streich ideen wohnzimmer braun
chapter xxix the evening after the funeral, my younglady and i were seated in the library; now musing mournfully--one of us despairingly--on our loss, now venturing conjectures as to the gloomy future. we had just agreed the best destiny whichcould await catherine would be a permission to continue resident at the grange; atleast during linton's life: he being allowed to join her there, and i to remainas housekeeper. that seemed rather too favourable anarrangement to be hoped for; and yet i did hope, and began to cheer up under theprospect of retaining my home and my
employment, and, above all, my beloved young mistress; when a servant--one of thediscarded ones, not yet departed--rushed hastily in, and said 'that devilheathcliff' was coming through the court: should he fasten the door in his face? if we had been mad enough to order thatproceeding, we had not time. he made no ceremony of knocking orannouncing his name: he was master, and availed himself of the master's privilegeto walk straight in, without saying a word. the sound of our informant's voice directedhim to the library; he entered and motioning him out, shut the door.
it was the same room into which he had beenushered, as a guest, eighteen years before: the same moon shone through the window; andthe same autumn landscape lay outside. we had not yet lighted a candle, but allthe apartment was visible, even to the portraits on the wall: the splendid head ofmrs. linton, and 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 facerather sallower and more composed, his frame a stone or two heavier, perhaps, andno other difference. catherine had risen with an impulse to dashout, when she saw him.
'stop!' he said, arresting her by the arm.'no more runnings away! where would you go? i'm come to fetch you home; and i hopeyou'll be a dutiful daughter and not encourage my son to further disobedience. i was embarrassed how to punish him when idiscovered his part in the business: he's such a cobweb, a pinch would annihilatehim; but you'll see by his look that he has received his due! i brought him down one evening, the daybefore yesterday, and just set him in a chair, and never touched him afterwards.i sent hareton out, and we had the room to
ourselves. in two hours, i called joseph to carry himup again; and since then my presence is as potent on his nerves as a ghost; and ifancy he sees me often, though i am not near. hareton says he wakes and shrieks in thenight by the hour together, and calls you to protect him from me; and, whether youlike your precious mate, or not, you must come: he's your concern now; i yield all myinterest in him to you.' 'why not let catherine continue here,' ipleaded, 'and send master linton to her? as you hate them both, you'd not miss them:they can only be a daily plague to your
unnatural heart.' 'i'm seeking a tenant for the grange,' heanswered; 'and i want my children about me, to be sure.besides, that lass owes me her services for her bread. i'm not going to nurture her in luxury andidleness after linton is gone. make haste and get ready, now; and don'toblige me to compel you.' 'i shall,' said catherine. 'linton is all i have to love in the world,and though you have done what you could to make him hateful to me, and me to him, youcannot make us hate each other.
and i defy you to hurt him when i am by,and i defy you to frighten me!' 'you are a boastful champion,' repliedheathcliff; 'but i don't like you well enough to hurt him: you shall get the fullbenefit of the torment, as long as it lasts. it is not i who will make him hateful toyou--it is his own sweet spirit. he's as bitter as gall at your desertionand its consequences: don't expect thanks for this noble devotion. i heard him draw a pleasant picture tozillah of what he would do if he were as strong as i: the inclination is there, andhis very weakness will sharpen his wits to
find a substitute for strength.' 'i know he has a bad nature,' saidcatherine: 'he's your son. but i'm glad i've a better, to forgive it;and i know he loves me, and for that reason i love him. mr. heathcliff you have nobody to loveyou; and, however miserable you make us, we shall still have the revenge of thinkingthat your cruelty arises from your greater misery. you are miserable, are you not?lonely, like 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 drearytriumph: she seemed to have made up her mind to enter into the spirit of her futurefamily, and draw pleasure from the griefs of her enemies. 'you shall be sorry to be yourselfpresently,' said her father-in-law, 'if you stand there another minute.begone, witch, and get your things!' she scornfully withdrew. in her absence i began to beg for zillah'splace at the heights, offering to resign
mine to her; but he would suffer it on noaccount. he bid me be silent; and then, for thefirst time, allowed himself a glance round the room and a look at the pictures.having studied mrs. linton's, he said--'i shall have that home. not because i need it, but--' he turnedabruptly to the fire, and continued, with what, for lack of a better word, i mustcall a smile--'i'll tell you what i did yesterday! i got the sexton, who was digging linton'sgrave, to remove the earth off her coffin lid, and i opened it.
i thought, once, i would have stayed there:when i saw her face again--it is hers yet!- -he had hard work to stir me; but he saidit would change if the air blew on it, and so i struck one side of the coffin loose, and covered it up: not linton's side, damnhim! i wish he'd been soldered in lead. and i bribed the sexton to pull it awaywhen i'm laid there, and slide mine out too; i'll have it made so: and then by thetime linton gets to us he'll not know which is which!' 'you were very wicked, mr. heathcliff!'i exclaimed; 'were you not ashamed to
disturb the dead?''i disturbed nobody, nelly,' he replied; 'and i gave some ease to myself. i shall be a great deal more comfortablenow; and you'll have a better chance of keeping me underground, when i get there.disturbed her? no! she has disturbed me, night and day,through eighteen years--incessantly-- remorselessly--till yesternight; andyesternight i was tranquil. i dreamt i was sleeping the last sleep bythat sleeper, with my heart stopped and my cheek frozen against hers.' 'and if she had been dissolved into earth,or worse, what would you have dreamt of
then?'i said. 'of dissolving with her, and being morehappy still!' he answered. 'do you suppose i dread any change of thatsort? i expected such a transformation on raisingthe lid--but i'm better pleased that it should not commence till i share it. besides, unless i had received a distinctimpression of her passionless features, that strange feeling would hardly have beenremoved. it began oddly. you know i was wild after she died; andeternally, from dawn to dawn, praying her
to return to me her spirit! i have a strong faith in ghosts: i have aconviction that they can, and do, exist among us!the day she was buried, there 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 husbandwould wander up the glen so late; and no one else had business to bring them there. being alone, and conscious two yards ofloose earth was the sole barrier between
us, i said to myself--"i'll have her in myarms again! if she be cold, i'll think it is this northwind that chills me; and if she be motionless, it is sleep." i got a spade from the tool-house, andbegan to delve with all my might--it scraped the coffin; i fell to work with myhands; the wood commenced cracking about the screws; i was on the point of attaining my object, when it seemed that i heard asigh from some one above, close at the edge of the grave, and 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 moredesperately still. there was another sigh, close at my ear. i appeared to feel the warm breath of itdisplacing the sleet-laden wind. i knew no living thing in flesh and bloodwas by; but, as certainly as you perceive the approach to some substantial body inthe dark, though it cannot be discerned, so certainly i felt that cathy was there: notunder me, but on the earth. a sudden sense of relief flowed from myheart through every limb. i relinquished my labour of agony, andturned consoled at once: unspeakably consoled.her presence was with me: it remained while
i re-filled the grave, and led me home. you may laugh, if you will; but i was surei should see her there. i was sure she was with me, and i could nothelp talking to her. having reached the heights, i rushedeagerly to the door. it was fastened; and, i remember, thataccursed earnshaw and my wife opposed my entrance. i remember stopping to kick the breath outof him, and then hurrying up-stairs, to my room and hers. i looked round impatiently--i felt her byme--i could almost see her, and yet i
could not! i ought to have sweat blood then, from theanguish of my yearning--from the fervour of my supplications to have but one glimpse!i had not one. she showed herself, as she often was inlife, a devil to me! and, since then, sometimes more andsometimes less, i've been the sport of that intolerable torture! infernal! keeping my nerves at such astretch that, if they had not resembled catgut, they would long ago have relaxed tothe feebleness of linton's. when i sat in the house with hareton, itseemed that on going out i should meet her;
when i walked on the moors i should meether coming in. when i went from home i hastened to return;she must be somewhere at the heights, i was certain!and when i slept in her chamber--i was beaten out of that. i couldn't lie there; for the moment iclosed my eyes, she was either outside the window, or sliding back the panels, orentering the room, or even resting her darling head on the same pillow as she did when a child; and i must open my lids tosee. and so i opened and closed them a hundredtimes a night--to be always disappointed!
