Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk,
were alone present. When we got back from church, I went into the kitchen of the
manor-house, where Mary was cooking the dinner and John cleaning the knives,
and I said -
"Mary, I have been married to Mr. Rochester this morning." The housekeeper
and her husband were both of that decent phlegmatic order of people, to whom
one may at any time safely communicate a remarkable piece of news without
incurring the danger of having one's ears pierced by some shrill ejaculation, and
subsequently stunned by a torrent of wordy wonderment. Mary did look up, and
she did stare at me: the ladle with which she was basting a pair of chickens
roasting at the fire, did for some three minutes hang suspended in air; and for the
same space of time John's knives also had rest from the polishing process: but
Mary, bending again over the roast, said only --
"Have you, Miss? Well, for sure!"
A short time after she pursued--"I seed you go out with the master, but I didn't
know you were gone to church to be wed;" and she basted away. John, when I
turned to him, was grinning from ear to ear.
"I telled Mary how it would be," he said: "I knew what Mr. Edward" (John was an
old servant, and had known his master when he was the cadet of the house,
therefore, he often gave him his Christian name)--"I knew what Mr. Edward would
do; and I was certain he would not wait long neither: and he's done right, for
aught I know. I wish you joy, Miss!" and he politely pulled his forelock.
"Thank you, John. Mr. Rochester told me to give you and Mary this." I put into his
hand a five-pound note. Without waiting to hear more, I left the kitchen. In
passing the door of that sanctum some time after, I caught the words -
"She'll happen do better for him nor ony o't' grand ladies." And again, "If she ben't
one o' th' handsomest, she's noan faal and varry good-natured; and i' his een
she's fair beautiful, onybody may see that."
I wrote to Moor House and to Cambridge immediately, to say what I had done:
fully explaining also why I had thus acted. Diana and Mary approved the step
unreservedly. Diana announced that she would just give me time to get over the
honeymoon, and then she would come and see me.
"She had better not wait till then, Jane," said Mr. Rochester, when I read her
letter to him; "if she does, she will be too late, for our honeymoon will shine our
life long: its beams will only fade over your grave or mine."
How St. John received the news, I don't know: he never answered the letter in
which I communicated it: yet six months after he wrote to me, without, however,
mentioning Mr. Rochester's name or alluding to my marriage. His letter was then
calm, and, though very serious, kind. He has maintained a regular, though not
frequent, correspondence ever since: he hopes I am happy, and trusts I am not
of those who live without God in the world, and only mind earthly things.
You have not quite forgotten little Adele, have you, reader? I had not; I soon
asked and obtained leave of Mr. Rochester, to go and see her at the school