Readme.it in English  home page
Readme.it in Italiano  pagina iniziale
readme.it by logo SoftwareHouse.it

Ebook in formato Kindle (mobi) - Kindle File Ebook (mobi)

Formato per Iphone, Ipad e Ebook (epub) - Ipad, Iphone and Ebook reader format (epub)

Versione ebook di Readme.it powered by Softwarehouse.it






Wuthering Heights
By Emily Bronte

CHAPTER I

1801. - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the
solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is
certainly a beautiful country! In all EnglandI do not believe
that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from
the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist's heaven: and Mr.
Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation
between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart
warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so
suspiciously under their browsas I rode upand when his fingers
sheltered themselveswith a jealous resolutionstill further in
his waistcoatas I announced my name.

'Mr. Heathcliff?' I said.

A nod was the answer.

'Mr. Lockwoodyour new tenantsir. I do myself the honour of
calling as soon as possible after my arrivalto express the hope
that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting
the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had
had some thoughts - '

'Thrushcross Grange is my ownsir' he interruptedwincing. 'I
should not allow any one to inconvenience meif I could hinder it

-walk in!'
The 'walk in' was uttered with closed teethand expressed the
sentiment'Go to the Deuce:' even the gate over which he leant
manifested no sympathising movement to the words; and I think that
circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt
interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than
myself.

When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the barrierhe did
put out his hand to unchain itand then sullenly preceded me up
the causewaycallingas we entered the court- 'Josephtake Mr.
Lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine.'

'Here we have the whole establishment of domesticsI suppose' was
the reflection suggested by this compound order. 'No wonder the
grass grows up between the flagsand cattle are the only hedgecutters.'


Joseph was an elderlynayan old man: very oldperhapsthough
hale and sinewy. 'The Lord help us!' he soliloquised in an
undertone of peevish displeasurewhile relieving me of my horse:
lookingmeantimein my face so sourly that I charitably
conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner


and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling.
'Wuthering' being a significant provincial adjectivedescriptive
of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy
weather. Purebracing ventilation they must have up there at all
timesindeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing
over the edgeby the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the
end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching
their limbs one wayas if craving alms of the sun. Happilythe
architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are
deeply set in the walland the corners defended with large jutting
stones.

Before passing the thresholdI paused to admire a quantity of
grotesque carving lavished over the frontand especially about the
principal door; above whichamong a wilderness of crumbling
griffins and shameless little boysI detected the date '1500' and
the name 'Hareton Earnshaw.' I would have made a few commentsand
requested a short history of the place from the surly owner; but
his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entranceor
complete departureand I had no desire to aggravate his impatience
previous to inspecting the penetralium.

One stop brought us into the family sitting-roomwithout any
introductory lobby or passage: they call it here 'the house' preeminently.
It includes kitchen and parlourgenerally; but I
believe at Wuthering Heights the kitchen is forced to retreat
altogether into another quarter: at least I distinguished a
chatter of tonguesand a clatter of culinary utensilsdeep
within; and I observed no signs of roastingboilingor baking
about the huge fireplace; nor any glitter of copper saucepans and
tin cullenders on the walls. One endindeedreflected splendidly
both light and heat from ranks of immense pewter dishes
interspersed with silver jugs and tankardstowering row after row
on a vast oak dresserto the very roof. The latter had never been
under-drawn: its entire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye
except where a frame of wood laden with oatcakes and clusters of
legs of beefmuttonand hamconcealed it. Above the chimney
were sundry villainous old gunsand a couple of horse-pistols:
andby way of ornamentthree gaudily-painted canisters disposed
along its ledge. The floor was of smoothwhite stone; the chairs
high-backedprimitive structurespainted green: one or two heavy
black ones lurking in the shade. In an arch under the dresser
reposed a hugeliver-coloured bitch pointersurrounded by a swarm
of squealing puppies; and other dogs haunted other recesses.

The apartment and furniture would have been nothing extraordinary
as belonging to a homelynorthern farmerwith a stubborn
countenanceand stalwart limbs set out to advantage in kneebreeches
and gaiters. Such an individual seated in his arm-chair
his mug of ale frothing on the round table before himis to be
seen in any circuit of five or six miles among these hillsif you
go at the right time after dinner. But Mr. Heathcliff forms a
singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a darkskinned
gipsy in aspectin dress and manners a gentleman: that
isas much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly
perhapsyet not looking amiss with his negligencebecause he has
an erect and handsome figure; and rather morose. Possiblysome
people might suspect him of a degree of under-bred pride; I have a
sympathetic chord within that tells me it is nothing of the sort:
I knowby instincthis reserve springs from an aversion to showy
displays of feeling - to manifestations of mutual kindliness.
He'll love and hate equally under coverand esteem it a species of


impertinence to be loved or hated again. NoI'm running on too
fast: I bestow my own attributes over-liberally on him. Mr.
Heathcliff may have entirely dissimilar reasons for keeping his
hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintanceto those
which actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost peculiar:
my dear mother used to say I should never have a comfortable home;
and only last summer I proved myself perfectly unworthy of one.

While enjoying a month of fine weather at the sea-coastI was
thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: a real
goddess in my eyesas long as she took no notice of me. I 'never
told my love' vocally; stillif looks have languagethe merest
idiot might have guessed I was over head and ears: she understood
me at lastand looked a return - the sweetest of all imaginable
looks. And what did I do? I confess it with shame - shrunk icily
into myselflike a snail; at every glance retired colder and
farther; till finally the poor innocent was led to doubt her own
sensesandoverwhelmed with confusion at her supposed mistake
persuaded her mamma to decamp. By this curious turn of disposition
I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how
undeservedI alone can appreciate.

I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone opposite that towards
which my landlord advancedand filled up an interval of silence by
attempting to caress the canine motherwho had left her nursery
and was sneaking wolfishly to the back of my legsher lip curled
upand her white teeth watering for a snatch. My caress provoked
a longguttural gnarl.

'You'd better let the dog alone' growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison
checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot. 'She's
not accustomed to be spoiled - not kept for a pet.' Thenstriding
to a side doorhe shouted again'Joseph!'

Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths of the cellarbut gave
no intimation of ascending; so his master dived down to him
leaving me VIS-A-VIS the ruffianly bitch and a pair of grim shaggy
sheep-dogswho shared with her a jealous guardianship over all my
movements. Not anxious to come in contact with their fangsI sat
still; butimagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults
I unfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio
and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madamthat she
suddenly broke into a fury and leapt on my knees. I flung her
backand hastened to interpose the table between us. This
proceeding aroused the whole hive: half-a-dozen four-footed
fiendsof various sizes and agesissued from hidden dens to the
common centre. I felt my heels and coat-laps peculiar subjects of
assault; and parrying off the larger combatants as effectually as I
could with the pokerI was constrained to demandaloud
assistance from some of the household in re-establishing peace.

Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the cellar steps with vexatious
phlegm: I don't think they moved one second faster than usual
though the hearth was an absolute tempest of worrying and yelping.
Happilyan inhabitant of the kitchen made more despatch: a lusty
damewith tucked-up gownbare armsand fire-flushed cheeks
rushed into the midst of us flourishing a frying-pan: and used
that weaponand her tongueto such purposethat the storm
subsided magicallyand she only remainedheaving like a sea after
a high windwhen her master entered on the scene.

'What the devil is the matter?' he askedeyeing me in a manner
that I could ill endureafter this inhospitable treatment.


'What the devilindeed!' I muttered. 'The herd of possessed swine
could have had no worse spirits in them than those animals of
yourssir. You might as well leave a stranger with a brood of
tigers!'

'They won't meddle with persons who touch nothing' he remarked
putting the bottle before meand restoring the displaced table.
'The dogs do right to be vigilant. Take a glass of wine?'

'Nothank you.'

'Not bittenare you?'

'If I had beenI would have set my signet on the biter.'
Heathcliff's countenance relaxed into a grin.

'Comecome' he said'you are flurriedMr. Lockwood. Heretake
a little wine. Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house that I
and my dogsI am willing to ownhardly know how to receive them.
Your healthsir?'

I bowed and returned the pledge; beginning to perceive that it
would be foolish to sit sulking for the misbehaviour of a pack of
curs; besidesI felt loth to yield the fellow further amusement at
my expense; since his humour took that turn. He - probably swayed
by prudential consideration of the folly of offending a good tenant

-relaxed a little in the laconic style of chipping off his
pronouns and auxiliary verbsand introduced what he supposed would
be a subject of interest to me- a discourse on the advantages and
disadvantages of my present place of retirement. I found him very
intelligent on the topics we touched; and before I went homeI was
encouraged so far as to volunteer another visit to-morrow. He
evidently wished no repetition of my intrusion. I shall go
notwithstanding. It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself
compared with him.
CHAPTER II

YESTERDAY afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to
spend it by my study fireinstead of wading through heath and mud
to Wuthering Heights. On coming up from dinnerhowever(N.B. - I
dine between twelve and one o'clock; the housekeepera matronly
ladytaken as a fixture along with the housecould notor would
notcomprehend my request that I might be served at five) - on
mounting the stairs with this lazy intentionand stepping into the
roomI saw a servant-girl on her knees surrounded by brushes and
coal-scuttlesand raising an infernal dust as she extinguished the
flames with heaps of cinders. This spectacle drove me back
immediately; I took my hatandafter a four-miles' walkarrived
at Heathcliff's garden-gate just in time to escape the first
feathery flakes of a snow-shower.

On that bleak hill-top the earth was hard with a black frostand
the air made me shiver through every limb. Being unable to remove
the chainI jumped overandrunning up the flagged causeway
bordered with straggling gooseberry-bushesknocked vainly for
admittancetill my knuckles tingled and the dogs howled.

'Wretched inmates!' I ejaculatedmentally'you deserve perpetual
isolation from your species for your churlish inhospitality. At


leastI would not keep my doors barred in the day-time. I don't
care - I will get in!' So resolvedI grasped the latch and shook
it vehemently. Vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head from a
round window of the barn.

'What are ye for?' he shouted. 'T' maister's down i' t' fowld. Go
round by th' end o' t' laithif ye went to spake to him.'

'Is there nobody inside to open the door?' I hallooed
responsively.

'There's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll not oppen 't an ye mak' yer
flaysome dins till neeght.'

'Why? Cannot you tell her whom I amehJoseph?'

'Nor-ne me! I'll hae no hend wi't' muttered the headvanishing.

The snow began to drive thickly. I seized the handle to essay
another trial; when a young man without coatand shouldering a
pitchforkappeared in the yard behind. He hailed me to follow
himandafter marching through a wash-houseand a paved area
containing a coal-shedpumpand pigeon-cotwe at length arrived
in the hugewarmcheerful apartment where I was formerly
received. It glowed delightfully in the radiance of an immense
firecompounded of coalpeatand wood; and near the tablelaid
for a plentiful evening mealI was pleased to observe the
'missis' an individual whose existence I had never previously
suspected. I bowed and waitedthinking she would bid me take a
seat. She looked at meleaning back in her chairand remained
motionless and mute.

'Rough weather!' I remarked. 'I'm afraidMrs. Heathcliffthe
door must bear the consequence of your servants' leisure
attendance: I had hard work to make them hear me.'

She never opened her mouth. I stared - she stared also: at any
rateshe kept her eyes on me in a coolregardless manner
exceedingly embarrassing and disagreeable.

'Sit down' said the young mangruffly. 'He'll be in soon.'

I obeyed; and hemmedand called the villain Junowho deignedat
this second interviewto move the extreme tip of her tailin
token of owning my acquaintance.

'A beautiful animal!' I commenced again. 'Do you intend parting
with the little onesmadam?'

'They are not mine' said the amiable hostessmore repellingly
than Heathcliff himself could have replied.

'Ahyour favourites are among these?' I continuedturning to an
obscure cushion full of something like cats.

'A strange choice of favourites!' she observed scornfully.

Unluckilyit was a heap of dead rabbits. I hemmed once moreand
drew closer to the hearthrepeating my comment on the wildness of
the evening.

'You should not have come out' she saidrising and reaching from
the chimney-piece two of the painted canisters.


Her position before was sheltered from the light; nowI had a
distinct view of her whole figure and countenance. She was
slenderand apparently scarcely past girlhood: an admirable form
and the most exquisite little face that I have ever had the
pleasure of beholding; small featuresvery fair; flaxen ringlets
or rather goldenhanging loose on her delicate neck; and eyeshad
they been agreeable in expressionthat would have been
irresistible: fortunately for my susceptible heartthe only
sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn and a kind of
desperationsingularly unnatural to be detected there. The
canisters were almost out of her reach; I made a motion to aid her;
she turned upon me as a miser might turn if any one attempted to
assist him in counting his gold.

'I don't want your help' she snapped; 'I can get them for myself.'

'I beg your pardon!' I hastened to reply.

'Were you asked to tea?' she demandedtying an apron over her neat
black frockand standing with a spoonful of the leaf poised over
the pot.

'I shall be glad to have a cup' I answered.

'Were you asked?' she repeated.

'No' I saidhalf smiling. 'You are the proper person to ask me.'

She flung the tea backspoon and alland resumed her chair in a
pet; her forehead corrugatedand her red under-lip pushed out
like a child's ready to cry.

Meanwhilethe young man had slung on to his person a decidedly
shabby upper garmentanderecting himself before the blaze
looked down on me from the corner of his eyesfor all the world as
if there were some mortal feud unavenged between us. I began to
doubt whether he were a servant or not: his dress and speech were
both rudeentirely devoid of the superiority observable in Mr. and
Mrs. Heathcliff; his thick brown curls were rough and uncultivated
his whiskers encroached bearishly over his cheeksand his hands
were embrowned like those of a common labourer: still his bearing
was freealmost haughtyand he showed none of a domestic's
assiduity in attending on the lady of the house. In the absence of
clear proofs of his conditionI deemed it best to abstain from
noticing his curious conduct; andfive minutes afterwardsthe
entrance of Heathcliff relieved mein some measurefrom my
uncomfortable state.

'You seesirI am comeaccording to promise!' I exclaimed
assuming the cheerful; 'and I fear I shall be weather-bound for
half an hourif you can afford me shelter during that space.'

'Half an hour?' he saidshaking the white flakes from his clothes;
'I wonder you should select the thick of a snow-storm to ramble
about in. Do you know that you run a risk of being lost in the
marshes? People familiar with these moors often miss their road on
such evenings; and I can tell you there is no chance of a change at
present.'

'Perhaps I can get a guide among your ladsand he might stay at
the Grange till morning - could you spare me one?'

'NoI could not.'


'Ohindeed! WellthenI must trust to my own sagacity.'

'Umph!'

'Are you going to mak' the tea?' demanded he of the shabby coat
shifting his ferocious gaze from me to the young lady.

'Is HE to have any?' she askedappealing to Heathcliff.

'Get it readywill you?' was the answeruttered so savagely that
I started. The tone in which the words were said revealed a
genuine bad nature. I no longer felt inclined to call Heathcliff a
capital fellow. When the preparations were finishedhe invited me
with - 'Nowsirbring forward your chair.' And we allincluding
the rustic youthdrew round the table: an austere silence
prevailing while we discussed our meal.

I thoughtif I had caused the cloudit was my duty to make an
effort to dispel it. They could not every day sit so grim and
taciturn; and it was impossiblehowever ill-tempered they might
bethat the universal scowl they wore was their every-day
countenance.

'It is strange' I beganin the interval of swallowing one cup of
tea and receiving another - 'it is strange how custom can mould our
tastes and ideas: many could not imagine the existence of
happiness in a life of such complete exile from the world as you
spendMr. Heathcliff; yetI'll venture to saythatsurrounded
by your familyand with your amiable lady as the presiding genius
over your home and heart - '

'My amiable lady!' he interruptedwith an almost diabolical sneer
on his face. 'Where is she - my amiable lady?'

'Mrs. Heathcliffyour wifeI mean.'

'Wellyes - ohyou would intimate that her spirit has taken the
post of ministering angeland guards the fortunes of Wuthering
Heightseven when her body is gone. Is that it?'

Perceiving myself in a blunderI attempted to correct it. I might
have seen there was too great a disparity between the ages of the
parties to make it likely that they were man and wife. One was
about forty: a period of mental vigour at which men seldom cherish
the delusion of being married for love by girls: that dream is
reserved for the solace of our declining years. The other did not
look seventeen.

Then it flashed on me - 'The clown at my elbowwho is drinking his
tea out of a basin and eating his broad with unwashed handsmay be
her husband: Heathcliff juniorof course. Here is the
consequence of being buried alive: she has thrown herself away
upon that boor from sheer ignorance that better individuals
existed! A sad pity - I must beware how I cause her to regret her
choice.' The last reflection may seem conceited; it was not. My
neighbour struck me as bordering on repulsive; I knewthrough
experiencethat I was tolerably attractive.

'Mrs. Heathcliff is my daughter-in-law' said Heathcliff
corroborating my surmise. He turnedas he spokea peculiar look
in her direction: a look of hatred; unless he has a most perverse
set of facial muscles that will notlike those of other people
interpret the language of his soul.


'Ahcertainly - I see now: you are the favoured possessor of the
beneficent fairy' I remarkedturning to my neighbour.

This was worse than before: the youth grew crimsonand clenched
his fistwith every appearance of a meditated assault. But he
seemed to recollect himself presentlyand smothered the storm in a
brutal cursemuttered on my behalf: whichhoweverI took care
not to notice.

'Unhappy in your conjecturessir' observed my host; 'we neither
of us have the privilege of owning your good fairy; her mate is
dead. I said she was my daughter-in-law: thereforeshe must have
married my son.'

'And this young man is - '

'Not my sonassuredly.'

Heathcliff smiled againas if it were rather too bold a jest to
attribute the paternity of that bear to him.

'My name is Hareton Earnshaw' growled the other; 'and I'd counsel
you to respect it!'

'I've shown no disrespect' was my replylaughing internally at
the dignity with which he announced himself.

He fixed his eye on me longer than I cared to return the starefor
fear I might be tempted either to box his ears or render my
hilarity audible. I began to feel unmistakably out of place in
that pleasant family circle. The dismal spiritual atmosphere
overcameand more than neutralisedthe glowing physical comforts
round me; and I resolved to be cautious how I ventured under those
rafters a third time.

The business of eating being concludedand no one uttering a word
of sociable conversationI approached a window to examine the
weather. A sorrowful sight I saw: dark night coming down
prematurelyand sky and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind
and suffocating snow.

'I don't think it possible for me to get home now without a guide'
I could not help exclaiming. 'The roads will be buried already;
andif they were bareI could scarcely distinguish a foot in
advance.'

'Haretondrive those dozen sheep into the barn porch. They'll be
covered if left in the fold all night: and put a plank before
them' said Heathcliff.

'How must I do?' I continuedwith rising irritation.

There was no reply to my question; and on looking round I saw only
Joseph bringing in a pail of porridge for the dogsand Mrs.
Heathcliff leaning over the firediverting herself with burning a
bundle of matches which had fallen from the chimney-piece as she
restored the tea-canister to its place. The formerwhen he had
deposited his burdentook a critical survey of the roomand in
cracked tones grated out - 'Aw wonder how yah can faishion to stand
thear i' idleness un warwhen all on 'ems goan out! Bud yah're a
nowtand it's no use talking - yah'll niver mend o'yer ill ways
but goa raight to t' divillike yer mother afore ye!'

I imaginedfor a momentthat this piece of eloquence was


addressed to me; andsufficiently enragedstepped towards the
aged rascal with an intention of kicking him out of the door. Mrs.
Heathcliffhoweverchecked me by her answer.

'You scandalous old hypocrite!' she replied. 'Are you not afraid
of being carried away bodilywhenever you mention the devil's
name? I warn you to refrain from provoking meor I'll ask your
abduction as a special favour! Stop! look hereJoseph' she
continuedtaking a longdark book from a shelf; 'I'll show you
how far I've progressed in the Black Art: I shall soon be
competent to make a clear house of it. The red cow didn't die by
chance; and your rheumatism can hardly be reckoned among
providential visitations!'

'Ohwickedwicked!' gasped the elder; 'may the Lord deliver us
from evil!'

'Noreprobate! you are a castaway - be offor I'll hurt you
seriously! I'll have you all modelled in wax and clay! and the
first who passes the limits I fix shall - I'll not say what he
shall be done to - butyou'll see! GoI'm looking at you!'

The little witch put a mock malignity into her beautiful eyesand
Josephtrembling with sincere horrorhurried outprayingand
ejaculating 'wicked' as he went. I thought her conduct must be
prompted by a species of dreary fun; andnow that we were aloneI
endeavoured to interest her in my distress.

'Mrs. Heathcliff' I said earnestly'you must excuse me for
troubling you. I presumebecausewith that faceI'm sure you
cannot help being good-hearted. Do point out some landmarks by
which I may know my way home: I have no more idea how to get there
than you would have how to get to London!'

'Take the road you came' she answeredensconcing herself in a
chairwith a candleand the long book open before her. 'It is
brief advicebut as sound as I can give.'

'Thenif you hear of me being discovered dead in a bog or a pit
full of snowyour conscience won't whisper that it is partly your
fault?'

'How so? I cannot escort you. They wouldn't let me go to the end
of the garden wall.'

'YOU! I should be sorry to ask you to cross the thresholdfor my
convenienceon such a night' I cried. 'I want you to tell me my
waynot to SHOW it: or else to persuade Mr. Heathcliff to give me
a guide.'

'Who? There is himselfEarnshawZillahJoseph and I. Which
would you have?'

'Are there no boys at the farm?'

'No; those are all.'

'Thenit follows that I am compelled to stay.'

'That you may settle with your host. I have nothing to do with
it.'

'I hope it will be a lesson to you to make no more rash journeys on
these hills' cried Heathcliff's stern voice from the kitchen


entrance. 'As to staying hereI don't keep accommodations for
visitors: you must share a bed with Hareton or Josephif you do.'

'I can sleep on a chair in this room' I replied.

'Nono! A stranger is a strangerbe he rich or poor: it will
not suit me to permit any one the range of the place while I am off
guard!' said the unmannerly wretch.

With this insult my patience was at an end. I uttered an
expression of disgustand pushed past him into the yardrunning
against Earnshaw in my haste. It was so dark that I could not see
the means of exit; andas I wandered roundI heard another
specimen of their civil behaviour amongst each other. At first the
young man appeared about to befriend me.

'I'll go with him as far as the park' he said.

'You'll go with him to hell!' exclaimed his masteror whatever
relation he bore. 'And who is to look after the horseseh?'

'A man's life is of more consequence than one evening's neglect of
the horses: somebody must go' murmured Mrs. Heathcliffmore
kindly than I expected.

'Not at your command!' retorted Hareton. 'If you set store on him
you'd better be quiet.'

'Then I hope his ghost will haunt you; and I hope Mr. Heathcliff
will never get another tenant till the Grange is a ruin' she
answeredsharply.

'Hearkenhearkenshoo's cursing on 'em!' muttered Josephtowards
whom I had been steering.

He sat within earshotmilking the cows by the light of a lantern
which I seized unceremoniouslyandcalling out that I would send
it back on the morrowrushed to the nearest postern.

'Maistermaisterhe's staling t' lanthern!' shouted the ancient
pursuing my retreat. 'HeyGnasher! Heydog! Hey Wolfholld
himholld him!'

On opening the little doortwo hairy monsters flew at my throat
bearing me downand extinguishing the light; while a mingled
guffaw from Heathcliff and Hareton put the copestone on my rage and
humiliation. Fortunatelythe beasts seemed more bent on
stretching their pawsand yawningand flourishing their tails
than devouring me alive; but they would suffer no resurrectionand
I was forced to lie till their malignant masters pleased to deliver
me: thenhatless and trembling with wrathI ordered the
miscreants to let me out - on their peril to keep me one minute
longer - with several incoherent threats of retaliation thatin
their indefinite depth of virulencysmacked of King Lear.

The vehemence of my agitation brought on a copious bleeding at the
noseand still Heathcliff laughedand still I scolded. I don't
know what would have concluded the scenehad there not been one
person at hand rather more rational than myselfand more
benevolent than my entertainer. This was Zillahthe stout
housewife; who at length issued forth to inquire into the nature of
the uproar. She thought that some of them had been laying violent
hands on me; andnot daring to attack her mastershe turned her
vocal artillery against the younger scoundrel.


'WellMr. Earnshaw' she cried'I wonder what you'll have agait
next? Are we going to murder folk on our very door-stones? I see
this house will never do for me - look at t' poor ladhe's fair
choking! Wishtwisht; you mun'n't go on so. Come inand I'll
cure that: there nowhold ye still.'

With these words she suddenly splashed a pint of icy water down my
neckand pulled me into the kitchen. Mr. Heathcliff followedhis
accidental merriment expiring quickly in his habitual moroseness.

I was sick exceedinglyand dizzyand faint; and thus compelled
perforce to accept lodgings under his roof. He told Zillah to give
me a glass of brandyand then passed on to the inner room; while
she condoled with me on my sorry predicamentand having obeyed his
orderswhereby I was somewhat revivedushered me to bed.

CHAPTER III

WHILE leading the way upstairsshe recommended that I should hide
the candleand not make a noise; for her master had an odd notion
about the chamber she would put me inand never let anybody lodge
there willingly. I asked the reason. She did not knowshe
answered: she had only lived there a year or two; and they had so
many queer goings onshe could not begin to be curious.

Too stupefied to be curious myselfI fastened my door and glanced
round for the bed. The whole furniture consisted of a chaira
clothes-pressand a large oak casewith squares cut out near the
top resembling coach windows. Having approached this structureI
looked insideand perceived it to be a singular sort of oldfashioned
couchvery conveniently designed to obviate the
necessity for every member of the family having a room to himself.
In factit formed a little closetand the ledge of a window
which it enclosedserved as a table. I slid back the panelled
sidesgot in with my lightpulled them together againand felt
secure against the vigilance of Heathcliffand every one else.

The ledgewhere I placed my candlehad a few mildewed books piled
up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratched on the
paint. This writinghoweverwas nothing but a name repeated in
all kinds of characterslarge and small - CATHERINE EARNSHAWhere
and there varied to CATHERINE HEATHCLIFFand then again to
CATHERINE LINTON.

In vapid listlessness I leant my head against the windowand
continued spelling over Catherine Earnshaw - Heathcliff - Linton
till my eyes closed; but they had not rested five minutes when a
glare of white letters started from the darkas vivid as spectres

-the air swarmed with Catherines; and rousing myself to dispel the
obtrusive nameI discovered my candle-wick reclining on one of the
antique volumesand perfuming the place with an odour of roasted
calf-skin. I snuffed it offandvery ill at ease under the
influence of cold and lingering nauseasat up and spread open the
injured tome on my knee. It was a Testamentin lean typeand
smelling dreadfully musty: a fly-leaf bore the inscription '
Catherine Earnshawher book' and a date some quarter of a
century back. I shut itand took up another and anothertill I
had examined all. Catherine's library was selectand its state of
dilapidation proved it to have been well usedthough not

altogether for a legitimate purpose: scarcely one chapter had
escapeda pen-and-ink commentary - at least the appearance of one

-covering every morsel of blank that the printer had left. Some
were detached sentences; other parts took the form of a regular
diaryscrawled in an unformedchildish hand. At the top of an
extra page (quite a treasureprobablywhen first lighted on) I
was greatly amused to behold an excellent caricature of my friend
Joseph- rudelyyet powerfully sketched. An immediate interest
kindled within me for the unknown Catherineand I began forthwith
to decipher her faded hieroglyphics.
'An awful Sunday' commenced the paragraph beneath. 'I wish my
father were back again. Hindley is a detestable substitute - his
conduct to Heathcliff is atrocious - H. and I are going to rebel we
took our initiatory step this evening.

'All day had been flooding with rain; we could not go to churchso
Joseph must needs get up a congregation in the garret; andwhile
Hindley and his wife basked downstairs before a comfortable fire doing
anything but reading their BiblesI'll answer for it -
Heathcliffmyselfand the unhappy ploughboy were commanded to
take our prayer-booksand mount: we were ranged in a rowon a
sack of corngroaning and shiveringand hoping that Joseph would
shiver tooso that he might give us a short homily for his own
sake. A vain idea! The service lasted precisely three hours; and
yet my brother had the face to exclaimwhen he saw us descending
What, done already?On Sunday evenings we used to be permitted
to playif we did not make much noise; now a mere titter is
sufficient to send us into corners.

'"You forget you have a master here says the tyrant. I'll
demolish the first who puts me out of temper! I insist on perfect
sobriety and silence. Ohboy! was that you? Frances darling
pull his hair as you go by: I heard him snap his fingers."
Frances pulled his hair heartilyand then went and seated herself
on her husband's kneeand there they werelike two babies
kissing and talking nonsense by the hour - foolish palaver that we
should be ashamed of. We made ourselves as snug as our means
allowed in the arch of the dresser. I had just fastened our
pinafores togetherand hung them up for a curtainwhen in comes
Josephon an errand from the stables. He tears down my handiwork
boxes my earsand croaks:

'"T' maister nobbut just buriedand Sabbath not o'eredund t'
sound o' t' gospel still i' yer lugsand ye darr be laiking!
Shame on ye! sit ye downill childer! there's good books eneugh if
ye'll read 'em: sit ye downand think o' yer sowls!"

'Saying thishe compelled us so to square our positions that we
might receive from the far-off fire a dull ray to show us the text
of the lumber he thrust upon us. I could not bear the employment.
I took my dingy volume by the scroopand hurled it into the dogkennel
vowing I hated a good book. Heathcliff kicked his to the
same place. Then there was a hubbub!

'"Maister Hindley!" shouted our chaplain. " Maistercoom hither!
Miss Cathy's riven th' back off 'Th' Helmet o' Salvation' un'
Heathcliff's pawsed his fit into t' first part o' 'T' Brooad Way to
Destruction!' It's fair flaysome that ye let 'em go on this gait.
Ech! th' owd man wad ha' laced 'em properly - but he's goan!"

'Hindley hurried up from his paradise on the hearthand seizing
one of us by the collarand the other by the armhurled both into
the back-kitchen; whereJoseph asseveratedowd Nick would fetch


us as sure as we were living: and, so comforted, we each sought a
separate nook to await his advent. I reached this book, and a pot
of ink from a shelf, and pushed the house-door ajar to give me
light, and I have got the time on with writing for twenty minutes;
but my companion is impatient, and proposes that we should
appropriate the dairywoman's cloak, and have a scamper on the
moors, under its shelter. A pleasant suggestion - and then, if the
surly old man come in, he may believe his prophecy verified - we
cannot be damper, or colder, in the rain than we are here.'

* * * * * *

I suppose Catherine fulfilled her project, for the next sentence
took up another subject: she waxed lachrymose.

'How little did I dream that Hindley would ever make me cry so!'
she wrote. 'My head aches, till I cannot keep it on the pillow;
and still I can't give over. Poor Heathcliff! Hindley calls him a
vagabond, and won't let him sit with us, nor eat with us any more;
and, he says, he and I must not play together, and threatens to
turn him out of the house if we break his orders. He has been
blaming our father (how dared he?) for treating H. too liberally;
and swears he will reduce him to his right place - '

* * * * * *

I began to nod drowsily over the dim page: my eye wandered from
manuscript to print. I saw a red ornamented title - 'Seventy Times
Seven, and the First of the Seventy-First.' A Pious Discourse
delivered by the Reverend Jabez Branderham, in the Chapel of
Gimmerden Sough.' And while I was, half-consciously, worrying my
brain to guess what Jabez Branderham would make of his subject, I
sank back in bed, and fell asleep. Alas, for the effects of bad
tea and bad temper! What else could it be that made me pass such a
terrible night? I don't remember another that I can at all compare
with it since I was capable of suffering.

I began to dream, almost before I ceased to be sensible of my
locality. I thought it was morning; and I had set out on my way
home, with Joseph for a guide. The snow lay yards deep in our
road; and, as we floundered on, my companion wearied me with
constant reproaches that I had not brought a pilgrim's staff:
telling me that I could never get into the house without one, and
boastfully flourishing a heavy-headed cudgel, which I understood to
be so denominated. For a moment I considered it absurd that I
should need such a weapon to gain admittance into my own residence.
Then a new idea flashed across me. I was not going there: we were
journeying to hear the famous Jabez Branderham preach, from the
text - 'Seventy Times Seven;' and either Joseph, the preacher, or I
had committed the 'First of the Seventy-First,' and were to be
publicly exposed and excommunicated.

We came to the chapel. I have passed it really in my walks, twice
or thrice; it lies in a hollow, between two hills: an elevated
hollow, near a swamp, whose peaty moisture is said to answer all
the purposes of embalming on the few corpses deposited there. The
roof has been kept whole hitherto; but as the clergyman's stipend
is only twenty pounds per annum, and a house with two rooms,
threatening speedily to determine into one, no clergyman will
undertake the duties of pastor: especially as it is currently
reported that his flock would rather let him starve than increase
the living by one penny from their own pockets. However, in my
dream, Jabez had a full and attentive congregation; and he preached

-good God! what a sermon; divided into FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY

parts, each fully equal to an ordinary address from the pulpit, and
each discussing a separate sin! Where he searched for them, I
cannot tell. He had his private manner of interpreting the phrase,
and it seemed necessary the brother should sin different sins on
every occasion. They were of the most curious character: odd
transgressions that I never imagined previously.

Oh, how weary I grow. How I writhed, and yawned, and nodded, and
revived! How I pinched and pricked myself, and rubbed my eyes, and
stood up, and sat down again, and nudged Joseph to inform me if he
would EVER have done. I was condemned to hear all out: finally,
he reached the 'FIRST OF THE SEVENTY-FIRST.' At that crisis, a
sudden inspiration descended on me; I was moved to rise and
denounce Jabez Branderham as the sinner of the sin that no
Christian need pardon.

'Sir,' I exclaimed, 'sitting here within these four walls, at one
stretch, I have endured and forgiven the four hundred and ninety
heads of your discourse. Seventy times seven times have I plucked
up my hat and been about to depart - Seventy times seven times have
you preposterously forced me to resume my seat. The four hundred
and ninety-first is too much. Fellow-martyrs, have at him! Drag
him down, and crush him to atoms, that the place which knows him
may know him no more!'

'THOU ART THE MAN!' cried Jabez, after a solemn pause, leaning over
his cushion. 'Seventy times seven times didst thou gapingly
contort thy visage - seventy times seven did I take counsel with my
soul - Lo, this is human weakness: this also may be absolved! The
First of the Seventy-First is come. Brethren, execute upon him the
judgment written. Such honour have all His saints!'

With that concluding word, the whole assembly, exalting their
pilgrim's staves, rushed round me in a body; and I, having no
weapon to raise in self-defence, commenced grappling with Joseph,
my nearest and most ferocious assailant, for his. In the
confluence of the multitude, several clubs crossed; blows, aimed at
me, fell on other sconces. Presently the whole chapel resounded
with rappings and counter rappings: every man's hand was against
his neighbour; and Branderham, unwilling to remain idle, poured
forth his zeal in a shower of loud taps on the boards of the
pulpit, which responded so smartly that, at last, to my unspeakable
relief, they woke me. And what was it that had suggested the
tremendous tumult? What had played Jabez's part in the row?
Merely the branch of a fir-tree that touched my lattice as the
blast wailed by, and rattled its dry cones against the panes! I
listened doubtingly an instant; detected the disturber, then turned
and dozed, and dreamt again: if possible, still more disagreeably
than before.

This time, I remembered I was lying in the oak closet, and I heard
distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard,
also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to
the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that I resolved to
silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I rose and endeavoured to
unhasp the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple: a
circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten. 'I must
stop it, nevertheless!' I muttered, knocking my knuckles through
the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate
branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a
little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over
me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a
most melancholy voice sobbed, 'Let me in - let me in!' 'Who are
you?' I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself.


'Catherine Linton,' it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of
LINTON? I had read EARNSHAW twenty times for Linton) - 'I'm come
home: I'd lost my way on the moor!' As it spoke, I discerned,
obscurely, a child's face looking through the window. Terror made
me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature
off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and
fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it
wailed, 'Let me in!' and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost
maddening me with fear. 'How can I!' I said at length. 'Let ME
go, if you want me to let you in!' The fingers relaxed, I snatched
mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid
against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer.
I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the
instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on!
'Begone!' I shouted. 'I'll never let you in, not if you beg for
twenty years.' 'It is twenty years,' mourned the voice: 'twenty
years. I've been a waif for twenty years!' Thereat began a feeble
scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as if thrust
forward. I tried to jump up; but could not stir a limb; and so
yelled aloud, in a frenzy of fright. To my confusion, I discovered
the yell was not ideal: hasty footsteps approached my chamber
door; somebody pushed it open, with a vigorous hand, and a light
glimmered through the squares at the top of the bed. I sat
shuddering yet, and wiping the perspiration from my forehead: the
intruder appeared to hesitate, and muttered to himself. At last,
he said, in a half-whisper, plainly not expecting an answer, 'Is
any one here?' I considered it best to confess my presence; for I
knew Heathcliff's accents, and feared he might search further, if I
kept quiet. With this intention, I turned and opened the panels.
I shall not soon forget the effect my action produced.

Heathcliff stood near the entrance, in his shirt and trousers; with
a candle dripping over his fingers, and his face as white as the
wall behind him. The first creak of the oak startled him like an
electric shock: the light leaped from his hold to a distance of
some feet, and his agitation was so extreme, that he could hardly
pick it up.

'It is only your guest, sir,' I called out, desirous to spare him
the humiliation of exposing his cowardice further. 'I had the
misfortune to scream in my sleep, owing to a frightful nightmare.
I'm sorry I disturbed you.'

'Oh, God confound you, Mr. Lockwood! I wish you were at the - '
commenced my host, setting the candle on a chair, because he found
it impossible to hold it steady. 'And who showed you up into this
room?' he continued, crushing his nails into his palms, and
grinding his teeth to subdue the maxillary convulsions. 'Who was
it? I've a good mind to turn them out of the house this moment?'

'It was your servant Zillah,' I replied, flinging myself on to the
floor, and rapidly resuming my garments. 'I should not care if you
did, Mr. Heathcliff; she richly deserves it. I suppose that she
wanted to get another proof that the place was haunted, at my
expense. Well, it is - swarming with ghosts and goblins! You have
reason in shutting it up, I assure you. No one will thank you for
a doze in such a den!'

'What do you mean?' asked Heathcliff, 'and what are you doing? Lie
down and finish out the night, since you ARE here; but, for
heaven's sake! don't repeat that horrid noise: nothing could
excuse it, unless you were having your throat cut!'

'If the little fiend had got in at the window, she probably would


have strangled me!' I returned. 'I'm not going to endure the
persecutions of your hospitable ancestors again. Was not the
Reverend Jabez Branderham akin to you on the mother's side? And
that minx, Catherine Linton, or Earnshaw, or however she was called

-she must have been a changeling - wicked little soul! She told
me she had been walking the earth these twenty years: a just
punishment for her mortal transgressions, I've no doubt!'
Scarcely were these words uttered when I recollected the
association of Heathcliff's with Catherine's name in the book,
which had completely slipped from my memory, till thus awakened. I
blushed at my inconsideration: but, without showing further
consciousness of the offence, I hastened to add - 'The truth is,
sir, I passed the first part of the night in - ' Here I stopped
afresh - I was about to say 'perusing those old volumes,' then it
would have revealed my knowledge of their written, as well as their
printed, contents; so, correcting myself, I went on - 'in spelling
over the name scratched on that window-ledge. A monotonous
occupation, calculated to set me asleep, like counting, or - '

'What CAN you mean by talking in this way to ME!' thundered
Heathcliff with savage vehemence. 'How - how DARE you, under my
roof? - God! he's mad to speak so!' And he struck his forehead
with rage.

I did not know whether to resent this language or pursue my
explanation; but he seemed so powerfully affected that I took pity
and proceeded with my dreams; affirming I had never heard the
appellation of 'Catherine Linton' before, but reading it often over
produced an impression which personified itself when I had no
longer my imagination under control. Heathcliff gradually fell
back into the shelter of the bed, as I spoke; finally sitting down
almost concealed behind it. I guessed, however, by his irregular
and intercepted breathing, that he struggled to vanquish an excess
of violent emotion. Not liking to show him that I had heard the
conflict, I continued my toilette rather noisily, looked at my
watch, and soliloquised on the length of the night: 'Not three
o'clock yet! I could have taken oath it had been six. Time
stagnates here: we must surely have retired to rest at eight!'

'Always at nine in winter, and rise at four,' said my host,
suppressing a groan: and, as I fancied, by the motion of his arm's
shadow, dashing a tear from his eyes. 'Mr. Lockwood,' he added,
'you may go into my room: you'll only be in the way, coming downstairs
so early: and your childish outcry has sent sleep to the
devil for me.'

'And for me, too,' I replied. 'I'll walk in the yard till
daylight, and then I'll be off; and you need not dread a repetition
of my intrusion. I'm now quite cured of seeking pleasure in
society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find
sufficient company in himself.'

'Delightful company!' muttered Heathcliff. 'Take the candle, and
go where you please. I shall join you directly. Keep out of the
yard, though, the dogs are unchained; and the house - Juno mounts
sentinel there, and - nay, you can only ramble about the steps and
passages. But, away with you! I'll come in two minutes!'

I obeyed, so far as to quit the chamber; when, ignorant where the
narrow lobbies led, I stood still, and was witness, involuntarily,
to a piece of superstition on the part of my landlord which belied,
oddly, his apparent sense. He got on to the bed, and wrenched open
the lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrollable


passion of tears. 'Come in! come in!' he sobbed. 'Cathy, do come.
Oh, do - ONCE more! Oh! my heart's darling! hear me THIS time,
Catherine, at last!' The spectre showed a spectre's ordinary
caprice: it gave no sign of being; but the snow and wind whirled
wildly through, even reaching my station, and blowing out the
light.

There was such anguish in the gush of grief that accompanied this
raving, that my compassion made me overlook its folly, and I drew
off, half angry to have listened at all, and vexed at having
related my ridiculous nightmare, since it produced that agony;
though WHY was beyond my comprehension. I descended cautiously to
the lower regions, and landed in the back-kitchen, where a gleam of
fire, raked compactly together, enabled me to rekindle my candle.
Nothing was stirring except a brindled, grey cat, which crept from
the ashes, and saluted me with a querulous mew.

Two benches, shaped in sections of a circle, nearly enclosed the
hearth; on one of these I stretched myself, and Grimalkin mounted
the other. We were both of us nodding ere any one invaded our
retreat, and then it was Joseph, shuffling down a wooden ladder
that vanished in the roof, through a trap: the ascent to his
garret, I suppose. He cast a sinister look at the little flame
which I had enticed to play between the ribs, swept the cat from
its elevation, and bestowing himself in the vacancy, commenced the
operation of stuffing a three-inch pipe with tobacco. My presence
in his sanctum was evidently esteemed a piece of impudence too
shameful for remark: he silently applied the tube to his lips,
folded his arms, and puffed away. I let him enjoy the luxury
unannoyed; and after sucking out his last wreath, and heaving a
profound sigh, he got up, and departed as solemnly as he came.

A more elastic footstep entered next; and now I opened my mouth for
a 'good-morning,' but closed it again, the salutation unachieved;
for Hareton Earnshaw was performing his orison SOTTO VOCE, in a
series of curses directed against every object he touched, while he
rummaged a corner for a spade or shovel to dig through the drifts.
He glanced over the back of the bench, dilating his nostrils, and
thought as little of exchanging civilities with me as with my
companion the cat. I guessed, by his preparations, that egress was
allowed, and, leaving my hard couch, made a movement to follow him.
He noticed this, and thrust at an inner door with the end of his
spade, intimating by an inarticulate sound that there was the place
where I must go, if I changed my locality.

It opened into the house, where the females were already astir;
Zillah urging flakes of flame up the chimney with a colossal
bellows; and Mrs. Heathcliff, kneeling on the hearth, reading a
book by the aid of the blaze. She held her hand interposed between
the furnace-heat and her eyes, and seemed absorbed in her
occupation; desisting from it only to chide the servant for
covering her with sparks, or to push away a dog, now and then, that
snoozled its nose overforwardly into her face. I was surprised to
see Heathcliff there also. He stood by the fire, his back towards
me, just finishing a stormy scene with poor Zillah; who ever and
anon interrupted her labour to pluck up the corner of her apron,
and heave an indignant groan.

'And you, you worthless - ' he broke out as I entered, turning to
his daughter-in-law, and employing an epithet as harmless as duck,
or sheep, but generally represented by a dash - . 'There you are,
at your idle tricks again! The rest of them do earn their bread you
live on my charity! Put your trash away, and find something to
do. You shall pay me for the plague of having you eternally in my


sight - do you hear, damnable jade?'

'I'll put my trash away, because you can make me if I refuse,'
answered the young lady, closing her book, and throwing it on a
chair. 'But I'll not do anything, though you should swear your
tongue out, except what I please!'

Heathcliff lifted his hand, and the speaker sprang to a safer
distance, obviously acquainted with its weight. Having no desire
to be entertained by a cat-and-dog combat, I stepped forward
briskly, as if eager to partake the warmth of the hearth, and
innocent of any knowledge of the interrupted dispute. Each had
enough decorum to suspend further hostilities: Heathcliff placed
his fists, out of temptation, in his pockets; Mrs. Heathcliff
curled her lip, and walked to a seat far off, where she kept her
word by playing the part of a statue during the remainder of my
stay. That was not long. I declined joining their breakfast, and,
at the first gleam of dawn, took an opportunity of escaping into
the free air, now clear, and still, and cold as impalpable ice.

My landlord halloed for me to stop ere I reached the bottom of the
garden, and offered to accompany me across the moor. It was well
he did, for the whole hill-back was one billowy, white ocean; the
swells and falls not indicating corresponding rises and depressions
in the ground: many pits, at least, were filled to a level; and
entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of the quarries, blotted from
the chart which my yesterday's walk left pictured in my mind. I
had remarked on one side of the road, at intervals of six or seven
yards, a line of upright stones, continued through the whole length
of the barren: these were erected and daubed with lime on purpose
to serve as guides in the dark, and also when a fall, like the
present, confounded the deep swamps on either hand with the firmer
path: but, excepting a dirty dot pointing up here and there, all
traces of their existence had vanished: and my companion found it
necessary to warn me frequently to steer to the right or left, when
I imagined I was following, correctly, the windings of the road.

We exchanged little conversation, and he halted at the entrance of
Thrushcross Park, saying, I could make no error there. Our adieux
were limited to a hasty bow, and then I pushed forward, trusting to
my own resources; for the porter's lodge is untenanted as yet. The
distance from the gate to the grange is two miles; I believe I
managed to make it four, what with losing myself among the trees,
and sinking up to the neck in snow: a predicament which only those
who have experienced it can appreciate. At any rate, whatever were
my wanderings, the clock chimed twelve as I entered the house; and
that gave exactly an hour for every mile of the usual way from
Wuthering Heights.

My human fixture and her satellites rushed to welcome me;
exclaiming, tumultuously, they had completely given me up:
everybody conjectured that I perished last night; and they were
wondering how they must set about the search for my remains. I bid
them be quiet, now that they saw me returned, and, benumbed to my
very heart, I dragged up-stairs; whence, after putting on dry
clothes, and pacing to and fro thirty or forty minutes, to restore
the animal heat, I adjourned to my study, feeble as a kitten:
almost too much so to enjoy the cheerful fire and smoking coffee
which the servant had prepared for my refreshment.

CHAPTER IV


WHAT vain weathercocks we are! I, who had determined to hold
myself independent of all social intercourse, and thanked my stars
that, at length, I had lighted on a spot where it was next to
impracticable - I, weak wretch, after maintaining till dusk a
struggle with low spirits and solitude, was finally compelled to
strike my colours; and under pretence of gaining information
concerning the necessities of my establishment, I desired Mrs.
Dean, when she brought in supper, to sit down while I ate it;
hoping sincerely she would prove a regular gossip, and either rouse
me to animation or lull me to sleep by her talk.

'You have lived here a considerable time,' I commenced; 'did you
not say sixteen years?'

'Eighteen, sir: I came when the mistress was married, to wait on
her; after she died, the master retained me for his housekeeper.'

'Indeed.'

There ensued a pause. She was not a gossip, I feared; unless about
her own affairs, and those could hardly interest me. However,
having studied for an interval, with a fist on either knee, and a
cloud of meditation over her ruddy countenance, she ejaculated '
Ah, times are greatly changed since then!'

'Yes,' I remarked, 'you've seen a good many alterations, I
suppose?'

'I have: and troubles too,' she said.

'Oh, I'll turn the talk on my landlord's family!' I thought to
myself. 'A good subject to start! And that pretty girl-widow, I
should like to know her history: whether she be a native of the
country, or, as is more probable, an exotic that the surly
INDIGENAE will not recognise for kin.' With this intention I asked
Mrs. Dean why Heathcliff let Thrushcross Grange, and preferred
living in a situation and residence so much inferior. 'Is he not
rich enough to keep the estate in good order?' I inquired.

'Rich, sir!' she returned. 'He has nobody knows what money, and
every year it increases. Yes, yes, he's rich enough to live in a
finer house than this: but he's very near - close-handed; and, if
he had meant to flit to Thrushcross Grange, as soon as he heard of
a good tenant he could not have borne to miss the chance of getting
a few hundreds more. It is strange people should be so greedy,
when they are alone in the world!'

'He had a son, it seems?'

'Yes, he had one - he is dead.'

'And that young lady, Mrs. Heathcliff, is his widow?'

'Yes.'

'Where did she come from originally?'

'Why, sir, she is my late master's daughter: Catherine Linton was
her maiden name. I nursed her, poor thing! I did wish Mr.
Heathcliff would remove here, and then we might have been together
again.'


'What! Catherine Linton?' I exclaimed, astonished. But a minute's
reflection convinced me it was not my ghostly Catherine. Then,' I
continued, 'my predecessor's name was Linton?'

'It was.'

'And who is that Earnshaw: Hareton Earnshaw, who lives with Mr.
Heathcliff? Are they relations?'

'No; he is the late Mrs. Linton's nephew.'

'The young lady's cousin, then?'

'Yes; and her husband was her cousin also: one on the mother's,
the other on the father's side: Heathcliff married Mr. Linton's
sister.'

'I see the house at Wuthering Heights has Earnshaw" carved over
the front door. Are they an old family?'

'Very oldsir; and Hareton is the last of themas our Miss Cathy
is of us - I meanof the Lintons. Have you been to Wuthering
Heights? I beg pardon for asking; but I should like to hear how
she is!'

'Mrs. Heathcliff? she looked very welland very handsome; yetI
thinknot very happy.'

'Oh dearI don't wonder! And how did you like the master?'

'A rough fellowratherMrs. Dean. Is not that his character?

'Rough as a saw-edgeand hard as whinstone! The less you meddle
with him the better.'

'He must have had some ups and downs in life to make him such a
churl. Do you know anything of his history?'

'It's a cuckoo'ssir - I know all about it: except where he was
bornand who were his parentsand how he got his money at first.
And Hareton has been cast out like an unfledged dunnock! The
unfortunate lad is the only one in all this parish that does not
guess how he has been cheated.'

'WellMrs. Deanit will be a charitable deed to tell me something
of my neighbours: I feel I shall not rest if I go to bed; so be
good enough to sit and chat an hour.'

'Ohcertainlysir! I'll just fetch a little sewingand then
I'll sit as long as you please. But you've caught cold: I saw you
shiveringand you must have some gruel to drive it out.'

The worthy woman bustled offand I crouched nearer the fire; my
head felt hotand the rest of me chill: moreoverI was excited
almost to a pitch of foolishnessthrough my nerves and brain.
This caused me to feelnot uncomfortablebut rather fearful (as I
am still) of serious effects from the incidents of to-day and
yesterday. She returned presentlybringing a smoking basin and a
basket of work; andhaving placed the former on the hobdrew in
her seatevidently pleased to find me so companionable.

Before I came to live hereshe commenced - waiting no farther
invitation to her story - I was almost always at Wuthering Heights;
because my mother had nursed Mr. Hindley Earnshawthat was


Hareton's fatherand I got used to playing with the children: I
ran errands tooand helped to make hayand hung about the farm
ready for anything that anybody would set me to. One fine summer
morning - it was the beginning of harvestI remember - Mr.
Earnshawthe old mastercame down-stairsdressed for a journey;
andafter he had told Joseph what was to be done during the day
he turned to Hindleyand Cathyand me - for I sat eating my
porridge with them - and he saidspeaking to his son'Nowmy
bonny manI'm going to Liverpool to-daywhat shall I bring you?
You may choose what you like: only let it be littlefor I shall
walk there and back: sixty miles each waythat is a long spell!'
Hindley named a fiddleand then he asked Miss Cathy; she was
hardly six years oldbut she could ride any horse in the stable
and she chose a whip. He did not forget me; for he had a kind
heartthough he was rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring
me a pocketful of apples and pearsand then he kissed his
childrensaid good-byeand set off.

It seemed a long while to us all - the three days of his absence and
often did little Cathy ask when he would be home. Mrs.
Earnshaw expected him by supper-time on the third eveningand she
put the meal off hour after hour; there were no signs of his
cominghoweverand at last the children got tired of running down
to the gate to look. Then it grew dark; she would have had them to
bedbut they begged sadly to be allowed to stay up; andjust
about eleven o'clockthe door-latch was raised quietlyand in
stepped the master. He threw himself into a chairlaughing and
groaningand bid them all stand offfor he was nearly killed - he
would not have such another walk for the three kingdoms.

'And at the end of it to be flighted to death!' he saidopening
his great-coatwhich he held bundled up in his arms. 'See here
wife! I was never so beaten with anything in my life: but you
must e'en take it as a gift of God; though it's as dark almost as
if it came from the devil.'

We crowded roundand over Miss Cathy's head I had a peep at a
dirtyraggedblack-haired child; big enough both to walk and
talk: indeedits face looked older than Catherine's; yet when it
was set on its feetit only stared roundand repeated over and
over again some gibberish that nobody could understand. I was
frightenedand Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors:
she did fly upasking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy
brat into the housewhen they had their own bairns to feed and
fend for? What he meant to do with itand whether he were mad?
The master tried to explain the matter; but he was really half dead
with fatigueand all that I could make outamongst her scolding
was a tale of his seeing it starvingand houselessand as good as
dumbin the streets of Liverpoolwhere he picked it up and
inquired for its owner. Not a soul knew to whom it belongedhe
said; and his money and time being both limitedhe thought it
better to take it home with him at oncethan run into vain
expenses there: because he was determined he would not leave it as
he found it. Wellthe conclusion wasthat my mistress grumbled
herself calm; and Mr. Earnshaw told me to wash itand give it
clean thingsand let it sleep with the children.

Hindley and Cathy contented themselves with looking and listening
till peace was restored: thenboth began searching their father's
pockets for the presents he had promised them. The former was a
boy of fourteenbut when he drew out what had been a fiddle
crushed to morsels in the great-coathe blubbered aloud; and
Cathywhen she learned the master had lost her whip in attending
on the strangershowed her humour by grinning and spitting at the


stupid little thing; earning for her pains a sound blow from her
fatherto teach her cleaner manners. They entirely refused to
have it in bed with themor even in their room; and I had no more
senseso I put it on the landing of the stairshoping it might he
gone on the morrow. By chanceor else attracted by hearing his
voiceit crept to Mr. Earnshaw's doorand there he found it on
quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there;
I was obliged to confessand in recompense for my cowardice and
inhumanity was sent out of the house.

This was Heathcliff's first introduction to the family. On coming
back a few days afterwards (for I did not consider my banishment
perpetual)I found they had christened him 'Heathcliff': it was
the name of a son who died in childhoodand it has served him ever
sinceboth for Christian and surname. Miss Cathy and he were now
very thick; but Hindley hated him: and to say the truth I did the
same; and we plagued and went on with him shamefully: for I wasn't
reasonable enough to feel my injusticeand the mistress never put
in a word on his behalf when she saw him wronged.

He seemed a sullenpatient child; hardenedperhapsto illtreatment:
he would stand Hindley's blows without winking or
shedding a tearand my pinches moved him only to draw in a breath
and open his eyesas if he had hurt himself by accidentand
nobody was to blame. This endurance made old Earnshaw furious
when he discovered his son persecuting the poor fatherless child
as he called him. He took to Heathcliff strangelybelieving all
he said (for that matterhe said precious littleand generally
the truth)and petting him up far above Cathywho was too
mischievous and wayward for a favourite.

Sofrom the very beginninghe bred bad feeling in the house; and
at Mrs. Earnshaw's deathwhich happened in less than two years
afterthe young master had learned to regard his father as an
oppressor rather than a friendand Heathcliff as a usurper of his
parent's affections and his privileges; and he grew bitter with
brooding over these injuries. I sympathised a while; but when the
children fell ill of the measlesand I had to tend themand take
on me the cares of a woman at onceI changed my idea. Heathcliff
was dangerously sick; and while he lay at the worst he would have
me constantly by his pillow: I suppose he felt I did a good deal
for himand he hadn't wit to guess that I was compelled to do it.
HoweverI will say thishe was the quietest child that ever nurse
watched over. The difference between him and the others forced me
to be less partial. Cathy and her brother harassed me terribly:
he was as uncomplaining as a lamb; though hardnessnot gentleness
made him give little trouble.

He got throughand the doctor affirmed it was in a great measure
owing to meand praised me for my care. I was vain of his
commendationsand softened towards the being by whose means I
earned themand thus Hindley lost his last ally: still I couldn't
dote on Heathcliffand I wondered often what my master saw to
admire so much in the sullen boy; who neverto my recollection
repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude. He was not
insolent to his benefactorhe was simply insensible; though
knowing perfectly the hold he had on his heartand conscious he
had only to speak and all the house would be obliged to bend to his
wishes. As an instanceI remember Mr. Earnshaw once bought a
couple of colts at the parish fairand gave the lads each one.
Heathcliff took the handsomestbut it soon fell lameand when he
discovered ithe said to Hindley


'You must exchange horses with me: I don't like mine; and if you


won't I shall tell your father of the three thrashings you've given
me this weekand show him my armwhich is black to the shoulder.'
Hindley put out his tongueand cuffed him over the ears. 'You'd
better do it at once' he persistedescaping to the porch (they
were in the stable): 'you will have to: and if I speak of these
blowsyou'll get them again with interest.' 'Offdog!' cried
Hindleythreatening him with an iron weight used for weighing
potatoes and hay. 'Throw it' he repliedstanding still'and
then I'll tell how you boasted that you would turn me out of doors
as soon as he diedand see whether he will not turn you out
directly.' Hindley threw ithitting him on the breastand down
he fellbut staggered up immediatelybreathless and white; and
had not I prevented ithe would have gone just so to the master
and got full revenge by letting his condition plead for him
intimating who had caused it. 'Take my coltGipsythen!' said
young Earnshaw. 'And I pray that he may break your neck: take
himand he damnedyou beggarly interloper! and wheedle my father
out of all he has: only afterwards show him what you areimp of
Satan. - And take thatI hope he'll kick out your brains!'

Heathcliff had gone to loose the beastand shift it to his own
stall; he was passing behind itwhen Hindley finished his speech
by knocking him under its feetand without stopping to examine
whether his hopes were fulfilledran away as fast as he could. I
was surprised to witness how coolly the child gathered himself up
and went on with his intention; exchanging saddles and alland
then sitting down on a bundle of hay to overcome the qualm which
the violent blow occasionedbefore he entered the house. I
persuaded him easily to let me lay the blame of his bruises on the
horse: he minded little what tale was told since he had what he
wanted. He complained so seldomindeedof such stirs as these
that I really thought him not vindictive: I was deceived
completelyas you will hear.

