THE BRONTE SISTERS 39 Charlotte's writing is uneven accordingly. Anne solved the problem by pious resignation, Emily by a spacious vision which easily comprehended both. Although the Brontes, like all other human phenomena, are necessarily to some extent a product of what went before them, they are not derivative in the usual sense of the word, for as we have seen they added to the ingredients with which reading furnished their mental cauldron, rare and strongly flavoured elements which gave a peculiar pungency to the whole. Nor have they greatly influenced later writers by their mode of writing. It is not as forerunners or successors, as literary innovators or contributors to a tradition, that we read them, but for their intrinsic interest and merit—for the high and singular pleasure, to be obtained from no other writers, which we gain from the strange, matchless, darkly noble quality of their creations.