as seemed to offer on inexpensive terms the modest type of accommodation he demanded; and after
inquiry took a room in a suburb nicknamed `Beersheba,' though he did not know this at the time. Here he
installed himself, and having had some tea sallied forth.
It was a windy, whispering, moonless night. To guide himself he opened under a lamp a map he had
brought. The breeze ruffled and fluttered it, but he could see enough to decide on the direction he should
take to reach the heart of the place.
After many turnings he came up to the first ancient mediaeval pile that he had encountered. It was a
college, as he could see by the gateway. He entered it, walked round, and penetrated to dark corners
which no lamplight reached. Close to this college was another; and a little further on another; and then
he began to be encircled as it were with the breath and sentiment of the venerable city. When he passed
objects out of harmony with its general expression he allowed his eyes to slip over them as if he did not
A bell began clanging, and he listened till a hundred-and-one strokes had sounded. He must have made
a mis-take, he thought: it was meant for a hundred.
When the gates were shut, and he could no longer get into the quadrangles, he rambled under the walls
and doorways, feeling with his fingers the contours of their mouldings and carving. The minutes passed,
fewer and fewer people were visible, and still he serpentined among the shadows, for had he not imagined
these scenes through ten bygone years, and what mattered a night's rest for once? High against the
black sky the flash of a lamp would show crocketed pinnacles and indented battlements. Down obscure
alleys, apparently never trodden now by the foot of man, and whose very existence seemed to be forgotten,
there would jut into the path porticoes, oriels, doorways of enriched and florid middle-age design, their
extinct air being accentuated by the rottenness of the stones. It seemed impossible that modern thought
could house itself in such decrepit and superseded chambers.
Knowing not a human being here, Jude began to be impressed with the isolation of his own personality,
as with a self-spectre, the sensation being that of one who walked but could not make himself seen or
heard. He drew his breath pensively, and, seeming thus almost his own ghost, gave his thoughts to the
other ghostly presences with which the nooks were haunted.
During the interval of preparation for this venture, since his wife and furniture's uncompromising disappearance
into space, he had read and learnt almost all that could be read and learnt by one in his position, of the
worthies who had spent their youth within these reverend walls, and whose souls had haunted them in
their maturer age. Some of them, by the accidents of his reading, loomed out in his fancy disproportionately
large by comparison with the rest. The brushings of the wind against the angles, buttresses, and door-
jambs were as the passing of these only other inhabitants, the tappings of each ivy leaf on its neighbour
were as the mutterings of their mournful souls, the shadows as their thin shapes in nervous movement,
making him comrades in his solitude. In the gloom it was as if he ran against them without feeling their
The streets were now deserted, but on account of these things he could not go in. There were poets
abroad, of early date and of late, from the friend and eulogist of Shakespeare down to him who has
recently passed into silence, and that musical one of the tribe who is still among us. Speculative philosophers
drew along, not always with wrinkled foreheads and hoary hair as in framed portraits, but pink-faced,
slim, and active as in youth; modern divines sheeted in their surplices, among whom the most real to
Jude Fawley were the founders of the religious school called Tractarian; the well-known three, the enthusiast,
the poet, and the formularist, the echoes of whose teachings had influenced him even in his obscure
home. A start of aversion appeared in his fancy to move them at sight of those other sons of the place,
the form in the full-bottomed wig, statesman rake, reasoner and sceptic; the smoothly shaven historian
so ironically civil to Christianity; with others of the same incredulous temper, who knew each quad as
well as the faithful, and took equal freedom in haunting its cloisters.