Chapter 45 Notes from Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Chapter 45

Tess stands paralyzed as Alec quotes scripture and only when she moves as she prepares to leave does he notice her among the crowd. He falters in his speech and she leaves as quickly as possible. He catches up with her on the road and tells her that he wishes to convert her, but she doesn't buy into his piety because it's too drastic a change. She tells him,

"You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!" Chapter 45, pg. 303

He swears he's changed his ways, but he does worry that seeing her might be too much temptation and might stir up old feelings. He asks her to cover her face with her veil so that she might not tempt him and makes her swear that she won't intentionally tempt him. She appeases him just to get him to go away because she likes him even less than she did before and he leaves her.

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