CHAPTER V

IN the course of time Mr. Earnshaw began to fail. He had been
active and healthyyet his strength left him suddenly; and when he
was confined to the chimney-corner he grew grievously irritable. A
nothing vexed him; and suspected slights of his authority nearly
threw him into fits. This was especially to be remarked if any one
attempted to impose uponor domineer overhis favourite: he was
painfully jealous lest a word should be spoken amiss to him;
seeming to have got into his head the notion thatbecause he liked
Heathcliffall hatedand longed to do him an ill-turn. It was a
disadvantage to the lad; for the kinder among us did not wish to
fret the masterso we humoured his partiality; and that humouring
was rich nourishment to the child's pride and black tempers. Still
it became in a manner necessary; twiceor thriceHindley's
manifestation of scornwhile his father was nearroused the old
man to a fury: he seized his stick to strike himand shook with
rage that he could not do it.

At lastour curate (we had a curate then who made the living
answer by teaching the little Lintons and Earnshawsand farming
his bit of land himself) advised that the young man should be sent
to college; and Mr. Earnshaw agreedthough with a heavy spirit
for he said - 'Hindley was noughtand would never thrive as where
he wandered.'


I hoped heartily we should have peace now. It hurt me to think the
master should be made uncomfortable by his own good deed. I
fancied the discontent of age and disease arose from his family
disagreements; as he would have it that it did: reallyyou know
sirit was in his sinking frame. We might have got on tolerably
notwithstandingbut for two people - Miss Cathyand Josephthe
servant: you saw himI daresayup yonder. He wasand is yet
most likelythe wearisomest self-righteous Pharisee that ever
ransacked a Bible to rake the promises to himself and fling the
curses to his neighbours. By his knack of sermonising and pious
discoursinghe contrived to make a great impression on Mr.
Earnshaw; and the more feeble the master becamethe more influence
he gained. He was relentless in worrying him about his soul's
concernsand about ruling his children rigidly. He encouraged him
to regard Hindley as a reprobate; andnight after nighthe
regularly grumbled out a long string of tales against Heathcliff
and Catherine: always minding to flatter Earnshaw's weakness by
heaping the heaviest blame on the latter.

Certainly she had ways with her such as I never saw a child take up
before; and she put all of us past our patience fifty times and
oftener in a day: from the hour she came down-stairs till the hour
she went to bedwe had not a minute's security that she wouldn't
be in mischief. Her spirits were always at high-water markher
tongue always going - singinglaughingand plaguing everybody who
would not do the same. A wildwicked slip she was - but she had
the bonniest eyethe sweetest smileand lightest foot in the
parish: andafter allI believe she meant no harm; for when once
she made you cry in good earnestit seldom happened that she would
not keep you companyand oblige you to be quiet that you might
comfort her. She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest
punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from
him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account. In
playshe liked exceedingly to act the little mistress; using her
hands freelyand commanding her companions: she did so to mebut
I would not bear slapping and ordering; and so I let her know.

NowMr. Earnshaw did not understand jokes from his children: he
had always been strict and grave with them; and Catherineon her
parthad no idea why her father should be crosser and less patient
in his ailing condition than he was in his prime. His peevish
reproofs wakened in her a naughty delight to provoke him: she was
never so happy as when we were all scolding her at onceand she
defying us with her boldsaucy lookand her ready words; turning
Joseph's religious curses into ridiculebaiting meand doing just
what her father hated most - showing how her pretended insolence
which he thought realhad more power over Heathcliff than his
kindness: how the boy would do HER bidding in anythingand HIS
only when it suited his own inclination. After behaving as badly
as possible all dayshe sometimes came fondling to make it up at
night. 'NayCathy' the old man would say'I cannot love thee
thou'rt worse than thy brother. Gosay thy prayerschildand
ask God's pardon. I doubt thy mother and I must rue that we ever
reared thee!' That made her cryat first; and then being repulsed
continually hardened herand she laughed if I told her to say she
was sorry for her faultsand beg to be forgiven.

But the hour cameat lastthat ended Mr. Earnshaw's troubles on
earth. He died quietly in his chair one October eveningseated by
the fire-side. A high wind blustered round the houseand roared
in the chimney: it sounded wild and stormyyet it was not cold
and we were all together - Ia little removed from the hearth
busy at my knittingand Joseph reading his Bible near the table
(for the servants generally sat in the house thenafter their work


was done). Miss Cathy had been sickand that made her still; she
leant against her father's kneeand Heathcliff was lying on the
floor with his head in her lap. I remember the masterbefore he
fell into a dozestroking her bonny hair - it pleased him rarely
to see her gentle - and saying'Why canst thou not always be a
good lassCathy?' And she turned her face up to hisand laughed
and answered'Why cannot you always be a good manfather?' But
as soon as she saw him vexed againshe kissed his handand said
she would sing him to sleep. She began singing very lowtill his
fingers dropped from hersand his head sank on his breast. Then I
told her to hushand not stirfor fear she should wake him. We
all kept as mute as mice a full half-hourand should have done so
longeronly Josephhaving finished his chaptergot up and said
that he must rouse the master for prayers and bed. He stepped
forwardand called him by nameand touched his shoulder; but he
would not move: so he took the candle and looked at him. I
thought there was something wrong as he set down the light; and
seizing the children each by an armwhispered them to 'frame upstairs
and make little din - they might pray alone that evening he
had summut to do.'

'I shall bid father good-night first' said Catherineputting her
arms round his neckbefore we could hinder her. The poor thing
discovered her loss directly - she screamed out - 'Ohhe's dead
Heathcliff! he's dead!' And they both set up a heart-breaking cry.

I joined my wail to theirsloud and bitter; but Joseph asked what
we could be thinking of to roar in that way over a saint in heaven.
He told me to put on my cloak and run to Gimmerton for the doctor
and the parson. I could not guess the use that either would be of
then. HoweverI wentthrough wind and rainand brought onethe
doctorback with me; the other said he would come in the morning.
Leaving Joseph to explain mattersI ran to the children's room:
their door was ajarI saw they had never lain downthough it was
past midnight; but they were calmerand did not need me to console
them. The little souls were comforting each other with better
thoughts than I could have hit on: no parson in the world ever
pictured heaven so beautifully as they didin their innocent talk;
andwhile I sobbed and listenedI could not help wishing we were
all there safe together.

CHAPTER VI

MR. HINDLEY came home to the funeral; and - a thing that amazed us
and set the neighbours gossiping right and left - he brought a wife
with him. What she wasand where she was bornhe never informed
us: probablyshe had neither money nor name to recommend heror
he would scarcely have kept the union from his father.

She was not one that would have disturbed the house much on her own
account. Every object she sawthe moment she crossed the
thresholdappeared to delight her; and every circumstance that
took place about her: except the preparing for the burialand the
presence of the mourners. I thought she was half sillyfrom her
behaviour while that went on: she ran into her chamberand made
me come with herthough I should have been dressing the children:
and there she sat shivering and clasping her handsand asking
repeatedly - 'Are they gone yet?' Then she began describing with
hysterical emotion the effect it produced on her to see black; and
startedand trembledandat lastfell a-weeping - and when I


asked what was the matteransweredshe didn't know; but she felt
so afraid of dying! I imagined her as little likely to die as
myself. She was rather thinbut youngand fresh-complexioned
and her eyes sparkled as bright as diamonds. I did remarkto be
surethat mounting the stairs made her breathe very quick; that
the least sudden noise set her all in a quiverand that she
coughed troublesomely sometimes: but I knew nothing of what these
symptoms portendedand had no impulse to sympathise with her. We
don't in general take to foreigners hereMr. Lockwoodunless they
take to us first.

Young Earnshaw was altered considerably in the three years of his
absence. He had grown sparerand lost his colourand spoke and
dressed quite differently; andon the very day of his returnhe
told Joseph and me we must thenceforth quarter ourselves in the
back-kitchenand leave the house for him. Indeedhe would have
carpeted and papered a small spare room for a parlour; but his wife
expressed such pleasure at the white floor and huge glowing
fireplaceat the pewter dishes and delf-caseand dog-kenneland
the wide space there was to move about in where they usually sat
that he thought it unnecessary to her comfortand so dropped the
intention.

She expressed pleasuretooat finding a sister among her new
acquaintance; and she prattled to Catherineand kissed herand
ran about with herand gave her quantities of presentsat the
beginning. Her affection tired very soonhoweverand when she
grew peevishHindley became tyrannical. A few words from her
evincing a dislike to Heathcliffwere enough to rouse in him all
his old hatred of the boy. He drove him from their company to the
servantsdeprived him of the instructions of the curateand
insisted that he should labour out of doors instead; compelling him
to do so as hard as any other lad on the farm.

Heathcliff bore his degradation pretty well at firstbecause Cathy
taught him what she learntand worked or played with him in the
fields. They both promised fair to grow up as rude as savages; the
young master being entirely negligent how they behavedand what
they didso they kept clear of him. He would not even have seen
after their going to church on Sundaysonly Joseph and the curate
reprimanded his carelessness when they absented themselves; and
that reminded him to order Heathcliff a floggingand Catherine a
fast from dinner or supper. But it was one of their chief
amusements to run away to the moors in the morning and remain there
all dayand the after punishment grew a mere thing to laugh at.
The curate might set as many chapters as he pleased for Catherine
to get by heartand Joseph might thrash Heathcliff till his arm
ached; they forgot everything the minute they were together again:
at least the minute they had contrived some naughty plan of
revenge; and many a time I've cried to myself to watch them growing
more reckless dailyand I not daring to speak a syllablefor fear
of losing the small power I still retained over the unfriended
creatures. One Sunday eveningit chanced that they were banished
from the sitting-roomfor making a noiseor a light offence of
the kind; and when I went to call them to supperI could discover
them nowhere. We searched the houseabove and belowand the yard
and stables; they were invisible: andat lastHindley in a
passion told us to bolt the doorsand swore nobody should let them
in that night. The household went to bed; and Itooanxious to
lie downopened my lattice and put my head out to hearkenthough
it rained: determined to admit them in spite of the prohibition
should they return. In a whileI distinguished steps coming up
the roadand the light of a lantern glimmered through the gate. I
threw a shawl over my head and ran to prevent them from waking Mr.


Earnshaw by knocking. There was Heathcliffby himself: it gave
me a start to see him alone.

'Where is Miss Catherine?' I cried hurriedly. 'No accidentI
hope?' 'At Thrushcross Grange' he answered; 'and I would have
been there toobut they had not the manners to ask me to stay.'
'Wellyou will catch it!' I said: 'you'll never be content till
you're sent about your business. What in the world led you
wandering to Thrushcross Grange?' 'Let me get off my wet clothes
and I'll tell you all about itNelly' he replied. I bid him
beware of rousing the masterand while he undressed and I waited
to put out the candlehe continued - 'Cathy and I escaped from the
wash-house to have a ramble at libertyand getting a glimpse of
the Grange lightswe thought we would just go and see whether the
Lintons passed their Sunday evenings standing shivering in corners
while their father and mother sat eating and drinkingand singing
and laughingand burning their eyes out before the fire. Do you
think they do? Or reading sermonsand being catechised by their
manservantand set to learn a column of Scripture namesif they
don't answer properly?' 'Probably not' I responded. 'They are
good childrenno doubtand don't deserve the treatment you
receivefor your bad conduct.' 'Don't cantNelly' he said:
'nonsense! We ran from the top of the Heights to the parkwithout
stopping - Catherine completely beaten in the racebecause she was
barefoot. You'll have to seek for her shoes in the bog to-morrow.
We crept through a broken hedgegroped our way up the pathand
planted ourselves on a flower-plot under the drawing-room window.
The light came from thence; they had not put up the shuttersand
the curtains were only half closed. Both of us were able to look
in by standing on the basementand clinging to the ledgeand we
saw - ah! it was beautiful - a splendid place carpeted with
crimsonand crimson-covered chairs and tablesand a pure white
ceiling bordered by golda shower of glass-drops hanging in silver
chains from the centreand shimmering with little soft tapers.
Old Mr. and Mrs. Linton were not there; Edgar and his sisters had
it entirely to themselves. Shouldn't they have been happy? We
should have thought ourselves in heaven! And nowguess what your
good children were doing? Isabella - I believe she is elevena
year younger than Cathy - lay screaming at the farther end of the
roomshrieking as if witches were running red-hot needles into
her. Edgar stood on the hearth weeping silentlyand in the middle
of the table sat a little dogshaking its paw and yelping; which
from their mutual accusationswe understood they had nearly pulled
in two between them. The idiots! That was their pleasure! to
quarrel who should hold a heap of warm hairand each begin to cry
because bothafter struggling to get itrefused to take it. We
laughed outright at the petted things; we did despise them! When
would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted? or find
us by ourselvesseeking entertainment in yellingand sobbingand
rolling on the grounddivided by the whole room? I'd not
exchangefor a thousand livesmy condition herefor Edgar
Linton's at Thrushcross Grange - not if I might have the privilege
of flinging Joseph off the highest gableand painting the housefront
with Hindley's blood!'

'Hushhush!' I interrupted. 'Still you have not told me
Heathcliffhow Catherine is left behind?'

'I told you we laughed' he answered. 'The Lintons heard usand
with one accord they shot like arrows to the door; there was
silenceand then a cryOh, mamma, mamma! Oh, papa! Oh, mamma,
come here. Oh, papa, oh!They really did howl out something in
that way. We made frightful noises to terrify them still moreand
then we dropped off the ledgebecause somebody was drawing the


barsand we felt we had better flee. I had Cathy by the handand
was urging her onwhen all at once she fell down. "Run
Heathcliffrun!" she whispered. "They have let the bull-dog
looseand he holds me!" The devil had seized her ankleNelly: I
heard his abominable snorting. She did not yell out - no! she
would have scorned to do itif she had been spitted on the horns
of a mad cow. I didthough: I vociferated curses enough to
annihilate any fiend in Christendom; and I got a stone and thrust
it between his jawsand tried with all my might to cram it down
his throat. A beast of a servant came up with a lanternat last
shouting - "Keep fastSkulkerkeep fast!" He changed his note
howeverwhen he saw Skulker's game. The dog was throttled off;
his hugepurple tongue hanging half a foot out of his mouthand
his pendent lips streaming with bloody slaver. The man took Cathy
up; she was sick: not from fearI'm certainbut from pain. He
carried her in; I followedgrumbling execrations and vengeance.
What prey, Robert?hallooed Linton from the entrance. "Skulker
has caught a little girlsir he replied; and there's a lad
here he added, making a clutch at me, who looks an out-andouter!
Very like the robbers were for putting them through the
window to open the doors to the gang after all were asleepthat
they might murder us at their ease. Hold your tongueyou foulmouthed
thiefyou! you shall go to the gallows for this. Mr.
Lintonsirdon't lay by your gun." "NonoRobert said the
old fool. The rascals knew that yesterday was my rent-day: they
thought to have me cleverly. Come in; I'll furnish them a
reception. ThereJohnfasten the chain. Give Skulker some
waterJenny. To beard a magistrate in his strongholdand on the
Sabbathtoo! Where will their insolence stop? Ohmy dear Mary
look here! Don't be afraidit is but a boy - yet the villain
scowls so plainly in his face; would it not be a kindness to the
country to hang him at oncebefore he shows his nature in acts as
well as features?" He pulled me under the chandelierand Mrs.
Linton placed her spectacles on her nose and raised her hands in
horror. The cowardly children crept nearer alsoIsabella lisping

-"Frightful thing! Put him in the cellarpapa. He's exactly
like the son of the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant.
Isn't heEdgar?"
'While they examined meCathy came round; she heard the last
speechand laughed. Edgar Lintonafter an inquisitive stare
collected sufficient wit to recognise her. They see us at church
you knowthough we seldom meet them elsewhere. "That's Miss
Earnshaw?" he whispered to his motherand look how Skulker has
bitten her - how her foot bleeds!

'"Miss Earnshaw? Nonsense!" cried the dame; "Miss Earnshaw
scouring the country with a gipsy! And yetmy dearthe child is
in mourning - surely it is - and she may be lamed for life!"

'"What culpable carelessness in her brother!" exclaimed Mr. Linton
turning from me to Catherine. "I've understood from Shielders"'
(that was the curatesir) '"that he lets her grow up in absolute
heathenism. But who is this? Where did she pick up this
companion? Oho! I declare he is that strange acquisition my late
neighbour madein his journey to Liverpool - a little Lascaror
an American or Spanish castaway."

'"A wicked boyat all events remarked the old lady, and quite
unfit for a decent house! Did you notice his languageLinton?
I'm shocked that my children should have heard it."

'I recommenced cursing - don't be angryNelly - and so Robert was
ordered to take me off. I refused to go without Cathy; he dragged


me into the gardenpushed the lantern into my handassured me
that Mr. Earnshaw should be informed of my behaviourandbidding
me march directlysecured the door again. The curtains were still
looped up at one cornerand I resumed my station as spy; because
if Catherine had wished to returnI intended shattering their
great glass panes to a million of fragmentsunless they let her
out. She sat on the sofa quietly. Mrs. Linton took off the grey
cloak of the dairy-maid which we had borrowed for our excursion
shaking her head and expostulating with herI suppose: she was a
young ladyand they made a distinction between her treatment and
mine. Then the woman-servant brought a basin of warm waterand
washed her feet; and Mr. Linton mixed a tumbler of negusand
Isabella emptied a plateful of cakes into her lapand Edgar stood
gaping at a distance. Afterwardsthey dried and combed her
beautiful hairand gave her a pair of enormous slippersand
wheeled her to the fire; and I left heras merry as she could be
dividing her food between the little dog and Skulkerwhose nose
she pinched as he ate; and kindling a spark of spirit in the vacant
blue eyes of the Lintons - a dim reflection from her own enchanting
face. I saw they were full of stupid admiration; she is so
immeasurably superior to them - to everybody on earthis she not
Nelly?'

'There will more come of this business than you reckon on' I
answeredcovering him up and extinguishing the light. 'You are
incurableHeathcliff; and Mr. Hindley will have to proceed to
extremitiessee if he won't.' My words came truer than I desired.
The luckless adventure made Earnshaw furious. And then Mr. Linton
to mend matterspaid us a visit himself on the morrowand read
the young master such a lecture on the road he guided his family
that he was stirred to look about himin earnest. Heathcliff
received no floggingbut he was told that the first word he spoke
to Miss Catherine should ensure a dismissal; and Mrs. Earnshaw
undertook to keep her sister-in-law in due restraint when she
returned home; employing artnot force: with force she would have
found it impossible.

CHAPTER VII

CATHY stayed at Thrushcross Grange five weeks: till Christmas. By
that time her ankle was thoroughly curedand her manners much
improved. The mistress visited her often in the intervaland
commenced her plan of reform by trying to raise her self-respect
with fine clothes and flatterywhich she took readily; so that
instead of a wildhatless little savage jumping into the house
and rushing to squeeze us all breathlessthere 'lighted from a
handsome black pony a very dignified personwith brown ringlets
falling from the cover of a feathered beaverand a long cloth
habitwhich she was obliged to hold up with both hands that she
might sail in. Hindley lifted her from her horseexclaiming
delightedly'WhyCathyyou are quite a beauty! I should
scarcely have known you: you look like a lady now. Isabella
Linton is not to be compared with heris sheFrances?' 'Isabella
has not her natural advantages' replied his wife: 'but she must
mind and not grow wild again here. Ellenhelp Miss Catherine off
with her things - Staydearyou will disarrange your curls - let
me untie your hat.'

I removed the habitand there shone forth beneath a grand plaid
silk frockwhite trousersand burnished shoes; andwhile her


eyes sparkled joyfully when the dogs came bounding up to welcome
hershe dared hardly touch them lest they should fawn upon her
splendid garments. She kissed me gently: I was all flour making
the Christmas cakeand it would not have done to give me a hug;
and then she looked round for Heathcliff. Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw
watched anxiously their meeting; thinking it would enable them to
judgein some measurewhat grounds they had for hoping to succeed
in separating the two friends.

Heathcliff was hard to discoverat first. If he were careless
and uncared forbefore Catherine's absencehe had been ten times
more so since. Nobody but I even did him the kindness to call him
a dirty boyand bid him wash himselfonce a week; and children of
his age seldom have a natural pleasure in soap and water.
Thereforenot to mention his clotheswhich had seen three months'
service in mire and dustand his thick uncombed hairthe surface
of his face and hands was dismally beclouded. He might well skulk
behind the settleon beholding such a brightgraceful damsel
enter the houseinstead of a rough-headed counterpart of himself
as he expected. 'Is Heathcliff not here?' she demandedpulling
off her glovesand displaying fingers wonderfully whitened with
doing nothing and staying indoors.

'Heathcliffyou may come forward' cried Mr. Hindleyenjoying his
discomfitureand gratified to see what a forbidding young
blackguard he would be compelled to present himself. 'You may come
and wish Miss Catherine welcomelike the other servants.'

Cathycatching a glimpse of her friend in his concealmentflew to
embrace him; she bestowed seven or eight kisses on his cheek within
the secondand then stoppedand drawing backburst into a laugh
exclaiming'Whyhow very black and cross you look! and how - how
funny and grim! But that's because I'm used to Edgar and Isabella
Linton. WellHeathcliffhave you forgotten me?'

She had some reason to put the questionfor shame and pride threw
double gloom over his countenanceand kept him immovable.

'Shake handsHeathcliff' said Mr. Earnshawcondescendingly;
'once in a waythat is permitted.'

'I shall not' replied the boyfinding his tongue at last; 'I
shall not stand to be laughed at. I shall not bear it!' And he
would have broken from the circlebut Miss Cathy seized him again.

'I did not mean to laugh at you' she said; 'I could not hinder
myself: Heathcliffshake hands at least! What are you sulky for?
It was only that you looked odd. If you wash your face and brush
your hairit will be all right: but you are so dirty!'

She gazed concernedly at the dusky fingers she held in her ownand
also at her dress; which she feared had gained no embellishment
from its contact with his.

'You needn't have touched me!' he answeredfollowing her eye and
snatching away his hand. 'I shall be as dirty as I please: and I
like to be dirtyand I will be dirty.'

With that he dashed headforemost out of the roomamid the
merriment of the master and mistressand to the serious
disturbance of Catherine; who could not comprehend how her remarks
should have produced such an exhibition of bad temper.

After playing lady's-maid to the new-comerand putting my cakes in


the ovenand making the house and kitchen cheerful with great
firesbefitting Christmas-eveI prepared to sit down and amuse
myself by singing carolsall alone; regardless of Joseph's
affirmations that he considered the merry tunes I chose as next
door to songs. He had retired to private prayer in his chamber
and Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw were engaging Missy's attention by sundry
gay trifles bought for her to present to the little Lintonsas an
acknowledgment of their kindness. They had invited them to spend
the morrow at Wuthering Heightsand the invitation had been
acceptedon one condition: Mrs. Linton begged that her darlings
might be kept carefully apart from that 'naughty swearing boy.'

Under these circumstances I remained solitary. I smelt the rich
scent of the heating spices; and admired the shining kitchen
utensilsthe polished clockdecked in hollythe silver mugs
ranged on a tray ready to be filled with mulled ale for supper; and
above allthe speckless purity of my particular care - the scoured
and well-swept floor. I gave due inward applause to every object
and then I remembered how old Earnshaw used to come in when all was
tidiedand call me a cant lassand slip a shilling into my hand
as a Christmas-box; and from that I went on to think of his
fondness for Heathcliffand his dread lest he should suffer
neglect after death had removed him: and that naturally led me to
consider the poor lad's situation nowand from singing I changed
my mind to crying. It struck me soonhoweverthere would be more
sense in endeavouring to repair some of his wrongs than shedding
tears over them: I got up and walked into the court to seek him.
He was not far; I found him smoothing the glossy coat of the new
pony in the stableand feeding the other beastsaccording to
custom.

'Make hasteHeathcliff!' I said'the kitchen is so comfortable;
and Joseph is up-stairs: make hasteand let me dress you smart
before Miss Cathy comes outand then you can sit togetherwith
the whole hearth to yourselvesand have a long chatter till
bedtime.'

He proceeded with his taskand never turned his head towards me.

'Come - are you coming?' I continued. 'There's a little cake for
each of younearly enough; and you'll need half-an-hour's
donning.'

I waited five minutesbut getting no answer left him. Catherine
supped with her brother and sister-in-law: Joseph and I joined at
an unsociable mealseasoned with reproofs on one side and
sauciness on the other. His cake and cheese remained on the table
all night for the fairies. He managed to continue work till nine
o'clockand then marched dumb and dour to his chamber. Cathy sat
up latehaving a world of things to order for the reception of her
new friends: she came into the kitchen once to speak to her old
one; but he was goneand she only stayed to ask what was the
matter with himand then went back. In the morning he rose early;
andas it was a holidaycarried his ill-humour on to the moors;
not re-appearing till the family were departed for church. Fasting
and reflection seemed to have brought him to a better spirit. He
hung about me for a whileand having screwed up his courage
exclaimed abruptly - 'Nellymake me decentI'm going to be good.'

'High timeHeathcliff' I said; 'you HAVE grieved Catherine:
she's sorry she ever came homeI daresay! It looks as if you
envied herbecause she is more thought of than you.'

The notion of ENVYING Catherine was incomprehensible to himbut


the notion of grieving her he understood clearly enough.

'Did she say she was grieved?' he inquiredlooking very serious.

'She cried when I told her you were off again this morning.'

'WellI cried last night' he returned'and I had more reason to
cry than she.'

'Yes: you had the reason of going to bed with a proud heart and an
empty stomach' said I. 'Proud people breed sad sorrows for
themselves. Butif you be ashamed of your touchinessyou must
ask pardonmindwhen she comes in. You must go up and offer to
kiss herand say - you know best what to say; only do it heartily
and not as if you thought her converted into a stranger by her
grand dress. And nowthough I have dinner to get readyI'll
steal time to arrange you so that Edgar Linton shall look quite a
doll beside you: and that he does. You are youngerand yetI'll
be boundyou are taller and twice as broad across the shoulders;
you could knock him down in a twinkling; don't you feel that you
could?'

Heathcliff's face brightened a moment; then it was overcast afresh
and he sighed.

'ButNellyif I knocked him down twenty timesthat wouldn't make
him less handsome or me more so. I wish I had light hair and a
fair skinand was dressed and behaved as welland had a chance of
being as rich as he will be!'

'And cried for mamma at every turn' I added'and trembled if a
country lad heaved his fist against youand sat at home all day
for a shower of rain. OhHeathcliffyou are showing a poor
spirit! Come to the glassand I'll let you see what you should
wish. Do you mark those two lines between your eyes; and those
thick browsthatinstead of rising archedsink in the middle;
and that couple of black fiendsso deeply buriedwho never open
their windows boldlybut lurk glinting under themlike devil's
spies? Wish and learn to smooth away the surly wrinklesto raise
your lids franklyand change the fiends to confidentinnocent
angelssuspecting and doubting nothingand always seeing friends
where they are not sure of foes. Don't get the expression of a
vicious cur that appears to know the kicks it gets are its desert
and yet hates all the worldas well as the kickerfor what it
suffers.'

'In other wordsI must wish for Edgar Linton's great blue eyes and
even forehead' he replied. 'I do - and that won't help me to
them.'

'A good heart will help you to a bonny facemy lad' I continued
'if you were a regular black; and a bad one will turn the bonniest
into something worse than ugly. And now that we've done washing
and combingand sulking - tell me whether you don't think yourself
rather handsome? I'll tell youI do. You're fit for a prince in
disguise. Who knows but your father was Emperor of Chinaand your
mother an Indian queeneach of them able to buy upwith one
week's incomeWuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange together?
And you were kidnapped by wicked sailors and brought to England.
Were I in your placeI would frame high notions of my birth; and
the thoughts of what I was should give me courage and dignity to
support the oppressions of a little farmer!'

So I chattered on; and Heathcliff gradually lost his frown and


began to look quite pleasantwhen all at once our conversation was
interrupted by a rumbling sound moving up the road and entering the
court. He ran to the window and I to the doorjust in time to
behold the two Lintons descend from the family carriagesmothered
in cloaks and fursand the Earnshaws dismount from their horses:
they often rode to church in winter. Catherine took a hand of each
of the childrenand brought them into the house and set them
before the firewhich quickly put colour into their white faces.

I urged my companion to hasten now and show his amiable humourand
he willingly obeyed; but ill luck would have it thatas he opened
the door leading from the kitchen on one sideHindley opened it on
the other. They metand the masterirritated at seeing him clean
and cheerfulorperhapseager to keep his promise to Mrs.
Lintonshoved him back with a sudden thrustand angrily bade
Joseph 'keep the fellow out of the room - send him into the garret
till dinner is over. He'll be cramming his fingers in the tarts
and stealing the fruitif left alone with them a minute.'

'Naysir' I could not avoid answering'he'll touch nothingnot
he: and I suppose he must have his share of the dainties as well
as we.'

'He shall have his share of my handif I catch him downstairs till
dark' cried Hindley. 'Begoneyou vagabond! What! you are
attempting the coxcombare you? Wait till I get hold of those
elegant locks - see if I won't pull them a bit longer!'

'They are long enough already' observed Master Lintonpeeping
from the doorway; 'I wonder they don't make his head ache. It's
like a colt's mane over his eyes!'

He ventured this remark without any intention to insult; but
Heathcliff's violent nature was not prepared to endure the
appearance of impertinence from one whom he seemed to hateeven
thenas a rival. He seized a tureen of hot apple sauce (the first
thing that came under his gripe) and dashed it full against the
speaker's face and neck; who instantly commenced a lament that
brought Isabella and Catherine hurrying to the place. Mr. Earnshaw
snatched up the culprit directly and conveyed him to his chamber;
wheredoubtlesshe administered a rough remedy to cool the fit of
passionfor he appeared red and breathless. I got the dishcloth
and rather spitefully scrubbed Edgar's nose and mouthaffirming it
served him right for meddling. His sister began weeping to go
homeand Cathy stood by confoundedblushing for all.

'You should not have spoken to him!' she expostulated with Master
Linton. 'He was in a bad temperand now you've spoilt your visit;
and he'll be flogged: I hate him to be flogged! I can't eat my
dinner. Why did you speak to himEdgar?'

'I didn't' sobbed the youthescaping from my handsand finishing
the remainder of the purification with his cambric pockethandkerchief.
'I promised mamma that I wouldn't say one word to
himand I didn't.'

'Welldon't cry' replied Catherinecontemptuously; 'you're not
killed. Don't make more mischief; my brother is coming: be quiet!
HushIsabella! Has anybody hurt you?'

'Theretherechildren - to your seats!' cried Hindleybustling
in. 'That brute of a lad has warmed me nicely. Next timeMaster
Edgartake the law into your own fists - it will give you an
appetite!'


The little party recovered its equanimity at sight of the fragrant
feast. They were hungry after their rideand easily consoled
since no real harm had befallen them. Mr. Earnshaw carved
bountiful platefulsand the mistress made them merry with lively
talk. I waited behind her chairand was pained to behold
Catherinewith dry eyes and an indifferent aircommence cutting
up the wing of a goose before her. 'An unfeeling child' I thought
to myself; 'how lightly she dismisses her old playmate's troubles.
I could not have imagined her to be so selfish.' She lifted a
mouthful to her lips: then she set it down again: her cheeks
flushedand the tears gushed over them. She slipped her fork to
the floorand hastily dived under the cloth to conceal her
emotion. I did not call her unfeeling long; for I perceived she
was in purgatory throughout the dayand wearying to find an
opportunity of getting by herselfor paying a visit to Heathcliff
who had been locked up by the master: as I discoveredon
endeavouring to introduce to him a private mess of victuals.

In the evening we had a dance. Cathy begged that he might be
liberated thenas Isabella Linton had no partner: her entreaties
were vainand I was appointed to supply the deficiency. We got
rid of all gloom in the excitement of the exerciseand our
pleasure was increased by the arrival of the Gimmerton band
mustering fifteen strong: a trumpeta tromboneclarionets
bassoonsFrench hornsand a bass violbesides singers. They go
the rounds of all the respectable housesand receive contributions
every Christmasand we esteemed it a first-rate treat to hear
them. After the usual carols had been sungwe set them to songs
and glees. Mrs. Earnshaw loved the musicand so they gave us
plenty.

Catherine loved it too: but she said it sounded sweetest at the
top of the stepsand she went up in the dark: I followed. They
shut the house door belownever noting our absenceit was so full
of people. She made no stay at the stairs'-headbut mounted
fartherto the garret where Heathcliff was confinedand called
him. He stubbornly declined answering for a while: she
perseveredand finally persuaded him to hold communion with her
through the boards. I let the poor things converse unmolested
till I supposed the songs were going to ceaseand the singers to
get some refreshment: then I clambered up the ladder to warn her.
Instead of finding her outsideI heard her voice within. The
little monkey had crept by the skylight of one garretalong the
roofinto the skylight of the otherand it was with the utmost
difficulty I could coax her out again. When she did come
Heathcliff came with herand she insisted that I should take him
into the kitchenas my fellow-servant had gone to a neighbour's
to be removed from the sound of our 'devil's psalmody' as it
pleased him to call it. I told them I intended by no means to
encourage their tricks: but as the prisoner had never broken his
fast since yesterday's dinnerI would wink at his cheating Mr.
Hindley that once. He went down: I set him a stool by the fire
and offered him a quantity of good things: but he was sick and
could eat littleand my attempts to entertain him were thrown
away. He leant his two elbows on his kneesand his chin on his
hands and remained rapt in dumb meditation. On my inquiring the
subject of his thoughtshe answered gravely - 'I'm trying to
settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how long I wait
if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do!'

'For shameHeathcliff!' said I. 'It is for God to punish wicked
people; we should learn to forgive.'


'NoGod won't have the satisfaction that I shall' he returned.
'I only wish I knew the best way! Let me aloneand I'll plan it
out: while I'm thinking of that I don't feel pain.'

'ButMr. LockwoodI forget these tales cannot divert you. I'm
annoyed how I should dream of chattering on at such a rate; and
your gruel coldand you nodding for bed! I could have told
Heathcliff's historyall that you need hearin half a dozen
words.'

Thus interrupting herselfthe housekeeper roseand proceeded to
lay aside her sewing; but I felt incapable of moving from the
hearthand I was very far from nodding. 'Sit stillMrs. Dean' I
cried; 'do sit still another half-hour. You've done just right to
tell the story leisurely. That is the method I like; and you must
finish it in the same style. I am interested in every character
you have mentionedmore or less.'

'The clock is on the stroke of elevensir.'

'No matter - I'm not accustomed to go to bed in the long hours.
One or two is early enough for a person who lies till ten.'

'You shouldn't lie till ten. There's the very prime of the morning
gone long before that time. A person who has not done one-half his
day's work by ten o'clockruns a chance of leaving the other half
undone.'

'NeverthelessMrs. Deanresume your chair; because to-morrow I
intend lengthening the night till afternoon. I prognosticate for
myself an obstinate coldat least.'

'I hope notsir. Wellyou must allow me to leap over some three
years; during that space Mrs. Earnshaw - '

'NonoI'll allow nothing of the sort! Are you acquainted with
the mood of mind in whichif you were seated aloneand the cat
licking its kitten on the rug before youyou would watch the
operation so intently that puss's neglect of one ear would put you
seriously out of temper?'

'A terribly lazy moodI should say.'

'On the contrarya tiresomely active one. It is mineat present;
andthereforecontinue minutely. I perceive that people in these
regions acquire over people in towns the value that a spider in a
dungeon does over a spider in a cottageto their various
occupants; and yet the deepened attraction is not entirely owing to
the situation of the looker-on. They DO live more in earnestmore
in themselvesand less in surfacechangeand frivolous external
things. I could fancy a love for life here almost possible; and I
was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year's standing. One state
resembles setting a hungry man down to a single dishon which he
may concentrate his entire appetite and do it justice; the other
introducing him to a table laid out by French cooks: he can
perhaps extract as much enjoyment from the whole; but each part is
a mere atom in his regard and remembrance.'

'Oh! here we are the same as anywhere elsewhen you get to know
us' observed Mrs. Deansomewhat puzzled at my speech.

'Excuse me' I responded; 'youmy good friendare a striking
evidence against that assertion. Excepting a few provincialisms of


slight consequenceyou have no marks of the manners which I am
habituated to consider as peculiar to your class. I am sure you
have thought a great deal more than the generality of servants
think. You have been compelled to cultivate your reflective
faculties for want of occasions for frittering your life away in
silly trifles.'

Mrs. Dean laughed.

'I certainly esteem myself a steadyreasonable kind of body' she
said; 'not exactly from living among the hills and seeing one set
of facesand one series of actionsfrom year's end to year's end;
but I have undergone sharp disciplinewhich has taught me wisdom;
and thenI have read more than you would fancyMr. Lockwood. You
could not open a book in this library that I have not looked into
and got something out of also: unless it be that range of Greek
and Latinand that of French; and those I know one from another:
it is as much as you can expect of a poor man's daughter. However
if I am to follow my story in true gossip's fashionI had better
go on; and instead of leaping three yearsI will be content to
pass to the next summer - the summer of 1778that is nearly
twenty-three years ago.'

CHAPTER VIII

ON the morning of a fine June day my first bonny little nursling
and the last of the ancient Earnshaw stockwas born. We were busy
with the hay in a far-away fieldwhen the girl that usually
brought our breakfasts came running an hour too soon across the
meadow and up the lanecalling me as she ran.

'Ohsuch a grand bairn!' she panted out. 'The finest lad that
ever breathed! But the doctor says missis must go: he says she's
been in a consumption these many months. I heard him tell Mr.
Hindley: and now she has nothing to keep herand she'll be dead
before winter. You must come home directly. You're to nurse it
Nelly: to feed it with sugar and milkand take care of it day and
night. I wish I were youbecause it will be all yours when there
is no missis!'

'But is she very ill?' I askedflinging down my rake and tying my
bonnet.

'I guess she is; yet she looks bravely' replied the girl'and she
talks as if she thought of living to see it grow a man. She's out
of her head for joyit's such a beauty! If I were her I'm certain
I should not die: I should get better at the bare sight of itin
spite of Kenneth. I was fairly mad at him. Dame Archer brought
the cherub down to masterin the houseand his face just began to
light upwhen the old croaker steps forwardand says he "
Earnshawit's a blessing your wife has been spared to leave you
this son. When she cameI felt convinced we shouldn't keep her
long; and nowI must tell youthe winter will probably finish
her. Don't take onand fret about it too much: it can't be
helped. And besidesyou should have known better than to choose
such a rush of a lass!"'

'And what did the master answer?' I inquired.

'I think he swore: but I didn't mind himI was straining to see


the bairn' and she began again to describe it rapturously. Ias
zealous as herselfhurried eagerly home to admireon my part;
though I was very sad for Hindley's sake. He had room in his heart
only for two idols - his wife and himself: he doted on bothand
adored oneand I couldn't conceive how he would bear the loss.

When we got to Wuthering Heightsthere he stood at the front door;
andas I passed inI asked'how was the baby?'

'Nearly ready to run aboutNell!' he repliedputting on a
cheerful smile.

'And the mistress?' I ventured to inquire; 'the doctor says she's '


'Damn the doctor!' he interruptedreddening. 'Frances is quite
right: she'll be perfectly well by this time next week. Are you
going up-stairs? will you tell her that I'll comeif she'll
promise not to talk. I left her because she would not hold her
tongue; and she must - tell her Mr. Kenneth says she must be
quiet.'

I delivered this message to Mrs. Earnshaw; she seemed in flighty
spiritsand replied merrily'I hardly spoke a wordEllenand
there he has gone out twicecrying. Wellsay I promise I won't
speak: but that does not bind me not to laugh at him!'

Poor soul! Till within a week of her death that gay heart never
failed her; and her husband persisted doggedlynayfuriouslyin
affirming her health improved every day. When Kenneth warned him
that his medicines were useless at that stage of the maladyand he
needn't put him to further expense by attending herhe retorted
'I know you need not - she's well - she does not want any more
attendance from you! She never was in a consumption. It was a
fever; and it is gone: her pulse is as slow as mine nowand her
cheek as cool.'

He told his wife the same storyand she seemed to believe him; but
one nightwhile leaning on his shoulderin the act of saying she
thought she should be able to get up to-morrowa fit of coughing
took her - a very slight one - he raised her in his arms; she put
her two hands about his neckher face changedand she was dead.

As the girl had anticipatedthe child Hareton fell wholly into my
hands. Mr. Earnshawprovided he saw him healthy and never heard
him crywas contentedas far as regarded him. For himselfhe
grew desperate: his sorrow was of that kind that will not lament.
He neither wept nor prayed; he cursed and defied: execrated God
and manand gave himself up to reckless dissipation. The servants
could not bear his tyrannical and evil conduct long: Joseph and I
were the only two that would stay. I had not the heart to leave my
charge; and besidesyou knowI had been his foster-sisterand
excused his behaviour more readily than a stranger would. Joseph
remained to hector over tenants and labourers; and because it was
his vocation to be where he had plenty of wickedness to reprove.

The master's bad ways and bad companions formed a pretty example
for Catherine and Heathcliff. His treatment of the latter was
enough to make a fiend of a saint. Andtrulyit appeared as if
the lad WERE possessed of something diabolical at that period. He
delighted to witness Hindley degrading himself past redemption; and
became daily more notable for savage sullenness and ferocity. I
could not half tell what an infernal house we had. The curate
dropped callingand nobody decent came near usat last; unless


Edgar Linton's visits to Miss Cathy might be an exception. At
fifteen she was the queen of the country-side; she had no peer; and
she did turn out a haughtyheadstrong creature! I own I did not
like herafter infancy was past; and I vexed her frequently by
trying to bring down her arrogance: she never took an aversion to
methough. She had a wondrous constancy to old attachments: even
Heathcliff kept his hold on her affections unalterably; and young
Lintonwith all his superiorityfound it difficult to make an
equally deep impression. He was my late master: that is his
portrait over the fireplace. It used to hang on one sideand his
wife's on the other; but hers has been removedor else you might
see something of what she was. Can you make that out?

Mrs. Dean raised the candleand I discerned a soft-featured face
exceedingly resembling the young lady at the Heightsbut more
pensive and amiable in expression. It formed a sweet picture. The
long light hair curled slightly on the temples; the eyes were large
and serious; the figure almost too graceful. I did not marvel how
Catherine Earnshaw could forget her first friend for such an
individual. I marvelled much how hewith a mind to correspond
with his personcould fancy my idea of Catherine Earnshaw.

'A very agreeable portrait' I observed to the house-keeper. 'Is
it like?'

'Yes' she answered; 'but he looked better when he was animated;
that is his everyday countenance: he wanted spirit in general.'

Catherine had kept up her acquaintance with the Lintons since her
five-weeks' residence among them; and as she had no temptation to
show her rough side in their companyand had the sense to be
ashamed of being rude where she experienced such invariable
courtesyshe imposed unwittingly on the old lady and gentleman by
her ingenious cordiality; gained the admiration of Isabellaand
the heart and soul of her brother: acquisitions that flattered her
from the first - for she was full of ambition - and led her to
adopt a double character without exactly intending to deceive any
one. In the place where she heard Heathcliff termed a 'vulgar
young ruffian' and 'worse than a brute' she took care not to act
like him; but at home she had small inclination to practise
politeness that would only be laughed atand restrain an unruly
nature when it would bring her neither credit nor praise.

Mr. Edgar seldom mustered courage to visit Wuthering Heights
openly. He had a terror of Earnshaw's reputationand shrunk from
encountering him; and yet he was always received with our best
attempts at civility: the master himself avoided offending him
knowing why he came; and if he could not be graciouskept out of
the way. I rather think his appearance there was distasteful to
Catherine; she was not artfulnever played the coquetteand had
evidently an objection to her two friends meeting at all; for when
Heathcliff expressed contempt of Linton in his presenceshe could
not half coincideas she did in his absence; and when Linton
evinced disgust and antipathy to Heathcliffshe dared not treat
his sentiments with indifferenceas if depreciation of her
playmate were of scarcely any consequence to her. I've had many a
laugh at her perplexities and untold troubleswhich she vainly
strove to hide from my mockery. That sounds ill-natured: but she
was so proud it became really impossible to pity her distresses
till she should be chastened into more humility. She did bring
herselffinallyto confessand to confide in me: there was not
a soul else that she might fashion into an adviser.

Mr. Hindley had gone from home one afternoonand Heathcliff


presumed to give himself a holiday on the strength of it. He had
reached the age of sixteen thenI thinkand without having bad
featuresor being deficient in intellecthe contrived to convey
an impression of inward and outward repulsiveness that his present
aspect retains no traces of. In the first placehe had by that
time lost the benefit of his early education: continual hard work
begun soon and concluded latehad extinguished any curiosity he
once possessed in pursuit of knowledgeand any love for books or
learning. His childhood's sense of superiorityinstilled into him
by the favours of old Mr. Earnshawwas faded away. He struggled
long to keep up an equality with Catherine in her studiesand
yielded with poignant though silent regret: but he yielded
completely; and there was no prevailing on him to take a step in
the way of moving upwardwhen he found he mustnecessarilysink
beneath his former level. Then personal appearance sympathised
with mental deterioration: he acquired a slouching gait and
ignoble look; his naturally reserved disposition was exaggerated
into an almost idiotic excess of unsociable moroseness; and he took
a grim pleasureapparentlyin exciting the aversion rather than
the esteem of his few acquaintance.

Catherine and he were constant companions still at his seasons of
respite from labour; but he had ceased to express his fondness for
her in wordsand recoiled with angry suspicion from her girlish
caressesas if conscious there could be no gratification in
lavishing such marks of affection on him. On the before-named
occasion he came into the house to announce his intention of doing
nothingwhile I was assisting Miss Cathy to arrange her dress:
she had not reckoned on his taking it into his head to be idle; and
imagining she would have the whole place to herselfshe managed
by some meansto inform Mr. Edgar of her brother's absenceand
was then preparing to receive him.

'Cathyare you busy this afternoon?' asked Heathcliff. 'Are you
going anywhere?'

'Noit is raining' she answered.

'Why have you that silk frock onthen?' he said. 'Nobody coming
hereI hope?'

'Not that I know of' stammered Miss: 'but you should be in the
field nowHeathcliff. It is an hour past dinnertime: I thought
you were gone.'

'Hindley does not often free us from his accursed presence'
observed the boy. 'I'll not work any more to-day: I'll stay with
you.'

'Ohbut Joseph will tell' she suggested; 'you'd better go!'

'Joseph is loading lime on the further side of Penistone Crags; it
will take him till darkand he'll never know.'

Sosayinghe lounged to the fireand sat down. Catherine
reflected an instantwith knitted brows - she found it needful to
smooth the way for an intrusion. 'Isabella and Edgar Linton talked
of calling this afternoon' she saidat the conclusion of a
minute's silence. 'As it rainsI hardly expect them; but they may
comeand if they doyou run the risk of being scolded for no
good.'

'Order Ellen to say you are engagedCathy' he persisted; 'don't
turn me out for those pitifulsilly friends of yours! I'm on the


pointsometimesof complaining that they - but I'll not - '

'That they what?' cried Catherinegazing at him with a troubled
countenance. 'OhNelly!' she added petulantlyjerking her head
away from my hands'you've combed my hair quite out of curl!
That's enough; let me alone. What are you on the point of
complaining aboutHeathcliff?'

'Nothing - only look at the almanack on that wall;' he pointed to a
framed sheet hanging near the windowand continued'The crosses
are for the evenings you have spent with the Lintonsthe dots for
those spent with me. Do you see? I've marked every day.'

'Yes - very foolish: as if I took notice!' replied Catherinein a
peevish tone. 'And where is the sense of that?'

'To show that I DO take notice' said Heathcliff.

'And should I always be sitting with you?' she demandedgrowing
more irritated. 'What good do I get? What do you talk about? You
might be dumbor a babyfor anything you say to amuse meor for
anything you doeither!'

'You never told me before that I talked too littleor that you
disliked my companyCathy!' exclaimed Heathcliffin much
agitation.

'It's no company at allwhen people know nothing and say nothing'
she muttered.

Her companion rose upbut he hadn't time to express his feelings
furtherfor a horse's feet were heard on the flagsand having
knocked gentlyyoung Linton enteredhis face brilliant with
delight at the unexpected summon she had received. Doubtless
Catherine marked the difference between her friendsas one came in
and the other went out. The contrast resembled what you see in
exchanging a bleakhillycoal country for a beautiful fertile
valley; and his voice and greeting were as opposite as his aspect.
He had a sweetlow manner of speakingand pronounced his words as
you do: that's less gruff than we talk hereand softer.

'I'm not come too soonam I?' he saidcasting a look at me: I
had begun to wipe the plateand tidy some drawers at the far end
in the dresser.

'No' answered Catherine. 'What are you doing thereNelly?'

'My workMiss' I replied. (Mr. Hindley had given me directions
to make a third party in any private visits Linton chose to pay.)

She stepped behind me and whispered crossly'Take yourself and
your dusters off; when company are in the houseservants don't
commence scouring and cleaning in the room where they are!'

'It's a good opportunitynow that master is away' I answered
aloud: 'he hates me to be fidgeting over these things in his
presence. I'm sure Mr. Edgar will excuse me.'

'I hate you to be fidgeting in MY presence' exclaimed the young
lady imperiouslynot allowing her guest time to speak: she had
failed to recover her equanimity since the little dispute with
Heathcliff.

'I'm sorry for itMiss Catherine' was my response; and I


proceeded assiduously with my occupation.

Shesupposing Edgar could not see hersnatched the cloth from my
handand pinched mewith a prolonged wrenchvery spitefully on
the arm. I've said I did not love herand rather relished
mortifying her vanity now and then: besidesshe hurt me
extremely; so I started up from my kneesand screamed out'Oh
Missthat's a nasty trick! You have no right to nip meand I'm
not going to bear it.'

'I didn't touch youyou lying creature!' cried sheher fingers
tingling to repeat the actand her ears red with rage. She never
had power to conceal her passionit always set her whole
complexion in a blaze.

'What's thatthen?' I retortedshowing a decided purple witness
to refute her.

She stamped her footwavered a momentand thenirresistibly
impelled by the naughty spirit within herslapped me on the cheek:
a stinging blow that filled both eyes with water.

'Catherinelove! Catherine!' interposed Lintongreatly shocked
at the double fault of falsehood and violence which his idol had
committed.

'Leave the roomEllen!' she repeatedtrembling all over.

Little Haretonwho followed me everywhereand was sitting near me
on the floorat seeing my tears commenced crying himselfand
sobbed out complaints against 'wicked aunt Cathy' which drew her
fury on to his unlucky head: she seized his shouldersand shook
him till the poor child waxed lividand Edgar thoughtlessly laid
hold of her hands to deliver him. In an instant one was wrung
freeand the astonished young man felt it applied over his own ear
in a way that could not be mistaken for jest. He drew back in
consternation. I lifted Hareton in my armsand walked off to the
kitchen with himleaving the door of communication openfor I was
curious to watch how they would settle their disagreement. The
insulted visitor moved to the spot where he had laid his hatpale
and with a quivering lip.

'That's right!' I said to myself. 'Take warning and begone! It's
a kindness to let you have a glimpse of her genuine disposition.'

'Where are you going?' demanded Catherineadvancing to the door.

He swerved asideand attempted to pass.

'You must not go!' she exclaimedenergetically.

'I must and shall!' he replied in a subdued voice.

'No' she persistedgrasping the handle; 'not yetEdgar Linton:
sit down; you shall not leave me in that temper. I should be
miserable all nightand I won't be miserable for you!'

'Can I stay after you have struck me?' asked Linton.

Catherine was mute.

'You've made me afraid and ashamed of you' he continued; 'I'll not
come here again!'


Her eyes began to glisten and her lids to twinkle.

'And you told a deliberate untruth!' he said.

'I didn't!' she criedrecovering her speech; 'I did nothing
deliberately. Wellgoif you please - get away! And now I'll
cry - I'll cry myself sick!'

She dropped down on her knees by a chairand set to weeping in
serious earnest. Edgar persevered in his resolution as far as the
court; there he lingered. I resolved to encourage him.

'Miss is dreadfully waywardsir' I called out. 'As bad as any
marred child: you'd better be riding homeor else she will be
sickonly to grieve us.'

The soft thing looked askance through the window: he possessed the
power to depart as much as a cat possesses the power to leave a
mouse half killedor a bird half eaten. AhI thoughtthere will
be no saving him: he's doomedand flies to his fate! And so it
was: he turned abruptlyhastened into the house againshut the
door behind him; and when I went in a while after to inform them
that Earnshaw had come home rabid drunkready to pull the whole
place about our ears (his ordinary frame of mind in that
condition)I saw the quarrel had merely effected a closer intimacy

-had broken the outworks of youthful timidityand enabled them to
forsake the disguise of friendshipand confess themselves lovers.
Intelligence of Mr. Hindley's arrival drove Linton speedily to his
horseand Catherine to her chamber. I went to hide little
Haretonand to take the shot out of the master's fowling-piece
which he was fond of playing with in his insane excitementto the
hazard of the lives of any who provokedor even attracted his
notice too much; and I had hit upon the plan of removing itthat
he might do less mischief if he did go the length of firing the
gun.

CHAPTER IX

HE enteredvociferating oaths dreadful to hear; and caught me in
the act of stowing his son sway in the kitchen cupboard. Hareton
was impressed with a wholesome terror of encountering either his
wild beast's fondness or his madman's rage; for in one he ran a
chance of being squeezed and kissed to deathand in the other of
being flung into the fireor dashed against the wall; and the poor
thing remained perfectly quiet wherever I chose to put him.

'ThereI've found it out at last!' cried Hindleypulling me back
by the skin of my necklike a dog. 'By heaven and hellyou've
sworn between you to murder that child! I know how it isnow
that he is always out of my way. Butwith the help of SatanI
shall make you swallow the carving-knifeNelly! You needn't
laugh; for I've just crammed Kennethhead-downmostin the Blackhorse
marsh; and two is the same as one - and I want to kill some
of you: I shall have no rest till I do!'

'But I don't like the carving-knifeMr. Hindley' I answered; 'it
has been cutting red herrings. I'd rather be shotif you please.'

'You'd rather be damned!' he said; 'and so you shall. No law in


England can hinder a man from keeping his house decentand mine's
abominable! Open your mouth.' He held the knife in his handand
pushed its point between my teeth: butfor my partI was never
much afraid of his vagaries. I spat outand affirmed it tasted
detestably - I would not take it on any account.

'Oh!' said hereleasing me'I see that hideous little villain is
not Hareton: I beg your pardonNell. If it behe deserves
flaying alive for not running to welcome meand for screaming as
if I were a goblin. Unnatural cubcome hither! I'll teach thee
to impose on a good-hearteddeluded father. Nowdon't you think
the lad would be handsomer cropped? It makes a dog fiercerand I
love something fierce - get me a scissors - something fierce and
trim! Besidesit's infernal affectation - devilish conceit it is
to cherish our ears - we're asses enough without them. Hush
childhush! Well thenit is my darling! wishtdry thy eyes there's
a joy; kiss me. What! it won't? Kiss meHareton! Damn
theekiss me! By Godas if I would rear such a monster! As sure
as I'm livingI'll break the brat's neck.'

Poor Hareton was squalling and kicking in his father's arms with
all his mightand redoubled his yells when he carried him upstairs
and lifted him over the banister. I cried out that he would
frighten the child into fitsand ran to rescue him. As I reached
themHindley leant forward on the rails to listen to a noise
below; almost forgetting what he had in his hands. 'Who is that?'
he askedhearing some one approaching the stairs'-foot. I leant
forward alsofor the purpose of signing to Heathcliffwhose step
I recognisednot to come further; andat the instant when my eye
quitted Haretonhe gave a sudden springdelivered himself from
the careless grasp that held himand fell.

There was scarcely time to experience a thrill of horror before we
saw that the little wretch was safe. Heathcliff arrived underneath
just at the critical moment; by a natural impulse he arrested his
descentand setting him on his feetlooked up to discover the
author of the accident. A miser who has parted with a lucky
lottery ticket for five shillingsand finds next day he has lost
in the bargain five thousand poundscould not show a blanker
countenance than he did on beholding the figure of Mr. Earnshaw
above. It expressedplainer than words could dothe intensest
anguish at having made himself the instrument of thwarting his own
revenge. Had it been darkI daresay he would have tried to remedy
the mistake by smashing Hareton's skull on the steps; butwe
witnessed his salvation; and I was presently below with my precious
charge pressed to my heart. Hindley descended more leisurely
sobered and abashed.

'It is your faultEllen' he said; 'you should have kept him out
of sight: you should have taken him from me! Is he injured
anywhere?'

'Injured!' I cried angrily; 'if he is not killedhe'll be an
idiot! Oh! I wonder his mother does not rise from her grave to
see how you use him. You're worse than a heathen - treating your
own flesh and blood in that manner!' He attempted to touch the
childwhoon finding himself with mesobbed off his terror
directly. At the first finger his father laid on himhoweverhe
shrieked again louder than beforeand struggled as if he would go
into convulsions.

'You shall not meddle with him!' I continued. 'He hates you - they
all hate you - that's the truth! A happy family you have; and a
pretty state you're come to!'


'I shall come to a prettieryetNelly' laughed the misguided
manrecovering his hardness. 'At presentconvey yourself and him
away. And hark youHeathcliff! clear you too quite from my reach
and hearing. I wouldn't murder you to-night; unlessperhapsI
set the house on fire: but that's as my fancy goes.'

While saying this he took a pint bottle of brandy from the dresser
and poured some into a tumbler.

'Naydon't!' I entreated. 'Mr. Hindleydo take warning. Have
mercy on this unfortunate boyif you care nothing for yourself!'

'Any one will do better for him than I shall' he answered.

'Have mercy on your own soul!' I saidendeavouring to snatch the
glass from his hand.

'Not I! On the contraryI shall have great pleasure in sending it
to perdition to punish its Maker' exclaimed the blasphemer.
'Here's to its hearty damnation!'

He drank the spirits and impatiently bade us go; terminating his
command with a sequel of horrid imprecations too bad to repeat or
remember.

'It's a pity he cannot kill himself with drink' observed
Heathcliffmuttering an echo of curses back when the door was
shut. 'He's doing his very utmost; but his constitution defies
him. Mr. Kenneth says he would wager his mare that he'll outlive
any man on this side Gimmertonand go to the grave a hoary sinner;
unless some happy chance out of the common course befall him.'

I went into the kitchenand sat down to lull my little lamb to
sleep. Heathcliffas I thoughtwalked through to the barn. It
turned out afterwards that he only got as far as the other side the
settlewhen he flung himself on a bench by the wallremoved from
the fire and remained silent.

I was rocking Hareton on my kneeand humming a song that began-

It was far in the nightand the bairnies grat
The mither beneath the mools heard that

when Miss Cathywho had listened to the hubbub from her roomput
her head inand whispered- 'Are you aloneNelly?'

'YesMiss' I replied.

She entered and approached the hearth. Isupposing she was going
to say somethinglooked up. The expression of her face seemed
disturbed and anxious. Her lips were half asunderas if she meant
to speakand she drew a breath; but it escaped in a sigh instead
of a sentence. I resumed my song; not having forgotten her recent
behaviour.

'Where's Heathcliff?' she saidinterrupting me.

'About his work in the stable' was my answer.

He did not contradict me; perhaps he had fallen into a doze. There
followed another long pauseduring which I perceived a drop or two


trickle from Catherine's cheek to the flags. Is she sorry for her
shameful conduct? - I asked myself. That will be a novelty: but
she may come to the point - as she will - I sha'n't help her! No
she felt small trouble regarding any subjectsave her own
concerns.

'Ohdear!' she cried at last. 'I'm very unhappy!'

'A pity' observed I. 'You're hard to please; so many friends and
so few caresand can't make yourself content!'

'Nellywill you keep a secret for me?' she pursuedkneeling down
by meand lifting her winsome eyes to my face with that sort of
look which turns off bad tempereven when one has all the right in
the world to indulge it.

'Is it worth keeping?' I inquiredless sulkily.

'Yesand it worries meand I must let it out! I want to know
what I should do. To-dayEdgar Linton has asked me to marry him
and I've given him an answer. Nowbefore I tell you whether it
was a consent or denialyou tell me which it ought to have been.'

'ReallyMiss Catherinehow can I know?' I replied. 'To be sure
considering the exhibition you performed in his presence this
afternoonI might say it would be wise to refuse him: since he
asked you after thathe must either be hopelessly stupid or a
venturesome fool.'

