The twelve years,
continued Mrs. Dean,
following that dismal period were the happiest of my life: my greatest troubles in their passage rose from our little lady's trifling illnesses,
which she had to experience in common with all children,
rich and poor.
For the rest,
after the first six months,
she grew like a larch,
and could walk and talk too,
in her own way,
before the heath blossomed a second time over Mrs. Linton's dust.
She was the most winning thing that ever brought sunshine into a desolate house: a real beauty in face,
with the Earnshaws' handsome dark eyes,
but the Lintons' fair skin and small features,
and yellow curling hair.
Her spirit was high,
though not rough,
and qualified by a heart sensitive and lively to excess in its affections.
That capacity for intense attachments reminded me of her mother: still she did not resemble her: for she could be soft and mild as a dove,
and she had a gentle voice and pensive expression: her anger was never furious;
her love never fierce: it was deep and tender.
it must be acknowledged,
she had faults to foil her gifts.
A propensity to be saucy was one;
and a perverse will,
that indulged children invariably acquire,
whether they be good tempered or cross.
If a servant chanced to vex her,
it was always --'I shall tell papa!'
And if he reproved her,
even by a look,
you would have thought it a heart-breaking business: I don't believe he ever did speak a harsh word to her.
He took her education entirely on himself,
and made it an amusement.
curiosity and a quick intellect made her an apt scholar: she learned rapidly and eagerly,
and did honour to his teaching.
Till she reached the age of thirteen she had not once been beyond the range of the park by herself.
Mr. Linton would take her with him a mile or so outside,
on rare occasions;
but he trusted her to no one else.
Gimmerton was an unsubstantial name in her ears;
the only building she had approached or entered,
except her own home.
Wuthering Heights and Mr. Heathcliff did not exist for her: she was a perfect recluse;
while surveying the country from her nursery window,
she would observe --
how long will it be before I can walk to the top of those hills?
I wonder what lies on the other side --is it the sea?'
I would answer;
'it is hills again,
just like these.'
'And what are those golden rocks like when you stand under them?'
she once asked.
The abrupt descent of Penistone Crags particularly attracted her notice;
especially when the setting sun shone on it and the topmost heights,
and the whole extent of landscape besides lay in shadow.
I explained that they were bare masses of stone,
with hardly enough earth in their clefts to nourish a stunted tree.
'And why are they bright so long after it is evening here?'
'Because they are a great deal higher up than we are,'
'you could not climb them,
they are too high and steep.
In winter the frost is always there before it comes to us;
and deep into summer I have found snow under that black hollow on the north-east side!'
you have been on them!'
she cried gleefully.
'Then I can go,
when I am a woman.
Has papa been,
'Papa would tell you,
'that they are not worth the trouble of visiting.
where you ramble with him,
are much nicer;
and Thrushcross Park is the finest place in the world.'
'But I know the park,
and I don't know those,'
she murmured to herself.
'And I should delight to look round me from the brow of that tallest point: my little pony Minny shall take me some time.'
One of the maids mentioning the Fairy Cave,
quite turned her head with a desire to fulfil this project: she teased Mr. Linton about it;
and he promised she should have the journey when she got older.
But Miss Catherine measured her age by months,
am I old enough to go to Penistone Crags?'
was the constant question in her mouth.
The road thither wound close by Wuthering Heights.
Edgar had not the heart to pass it;
so she received as constantly the answer,
love: not yet.'
I said Mrs. Heathcliff lived above a dozen years after quitting her husband.
Her family were of a delicate constitution: she and Edgar both lacked the ruddy health that you will generally meet in these parts.
What her last illness was,
I am not certain: I conjecture,
they died of the same thing,
a kind of fever,
slow at its commencement,
and rapidly consuming life towards the close.
She wrote to inform her brother of the probable conclusion of a four-months' indisposition under which she had suffered,
and entreated him to come to her,
for she had much to settle,
and she wished to bid him adieu,
and deliver Linton safely into his hands.
Her hope was that Linton might be left with him,
as he had been with her: his father,
she would fain convince herself,
had no desire to assume the burden of his maintenance or education.
My master hesitated not a moment in complying with her request: reluctant as he was to leave home at ordinary calls,
he flew to answer this;
commanding Catherine to my peculiar vigilance,
in his absence,
with reiterated orders that she must not wander out of the park,
even under my escort he did not calculate on her going unaccompanied.
He was away three weeks.
The first day or two my charge sat in a corner of the library,
too sad for either reading or playing: in that quiet state she caused me little trouble;
but it was succeeded by an interval of impatient,
and being too busy,
and too old then,
to run up and down amusing her,
I hit on a method by which she might entertain herself.
I used to send her on her travels round the grounds --now on foot,
and now on a pony;
indulging her with a patient audience of all her real and imaginary adventures when she returned.
The summer shone in full prime;
and she took such a taste for this solitary rambling that she often contrived to remain out from breakfast till tea;
and then the evenings were spent in recounting her fanciful tales.
I did not fear her breaking bounds;
because the gates were generally locked,
and I thought she would scarcely venture forth alone,
if they had stood wide open.
my confidence proved misplaced.
Catherine came to me,
at eight o'clock,
and said she was that day an Arabian merchant,
going to cross the Desert with his caravan;
and I must give her plenty of provision for herself and beasts: a horse,
and three camels,
personated by a large hound and a couple of pointers.
I got together good store of dainties,
and slung them in a basket on one side of the saddle;
and she sprang up as gay as a fairy,
sheltered by her wide-brimmed hat and gauze veil from the July sun,
and trotted off with a merry laugh,
mocking my cautious counsel to avoid galloping,
and come back early.
The naughty thing never made her appearance at tea.
being an old dog and fond of its ease,
but neither Cathy,
nor the pony,
nor the two pointers were visible in any direction: I despatched emissaries down this path,
and that path,
and at last went wandering in search of her myself.
There was a labourer working at a fence round a plantation,
on the borders of the grounds.
I inquired of him if he had seen our young lady.
'I saw her at morn,'
'she would have me to cut her a hazel switch,
and then she leapt her Galloway over the hedge yonder,
where it is lowest,
and galloped out of sight.'
You may guess how I felt at hearing this news.
It struck me directly she must have started for Penistone Crags.
'What will become of her?'
pushing through a gap which the man was repairing,
and making straight to the high-road.
I walked as if for a wager,
mile after mile,
till a turn brought me in view of the Heights;
but no Catherine could I detect,
far or near.
The Crags lie about a mile and a half beyond Mr. Heathcliff's place,
and that is four from the Grange,
so I began to fear night would fall ere I could reach them.
'And what if she should have slipped in clambering among them,'
'and been killed,
or broken some of her bones?'
My suspense was truly painful;
it gave me delightful relief to observe,
in hurrying by the farmhouse,
the fiercest of the pointers,
lying under a window,
with swelled head and bleeding ear.
I opened the wicket and ran to the door,
knocking vehemently for admittance.
A woman whom I knew,
and who formerly lived at Gimmerton,
answered: she had been servant there since the death of Mr. Earnshaw.
'you are come a-seeking your little mistress!
Don't be frightened.
She's here safe: but I'm glad it isn't the master.'
'He is not at home then,
quite breathless with quick walking and alarm.
'both he and Joseph are off,
and I think they won't return this hour or more.
Step in and rest you a bit.'
and beheld my stray lamb seated on the hearth,
rocking herself in a little chair that had been her mother's when a child.
Her hat was hung against the wall,
and she seemed perfectly at home,
laughing and chattering,
in the best spirits imaginable,
to Hareton --now a great,
strong lad of eighteen --who stared at her with considerable curiosity and astonishment: comprehending precious little of the fluent succession of remarks and questions which her tongue never ceased pouring forth.
concealing my joy under an angry countenance.
'This is your last ride,
till papa comes back.
I'll not trust you over the threshold again,
jumping up and running to my side.
'I shall have a pretty story to tell to-night;
and so you've found me out.
Have you ever been here in your life before?'
'Put that hat on,
and home at once,'
'I'm dreadfully grieved at you,
Miss Cathy: you've done extremely wrong!
It's no use pouting and crying: that won't repay the trouble I've had,
scouring the country after you.
To think how Mr. Linton charged me to keep you in;
and you stealing off so!
It shows you are a cunning little fox,
and nobody will put faith in you any more.'
'What have I done?'
'Papa charged me nothing: he'll not scold me,
Ellen --he's never cross,
'I'll tie the riband.
let us have no petulance.
You thirteen years old,
and such a baby!'
This exclamation was caused by her pushing the hat from her head,
and retreating to the chimney out of my reach.
said the servant,
'don't be hard on the bonny lass,
We made her stop: she'd fain have ridden forwards,
afeard you should be uneasy.
Hareton offered to go with her,
and I thought he should: it's a wild road over the hills.'
during the discussion,
stood with his hands in his pockets,
too awkward to speak;
though he looked as if he did not relish my intrusion.
'How long am I to wait?'
disregarding the woman's interference.
'It will be dark in ten minutes.
Where is the pony,
And where is Phoenix?
I shall leave you,
unless you be quick;
so please yourself.'
'The pony is in the yard,'
'and Phoenix is shut in there.
He's bitten --and so is Charlie.
I was going to tell you all about it;
but you are in a bad temper,
and don't deserve to hear.'
I picked up her hat,
and approached to reinstate it;
but perceiving that the people of the house took her part,
she commenced capering round the room;
and on my giving chase,
ran like a mouse over and under and behind the furniture,
rendering it ridiculous for me to pursue.
Hareton and the woman laughed,
and she joined them,
and waxed more impertinent still;
till I cried,
in great irritation,
if you were aware whose house this is you'd be glad enough to get out.'
'It's _your_ father's,
turning to Hareton.
and blushing bashfully.
He could not stand a steady gaze from her eyes,
though they were just his own.
'Whose then --your master's?'
He coloured deeper,
with a different feeling,
muttered an oath,
and turned away.
'Who is his master?'
continued the tiresome girl,
appealing to me.
'He talked about "our house,"
and "our folk."
I thought he had been the owner's son.
And he never said Miss: he should have done,
if he's a servant?'
Hareton grew black as a thunder-cloud at this childish speech.
I silently shook my questioner,
and at last succeeded in equipping her for departure.
get my horse,'
addressing her unknown kinsman as she would one of the stable-boys at the Grange.
'And you may come with me.
I want to see where the goblin-hunter rises in the marsh,
and to hear about the _fairishes_,
as you call them: but make haste!
What's the matter?
Get my horse,
'I'll see thee damned before I be _thy_ servant!'
growled the lad.
'You'll see me _what_!'
asked Catherine in surprise.
'Damned --thou saucy witch!'
you see you have got into pretty company,'
'Nice words to be used to a young lady!
Pray don't begin to dispute with him.
let us seek for Minny ourselves,
staring fixed in astonishment,
'how dare he speak so to me?
Mustn't he be made to do as I ask him?
You wicked creature,
I shall tell papa what you said.
Hareton did not appear to feel this threat;
so the tears sprang into her eyes with indignation.
'You bring the pony,'
turning to the woman,
'and let my dog free this moment!'
answered she addressed;
'you'll lose nothing by being civil.
Though Mr. Hareton,
be not the master's son,
he's your cousin: and I was never hired to serve you.'
'_He_ my cousin!'
with a scornful laugh.
responded her reprover.
don't let them say such things,'
she pursued in great trouble.
'Papa is gone to fetch my cousin from London: my cousin is a gentleman's son.
That my --' she stopped,
and wept outright;
upset at the bare notion of relationship with such a clown.
'people can have many cousins and of all sorts,
without being any the worse for it;
only they needn't keep their company,
if they be disagreeable and bad.'
'He's not --he's not my cousin,
she went on,
gathering fresh grief from reflection,
and flinging herself into my arms for refuge from the idea.
I was much vexed at her and the servant for their mutual revelations;
having no doubt of Linton's approaching arrival,
communicated by the former,
being reported to Mr. Heathcliff;
and feeling as confident that Catherine's first thought on her father's return would be to seek an explanation of the latter's assertion concerning her rude-bred kindred.
recovering from his disgust at being taken for a servant,
seemed moved by her distress;
having fetched the pony round to the door,
to propitiate her,
a fine crooked-legged terrier whelp from the kennel,
and putting it into her hand,
bid her whist!
for he meant nought.
Pausing in her lamentations,
she surveyed him with a glance of awe and horror,
then burst forth anew.
I could scarcely refrain from smiling at this antipathy to the poor fellow;
who was a well-made,
good-looking in features,
and stout and healthy,
but attired in garments befitting his daily occupations of working on the farm and lounging among the moors after rabbits and game.
I thought I could detect in his physiognomy a mind owning better qualities than his father ever possessed.
Good things lost amid a wilderness of weeds,
to be sure,
whose rankness far over-topped their neglected growth;
evidence of a wealthy soil,
that might yield luxuriant crops under other and favourable circumstances.
had not treated him physically ill;
thanks to his fearless nature,
which offered no temptation to that course of oppression: he had none of the timid susceptibility that would have given zest to ill-treatment,
in Heathcliff's judgment.
He appeared to have bent his malevolence on making him a brute: he was never taught to read or write;
never rebuked for any bad habit which did not annoy his keeper;
never led a single step towards virtue,
or guarded by a single precept against vice.
And from what I heard,
Joseph contributed much to his deterioration,
by a narrow-minded partiality which prompted him to flatter and pet him,
as a boy,
because he was the head of the old family.
And as he had been in the habit of accusing Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff,
of putting the master past his patience,
and compelling him to seek solace in drink by what he termed their
so at present he laid the whole burden of Hareton's faults on the shoulders of the usurper of his property.
If the lad swore,
he wouldn't correct him: nor however culpably he behaved.
It gave Joseph satisfaction,
to watch him go the worst lengths: he allowed that the lad was ruined: that his soul was abandoned to perdition;
but then he reflected that Heathcliff must answer for it.
Hareton's blood would be required at his hands;
and there lay immense consolation in that thought.
Joseph had instilled into him a pride of name,
and of his lineage;
had he dared,
have fostered hate between him and the present owner of the Heights: but his dread of that owner amounted to superstition;
and he confined his feelings regarding him to muttered innuendoes and private comminations.
I don't pretend to be intimately acquainted with the mode of living customary in those days at Wuthering Heights: I only speak from hearsay;
for I saw little.
The villagers affirmed Mr. Heathcliff was _near_,
and a cruel hard landlord to his tenants;
but the house,
had regained its ancient aspect of comfort under female management,
and the scenes of riot common in Hindley's time were not now enacted within its walls.
The master was too gloomy to seek companionship with any people,
good or bad;
and he is yet.
is not making progress with my story.
Miss Cathy rejected the peace-offering of the terrier,
and demanded her own dogs,
Charlie and Phoenix.
They came limping and hanging their heads;
and we set out for home,
sadly out of sorts,
every one of us.
I could not wring from my little lady how she had spent the day;
as I supposed,
the goal of her pilgrimage was Penistone Crags;
and she arrived without adventure to the gate of the farm-house,
when Hareton happened to issue forth,
attended by some canine followers,
who attacked her train.
They had a smart battle,
before their owners could separate them: that formed an introduction.
Catherine told Hareton who she was,
and where she was going;
and asked him to show her the way: finally,
beguiling him to accompany her.
He opened the mysteries of the Fairy Cave,
and twenty other queer places.
being in disgrace,
I was not favoured with a description of the interesting objects she saw.
I could gather,
that her guide had been a favourite till she hurt his feelings by addressing him as a servant;
and Heathcliff's housekeeper hurt hers by calling him her cousin.
Then the language he had held to her rankled in her heart;
she who was always
with everybody at the Grange,
to be insulted so shockingly by a stranger!
She did not comprehend it;
and hard work I had to obtain a promise that she would not lay the grievance before her father.
I explained how he objected to the whole household at the Heights,
and how sorry he would be to find she had been there;
but I insisted most on the fact,
that if she revealed my negligence of his orders,
he would perhaps be so angry that I should have to leave;
and Cathy couldn't bear that prospect: she pledged her word,
and kept it for my sake.
she was a sweet little girl.
edged with black,
announced the day of my master's return.
Isabella was dead;
and he wrote to bid me get mourning for his daughter,
and arrange a room,
and other accommodations,
for his youthful nephew.
Catherine ran wild with joy at the idea of welcoming her father back;
and indulged most sanguine anticipations of the innumerable excellencies of her
The evening of their expected arrival came.
Since early morning she had been busy ordering her own small affairs;
and now attired in her new black frock --poor thing!
her aunt's death impressed her with no definite sorrow --she obliged me,
by constant worrying,
to walk with her down through the grounds to meet them.
'Linton is just six months younger than I am,'
as we strolled leisurely over the swells and hollows of mossy turf,
under shadow of the trees.
