proper to forget even to shake hands with me; but left the room in silence. I—who, though I had no love, had much friendship for him—was hurt by the marked omission: so much hurt that tears started to my eyes.
"I see you and St. John have been quarrelling, Jane," said Diana, "during your walk on the moor. But go after him; he is now lingering in the passage, expecting you— he will make it up."
I have not much pride under such circumstances: I would always rather be happy than dignified; and I ran after him— he stood at the foot of the stairs.
"Good-night, St. John," said I.
"Good-night, Jane," he replied calmly.
"Then shake hands," I added.
What a cold, loose touch he impressed on my fingers! He was deeply displeased by what had occurred that day: cordiality would not warm, nor tears move him. No happy reconciliation was to be had with him—no cheering smile or generous word: but still the Christian was patient and placid; and when I asked him if he forgave me, he answered that he was not in the habit of cherishing the remembrance of vexation; that he had nothing to forgive; not having been offended.
And with that answer he left me. I would much rather he had knocked me down.
He did not leave for Cambridge the next day, as he had said he would. He deferred his departure a whole week; and during that time he made me feel what severe punishment, a good, yet stern, a conscientious, yet implacable man can inflict on one who has offended him. Without one overt act of hostility, one upbraiding word, he contrived to impress me momently with the conviction that I was put beyond the pale of his favour.
Not that St. John harboured a spirit of unchristian vindictiveness—not that he would have injured a hair of my head, if it had been fully in his power to do so. Both by nature and principle, he was superior to the mean gratifica-
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Publication information: Book title: Jane Eyre. Contributors: Charlotte Bronte - Author, Edmund Dulac - Illustrator. Publisher: J. M. Dent & Sons. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1922. Page number: 413.
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