A scene for 2 characters from the book "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bront

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About this Monologue

  • Characters: Jane Eyre Edward Rochester
  • Scene type / Who are: Lovers, Friends
  • Type: Serio-comic
  • Year: 1847
  • Period: 19th Century
  • Genre: Romance, Drama
  • Description: Jane meets Rochester again
  • Location: Chapter XXXVII

Summary

Jane Eyre is about several episodes in the life of a small, plain-looking English orphan as she grows up with her abusive aunt and cousins, her harsh life at Lowood school where she is later sent, her life at Thornfield Manor years later where she falls in love with her employer Rochester, her time at Marsh's End with the Rivers family where a clergyman proposes to her and finally her reunion and marriage with Rochester.

Jane goes to Thornfield Manor to teach a young French girl, Adele Varens, who is Edward Rochester's ward. Jane falls in love with Rochester who eventually proposes to her. Before they get married, ...

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Excerpt

Jane Eyre walks in Edward Rochester's room. She is carrying a tray with a glass of water on it. Edward Rochester is blind and crippled. He is sitting on a chair. Jane sets the tray on a table. Rochester sits down. He sighs.

ROCHESTER: "Give me the water, Mary. (pause) This is you, Mary, is it not?

JANE: "Mary is in the kitchen"

Rochester puts out his hand with a quick gesture but can't see where Jane is.

ROCHESTER: "Who is this? Who is this? (He tries to see around him) Answer me - speak again!"

JANE: "Will you have a little more water, sir? I spilled half of what was in the glass."

ROCHESTER: "Who is it? What is it? Who speaks?"

JANE: "Pilot knows me, and John and Mary know I am here. I came only this evening."

ROCHESTER: “Great God!—what delusion has come over me? What sweet madness has seized me?”

JANE: “No delusion—no madness: your mind, sir, is too strong for delusion, your health too sound for frenzy.”

ROCHESTER: “And where is the speaker? Is it only a voice? Oh! I can not see, but I must feel, or my heart will stop and my brain burst. Whatever—whoever you are—be perceptible to the touch, or I can not live!”

He tries to grope. Jane holds his hand.

ROCHESTER: "Her very fingers! Her small, slight fingers! If so, there must be more of her."

Rochester touches her arm, shoulder, neck, waist.

ROCHESTER: "Is it Jane? What is it? This is her shape - this is her size -"

JANE: "And this her voice. She is all here: her heart too. God bless you, sir! I am glad to be so near you again."

ROCHESTER: "Jane Eyre! - Jane Eyre!"

JANE: "My dear master, I am Jane Eyre: I have found you out -- I am come back to you."

ROCHESTER: "In the truth? -- in the flesh? My living Jane?"

JANE: "You touch me, sir -- you hold me, and fast enough: I am not cold like a corpse, nor vacant like air, am I?"

ROCHESTER: “My living darling! These are certainly her limbs, and these her features; but I can not be so blessed, after all my misery. It is a dream; such dreams as I have had at night when I have clasped her once more to my heart, as I do now; and kissed her, as thus—and felt that she loved me, and trusted that she would not leave me.”

JANE: “Which I never will, sir, from this day.”

ROCHESTER: “Never will, says the vision? But I always woke and found it an empty mockery; and I was desolate and abandoned—my life dark, lonely, hopeless—my soul athirst, and forbidden to drink—my heart famished, and never to be fed. Gentle, soft dream, nestling in my arms now, you will fly, too, as your sisters have all fled before you: but kiss me before you go—embrace me, Jane.”

JANE: “There, sir—and there!”’

Jane kisses him.

ROCHESTER: “It is you—is it, Jane? You are come back to me then?”

JANE: “I am.”

ROCHESTER: “And you do not lie dead in some ditch under some stream? And you are not a pining outcast among strangers?”

JANE: “No, sir; I am an independent woman now.”

ROCHESTER: “Independent! What do you mean, Jane?”

JANE: “My uncle in Madeira is dead, and he left me five thousand pounds.”

ROCHESTER: “Ah! this is practical—this is real! I should never dream that. Besides, there is that peculiar voice of hers, so animating and piquant, as well as soft: it cheers my withered heart; it puts life into it.—What, Janet! Are you an independent woman? A rich woman?”

JANE: “Quite rich, sir. If you won't let me live with you, I can build a house of my own close up to your door, and you may come and sit in my parlor when you want company of an evening.”

ROCHESTER: “But as you are rich, Jane, you have now, no doubt, friends who will look after you, and not suffer you to devote yourself to a blind lamenter like me?”

JANE: “I told you I am independent, sir, as well as rich: I am my own mistress.”

ROCHESTER: “And you will stay with me?”

JANE: “Certainly—unless you object. I will be your neighbor, your nurse, your housekeeper. I find you lonely: I will be your companion—to read to you, to walk with you, to sit with you, to wait on you, to be eyes and hands to you. Cease to look so melancholy, my dear master; you shall not be left desolate so long as I live.”

Rochester pauses. He sighs. He doesn't answer. After a few moments, Jane tries to stand up to go but Rochester grabs her arm.

