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second time-I became insensible from terror.’ ‘Who was with you
when you revived?’ ‘No one, sir, but the broad day. I rose, bathed
my head and face in water, drank a long draught; felt that though
enfeebled I was not ill, and determined that to none but you would
I impart this vision. Now sir, tell me who and what that woman
was?’ ‘The creature of an over-stimulated brain; that is certain. I
must be careful of you, my treasure: nerves like yours were not
made for rough handling.’ ‘Sir, depend on it, my nerves were not
in fault; the thing was real: the transaction actually took place.’
‘And your previous dreams, were they real too? Is Thornfield Hall
a ruin? Am I severed from you by insuperable obstacles? Am I
leaving you without a tearwithout a kiss-without a word?’ ‘Not
yet.’ ‘Am I about to do it? Why, the day is already commenced
which is to bind us indissolubly; and when we are once united,
there shall be no recurrence of these mental terrors: I guarantee

‘Mental terrors, sir! I wish I could believe them to be only such: I
wish it more now than ever; since even you cannot explain to me
the mystery of that awful visitant.’ ‘And since I cannot do it, Jane, it
must have been unreal.’ ‘But, sir, when I said so to myself on rising
this morning, and when I looked round the room to gather courage
and comfort from the cheerful aspect of each familiar object in full
daylight, there-on the carpet-I saw what gave the distinct lie to
my hypothesis,- the veil, torn from top to bottom in two halves!’ I
felt Mr. Rochester start and shudder; he hastily flung his arms
round me.

‘Thank God!’ he exclaimed, ‘that if anything malignant did come
near you last night, it was only the veil that was harmed. Oh, to
think what might have happened!’ He drew his breath short, and
strained me so close to him, I could scarcely pant. After some
minutes’ silence, he continued, cheerily‘Now, Janet, I’ll explain to
you all about it. It was half dream, half reality. A woman did, I
doubt not, enter your room: and that woman was-must have
beenGrace Poole. You call her a strange being yourself: from all
you know, you have reason so to call her-what did she do to me?
what to Mason? In a state between sleeping and waking, you
noticed her entrance and her actions; but feverish, almost delirious
as you were, you ascribed to her a goblin appearance different
from her own: the long dishevelled hair, the swelled black face, the
exaggerated stature, were figments of imagination; results of
nightmare: the spiteful tearing of the veil was real: and it is like
her. I see you would ask why I keep such a woman in my house:
when we have been married a year and a day, I will tell you; but
not now. Are you satisfied, Jane? Do you accept my solution of the
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