Jane Eyre (Chapter 3, page 4 of 12)

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Chapter 3

Bessie had been down into the kitchen, and she brought up with her a
tart on a certain brightly painted china plate, whose bird of
paradise, nestling in a wreath of convolvuli and rosebuds, had been
wont to stir in me a most enthusiastic sense of admiration; and
which plate I had often petitioned to be allowed to take in my hand
in order to examine it more closely, but had always hitherto been
deemed unworthy of such a privilege. This precious vessel was now
placed on my knee, and I was cordially invited to eat the circlet of
delicate pastry upon it. Vain favour! coming, like most other
favours long deferred and often wished for, too late! I could not
eat the tart; and the plumage of the bird, the tints of the flowers,
seemed strangely faded: I put both plate and tart away. Bessie
asked if I would have a book: the word BOOK acted as a transient
stimulus, and I begged her to fetch Gulliver's Travels from the
library. This book I had again and again perused with delight. I
considered it a narrative of facts, and discovered in it a vein of
interest deeper than what I found in fairy tales: for as to the
elves, having sought them in vain among foxglove leaves and bells,
under mushrooms and beneath the ground-ivy mantling old wall-nooks,
I had at length made up my mind to the sad truth, that they were all
gone out of England to some savage country where the woods were
wilder and thicker, and the population more scant; whereas, Lilliput
and Brobdignag being, in my creed, solid parts of the earth's
surface, I doubted not that I might one day, by taking a long
voyage, see with my own eyes the little fields, houses, and trees,
the diminutive people, the tiny cows, sheep, and birds of the one
realm; and the corn-fields forest-high, the mighty mastiffs, the
monster cats, the tower-like men and women, of the other. Yet, when
this cherished volume was now placed in my hand--when I turned over
its leaves, and sought in its marvellous pictures the charm I had,
till now, never failed to find--all was eerie and dreary; the giants
were gaunt goblins, the pigmies malevolent and fearful imps,
Gulliver a most desolate wanderer in most dread and dangerous
regions. I closed the book, which I dared no longer peruse, and put
it on the table, beside the untasted tart.

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