He deferred his departure a whole week, and during that time he made me feel what severe punishment a good yet stern, a conscientious yet implacable man can inflict on one who has offended him.Are we all in agreement that Jane should so not be marrying him?
This is why it's hard to like St. John. He's off to do good works, but he's just so squicky and manipulative.
Luckily, Jane sees this:
"Once more, why this refusal?" he asked.And then he tries to convince her she should go to India with some acquaintances of his, since it would be breaking a promise (which she totally didn't make) to not go.
"Formerly," I answered, "because you did not love me; now, I reply, because you almost hate me. If I were to marry you, you would kill me. You are killing me now."
"There is no dishonour, no breach of promise, no desertion in the case. I am not under the slightest obligation to go to India, especially with strangers."So St. John turns mean, though he no doubt thinks he's just being frank:
"I know where your heart turns and to what it clings. The interest you cherish is lawless and unconsecrated. Long since you ought to have crushed it: now you should blush to allude to it. You think of Mr. Rochester?"But still, St. John's got a forceful personality, and Jane might just be convinced, if he presses the right moral buttons. But as she's standing there thinking that maybe she'll go ahead and marry him if it seems like it's the right thing to do, she hears a disembodied voice calling from elsewhere.
It belongs, of course, to Rochester.