This punishment is described by Charlotte in Jane Eyre where reports by Mrs Gaskell, confirm this ill treatment. Furthermore, to Mr Williams, reader at Smith, Elder & Co, who congratulated her for the narrative vigour of her description, Charlotte, unusually vehemently, insisted that it was true, and that furthermore she had deliberately avoided telling everything so as not to be accused of exaggeration.
Indeed, it is difficult to think that Charlotte, having persistently repeated for twenty years the stories about the bad treatment inflicted on her sisters could have exaggerated or invented them. For example, the description given by an unidentified witness to Mrs Gaskell, of the little Maria who, very ill and having just received a suction cup placed on her right side by the doctor, rose suddenly on seeing Miss Andrews enter the room, and began to get dressed. Before she could slip into some clothing however, the mistress pulled her violently into the centre of the room, scolding her for negligence, and disorder, and punished her for being late, upon which Maria descended from the dormitory although she could hardly stand up. According to Mrs Gaskell, the witness spoke as if she saw it yet, and her whole face flashed out undying indignation.
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