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Full text of "The Brontes"

IO4                      THE   BRONTES
prohibited from doing so by the terms of the will.
On this last myth, Charlotte admits in a letter to
Ellen : " I do not know how much to believe cf
what he says, but I fear she " (i.e. Mrs. Robin-
son, said by Bran well to have become insane
from misery) " is very ill." " Branwell declares
that he neither can nor will do anything for him-
self ; good situations have been offered him more
than once, for which, by a fortnight's work, he
might have qualified himself, but he will do no-
thing except drink and make us all wretched."
Charlotte, who had tackled her own not dissimilar
trouble with fortitude, had no sympathy whatever
for her weak brother. Emily had more, as the
fine poem "The Wanderer from the Fold,55 evi-
dently written on her brother's death, shows, the
last lines of which -
But yet my heart will be
A mourner still, though friend and lover
Have both forgotten thee -
suggest that she believed BranwelTs account of
Mrs Robinson's love for him. But Emily's
sympathy was more pitiful than invigorating and
Branwell's own vanity and self-pity stood insu-
perably in the way of his recovery. Brought up,
petted, as he had been, the disgrace which his
family felt at his conduct and which Charlotte,
especially, could not help showing, had a disas-
trous effect; physically and morally weak, he
could not conquer his
Sense of past youth and manhood come in vain
Of genius given, and knowledge won in vain.