Jane Eyre Quotes

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Jane Eyre Quotes

Quote 1: "'She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie and could discover by her own observation that I was endeavoring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner--something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were--she really could must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children.'" Chapter 1, pg. 5

Quote 2: "Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting: as interesting as the tales Bessie sometimes narrated on winter evenings, when she chanced to be in good humor...fed our eager attention with passages of love and adventure taken from fairy tales and older ballads...With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy: happy at least in my way." Chapter 1, pg. 7

Quote 3: "'And you ought not to think yourself on an equality with the Misses Reed and Master Reed, because Missis kindly allows you to be brought up with them. They will have a great deal of money, and you will have none: it is your place to be humble, and to try to make yourself agreeable to them.'
'God will punish her: He might strike her dead in the midst of her tantrums, and then where would she go? ...Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, when you are by yourself; for if you don't repent, something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney, and fetch you away.'" Chapter 2, pg. 10

Quote 4: "What a consternation of soul was mine that dreary afternoon! How all my brain was in tumult, and all my heart in insurrection! Yet in what darkness, what dense ignorance, was the mental battle fought! I could not answer the ceaseless inward question--why I thus suffered; now at the distance of--I will not say how many years, I see it clearly." Chapter 2, pg. 12

Quote 5: "No severe or prolonged bodily illness followed this incident of the red-room: it only gave my nerves a shock, of which I feel the reverberation to this day. Yes, Ms. Reed, to you I owe some fearful pangs of mental suffering. But I ought to forgive you, for you knew not what you did: while rending my heart-strings, you thought you were only uprooting my bad propensities." Chapter 3, pg. 18

Quote 6: "'I scarcely knew what school was; John Reed hated his school, and abused his master; but John Reed's tastes were no rule for mine...[Bessie] boasted of beautiful paintings of landscapes and flowers by them executed...Besides, school would be a complete change: it implied a long journey, an entire separation from Gateshead, an entrance into a new life.
'I should indeed like to go to school,' was the audible conclusion of my musings." Chapter 3, pg. 20-21

Quote 7: "'Mr. Brocklehurst, I believe I intimated in the letter which I wrote to you three weeks ago, that this little girl has not quite the character and disposition I could wish: should you admit her into Lowood school, I should be glad if the superintendent and teachers were requested to keep a strict eye on her, and above all, to guard against her worst fault, a tendency toward deceit. I mention this in your hearing, Jane, that you may no attempt to impose on Mr. Brocklehurst.'" Chapter 4, pg. 28

Quote 8: "'I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world except John Reed; and this book about the liar, you may give it to your girl, Georgiana, for it is she who tells lies, and not I.'" Chapter 4, pg. 30-31

Quote 9: "'But I feel this Helen: I must dislike those who, whatever I do to please them, persist in disliking me. I must resist those who punish me unjustly. It is as natural as that I should love those who show me affection, or submit to punishment when I feel it is deserved.'" Chapter 6, pg. 50

Quote 10: "What a singularly deep impression her injustice seems to have made on your heart! No ill-usage so brands its record on my feelings. Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited? Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." Chapter 6, pg. 50-51

Quote 11: "'No; I know I should think well of myself; but that is not enough; if others don't love me, I would rather die than live--I cannot bear to be solitary and hated, Helen. Look here; to gain some real affection from you, or Miss Temple, or any other whom I truly love, I would willingly submit to have the bone of my arm broken, or to let a bull toss me, or to stand behind a kicking horse, and lit it dash its hoof at my chest.'" Chapter 8, pg. 60

Quote 12: "Well has Solomon said--'Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.'
I would not now have exchanged Lowood with all its privations, for Gateshead and its daily luxuries." Chapter 8, pg. 65

Quote 13: "And I clasped my arms closer round Helen; she seemed dearer to me than ever; I felt as if I could not let her go; I lay with my face hidden on her neck. Presently she said in the sweetest tone,--'How comfortable I am! That last fit of coughing has tired me a little; I feel as if I could sleep: but don't leave me, Jane; I like to have you near me.'
'I'll stay with you, dear Helen: no one shall take me away.'
'Are you warm, darling?'
'Yes.'" Chapter 9, pg. 71

Quote 14: "All these relics gave...Thornfield Hall the aspect of a home of the past: a shrine to 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." Chapter 11, pg. 92

Quote 15: "I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen: that I desired more of practical experience than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance with variety of character, than was here within my reach...I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes..." Chapter 12, pg. 95

Quote 16: "Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex." Chapter 12, pg. 96

Quote 17: "I traced the general points of middle height, and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features, and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth, but had not reached middle age; perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him, and but a little shyness. Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked...I had a theoretical reverence an homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic." Chapter 12, pg. 99

