Phase the Second: Maiden No More
12. CHAPTER XII (continued)
"And yet th'st not got him to marry 'ee!" reiterated
her mother. "Any woman would have done it but you,
"Perhaps any woman would except me."
"It would have been something like a story to come back
with, if you had!" continued Mrs Durbeyfield, ready to
burst into tears of vexation. "After all the talk
about you and him which has reached us here, who would
have expected it to end like this! Why didn't ye think
of doing some good for your family instead o' thinking
only of yourself? See how I've got to teave and slave,
and your poor weak father with his heart clogged like a
dripping-pan. I did hope for something to come out o'
this! To see what a pretty pair you and he made that
day when you drove away together four months ago! See
what he has given us--all, as we thought, because we
were his kin. But if he's not, it must have been done
because of his love for 'ee. And yet you've not got
him to marry!"
Get Alec d'Urberville in the mind to marry her! He
marry HER! On matrimony he had never once said a word.
And what if he had? How a convulsive snatching at
social salvation might have impelled her to answer him
she could not say. But her poor foolish mother little
knew her present feeling towards this man. Perhaps it
was unusual in the circumstances, unlucky,
unaccountable; but there it was; and this, as she had
said, was what made her detest herself. She had never
wholly cared for him, she did not at all care for him
now. She had dreaded him, winced before him, succumbed
to adroit advantages he took of her helplessness; then,
temporarily blinded by his ardent manners, had been
stirred to confused surrender awhile: had suddenly
despised and disliked him, and had run away. That was
all. Hate him she did not quite; but he was dust and
ashes to her, and even for her name's sake she scarcely
wished to marry him.
"You ought to have been more careful if you didn't mean
to get him to make you his wife!"