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


breeze; the rough and the halcyon day; the hours of sunrise and
sunset; the moonlight and the clouded night, developed for me, in
these regions, the same attraction as for them-wound round my
faculties the same spell that entranced theirs.

Indoors we agreed equally well. They were both more
accomplished and better read than I was; but with eagerness I
followed in the path of knowledge they had trodden before me. I
devoured the books they lent me: then it was full satisfaction to
discuss with them in the evening what I had perused during the

Thought fitted thought; opinion met opinion: we coincided, in
short, perfectly.

If in our trio there was a superior and a leader, it was Diana.
Physically, she far excelled me: she was handsome; she was
vigorous. In her animal spirits there was an affluence of life and
certainty of flow, such as excited my wonder, while it baffled my
comprehension. I could talk a while when the evening commenced,
but the first gush of vivacity and fluency gone, I was fain to sit on a
stool at Diana’s feet, to rest my head on her knee, and listen
alternately to her and Mary, while they sounded thoroughly the
topic on which I had but touched. Diana offered to teach me
German. I liked to learn of her: I saw the part of instructress
pleased and suited her; that of scholar pleased and suited me no
less. Our natures dovetailed: mutual affection-of the strongest
kind-was the result. They discovered I could draw: their pencils
and colour-boxes were immediately at my service. My skill, greater
in this one point than theirs, surprised and charmed them.

Mary would sit and watch me by the hour together: then she
would take lessons; and a docile, intelligent, assiduous pupil she
made. Thus occupied, and mutually entertained, days passed like
hours, and weeks like days.

As to Mr. St. John, the intimacy which had arisen so naturally and
rapidly between me and his sisters did not extend to him. One
reason of the distance yet observed between us was, that he was
comparatively seldom at home: a large proportion of his time
appeared devoted to visiting the sick and poor among the scattered
population of his parish.

No weather seemed to hinder him in these pastoral excursions: rain
or fair, he would, when his hours of morning study were over, take
his hat, and, followed by his father’s old pointer, Carlo, go out on
his mission of love or duty-I scarcely know in which light he
regarded it. Sometimes, when the day was very unfavourable, his
sisters would expostulate. He would then say, with a peculiar
smile, more solemn than cheerful‘And if I let a gust of wind or a
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