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38                       THE   BRONTES
matters : " Our plays were established : Young
Men, June 1826 ; Our Fellows, July 1827 ; Islanders,
December 1827. These are our three great plays
that are not kept secret. Emily's and my best
plays were established, Dec. i, 1827 5 the others
March 1828. Best plays mean secret plays;
they are very nice ones. All our plays are very
strange ones. Their nature I need not write on
paper for I think I shall always remember them.
The Young Men's play took its rise from some
wooden soldiers Branwell had ; Our Fellows from
jEsop's Fables ; and the Islanders from several
events which happened. I will sketch out the
origin of our plays more explicitly if I can.
First Young Men, Papa bought Branwell some
wooden soldiers at Leeds : when papa came home
it was night, and we were in bed, so next morning
Branwell came to our door with a box of soldiers.
Emily and I jumped out of bed, and I snatched
up one and exclaimed ' This is the Duke of
Wellington. This shall be the Duke.' When I
had said this Emily likewise took up one and said
it should be hers ; when Anne came down she
said one should be hers. Mine was the prettiest
of the whole, and the tallest and the most perfect
in every part. Emily's was a grave looking fellow,
and we called him c Gravey.5 Anne's was a
queer little thing, much like herself, and we called
him' Waiting-boy.5 Branwell chose his and called
him Buonaparte.5'
It was out of this play centring round the toy
soldiers that the so-called Angrian literature de-
veloped, though Angria, that imaginary kingdom