spasm constricted her mouth for an instant: as it passed away she turned and left the room, and did I. Neither of us had dropt a tear.


CHAPTER XXII

Mr. Rochester had given me but one week's leave of absence: yet a month elapsed before I quitted Gateshead. I wished to leave immediately after the funeral; but Georgiana entreated me to stay till she could get off to London: whither she was now at last invited by her uncle, Mr. Gibson; who had come down to direct his sister's interment, and settle the family affairs. Georgiana said she dreaded being left alone with Eliza; from her she got neither sympathy in her dejection, support in her fears, nor aid in her preparations; so I bore with her feebleminded quailings, and selfish lamentations, as well as I could, and did my best in sewing for her and packing her dresses. It is true, that while I worked, she would idle; and I thought to myself, "If you and I were destined to live always together, cousin, we would commence matters on a different footing. I should not settle tamely down into being the forbearing party; I should assign you your share of labour, and compel you to accomplish it, or else it should be left undone: I should insist, also, on your keeping some of those drawling, half-insincere complaints hushed in your own breast. It is only because our connection happens to be very transitory, and comes at a peculiarly mournful season, that I consent thus to render it so patient and compliant on my part."

At last I saw Georgiana off; but now it was Eliza's turn to request me to stay another week. Her plans required all her time and attention, she said: she was about to depart for some unknown bourne; and all day long she stayed in her own room, her door bolted within, filling trunks, emptying drawers, burning papers, and holding no communication with any one. She wished me to look after the house, to see callers, and answer notes of condolence.

One morning, she told me I was at liberty. "And," she added, "I am obliged to you for your valuable services and

-239-

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Jane Eyre
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • A List of the Principal Books on the Brontë Family xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Note to the Third Edition xx
  • Illustrations xxi
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 6
  • Chapter III 12
  • Chapter IV 20
  • Chapter VI 34
  • Chapter VI 46
  • Chapter VII 54
  • Chapter VIII 62
  • Chapter IX 70
  • Chapter X 77
  • Chapter XI 88
  • Chapter XII 103
  • Chapter XIII 113
  • Chapter XIV 124
  • Chapter XV 136
  • Chapter XVI 148
  • Chapter XVII 157
  • Chapter XVIII 177
  • Chapter XIX 192
  • Chapter XX 202
  • Chapter XXI 217
  • Chapter XXII 239
  • Chapter XXIII 246
  • Chapter XXIV 256
  • Chapter XXV 274
  • Chapter XXVI 286
  • Chapter XXVII 296
  • Chapter XXVIII 322
  • Chapter XXIX 339
  • Chapter XXXI 350
  • Chapter XXXI 359
  • Chapter XXXII 367
  • Chapter XXXIII 378
  • Chapter XXXIV 391
  • Chapter XXXV 413
  • Chapter XXXVI 424
  • Chapter XXXVII 433
  • Conclusion 453
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