`Save his own soul he hath no star.' - Swinburne.
`Notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit;
Tempore crevit amor.' - Ovid.
II-iThe next noteworthy move in Jude's life was that in which he appeared gliding steadily onward through
a dusky landscape of some three years' later leafage than had graced his courtship of Arabella, and the
disruption of his coarse conjugal life with her. He was walking towards Christminster City, at a point a
mile or two to the south-west of it.
He had at last found himself clear of Marygreen and Alfredston: he was out of his apprenticeship, and
with his tools at his back seemed to be in the way of making a new start - the start to which, barring the
interruption involved in his intimacy and married experience with Arabella, he had been looking forward
for about ten years.
Jude would now have been described as a young man with a forcible, meditative, and earnest rather
than handsome cast of countenance. He was of dark complexion, with dark harmonizing eyes, and
he wore a closely trimmed black beard of more advanced growth than is usual at his age; this, with his
great mass of black curly hair, was some trouble to him in combing and washing out the stone-dust that
settled on it in the pursuit of his trade. His capabilities in the latter, having been acquired in the country,
were of an all-round sort, including monumental stone-cutting, gothic free-stone work for the restoration
of churches, and carving of a general kind. In London he would probably have become specialized and
have made himself a `moulding mason,' a `foliage sculptor' - perhaps a `statuary.'
He had that afternoon driven in a cart from Alfredston to the village nearest the city in this direction, and
was now walking the remaining four miles rather from choice than from necessity, having always fancied
himself arriving thus.
The ultimate impulse to come had had a curious origin - one more nearly related to the emotional side
of him than to the intellectual, as is often the case with young men. One day while in lodgings at Alfredston
he had gone to Marygreen to see his old aunt, and had observed between the brass candlesticks on her
mantlepiece the photograph of a pretty girlish face, in a broad hat with radiating folds under the brim
like the rays of a halo. He had asked who she was. His grand-aunt had gruffly replied that she was his
cousin Sue Bridehead, of the inimical branch of the family; and on further questioning the old woman
had replied that the girl lived in Christminster, though she did not know where, or what she was doing.
His aunt would not give him the photograph. But it haunted him; and ultimately formed a quickening
ingredient in his latent intent of following his friend the school master thither.
He now paused at the top of a crooked and gentle declivity, and obtained his first near view of the city.
Grey-stoned and dun-roofed, it stood within hail of the Wessex border, and almost with the tip of one
small toe within it, at the northernmost point of the crinkled line along which the leisurely Thames strokes
the fields of that ancient kingdom. The buildings now lay quiet in the sunset, a vane here and there on
their many spires and domes giving sparkle to a picture of sober secondary and tertiary hues.
Reaching the bottom he moved along the level way between pollard willows growing indistinct in the
twilight, and soon confronted the outmost lamps of the town - some of those lamps which had sent into
the sky the gleam and glory that caught his strained gaze in his days of dreaming, so many years ago.
They winked their yellow eyes at him dubiously, and as if, though they had been awaiting him all these
years in disappointment at his tarrying, they did not much want him now.
He was a species of Dick Whittington whose spirit was touched to finer issues than a mere material
gain. He went along the outlying streets with the cautious tread of an explorer. He saw nothing of the
real city in the suburbs on this side. His first want being a lodging he scrutinized carefully such localities