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ning wild he was ! what glorious talent he had him sometimes with quotation for quotation, still to waste! That Rector of Haworth little even in the languages, other than English, which knew how to bring up and bring out his clever he most affected. On his side, he had a fund of family, and the boy least of all. He was a hard, information, experience, and anecdote, which he matter-of-fact man. So the girls worked their poured forth freely for my benefit, not at first own way to fame and death, the boy to death showing me anything of the rough side of his only! I knew them all. The father—upright, nature. handsome, distantly courteous, white - haired, Now, this Luddendenfoot was but three or tall; knowing me as his son's friend, he would four miles from my place by rail, of which I was treat me in the Grandisonian fashion, coming free and he, too, so that we saw one another frehimself down to the little inn to invite me, a boy, quently enough. This man of the world of up to his house, where I would be coldly uncom- twenty-two had already played parts. He had fortable until I could escape with Patrick Bran- been usher in a school, which he left in disgust; well to the moors. The daughters-distant and the lads, I think, ridiculed his downcast smalldistrait, large of nose, small of figure, red of ness. He had been private tutor also, and, when hair, prominent of spectacles; showing great in- that failed (such was this man's versatility), he tellectual development, but with eyes constantly had established himself in Bradford, at nineteen cast down, very silent, painfully retiring. This or twenty years of age, as a portrait-painter selfwas about the time of their first literary adven- taught, and had achieved considerable success, tures, I suppose-say 1843 or 1844. Branwell till eccentricity or desire of change removed him. was very like them, almost insignificantly small Then came a short time of which I never heard -one of his life's trials. He had a mass of red an explanation; but I fancy that he “gave it hair, which he wore brushed high off his fore- best,” as colonials say, for a time, and then probhead-to help his height, I fancy-a great, ably moped, and gave trouble at home. I am bumpy, intellectual forehead, nearly half the size sure, indeed, that he must have done so; for he of the whole facial contour; small, ferrety eyes, had at that time been studying De Quincey, and, deep sunk, and still further hidden by the never- with the obstinate determination of doing himremoved spectacles; prominent nose, but weak self whatever any one else had done, he posilower features. He had a downcast look, which tively began the practice of opium-eating. He never varied, save for a rapid, momentary glance did this until it became a habit, and when it had at long intervals. Small and thin of person, he seized upon his nervous system he underwent was the reverse of attractive at first sight. the torture of the damned, or of De Quincey at
This plain specimen of humanity, who died least. unhonored, might have made the world of litera- Then Brontë came to Luddendenfoot. I think ture and art ring with the name of which he was I did him so much good that he recovered himso proud. When I first met him, he was sta- self of his habits there after my advent. But he tion-master at a small roadside place on the was ever in extremes, gloriously great or as inManchester and Leeds Railway, Luddendenfoot gloriously small. He would discourse with wonby name. The line was only just opened. This drous knowledge upon subjects, moral, intellecstation was a rude wooden hut, and there was no tual, philosophical, for hours, and afterward acvillage near at hand. Had a position been chosen company his audience to the nearest publicfor this strange creature for the express pur- house, and recruit his exhausted powers by copose of driving him several steps to the bad, this pious libations. He was proud of his name, his must have been it. Alone in the wilds of York- strength, and his abilities. In his fits of passion shire, with few books, little to do, no prospects, I have seen him drive his doubled fist through and wretched pay, with no society congenial to the panel of a door: it seemed to soothe him; it his better tastes, but plenty of wild, rollicking, certainly bruised his knuckles. At times we hard-headed, half-educated manufacturers, who would drive over in a gig to Haworth (twelve would welcome him to their houses, and drink miles), and visit his people. He was then at his with him as often as he chose to come—what best, and would be eloquent and amusing, alwas this morbid man, who couldn't bear to be though sometimes he would burst into tears alone, to do?
when returning, and swear that he meant to I always have liked scamps with brains. amend. I believe, however, that he was half Here was one, as great a scamp as could be de- mad, and could not control himself. On one sired, and with an unexpected stock of brains, occasion he thought I was disposed to treat him indeed. He took to me amazingly—I suppose distantly at a party, and he retired in great dudfrom my difference to his then enforced compan- geon. When I arrived at my lodgings the same ions, for I was very young, and had the ideas evening I found the following, necessarily an and habits of a gentleman. Nay, I could meet impromptu :
"The man who will not know another,
One very important statement which he made Whose heart can never sympathize,
to me throws some light upon a question which Who loves not comrade, friend, or brother, I observe has long vexed the critics ; that is, the Unhonored lives—unnoticed dies.
