I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

zaterdag 29 oktober 2011

Anne Bronte at Roe head.



At fifteen, it was Anne's first time away from home. She was quiet and hard working, and determined to stay and get the education that would allow her to support herself.[33][34] Anne stayed for two years, winning a good-conduct medal in December 1836, and returning home only during Christmas and the summer holidays. Anne and Charlotte do not appear to have been close during their time at Roe Head (Charlotte's letters almost never mention Anne) but Charlotte was concerned about the health of her sister. At some point before December 1837, Anne became seriously ill with gastritis and underwent a religious crisis.[35]

Towards the end of 1837, and while still at Roe Head School, the 17 years old Anne suffered a very serious illness. Charlotte described her symptoms as 'pain' and 'difficulty of breathing', the latter was assumed to be a symptom of asthma, from which she had suffered since early childhood. Concurrent with her illness, she also underwent a religious crisis: 56  she was experiencing deep depression and fear on account of the hard-line preachings of the local churches: a circle of clergy that tended to follow the scriptures to the letter, and made great emphasis on the Calvinist doctrines of hell-fire and eternal damnation, with the suggestion that only the 'elect few' would earn themselves a place in heaven. This was far removed from the much milder convictions of her Wesleyan aunt, and those preached by her father; whose emphasis was on the 'goodness and infinite mercy of God', and the belief that salvation was attainable by anyone who sought it. With the acute illness she was experiencing, Anne must have felt that death was near, and desperately needed reassurance on these religious matters. In the event, she did not turn for help to the local Methodist churches, of whose clergy were known to her and her father, but to a stranger. 

James La Trobe
 

The stranger in question was one reverend James La Trobe - the minister of the Moravian chapel at Wellhouse in Mirfield. The Moravian sect preached doctrines more akin to Patrick Brontë's, than those being advocated at Roe Head. They firmly believed in Universal Salvation, where, 'after a period of purifying purgatory, all men, however wicked, could attain heaven'. Many years later, in 1897, La Trobe sent a letter to his friend and Brontë biographer, William Scrutton of Thornton, and in it recited the occasions he had attended Anne at Roe Head so many years earlier. The extract relating to Anne reads:
'She was suffering from a severe attack of gastric fever which brought her very low, and her voice was only a whisper; her life hung on a slender thread. She soon got over the shyness natural on seeing a perfect stranger. The words of love, from Jesus, opened her ear to my words, and she was very grateful for my visits. I found her well acquainted with the main truths of the Bible respecting our salvation, but seeing them more through the law than the gospel, more as a requirement from God than His gift in His Son, but her heart opened to the sweet views of salvation, pardon, and peace in the blood of Christ . . . and, had she died then, I should have counted her His redeemed and ransomed child. It was not till I read Charlotte Brontë's 'Life'that I recognised my interesting patient at Roe Head, where a Christian influence pervaded the establishment and its decided discipline.' 57
 
In December Patrick withdrew Anne from the school, and back at home she made a gradual recovery. James La Trobe went on to attain 'bishop' status: he died in 1897 at the age of 95.
-------------------------

A Word To The Calvinists


You may rejoice to think yourselves secure,
You may be grateful for the 
gift divine,
That grace unsought which made your black hearts pure
And fits your earthborn souls in Heaven to shine.
But is it sweet 
to look around and view
Thousands excluded from that happiness,
Which they deserve at least as much as you,
Their faults not greater nor their virtues less?

And wherefore should you love your God the more
Because to you alone his smiles are given,
Because He chose to pass the many o'er
And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?

And wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove
Because for all the Saviour did not die?
Is yours the God of justice and
 
of love
And are your bosoms warm with charity?

Say does your heart expand to all mankind
And would you ever to your neighbour do,
-- The weak, the strong, the enlightened and the blind -­
As you would have your neighbour do to you?

And, when you, looking on your fellow men
Behold them doomed to endless misery,
How can you talk of joy and rapture then?
May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

That none deserve eternal bliss I know:
Unmerited the grace in mercy given,
But none shall 
sink to everlasting woe
That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.

And, O! there lives within my heart
A hope long nursed by me,
(And should its cheering ray depart
How dark my soul would be)

That as in Adam all have died
In Christ shall all men live
And ever 
round his throne abide
Eternal praise to give;

That even the wicked shall at last
Be fitted for the skies
And when their dreadful doom is past
To life and light arise.

I ask not how remote the day
Nor what the sinner's woe
Before their dross is purged away,
Enough for me to know

That when the cup of wrath is drained,
The metal purified,
They'll cling to what they once disdained,
And 
live by Him that died.

Anne Bronte 

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Parsonage

Parsonage

Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte



Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.


O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!


Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,


To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.


With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.


Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.


There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.


--
Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Parents
Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.

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