Jude the Obscure HTML version

PART V: Chapter 1
PART V: At Aldbrickham And Elsewhere
"Thy aerial part, and all the fiery parts which are mingled in thee, though
by nature they have an upward tendency, still in obedience to the
disposition of the universe they are over-powered here in the compound
mass the body."--M. ANTONINUS (Long).
How Gillingham's doubts were disposed of will most quickly appear by passing
over the series of dreary months and incidents that followed the events of the last
chapter, and coming on to a Sunday in the February of the year following.
Sue and Jude were living in Aldbrickham, in precisely the same relations that
they had established between themselves when she left Shaston to join him the
year before. The proceedings in the law-courts had reached their consciousness,
but as a distant sound and an occasional missive which they hardly understood.
They had met, as usual, to breakfast together in the little house with Jude's name
on it, that he had taken at fifteen pounds a year, with three-pounds-ten extra for
rates and taxes, and furnished with his aunt's ancient and lumbering goods,
which had cost him about their full value to bring all the way from Marygreen.
Sue kept house, and managed everything.
As he entered the room this morning Sue held up a letter she had just received.
"Well; and what is it about?" he said after kissing her.
"That the decree NISI in the case of Phillotson VERSUS Phillotson and Fawley,
pronounced six months ago, has just been made absolute."
"Ah," said Jude, as he sat down.
The same concluding incident in Jude's suit against Arabella had occurred about
a month or two earlier. Both cases had been too insignificant to be reported in
the papers, further than by name in a long list of other undefended cases.
"Now then, Sue, at any rate, you can do what you like!" He looked at his
sweetheart curiously.
"Are we--you and I--just as free now as if we had never married at all?"
"Just as free--except, I believe, that a clergyman may object personally to
remarry you, and hand the job on to somebody else."