I come to a part of my story, touching myself very nearly indeed,
and for which I was quite unprepared when the circumstance occurred. . . .
I have suppressed none of my many weaknesses on that subject, but
have written them as faithfully as my memory has recalled them.
And I hope to do so, and mean to do so, the same down to the last
words of these pages: which I see now, not so very far before me.
This quotation appears in chapter 61,
“A Discovery,” just before Esther finds out that Woodcourt still
loves her. Esther has been a thorough narrator, telling us easily
and vividly about Richard, Ada, Mr. Jarndyce, and a handful of other
characters. However, she is less confident and detailed when discussing
the matters that are most difficult for her to acknowledge to herself,
such as her love for Mr. Woodcourt and the scarring of her face.
On these issues, she is vague at best; when she does give details,
she seems to do so reluctantly. In this quotation, she seems to
brace herself for what’s to come, since it is something very personal
and even painful for her to recall. She makes a resolution: she
will render the events faithfully to the end. She also seems to
give herself a pep talk: her story is nearing an end; there isn’t
far to go; she needs to buckle down and narrate faithfully.