'If you talk soI won't tell you any more' she returned
peevishly rising to her feet. 'I accepted himNelly. Be quick
and say whether I was wrong!'

'You accepted him! Then what good is it discussing the matter?
You have pledged your wordand cannot retract.'

'But say whether I should have done so - do!' she exclaimed in an
irritated tone; chafing her hands togetherand frowning.

'There are many things to be considered before that question can be
answered properly' I saidsententiously. 'First and foremostdo
you love Mr. Edgar?'

'Who can help it? Of course I do' she answered.

Then I put her through the following catechism: for a girl of
twenty-two it was not injudicious.

'Why do you love himMiss Cathy?'

'NonsenseI do - that's sufficient.'

'By no means; you must say why?'

'Wellbecause he is handsomeand pleasant to be with.'

'Bad!' was my commentary.

'And because he is young and cheerful.'

'Badstill.'

'And because he loves me.'


'Indifferentcoming there.'

'And he will be richand I shall like to be the greatest woman of
the neighbourhoodand I shall be proud of having such a husband.'

'Worst of all. And nowsay how you love him?'

'As everybody loves - You're sillyNelly.'

'Not at all - Answer.'

'I love the ground under his feetand the air over his headand
everything he touchesand every word he says. I love all his
looksand all his actionsand him entirely and altogether. There
now!'

'And why?'

'Nay; you are making a jest of it: it is exceedingly ill-natured!
It's no jest to me!' said the young ladyscowlingand turning her
face to the fire.

'I'm very far from jestingMiss Catherine' I replied. 'You love
Mr. Edgar because he is handsomeand youngand cheerfuland
richand loves you. The lasthowevergoes for nothing: you
would love him without thatprobably; and with it you wouldn't
unless he possessed the four former attractions.'

'Noto be sure not: I should only pity him - hate himperhaps
if he were uglyand a clown.'

'But there are several other handsomerich young men in the world:
handsomerpossiblyand richer than he is. What should hinder you
from loving them?'

'If there be anythey are out of my way: I've seen none like
Edgar.'

'You may see some; and he won't always be handsomeand youngand
may not always be rich.'

'He is now; and I have only to do with the present. I wish you
would speak rationally.'

'Wellthat settles it: if you have only to do with the present
marry Mr. Linton.'

'I don't want your permission for that - I SHALL marry him: and
yet you have not told me whether I'm right.'

'Perfectly right; if people be right to marry only for the present.
And nowlet us hear what you are unhappy about. Your brother will
be pleased; the old lady and gentleman will not objectI think;
you will escape from a disorderlycomfortless home into a wealthy
respectable one; and you love Edgarand Edgar loves you. All
seems smooth and easy: where is the obstacle?'

'HERE! and HERE!' replied Catherinestriking one hand on her
foreheadand the other on her breast: 'in whichever place the
soul lives. In my soul and in my heartI'm convinced I'm wrong!'

'That's very strange! I cannot make it out.'

'It's my secret. But if you will not mock at meI'll explain it:


I can't do it distinctly; but I'll give you a feeling of how I
feel.'

She seated herself by me again: her countenance grew sadder and
graverand her clasped hands trembled.

'Nellydo you never dream queer dreams?' she saidsuddenlyafter
some minutes' reflection.

'Yesnow and then' I answered.

'And so do I. I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with
me ever afterand changed my ideas: they've gone through and
through melike wine through waterand altered the colour of my
mind. And this is one: I'm going to tell it - but take care not
to smile at any part of it.'

'Oh! don'tMiss Catherine!' I cried. 'We're dismal enough without
conjuring up ghosts and visions to perplex us. Comecomebe
merry and like yourself! Look at little Hareton! HE'S dreaming
nothing dreary. How sweetly he smiles in his sleep!'

'Yes; and how sweetly his father curses in his solitude! You
remember himI daresaywhen he was just such another as that
chubby thing: nearly as young and innocent. HoweverNellyI
shall oblige you to listen: it's not long; and I've no power to be
merry to-night.'

'I won't hear itI won't hear it!' I repeatedhastily.

I was superstitious about dreams thenand am still; and Catherine
had an unusual gloom in her aspectthat made me dread something
from which I might shape a prophecyand foresee a fearful
catastrophe. She was vexedbut she did not proceed. Apparently
taking up another subjectshe recommenced in a short time.

'If I were in heavenNellyI should be extremely miserable.'

'Because you are not fit to go there' I answered. 'All sinners
would be miserable in heaven.'

'But it is not for that. I dreamt once that I was there.'

'I tell you I won't hearken to your dreamsMiss Catherine! I'll
go to bed' I interrupted again.

She laughedand held me down; for I made a motion to leave my
chair.

'This is nothing' cried she: 'I was only going to say that heaven
did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to
come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me
out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights;
where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret
as well as the other. I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton
than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not
brought Heathcliff so lowI shouldn't have thought of it. It
would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know
how I love him: and thatnot because he's handsomeNellybut
because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made
ofhis and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a
moonbeam from lightningor frost from fire.'

Ere this speech ended I became sensible of Heathcliff's presence.


Having noticed a slight movementI turned my headand saw him
rise from the benchand steal out noiselessly. He had listened
till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry himand
then he stayed to hear no further. My companionsitting on the
groundwas prevented by the back of the settle from remarking his
presence or departure; but I startedand bade her hush!

'Why?' she askedgazing nervously round.

'Joseph is here' I answeredcatching opportunely the roll of his
cartwheels up the road; 'and Heathcliff will come in with him. I'm
not sure whether he were not at the door this moment.'

'Ohhe couldn't overhear me at the door!' said she. 'Give me
Haretonwhile you get the supperand when it is ready ask me to
sup with you. I want to cheat my uncomfortable conscienceand be
convinced that Heathcliff has no notion of these things. He has
nothas he? He does not know what being in love is!'

'I see no reason that he should not knowas well as you' I
returned; 'and if you are his choicehe'll be the most unfortunate
creature that ever was born! As soon as you become Mrs. Lintonhe
loses friendand loveand all! Have you considered how you'll
bear the separationand how he'll bear to be quite deserted in the
world? BecauseMiss Catherine - '

'He quite deserted! we separated!' she exclaimedwith an accent of
indignation. 'Who is to separate uspray? They'll meet the fate
of Milo! Not as long as I liveEllen: for no mortal creature.
Every Linton on the face of the earth might melt into nothing
before I could consent to forsake Heathcliff. Ohthat's not what
I intend - that's not what I mean! I shouldn't be Mrs. Linton were
such a price demanded! He'll be as much to me as he has been all
his lifetime. Edgar must shake off his antipathyand tolerate
himat least. He willwhen he learns my true feelings towards
him. NellyI see now you think me a selfish wretch; but did it
never strike you that if Heathcliff and I marriedwe should be
beggars? whereasif I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff to rise
and place him out of my brother's power.'

'With your husband's moneyMiss Catherine?' I asked. 'You'll find
him not so pliable as you calculate upon: andthough I'm hardly a
judgeI think that's the worst motive you've given yet for being
the wife of young Linton.'

'It is not' retorted she; 'it is the best! The others were the
satisfaction of my whims: and for Edgar's saketooto satisfy
him. This is for the sake of one who comprehends in his person my
feelings to Edgar and myself. I cannot express it; but surely you
and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence
of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creationif I were
entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been
Heathcliff's miseriesand I watched and felt each from the
beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else
perishedand HE remainedI should still continue to be; and if
all else remainedand he were annihilatedthe universe would turn
to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. - My love
for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it
I'm well awareas winter changes the trees. My love for
Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little
visible delightbut necessary. NellyI AM Heathcliff! He's
alwaysalways in my mind: not as a pleasureany more than I am
always a pleasure to myselfbut as my own being. So don't talk of
our separation again: it is impracticable; and - '


She pausedand hid her face in the folds of my gown; but I jerked
it forcibly away. I was out of patience with her folly!

'If I can make any sense of your nonsenseMiss' I said'it only
goes to convince me that you are ignorant of the duties you
undertake in marrying; or else that you are a wickedunprincipled
girl. But trouble me with no more secrets: I'll not promise to
keep them.'

'You'll keep that?' she askedeagerly.

'NoI'll not promise' I repeated.

She was about to insistwhen the entrance of Joseph finished our
conversation; and Catherine removed her seat to a cornerand
nursed Haretonwhile I made the supper. After it was cookedmy
fellow-servant and I began to quarrel who should carry some to Mr.
Hindley; and we didn't settle it till all was nearly cold. Then we
came to the agreement that we would let him askif he wanted any;
for we feared particularly to go into his presence when he had been
some time alone.

'And how isn't that nowt comed in fro' th' fieldbe this time?
What is he about? girt idle seeght!' demanded the old manlooking
round for Heathcliff.

'I'll call him' I replied. 'He's in the barnI've no doubt.'

I went and calledbut got no answer. On returningI whispered to
Catherine that he had heard a good part of what she saidI was
sure; and told how I saw him quit the kitchen just as she
complained of her brother's conduct regarding him. She jumped up
in a fine frightflung Hareton on to the settleand ran to seek
for her friend herself; not taking leisure to consider why she was
so flurriedor how her talk would have affected him. She was
absent such a while that Joseph proposed we should wait no longer.
He cunningly conjectured they were staying away in order to avoid
hearing his protracted blessing. They were 'ill eneugh for ony
fahl manners' he affirmed. And on their behalf he added that
night a special prayer to the usual quarter-of-an-hour's
supplication before meatand would have tacked another to the end
of the gracehad not his young mistress broken in upon him with a
hurried command that he must run down the roadandwherever
Heathcliff had rambledfind and make him re-enter directly!

'I want to speak to himand I MUSTbefore I go upstairs' she
said. 'And the gate is open: he is somewhere out of hearing; for
he would not replythough I shouted at the top of the fold as loud
as I could.'

Joseph objected at first; she was too much in earnesthoweverto
suffer contradiction; and at last he placed his hat on his head
and walked grumbling forth. MeantimeCatherine paced up and down
the floorexclaiming - 'I wonder where he is - I wonder where he
can be! What did I sayNelly? I've forgotten. Was he vexed at
my bad humour this afternoon? Dear! tell me what I've said to
grieve him? I do wish he'd come. I do wish he would!'

'What a noise for nothing!' I criedthough rather uneasy myself.
'What a trifle scares you! It's surely no great cause of alarm
that Heathcliff should take a moonlight saunter on the moorsor
even lie too sulky to speak to us in the hay-loft. I'll engage
he's lurking there. See if I don't ferret him out!'


I departed to renew my search; its result was disappointmentand
Joseph's quest ended in the same.

'Yon lad gets war und war!' observed he on re-entering. 'He's left
th' gate at t' full swingand Miss's pony has trodden dahn two
rigs o' cornand plottered throughraight o'er into t' meadow!
Hahsomdivert' maister 'ull play t' devil to-mornand he'll do
weel. He's patience itsseln wi' sich carelessoffald craters patience
itsseln he is! Bud he'll not be soa allus - yah's see
all on ye! Yah mun'n't drive him out of his heead for nowt!'

'Have you found Heathcliffyou ass?' interrupted Catherine. 'Have
you been looking for himas I ordered?'

'I sud more likker look for th' horse' he replied. 'It 'ud be to
more sense. Bud I can look for norther horse nur man of a neeght
loike this - as black as t' chimbley! und Heathcliff's noan t' chap
to coom at MY whistle - happen he'll be less hard o' hearing wi'
YE!'

It WAS a very dark evening for summer: the clouds appeared
inclined to thunderand I said we had better all sit down; the
approaching rain would be certain to bring him home without further
trouble. HoweverCatherine would hot be persuaded into
tranquillity. She kept wandering to and frofrom the gate to the
doorin a state of agitation which permitted no repose; and at
length took up a permanent situation on one side of the wallnear
the road: whereheedless of my expostulations and the growling
thunderand the great drops that began to plash around hershe
remainedcalling at intervalsand then listeningand then crying
outright. She beat Haretonor any childat a good passionate fit
of crying.

About midnightwhile we still sat upthe storm came rattling over
the Heights in full fury. There was a violent windas well as
thunderand either one or the other split a tree off at the corner
of the building: a huge bough fell across the roofand knocked
down a portion of the east chimney-stacksending a clatter of
stones and soot into the kitchen-fire. We thought a bolt had
fallen in the middle of us; and Joseph swung on to his knees
beseeching the Lord to remember the patriarchs Noah and Lotand
as in former timesspare the righteousthough he smote the
ungodly. I felt some sentiment that it must be a judgment on us
also. The Jonahin my mindwas Mr. Earnshaw; and I shook the
handle of his den that I might ascertain if he were yet living. He
replied audibly enoughin a fashion which made my companion
vociferatemore clamorously than beforethat a wide distinction
might be drawn between saints like himself and sinners like his
master. But the uproar passed away in twenty minutesleaving us
all unharmed; excepting Cathywho got thoroughly drenched for her
obstinacy in refusing to take shelterand standing bonnetless and
shawl-less to catch as much water as she could with her hair and
clothes. She came in and lay down on the settleall soaked as she
wasturning her face to the backand putting her hands before it.

'WellMiss!' I exclaimedtouching her shoulder; 'you are not bent
on getting your deathare you? Do you know what o'clock it is?
Half-past twelve. Comecome to bed! there's no use waiting any
longer on that foolish boy: he'll be gone to Gimmertonand he'll
stay there now. He guesses we shouldn't wait for him till this
late hour: at leasthe guesses that only Mr. Hindley would be up;
and he'd rather avoid having the door opened by the master.'


'Naynayhe's noan at Gimmerton' said Joseph. 'I's niver wonder
but he's at t' bothom of a bog-hoile. This visitation worn't for
nowtand I wod hev' ye to look outMiss - yah muh be t' next.
Thank Hivin for all! All warks togither for gooid to them as is
chozzenand piked out fro' th' rubbidge! Yah knaw whet t'
Scripture ses.' And he began quoting several textsreferring us
to chapters and verses where we might find them.

Ihaving vainly begged the wilful girl to rise and remove her wet
thingsleft him preaching and her shiveringand betook myself to
bed with little Haretonwho slept as fast as if everyone had been
sleeping round him. I heard Joseph read on a while afterwards;
then I distinguished his slow step on the ladderand then I
dropped asleep.

Coming down somewhat later than usualI sawby the sunbeams
piercing the chinks of the shuttersMiss Catherine still seated
near the fireplace. The house-door was ajartoo; light entered
from its unclosed windows; Hindley had come outand stood on the
kitchen hearthhaggard and drowsy.

'What ails youCathy?' he was saying when I entered: 'you look as
dismal as a drowned whelp. Why are you so damp and palechild?'

'I've been wet' she answered reluctantly'and I'm coldthat's
all.'

'Ohshe is naughty!' I criedperceiving the master to be
tolerably sober. 'She got steeped in the shower of yesterday
eveningand there she has sat the night throughand I couldn't
prevail on her to stir.'

Mr. Earnshaw stared at us in surprise. 'The night through' he
repeated. 'What kept her up? not fear of the thundersurely?
That was over hours since.'

Neither of us wished to mention Heathcliff's absenceas long as we
could conceal it; so I repliedI didn't know how she took it into
her head to sit up; and she said nothing. The morning was fresh
and cool; I threw back the latticeand presently the room filled
with sweet scents from the garden; but Catherine called peevishly
to me'Ellenshut the window. I'm starving!' And her teeth
chattered as she shrank closer to the almost extinguished embers.

'She's ill' said Hindleytaking her wrist; 'I suppose that's the
reason she would not go to bed. Damn it! I don't want to be
troubled with more sickness here. What took you into the rain?'

'Running after t' ladsas usuald!' croaked Josephcatching an
opportunity from our hesitation to thrust in his evil tongue. 'If
I war yahmaisterI'd just slam t' boards i' their faces all on
'emgentle and simple! Never a day ut yah're offbut yon cat o'
Linton comes sneaking hither; and Miss Nellyshoo's a fine lass!
shoo sits watching for ye i' t' kitchen; and as yah're in at one
doorhe's out at t'other; andthenwer grand lady goes acourting
of her side! It's bonny behaviourlurking amang t'
fieldsafter twelve o' t' nightwi' that fahlflaysome divil of
a gipsyHeathcliff! They think I'M blind; but I'm noan: nowt ut
t' soart! - I seed young Linton boath coming and goingand I seed
YAH' (directing his discourse to me)'yah gooid fur nowt
slattenly witch! nip up and bolt into th' houset' minute yah
heard t' maister's horse-fit clatter up t' road.'

'Silenceeavesdropper!' cried Catherine; 'none of your insolence


before me! Edgar Linton came yesterday by chanceHindley; and it
was I who told him to be off: because I knew you would not like to
have met him as you were.'

'You lieCathyno doubt' answered her brother'and you are a
confounded simpleton! But never mind Linton at present: tell me
were you not with Heathcliff last night? Speak the truthnow.
You need not he afraid of harming him: though I hate him as much
as everhe did me a good turn a short time since that will make my
conscience tender of breaking his neck. To prevent itI shall
send him about his business this very morning; and after he's gone
I'd advise you all to look sharp: I shall only have the more
humour for you.'

'I never saw Heathcliff last night' answered Catherinebeginning
to sob bitterly: 'and if you do turn him out of doorsI'll go
with him. Butperhapsyou'll never have an opportunity:
perhapshe's gone.' Here she burst into uncontrollable griefand
the remainder of her words were inarticulate.

Hindley lavished on her a torrent of scornful abuseand bade her
get to her room immediatelyor she shouldn't cry for nothing! I
obliged her to obey; and I shall never forget what a scene she
acted when we reached her chamber: it terrified me. I thought she
was going madand I begged Joseph to run for the doctor. It
proved the commencement of delirium: Mr. Kennethas soon as he
saw herpronounced her dangerously ill; she had a fever. He bled
herand he told me to let her live on whey and water-grueland
take care she did not throw herself downstairs or out of the
window; and then he left: for he had enough to do in the parish
where two or three miles was the ordinary distance between cottage
and cottage.

Though I cannot say I made a gentle nurseand Joseph and the
master were no betterand though our patient was as wearisome and
headstrong as a patient could beshe weathered it through. Old
Mrs. Linton paid us several visitsto be sureand set things to
rightsand scolded and ordered us all; and when Catherine was
convalescentshe insisted on conveying her to Thrushcross Grange:
for which deliverance we were very grateful. But the poor dame had
reason to repent of her kindness: she and her husband both took
the feverand died within a few days of each other.

Our young lady returned to us saucier and more passionateand
haughtier than ever. Heathcliff had never been heard of since the
evening of the thunder-storm; andone dayI had the misfortune
when she had provoked me exceedinglyto lay the blame of his
disappearance on her: where indeed it belongedas she well knew.
From that periodfor several monthsshe ceased to hold any
communication with mesave in the relation of a mere servant.
Joseph fell under a ban also: he would speak his mindand lecture
her all the same as if she were a little girl; and she esteemed
herself a womanand our mistressand thought that her recent
illness gave her a claim to be treated with consideration. Then
the doctor had said that she would not bear crossing much; she
ought to have her own way; and it was nothing less than murder in
her eyes for any one to presume to stand up and contradict her.
From Mr. Earnshaw and his companions she kept aloof; and tutored by
Kennethand serious threats of a fit that often attended her
ragesher brother allowed her whatever she pleased to demandand
generally avoided aggravating her fiery temper. He was rather too
indulgent in humouring her caprices; not from affectionbut from
pride: he wished earnestly to see her bring honour to the family
by an alliance with the Lintonsand as long as she let him alone


she might trample on us like slavesfor aught he cared! Edgar
Lintonas multitudes have been before and will be after himwas
infatuated: and believed himself the happiest man alive on the day
he led her to Gimmerton Chapelthree years subsequent to his
father's death.

Much against my inclinationI was persuaded to leave Wuthering
Heights and accompany her hereLittle Hareton was nearly five
years oldand I had just begun to teach him his letters. We made
a sad parting; but Catherine's tears were more powerful than ours.
When I refused to goand when she found her entreaties did not
move meshe went lamenting to her husband and brother. The former
offered me munificent wages; the latter ordered me to pack up: he
wanted no women in the househe saidnow that there was no
mistress; and as to Haretonthe curate should take him in hand
by-and-by. And so I had but one choice left: to do as I was
ordered. I told the master he got rid of all decent people only to
run to ruin a little faster; I kissed Haretonsaid good-by; and
since then he has been a stranger: and it's very queer to think
itbut I've no doubt he has completely forgotten all about Ellen
Deanand that he was ever more than all the world to her and she
to him!

At this point of the housekeeper's story she chanced to glance
towards the time-piece over the chimney; and was in amazement on
seeing the minute-hand measure half-past one. She would not hear
of staying a second longer: in truthI felt rather disposed to
defer the sequel of her narrative myself. And now that she is
vanished to her restand I have meditated for another hour or two
I shall summon courage to go alsoin spite of aching laziness of
head and limbs.

CHAPTER X

A CHARMING introduction to a hermit's life! Four weeks' torture
tossingand sickness! Ohthese bleak winds and bitter northern
skiesand impassable roadsand dilatory country surgeons! And
ohthis dearth of the human physiognomy! andworse than allthe
terrible intimation of Kenneth that I need not expect to be out of
doors till spring!

Mr. Heathcliff has just honoured me with a call. About seven days
ago he sent me a brace of grouse - the last of the season.
Scoundrel! He is not altogether guiltless in this illness of mine;
and that I had a great mind to tell him. Butalas! how could I
offend a man who was charitable enough to sit at my bedside a good
hourand talk on some other subject than pills and draughts
blisters and leeches? This is quite an easy interval. I am too
weak to read; yet I feel as if I could enjoy something interesting.
Why not have up Mrs. Dean to finish her tale? I can recollect its
chief incidentsas far as she had gone. Yes: I remember her hero
had run offand never been heard of for three years; and the
heroine was married. I'll ring: she'll be delighted to find me
capable of talking cheerfully. Mrs. Dean came.

'It wants twenty minutessirto taking the medicine' she
commenced.

'Awayaway with it!' I replied; 'I desire to have - '


'The doctor says you must drop the powders.'

'With all my heart! Don't interrupt me. Come and take your seat
here. Keep your fingers from that bitter phalanx of vials. Draw
your knitting out of your pocket - that will do - now continue the
history of Mr. Heathclifffrom where you left offto the present
day. Did he finish his education on the Continentand come back a
gentleman? or did he get a sizar's place at collegeor escape to
Americaand earn honours by drawing blood from his foster-country?
or make a fortune more promptly on the English highways?'

'He may have done a little in all these vocationsMr. Lockwood;
but I couldn't give my word for any. I stated before that I didn't
know how he gained his money; neither am I aware of the means he
took to raise his mind from the savage ignorance into which it was
sunk: butwith your leaveI'll proceed in my own fashionif you
think it will amuse and not weary you. Are you feeling better this
morning?'

'Much.'

'That's good news.'

I got Miss Catherine and myself to Thrushcross Grange; andto my
agreeable disappointmentshe behaved infinitely better than I
dared to expect. She seemed almost over-fond of Mr. Linton; and
even to his sister she showed plenty of affection. They were both
very attentive to her comfortcertainly. It was not the thorn
bending to the honeysucklesbut the honeysuckles embracing the
thorn. There were no mutual concessions: one stood erectand the
others yielded: and who can be ill-natured and bad-tempered when
they encounter neither opposition nor indifference? I observed
that Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted fear of ruffling her humour. He
concealed it from her; but if ever he heard me answer sharplyor
saw any other servant grow cloudy at some imperious order of hers
he would show his trouble by a frown of displeasure that never
darkened on his own account. He many a time spoke sternly to me
about my pertness; and averred that the stab of a knife could not
inflict a worse pang than he suffered at seeing his lady vexed.
Not to grieve a kind masterI learned to be less touchy; andfor
the space of half a yearthe gunpowder lay as harmless as sand
because no fire came near to explode it. Catherine had seasons of
gloom and silence now and then: they were respected with
sympathising silence by her husbandwho ascribed them to an
alteration in her constitutionproduced by her perilous illness;
as she was never subject to depression of spirits before. The
return of sunshine was welcomed by answering sunshine from him. I
believe I may assert that they were really in possession of deep
and growing happiness.

It ended. Wellwe MUST be for ourselves in the long run; the mild
and generous are only more justly selfish than the domineering; and
it ended when circumstances caused each to feel that the one's
interest was not the chief consideration in the other's thoughts.
On a mellow evening in SeptemberI was coming from the garden with
a heavy basket of apples which I had been gathering. It had got
duskand the moon looked over the high wall of the courtcausing
undefined shadows to lurk in the corners of the numerous projecting
portions of the building. I set my burden on the house-steps by
the kitchen-doorand lingered to restand drew in a few more
breaths of the softsweet air; my eyes were on the moonand my
back to the entrancewhen I heard a voice behind me say- 'Nelly


is that you?'

It was a deep voiceand foreign in tone; yet there was something
in the manner of pronouncing my name which made it sound familiar.
I turned about to discover who spokefearfully; for the doors were
shutand I had seen nobody on approaching the steps. Something
stirred in the porch; andmoving nearerI distinguished a tall
man dressed in dark clotheswith dark face and hair. He leant
against the sideand held his fingers on the latch as if intending
to open for himself. 'Who can it be?' I thought. 'Mr. Earnshaw?
Ohno! The voice has no resemblance to his.'

'I have waited here an hour' he resumedwhile I continued
staring; 'and the whole of that time all round has been as still as
death. I dared not enter. You do not know me? LookI'm not a
stranger!'

A ray fell on his features; the cheeks were sallowand half
covered with black whiskers; the brows loweringthe eyes deep-set
and singular. I remembered the eyes.

'What!' I crieduncertain whether to regard him as a worldly
visitorand I raised my hands in amazement. 'What! you come back?
Is it really you? Is it?'

'YesHeathcliff' he repliedglancing from me up to the windows
which reflected a score of glittering moonsbut showed no lights
from within. 'Are they at home? where is she? Nellyyou are not
glad! you needn't be so disturbed. Is she here? Speak! I want to
have one word with her - your mistress. Goand say some person
from Gimmerton desires to see her.'

'How will she take it?' I exclaimed. 'What will she do? The
surprise bewilders me - it will put her out of her head! And you
ARE Heathcliff! But altered! Naythere's no comprehending it.
Have you been for a soldier?'

'Go and carry my message' he interruptedimpatiently. 'I'm in
hell till you do!'

He lifted the latchand I entered; but when I got to the parlour
where Mr. and Mrs. Linton wereI could not persuade myself to
proceed. At length I resolved on making an excuse to ask if they
would have the candles lightedand I opened the door.

They sat together in a window whose lattice lay back against the
walland displayedbeyond the garden treesand the wild green
parkthe valley of Gimmertonwith a long line of mist winding
nearly to its top (for very soon after you pass the chapelas you
may have noticedthe sough that runs from the marshes joins a beck
which follows the bend of the glen). Wuthering Heights rose above
this silvery vapour; but our old house was invisible; it rather
dips down on the other side. Both the room and its occupantsand
the scene they gazed onlooked wondrously peaceful. I shrank
reluctantly from performing my errand; and was actually going away
leaving it unsaidafter having put my question about the candles
when a sense of my folly compelled me to returnand mutter'A
person from Gimmerton wishes to see you ma'am.'

'What does he want?' asked Mrs. Linton.

'I did not question him' I answered.

'Wellclose the curtainsNelly' she said; 'and bring up tea.


I'll be back again directly.'

She quitted the apartment; Mr. Edgar inquiredcarelesslywho it
was.

'Some one mistress does not expect' I replied. 'That Heathcliff you
recollect himsir - who used to live at Mr. Earnshaw's.'

'What! the gipsy - the ploughboy?' he cried. 'Why did you not say
so to Catherine?'

'Hush! you must not call him by those namesmaster' I said.
'She'd be sadly grieved to hear you. She was nearly heartbroken
when he ran off. I guess his return will make a jubilee to her.'

Mr. Linton walked to a window on the other side of the room that
overlooked the court. He unfastened itand leant out. I suppose
they were belowfor he exclaimed quickly: 'Don't stand there
love! Bring the person inif it be anyone particular.' Ere long
I heard the click of the latchand Catherine flew up-stairs
breathless and wild; too excited to show gladness: indeedby her
faceyou would rather have surmised an awful calamity.

'OhEdgarEdgar!' she pantedflinging her arms round his neck.
'OhEdgar darling! Heathcliff's come back - he is!' And she
tightened her embrace to a squeeze.

'Wellwell' cried her husbandcrossly'don't strangle me for
that! He never struck me as such a marvellous treasure. There is
no need to be frantic!'

'I know you didn't like him' she answeredrepressing a little the
intensity of her delight. 'Yetfor my sakeyou must be friends
now. Shall I tell him to come up?'

'Here' he said'into the parlour?'

'Where else?' she asked.

He looked vexedand suggested the kitchen as a more suitable place
for him. Mrs. Linton eyed him with a droll expression - half
angryhalf laughing at his fastidiousness.

'No' she addedafter a while; 'I cannot sit in the kitchen. Set
two tables hereEllen: one for your master and Miss Isabella
being gentry; the other for Heathcliff and myselfbeing of the
lower orders. Will that please youdear? Or must I have a fire
lighted elsewhere? If sogive directions. I'll run down and
secure my guest. I'm afraid the joy is too great to be real!'

She was about to dart off again; but Edgar arrested her.

'YOU bid him step up' he saidaddressing me; 'andCatherinetry
to be gladwithout being absurd. The whole household need not
witness the sight of your welcoming a runaway servant as a
brother.'

I descendedand found Heathcliff waiting under the porch
evidently anticipating an invitation to enter. He followed my
guidance without waste of wordsand I ushered him into the
presence of the master and mistresswhose flushed cheeks betrayed
signs of warm talking. But the lady's glowed with another feeling
when her friend appeared at the door: she sprang forwardtook
both his handsand led him to Linton; and then she seized Linton's


reluctant fingers and crushed them into his. Nowfully revealed
by the fire and candlelightI was amazedmore than everto
behold the transformation of Heathcliff. He had grown a tall
athleticwell-formed man; beside whom my master seemed quite
slender and youth-like. His upright carriage suggested the idea of
his having been in the army. His countenance was much older in
expression and decision of feature than Mr. Linton's; it looked
intelligentand retained no marks of former degradation. A halfcivilised
ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full
of black firebut it was subdued; and his manner was even
dignified: quite divested of roughnessthough stern for grace.
My master's surprise equalled or exceeded mine: he remained for a
minute at a loss how to address the ploughboyas he had called
him. Heathcliff dropped his slight handand stood looking at him
coolly till he chose to speak.

'Sit downsir' he saidat length. 'Mrs. Lintonrecalling old
timeswould have me give you a cordial reception; andof course
I am gratified when anything occurs to please her.'

'And I also' answered Heathcliff'especially if it be anything in
which I have a part. I shall stay an hour or two willingly.'

He took a seat opposite Catherinewho kept her gaze fixed on him
as if she feared he would vanish were she to remove it. He did not
raise his to her often: a quick glance now and then sufficed; but
it flashed backeach time more confidentlythe undisguised
delight he drank from hers. They were too much absorbed in their
mutual joy to suffer embarrassment. Not so Mr. Edgar: he grew
pale with pure annoyance: a feeling that reached its climax when
his lady roseand stepping across the rugseized Heathcliff's
hands againand laughed like one beside herself.

'I shall think it a dream to-morrow!' she cried. 'I shall not be
able to believe that I have seenand touchedand spoken to you
once more. And yetcruel Heathcliff! you don't deserve this
welcome. To be absent and silent for three yearsand never to
think of me!'

'A little more than you have thought of me' he murmured. 'I heard
of your marriageCathynot long since; andwhile waiting in the
yard belowI meditated this plan - just to have one glimpse of
your facea stare of surpriseperhapsand pretended pleasure;
afterwards settle my score with Hindley; and then prevent the law
by doing execution on myself. Your welcome has put these ideas out
of my mind; but beware of meeting me with another aspect next time!
Nayyou'll not drive me off again. You were really sorry for me
were you? Wellthere was cause. I've fought through a bitter
life since I last heard your voice; and you must forgive mefor I
struggled only for you!'

'Catherineunless we are to have cold teaplease to come to the
table' interrupted Lintonstriving to preserve his ordinary tone
and a due measure of politeness. 'Mr. Heathcliff will have a long
walkwherever he may lodge to-night; and I'm thirsty.'

She took her post before the urn; and Miss Isabella camesummoned
by the bell; thenhaving handed their chairs forwardI left the
room. The meal hardly endured ten minutes. Catherine's cup was
never filled: she could neither eat nor drink. Edgar had made a
slop in his saucerand scarcely swallowed a mouthful. Their guest
did not protract his stay that evening above an hour longer. I
askedas he departedif he went to Gimmerton?


'Noto Wuthering Heights' he answered: 'Mr. Earnshaw invited me
when I called this morning.'

Mr. Earnshaw invited HIM! and HE called on Mr. Earnshaw! I
pondered this sentence painfullyafter he was gone. Is he turning
out a bit of a hypocriteand coming into the country to work
mischief under a cloak? I mused: I had a presentiment in the
bottom of my heart that he had better have remained away.

About the middle of the nightI was wakened from my first nap by
Mrs. Linton gliding into my chambertaking a seat on my bedside
and pulling me by the hair to rouse me.

'I cannot restEllen' she saidby way of apology. 'And I want
some living creature to keep me company in my happiness! Edgar is
sulkybecause I'm glad of a thing that does not interest him: he
refuses to open his mouthexcept to utter pettishsilly speeches;
and he affirmed I was cruel and selfish for wishing to talk when he
was so sick and sleepy. He always contrives to be sick at the
least cross! I gave a few sentences of commendation to Heathcliff
and heeither for a headache or a pang of envybegan to cry: so
I got up and left him.'

'What use is it praising Heathcliff to him?' I answered. 'As lads
they had an aversion to each otherand Heathcliff would hate just
as much to hear him praised: it's human nature. Let Mr. Linton
alone about himunless you would like an open quarrel between
them.'

'But does it not show great weakness?' pursued she. 'I'm not
envious: I never feel hurt at the brightness of Isabella's yellow
hair and the whiteness of her skinat her dainty eleganceand the
fondness all the family exhibit for her. Even youNellyif we
have a dispute sometimesyou back Isabella at once; and I yield
like a foolish mother: I call her a darlingand flatter her into
a good temper. It pleases her brother to see us cordialand that
pleases me. But they are very much alike: they are spoiled
childrenand fancy the world was made for their accommodation; and
though I humour bothI think a smart chastisement might improve
them all the same.'

'You're mistakenMrs. Linton' said I. 'They humour you: I know
what there would be to do if they did not. You can well afford to
indulge their passing whims as long as their business is to
anticipate all your desires. You mayhoweverfall outat last
over something of equal consequence to both sides; and then those
you term weak are very capable of being as obstinate as you.'

'And then we shall fight to the deathsha'n't weNelly?' she
returnedlaughing. 'No! I tell youI have such faith in Linton's
lovethat I believe I might kill himand he wouldn't wish to
retaliate.'

I advised her to value him the more for his affection.

'I do' she answered'but he needn't resort to whining for
trifles. It is childish andinstead of melting into tears because
I said that Heathcliff was now worthy of anyone's regardand it
would honour the first gentleman in the country to be his friend
he ought to have said it for meand been delighted from sympathy.
He must get accustomed to himand he may as well like him:
considering how Heathcliff has reason to object to himI'm sure he
behaved excellently!'


'What do you think of his going to Wuthering Heights?' I inquired.
'He is reformed in every respectapparently: quite a Christian:
offering the right hand of fellowship to his enemies all around!'

'He explained it' she replied. 'I wonder as much as you. He said
he called to gather information concerning me from yousupposing
you resided there still; and Joseph told Hindleywho came out and
fell to questioning him of what he had been doingand how he had
been living; and finallydesired him to walk in. There were some
persons sitting at cards; Heathcliff joined them; my brother lost
some money to himandfinding him plentifully suppliedhe
requested that he would come again in the evening: to which he
consented. Hindley is too reckless to select his acquaintance
prudently: he doesn't trouble himself to reflect on the causes he
might have for mistrusting one whom he has basely injured. But
Heathcliff affirms his principal reason for resuming a connection
with his ancient persecutor is a wish to instal himself in quarters
at walking distance from the Grangeand an attachment to the house
where we lived together; and likewise a hope that I shall have more
opportunities of seeing him there than I could have if he settled
in Gimmerton. He means to offer liberal payment for permission to
lodge at the Heights; and doubtless my brother's covetousness will
prompt him to accept the terms: he was always greedy; though what
he grasps with one hand he flings away with the other.'

'It's a nice place for a young man to fix his dwelling in!' said I.
'Have you no fear of the consequencesMrs. Linton?'

'None for my friend' she replied: 'his strong head will keep him
from danger; a little for Hindley: but he can't be made morally
worse than he is; and I stand between him and bodily harm. The
event of this evening has reconciled me to God and humanity! I had
risen in angry rebellion against Providence. OhI've endured
veryvery bitter miseryNelly! If that creature knew how bitter
he'd be ashamed to cloud its removal with idle petulance. It was
kindness for him which induced me to bear it alone: had I
expressed the agony I frequently felthe would have been taught to
long for its alleviation as ardently as I. Howeverit's overand
I'll take no revenge on his folly; I can afford to suffer anything
hereafter! Should the meanest thing alive slap me on the cheek
I'd not only turn the otherbut I'd ask pardon for provoking it;
andas a proofI'll go make my peace with Edgar instantly. Goodnight!
I'm an angel!'

In this self-complacent conviction she departed; and the success of
her fulfilled resolution was obvious on the morrow: Mr. Linton had
not only abjured his peevishness (though his spirits seemed still
subdued by Catherine's exuberance of vivacity)but he ventured no
objection to her taking Isabella with her to Wuthering Heights in
the afternoon; and she rewarded him with such a summer of sweetness
and affection in return as made the house a paradise for several
days; both master and servants profiting from the perpetual
sunshine.

Heathcliff - Mr. Heathcliff I should say in future - used the
liberty of visiting at Thrushcross Grange cautiouslyat first: he
seemed estimating how far its owner would bear his intrusion.
Catherinealsodeemed it judicious to moderate her expressions of
pleasure in receiving him; and he gradually established his right
to be expected. He retained a great deal of the reserve for which
his boyhood was remarkable; and that served to repress all
startling demonstrations of feeling. My master's uneasiness
experienced a lulland further circumstances diverted it into
another channel for a space.


His new source of trouble sprang from the not anticipated
misfortune of Isabella Linton evincing a sudden and irresistible
attraction towards the tolerated guest. She was at that time a
charming young lady of eighteen; infantile in mannersthough
possessed of keen witkeen feelingsand a keen tempertooif
irritated. Her brotherwho loved her tenderlywas appalled at
this fantastic preference. Leaving aside the degradation of an
alliance with a nameless manand the possible fact that his
propertyin default of heirs malemight pass into such a one's
powerhe had sense to comprehend Heathcliff's disposition: to
know thatthough his exterior was alteredhis mind was
unchangeable and unchanged. And he dreaded that mind: it revolted
him: he shrank forebodingly from the idea of committing Isabella
to its keeping. He would have recoiled still more had he been
aware that her attachment rose unsolicitedand was bestowed where
it awakened no reciprocation of sentiment; for the minute he
discovered its existence he laid the blame on Heathcliff's
deliberate designing.

We had all remarkedduring some timethat Miss Linton fretted and
pined over something. She grew cross and wearisome; snapping at
and teasing Catherine continuallyat the imminent risk of
exhausting her limited patience. We excused herto a certain
extenton the plea of ill-health: she was dwindling and fading
before our eyes. But one daywhen she had been peculiarly
waywardrejecting her breakfastcomplaining that the servants did
not do what she told them; that the mistress would allow her to be
nothing in the houseand Edgar neglected her; that she had caught
a cold with the doors being left openand we let the parlour fire
go out on purpose to vex herwith a hundred yet more frivolous
accusationsMrs. Linton peremptorily insisted that she should get
to bed; andhaving scolded her heartilythreatened to send for
the doctor. Mention of Kenneth caused her to exclaiminstantly
that her health was perfectand it was only Catherine's harshness
which made her unhappy.

'How can you say I am harshyou naughty fondling?' cried the
mistressamazed at the unreasonable assertion. 'You are surely
losing your reason. When have I been hashtell me?'

'Yesterday' sobbed Isabella'and now!'

'Yesterday!' said her sister-in-law. 'On what occasion?'

'In our walk along the moor: you told me to ramble where I
pleasedwhile you sauntered on with Mr. Heathcliff?'

'And that's your notion of harshness?' said Catherinelaughing.
'It was no hint that your company was superfluous? We didn't care
whether you kept with us or not; I merely thought Heathcliff's talk
would have nothing entertaining for your ears.'

'Ohno' wept the young lady; 'you wished me awaybecause you
knew I liked to be there!'

'Is she sane?' asked Mrs. Lintonappealing to me. 'I'll repeat
our conversationword for wordIsabella; and you point out any
charm it could have had for you.'

'I don't mind the conversation' she answered: 'I wanted to be
with - '

Well?' said Catherine, perceiving her hesitate to complete the


sentence.

'With him: and I won't be always sent off!' she continued,
kindling up. 'You are a dog in the manger, Cathy, and desire no
one to be loved but yourself!'

'You are an impertinent little monkey!' exclaimed Mrs. Linton, in
surprise. 'But I'll not believe this idiotcy! It is impossible
that you can covet the admiration of Heathcliff - that you consider
him an agreeable person! I hope I have misunderstood you,
Isabella?'

'No, you have not,' said the infatuated girl. 'I love him more
than ever you loved Edgar, and he might love me, if you would let
him!'

'I wouldn't be you for a kingdom, then!' Catherine declared,
emphatically: and she seemed to speak sincerely. 'Nelly, help me
to convince her of her madness. Tell her what Heathcliff is: an
unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation; an
arid wilderness of furze and whinstone. I'd as soon put that
little canary into the park on a winter's day, as recommend you to
bestow your heart on him! It is deplorable ignorance of his
character, child, and nothing else, which makes that dream enter
your head. Pray, don't imagine that he conceals depths of
benevolence and affection beneath a stern exterior! He's not a
rough diamond - a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic: he's a
fierce, pitiless, wolfish man. I never say to him, Let this or
that enemy alonebecause it would be ungenerous or cruel to harm
them;" I sayLet them alone, because I should hate them to be
wronged:and he'd crush you like a sparrow's eggIsabellaif he
found you a troublesome charge. I know he couldn't love a Linton;
and yet he'd be quite capable of marrying your fortune and
expectations: avarice is growing with him a besetting sin.
There's my picture: and I'm his friend - so much sothat had he
thought seriously to catch youI shouldperhapshave held my
tongueand let you fall into his trap.'

Miss Linton regarded her sister-in-law with indignation.

'For shame! for shame!' she repeatedangrily. 'You are worse than
twenty foesyou poisonous friend!'

'Ah! you won't believe methen?' said Catherine. 'You think I
speak from wicked selfishness?'

'I'm certain you do' retorted Isabella; 'and I shudder at you!'

'Good!' cried the other. 'Try for yourselfif that be your
spirit: I have doneand yield the argument to your saucy
insolence.'


'And I must suffer for her egotism!' she sobbedas Mrs. Linton
left the room. 'Allall is against me: she has blighted my
single consolation. But she uttered falsehoodsdidn't she? Mr.
Heathcliff is not a fiend: he has an honourable souland a true
oneor how could he remember her?'

'Banish him from your thoughtsMiss' I said. 'He's a bird of bad
omen: no mate for you. Mrs. Linton spoke stronglyand yet I
can't contradict her. She is better acquainted with his heart than
Ior any one besides; and she never would represent him as worse
than he is. Honest people don't hide their deeds. How has he been
living? how has he got rich? why is he staying at Wuthering


Heightsthe house of a man whom he abhors? They say Mr. Earnshaw
is worse and worse since he came. They sit up all night together
continuallyand Hindley has been borrowing money on his landand
does nothing but play and drink: I heard only a week ago - it was
Joseph who told me - I met him at Gimmerton: "Nelly he said,
we's hae a crowner's 'quest enowat ahr folks'. One on 'em 's
a'most getten his finger cut off wi' hauding t' other fro' stickin'
hisseln loike a cawlf. That's maisteryeah knaw'at 's soa up o'
going tuh t' grand 'sizes. He's noan feared o' t' bench o' judges
norther Paulnur Peternur Johnnur Matthewnor noan on 'em
not he! He fair likes - he langs to set his brazened face agean
'em! And yon bonny lad Heathcliffyah mindhe's a rare 'un. He
can girn a laugh as well 's onybody at a raight divil's jest. Does
he niver say nowt of his fine living amang uswhen he goes to t'
Grange? This is t' way on 't:- up at sun-down: dicebrandy
cloised shuttersund can'le-light till next day at noon: then
t'fooil gangs banning und raving to his cham'ermakking dacent
fowks dig thur fingers i' thur lugs fur varry shame; un' the knave
why he can caint his brassun' ateun' sleepun' off to his
neighbour's to gossip wi' t' wife. I' coursehe tells Dame
Catherine how her fathur's goold runs into his pocketand her
fathur's son gallops down t' broad roadwhile he flees afore to
oppen t' pikes!" NowMiss LintonJoseph is an old rascalbut no
liar; andif his account of Heathcliff's conduct be trueyou
would never think of desiring such a husbandwould you?'

'You are leagued with the restEllen!' she replied. 'I'll not
listen to your slanders. What malevolence you must have to wish to
convince me that there is no happiness in the world!'

Whether she would have got over this fancy if left to herselfor
persevered in nursing it perpetuallyI cannot say: she had little
time to reflect. The day afterthere was a justice-meeting at the
next town; my master was obliged to attend; and Mr. Heathcliff
aware of his absencecalled rather earlier than usual. Catherine
and Isabella were sitting in the libraryon hostile termsbut
silent: the latter alarmed at her recent indiscretionand the
disclosure she had made of her secret feelings in a transient fit
of passion; the formeron mature considerationreally offended
with her companion; andif she laughed again at her pertness
inclined to make it no laughing matter to her. She did laugh as
she saw Heathcliff pass the window. I was sweeping the hearthand
I noticed a mischievous smile on her lips. Isabellaabsorbed in
her meditationsor a bookremained till the door opened; and it
was too late to attempt an escapewhich she would gladly have done
had it been practicable.

'Come inthat's right!' exclaimed the mistressgailypulling a
chair to the fire. 'Here are two people sadly in need of a third
to thaw the ice between them; and you are the very one we should
both of us choose. HeathcliffI'm proud to show youat last
somebody that dotes on you more than myself. I expect you to feel
flattered. Nayit's not Nelly; don't look at her! My poor little
sister-in-law is breaking her heart by mere contemplation of your
physical and moral beauty. It lies in your own power to be Edgar's
brother! NonoIsabellayou sha'n't run off' she continued
arrestingwith feigned playfulnessthe confounded girlwho had
risen indignantly. 'We were quarrelling like cats about you
Heathcliff; and I was fairly beaten in protestations of devotion
and admiration: andmoreoverI was informed that if I would but
have the manners to stand asidemy rivalas she will have herself
to bewould shoot a shaft into your soul that would fix you for
everand send my image into eternal oblivion!'


'Catherine!' said Isabellacalling up her dignityand disdaining
to struggle from the tight grasp that held her'I'd thank you to
adhere to the truth and not slander meeven in joke! Mr.
Heathcliffbe kind enough to bid this friend of yours release me:
she forgets that you and I are not intimate acquaintances; and what
amuses her is painful to me beyond expression.'

As the guest answered nothingbut took his seatand looked
thoroughly indifferent what sentiments she cherished concerning
himshe turned and whispered an earnest appeal for liberty to her
tormentor.

'By no means!' cried Mrs. Linton in answer. 'I won't be named a
dog in the manger again. You SHALL stay: now then! Heathcliff
why don't you evince satisfaction at my pleasant news? Isabella
swears that the love Edgar has for me is nothing to that she
entertains for you. I'm sure she made some speech of the kind; did
she notEllen? And she has fasted ever since the day before
yesterday's walkfrom sorrow and rage that I despatched her out of
your society under the idea of its being unacceptable.'

'I think you belie her' said Heathclifftwisting his chair to
face them. 'She wishes to be out of my society nowat any rate!'

And he stared hard at the object of discourseas one might do at a
strange repulsive animal: a centipede from the Indiesfor
instancewhich curiosity leads one to examine in spite of the
aversion it raises. The poor thing couldn't bear that; she grew
white and red in rapid successionandwhile tears beaded her
lashesbent the strength of her small fingers to loosen the firm
clutch of Catherine; and perceiving that as fast as she raised one
finger off her arm another closed downand she could not remove
the whole togethershe began to make use of her nails; and their
sharpness presently ornamented the detainer's with crescents of
red.

'There's a tigress!' exclaimed Mrs. Lintonsetting her freeand
shaking her hand with pain. 'Begonefor God's sakeand hide your
vixen face! How foolish to reveal those talons to him. Can't you
fancy the conclusions he'll draw? LookHeathcliff! they are
instruments that will do execution - you must beware of your eyes.'

'I'd wrench them off her fingersif they ever menaced me' he
answeredbrutallywhen the door had closed after her. 'But what
did you mean by teasing the creature in that mannerCathy? You
were not speaking the truthwere you?'

'I assure you I was' she returned. 'She has been dying for your
sake several weeksand raving about you this morningand pouring
forth a deluge of abusebecause I represented your failings in a
plain lightfor the purpose of mitigating her adoration. But
don't notice it further: I wished to punish her saucinessthat's
all. I like her too wellmy dear Heathcliffto let you
absolutely seize and devour her up.'

'And I like her too ill to attempt it' said he'except in a very
ghoulish fashion. You'd hear of odd things if I lived alone with
that mawkishwaxen face: the most ordinary would be painting on
its white the colours of the rainbowand turning the blue eyes
blackevery day or two: they detestably resemble Linton's.'

'Delectably!' observed Catherine. 'They are dove's eyes angel's!'



'She's her brother's heiris she not?' he askedafter a brief
silence.

'I should be sorry to think so' returned his companion. 'Half a
dozen nephews shall erase her titleplease heaven! Abstract your
mind from the subject at present: you are too prone to covet your
neighbour's goods; remember THIS neighbour's goods are mine.'

'If they were MINEthey would be none the less that' said
Heathcliff; 'but though Isabella Linton may be sillyshe is
scarcely mad; andin shortwe'll dismiss the matteras you
advise.'

From their tongues they did dismiss it; and Catherineprobably
from her thoughts. The otherI felt certainrecalled it often in
the course of the evening. I saw him smile to himself - grin
rather - and lapse into ominous musing whenever Mrs. Linton had
occasion to be absent from the apartment.

I determined to watch his movements. My heart invariably cleaved
to the master'sin preference to Catherine's side: with reason I
imaginedfor he was kindand trustfuland honourable; and she she
could not be called OPPOSITEyet she seemed to allow herself
such wide latitudethat I had little faith in her principlesand
still less sympathy for her feelings. I wanted something to happen
which might have the effect of freeing both Wuthering Heights and
the Grange of Mr. Heathcliff quietly; leaving us as we had been
prior to his advent. His visits were a continual nightmare to me;
andI suspectedto my master also. His abode at the Heights was
an oppression past explaining. I felt that God had forsaken the
stray sheep there to its own wicked wanderingsand an evil beast
prowled between it and the foldwaiting his time to spring and
destroy.

CHAPTER XI

SOMETIMESwhile meditating on these things in solitudeI've got
up in a sudden terrorand put on my bonnet to go see how all was
at the farm. I've persuaded my conscience that it was a duty to
warn him how people talked regarding his ways; and then I've
recollected his confirmed bad habitsandhopeless of benefiting
himhave flinched from re-entering the dismal housedoubting if I
could bear to be taken at my word.

One time I passed the old gategoing out of my wayon a journey
to Gimmerton. It was about the period that my narrative has
reached: a bright frosty afternoon; the ground bareand the road
hard and dry. I came to a stone where the highway branches off on
to the moor at your left hand; a rough sand-pillarwith the
letters W. H. cut on its north sideon the eastG.and on the
south-westT. G. It serves as a guide-post to the Grangethe
Heightsand village. The sun shone yellow on its grey head
reminding me of summer; and I cannot say whybut all at once a
gush of child's sensations flowed into my heart. Hindley and I
held it a favourite spot twenty years before. I gazed long at the
weather-worn block; andstooping downperceived a hole near the
bottom still full of snail-shells and pebbleswhich we were fond
of storing there with more perishable things; andas fresh as
realityit appeared that I beheld my early playmate seated on the
withered turf: his darksquare head bent forwardand his little


hand scooping out the earth with a piece of slate. 'Poor Hindley!'
I exclaimedinvoluntarily. I started: my bodily eye was cheated
into a momentary belief that the child lifted its face and stared
straight into mine! It vanished in a twinkling; but immediately I
felt an irresistible yearning to be at the Heights. Superstition
urged me to comply with this impulse: supposing he should be dead!
I thought - or should die soon! - supposing it were a sign of
death! The nearer I got to the house the more agitated I grew; and
on catching sight of it I trembled in every limb. The apparition
had outstripped me: it stood looking through the gate. That was
my first idea on observing an elf-lockedbrown-eyed boy setting
his ruddy countenance against the bars. Further reflection
suggested this must be HaretonMY Haretonnot altered greatly
since I left himten months since.

'God bless theedarling!' I criedforgetting instantaneously my
foolish fears. 'Haretonit's Nelly! Nellythy nurse.'

He retreated out of arm's lengthand picked up a large flint.

'I am come to see thy fatherHareton' I addedguessing from the
action that Nellyif she lived in his memory at allwas not
recognised as one with me.

He raised his missile to hurl it; I commenced a soothing speech
but could not stay his hand: the stone struck my bonnet; and then
ensuedfrom the stammering lips of the little fellowa string of
curseswhichwhether he comprehended them or notwere delivered
with practised emphasisand distorted his baby features into a
shocking expression of malignity. You may be certain this grieved
more than angered me. Fit to cryI took an orange from my pocket
and offered it to propitiate him. He hesitatedand then snatched
it from my hold; as if he fancied I only intended to tempt and
disappoint him. I showed anotherkeeping it out of his reach.

'Who has taught you those fine wordsmy bairn?' I inquired. 'The
curate?'

'Damn the curateand thee! Gie me that' he replied.

'Tell us where you got your lessonsand you shall have it' said

I. 'Who's your master?'
'Devil daddy' was his answer.

'And what do you learn from daddy?' I continued.

He jumped at the fruit; I raised it higher. 'What does he teach
you?' I asked.

'Naught' said he'but to keep out of his gait. Daddy cannot bide
mebecause I swear at him.'

'Ah! and the devil teaches you to swear at daddy?' I observed.

'Ay - nay' he drawled.

'Whothen?'

'Heathcliff.'

'I asked if he liked Mr. Heathcliff.'

'Ay!' he answered again.


Desiring to have his reasons for liking himI could only gather
the sentences - 'I known't: he pays dad back what he gies to me he
curses daddy for cursing me. He says I mun do as I will.'

'And the curate does not teach you to read and writethen?' I
pursued.

'NoI was told the curate should have his - teeth dashed down his

-throatif he stepped over the threshold - Heathcliff had
promised that!'
I put the orange in his handand bade him tell his father that a
woman called Nelly Dean was waiting to speak with himby the
garden gate. He went up the walkand entered the house; but
instead of HindleyHeathcliff appeared on the door-stones; and I
turned directly and ran down the road as hard as ever I could race
making no halt till I gained the guide-postand feeling as scared
as if I had raised a goblin. This is not much connected with Miss
Isabella's affair: except that it urged me to resolve further on
mounting vigilant guardand doing my utmost to cheek the spread of
such bad influence at the Grange: even though I should wake a
domestic stormby thwarting Mrs. Linton's pleasure.

The next time Heathcliff came my young lady chanced to be feeding
some pigeons in the court. She had never spoken a word to her
sister-in-law for three days; but she had likewise dropped her
fretful complainingand we found it a great comfort. Heathcliff
had not the habit of bestowing a single unnecessary civility on
Miss LintonI knew. Nowas soon as he beheld herhis first
precaution was to take a sweeping survey of the house-front. I was
standing by the kitchen-windowbut I drew out of sight. He then
stepped across the pavement to herand said something: she seemed
embarrassedand desirous of getting away; to prevent ithe laid
his hand on her arm. She averted her face: he apparently put some
question which she had no mind to answer. There was another rapid
glance at the houseand supposing himself unseenthe scoundrel
had the impudence to embrace her.

'Judas! Traitor!' I ejaculated. 'You are a hypocritetooare
you? A deliberate deceiver.'

'Who isNelly?' said Catherine's voice at my elbow: I had been
over-intent on watching the pair outside to mark her entrance.

'Your worthless friend!' I answeredwarmly: 'the sneaking rascal
yonder. Ahhe has caught a glimpse of us - he is coming in! I
wonder will he have the heart to find a plausible excuse for making
love to Misswhen he told you he hated her?'

Mrs. Linton saw Isabella tear herself freeand run into the
garden; and a minute afterHeathcliff opened the door. I couldn't
withhold giving some loose to my indignation; but Catherine angrily
insisted on silenceand threatened to order me out of the kitchen
if I dared to be so presumptuous as to put in my insolent tongue.

'To hear youpeople might think you were the mistress!' she cried.
'You want setting down in your right place! Heathcliffwhat are
you aboutraising this stir? I said you must let Isabella alone!

-I beg you willunless you are tired of being received hereand
wish Linton to draw the bolts against you!'
'God forbid that he should try!' answered the black villain. I
detested him just then. 'God keep him meek and patient! Every day


I grow madder after sending him to heaven!'

'Hush!' said Catherineshutting the inner door! 'Don't vex me.
Why have you disregarded my request? Did she come across you on
purpose?'

'What is it to you?' he growled. 'I have a right to kiss herif
she chooses; and you have no right to object. I am not YOUR
husband: YOU needn't be jealous of me!'

'I'm not jealous of you' replied the mistress; 'I'm jealous for
you. Clear your face: you sha'n't scowl at me! If you like
Isabellayou shall marry her. But do you like her? Tell the
truthHeathcliff! Thereyou won't answer. I'm certain you
don't.'

'And would Mr. Linton approve of his sister marrying that man?' I
inquired.

'Mr. Linton should approve' returned my ladydecisively.

'He might spare himself the trouble' said Heathcliff: 'I could do
as well without his approbation. And as to youCatherineI have
a mind to speak a few words nowwhile we are at it. I want you to
be aware that I KNOW you have treated me infernally - infernally!
Do you hear? And if you flatter yourself that I don't perceive it
you are a fool; and if you think I can be consoled by sweet words
you are an idiot: and if you fancy I'll suffer unrevengedI'll
convince you of the contraryin a very little while! Meantime
thank you for telling me your sister-in-law's secret: I swear I'll
make the most of it. And stand you aside!'

'What new phase of his character is this?' exclaimed Mrs. Linton
in amazement. 'I've treated you infernally - and you'll take your
revenge! How will you take itungrateful brute? How have I
treated you infernally?'

'I seek no revenge on you' replied Heathcliffless vehemently.
'That's not the plan. The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they
don't turn against him; they crush those beneath them. You are
welcome to torture me to death for your amusementonly allow me to
amuse myself a little in the same styleand refrain from insult as
much as you are able. Having levelled my palacedon't erect a
hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that
for a home. If I imagined you really wished me to marry Isabel
I'd cut my throat!'

'Ohthe evil is that I am NOT jealousis it?' cried Catherine.
'WellI won't repeat my offer of a wife: it is as bad as offering
Satan a lost soul. Your bliss lieslike hisin inflicting
misery. You prove it. Edgar is restored from the ill-temper he
gave way to at your coming; I begin to be secure and tranquil; and
yourestless to know us at peaceappear resolved on exciting a
quarrel. Quarrel with Edgarif you pleaseHeathcliffand
deceive his sister: you'll hit on exactly the most efficient
method of revenging yourself on me.'