'How delightful it will be to have him for a playfellow!
Aunt Isabella sent papa a beautiful lock of his hair;
it was lighter than mine --more flaxen,
and quite as fine.
I have it carefully preserved in a little glass box;
and I've often thought what a pleasure it would be to see its owner.
I am happy --and papa,
let us run!
and returned and ran again,
many times before my sober footsteps reached the gate,
and then she seated herself on the grassy bank beside the path,
and tried to wait patiently;
but that was impossible: she couldn't be still a minute.
'How long they are!'
some dust on the road --they are coming!
When will they be here?
May we not go a little way --half a mile,
only just half a mile?
Do say Yes: to that clump of birches at the turn!'
I refused staunchly.
At length her suspense was ended: the travelling carriage rolled in sight.
Miss Cathy shrieked and stretched out her arms as soon as she caught her father's face looking from the window.
nearly as eager as herself;
and a considerable interval elapsed ere they had a thought to spare for any but themselves.
While they exchanged caresses I took a peep in to see after Linton.
He was asleep in a corner,
wrapped in a warm,
as if it had been winter.
who might have been taken for my master's younger brother,
so strong was the resemblance: but there was a sickly peevishness in his aspect that Edgar Linton never had.
The latter saw me looking;
and having shaken hands,
advised me to close the door,
and leave him undisturbed;
for the journey had fatigued him.
Cathy would fain have taken one glance,
but her father told her to come,
and they walked together up the park,
while I hastened before to prepare the servants.
said Mr. Linton,
addressing his daughter,
as they halted at the bottom of the front steps:
'your cousin is not so strong or so merry as you are,
and he has lost his mother,
a very short time since;
don't expect him to play and run about with you directly.
And don't harass him much by talking: let him be quiet this evening,
'but I do want to see him;
and he hasn't once looked out.'
The carriage stopped;
and the sleeper being roused,
was lifted to the ground by his uncle.
'This is your cousin Cathy,
putting their little hands together.
'She's fond of you already;
and mind you don't grieve her by crying to-night.
Try to be cheerful now;
the travelling is at an end,
and you have nothing to do but rest and amuse yourself as you please.'
'Let me go to bed,
answered the boy,
shrinking from Catherine's salute;
and he put his fingers to remove incipient tears.
there's a good child,'
leading him in.
'You'll make her weep too --see how sorry she is for you!'
I do not know whether it was sorrow for him,
but his cousin put on as sad a countenance as himself,
and returned to her father.
All three entered,
and mounted to the library,
where tea was laid ready.
I proceeded to remove Linton's cap and mantle,
and placed him on a chair by the table;
but he was no sooner seated than he began to cry afresh.
My master inquired what was the matter.
'I can't sit on a chair,'
sobbed the boy.
'Go to the sofa,
and Ellen shall bring you some tea,'
answered his uncle patiently.
He had been greatly tried,
during the journey,
I felt convinced,
by his fretful ailing charge.
Linton slowly trailed himself off,
and lay down.
Cathy carried a footstool and her cup to his side.
At first she sat silent;
but that could not last: she had resolved to make a pet of her little cousin,
as she would have him to be;
and she commenced stroking his curls,
and kissing his cheek,
and offering him tea in her saucer,
like a baby.
This pleased him,
for he was not much better: he dried his eyes,
and lightened into a faint smile.
he'll do very well,'
said the master to me,
after watching them a minute.
if we can keep him,
The company of a child of his own age will instil new spirit into him soon,
and by wishing for strength he'll gain it.'
if we can keep him!'
I mused to myself;
and sore misgivings came over me that there was slight hope of that.
how ever will that weakling live at Wuthering Heights?
Between his father and Hareton,
what playmates and instructors they'll be.
Our doubts were presently decided --even earlier than I expected.
I had just taken the children up-stairs,
after tea was finished,
and seen Linton asleep --he would not suffer me to leave him till that was the case --I had come down,
and was standing by the table in the hall,
lighting a bedroom candle for Mr. Edgar,
when a maid stepped out of the kitchen and informed me that Mr. Heathcliff's servant Joseph was at the door,
and wished to speak with the master.
'I shall ask him what he wants first,'
in considerable trepidation.
'A very unlikely hour to be troubling people,
and the instant they have returned from a long journey.
I don't think the master can see him.'
Joseph had advanced through the kitchen as I uttered these words,
and now presented himself in the hall.
He was donned in his Sunday garments,
with his most sanctimonious and sourest face,
holding his hat in one hand,
and his stick in the other,
he proceeded to clean his shoes on the mat.
'What business brings you here to-night?'
'It's Maister Linton I mun spake to,'
waving me disdainfully aside.
'Mr. Linton is going to bed;
unless you have something particular to say,
I'm sure he won't hear it now,'
'You had better sit down in there,
and entrust your message to me.'
'Which is his rahm?'
pursued the fellow,
surveying the range of closed doors.
I perceived he was bent on refusing my mediation,
so very reluctantly I went up to the library,
and announced the unseasonable visitor,
advising that he should be dismissed till next day.
Mr. Linton had no time to empower me to do so,
for Joseph mounted close at my heels,
pushing into the apartment,
planted himself at the far side of the table,
with his two fists clapped on the head of his stick,
and began in an elevated tone,
as if anticipating opposition --
'Hathecliff has sent me for his lad,
and I munn't goa back
Edgar Linton was silent a minute;
an expression of exceeding sorrow overcast his features: he would have pitied the child on his own account;
recalling Isabella's hopes and fears,
and anxious wishes for her son,
and her commendations of him to his care,
he grieved bitterly at the prospect of yielding him up,
and searched in his heart how it might be avoided.
No plan offered itself: the very exhibition of any desire to keep him would have rendered the claimant more peremptory: there was nothing left but to resign him.
he was not going to rouse him from his sleep.
'Tell Mr. Heathcliff,'
he answered calmly,
'that his son shall come to Wuthering Heights to-morrow.
He is in bed,
and too tired to go the distance now.
You may also tell him that the mother of Linton desired him to remain under my guardianship;
his health is very precarious.'
giving a thud with his prop on the floor,
and assuming an authoritative air.
that means naught.
Hathecliff maks noa
'count o' t' mother,
nor ye norther;
but he'll heu' his lad;
und I mun tak' him --soa now ye knaw!'
'You shall not to-night!'
answered Linton decisively.
'Walk down stairs at once,
and repeat to your master what I have said.
show him down.
aiding the indignant elder with a lift by the arm,
he rid the room of him and closed the door.
as he slowly drew off.
he's come hisseln,
and thrust _him_ out,
if ye darr!'
To obviate the danger of this threat being fulfilled,
Mr. Linton commissioned me to take the boy home early,
on Catherine's pony;
said he --'As we shall now have no influence over his destiny,
good or bad,
you must say nothing of where he is gone to my daughter: she cannot associate with him hereafter,
and it is better for her to remain in ignorance of his proximity;
lest she should be restless,
and anxious to visit the Heights.
Merely tell her his father sent for him suddenly,
and he has been obliged to leave us.'
Linton was very reluctant to be roused from his bed at five o'clock,
and astonished to be informed that he must prepare for further travelling;
but I softened off the matter by stating that he was going to spend some time with his father,
who wished to see him so much,
he did not like to defer the pleasure till he should recover from his late journey.
in strange perplexity.
'Mamma never told me I had a father.
Where does he live?
I'd rather stay with uncle.'
'He lives a little distance from the Grange,'
'just beyond those hills: not so far,
but you may walk over here when you get hearty.
And you should be glad to go home,
and to see him.
You must try to love him,
as you did your mother,
and then he will love you.'
'But why have I not heard of him before?'
'Why didn't mamma and he live together,
as other people do?'
'He had business to keep him in the north,'
'and your mother's health required her to reside in the south.'
'And why didn't mamma speak to me about him?'
persevered the child.
'She often talked of uncle,
and I learnt to love him long ago.
How am I to love papa?
I don't know him.'
all children love their parents,'
thought you would want to be with him if she mentioned him often to you.
Let us make haste.
An early ride on such a beautiful morning is much preferable to an hour's more sleep.'
'Is _she_ to go with us,'
'the little girl I saw yesterday?'
I shall be your companion there,'
Linton sank back on his pillow and fell into a brown study.
'I won't go without uncle,'
he cried at length:
'I can't tell where you mean to take me.'
I attempted to persuade him of the naughtiness of showing reluctance to meet his father;
still he obstinately resisted any progress towards dressing,
and I had to call for my master's assistance in coaxing him out of bed.
The poor thing was finally got off,
with several delusive assurances that his absence should be short: that Mr. Edgar and Cathy would visit him,
and other promises,
which I invented and reiterated at intervals throughout the way.
The pure heather-scented air,
the bright sunshine,
and the gentle canter of Minny,
relieved his despondency after a while.
He began to put questions concerning his new home,
and its inhabitants,
with greater interest and liveliness.
'Is Wuthering Heights as pleasant a place as Thrushcross Grange?'
turning to take a last glance into the valley,
whence a light mist mounted and formed a fleecy cloud on the skirts of the blue.
'It is not so buried in trees,'
'and it is not quite so large,
but you can see the country beautifully all round;
and the air is healthier for you --fresher and drier.
think the building old and dark at first;
though it is a respectable house: the next best in the neighbourhood.
And you will have such nice rambles on the moors.
Hareton Earnshaw --that is,
Miss Cathy's other cousin,
and so yours in a manner --will show you all the sweetest spots;
and you can bring a book in fine weather,
and make a green hollow your study;
now and then,
your uncle may join you in a walk: he does,
walk out on the hills.'
'And what is my father like?'
'Is he as young and handsome as uncle?'
'He's as young,'
'but he has black hair and eyes,
and looks sterner;
and he is taller and bigger altogether.
He'll not seem to you so gentle and kind at first,
because it is not his way: still,
be frank and cordial with him;
and naturally he'll be fonder of you than any uncle,
for you are his own.'
'Black hair and eyes!'
'I can't fancy him.
Then I am not like him,
I answered: not a morsel,
surveying with regret the white complexion and slim frame of my companion,
and his large languid eyes --his mother's eyes,
unless a morbid touchiness kindled them a moment,
they had not a vestige of her sparkling spirit.
'How strange that he should never come to see mamma and me!'
'Has he ever seen me?
If he has,
I must have been a baby.
I remember not a single thing about him!'
'three hundred miles is a great distance;
and ten years seem very different in length to a grown-up person compared with what they do to you.
It is probable Mr. Heathcliff proposed going from summer to summer,
but never found a convenient opportunity;
and now it is too late.
Don't trouble him with questions on the subject: it will disturb him,
for no good.'
The boy was fully occupied with his own cogitations for the remainder of the ride,
till we halted before the farmhouse garden-gate.
I watched to catch his impressions in his countenance.
He surveyed the carved front and low-browed lattices,
the straggling gooseberry-bushes and crooked firs,
with solemn intentness,
and then shook his head: his private feelings entirely disapproved of the exterior of his new abode.
But he had sense to postpone complaining: there might be compensation within.
Before he dismounted,
I went and opened the door.
It was half-past six;
the family had just finished breakfast: the servant was clearing and wiping down the table.
Joseph stood by his master's chair telling some tale concerning a lame horse;
and Hareton was preparing for the hayfield.
said Mr. Heathcliff,
when he saw me.
'I feared I should have to come down and fetch my property myself.
You've brought it,
Let us see what we can make of it.'
He got up and strode to the door: Hareton and Joseph followed in gaping curiosity.
Poor Linton ran a frightened eye over the faces of the three.
said Joseph after a grave inspection,
'he's swopped wi' ye,
an' yon's his lass!'
having stared his son into an ague of confusion,
uttered a scornful laugh.
what a beauty!
what a lovely,
'Hav'n't they reared it on snails and sour milk,
damn my soul!
but that's worse than I expected --and the devil knows I was not sanguine!'
I bid the trembling and bewildered child get down,
He did not thoroughly comprehend the meaning of his father's speech,
or whether it were intended for him: indeed,
he was not yet certain that the grim,
sneering stranger was his father.
But he clung to me with growing trepidation;
and on Mr. Heathcliff's taking a seat and bidding him
'come hither' he hid his face on my shoulder and wept.
stretching out a hand and dragging him roughly between his knees,
and then holding up his head by the chin.
'None of that nonsense!
We're not going to hurt thee,
Linton --isn't that thy name?
Thou art thy mother's child,
Where is my share in thee,
He took off the boy's cap and pushed back his thick flaxen curls,
felt his slender arms and his small fingers;
during which examination Linton ceased crying,
and lifted his great blue eyes to inspect the inspector.
'Do you know me?'
having satisfied himself that the limbs were all equally frail and feeble.
with a gaze of vacant fear.
'You've heard of me,
he replied again.
What a shame of your mother,
never to waken your filial regard for me!
You are my son,
I'll tell you;
and your mother was a wicked slut to leave you in ignorance of the sort of father you possessed.
and colour up!
Though it is something to see you have not white blood.
Be a good lad;
and I'll do for you.
if you be tired you may sit down;
get home again.
I guess you'll report what you hear and see to the cipher at the Grange;
and this thing won't be settled while you linger about it.'
'I hope you'll be kind to the boy,
or you'll not keep him long;
and he's all you have akin in the wide world,
that you will ever know --remember.'
'I'll be very kind to him,
you needn't fear,'
'Only nobody else must be kind to him: I'm jealous of monopolising his affection.
to begin my kindness,
bring the lad some breakfast.
you infernal calf,
begone to your work.
when they had departed,
'my son is prospective owner of your place,
and I should not wish him to die till I was certain of being his successor.
and I want the triumph of seeing _my_ descendant fairly lord of their estates;
my child hiring their children to till their fathers' lands for wages.
That is the sole consideration which can make me endure the whelp: I despise him for himself,
and hate him for the memories he revives!
But that consideration is sufficient: he's as safe with me,
and shall be tended as carefully as your master tends his own.
I have a room up-stairs,
furnished for him in handsome style;
I've engaged a tutor,
to come three times a week,
from twenty miles' distance,
to teach him what he pleases to learn.
I've ordered Hareton to obey him: and in fact I've arranged everything with a view to preserve the superior and the gentleman in him,
above his associates.
I do regret,
that he so little deserves the trouble: if I wished any blessing in the world,
it was to find him a worthy object of pride;
and I'm bitterly disappointed with the whey-faced,
While he was speaking,
Joseph returned bearing a basin of milk-porridge,
and placed it before Linton: who stirred round the homely mess with a look of aversion,
and affirmed he could not eat it.
I saw the old man-servant shared largely in his master's scorn of the child;
though he was compelled to retain the sentiment in his heart,
because Heathcliff plainly meant his underlings to hold him in honour.
'Cannot ate it?'
peering in Linton's face,
and subduing his voice to a whisper,
for fear of being overheard.
'But Maister Hareton nivir ate naught else,
when he wer a little
and what wer gooid enough for him's gooid enough for ye,
I's rayther think!'
'I _sha'n't_ eat it!'
'Take it away.'
Joseph snatched up the food indignantly,
and brought it to us.
'Is there aught ails th' victuals?'
thrusting the tray under Heathcliff's nose.
'What should ail them?'
'yon dainty chap says he cannut ate
But I guess it's raight!
His mother wer just soa --we wer a'most too mucky to sow t' corn for makking her breead.'
'Don't mention his mother to me,'
said the master,
'Get him something that he can eat,
What is his usual food,
I suggested boiled milk or tea;
and the housekeeper received instructions to prepare some.
his father's selfishness may contribute to his comfort.
He perceives his delicate constitution,
and the necessity of treating him tolerably.
I'll console Mr. Edgar by acquainting him with the turn Heathcliff's humour has taken.
Having no excuse for lingering longer,
I slipped out,
while Linton was engaged in timidly rebuffing the advances of a friendly sheep-dog.
But he was too much on the alert to be cheated: as I closed the door,
I heard a cry,
and a frantic repetition of the words --
'Don't leave me!
I'll not stay here!
I'll not stay here!'
Then the latch was raised and fell: they did not suffer him to come forth.
I mounted Minny,
and urged her to a trot;
and so my brief guardianship ended.
We had sad work with little Cathy that day: she rose in high glee,
eager to join her cousin,
and such passionate tears and lamentations followed the news of his departure that Edgar himself was obliged to soothe her,
by affirming he should come back soon: he added,
'if I can get him';
and there were no hopes of that.
This promise poorly pacified her;
but time was more potent;
and though still at intervals she inquired of her father when Linton would return,
before she did see him again his features had waxed so dim in her memory that she did not recognise him.
When I chanced to encounter the housekeeper of Wuthering Heights,
in paying business visits to Gimmerton,
I used to ask how the young master got on;
for he lived almost as secluded as Catherine herself,
and was never to be seen.
