"Now, Jane, why don't you say 'Well, sir?' I have not done.
You are looking grave. You disapprove of me still, I see.
But let me come to the point.
Last January, rid of all mistresses -- in a harsh, bitter frame of mind, the result of a useless, roving, lonely life
corroded with disappointment, sourly disposed against all men,
and especially against all womankind (for I began to regard the notion of an intellectual, faithful, loving woman as a mere dream),
recalled by business, I came back to England.
"On a frosty winter afternoon, I rode in sight of Thornfield Hall. Abhorred spot!
I expected no peace -- no pleasure there.
On a stile in Hay Lane I saw a quiet little figure sitting by itself.
I passed it as negligently as I did the pollard willow opposite to it:
I had no presentiment of what it would be to me;
no inward warning that the arbitress of my life -- my genius for good or evil -- waited there in humble guise.
I did not know it, even when, on the occasion of Mesrour's accident, it came up and gravely offered me help.
Childish and slender creature!
It seemed as if a linnet had hopped to my foot and proposed to bear me on its tiny wing.
I was surly; but the thing would not go:
it stood by me with strange perseverance, and looked and spoke with a sort of authority.
I must be aided, and by that hand: and aided I was."