it racked me! i've often groaned aloud, till that oldrascal joseph no doubt believed that my conscience was playing the fiend inside ofme. now, since i've seen her, i'm pacified--alittle. it was a strange way of killing: not byinches, but by fractions of hairbreadths, to beguile me with the spectre of a hopethrough eighteen years!' mr. heathcliff paused and wiped hisforehead; his hair clung to it, wet with perspiration; his eyes were fixed on thered embers of the fire, the brows not contracted, but raised next the temples;
diminishing the grim aspect of hiscountenance, but imparting a peculiar look of trouble, and a painful appearance ofmental tension towards one absorbing subject. he only half addressed me, and i maintainedsilence. i didn't like to hear him talk! after a short period he resumed hismeditation on the picture, took it down and leant it against the sofa to contemplate itat better advantage; and while so occupied catherine entered, announcing that she wasready, when her pony should be saddled. 'send that over to-morrow,' said heathcliffto me; then turning to her, he added: 'you
may do without your pony: it is a fineevening, and you'll need no ponies at wuthering heights; for what journeys youtake, your own feet will serve you. come along.''good-bye, ellen!' whispered my dear little mistress. as she kissed me, her lips felt like ice.'come and see me, ellen; don't forget.' 'take care you do no such thing, mrs.dean!' said her new father. 'when i wish to speak to you i'll comehere. i want none of your prying at my house!'he signed her to precede him; and casting back a look that cut my heart, she obeyed.
i watched them, from the window, walk downthe garden. heathcliff fixed catherine's arm under his:though she disputed the act at first evidently; and with rapid strides hehurried her into the alley, whose trees concealed them. > chapter xxx i have paid a visit to the heights, but ihave not seen her since she left: joseph held the door in his hand when i called toask after her, and wouldn't let me pass. he said mrs. linton was 'thrang,' and themaster was not in.
zillah has told me something of the waythey go on, otherwise i should hardly know who was dead and who living. she thinks catherine haughty, and does notlike her, i can guess by her talk. my young lady asked some aid of her whenshe first came; but mr. heathcliff told her to follow her own business, and let hisdaughter-in-law look after herself; and zillah willingly acquiesced, being anarrow-minded, selfish woman. catherine evinced a child's annoyance atthis neglect; repaid it with contempt, and thus enlisted my informant among herenemies, as securely as if she had done her some great wrong.
i had a long talk with zillah about sixweeks ago, a little before you came, one day when we foregathered on the moor; andthis is what she told me. 'the first thing mrs. linton did,' shesaid, 'on her arrival at the heights, was to run up-stairs, without even wishinggood-evening to me and joseph; she shut herself into linton's room, and remainedtill morning. then, while the master and earnshaw were atbreakfast, she entered the house, and asked all in a quiver if the doctor might be sentfor? her cousin was very ill. '"we know that!" answered heathcliff; "buthis life is not worth a farthing, and i won't spend a farthing on him."'"but i cannot tell how to do," she said;
"and if nobody will help me, he'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 youdo, act the nurse; if you do not, lock him up and leave him." 'then she began to bother me, and i saidi'd had enough plague with the tiresome thing; we each had our tasks, and hers wasto wait on linton: mr. heathcliff bid me leave that labour to her. 'how they managed together, i can't tell.i fancy he fretted a great deal, and moaned
hisseln night and day; and she had preciouslittle rest: one could guess by her white face and heavy eyes. she sometimes came into the kitchen allwildered like, and looked as if she would fain beg assistance; but i was not going todisobey the master: i never dare disobey him, mrs. dean; and, though i thought it wrong that kenneth should not be sent for,it was no concern of mine either to advise or complain, and i always refused tomeddle. once or twice, after we had gone to bed,i've happened to open my door again and seen her sitting crying on the stairs'-top;and then i've shut myself in quick, for
fear of being moved to interfere. i did pity her then, i'm sure: still ididn't wish to lose my place, you know. 'at last, one night she came boldly into mychamber, and frightened me out of my wits, by saying, "tell mr. heathcliff that hisson is dying--i'm sure he is, this time. get up, instantly, and tell him." 'having uttered this speech, she vanishedagain. i lay a quarter of an hour listening andtrembling. nothing stirred--the house was quiet. 'she's mistaken, i said to myself.he's got over it.
i needn't disturb them; and i began todoze. but my sleep was marred a second time by asharp ringing of the bell--the only bell we have, put up on purpose for linton; and themaster called to me to see what was the matter, and inform them that he wouldn'thave that noise repeated. 'i delivered catherine's message. he cursed to himself, and in a few minutescame out with a lighted candle, and proceeded to their room.i followed. mrs. heathcliff was seated by the bedside,with her hands folded on her knees. her father-in-law went up, held the lightto linton's face, looked at him, and
touched him; afterwards he turned to her. '"now--catherine," he said, "how do youfeel?" 'she was dumb.'"how do you feel, catherine?" he repeated. '"he's safe, and 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 alone, that i feel and seeonly death! i feel like death!"'and she looked like it, too! i gave her a little wine. hareton and joseph, who had been wakened bythe ringing and the sound of feet, and
heard our talk from outside, now entered. joseph was fain, i believe, of the lad'sremoval; hareton seemed a thought bothered: though he was more taken up with staring atcatherine than thinking of linton. but the master bid him get off to bedagain: we didn't want his help. he afterwards made joseph remove the bodyto his chamber, and told me to return to mine, and mrs. heathcliff remained byherself. 'in the morning, he sent me to tell her shemust come down to breakfast: she had undressed, and appeared going to sleep, andsaid she was ill; at which i hardly wondered.