The conversation ceased. Mrs. Linton sat down by the fireflushed
and gloomy. The spirit which served her was growing intractable:
she could neither lay nor control it. He stood on the hearth with
folded armsbrooding on his evil thoughts; and in this position I
left them to seek the masterwho was wondering what kept Catherine
below so long.


'Ellen' said hewhen I entered'have you seen your mistress?'

'Yes; she's in the kitchensir' I answered. 'She's sadly put out
by Mr. Heathcliff's behaviour: andindeedI do think it's time
to arrange his visits on another footing. There's harm in being
too softand now it's come to this - .' And I related the scene
in the courtandas near as I daredthe whole subsequent
dispute. I fancied it could not be very prejudicial to Mrs.
Linton; unless she made it so afterwardsby assuming the defensive
for her guest. Edgar Linton had difficulty in hearing me to the
close. His first words revealed that he did not clear his wife of
blame.

'This is insufferable!' he exclaimed. 'It is disgraceful that she
should own him for a friendand force his company on me! Call me
two men out of the hallEllen. Catherine shall linger no longer
to argue with the low ruffian - I have humoured her enough.'

He descendedand bidding the servants wait in the passagewent
followed by meto the kitchen. Its occupants had recommenced
their angry discussion: Mrs. Lintonat leastwas scolding with
renewed vigour; Heathcliff had moved to the windowand hung his
headsomewhat cowed by her violent rating apparently. He saw the
master firstand made a hasty motion that she should be silent;
which she obeyedabruptlyon discovering the reason of his
intimation.

'How is this?' said Lintonaddressing her; 'what notion of
propriety must you have to remain hereafter the language which
has been held to you by that blackguard? I supposebecause it is
his ordinary talk you think nothing of it: you are habituated to
his basenessandperhapsimagine I can get used to it too!'

'Have you been listening at the doorEdgar?' asked the mistress
in a tone particularly calculated to provoke her husbandimplying
both carelessness and contempt of his irritation. Heathcliffwho
had raised his eyes at the former speechgave a sneering laugh at
the latter; on purposeit seemedto draw Mr. Linton's attention
to him. He succeeded; but Edgar did not mean to entertain him with
any high flights of passion.

'I've been so far forbearing with yousir' he said quietly; 'not
that I was ignorant of your miserabledegraded characterbut I
felt you were only partly responsible for that; and Catherine
wishing to keep up your acquaintanceI acquiesced - foolishly.
Your presence is a moral poison that would contaminate the most
virtuous: for that causeand to prevent worse consequencesI
shall deny you hereafter admission into this houseand give notice
now that I require your instant departure. Three minutes' delay
will render it involuntary and ignominious.

Heathcliff measured the height and breadth of the speaker with an
eye full of derision.

'Cathythis lamb of yours threatens like a bull!' he said. 'It is
in danger of splitting its skull against my knuckles. By God! Mr.
LintonI'm mortally sorry that you are not worth knocking down!'

My master glanced towards the passageand signed me to fetch the
men: he had no intention of hazarding a personal encounter. I
obeyed the hint; but Mrs. Lintonsuspecting somethingfollowed;
and when I attempted to call themshe pulled me backslammed the
door toand locked it.


'Fair means!' she saidin answer to her husband's look of angry
surprise. 'If you have not courage to attack himmake an apology
or allow yourself to be beaten. It will correct you of feigning
more valour than you possess. NoI'll swallow the key before you
shall get it! I'm delightfully rewarded for my kindness to each!
After constant indulgence of one's weak natureand the other's bad
oneI earn for thanks two samples of blind ingratitudestupid to
absurdity! EdgarI was defending you and yours; and I wish
Heathcliff may flog you sickfor daring to think an evil thought
of me!'

It did not need the medium of a flogging to produce that effect on
the master. He tried to wrest the key from Catherine's graspand
for safety she flung it into the hottest part of the fire;
whereupon Mr. Edgar was taken with a nervous tremblingand his
countenance grew deadly pale. For his life he could not avert that
excess of emotion: mingled anguish and humiliation overcame him
completely. He leant on the back of a chairand covered his face.

'Ohheavens! In old days this would win you knighthood!'
exclaimed Mrs. Linton. 'We are vanquished! we are vanquished!
Heathcliff would as soon lift a finger at you as the king would
march his army against a colony of mice. Cheer up! you sha'n't be
hurt! Your type is not a lambit's a sucking leveret.'

'I wish you joy of the milk-blooded cowardCathy!' said her
friend. 'I compliment you on your taste. And that is the
slaveringshivering thing you preferred to me! I would not strike
him with my fistbut I'd kick him with my footand experience
considerable satisfaction. Is he weepingor is he going to faint
for fear?'

The fellow approached and gave the chair on which Linton rested a
push. He'd better have kept his distance: my master quickly
sprang erectand struck him full on the throat a blow that would
have levelled a slighter man. It took his breath for a minute; and
while he chokedMr. Linton walked out by the back door into the
yardand from thence to the front entrance.

'There! you've done with coming here' cried Catherine. 'Get away
now; he'll return with a brace of pistols and half-a-dozen
assistants. If he did overhear usof course he'd never forgive
you. You've played me an ill turnHeathcliff! But go - make
haste! I'd rather see Edgar at bay than you.'

'Do you suppose I'm going with that blow burning in my gullet?' he
thundered. 'By hellno! I'll crush his ribs in like a rotten
hazel-nut before I cross the threshold! If I don't floor him now
I shall murder him some time; soas you value his existencelet
me get at him!'

'He is not coming' I interposedframing a bit of a lie. 'There's
the coachman and the two gardeners; you'll surely not wait to be
thrust into the road by them! Each has a bludgeon; and master
willvery likelybe watching from the parlour-windows to see that
they fulfil his orders.'

The gardeners and coachman were there: but Linton was with them.
They had already entered the court. Heathcliffon the second
thoughtsresolved to avoid a struggle against three underlings:
he seized the pokersmashed the lock from the inner doorand made
his escape as they tramped in.

Mrs. Lintonwho was very much excitedbade me accompany her up



stairs. She did not know my share in contributing to the
disturbanceand I was anxious to keep her in ignorance.

'I'm nearly distractedNelly!' she exclaimedthrowing herself on
the sofa. 'A thousand smiths' hammers are beating in my head!
Tell Isabella to shun me; this uproar is owing to her; and should
she or any one else aggravate my anger at presentI shall get
wild. AndNellysay to Edgarif you see him again to-night
that I'm in danger of being seriously ill. I wish it may prove
true. He has startled and distressed me shockingly! I want to
frighten him. Besideshe might come and begin a string of abuse
or complainings; I'm certain I should recriminateand God knows
where we should end! Will you do somy good Nelly? You are aware
that I am no way blamable in this matter. What possessed him to
turn listener? Heathcliff's talk was outrageousafter you left
us; but I could soon have diverted him from Isabellaand the rest
meant nothing. Now all is dashed wrong; by the fool's craving to
hear evil of selfthat haunts some people like a demon! Had Edgar
never gathered our conversationhe would never have been the worse
for it. Reallywhen he opened on me in that unreasonable tone of
displeasure after I had scolded Heathcliff till I was hoarse for
himI did not care hardly what they did to each other; especially
as I felt thathowever the scene closedwe should all be driven
asunder for nobody knows how long! Wellif I cannot keep
Heathcliff for my friend - if Edgar will be mean and jealousI'll
try to break their hearts by breaking my own. That will be a
prompt way of finishing allwhen I am pushed to extremity! But
it's a deed to be reserved for a forlorn hope; I'd not take Linton
by surprise with it. To this point he has been discreet in
dreading to provoke me; you must represent the peril of quitting
that policyand remind him of my passionate tempervergingwhen
kindledon frenzy. I wish you could dismiss that apathy out of
that countenanceand look rather more anxious about me.'

The stolidity with which I received these instructions wasno
doubtrather exasperating: for they were delivered in perfect
sincerity; but I believed a person who could plan the turning of
her fits of passion to accountbeforehandmightby exerting her
willmanage to control herself tolerablyeven while under their
influence; and I did not wish to 'frighten' her husbandas she
saidand multiply his annoyances for the purpose of serving her
selfishness. Therefore I said nothing when I met the master coming
towards the parlour; but I took the liberty of turning back to
listen whether they would resume their quarrel together. He began
to speak first.

'Remain where you areCatherine' he said; without any anger in
his voicebut with much sorrowful despondency. 'I shall not stay.
I am neither come to wrangle nor be reconciled; but I wish just to
learn whetherafter this evening's eventsyou intend to continue
your intimacy with - '

'Ohfor mercy's sake' interrupted the mistressstamping her
foot'for mercy's sakelet us hear no more of it now! Your cold
blood cannot be worked into a fever: your veins are full of icewater;
but mine are boilingand the sight of such chillness makes
them dance.'

'To get rid of meanswer my question' persevered Mr. Linton.
'You must answer it; and that violence does not alarm me. I have
found that you can be as stoical as anyonewhen you please. Will
you give up Heathcliff hereafteror will you give up me? It is
impossible for you to be MY friend and HIS at the same time; and I
absolutely REQUIRE to know which you choose.'


'I require to be let alone?' exclaimed Catherinefuriously. 'I
demand it! Don't you see I can scarcely stand? Edgaryou - you
leave me!'

She rang the bell till it broke with a twang; I entered leisurely.
It was enough to try the temper of a saintsuch senselesswicked
rages! There she lay dashing her head against the arm of the sofa
and grinding her teethso that you might fancy she would crash
them to splinters! Mr. Linton stood looking at her in sudden
compunction and fear. He told me to fetch some water. She had no
breath for speaking. I brought a glass full; and as she would not
drinkI sprinkled it on her face. In a few seconds she stretched
herself out stiffand turned up her eyeswhile her cheeksat
once blanched and lividassumed the aspect of death. Linton
looked terrified.

'There is nothing in the world the matter' I whispered. I did not
want him to yieldthough I could not help being afraid in my
heart.

'She has blood on her lips!' he saidshuddering.

'Never mind!' I answeredtartly. And I told him how she had
resolvedprevious to his comingon exhibiting a fit of frenzy. I
incautiously gave the account aloudand she heard me; for she
started up - her hair flying over her shouldersher eyes flashing
the muscles of her neck and arms standing out preternaturally. I
made up my mind for broken bonesat least; but she only glared
about her for an instantand then rushed from the room. The
master directed me to follow; I didto her chamber-door: she
hindered me from going further by securing it against me.

As she never offered to descend to breakfast next morningI went
to ask whether she would have some carried up. 'No!' she replied
peremptorily. The same question was repeated at dinner and tea;
and again on the morrow afterand received the same answer. Mr.
Lintonon his partspent his time in the libraryand did not
inquire concerning his wife's occupations. Isabella and he had had
an hour's interviewduring which he tried to elicit from her some
sentiment of proper horror for Heathcliff's advances: but he could
make nothing of her evasive repliesand was obliged to close the
examination unsatisfactorily; addinghowevera solemn warning
that if she were so insane as to encourage that worthless suitor
it would dissolve all bonds of relationship between herself and
him.

CHAPTER XII

WHILE Miss Linton moped about the park and gardenalways silent
and almost always in tears; and her brother shut himself up among
books that he never opened - wearyingI guessedwith a continual
vague expectation that Catherinerepenting her conductwould come
of her own accord to ask pardonand seek a reconciliation - and
SHE fasted pertinaciouslyunder the ideaprobablythat at every
meal Edgar was ready to choke for her absenceand pride alone held
him from running to cast himself at her feet; I went about my
household dutiesconvinced that the Grange had but one sensible
soul in its wallsand that lodged in my body. I wasted no
condolences on Missnor any expostulations on my mistress; nor did


I pay much attention to the sighs of my masterwho yearned to hear
his lady's namesince he might not hear her voice. I determined
they should come about as they pleased for me; and though it was a
tiresomely slow processI began to rejoice at length in a faint
dawn of its progress: as I thought at first.

Mrs. Lintonon the third dayunbarred her doorand having
finished the water in her pitcher and decanterdesired a renewed
supplyand a basin of gruelfor she believed she was dying. That
I set down as a speech meant for Edgar's ears; I believed no such
thingso I kept it to myself and brought her some tea and dry
toast. She ate and drank eagerlyand sank back on her pillow
againclenching her hands and groaning. 'OhI will die' she
exclaimed'since no one cares anything about me. I wish I had not
taken that.' Then a good while after I heard her murmur'NoI'll
not die - he'd be glad - he does not love me at all - he would
never miss me!'

'Did you want anythingma'am?' I inquiredstill preserving my
external composurein spite of her ghastly countenance and
strangeexaggerated manner.

'What is that apathetic being doing?' she demandedpushing the
thick entangled locks from her wasted face. 'Has he fallen into a
lethargyor is he dead?'

'Neither' replied I; 'if you mean Mr. Linton. He's tolerably
wellI thinkthough his studies occupy him rather more than they
ought: he is continually among his bookssince he has no other
society.'

I should not have spoken so if I had known her true conditionbut
I could not get rid of the notion that she acted a part of her
disorder.

'Among his books!' she criedconfounded. 'And I dying! I on the
brink of the grave! My God! does he know how I'm altered?'
continued shestaring at her reflection in a mirror hanging
against the opposite wall. 'Is that Catherine Linton? He
imagines me in a pet - in playperhaps. Cannot you inform him
that it is frightful earnest? Nellyif it be not too lateas
soon as I learn how he feelsI'll choose between these two:
either to starve at once - that would be no punishment unless he
had a heart - or to recoverand leave the country. Are you
speaking the truth about him now? Take care. Is he actually so
utterly indifferent for my life?'

'Whyma'am' I answered'the master has no idea of your being
deranged; and of course he does not fear that you will let yourself
die of hunger.'

'You think not? Cannot you tell him I will?' she returned.
'Persuade him! speak of your own mind: say you are certain I
will!'

'Noyou forgetMrs. Linton' I suggested'that you have eaten
some food with a relish this eveningand to-morrow you will
perceive its good effects.'

'If I were only sure it would kill him' she interrupted'I'd kill
myself directly! These three awful nights I've never closed my
lids - and ohI've been tormented! I've been hauntedNelly! But
I begin to fancy you don't like me. How strange! I thought
though everybody hated and despised each otherthey could not


avoid loving me. And they have all turned to enemies in a few
hours: they haveI'm positive; the people here. How dreary to
meet deathsurrounded by their cold faces! Isabellaterrified
and repelledafraid to enter the roomit would be so dreadful to
watch Catherine go. And Edgar standing solemnly by to see it over;
then offering prayers of thanks to God for restoring peace to his
houseand going back to his BOOKS! What in the name of all that
feels has he to do with BOOKSwhen I am dying?'

She could not bear the notion which I had put into her head of Mr.
Linton's philosophical resignation. Tossing aboutshe increased
her feverish bewilderment to madnessand tore the pillow with her
teeth; then raising herself up all burningdesired that I would
open the window. We were in the middle of winterthe wind blew
strong from the north-eastand I objected. Both the expressions
flitting over her faceand the changes of her moodsbegan to
alarm me terribly; and brought to my recollection her former
illnessand the doctor's injunction that she should not be
crossed. A minute previously she was violent; nowsupported on
one armand not noticing my refusal to obey hershe seemed to
find childish diversion in pulling the feathers from the rents she
had just madeand ranging them on the sheet according to their
different species: her mind had strayed to other associations.

'That's a turkey's' she murmured to herself; 'and this is a wild
duck's; and this is a pigeon's. Ahthey put pigeons' feathers in
the pillows - no wonder I couldn't die! Let me take care to throw
it on the floor when I lie down. And here is a moor-cock's; and
this - I should know it among a thousand - it's a lapwing's. Bonny
bird; wheeling over our heads in the middle of the moor. It wanted
to get to its nestfor the clouds had touched the swellsand it
felt rain coming. This feather was picked up from the heaththe
bird was not shot: we saw its nest in the winterfull of little
skeletons. Heathcliff set a trap over itand the old ones dared
not come. I made him promise he'd never shoot a lapwing after
thatand he didn't. Yeshere are more! Did he shoot my
lapwingsNelly? Are they redany of them? Let me look.'

'Give over with that baby-work!' I interrupteddragging the pillow
awayand turning the holes towards the mattressfor she was
removing its contents by handfuls. 'Lie down and shut your eyes:
you're wandering. There's a mess! The down is flying about like
snow.'

I went here and there collecting it.

'I see in youNelly' she continued dreamily'an aged woman: you
have grey hair and bent shoulders. This bed is the fairy cave
under Penistone cragsand you are gathering elf-bolts to hurt our
heifers; pretendingwhile I am nearthat they are only locks of
wool. That's what you'll come to fifty years hence: I know you
are not so now. I'm not wandering: you're mistakenor else I
should believe you really WERE that withered hagand I should
think I WAS under Penistone Crags; and I'm conscious it's night
and there are two candles on the table making the black press shine
like jet.'

'The black press? where is that?' I asked. 'You are talking in
your sleep!'

'It's against the wallas it always is' she replied. 'It DOES
appear odd - I see a face in it!'

'There's no press in the roomand never was' said Iresuming my


seatand looping up the curtain that I might watch her.

'Don't YOU see that face?' she inquiredgazing earnestly at the
mirror.

And say what I couldI was incapable of making her comprehend it
to be her own; so I rose and covered it with a shawl.

'It's behind there still!' she pursuedanxiously. 'And it
stirred. Who is it? I hope it will not come out when you are
gone! Oh! Nellythe room is haunted! I'm afraid of being
alone!'

I took her hand in mineand bid her be composed; for a succession
of shudders convulsed her frameand she would keep straining her
gaze towards the glass.

'There's nobody here!' I insisted. 'It was YOURSELFMrs. Linton:
you knew it a while since.'

'Myself!' she gasped'and the clock is striking twelve! It's
truethen! that's dreadful!'

Her fingers clutched the clothesand gathered them over her eyes.
I attempted to steal to the door with an intention of calling her
husband; but I was summoned back by a piercing shriek - the shawl
had dropped from the frame.

'Whywhat is the matter?' cried I. 'Who is coward now? Wake up!
That is the glass - the mirrorMrs. Linton; and you see yourself
in itand there am I too by your side.'

Trembling and bewilderedshe held me fastbut the horror
gradually passed from her countenance; its paleness gave place to a
glow of shame.

'Ohdear! I thought I was at home' she sighed. 'I thought I was
lying in my chamber at Wuthering Heights. Because I'm weakmy
brain got confusedand I screamed unconsciously. Don't say
anything; but stay with me. I dread sleeping: my dreams appal
me.'

'A sound sleep would do you goodma'am' I answered: 'and I hope
this suffering will prevent your trying starving again.'

'Ohif I were but in my own bed in the old house!' she went on
bitterlywringing her hands. 'And that wind sounding in the firs
by the lattice. Do let me feel it - it comes straight down the
moor - do let me have one breath!' To pacify her I held the
casement ajar a few seconds. A cold blast rushed through; I closed
itand returned to my post. She lay still nowher face bathed in
tears. Exhaustion of body had entirely subdued her spirit: our
fiery Catherine was no better than a wailing child.

'How long is it since I shut myself in here?' she askedsuddenly
reviving.

'It was Monday evening' I replied'and this is Thursday nightor
rather Friday morningat present.'

'What! of the same week?' she exclaimed. 'Only that brief time?'

'Long enough to live on nothing but cold water and ill-temper'
observed I.


'Wellit seems a weary number of hours' she muttered doubtfully:
'it must be more. I remember being in the parlour after they had
quarrelledand Edgar being cruelly provokingand me running into
this room desperate. As soon as ever I had barred the doorutter
blackness overwhelmed meand I fell on the floor. I couldn't
explain to Edgar how certain I felt of having a fitor going
raging madif he persisted in teasing me! I had no command of
tongueor brainand he did not guess my agonyperhaps: it
barely left me sense to try to escape from him and his voice.
Before I recovered sufficiently to see and hearit began to be
dawnandNellyI'll tell you what I thoughtand what has kept
recurring and recurring till I feared for my reason. I thought as
I lay therewith my head against that table legand my eyes dimly
discerning the grey square of the windowthat I was enclosed in
the oak-panelled bed at home; and my heart ached with some great
grief whichjust wakingI could not recollect. I ponderedand
worried myself to discover what it could beandmost strangely
the whole last seven years of my life grew a blank! I did not
recall that they had been at all. I was a child; my father was
just buriedand my misery arose from the separation that Hindley
had ordered between me and Heathcliff. I was laid alonefor the
first time; androusing from a dismal doze after a night of
weepingI lifted my hand to push the panels aside: it struck the
table-top! I swept it along the carpetand then memory burst in:
my late anguish was swallowed in a paroxysm of despair. I cannot
say why I felt so wildly wretched: it must have been temporary
derangement; for there is scarcely cause. Butsupposing at twelve
years old I had been wrenched from the Heightsand every early
associationand my all in allas Heathcliff was at that timeand
been converted at a stroke into Mrs. Lintonthe lady of
Thrushcross Grangeand the wife of a stranger: an exileand
outcastthenceforthfrom what had been my world. You may fancy a
glimpse of the abyss where I grovelled! Shake your head as you
willNellyyou have helped to unsettle me! You should have
spoken to Edgarindeed you shouldand compelled him to leave me
quiet! OhI'm burning! I wish I were out of doors! I wish I
were a girl againhalf savage and hardyand free; and laughing at
injuriesnot maddening under them! Why am I so changed? why does
my blood rush into a hell of tumult at a few words? I'm sure I
should be myself were I once among the heather on those hills.
Open the window again wide: fasten it open! Quickwhy don't you
move?'

'Because I won't give you your death of cold' I answered.

'You won't give me a chance of lifeyou mean' she saidsullenly.
'HoweverI'm not helpless yet; I'll open it myself.'

And sliding from the bed before I could hinder hershe crossed the
roomwalking very uncertainlythrew it backand bent out
careless of the frosty air that cut about her shoulders as keen as
a knife. I entreatedand finally attempted to force her to
retire. But I soon found her delirious strength much surpassed
mine (she was deliriousI became convinced by her subsequent
actions and ravings). There was no moonand everything beneath
lay in misty darkness: not a light gleamed from any housefar or
near all had been extinguished long ago: and those at Wuthering
Heights were never visible - still she asserted she caught their
shining.

'Look!' she cried eagerly'that's my room with the candle in it
and the trees swaying before it; and the other candle is in
Joseph's garret. Joseph sits up latedoesn't he? He's waiting


till I come home that he may lock the gate. Wellhe'll wait a
while yet. It's a rough journeyand a sad heart to travel it; and
we must pass by Gimmerton Kirk to go that journey! We've braved
its ghosts often togetherand dared each other to stand among the
graves and ask them to come. ButHeathcliffif I dare you now
will you venture? If you doI'll keep you. I'll not lie there by
myself: they may bury me twelve feet deepand throw the church
down over mebut I won't rest till you are with me. I never
will!'

She pausedand resumed with a strange smile. 'He's considering he'd
rather I'd come to him! Find a waythen! not through that
kirkyard. You are slow! Be contentyou always followed me!'

Perceiving it vain to argue against her insanityI was planning
how I could reach something to wrap about herwithout quitting my
hold of herself (for I could not trust her alone by the gaping
lattice)whento my consternationI heard the rattle of the
door-handleand Mr. Linton entered. He had only then come from
the library; andin passing through the lobbyhad noticed our
talking and been attracted by curiosityor fearto examine what
it signifiedat that late hour.

'Ohsir!' I criedchecking the exclamation risen to his lips at
the sight which met himand the bleak atmosphere of the chamber.
'My poor mistress is illand she quite masters me: I cannot
manage her at all; praycome and persuade her to go to bed.
Forget your angerfor she's hard to guide any way but her own.'

'Catherine ill?' he saidhastening to us. 'Shut the window
Ellen! Catherine! why - '

He was silent. The haggardness of Mrs. Linton's appearance smote
him speechlessand he could only glance from her to me in
horrified astonishment.

'She's been fretting here' I continued'and eating scarcely
anythingand never complaining: she would admit none of us till
this eveningand so we couldn't inform you of her stateas we
were not aware of it ourselves; but it is nothing.'

I felt I uttered my explanations awkwardly; the master frowned.
'It is nothingis itEllen Dean?' he said sternly. 'You shall
account more clearly for keeping me ignorant of this!' And he took
his wife in his armsand looked at her with anguish.

At first she gave him no glance of recognition: he was invisible
to her abstracted gaze. The delirium was not fixedhowever;
having weaned her eyes from contemplating the outer darknessby
degrees she centred her attention on himand discovered who it was
that held her.

'Ah! you are comeare youEdgar Linton?' she saidwith angry
animation. 'You are one of those things that are ever found when
least wantedand when you are wantednever! I suppose we shall
have plenty of lamentations now - I see we shall - but they can't
keep me from my narrow home out yonder: my resting-placewhere
I'm bound before spring is over! There it is: not among the
Lintonsmindunder the chapel-roofbut in the open airwith a
head-stone; and you may please yourself whether you go to them or
come to me!'

'Catherinewhat have you done?' commenced the master. 'Am I
nothing to you any more? Do you love that wretch Heath - '


'Hush!' cried Mrs. Linton. 'Hushthis moment! You mention that
name and I end the matter instantly by a spring from the window!
What you touch at present you may have; but my soul will be on that
hill-top before you lay hands on me again. I don't want you
Edgar: I'm past wanting you. Return to your books. I'm glad you
possess a consolationfor all you had in me is gone.'

'Her mind wanderssir' I interposed. 'She has been talking
nonsense the whole evening; but let her have quietand proper
attendanceand she'll rally. Hereafterwe must be cautious how
we vex her.'

'I desire no further advice from you' answered Mr. Linton. 'You
knew your mistress's natureand you encouraged me to harass her.
And not to give me one hint of how she has been these three days!
It was heartless! Months of sickness could not cause such a
change!'

I began to defend myselfthinking it too bad to be blamed for
another's wicked waywardness. 'I knew Mrs. Linton's nature to be
headstrong and domineering' cried I: 'but I didn't know that you
wished to foster her fierce temper! I didn't know thatto humour
herI should wink at Mr. Heathcliff. I performed the duty of a
faithful servant in telling youand I have got a faithful
servant's wages! Wellit will teach me to be careful next time.
Next time you may gather intelligence for yourself!'

'The next time you bring a tale to me you shall quit my service
Ellen Dean' he replied.

'You'd rather hear nothing about itI supposethenMr. Linton?'
said I. 'Heathcliff has your permission to come a-courting to
Missand to drop in at every opportunity your absence offerson
purpose to poison the mistress against you?'

Confused as Catherine washer wits were alert at applying our
conversation.

'Ah! Nelly has played traitor' she exclaimedpassionately.
'Nelly is my hidden enemy. You witch! So you do seek elf-bolts to
hurt us! Let me goand I'll make her rue! I'll make her howl a
recantation!'

A maniac's fury kindled under her brows; she struggled desperately
to disengage herself from Linton's arms. I felt no inclination to
tarry the event; andresolving to seek medical aid on my own
responsibilityI quitted the chamber.

In passing the garden to reach the roadat a place where a bridle
hook is driven into the wallI saw something white moved
irregularlyevidently by another agent than the wind.
Notwithstanding my hurryI stayed to examine itlest ever after I
should have the conviction impressed on my imagination that it was
a creature of the other world. My surprise and perplexity were
great on discoveringby touch more than visionMiss Isabella's
springerFannysuspended by a handkerchiefand nearly at its
last gasp. I quickly released the animaland lifted it into the
garden. I had seen it follow its mistress up-stairs when she went
to bed; and wondered much how it could have got out thereand what
mischievous person had treated it so. While untying the knot round
the hookit seemed to me that I repeatedly caught the beat of
horses' feet galloping at some distance; but there were such a
number of things to occupy my reflections that I hardly gave the


circumstance a thought: though it was a strange soundin that
placeat two o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Kenneth was fortunately just issuing from his house to see a
patient in the village as I came up the street; and my account of
Catherine Linton's malady induced him to accompany me back
immediately. He was a plain rough man; and he made no scruple to
speak his doubts of her surviving this second attack; unless she
were more submissive to his directions than she had shown herself
before.

'Nelly Dean' said he'I can't help fancying there's an extra
cause for this. What has there been to do at the Grange? We've
odd reports up here. A stouthearty lass like Catherine does not
fall ill for a trifle; and that sort of people should not either.
It's hard work bringing them through feversand such things. How
did it begin?'

'The master will inform you' I answered; 'but you are acquainted
with the Earnshaws' violent dispositionsand Mrs. Linton caps them
all. I may say this; it commenced in a quarrel. She was struck
during a tempest of passion with a kind of fit. That's her
accountat least: for she flew off in the height of itand
locked herself up. Afterwardsshe refused to eatand now she
alternately raves and remains in a half dream; knowing those about
herbut having her mind filled with all sorts of strange ideas and
illusions.'

'Mr. Linton will be sorry?' observed Kennethinterrogatively.

' Sorry? he'll break his heart should anything happen!' I replied.
'Don't alarm him more than necessary.'

'WellI told him to beware' said my companion; 'and he must bide
the consequences of neglecting my warning! Hasn't he been intimate
with Mr. Heathcliff lately?'

'Heathcliff frequently visits at the Grange' answered I'though
more on the strength of the mistress having known him when a boy
than because the master likes his company. At present he's
discharged from the trouble of calling; owing to some presumptuous
aspirations after Miss Linton which he manifested. I hardly think
he'll be taken in again.'

'And does Miss Linton turn a cold shoulder on him?' was the
doctor's next question.

'I'm not in her confidence' returned Ireluctant to continue the
subject.

'Noshe's a sly one' he remarkedshaking his head. 'She keeps
her own counsel! But she's a real little fool. I have it from
good authority that last night (and a pretty night it was!) she and
Heathcliff were walking in the plantation at the back of your house
above two hours; and he pressed her not to go in againbut just
mount his horse and away with him! My informant said she could
only put him off by pledging her word of honour to be prepared on
their first meeting after that: when it was to be he didn't hear;
but you urge Mr. Linton to look sharp!'

This news filled me with fresh fears; I outstripped Kennethand
ran most of the way back. The little dog was yelping in the garden
yet. I spared a minute to open the gate for itbut instead of
going to the house doorit coursed up and down snuffing the grass


and would have escaped to the roadhad I not seized it and
conveyed it in with me. On ascending to Isabella's roommy
suspicions were confirmed: it was empty. Had I been a few hours
sooner Mrs. Linton's illness might have arrested her rash step.
But what could be done now? There was a bare possibility of
overtaking them if pursued instantly. I could not pursue them
however; and I dared not rouse the familyand fill the place with
confusion; still less unfold the business to my masterabsorbed as
he was in his present calamityand having no heart to spare for a
second grief! I saw nothing for it but to hold my tongueand
suffer matters to take their course; and Kenneth being arrivedI
went with a badly composed countenance to announce him. Catherine
lay in a troubled sleep: her husband had succeeded in soothing the
excess of frenzy; he now hung over her pillowwatching every shade
and every change of her painfully expressive features.

The doctoron examining the case for himselfspoke hopefully to
him of its having a favourable terminationif we could only
preserve around her perfect and constant tranquillity. To mehe
signified the threatening danger was not so much deathas
permanent alienation of intellect.

I did not close my eyes that nightnor did Mr. Linton: indeedwe
never went to bed; and the servants were all up long before the
usual hourmoving through the house with stealthy treadand
exchanging whispers as they encountered each other in their
vocations. Every one was active but Miss Isabella; and they began
to remark how sound she slept: her brothertooasked if she had
risenand seemed impatient for her presenceand hurt that she
showed so little anxiety for her sister-in-law. I trembled lest he
should send me to call her; but I was spared the pain of being the
first proclaimant of her flight. One of the maidsa thoughtless
girlwho had been on an early errand to Gimmertoncame panting
up-stairsopen-mouthedand dashed into the chambercrying: 'Oh
deardear! What mun we have next? Mastermasterour young lady

-'
'Hold your noise!' criedI hastilyenraged at her clamorous
manner.

'Speak lowerMary - What is the matter?' said Mr. Linton. 'What
ails your young lady?'

'She's goneshe's gone! Yon' Heathcliff's run off wi' her!'
gasped the girl.

'That is not true!' exclaimed Lintonrising in agitation. 'It
cannot be: how has the idea entered your head? Ellen Deango and
seek her. It is incredible: it cannot be.'

As he spoke he took the servant to the doorand then repeated his
demand to know her reasons for such an assertion.

'WhyI met on the road a lad that fetches milk here' she
stammered'and he asked whether we weren't in trouble at the
Grange. I thought he meant for missis's sicknessso I answered
yes. Then says heThere's somebody gone after 'em, I guess?
stared. He saw I knew nought about itand he told how a gentleman
and lady had stopped to have a horse's shoe fastened at a
blacksmith's shoptwo miles out of Gimmertonnot very long after
midnight! and how the blacksmith's lass had got up to spy who they
were: she knew them both directly. And she noticed the man -
Heathcliff it wasshe felt certain: nob'dy could mistake him
besides - put a sovereign in her father's hand for payment. The


lady had a cloak about her face; but having desired a sup of water
while she drank it fell backand she saw her very plain.
Heathcliff held both bridles as they rode onand they set their
faces from the villageand went as fast as the rough roads would
let them. The lass said nothing to her fatherbut she told it all
over Gimmerton this morning.'

I ran and peepedfor form's sakeinto Isabella's room;
confirmingwhen I returnedthe servant's statement. Mr. Linton
had resumed his seat by the bed; on my re-entrancehe raised his
eyesread the meaning of my blank aspectand dropped them without
giving an orderor uttering a word.

'Are we to try any measures for overtaking and bringing her back'
I inquired. 'How should we do?'

'She went of her own accord' answered the master; 'she had a right
to go if she pleased. Trouble me no more about her. Hereafter she
is only my sister in name: not because I disown herbut because
she has disowned me.'

And that was all he said on the subject: he did not make single
inquiry furtheror mention her in any wayexcept directing me to
send what property she had in the house to her fresh homewherever
it waswhen I knew it.

CHAPTER XIII

FOR two months the fugitives remained absent; in those two months
Mrs. Linton encountered and conquered the worst shock of what was
denominated a brain fever. No mother could have nursed an only
child more devotedly than Edgar tended her. Day and night he was
watchingand patiently enduring all the annoyances that irritable
nerves and a shaken reason could inflict; andthough Kenneth
remarked that what he saved from the grave would only recompense
his care by forming the source of constant future anxiety - in
factthat his health and strength were being sacrificed to
preserve a mere ruin of humanity - he knew no limits in gratitude
and joy when Catherine's life was declared out of danger; and hour
after hour he would sit beside hertracing the gradual return to
bodily healthand flattering his too sanguine hopes with the
illusion that her mind would settle back to its right balance also
and she would soon be entirely her former self.

The first time she left her chamber was at the commencement of the
following March. Mr. Linton had put on her pillowin the morning
a handful of golden crocuses; her eyelong stranger to any gleam
of pleasurecaught them in wakingand shone delighted as she
gathered them eagerly together.

'These are the earliest flowers at the Heights' she exclaimed.
'They remind me of soft thaw windsand warm sunshineand nearly
melted snow. Edgaris there not a south windand is not the snow
almost gone?'

'The snow is quite gone down heredarling' replied her husband;
'and I only see two white spots on the whole range of moors: the
sky is blueand the larks are singingand the becks and brooks
are all brim full. Catherinelast spring at this timeI was
longing to have you under this roof; nowI wish you were a mile or


two up those hills: the air blows so sweetlyI feel that it would
cure you.'

'I shall never be there but once more' said the invalid; 'and then
you'll leave meand I shall remain for ever. Next spring you'll
long again to have me under this roofand you'll look back and
think you were happy to-day.'

Linton lavished on her the kindest caressesand tried to cheer her
by the fondest words; butvaguely regarding the flowersshe let
the tears collect on her lashes and stream down her cheeks
unheeding. We knew she was really betterandthereforedecided
that long confinement to a single place produced much of this
despondencyand it might be partially removed by a change of
scene. The master told me to light a fire in the many-weeks'
deserted parlourand to set an easy-chair in the sunshine by the
window; and then he brought her downand she sat a long while
enjoying the genial heatandas we expectedrevived by the
objects round her: whichthough familiarwere free from the
dreary associations investing her hated sick chamber. By evening
she seemed greatly exhausted; yet no arguments could persuade her
to return to that apartmentand I had to arrange the parlour sofa
for her bedtill another room could be prepared. To obviate the
fatigue of mounting and descending the stairswe fitted up this
where you lie at present - on the same floor with the parlour; and
she was soon strong enough to move from one to the otherleaning
on Edgar's arm. AhI thought myselfshe might recoverso waited
on as she was. And there was double cause to desire itfor on her
existence depended that of another: we cherished the hope that in
a little while Mr. Linton's heart would be gladdenedand his lands
secured from a stranger's gripeby the birth of an heir.

I should mention that Isabella sent to her brothersome six weeks
from her departurea short noteannouncing her marriage with
Heathcliff. It appeared dry and cold; but at the bottom was dotted
in with pencil an obscure apologyand an entreaty for kind
remembrance and reconciliationif her proceeding had offended him:
asserting that she could not help it thenand being doneshe had
now no power to repeal it. Linton did not reply to thisI
believe; andin a fortnight moreI got a long letterwhich I
considered oddcoming from the pen of a bride just out of the
honeymoon. I'll read it: for I keep it yet. Any relic of the
dead is preciousif they were valued living.

DEAR ELLENit begins- I came last night to Wuthering Heights
and heardfor the first timethat Catherine has beenand is yet
very ill. I must not write to herI supposeand my brother is
either too angry or too distressed to answer what I sent him.
StillI must write to somebodyand the only choice left me is
you.

Inform Edgar that I'd give the world to see his face again - that
my heart returned to Thrushcross Grange in twenty-four hours after
I left itand is there at this momentfull of warm feelings for
himand Catherine! I CAN'T FOLLOW IT THOUGH - (these words are
underlined) - they need not expect meand they may draw what
conclusions they please; taking carehoweverto lay nothing at
the door of my weak will or deficient affection.

The remainder of the letter is for yourself alone. I want to ask
you two questions: the first is- How did you contrive to
preserve the common sympathies of human nature when you resided
here? I cannot recognise any sentiment which those around share


with me.

The second question I have great interest in; it is this - Is Mr.
Heathcliff a man? If sois he mad? And if notis he a devil? I
sha'n't tell my reasons for making this inquiry; but I beseech you
to explainif you canwhat I have married: that iswhen you
call to see me; and you must callEllenvery soon. Don't write
but comeand bring me something from Edgar.

Nowyou shall hear how I have been received in my new homeas I
am led to imagine the Heights will be. It is to amuse myself that
I dwell on such subjects as the lack of external comforts: they
never occupy my thoughtsexcept at the moment when I miss them. I
should laugh and dance for joyif I found their absence was the
total of my miseriesand the rest was an unnatural dream!

The sun set behind the Grange as we turned on to the moors; by
thatI judged it to be six o'clock; and my companion halted half
an hourto inspect the parkand the gardensandprobablythe
place itselfas well as he could; so it was dark when we
dismounted in the paved yard of the farm-houseand your old
fellow-servantJosephissued out to receive us by the light of a
dip candle. He did it with a courtesy that redounded to his
credit. His first act was to elevate his torch to a level with my
facesquint malignantlyproject his under-lipand turn away.
Then he took the two horsesand led them into the stables;
reappearing for the purpose of locking the outer gateas if we
lived in an ancient castle.

Heathcliff stayed to speak to himand I entered the kitchen - a
dingyuntidy hole; I daresay you would not know itit is so
changed since it was in your charge. By the fire stood a ruffianly
childstrong in limb and dirty in garbwith a look of Catherine
in his eyes and about his mouth.

'This is Edgar's legal nephew' I reflected - 'mine in a manner; I
must shake handsand - yes - I must kiss him. It is right to
establish a good understanding at the beginning.'

I approachedandattempting to take his chubby fistsaid - 'How
do you domy dear?'

He replied in a jargon I did not comprehend.

'Shall you and I be friendsHareton?' was my next essay at
conversation.

An oathand a threat to set Throttler on me if I did not 'frame
off' rewarded my perseverance.

'HeyThrottlerlad!' whispered the little wretchrousing a halfbred
bull-dog from its lair in a corner. 'Nowwilt thou be
ganging?' he asked authoritatively.

Love for my life urged a compliance; I stepped over the threshold
to wait till the others should enter. Mr. Heathcliff was nowhere
visible; and Josephwhom I followed to the stablesand requested
to accompany me inafter staring and muttering to himselfscrewed
up his nose and replied - 'Mim! mim! mim! Did iver Christian body
hear aught like it? Mincing un' munching! How can I tell whet ye
say?'

'I sayI wish you to come with me into the house!' I cried
thinking him deafyet highly disgusted at his rudeness.


'None o' me! I getten summut else to do' he answeredand
continued his work; moving his lantern jaws meanwhileand
surveying my dress and countenance (the former a great deal too
finebut the latterI'm sureas sad as he could desire) with
sovereign contempt.

I walked round the yardand through a wicketto another doorat
which I took the liberty of knockingin hopes some more civil
servant might show himself. After a short suspenseit was opened
by a tallgaunt manwithout neckerchiefand otherwise extremely
slovenly; his features were lost in masses of shaggy hair that hung
on his shoulders; and HIS eyestoowere like a ghostly
Catherine's with all their beauty annihilated.

'What's your business here?' he demandedgrimly. 'Who are you?'

'My name was Isabella Linton' I replied. 'You've seen me before
sir. I'm lately married to Mr. Heathcliffand he has brought me
here - I supposeby your permission.'

'Is he come backthen?' asked the hermitglaring like a hungry
wolf.

'Yes - we came just now' I said; 'but he left me by the kitchen
door; and when I would have gone inyour little boy played
sentinel over the placeand frightened me off by the help of a
bull-dog.'

'It's well the hellish villain has kept his word!' growled my
future hostsearching the darkness beyond me in expectation of
discovering Heathcliff; and then he indulged in a soliloquy of
execrationsand threats of what he would have done had the 'fiend'
deceived him.

I repented having tried this second entranceand was almost
inclined to slip away before he finished cursingbut ere I could
execute that intentionhe ordered me inand shut and re-fastened
the door. There was a great fireand that was all the light in
the huge apartmentwhose floor had grown a uniform grey; and the
once brilliant pewter-disheswhich used to attract my gaze when I
was a girlpartook of a similar obscuritycreated by tarnish and
dust. I inquired whether I might call the maidand be conducted
to a bedroom! Mr. Earnshaw vouchsafed no answer. He walked up and
downwith his hands in his pocketsapparently quite forgetting my
presence; and his abstraction was evidently so deepand his whole
aspect so misanthropicalthat I shrank from disturbing him again.

You'll not be surprisedEllenat my feeling particularly
cheerlessseated in worse than solitude on that inhospitable
hearthand remembering that four miles distant lay my delightful
homecontaining the only people I loved on earth; and there might
as well be the Atlantic to part usinstead of those four miles: I
could not overpass them! I questioned with myself - where must I
turn for comfort? and - mind you don't tell Edgaror Catherine above
every sorrow besidethis rose pre-eminent: despair at
finding nobody who could or would be my ally against Heathcliff! I
had sought shelter at Wuthering Heightsalmost gladlybecause I
was secured by that arrangement from living alone with him; but he
knew the people we were coming amongstand he did not fear their
intermeddling.

I sat and thought a doleful time: the clock struck eightand
nineand still my companion paced to and frohis head bent on his


breastand perfectly silentunless a groan or a bitter
ejaculation forced itself out at intervals. I listened to detect a
woman's voice in the houseand filled the interim with wild
regrets and dismal anticipationswhichat lastspoke audibly in
irrepressible sighing and weeping. I was not aware how openly I
grievedtill Earnshaw halted oppositein his measured walkand
gave me a stare of newly-awakened surprise. Taking advantage of
his recovered attentionI exclaimed - 'I'm tired with my journey
and I want to go to bed! Where is the maid-servant? Direct me to
heras she won't come to me!'

'We have none' he answered; 'you must wait on yourself!'

'Where must I sleepthen?' I sobbed; I was beyond regarding selfrespect
weighed down by fatigue and wretchedness.

'Joseph will show you Heathcliff's chamber' said he; 'open that
door - he's in there.'

I was going to obeybut he suddenly arrested meand added in the
strangest tone - 'Be so good as to turn your lockand draw your
bolt - don't omit it!'

'Well!' I said. 'But whyMr. Earnshaw?' I did not relish the
notion of deliberately fastening myself in with Heathcliff.

'Look here!' he repliedpulling from his waistcoat a curiouslyconstructed
pistolhaving a double-edged spring knife attached to
the barrel. 'That's a great tempter to a desperate manis it not?
I cannot resist going up with this every nightand trying his
door. If once I find it open he's done for; I do it invariably
even though the minute before I have been recalling a hundred
reasons that should make me refrain: it is some devil that urges
me to thwart my own schemes by killing him. You fight against that
devil for love as long as you may; when the time comesnot all the
angels in heaven shall save him!'

I surveyed the weapon inquisitively. A hideous notion struck me:
how powerful I should be possessing such an instrument! I took it
from his handand touched the blade. He looked astonished at the
expression my face assumed during a brief second: it was not
horrorit was covetousness. He snatched the pistol back
jealously; shut the knifeand returned it to its concealment.

'I don't care if you tell him' said he. 'Put him on his guard
and watch for him. You know the terms we are onI see: his
danger does not shock you.'

'What has Heathcliff done to you?' I asked. 'In what has he
wronged youto warrant this appalling hatred? Wouldn't it be
wiser to bid him quit the house?'

'No!' thundered Earnshaw; 'should he offer to leave mehe's a dead
man: persuade him to attempt itand you are a murderess! Am I to
lose ALLwithout a chance of retrieval? Is Hareton to be a
beggar? Ohdamnation! I WILL have it back; and I'll have HIS
gold too; and then his blood; and hell shall have his soul! It
will be ten times blacker with that guest than ever it was before!'

You've acquainted meEllenwith your old master's habits. He is
clearly on the verge of madness: he was so last night at least. I
shuddered to be near himand thought on the servant's ill-bred
moroseness as comparatively agreeable. He now recommenced his
moody walkand I raised the latchand escaped into the kitchen.


Joseph was bending over the firepeering into a large pan that
swung above it; and a wooden bowl of oatmeal stood on the settle
close by. The contents of the pan began to boiland he turned to
plunge his hand into the bowl; I conjectured that this preparation
was probably for our supperandbeing hungryI resolved it
should be eatable; socrying out sharply'I'LL make the
porridge!' I removed the vessel out of his reachand proceeded to
take off my hat and riding-habit. 'Mr. Earnshaw' I continued
'directs me to wait on myself: I will. I'm not going to act the
lady among youfor fear I should starve.'

'Gooid Lord!' he mutteredsitting downand stroking his ribbed
stockings from the knee to the ankle. 'If there's to be fresh
ortherings - just when I getten used to two maistersif I mun hev'
a MISTRESS set o'er my heeadit's like time to be flitting. I
niver DID think to see t' day that I mud lave th' owld place - but
I doubt it's nigh at hand!'

This lamentation drew no notice from me: I went briskly to work
sighing to remember a period when it would have been all merry fun;
but compelled speedily to drive off the remembrance. It racked me
to recall past happiness and the greater peril there was of
conjuring up its apparitionthe quicker the thible ran roundand
the faster the handfuls of meal fell into the water. Joseph beheld
my style of cookery with growing indignation.

'Thear!' he ejaculated. 'Haretonthou willn't sup thy porridge
to-neeght; they'll be naught but lumps as big as my neive. Thear
agean! I'd fling in bowl un' allif I wer ye! Therepale t'
guilp offun' then ye'll hae done wi' 't. Bangbang. It's a
mercy t' bothom isn't deaved out!'

It WAS rather a rough messI ownwhen poured into the basins;
four had been providedand a gallon pitcher of new milk was
brought from the dairywhich Hareton seized and commenced drinking
and spilling from the expansive lip. I expostulatedand desired
that he should have his in a mug; affirming that I could not taste
the liquid treated so dirtily. The old cynic chose to be vastly
offended at this nicety; assuring merepeatedlythat 'the barn
was every bit as good' as I'and every bit as wollsome' and
wondering how I could fashion to be so conceited. Meanwhilethe
infant ruffian continued sucking; and glowered up at me defyingly
as he slavered into the jug.

'I shall have my supper in another room' I said. 'Have you no
place you call a parlour?'

'PARLOUR!' he echoedsneeringly'PARLOUR! Naywe've noa
PARLOURS. If yah dunnut loike wer companythere's maister's; un'
if yah dunnut loike maisterthere's us.'

'Then I shall go up-stairs' I answered; 'show me a chamber.'

I put my basin on a trayand went myself to fetch some more milk.
With great grumblingsthe fellow roseand preceded me in my
ascent: we mounted to the garrets; he opened a doornow and then
to look into the apartments we passed.

'Here's a rahm' he saidat lastflinging back a cranky board on
hinges. 'It's weel eneugh to ate a few porridge in. There's a
pack o' corn i' t' cornerthearmeeterly clane; if ye're feared
o' muckying yer grand silk cloesspread yer hankerchir o' t' top
on't.'


The 'rahm' was a kind of lumber-hole smelling strong of malt and
grain; various sacks of which articles were piled aroundleaving a
widebare space in the middle.

'Whyman' I exclaimedfacing him angrily'this is not a place
to sleep in. I wish to see my bed-room.'

'BED-RUME!' he repeatedin a tone of mockery. 'Yah's see all t'
BED-RUMES thear is - yon's mine.'

He pointed into the second garretonly differing from the first in
being more naked about the wallsand having a largelow
curtainless bedwith an indigo-coloured quiltat one end.

'What do I want with yours?' I retorted. 'I suppose Mr. Heathcliff
does not lodge at the top of the housedoes he?'

'Oh! it's Maister HATHECLIFF'S ye're wanting?' cried heas if
making a new discovery. 'Couldn't ye ha' said soaat onst? un'
thenI mud ha' telled yebaht all this warkthat that's just one
ye cannut see - he allas keeps it lockedun' nob'dy iver mells
on't but hisseln.'

'You've a nice houseJoseph' I could not refrain from observing
'and pleasant inmates; and I think the concentrated essence of all
the madness in the world took up its abode in my brain the day I
linked my fate with theirs! Howeverthat is not to the present
purpose - there are other rooms. For heaven's sake be quickand
let me settle somewhere!'

He made no reply to this adjuration; only plodding doggedly down
the wooden stepsand haltingbefore an apartment whichfrom that
halt and the superior quality of its furnitureI conjectured to be
the best one. There was a carpet - a good onebut the pattern was
obliterated by dust; a fireplace hung with cut-paperdropping to
pieces; a handsome oak-bedstead with ample crimson curtains of
rather expensive material and modern make; but they had evidently
experienced rough usage: the vallances hung in festoonswrenched
from their ringsand the iron rod supporting them was bent in an
arc on one sidecausing the drapery to trail upon the floor. The
chairs were also damagedmany of them severely; and deep
indentations deformed the panels of the walls. I was endeavouring
to gather resolution for entering and taking possessionwhen my
fool of a guide announced- 'This here is t' maister's.' My
supper by this time was coldmy appetite goneand my patience
exhausted. I insisted on being provided instantly with a place of
refugeand means of repose.

'Whear the divil?' began the religious elder. 'The Lord bless us!
The Lord forgie us! Whear the HELL wdd ye gang? ye marred
wearisome nowt! Ye've seen all but Hareton's bit of a cham'er.
There's not another hoile to lig down in i' th' hahse!'

I was so vexedI flung my tray and its contents on the ground; and
then seated myself at the stairs'-headhid my face in my hands
and cried.

'Ech! ech!' exclaimed Joseph. 'Weel doneMiss Cathy! weel done
Miss Cathy! Howsivert' maister sall just tum'le o'er them
brooken pots; un' then we's hear summut; we's hear how it's to be.
Gooid-for-naught madling! ye desarve pining fro' this to Churstmas
flinging t' precious gifts o'God under fooit i' yer flaysome rages!
But I'm mista'en if ye shew yer sperrit lang. Will Hathecliff bide
sich bonny waysthink ye? I nobbut wish he may catch ye i' that


plisky. I nobbut wish he may.'

And so he went on scolding to his den beneathtaking the candle
with him; and I remained in the dark. The period of reflection
succeeding this silly action compelled me to admit the necessity of
smothering my pride and choking my wrathand bestirring myself to
remove its effects. An unexpected aid presently appeared in the
shape of Throttlerwhom I now recognised as a son of our old
Skulker: it had spent its whelphood at the Grangeand was given
by my father to Mr. Hindley. I fancy it knew me: it pushed its
nose against mine by way of saluteand then hastened to devour the
porridge; while I groped from step to stepcollecting the
shattered earthenwareand drying the spatters of milk from the
banister with my pocket-handkerchief. Our labours were scarcely
over when I heard Earnshaw's tread in the passage; my assistant
tucked in his tailand pressed to the wall; I stole into the
nearest doorway. The dog's endeavour to avoid him was
unsuccessful; as I guessed by a scutter down-stairsand a
prolongedpiteous yelping. I had better luck: he passed on
entered his chamberand shut the door. Directly after Joseph came
up with Haretonto put him to bed. I had found shelter in
Hareton's roomand the old manon seeing mesaid- 'They's rahm
for boath ye un' yer pridenowI sud think i' the hahse. It's
empty; ye may hev' it all to yerselnun' Him as allus maks a
thirdi' sich ill company!'

Gladly did I take advantage of this intimation; and the minute I
flung myself into a chairby the fireI noddedand slept. My
slumber was deep and sweetthough over far too soon. Mr.
Heathcliff awoke me; he had just come inand demandedin his
loving mannerwhat I was doing there? I told him the cause of my
staying up so late - that he had the key of our room in his pocket.
The adjective OUR gave mortal offence. He swore it was notnor
ever should bemine; and he'd - but I'll not repeat his language
nor describe his habitual conduct: he is ingenious and unresting
in seeking to gain my abhorrence! I sometimes wonder at him with
an intensity that deadens my fear: yetI assure youa tiger or a
venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which
he wakens. He told me of Catherine's illnessand accused my
brother of causing it promising that I should be Edgar's proxy in
sufferingtill he could get hold of him.

I do hate him - I am wretched - I have been a fool! Beware of
uttering one breath of this to any one at the Grange. I shall
expect you every day - don't disappoint me! - ISABELLA.

CHAPTER XIV

AS soon as I had perused this epistle I went to the masterand
informed him that his sister had arrived at the Heightsand sent
me a letter expressing her sorrow for Mrs. Linton's situationand
her ardent desire to see him; with a wish that he would transmit to
heras early as possiblesome token of forgiveness by me.

'Forgiveness!' said Linton. 'I have nothing to forgive herEllen.
You may call at Wuthering Heights this afternoonif you likeand
say that I am not angrybut I'm sorry to have lost her; especially
as I can never think she'll be happy. It is out of the question my
going to see herhowever: we are eternally divided; and should
she really wish to oblige melet her persuade the villain she has


married to leave the country.'

'And you won't write her a little notesir?' I askedimploringly.

'No' he answered. 'It is needless. My communication with
Heathcliff's family shall be as sparing as his with mine. It shall
not exist!'

Mr. Edgar's coldness depressed me exceedingly; and all the way from
the Grange I puzzled my brains how to put more heart into what he
saidwhen I repeated it; and how to soften his refusal of even a
few lines to console Isabella. I daresay she had been on the watch
for me since morning: I saw her looking through the lattice as I
came up the garden causewayand I nodded to her; but she drew
backas if afraid of being observed. I entered without knocking.
There never was such a drearydismal scene as the formerly
cheerful house presented! I must confessthat if I had been in
the young lady's placeI wouldat leasthave swept the hearth
and wiped the tables with a duster. But she already partook of the
pervading spirit of neglect which encompassed her. Her pretty face
was wan and listless; her hair uncurled: some locks hanging lankly
downand some carelessly twisted round her head. Probably she had
not touched her dress since yester evening. Hindley was not there.
Mr. Heathcliff sat at a tableturning over some papers in his
pocket-book; but he rose when I appearedasked me how I didquite
friendlyand offered me a chair. He was the only thing there that
seemed decent; and I thought he never looked better. So much had
circumstances altered their positionsthat he would certainly have
struck a stranger as a born and bred gentleman; and his wife as a
thorough little slattern! She came forward eagerly to greet me
and held out one hand to take the expected letter. I shook my
head. She wouldn't understand the hintbut followed me to a
sideboardwhere I went to lay my bonnetand importuned me in a
whisper to give her directly what I had brought. Heathcliff
guessed the meaning of her manoeuvresand said - 'If you have got
anything for Isabella (as no doubt you haveNelly)give it to
her. You needn't make a secret of it: we have no secrets between
us.'

'OhI have nothing' I repliedthinking it best to speak the
truth at once. 'My master bid me tell his sister that she must not
expect either a letter or a visit from him at present. He sends
his lovema'amand his wishes for your happinessand his pardon
for the grief you have occasioned; but he thinks that after this
time his household and the household here should drop
intercommunicationas nothing could come of keeping it up.'

Mrs. Heathcliff's lip quivered slightlyand she returned to her
seat in the window. Her husband took his stand on the hearthstone
near meand began to put questions concerning Catherine. I told
him as much as I thought proper of her illnessand he extorted
from meby cross-examinationmost of the facts connected with its
origin. I blamed heras she deservedfor bringing it all on
herself; and ended by hoping that he would follow Mr. Linton's
example and avoid future interference with his familyfor good or
evil.

'Mrs. Linton is now just recovering' I said; 'she'll never be like
she wasbut her life is spared; and if you really have a regard
for heryou'll shun crossing her way again: nayyou'll move out
of this country entirely; and that you may not regret itI'll
inform you Catherine Linton is as different now from your old
friend Catherine Earnshawas that young lady is different from me.
Her appearance is changed greatlyher character much more so; and


the person who is compelledof necessityto be her companion
will only sustain his affection hereafter by the remembrance of
what she once wasby common humanityand a sense of duty!'

'That is quite possible' remarked Heathcliffforcing himself to
seem calm: 'quite possible that your master should have nothing
but common humanity and a sense of duty to fall back upon. But do
you imagine that I shall leave Catherine to his DUTY and HUMANITY?
and can you compare my feelings respecting Catherine to his?
Before you leave this houseI must exact a promise from you that
you'll get me an interview with her: consentor refuseI WILL
see her! What do you say?'

'I sayMr. Heathcliff' I replied'you must not: you never
shallthrough my means. Another encounter between you and the
master would kill her altogether.'

'With your aid that may be avoided' he continued; 'and should
there be danger of such an event - should he be the cause of adding
a single trouble more to her existence - whyI think I shall be
justified in going to extremes! I wish you had sincerity enough to
tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss: the
fear that she would restrains me. And there you see the
distinction between our feelings: had he been in my placeand I
in histhough I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to
gallI never would have raised a hand against him. You may look
incredulousif you please! I never would have banished him from
her society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard
ceasedI would have torn his heart outand drunk his blood! But
till then - if you don't believe meyou don't know me - till then
I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his
head!'

'And yet' I interrupted'you have no scruples in completely
ruining all hopes of her perfect restorationby thrusting yourself
into her remembrance nowwhen she has nearly forgotten youand
involving her in a new tumult of discord and distress.'

'You suppose she has nearly forgotten me?' he said. 'OhNelly!
you know she has not! You know as well as I dothat for every
thought she spends on Linton she spends a thousand on me! At a
most miserable period of my lifeI had a notion of the kind: it
haunted me on my return to the neighbourhood last summer; but only
her own assurance could make me admit the horrible idea again. And
thenLinton would be nothingnor Hindleynor all the dreams that
ever I dreamt. Two words would comprehend my future - DEATH and
HELL: existenceafter losing herwould be hell. Yet I was a
fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Linton's
attachment more than mine. If he loved with all the powers of his
puny beinghe couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in
a day. And Catherine has a heart as deep as I have: the sea could
be as readily contained in that horse-trough as her whole affection
be monopolised by him. Tush! He is scarcely a degree dearer to
her than her dogor her horse. It is not in him to be loved like
me: how can she love in him what he has not?'

