Extract from Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre:
'You are sure, then, Helen, that there is such a place as heaven, and that our souls can get to it when we die?'
'I am sure there is a future state; I believe God is good; I can resign my immortal part to Him without any misgiving. God is my father; God is my friend: I love Him; I believe He loves me.'
'And shall I see you again, Helen, when I die?'
'You will come to the same region of happiness: be received by the same mighty, universal Parent, no doubt, dear Jane.'
Again I questioned, but this time only in thought. 'Where is that region? Does it exist?' And I clasped my arms closer around Helen; she seemed dearer to me than ever; I felt as if I could not let her go; I lay with my face hidden on her neck. Presently she said, in the sweetest tone-
'How comfortable I am! That last fit of coughing has tired me a little; I feel as if I could sleep: but don't leave me, Jane; I like to have you near me.'
'I'll stay with you, dear Helen: no one shall take me away.'
'Are you warm, darling?'
She kissed me, and I her, and we both soon slumbered.
When I awoke it was day: an unusual movement roused me; I looked up; I was in somebody's arms; the nurse held me; she was carrying me through the passage back to the dormitory. I was not reprimanded for leaving my bed; people had something else to think about; no explanation was afforded then to my many questions; but a day or two afterwards I learned that Miss Temple, on returning to her own room at dawn, had found me laid in the little crib; my face against Helen Burns's shoulder, my arms round her neck. I was asleep, and Helen was- dead.
Her grave is in Brocklebridge churchyard: for fifteen years after her death it was only covered by a grassy mound; but now a grey marble tablet marks the spot, inscribed with her name, and the word