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‘What is the matter?’ he inquired.
‘Down, Pilot!’ I again said. He checked the water on its way to his
lips, and seemed to listen: he drank, and put the glass down. ‘This
is you, Mary, is it not?’ ‘Mary is in the kitchen,’ I answered.
He put out his hand with a quick gesture, but not seeing where I
stood, he did not touch me. ‘Who is this? Who is this?’ he
demanded, trying, as it seemed, to see with those sightless eyes-
unavailing and distressing attempt! ‘Answer mespeak again!’ he
ordered, imperiously and aloud.
‘Will you have a little more water, sir? I spilt half of what was in
the glass,’ I said.
‘Who is it? What is it? Who speaks?’ ‘Pilot knows me, and John and
Mary know I am here. I came only this evening,’ I answered.
‘Great God!- what delusion has come over me? What sweet
madness has seized me?’ ‘No delusion-no madness: your mind,
sir, is too strong for delusion, your health too sound for frenzy.’
‘And where is the speaker? Is it only a voice? Oh! I cannot see, but I
must feel, or my heart will stop and my brain burst. Whatever-
whoever you are-be perceptible to the touch or I cannot live!’ He
groped; I arrested his wandering hand, and prisoned it in both
‘Her very fingers!’ he cried; ‘her small, slight fingers! If so there
must be more of her.’ The muscular hand broke from my custody;
my arm was seized, my shoulderneck-waist-I was entwined and
gathered to him.
‘Is it Jane? What is it? This is her shape-this is her size-’ ‘And this
her voice,’ I added. ‘She is all here: her heart, too. God bless you,
sir! I am glad to be so near you again.’ ‘Jane Eyre!- Jane Eyre,’ was
all he said.
‘My dear master,’ I answered, ‘I am Jane Eyre: I have found you
out-I am come back to you.’ ‘In truth?- in the flesh? My living
‘You touch me, sir,- you hold me, and fast enough: I am not cold
like a corpse, nor vacant like air, am I?’ ‘My living darling! These
are certainly her limbs, and these her features; but I cannot be so
blest, after all my misery. It is a dream; such dreams as I have had
at night when I have clasped her once more to my heart, as I do
now; and kissed her, as thus-and felt that she loved me, and
trusted that she would not leave me.’ ‘Which I never will, sir, from
this day.’ ‘Never will, says the vision? But I always woke and
found it an empty mockery; and I was desolate and abandoned-
my life dark, lonely, hopeless-my soul athirst and forbidden to
drink-my heart famished and never to be fed. Gentle, soft dream,
nestling in my arms now, you will fly, too, as your sisters have all