I could gather from her that he continued in weak health,
and was a tiresome inmate.
She said Mr. Heathcliff seemed to dislike him ever longer and worse,
though he took some trouble to conceal it: he had an antipathy to the sound of his voice,
and could not do at all with his sitting in the same room with him many minutes together.
There seldom passed much talk between them: Linton learnt his lessons and spent his evenings in a small apartment they called the parlour: or else lay in bed all day: for he was constantly getting coughs,
and pains of some sort.
'And I never know such a fainthearted creature,'
added the woman;
'nor one so careful of hisseln.
He _will_ go on,
if I leave the window open a bit late in the evening.
a breath of night air!
And he must have a fire in the middle of summer;
and Joseph's bacca-pipe is poison;
and he must always have sweets and dainties,
and always milk,
milk for ever --heeding naught how the rest of us are pinched in winter;
and there he'll sit,
wrapped in his furred cloak in his chair by the fire,
with some toast and water or other slop on the hob to sip at;
and if Hareton,
comes to amuse him --Hareton is not bad-natured,
though he's rough --they're sure to part,
one swearing and the other crying.
I believe the master would relish Earnshaw's thrashing him to a mummy,
if he were not his son;
and I'm certain he would be fit to turn him out of doors,
if he knew half the nursing he gives hisseln.
But then he won't go into danger of temptation: he never enters the parlour,
and should Linton show those ways in the house where he is,
he sends him up-stairs directly.'
from this account,
that utter lack of sympathy had rendered young Heathcliff selfish and disagreeable,
if he were not so originally;
and my interest in him,
decayed: though still I was moved with a sense of grief at his lot,
and a wish that he had been left with us.
Mr. Edgar encouraged me to gain information: he thought a great deal about him,
and would have run some risk to see him;
and he told me once to ask the housekeeper whether he ever came into the village?
She said he had only been twice,
accompanying his father;
and both times he pretended to be quite knocked up for three or four days afterwards.
That housekeeper left,
if I recollect rightly,
two years after he came;
whom I did not know,
was her successor;
she lives there still.
Time wore on at the Grange in its former pleasant way till Miss Cathy reached sixteen.
On the anniversary of her birth we never manifested any signs of rejoicing,
because it was also the anniversary of my late mistress's death.
Her father invariably spent that day alone in the library;
as far as Gimmerton kirkyard,
where he would frequently prolong his stay beyond midnight.
Therefore Catherine was thrown on her own resources for amusement.
This twentieth of March was a beautiful spring day,
and when her father had retired,
my young lady came down dressed for going out,
and said she asked to have a ramble on the edge of the moor with me: Mr. Linton had given her leave,
if we went only a short distance and were back within the hour.
'So make haste,
'I know where I wish to go;
where a colony of moor-game are settled: I want to see whether they have made their nests yet.'
'That must be a good distance up,'
'they don't breed on the edge of the moor.'
'I've gone very near with papa.'
I put on my bonnet and sallied out,
thinking nothing more of the matter.
She bounded before me,
and returned to my side,
and was off again like a young greyhound;
I found plenty of entertainment in listening to the larks singing far and near,
and enjoying the sweet,
and watching her,
my pet and my delight,
with her golden ringlets flying loose behind,
and her bright cheek,
as soft and pure in its bloom as a wild rose,
and her eyes radiant with cloudless pleasure.
She was a happy creature,
and an angel,
in those days.
It's a pity she could not be content.
'where are your moor-game,
We should be at them: the Grange park-fence is a great way off now.'
a little further --only a little further,
was her answer,
'Climb to that hillock,
pass that bank,
and by the time you reach the other side I shall have raised the birds.'
But there were so many hillocks and banks to climb and pass,
I began to be weary,
and told her we must halt,
and retrace our steps.
I shouted to her,
as she had outstripped me a long way;
she either did not hear or did not regard,
for she still sprang on,
and I was compelled to follow.
she dived into a hollow;
and before I came in sight of her again,
she was two miles nearer Wuthering Heights than her own home;
and I beheld a couple of persons arrest her,
one of whom I felt convinced was Mr. Heathcliff himself.
Cathy had been caught in the fact of plundering,
hunting out the nests of the grouse.
The Heights were Heathcliff's land,
and he was reproving the poacher.
'I've neither taken any nor found any,'
as I toiled to them,
expanding her hands in corroboration of the statement.
'I didn't mean to take them;
but papa told me there were quantities up here,
and I wished to see the eggs.'
Heathcliff glanced at me with an ill-meaning smile,
expressing his acquaintance with the party,
his malevolence towards it,
and demanded who
'Mr. Linton of Thrushcross Grange,'
'I thought you did not know me,
or you wouldn't have spoken in that way.'
'You suppose papa is highly esteemed and respected,
'And what are you?'
gazing curiously on the speaker.
'That man I've seen before.
Is he your son?'
She pointed to Hareton,
the other individual,
who had gained nothing but increased bulk and strength by the addition of two years to his age: he seemed as awkward and rough as ever.
'it will be three hours instead of one that we are out,
We really must go back.'
that man is not my son,'
pushing me aside.
'But I have one,
and you have seen him before too;
though your nurse is in a hurry,
I think both you and she would be the better for a little rest.
Will you just turn this nab of heath,
and walk into my house?
You'll get home earlier for the ease;
and you shall receive a kind welcome.'
I whispered Catherine that she mustn't,
on any account,
accede to the proposal: it was entirely out of the question.
'I'm tired of running,
and the ground is dewy: I can't sit here.
Let us go,
he says I have seen his son.
but I guess where he lives: at the farmhouse I visited in coming from Penistone Crags.
hold your tongue --it will be a treat for her to look in on us.
get forwards with the lass.
You shall walk with me,
she's not going to any such place,'
struggling to release my arm,
which he had seized: but she was almost at the door-stones already,
scampering round the brow at full speed.
Her appointed companion did not pretend to escort her: he shied off by the road-side,
it's very wrong,'
'you know you mean no good.
And there she'll see Linton,
and all will be told as soon as ever we return;
and I shall have the blame.'
'I want her to see Linton,'
'he's looking better these few days;
it's not often he's fit to be seen.
And we'll soon persuade her to keep the visit secret: where is the harm of it?'
'The harm of it is,
that her father would hate me if he found I suffered her to enter your house;
and I am convinced you have a bad design in encouraging her to do so,'
'My design is as honest as possible.
I'll inform you of its whole scope,'
'That the two cousins may fall in love,
and get married.
I'm acting generously to your master: his young chit has no expectations,
and should she second my wishes she'll be provided for at once as joint successor with Linton.'
'If Linton died,'
'and his life is quite uncertain,
Catherine would be the heir.'
she would not,'
'There is no clause in the will to secure it so: his property would go to me;
to prevent disputes,
I desire their union,
and am resolved to bring it about.'
'And I'm resolved she shall never approach your house with me again,'
as we reached the gate,
where Miss Cathy waited our coming.
Heathcliff bade me be quiet;
preceding us up the path,
hastened to open the door.
My young lady gave him several looks,
as if she could not exactly make up her mind what to think of him;
but now he smiled when he met her eye,
and softened his voice in addressing her;
and I was foolish enough to imagine the memory of her mother might disarm him from desiring her injury.
Linton stood on the hearth.
He had been out walking in the fields,
for his cap was on,
and he was calling to Joseph to bring him dry shoes.
He had grown tall of his age,
still wanting some months of sixteen.
His features were pretty yet,
and his eye and complexion brighter than I remembered them,
though with merely temporary lustre borrowed from the salubrious air and genial sun.
who is that?'
asked Mr. Heathcliff,
turning to Cathy.
'Can you tell?'
having doubtfully surveyed,
first one and then the other.
'but is this the only time you have beheld him?
you have a short memory.
don't you recall your cousin,
that you used to tease us so with wishing to see?'
kindling into joyful surprise at the name.
'Is that little Linton?
He's taller than I am!
Are you Linton?'
The youth stepped forward,
and acknowledged himself: she kissed him fervently,
and they gazed with wonder at the change time had wrought in the appearance of each.
Catherine had reached her full height;
her figure was both plump and slender,
elastic as steel,
and her whole aspect sparkling with health and spirits.
Linton's looks and movements were very languid,
and his form extremely slight;
but there was a grace in his manner that mitigated these defects,
and rendered him not unpleasing.
After exchanging numerous marks of fondness with him,
his cousin went to Mr. Heathcliff,
who lingered by the door,
dividing his attention between the objects inside and those that lay without: pretending,
to observe the latter,
and really noting the former alone.
'And you are my uncle,
reaching up to salute him.
'I thought I liked you,
though you were cross at first.
Why don't you visit at the Grange with Linton?
To live all these years such close neighbours,
and never see us,
is odd: what have you done so for?'
'I visited it once or twice too often before you were born,'
'There --damn it!
If you have any kisses to spare,
give them to Linton: they are thrown away on me.'
flying to attack me next with her lavish caresses.
to try to hinder me from entering.
But I'll take this walk every morning in future: may I,
and sometimes bring papa.
Won't you be glad to see us?'
replied the uncle,
with a hardly suppressed grimace,
resulting from his deep aversion to both the proposed visitors.
turning towards the young lady.
'Now I think of it,
I'd better tell you.
Mr. Linton has a prejudice against me: we quarrelled at one time of our lives,
with unchristian ferocity;
if you mention coming here to him,
he'll put a veto on your visits altogether.
you must not mention it,
unless you be careless of seeing your cousin hereafter: you may come,
if you will,
but you must not mention it.'
'Why did you quarrel?'
'He thought me too poor to wed his sister,'
'and was grieved that I got her: his pride was hurt,
and he'll never forgive it.'
said the young lady:
'some time I'll tell him so.
But Linton and I have no share in your quarrel.
I'll not come here,
he shall come to the Grange.'
'It will be too far for me,'
murmured her cousin:
'to walk four miles would kill me.
now and then: not every morning,
but once or twice a week.'
The father launched towards his son a glance of bitter contempt.
'I am afraid,
I shall lose my labour,'
he muttered to me.
as the ninny calls her,
will discover his value,
and send him to the devil.
if it had been Hareton!
--Do you know that,
twenty times a day,
I covet Hareton,
with all his degradation?
I'd have loved the lad had he been some one else.
But I think he's safe from _her_ love.
I'll pit him against that paltry creature,
unless it bestir itself briskly.
We calculate it will scarcely last till it is eighteen.
confound the vapid thing!
He's absorbed in drying his feet,
and never looks at her.
answered the boy.
'Have you nothing to show your cousin anywhere about,
not even a rabbit or a weasel's nest?
Take her into the garden,
before you change your shoes;
and into the stable to see your horse.'
'Wouldn't you rather sit here?'
addressing Cathy in a tone which expressed reluctance to move again.
'I don't know,'
casting a longing look to the door,
and evidently eager to be active.
He kept his seat,
and shrank closer to the fire.
and went into the kitchen,
and from thence to the yard,
calling out for Hareton.
and presently the two re-entered.
The young man had been washing himself,
as was visible by the glow on his cheeks and his wetted hair.
I'll ask _you_,
cried Miss Cathy,
recollecting the housekeeper's assertion.
'That is not my cousin,
'your mother's nephew.
Don't you like him!'
Catherine looked queer.
'Is he not a handsome lad?'
The uncivil little thing stood on tiptoe,
and whispered a sentence in Heathcliff's ear.
Hareton darkened: I perceived he was very sensitive to suspected slights,
and had obviously a dim notion of his inferiority.
But his master or guardian chased the frown by exclaiming --
'You'll be the favourite among us,
She says you are a --What was it?
something very flattering.
you go with her round the farm.
And behave like a gentleman,
Don't use any bad words;
and don't stare when the young lady is not looking at you,
and be ready to hide your face when she is;
when you speak,
say your words slowly,
and keep your hands out of your pockets.
and entertain her as nicely as you can.'
He watched the couple walking past the window.
Earnshaw had his countenance completely averted from his companion.
He seemed studying the familiar landscape with a stranger's and an artist's interest.
Catherine took a sly look at him,
expressing small admiration.
She then turned her attention to seeking out objects of amusement for herself,
and tripped merrily on,
lilting a tune to supply the lack of conversation.
'I've tied his tongue,'
'He'll not venture a single syllable all the time!
you recollect me at his age --nay,
some years younger.
Did I ever look so stupid: so "gaumless,"
as Joseph calls it?'
'because more sullen with it.'
'I've a pleasure in him,'
'He has satisfied my expectations.
If he were a born fool I should not enjoy it half so much.
But he's no fool;
and I can sympathise with all his feelings,
having felt them myself.
I know what he suffers now,
exactly: it is merely a beginning of what he shall suffer,
And he'll never be able to emerge from his bathos of coarseness and ignorance.
I've got him faster than his scoundrel of a father secured me,
for he takes a pride in his brutishness.
I've taught him to scorn everything extra-animal as silly and weak.
Don't you think Hindley would be proud of his son,
if he could see him?
almost as proud as I am of mine.
But there's this difference;
one is gold put to the use of paving-stones,
and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver.
_Mine_ has nothing valuable about it;
yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as such poor stuff can go.
_His_ had first-rate qualities,
and they are lost: rendered worse than unavailing.
I have nothing to regret;
he would have more than any but I are aware of.
And the best of it is,
Hareton is damnably fond of me!
You'll own that I've outmatched Hindley there.
If the dead villain could rise from his grave to abuse me for his offspring's wrongs,
I should have the fun of seeing the said offspring fight him back again,
indignant that he should dare to rail at the one friend he has in the world!'
Heathcliff chuckled a fiendish laugh at the idea.
I made no reply,
because I saw that he expected none.
our young companion,
who sat too removed from us to hear what was said,
began to evince symptoms of uneasiness,
probably repenting that he had denied himself the treat of Catherine's society for fear of a little fatigue.
His father remarked the restless glances wandering to the window,
and the hand irresolutely extended towards his cap.
you idle boy!'
with assumed heartiness.
'Away after them!
they are just at the corner,
by the stand of hives.'
Linton gathered his energies,
and left the hearth.
The lattice was open,
as he stepped out,
I heard Cathy inquiring of her unsociable attendant what was that inscription over the door?
Hareton stared up,
and scratched his head like a true clown.
'It's some damnable writing,'
'I cannot read it.'
'Can't read it?'
'I can read it: it's English.
But I want to know why it is there.'
Linton giggled: the first appearance of mirth he had exhibited.
'He does not know his letters,'
he said to his cousin.
'Could you believe in the existence of such a colossal dunce?'
'Is he all as he should be?'
asked Miss Cathy,
'or is he simple: not right?
I've questioned him twice now,
and each time he looked so stupid I think he does not understand me.
I can hardly understand him,
Linton repeated his laugh,
and glanced at Hareton tauntingly;
who certainly did not seem quite clear of comprehension at that moment.
'There's nothing the matter but laziness;
'My cousin fancies you are an idiot.
There you experience the consequence of scorning "book-larning,"
as you would say.
Have you noticed,
his frightful Yorkshire pronunciation?'
where the devil is the use on't?'
more ready in answering his daily companion.
He was about to enlarge further,
but the two youngsters broke into a noisy fit of merriment: my giddy miss being delighted to discover that she might turn his strange talk to matter of amusement.
'Where is the use of the devil in that sentence?'
'Papa told you not to say any bad words,
and you can't open your mouth without one.
Do try to behave like a gentleman,
'If thou weren't more a lass than a lad,
I'd fell thee this minute,
pitiful lath of a crater!'
retorted the angry boor,
while his face burnt with mingled rage and mortification!
for he was conscious of being insulted,
and embarrassed how to resent it.
Mr. Heathcliff having overheard the conversation,
as well as I,
smiled when he saw him go;
but immediately afterwards cast a look of singular aversion on the flippant pair,
who remained chattering in the door-way: the boy finding animation enough while discussing Hareton's faults and deficiencies,
and relating anecdotes of his goings on;
and the girl relishing his pert and spiteful sayings,
without considering the ill-nature they evinced.
I began to dislike,
more than to compassionate Linton,
and to excuse his father in some measure for holding him cheap.
We stayed till afternoon: I could not tear Miss Cathy away sooner;
but happily my master had not quitted his apartment,
and remained ignorant of our prolonged absence.
As we walked home,
I would fain have enlightened my charge on the characters of the people we had quitted: but she got it into her head that I was prejudiced against them.
'you take papa's side,
Ellen: you are partial I know;
or else you wouldn't have cheated me so many years into the notion that Linton lived a long way from here.
I'm really extremely angry;
only I'm so pleased I can't show it!
But you must hold your tongue about _my_ uncle;
he's my uncle,
and I'll scold papa for quarrelling with him.'
