Summary and Analysis
"Idiosyncrasy and vicissitude had combined to stamp Sergeant Troy as an exceptional being. He was a man to whom memories were an incumbrance, and anticipations a superfluity. Simply feeling, considering, and caring for what was before his eyes, he was vulnerable only in the present. . . . With him the past was yesterday; the future, tomorrow; never, the day after."
Troy was "moderately truthful" to men, but lied to and flattered women. "He had been known to observe casually that in dealing with womankind the only alternative to flattery was cursing and swearing. There was no third method. 'Treat them fairly, and you are a lost man,' he would say."
Bathsheba was relieved by Boldwood's absence. She was surveying the haymaking in her fields when she noticed a red uniform behind a wagon. The sergeant had "come haymaking for pleasure; and nobody could deny that he was doing the mistress of the farm real knight-service by his voluntary contribution of his labour at a busy time." As soon as Bathsheba appeared, Troy put down his fork, gathered his riding crop, and came toward her. Bathsheba blushed and lowered her eyes.
Sergeant Troy is an undeniably charming liar who gives no thought to the harm his words may cause. When we remember Bathsheba's unthinking acts — her treatment of Oak, her valentine to Boldwood — we cannot help but feel some satisfaction that she has finally met her match — and more.