Jane Eyre - by Charlotte Bronte
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."