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Full text of "The Brontes"

124                    THE   BRONTES
all is said, atrociously dangerous. Some of its
mysteries can be brought to light but still there
will remain something in the dark, mysterious,
elusive and uncontrollable. Love, she might
have said, fiercely, cannot always be domesticated.
When we love, there are times when all our wis-
dom, all our previous consideration of love in the
abstract, all our regard for social responsibilities,
desert us, and we are helpless. We know in a
powerless way that we ought to rule it instead of
being ruled by it, but we do not, cannot always
succeed.
They would never have agreed, for Charlotte,
with all her capacity for passionate feeling and
her defiance of the convention that forbade women
to show their desire to be loved, had conventional
views as regards the nature of love itself. Where-
as Emily, unconcerned with conventions, had
come more to grips, in imagination, with the real
thing. There was a social axiom at issue between
Charlotte and women of her generation like Lady
Eastlake who, in the Quarterly Review, declared
the author of Jane Eyre to be " a woman who has
long forfeited the society of her sex," and Miss
Anne Mozley, that good Churchwoman and con-
tributor to the Christian Remembrancer. The axiom
was that the Victorian lady was devoid of passion
and in consenting to marry, was sacrificing her
natural maidenly inclinations for the sake of
society. There was nothing at issue between
Emily and people of such views. Emily's world
was one in which society and its conventions had
no place. No Lady Eastlake nor Miss Mozley