Skip to main content

Full text of "The Brontes"

See other formats

THE   BRONTES                       33

liking, though she was much given to harping on
the far-away charms of her native Penzance. It
may have been out of such harpings that Emily's
fierce love for Haworth grew, and out of that,
later, the Gondal saga, for the Gondals inhabited
northern regions in contradistinction to Char-
lotte's and BranwelPs Angrians who ruled in the
sunny south.

The children's home life centred much more
round Tabby's kitchen than Papa's study or
Aunt's bedroom. Tabby (Tabitha Ackroyd)
came to be servant at the Parsonage about 1825.
She was then fifty, a Yorkshire woman of the old
type, born and bred in Haworth, remembering
the days when packhorses jingled through the vil-
lage and fairies were to be seen, on moonlight
nights, dancing by the stream in the valley bottom
where the mills now were. The children were
her " bairns " ; she ruled them pretty sharply,
says Mrs. Gaskell, but she never grudged trouble
to give them treats. The kitchen was evidently
where, as often as not, they collected ; and, as*
one of Charlotte's first chronicles shows, it was
round the kitchen fire that their fancies sprouted
and at the kitchen table that Charlotte, at any
rate, started to write.