And so she ran on,
till I relinquished the endeavour to convince her of her mistake.
She did not mention the visit that night,
because she did not see Mr. Linton.
Next day it all came out,
sadly to my chagrin;
and still I was not altogether sorry: I thought the burden of directing and warning would be more efficiently borne by him than me.
But he was too timid in giving satisfactory reasons for his wish that she should shun connection with the household of the Heights,
and Catherine liked good reasons for every restraint that harassed her petted will.
after the morning's salutations,
'guess whom I saw yesterday,
in my walk on the moors.
you've not done right,
I saw --but listen,
and you shall hear how I found you out;
who is in league with you,
and yet pretended to pity me so,
when I kept hoping,
and was always disappointed about Linton's coming back!'
She gave a faithful account of her excursion and its consequences;
and my master,
though he cast more than one reproachful look at me,
said nothing till she had concluded.
Then he drew her to him,
and asked if she knew why he had concealed Linton's near neighbourhood from her?
Could she think it was to deny her a pleasure that she might harmlessly enjoy?
'It was because you disliked Mr. Heathcliff,'
'Then you believe I care more for my own feelings than yours,
it was not because I disliked Mr. Heathcliff,
but because Mr. Heathcliff dislikes me;
and is a most diabolical man,
delighting to wrong and ruin those he hates,
if they give him the slightest opportunity.
I knew that you could not keep up an acquaintance with your cousin without being brought into contact with him;
and I knew he would detest you on my account;
so for your own good,
and nothing else,
I took precautions that you should not see Linton again.
I meant to explain this some time as you grew older,
and I'm sorry I delayed it.'
'But Mr. Heathcliff was quite cordial,
not at all convinced;
'and he didn't object to our seeing each other: he said I might come to his house when I pleased;
only I must not tell you,
because you had quarrelled with him,
and would not forgive him for marrying aunt Isabella.
And you won't.
_You_ are the one to be blamed: he is willing to let us be friends,
Linton and I;
and you are not.'
perceiving that she would not take his word for her uncle-in-law's evil disposition,
gave a hasty sketch of his conduct to Isabella,
and the manner in which Wuthering Heights became his property.
He could not bear to discourse long upon the topic;
for though he spoke little of it,
he still felt the same horror and detestation of his ancient enemy that had occupied his heart ever since Mrs. Linton's death.
'She might have been living yet,
if it had not been for him!'
was his constant bitter reflection;
in his eyes,
Heathcliff seemed a murderer.
Miss Cathy --conversant with no bad deeds except her own slight acts of disobedience,
arising from hot temper and thoughtlessness,
and repented of on the day they were committed --was amazed at the blackness of spirit that could brood on and cover revenge for years,
and deliberately prosecute its plans without a visitation of remorse.
She appeared so deeply impressed and shocked at this new view of human nature --excluded from all her studies and all her ideas till now --that Mr. Edgar deemed it unnecessary to pursue the subject.
He merely added:
'You will know hereafter,
why I wish you to avoid his house and family;
now return to your old employments and amusements,
and think no more about them.'
Catherine kissed her father,
and sat down quietly to her lessons for a couple of hours,
according to custom;
then she accompanied him into the grounds,
and the whole day passed as usual: but in the evening,
when she had retired to her room,
and I went to help her to undress,
I found her crying,
on her knees by the bedside.
'If you had any real griefs you'd be ashamed to waste a tear on this little contrariety.
You never had one shadow of substantial sorrow,
for a minute,
that master and I were dead,
and you were by yourself in the world: how would you feel,
Compare the present occasion with such an affliction as that,
and be thankful for the friends you have,
instead of coveting more.'
'I'm not crying for myself,
'it's for him.
He expected to see me again to-morrow,
and there he'll be so disappointed: and he'll wait for me,
and I sha'n't come!'
'do you imagine he has thought as much of you as you have of him?
Hasn't he Hareton for a companion?
Not one in a hundred would weep at losing a relation they had just seen twice,
for two afternoons.
Linton will conjecture how it is,
and trouble himself no further about you.'
'But may I not write a note to tell him why I cannot come?'
rising to her feet.
'And just send those books I promised to lend him?
His books are not as nice as mine,
and he wanted to have them extremely,
when I told him how interesting they were.
May I not,
replied I with decision.
'Then he would write to you,
and there'd never be an end of it.
the acquaintance must be dropped entirely: so papa expects,
and I shall see that it is done.'
'But how can one little note --?'
putting on an imploring countenance.
'We'll not begin with your little notes.
Get into bed.'
She threw at me a very naughty look,
so naughty that I would not kiss her good-night at first: I covered her up,
and shut her door,
in great displeasure;
I returned softly,
there was Miss standing at the table with a bit of blank paper before her and a pencil in her hand,
which she guiltily slipped out of sight on my entrance.
'You'll get nobody to take that,
'if you write it;
and at present I shall put out your candle.'
I set the extinguisher on the flame,
receiving as I did so a slap on my hand and a petulant
I then quitted her again,
and she drew the bolt in one of her worst,
most peevish humours.
The letter was finished and forwarded to its destination by a milk-fetcher who came from the village;
but that I didn't learn till some time afterwards.
Weeks passed on,
and Cathy recovered her temper;
though she grew wondrous fond of stealing off to corners by herself and often,
if I came near her suddenly while reading,
she would start and bend over the book,
evidently desirous to hide it;
and I detected edges of loose paper sticking out beyond the leaves.
She also got a trick of coming down early in the morning and lingering about the kitchen,
as if she were expecting the arrival of something;
and she had a small drawer in a cabinet in the library,
which she would trifle over for hours,
and whose key she took special care to remove when she left it.
as she inspected this drawer,
I observed that the playthings and trinkets which recently formed its contents were transmuted into bits of folded paper.
My curiosity and suspicions were roused;
I determined to take a peep at her mysterious treasures;
as soon as she and my master were safe upstairs,
and readily found among my house keys one that would fit the lock.
I emptied the whole contents into my apron,
and took them with me to examine at leisure in my own chamber.
Though I could not but suspect,
I was still surprised to discover that they were a mass of correspondence --daily almost,
it must have been --from Linton Heathcliff: answers to documents forwarded by her.
The earlier dated were embarrassed and short;
they expanded into copious love-letters,
as the age of the writer rendered natural,
yet with touches here and there which I thought were borrowed from a more experienced source.
Some of them struck me as singularly odd compounds of ardour and flatness;
commencing in strong feeling,
and concluding in the affected,
wordy style that a schoolboy might use to a fancied,
Whether they satisfied Cathy I don't know;
but they appeared very worthless trash to me.
After turning over as many as I thought proper,
I tied them in a handkerchief and set them aside,
relocking the vacant drawer.
Following her habit,
my young lady descended early,
and visited the kitchen: I watched her go to the door,
on the arrival of a certain little boy;
while the dairymaid filled his can,
she tucked something into his jacket pocket,
and plucked something out.
I went round by the garden,
and laid wait for the messenger;
who fought valorously to defend his trust,
and we spilt the milk between us;
but I succeeded in abstracting the epistle;
threatening serious consequences if he did not look sharp home,
I remained under the wall and perused Miss Cathy's affectionate composition.
It was more simple and more eloquent than her cousin's: very pretty and very silly.
I shook my head,
and went meditating into the house.
The day being wet,
she could not divert herself with rambling about the park;
at the conclusion of her morning studies,
she resorted to the solace of the drawer.
Her father sat reading at the table;
had sought a bit of work in some unripped fringes of the window-curtain,
keeping my eye steadily fixed on her proceedings.
Never did any bird flying back to a plundered nest,
which it had left brimful of chirping young ones,
express more complete despair,
in its anguished cries and flutterings,
than she by her single
and the change that transfigured her late happy countenance.
Mr. Linton looked up.
'What is the matter,
Have you hurt yourself?'
His tone and look assured her _he_ had not been the discoverer of the hoard.
come up-stairs --I'm sick!'
I obeyed her summons,
and accompanied her out.
you have got them,'
she commenced immediately,
dropping on her knees,
when we were enclosed alone.
give them to me,
and I'll never,
never do so again!
Don't tell papa.
You have not told papa,
say you have not?
I've been exceedingly naughty,
but I won't do it any more!'
With a grave severity in my manner I bade her stand up.
you are tolerably far on,
it seems: you may well be ashamed of them!
A fine bundle of trash you study in your leisure hours,
to be sure: why,
it's good enough to be printed!
And what do you suppose the master will think when I display it before him?
I hav'n't shown it yet,
but you needn't imagine I shall keep your ridiculous secrets.
and you must have led the way in writing such absurdities: he would not have thought of beginning,
fit to break her heart.
'I didn't once think of loving him till --'
as scornfully as I could utter the word.
Did anybody ever hear the like!
I might just as well talk of loving the miller who comes once a year to buy our corn.
and both times together you have seen Linton hardly four hours in your life!
Now here is the babyish trash.
I'm going with it to the library;
and we'll see what your father says to such _loving_.'
She sprang at her precious epistles,
but I held them above my head;
and then she poured out further frantic entreaties that I would burn them --do anything rather than show them.
And being really fully as much inclined to laugh as scold --for I esteemed it all girlish vanity --I at length relented in a measure,
--'If I consent to burn them,
will you promise faithfully neither to send nor receive a letter again,
nor a book (for I perceive you have sent him books),
nor locks of hair,
'We don't send playthings,'
her pride overcoming her shame.
'Nor anything at all,
'Unless you will,
here I go.'
catching my dress.
put them in the fire,
But when I proceeded to open a place with the poker the sacrifice was too painful to be borne.
She earnestly supplicated that I would spare her one or two.
'One or two,
to keep for Linton's sake!'
I unknotted the handkerchief,
and commenced dropping them in from an angle,
and the flame curled up the chimney.
'I will have one,
you cruel wretch!'
darting her hand into the fire,
and drawing forth some half-consumed fragments,
at the expense of her fingers.
'Very well --and I will have some to exhibit to papa!'
shaking back the rest into the bundle,
and turning anew to the door.
She emptied her blackened pieces into the flames,
and motioned me to finish the immolation.
It was done;
I stirred up the ashes,
and interred them under a shovelful of coals;
and she mutely,
and with a sense of intense injury,
retired to her private apartment.
I descended to tell my master that the young lady's qualm of sickness was almost gone,
but I judged it best for her to lie down a while.
She wouldn't dine;
but she reappeared at tea,
and red about the eyes,
and marvellously subdued in outward aspect.
Next morning I answered the letter by a slip of paper,
'Master Heathcliff is requested to send no more notes to Miss Linton,
as she will not receive them.'
the little boy came with vacant pockets.
Summer drew to an end,
and early autumn: it was past Michaelmas,
but the harvest was late that year,
and a few of our fields were still uncleared.
Mr. Linton and his daughter would frequently walk out among the reapers;
at the carrying of the last sheaves they stayed till dusk,
and the evening happening to be chill and damp,
my master caught a bad cold,
that settled obstinately on his lungs,
and confined him indoors throughout the whole of the winter,
nearly without intermission.
frightened from her little romance,
had been considerably sadder and duller since its abandonment;
and her father insisted on her reading less,
and taking more exercise.
She had his companionship no longer;
I esteemed it a duty to supply its lack,
as much as possible,
with mine: an inefficient substitute;
for I could only spare two or three hours,
from my numerous diurnal occupations,
to follow her footsteps,
and then my society was obviously less desirable than his.
On an afternoon in October,
or the beginning of November --a fresh watery afternoon,
when the turf and paths were rustling with moist,
and the cold blue sky was half hidden by clouds --dark grey streamers,
rapidly mounting from the west,
and boding abundant rain --I requested my young lady to forego her ramble,
because I was certain of showers.
and I unwillingly donned a cloak,
and took my umbrella to accompany her on a stroll to the bottom of the park: a formal walk which she generally affected if low-spirited --and that she invariably was when Mr. Edgar had been worse than ordinary,
a thing never known from his confession,
but guessed both by her and me from his increased silence and the melancholy of his countenance.
She went sadly on: there was no running or bounding now,
though the chill wind might well have tempted her to race.
from the side of my eye,
I could detect her raising a hand,
and brushing something off her cheek.
I gazed round for a means of diverting her thoughts.
On one side of the road rose a high,
where hazels and stunted oaks,
with their roots half exposed,
held uncertain tenure: the soil was too loose for the latter;
and strong winds had blown some nearly horizontal.
In summer Miss Catherine delighted to climb along these trunks,
and sit in the branches,
swinging twenty feet above the ground;
pleased with her agility and her light,
still considered it proper to scold every time I caught her at such an elevation,
but so that she knew there was no necessity for descending.
From dinner to tea she would lie in her breeze-rocked cradle,
doing nothing except singing old songs --my nursery lore --to herself,
or watching the birds,
feed and entice their young ones to fly: or nestling with closed lids,
happier than words can express.
pointing to a nook under the roots of one twisted tree.
'Winter is not here yet.
There's a little flower up yonder,
the last bud from the multitude of bluebells that clouded those turf steps in July with a lilac mist.
Will you clamber up,
and pluck it to show to papa?'
Cathy stared a long time at the lonely blossom trembling in its earthy shelter,
at length --'No,
I'll not touch it: but it looks melancholy,
does it not,
'about as starved and suckless as you: your cheeks are bloodless;
let us take hold of hands and run.
You're so low,
I daresay I shall keep up with you.'
and continued sauntering on,
pausing at intervals to muse over a bit of moss,
or a tuft of blanched grass,
or a fungus spreading its bright orange among the heaps of brown foliage;
ever and anon,
her hand was lifted to her averted face.
why are you crying,
approaching and putting my arm over her shoulder.
'You mustn't cry because papa has a cold;
be thankful it is nothing worse.'
She now put no further restraint on her tears;
her breath was stifled by sobs.
it will be something worse,'
'And what shall I do when papa and you leave me,
and I am by myself?
I can't forget your words,
they are always in my ear.
How life will be changed,
how dreary the world will be,
when papa and you are dead.'
'None can tell whether you won't die before us,'
'It's wrong to anticipate evil.
We'll hope there are years and years to come before any of us go: master is young,
and I am strong,
and hardly forty-five.
My mother lived till eighty,
a canty dame to the last.
And suppose Mr. Linton were spared till he saw sixty,
that would be more years than you have counted,
And would it not be foolish to mourn a calamity above twenty years beforehand?'
'But Aunt Isabella was younger than papa,'
gazing up with timid hope to seek further consolation.
'Aunt Isabella had not you and me to nurse her,'
'She wasn't as happy as Master: she hadn't as much to live for.
All you need do,
is to wait well on your father,
and cheer him by letting him see you cheerful;
and avoid giving him anxiety on any subject: mind that,
I'll not disguise but you might kill him if you were wild and reckless,
and cherished a foolish,
fanciful affection for the son of a person who would be glad to have him in his grave;
and allowed him to discover that you fretted over the separation he has judged it expedient to make.'
'I fret about nothing on earth except papa's illness,'
answered my companion.
'I care for nothing in comparison with papa.
And I'll never --never --oh,
while I have my senses,
do an act or say a word to vex him.
I love him better than myself,
and I know it by this: I pray every night that I may live after him;
because I would rather be miserable than that he should be: that proves I love him better than myself.'
'But deeds must prove it also;
and after he is well,
remember you don't forget resolutions formed in the hour of fear.'
As we talked,
we neared a door that opened on the road;
and my young lady,
lightening into sunshine again,
climbed up and seated herself on the top of the wall,
reaching over to gather some hips that bloomed scarlet on the summit branches of the wild-rose trees shadowing the highway side: the lower fruit had disappeared,
but only birds could touch the upper,
except from Cathy's present station.
In stretching to pull them,
her hat fell off;
and as the door was locked,
she proposed scrambling down to recover it.
I bid her be cautious lest she got a fall,
and she nimbly disappeared.
But the return was no such easy matter: the stones were smooth and neatly cemented,
and the rose-bushes and black-berry stragglers could yield no assistance in re-ascending.
like a fool,
didn't recollect that,
till I heard her laughing and exclaiming --'Ellen!
you'll have to fetch the key,
or else I must run round to the porter's lodge.
I can't scale the ramparts on this side!'
'Stay where you are,'
'I have my bundle of keys in my pocket: perhaps I may manage to open it;
Catherine amused herself with dancing to and fro before the door,
while I tried all the large keys in succession.
I had applied the last,
and found that none would do;
repeating my desire that she would remain there,
I was about to hurry home as fast as I could,
when an approaching sound arrested me.
It was the trot of a horse;
Cathy's dance stopped also.
'Who is that?'
I wish you could open the door,'
whispered back my companion,
cried a deep voice (the rider's),
'I'm glad to meet you.
Don't be in haste to enter,
for I have an explanation to ask and obtain.'
