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


to retire. She took her candle, and I followed her from the room.
First she went to see if the hall-door was fastened; having taken the
key from the lock, she led the way upstairs. The steps and banisters
were of oak; the staircase window was high and latticed; both it
and the long gallery into which the bedroom doors opened looked
as if they belonged to a church rather than a house. A very chill
and vault-like air pervaded the stairs and gallery, suggesting
cheerless ideas of space and solitude; and I was glad, when finally
ushered into my chamber, to find it of small dimensions, and
furnished in ordinary, modern style.

When Mrs. Fairfax had bidden me a kind good-night, and I had
fastened my door, gazed leisurely round, and in some measure
effaced the eerie impression made by that wide hall, that dark and
spacious staircase, and that long, cold gallery, by the livelier aspect
of my little room, I remembered that, after a day of bodily fatigue
and mental anxiety, I was now at last in safe haven. The impulse of
gratitude swelled my heart, and I knelt down at the bedside, and
offered up thanks where thanks were due; not forgetting, ere I
rose, to implore aid on my further path, and the power of meriting
the kindness which seemed so frankly offered me before it was
earned. My couch had no thorns in it that night; my solitary room
no fears. At once weary and content, I slept soon and soundly:
when I awoke it was broad day.

The chamber looked such a bright little place to me as the sun
shone in between the gay blue chintz window curtains, showing
papered walls and a carpeted floor, so unlike the bare planks and
stained plaster of Lowood, that my spirits rose at the view.
Externals have a great effect on the young: I thought that a fairer
era of life was beginning for me-one that was to have its flowers
and pleasures, as well as its thorns and toils. My faculties, roused
by the change of scene, the new field offered to hope, seemed all
astir. I cannot precisely define what they expected, but it was
something pleasant: not perhaps that day or that month, but at an
indefinite future period.

I rose; I dressed myself with care: obliged to be plain-for I had no
article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity-I was
still by nature solicitous to be neat. It was not my habit to be
disregardful of appearance or careless of the impression I made: on
the contrary, I ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please
as much as my want of beauty would permit. I sometimes
regretted that I was not handsomer; I sometimes wished to have
rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry mouth; I desired to
be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I felt it a misfortune
that I was so little, so pale, and had features so irregular and so
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