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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


by a sheet of ice covering the causeway, where a little brooklet,
now congealed, had overflowed after a rapid thaw some days
since. From my seat I could look down on Thornfield: the grey and
battlemented hall was the principal object in the vale below me; its
woods and dark rookery rose against the, west. I lingered till the
sun went down amongst the trees, and sank crimson and clear
behind them. I then turned eastward.

On the hill-top above me sat the rising moon; pale yet as a cloud,
but brightening momentarily, she looked over Hay, which, half lost
in trees, sent up a blue smoke from its few chimneys: it was yet a
mile distant, but in the absolute hush I could hear plainly its thin
murmurs of life. My ear, too, felt the flow of currents; in what dales
and depths I could not tell: but there were many hills beyond Hay,
and doubtless many becks threading their passes. That evening
calm betrayed alike the tinkle of the nearest streams, the sough of
the most remote.

A rude noise broke on these fine ripplings and whisperings, at
once so far away and so clear: a positive tramp, tramp, a metallic
clatter, which effaced the soft wave-wanderings; as, in a picture,
the solid mass of a crag, or the rough boles of a great oak, drawn in
dark and strong on the foreground, efface the aerial distance of
azure hill, sunny horizon, and blended clouds where tint melts into

The din was on the causeway: a horse was coming; the windings of
the lane yet hid it, but it approached. I was just leaving the stile;
yet, as the path was narrow, I sat still to let it go by. In those days I
was young, and all sorts of fancies bright and dark tenanted my
mind: the memories of nursery stories were there amongst other
rubbish; and when they recurred, maturing youth added to them a
vigour and vividness beyond what childhood could give. As this
horse approached, and as I watched for it to appear through the
dusk, I remembered certain of Bessie’s tales, wherein figured a
North-of-England spirit called a ‘Gytrash,’ which, in the form of
horse, mule, or large dog, haunted solitary ways, and sometimes
came upon belated travellers, as this horse was now coming upon

It was very near, but not yet in sight; when, in addition to the
tramp, tramp, I heard a rush under the hedge, and close down by
the hazel stems glided a great dog, whose black and white colour
made him a distinct object against the trees. It was exactly one form
of Bessie’s Gytrash-a lion-like creature with long hair and a huge
head: it passed me, however, quietly enough; not staying to look
up, with strange pretercanine eyes, in my face, as I half expected it
would. The horse followed,- a tall steed, and on its back a rider.
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