Mr. Rochester Quotes

Something of daylight still lingered, and the moon was waxing bright: I could see him plainly. His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, I traced the general points of middle height, and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features, and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth, but had not reached middle age; perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him, and but a little shyness. Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him against his will, and offering my services unasked…I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that is bright but antipathetic.

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 12. Jane is out walking on her way to Hay to deliver a letter for posting. On the way she unknowingly meets Mr. Rochester for the first time, when a horse and rider slip and fall on a sheet of ice. There is an air of mystery about the stranger she goes to aid and will eventually marry. Here Bronte depicts the masculine in the person of Rochesteer as not having “beauty, elegance, gallantry.” Instead he is the anti-hero – stern, gruff, brooding, and not at all handsome and heroic looking. But despite Rochester’s dark, intense and stern appearance, Jane is immediately drawn to him. She later learns that he is Rochester. Their first meeting, set against the backdrop of the moon-lit hills, has a Gothic air about it. On first hearing the horse approach, Jane thinks of Bessie’s ghost stories about “Gytrash,” a spirit creature that is sometimes horse and sometimes large dog.