Jane Eyre

Jan 27, 2016

Reader, I married him. A quiet wed­ding we had: he and I, the par­son and clerk, were alone pre­sent. When we got back from church, I went into the kitchen of the manor-house, where Mary was cook­ing the din­ner and John clean­ing the knives, and I said — “Mary, I have been mar­ried to Mr. Rochester this morn­ing.” The house­keeper and her hus­band were both of that de­cent phleg­matic order of peo­ple, to whom one may at any time safely com­mu­ni­cate a re­mark­able piece of news with­out in­cur­ring the dan­ger of hav­ing one’s ears pierced by some shrill ejac­u­la­tion, and sub­se­quently stunned by a tor­rent of wordy won­der­ment. Mary did look up, and she did stare at me: the ladle with which she was bast­ing a pair of chick­ens roast­ing at the fire, did for some three min­utes hang sus­pended in air; and for the same space of time John’s knives also had rest from the pol­ish­ing process: but Mary, bend­ing again over the roast, said only— “Have you, Miss? Well, for sure!” A short time after she pur­sued—”I seed you go out with the mas­ter, but I didn’t know you were gone to church to be wed;” and she basted away.

John, when I turned to him, was grin­ning from ear to ear. “I telled Mary how it would be,” he said: “I knew what Mr. Ed­ward” (John was an old ser­vant, and had known his mas­ter when he was the cadet of the house, there­fore, he often gave him his Chris­t­ian name)—”I knew what Mr. Ed­ward would do; and I was cer­tain he would not wait long nei­ther: and he’s done right, for aught I know. I wish you joy, Miss!” and he po­litely pulled his fore­lock. “Thank you, John. Mr. Rochester told me to give you and Mary this.” I put into his hand a five-pound note. With­out wait­ing to hear more, I left the kitchen. In pass­ing the door of that sanc­tum some time after, I caught the words - “She’ll hap­pen do bet­ter for him nor ony o’t’ grand ladies.” And again, “If she ben’t one o’ th’ hand­somest, she’s noan faal and varry good-na­tured; and i’ his een she’s fair beau­ti­ful, ony­body may see that.” I wrote to Moor House and to Cam­bridge im­me­di­ately, to say what I had done: fully ex­plain­ing also why I had thus acted.

Diana and Mary ap­proved the step un­re­servedly. Diana an­nounced that she would just give me time to get over the hon­ey­moon, and then she would come and see me. “She had bet­ter not wait till then, Jane,” said Mr. Rochester, when I read her let­ter to him; “if she does, she will be too late, for our hon­ey­moon will shine our life long: its beams will only fade over your grave or mine.” How St. John re­ceived the news, I don’t know: he never an­swered the let­ter in which I com­mu­ni­cated it: yet six months after he wrote to me, with­out, how­ever, men­tion­ing Mr. Rochester’s name or al­lud­ing to my mar­riage. His let­ter was then calm, and, though very se­ri­ous, kind. He has main­tained a reg­u­lar, though not fre­quent, cor­re­spon­dence ever since: he hopes I am happy, and trusts I am not of those who live with­out God in the world, and only mind earthly things.

You have not quite for­got­ten lit­tle Adele, have you, reader? I had not; I soon asked and ob­tained leave of Mr. Rochester, to go and see her at the school where he had placed her. Her fran­tic joy at be­hold­ing me again moved me much. She looked pale and thin: she said she was not happy.