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Chapters 25, 26, and 27

Phase The Fourth: The Consequence

Chapter 25

Angel, meanwhile, is consumed with thoughts about how his experience at Talbothays, which was supposed to be uneventful, is now shaping his very existence. He knows that Tess is a real person with emotions, and he is careful not to injure her in any way by pushing himself without knowing her true feelings. He is almost entirely convinced that if he is to be a farmer, a farmer's wife, and not a gentlewoman, is the right bride for him. With only several more months at the dairyhouse before his learning experience is finalized, Angel plans his course of action.
He decides to head back home then, uneasy with how his family will take the news that he is in love with a country girl. He arrives home, unexpected and unannounced, and while he is comforted, he knows he does not feel entirely as one with his family. His experiences with the country folk have made him more relaxed, although to his family, he appeared a little less refined. Angel's divergence from his brothers is also obvious, since they have followed their parents' wishes while Angel strikes out on his own. He resents their snide comments about the country people and their inferior intelligence. At dinner, he notices that the edibles Mrs. Crick sends along are not present, and his parents tell him that they have given them away to some of the parishioners. Angel is disappointed, since Mrs. Crick would be offended that her gifts are unappreciated, but he lets the issue drop.

Chapter 26

That evening, Angel endeavors to speak with his parents about his future, starting off cautiously by asking what kind of wife they think would best suit him as a farmer. They reply that above all, she must be a devout Christian and of the same strong religious convictions. Angel tries to convince them that primarily, his wife should be adept at the workings of a farm, and he describes Tess to his unconvinced parents. They are shocked that he is thinking of marrying below their status, but they finally remove objection to seeing her though they do not wish Angel to rush into anything. He does not push the issue further, knowing that their feelings on the matter are important to them.
Even so, it is not for Tess' skill as a dairymaid that he loves her, but for her soul and substance. He is eager to return to Talbothays to see her again, and his father accompanies him momentarily on his journey back. Mr. Clare describes his attempts at saving several lost souls, including one young squire by the name of d'Urberville. Angel is concerned that his father is victim to the harsh words of these ruffians, but Mr. Clare states that his only mission is to convert them at any costs.

Chapter 27

As Angel makes his way back, he is so in tune with the surroundings that he recognizes all the cows by name even from some distance away. He encounters Tess, who is surprised to see him, and tells her that he has come back so soon from home just to see her. Her heart beats excitedly, and together, though in a daze, they set about to the daily tasks of skimming the milk. When they are alone, he finally asks her if she will marry him, but with the painful vow returning to her, she refuses. Angel is shocked, so sure that she loves him, but she cannot marry him, owing to her vow that she die unmarried. She tells him that she only wishes to love him.
Angel persists, saying that he has already spoken to his parents and he tells her the details of his visit. He even tells her about the young squire d'Urberville whom his father is trying to save, but the story only hinders his process of receiving an affirmative response to his question. Reminded by the tale of her past sorrows and deception by Alec, Tess is only further convinced that she cannot marry Angel.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10 and 11
Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31 and 32
Chapters 33 and 34
Chapters 35, 36, and 37
Chapters 38, 39, and 40
Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44
Chapters 45, 46, 47, and 48
Chapters 49, 50, 51, and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56, 57, 58, and 59



 






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