viernes, 2 de julio de 2010

JANE EYRE






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Jane Eyre es una novela clásica de amor, precursora del feminismo y la psicología moderna, sobre una huérfana que enfrenta su destino manifesto gracias a su inteligencia e integridad inquebrantables. Controvertida y revolucionaria en el momento de su publicación, Jane Eyre es, al mismo tiempo, una crítica punzante a una sociedad rancia y un himno aguerrido a la valentía y el romance. Una historia de amor e intriga en la Inglaterra del siglo XIX.
Varias veces adaptadas al cine, entre las quales se encuentra esta miniserie. (sipnosis extraída de www.lecturalia.com)



CHAPTER I


There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been
wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but
since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold
winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so
penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question.

I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, especially on chilly
afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with
nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie,
the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to
Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed.

The said Eliza, John, and Georgiana were now clustered round their mama
in the drawing-room: she lay reclined on a sofa by the fireside, and with
her darlings about her (for the time neither quarrelling nor crying)
looked perfectly happy. Me, she had dispensed from joining the group;
saying, "She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a
distance; but that until she heard from Bessie, and could discover by her
own observation, that I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a
more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly
manner--something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were--she really
must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy,
little children."

"What does Bessie say I have done?" I asked.

"Jane, I don't like cavillers or questioners; besides, there is something
truly forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that manner. Be
seated somewhere; and until you can speak pleasantly, remain silent."

A breakfast-room adjoined the drawing-room, I slipped in there. It
contained a bookcase: I soon possessed myself of a volume, taking care
that it should be one stored with pictures. I mounted into the window-
seat: gathering up my feet, I sat cross-legged, like a Turk; and, having
drawn the red moreen curtain nearly close, I was shrined in double
retirement.

Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to the right hand; to the left
were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the
drear November day. At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my
book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon. Afar, it offered a
pale blank of mist and cloud; near a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat
shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and
lamentable blast.

I returned to my book--Bewick's History of British Birds: the letterpress
thereof I cared little for, generally speaking; and yet there were
certain introductory pages that, child as I was, I could not pass quite
as a blank. They were those which treat of the haunts of sea-fowl; of
"the solitary rocks and promontories" by them only inhabited; of the
coast of Norway, studded with isles from its southern extremity, the
Lindeness, or Naze, to the North Cape--

"Where the Northern Ocean, in vast whirls,
Boils round the naked, melancholy isles
Of farthest Thule; and the Atlantic surge
Pours in among the stormy Hebrides."

Nor could I pass unnoticed the suggestion of the bleak shores of Lapland,
Siberia, Spitzbergen, Nova Zembla, Iceland, Greenland, with "the vast
sweep of the Arctic Zone, and those forlorn regions of dreary space,--that
reservoir of frost and snow, where firm fields of ice, the accumulation
of centuries of winters, glazed in Alpine heights above heights, surround
the pole, and concentre the multiplied rigours of extreme cold." Of
these death-white realms I formed an idea of my own: shadowy, like all
the half-comprehended notions that float dim through children's brains,
but strangely impressive. The words in these introductory pages
connected themselves with the succeeding vignettes, and gave significance
to the rock standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to the broken
boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghastly moon glancing
through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking.

I cannot tell what sentiment haunted the quite solitary churchyard, with
its inscribed headstone; its gate, its two trees, its low horizon,
girdled by a broken wall, and its newly-risen crescent, attesting the
hour of eventide.

The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms.

The fiend pinning down the thief's pack behind him, I passed over
quickly: it was an object of terror.

So was the black horned thing seated aloof on a rock, surveying a distant
crowd surrounding a gallows.

Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped
understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting: as
interesting as the tales Bessie sometimes narrated on winter evenings,
when she chanced to be in good humour; and when, having brought her
ironing-table to the nursery hearth, she allowed us to sit about it, and
while she got up Mrs. Reed's lace frills, and crimped her nightcap
borders, fed our eager attention with passages of love and adventure
taken from old fairy tales and other ballads; or (as at a later period I
discovered) from the pages of Pamela, and Henry, Earl of Moreland.

With Bewick on my knee, I was then happy: happy at least in my way. I
feared nothing but interruption, and that came too soon. The breakfast-
room door opened.

"Boh! Madam Mope!" cried the voice of John Reed; then he paused: he
found the room apparently empty.

"Where the dickens is she!" he continued. "Lizzy! Georgy! (calling to
his sisters) Joan is not here: tell mama she is run out into the rain--bad
animal!"

