathing machines in Ulstern, and men loading a long-distance steamer lose all patience and say, "I'm empty, if this goes on much longer we'll rot alive!" Merchants are exceptionally polite and the extravagant prices have miraculously disappeared. . . .

"I'm told she eventually turned on her drunk husband and summarily knocked him out. In the morning he puts out a trembling hand and says: "Give me sixpence for a drop of schnapps - please, dear!" for the little money I had.



1879-1880: Eat. 39-40

On their return to London they visited and ate here and there, and as Mrs Hardy had never seen the Lord Mayor's Show, Hardy took her to watch from the upper windows of Good Words on Ludgate Hill. She noticed that the surface of the crowd looked like a pot of boiling porridge. He notes that "as the crowd thickened, it lost its character from an agglomeration of innumerable entities and became an organic whole, a mollusk-black creature having nothing in common with humanity, taking the form of the streets around it, along which he lay'. himself, and throwing horrid outgrowths and limbs into neighboring alleys; a creature whose voice emanates from its scaly fur and which has an eye in every pore of its body. The balconies, grandstands and railway bridge are of small, free-standing forms of the same fabric, but with gentler movements, as if they were the offspring of the monster in their midst.'

On a Sunday that same November they met at Mr Frith, to which Sir Percy Shelley (son of Percy Bysshe) and Lady Shelley were invited. Hardy later said that the encounter was as dark and distant as the previous occasions he had entered the penumbra of the poet he loved - back when he slept in Cross-Keys, St. Louis. he paid for the Old St. Pancras churchyard. He would dip twice more into that faint gloom, once standing beside Shelley's dust in the English Cemetery in Rome, and the last time standing beside Mary Shelley's grave in Bournemouth.

They also met in the studio a deaf lady introduced as "Lady Bacon" (although she was supposed to be Lady Charlotte Bacon) who "talked stupidly about novels and said she'd never read them — didn't think they were utterly perverted, but." , Oh well . . .'. Mister. Frith later explained that she was Byron's Ianthe, to whom he dedicated Cantos 1 and 2 of Childe Harold when she was Lady Charlotte Harley. This "Pery of the West," with one eye "wild as the gazelle" and a voice that had caught Byron's ear, was now a frail beauty, clad in black and fur. (It may be mentioned that she died the following year.)

Hardy also met there, in a decidedly modern juxtaposition, Ms. Braddon, who was "a broad, thoughtful, worldly, very gracious woman" whom he had always liked.

In December, Hardy attended the Rabelais Club's opening dinner at the Tavistock Hotel, in a "large, empty, dimly lit and sad apartment with a dim crimson screen hiding what was left of the only cheerful object there - the fire". There was fog in the hall as in the streets, and only one man came in tails who, said Walter Pollock, looked like the skull at the banquet, but who really looked like an illusionist who freezes to death in the middle of an ordinary sentence. of men in thick jackets who could stand it. As I entered, Leland turned his tall, flat facade—like that of a clock tower—towards me; his face is the face of the clock, his cloak swings like a pendulum; Serious and energetic facial features, all those of a strong-willed man. There was also Fred Pollock, female-looking; and the genius Walter Besant, with his West English sailor face and mute pantomime laugh. Sir Patrick Colquhoun looked as if he didn't know why he was here, how he got there, or how he was going to get home. Two other attendees, Palmer [later assassinated in the East] and Joe Knight [the dramatic critic] also seemed fascinated.

"When supper was over and it was getting hotter, Leland remarked very emphatically in his speech that we are men to be encouraged, a sentiment applauded without question of presumption. D continued to make himself our court clown, privileged by office to say everything. When we got up to drink to the health of the absent members, he sat tight and said he wouldn't drink because they were supposed to be there, and then fell into Spanish because he wanted to publish a translation of Don Quixote one day. Overall we were as Rabelaisian as we could get in the nebulous circumstances, although I managed but hardly.'

It should be noted that this Rabelais club, which existed successfully for many years, was created by Sir Walter Besant - a great lover of clubs and societies - as a sign of literary manhood. Hardy was pushed to join as the manliest and most imaginative author of the day in London; while, it might be added, Henry James was rejected after an argument because he wanted that quality, although he was later invited as a guest.

On February 1, 1B80, Hardy observed a man skating alone on the lake near Trinity Church Schools in Upper Tooting, near his own home, and was led to state:

"It's a warm night for the date, and it's been thawing for two or three days, so the birds are chirping happily. They say there's a buttercup somewhere, and in short, spring has peeked over us. How might this man feel about enjoying the ice cream at such a time? The mental jug must outweigh the physical pleasure in any well-regulated mind. He walks around the edge, unsure of the middle and seems to sigh as he accepts a caveat born of a blessed promise.'

'1 Arundel Terrace, Trinity Road, 'Upper Tooting, S.W.

"2. February 1880.

‘Caro Sr. Locker,

"I can hardly express to you how grateful I am to receive your letter. Considering the consummate literary taste exhibited in all your own writings, in addition to your other merits, I am not sure I do not value your displays of joy more than all the reviews printed together. It is very generous of you to overlook the book's stylistic flaws, which, to my eyes, seem like mistakes any child should have avoided.

"While enjoying your poetry again, I thought - would you mind if I said that? - quite annoyed to learn that you changed two of my favorite phrases that I kept muttering to myself a few years ago. I'm like, "They never do that anymore - because I don't look as good as I used to".

'I'll stick to the old reading as often as I like, whatever you'll do in the new editions.

"Another observation of quite a different order. I say without hesitation that no modern poet has done anything more beautiful and powerful for his length than 'the old mason'." The only poem that has touched me in the same way is Wordsworth's "Two April Mornings", but being less condensed than yours it does not strike anyone with as sudden a force as yours in the last line.

'I won't forget to give myself the pleasure of calling on a Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, I hope you would be so kind as to give us a few more "old masons" and ballads of a lighter nature.

"Believe me, best regards

"Thomas Hardy."

That same week Hardy met Matthew Arnold - probably for the first time - at a dinner hosted by Mr. G. Murray Smith, the editor, at the Continental Hotel, where also present were Henry James and Richard Jefferies - the latter a modest young man. he later rose to fame as a writer, having published his first successful book, The Gamekeeper at Home, about a year earlier.

According to Hardy's account of their much later meeting, Arnold "had a way of making up his mind about everything years ago, so that it was a pleasant futility for his interlocutor to have new ideas at that time, different from his own... Daytime.” However, he was blunt and humble enough to disdainfully assure Hardy that he was just a struggling school superintendent.

He appears to have discussed the subject of literary style with the younger writer, but the latter could only recall his remarks that he said: "The best man to read by style - narrative style - was Swift" - an opinion that was very much arguably true questioned, as have many of Arnold's other statements, despite his undoubtedly true statements.

During dinner there was an incident which amused him delightfully. Woman. Murray Smith suddenly felt very ill presiding that afternoon, her seat had to be taken by her daughter at the last minute and as this was the first experience of its kind she was shy about the moment of withdrawal. , muttering to Arnold: 'I - think we should retire now?' Arnold put his hand on her shoulder and held her against her seat like she was a child - she wasn't much more - and said, "No, no! What is the use of going into this room? Now I'm going to pour you a glass of sherry to keep you here.

‘Savile Club, ‘Savile Row, W.

February 11, 1880.

‘Caro Sr. Handley Mould,

"I have just had a report in a Dorset newspaper of your sermon on the death of the Rev. H. Moule and I cannot resist sending you a message to say how deeply this has touched me, and, more importantly, to express my sense of the unique power with which you respect the life and most intimate heart of Mr. Moule to all readers of this speech.

"You will surely believe me that I have often been with you and your brothers in spirit in the last few days. Although I was not topographically a member of his father's parish, for practically many years of my life I have had this relationship with him and his house in general, and I always feel exactly as if I had been one. During a year or two before his death I often resolved to try to attend a service in the old church the old way before he was gone: but tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow! - I never did.

“A day or two ago Matthew Arnold spoke to me a great deal about himself: he was very impressed by an imperfect description I gave him (I heard my father say) of the state of Fordington 50 years ago and of his state after that the vicar concentrated his energies on the village for a few years. His father expresses his words "Energy is awesome" with great joy.

"Please greet Mr. Charles Moule and his other brothers, who have not forgotten me - if they are with you - and believe me,


"Thomas Hardy."

During the first week of March, the Hardys visited Mrs Procter - the widow of "Barry Cornwall" - at her flat in Queen Anne's Mansions. Hardy was invited to her house when he first met her, before their marriage, and when her husband was still alive, although bedridden: but being then, as usual, late in finding new friends, Hardy left never - to his regret. Evidently on this visit he was impressed by her as someone who represented a remarkable connection to the literary past, although she was not a literary woman herself; and the visit that Sunday afternoon was the first in a long series of visits which lasted many years almost to her death, for she showed great affection for Hardy and his wife and always received them in a special way. It was here that they met Browning on those Sunday afternoons.

Hardy said after her death that on such occasions she would sit in a rigid posture, almost as if she were being placed in her place like an unconscious statue of the Buddha. There was always an expression in her eyes and face of fifty or sixty years ago when she was a pretty coquette, a slight tendency towards it was evident even in old age in the momentary malice of her gaze at times. 'You would speak to her,' he said, 'thinking you are speaking to a person of the same time as yourself, with more recent feelings and impulses: you would see her sideways as you crossed the room to tell her something to show, and you would perceive her with sudden sadness as a withered woman whose interests and feelings must have almost died out.'

Of the poets she met, she said that she was not attracted to Wordsworth's personality, but that she was very fond of Leigh Hunt. She recalled the latter calling one day and "bringing a young man who no one particularly noticed" and who stayed in the background, with Hunt casually calling him "Mr. Keats'.

She also recounted an experience she and her husband had shortly after their marriage when they lived in an elegant flat on Southampton Row. They visited Lamb in Edmonton and caused her great embarrassment by implying that since it was a hot day she would like to wash her hands. He looked stunned and stammered if she would mind washing them in the kitchen, which she did.

A little later she wrote to Hardy about her short story Fellow - Townsmen, which had recently appeared in a magazine:

'You are cruel. Why not let him go home and marry his first love? But I see that you are right. He shouldn't have left her. I smiled over the tombstone. Sir Francis Chantrey told me that he had worked out excellent plans - in the beginning nothing could be too beautiful or too expensive, and the end was usually just a tombstone."

It was in the same month, and in the company of Mrs. Procter, that Hardy had lunched with Tennyson at a house which Tennyson had temporarily rented in Belgrave Street; Woman. Although Tennyson was an invalid, she presided over the table, at the end of which she reclined, and her friends F. Locker, Countess Russell (Lord John's widow), Lady Agatha Russell, and others were present. "When I arrived Mrs. Tennyson was lying in a coffin, but she rose to receive me." flinching at this humor when he spoke; "it was a friendly human face that all his portraits belied"; and it was marked by a beard and hair spread out like heather, a shirt with a large loose collar, and old steel spectacles. He was very sociable that day and asked Mrs. He said he liked A Pair of Blue Eyes, the best of Hardy's novels. Tennyson also told him that he and his family had to go to London for a month or two every year, although he hated it because everyone on the Isle of Wight "got so rusty" when they didn't. Hardy often regretted never seeing her again, although that day he was warmly invited by Tennyson and his wife to visit them in Freshwater.

"24. March. I have with Mrs. Procter. She showed me a love letter from her late husband, dated 1824. Also a picture of Henry James. She says he proposed to her. Can that be so?" Ms. Procter was born in the 1800s.

At this point he writes: "A Hint for Reviewers - adapted from Carlyle:

“Note what is true, not what is false; what needs to be loved and held tight and taken to heart sincerely; not what is to be despised, mocked and played openly in sport.'

The Hardys' house in Upper Tooting was on a fairly high level, and when the air was clear they could see a long way from the upper windows. The following note about London at dawn is dated May 19, a night he couldn't sleep, partly because of a strange feeling that sometimes haunted him, a horror of lying down next to "a monster whose body had four million heads." and eight had million eyes':

'In the back room at daybreak: just after three. A golden light beyond the horizon; in it are the four million. The roofs are damp gray, the streets are still full of night like a dark, standing tide, the surface of which pours up to the roofs of the houses. Above the air is the light. A fire or two will sparkle in the batter. Beyond are the Highgate Hills. On the Crystal Palace hills, in the other direction, another lamp burns in the daylight. The streetlights are still blinking and a policeman is walking along them as if it's noon."

Two days later they sat in the chairs at Rotten Row and Park Drive, and the most important thing he noticed against the western sun was that "a sparrow comes down from the tree amidst the stream of vehicles and drinks from the little pool, the the cart water' - the same sunlight that gives 'a gleam in the glass of carriage lamps, in the buttons of coachmen and footmen, in the silver handles of carriages and harness, in the armband of a matron, in four parasols of four girls in a landau , their parasols touching like four mushrooms growing together.'•'-

On the 26th, Derby Day, Hardy went to Epsom alone. On the way he noticed that "all the people who go to the races have a twinkle in their eyes, especially the old ones". He had lunch there with a friend, and together they walked down through Lord Rosebery's grounds, by leave. They saw and examined the favorite before it showed up - nobody knew anything about racehorses or betting - 'the jockeys in their coats; ugly little men, looking rather lazy, who stood dumb and listless while their horses were scrubbed and saddles adjusted; until they entered the paddock and the race ended and the whoops showed up and they "were hit by a breeze of tobacco smoke and orange peel".

During the summer he dined at clubs etc. and met Lord Houghton, Du Maurier, Henry Irving and Alma-Tadema, among others. Toole, who was present at one of these dinners, imitated several other actors, including Irving; and though the pantomime was amusing and good, 'the spooky aspect arose, at least in my imagination, when, after imitating some living beings, every subsequent performance turned out to be that of an actor then lying in his grave. "Why did they die, fool!" someone said as Toole's face suddenly lost its smile.'

In July he met Lord Houghton again at dinner and was introduced by him to James Russell Lowell, who was also present. His opinion of Lowell was that he was charming as a man, of exceptional talent as a writer, but lacking in instinctive and creative genius.

In the same month he joined forces with the gentlemen. Smith and Elder the publication in three volumes of The Trumpet-Major, which came out in a magazine and took Mrs. Hardy to Boulogne, Amiens on the 27th - 'The calamity of the cathedral is that it does not look as tall as it really is ' - and to various towns in Normandy, including Etretat, where they lodged at the Hotel Blanquet and stayed some time to bathe each day - a recreation which cost Hardy dearly, as he liked to swim he used to spend much of his time in water. In any case, he blamed these frequent baths for triggering the long illness he suffered from the following fall and winter.

From Etretat they went to Havre, and there they had half an hour of capricious restlessness. The hotel they chose was on the pier,

one recommended to Hardy by a stranger in the carriage, and which was exceedingly old and dingy when they entered. Woman. Hardy imagined the innkeeper's look sinister; also from the landlady; and the waiter's behavior seemed strange. Her room was upholstered in heavy dark velvet, and when the maid came in and they spoke to her, she kept sighing and speaking in a sinister voice; like she knew what was going to happen to them and was on their side but couldn't do anything. The bedroom floor was painted blood red and the wall next to the bed was slightly damaged as if there had been a fight there. Left alone, Hardy suddenly recalled telling the friendly stranger he had been riding with in the Fitretat carriage that he had recommended the inn, he carried his money in notes to save himself the trouble to walk around. Grades. He knew you should never do that; however he had.

Then they began to search the room, found a small door behind the curtains of one of their beds, and when she opened it she was revealed in a wooden wardrobe, which in its innermost niche had another door which they did not know where to go. They barricaded the closet door with their luggage and wedged suitcases and briefcases so far between the door and the next bed that the closet could not be opened. They lay down and waited, leaving the light on for a long time. Nothing happened and they finally fell asleep and woke up to a sunny morning.

5th of August. They made their way to Trouville, to the then elegant Hotel Bellevue, and from there to Honfleur, a place Hardy thought more of after busy life in Trouville. One dark and stormy afternoon, as they climbed the steep slope among the trees behind the town, they came to a calvary, which staggered to the ground; and as it swayed in the wind like a ship's mast, Hardy thought the crudely painted figure of Christ seemed to squirm and cry in the twilight, "Yes, yes! I agree that this mockery of me and my teachings must falter and twist in this modern world!' They rushed out of the strange and spooky scene.

From there they went to Lisieux and Caen, where they stayed for a few days, returning en route to London.

When Hardy came to Dorset in September he was told a curious piece of family history; that her mother's grandfather was a man who was deeply concerned about the fate of his aging estate. They were mostly long-term leases and lifetime homes, and he visited his attorney every two weeks to make changes to his will. The lawyer lived in Bere Regis and her grandfather raised the matter with the man who used to drive him back and forth – a relative of his by marriage. Gradually, this man so influenced the deceased on every trip, skillfully playing on his nervous confusion while driving, that he bequeathed three-fourths of the estate, including the houses, to himself.

In the same month he replied to a letter from J.R. Lowell, then American Minister in London:

‘Caro Sr. Lowell:

“I have read with great interest the outlines of the proposed copyright treaty which you communicated to me in your letter of the 16th.

"For my part, I would be willing to accept such a treaty - with an amendment detailed below - since whatever an abstract right an author may have, one may establish his property in any country that suits him best , the contract is undoubtedly eliminates the most serious claims under applicable law.

“The change I mentioned relates to the grace period of three months to be granted to foreign authors who do not choose to print in both countries at the same time.

"If I understand the provisions under this title correctly, it may happen that in the event of agreement difficulties between the author and his foreign publishers, the author is obliged to give in after the three months have elapsed or lose everything due to copyright expiration. With a provision for such an eventuality, the treaty seems satisfactory to me.'

Accompanying Mrs. Hardy On a shopping day in October, Hardy makes this observation about the clerk in an elegant couture shop on Regent Street while watching her wait:

“She's quite a striking looking woman, tall, thin, purposeful; who knows what life is, and human nature in abundance. Therefore, it acts like clockwork; she puts on each cloak herself, turns, makes a remark, puts on the next cloak and the next and so on, like an automaton. She knows by heart all the moods a cover buyer can be in and has a quick machine-generated response for each one.'

On October 16 he and his wife paid Cambridge a week-long visit, in a far worse mood if they had known what would happen to them on their return. They received much hospitality and showed the usual buildings and other things to see, although Cambridge was nothing new to Hardy. After the first day or two he felt an indescribable physical tiredness, which was actually the beginning of the long illness he was to suffer; but he continued.

While attending the 5 o'clock service in the King's Chapel, he comments on the architect "who devised this glorious work of excellent intelligence"; also of Milton's 'dim religious light' observed here and the scene presented by the increasing darkness seen from the stalls where they sat. ' The reds and blues of the windows faded to an indistinguishable black, the candles dripped into the most fantastic shapes I have ever seen - and as the wicks burned these strange shapes changed shape; so you were fascinated watching them and wondering what shape those wax pieces would take next until they clicked down during a silence. There were stalactites, feathers, spikes; or rather they were remnants - tattered fragments of the old "scholars in white" or their shrouds - which gradually fell into ghostly decay. Wordsworth's ghost also seemed to haunt the place, lingering and wandering alone somewhere in the fan vault.'




1880-1881: Eat. 40-41

They returned to London on October 23 - the same day The Trumpet-Major was published, and Hardy was feeling very ill at the time, so ill that he was writing to postpone an engagement or two and an invitation to Fryston had to turn down for Lord Houghton. The following Sunday he was worse and, seeing the name of a surgeon on a brass plaque outside his house, sent for him. The surgeon came immediately and returned that and the next two or three days; he said Hardy was bleeding internally. Woman. Hardy, in distress, telephoned his neighbors, the Macmillans, for their opinion, and they promptly sent their own doctor. He approved of the bleeding, saying the case was serious; and that the patient should not get up at all.

It was later assumed it was a dangerous operation until the doctor asked how long Hardy could stay in bed - could he stay there for months if necessary? — In this case, surgery may not be necessary.

By now he had already written the first chapters of a story for Harper's Magaiine - A Laodicean to begin in the December (nominal) issue, which would be out in November. The first part was already printed and Du Maurier illustrated it. Somehow the story had to go on, unfortunately it happened that the issue in which it was included was the first issue of Harper's, also as an English magazine and not exclusively American as before, and the success of its launch in London depended largely on the series from history. Its author experienced considerable pain for the first few weeks and was forced to lie down on an incline with the lower part of the body higher than the head. He was determined, however, to complete the novel for himself regardless of the stress - so as not to ruin the publishing company's new venture, and also in the interest of his wife, for whom he had still poorly provided for in the case. his own death. So from November he began dictating to her from his awkward position; and continued to do so - with greater ease as the pain and bleeding subsided. She labored valiantly at both writing and nursing until early May of the following year, a draft was completed in one shift and the next.

"20. November. Freiherr von Tauchnitz junior called.' It was probably a continental edition of The Trumpet-Major. But Hardy was still too ill to see him. However, the Great Trumpet duly appeared in the Tauchnitz series.

It is somewhat strange that at the end of November he should make a note of his intention to resume poetry as soon as possible. He had plenty of time to think, and while reading what he calls the 'Great Modern Drama' - which appears to be a considerable advance on his first conception of a Napoleonic chronicle in ballad form in June 1875 - he devised a sequence of so arises a lyrical whole. However, it doesn't seem to have been exactly the same in detail as The Dynasts later. He also made the following irrelevant note of rather vague meaning:

“Find out how many years and on how many occasions the organism, society, has stood, lain, etc. in various positions, as if it were a tree or a man beset by vicissitudes.

‘It would find these periods:

1. Upright, normal, or healthy periods.

2. Skewed or narrow periods.

3. Periods of depression (intellect opposed to ignorance or narrow-mindedness, creating stagnation).

4. Curfews.

5. Periods interchanged.'

George Eliot died during the winter he was ill and this made him think about positivism, about which he says:

“If Comte had introduced Christ into his calendar among the nobles, positivism would have become tolerable to thousands who now, by virtue of position, family connection, or childhood upbringing, condemn what they believe in their hearts to be the germ of a system. It would have enabled them to adapt smoothly to the new religion, deluding themselves with the sophistication that they were still a fourth Christian, or an eighth or twentieth, as the case may be: this is a matter of politics, without which there is no religion manages to open the way.'

More on literary criticism:

"Arnold is wrong about provincialism when he means something more after 404, a difficult time,47

as a narrow-mindedness of style and mode of presentation. A certain provincialism of feeling is invaluable. It is the essence of individuality and consists largely of that raw enthusiasm without which no great thought is thought and no great deed is accomplished.'

A few days later he writes:

“Romance will exist in human nature as long as human nature itself exists. It is a matter (in imaginative literature) of assuming that form of romanticism which is the climate of the time.'

Even in the face of adversity - no doubt due to the fears he was going through:

“There is grace in the riots that come in battalions – they neutralize each other. Tell a wealthy man that he must suffer the amputation of a limb, and he shudders; but tell him this a minute after he has been made to beg and his only son has died: it pains him, but weakly.'

“January 1881. My third month in bed. Snowfall: fine and so fast that the individual flakes cannot be seen.' They occasionally stop in sheltered spots and fly through the air like hawks. . . . He sneaks into the house, window plants are covered as if they were outside. Our passage (below) is deep, Em says, and feet leave tracks in it.'

(Same month.) "Style - Remember Wordsworth's adage (the more perfectly the natural object is rendered, the more truly poetic the picture). This reproduction is done by looking at the gist of a thing (e.g. rain, wind) and is indeed realism, although since it is pursued by imagination it is confused with invention pursued by the same means. . In short, it is achieved by what M. Arnold calls "the imaginative reason."

'30. January. Sunday. The doctor. S. called as usual. Now I can see his knowledge of my illness everywhere. When he entered he seemed lost as if among so many cases he had forgotten everything about me and my case which needs to be revived in his mind by looking straight at me when everything comes back.

“He told us he was called to an accident which, if he did his best, would only bring him into disrepute. A lady fell and broke her wrist so badly that even with the most careful treatment it must always be deformed. But when she saw the result, she would give him a bad name for his lack of skill in making it. Such cases are common in a surgeon's office, he says.'

'31. January. Lying in bed for months. The skin is clear, the calluses are gone, the feet and toes are growing shapely like those of a Greek statue. The keys get rusty; dark watch, moldy boots; hat and old-fashioned clothes; rusty umbrella; the children you see through the window are getting bigger.'

February 7th. Carlyle died last Saturday. Both he and George Eliot fell into ignorance as I lay here.

"17. February. Conservatism is not valuable in itself, nor is change or radicalism. To preserve what is good, to replace what is bad with good, is to act on a true political principle that is neither conservative nor radical.

"21. February. AG called. I explained to Em about the aerostation and how long its wings would have to be if it could fly - how light it was etc. and the general process of turning it into a flying person.'

"22. March. Maggie Macmillan called. I sat with Em in my room - drinking tea. She and Em worked and watched the sun go down beautifully. [The incident was used in Jude the Obscure as a plan that Sue adopted when the professor was ill.]

"27. March. A Homeric ballad in which Napoleon is a sort of Achilles is to be written.' a historical drama. Mainly automatic action; reflex movements, etc. It is not the result of what is called a motive, although it is always superficially so, even to the actors' own conscience. Apply an extension of these theories, say, "The Hundred Days"!'

This note appears to be Hardy's first written idea of ​​a philosophical scheme or framework as an overarching feature of The Dynasts, summarizing the historical scenes.

On April 10 he went out for the first time since that October afternoon of the previous year when he had returned from Cambridge with his wife and the doctor. On the 19th Disraeli, whom Hardy had met twice and found unexpectedly polite, died. On Sunday May 1st he finished A Laodicean in pencil, and on the 3rd he went with Mrs Hardy arranging a visit to Sir Henry Thompson for a consultation.

"9. May. After endless attempts to reconcile a scientific view of life with the emotional and spiritual so that they are not interdestructive, I come to the following:

'General Principles. The law has brought forth in man a child who cannot help constantly chiding his parents for doing too much and not doing everything, and constantly telling such a parent that it would have been better had it never started , than to exaggerate so much. undecided; that is, having created far beyond any apparent first intent (on the emotional side), without fixing things through second intent and execution, to remove the evils of the error of overdoing it. Emotions have no place in a world of flaws, and it is a cruel injustice that they should have flourished there.

"If the law itself knew how the appearance of its creatures would terrify it, it would fill it with remorse!"

Although traveling in vehicles, he only set out on foot one day in early May, more than six months after he had gone to bed; and it was a warm sunny morning as he walked across Wandsworth Common, where, as he used to say, he stopped and repeated aloud:

Behold the wretched one who long lies on the thorny bed of pain, At last heal his lost strength, And breathe and walk again:

The most insignificant flower in the valley, The simplest sound that raises the storm, The common sun, the air, the sky, Paradise opens to him.

Immediately after Hardy's recovery, the question arose as to where he and his wife should live. The three-year lease on the Upper Tooting house had expired the previous Lady Day when Hardy was too ill to move and he had to apply for a three-month extension, which was granted. In the second half of May they searched Dorset, concluding that for health and psychological reasons it would be better to make London a place of residence and settle in the country for only a few months each year. Inspiration, Hardy discovered, or thought he had discovered, that staying in or near a town tended to force mechanical and ordinary products out of his pen, relative to the ordinary life and habits of society.

They found a little house called "Llanherne" in the Avenue, Wimborne, which would serve them at least temporarily, and until they could discover, or perhaps build, a better one. Hardy notes that on June 25th they stayed in Llanherne for the first time and saw the Conservatory's new Comet. "Our garden," he says a few days later, "has all sorts of old-fashioned flowers in bloom: Canterbury Bells, blue and white, and Sweet Williams in all varieties, ripe strawberries and cherries, currants and currants, which are almost ready." , ripe, green peaches and decidedly unripe apples.'

In July he makes some notes on fiction, possibly for an article that was never written:

“The true, though unspoken, purpose of fiction is to provide pleasure by satisfying a love of the unusual in human experience, mental or physical.

“It does so all the more perfectly as the reader is fooled into believing that the characters are true and real as themselves.

"For this ultimate purpose alone a novel must be an accurate representation of everyday life: but,

“The unusual would be missing and interest would be lost. For this reason,

“The writer's problem is to find the balance between the unusual and the ordinary so that it arouses interest on the one hand and conveys reality on the other.

“In solving this problem, human nature must never be abnormal, which leads to disbelief. The rarity should be in the events, not the characters; and the art of the writer is to fashion that rarity, and at the same time to veil its improbability when it is improbable.'

On August 23, Hardy and his wife left Wimborne for Scotland. Arriving in Edinburgh on the 24th, they found to their dismay that Queen Victoria would be seeing the volunteers again in that city the next day and that they could find nowhere to stay. They took the train to Roslin and stayed at the Royal Hotel. Seeing the crowds in town, Hardy noted: "So there are some stay-at-home Scots".

They spent the next day or two, though it was damp, touring Roslin Castle and the Chapel, and Hawthornden, the old man, who showed them the castle and said he remembered Sir Walter Scott. Returning to Edinburgh, now calm and normal, they stayed there for a few days and in early September proceeded to Stirling, where they were admitted with colds. They drove back to Callander and the Trossadhs, where Hardy was sketching Ben Venue, and they followed the usual route via Loch Katrine, by bus to Inversnaid, down Loch Lomond and on to Glasgow. On the way back they visited Windermere and Chester and returned to Wimborne via London.

On a few sunny days in September, Hardy corrected A Laodicean for the volume edition, seated under the vine against his stable wall, "hanging almost to the ground in long arms over my head for lack of training. The sun tries to shine through the large leaves, making a green light on the paper, the tendrils twisting in all directions in a gymnastic effort to find something to cling to.'

