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Full text of "The Brontes"

THE   BRONTES                      15
until Miss Branwell died, must have been over the
Peat Room, or over the kitchen, for one of the two
back rooms was the servants' bedroom, and in
early and later days there were two servants. The
back rooms are small, and the box-room, or nur-
sery, is tiny, but the front rooms are fair-sized and
the Brontes could not have been overcrowded,
except in the first years of their life at the Parson-
age when Mrs. Bronte was dying, and the
children, six of them then, may have had to be
squeezed somehow with the servants into the two
back bedrooms.
Haworth itself has been often called " over-
described.5' It is a typical Yorkshire moorland
village, bleak and grim to Southern eyes, isolated
on a hill-top and foreign. Its people are working-
class ; the stone of its buildings, some of it buff-
coloured to start with, like that of the new Par-
sonage on the moor road to Colne^ soon becomes
dingy ; its ash-trees and firs are stunted and
twisted with the moor winds ; its flowers, except
for the heather, are few. Though Keighley, four
miles away, in the valley, has spread hugely since
the Brontes5 time, and now the road from there
up to Haworth is almost lined with houses, the
hill-top still seems solitary because of the great
sea of undulating moorland stretching above and
beyond. Dun-grey moors under a grey sky rise
and fall endlessly to the horizon ; in the fore-
ground, patches of green hillside, ribbed with
fences of grey-black stone and dotted here and
there with low greyrblack stone houses, tell of
days when these Yorkshire dales belonged to a