Part Seven: New Friends

Listen to the audio and read the text below – Jane Eyre

Part Seven: New Friends

I wanted to travel as far away from Thornfield as I could, so I spent all my money on a journey which took two days and nights. I arrived at a place where there were no towns or villages. There were very few houses. I had no money, and I was cold, tired and hungry. It was dark now, and I could see a light in the window of a house. I looked through the window. There were two young women in the room. I thought that they looked kind, so I knocked on the door. It was opened by a servant.

‘Who are you?’ she asked. ‘What do you want?’

‘I’m alone in the world, and I have no money or food,’ I told her. ‘I’m tired and hungry. Please, can you help me?’

The servant stared at me. She did not look very friendly.

‘I’ll give you some bread,’ she said. ‘But then you must go. You can’t stay here.’ She came back and gave me the bread, and said, ‘Now go away.’

But I was too tired to move. I sat down outside the door of the house. ‘There is no one to help me,’ I said. ‘I will die here.’

I didn’t know that someone was watching and listening to me.

‘You are not going to die,’ a voice said. A tall, handsome young man was looking down at me.

‘Who are you?’ He knocked on the door and the servant opened it again. ‘Who is this young woman, Hannah?’ he asked.

‘I don’t know, sir,’ the servant replied. ‘I gave her some bread and told her to go away.’

‘She can’t go away, Hannah,’ the young man said. ‘She is too ill. We must take her inside and help her.’

They took me into the house, where it was warm and comfortable. The two young women asked me my name. ‘I am Jane Elliott,’ I told them. I didn’t want to tell them my real name in case① Mr Rochester tried to find me. I wanted to start a new life.

My kind new friends took me upstairs② to a bedroom, where I slept for a very long time. When I woke up, I felt much better.

I was soon well enough to talk to the people who had been so kind to me.

The names of the two young women were Diana and Mary Rivers. The young man was their brother, and his name was St John Rivers. He was a clergyman. He had fair③ hair and blue eyes, and was very good looking. But his face was always serious, and he did not often laugh or smile. He planned to go to India to work.

Diana and Mary were much friendlier than their brother, but I didn’t want to tell them about Mr Rochester. ‘I have no family of my own.’ I said. ‘My parents are dead. I went to Lowood School, and after I left I went to work as a governess. I had to leave suddenly, but I have done nothing wrong. Please believe me.’

‘Don’t worry, Jane, we believe you,’ said Diana. ‘Don’t talk any more now. You are tired.’
‘You will want to find some work,’ said St John. ‘Yes, and as soon as possible,’ I replied.
‘Good,’ he said. ‘Then I will help you.’

Diana and Mary went back to work at their teaching jobs in the south of England soon afterwards. St John asked me to teach the children who lived near his church. The school was very small and the children were very poor, but I enjoyed my work.

I lived in a small cottage near the school. I did not have much money, and I saw very few people, but St John often came to see me, and gave me books to read. My life was very quiet, but I was happy, except for when I thought about Mr Rochester. I knew that I would always love him.

① in case:也许。
② upstairs:住楼上。
③ fair:金色的。

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