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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


77

of teacher; which I discharged with zeal for two years: but at the
end of that time I altered.

Miss Temple, through all changes, had thus far continued
superintendent of the seminary: to her instruction I owed the best
part of my acquirements; her friendship and society had been my
continual solace; she had stood me in the stead of mother,
governess, and, latterly, companion. At this period she married,
removed with her husband (a clergyman, an excellent man, almost
worthy of such a wife) to a distant county, and consequently was
lost to me.

From the day she left I was no longer the same: with her was gone
every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in
some degree a home to me. I had imbibed from her something of
her nature and much of her habits: more harmonious thoughts:
what seemed better regulated feelings had become the inmates of
my mind. I had given in allegiance to duty and order; I was quiet; I
believed I was content: to the eyes of others, usually even to my
own, I appeared a disciplined and subdued character.

But destiny, in the shape of the Rev. Mr. Nasmyth, came between
me and Miss Temple: I saw her in her travelling dress step into a
post-chaise, shortly after the marriage ceremony; I watched the
chaise mount the hill and disappear beyond its brow; and then
retired to my own room, and there spent in solitude the greatest
part of the half-holiday granted in honour of the occasion.

I walked about the chamber most of the time. I imagined myself
only to be regretting my loss, and thinking how to repair it; but
when my reflections were concluded, and I looked up and found
that the afternoon was gone, and evening far advanced, another
discovery dawned on me, namely, that in the interval I had
undergone a transforming process; that my mind had put off all it
had borrowed of Miss Temple-or rather that she had taken with
her the serene atmosphere I had been breathing in her vicinity-and
that now I was left in my natural element, and beginning to feel the
stirring of old emotions. It did not seem as if a prop were
withdrawn, but rather as if a motive were gone: it was not the
power to be tranquil which had failed me, but the reason for
tranquillity was no more. My world had for some years been in
Lowood: my experience had been of its rules and systems; now I
remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field
of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those
who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real
knowledge of life amidst its perils.

I went to my window, opened it, and looked out. There were the
two wings of the building; there was the garden; there were the
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