"Ah!" cried she, in French, "you speak my language as well as Mr.
Rochester does: I can talk to you as I can to him, and so can Sophie. She
will be glad: nobody here understands her: Madame Fairfax is all English.
Sophie is my nurse; she came with me over the sea in a great ship with a
chimney that smoked--how it did smoke!--and I was sick, and so was
Sophie, and so was Mr. Rochester. Mr. Rochester lay down on a sofa in a
pretty room called the salon, and Sophie and I had little beds in another
place. I nearly fell out of mine; it was like a shelf. And
Mademoiselle--what is your name?"
"Aire? Bah! I cannot say it. Well, our ship stopped in the morning,
before it was quite daylight, at a great city--a huge city, with very
dark houses and all smoky; not at all like the pretty clean town I came
from; and Mr. Rochester carried me in his arms over a plank to the land,
and Sophie came after, and we all got into a coach, which took us to a
beautiful large house, larger than this and finer, called an hotel. We
stayed there nearly a week: I and Sophie used to walk every day in a
great green place full of trees, called the Park; and there were many
children there besides me, and a pond with beautiful birds in it, that I
fed with crumbs."
"Can you understand her when she runs on so fast?" asked Mrs. Fairfax.