A Pair of Blue Eyes - Thomas Hardy - Страница 1 из 487


A PAIR OF BLUE EYES
by Thomas Hardy
'A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute;
No more.'
PREFACE
The following chapters were written at a time when the craze for
indiscriminate church-restoration had just reached the remotest nooks
of western England, where the wild and tragic features of the coast
had long combined in perfect harmony with the crude Gothic Art of the
ecclesiastical buildings scattered along it, throwing into extraordinary
discord all architectural attempts at newness there. To restore the
grey carcases of a mediaevalism whose spirit had fled, seemed a not
less incongruous act than to set about renovating the adjoining crags
themselves.
Hence it happened that an imaginary history of three human hearts,
whose emotions were not without correspondence with these
material circumstances, found in the ordinary incidents of such
church-renovations a fitting frame for its presentation.
The shore and country about 'Castle Boterel' is now getting well known,
and will be readily recognized. The spot is, I may add, the furthest
westward of all those convenient corners wherein I have ventured to
erect my theatre for these imperfect little dramas of country life and
passions; and it lies near to, or no great way beyond, the vague border
of the Wessex kingdom on that side, which, like the westering verge of
modern American settlements, was progressive and uncertain.
This, however, is of little importance. The place is pre-eminently (for


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