23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte’s Novel, Jane Eyre

23 Exquisite Quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Novel, "Jane Eyre"

1. “Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without
feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my
drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor,
obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I
have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me
with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to
leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through
the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my
spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the
grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!”
2. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human
being with an independent will.”
3. “I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I
have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to
you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a
solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my
centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure,
powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
4. “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while
your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not
be without friends.”
5. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free
human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
6. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in
pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
7. “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to
eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by
education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
8. “Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May
your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from
mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in
that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument
of evil to what you wholly love.”
9. “I have little left in myself — I must have you. The world
may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very
soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its
10. “All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with
you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence
11. “I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second
self, and best earthly companion.”
12. “I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances
require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward
treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights
should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
13. “I am not an angel,’ I asserted; ‘and I will not be one
till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact
anything celestial of me – for you will not get it, any more than I shall get
it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”
14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free
human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
15. “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing
animosity or registering wrongs.”
16. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more
friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
17. “My future husband was becoming to me my whole world;
and more than the world: almost my hope of heaven. He stood between me and
every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad
sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature: of whom I had made
an idol.”
18. “‘Oh comply!’ it said, ‘Think of his misery, think of
his danger–look at his state when left alone…Who in the world cares for you?
or who will be injured by what you do?’…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…with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count
its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at
this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot!'”
19. “I had found a brother: one I could be proud of,–one
I could love; and two sisters whose qualities were such that, when I knew them
but as mere strangers, they had inspired me with genuine affection and
admiration. The two girls on whom, kneeling down on the wet ground, and looking
through the low, latticed window of Moor House kitchen, I had gazed…were my
near kinswomen, and the young and stately gentleman who had found me almost
dying at his threshold was my blood relation. Glorious discovery to a lonely
wretch! This was wealth indeed!–wealth to the heart!–a mine of pure, genial
affections. This was a blessing…not like the ponderous gift of gold: rich and
welcome enough in its way, but sobering from its weight.”
20. “I felt desolate to a degree. I felt–yes, idiot that
I am–I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of
raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the
ignorance, the poverty, the coarseness of all I heard and saw round me. But let
me not hate and despise myself too much for these feelings: I know them to be
wrong–that is a great step gained; I shall strive to overcome them…In a few
months, it is possible, the happiness of seeing process, and a change for the
better in my scholars, may substitute gratification for disgust.”
21. “Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the
gazer.’ My master’s colorless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and
jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth,–all energy,
decision, will,–were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than
beautiful to me: they were full of an interest, an influence that quite
mastered me,–that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his.
I had not intended to love him: the reader knows I had wrought hard to
extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first
renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me
love him without looking at me.”
22. “Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but
women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field
for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a
restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is
narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought
to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on
the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at
them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced
necessary for their sex.”
23. “It’s
a long way off, sir”
what, Jane?”
England and from Thornfield: and –“
you, sir.”

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