I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.
This words we read at page 605 of “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. They belong to the protagonist of the story, Jane herself. This is her answer to the last desperate attempt of Mr. Rochester to stop her from leaving. Mr. Rochester asks Jane if she has someone who cares for her except him alone and the woman angrily replies with this quote. Her self-respect is indeed more valuable for her than even love. Jane will never live as a mistress of a man who hid the fact of his marriage from her.
Despite she is bitter and her heart is breaking apart, Jane can’t trust Mr. Rochester anymore, so she leaves, pretending that it is better for her to be alone. That is not quite true and Jane partially admits it saying that every living being is created to endure the harsh moments of life. She warmly says goodbye to Mr. Rochester and kisses him farewell, hoping they both will heal their broken hearts back and find peace in solitude.