Adam Bede

By George Eliot; Valentine Cunningham | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LIII
THE HARVEST SUPPER

As Adam was going homewards, on Wednesday evening, in the six o'clock sunlight, he saw in the distance the last load of barley winding its way towards the yard-gate of the Hall Farm, and heard the chant of 'Harvest Home!' rising and sinking like a wave. Fainter and fainter, and more musical through the growing distance, the falling, dying sound still reached him, as he neared the Willow Brook. The low westering sun shone right on the shoulders of the old Binton Hills, turning the unconscious sheep into bright spots of light; shone on the windows of the cottage too, and made them a-flame with a glory beyond that of amber or amethyst. It was enough to make Adam feel that he was in a great temple, and that the distant chant was a sacred song.

'It's wonderful,' he thought, 'how that sound goes to one's heart almost like a funeral-bell, for all it tells one o' the joyfullest time o' the year, and the time when men are mostly the thankfullest. I suppose it's a bit hard to us to think anything's over and gone in our lives; and there's a parting at the root of all our joys. It's like what I feel about Dinah: I should never ha' come to know that her love 'ud be the greatest o' blessings to me, if what I counted a blessing hadn't been wrenched and torn away from me, and left me with a greater need, so as I could crave and hunger for a greater and a better comfort.'

He expected to see Dinah again this evening, and get leave to accompany her as far as Oakbourne; and then he would ask her to fix some time when he might go to Snowfield, and learn whether the last best hope that had been born to him must be resigned like the rest. The work he had to do at home, besides putting on his best clothes, made it seven before he was on his way again to the Hall Farm, and it was questionable whether, with his longest and quickest strides, he should be there in time even for the roast-beef, which came after the plum-pudding; for Mrs Poyser's supper would be punctual.

-515-

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Adam Bede
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Adam Bede i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text xli
  • Select Bibliography xliii
  • A Chronology of George Eliot xlv
  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 3
  • Book First 5
  • Chapter I- The Workshop 5
  • Chapter II- The Preaching 14
  • 33- Chapter III after the Preaching 33
  • Chapter IV- Home and Its Sorrows 39
  • Chapter V- The Rector 54
  • Chapter VI- The Hall Farm 71
  • Chapter IX- Hetty''s World 96
  • Chapter X- Dinah Visits Lisbeth 103
  • Chapter XII- In the Wood 124
  • Chapter XIII- Evening in the Wood 135
  • Chapter XIV- The Return Home 140
  • Chapter XV- The Two Bed-Chambers 149
  • Chapter XVI- Links 162
  • Book Second 175
  • Chapter XVII- In Which the Story Pauses a Little 175
  • Chapter XVIII- Church 185
  • Chapter XIX- Adam on a Working Day 207
  • Chapter XX- Adam Visits the Hall Farm 214
  • Book Third 247
  • Chapter XXII- Going to the Birthday Feast 247
  • Chapter XXIII- Dinner-Time 258
  • Chapter XXIV- The Health-Drinking 263
  • Chapter XXV- The Games 271
  • Book Fourth 291
  • Chapter XXVII 291
  • Chapter XXVIII- A Dilemma 302
  • Chapter XXIX- The Next Morning 310
  • Chapter XXX- The Delivery of the Letter 318
  • Chapter XXXII- Mrs Poyser ''Has Her Say Out'' 341
  • Chapter XXXIII- More Links 350
  • Chapter XXXIV- The Betrothal 357
  • Chapter XXXV- The Hidden Dread 362
  • Book Fifth 369
  • Chapter XXXVI- The Journey in Hope 369
  • Chapter XXXVII- The Journey in Despair 378
  • Chapter XXXVIII- The Quest 390
  • Chapter XXXIX- The Tidings 404
  • Chapter XLII- The Morning of the Trial 425
  • Chapter XLIII- The Verdict 430
  • Chapter XLIV- Arthur''s Return 437
  • Chapter XLV- In the Prison 445
  • Chapter XLVI- The Hours of Suspense 456
  • Book Sixth 473
  • Chapter XLIX- At the Hall Farm 473
  • Chapter L- In the Cottage 483
  • Chapter LI Sunday Morning 494
  • Chapter LII Adam and Dinah 506
  • Chapter LIII the Harvest Supper 515
  • Chapter Liv the Meeting on the Hill 528
  • Chapter LV Marriage Bells 533
  • Epilogue 537
  • Appendix 1- George Eliot''s History of Adam Bede 541
  • Appendix 2- The Crime, Trial, and Execution of Mary Voce- Three Contemporary Broadsheets 544
  • Explanatory Notes 554
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