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Full text of "The Brontes"

THE   BRONTES                      57
have I sat on the low bedstead, my mind fixed on
the window through which appeared no other
landscape than a monotonous stretch of moorland,
a grey church-tower rising from the centre of a
churchyard so filled with graves that the rank
weeds and coarse grass scarce had room to shoot
up between the monuments. . . . Such was the pic-
ture that threw its reflection upon my eye but com-
municated no impression on my heart. ... A long
tale was perhaps evolving itself in my mind, the his-
tory of an ancient and aristocratic family... young
lords and ladies . . . dazzled with the brilliancy
of courts, happy with the ambition of senates.
"As I saw them, stately and handsome, gliding
through these salons, where many well-known
forms crossed my sight, wrhere there were faces
looking up, eyes smiling and lips moving in aud-
ible speech that I knew better almost than my
brother and sisters, yet whose voices never woke
an echo in this world. Far from home, I can-
not write of them, except in total solitude, I
scarce dare think of them.3*
According to Miss Ratchford, who has studied
every fragment of Charlotte's Juvenilia^ there are
many such outpourings, written at Roe Head, all
testifying to the same intense absorption in an
imaginary world. Haworth itself for its own sake
meant little to Charlotte ; it was as the portal of
Angria that she pined for it, as the one familiar
way to Verdopolis. The landscape to be seen from
the Parsonage windows, and the winds which
howled round the Parsonage walls, were, so to
speak, the keys of her secret Heaven,