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Rochester, for instance. He is rich, is he not?’ ‘Oh! yes. But you see
there is a considerable difference in age: Mr. Rochester is nearly
forty; she is but twenty-five.’ ‘What of that? More unequal matches
are made every day.’ ‘True: yet I should scarcely fancy Mr.
Rochester would entertain an idea of the sort. But you eat nothing:
you have scarcely tasted since you began tea.’ ‘No: I am too thirsty
to eat. Will you let me have another cup?’ I was about again to
revert to the probability of a union between Mr. Rochester and the
beautiful Blanche; but Adele came in, and the conversation was
turned into another channel.

When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got;
looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and
endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been
straying through imagination’s boundless and trackless waste, into
the safe fold of common sense.

Arraigned at my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of
the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last
night-of the general state of mind in which I had indulged for
nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told, in
her own quiet way, a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had
rejected the real, and rabidly devoured the ideal;- I pronounced
judgment to this effect:That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never
breathed the breath of life; that a more fantastic idiot had never
surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were

‘You,’ I said, ‘a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You gifted with the
power of pleasing him? You of importance to him in any way? Go!
your folly sickens me.

And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of
preference-equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and
a man of the world to a dependant and a novice. How dared you?
Poor stupid dupe!- Could not even self-interest make you wiser?
You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night?-
Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of
your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look
on your own accursed senselessness! It does good to no woman to
be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry
her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle
within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the
life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead,
ignis-fatuuslike, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.
‘Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: to-morrow, place the
glass before you, and draw in chalk your own picture, faithfully,
without softening one defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no
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