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THE   BRONTES                      79
ambitions, to write, and see her name in print, to
be celebrated, beautiful, popular and affluent, to
be anything but a poor, plain little governess,
were at the bottom of her neurotic state ; there
is no need to look further afield to discover why
she afterwards spoke of Dewsbury Moor as a
" poisonous place." Back at home she felt
better ; the Taylors came to stay that summer,
and she went later to stay with her cc darling
Ellen." In the following spring (1839) Ellen's
brother, Henry, a very proper but cold-blooded
young curate, made Charlotte an offer of mar-
riage. Charlotte sat down at once and penned a
long " decided negative." Afterwards, she un-
burdened herself to Ellen of the " strong tempta-
tion " which the proposal had held. " I thought
if I were to marry Henry Nussey, his sister could
live with me." However, consideration for
Henry's happiness disposed of the temptation
and Charlotte admitted she had felt bound to
think of herself as well. " If ever I marry, it must
be in the light of adoration that I will regard my
husband." " Ten to one, I shall never have the
chance again, but i? imports" she added, gaily.
Mr. Nussey's offer, though unacceptable, had done
her good. She left home again, a couple of months
later, to be governess to the Sidgwicks at Stone-
gappe, near Skipton, in a cheerful mood, but the
new situation was no more bearable than the last
had been. Charlotte was not made to be a
governess. She did not " understand children/5
but as parents and other sentimental people in-
variably say this of those who speak frankly of