Although they expected to be lonely after London at Wimborne, they were visited by many chance friends, called to Shakespeare readings, which were then very fashionable, and had a friendly neighbor in District Court Justice Tindal-Atkinson, one of the last of the serjeants-at-law, careful not to whine when dinner and his and his daughter's music could prevent them. They remained in touch with London, however, and were there the following December, where they met a number of friends and Hardy transacted some business to arrange for publication in the Atlantic Monthly of a canceled novel he was just beginning to write. -Hand for the title Two on a Tower, a title he later disliked although it was much imitated. In connection with this novel, he came up with an amusing experience of formality. It was necessary for him to examine an observatory, the story moved in an astronomical medium, and he applied to the Astronomer Royal for permission to see Greenwich. He was asked to indicate, before he could be granted, whether or not his request was made on astronomical and scientific grounds. He therefore wrote a scientific letter, the content of which was that he wanted to see whether he could adapt an old tower, which had been erected on a plantation in the west of England for other objects, to the requirements of a telescope. Study of the stars by a young man very passionate in this quest (this is the situation presented in the proposed novel). An order to see the Greenwich Observatory was sent out immediately.

The year was ended by Hardy and his wife at a ball hosted by Lady Wimborne at Canford Manor, where he met Sir Henry Layard. Lord Wimborne, in a conversation, complained of the house being damp because the miller was keeping water down for grinding, and when Hardy suggested the mill be removed, his host amused him by saying that that was out of the question Miller paid him £50 a year rent. In any case, Hardy was glad the old mill stayed, as he had as much dislike tearing down a mill where they (to use his own words) ground food for the body as he would tear down a church there , where they had ground them. food for the soul.

Thus ended 1881 - with a much brighter atmosphere for the author and his wife than the opening had indicated.



1882-1883: Eat. 41-43

'26. January. Coleridge says aim at the illusion of the audience or readers - that is, the state of mind during the dream that lies between complete illusion (which the French erroneously aim for) and a clear perception of falsehood.

February 4th and 11th. Shakespeare readings at his home, 'The Tempest' is the play selected. The host was an omnivore of parts - absorbing other people's as well as his own, and was eagerly irritated when I accidentally read a line from his character. When I praise his reading, he says to me thoughtfully: “Ah, yes; I've learned a lot - immersed myself in the character's life, you know; I thought about what my supposed parents were and my childhood." Firelight glowed as the day drew to a close, young N.P. Perched on a stool, the wealthy Mrs. B. impassive and grandiose in his lack of intelligence, like a Carthaginian statue. . . . The General reads it carefully, and tells me privately that last time he missed one of Shakespeare's improprieties before he noticed it, and fears and trembles lest he do it again.'

There is another note in this month's entries related to the philosophical scheme later adopted as the framework for The Dynasts:

"16. February. Write a history of human automatism or impulse - that is, an account of human action despite human knowledge, and show how far the behavior falls short of the knowledge that should guide it.'

A dramatization of Far from the Madding Crowd, prepared by Mr J Comyns Carr a few months earlier, was being produced at the Prince of Wales's Theater in Liverpool in March and Hardy and his wife had taken the time to travel to Liverpool to be there. O. The play, with Miss Marion Terry as the heroine, was not close enough to the novel to please Hardy, but it was well received and performed in London at the Globe Theater in April, where it ran many nights, but brought in Hardy for profit., nor the adapter as reported. While in London, he attended Darwin's funeral at Westminster Abbey on April 26. As a young man he was among the first to worship The Origin of Species.

'13 May - The slow meditative life of people living in habitual solitude. . • • Loneliness makes every trivial act of a loner interesting, reveals thoughts that for lack of an interlocutor cannot be expressed.'

'3. June. . . Just as when looking at a carpet one color suggests a certain pattern, another color suggests another; so the seer in life must observe that pattern among things in general, which his peculiarity of observing and describing only that causes him to do. That is, exactly, going to nature; but the result is not just a photograph, but a pure product of the author's own mind.'

'18 June. M. F., son of Pastor F., was well known to my mother when she was a child. He graduated and was ordained. But he drank. He worked with laborers and "Garn-Barton women" (as they were called in the village) on Garn-Barton. After a joke while they were at work, he suddenly stopped, lowered his implement, and, climbing on a log or trestle, gave them an excellent sermon; So curse and curse as before. He wore faded black clothes and received a small salary from his family, to which he was happy to add some manual labour. He was a tall, straight, and dignified man. She didn't know what happened to him."

'August. — A broad theme: the intense interests, passions and strategies that pulsate in ordinary life.

“This month, blackbirds and thrushes crawl under fruit bushes and other shady spots in gardens more like quadrupeds than birds. ... I notice that during the day a blackbird has eaten almost a whole pear lying on the garden path.'

'9. September. Doctor and Mrs Sole. . . came to tea. Brine says that Jack White's gallows (near Wincanton) stood until 1835 - namely the oak post with the protruding iron arm and part of the cage in which the corpse had previously been hung. It would be standing now if some young people hadn't burned it by piling firewood around it on a fifth of November.'

At the end of the month he went with Mrs Hardy on a short tour of neighboring counties - past Salisbury, Axminster, Lyme Regis, Charmouth, Bridport, Dorchester and back to Wimborne.

From Axminster to Lyme the carriage ride was marred by the condition of one of the horses.

“The horse's step was weak and exhausted. "Oh yeah, tender in your vore veet," the driver said nonchalantly. The trainer itself weighed a ton. The horse swayed, leaned against the post, then out, its head hanging like its tail. The brass straps and rings of the harness felt incredibly hard against her shrunken skin. E. would have intervened, with his admirable courage, to walk the rest of the way: so we felt powerless against the fury of the other passengers trying to get on.” In fact, they were on the plateau halfway between the two cities. But they complained when they came down - for which purpose Hardy couldn't remember.

In Lyme they found "a cheerful man who used to turn his trousers back because his knees were worn out".

At The Cobb they met an old man who had cataract surgery:

"It was like a red hot needle in his eye as he did it. But he wasn't long in coming. Oh no. If he had hesitated, I could not have endured it. He wasn't out for more than three quarters of an hour. When he had cast an eye, 'a said, "Well, my husband, you must change your clothes and be thankful that you did not go out with him." So he didn't do the other one. And I'm glad I didn't. I was saving on half crowns and half crowns in number and just wanted a lens for my glasses. The other eye would never have paid the cost of moving on.”

From Charmouth they came to Bridport in the box of a better-mounted carriage, and were driven by a merry coachman, who carried a liberal quantity of wool in his ears, and when smiling kept the smile in the center of his mouth by closing his lips. 'let it continue into the corners'. (A sketch of the driver's smiling mouth is attached for illustration.)

Before returning to Wimborne, Hardy visited the poet Barnes at Came Rectory. Mister. Barnes told him about an old woman who asked him to explain a picture she had. He told her it was Darius' family at Alexander's feet. She shook her head and said, "But that's not in the Bible," and looked him up and down in his spiritual robe as if she thought he was a wicked old man who had dishonored his robe by telling a profane story told.

This autumn Two on a Tower, which ended in the Atlantic Monthly, was published in three volumes, and in early October the author and his wife left for Cherbourg via Weymouth.

estuary, and then to Paris, where they rented a small apartment with two bedrooms and a living room near the left bank of the Seine. pjgre stayed a few weeks, away from the english and american tourists, wandering around the city and versailles, studying the paintings in the louvre and luxembourg, doing the housework in the parisian bourgeois way, buying his own groceries and vegetables, dining in restaurants, and severe colds due to uncertain weather. Apart from these things he seems to have done little in the French capital, just a note on personal trifles, expenses and a few photographic notes:

"Since discovering a few years ago that I live in a world where nothing in practice confirms what it initially promises, I have paid very little attention to theories. . . . Where the development of perfect reason is confined to the narrow realm of pure mathematics, I am content to try day by day.'

Late in the autumn Mrs. Hardy received news at Wimborne of the death of his brother-in-law, the Rev. C. Holder, at St. Juliot's rectory, Cornwall, of which he was long the proprietor; and they realized that the scene of the most beautiful romance of their lives in the picturesque country of Lyonnesse would no longer have anything to do with them. With this loss, Hardy, despite his frailty and failing health, was reminded of the kind and genuine humor of his spiritual relative and friend; its qualities; among them by some mysterious power he had (it seemed to his brother-in-law) to tell his church to a man before he had half a dozen lines on the page in Dear Beloved Brethren; and of his many strange and amusing tales of his experiences, such as that of the sick man at whose bedside he was called to read a chapter from the Bible, and who said when he had finished that it was doing him almost as well like a glass of liquor and water: or of the surprising entry in Holder's parish marriage register before he was rector, by which groom and maid of honor became husband and wife and bride and best man the best man. Hardy himself had seen the entrance.

From a different cast was the following. As a young man, Holder was a pastor in Bristol during the terrible outbreak of cholera. He said that one day at a friend's house he met a charming young widow who invited him to visit her. With pleasant anticipation he came to tea-time a day or two later and duly asked if she was home. The servant said with a strange face: "Why, sir, you buried them this morning!

At another such burial, the sexton or sexton ran up to him just before the procession arrived to ask him to be the first to see the newly opened tomb, which was made of brick and could seat ten or more people. topped with the coffin of the deceased's husband, who had died three weeks earlier. The coffin was turned into the room next to it. Holder hurriedly ordered the sacristan to "put him back in his place and say nothing to avoid grief; the relatives by the obvious conclusion.

He also recalled a unique alert he had been subjected to. One night he was awakened by a voice calling from downstairs, "Halter, halter! Can you help me?" It was the voice of a neighbor named Woodman, and wondering what the terrible thing had happened, he rushed down the stairs as fast as he could, picking up a heavy stick on the way. He found the neighbor very upset , who explained to him that late the night before news had reached the congregation that a certain noble patron, a great critic of sermons, had arrived at the congregation and would be attending the following service tomorrow: “Have you a sermon that works? I have nothing—nothing!" The conjecture had so racked his friend's nerves that night that he could not resist getting up and coming. Holder found something he thought might please the noble critic, and Woodman went under his arm with it, much relieved.

Some of Holder's stories to him, Hardy imagined, were more grounded than grounded, but always told with great solemnity. Sometimes, however, he would tell of one "whose truth he could not vouch for." It was what he had been told many years before by some of his older parishioners about a holder of this or an adjoining life. This worthy clergyman was a bachelor addicted to drinking habit and one night while walking up Boscastle Hill he fell from his horse. He was down the street a few minutes when he said, "Help me, Jolly!" and a local walking home behind him saw a dark figure with a cloven foot emerge from the fence and immediately throw him over his horse. The end was that it was lost on a night of terrible lightning and thunder and was found completely gone.

Holder maintained a friendly relationship with Hawker of Morwenstow, who had died seven years before him, although the Dean of St Juliot's broad and tolerant views did not match the vicar-poet's austerity; and the twelve miles of wild Cornish coast which separated their lives was a hard stretch of road for the rector's stout butt to traverse both ways in a day. Hardy mourned the loss of his relative and remembered with nostalgia the pleasure he had taken in reading the lessons in the old church when his brother-in-law was not strong enough. The poem "Quid hie agis?" in Moments of Vision appears to be partly reminiscent of these readings.

In December, Hardy heard a story from a certain Mrs. Cross, a very old farmer's wife he knew, about a girl she knew who was betrayed and abandoned by a lover. She took care of her son on her own and lived bravely and successfully. After a while the man came back poorer than she and wanted to marry her; but she refused. He eventually went to Union Asylum. The young woman's demeanor, unconcerned about being "done properly," won the writer and poet's admiration, and he wanted to know her name; but the old narrator said: 'Oh, don't worry about your names! They're already dead and rotten.

The thoroughly modern idea embodied in this example - that a woman does not necessarily become the property and slave of her seducer - struck Hardy as one of the first glimpses of woman's emancipation; and he used it on more than one occasion in his fiction and verse for years to come.

That same month, the Hardys attended Ambulance Society lectures—teaching first aid was all the rage at the time. He remembers one lecture in particular:

"A skeleton - the one used in these lectures - hangs in the window. We looked at him as we sat down. The band is playing outside and the children are dancing. I can see their small forms through the window, behind the skeleton hanging in front of it.” Another note – this one about winter weather: “I heard about an open car being driven through freezing rain. The people inside were literally covered in ice; the men's beards and hair were covered with icicles. Bringing one of the men into the house was like bringing in a chandelier full of chandeliers.'

In the same month he replied to a question sent to him by letter as follows:

'An A. A. Reade, Esq. 'Lieber Herr,

“I can say that I have never found alcohol to be in any way useful for literary production. My experience proves that the effect of wine, taken as a preliminary to so-called imaginative work,

it blinds the author to the quality of what he is producing instead of improving its quality.

"When I do a lot of outdoor walking, and especially when touring the Continental, I occasionally drink a glass or two of red wine or light ale. German beers seem to be really beneficial during these times of exertion, which (wine seems different) may be due to some dietary properties they possess on top of their stimulant quality. With these rare exceptions, I haven't had any alcohol in the last two years.


'T Hardy.'

"February 25, 1883. I sent a hastily written short novel to the Graphic for Summer Number." [It was The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid.]

"28. February. Went to Corfe Mullen with Walter Fletcher (County Surveyor). He says the toll auction scene was once curious. It was in an inn, and at one end of the room were the auctioneer and trustees, and at the other a multitude of strange creatures that all together didn't seem worth six cents. However, bids for the Poole Trust sometimes reached £1,400. Sometimes bidders would say, "Excuse me gentlemen, but can you wait until we're let out for a minute or two? “Maybe the curators would say no. The men said, "So let's go out without you letting me". On their return, only one or two bids would be made, and the strict curators would be bothered.

“I passed a lonely old house that used to be an inn. The contractor who now lives there took us to the barn and pointed out the farthest barn. When the place was an inn, he said, it was the haunt of smugglers, and in a fight there one man was killed in that stable one night. Some nights when an old horse is dropped off around 2am (when the smuggler died) the horse weeps like a child and upon entering you find it bathed in sweat.

"The huge chestnut tree that used to stand in front of this melancholy house is dead, but the trunk is still standing. Inside are the hooks to which the horses' reins were tied while their owners were inside.'

'13 March. M. writes to me that when a farmer in Puddlehinton, who did not want rain, found that a neighboring farmer had sent the vicar to pray for her and she came, he went and abused the other farmer and said to him, it is a very dirty trick for him to catch a mighty god off guard, and he should be ashamed.

"Our maid Ann brings us a confirmed report that the carpenter who made a coffin for Mr. W., who died the other day, made it very short. One viewer satirically said, "Everyone would think you made it yourself, John!" (the carpenter was short). The manufacturer said, "Oh - they would!" and dropped dead instantly.'

In reply to a letter from Miss Mary Christie:

„Wimborne, 11. April 1883.

'Dear Mrs,

"I have read with great interest the outline of your project to promote an appreciation of the arts in the elementary schools and if my name is of any use in support of the general purpose, I am happy to consent to its use. As for the details of such a scheme, my opinions differ somewhat from yours. For example, I think that for children between the ages of 9 and 12 or 13 - the vast majority of whom are in elementary schools - reasonably good pictures, such as those in Graphic, Illustrated News, etc., (not the color pictures) are also conducive to the desired goal like more elaborate images and photographs. A child's imagination is so strong that the idea is enough to bring it into action: and therefore a dozen suggestions for scenes and characters seemed to him more valuable for so many impressions than the perfect representation of a single one. , — while the latter would cost the same as the former. That is a very secondary point, however, and I daresay we would soon agree if we talked about it. . . .'

Hardy and his wife were in London off and on in May and June, looking at pictures, plays and friends. At a luncheon at the home of Lord Houghton, who with his sister Lady Galway had rented a small house in Park Lane for the season, Hardy met Robert Browning again, Rhoda Broughton for the first time and several others including Mrs.

from America, "a wide-eyed lady, owner of ten serials, which she told me called her ten children. Even Lady C., who told me about Rabelais - without obviously knowing it - had heard that I belonged to the Rabelais Club. She said she wanted to read it. She had read a chapter but couldn't understand Old French, so she looked for a literal translation. God bless your reading!

When Houghton saw that Browning was about to introduce me to Rhoda Broughton, he rushed ahead of Browning and introduced us emphatically, like a man who wishes to see things being done well in his own house; then he turned, pleased with himself, as the company appeared; like someone who, having set a machine in motion, only has to wait and see how it works.'

"24. June. Sunday. I went to see Mrs. Procter at the Albert Hall Mansions in the afternoon. I found Browning's gift. He told me that you, whom he and I met at Lord Houghton's, made £200,000 by publishing pirated publications by authors who made comparatively nothing. Soon Mrs. Sutherland Orr and Mrs. Frank Hill (Daily News) arrived. Also two Jewish women - Fräulein. Lazarus - from America. Browning tried Hebrew on the old woman, and she seemed to understand it so well that he said he could tell she spoke the language better than he did. As they were leaving, George Smith [the editor] called. He and Mrs. Procter explained that between Mrs. Orr and Browning. "Why don't you fix that!" said Mrs P

"In the evening I went to Irving's for dinner. Sir Frederick Pollock, who took over the presidency and gave a speech, said that Irving's departure for America would be a loss that would eclipse the joy of the nations (!) On stage he played 650 different characters.'

"25. June. I ate at Savile with Gosse. There I met W.D. Howells from New York. He told me a story about Emerson's amnesia. He had to give a speech at Longfellow's funeral. “The brilliance and beauty of the soul,” he began, “of him that we have lost has been recognized wherever the English language is spoken. I've known him for forty years; and no American, whatever his opinion, will deny that in - in - in - I don't remember the name of the Lord - beats the heart of a true poet.

"Howells said that Mark Twain usually gives a good speech. But once he heard him fail. In his speech he told the story of an incident when he was in a western town and found out that some scammers posing as Longfellow, Emerson and others had been there. Mark began describing these scammers and in the process he discovered that Longfellow, Emerson, etc. were the originals. He was overcome by a sudden chill and struggled for a lame finish. He was so sure he had offended that he wrote to Emerson and Longfellow apologizing. Emerson was unable to understand the letter, his memory of the incident having failed, and he wrote to Mark asking what it meant. So Mark had to tell him what he wished he had never said; and on the whole the fiasco was complete.'



1883-1885: Eat. 43-45

This June the Hardys moved from Wimborne to Dorchester, the town and environs of which, though they had not foreseen it, would be their field quarters for the rest of their lives. But for the next twenty years he spent several months each spring and summer in London, and occasionally abroad. He often regretted this move to the county seat and later a little outside; but the invigorating air brought them health and new strength, and was not inadvisable in the long run.

'19 July. In the future I shall not extol things because the accumulated observations of the ages say they are great and good when those accumulated observations are not based on observation. And I'm not going to judge things because a bunch of accepted views, stemming from tradition and acquired through instillation, say beforehand that they're bad.'

'22. July. By Gosse to Winterborne-Came Church to hear and see the poet Barnes. I stayed for the sermon. Barnes, knowing that we should be looking for a prepared sermon, addressed it exclusively to his own flock, almost ostentatiously excluding us. Then he went to the vicarage and looked at his pictures.

"Poetry versus Reason: For example, a band plays 'God save the Queen,' and musically the uncompromising Republican joins in the harmony: a hymn rolls out of a church window, and the uncompromising No-God-ist or Unconscious Godist continues the chorus." .'

Mister. T. W. H. Tolbort, a friend of Hardy's since youth, and a pupil of Barnes', who years before had excelled in the Indian civil service examination, died early the following month after a bright and promising career in India, and Hardy wrote an obituary for him in Dorset Chronicle. The only note Hardy makes of him other than the printed account is as follows:

13.8. Tolbort lived and studied like anything in the world was worth it. But what a brilliant mind is left at forty-one!'

Elsewhere he writes about an anecdote Barnes told him about his Tolbort class. Barnes dropped out of school and retired to the vicarage, where he was ending his days, when Tolbort's name and that of Barnes as his teacher appeared at the top of the Times' list of Indian exams, with much of the grades splitting up it. the one with the following name. Even in the early days, these lists aroused great interest. Within a few mornings Barnes received a flood of letters from all parts of the country begging him at almost any cost to take countless children and have the same successful effect on them. "I told them it would take two," he said, sadly adding that a popularity that would have been invaluable during the hard-working years of his life arose almost the moment he was no longer of his service .

This August he made a memorandum on a different subject:

“Make a list of things everyone thinks and no one says; and a list of things everyone says and no one thinks.'

It was also around this time that Hardy met an old man named P,

whose father or grandfather was one of the Keepers of the Rainbarrows' Beacon, 1800-1815 as described in The Dynasts, the remains of which can still be seen on the site. It may be interesting to note that a few years earlier, while exhibiting in Puddletown, the daughter of an itinerant wax booth owner,

totally lost her heart to P's brother, a handsome young village worker, and he married her. When the father grew old and ill, the son-in-law and his wife took over the showman's business and continued to run it successfully. They were a dignified and happy couple,

and whenever they came on their tours of Ps native village, the husband's old acquaintance was admitted free of charge to the exhibition, which was of a very moral and religious character, including the judgment of Solomon and Daniel in the lions' den, where the lions moved their heads , tails, eyes and paws terrible as Daniel raised his hands in prayer. Assassins' heads were placed on the other side as a healthy lesson for evildoers. Hardy duly attended the show because the man's ancestor kept the rain cart beacon (described in The Dynasts); and the last time he saw old P he was in the private tent next to the exhibition, sitting like a glorified figure, drinking gin and water with his relatives.

When he came to Dorchester and could not find a suitable house, Hardy obtained land from the Duchy of Cornwall at Fordington Field about a mile inland on which to build one. and in early October he tentatively fixed the spot where the well was to be sunk. The only downside of the site seemed to him to be its novelty. But before the excavators had advanced more than a meter, they found Romano-British urns and skeletons. Hardy and his wife found the site rich in antiquities and found the omens bleak; but they did not prove it, for the extreme age of the relics drove any terror away. More of the same kind were found when excavating the foundations of the house, and Hardy wrote an account of the remains which he read at the 1884 Dorchester Meeting of the Dorset Field Club. It was printed in the Club's Proceedings in 1890.

"3. November. The Athenceum says: “The glazier survives by sacrificing everything that is dear to the painter. Instead of the freedom and sweet abandon which is the magic of nature itself and which the painter can attain, stained glass gives us a splendor as luminous as the spots, streaks, and bars.” The above canons are interesting , to convey a half truth. All art is only approximate - not exact as the critic says; and hence the methods of all art differ from those of the glassmaker, but in degrees.'

"17. November. Poem. We [human beings] have attained a degree of intelligence which nature has never taken into account in formulating her laws, and consequently has not provided adequate satisfaction.' Mother Cry' and others.]

"23. December. At Bockhampton Plantation there is what we used to call the "Bird Room". A few large holly grow among leafless ash, oak, birch, etc. sleep in a boarding house; accompanied by repeated tremors, scooting about, and throbbing, as if vigorously making their beds before lying down.

'Death of old Billy C of old age. He spoke enthusiastically of Lady Susan O'Brien [Lord Ilchester's daughter, who aroused London by running away with O'Brien the actor, as is so inimitably described in Walpole's letters, and who afterwards settled in the parish of Hardys settled down as already mentioned]. - "She had a magnificent house - - a cellar full of home-brewed stout that would almost knock you out; everyone drank as much as they wanted. The head gardener [whom Billy helped as a young man] got drunk every morning before breakfast. Those houses don't exist now! On rainy days, we worked in front of the living room window so that she would take pity on us. She sent us to tell us to go inside and not expose ourselves so recklessly to the weather.' [A kind-hearted woman, Lady Susan.]'V

On New Year's Eve, 1884, Hardy planted some trees on his new property at Max Gate, Dorchester, and spent part of the following January in London, meeting Henry James, Gosse, and Thornycroft, and conversing with Alma-Tadema about the remains—Romans, which he found on the site of his proposed house, the discovery of which greatly excited Tadema when he was painting, or about to paint, a picture expressing the art of the time.

'February. "You will weep and wail, and the world will rejoice." This shows the natural limitation of the Christian perspective when Christians were a small and despised community. Today's expanded vision recognizes that the world weeps and weeps on all sides. - But if "the world" only designates the brutal and thoughtless, then the text is eternally true.'

'James S - - [the aforementioned queer old man who worked for Hardy's father for forty years and had been a smuggler] once overheard a hurdle bet with the 'Black Dog', Broadmayne, that he would clear one hurdle before the other Human (no obstacle) could tear one of them to pieces. They put it to the test, and the hurdle won the stakes.

“When the trees and groves are cut down and the ground is exposed, three harvests of flowers follow. First a yellow leaf; they are primroses. Then a blue sheet; they are wild hyacinths, or as we call them, graegles. Then a red leaf; they are rag thrushes, or as they are called here, thrush hoods. What were these plants doing in the years before the trees were felled and how did they get there?'

'March. Write a novel called Time Against Two, in which the antagonism of Romeo and Juliet's parents succeeds in tearing the couple apart and ending their love – sadly, one development more likely than the other!” [The idea is briefly explained in O Bem -Amado used.]

March or April. "Every mistake under the sun seems to come from thinking you're right because you are yourself and other people wrong because they're not you.

“Now is spring; when, according to the poets, the birds sing and (adds the householder) the hired hands, according to their unearthly courtesy, become independent through ice and snow.'

'26. April. Curious scene. A beautiful poem in it:

'Four girls - itinerant musicians - sisters - played outside Parmiter's in the High Street. The eldest had a rigid, old, hard face and wore white roses in her hat. His eyes lingered on a nearby object, like the buttons on his sister's dress; she played the violin. The next sister, with red roses on her hat, had rather bold dark eyes and a coquettish smile. She also played the violin. The next, with curly hair, was beating the tambourine. The youngest, still a child, drew the triangle. She wore a pearl necklace. All wore large brass earrings like Jewish harps, hanging level with the template.

"I saw them again at night, the silver sparks from Saunders' [silversmith's] shop shining on them. They were now sublimated with a wonderful charm. The elder's hard face was flooded with worried and gentle thoughts; the coquette was no longer bold but delicately delicate; her dirty white roses were pure as snow; her sister's, red, were a fair crimson: her brass earrings were gold; the triangle of silver iron; Miriam's own tambourine; the face of the third child was that of an angel; the fourth that of a cherub. The pretty one smiled on the second and started playing "In the gloaming," the little voices singing. Now they were what nature made them before the taint of "civilization" tainted their existence.' [An impression of a similar scene is given in the poem entitled "Music on a Snowy Street".]

“Country life can exhibit considerable lees coarseness; but that libido which makes the scum of the cities so noxious is generally lacking.'

"2. June. At Bockhampton. My birthday - 44. Alone on the plantation, 9am. A strange hour: strange faces and shapes formed by dying lights. The holm oak leaves shine like human eyes, and the looks of the sky between the trunks are like white ghosts and forked tongues. It's so quiet and silent that footsteps can be heard in the dead leaves a quarter mile away. Squirrels climb the logs in fear, stamp their feet and yell "chut-chut-chut!" "[There is not a single squirrel in this field now.]

The following letter was written to Hardy on his birthday:

'Burford Bridge, 'Box Hill', 2. Juni 1884.

"What a beautiful day it was for Anne Benson Procter when Thomas Hardy was born! Little did she know what a bounty of delightful reading she owed to the Baby of 1840.

"If she could write an ode - or worse, a sonnet!

“He has something to be thankful for. He must have read the verses - and he is so good and kind that he would have praised them.

"We're coming home next Wednesday after ten days here - sitting by the fire while summer slowly comes here.

"Your old admirer,

"Anne B. Procter."

'3. June. The leaves are approaching their late summer form, the evergreens are wearing new light suits over the old deep suit. I poured the thirsty earth onto Max Gate, who drank the liquid with a gulp. In the evening, during the performance, I entered Tayleure's Circus in Fordington Field for a short time. There is a light fog in the tent, and the green grass in the center, inside the circular racecourse, looks remarkably cool in the artificial light. The moist eye sockets of the spectators glitter in its rays. Clowns streak and smoke cigarettes when "off duty" and talk with serious cynicism, and as if the necessity of their employment to society at large were not in question, their true domestic expression is revealed beneath the official expression used by the painting is given. This sub-expression is one of good-natured pain.'

Hardy seems to have had something of a circus craze during those years, going to see whoever came to Dorchester. At one performance, a rider jumping through hoops on her course lost her balance and landed with a thud in the grass. He followed her to the dressing room and was very interested in her recovery. The incident appears to have had an impact on the verse titled "Circus-Rider to Ringmaster" many years later.

They were in London in June and July and attended a nightly party at Alma-Tadema's, where they met an artistic crowd including Burne-Jones; and to another at Mrs.

Murray Smith with Mrs. Procter, where they reunited with Matthew Arnold, whom Hardy liked more now than when they first dated; also Du Maurier; also Henry James "with his blurred eye". Woman. Procter, though so old, "swimmed through the crowd like a swan".

Hardy says of Madame Judic's performance in Niniche: “This woman is brilliant. The image of the two - Judic and Lassouche - putting their faces together and bumping into each other in lovemaking was the funniest phase of real art I've ever seen. . . . And yet the world is calling for a great actress.”

"14. July. Judgement. Dorchester - The Lord Chief Justice, an eminent council etc reveal more of their weaknesses and vanities here in the country than in London. Your weaknesses stretch and are unprepared. A miserable lad on trial for setting fire to a commoner engages in an amusingly familiar conversation with C.J. (Coleridge) when asked if he has anything to say. Witnesses always begin their testimonies with sentences that obviously contain pre-prepared flourishes, but as they delve deeper they turn into complicated grammar and a woefully convoluted narrative.'

'14 August. Players walking Dorchester in the market grounds. It was for Othello. A crimson sunset fell on the western end of the grandstand, where, as the audience assembled, Cassio, in supposedly Venetian costume, lounged and smoked under the red light at the foot of the van steps behind the theater: Othello was also lounging in the a. The same sunlight on the grass near the stage door, touching the black of her face.

