The Three Brontes
Part 4 out of 5
And there is Fernando, who stole his love from Zamorna. He is a sort of
shadowy forerunner of Edgar Linton.
There is the yeoman Percy, the father of Mary whom Zamorna loved. And
there is Zamorna.
A large group of poems in the legend refer, obviously, I think, to the
same person. Zamorna is the supreme hero, the Achilles of this northern
Iliad. He is the man of sin, the "son of war and love", the child
"unblessed of heaven", abandoned by its mother, cradled in the heather
and rocked by the winter storm, the doomed child, grown to its doom,
like Heathcliff. His story is obscure and broken, but when all the
Zamorna poems are sorted from the rest, you make out that, like
Heathcliff, he ravished from her home the daughter of his mortal enemy
(with the difference that Zamorna loves Mary); and that like Heathcliff
he was robbed of the woman that he loved. The passions of Zamorna are
the passions of Heathcliff. He dominates a world of savage loves and
mortal enmities like the world of _Wuthering Heights_. There are
passages in this saga that reveal the very aspect of the soul of
Heathcliff. Here are some of them.
Zamorna, in prison, cries out to his "false friend and treacherous
"If I have sinned; long, long ago
That sin was purified by woe.
I have suffered on through night and day,
I've trod a dark and frightful way."
It is what Heathcliff says to Catherine Earnshaw: "I've fought through a
bitter life since I last heard your voice."
If grief for grief can touch thee,
If answering woe for woe,
If any ruth can melt thee,
Come to me now.
It is the very voice of Heathcliff calling to Cathy.
Again, he is calling to "Percy", the father of Mary, his bride, the rose
that he plucked from its parent stem, that died from the plucking.
Bitterly, deeply I've drunk of thy woe;
When thy stream was troubled, did mine calmly flow?
And yet I repent not; I'd crush thee again
If our vessels sailed adverse on life's stormy main.
But listen! The earth is our campaign of war,
* * * * *
Is there not havoc and carnage for thee
Unless thou couchest thy lance at me?
He proposes to unite their arms.
Then might thy Mary bloom blissfully still
This hand should ne'er work her sorrow or ill.
* * * * *
What! shall Zamorna go down to the dead
With blood on his hands that he wept to have shed?
The alliance is refused. Percy is crushed. Mary is dying, the rose is
Its faded buds already lie
To deck my coffin when I die.
Bring them here--'twill not be long,
'Tis the last word of the woeful song;
And the final and dying words are sung
To the discord of lute strings all unstrung.
* * * * *
Have I crushed you, Percy? I'd raise once more
The beacon-light on the rocky shore.
Percy, my love is so true and deep,
That though kingdoms should wail and worlds should weep,
I'd fling the brand in the hissing sea,
The brand that must burn unquenchably.
Your rose is mine; when the sweet leaves fade,
They must be the chaplet to wreathe my head
The blossoms to deck my home with the dead.
Zamorna is tenderer than Heathcliff. He laments for his rose.
On its bending stalk a bonny flower
In a yeoman's home close grew;
It had gathered beauty from sunshine and shower,
From moonlight and silent dew.
* * * * *
Keenly his flower the yeoman guarded,
He watched it grow both day and night;
From the frost, from the wind, from the storm he warded
That flush of roseate light.
And ever it glistened bonnilie
Under the shade of the old yew-tree.
* * * * *
The rose is blasted, withered, blighted
Its root has felt a worm,
And like a heart beloved and slighted,
Failed, faded, shrunk its form.
Bud of beauty, bonny flower,
I stole thee from thy natal bower.
I was the worm that withered thee....
And he sings of Mary, on her death-bed in her delirium. He will not
believe that she is dying.
Oh! say not that her vivid dreams
Are but the shattered glass
Which but because more broken, gleams
More brightly in the grass.
Her spirit is the unfathomed lake
Whose face the sudden tempests break
To one tormented roar;
But as the wild winds sink in peace
All those disturbed waves decrease
Till each far-down reflection is
As life-like as before.
Her death is not the worst.
I cannot weep as once I wept
Over my western beauty's grave.
* * * * *
I am speaking of a later stroke,
A death the dream of yesterday,
Still thinking of my latest shock,
A noble friendship torn away.
I feel and say that I am cast
From hope, and peace, and power, and pride
* * * * *
Without a voice to speak to you
Save that deep gong which tolled my doom,
And made my dread iniquity
Look darker than my deepest gloom.
But the crucial passage (for the sources) is the scene in the yeoman's
hall where Zamorna comes to Percy. He comes stealthily.
That step he might have used before
When stealing on to lady's bower,
Forth at the same still twilight hour,
For the moon now bending mild above
Showed him a son of war and love.
His eye was full of that sinful fire
Which oft unhallowed passions light.
It spoke of quickly kindled ire,
Of love too warm, and wild, and bright.
Bright, but yet sullied, love that could never
Bring good in rising, leave peace in decline,
Woe to the gifted, crime to the giver....
* * * * *
Now from his curled and shining hair,
Circling the brow of marble fair,
His dark, keen eyes on Percy gaze
With stern and yet repenting rays.
* * * * *
He loves Percy whose rose was his, and he hates him, as Heathcliff might
have loved and hated, but with less brutality.
Young savage! how he bends above
The object of his wrath and love,
How tenderly his fingers press
The hand that shrinks from their caress.
The yeoman turns on "the man of sin".
What brought you here? I called you not
* * * * *
Are you a hawk to follow the prey,
When mangled it flutters feebly away?
A sleuth-hound to track the deer by his blood,
When wounded he wins to the darkest wood,
There, if he can, to die alone?
It might have been Heathcliff and a Linton.
So much for Zamorna.
Finally, there are two poems in Mr. Shorter's collection that, verse for
prose, might have come straight out of _Wuthering Heights_. One
(inspired by Byron) certainly belongs to the Zamorna legend of the
And now the house-dog stretched once more
His limbs upon the glowing floor;
The children half resume their play,
Though from the warm hearth scared away;
The good-wife left her spinning-wheel
And spread with smiles the evening meal;
The shepherd placed a seat and pressed
To their poor fare the unknown guest,
And he unclasped his mantle now,
And raised the covering from his brow,
Said, voyagers by land and sea
Were seldom feasted daintily,
And cheered his host by adding stern
He'd no refinement to unlearn.
Which is what Heathcliff would have said sternly. Observe the effect of
A silence settled on the room,
The cheerful welcome sank to gloom;
But not those words, though cold or high,
So froze their hospitable joy.
No--there was something in his face,
Some nameless thing which hid not grace,
And something in his voice's tone
Which turned their blood as chill as stone.
The ringlets of his long black hair
Fell o'er a cheek most ghastly fair.
Youthful he seemed--but worn as they
Who spend too soon their youthful day.
When his glance dropped, 'twas hard to quell
Unbidden feelings' hidden swell;
And Pity scarce her tears could hide,
So sweet that brow with all its pride.
But when upraised his eye would dart
An icy shudder through the heart,
Compassion changed to horror then,
And fear to meet that gaze again.
It was not hatred's tiger-glare,
Nor the wild anguish of despair;
It was not either misery
Which quickens friendship's sympathy;
No--lightning all unearthly shone
Deep in that dark eye's circling zone,
Such withering lightning as we deem
None but a spirit's look may beam;
And glad were all when he turned away
And wrapt him in his mantle grey,
And hid his head upon his arm,
And veiled from view his basilisk charm.
That, I take it, is Zamorna, that Byronic hero, again; but it is also
uncommonly like Heathcliff, with "his basilisk eyes". And it is dated
July 1839, seven years before _Wuthering Heights_ was written.
The other crucial instance is a nameless poem to the Earth.
I see around me piteous tombstones grey
Stretching their shadows far away.
Beneath the turf my footsteps tread
Lie low and lone the silent dead;
Beneath the turf, beneath the mould,
For ever dark, for ever cold.
And my eyes cannot hold the tears
That memory hoards from vanished years.
For Time and Death and mortal pain
Give wounds that will not heal again.
Let me remember half the woe
I've seen and heard and felt below,
And heaven itself, so pure and blest,
Could never give my spirit rest.
Sweet land of light! Thy children fair
Know nought akin to our despair;
Nor have they felt, nor can they tell
What tenants haunt each mortal cell,
What gloomy guests we hold within,
Torments and madness, fear and sin!
Well, may they live in ecstasy
Their long eternity of joy;
At least we would not bring them down
With us to weep, with us to groan.
No, Earth would wish no other sphere
To taste her cup of suffering drear;
She turns from heaven a tearless eye
And only mourns that _we_ must die!
Ah mother! what shall comfort thee
In all this boundless misery?
To cheer our eager eyes awhile,
We see thee smile, how fondly smile!
But who reads not through the tender glow
Thy deep, unutterable woe?
Indeed no darling hand above
Can cheat thee of thy children's love.
We all, in life's departing shine,
Our last dear longings blend with thine,
And struggle still, and strive to trace
With clouded gaze thy darling face.
We would not leave our nature home
For _any_ world beyond the tomb.
No, mother, on thy kindly breast
Let us be laid in lasting rest,
Or waken but to share with thee
A mutual immortality.
There is the whole spirit of _Wuthering Heights_; the spirit of
Catherine Earnshaw's dream; the spirit that in the last page broods over
the moorland graveyard. It is instinct with a more than pagan adoration
of the tragic earth, adored because of her tragedy.
It would be dangerous to assert positively that "Remembrance" belongs to
the same song-cycle; but it undoubtedly belongs to the same cycle, or
rather cyclone, of passion; the cyclone that rages in the hearts of
Heathcliff and of Catherine. The genius of Emily Bronte was so far
dramatic that, if you could divide her poems into the personal and
impersonal, the impersonal would be found in a mass out of all
proportion to the other. But, with very few exceptions, you cannot so
divide them; for in her continuous and sustaining dream, the vision that
lasted for at least eleven years of her life, from eighteen-thirty-four,
the earliest date of any known Gondal poem, to eighteen-forty-five, the
last appearance of the legend, she _was_ these people; she lived,
indistinguishably and interchangeably, their tumultuous and passionate
life. Sometimes she is the lonely spirit that looks on in immortal
irony, raised above good and evil. More often she is a happy god,
immanent in his restless and manifold creations, rejoicing in this
multiplication of himself. It is she who fights and rides, who loves and
hates, and suffers and defies. She heads one poem naively: "To the Horse
Black Eagle that I rode at the Battle of Zamorna." The horse _I_ rode!
