Jane Eyre (Chapter 12, page 1 of 10)

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Chapter 12

The promise of a smooth career, which my first calm introduction to
Thornfield Hall seemed to pledge, was not belied on a longer
acquaintance with the place and its inmates. Mrs. Fairfax turned
out to be what she appeared, a placid-tempered, kind-natured woman,
of competent education and average intelligence. My pupil was a
lively child, who had been spoilt and indulged, and therefore was
sometimes wayward; but as she was committed entirely to my care, and
no injudicious interference from any quarter ever thwarted my plans
for her improvement, she soon forgot her little freaks, and became
obedient and teachable. She had no great talents, no marked traits
of character, no peculiar development of feeling or taste which
raised her one inch above the ordinary level of childhood; but
neither had she any deficiency or vice which sunk her below it. She
made reasonable progress, entertained for me a vivacious, though
perhaps not very profound, affection; and by her simplicity, gay
prattle, and efforts to please, inspired me, in return, with a
degree of attachment sufficient to make us both content in each
other's society.

This, par parenthese, will be thought cool language by persons who
entertain solemn doctrines about the angelic nature of children, and
the duty of those charged with their education to conceive for them
an idolatrous devotion: but I am not writing to flatter parental
egotism, to echo cant, or prop up humbug; I am merely telling the
truth. I felt a conscientious solicitude for Adele's welfare and
progress, and a quiet liking for her little self: just as I
cherished towards Mrs. Fairfax a thankfulness for her kindness, and
a pleasure in her society proportionate to the tranquil regard she
had for me, and the moderation of her mind and character.

Anybody may blame me who likes, when I add further, that, now and
then, when I took a walk by myself in the grounds; when I went down
to the gates and looked through them along the road; or when, while
Adele played with her nurse, and Mrs. Fairfax made jellies in the
storeroom, I climbed the three staircases, raised the trap-door of
the attic, and having reached the leads, looked out afar over
sequestered field and hill, and along dim sky-line--that then I
longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which
might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard
of but never seen--that then I desired more of practical experience
than I possessed; more of intercourse with my kind, of acquaintance
with variety of character, than was here within my reach. I valued
what was good in Mrs. Fairfax, and what was good in Adele; but I
believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness,
and what I believed in I wished to behold.

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