“The play begins as dusk approaches, the theater lights project the profiles of spectators and actors onto the screen so that they can be seen from the outside, and the immortal words spill out over them into the surrounding stillness and into the trees and stars.

'I come in. A woman plays Montano, and her feud with Cassio leaves much to the imagination. Desdemona's face still shows the fear of the dinner she cooked on the outdoor stove a few minutes earlier.

“Othello is played by the owner and his speeches can be heard as far away as the town pump. Emilia is wearing the earrings I saw when she was buying the family's vegetables this morning. The tragedy continues successfully until the audience laughs at the beginning of the crime scene. Othello stops and turns, and after an awful pause, says to them sternly, "Is it the 19th century?" Feeling the justification of the rebuke, the embarrassed audience maintains an embarrassed silence as he continues. When he gets to the pillow scene, they applaud with tragic fierceness to show their hearts are in the right place after all.”

16.8. Hardy made a trip to the Channel Islands from Wey. mouth with your brother. They went to Guernsey, Jersey and Sark and found in one of the hotels that all the men there but themselves were traveling salesmen. Since they looked so lonely, they were allowed to dine with these gentlemen and became very friendly with them. The table manners were very solemn: 'May I send you a piece of that boiled mutton, Mr. President?' No thanks, Mr. Deputy. May I help you with the meat?' At the end of dinner: 'Gentlemen, you may leave the table.' Chorus of guests: 'Thank you, Mr. President.'

The conversation revolved around a specific town in England that was defined as a "hot place". Hardy, who lived there, was intrigued and said he didn't realize it was particularly hot. The speaker scarcely deigned to reply that he did not understand the meaning they attached to the word.

From time to time he wrote The Mayor of Casterbridge; but before he left London he made an arrangement with the Macmillans to take up a twelve-number story for their magazine later without a fixed time. It was released two years later under the title The Woodlanders.

"20. October. Question: Isn't the current quasi-scientific system of historiography just quackery? Events and trends are traced as if they were flows of voluntary activity, and trajectories are derived from the circumstances in which natures, religions, or whatever, found each other. But aren't they generally the result of passivity - influenced by an unconscious bias?'

— 16.11. My sister Mary says that women of the past generation have old-fashioned faces. Facial expressions have their fashions like clothes.'

During the general election around this time, Mr. John Morley wrote to Hardy from Newcastle:

"Your letter evokes literature, art and sober reason - visitors to the election campaign both welcome and rare." And a few days later he heard from Professor Beesly, who lost the Westminster election: "I suppose there is no one more desperate place in England. We could have simply confronted her Toryism, or the clergy, or the legitimate influence of her old-time Alms Baroness (who is her special reserve), or the particular spigot of philanthropy turned on for the occasion. But all together they were too strong for us. ... I return to my work with great satisfaction.

Leslie Stephen (like Hardy himself, largely from politics) wrote in the same week: "I am glad to have this book out of my hands, though every void in my professions will soon be filled (not that my nature abhors it!) and although I am very ill in many ways - happy with the result. However, my intention was good and now I can start to forget him.'

"4. December. A gust of wind causes raindrops to hit the star-shaped windows, and sunlight opens and closes like a fan, casting a pewter-colored light into the room. . . .

'Summoner Mynterne [mentioned earlier],

When consulted by Patt P (a handsome, strong woman), he told her that her husband would die on a certain day and showed her the funeral in a glass of water. She said she could see the porters moving. she mourned. She used to foist all this on her harmless husband, assuring him that he would go to hell if he made a liar out of the wizard. He did not, but died on the prophesied day. Interestingly, she never remarried.”

"31. December. To the bell tower of St. Peter to ring the New Year's Eve. The night wind blew through the shutters while the men made their shawls from tar twine and bits of horse tarpaulin. Climbed the bells to fix the silencers. I climbed up with them and looked at the tenor bell: it is carried in a bright well where the clapper has struck it for so many years, and the clapper strikes with its many strokes.

“The players now put their coats and vests and hats over the chimes and the clock and stand up. Old John is frail, as if the bell is pulling him up instead of the rope pulling down, his neck is withered and white as his white tie. But his manner is severe when he says, "Tenor out?" One of the two tenors gently pushes the bell forward – good old E flat [?] (probably D in the modern high key), my father's admiration, unsurpassed in brass anywhere in the world – and replies, 'The tenor's it out ". Then old John tells them, 'Go!' and they begin. Through long practice he plays with as little movement of his body as possible, although the younger players – burly, dark-haired men with red faces – are soon sweating from the exertion. The Red, green, and white exits dart like mice through the holes between the massive beams above.

“The gray stones of the 15th-century masonry have many of their joints free of mortar and are carved with many initials and dates.

On a louvered windowsill stands a large pewter pitcher with a hinged lid and the inscription: "For use by ringers 16—" [Now in the County Museum.]

Early the following year (1885) Hardy accepted a longstanding invitation from his friend Lady Portsmouth to Eggesford to take and carry on his work as if he were at home, but Mrs. Hardy could not keep up. He found her there surrounded by her daughters and their cousin Lady Winifred Herbert, later Lady Burghclere; Having a lively house party, Lady Portsmouth apologizes they're mostly 'better halves' Although the library was made available to him and entry was forbidden lest his work be interrupted, very little work was done during his stay there, as he spent most of his time driving through the villages and to with his hosts to walk. in the park. For him, Lord Portsmouth was "a peasant-like man with a thick Devonian accent". He showed me a bridge over which bastards were recently thrown and drowned.' Lady Dorothea, one of the daughters, told him about some of the escapades of her uncle Auberon Herbert, whom Hardy later got to know very well. - one of the most amusing was how he posed as his father's fiancee in a living room and through this trick managed to see a flame of his that should have been there. Together they formed an extraordinarily sympathetic group of women, and among other discussions there was of course one on love, in which Lady Camilla informed him that 'a woman never comes so close to falling in love with a man she does not love as he left immediately after she turned him down.

“Lady P. told me she never knew true fear until she had a family with daughters. She wants us to come to Devonshire and live near her. She says they're looking for us a home. I can't imagine why we live in ignorant Dorset. Em would like to go since it's his hometown; but unfortunately my house in Dorchester is almost ready.'

'Easter Sunday. Evidence of Art in Biblical Stories. They are written with alert (if veiled) attention to their effect on the reader. Its so-called simplicity is in fact the simplicity of the highest cunning. And one wonders, if even in these last days artistic development and design are the qualities least appreciated by readers, who is likely to appreciate the artistry in these chronicles?

"Looking around a well-chosen shelf of fiction or history, how few tales of any length recognize themselves as well told from beginning to end! The first half of this story, the last half of it, the middle of another. . . . The modern art of storytelling is still in its infancy.

“But in these biblical lives and adventures lies the spherical perfection of perfect art. And our first and second feelings, that they must be true because they are so impressive, are modified like a third feeling: "Are they so true? Isn't the fact that they are so convincing a convincing argument, not for their reality, but for the reality of a consummate artist who was no more content with what nature offered than Sophocles and Phidias?

"Friday, 17.4. I have written the last page of The Mayor of Caster - Bridge, which started at least a year ago and was frequently interrupted in writing each part.'

'19 April. It is the job of the poet and novelist to show the sadness behind the greatest things and the greatness behind the saddest things.'

He was in London at the end of April and probably saw Leslie Stephen there, as he says: “Leslie Stephen as a critic. Your approval is disapproval minimized.'

They went to the academy as usual this year. Commenting on the Private View, Hardy comments: "The big difference between a Private View and a public one is the gossip that prevails in the former, everyone knows everyone." That evening of the same day they were at a party at Lady Carnarvon's, where Hardy first met Met Lord Salisbury and had an interesting conversation with him about the art of oratory - 'whether it is better to throw yourself in medias res, or to use a developmental method'. In mid-May they were at another of those Lady Carnarvon parties, where they met Browning again; also Mrs. Jeune (later Lady St. Helier) and the usual friends they met there.

"28. May. Waited at Marble Arch while Em called down the road. . . . That hum of the wheel - the roar of London! What is it made of? Hurrying, talking, laughing, moaning, screams of small children. The people in this tragedy laugh, sing, smoke, throw away wine, etc., make love to girls in saloons and neighborhoods; and yet they play their part in the tragedy. Some wear jewels and feathers, others rags. All are cage birds; The only difference is the size of the cage. That too is part of the tragedy.”

“Sunday, May 31st. I visited Mrs Procter. Shocked to find her grieving Edith. I can't say why I didn't see the announcement of his death. Browning also available.

'Woman. Procter was irritated that Browning and I had sent cards to Victor Hugo's funeral to pin to wreaths.'

In one such collision in the spring of 1885, they found themselves on a particular night in the midst of a seething political turmoil. It was supposed to be a non-political "Klein und Früh" but by the time they got there the house was full; and a noted Conservative of the time, who had recently invited Hardy into her friendship, approached him as if she needed someone to express her feelings and said, "I am ashamed of my party! In fact, everyone expects General Gordon to be assassinated to ruin Gladstone!' It seems that it was this rumor just circulated about Goran's death that brought so many smart and noble people there. Auberon Herbert, who was also there, privately told Hardy that it was true. Then another darker lady, the Dowager Viscountess Galway, told him that she half believed Gordon was still alive because no relics, bloody kerchiefs, or any fragments thereof had been produced, which he knew from her experience in those lands almost be the unchanging custom. So the crowd waited and speculated, only coming out late at night as the truth of Gordon's fate only became known a few days later.

It must have been his experiences in these nominally social but genuinely political parties that led to the following note on the same day:

“History is more a stream than a tree. Nothing organic about its form, nothing systematic about its development. It flows like a roadside storm brook; now a straw turns him to the side, now a small barrier of sand turns him. The spontaneous decision of a humble spirit in high office at a critical moment affects the course of events for a hundred years. Think of the evenings at Lord Carnarvon's house, and of the very average talks of politics by average men who, two or three weeks later, were members of the Cabinet. A succession of shopkeepers in Oxford Street, once he arrived, would run the nation's affairs with equal skill.

“Thus, judging by the magnitude of the impact, it becomes impossible to assess the intrinsic value of ideas, actions, material things: we are forced to evaluate them by the curves of their careers. There were prettier women in Greece than Helena; but what about them?

“What Ruskin says about the cause of the lack of imagination in contemporary works is probably true—namely, the irreverent sarcasm of the period. "Men dare not open their hearts to us when we want to roast them in the hawthorn fire."

At the end of June, Hardy had to go to Dorset to oversee the removal of his furniture from the house he had temporarily rented in Dorchester for the house he had built in the fields of Max Gate, a mile from town.

The construction of this house, a mile east of Dorchester, took about eighteen months, beginning November 26, 1883, during which time Hardy continually neglected the operation. The land he bought from the Duchy of Cornwall was an acre in size and almost forty years later another half acre was added to the garden.

A visitor to Max Gate in 1886 gives the following description:

“The house, which by its location is almost the first object in the neighborhood to receive the rays of the morning sun and the last to give up the evening light, is about. . . along Wareham Road through an open exit. From this side the building appears as a modest, moderately sized red brick building constructed in a somewhat unique manner and set in a garden separated from the plateau by a perimeter wall. . . . The place is as lonely as it is sublime; and it is evident that from the narrow windows of a tower, rising at the salient angle, a wide vista of the surrounding land may be obtained.

"From the white front gate in the wall a small path, planted with beech and plane trees on the windward side, leads up to the house, the arrival being announced to the occupants by the voice of a glossy black setter [moss], which is within sight of the rear stall as far as your chain will allow. Inside, we found ourselves in a small square hall with a polished dark wood floor that resembled a comfortable living room with a staircase rather than a hall as is commonly understood. It is lit by a stained glass window through which can be seen Conygar Hill, Came Plantation and the raised navaid of Culliford Tree.'

Some two or three thousand small trees, mostly Austrian pines, were planted around the house by Hardy himself, and in later years they grew so dense that the house was almost entirely sheltered from the road, and finally in the summer it looked as if am foot of a dark green clump of trees.

To the right of the front door as you enter is the living room and to the left is the dining room. Above the living room is the room Hardy used as his first office in Max Gate, and it was in this room that The Woodlanders was written. He later moved his office to the back of the house with a west-facing window, where Tess of the d'Urbervilles took form. Years later another office was built over a new kitchen, and it was here that The Dynasts and all subsequent poetry and the rest of Hardy's literary life were written. The sizable window of this last of his workrooms to the east and the full moon rising over the dark pine tops were a familiar sight.

When Max Gate was built, Hardy intended to put a sundial on the easternmost tower, as seen in an illustration he drew for IVessex Poems. This design, which was constantly in his mind, was never completed in his lifetime, although at the time of his death the sundial was being made in Dorchester from a model he had made himself, more than forty years after it was first conceived.

A description of his personal appearance at the time by a keen observer is as follows:

"A fairly fair-skinned man, slightly below average height [he was actually 5ft 6in], of slim build, with a pleasant, thoughtful face, unusually broad at the temples, and framed by a beard trimmed in the Elizabethan style [this one beard was shaved off about 1890, and he never grew one again, but always had a moustache]; an affable and kind man whose expression, however, gives the impression that he sees the world as much more tragedy than comedy.'

His smile was extraordinarily sweet and his eyes were a clear grey-blue. His whole appearance was almost childlike in its sincerity and simplicity, his features heavily chiseled, and his nose, as he himself once described it, more Roman than eagle-shaped. The nobility of her forehead was impressive. As a young man he had copious hair of a deep brown color that later turned dark brown, almost black before turning gray. His hands were shapely, with long, nimble fingers; his particularly clean shoulders and his easy, relaxed gait. He walked very fast. He'd always been a thin man, if not very thin, and never in his life had he allowed himself to be heavy, which he said he thought was bad luck.



1885-1887: Eat. 45-46

On June 29, the Hardys slept for the first time in Max Gate - the house they would thereafter live in permanently, apart from the four or five months of each year that they spent in London or abroad. Almost the first visitor to his new home was R. L. Stevenson, Hardy hitherto a stranger, writing from Bournemouth to announce his arrival, adding characteristically: 'I may have been introduced, but I know your spirit is ancient. . ...When you are busy or unwilling, the irregularity of my approach leaves you with a safer retreat. ' Two days later he showed up with his wife, his wife's son and his cousin. They were on their way to Dartmoor, which Stevenson had learned the air would be good for his claim. But unfortunately he never reached Dartmoor, fell ill at Exeter and was confined there until he was well enough to return home.

"16. September. I have with [Hon. Aubrey] Spring-Rice [who lived in Dorchester]. There he met his cousin Aubrey de Vere, the poet, and Father Poole. De Vere says his father always said that a Greek drama was the fifth act of an Elizabethan drama, which of course it is when it's not the sixth.

October 17th. I called William Bames. He spoke of old families. He told me a story about Louis Napoleon. While in England he was friends with the Damers and often visited them at Winterborne-Came House, near Dorchester, where they lived. (It was a common tradition that he wished to marry Miss Damer; also that he dreamily remarked that he was destined to become Emperor of the French to avenge the defeat of Waterloo.) It was then the fashion of Dorchester residents , to marry. Sunday afternoon parade gala down the South Walk and on one occasion players came a mile from their home with their guests and joined the promenade. Barnes, who had a school in town, had a usher from Blackmore Vale named Hann (whose people seem descended from my mother), and Barnes and his usher also walked. Louis Napoleon, walking with Colonel Damer, slipped his cane between Hann's legs as they bumped in opposite directions, nearly knocking the clerk over. Hann was hot, as was the entire family tree, including my maternal line, and almost before Barnes knew what was going on, he had removed his coat, thrown it at Barnes, and challenged Louis Napoleon to a fight. The latter apologized profusely, said it had been an accident, and laughed about it; then the citizens, expecting a fight, continued their walk disappointed.'

1 November 17-19: In a fit of depression, wrapped in a cloud of lead. Finally, I returned to my original storyline for The Wood - Landers. I work nights from nine-thirty to twelve to finalize the details.'

November 21-22. Migraine.'

'Tragedy. To sum it up like this: A tragedy represents a state of affairs in the life of an individual which inevitably results in some natural goal or desire of his or her ending in disaster if realized.'

"25. November. letter from John Morley [probably about The Woodlanders, he was then editor of Macmillan's Magazine, in which he was to appear]; and one by Leslie Stephen, with comments on the books he has read in between.'

"9. December. 'Everything looks so small - so awfully small!' There was a local exclamation.'

"12. December. Experience teaches - (what one initially takes to be the rule in events).'

21st December. The hypocrisy of things. Nature is an ore disguise. A child is totally deceived; the older members of society more or less according to their penetration; though they seldom realize that nothing is as it seems.'

"31.12. Tonight the end of the old year 1885 makes me sadder than many New Years before. Whether building that house at Max Gate was a wise effort is a question which, when answered in the negative, is rather depressing. And there are others. But:

“This is the main thing: don't let yourself be disturbed; for all things are of the nature of the general.” [Marcus Aurelius.]

1886. - 'January 2, Mayor of Casterbridge, begins today in the Graphic and Harper's Weekly newspaper. "I'm afraid it's not as good as I intended it to be, but in the end it's not the odds of occurrence, it's the character's odds that matter. . . .

“Cold weather puts upon people's faces the marks of their habits, vices, passions, and memories, just as heat puts compassionate ink on paper. The drunk seems even drunker when the edges of the spots are marked by frost, the raging flush now becoming a spot, the corpse-color revealing the bone beneath, the quality of beauty reduced to its lowest level.'

'3. January. My art consists in intensifying the expression of things, like Crivelli, Bellini, etc. do, so that the heart and the inner meaning become vividly visible.'

'6. January. Misunderstanding. The shriveled soul believes it has discovered its weak point and suddenly shows its thinking incisively. The other cowering soul thinks that the cutting nature of the first is somehow the result of its own weakness, not its strength, and also shows its fear by its embarrassed expression! So they pull away from each other and misunderstand each other.'

'4. March. Novel writing as an art cannot go backwards. Having reached the analytical stage, it must transcend it by going even further in the same direction. Why not make visible essences, ghosts, etc., the abstract thoughts of the analytic school?'

This notion was roughly realized, not in a novel, but through a much more appropriate medium of poetry, in the supernatural structure of The Dynasts, as well as in smaller poems. And another note from the same date elaborates on the same idea:

"The human race must be represented as a great web or web, trembling all over when a point is shaken, like a spider's web when touched. Abstract realisms in the form of ghosts, ghost figures, etc.

“The realities as the true realities of life, hitherto called abstractions. The old material realities must be placed behind the earlier ones like dark accessories.'

During the spring and summer they were back in London, staying in Bloomsbury to run the museum's reading room. It was the spring that Gladstone presented his Bill of Self-Government for Ireland. The first thing Hardy has to say about this is in an April 8, 9, 10, and 11 post:

“A critical moment, politically. I never recall a debate as gripping as this one on the Gladstone draft for the Irish government. He spoke clearly: Chamberlain with manly practical seriousness; Hartington quite hard; Morley too little effect (for him). Morley's speech shows that in Parliament a good joke is not appreciated without the stubbornness of the sword and shield. Chamberlain impresses me above all with the combination of these qualities.”

And on May 10: “I saw Gladstone enter Parliament. The crowd got very excited, not only waving their hats and screaming and running around, but jumping in the air. His head was uncovered and his crown, now bald, showed pale and clear over Mrs. Gladstone.'

On the 13th Hardy was in the house, the debate on the government of Ireland still going on:

"Gladstone responded gently to Bradlaugh, almost unctuously. "It is not customary to recognize parliamentary debts after five years", etc. He shook his head and smiled contradictorily at his opponents across the table and the red box in which he occasionally wrote. I heard Morley say a few words, and also Sir W. Harcourt and Lord Hartington; a speech by Sir H. James, also by Lord G. Hamilton, Campbell-Bannerman, &c. Irish members in their plain, plain, ill-fitting clothes. The house today is a heterogeneous assembly. Gladstone's frock coat swayed and swayed as he came and went with a white flower in his lapel and waistcoat open. Lord Randolph's manner of addressing Dillon, the Irish member, was almost arrogant. Sir R. Cross was stout like T.B. the Dorchester butcher when he stood at the chopping block on market days. The sincerity of the Irish members who spoke was very impressive; Lord G. Hamilton was totally lacking in seriousness; Sir H. James, on the contrary; E. Clarke direct, firm and concise, but ruthless.

"To see the difficulty of the Irish question it is necessary to see the permanent Irish phalanx: it seems, then, that one must go with Morley and get rid of them at all costs.

'Morley kept trying to look used to it all and not like he was an accidental literary man. Gladstone was distinctly different from everyone else in the house, although he sat deep in his chair as he got older. When he smiled, you could see the benevolence on his face. Big heart versus small heart is a clear stance taken by the House of Commons in the eyes of one observer.'

Though he didn't go in here, Hardy would write elsewhere, saying that Home Rule was a crass dilemma whose big horns were good politics and good philanthropy. The policy towards England demanded that they should not be granted; Humanity to Ireland should. Neither Liberals nor Conservatives would honestly admit this dichotomy between two moral concepts, but would rather fraudulently insist that humanity and politics are both on one side - on your side, of course.

'It could. Reading at the British Museum. I've thought about Hegel's dictum - that the real is the rational and the rational is the real - that real pain is compatible with formal pleasure - that the idea is everything, etc., but it doesn't help much. These venerable philosophers seem to start out wrong; They cannot escape a bias that somehow the world must have been made to be a comfortable place for humans. If I remember correctly, it was Comte who said that metaphysics is only a poor attempt to reconcile theology and physics.'

'17 May. At a curious soiree on Bond Street. I met a Hindu-Buddhist, an extremely educated man who speaks fluent English. He is the trainer of the Theosophical Society. I also found Mr. E. Maitland, author of a book I remember called The Pilgrim and the Shrine. He also mentioned another one that I believe was made by him and Dr. Anna Kingsford in collaboration. If he could not continue the work on a certain night, he would go to her the next morning and she would give him the sentences she had written upon waking up as sentences she had dreamed about without knowing why. I also met dr. Anna Kingsford and others; all very strange people.'

The Mayor of Casterbridge was issued in full at the end of May. It was a story that Hardy believed to have damaged as an artistic whole more ruthlessly than perhaps any of his other novels, in the interest of the newspaper in which it appeared serially, his aim of providing an incident for almost every part of the week, which led him to it caused to add events to the narrative fairly freely at its own discretion. However, as he described his novel-writing as "purely travel work" at the time, he cared little for it as art, although that must be said in favor of the plot, as he later admitted that it was fairly coherent and organic despite its complication. And others thought better of it than he did, as R.L. Stevenson's letter about them shows:

"skerry eaters,


"My dear Hardy,

"I read The Mayor of Casterbridge with genuine admiration: Henchard is a great fellow and Dorchester is touched by the hand of a master.

"Do you think you would let me try to dramatize it? I am doing extremely well and am 'Sincerely

"Robert Louis Stevenson."

There is no evidence in the Life of Stevenson of what became of this dramatic project, as far as the author can remember. The story became very popular years later; but it is curious to note that Hardy had some difficulty publishing it in tape form, as James Payn, publisher's reader, Smith, Elder and Co., felt that the lack of nobility among the characters rendered him uninteresting - a typical assessment of what Victorian taste was or should be.

For the remainder of that month and throughout June and July, they ate and ate out most days. Hardy didn't look at these features much, although some of the observations he makes are interesting. For example, he describes the charming daughter of a then-popular hostess with whom he and his wife had lunch:

"MWi is still as childish as she was when I first met her. She has an instinct to give something she can't resist. gave me a flower As usual, she expresses conflicting opinions at different times. One day she will marry; she is never like that: once she was ill; in another she is always fine. Pity the poor husbands quarrel at Marshall and Snelgrove's house. He gave a poor sweeper a shilling; came back and found her drunk. An emotionally fragile girl, despite what she calls 'bigness'."

During these weeks, Hardy met Walter Pater, "whose manner is that of a man who carries difficult ideas without crushing them". Also many politicians, of whom he states: 'A lot of formality in dealing with politics, but it doesn't matter, or originality.' On that occasion, or a few days later, the hostess, Mrs. McCarthy - also invited - came to the Conservative poster in her window. "I hope you don't mind the blue note?" "Not at all," said the amiable McCarthy softly. "Blue is a color I liked on a boy."

At Mr. and Mrs. Gosse, they met Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and his daughter:

“His figure is small, that of an old boy. He clearly stated that he didn't read novels; I didn't say I would never read your essays,

although it was true, I am ashamed to think. . . . But writers are not as squeamish about such things as they should be - at least I am not - and I found him a very bright, pleasant and youthful old man.' Doctor Holmes and with Henry James, "who has an extremely cordial manner, not to say anything in endless sentences"; and also chatted with George Meredith. This was possibly the first time he and Meredith had met since Hardy had taken Meredith's novel-writing advice; but it is not clear that this was so. At dinners elsewhere these weeks he met Whistler and Charles Keene, Bret Harte, Sambourne and others - most of them for the first and last time; at Sidney Colvin he renewed relations with R. L. Stevenson, then in London; and in another house I was sitting next to a kind old lady, Lady Camperdown, and 'could not shake the feeling that I was about to have a great naval battle'.

Commenting on some pieces of Wagner's music heard in concert at the time, when audiences were less familiar with it than later, Hardy comments: 'It was weather and spirit music - whistling of wind and storm, the clatter of a storm rising iron bars, the creaking of doors; faint cries of supplication and agony through keyholes, amidst which trumpet voices can be heard. Such music, like any other, can be made to express emotions of various kinds; but cannot express the subject or cause of this emotion.'

In this connection it is worth mentioning that Hardy met Grieg many years later and, doing his best to talk about music, stated that Wagner's compositions appeared to him the effects of the wind described above. "I'd rather have the wind and rain to myself," Grieg replied, shaking his head.

Woman. gone, she told Sydney Smith, "You didn't give him a chance to speak." "On the contrary," said Sydney Smith, "I gave him many opportunities - which you took advantage of."

That summer the Hardys began or renewed their acquaintance with Mrs. Henry Reeve and his sister Miss. Gollop, whose family was from Dorset; and with Reeve himself, well-known editor of the Edinburgh Review and the famous Greville memoirs. Despite a slightly pompous manner, he was attracted to the younger man by his wide experience of continental literary figures, musicians and princes, as well as English political and journalistic affairs.

'29. June. I called Leslie Stephen. He is equal or worse; as if he were dying to express sympathy but suffered from a terrible curse that prevents him from saying anything but caustic things and instead showing dislike.' [Hardy didn't know that Stephen was ill and going deaf, or he wouldn't have done it to get an impression of a man he loved and cared about very much.]

'After that I had a good chat with Auberon Herbert at Lady Portsmouth's house. He said pointing out Gladstone's mistake was personal vanity. Her niece, Lady Winifred Herbert, who was present, said politics had turned out to be a horror of late. However, she insisted that listening to our conversation about the same horror was not unreasonable.”

Mister. When George Gissing found out that Hardy was in London that summer, he asked if he could ask his advice on writing fiction; what has he done. Gissing later submits one of his own novels, writing in late June:

“You may find the unclassified distasteful. I myself would not dare read it now, so saturated with past misery of all kinds. . . . May I add, in one word, the real joy it brought me to meet and speak with you? I have taken no notice of your readers, and in your books I constantly find refreshment and future help. This help is urgently needed today by everyone who wants to pursue literature outside of the writing profession. My interests begin and end in literature; I hope to be able to subordinate my life and all its achievements to my ideal of artistic creation. The end of all this may prove ineffective, but it's worth using your power one way or another. The misery is that in writing for English people one may not be thorough: omissions and superficialities often fill in places where one is willing to do honest work.'

'11. July. I met and spoke to Browning again at Mrs. Procter's and a day or two later at Mrs. Skirrow's where Oscar Wilde was, etc.

'On Rotten Row. Every woman, no matter how interesting, puts on her fighting face from time to time.

"Nights at the Holywell Street bookstalls I've known for so many years."

By this point, Hardy had resigned himself to writing novels as a profession, which he never intended to pursue as such. He ran the business mechanically now. He was in court for part of the time that the Crawford-Dilke case was ongoing. He makes no comment on the case itself, but makes a general comment on the court:

“The personality that fills the court is that of the witness. The personality of the judge during the interrogation is reduced only to his physical dimensions. The same goes for everyone except the witness disseminated above. . . . The witness is also the fool of the court. . . . The Witness's little quirks outweigh those of all the other characters combined. He is king and victim at the same time.

“As for the architecture of the courts, there are religious artistic forces everywhere, masquerading as symbols of the law! The leaf, the flower, the bunch, stimulated by spiritual emotions, are placed at the service of social conflict.'

He seems to have spent the remainder of his free time in London that year at the British Museum Library and elsewhere, discussing the question of the Dynasts.

In late July they returned to Max Gate where he continued with The IVoodlanders; and in October they made another visit to Lady Portsmouth in Devon, where they passed a pleasant week, visiting local scenes and surroundings, right down to the kennels (Lord Portsmouth is Master of Dogs) and the dog cemetery. ' Lord Portsmouth made Emma, ​​with his whip, tell the tale of the hunted fox that had climbed into the old woman's watch-case, and as the story went on he added corroborating words with much seriousness, and he liked it better than she did, though he she had heard before. just.'

Dorset poet William Barnes died in October. Hardy knew him from his apprenticeship at South Street, Dorchester, along with the architect Hardy worked for during his school years. In 1864 Barnes retired from school and accepted life in Winterborne-Came-cum-Whit-combe, the vicarage happened to be less than half a mile from the only place where Hardy could build a house. Hardy's walk across the fields to attend the poet's funeral was marked by the unique incident to which he alludes in the poem entitled The Last Signal. He also wrote an obituary for his friend for the Athenceum, which was later used to describe his life in the Dictionary of National Biography. It was not until many years later that he created and edited a selection of Barnes' poetry.

