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


Turning to me, as she took some loaves from the oven, she asked
bluntly‘Did you ever go a-begging afore you came here?’ I was
indignant for a moment; but remembering that anger was out of
the question, and that I had indeed appeared as a beggar to her, I
answered quietly, but still not without a certain marked firmness
‘You are mistaken in supposing me a beggar. I am no beggar; any
more than yourself or your young ladies.’ After a pause she said, ‘I
dunnut understand that: you’ve like no house, nor no brass, I
guess?’ ‘The want of house or brass (by which I suppose you mean
money) does not make a beggar in your sense of the word.’ ‘Are
you book-learned?’ she inquired presently.

‘Yes, very.’ ‘But you’ve never been to a boarding-school?’ ‘I was at
a boarding-school eight years.’ She opened her eyes wide.
‘Whatever cannot ye keep yourself for, then?’ ‘I have kept myself;
and, I trust, shall keep myself again. What are you going to do with
these gooseberries?’ I inquired as she brought out a basket of the

‘Mak’ ‘em into pies.’ ‘Give them to me and I’ll pick them.’ ‘Nay; I
dunnut want ye to do nought.’ ‘But I must do something. Let me
have them.’ She consented; and she even brought me a clean towel
to spread over my dress, ‘lest,’ as she said, ‘I should mucky it.’
‘Ye’ve not been used to sarvant’s wark, I see by your hands,’ she

‘Happen ye’ve been a dressmaker?’ ‘No, you are wrong. And now,
never mind what I have been: don’t trouble your head further
about me; but tell me the name of the house where we are.’ ‘Some
calls it Marsh End, and some calls it Moor House.’ ‘And the
gentleman who lives here is called Mr. St. John?’ ‘Nay; he doesn’t
live here: he is only staying a while. When he is at home, he is in
his own parish at Morton.’ ‘That village a few miles off?’ ‘Aye.’
‘And what is he?’ ‘He is a parson.’ I remembered the answer of the
old housekeeper at the parsonage, when I had asked to see the
clergyman. ‘This, then, was his father’s residence?’ ‘Aye; old Mr.
Rivers lived here, and his father, and grandfather, and gurt (great)
grandfather afore him.’ ‘The name, then, of that gentleman, is Mr.
St. John Rivers?’ ‘Aye; St. John is like his kirstened name.’ ‘And his
sisters are called Diana and Mary Rivers?’

‘Yes.’ ‘Their father is dead?’ ‘Dead three weeks sin’ of a stroke.’
‘They have no mother?’ ‘The mistress has been dead this mony a
year.’ ‘Have you lived with the family long?’ ‘I’ve lived here thirty
year. I nursed them all three’ ‘That proves you must have been an
honest and faithful servant. I will say so much for you, though you
have had the incivility to call me a beggar.’ She again regarded me
with a surprised stare. ‘I believe,’ she said, ‘I was quite mista’en in
<- 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