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Full text of "The Brontes"

82                       THE   BRONTES
course, pretended to be indifferent and, later, con-
temptuous, but it is clear, from the room he takes
up in her letters to Ellen, that at first, at any rate,
she was thrilled by him. She drew his portrait
and the sittings, Miss Nussey says, became alarm-
ingly long. Anne, on her holidays, fell in love
with Willie Weightman. Even Emily relaxed.
He was said to have been the only curate she ever
tolerated, her usual behaviour on entering a room
and finding a curate there being to go away at
once.
" Celia Amelia" brought life and fun into the
Parsonage. He teased " Aunt" and sent the
girls valentines. But it was soon seen - at least
so Charlotte declared - that he was an outrageous
flirt, and not to be taken seriously. Charlotte
told the tale of his numerous victims to Ellen who,
herself, had been smitten, but, kept regularly
posted as to his fickleness, was prevented from
cherishing hopes. Ellen, moreover, was consider-
ing another possible suitor who, apparently, never
came to the point. Charlotte was busy for some
time in her old role of elderly aunt, advising Ellen
to take Mr. Vincent if he should propose, despite
not being exactly keen about him. " My good
girl, une grande passion is une grande folie. Is
the man a fool, a knave, a humbug, a hypo-
crite, a ninny, a noodle ? If he is any or all of
these, of course there is no sense in trifling with
him. ... Is he something better than this ?
Has he common sense, a good disposition, a man-
ageable temper ? Then, Nell, consider the
matter. , . ." "No young lady should fall in