Beginning of December includes this entry:

"Often I see social gatherings, people on the street, in a room or elsewhere, as if they were sleepwalking beings, performing their movements automatically - without knowing what they mean."

And a few days later another one to London:

"7. December. Winter. The landscape passed from painting to engraving: the birds loving worms fall on the berries: the back of the estates, in the general bareness of the trees, assumes a humiliating dirtiness in its details unconsidered by its occupants.

"A man whom I met on the train says with bitter regret that he worn out seven pairs of horseshoes riding from Sturminster Newton to Weymouth while there courting a young woman. He did not say whether or not he had won and married her; but I imagine so.

“Good technique abounds in the Society of British Artists; but lack of ideas for topics. The Impressionist school is strong. It is even more suggestive towards literature than art. As always, some take it to the point of absurdity. But their principle, as I understand it, is that what you take away from a scene is the real character to be captured; or in other words, what catches your eye and heart among the many things you don't like and therefore refrain from reporting.

“I spoke to Bob Stevenson – Louis' cousin – in Savile. A more solid character than Louis.

“I have Mrs Jeune. She was in a rich pink dress and looked pretty as we sat en tête-à-tête by the firelight: she was oddly an example of the Whistler office in red I had seen in the gallery that morning.

'To Lady Carnarvon's "Small and Precocious". Snow falls: the coachman made me angry - I don't know why. The familiar man with the lantern by the door. Her living room was decorated differently than she was used to during her summer crush. They looked happy to see me. Lady Winifred told me that she would be married at the Savoy Chapel on January 10th with further wedding details. She was serious and thoughtful - I imagined a little worried. He said he wouldn't let the honeymoon disturb his reading and intends to take a pack of books with him. He spoke of his fiancé as "he" - as a worker speaks of his employer - without giving his name. Wants me to name my heroine "Winifred" but it's too late to change it.

aet. 45-46MAX TOR185

"I spoke to Lady Carnarvon about the trees in Highclere in relation to my work [The IVoodlanders]. Lord C. tells me that he has stocked several bookshelves with books, all written by members of his own family - Sir Philip Sidney, his mother's mother's brother, etc.

"I suppose that's the last time I'll see the lovely Winifred Herbert pouring tea from the big pot in this house like I've seen her so many times before." Lady Carnarvon paced the room weaving little webs of sympathy among her guests.

So came the end of 1886.

January 1887 was quiet at Max Gate, and the only observation made by its occupant during the month was the following:

"After viewing the landscape attributed to Bonington in our living room, I feel that nature is being portrayed as beauty, but not mystery. I don't want to see landscapes, meaning scenic representations of them, because I don't want to see the original realities - as optical effects, I mean. I want to see the deeper reality that underlies the scenic, the expression of what is sometimes called abstract imagination.

“The “simply natural” is no longer of interest. Turner's frigging insane late rendering must now pique my interest. The exact truth of material facts no longer matters in art - it is a student style - the style of a time when the mind is still and unawakened to life's tragic mysteries; if it brings nothing to the object, it fuses and translates - perhaps somewhat obscurely - the qualities already there and the two are presented united as the whole.'

Feb 4th 8:20pm The IVoodlanders finished. I thought I should be happy, but not particularly, although relieved.” Years later he would say that The IVoodlanders was, in some ways, his best novel.

"6. February. Sunday. To see my father. They were three men he last saw flogged by the town pump in Dorchester - about 1830. He happened to arrive from Stinsford about noon. Some soldiers walking down the street from the barracks chimed in and cursed Davis [Jack Ketch] for not being "fair fudge"; that is, he waited between each stroke for the flesh to become palpable again, while, as they knew from experience, rapid striking left the flesh numb after several strokes.'

"13. February. You can imagine that a multitude of people contains a certain small minority with sensitive souls; these and aspects thereof are worth mentioning. So you divide them into mentally unstimulated, mechanical, soulless; and the living, throbbing, suffering, vital. In other words, in souls and machines, ether and sound.

"I was thinking a night or two ago that humans are sleepwalkers - that the material is not the real - only the visible, the real is optically invisible. Because we are in a somnambulistic hallucination, we think that what we see as real is real.

"Faces. The traits so common to viewers are traits of high esteem, awe-inspiring, hopeful to their owners.'

Hardy now having some leisure and spring approaching, carried out an idea which he had long entertained, and left Dorchester on Monday, March 14, 1887, with Mrs. IVoodlanders was published by the gentlemen. Macmillan.


1887: Eat. 46

The month had been mild so far, but as soon as the weather picked up it started snowing; and a blizzard doggedly followed them across the Channel and beyond. They cut short their journey at Aix-les-Bains, where they arrived after midnight, and the snow was already deep, they were shoveled a path to the waiting fly, dragging with them two horses, assisted by men turning their wheels Difficulty up the hill to Hotel Château Durieux - an old-fashioned place with stone floors and large fireplaces. They were the only people there - the season's first visitors - and despite a huge fire in their room, the next morning they found a snow cone in every window and enough snow on the floor to make their mark. To move. Hardy always spoke of a strange atmospheric effect observed at the time: he was surprised that the windows of the room they lived in - one of the best - were only designed to overlook an ordinary paddock with some broken bars and sheds. But soon "what appeared to be the sky unfolded a scene opening amidst the lofty expanse as in a magic lantern, and vast mountains appeared there and receded maddeningly, as if they had been a mere illusion."

They stayed here for a day or two, "the mountains again showed coquettish signs of unveiling themselves and coquettishly pulling down their veils again."

They made their way to Turin, stayed there for some time, and then duly reached Genoa, the first aspect of the train, which Hardy wrote long after the lines entitled Genoa and the Mediterranean, though that city—so towering over the city of marble - "all of marble," he writes, "even the small doors in the slums" - made his character noble as he visited their palaces during his stay.

They stayed in Pisa after visiting the Cathedral and the Baptistery in the 187th century

the top of the leaning tower during a peal of bells that shook his feet, and watched the sunset from one of the bridges over the Arno as Shelley had probably seen it many times from the same bridge. From there they went to Florence with “melancholic olives and cheerful lemons”, where they were received by a resident of that city, Lucy Baxter, daughter of the poet Barnes, who married and settled there, since Hardy knew her in childhood and who wrote under the name "Leader Scott". She had found them lodgings at the Villa Trollope in the Piazza dell' Indipendenza; and there they stayed all the time they were in Florence. His experience in Florence was very similar to that of others visiting the city's historic buildings, photographs and sites for the first time. Luckily they were able to visit the old market just before it was destroyed. After touring the galleries and churches of Florence they drove on and visited another English resident in the nearby country and also toured the Certosa di Val d'Ema. So they traveled to Rome, their first glimpse of St. Peter's Cathedral across the flat plains of the Campagna.

They stayed at the Hotel d'Allemagne on Via Condotti, a street opposite the Piazza di Spagna and the steps leading down from the Church of SS. Trinita dei Monti, on the south side of which stands the house where Keats died. Hardy liked to watch one night when the streets below were in shadow, the figures walking up and down those steps in the sunset light, the facade of the church orange in the same light; and also the house next door, where no one could guess what English literature had lost in the earlier part of the same century that saw it there.

After a few days spent in the Holy City, Hardy began to feel, as he often said, that the vast layers of history weighed on him like a physical weight. The time of his visit was not long after the destruction of the Colosseum and other ruins by its vast accumulations of parasitic growths, which, although Hardy as architect defended the process, which was greatly regretted because of its absolute necessity if the walls were to be preserved, he still desired was only taken into hand after your inspection. This made the ruins of the ancient city, the "altae moenia Romae" as he called them in The Aeneid, more skeletal to the eye and more depressing to the spirit than they had been to visitors when overgrown, and explains his allusions to the city in poems about Rome written after his return as representations of "lard ocher," "post walls," and so on.

He mentions the dust of the Pincio in a note: “The dust that rises in clouds from the windy path upwards, whitens the leaves of the evergreen oaks and pales still the pale spots on the trunks of the sycamore. Busts of famous Romans seem to require hats and goggles. But in the sheltered gardens under the palms they are spreading and the oranges are still hanging on the trees.'

There was a major building spurt at the time, which he comments: “I wonder how anyone can get excited about erecting a new building in Rome, given the overwhelming presence of decay in the shabby and crumbling walls of old structures. , originally fifty times the strength of the new.' This feeling was embodied in the sonnet entitled "Building a New Street in the Ancient Quarter".

A visit to the graves of Shelley and Keats was also the inspiration for other verses - probably written later; his almost falling asleep in the Vatican's Sala delle Muse was the source of another poem, fatigue being the effect of St. Peter's deadly and wearisome grandeur; and the musical incident which, as he once said, surprised him while examining the remains of Caligula's palace, that of another.

"The Quality of the Faces in the Streets of Rome: Satyrs: Emperors: Faustinas."

Hardy's notes on Rome were very muddled and muddled. But probably out of a surviving architectural instinct, he took some measurements along the Via Appia Antica, where he became obsessed with the sight of a chained line of prisoners stumping toward Rome, one of the emaciated ones for which he was to become famous. Century as the founder of Pauline Christianity. He also noted that the sidewalk on the fashionable promenade, the Corso, was half a meter wide. Of a different nature was his note: “The monk who showed us the hole in which was the cross of St. Peter in the church of S. Pietro in Montorio and took a pinch of clean sand, suggesting that since then had been there . the Crucifixion of the Apostle, was a man of cynical humor, and he gave me an indescribably funny look from the corner of his eye, as if to say, "You see very well what hypocrisy all this is!" I noticed this cunning humor in some of these Roman monks, like the one who sent me alone into the Vaults of Cappuccini [among the thousands of skulls there], unaware that I was aware of them and therefore not startled by the gruesome scene. Maybe there's something about my looks that makes them think I'm a comedian too."

Except in verse, he only makes the following remark about Roman images and statues: “Paintings. In Roman art, the core of truth was given a thick shell of affectation: e.g. I think Giotto's photos are so completely retouched that one doesn't see Giotto but the superimposed renovations. A disappointing sight. Woe to that 'great wronged soul of an old master'!' (Although the note was written in Rome, it seems to refer specifically to Florence.)

By a strange coincidence, Hardy was present at a wedding in the Church of S. Lorenzo-in-Lucina and was annoyed with himself for only later remembering that it was the Wedding Church of Pompilia in The Ring and the Book. But he was more interested in pagan Rome than Christian Rome, the latter favoring churches in which he could discover columns from ancient temples. Christian Rome, he said, was so disjointed and stratified that in a single visit it was like trying to read Gibbon in one sitting. For example, on the sparse remains of the then-newly discovered Via Sacra, he seemed to hear more echoes of the Bohrer's inquiring conversation with the poet Horace than the worship of the vast nearby basilicas, which were about time many centuries closer to him. But he was careful to remind those who spoke of it that it was really a matter of familiarity, that time was nothing but knowledge, and that he remembered the scene in the skits that he, like so many students, had read while his mind was vacant in the most sublime ceremonial of Christian services in the Middle Ages in the Basilica Julia or the Basilica of Constantine.

'April. our spirits. With increasing age, they are exposed to fewer steep inclines than when they were young. We lower the elevations and fill the depressions with enduring judgments.'

While he was here he received, among other letters, one from Mrs. Procter observing the following:

'It's very kind of you to think of me and help me in Rome. Since you live in the midst of the old, perhaps it is appropriate to think of the old, and I must say, the truest

friend you have.

“It's still winter, today there's a strong east wind, roof tiles and chimneys are flying. We've never had such a long cold season - all our money was spent on coal and gas.

"I was more dissatisfied than ever with a man you don't care with an article written by a Dr. Wendell Holmes, the American. He comes here and then says, "The most wonderful thing I've seen in England was the Crooks - they're as active and hardy as the Crooked Macaws." - Am I like a Crooked Macaw now? "He could have said parrots."

'Now the letters from Mr Thackay [to Mrs Brookfield]: so ordinary, so vulgar! You will see them in Scribners magazine. — He never fell in love with me, but the 200 letters he wrote me were far superior to these.'

He left town feeling that he understood very little of its history, albeit with a certain relief that may have been part physical, part emotional.

Returning to Florence on "a gentle, green, misty night after the rain", he found the landscape comforting after the thinness of Rome. On a hot sunny day he sat for a long time, he said, on the steps of the Lanzi, in the Piazza della Signoria, and thought about many things:

“It's three o'clock in the afternoon and the facades of the buildings are bathed in the afternoon stagnation. The figure of Neptune appears brilliant white against the drab houses behind, and the bronze forms around the basin [of the fountain] are mottled with rays at the nose, elbows, knees, breasts and shoulders. The shadow of the Loggia dei Lanzi covers half of the piazza. When I turn my head, the three great arches rise with their carvings, then those in the center of the loggia, then the row of six at the back with fingers raised, as if '[unfinished sentence].

"There's chatter at the nearby café and clattering hooves on the sidewalk outside. The reflection of this Neptune statue casts a secondary light on the café.

“Everyone thinks, even amidst these examples of art from different eras, that this present era is the ultimate culmination and result of earlier eras, not a link in a chain of them.

“In a work of art it is chance, not intention, that enchants; that we simply like and admire. For example the amber tones penetrating the curtain folds in antique marble, the smooth surface polish and the cracks and scratches.”

On a visit to Fiesole, they encountered a mishap that could have led to a serious accident. With Mrs. Baxter, they were traveling from Florence to the bottom of the hill where the little town is located and were about to climb the hill when, on second thoughts, they got on a bus that went up. The driver had gone for a drink before leaving and left the bus with only one of the two horses riding. The horse and the three of them immediately set off for Florence at breakneck speed. The road was littered with heaps of large stones that needed repairing, but he miraculously avoided them until the steam tram from Florence appeared ahead and a collision seemed inevitable. However, two workers, seeing the danger, descended from the roof of a house, stepped in front of the horse and stopped it. They tried Fiesole again and climbed - this time on foot, despite all the pilots' invitations.

In a sonnet about Fiesole entitled "In the Old Theatre," Hardy uses an incident that occurred while he was sitting in the stone amphitheater at the top of the hill.

A few more Florence looks, including the Scoppio del Carro's Easter ceremony, a visit to Mrs. Browning's grave, and the alleged scene in the Piazza dell' Annunziata from one of Browning's best poems, "The Statue and the Bust," finished their visit to that half-English city and, having seen Siena, made their way to Bologna, Ferrara and Venice by train across the Apennines, not forgetting the Euganean Hills so inseparable from Shelley's thoughts. It is striking that two poets as different as Browning and Shelley, in their writings, their mentalities and their lives, have become so mingled in Hardy's mind during this trip to Italy that other English poets who are equally or nearly so with Italy were almost excluded. , whose works he also knew.

Despite the bad weather during part of his stay, Hardy seems to have found Venice more to his liking than any Italian city he had previously visited. Byron, of course, was featured here alongside the other ghost poets lined up in his brain before the historical sequence of scenes from The Sea Queen.

A wet and windy morning accompanied his first curious examination of the Doge's Palace, "the gleaming gondola-ferry bobbing up and down the quayside, and the gondoliers standing and looking down at us. The damp draft sweeps over the colonnades of Munster's shop, not a soul in it, but Munster, whose face lights up at our sight like that of a man on a lonely island. . . . The stupid boy who showed us the way to the Rialto has been following us silently ever since.

"The Hall of the Great Council is full of dogendomry. The faces of the Doges depicted on the frieze float in the air in front of me. "We know nothing about you," say these ghosts. "Who can you be please?" The flow of air passing by feels like a questioning touch from your cold hands, blindly feeling what you are. Yes: here in this visionary place I carry the life of Dorchester and Wessex firmly in my person; and they might as well ask why I'm doing this. . . . However, there is a connection. The bell of St. Mark's Campanile strikes the hours, and its chime has the very pewter-like timbre of the Longpuddle and Weatherbury bells, showing that they are of exactly the same proportional alloy.'

Hardy looked forward to seeing St. Mark for many reasons; and he formed his own opinion about it:

'Good. Certainly there is some conventional ecstasy, exaggeration,

– shall I say farce? - in what Ruskin writes about it, as far as I remember (although I haven't read it lately), when the church is considered as a whole. An architectural flaw that nothing can overcome - its submissiveness seen from a natural point of view - the glassy marble floor of the Grand Piazza. Second, its weak and flexible construction lines. Thus, the fantastic oriental character of their cocks, despite their great beauty, makes them barbaric in their overall appearance.

ar’ mosaics, mosaics, mosaics, gilding, gilding, everywhere inside and out. The domes look like inverted porcelain bowls inside - lots of gilding too.

"See what good things there are to say - about his art, about his history! This ground, of all colors and riches, is carried in waves by the infinite multitude of feet that trod it, and how many feet there were among the others!

"An ordinary man leans into a dark corner, lights an ordinary match, and shows us - what - a lost object? — a purse, a pipe or a tobacco pouch? NO; shows us - miraculously torn from the depths of time - marvelous transparent alabaster columns that once stood in Solomon's temple.'

About Venice in general he makes the following incoherent remarks: 'When it rains in Italy you get chills; it is a much more serious matter than in England. We have our stern walls of gray stone and brick and weathered canopies and fortified slopes to defend them. But here marbles, frescoes, tesserae, gilding and endless things are exposed to the rain - making one beg to put all these treasures under a glass case!'

In good weather:

“Venice is blue and sunlight. So I tend to "rotate in the sun" rather than "belt to the sea", which I once advocated. ' [In Shelley's poem: 'Many islands must be green.']

“Venice needs warmth to complete its picture. Heat is an artistic part of the portrait of all southern cities.'

They were warmly welcomed and entertained during their brief stay by friends to whom they were introduced. Browning's friend, Mrs. Bronson, showed them many things; and of an evening party given by Mrs. Daniel Curtis at the Palazzo Barbarigo, it cannot be said that one "rows silently the gondolier without music," several lantern-lit boats halt before the open windows of the Grand Cinal, while their oarsmen and the the singers they had brought with them serenaded the guests inside. But unfortunately it was true that "the echoes of Tasso were no more", the music was that of the last popular song of the date:

"Fu-ni-cu-li, fu-ni-cu-la, Fu-ni-cu-li-cu-la!"

Still, the scene was picturesque, Hardy would say—the dark outlines of the gondoliers slinking silently past them like dogs or other nocturnal animals, the sparkle of an iron here and there: yours. the suddenly lit lanterns above the singers' heads cast a diffused light on their faces and forms; a sky like black velvet stretching out with its starry tips, while the tones from the crumbling palaces beyond reverberate with a hollow and almost funeral echo as if from a vault.

The citing of Byron recalls a regret Hardy sometimes expressed that although he might have met an old native or woman of eighty years or more who might remember Byron's sojourn at the Spinelli and Mocenigo palaces, he probably did henceforth never questioned any of them, although notably once he found himself on the Riva degli Schiavoni next to so old a person whose appearance made him feel that she was an example of such a memory.

He wanted to know if there were still descendants of the powerful Doges in fallen modern Venice. Mister. Curtis told him that there were still some in Venetian society - poor but proud, if not offensive. Most were extinct, their palaces in ruins. Go to Mrs. Bronson immediately after,

Countess Mchamou. She was a great beauty, with the well-

defined shades and contours of foreigners in the South; and she turns out to be one of the descendants Hardy had asked about. When later asked how she was dressed, he said in a green velvet jacket with cute pendants, a gray hat and feathers, a white veil with beads and a pale yellow skirt. She had an adorable manner, her mind darting from subject to subject like a child's as she spoke her loving attempts at English. "But I read it - I'm trying very hard to do it!" . . 'Yes / Yes!' ... 'Oh no no!'

Hardy wasn't listening fully, however, he later recalled. This correct, unassuming, modern lady, friend of his English and American acquaintances in Venice, and now his own, was to him chiefly the symbol and relic of the ancient vanished families; and the chief effect, he said, of her good looks and pretty voice on him was to take him back to past centuries, who merrily merrily here, when the sea was warm in May, balls and masquerades began at midnight and burned till midday, when they dreamed up new adventures for the next day. . . .

It is not known if the Italian Countess in A Group of Noble Dames was suggested by her; but there are similarities.

So they left Venice. “The Riva degli Schiavoni is fully interested in our departure, because there are always boaters in the ports, and when we left the station we saw the peaks of the Alps floating above the fog in the sky.” They are. unable to follow Ruskin's excellent advice to approach Venice by water, but they watched it from the water for quite a while while there.

"The Milan Cathedral. Yes, maybe it's an architectural filigree, but I still admire it. The inner vault consists of endless carved squares. A momentary irritation arises as I remember that it's not real - even disgust. And yet I admire it. The sense of space alone demands admiration, which is still expressed everywhere except in St. Peter's Basilica.'

The cheerful life and happiness scenes here after the poetic decline of Venice were the greatest possible contrast and not an unwelcome change. It was here that Hardy's thoughts returned to Napoleon, particularly as he sat with his wife in the sun on the roof of the cathedral, surveying the city from vistas between the buttresses. Years later, while he was here on the roof, although he wasn't sure, he thought he had conceived the Milan Cathedral scene in The Dynasts.

Hardy had lately been obsessed with an old French song of his father's, 'The Bridge of Lodi', due to his approaching the site of that famous Napoleonic fight; and in a large music store in the Victor Emmanuel Gallery he inquired about it; as might be expected, his capricious questioning was unsuccessful. He felt that he could not find anyone, and yet he continued his search. At dinner at the Grand Hotel in Milan that night, where the Hardys had stayed, they befriended a young Scottish infantry officer returning from India, and Hardy told him about Lodi and how he could not understand the old tune.

'The bridge at Lodi?' said the Scot (apparently some sort of Farfrae). "Yes, but I've never heard of it!"

"But did you even hear about the battle?" asks the astonished Hardy.

“No, and I never have anything!” says the young soldier.

Hardy then proceeded to describe the conflict, and gradually his companion became just as enthusiastic about Lodi as Hardy was. When he said he would like to see the place, his friend exclaimed, 'And I'm going too!'

The next morning they set out, and through plains of lush meadows and blossoming fruit-trees arrived at the little town of their quest, and particularly at the historic bridge itself—much altered, but certainly well enough setting the scene for Napoleon's exploits in the first and best days of his career. Over the smooth river Adda, the two reenacted the battle and the dramatic victory of the "Little Cape" over the Austrians.

The pleasant jingle in Poems of the Past and the Present, named after the bridge and written some time after the excursion to the site, fully describes the visit, but no mention is made of the young Scottish lieutenant of India, although he was at the time enthusiastic than Hardy's - the latter was somewhat dejected to discover that the most persistent searches at Lodi have yielded no lore of the event and the most thorough search has yielded no photographs of the town and river.

Returning via Como and St. Gothard, one of Hardy's observations of the old course is the competition of "the young greens with the old greens, yesterday's greens and yesterday's greens". It was too early for Lucerne and they were only there for one day. They crossed Paris and looked at the Crown Jewels that were on display at the time prior to their sale.




1887-1888: Eat. 47-48

When Hardy arrived in London in April 1887, he attended the annual Royal Academy dinner. He comments on this:

“The watchful presence of so many portraits gives this dinner a distinctive character. . Lord Salisbury's satire was too serious for after-dinner. Huxley started well but ended disastrously; the Archbishop was sad; Morley tried to look like a sophisticated man who dines out, but he really did look like his natural being, the student. After that everyone left, including the Prince of Wales, and stayed until 12. Spoke to many; it seemed unknown to many others I knew. Men don't want to talk to their peers at times like this, but to their superiors.'

The following Sunday the Hardys rejoined Browning at Mrs. Procter's and, full of Italy, Hardy alluded to The Statue and the Bust (which he often considered to be one of Browning's finest poems); and remarked that, looking at the "empty shrine" opposite the figure of Ferdinand in the Piazza dell' Annunziata, he wondered where the bust had gone and was informed by a concerned waiter standing at a neighboring door that he remembered seeing instead; After that, he gave more interesting details about it, for the information of which he was gratefully rewarded. Browning smiled and said, "I made it up."

Shortly thereafter they settled into a house on the Campden-Hill Road until the end of July.

Speaking of that date, Hardy said that when he was looking for rooms for the season, he called an agent as usual, where he didn't see the man at the front desk, who had been there a day or two earlier and knew his needs for apartments and apartments , he asked about the man and was told he wasn't there. Hardy said he'd call back in an hour and left. On his return, he was told he was still on the road. He called a day or two later and the reply was that the agent he wanted wasn't there.

"But you said he was out yesterday," Hardy exclaimed. His informant looked around as if not wanting to be overheard and replied:

'Well, strictly speaking, it's not outside, it's inside.'

'Why didn't you say that?'

"Because you can't talk to him. He's dead and gone."

'16 May. I met Lowell at Lady Carnarvon's house.'

'29. May. Example of false (i.e. selfish) philosophy in poetry:

"Thrice happy is he who is on the sunless side

From a romantic mountain. . . .

Sit quietly; while all without

Dissatisfied and sick, he plays at noon.


"2. June. Forty-seventh birthday of Thomas the Unworthy.”

'8th. June. I met at dinner at the Savile Club: Göschen, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Lytton, A.J. Balfour and others.”

"9. June. At dinner at (Juliet) Lady Pollock's house. Sir F. told Emma that he had danced in the same quadrille with a gentleman who had danced with Marie Antoinette.

"Sir Patrick Colquhoun said Lord Strath (illegible) told him he once had dinner with Rogers when Sir Philip Francis was present. The conversation turned to "Junius". Rogers said he was going to ask Sir Philip directly if he really was the man, so he walked up to him and said, "Sir Philip, I want to ask you a question." Sir P. "At your peril, sir!" Rogers backed away and said, "He's not just Junius, he's Junius BrutusV."

'He also told us that Lord Sonce reported to him as George III. I found him in Richmond Hill and I said to him, "Eton boy, what are you doing here?" "I'm going for a walk, sir." "What shape are you in?" "The sixth."

couldn't give you." (Quality.)"

'Sunday. To Mrs Procter's house. Toast there. He was sleepy. When I was telling a story, I would interrupt and forget what I was going to say.'

The 21st was Queen Victoria's jubilee and Hardy took his wife to see the procession of the Savile Club in Piccadilly. “The Queen had a very cheerful appearance. The general opinion is that there will certainly never be another jubilee in England; Anyway, probably never another clash of real characters like this.'

'25. I saw Souls out of Bodies at a concert in the Prince's Hall.'

'26. We were at Mrs. Procter's when Browning came in as usual. He seemed annoyed at not being invited to the abbey (jubilee) ceremony. He says that far from (as stated in Pall Mall) having received an invitation until twenty-four hours earlier, he had received no invitation at all from the Lord Chamberlain (Lord Lathom). The Dean offered him a ticket from his own family, but B. didn't mind accepting such terms, so he went to Oxford to stay with Jowett. People who were there say that there were a lot of court servants and other little people. An outstanding actor received 25 tickets. . . Millais, Huxley, Arnold, Spencer, etc. had none. Collectively, literature, art, and science were clearly despised and should become republican at once.' An interesting commentary on Queen Victoria's reign!

The Hardys passed the remainder of the London season in the glorious anniversary year quite happily. In some houses the scene was made very bright by the presence of so many Indian princes in their cloaks adorned with precious stones. At a reception, Hardy was quite impressed by one of the Indian dignitaries (apparently the Raja of Kapurthala); comment on it:

"In his mass of jewels and white turban and tunic, he rose and sat amid the gossip and merriment, evidently feeling lonely and having too much character to pretend to belong, and entering a mindless world of gossip and amusement overthrow he is understood nothing.'

'30. June. I spoke to Matthew Arnold at the Royal Academy Soiree. Also for Lang, du Maurier, Thornycrofts, Mrs. Jeune etc.

'To lunch with E. at Lady Stanley's (of Alderley). There I found Lord Halifax, Lady Airlie, Hon. Maude Stanley, her brother Monsignor Stanley, and others. An emotional family dispute arose, in which we guests were ignored.'

But Hardy does not comment much on these social gatherings, his mind turning to other matters, as shown in the following memorandum, drawn up on the same day as the previous one. (It must always be borne in mind that these records of persons and things were made by him only as personal opinions for private consideration, which he wished to destroy, and not for publication; a question which arose from his questioning in old age whether he declined to print them as they did no harm, and passively said he didn't mind.)

"14. July. It is the progression, ie the "becoming" of the world that causes its sadness. If the world stopped at a happy moment, there would be no sadness in it. The standstill of the sun and moon in Ajalon was not a catastrophe for Israel, but a kind of paradise."

In August he was back at Max Gate, where he comments on the difference between children growing up in lonely places in the country and those growing up in cities – the former are imaginative, dreamy and gullible to vague secrets; on the grounds that "the unknown comes within such a short radius of itself compared to what is created in the city".

At the end of the month Mr. Edmund Gosse told Hardy, among other things, that R.L. Stevenson would be heading to Colorado as a last chance, adding in a good-natured letter, "I hope your spirits are very good this summer. I'm barely fit for human society, I'm so lost in the dump. I wonder if the weather has anything to do with it? It is now correct to ascribe to physical causes all phenomena that people have called spiritual. But I am not sure. Someone may be dyspeptic and yet perfectly happy, and another may be very good and yet not the right company for a graveyard worm. Last week I shouldn't have dared to say to a flea, "You are my sister."

"3. September. Mama told me about a woman she knew named Nanny Priddle, who, if she married, would never be called by her husband's name, "because she was so proud," she said; and until the end of her life the couple was called "Nanny Priddle and John Cogan".

"25. September. My grandmother used to say that when she was sitting at home in Bockhampton she would hear the transvestite tapping her feet on the floor while she was dancing at a party in her own house a hundred yards or more away from her.'

"2. October. I looked at the thorn bushes near Rushy Pond [on a prominent spot in the bog]. In their rage against storms, their forms resemble those of like-minded men.

