Friday, May 28, 2010


Jude the Obscure

Excerpts from Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure:

I.1 (Mr. Phillotson):
"Be a good boy, remember; and be kind to animals and birds, and read all you can."
He learnt for the first time that there was no law of transmutation, as in his innocence he had supposed (there was, in some degree, but the grammarian did not recognize it), but that every word in both Latin and Greek was to be individually committed to memory at the cost of years of plodding.

Jude flung down the books, lay backward along the broad trunk of the elm, and was an utterly miserable boy for the space of a quarter of an hour. As he had often done before, he pulled his hat over his face and watched the sun peering insidiously at him through the interstices of the straw. This was Latin and Greek, then, was it, this grand delusion! The charm he had supposed in store for him was really a labour like that of Israel in Egypt.
On a day when Fawley was getting quite advanced, being now about sixteen, and had been stumbling through the "Carmen Saeculare," on his way home, he found himself to be passing over the high edge of the plateau by the Brown House. The light had changed, and it was the sense of this which had caused him to look up. The sun was going down, and the full moon was rising simultaneously behind the woods in the opposite quarter. His mind had become so impregnated with the poem that, in a moment of the same impulsive emotion which years before had caused him to kneel on the ladder, he stopped the horse, alighted, and glancing round to see that nobody was in sight, knelt down on the roadside bank with open book. He turned first to the shiny goddess, who seemed to look so softly and critically at his doings, then to the disappearing luminary on the other hand, as he began:

"Phoebe silvarumque potens Diana!"

The horse stood still till he had finished the hymn, which Jude repeated under the sway of a polytheistic fancy that he would never have thought of humouring in broad daylight.
IV.2 (Sue Bridehead):
"When people of a later age look back upon the barbarous customs and superstitions of the times that we have the unhappiness to live in, what will they say!"
IV.4 (Mr. Phillotson):
"I am only a feeler, not a reasoner."
And they left the tent together, this pot-bellied man and florid woman, in the antipathetic, recriminatory mood of the average husband and wife of Christendom.
V.7 (Sue Bridehead):
"He still thinks it a great centre of high and fearless thought, instead of what it is, a nest of commonplace schoolmasters whose characteristic is timid obsequiousness to tradition."
V.8 (Mr. Phillotson):
"Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would!"
VI.1 (Jude Fawley):
"Eight or nine years ago when I came here first, I had a neat stock of fixed opinions, but they dropped away one by one; and the further I get the less sure I am. I doubt if I have anything more for my present rule of life than following inclinations which do me and nobody else any harm, and actually give pleasure to those I love best."
The landlord of the lodging, who had heard that they were a queer couple, had doubted if they were married at all, especially as he had seen Arabella kiss Jude one evening when she had taken a little cordial; and he was about to give them notice to quit, till by chance overhearing her one night haranguing Jude in rattling terms, and ultimately flinging a shoe at his head, he recognized the note of genuine wedlock; and concluding that they must be respectable, said no more.
VI.8 (Jude Fawley):
"I was gin-drunk; you were creed-drunk. Either form of intoxication takes away the nobler vision."
"How you keep a-mumbling!" said Arabella. "I should have thought you'd have got over all that craze about books by this time. And so you would, if you'd had any sense to begin with."

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?