'No. I have thought it sad - especially since coming here, and knowing that many of the hills and fields I see once belonged to my father's people. But other hills and fields belonged to Retty's people, and perhaps others to Marian's, so that I don't value it particularly
'Yes - it is surprising how many of the present tillers
of the soil were once owners of it, and I sometimes wonder that a certain school of politicians don't make capital of the circumstance; but they don't seem to know it... . I wonder that I did not see the resemblance
of your name to d'Urberville, and trace the manifest corruption
. And this was the carking secret!'
She had not told. At the last moment her courage had failed her, she feared his blame for not telling him sooner; and her instinct
of self-preservation was stronger than her candour
'Of course,' continued the unwitting
Clare, 'I should have been glad to know you to be descended exclusively
from the long-suffering, dumb, unrecorded
rank and file of the English nation, and not from the self-seeking few who made themselves powerful at the expense of the rest. But I am corrupted away from that by my affection for you, Tess [he laughed as he spoke], and made selfish likewise. For your own sake I rejoice in your descent
. Society is hopelessly snobbish
, and this fact of your extraction
may make an appreciable difference to its acceptance of you as my wife, after I have made you the well-read woman that I mean to make you. My mother too, poor soul, will think so much better of you on account of it. Tess, you must spell your name correctly - d'Urberville - from this very day.'
'I like the other way rather best.'