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Jude the Obscure

PART III: Chapter 2
"TO-MORROW is our grand day, you know. Where shall we go?"
"I have leave from three till nine. Wherever we can get to and come back from in
that time. Not ruins, Jude--I don't care for them."
"Well--Wardour Castle. And then we can do Fonthill if we like-- all in the same
afternoon."
"Wardour is Gothic ruins--and I hate Gothic!"
"No. Quite otherwise. It is a classic building--Corinthian, I think; with a lot of
pictures."
"Ah--that will do. I like the sound of Corinthian. We'll go."
Their conversation had run thus some few weeks later, and next morning they
prepared to start. Every detail of the outing was a facet reflecting a sparkle to
Jude, and he did not venture to meditate on the life of inconsistency he was
leading. His Sue's conduct was one lovely conundrum to him; he could say no
more.
There duly came the charm of calling at the college door for her; her emergence
in a nunlike simplicity of costume that was rather enforced than desired; the
traipsing along to the station, the porters' "B'your leave!," the screaming of the
trains-- everything formed the basis of a beautiful crystallization. Nobody stared
at Sue, because she was so plainly dressed, which comforted Jude in the
thought that only himself knew the charms those habiliments subdued. A matter
of ten pounds spent in a drapery-shop, which had no connection with her real life
or her real self, would have set all Melchester staring. The guard of the train
thought they were lovers, and put them into a compartment all by themselves.
"That's a good intention wasted!" said she.
Jude did not respond. He thought the remark unnecessarily cruel, and partly
untrue.
They reached the park and castle and wandered through the picture-galleries,
Jude stopping by preference in front of the devotional pictures by Del Sarto,
Guido Reni, Spagnoletto, Sassoferrato, Carlo Dolci, and others. Sue paused
patiently beside him, and stole critical looks into his face as, regarding the
Virgins, Holy Families, and Saints, it grew reverent and abstracted. When she
had thoroughly estimated him at this, she would move on and wait for him before
a Lely or Reynolds. It was evident that her cousin deeply interested her, as one
might be interested in a man puzzling out his way along a labyrinth from which
one had one's self escaped.
When they came out a long time still remained to them and Jude proposed that
as soon as they had had something to eat they should walk across the high
country to the north of their present position, and intercept the train of another
railway leading back to Melchester, at a station about seven miles off. Sue, who
was inclined for any adventure that would intensify the sense of her day's
freedom, readily agreed; and away they went, leaving the adjoining station
behind them.
 
 
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