'Catherine and Edgar are as fond of each other as any two people
can be' cried Isabellawith sudden vivacity. 'No one has a right
to talk in that mannerand I won't hear my brother depreciated in
silence!'

'Your brother is wondrous fond of you tooisn't he?' observed
Heathcliffscornfully. 'He turns you adrift on the world with
surprising alacrity.'


'He is not aware of what I suffer' she replied. 'I didn't tell
him that.'

'You have been telling him somethingthen: you have writtenhave
you?'

'To say that I was marriedI did write - you saw the note.'

'And nothing since?'

'No.'

'My young lady is looking sadly the worse for her change of
condition' I remarked. 'Somebody's love comes short in her case
obviously; whoseI may guess; butperhapsI shouldn't say.'

'I should guess it was her own' said Heathcliff. 'She degenerates
into a mere slut! She is tired of trying to please me uncommonly
early. You'd hardly credit itbut the very morrow of our wedding
she was weeping to go home. Howevershe'll suit this house so
much the better for not being over niceand I'll take care she
does not disgrace me by rambling abroad.'

'Wellsir' returned I'I hope you'll consider that Mrs.
Heathcliff is accustomed to be looked after and waited on; and that
she has been brought up like an only daughterwhom every one was
ready to serve. You must let her have a maid to keep things tidy
about herand you must treat her kindly. Whatever be your notion
of Mr. Edgaryou cannot doubt that she has a capacity for strong
attachmentsor she wouldn't have abandoned the eleganciesand
comfortsand friends of her former hometo fix contentedlyin
such a wilderness as thiswith you.'

'She abandoned them under a delusion' he answered; 'picturing in
me a hero of romanceand expecting unlimited indulgences from my
chivalrous devotion. I can hardly regard her in the light of a
rational creatureso obstinately has she persisted in forming a
fabulous notion of my character and acting on the false impressions
she cherished. Butat lastI think she begins to know me: I
don't perceive the silly smiles and grimaces that provoked me at
first; and the senseless incapability of discerning that I was in
earnest when I gave her my opinion of her infatuation and herself.
It was a marvellous effort of perspicacity to discover that I did
not love her. I believedat one timeno lessons could teach her
that! And yet it is poorly learnt; for this morning she announced
as a piece of appalling intelligencethat I had actually succeeded
in making her hate me! A positive labour of HerculesI assure
you! If it be achievedI have cause to return thanks. Can I
trust your assertionIsabella? Are you sure you hate me? If I
let you alone for half a daywon't you come sighing and wheedling
to me again? I daresay she would rather I had seemed all
tenderness before you: it wounds her vanity to have the truth
exposed. But I don't care who knows that the passion was wholly on
one side: and I never told her a lie about it. She cannot accuse
me of showing one bit of deceitful softness. The first thing she
saw me doon coming out of the Grangewas to hang up her little
dog; and when she pleaded for itthe first words I uttered were a
wish that I had the hanging of every being belonging to herexcept
one: possibly she took that exception for herself. But no
brutality disgusted her: I suppose she has an innate admiration of
itif only her precious person were secure from injury! Nowwas
it not the depth of absurdity - of genuine idiotcyfor that
pitifulslavishmean-minded brach to dream that I could love her?


Tell your masterNellythat I neverin all my lifemet with
such an abject thing as she is. She even disgraces the name of
Linton; and I've sometimes relentedfrom pure lack of invention
in my experiments on what she could endureand still creep
shamefully cringing back! But tell himalsoto set his fraternal
and magisterial heart at ease: that I keep strictly within the
limits of the law. I have avoidedup to this periodgiving her
the slightest right to claim a separation; andwhat's moreshe'd
thank nobody for dividing us. If she desired to goshe might:
the nuisance of her presence outweighs the gratification to be
derived from tormenting her!'

'Mr. Heathcliff' said I'this is the talk of a madman; your wife
most likelyis convinced you are mad; andfor that reasonshe
has borne with you hitherto: but now that you say she may go
she'll doubtless avail herself of the permission. You are not so
bewitchedma'amare youas to remain with him of your own
accord?'

'Take careEllen!' answered Isabellaher eyes sparkling irefully;
there was no misdoubting by their expression the full success of
her partner's endeavours to make himself detested. 'Don't put
faith in a single word he speaks. He's a lying fiend! a monster
and not a human being! I've been told I might leave him before;
and I've made the attemptbut I dare not repeat it! OnlyEllen
promise you'll not mention a syllable of his infamous conversation
to my brother or Catherine. Whatever he may pretendhe wishes to
provoke Edgar to desperation: he says he has married me on purpose
to obtain power over him; and he sha'n't obtain it - I'll die
first! I just hopeI praythat he may forget his diabolical
prudence and kill me! The single pleasure I can imagine is to die
or to see him dead!'

'There - that will do for the present!' said Heathcliff. 'If you
are called upon in a court of lawyou'll remember her language
Nelly! And take a good look at that countenance: she's near the
point which would suit me. No; you're not fit to be your own
guardianIsabellanow; and Ibeing your legal protectormust
retain you in my custodyhowever distasteful the obligation may
be. Go up-stairs; I have something to say to Ellen Dean in
private. That's not the way: up-stairsI tell you! Whythis is
the road upstairschild!'

He seizedand thrust her from the room; and returned muttering '
I have no pity! I have no pity! The more the worms writhethe
more I yearn to crush out their entrails! It is a moral teething;
and I grind with greater energy in proportion to the increase of
pain.'

'Do you understand what the word pity means?' I saidhastening to
resume my bonnet. 'Did you ever feel a touch of it in your life?'

'Put that down!' he interruptedperceiving my intention to depart.
'You are not going yet. Come here nowNelly: I must either
persuade or compel you to aid me in fulfilling my determination to
see Catherineand that without delay. I swear that I meditate no
harm: I don't desire to cause any disturbanceor to exasperate or
insult Mr. Linton; I only wish to hear from herself how she isand
why she has been ill; and to ask if anything that I could do would
be of use to her. Last night I was in the Grange garden six hours
and I'll return there to-night; and every night I'll haunt the
placeand every daytill I find an opportunity of entering. If
Edgar Linton meets meI shall not hesitate to knock him downand
give him enough to insure his quiescence while I stay. If his


servants oppose meI shall threaten them off with these pistols.
But wouldn't it be better to prevent my coming in contact with
themor their master? And you could do it so easily. I'd warn
you when I cameand then you might let me in unobservedas soon
as she was aloneand watch till I departedyour conscience quite
calm: you would be hindering mischief.'

I protested against playing that treacherous part in my employer's
house: andbesidesI urged the cruelty and selfishness of his
destroying Mrs. Linton's tranquillity for his satisfaction. 'The
commonest occurrence startles her painfully' I said. 'She's all
nervesand she couldn't bear the surpriseI'm positive. Don't
persistsir! or else I shall be obliged to inform my master of
your designs; and he'll take measures to secure his house and its
inmates from any such unwarrantable intrusions!'

'In that case I'll take measures to secure youwoman!' exclaimed
Heathcliff; 'you shall not leave Wuthering Heights till to-morrow
morning. It is a foolish story to assert that Catherine could not
bear to see me; and as to surprising herI don't desire it: you
must prepare her - ask her if I may come. You say she never
mentions my nameand that I am never mentioned to her. To whom
should she mention me if I am a forbidden topic in the house? She
thinks you are all spies for her husband. OhI've no doubt she's
in hell among you! I guess by her silenceas much as anything
what she feels. You say she is often restlessand anxiouslooking:
is that a proof of tranquillity? You talk of her mind
being unsettled. How the devil could it be otherwise in her
frightful isolation? And that insipidpaltry creature attending
her from DUTY and HUMANITY! From PITY and CHARITY! He might as
well plant an oak in a flower-potand expect it to thriveas
imagine he can restore her to vigour in the soil of his shallow
cares? Let us settle it at once: will you stay hereand am I to
fight my way to Catherine over Linton and his footman? Or will you
be my friendas you have been hithertoand do what I request?
Decide! because there is no reason for my lingering another minute
if you persist in your stubborn ill-nature!'

WellMr. LockwoodI argued and complainedand flatly refused him
fifty times; but in the long run he forced me to an agreement. I
engaged to carry a letter from him to my mistress; and should she
consentI promised to let him have intelligence of Linton's next
absence from homewhen he might comeand get in as he was able:
I wouldn't be thereand my fellow-servants should be equally out
of the way. Was it right or wrong? I fear it was wrongthough
expedient. I thought I prevented another explosion by my
compliance; and I thoughttooit might create a favourable crisis
in Catherine's mental illness: and then I remembered Mr. Edgar's
stern rebuke of my carrying tales; and I tried to smooth away all
disquietude on the subjectby affirmingwith frequent iteration
that that betrayal of trustif it merited so harsh an appellation
should be the last. Notwithstandingmy journey homeward was
sadder than my journey thither; and many misgivings I hadere I
could prevail on myself to put the missive into Mrs. Linton's hand.

But here is Kenneth; I'll go downand tell him how much better you
are. My history is DREEas we sayand will serve to while away
another morning.

Dreeand dreary! I reflected as the good woman descended to
receive the doctor: and not exactly of the kind which I should
have chosen to amuse me. But never mind! I'll extract wholesome
medicines from Mrs. Dean's bitter herbs; and firstlylet me beware
of the fascination that lurks in Catherine Heathcliff's brilliant


eyes. I should be in a curious taking if I surrendered my heart to
that young personand the daughter turned out a second edition of
the mother.

CHAPTER XV

ANOTHER week over - and I am so many days nearer healthand
spring! I have now heard all my neighbour's historyat different
sittingsas the housekeeper could spare time from more important
occupations. I'll continue it in her own wordsonly a little
condensed. She ison the wholea very fair narratorand I don't
think I could improve her style.

In the eveningshe saidthe evening of my visit to the HeightsI
knewas well as if I saw himthat Mr. Heathcliff was about the
place; and I shunned going outbecause I still carried his letter
in my pocketand didn't want to be threatened or teased any more.
I had made up my mind not to give it till my master went somewhere
as I could not guess how its receipt would affect Catherine. The
consequence wasthat it did not reach her before the lapse of
three days. The fourth was Sundayand I brought it into her room
after the family were gone to church. There was a manservant left
to keep the house with meand we generally made a practice of
locking the doors during the hours of service; but on that occasion
the weather was so warm and pleasant that I set them wide open
andto fulfil my engagementas I knew who would be comingI told
my companion that the mistress wished very much for some oranges
and he must run over to the village and get a fewto be paid for
on the morrow. He departedand I went up-stairs.

Mrs. Linton sat in a loose white dresswith a light shawl over her
shouldersin the recess of the open windowas usual. Her thick
long hair had been partly removed at the beginning of her illness
and now she wore it simply combed in its natural tresses over her
temples and neck. Her appearance was alteredas I had told
Heathcliff; but when she was calmthere seemed unearthly beauty in
the change. The flash of her eyes had been succeeded by a dreamy
and melancholy softness; they no longer gave the impression of
looking at the objects around her: they appeared always to gaze
beyondand far beyond - you would have said out of this world.
Thenthe paleness of her face - its haggard aspect having vanished
as she recovered flesh - and the peculiar expression arising from
her mental statethough painfully suggestive of their causes
added to the touching interest which she awakened; and - invariably
to meI knowand to any person who saw herI should think refuted
more tangible proofs of convalescenceand stamped her as
one doomed to decay.

A book lay spread on the sill before herand the scarcely
perceptible wind fluttered its leaves at intervals. I believe
Linton had laid it there: for she never endeavoured to divert
herself with readingor occupation of any kindand he would spend
many an hour in trying to entice her attention to some subject
which had formerly been her amusement. She was conscious of his
aimand in her better moods endured his efforts placidlyonly
showing their uselessness by now and then suppressing a wearied
sighand checking him at last with the saddest of smiles and
kisses. At other timesshe would turn petulantly awayand hide
her face in her handsor even push him off angrily; and then he
took care to let her alonefor he was certain of doing no good.


Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing; and the fullmellow
flow of the beck in the valley came soothingly on the ear. It was
a sweet substitute for the yet absent murmur of the summer foliage
which drowned that music about the Grange when the trees were in
leaf. At Wuthering Heights it always sounded on quiet days
following a great thaw or a season of steady rain. And of
Wuthering Heights Catherine was thinking as she listened: that is
if she thought or listened at all; but she had the vaguedistant
look I mentioned beforewhich expressed no recognition of material
things either by ear or eye.

'There's a letter for youMrs. Linton' I saidgently inserting
it in one hand that rested on her knee. 'You must read it
immediatelybecause it wants an answer. Shall I break the seal?'
'Yes' she answeredwithout altering the direction of her eyes. I
opened it - it was very short. 'Now' I continued'read it.' She
drew away her handand let it fall. I replaced it in her lapand
stood waiting till it should please her to glance down; but that
movement was so long delayed that at last I resumed - 'Must I read
itma'am? It is from Mr. Heathcliff.'

There was a start and a troubled gleam of recollectionand a
struggle to arrange her ideas. She lifted the letterand seemed
to peruse it; and when she came to the signature she sighed: yet
still I found she had not gathered its importforupon my
desiring to hear her replyshe merely pointed to the nameand
gazed at me with mournful and questioning eagerness.

'Wellhe wishes to see you' said Iguessing her need of an
interpreter. 'He's in the garden by this timeand impatient to
know what answer I shall bring.'

As I spokeI observed a large dog lying on the sunny grass beneath
raise its ears as if about to barkand then smoothing them back
announceby a wag of the tailthat some one approached whom it
did not consider a stranger. Mrs. Linton bent forwardand
listened breathlessly. The minute after a step traversed the hall;
the open house was too tempting for Heathcliff to resist walking
in: most likely he supposed that I was inclined to shirk my
promiseand so resolved to trust to his own audacity. With
straining eagerness Catherine gazed towards the entrance of her
chamber. He did not hit the right room directly: she motioned me
to admit himbut he found it out ere I could reach the doorand
in a stride or two was at her sideand had her grasped in his
arms.

He neither spoke nor loosed his hold for some five minutesduring
which period he bestowed more kisses than ever he gave in his life
beforeI daresay: but then my mistress had kissed him firstand
I plainly saw that he could hardly bearfor downright agonyto
look into her face! The same conviction had stricken him as me
from the instant he beheld herthat there was no prospect of
ultimate recovery there - she was fatedsure to die.

'OhCathy! Ohmy life! how can I bear it?' was the first
sentence he utteredin a tone that did not seek to disguise his
despair. And now he stared at her so earnestly that I thought the
very intensity of his gaze would bring tears into his eyes; but
they burned with anguish: they did not melt.

'What now?' said Catherineleaning backand returning his look
with a suddenly clouded brow: her humour was a mere vane for
constantly varying caprices. 'You and Edgar have broken my heart


Heathcliff! And you both come to bewail the deed to meas if you
were the people to be pitied! I shall not pity younot I. You
have killed me - and thriven on itI think. How strong you are!
How many years do you mean to live after I am gone?'

Heathcliff had knelt on one knee to embrace her; he attempted to
risebut she seized his hairand kept him down.

'I wish I could hold you' she continuedbitterly'till we were
both dead! I shouldn't care what you suffered. I care nothing for
your sufferings. Why shouldn't you suffer? I do! Will you forget
me? Will you be happy when I am in the earth? Will you say twenty
years henceThat's the grave of Catherine Earnshaw? I loved her
long ago, and was wretched to lose her; but it is past. I've loved
many others since: my children are dearer to me than she was; and,
at death, I shall not rejoice that I are going to her: I shall be
sorry that I must leave them!Will you say soHeathcliff?'

'Don't torture me till I'm as mad as yourself' cried hewrenching
his head freeand grinding his teeth.

The twoto a cool spectatormade a strange and fearful picture.
Well might Catherine deem that heaven would be a land of exile to
herunless with her mortal body she cast away her moral character
also. Her present countenance had a wild vindictiveness in its
white cheekand a bloodless lip and scintillating eye; and she
retained in her closed fingers a portion of the locks she had been
grasping. As to her companionwhile raising himself with one
handhe had taken her arm with the other; and so inadequate was
his stock of gentleness to the requirements of her conditionthat
on his letting go I saw four distinct impressions left blue in the
colourless skin.

'Are you possessed with a devil' he pursuedsavagely'to talk in
that manner to me when you are dying? Do you reflect that all
those words will be branded in my memoryand eating deeper
eternally after you have left me? You know you lie to say I have
killed you: andCatherineyou know that I could as soon forget
you as my existence! Is it not sufficient for your infernal
selfishnessthat while you are at peace I shall writhe in the
torments of hell?'

'I shall not be at peace' moaned Catherinerecalled to a sense of
physical weakness by the violentunequal throbbing of her heart
which beat visibly and audibly under this excess of agitation. She
said nothing further till the paroxysm was over; then she
continuedmore kindly


'I'm not wishing you greater torment than I haveHeathcliff. I
only wish us never to be parted: and should a word of mine
distress you hereafterthink I feel the same distress underground
and for my own sakeforgive me! Come here and kneel down again!
You never harmed me in your life. Nayif you nurse angerthat
will be worse to remember than my harsh words! Won't you come here
again? Do!'

Heathcliff went to the back of her chairand leant overbut not
so far as to let her see his facewhich was livid with emotion.
She bent round to look at him; he would not permit it: turning
abruptlyhe walked to the fireplacewhere he stoodsilentwith
his back towards us. Mrs. Linton's glance followed him
suspiciously: every movement woke a new sentiment in her. After a
pause and a prolonged gazeshe resumed; addressing me in accents
of indignant disappointment:



'Ohyou seeNellyhe would not relent a moment to keep me out of
the grave. THAT is how I'm loved! Wellnever mind. That is not
MY Heathcliff. I shall love mine yet; and take him with me: he's
in my soul. And' added she musingly'the thing that irks me most
is this shattered prisonafter all. I'm tired of being enclosed
here. I'm wearying to escape into that glorious worldand to be
always there: not seeing it dimly through tearsand yearning for
it through the walls of an aching heart: but really with itand
in it. Nellyyou think you are better and more fortunate than I;
in full health and strength: you are sorry for me - very soon that
will be altered. I shall be sorry for YOU. I shall be
incomparably beyond and above you all. I WONDER he won't be near
me!' She went on to herself. 'I thought he wished it.
Heathcliffdear! you should not be sullen now. Do come to me
Heathcliff.'

In her eagerness she rose and supported herself on the arm of the
chair. At that earnest appeal he turned to herlooking absolutely
desperate. His eyeswide and wetat last flashed fiercely on
her; his breast heaved convulsively. An instant they held asunder
and then how they met I hardly sawbut Catherine made a spring
and he caught herand they were locked in an embrace from which I
thought my mistress would never be released alive: in factto my
eyesshe seemed directly insensible. He flung himself into the
nearest seatand on my approaching hurriedly to ascertain if she
had faintedhe gnashed at meand foamed like a mad dogand
gathered her to him with greedy jealousy. I did not feel as if I
were in the company of a creature of my own species: it appeared
that he would not understandthough I spoke to him; so I stood
offand held my tonguein great perplexity.

A movement of Catherine's relieved me a little presently: she put
up her hand to clasp his neckand bring her cheek to his as he
held her; while hein returncovering her with frantic caresses
said wildly


'You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. WHY did
you despise me? WHY did you betray your own heartCathy? I have
not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed
yourself. Yesyou may kiss meand cry; and wring out my kisses
and tears: they'll blight you - they'll damn you. You loved me then
what RIGHT had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for
the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and
degradationand deathand nothing that God or Satan could inflict
would have parted usYOUof your own willdid it. I have not
broken your heart - YOU have broken it; and in breaking ityou
have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I
want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - ohGod!
would YOU like to live with your soul in the grave?'

'Let me alone. Let me alone' sobbed Catherine. 'If I've done
wrongI'm dying for it. It is enough! You left me too: but I
won't upbraid you! I forgive you. Forgive me!'

'It is hard to forgiveand to look at those eyesand feel those
wasted hands' he answered. 'Kiss me again; and don't let me see
your eyes! I forgive what you have done to me. I love MY murderer

-but YOURS! How can I?'
They were silent-their faces hid against each otherand washed by
each other's tears. At leastI suppose the weeping was on both
sides; as it seemed Heathcliff could weep on a great occasion like
this.


I grew very uncomfortablemeanwhile; for the afternoon wore fast
awaythe man whom I had sent off returned from his errandand I
could distinguishby the shine of the western sun up the valleya
concourse thickening outside Gimmerton chapel porch.

'Service is over' I announced. 'My master will be here in half an
hour.'

Heathcliff groaned a curseand strained Catherine closer: she
never moved.

Ere long I perceived a group of the servants passing up the road
towards the kitchen wing. Mr. Linton was not far behind; he opened
the gate himself and sauntered slowly upprobably enjoying the
lovely afternoon that breathed as soft as summer.

'Now he is here' I exclaimed. 'For heaven's sakehurry down!
You'll not meet any one on the front stairs. Do be quick; and stay
among the trees till he is fairly in.'

'I must goCathy' said Heathcliffseeking to extricate himself
from his companion's arms. 'But if I liveI'll see you again
before you are asleep. I won't stray five yards from your window.'

'You must not go!' she answeredholding him as firmly as her
strength allowed. 'You SHALL notI tell you.'

'For one hour' he pleaded earnestly.

'Not for one minute' she replied.

'I MUST - Linton will be up immediately' persisted the alarmed
intruder.

He would have risenand unfixed her fingers by the act - she clung
fastgasping: there was mad resolution in her face.

'No!' she shrieked. 'Ohdon'tdon't go. It is the last time!
Edgar will not hurt us. HeathcliffI shall die! I shall die!'

'Damn the fool! There he is' cried Heathcliffsinking back into
his seat. 'Hushmy darling! HushhushCatherine! I'll stay.
If he shot me soI'd expire with a blessing on my lips.'

And there they were fast again. I heard my master mounting the
stairs - the cold sweat ran from my forehead: I was horrified.

'Are you going to listen to her ravings?' I saidpassionately.
'She does not know what she says. Will you ruin herbecause she
has not wit to help herself? Get up! You could be free instantly.
That is the most diabolical deed that ever you did. We are all
done for - mastermistressand servant.'

I wrung my handsand cried out; and Mr. Linton hastened his step
at the noise. In the midst of my agitationI was sincerely glad
to observe that Catherine's arms had fallen relaxedand her head
hung down.

'She's faintedor dead' I thought: 'so much the better. Far
better that she should be deadthan lingering a burden and a
misery-maker to all about her.'

Edgar sprang to his unbidden guestblanched with astonishment and


rage. What he meant to do I cannot tell; howeverthe other
stopped all demonstrationsat onceby placing the lifelesslooking
form in his arms.

'Look there!' he said. 'Unless you be a fiendhelp her first then
you shall speak to me!'

He walked into the parlourand sat down. Mr. Linton summoned me
and with great difficultyand after resorting to many meanswe
managed to restore her to sensation; but she was all bewildered;
she sighedand moanedand knew nobody. Edgarin his anxiety for
herforgot her hated friend. I did not. I wentat the earliest
opportunityand besought him to depart; affirming that Catherine
was betterand he should hear from me in the morning how she
passed the night.

'I shall not refuse to go out of doors' he answered; 'but I shall
stay in the garden: andNellymind you keep your word to-morrow.
I shall be under those larch-trees. Mind! or I pay another visit
whether Linton be in or not.'

He sent a rapid glance through the half-open door of the chamber
andascertaining that what I stated was apparently truedelivered
the house of his luckless presence.

CHAPTER XVI

ABOUT twelve o'clock that night was born the Catherine you saw at
Wuthering Heights: a punyseven-months' child; and two hours
after the mother diedhaving never recovered sufficient
consciousness to miss Heathcliffor know Edgar. The latter's
distraction at his bereavement is a subject too painful to be dwelt
on; its after-effects showed how deep the sorrow sunk. A great
additionin my eyeswas his being left without an heir. I
bemoaned thatas I gazed on the feeble orphan; and I mentally
abused old Linton for (what was only natural partiality) the
securing his estate to his own daughterinstead of his son's. An
unwelcomed infant it waspoor thing! It might have wailed out of
lifeand nobody cared a morselduring those first hours of
existence. We redeemed the neglect afterwards; but its beginning
was as friendless as its end is likely to be.

Next morning - bright and cheerful out of doors - stole softened in
through the blinds of the silent roomand suffused the couch and
its occupant with a mellowtender glow. Edgar Linton had his head
laid on the pillowand his eyes shut. His young and fair features
were almost as deathlike as those of the form beside himand
almost as fixed: but HIS was the hush of exhausted anguishand
HERS of perfect peace. Her brow smoothher lids closedher lips
wearing the expression of a smile; no angel in heaven could be more
beautiful than she appeared. And I partook of the infinite calm in
which she lay: my mind was never in a holier frame than while I
gazed on that untroubled image of Divine rest. I instinctively
echoed the words she had uttered a few hours before: 'Incomparably
beyond and above us all! Whether still on earth or now in heaven
her spirit is at home with God!'

I don't know if it be a peculiarity in mebut I am seldom
otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of deathshould
no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me. I see a


repose that neither earth nor hell can breakand I feel an
assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter - the Eternity
they have entered - where life is boundless in its durationand
love in its sympathyand joy in its fulness. I noticed on that
occasion how much selfishness there is even in a love like Mr.
Linton'swhen he so regretted Catherine's blessed release! To be
sureone might have doubtedafter the wayward and impatient
existence she had ledwhether she merited a haven of peace at
last. One might doubt in seasons of cold reflection; but not then
in the presence of her corpse. It asserted its own tranquillity
which seemed a pledge of equal quiet to its former inhabitant.

Do you believe such people are happy in the other worldsir? I'd
give a great deal to know.

I declined answering Mrs. Dean's questionwhich struck me as
something heterodox. She proceeded:

Retracing the course of Catherine LintonI fear we have no right
to think she is; but we'll leave her with her Maker.

The master looked asleepand I ventured soon after sunrise to quit
the room and steal out to the pure refreshing air. The servants
thought me gone to shake off the drowsiness of my protracted watch;
in realitymy chief motive was seeing Mr. Heathcliff. If he had
remained among the larches all nighthe would have heard nothing
of the stir at the Grange; unlessperhapshe might catch the
gallop of the messenger going to Gimmerton. If he had come nearer
he would probably be awarefrom the lights flitting to and fro
and the opening and shutting of the outer doorsthat all was not
right within. I wishedyet fearedto find him. I felt the
terrible news must be toldand I longed to get it over; but how to
do it I did not know. He was there - at leasta few yards further
in the park; leant against an old ash-treehis hat offand his
hair soaked with the dew that had gathered on the budded branches
and fell pattering round him. He had been standing a long time in
that positionfor I saw a pair of ousels passing and repassing
scarcely three feet from himbusy in building their nestand
regarding his proximity no more than that of a piece of timber.
They flew off at my approachand he raised his eyes and spoke:'
She's dead!' he said; 'I've not waited for you to learn that. Put
your handkerchief away - don't snivel before me. Damn you all! she
wants none of your tears!'

I was weeping as much for him as her: we do sometimes pity
creatures that have none of the feeling either for themselves or
others. When I first looked into his faceI perceived that he had
got intelligence of the catastrophe; and a foolish notion struck me
that his heart was quelled and he prayedbecause his lips moved
and his gaze was bent on the ground.

'Yesshe's dead!' I answeredchecking my sobs and drying my
cheeks. 'Gone to heavenI hope; where we mayevery onejoin
herif we take due warning and leave our evil ways to follow
good!'

'Did SHE take due warningthen?' asked Heathcliffattempting a
sneer. 'Did she die like a saint? Comegive me a true history of
the event. How did - ?'

He endeavoured to pronounce the namebut could not manage it; and
compressing his mouth he held a silent combat with his inward
agonydefyingmeanwhilemy sympathy with an unflinching
ferocious stare. 'How did she die?' he resumedat last - fain


notwithstanding his hardihoodto have a support behind him; for
after the strugglehe trembledin spite of himselfto his very
finger-ends.

'Poor wretch!' I thought; 'you have a heart and nerves the same as
your brother men! Why should you be anxious to conceal them? Your
pride cannot blind God! You tempt him to wring themtill he
forces a cry of humiliation.'

'Quietly as a lamb!' I answeredaloud. 'She drew a sighand
stretched herselflike a child revivingand sinking again to
sleep; and five minutes after I felt one little pulse at her heart
and nothing more!'

'And - did she ever mention me?' he askedhesitatingas if he
dreaded the answer to his question would introduce details that he
could not bear to hear.

'Her senses never returned: she recognised nobody from the time
you left her' I said. 'She lies with a sweet smile on her face;
and her latest ideas wandered back to pleasant early days. Her
life closed in a gentle dream - may she wake as kindly in the other
world!'

'May she wake in torment!' he criedwith frightful vehemence
stamping his footand groaning in a sudden paroxysm of
ungovernable passion. 'Whyshe's a liar to the end! Where is
she? Not THERE - not in heaven - not perished - where? Oh! you
said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer I
repeat it till my tongue stiffens - Catherine Earnshawmay you
not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you - haunt me
then! The murdered DO haunt their murderersI believe. I know
that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any
form - drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abysswhere I
cannot find you! OhGod! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live
without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!'

He dashed his head against the knotted trunk; andlifting up his
eyeshowlednot like a manbut like a savage beast being goaded
to death with knives and spears. I observed several splashes of
blood about the bark of the treeand his hand and forehead were
both stained; probably the scene I witnessed was a repetition of
others acted during the night. It hardly moved my compassion - it
appalled me: stillI felt reluctant to quit him so. But the
moment he recollected himself enough to notice me watchinghe
thundered a command for me to goand I obeyed. He was beyond my
skill to quiet or console!

Mrs. Linton's funeral was appointed to take place on the Friday
following her decease; and till then her coffin remained uncovered
and strewn with flowers and scented leavesin the great drawingroom.
Linton spent his days and nights therea sleepless
guardian; and - a circumstance concealed from all but me -
Heathcliff spent his nightsat leastoutsideequally a stranger
to repose. I held no communication with him: stillI was
conscious of his design to enterif he could; and on the Tuesday
a little after darkwhen my masterfrom sheer fatiguehad been
compelled to retire a couple of hoursI went and opened one of the
windows; moved by his perseverance to give him a chance of
bestowing on the faded image of his idol one final adieu. He did
not omit to avail himself of the opportunitycautiously and
briefly; too cautiously to betray his presence by the slightest
noise. IndeedI shouldn't have discovered that he had been there
except for the disarrangement of the drapery about the corpse's


faceand for observing on the floor a curl of light hairfastened
with a silver thread; whichon examinationI ascertained to have
been taken from a locket hung round Catherine's neck. Heathcliff
had opened the trinket and cast out its contentsreplacing them by
a black lock of his own. I twisted the twoand enclosed them
together.

Mr. Earnshaw wasof courseinvited to attend the remains of his
sister to the grave; he sent no excusebut he never came; so that
besides her husbandthe mourners were wholly composed of tenants
and servants. Isabella was not asked.

The place of Catherine's intermentto the surprise of the
villagerswas neither in the chapel under the carved monument of
the Lintonsnor yet by the tombs of her own relationsoutside.
It was dug on a green slope in a corner of the kirk-yardwhere the
wall is so low that heath and bilberry-plants have climbed over it
from the moor; and peat-mould almost buries it. Her husband lies
in the same spot now; and they have each a simple headstone above
and a plain grey block at their feetto mark the graves.

CHAPTER XVII

THAT Friday made the last of our fine days for a month. In the
evening the weather broke: the wind shifted from south to northeast
and brought rain firstand then sleet and snow. On the
morrow one could hardly imagine that there had been three weeks of
summer: the primroses and crocuses were hidden under wintry
drifts; the larks were silentthe young leaves of the early trees
smitten and blackened. And drearyand chilland dismalthat
morrow did creep over! My master kept his room; I took possession
of the lonely parlourconverting it into a nursery: and there I
wassitting with the moaning doll of a child laid on my knee;
rocking it to and froand watchingmeanwhilethe still driving
flakes build up the uncurtained windowwhen the door openedand
some person enteredout of breath and laughing! My anger was
greater than my astonishment for a minute. I supposed it one of
the maidsand I cried - 'Have done! How dare you show your
giddiness here; What would Mr. Linton say if he heard you?'

'Excuse me!' answered a familiar voice; 'but I know Edgar is in
bedand I cannot stop myself.'

With that the speaker came forward to the firepanting and holding
her hand to her side.

'I have run the whole way from Wuthering Heights!' she continued
after a pause; 'except where I've flown. I couldn't count the
number of falls I've had. OhI'm aching all over! Don't be
alarmed! There shall be an explanation as soon as I can give it;
only just have the goodness to step out and order the carriage to
take me on to Gimmertonand tell a servant to seek up a few
clothes in my wardrobe.'

The intruder was Mrs. Heathcliff. She certainly seemed in no
laughing predicament: her hair streamed on her shouldersdripping
with snow and water; she was dressed in the girlish dress she
commonly worebefitting her age more than her position: a low
frock with short sleevesand nothing on either head or neck. The


frock was of light silkand clung to her with wetand her feet
were protected merely by thin slippers; add to this a deep cut
under one earwhich only the cold prevented from bleeding
profuselya white face scratched and bruisedand a frame hardly
able to support itself through fatigue; and you may fancy my first
fright was not much allayed when I had had leisure to examine her.

'My dear young lady' I exclaimed'I'll stir nowhereand hear
nothingtill you have removed every article of your clothesand
put on dry things; and certainly you shall not go to Gimmerton to-
nightso it is needless to order the carriage.'

'Certainly I shall' she said; 'walking or riding: yet I've no
objection to dress myself decently. And - ahsee how it flows
down my neck now! The fire does make it smart.'

She insisted on my fulfilling her directionsbefore she would let
me touch her; and not till after the coachman had been instructed
to get readyand a maid set to pack up some necessary attiredid
I obtain her consent for binding the wound and helping to change
her garments.

'NowEllen' she saidwhen my task was finished and she was
seated in an easy-chair on the hearthwith a cup of tea before
her'you sit down opposite meand put poor Catherine's baby away:
I don't like to see it! You mustn't think I care little for
Catherinebecause I behaved so foolishly on entering: I've cried
toobitterly - yesmore than any one else has reason to cry. We
parted unreconciledyou rememberand I sha'n't forgive myself.
Butfor all thatI was not going to sympathise with him - the
brute beast! Ohgive me the poker! This is the last thing of his
I have about me:' she slipped the gold ring from her third finger
and threw it on the floor. 'I'll smash it!' she continued
striking it with childish spite'and then I'll burn it!' and she
took and dropped the misused article among the coals. 'There! he
shall buy anotherif he gets me back again. He'd be capable of
coming to seek meto tease Edgar. I dare not staylest that
notion should possess his wicked head! And besidesEdgar has not
been kindhas he? And I won't come suing for his assistance; nor
will I bring him into more trouble. Necessity compelled me to seek
shelter here; thoughif I had not learned he was out of the way
I'd have halted at the kitchenwashed my facewarmed myselfgot
you to bring what I wantedand departed again to anywhere out of
the reach of my accursed - of that incarnate goblin! Ahhe was in
such a fury! If he had caught me! It's a pity Earnshaw is not his
match in strength: I wouldn't have run till I'd seen him all but
demolishedhad Hindley been able to do it!'

'Welldon't talk so fastMiss!' I interrupted; 'you'll disorder
the handkerchief I have tied round your faceand make the cut
bleed again. Drink your teaand take breathand give over
laughing: laughter is sadly out of place under this roofand in
your condition!'

'An undeniable truth' she replied. 'Listen to that child! It
maintains a constant wail - send it out of my hearing for an hour;
I sha'n't stay any longer.'

I rang the belland committed it to a servant's care; and then I
inquired what had urged her to escape from Wuthering Heights in
such an unlikely plightand where she meant to goas she refused
remaining with us.

'I oughtand I wished to remain' answered she'to cheer Edgar


and take care of the babyfor two thingsand because the Grange
is my right home. But I tell you he wouldn't let me! Do you think
he could bear to see me grow fat and merry - could bear to think
that we were tranquiland not resolve on poisoning our comfort?
NowI have the satisfaction of being sure that he detests meto
the point of its annoying him seriously to have me within ear-shot
or eyesight: I noticewhen I enter his presencethe muscles of
his countenance are involuntarily distorted into an expression of
hatred; partly arising from his knowledge of the good causes I have
to feel that sentiment for himand partly from original aversion.
It is strong enough to make me feel pretty certain that he would
not chase me over Englandsupposing I contrived a clear escape;
and therefore I must get quite away. I've recovered from my first
desire to be killed by him: I'd rather he'd kill himself! He has
extinguished my love effectuallyand so I'm at my ease. I can
recollect yet how I loved him; and can dimly imagine that I could
still be loving himif - nono! Even if he had doted on methe
devilish nature would have revealed its existence somehow.
Catherine had an awfully perverted taste to esteem him so dearly
knowing him so well. Monster! would that he could be blotted out
of creationand out of my memory!'

'Hushhush! He's a human being' I said. 'Be more charitable:
there are worse men than he is yet!'

'He's not a human being' she retorted; 'and he has no claim on my
charity. I gave him my heartand he took and pinched it to death
and flung it back to me. People feel with their heartsEllen:
and since he has destroyed mineI have not power to feel for him:
and I would notthough he groaned from this to his dying dayand
wept tears of blood for Catherine! NoindeedindeedI
wouldn't!' And here Isabella began to cry; butimmediately
dashing the water from her lashesshe recommenced. 'You asked
what has driven me to flight at last? I was compelled to attempt
itbecause I had succeeded in rousing his rage a pitch above his
malignity. Pulling out the nerves with red hot pincers requires
more coolness than knocking on the head. He was worked up to
forget the fiendish prudence he boasted ofand proceeded to
murderous violence. I experienced pleasure in being able to
exasperate him: the sense of pleasure woke my instinct of selfpreservation
so I fairly broke free; and if ever I come into his
hands again he is welcome to a signal revenge.

'Yesterdayyou knowMr. Earnshaw should have been at the funeral.
He kept himself sober for the purpose - tolerably sober: not going
to bed mad at six o'clock and getting up drunk at twelve.
Consequentlyhe rosein suicidal low spiritsas fit for the
church as for a dance; and insteadhe sat down by the fire and
swallowed gin or brandy by tumblerfuls.

'Heathcliff - I shudder to name him! has been a stranger in the
house from last Sunday till to-day. Whether the angels have fed
himor his kin beneathI cannot tell; but he has not eaten a meal
with us for nearly a week. He has just come home at dawnand gone
up-stairs to his chamber; looking himself in - as if anybody dreamt
of coveting his company! There he has continuedpraying like a
Methodist: only the deity he implored is senseless dust and ashes;
and Godwhen addressedwas curiously confounded with his own
black father! After concluding these precious orisons - and they
lasted generally till he grew hoarse and his voice was strangled in
his throat - he would be off again; always straight down to the
Grange! I wonder Edgar did not send for a constableand give him
into custody! For megrieved as I was about Catherineit was
impossible to avoid regarding this season of deliverance from


degrading oppression as a holiday.

'I recovered spirits sufficient to bear Joseph's eternal lectures
without weepingand to move up and down the house less with the
foot of a frightened thief than formerly. You wouldn't think that
I should cry at anything Joseph could say; but he and Hareton are
detestable companions. I'd rather sit with Hindleyand hear his
awful talkthan with "t' little maister" and his staunch
supporterthat odious old man! When Heathcliff is inI'm often
obliged to seek the kitchen and their societyor starve among the
damp uninhabited chambers; when he is notas was the case this
weekI establish a table and chair at one corner of the house
fireand never mind how Mr. Earnshaw may occupy himself; and he
does not interfere with my arrangements. He is quieter now than he
used to beif no one provokes him: more sullen and depressedand
less furious. Joseph affirms he's sure he's an altered man: that
the Lord has touched his heartand he is saved "so as by fire."
I'm puzzled to detect signs of the favourable change: but it is
not my business.

'Yester-evening I sat in my nook reading some old books till late
on towards twelve. It seemed so dismal to go up-stairswith the
wild snow blowing outsideand my thoughts continually reverting to
the kirk-yard and the new-made grave! I dared hardly lift my eyes
from the page before methat melancholy scene so instantly usurped
its place. Hindley sat oppositehis head leant on his hand;
perhaps meditating on the same subject. He had ceased drinking at
a point below irrationalityand had neither stirred nor spoken
during two or three hours. There was no sound through the house
but the moaning windwhich shook the windows every now and then
the faint crackling of the coalsand the click of my snuffers as I
removed at intervals the long wick of the candle. Hareton and
Joseph were probably fast asleep in bed. It was veryvery sad:
and while I read I sighedfor it seemed as if all joy had vanished
from the worldnever to be restored.

'The doleful silence was broken at length by the sound of the
kitchen latch: Heathcliff had returned from his watch earlier than
usual; owingI supposeto the sudden storm. That entrance was
fastenedand we heard him coming round to get in by the other. I
rose with an irrepressible expression of what I felt on my lips
which induced my companionwho had been staring towards the door
to turn and look at me.

'"I'll keep him out five minutes he exclaimed. You won't
object?"

'"Noyou may keep him out the whole night for me I answered.
Do! put the key in the lookand draw the bolts."

'Earnshaw accomplished this ere his guest reached the front; he
then came and brought his chair to the other side of my table
leaning over itand searching in my eyes for a sympathy with the
burning hate that gleamed from his: as he both looked and felt
like an assassinhe couldn't exactly find that; but he discovered
enough to encourage him to speak.

'"Youand I he said, have each a great debt to settle with the
man out yonder! If we were neither of us cowardswe might combine
to discharge it. Are you as soft as your brother? Are you willing
to endure to the lastand not once attempt a repayment?"

'"I'm weary of enduring now I replied; and I'd be glad of a
retaliation that wouldn't recoil on myself; but treachery and


violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who
resort to them worse than their enemies."

'"Treachery and violence are a just return for treachery and
violence!" cried Hindley. "Mrs. HeathcliffI'll ask you to do
nothing; but sit still and be dumb. Tell me nowcan you? I'm
sure you would have as much pleasure as I in witnessing the
conclusion of the fiend's existence; he'll be YOUR death unless you
overreach him; and he'll be MY ruin. Damn the hellish villain! He
knocks at the door as if he were master here already! Promise to
hold your tongueand before that clock strikes - it wants three
minutes of one - you're a free woman!"

'He took the implements which I described to you in my letter from
his breastand would have turned down the candle. I snatched it
awayhoweverand seized his arm.

'"I'll not hold my tongue!" I said; "you mustn't touch him. Let
the door remain shutand be quiet!"

'"No! I've formed my resolutionand by God I'll execute it!"
cried the desperate being. "I'll do you a kindness in spite of
yourselfand Hareton justice! And you needn't trouble your head
to screen me; Catherine is gone. Nobody alive would regret meor
be ashamedthough I cut my throat this minute - and it's time to
make an end!"

'I might as well have struggled with a bearor reasoned with a
lunatic. The only resource left me was to run to a lattice and
warn his intended victim of the fate which awaited him.

'"You'd better seek shelter somewhere else to-night!" I exclaimed
in rather a triumphant tone. "Mr. Earnshaw has a mind to shoot
youif you persist in endeavouring to enter."

'"You'd better open the dooryou - " he answeredaddressing me by
some elegant term that I don't care to repeat.

'"I shall not meddle in the matter I retorted again. Come in
and get shotif you please. I've done my duty."

'With that I shut the window and returned to my place by the fire;
having too small a stock of hypocrisy at my command to pretend any
anxiety for the danger that menaced him. Earnshaw swore
passionately at me: affirming that I loved the villain yet; and
calling me all sorts of names for the base spirit I evinced. And
Iin my secret heart (and conscience never reproached me)thought
what a blessing it would be for HIM should Heathcliff put him out
of misery; and what a blessing for ME should he send Heathcliff to
his right abode! As I sat nursing these reflectionsthe casement
behind me was banged on to the floor by a blow from the latter
individualand his black countenance looked blightingly through.
The stanchions stood too close to suffer his shoulders to follow
and I smiledexulting in my fancied security. His hair and
clothes were whitened with snowand his sharp cannibal teeth
revealed by cold and wrathgleamed through the dark.

'"Isabellalet me inor I'll make you repent!" he "girned as
Joseph calls it.

'I cannot commit murder I replied. Mr. Hindley stands sentinel
with a knife and loaded pistol."

'"Let me in by the kitchen door he said.


'Hindley will be there before me I answered: and that's a poor
love of yours that cannot bear a shower of snow! We were left at
peace in our beds as long as the summer moon shonebut the moment
a blast of winter returnsyou must run for shelter! Heathcliff
if I were youI'd go stretch myself over her grave and die like a
faithful dog. The world is surely not worth living in nowis it?
You had distinctly impressed on me the idea that Catherine was the
whole joy of your life: I can't imagine how you think of surviving
her loss."

'"He's thereis he?" exclaimed my companionrushing to the gap.
If I can get my arm out I can hit him!

'I'm afraidEllenyou'll set me down as really wicked; but you
don't know allso don't judge. I wouldn't have aided or abetted
an attempt on even HIS life for anything. Wish that he were dead
I must; and therefore I was fearfully disappointedand unnerved by
terror for the consequences of my taunting speechwhen he flung
himself on Earnshaw's weapon and wrenched it from his grasp.

'The charge explodedand the knifein springing backclosed into
its owner's wrist. Heathcliff pulled it away by main force
slitting up the flesh as it passed onand thrust it dripping into
his pocket. He then took a stonestruck down the division between
two windowsand sprang in. His adversary had fallen senseless
with excessive pain and the flow of bloodthat gushed from an
artery or a large vein. The ruffian kicked and trampled on him
and dashed his head repeatedly against the flagsholding me with
one handmeantimeto prevent me summoning Joseph. He exerted
preterhuman self-denial in abstaining from finishing him
completely; but getting out of breathhe finally desistedand
dragged the apparently inanimate body on to the settle. There he
tore off the sleeve of Earnshaw's coatand bound up the wound with
brutal roughness; spitting and cursing during the operation as
energetically as he had kicked before. Being at libertyI lost no
time in seeking the old servant; whohaving gathered by degrees
the purport of my hasty talehurried belowgaspingas he
descended the steps two at once.

'"What is ther to donow? what is ther to donow?"

'"There's this to do thundered Heathcliff, that your master's
mad; and should he last another monthI'll have him to an asylum.
And how the devil did you come to fasten me outyou toothless
hound? Don't stand muttering and mumbling there. ComeI'm not
going to nurse him. Wash that stuff away; and mind the sparks of
your candle - it is more than half brandy!"

'"And so ye've been murthering on him?" exclaimed Josephlifting
his hands and eyes in horror. "If iver I seed a seeght loike this!
May the Lord - "

'Heathcliff gave him a push on to his knees in the middle of the
bloodand flung a towel to him; but instead of proceeding to dry
it uphe joined his hands and began a prayerwhich excited my
laughter from its odd phraseology. I was in the condition of mind
to be shocked at nothing: in factI was as reckless as some
malefactors show themselves at the foot of the gallows.

'"OhI forgot you said the tyrant. You shall do that. Down
with you. And you conspire with him against medo youviper?
Therethat is work fit for you!"


'He shook me till my teeth rattledand pitched me beside Joseph
who steadily concluded his supplicationsand then rosevowing he
would set off for the Grange directly. Mr. Linton was a
magistrateand though he had fifty wives deadhe should inquire
into this. He was so obstinate in his resolutionthat Heathcliff
deemed it expedient to compel from my lips a recapitulation of what
had taken place; standing over meheaving with malevolenceas I
reluctantly delivered the account in answer to his questions. It
required a great deal of labour to satisfy the old man that
Heathcliff was not the aggressor; especially with my hardly-wrung
replies. HoweverMr. Earnshaw soon convinced him that he was
alive still; Joseph hastened to administer a dose of spiritsand
by their succour his master presently regained motion and
consciousness. Heathcliffaware that his opponent was ignorant of
the treatment received while insensiblecalled him deliriously
intoxicated; and said he should not notice his atrocious conduct
furtherbut advised him to get to bed. To my joyhe left us
after giving this judicious counseland Hindley stretched himself
on the hearthstone. I departed to my own roommarvelling that I
had escaped so easily.

'This morningwhen I came downabout half an hour before noon
Mr. Earnshaw was sitting by the firedeadly sick; his evil genius
almost as gaunt and ghastlyleant against the chimney. Neither
appeared inclined to dineandhaving waited till all was cold on
the tableI commenced alone. Nothing hindered me from eating
heartilyand I experienced a certain sense of satisfaction and
superiorityasat intervalsI cast a look towards my silent
companionsand felt the comfort of a quiet conscience within me.
After I had doneI ventured on the unusual liberty of drawing near
the firegoing round Earnshaw's seatand kneeling in the corner
beside him.

'Heathcliff did not glance my wayand I gazed upand contemplated
his features almost as confidently as if they had been turned to
stone. His foreheadthat I once thought so manlyand that I now
think so diabolicalwas shaded with a heavy cloud; his basilisk
eyes were nearly quenched by sleeplessnessand weepingperhaps
for the lashes were wet then: his lips devoid of their ferocious
sneerand sealed in an expression of unspeakable sadness. Had it
been anotherI would have covered my face in the presence of such
grief. In HIS caseI was gratified; andignoble as it seems to
insult a fallen enemyI couldn't miss this chance of sticking in a
dart: his weakness was the only time when I could taste the
delight of paying wrong for wrong.'

'FiefieMiss!' I interrupted. 'One might suppose you had never
opened a Bible in your life. If God afflict your enemiessurely
that ought to suffice you. It is both mean and presumptuous to add
your torture to his!'

'In general I'll allow that it would beEllen' she continued;
'but what misery laid on Heathcliff could content meunless I have
a hand in it? I'd rather he suffered lessif I might cause his
sufferings and he might KNOW that I was the cause. OhI owe him
so much. On only one condition can I hope to forgive him. It is
if I may take an eye for an eyea tooth for a tooth; for every
wrench of agony return a wrench: reduce him to my level. As he
was the first to injuremake him the first to implore pardon; and
then - why thenEllenI might show you some generosity. But it
is utterly impossible I can ever be revengedand therefore I
cannot forgive him. Hindley wanted some waterand I handed him a
glassand asked him how he was.


'"Not as ill as I wish he replied. But leaving out my arm
every inch of me is as sore as if I had been fighting with a legion
of imps!"

'"Yesno wonder was my next remark. Catherine used to boast
that she stood between you and bodily harm: she meant that certain
persons would not hurt you for fear of offending her. It's well
people don't REALLY rise from their graveorlast nightshe
might have witnessed a repulsive scene! Are not you bruisedand
cut over your chest and shoulders?"

'"I can't say he answered, but what do you mean? Did he dare to
strike me when I was down?"

'"He trampled on and kicked youand dashed you on the ground I
whispered. And his mouth watered to tear you with his teeth;
because he's only half man: not so muchand the rest fiend."

'Mr. Earnshaw looked uplike meto the countenance of our mutual
foe; whoabsorbed in his anguishseemed insensible to anything
around him: the longer he stoodthe plainer his reflections
revealed their blackness through his features.

'"Ohif God would but give me strength to strangle him in my last
agonyI'd go to hell with joy groaned the impatient man,
writhing to rise, and sinking back in despair, convinced of his
inadequacy for the struggle.

'Nayit's enough that he has murdered one of you I observed
aloud. At the Grangeevery one knows your sister would have been
living now had it not been for Mr. Heathcliff. After allit is
preferable to be hated than loved by him. When I recollect how
happy we were - how happy Catherine was before he came - I'm fit to
curse the day."

'Most likelyHeathcliff noticed more the truth of what was said
than the spirit of the person who said it. His attention was
rousedI sawfor his eyes rained down tears among the ashesand
he drew his breath in suffocating sighs. I stared full at himand
laughed scornfully. The clouded windows of hell flashed a moment
towards me; the fiend which usually looked outhoweverwas so
dimmed and drowned that I did not fear to hazard another sound of
derision.

'"Get upand begone out of my sight said the mourner.

'I guessed he uttered those words, at least, though his voice was
hardly intelligible.

'I beg your pardon I replied. But I loved Catherine too; and
her brother requires attendancewhichfor her sakeI shall
supply. Nowthat she's deadI see her in Hindley: Hindley has
exactly her eyesif you had not tried to gouge them outand made
them black and red; and her - "

'"Get upwretched idiotbefore I stamp you to death!" he cried
making a movement that caused me to make one also.

'"But then I continued, holding myself ready to flee, if poor
Catherine had trusted youand assumed the ridiculous
contemptibledegrading title of Mrs. Heathcliffshe would soon
have presented a similar picture! SHE wouldn't have borne your
abominable behaviour quietly: her detestation and disgust must
have found voice."


'The back of the settle and Earnshaw's person interposed between me
and him; so instead of endeavouring to reach mehe snatched a
dinner-knife from the table and flung it at my head. It struck
beneath my earand stopped the sentence I was uttering; but
pulling it outI sprang to the door and delivered another; which I
hope went a little deeper than his missile. The last glimpse I
caught of him was a furious rush on his partchecked by the
embrace of his host; and both fell locked together on the hearth.
In my flight through the kitchen I bid Joseph speed to his master;
I knocked over Haretonwho was hanging a litter of puppies from a
chair-back in the doorway; andblessed as a soul escaped from
purgatoryI boundedleapedand flew down the steep road; then
quitting its windingsshot direct across the moorrolling over
banksand wading through marshes: precipitating myselfin fact
towards the beacon-light of the Grange. And far rather would I be
condemned to a perpetual dwelling in the infernal regions than
even for one nightabide beneath the roof of Wuthering Heights
again.'

Isabella ceased speakingand took a drink of tea; then she rose
and bidding me put on her bonnetand a great shawl I had brought
and turning a deaf ear to my entreaties for her to remain another
hourshe stepped on to a chairkissed Edgar's and Catherine's
portraitsbestowed a similar salute on meand descended to the
carriageaccompanied by Fannywho yelped wild with joy at
recovering her mistress. She was driven awaynever to revisit
this neighbourhood: but a regular correspondence was established
between her and my master when things were more settled. I believe
her new abode was in the southnear London; there she had a son
born a few months subsequent to her escape. He was christened
Lintonandfrom the firstshe reported him to be an ailing
peevish creature.

Mr. Heathcliffmeeting me one day in the villageinquired where
she lived. I refused to tell. He remarked that it was not of any
momentonly she must beware of coming to her brother: she should
not be with himif he had to keep her himself. Though I would
give no informationhe discoveredthrough some of the other
servantsboth her place of residence and the existence of the
child. Stillhe didn't molest her: for which forbearance she
might thank his aversionI suppose. He often asked about the
infantwhen he saw me; and on hearing its namesmiled grimlyand
observed: 'They wish me to hate it toodo they?'

'I don't think they wish you to know anything about it' I
answered.

'But I'll have it' he said'when I want it. They may reckon on
that!'

Fortunately its mother died before the time arrived; some thirteen
years after the decease of Catherinewhen Linton was twelveor a
little more.

On the day succeeding Isabella's unexpected visit I had no
opportunity of speaking to my master: he shunned conversationand
was fit for discussing nothing. When I could get him to listenI
saw it pleased him that his sister had left her husband; whom he
abhorred with an intensity which the mildness of his nature would
scarcely seem to allow. So deep and sensitive was his aversion
that he refrained from going anywhere where he was likely to see or
hear of Heathcliff. Griefand that togethertransformed him into
a complete hermit: he threw up his office of magistrateceased


even to attend churchavoided the village on all occasionsand
spent a life of entire seclusion within the limits of his park and
grounds; only varied by solitary rambles on the moorsand visits
to the grave of his wifemostly at eveningor early morning
before other wanderers were abroad. But he was too good to be
thoroughly unhappy long. HE didn't pray for Catherine's soul to
haunt him. Time brought resignationand a melancholy sweeter than
common joy. He recalled her memory with ardenttender loveand
hopeful aspiring to the better world; where he doubted not she was
gone.

And he had earthly consolation and affections also. For a few
daysI saidhe seemed regardless of the puny successor to the
departed: that coldness melted as fast as snow in Apriland ere
the tiny thing could stammer a word or totter a step it wielded a
despot's sceptre in his heart. It was named Catherine; but he
never called it the name in fullas he had never called the first
Catherine short: probably because Heathcliff had a habit of doing
so. The little one was always Cathy: it formed to him a
distinction from the motherand yet a connection with her; and his
attachment sprang from its relation to herfar more than from its
being his own.

I used to draw a comparison between him and Hindley Earnshawand
perplex myself to explain satisfactorily why their conduct was so
opposite in similar circumstances. They had both been fond
husbandsand were both attached to their children; and I could not
see how they shouldn't both have taken the same roadfor good or
evil. ButI thought in my mindHindleywith apparently the
stronger headhas shown himself sadly the worse and the weaker
man. When his ship struckthe captain abandoned his post; and the
crewinstead of trying to save herrushed into riot and
confusionleaving no hope for their luckless vessel. Lintonon
the contrarydisplayed the true courage of a loyal and faithful
soul: he trusted God; and God comforted him. One hopedand the
other despaired: they chose their own lotsand were righteously
doomed to endure them. But you'll not want to hear my moralising
Mr. Lockwood; you'll judgeas well as I canall these things: at
leastyou'll think you willand that's the same. The end of
Earnshaw was what might have been expected; it followed fast on his
sister's: there were scarcely six months between them. Weat the
Grangenever got a very succinct account of his state preceding
it; all that I did learn was on occasion of going to aid in the
preparations for the funeral. Mr. Kenneth came to announce the
event to my master.

'WellNelly' said heriding into the yard one morningtoo early
not to alarm me with an instant presentiment of bad news'it's
yours and my turn to go into mourning at present. Who's given us
the slip nowdo you think?'

'Who?' I asked in a flurry.

'Whyguess!' he returneddismountingand slinging his bridle on
a hook by the door. 'And nip up the corner of your apron: I'm
certain you'll need it.'

'Not Mr. Heathcliffsurely?' I exclaimed.

'What! would you have tears for him?' said the doctor. 'No
Heathcliff's a tough young fellow: he looks blooming to-day. I've
just seen him. He's rapidly regaining flesh since he lost his
better half.'


'Who is itthenMr. Kenneth?' I repeated impatiently.

'Hindley Earnshaw! Your old friend Hindley' he replied'and my
wicked gossip: though he's been too wild for me this long while.
There! I said we should draw water. But cheer up! He died true
to his character: drunk as a lord. Poor lad! I'm sorrytoo.
One can't help missing an old companion: though he had the worst
tricks with him that ever man imaginedand has done me many a
rascally turn. He's barely twenty-sevenit seems; that's your own
age: who would have thought you were born in one year?'

I confess this blow was greater to me than the shock of Mrs.
Linton's death: ancient associations lingered round my heart; I
sat down in the porch and wept as for a blood relationdesiring
Mr. Kenneth to get another servant to introduce him to the master.
I could not hinder myself from pondering on the question - 'Had he
had fair play?' Whatever I didthat idea would bother me: it was
so tiresomely pertinacious that I resolved on requesting leave to
go to Wuthering Heightsand assist in the last duties to the dead.
Mr. Linton was extremely reluctant to consentbut I pleaded
eloquently for the friendless condition in which he lay; and I said
my old master and foster-brother had a claim on my services as
strong as his own. BesidesI reminded him that the child Hareton
was his wife's nephewandin the absence of nearer kinhe ought
to act as its guardian; and he ought to and must inquire how the
property was leftand look over the concerns of his brother-inlaw.
He was unfit for attending to such matters thenbut he bid
me speak to his lawyer; and at length permitted me to go. His
lawyer had been Earnshaw's also: I called at the villageand
asked him to accompany me. He shook his headand advised that
Heathcliff should be let alone; affirmingif the truth were known
Hareton would be found little else than a beggar.

'His father died in debt' he said; 'the whole property is
mortgagedand the sole chance for the natural heir is to allow him
an opportunity of creating some interest in the creditor's heart
that he may be inclined to deal leniently towards him.'

