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

zondag 21 april 2013

Yours, wishing devoutly that papa would resume his tranquillity, and Mr. Nicholls his beef and pudding,

Haworth, December 18th, 1852.
You ask how papa demeans himself to Mr. Nicholls.  I only wish you were here to see papa in his present mood: you would know something of him.  He just treats him with a hardness not to be bent, and a contempt not to be propitiated.  The two have had no interview as yet; all has been done by letter.  Papa wrote, I must say, a most cruel note to Mr. Nicholls on Wednesday.  In his state of mind and health (for the poor man is horrifying his landlady, Martha’s mother, by entirely rejecting his meals) I felt that the blow must be parried, and I thought it right to accompany the pitiless despatch by a line to the effect that, while Mr. Nicholls must never expect me to reciprocate the feeling he had expressed, yet, at the same time, I wished to disclaim participation in sentiments calculated to give him pain; and I exhorted him to maintain his courage and spirits.  On receiving the two letters, he set off from home.  Yesterday came the inclosed brief epistle.
‘You must understand that a good share of papa’s anger arises from the idea, not altogether groundless, that Mr. Nicholls has behaved with disingenuousness in so long concealing his aim.  I am afraid also that papa thinks a little too much about his want of money; he says the match would be a degradation, that I should be throwing myself away, that he expects me, if I marry at all, to do very differently; in short, his manner of viewing the subject is on the whole far from being one in which I can sympathise.  My own objections arise from a sense of incongruity and uncongeniality in feelings, tastes, principles.
‘How are you getting on, dear Nell, and how are all at Brookroyd?  Remember me kindly to everybody.—Yours, wishing devoutly that papa would resume his tranquillity, and Mr. Nicholls his beef and pudding,
C. Brontë

January 2nd, 1853.
Dear Nell,—I thought of you on New Year’s night, and hope you got well over your formidable tea-making.  I trust that Tuesday and Wednesday will also pass pleasantly.  I am busy too in my little way preparing to go to London this week, a matter which necessitates some little application to the needle.  I find it is quite necessary I should go to superintend the press, as Mr. Smith seems quite determined not to let the printing get on till I come.  I have actually only received three proof-sheets since I was at Brookroyd.  Papa wants me to go too, to be out of the way, I suppose; but I am sorry for one other person whom nobody pities but me.  Martha is bitter against him; John Brown says “he should like to shoot him.”  They don’t understand the nature of his feelings, but I see now what they are.  He is one of those who attach themselves to very few, whose sensations are close and deep, like an underground stream, running strong, but in a narrow channel.  He continues restless and ill; he carefully performs the occasional duty, but does not come near the church, procuring a substitute every Sunday.  A few days since he wrote to papa requesting permission to withdraw his resignation.  Papa answered that he should only do so on condition of giving his written promise never again to broach the obnoxious subject either to him or to me.  This he has evaded doing, so the matter remains unsettled.  I feel persuaded the termination will be his departure for Australia.  Dear Nell, without loving him, I don’t like to think of him suffering in solitude, and wish him anywhere so that he were happier.  He and papa have never met or spoken yet.  I am very glad to learn that your mother is pretty well, and also that the piece of challenged work is progressing.  I hope you will not be called away to Norfolk before I come home: I should like you to pay a visit to Haworth first.  Write again soon.—Yours faithfully,
C. Brontë.’

2 opmerkingen:

  1. It would be interesting to know if Mr. Nicholls ate with the Browns or had his meals in his room

    If he ate with the family then it would not be surprising he refused to break bread with those in mind to shoot him!

    If however Arthur ate his meals in his room and still refused Mrs.Brown's good beef and pudding, that speaks to a state of high emotion...which we know he was more than capable of and by this time Charlotte finally knew it too.

    What comes across in these letters to Nell, is Charlotte is very closely watching Mr.Nicholls and his doings...some times passages sound like police reports, they are so detailed! lol

    Very interesting since for years Charlotte barely noticed him! Now she must be getting daily updates from Martha!

  2. My own objections arise from a sense of incongruity and uncongeniality in feelings, tastes, principles.

    People read these word's of Charlotte's and believe she is speaking about Mr.Nicholls in a personal way...but in good measure Charlotte was not. She didn't know the fellow well enough for those words to be wholly personal.

    While the Brontes and Mr. Nicholls were, of course, members of the Anglican Church, they resided in warring camps within the Church.

    Mr. N was a believer in the Oxford movement, a Puseyite...people say these words without knowing what they means. They mean he believed in the sacraments and even the wearing of a gown vastly more than the Brontes would. To the Bronte's all that smacked of Rome...and the Bronte's disgust with anything that seemed of Rome is well known.

    The mystery here is how did Arthur Bell Nicholl even became Mr. Bronte curate? As Mr Bronte said about the Oxford movement," I despise it both root and branch "

    So when Charlotte said she needed a greater acquaintance with Arthur before deciding if she would accept him, she was being very straightforward. Even after 7-8 years of seeing him nearly daily did not know him enough really.

    Charlotte found the more she got to know him , the more she liked him until her liking turned to love

    Charlotte said Arthur " was one who must be known to be appreciated"



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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