Jane Eyre eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 567 pages of information about Jane Eyre.

“I think I hear Mrs. Fairfax move, sir,” said I.

“Well, leave me:”  he relaxed his fingers, and I was gone.

I regained my couch, but never thought of sleep.  Till morning dawned I was tossed on a buoyant but unquiet sea, where billows of trouble rolled under surges of joy.  I thought sometimes I saw beyond its wild waters a shore, sweet as the hills of Beulah; and now and then a freshening gale, wakened by hope, bore my spirit triumphantly towards the bourne:  but I could not reach it, even in fancy —­ a counteracting breeze blew off land, and continually drove me back.  Sense would resist delirium:  judgment would warn passion.  Too feverish to rest, I rose as soon as day dawned.

CHAPTER XVI

I both wished and feared to see Mr. Rochester on the day which followed this sleepless night:  I wanted to hear his voice again, yet feared to meet his eye.  During the early part of the morning, I momentarily expected his coming; he was not in the frequent habit of entering the schoolroom, but he did step in for a few minutes sometimes, and I had the impression that he was sure to visit it that day.

But the morning passed just as usual:  nothing happened to interrupt the quiet course of Adele’s studies; only soon after breakfast, I heard some bustle in the neighbourhood of Mr. Rochester’s chamber, Mrs. Fairfax’s voice, and Leah’s, and the cook’s —­ that is, John’s wife —­ and even John’s own gruff tones.  There were exclamations of “What a mercy master was not burnt in his bed!” “It is always dangerous to keep a candle lit at night.”  “How providential that he had presence of mind to think of the water-jug!” “I wonder he waked nobody!” “It is to be hoped he will not take cold with sleeping on the library sofa,” &c.

To much confabulation succeeded a sound of scrubbing and setting to rights; and when I passed the room, in going downstairs to dinner, I saw through the open door that all was again restored to complete order; only the bed was stripped of its hangings.  Leah stood up in the window-seat, rubbing the panes of glass dimmed with smoke.  I was about to address her, for I wished to know what account had been given of the affair:  but, on advancing, I saw a second person in the chamber —­ a woman sitting on a chair by the bedside, and sewing rings to new curtains.  That woman was no other than Grace Poole.

There she sat, staid and taciturn-looking, as usual, in her brown stuff gown, her check apron, white handkerchief, and cap.  She was intent on her work, in which her whole thoughts seemed absorbed:  on her hard forehead, and in her commonplace features, was nothing either of the paleness or desperation one would have expected to see marking the countenance of a woman who had attempted murder, and whose intended victim had followed her last night to her lair, and (as I believed), charged her with the crime she wished to perpetrate.  I was amazed —­ confounded.  She looked up, while I still gazed at her:  no start, no increase or failure of colour betrayed emotion, consciousness of guilt, or fear of detection.  She said “Good morning, Miss,” in her usual phlegmatic and brief manner; and taking up another ring and more tape, went on with her sewing.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Jane Eyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.