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Lowood School. Chapter 2




 

It was the month of January. I arrived at Lowood School at night. A servant took me up some stairs and into a big bedroom. There were many beds in the room. The girls in the beds were asleep. The servant took me to an empty bed. I put on my nightclothes and I got into bed. Soon, I was asleep too.

I woke up very early. A loud bell was ringing. The bed­room was dark and cold. I watched the other girls. They washed in cold water and they dressed quickly.


 

There was a plain brown dress next to my bed. And there was a pair of ugly, heavy shoes. I washed quickly. Then I put on my new clothes.

I was very hungry. I followed the other girls down the stairs. We sat down at long tables in a large dining- room. Our food was terrible.

'The food is bad again,' one of the girls said.

'Stand up!' a teacher shouted. 'Don't talk!'

We stood up. We did not speak. We walked into a big schoolroom and we sat down.

There were about eighty girls in the schoolroom. And there were four classes. The oldest girls were in the fourth class. I was in the first class.

Four teachers came into the room and we began our lessons. The lessons were not interesting. First, we read some pages in a book. Then our teacher asked us ques­tions about those pages.

After four hours, we went outside. It was very cold. Very soon, a bell rang. Lessons started again.

Three weeks passed. One afternoon, the head teacher came into the schoolroom. The head teacher's name was Miss Temple. Mr Brocklehurst was with her. We all stood up. I stood behind an older girl. I did not want Mr Brocklehurst to see me.

Mr Brocklehurst walked slowly round the room. Everybody was very quiet. And then I dropped my book!

Mr Brocklehurst stopped walking. He looked at me.

 

'Ah! The new girl,' he said. 'Come here, Jane Eyre!' Then he pointed at two of the older girls. 'You two girls ~ put Jane Eyre on that high chair!' he said.

'Look at Jane Eyre, every­body!' Mr Brocklehurst said. 'This child is bad. She is a liar. She will be punished! Miss Temple! Teachers! Girls! Do not talk to this child.' Then he spoke to me again. 'Jane Eyre, you must stand on that chair for two hours,' he said. 'You are a bad girl!'

That evening, I cried and cried. But Miss Temple was kind to me.

'You are a good pupil, Jane,' she said. 'And you are not a bad girl. I am your friend, Jane.' 'Thank you, Miss Temple,' I said.

Lowood School was in an unhealthy place. The build­ings were wet and cold. Mr Brocklehurst owned the school. He was a rich man. But he did not buy warm clothes for us. And he did not buy good food for us. Everybody hated him.

In the spring, many of the girls became sick. Some of them left the school. They never came back. Many of the girls died.

That spring was a terrible time. We had no lessons. Miss Temple and the other teachers took care of the sick pupils. Mr Brocklehurst had to buy better food for us. And he had to buy warm clothes for us. Mr Brocklehurst never came to the school.

The next year, Lowood School moved to a better place. It was a healthier place. There were new school­rooms, new bedrooms and a new dining-room. The new buildings were bright and clean. The teachers were happy. After that, I was happy at Lowood School too.

I was a pupil at Lowood School for six years. Then I became a teacher. I was a teacher at the school for two years. But I never returned to Gateshead Hall. And the Reeds never wrote to me.


 







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