i informed mr. heathcliff, and he replied,--"well, let her be till after the funeral; and go up now and then to get her what isneedful; and, as soon as she seems better, tell me."' cathy stayed upstairs a fortnight,according to zillah; who visited her twice a day, and would have been rather morefriendly, but her attempts at increasing kindness were proudly and promptlyrepelled. heathcliff went up once, to show herlinton's will. he had bequeathed the whole of his, andwhat had been her, moveable property, to his father: the poor creature wasthreatened, or coaxed, into that act during
her week's absence, when his uncle died. the lands, being a minor, he could notmeddle with. however, mr. heathcliff has claimed andkept them in his wife's right and his also: i suppose legally; at any rate, catherine,destitute of cash and friends, cannot disturb his possession. 'nobody,' said zillah, 'ever approached herdoor, except 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 out, when i carried up herdinner, that she couldn't bear any longer
being in the cold; and i told her themaster was going to thrushcross grange, and earnshaw and i needn't hinder her from descending; so, as soon as she heardheathcliff's horse trot off, she made her appearance, donned in black, and her yellowcurls combed back behind her ears as plain as a quaker: she couldn't comb them out. 'joseph and i generally go to chapel onsundays:' the kirk, you know, has no minister now, explained mrs. dean; and theycall the methodists' or baptists' place (i can't say which it is) at gimmerton, achapel. 'joseph had gone,' she continued, 'but ithought proper to bide at home.
young folks are always the better for anelder's over-looking; and hareton, with all his bashfulness, isn't a model of nicebehaviour. i let him know that his cousin would verylikely sit with us, and she had been always used to see the sabbath respected; so hehad as good leave his guns and bits of indoor work alone, while she stayed. he coloured up at the news, and cast hiseyes over his hands and clothes. the train-oil and gunpowder were shoved outof sight in a minute. i saw he meant to give her his company; andi guessed, by his way, he wanted to be presentable; so, laughing, as i durst notlaugh when the master is by, i offered to
help him, if he would, and joked at hisconfusion. he grew sullen, and began to swear. 'now, mrs. dean,' zillah went on, seeing menot 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 peglower. and what will all her learning and herdaintiness do for her, now? she's as poor as you or i: poorer, i'll bebound: you're saying, and i'm doing my little all that road.' hareton allowed zillah to give him her aid;and she flattered him into a good humour;
so, when catherine came, half forgettingher former insults, he tried to make himself agreeable, by the housekeeper'saccount. 'missis walked in,' she said, 'as chill asan icicle, and as high as a princess. i got up and offered her my seat in thearm-chair. no, she turned up her nose at my civility. earnshaw rose, too, and bid her come to thesettle, and sit close by the fire: he was sure she was starved. '"i've been starved a month and more," sheanswered, 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 tolook round, and discovered a number of books on the dresser; she was instantlyupon her feet again, stretching to reach them: but they were too high up. her cousin, after watching her endeavours awhile, at last summoned courage to help her; she held her frock, and he filled itwith the first that came to hand. 'that was a great advance for the lad. she didn't thank him; still, he feltgratified that she had accepted his assistance, and ventured to stand behind asshe examined them, and even to stoop and
point out what struck his fancy in certain old pictures which they contained; nor washe daunted by the saucy style in which she jerked the page from his finger: hecontented himself with going a bit farther back and looking at her instead of thebook. she continued reading, or seeking forsomething to read. his attention became, by degrees, quitecentred in the study of her thick silky curls: her face he couldn't see, and shecouldn't see him. and, perhaps, not quite awake to what hedid, but attracted like a child to a candle, at last he proceeded from staringto touching; he put out his hand and
stroked one curl, as gently as if it were abird. 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 cried, in a tone of disgust."i can't endure you! i'll go upstairs again, if you come nearme." 'mr. hareton recoiled, looking as foolishas he could do: he sat down in the settle very quiet, and she continued turning overher volumes another half hour; finally, earnshaw crossed over, and whispered to me.
'"will you ask her to read to us, zillah?i'm stalled of doing naught; and i do like- -i could like to hear her!dunnot say i wanted it, but ask of yourseln." '"mr. hareton wishes you would read to us,ma'am," i said, immediately. "he'd take it very kind--he'd be muchobliged." 'she frowned; and looking up, answered-- '"mr. hareton, and the whole set of you,will be good enough to understand that i reject any pretence at kindness you havethe hypocrisy to offer! i despise you, and will have nothing to sayto any of you!
when i would have given my life for onekind word, even to see one of your faces, you 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 once, and asked,"he said, kindling up at her pertness, "i asked mr. heathcliff to let me wake foryou--"
'"be silent! i'll go out of doors, or anywhere, ratherthan have your disagreeable voice in my ear!" said my lady. 'hareton muttered she might go to hell, forhim! and unslinging his gun, restrained himself from his sunday occupations nolonger. he talked now, freely enough; and shepresently saw fit to retreat to her solitude: but the frost had set in, and, inspite of her pride, she was forced to condescend to our company, more and more. however, i took care there should be nofurther scorning at my good nature: ever
since, i've been as stiff as herself; andshe has no lover or liker among us: and she does not deserve one; for, let them say the least word to her, and she'll curl backwithout respect of any one. she'll snap at the master himself, and asgood as dares him to thrash her; and the more hurt she gets, the more venomous shegrows.' at first, on hearing this account fromzillah, i determined to leave my situation, take a cottage, and get catherine to comeand live with me: but mr. heathcliff would as soon permit that as he would set up hareton in an independent house; and i cansee no remedy, at present, unless she could
marry again; and that scheme it does notcome within my province to arrange. thus ended mrs. dean's story. notwithstanding the doctor's prophecy, i amrapidly recovering strength; and though it be only the second week in january, ipropose getting out on horseback in a day or two, and riding over to wuthering heights, to inform my landlord that i shallspend the next six months in london; and, if he likes, he may look out for anothertenant to take the place after october. i would not pass another winter here formuch. chapter xxxi
yesterday was bright, calm, and frosty. i went to the heights as i proposed: myhousekeeper entreated me to bear a little note from her to her young lady, and i didnot refuse, for the worthy woman was not conscious of anything odd in her request. the front door stood open, but the jealousgate was fastened, as at my last visit; i knocked and invoked earnshaw from among thegarden-beds; he unchained it, and i entered. the fellow is as handsome a rustic as needbe 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 answered, no; but he would be in at dinner-time. it was eleven o'clock, and i announced myintention of going in and waiting for him; at which he immediately flung down histools and accompanied me, in the office of watchdog, not as a substitute for the host. we entered together; catherine was there,making herself useful in preparing some vegetables for the approaching meal; shelooked more sulky and less spirited than when i had seen her first.
she hardly raised her eyes to notice me,and continued her employment with the same disregard to common forms of politeness asbefore; 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 beauty, it is true; but not anangel.' earnshaw surlily bid her remove her thingsto the kitchen. 'remove them yourself,' she said, pushingthem from her as soon as she had done; and retiring to a stool by the window, whereshe began to carve figures of birds and beasts out of the turnip-parings in herlap.
