Jane Eyre eBook

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

Drearily I wound my way downstairs:  I knew what I had to do, and I did it mechanically.  I sought the key of the side-door in the kitchen; I sought, too, a phial of oil and a feather; I oiled the key and the lock.  I got some water, I got some bread:  for perhaps I should have to walk far; and my strength, sorely shaken of late, must not break down.  All this I did without one sound.  I opened the door, passed out, shut it softly.  Dim dawn glimmered in the yard.  The great gates were closed and locked; but a wicket in one of them was only latched.  Through that I departed:  it, too, I shut; and now I was out of Thornfield.

A mile off, beyond the fields, lay a road which stretched in the contrary direction to Millcote; a road I had never travelled, but often noticed, and wondered where it led:  thither I bent my steps.  No reflection was to be allowed now:  not one glance was to be cast back; not even one forward.  Not one thought was to be given either to the past or the future.  The first was a page so heavenly sweet —­ so deadly sad —­ that to read one line of it would dissolve my courage and break down my energy.  The last was an awful blank:  something like the world when the deluge was gone by.

I skirted fields, and hedges, and lanes till after sunrise.  I believe it was a lovely summer morning:  I know my shoes, which I had put on when I left the house, were soon wet with dew.  But I looked neither to rising sun, nor smiling sky, nor wakening nature.  He who is taken out to pass through a fair scene to the scaffold, thinks not of the flowers that smile on his road, but of the block and axe-edge; of the disseverment of bone and vein; of the grave gaping at the end:  and I thought of drear flight and homeless wandering —­ and oh! with agony I thought of what I left.  I could not help it.  I thought of him now —­ in his room —­ watching the sunrise; hoping I should soon come to say I would stay with him and be his.  I longed to be his; I panted to return:  it was not too late; I could yet spare him the bitter pang of bereavement.  As yet my flight, I was sure, was undiscovered.  I could go back and be his comforter —­ his pride; his redeemer from misery, perhaps from ruin.  Oh, that fear of his self-abandonment —­ far worse than my abandonment —­ how it goaded me!  It was a barbed arrow-head in my breast; it tore me when I tried to extract it; it sickened me when remembrance thrust it farther in.  Birds began singing in brake and copse:  birds were faithful to their mates; birds were emblems of love.  What was I?  In the midst of my pain of heart and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself.  I had no solace from self- approbation:  none even from self-respect.  I had injured —­ wounded —­ left my master.  I was hateful in my own eyes.  Still I could not turn, nor retrace one step.  God must have led me on.  As to my own will or conscience, impassioned grief had trampled one and stifled the other.  I was

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Jane Eyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.