Adam Bede eBook

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

And so there was earnest prayer—­there was faith, love, and hope pouring forth that evening in the little kitchen.  And poor, aged, fretful Lisbeth, without grasping any distinct idea, without going through any course of religious emotions, felt a vague sense of goodness and love, and of something right lying underneath and beyond all this sorrowing life.  She couldn’t understand the sorrow; but, for these moments, under the subduing influence of Dinah’s spirit, she felt that she must be patient and still.

Chapter XI

In the Cottage

It was but half-past four the next morning when Dinah, tired of lying awake listening to the birds and watching the growing light through the little window in the garret roof, rose and began to dress herself very quietly, lest she should disturb Lisbeth.  But already some one else was astir in the house, and had gone downstairs, preceded by Gyp.  The dog’s pattering step was a sure sign that it was Adam who went down; but Dinah was not aware of this, and she thought it was more likely to be Seth, for he had told her how Adam had stayed up working the night before.  Seth, however, had only just awakened at the sound of the opening door.  The exciting influence of the previous day, heightened at last by Dinah’s unexpected presence, had not been counteracted by any bodily weariness, for he had not done his ordinary amount of hard work; and so when he went to bed; it was not till he had tired himself with hours of tossing wakefulness that drowsiness came, and led on a heavier morning sleep than was usual with him.

But Adam had been refreshed by his long rest, and with his habitual impatience of mere passivity, he was eager to begin the new day and subdue sadness by his strong will and strong arm.  The white mist lay in the valley; it was going to be a bright warm day, and he would start to work again when he had had his breakfast.

“There’s nothing but what’s bearable as long as a man can work,” he said to himself; “the natur o’ things doesn’t change, though it seems as if one’s own life was nothing but change.  The square o’ four is sixteen, and you must lengthen your lever in proportion to your weight, is as true when a man’s miserable as when he’s happy; and the best o’ working is, it gives you a grip hold o’ things outside your own lot.”

As he dashed the cold water over his head and face, he felt completely himself again, and with his black eyes as keen as ever and his thick black hair all glistening with the fresh moisture, he went into the workshop to look out the wood for his father’s coffin, intending that he and Seth should carry it with them to Jonathan Burge’s and have the coffin made by one of the workmen there, so that his mother might not see and hear the sad task going forward at home.

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Adam Bede from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.