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


These eyes in the Evening Star you must have seen in a dream.
How could you make them look so clear, and yet not at all
brilliant? for the planet above quells their rays. And what meaning
is that in their solemn depth? And who taught you to paint wind?
There is a high gale in that sky, and on this hill-top. Where did you
see Latmos? For that is Latmos. There! put the drawings away!’ I
had scarce tied the strings of the portfolio, when, looking at his
watch, he said abruptly-‘It is nine o’clock: what are you about,
Miss Eyre, to let Adele sit up so long? Take her to bed!’ Adele went
to kiss him before quitting the room: he endured the caress, but
scarcely seemed to relish it more than Pilot would have done, nor
so much. ‘I wish you all good-night, now,’ said he, making a
movement of the hand towards the door, in token that he was tired
of our company, and wished to dismiss us. Mrs. Fairfax folded up
her knitting: I took my portfolio: we curtseyed to him, received a
frigid bow in return, and so withdrew.

‘You said Mr. Rochester was not strikingly peculiar, Mrs. Fairfax,’ I
observed, when I rejoined her in her room, after putting Adele to

‘Well, is he?’ ‘I think so: he is very changeful and abrupt.’ ‘True: no
doubt he may appear so to a stranger, but I am so accustomed to
his manner, I never think of it; and then, if he has peculiarities of
temper, allowance should be made.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Partly because it is his
nature-and we can none of us help our nature; and partly because
he has painful thoughts, no doubt, to harass him, and make his
spirits unequal.’ ‘What about?’ ‘Family troubles, for one thing.’
‘But he has no family.’ ‘Not now, but he has had-or, at least,
relatives. He lost his elder brother a few years since.’ ‘His elder
brother?’ ‘Yes. The present Mr. Rochester has not been very long in
possession of the property; only about nine years.’ ‘Nine years is a
tolerable time. Was he so very fond of his brother as to be still
inconsolable for his loss?’ ‘Why, no-perhaps not. I believe there
were some misunderstandings between them. Mr. Rowland
Rochester was not quite just to Mr. Edward; and perhaps he
prejudiced his father against him. The old gentleman was fond of
money, and anxious to keep the family estate together. He did not
like to diminish the property by division, and yet he was anxious
that Mr. Edward should have wealth, too, to keep up the
consequence of the name; and, soon after he was of age, some steps
were taken that were not quite fair, and made a great deal of
mischief. Old Mr. Rochester and Mr. Rowland combined to bring
Mr. Edward into what he considered a painful position, for the
sake of making his fortune: what the precise nature of that position
was I never clearly knew, but his spirit could not brook what he
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