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



THE daylight came. I rose at dawn. I busied myself for an hour or
two with arranging my things in my chamber, drawers, and
wardrobe, in the order wherein I should wish to leave them during
a brief absence. Meantime, I heard St. John quit his room. He
stopped at my door: I feared he would knock-no, but a slip of
paper was passed under the door. I took it up. It bore these
words‘You left me too suddenly last night. Had you stayed but a
little longer, you would have laid your hand on the Christian’s
cross and the angel’s crown. I shall expect your clear decision when
I return this day fortnight. Meantime, watch and pray that you
enter not into temptation: the spirit, I trust, is willing, but the flesh,
I see, is weak. I shall pray for you hourly.- Yours, ST. JOHN.’ ‘My
spirit,’ I answered mentally, ‘is willing to do what is right; and my
flesh, I hope, is strong enough to accomplish the will of Heaven,
when once that will is distinctly known to me. At any rate, it shall
be strong enough to search-inquireto grope an outlet from this
cloud of doubt, and find the open day of certainty.’ It was the first
of June; yet the morning was overcast and chilly: rain beat fast on
my casement. I heard the front-door open, and St. John pass out.
Looking through the window, I saw him traverse the garden. He
took the way over the misty moors in the direction of Whitcross-
there he would meet the coach.

‘In a few more hours I shall succeed you in that track, cousin,’
thought I: ‘I too have a coach to meet at Whitcross. I too have some
to see and ask after in England, before I depart for ever.’ It wanted
yet two hours of breakfast-time. I filled the interval in walking
softly about my room, and pondering the visitation which had
given my plans their present bent. I recalled that inward sensation
I had experienced: for I could recall it, with all its unspeakable
strangeness. I recalled the voice I had heard; again I questioned
whence it came, as vainly as before: it seemed in me-not in the
external world. I asked was it a mere nervous impression-a
delusion? I could not conceive or believe: it was more like an
inspiration. The wondrous shock of feeling had come like the
earthquake which shook the foundations of Paul and Silas’s prison;
it had opened the doors of the soul’s cell and loosed its bands-it
had wakened it out of its sleep, whence it sprang trembling,
listening, aghast; then vibrated thrice a cry on my startled ear, and
in my quaking heart and through my spirit, which neither feared
nor shook but exulted as if in joy over the success of one effort it
had been privileged to make, independent of the cumbrous body.
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