If it were not glorious, it would be (when you think what her life was
in that Parsonage) most mortally pathetic.
But it is all in keeping. For, as she could dare the heavenly, divine
adventure, so there was no wild and ardent adventure of the earth she
did not claim.
* * * * *
Love of life and passionate adoration of the earth, adoration and
passion fiercer than any pagan knew, burns in _Wuthering Heights_. And
if that were all, it would be impossible to say whether her mysticism or
her paganism most revealed the soul of Emily Bronte.
In _Wuthering Heights_ we are plunged apparently into a world of most
unspiritual lusts and hates and cruelties; into the very darkness and
thickness of elemental matter; a world that would be chaos, but for the
iron Necessity that brings its own terrible order, its own implacable
law of lust upon lust begotten, hate upon hate, and cruelty upon
cruelty, through the generations of Heathcliffs and of Earnshaws.
Hindley Earnshaw is brutal to the foundling, Heathcliff, and degrades
him. Heathcliff, when his hour comes, pays back his wrong with the
interest due. He is brutal beyond brutality to Hindley Earnshaw, and he
degrades Hareton, Hindley's son, as he himself was degraded; but he is
not brutal to him. The frustrated passion of Catherine Earnshaw for
Heathcliff, and of Heathcliff for Catherine, hardly knows itself from
hate; they pay each other back torture for torture, and pang for
hopeless pang. When Catherine marries Edgar Linton, Heathcliff marries
Isabella, Edgar's sister, in order that he may torture to perfection
Catherine and Edgar and Isabella. His justice is more than poetic. The
love of Catherine Earnshaw was all that he possessed. He knows that he
has lost it through the degradation that he owes to Hindley Earnshaw. It
is because an Earnshaw and a Linton between them have robbed him of all
that he possessed, that, when his hour comes, he pays himself back by
robbing the Lintons and the Earnshaws of all that _they_ possess, their
Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. He loathes above all loathely
creatures, Linton, his own son by Isabella. The white-blooded thing is
so sickly that he can hardly keep it alive. But with an unearthly
cruelty he cherishes, he nourishes this spawn till he can marry it on
its death-bed to the younger Catherine, the child of Catherine Earnshaw
and of Edgar Linton. This supreme deed accomplished, he lets the
creature die, so that Thrushcross Grange may fall into his hands. Judged
by his bare deeds, Heathcliff seems a monster of evil, a devil without
any fiery infernal splendour, a mean and sordid devil.
But--and this is what makes Emily Bronte's work stupendous--not for a
moment can you judge Heathcliff by his bare deeds. Properly speaking,
there are no bare deeds to judge him by. Each deed comes wrapt in its
own infernal glamour, trailing a cloud of supernatural splendour. The
whole drama moves on a plane of reality superior to any deed. The spirit
of it, like Emily Bronte's spirit, is superbly regardless of the
material event. As far as material action goes Heathcliff is singularly
inert. He never seems to raise a hand to help his vengeance. He lets
things take their course. He lets Catherine marry Edgar Linton and
remain married to him. He lets Isabella's passion satisfy itself. He
lets Hindley Earnshaw drink himself to death. He lets Hareton sink to
the level of a boor. He lets Linton die. His most overt and violent
action is the capture of the younger Catherine. And even there he takes
advantage of the accident that brings her to the door of Wuthering
Heights. He watches and bides his time with the intentness of a brooding
spirit that in all material happenings seeks its own. He makes them his
instruments of vengeance. And Heathcliff's vengeance, like his passion
for Catherine, is an immortal and immaterial thing. He shows how little
he thinks of sordid, tangible possession; for, when his vengeance is
complete, when Edgar Linton and Linton Heathcliff are dead and their
lands and houses are his, he becomes utterly indifferent. He falls into
a melancholy. He neither eats nor drinks. He shuts himself up in Cathy's
little room and is found dead there, lying on Cathy's bed.
If there never was anything less heavenly, less Christian, than this
drama, there never was anything less earthly, less pagan. There is no
name for it. It is above all our consecrated labels and distinctions. It
has been called a Greek tragedy, with the Aeschylean motto, [Greek: to
drasanti pathein]. But it is not Greek any more than it is Christian;
and if it has a moral, its moral is far more [Greek: to pathonti
pathein]. It is the drama of suffering born of suffering, and confined
strictly within the boundaries of the soul.
Madame Duclaux (whose criticism of _Wuthering Heights_ is not to be
surpassed or otherwise gainsaid) finds in it a tragedy of inherited
evil. She thinks that Emily Bronte was greatly swayed by the doctrine of
heredity. "'No use,' she seems to be saying, 'in waiting for the
children of evil parents to grow, of their own will and unassisted,
straight and noble. The very quality of their will is as inherited as
their eyes and hair. Heathcliff is no fiend or goblin; the untrained,
doomed child of some half-savage sailor's holiday, violent and
treacherous. And how far shall we hold the sinner responsible for a
nature which is itself the punishment of some forefather's crime?'"
All this, I cannot help thinking, is alien to the spirit of _Wuthering
Heights_, and to its greatness. It is not really any problem of heredity
that we have here. Heredity is, in fact, ignored. Heathcliff's race and
parentage are unknown. There is no resemblance between the good old
Earnshaws, who adopted him, and their son Hindley. Hareton does not
inherit Hindley's drunkenness or his cruelty. It is not through any
physical consequence of his father's vices that Hareton suffers. Linton
is in no physical sense the son of Heathcliff. If Catherine Linton
inherits something of Catherine Earnshaw's charm and temper, it is
because the younger Catherine belongs to another world; she is an
inferior and more physical creature. She has nothing in her of Catherine
Earnshaw's mutinous passion, the immortal and unearthly passion which
made that Catherine alive and killed her. Catherine Linton's "little
romance" is altogether another affair.
The world of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is a world of spiritual
affinities, of spiritual contacts and recoils where love begets and
bears love, and hate is begotten of hate and born of shame. Even Linton
Heathcliff, that "whey-faced, whining wretch", that physical degenerate,
demonstrates the higher law. His weakness is begotten by his father's
loathing on his mother's terror.
Never was a book written with a more sublime ignoring of the physical.
You only get a taste of it once in Isabella's unwholesome love for
Heathcliff; that is not passion, it is sentiment, and it is thoroughly
impure. And you get a far-off vision of it again in Isabella's fear of
Heathcliff. Heathcliff understood her. He says of her, "'No brutality
disgusted her.... I've sometimes relented, from pure lack of invention,
in my experiments on what she could endure and still creep shamefully
back.'" This civilized creature is nearer to the animals, there is more
of the earth in her than in Catherine or in Heathcliff. They are
elemental beings, if you like, but their element is fire. They are
clean, as all fiery, elemental things are clean.
True, their love found violent physical expression; so that M.
Maeterlinck can say of them and their creator: "We feel that one must
have lived for thirty years under chains of burning kisses to learn what
she has learned; to dare so confidently set forth, with such minuteness,
such unerring certainty, the delirium of those two lovers of _Wuthering
Heights_; to mark the self-conflicting movements of the tenderness that
would make suffer, and the cruelty that would make glad, the felicity
that prayed for death, and the despair that clung to life, the repulsion
that desired, the desire drunk with repulsion--love surcharged with
hatred, hatred staggering beneath its load of love."[A]
[Footnote A: _Wisdom and Destiny_, translated by Alfred Sutro.]
True; but the passion that consumes Catherine and Heathcliff, that burns
their bodies and destroys them, is nine-tenths a passion of the soul. It
taught them nothing of the sad secrets of the body. Thus Catherine's
treachery to Heathcliff is an unconscious treachery. It is her innocence
that makes it possible. She goes to Edgar Linton's arms with blind
eyes, in utter, childlike ignorance, not knowing what she does till it
is done and she is punished for it. She is punished for the sin of sins,
the sundering of the body from the soul. All her life after she sees her
sin. She has taken her body, torn it apart and given it to Edgar Linton,
and Heathcliff has her soul.
"'You love Edgar Linton,' Nelly Dean says, 'and Edgar loves you ...
where is the obstacle?'
"_'Here!_ and _here_!' replied Catherine, striking one hand on her
forehead, and the other on her breast: 'in whichever place the soul
lives. In my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong.'... 'I've no
more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if
the wicked man in there hadn't brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't
have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he
shall never know how I love him, and that, not because he's handsome,
Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are
made of, his and mine are the same.'"
Not only are they made of the same stuff, but Heathcliff _is_ her soul.
"'I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that
there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the
use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries
in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries ... my great thought in
living is himself.... Nelly! I _am_ Heathcliff! He's always, always in
my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am a pleasure to myself, but
as my own being.'"
That is her "secret".
Of course, there is Cathy's other secret--her dream, which passes for
Emily Bronte's "pretty piece of Paganism". But it is only one side of
Emily Bronte. And it is only one side of Catherine Earnshaw. When
Heathcliff turns from her for a moment in that last scene of passion,
she says: "'Oh, you see, Nelly, he would not relent a moment to keep me
out of the grave. _That_ is how I'm loved! Well, never mind. That is not
_my_ Heathcliff. I shall love mine yet; and take him with me: he's in my
soul. And,' she added musingly, 'the thing that irks me most is this
shattered prison, after all. I'm tired of being enclosed here. I'm
wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not
seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of
an aching heart; but really with it and in it. Nelly, you think you are
better and more fortunate than I; in full health and strength; you are
sorry for me--very soon that will be altered. I shall be sorry for
_you_. I shall be incomparably above and beyond you all.'"
True, adoration of Earth, the All-Mother, runs like a choric hymn
through all the tragedy. Earth is the mother and the nurse of these
children. They are brought to her for their last bed, and she gives them
the final consolation.
Yet, after all, the end of this wild northern tragedy is far enough from
Earth, the All-Mother. The tumult of _Wuthering Heights_ ceases when
Heathcliff sickens. It sinks suddenly into the peace and silence of
exhaustion. And the drama closes, not in hopeless gloom, the agony of
damned souls, but in redemption, reconciliation.