i approached her, pretending to desire aview of the garden; and, as i fancied, adroitly dropped mrs. dean's note on to herknee, unnoticed by hareton--but she asked aloud, 'what is that?' and chucked it off. 'a letter from your old acquaintance, thehousekeeper at the grange,' i answered; annoyed at her exposing my kind deed, andfearful lest it should be imagined a missive of my own. she would gladly have gathered it up atthis information, but hareton beat her; he seized and put it in his waistcoat, sayingmr. heathcliff should look at it first.
thereat, catherine silently turned her facefrom us, and, very stealthily, drew out her pocket-handkerchief and applied it to hereyes; and her cousin, after struggling awhile to keep down his softer feelings, pulled out the letter and flung it on thefloor beside her, as ungraciously as he could. catherine caught and perused it eagerly;then she put a few questions to me concerning the inmates, rational andirrational, of her former home; and gazing towards the hills, murmured in soliloquy: 'i should like to be riding minny downthere!
i should like to be climbing up there!oh! i'm tired--i'm stalled, hareton!' and she leant her pretty head back againstthe sill, with half a yawn and half a sigh, and lapsed into an aspect of abstractedsadness: neither caring nor knowing whether we remarked her. 'mrs. heathcliff,' i said, after sittingsome time mute, 'you are not aware that i am an acquaintance of yours? so intimatethat i think it strange you won't come and speak to me. my housekeeper never wearies of talkingabout and praising you; and she'll be greatly disappointed if i return with nonews of or from you, except that you
received her letter and said nothing!' she appeared to wonder at this speech, andasked,-- 'does ellen like you?''yes, very well,' i replied, hesitatingly. 'you must tell her,' she continued, 'that iwould answer her letter, but i have no materials for writing: not even a book fromwhich 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 library, i'mfrequently very dull at the grange; take my
books away, and i should be desperate!' 'i was always reading, when i had them,'said catherine; 'and mr. heathcliff never reads; so he took it into his head todestroy my books. i have not had a glimpse of one for weeks. only once, i searched through joseph'sstore of theology, to his great irritation; and once, hareton, i came upon a secretstock in your room--some latin and greek, and some tales and poetry: all old friends. i brought the last here--and you gatheredthem, as a magpie gathers silver spoons, for the mere love of stealing!
they are of no use to you; or else youconcealed them in the bad spirit that, as you cannot enjoy them, nobody else shall.perhaps your envy counselled mr. heathcliff to rob me of my treasures? but i've most of them written on my brainand printed in my heart, and you cannot deprive me of those!' earnshaw blushed crimson when his cousinmade this revelation of his private literary accumulations, and stammered anindignant denial of her accusations. 'mr. hareton is desirous of increasing hisamount of knowledge,' i said, coming to his rescue.'he is not envious, but emulous of your
attainments. he'll be a clever scholar in a few years.''and he wants me to sink into a dunce, meantime,' answered catherine.'yes, i hear him trying to spell and read to himself, and pretty blunders he makes! i wish you would repeat chevy chase as youdid yesterday: it was extremely funny. i heard you; and i heard you turning overthe dictionary to seek out the hard words, and then cursing because you couldn't readtheir explanations!' the young man evidently thought it too badthat he should be laughed at for his ignorance, and then laughed at for tryingto remove it.
i had a similar notion; and, rememberingmrs. dean's anecdote of his first attempt at enlightening the darkness in which hehad been reared, i observed,--'but, mrs. heathcliff, we have each had a commencement, and each stumbled andtottered on the threshold; had our teachers scorned instead of aiding us, we shouldstumble and totter yet.' 'oh!' she replied, 'i don't wish to limithis acquirements: still, he has no right to appropriate what is mine, and make itridiculous to me with his vile mistakes and mispronunciations! those books, both prose and verse, areconsecrated to me by other associations;
and i hate to have them debased andprofaned in his mouth! besides, of all, he has selected myfavourite pieces that i love the most to repeat, as if out of deliberate malice.' hareton's chest heaved in silence a minute:he laboured under a severe sense of mortification and wrath, which it was noeasy task to suppress. i rose, and, from a gentlemanly idea ofrelieving his embarrassment, took up my station in the doorway, surveying theexternal prospect as i stood. he followed my example, and left the room;but presently reappeared, bearing half a dozen volumes in his hands, which he threwinto catherine's lap, exclaiming,--'take
them! i never want to hear, or read, or think ofthem again!' 'i won't have them now,' she answered.'i shall connect them with you, and hate them.' she opened one that had obviously beenoften turned over, and read a portion in the drawling tone of a beginner; thenlaughed, and threw it from her. 'and listen,' she continued, provokingly,commencing a verse of an old ballad in the same fashion. but his self-love would endure no furthertorment: i heard, and not altogether
disapprovingly, a manual check given to hersaucy tongue. the little wretch had done her utmost tohurt her cousin's sensitive though uncultivated feelings, and a physicalargument was the only mode he had of balancing the account, and repaying itseffects on the inflictor. he afterwards gathered the books and hurledthem on the fire. i read in his countenance what anguish itwas to offer that sacrifice to spleen. i fancied that as they consumed, herecalled the pleasure they had already imparted, and the triumph and ever-increasing pleasure he had anticipated from them; and i fancied i guessed theincitement to his secret studies also.
he had been content with daily labour andrough animal enjoyments, till catherine crossed his path. shame at her scorn, and hope of herapproval, were his first prompters to higher pursuits; and instead of guardinghim from one and winning him to the other, his endeavours to raise himself hadproduced just the contrary result. 'yes that's all the good that such a bruteas you can get from them!' cried catherine, sucking her damaged lip, and watching theconflagration with indignant eyes. 'you'd better hold your tongue, now,' heanswered fiercely. and his agitation precluded further speech;he advanced hastily to the entrance, where
i made way for him to pass. but ere he had crossed the door-stones, mr.heathcliff, coming up the causeway, encountered him, and laying hold of hisshoulder asked,--'what's to do now, my lad?' 'naught, naught,' he said, and broke awayto enjoy his grief and anger in solitude. heathcliff gazed after him, and sighed. 'it will be odd if i thwart myself,' hemuttered, unconscious that i was behind him.'but when i look for his father in his face, i 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 ground, and walkedmoodily in. there was a restless, anxious expression inhis countenance. i had never remarked there before; and helooked sparer in person. his daughter-in-law, on perceiving himthrough the window, immediately escaped to the kitchen, so that i remained alone. 'i'm glad to see you out of doors again,mr. lockwood,' he said, in reply to my greeting; 'from selfish motives partly: idon't think i could readily supply your loss in this desolation.
i've wondered more than once what broughtyou here.' 'an idle whim, i fear, sir,' was my answer;'or else an idle whim is going to spirit me away. i shall set out for london next week; and imust give you warning that i feel no disposition to retain thrushcross grangebeyond the twelve months i agreed to rent it. i believe i shall not live there any more.''oh, indeed; you're tired of being banished from the world, are you?' he said. 'but if you be coming to plead off payingfor a place you won't occupy, your journey
is useless: i never relent in exacting mydue from any one.' 'i'm coming to plead off nothing about it,'i exclaimed, considerably irritated. 'should you wish it, i'll settle with younow,' and i drew my note-book from my pocket. 'no, no,' he replied, coolly; 'you'll leavesufficient behind to cover your debts, if you fail to return: i'm not in such ahurry. sit down and take your dinner with us; aguest that is safe from repeating his visit can generally be made welcome.catherine! bring the things in: where are you?'
