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SOPHIE came at seven to dress me: she was very long indeed in
accomplishing her task; so long that Mr. Rochester, grown, I
suppose, impatient of my delay, sent up to ask why I did not come.
She was just fastening my veil (the plain square of blond after all)
to my hair with a brooch; I hurried from under her hands as soon
as I could.

‘Stop!’ she cried in French. ‘Look at yourself in the mirror: you
have not taken one peep.’ So I turned at the door: I saw a robed
and veiled figure, so unlike my usual self that it seemed almost the
image of a stranger. ‘Jane!’ called a voice, and I hastened down. I
was received at the foot of the stairs by Mr. Rochester.

‘Lingerer!’ he said, ‘my brain is on fire with impatience, and you
tarry so long!’ He took me into the dining-room, surveyed me
keenly all over, pronounced me ‘fair as a lily, and not only the
pride of his life, but the desire of his eyes,’ and then telling me he
would give me but ten minutes to eat some breakfast, he rang the
bell. One of his lately hired servants, a footman, answered it.

‘Is John getting the carriage ready?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Is the luggage
brought down?’

‘They are bringing it down, sir.’ ‘Go you to the church: see if Mr.
Wood (the clergyman) and the clerk are there: return and tell me.’
The church, as the reader knows, was but just beyond the gates; the
footman soon returned.

‘Mr. Wood is in the vestry, sir, putting on his surplice.’ ‘And the
carriage?’ ‘The horses are harnessing.’ ‘We shall not want it to go to
church; but it must be ready the moment we return: all the boxes
and luggage arranged and strapped on, and the coachman in his
seat.’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Jane, are you ready?’ I rose. There were no
groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no relatives to wait for or marshal:
none but Mr. Rochester and I. Mrs. Fairfax stood in the hall as we
passed. I would fain have spoken to her, but my hand was held by
a grasp of iron: I was hurried along by a stride I could hardly
follow; and to look at Mr. Rochester’s face was to feel that not a
second of delay would be tolerated for any purpose. I wonder
what other bridegroom ever looked as he did-so bent up to a
purpose, so grimly resolute: or who, under such steadfast brows,
ever revealed such flaming and flashing eyes.

I know not whether the day was fair or foul; in descending the
drive, I gazed neither on sky nor earth: my heart was with my
eyes; and both seemed migrated into Mr. Rochester’s frame. I
wanted to see the invisible thing on which, as we went along, he
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