Jane Eyre eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 705 pages of information about Jane Eyre.

The month of courtship had wasted:  its very last hours were being numbered.  There was no putting off the day that advanced —­ the bridal day; and all preparations for its arrival were complete.  I, at least, had nothing more to do:  there were my trunks, packed, locked, corded, ranged in a row along the wall of my little chamber; to-morrow, at this time, they would be far on their road to London:  and so should I (D.V.), —­ or rather, not I, but one Jane Rochester, a person whom as yet I knew not.  The cards of address alone remained to nail on:  they lay, four little squares, in the drawer.  Mr. Rochester had himself written the direction, “Mrs. Rochester, —­ Hotel, London,” on each:  I could not persuade myself to affix them, or to have them affixed.  Mrs. Rochester!  She did not exist:  she would not be born till to-morrow, some time after eight o’clock a.m.; and I would wait to be assured she had come into the world alive before I assigned to her all that property.  It was enough that in yonder closet, opposite my dressing-table, garments said to be hers had already displaced my black stuff Lowood frock and straw bonnet:  for not to me appertained that suit of wedding raiment; the pearl-coloured robe, the vapoury veil pendent from the usurped portmanteau.  I shut the closet to conceal the strange, wraith-like apparel it contained; which, at this evening hour —­ nine o’clock —­ gave out certainly a most ghostly shimmer through the shadow of my apartment.  “I will leave you by yourself, white dream,” I said.  “I am feverish:  I hear the wind blowing:  I will go out of doors and feel it.”

It was not only the hurry of preparation that made me feverish; not only the anticipation of the great change —­ the new life which was to commence to-morrow:  both these circumstances had their share, doubtless, in producing that restless, excited mood which hurried me forth at this late hour into the darkening grounds:  but a third cause influenced my mind more than they.

I had at heart a strange and anxious thought.  Something had happened which I could not comprehend; no one knew of or had seen the event but myself:  it had taken place the preceding night.  Mr. Rochester that night was absent from home; nor was he yet returned:  business had called him to a small estate of two or three farms he possessed thirty miles off —­ business it was requisite he should settle in person, previous to his meditated departure from England.  I waited now his return; eager to disburthen my mind, and to seek of him the solution of the enigma that perplexed me.  Stay till he comes, reader; and, when I disclose my secret to him, you shall share the confidence.

I sought the orchard, driven to its shelter by the wind, which all day had blown strong and full from the south, without, however, bringing a speck of rain.  Instead of subsiding as night drew on, it seemed to augment its rush and deepen its roar:  the trees blew steadfastly one way, never writhing round, and scarcely tossing back their boughs once in an hour; so continuous was the strain bending their branchy heads northward —­ the clouds drifted from pole to pole, fast following, mass on mass:  no glimpse of blue sky had been visible that July day.

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Jane Eyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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