catherine reappeared, bearing a tray ofknives and forks. 'you may get your dinner with joseph,'muttered heathcliff, aside, '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, sheprobably cannot appreciate a better class of people when she meets them. with mr. heathcliff, grim and saturnine, onthe one hand, and hareton, absolutely dumb, on the other, i made a somewhat cheerlessmeal, and bade adieu early.
i would have departed by the back way, toget a last glimpse of catherine and annoy old joseph; but hareton received orders tolead up my horse, and my host himself escorted me to the door, so i could notfulfil my wish. 'how dreary life gets over in that house!'i reflected, while riding down the road. 'what a realisation of something moreromantic than a fairy tale it would have been for mrs. linton heathcliff, had sheand i struck up an attachment, as her good nurse desired, and migrated together intothe stirring atmosphere of the town!' chapter xxxii 1802.--this september i was invited todevastate the moors of a friend in the
north, and on my journey to his abode, iunexpectedly came within fifteen miles of gimmerton. the ostler at a roadside public-house washolding a pail of water to refresh my horses, when a cart of very green oats,newly reaped, passed by, and he remarked,-- 'yon's frough gimmerton, nah! they're allas three wick' after other folkwi' 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 arough road,' he answered. a sudden impulse seized me to visitthrushcross grange. it was scarcely noon, and i conceived thati might as well pass the night under my own roof as in an inn. besides, i could spare a day easily toarrange matters with my landlord, and thus save myself the trouble of invading theneighbourhood again. having rested awhile, i directed my servantto inquire the way to the village; and, with great fatigue to our beasts, wemanaged the distance in some three hours. i left him there, and proceeded down thevalley alone.
the grey church looked greyer, and thelonely churchyard lonelier. i distinguished a moor-sheep cropping theshort turf on the graves. it was sweet, warm weather--too warm fortravelling; but the heat did not hinder me from enjoying the delightful scenery aboveand below: had i seen it nearer august, i'm sure it would have tempted me to waste amonth among its solitudes. in winter nothing more dreary, in summernothing more divine, than those glens shut in by hills, and those bluff, bold swellsof heath. i reached the grange before sunset, andknocked for admittance; but the family had retreated into the back premises, i judged,by one thin, blue wreath, curling from the
kitchen chimney, and they did not hear. i rode into the court.under the porch, a girl of nine or ten sat knitting, and an old woman reclined on thehousesteps, 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 housekeeper, then?' i continued.'eea, aw keep th' hause,' she replied. 'well, i'm mr. lockwood, the master.are there any rooms to lodge me in, i
wonder? i wish to stay all night.''t' maister!' she cried in astonishment. 'whet, whoiver knew yah wur coming?yah sud ha' send word. they's nowt norther dry nor mensful abahtt' place: nowt there isn't!' she threw down her pipe and bustled in, thegirl followed, and i entered too; soon perceiving that her report was true, and,moreover, that i had almost upset her wits by my unwelcome apparition, i bade her becomposed. i would go out for a walk; and, meantimeshe must try to prepare a corner of a sitting-room for me to sup in, and abedroom to sleep in.
no sweeping and dusting, only good fire anddry sheets were necessary. she seemed willing to do her best; thoughshe thrust the hearth-brush into the grates in mistake for the poker, andmalappropriated several other articles of her craft: but i retired, confiding in her energy for a resting-place against myreturn. wuthering heights was the goal of myproposed excursion. an afterthought brought me back, when i hadquitted the court. 'all well at the heights?'i inquired of the woman. 'eea, f'r owt ee knaw!' she answered,skurrying away with a pan of hot cinders.
i would have asked why mrs. dean haddeserted the grange, but it was impossible to delay her at such a crisis, so i turnedaway and made my exit, rambling leisurely along, with the glow of a sinking sun behind, and the mild glory of a rising moonin front--one fading, and the other brightening--as i quitted the park, andclimbed the stony by-road branching off to mr. heathcliff's dwelling. before i arrived in sight of it, all thatremained of day was a beamless amber light along the west: but i could see everypebble on the path, and every blade of grass, by that splendid moon.
i had neither to climb the gate nor toknock--it yielded to my hand. that is an improvement, i thought. and i noticed another, by the aid of mynostrils; a fragrance of stocks and wallflowers wafted on the air from amongstthe homely fruit-trees. both doors and lattices were open; and yet,as is usually the case in a coal-district, a fine red fire illumined the chimney: thecomfort which the eye derives from it renders the extra heat endurable. but the house of wuthering heights is solarge that the inmates have plenty of space for withdrawing out of its influence; andaccordingly what inmates there were had
stationed themselves not far from one ofthe windows. i could both see them and hear them talkbefore i entered, and looked and listened in consequence; being moved thereto by amingled sense of curiosity and envy, that grew as i lingered. 'con-trary!' said a voice as sweet as asilver bell. 'that for the third time, you dunce!i'm not going to tell you again. recollect, or i'll pull your hair!' 'contrary, then,' answered another, in deepbut softened tones. 'and now, kiss me, for minding so well.''no, read it over first correctly, without
a single mistake.' the male speaker began to read: he was ayoung man, respectably dressed and seated at a table, having a book before him. his handsome features glowed with pleasure,and his eyes kept impatiently wandering from the page to a small white hand overhis shoulder, which recalled him by a smart slap on the cheek, whenever its ownerdetected such signs of inattention. its owner stood behind; her light, shiningringlets blending, at intervals, with his brown looks, as she bent to superintend hisstudies; and her face--it was lucky he could not see her face, or he would neverhave been so steady.
i could; and i bit my lip in spite, athaving thrown away the chance i might have had of doing something besides staring atits smiting beauty. the task was done, not free from furtherblunders; but the pupil claimed a reward, and received at least five kisses; which,however, he generously returned. then they came to the door, and from theirconversation i judged they were about to issue out and have a walk on the moors. i supposed i should be condemned in haretonearnshaw's heart, if not by his mouth, to the lowest pit in the infernal regions if ishowed my unfortunate person in his neighbourhood then; and feeling very mean
and malignant, i skulked round to seekrefuge in the kitchen. there was unobstructed admittance on thatside also; and at the door sat my old friend nelly dean, sewing and singing asong; which was often interrupted from within by harsh words of scorn and intolerance, uttered in far from musicalaccents. 'i'd rayther, by th' haulf, hev' 'emswearing i' my lugs fro'h morn to neeght, nor hearken ye hahsiver!' said the tenantof the kitchen, in answer to an unheard speech of nelly's. 'it's a blazing shame, that i cannot oppent' blessed book, but yah set up them
glories to sattan, and all t' flaysomewickednesses that iver were born into th' warld! oh! ye're a raight nowt; and shoo'sanother; and that poor lad 'll be lost atween ye.poor lad!' he added, with a groan; 'he's witched: i'm sartin on't. oh, lord, judge 'em, for there's northerlaw nor justice among wer rullers!' 'no! or we should be sitting in flamingfagots, i suppose,' retorted the singer. 'but wisht, old man, and read your biblelike a christian, and never mind me. this is "fairy annie's wedding"--a bonnytune--it goes to a dance.'
