Grundy, Francis Henry
It was probably during the six weeks when Mr. Bronte and Charlotte were absent in Manchester that Mr. Grundy resolved to visit Branwell. He says: 'As he never came to see me, I shortly made up my mind to visit him at Haworth, and was shocked at the wrecked and wretched appearance he presented. Yet he still craved for an appointment of any kind, in order that he might try the excitement of change; of course uselessly.'
It must, it seems, have been on this occasion, in the course of conversation at the parsonage, that Branwell made a statement, respecting his novel, to Mr. Grundy, which has acquired considerable interest. I give it in the words in which Mr. Grundy recalls the incident. 'Patrick Bronte declared to me, and what his sister said bore out the assertion, that he wrote a great portion of "Wuthering Heights" himself.'the-bronte-family-
In late September, Francis Grundy came to Haworth. He ordered dinner for two in a private room at the Black Bull and sent a messenger up to the parsonage for Branwell. While he waited, Patrick came to warn him
of the dramatic change in Branwell’s appearance. Grundy noted: He spoke of Branwell with more affection that I had ever heretofore heard him express, but he also spoke almost hopelessly. He said that when my message
came, Branwell was in bed, and had been almost too weak for the last few days to leave it, nevertheless, he had insisted upon coming, and would be there immediately. Despite the warning, Grundy was shocked when Branwell arrived: Presently, the door opened cautiously, and a head appeared. It was a mass of red, unkempt, uncut hair, wildly floating round a great, gaunt forehead: the cheeks yellow and hollow, the mouth fallen, the thin white lips not trembling but shaking, the sunken eyes, once small, now glaring with the light of
madness. Once Branwell was warmed by a glass or two of brandy, “he looked frightened – frightened of himself”. Later, as Grundy took his leave, Branwell produced a carving knife and confessed that he had imagined the message was a call from Satan. He had armed himself with the knife and come to the inn determined to rush into the room and stab its occupant. Only the sound of Grundy’s voice and his manner had “brought him home to himself”. Grundy “left him standing bare-headed in the road with bowed form and dropping tears.