When I reached the HeightsI explained that I had come to see
everything carried on decently; and Josephwho appeared in
sufficient distressexpressed satisfaction at my presence. Mr.
Heathcliff said he did not perceive that I was wanted; but I might
stay and order the arrangements for the funeralif I chose.

'Correctly' he remarked'that fool's body should he buried at the
cross-roadswithout ceremony of any kind. I happened to leave him
ten minutes yesterday afternoonand in that interval he fastened
the two doors of the house against meand he has spent the night
in drinking himself to death deliberately! We broke in this
morningfor we heard him sporting like a horse; and there he was
laid over the settle: flaying and scalping would not have wakened
him. I sent for Kennethand he came; but not till the beast had
changed into carrion: he was both dead and coldand stark; and so
you'll allow it was useless making more stir about him!'

The old servant confirmed this statementbut muttered:

'I'd rayther he'd goan hisseln for t' doctor! I sud ha' taen tent
o' t' maister better nor him - and he warn't deead when I left
naught o' t' soart!'

I insisted on the funeral being respectable. Mr. Heathcliff said I
might have my own way there too: onlyhe desired me to remember
that the money for the whole affair came out of his pocket. He


maintained a hardcareless deportmentindicative of neither joy
nor sorrow: if anythingit expressed a flinty gratification at a
piece of difficult work successfully executed. I observed once
indeedsomething like exultation in his aspect: it was just when
the people were bearing the coffin from the house. He had the
hypocrisy to represent a mourner: and previous to following with
Haretonhe lifted the unfortunate child on to the table and
mutteredwith peculiar gusto'Nowmy bonny ladyou are MINE!
And we'll see if one tree won't grow as crooked as anotherwith
the same wind to twist it!' The unsuspecting thing was pleased at
this speech: he played with Heathcliff's whiskersand stroked his
cheek; but I divined its meaningand observed tartly'That boy
must go back with me to Thrushcross Grangesir. There is nothing
in the world less yours than he is!'

'Does Linton say so?' he demanded.

'Of course - he has ordered me to take him' I replied.

'Well' said the scoundrel'we'll not argue the subject now: but
I have a fancy to try my hand at rearing a young one; so intimate
to your master that I must supply the place of this with my ownif
he attempt to remove it. I don't engage to let Hareton go
undisputed; but I'll be pretty sure to make the other come!
Remember to tell him.'

This hint was enough to bind our hands. I repeated its substance
on my return; and Edgar Lintonlittle interested at the
commencementspoke no more of interfering. I'm not aware that he
could have done it to any purposehad he been ever so willing.

The guest was now the master of Wuthering Heights: he held firm
possessionand proved to the attorney - whoin his turnproved
it to Mr. Linton - that Earnshaw had mortgaged every yard of land
he owned for cash to supply his mania for gaming; and he
Heathcliffwas the mortgagee. In that manner Haretonwho should
now be the first gentleman in the neighbourhoodwas reduced to a
state of complete dependence on his father's inveterate enemy; and
lives in his own house as a servantdeprived of the advantage of
wages: quite unable to right himselfbecause of his
friendlessnessand his ignorance that he has been wronged.

CHAPTER XVIII

THE twelve yearscontinued Mrs. Deanfollowing that dismal period
were the happiest of my life: my greatest troubles in their
passage rose from our little lady's trifling illnesseswhich she
had to experience in common with all childrenrich and poor. For
the restafter the first six monthsshe grew like a larchand
could walk and talk tooin her own waybefore 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 facewith the Earnshaws' handsome dark eyesbut the
Lintons' fair skin and small featuresand yellow curling hair.
Her spirit was highthough not roughand 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 doveand
she had a gentle voice and pensive expression: her anger was never
furious; her love never fierce: it was deep and tender. However


it must be acknowledgedshe had faults to foil her gifts. A
propensity to be saucy was one; and a perverse willthat indulged
children invariably acquirewhether they be good tempered or
cross. If a servant chanced to vex herit was always - 'I shall
tell papa!' And if he reproved hereven by a lookyou 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
himselfand made it an amusement. Fortunatelycuriosity and a
quick intellect made her an apt scholar: she learned rapidly and
eagerlyand 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 outsideon rare occasions; but he trusted her to
no one else. Gimmerton was an unsubstantial name in her ears; the
chapelthe only building she had approached or enteredexcept her
own home. Wuthering Heights and Mr. Heathcliff did not exist for
her: she was a perfect recluse; andapparentlyperfectly
contented. Sometimesindeedwhile surveying the country from her
nursery windowshe would observe


'Ellenhow 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?'

'NoMiss Cathy' I would answer; 'it is hills againjust 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
heightsand the whole extent of landscape besides lay in shadow.
I explained that they were bare masses of stonewith hardly enough
earth in their clefts to nourish a stunted tree.

'And why are they bright so long after it is evening here?' she
pursued.

'Because they are a great deal higher up than we are' replied I;
'you could not climb themthey 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!'

'Ohyou have been on them!' she cried gleefully. 'Then I can go
toowhen I am a woman. Has papa beenEllen?'

'Papa would tell youMiss' I answeredhastily'that they are
not worth the trouble of visiting. The moorswhere you ramble
with himare much nicer; and Thrushcross Park is the finest place
in the world.'

'But I know the parkand 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 Cavequite 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 monthsand'Nowam 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'Not yetlove: 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 wasI am not certain: I
conjecturethey died of the same thinga kind of feverslow at
its commencementbut incurableand 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
sufferedand entreated him to come to herif possible; for she
had much to settleand she wished to bid him adieuand deliver
Linton safely into his hands. Her hope was that Linton might be
left with himas he had been with her: his fathershe would fain
convince herselfhad 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 callshe flew to answer this; commanding Catherine to my
peculiar vigilancein his absencewith reiterated orders that she
must not wander out of the parkeven 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 librarytoo sad for either reading or playing: in
that quiet state she caused me little trouble; but it was succeeded
by an interval of impatientfretful weariness; and being too busy
and too old thento run up and down amusing herI hit on a method
by which she might entertain herself. I used to send her on her
travels round the grounds - now on footand 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 lookedand I thought she would scarcely
venture forth aloneif they had stood wide open. Unluckilymy
confidence proved misplaced. Catherine came to meone morningat
eight o'clockand said she was that day an Arabian merchantgoing
to cross the Desert with his caravan; and I must give her plenty of
provision for herself and beasts: a horseand three camels
personated by a large hound and a couple of pointers. I got
together good store of daintiesand slung them in a basket on one
side of the saddle; and she sprang up as gay as a fairysheltered
by her wide-brimmed hat and gauze veil from the July sunand
trotted off with a merry laughmocking my cautious counsel to
avoid gallopingand come back early. The naughty thing never made
her appearance at tea. One travellerthe houndbeing an old dog
and fond of its easereturned; but neither Cathynor the pony
nor the two pointers were visible in any direction: I despatched
emissaries down this pathand that pathand at last went
wandering in search of her myself. There was a labourer working at
a fence round a plantationon the borders of the grounds. I
inquired of him if he had seen our young lady.

'I saw her at morn' he replied: 'she would have me to cut her a
hazel switchand then she leapt her Galloway over the hedge
yonderwhere it is lowestand 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?' I ejaculatedpushing through a gap which the man
was repairingand making straight to the high-road. I walked as


if for a wagermile after miletill a turn brought me in view of
the Heights; but no Catherine could I detectfar or near. The
Crags lie about a mile and a half beyond Mr. Heathcliff's place
and that is four from the Grangeso I began to fear night would
fall ere I could reach them. 'And what if she should have slipped
in clambering among them' I reflected'and been killedor broken
some of her bones?' My suspense was truly painful; andat first
it gave me delightful relief to observein hurrying by the
farmhouseCharliethe fiercest of the pointerslying under a
windowwith swelled head and bleeding ear. I opened the wicket
and ran to the doorknocking vehemently for admittance. A woman
whom I knewand who formerly lived at Gimmertonanswered: she
had been servant there since the death of Mr. Earnshaw.

'Ah' said she'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 thenis he?' I pantedquite breathless with
quick walking and alarm.

'Nono' she replied: 'both he and Joseph are offand I think
they won't return this hour or more. Step in and rest you a bit.'

I enteredand beheld my stray lamb seated on the hearthrocking
herself in a little chair that had been her mother's when a child.
Her hat was hung against the walland she seemed perfectly at
homelaughing and chatteringin the best spirits imaginableto
Hareton - now a greatstrong 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.

'Very wellMiss!' I exclaimedconcealing my joy under an angry
countenance. 'This is your last ridetill papa comes back. I'll
not trust you over the threshold againyou naughtynaughty girl!'

'AhaEllen!' she criedgailyjumping 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 onand home at once' said I. 'I'm dreadfully
grieved at youMiss 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 foxand nobody will put faith in you any more.'

'What have I done?' sobbed sheinstantly checked. 'Papa charged
me nothing: he'll not scold meEllen - he's never crosslike
you!'

'Comecome!' I repeated. 'I'll tie the riband. Nowlet us have
no petulance. Ohfor shame! You thirteen years oldand such a
baby!'

This exclamation was caused by her pushing the hat from her head
and retreating to the chimney out of my reach.

'Nay' said the servant'don't be hard on the bonny lassMrs.
Dean. We made her stop: she'd fain have ridden forwardsafeard
you should be uneasy. Hareton offered to go with herand I
thought he should: it's a wild road over the hills.'


Haretonduring the discussionstood with his hands in his
pocketstoo awkward to speak; though he looked as if he did not
relish my intrusion.

'How long am I to wait?' I continueddisregarding the woman's
interference. 'It will be dark in ten minutes. Where is the pony
Miss Cathy? And where is Phoenix? I shall leave youunless you
be quick; so please yourself.'

'The pony is in the yard' she replied'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 temperand don't deserve to
hear.'

I picked up her hatand approached to reinstate it; but perceiving
that the people of the house took her partshe commenced capering
round the room; and on my giving chaseran like a mouse over and
under and behind the furniturerendering it ridiculous for me to
pursue. Hareton and the woman laughedand she joined themand
waxed more impertinent still; till I criedin great irritation'
WellMiss Cathyif you were aware whose house this is you'd be
glad enough to get out.'

'It's YOUR father'sisn't it?' said sheturning to Hareton.

'Nay' he repliedlooking downand blushing bashfully.

He could not stand a steady gaze from her eyesthough they were
just his own.

'Whose then - your master's?' she asked.

He coloured deeperwith a different feelingmuttered an oathand
turned away.

'Who is his master?' continued the tiresome girlappealing 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
doneshouldn't heif he's a servant?'

Hareton grew black as a thunder-cloud at this childish speech. I
silently shook my questionerand at last succeeded in equipping
her for departure.

'Nowget my horse' she saidaddressing 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 FAIRISHESas you call them: but make haste!
What's the matter? Get my horseI say.'

'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!' he replied.

'There, Miss Cathy! you see you have got into pretty company,' I
interposed. 'Nice words to be used to a young lady! Pray don't
begin to dispute with him. Come, let us seek for Minny ourselves,
and begone.'

'But, Ellen,' cried she, 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. - Now, then!'


Hareton did not appear to feel this threat; so the tears sprang
into her eyes with indignation. 'You bring the pony,' she
exclaimed, turning to the woman, 'and let my dog free this moment!'

'Softly, Miss,' answered she addressed: 'you'll lose nothing by
being civil. Though Mr. Hareton, there, be not the master's son,
he's your cousin: and I was never hired to serve you.'

'HE my cousin!' cried Cathy, with a scornful laugh.

'Yes, indeed,' responded her reprover.

'Oh, Ellen! 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.

'Hush, hush!' I whispered; 'people can have many cousins and of all
sorts, Miss Cathy, 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, Ellen!' 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. Hareton, recovering from his
disgust at being taken for a servant, seemed moved by her distress;
and, having fetched the pony round to the door, he took, 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, athletic youth, 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. Still, 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; yet,
notwithstanding, evidence of a wealthy soil, that might yield
luxuriant crops under other and favourable circumstances. Mr.
Heathcliff, I believe, 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 narrowminded
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, when
children, of putting the master past his patience, and compelling
him to seek solace in drink by what he termed their 'offald ways,'
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, apparently, 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; he would, 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, inside, 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.

This, however, 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; except that, 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. But, being in disgrace, I was not
favoured with a description of the interesting objects she saw. I
could gather, however, 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 'love,'
and 'darling,' and 'queen,' and 'angel,' 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.
After all, she was a sweet little girl.

CHAPTER XIX

A LETTER, 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 'real' cousin. 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,' she chattered, 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. Oh! I am
happy - and papa, dear, dear papa! Come, Ellen, let us run! come,
run.'

She ran, 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!' she exclaimed. 'Ah, I see, some dust on the
road - they are coming! No! When will they be here? May we not
go a little way - half a mile, Ellen, 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. He descended, 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, fur-lined cloak, as if it had been winter. A pale,
delicate, effeminate boy, 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.

'Now, darling,' 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,
remember, a very short time since; therefore, 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, at least, will you?'

'Yes, yes, papa,' answered Catherine: '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, Linton,' he said, 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, then,' answered the boy, shrinking from
Catherine's salute; and he put his fingers to remove incipient
tears.


'Come, come, there's a good child,' I whispered, 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, then, 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.

'Oh, he'll do very well,' said the master to me, after watching
them a minute. 'Very well, if we can keep him, Ellen. 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.'

'Ay, if we can keep him!' I mused to myself; and sore misgivings
came over me that there was slight hope of that. And then, I
thought, 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,' I said, 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, and,
holding his hat in one hand, and his stick in the other, he
proceeded to clean his shoes on the mat.

'Good-evening, Joseph,' I said, coldly. 'What business brings you
here to-night?'

'It's Maister Linton I mun spake to,' he answered, 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,' I continued. '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, and, 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 'bout
him.'

Edgar Linton was silent a minute; an expression of exceeding sorrow
overcast his features: he would have pitied the child on his own
account; but, 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. However, 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; and, at present, his
health is very precarious.'

'Noa!' said Joseph, giving a thud with his prop on the floor, and
assuming an authoritative air. 'Noa! 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. Ellen,
show him down. Go - '

And, aiding the indignant elder with a lift by the arm, he rid the
room of him and closed the door.

'Varrah weell!' shouted Joseph, as he slowly drew off. 'To-morn,
he's come hisseln, and thrust HIM out, if ye darr!'

CHAPTER XX

TO obviate the danger of this threat being fulfilled, Mr. Linton
commissioned me to take the boy home early, on Catherine's pony;
and, 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, Mr. Heathcliff,
who wished to see him so much, he did not like to defer the
pleasure till he should recover from his late journey.

'My father!' he cried, 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,' I replied; '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?' asked Linton. 'Why
didn't mamma and he live together, as other people do?'

'He had business to keep him in the north,' I answered, '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.'

'Oh, all children love their parents,' I said. 'Your mother,
perhaps, 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,' he demanded, 'the little girl I saw
yesterday?'

'Not now,' replied I.

'Is uncle?' he continued.

'No, I shall be your companion there,' I said.

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, equally ill-founded, 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?'
he inquired, 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,' I replied, '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. You will, perhaps,
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; and, now and then,
your uncle may join you in a walk: he does, frequently, walk out
on the hills.'

'And what is my father like?' he asked. 'Is he as young and
handsome as uncle?'

'He's as young,' said I; '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, perhaps, because it is not his
way: still, mind you, 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!' mused Linton. 'I can't fancy him. Then I
am not like him, am I?'

'Not much,' I answered: not a morsel, I thought, surveying with
regret the white complexion and slim frame of my companion, and his
large languid eyes - his mother's eyes, save that, 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!' he
murmured. 'Has he ever seen me? If he has, I must have been a
baby. I remember not a single thing about him!'

'Why, Master Linton,' said I, '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 gardengate.
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.

'Hallo, Nelly!' said Mr. Heathcliff, when he saw me. 'I feared I
should have to come down and fetch my property myself. You've
brought it, have you? 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.

'Sure-ly,' said Joseph after a grave inspection, 'he's swopped wi'
ye, Maister, an' yon's his lass!'


Heathcliff, having stared his son into an ague of confusion,
uttered a scornful laugh.

'God! what a beauty! what a lovely, charming thing!' he exclaimed.
'Hav'n't they reared it on snails and sour milk, Nelly? Oh, 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, and enter. 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.

'Tut, tut!' said Heathcliff, 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,
entirely! Where is my share in thee, puling chicken?'

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?' asked Heathcliff, having satisfied himself that
the limbs were all equally frail and feeble.

'No,' said Linton, with a gaze of vacant fear.

'You've heard of me, I daresay?'

'No,' he replied again.

'No! What a shame of your mother, never to waken your filial
regard for me! You are my son, then, I'll tell you; and your
mother was a wicked slut to leave you in ignorance of the sort of
father you possessed. Now, don't wince, and colour up! Though it
is something to see you have not white blood. Be a good lad; and
I'll do for you. Nelly, if you be tired you may sit down; if not,
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.'

'Well,' replied I, 'I hope you'll be kind to the boy, Mr.
Heathcliff, 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,' he said, laughing.
'Only nobody else must be kind to him: I'm jealous of monopolising
his affection. And, to begin my kindness, Joseph, bring the lad
some breakfast. Hareton, you infernal calf, begone to your work.
Yes, Nell,' he added, 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. Besides, he's MINE, 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, also, 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, however, 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, whining wretch!'

While he was speaking, Joseph returned bearing a basin of milkporridge,
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?' repeated he, 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 'un;
and what wer gooid enough for him's gooid enough for ye, I's
rayther think!'

'I SHA'N'T eat it!' answered Linton, snappishly. 'Take it away.'

Joseph snatched up the food indignantly, and brought it to us.

'Is there aught ails th' victuals?' he asked, thrusting the tray
under Heathcliff's nose.

'What should ail them?' he said.

'Wah!' answered Joseph, 'yon dainty chap says he cannut ate 'em.
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, angrily. 'Get
him something that he can eat, that's all. What is his usual food,
Nelly?'

I suggested boiled milk or tea; and the housekeeper received
instructions to prepare some. Come, I reflected, 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.

CHAPTER XXI

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, however, '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 colds, and aches,
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. Oh! it's killing, 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, for pity,
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.'
I divined, 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, consequently, 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, I fancy, 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, on horseback, 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; and another, 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; and walked, at dusk, 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, Ellen!' she cried. '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,' I answered; 'they don't breed on
the edge of the moor.'

'No, it's not,' she said. '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; and, at first, I found plenty of
entertainment in listening to the larks singing far and near, and
enjoying the sweet, warm sunshine; 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.

'Well,' said I, 'where are your moor-game, Miss Cathy? We should
be at them: the Grange park-fence is a great way off now.'

'Oh, a little further - only a little further, Ellen,' was her
answer, continually. '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, that,
at length, 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. Finally, 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, or, at least,
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,' she said, 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, and, consequently, his malevolence
towards it, and demanded who 'papa' was?

'Mr. Linton of Thrushcross Grange,' she replied. 'I thought you
did not know me, or you wouldn't have spoken in that way.'

'You suppose papa is highly esteemed and respected, then?' he said,
sarcastically.

'And what are you?' inquired Catherine, 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.

'Miss Cathy,' I interrupted, 'it will be three hours instead of one
that we are out, presently. We really must go back.'

'No, that man is not my son,' answered Heathcliff, pushing me
aside. 'But I have one, and you have seen him before too; and,
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.

'Why?' she asked, aloud. 'I'm tired of running, and the ground is
dewy: I can't sit here. Let us go, Ellen. Besides, he says I
have seen his son. He's mistaken, I think; but I guess where he
lives: at the farmhouse I visited in coming from Penistone' Crags.
Don't you?'

'I do. Come, Nelly, hold your tongue - it will he a treat for her
to look in on us. Hareton, get forwards with the lass. You shall
walk with me, Nelly.'

'No, she's not going to any such place,' I cried, 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, and vanished.

'Mr. Heathcliff, it's very wrong,' I continued: '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 answered; '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,' I replied.

'My design is as honest as possible. I'll inform you of its whole
scope,' he said. '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,' I answered, 'and his life is quite uncertain,
Catherine would be the heir.'

'No, she would not,' he said. 'There is no clause in the will to
secure it so: his property would go to me; but, 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,' I returned, as we reached the gate, where Miss Cathy waited
our coming.

Heathcliff bade me be quiet; and, 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.

'Now, who is that?' asked Mr. Heathcliff, turning to Cathy. 'Can
you tell?'

'Your son?' she said, having doubtfully surveyed, first one and
then the other.

'Yes, yes,' answered he: 'but is this the only time you have
beheld him? Think! Ah! you have a short memory. Linton, don't
you recall your cousin, that you used to tease us so with wishing
to see?'

'What, Linton!' cried Cathy, 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,
that is, to observe the latter, and really noting the former alone.

'And you are my uncle, then!' she cried, 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,' he
answered. 'There - damn it! If you have any kisses to spare, give
them to Linton: they are thrown away on me.'

'Naughty Ellen!' exclaimed Catherine, flying to attack me next with
her lavish caresses. 'Wicked Ellen! to try to hinder me from
entering. But I'll take this walk every morning in future: may I,
uncle? and sometimes bring papa. Won't you be glad to see us?'

'Of course,' replied the uncle, with a hardly suppressed grimace,
resulting from his deep aversion to both the proposed visitors.
'But stay,' he continued, 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; and, if you mention coming here to him, he'll
put a veto on your visits altogether. Therefore, 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?' asked Catherine, considerably crestfallen.


'He thought me too poor to wed his sister,' answered Heathcliff,
'and was grieved that I got her: his pride was hurt, and he'll
never forgive it.'

'That's wrong!' 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, then; he shall come to the Grange.'

'It will be too far for me,' murmured her cousin: 'to walk four
miles would kill me. No, come here, Miss Catherine, 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, Nelly, I shall lose my labour,' he muttered to me.
'Miss Catherine, as the ninny calls her, will discover his value,
and send him to the devil. Now, 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. Oh, confound the vapid
thing! He's absorbed in drying his feet, and never looks at her. -
Linton!'

'Yes, father,' 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?' asked Linton, addressing Cathy in a
tone which expressed reluctance to move again.

'I don't know,' she replied, casting a longing look to the door,
and evidently eager to be active.

He kept his seat, and shrank closer to the fire. Heathcliff rose,
and went into the kitchen, and from thence to the yard, calling out
for Hareton. Hareton responded, 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.

'Oh, I'll ask YOU, uncle,' cried Miss Cathy, recollecting the
housekeeper's assertion. 'That is not my cousin, is he?'

'Yes,' he, replied, 'your mother's nephew. Don't you like him!'

Catherine looked queer.

'Is he not a handsome lad?' he continued.

The uncivil little thing stood on tiptoe, and whispered a sentence
in Heathcliff's ear. He laughed; 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, Hareton! She says you are a -
What was it? Well, something very flattering. Here! you go with
her round the farm. And behave like a gentleman, mind! 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; and, when you


speak, say your words slowly, and keep your hands out of your
pockets. Be off, 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,' observed Heathcliff. 'He'll not venture a
single syllable all the time! Nelly, you recollect meat his age nay,
some years younger. Did I ever look so stupid: so
gaumless as Joseph calls it?'

'Worse,' I replied, 'because more sullen with it.'

'I've a pleasure in him,' he continued, reflecting aloud. '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, for instance, exactly: it is merely a beginning of what he
shall suffer, though. 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, and lower; for he takes a pride
in his brutishness. I've taught him to scorn everything extraanimal
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 pavingstones,
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. Meantime, 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.

'Get up, you idle boy!' he exclaimed, 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, and, 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,' he answered. 'I cannot read it.'

'Can't read it?' cried Catherine; '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, seriously; '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, I'm sure!'

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; is there, Earnshaw?' he
said. 'My cousin fancies you are an idiot. There you experience
the consequence of scorning book-larning as you would say. Have
you noticed, Catherine, his frightful Yorkshire pronunciation?'

'Why, where the devil is the use on't?' growled Hareton, 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?' tittered Linton.
'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, now do!'

'If thou weren't more a lass than a lad, I'd fell thee this minute,
I would; pitiful lath of a crater!' retorted the angry boor,
retreating, 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.

'Aha!' she cried, '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, remember; 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.

'Papa!' she exclaimed, after the morning's salutations, 'guess whom
I saw yesterday, in my walk on the moors. Ah, papa, you started!
you've not done right, have you, now? I saw - but listen, and you
shall hear how I found you out; and Ellen, 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,' she answered.

'Then you believe I care more for my own feelings than yours,
Cathy?' he said. 'No, 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, papa,' observed Catherine,
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, at
least; Linton and I; and you are not.'

My master, 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; and, in
his eyes, Heathcliff seemed a murderer. Miss Cathy - conversant
with no bad deeds except her own slight acts of disobedience,
injustice, and passion, 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, darling, 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.

'Oh, fie, silly child!' I exclaimed. '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, Miss Catherine.
Suppose, for a minute, that master and I were dead, and you were by
yourself in the world: how would you feel, then? 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, Ellen,' she answered, '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!'

'Nonsense!' said I, '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?' she
asked, 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, Ellen?'

'No, indeed! no, indeed!' replied I with decision. 'Then he would
write to you, and there'd never be an end of it. No, Miss
Catherine, the acquaintance must be dropped entirely: so papa
expects, and I shall see that it is done.'

'But how can one little note - ?' she recommenced, putting on an
imploring countenance.

'Silence!' I interrupted. '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; but, repenting half-way, I returned softly,
and lo! 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, Catherine,' I said, '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 'cross thing!' 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 milkfetcher
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.


One day, 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; so, at night, as soon as she and my master were safe
upstairs, I searched, and readily found among my house keys one
that would fit the lock. Having opened, 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; gradually, however, they expanded into copious loveletters,
foolish, 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, incorporeal sweetheart. 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; and, 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; and,
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; so, at the conclusion of her
morning studies, she resorted to the solace of the drawer. Her
father sat reading at the table; and I, on purpose, 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 'Oh!' and
the change that transfigured her late happy countenance. Mr.
Linton looked up.

'What is the matter, love? Have you hurt yourself?' he said.

His tone and look assured her HE had not been the discoverer of the
hoard.

'No, papa!' she gasped. 'Ellen! Ellen! come up-stairs - I'm sick!'

I obeyed her summons, and accompanied her out.

'Oh, Ellen! you have got them,' she commenced immediately, dropping
on her knees, when we were enclosed alone. 'Oh, give them to me,
and I'll never, never do so again! Don't tell papa. You have not
told papa, Ellen? 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.


'So,' I exclaimed, 'Miss Catherine, 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. For shame! and you
must have led the way in writing such absurdities: he would not
have thought of beginning, I'm certain.'

'I didn't! I didn't!' sobbed Cathy, fit to break her heart. 'I
didn't once think of loving him till - '

'LOVING!' cried I, as scornfully as I could utter the word.
'LOVING! 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.
Pretty loving, indeed! 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 hold 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, and asked, '
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, nor rings, nor
playthings?'

'We don't send playthings,' cried Catherine, her pride overcoming
her shame.

'Nor anything at all, then, my lady?' I said. 'Unless you will,
here I go.'

'I promise, Ellen!' she cried, catching my dress. 'Oh, put them in
the fire, do, do!'

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, Ellen, 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!' she screamed, 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!' I answered,
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, pale, and red about
the eyes, and marvellously subdued in outward aspect. Next morning


I answered the letter by a slip of paper, inscribed, 'Master
Heathcliff is requested to send no more notes to Miss Linton, as
she will not receive them.' And, henceforth, the little boy came
with vacant pockets.

CHAPTER XXII

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.

Poor Cathy, 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,
withered leaves, 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. She refused; 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. And often, 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, rough bank, 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; and I, pleased with her agility and her
light, childish heart, 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, joint
tenants, feed and entice their young ones to fly: or nestling with
closed lids, half thinking, half dreaming, happier than words can
express.
'Look, Miss!' I exclaimed, 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, and
replied, at length - 'No, I'll not touch it: but it looks
melancholy, does it not, Ellen?'

'Yes,' I observed, '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.'

'No,' she repeated, 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; and, ever and anon, her hand was lifted to her averted
face.

'Catherine, why are you crying, love?' I asked, 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.

'Oh, it will be something worse,' she said. 'And what shall I do
when papa and you leave me, and I am by myself? I can't forget
your words, Ellen; 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,' I replied. '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 I were spared till he saw sixty,
that would be more years than you have counted, Miss. And would it
not be foolish to mourn a calamity above twenty years beforehand?'

'But Aunt Isabella was younger than papa,' she remarked, gazing up
with timid hope to seek further consolation.

'Aunt Isabella had not you and me to nurse her,' I replied. '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, Cathy! 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, never, while I have my senses, do an act or say
a word to vex him. I love him better than myself, Ellen; 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.'

'Good words,' I replied. '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. I, 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 answered; 'I have my bundle of keys in my
pocket: perhaps I may manage to open it; if not, I'll go.'

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; so, 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 whispered.

'Ellen, I wish you could open the door,' whispered back my
companion, anxiously.

'Ho, Miss Linton!' 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, Mr. Heathcliff,' answered Catherine.
'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,' said Heathcliff. (He it was.)
'I don't hate my son, I suppose; and it is concerning him that I
demand your attention. Yes; you have cause to blush. Two or three
months since, were you not in the habit of writing to Linton?
making love in play, eh? You deserved, both of you, flogging for
that! You especially, the elder; 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, didn't you? Well, you dropped Linton
with it into a Slough of Despond. He was in earnest: in love,
really. As true as I live, he's dying for you; breaking his heart
at your fickleness: not figuratively, but actually. 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? Miss Cathy, 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 lassI shall be from home all this week;
go and see if have not spoken truth: dothere's a darling! Just
imagine your father in my placeand Linton in yours; then think
how you would value your careless lover if he refused to stir a
step to comfort youwhen your father himself entreated him; and
don'tfrom pure stupidityfall into the same error. I swearon
my salvationhe's going to his graveand none but you can save
him!'

The lock gave way and I issued out.

'I swear Linton is dying' repeated Heathclifflooking hard at me.
'And grief and disappointment are hastening his death. Nellyif
you won't let her goyou 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.'

'Come in' said Itaking Cathy by the arm and half forcing her to
re-enter; for she lingeredviewing with troubled eyes the features
of the speakertoo stern to express his inward deceit.

He pushed his horse closeandbending downobserved - 'Miss
CatherineI'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 kindnessas well as love; and a kind word from
you would be his best medicine. Don't mind Mrs. Dean's cruel
cautions; but be generousand contrive to see him. He dreams of
you day and nightand cannot be persuaded that you don't hate him
since you neither write nor call.'

I closed the doorand rolled a stone to assist the loosened lock
in holding it; and spreading my umbrellaI drew my charge
underneath: for the rain began to drive through the moaning
branches of the treesand warned us to avoid delay. Our hurry
prevented any comment on the encounter with Heathcliffas we
stretched towards home; but I divined instinctively that
Catherine's heart was clouded now in double darkness. Her features
were so sadthey 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. She
returnedand asked me to sit with her in the library. We took our
tea together; and afterwards she lay down on the rugand told me
not to talkfor she was weary. I got a bookand pretended to
read. As soon as she supposed me absorbed in my occupationshe
recommenced her silent weeping: it appearedat presenther
favourite diversion. I suffered her to enjoy it a while; then I
expostulated: deriding and ridiculing all Mr. Heathcliff's
assertions about his sonas if I were certain she would coincide.
Alas! I hadn't skill to counteract the effect his account had
produced: it was just what he intended.

'You may be rightEllen' she answered; 'but I shall never feel at
ease till I know. And I must tell Linton it is not my fault that I
don't writeand 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 Heightsby the side of my wilful young mistress's
pony. I couldn't bear to witness her sorrow: to see her pale
dejected countenanceand heavy eyes: and I yieldedin the faint
hope that Linton himself might proveby his reception of ushow
little of the tale was founded on fact.


CHAPTER XXIII

THE rainy night had ushered in a misty morning - half frosthalf
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 wayto ascertain
whether Mr. Heathcliff were really absent: because I put slight
faith in his own affirmation.

Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alonebeside a roaring
fire; a quart of ale on the table near himbristling with large
pieces of toasted oat-cake; and his blackshort pipe in his mouth.
Catherine ran to the hearth to warm herself. I asked if the master
was in? My question remained so long unansweredthat I thought
the old man had grown deafand repeated it louder.

'Na - ay!' he snarledor rather screamed through his nose. 'Na ay!
yah muh goa back whear yah coom frough.'

'Joseph!' cried a peevish voicesimultaneously with mefrom the
inner room. 'How often am I to call you? There are only a few red
ashes now. Joseph! come this moment.'

Vigorous puffsand a resolute stare into the gratedeclared he
had no ear for this appeal. The housekeeper and Hareton were
invisible; one gone on an errandand the other at his work
probably. We knew Linton's tonesand entered.

'OhI hope you'll die in a garretstarved to death!' said the
boymistaking our approach for that of his negligent attendant.

He stopped on observing his error: his cousin flew to him.

'Is that youMiss Linton?' he saidraising his head from the arm
of the great chairin which he reclined. 'No - don't kiss me: it
takes my breath. Dear me! Papa said you would call' continued
heafter recovering a little from Catherine's embrace; while she
stood by looking very contrite. 'Will you shut the doorif 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 cindersand fetched a scuttleful myself. The
invalid complained of being covered with ashes; but he had a
tiresome coughand looked feverish and illso I did not rebuke
his temper.

'WellLinton' murmured Catherinewhen his corrugated brow
relaxed'are you glad to see me? Can I do you any good?'

'Why didn't you come before?' he asked. 'You should have come
instead of writing. It tired me dreadfully writing those long
letters. I'd far rather have talked to you. NowI can neither
bear to talknor 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 behestI replied - 'Nobody is out there
but Joseph.'


'I want to drink' he exclaimed fretfullyturning away. '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 youMaster Heathcliff?' I asked
perceiving Catherine to be checked in her friendly advances.

'Attentive? He makes them a little more attentive at least' he
cried. 'The wretches! Do you knowMiss Lintonthat brute
Hareton laughs at me! I hate him! indeedI hate them all: they
are odious beings.'

Cathy began searching for some water; she lighted on a pitcher in
the dresserfilled a tumblerand brought it. He bid her add a
spoonful of wine from a bottle on the table; and having swallowed a
small portionappeared more tranquiland said she was very kind.

'And are you glad to see me?' asked shereiterating her former
question and pleased to detect the faint dawn of a smile.

'YesI am. It's something new to hear a voice like yours!' he
replied. 'But I have been vexedbecause you wouldn't come. And
papa swore it was owing to me: he called me a pitifulshuffling
worthless thing; and said you despised me; and if he had been in my
placehe would be more the master of the Grange than your father
by this time. But you don't despise medo youMiss - ?'

'I wish you would say Catherineor Cathy' interrupted my young
lady. 'Despise you? No! Next to papa and EllenI love you
better than anybody living. I don't love Mr. Heathcliffthough;
and I dare not come when he returns: will he stay away many days?'

'Not many' answered Linton; 'but he goes on to the moors
frequentlysince 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 meand
you'd always be ready to help mewouldn't you?'

'Yes" said Catherinestroking his long soft hair: 'if I could
only get papa's consentI'd spend half my time with you. Pretty
Linton! I wish you were my brother.'

'And then you would like me as well as your father?' observed he
more cheerfully. 'But papa says you would love me better than him
and all the worldif you were my wife; so I'd rather you were
that.'

'NoI should never love anybody better than papa' she returned
gravely. 'And people hate their wivessometimes; but not their
sisters and brothers: and if you were the latteryou would live
with usand papa would be as fond of you as he is of me.'

Linton denied that people ever hated their wives; but Cathy
affirmed they didandin her wisdominstanced 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.
Master Heathcliffmuch irritatedasserted her relation was false.

'Papa told me; and papa does not tell falsehoods' she answered
pertly.

'MY papa scorns yours!' cried Linton. 'He calls him a sneaking


fool.'

'Yours is a wicked man' retorted Catherine; '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.'

'She did' cried my young lady.

'WellI'll tell you something!' said Linton. 'Your mother hated
your father: now then.'

'Oh!' exclaimed Catherinetoo enraged to continue.

'And she loved mine' added he.

'You little liar! I hate you now!' she pantedand her face grew
red with passion.

'She did! she did!' sang Lintonsinking into the recess of his
chairand leaning back his head to enjoy the agitation of the
other disputantwho stood behind.

'HushMaster Heathcliff!' I said; 'that's your father's taletoo
I suppose.'

'It isn't: you hold your tongue!' he answered. 'She didshe did
Catherine! she didshe did!'

Cathybeside herselfgave the chair a violent pushand 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 cousinshe wept with all
her mightaghast at the mischief she had done: though she said
nothing. I held him till the fit exhausted itself. Then he thrust
me awayand leant his head down silently. Catherine quelled her
lamentations alsotook a seat oppositeand looked solemnly into
the fire.

'How do you feel nowMaster Heathcliff?' I inquiredafter waiting
ten minutes.

'I wish SHE felt as I do' he replied: 'spitefulcruel thing!
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!' muttered Cathychewing her lip to prevent
another burst of emotion.

He sighed and moaned like one under great sufferingand kept it up
for a quarter of an hour; on purpose to distress his cousin
apparentlyfor 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 youLinton' she said at lengthracked beyond
endurance. 'But I couldn't have been hurt by that little pushand
I had no idea that you couldeither: you're not muchare you
Linton? Don't let me go home thinking I've done you harm. Answer!
speak to me.'

'I can't speak to you' he murmured; '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 agonyand nobody near me. I wonder how you would like to pass
those fearful nights!' And he began to wail aloudfor very pity
of himself.

'Since you are in the habit of passing dreadful nights' I said
'it won't be Miss who spoils your ease: you'd be the same had she
never come. Howevershe shall not disturb you again; and perhaps
you'll get quieter when we leave you.'

'Must I go?' asked Catherine dolefullybending over him. 'Do you
want me to goLinton?'

'You can't alter what you've done' he replied pettishlyshrinking
from her'unless you alter it for the worse by teasing me into a
fever.'

'WellthenI must go?' she repeated.

'Let me aloneat least' said he; 'I can't bear your talking.'

She lingeredand resisted my persuasions to departure a tiresome
while; but as he neither looked up nor spokeshe finally made a
movement to the doorand I followed. We were recalled by a
scream. Linton had slid from his seat on to the hearthstoneand
lay writhing in the mere perverseness of an indulged plague of a
childdetermined to be as grievous and harassing as it can. I
thoroughly gauged his disposition from his behaviourand saw at
once it would be folly to attempt humouring him. Not so my
companion: she ran back in terrorknelt downand criedand
soothedand entreatedtill he grew quiet from lack of breath: by
no means from compunction at distressing her.

'I shall lift him on to the settle' I said'and he may roll about
as he pleases: we can't stop to watch him. I hope you are
satisfiedMiss Cathythat you are not the person to benefit him;
and that his condition of health is not occasioned by attachment to
you. Nowthenthere he is! Come away: as soon as he knows
there is nobody by to care for his nonsensehe'll be glad to lie
still.'

She placed a cushion under his headand offered him some water; he
rejected the latterand tossed uneasily on the formeras if it
were a stone or a block of wood. She tried to put it more
comfortably.

'I can't do with that' he said; 'it's not high enough.'

Catherine brought another to lay above it.

'That's too high' murmured the provoking thing.

'How must I arrange itthen?' she asked despairingly.

He twined himself up to heras she half knelt by the settleand
converted her shoulder into a support.

'Nothat won't do' I said. 'You'll be content with the cushion
Master Heathcliff. Miss has wasted too much time on you already:
we cannot remain five minutes longer.'

'Yesyeswe can!' replied Cathy. 'He's good and patient now.
He's beginning to think I shall have far greater misery than he
will to-nightif I believe he is the worse for my visit: and then
I dare not come again. Tell the truth about itLinton; for I


musn't comeif I have hurt you.'

'You must cometo cure me' he answered. '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. 'Howeverwe'll be friends
now. And you want me: you would wish to see me sometimes
really?'

'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 dowhole
afternoons together. Sit quite still and don't talk: but you may
sing a songif 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 balladthough: begin.'

Catherine repeated the longest she could remember. The employment
pleased both mightily. Linton would have anotherand after that
anothernotwithstanding my strenuous objections; and so they went
on until the clock struck twelveand we heard Hareton in the
courtreturning for his dinner.

'And to-morrowCatherinewill you be here to-morrow?' asked young
Heathcliffholding her frock as she rose reluctantly.

'No' I answered'nor next day neither.' Shehowevergave a
different response evidentlyfor his forehead cleared as she
stooped and whispered in his ear.

'You won't go to-morrowrecollectMiss!' I commencedwhen we
were out of the house. 'You are not dreaming of itare you?'

She smiled.

'OhI'll take good care' I continued: 'I'll have that lock
mendedand you can escape by no way else.'

'I can get over the wall' she said laughing. 'The Grange is not a
prisonEllenand you are not my gaoler. And besidesI'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 isyou
knowand wiser: less childisham I not? And he'll soon do as I
direct himwith some slight coaxing. He's a pretty little darling
when he's good. I'd make such a pet of himif he were mine. We
shouldnever quarrelshould we after we were used to each other?
Don't you like himEllen?'

'Like him!' I exclaimed. 'The worst-tempered bit of a sickly slip
that ever struggled into its teens. Happilyas Mr. Heathcliff
conjecturedhe'll not win twenty. I doubt whether he'll see
springindeed. 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 treatedthe more tedious and selfish he'd be. I'm glad you
have no chance of having him for a husbandMiss Catherine.'

My companion waxed serious at hearing this speech. To speak of his
death so regardlessly wounded her feelings.

'He's younger than I' she answeredafter 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


himthe same as papa has. You say papa will get betterand why
shouldn't he?'

'Wellwell' I cried'after allwe needn't trouble ourselves;
for listenMiss- and mindI'll keep my word- if you attempt
going to Wuthering Heights againwith or without meI shall
inform Mr. Lintonandunless he allow itthe intimacy with your
cousin must not be revived.'

'It has been revived' muttered Cathysulkily.

'Must not be continuedthen' I said.

'We'll see' was her replyand she set off at a gallopleaving me
to toil in the rear.

We both reached home before our dinner-time; my master supposed we
had been wandering through the parkand 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 upand during three weeks I remained incapacitated for
attending to my duties: a calamity never experienced prior to that
periodand neverI am thankful to saysince.

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 wearisometo 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
mealsher studiesand her play; and she was the fondest nurse
that ever watched. She must have had a warm heartwhen she loved
her father soto give so much to me. I said her days were divided
between us; but the master retired earlyand I generally needed
nothing after six o'clockthus the evening was her own. Poor
thing! I never considered what she did with herself after tea.
And though frequentlywhen she looked in to bid me good-nightI
remarked a fresh colour in her cheeks and a pinkness over her
slender fingersinstead of fancying the line borrowed from a cold
ride across the moorsI laid it to the charge of a hot fire in the
library.

CHAPTER XXIV

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 mebecause my eyes were weak.
We were in the librarythe master having gone to bed: she
consentedrather unwillinglyI fancied; and imagining my sort of
books did not suit herI bid her please herself in the choice of
what she perused. She selected one of her own favouritesand got
forward steadily about an hour; then came frequent questions.

'Ellenare not you tired? Hadn't you better lie down now? You'll
be sickkeeping up so longEllen.'

'NonodearI'm not tired' I returnedcontinually.

Perceiving me immovableshe essayed another method of showing her


disrelish for her occupation. It changed to yawningand
stretchingand


'EllenI'm tired.'

'Give over then and talk' I answered.

That was worse: she fretted and sighedand looked at her watch
till eightand finally went to her roomcompletely overdone with
sleep; judging by her peevishheavy lookand 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 headacheand left me. I thought her conduct odd;
and having remained alone a long whileI resolved on going and
inquiring whether she were betterand asking her to come and lie
on the sofainstead of up-stairs in the dark. No Catherine could
I discover up-stairsand none below. The servants affirmed they
had not seen her. I listened at Mr. Edgar's door; all was silence.
I returned to her apartmentextinguished my candleand seated
myself in the window.

The moon shone bright; a sprinkling of snow covered the groundand
I reflected that she mightpossiblyhave taken it into her head
to walk about the gardenfor refreshment. 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 lightI recognised one of the
grooms. He stood a considerable periodviewing the carriage-road
through the grounds; then started off at a brisk paceas if he had
detected somethingand reappeared presentlyleading Miss's pony;
and there she wasjust dismountedand 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-roomand
glided noiselessly up to where I awaited her. She put the door
gently tooslipped off her snowy shoesuntied her hatand was
proceedingunconscious of my espionageto lay aside her mantle
when I suddenly rose and revealed myself. The surprise petrified
her an instant: she uttered an inarticulate exclamationand stood
fixed.

'My dear Miss Catherine' I begantoo 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? Speak!'

'To the bottom of the park' she stammered. 'I didn't tell a
tale.'

'And nowhere else?' I demanded.

'No' was the muttered reply.

'OhCatherine!' I criedsorrowfully. 'You know you have been
doing wrongor you wouldn't be driven to uttering an untruth to
me. That does grieve me. I'd rather be three months illthan
hear you frame a deliberate lie.'

She sprang forwardand bursting into tearsthrew her arms round
my neck.

'WellEllenI'm so afraid of you being angry' she said.
'Promise not to be angryand 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 beand I guessed itof course; so she
commenced


'I've been to Wuthering HeightsEllenand I've never missed going
a day since you fell ill; except thrice beforeand twice after you
left your room. I gave Michael books and pictures to prepare Minny
every eveningand to put her back in the stable: you mustn't
scold him eithermind. I was at the Heights by half-past sixand
generally stayed till half-past eightand 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. At
firstI 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; butas you stayed up-stairs on the morrowI
escaped that trouble. While Michael was refastening the lock of
the park door in the afternoonI got possession of the keyand
told him how my cousin wished me to visit himbecause 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 readingand he thinks of leaving soon to get married; so he
offeredif I would lend him books out of the libraryto do what I
wished: but I preferred giving him my ownand 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 thatas Joseph was out at a prayer-meeting and Hareton
Earnshaw was off with his dogs - robbing our woods of pheasantsas
I heard afterwards - we might do what we liked. She brought me
some warm wine and gingerbreadand appeared exceedingly goodnatured
and Linton sat in the arm-chairand I in the little
rocking chair on the hearth-stoneand we laughed and talked so
merrilyand found so much to say: we planned where we would go
and what we would do in summer. I needn't repeat thatbecause you
would call it silly.

'One timehoweverwe 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 bloomand the larks
singing high up overheadand 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 blowingand bright white clouds flitting rapidly
above; and not only larksbut throstlesand blackbirdsand
linnetsand cuckoos pouring out music on every sideand the moors
seen at a distancebroken into cool dusky dells; but close by
great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze; and
woods and sounding waterand 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
mineand began to grow very snappish. At lastwe agreed to try
bothas soon as the right weather came; and then we kissed each
other and were friends.

'After sitting still an hourI looked at the great room with its
smooth uncarpeted floorand thought how nice it would be to play
inif we removed the table; and I asked Linton to call Zillah in
to help usand we'd have a game at blindman's-buff; she should try
to catch us: you used toyou knowEllen. He wouldn't: there
was no pleasure in ithe said; but he consented to play at ball
with me. We found two in a cupboardamong a heap of old toys


topsand hoopsand battledores and shuttlecocks. One was marked
C.and the other H.; I wished to have the C.because that stood
for Catherineand the H. might be for Heathcliffhis name; but
the bran came out of H.and Linton didn't like it. I beat him
constantly: and he got cross againand coughedand returned to
his chair. That nightthoughhe easily recovered his good
humour: he was charmed with two or three pretty songs - YOUR
songsEllen; and when I was obliged to gohe 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 sweetdarling cousintill morning.

'On the morrow I was sad; partly because you were poorlyand
partly that I wished my father knewand approved of my excursions:
but it was beautiful moonlight after tea; andas I rode onthe
gloom cleared. I shall have another happy eveningI thought to
myself; and what delights me moremy pretty Linton will. I
trotted up their gardenand was turning round to the backwhen
that fellow Earnshaw met metook my bridleand bid me go in by
the front entrance. He patted Minny's neckand said she was a
bonny beastand appeared as if he wanted me to speak to him. I
only told him to leave my horse aloneor else it would kick him.
He answered in his vulgar accentIt wouldn't do mitch hurt if it
did;and surveyed its legs with a smile. I was half inclined to
make it try; howeverhe moved off to open the doorandas he
raised the latchhe looked up to the inscription aboveand said
with a stupid mixture of awkwardness and elation: "Miss Catherine!
I can read yonnow."

'"Wonderful I exclaimed. Pray let us hear you - you ARE grown
clever!"

'He speltand drawled over by syllablesthe name - "Hareton
Earnshaw."

'"And the figures?" I criedencouraginglyperceiving that he came
to a dead halt.

'"I cannot tell them yet he answered.

'Ohyou dunce!" I saidlaughing heartily at his failure.

'The fool staredwith a grin hovering about his lipsand a scowl
gathering over his eyesas if uncertain whether he might not join
in my mirth: whether it were not pleasant familiarityor what it
really wascontempt. I settled his doubtsby suddenly retrieving
my gravity and desiring him to walk awayfor I came to see Linton
not him. He reddened - I saw that by the moonlight - dropped his
hand from the latchand skulked offa picture of mortified
vanity. He imagined himself to be as accomplished as LintonI
supposebecause he could spell his own name; and was marvellously
discomfited that I didn't think the same.'

'StopMiss Catherinedear!' - I interrupted. '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 Heathcliffyou would
have felt how improper it was to behave in that way. At leastit
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 beforeI 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
circumstanceswould 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 nowbecause that base Heathcliff has treated him so
unjustly.'

'WellEllenyou won't cry about itwill you?' she exclaimed
surprised at my earnestness. 'But waitand you shall hear if he
conned his A B C to please me; and if it were worth while being
civil to the brute. I entered; Linton was lying on the settleand
half got up to welcome me.

'"I'm ill to-nightCatherinelove he said; and you must have
all the talkand let me listen. Comeand sit by me. I was sure
you wouldn't break your wordand I'll make you promise again
before you go."

'I knew now that I mustn't tease himas he was ill; and I spoke
softly and put no questionsand avoided irritating him in any way.
I had brought some of my nicest books for him: he asked me to read
a little of oneand I was about to complywhen Earnshaw burst the
door open: having gathered venom with reflection. He advanced
direct to usseized Linton by the armand swung him off the seat.

'"Get to thy own room!" he saidin 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 usand left Linton no time to answernearly throwing
him into the kitchen; and he clenched his fist as I followed
seemingly longing to knock me down. I was afraid for a momentand
I let one volume fall; he kicked it after meand shut us out. I
heard a malignantcrackly laugh by the fireand turningbeheld
that odious Joseph standing rubbing his bony handsand quivering.

'"I wer sure he'd sarve ye out! He's a grand lad! He's getten t'
raight sperrit in him! HE knaws - ayhe knawsas weel as I do
who sud be t' maister yonder - Echechech! He made ye skift
properly! Echechech!"

'"Where must we go?" I asked of my cousindisregarding the old
wretch's mockery.

'Linton was white and trembling. He was not pretty thenEllen:
ohno! he looked frightful; for his thin face and large eyes were
wrought into an expression of franticpowerless fury. He grasped
the handle of the doorand shook it: it was fastened inside.

'"If you don't let me inI'll kill you! - If you don't let me in
I'll kill you!" he rather shrieked than said. "Devil! devil! I'll
kill you - I'll kill you!"

Joseph uttered his croaking laugh again.

'"Thearthat's t' father!" he cried. "That's father! We've allas
summut o' either side in us. Niver heedHaretonlad - dunnut be
'feard - he cannot get at thee!"

'I took hold of Linton's handsand 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
mouthand he fell on the ground. I ran into the yardsick with
terror; and called for Zillahas loud as I could. She soon heard
me: she was milking the cows in a shed behind the barnand
hurrying from her workshe inquired what there was to do? I
hadn't breath to explain; dragging her inI looked about for


Linton. Earnshaw had come out to examine the mischief he had
causedand he was then conveying the poor thing up-stairs. Zillah
and I ascended after him; but he stopped me at the top of the
stepsand said I shouldn't go in: I must go home. I exclaimed
that he had killed Lintonand I WOULD enter. Joseph locked the
doorand 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.

'EllenI 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; and, finally,
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. Still, 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.

'Miss CatherineI'm ill grieved he began, but it's rayther too
bad - "

'I gave him a cut with my whipthinking perhaps he would murder
me. He let gothundering one of his horrid cursesand I galloped
home more than half out of my senses.

'I didn't bid you good-night that eveningand I didn't go to
Wuthering Heights the next: I wished to go exceedingly; but I was
strangely excitedand dreaded to hear that Linton was dead
sometimes; and sometimes shuddered at the thought of encountering
Hareton. On the third day I took courage: at leastI couldn't
bear longer suspenseand stole off once more. I went at five
o'clockand walked; fancying I might manage to creep into the
houseand up to Linton's roomunobserved. Howeverthe dogs gave
notice of my approach. Zillah received meand saying "the lad was
mending nicely showed me into a small, tidy, carpeted apartment,
where, 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, except
passionately, 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 homenearly determined to visit him no more. But it was
so miserable going to bed and getting upand never hearing
anything about himthat 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 said Zillah, 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 meLintonand as you think I come on purpose
to hurt youand pretend that I do so every timethis is our last
meeting: let us say good-bye; and tell Mr. Heathcliff that you
have no wish to see meand that he mustn't invent any more
falsehoods on the subject."

'"Sit down and take your hat offCatherine he answered. You
are so much happier than I amyou ought to be better. Papa talks
enough of my defectsand shows enough scorn of meto make it
natural I should doubt myself. I doubt whether I am not altogether
as worthless as he calls mefrequently; and then I feel so cross
and bitterI hate everybody! I am worthlessand bad in temper
and bad in spiritalmost always; andif you chooseyou may say
good-bye: you'll get rid of an annoyance. OnlyCatherinedo me
this justice: believe that if I might be as sweetand as kind
and as good as you areI would be; as willinglyand more sothan
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'tand cannot help showing my nature to youI 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 momentI must forgive him again.
We were reconciled; but we criedboth of usthe 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 easeand
he'll never be at ease himself! I have always gone to his little
parloursince that night; because his father returned the day
after.

'About three timesI thinkwe have been merry and hopefulas we
were the first evening; the rest of my visits were dreary and
troubled: now with his selfishness and spiteand 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. Last Sundayindeedcoming
earlier than usualI 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:
howeverit was the business of nobody but meand I interrupted
Mr. Heathcliff's lecture by entering and telling him so. He burst
into a laughand went awaysaying he was glad I took that view of
the matter. Since thenI've told Linton he must whisper his
bitter things. NowEllenyou have heard all. I can't be
prevented from going to Wuthering Heightsexcept by inflicting
misery on two people; whereasif you'll only not tell papamy
going need disturb the tranquillity of none. You'll not tellwill
you? It will be very heartlessif you do.'

'I'll make up my mind on that point by to-morrowMiss Catherine'
I replied. 'It requires some study; and so I'll leave you to your
restand go think it over.'

I thought it over aloudin my master's presence; walking straight
from her room to hisand relating the whole story: with the
exception of her conversations with her cousinand any mention of
Hareton. Mr. Linton was alarmed and distressedmore than he would
acknowledge to me. In the morningCatherine learnt my betrayal of
her confidenceand she learnt also that her secret visits were to
end. In vain she wept and writhed against the interdictand
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. Perhapshad he been
aware of his nephew's disposition and state of healthhe would
have seen fit to withhold even that slight consolation.

CHAPTER XXV

'THESE things happened last wintersir' said Mrs. Dean; 'hardly
more than a year ago. Last winterI did not thinkat another
twelve months' endI should be amusing a stranger to the family
with relating them! Yetwho knows how long you'll be a stranger?
You're too young to rest always contentedliving by yourself; and
I some way fancy no one could see Catherine Linton and not love
her. You smile; 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 - ?'

'Stopmy good friend!' I cried. '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 worldand to its arms I must
return. Go on. Was Catherine obedient to her father's commands?'

'She was' 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 foeswhere his remembered words would be the only
aid that he could bequeath to guide her. He said to mea few days
afterwardsI wish my nephew would write, Ellen, or call. Tell
me, sincerely, 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 delicatesir I replied; and scarcely likely to
reach manhood: but this I can sayhe does not resemble his
father; and if Miss Catherine had the misfortune to marry himhe
would not be beyond her control: unless she were extremely and
foolishly indulgent. Howevermasteryou'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."'

Edgar sighed; andwalking to the windowlooked out towards
Gimmerton Kirk. It was a misty afternoonbut the February sun
shone dimlyand we could just distinguish the two fir-trees in the
yardand the sparely-scattered gravestones.

'I've prayed often' he half soliloquised'for the approach of
what is coming; and now I begin to shrinkand 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 soonin a few months
orpossiblyweeksto be carried upand laid in its lonely
hollow! EllenI'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 stonesunder
that old church: lyingthrough the long June eveningson the
green mound of her mother's graveand 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 meif he could
console her for my loss. I'd not care that Heathcliff gained his
endsand 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! Andhard though it be to crush her buoyant
spiritI must persevere in making her sad while I liveand
leaving her solitary when I die. Darling! I'd rather resign her
to Godand lay her in the earth before me.'

'Resign her to God as it issir' I answered'and if we should
lose you - which may He forbid - under His providenceI'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.'

Spring advanced; yet my master gathered no real strengththough he
resumed his walks in the grounds with his daughter. To her
inexperienced notionsthis itself was a sign of convalescence; and
then his cheek was often flushedand his eyes were bright; she
felt sure of his recovering. On her seventeenth birthdayhe did
not visit the churchyard: it was rainingand I observed - 'You'll
surely not go out to-nightsir?'

He answered- 'NoI'll defer it this year a little longer.' He
wrote again to Lintonexpressing his great desire to see him; and
had the invalid been presentableI've no doubt his father would
have permitted him to come. As it wasbeing instructedhe
returned an answerintimating that Mr. Heathcliff objected to his
calling at the Grange; but his uncle's kind remembrance delighted
himand he hoped to meet him sometimes in his ramblesand
personally to petition that his cousin and he might not remain long
so utterly divided.

That part of his letter was simpleand probably his own.
Heathcliff knew he could plead eloquently for Catherine's company
then.

'I do not ask' he said'that she may visit here; but am I never
to see herbecause my father forbids me to go to her homeand you
forbid her to come to mine? Donow and thenride with her
towards the Heights; and let us exchange a few wordsin your
presence! We have done nothing to deserve this separation; and you
are not angry with me: you have no reason to dislike meyou
allowyourself. Dear uncle! send me a kind note to-morrowand
leave to join you anywhere you pleaseexcept 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
Catherineshe has excused themand for her sakeyou should also.
You inquire after my health - it is better; but while I remain cut
off from all hopeand doomed to solitudeor the society of those
who never did and never will like mehow can I be cheerful and
well?'

Edgarthough he felt for the boycould not consent to grant his
request; because he could not accompany Catherine. He saidin
summerperhapsthey might meet: meantimehe wished him to
continue writing at intervalsand engaged to give him what advice
and comfort he was able by letter; being well aware of his hard
position in his family. Linton complied; and had he been
unrestrainedwould probably have spoiled all by filling his
epistles with complaints and lamentations. but his father kept a
sharp watch over him; andof courseinsisted on every line that
my master sent being shown; soinstead of penning his peculiar
personal sufferings and distressesthe themes constantly uppermost
in his thoughtshe harped on the cruel obligation of being held
asunder from his friend and love; and gently intimated that Mr.
Linton must allow an interview soonor 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 weekunder my guardianshipand 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
fortunehe 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 oneI believe: no doctor visited the
Heightsand no one saw Master Heathcliff to make report of his
condition among us. Ifor my partbegan to fancy my forebodings
were falseand that he must be actually rallyingwhen he
mentioned riding and walking on the moorsand 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 himto compel this apparent eagerness: his
efforts redoubling the more imminently his avaricious and unfeeling
plans were threatened with defeat by death.

