Helen Burns: An angelic fellow-student and best friend of Jane's at Lowood School. Several years older than the ten-year-old Jane, she stoically accepts all the cruelties of the teachers and the deficiencies of the school's room and board. She refuses to complain, believing in the New Testament teaching that one should love one's enemies and turn the other cheek. She dies of consumption, while Jane sleeps besides her.
“If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”
“I am very happy, Jane; and when you hear that I am dead you must be sure and not grieve: there is nothing to grieve about. We all must die one day, and the illness which is removing me is not painful; it is gentle and gradual: my mind is at rest. I leave no one to regret me much: I have only a father; and he is lately married, and will not miss me. By dying young I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault.”
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