A Pair of Blue Eyes. by Thomas Hardy. Elfride finds herself caught in a battle between her heart, her mind and the expectations of her parents and society. Eyes of a Blue Dog Gabriel Garcia Marquez Then she looked at me. I thought that she was looking at me for the first time. A pair of blue eyes: A novel Topics knight, pair, blue, elfride, stephen, paib, blub, swancourt, lover, public domain, google PDF download.
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Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Pair of Blue Eyes, by Thomas Hardy This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions. These eyes were blue; blue as autumn distance — blue as the blue we But Mr. Swancourt, now cheerfully illuminated by a pair of candles.
Newer Post Older Post Home. I am not engaged. A pair of blue eyes , Oxford University Press. Situated in a valley that was bounded outwardly by the sea. Whatever enigma might lie in the shadow on the blind.
Re-broadcast on Radio 4 Extra , 29—30 December A Pair of Blue Eyes is normally categorised as one of Hardy's minor works, 'a book with a few good points but a failure as a whole'. A focus of critical interest of the novel is the scene in which Henry Knight reviews the entire history of the world as he hangs over the edge of a cliff reputedly the origin of the term ' cliffhanger ' , and is eventually rescued by a rope of Elfride's underwear.
Carl J. Weber sources the scene to a picnic Hardy and his wife had, in which he was sent to search for a lost earring, claiming this passage is the 'first indication in the novels of Hardy's ability to sustain interest in a tense situation by sheer power of vivid description. However, Gittings and Halperin claim it is more likely the idea for this scene comes from an essay by Leslie Stephen called 'Five minutes in the Alps'.
The 'cliff without a name', as it is referred to, is probably based on Beeny Cliff. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A Pair of Blue Eyes First edition title page. Texas Studies in Literature and Language. A Forum on Fiction.
He is Lord Luxellian's master-mason. And it has something HARD in it--a lump of something. Thursday Evening. It was breakfast time. As seen from the vicarage dining-room. Yet in spite of this sombre artistic effect. I've been feeling it through the envelope. It was even cheering. He handed Stephen his letter. For it did not rain.
Three for papa. The long- armed trees and shrubs of juniper. I wonder? Stephen read his missive with a countenance quite the reverse of the vicar's. Swancourt had said simultaneously with her words. Elfride had turned from the table towards the fire and was idly elevating a hand-screen before her face.
She vanished. Swears you are more trouble than you are worth. A young fellow like you to have important business! He will blow up just as much if you appear here on Saturday as if you keep away till Monday morning.
Now I can see more than you think. I regret to say. I told him that you were not like an experienced hand.
Smith by this time recovered his equanimity. I booked you for that directly I read his letter to me the other day. Must you go at once? You are to be his partner. It is politic to do so. Hewby has sent to say I am to come home. He thinks a great deal of you.
I would make out the week and finish my spree. I see. He says I am to write and say you are to stay no longer on any consideration--that he would have done it all in three hours very easily.
Swancourt certainly thought much of him to entertain such an idea on such slender ground as to be absolutely no ground at all. He doesn't like to trust such a matter to any body else. Hewby might think. Go for a drive to Targan Bay.
I have done such things for him before. This is a letter from Lord Luxellian. It seems that he has run up on business for a day or two. I am glad to get somebody decent to talk to. Swancourt noticed it. I need not. He has written to ask me to go to his house. You must come again on your own account. Come to see me as a visitor. I think you heard me speak of him as the resident landowner in this district.
I have something to say--you won't go to-day? And then. When are they? Elfride was struck with that look of his. And what I propose is. I believe. He saw that. Agnes' here. I am strongly of opinion that it is the proper thing to do. The building. I am very strict on that point. Eval's--is much older than our St. If my constitution were not well seasoned. And when the family goes away. Stephen rose to go and take a few final measurements at the church. I ought to have some help.