Catherine, the child of Catherine and of Edgar Linton, loves Hareton,
the child of Hindley Earnshaw. The evil spirit that possessed these two
dies with the death of Heathcliff. The younger Catherine is a mixed
creature, half-spiritualized by much suffering. Hareton is a splendid
animal, unspiritualized and unredeemed. Catherine redeems him; and you
gather that by that act of redemption, somehow, the souls of Catherine
and Heathcliff are appeased.
The whole tremendous art of the book is in this wringing of strange and
terrible harmony out of raging discord. It ends on a sliding cadence,
soft as a sigh of peace only just conscious after pain.
"I sought, and soon discovered, the three headstones on the slope next
the moor: the middle one grey and half-buried in heath; Edgar Linton's
only harmonized by the turf and moss creeping up its foot; Heathcliff's
"I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths
fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind
breathing through the grass, and wondered how anyone could ever imagine
unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth."
* * * * *
But that is not the real end, any more than Lockwood's arrival at
Wuthering Heights is the beginning. It is only Lockwood recovering
himself; the natural man's drawing breath after the passing of the
For it was not conceivable that the more than human love of Heathcliff
and Catherine should cease with the dissolution of their bodies. It was
not conceivable that Catherine, by merely dying in the fifteenth
chapter, should pass out of the tale. As a matter of fact, she never
does pass out of it. She is more in it than ever.
For the greater action of the tragedy is entirely on the invisible and
immaterial plane; it is the pursuing, the hunting to death of an earthly
creature by an unearthly passion. You are made aware of it at the very
beginning when the ghost of the child Catherine is heard and felt by
Lockwood; though it is Heathcliff that she haunts. It begins in the
hour after Catherine's death, upon Heathcliff's passionate invocation:
"'Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest so long as I am living! You said
I killed you--haunt me, then! The murdered _do_ haunt their murderers, I
believe. I know that ghosts _have_ wandered on earth. Be with me
always--take any form--drive me mad! Only _do_ not leave me in this
abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unbearable! I _cannot_
live without my life! I _cannot_ live without my soul!'"
It begins and is continued through eighteen years. He cannot see her,
but he is aware of her. He is first aware on the evening of the day she
is buried. He goes to the graveyard and breaks open the new-made grave,
saying to himself, "'I'll have her in my arms again! If she be cold,
I'll think it is the north wind that chills _me_; and if she be
motionless, it is sleep.'" A sighing, twice repeated, stops him. "'I
appeared to feel the warm breath of it displacing the sleet-laden wind.
I knew no living thing in flesh and blood was by; but as certainly as
you perceive the approach to some substantial body in the dark, though
it cannot be discerned, so certainly I felt Cathy was there; not under
me, but on the earth.... Her presence was with me; it remained while I
refilled the grave, and led me home.'"
But she cannot get through to him completely, because of the fleshly
body that he wears.
He goes up to his room, his room and hers. "'I looked round
impatiently--I felt her by me--I could _almost_ see her, and yet I
_could not_!... She showed herself, as she often was in life, a devil to
me! And since then, sometimes more and sometimes less, I've been the
sport of that intolerable torture!... When I sat in the house with
Hareton, it seemed that on going out I should meet her; when I walked on
the moors I should meet her coming in. When I went from home, I
hastened to return; she _must_ be somewhere at the Heights, I was
certain! And when I slept in her chamber--I was beaten out of that. I
couldn't lie there; for the moment I closed my eyes, she was either
outside the window, or sliding back the panels, or entering the room, or
even resting her darling head on the same pillow as she did when a
child; and I must open my lids to see. And so I opened and closed them a
hundred times a night--to be always disappointed! It racked me!... It
was a strange way of killing: not by inches, but by fractions of
hair-breadths, to beguile me with the spectre of a hope through eighteen
In all Catherine's appearances you feel the impulse towards satisfaction
of a soul frustrated of its passion, avenging itself on the body that
betrayed it. It has killed Catherine's body. It will kill Heathcliff's;
for it _must_ get through to him. And he knows it.
Heathcliff's brutalities, his cruelties, the long-drawn accomplishment
of his revenge, are subordinate to this supreme inner drama, this
wearing down of the flesh by the lust of a remorseless spirit.
Here are the last scenes of the final act. Heathcliff is failing.
"'Nelly,' he says, 'there's a strange change approaching: I'm in its
shadow at present. I take so little interest in my daily life, that I
hardly remember to eat or drink. Those two who have left the room'"
(Catherine Linton and Hareton) "'are the only objects which retain a
distinct material appearance to me.... Five minutes ago, Hareton seemed
a personification of my youth, not a human being: I felt to him in such
a variety of ways that it would have been impossible to have accosted
him rationally. In the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine
connected him fearfully with her. That, however, which you may suppose
the most potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least: for
what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I
cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped in the
flags? In every cloud, in every tree--filling the air at night, and
caught by glimpses in every object by day--I am devoured with her image!
The most ordinary faces of men and women--my own features--mock me with
a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda
that she did exist, and that I have lost her.'...
"'But what do you mean by a _change_, Mr. Heathcliff?' I said, alarmed
at his manner....
"'I shall not know till it comes,' he said, 'I'm only half conscious of
A few days pass. He grows more and more abstracted and detached. One
morning Nelly Dean finds him downstairs, risen late.
"I put a basin of coffee before him. He drew it nearer, and then rested
his arms on the table, and looked at the opposite wall, as I supposed,
surveying one particular portion, up and down, with glittering, restless
eyes, and with such eager interest that he stopped breathing during half
a minute together....
"'Mr. Heathcliff! master!' I cried, 'don't, for God's sake stare as if
you saw an unearthly vision.'
"'Don't, for God's sake, shout so loud,' he replied. 'Turn round, and
tell me, are we by ourselves?'
"'Of course,' was my answer, 'of course we are.'
"Still, I involuntarily obeyed him, as if I were not quite sure. With a
sweep of his hand he cleared a space in front of the breakfast-things,
and leant forward more at his ease.
"Now I perceived that he was not looking at the wall; for, when I
regarded him alone, it seemed exactly that he gazed at something within
two yards' distance. And, whatever it was, it communicated, apparently,
both pleasure and pain in exquisite extremes: at least the anguished,
yet raptured, expression of his countenance suggested that idea. The
fancied object was not fixed: either his eyes pursued it with unwearied
diligence, and, even in speaking to me, were never weaned away. I vainly
reminded him of his protracted abstinence from food: if he stirred to
touch anything in compliance with my entreaties, if he stretched his
hand out to get a piece of bread, his fingers clenched before they
reached it, and remained on the table, forgetful of their aim."
He cannot sleep; and at dawn of the next day he comes to the door of his
room--Cathy's room--and calls Nelly to him. She remonstrates with him
for his neglect of his body's health, and of his soul's.
"'Your cheeks are hollow, and your eyes bloodshot, like a person
starving with hunger, and going blind with loss of sleep.'
"'It is not my fault that I cannot eat or rest,' he said.... 'I'll do
both as soon as I possibly can ... as to repenting of my injustices,
I've done no injustice, and I repent of nothing. I am too happy; and yet
I'm not happy enough. My soul's bliss kills my body, but does not
satisfy itself.'" ... "In the afternoon, while Joseph and Hareton were
at their work, he came into the kitchen again, and, with a wild look,
bid me come and sit in the house: he wanted somebody with him. I
declined; telling him plainly that his strange talk and manner
frightened me, and I had neither the nerve nor the will to be his
"'I believe you think me a fiend,' he said, with his dismal laugh:
'something too horrible to live under a decent roof.' Then, turning to
Catherine, who was there, and who drew behind me at his approach, he
added, half sneeringly: 'Will _you_ come, chuck? I'll not hurt you. No!
to you I've made myself worse than the devil. Well, there is _one_ who
won't shrink from my company! By God! she's relentless. Oh, damn it!
It's unutterably too much for flesh and blood to bear--even mine.'"
It is Heathcliff's susceptibility to this immaterial passion, the fury
with which he at once sustains and is consumed by it, that makes him
Peace under green grass could never be the end of Heathcliff or of such
a tragedy as _Wuthering Heights_. Its real end is the tale told by the
shepherd whom Lockwood meets on the moor.
"'I was going to the Grange one evening--a dark evening, threatening
thunder--and, just at the turn of the Heights, I encountered a little
boy with a sheep and two lambs before him; he was crying terribly; and I
supposed the lambs were skittish and would not be guided.
"'What is the matter, my little man?' I asked.
"'There's Heathcliff and a woman, yonder, under t' Nab,' he blubbered,
'un' I darnut pass 'em.'"
It is there, the end, in one line, charged with the vibration of the
supernatural. One line that carries the suggestion of I know not what
ghostly and immaterial passion and its unearthly satisfaction.
* * * * *
And this book stands alone, absolutely self-begotten and self-born. It
belongs to no school; it follows no tendency. You cannot put it into any
category. It is not "Realism", it is not "Romance", any more than _Jane
Eyre_: and if any other master's method, De Maupassant's or Turgeniev's,
is to be the test, it will not stand it. There is nothing in it you can
seize and name. You will not find in it support for any creed or theory.
The redemption of Catherine Linton and Hareton is thrown in by the way
in sheer opulence of imagination. It is not insisted on. Redemption is
not the keynote of _Wuthering Heights_. The moral problem never entered
into Emily Bronte's head. You may call her what you will--Pagan,
pantheist, transcendentalist mystic and worshipper of earth, she slips
from all your formulas. She reveals a point of view above good and evil.
Hers is an attitude of tolerance that is only not tenderness because her
acceptance of life and of all that lives is unqualified and unstinting.
It is too lucid and too high for pity.
Heathcliff and Catherine exist. They justify their existence by their
passion. But if you ask what is to be said for such a creature as Linton
Heathcliff, you will be told that he does not justify his existence; his
existence justifies him.
Do I despise the timid deer,
Because his limbs are fleet with fear?
Or, would I mock the wolf's death-howl,
Because his form is gaunt and foul?
Or, hear with joy the lev'ret's cry,
Because it cannot bravely die?
No! Then above his memory
Let Pity's heart as tender be.
After all it _is_ pity; it is tenderness.