“A variant of the superstition associated with the dove heart is that when the process of neutralization is underway, the person who bewitched the other enters. In the case of a woman from a village nearby who performed the spell at midnight, a neighbor knocked on the door and said; "Come in and see my little maid. She's so ill that I don't like being alone with her!"

"7. October. During the funeral of Henry Smith, the rector's son at West Stafford, the cows looked sadly over the Barton's churchyard wall adjoining the grave, and rested their damp chins on it; and at the end they blew their horns in a farewell salvo.'

Another sketch for The Dynasts was elaborated in November, depicting Napoleon as haunted by an evil genius or confidante whose existence he must confess to his wives. This was abandoned and another attempted, in which Napoleon gains insight through necromancy, allowing him to see the minds of opposing generals. That doesn't seem to do anything either.

But in December he quotes Addison:

"In describing Paradise the poet [Milton] observed Aristotle's rule of wasting all flourishes of diction on the weak and inactive parts of the fable." And although Hardy did not slavishly adopt this rule in The Dynasts, it is evident that he had this in mind when he concentrated the 'Ornaments of Diction' in certain places, and so followed Coleridge in asserting that a long poem should not attempt to be poetic all the time. .

"11. December. Those who invent vices indulge in them with more discernment and moderation than those who imitate vices invented by others.'

"31.12. A quiet New Year's Eve - without a bell, band or voice.

“The year has been quite kind for me. He showed me the south of France - Italy, especially Rome - and brought me back unharmed and very enlightened. It also gave me some new acquaintances and allowed me to stick with fiction as The Woodlanders was completed, for whatever that's worth.

“Books read or articles read this year:

„Milton, Dante, Calderon, Goethe.

»Homer, Virgil, Moltere, Scott.

'O Cid, Nibelungen, Crusoe, Dom Quixote.

Aristophanes, Theocritus, Boccaccio.

Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's Sonnets, Lycidas.

'Malory, Vicar of Wakefield, Ode to the West Wind, Ode to the Grecian Urn.

'Christabel, Wye on Tintern.

"Chapmans Ilias, Lord Derbys Ilias, Worsleys Odyssee."

»2. January 1888. Other purposes, other men. Those who are in town to make money are not the same men who were at home the night before. They're not the same as they were when they stayed up at dawn."

"5. January. Be curious rather than concerned about your own career; for whatever the outcome may be your intellectual and social worth, it will do little to alter your personal well-being. A naturalist's interest in the hatching of a strange egg or germ is the utmost introspective contemplation you should allow yourself.'

'7. January. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day I sent out five issues of the magazine with a story of mine and three letters - all eight to friends as New Year's greetings and best wishes. Not a single answer. Attention: Never send New Year's letters etc.."

[Two died: one finally answered. The story was 'The Withered Arm' in Blackwood or 'The Waiting Supper' in Murray's Magazine, both published at the time.]

“Comprehension is a big element of imagination. It's half mad to see enemies etc. in inanimate objects.'

January 14th. A "novel sensation" is possible in which sensationalism is not coincidence but evolution; not physically but mentally. . . . The difference between the latter kind of novel and the novel of physical sensationalism—i.e. H. personal adventures, etc. The psychic, chance or adventure is not considered to be of intrinsic interest, but the effect on abilities is the important issue to be presented.'

"24. January. I think my politics are really neither conservative nor radical. I can be called an intrinsicist. I am against privilege of any kind, and therefore I am equally against aristocratic privilege and democratic privilege. (By the latter I mean the arrogant presumption that the only work is the handbook - an arrogance worse than that of the aristocrat - taxing the worthy to help the masses of the populace who don't help themselves when they etc. ) Opportunities should be the same for everyone, but those who do not use them should only be taken care of – and should not be a burden on those who use them or on the rulers.”

"5. February. I heard the story of a farmer who was "forgotten" [maliciously attacked] by himself. He used to go through his stash anxiously every morning before breakfast. The animals wither. He went to a white magician or witch who told him he had no enemies; that the evil was of its own cause, the eye of a fasting man was very explosive: that he should eat a 'piece of rope' before he went to inspect any possession he hoped for.' In the second half of that month the following arrived: “The Rev. Physician A. B. Grosart dares Mr. Hardy on a matter of life and death; personally and in relation to the eager young intellectuals he is responsible for. . . . The doctor. Grosart finds ample evidence that the facts and mysteries of nature and human nature urgently penetrate the penetrating brain of Mr. Winterhart.'

Enumerating some of the horrors of human and animal life, particularly parasitic ones, he added:

"The problem is reconciling this with the absolute goodness and unlimitedness of God."

Hardy replied, "Mr. Hardy regrets that he cannot propose a hypothesis that supports the existence of such evils as Dr. maybe dr. Grosart may be helped to a preliminary view of the universe by the just published Life of Darwin and the works of Herbert Spencer and other agnostics.'

Shortly thereafter he met Leslie Stephen, and Stephen told him that he too had received a similar letter from Grosart; to which he replied that since the Reverend Doctor was a professor of theology, and himself only a layman, he must have thought it was for the doctor to explain the difficulty to his correspondent, and not to the doctor.

Two or three days later the Bishop (Wordsworth) of Salisbury wrote to Hardy to set out his views on the migration of the peasantry, "which is of considerable social importance and having a very marked influence on the work of the Church," Hardy added with his intimate knowledge of the custom, was well qualified to be the historian of its causes and results. "They are moral, and in religion, respectability, etc., good or bad for men, women, and children." Hardy's answer cannot be discovered, but is known to have claimed that these modern migrations are deadly to local traditions and home gardening. Former laborers, knowing they were permanent residents, they planted apple trees and fruit bushes with zealous care to profit from them: but now they seldom plant one, knowing that in a year or two they will find a home elsewhere ; or if you plant any, dig them up and sell them before you go! Hence the lack of imagery in the homes of modern workers.

'1. March. Youth memories of four village beauties:

'1. Elizabeth B and her red hair. [She appears in the poem "Lizbie Browne" and was the daughter of a gamekeeper, a year or two older than Hardy himself.]

'two. Emily D and her sheer beauty.

'3. Rachel H and her rich color, vanity and fragility,

and to create clever artificial dimples. [She is probably in some ways the original Arabella in Judas the Obscure.]

4. Alice Pan and her mass of blonde curls.'

'March. At the Temperance Hotel. People staying here seem to be religious enthusiasts of all kinds. They speak of the old beliefs with such renewed fervor and freshness that such beliefs are once again compelling. They open up new perspectives on Christianity and turn it into inverted positions, as the painter Gerome painted the shadow of the Crucifixion instead of the Crucifixion itself as previous painters had done.

“On the street I heard a man take money from a prostitute in slang with his arm around her waist. The outside was a commentary on the inside."

'March, 9. Reading Room of the British Museum. Souls glide through here in a kind of dream - somewhat protected by their bodies, but imaginable behind them. The dissolution gnaws at them all, somewhat undermined by reforms. In the large circle of the library, time gazes into space. Coughing hovers in the same great vault and mingles with the rustling of pages of books risen from the dead and the pounding of footsteps on the floor.'

"28. March. When I return to London after an absence, I find the people I know exhausted, their hair fading, their skin too, little by little.

“People who are transient singularities to themselves are the permanent, the inevitable, the normal to themselves, with the rest of humanity being the singularity to them. Remember that these strange (to us) temporary phenomena, their personalities, are always with them when they go to bed, when they get up!

“Footprints, taxis, etc. pass our living quarters all the time. And behind every echo, pit-pat, and rumble that makes up the general din, there is a motive, a disposition, a hope, a fear, a rigid anticipation; maybe more - a joy, a sadness, a love, a revenge.

“London doesn't seem to see itself. Each individual is self-aware, but no one is collectively self-aware, except perhaps a poor gaping mouth looking around with a rather idiotic stare.

“There is no awareness of where something is coming from or where it is going – only that it is there.

'In the city. The fiendish precision or mechanics of city life makes it so unbearable for the sick and infirm. Like an acrobat performing a series of swinging trapezoids, everything glides as if it were floating as long as you are at specific points at precise moments; but if you're not on time'

"16. April. News of Matthew Arnold's death that occurred yesterday. . . . The Times speaks truthfully of his "enthusiasm for the noblest and abhorrence of the lower elements of humanity."

'19 April. Scenes from everyday life that are dreary at 20 become interesting at 30 and tragic at 40.”

- April 21. The doctor. Quain told me some strange medical stories when we were at Mrs. Jeune's. It was a mistake to have as many doctors as the German Kaiser because nobody felt responsible. He reported on Queen Adelaide, who died due to her doctors' ignorance of her illness, one of them, Dr. When asked why he hadn't investigated her disorder, Chambers commented: "The Queen" — she was so prudish that she would never forgive him for having to undergo an examination that, it turned out, would have saved her life.

“Mary Jeune says that when she tries to instill some kind of moral or religious lesson in the poor of the Far East to change their views from wrong to right, she eventually convinces them that their point of view is the right one .- not by she convinces them.'

'23. April. For the musical afternoon of Alma-Tadema. Heckmann Quartet. The architecture of your home is incomplete without sunlight and heat. Hence the dripping winter afternoon, without mocking the marble basin, the brass steps, the padded shutters and the silver apse.'

'26. April. I thought in bed last night that Byron's Childe Harold will go down in English poetry history, not so much for the beauty of some parts of him, which is fine, but for his good fortune in being a collection of Byron's descriptive poems which greatest personality fascinating part of the world - for the English - not an ordinary citizen, but a romantically wicked noble nobleman. It even affects Arnold's judgment.”

"28. April. The story of a young man - 'who couldn't go to Oxford' - his struggles and ultimate failure. Suicide. [Probably the germ of Judas the Obscure.] There is something [in it] that should be shown to the world, and it is I who must show it to them - although I have not been entirely prevented from at least going to Cambridge, and could easily rise to twenty-five.

'On Regent Street, which commemorates the Prince Regent. It is in the convenience of things that O Passeio das Prostitutes should be here. You can imagine his shadow pacing up and down each night smiling appreciatively.'

"13. May. Lord Houghton told me today, at lunch with Lady Catherine Gaskell, of a young woman who, during a service in the Chapel Royal, gave her neighbor a full description of a ball, quoting as much as possible of every answer in the litany. she could enter. Also from Lord, who carefully keeps all his old toothbrushes.

'The Gaskells said Lord and Lady Lymington and themselves went into town in an omnibus and one of them nearly sat on an Irish woman's baby. G. apologized as he exclaimed, "Oh, it wasn't you: that was the ugly one!" (points to Mr L.).

“Lady C. says that the central location of St. James (where her house is) allows her to see a lot more people. When she arrives in town, she feels a perfect lump for the first fortnight — she knows nothing of the new phrases and doesn't understand social telegraph or innuendos.”

28th of May. They went to Paris by way of London and Calais: and they stayed for several weeks in the rue du Commandant Riviere, and on arrival, as usual, smelled "the sour smell of a strange city".

June 4th and 7th. In the hall. "It was arrested, and rightly so, by the sensational picture called 'The Death of Jezebel' by Gabriel Guays, a terrible tragedy that tells its story in the blink of an eye."

'10. June. For Longchamps and the Paris Grand Prix. Course roar as I approached. It was a mess: not a blade of grass: half galoshes in the dust: the ground covered with halves of white, yellow and blue tickets: bookies with names and addresses in brass letters, in the exuberance of honesty. The owner spoke to the jockeys in English only and most of the swearing and swearing was done in English as well, and well at it. The horses went by in a volley, so close together it seemed they might collide. Excitement. Shouts of 'Vive la France!' (a French horse won).'

"11. June. To the embassy. Bon Marché with Em. I went to l'Etoile at dusk. The huge arch stood knee-deep in the lamplight, dark above against the deep blue of the sky above. I did some research and read some names of victories that were never achieved.'

'12. June. Around the tombs of St. Denis with E. A lantern in the column on one side of the vault shows us the coffins in the opposite column.”

'13 June. Exhibition of manuscripts and drawings by Victor Hugo. From there to one of the correctional courts: Hearing of two or three minor cases. Then to the Salle des Conferences."

'14 June. Sunny morning. View from l'Etoile. fresh after the rain; clean Air. I could see clearly along the Avenue de la Grande Armee - down into the valley and up to the ground beyond, where the road narrows to an obelisk standing there. He could also see the Avenue Wagram from afar. In the afternoon I went to the Archives Nationales. I found them much more interesting than I expected. As it was not a public day, the warden led me alone, which, together with the wet and gloomy afternoon, made the relics more solemn; so that in my imagination I seemed close to those keys of the Bastille, those letters from the kings of France, those edicts, and those corridors of white boxes, all containing obscure documents from a year of a bygone monarchy.'

When I left the stock exchange the next day, I learned of the death of the Emperor of Germany.

When Hardy returned to London he had an attack of rheumatism which kept him in bed for two or three days, after which they went to lodgings on Upper Phillimore Place in Kensington, where they stayed until the third week of July. Walter Pater would sometimes visit them across the street and tell them a story from George III about the row of houses where they lived. These are known to have the stone ornament of their date on the front, and the King on his return from Weymouth exclaimed: 'Ah, there are the tea-towels. Now I'll be home soon!' Acquaintance was renewed with several friends, among them, after a dozen years of silence, Mrs. Ritchie (Miss Thackeray), later Lady Ritchie. “He talked about the value of life and his interests. She admits that her main interest in the future is having children and says that when she visits L. Stephen and his wife she feels like a ghost, which arouses sad feelings in the person visited.'

Regarding the above observation about the value of life, Hardy whimsically writes a day or two later:

"I've tried many ways [to find him] because if there's a way to get a melancholy satisfaction from Ufe h Hes, to die before you're of the flesh, so to speak, which means adopting the good manners of spirits, wander around their favorite spots and observe things around them. Viewing life as a passing thing is sad; considering it past is at least bearable. Therefore, even when I enter a room to pay a simple morning visit, I have the unconscious habit of looking at the scene as if I were a ghost not solid enough to affect my surroundings; one could only meditate and say, as another ghost said: "Peace be upon you!"

"3. July. I was visiting [Eveline] Lady Portsmouth. I found her alone and stayed for tea. She looked more like a model countess than ever before, her black brocade silk suiting and fitting her well. She's not one of those marble people who you can always trust in her looks, but like all posable characters who are unsure of her looks. She is one of the few, very few women of her rank for whom I would make a sacrifice: a very talented woman, with some of her talent hiding her talent.'

"5. July. A letter lies on the red velvet tablecloth; Look up for the contrast. I cover it up so it doesn't hit my eyes so hard.'

'7. July. I arose at one o'clock in the morning, lured by the endless procession [from market carts to Covent Garden] that I could see from our bedroom windows on Phillimore Place. The chains rattle and each cart breaks under its heavy vegetable pyramid.'

"8th. July. A service at St Mary Abbots, Kensington. The red feathers and ribbons on two elegant ladies' hats in the foreground match the red robes of the people surrounding Christ on the cross in the east window. The pale crucified figure rises from a parterre of London bonnets and curls of fake hair, seen from behind where I stand. The sky over Jerusalem seems to have something to do with the cornflowers on a fashionable hat swaying in front of the City of David. . . . As the congregation rises, the silk rustles like the devil's wings in Paradise Lost. So every woman, even if she has previously forgotten it, has a single thought for the folds of her clothes. As if enchanted, they pray in the litany. Her real life swirls beneath that apparent stillness, like the District Railway subway trains nearby - throbbing, rushing, hot, anxious about next week, last week. . . . If these real scenes in which this congregation lives were brought to the church with the characters physically, there would be a church full of phantasmagorias that crowd together like a bunch of soap bubbles, crossing each other endlessly, but each only seeing their own. This bald guy is surrounded by the inside of the stock market; the girl from the jewelry store she shopped at yesterday. The vicar's recitative circles through this bizarre world of thought – a thin, solitary note without cadence or change of pitch – and disappears like a bee in the clerestory.'

'9. July. For "The Taming of the Shrew". A lively and unconventional performance that revitalizes an old theme. The brutal medieval vision of sex that enlivens the comedy doesn't bore us with its obsolescence since Miss Ada Rehan's whore is such a real whore. Her attitude of sad, impotent resignation when her husband exhausts her resistance, in which she remains motionless and hardly notices what is going on around her, is well done. At first she listens indifferently to the crack of the whip; Finally, she starts flinching at his sound, and when he literally chases the servants out of the room, she hides. At first she doesn't look at him in her tantrums, but manages to look at him with frightened attention. ' The scene where the sun-moon dispute occurs contained acting at its best. Drew's aspect of humorous inner opinion, quick look and decisive mind is a great fit for her husband's character.

"Reading H. James" Hall. After this kind of work one tends to be willfully careless in detail. The great novels of the future will certainly not be concerned with the minutiae of manners. . . . James' themes are those to take an interest in at a time when there is nothing bigger to think about.'

"11. July. At Savile. [Sir] Herbert Stephen explains that he met Mr [another member of the club] in Piccadilly a few minutes ago as he was coming out of the door of the clubhouse and that you waved to him; Arriving quickly at the club, he saw Sr. sitting in the back room. Sr., who is present during the narration, hears his ghost's story and, when H.S. repeats it to the other members, becomes quite uncomfortable with its strangeness. H.S. adds that he believes Sr is still in the back room and Sr says he is afraid to go in alone.'

'13 July. After they were on the road, what was on those horses' faces? - Termination. His eyes looked at me, followed me. The absolute nature of his resignation was terrible. Later, when I heard his footsteps as I lay in bed, the spirits of his eyes came to me and said, "Where is thy righteousness, O man and ruler?"

"Lady Portsmouth told me at supper last night that she once sat between Macaulay and Henry Layard to dine with Lord Lansdowne, and when one of them had the ear of the table the other would turn to her and speak, um to show that the absolute void of his rival's speech had to be somehow filled with whatever garbage was available.'

"14. July. What impressed me the most was Gladstone's performance at Flinders Petrie's Egyptian Exhibition. The full curves of her Roman face; and his Cochin Porcelain Egg skin was not like the pallor I had last seen him, and there was no expression of senility or mental weakness. “We had dinner at Walter Pater's. I met Miss, an Amazon, more, an Atalanta, more, a Faustine. Smokes: pretty girl: cruel little mouth: she is the class of interesting women one would be afraid to marry.'

Long lists of books to read, review, or read throughout the year follow.



1888-1889: 4et. 48-49

Returning to Dorchester two days later, he remarks: 'I thought of the determination to enjoy it. We see that in all of nature, from the leaf on the tree to the noble lady on the ball. ... It is accomplished, so to speak, with superhuman difficulties. Like dammed water, he finds an opportunity somewhere. Even the most oppressed people and animals find it, so that there is scarcely one in a thousand who does not have some sun for soul.'

"August 5, 1888. Finding beauty in ugliness is the poet's domain."

'8th. The air is closed, the sunlight suddenly disappears, and there is a nasty sea mist that smells of laundry or laundry.'

'19 Upon request, sent H. Quilter a story for his magazine entitled A Tragedy of Two Ambitions.

'21. The literary productions of men from strictly good families and strictly correct upbringing treat mainly social conventions and devices - the artificial forms of life - as if they were cardinal facts of life.

"Society is made up of characters and non-characters—at least nine of the latter and one of the former."

'9. September. My father says that Dick Facey riveted criminals' chains as they drove off in a carriage (Facey was a hired hand for Clare the blacksmith). He was always sent secretly so that people would not find out and gather at the entrance to the prison. They were taken at night, a stagecoach was specially ordered. A K. of Troytown, on the London Road, a poacher involved in the great fight at Westwood Barn near Lulworth Castle about 1825, was brought to his own door on the way for transport: he called his wife and his family to ; They heard his cry and rushed to see him off while he was in chains. He was never heard from them again.

'T Voss used to make casts of the heads of executed convicts. He took it from Preedy and Stone. Dan Pouncy held heads while it was being made. Voss oiled the faces and cut them in half, then made molds for the masks. There was a gully where the rope went through, and Voss saw some blood on Stone's body where the skin had been torn, not Preedy's.

"10. September. Misery sometimes reaches the point of greatness in its wretched severity: for example, as shown in the innkeeper's testimony at the Whitechapel murder:

“He had seen her at the inn until half past one or two thirty. He knew she was a shambles and that she generally made her living in Stratford. He asked her for the housing money when she said, "I don't have any. I'm weak and sick and I was in the infirmary. (Times report.)

“O richest city in the world! "She knew the rules."

"15. September. Visited the old White Horse Inn, Maiden Newton. Barred windows, strange old rooms. Late Perpendicular style fireplace. The landlady told me that the attic was closed for many years and that when they opened it they found clothing that supposedly belonged to a murdered man.

"30. September. "The Valley of the Great Dairies" - Froom.

"The Valley of the Little Milkmen" - Blackmoor.

“Afternoon train to Evershot. Went down to Woolcombe, a property once owned by one - I think the oldest - branch of the Hardys. Woolcombe House was to the left of what is now the dairy. Follow the path and make your way to Bubb-Down. Looking east you can see High Stoy and the escarpment below. Blackmoor Vale is mostly green, with trees dotting every hedge. On the left you see an immense distance including Shaftesbury.

“The decline and demise of the Hardys can be seen very clearly around here. For example, Becky S.'s mother's sister married one of the Hardys of that branch who was convicted of marriage. "All the Woolcombe and Froom Quintins were theirs once," Becky would proudly say. She could have added Up-Sydling and Toller Welme. This particular couple had many children. I remember as a young man seeing the man - tall and thin - running alongside a horse and a common spring trap, and my mother showing him to me and saying that he represented what was once the main branch of the family. So down, down, down.'

"7. October. The sin that afflicts modern literature is its insincerity. Half of his utterances are qualified, even contradicted, by an aside, particularly from a moral and religious point of view. If dogma must be set up by such a crest as the late Mr. M. Arnold did, it must be very bad.'

"15. until October 21st. Is the tradition that the men of Cerne-Abbas have no mustaches based on their descent from a family, tribe or clan that, due to their isolation, did not intermarry with neighbors? They are considered temperamental people.

Stephen B. says he "never had the heart" to be a funeral bearer. Now his courageous brother George has led many neighbors to their graves.

“If you look beneath the surface of farce, you will see tragedy; and conversely, when you blind yourself to the deeper aspects of tragedy, you see farce.

“My mother says that when the news broke that the Queen of France had been beheaded, my [paternal] grandmother told her that she was ironing her best muslin dress (which was then worn by young women all year round). She dropped the iron and stopped, the event affecting her so much. She remembered the pattern of the dress so well that she would recognize it immediately." Hardy herself said that during a hot and blustery summer in her childhood she remarked to him: "That's how it was in the French Revolution, I remember ."

' 10th of December ... . . He, she made a mistake; but not because the First Cause erred. He, she had sin; but sin was not the first cause. He, she was ashamed and sad; but not because First Cause would be ashamed and regretful if it knew.” (Reference unexplained.)

Among the letters Hardy received in the New Year (1889) was one from Mr. Gosse thanking him for A Tragedy of Two Ambitions, which he thought was one of the most moving and complete stories Hardy had written: 'I left the rest of the day under the moral burden of it. ... I am indeed happy - to be a faded old leaf and a gutted, bloated and wet rag - to find your genius so fresh and flourishing.'

They were in London for the first week of the year, about which Hardy comments:

“More and more as I come to London I find that it (i.e. London proper – the central parts) becomes a huge hotel or caravan with no connection to Middlesex – whole streets that existed not so long ago and mainly private houses consist of boarding houses and an unkempt appearance.

"I called the lady. She's still a skinny girl, and she keeps saying her age, practically speaking of "before I got married". It humorously tells how she and Lord - her father, who is a nervous man, arrived early at church and sadly drove up and down the Thames Embankment until the time was right. She just had a mania for worshiping art. When she can no longer bear the ugliness of London, she goes to the National Gallery and sits opposite the great Titian.'

'8th. January. To the city. Omnibus Horses, Ludgate Hill. The greasy condition of the roads made for constant slipping. The poor creatures fought and fought, but they couldn't start the bus. A man next to me said, "This must take all their heart and hope away from them! I will go. He has; but all the other twenty-five selfish ones of us stayed put. The horses finally carried us desperately up the hill. I should have taken off my hat to him and said, "Sir, although I have not been moved by your human impulse, I shall take advantage of your good example"; and they followed him. I would like to meet this man; but we will never meet again!'

"9. January. At Old Masters, Royal Academy. Turner's watercolors: Each is a landscape plus a man's soul. . . . What he mainly paints is the light modified by objects. He first recognizes the impossibility of actually displaying everything that is in a landscape on the screen; it then gives what cannot be reproduced something else that has an effect on the viewer that is close to reality. He said in his wildest and greatest days, "What image drug can I give man that will affect his eyes a little in the way of this reality that I cannot convey to him?" - and willing to make strange mixtures as he did in "Rain, Steam and Speed", "The Burial of Wilkie", "Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus", "Approach to Venice", "Snowstorm and a Steamboat" did, etc. . Therefore it can be said that art is the secret of how to bring about the effect of a truth through a false thing. . . .

"I'm struck by the red glow of Romney's butt and its fleshy red shadows. . . . Watteau paints claws instead of hands. They are unnatural - sometimes terrible. . . . Then the pictures of Sir Joshua, with middle-aged people sitting outdoors without hats,

on damp stone seats under arcades and ruthlessly expose themselves to drafts and cold as if insane. . . . In addition to the above there were also the Holls and the works of other more recent English painters such as Maclise. . . .

“How time begins to lift the veil and gradually show us the really great men among them, different from the vaunted and elegant ones. The wrong look their generation gives them is fading and we see them for who they are.'

'28. January. Alfred Parsons, the landscape painter, here. He gave enough reasons for living in London and hanging out with people (intellectuals, I suppose) to let them think for you. A practice that I fear will prove disastrous for A.P.'s brushes."

"6. February. (After reading Plato's dialogue “Kratylus”): A very good way of looking at things would be to look at everything as having a real or false name and an intrinsic or true name to determine what all the effort should be undertaken. . . . The fact is that almost all things have wrong or rather inappropriate names.'

"19. February. The story of a face spanning three generations or more would make a fine novel or poem about the passage of time. Personality differences should be ignored.' [This idea was partially realized in the novel O Bem-Amado, the poem entitled 'Heredidade', etc.]

"26. February. In time one can begin to see every object and action as composed, not of this material or that, of this movement or that, but of the qualities of pleasure and pain in varying proportions.'

'1. March. With a Botticelli, the soul is outside of the body and imbues the viewer with its emotions. With a Rubens, the flesh is on the outside and the soul is (possibly) on the inside. With the latter, the smell of meat is noticeable.'

'4. March. A story from the village reminded me yesterday:

“Mary L., a pretty girl, came to Bockhampton and left a lover in Askerswell, her home parish. William K. fell in love with her at the new location. The old lover, a shoemaker who smelled like mice, came to her anxiously and brought as a gift a delicate pair of shoes he had made. He happened to meet her at the step of the way, but unfortunately in the arms of another lover. In the fury of love the two men fought for her until they were breathless while she looked and held their hats; until William, wiping his face, said, "Now, Polly, which of us do you love most? Speak directly!” She wouldn't say it then, but said she would consider it (bitch!). The young man she had been inconsistent with left her furious - he threw his shoes at her and her new lover as he walked away. She never saw or heard from him again and accepted the other. But she kept the shoes and married them. I knew her well as an old woman."

'15 March. What has been written cannot be erased. Any new style of novel should be the old one with additional ideas, not ignore and avoid the old one. And also about religion and much more!'

"5. April. London. Four million lost hopes!'

"7. April. An unfortunate fact - that the human race is extremely developed for its physical conditions, the nerves for abnormal activity in such an environment are developed. Even the higher animals are exaggerated in this respect. It can be questioned whether nature, or what we call nature, has not overstepped its mission since crossing the invertebrate-to-vertebrate boundary. This planet does not provide the materials for the happiness of higher existences. Other planets can, although you can hardly see how.'

A day or two later I brought him a long and interesting letter from J. Addington Symonds at Davos Platz about Return of the Natives, which he had just found and read, enthusiastically emphasizing "its vigour, freshness and charm". In the last week of April they went back to London for a few months and stayed at the West Central Hotel until they found something more permanent, which this year was in two furnished floors in Monmouth Road, Bayswater.

'5. May. Morning. Sunday. To Bow Church, Cheapside, with Em. The classical architecture, especially now that it has been refurbished and painted, gives you the feeling of being in Rome. About twenty or thirty people present. Upon entering, the vicar at the counter and the vicar of the choir smile in greeting as they look up into their hymns, so happy you have deigned to visit them in your solitude.

"What is a great tragedy socially may not be an alarming circumstance in nature."

'12. May. Night. Sunday. to St. James, Westmoreland Street, with Em. Heard Haweis—a little lame figure who could scarcely climb the pulpit. His black hair, black beard, sunken cheeks, and black dress made him look like one of the skeletons in the Capuchin Church in Rome. The subject of his discourse was Cain and Abel, with his first claim being that Cain had excellent qualities and was the greater character of the two,

although in some things Abel might have been the better man. However, he reminded us that good people can be very irritating at times, and the occasion was probably an agricultural depression like the present one, so Cain said to himself, 'This year is like last year and all my work was wasted! (laughter from the congregation). Overall, the effect was comical. But someone sympathized with the preacher, he was so weak and sweating profusely when he finished.'

'20. May. I have attended the Alma-Tademas. Tadema is like a schoolboy, with tousled hair, robust, inquiring eyes, and excited manners. I like that phase of him more than the man of the world phase. He introduced me to M. Taine, a friendly, trim old man with his head slightly bowed.'