"It is well I drew the curtain," thought I; and I wished fervently he
might not discover my hiding-place: nor would John Reed have found it out
himself; he was not quick either of vision or conception; but Eliza just
put her head in at the door, and said at once--

"She is in the window-seat, to be sure, Jack."

And I came out immediately, for I trembled at the idea of being dragged
forth by the said Jack.

"What do you want?" I asked, with awkward diffidence.

"Say, 'What do you want, Master Reed?'" was the answer. "I want you to
come here;" and seating himself in an arm-chair, he intimated by a
gesture that I was to approach and stand before him.

John Reed was a schoolboy of fourteen years old; four years older than I,
for I was but ten: large and stout for his age, with a dingy and
unwholesome skin; thick lineaments in a spacious visage, heavy limbs and
large extremities. He gorged himself habitually at table, which made him
bilious, and gave him a dim and bleared eye and flabby cheeks. He ought
now to have been at school; but his mama had taken him home for a month
or two, "on account of his delicate health." Mr. Miles, the master,
affirmed that he would do very well if he had fewer cakes and sweetmeats
sent him from home; but the mother's heart turned from an opinion so
harsh, and inclined rather to the more refined idea that John's
sallowness was owing to over-application and, perhaps, to pining after
home.

John had not much affection for his mother and sisters, and an antipathy
to me. He bullied and punished me; not two or three times in the week,
nor once or twice in the day, but continually: every nerve I had feared
him, and every morsel of flesh in my bones shrank when he came near.
There were moments when I was bewildered by the terror he inspired,
because I had no appeal whatever against either his menaces or his
inflictions; the servants did not like to offend their young master by
taking my part against him, and Mrs. Reed was blind and deaf on the
subject: she never saw him strike or heard him abuse me, though he did
both now and then in her very presence, more frequently, however, behind
her back.

Habitually obedient to John, I came up to his chair: he spent some three
minutes in thrusting out his tongue at me as far as he could without
damaging the roots: I knew he would soon strike, and while dreading the
blow, I mused on the disgusting and ugly appearance of him who would
presently deal it. I wonder if he read that notion in my face; for, all
at once, without speaking, he struck suddenly and strongly. I tottered,
and on regaining my equilibrium retired back a step or two from his
chair.

"That is for your impudence in answering mama awhile since," said he,
"and for your sneaking way of getting behind curtains, and for the look
you had in your eyes two minutes since, you rat!"

Accustomed to John Reed's abuse, I never had an idea of replying to it;
my care was how to endure the blow which would certainly follow the
insult.

"What were you doing behind the curtain?" he asked.

"I was reading."

"Show the book."

I returned to the window and fetched it thence.

"You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says;
you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not
to live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals we
do, and wear clothes at our mama's expense. Now, I'll teach you to
rummage my bookshelves: for they _are_ mine; all the house belongs to me,
or will do in a few years. Go and stand by the door, out of the way of
the mirror and the windows."

I did so, not at first aware what was his intention; but when I saw him
lift and poise the book and stand in act to hurl it, I instinctively
started aside with a cry of alarm: not soon enough, however; the volume
was flung, it hit me, and I fell, striking my head against the door and
cutting it. The cut bled, the pain was sharp: my terror had passed its
climax; other feelings succeeded.

"Wicked and cruel boy!" I said. "You are like a murderer--you are like a
slave-driver--you are like the Roman emperors!"

I had read Goldsmith's History of Rome, and had formed my opinion of
Nero, Caligula, &c. Also I had drawn parallels in silence, which I never
thought thus to have declared aloud.

"What! what!" he cried. "Did she say that to me? Did you hear her,
Eliza and Georgiana? Won't I tell mama? but first--"

He ran headlong at me: I felt him grasp my hair and my shoulder: he had
closed with a desperate thing. I really saw in him a tyrant, a murderer.
I felt a drop or two of blood from my head trickle down my neck, and was
sensible of somewhat pungent suffering: these sensations for the time
predominated over fear, and I received him in frantic sort. I don't very
well know what I did with my hands, but he called me "Rat! Rat!" and
bellowed out aloud. Aid was near him: Eliza and Georgiana had run for
Mrs. Reed, who was gone upstairs: she now came upon the scene, followed
by Bessie and her maid Abbot. We were parted: I heard the words--

"Dear! dear! What a fury to fly at Master John!"

"Did ever anybody see such a picture of passion!"

Then Mrs. Reed subjoined--

"Take her away to the red-room, and lock her in there." Four hands were
immediately laid upon me, and I was borne upstairs.

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