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“I grieve to leave Thornfield: I love Thornfield:—I love it, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life—momentarily, at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic, and high. I have talked, face to face with what I reverence; with what I delight in—with an original, a vigorous, and an expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you forever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.”
“Where do you see the necessity?” he asked, suddenly.
“Where? You, sir, have placed it before me.”
“In what shape?”
“In the shape of Miss Ingram; a noble and beautiful woman—your bride.”
“My bride! what bride? I have no bride!”
“But you will have.”
“Yes; I will! I will!” He set his teeth.
“Then I must go: you have said it yourself.”
“No: you must stay! I swear it—and the oath shall be kept.”
“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, confentionalities, 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!” (Charlotte Bronte)