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Full text of "The Brontes"

y8                      THE  BRONTES
and visit friends in the neighbourhood, she worked
herself up into a very morbid and irritable con-
dition, feeling a lost soul and (what was really the
matter)  feeling unloved.    At  Christmas,   1837,
she had a " scene " with Miss Wooler, ostensibly
over Anne's health, but really over the pathetic
self-importance of Charlotte who was aching for
regard and praise.    Miss Wooler did the tactful
thing and said how sorry she would be to lose her,
so Charlotte, who had previously decided to leave,
said she would stay.   Charlotte was quite aware
of her " touchiness " ; in a later letter to Ellen, she
wrote : " If I made you my Father Confessor, I
could reveal weaknesses which you do not dream
of.   I do not mean to intimate that I attach a
high value to empty compliments but a word of
panegyric has often made me feel a sense of con-
fused pleasure which it required my strongest
efforts to conceal - and, on the other hand, a hasty
expression which I could construe into negleci or
disapprobation has tortured me till I have lost half
a night's  rest from its rankling pangs."    How
much happier she would have been if she had
not used  her  strongest  efforts   to  conceal  her
enjoyment   of  " panegyric" ;   but   Charlotte's
whole life was a battle between natural longings
and censure of them by the rules of conduct in
which she had been brought up.
Charlotte, however, did not stay much longer
at Dewsbury Moor. She became more morbid,
her health suffered, and a doctor whom she con-
sulteo advised her to go home. Loathing of the
work, excess of conscience masking all kinds of