'I sha'n't speak to you,
'Papa says you are a wicked man,
and you hate both him and me;
and Ellen says the same.'
'That is nothing to the purpose,'
(He it was.)
'I don't hate my son,
and it is concerning him that I demand your attention.
you have cause to blush.
Two or three months since,
were you not in the habit of writing to Linton?
making love in play,
both of you,
flogging for that!
and less sensitive,
as it turns out.
I've got your letters,
and if you give me any pertness I'll send them to your father.
I presume you grew weary of the amusement and dropped it,
you dropped Linton with it into a Slough of Despond.
He was in earnest: in love,
As true as I live,
he's dying for you;
breaking his heart at your fickleness: not figuratively,
Though Hareton has made him a standing jest for six weeks,
and I have used more serious measures,
and attempted to frighten him out of his idiotcy,
he gets worse daily;
and he'll be under the sod before summer,
unless you restore him!'
'How can you lie so glaringly to the poor child?'
I called from the inside.
'Pray ride on!
How can you deliberately get up such paltry falsehoods?
I'll knock the lock off with a stone: you won't believe that vile nonsense.
You can feel in yourself it is impossible that a person should die for love of a stranger.'
'I was not aware there were eavesdroppers,'
muttered the detected villain.
'Worthy Mrs. Dean,
I like you,
but I don't like your double-dealing,'
he added aloud.
'How could _you_ lie so glaringly as to affirm I hated the "poor child"?
and invent bugbear stories to terrify her from my door-stones?
Catherine Linton (the very name warms me),
my bonny lass,
I shall be from home all this week;
go and see if have not spoken truth: do,
there's a darling!
Just imagine your father in my place,
and Linton in yours;
then think how you would value your careless lover if he refused to stir a step to comfort you,
when your father himself entreated him;
from pure stupidity,
fall into the same error.
on my salvation,
he's going to his grave,
and none but you can save him!'
The lock gave way and I issued out.
'I swear Linton is dying,'
looking hard at me.
'And grief and disappointment are hastening his death.
if you won't let her go,
you can walk over yourself.
But I shall not return till this time next week;
and I think your master himself would scarcely object to her visiting her cousin.'
taking Cathy by the arm and half forcing her to re-enter;
for she lingered,
viewing with troubled eyes the features of the speaker,
too stern to express his inward deceit.
He pushed his horse close,
observed --'Miss Catherine,
I'll own to you that I have little patience with Linton;
and Hareton and Joseph have less.
I'll own that he's with a harsh set.
He pines for kindness,
as well as love;
and a kind word from you would be his best medicine.
Don't mind Mrs. Dean's cruel cautions;
but be generous,
and contrive to see him.
He dreams of you day and night,
and cannot be persuaded that you don't hate him,
since you neither write nor call.'
I closed the door,
and rolled a stone to assist the loosened lock in holding it;
and spreading my umbrella,
I drew my charge underneath: for the rain began to drive through the moaning branches of the trees,
and warned us to avoid delay.
Our hurry prevented any comment on the encounter with Heathcliff,
as we stretched towards home;
but I divined instinctively that Catherine's heart was clouded now in double darkness.
Her features were so sad,
they did not seem hers: she evidently regarded what she had heard as every syllable true.
The master had retired to rest before we came in.
Cathy stole to his room to inquire how he was;
he had fallen asleep.
and asked me to sit with her in the library.
We took our tea together;
and afterwards she lay down on the rug,
and told me not to talk,
for she was weary.
I got a book,
and pretended to read.
As soon as she supposed me absorbed in my occupation,
she recommenced her silent weeping: it appeared,
her favourite diversion.
I suffered her to enjoy it a while;
then I expostulated: deriding and ridiculing all Mr. Heathcliff's assertions about his son,
as if I were certain she would coincide.
I hadn't skill to counteract the effect his account had produced: it was just what he intended.
'You may be right,
'but I shall never feel at ease till I know.
And I must tell Linton it is not my fault that I don't write,
and convince him that I shall not change.'
What use were anger and protestations against her silly credulity?
We parted that night --hostile;
but next day beheld me on the road to Wuthering Heights,
by the side of my wilful young mistress's pony.
I couldn't bear to witness her sorrow: to see her pale,
and heavy eyes: and I yielded,
in the faint hope that Linton himself might prove,
by his reception of us,
how little of the tale was founded on fact.
The rainy night had ushered in a misty morning --half frost,
half drizzle --and temporary brooks crossed our path --gurgling from the uplands.
My feet were thoroughly wetted;
I was cross and low;
exactly the humour suited for making the most of these disagreeable things.
We entered the farm-house by the kitchen way,
to ascertain whether Mr. Heathcliff were really absent: because I put slight faith in his own affirmation.
Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alone,
beside a roaring fire;
a quart of ale on the table near him,
bristling with large pieces of toasted oat-cake;
and his black,
short pipe in his mouth.
Catherine ran to the hearth to warm herself.
I asked if the master was in?
My question remained so long unanswered,
that I thought the old man had grown deaf,
and repeated it louder.
or rather screamed through his nose.
yah muh goa back whear yah coom frough.'
cried a peevish voice,
simultaneously with me,
from the inner room.
'How often am I to call you?
There are only a few red ashes now.
come this moment.'
and a resolute stare into the grate,
declared he had no ear for this appeal.
The housekeeper and Hareton were invisible;
one gone on an errand,
and the other at his work,
We knew Linton's tones,
I hope you'll die in a garret,
starved to death!'
said the boy,
mistaking our approach for that of his negligent attendant.
He stopped on observing his error: his cousin flew to him.
'Is that you,
raising his head from the arm of the great chair,
in which he reclined.
'No --don't kiss me: it takes my breath.
Papa said you would call,'
after recovering a little from Catherine's embrace;
while she stood by looking very contrite.
'Will you shut the door,
if you please?
you left it open;
and those --those _detestable_ creatures won't bring coals to the fire.
It's so cold!'
I stirred up the cinders,
and fetched a scuttleful myself.
The invalid complained of being covered with ashes;
but he had a tiresome cough,
and looked feverish and ill,
so I did not rebuke his temper.
when his corrugated brow relaxed,
'are you glad to see me?
Can I do you any good?'
'Why didn't you come before?'
'You should have come,
instead of writing.
It tired me dreadfully writing those long letters.
I'd far rather have talked to you.
I can neither bear to talk,
nor anything else.
I wonder where Zillah is!
Will you' (looking at me)
'step into the kitchen and see?'
I had received no thanks for my other service;
and being unwilling to run to and fro at his behest,
I replied --'Nobody is out there but Joseph.'
'I want to drink,'
he exclaimed fretfully,
'Zillah is constantly gadding off to Gimmerton since papa went: it's miserable!
And I'm obliged to come down here --they resolved never to hear me up-stairs.'
'Is your father attentive to you,
perceiving Catherine to be checked in her friendly advances.
He makes them a little more attentive at least,'
Do you know,
that brute Hareton laughs at me!
I hate him!
I hate them all: they are odious beings.'
Cathy began searching for some water;
she lighted on a pitcher in the dresser,
filled a tumbler,
and brought it.
He bid her add a spoonful of wine from a bottle on the table;
and having swallowed a small portion,
appeared more tranquil,
and said she was very kind.
'And are you glad to see me?'
reiterating her former question and pleased to detect the faint dawn of a smile.
It's something new to hear a voice like yours!'
'But I have been vexed,
because you wouldn't come.
And papa swore it was owing to me: he called me a pitiful,
and said you despised me;
and if he had been in my place,
he would be more the master of the Grange than your father by this time.
But you don't despise me,
'I wish you would say Catherine,
interrupted my young lady.
Next to papa and Ellen,
I love you better than anybody living.
I don't love Mr. Heathcliff,
and I dare not come when he returns: will he stay away many days?'
'but he goes on to the moors frequently,
since the shooting season commenced;
and you might spend an hour or two with me in his absence.
Do say you will.
I think I should not be peevish with you: you'd not provoke me,
and you'd always be ready to help me,
stroking his long soft hair:
'if I could only get papa's consent,
I'd spend half my time with you.
I wish you were my brother.'
'And then you would like me as well as your father?'
'But papa says you would love me better than him and all the world,
if you were my wife;
so I'd rather you were that.'
I should never love anybody better than papa,'
she returned gravely.
'And people hate their wives,
but not their sisters and brothers: and if you were the latter,
you would live with us,
and papa would be as fond of you as he is of me.'
Linton denied that people ever hated their wives;
but Cathy affirmed they did,
in her wisdom,
instanced his own father's aversion to her aunt.
I endeavoured to stop her thoughtless tongue.
I couldn't succeed till everything she knew was out.
asserted her relation was false.
'Papa told me;
and papa does not tell falsehoods,'
she answered pertly.
'_My_ papa scorns yours!'
'He calls him a sneaking fool.'
'Yours is a wicked man,'
'and you are very naughty to dare to repeat what he says.
He must be wicked to have made Aunt Isabella leave him as she did.'
'She didn't leave him,'
said the boy;
'you sha'n't contradict me.'
cried my young lady.
I'll tell you something!'
'Your mother hated your father: now then.'
too enraged to continue.
'And she loved mine,'
'You little liar!
I hate you now!'
and her face grew red with passion.
sinking into the recess of his chair,
and leaning back his head to enjoy the agitation of the other disputant,
who stood behind.
'that's your father's tale,
'It isn't: you hold your tongue!'
gave the chair a violent push,
and caused him to fall against one arm.
He was immediately seized by a suffocating cough that soon ended his triumph.
It lasted so long that it frightened even me.
As to his cousin,
she wept with all her might,
aghast at the mischief she had done: though she said nothing.
I held him till the fit exhausted itself.
Then he thrust me away,
and leant his head down silently.
Catherine quelled her lamentations also,
took a seat opposite,
and looked solemnly into the fire.
'How do you feel now,
after waiting ten minutes.
'I wish _she_ felt as I do,'
Hareton never touches me: he never struck me in his life.
And I was better to-day: and there --' his voice died in a whimper.
'_I_ didn't strike you!'
chewing her lip to prevent another burst of emotion.
He sighed and moaned like one under great suffering,
and kept it up for a quarter of an hour;
on purpose to distress his cousin apparently,
for whenever he caught a stifled sob from her he put renewed pain and pathos into the inflexions of his voice.
'I'm sorry I hurt you,
she said at length,
racked beyond endurance.
'But I couldn't have been hurt by that little push,
and I had no idea that you could,
either: you're not much,
Don't let me go home thinking I've done you harm.
speak to me.'
'I can't speak to you,'
'you've hurt me so that I shall lie awake all night choking with this cough.
If you had it you'd know what it was;
but _you'll_ be comfortably asleep while I'm in agony,
and nobody near me.
I wonder how you would like to pass those fearful nights!'
And he began to wail aloud,
for very pity of himself.
'Since you are in the habit of passing dreadful nights,'
'it won't be Miss who spoils your ease: you'd be the same had she never come.
she shall not disturb you again;
and perhaps you'll get quieter when we leave you.'
'Must I go?'
asked Catherine dolefully,
bending over him.
'Do you want me to go,
'You can't alter what you've done,'
he replied pettishly,
shrinking from her,
'unless you alter it for the worse by teasing me into a fever.'
I must go?'
'Let me alone,
'I can't bear your talking.'
and resisted my persuasions to departure a tiresome while;
but as he neither looked up nor spoke,
she finally made a movement to the door,
and I followed.
We were recalled by a scream.
Linton had slid from his seat on to the hearthstone,
and lay writhing in the mere perverseness of an indulged plague of a child,
determined to be as grievous and harassing as it can.
I thoroughly gauged his disposition from his behaviour,
and saw at once it would be folly to attempt humouring him.
Not so my companion: she ran back in terror,
till he grew quiet from lack of breath: by no means from compunction at distressing her.
'I shall lift him on to the settle,'
'and he may roll about as he pleases: we can't stop to watch him.
I hope you are satisfied,
that you are not the person to benefit him;
and that his condition of health is not occasioned by attachment to you.
there he is!
Come away: as soon as he knows there is nobody by to care for his nonsense,
he'll be glad to lie still.'
She placed a cushion under his head,
and offered him some water;
he rejected the latter,
and tossed uneasily on the former,
as if it were a stone or a block of wood.
She tried to put it more comfortably.
'I can't do with that,'
'it's not high enough.'
Catherine brought another to lay above it.
'That's too high,'
murmured the provoking thing.
'How must I arrange it,
she asked despairingly.
He twined himself up to her,
as she half knelt by the settle,
and converted her shoulder into a support.
that won't do,'
'You'll be content with the cushion,
Miss has wasted too much time on you already: we cannot remain five minutes longer.'
'He's good and patient now.
He's beginning to think I shall have far greater misery than he will to-night,
if I believe he is the worse for my visit: and then I dare not come again.
Tell the truth about it,
for I musn't come,
if I have hurt you.'
'You must come,
to cure me,'
'You ought to come,
because you have hurt me: you know you have extremely!
I was not as ill when you entered as I am at present --was I?'
'But you've made yourself ill by crying and being in a passion.
--I didn't do it all,'
said his cousin.
we'll be friends now.
And you want me: you would wish to see me sometimes,
'I told you I did,'
he replied impatiently.
'Sit on the settle and let me lean on your knee.
That's as mamma used to do,
whole afternoons together.
Sit quite still and don't talk: but you may sing a song,
if you can sing;
or you may say a nice long interesting ballad --one of those you promised to teach me;
or a story.
I'd rather have a ballad,
Catherine repeated the longest she could remember.
The employment pleased both mightily.
Linton would have another,
and after that another,
notwithstanding my strenuous objections;
and so they went on until the clock struck twelve,
and we heard Hareton in the court,
returning for his dinner.
will you be here to-morrow?'
asked young Heathcliff,
holding her frock as she rose reluctantly.
'nor next day neither.'
gave a different response evidently,
for his forehead cleared as she stooped and whispered in his ear.
'You won't go to-morrow,
when we were out of the house.
'You are not dreaming of it,
I'll take good care,'
'I'll have that lock mended,
and you can escape by no way else.'
'I can get over the wall,'
she said laughing.
'The Grange is not a prison,
and you are not my gaoler.
I'm almost seventeen: I'm a woman.
And I'm certain Linton would recover quickly if he had me to look after him.
I'm older than he is,
and wiser: less childish,
am I not?
And he'll soon do as I direct him,
with some slight coaxing.
He's a pretty little darling when he's good.
I'd make such a pet of him,
if he were mine.
We should never quarrel,
should we after we were used to each other?
Don't you like him,
'The worst-tempered bit of a sickly slip that ever struggled into its teens.
as Mr. Heathcliff conjectured,
he'll not win twenty.
I doubt whether he'll see spring,
And small loss to his family whenever he drops off.
And lucky it is for us that his father took him: the kinder he was treated,
the more tedious and selfish he'd be.
I'm glad you have no chance of having him for a husband,
My companion waxed serious at hearing this speech.
To speak of his death so regardlessly wounded her feelings.
'He's younger than I,'
after a protracted pause of meditation,
'and he ought to live the longest: he will --he must live as long as I do.
He's as strong now as when he first came into the north;
I'm positive of that.
It's only a cold that ails him,
the same as papa has.
You say papa will get better,
and why shouldn't he?'
we needn't trouble ourselves;
I'll keep my word,
--if you attempt going to Wuthering Heights again,
with or without me,
I shall inform Mr. Linton,
unless he allow it,
the intimacy with your cousin must not be revived.'
'It has been revived,'
'Must not be continued,
was her reply,
and she set off at a gallop,
leaving me to toil in the rear.
We both reached home before our dinner-time;
my master supposed we had been wandering through the park,
and therefore he demanded no explanation of our absence.
As soon as I entered I hastened to change my soaked shoes and stockings;
but sitting such awhile at the Heights had done the mischief.
On the succeeding morning I was laid up,
and during three weeks I remained incapacitated for attending to my duties: a calamity never experienced prior to that period,
I am thankful to say,
My little mistress behaved like an angel in coming to wait on me,
and cheer my solitude;
the confinement brought me exceedingly low.
It is wearisome,
to a stirring active body: but few have slighter reasons for complaint than I had.
The moment Catherine left Mr. Linton's room she appeared at my bedside.
Her day was divided between us;
no amusement usurped a minute: she neglected her meals,
and her play;
and she was the fondest nurse that ever watched.
She must have had a warm heart,
when she loved her father so,
to give so much to me.
I said her days were divided between us;
but the master retired early,
and I generally needed nothing after six o'clock,
thus the evening was her own.
I never considered what she did with herself after tea.
And though frequently,
when she looked in to bid me good-night,
I remarked a fresh colour in her cheeks and a pinkness over her slender fingers,
instead of fancying the line borrowed from a cold ride across the moors,
I laid it to the charge of a hot fire in the library.