CHAPTER XXVI

SUMMER was already past its primewhen Edgar reluctantly yielded
his assent to their entreatiesand Catherine and I set out on our
first ride to join her cousin. It was a closesultry day: devoid
of sunshinebut with a sky too dappled and hazy to threaten rain:
and our place of meeting had been fixed at the guide-stoneby the
cross-roads. On arriving therehowevera little herd-boy
despatched as a messengertold 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'
I observed: 'he bid us keep on the Grange landand here we are
off at once.'

'Wellwe'll turn our horses' heads round when we reach him'
answered my companion; 'our excursion shall lie towards home.'

But when we reached himand that was scarcely a quarter of a mile
from his own doorwe found he had no horse; and we were forced to
dismountand leave ours to graze. He lay on the heathawaiting
our approachand did not rise till we came within a few yards.
Then he walked so feeblyand looked so palethat I immediately
exclaimed- 'WhyMaster Heathcliffyou 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
inquirywhether he were worse than usual?

'No - better - better!' he pantedtremblingand retaining her
hand as if he needed its supportwhile 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 thinnerand - '

'I'm tired' he interruptedhurriedly. 'It is too hot for
walkinglet us rest here. Andin the morningI often feel sick

-papa says I grow so fast.'
Badly satisfiedCathy sat downand he reclined beside her.

'This is something like your paradise' said shemaking 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. Next weekif you canwe'll ride down to the
Grange Parkand 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 startedand his equal
incapacity to contribute to her entertainmentwere 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 fondnesshad yielded to a listless apathy;
there was less of the peevish temper of a child which frets and
teases on purpose to be soothedand more of the self-absorbed
moroseness of a confirmed invalidrepelling consolationand ready
to regard the good-humoured mirth of others as an insult.
Catherine perceivedas well as I didthat he held it rather a
punishmentthan a gratificationto endure our company; and she
made no scruple of proposingpresentlyto depart. That proposal
unexpectedlyroused Linton from his lethargyand threw him into a
strange state of agitation. He glanced fearfully towards the
Heightsbegging she would remain another half-hourat least.

'But I think' said Cathy'you'd be more comfortable at home than
sitting here; and I cannot amuse you to-dayI seeby my tales
and songsand chatter: you have grown wiser than Iin these six
months; you have little taste for my diversions now: or elseif I
could amuse youI'd willingly stay.'

'Stay to rest yourself' he replied. 'AndCatherinedon't think
or say that I'm VERY unwell: it is the heavy weather and heat that
make me dull; and I walked aboutbefore you camea great deal for
me. Tell uncle I'm in tolerable healthwill you?'

'I'll tell him that YOU say soLinton. I couldn't affirm that you
are' observed my young ladywondering at his pertinacious
assertion of what was evidently an untruth.

'And be here again next Thursday' continued heshunning her
puzzled gaze. 'And give him my thanks for permitting you to come my
best thanksCatherine. And - andif you DID meet my father
and he asked you about medon't lead him to suppose that I've been
extremely silent and stupid: don't look sad and downcastas you
are doing - he'll be angry.'

'I care nothing for his anger' exclaimed Cathyimagining she
would be its object.

'But I do' said her cousinshuddering. 'DON'T provoke him
against meCatherinefor he is very hard.'

'Is he severe to youMaster Heathcliff?' I inquired. 'Has he
grown weary of indulgenceand passed from passive to active
hatred?'


Linton looked at mebut did not answer; andafter keeping her
seat by his side another ten minutesduring which his head fell
drowsily on his breastand he uttered nothing except suppressed
moans of exhaustion or painCathy began to seek solace in looking
for bilberriesand sharing the produce of her researches with me:
she did not offer them to himfor she saw further notice would
only weary and annoy.

'Is it half-an-hour nowEllen?' she whispered in my earat last.
'I can't tell why we should stay. He's asleepand papa will be
wanting us back.'

'Wellwe must not leave him asleep' I answered; 'wait till lie
wakesand be patient. You were mighty eager to set offbut your
longing to see poor Linton has soon evaporated!'

'Why did HE wish to see me?' returned Catherine. 'In his crossest
humoursformerlyI 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. Andthough I'm glad he's better in healthI'm sorry
he's so much less pleasantand so much less affectionate to me.'

'You think HE IS better in healththen?' I said.

'Yes' she answered; 'because he always made such a great deal of
his sufferingsyou know. He is not tolerably wellas he told me
to tell papa; but he's bettervery likely.'

'There you differ with meMiss Cathy' I remarked; 'I should
conjecture him to be far worse.'

Linton here started from his slumber in bewildered terrorand
asked if any one had called his name.

'No' said Catherine; 'unless in dreams. I cannot conceive how you
manage to doze out of doorsin the morning.'

'I thought I heard my father' he gaspedglancing up to the
frowning nab above us. 'You are sure nobody spoke?'

'Quite sure' replied his cousin. 'Only Ellen and I were disputing
concerning your health. Are you truly strongerLintonthan when
we separated in winter? If you beI'm certain one thing is not
stronger - your regard for me: speak- are you?'

The tears gushed from Linton's eyes as he answered'YesyesI
am!' Andstill under the spell of the imaginary voicehis gaze
wandered up and down to detect its owner.

Cathy rose. 'For to-day we must part' she said. '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.'

'Hush' murmured Linton; 'for God's sakehush! He's coming.' And
he clung to Catherine's armstriving to detain her; but at that
announcement she hastily disengaged herselfand whistled to Minny
who obeyed her like a dog.

'I'll be here next Thursday' she criedspringing to the saddle.


'Good-bye. QuickEllen!'

And so we left himscarcely conscious of our departureso
absorbed was he in anticipating his father's approach.

Before we reached homeCatherine's displeasure softened into a
perplexed sensation of pity and regretlargely blended with vague
uneasy doubts about Linton's actual circumstancesphysical and
social: in which I partookthough 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 deliveredMiss Cathy gently touching on the rest:
I also threw little light on his inquiriesfor I hardly knew what
to hide and what to reveal.

CHAPTER XXVII

SEVEN days glided awayevery 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 secretand
brooded on the dreadful probabilitygradually ripening into
certainty. She had not the heart to mention her ridewhen
Thursday came round; I mentioned it for herand obtained
permission to order her out of doors: for the librarywhere her
father stopped a short time daily - the brief period he could bear
to sit up - and his chamberhad 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
sorrowand 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 ideaI guessed by several observations he let fall
thatas his nephew resembled him in personhe would resemble him
in mind; for Linton's letters bore few or no indications of his
defective character. And Ithrough pardonable weaknessrefrained
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 lifethat it
seemed whoever respired itthough dyingmight revive.
Catherine's face was just like the landscape - shadows and sunshine
flitting over it in rapid succession; but the shadows rested
longerand 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 alightedand told me thatas she was
resolved to stay a very little whileI 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 thoughnor yet of joy; it looked more like fear.


'It is late!' he saidspeaking short and with difficulty. 'Is not
your father very ill? I thought you wouldn't come.'

'WHY won't you be candid?' cried Catherineswallowing her
greeting. 'Why cannot you say at once you don't want me? It is
strangeLintonthat for the second time you have brought me here
on purposeapparently to distress us bothand for no reason
besides!'

Linton shiveredand glanced at herhalf supplicatinghalf
ashamed; but his cousin's patience was not sufficient to endure
this enigmatical behaviour.

'My father IS very ill' she said; 'and why am I called from his
bedside? Why didn't you send to absolve me from my promisewhen
you wished I wouldn't keep it? Come! I desire an explanation:
playing and trifling are completely banished out of my mind; and I
can't dance attendance on your affectations now!'

'My affectations!' he murmured; 'what are they? For heaven's sake
Catherinedon't look so angry! Despise me as much as you please;
I am a worthlesscowardly wretch: I can't be scorned enough; but
I'm too mean for your anger. Hate my fatherand spare me for
contempt.'

'Nonsense!' cried Catherine in a passion. 'Foolishsilly boy!
And there! he trembles: as if I were really going to touch him!
You needn't bespeak contemptLinton: anybody will have it
spontaneously at your service. Get off! I shall return home: it
is folly dragging you from the hearth-stoneand pretending - what
do we pretend? Let go my frock! If I pitied you for crying and
looking so very frightenedyou should spurn such pity. Ellen
tell him how disgraceful this conduct is. Riseand don't degrade
yourself into an abject reptile - DON'T!'

With streaming face and an expression of agonyLinton had thrown
his nerveless frame along the ground: he seemed convulsed with
exquisite terror.

'Oh!' he sobbed'I cannot bear it! CatherineCatherineI'm a
traitortooand I dare not tell you! But leave meand I shall
be killed! DEAR Catherinemy life is in your hands: and you have
said you loved meand if you didit wouldn't harm you. You'll
not gothen? kindsweetgood Catherine! And perhaps you WILL
consent - and he'll let me die with you!'

My young ladyon witnessing his intense anguishstooped to raise
him. The old feeling of indulgent tenderness overcame her
vexationand she grew thoroughly moved and alarmed.

'Consent to what?' she asked. 'To stay! tell me the meaning of
this strange talkand I will. You contradict your own wordsand
distract me! Be calm and frankand confess at once all that
weighs on your heart. You wouldn't injure meLintonwould you?
You wouldn't let any enemy hurt meif you could prevent it? I'll
believe you are a cowardfor yourselfbut not a cowardly betrayer
of your best friend.'

'But my father threatened me' gasped the boyclasping his
attenuated fingers'and I dread him - I dread him! I DARE not
tell!'

'Ohwell!' said Catherinewith scornful compassion'keep your


secret: I'M no coward. Save yourself: I'm not afraid!'

Her magnanimity provoked his tears: he wept wildlykissing her
supporting handsand yet could not summon courage to speak out. I
was cogitating what the mystery might beand determined Catherine
should never suffer to benefit him or any one elseby my good
will; whenhearing a rustle among the lingI looked up and saw
Mr. Heathcliff almost close upon usdescending the Heights. He
didn't cast a glance towards my companionsthough they were
sufficiently near for Linton's sobs to be audible; but hailing me
in the almost hearty tone he assumed to none besidesand the
sincerity of which I couldn't avoid doubtinghe said


'It is something to see you so near to my houseNelly. How are
you at the Grange? Let us hear. The rumour goes' he addedin a
lower tone'that Edgar Linton is on his death-bed: perhaps they
exaggerate his illness?'

'No; my master is dying' I replied: 'it is true enough. A sad
thing it will be for us allbut a blessing for him!'

'How long will he lastdo you think?' he asked.

'I don't know' I said.

'Because' he continuedlooking at the two young peoplewho were
fixed under his eye - Linton appeared as if he could not venture to
stir or raise his headand Catherine could not moveon his
account - 'because that lad yonder seems determined to beat me; and
I'd thank his uncle to be quickand go before him! Hallo! has the
whelp been playing that game long? I DID give him some lessons
about snivelling. Is he pretty lively with Miss Linton generally?'

'Lively? no - he has shown the greatest distress' I answered. 'To
see himI should saythat instead of rambling with his sweetheart
on the hillshe ought to be in bedunder the hands of a doctor.'

'He shall bein a day or two' muttered Heathcliff. 'But first get
upLinton! Get up!' he shouted. 'Don't grovel on the ground
there upthis moment!'

Linton had sunk prostrate again in another paroxysm of helpless
fearcaused by his father's glance towards himI suppose: there
was nothing else to produce such humiliation. He made several
efforts to obeybut his little strength was annihilated for the
timeand he fell back again with a moan. Mr. Heathcliff advanced
and lifted him to lean against a ridge of turf.

'Now' said hewith curbed ferocity'I'm getting angry and if you
don't command that paltry spirit of yours - DAMN you! get up
directly!'

'I willfather' he panted. 'Onlylet me aloneor I shall
faint. I've done as you wishedI'm sure. Catherine will tell you
that I - that I - have been cheerful. Ah! keep by meCatherine;
give me your hand.'

'Take mine' said his father; 'stand on your feet. There now she'll
lend you her arm: that's rightlook at her. You would
imagine I was the devil himselfMiss Lintonto excite such
horror. Be so kind as to walk home with himwill you? He
shudders if I touch him.'

'Linton dear!' whispered Catherine'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' he answered. 'I'm NOT to reenter
it without you!'

'Stop!' cried his father. 'We'll respect Catherine's filial
scruples. Nellytake him inand I'll follow your advice
concerning the doctorwithout delay.'

'You'll do well' replied I. 'But I must remain with my mistress:
to mind your son is not my business.'

'You are very stiff' said Heathcliff'I know that: but you'll
force me to pinch the baby and make it scream before it moves your
charity. Comethenmy hero. Are you willing to returnescorted
by me?'

He approached once moreand made as if he would seize the fragile
being; butshrinking backLinton clung to his cousinand
implored her to accompany himwith a frantic importunity that
admitted no denial. However I disapprovedI couldn't hinder her:
indeedhow 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 gripeand any addition seemed capable of
shocking him into idiotcy. We reached the threshold; Catherine
walked inand I stood waiting till she had conducted the invalid
to a chairexpecting her out immediately; when Mr. Heathcliff
pushing me forwardexclaimed - 'My house is not stricken with the
plagueNelly; and I have a mind to be hospitable to-day: sit
downand allow me to shut the door.'

He shut and locked it also. I started.

'You shall have tea before you go home' he added. 'I am by
myself. Hareton is gone with some cattle to the Leesand Zillah
and Joseph are off on a journey of pleasure; andthough I'm used
to being aloneI'd rather have some interesting companyif I can
get it. Miss Lintontake 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 LintonI mean. 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
daintyI should treat myself to a slow vivisection of those two
as an evening's amusement.'

He drew in his breathstruck the tableand swore to himself'By
hell! I hate them.'

'I am not afraid of you!' exclaimed Catherinewho 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!' she said. 'I wouldn't eat or drink hereif I were
starving.'

Heathcliff had the key in his hand that remained on the table. He
looked upseized with a sort of surprise at her boldness; or
possiblyremindedby her voice and glanceof the person from
whom she inherited it. She snatched at the instrumentand half
succeeded in getting it out of his loosened fingers: but her
action recalled him to the present; he recovered it speedily.

'NowCatherine Linton' he said'stand offor I shall knock you
down; andthat will make Mrs. Dean mad.'


Regardless of this warningshe captured his closed hand and its
contents again. 'We will go!' she repeatedexerting her utmost
efforts to cause the iron muscles to relax; and finding that her
nails made no impressionshe 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 suddenlyand resigned the object of dispute;
butere she had well secured ithe seized her with the liberated
handandpulling her on his kneeadministered with the other a
shower of terrific slaps on both sides of the headeach sufficient
to have fulfilled his threathad she been able to fall.'

At this diabolical violence I rushed on him furiously. 'You
villain!' I began to cry'you villain!' A touch on the chest
silenced me: I am stoutand soon put out of breath; andwhat
with that and the rageI staggered dizzily back and felt ready to
suffocateor to burst a blood-vessel. The scene was over in two
minutes; Catherinereleasedput her two hands to her templesand
looked just as if she were not sure whether her ears were off or
on. She trembled like a reedpoor thingand leant against the
table perfectly bewildered.

'I know how to chastise childrenyou see' said the scoundrel
grimlyas he stooped to repossess himself of the keywhich had
dropped to the floor. 'Go to Linton nowas I told you; and cry at
your ease! I shall be your fatherto-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 Lintonand knelt down and put her
burning cheek on my lapweeping aloud. Her cousin had shrunk into
a corner of the settleas quiet as a mousecongratulating
himselfI dare saythat the correction had alighted on another
than him. Mr. Heathcliffperceiving us all confoundedroseand
expeditiously made the tea himself. The cups and saucers were laid
ready. He poured it outand handed me a cup.

'Wash away your spleen' he said. 'And help your own naughty pet
and mine. It is not poisonedthough I prepared it. I'm going out
to seek your horses.'

Our first thoughton his departurewas to force an exit
somewhere. We tried the kitchen doorbut that was fastened
outside: we looked at the windows - they were too narrow for even
Cathy's little figure.

'Master Linton' I criedseeing we were regularly imprisoned'you
know what your diabolical father is afterand you shall tell us
or I'll box your earsas he has done your cousin's.'

'YesLintonyou must tell' said Catherine. 'It was for your
sake I came; and it will be wickedly ungrateful if you refuse.'

'Give me some teaI'm thirstyand then I'll tell you' he
answered. 'Mrs. Deango away. I don't like you standing over me.
NowCatherineyou are letting your tears fall into my cup. I
won't drink that. Give me another.' Catherine pushed another to
himand wiped her face. I felt disgusted at the little wretch's
composuresince 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; and


that accomplishedhe had no further immediate fears.

'Papa wants us to be married' he continuedafter 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
morningand you are to stay here all night; andif you do as he
wishesyou shall return home next dayand take me with you.'

'Take you with herpitiful changeling!' I exclaimed. 'YOU marry?
Whythe man is mad! or he thinks us foolsevery one. And do you
imagine that beautiful young ladythat healthyhearty girlwill
tie herself to a little perishing monkey like you? Are you
cherishing the notion that anybodylet alone Miss Catherine
Lintonwould have you for a husband? You want whipping for
bringing us in here at allwith your dastardly puling tricks: and

-don't look so sillynow! I've a very good mind to shake you
severelyfor your contemptible treacheryand your imbecile
conceit.'
I did give him a slight shaking; but it brought on the coughand
he took to his ordinary resource of moaning and weepingand
Catherine rebuked me.

'Stay all night? No' she saidlooking slowly round. 'Ellen
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 meand save me?
not let me come to the Grange? Ohdarling Catherine! you mustn't
go and leaveafter all. You MUST obey my father - you MUST!'

'I must obey my own' she replied'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. Be quiet! You're in no danger; but if you hinder me -
LintonI 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: stillshe persisted that she must
go homeand tried entreaty in her turnpersuading him to subdue
his selfish agony. While they were thus occupiedour jailor reentered.


'Your beasts have trotted off' he said'and - now Linton!
snivelling again? What has she been doing to you? Comecome have
doneand get to bed. In a month or twomy ladyou'll be
able to pay her back her present tyrannies with a vigorous hand.
You're pining for pure loveare you not? nothing else in the
world: and she shall have you! Thereto bed! Zillah won't be
here to-night; you must undress yourself. Hush! hold your noise!
Once in your own roomI'll not come near you: you needn't fear.
By chanceyou've managed tolerably. I'll look to the rest.'

He spoke these wordsholding 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 upand
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 sternnessbut 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' she replied'becauseif I staypapa will be
miserable: and how can I endure making him miserable - when he when
he - Mr. Heathclifflet 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' I cried. 'There's law in the land
thank God! there is; 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!'

'Silence!' said the ruffian. 'To the devil with your clamour! I
don't want YOU to speak. Miss LintonI 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 LintonI'll take care you shall keep it; for you
shall not quit this place till it is fulfilled.'

'Send Ellenthento let papa know I'm safe!' exclaimed Catherine
weeping bitterly. 'Or marry me now. Poor papa! Ellenhe'll
think we're lost. What shall we do?'

'Not he! He'll think you are tired of waiting on himand run off
for a little amusement' answered Heathcliff. 'You cannot deny
that you entered my house of your own accordin 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 manand that man ONLY your father. Catherinehis
happiest days were over when your days began. He cursed youI
dare sayfor coming into the world (I didat least); 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? Weep away. As far as I can seeit
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 catsif their teeth be drawn and their claws pared.
You'll be able to tell his uncle fine tales of his KINDNESSwhen
you get home againI assure you.'

'You're right there!' I said; 'explain your son's character. Show
his resemblance to yourself: and thenI hopeMiss Cathy will
think twice before she takes the cockatrice!'

'I don't much mind speaking of his amiable qualities now' he
answered; 'because she must either accept him or remain a prisoner
and you along with hertill your master dies. I can detain you
bothquite concealedhere. If you doubtencourage her to
retract her wordand you'll have an opportunity of judging!'

'I'll not retract my word' said Catherine. 'I'll marry him within
this hourif I may go to Thrushcross Grange afterwards. Mr.
Heathcliffyou're a cruel manbut you're not a fiend; and you
won'tfrom MERE malicedestroy irrevocably all my happiness. If
papa thought I had left him on purposeand if he died before I
returnedcould I bear to live? I've given over crying: but I'm
going to kneel hereat your knee; and I'll not get upand I'll
not take my eyes from your face till you look back at me! No
don't turn away! DO LOOK! 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 lifeuncle? NEVER? Ah! you must look
once. I'm so wretchedyou can't help being sorry and pitying me.'

'Keep your eft's fingers off; and moveor I'll kick you!' cried
Heathcliffbrutally 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 himselfindeedas if his flesh
crept with aversion; and thrust back his chair; while I got upand
opened my mouthto commence a downright torrent of abuse. But I
was rendered dumb in the middle of the first sentenceby 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' said
Heathcliffoverhearing me. '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 stayI'm certain.'

At learning the chance we had missedwe both gave vent to our
grief without control; and he allowed us to wail on till nine
o'clock. Then he bid us go upstairsthrough the kitchento
Zillah's chamber; and I whispered my companion to obey: perhaps we
might contrive to get through the window thereor into a garret
and out by its skylight. The windowhoweverwas narrowlike
those belowand 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 latticeand 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 fropassing harsh judgment on my many
derelictions of duty; from whichit struck me thenall the
misfortunes of my employers sprang. It was not the casein
realityI am aware; but it wasin my imaginationthat dismal
night; and I thought Heathcliff himself less guilty than I.

At seven o'clock he cameand inquired if Miss Linton had risen.
She ran to the door immediatelyand answered'Yes.' 'Here
then' he saidopening itand pulling her out. I rose to follow
but he turned the lock again. I demanded my release.

'Be patient' he replied; 'I'll send up your breakfast in a while.'

I thumped on the panelsand rattled the latch angrily and
Catherine asked why I was still shut up? He answeredI must try
to endure it another hourand they went away. I endured it two or
three hours; at lengthI heard a footstep: not Heathcliff's.

'I've brought you something to eat' said a voice; 'oppen t' door!'

Complying eagerlyI beheld Haretonladen with food enough to last
me all day.

'Tak' it' he addedthrusting the tray into my hand.


'Stay one minute' I began.

'Nay' cried heand retiredregardless of any prayers I could
pour forth to detain him.

And there I remained enclosed the whole dayand the whole of the
next night; and anotherand another. Five nights and four days I
remainedaltogetherseeing nobody but Hareton once every morning;
and he was a model of a jailor: surlyand dumband deaf to every
attempt at moving his sense of justice or compassion.

CHAPTER XXVIII

ON the fifth morningor rather afternoona different step
approached - lighter and shorter; andthis timethe person
entered the room. It was Zillah; donned in her scarlet shawlwith
a black silk bonnet on her headand a willow-basket swung to her
arm.

'Ehdear! Mrs. Dean!' she exclaimed. 'Well! there is a talk
about you at Gimmerton. I never thought but you were sunk in the
Blackhorse marshand missy with youtill master told me you'd
been foundand he'd lodged you here! What! and you must have got
on an islandsure? And how long were you in the hole? Did master
save youMrs. Dean? But you're not so thin - you've not been so
poorlyhave you?'

'Your master is a true scoundrel!' I replied. 'But he shall answer
for it. He needn't have raised that tale: it shall all be laid
bare!'

'What do you mean?' asked Zillah. 'It's not his tale: they tell
that in the village - about your being lost in the marsh; and I
calls to Earnshawwhen I come in - "Ehthey's queer thingsMr.
Haretonhappened since I went off. It's a sad pity of that likely
young lassand cant Nelly Dean." He stared. I thought he had not
heard aughtso I told him the rumour. The master listenedand he
just smiled to himselfand saidIf they have been in the marsh,
they are out now, Zillah. Nelly Dean is lodged, at this minute, in
your room. You can tell her to flit, when you go up; here is the
key. The bog-water got into her head, and she would have run home
quite flighty; but I fixed her till she came round to her senses.
You can bid her go to the Grange at once, if she be able, and carry
a message from me, that her young lady will follow in time to
attend the squire's funeral.'

'Mr. Edgar is not dead?' I gasped. 'Oh! ZillahZillah!'

'Nono; sit you downmy good mistress' she replied; 'you're
right sickly yet. He's not dead; Doctor Kenneth thinks he may last
another day. I met him on the road and asked.'

Instead of sitting downI snatched my outdoor thingsand hastened
belowfor the way was free. On entering the houseI looked about
for some one to give information of Catherine. The place was
filled with sunshineand the door stood wide open; but nobody
seemed at hand. As I hesitated whether to go off at onceor
return and seek my mistressa slight cough drew my attention to
the hearth. Linton lay on the settlesole tenantsucking a stick
of sugar-candyand pursuing my movements with apathetic eyes.


'Where is Miss Catherine?' I demanded sternlysupposing I could
frighten him into giving intelligenceby catching him thusalone.
He sucked on like an innocent.

'Is she gone?' I said.

'No' he replied; 'she's upstairs: she's not to go; we won't let
her.'

'You won't let herlittle idiot!' I exclaimed. 'Direct me to her
room immediatelyor I'll make you sing out sharply.'

'Papa would make you sing outif you attempted to get there' he
answered. 'He says I'm not to be soft with Catherine: she's my
wifeand it's shameful that she should wish to leave me. He says
she hates me and wants me to diethat she may have my money; but
she shan't have it: and she shan't go home! She never shall! she
may cryand be sick as much as she pleases!'

He resumed his former occupationclosing his lidsas if he meant
to drop asleep.

'Master Heathcliff' I resumed'have you forgotten all Catherine's
kindness to you last winterwhen you affirmed you loved herand
when she brought you books and sung you songsand came many a time
through wind and snow to see you? She wept to miss one evening
because you would be disappointed; and you felt then that she was a
hundred times too good to you: and now you believe the lies your
father tellsthough you know he detests you both. And you join
him against her. That's fine gratitudeis it not?'

The corner of Linton's mouth felland he took the sugar-candy from
his lips.

'Did she come to Wuthering Heights because she hated you?' I
continued. 'Think for yourself! As to your moneyshe does not
even know that you will have any. And you say she's sick; and yet
you leave her aloneup there in a strange house! You who have
felt what it is to be so neglected! You could pity your own
sufferings; and she pitied themtoo; but you won't pity hers! I
shed tearsMaster Heathcliffyou see - an elderly womanand a
servant merely - and youafter pretending such affectionand
having reason to worship her almoststore every tear you have for
yourselfand lie there quite at ease. Ah! you're a heartless
selfish boy!'

'I can't stay with her' he answered crossly. 'I'll not stay by
myself. She cries so I can't bear it. And she won't give over
though I say I'll call my father. I did call him onceand he
threatened to strangle her if she was not quiet; but she began
again the instant he left the roommoaning and grieving all night
longthough I screamed for vexation that I couldn't sleep.'

'Is Mr. Heathcliff out?' I inquiredperceiving that the wretched
creature had no power to sympathize with his cousin's mental
tortures.

'He's in the court' he replied'talking to Doctor Kenneth; who
says uncle is dyingtrulyat last. I'm gladfor I shall be
master of the Grange after him. Catherine always spoke of it as
her house. It isn't hers! It's mine: papa says everything she
has is mine. All her nice books are mine; she offered to give me
themand her pretty birdsand her pony Minnyif I would get the
key of our roomand let her out; but I told her she had nothing to


givethey ware allall mine. And then she criedand took a
little picture from her neckand said I should have that; two
pictures in a gold caseon one side her motherand on the other
unclewhen they were young. That was yesterday - I said they were
minetoo; and tried to get them from her. The spiteful thing
wouldn't let me: she pushed me offand hurt me. I shrieked out that
frightens her - she heard papa comingand she broke the
hinges and divided the caseand gave me her mother's portrait; the
other she attempted to hide: but papa asked what was the matter
and I explained it. He took the one I had awayand ordered her to
resign hers to me; she refusedand he - he struck her downand
wrenched it off the chainand crushed it with his foot.'

'And were you pleased to see her struck?' I asked: having my
designs in encouraging his talk.

'I winked' he answered: 'I wink to see my father strike a dog or
a horsehe does it so hard. Yet I was glad at first - she
deserved punishing for pushing me: but when papa was goneshe
made me come to the window and showed me her cheek cut on the
insideagainst her teethand her mouth filling with blood; and
then she gathered up the bits of the pictureand went and sat down
with her face to the walland she has never spoken to me since:
and I sometimes think she can't speak for pain. I don't like to
think so; but she's a naughty thing for crying continually; and she
looks so pale and wildI'm afraid of her.'

'And you can get the key if you choose?' I said.

'Yeswhen I am up-stairs' he answered; 'but I can't walk upstairs
now.'

'In what apartment is it?' I asked.

'Oh' he cried'I shan't tell YOU where it is. It is our secret.
Nobodyneither Hareton nor Zillahis to know. There! you've
tired me - go awaygo away!' And he turned his face on to his
armand shut his eyes again.

I considered it best to depart without seeing Mr. Heathcliffand
bring a rescue for my young lady from the Grange. On reaching it
the astonishment of my fellow-servants to see meand their joy
alsowas intense; and when they heard that their little mistress
was safetwo or three were about to hurry up and shout the news at
Mr. Edgar's door: but I bespoke the announcement of it myself.
How changed I found himeven in those few days! He lay an image
of sadness and resignation awaiting his death. Very young he
looked: though his actual age was thirty-nineone would have
called him ten years youngerat least. He thought of Catherine;
for he murmured her name. I touched his handand spoke.

'Catherine is comingdear master!' I whispered; 'she is alive and
well; and will be hereI hopeto-night.'

I trembled at the first effects of this intelligence: he half rose
uplooked eagerly round the apartmentand then sank back in a
swoon. As soon as he recoveredI related our compulsory visit
and detention at the Heights. I said Heathcliff forced me to go
in: which was not quite true. I uttered as little as possible
against Linton; nor did I describe all his father's brutal conduct

-my intentions being to add no bitternessif I could help itto
his already over-flowing cup.
He divined that one of his enemy's purposes was to secure the


personal propertyas well as the estateto his son: or rather
himself; yet why he did not wait till his decease was a puzzle to
my masterbecause ignorant how nearly he and his nephew would quit
the world together. Howeverhe felt that his will had better be
altered: instead of leaving Catherine's fortune at her own
disposalhe determined to put it in the hands of trustees for her
use during lifeand for her childrenif she had anyafter her.
By that meansit could not fall to Mr. Heathcliff should Linton
die.

Having received his ordersI despatched a man to fetch the
attorneyand four moreprovided with serviceable weaponsto
demand my young lady of her jailor. Both parties were delayed very
late. The single servant returned first. He said Mr. Greenthe
lawyerwas out when he arrived at his houseand he had to wait
two hours for his re-entrance; and then Mr. Green told him he had a
little business in the village that must be done; but he would be
at Thrushcross Grange before morning. The four men came back
unaccompanied also. They brought word that Catherine was ill: too
ill to quit her room; and Heathcliff would not suffer them to see
her. I scolded the stupid fellows well for listening to that tale
which I would not carry to my master; resolving to take a whole
bevy up to the Heightsat day-lightand storm it literally
unless the prisoner were quietly surrendered to us. Her father
SHALL see herI vowedand vowed againif that devil be killed on
his own doorstones in trying to prevent it!

HappilyI was spared the journey and the trouble. I had gone
down-stairs at three o'clock to fetch a jug of water; and was
passing through the hall with it in my handwhen a sharp knock at
the front door made me jump. 'Oh! it is Green' I said
recollecting myself - 'only Green' and I went onintending to
send somebody else to open it; but the knock was repeated: not
loudand still importunately. I put the jug on the banister and
hastened to admit him myself. The harvest moon shone clear
outside. It was not the attorney. My own sweet little mistress
sprang on my neck sobbing'EllenEllen! Is papa alive?'

'Yes' I cried: 'yesmy angelhe isGod be thankedyou are
safe with us again!'

She wanted to runbreathless as she wasup-stairs to Mr. Linton's
room; but I compelled her to sit down on a chairand made her
drinkand washed her pale facechafing it into a faint colour
with my apron. Then I said I must go firstand tell of her
arrival; imploring her to sayshe should be happy with young
Heathcliff. She staredbut soon comprehending why I counselled
her to utter the falsehoodshe assured me she would not complain.

I couldn't abide to be present at their meeting. I stood outside
the chamber-door a quarter of an hourand hardly ventured near the
bedthen. All was composedhowever: Catherine's despair was as
silent as her father's joy. She supported him calmlyin
appearance; and he fixed on her features his raised eyes that
seemed dilating with ecstasy.

He died blissfullyMr. Lockwood: he died so. Kissing her cheek
he murmured- 'I am going to her; and youdarling childshall
come to us!' and never stirred or spoke again; but continued that
raptradiant gazetill his pulse imperceptibly stopped and his
soul departed. None could have noticed the exact minute of his
deathit was so entirely without a struggle.

Whether Catherine had spent her tearsor whether the grief were


too weighty to let them flowshe sat there dry-eyed till the sun
rose: she sat till noonand would still have remained brooding
over that deathbedbut I insisted on her coming away and taking
some repose. It was well I succeeded in removing herfor at
dinner-time appeared the lawyerhaving called at Wuthering Heights
to get his instructions how to behave. He had sold himself to Mr.
Heathcliff: that was the cause of his delay in obeying my master's
summons. Fortunatelyno thought of worldly affairs crossed the
latter's mindto disturb himafter his daughter's arrival.

Mr. Green took upon himself to order everything and everybody about
the place. He gave all the servants but menotice to quit. He
would have carried his delegated authority to the point of
insisting that Edgar Linton should not be buried beside his wife
but in the chapelwith his family. There was the willhowever
to hinder thatand my loud protestations against any infringement
of its directions. The funeral was hurried over; CatherineMrs.
Linton Heathcliff nowwas suffered to stay at the Grange till her
father's corpse had quitted it.

She told me that her anguish had at last spurred Linton to incur
the risk of liberating her. She heard the men I sent disputing at
the doorand she gathered the sense of Heathcliff's answer. It
drove her desperate. Linton who had been conveyed up to the little
parlour soon after I leftwas terrified into fetching the key
before his father re-ascended. He had the cunning to unlock and
re-lock the doorwithout shutting it; and when he should have gone
to bedhe begged to sleep with Haretonand his petition was
granted for once. Catherine stole out before break of day. She
dared not try the doors lest the dogs should raise an alarm; she
visited the empty chambers and examined their windows; and
luckilylighting on her mother'sshe got easily out of its
latticeand on to the groundby means of the fir-tree close by.
Her accomplice suffered for his share in the escape
notwithstanding his timid contrivances.

CHAPTER XXIX

THE evening after the funeralmy young lady and I were seated in
the library; now musing mournfully - one of us despairingly - on
our lossnow venturing conjectures as to the gloomy future.

We had just agreed the best destiny which could await Catherine
would be a permission to continue resident at the Grange; at least
during Linton's life: he being allowed to join her thereand I to
remain as housekeeper. That seemed rather too favourable an
arrangement to be hoped for; and yet I did hopeand began to cheer
up under the prospect of retaining my home and my employmentand
above allmy beloved young mistress; when a servant - one of the
discarded onesnot yet departed - rushed hastily inand said
'that devil Heathcliff' was coming through the court: should he
fasten the door in his face?

If we had been mad enough to order that proceedingwe had not
time. He made no ceremony of knocking or announcing his name: he
was masterand availed himself of the master's privilege to walk
straight inwithout saying a word. The sound of our informant's
voice directed him to the library; he entered and motioning him
outshut the door.


It was the same room into which he had been usheredas a guest
eighteen years before: the same moon shone through the window; and
the same autumn landscape lay outside. We had not yet lighted a
candlebut all the apartment was visibleeven to the portraits on
the wall: the splendid head of Mrs. Lintonand the graceful one
of her husband. Heathcliff advanced to the hearth. Time had
little altered his person either. There was the same man: his
dark face rather sallower and more composedhis frame a stone or
two heavierperhapsand no other difference. Catherine had risen
with an impulse to dash outwhen she saw him.

'Stop!' he saidarresting her by the arm. 'No more runnings away!
Where would you go? I'm come to fetch you home; and I hope you'll
be a dutiful daughter and not encourage my son to further
disobedience. I was embarrassed how to punish him when I
discovered his part in the business: he's such a cobweba pinch
would annihilate him; but you'll see by his look that he has
received his due! I brought him down one eveningthe day before
yesterdayand just set him in a chairand never touched him
afterwards. I sent Hareton outand we had the room to ourselves.
In two hoursI called Joseph to carry him up again; and since then
my presence is as potent on his nerves as a ghost; and I fancy he
sees me oftenthough I am not near. Hareton says he wakes and
shrieks in the night by the hour togetherand calls you to protect
him from me; andwhether you like your precious mateor notyou
must come: he's your concern now; I yield all my interest in him
to you.'

'Why not let Catherine continue here' I pleaded'and send Master
Linton to her? As you hate them bothyou'd not miss them: they
can only be a daily plague to your unnatural heart.'

'I'm seeking a tenant for the Grange' he answered; 'and I want my
children about meto be sure. Besidesthat lass owes me her
services for her bread. I'm not going to nurture her in luxury and
idleness after Linton is gone. Make haste and get readynow; and
don't oblige me to compel you.'

'I shall' said Catherine. 'Linton is all I have to love in the
worldand though you have done what you could to make him hateful
to meand me to himyou cannot make us hate each other. And I
defy you to hurt him when I am byand I defy you to frighten me!'

'You are a boastful champion' replied Heathcliff; 'but I don't
like you well enough to hurt him: you shall get the full benefit
of the tormentas long as it lasts. It is not I who will make him
hateful to you - it is his own sweet spirit. He's as bitter as
gall at your desertion and its consequences: don't expect thanks
for this noble devotion. I heard him draw a pleasant picture to
Zillah of what he would do if he were as strong as I: the
inclination is thereand his very weakness will sharpen his wits
to find a substitute for strength.'

'I know he has a bad nature' said Catherine: 'he's your son. But
I'm glad I've a betterto forgive it; and I know he loves meand
for that reason I love him. Mr. Heathcliff YOU have NOBODY to love
you; andhowever miserable you make uswe shall still have the
revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your greater
misery. You ARE miserableare you not? Lonelylike the devil
and envious like him? NOBODY loves you - NOBODY will cry for you
when you die! I wouldn't be you!'

Catherine spoke with a kind of dreary triumph: she seemed to have
made up her mind to enter into the spirit of her future familyand


draw pleasure from the griefs of her enemies.

'You shall be sorry to be yourself presently' said her father-inlaw
'if you stand there another minute. Begonewitchand get
your things!'

She scornfully withdrew. In her absence I began to beg for
Zillah's place at the Heightsoffering to resign mine to her; but
he would suffer it on no account. He bid me be silent; and then
for the first timeallowed himself a glance round the room and a
look at the pictures. Having studied Mrs. Linton'she said - 'I
shall have that home. Not because I need itbut - ' He turned
abruptly to the fireand continuedwith whatfor lack of a
better wordI must call a smile - 'I'll tell you what I did
yesterday! I got the sextonwho was digging Linton's graveto
remove the earth off her coffin lidand I opened it. I thought
onceI would have stayed there: when I saw her face again - it is
hers yet! - he had hard work to stir me; but he said it would
change if the air blew on itand so I struck one side of the
coffin looseand covered it up: not Linton's sidedamn him! I
wish he'd been soldered in lead. And I bribed the sexton to pull
it away when I'm laid thereand slide mine out too; I'll have it
made so: and then by the time Linton gets to us he'll not know
which is which!'

'You were very wickedMr. Heathcliff!' I exclaimed; 'were you not
ashamed to disturb the dead?'

'I disturbed nobodyNelly' he replied; 'and I gave some ease to
myself. I shall be a great deal more comfortable now; and you'll
have a better chance of keeping me undergroundwhen I get there.
Disturbed her? No! she has disturbed menight and daythrough
eighteen years - incessantly - remorselessly - till yesternight;
and yesternight I was tranquil. I dreamt I was sleeping the last
sleep by that sleeperwith my heart stopped and my cheek frozen
against hers.'

'And if she had been dissolved into earthor worsewhat would you
have dreamt of then?' I said.

'Of dissolving with herand being more happy still!' he answered.
'Do you suppose I dread any change of that sort? I expected such a
transformation on raising the lid - but I'm better pleased that it
should not commence till I share it. Besidesunless I had
received a distinct impression of her passionless featuresthat
strange feeling would hardly have been removed. It began oddly.
You know I was wild after she died; and eternallyfrom dawn to
dawnpraying her to return to me her spirit! I have a strong
faith in ghosts: I have a conviction that they canand doexist
among us! The day she was buriedthere came a fall of snow. In
the evening I went to the churchyard. It blew bleak as winter all
round was solitary. I didn't fear that her fool of a husband
would wander up the glen so late; and no one else had business to
bring them there. Being aloneand conscious two yards of loose
earth was the sole barrier between usI said to myself - 'I'll
have her in my arms again! If she be coldI'll think it is this
north wind that chills ME; and if she be motionlessit is sleep."
I got a spade from the tool-houseand began to delve with all my
might - it scraped the coffin; I fell to work with my hands; the
wood commenced cracking about the screws; I was on the point of
attaining my objectwhen it seemed that I heard a sigh from some
one aboveclose at the edge of the graveand bending down. "If I
can only get this off I muttered, I wish they may shovel in the
earth over us both!" and I wrenched at it more desperately still.


There was another sighclose at my ear. I appeared to feel the
warm breath of it displacing the sleet-laden wind. I knew no
living thing in flesh and blood was by; butas certainly as you
perceive the approach to some substantial body in the darkthough
it cannot be discernedso certainly I felt that Cathy was there:
not under mebut on the earth. A sudden sense of relief flowed
from my heart through every limb. I relinquished my labour of
agonyand turned consoled at once: unspeakably consoled. Her
presence was with me: it remained while I re-filled the graveand
led me home. You may laughif you will; but I was sure I should
see her there. I was sure she was with meand I could not help
talking to her. Having reached the HeightsI rushed eagerly to
the door. It was fastened; andI rememberthat accursed Earnshaw
and my wife opposed my entrance. I remember stopping to kick the
breath out of himand then hurrying up-stairsto my room and
hers. I looked round impatiently - I felt her by me - I could
ALMOST see herand yet I COULD NOT! I ought to have sweat blood
thenfrom the anguish of my yearning - from the fervour of my
supplications to have but one glimpse! I had not one. She showed
herselfas she often was in lifea devil to me! Andsince then
sometimes more and sometimes lessI've been the sport of that
intolerable torture! Infernal! keeping my nerves at such a stretch
thatif they had not resembled catgutthey would long ago have
relaxed to the feebleness of Linton's. When I sat in the house
with Haretonit seemed that on going out I should meet her; when I
walked on the moors I should meet her coming in. When I went from
home I hastened to return; she MUST be somewhere at the HeightsI
was certain! And when I slept in her chamber - I was beaten out of
that. I couldn't lie there; for the moment I closed my eyesshe
was either outside the windowor sliding back the panelsor
entering the roomor even resting her darling head on the same
pillow as she did when a child; and I must open my lids to see.
And so I opened and closed them a hundred times a night - to be
always disappointed! It racked me! I've often groaned aloudtill
that old rascal Joseph no doubt believed that my conscience was
playing the fiend inside of me. Nowsince I've seen herI'm
pacified - a little. It was a strange way of killing: not by
inchesbut by fractions of hairbreadthsto beguile me with the
spectre of a hope through eighteen years!'

Mr. Heathcliff paused and wiped his forehead; his hair clung to it
wet with perspiration; his eyes were fixed on the red embers of the
firethe brows not contractedbut raised next the temples;
diminishing the grim aspect of his countenancebut imparting a
peculiar look of troubleand a painful appearance of mental
tension towards one absorbing subject. He only half addressed me
and I maintained silence. I didn't like to hear him talk! After a
short period he resumed his meditation on the picturetook it down
and leant it against the sofa to contemplate it at better
advantage; and while so occupied Catherine enteredannouncing that
she was readywhen her pony should be saddled.

'Send that over to-morrow' said Heathcliff to me; then turning to
herhe added: 'You may do without your pony: it is a fine
eveningand you'll need no ponies at Wuthering Heights; for what
journeys you takeyour own feet will serve you. Come along.'

'Good-byeEllen!' whispered my dear little mistress.

As she kissed meher lips felt like ice. 'Come and see meEllen;
don't forget.'

'Take care you do no such thingMrs. Dean!' said her new father.
'When I wish to speak to you I'll come here. I want none of your


prying at my house!'

He signed her to precede him; and casting back a look that cut my
heartshe obeyed. I watched themfrom the windowwalk down the
garden. Heathcliff fixed Catherine's arm under his: though she
disputed the act at first evidently; and with rapid strides he
hurried her into the alleywhose trees concealed them.

CHAPTER XXX

I HAVE paid a visit to the Heightsbut I have not seen her since
she left: Joseph held the door in his hand when I called to ask
after herand wouldn't let me pass. He said Mrs. Linton was
'thrang' and the master was not in. Zillah has told me something
of the way they go onotherwise I should hardly know who was dead
and who living. She thinks Catherine haughtyand does not like
herI can guess by her talk. My young lady asked some aid of her
when she first came; but Mr. Heathcliff told her to follow her own
businessand let his daughter-in-law look after herself; and
Zillah willingly acquiescedbeing a narrow-mindedselfish woman.
Catherine evinced a child's annoyance at this neglect; repaid it
with contemptand thus enlisted my informant among her enemiesas
securely as if she had done her some great wrong. I had a long
talk with Zillah about six weeks agoa little before you cameone
day when we foregathered on the moor; and this is what she told me.

'The first thing Mrs. Linton did' she said'on her arrival at the
Heightswas to run up-stairswithout even wishing good-evening to
me and Joseph; she shut herself into Linton's roomand remained
till morning. Thenwhile the master and Earnshaw were at
breakfastshe entered the houseand asked all in a quiver if the
doctor might be sent for? her cousin was very ill.

'"We know that!" answered Heathcliff; "but his life is not worth a
farthingand I won't spend a farthing on him."

'"But I cannot tell how to do she said; and if nobody will help
mehe'll die!"

'"Walk out of the room cried the master, and let me never hear a
word more about him! None here care what becomes of him; if you
doact the nurse; if you do notlock him up and leave him."

'Then she began to bother meand I said I'd had enough plague with
the tiresome thing; we each had our tasksand hers was to wait on
Linton: Mr. Heathcliff bid me leave that labour to her.

'How they managed togetherI can't tell. I fancy he fretted a
great dealand moaned hisseln night and day; and she had precious
little rest: one could guess by her white face and heavy eyes.
She sometimes came into the kitchen all wildered likeand looked
as if she would fain beg assistance; but I was not going to disobey
the master: I never dare disobey himMrs. Dean; andthough I
thought it wrong that Kenneth should not be sent forit was no
concern of mine either to advise or complainand I always refused
to meddle. Once or twiceafter we had gone to bedI've happened
to open my door again and seen her sitting crying on the stairs'top;
and then I've shut myself in quickfor fear of being moved to
interfere. I did pity her thenI'm sure: still I didn't wish to
lose my placeyou know.


'At lastone night she came boldly into my chamberand frightened
me out of my witsby sayingTell Mr. Heathcliff that his son is
dying - I'm sure he is, this time. Get up, instantly, and tell
him.

'Having uttered this speechshe vanished again. I lay a quarter
of an hour listening and trembling. Nothing stirred - the house
was quiet.

'She's mistakenI said to myself. He's got over it. I needn't
disturb them; and I began to doze. But my sleep was marred a
second time by a sharp ringing of the bell - the only bell we have
put up on purpose for Linton; and the master called to me to see
what was the matterand inform them that he wouldn't have that
noise repeated.

'I delivered Catherine's message. He cursed to himselfand in a
few minutes came out with a lighted candleand proceeded to their
room. I followed. Mrs. Heathcliff was seated by the bedsidewith
her hands folded on her knees. Her father-in-law went upheld the
light to Linton's facelooked at himand touched him; afterwards
he turned to her.

'"Now - Catherine he said, how do you feel?"

'She was dumb.

'"How do you feelCatherine?" he repeated.

'"He's safeand I'm free she answered: I should feel well but
she continued, with a bitterness she couldn't conceal, you
have left me so long to struggle against death alonethat I feel
and see only death! I feel like death!"

'And she looked like ittoo! I gave her a little wine. Hareton
and Josephwho had been wakened by the ringing and the sound of
feetand heard our talk from outsidenow entered. Joseph was
fainI believeof the lad's removal; Hareton seemed a thought
bothered: though he was more taken up with staring at Catherine
than thinking of Linton. But the master bid him get off to bed
again: we didn't want his help. He afterwards made Joseph remove
the body to his chamberand told me to return to mineand Mrs.
Heathcliff remained by herself.

'In the morninghe sent me to tell her she must come down to
breakfast: she had undressedand appeared going to sleepand
said she was ill; at which I hardly wondered. I informed Mr.
Heathcliffand he replied- "Welllet her be till after the
funeral; and go up now and then to get her what is needful; andas
soon as she seems bettertell me."'

Cathy stayed upstairs a fortnightaccording to Zillah; who visited
her twice a dayand would have been rather more friendlybut her
attempts at increasing kindness were proudly and promptly repelled.

Heathcliff went up onceto show her Linton's will. He had
bequeathed the whole of hisand what had been hermoveable
propertyto his father: the poor creature was threatenedor
coaxedinto that act during her week's absencewhen his uncle
died. The landsbeing a minorhe could not meddle with.
HoweverMr. Heathcliff has claimed and kept them in his wife's
right and his also: I suppose legally; at any rateCatherine
destitute of cash and friendscannot disturb his possession.


'Nobody' said Zillah'ever approached her doorexcept that once
but I; and nobody asked anything about her. The first occasion of
her coming down into the house was on a Sunday afternoon. She had
cried outwhen I carried up her dinnerthat she couldn't bear any
longer being in the cold; and I told her the master was going to
Thrushcross Grangeand Earnshaw and I needn't hinder her from
descending; soas soon as she heard Heathcliff's horse trot off
she made her appearancedonned in blackand her yellow curls
combed back behind her ears as plain as a Quaker: she couldn't
comb them out.

'Joseph and I generally go to chapel on Sundays:' the kirkyou
knowhas no minister nowexplained Mrs. Dean; and they call the
Methodists' or Baptists' place (I can't say which it is) at
Gimmertona chapel. 'Joseph had gone' she continued'but I
thought proper to bide at home. Young folks are always the better
for an elder's over-looking; and Haretonwith all his bashfulness
isn't a model of nice behaviour. I let him know that his cousin
would very likely sit with usand she had been always used to see
the Sabbath respected; so he had as good leave his guns and bits of
indoor work alonewhile she stayed. He coloured up at the news
and cast his eyes over his hands and clothes. The train-oil and
gunpowder were shoved out of sight in a minute. I saw he meant to
give her his company; and I guessedby his wayhe wanted to be
presentable; solaughingas I durst not laugh when the master is
byI offered to help himif he wouldand joked at his confusion.
He grew sullenand began to swear.

'NowMrs. Dean' Zillah went onseeing me not pleased by her
manner'you happen think your young lady too fine for Mr. Hareton;
and happen you're right: but I own I should love well to bring her
pride a peg lower. And what will all her learning and her
daintiness do for hernow? She's as poor as you or I: poorer
I'll be bound: you're sayingand I'm doing my little all that
road.'

Hareton allowed Zillah to give him her aid; and she flattered him
into a good humour; sowhen Catherine camehalf forgetting her
former insultshe tried to make himself agreeableby the
housekeeper's account.

'Missis walked in' she said'as chill as an icicleand as high
as a princess. I got up and offered her my seat in the arm-chair.
Noshe turned up her nose at my civility. Earnshaw rosetooand
bid her come to the settleand sit close by the fire: he was sure
she was starved.

'"I've been starved a month and more she answered, resting on the
word as scornful as she could.

'And she got a chair for herself, and placed it at a distance from
both of us. Having sat till she was warm, she began to look round,
and discovered a number of books on the dresser; she was instantly
upon her feet again, stretching to reach them: but they were too
high up. Her cousin, after watching her endeavours a while, at
last summoned courage to help her; she held her frock, and he
filled it with the first that came to hand.

'That was a great advance for the lad. She didn't thank him;
still, he felt gratified that she had accepted his assistance, and
ventured to stand behind as she examined them, and even to stoop
and point out what struck his fancy in certain old pictures which
they contained; nor was he daunted by the saucy style in which she


jerked the page from his finger: he contented himself with going a
bit farther back and looking at her instead of the book. She
continued reading, or seeking for something to read. His attention
became, by degrees, quite centred in the study of her thick silky
curls: her face he couldn't see, and she couldn't see him. And,
perhaps, not quite awake to what he did, but attracted like a child
to a candle, at last he proceeded from staring to touching; he put
out his hand and stroked one curl, as gently as if it were a bird.
He might have stuck a knife into her neck, she started round in
such a taking.

'Get away this moment! How dare you touch me? Why are you
stopping there?" she criedin a tone of disgust. "I can't endure
you! I'll go upstairs againif you come near me."

'Mr. Hareton recoiledlooking as foolish as he could do: he sat
down in the settle very quietand she continued turning over her
volumes another half hour; finallyEarnshaw crossed overand
whispered to me.

'Will you ask her to read to usZillah? I'm stalled of doing
naught; and I do like - I could like to hear her! Dunnot say I
wanted itbut ask of yourseln."

'"Mr. Hareton wishes you would read to usma'am I said,
immediately. He'd take it very kind - he'd be much obliged."

'She frowned; and looking upanswered


'"Mr. Haretonand the whole set of youwill be good enough to
understand that I reject any pretence at kindness you have the
hypocrisy to offer! I despise youand will have nothing to say to
any of you! When I would have given my life for one kind word
even to see one of your facesyou all kept off. But I won't
complain to you! I'm driven down here by the cold; not either to
amuse you or enjoy your society."

'"What could I ha' done?" began Earnshaw. "How was I to blame?"

'"Oh! you are an exception answered Mrs. Heathcliff. I never
missed such a concern as you."

'"But I offered more than onceand asked he said, kindling up at
her pertness, I asked Mr. Heathcliff to let me wake for you - "

'"Be silent! I'll go out of doorsor anywhererather than have
your disagreeable voice in my ear!" said my lady.

'Hareton muttered she might go to hellfor him! and unslinging his
gunrestrained himself from his Sunday occupations no longer. He
talked nowfreely enough; and she presently saw fit to retreat to
her solitude: but the frost had set inandin spite of her
prideshe was forced to condescend to our companymore and more.
HoweverI took care there should be no further scorning at my good
nature: ever sinceI've been as stiff as herself; and she has no
lover or liker among us: and she does not deserve one; forlet
them say the least word to herand she'll curl back without
respect of any one. She'll snap at the master himselfand as good
as dares him to thrash her; and the more hurt she getsthe more
venomous she grows.'

At firston hearing this account from ZillahI determined to
leave my situationtake a cottageand get Catherine to come and
live with me: but Mr. Heathcliff would as soon permit that as he


would set up Hareton in an independent house; and I can see no
remedyat presentunless she could marry again; and that scheme
it does not come within my province to arrange.

Thus ended Mrs. Dean's story. Notwithstanding the doctor's
prophecyI am rapidly recovering strength; and though it be only
the second week in JanuaryI propose getting out on horseback in a
day or twoand riding over to Wuthering Heightsto inform my
landlord that I shall spend the next six months in London; andif
he likeshe may look out for another tenant to take the place
after October. I would not pass another winter here for much.

CHAPTER XXXI

YESTERDAY was brightcalmand frosty. I went to the Heights as I
proposed: my housekeeper entreated me to bear a little note from
her to her young ladyand I did not refusefor the worthy woman
was not conscious of anything odd in her request. The front door
stood openbut the jealous gate was fastenedas at my last visit;
I knocked and invoked Earnshaw from among the garden-beds; he
unchained itand I entered. The fellow is as handsome a rustic as
need be seen. I took particular notice of him this time; but then
he does his best apparently to make the least of his advantages.

I asked if Mr. Heathcliff were at home? He answeredNo; but he
would be in at dinner-time. It was eleven o'clockand I announced
my intention of going in and waiting for him; at which he
immediately flung down his tools and accompanied mein the office
of watchdognot as a substitute for the host.

We entered together; Catherine was theremaking herself useful in
preparing some vegetables for the approaching meal; she looked more
sulky and less spirited than when I had seen her first. She hardly
raised her eyes to notice meand continued her employment with the
same disregard to common forms of politeness as before; never
returning my bow and good-morning by the slightest acknowledgment.

'She does not seem so amiable' I thought'as Mrs. Dean would
persuade me to believe. She's a beautyit is true; but not an
angel.'

Earnshaw surlily bid her remove her things to the kitchen. 'Remove
them yourself' she saidpushing them from her as soon as she had
done; and retiring to a stool by the windowwhere she began to
carve figures of birds and beasts out of the turnip-parings in her
lap. I approached herpretending to desire a view of the garden;
andas I fanciedadroitly dropped Mrs. Dean's note on to her
kneeunnoticed by Hareton - but she asked aloud'What is that?'
And chucked it off.

'A letter from your old acquaintancethe housekeeper at the
Grange' I answered; annoyed at her exposing my kind deedand
fearful lest it should be imagined a missive of my own. She would
gladly have gathered it up at this informationbut Hareton beat
her; he seized and put it in his waistcoatsaying Mr. Heathcliff
should look at it first. ThereatCatherine silently turned her
face from usandvery stealthilydrew out her pockethandkerchief
and applied it to her eyes; and her cousinafter
struggling awhile to keep down his softer feelingspulled out the


letter and flung it on the floor beside heras ungraciously as he
could. Catherine caught and perused it eagerly; then she put a few
questions to me concerning the inmatesrational and irrationalof
her former home; and gazing towards the hillsmurmured in
soliloquy:

'I should like to be riding Minny down there! I should like to be
climbing up there! Oh! I'm tired - I'm STALLEDHareton!' And
she leant her pretty head back against the sillwith half a yawn
and half a sighand lapsed into an aspect of abstracted sadness:
neither caring nor knowing whether we remarked her.

'Mrs. Heathcliff' I saidafter sitting some time mute'you are
not aware that I am an acquaintance of yours? so intimate that I
think it strange you won't come and speak to me. My housekeeper
never wearies of talking about and praising you; and she'll be
greatly disappointed if I return with no news of or from you
except that you received her letter and said nothing!'

She appeared to wonder at this speechand asked


'Does Ellen like you?'

'Yesvery well' I repliedhesitatingly.

'You must tell her' she continued'that I would answer her
letterbut I have no materials for writing: not even a book from
which I might tear a leaf.'

'No books!' I exclaimed. 'How do you contrive to live here without
them? if I may take the liberty to inquire. Though provided with a
large libraryI'm frequently very dull at the Grange; take my
books awayand I should be desperate!'

'I was always readingwhen I had them' said Catherine; 'and Mr.
Heathcliff never reads; so he took it into his head to destroy my
books. I have not had a glimpse of one for weeks. Only onceI
searched through Joseph's store of theologyto his great
irritation; and onceHaretonI came upon a secret stock in your
room - some Latin and Greekand some tales and poetry: all old
friends. I brought the last here - and you gathered themas a
magpie gathers silver spoonsfor the mere love of stealing! They
are of no use to you; or else you concealed them in the bad spirit
thatas you cannot enjoy themnobody else shall. Perhaps YOUR
envy counselled Mr. Heathcliff to rob me of my treasures? But I've
most of them written on my brain and printed in my heartand you
cannot deprive me of those!'

Earnshaw blushed crimson when his cousin made this revelation of
his private literary accumulationsand stammered an indignant
denial of her accusations.

'Mr. Hareton is desirous of increasing his amount of knowledge' I
saidcoming to his rescue. 'He is not ENVIOUSbut EMULOUS of
your attainments. He'll be a clever scholar in a few years.'

