The Return of the Native eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 427 pages of information about The Return of the Native.

“Never, mother.  They cannot find it out, because their teachers don’t come in contact with the class which demands such a system—­that is, those who have had no preliminary training.  My plan is one for instilling high knowledge into empty minds without first cramming them with what has to be uncrammed again before true study begins.”

“I might have believed you if you had kept yourself free from entanglements; but this woman—­if she had been a good girl it would have been bad enough; but being—­”

“She is a good girl.”

“So you think.  A Corfu bandmaster’s daughter!  What has her life been?  Her surname even is not her true one.”

“She is Captain Vye’s granddaughter, and her father merely took her mother’s name.  And she is a lady by instinct.”

“They call him ‘captain,’ but anybody is captain.”

“He was in the Royal Navy!”

“No doubt he has been to sea in some tub or other.  Why doesn’t he look after her?  No lady would rove about the heath at all hours of the day and night as she does.  But that’s not all of it.  There was something queer between her and Thomasin’s husband at one time—­I am as sure of it as that I stand here.”

“Eustacia has told me.  He did pay her a little attention a year ago; but there’s no harm in that.  I like her all the better.”

“Clym,” said his mother with firmness, “I have no proofs against her, unfortunately.  But if she makes you a good wife, there has never been a bad one.”

“Believe me, you are almost exasperating,” said Yeobright vehemently.  “And this very day I had intended to arrange a meeting between you.  But you give me no peace; you try to thwart my wishes in everything.”

“I hate the thought of any son of mine marrying badly!  I wish I had never lived to see this; it is too much for me—­it is more than I dreamt!” She turned to the window.  Her breath was coming quickly, and her lips were pale, parted, and trembling.

“Mother,” said Clym, “whatever you do, you will always be dear to me—­that you know.  But one thing I have a right to say, which is, that at my age I am old enough to know what is best for me.”

Mrs. Yeobright remained for some time silent and shaken, as if she could say no more.  Then she replied, “Best?  Is it best for you to injure your prospects for such a voluptuous, idle woman as that?  Don’t you see that by the very fact of your choosing her you prove that you do not know what is best for you?  You give up your whole thought—­you set your whole soul—­to please a woman.”

“I do.  And that woman is you.”

“How can you treat me so flippantly!” said his mother, turning again to him with a tearful look.  “You are unnatural, Clym, and I did not expect it.”

“Very likely,” said he cheerlessly.  “You did not know the measure you were going to mete me, and therefore did not know the measure that would be returned to you again.”

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The Return of the Native from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.