The chamber looked such a bright little place to me as the sun shone in
between the gay blue chintz window curtains, showing papered walls and a
carpeted floor, so unlike the bare planks and stained plaster of Lowood,
that my spirits rose at the view. Externals have a great effect on the
young: I thought that a fairer era of life was beginning for me, one that
was to have its flowers and pleasures, as well as its thorns and toils.
My faculties, roused by the change of scene, the new field offered to
hope, seemed all astir. I cannot precisely define what they expected,
but it was something pleasant: not perhaps that day or that month, but at
an indefinite future period.
I rose; I dressed myself with care: obliged to be plain--for I had no
article of attire that was not made with extreme simplicity--I was still
by nature solicitous to be neat. It was not my habit to be disregardful
of appearance or careless of the impression I made: on the contrary, I
ever wished to look as well as I could, and to please as much as my want
of beauty would permit. I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer;
I sometimes wished to have rosy cheeks, a straight nose, and small cherry
mouth; I desired to be tall, stately, and finely developed in figure; I
felt it a misfortune that I was so little, so pale, and had features so
irregular and so marked. And why had I these aspirations and these
regrets? It would be difficult to say: I could not then distinctly say
it to myself; yet I had a reason, and a logical, natural reason too.
However, when I had brushed my hair very smooth, and put on my black
frock--which, Quakerlike as it was, at least had the merit of fitting to
a nicety--and adjusted my clean white tucker, I thought I should do
respectably enough to appear before Mrs. Fairfax, and that my new pupil
would not at least recoil from me with antipathy. Having opened my
chamber window, and seen that I left all things straight and neat on the
toilet table, I ventured forth.