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


Meantime, let me ask myself one question-Which is better?- To
have surrendered to temptation; listened to passion; made no
painful effort-no struggle;- but to have sunk down in the silken
snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a
southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have
been now living in France, Mr. Rochester’s mistress; delirious with
his love half my time-for he would-oh, yes, he would have loved
me well for a while. He did love me-no one will ever love me so
again. I shall never more know the sweet homage given to beauty,
youth, and grace-for never to any one else shall I seem to possess
these charms. He was fond and proud of me-it is what no man
besides will ever be.- But where am I wandering, and what am I
saying, and above all, feeling? Whether is it better, I ask, to be a
slave in a fool’s paradise at Marseillesfevered with delusive bliss
one hour-suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame
the next-or to be a village-schoolmistress, free and honest, in a
breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England? Yes; I feel
now that I was right when I adhered to principle and law, and
scorned and crushed the insane promptings of a frenzied moment.
God directed me to a correct choice: I thank His providence for the

Having brought my eventide musings to this point, I rose, went to
my door, and looked at the sunset of the harvest-day, and at the
quiet fields before my cottage, which, with the school, was distant
half a mile from the village. The birds were singing their last
strains-‘The air was mild, the dew was balm.’ - While I looked, I
thought myself happy, and was surprised to find myself ere long
weeping-and why? For the doom which had reft me from
adhesion to my master: for him I was no more to see; for the
desperate grief and fatal fury-consequences of my departure-
which might now, perhaps, be dragging him from the path of
right, too far to leave hope of ultimate restoration thither. At this
thought, I turned my face aside from the lovely sky of eve and
lonely vale of Morton-I say lonely, for in that bend of it visible to
me there was no building apparent save the church and the
parsonage, halfhid in trees, and, quite at the extremity, the roof of
Vale Hall, where the rich Mr. Oliver and his daughter lived. I hid
my eyes, and leant my head against the stone frame of my door;
but soon a slight noise near the wicket which shut in my tiny
garden from the meadow beyond it made me look up. A dog-old
Carlo, Mr. Rivers’ pointer, as I saw in a moment-was pushing the
gate with his nose, and St. John himself leant upon it with folded
arms; his brow knit, his gaze, grave almost to displeasure, fixed on
me. I asked him to come in.
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