THE BRONTES 67 were an elderly aunt -" What a remarkable winter we have had ! Rain and wind continu- ally but an almost total absence of frost and snow " - and continued the task of cultivating Ellen's taste for elegant literature, winding up a disquisition by the remark -" adhere to standard authors and avoid novelty." Ellen, whether she profited or not, kept all Charlotte's letters, which is more than Mary Taylor, to whom Charlotte also wrote occasion- ally, did ; this is a loss for the biographer for it would have been interesting to compare the two sets of letters and to see whether Charlotte was essentially didactic or whether the elderly aunt strain was brought out of her by Ellen's admira- tion for her clever friend. Evidently, however, Charlotte held forth on politics when she wrote to Mary. " Brougham, you see, is triumphant. Wretch ! I am a hearty hater, and if there is anyone I thoroughly abhor, it is that man." She writes this to Ellen and then remarks that Ellen has brought this rodomontade on herself by tell- ing her to write as she writes to Mary Taylor. Mary was stony ground, as far as reclamation to Tory principles was concerned ; but still, for all her fiery Radicalism, her letters were worth having and, on paper, Charlotte loved crossing swords. There was no cc kick " to be got out of Ellen, but, all the same, Charlotte loved her best. " In the solitude of our wild little hill village," wrote Char- lotte to her,úC I think of my only unrelated friend - my dear, ci-devant school-companion, daily, nay almost hourly." " Farewell, dearest, dearest"