In the following years Jude starts helping his great-aunt at the bakery, and he delivers her bread via horse-drawn cart to the areas surrounding Marygreen. Jude studies Latin while he drives the cart, leaving the horse to find its own way. Once he is rebuked by a policeman for this, but afterwards the officer doesn’t give him any trouble.
Jude becomes more sympathetic in his struggles to reach beyond his allotted station in life. He has to do all the work of a normal man of his class, but also study in every available second to try and reach the university.
One day the sixteen-year-old Jude is passing by the Brown House in his cart. He notices the beautiful sunset and he dismounts in a kind of daze, reciting a pagan hymn in Latin. Afterwards he is ashamed, and decides to read the Bible more instead of “heathen works.” He procures a New Testament in Greek and begins studying that on his rides.
Hardy often seems to endorse a pagan closeness to Nature over the strict Christianity that was ubiquitous in his time. Jude flirts with the kind of “Greek joyousness” that he will later experience again with Sue, but for now Jude takes the orthodox path.
Jude thinks more practically about moving to Christminster, and he decides to take up stoneworking as a way to earn money. He apprentices himself to a stone-mason in Alfredston (a town near Marygreen), and he keeps lodgings there during the week, returning to Marygreen on weekends. Jude passes the next three years working and studying.
Jude’s struggle to enter Christminster involves double work because of his situation – he has to constantly labor to save up money (and survive), but he must also teach himself Greek and Latin. Hardy himself worked as an architect, as he also was too poor to afford university.