Page 76. " like dancers in a quadrille "

                         

Page 79. " the ballad about the maid who went to the merry green wood "

Possibly a reference to this bawdy 17th century song:

 

Two Maidens Went Milking

Two maidens went milking one day

Two maidens went milking one day

And the wind it did blow high

And the wind it did blow low

And it toss-ed their pails to and fro, la, la, la

And it toss-ed their pails to and fro.

 

They met with a man they did know

They met with a man they did know

And they said, "Have you the will?

"And they said, "Have you the skill

For to catch us a small bird or two, la, la, la

For to catch us a small bird or two".

 

"Yes, I have an ex-cellent good skill

Yes, I have an ex-cellent good skill

If you'll come along with me

Un-der yonder flowering tree

I might catch you a small bird or two, la, la, la

I might catch you a small bird or two".

 

So they went and they sat 'neath a tree

So they went and they sat 'neath a tree

And the birds flew round about

Pret-ty birds flew in and out

And he caught them by one and by two, la, la, la

And he caught them by one and by two.

 

Now my boys, let us drink down the sun

Now my boys let us drink down the moon

Take your lady to the wood

If you really think you should

You might catch her a small bird or two, la, la, la

You might catch her a small bird or two.

Page 79. " if she should have to burn for what she had done "

If she should have to go to hell.

Having broken one of the commandments, Tess thinks she could be in line for divine punishment. Aholah and Aholibah, referred to in the next sentence, were two prostitutes in a parable in Ezekiel 23. Aholah stands for Samaria and Aholibah for Jerusalem. While Aholibah stayed faithful to her master, Aholah continued to sleep around until she was abandoned and killed. In fact, the parable has nothing to do with sexual morals, but rather conveys a message about staying faithful to God. 

Page 81. " she proceeded with the baptismal service "
John the Baptist baptising Christ by Trevisani
Public DomainJohn the Baptist baptising Christ by Trevisani

Baptism is the ceremony by which new Christians join the Church. It derives from the biblical account of John the Baptist baptising Jesus in the river Jordan. A priest pours holy water over the candidate, who promises to live by the teachings of the church.  For young children, the promises are made by parents and godparents.

In previous centuries, it was commonly believed that unless someone was baptised, they would go to hell. This is why children are often baptised very young and why Tess is so anxious to baptise her baby before he dies.

Page 84. " Roger Ascham "
Roger Ascham
Public DomainRoger Ascham
An English scholar, Roger Ascham wrote extensively during the sixteenth century. He also tutored the young Elizabeth before she became queen.
Page 84. " said to God with Saint Augustine "
A portrait of St Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne
Public DomainA portrait of St Augustine by Philippe de Champaigne

St Augustine was bishop of Hippo in the 5th century AD and an extremely influential writer and thinker in the early church. He came to the faith as an adult, and his most famous text is his Confessions, which focuses on the sins and mistakes of his early life.

 

Page 85. " She had Jeremy Taylor's thought "

Jeremy Taylor
Public DomainJeremy Taylor
Jeremy Taylor was a 17th century clergyman and writer, who was particularly revered for his excellent prose. He was a chaplain to King Charles I and was imprisoned several times after the Puritan government succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy at the end of the English Civil War.

Page 88. " as a canvas by Van Alsloot or Sallaert "
A painting by Sallaert, showing the archduchess Isabella's procession through Brussels
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA painting by Sallaert, showing the archduchess Isabella's procession through Brussels - Credit: JoJan

Denis van Alsloot (1570-1626) was a Flemish Baroque painter famed for his rural scenes.

Antoon Sallaert (1585-1650) was a painter at the court of Brussels. As in this picture, his works were often crowded with many figures.

Page 89. " as the pure River of Life shown to the Evangelist "
An engraving from a 1778 edition of The Pilgrim's Progress, showing Christian entering the Wicket Gate
Public DomainAn engraving from a 1778 edition of The Pilgrim's Progress, showing Christian entering the Wicket Gate

This is a reference to John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, a 16th century allegorical story about the journey through the Christian life. Much persecuted for his faith, John Bunyan spent many years in prison and wrote several radical texts about the experience of believing in God. The Pilgrim's Progress is the most famous. It has never been out of print.

It follows the adventures of Christian as he travels through a range of weird and wonderful landscapes and places, including Vanity Fair, House Beautiful and the Slough of Despond. He is helped on his journey by the Evangelist, who explains some of the mysterious things he sees and encourages him when he is losing heart. At one point, when Christian is feeling faint, the Evangelist refreshes him at the River of Life.

 

      

Page 90. " like a fly on a billiard table "

Several times in the novel, Hardy compares Tess to a fly, calling up a famous quotation from Act IV: Scene 1 of Shakespeare's play King Lear:

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods,
They kill us for their sport

The suggestion is that if there be some over-arching power in the universe it is likely to be a malevolent one, given the suffering of innocent characters like Tess. The last line of the novel reinforces this idea.

Page 93. " the milk was squirting from her fists "

 

Page 98. " the old Low Church sort "

High and Low refer to the style of worship a particular person or church adopts. High church worship is very ornate and elaborate, making use of incense, bells, intricate robes and decorations; Low Church services tend to be very plain and simple, depending on the power of the scriptures and the skill of the preachers for their spiritual impact.

Page 100. " 'I cannot underwrite Article Four' "

Angel is referring to the 39 Articles, one of the key texts of the sixteenth century Reformation.

The articles are a series of rules setting out what protestants should believe and how they should practise their faith. Article Four affirms faith in the resurrection of Christ: believing that Jesus rose from the dead and will come again to judge the world is fundamental to Christian belief.

Page 100. " the removing of those things that are shaken "
A fresco showing the conversion of St Paul painted by Michelangelo
Public DomainA fresco showing the conversion of St Paul painted by Michelangelo

This quotation comes from St Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews (12:27) in the Bible.

St Paul was one of the driving figures of the early Church. He set down many of the rules and principles by which the Church operates, and his teachings tend to be favoured by more conservative, traditional thinkers like Angel's father.