'And he wants me to sink into a duncemeantime' answered
Catherine. 'YesI hear him trying to spell and read to himself
and pretty blunders he makes! I wish you would repeat Chevy Chase
as you did yesterday: it was extremely funny. I heard you; and I
heard you turning over the dictionary to seek out the hard words
and then cursing because you couldn't read their explanations!'

The young man evidently thought it too bad that he should be


laughed at for his ignoranceand then laughed at for trying to
remove it. I had a similar notion; andremembering Mrs. Dean's
anecdote of his first attempt at enlightening the darkness in which
he had been rearedI observed- 'ButMrs. Heathcliffwe have
each had a commencementand each stumbled and tottered on the
threshold; had our teachers scorned instead of aiding uswe should
stumble and totter yet.'

'Oh!' she replied'I don't wish to limit his acquirements: still
he has no right to appropriate what is mineand make it ridiculous
to me with his vile mistakes and mispronunciations! Those books
both prose and verseare consecrated to me by other associations;
and I hate to have them debased and profaned in his mouth!
Besidesof allhe has selected my favourite pieces that I love
the most to repeatas if out of deliberate malice.'

Hareton's chest heaved in silence a minute: he laboured under a
severe sense of mortification and wrathwhich it was no easy task
to suppress. I roseandfrom a gentlemanly idea of relieving his
embarrassmenttook up my station in the doorwaysurveying the
external prospect as I stood. He followed my exampleand left the
room; but presently reappearedbearing half a dozen volumes in his
handswhich he threw into Catherine's lapexclaiming- 'Take
them! I never want to hearor reador think of them again!'

'I won't have them now' she answered. 'I shall connect them with
youand hate them.'

She opened one that had obviously been often turned overand read
a portion in the drawling tone of a beginner; then laughedand
threw it from her. 'And listen' she continuedprovokingly
commencing a verse of an old ballad in the same fashion.

But his self-love would endure no further torment: I heardand
not altogether disapprovinglya manual cheek given to her saucy
tongue. The little wretch had done her utmost to hurt her cousin's
sensitive though uncultivated feelingsand a physical argument was
the only mode he had of balancing the accountand repaying its
effects on the inflictor. He afterwards gathered the books and
hurled them on the fire. I read in his countenance what anguish it
was to offer that sacrifice to spleen. I fancied that as they
consumedhe recalled the pleasure they had already impartedand
the triumph and ever-increasing pleasure he had anticipated from
them; and I fancied I guessed the incitement to his secret studies
also. He had been content with daily labour and rough animal
enjoymentstill Catherine crossed his path. Shame at her scorn
and hope of her approvalwere his first prompters to higher
pursuits; and instead of guarding him from one and winning him to
the otherhis endeavours to raise himself had produced just the
contrary result.

'Yes that's all the good that such a brute as you can get from
them!' cried Catherinesucking her damaged lipand watching the
conflagration with indignant eyes.

'You'd BETTER hold your tonguenow' he answered fiercely.

And his agitation precluded further speech; he advanced hastily to
the entrancewhere I made way for him to pass. But ere he had
crossed the door-stonesMr. Heathcliffcoming up the causeway
encountered himand laying hold of his shoulder asked- 'What's
to do nowmy lad?'

'Naughtnaught' he saidand broke away to enjoy his grief and


anger in solitude.

Heathcliff gazed after himand sighed.

'It will be odd if I thwart myself' he mutteredunconscious that
I was behind him. 'But when I look for his father in his faceI
find HER every day more! How the devil is he so like? I can
hardly bear to see him.'

He bent his eyes to the groundand walked moodily in. There was a
restlessanxious expression in his countenance. I had never
remarked there before; and he looked sparer in person. His
daughter-in-lawon perceiving him through the windowimmediately
escaped to the kitchenso that I remained alone.

'I'm glad to see you out of doors againMr. Lockwood' he saidin
reply to my greeting; 'from selfish motives partly: I don't think
I could readily supply your loss in this desolation. I've wondered
more than once what brought you here.'

'An idle whimI fearsir' was my answer; 'or else an idle whim
is going to spirit me away. I shall set out for London next week;
and I must give you warning that I feel no disposition to retain
Thrushcross Grange beyond the twelve months I agreed to rent it. I
believe I shall not live there any more.'

'Ohindeed; you're tired of being banished from the worldare
you?' he said. 'But if you be coming to plead off paying for a
place you won't occupyyour journey is useless: I never relent in
exacting my due from any one.'

'I'm coming to plead off nothing about it' I exclaimed
considerably irritated. 'Should you wish itI'll settle with you
now' and I drew my note-book from my pocket.

'Nono' he repliedcoolly; 'you'll leave sufficient behind to
cover your debtsif you fail to return: I'm not in such a hurry.
Sit down and take your dinner with us; a guest that is safe from
repeating his visit can generally be made welcome. Catherine bring
the things in: where are you?'

Catherine reappearedbearing a tray of knives and forks.

'You may get your dinner with Joseph' muttered Heathcliffaside
'and remain in the kitchen till he is gone.'

She obeyed his directions very punctually: perhaps she had no
temptation to transgress. Living among clowns and misanthropists
she probably cannot appreciate a better class of people when she
meets them.

With Mr. Heathcliffgrim and saturnineon the one handand
Haretonabsolutely dumbon the otherI made a somewhat cheerless
mealand bade adieu early. I would have departed by the back way
to get a last glimpse of Catherine and annoy old Joseph; but
Hareton received orders to lead up my horseand my host himself
escorted me to the doorso I could not fulfil my wish.

'How dreary life gets over in that house!' I reflectedwhile
riding down the road. 'What a realisation of something more
romantic than a fairy tale it would have been for Mrs. Linton
Heathcliffhad she and I struck up an attachmentas her good
nurse desiredand migrated together into the stirring atmosphere
of the town!'


CHAPTER XXXII

1802. - This September I was invited to devastate the moors of a
friend in the northand on my journey to his abodeI unexpectedly
came within fifteen miles of Gimmerton. The ostler at a roadside
public-house was holding a pail of water to refresh my horseswhen
a cart of very green oatsnewly reapedpassed byand he
remarked- 'Yon's frough Gimmertonnah! They're allas three
wick' after other folk wi' ther harvest.'

'Gimmerton?' I repeated - my residence in that locality had already
grown dim and dreamy. 'Ah! I know. How far is it from this?'

'Happen fourteen mile o'er th' hills; and a rough road' he
answered.

A sudden impulse seized me to visit Thrushcross Grange. It was
scarcely noonand I conceived that I might as well pass the night
under my own roof as in an inn. BesidesI could spare a day
easily to arrange matters with my landlordand thus save myself
the trouble of invading the neighbourhood again. Having rested
awhileI directed my servant to inquire the way to the village;
andwith great fatigue to our beastswe managed the distance in
some three hours.

I left him thereand proceeded down the valley alone. The grey
church looked greyerand the lonely churchyard lonelier. I
distinguished a moor-sheep cropping the short turf on the graves.
It was sweetwarm weather - too warm for travelling; but the heat
did not hinder me from enjoying the delightful scenery above and
below: had I seen it nearer AugustI'm sure it would have tempted
me to waste a month among its solitudes. In winter nothing more
drearyin summer nothing more divinethan those glens shut in by
hillsand those bluffbold swells of heath.

I reached the Grange before sunsetand knocked for admittance; but
the family had retreated into the back premisesI judgedby one
thinblue wreathcurling from the kitchen chimneyand they did
not hear. I rode into the court. Under the porcha girl of nine
or ten sat knittingand an old woman reclined on the housesteps
smoking a meditative pipe.

'Is Mrs. Dean within?' I demanded of the dame.

'Mistress Dean? Nay!' she answered'she doesn't bide here:
shoo's up at th' Heights.'

'Are you the housekeeperthen?' I continued.

'Eeaaw keep th' hause' she replied.

'WellI'm Mr. Lockwoodthe master. Are there any rooms to lodge
me inI wonder? I wish to stay all night.'

'T' maister!' she cried in astonishment. 'Whetwhoiver knew yah
wur coming? Yah sud ha' send word. They's nowt norther dry nor
mensful abaht t' place: nowt there isn't!'

She threw down her pipe and bustled inthe girl followedand I


entered too; soon perceiving that her report was trueand
moreoverthat I had almost upset her wits by my unwelcome
apparitionI bade her be composed. I would go out for a walk;
andmeantime she must try to prepare a corner of a sitting-room
for me to sup inand a bedroom to sleep in. No sweeping and
dustingonly good fire and dry sheets were necessary. She seemed
willing to do her best; though she thrust the hearth-brush into the
grates in mistake for the pokerand malappropriated several other
articles of her craft: but I retiredconfiding in her energy for
a resting-place against my return. Wuthering Heights was the goal
of my proposed excursion. An afterthought brought me backwhen I
had quitted the court.

'All well at the Heights?' I inquired of the woman.

'Eeaf'r owt ee knaw!' she answeredskurrying away with a pan of
hot cinders.

I would have asked why Mrs. Dean had deserted the Grangebut it
was impossible to delay her at such a crisisso I turned away and
made my exitrambling leisurely alongwith the glow of a sinking
sun behindand the mild glory of a rising moon in front - one
fadingand the other brightening - as I quitted the parkand
climbed the stony by-road branching off to Mr. Heathcliff's
dwelling. Before I arrived in sight of itall that remained of
day was a beamless amber light along the west: but I could see
every pebble on the pathand every blade of grassby that
splendid moon. I had neither to climb the gate nor to knock - it
yielded to my hand. That is an improvementI thought. And I
noticed anotherby the aid of my nostrils; a fragrance of stocks
and wallflowers wafted on the air from amongst the homely fruittrees.


Both doors and lattices were open; and yetas is usually the case
in a coal-districta fine red fire illumined the chimney: the
comfort which the eye derives from it renders the extra heat
endurable. But the house of Wuthering Heights is so large that the
inmates have plenty of space for withdrawing out of its influence;
and accordingly what inmates there were had stationed themselves
not far from one of the windows. I could both see them and hear
them talk before I enteredand looked and listened in consequence;
being moved thereto by a mingled sense of curiosity and envythat
grew as I lingered.

'Con-TRARY!' said a voice as sweet as a silver bell. 'That for the
third timeyou dunce! I'm not going to tell you again.
Recollector I'll pull your hair!'

'Contrarythen' answered anotherin deep but softened tones.
'And nowkiss mefor minding so well.'

'Noread it over first correctlywithout a single mistake.'

The male speaker began to read: he was a young manrespectably
dressed and seated at a tablehaving a book before him. His
handsome features glowed with pleasureand his eyes kept
impatiently wandering from the page to a small white hand over his
shoulderwhich recalled him by a smart slap on the cheekwhenever
its owner detected such signs of inattention. Its owner stood
behind; her lightshining ringlets blendingat intervalswith
his brown looksas she bent to superintend his studies; and her
face - it was lucky he could not see her faceor he would never
have been so steady. I could; and I bit my lip in spiteat having
thrown away the chance I might have had of doing something besides


staring at its smiting beauty.

The task was donenot free from further blunders; but the pupil
claimed a rewardand received at least five kisses; which
howeverhe generously returned. Then they came to the doorand
from their conversation I judged they were about to issue out and
have a walk on the moors. I supposed I should be condemned in
Hareton Earnshaw's heartif not by his mouthto the lowest pit in
the infernal regions if I showed my unfortunate person in his
neighbourhood then; and feeling very mean and malignantI skulked
round to seek refuge in the kitchen. There was unobstructed
admittance on that side also; and at the door sat my old friend
Nelly Deansewing and singing a song; which was often interrupted
from within by harsh words of scorn and intoleranceuttered in far
from musical accents.

'I'd raytherby th' haulfhev' 'em swearing i' my lugs fro'h morn
to neeghtnor hearken ye hahsiver!' said the tenant of the
kitchenin answer to an unheard speech of Nelly's. 'It's a
blazing shamethat I cannot oppen t' blessed Bookbut yah set up
them glories to sattanand all t' flaysome wickednesses that iver
were born into th' warld! Oh! ye're a raight nowt; and shoo's
another; and that poor lad 'll be lost atween ye. Poor lad!' he
addedwith a groan; 'he's witched: I'm sartin on't. OhLord
judge 'emfor there's norther law nor justice among wer rullers!'

'No! or we should be sitting in flaming fagotsI suppose'
retorted the singer. 'But wishtold manand read your Bible like
a Christianand never mind me. This is "Fairy Annie's Wedding" a
bonny tune - it goes to a dance.'

Mrs. Dean was about to recommencewhen I advanced; and recognising
me directlyshe jumped to her feetcrying - 'Whybless youMr.
Lockwood! How could you think of returning in this way? All's
shut up at Thrushcross Grange. You should have given us notice!'

'I've arranged to be accommodated therefor as long as I shall
stay' I answered. 'I depart again to-morrow. And how are you
transplanted hereMrs. Dean? tell me that.'

'Zillah leftand Mr. Heathcliff wished me to comesoon after you
went to Londonand stay till you returned. Butstep inpray!
Have you walked from Gimmerton this evening?'

'From the Grange' I replied; 'and while they make me lodging room
thereI want to finish my business with your master; because I
don't think of having another opportunity in a hurry.'

'What businesssir?' said Nellyconducting me into the house.
'He's gone out at presentand won't return soon.'

'About the rent' I answered.

'Oh! then it is with Mrs. Heathcliff you must settle' she
observed; 'or rather with me. She has not learnt to manage her
affairs yetand I act for her: there's nobody else.'

I looked surprised.

'Ah! you have not heard of Heathcliff's deathI see' she
continued.

'Heathcliff dead!' I exclaimedastonished. 'How long ago?'


'Three months since: but sit downand let me take your hatand
I'll tell you all about it. Stopyou have had nothing to eat
have you?'

'I want nothing: I have ordered supper at home. You sit down too.
I never dreamt of his dying! Let me hear how it came to pass. You
say you don't expect them back for some time - the young people?'

'No - I have to scold them every evening for their late rambles:
but they don't care for me. At leasthave a drink of our old ale;
it will do you good: you seem weary.'

She hastened to fetch it before I could refuseand I heard Joseph
asking whether 'it warn't a crying scandal that she should have
followers at her time of life? And thento get them jocks out o'
t' maister's cellar! He fair shaamed to 'bide still and see it.'

She did not stay to retaliatebut re-entered in a minutebearing
a reaming silver pintwhose contents I lauded with becoming
earnestness. And afterwards she furnished me with the sequel of
Heathcliff's history. He had a 'queer' endas she expressed it.

I was summoned to Wuthering Heightswithin a fortnight of your
leaving usshe said; and I obeyed joyfullyfor Catherine's sake.
My first interview with her grieved and shocked me: she had
altered so much since our separation. Mr. Heathcliff did not
explain his reasons for taking a new mind about my coming here; he
only told me he wanted meand he was tired of seeing Catherine: I
must make the little parlour my sitting-roomand keep her with me.
It was enough if he were obliged to see her once or twice a day.
She seemed pleased at this arrangement; andby degreesI smuggled
over a great number of booksand other articlesthat had formed
her amusement at the Grange; and flattered myself we should get on
in tolerable comfort. The delusion did not last long. Catherine
contented at firstin a brief space grew irritable and restless.
For one thingshe was forbidden to move out of the gardenand it
fretted her sadly to be confined to its narrow bounds as spring
drew on; for anotherin following the houseI was forced to quit
her frequentlyand she complained of loneliness: she preferred
quarrelling with Joseph in the kitchen to sitting at peace in her
solitude. I did not mind their skirmishes: but Hareton was often
obliged to seek the kitchen alsowhen the master wanted to have
the house to himself! and though in the beginning she either left
it at his approachor quietly joined in my occupationsand
shunned remarking or addressing him - and though he was always as
sullen and silent as possible - after a whileshe changed her
behaviourand became incapable of letting him alone: talking at
him; commenting on his stupidity and idleness; expressing her
wonder how he could endure the life he lived - how he could sit a
whole evening staring into the fireand dozing.

'He's just like a dogis he notEllen?' she once observed'or a
cart-horse? He does his workeats his foodand sleeps eternally!
What a blankdreary mind he must have! Do you ever dream
Hareton? Andif you dowhat is it about? But you can't speak to
me!'

Then she looked at him; but he would neither open his mouth nor
look again.

'He'sperhapsdreaming now' she continued. 'He twitched his
shoulder as Juno twitches hers. Ask himEllen.'

'Mr. Hareton will ask the master to send you up-stairsif you


don't behave!' I said. He had not only twitched his shoulder but
clenched his fistas if tempted to use it.

'I know why Hareton never speakswhen I am in the kitchen' she
exclaimedon another occasion. 'He is afraid I shall laugh at
him. Ellenwhat do you think? He began to teach himself to read
once; andbecause I laughedhe burned his booksand dropped it:
was he not a fool?'

'Were not you naughty?' I said; 'answer me that.'

'Perhaps I was' she went on; 'but I did not expect him to be so
silly. Haretonif I gave you a bookwould you take it now? I'll
try!'

She placed one she had been perusing on his hand; he flung it off
and mutteredif she did not give overhe would break her neck.

'WellI shall put it here' she said'in the table-drawer; and
I'm going to bed.'

Then she whispered me to watch whether he touched itand departed.
But he would not come near it; and so I informed her in the
morningto her great disappointment. I saw she was sorry for his
persevering sulkiness and indolence: her conscience reproved her
for frightening him off improving himself: she had done it
effectually. But her ingenuity was at work to remedy the injury:
while I ironedor pursued other such stationary employments as I
could not well do in the parlourshe would bring some pleasant
volume and read it aloud to me. When Hareton was thereshe
generally paused in an interesting partand left the book lying
about: that she did repeatedly; but he was as obstinate as a mule
andinstead of snatching at her baitin wet weather he took to
smoking with Joseph; and they sat like automatonsone on each side
of the firethe elder happily too deaf to understand her wicked
nonsenseas he would have called itthe younger doing his best to
seem to disregard it. On fine evenings the latter followed his
shooting expeditionsand Catherine yawned and sighedand teased
me to talk to herand ran off into the court or garden the moment
I began; andas a last resourcecriedand said she was tired of
living: her life was useless.

Mr. Heathcliffwho grew more and more disinclined to societyhad
almost banished Earnshaw from his apartment. Owing to an accident
at the commencement of Marchhe became for some days a fixture in
the kitchen. His gun burst while out on the hills by himself; a
splinter cut his armand he lost a good deal of blood before he
could reach home. The consequence was thatperforcehe was
condemned to the fireside and tranquillitytill he made it up
again. It suited Catherine to have him there: at any rateit
made her hate her room up-stairs more than ever: and she would
compel me to find out business belowthat she might accompany me.

On Easter MondayJoseph went to Gimmerton fair with some cattle;
andin the afternoonI was busy getting up linen in the kitchen.
Earnshaw satmorose as usualat the chimney cornerand my little
mistress was beguiling an idle hour with drawing pictures on the
window-panesvarying her amusement by smothered bursts of songs
and whispered ejaculationsand quick glances of annoyance and
impatience in the direction of her cousinwho steadfastly smoked
and looked into the grate. At a notice that I could do with her no
longer intercepting my lightshe removed to the hearthstone. I
bestowed little attention on her proceedingsbutpresentlyI
heard her begin - 'I've found outHaretonthat I want - that I'm


glad - that I should like you to be my cousin nowif you had not
grown so cross to meand so rough.'

Hareton returned no answer.

'HaretonHaretonHareton! do you hear?' she continued.

'Get off wi' ye!' he growledwith uncompromising gruffness.

'Let me take that pipe' she saidcautiously advancing her hand
and abstracting it from his mouth.

Before he could attempt to recover itit was brokenand behind
the fire. He swore at her and seized another.

'Stop' she cried'you must listen to me first; and I can't speak
while those clouds are floating in my face.'

'Will you go to the devil!' he exclaimedferociously'and let me
be!'

'No' she persisted'I won't: I can't tell what to do to make you
talk to me; and you are determined not to understand. When I call
you stupidI don't mean anything: I don't mean that I despise
you. Comeyou shall take notice of meHareton: you are my
cousinand you shall own me.'

'I shall have naught to do wi' you and your mucky prideand your
damned mocking tricks!' he answered. 'I'll go to hellbody and
soulbefore I look sideways after you again. Side out o' t' gate
nowthis minute!'

Catherine frownedand retreated to the window-seat chewing her
lipand endeavouringby humming an eccentric tuneto conceal a
growing tendency to sob.

'You should be friends with your cousinMr. Hareton' I
interrupted'since she repents of her sauciness. It would do you
a great deal of good: it would make you another man to have her
for a companion.'

'A companion!' he cried; 'when she hates meand does not think me
fit to wipe her shoon! Nayif it made me a kingI'd not be
scorned for seeking her good-will any more.'

'It is not I who hate youit is you who hate me!' wept Cathyno
longer disguising her trouble. 'You hate me as much as Mr.
Heathcliff doesand more.'

'You're a damned liar' began Earnshaw: 'why have I made him
angryby taking your partthena hundred times? and that when
you sneered at and despised meand - Go on plaguing meand I'll
step in yonderand say you worried me out of the kitchen!'

'I didn't know you took my part' she answereddrying her eyes;
'and I was miserable and bitter at everybody; but now I thank you
and beg you to forgive me: what can I do besides?'

She returned to the hearthand frankly extended her hand. He
blackened and scowled like a thunder-cloudand kept his fists
resolutely clenchedand his gaze fixed on the ground. Catherine
by instinctmust have divined it was obdurate perversityand not
dislikethat prompted this dogged conduct; forafter remaining an
instant undecidedshe stooped and impressed on his cheek a gentle


kiss. The little rogue thought I had not seen heranddrawing
backshe took her former station by the windowquite demurely. I
shook my head reprovinglyand then she blushed and whispered '
Well! what should I have doneEllen? He wouldn't shake hands
and he wouldn't look: I must show him some way that I like him that
I want to be friends.'

Whether the kiss convinced HaretonI cannot tell: he was very
carefulfor some minutesthat his face should not be seenand
when he did raise ithe was sadly puzzled where to turn his eyes.

Catherine employed herself in wrapping a handsome book neatly in
white paperand having tied it with a bit of ribbonand addressed
it to 'Mr. Hareton Earnshaw' she desired me to be her
ambassadressand convey the present to its destined recipient.

'And tell himif he'll take itI'll come and teach him to read it
right' she said; 'andif he refuse itI'll go upstairsand
never tease him again.'

I carried itand repeated the message; anxiously watched by my
employer. Hareton would not open his fingersso I laid it on his
knee. He did not strike it offeither. I returned to my work.
Catherine leaned her head and arms on the tabletill she heard the
slight rustle of the covering being removed; then she stole away
and quietly seated herself beside her cousin. He trembledand his
face glowed: all his rudeness and all his surly harshness had
deserted him: he could not summon courageat firstto utter a
syllable in reply to her questioning lookand her murmured
petition.

'Say you forgive meHaretondo. You can make me so happy by
speaking that little word.'

He muttered something inaudible.

'And you'll be my friend?' added Catherineinterrogatively.

'Nayyou'll be ashamed of me every day of your life' he answered;
'and the more ashamedthe more you know me; and I cannot bide it.'

'So you won't be my friend?' she saidsmiling as sweet as honey
and creeping close up.

I overheard no further distinguishable talkbuton looking round
againI perceived two such radiant countenances bent over the page
of the accepted bookthat I did not doubt the treaty had been
ratified on both sides; and the enemies werethenceforthsworn
allies.

The work they studied was full of costly pictures; and those and
their position had charm enough to keep them unmoved till Joseph
came home. Hepoor manwas perfectly aghast at the spectacle of
Catherine seated on the same bench with Hareton Earnshawleaning
her hand on his shoulder; and confounded at his favourite's
endurance of her proximity: it affected him too deeply to allow an
observation on the subject that night. His emotion was only
revealed by the immense sighs he drewas he solemnly spread his
large Bible on the tableand overlaid it with dirty bank-notes
from his pocket-bookthe produce of the day's transactions. At
length he summoned Hareton from his seat.

'Tak' these in to t' maisterlad' he said'and bide there. I's
gang up to my own rahm. This hoile's neither mensful nor seemly


for us: we mun side out and seearch another.'

'ComeCatherine' I said'we must "side out" too: I've done my
ironing. Are you ready to go?'

'It is not eight o'clock!' she answeredrising unwillingly.

'HaretonI'll leave this book upon the chimney-pieceand I'll
bring some more to-morrow.'

'Ony books that yah leaveI shall tak' into th' hahse' said
Joseph'and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em agean; soayah may
plase yerseln!'

Cathy threatened that his library should pay for hers; andsmiling
as she passed Haretonwent singing up-stairs: lighter of heartI
venture to saythan ever she had been under that roof before;
exceptperhapsduring her earliest visits to Linton.

The intimacy thus commenced grew rapidly; though it encountered
temporary interruptions. Earnshaw was not to be civilized with a
wishand my young lady was no philosopherand no paragon of
patience; but both their minds tending to the same point - one
loving and desiring to esteemand the other loving and desiring to
be esteemed - they contrived in the end to reach it.

You seeMr. Lockwoodit was easy enough to win Mrs. Heathcliff's
heart. But nowI'm glad you did not try. The crown of all my
wishes will be the union of those two. I shall envy no one on
their wedding day: there won't be a happier woman than myself in
England!

CHAPTER XXXIII

ON the morrow of that MondayEarnshaw being still unable to follow
his ordinary employmentsand therefore remaining about the house
I speedily found it would be impracticable to retain my charge
beside meas heretofore. She got downstairs before meand out
into the gardenwhere she had seen her cousin performing some easy
work; and when I went to bid them come to breakfastI saw she had
persuaded him to clear a large space of ground from currant and
gooseberry bushesand they were busy planning together an
importation of plants from the Grange.

I was terrified at the devastation which had been accomplished in a
brief half-hour; the black-currant trees were the apple of Joseph's
eyeand she had just fixed her choice of a flower-bed in the midst
of them.

'There! That will be all shown to the master' I exclaimed'the
minute it is discovered. And what excuse have you to offer for
taking such liberties with the garden? We shall have a fine
explosion on the head of it: see if we don't! Mr. HaretonI
wonder you should have no more wit than to go and make that mess at
her bidding!'

'I'd forgotten they were Joseph's' answered Earnshawrather
puzzled; 'but I'll tell him I did it.'

We always ate our meals with Mr. Heathcliff. I held the mistress's


post in making tea and carving; so I was indispensable at table.
Catherine usually sat by mebut to-day she stole nearer to
Hareton; and I presently saw she would have no more discretion in
her friendship than she had in her hostility.

'Nowmind you don't talk with and notice your cousin too much'
were my whispered instructions as we entered the room. 'It will
certainly annoy Mr. Heathcliffand he'll be mad at you both.'

'I'm not going to' she answered.

The minute aftershe had sidled to himand was sticking primroses
in his plate of porridge.

He dared not speak to her there: he dared hardly look; and yet she
went on teasingtill he was twice on the point of being provoked
to laugh. I frownedand then she glanced towards the master:
whose mind was occupied on other subjects than his companyas his
countenance evinced; and she grew serious for an instant
scrutinizing him with deep gravity. Afterwards she turnedand
recommenced her nonsense; at lastHareton uttered a smothered
laugh. Mr. Heathcliff started; his eye rapidly surveyed our faces
Catherine met it with her accustomed look of nervousness and yet
defiancewhich he abhorred.

'It is well you are out of my reach' he exclaimed. 'What fiend
possesses you to stare back at mecontinuallywith those infernal
eyes? Down with them! and don't remind me of your existence again.
I thought I had cured you of laughing.'

'It was me' muttered Hareton.

'What do you say?' demanded the master.

Hareton looked at his plateand did not repeat the confession.
Mr. Heathcliff looked at him a bitand then silently resumed his
breakfast and his interrupted musing. We had nearly finishedand
the two young people prudently shifted wider asunderso I
anticipated no further disturbance during that sitting: when
Joseph appeared at the doorrevealing by his quivering lip and
furious eyes that the outrage committed on his precious shrubs was
detected. He must have seen Cathy and her cousin about the spot
before he examined itfor while his jaws worked like those of a
cow chewing its cudand rendered his speech difficult to
understandhe began:


'I mun hev' my wageand I mun goa! I HED aimed to dee wheare I'd
sarved fur sixty year; and I thowt I'd lug my books up into t'
garretand all my bits o' stuffand they sud hev' t' kitchen to
theirseln; for t' sake o' quietness. It wur hard to gie up my awn
hearthstunbut I thowt I COULD do that! But nahshoo's taan my
garden fro' meand by th' heartmaisterI cannot stand it! Yah
may bend to th' yoak an ye will - I noan used to 'tand an old man
doesn't sooin get used to new barthens. I'd rayther arn my bite
an' my sup wi' a hammer in th' road!'

'Nownowidiot!' interrupted Heathcliff'cut it short! What's
your grievance? I'll interfere in no quarrels between you and
Nelly. She may thrust you into the coal-hole for anything I care.'

'It's noan Nelly!' answered Joseph. 'I sudn't shift for Nelly nasty
ill nowt as shoo is. Thank God! SHOO cannot stale t' sowl o'
nob'dy! Shoo wer niver soa handsomebut what a body mud look at
her 'bout winking. It's yon flaysomegraceless queanthat's


witched our ladwi' her bold een and her forrard ways - till -
Nay! it fair brusts my heart! He's forgotten all I've done for
himand made on himand goan and riven up a whole row o' t'
grandest currant-trees i' t' garden!' and here he lamented
outright; unmanned by a sense of his bitter injuriesand
Earnshaw's ingratitude and dangerous condition.

'Is the fool drunk?' asked Mr. Heathcliff. 'Haretonis it you
he's finding fault with?'

'I've pulled up two or three bushes' replied the young man; 'but
I'm going to set 'em again.'

'And why have you pulled them up?' said the master.

Catherine wisely put in her tongue.

'We wanted to plant some flowers there' she cried. 'I'm the only
person to blamefor I wished him to do it.'

'And who the devil gave YOU leave to touch a stick about the
place?' demanded her father-in-lawmuch surprised. 'And who
ordered YOU to obey her?' he addedturning to Hareton.

The latter was speechless; his cousin replied - 'You shouldn't
grudge a few yards of earth for me to ornamentwhen you have taken
all my land!'

'Your landinsolent slut! You never had any' said Heathcliff.

'And my money' she continued; returning his angry glareand
meantime biting a piece of crustthe remnant of her breakfast.

'Silence!' he exclaimed. 'Get doneand begone!'

'And Hareton's landand his money' pursued the reckless thing.
'Hareton and I are friends now; and I shall tell him all about
you!'

The master seemed confounded a moment: he grew paleand rose up
eyeing her all the whilewith an expression of mortal hate.

'If you strike meHareton will strike you' she said; 'so you may
as well sit down.'

'If Hareton does not turn you out of the roomI'll strike him to
hell' thundered Heathcliff. 'Damnable witch! dare you pretend to
rouse him against me? Off with her! Do you hear? Fling her into
the kitchen! I'll kill herEllen Deanif you let her come into
my sight again!'

Hareton triedunder his breathto persuade her to go.

'Drag her away!' he criedsavagely. 'Are you staying to talk?'
And he approached to execute his own command.

'He'll not obey youwicked manany more' said Catherine; 'and
he'll soon detest you as much as I do.'

'Wisht! wisht!' muttered the young manreproachfully; 'I will not
hear you speak so to him. Have done.'

'But you won't let him strike me?' she cried.


'Comethen' he whispered earnestly.

It was too late: Heathcliff had caught hold of her.

'NowYOU go!' he said to Earnshaw. 'Accursed witch! this time she
has provoked me when I could not bear it; and I'll make her repent
it for ever!'

He had his hand in her hair; Hareton attempted to release her
looksentreating him not to hurt her that once. Heathcliff's
black eyes flashed; he seemed ready to tear Catherine in pieces
and I was just worked up to risk coming to the rescuewhen of a
sudden his fingers relaxed; he shifted his grasp from her head to
her armand gazed intently in her face. Then he drew his hand
over his eyesstood a moment to collect himself apparentlyand
turning anew to Catherinesaidwith assumed calmness - 'You must
learn to avoid putting me in a passionor I shall really murder
you some time! Go with Mrs. Deanand keep with her; and confine
your insolence to her ears. As to Hareton Earnshawif I see him
listen to youI'll send him seeking his bread where he can get it!
Your love will make him an outcast and a beggar. Nellytake her;
and leave meall of you! Leave me!'

I led my young lady out: she was too glad of her escape to resist;
the other followedand Mr. Heathcliff had the room to himself till
dinner. I had counselled Catherine to dine up-stairs; butas soon
as he perceived her vacant seathe sent me to call her. He spoke
to none of usate very littleand went out directly afterwards
intimating that he should not return before evening.

The two new friends established themselves in the house during his
absence; where I heard Hareton sternly cheek his cousinon her
offering a revelation of her father-in-law's conduct to his father.
He said he wouldn't suffer a word to be uttered in his
disparagement: if he were the devilit didn't signify; he would
stand by him; and he'd rather she would abuse himselfas she used
tothan begin on Mr. Heathcliff. Catherine was waxing cross at
this; but he found means to make her hold her tongueby asking how
she would like HIM to speak ill of her father? Then she
comprehended that Earnshaw took the master's reputation home to
himself; and was attached by ties stronger than reason could break

-chainsforged by habitwhich it would be cruel to attempt to
loosen. She showed a good heartthenceforthin avoiding both
complaints and expressions of antipathy concerning Heathcliff; and
confessed to me her sorrow that she had endeavoured to raise a bad
spirit between him and Hareton: indeedI don't believe she has
ever breathed a syllablein the latter's hearingagainst her
oppressor since.
When this slight disagreement was overthey were friends again
and as busy as possible in their several occupations of pupil and
teacher. I came in to sit with themafter I had done my work; and
I felt so soothed and comforted to watch themthat I did not
notice how time got on. You knowthey both appeared in a measure
my children: I had long been proud of one; and nowI was sure
the other would be a source of equal satisfaction. His honest
warmand intelligent nature shook off rapidly the clouds of
ignorance and degradation in which it had been bred; and
Catherine's sincere commendations acted as a spur to his industry.
His brightening mind brightened his featuresand added spirit and
nobility to their aspect: I could hardly fancy it the same
individual I had beheld on the day I discovered my little lady at
Wuthering Heightsafter her expedition to the Crags. While I
admired and they laboureddusk drew onand with it returned the


master. He came upon us quite unexpectedlyentering by the front
wayand had a full view of the whole threeere we could raise our
heads to glance at him. WellI reflectedthere was never a
pleasanteror more harmless sight; and it will be a burning shame
to scold them. The red fire-light glowed on their two bonny heads
and revealed their faces animated with the eager interest of
children; forthough he was twenty-three and she eighteeneach
had so much of novelty to feel and learnthat neither experienced
nor evinced the sentiments of sober disenchanted maturity.

They lifted their eyes togetherto encounter Mr. Heathcliff:
perhaps you have never remarked that their eyes are precisely
similarand they are those of Catherine Earnshaw. The present
Catherine has no other likeness to herexcept a breadth of
foreheadand a certain arch of the nostril that makes her appear
rather haughtywhether she will or not. With Hareton the
resemblance is carried farther: it is singular at all timesTHEN
it was particularly striking; because his senses were alertand
his mental faculties wakened to unwonted activity. I suppose this
resemblance disarmed Mr. Heathcliff: he walked to the hearth in
evident agitation; but it quickly subsided as he looked at the
young man: orI should sayaltered its character; for it was
there yet. He took the book from his handand glanced at the open
pagethen returned it without any observation; merely signing
Catherine away: her companion lingered very little behind herand
I was about to depart alsobut he bid me sit still.

'It is a poor conclusionis it not?' he observedhaving brooded
awhile on the scene he had just witnessed: 'an absurd termination
to my violent exertions? I get levers and mattocks to demolish the
two housesand train myself to be capable of working like
Herculesand when everything is ready and in my powerI find the
will to lift a slate off either roof has vanished! My old enemies
have not beaten me; now would be the precise time to revenge myself
on their representatives: I could do it; and none could hinder me.
But where is the use? I don't care for striking: I can't take the
trouble to raise my hand! That sounds as if I had been labouring
the whole time only to exhibit a fine trait of magnanimity. It is
far from being the case: I have lost the faculty of enjoying their
destructionand I am too idle to destroy for nothing.

'Nellythere is a strange change approaching; I'm in its shadow at
present. I take so little interest in my daily life that I hardly
remember to eat and drink. Those two who have left the room are
the only objects which retain a distinct material appearance to me;
and that appearance causes me painamounting to agony. About HER
I won't speak; and I don't desire to think; but I earnestly wish
she were invisible: her presence invokes only maddening
sensations. HE moves me differently: and yet if I could do it
without seeming insaneI'd never see him again! You'll perhaps
think me rather inclined to become so' he addedmaking an effort
to smile'if I try to describe the thousand forms of past
associations and ideas he awakens or embodies. But you'll not talk
of what I tell you; and my mind is so eternally secluded in itself
it is tempting at last to turn it out to another.

'Five minutes ago Hareton seemed a personification of my youthnot
a human being; I felt to him in such a variety of waysthat it
would have been impossible to have accosted him rationally. In the
first placehis startling likeness to Catherine connected him
fearfully with her. Thathoweverwhich you may suppose the most
potent to arrest my imaginationis actually the least: for what
is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I
cannot look down to this floorbut her features are shaped in the


flags! In every cloudin every tree - filling the air at night
and caught by glimpses in every object by day - I am surrounded
with her image! The most ordinary faces of men and women - my own
features - mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a
dreadful collection of memoranda that she did existand that I
have lost her! WellHareton's aspect was the ghost of my immortal
love; of my wild endeavours to hold my right; my degradationmy
pridemy happinessand my anguish


'But it is frenzy to repeat these thoughts to you: only it will
let you know whywith a reluctance to be always alonehis society
is no benefit; rather an aggravation of the constant torment I
suffer: and it partly contributes to render me regardless how he
and his cousin go on together. I can give them no attention any
more.'

'But what do you mean by a CHANGEMr. Heathcliff?' I saidalarmed
at his manner: though he was neither in danger of losing his
sensesnor dyingaccording to my judgment: he was quite strong
and healthy; andas to his reasonfrom childhood he had a delight
in dwelling on dark thingsand entertaining odd fancies. He might
have had a monomania on the subject of his departed idol; but on
every other point his wits were as sound as mine.

'I shall not know that till it comes' he said; 'I'm only half
conscious of it now.'

'You have no feeling of illnesshave you?' I asked.

'NoNellyI have not' he answered.

'Then you are not afraid of death?' I pursued.

'Afraid? No!' he replied. 'I have neither a fearnor a
presentimentnor a hope of death. Why should I? With my hard
constitution and temperate mode of livingand unperilous
occupationsI ought toand probably SHALLremain above ground
till there is scarcely a black hair on my head. And yet I cannot
continue in this condition! I have to remind myself to breathe almost
to remind my heart to beat! And it is like bending back a
stiff spring: it is by compulsion that I do the slightest act not
prompted by one thought; and by compulsion that I notice anything
alive or deadwhich is not associated with one universal idea. I
have a single wishand my whole being and faculties are yearning
to attain it. They have yearned towards it so longand so
unwaveringlythat I'm convinced it will be reached - and soon because
it has devoured my existence: I am swallowed up in the
anticipation of its fulfilment. My confessions have not relieved
me; but they may account for some otherwise unaccountable phases of
humour which I show. O God! It is a long fight; I wish it were
over!'

He began to pace the roommuttering terrible things to himself
till I was inclined to believeas he said Joseph didthat
conscience had turned his heart to an earthly hell. I wondered
greatly how it would end. Though he seldom before had revealed
this state of mindeven by looksit was his habitual moodI had
no doubt: he asserted it himself; but not a soulfrom his general
bearingwould have conjectured the fact. You did not when you saw
himMr. Lockwood: and at the period of which I speakhe was just
the same as then; only fonder of continued solitudeand perhaps
still more laconic in company.


CHAPTER XXXIV

FOR some days after that evening Mr. Heathcliff shunned meeting us
at meals; yet he would not consent formally to exclude Hareton and
Cathy. He had an aversion to yielding so completely to his
feelingschoosing rather to absent himself; and eating once in
twenty-four hours seemed sufficient sustenance for him.

One nightafter the family were in bedI heard him go downstairs
and out at the front door. I did not hear him re-enterand in the
morning I found he was still away. We were in April then: the
weather was sweet and warmthe grass as green as showers and sun
could make itand the two dwarf apple-trees near the southern wall
in full bloom. After breakfastCatherine insisted on my bringing
a chair and sitting with my work under the fir-trees at the end of
the house; and she beguiled Haretonwho had perfectly recovered
from his accidentto dig and arrange her little gardenwhich was
shifted to that corner by the influence of Joseph's complaints. I
was comfortably revelling in the spring fragrance aroundand the
beautiful soft blue overheadwhen my young ladywho had run down
near the gate to procure some primrose roots for a borderreturned
only half ladenand informed us that Mr. Heathcliff was coming in.
'And he spoke to me' she addedwith a perplexed countenance.

'What did he say?' asked Hareton.

'He told me to begone as fast as I could' she answered. 'But he
looked so different from his usual look that I stopped a moment to
stare at him.'

'How?' he inquired.

'Whyalmost bright and cheerful. NoALMOST nothing - VERY MUCH
excitedand wildand glad!' she replied.

'Night-walking amuses himthen' I remarkedaffecting a careless
manner: in reality as surprised as she wasand anxious to
ascertain the truth of her statement; for to see the master looking
glad would not be an every-day spectacle. I framed an excuse to go
in. Heathcliff stood at the open door; he was paleand he
trembled: yetcertainlyhe had a strange joyful glitter in his
eyesthat altered the aspect of his whole face.

'Will you have some breakfast?' I said. 'You must be hungry
rambling about all night!' I wanted to discover where he had been
but I did not like to ask directly.

'NoI'm not hungry' he answeredaverting his headand speaking
rather contemptuouslyas if he guessed I was trying to divine the
occasion of his good humour.

I felt perplexed: I didn't know whether it were not a proper
opportunity to offer a bit of admonition.

'I don't think it right to wander out of doors' I observed
'instead of being in bed: it is not wiseat any rate this moist
season. I daresay you'll catch a bad cold or a fever: you have
something the matter with you now!'

'Nothing but what I can bear' he replied; 'and with the greatest
pleasureprovided you'll leave me alone: get inand don't annoy


me.'

I obeyed: andin passingI noticed he breathed as fast as a cat.

'Yes!' I reflected to myself'we shall have a fit of illness. I
cannot conceive what he has been doing.'

That noon he sat down to dinner with usand received a heaped-up
plate from my handsas if he intended to make amends for previous
fasting.

'I've neither cold nor feverNelly' he remarkedin allusion to
my morning's speech; 'and I'm ready to do justice to the food you
give me.'

He took his knife and forkand was going to commence eatingwhen
the inclination appeared to become suddenly extinct. He laid them
on the tablelooked eagerly towards the windowthen rose and went
out. We saw him walking to and fro in the garden while we
concluded our mealand Earnshaw said he'd go and ask why he would
not dine: he thought we had grieved him some way.

'Wellis he coming?' cried Catherinewhen her cousin returned.

'Nay' he answered; 'but he's not angry: he seemed rarely pleased
indeed; only I made him impatient by speaking to him twice; and
then he bid me be off to you: he wondered how I could want the
company of anybody else.'

I set his plate to keep warm on the fender; and after an hour or
two he re-enteredwhen the room was clearin no degree calmer:
the same unnatural - it was unnatural - appearance of joy under his
black brows; the same bloodless hueand his teeth visiblenow and
thenin a kind of smile; his frame shiveringnot as one shivers
with chill or weaknessbut as a tight-stretched cord vibrates - a
strong thrillingrather than trembling.

I will ask what is the matterI thought; or who should? And I
exclaimed - 'Have you heard any good newsMr. Heathcliff? You
look uncommonly animated.'

'Where should good news come from to me?' he said. 'I'm animated
with hunger; andseeminglyI must not eat.'

'Your dinner is here' I returned; 'why won't you get it?'

'I don't want it now' he mutteredhastily: 'I'll wait till
supper. AndNellyonce for alllet me beg you to warn Hareton
and the other away from me. I wish to be troubled by nobody: I
wish to have this place to myself.'

'Is there some new reason for this banishment?' I inquired. 'Tell
me why you are so queerMr. Heathcliff? Where were you last
night? I'm not putting the question through idle curiositybut '


'You are putting the question through very idle curiosity' he
interruptedwith a laugh. 'Yet I'll answer it. Last night I was
on the threshold of hell. To-dayI am within sight of my heaven.
I have my eyes on it: hardly three feet to sever me! And now
you'd better go! You'll neither see nor hear anything to frighten
youif you refrain from prying.'

Having swept the hearth and wiped the tableI departed; more


perplexed than ever.

He did not quit the house again that afternoonand no one intruded
on his solitude; tillat eight o'clockI deemed it properthough
unsummonedto carry a candle and his supper to him. He was
leaning against the ledge of an open latticebut not looking out:
his face was turned to the interior gloom. The fire had smouldered
to ashes; the room was filled with the dampmild air of the cloudy
evening; and so stillthat not only the murmur of the beck down
Gimmerton was distinguishablebut its ripples and its gurgling
over the pebblesor through the large stones which it could not
cover. I uttered an ejaculation of discontent at seeing the dismal
grateand commenced shutting the casementsone after another
till I came to his.

'Must I close this?' I askedin order to rouse him; for he would
not stir.

The light flashed on his features as I spoke. OhMr. LockwoodI
cannot express what a terrible start I got by the momentary view!
Those deep black eyes! That smileand ghastly paleness! It
appeared to menot Mr. Heathcliffbut a goblin; andin my
terrorI let the candle bend towards the walland it left me in
darkness.

'Yesclose it' he repliedin his familiar voice. 'Therethat
is pure awkwardness! Why did you hold the candle horizontally? Be
quickand bring another.'

I hurried out in a foolish state of dreadand said to Joseph '
The master wishes you to take him a light and rekindle the fire.'
For I dared not go in myself again just then.

Joseph rattled some fire into the shoveland went: but he brought
it back immediatelywith the supper-tray in his other hand
explaining that Mr. Heathcliff was going to bedand he wanted
nothing to eat till morning. We heard him mount the stairs
directly; he did not proceed to his ordinary chamberbut turned
into that with the panelled bed: its windowas I mentioned
beforeis wide enough for anybody to get through; and it struck me
that he plotted another midnight excursionof which he had rather
we had no suspicion.

'Is he a ghoul or a vampire?' I mused. I had read of such hideous
incarnate demons. And then I set myself to reflect how I had
tended him in infancyand watched him grow to youthand followed
him almost through his whole course; and what absurd nonsense it
was to yield to that sense of horror. 'But where did he come from
the little dark thingharboured by a good man to his bane?'
muttered Superstitionas I dozed into unconsciousness. And I
beganhalf dreamingto weary myself with imagining some fit
parentage for him; andrepeating my waking meditationsI tracked
his existence over againwith grim variations; at lastpicturing
his death and funeral: of whichall I can remember isbeing
exceedingly vexed at having the task of dictating an inscription
for his monumentand consulting the sexton about it; andas he
had no surnameand we could not tell his agewe were obliged to
content ourselves with the single word'Heathcliff.' That came
true: we were. If you enter the kirkyardyou'll readon his
headstoneonly thatand the date of his death.

Dawn restored me to common sense. I roseand went into the
gardenas soon as I could seeto ascertain if there were any
footmarks under his window. There were none. 'He has stayed at


home' I thought'and he'll be all right to-day.' I prepared
breakfast for the householdas was my usual custombut told
Hareton and Catherine to get theirs ere the master came downfor
he lay late. They preferred taking it out of doorsunder the
treesand I set a little table to accommodate them.

On my re-entranceI found Mr. Heathcliff below. He and Joseph
were conversing about some farming business; he gave clearminute
directions concerning the matter discussedbut he spoke rapidly
and turned his head continually asideand had the same excited
expressioneven more exaggerated. When Joseph quitted the room he
took his seat in the place he generally choseand I put a basin of
coffee before him. He drew it nearerand then rested his arms on
the tableand looked at the opposite wallas I supposed
surveying one particular portionup and downwith glittering
restless eyesand with such eager interest that he stopped
breathing during half a minute together.

'Come now' I exclaimedpushing some bread against his hand'eat
and drink thatwhile it is hot: it has been waiting near an
hour.'

He didn't notice meand yet he smiled. I'd rather have seen him
gnash his teeth than smile so.

'Mr. Heathcliff! master!' I cried'don'tfor God's sakestare as
if you saw an unearthly vision.'

'Don'tfor God's sakeshout so loud' he replied. 'Turn round
and tell meare we by ourselves?'

'Of course' was my answer; 'of course we are.'

StillI involuntarily obeyed himas if I was not quite sure.
With a sweep of his hand he cleared a vacant space in front among
the breakfast thingsand leant forward to gaze more at his ease.

NowI perceived he was not looking at the wall; for when I
regarded him aloneit seemed exactly that he gazed at something
within two yards' distance. And whatever it wasit communicated
apparentlyboth pleasure and pain in exquisite extremes: at least
the anguishedyet rapturedexpression of his countenance
suggested that idea. The fancied object was not fixedeither:
his eyes pursued it with unwearied diligenceandeven in speaking
to mewere never weaned away. I vainly reminded him of his
protracted abstinence from food: if he stirred to touch anything
in compliance with my entreatiesif he stretched his hand out to
get a piece of breadhis fingers clenched before they reached it
and remained on the tableforgetful of their aim.

I sata model of patiencetrying to attract his absorbed
attention from its engrossing speculation; till he grew irritable
and got upasking why I would not allow him to have his own time
in taking his meals? and saying that on the next occasion I needn't
wait: I might set the things down and go. Having uttered these
words he left the houseslowly sauntered down the garden pathand
disappeared through the gate.

The hours crept anxiously by: another evening came. I did not
retire to rest till lateand when I didI could not sleep. He
returned after midnightandinstead of going to bedshut himself
into the room beneath. I listenedand tossed aboutandfinally
dressed and descended. It was too irksome to lie thereharassing
my brain with a hundred idle misgivings.


I distinguished Mr. Heathcliff's steprestlessly measuring the
floorand he frequently broke the silence by a deep inspiration
resembling a groan. He muttered detached words also; the only one
I could catch was the name of Catherinecoupled with some wild
term of endearment or suffering; and spoken as one would speak to a
person present; low and earnestand wrung from the depth of his
soul. I had not courage to walk straight into the apartment; but I
desired to divert him from his reverieand therefore fell foul of
the kitchen firestirred itand began to scrape the cinders. It
drew him forth sooner than I expected. He opened the door
immediatelyand said - 'Nellycome here - is it morning? Come in
with your light.'

'It is striking four' I answered. 'You want a candle to take upstairs:
you might have lit one at this fire.'

'NoI don't wish to go up-stairs' he said. 'Come inand kindle
ME a fireand do anything there is to do about the room.'

'I must blow the coals red firstbefore I can carry any' I
repliedgetting a chair and the bellows

He roamed to and fromeantimein a state approaching distraction;
his heavy sighs succeeding each other so thick as to leave no space
for common breathing between.

'When day breaks I'll send for Green' he said; 'I wish to make
some legal inquiries of him while I can bestow a thought on those
mattersand while I can act calmly. I have not written my will
yet; and how to leave my property I cannot determine. I wish I
could annihilate it from the face of the earth.'

'I would not talk soMr. Heathcliff' I interposed. 'Let your
will be a while: you'll be spared to repent of your many
injustices yet! I never expected that your nerves would be
disordered: they areat presentmarvellously sohowever; and
almost entirely through your own fault. The way you've passed
these three last days might knock up a Titan. Do take some food
and some repose. You need only look at yourself in a glass to see
how you require both. Your cheeks are hollowand your eyes bloodshot
like a person starving with hunger and going blind with loss
of sleep.'

'It is not my fault that I cannot eat or rest' he replied. 'I
assure you it is through no settled designs. I'll do bothas soon
as I possibly can. But you might as well bid a man struggling in
the water rest within arms' length of the shore! I must reach it
firstand then I'll rest. Wellnever mind Mr. Green: as to
repenting of my injusticesI've done no injusticeand I repent of
nothing. I'm too happy; and yet I'm not happy enough. My soul's
bliss kills my bodybut does not satisfy itself.'

'Happymaster?' I cried. 'Strange happiness! If you would hear
me without being angryI might offer some advice that would make
you happier.'

'What is that?' he asked. 'Give it.'

'You are awareMr. Heathcliff' I said'that from the time you
were thirteen years old you have lived a selfishunchristian life;
and probably hardly had a Bible in your hands during all that
period. You must have forgotten the contents of the bookand you
may not have space to search it now. Could it be hurtful to send


for some one - some minister of any denominationit does not
matter which - to explain itand show you how very far you have
erred from its precepts; and how unfit you will be for its heaven
unless a change takes place before you die?'

'I'm rather obliged than angryNelly' he said'for you remind me
of the manner in which I desire to be buried. It is to be carried
to the churchyard in the evening. You and Hareton mayif you
pleaseaccompany me: and mindparticularlyto notice that the
sexton obeys my directions concerning the two coffins! No minister
need come; nor need anything be said over me. - I tell you I have
nearly attained MY heaven; and that of others is altogether
unvalued and uncovered by me.'

'And supposing you persevered in your obstinate fastand died by
that meansand they refused to bury you in the precincts of the
kirk?' I saidshocked at his godless indifference. 'How would you
like it?'

'They won't do that' he replied: 'if they didyou must have me
removed secretly; and if you neglect it you shall prove
practicallythat the dead are not annihilated!'

As soon as he heard the other members of the family stirring he
retired to his denand I breathed freer. But in the afternoon
while Joseph and Hareton were at their workhe came into the
kitchen againandwith a wild lookbid me come and sit in the
house: he wanted somebody with him. I declined; telling him
plainly that his strange talk and manner frightened meand I had
neither the nerve nor the will to be his companion alone.

'I believe you think me a fiend' he saidwith his dismal laugh:
'something too horrible to live under a decent roof.' Then turning
to Catherinewho was thereand who drew behind me at his
approachhe addedhalf sneeringly- 'Will YOU comechuck? I'll
not hurt you. No! to you I've made myself worse than the devil.
Wellthere is ONE who won't shrink from my company! By God! she's
relentless. Ohdamn it! It's unutterably too much for flesh and
blood to bear - even mine.'

He solicited the society of no one more. At dusk he went into his
chamber. Through the whole nightand far into the morningwe
heard him groaning and murmuring to himself. Hareton was anxious
to enter; but I bid him fetch Mr. Kennethand he should go in and
see him. When he cameand I requested admittance and tried to
open the doorI found it locked; and Heathcliff bid us be damned.
He was betterand would be left alone; so the doctor went away.

The following evening was very wet: indeedit poured down till
day-dawn; andas I took my morning walk round the houseI
observed the master's window swinging openand the rain driving
straight in. He cannot be in bedI thought: those showers would
drench him through. He must either be up or out. But I'll make no
more adoI'll go boldly and look.'

Having succeeded in obtaining entrance with another keyI ran to
unclose the panelsfor the chamber was vacant; quickly pushing
them asideI peeped in. Mr. Heathcliff was there - laid on his
back. His eyes met mine so keen and fierceI started; and then he
seemed to smile. I could not think him dead: but his face and
throat were washed with rain; the bed-clothes drippedand he was
perfectly still. The latticeflapping to and frohad grazed one
hand that rested on the sill; no blood trickled from the broken
skinand when I put my fingers to itI could doubt no more: he


was dead and stark!

I hasped the window; I combed his black long hair from his
forehead; I tried to close his eyes: to extinguishif possible
that frightfullife-like gaze of exultation before any one else
beheld it. They would not shut: they seemed to sneer at my
attempts; and his parted lips and sharp white teeth sneered too!
Taken with another fit of cowardiceI cried out for Joseph.
Joseph shuffled up and made a noisebut resolutely refused to
meddle with him.

'Th' divil's harried off his soul' he cried'and he may hev' his
carcass into t' barginfor aught I care! Ech! what a wicked 'un
he looksgirning at death!' and the old sinner grinned in mockery.
I thought he intended to cut a caper round the bed; but suddenly
composing himselfhe fell on his kneesand raised his handsand
returned thanks that the lawful master and the ancient stock were
restored to their rights.

I felt stunned by the awful event; and my memory unavoidably
recurred to former times with a sort of oppressive sadness. But
poor Haretonthe most wrongedwas the only one who really
suffered much. He sat by the corpse all nightweeping in bitter
earnest. He pressed its handand kissed the sarcasticsavage
face that every one else shrank from contemplating; and bemoaned
him with that strong grief which springs naturally from a generous
heartthough it be tough as tempered steel.

Mr. Kenneth was perplexed to pronounce of what disorder the master
died. I concealed the fact of his having swallowed nothing for
four daysfearing it might lead to troubleand thenI am
persuadedhe did not abstain on purpose: it was the consequence
of his strange illnessnot the cause.

We buried himto the scandal of the whole neighbourhoodas he
wished. Earnshaw and Ithe sextonand six men to carry the
coffincomprehended the whole attendance. The six men departed
when they had let it down into the grave: we stayed to see it
covered. Haretonwith a streaming facedug green sodsand laid
them over the brown mould himself: at present it is as smooth and
verdant as its companion mounds - and I hope its tenant sleeps as
soundly. But the country folksif you ask themwould swear on
the Bible that he WALKS: there are those who speak to having met
him near the churchand on the moorand even within this house.
Idle talesyou'll sayand so say I. Yet that old man by the
kitchen fire affirms he has seen two on 'em looking out of his
chamber window on every rainy night since his death:- and an odd
thing happened to me about a month ago. I was going to the Grange
one evening - a dark eveningthreatening thunder - andjust at
the turn of the HeightsI encountered a little boy with a sheep
and two lambs before him; he was crying terribly; and I supposed
the lambs were skittishand would not be guided.

'What is the mattermy little man?' I asked.

'There's Heathcliff and a woman yonderunder t' nab' he
blubbered'un' I darnut pass 'em.'

I saw nothing; but neither the sheep nor he would go on so I bid
him take the road lower down. He probably raised the phantoms from
thinkingas he traversed the moors aloneon the nonsense he had
heard his parents and companions repeat. YetstillI don't like
being out in the dark now; and I don't like being left by myself in
this grim house: I cannot help it; I shall be glad when they leave


itand shift to the Grange.

'They are going to the Grangethen?' I said.

'Yes' answered Mrs. Dean'as soon as they are marriedand that
will be on New Year's Day.'

'And who will live here then?'

'WhyJoseph will take care of the houseandperhapsa lad to
keep him company. They will live in the kitchenand the rest will
be shut up.'

'For the use of such ghosts as choose to inhabit it?' I observed.

'NoMr. Lockwood' said Nellyshaking her head. 'I believe the
dead are at peace: but it is not right to speak of them with
levity.'

At that moment the garden gate swung to; the ramblers were
returning.

'THEY are afraid of nothing' I grumbledwatching their approach
through the window. 'Togetherthey would brave Satan and all his
legions.'

As they stepped on to the door-stonesand halted to take a last
look at the moon - ormore correctlyat each other by her light I
felt irresistibly impelled to escape them again; andpressing a
remembrance into the hand of Mrs. Deanand disregarding her
expostulations at my rudenessI vanished through the kitchen as
they opened the house-door; and so should have confirmed Joseph in
his opinion of his fellow-servant's gay indiscretionshad he not
fortunately recognised me for a respectable character by the sweet
ring of a sovereign at his feet.

My walk home was lengthened by a diversion in the direction of the
kirk. When beneath its wallsI perceived decay had made progress
even in seven months: many a window showed black gaps deprived of
glass; and slates jutted off here and therebeyond the right line
of the roofto be gradually worked off in coming autumn storms.

I soughtand soon discoveredthe three headstones on the slope
next the moor: on middle one greyand half buried in the heath;
Edgar Linton's only harmonized by the turf and moss creeping up its
foot; Heathcliff's still bare.

I lingered round themunder that benign sky: watched the moths
fluttering among the heath and harebellslistened to the soft wind
breathing through the grassand wondered how any one could ever
imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.