‘Jane Eyre’: Passion

 Quotes

“Did ever anybody see such a picture of passion!”

“but if you become passionate and rude, Missis will send you away, I am sure.”

“Silence!  This violence is all most repulsive:” and so, no doubt, she felt it.  I was a precocious actress in her eyes; she sincerely looked on me as a compound of virulent passions, mean spirit, and dangerous duplicity.

“Sitting on a low stool, a few yards from her arm-chair, I examined her figure; I perused her features.  In my hand I held the tract containing the sudden death of the Liar, to which narrative my attention had been pointed as to an appropriate warning.  What had just passed; what Mrs. Reed had said concerning me to Mr. Brocklehurst; the whole tenor of their conversation, was recent, raw, and stinging in my mind; I had felt every word as acutely as I had heard it plainly, and a passion of resentment fomented now within me.”

“But you are passionate, Jane, that you must allow: and now return to the nursery—there’s a dear—and lie down a little.”

“Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited?”

“I regained my couch, but never thought of sleep.  Till morning dawned I was tossed on a buoyant but unquiet sea, where billows of trouble rolled under surges of joy.  I thought sometimes I saw beyond its wild waters a shore, sweet as the hills of Beulah; and now and then a freshening gale, wakened by hope, bore my spirit triumphantly towards the bourne: but I could not reach it, even in fancy—a counteracting breeze blew off land, and continually drove me back.  Sense would resist delirium: judgment would warn passion.  Too feverish to rest, I rose as soon as day dawned.”

“I see no enemy to a fortunate issue but in the brow; and that brow professes to say,—‘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.’  The forehead declares, ‘Reason sits firm and holds the reins, and she will not let the feelings burst away and hurry her to wild chasms.  The passions may rage furiously, like true heathens, as they are; and the desires may imagine all sorts of vain things: but judgment shall still have the last word in every argument, and the casting vote in every decision.  Strong wind, earthquake-shock, and fire may pass by: but I shall follow the guiding of that still small voice which interprets the dictates of conscience.’

“Forgive me for my passionate language: I was a child then; eight, nine years have passed since that day.”

“I tell you I must go!” I retorted, roused to something like passion.  “Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you?  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!”

“This prediction was but half fulfilled: I did not indeed dream of sorrow, but as little did I dream of joy; for I never slept at all.  With little Adèle in my arms, I watched the slumber of childhood—so tranquil, so passionless, so innocent—and waited for the coming day: all my life was awake and astir in my frame: and as soon as the sun rose I rose too.” (end ch 15)

“You see now how the case stands—do you not?” he continued.  “After a youth and manhood passed half in unutterable misery and half in dreary solitude, 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, wraps my existence about you, and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

‘“Then you condemn me to live wretched and to die accursed?”  His voice rose.’
‘“I advise you to live sinless, and I wish you to die tranquil.”’
‘“Then you snatch love and innocence from me?  You fling me back on lust for a passion—vice for an occupation?”’

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