Jane and Dorothea

by Jennifer Marie Theresa Spencer

Dorothea sat by the window seat trying to imagine the beautiful blueprints of the estates she drew up comes to life. The meadows outside the window remained calm, balanced and in beauty just like every other day. While such beauty thrived, her heart was in full chaos. Two suitors aimed for her heart. One, such an amiable gentleman who would love to put her dreams into effect would be the best candidate, that was surely so. Another, older than her uncle no doubt turned her mind inside out and challenged her intellect and engaged her in outstanding conversation. What was it to Celia or her uncle if she married above her age? Yes, she was nineteen this year and considered a young woman of good social standing; however, her heart desired some comfort and the need for extending beyond the four corners of her quarters. She wanted to aid Mr. Casaubon in his efforts to write the Key for All Mythologies. Surely, she could take notes and read to him to inspire some great action. She must silence the fluttering of her heart and ask for advisement from her dear friend Jane.

The walk outside to Thornfield was pleasant enough and she felt lighthearted thinking about her decision to marry Mr. Casaubon. His letter of inquiry was not as romantic as young girls would imagine but that must be due to all the knowledge that haunts his thoughts. Other than that, she did not need romantic notions to understand what a match they would be. Sir James Chettam was a man more suitable for Celia. He was full of overbearing energy and can flatter Celia to all extents. As charming as his manner was, all Dorothea saw was a replica of the puppy he planned on giving to her, following her trail and aiming to please.

Walking up the steps with the blush of fresh air on her cheeks, she was welcomed into the dining room to await Miss Eyre, or in fact, now to be known as Mrs. Rochester. The wedding took place sometime ago and with great urgency and pride. Mr. Rochester was off on business but wrote frequently to Jane as Dorothea was told by Mrs. Fairfield. Soon, Jane entered to room and had so much sparkle in her eyes.

“Dorothea! How pleasant it is to catch up with you! It was unfortunate you missed the wedding but we could not postpone it since our time was delayed by other events. I hope you are quite well and full of vigor in your own life.”

Dorothea shifted in her seat and looked at her friend, “I wish I could say the same and I welcome you all the happiness I can see in your eyes. I have never seen you so sure and passionate about anything other than your books. How is Mr. Rochester fairing, surely he proves to be quite a good husband?”

Jane smiled and for an instant, Dorothea saw the beauty that was pouring from her skin. This plain being of a girl looked like a fairytale image. Jane breaking her thoughts replied, “Oh, I have never found anyone quite as stimulating as my husband. We can speak for hours on various subjects while teasing each other into treacherous but delightful pleasures. I have never felt so accepted and alive than after having him to be mine. Yet…Miss Brooke, why are you so pale, you are normally passionate and forth with your feelings. What conflicts your mind on this day?”

“I am conflicted and must broach a delicate subject with you. I have received an offer of marriage from a clergyman of intellectual means. He is much older than I but he may be exactly what I have been searching for. There is word of another offer that may be approaching from a young gentleman closer to my age, but not to my mind. I am conflicted for which proposal I should accept, if any. I came here for selfish reasons I admit, I wanted to know if marrying someone of well…older years made you as happy and I can already see that it did and I should accept Mr. Casaubon.”

Jane looked at Dorothea closely and thought to herself before replying. Finally after a few moments, Jane says, “It does not matter the age I assure you and Mr. Rochester may pass as my father. Yet, I think about him at every moment and all the events he and I can share together. He understands my passions and sees the beauty of me even when I do not see it myself. He holds my heart within his for safekeeping and we rarely quarrel. Yet, I believe you are not in love with Mr. Casaubon. He may be your plan for escape and to broaden your mind. You can broaden your mind with books but cannot find an acceptable suitor with them either. Your mind is attracted to Mr. Casaubon, but your heart may still be yearning for something more. With this other suitor, he sounds as if he is amiable enough but so much like the gentleman in town; waiting to catch a pretty lady that catches their eyes. Wait for that moment when everything is aligned with the stars and your heart surely knows what will make it jump forth into another’s”

Dorothea had tears in her eyes as she grasped her friend’s hands, “Oh how I envy the love you found at such an early age and the dedication you possess towards it. Your words are true, for that I am sure. Yet, I feel I must escape my dreary life and prove that women are more knowledgably driven than what my uncle says. Perhaps I can grow to love Mr. Casaubon in time. He can challenge my mind and can inspire me to do great things. Sir Chettam is a pleasant fellow but will get bored of me soon enough and I of him. I hope I make the right choice dear Jane; the rest of my life depends on it! I shall look onto you and Mr. Rochester for guidance and inspiration to make my marriage life prosperous, full of laughter and love. I must return home and write the letter to Mr. Casaubon, my mind is made up and I thank you for your advice.”

Jane thanked her for her visit and watched her leave and walk through the fields, whispering to herself she said, “Take care Dorothea, I hope your marriage is full of what you hope it to be.”

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