In chapter XXXI the guilt eats at Tess about not telling Angel the truth about her past.
In chapter XXXII Thomas Hardy and Tess are driving me nuts. The girl cries herself to sleep over her past and telling Angel and then is a chicken shit about actually telling him. Either do it or get over the guilt!
But what is cute, is that Mrs. Crick keeps making up excuses for Tess and Angel to go off together. It’s now November on the farm, the lady cows are starting to go off and have their babies, meaning they have less cows to milk. Tess starts to worry that she wont be needed anymore.
Mr. Crick does not wish to see Tess go, but he does help Angel out by suggesting that when he leaves at Christmas that he take Tess with him. She knows she has no choice, but to leave the farm at Christmas and marry Angel. It’s either that or tell him about her history and then deal with the consequences. Instead they set a date of New Years Eve for the marriage.
When they tell the Crick’s of their plans Mrs. Crick tells Tess how she knew from the first day that she was from a good family, a superior family and that everything she has been since has reinforced that.
Tess writes her mother again to tell her of their wedding date, but really looking for her mother to encourage her to keep her mouth shut, but no response ever comes. Meanwhile, Angel is considering the need or lack of need for a quicker marriage, in the end his desire to be married to the woman he loves wins out. He tells her that he doesn’t want to leave her to set up a farm without his support and protection. Given, her up and down moods, it’s probably a good decision.
He decides he wants to go off to the Wellbridge flour-mills, the location was an old d’Urberville mansion to learn a bit about the flour trade. Then they were to set off to see some other farms before meeting his family in March or April.
Apparently the tradition at this time is to have your name called at church for 3 weeks prior to your wedding. When Tess hears her name was not announced she starts to panic. However, Angel decided to get a license for the marriage instead, since it would be quieter for them, which puts Tess at ease. The marriage will not be postponed and it wont be announced to lots of people. This girl confuses me. One minute she’s going to tell him the truth, then she wants to be engaged forever (I guess she’s feels less guilty then?), then she wants to married quickly. AHHHH!
As Tess is worrying about what to wear to her wedding, her best dress or buy a new dress, a package arrives. Angel sent her a whole new outfit for the wedding. She gushes over Angel, telling him how wonderful he is. He sends her to her room to try it on and stop her from gushing. This was not a good move.
In her room Tess sees herself in her dress she panicks. What if the dress changes colors on her, betraying her like it did to Queen Guenever.
“That never would become that wife
That had once done amiss”
She’s referring to the book “The Boy and the Mantle: A Ballad of King Arthurs Court” where Queen Guinevere betrays her husband King Arthur and how her mantle or robe gives away her deception because only an honest person can wear it.