And if Emily Bronte stands alone and is at her greatest in the things
that none but she can do, she is great also in some that she may be said
to share with other novelists; the drawing of minor characters, for
instance. Lockwood may be a little indistinct, but he is properly so,
for he is not a character, he is a mere impersonal looker-on. But Nelly
Dean, the chief teller of the story, preserves her rich individuality
through all the tortuous windings of the tale. Joseph, the old
farm-servant, the bitter, ranting Calvinist, is a masterpiece. And
masterly was that inspiration that made Joseph chorus to a drama that
moves above good and evil. "'Thank Hivin for all!'" says Joseph. "'All
warks togither for gooid, to them as is chozzen and piked out fro' the
rubbidge. Yah knaw whet t' Scripture sez.'" "'It's a blazing shame, that
I cannot oppen t' blessed Book, but yah set up them glories to Sattan,
and all t' flaysome wickednesses that iver were born into the warld.'"
Charlotte Bronte said of her sister: "Though her feeling for the people
round her was benevolent, intercourse with them she never sought; nor,
with very few exceptions, ever experienced ... she could hear of them
with interest and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and
accurate; but _with_ them she rarely exchanged a word." And yet you
might have said she had been listening to Joseph all her life, such is
her command of his copious utterance: "'Ech! ech!' exclaimed Joseph.
'Weel done, Miss Cathy! weel done, Miss Cathy! Howsiver, t' maister sall
just tum'le o'er them brocken pots; un' then we's hear summut; we's hear
how it's to be. Gooid-for-naught madling! ye desarve pining fro' this to
Churstmas, flinging t' precious gifts o' God under fooit i' yer flaysome
rages! But I'm mista'en if ye shew yer sperrit lang. Will Hathecliff
bide sich bonny ways, think ye? I nobbut wish he may catch ye i' that
plisky. I nobbut wish he may.'"
Edgar Linton is weak in drawing and in colour; but it was well-nigh
impossible to make him more alive beside Catherine and Heathcliff. If
Emily's hand fails in Edgar Linton it gains strength again in Isabella.
These two are the types of the civilized, the over-refined, the delicate
wearers of silk and velvet, dwellers in drawing-rooms with pure white
ceilings bordered with gold, "with showers of glass-drops hanging in
silver chains from the centre". They, as surely as the tainted Hindley,
are bound to perish in any struggle with strong, fierce, primeval flesh
and blood. The fatal moment in the tale is where the two half-savage
children, Catherine and Heathcliff, come to Thrushcross Grange.
Thrushcross Grange, with all its sickly brood, is doomed to go down
before Wuthering Heights. But Thrushcross Grange is fatal to Catherine
too. She has gone far from reality when she is dazzled by the glittering
glass-drops and the illusion of Thrushcross Grange. She has divorced her
body from her soul for a little finer living, for a polished, a
scrupulously clean, perfectly presentable husband.
Emily Bronte shows an unerring psychology in her handling of the
relations between Isabella and Catherine. It is Isabella's morbid
passion for Heathcliff that wakes the devil in Catherine. Isabella is a
sentimentalist, and she is convinced that Heathcliff would love her if
Catherine would "let him". She refuses to believe that Heathcliff is
what he is. But Catherine, who _is_ Heathcliff, can afford to accuse
him. "'Nelly,'" she says, "'help me to convince her of her madness. Tell
her what Heathcliff is.... He's not a rough diamond--a pearl-containing
oyster of a rustic; he's a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.'" But Isabella
will not believe it. "'Mr. Heathcliff is not a fiend,'" she says; "'he
has an honourable soul, and a true one, or how could he remember her?'"
It is the same insight that made George Meredith represent Juliana, the
sentimental passionist, as declaring her belief in Evan Harrington's
innocence while Rose Jocelyn, whose love is more spiritual and therefore
more profoundly loyal, doubts. Emily Bronte, like George Meredith, saw a
sensualist in every sentimentalist; and Isabella Linton was a little
animal under her silken skin. She is ready to go to her end _quand
meme_, whatever Heathcliff is, but she tricks herself into believing
that he is what he is not, that her sensualism may justify itself to her
refinement. That is partly why Heathcliff, who is no sensualist, hates
and loathes Isabella and her body.
But there are moments when he also hates the body of Catherine that
betrayed her. Emily Bronte is unswerving in her drawing of Heathcliff.
It is of a piece with his strangeness, his unexpectedness, that he does
not hate Edgar Linton with anything like the same intensity of hatred
that he has for Isabella. And it is of a piece with his absolute fiery
cleanness that never for a moment does he think of taking the lover's
obvious revenge. For it is not, I imagine, that Emily Bronte
deliberately shirked the issue, or deliberately rejected it; it is that
that issue never entered her head. Nor do I see here, in his abandonment
of the obvious, any proof of the childlikeness and innocence of Emily,
however childlike and innocent she may have been. I see only a
tremendous artistic uprightness, the rejection, conscious or
unconscious, of an unfitting because extraneous element. Anne, who was
ten times more childlike and innocent than Emily, tackles this peculiar
obviousness unashamed, because she needed it. And because she did not
need it, Emily let it go.
The evil wrought by Heathcliff, like the passion that inspired and
tortured him, is an unearthly thing. Charlotte showed insight when she
said in her preface to _Wuthering Heights_: "Heathcliff betrays one
solitary human feeling, and that is _not_ his love for Catherine; which
is a sentiment fierce and inhuman ... the single link that connects
Heathcliff with humanity is his rudely confessed regard for Hareton
Earnshaw--the young man whom he has ruined; and then his half-implied
esteem for Nelly Dean." But that Heathcliff is wholly inhuman--"a ghoul,
an afreet"--I cannot really see. Emily's psychology here is perforce
half on the unearthly plane; it is above our criticism, lending itself
to no ordinary tests. But for all his unearthliness, Heathcliff is
poignantly human, from his childhood when he implored Nelly Dean to make
him "decent", for he is "going to be good", to his last hour of piteous
dependence on her. You are not allowed for a moment to forget, that,
horrible and vindictive as he is, the child Heathcliff is yet a child.
Take the scene where the boy first conceives his vengeance.
"On my inquiring the subject of his thoughts, he answered gravely:
"'I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how
long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before
"'For shame, Heathcliff!' said I. 'It is for God to punish wicked
people. We should learn to forgive.'
"'No, God won't have the satisfaction that I shall,' he returned. 'I
only wish I knew the best way! Let me alone, and I'll plan it out: while
I'm thinking of that I don't feel pain.'"
It is very like Heathcliff. It is also pathetically like a child.
In Hareton Earnshaw Emily Bronte is fairly on the earth all the time,
and nothing could be finer than her handling of this half-brutalized,
and wholly undeveloped thing, her showing of the slow dawn of his
feelings and intelligence. Her psychology is never psychologic. The
creature reveals himself at each moment of his unfolding for what he is.
It was difficult; for in his degradation he had a certain likeness in
unlikeness to the degraded Heathcliff. It was Heathcliff's indomitable
will that raised him. Hareton cannot rise without a woman's hand to help
him. The younger Catherine again was difficult, because of her likeness
to her mother. Her temper, her vanity, her headstrong trickiness are
Catherine Earnshaw. But Catherine Linton is a healthy animal, incapable
of superhuman passion, capable only (when properly chastened by
adversity) of quite ordinary pity and devotion. She inspires
bewilderment, but terror and fascination never; and never the glamour,
the magic evoked by the very name of Catherine Earnshaw. Her escapades
and fantasies, recalling Catherine Earnshaw, are all on an attenuated
Yet Catherine Earnshaw seems now and then a less solid figure. That is
because her strength does not lie in solidity at all. She is a thing of
flame and rushing wind. One half of her is akin to the storms of
Wuthering Heights, the other belongs to her unseen abiding-place. Both
sides of her are immortal.
And they are of that immortality which is the spirit of place--the
spirit that, more than all spirits, inspired Emily Bronte. Two of
Charlotte's books, _The Professor_ and _Villette_, might have been
written away from Haworth; Emily's owes much of its outward character to
the moors, where it was brought forth. Not even Charlotte could paint,
could suggest scenes like Emily Bronte. There is nobody to compare with
her but Thomas Hardy; and even he has to labour more, to put in more
strokes to achieve his effect. In four lines she gives the storm, the
cold and savage foreground, and the distance of the Heights: "One may
guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the
excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a
range of gaunt thorns, all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving
alms of the sun."
See the finish of this landscape, framed in a window: "They sat together
in a window whose lattice lay back against the wall, and displayed,
beyond the garden trees and the wild green park, the valley of
Gimmerton, with a long line of mist winding nearly to its top (for very
soon after you pass the chapel, as you may have noticed, the sough that
runs from the marshes joins a beck which follows the bend of the glen).
Wuthering Heights rose above this silvery vapour; but our old house was
invisible; it rather dips down on the other side."
In six lines she can paint sound, and distance, and scenery, and the
turn of the seasons, and the two magics of two atmospheres. "Gimmerton
chapel bells were still ringing; and the full, mellow flow of the beck
in the valley came soothingly on the ear. It was a sweet substitute for
the yet absent murmur of the summer foliage, which drowned that music
about the Grange when the trees were in leaf. At Wuthering Heights it
always sounded on quiet days following a great thaw or a season of
That music is the prelude to Heathcliff's return, and to the passionate
scene that ends in Catherine's death.
And nothing could be more vivid, more concrete, than Emily Bronte's
method. Time is marked as a shepherd on the moors might mark it, by the
movement of the sun, the moon, and the stars; by weather, and the
passage of the seasons. Passions, emotions, are always presented in
bodily symbols, by means of the bodily acts and violences they inspire.
The passing of the invisible is made known in the same manner. And the
visible world moves and shines and darkens with an absolute illusion of
reality. Here is a road seen between sunset and moonrise: "... all that
remained of day was a beamless amber light along the west: but I could
see every pebble on the path, and every blade of grass, by the light of
that splendid moon".
The book has faults, many and glaring faults. You have to read it many
times before you can realize in the mass its amazing qualities. For it
is probably the worst-constructed tale that ever was written, this story
of two houses and of three generations that the man Lockwood is supposed
to tell. Not only has Lockwood to tell of things he could not possibly
have heard and seen, but sometimes you get scene within vivid scene,
dialogue within dialogue, and tale within tale, four deep. Sometimes you
are carried back in a time and sometimes forward. You have to think hard
before you know for certain whose wife Catherine Heathcliff really is.
