I've always liked Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, but I've only just now read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I've hence been overwhelmed with a passionate love for the novel, so here is my little tribute to it. I tried my best to keep the writing style similar to that of the book and to keep the characters, er, in character. I hope you enjoy!
The morning was crisp and cool. I slightly feared that the dampness from the previous night's rain might impose upon Mr. Rochester's health, but he insisted on going out as he always did. Thus I led him to the shade of a great oak, he like a dog and I like his master upon whom he depended. We spoke for several minutes, the sunlight trickling down upon us through the leaves of our shelter. Just as we finished one topic and began another, I sensed the breeze strengthen, and the slight shiver of Mr. Rochester did not go unnoticed by my observant eye. "The morning is too cool, Edward," I stated firmly, rising to my feet, "Let us go indoors and talk there."
"No, Janet, I wish to stay here," he spoke, "I am not like a child that I must be called inside for fear that I may catch cold."
"Well," I said, still standing beside him, "It seems I shall go inside then, and you shall remain here."
I knew well how he would react to such words. "No, my lily, no!" he pleaded, despising the power I possessed over him, "Stay here with me, please Jane. I cannot do without your company."
I smiled, satisfied with his confession, "Very well, Mr. Rochester."
"Edward," he corrected bitterly, "Mrs. Rochester."
I returned to his side, smoothing my hand through his shagged hair, "Well then, Edward. I will remain with you here a few moments yet, but then I shall return to the house with or without your companionship. What will you do then, Edward?"
"I will accompany you, of course," he remarked grudgingly, having gotten himself into a bad-temper, "But how you torment me, my Jane! You are foremost my wife, not my nurse."
"I see no harm in wishing to attend to the health of my husband," I replied, leaning back against our tree.
Mr. Rochester grumbled beneath his breath, but I knew he would not object to my wishes. Though he sometimes felt humiliated beneath my constant care, I knew he preferred my hands to that of any other servant. He loved me far too much to wish my attention away. "Tell me of what you see, Jane," Mr. Rochester said finally.
"I see green grass spread before us like a blanket over the earth, for it is spring now, Edward," I began, "The sky is a particular blue today, like the oceans in my paintings. There are flowers blooming in the gardens and fruits burdening the trees' branches. Everything is becoming beautiful again."
"Beautiful," Mr. Rochester scoffed, "I hardly know the word."
But his features softened, his head turning to me, "And yet, I know its meaning still. Because of my Jane."
I flushed beneath his hand as it found my cheek, "Tell me of yourself, Jane. I remember you perfectly, as if I could see you still. But describe yourself nonetheless."
He had never asked of such a thing from me. I frowned with thought, feeling discomfited as I inspected myself, "I am wearing a gray frock today, Edward. It has white lace about the cuffs of my sleeves. You would say it suited me could you see it—"
"No, no, my robin!" Mr. Rochester shook his head with disapproval, "Speak of yourself, Jane, not your outer garments! Speak of your delicate frame, your glowing, angelic face, your cruel, piercing eyes, vos mains douces, anything, my Jane!"
I frowned at his words, "Even blinded, you speak of me as an ethereal creature. I will not exaggerate myself to the point of speaking unrealistic flattery, Edward, if that is what you wish."
"Confound it, Jane," he exclaimed, "I wish for you to sharpen my image of you—my sole memory that I clutch so dearly to my heart. My recollection of you is the only portrait that has not faded from these dulled eyes, but speak of yourself yet, Jane. I wish to hear the features I envision spoken of aloud. Please dear Jane, humor your husband yet."
I still felt uncomfortable fulfilling such a command, but I felt as if I had teased dear Mr. Rochester enough for one morning. I intended to satisfy him now. "My eyes are piercing still, Edward," I said, "But my face certainly does not glow. I do not resemble an angel, if anything I resemble a little, sneaking mouse—as I always have."
"My little Jane," he murmured fondly as I continued.
"My hair is still brown and my complexion still pale as a ghost. My cheekbones protrude and seem to not fit my face. I am still thin and sickly, Edward, and as Adèle would assure me, trés petite. I smile often, Edward, because I am at your side, but this gesture does not bring me beauty. You say you hardly know the word? I am as unfamiliar with it as you."
Mr. Rochester clucked his tongue, reprimanding me, "Tsk tsk, my dove. You depict yourself in a way I cannot possibly visualize. You are a white rose, a swan—innocent and pure and lovely. And I? I am but an old crow upon whom fortune has favored with your affections!"
I smiled with amusement upon my husband, "An old crow indeed! I am no swan, Edward, and if you continue to speak of me in such a way, I shall believe your mind to have been damaged in the fire as well as your vision. Swan indeed! We are two ravens, Edward. I am no beautiful thing, but I am your mate. Ugly and graceless am I, but I belong to you as you do to me. Because I love you, you are as appealing to me as I am to you."
A smile danced upon Mr. Rochester's lips, his good eye moist with pleasure. "Jane, oh my divine Jane," he mumbled, "Very well, very well. Two ravens we are."
I demonstrated my agreement with a kiss, which he accepted most merrily. "Mine forever," he spoke as we drew apart, "My striking beauty—my raven forever."