Earlier in the year, Hardy asked one of the Sheridan Misses, Mr. and Mrs. A. Brinsley Sheridan, Hardy's neighbor in Frampton Court, Dorset, if she could sing him "How often, Louisa!" Song in his ancestor's comic opera 'The Duenna'. (It wasn't a women's song, by the way.) His literary flair was shocked when she said he'd never heard of it, having sung it himself as a young man because he had actually been in love with Louisa. . Now that he was in London, he remembered what he had promised her and looked for a copy, but to his surprise finding one seemed beyond his power. Eventually he called a second-hand music shop in what is now Oxford Circus tube station and frantically repeated, "How many times, Louisa?" The shop was run by an old man in a rusty suit and tall hat who sat on an office stool and threw himself back in his seat at the sound of the words, arms spread wide like an opera singer, and sang along. a withered voice answered:

How many times, Louisa, did you say

(You won't even brag that you like going rogue) You don't want to lose Antonio's love to rule as a partner to a throne!

"Ah, this brings me back to times that will never come again!" he added. 'Yes; When I was young it was my favorite song. As for it, it's certainly here somewhere. But I couldn't find it in a week. Hardy made him sing and promised to come back.

When his shop was demolished, the charming old man disappeared, and although Hardy later searched for him, he never saw him again.

'29. May. The girl on the bus had one of those wonderfully beautiful faces that you occasionally see on the street but never among your friends. It was perfect in its understated classicism - a Greek face translated into English. She was also blonde and her hair was light brown. Where are these women from? Who is she marrying? Who knows her?'

They went to art galleries, concerts, French plays, and the usual lunches and dinners of the season; and in June Hardy ran into Dorchester for a day or two, on which occasion, while strolling through the meadows, he remarked: 'The birds are so passionately happy that they introduce variations into their songs to an unheard-of extent—which they are not always improvements.

Back in London: 'One difference between the modes of intellectual middle class and nobility is that the latter have more flexibility, almost a dependence on their scope, as if anticipating future events; while the former are direct, energetic, and brutal, as if fabricating a future to please them.'

'9. July. Love lives by proximity, but dies by contact.'

"14. July. Sunday. Centenary of the fall of the Bastille. I went to Newton Hall to hear Frederic Harrison lecture on the French Revolution. The audience sang "The Marseillaise". Very impressive.'

"23. July. Of the people I have met this summer, the lady whose mouth recalls the Elizabethan metaphor "Her lips are roses full of snow" (or is it Lodges?) better than any other beauty is Mrs Hamo Thornycroft - with whom I spoke to Gosse over dinner.

“24. July. B.Museum:

'Greek text etc. Soph. Oed. Shot. 1365 ("and if there is a calamity that surpasses calamity, it became the part of Oedipus" - Jebb. cf. Tennyson: "a deeper depth")."

It was around this time that Hardy was asked by a writer with some experience adapting novels for the stage - Mr. J.T. Grein - if he would give permission to adapt The Woodlanders. In his answer he says:

"You've probably noticed that the end of the story - implied rather than spoken - is that the heroine is doomed to an unhappy life with a fickle husband. I couldn't emphasize this heavily in the book due to library conventions etc. Since the story was written, however, character fidelity in literature is no longer considered as a great crime as it used to be; and therefore it is a question for you whether you emphasize this ending or prefer to conceal it.'

Nothing seems to have come of the dramatization, as evidently no English manager at this point would dare defy the formalities to the extent required by the novel, in which some of the situations were roughly of the sort later presented to English theatergoers Ibsen translations.

At the end of the month they gave up their rooms in Bayswater and returned to Dorchester; where Hardy devoted himself daily during the month of August to writing the new story he had dreamed up, which was Tess of the d'Urbervilles, although she had not yet been christened. During the month he notes as a passing thought:

“If a married woman who has a lover kills her husband, she really doesn't want to kill her husband; She wants to end the situation. It is clear that this was not exactly so in the case of Clytemnestra, as there was the additional complaint of Iphigenia which partially justified this.'

"21. September. To realize this idea of ​​Napoleon, the Empress, Pitt, Fox etc. I constantly feel like I need a bigger canvas. ... A ghostly tone should be assumed. . . . real ghosts. . . . Title: "A Drama for Kings". [But he didn't use it; prefer The Dynasts.]

"13. October. According to my father, three men on stilts danced a three-handed reel in Broadmayne.”

In November Leslie Stephen wrote of a Dorset character for the Dictionary of National Biography then in full swing under his hands:

“I only ask you not to enter the dictionary alone. You can avoid it by living a few years - hardly a high price to pay for liberation. But I won't answer for my grandson, who will probably edit an insert.'

At about the same time, Hardy answered some of Mr. Gosse's questions:

“The “Apple Day” is exotic; "Sic-Sac-Tag" or "Sic-Sac-Tag" as the farmers call it.

'"I." This and related words, e.g. — "I want", "he wants", etc. are still used by old people in N.W. Dorset and Somerset (see Gammer Oliver's conversation in The Woodlanders, which is an attempt at reproduction). I only heard “I” last Sunday; but it dies quickly.'

The immediate business, however, was the new story Tess of the d'Urbervilles, for serial use of which Hardy had three commissions, if not more, on his shortlist; and in October, as far as written, it was offered to the first to ask, the editor of Murray's Magazine. It was rejected and returned to him in mid-November, practically because of its inappropriate clarity. It was immediately sent to the second, the editor of Macmillan's Magaiine, and rejected by him on the 25th for practically the same reason. Hardy would now have preferred to finish the story and just release it as a volume, but there were reasons he couldn't afford it; and adopted a plan hitherto believed to be unprecedented in the annals of fiction. The point was not to offer the novel intact to the third editor on his list (his experience with the first two editors had taught him that it would be pointless to send it to the third as is), but to offer it with a few chapters to send . or cut out parts of chapters and, instead of destroying them, publish them or many of them elsewhere, if possible, as episodic adventures of anonymous characters (which was actually done, with the omission of some paragraphs); until they could be reused in printing the whole in volume form. In addition, some passages have been changed. Hardy carried out this unceremonious concession to conventionalism with cynical amusement, knowing the novel was moral enough and gentle. But the work was hard work, the altered passages had to be written in colored ink so the originals could be easily restored, and he often claimed that he almost found it easier to write a new story. Therefore, the work brought no profit. He decided to retire from providing family literature for magazines as soon as he could do so comfortably.

The treatment was a complete success, however, and the mangled novel was accepted by the editor of the Graphic, the third editor on Hardy's list, and an agreement was reached to begin it in the pages of that newspaper in July 1891. It may be noted that no complaint of inappropriateness in its reduced form was raised by readers, with the exception of one gentleman with a family of daughters, who found the bloodstain on the ceiling indecent — Hardy could never understand why.

'1. December. Until the 1820s or later it was customary in Stinsford to bring a body into the church on the Sunday of the funeral and leave it in the nave for the duration of the service, after which the burial took place. People liked the custom and always tried to save a corpse until Sunday. The Psalms of Psalms were used for the Psalms of the Day and the Psalms of Psalms for the second lesson.'

"December 13. Read in the papers that Browning died yesterday in Venice." He was buried in Westminster Abbey on December 31.

‘“Incidents in the development of a soul! little else is worth studying” – Browning.

"What the Athenceum says is true, if not the whole truth, that intellectual subtlety is the disturbing element of its art."

Other poems written at this time included the so-called "At Middle-Field Gate in February," which describes the country women of the author's childhood. The writer once asked Hardy the names of those he calls "the now underground squad," he said they were Unity Sargent, Susan Chamberlain, Esther Oliver, Emma Shipton, Anna Barrett, Ann West, Elizabeth Hurden, and Eliza Trevis others who were young men of about twenty when he was a child.



1890: Eat. 49 - 50

"5. January. Look at old punches. I am struck by the frequent misdirection of satire and praise when viewed in the light of later days.'

'29. January. I've been looking for God for 50 years and I believe if he existed I would have found him. As an outer personality, of course - the only true meaning of the word.'

5. March. A weak, serious and tired man at the train station. Her back, her legs, her hands, her face longed to be out of the world. His brain didn't crave it because, like most people's brains, it was the last part of his body to perceive a situation.

'On the train to London. I wrote the first four or six lines of "I have not a single line of your writing". It was an odd example of sympathetic telepathy. The woman I was thinking of - a cousin - - was dying at the time and I completely ignored him. She died six days later. The rest of the play was not written until after his death.'

'15 March. With E. for a drop of Jeunes'. I found Mrs. T and his wide eyes in a corner of the room as if swept away by the growing crowd. The most beautiful woman of today. . . . But these women! If it were placed in rough packs in a turnip field, where would its beauty be?'

He later observes scenes like this: "Society at large has not seen what every common man can see, has not read what every common man has read, nor thought what every common man has thought."

'March April:

"Altruism, or the Golden Rule, or whatever the name is 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' is, I believe, ultimately brought about by the pain we see in others responding to ourselves as if we and they are one would be part of a body. Humanity can and may be viewed as a member of a bodily structure.

"Conservatives often do, as an exception to their principles, more extreme acts of democracy or liberalism than radicals usually do -- such as helping promising citizens, tolerating wild beliefs, etc.

“Art consists in depicting the ordinary events of life in such a way as to bring out the traits that illustrate the author's idiosyncratic point of view; to make old incidents and things appear new.'

'Easter. Sir George Douglas came. He went with him to Barnes' grave; The next day to Portland. I had lunch at Mermaid.

'In an article about Ibsen in Fortnight, the author says his manners are wrong. This drama, like romance, was not meant to be edifying. In my opinion, the writer is wrong. It should be so, but the structure should not perceive the structure. Ibsen's edification is too obvious.'

'26. April. See the First Cause or Unchangeable Background as 'That' and tell of its deeds.' [This was done in The Dynasts.]

In May, the Hardys were back in London and carried out their usual routine of photo shows, lunches, phone calls, dinners and receptions. At the academy he recalls the old academy exhibitions, e.g. the years when Frith's paintings were surrounded by a barrier and the strange effect on a viewer of the elegant crowd - who looked like enchanted people or like sleepwalkers. At the evening service at St. George's, Hanover Square, 'everything looks like the modern world: electric lights and ancient theology seem strange companions; and the sermon was addressed as to native tribes of primitive simplicity, and not to nineteenth-century Englishmen.' He left the church and went to supper at the Criterion, where, going first to the second floor, he stumbled into a room from which emanated faint laughter and murmurs, the light of lamps with pink shades; where the men all wore evening dresses, with rings and studs, and the women were very naked at the neck and heavily bejeweled, their eyes glassy and black wandering. He went downstairs and had dinner in the grill room.

"9. May. MS. by a group of noble ladies sent to the printers as promised.

“On the streets I see hundreds of patients working and boxes on wheels full of men and women. On the squares are coal stoves. One man says, "When you're half drunk, London seems a wonderfully pleasant place, with its lightbulbs and cabs whizzing around like fireflies." Yes, man has done more with his materials than God has done with his.

"A doctor cannot cure an illness, but he can change the way it is expressed."

"15. May. I'm coming home after seeing Irving in The Bells. Between the 11th and 12th The 4,000,000 now hint at their existence by seeing at this hour the splendor of Piccadilly Circus and noting the dried features in the surrounding kiln.'

At Mr. “In America at night you feel: 'I have to be fast and sleep; there isn't much time for that." She then became Mrs. Rudyard Kipling. About the same day Hardy also met, probably for the first time, Mr. Kipling. "He was talking about the Orient, and he said very well that the Orient is the world both in numbers and in experience. He went through our present troubled stages and became inactive. He recounted curious details of Indian life."

Hardy notes that June 2nd is his fiftieth birthday: and during the month he frequented the Savile Club, and sometimes dined there with acquaintances, including J. H. Middleton, Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge. Hardy used to criticize Middleton for not having a sense of life as such; as someone who, for example, talked about bishops' mantles and miters in a serious, serious, anxious way, as if there were no cake and beer in the world, or no laughter and no tears, or human misery beyond tears. His sense of art caused him to lose all sense of relativity and of art's subordinate relation to existence.

This season, too, Hardy seems to have had the humor to go to the concert halls, and he speaks of the beauties "whose shining eyes and pearly countenances show that they owe their attraction to art" who are seldom physically well formed. ; he observes the "young men in round hats gaping on the stage, with receding chins and rudimentary mouths"; and comments on the strange fact that although there were so many obvious drunks around him, the character on stage who always gave the greatest pleasure was that of a mock drunk. In Bizet's opera Carmen, he was still impressed by the behavior of the people on the opera stage; that of being "possessed, muddy, deranged, as if I lived on a planet whose atmosphere was intoxicating". At a ballet at the Alhambra, he noted "the air of docile obedience on the faces of some dancers, a passive resignation like that of a horse dragging along as if long accustomed to correction". Also signs of fatigue. The morals of actresses, dancers, etc. cannot be judged on the same scale as people who lead slower lives. Living in a pulsating atmosphere, they are unwittingly being pulsated by it. We have to reject these places completely because of their effect on artists or forgive artists as irresponsible. . . . Premiere Danseuse caresses each calf with the sole of her other foot like a fly - her mouth hangs in a perpetual smile.'

"23. June. In reply to your letter, I called Arthur Locker [editor] at the graphics office. He says he doesn't mind the [A Group of Noble Dames] stories, but the directors do. Here is a beautiful work! Gotta calm those Headmasters down somehow, I suppose.'

In the same month he met Mr. (thereafter Sir) H. M. Stanley, the explorer, at a dinner given by the editors of his voyages. Hardy doesn't appear to have been very attracted to her personality. He noted that Stanley was shorter than he was, "with a contemptuous curve around the mouth and a look that would soon turn to resentment". He gave what Hardy thought was a very distasteful speech, after which everyone involved in the production of his book was rightly delighted at the honor. At the same dinner, Hardy spoke to Du Chaillu, who had also exchanged a few words. Hardy asked him, 'Why didn't you take more credit for finding those dwarves?' The good-natured Du Chaillu said with a wink, “No, no! It's his dinner." Hardy also met the Bishop of Ripon at that dinner, of whom he says, "He [the bishop] has a pretty face — a kind of naïve wickedness about him — like he's willing to let the supernatural down with him." ease if you could.

In the police courts, where he occasionally spent half an hour at this time, still being forced to get new casts, he remarked that "the public" seemed to be represented mainly by dirty gentlemen who already had experience in the courts of a Position in had the dock: that in an antechamber of the court people were sitting as if waiting for the doctor; that the character of the witness under cross-examination often deteriorated; and that the judge's glasses were usually anxious to show strictly just behavior combined with as much generosity as justice would allow.

On the last day of the month he ended his series of visits to London entertainment and law firms by remarking: "I'm getting tired of immersing myself in vaudeville and police court life." About the same time he lost his friend Lord Carnarvon, who had written with prophetic insight when proposing him for the Athenaeum that it would have been better if his proposer had been a younger man. Before leaving London he met Miss. Ada Rehan, for whom he had great affection and admiration in some of her roles, the shrew being one of them, of course. He says of her: "A captivating woman of a kind nature with a true heart. I'm afraid she's exhausting herself with too much work. Two days later they went to the Lyceum to see her as Rosalinda in As You Like It. Her role wasn't quite as real - in fact, it couldn't be - as in The Shrew. Before beginning, Hardy wrote, "I'm going to see Rosalind with E. after not seeing her for over twenty years. This time it is composed by Ada Rehan”. "Oh yes, it's fine," she said. "But I'm in a whirlpool. . . . Well, it's an old thing and Mr. Daly had fun producing it! I took pains to reassure her that it would be satisfactory, and perhaps it would be, for in the other acts she acted full of spirit.' It is possible that the dramatic poem entitled 'The Two Rosalindas' carries through this performance was suggested in combination with another; but there is no certainty about it, and the data and other characteristics do not fully agree.

Woman. Because of his father's illness and death, Hardy had to leave London soon after; but her husband had promised to write an epilogue to be spoken by Fraulein. Rehan in a presentation on behalf of Mrs. Jeune. So he stayed in London until he wrote it and it was duly delivered. He did not personally attend the presentation, but was present that evening at a debate at St. James's Hall between Messrs. Hyndman and Bradlaugh, at which he was greatly impressed by the extraordinary power of the latter's features.

"24. July. Mary Jeune was delighted with the verses: It says that Miss. Rehan trembled so much reading it that she could hardly seem to follow the lines.'

5th of August. reflections on art. Art is a change in the actual proportions and order of things in order to emphasize with more force than possible that part of them which most appeals to the artist's individuality. The change or distortion can be of two types: (1) The type that increases the feeling of vraisemblance: (2) The one that decreases it. (1) it is high art; (2) it's low art.

“High art can choose to represent both evil and good without losing its quality. However, your choice of evil must be limited by your sense of entitlement.' A continuation of the same note was made a little later and can be given here:

“Art is a mismatch—(i.e., distortion, mismatch)—of realities to show more clearly the features that matter in those realities, which, if only copied or inventoried, might possibly be observed, but would more likely be forgotten . . That's why "realism" isn't art.”

"8th. until August 17th. With E. to Weymouth and back. Alfred Parsons [R.A.] came. I've been looking at a couple of Sir Joshuas and Pinturicchios owned by Pearce-Edgcumbe. It then proceeded with Parsons to Weymouth via Ridgeway Hill. Lunch at the Royal.” It was the Old Royal Hotel, now demolished, where George III and his daughters danced at town meetings, a red cordon separating the royal dancers from the townspeople. The bases for the tensioning straps were still visible on the ground when the building was standing.

At the end of August of that month, Hardy left with his brother for Paris via Southampton and Havre, leaving the old port at night when "the Jersey boat and ours were almost crushed by the enormous volume of the "Magdalena" (Brazil and Rio Placa) - her white figure at the bow of the ship, towering above us into the dark blue sky'. The trip was undertaken by Hardy solely on behalf of his brother and they only did the usual sightseeing tour. As is almost always the case with Hardy, he noticed a strange bizarre effect at the Moulin Rouge - a very popular entertainment venue at the time. As everyone knows or knew, it was near the Montmartre Cemetery, apparently separated only by a wall and an erection or two, and while he was somewhere in the building looking at the young women dancing can-can and the men Grimacing, he seems to be able to see through a pair of rear windows above their heads the final resting place of so many similarly gay Parisians, silent in the moonlight, and, he notes, near the grave of Heinrich Heine.

When he returns to Havre, he sees "a Cleopatra in a wagon". Her French husband sits across from her and appears to be studying her; keep asking me why he married her; and why she married him. Judging by her voice and her heavy, moist lips, she is a good-natured, lovable creature.'

Autumn was spent in the country, visiting and entertaining neighbors and attending open-air parties. In September, much to his sorrow, his guard dog "Moss" died - a loving retriever whose grave can still be seen at Max Gate.

In the second half of this year, having completed the adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles for the serial edition, he seems to have delved into many books - mainly satirical ones: among them Horace, Martial, Lucian, "the Voltaire of Paganism" , Voltaire, Cervantes, Le Sage, Molière, Dryden, Fielding, Smollett, Swift, Byron, Heine, Carlyle, Thackeray, James Thomson's Satires and Profanities and Weismann's Essays on Heredity.

In December, while in London, Hardy had the opportunity to find himself in political circles for a while, although he never sought them out. In one house he was guest companion of Mr. (later Lord) Göschen, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the 'I forgot Göschen' story was still there. Soon after, in another house, he had an opportunity to speak to the then Dowager Duchess of Marlborough, mother of Lord Randolph Churchill: "She is a warm, kind woman and has expressed her sadness at what happened to her son happened, even though she The hostess had categorically told him it was his business. She laments that young people like her are leading the Conservative Party and her son is nowhere to be seen. She says he has learned from bitter experience and would accept any junior position the government offers him. Poor woman - I felt sorry for her because she is suffering so much. However, Parnell was the main subject, not Randolph.”

"4. December. I am more convinced than ever that people are several people in succession, as every special quality in their character is maximized by circumstance.'

“From December 8th. Accommodation at Jeunes. Lord Rowton, who is a large pensioner, says I am her 'file'."

(Video) My Journey with Thomas Hardy | Victober 2020

"18. December. Mister. E. Clodd gives an excellent clear answer this morning to my question as to why the superstitions of a distant Asiatic and a Dorset worker are the same: 'Man's attitude,' he says, 'at corresponding levels of culture, previously similar phenomena, is quite the same , his Dorset pawns represent the persistence of the barbarous idea, which confuses men and things, and bases broad generalizations on the thinnest analogies.

"(This 'barbaric idea, confusing people and things', by the way, is also common to the supreme imaginative genius - that of the poet.)"

'Christmas Day. As I thought of resuming "poetry's invisible wings" before sunrise this morning, new horizons seemed to open and disconcerting pettiness vanished.

“I heard a tradition from the old country today; that if a woman leaves her own premises before going to church, e.g. crosses a road that forms the boundary of her residence - she may be repented or excommunicated. I can't explain it, but it reminds me of what old Mr. Hibbs of Bere Regis told me the other day; that a native of that place, now in his 90's, says he remembers a young woman doing penance in the church of Bere for singing scandalous songs about "a great lady". The girl lay on a white sheet as she went through whatever "penitential service" that was.

“I also heard another strange story. Mil [Amelia] Chad, illegitimate son of the community doctor. She called him by all the doctors' names, which happened to be a great many—Frederick Washington Ingen—and she always called him by his three full names. The doctor also squinted, and to further identify him as a father, she hung a spool from the baby's cap between his eyes and trained him to squint in the same way.'

The next day they had lunch with a distant cousin of Hardy's on the mother's side - Dr. Christopher Childs of Weymouth - about his brother and sister-in-law Mr. (whose grandfather married into the Borlase family) some lore of his and Hardy's common ancestors, of which Hardy comments: 'My great-grandmother's brother, Christopher Childs, who left Dorset was a Jacobite who was responsible for the decline of their fortune. There is also a tradition - which I had previously heard from my mother - that someone in the family added the 's' to the name and that it was associated with Josiah Child, the founder of Child's Bank, and the Lord Jersey family. . I doubt the former claim and have no real evidence for the latter.'

'New Year's Eve. Just before noon he looked out and saw the strewn soundless white of snow before him the row of breathing pines: 'We fare no better than the rest of creation, you see!' I could not hear the church bells.'



1891: Eat. 50-51

By early January 1891 he was at home preparing A Group of Noble Ladies for publication in one volume. He was also in London part of the month, where he saw what is called the sun up here--a red-hot sphere hanging in a livid atmosphere--reflected in the form of dull copper eyes in the window-panes and the leaves kindled flat Glass with bloody spots of light. Matt snow mingled with liquid horse manure and ice puddings moved lazily on the river. The steamers were stuck, snow lay on the catwalks. A captain, in sad solitude, smoked his pipe on the cabin stair bulkhead. The lack of traffic allowed the water to flow like a stream through a deserted metropolis. In the city, George Peabody sat comfortably in his chair, with snow in the folds of his broad waistcoat, on his bare head, shoulders and knees.'

After seeing Irving at the Lyceum and admiring the production: "But such scenic perfection only relegates one take further back, the dissonant point between illusion and disillusionment. You need to have it somewhere and start calling "sham" right away, and it can be as soon as it's late - immediate or delayed - and no complicated scenarios should be attempted.

“I have nothing against the fashion of the first night in a play: it is so insincere, whorish; the theatrics behind the limelight seem to flow over the audience.'

The following Sunday, several people had dinner at the house where Hardy was staying. ' Soon Ellen Terry came - transparent - a kind of balm or sea anemone, without shadow. Also Irving, Sir Henry Thompson, Evelyn Ashley, Lady Dorothy [Nevill], Justin McCarthy and many others. Ellen Terry was like a machine where if you compress a spring, all the parts spring open. E. Ashley's laughter is like a spanking or a report; it was so loud it woke up the kids sleeping on the third floor. Lady Dorothy said she collected deaths.

Heads--(What did she mean?). Ashley told me about her election experiences. The spectacle of another guest - a Supreme Court justice - telling big stories with big laughs and big accents after the women left reminded Baron Nicholson of the glory of a "judge and jury." "Tom" Hughes and Ms. Hughes arrived after dinner. Miss Hilda Gorst said that at dinner we made so much noise at our end of the table that at their end they wondered what we were supposed to be having fun with. (It always seems so.) ... A great crowd later, until it thinned at one o'clock, leaving nothing but us empty on the wide, polished floor.'

At the end of the month he and his wife were at a ball at Mrs Sheridan's in Frampton Court, Dorset, where he saw a friend of his "walking about with an ambitious face, not the least bit pleased, as if to say to himself: ' That has to be done." We are all inveterate pleasure-mongers: some do it better than others; and the actual making is scarcely pleasant.'

"10. February. Newman and Carlyle. The former was a feminine nature that decides first and then finds reasons for having decided. He was an enthusiast with an absurd reputation as a logician and thinker. Carlyle was a poet with a reputation as a philosopher. None of them were really thinkers.'

On the 21st, Hardy remarks that Mrs. Hardy was riding a horse for the last time in his life. It was for Mrs. Sheridan at Frampton, and a train was crossing a bridge over it, causing the mare to rear up; but fortunately not playing the pilot. Very few horses could do that.

In March they were back in London. Deep snow fell soon after, but they made it home. It went wrong:

"Carved, hollowed out, chiseled, trimmed, puttyed, wind formed. Em says it's architectural. ... A 50-year-old is an old man in winter and a young man in summer. . . It was made by J.A. told about a poor young man who is dying of tuberculosis so he has to get up and up at night because he can't sleep. However, he described to my informant that one night he had such a funny dream about pigs flipping over a thatched ladder that he lay awake laughing.'

That same month, Hardy erected what he dubbed "The Druid Stone" on the lawn of Max Gate. This was a large block which they discovered four feet deep in the garden, and the work of pulling it out of the hole where it had lain perhaps two thousand years was hard work even for seven men with levers and other implements. - "It was a primitive mechanical problem, and the scene resembled what might have happened during the building of the Tower of Babel." Around the flat stone they found a mass of ash and half-charred bones. .

Although Hardy gave Tess the finishing touches, he had in mind "a bird's-eye view of Europe in the early 19th century". ... You could call it "A Drama from the Time of the First Napoleon". "He doesn't seem to have done more that day than think about it.

In April he saw a morning performance of Kotzebue's once-popular play The Stranger at the old Teatro Olímpico; and he "thought of the eyes and ears that followed acting first and last, including Thackeray's." Mrs Winifred Emery was Mrs Haller on that occasion. During his stay in London he noticed the difference between English and French stage dancing; “English girls dance as if they had learned to dance; the French, as if dancing, 'He ate in town with the Lushingtons, too', looking at the portrait of Lushington's father, who knew the secret of Lady Byron. He went to hear Spurgeon preach for the first and last time. When Spurgeon died soon after, he was glad to be gone, for the preacher was a great force in his day, though many years had passed. He witnessed Hedda Gabler's performance in Vaudeville, in which he remarks that, in his opinion, it should be the rule for staging these days not to have a scene that is not physically possible at the time of performance. [An idea materialized years later in The Queen of Cornwall.]

The Hardys, as usual, were now looking for a place to stay in London for three or four months. Much as they were reluctant to handle other people's furniture, taking on its breaks, tears and stains, and paying for it at the end of the season as if they had made it themselves, their inability to pay the rent in London helped little. House or apartment all year round. ' The dirty facades of the houses, the pillars of the sloping gates, the rusted gates, the broken bells, the female monstrosities of Dore showing us the rooms almost made Em swoon, and at one point she could not reach the living They eventually found an apartment on Mandeville Place, around the time Hardy learned that he had been elected to the Athenaeum Club by the Rule 2 Committee.

"28. April. Speaking to Kipling today about Savile, he said that once, as an experiment, he took the ideas of a mature writer or speaker (about Indian politics, I think) and translated them into his own language to use as his own. They were declared the crude ideas of an immature boy.'

This year's Royal Academy impressed Hardy by saying that it contained some good colors but no creative power, and that when attendees were given names only new geniuses, even if there were any, were likely to be forgotten. He recalled the beautiful spring and summer landscapes that "They weren't pictures of that spring and summer, although they appear to be. All the green grass and fresh foliage perished yesterday; after it withers and falls, it vanishes like a dream.'

In the English Art Club gallery: "If I were a painter, I would paint a room that a mouse can see through a crack under the baseboard."

Hardy's friend Dr. (later Sir) Joshua Fitch, took him to Whitelands Training College for Women Teachers, where it was then, and perhaps now, the custom to elect a May Queen each year, a custom dating back to Ruskin. Hardy makes no comment, however, only: “A community of women, especially young women, inspires not awe but protective tenderness in the beholder. Your belief in circumstances, in conventions, in the rightness of things that you know are not just wrong but terribly wrong, makes your heart ache even when impatient and hard. . . . They sense how the difference between their ideas and yours comes from the nature of a misunderstanding. . . . There's a lot of pathetic stuff about these girls and I wouldn't have missed the visit for the world. How much nobler is life here in its aspirations than the lives of those I met at the ball two nights ago!'

Piccadilly at night. "A girl held a long-stemmed daffodil to my nose as we passed each other. In the circus, among all the clever staff, a small innocent family, I assume, was waiting for a bus. How pure they looked! A man on a stretcher with a bloody bandage around his head was pushed away by two police officers, followed by stragglers. That's Piccadilly.'

He used to see Piccadilly in a different way, but the next day, Sunday, he attended service at St. as a young woman she lived in London for a few months. “The preacher said that according to the Bishop of London, only 5 percent of the population went to church. On the way out, it drizzled on the electric lights and the paperboys shouted, "Don't go to church!" but "Little ones of the French oaks!"

The next day - dank - at the British Museum: "Crowds happily strolling and parading around the mummies, thinking that today is forever, and the girls staring at the youngsters through the dust cloaked in Mycerinus [?]. They go around the enlightened MSS with disrespectful comments. - the labor of years - and stand and joke under Ramses the Great. Democratic government may be for men only, but it will probably merge with proletarian government, and if these people are our masters, it will lead to more of that contempt and possibly the utter demise of art and literature! . . . When I left Oxford Music Hall, an hour before opening time, there was already a queue.'

