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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 567 pages of information about Jane Eyre.
antiquated, on whose cushioned tops were yet apparent traces of half-effaced embroideries, wrought by fingers that for two generations had been coffin-dust.  All these relics gave to the third storey of Thornfield Hall the aspect of a home of the past:  a shrine of memory.  I liked the hush, the gloom, the quaintness of these retreats in the day; but I by no means coveted a night’s repose on one of those wide and heavy beds:  shut in, some of them, with doors of oak; shaded, others, with wrought old English hangings crusted with thick work, portraying effigies of strange flowers, and stranger birds, and strangest human beings, —­ all which would have looked strange, indeed, by the pallid gleam of moonlight.

“Do the servants sleep in these rooms?” I asked.

“No; they occupy a range of smaller apartments to the back; no one ever sleeps here:  one would almost say that, if there were a ghost at Thornfield Hall, this would be its haunt.”

“So I think:  you have no ghost, then?”

“None that I ever heard of,” returned Mrs. Fairfax, smiling.

“Nor any traditions of one? no legends or ghost stories?”

“I believe not.  And yet it is said the Rochesters have been rather a violent than a quiet race in their time:  perhaps, though, that is the reason they rest tranquilly in their graves now.”

“Yes —­ ‘after life’s fitful fever they sleep well,’” I muttered.  “Where are you going now, Mrs. Fairfax?” for she was moving away.

“On to the leads; will you come and see the view from thence?” I followed still, up a very narrow staircase to the attics, and thence by a ladder and through a trap-door to the roof of the hall.  I was now on a level with the crow colony, and could see into their nests.  Leaning over the battlements and looking far down, I surveyed the grounds laid out like a map:  the bright and velvet lawn closely girdling the grey base of the mansion; the field, wide as a park, dotted with its ancient timber; the wood, dun and sere, divided by a path visibly overgrown, greener with moss than the trees were with foliage; the church at the gates, the road, the tranquil hills, all reposing in the autumn day’s sun; the horizon bounded by a propitious sky, azure, marbled with pearly white.  No feature in the scene was extraordinary, but all was pleasing.  When I turned from it and repassed the trap-door, I could scarcely see my way down the ladder; the attic seemed black as a vault compared with that arch of blue air to which I had been looking up, and to that sunlit scene of grove, pasture, and green hill, of which the hall was the centre, and over which I had been gazing with delight.

Mrs. Fairfax stayed behind a moment to fasten the trap-door; I, by drift of groping, found the outlet from the attic, and proceeded to descend the narrow garret staircase.  I lingered in the long passage to which this led, separating the front and back rooms of the third storey:  narrow, low, and dim, with only one little window at the far end, and looking, with its two rows of small black doors all shut, like a corridor in some Bluebeard’s castle.

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