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


you don’t live at Gateshead?’ ‘I live at the lodge: the old porter has
left.’ ‘Well, and how do they all get on? Tell me everything about
them, Bessie: but sit down first; and, Bobby, come and sit on my
knee, will you?’ but Bobby preferred sidling over to his mother.
‘You’re not grown so very tall, Miss Jane, nor so very stout,’
continued Mrs. Leaven. ‘I daresay they’ve not kept you too well at
school: Miss Reed is the head and shoulders taller than you are;
and Miss Georgiana would make two of you in breadth.’
‘Georgiana is handsome, I suppose, Bessie?’ ‘Very. She went up to
London last winter with her mama, and there everybody admired
her, and a young lord fell in love with her: but his relations were
against the match; and-what do you think?- he and Miss
Georgiana made it up to run away; but they were found out and
stopped. It was Miss Reed that found them out: I believe she was
envious; and now she and her sister lead a cat and dog life
together; they are always quarrelling.’ ‘Well, and what of John
Reed?’ ‘Oh, he is not doing so well as his mama could wish. He
went to college, and he got-plucked, I think they call it: and then
his uncles wanted him to be a barrister, and study the law: but he
is such a dissipated young man, they will never make much of
him, I think.’ ‘What does he look like?’ ‘He is very tall: some
people call him a fine-looking young man; but he has such thick
lips.’ ‘And Mrs. Reed?’ ‘Missis looks stout and well enough in the
face, but I think she’s not quite easy in her mind: Mr. John’s
conduct does not please her-he spends a deal of money.’ ‘Did she
send you here, Bessie?’ ‘No, indeed: but I have long wanted to see
you, and when I heard that there had been a letter from you, and
that you were going to another part of the country, I thought I’d
just set off, and get a look at you before you were quite out of my
reach.’ ‘I am afraid you are disappointed in me, Bessie.’ I said this
laughing: I perceived that Bessie’s glance, though it expressed
regard, did in no shape denote admiration.

‘No, Miss Jane, not exactly: you are genteel enough; you look like a
lady, and it is as much as ever I expected of you: you were no
beauty as a child.’ I smiled at Bessie’s frank answer: I felt that it
was correct, but I confess I was not quite indifferent to its import:
at eighteen most people wish to please, and the conviction that they
have not an exterior likely to second that desire brings anything
but gratification.

‘I daresay you are clever, though,’ continued Bessie, by way of
solace. ‘What can you do? Can you play on the piano?’ ‘A little.’
There was one in the room; Bessie went and opened it, and then
asked me to sit down and give her a tune: I played a waltz or two,
and she was charmed.
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