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yO                           THE  BRONTES
from her, had not very much exaggerated the
period of BranwelPs downfall and dissipation,
dating it almost from the London visit and making
it a kind of Rake's Progress from then onwards.
BranwelPs story is one of almost everyday
occurrence, the story of a brilliant, charming boy,
the pride and hope of his family, the delight of
his friends, who failed to satisfy that hope, partly
because it was excessive and the means of realising
it were lacking, and partly because of ^e psychic
injury inflicted upon anyone from whom from
childhood onwards too much is expected and upon
whom too much advance admiration is lavished.
Bran well was the "show" youth of Haworth; the
" draw " to visitors at the " Black Bull/5 whose
landlord was ready enough that he should make
himself at home there. Notice and conviviality
were pleasant to him, as they are to most young
people, and the easy friendliness of the inn and
other village institutions must have been sweet to
a boy escaping from solitary work in his father's
study and the puritanical atmosphere of home.
The world, when Branwell adventured into it,
excitable, self-confident at times to an absurd
degree, as his letters to the editor of Blackwood's
Magazine show, but at other times despondent
and given to religious gloom, did not take his
genius for granted, as Haworth did, but still, to
the enthusiastic boy, it glittered. Good company
and popularity were to be had for little more than
the exercise of his ready wit and versatile imagina-
tion. Strong will power and resolution are needed,
at any age, to put the necessity of earning a living