Quote 18: "--'No, sir.'
'Ah! By my word! There is something singular about you,' said he: 'you have the air of a little nonnette; quaint, quiet, grave, and simple, as you sit with your hands before you, and your eyes generally bent on the carpet (except, by-the-bye, when they are directed piercingly to my face; as just now, for instance); and when one asks you a question, or makes a remark to which you are obliged to reply, you rap out a round rejoinder, which, if not blunt, is at least brusque. What do you mean by it?'
'Sir, I was too plain: I beg your pardon. I ought to have replied that it was not easy to give an impromptu answer to a question about appearances; that tastes differ; that beauty is of little consequence, or something of that sort.'
'You ought to have replied no such thing...Just so: I think so: and you shall be answerable for it. Criticize me: does my forehead not please you?'" Chapter 14, pg. 115

Quote 19: "'You have saved my life: I have a please in owning you so immense a debt. I cannot say more. Nothing else that has being would have been tolerable to me in the character of creditor for such an obligation: but you: it is different;--I feel your benefits no burden, Jane...I knew,' he continued, 'you would do me good in some way, at some time;--I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not...strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing...My cherished preserver, good night!'" Chapter 15, pg. 133

Quote 20: "Most true is it that 'beauty is in the eye of the gazer.' My master's colorless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,--all energy, decision, will,--were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me: they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me,--that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him: the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me." Chapter 17, pg. 153

Quote 21: "Where was I? Did I wake or sleep? Had I been dreaming? Did I dream still? The old woman's voice had changed: her accent, her gesture, and all were familiar tome as my own face in a glass--as the speech of my own tongue...I looked...The flame illuminated her hand stretched out: roused now, and on the alert for discoveries, I at once noticed that hand. It was no more the withered limb of eld than my own; it was a rounded supple member, with smooth fingers...a broad ring flashed on the little finger, and stooping forward, I looked at it, and saw a gem I had seen a hundred times before. Again, I looked at the face; which was no longer turned from me--
'Well, Jane, do you know me?' asked the familiar voice...
And Mr. Rochester stepped out of his disguise." Chapter 19, pg. 177-8

Quote 22: "'But the instrument--the instrument! God, who does the work, ordains the instrument. I have myself--I tell it you without parable--been a worldly, dissipated, restless man; and I believe I have found the instrument of my cure, in--'" Chapter 20, pg. 192

Quote 23: "'Sir,' I answered, 'a wanderer's repose or a sinner's reformation should never depend on a fellow-creature. Men and women die; philosophers falter in their wisdom, and Christians in goodness: if any one you know has suffered and erred, let him look higher than his equals for strength to amend, and solace to heal.'" Chapter 20, pg. 192

Quote 24: "'Because I disliked you too fixedly and thoroughly ever to lend a hand in lifting you to prosperity. I could not forget your conduct to me, Jane--the fury with which you once turned on me; the tone in which you declared you abhorred me the worst of anybody in the world; the unchildlike look and voice with which you affirmed that the very thought of me made you sick, and asserted that I had treated you with miserable cruelty. I could not forget my own sensations when you thus started up and poured out the venom of your mind: I felt fear, as if an animal that I had struck or pushed has looked up at me with human eyes and cursed me in a man's voice.'" Chapter 21, pg. 210

Quote 25: "Well, he is not a ghost; yet every nerve I have is unstrung: for a moment I am beyond my own mastery. What does that mean? I did not think I should tremble in this way when I saw him--or lose my voice or the power of motion in his presence. I will go back as soon as I can stir: I need not make an absolute fool of myself. I know another way to the house. It does not signify if I knew twenty ways; for he has seen me." Chapter 22, pg. 214

Quote 26: "'I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you--you'd forget me.'
'That I never should, sir: you know'--impossible to proceed." Chapter 23, pg. 221

Quote 27: "'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.'" Chapter 23, pg. 224

Quote 28: "[B]y that I shall earn my board and lodging, and thirty pounds a year besides. I'll furnish my own wardrobe out of that money, and you shall give me nothing but...your regard: and if I give you mine in return the debt will be quit." Chapter 24, pg. 237

Quote 29: "My future husband was becoming to me my whole world; and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made an idol." Chapter 25, pg. 241

Quote 30: "In the deep shade, at the further end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards. What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not tell: it groveled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing; and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face...the hyena rose up, and stood tall on its hind feet." Chapter 26, pg. 257

Quote 31: "I was in my own room as usual--just myself without obvious change: nothing had smitten me, or scathed me, or maimed me...Jane Eyre, who has been an ardent, expectant woman--almost a bride--was a cold, solitary girl again: her life was pale; her prospects were desolate...I looked at my love...it shivered in my heart, like a suffering child in a cold cradle...Mr. Rochester was not to me what he had been, for he was not what I had thought him. I would not ascribe vice to him; I would not say he had betrayed me but the attribute of stainless truth was gone from his idea; and from his presence I must go, that I perceived well." Chapter 26, pg. 260

