"Jane Eyre"
by Charlotte Bronte

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     "I am afraid you are disappointed in me, Bessie." I said this laughing: I perceived that Bessie's glance, though it expressed regard, did in no shape denote admiration.

     "No, Miss Jane, not exactly: you are genteel enough; you look like a lady, and it is as much as ever I expected of you: you were no beauty as a child."

     I smiled at Bessie's frank answer: I felt that it was correct, but I confess I was not quite indifferent to its import: at eighteen most people wish to please, and the conviction that they have not an exterior likely to second that desire brings anything but gratification.


     "I dare say you are clever, though," continued Bessie, by way of solace. "What can you do? Can you play on the piano?"

     "A little."

     There was one in the room; Bessie went and opened it, and then asked me to sit down and give her a tune: I played a waltz or two, and she was charmed.

     "The Miss Reeds could not play as well!" said she exultingly. "I always said you would surpass them in learning: and can you draw?"

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