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



THE month of courtship had wasted: its very last hours were being

There was no putting off the day that advanced-the bridal day;
and all preparations for its arrival were complete. I, at least, had
nothing more to do: there were my trunks, packed, locked, corded,
ranged in a row along the wall of my little chamber; to-morrow, at
this time, they would be far on their road to London: and so should
I (D.V.),- or rather, not I, but one Jane Rochester, a person whom as
yet I knew not. The cards of address alone remained to nail on:
they lay, four little squares, in the drawer. Mr. Rochester had
himself written the direction, ‘Mrs. Rochester,- Hotel, London,’ on
each: I could not persuade myself to affix them, or to have them
affixed. Mrs. Rochester! She did not exist: she would not be born
till to-morrow, some time after eight o’clock A.M.; and I would
wait to be assured she had come into the world alive before I
assigned to her all that property.

It was enough that in yonder closet, opposite my dressing-table,
garments said to be hers had already displaced my black stuff
Lowood frock and straw bonnet: for not to me appertained that
suit of wedding raiment; the pearl-coloured robe, the vapoury veil
pendent from the usurped portmanteau. I shut the closet to conceal
the strange, wraith-like apparel it contained; which, at this evening
hour-nine o’clock-gave out certainly a most ghostly shimmer
through the shadow of my apartment. ‘I will leave you by yourself,
white dream,’ I said. ‘I am feverish: I hear the wind blowing: I will
go out of doors and feel it.’

It was not only the hurry of preparation that made me feverish; not
only the anticipation of the great change-the new life which was to
commence to-morrow: both these circumstances had their share,
doubtless, in producing that restless, excited mood which hurried
me forth at this late hour into the darkening grounds: but a third
cause influenced my mind more than they.

I had at heart a strange and anxious thought. Something had
happened which I could not comprehend; no one knew of or had
seen the event but myself: it had taken place the preceding night.
Mr. Rochester that night was absent from home; nor was he yet
returned: business had called him to a small estate of two or three
farms he possessed thirty miles off-business it was requisite he
should settle in person, previous to his meditated departure from
England. I waited now his return; eager to disburthen my mind,
and to seek of him the solution of the enigma that perplexed me.
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