She contem- plated administering poison to her mistress, to rid herself and the house of so detestable a plague. But she was restrained by an overruling Prov- idence; and finally decided to stay contentedly through her period of service, which would ex- pire when she was eighteen years of age.

"What fun it would be to send it to the stupid old Boldwood, and how he would wonder!" said the irrepressible Liddy, lifting her eyebrows, and indulging in an awful mirth on the verge of fear as she thought of the moral and social magnitude of the man contem- plated. Bathsheba paused to regard the idea at full length.

One of these was that I had an opportunity of conversing at a cafe with an attractive young Eng- lishman, whom I had met in the afternoon at Tarascon, and more remotely, in other years, in London; the other was that there sat enthroned behind the counter a splendid mature Arlesienne, whom my companion and I agreed that it was a rare privilege to contem- plate.

Taking no further interest in herself as a splendid woman, she acquired the indifferent feelings of an outsider in contem- plating her probable fate as a singular wretch; for Bath- sheba drew herself and her future in colours that no reality could exceed for darkness.