authorship of "Wuthering Heights." It is wellHis frozen eye, his bloodless heart,
nigh incredible that a book so marvelous in its Nature, repugnant, bids depart.
strength, and in its dissection of the most mor“O Grundy! born for nobler aim,
bid passions of diseased minds, could have been Be thine the task to shun such shame; written by a young girl like Emily Brontë, who And henceforth never think that he
never saw much of the world or knew much of Who gives his hand in courtesy
mankind, and whose studies of life and characTo one who kindly feels to him,
ter, if they are entirely her own, must have been His gentle birth or name can dim.
chiefly evolved from her own imagination. Pat
rick Brontë declared to me, and what his sister “However mean a man may be,
said bore out the assertion, that he wrote a great Know man is man as well as thee; However high thy gentle line,
portion of “Wuthering Heights” himself. InKnow he who writes can rank with thine
deed, it is impossible for me to read that story And though his frame be worn and dead,
without meeting with many passages which I Some light still glitters round his head.
feel certain must have come from his pen. The
weird fancies of diseased genius with which he “Yes ! though his tottering limbs seem old, used to entertain me in our long talks at Ludden
His heart and blood are not yet cold. denfoot, reappear in the pages of the novel, and Ah, Grundy! shun his evil ways,
I am inclined to believe that the very plot was His restless nights, his troubled days ;
his invention rather than his sister's. But never slight his mind, which flies, Instinct with noble sympathies,
There was an old fortune-teller at Haworth, Afar from spleen and treachery,
ninety-five years of age, and Branwell and the
“three curates” used often to go and consult To thought, to kindness, and to thee.
“P. B. BRONTË."
her. She was a wonderful old soul, and, I think,
believed thoroughly in her arts. At any rate, One of Brontë's peculiarities was a habit of she was visited, either in jest or earnest, by the making use of the word “sir ” when addressing “carriage-people” of two counties; and we even his most intimate friends and acquaint- often took our day's spree on horseback or in ances; and if he made a quotation in Greek, “trap” thitherward. Nay, she entirely altered Latin, or French, he always translated it : “ Fiat the life of a friend of mine, a draughtsman, who justitia, ruat cælum’; that means, “Justice must was so impressed by her wonderful knowledge be done though the heavens fall.' I beg your of him and his doings, that he went home from pardon, sir, but I have been so much among the an interview with her and carried out all she had barbarians of the hills that I forgot,” etc., etc. told him, even to marrying a girl toward whom He one day sketched a likeness of me, which he had not previously been attracted. my mother kept until her death, and which is To return to “Brontë.” After a long time perhaps treasured in a more moderate manner something went wrong. How could it be otheramong my sisterhood now. He wrote a poem wise? It was never the special forte of a genius called “ Brontë,” illustrative of the life of Nel- to manage sixpences. He left the railway; and son, which, at his special request, I submitted my work in that part of Yorkshire also came to for criticism to Leigh Hunt, Miss Martineau, and a close for a time. I went to Manchester, Rugothers. All spoke in high terms of it. He gave by, London, Rochester, Warwick, Maidstone, as it to me only about two or three weeks before my profession demanded, and we lost sight of his death, and Frank Fowler, a literary aspirant, each other. After three years, however, fate sent got possession of it for his Sydney magazine me once again into Yorkshire, and I found myknown as “ The Month.” He did not publish it, self within seven miles of Haworth. The first but when he left for England he kept the manu- letter which I received was from Brontë. He script. Brontë drew a finished elevation of one was ill and unhappy. I offer no apology for givportion of Westminster Abbey from memory, ing extracts from some of the letters of this lifehaving been but once in London some years be- wrecked brother of great sisters, both because fore. It was no mean achievement, for the sketch he was one of a house of noble intellect in the was correct in every particular. He once wrote world of England's history; because there may an epitaph upon me, with a drawing of a marble be yet, here and there, one who believes in his mausoleum at its head. My mother kept that memory; and chiefly because those letters show too, and I remember nothing of it except that I the struggles of a man very different, at worst, wrote one in reply to it.
from the social demon of Mrs. Gaskell's creation. cure, but no medicine should be continued after a October 29, 1842.
