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


clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had
risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester. Looking up, I, with
tear-dimmed eyes, saw the mighty Milky-way. Remembering what
it was-what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of
light-I felt the might and strength of God. Sure was I of His
efficiency to save what He had made: convinced I grew that neither
earth should perish, nor one of the souls it treasured. I turned my
prayer to thanksgiving: the Source of Life was also the Saviour of
spirits. Mr. Rochester was safe: he was Godís, and by God would
he be guarded. I again nestled to the breast of the hill; and ere long
in sleep forgot sorrow.

But next day, Want came to me pale and bare. Long after the little
birds had left their nests; long after bees had come in the sweet
prime of day to gather the heath honey before the dew was dried-
when the long morning shadows were curtailed, and the sun filled
earth and sky-I got up, and I looked round me.

What a still, hot, perfect day! What a golden desert this spreading
moor! Everywhere sunshine. I wished I could live in it and on it. I
saw a lizard run over the crag; I saw a bee busy among the sweet
bilberries. I would fain at the moment have become bee or lizard,
that I might have found fitting nutriment, permanent
shelter here. But I was a human being, and had a human beingís
wants: I must not linger where there was nothing to supply them. I
rose; I looked back at the bed I had left. Hopeless of the future, I
wished but this-that my Maker had that night thought good to
require my soul of me while I slept; and that this weary frame,
absolved by death from further conflict with fate, had now but to
decay quietly, and mingle in peace with the soil of this wilderness.
Life, however, was yet in my possession, with all its requirements,
and pains, and responsibilities. The burden must be carried; the
want provided for; the suffering endured; the responsibility
fulfilled. I set out.

Whitcross regained, I followed a road which led from the sun, now
fervent and high. By no other circumstance had I will to decide my
choice. I walked a long time, and when I thought I had nearly done
enough, and might conscientiously yield to the fatigue that almost
overpowered me-might relax this forced action, and, sitting down
on a stone I saw near, submit resistlessly to the apathy that clogged
heart and limb-I heard a bell chime-a church bell.

I turned in the direction of the sound, and there, amongst the
romantic hills, whose changes and aspect I had ceased to note an
hour ago, I saw a hamlet and a spire. All the valley at my right
hand was full of pasture-fields, and cornfields, and wood; and a
glittering stream ran zigzag through the varied shades of green, the
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