I was soon dressed; and when I heard Mr. Rochester quit Mrs. Fairfax's parlour, I hurried down to it.
The old lady, had been reading her morning portion of Scripture -- the Lesson for the day;
her Bible lay open before her, and her spectacles were upon it.
Her occupation, suspended by Mr. Rochester's announcement, seemed now forgotten:
her eyes, fixed on the blank wall opposite, expressed the surprise of a quiet mind stirred by unwonted tidings.
Seeing me, she roused herself: she made a sort of effort to smile, and framed a few words of congratulation;
but the smile expired, and the sentence was abandoned unfinished.
She put up her spectacles, shut the Bible, and pushed her chair back from the table.
"I feel so astonished," she began, "I hardly know what to say to you, Miss Eyre.
I have surely not been dreaming, have I?
Sometimes I half fall asleep when I am sitting alone and fancy things that have never happened.
It has seemed to me more than once when I have been in a doze,
that my dear husband, who died fifteen years since, has come in and sat down beside me;
and that I have even heard him call me by my name, Alice, as he used to do.
Now, can you tell me whether it is actually true that Mr. Rochester has asked you to marry him? Don't laugh at me.
But I really thought he came in here five minutes ago, and said that in a month you would be his wife."
"He has said the same thing to me," I replied.