For the present he was outside the gates of everything, colleges included: perhaps some day he would be inside. Those palaces of light and leading; he might some day look down on the world through their panes.

And so, standing before the aforesaid officiator, the two swore that at every other time of their lives till death took them, they would assuredly believe, feel, and desire precisely as they had believed, felt, and desired during the few preceding weeks. What was as remarkable as the undertaking itself was the fact that nobody seemed at all surprised at what they swore.

When the love-led man had ceased from his labours Bathsheba came and looked him in the face.

‘Gabriel, will you you stay on with me?’ she said, smiling winningly, and not troubling to bring her lips quite together again at the end, because there was going to be another smile soon.

‘I will,’ said Gabriel.

And she smiled on him again.

Now mind, you have a mistress instead of a master. I don’t yet know my powers or my talents in farming; but I shall do my best, and if you serve me well, so shall I serve you. Don’t any unfair ones among you (if there are any such, but I hope not) suppose that because I’m a woman I don’t understand the difference between bad goings-on and good.”   (All.)

1 2 3 15