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


‘Yes.’ He hoisted it on to the vehicle, which was a sort of car, and
then I got in; before he shut me up, I asked him how far it was to

‘A matter of six miles.’ ‘How long shall we be before we get there?’
‘Happen an hour and a half.’ He fastened the car door, climbed to
his own seat outside, and we set off. Our progress was leisurely,
and gave me ample time to reflect; I was content to be at length so
near the end of my journey; and as I leaned back in the comfortable
though not elegant conveyance, I meditated much at my ease.

‘I suppose,’ thought I, ‘judging from the plainness of the servant
and carriage, Mrs. Fairfax is not a very dashing person: so much
the better; I never lived amongst fine people but once, and I was
very miserable with them. I wonder if she lives alone except this
little girl; if so, and if she is in any degree amiable, I shall surely be
able to get on with her; I will do my best; it is a pity that doing
one’s best does not always answer. At Lowood, indeed, I took that
resolution, kept it, and succeeded in pleasing; but with Mrs. Reed, I
remember my best was always spurned with scorn. I pray God
Mrs. Fairfax may not turn out a second Mrs. Reed; but if she does, I
am not bound to stay with her! let the worst come to the worst, I
can advertise again. How far are we on our road now, I wonder?’ I
let down the window and looked out; Millcote was behind us;
judging by the number of its lights, it seemed a place of
considerable magnitude, much larger than Lowton. We were now,
as far as I could see, on a sort of common; but there were houses
scattered all over the district; I felt we were in a different region to
Lowood, more populous, less picturesque; more stirring, less

The roads were heavy, the night misty; my conductor let his horse
walk all the way, and the hour and a half extended, I verily
believe, to two hours; at last he turned in his seat and said‘You’re
noan so far fro’ Thornfield now.’ Again I looked out: we were
passing a church; I saw its low broad tower against the sky, and its
bell was tolling a quarter; I saw a narrow galaxy of lights too, on a
hillside, marking a village or hamlet. About ten minutes after, the
driver got down and opened a pair of gates: we passed through,
and they clashed to behind us. We now slowly ascended a drive,
and came upon the long front of a house: candlelight gleamed from
one curtained bow-window; all the rest were dark. The car stopped
at the front door; it was opened by a maid-servant; I alighted and
went in.

‘Will you walk this way, ma’am?’ said the girl; and I followed her
across a square hall with high doors all round: she ushered me into
a room whose double illumination of fire and candle at first
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