Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
habit of giving her playthings; but if I had to make out a case I
should be puzzled, since I am a stranger, and have done nothing to
entitle me to an acknowledgment.’ ‘Oh, don’t fall back on over-
modesty! I have examined Adele, and find you have taken great
pains with her: she is not bright, she has no talents; yet in a short
time she has made much improvement.’ ‘Sir, you have now given
me my “cadeau”; I am obliged to you: it is the meed teachers most
covet-praise of their pupils’ progress.’ ‘Humph!’ said Mr.
Rochester, and he took his tea in silence.
‘Come to the fire,’ said the master, when the tray was taken away,
and Mrs. Fairfax had settled into a corner with her knitting; while
Adele was leading me by the hand round the room, showing me
the beautiful books and ornaments on the consoles and
chiffonnieres. We obeyed, as in duty bound; Adele wanted to take
a seat on my knee, but she was ordered to amuse herself with Pilot.
‘You have been resident in my house three months?’ ‘Yes, sir.’
‘And you came from-?’ ‘From Lowood school, in ___shire.’ ‘Ah! a
charitable concern. How long were you there?’ ‘Eight years.’ ‘Eight
years! you must be tenacious of life. I thought half the time in such
a place would have done up any constitution! No wonder you have
rather the look of another world. I marvelled where you had got
that sort of face. When you came on me in Hay Lane last night, I
thought unaccountably of fairy tales, and had half a mind to
demand whether you had bewitched my horse: I am not sure yet.
Who are your parents?’ ‘I have none.’ ‘Nor ever had, I suppose: do
you remember them?’ ‘No.’ ‘I thought not. And so you were
waiting for your people when you sat on that stile?’ ‘For whom,
‘For the men in green: it was a proper moonlight evening for them.
Did I break through one of your rings, that you spread that
damned ice on the causeway?’ I shook my head. ‘The men in green
all forsook England a hundred years ago,’ said I, speaking as
seriously as he had done. ‘And not even in Hay Lane, or the fields
about it, could you find a trace of them. I don’t think either
summer or harvest, or winter moon, will ever shine on their revels
more.’ Mrs. Fairfax had dropped her knitting, and, with raised
eyebrows, seemed wondering what sort of talk this was.
‘Well,’ resumed Mr. Rochester, ‘if you disown parents, you must
have some sort of kinsfolk: uncles and aunts?’ ‘No; none that I ever
saw.’ ‘And your home?’ ‘I have none.’ ‘Where do your brothers
and sisters live?’ ‘I have no brothers or sisters.’ ‘Who
recommended you to come here?’ ‘I advertised, and Mrs. Fairfax
answered my advertisement.’