作者：托马斯·哈代 2011-12-30 10:00
He looked into the fire. He remembered how, when he was a lad of fifteen, his godmother, the Squire's wife - the only rich person with whom he had ever come in contact - had pinned her faith to his success; had prophesied a wondrous career for him. There had seemed nothing at all out of keeping with such a conjectured career in the storing up of these showy ornaments for his wife and the wives of her descendants. They gleamed somewhat ironically now. 'Yet why?' he asked himself. It was but a question of vanity throughout; and if that were admitted into one side of the equation it should be admitted into the other. His wife was a d'Urberville: whom could they become better than her?
Suddenly he said with enthusiasm--
'Tess, put them on - put them on!' And he turned from the fire to help her.
But as if by magic she had already donned them - necklace, ear-rings, bracelets, and all.
'But the gown isn't right, Tess,' said Clare. 'It ought to be a low one for a set of brilliants like that.'
'Ought it?' said Tess.
'Yes,' said he.
He suggested to her how to tuck in the upper edge of her bodice, so as to make it roughly approximate to the cut for evening wear; and when she had done this, and the pendant to the necklace hung isolated amid the whiteness of her throat, as it was designed to do, he stepped back to survey her.
'My heavens,' said Clare, 'how beautiful you are!'
As everybody knows, fine feathers make fine birds; a peasant girl but very moderately prepossessing to the casual observer in her simple condition and attire, will bloom as an amazing beauty if clothed as a woman of fashion with the aids that Art can render; while the beauty of the midnight crush would often cut but a sorry figure if placed inside the field-woman's wrapper upon a monotonous acreage of turnips on a dull day. He had never till now estimated the artistic excellence of Tess's limbs and features.