'Greater,. Sunday. Em and I are having lunch at the Jeunes house to see the house they just moved into - Harley St. Louis. 79. The sun came hot through the rear windows, the blinds not yet closed. Frederic Harrison called later. He's leaving London to live in the country."

In May he was very impressed by a visit to his friend Dr. (later Sir) T. Clifford Allbutt, theaa commissioner at Lunacy, to a large private lunatic asylum, where he meant to stay only a quarter of an hour, but became so interested in the pathos of the cases that he stayed nearly the whole day . He spoke to “the gentleman who was there voluntarily to uncover the commissary's ruse; the old man offering snuff to everyone; to the student of high literary aspirations, who is as sane in his conversation as any of us; to the artist whose great problem was not hearing birdsong; "which, as you will see, Mr. Hardy, it is hard for a man of my temper"; and on the women's side heard their tales of seduction; to the Jewess who sang for us; to the young woman who said to the doctor with reproachful eyes, "When are you going to let me out of here?" [Hardy requested a re-examination of her, which was later carried out.] Then came the ladies who thought they were queens - less touching Cases, for they were very lucky - one of them, actually of Plantagenet descent, pervertedly insisted on being considered Stuart. All women looked prematurely dry, faded, fluid.'

In June he attended Stockwell Training College. “A nice custom among the girls here is that each senior chooses a daughter from the list of incoming freshmen. The elderly woman mothers and cares for her daughter all year round. Sometimes the two fall in love; other times not. I assume they are blindly selected before arrival just by name. This must result in unique expectations, confrontations and emotions.”

In July he took Mrs. Hardy onto the balcony of the Athenaeum Club to see the German Kaiser Wilhelm II entering the city; The next day he met W. E. Henley in Savile. "He is paler and his once-brown hair is turning gray." On the 13th, while lunching with Lady Wynford in Grosvenor Square, Hardy discovered, or thought he had discovered, that the ceiling of the room contained oval paintings of Angelica. Kauffmann, and that the house was built by the Adams; "I had fun with Ld Wynford, who told me he wouldn't live in Dorset on £50,000 a year and wanted me to smoke cigarettes made from Lebanon tobacco - 'the same ones smoked by Laurence Oliphant'. Wynford's nose has two sides of a spherical triangle in profile. ' That same week, on a visit with his wife to G. F. Watts, the painter, he was greatly impressed by his host; 'this little old man in a gray coat and a black velvet cap, who, seeing one of his picture frames pressing a figure against the canvas, gently pushed him away, as if the figure could feel it.'

At dinner at Milnes-Gaskells, Lady Catherine told me that the Webbs of Newstead had buried the skulls Byron used to drink from, but that the place seemed to bring "a kind of disgrace upon the family". Then I told her of the tragic ladies of the last century who owned Abbey property, and thought she would wince at what I said; I later recalled, to my dismay, that his own place was an abbey. However, Hardy later discovered that this was only a temporary state of mind, as she was as superstition-free as any woman.

'19 July. Note the weight of a landau and a couple, the coachman in his gray coat, and the footmen. All this mass of matter is moved with brute force and noise through a congested and barricaded street, to bear the tiny figure of the owner's young wife in violet velvet and silver trimmings, slender, tiny; which could easily be carried under a man's arm and which when held by the hair and taken from his clothes, carriage, etc.

"At Mary Jeune's lunch today I sat between two beauties.

Mrs. A.G, with her violet eyes, was the most seductive; Mrs.

R.C the liveliest. The last in yellow: the first in tan, and more lusty and hot-blooded than Mrs. W,

who is wide-eyed, rather slight, with quick and impulsive movements, and who neglects his crockery and coffee because he is obsessed with an idea.' - the probable Prime Minister - the pros and cons - the Lord This and the Duke of That - anything but the people these politicians exist solely for the existence of. Your welfare is never considered.'

In the same week: “After a day of headaches, I went to I's Hotel for dinner. This is one of the few remaining old taverns in London where patrons knew each other after the theater closed and chatted from table to table. The head waiter's name is William. There's always something homemade when the waiter's name is William. He talks to the guests about his business, just as the guests talk to him about theirs. He has whiskers of the rare mutton chop pattern and a confident demeanor. He has shaved for so many years that his face is a soapy bluish color and foams when wet and rubbed. . . . Shakespeare is frequently quoted at the tables; specifically, “How long will a man stay on earth before he rots? “Theatrical matters are discussed neither from the point of view of the audience nor the actors, but from a third point – that of the evoker of past apparitions.

“Old-fashioned peasant couples come in too, their parents recommended the inn to us based on memories from the beginning of the century. They innocently converse amicably with the theater boys and beautiful ladies who come in with them after the play as their 'husbands'.'

They added to their campaign in London this year a visit to Sir Brampton and Lady Camilla Gurdon at Grundesburgh Hall, Suffolk – a house set in green hills wooded by ancient oaks. The attraction was possession of the most old-fashioned and charming – probably Elizabethan – garden with high retaining walls Hardy had ever seen, which fortunately remained unimproved and unaltered, as the hall had only been used as a farmhouse for a 2nd century and was therefore neglected. Vegetables were planted in the middle of square beds, surrounded by wide green paths and sheltered by bushes and palisades with tall flowers "so no one would know there were vegetables there".

Hardy spent much of August and autumn correcting Tess of the d'Urbervilles for its volume form, restoring passages and chapters from the original manuscript to their places. which had been omitted from the series release. The name "Talbothays" given in the diary was based on a farm owned by his father, who had no home at the time.

In September he and his wife paid a visit to their friend Sir George Douglas at Springwood Park, making good on a long-held promise and driving north along the coast near Holy Isle or Lindisfarne, which at the moment is red in a deep blue sea shone. in the afternoon sun, with all the romance of Marmion in her aspect. It was the site he later urged Swinburne to set up his headquarters as it was particularly suitable for him - a Northumbrian - an idea which Swinburne was very attracted to, although he admitted "to his great shame" never did to have been an island. . They had a great time in Scotland, visiting many of Scott's locations including Edie Ochiltree's grave and one Hardy had always looked forward to - Smaylho'me Tower - the set of Eve of St. Louis. John' - a ballad which was among the verses he liked more than Scott's prose. One evening they met at Springwood for supper with old Mr. Usher, eighty-one years old, who knew Scott and Lady Scott well, and whose father had sold the land called Huntley Burn to Scott. He said when he was a boy Scott asked him to sing, which he did; and Scott was so pleased that he gave him a pony. When Hardy wondered why Lady Scott should attract the poet's attention, Mr. Usher sternly replied, "She would not have captured mine!"

They ended this autumn visit with a short tour of Durham, Whitby, Scarborough, York and Peterborough. At the latter point, the sacristan told us about a woman's body found during excavations, whose neck and breasts were glowing and covered with a kind of enamel. She had been maid of honor to Catherine of Arragon, who lives nearby. ... On the train was a woman of different ages - old hands, a middle-aged body and a young face. I had no idea how old she was on average.”

"28. October. It is the incompleteness that is loved when love is pure and true. This separates the real from the imaginary, the feasible from the impossible, the love that kisses back from the crumbling vision. A man sees Diana or Venus in his beloved, but what he loves is the difference.'

"30. October. Howells and those at her school forget that a story has to be impressive enough to be worth telling. Therein lies the problem - balancing the average with that rarity that alone makes it natural for a story or experience to be remembered and evoke repetition.'

Sir Charles Cave was Judge at the Dorset Courts of Assizes that autumn, and Hardy has with him and Mr. Frith, their Marshal, while they were in town. Among other things, Cave told him that when he and Sir J.F. Stephen, also on the bench, were wrestling with youths, the latter came up to him and said that a man was going to be hanged at the Old Bailey, jokingly remarking as an excuse for proposing it to look at: “Who knows; maybe one day we will be judges; and it will be good to have learned how the last sentence of the law is carried out.'

In the first week of November, Rev. Doctor Robertson Nicoll, editor of the Bookman, gave details of a discussion in the newspapers about whether men of eminent literary figures should receive national recognition. Hardy's answer was:

“I daresay it would be very interesting for literature to be honored by the state. But I don't see how this could be done satisfactorily. The highest heights of the pen are principally the excursions and revelations of souls not reconciled to life, while the natural tendency of government is to encourage acceptance of life as it is. However, I haven't thought much about it.'

As the year drew to a close, an incident during the release of Tess of the d'Urbervilles as a series in graphics could have prepared him for certain events to come. The editor contradicted the description of Angel Clare carrying Tess and her three milkmaids in her arms across a flooded street. He suggested that it would be more decent, and fit for the pages of a magazine intended for family reading, if the girls were carried down the street in a wheelbarrow. This was done accordingly.

In addition, Graphic refused to print the chapter describing Tess' baby's christening. This appeared in Henley's Scots Observer and was later restored in the novel, where it was considered one of the best passages.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles; A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented was fully published around the last day of November, with results Hardy could hardly have predicted, for the book, despite its extraordinary popularity, marked the beginning of the end of his career as a novelist.

THE LAST YEARS OF THOMAS HARDY, 1892-1928 by Florence Hardy

Hardy's wife Florence published this second biography after the success and enthusiastic reception of the first. Critics now believe that both biographies were written primarily by Hardy himself.

Hardy and his second wife Florence













































Florence Hardy, a few years after her husband's death



1892: Eat. 51-52

When Tess of the d'Urbervilles came into general circulation, it attracted attention that Hardy apparently didn't expect because at the time of its publication, according to an entry he had made, he was planning something very different:

"Title: — "Songs from Twenty-Five Years". Arrangement of songs: Lyric Ecstasy inspired by music takes precedence.'

However, reviews, letters and other information quickly drew him back from these fleeting thoughts to the novel, of which the tedium of alterations and restorations had grown weary. From the forewords to later editions it is more or less clear what happened to the book when some critics tried to make it not only popular but also scandalous notoriety - that last kind of outcry raised by a certain small part of the public and the press, which is completely inexplicable for the writer himself.

Among other curious results of the book's publication is the fact that it started a rumor about Hardy's theological beliefs, which lived and spread and grew so that they were never completely extinct. Towards the end of the story he used the phrase "The President of the Immortals quit his sport with Tess", and the first five words, as Hardy often explained to his critics, were a literal translation of Aesch. prom. 169: Ma Kapiov 7rpvravis. The classic sense in which he used them is best demonstrated by citing a response he wrote thirty years later to an unknown critic who said in an article:

"Hardy posits an omnipotent being, endowed with the baser human passions, who turns all things to evil and rejoices in the evil he has caused"; Another critic picks up the story by adding: "To him, evil is not so much a mystery, a problem, as the willful wickedness of his god."

Hardy's reply was written but (one believes), as in so many of his cases, never published; although I am able to give from scratch:

"Having hardly to inform a thinking reader, I do not believe, and never have, that the ridiculous opinions here adopted are mine - really, or approximately, those of the primitive believer in his tribal god in the form of a People are . And in trying to figure out how any representative of English literature could have assumed that I possessed it, I found that the author of the estimate referred to a passage in one of my novels published many years ago, in which the forces of the The opposing heroine has been allegorized as personality (a method not uncommon in imaginative prose or poetry) through the use of a well-known trope, explained in that venerable work, Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric, as "that, in life, perception , activity, design, passion, or any property of sentient beings is ascribed to inanimate things”.

"If an author were to say in this kind of criticism, 'Aeolus maliciously pulled his clothes and tore his hair in his anger', the wise critic would no doubt explain that this author's evil creed is that the wind is 'a mighty one Essence is with the passions of lower men" etc. etc.

"However, I must bear it and say, as Parrhasius of Ephesus said of his paintings: There is nothing that men cannot find fault with."

The deep impact the story made on the general and uncritical public was the occasion when Hardy received strange letters - some from husbands whose experiences were similar to Angel Clare's, but more, many more from women with such a past. from Tess, but without telling their husbands and asking their advice under the weight of their concealment. Some of them were educated women of good standing, and Hardy used to say that what was unique was that by making these revelations they must have placed themselves in the hands of a stranger (their names were often given, although sometimes initials at a post office only), if they didn't confide their secret to those closest to them. And yet they did themselves no harm, he added, for though he could give them no advice, he carefully destroyed their letters and never mentioned their names or putative names to a living soul. He owed it to them, he said, for trusting their good faith. Some also begged him to meet them privately or visit them and listen to their stories instead of writing them down. He discussed the matter with his friend Sir Francis Jeune, who had extensive experience in similar matters at the Divorce Court, where he presided, and who advised him not to meet the authors alone if they were not genuine. He himself, he said, had received these letters too, but had made it a rule never to acknowledge them. Neither did Hardy, though he sometimes sadly thought they came from honest women in need.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles was also why Hardy met many people of all abilities that spring, summer and beyond, and had the opportunity to meet many more if he chose to take advantage of them. Many of the following details about his adventures in the fashion world at dinner parties, passions, and other social occasions that Hardy himself did not consider worth recording come from the diaries of the late Mrs. Winterhart.

It must be repeated that his own records of these meetings were made by him only as private notes; and that they, or some of them, are reproduced here to illustrate the contrasting planes of existence he roamed - vibrating with a balance between the artificial delights of a London railway station and the oddities of a primitive country life.

Society's comments about Tess were curious and humorous. Curiously, Lord Salisbury, with whom Hardy had a casual acquaintance, was a champion of the story. Also: “The Duchess of Abercorn tells me that the novel saved her from any future problems in her friends' assortment. At their dinner table, they almost got into a fight over Tess' role. What she says to them now is, 'Are you supporting them or not? ' When they say, 'No, indeed. She deserves to be hanged. A little whore!” she places them in a group. When they say, 'Poor innocent!' and have mercy on them, she takes them to the other group, where she is herself.' He was discussing the subject with another noble lady who was sitting next to him at a large dinner party when they became so argumentative that they were surprised to find the whole table of twenty-two silent listening to his theories on the controversial subject. And a well-known beauty and statesman's wife, who was also present, snapped at him: “Hanged? They should all have been hanged!'

"I invited Arthur Balfour's sister to dinner at Jeunes." I liked her frank, sensible, feminine way of speaking. The reviews made me too embarrassed to present Tess copies, and I told her outright that giving her one might be the way to get me in hot water with her. She said, "Well, I really don't look old enough to be reading any novels safely at this point!" Some of the best women don't marry—perhaps from a wise point of view."

"10. April. Leslie Ward, in his illustration of Artists' Disasters, tells me of a life-size portrait of a lady he is holding that her husband asked him to paint. When he had just finished painting, she eloped with a noble earl, whereupon her husband wrote that he did not want the painting, and Ward's efforts were in vain as there was no treaty. The end of the story was that her husband divorced her and, like Edith in Browning's Too Late, she "married the other" and bore him a son and heir. At dinner that same evening, the lady who was my table neighbor told me that her husband was an attorney in the case, who rushed so that the decree was final and the new marriage was completed before the baby was born. '

'11. Evening with Sir F. and Lady J. at the Gaiety Theater to hear Lottie Collins sing 'Ta-ra-ra'. Pretty remarkable melody and performance, for silly words.'

'15 good friday Read Tess's review in The Quarterly. A smart and fun article; but it is easy to be clever and amusing when a man gives up truthfulness and sincerity. . . . How strange that one can write a book without knowing what one is writing in it - or rather, the reader is reading it. Well, if this continues, no more novels for me. A man must be a fool to stand up on purpose to be shot."

In addition, the reputation of the book spread not only to England, America and the colonies, but also to the European continent and Asia; and in that year translations into several languages ​​​​appeared, and its publication in Russia aroused great interest. On the other hand, some local libraries in the English-speaking world have "suppressed" the novel - to what effect has not been determined. Hardy's good-natured friends Henry James and R.L. Stevenson (whom he later called ! Polonius and the Osric of novelists) corresponded about it in this tone: 'Oh yes, dear Louis: 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' is abominable. The semblance of sexuality is matched only by its absence[?], and the hideousness of the language by the author's reputation for style.' (Letters from Henry James.)

'16 Doctor Walter Lock, Warden of Keble, Oxford, telephoned. "Tess," he said, "is Agamemnon minus the rest of the Orestean trilogy." That's inaccurate, but it gives an indication of how people think.

"I'm glad to be back from London and all those dinners: - London, that hot slab of humanity where we first sang, then cooked, cooked and then dried to dust and ash!"

'Easter Sunday. They told the story of a beautiful peasant woman. Her lover wanted to marry her but didn't want to because she wanted to buy the corner cabinet and the tea set, because of her temperament, because of her insistence on a different pattern and so on. Your child was born out of wedlock. She left the child at home and went to Jersey for that reason, because a villager went there, got married and died; and the other thought that he would be interested in her and marry her too, introducing himself to the widower as his late wife's playmate and childhood friend. She did and he married her. But her temper was so bad that he didn't want to live with her; and she went into the street. On her voyage home, she died of an illness she contracted and was thrown overboard - some say before she was fully dead. Question: What happened to the baby?'

He notes that on the 27th of the month, when he was not in the field, his father "went upstairs for the last time". On the 31st he received a letter from his sister Mary about her father's illness, stating that there was no hurry for his return as the illness was mild and persistent and he was therefore on her birthday, the 2nd in fulfillment of a three week engagement before returning to Dorchester. However, he did so the next day and arrived at his house just when his brother came to pick him up.

He found his father very different; and yet he recovered a few weeks later.

One day in town, Hardy happened to pass the tent that had just been put up for Sanger's Circus just as the procession was about to begin. "I have seen the Queen ascend her exalted throne of gold and purple with a ladder. Then the various personified nations entered theirs. They who are men rode anyway, "No swearing!" said to them as a warning. The Queen, seated in her chair on the globe, first pulls her crimson and white robes over her dirty satin shoes and looks around at the trees of Hayne, the church tower and Egdon Heath in the distance. As she passes South-Walk Road, she has to duck her head to keep the chestnut branches from ripping off her crown.

"26. June. Methods considered for the drama of Napoleon. powers; emotions, trends. Characters do not act under the influence of reason.'

'1. July. We do not always remember, as we should, that when we get to the truth, we only get to the true nature of the impression that an object, etc., makes. Kant shows beyond our knowledge.

“The art of observing (when traveling etc.) consists in: seeing the big in the small, seeing the whole in the part – even the smallest. For example, you are abroad: you see an English flag on a ship's mast from your hotel window: you notice the English Navy. Or you see the British Army in a soldier at home; in a bishop in his club, the Church of England; and in a steam horn you see industry.'

At that time he paid his father almost daily visits. On the 19th his brother said the patient was no worse, so he didn't go that day. But on the 20th Crocker, one of his brother's men, came to say that his father had died quietly that afternoon - in the house where he was born. So, despite his best efforts, Hardy wasn't there.

Almost the last thing his father asked for was fresh water from the well - which was brought and given to him; he tasted it and said: “Yes – this is our well water. Now I know I'm home.”

Years later, Hardy would often claim that the character of Horatio in Hamlet was his father's to perfection, and on Hardy's copy of this play his father's name and date of death are written in the following lines:

'It was you

As one, suffering all, suffering nothing,

A man who has buffets and rewards of good fortune

He left with the same thanks.'

He was buried near his father and mother, and near the knights of various times in the 17th and 18th centuries with whom the Hardys were associated.

"14.8. Mama described the three Hardys today as they came over the hilltop to Stinsford Church on a Sunday morning three or four years before I was born. They were always in a hurry, a little late, their violins and cellos in green felt bags under their left arms. They wore top hats, turned-up shirt collars, dark blue coats with large gold collars and buttons, deep cuffs, and black silk stockings or scarves. They had curly hair and tilted their heads when they walked. My grandfather wore boring pants and buckled shoes, but his kids wore rubber pants and boots.”

In August they received the long-promised visit at Max Gate from Sir Arthur Blomfield, who had rented a house a few miles away for a month or two. Contrary to Hardy's expectations, Blomfield liked the design of the Max Gate house. The visit was very enjoyable, filled with memories of 8 Adelphi Terrace and included a tour of 'Weatherbury' Church (Puddletown) and an examination of its architecture.

“August 31. My mom says she looks at the furniture and feels like it doesn't mean anything to her. All who belong to her and the place are gone, and she remains in their hands, a stranger. (She did, however, live there for those fifty-three years!)'

'August. I hear of a Maiden Newton girl shod like a horse in a year.'

"4. September. There's a curious Dorset expression - "jug - with legs". This type of leg seems to have the longer end pointing down, and I've certainly seen legs like this. My mother says my Irish ancestor had her, the gifted lady who is said to have read the Bible seven times; although I don't know how my mother would have known what her husband's great-great-grandmother's legs looked like.

"Among the many magic tales that have been told to me, the following is one of how it was done by two girls in the 1830's. They killed a pigeon, stuck its heart full of pins, made a tripod out of three knitting needles and hung the heart over them over a lamp, murmuring an incantation as it burned, using the young man's name in which one or both are interested were. The young man in question felt excruciating pain in the heart area and, having suspected something, went to the police. The girls were sent to prison."

This month they attended a field club meeting in Swanage and became "the king of Swanage" to "old Mr. B." He had a good profile but was more gruff on the tongue than I would have expected after his years in London - he's the usual homegrown Dorset type, when one is homegrown from the county, which is not often. . . . meet dr Yeatman, Bishop of Southwark [to Worcester]. He says that the Endi-cotts [Mrs. J. Chamberlain's ancestors] are a Dorset family.”

09/17 Stinsford's house was burned down. I discovered that it was on fire driving home from Dorchester with E. I got out of the carriage and ran across the meadows. She moved on after promising to have dinner at Canon R. Smith's. I could soon see that the old manor house was doomed even though there was no breeze. Copper flames could be seen in the sunlight through the park's trees and a few shirt-sleeved figures on the roof. Garden furniture: Several servants are sweating and crying. Men knocking on windows to get things out - a bruise of tender memories to me. I worked transporting books and other items for the Vicariate. As darkness fell, the flames moved into the living and dining rooms, illuminating the rooms with so much romance. The delicate tones of wall paint seemed content at first with the lighting, until the interior of the rooms became a roaring furnace; and then the roof fell, and then the roof, sending a fountain of sparks off the old oak tree into the sky.

"I found Mary in the churchyard laying flowers on Papa's grave, which was now flickering with firelight.

"I went to Canon Smith's dinner the same way because it was too late to change. E. had preceded me because I didn't arrive until nine. Dinner was disorganized and delayed between an hour and two after going to the fire. I met Bosworth Smith [Master of Harrow] leading E. to the fire, though I saw none of them. home late.

"I'm sorry about the house. Here Lady Susan Strangways, later Lady Susan O'Brien, lived for so many years with her actor husband, after the famous escape of 1764 so excellently described in Walpole's letters, Mary Frampton's journal, etc.

As I said, she knew my grandfather well, and he carefully followed her tearful instructions to build the vault for her husband and later himself, 'big enough for both of us'. Walpole's satire on his romantic choice - that "a servant was preferable" - would have faltered a bit if tested over time.

"My father, when a choirboy on the church gallery saw her, a lonely old widow walking in the garden in a red cloak."

'End of September. In London. This is the time to experience London as an old city, without all the buzzing emotions of May.

"I came home from dinner with Mcllvaine at the Cafe Royal, chased a horse that had no interest in me, walked a path that I had no interest in, and was whipped by a man who had no interest in me, or the horse or the path. In the midst of this series of constraints he came home.'

'October. In Great Fawley, Berks. He entered a plowed valley that might be called the valley of brown melancholy. The silence is remarkable. . . . Although I am alive with the living, here I can only see the dead and I hardly see the happy children playing.'

"7. October. Tennyson died yesterday morning.”

"12. October. At Tennyson's funeral in Westminster Abbey. The music was sweet and awe-inspiring, but as a funeral, the scene was less penetrating than a simple country funeral would have been. After that I had lunch at the National Club with E. Gosse, Austin Dobson, Theodore Watts and William Watson.'

'18 I hurt my tooth at breakfast. I look into the glass. I am aware of the humiliating sadness of my earthly tabernacle and the sad fact that the best of fathers could not have done better for me. . . . Why should a man's spirit be thrown into so close, sad, sensational, and inexplicable a relationship with so precarious an object as his own body!'

"24. October. The best tragedy—in short, the greatest tragedy—is that of the worthy caught in the inevitable. The tragedies of immoral and worthless people are not the best.'

'December. In the "Empire" [music hall]. The dancers are mostly skeletons. Drawn lines and wrinkles can be seen in its young flesh. They must be penned and fattened for a month to complete their beauty.'

"17. December. At an interesting court dinner at the home of Sir Francis Jeune. They were all lawyers except me - mostly judges. Their stories, so old and boring to each other, were all new to me and I was delighted. Hawkins told me about his experience in the Tichborne case and that it was pure coincidence that he wasn't on the other side. Lord Coleridge (the interrogator in the same case, with his famous "Would you be surprised to hear that?") was also anecdotal. Later, when Lady J. was having a grand reception, all the electric lights went out, just as the rooms were at their busiest, but luckily we all stood as the fire glowed till the old candles were brought out, fallen candlesticks. . .'



1893: Eat. 52-53

1 Jan 13. The Fiddler of the Reels (short story) sent to the gentlemen. Scribner, New York."

"16. February. I heard a curious report of a grave being commissioned and dug (by telegraph?) in West Stafford. But there was never a funeral because the person who arranged it was unknown; and the tomb had to be filled.” and perhaps it was his acquaintance with the stonemason that made him think of that profession for his next hero, though of course he had encountered many in designing the stonework of the church as a student of an architect.

"22. February. A brand cannot have value. Supposing, for example, that owning £1,000,000 or 10,000 acres of land is the coveted ideal, not everyone can own £1,000,000 or 10,000 acres. But there is a workable justice that is possible: that the happiness one man derives from one thing should equal that another man derives from another thing. Freedom from cares, for example, counterbalances the lack of great possessions, although one who enjoys this freedom does not believe it.'

"23. February. A story must be extraordinary enough to justify telling it. We storytellers are all Ancient Mariners, and none of us have the authority to delay wedding guests (in other words, the hurrying public) unless we have something more unusual to tell than the shared experience of every man and ordinary woman.

“The whole secret of fiction and drama—in the constructive part—lies in adapting unusual things to eternal and universal things. The author, who knows exactly how extraordinary and inconspicuous his events must be, holds the key to art in his hand.'

'April. It occurs to me that a sly thrush and a silly nightingale sing very similarly.

"I'm told that Nat C's good-for-nothing grandson became 'a gossip' - that is, a street preacher - and when he met a girl he used to date, the following dialogue ensued:

He: "Do you read the Bible for your spiritual well-being?"

Her: "Hoho! Come along!

He: "But you, my dear lady?"

Her: "Hahaha! Not this morning!

He: "Read your Bible, please?"

Her: (speaks loudly) "No, neither do you. Come on, you can't be on this show, Natty! You don't have the courage to wear it! The discussion ended with their departure for Came Plantation.'

They met many people again in London this spring, and Hardy's popularity as an author now made him welcome everywhere. For the first time they took over an entire house, 70 Hamilton Terrace, and created their own servants, and they were much more comfortable with this arrangement than before.

At such meetings, lunches and dinners, the Hardys formed or renewed ties with Mrs. Richard Chamberlain, Mr. Charles Wyndham, Mr. Goschen and the Duke, the Duchess and Princess May of Teck, later Queen Mary. “Lady Winifred Gardner whispered to me that meeting the royal family always reminded her of family prayers. The Duke confused the lady who introduced me to him by saying it was unnecessary as he's known me for years, adding privately when she was gone: 'That's good enough for her: of course I meant that she mentally knew. .'

'13 Whibley had dinner with me at Savile and then I took him to the Trocadero Music Hall. I saw the great men - famous performers in the halls - in long coats drinking at the bar before they started: an expression on their faces that did not in the least want to emphasize their importance to the world.'

'19 April. He thought as he dressed and watched the people going into their offices, how strange it is to be so garrulous about "this cold and unsympathetic world" when the feeling is of so many components of the same world - probably the majority - and almost all the neighbors are waiting to give and receive sympathy.'

'25. courage was idealized; why not afraid? —which is a higher consciousness and based on a deeper perception.'

'27 - A great lack of tact from A.J.B., who chaired the Royal Literary Fund dinner which I attended last night. The purpose of the dinner was, of course, to raise funds for poor writers, largely out of the pockets of the more successful ones present with the other guests. However, he was very adamant about the decline of literary arts and his opinion that there were no high-ranking writers alive at that time. We hid our shrunken heads and buttoned our pockets. What he said may have been true enough, but alas, for saying it then!'

'28. At Private View Academy. Find out here is a very good painting of Woolbridge Manor-House entitled (erroneously) 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' ancestral home'. Also one entitled "In Hardy's Country, Egdon Heath".

"The worst thing about renting a furnished house is that the objects in the rooms are saturated with the thoughts and eyes of others."

"10. May. I spent a scholarly evening at the Royal Society's Conversation meeting with Sir R. Quain, Dr. Clifford Allbutt, Humphry Ward, Bosworth Smith, Sir J. Crichton-Browne, F. and G... Macmillan, Ray Lankester and others, without (I flatter myself) revealing undue ignorance of the syllabus points.

'18 May. Departs Euston at 9am by E. train to Llandudno en route to Dublin. Rounding Great Orme's Head on arrival at Llandudno. Magnificent deep purple mountains, the fair color of an approaching storm.'

'19 Continue to Holyhead and Kingstown. On board I met John Morley, the chief secretary, and Sir John Pender. You were met in Dublin by transport from Viceregal Lodge as promised, an invitation that has been renewed since last year when I had to postpone my visit due to the death of my father. We were received by Mrs. Arthur Henniker, sister of the Lord Lieutenant. Apparently a charming and intuitive woman. Lord Houghton (the Lord Lieutenant) entered shortly after.

“Our bedroom windows overlook Phoenix Park and the Wicklow Mountains. The lodge appears to have been built sometime in the last century. A spacious building with many corridors."

