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Jane's nights are still filled with dreams of Mr. Rochester. But her days are satisfying. She finds that some of the "heavy-looking, gaping rustics" in her classroom are actually turning out to be good students, and she feels that she's well liked in the neighborhood.
In the meantime, she has been learning more about Rosamond Oliver. Jane decides that Rosamond, though somewhat shallow, is a basically cheerful and good hearted person. Perhaps more important, Jane visits Rosamond's home, Vale Hall, and learns that Mr. Oliver would be very happy to see his daughter marry St. John. A self-made man, whose fortune is from his needle factory, Mr. Oliver is attracted to the idea of his daughter marrying into an old, upper-class family like the Rivers's. He doesn't care a bit that they are no longer wealthy. It occurs to Jane that by marrying Rosamond, St. John could make himself happy, and by putting Rosamond's money to good use, still accomplish as much as he would in a lifetime of missionary work.
To sound out St. John's feelings, Jane shows him a portrait she's drawn of Rosamond. St. John admits that he loves Rosamond "wildly," but he is also convinced that he would soon be sorry if he married her. Rosamond would not make a good missionary's wife.
Why not give up the idea of becoming a missionary, Jane suggests.
St. John won't listen. He assures Jane that although he seems distraught over giving up Rosamond, he will soon forget her. He is more cold-hearted than Jane thinks, he insists.
From the way St. John talks about Rosamond, you might well suspect that he's giving her up because he loves her. Do you think he's the kind of person who feels he must sacrifice his happiness in order to serve God? Or does St. John enjoy punishing himself? Is he afraid of love and sex? Or too self-centered to commit himself to a relationship with another human being? All we know for sure is that St. John is too confused to fully understand his own motives.
While St. John is looking at Rosamond's portrait, he notices something on the blank sheet of paper Jane uses to protect the painting. He's visibly startled. Jane doesn't know why, but she sees him tear off a corner of it and slip it into his glove-then he quickly leaves.