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MR. ROCHESTER, it seems, by the surgeon’s orders, went to bed
early that night; nor did he rise soon next morning. When he did
come down, it was to attend to business: his agent and some of his
tenants were arrived, and waiting to speak with him.

Adele and I had now to vacate the library: it would be in daily
requisition as a reception-room for callers. A fire was lit in an
apartment upstairs, and there I carried our books, and arranged it
for the future schoolroom. I discerned in the course of the morning
that Thornfield Hall was a changed place: no longer silent as a
church, it echoed every hour or two to a knock at the door, or a
clang of the bell: steps, too, often traversed the hall, and new voices
spoke in different keys below; a rill from the outer world was
flowing through it; it had a master: for my part, I liked it better.
Adele was not easy to teach that day; she could not apply: she kept
running to the door and looking over the banisters to see if she
could get a glimpse of Mr. Rochester; then she coined pretexts to go
downstairs, in order, as I shrewdly suspected, to visit the library,
where I knew she was not wanted; then, when I got a little angry,
and made her sit still, she continued to talk incessantly of her ‘ami,
Monsieur Edouard Fairfax de Rochester,’ as she dubbed him (I had
not before heard his prenomens), and to conjecture what presents
he had brought her: for it appears he had intimated the night
before, that when his luggage came from Millcote, there would be
found amongst it a little box in whose contents she had an interest.
‘Et cela doit signifier,’ said she, ‘qu’il y aura la dedans un cadeau
pour moi, et peut-etre pour vous aussi, mademoiselle. Monsieur a
parle de vous: il m’a demande le nom de ma gouvernante, et si elle
n’etait pas une petite personne, assez mince et un peu pale. J’ai dit
qu’oui: car c’est vrai, n’est-ce pas, mademoiselle?’ I and my pupil
dined as usual in Mrs. Fairfax’s parlour; the afternoon was wild
and snowy, and we passed it in the schoolroom. At dark I allowed
Adele to put away books and work, and to run downstairs; for,
from the comparative silence below, and from the cessation of
appeals to the door-bell, I conjectured that Mr. Rochester was now
at liberty. Left alone, I walked to the window; but nothing was to
be seen thence: twilight and snowflakes together thickened the air,
and hid the very shrubs on the lawn. I let down the curtain and
went back to the fireside.

In the clear embers I was tracing a view, not unlike a picture I
remembered to have seen of the castle of Heidelberg, on the Rhine,
when Mrs. Fairfax came in, breaking up by her entrance the fiery
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