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further, either from or of Mr. Eyre. Have we anything else to stay
for?’ he inquired of Mr. Mason.

‘No, no-let us be gone,’ was the anxious reply; and without
waiting to take leave of Mr. Rochester, they made their exit at the
hall door. The clergyman stayed to exchange a few sentences,
either of admonition or reproof, with his haughty parishioner; this
duty done, he too departed.

I heard him go as I stood at the half-open door of my own room, to
which I had now withdrawn. The house cleared, I shut myself in,
fastened the bolt that none might intrude, and proceeded-not to
weep, not to mourn, I was yet too calm for that, but-mechanically
to take off the wedding-dress, and replace it by the stuff gown I
had worn yesterday, as I thought, for the last time. I then sat down:
I felt weak and tired. I leaned my arms on a table, and my head
dropped on them.

And now I thought: till now I had only heard, seen, moved-
followed up and down where I was led or dragged-watched event
rush on event, disclosure open beyond disclosure: but now, I

The morning had been a quiet morning enough-all except the brief
scene with the lunatic: the transaction in the church had not been
noisy; there was no explosion of passion, no loud altercation, no
dispute, no defiance or challenge, no tears, no sobs: a few words
had been spoken, a calmly pronounced objection to the marriage
made; some stern, short questions put by Mr. Rochester; answers,
explanations given, evidence adduced; an open admission of the
truth had been uttered by my master; then the living proof had
been seen; the intruders were gone, and all was over.

I was in my own room as usual-just myself, without obvious
change: nothing had smitten me, or scathed me, or maimed me.
And yet where was the Jane Eyre of yesterday?- where was her
life?- where were her prospects? Jane Eyre, who had been an
ardent, expectant woman-almost a bride, was a cold, solitary girl
again: her life was pale; her prospects were desolate. A Christmas
frost had come at midsummer; a white December storm had
whirled over June; ice glazed the ripe apples, drifts crushed the
blowing roses; on hayfield and cornfield lay a frozen shroud: lanes
which last night blushed full of flowers, today were pathless with
untrodden snow; and the woods, which twelve hours since waved
leafy and fragrant as groves between the tropics, now spread,
waste, wild, and white as pine-forests in wintry Norway. My
hopes were all dead-struck with a subtle doom, such as, in one
night, fell on all the first-born in the land of Egypt.
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