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Full text of "The Brontes"

THE   BRONTES                   III
ensued, only put an end to by the cook rushing
in with her frying pan to belabour the animals,
and Heathcliff, though offering wine and relaxing
into conversation, showed no sign of wanting to
see his visitor again. But the very next day, the
lover of solitude repeats his visit, quite insensitive
to the fact that he is not wanted, impertinently
curious as to the relationship existing between the
people he finds there - Heathcliff, a beautiful,
fierce young woman and a boorish young man -
childishly aggrieved because he does not get a
warm reception and morbidly petulant because,
when a snow-storm descends, no one takes the
least interest in his anxiety to get home. He is
allowed to spend the night there and spends it in
a cheerlessness which develops into horror, for,
by a nightmare and the panic-stricken appear-
ance at his bedside of Heathcliff who has heard his
shriek, there is revealed to him the ghost of a pas-
sion which has haunted Heathcliff for twenty
years. The next day, exhausted by cold and
shock, Lockwood returns to the Grange and falls
ill. During his illness, Mrs. Dean, the house-
keeper, beguiles his weary hours by the full story
of that terrible passion. Lockwood recovers,
and leaves the neighbourhood but returns a year
later to hear the most recent chapter of happen-
ings and himself to be a spectator of the last
chapter of all. But the reader, from first to last,
is not interested in Lockwood. He does not gain
our sympathy by the way in which he forces him-
self upon the Wuthering Heights household nor do
we feel interested in his attempt to make himself