We enter the house, and the door on the right leads into Mr. Brontë’s study, always called the parlour; that on the left into the dining-room, where the children spent a great portion of their lives. From childhood to womanhood, indeed, the three girls regularly breakfasted with their father in his study.
Mr. Brontë joined them at tea, although he always dined alone in his study. The children’s dinner-table has been described to me by a visitor to the house. At one end sat Miss Branwell, at the other, Charlotte, with Emily and Anne on either side. Branwell was then absent. The living was of the simplest. A single joint, followed invariably by one kind or another of milk-pudding. Pastry was unknown in the Brontë household. Milk-puddings, or food composed of milk and rice, would seem to have made the principal diet of Emily and Anne Brontë, and to this they added a breakfast of Scotch porridge, which they shared with their dogs. It is more interesting, perhaps, to think of all the daydreams in that room, of the mass of writing which was achieved there, of the conversations and speculation as to the future.
Miss Nussey has given a pleasant picture of twilight when Charlotte and she walked with arms encircling one another round and round the table, and Emily and Anne followed in similar fashion. There was no lack of cheerfulness and of hope at that period.