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Full text of "The Brontes"

THE   BRONTES                      25
and the nurse and servants, to have been com-
pany. Had I been at D(ewsbury) I should not
have wanted kind friends ; had I been at H (arts-
head) I should have seen them, and others,
occasionally ; or had I been at T(hornton), a
family there, who were ever truly kind, would
have soothed my sorrows ; but I was at
H(aworth), a stranger in a strange land. It was
under these circumstances, after every earthly
prop was removed, that I was called on to bear
the weight of the greatest load of sorrows that ever
pressed upon me. One day, I remember it well,
it was a gloomy day, a day of clouds and darkness,
three of my little children were taken ill of scar-
let fever; and the day after, the remaining three
were in the same condition. Just at that time,
death seemed to have laid his hand on my dear
wife in a manner which threatened her speedy
dissolution. She was cold and silent, and seemed
hardly to notice what was passing around her.
This awful season, however, was not of long dura-
tion. My little children had a favourable turn,
and at length got well ; and the force of my wife's
disease somewhat abated. A few weeks after-
wards, her sister Miss B (ranwell) arrived, and
afforded great comfort to my mind, which has
been the case ever since, by sharing my labours
and sorrows, and behaving as an affectionate
mother to my children." (The letter is dated
November syth, 1821, more than two months
after Mrs. Bronte's death, and evidently Miss
Branwell was still there.) Mr. Bronte went on to
say that he called in different doctors but they