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36                       THE   BRONTfiS
disclosed and explained and argued upon so ably
and so well, and then when it was all out, how
aunt said that she thought it was excellent and
that the Catholics could do no harm with such
good security. I remember also the doubts as to
whether it would pass the House of Lords and the
prophecies that it would not, and when the paper
came which was to decide the question, the
anxiety was almost dreadful with which we lis-
tened to the whole affair ; the opening of the
doors ; the hush ; the royal dukes in their robes
and the great Duke in green sash and waistcoat;
the rising of all the peeresses when he rose ; the
reading of his speech - papa saying that his words
were like precious gold ; and lastly the majority
... in favour of the Bill."
The newspapers were devoured, also Black-
woofs Magazine, but recently started and flashing
with Ambrosian wit and satire. From Black-
wood's pages came, we may be sure, many an
inspiration, of plot or phrase, for the development
of the Verdopolitan and Angrian literature which
Charlotte from 1829 onwards was furiously pro-
ducing. In earlier days, the children were given
to acting plays of their own invention, wherein^
according to Mr. Bronte, Charlotte's hero, the
Duke of Wellington, used always to come off con-
queror ; the others' heroes being Buonaparte,
Hannibal and Caesar. One of Charlotte's first
chronicles, The History of the Tear 1829, ^s quoted
by Mrs. Gaskell and starts, as children's writings
so often do when the desire to write, no matter
what, is strong, with an exact setting down of what