The Professor (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Brontë, Heather Glen

By Charlotte Brontë, Heather Glen

The hero of Charlotte Bronte's first novel escapes a dreary clerkship in commercial Yorkshire via taking a role as a instructor in Belgium. There, although, his entanglement with the sensuous yet manipulative Zoraide Reuter, complicates his affections for a penniless lady who's either instructor and student in Reuter's college.

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Pelet had retired and closed the door after him, the first thing I did was to scrutinize closely the 53 The Professor nailed boards, hoping to find some chink or crevice which I might enlarge, and so get a peep at the consecrated ground. My researches were vain, for the boards were well joined and strongly nailed. It is astonishing how disappointed I felt. I thought it would have been so pleasant to have looked out upon a garden planted with flowers and trees, so amusing to have watched the demoiselles at their play; to have studied female character in a variety of phases, myself the while sheltered from view by a modest muslin curtain, whereas, owing doubtless to the absurd scruples of some old duenna of a directress, I had now only the option of looking at a bare gravelled court, with an enormous “pas de geant” in the middle, and the monotonous walls and windows of a boys’ schoolhouse round.

Said he, looking into my eyes, and it was evident he did see right down into my heart. ” “Influential relations? Who? ” “Stuff! I have cut them,” Hunsden looked at me incredulously. ” “As you please. ” “Yes, rejection and repulsion. Why do you ask me twice? ” “Nonsense, Mr. Hunsden. You know or may know that even had I desired to be submissive to my uncles, I could not have stooped with a good enough grace ever to have won their favour. ” “Exactly. ” Hunsden yawned. “Well,” said he, “in all this, I see but one thing clearly-that is, that the whole affair is no business of mine.

As I traversed the classes in company with M. Pelet, a profound silence reigned on all sides, and if by chance a murmur or a whisper arose, one glance from the pensive eye of this most gentle pedagogue stilled it instantly. It was astonishing, I thought, how so mild a check could prove so effectual. When I had perambulated the length and breadth of the classes, M. ” The proposal was unexpected. I had thought I should have been allowed at least 3 days to prepare; but it is a bad omen to 51 The Professor commence any career by hesitation, so I just stepped to the professor’s desk near which we stood, and faced the circle of my pupils.

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