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112                     THE   BRONTfS
seem interesting and to indicate that, if occasion
offered, he might fall a victim to Catherine
HeathclifFs charms. This suggestion is intro-
duced several times in the book, appearing most
wishy-washy by contrast with the tale of terrific
passion which Mrs. Dean unfolds. It may be that
Emily Bronte at first contemplated making Lock-
wood's adventures an important part of the story
but found that this would not work and so let
Lockwood fade out and did not trouble to remove
the scaffolding of the original plan.
It is the background, the Past, which lives.
The foreground, the Present, never lives ; it is
overwhelmed by the Past, though the reminders
of the Present, the realisation, from time to time,
that Mrs. Dean is telling Lockwood the events of
past years leading up to the present day (the year
1801) do, probably, give extra substantiality to
those past events, the wreckage of which is there
at Wuthering Heights, up on the moors, four miles
away from here., Thrushcross Grange, to be seen
as Lockwood himself has just seen it a few days
before. Mrs. Dean herself was an important eye-
witness of those past events, indeed much more
than an eye-witness, an actor in them, closely
acquainted with the other actors as only a servant
of the old type who lived and grew up with her
master's family could be.
It may be for this reason, for the sake of height-
ening the reader's sense of reality, that writers,
particularly early novel writers, have so often
adopted the device of writing a story as if it were
being narrated by someone who had taken part