can she bear it so quietly -- so firmly?" I asked of myself. "Were I in her place, it seems to me I should wish the earth to open and swallow me up. She looks as if she were thinking of something beyond her punishment -- beyond her situation; of something not round her nor before her. I have heard of day-dreams -- is she in a day-dream now? Her eyes are fixed on the floor, but I am sure they do not see it -- her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart; she is looking at what she can remember, I believe; not at what is really present. I wonder what sort of a girl she is -- whether good or naughty."
Soon after five p. m. we had another meal, consisting of a small mug of coffee and half a slice of brown bread. I devoured my bread and drank my coffee with relish; but I should have been glad of as much more -- I was still hungry. Half an hour's recreation succeeded, then study; then the glass of water and the piece of oatcake, prayers, and bed. Such was my first day at Lowood.
T HE next day commenced as before: getting up and dressing by rushlight; but this morning we were obliged to dispense with the ceremony of washing: the water in the pitchers was frozen. A change had taken place in the weather the preceding evening, and a keen north-east wind, whistling through the crevices of our bedroom windows all night long, had made us shiver in our beds, and turned the contents of the ewers to ice.
Before the long hour and a half of prayers and Bible reading was over, I felt ready to perish with cold. Breakfast-time came at last, and this morning the porridge Was not burnt; the quality was eatable, the quantity small; how small my portion seemed! I wish it had been doubled.
In the course of the day I was enrolled a member of the fourth class, and regular tasks and occupations were assigned me: hitherto I had only been a spectator of the proceedings at Lowood, I was now to become an actor therein. At first,
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Publication information: Book title: Jane Eyre. Contributors: Charlotte Brontë - Author. Publisher: Century. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1906. Page number: 52.
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