Jane Eyre: Novel Summary: Chapters 23-24
Chapter 23: One evening while Jane is walking in the park she meets Rochester. He asks Jane if she will be sorry to leave Thornfield. She says that she will, and Rochester tells her that he must give her notice. He tells her that he has found her a position with a Mrs. Dionysius O'Gall in Ireland. Jane says that she will be sorry to be so far from Thornfield and from Rochester himself. They talk more about Jane's sorrow at leaving until Rochester swears that she must stay and gathers her to him and kisses her. He then offers her his hand in marriage. Jane is not sure what to think, as she believes he is playing a game with her, but he finally convinces her he is true, and she accepts. Mrs. Fairfax is surprised to see them embrace when they return to the house.
Chapter 24: The next day Rochester tells Jane that they will be married in four weeks and that they will travel to Paris, Rome and Naples. He then tells her to ask of him anything, and she says that she has been curious about something. Rochester gets quite serious and his demeanor changes, but he is relieved when Jane only asks why he had made her think that he meant to marry Miss Ingram. He replies that he wished to make her jealous to see how deep her love for him really ran. He tells her to ask of him more, and she says that she wishes Mrs. Fairfax to know of their marriage.
Later, when Jane sees Rochester leave Mrs. Fairfax, Jane enters to find her disbelieving. She asks if it is true, and warns Jane to be on her guard, saying that she cannot be too careful, as men like Mr. Rochester "are not accustomed to marry their governesses." Rochester calls for Jane to take her to town to buy some new gowns, and while they do buy some, Jane has to talk Rochester out of buying her so many and of buying her such fancy ones. She also has to talk him out of the jeweler's shop.
With all of the excitement, Jane had forgotten all about her uncle's letter. She decides to write to him immediately, and feels that if her uncle tells her that she will get an inheritance later, she will feel better about Rochester supporting her now. Rochester is concerned about her not taking things from him, and she explains that she does not want to be like his French opera-dancer mistress, but would rather continue on as governess for her wages. Later in the evening Jane gets Rochester to sing and play the piano for her, and she is colder to him, remembering Mrs. Fairfax's warning.