ROCHESTER: “No, no, Jane; you must not go. No—I have touched you, heard you, felt the comfort of your presence—the sweetness of your consolation: I can not give up these joys. I have little left in myself—I must have you. The world may laugh—may call me absurd, selfish—but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied: or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”

JANE: “Well, sir, I will stay with you: I have said so.”

ROCHESTER: “Yes—but you understand one thing by staying with me; and I understand another. You, perhaps, could make up your mind to be about my hand and chair—to wait on me as a kind little nurse (for you have an affectionate heart and a generous spirit, which prompt you to make sacrifices for those you pity), and that ought to suffice for me, no doubt. I suppose I should not entertain none but fatherly feelings for you: do you think so? Come—tell me.”

JANE: “I will think what you like, sir: I am content to be only your nurse, if you think it better.”

ROCHESTER: “But you can not always be my nurse, Janet; you are young—you must marry one day.”

JANE: “I don't care about being married.”

ROCHESTER: “You should care, Janet: if I were what I once was, I would try to make you care, but—a sightless block!”

JANE: “It is time some one undertook to rehumanize you, for I see you are being metamorphosed into a lion, or something of that sort. You have a ‘faux air’ of Nebuchadnezzar in the fields about you, that is certain: your hair reminds me of eagles’ feathers; whether your nails are grown like birds claws or not, I have not yet noticed.”

ROCHESTER: “On this arm, I have neither hand nor nails. It is a mere stump--a ghastly sight! Don't you think so, Jane?”

JANE: “It is a pity to see it; and a pity to see your eyes—and the scar of fire on your forehead: and the worst of it is, one is in danger of loving you too well for all this, and making too much of you.”

ROCHESTER: “I thought you would be revolted, Jane, when you saw my arm, and my cicatrized visage.”

JANE: “Did you? Don't tell me so, least I should say something disparaging to your judgment. Now, let me leave you an instant, to make a better fire, and have the hearth swept up. Can you tell when there is a good fire?”

ROCHESTER: “Yes: with the right eye I see a glow—a ruddy haze.”

JANE: “And you see the candles?”

ROCHESTER: “Very dimly—each is a luminous cloud.”

JANE: “Can you see me?”

ROCHESTER: “No, my fairy: but I am only too thankful to hear and feel you.”

JANE: “When do you take supper?”

ROCHESTER: “I never take supper.”

JANE: “But you shall have some to-night. I am hungry: so are you, I dare say, only you forget.”

ROCHESTER: “You are altogether a human being, Jane? You are certain of that?”

JANE: “I conscientiously believe so, Mr. Rochester.”

ROCHESTER: “Yet how, on this dark and doleful evening, could you so suddenly rise on my lone hearth? I stretched my hand to take a glass of water from a hireling, and it was given me by you: I asked a question, expecting John's wife to answer me, and your voice spoke at my ear.”

JANE: “Because I had come in, in Mary's stead, with the tray.”

ROCHESTER: “And there is enchantment in the very hour I am now spending with you. Who can tell what a dark, dreary, hopeless life I have dragged on for months past? Doing nothing, expecting nothing; merging night in day; feeling but the sensation of cold when I let the fire go out, of hunger when I forgot to eat: and then a ceaseless sorrow, and, at times, a very delirium of desire to behold my Jane again. Yes: for her restoration I longed, far more than for that of my lost sight. How can it be that Jane is with me, and says she loves me? Will she not depart as suddenly as she came? To-morrow, I fear, I shall find her no more. (pause) Where is the use of doing me good in any way, beneficent spirit, when, at some fatal moment, you will again desert me—passing like a shadow, whither and how, to me unknown: and for me, remaining afterward undiscoverable?

JANE: “Have you a pocket-comb about you, sir?”

ROCHESTER: “What for, Jane?”

JANE: “Just to comb out this shaggy black mane. I find you rather alarming, when I examine you close at hand. You talk of my being a fairy; but I am sure you are more like a brownie.”

ROCHESTER: “Am I hideous, Jane?”

JANE: “Very, sir; you always were, you know.”

ROCHESTER: “Humph! The wickedness has not been taken out of you, wherever you have sojourned.”

JANE: “Yet I have been with good people; far better than you: a hundred times better people: possessed of ideas and views you never entertained in your life: quite more refined and exalted.”

ROCHESTER: “Who the deuce have you been with?”

JANE: “If you twist in that way you will make me pull the hair out of your head; and then I think you will cease to entertain doubts of my substantiality.”

ROCHESTER: “Who have you been with, Jane?”

JANE: “You shall not get it out of me to-night, sir; you must wait till to-morrow; to leave my tale half told, will, you know, be a sort of security that I shall appear at your breakfast table to finish it. By-the-by, I must mind not to rise on your hearth with only a glass of water, then: I must bring an egg at the least, to say nothing of fried ham.”

ROCHESTER: “You mocking changeling—fairy born and human bred! You make me feel as I have not felt these twelve months. If Saul could have had you for his David, the evil spirit would have been exorcised without the aid of the harp.”

JANE: "There, sit, you are redd up and made decent. Now I'll leave you: I have been traveling these last three days, and I believe I am tired. Good night.”

Jane stands up and leaves.

ROCHESTER: “Just one word, Jane; were there only ladies in the house where you have been?”

Jane laughs and exits the room.



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