“Mr. Rochester, I will NOT be yours.”
A long silence.
“My darling!” he recommences with a gentleness that breaks you down with grief. “Do you truly mean to go one way in the world, and to let me go another?”
“Oh, this is bitter! This is wicked. It would not be wicked to love me.”
“It would be to obey you.”
A wild look raises his brows, crosses his features. “One instant. Give one glance to my horrible life when you are gone. All happiness will be torn away with you. What then is left? Who can I turn to for a companion, and for some hope?”
Your very conscience and reason turn traitor against you. They speak almost as loudly as feeling and clamor wildly - “think of his misery, look at his state when left alone; soothe him, save him, love him. Who in the world cares for you? Or who will be injured by what you do?”
Indomitable is the reply, “I care for myself. The more solitary and friendless I am, the more I will respect myself. Principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for moments like this when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor.” Ruthlessly you suppress your desires.
“Do as I do; trust in God and yourself. I have always believed in the principles and laws that govern our existence. I cannot forget myself and all the teaching that has ever been instilled in me.”
“Then you snatch love and innocence from me? You fling me back on lust for a passion - vice for an occupation?”
“Mr. Rochester, I no more assign this fate to you than I grasp at it for myself. We were born to strive and endure - you as well as I; we must do so.”
Mr. Rochester’s look now is far harder to resist than his frantic pleas. Anguish mixed with pathos and love are a mute appeal designed to break anyone’s resolve. Yet, you retire to the door.
“You are going?”
“I am going, sir.”
“Withdraw then,” he says sadly, “I consent, but remember you leave me here in anguish. Go to your room and think over all I have said and cast a glance on my sufferings.”
Quitting the room, you whisper “Farewell.” Despair adds “Farewell, forever!”
Go to FORTY-ONE