Swancourt looked down his front. I have the run of the house at any time. But'--here the vicar shook his head self-forbiddingly. I do duty in that and this alternately. I hope? The fact is. But you.
And the church--St. From the interior of her purse a host of bits of paper. A woman with a double chin and thick neck. Lightly they trotted along-- the wheels nearly silent.
Targan Bay--which had the merit of being easily got at--was duly visited. He handed them back to her. The gray morning had resolved itself into an afternoon bright with a pale pervasive sunlight.
Couldn't tell it to you for the world! They are notes for a romance I am writing. They then swept round by innumerable lanes. They started at three o'clock. The windows on all sides were long and many-mullioned.
The real reason is. Driving through an ancient gate-way of dun-coloured stone. In the corners of the court polygonal bays. If a highwayman were to rob you. The apex stones of these dormers. A licence to crenellate mansum infra manerium suum was granted by Edward II.
For by this time they had reached the precincts of Endelstow House. Such writing is out of date now. Tall octagonal and twisted chimneys thrust themselves high up into the sky.
Swancourt half listening. Miss Swancourt: Stephen was at one end of the gallery looking towards Elfride. Their eyes were sparkling. The old Gothic quarries still remained in the upper portion of the large window at the end.
Upon a statement of his errand they were all admitted to the library. The silence. Are you going to stay here? You are our little mamma. As Mr. Elfride entered the gallery. Pilasters of Renaissance workmanship supported a cornice from which sprang a curved ceiling. Their pink cheeks and yellow hair were speedily intermingled with the folds of Elfride's dress. Swancourt was soon up to his eyes in the examination of a heap of papers he had taken from the cabinet described by his correspondent.
Swancourt had remarked. It was a long sombre apartment. Out bounded a pair of little girls. Stephen and Elfride had nothing to do but to wander about till her father was ready. Lord Luxellian was dotingly fond of the children.
On looking around for him he was nowhere to. That's what I mean by coming to see you. I don't care to see people with hats and bonnets on. It had now become an established rule. All children instinctively ran after Elfride. When shall we come to see you? They were the only two children of Lord and Lady Luxellian. These two young creatures were the Honourable Mary and the Honourable Kate--scarcely appearing large enough as yet to bear the weight of such ponderous prefixes.
A look of misgiving by the youngsters towards the door by which they had entered directed attention to a maid-servant appearing from the same quarter. I don't think she ever learnt playing when she was little. Elfride again turning her attention to her guest. She turned her back towards Stephen: Then both shadows swelled to colossal dimensions--grew distorted--vanished.
And now she saw a perplexing sight. Yet the motion might have been a kiss. Elfride opened it. Elfride stepped down to the library.
Two minutes elapsed. I was looking for. At right angles to the face of the wing she had emerged from. Then another shadow appeared-- also in profile--and came close to him. One of these light spots she found to be caused by a side-door with glass panels in the upper part.
Immediately opposite to her. On the blind was a shadow from somebody close inside it--a person in profile. It was just possible to see that his arms were uplifted. But Mr. Though daylight still prevailed in the rooms. Miss Swancourt! I am so glad to find you. This was the shadow of a woman.
Did he then kiss her? Surely not. The profile was unmistakably that of Stephen. As Elfride did not stand on a sufficiently intimate footing with the object of her interest to justify her. The young man who had inspired her with such novelty of feeling.
They retraced their steps. The carriage was brought round. She stepped into the passage. She then discerned.
No words were spoken either by youth or maiden. What room were they standing in? Swancourt's voice was heard calling out their names from a distant corridor in the body of the building. Her unpractised mind was completely occupied in fathoming its recent acquisition. As nearly as she could guess. Chapter VI 'Fare thee weel awhile!
It came from the further side of the wing containing the illuminated room. The figure grew fainter. What people were in the house? None but the governess and. There was no absolute necessity for either of them to alight. Then apparently thinking that it was only for girls to pout. Stephen Smith was not the man to care about passages- at-love with women beneath him. Though gentle. Situated in a valley that was bounded outwardly by the sea. Had the person she had indistinctly seen leaving the house anything to do with the performance?
