Blogalogue

Compact little essays from a stay-at-home tourist.

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Melodramatic Moments (painting Jane Eyre)

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CH. 18 –  “Amidst this sordid scene, sat a man with his clenched hands resting on his knees, and his eyes bent on the ground. I knew Mr. Rochester; though the begrimed face, the disordered dress (his coat hanging loose from one arm, as if it had been almost torn from his back in a scuffle), the desperate and scowling countenance, the rough, bristling hair might well have disguised him.  As he moved, a chain clanked; to his wrists were attached fetters. / “’Bridewell!’ exclaimed Colonel Dent, and the charade was solved.”

 

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Ch. 15 – “Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire.  In the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep. / “’Wake! wake!’ I cried. I shook him, but he only murmured and turned: the smoke had stupefied him.”

 

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Ch. 20 – “An easy-chair was near the bed-head: a man sat in it, dressed with the exception of his coat; he was still; his head leant back; his eyes were closed.  Mr. Rochester held the candle over him; I recognised in his pale and seemingly lifeless face—the stranger, Mason: I saw too that his linen on one side, and one arm, was almost soaked in blood.”

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Ch. 25 – “I faced the wreck of the chestnut-tree; it stood up black and riven: the trunk, split down the centre, gasped ghastly.  The cloven halves were not broken from each other, for the firm base and strong roots kept them unsundered below; though community of vitality was destroyed—the sap could flow no more: their great boughs on each side were dead, and next winter’s tempests would be sure to fell one or both to earth: as yet, however, they might be said to form one tree—a ruin, but an entire ruin…. As I looked up at them, the moon appeared momentarily in that part of the sky which filled their fissure; her disk was blood-red and half overcast; she seemed to throw on me one bewildered, dreary glance, and buried herself again instantly in the deep drift of cloud.”

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Ch. 26
…the lunatic sprang and grappled his throat viciously, and laid her teeth to his cheek: they struggled. She was a big woman, in stature almost equalling her husband, and corpulent besides: she showed virile force in the contest—more than once she almost throttled him, athletic as he was. He could have settled her with a well-planted blow; but he would not strike: he would only wrestle. At last he mastered her arms; Grace Poole gave him a cord, and he pinioned them behind her: with more rope, which was at hand, he bound her to a chair. The operation was performed amidst the fiercest yells and the most convulsive plunges. Mr. Rochester then turned to the spectators: he looked at them with a smile both acrid and desolate.
“That is my wife,” said he.

Categories: Jane Eyre

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