by his proud though condescending mistress

chong lee

Senior Member
The quote is from The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy.

Please find Bennymix's post which gives sequence for a reference.

Or you may prefer a web reference (thanks PaulQ).

He (Wildeve) is there for a secret meeting with his ex -Eustacia.

What does it mean "by his proud though condescending mistress"?


He waited in his customary manner by walking round the enclosure and idling by the pool, for Wildeve was never asked into the house by his proud though condescending mistress.
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I can't find any immediate context in either of the links of #1.

    The word "though", suggesting a contrast, makes me suspect that "condescending" may here be used in its older positive sense of "showing kindness to one's social inferiors". This sense occurs in Jane Austen.
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