I suppose one is to gather that Mr. Rochester has been teasing and testing Jane this whole time. He put it in her mind, very convincingly, that he was set to wed Miss Ingram. He even allowed Jane to think that she would be sent away when they were married.
When Jane is requested at Mrs. Reed's deathbed (you will remember her neglectful and cold-hearted aunt) she respectfully fulfills her obligation and is away from Thornfield Hall for about six weeks. When she returns to Thornfield Hall she realizes that it has become her home, the only real home she has ever known. She is also surprised and startled by how happy she is to be reunited with her master, Mr. Rochester. She can barely contain her emotions, though she tries very hard.
One day while walking alone with Mr. Rochester in the garden, she is shocked to find out that the time has come for her to pursue other employment because Mr. Rochester's marriage looms. This is the breaking point for our stoic Jane. All the emotions that she has guarded against discovery, come springing to the surface.
Jane says,"I grieve to leave Thornfield: I love Thornfield: I love it, becuase I have lived in it a full and delightful life-momentarily at least. I have not been trampled on. I have not been petrified. I have not been buried with inferior minds, and excluded from every glimpse of communion with what is bright and energetic and high. I have talked, face to face, with what I reverence, with what I delight in-with an original, a vigorous, an expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester; and it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death" (Bronte 239).
Mr. Rochester then confuses her and tells her to stay, not explaining yet that he has no intention of marrying Miss Ingram. Jane's impassioned response is,"Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?-a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!-I have as much soul as you-and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal-as we are!" (Bronte 240).
Mr. Rochester then has a difficult time of convincing Jane that he feels the same. He says,"What love have I for Miss Ingram? None: and that you know. What love has she for me? None: as I have taken pains to prove: I caused a rumour to reach her that my fortune was not a third of what was supposed, and after that I presented myself to see the result; it was coldness both from her and her mother. I would not-I could not-marry Miss Ingram. You-you strange, you almost unearthly thing!-I love you as my own flesh. You-poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are-I entreat you to accept me as a husband" (Bronte 242).
Mr. Rochester and Jane are finally on the same page!!! It is such a romantic and wonderful scene. Now that they are together I wonder what will happen. I am barely past the halfway point so there is plenty of room for drama...