Quote 32: "'Oh comply!' it said, 'Think of his misery, think of his danger--look at his state when left alone...Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?'...Still indomitable was the reply--'I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God, sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour, stringent are they; inviolate they shall be...with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot!'" Chapter 27, pg. 279

Quote 33: "'I can but die...and I believe in God. Let me try and wait His will in silence.'" Chapter 28, pg. 295

Quote 34: "I felt desolate to a degree. I felt--yes, idiot that I am--I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the ignorance, the poverty, the coarseness of all I heard and saw round me. But let me not hate and despise myself too much for these feelings: I know them to be wrong--that is a great step gained; I shall strive to overcome them...In a few months, it is possible, the happiness of seeing process, and a change for the better in my scholars, may substitute gratification for disgust." Chapter 31, pg. 316

Quote 35: "I had found a brother: one I could be proud of,--one I could love; and two sisters whose qualities were such that, when I knew them but as mere strangers, they had inspired me with genuine affection and admiration. The two girls on whom, kneeling down on the wet ground, and looking through the low, latticed window of Moor House kitchen, I had gazed...were my near kinswomen, and the young and stately gentleman who had found me almost dying at his threshold was my blood relation. Glorious discovery to a lonely wretch! This was wealth indeed!--wealth to the heart!--a mine of pure, genial affections. This was a blessing...not like the ponderous gift of gold: rich and welcome enough in its way, but sobering from its weight." Chapter 33, pg. 339

Quote 36: "As for me, I daily wished more to please him: but to do so, I felt daily more and more that I must disown half of my nature, stifle half my faculties, wrest my tastes from their original bent, force myself to the adoption of pursuits for which I had no natural vocation. He wanted to train me to an elevation I could never reach; it racked me hourly to aspire to the standard he uplifted. The thing was as impossible as to mould my irregular features to his correct and classic pattern, to give to my changeable green eyes the sea-blue tint and solemn lustre of his own." Chapter 34, pg. 351

Quote 37: "I have made study of you for ten months. I have proved you in that time by sundry tests: and what have I seen and elicited? In the village school, I found that you could perform well, punctually, uprightly, labor uncongenial to your habits and inclinations; I saw you could perform it with capacity and tact: you could win while you controlled. In the calm with which you learnt you had become suddenly rich, I read a mind clear of the vice of Demas:--lucre had no undue power over you...Jane, you are docile, diligent, disinterested, faithful, constant, and courageous; very gentle, and very heroic: cease to mistrust yourself--I can trust you unreservedly. As a conductress of Indian schools, and a helper amongst Indian women, your assistance will be to me invaluable." Chapter 34, pg. 355

Quote 38: "'I scorn your idea of love,' I could not help saying, as I rose up and stood before him, leaning my back against the rock. 'I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer: yes, St. John, and I scorn you when you offer it.'" Chapter 34, pg. 359

Quote 39: "I recalled the voice I had heard; again I questioned whence it came, as vainly as before: it seemed in me--not in the external world. I asked, was it a mere nervous impression--a delusion? I could not conceive or believe: it was more like an inspiration. The wondrous shock of feeling had come like the earthquake which shook the foundations of Paul and Silas's prison: it had opened the doors of the soul's cell, and loosed its bands--it had wakened it out of its sleep, whence it sprang trembling, listening, aghast; then vibrated thrice a cry on my startled ear, an din my quaking heart, and through my spirit; which neither feared nor shook, but exulted as if in joy over the success of one effort it had been privileged to make, independent of the cumbrous body." Chapter 36, pg. 371

Quote 40: "'My living darling! These are certainly her limbs, and these her features; but I cannot be so blest, after all my misery. It is a dream; such dreams as I have had at night when I have clasped her once more to my heart, as I do now; and kissed her, as thus--and felt that she loved me, and trusted that she would not leave me...Gentle, soft dream, nestling in my arms now, you will fly, too, as your sisters have all fled before you: but kiss me before you go--embrace me, Jane.'" Chapter 37, pg. 382

Quote 41: "'Jane! you think me, I daresay, an irreligious dog: but my heart swells with gratitude to the beneficent God of this earth just now. He sees not as man see, but far clearer; judges not as man judges, but far more wisely. I did wrong: I would have sullied my innocent flower--breathed guilt on its purity: the Omnipotent snatched it from me. I, in my stiff-necked rebellion, almost cursed the dispensation: instead of bending to the decree, I defied it. Divine justice pursued its course; disasters came thick on me: I was forced to pass through the valley of the shadow of death...Of late, Jane--only--only of late--I began to see and acknowledge the hand of God in my doom. I began to experience remorse, repentance; the wish for reconcilement to my Maker. I began sometimes to pray: very brief prayers they were, but very sincere.'" Chapter 37, pg. 393

Quote 42: "I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do of the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character--perfect concord is the result." Chapter 38, pg. 397

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