Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

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


mellowing grain, the sombre woodland, the clear and sunny lea.
Recalled by the rumbling of wheels to the road before me, I saw a
heavily-laden waggon labouring up the hill, and not far beyond
were two cows and their drover. Human life and human labour
were near. I must struggle on: strive to live and bend to toil like the

About two o’clock P.M. I entered the village. At the bottom of its
one street there was a little shop with some cakes of bread in the
window. I coveted a cake of bread. With that refreshment I could
perhaps regain a degree of energy: without it, it would be difficult
to proceed. The wish to have some strength and some vigour
returned to me as soon as I was amongst my fellow-beings. I felt it
would be degrading to faint with hunger on the causeway of a
hamlet. Had I nothing about me I could offer in exchange for one
of these rolls? I considered. I had a small silk handkerchief tied
round my throat; I had my gloves. I could hardly tell how men and
women in extremities of destitution proceeded. I did not know
whether either of these articles would be accepted: probably they
would not; but I must try.

I entered the shop: a woman was there. Seeing a respectably-
dressed person, a lady as she supposed, she came forward with
civility. How could she serve me? I was seized with shame: my
tongue would not utter the request I had prepared. I dared not
offer her the half-worn gloves, the creased handkerchief: besides, I
felt it would be absurd. I only begged permission to sit down a
moment, as I was tired. Disappointed in the expectation of a
customer, she coolly acceded to my request. She pointed to a seat; I
sank into it. I felt sorely urged to weep; but conscious how
unseasonable such a manifestation would be, I restrained it. Soon I
asked her ‘if there were any dressmaker or plain-workwoman in
the village?’

‘Yes; two or three. Quite as many as there was employment for.’ I
reflected. I was driven to the point now. I was brought face to face
with Necessity. I stood in the position of one without a resource,
without a friend, without a coin. I must do something. What? I
must apply somewhere. Where? ‘Did she know of any place in the
neighbourhood where a servant was wanted?’ ‘Nay; she couldn’t
say.’ ‘What was the chief trade in this place? What did most of the
people do?’ ‘Some were farm labourers; a good deal worked at Mr.
Oliver’s needle-factory, and at the foundry.’ ‘Did Mr. Oliver
employ women?’ ‘Nay; it was men’s work.’ ‘And what do the
women do?’ ‘I knawn’t,’ was the answer. ‘Some does one thing,
and some another. Poor folk mun get on as they can.’ She seemed
to be tired of my questions: and, indeed, what claim had I to
<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with