You cannot get over Lockwood's original mistake. And this poor device of
narrative at second-hand, third-hand, fourth-hand, is used to convey
things incredible, inconceivable; all the secret, invisible drama of the
souls of Catherine and Heathcliff, as well as whole acts of the most
visible, the most tangible, the most direct and vivid and tumultuous
drama; drama so tumultuous, so vivid, and so direct, that by no
possibility could it have been conveyed by any medium. It simply
And that is how Emily Bronte's genius triumphs over all her faults. It
is not only that you forgive her faults and forget them, you are not--in
the third reading anyhow--aware of them. They disappear, they are
destroyed, they are burnt up in her flame, and you wonder how you ever
saw them. All her clumsy contrivances cannot stay her course, or obscure
her light, or quench her fire. Things happen before your eyes, and it
does not matter whether Lockwood, or Nelly Dean, or Heathcliff, or
Catherine, tells you of their happening.
And yet, though Lockwood and Nelly Dean are the thinnest, the most
transparent of pure mediums, they preserve their personalities
throughout. Nelly especially. The tale only begins to move when Lockwood
drops out and Nelly takes it up. At that point Emily Bronte's style
becomes assured in its directness and simplicity, and thenceforward it
never falters or changes its essential character.
And it is there, first of all, in that unfaltering, unchanging quality
of style that she stands so far above her sister. She has no purple
patches, no decorative effects. No dubiously shining rhetoric is hers.
She does not deal in metaphors or in those ponderous abstractions, those
dreadful second-hand symbolic figures--Hope, Imagination, Memory, and
the rest of them, that move with every appearance of solidity in
Charlotte's pages. There are no angels in her rainbows. Her "grand
style" goes unclothed, perfect in its naked strength, its naked beauty.
It is not possible to praise Charlotte's style without reservations; it
is not always possible to give passages that illustrate her qualities
without suppressing her defects. What was a pernicious habit with
Charlotte, her use of words like "peruse", "indite", "retain", with
Emily is a mere slip of the pen. There are only, I think, three of such
slips in _Wuthering Heights_. Charlotte was capable of mixing her worst
things with her best. She mixed them most in her dialogue, where sins of
style are sinfullest. It is not always possible to give a scene, word
for word, from Charlotte's novels; the dramatic illusion, the illusion
of reality, is best preserved by formidable cutting.
But not only was Emily's style sinless; it is on the whole purest, most
natural, and most inevitable in her dialogue; and that, although the
passions she conceived were so tremendous, so unearthly, that she might
have been pardoned if she found no human speech to render them.
What is more, her dramatic instinct never fails her as it fails
Charlotte over and over again. Charlotte had not always the mastery and
self-mastery that, having worked a situation up to its dramatic climax,
leaves it there. A certain obscure feeling for rightness guides her in
the large, striding movement of the drama; it is in the handling of the
scenes that she collapses. She wanders from climax to climax; she goes
back on her own trail; she ruins her best effects by repetition. She has
no continuous dramatic instinct; no sense whatever of dramatic form.
These are present somehow in _Wuthering Heights_, in spite of its
monstrous formlessness. Emily may have had no more sense of form for
form's sake than Charlotte; she may have had no more dramatic instinct;
but she had an instinct for the ways of human passion. She knew that
passion runs its course, from its excitement to its climax and
exhaustion. It has a natural beginning and a natural end. And so her
scenes of passion follow nature. She never goes back on her effect,
never urges passion past its climax, or stirs it in its exhaustion. In
this she is a greater "realist" than Charlotte.
* * * * *
It is incredible that _Wuthering Heights_, or any line of it, any line
that Emily Bronte ever wrote, should have passed for Charlotte's. She
did things that Charlotte could never have done if she tried a thousand
years, things not only incomparably greater, but unique.
Yet in her lifetime she was unrecognized. What is true of her prose is
true also of her poems. They, indeed, did bring her a little praise,
obscure and momentary. No less she was unrecognized to such an extent
that _Wuthering Heights_ was said and believed to be an immature work of
Charlotte's. Even after her death, her eulogist, Sydney Dobell, was so
far from recognizing her, that he seems to have had a lingering doubt as
to Ellis Bell's identity until Charlotte convinced him of his error.
And only the other day a bold attempt was made to tear from Emily Bronte
the glory that she has won at last from time. The very latest theory,[A]
offered to the world as a marvellous discovery, the fruit of passionate
enthusiasm and research, is the old, old theory that Charlotte, and not
Emily, wrote _Wuthering Heights_. And Sydney Dobell, with his little
error, is made to serve as a witness. In order to make out a case for
Charlotte, the enthusiast and researcher is obliged to disparage every
other work of Emily's. He leans rashly enough on the assumption that her
"Gondal Chronicles" were, in their puerility, beneath contempt, still
more rashly on his own opinion that she was no poet.
[Footnote A: _The Key to the Bronte Works_, by J. Malham-Dembleby. See
If this were the only line he took, this amusing theorist might be left
alone. The publication of the _Complete Poems_ settles him. The value,
the really priceless value, of his undertaking is in the long array of
parallel passages from the prose of Charlotte and of Emily with which he
endeavours to support it. For, so far from supporting it, these columns
are the most convincing, the most direct and palpable refutation of his
theory. If any uncritical reader should desire to see for himself
wherein Charlotte and Emily Bronte differed; in what manner, with what
incompatible qualities and to what an immeasurable degree the younger
sister was pre-eminent, he cannot do better than study those parallel
passages. If ever there was a voice, a quality, an air absolutely apart
and distinct, not to be approached by, or confounded with any other, it
is Emily Bronte's.
It was the glare of Charlotte's fame that caused in her lifetime that
blindness and confusion. And Emily, between pride and a superb
indifference, suffered it. She withdrew, with what seemed an obstinate
perversity, into her own magnificent obscurity. She never raised a hand
to help herself. She left no record, not a note or a word to prove her
authorship of _Wuthering Heights_. Until the appearance in 1910 of her
_Complete Poems_ the world had no proof of it but Charlotte's statement.
It was considered enough, in Charlotte's lifetime. The world accepted
But the trouble began again after Charlotte's death. Emily herself had
no legend; but her genius was perpetually the prey of rumours that left
her personality untouched. Among the many provoked by Mrs. Gaskell's
_Life_, there was one attributing _Wuthering Heights_ to her brother
Branwell.[A] Mr. Francis Grundy said that Branwell told him he had
written _Wuthering Heights_. Mr. Leyland believed Mr. Grundy. He
believed that Branwell was a great poet and a great novelist, and he
wrote two solid volumes of his own in support of his belief.
[Footnote A: The curious will find a note on this point in Appendix II.]
Nobody believes in Mr. Grundy, or in Mr. Leyland and his belief in
Branwell now. All that can be said of Branwell, in understanding and
extenuation, is that he would have been a great poet and a greater
novelist if he could have had his own way.
This having of your own way, unconsciously, undeliberately, would seem
to be the supreme test of genius. Having your own way in the teeth of
circumstances, of fathers and of brothers, and of aunts, of
school-mistresses,[A] and of French professors, of the parish, of
poverty, of public opinion and hereditary disease; in the teeth of the
most disastrous of all hindrances, duty, not neglected, but fulfilled.
By this test the genius of Emily Bronte fairly flames; Charlotte's
stands beside it with a face hidden at times behind bruised and darkened
wings. By this test even Anne's pale talent shows here and there a
flicker as of fire. In all three the having of their own way was, after
all, the great submission, the ultimate obedience to destiny.
[Footnote A: It was Miss Wooler who taught Charlotte to "peruse".]
For genius like theirs _is_ destiny. And that brings us back to the
eternal question of the Sources. "Experience" will not account for what
was greatest in Charlotte. It will hardly account for what was least in
Emily. With her only the secret, the innermost experience counted. If
the sources of _Wuthering Heights_ are in the "Gondal Poems", the
sources of the poems are in _that_ experience, in the long life of her
adventurous spirit. Her genius, like Henry Angora and Rosina and the
rest of them, flew from the "Palaces of Instruction". As she _was_ Henry
Angora, so she _was_ Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw.
It is a case of "The Horse I rode at the battle of Zamorna", that is
There has been too much talk about experience. What the critic, the
impressionist, of the Brontes needs is to recover, before all things,
the innocence of the eye. No doubt we all of us had it once, and can
remember more or less what it was like. To those who have lost it I
would say: Go back and read again Mrs. Gaskell's _Life of Charlotte
Years and years ago, when I was a child, hunting forlornly in my
father's bookshelves, I came upon a small, shabby volume, bound in
yellow linen. The title-page was adorned with one bad wood-cut that
showed a grim, plain house standing obliquely to a churchyard packed
with tombstones--tombstones upright and flat, and slanting at all
angles. In the foreground was a haycock, where the grave grass had been
mown. I do not know how the artist, whose resources were of the
slenderest, contrived to get his overwhelming but fascinating effect of
moorland solitude, of black-grey nakedness and abiding gloom. But he
certainly got it and gave it. There was one other picture, representing
a memorial tablet.
Tombstones always fascinated me in those days, because I was mortally
afraid of them; and I opened that book and read it through.
I could not, in fact, put it down. For the first time I was in the grip
of a reality more poignant than any that I had yet known, of a tragedy
that I could hardly bear. I suppose I have read that book a score of
times since then. There are pages in it that I shrink from approaching
even now, because of the agony of realization they revive. The passing
bell tolled continually in the prelude; it sounded at intervals
throughout; it tolled again at the close. The refrain of "Here lie the
Remains" haunted me like a dolorous song. It seemed to me a decorous and
stately accompaniment to such a tale, and that wood-cut on the
title-page a fitting ornament. I knew every corner of that house. I have
an impression (it is probably a wrong one) of a flagged path going right
down from the Parsonage door through another door and plunging among the
tombs. I saw six little white and wistful faces looking out of an upper
window; I saw six little children going up and up a lane, and I wondered
how the tiny feet of babies ever got so far. I saw six little Bronte
babies lost in the spaces of the illimitable moors. They went over
rough stones and walls and mountain torrents; their absurd petticoats
were blown upwards by the wind, and their feet were tangled in the
heather. They struggled and struggled, and yet were in an ecstasy that I
could well understand.
