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


me with vehemence. You are passionate: I expected a scene of some

I was prepared for the hot rain of tears; only I wanted them to be
shed on my breast: now a senseless floor has received them, or
your drenched handkerchief.

But I err: you have not wept at all! I see a white cheek and a faded
eye, but no trace of tears. I suppose, then, your heart has been
weeping blood? ‘Well, Jane! not a word of reproach? Nothing
bitter-nothing poignant? Nothing to cut a feeling or sting a
passion? You sit quietly where I have placed you, and regard me
with a weary, passive look.

‘Jane, I never meant to wound you thus. If the man who had but
one little ewe lamb that was dear to him as a daughter, that ate of
his bread and drank of his cup, and lay in his bosom, had by some
mistake slaughtered it at the shambles, he would not have rued his
bloody blunder more than I now rue mine. Will you ever forgive
me?’ Reader, I forgave him at the moment and on the spot. There
was such deep remorse in his eye, such true pity in his tone, such
manly energy in his manner; and besides, there was such
unchanged love in his whole look and mien-I forgave him all: yet
not in words, not outwardly; only at my heart’s core.

‘You know I am a scoundrel, Jane?’ ere long he inquired wistfully-
wondering, I suppose, at my continued silence and tameness, the
result rather of weakness than of will.

‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Then tell me so roundly and sharply-don’t spare me.’ ‘I
cannot: I am tired and sick. I want some water.’ He heaved a sort of
shuddering sigh, and taking me in his arms, carried me
downstairs. At first I did not know to what room he had borne me;
all was cloudy to my glazed sight: presently I felt the reviving
warmth of a fire; for, summer as it was, I had become icy cold in
my chamber. He put wine to my lips; I tasted it and revived; then I
ate something he offered me, and was soon myself. I was in the
library-sitting in his chairhe was quite near. ‘If I could go out of
life now, without too sharp a pang, it would be well for me,’ I
thought; ‘then I should not have to make the effort of cracking my
heart-strings in rending them from among Mr. Rochester’s. I must
leave him, it appears. I do not want to leave him-I cannot leave
him.’ ‘How are you now, Jane?’ ‘Much better, sir; I shall be well
soon.’ ‘Taste the wine again, Jane.’ I obeyed him; then he put the
glass on the table, stood before me, and looked at me attentively.
Suddenly he turned away, with an inarticulate exclamation, full of
passionate emotion of some kind; he walked fast through the room
and came back; he stooped towards me as if to kiss me; but I
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