You say you never heard of a Mrs. Rochester at the house up yonder, Wood;
but I daresay you have many a time inclined your ear to gossip about the mysterious lunatic kept there under watch and ward.
Some have whispered to you that she is my bastard half-sister: some, my cast-off mistress.
I now inform you that she is my wife, whom I married fifteen years ago, Bertha Mason by name;
sister of this resolute personage, who is now, with his quivering limbs and white cheeks,
showing you what a stout heart men may bear.
Cheer up, Dick! -- never fear me! -- I'd almost as soon strike a woman as you.
Bertha Mason is mad; and she came of a mad family; idiots and maniacs through three generations?
Her mother, the Creole, was both a madwoman and a drunkard!
as I found out after I had wed the daughter: for they were silent on family secrets before.
Bertha, like a dutiful child, copied her parent in both points.
I had a charming partner -- pure, wise, modest: you can fancy I was a happy man.
I went through rich scenes! Oh! my experience has been heavenly, if you only knew it!
But I owe you no further explanation.
Briggs, Wood, Mason, I invite you all to come up to the house and visit Mrs. Poole's patient, and my wife!
You shall see what sort of a being I was cheated into espousing,
and judge whether or not I had a right to break the compact, and seek sympathy with something at least human.
This girl," he continued, looking at me, "knew no more than you, Wood, of the disgusting secret:
she thought all was fair and legal and never dreamt she was going to be entrapped into a feigned union with a defrauded wretch,
already bound to a bad, mad, and embruted partner! Come all of you -- follow!"