When I heard this I was beginning to feel a strange chill and failing at the heart. I was actually permitting myself to experience a sickening sense of disappointment; but rallying my wits, and recollecting my principles, I at once called my sensations to order; and it was wonderful how I got over the temporary blunder—how I cleared up the mistake of supposing Mr. Rochester’s movements a matter in which I had any cause to take a vital interest.
And did I now think Miss Ingram such a choice as Mr. Rochester would be likely to make?…If he liked the majestic, she was the very type of majesty; then she was so accomplished, sprightly. Most gentlemen would admire her, I thought; and that he I did admire her, I already seemed to have obtained proof; to remove the last shade of doubt, it remained but to see them together.
Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy; she was too inferior to excite the feeling…She was very showy, but she was not genuine. She had a fine person, many brilliant attainments; but her mind was poor, her heart barren by nature…She was not good, she was not original…Tenderness and truth were not in her…Other eyes besides mine watched these manifestations of character…Yes, the future bride-groom, Mr. Rochester himself, exercised over his intended a ceaseless surveillance; and it was from this sagacity…this obvious absence of passion in his sentiments toward her, that my ever-torturing pain arose.
“When will he come?” I cried inwardly, as the night lingered and lingered—as my bleeding patient drooped, moaned, sickened; and neither day nor aid arrived…The candle, wasted at last, went out; as it expired, I perceived streaks of gray light edging the window-curtains; dawn was then approaching…in five minutes more the grating key, the yielding lock warned me my watch was relieved. It could not have lasted more than two hours; many a week has seemed shorter. Mr. Rochester entered.
She heeded nothing of what I said…she went on thus:--“I tell you I could not forget it, and I took my revenge; for you to be adopted by your uncle, and placed in a state of ease and comfort, was what I could not endure. I wrote to him; I said I was sorry for his disappointment, but Jane Eyre was dead…You were born, I think, to be my torment; my last hour is racked by the recollection of a deed which, but for you, I should never have been tempted to commit.”