assured. I abhor artifice, particularly in children; it is my duty to show you that tricks will not answer: you will now stay here an hour longer, and it is only on condition of perfect submission and stillness that I shall liberate you then."

"Oh, aunt! have pity! Forgive me! I cannot endure it -- let me be punished some other way! I shall be killed if -- "

"Silence! This violence is all most repulsive;" and so, no doubt, she felt it. I was a precocious actress in her eyes; she sincerely looked on me as a compound of virulent passions, mean spirit, and dangerous duplicity.

Bessie and Abbot having retreated, Mrs. Reed, impatient of my now frantic anguish and wild sobs, abruptly thrust me back and locked me in, without farther parley. I heard her sweeping away; and soon after she was gone, I suppose I had a species of fit; unconsciousness closed the scene.


CHAPTER III.

T HE next thing I remember is waking up with a feeling as if I had had a frightful nightmare, and seeing before me a terrible red glare, crossed with thick black bars. I heard voices, too, speaking with a hollow sound, and as if muffled by a rush of wind or water: agitation, uncertainty, and an all-predominating sense of terror confused my faculties. Ere long, I became aware that someone was handling me; lifting me up and supporting me in a sitting posture, and that more tenderly than I had ever been raised or upheld before. I rested my head against a pillow or an arm, and felt easy.

In five minutes more the cloud of bewilderment dissolved: I knew quite well that I was in my own bed, and that the red glare was the nursery fire. It was night: a candle burnt on the table; Bessie stood at the bed-foot with a basin in her hand, and a gentleman sat in a chair near my pillow, leaning over me.

I felt an inexpressible relief, a soothing conviction of protection and security, when I knew that there was a stranger in the room, an individual not belonging to Gateshead, and not related to Mrs. Reed. Turning from Bessie (though her

-15-

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Jane Eyre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The English Comédíe Humaíne *
  • Title Page iii
  • Publishers' Note v
  • List of Illustrations vii
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 8
  • Chapter III 15
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 39
  • Chapter VI 52
  • Chapter VII 60
  • Chapter VIII 69
  • Chapter IX 77
  • Chapter X 85
  • Chapter XI 96
  • Chapter XII 113
  • Chapter XIII 124
  • Chapter XIV 135
  • Chapter XV 148
  • Chapter XVI 160
  • Chapter XVII 170
  • Chapter XVIII 191
  • Chapter XIX 207
  • Chapter XX 217
  • Chapter XXI 233
  • Chapter XXII 255
  • Chapter XXIII 262
  • Chapter XXIV 273
  • Chapter XXV 292
  • Chapter XXVI 305
  • Chapter XXVII 316
  • Chapter XXVIII 344
  • Chapter XXIX 361
  • Chapter XXX 373
  • Chapter XXXI 383
  • Chapter XXXII 391
  • Chapter XXXIII 403
  • Chapter XXXIV 416
  • Chapter XXXV 440
  • Chapter XXXVI 451
  • Chapter XXXVII 461
  • Chapter XXXVIII 482
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