Our progress was leisurely, and gave me ample time to reflect; I was content to be at length so near the end of my journey; and as I leaned back in the comfortable though not elegant conveyance, I meditated much at my ease.
I resolved, in the depth of my heart, that I would be most moderate — most correct; and, having reflected a few minutes in order to arrange coherently what I had to say, I told her all the story of my sad childhood.
I like Thornfield, its antiquity, its retirement, its old crow-trees and thorn-trees, its grey facade, and lines of dark windows reflecting that metal welkin: and yet how long have I abhorred the very thought of it, shunned it like a great plague-house?
I reflected, and thought, on the whole, I had.
"I can keep you in reasonable check now," I reflected; "and I don’t doubt to be able to do it hereafter: if one expedient loses its virtue, another must be devised."
"Oh, my best! oh, my dearest! pause — reflect!" was her mama’s cry; but she swept past her in stately silence, passed through the door which Colonel Dent held open, and we heard her enter the library.
I reflected, and in truth it appeared to me the only possible one: satisfied I was not, but to please him I endeavoured to appear so — relieved, I certainly did feel; so I answered him with a contented smile.
And, with a strange pang, I now reflected that, long as I had been shut up here, no message had been sent to ask how I was, or to invite me to come down: not even little Adele had tapped at the door; not even Mrs. Fairfax had sought me.
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I could see clearly a room with a sanded floor, clean scoured; a dresser of walnut, with pewter plates ranged in rows, reflecting the redness and radiance of a glowing peat-fire.
"Well, I would rather die yonder than in a street or on a frequented road," I reflected.
"Well," I reflected, "if you won’t talk, you may be still; I’ll let you alone now, and return to my book."
"Do let me speak," I said; "let me have one moment to draw breath and reflect."
I thank Providence, who watched over you, that she then spent her fury on your wedding apparel, which perhaps brought back vague reminiscences of her own bridal days: but on what might have happened, I cannot endure to reflect.
Again I reflected: I scarcely knew what school was: Bessie sometimes spoke of it as a place where young ladies sat in the stocks, wore backboards, and were expected to be exceedingly genteel and precise: John Reed hated his school, and abused his master; but John Reed’s tastes were no rule for mine, and if Bessie’s accounts of school-discipline (gathered from the young ladies of a family where she had lived before coming to Gateshead) were somewhat appalling, her details of certain…
"Yet," I reflected, "she has been young once; her youth would be contemporary with her master’s: Mrs. Fairfax told me once, she had lived here many years.
"This parlour is not his sphere," I reflected: "the Himalayan ridge or Caffre bush, even the plague-cursed Guinea Coast swamp would suit him better.