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


charm was wanting, no defect was perceptible; the young girl had
regular and delicate lineaments; eyes shaped and coloured as we
see them in lovely pictures, large, and dark, and full; the long and
shadowy eyelash which encircles a fine eye with so soft a
fascination; the pencilled brow which gives such clearness; the
white smooth forehead, which adds such repose to the livelier
beauties of tint and ray; the cheek oval, fresh, and smooth; the lips,
fresh too, ruddy, healthy, sweetly formed; the even and gleaming
teeth without flaw; the small dimpled chin; the ornament of rich,
plenteous tresses-all advantages, in short, which, combined,
realise the ideal of beauty, were fully hers. I wondered, as I looked
at this fair creature: I admired her with my whole heart. Nature
had surely formed her in a partial mood; and, forgetting her usual
stinted stepmother dole of gifts, had endowed this, her darling,
with a grand-dame’s bounty.

What did St. John Rivers think of this earthly angel? I naturally
asked myself that question as I saw him turn to her and look at her;
and, as naturally, I sought the answer to the inquiry in his
countenance. He had already withdrawn his eye from the Peri, and
was looking at a humble tuft of daisies which grew by the wicket.
‘A lovely evening, but late for you to be out alone,’ he said, as he
crushed the snowy heads of the closed flowers with his foot.

‘Oh, I only came home from S___’ (she mentioned the name of a
large town some twenty miles distant) ‘this afternoon. Papa told
me you had opened your school, and that the new mistress was
come; and so I put on my bonnet after tea, and ran up the valley to
see her: this is she?’ pointing to me.

‘It is,’ said St. John.
‘Do you think you shall like Morton?’ she asked of me, with a
direct and naive simplicity of tone and manner, pleasing, if child-

‘I hope I shall. I have many inducements to do so.’ ‘Did you find
your scholars as attentive as you expected?’ ‘Quite.’ ‘Do you like
your house?’ ‘Very much.’ ‘Have I furnished it nicely?’ ‘Very
nicely, indeed.’ ‘And made a good choice of an attendant for you in
Alice Wood?’ ‘You have indeed. She is teachable and handy.’ (This
then, I thought, is Miss Oliver, the heiress; favoured, it seems, in
the gifts of fortune, as well as in those of nature! What happy
combination of the planets presided over her birth, I wonder?) ‘I
shall come up and help you to teach sometimes,’ she added. ‘It will
be a change for me to visit you now and then; and I like a change.
Mr. Rivers, I have been so gay during my stay at S___. Last night,
or rather this morning, I was dancing till two o’clock. The ___th
regiment are stationed there since the riots; and the officers are the
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