At the close of three weeks I was able to quit my chamber and move about the house.
And on the first occasion of my sitting up in the evening I asked Catherine to read to me,
because my eyes were weak.
We were in the library,
the master having gone to bed: she consented,
and imagining my sort of books did not suit her,
I bid her please herself in the choice of what she perused.
She selected one of her own favourites,
and got forward steadily about an hour;
then came frequent questions.
are not you tired?
Hadn't you better lie down now?
You'll be sick,
keeping up so long,
I'm not tired,'
Perceiving me immovable,
she essayed another method of showing her disrelish for her occupation.
It changed to yawning,
'Give over then and talk,'
That was worse: she fretted and sighed,
and looked at her watch till eight,
and finally went to her room,
completely overdone with sleep;
judging by her peevish,
and the constant rubbing she inflicted on her eyes.
The following night she seemed more impatient still;
and on the third from recovering my company she complained of a headache,
and left me.
I thought her conduct odd;
and having remained alone a long while,
I resolved on going and inquiring whether she were better,
and asking her to come and lie on the sofa,
instead of up-stairs in the dark.
No Catherine could I discover up-stairs,
and none below.
The servants affirmed they had not seen her.
I listened at Mr. Edgar's door;
all was silence.
I returned to her apartment,
extinguished my candle,
and seated myself in the window.
The moon shone bright;
a sprinkling of snow covered the ground,
and I reflected that she might,
have taken it into her head to walk about the garden,
I did detect a figure creeping along the inner fence of the park;
but it was not my young mistress: on its emerging into the light,
I recognised one of the grooms.
He stood a considerable period,
viewing the carriage-road through the grounds;
then started off at a brisk pace,
as if he had detected something,
and reappeared presently,
leading Miss's pony;
and there she was,
and walking by its side.
The man took his charge stealthily across the grass towards the stable.
Cathy entered by the casement-window of the drawing-room,
and glided noiselessly up to where I awaited her.
She put the door gently too,
slipped off her snowy shoes,
untied her hat,
and was proceeding,
unconscious of my espionage,
to lay aside her mantle,
when I suddenly rose and revealed myself.
The surprise petrified her an instant: she uttered an inarticulate exclamation,
and stood fixed.
'My dear Miss Catherine,'
too vividly impressed by her recent kindness to break into a scold,
'where have you been riding out at this hour?
And why should you try to deceive me by telling a tale?
Where have you been?
'To the bottom of the park,'
'I didn't tell a tale.'
'And nowhere else?'
was the muttered reply.
'You know you have been doing wrong,
or you wouldn't be driven to uttering an untruth to me.
That does grieve me.
I'd rather be three months ill,
than hear you frame a deliberate lie.'
She sprang forward,
and bursting into tears,
threw her arms round my neck.
I'm so afraid of you being angry,'
'Promise not to be angry,
and you shall know the very truth: I hate to hide it.'
We sat down in the window-seat;
I assured her I would not scold,
whatever her secret might be,
and I guessed it,
so she commenced --
'I've been to Wuthering Heights,
and I've never missed going a day since you fell ill;
except thrice before,
and twice after you left your room.
I gave Michael books and pictures to prepare Minny every evening,
and to put her back in the stable: you mustn't scold him either,
I was at the Heights by half-past six,
and generally stayed till half-past eight,
and then galloped home.
It was not to amuse myself that I went: I was often wretched all the time.
Now and then I was happy: once in a week perhaps.
I expected there would be sad work persuading you to let me keep my word to Linton: for I had engaged to call again next day,
when we quitted him;
as you stayed up-stairs on the morrow,
I escaped that trouble.
While Michael was refastening the lock of the park door in the afternoon,
I got possession of the key,
and told him how my cousin wished me to visit him,
because he was sick,
and couldn't come to the Grange;
and how papa would object to my going: and then I negotiated with him about the pony.
He is fond of reading,
and he thinks of leaving soon to get married;
so he offered,
if I would lend him books out of the library,
to do what I wished: but I preferred giving him my own,
and that satisfied him better.
'On my second visit Linton seemed in lively spirits;
and Zillah (that is their housekeeper) made us a clean room and a good fire,
and told us that,
as Joseph was out at a prayer-meeting and Hareton Earnshaw was off with his dogs --robbing our woods of pheasants,
as I heard afterwards --we might do what we liked.
She brought me some warm wine and gingerbread,
and appeared exceedingly good-natured,
and Linton sat in the arm-chair,
and I in the little rocking chair on the hearth-stone,
and we laughed and talked so merrily,
and found so much to say: we planned where we would go,
and what we would do in summer.
I needn't repeat that,
because you would call it silly.
we were near quarrelling.
He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors,
with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom,
and the larks singing high up overhead,
and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly.
That was his most perfect idea of heaven's happiness: mine was rocking in a rustling green tree,
with a west wind blowing,
and bright white clouds flitting rapidly above;
and not only larks,
and cuckoos pouring out music on every side,
and the moors seen at a distance,
broken into cool dusky dells;
but close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze;
and woods and sounding water,
and the whole world awake and wild with joy.
He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace;
I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee.
I said his heaven would be only half alive;
and he said mine would be drunk: I said I should fall asleep in his;
and he said he could not breathe in mine,
and began to grow very snappish.
we agreed to try both,
as soon as the right weather came;
and then we kissed each other and were friends.
'After sitting still an hour,
I looked at the great room with its smooth uncarpeted floor,
and thought how nice it would be to play in,
if we removed the table;
and I asked Linton to call Zillah in to help us,
and we'd have a game at blindman's-buff;
she should try to catch us: you used to,
He wouldn't: there was no pleasure in it,
but he consented to play at ball with me.
We found two in a cupboard,
among a heap of old toys,
and battledores and shuttlecocks.
One was marked C.,
and the other H.;
I wished to have the C.,
because that stood for Catherine,
and the H. might be for Heathcliff,
but the bran came out of H.,
and Linton didn't like it.
I beat him constantly: and he got cross again,
and returned to his chair.
he easily recovered his good humour: he was charmed with two or three pretty songs --_your_ songs,
and when I was obliged to go,
he begged and entreated me to come the following evening;
and I promised.
Minny and I went flying home as light as air;
and I dreamt of Wuthering Heights and my sweet,
'On the morrow I was sad;
partly because you were poorly,
and partly that I wished my father knew,
and approved of my excursions: but it was beautiful moonlight after tea;
as I rode on,
the gloom cleared.
I shall have another happy evening,
I thought to myself;
and what delights me more,
my pretty Linton will.
I trotted up their garden,
and was turning round to the back,
when that fellow Earnshaw met me,
took my bridle,
and bid me go in by the front entrance.
He patted Minny's neck,
and said she was a bonny beast,
and appeared as if he wanted me to speak to him.
I only told him to leave my horse alone,
or else it would kick him.
He answered in his vulgar accent,
"It wouldn't do mitch hurt if it did;"
and surveyed its legs with a smile.
I was half inclined to make it try;
he moved off to open the door,
as he raised the latch,
he looked up to the inscription above,
with a stupid mixture of awkwardness and elation:
I can read yon,
"Pray let us hear you --you _are_ grown clever!"
and drawled over by syllables,
the name --"Hareton Earnshaw."
'"And the figures?"
perceiving that he came to a dead halt.
'"I cannot tell them yet,"
laughing heartily at his failure.
'The fool stared,
with a grin hovering about his lips,
and a scowl gathering over his eyes,
as if uncertain whether he might not join in my mirth: whether it were not pleasant familiarity,
or what it really was,
I settled his doubts,
by suddenly retrieving my gravity and desiring him to walk away,
for I came to see Linton,
He reddened --I saw that by the moonlight --dropped his hand from the latch,
and skulked off,
a picture of mortified vanity.
He imagined himself to be as accomplished as Linton,
because he could spell his own name;
and was marvellously discomfited that I didn't think the same.'
'I shall not scold,
but I don't like your conduct there.
If you had remembered that Hareton was your cousin as much as Master Heathcliff,
you would have felt how improper it was to behave in that way.
it was praiseworthy ambition for him to desire to be as accomplished as Linton;
and probably he did not learn merely to show off: you had made him ashamed of his ignorance before,
I have no doubt;
and he wished to remedy it and please you.
To sneer at his imperfect attempt was very bad breeding.
Had you been brought up in his circumstances,
would you be less rude?
He was as quick and as intelligent a child as ever you were;
and I'm hurt that he should be despised now,
because that base Heathcliff has treated him so unjustly.'
you won't cry about it,
surprised at my earnestness.
and you shall hear if he conned his A B C to please me;
and if it were worth while being civil to the brute.
Linton was lying on the settle,
and half got up to welcome me.
'"I'm ill to-night,
"and you must have all the talk,
and let me listen.
and sit by me.
I was sure you wouldn't break your word,
and I'll make you promise again,
before you go."
'I knew now that I mustn't tease him,
as he was ill;
and I spoke softly and put no questions,
and avoided irritating him in any way.
I had brought some of my nicest books for him: he asked me to read a little of one,
and I was about to comply,
when Earnshaw burst the door open: having gathered venom with reflection.
He advanced direct to us,
seized Linton by the arm,
and swung him off the seat.
'"Get to thy own room!"
in a voice almost inarticulate with passion;
and his face looked swelled and furious.
"Take her there if she comes to see thee: thou shalln't keep me out of this.
Begone wi' ye both!"
'He swore at us,
and left Linton no time to answer,
nearly throwing him into the kitchen;
and he clenched his fist as I followed,
seemingly longing to knock me down.
I was afraid for a moment,
and I let one volume fall;
he kicked it after me,
and shut us out.
I heard a malignant,
crackly laugh by the fire,
beheld that odious Joseph standing rubbing his bony hands,
'"I wer sure he'd sarve ye out!
He's a grand lad!
He's getten t' raight sperrit in him!
_He_ knaws --ay,
as weel as I do,
who sud be t' maister yonder --Ech,
He made ye skift properly!
'"Where must we go?"
I asked of my cousin,
disregarding the old wretch's mockery.
'Linton was white and trembling.
He was not pretty then,
he looked frightful;
for his thin face and large eyes were wrought into an expression of frantic,
He grasped the handle of the door,
and shook it: it was fastened inside.
'"If you don't let me in,
I'll kill you!
--If you don't let me in,
I'll kill you!"
he rather shrieked than said.
--I'll kill you --I'll kill you!"
Joseph uttered his croaking laugh again.
that's t' father!"
We've allas summut o' either side in us.
lad --dunnut be
'feard --he cannot get at thee!"
'I took hold of Linton's hands,
and tried to pull him away;
but he shrieked so shockingly that I dared not proceed.
At last his cries were choked by a dreadful fit of coughing;
blood gushed from his mouth,
and he fell on the ground.
I ran into the yard,
sick with terror;
and called for Zillah,
as loud as I could.
She soon heard me: she was milking the cows in a shed behind the barn,
and hurrying from her work,
she inquired what there was to do?
I hadn't breath to explain;
dragging her in,
I looked about for Linton.
Earnshaw had come out to examine the mischief he had caused,
and he was then conveying the poor thing up-stairs.
Zillah and I ascended after him;
but he stopped me at the top of the steps,
and said I shouldn't go in: I must go home.
I exclaimed that he had killed Linton,
and I _would_ enter.
Joseph locked the door,
and declared I should do "no sich stuff,"
and asked me whether I were "bahn to be as mad as him."
I stood crying till the housekeeper reappeared.
She affirmed he would be better in a bit,
but he couldn't do with that shrieking and din;
and she took me,
and nearly carried me into the house.
I was ready to tear my hair off my head!
I sobbed and wept so that my eyes were almost blind;
and the ruffian you have such sympathy with stood opposite: presuming every now and then to bid me "wisht,"
and denying that it was his fault;
frightened by my assertions that I would tell papa,
and that he should be put in prison and hanged,
he commenced blubbering himself,
and hurried out to hide his cowardly agitation.
I was not rid of him: when at length they compelled me to depart,
and I had got some hundred yards off the premises,
he suddenly issued from the shadow of the road-side,
and checked Minny and took hold of me.
I'm ill grieved,"
"but it's rayther too bad --"
'I gave him a cut with my whip,
thinking perhaps he would murder me.
He let go,
thundering one of his horrid curses,
and I galloped home more than half out of my senses.
'I didn't bid you good-night that evening,
and I didn't go to Wuthering Heights the next: I wished to go exceedingly;
but I was strangely excited,
and dreaded to hear that Linton was dead,
and sometimes shuddered at the thought of encountering Hareton.
On the third day I took courage: at least,
I couldn't bear longer suspense,
and stole off once more.
I went at five o'clock,
fancying I might manage to creep into the house,
and up to Linton's room,
the dogs gave notice of my approach.
Zillah received me,
and saying "the lad was mending nicely,"
showed me into a small,
to my inexpressible joy,
I beheld Linton laid on a little sofa,
reading one of my books.
But he would neither speak to me nor look at me,
through a whole hour,
Ellen: he has such an unhappy temper.
And what quite confounded me,
when he did open his mouth,
it was to utter the falsehood that I had occasioned the uproar,
and Hareton was not to blame!
Unable to reply,
I got up and walked from the room.
He sent after me a faint "Catherine!"
He did not reckon on being answered so: but I wouldn't turn back;
and the morrow was the second day on which I stayed at home,
nearly determined to visit him no more.
But it was so miserable going to bed and getting up,
and never hearing anything about him,
that my resolution melted into air before it was properly formed.
It had appeared wrong to take the journey once;
now it seemed wrong to refrain.
Michael came to ask if he must saddle Minny;
I said "Yes,"
and considered myself doing a duty as she bore me over the hills.
I was forced to pass the front windows to get to the court: it was no use trying to conceal my presence.
'"Young master is in the house,"
as she saw me making for the parlour.
I went in;
Earnshaw was there also,
but he quitted the room directly.
Linton sat in the great arm-chair half asleep;
walking up to the fire,
I began in a serious tone,
partly meaning it to be true --
'"As you don't like me,
and as you think I come on purpose to hurt you,
and pretend that I do so every time,
this is our last meeting: let us say good-bye;
and tell Mr. Heathcliff that you have no wish to see me,
and that he mustn't invent any more falsehoods on the subject."
'"Sit down and take your hat off,
"You are so much happier than I am,
you ought to be better.
Papa talks enough of my defects,
and shows enough scorn of me,
to make it natural I should doubt myself.
I doubt whether I am not altogether as worthless as he calls me,
and then I feel so cross and bitter,
I hate everybody!
I am worthless,
and bad in temper,
and bad in spirit,
if you choose,
you may say good-bye: you'll get rid of an annoyance.
do me this justice: believe that if I might be as sweet,
and as kind,
and as good as you are,
I would be;
and more so,
than as happy and as healthy.
And believe that your kindness has made me love you deeper than if I deserved your love: and though I couldn't,
and cannot help showing my nature to you,
I regret it and repent it;
and shall regret and repent it till I die!"
'I felt he spoke the truth;
and I felt I must forgive him: and,
though we should quarrel the next moment,
I must forgive him again.
We were reconciled;
but we cried,
both of us,
the whole time I stayed: not entirely for sorrow;
yet I _was_ sorry Linton had that distorted nature.
He'll never let his friends be at ease,
and he'll never be at ease himself!
I have always gone to his little parlour,
since that night;
because his father returned the day after.
'About three times,
we have been merry and hopeful,
as we were the first evening;
the rest of my visits were dreary and troubled: now with his selfishness and spite,
and now with his sufferings: but I've learned to endure the former with nearly as little resentment as the latter.
Mr. Heathcliff purposely avoids me: I have hardly seen him at all.
coming earlier than usual,
I heard him abusing poor Linton cruelly for his conduct of the night before.
I can't tell how he knew of it,
unless he listened.
Linton had certainly behaved provokingly: however,
it was the business of nobody but me,
and I interrupted Mr. Heathcliff's lecture by entering and telling him so.
He burst into a laugh,
and went away,
saying he was glad I took that view of the matter.
I've told Linton he must whisper his bitter things.
you have heard all.
I can't be prevented from going to Wuthering Heights,
except by inflicting misery on two people;
if you'll only not tell papa,
my going need disturb the tranquillity of none.
You'll not tell,
It will be very heartless,
if you do.'
'I'll make up my mind on that point by to-morrow,
'It requires some study;
and so I'll leave you to your rest,
and go think it over.'
I thought it over aloud,
in my master's presence;
walking straight from her room to his,
and relating the whole story: with the exception of her conversations with her cousin,
and any mention of Hareton.
Mr. Linton was alarmed and distressed,
more than he would acknowledge to me.
