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

Bessie invited him to walk into the breakfast-room, and led the way out.  In the interview which followed between him and Mrs. Reed, I presume, from after-occurrences, that the apothecary ventured to recommend my being sent to school; and the recommendation was no doubt readily enough adopted; for as Abbot said, in discussing the subject with Bessie when both sat sewing in the nursery one night, after I was in bed, and, as they thought, asleep, “Missis was, she dared say, glad enough to get rid of such a tiresome, ill- conditioned child, who always looked as if she were watching everybody, and scheming plots underhand.”  Abbot, I think, gave me credit for being a sort of infantine Guy Fawkes.

On that same occasion I learned, for the first time, from Miss Abbot’s communications to Bessie, that my father had been a poor clergyman; that my mother had married him against the wishes of her friends, who considered the match beneath her; that my grandfather Reed was so irritated at her disobedience, he cut her off without a shilling; that after my mother and father had been married a year, the latter caught the typhus fever while visiting among the poor of a large manufacturing town where his curacy was situated, and where that disease was then prevalent:  that my mother took the infection from him, and both died within a month of each other.

Bessie, when she heard this narrative, sighed and said, “Poor Miss Jane is to be pitied, too, Abbot.”

“Yes,” responded Abbot; “if she were a nice, pretty child, one might compassionate her forlornness; but one really cannot care for such a little toad as that.”

“Not a great deal, to be sure,” agreed Bessie:  “at any rate, a beauty like Miss Georgiana would be more moving in the same condition.”

“Yes, I doat on Miss Georgiana!” cried the fervent Abbot.  “Little darling! —­ with her long curls and her blue eyes, and such a sweet colour as she has; just as if she were painted! —­ Bessie, I could fancy a Welsh rabbit for supper.”

“So could I —­ with a roast onion.  Come, we’ll go down.”  They went.

CHAPTER IV

From my discourse with Mr. Lloyd, and from the above reported conference between Bessie and Abbot, I gathered enough of hope to suffice as a motive for wishing to get well:  a change seemed near, —­ I desired and waited it in silence.  It tarried, however:  days and weeks passed:  I had regained my normal state of health, but no new allusion was made to the subject over which I brooded.  Mrs. Reed surveyed me at times with a severe eye, but seldom addressed me:  since my illness, she had drawn a more marked line of separation than ever between me and her own children; appointing me a small closet to sleep in by myself, condemning me to take my meals alone, and pass all my time in the nursery, while my cousins were constantly in the drawing-room.  Not a hint, however, did she drop about sending me to school:  still I felt an instinctive certainty that she would not long endure me under the same roof with her; for her glance, now more than ever, when turned on me, expressed an insuperable and rooted aversion.

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