I remember I lingered somewhat long over the schooldays at Cowan Bridge
and that I found the Brussels period dull; M. Heger struck me as a
tiresome pedant, and I wondered how Charlotte could ever have put up
with him. There was a great deal about Branwell that I could not
understand at all, and so forgot. And I skipped all the London part, and
Charlotte's literary letters. I had a very vague idea of Charlotte apart
from Haworth and the moors, from the Parsonage and the tombstones, from
Tabby and Martha and the little black cat that died, from the garden
where she picked the currants, and the quiet rooms where she wrote her
wonderful, wonderful books.
But, for all that skipping and forgetting, there stood out a vivid and
ineffaceable idea of Emily; Emily who was tall and strong and
unconquerable; Emily who loved animals, and loved the moors; Emily and
Keeper, that marvellous dog; Emily kneading bread with her book propped
before her; Emily who was Ellis Bell, listening contemptuously to the
reviews of _Wuthering Heights_; Emily stitching at the long seam with
dying fingers; and Emily dead, carried down the long, flagged path, with
Keeper following in the mourners' train.
And, all through, an invisible, intangible presence, something
mysterious, but omnipotently alive; something that excited these three
sisters; something that atoned, that not only consoled for suffering and
solitude and bereavement, but that drew its strength from these things;
something that moved in this book like the soul of it; something that
they called "genius".
Now that, as truly as I can set it down, is the impression conveyed to a
child's mind by Mrs. Gaskell's _Life of Charlotte Bronte_. And making
some deductions for a child's morbid attraction to tombstones, and a
child's natural interest in children, it seems to me even now that this
innocent impression is the true one. It eliminates the inessential and
preserves the proportions; above all, it preserves the figure of Emily
Bronte, solitary and unique.
Anyhow, I have never been able to get away from it.
THE KEY TO THE BRONTE WORKS
More than once Mr. Malham-Dembleby has approached us with his mysterious
"Key". There was his "Key to _Jane Eyre_", published in the _Saturday
Review_ in 1902; there was his "Lifting of the Bronte Veil", published
in the _Fortnightly Review_ in 1907; and there was the correspondence
that followed. Now he has gathered all his evidence together into one
formidable book, and we are faced with what he calls his "miraculous and
sensational" discovery that it was Charlotte and not Emily Bronte who
wrote _Wuthering Heights_, and that in _Wuthering Heights_ she
immortalized the great tragic passion of her life, inspired by M. Heger,
who, if you please, is Heathcliff.
This is Mr. Malham-Dembleby's most important contribution to the
subject. M. Heger, Mr. Malham-Dembleby declares, was Heathcliff before
he was M. Pelet, or Rochester, or M. Paul. And as it was Charlotte and
not Emily who experienced passion, Charlotte alone was able to
So much Mr. Malham-Dembleby assumes in the interests of psychology. But
it is not from crude psychological arguments that he forges his
tremendous Key. It is from the internal evidence of the works, supported
by much "sensational" matter from the outside.
By way of internal evidence then, we have first the sensational
discovery of a work, _Gleanings in Craven, or The Tourists' Guide_, by
"one Frederic Montagu", published at Skipton-in-Craven in 1838, which
work the author of _Wuthering Heights_ and _Jane Eyre_ must have read
and drawn upon for many things, names (including her own pseudonym of
Currer Bell), descriptions of scenery, local legends, as of that fairy
Jannet, Queen of the Malhamdale Elves, who haunted the sources of the
Aire and suggested Rochester's Queen of Elves, his fairy, Janet Eyre.
Parallel passages are given showing a certain correspondence between
Montagu's traveller's tale and the opening scene of _Wuthering Heights_.
Montagu goes on horseback to a solitary house, like Lockwood, and, like
Lockwood, is shown to bed, dreams, and is awakened by a white-faced
apparition (his hostess, not his host), who holds a lighted candle, like
Heathcliff, and whose features, like Heathcliff's, are convulsed with
diabolical rage, and so on. Mr. Malham-Dembleby, in a third parallel
column, uses the same phrases to describe Jane Eyre's arrival at
Rochester's house, her dreams, and the appearance of Rochester's mad
wife at her bedside; his contention being that the two scenes are
written by the same hand.
All this is very curious and interesting; so far, however, Mr.
Malham-Dembleby's sensational evidence does no more for us than suggest
that Charlotte and Emily may very likely have read Montagu's book.
But the plot thickens. Mr. Malham-Dembleby first prints parallel
passages from Montagu's book and _Wuthering Heights_ and _Jane Eyre_,
then, extensively, scene after scene from _Jane Eyre_ and _Wuthering
Some of these coincidences seem on the first blush of it remarkable, for
instance, the child-phantom which appears both to Jane Eyre and to Nelly
Dean in _Wuthering Heights_; or the rainy day and the fireside scene,
which occur in the third chapter of _Wuthering Heights_ and the opening
chapter of _Jane Eyre_. Others again, such as the parallel between the
return of Heathcliff to Catherine and that of Jane to Rochester, will
not bear examination for a moment. Of this and most of Mr.
Malham-Dembleby's parallels it may be said that they only maintain their
startling character by the process of tearing words from their
sentences, sentences from their contexts, contexts from their scenes,
and scenes from the living body of each book. Apparently to Mr.
Malham-Dembleby, a book, at any rate a Bronte book, is not a living
body; each is a box of German bricks, and he takes all the boxes and
tumbles them out on the floor together and rearranges them so as to show
that, after all, there was only one box of bricks in the family, and
that was Charlotte's. Much of his argument and the force of his parallel
passages depends on the identification of the characters in the Bronte
works, not only with their assumed originals, but with each other. For
Mr. Malham-Dembleby's purposes poor M. Heger, a model already
remorselessly overworked by Charlotte, has to sit, not only for M.
Pelet, for Rochester and Yorke Hunsden, for Robert and for Louis Moore,
but for Heathcliff, and, if you would believe it, for Hareton Earnshaw;
because (parallel passage!) the younger Catherine and Hareton Earnshaw
were teacher and pupil, and so (when she taught him English) were
Charlotte and M. Heger.
Mr. Malham-Dembleby's work of identification is made easier for him by
his subsidiary discovery of Charlotte's two methods, Method I,
interchange of the sex; Method II, alteration of the age of her
characters. With this licence almost any character may be any other.
Thus Hareton Earnshaw looking at Catherine is Jane Eyre looking at Mr.
Rochester. When he touches her Nelly Dean says, "He might have stuck a
knife into her, she started in such a taking"; and Rochester says to
Jane, "You stick a sly penknife under my ear" (parallel passage!).
Lockwood at Wuthering Heights is Jane Eyre at Thornton Hall; Heathcliff
appearing at Lockwood's bedside, besides being M. Heger and Rochester,
is Rochester's mad wife. Heathcliff returning to Catherine is Jane
returning to Rochester, and so on. But however varied, however
apparently discriminated the characters, M. Heger is in all the men, and
Charlotte is in all the women, in the two Catherines, in Jane Eyre and
Frances Henri; in Caroline Helstone, in Pauline Bassompierre, and Lucy
Now there is a certain plausibility in this. With all their vividness
and individuality Charlotte Bronte's characters have a way of shading
off into each other. Jane has much in common with Frances and with Lucy,
and Lucy with Pauline. Her men incline rather to one type, that of the
masterful, arbitrary, instructive male; that is the type she likes best
to draw. Yorke Hunsden in _The Professor_ splits up into Rochester and
Robert Moore and Mr. Yorke; and there is a certain amount of Paul
Emanuel in all of them. But life gives us our types very much that way,
and there is a bit of somebody else in everybody. It is easy to suggest
identity by exaggerating small points of resemblance and suppressing
large and essential differences (which is what Mr. Malham-Dembleby does
all the time). But take each whole living man and woman as they have
been created for us, I don't care if Catherine Earnshaw and Jane Eyre
_did_ each have a fit of passion in a locked room, and if a servant
waited upon each with gruel; there is no earthly likeness between the
soul of Catherine and the soul of Jane. I don't care if there was
"hell-light" in Rochester's eyes and Heathcliff's too, if they both
swore by the "Deuce", and had both swarthy complexions like Paul
Emanuel; for there is a whole universe between Heathcliff and Rochester,
between Rochester and M. Paul. Beside Heathcliff, that Titan raging on a
mountain-top, M. Paul is merely a little man gesticulating on an
So much for the identifications. Mr. Malham-Dembleby has been tempted to
force them thus, because they support his theory of M. Heger and of the
great tragic passion, as his theory, by a vicious circle, supports his
identifications. His procedure is to quote all the emotional passages he
can lay his hands on, from the _Poems_, from _Wuthering Heights_, from
_Jane Eyre_, from _Villette_ and _The Professor_, "... all her life's
hope was torn by the roots out of her own riven and outraged heart..."
(_Villette_) "... faith was blighted, confidence destroyed..." (_Jane
Eyre_) ... "Mr. Rochester" (M. Heger, we are informed in confidential
brackets) was not "what she had thought him". Assuring us that
Charlotte was here describing her own emotions, he builds his argument.
"Evidence" (the evidence of these passages) "shows it was in her dark
season when Charlotte Bronte wrote _Wuthering Heights_, and that she
portrayed M. Heger therein with all the vindictiveness of a woman with
'a riven, outraged heart', the wounds in which yet rankled sorely." So
that, key in hand, for "that ghoul Heathcliff!" we must read "that ghoul
Heger". We must believe that _Wuthering Heights_ was written in pure
vindictiveness, and that Charlotte Bronte repudiated its authorship for
three reasons: because it contained "too humiliating a story" of her
"heart-thrall"; because of her subsequent remorse (proof, the modified
animus of her portrait of M. Heger as Rochester and as M. Paul), and for
certain sound business considerations. So much for internal evidence.
Not that Mr. Malham-Dembleby relies on it altogether. He draws largely
upon legend and conjecture, and on more "sensational discoveries" of his
own. He certainly succeeds in proving that legend and conjecture in
Brussels began at a very early date. Naturally enough it fairly flared
after the publication of _Jane Eyre_. So far there is nothing new in his
discoveries. But he does provide a thrill when he unearths Eugene Sue's
extinct novel of _Miss Mary, ou l'Institutrice_, and gives us parallel
passages from that. For in _Miss Mary_, published in 1850-51[A] we have,
not only character for character and scene for scene, "lifted" bodily
from _Jane Eyre_, but the situation in _The Professor_ and _Villette_ is
largely anticipated. We are told that Eugene Sue was in Brussels in
1844, the year in which Charlotte left the Pensionnat. This is
interesting. But what does it prove? Not, I think, what Mr.
