Jane Eyre eBook

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

“What have you heard?  What do you see?” asked St. John.  I saw nothing, but I heard a voice somewhere cry —

“Jane!  Jane!  Jane!” —­ nothing more.

“O God! what is it?” I gasped.

I might have said, “Where is it?” for it did not seem in the room —­ nor in the house —­ nor in the garden; it did not come out of the air —­ nor from under the earth —­ nor from overhead.  I had heard it —­ where, or whence, for ever impossible to know!  And it was the voice of a human being —­ a known, loved, well-remembered voice —­ that of Edward Fairfax Rochester; and it spoke in pain and woe, wildly, eerily, urgently.

“I am coming!” I cried.  “Wait for me!  Oh, I will come!” I flew to the door and looked into the passage:  it was dark.  I ran out into the garden:  it was void.

“Where are you?” I exclaimed.

The hills beyond Marsh Glen sent the answer faintly back —­ “Where are you?” I listened.  The wind sighed low in the firs:  all was moorland loneliness and midnight hush.

“Down superstition!” I commented, as that spectre rose up black by the black yew at the gate.  “This is not thy deception, nor thy witchcraft:  it is the work of nature.  She was roused, and did —­ no miracle —­ but her best.”

I broke from St. John, who had followed, and would have detained me.  It was my time to assume ascendency.  My powers were in play and in force.  I told him to forbear question or remark; I desired him to leave me:  I must and would be alone.  He obeyed at once.  Where there is energy to command well enough, obedience never fails.  I mounted to my chamber; locked myself in; fell on my knees; and prayed in my way —­ a different way to St. John’s, but effective in its own fashion.  I seemed to penetrate very near a Mighty Spirit; and my soul rushed out in gratitude at His feet.  I rose from the thanksgiving —­ took a resolve —­ and lay down, unscared, enlightened —­ eager but for the daylight.

CHAPTER XXXVI

The daylight came.  I rose at dawn.  I busied myself for an hour or two with arranging my things in my chamber, drawers, and wardrobe, in the order wherein I should wish to leave them during a brief absence.  Meantime, I heard St. John quit his room.  He stopped at my door:  I feared he would knock —­ no, but a slip of paper was passed under the door.  I took it up.  It bore these words —

“You left me too suddenly last night.  Had you stayed but a little longer, you would have laid your hand on the Christian’s cross and the angel’s crown.  I shall expect your clear decision when I return this day fortnight.  Meantime, watch and pray that you enter not into temptation:  the spirit, I trust, is willing, but the flesh, I see, is weak.  I shall pray for you hourly. —­ Yours, st. John.”

“My spirit,” I answered mentally, “is willing to do what is right; and my flesh, I hope, is strong enough to accomplish the will of Heaven, when once that will is distinctly known to me.  At any rate, it shall be strong enough to search —­ inquire —­ to grope an outlet from this cloud of doubt, and find the open day of certainty.”

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Jane Eyre from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.