Phase the First: The Maiden
7. CHAPTER VII (continued)
Her mother's pride in the girl's appearance led her to
step back, like a painter from his easel, and survey
her work as a whole.
"You must zee yourself!" she cried. "It is much better
than you was t'other day."
As the looking-glass was only large enough to reflect a
very small portion of Tess's person at one time, Mrs
Durbeyfield hung a black cloak outside the casement,
and so made a large reflector of the panes, as it is
the wont of bedecking cottagers to do. After this she
went downstairs to her husband, who was sitting in the
"I'll tell 'ee what 'tis, Durbeyfield," said she
exultingly; "he'll never have the heart not to love
her. But whatever you do, don't zay too much to Tess
of his fancy for her, and this chance she has got. She
is such an odd maid that it mid zet her against him, or
against going there, even now. If all goes well, I
shall certainly be for making some return to pa'son at
Stagfoot Lane for telling us--dear, good man!"
However, as the moment for the girl's setting out drew
nigh, when the first excitement of the dressing had
passed off, a slight misgiving found place in Joan
Durbeyfield's mind. It prompted the matron to say that
she would walk a little way--as far as to the point
where the acclivity from the valley began its first
steep ascent to the outer world. At the top Tess was
going to be met with the spring-cart sent by the
Stoke-d'Urbervilles, and her box had already been
wheeled ahead towards this summit by a lad with trucks,
to be in readiness.
Seeing their mother put on her bonnet the younger
children clamoured to go with her.
"I do want to walk a little-ways wi' Sissy, now she's
going to marry our gentleman-cousin, and wear fine
"Now," said Tess, flushing and turning quickly, "I'll
hear no more o' that! Mother, how could you ever put
such stuff into their heads?"