should make some advance in life, take another step towards an independent position; for this train of reflection, though not lately pursued, had never by me been wholly abandoned; and whenever a certain eye was averted from me, and a certain countenance grew dark with unkindness and injustice, into that track of speculation did I at once strike; so that, little by little, I had laid half a plan.

“Living costs little,” said I to myself, “in this economical town of Villette, where people are more sensible than I understand they are in dear old England, infinitely less worried about appearance, and less emulous of display, where nobody is in the least ashamed to be quite as homely and saving as he finds convenient. House rent, in a prudently-chosen situation, need not be high. When I shall have saved one thousand francs, I will take a tenement with one large room and two or three smaller ones; furnish the first with a few benches and desks, a black tableau, an estrade for myself, upon it a chair and table, with a sponge and some white chalks; begin with taking day pupils, and so work my way upwards. Madame Beck’s commencement was, as I have often heard her say, from no higher starting-point; and where is she now? All these premises and this garden are hers, bought with her money; she has a competency already secured for old age, and a flourishing establishment under her direction, which will furnish a career for her children.

“Courage, Lucy Snowe! With self-denial and economy now, and steady exertion by-and-by, an object in life need not fail you. Venture not to complain that such an object is too selfish, too limited, and lacks interest; be content to labour for independence until you have proved, by winning that prize, your right to look higher. But afterwards, is there nothing more for me in life—no true home, nothing to be dearer to me than myself, and by its paramount preciousness to draw from me better things than I care to culture for myself only—nothing at whose feet I can willingly lay down the whole burden of human egotism, and gloriously take up the nobler charge of labouring and living for others? I suppose, Lucy Snowe, the orb of your life is not to be so rounded; for you the crescent phase must suffice. Very good. I see a huge mass of my fellow-creatures in no better circumstances. I see that a great many men and more women hold their span of life on conditions of denial and privation. I find no reason why I should be of the few favoured. I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all—neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”

So this subject is done with. It is right to look our life-accounts bravely in the face now and then, and settle them honestly. And he is a poor self-swindler who lies to himself while he reckons the items, and sets down under the head happiness that which is misery. Call anguish anguish, and despair despair; write both down in strong characters with a resolute pen. You will the better pay your debt to Doom. Falsify, insert “privilege” where you should have written “pain,” and see if your mighty creditor will allow the fraud to pass, or accept the coin with which you would cheat him. Offer to the strongest—if the darkest angel of God’s host—water, when he has asked blood. Will he take it? Not a whole pale sea for one red drop. I settled another account.

Pausing before Methuselah—the giant and patriarch of the garden—and leaning my brow against his knotty trunk, my foot rested on the stone sealing the small sepulchre at his root, and I recalled the passage of feeling therein buried; I recalled Dr. John, my warm affection for him, my faith in his excellence, my delight in his grace. What was become of that curious one-sided friendship which was half marble and half life—only on one hand truth, and on the other perhaps a jest?

Was this feeling dead? I do not know; but it was buried. Sometimes I thought the tomb unquiet, and dreamed strangely of disturbed earth, and of hair, still golden and living, obtruded through coffin-chinks.

Had I been too hasty? I used to ask myself; and this question would occur with a cruel sharpness after some brief chance interview with Dr. John. He had still such kind looks, such a warm hand; his voice still kept so pleasant a tone for my name; I never liked “Lucy” so well as when he uttered it. But I learned in time that this benignity, this cordiality, this music, belonged in no shape to me. It was a part of himself; it was the honey of his temper; it was the balm of his mellow mood. He imparted it as the ripe fruit rewards

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