Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” Quotes (179 Quotes)




    Hopeless of the future, I wished but this- that my Maker had that night thought good to require my soul of me while I slept; and that this weary frame, absolved by death from further conflict with fate, had now but to decay quietly, and mingle in peace with the soil of this wilderness.


    I know my Leader; that He is just as well as mighty; and while He has chosen a feeble instrument to perform a great task, He will, from the boundless stores of His providence, supply the inadequacy of the means to the end.


    I turned my lips to the hand that lay on my shoulder. I loved him very much - more than I could trust myself to say - more than words had power to express






    As to the mouth, it delights at times in laughter; it is disposed to impart all that the brain conceives; though I daresay it would be silent on much the heart experiences. Mobile and flexible, it was never intended to be compressed in the eternal silence of solitude: it is a mouth which should speak much and smile often, and have human affection for its interlocutor.

    Every good, true, vigorous feeling I have gathers impulsively round him. I know I must conceal my sentiments: I must smother hope; I must remember that he cannot care much for me. For when I say that I am of his kind, I do not mean that I have his force to influence, and his spell to attract; I mean only that I have certain tastes and feelings in common with him. I must, then, repeat continually that we are for ever sundered- and yet, while I breath and think, I must love him

    How dare I, Mrs Reed? How dare I? Because it is the truth. You think I have no feelings, and that I can do without one bit of love or kindness; but I cannot live so: and you have no pity.


    I know no medium: I never in my life have known any medium in my dealings with positive, hard characters, antagonistic to my own, between absolute submission and determined revolt. I have always faithfully observed the one, up to the very moment of bursting, sometimes with volcanic vehemence, into the other.

    I wanted to be weak that I might avoid the awful passage of further suffering I saw laid out for me; and conscience, turned tyrant, held passion by the throat, told her tauntingly, she had yet but dipped her dainty foot in the slough, and swore that with that arm of iron he would thrust her down to unsounded depths of agony.

    It is a very strange sensation to inexperience youth to feel itself quite alone the world, cut adrift from every connection, uncertain whether the port to which it is bound can be reached, and prevented by many impediments from returning to that it has quitted. The charm of adventure sweetens that sensation, the glow of pride warms it; but then the throb of fear disturbs it; and fear with me became predominant when half an hour elapsed, and still I was alone.

    No reflection was to be allowed now, not one glance was to be cast back; not even one forward. Not one thought was to be given either to the past or the future. The first was a page so heavenly sweet, so deadly sad, that to read one line of it would dissolve my courage and break down my energy. The last was an awful blank, something like then world when the deluge was gone by.

    Self abandoned, relaxed and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried-up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote mountains, I felt the torrent come; to rise I had no will, to flee I had no strength.





    I again felt rather like an individual of but average gastronomical powers, sitting down to feast alone at a table spread with provisions for a hundred.

    I could not unlove him, because I felt sure he would soon marry this very lady-because I read daily in her a proud security in his intentions respecting her-because I witnessed hourly in him a style of courtship which, if careless and choosing rather to be sought than to seek, was yet, in its very carelessness, captivating, and in its very pride, irresistible.

    I know poetry is not dead, nor genius lost; nor has Mammon gained power over either, to bind or slay: they will both assert their existence, their presence, their liberty and strength again one day.

    I was left there alone - winner of the field. It was the hardest battle I had fought, and the first victory I had gained.

    It is a very strange sensation to inexperienced youth to feel itself quite alone in the world, cut adrift from every connection, uncertain whether the port to which it is bound can be reached, and prevented by many impediments to returning to that it has quitted. The charm of adventure sweetens that sensation, the glow of pride warms it; but then the throb of fear disturbs it...

    Not a tie hold me to human society at this moment - not a charm or hope calls me where my fellow-creatures are - none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me. I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature.


    To this crib I always took my doll; human beigns must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objects of affection, I contrived to find a pleasure in loving and cherishing a faded graven image, shabby as a miniature scarecrow

    You need not think that because we chanced to be born of the same parents, I shall suffer you to fasten me down by even the feeblest claim: I can tell you this - if the whole human race, ourselves excepted, were swept away, and we two stood alone on the earth, I would leave you in the old world, and betake myself to new.

    At eighteen most people wish to please, and the conviction that they have not an exterior likely to second that desire brings anything but gratification.


    I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world.

    I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.

    I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest -- blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine.


    It is not saying too much; I know what I feel, and how averse are my inclinations to the bare thought of marriage. No one would take me for love; and I will not be regarded in the light of a mere money-speculation. And I do not want a stranger--unsympathizing, alien, different from me. I want my kindred--those with whom I have full fellow-feeling.

    Now I wept: Helen Burns was not here; nothing sustained me; left to myself I abandoned myself, and my tears watered the boards.

    She did not exist: she would not be born till tomorrow, some time after eight o'clock a.m.; and I would wait to be assured she had come into the world alive before I assigned to her all that property.

    To you I am neither Man nor Woman--I come before you as Author only--it is the sole standard by which you have a right to judge me--the sole ground on which I accept your judgement.

    You never felt jealousy, did you, Miss Eyre? Of course not: I need not ask you; because you never felt love. You have both sentiments yet to experience: your soul sleeps; the shock is yet to be given which shall waken it.



    I am not going out under human guidance, subject to the defective laws and erring control of my feeble fellow-worms; my king, my lawgiver, my captain, is the All-perfect; it seems strange to me that all round me do not burn to enlist under the same banner--to join in the same enterprise.

    I do not want sacrifice, sorrow, dissolution -- such is not my taste. I wish to foster, not to blight -- to earn gratitude, not to wring tears of blood -- no, nor of brine: my harvest must be in smiles, in endearments, in sweet -- That will do. I think I rave in a kind of exquisite delirium. I should wish now to protract this moment ad infinitum; but I dare not. So far I have governed myself thoroughly. I have acted as I inwardly swore I would act; but further might try me beyond my strength.


    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 my 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


    More Charlotte Bronte Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Life - Mind - Love - World - Thought & Thinking - Happiness - Nature - Sadness - Friendship - Hope - Emotions - Joy & Excitement - Fate & Destiny - Pride - Pleasure - Dreams - Books - Beauty - God - View All Charlotte Bronte Quotations

    More Charlotte Bronte Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Jane Eyre
    - Villette

    Related Authors


    Leo Tolstoy - Franz Kafka - V. S. Naipaul - Robertson Davies - Nathaniel Hawthorne - J. R. R. Tolkien - Honore de Balzac - Emily Bronte - Arthur Herzog - Anne Rice


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