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

donderdag 25 april 2013

I got a lesson not to be repeated. He struggled, faltered, then lost command over himself—stood before my eyes and in the sight of all the communicants white, shaking, voiceless.

March 4th, 1853.
Dear Ellen,—We had the parsons to supper as well as to tea.  Mr. N. demeaned himself not quite pleasantly.  I thought he made no effort to struggle with his dejection but gave way to it in a manner to draw notice; the Bishop was obviously puzzled by it.  Mr. Nicholls also showed temper once or twice in speaking to papa.  Martha was beginning to tell me of certain “flaysome” looks also, but I desired not to hear of them.  The fact is, I shall be most thankful when he is well away.  I pity him, but I don’t like that dark gloom of his.  He dogged me up the lane after the evening service in no pleasant manner.  He stopped also in the passage after the Bishop and the other clergy were gone into the room, and it was because I drew away and went upstairs that he gave that look which filled Martha’s soul with horror.  She, it seems, meantime, was making it her business to watch him from the kitchen door. If Mr. Nicholls be a good man at bottom, it is a sad thing that nature has not given him the faculty to put goodness into a more attractive form.  Into the bargain of all the rest he managed to get up a most pertinacious and needless dispute with the Inspector, in listening to which all my old unfavourable impressions revived so strongly, I fear my countenance could not but shew them.
‘Dear Nell, I consider that on the whole it is a mercy you have been at home and not at Norfolk during the late cold weather.  Love to all at Brookroyd.—Yours faithfully,
c. Brontë.’

‘You ask about Mr. Nicholls.  I hear he has got a curacy, but do not yet know where.  I trust the news is true.  He and papa never speak.  He seems to pass a desolate life.  He has allowed late circumstances so to act on him as to freeze up his manner and overcast his countenance not only to those immediately concerned but to every one.  He sits drearily in his rooms.  If Mr. Grant or any other clergyman calls to see, and as they think, to cheer him, he scarcely speaks.  I find he tells them nothing, seeks no confidant, rebuffs all attempts to penetrate his mind.  I own I respect him for this.  He still lets Flossy go to his rooms, and takes him to walk.  He still goes over to see Mr. Sowden sometimes, and, poor fellow, that is all.  He looks ill and miserable.  I think and trust in Heaven that he will be better as soon as he fairly gets away from Haworth.  I pity him inexpressibly.  We never meet nor speak, nor dare I look at him; silent pity is just all that I can give him, and as he knows nothing about that, it does not comfort.  He is now grown so gloomy and reserved that nobody seems to like him.  His fellow-curates shun trouble in that shape; the lower orders dislike it.  Papa has a perfect antipathy to him, and he, I fear, to papa.  Martha hates him.  I think he might almost be dying and they would not speak a friendly word to or of him.  How much of all this he deserves I can’t tell; certainly he never was agreeable or amiable, and is less so now than ever, and alas! I do not know him well enough to be sure that there is truth and true affection, or only rancour and corroding disappointment at the bottom of his chagrin.  In this state of things I must be, and I am, entirely passive.  I may be losing the purest gem, and to me far the most precious, life can give—genuine attachment—or I may be escaping the yoke of a morose temper.  In this doubt conscience will not suffer me to take one step in opposition to papa’s will, blended as that will is with the most bitter and unreasonable prejudices.  So I just leave the matter where we must leave all important matters.
‘Remember me kindly to all at Brookroyd, and—Believe me, yours faithfully,
C. Brontë.’‘Haworth, April 6th, 1853
May 16th, 1853.
Dear Ellen,—The east winds about which you inquire have spared me wonderfully till to-day, when I feel somewhat sick physically, and not very blithe mentally.  I am not sure that the east winds are entirely to blame for this ailment.  Yesterday was a strange sort of a day at church.  It seems as if I were to be punished for my doubts about the nature and truth of poor Mr. Nicholls’s regard.  Having ventured on Whit Sunday to stop the sacrament, I got a lesson not to be repeated.  He struggled, faltered, then lost command over himself—stood before my eyes and in the sight of all the communicants white, shaking, voiceless.  Papa was not there, thank God!  Joseph Redman spoke some words to him.  He made a great effort, but could only with difficulty whisper and falter through the service.  I suppose he thought this would be the last time; he goes either this week or the next.  I heard the women sobbing round, and I could not quite check my own tears.  What had happened was reported to papa either by Joseph Redman or John Brown; it excited only anger, and such expressions as “unmanly driveller.”  Compassion or relenting is no more to be looked for than sap from firewood.
‘I never saw a battle more sternly fought with the feelings than Mr. Nicholls fights with his, and when he yields momentarily, you are almost sickened by the sense of the strain upon him.  However, he is to go, and I cannot speak to him or look at him or comfort him a whit, and I must submit.  Providence is over all, that is the only consolation.—Yours faithfully,
C. Brontë.’

1 opmerking:

  1. He dogged me up the lane after the evening service in no pleasant manner. He stopped also in the passage after the Bishop and the other clergy were gone into the room, and it was because I drew away and went upstairs that he gave that look which filled Martha’s soul with horror

    Because Charlotte choose "to stop the sacrament" that Whit Sunday, once she knelt down at the rail, she was fixed in place and made to fully witness Mr. N's tremendous suffering for the love of her.

    Charlotte could not quickly draw away upstairs or hurry up the lane like before and escape. No. By her own choice Charlotte placed herself in the one spot where she could not draw away at will. She had to see it though and she got her up close lesson not to be repeated. She plainly had on her glasses...she saw and heard all

    Charlotte seemed to take the matter much more seriously after this. She was made to realize at last that she was playing with fire by making Mr. Nicholls give her the host in front of everyone after months of no contact!

    It's remarkable such a perceptive person as Charlotte needed so many lessons! ...but it seems Brontes were often so caught up in thier own emotions, those impinging from others caused puzzlement...at least for a time!

    If Charlotte was not so unaware of the nature of Arthur's love ,one would have to say her sudden appearance at the rail was cruel...but she was not aware until then . She finally learned the lesson

    Arthur loses command over himself when she surprises him. He did not expect her at the rail, and we see what happened.

    He did expect to see Charlotte at the Parsonage later to say good bye only to find the dining room being cleaned and Charlotte no where to be seen and he totally becomes undone at the gate .

    When under such emotional stress we can muddle though if we know what to expect.. if the unexpected occurs, then anything can happen.

    I never saw a battle more sternly fought with the feelings than Mr. Nicholls fights with his

    That is from a person who knew quite a bit about fighting one's feelings


The Parlour

The Parlour



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).

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.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.



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