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


‘Oh, yes, sir! Everybody knew your errand.’ ‘You must see the
carriage, Jane, and tell me if you don’t think it will suit Mrs.
Rochester exactly; and whether she won’t look like Queen
Boadicea, leaning back against those purple cushions. I wish, Jane,
I were a trifle better adapted to match with her externally. Tell me
now, fairy as you are-can’t you give me a charm, or a philter, or
something of that sort, to make me a handsome man?’ ‘It would be
past the power of magic, sir’; and, in thought, I added, ‘A loving
eye is all the charm needed: to such you are handsome enough; or
rather your sternness has a power beyond beauty.’ Mr. Rochester
had sometimes read my unspoken thoughts with an acumen to me
incomprehensible: in the present instance he took no notice of my
abrupt vocal response; but he smiled at me with a certain smile he
had of his own, and which he used but on rare occasions. He
seemed to think it too good for common purposes: it was the real
sunshine of feeling-he shed it over me now.

‘Pass, Janet,’ said he, making room for me to cross the stile: ‘go up
home, and stay your weary little wandering feet at a friend’s
threshold.’ All I had now to do was to obey him in silence: no need
for me to colloquise further. I got over the stile without a word,
and meant to leave him calmly. An impulse held me fast-a force
turned me round. I said-or something in me said for me, and in
spite of me‘Thank you, Mr. Rochester, for your great kindness. I
am strangely glad to get back again to you: and wherever you are
is my home-my only home.’ I walked on so fast that even he could
hardly have overtaken me had he tried.

Little Adele was half wild with delight when she saw me. Mrs.
Fairfax received me with her usual plain friendliness. Leah smiled,
and even Sophie bid me ‘bon soir’ with glee. This was very
pleasant; there is no happiness like that of being loved by your
fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to
their comfort.

I that evening shut my eyes resolutely against the future: I stopped
my ears against the voice that kept warning me of near separation
and coming grief. When tea was over and Mrs. Fairfax had taken
her knitting, and I had assumed a low seat near her, and Adele,
kneeling on the carpet, had nestled close up to me, and a sense of
mutual affection seemed to surround us with a ring of golden
peace, I uttered a silent prayer that we might not be parted far or
soon; but when, as we thus sat, Mr. Rochester entered,
unannounced, and looking at us, seemed to take pleasure in the
spectacle of a group so amicable-when he said he supposed the old
lady was all right now that she had got her adopted daughter back
again, and added that he saw Adele was ‘prete a croquer sa petite
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