Although the earlier of these letters was written for indulging in gloomy visions either of this world at a period antecedent to that at which my his- or another. I am incoherent, I fear, but I have been tory is now arrived, I have, for the sake of con- waking two nights witnessing such agonizing suffervenience, placed them here consecutively. ing as I would not wish my worst enemy to endure ;
and I have now lost the pride and director of all the HAWORTH, June 9, 1842.
happy days connected with my childhood. I have Dear Sir : Any feeling of disappointment which suffered such sorrow since I last saw you at Hathe perusal of your letter might otherwise have worth, that I do not now care if I were fighting in
India or | caused, was allayed by its kindly and considerate
, since, when the mind is depressed, tone ; but I should have been a fool, under present like croaking, I know well; only I request you to
danger is the most effectual cure. But you don't circumstances, to entertain any sanguine hopes respecting situations, etc. You ask me why I do not
understand from my two notes that I have not for
Yours, etc. turn my attention elsewhere ; and so I would have gotten you, but myself. done, but that most of my relatives and more imme
The gap here of two and a half years is that diate connections are clergymen, or by a private life previously mentioned when I had left Yorkshire. somewhat removed from this busy world. As for the Church-I have not one mental qualification,
HAWORTH, NEAR BRADFORD, May 22, 1845. save, perhaps, hypocrisy, which would make me cut
Dear SIR: I can not avoid the temptation to a figure in its pulpits. Mr. James Montgomery and cheer my spirits by scribbling a few lines to you another literary gentleman, who have lately seen
while I sit here alone-all the household being at something of my "head-work,” wish me to turn my church-the sole occupant of an ancient parsonage attention to literature, and, along with that advice, among lonely hills, which probably will never hear they give me plenty of puff and praise. All very the whistle of an engine till I am in my grave. well, but I have little conceit of myself, and great
After experiencing, since my return home, exdesire for activity. You say that you write with
treme pain and illness, with mental depression worse feelings similar to those with which you last left me; than either, I have at length acquired health and keep them no longer. I trust I am somewhat strength and soundness of mind, far superior, I changed, or should not be worth a thought; and trust, to anything shown by that miserable wreck you though nothing could ever give me your buoyant used to know under my name. I can now speak spirits and an outward man corresponding therewith, cheerfully, and enjoy the company of another withI may, in dress and appearance, emulate something out the stimulus of six glasses of whisky; I can like ordinary decency. And now, wherever coming write, think, and act with some apparent approach years may lead—Greenland's snows or sands of Afric to resolution, and I only want a motive for exertion -I trust, etc.
to be happier than I have been for years. But I feel
October 25, 1842. my recovery from almost insanity to be retarded by MY DEAR SIR: There is no misunderstanding. having nothing to listen to except the wind moaning I have had a long attendance at the death-bed of the among old chimneys and older ash-trees-nothing to Rev. Mr. Weightman, one of my dearest friends, look at except heathery hills, walked over when life and now I am attending at the death-bed of my had all to hope for and nothing to regret with meaunt, who has been for twenty years as my mother. no one to speak to except crabbed old Greeks and I expect her to die in a few hours.
Romans who have been dust the last five thousand As my sisters are far from home, I have had much years. And yet this quiet life, from its contrast, on my mind, and these things must serve as an apol. makes the year passed at Luddendenfoot appear like ogy for what was never intended as neglect of your a nightmare, for I would rather give my hand than friendship to us.
