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44                       THE   BRONTES
in  these books of the young  author's   intense
absorption in her Angrian heroes and heroines, do
but accentuate the pathetic biographical aspect
of this monument, just as the very perfection of an
elaborate toy carved by a prisoner, or a fine
diamond-scratching of verses on a prison window-
pane make the heart of a sympathetic observer
ache because of the long years spent in captivity
to which such skill testifies.   That Charlotte was
fascinated by her game, that it became her one
absorbing pastime, that for years she lived in
that   Angrian   world,   revelling   in   the   Ionic
features, hyacinthine locks and marble brows of
her Douros and Percys, recording their dazzling
careers,   flawed   by   crime   and   stained   with
treachery,  wedding them to her Marinas and
Marians and pursuing them with the unbridled
passions of her Lady Zenobias, and succouring
them by the pure devotions of her Mina Laurys ;
that these marvellous, unreal, flaunting, ranting
beings became the consolers of her secret loneli-
ness, whom she could love, clasp, scorn and fight
her fill with, creatures to whom she could give
herself utterly, as we give only to those we have
chosen or created, are of course compensating
facts, but they do not prove that life at Haworth
Parsonage for the young Brontes was not dreary.
Very little is known of Emily's and Anne's play
about the Gondals,  owing to  the destruction,
either by them, or by Charlotte after their deaths,
of their papers, but the few fragments that have
been found indicate that the Gondal literature
was extensive and it is not therefore straining at