In chapter XXXIX Angel was depressed and goes to visit his parents. They unknowingly pour salt in his wounds by talking about the wonders of a pure and virtuous wife.
Chapter XL starts with Angel discussing Brazil with his parents over breakfast and the fact that many men have gone there and had to return with no success. After that, Angel left to take care of some business at the bank, like sending some extra money to Tess. While in town he runs into Mercy Chant whom he offends with his religious ideas. He apologizes and says he is going crazy.
He sends the money to Tess; along with a note explaining that she should contact his father in an emergency. His last duty is to pay off his debt to the farmhouse that he and Tess stayed in after the wedding, as well as collect a few last things they left there.
While at the farmhouse, Angel remembers the good memories with Tess and starts to wonder if he had been too hard on Tess. He even comments aloud, “O Tess! If you had only told me sooner, I would have forgiven you!” This is the energy Angel should be channeling, but he is a stubborn man.
While there he runs into Izz Huett, from the dairy, who has come to check on Tess. He explains that he is going to Brazil and that Tess will be staying with her parents. She explains that she has left the dairy, that Retty has gone nuts, and Marian has become a drunk.
The conversation shifts and Angel prompts from Izz that she had fallen in love with him. He is quite shocked (typical man). Angel is also bitter that he could have married this other pure woman; instead he is trapped in a marriage to Tess.
When Angel is about to drop Izz off near her home, he decides instead to confess that he and Tess are having personal issues. He asks Izz if she would like to come with him to Brazil and live in sin! GASP!
WHAT THE FUCK! I knew I wasn’t going to like this guy. His wife isn’t pure so now he’s going to shack up with another girl. What a fucking weeny! My 21st Century senses are offended!
Not to worry, Izz accepts too. Honestly though, I think she has been so depressed that she’ll take anything she can get. However, she is not that bright. When Angel asks her if she loved her as much as Tess she says no, “Because nobody could love ‘ee more than Tess did!… She would have laid down her life for ‘ee. I could do no more.”
At this Angel realizes the error of his ways and tells Izz that they can’t do this. His parting words to her are to think of him as a worthless lover, but a faithful friend. Izz forgives him for this and goes home an emotional wreck.
After that Angel almost goes and gets Tess, but he is a stubborn idiot and doesn’t. Instead, he goes to London for 5 days before leaving for Brazil. Stupid man!