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


‘Love me, then, or hate me, as you will,’ I said at last, ‘you have my
full and free forgiveness: ask now for God’s, and be at peace.’ Poor,
suffering woman! it was too late for her to make now the effort to
change her habitual frame of mind: living, she had ever hated me-
dying, she must hate me still.

The nurse now entered, and Bessie followed. I yet lingered half an
hour longer, hoping to see some sign of amity: but she gave none.
She was fast relapsing into stupor; nor did her mind again rally: at
twelve o’clock that night she died.

I was not present to close her eyes, nor were either of her
daughters. They came to tell us the next morning that all was over.
She was by that time laid out. Eliza and I went to look at her:
Georgiana, who had burst out into loud weeping, said she dared
not go. There was stretched Sarah Reed’s once robust and active
frame, rigid and still: her eye of flint was covered with its cold lid;
her brow and strong traits wore yet the impress of her inexorable
soul. A strange and solemn object was that corpse to me. I gazed on
it with gloom and pain: nothing soft, nothing sweet, nothing
pitying, or hopeful, or subduing did it inspire; only a grating
anguish for her woes-not my loss-and a sombre tearless dismay at
the fearfulness of death in such a form.

Eliza surveyed her parent calmly. After a silence of some minutes
she observed‘With her constitution she should have lived to a good
old age: her life was shortened by trouble.’ And then a spasm
constricted her mouth for an instant: as it passed away she turned
and left the room, and so did I. Neither of us had dropt a tear.
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