Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Favorite Passage From Jane Eyre

The wedding has been called off, and Mr. Rochester begs Jane to go with him abroad away from Thornfield to live as husband and wife (although she would only be his mistress), and Jane says of her thoughts:
             …and while he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me, and charged me with crime in resisting him.  They spoke almost as loud as Feeling:  and that clamoured wildly.  “Oh, comply!” it said when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair – soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his.  Who in the world cares for you? Or who will be injured by what you do?

Did not a part of you want this, too, for Jane?  But then reason and righteousness resounded:
             Still indomitable was the reply – “I care for myself.  The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.  I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man.  I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad – as I am now.  Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be.
Did you ever want to yield to your emotions because it was what you desired, when you knew better to follow a path of virtue that is honorable and right in God’s eyes?  How difficult it is to walk in His law, but how good it is to have courage to flee temptation. 

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