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Full text of "The Brontes"

IOO                         THE   BRONTES
Charlotte when the latter told her she had read
the poems - " it took hours," Charlotte says, " to
reconcile her to the discovery I had made " - but
this is often the case with intensely reserved and
sensitive people when discovery of secrets is made
within that half curious, half indifferent circle
" the family " whose curiosity is so quiescent at
times, so alive at others, that strategy is apt to
become careless. Nevertheless, when the dis-
covery was made and Emily, on her side, dis-
covered that her elder sister's interest was not
patronising, but genuine admiration, though it
may have taken days to persuade her to publish
and face public criticism, she was probably not
averse to being persuaded, " Water will wear
away a stone," says Miss Romer Wilson, intimat-
ing that Charlotte nagged at Emily until she won.
But Charlotte, who could not get Emily to go to
bed when she was dying and who tells us that to
the influence of other minds Emily was never
amenable, would have known that nagging was
useless. Besides, Anne, who adored Emily, would
not have produced her own poems for inspection
had she thought that Emily was being coerced. It
was probably much more a matter of overcoming
Emily's diffidence, set into pride, than her resent-
ment, and Anne may have brought out her poems
as much to help in this as to win praise, too,
from Charlotte.
Moreover, the fact that Charlotte herself was
diffident ought to dispose of the " nagging " sug-
gestion. It was not as if she had been bent on
publishing and, consequently, on getting her