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The Return of the Native

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THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE***

E-text prepared by Joseph E. Loewenstein, M.D., and John Hamm

THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

by

THOMAS HARDY

1912

CONTENTS

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

BOOK FIRST: THE THREE WOMEN

I. A Face on Which Time Makes But Little Impression II. Humanity Appears upon the Scene, Hand in Hand with Trouble III. The Custom of the Country IV. The Halt on the Turnpike Road V. Perplexity among Honest People VI. The Figure against the Sky VII. Queen of Night VIII. Those Who Are Found Where There Is Said to Be Nobody IX. Love Leads a Shrewd Man into Strategy X. A Desperate Attempt at Persuasion XI. The Dishonesty of an Honest Woman

BOOK SECOND: THE ARRIVAL

I. Tidings of the Comer II. The People at Blooms-End Make Ready III. How a Little Sound Produced a Great Dream IV. Eustacia Is Led On to an Adventure V. Through the Moonlight VI. The Two Stand Face to Face VII. A Coalition between Beauty and Oddness VIII. Firmness Is Discovered in a Gentle Heart

BOOK THIRD: THE FASCINATION

I. "My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is" II. The New Course Causes Disappointment III. The First Act in a Timeworn Drama IV. An Hour of Bliss and Many Hours of Sadness V. Sharp Words Are Spoken, and a Crisis Ensues VI. Yeobright Goes, and the Breach Is Complete VII. The Morning and the Evening of a Day VIII. A New Force Disturbs the Current

BOOK FOURTH: THE CLOSED DOOR

I. The Rencounter by the Pool II. He Is Set Upon by Adversities; but He Sings a Song III. She Goes Out to Battle against Depression IV. Rough Coercion Is Employed V. The Journey across the Heath VI. A Conjuncture, and Its Result upon the Pedestrian VII. The Tragic Meeting of Two Old Friends VIII. Eustacia Hears of Good Fortune, and Beholds Evil

BOOK FIFTH: THE DISCOVERY

I. "Wherefore Is Light Given to Him That Is in Misery" II. A Lurid Light Breaks In upon a Darkened Understanding III. Eustacia Dresses Herself on a Black Morning IV. The Ministrations of a Half-Forgotten One V. An Old Move Inadvertently Repeated VI. Thomasin Argues with Her Cousin, and He Writes a Letter VII. The Night of the Sixth of November VIII. Rain, Darkness, and Anxious Wanderers IX. Sights and Sounds Draw the Wanderers Together

BOOK SIXTH: AFTERCOURSES

I. The Inevitable Movement Onward II. Thomasin Walks in a Green Place by the Roman Road III. The Serious Discourse of Clym with His Cousin IV. Cheerfulness Again Asserts Itself at Blooms-End, and Clym Finds His Vocation

"To sorrow I bade good morrow, And thought to leave her far away behind; But cheerly, cheerly, She loves me dearly; She is so constant to me, and so kind. I would deceive her, And so leave her, But ah! she is so constant and so kind."

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

The date at which the following events are assumed to have occurred may be set down as between 1840 and 1850, when the old watering-place herein called "Budmouth" still retained sufficient afterglow from its Georgian gaiety and prestige to lend it an absorbing attractiveness to the romantic and imaginative soul of a lonely dweller inland.

Under the general name of "Egdon Heath," which has been given to the sombre scene of the story, are united or typified heaths of various real names, to the number of at least a dozen; these being virtually one in character and aspect, though their original unity, or partial unity, is now somewhat disguised by intrusive strips and slices brought under the plough with varying degrees of success, or planted to woodland.

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