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


took the poor thing out of the slime and mud of Paris, and
transplanted it here, to grow up clean in the wholesome soil of an
English country garden. Mrs. Fairfax found you to train it; but now
you know that it is the illegitimate offspring of a French opera-girl,
you will perhaps think differently of your post and protegee: you
will be coming to me some day with notice that you have found
another place-that you beg me to look out for a new governess,
etc.- Eh?’ ‘No: Adele is not answerable for either her mother’s
faults or yours: I have a regard for her; and now that I know she is,
in a sense, parentless-forsaken by her mother and disowned by
you, sir-I shall cling closer to her than before. How could I
possibly prefer the spoilt pet of a wealthy family, who would hate
her governess as a nuisance, to a lonely little orphan, who leans
towards her as a friend?’ ‘Oh, that is the light in which you view it!
Well, I must go in now; and you too: it darkens.’ But I stayed out a
few minutes longer with Adele and Pilot-ran a race with her, and
played a game of battledore and shuttlecock. When we went in,
and I had removed her bonnet and coat, I took her on my knee;
kept her there an hour, allowing her to prattle as she liked: not
rebuking even some little freedoms and trivialities into which she
was apt to stray when much noticed, and which betrayed in her a
superficiality of character, inherited probably from her mother,
hardly congenial to an English mind. Still she had her merits; and I
was disposed to appreciate all that was good in her to the utmost. I
sought in her countenance and features a likeness to Mr. Rochester,
but found none: no trait, no turn of expression announced
relationship. It was a pity: if she could but have been proved to
resemble him, he would have thought more of her.

It was not till after I had withdrawn to my own chamber for the
night, that I steadily reviewed the tale Mr. Rochester had told me.
As he had said, there was probably nothing at all extraordinary in
the substance of the narrative itself: a wealthy Englishman’s
passion for a French dancer, and her treachery to him, were every-
day matters enough, no doubt, in society; but there was something
decidedly strange in the paroxysm of emotion which had suddenly
seized him when he was in the act of expressing the present
contentment of his mood, and his newly revived pleasure in the
old hall and its environs. I meditated wonderingly on this incident;
but gradually quitting it, as I found it for the present inexplicable, I
turned to the consideration of my master’s manner to myself. The
confidence he had thought fit to repose in me seemed a tribute to
my discretion: I regarded and accepted it as such. His deportment
had now for some weeks been more uniform towards me than at
the first. I never seemed in his way; he did not take fits of chilling
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