Malham-Dembleby maintains--that M. Heger made indiscreet revelations to
Eugene Sue, but that Eugene Sue was an unscrupulous plagiarist who took
his own where he found it, either in the pages of _Jane Eyre_ or in the
tittle-tattle of a Brussels salon. However indiscreet M. Heger may have
been, he was a man of proved gravity and honour. He would, at any rate,
have drawn the line at frivolous treachery. Nobody, however, can answer
for what Madame Heger and her friends may not have said. Which disposes
of Eugene Sue.
[Footnote A: Serially in the _London Journal_ in 1850; in volume form in
Paris, 1851. It is possible, but not likely, that Eugene Sue may have
seen the manuscript of _The Professor_ when it was "going the round".]
Then there is that other "sensational discovery" of the Heger portrait,
that little drawing (now in the National Portrait Gallery) of Charlotte
Bronte in curls, wearing a green gown, and reading _Shirley_. It is
signed Paul Heger, 1850, the year of _Shirley's_ publication, and the
year in which Charlotte sat to Richmond for her portrait. There are two
inscriptions on the back: "The Wearin' of the Green; First since Emily's
death"; and below: "This drawing is by P. Heger, done from life in
1850." The handwriting gives no clue.
Mr. Malham-Dembleby attaches immense importance to this green gown,
which he "identifies" with the pink one worn by Lucy in _Villette_. He
says that Lady Ritchie told him that Charlotte wore a green gown at the
dinner-party Thackeray gave for her in June, 1850; and when the green
gown turns out after all to be a white one with a green pattern on it,
it is all one to Mr. Malham-Dembleby. So much for the green gown. Still,
gown or no gown, the portrait _may_ be genuine. Mr. Malham-Dembleby says
that it is drawn on the same paper as that used in Mr. George Smith's
house, where Charlotte was staying in June 1850, and he argues that
Charlotte and M. Heger met in London that year, and that he then drew
this portrait of her from the life. True, the portrait is a very
creditable performance for an amateur; true, M. Heger's children
maintained that their father did not draw, and there is no earthly
evidence that he did; true, we have nothing but one person's report of
another person's (a collector's) statement that he had obtained the
portrait from the Heger family, a statement at variance with the
evidence of the Heger family itself. But granted that the children of M.
Heger were mistaken as to their father's gift, and that he did draw this
portrait of Charlotte Bronte from Charlotte herself in London in 1850,
I cannot see that it matters a straw or helps us to the assumption of
the great tragic passion which is the main support of Mr.
Malham-Dembleby's amazing fabrication.
Leyland's theory is that Branwell Bronte wrote the first seventeen
chapters of _Wuthering Heights_. It has very little beyond Leyland's
passionate conviction to support it. There is a passage in a letter of
Branwell's to Leyland, the sculptor, written in 1845, where he says he
is writing a three-volume novel of which the first volume is completed.
He compares it with "Hamlet" and with "Lear". There is also Branwell's
alleged statement to Mr. Grundy. And there is an obscure legend of
manuscripts produced from Branwell's hat, before the eyes of Mr. Grundy,
in an inn-parlour. Leyland argues freely from the antecedent probability
suggested by Branwell's letters and his verse, which he published by way
of vindication. He could hardly have done Branwell a worse service.
Branwell's letters give us a vivid idea of the sort of manuscripts that
would be produced, in inn-parlours, from his hat. As for his verse--that
formless, fluent gush of sentimentalism--it might have passed as an
error of his youth, but for poor Leyland's comments on its majesty and
beauty. There are corpses in it and tombstones, and girls dying of
tuberculosis, obscured beyond recognition in a mush of verbiage. There
is not a live line in it. One sonnet only, out of Branwell's many
sonnets, is fitted to survive. It has a certain melancholy, sentimental
grace. But it is not a good sonnet, and it shows Branwell at his best.
At his worst he sinks far below Charlotte at her worst, and, compared
with Emily or with Charlotte at her best, Branwell is nowhere. Even Anne
beats him. Her sad, virginal restraint gives a certain form and value
to her colourless and slender gift.
There is a psychology of such things, as there is a psychology of works
of genius. Emily Bronte's work, with all its faults of construction,
shows one and indivisible, fused in one fire from first to last. One
cannot take the first seventeen chapters of _Wuthering Heights_ and
separate them from the rest. There is no faltering anywhere and no break
in the power and the passion of this stupendous tale. And where passion
is, sentimentalism is not. And there is not anywhere in _Wuthering
Heights_ a trace of that corruption which for the life of him Branwell
could not have kept out of the manuscripts he produced from his hat.
Absolute, the, 16, 176.
_Agnes Grey_, 39, 40, 49.
Augustine, St., 185.
Balzac, 54, 120, 121, 163.
Bassompierre, Pauline de, in
-- Parmenides on, 185.
Birrell, Mr., 14, 20, 31, 41, 65.
Blake, William, 175, 178.
Branwell, Miss, at Haworth, 23,
-- -- death of, 36.
-- Maria, marries Rev. Patrick
-- -- illness of, 23.
-- -- death of, 23.
-- 27, 28.
-- at Thornton, 20.
-- at Haworth, 20, 27, 33,
-- at Thorp Green, 33, 36,
-- in London, 40.
-- character of 49-51, 55,
-- death of, 45.
-- diary of, 34, 168, 194.
-- Poems of, 54-57, 188,
-- novels of, 39, 49-54.
-- and Branwell Bronte
compared, 54, 246.
Charlotte at Thornton, 20.
-- at Haworth, 15, 16, 19,
20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 31,
37, 39, 46, 47, 69, 83, 94,
103, 105, 165, 235, 236.
-- at Cowan Bridge, 24, 25,
-- at Roe Head, 26, 27, 94,
-- at Dewsbury Moor, 27,
-- at Stonegappe, 28, 62-64.
-- at Rawdon, 33, 35, 67.
-- in Brussels, 15, 35-37,
81-90, 158, 241, 246.
-- in London, 15, 40, 46,
-- character of, 16, 66 et
seq., 80, 82, 83-86, 167.
-- death of, 48, 49.
-- early writings of, 101-104.
-- genius of, 13, 14, 19, 20,
21, 22, 25, 26, 35, 80, 91,
103, 104, 130, 131, 171,
-- marriage of, 47-49.
-- novels of, 105-165.
-- Poems of, 39, 103, 164,
169, 170, 246.
-- her love of children,
-- and Emily Bronte compared,
48, 167-169, 229-231,
-- Mr. Swinburne on, 14,
31, 64, 65, 66, 68.
Emily Jane, 167-234.
-- at Haworth, 19, 20-22,
25, 26, 27, 39.
-- at Cowan Bridge, 24, 25.
-- at Roe Head, 27, 39.
-- at Halifax, 27.
-- in Brussels, 35, 36, 37.
-- death of, 43, 44, 139,
-- character of, 27, 167-173.
-- diary of, 33, 38, 194.
-- genius of, 14, 15, 16, 17,
22, 171, 172, 185-186, 187,
208, 209, 229, 233, 234, 236.
-- Poems of, 17, 39, 174-185,
-- mysticism of, 16, 168,
171, 173-181, 186.
-- novel of, 39.
-- paganism of, 16, 135,
136, 174, 186, 208, 214.
-- and Charlotte Bronte
compared, 48, 167-169, 229-231,
-- M. Maeterlinck on, 14,
-- Mr. Swinburne on, 14,
Maria, 20, 22.
-- at Cowan Bridge, 24, 25.
-- character of, 24, 25.
-- death of, 25.
Patrick Branwell, 15, 22, 27,
28, 29, 30, 34, 54, 55, 58,
59, 61, 199, 236.
-- at Thornton, 20.
-- at Haworth, 20, 25,
28-30, 34, 42.
-- at Bradford, 28, 29.
-- at Luddenden Foot, 34.
-- at Thorp Green, 40, 41.
-- in London, 29.
-- character of, 40-43, 50-54.
-- death of, 43.
-- authorship of _Wuthering
Heights_ ascribed to, 233, 246,
Patrick Branwell and Emily
Bronte compared, 246, 247.
-- and Anne Bronte compared,
-- and Mrs. Robinson, 40,
-- Poems of, 28, 29, 42,
164, 233, 246.
Patrick, Rev., 20-22, 24, 25,
36, 37, 42, 43, 83.
-- at Thornton, 20.
-- at Haworth, 20.
-- in Ireland, 20, 21.
-- character of, 20, 21, 22,
-- works of, 22.
_Brontes, The Fact and Fiction_, by
Angus Mackay, 81.
Brown, John, 28, 29, 30, 51.
Brussels, Charlotte Bronte in, 15,
35-37, 81-90, 158, 241, 246.
-- Emily Bronte in, 35, 36, 37.
-- influence of, 15, 81-90, 158.
Byron, 121, 206, 207.
Children, love of, 64-67, 156.
-- in Charlotte Bronte's
novels, 64, 65, 66, 156.
-- in George Eliot's novels,
Cowan Bridge School, 24, 25, 27,
Creative Impulse, the, 23, 155,
Criticism of Charlotte Bronte,
15, 31-33, 64-75, 78-81, 117,
-- of _Jane Eyre_, 114, 117,
-- of _Shirley_, 65, 68, 131, 132,
137, 138, 143.
-- of _Villette_, 143-149, 153-160,
-- of _Emma_, 161, 162.
-- of Charlotte Bronte's
_Poems_, 164, 165.
-- of Emily Bronte's _Poems_,
Criticism of _Wuthering Heights_,
-- of _Agnes Grey_, 49, 50.
-- of _The Tenant of Wildfell
Hall_, 54, 55.
-- of Anne Bronte's _Poems_,
54-57, 188, 246.
Dean, Nelly, in _Wuthering
Heights_, 222, 224, 225, 229.
Destiny, 35, 36, 37, 39, 48, 103,
_Destiny, Wisdom and_, quoted, 170.
Dewsbury, Charlotte Bronte at,
Dialogue, 116, 117, 139, 140, 149,
Diary, Emily Bronte's, 33, 38,
-- Anne Bronte's, 34, 168,
Dimnet, M., 15, 16, 51, 163.
-- -- his criticism of Charlotte
-- -- his criticism of
_Wuthering Heights_, 17.