mrs. dean was about to recommence, when iadvanced; and recognising me directly, she jumped to her feet, crying--'why, blessyou, mr. lockwood! how could you think of returning in thisway? all's shut up at thrushcross grange.you should have given us notice!' 'i've arranged to be accommodated there,for as long as i shall stay,' i answered. 'i depart again to-morrow.and how are you transplanted here, mrs. dean? tell me that.' 'zillah left, and mr. heathcliff wished meto come, soon after you went to london, and stay till you returned.but, step in, pray!
have you walked from gimmerton thisevening?' 'from the grange,' i replied; 'and whilethey make me lodging room there, i want to finish my business with your master;because i don't think of having another opportunity in a hurry.' 'what business, sir?' said nelly,conducting me into the house. 'he's gone out at present, and won't returnsoon.' 'about the rent,' i answered. 'oh! then it is with mrs. heathcliff youmust settle,' she observed; 'or rather with me.
she has not learnt to manage her affairsyet, and i act for her: there's nobody else.'i looked surprised. 'ah! you have not heard of heathcliff'sdeath, i see,' she continued. 'heathcliff dead!'i exclaimed, astonished. 'how long ago?' 'three months since: but sit down, and letme take your hat, and i'll tell you all about it.stop, you have had nothing to eat, have 'i want nothing: i have ordered supper athome. 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 sometime--the young people?' 'no--i have to scold them every evening fortheir late rambles: but they don't care for at least, have a drink of our old ale; itwill do you good: you seem weary.' she hastened to fetch it before i couldrefuse, and i heard joseph asking whether 'it warn't a crying scandal that she shouldhave followers at her time of life? and then, to get them jocks out o' t'maister's cellar! he fair shaamed to 'bide still and see it.' she did not stay to retaliate, but re-entered in a minute, bearing a reaming
silver pint, whose contents i lauded withbecoming earnestness. and afterwards she furnished me with thesequel of heathcliff's history. he had a 'queer' end, as she expressed it. i was summoned to wuthering heights, withina fortnight of your leaving us, she said; and i obeyed joyfully, for catherine'ssake. my first interview with her grieved andshocked me: she had altered so much since our separation. mr. heathcliff did not explain his reasonsfor taking a new mind about my coming here; he only told me he wanted me, and he wastired of seeing catherine: i must make the
little parlour my sitting-room, and keepher with me. it was enough if he were obliged to see heronce or twice a day. she seemed pleased at this arrangement;and, by degrees, i smuggled over a great number of books, and other articles, thathad formed her amusement at the grange; and flattered myself we should get on intolerable comfort. the delusion did not last long.catherine, contented at first, in a brief space grew irritable and restless. for one thing, she was forbidden to moveout of the garden, and it fretted her sadly to be confined to its narrow bounds asspring drew on; for another, in following
the house, i was forced to quit her frequently, and she complained ofloneliness: she preferred quarrelling with joseph in the kitchen to sitting at peacein her solitude. i did not mind their skirmishes: buthareton was often obliged to seek the kitchen also, when the master wanted tohave the house to himself! and though in the beginning she either left it at his approach, or quietly joined in myoccupations, and shunned remarking or addressing him--and though he was always assullen and silent as possible--after a while, she changed her behaviour, and
became incapable of letting him alone:talking at him; commenting on his stupidity and idleness; expressing her wonder how hecould endure the life he lived--how he could sit a whole evening staring into thefire, and dozing. 'he's just like a dog, is he not, ellen?'she once observed, 'or a cart-horse? he does his work, eats his food, and sleepseternally! what a blank, dreary mind he must have!do you ever dream, hareton? and, if you do, what 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's, perhaps, dreaming now,' she
continued. 'he twitched his shoulder as juno twitcheshers. ask him, ellen.''mr. hareton will ask the master to send you up-stairs, if you don't behave!' i said.he had not only twitched his shoulder but clenched his fist, as if tempted to use it. 'i know why hareton never speaks, when i amin the kitchen,' she exclaimed, on another occasion.'he is afraid i shall laugh at him. ellen, what do you think?
he began to teach himself to read once;and, because i laughed, he burned his books, and dropped it: was he not a fool?''were not you naughty?' i said; 'answer me that.' 'perhaps i was,' she went on; 'but i didnot expect him to be so silly. hareton, if i gave you a book, would youtake it now? i'll try!' she placed one she had been perusing on hishand; he flung it off, and muttered, if she did not give over, he would break her neck.'well, i shall put it here,' she said, 'in the table-drawer; and i'm going to bed.'
then she whispered me to watch whether hetouched it, and departed. but he would not come near it; and so iinformed her in the morning, to her great disappointment. i saw she was sorry for his perseveringsulkiness and indolence: her conscience reproved her for frightening him offimproving himself: she had done it effectually. but her ingenuity was at work to remedy theinjury: while i ironed, or pursued other such stationary employments as i could notwell do in the parlour, she would bring some pleasant volume and read it aloud tome.
when hareton was there, she generallypaused in an interesting part, and left the book lying about: that she did repeatedly;but he was as obstinate as a mule, and, instead of snatching at her bait, in wet weather he took to smoking with joseph; andthey sat like automatons, one on each side of the fire, the elder happily too deaf tounderstand her wicked nonsense, as he would have called it, the younger doing his bestto seem to disregard it. on fine evenings the latter followed hisshooting expeditions, and catherine yawned and sighed, and teased me to talk to her,and ran off into the court or garden the moment i began; and, as a last resource,
cried, and said she was tired of living:her life was useless. mr. heathcliff, who grew more and moredisinclined to society, had almost banished earnshaw from his apartment. owing to an accident at the commencement ofmarch, he became for some days a fixture in the kitchen. his gun burst while out on the hills byhimself; a splinter cut his arm, and he lost a good deal of blood before he couldreach home. the consequence was that, perforce, he wascondemned to the fireside and tranquillity, till he made it up again.
it suited catherine to have him there: atany rate, it made her hate her room up- stairs more than ever: and she would compelme to find out business below, that she might accompany me. on easter monday, joseph went to gimmertonfair with some cattle; and, in the afternoon, i was busy getting up linen inthe kitchen. earnshaw sat, morose as usual, at thechimney corner, and my little mistress was beguiling an idle hour with drawingpictures on the window-panes, varying her amusement by smothered bursts of songs, and whispered ejaculations, and quick glancesof annoyance and impatience in the
direction of her cousin, who steadfastlysmoked, and looked into the grate. at a notice that i could do with her nolonger intercepting my light, she removed to the hearthstone. i bestowed little attention on herproceedings, but, presently, i heard her begin--'i've found out, hareton, that iwant--that i'm glad--that i should like you to be my cousin now, if you had not grownso cross to me, and so rough.' hareton returned no answer.'hareton, hareton, hareton! do you hear?' she continued. 'get off wi' ye!' he growled, withuncompromising gruffness.