undergo again the groveling carelessness, the maligI had meant not only to have written to you, but nant yet cold debauchery, the determination to find to the Rev. James Martineau, gratefully and sin- how far mind could carry body without both being cerely acknowledging the receipt of his most kindly chucked into hell, which too often marked my conand truthful criticism—at least in advice, though too duct when there, lost as I was to all I really liked, generous far in praise—but one sad ceremony must, and seeking relief in the indulgence of feelings I fear, be gone through first. Give my most sincere which form the black spot on my character. respects to Mr. Stephenson, and excuse this scrawl ; Yet I have something still left in me which may my eyes are too dim with sorrow to see well. Be- do me service. But I ought not to remain too long lieve me, your not very happy but obliged friend and in solitude, for the world soon forgets those who servant,
P. B. BRONTĖ. have bidden it “Good-by.” Quiet is an excellent ness, which are already due to you. Give my sincere pened into declarations of more than ordinary feel. regards to Mr. Stephenson. A word or two, to ing. My admiration of her mental and personal show that you have not altogether forgotten me, attractions, my knowledge of her unselfish sincerity, will greatly please yours, etc., P. B. BRONTE. her sweet temper, and unwearied care for others,
patient's recovery ; so I am about, though ashamed MY DEAR SIR: As I don't want to lose a real of the business, to dun you for answers to— (Here friend, I write in deprecation of the tone of your follow inquiries as to obtaining some appointment.) letter. Death only has made me neglectful of your Excuse the trouble I am giving to one on whose kindness, and I have lately had so much experience kindness I have no claim, and for whose services I with him, that your sister would not now blame me am offering no return except gratitude and thankful
with but unrequited return where most should have But Brontë got no situation with us. Indeed, been given, . . . although she is seventeen years my it was altogether improbable, for the cause of senior, all combined to an attachment on my part, his leaving his appointment had been too notori- and led to reciprocations which I had little looked ously glaring. His absence, carousing with con- for. During nearly three years I had daily “ trougenial drinkers (anything rather than “congenial bled pleasure, soon chastised by fear.” Three months spirits” were those rough, coarse, half-educated since I received a furious letter from my employer,
threatening to shoot me if I returned from my vacamen), had been of days' continuance. He had a
tion, which I was passing at home; and letters from porter at the insignificant station where he was
her lady's-maid and physician informed me of the to whom he left all the work, and the result was outbreak, only checked by her firm courage and that very serious defalcations were discovered, resolution that, whatever harm came to her, none and the inquiry which succeeded brought out should come to me. .. I have lain during nine everything. Brontë was not suspected of the long weeks utterly shattered in body and broken theft himself, but was convicted of constant and down in mind. The probability of her becoming culpable carelessness, so that it was almost hope- free to give me herself and estate never rose to less to seek for work with us again. He remained drive away the prospect of her decline under her a year longer at home, and then came the begin- present grief. I dreaded, too, the wreck of my ning of the end. I had one or two desponding mind and body, which, God knows, during a short letters during 1845 and 1846, and then he wrote life have been severely tried. Eleven continuous to tell me that he was appointed tutor to
nights of sleepless horror reduced me to almost This information was followed by a silence upon the sweet scenery, the sea, the sound
blindness, and, being taken into Wales to recover,
music, any subject of interest to the public of some two caused me fits of unspeakable distress. You will years, during which time fate was weaving her web and enshrouding him in its meshes. The say, “What a fool!” but, if you knew the many
causes I have for sorrow which I can not even hint next letter, and the others which followed quick- at here, you would perhaps pity as well as blame. ly, are all without dates, but must have been At the kind request of Mr. Macaulay and Mr. written within a few months of January, 1848: Baines, I have striven to arouse my mind by writing
something worthy of being read, but I really can I fear you will burn my present letter on recog- not do so. Of course, you will despise the writer nizing the handwriting; but, if you will read ii of all this. I can only answer that the writer does through, you will perhaps rather pity than spurn the the same, and would not wish to live if he did not distress of mind which could prompt my communica- hope that work and change may yet restore him. tion after a silence of nearly three (to me) eventful
Apologizing sincerely for what seems like whinyears. While very ill and confined to my room, I ing egotism, and hardly daring to hint about days wrote to you two months ago, hearing that you were
when in your company I could sometimes sink the resident engineer of the Skipton Railway, to the inn thoughts which “ remind me of departed days,” I at Skipton. I never received any reply; and, as my fear departed never to return, I remain, etc. letter asked only for one day of your society, to ease a very weary mind in the company of a friend who
HAWORTH, BRADFORD, YORK. always had what I always wanted, but most want
Dear Sir: I must again trouble you withnow, cheerfulness, I am sure you never received my [Here comes another prayer for employment, with, letter, or your heart would have prompted an answer. at the same time, a confession that his health alone
Since I last shook hands with you in Halifax, renders the wish all but hopeless]. Subsequently two summers ago, my life till lately has been one of he says: The gentleman with whom I have been is apparent happiness and indulgence. You will ask, dead. His property is left in trust for the family, “Why does he complain, then ?”. I can only reply provided I do not see the widow; and, if I do, it by showing the undercurrent of distress which bore reverts to the executing trustees, with ruin to her. my bark to a whirlpool, despite the surface-waves She is now distracted with sorrows and agonies; of life that seemed floating me to peace. In a letter and the statement of her case, as given by her begun in the spring of 1848, and never finished, coachman, who has come to see me at Haworth, owing to incessant attacks of illness, I tried to tell fills me with inexpressible grief. Her mind is disyou that I was tutor to the son of -, a wealthy tracted to the verge of insanity, and mine is so gentleman whose wife is sister to the wife of
wearied that I wish I were in my grave. Yours M. P. for the county of and the cousin of Lord
P. B. BRONTE. This lady (though her husband detested me) showed me a degree of kindness which, when I was Soon there is another letter, wearying for deeply grieved one day at her husband's conduct, ri- work, although illness of body and mind have
brought on sleeplessness and disordered action uncut hair, wildly floating round a great, gaunt of the heart :
forehead; the cheeks yellow and hollow, the
mouth fallen, the thin white lips not trembling Since I saw Mr. George Gooch I have suffered but shaking, the sunken eyes, once small, now much from the accounts of the declining health of glaring with the light of madness—all told the her whom I must love most in this world, and who, sad tale but too surely. I hastened to my friend, for my fault, suffers sorrows which surely were never her due. My father, too, is now quite blind, and best liked, drew him quickly into the room, and
greeted him in my gayest manner, as I knew he from such causes literary pursuits have become mat: forced upon him a stiff glass of hot brandy. ters I have no heart to wield. If I could see you it Under its influence, and that of the bright, cheerwould be a sincere pleasure, but .... Perhaps your memory of me may be dimmed, for you have ful surroundings, he looked frightened—frightknown little in me worth remembering ; but I still ened of himself. He glanced at me a moment, think often with pleasure of yourself, though so dif- and muttered something of leaving a warm bed ferent from me in head and mind.
