Book Excerpt

She blushed faintly upon her pallor, and she sighed. Then their eyes met. “Well,” she said at last, “I don’t know why I shouldn’t show the virtue of candour. You know what it means. I was the stronger once; now I am the weaker. Whatever pain I may have given you in the ups and downs of our acquaintance I am sorry for, and – would willingly repair all errors of the past by – being amenable to reason in the future.”

It was impossible that Jocelyn should not feel a tender impulsion towards this attractive and once independent woman, who from every worldly point of view was an excellent match for him – a superior match, indeed. He took her hand again and held it awhile, and a faint wave of gladness seemed to flow through her. But no – he could go no futher. The island girl, in her coquettish Sunday frock and little hat with its bunch of hen’s feathers held him as by strands of Manilla rope. He dropped Nichola’s hand.

Thomas Hardy, The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892), pg. 89-90.


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