Jane Eyre (Chapter 10, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 10

Miss Temple, through all changes, had thus far continued
superintendent of the seminary: to her instruction I owed the best
part of my acquirements; her friendship and society had been my
continual solace; she had stood me in the stead of mother,
governess, and, latterly, companion. At this period she married,
removed with her husband (a clergyman, an excellent man, almost
worthy of such a wife) to a distant county, and consequently was
lost to me.

From the day she left I was no longer the same: with her was gone
every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in
some degree a home to me. I had imbibed from her something of her
nature and much of her habits: more harmonious thoughts: what
seemed better regulated feelings had become the inmates of my mind.
I had given in allegiance to duty and order; I was quiet; I believed
I was content: to the eyes of others, usually even to my own, I
appeared a disciplined and subdued character.

But destiny, in the shape of the Rev. Mr. Nasmyth, came between me
and Miss Temple: I saw her in her travelling dress step into a
post-chaise, shortly after the marriage ceremony; I watched the
chaise mount the hill and disappear beyond its brow; and then
retired to my own room, and there spent in solitude the greatest
part of the half-holiday granted in honour of the occasion.

I walked about the chamber most of the time. I imagined myself only
to be regretting my loss, and thinking how to repair it; but when my
reflections were concluded, and I looked up and found that the
afternoon was gone, and evening far advanced, another discovery
dawned on me, namely, that in the interval I had undergone a
transforming process; that my mind had put off all it had borrowed
of Miss Temple--or rather that she had taken with her the serene
atmosphere I had been breathing in her vicinity--and that now I was
left in my natural element, and beginning to feel the stirring of
old emotions. It did not seem as if a prop were withdrawn, but
rather as if a motive were gone: it was not the power to be
tranquil which had failed me, but the reason for tranquillity was no
more. My world had for some years been in Lowood: my experience
had been of its rules and systems; now I remembered that the real
world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of
sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go
forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its
perils.

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