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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 635 pages of information about Adam Bede.

But now at last she was very near, and Adam rose from the stone wall.  It happened that just as he walked forward, Dinah had paused and turned round to look back at the village—­who does not pause and look back in mounting a hill?  Adam was glad, for, with the fine instinct of a lover, he felt that it would be best for her to hear his voice before she saw him.  He came within three paces of her and then said, “Dinah!” She started without looking round, as if she connected the sound with no place.  “Dinah!” Adam said again.  He knew quite well what was in her mind.  She was so accustomed to think of impressions as purely spiritual monitions that she looked for no material visible accompaniment of the voice.

But this second time she looked round.  What a look of yearning love it was that the mild grey eyes turned on the strong dark-eyed man!  She did not start again at the sight of him; she said nothing, but moved towards him so that his arm could clasp her round.

And they walked on so in silence, while the warm tears fell.  Adam was content, and said nothing.  It was Dinah who spoke first.

“Adam,” she said, “it is the Divine Will.  My soul is so knit to yours that it is but a divided life I live without you.  And this moment, now you are with me, and I feel that our hearts are filled with the same love.  I have a fulness of strength to bear and do our heavenly Father’s Will that I had lost before.”

Adam paused and looked into her sincere eyes.

“Then we’ll never part any more, Dinah, till death parts us.”

And they kissed each other with a deep joy.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life—­to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?

Chapter LV

Marriage Bells

In little more than a month after that meeting on the hill—­on a rimy morning in departing November—­Adam and Dinah were married.

It was an event much thought of in the village.  All Mr. Burge’s men had a holiday, and all Mr. Poyser’s, and most of those who had a holiday appeared in their best clothes at the wedding.  I think there was hardly an inhabitant of Hayslope specially mentioned in this history and still resident in the parish on this November morning who was not either in church to see Adam and Dinah married, or near the church door to greet them as they came forth.  Mrs. Irwine and her daughters were waiting at the churchyard gates in their carriage (for they had a carriage now) to shake hands with the bride and bridegroom and wish them well; and in the absence of Miss Lydia Donnithorne at Bath, Mrs. Best, Mr. Mills, and Mr. Craig had felt it incumbent on them to represent “the family” at the Chase on the occasion.  The churchyard walk was quite lined with familiar faces, many of them faces that had first looked at Dinah when she preached on the Green.  And no wonder they showed this eager interest on her marriage morning, for nothing like Dinah and the history which had brought her and Adam Bede together had been known at Hayslope within the memory of man.

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