Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
and deserting the band you engaged to join.’ Now I never had, as
the reader knows, either given any formal promise or entered into
any engagement; and this language was all much too hard and
much too despotic for the occasion. I replied‘There is no dishonour,
no breach of promise, no desertion in the case. I am not under the
slightest obligation to go to India, especially with strangers. With
you I would have ventured much, because I admire, confide in,
and, as a sister, I love you; but I am convinced that, go when and
with whom I would, I should not live long in that climate.’ ‘Ah!
you are afraid of yourself,’ he said, curling his lip.
‘I am. God did not give me my life to throw away; and to do as you
wish me would, I begin to think, be almost equivalent to
committing suicide. Moreover, before I definitely resolve on
quitting England, I will know for certain whether I cannot be of
greater use by remaining in it than by leaving it.’ ‘What do you
mean?’ ‘It would be fruitless to attempt to explain; but there is a
point on which I have long endured painful doubt, and I can go
nowhere till by some means that doubt is removed.’ ‘I know where
your heart turns and to what it clings. The interest you cherish is
lawless and unconsecrated. Long since you ought to have crushed
it: now you should blush to allude to it. You think of Mr.
Rochester?’ It was true. I confessed it by silence.
‘Are you going to seek Mr. Rochester?’ ‘I must find out what is
become of him.’ ‘It remains for me, then,’ he said, ‘to remember
you in my prayers, and to entreat God for you, in all earnestness,
that you may not indeed become a castaway.
I had thought I recognised in you one of the chosen. But God sees
not as man sees: His will be done.’ He opened the gate, passed
through it, and strayed away down the glen. He was soon out of
On re-entering the parlour, I found Diana standing at the window,
looking very thoughtful. Diana was a great deal taller than I:. she
put her hand on my shoulder, and, stooping, examined my face.
‘Jane,’ she said, ‘you are always agitated and pale now. I am sure
there is something the matter. Tell me what business St. John and
you have on hands. I have watched you this half hour from the
window; you must forgive my being such a spy, but for a long time
I have fancied I hardly know what. St. John is a strange being-’ She
paused-I did not speak: soon she resumed‘That brother of mine
cherishes peculiar views of some sort respecting you, I am sure: he
has long distinguished you by a notice and interest he never
showed to any one else-to what end? I wish he loved you-does he,
Jane?’ I put her cool hand to my hot forehead; ‘No, Die, not one
whit.’ ‘Then why does he follow you so with his eyes, and get you