The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4

By Charlotte Brontë | Go to book overview

the pensionnat. Myself and my chattels (some books and clothes) were soon transferred to a modest lodging I had hired in a street not far off. In half an hour my clothes were arranged in a commode, my books on a shelf, and the "flitting" was effected. I should not have been unhappy that day had not one pang tortured me--a longing to go to the Rue Notre Dame aux Neiges, resisted, yet irritated by an inward resolve to avoid that street till such time as the mist of doubt should clear from my prospects.

It was a sweet September evening--very mild, very still; I had nothing to do; at that hour I knew Frances would be equally released from occupation; I thought she might possibly be wishing for her master--I knew I wished for my pupil. Imagination began with her low whispers, infusing into my soul the soft tale of pleasures that might be.

"You will find her reading or writing," said she; "you can take your seat at her side; you need not startle her peace by undue excitement; you need not embarrass her manner by unusual action or language. Be as you always are; look over what she has written; listen while she reads; chide her, or quietly approve; you know the effect of either system; you know her smile when pleased, you know the play of her looks when roused; you have the secret of awakening what expression you will, and you can choose amongst that pleasant variety. With you she will sit silent as long as it suits you to talk alone. You can hold her under a potent spell; intelligent as she is, eloquent as she can be, you can seal her lips, and veil her bright countenance with diffidence; yet, you know, she is not all monotonous mildness; you have seen with a sort of strange pleasure, revolt, scorn, austerity, bitterness, lay energetic claim to a place in her feelings and physiognomy; you know that few can rule her as you do; you know she might break, but never bend under the hand of tyranny and injustice, but reason and affection can guide her by a sign. Try their influence now. Go--they are not passions; you may handle them safely."

"I will not go," was my answer to the sweet temptress. "A man is master of himself to a certain point, but not beyond it. Could I seek Frances to-night, could I sit with her alone in a

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The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contents iii
  • Preface vii
  • The Professor. 10
  • Chapter III 18
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 39
  • Chapter VIII 64
  • Chapter XI 83
  • Chapter XIII 102
  • Chapter XV 113
  • Chapter XVI 118
  • Chapter XVIII 132
  • Chapter XIX 143
  • Chapter XX 162
  • Chapter XXII 171
  • Chapter XXIII 178
  • Chapter XXV 218
  • Chapter II 245
  • Poems. 261
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