In the morning,
Catherine learnt my betrayal of her confidence,
and she learnt also that her secret visits were to end.
In vain she wept and writhed against the interdict,
and implored her father to have pity on Linton: all she got to comfort her was a promise that he would write and give him leave to come to the Grange when he pleased;
but explaining that he must no longer expect to see Catherine at Wuthering Heights.
had he been aware of his nephew's disposition and state of health,
he would have seen fit to withhold even that slight consolation.
'These things happened last winter,
said Mrs. Dean;
'hardly more than a year ago.
I did not think,
at another twelve months' end,
I should be amusing a stranger to the family with relating them!
who knows how long you'll be a stranger?
You're too young to rest always contented,
living by yourself;
and I some way fancy no one could see Catherine Linton and not love her.
but why do you look so lively and interested when I talk about her?
and why have you asked me to hang her picture over your fireplace?
and why --?'
my good friend!'
'It may be very possible that _I_ should love her;
but would she love me?
I doubt it too much to venture my tranquillity by running into temptation: and then my home is not here.
I'm of the busy world,
and to its arms I must return.
Was Catherine obedient to her father's commands?'
continued the housekeeper.
'Her affection for him was still the chief sentiment in her heart;
and he spoke without anger: he spoke in the deep tenderness of one about to leave his treasure amid perils and foes,
where his remembered words would be the only aid that he could bequeath to guide her.
He said to me,
a few days afterwards,
"I wish my nephew would write,
what you think of him: is he changed for the better,
or is there a prospect of improvement,
as he grows a man?"
'"He's very delicate,
"and scarcely likely to reach manhood: but this I can say,
he does not resemble his father;
and if Miss Catherine had the misfortune to marry him,
he would not be beyond her control: unless she were extremely and foolishly indulgent.
you'll have plenty of time to get acquainted with him and see whether he would suit her: it wants four years and more to his being of age."'
walking to the window,
looked out towards Gimmerton Kirk.
It was a misty afternoon,
but the February sun shone dimly,
and we could just distinguish the two fir-trees in the yard,
and the sparely-scattered gravestones.
'I've prayed often,'
he half soliloquised,
'for the approach of what is coming;
and now I begin to shrink,
and fear it.
I thought the memory of the hour I came down that glen a bridegroom would be less sweet than the anticipation that I was soon,
in a few months,
to be carried up,
and laid in its lonely hollow!
I've been very happy with my little Cathy: through winter nights and summer days she was a living hope at my side.
But I've been as happy musing by myself among those stones,
under that old church: lying,
through the long June evenings,
on the green mound of her mother's grave,
and wishing --yearning for the time when I might lie beneath it.
What can I do for Cathy?
How must I quit her?
I'd not care one moment for Linton being Heathcliff's son;
nor for his taking her from me,
if he could console her for my loss.
I'd not care that Heathcliff gained his ends,
and triumphed in robbing me of my last blessing!
But should Linton be unworthy --only a feeble tool to his father --I cannot abandon her to him!
hard though it be to crush her buoyant spirit,
I must persevere in making her sad while I live,
and leaving her solitary when I die.
I'd rather resign her to God,
and lay her in the earth before me.'
'Resign her to God as it is,
'and if we should lose you --which may He forbid --under His providence,
I'll stand her friend and counsellor to the last.
Miss Catherine is a good girl: I don't fear that she will go wilfully wrong;
and people who do their duty are always finally rewarded.'
yet my master gathered no real strength,
though he resumed his walks in the grounds with his daughter.
To her inexperienced notions,
this itself was a sign of convalescence;
and then his cheek was often flushed,
and his eyes were bright;
she felt sure of his recovering.
On her seventeenth birthday,
he did not visit the churchyard: it was raining,
and I observed --'You'll surely not go out to-night,
I'll defer it this year a little longer.'
He wrote again to Linton,
expressing his great desire to see him;
had the invalid been presentable,
I've no doubt his father would have permitted him to come.
As it was,
he returned an answer,
intimating that Mr. Heathcliff objected to his calling at the Grange;
but his uncle's kind remembrance delighted him,
and he hoped to meet him sometimes in his rambles,
and personally to petition that his cousin and he might not remain long so utterly divided.
That part of his letter was simple,
and probably his own.
Heathcliff knew he could plead eloquently for Catherine's company,
'I do not ask,'
'that she may visit here;
but am I never to see her,
because my father forbids me to go to her home,
and you forbid her to come to mine?
now and then,
ride with her towards the Heights;
and let us exchange a few words,
in your presence!
We have done nothing to deserve this separation;
and you are not angry with me: you have no reason to dislike me,
send me a kind note to-morrow,
and leave to join you anywhere you please,
except at Thrushcross Grange.
I believe an interview would convince you that my father's character is not mine: he affirms I am more your nephew than his son;
and though I have faults which render me unworthy of Catherine,
she has excused them,
and for her sake,
you should also.
You inquire after my health --it is better;
but while I remain cut off from all hope,
and doomed to solitude,
or the society of those who never did and never will like me,
how can I be cheerful and well?'
though he felt for the boy,
could not consent to grant his request;
because he could not accompany Catherine.
they might meet: meantime,
he wished him to continue writing at intervals,
and engaged to give him what advice and comfort he was able by letter;
being well aware of his hard position in his family.
and had he been unrestrained,
would probably have spoiled all by filling his epistles with complaints and lamentations: but his father kept a sharp watch over him;
insisted on every line that my master sent being shown;
instead of penning his peculiar personal sufferings and distresses,
the themes constantly uppermost in his thoughts,
he harped on the cruel obligation of being held asunder from his friend and love;
and gently intimated that Mr. Linton must allow an interview soon,
or he should fear he was purposely deceiving him with empty promises.
Cathy was a powerful ally at home;
and between them they at length persuaded my master to acquiesce in their having a ride or a walk together about once a week,
under my guardianship,
and on the moors nearest the Grange: for June found him still declining.
Though he had set aside yearly a portion of his income for my young lady's fortune,
he had a natural desire that she might retain --or at least return in a short time to --the house of her ancestors;
and he considered her only prospect of doing that was by a union with his heir;
he had no idea that the latter was failing almost as fast as himself;
nor had any one,
I believe: no doctor visited the Heights,
and no one saw Master Heathcliff to make report of his condition among us.
for my part,
began to fancy my forebodings were false,
and that he must be actually rallying,
when he mentioned riding and walking on the moors,
and seemed so earnest in pursuing his object.
I could not picture a father treating a dying child as tyrannically and wickedly as I afterwards learned Heathcliff had treated him,
to compel this apparent eagerness: his efforts redoubling the more imminently his avaricious and unfeeling plans were threatened with defeat by death.
Summer was already past its prime,
when Edgar reluctantly yielded his assent to their entreaties,
and Catherine and I set out on our first ride to join her cousin.
It was a close,
sultry day: devoid of sunshine,
but with a sky too dappled and hazy to threaten rain: and our place of meeting had been fixed at the guide-stone,
by the cross-roads.
On arriving there,
a little herd-boy,
despatched as a messenger,
told us that,
--'Maister Linton wer just o' this side th' Heights: and he'd be mitch obleeged to us to gang on a bit further.'
'Then Master Linton has forgot the first injunction of his uncle,'
'he bid us keep on the Grange land,
and here we are off at once.'
we'll turn our horses' heads round when we reach him,'
answered my companion;
'our excursion shall lie towards home.'
But when we reached him,
and that was scarcely a quarter of a mile from his own door,
we found he had no horse;
and we were forced to dismount,
and leave ours to graze.
He lay on the heath,
awaiting our approach,
and did not rise till we came within a few yards.
Then he walked so feebly,
and looked so pale,
that I immediately exclaimed,
you are not fit for enjoying a ramble this morning.
How ill you do look!'
Catherine surveyed him with grief and astonishment: she changed the ejaculation of joy on her lips to one of alarm;
and the congratulation on their long-postponed meeting to an anxious inquiry,
whether he were worse than usual?
'No --better --better!'
and retaining her hand as if he needed its support,
while his large blue eyes wandered timidly over her;
the hollowness round them transforming to haggard wildness the languid expression they once possessed.
'But you have been worse,'
persisted his cousin;
'worse than when I saw you last;
you are thinner,
'It is too hot for walking,
let us rest here.
in the morning,
I often feel sick --papa says I grow so fast.'
Cathy sat down,
and he reclined beside her.
'This is something like your paradise,'
making an effort at cheerfulness.
'You recollect the two days we agreed to spend in the place and way each thought pleasantest?
This is nearly yours,
only there are clouds;
but then they are so soft and mellow: it is nicer than sunshine.
if you can,
we'll ride down to the Grange Park,
and try mine.'
Linton did not appear to remember what she talked of and he had evidently great difficulty in sustaining any kind of conversation.
His lack of interest in the subjects she started,
and his equal incapacity to contribute to her entertainment,
were so obvious that she could not conceal her disappointment.
An indefinite alteration had come over his whole person and manner.
The pettishness that might be caressed into fondness,
had yielded to a listless apathy;
there was less of the peevish temper of a child which frets and teases on purpose to be soothed,
and more of the self-absorbed moroseness of a confirmed invalid,
and ready to regard the good-humoured mirth of others as an insult.
as well as I did,
that he held it rather a punishment,
than a gratification,
to endure our company;
and she made no scruple of proposing,
roused Linton from his lethargy,
and threw him into a strange state of agitation.
He glanced fearfully towards the Heights,
begging she would remain another half-hour,
'But I think,'
'you'd be more comfortable at home than sitting here;
and I cannot amuse you to-day,
by my tales,
and chatter: you have grown wiser than I,
in these six months;
you have little taste for my diversions now: or else,
if I could amuse you,
I'd willingly stay.'
'Stay to rest yourself,'
don't think or say that I'm _very_ unwell: it is the heavy weather and heat that make me dull;
and I walked about,
before you came,
a great deal for me.
Tell uncle I'm in tolerable health,
'I'll tell him that _you_ say so,
I couldn't affirm that you are,'
observed my young lady,
wondering at his pertinacious assertion of what was evidently an untruth.
'And be here again next Thursday,'
shunning her puzzled gaze.
'And give him my thanks for permitting you to come --my best thanks,
if you _did_ meet my father,
and he asked you about me,
don't lead him to suppose that I've been extremely silent and stupid: don't look sad and downcast,
as you are doing --he'll be angry.'
'I care nothing for his anger,'
imagining she would be its object.
'But I do,'
said her cousin,
'_Don't_ provoke him against me,
for he is very hard.'
'Is he severe to you,
'Has he grown weary of indulgence,
and passed from passive to active hatred?'
Linton looked at me,
but did not answer;
after keeping her seat by his side another ten minutes,
during which his head fell drowsily on his breast,
and he uttered nothing except suppressed moans of exhaustion or pain,
Cathy began to seek solace in looking for bilberries,
and sharing the produce of her researches with me: she did not offer them to him,
for she saw further notice would only weary and annoy.
'Is it half-an-hour now,
she whispered in my ear,
'I can't tell why we should stay.
and papa will be wanting us back.'
we must not leave him asleep,'
'wait till he wakes,
and be patient.
You were mighty eager to set off,
but your longing to see poor Linton has soon evaporated!'
'Why did _he_ wish to see me?'
'In his crossest humours,
I liked him better than I do in his present curious mood.
It's just as if it were a task he was compelled to perform --this interview --for fear his father should scold him.
But I'm hardly going to come to give Mr. Heathcliff pleasure;
whatever reason he may have for ordering Linton to undergo this penance.
though I'm glad he's better in health,
I'm sorry he's so much less pleasant,
and so much less affectionate to me.'
'You think _he is_ better in health,
'because he always made such a great deal of his sufferings,
He is not tolerably well,
as he told me to tell papa;
but he's better,
'There you differ with me,
'I should conjecture him to be far worse.'
Linton here started from his slumber in bewildered terror,
and asked if any one had called his name.
'unless in dreams.
I cannot conceive how you manage to doze out of doors,
in the morning.'
'I thought I heard my father,'
glancing up to the frowning nab above us.
'You are sure nobody spoke?'
replied his cousin.
'Only Ellen and I were disputing concerning your health.
Are you truly stronger,
than when we separated in winter?
If you be,
I'm certain one thing is not stronger --your regard for me: speak,
The tears gushed from Linton's eyes as he answered,
still under the spell of the imaginary voice,
his gaze wandered up and down to detect its owner.
'For to-day we must part,'
'And I won't conceal that I have been sadly disappointed with our meeting;
though I'll mention it to nobody but you: not that I stand in awe of Mr. Heathcliff.'
'for God's sake,
And he clung to Catherine's arm,
striving to detain her;
but at that announcement she hastily disengaged herself,
and whistled to Minny,
who obeyed her like a dog.
'I'll be here next Thursday,'
springing to the saddle.
And so we left him,
scarcely conscious of our departure,
so absorbed was he in anticipating his father's approach.
Before we reached home,
Catherine's displeasure softened into a perplexed sensation of pity and regret,
largely blended with vague,
uneasy doubts about Linton's actual circumstances,
physical and social: in which I partook,
though I counselled her not to say much;
for a second journey would make us better judges.
My master requested an account of our ongoings.
His nephew's offering of thanks was duly delivered,
Miss Cathy gently touching on the rest: I also threw little light on his inquiries,
for I hardly knew what to hide and what to reveal.
Seven days glided away,
every one marking its course by the henceforth rapid alteration of Edgar Linton's state.
The havoc that months had previously wrought was now emulated by the inroads of hours.
Catherine we would fain have deluded yet;
but her own quick spirit refused to delude her: it divined in secret,
and brooded on the dreadful probability,
gradually ripening into certainty.
She had not the heart to mention her ride,
when Thursday came round;
I mentioned it for her,
and obtained permission to order her out of doors: for the library,
where her father stopped a short time daily --the brief period he could bear to sit up --and his chamber,
had become her whole world.
She grudged each moment that did not find her bending over his pillow,
or seated by his side.
Her countenance grew wan with watching and sorrow,
and my master gladly dismissed her to what he flattered himself would be a happy change of scene and society;
drawing comfort from the hope that she would not now be left entirely alone after his death.
He had a fixed idea,
I guessed by several observations he let fall,
as his nephew resembled him in person,
he would resemble him in mind;
for Linton's letters bore few or no indications of his defective character.
through pardonable weakness,
refrained from correcting the error;
asking myself what good there would be in disturbing his last moments with information that he had neither power nor opportunity to turn to account.
We deferred our excursion till the afternoon;
a golden afternoon of August: every breath from the hills so full of life,
that it seemed whoever respired it,
Catherine's face was just like the landscape --shadows and sunshine flitting over it in rapid succession;
but the shadows rested longer,
and the sunshine was more transient;
and her poor little heart reproached itself for even that passing forgetfulness of its cares.
We discerned Linton watching at the same spot he had selected before.
My young mistress alighted,
and told me that,
as she was resolved to stay a very little while,
I had better hold the pony and remain on horseback;
but I dissented: I wouldn't risk losing sight of the charge committed to me a minute;
so we climbed the slope of heath together.
Master Heathcliff received us with greater animation on this occasion: not the animation of high spirits though,
nor yet of joy;
it looked more like fear.
'It is late!'
speaking short and with difficulty.
'Is not your father very ill?
I thought you wouldn't come.'
'_Why_ won't you be candid?'
swallowing her greeting.
'Why cannot you say at once you don't want me?
It is strange,
that for the second time you have brought me here on purpose,
apparently to distress us both,
and for no reason besides!'
and glanced at her,
but his cousin's patience was not sufficient to endure this enigmatical behaviour.
'My father _is_ very ill,'
'and why am I called from his bedside?
Why didn't you send to absolve me from my promise,
when you wished I wouldn't keep it?
I desire an explanation: playing and trifling are completely banished out of my mind;
and I can't dance attendance on your affectations now!'
'what are they?
For heaven's sake,
don't look so angry!
Despise me as much as you please;
I am a worthless,
cowardly wretch: I can't be scorned enough;
but I'm too mean for your anger.
Hate my father,
and spare me for contempt.'
cried Catherine in a passion.
he trembles: as if I were really going to touch him!
You needn't bespeak contempt,
Linton: anybody will have it spontaneously at your service.
I shall return home: it is folly dragging you from the hearth-stone,
and pretending --what do we pretend?
Let go my frock!
If I pitied you for crying and looking so very frightened,
you should spurn such pity.
tell him how disgraceful this conduct is.
and don't degrade yourself into an abject reptile --_don't_!'
With streaming face and an expression of agony,
Linton had thrown his nerveless frame along the ground: he seemed convulsed with exquisite terror.
'I cannot bear it!
I'm a traitor,
and I dare not tell you!
But leave me,
and I shall be killed!
my life is in your hands: and you have said you loved me,
and if you did,
it wouldn't harm you.