to come out into the cold night. Another glass
of brandy, and returning warmth gradually I invited him to come to me at the Devon- brought him back to something like the Brontë shire Hotel, Skipton, a distance of some seven- of old. He even ate some dinner, a thing which teen miles, and in reply received the last letter he said he had not done for long; so our last he ever wrote:
interview was pleasant, though grave. I never
knew his intellect clearer. He described himself If I have strength enough for the journey, and the weather be tolerable, I shall feel happy in visit
as waiting anxiously for death-indeed, longing ing you at the Devonshire on Friday, the 31st of this for it, and happy, in these his sane moments, to
think that it was so near. month. The sight of a face I have been accus
He once again detomed to see and like when I was happier and clared that that death would be due to the story stronger, now proves my best medicine.
I knew, and to nothing else.
When at last I was compelled to leave, he As he never came to see me, I shortly made quietly drew from his coat-sleeve a carving-knife, up my mind to visit him at Haworth, and was placed it on the table, and, holding me by both shocked at the wrecked and wretched appear- hands, said that, having given up all thoughts of ance he presented. Yet he still craved for an ever seeing me again, he imagined when my mesappointment of any kind, in order that he might sage came that it was a call from Satan. Dresstry the excitement of change-of course useless- ing himself, he took the knise, which he had long ly. I now heard his painful history from his own had secreted, and came to the inn, with a full lips—his happiness, his misery, and the sad story determination to rush into the room and stab the which was the end. He was miserable. At occupant. In the excited state of his mind he home the sternness of his father had never re- did not recognize me when he opened the door, laxed, and he was unfitted for outside social but my voice and manner conquered him, and companionship. He was lost now, for he had brought him home to himself,” as he expressed taken again to opium.
it. I left him standing bareheaded in the road, Very soon I went to Haworth again to see with bowed form and dropping tears. A few him, for the last time. From the little inn I days afterward he died. sent for him to the great, square, cold-looking Poor fellow! this short story by a weak hand Rectory. I had ordered a dinner for two, and is all the biography his memory will know. His the room looked cozy and warm, the bright glass age was twenty-eight. I have always been of and silver pleasantly reflecting the sparkling fire- opinion that it remained for me to clear his name light, deeply toned by the red curtains. While from the weight of accusation heaped upon it. I waited his appearance, his father was shown I knew him, and indeed, I believe, all the family, in. Much of the Rector's old stiffness of man- better than Mrs. Gaskell did. He was a dear ner was gone. He spoke of Branwell with more old friend, who from the rich storehouse of his affection than I had ever heretofore heard him knowledge taught me much. I make my humble express, but he also spoke almost hopelessly. effort to do my duty to his memory. His letters He said that when my message came Branwell to me revealed more of his soul's struggles than was in bed, and had been almost too weak for probably was known to any other. Patrick Branthe last few days to leave it ; nevertheless, he well Brontë was no domestic demon-he was had insisted upon coming, and would be there just a man moving in a mist, who lost his way. immediately. We parted, and I never saw him More sinned against, mayhap, than sinning, at again.
least he proved the reality of his sorrows. They Presently the door opened cautiously, and a killed him, and it needed not that his memory head appeared. It was a mass of red, unkempt, should have been tarnished, much, as I think, to