'let me take that pipe,' she said,cautiously advancing her hand and abstracting it from his mouth. before he could attempt to recover it, itwas broken, and behind the fire. he swore at her and seized another. 'stop,' she cried, 'you must listen to mefirst; and i can't speak while those clouds are floating in my face.''will you go to the devil!' he exclaimed, ferociously, 'and let me be!' 'no,' she persisted, 'i won't: i can't tellwhat to do to make you talk to me; and you are determined not to understand.when i call you stupid, i don't mean
anything: i don't mean that i despise you. come, you shall take notice of me, hareton:you are my cousin, and you shall own me.' 'i shall have naught to do wi' you and yourmucky pride, and your damned mocking tricks!' he answered. 'i'll go to hell, body and soul, before ilook sideways after you again. side out o' t' gate, now, this minute!' catherine frowned, and retreated to thewindow-seat chewing her lip, and endeavouring, by humming an eccentric tune,to conceal a growing tendency to sob. 'you should be friends with your cousin,mr. hareton,' i interrupted, 'since she
repents of her sauciness. it would do you a great deal of good: itwould make you another man to have her for a companion.' 'a companion!' he cried; 'when she hatesme, and does not think me fit to wipe her shoon! nay, if it made me a king, i'd not bescorned for seeking her good-will any more.' 'it is not i who hate you, it is you whohate me!' wept cathy, no longer disguising her trouble.'you hate me as much as mr. heathcliff
does, and more.' 'you're a damned liar,' began earnshaw:'why have i made him angry, by taking your part, then, a hundred times? and that whenyou sneered at and despised me, and--go on plaguing me, and i'll step in yonder, andsay you worried me out of the kitchen!' 'i didn't know you took my part,' sheanswered, drying her eyes; 'and i was miserable and bitter at everybody; but nowi thank you, and beg you to forgive me: what can i do besides?' she returned to the hearth, and franklyextended her hand. he blackened and scowled like a thunder-cloud, and kept his fists resolutely
clenched, and his gaze fixed on the ground. catherine, by instinct, must have divinedit was obdurate perversity, and not dislike, that prompted this dogged conduct;for, after remaining an instant undecided, she stooped and impressed on his cheek agentle kiss. the little rogue thought i had not seenher, and, drawing back, she took her former station by the window, quite demurely. i shook my head reprovingly, and then sheblushed and whispered--'well! what should i have done, ellen? he wouldn't shake hands, and he wouldn'tlook: i must show him some way that i like
him--that i want to be friends.' whether the kiss convinced hareton, icannot tell: he was very careful, for some minutes, that his face should not be seen,and when he did raise it, he was sadly puzzled where to turn his eyes. catherine employed herself in wrapping ahandsome book neatly in white paper, and having tied it with a bit of ribbon, andaddressed it to 'mr. hareton earnshaw,' she desired me to be her ambassadress, and convey the present to its destinedrecipient. 'and tell him, if he'll take it, i'll comeand teach him to read it right,' she said;
'and, if he refuse it, i'll go upstairs,and never tease him again.' i carried it, and repeated the message;anxiously watched by my employer. hareton would not open his fingers, so ilaid it on his knee. he did not strike it off, either. i returned to my work. catherine leaned her head and arms on thetable, till she heard the slight rustle of the covering being removed; then she stoleaway, and quietly seated herself beside her cousin. he trembled, and his face glowed: all hisrudeness and all his surly harshness had
deserted him: he could not summon courage,at first, to utter a syllable in reply to her questioning look, and her murmuredpetition. 'say you forgive me, hareton, do.you can make me so happy by speaking that little word.' he muttered something inaudible.'and you'll be my friend?' added catherine, interrogatively. 'nay, you'll be ashamed of me every day ofyour life,' he answered; 'and the more ashamed, the more you know me; and i cannotbide it.' 'so you won't be my friend?' she said,smiling as sweet as honey, and creeping
close up. i overheard no further distinguishabletalk, but, on looking round again, i perceived two such radiant countenancesbent over the page of the accepted book, that i did not doubt the treaty had been ratified on both sides; and the enemieswere, thenceforth, sworn allies. the work they studied was full of costlypictures; and those and their position had charm enough to keep them unmoved tilljoseph came home. he, poor man, was perfectly aghast at thespectacle of catherine seated on the same bench with hareton earnshaw, leaning herhand on his shoulder; and confounded at his
favourite's endurance of her proximity: it affected him too deeply to allow anobservation on the subject that night. his emotion was only revealed by theimmense sighs he drew, as he solemnly spread his large bible on the table, andoverlaid it with dirty bank-notes from his pocket-book, the produce of the day'stransactions. at length he summoned hareton from hisseat. 'tak' these in to t' maister, lad,' hesaid, '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.'
'come, catherine,' i said, 'we must "sideout" too: i've done my ironing. are you ready to go?''it is not eight o'clock!' she answered, rising unwillingly. 'hareton, i'll leave this book upon thechimney-piece, and i'll bring some more to- morrow.' 'ony books that yah leave, i shall tak'into th' hahse,' said joseph, 'and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em agean; soa, yah mayplase yerseln!' cathy threatened that his library shouldpay for hers; and, smiling as she passed hareton, went singing up-stairs: lighter ofheart, i venture to say, than ever she had
been under that roof before; except, perhaps, during her earliest visits tolinton. the intimacy thus commenced grew rapidly;though it encountered temporary interruptions. earnshaw was not to be civilized with awish, and my young lady was no philosopher, and no paragon of patience; but both theirminds tending to the same point--one loving and desiring to esteem, and the other loving and desiring to be esteemed--theycontrived in the end to reach it. you see, mr. lockwood, it was easy enoughto win mrs. heathcliff's heart.
but now, i'm glad you did not try. the crown of all my wishes will be theunion 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 monday, earnshawbeing still unable to follow his ordinary employments, and therefore remaining aboutthe house, i speedily found it would be impracticable to retain my charge besideme, as heretofore. she got downstairs before me, and out intothe garden, where she had seen her cousin
performing some easy work; and when i wentto bid them come to breakfast, i saw she had persuaded him to clear a large space of ground from currant and gooseberry bushes,and they were busy planning together an importation of plants from the grange. i was terrified at the devastation whichhad been accomplished in a brief half-hour; the black-currant trees were the apple ofjoseph's eye, and she had just fixed her choice of a flower-bed in the midst ofthem. 'there!that will be all shown to the master,' i exclaimed, 'the minute it is discovered.
and what excuse have you to offer fortaking such liberties with the garden? we shall have a fine explosion on the headof it: see if we don't! mr. hareton, i wonder you should have nomore wit than to go and make that mess at her bidding!' 'i'd forgotten they were joseph's,'answered earnshaw, rather 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 teaand carving; so i was indispensable at table.
