Adam Bede eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 820 pages of information about Adam Bede.

“Dinah,” said Adam mournfully, “you can’t love me so well as I love you, else you’d have no doubts.  But it’s natural you shouldn’t, for I’m not so good as you.  I can’t doubt it’s right for me to love the best thing God’s ever given me to know.”

“Nay, Adam.  It seems to me that my love for you is not weak, for my heart waits on your words and looks, almost as a little child waits on the help and tenderness of the strong on whom it depends.  If the thought of you took slight hold of me, I should not fear that it would be an idol in the temple.  But you will strengthen me—­you will not hinder me in seeking to obey to the uttermost.”

“Let us go out into the sunshine, Dinah, and walk together.  I’ll speak no word to disturb you.”

They went out and walked towards the fields, where they would meet the family coming from church.  Adam said, “Take my arm, Dinah,” and she took it.  That was the only change in their manner to each other since they were last walking together.  But no sadness in the prospect of her going away—­in the uncertainty of the issue—­could rob the sweetness from Adam’s sense that Dinah loved him.  He thought he would stay at the Hall Farm all that evening.  He would be near her as long as he could.

“Hey-day!  There’s Adam along wi’ Dinah,” said Mr. Poyser, as he opened the far gate into the Home Close.  “I couldna think how he happened away from church.  Why,” added good Martin, after a moment’s pause, “what dost think has just jumped into my head?”

“Summat as hadna far to jump, for it’s just under our nose.  You mean as Adam’s fond o’ Dinah.”

“Aye! hast ever had any notion of it before?”

“To be sure I have,” said Mrs. Poyser, who always declined, if possible, to be taken by surprise.  “I’m not one o’ those as can see the cat i’ the dairy an’ wonder what she’s come after.”

“Thee never saidst a word to me about it.”

“Well, I aren’t like a bird-clapper, forced to make a rattle when the wind blows on me.  I can keep my own counsel when there’s no good i’ speaking.”

“But Dinah ‘ll ha’ none o’ him.  Dost think she will?”

“Nay,” said Mrs. Poyser, not sufficiently on her guard against a possible surprise, “she’ll never marry anybody, if he isn’t a Methodist and a cripple.”

“It ‘ud ha’ been a pretty thing though for ’em t’ marry,” said Martin, turning his head on one side, as if in pleased contemplation of his new idea.  “Thee’dst ha’ liked it too, wouldstna?”

“Ah!  I should.  I should ha’ been sure of her then, as she wouldn’t go away from me to Snowfield, welly thirty mile off, and me not got a creatur to look to, only neighbours, as are no kin to me, an’ most of ’em women as I’d be ashamed to show my face, if my dairy things war like their’n.  There may well be streaky butter i’ the market.  An’ I should be glad to see the poor thing settled like a Christian woman, with a house of her own over her head; and we’d stock her well wi’ linen and feathers, for I love her next to my own children.  An’ she makes one feel safer when she’s i’ the house, for she’s like the driven snow:  anybody might sin for two as had her at their elbow.”

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Adam Bede from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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