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Full text of "The Brontes"

CHAPTER V
Branwell's ambitions - their failure - Emily at school - her dis-
position - Charlotte as a governess and back at home again
- the Brussels plan.
MR. BRONTE'S stipend was about 200 a year.
Though he lived rent free and wages were low,
there could not have been much to spare for
education. Mr. Bronte was " both liberal and
charitable/3 Mrs. Gaskell says, and he sent money
from time to time to his Irish relations. Never-
theless, large families were brought up on incomes
of this size in those days, families whom it would
be an exaggeration to call " poverty-stricken,53
unless that word is used to describe all those who
have very little left after providing for necessaries.
The school fees for the four children at Cowan
Bridge amounted to about 60 a year, and though
relations and friends may have helped with this
payment, Mr, Bronte was evidently prepared to
squeeze something out of his income for educa-
tion, or Branwell's career as a painter would not
have been contemplated.
The expenses of training Branwell do not, how-
ever, seem to have been considered carefully.
" Branwell is going to London," Charlotte tells
Ellen in a letter (July 1835) ^n which she writes
that she is returning to Roe Head as a teacher
and that Emily is going with her as a pupil. There
is an undated letter from Branwell to the
68