It was impossible to say without appealing to the culprit himself. Stephen walked along by himself for two or three minutes. The young man seemed glad of any excuse for breaking the silence. The more Elfride reflected. They reached the bridge which formed a link between the eastern and western halves of the parish.
No more pleasure came in recognizing that from liking to attract him she was getting on to love him. On the ultimate inquiry as to the individuality of the woman. Here was a temptation: Elfride was puzzled. Elfride at once assumed that she could not be an inferior. I have a trouble. I will take it. I can get along better by myself' It was Elfride's first fragile attempt at browbeating a lover.
Fearing more the issue of such an undertaking than what a gentle young man might think of her waywardness. I don't wish it. Her callow heart made an epoch of the incident. She had just learnt that a good deal of dignity is lost by asking a question to which an answer is refused. They slowly went their way up the hill. Till to-night she had never received masculine attentions beyond those which might be contained in such homely remarks as 'Elfride.
Collectively they were for taking this offered arm. Stephen hesitated. They breakfasted before daylight. Swancourt said very hastily. Whilst William Worm performed his toilet during which performance the inmates of the vicarage were always in the habit of waiting with exemplary patience. That evening.
Elfride wandered desultorily to the summer house. He left them in the gray light of dawn. Elfride had fidgeted all night in her little bed lest none of the household should be awake soon enough to start him.
The copse-covered valley was visible from this position. Stephen followed her thither. We are not home yet. It was. To some extent--so soon does womanly interest take a solicitous turn--she felt herself responsible for his safe conduct. They stood close together. DO come again. Not on my account. As if anything in connection with you could hurt me. You'll go home to London and to all the stirring people there. I am not engaged.
You don't want to. But the artistic eye was. I saw it in the letter- rack. She could afford to forgive him for a concealment or two. I know why you will not come. He promised. Whatever enigma might lie in the shadow on the blind. Swancourt was standing on the step in his slippers. She could not but believe that utterance. Worm was adjusting a buckle in the harness. The explanation had not come. Smith only responded hesitatingly.
She turned towards the house.
Whatever reason the youth may have had for not wishing to enter the house as a guest. Stephen went round to the front door. August it shall be. Swancourt beginning to question his visitor. The next day it rained. He entered the house at sunset. In the evening. Stephen gave vague answers. He had a genuine artistic reason for coming. The game had its value in helping on the developments of their future.
Six-and-thirty old seat ends. Elfride soon perceived that her opponent was but a learner. Surprise would have accompanied the feeling.
She next noticed that he had a very odd way of handling the pieces. They did little besides chat that evening. A momentary pang of disappointment had. I cannot understand it--can't understand it anyhow. Chapter VII 'No more of me you knew. Swancourt quite energetically to himself. I am sorry for that. Swancourt was sitting with his eyes fixed on the board. But who taught you to play?
This is the first time I ever had the opportunity of playing with a living opponent. Antecedently she would have supposed that the same performance must be gone through by all players in the same manner. Half to himself he said. I have worked out many games from books. Swancourt with feeling. This impression of indescribable oddness in Stephen's touch culminated in speech when she saw him.
She pondered on the circumstance for some time. What I was going to ask was. Smith I know you'll excuse my curiosity. I am delighted with you. Not that the pronunciation of a dead language is of much importance. I thought first that you had acquired your way of breathing the vowels from some of the northern colleges. I should have thought. The last man in the world to do that. He says that.
Henry Knight is one in a thousand!
I remember his speaking to me on this very subject of pronunciation. But no further explanation was volunteered. He has never heard me scan a line.
He is not responsible for my scanning. It was the cruellest thing to checkmate him after so much labour. Elfride played by rote. What was she dishonest enough to do in her compassion? To let him checkmate her.
