book-flipping : thomas hardy stories

Flipping through old books in the evening has continued frequently. This time here are some marked sentences from SELECTED STORIES of THOMAS HARDY.

a] FOR CONSCIENCE SAKE [one of Navin’s favourite, too]: I have learnt that there are some derelictions of duty which cannot be blotted out by tardy accomplishment. Our evil actions do not remain isolated in the past, waiting only to be reversed: like locomotive plants they spread and re-root, till to destroy the original stem has no material effect in killing them. I made a mistake in searching you out; I admit it; whatever the remedy may be in such cases it is not marriage, and the best thing for you and me is that you do not see me more. You had better not seek me, for you will not be likely to find me: you are well provided for, and we may do ourselves more harm than good by meeting again. - F.M.

b] MICHAEL HENCHARD’S WILL [one of Navin’s favourite, too – from the mayor of casterbridge]:

‘That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me.
‘& that I be not bury’d in consecrated ground.
‘& that no sexton be asked to toll the bell.
‘& that nobody is wished to see my dead body.
‘& that no murners walk behind me at my funeral.
‘& that no flour be planted on my grave.
‘& that no man remember me.
‘To this I put my name.
-M.H.

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