Phase the Fourth: The Consequence
32. CHAPTER XXXII (continued)
"I don't quite feel easy," she said to herself. "All
this good fortune may be scourged out of me afterwards
by a lot of ill. That's how Heaven mostly does. I
wish I could have had common banns!"
But everything went smoothly. She wondered whether he
would like her to be married in her present best white
frock, or if she ought to buy a new one. The question
was set at rest by his forethought, disclosed by the
arrival of some large packages addressed to her.
Inside them she found a whole stock of clothing, from
bonnet to shoes, including a perfect morning costume,
such as would well suit the simple wedding they
planned. He entered the house shortly after the
arrival of the packages, and heard her upstairs undoing
A minute later she came down with a flush on her face
and tears in her eyes.
"How thoughtful you've been!" she murmured, her cheek
upon his shoulder. "Even to the gloves and
handkerchief! My own love--how good, how kind!"
"No, no, Tess; just an order to a tradeswoman in
And to divert her from thinking too highly of him he
told her to go upstairs, and take her time, and see if
it all fitted; and, if not, to get the village
sempstress to make a few alterations.
She did return upstairs, and put on the gown. Alone,
she stood for a moment before the glass looking at the
effect of her silk attire; and then there came into her
head her mother's ballad of the mystic robe---
That never would become that wife
That had once done amiss,
which Mrs Durbeyfield had used to sing to her as a
child, so blithely and so archly, her foot on the
cradle, which she rocked to the tune. Suppose this
robe should betray her by changing colour, as her robe
had betrayed Queen Guenever. Since she had been at the
dairy she had not once thought of the lines till now.