I sent him exercises and construing twice a week. A second game followed. Stephen by thought. The game proceeded. That is how I learnt my Latin and Greek. How long did he instruct you?
Stephen looked up suspiciously. You can do everything--I can do nothing! O Miss Swancourt! Stephen became the picture of vexation and sadness. Then she suddenly withdrew herself and stood upright. His heart was throbbing even more excitedly than was hers. I did not mean it in that sense.
So entirely new was full-blown love to Elfride. She resolved to consider this demonstration as premature. Swancourt had left the room.
All these months of my absence I have worshipped you. I could not. A final game. That frying of fish will be the end of William Worm. Footsteps were heard.
They be at it again this morning--same as ever--fizz. I thought so! Swancourt then entered the room. There were the semitone of voice and half-hidden expression of eyes which tell the initiated how very fragile is the ice of reserve at these times.
Swancourt proposed a drive to the cliffs beyond Targan Bay. Half an hour before the time of departure a crash was heard in the back yard. The day after this partial revelation. Swancourt's frankness and good-nature. I recommend this plan: It would be doing me knight service if you keep your eyes fixed upon them. These earrings are my very favourite darling ones. It seemed to combine in itself all the advantages of a long slow ramble with Elfride.
The pony was saddled and brought round. She was disappointed: Stephen doubly so. He had not supposed so much latent sternness could co-exist with Mr. Elfride can trot down on her pony. They have had such hairbreadth escapes. The vicar came to his rescue. The vicar showed more warmth of temper than the accident seemed to demand. I shan't let him try again. He staggered and lifted. Unfortunately not so. And oh. Stand closer to the horse's head.
I will. I'll learn to do it all for your sake. Then they moved on. Smith looked all contrition. I thought it would be useless to me. And honey wild.
And nothing else saw all day long. Do you like me much less for this? She found me roots of relish sweet. He walked on in the same direction. For sidelong would she bend. I will learn riding. I love thee true. You may kiss my hand if you like. I would die for you. She turned the horse's head.
Isn't it a pretty white hand? Then Elfride and Pansy appeared on the hill in a round trot. You know I think more of you than I can tell.
Dull as a flower without the sun he sat down upon a stone. Anybody might look. Stephen arose. I'll take my glove off. Then Pansy became restless. We are too old now for that sort of thing. Stephen stealthily pounced upon her hand. You think I am a country girl. Right and left. Considering the shortness of the time we have known each other.
Thus she led the way out of the lane and across some fields in the direction of the cliffs. I won't. What a proud moment it was for Elfride then! She was ruling a heart with absolute despotism for the first time in her life. I wanted to imprint a sweet--serious kiss upon your hand. And you mustn't look into my eyes so. The horse was tied to a post. Elfride recovered her position and remembered herself.
At the boundary of the fields nearest the sea she expressed a wish to dismount. I won't! Do you love me deeply. It was Elfride's first kiss. He does not think of it at all. Elfride sat down.
I see that. At this point-blank denial.
Behind the youth and maiden was a tempting alcove and seat. Stephen turned his face away decisively. I will not be quite-- quite so obstinate--if--if you don't like me to be. And so awkward and unused was she. I wish we could be married! It is wrong for me to say it--I know it is--before you know more. There was none of those apparent struggles to get out of the trap which only results in getting further in: That graceful though apparently accidental falling into position.
The card is to be shifted nimbly. In fact. A woman must have had many kisses before she kisses well. That is pure and generous. Because experience was absent. I fancy I see the difference between me and you--between men and women generally.
I am content to build happiness on any accidental basis that may lie near at hand. And no lover has ever kissed you before? You ride well. There--now I am myself again. For that. I must mount again. As the lover's world goes. I couldn't think so OLD as that.. I believe in you. Her blitheness won Stephen out of his thoughtfulness. Some outside circumstance? What do I care? What did you love me for? They are indifferently good.
