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Full text of "The Brontes"

THE  BRONTES                     135
statement of her sister's symptoms, so far as she
had been able to find them out, which she wrote
for submission, through Mr. Williams, to a
London doctor, has a painful fascination. " Her
pulse - the only time she allowed it to be felt - was
found to be 115 per minute. . . . Her resolution
to contend against illness being very fixed, she
has never consented to lie in bed for a single day
- she sits up from seven in the morning till ten
at night. . . . All medical aid she has rejected,
insisted that Nature should be left to take her
own course.55
This was written on December gth. The
London doctor wrote an opinion which Charlotte
could not understand and sent some medicine
which Emily would not take. She grew daily
weaker but more inflexible. They did not realise
that she was dying until just before the end. Her
fierce independence belied the idea of death. On
i gth of December she rose as usual, dressed with
terrible difficulty and tottered downstairs to the
dining-room. There she collapsed and gasped
out that she would see a doctor. But it was too
late, and soon after she made an effort to rise
from the sofa and fell back - dead.
It was not deliberate suicide. Emily did not
want to die. " She was torn, conscious, panting,
reluctant, out of a happy life," Charlotte wrote
to Ellen later. Emily's awful self-will; her blind
obstinacy ; the family habit of giving in to her, of
" not daring " to insist on-medical treatment and
nursing, were responsible for her death. Poor
agonised Charlotte^ writhing to avoid facing these