'20. To Dublin Castle, Christ Church etc. driven by Mr Trevelyan after Em to a bazaar with Mrs Henniker, Mrs Greer and Ms Beresford. The next day (Sunday) she went with them to Christ Church, and Trevelyan and I, after depositing them at the church door, went to Bray, where we met the Chief Clerk and the Lord Chancellor at the Gray Hotel on the Strand. Make judges by the dozen,' as Morley said.'

'22. Monday came. Several went to the races. Mister. However, Lucy (who is also here) and I went to Dublin and saw the public buildings and some weird drunk women dancing, I suppose because it was Pentecost.

"A bigger dinner party. Mister. Dundas, an A.D.C., played the banjo and sang: Mrs. Henniker, the zither.'

'23. Morley came to lunch. In the afternoon I went to the scene of the Phoenix Park murders with H. Lucy.”

'24. Throwback to the Queen's Birthday. Troops and wagons at the door at 11:30 am. The helpers - there are about a dozen - are turned into warriors by superb equipment - Mr St John Meyrick in a Gordon Highlander [he was killed in the South African War], Mr Dundas in a dashing Hussar. He got into one of the carriages of the procession with E. and the others. A romantic scene, pitifully serene, especially as the horses gallop by. "Yes, very nice!" Mister. said Dundas, like one who knew the truth.

'Lord Wolseley told me interesting things about the war over lunch. On my other side was a young lieutenant, grandson of the Lady de Ros, who remembered the Napoleonic Wars. At Wolseley's invitation, I visited him at the military hospital. From there we drove to Mrs. Lyttelton's for tea at the Chief Secretary's Lodge (which she has rented). She showed me the rooms where the bodies of Lord F. Cavendish and Mr. Burke were placed and told some gruesome details about the discovery of a bloody roll of clothing under the sofa as the next secretary entered. The room had not been cleaned since the murders.

"We have this evening in the private secretary's box with Mrs. Jekyll. There met Mahaffy, a jolly and talkative chatterbox, and others. Returned shortly to Viceregal Lodge to join the guests of state in the drawing room. I've spoken to several, including the viceroy. Very funny, this little courtyard.'

'25. I passed the Guinness brewery with Mrs. Henniker and some of the Viceroy's guests mid-morning. Mister. Guinness guided us. On the miniature train, we were all splashed with heavy or possibly dirty water, which Em and Mrs. Henniker. E. and I left the lodge after lunch and took the 3 o'clock train to Killarney after Lord Houghton had given me a copy of his poems. Stay at the Great Southern Railway Hotel."

'26. Drive around Middle Lake and head first to Ross Castle. Walked around the town of Killarney in the afternoon where the cows stand like people in the street.'

'27. Launched from Wagonette to Gap of Dunloe. Just below Kate Kearney's house, Em mounted a pony and I followed the path on foot at a slower pace. The landscape of the Black Valley is deeply impressive. Here are the beauties of nature to enchant man and humiliate him, attracting all the vagabonds of the country. The boats met us at the head of Lake Superior and the three of us were rowed to Ross Castle from where we returned to the town of Killarney.”

They left the following Sunday and drove through Dublin, stayed at the Marine Hotel in Kingstown and took the boat to Holyhead the next morning. He arrived in London that same night.

In early June, Hardy attended a rehearsal of his one-act play The Three Wayfarers - a dramatization of his story The Three Strangers, made at the suggestion of J.M. Barrie - at Terry's Theatre. On June 3rd the play was produced with an equally short one by his friend and one or two others. The Hardys went with Lady Jeune and some friends and found that the little piece was well received.

During the week he saw Ibsen's Hedda Gabler and Rosmersholm, in which Miss Elizabeth played Robins. He had already seen the first, but it impressed him again, as did the second. Hardy could not understand the attitude of the English press towards these tragic productions - the crowning testament to our blind insular taste was the 'Ibscene drama' moniker they were given.

On the eighth he met for the first time (it is believed) that brilliant woman, Mrs. Craigie; and several other persons that day, including Mr. Hamilton's aide-de-camp, an old friend of Sir Arthur Blomfield. During the week he still accompanied Ibsen, going with Sir Gerald and Lady Fitzgerald and their sister Mrs Henniker, who afterwards said she was so enthralled with the play that she could not sleep all night; and on Friday he had lunch with General Milman in the Tower and inspected 'Little-Ease' and other rooms not normally shown at the time. In the evening he went with Mrs. to collapse from nervousness. In a letter to Mrs. Henniker Hardy describes this experience:

'I spent last night in what I'm afraid you will call reckless manner - indeed returning to our Ibsen experience; and I couldn't help but get miserably hit

against it - although to be honest I enjoyed it. Barrie had arranged to take us and Maarten Maartens to see B. de Walker's play London and when we had lunch with the Milmans at the Tower yesterday we invited Miss over. Milman is said to be at the party. Mister. Toole heard we were coming and invited us backstage. So we went and sat with him in his dressing room, where he treated us to deposit and champagne, while in suit, wig and blazer, when he left the stage, he amused us with the funniest stories about a visitor he and a friend of the Tower a few years ago: How he surprised the caretaker by asking to borrow the crown jewels for an amateur theater performance for charity and offered to deposit 30 bills. as an assurance that he would return them, &c., &c., &c. We got home late, as you can imagine.'

About ten days later Hardy was in Oxford. It was during Encenia, with Christ Church and other university dances, garden parties and similar events, but Hardy kept his identity secret, his aim being to look at what was happening entirely as an outsider. It may be mentioned that in that year Lord Rosebery, Bishop of Oxford, Dr. Liddell and Sir Charles Euan Smith, a friend of his. He attended the memorial services at the Sheldonian graduate students' gallery, and his quarters during his studies at Oxford were at the Wilberforce Temperance Hotel.

The rest of this year's season in London went as usual. A memorial service for Admiral Tryon, a view of the Duke of York and Princess May's wedding procession from the club window, performances by Eleanora Duse and Ada Rehan in their respective theaters with various dinners and lunches at the end of their tenure at Hamilton Terrace, and they returned to Dorchester. A note he made this month reads as follows:

"I often think that women, even those who consider themselves adept at sexual strategies, don't know how to deal with an honest man."

At the end of July Hardy had to go back into town for a few days when he had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Stepniak on Tolstoy, visit the town's churches and accompany Lady Jeune and her daughters to a farewell performance. by Irving. His last call that summer was to Lady Londonderry, who remained his friend for years to come. "A still beautiful woman," he says of her; "and very happy to see me, which pretty women aren't always. The Duchess of Manchester [Consuelo] called while I was there and Lady Jeune. The four of us were talking about the laws of marriage, a conversation they started, not I; also the difficulties of separation, marriages that can end when there are children, and the nervous tension of living with a man who you know may leave at any moment.'

It may be noted here that many years later, after the death of the Duchess of Manchester, Hardy, when he first met her, described her as "a woman of warm disposition, smiling eyes and brimming with impulse, very much like 'Julie-Jane' in one of my poems".

'Dorchester. July 31st. Woman. R. Eliot ate lunch. His story of the twins "May" and "June". May was born on May 31 between n and 12 o'clock and June on June 1 between 12 and 1 o'clock.'

The following month, responding to a query from the editors of the Paris newspaper L'Ermitage, he wrote:

"I consider a social system based on individual spontaneity more promising than a controlled and uniform system in which all temperaments are forced to conform to a single pattern of life. To that end, I would divide society into temperament groups, with a different code of conduct for each group.'

It is doubtful that this utopian plan long possessed Hardy's imagination.

In mid-August, Hardy and his wife accepted an invitation to visit the Milnes-Gaskells at Wenlock Abbey en route to Hereford to view the cathedral. They met Lady Catherine and her daughter at the train station. "As cute as ever and almost as pretty as ever, Lady C. occasionally displays a mocking sense of humor. The affectionate nickname "Catty" given to her by her dearest friends has, I'm afraid, a suspicious hint of malice. such high antiquity.

Your time at the abbey seems to have been very pleasant. They loitered in the shadow of the ruins, and Milnes-Gaskell told an amusing tale of a congratulatory dinner by fellow townsfolk to a townsman who was divorcing his wife, at which the mayor made a speech beginning "On this auspicious occasion." . During their stay they went with him to Stokesay Castle and Shrewsbury.

Lady Wenlock came one day; and on Sunday Hardy and Lady C. walked till we were weary, as they sat on the edge of a lonely sandpit, and talked of suicide, pessimism, whether life was worth living, and similar sombre subjects, till we were quite miserable. After dinner they all sat around a lantern in the courtyard under the stars - where Lady C. told stories in the Devonshire dialect, moths fluttered about the lantern as in In Memoriam. She also defined the difference between coquetry and flirtation, regarding the latter as a cruder form of the former, and alluded to Zola's phrase "a woman whose presence was like a caress", saying that some women couldn't help it, even if they wanted it otherwise. I hesitated because I only saw it as an excuse to continue.”

On the way back, the Hardys went to Ludlow Castle and bemoaned the arbitrary treatment that had resulted in the historical stack, which first listed Comus and partially wrote Hudibras, being unroofed. Hardy figured that even now, a millionaire could redo the roof and make it his residence.

On a brief visit to London later that month, at a Conservative Club dinner with Sir George Douglas, he had "an interesting scholarly conversation" with Sir James Crichton-Browne. "A woman's brain is, in his opinion, the same size as a man's in relation to her body. The most passionate women are not those chosen in civilized society to procreate, as in the natural state, but the coldest; The former takes to the streets (I'm skeptical). Darwin's teachings require a major recalibration; for example survival of the fittest in the fight for life. There is altruism and coalescence between cells, as well as antagonism. Certain cells destroy certain cells; but others help and combine. Well, I can't say that."

"13. September. In the MaxGate. A streaked purple sunset; I sit opposite him in the study and write by the light of a dim lamp that looks like primula on the red.' This was Hardy's former west-facing office (now converted) in which he wrote Tess of the d'Urbervilles before moving to the adjoining east-facing office where he wrote The Dynasts and all his later poetry, and which still remains unchanged .

"14. September. I rode with Em. for the Sheridans, Frampton. tea on the lawn. Woman. Mildmay, Young Harcourt, Lord Dufferin, &c. When we returned, everyone walked with us to the first park gate. May [later Lady Stracey] looked remarkably well."

"17. September. At Bockhampton I heard an almost terrifying tale about eels jumping out of a bucket at night, crawling all over the house and halfway up the stairs, hearing their tails wagging in the dark, and finally being found in the garden; and when the water was about to wash the gravel and earth, they became excited and sprang up.'

At the end of the month Hardy and his wife visited Sir Francis and Lady Jeune at Arlington Manor and on arrival found the house as cheerful as the Jeunes' house always was in those days. Hardy said there had never been another house like it for hilarity. Among the other guests were Mrs Craigie ("John Oliver Hobbes"), Lewis Morris, Mr Stephen (a director of the North-Western Railway) and Hubert Howard, son of Lord Carlisle. On Sunday morning, Hardy went for a two-hour walk on the moor with Mrs Craigie when she explained her reasons for joining the Roman Catholic Church, which irritated him a little. Apparently he did not find her reasons satisfactory, but their friendship remained intact. There they went to the Shaw House, an intact Elizabethan mansion, and to a picnic in Savernake Forest, "where Lady Jeune cooked lunch in a large pot, with her sleeves rolled up and an apron".

"7. until October 10th. I wrote a song.' (Which of their songs is not mentioned.)

"11. November. I met Lady Cynthia Graham. She's kind of my take on Tess in looks, although I didn't know her when the novel was written."

"23. November. Poem. 'The Glass-stainer' (later published).'

"28. November. Poem. 'He sees himself as an automaton' (published).'

'December. I found a short story called "An Imaginative Woman" and retouched it.

“In London with a slight cold. Dinner at Dss. from Manchester. Most of the guests had bad colds and our hostess had a dry cough. A lively dinner nonetheless. As some people could not come, I had dinner with her again a few days later, as did George [later Lord] Curzon. Lady Londonderry told me that her mother's grandmother was Spanish, hence the name Theresa. Also present were the Duke of Devonshire, Arthur Balfour, and Mr. and Mrs. Lyttelton. When I saw the Duchess again two or three days later, she asked me if I liked her relative, the Duke. I didn't say much; he was too heavy for one thing. "That's because he's too shy!" she insisted. "I guarantee you, he looks very different when he's worn out." I didn't seem to believe in shyness much. However, I accept it.'

After looking at a picture of Grindelwald and the Wetterhorn in someone's home, he writes: "I could argue this way: 'There is no real interest or beauty in this mountain that appeals only to a child's taste for color or size . The small houses at the foot are the real interest of the scene”. but man understands what he means.

Completing his London engagements, which included the concluding briefing with Mrs Henniker of a strange tale they had been collaborating on entitled The Specter of the Real, he spent Christmas as usual at Max Gate entertaining the Christmas carolers there at Christmas . Eva, where, "although quite modern, with harmonium, with their lanterns under the trees, the rays fading in the winter fog, they made a charming picture". It was quiet on New Year's Eve and they stood outside the door, listening to the muffled rumble of the Fordington Street tower. George.



1894-1895: Eat. 53-55

"4. February 1894. A curious scene took place that (Sunday) evening as I was returning to Dorchester from Bockhampton very late - about 12 o'clock. An almost white girl at the top of Stinsford Hill playing the tambourine and dancing. She looked like one of the fallen "Angel-Religionists" and I couldn't believe my eyes. Not a soul there or near but her and me. They said she was from the Salvation Army, who is passionate about banging tambourines.” The scene was rendered later.

He spent one day that month with his brother in Stinsford churchyard, overseeing the construction of their father's gravestone.

Social grievances came up at Londonderry House. The hostess told something funny about her; but Sir Redvers Buller capped it by describing what he called a "double barrel" of his own manufacture. He asked a lady next to him at dinner who was a certain gentleman "like a hippopotamus" who was sitting across from them. He was the lady's husband; and Sir Redvers was so depressed at the misfortune that had befallen him that he could not get it out of his head; so the following evening at a dinner party he begged the condolences of an old lady, to whom he communicated his misfortune; and he remembered as he related the story that his hearer was the mother of the Lord.

At a very interesting Bachelor's Club luncheon hosted by his friend George Curzon, he met Mr. F.C. Selous, the mighty huntsman, with whose nature of fame he did not sympathize, however, and wondered how such a seemingly human man could live to kill; and also by Lord Roberts and Lord Lansdowne.

After these merry ventures he returned to Max Gate for some time, but when he was again in London looking for a house for the spring and summer he occasionally visited a friend whom he had known 262 years earlier.

Correspondence, Lord Pembroke, author of South Sea Bubbles, a Wessex fellow, as he called himself, for whom Hardy felt very warmly. He was now ill in a London nursing home, and an amusing incident took place when his visitor sat by his bedside one afternoon and thought how good and handsome a man must be lying on the floor. He whispered to Hardy that there was a "Tess" at the establishment who would come by whenever he called her at that time of day and that he would make sure Hardy could see her. He called accordingly, and Tess' chronicler was very disappointed with the result; but he tried to see the beauty in the very indifferent figure who answered, and finally convinced himself he could. As she left, the patient apologized and said that for the first time since he had been there, a stranger had obeyed his summons.

On Hardy's next visit to his friend's, Pembroke said, with the slightest reproach, "You go to the front of the fashion house and you can come back and see me." The nursing home was behind Lady Londonderry's house. They never met again, and upon learning of Pembroke's unexpected death, Hardy remembered the words and grieved.

"April 7th. Wrote to Harper's asking permission to cancel contract to provide series story to Harper's Magazine." Visas.

That year they found a house in South Kensington and moved in with hired servants from the countryside, only to be surprised by the attention their house received from young butchers and bakers, postmen and other passers-by. ; when they discovered that their innocent land servants had begun to flirt with them all in a daring style that Lbndon's servant was too cautious to embrace.

At the end of April he visited George Meredith at his home near Box Hill and had an interesting and friendly evening there attended by his son and daughter-in-law. "Meredith," he said, "is a contrived tone at first, but not uncomfortable, and he soon forgets to keep it, so it disappears altogether."

At a dinner at the Grand Hotel hosted by Mr. Astor to his staff in May, Hardy spoke to Lord Roberts, who spoke very humbly of his accomplishments. It was "a lavish, artistic feast, with rose beds on the tables, electric lights shining through their leaves and petals like fireflies [a fairly innovative arrangement at the time], and a band playing behind the palm trees."

This month he saved himself two or three days from London to drive to Aldeburgh in Suffolk, where at the home of Mr Edward Clodd, his host, met Grant Allen and Whymper, the climber who recounted the Matterhorn tragedy of 1865, at which he was the only survivor of the four Englishmen present - a reminiscence that particularly impressed Hardy inasmuch as he recalled the day concretely, thirty years before, the arrival of the news in this country. He had walked to Harrow from his rooms at Westbourne Park Villas that afternoon and as he entered the grounds he was surprised to find people standing in the doors, seriously discussing something. It turned out to be a disaster, with two of the victims being residents of Harrow. The event has no place on Whymper's account. He later marked Hardy on a sketch of the Matterhorn with a red line showing the adventurers' path to the summit and crash site - a sketch that can still be seen with his signature on Max Gate.

One day the following week he was at the Women's Writers' Club - presumably at his first birthday meeting - and knowing what most women writers have to go through, he was surprised to find himself in the midst of a group of young women in fashionably dressed Princess Christian is with other women of rank present. "My God - women writers are like that!" he said with a changed mind.

In the same week they also fulfilled day or night invitations to Lady Carnarvon, Mrs. Pitt-Rivers, and other houses. At Lady Malmesbury's house, one of her green goldfinches escaped from its cage and he caught it - reluctantly, but feeling that a green goldfinch loose in London would be in a worse situation than a prisoner. In the house of the Countess of 'a very rich and very beautiful woman' [Marcia,

Lady Yarborough] sadly informed him in tite-h-tite that people had snubbed her, which surprised him so much that he could scarcely believe it, and frankly told her it was his own imagination. She was the lady of the poem Beautiful Pink Dress, although it must be noted that the deceased was not her husband but an uncle. Later, at an evening party at her house, he found her nervous, concerned that a sudden downpour would prevent people from coming and disrupt their large gathering. However, when the worst of the storm had passed, they came in and she happily touched his shoulder and said, 'You summoned her!' “My host's sister, Lady P... was the most beautiful woman there.

When I left there were no taxis available [because of a strike it seems] and I headed back to S.K. on a "bus". As soon as I got there, it started raining again. A girl who got on after me asked for shelter under my umbrella and I gave it to her - as she startled me by holding my arm and kissed me many times for her insignificant kindness. She told me she was at The Pav, she was tired and going home. She hadn't been drinking. I got off at South Kensington Station and watched the bus drive them away. A loving kind wasted on the streets! It was an odd contrast to the scene I just left.'

In early June they saw the premiere of a Mrs Craigie play at Daly's Theater and chatted at their own home, prompting Mrs Dorchester to see some changes he was making to his home in Max Gate. At the end of a week he collected his wife from Hastings and, after further dinners and lunches at the Adelphi, watched a melodrama said to be based, without explanation, on Tess of the d'Urbervilles. He had received many requests for a dramatic version of the novel, but found it to be of no avail among London's actor-businessmen, all of whom, notoriously timid, feared the censorship of the mainstream critics who had defied Ibsen; and he dropped the whole idea of ​​producing it, a prominent actor bluntly telling him that he couldn't play a character as dubious as Angel Clare (which suited him exactly) "because I have to make my name, and I would." risking my life, my public image, if I were to play anything other than a flawless heroic character. Hardy thought of the limited artistic sense of even a leading English actor. However, before and after this period, Hardy received letters or verbal communications from almost every leading lady in Europe asking for an opportunity to appear in the role of "Tess" - including Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Ellen Terry, Sarah Bernhardt and Eleanora . Jet.

In July, Hardy met Mrs. Asquith for the first time; and in another house he had an interesting conversation with Dr. W. H. Russell on the battles of the Franco-Prussian War, where Russell had been a correspondent for The Times and was accused by some readers of giving too much realism to his reports. Russell told Hardy a harrowing tale of a jawless horse that, two or three days after the Battle of Gravelotte, as it rode across the field, rested its head on its thigh in a silent plea for pity; and other sick experiences.

Whether or not he should have written a notorious novel Hardy could not say, but he was constantly invited here and there to see famous beauties of the time - some of whom disappointed him; but some he found very beautiful, like Lady Powis, Lady Yarborough, Lady de Gray - "pretty, tall, looking, arched, kindly" - the Duchess of Montrose, Mrs. John Hanbury, Lady Cynthia Graham, Amelie Rives, and many others. A passion at Lady Spencer's home in the Admiralty was one of the last parties they attended this season. But more often than not he was compelled to flee these gatherings as quickly as possible, finding that they sapped him both of strength and of ideas, few of the latter being given him in exchange for his own, because the fashionable crowd did so didn't want to be separated from those he owned or didn't own.

He suffered a strange setback the day they gave up their South Kensington home. He had dispatched the servants and baggage in the morning; Woman. Hardy had also gone to the station and, as agreed, had left him to look around the house, to see if everything was all right, and to wait for the caretaker when he and his trunk would follow the others to Dorchester. He descended the stairs of the silent house dragging his suitcase behind him when his back gave out and he had to sit there until the woman came to help him. He got better as the afternoon progressed and managed to get out, the stabbing pain revealed to be rheumatism made worse by lifting the suitcase.

"1. until August 7th. Dorchester: fading: back gradually improved.'

"16. October. To London to see Henry Harper on business.”

"20. October. I've been in the St. James' Watch Mess with Major Henniker. After dinner I went with him to the posts with a flashlight.'

"October 23. At dinner at the Savile last Sunday with Ray Lankester, we talked about hypnosis, wills, etc. But wanting, for example, certain types of women to do what they want - like, 'You have to, or you have to, me get married," he didn't seem very doubtful. If true, it seems to open up uncomfortable possibilities.'

'November. painful story. Old P, who narrowly escaped hanging by arson about 1830, returned after his arrest, died in West Stafford, his native village, and was buried there. His widow died long afterwards at Fordington, having saved £5 to be buried with her husband. The village chief raised no objection and the grave was dug. In the meantime, the daughter returned home and said that the money was not enough to pay for the transport of her mother's body to the country; so the grave was filled and the woman buried where she died.'

"11. November. Old song heard:

"And then she got up

And put on his best clothes

And went north with the blues.


"Come to the beach, Jolly Tar, with your pants on."

'Another (sung at J.D.'s wedding):

"There was someone here. . .

Or a charming shepherdess

Who wears the green dress?”

In December he rushed to London alone on publishing business and took up a temporary room off Piccadilly, near his club. At that time, as he later said, an incident of the kind that may have been sketched in the lines entitled "At Mayfair Lodgings" in Moments of Vision seems to have occurred. He watched at a lighted window nearby during a sleepless night and wondered who might be sick there. He later found out that a woman had died there and that she was someone he had taken care of in his youth when she was a girl in a neighboring village.

In March of the following year (1895) Hardy was touring with Mr. Macbeth Raeburn, the well-known engraver who had been commissioned by publishers to sketch on the spot the covers of the Wessex novels. For these scenes, which Hardy was unable to visit himself, he sent the artist alone to one of the locations, Charborough Park, the location of Two on a Tower, which was extremely difficult to access as the owner jealously guarded the entrance to his property, and especially for your park and home. Raeburn returned on this night of adventure. When he got to the park's outer gate, he found it locked, but the clerk opened it, saying he had important business at the house. Then he reached the second park gate, which was opened to him with the same display of urgency but in a more questionable manner. Then he arrived at the front door of the mansion, called and asked permission to draw the house. 'My God!' said the butler, 'you don't know what you're asking. You'd better leave before the lady sees him or the bailiff finds him! Confused, he wanted to walk away but thought of sketching behind the shade of a tree. As he did so, he heard a screaming voice and saw a man approaching him - the fearsome bailiff - who immediately ordered him out of the park. As Raeburn walked away, he thought he saw something familiar in the bailiff's accent, and turning around said, "You're from my country, aren't you?" They compared notes and realized they had grown up in the same Scottish village. Then things changed. 'Draw where you want and what you want, just don't let them see it from the windows in one'. She's a strange old body, not bad at heart although it's a bit profound. Draw it any way you want and "if I see it coming I'll raise my hand". Mister. Raeburn finished his sketch in calm and comfort, and she stands as proof of that at the beginning of the novel to this day.

During the spring they paid the Jeunes a visit of several days at Arlington Manor, where they also met Sir H. Drummond Wolff, returning from Madrid, Lady Dorothy Nevill, Sir Henry Thompson and other friends; and entered a flat in Ashley Gardens, Westminster, for the season in May. While he was here a portrait of Hardy was painted by Miss Winifred Thomson. A new addition to their summer activities was tea on the terrace of the House of Commons – a fashionable form of entertainment at the time. Hardy wasn't exactly a politician, but he attended some of them and of course he met many of the members there.

On June 29, Hardy attended the laying of the cornerstone for Westminster Cathedral, possibly because the site was close to where he lived as he was not inclined to Roman Catholicism. But there he was, deeply impressed by the scene. In July he visited St Saviour's, Southwark, by arrangement with Sir Arthur Blomfield, to see how the restoration was progressing. Dinner and theater animated them throughout the month during which he also paid a visit to Burford Bridge to dine at the hotel with the Omar Khayyam Club and to meet George Meredith where he gave a speech and also Hardy who is said to be the First was and last made by one of them; Anyway, it was Hardy's first and second to last or two.

Hardy's record of his exploits has always been choppy and erratic, and now there's a void that can't be filled. But of course he was at Max Gate at the end of the summer "repairing MS. of Judas the Obscure to its original state" - noting an undated remark, probably towards the end of August, when sending the restored copy to the publisher:

"Due to the work of adapting Jude the Obscure to the magazine and then changing it back, I lost the energy to revise and improve the original the way I intended."

In September they furnished General and Mrs. Pitt - Rivers at Rushmore and thoroughly enjoyed their time. During the annual sporting events at Larmer Tree, with a full moon and clear skies, dancing on the lawn was a huge success. The local newspaper gives more than a readable description of the celebrations for this special year:

"After dark the scene was of exceptional beauty and poetry, its magnificent features being the illumination of the grounds by thousands of Vauxhall lamps and the dancing of hundreds of couples under those lights and the soft glow of the full moon. A room was specially cordoned off for dancing, the figures being chosen chiefly polka-mazurka and scotch, although some country dances were started by the house party and by the beautiful Mrs. Grove, daughter of General Pitt-Rivers. , and her charming sister-in-law, Mrs. Pitt. Probably nowhere else in England could such a spectacle be observed at any time. It was hard to believe you weren't in the suburbs of Paris, but on a corner in old-fashioned Wiltshire, ten miles from a train station in either direction.”

It is perhaps worth noting that Hardy, who was keen on dancing from an early age, says this was the last time he set foot on a bar; at least on the grass, which isn't quite as springy for your feet as it looks and left you with stiff knees for a few days. It was he who started country dancing, his partner being the aforementioned Mrs. (later Lady) Hain.

A garden party at their Max Gate ended the Hardys' summer activities that year; and an atmosphere quite different from that of dancing on the lawn soon set in, which he must have guessed by a strange conjecture, otherwise why should he have made the following note beforehand?

' 'Never hold back. Never explain. Do that and make her cry. Words to Jowett from a very practical friend."

On November 1st, Jude the Obscure was released.

A week later, on the 8th, he states:

“England seventy years ago. — I heard of a girl, now a very old woman, who in her youth was seen chasing a goose all afternoon to get a feather from the bird, with which the clerk would write her a letter to her lover could. Such a first-hand method of obtaining a quill pen for important letters was not uncommon at the time.' It might be added that Hardy himself had written such love letters and read the replies to them: the pen had largely given way to the steel pen, although old people still clung to quill pens, and Hardy himself had to practice his first writing lessons with a pen.

The attack against Jude launched by the scathing section of the press - unrivaled in violence since the publication of Swinburne's poems and ballads thirty years ago - was resumed by the anonymous authors of slanderous letters and postcards and other nobles alike. It spread to America and Australia, where among other things he received a letter containing a packet of ashes which the virtuous author declared to be those of his evil novel.

Though Hardy, with his quick sense of humor, couldn't help but see a ridiculous side of it all, and was aware that the evil he was complaining about was what those "good heads with dirty ideas" were reading about in his book , and not what he placed there, he had the strange experience of seeing a sinister lay figure of himself constructed by them, bearing no resemblance to him as he was, and who he and those who knew him well they would not have recognized as destined for himself unless he had been called by his name. Macaulay's remark in his essay on Byron was well illustrated by the experiences of Thomas Hardy at the time: "We know of no so ridiculous spectacle as the British public in one of their periodic moral fits."

In contrast, it is worth quoting what Swinburne wrote to Hardy after reading Jude the Obscure:

"The tragedy - if I may venture an opinion - is both beautiful and terrible in its pathos. Beauty, terror and truth are all yours and yours alone. But (if I may say so) how cruel you are! Only the great and terrible father of "Pierrette" and "L'Enfant Maudit" was so merciless to his children. I don't think it would be appropriate to go into all or half of what I admire about his work. — The man who can do such work scarcely bothers to criticism or praise, but dare I say how grateful we must be (I know I can speak for other admirers as heartfelt as I am) for one further entry into an English paradise "under the green tree." ".

But if you prefer to be or remain the most tragic of authors, no doubt you can; for Balzac is dead, and since his death there has been no such tragedy in fiction—of anything along the same lines.


'A. C. Swinburne.“

Three letters on the same subject, written by Hardy himself to a close friend, can be presented here.

letter i

'Big gate,


10. November 1895.

“...His criticism (of Judas the Obscure) is the most reasonable that has ever appeared. It took an artist to see that the plot