THE BRONTES 75 they spoke of her In the village, " the genius of the family," as in old age, Mr. Bronte once admitted to a visitor, that he considered her to have been, may have come by her fierce and excessive reserve out of sub-conscious jealousy of Bran well who, as the only son. received all the attention, and of Charlotte who, as the eldest, ordered the others about. Her poems around the ifi mournful boy " theme, as Miss Romer Wilson has insisted, all point to that recurring idea of herself as a friend- less, unwanted child cast into an alien world - / am the only being whose doom No tongue would ask, no eye would mourn - and the attraction wnicn orpnans ana castaways had for all the Bronte children resolved itself, in her case, into that passion for the dme damnee which came to fullest expression in the creation of Heathcliff in Wut/iering Heights. It seems, however, a mistake to represent Emily as within the conscious heart of her at enmity with mankind. She was evidently a proud, deep- natured, loving and undemonstrative person, bent on her own way, but that way was a simple straightforward one, directed not so much against the world as away from conventional bounds and restrictions. Freedom was the breath of her soul; and to get that, and to be relieved from the odious necessity of becoming a governe'ss, she willingly undertook at home domestic duties far less irk- some to her than looking after tiresome childre and being boxed up with strangers.