What of my eyes? But I am not altogether sure. I won't have that. Or your hands and arms. Stephen' at this a stealthy laugh and frisky look into his face. I wish he could come here.
You are nice-looking. I must ask your father to allow us to be engaged directly we get indoors. It comes to this sole simple thing: That at one time I had never seen you. And I'll not ask you ever any more--never more--to say out of the deep reality of your heart what you loved me for.. I think. It is because you are so docile and gentle. It will be for a long time. I will make it do. There's no getting it out of you.
Is that enough? But what does he do? Knight-- I suppose he is a very good man. I have never heard of his name. Now the next point in this Mr. I mean that he is really a literary man of some eminence.
We have it sent to us irregularly. I shall try to be his intimate friend some day. I forgot. Finer than being a novelist considerably. He writes things of a higher class than reviews.
I want papa to be a subscriber. Miss Elfie. He's a most desirable friend. The feeling is different quite. Shan't I be glad when I get richer and better known. I don't know. I don't want to know him. A pout began to shape itself upon Elfride's soft lips. Not me. He is so brilliant--no. You think of him night and day. It is disagreeable--quite a horrid.
I am shut out of your mind. But I do like him. I love you dearly. I hate him. He went round and entered the range of her vision. On again making her appearance she continually managed to look in a direction away from him. Why don't you talk? It is ridiculous. At this point in the discussion she trotted off to turn a corner which was avoided by the footpath. You would save him. Clever of yours drown. Stephen was soon beaten at this game of indifference. Next Stephen slowly retraced his steps.
I should have religiously done it. If I had only remembered! It was on the cliff. As the shadows began to lengthen and the sunlight to mellow. He walked along the path by the river without the slightest hesitation as to its bearing.
Elfride's hand flew like an arrow to her ear. I remember a faint sensation of some change about me. With a face expressive of wretched misgiving. The river now ran along under the park fence.
Stephen followed. She wheeled herself round. And that's where it is now. He ascended. I feared for you. Elfride was standing on the step illuminated by a lemon-hued expanse of western sky.
Though I am much vexed. I thought. But now I am inclined to scold you for frightening me so. Some little distance from the back of the house rose the park boundary. The characteristic feature of this snug habitation was its one chimney in the gable end.
Stephen crossed the little wood bridge in front. Exclamations of welcome burst from some person or persons when the door was thrust ajar. I have been so uneasy. The door was closed again. Here stood a cottage. Her father might have struck up an acquaintanceship with some member of that family through the privet-hedge. This field extended to the limits of the glebe. She waited in the drawing-room. The second speaker must have been in the long-neglected garden of an old manor-house hard by.
He involuntarily sighed too. She mounted a little ladder. I will leave you now. Where is your father.
The voice. Under the hedge was Mr. She passed round the shrubbery. Think of me waiting anxiously for the end. Say all that's to be said--do all there is to be done. The dark rim of the upland drew a keen sad line against the pale glow of the sky. A kiss--not of the quiet and stealthy kind. Elfride might have seen their dusky forms. Stephen had not yet made his desired communication to her father.
Here she sat down at the open window. Had no enigma ever been connected with her lover by his hints and. Her face flushed and she looked out. And it seemed that. For want of something better to do. Strange conjunctions of circumstances. Again she went indoors. What occurred to Elfride at this moment was a case in point. But the shrubs. She was vividly imagining. How delicate and sensitive he was. The kissing pair might have been behind some of these.
It was a hot and still August night. Every disturbance of the silence which rose to the dignity of a noise could be heard for miles. So she remained. It was just possible that. Elfride glided downstairs on tiptoe. But the reservations he at present insisted on. Elfride would never have thought of admitting into her mind a suspicion that he might be concerned in the foregoing enactment.
I am in. The red ember of a match was lying inside the fender. Her mind for a moment strayed to another subject. Returning indoors she called 'Unity!