Later that day, I received a letter which greatly surprised me. Mrs Reed,
my aunt, was dying, and she wanted me to go and visit her. I set off at
once on a long journey to her home.
When I got there, I was told that my cousin John had died. My aunt was
very ill. At first she could not speak to me. But one day, as I was sitting by
her bed, she showed me a letter. It was from my father's brother, who lived
in Madeira. This is what it said.
Dear Mrs Reed,
I am looking for my brother's daughter, Jane Eyre. I am now a rich man,
and I have no children of my own. I want Jane Eyre to live with me. Can
you help me to find my niece?
I looked at the date on the letter. 'But Mrs Reed,' I said, 'this letter was sent
three years ago. Why didn't you tell me about it before?'
'I never liked you, Jane Eyre,' my aunt replied. 'I wrote a letter to your
uncle, and I told him that you were dead. I told him you died at Lowood
School. Now go away and leave me.'
A few days afterwards, Mrs Reed died. I felt sad that she had disliked me
until her death, and I felt glad to leave her house and return to Thornfield
It was summer, and the fields around Thornfield were very green and full
of flowers. For me, it was the most beautiful place in the world, because it
was now my home.
'I know that Adele will be pleased to see me,' I thought. 'But what about
Mr Rochester? I want to see him so much, but how does he feel about me?
Perhaps he is already married to Blanche Ingram? What if they are going to
marry soon? What will I do?' I felt unhappy when I thought about Mr
Rochester and Blanche Ingram. 'I can't stay here when they are married,'
I thought. 'I must leave this house, which I love, and I will never see Mr
When I came near the house, I saw Mr Rochester. He was pleased to see
me, and so were Mrs Fairfax and Adele. I really felt that I had come back
One evening, a few weeks afterwards, I went for a walk in the garden after
I had finished teaching Adele. Mr Rochester saw me there. 'Come and talk to
me, Jane,' he said.
'He's going to tell me that he is going to marry Blanche Ingram,' I thought.
'Are you happy here, Jane?' he asked.
'Yes, Mr Rochester, I am very happy,' I replied.
'You'll be sad to leave here,' he said.
I could not look at him. 'He is going to tell me that I must leave because
he's getting married,' I thought.
'Yes, I will be very sad to leave,' I said.
'But you must leave, Jane,' Mr Rochester said.
'Must I?' I asked. 'Will it be soon?' '
Yes, it will be soon,' He said.
'Is it because you are going to get married?' I asked.
'Yes, Jane, I am going to get married. Adele must go to school, and you
must find a new job. I will help you. It will be far from here, though, my
'Then I shall never see you again?' I cried.
'You'll soon forget me when you are far away,' he answered.
'But I will never forget you,' I thought. 'You may forget me, when I am not
here, but I will never forget you, Mr Rochester.'
I could hardly speak. Tears were in my eyes, and all that I could say was,
He looked at me for a long time, and then, at last, he spoke. 'Perhaps you
don't need to go,' he said. 'Perhaps you can stay here when I am married.'
I felt angry now. Did this man think I was made of stone? Did he not
know how I felt? Did he even care how much his words hurt me?
'I could never stay,' I told him. 'When Miss Ingram is your wife, I must go.
I know that I am not rich and beautiful like her. I am poor and unimportant.
But I still feel sadness. If you marry Miss Ingram, I must leave here.'
I was surprised when Mr Rochester smiled. 'But I don't want you to go,
Jane,' he said. 'I am not going to marry Miss Ingram. Please stay here with
me, because it's you I want to marry.'
I heard what he said but I could not believe it. 'You are laughing at me,' I
said. 'How can you be so cruel?'
'I am not laughing at you, Jane,' he answered. 'It is you I want to marry,
and not Miss Ingram. Jane, will you marry me?'
He looked at me so tenderly that I had to believe him. Mr Rochester
really did want to marry me! He wanted me, Jane Eyre, to be his wife!
'Yes,' I said quietly, 'I will marry you.'
'We will be happy, Jane. No one is going to stop us,' he told me, with a
strange look in his eyes, which I did not quite understand. But I was too
happy at that moment to think about it for long.
It began to get dark. The weather changed, and a strong wind started to
blow. Rain started to fall as we walked back to the house together.