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Full text of "The Brontes"

60                        THE   BRONT&S
result. Moreover, day-dreaming in Angria was
almost Charlotte's only relaxation. Most young
people have a variety of amusements, outdoor
games and exercises, parties, etc. ; Charlotte had
but one game. This fact strengthened the game's
grip upon her imagination, gave the doings of her
Angrian grandees a continuity in her mind, put
them in sole possession of her leisure hours. Writ-
ing about them made them of still greater con-
sequence. A reader can put a book down and for-
get about the story in it. The play ends when the
curtain falls. But in the writer's mind, the cur-
tain never falls. The story goes on ; the char-
acters live and struggle and suffer all the time.
They are bone of the writer's bone and flesh of his
flesh, even though he may not always be able to
communicate their reality to the reader. Indeed,
in that case, they may live in the writer's mind
even more insistently, clamouring to be more
folly realised, to be, as it were, born. Few of Char-
lotte's heroes ever were born, though they lived
with her for a life-time. Douro became Mr.
Rochester in Jane Eyre, but still remained an un-
real figure. Of the chief personages in that book
only Jane Eyre herself came to life and lived on in
Lucy Snowe in Villette.
Yet, despite Angria, despite the monotonous
daily round at Haworth, Charlotte's life was al-
tering. She was ceasing to be a child able to satisfy
herself with make-believe. The sense of exile she
felt during her second stay at Roe Head might
have overcome her at home. Even there, the old
familiar surroundings might have failed, at times,