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58                    THEBRONT£S
" That wind," she wrote, " pouring in impetu-
ous currents through the air, sounding wildly, un-
remittingly from hour to hour, deepening its tone
as the night advances, coming, not in gusts but
with a rapid gathering, stormy swell—that wind,
I know, is heard at this moment far away on the
moors of Haworth. Branwell and Emily hear it,
and as it sweeps over our house down the church-
yard and round the old church they think per-
haps, of me and Anne." (Anne was then with
Charlotte at Roe Head.) " Glorious that blast
was, mighty ; it reminded me of Northanger-
land ; there was something so merciless in the
heavier rush that made the very house groan as if
it could scarce bear this acceleration of impulse."
Again : " I listened—the sound sailed full and
liquid ., . the bells of Huddersfield Parish Church.
I shut the window and went back to my seat. Then
came on me, rushing impetuously, all the mighty
phantasm that this had conjured from nothing—
from nothing to a system strange as some religious
creed. I felt as if I could have written gloriously.
The spirit of all Verdopolis, of all the mountain-
ous North, of all the woodland West, of all the
river watered East, came crowding into my mind.
If I had had time to indulge it, I felt that the vague
suggestions of that moment would have settled
down into some narrative better at least than any-
thing I ever produced before. But just then a dolt
came up with a lesson ..."
It certainly seems extraordinary, even a little
uncanny, this intense, persistent absorption on a
girl's part in an unreal world. The persistence, of