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


of insatiate yearnings and disquieting aspirations. I was sure St.
John Rivers-purelived, conscientious, zealous as he was-had not
yet found that peace of God which passeth all understanding; he
had no more found it, I thought, than had I with my concealed and
racking regrets for my broken idol and lost elysium-regrets to
which I have latterly avoided referring, but which possessed me
and tyrannised over me ruthlessly.

Meantime a month was gone. Diana and Mary were soon to leave
Moor House, and return to the far different life and scene which
awaited them, as governesses in a large, fashionable, south-of-
England city, where each held a situation in families by whose
wealthy and haughty members they were regarded only as humble
dependants, and who neither knew nor sought out their innate
excellences, and appreciated only their acquired accomplishments
as they appreciated the skill of their cook or the taste of their
waiting-woman. Mr. St. John had said nothing to me yet about the
employment he had promised to obtain for me; yet it became
urgent that I should have a vocation of some kind. One morning,
being left alone with him a few minutes in the parlour, I ventured
to approach the window-recess-which his table, chair, and desk
consecrated as a kind of studyand I was going to speak, though not
very well knowing in what words to frame my inquiry-for it is at
all times difficult to break the ice of reserve glassing over such
natures as his-when he saved me the trouble by being the first to
commence a dialogue.

Looking up as I drew near-‘You have a question to ask of me?’ he
said. ‘Yes; I wish to know whether you have heard of any service I
can offer myself to undertake?’ ‘I found or devised something for
you three weeks ago; but as you seemed both useful and happy
here-as my sisters had evidently become attached to you, and your
society gave them unusual pleasure-I deemed it inexpedient to
break in on your mutual comfort till their approaching departure
from Marsh End should render yours necessary.’ ‘And they will go
in three days now?’ I said.

‘Yes; and when they go, I shall return to the parsonage at Morton:
Hannah will accompany me; and this old house will be shut up.’

I waited a few moments, expecting he would go on with the subject
first broached: but he seemed to have entered another train of
reflection: his look denoted abstraction from me and my business. I
was obliged to recall him to a theme which was of necessity one of
close and anxious interest to me.

‘What is the employment you had in view, Mr. Rivers? I hope this
delay will not have increased the difficulty of securing it.’ ‘Oh, no;
since it is an employment which depends only on me to give, and
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