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Full text of "The Brontes"

52                        THE   BRONTES
ones, Maria and Elizabeth, who had died. " I
used to believe them to have been wonders of
talent and kindness/3 said Mary. She told Mary
about the monthly magazine they brought out at
home and how they all wrote in it and tried to
make it look as like print as possible. She prom-
ised, once, to show Mary some copies but then
she changed her mind and would not show them.
Perhaps she was afraid of Mary laughing at her
Wellingtonian heroes, for Mary was a rabid
Radical, and at school and at the Taylors' house
at Gomersal, Charlotte had to listen to many a
diatribe against her cherished parson-bred con-
victions. At Roe Head she was in the still vivid
tracks of Luddite disturbances. Miss Wooler
often talked to her pupils of those savage times,
of the terrible industrial distress, the bitter, mad-
dened state of the workers, their mysterious,
nightly drilling on the moors, their assaults upon
mills employing the hated new machinery.
Close to Roe Head was Mr. Cartwright's mill,
Rawfolds, where a violent attack by hundreds of
rioters had been defeated by the coolness and
bravery of its owner and a handful of supporters :
and at Heckmondwike, a neighbouring village,
still lived Parson Roberson, whose fierce but fear-
less conduct towards the agitators had become a
grim legend. Mr. Bronte knew Mr. Roberson ;
in some respects they were birds of a feather, and
Mr. Helstone of Shirley is drawn probably from
both of them, Mary Taylor, the Rose Yorke of
Shirley, wrote to Mrs. Gaskell, when the Life was
published : " You give much too favourable an