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Full text of "The Brontes"

l8                      THE  BRONT&S
entered in the local register when they were
b ^prised under the name of Brunty, Bruntee or
Brontee.
Patrick was evidently a bright lad for, at the
age of sixteen, after starting work as a weaver,
he took to school teaching in a Presbyterian school
near his home.   From there, he became a teacher
in a bigger school at Drumballyroney where the
rector encouraged  and  helped  him to aim at
Cambridge  University  and  the  Church.    The
young man persevered, and put money by and
entered St. John's College, Cambridge, when he
was twenty-five.   There he took exhibitions and
a  degree,  in   1806,  signing  the  register  Patr.
Bronte (his name upon entrance is set down as
Branty in the college books), and was ordained
to a curacy at Wethersfield in Essex.    At this
stage, he apparently started putting an accent on
the last syllable of his surname, perhaps in order
to show how it should be pronounced.   Later, he
changed  the  accent for  two  dots,  possibly to
borrow a little lustre from Nelson's new title of
Duke of Bronte.    This is surmise, but on the
other hand, Mr.   3ronte had the usual human
weakness for " birth.'5   He was fond of saying that
he had been at Cambridge and at the same col-
lege with Lord Palmerston, and, from some details
which have been published of an early love affair
between him and a young woman, Mary Burder,
at Wethersfield, it appears that he was secretive
about his Irish relations and given to bragging to
her of his affluent and titled friends.   The secre-
tiveness was partly responsible for the break-up of