Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Harvey Landy
Chapter 32

This dilemma keeps Tess from naming a wedding day, but she soon knows that she cannot postpone any longer. The year is ending, as is Angel’s time on the farm, and since Crick no longer needs her services, Angel sees it as the perfect time to be wed. Though Tess is not entirely willing, she finally agrees to marry him at the end of the year so that they can leave the dairy together. The Cricks are sad to lose Tess, since they had divined that she would be more than a dairymaid from the moment they laid eyes on her.

Tess writes to her mother again, informing her of the date of the wedding, but receives no reply. Meanwhile, Angel decides that he also wishes to learn the workings of a flour-mill should he decide to incorporate corn growing on his farm. He informs Tess that after their marriage, they will spend a short while at the Wellbridge flour mills, and he excitedly relays the little known fact that their lodgings during that time had been used by the d’Urbervilles in the past. Afterwards, they will tour some of the farms on the other side of London and then pay a visit to his parents.

Tess fears that Angel has forgotten to announce their wedding date at church at the proper time, but Angel informs her that they will use a marriage license instead. Tess is much relieved that there will be no opportunity at church to stop the wedding using the license. She is even more delighted when packages arrive for her containing a wedding dress ordered by Angel. She tries on the outfit and is reminded of a tune her mother used to sing about the fate of a woman who has done wrong, and again Tess is haunted by her past.

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