der crashed, cataract-like as the rain fell during a storm of two hours' duration, I experienced no fear, and little awe. Mr. Rochester came twice to my door in the course of it to ask if I was safe and tranquil: and that was comfort, that was strength for anything.

Before I left my bed in the morning, little Adèle came running in to tell me that the great horse-chestnut at the bottom of the orchard had been struck by lightning in the night, and half of it split away.


CHAPTER XXIV.

A S I rose and dressed I thought over what had happened, and wondered if it were a dream. I could not be certain of the reality till I had seen Mr. Rochester again, and heard him renew his words of love and promise.

While arranging my hair, I looked at my face in the glass, and felt it was no longer plain: there was hope in its aspect, and life in its colour; and my eyes seemed as if they had beheld the fount of fruition, and borrowed beams from the lustrous ripple. I had often been unwilling to look at my master, because I feared he could not be pleased at my look; but I was sure I might lift my face to his now, and not cool his affection by its expression. I took a plain but clean and light summer dress from my drawer and put it on: it seemed no attire had ever so well become me; because none had I ever worn in so blissful a mood.

I was not surprised, when I ran down into the hall, to see that a brilliant June morning had succeeded to the tempest of the night; and to feel, through the open glass door, the breathing of a fresh and fragrant breeze. Nature must be gladsome when I was so happy. A beggar-woman and her little boy -- pale, ragged objects both -- were coming up the walk, and I ran down and gave them all the money I happened to have in my purse -- some three or four shillings: good or bad, they must partake of my jubilee. The rooks cawed, and blither birds sang; but nothing was so merry or so musical as my own rejoicing heart.

Mrs. Fairfax surprised me by looking out of the window,

-273-

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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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