Jane Eyre eBook

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

“Mr. Rochester, let me look at your face:  turn to the moonlight.”

“Why?”

“Because I want to read your countenance —­ turn!”

“There! you will find it scarcely more legible than a crumpled, scratched page.  Read on:  only make haste, for I suffer.”

His face was very much agitated and very much flushed, and there were strong workings in the features, and strange gleams in the eyes

“Oh, Jane, you torture me!” he exclaimed.  “With that searching and yet faithful and generous look, you torture me!”

“How can I do that?  If you are true, and your offer real, my only feelings to you must be gratitude and devotion —­ they cannot torture.”

“Gratitude!” he ejaculated; and added wildly —­ “Jane accept me quickly.  Say, Edward —­ give me my name —­ Edward —­ I will marry you.”

“Are you in earnest?  Do you truly love me?  Do you sincerely wish me to be your wife?”

“I do; and if an oath is necessary to satisfy you, I swear it.”

“Then, sir, I will marry you.”

“Edward —­ my little wife!”

“Dear Edward!”

“Come to me —­ come to me entirely now,” said he; and added, in his deepest tone, speaking in my ear as his cheek was laid on mine, “Make my happiness —­ I will make yours.”

“God pardon me!” he subjoined ere long; “and man meddle not with me:  I have her, and will hold her.”

“There is no one to meddle, sir.  I have no kindred to interfere.”

“No —­ that is the best of it,” he said.  And if I had loved him less I should have thought his accent and look of exultation savage; but, sitting by him, roused from the nightmare of parting —­ called to the paradise of union —­ I thought only of the bliss given me to drink in so abundant a flow.  Again and again he said, “Are you happy, Jane?” And again and again I answered, “Yes.”  After which he murmured, “It will atone —­ it will atone.  Have I not found her friendless, and cold, and comfortless?  Will I not guard, and cherish, and solace her?  Is there not love in my heart, and constancy in my resolves?  It will expiate at God’s tribunal.  I know my Maker sanctions what I do.  For the world’s judgment —­ I wash my hands thereof.  For man’s opinion —­ I defy it.”

But what had befallen the night?  The moon was not yet set, and we were all in shadow:  I could scarcely see my master’s face, near as I was.  And what ailed the chestnut tree? it writhed and groaned; while wind roared in the laurel walk, and came sweeping over us.

“We must go in,” said Mr. Rochester:  “the weather changes.  I could have sat with thee till morning, Jane.”

“And so,” thought I, “could I with you.”  I should have said so, perhaps, but a livid, vivid spark leapt out of a cloud at which I was looking, and there was a crack, a crash, and a close rattling peal; and I thought only of hiding my dazzled eyes against Mr. Rochester’s shoulder.

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Jane Eyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.