"He is stone-blind," he said at last. "Yes -- he is stoneblind -- is Mr. Edward."

I had dreaded worse. I had dreaded he was mad. I summoned strength to ask what had caused this calamity.

"It was all his own courage, and a body may say, his kindness, in a way, ma'am: he wouldn't leave the house till everyone else was out before him. As he came down the great staircase at last, after Mrs. Rochester had flung herself from the battlements, there was a great crash -- all fell. He was taken out from under the ruins, alive, but sadly hurt: a beam had fallen in such a way as to protect him partly; but one eye was knocked out, and one hand so crushed that Mr. Carter, the surgeon, had to amputate it directly. The other eye inflamed: he lost the sight of that also. He is now helpless, indeed -- blind and a cripple."

"Where is he? Where does he now live?"

"At Ferndean, a manor-house, on a farm he has, about thirty miles off: quite a desolate spot."

"Who is with him?"

"Old John and his wife: he would have none else. He is quite broken down, they say."

"Have you any sort of conveyance?"

"We have a chaise, ma'am, a very handsome chaise."

"Let it be got ready instantly; and if your post-boy can drive me to Ferndean before dark this day, I'll pay both you and him twice the hire you usually demand."


CHAPTER XXXVII.

T HE manor-house of Ferndean was a building of considerable antiquity, moderate size, and no architectural pretensions, deep buried in a wood. I had heard of it before. Mr. Rochester often spoke of it, and sometimes went there. His father had purchased the estate for the sake of the game covers. He would have let the house: but could find no tenant, in consequence of its ineligible and insalubrious site. Ferndean then remained uninhabited and unfurnished; with the exception of some two or three rooms fitted up for the

-461-

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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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