I examined the document long: the writing was old-fashioned and rather
uncertain, like that of an elderly lady. This circumstance was
satisfactory: a private fear had haunted me, that in thus acting for
myself, and by my own guidance, I ran the risk of getting into some
scrape; and, above all things, I wished the result of my endeavours to be
respectable, proper, en regle. I now felt that an elderly lady was no
bad ingredient in the business I had on hand. Mrs. Fairfax! I saw her
in a black gown and widow's cap; frigid, perhaps, but not uncivil: a
model of elderly English respectability. Thornfield! that, doubtless,
was the name of her house: a neat orderly spot, I was sure; though I
failed in my efforts to conceive a correct plan of the premises.
Millcote, ---shire; I brushed up my recollections of the map of England,
yes, I saw it; both the shire and the town. ---shire was seventy miles
nearer London than the remote county where I now resided: that was a
recommendation to me. I longed to go where there was life and movement:
Millcote was a large manufacturing town on the banks of the A-; a busy
place enough, doubtless: so much the better; it would be a complete
change at least. Not that my fancy was much captivated by the idea of
long chimneys and clouds of smoke--"but," I argued, "Thornfield will,
probably, be a good way from the town."
Here the socket of the candle dropped, and the wick went out.