Return of the Native Book 1, Chapters 10 - 11
Diggory Venn sets out for Captain Vye's cottage on Mistover Knap to call on Eustacia. The Vyes are the only genteel people in their district, with the sole exception of the Yeobrights, and they look down upon the lower and working class people of the heath. They are unfriendly and reserved, and Captain Vye has mood swings. When Eustacia comes out, they walk together as Venn carries out his plan to bring Thomasin and Wildeve together. Venn tells Eustacia his fear that Wildeve might not marry Thomasin because of another woman he will never marry. He suggests to Eustacia that she use her power over men to ask Wildeve to give up the other woman and marry Thomasin. When Eustacia denies her influence over men, Venn quickly appeals to her beauty to influence Wildeve's will. However, when she coldly insults Thomasin, Venn decides to be open about his reason for calling on her: he knows that the woman who comes between Wildeve and Thomasin is herself. Venn begs Eustacia to give up Wildeve, for she is superior to him. Eustacia swears that she will never give in to a woman as inferior as Thomasin and tells Venn in a fit of rage that Wildeve has always loved her the best. Venn finally uses Eustacia's hatred of the heath as another diversion. He gets her to admit that even Wildeve's love does not make up for the loneliness of the heath. Venn explains to her that if she really wants to leave, he can fix her up with a job in Budmouth as a paid companion to a rich woman he knows. Too proud to stoop to this, Eustacia refuses the offer.
Venn again begs for Thomasin's happiness but Eustacia scornfully dismisses him. Later Eustacia walks to the bank and gazes in the direction of Wildeve's house. She vows to herself that she will never give him up.
Diggory Venn encounters Mrs. Yeobright walking in the direction of the Quiet Woman Inn. Mrs. Yeobright is going to see Wildeve for the same reason he went to see Eustacia, Venn realizes. He asks her to give up her plan and tells her that he would like to marry Thomasin. Mrs. Yeobright is surprised, but says that she wants Thomasin to marry the man she loves. Telling her that even he tried to get Thomasin and Wildeve to marry but with no results, Venn offers Mrs. Yeobright his hand in marriage to Thomasin. Mrs. Yeobright politely refuses Venn's offer, fueled now with a new way to lure Wildeve into marrying Thomasin--the competition of a romantic suitor.
Calling on Wildeve, Mrs. Yeobright tells him that Thomasin has another suitor who would like to marry her and that she intends to encourage him if Wildeve does not wish to marry her niece. Once Wildeve hears of a romantic rival, he asks Mrs. Yeobright to give him time to think the situation over. Mrs. Yeobright agrees, but only if Wildeve does not talk to Thomasin about her other suitor.
Wildeve then calls on Eustacia, asking her to marry him. He tells her that Mrs. Yeobright wishes him to give up Thomasin because another man wants to marry her. Eustacia considers Wildeve's offer, but she decides that she cannot marry a man that Thomasin, whom she considers a lower class than she, has rejected. As Wildeve pleads her to leave the heath with him, she asks him to give her time. He agrees to give her a week to think about his offer. The situation gets even more complicated when Eustacia's grandfather tells her that Clym Yeobright will be returning home next week for the Christmas holidays. When Eustacia asks where Clym has been living all this time, Captain Vye replies that Clym has been in Paris.