white frock, and shoes, and pink sash'; how she recited `Excelsior,' `There was a sound of revelry by night,' and `The Raven'; how during the delivery she would knit her little brows and glare round tragically, and say to the empty air, as if some real creature stood there -
`Ghastly, grim, and ancient Raven, wandering from the Nightly shore,`She'd bring up the nasty carrion bird that clear,' corroborated the sick woman reluctantly, `as she stood there in her little sash and things, that you could see un a'most before your very eyes. You too, Jude, had the same trick as a child of seeming to see things in the air.'
The neighbour told also of Sue's accomplishments in other kinds:
`She was not exactly a tomboy, you know; but she could do things that only boys do, as a rule. I've seen her hit in and steer down the long slide on yonder pond, with her little curls blowing, one of a file of twenty moving along against the sky like shapes painted on glass, and up the back slide without stopping. All boys except herself; and then they'd cheer her, and then she'd say, `Don't be saucy, boys,' and suddenly run indoors. They'd try to coax her out again. But 'a wouldn't come.'
These retrospective visions of Sue only made Jude the more miserable that he was unable to woo her, and he left the cottage of his aunt that day with a heavy heart. He would fain have glanced into the school to see the room in which Sue's little figure had so glorified itself; but he checked his desire and went on.
It being Sunday evening some villagers who had known him during his residence here were standing in a group in their best clothes. Jude was startled by a salute from one of them:
`Ye've got there right enough, then!'
Jude showed that he did not understand.
`Why, to the seat of l'arning - the `City of Light' you used to talk to us about as a little boy! Is it all you expected of it?'
`Yes; more!' cried Jude.
`When I was there once for an hour I didn't see much in it for my part; auld crumbling buildings, half church, half almshouse, and not much going on at that.'
`You are wrong, John; there is more going on than meets the eye of a man walking through the streets. It is a unique centre of thought and religion - the intellectual and spiritual granary of this country. All that silence and absence of goings-on is the stillness of infinite motion - the sleep of the spinning-top, to borrow the simile of a well-known writer.'
`Oh, well, it med be all that, or it med not. As I say, I didn't see nothing of it the hour or two I was there; so I went in and had a pot o' beer, and a penny loaf, and a ha'porth o' cheese, and waited till it was time to come along home. You've j'ined a college by this time, I suppose?'
`Ah, no!' said Jude. `I am almost as far off that as ever.'
Jude slapped his pocket.
`Just what we thought! Such places be not for such as you - only for them with plenty o' money.'
`There you are wrong,' said Jude, with some bitterness. `They are for such ones!'
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