Part Six: The Wedding

Listen to the audio and read the text below – Jane Eyre
jane eyre literature

Part Six: The Wedding

The wedding day was a month later. I was busy and happy as I got ready for the marriage. Two nights before the wedding, I was asleep① in my room. My wedding dress was in the room with me. The night was windy, and the wind made a strange noise. Suddenly, I woke up. There was a light in my room. I thought at first that it was morning, but when I looked at the window I saw that it was still dark outside.

Someone was in my room. Was it Mrs Fairfax or Grace Poole? It was a woman, but a woman I had never seen before. She was big, tall and strong. Her black hair was long and thick. She was dressed in a long, white garment②. I could not see her face.

She held my wedding dress and veil③ up in front of her. She looked at her reflection④ in the mirror and it was then that I saw her face! It was the most terrible face. She had large, red eyes and her skin was purple. She looked angry and dangerous. I felt great fear. Then she took my veil, and tore⑤ it to pieces. She threw the pieces down on the floor and went over to look out of the window. Then she turned and started to come towards my bed. I was so frightened that I was unable to move. I couldn’t even scream for help. ‘She is going to kill me,’ I thought. But then the light disappeared, and the room was dark once more.

① asleep:正睡着的。
② garment:衣服。
③ veil:面纱。
④ reflection:倒影。
⑤ tore:撕破。

I woke up in the morning. The sun was shining in through the window, and at once I remembered the strange woman. I thought at first that I had had a bad dream. Then I saw my ruined① veil, lying on the floor, torn to pieces. It was true! The strange woman was real!
Mr Rochester looked very worried and was silent for a long time when I told him about the woman, but he just said, ‘You had a bad dream, Jane. It was probably Grace Poole who tore your veil, but you dreamt that it was a stranger.’

I could not believe that the strange woman had been just a dream, but I said nothing. That night, the night before the wedding, I slept in Adele’s room.

The next day, we went to the church for the wedding. In the church, while the clergyman was speaking, someone threw open the church door and said, ‘Stop the wedding! It cannot go on. Mr Rochester already has a wife. He is married to my sister!’

All the people in the church turned to see who was speaking. It was Mr Mason, the visitor from the West Indies, with two other men. What was he talking about? How could Mr Rochester be married? My heart turned cold. I could not believe that this was happening on my wedding day. ‘But where is Mr Rochester’s wife?’ asked the clergyman. ‘Why haven’t we seen her?’

‘She lives at Thornfield Hall,’ Mr Mason replied. ‘She is alive. I saw her recently.’

Mr Rochester struggled to speak. His face was white and distressed. At last he said, ‘It is true. My wife is living at Thornfield Hall. We were married fifteen years ago in the West Indies, when we were both young. Her name is Bertha Mason, and she is Mason’s sister. Soon after we were married, she changed. She became very strange, and then she became mad and dangerous.

① ruined:被毁坏的。

She attacked me, and anyone who came near her. Last April, she tried to kill her own brother.
‘She has a nurse, Grace Poole, who looks after her at Thornfield. I have told no one else that she is my wife. This young woman, Jane Eyre, knows nothing about her.’ Mr Rochester’s face was sad. ‘Come with me, and I will take you to see her.’

We were all silent as we walked from the church back to Thornfield Hall. Mr Rochester took us up to the attic and unlocked the door. Grace Poole was there, and in the room, too, was the frightening, terrible woman that I had seen in my bedroom. She was the person who had the cruel laugh. She was the one who had set fire to Mr Rochester’s bed, who had tried to kill Mr Mason, and who had ruined my veil. Yes, she was mad, but she was also Mr Rochester’s wife. I knew that I could not marry him. Although I felt sorry for Mr Rochester, I knew that I must leave my home, Thornfield Hall, forever. I put a few clothes into a small bag. I took a little money, and quietly left Thornfield Hall early the next morning. I told no one that I was going, and no one saw me leave.

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