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Full text of "The Brontes"

CHAPTER VI
Charlotte and Emily at the Pensionnat Heger - Villette - Miss
Branwell's death - Charlotte and M. Heger-back at
Haworth - publication of the poems - Bran-well's break-
do wn,
THE externals, at any rate, of the Brontes' life in
Brussels have been depicted in Charlotte's two
novels, The Professor and Villette. Until 1894,
when the Heger Pensionnat in the Rue cTIsabelle
was pulled down, it was possible, with these books
as a guide, to find one's way through the former
schoolrooms and dormitories and to identify the
neighbouring Athenee and the small window in it
overlooking the Pensionnat garden and the allee
defendue. If there were any doubt (which, ap-
parently, according to those who knew the Hegers,
there is not) as to the originals of M. Paul Emanuel
and Mme. Beck in Villette, Charlotte's anxiety to
prevent a French edition of the book from appear-
ing would dispose of it.
The Brontes were not happy in Brussels. It
was hardly to be expected that they would be.
They were past the school-girl age - Charlotte
was nearly twenty-six, Emily twenty-three-and-a-
half- when they arrived there. They were Pro-
testant to the core and Charlotte, despite her
enthusiasm for travel and the sight of foreign
places, was not unlike M. Taine's Englishwoman
who. on reaching Paris, wrote home saying :
8?