You'll not go,
And perhaps you _will_ consent --and he'll let me die with you!'
My young lady,
on witnessing his intense anguish,
stooped to raise him.
The old feeling of indulgent tenderness overcame her vexation,
and she grew thoroughly moved and alarmed.
'Consent to what?'
tell me the meaning of this strange talk,
and I will.
You contradict your own words,
and distract me!
Be calm and frank,
and confess at once all that weighs on your heart.
You wouldn't injure me,
You wouldn't let any enemy hurt me,
if you could prevent it?
I'll believe you are a coward,
but not a cowardly betrayer of your best friend.'
'But my father threatened me,'
gasped the boy,
clasping his attenuated fingers,
'and I dread him --I dread him!
I _dare_ not tell!'
with scornful compassion,
'keep your secret: _I'm_ no coward.
Save yourself: I'm not afraid!'
Her magnanimity provoked his tears: he wept wildly,
kissing her supporting hands,
and yet could not summon courage to speak out.
I was cogitating what the mystery might be,
and determined Catherine should never suffer to benefit him or any one else,
by my good will;
hearing a rustle among the ling,
I looked up and saw Mr. Heathcliff almost close upon us,
descending the Heights.
He didn't cast a glance towards my companions,
though they were sufficiently near for Linton's sobs to be audible;
but hailing me in the almost hearty tone he assumed to none besides,
and the sincerity of which I couldn't avoid doubting,
he said --
'It is something to see you so near to my house,
How are you at the Grange?
Let us hear.
The rumour goes,'
in a lower tone,
'that Edgar Linton is on his death-bed: perhaps they exaggerate his illness?'
my master is dying,'
'it is true enough.
A sad thing it will be for us all,
but a blessing for him!'
'How long will he last,
do you think?'
'I don't know,'
looking at the two young people,
who were fixed under his eye --Linton appeared as if he could not venture to stir or raise his head,
and Catherine could not move,
on his account --'because that lad yonder seems determined to beat me;
and I'd thank his uncle to be quick,
and go before him!
has the whelp been playing that game long?
I _did_ give him some lessons about snivelling.
Is he pretty lively with Miss Linton generally?'
no --he has shown the greatest distress,'
'To see him,
I should say,
that instead of rambling with his sweetheart on the hills,
he ought to be in bed,
under the hands of a doctor.'
'He shall be,
in a day or two,'
'But first --get up,
'Don't grovel on the ground there up,
Linton had sunk prostrate again in another paroxysm of helpless fear,
caused by his father's glance towards him,
I suppose: there was nothing else to produce such humiliation.
He made several efforts to obey,
but his little strength was annihilated for the time,
and he fell back again with a moan.
Mr. Heathcliff advanced,
and lifted him to lean against a ridge of turf.
with curbed ferocity,
'I'm getting angry and if you don't command that paltry spirit of yours --_damn_ you!
get up directly!'
let me alone,
or I shall faint.
I've done as you wished,
Catherine will tell you that I --that I --have been cheerful.
keep by me,
give me your hand.'
said his father;
'stand on your feet.
There now --she'll lend you her arm: that's right,
look at her.
You would imagine I was the devil himself,
to excite such horror.
Be so kind as to walk home with him,
He shudders if I touch him.'
'I can't go to Wuthering Heights: papa has forbidden me.
He'll not harm you: why are you so afraid?'
'I can never re-enter that house,'
'I'm _not_ to re-enter it without you!'
cried his father.
'We'll respect Catherine's filial scruples.
take him in,
and I'll follow your advice concerning the doctor,
'You'll do well,'
'But I must remain with my mistress: to mind your son is not my business.'
'You are very stiff,'
'I know that: but you'll force me to pinch the baby and make it scream before it moves your charity.
Are you willing to return,
escorted by me?'
He approached once more,
and made as if he would seize the fragile being;
Linton clung to his cousin,
and implored her to accompany him,
with a frantic importunity that admitted no denial.
However I disapproved,
I couldn't hinder her: indeed,
how could she have refused him herself?
What was filling him with dread we had no means of discerning;
but there he was,
powerless under its gripe,
and any addition seemed capable of shocking him into idiotcy.
We reached the threshold;
Catherine walked in,
and I stood waiting till she had conducted the invalid to a chair,
expecting her out immediately;
when Mr. Heathcliff,
pushing me forward,
exclaimed --'My house is not stricken with the plague,
and I have a mind to be hospitable to-day: sit down,
and allow me to shut the door.'
He shut and locked it also.
'You shall have tea before you go home,'
'I am by myself.
Hareton is gone with some cattle to the Lees,
and Zillah and Joseph are off on a journey of pleasure;
though I'm used to being alone,
I'd rather have some interesting company,
if I can get it.
take your seat by _him_.
I give you what I have: the present is hardly worth accepting;
but I have nothing else to offer.
It is Linton,
How she does stare!
It's odd what a savage feeling I have to anything that seems afraid of me!
Had I been born where laws are less strict and tastes less dainty,
I should treat myself to a slow vivisection of those two,
as an evening's amusement.'
He drew in his breath,
struck the table,
and swore to himself,
I hate them.'
'I am not afraid of you!'
who could not hear the latter part of his speech.
She stepped close up;
her black eyes flashing with passion and resolution.
'Give me that key: I will have it!'
'I wouldn't eat or drink here,
if I were starving.'
Heathcliff had the key in his hand that remained on the table.
He looked up,
seized with a sort of surprise at her boldness;
by her voice and glance,
of the person from whom she inherited it.
She snatched at the instrument,
and half succeeded in getting it out of his loosened fingers: but her action recalled him to the present;
he recovered it speedily.
or I shall knock you down;
that will make Mrs. Dean mad.'
Regardless of this warning,
she captured his closed hand and its contents again.
'We _will_ go!'
exerting her utmost efforts to cause the iron muscles to relax;
and finding that her nails made no impression,
she applied her teeth pretty sharply.
Heathcliff glanced at me a glance that kept me from interfering a moment.
Catherine was too intent on his fingers to notice his face.
He opened them suddenly,
and resigned the object of dispute;
ere she had well secured it,
he seized her with the liberated hand,
pulling her on his knee,
administered with the other a shower of terrific slaps on both sides of the head,
each sufficient to have fulfilled his threat,
had she been able to fall.
At this diabolical violence I rushed on him furiously.
I began to cry,
A touch on the chest silenced me: I am stout,
and soon put out of breath;
what with that and the rage,
I staggered dizzily back and felt ready to suffocate,
or to burst a blood-vessel.
The scene was over in two minutes;
put her two hands to her temples,
and looked just as if she were not sure whether her ears were off or on.
She trembled like a reed,
and leant against the table perfectly bewildered.
'I know how to chastise children,
said the scoundrel,
as he stooped to repossess himself of the key,
which had dropped to the floor.
'Go to Linton now,
as I told you;
and cry at your ease!
I shall be your father,
to-morrow --all the father you'll have in a few days --and you shall have plenty of that.
You can bear plenty;
you're no weakling: you shall have a daily taste,
if I catch such a devil of a temper in your eyes again!'
Cathy ran to me instead of Linton,
and knelt down and put her burning cheek on my lap,
Her cousin had shrunk into a corner of the settle,
as quiet as a mouse,
I dare say,
that the correction had alighted on another than him.
perceiving us all confounded,
and expeditiously made the tea himself.
The cups and saucers were laid ready.
He poured it out,
and handed me a cup.
'Wash away your spleen,'
'And help your own naughty pet and mine.
It is not poisoned,
though I prepared it.
I'm going out to seek your horses.'
Our first thought,
on his departure,
was to force an exit somewhere.
We tried the kitchen door,
but that was fastened outside: we looked at the windows --they were too narrow for even Cathy's little figure.
seeing we were regularly imprisoned,
'you know what your diabolical father is after,
and you shall tell us,
or I'll box your ears,
as he has done your cousin's.'
you must tell,'
'It was for your sake I came;
and it will be wickedly ungrateful if you refuse.'
'Give me some tea,
and then I'll tell you,'
I don't like you standing over me.
you are letting your tears fall into my cup.
I won't drink that.
Give me another.'
Catherine pushed another to him,
and wiped her face.
I felt disgusted at the little wretch's composure,
since he was no longer in terror for himself.
The anguish he had exhibited on the moor subsided as soon as ever he entered Wuthering Heights;
so I guessed he had been menaced with an awful visitation of wrath if he failed in decoying us there;
he had no further immediate fears.
'Papa wants us to be married,'
after sipping some of the liquid.
'And he knows your papa wouldn't let us marry now;
and he's afraid of my dying if we wait;
so we are to be married in the morning,
and you are to stay here all night;
if you do as he wishes,
you shall return home next day,
and take me with you.'
'Take you with her,
the man is mad!
or he thinks us fools,
And do you imagine that beautiful young lady,
will tie herself to a little perishing monkey like you?
Are you cherishing the notion that anybody,
let alone Miss Catherine Linton,
would have you for a husband?
You want whipping for bringing us in here at all,
with your dastardly puling tricks: and --don't look so silly,
I've a very good mind to shake you severely,
for your contemptible treachery,
and your imbecile conceit.'
I did give him a slight shaking;
but it brought on the cough,
and he took to his ordinary resource of moaning and weeping,
and Catherine rebuked me.
'Stay all night?
looking slowly round.
I'll burn that door down but I'll get out.'
And she would have commenced the execution of her threat directly,
but Linton was up in alarm for his dear self again.
He clasped her in his two feeble arms sobbing: --'Won't you have me,
and save me?
not let me come to the Grange?
you mustn't go and leave,
You _must_ obey my father --you _must_!'
'I must obey my own,'
'and relieve him from this cruel suspense.
The whole night!
What would he think?
He'll be distressed already.
I'll either break or burn a way out of the house.
You're in no danger;
but if you hinder me --Linton,
I love papa better than you!'
The mortal terror he felt of Mr. Heathcliff's anger restored to the boy his coward's eloquence.
Catherine was near distraught: still,
she persisted that she must go home,
and tried entreaty in her turn,
persuading him to subdue his selfish agony.
While they were thus occupied,
our jailor re-entered.
'Your beasts have trotted off,'
'and --now Linton!
What has she been doing to you?
come --have done,
and get to bed.
In a month or two,
you'll be able to pay her back her present tyrannies with a vigorous hand.
You're pining for pure love,
are you not?
nothing else in the world: and she shall have you!
Zillah won't be here to-night;
you must undress yourself.
hold your noise!
Once in your own room,
I'll not come near you: you needn't fear.
you've managed tolerably.
I'll look to the rest.'
He spoke these words,
holding the door open for his son to pass,
and the latter achieved his exit exactly as a spaniel might which suspected the person who attended on it of designing a spiteful squeeze.
The lock was re-secured.
Heathcliff approached the fire,
where my mistress and I stood silent.
Catherine looked up,
and instinctively raised her hand to her cheek: his neighbourhood revived a painful sensation.
Anybody else would have been incapable of regarding the childish act with sternness,
but he scowled on her and muttered --'Oh!
you are not afraid of me?
Your courage is well disguised: you seem damnably afraid!'
'I _am_ afraid now,'
if I stay,
papa will be miserable: and how can I endure making him miserable --when he --when he --Mr. Heathcliff,
let _me_ go home!
I promise to marry Linton: papa would like me to: and I love him.
Why should you wish to force me to do what I'll willingly do of myself?'
'Let him dare to force you,'
'There's law in the land,
though we be in an out-of-the-way place.
I'd inform if he were my own son: and it's felony without benefit of clergy!'
said the ruffian.
'To the devil with your clamour!
I don't want _you_ to speak.
I shall enjoy myself remarkably in thinking your father will be miserable: I shall not sleep for satisfaction.
You could have hit on no surer way of fixing your residence under my roof for the next twenty-four hours than informing me that such an event would follow.
As to your promise to marry Linton,
I'll take care you shall keep it;
for you shall not quit this place till it is fulfilled.'
to let papa know I'm safe!'
'Or marry me now.
he'll think we're lost.
What shall we do?'
He'll think you are tired of waiting on him,
and run off for a little amusement,'
'You cannot deny that you entered my house of your own accord,
in contempt of his injunctions to the contrary.
And it is quite natural that you should desire amusement at your age;
and that you would weary of nursing a sick man,
and that man _only_ your father.
his happiest days were over when your days began.
He cursed you,
I dare say,
for coming into the world (I did,
and it would just do if he cursed you as _he_ went out of it.
I'd join him.
I don't love you!
How should I?
As far as I can see,
it will be your chief diversion hereafter;
unless Linton make amends for other losses: and your provident parent appears to fancy he may.
His letters of advice and consolation entertained me vastly.
In his last he recommended my jewel to be careful of his;
and kind to her when he got her.
Careful and kind --that's paternal.
But Linton requires his whole stock of care and kindness for himself.
Linton can play the little tyrant well.
He'll undertake to torture any number of cats,
if their teeth be drawn and their claws pared.
You'll be able to tell his uncle fine tales of his _kindness_,
when you get home again,
I assure you.'
'You're right there!'
'explain your son's character.
Show his resemblance to yourself: and then,
Miss Cathy will think twice before she takes the cockatrice!'
'I don't much mind speaking of his amiable qualities now,'
'because she must either accept him or remain a prisoner,
and you along with her,
till your master dies.
I can detain you both,
If you doubt,
encourage her to retract her word,
and you'll have an opportunity of judging!'
'I'll not retract my word,'
'I'll marry him within this hour,
if I may go to Thrushcross Grange afterwards.
you're a cruel man,
but you're not a fiend;
and you won't,
from _mere_ malice,
destroy irrevocably all my happiness.
If papa thought I had left him on purpose,
and if he died before I returned,
could I bear to live?
I've given over crying: but I'm going to kneel here,
at your knee;
and I'll not get up,
and I'll not take my eyes from your face till you look back at me!
don't turn away!
you'll see nothing to provoke you.
I don't hate you.
I'm not angry that you struck me.
Have you never loved _anybody_ in all your life,
you must look once.
I'm so wretched,
you can't help being sorry and pitying me.'
'Keep your eft's fingers off;
or I'll kick you!'
brutally repulsing her.
'I'd rather be hugged by a snake.
How the devil can you dream of fawning on me?
I _detest_ you!'
He shrugged his shoulders: shook himself,
as if his flesh crept with aversion;
and thrust back his chair;
while I got up,
and opened my mouth,
to commence a downright torrent of abuse.
But I was rendered dumb in the middle of the first sentence,
by a threat that I should be shown into a room by myself the very next syllable I uttered.
It was growing dark --we heard a sound of voices at the garden-gate.
Our host hurried out instantly: _he_ had his wits about him;
_we_ had not.
There was a talk of two or three minutes,
and he returned alone.
'I thought it had been your cousin Hareton,'
I observed to Catherine.
'I wish he would arrive!
Who knows but he might take our part?'
'It was three servants sent to seek you from the Grange,'
'You should have opened a lattice and called out: but I could swear that chit is glad you didn't.
She's glad to be obliged to stay,
At learning the chance we had missed,
we both gave vent to our grief without control;
and he allowed us to wail on till nine o'clock.
Then he bid us go upstairs,
through the kitchen,
to Zillah's chamber;
and I whispered my companion to obey: perhaps we might contrive to get through the window there,
or into a garret,
and out by its skylight.
like those below,
and the garret trap was safe from our attempts;
for we were fastened in as before.
We neither of us lay down: Catherine took her station by the lattice,
and watched anxiously for morning;
a deep sigh being the only answer I could obtain to my frequent entreaties that she would try to rest.
I seated myself in a chair,
and rocked to and fro,
passing harsh judgment on my many derelictions of duty;
it struck me then,
all the misfortunes of my employers sprang.
It was not the case,
I am aware;
but it was,
in my imagination,
that dismal night;
and I thought Heathcliff himself less guilty than I.
At seven o'clock he came,
and inquired if Miss Linton had risen.
She ran to the door immediately,
and pulling her out.
I rose to follow,
but he turned the lock again.
I demanded my release.
'I'll send up your breakfast in a while.'
I thumped on the panels,
and rattled the latch angrily and Catherine asked why I was still shut up?
I must try to endure it another hour,
and they went away.
I endured it two or three hours;
I heard a footstep: not Heathcliff's.
'I've brought you something to eat,'
said a voice;
'oppen t' door!'
I beheld Hareton,
laden with food enough to last me all day.
thrusting the tray into my hand.
'Stay one minute,'
regardless of any prayers I could pour forth to detain him.
And there I remained enclosed the whole day,
and the whole of the next night;
Five nights and four days I remained,
seeing nobody but Hareton once every morning;
and he was a model of a jailor: surly,
and deaf to every attempt at moving his sense of justice or compassion.