Jane Eyre HTML version

Chapter 26
Sophie came at seven to dress me: she was very long indeed in accomplishing
her task; so long that Mr. Rochester, grown, I suppose, impatient of my delay,
sent up to ask why I did not come. She was just fastening my veil (the plain
square of blond after all) to my hair with a brooch; I hurried from under her hands
as soon as I could.
"Stop!" she cried in French. "Look at yourself in the mirror: you have not taken
one peep."
So I turned at the door: I saw a robed and veiled figure, so unlike my usual self
that it seemed almost the image of a stranger. "Jane!" called a voice, and I
hastened down. I was received at the foot of the stairs by Mr. Rochester.
"Lingerer!" he said, "my brain is on fire with impatience, and you tarry so long!"
He took me into the dining-room, surveyed me keenly all over, pronounced me
"fair as a lily, and not only the pride of his life, but the desire of his eyes," and
then telling me he would give me but ten minutes to eat some breakfast, he rang
the bell. One of his lately hired servants, a footman, answered it.
"Is John getting the carriage ready?"
"Yes, sir."
"Is the luggage brought down?"
"They are bringing it down, sir."
"Go you to the church: see if Mr. Wood (the clergyman) and the clerk are there:
return and tell me."
The church, as the reader knows, was but just beyond the gates; the footman
soon returned.
"Mr. Wood is in the vestry, sir, putting on his surplice."
"And the carriage?"
"The horses are harnessing."
"We shall not want it to go to church; but it must be ready the moment we return:
all the boxes and luggage arranged and strapped on, and the coachman in his
"Yes, sir."
"Jane, are you ready?"
I rose. There were no groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no relatives to wait for or
marshal: none but Mr. Rochester and I. Mrs. Fairfax stood in the hall as we
passed. I would fain have spoken to her, but my hand was held by a grasp of
iron: I was hurried along by a stride I could hardly follow; and to look at Mr.
Rochester's face was to feel that not a second of delay would be tolerated for any
purpose. I wonder what other bridegroom ever looked as he did--so bent up to a
purpose, so grimly resolute: or who, under such steadfast brows, ever revealed
such flaming and flashing eyes.
I know not whether the day was fair or foul; in descending the drive, I gazed
neither on sky nor earth: my heart was with my eyes; and both seemed migrated
into Mr. Rochester's frame. I wanted to see the invisible thing on which, as we