Dobell, Sydney, on Emily
Dramatic instinct of Charlotte
Bronte, 163, 231, 232.
-- -- of Emily Bronte, 231,
Duclaux, Madame, 14, 20, 21, 44,
50, 61, 120.
-- -- her Emily Bronte,
14, 21, 44, 50, 120, 167, 182.
-- -- on _Wuthering Heights_
Dunton, Mr. Theodore Watts-,
Earnshaw, Catherine, 169,
-- -- character of, 212-216,
-- Hareton, 209-212.
-- -- character of, 215-218,
Earth, the, 127, 136, 143, 173,
207, 208, 224.
-- Emily Bronte's love of,
136, 174, 175, 208, 222.
-- Genius of, 175.
-- Poem to, 207, 208.
Eliot, George, 64, 143, 156, 171.
Emanuel, Paul, 105, 144-146,
148-153, 157, 242, 243.
_Emma, Fragment of_, 161, 162.
Experience, 144 et seq., 170, 172,
-- novel of, 106, 107, 143-146,
-- how far important, 144,
145, 148, 234.
-- of Charlotte Bronte, 129,
130, 172, 234.
Eyre, name whence derived, 239.
Fanshawe, Ginevra, character
of, 154, 159.
Farrar, Dean, 55.
_Fragment of Emma_, 161, 162.
Gaskell, Mrs., 20, 21, 22, 30,
42, 47, 50, 51, 52, 53, 96, 101,
120, 143, 147, 167.
Gaskell's, Mrs., _Life of Charlotte
Bronte_, 47, 57, 58, 67, 68, 234-237.
-- of Charlotte Bronte, 13, 14,
19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 35, 80,
91, 103, 104, 130, 131, 171, 233.
-- of Emily Bronte, 14, 15,
16, 17, 22, 171, 172, 185, 186,
187, 208, 209, 229, 233, 234,
-- the, of Place, 19, 20, 227,
-- the, of Earth, 174, 175.
-- test of, 233, 234.
"Gondal Chronicles", 38, 39,
193, 194, 232.
"Gondal Poems", 17, 193-208,
Grundy, Francis, 33, 51, 60, 203,
Haworth, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27,
29, 37, 42-44, 168.
-- influence of, 24, 25, 30, 47,
94, 103, 105, 165, 166, 227,
228, 235, 236.
Heathcliff, 53, 170, 197, 209-221,
222, 224, 225, 239-242.
-- character of, 209, 210, 211,
-- and Zamorna, 202-207.
Heger, M. Constantin, 14, 35, 36,
-- -- character of, 88, 89,
-- -- influence of, 36, 100,
Heger's, M. Constantin, relations
with Charlotte Bronte,
14, 15, 81-90, 96, 100, 104, 105,
-- -- original of Paul
Emanuel, 105, 144-150, 239-247.
-- Madame, 14, 15, 35, 36,
85-89, 104, 148.
-- -- original of Madame
Beck, 144, 148, 149.
Helstone, Caroline, 98, 137, 139,
141, 142, 143.
-- -- and Miss Ellen
Nussey, 75, 98.
Henri, Frances, 89, 108-110.
Heredity, 211, 212.
Imagination and the real, 130,
_Jane Eyre_, 21, 24, 39, 40, 64, 68,
89, 91, 101, 103, 109, 110,
112-131, 133, 143, 148, 159,
-- -- criticisms of, 112,
-- -- dialogue in, 113, 114,
117, 118, 119.
-- -- passion in, 113, 114,
115, 116, 117.
-- -- reality of, 112, 113,
-- -- style in, 128, 129.
-- -- and _The Professor_
compared, 105, 109, 110, 112,
113, 129, 138.
-- -- and _Shirley_ compared,
131, 138, 141.
-- -- and _Villette_ compared,
105, 144, 159.
-- -- quoted, 113-115,
John of the Cross, St., 180, 181.
Letters of Charlotte Bronte,
46, 53, 75, 76, 165, 166.
-- -- to Miss Ellen Nussey,
46, 72, 75-78, 82-92.
-- -- from Brussels, 84-87.
-- -- to M. Heger, 90.
-- -- to Southey, 99.
-- -- to Wordsworth, 99.
Leyland, Francis A., 60, 61.
-- -- on Branwell Bronte,
81, 233, 246.
-- the sculptor, 29, 51, 246.
Lewes, George Henry, 33, 64, 68,
-- -- on _Shirley_, 68.
_Life of Charlotte Bronte_, Mrs.
Gaskell's, 47, 57, 58, 67, 68,
Linton, Catherine, 212, 221, 222,
London, Charlotte Bronte in, 15,
40, 46, 47, 244.
Mackay, Mr. Angus, 81.
Maeterlinck, M., on Emily
Bronte, 14, 170, 213.
Malham-Dembleby, Mr. J., 87,
Marriage of Charlotte Bronte,
-- Charlotte Bronte on, 69-80,
Meredith, George, 133, 224.
Moore, Louis, 134, 141, 143.
-- Robert, 137, 140.
Mysticism, 16, 168, 169, 173-181,
Nature in _Shirley_, 136, 137.
-- in _Wuthering Heights_, 173.
-- in Emily Bronte's Poems,
Nicholls, Rev. Arthur Bell,
Nicoll, Sir William Robertson,
14, 182, 189, 190.
_Note on Charlotte Bronte_, by
Algernon Charles Swinburne,
Novel, the, 163.
Novels of Charlotte Bronte,
-- of Anne Bronte, 39, 49-54.
-- of Emily Bronte, 39, 209-234.
Nussey, Miss Ellen, 26, 46, 58,
72, 73, 75-78, 84, 168, 169.
-- -- Charlotte Bronte's
friendship with, 91-99.
-- -- Charlotte Bronte's
letters to, 31, 46, 72, 75-78,
-- -- Charlotte Bronte's
advice to, 75-78, 84.
-- -- influence of, 91-93.
-- Rev. Henry, 79, 80.
-- -- original of St. John
Rivers, 91, 141, 145.
Oliphant, Mrs., on Charlotte
Bronte, 31, 32, 33, 69-74, 79,
80, 117, 141.
-- -- on _Shirley_, 70, 71,
72, 141, 142.
Paganism, Emily Bronte's, 16,
135, 136, 174, 186, 208, 214.
-- in _Wuthering Heights_, 209,
211, 214, 222.
Pantheism, Emily Bronte's, 171,
Parmenides, Poem on _Nature_,
Passion, Charlotte Bronte's treatment
of, 106, 116, 123, 124,
-- Emily Bronte's treatment
of, 172, 213, 214.
-- Dickens' Treatment of,
-- Fielding's treatment of,
-- Jane Austen's treatment
-- Smollett's treatment of,
-- Thackeray's treatment of,
-- in _Jane Eyre_, 113, 114, 115,
-- in _Shirley_, 131, 141.
-- in _Villette_, 159.
-- in _Wuthering Heights_, 210,
211, 212, 213, 218, 221, 222,
224, 228, 231.
-- in Emily Bronte's Poems,
179, 180, 182, 196, 199, 200,
-- in Emily Bronte's soul,
170-172, 174, 209.
-- test in reality, 159.
"Philosopher, The", 177.
Philosophy, Emily Bronte's, 169,
175, 176, 177.
_Pictures of the Past_, by Francis
Poems of Anne Bronte, 54-57,
164, 188, 246.
-- of Branwell Bronte, 28,
29, 42, 164, 233, 246.
-- of Charlotte Bronte, 39,
103, 164, 169, 170, 246.
-- of Emily Bronte, 17, 39,
174-185, 231, 232.
-- _The Complete_, of Emily
"Poems, Gondal", 17, 193-208,
_Professor, The_, 39, 89, 105, 106,
_Professor, The_ and _Jane Eyre_ compared,
105, 109, 110, 112, 113,
-- -- and _Villette_ compared,
-- -- quoted, 107, 108,
Pryor, Mrs., 140.
_Quarterly Review, The_, 53, 114,
117, 120, 121, 131.
-- Imagination and the, 130,
-- germ of the, 138, 145, 158.
Realism, 163, 221, 231.
Reality, 113, 124, 138, 141, 143,
145, 146, 147, 148, 158, 159,
163, 171, 173, 174, 176, 228,
Reid, Sir T. Wemyss, 58, 96.
-- -- on Charlotte Bronte,
58, 81, 100.
-- -- quoted, 58-60.
Rigby, Miss (Lady Eastlake), 122.
Rivers, St. John, 91, 145.
Robinson, Miss A. Mary F.
_See_ Duclaux, Madame.
-- Mrs., 15, 33.
-- -- and Branwell Bronte,
15, 41, 42, 52.
-- -- vindicated, 41, 50.
Rochester, character of, 113, 117,
118, 119, 120, 121, 125, 140, 141.
Roe Head, 26, 27, 95, 162.
Sidgwick, Mr., 28, 64.
-- Mrs., 28, 62-64.
_Shirley_, 46, 65, 68, 72, 100,
-- portrait of Emily Bronte
in, 70, 71, 133, 137, 147.
-- dialogue in, 139-141.
-- criticism of, 64, 65, 68,
-- style in, 139, 140, 141.
-- Woman in, 70, 71, 132,
133, 137, 141, 143.
_Shirley_ and _Jane Eyre_ compared,
131, 138, 141.
-- and _Villette_ compared, 111,
141, 148, 159.
-- and _Wuthering Heights_ compared,
-- quoted, 133-137, 138, 139,
140, 141, 142.
Shorter, Mr. Clement K., 13,
14, 74, 82, 84, 87, 88, 96, 100,
101, 186-190, 191, 193. _See
also_ Prefatory Note.
Smith, Mr. George, 40, 144, 158.
Snowe, Lucy, 71, 79, 89.
-- -- and Pauline de
Sources of _Wuthering Heights_, 16,
Southey, Robert, Charlotte
Bronte's letter to, 99.
Southey's, Robert, advice to
Charlotte Bronte, 99.
Stephen, Mr. Leslie, 62, 63, 79.
Style, 100, 102, 103, 105, 106,
128, 160, 161, 162, 230, 231.
Sue, Eugene, 243, 244.
Supernatural, the, in _Wuthering
Heights_, 16, 207-221.
Swinburne, Mr., on Charlotte
Bronte, 14, 31, 64-65, 66, 68.
-- -- on Emily Bronte, 14, 174.
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