Jane Eyre - by Charlotte Bronte
"Would you like to go to school?"
Again I reflected: I scarcely knew what school was: Bessie
sometimes spoke of it as a place where young ladies sat in the stocks,
wore backboards, and were expected to be exceedingly genteel and
precise: John Reed hated his school, and abused his master; but
John Reed's tastes were no rule for mine, and if Bessie's accounts
of school-discipline (gathered from the young ladies of a family
where she had lived before coming to Gateshead) were somewhat
appalling, her details of certain accomplishments attained by
these same young ladies were, I thought, equally attractive. She
boasted of beautiful paintings of landscapes and flowers by them
executed; of songs they could sing and pieces they could play, of
purses they could net, of French books they could translate; till
my spirit was moved to emulation as I listened. Besides, school
would be a complete change: it implied a long journey, an entire
separation from Gateshead, an entrance into a new life.
"I should indeed like to go to school," was the audible conclusion
of my musings.
"Well, well! who knows what may happen?" said Mr. Lloyd, as he got
up. "The child ought to have change of air and scene," he added,
speaking to himself; "nerves not in a good state."
Bessie now returned; at the same moment the carriage was heard
rolling up the gravel-walk.
"Is that your mistress, nurse?" asked Mr. Lloyd. "I should like
to speak to her before I go."