I would have got past Mr. Rochester's chamber without a pause;
but my heart momentarily stopping its beat at that threshold, my foot was forced to stop also.
No sleep was there: the inmate was walking restlessly from wall to wall; and again and again he sighed while I listened.
There was a heaven -- a temporary heaven -- in this room for me, if I chose: I had but to go in and to say
"Mr. Rochester, I will love you and live with you through life till death,"
and a fount of rapture would spring to my lips. I thought of this.
That kind master, who could not sleep now, was waiting with impatience for day.
He would send for me in the morning; I should be gone.
He would have me sought for: vainly.
He would feel himself forsaken; his love rejected: he would suffer; perhaps grow desperate.
I thought of this too. My hand moved towards the lock: I caught it back, and glided on.
Drearily I wound my way downstairs: I knew what I had to do, and I did it mechanically.
I sought the key of the side-door in the kitchen;
I sought, too, a phial of oil and a feather; I oiled the key and the lock.
I got some water, I got some bread: for perhaps I should have to walk far;
and my strength, sorely shaken of late, must not break down.
All this I did without one sound.
I opened the door, passed out, shut it softly. Dim dawn glimmered in the yard.
The great gates were closed and locked; but a wicket in one of them was only latched.
Through that I departed: it, too, I shut; and now I was out of Thornfield.