Jane Eyre (Chapter 5, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 5

Five o'clock had hardly struck on the morning of the 19th of
January, when Bessie brought a candle into my closet and found me
already up and nearly dressed. I had risen half-an-hour before her
entrance, and had washed my face, and put on my clothes by the light
of a half-moon just setting, whose rays streamed through the narrow
window near my crib. I was to leave Gateshead that day by a coach
which passed the lodge gates at six a.m. Bessie was the only person
yet risen; she had lit a fire in the nursery, where she now
proceeded to make my breakfast. Few children can eat when excited
with the thoughts of a journey; nor could I. Bessie, having pressed
me in vain to take a few spoonfuls of the boiled milk and bread she
had prepared for me, wrapped up some biscuits in a paper and put
them into my bag; then she helped me on with my pelisse and bonnet,
and wrapping herself in a shawl, she and I left the nursery. As we
passed Mrs. Reed's bedroom, she said, "Will you go in and bid Missis

"No, Bessie: she came to my crib last night when you were gone down
to supper, and said I need not disturb her in the morning, or my
cousins either; and she told me to remember that she had always been
my best friend, and to speak of her and be grateful to her

"What did you say, Miss?"

"Nothing: I covered my face with the bedclothes, and turned from
her to the wall."

"That was wrong, Miss Jane."

"It was quite right, Bessie. Your Missis has not been my friend:
she has been my foe."

"O Miss Jane! don't say so!"

"Good-bye to Gateshead!" cried I, as we passed through the hall and
went out at the front door.

The moon was set, and it was very dark; Bessie carried a lantern,
whose light glanced on wet steps and gravel road sodden by a recent
thaw. Raw and chill was the winter morning: my teeth chattered as
I hastened down the drive. There was a light in the porter's lodge:
when we reached it, we found the porter's wife just kindling her
fire: my trunk, which had been carried down the evening before,
stood corded at the door. It wanted but a few minutes of six, and
shortly after that hour had struck, the distant roll of wheels
announced the coming coach; I went to the door and watched its lamps
approach rapidly through the gloom.

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