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around you; as it is, the greater number would offer you sympathy
if they dared.

Teachers and pupils may look coldly on you for a day or two, but
friendly feelings are concealed in their hearts; and if you persevere
in doing well, these feelings will ere long appear so much the more
evidently for their temporary suppression. Besides, Jane’- she
paused.‘Well, Helen?’ said I, putting my hand into hers: she chafed
my fingers gently to warm them, and went on‘If all the world
hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience
approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be
without friends.’ ‘No; I know I should think well of myself; but
that is not enough: if others don’t love me I would rather die than
live-I cannot bear to be solitary and hated, Helen. Look here; to
gain some real affection from you, or Miss Temple, or any other
whom I truly love, I would willingly submit to have the bone of
my arm broken, or to let a bull toss me, or to stand behind a
kicking horse, and let it dash its hoof at my chest-’ ‘Hush, Jane! you
think too much of the love of human beings; you are too impulsive,
too vehement; the sovereign hand that created your frame, and put
life into it, has provided you with other resources than your feeble
self, or than creatures feeble as you. Besides this earth, and besides
the race of men, there is an invisible world and a kingdom of
spirits: that world is round us, for it is everywhere; and those
spirits watch us, for they are commissioned to guard us; and if we
were dying in pain and shame, if scorn smote us on all sides, and
hatred crushed us, angels see our tortures, recognise our innocence
(if innocent we be: as I know you are of this charge which Mr.
Brocklehurst has weakly and pompously repeated at secondhand
from Mrs. Reed; for I read a sincere nature in your ardent eyes and
on your clear front), and God waits only the separation of spirit
from flesh to crown us with a full reward. Why, then, should we
ever sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is so soon over,
and death is so certain an entrance to happiness-to glory?’ I was
silent; Helen had calmed me; but in the tranquillity she imparted
there was an alloy of inexpressible sadness. I felt the impression of
woe as she spoke, but I could not tell whence it came; and when,
having done speaking, she breathed a little fast and coughed a
short cough, I momentarily forgot my own sorrows to yield to a
vague concern for her.

Resting my head on Helen’s shoulder, I put my arms round her
waist; she drew me to her, and we reposed in silence. We had not
sat long thus, when another person came in. Some heavy clouds,
swept from the sky by a rising wind, had left the moon bare; and
her light, streaming in through a window near, shone full both on
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