She had a woman to take care of her called Mrs. Poole -- an able woman in her line, and very trustworthy,
but for one fault -- a fault common to a deal of them nurses and matrons --
she kept a private bottle of gin by her, and now and then took a drop over-much.
It is excusable, for she had a hard life of it: but still it was dangerous;
for when Mrs. Poole was fast asleep after the gin and water, the mad lady, who was as cunning as a witch,
would take the keys out of her pocket, let herself out of her chamber,
and go roaming about the house, doing any wild mischief that came into her head.
They say she had nearly burnt her husband in his bed once:
but I don't know about that.
However, on this night, she set fire first to the hangings of the room next her own,
and then she got down to a lower storey, and made her way to the chamber that had been the governess's --
(she was like as if she knew somehow how matters had gone on, and had a spite at her) --
and she kindled the bed there; but there was nobody sleeping in it, fortunately.
The governess had run away two months before;
and for all Mr. Rochester sought her as if she had been the most precious thing he had in the world, he never could hear a word of her;
and he grew savage -- quite savage on his disappointment: