Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
I HAD forgotten to draw my curtain, which I usually did, and also
to let down my window-blind. The consequence was, that when
the moon, which was full and bright (for the night was fine), came
in her course to that space in the sky opposite my casement, and
looked in at me through the unveiled panes, her glorious gaze
roused me. Awaking in the dead of night, I opened my eyes on her
disk-silver-white and crystal clear. It was beautiful, but too
solemn: I half rose, and stretched my arm to draw the curtain.
Good God! What a cry!
The night-its silence-its rest, was rent in twain by a savage, a
sharp, a shrilly sound that ran from end to end of Thornfield Hall.
My pulse stopped: my heart stood still; my stretched arm was
paralysed. The cry died, and was not renewed. Indeed, whatever
being uttered that fearful shriek could not soon repeat it: not the
widest-winged condor on the Andes could, twice in succession,
send out such a yell from the cloud shrouding his eyrie. The thing
delivering such utterance must rest ere it could repeat the effort.
It came out of the third storey; for it passed overhead. And
overhead-yes, in the room just above my chamber-ceiling-I now
heard a struggle: a deadly one it seemed from the noise; and a half-
smothered voice shouted‘Help! help! help!’ three times rapidly.
‘Will no one come?’ it cried; and then, while the staggering and
stamping went on wildly, I distinguished through plank and
plaster:‘Rochester! Rochester! for God’s sake, come!’ A chamber-
door opened: some one ran, or rushed, along the gallery. Another
step stamped on the flooring above and something fell; and there
I had put on some clothes, though horror shook all my limbs; I
issued from my apartment. The sleepers were all aroused:
ejaculations, terrified murmurs sounded in every room; door after
door unclosed; one looked out and another looked out; the gallery
filled. Gentlemen and ladies alike had quitted their beds; and ‘Oh!
what is it?’- ‘Who is hurt?’- ‘What has happened?’- ‘Fetch a light!’-
‘Is it fire?’- ‘Are there robbers?’- ‘Where shall we run?’ was
demanded confusedly on all hands. But for the moon-light they
would have been in complete darkness.
They ran to and fro; they crowded together: some sobbed, some
stumbled: the confusion was inextricable.
‘Where the devil is Rochester?’ cried Colonel Dent. ‘I cannot find
him in his bed.’ ‘Here! here!’ was shouted in return. ‘Be composed,
all of you: I’m coming.’ And the door at the end of the gallery
opened, and Mr. Rochester advanced with a candle: he had just