catherine usually sat by me, but to-day shestole nearer to hareton; and i presently saw she would have no more discretion inher friendship than she had in her hostility. 'now, mind you don't talk with and noticeyour cousin too much,' were my whispered instructions as we entered the room.'it will certainly annoy mr. heathcliff, and he'll be mad at you both.' 'i'm not going to,' she answered.the minute after, she had sidled to him, and was sticking primroses in his plate ofporridge. he dared not speak to her there: he daredhardly look; and yet she went on teasing,
till he was twice on the point of beingprovoked to laugh. i frowned, and then she glanced towards themaster: whose mind was occupied on other subjects than his company, as hiscountenance evinced; and she grew serious for an instant, scrutinizing him with deepgravity. afterwards she turned, and recommenced hernonsense; at last, hareton uttered a smothered laugh. mr. heathcliff started; his eye rapidlysurveyed our faces, catherine met it with her accustomed look of nervousness and yetdefiance, which he abhorred. 'it is well you are out of my reach,' heexclaimed.
'what fiend possesses you to stare back atme, continually, with those infernal eyes? down with them! and don't remind me of yourexistence 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 plate, and did notrepeat the confession. mr. heathcliff looked at him a bit, andthen silently resumed his breakfast and his interrupted musing. we had nearly finished, and the two youngpeople prudently shifted wider asunder, so i anticipated no further disturbance duringthat sitting: when joseph appeared at the
door, revealing by his quivering lip and furious eyes that the outrage committed onhis precious shrubs was detected. he must have seen cathy and her cousinabout the spot before he examined it, for while his jaws worked like those of a cowchewing its cud, and rendered his speech difficult to understand, he began:-- 'i mun hev' my wage, and i mun goa! i hed aimed to dee wheare i'd sarved fursixty year; and i thowt i'd lug my books up into t' garret, and all my bits o' stuff,and they sud hev' t' kitchen to theirseln; for t' sake o' quietness.
it wur hard to gie up my awn hearthstun,but i thowt i could do that! but nah, shoo's taan my garden fro' me, andby th' heart, maister, i cannot stand it! yah may bend to th' yoak an ye will--i noanused to 't, and 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!' 'now, now, idiot!' 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 foranything 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 handsome, but what abody mud look at her 'bout winking. it's yon flaysome, graceless quean, that'switched our lad, wi' her bold een and her forrard ways--till--nay! it fair brusts myheart! he's forgotten all i've done for him, andmade on him, and 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 injuries,
and earnshaw's ingratitude and dangerouscondition. 'is the fool drunk?' asked mr. heathcliff.'hareton, is 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 blame, for i wished him to do it.'
'and who the devil gave you leave totouch a stick about the place?' demanded her father-in-law, much surprised.'and who ordered you to obey her?' he added, turning to hareton. the latter was speechless; his cousinreplied--'you shouldn't grudge a few yards of earth for me to ornament, when you havetaken all my land!' 'your land, insolent slut! you never had any,' said heathcliff.'and my money,' she continued; returning his angry glare, and meantime biting apiece of crust, the remnant of her breakfast.
'silence!' he exclaimed.'get done, and begone!' 'and hareton's land, and his money,'pursued the reckless thing. 'hareton and i are friends now; and i shalltell him all about you!' the master seemed confounded a moment: hegrew pale, and rose up, eyeing her all the while, with an expression of mortal hate. 'if you strike me, hareton will strikeyou,' she said; 'so you may as well sit down.' 'if hareton does not turn you out of theroom, i'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 her, ellen dean, if you let her come into my sight again!' hareton tried, under his breath, topersuade her to go. 'drag her away!' he cried, savagely.'are you staying to talk?' and he approached to execute his owncommand. 'he'll not obey you, wicked man, any more,'said catherine; 'and he'll soon detest you as much as i do.'
'wisht! wisht!' muttered the young man,reproachfully; 'i will not hear you speak so to him.have done.' 'but you won't let him strike me?' shecried. 'come, then,' he whispered earnestly.it was too late: heathcliff had caught hold of her. 'now, you go!' he said to earnshaw.'accursed witch! this time she has provoked me when i could not bear it; and i'll makeher repent it for ever!' he had his hand in her hair; haretonattempted to release her locks, entreating him not to hurt her that once.
heathcliff's black eyes flashed; he seemedready to tear catherine in pieces, and i was just worked up to risk coming to therescue, when of a sudden his fingers relaxed; he shifted his grasp from her headto her arm, and gazed intently in her face. then he drew his hand over his eyes, stooda moment to collect himself apparently, and turning anew to catherine, said, withassumed calmness--'you must learn to avoid putting me in a passion, or i shall reallymurder you some time! go with mrs. dean, and keep with her; andconfine your insolence to her ears. as to hareton earnshaw, if i see him listento you, i'll send him seeking his bread where he can get it!your love will make him an outcast and a
beggar. nelly, take her; and leave me, all of you!leave me!' i led my young lady out: she was too gladof her escape to resist; the other followed, and mr. heathcliff had the roomto himself till dinner. i had counselled catherine to dine up-stairs; but, as soon as he perceived her vacant seat, he sent me to call her. he spoke to none of us, ate very little,and went out directly afterwards, intimating that he should not return beforeevening. the two new friends established themselvesin the house during his absence; where i
heard hareton sternly check his cousin, onher offering a revelation of her father-in- law's conduct to his father. he said he wouldn't suffer a word to beuttered in his disparagement: if he were the devil, it didn't signify; he wouldstand by him; and he'd rather she would abuse himself, as she used to, than beginon mr. heathcliff. catherine was waxing cross at this; but hefound means to make her hold her tongue, by asking how she would like him to speakill of her father? then she comprehended that earnshaw tookthe master's reputation home to himself; and was attached by ties stronger thanreason could break--chains, forged by
habit, which it would be cruel to attemptto loosen. she showed a good heart, thenceforth, inavoiding both complaints and expressions of antipathy concerning heathcliff; andconfessed to me her sorrow that she had endeavoured to raise a bad spirit between him and hareton: indeed, i don't believeshe has ever breathed a syllable, in the latter's hearing, against her oppressorsince. when this slight disagreement was over,they were friends again, and as busy as possible in their several occupations ofpupil and teacher. i came in to sit with them, after i haddone my work; and i felt so soothed and
comforted to watch them, that i did notnotice how time got on. you know, they both appeared in a measuremy children: i had long been proud of one; and now, i was sure, the other would be asource of equal satisfaction. his honest, warm, and intelligent natureshook 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 hisfeatures, and added spirit and nobility to their aspect: i could hardly fancy it thesame individual i had beheld on the day i discovered my little lady at wutheringheights, after her expedition to the crags.
while i admired and they laboured, duskdrew on, and with it returned the master. he came upon us quite unexpectedly,entering by the front way, and had a full view of the whole three, ere we could raiseour heads to glance at him. well, i reflected, there was never apleasanter, or more harmless sight; and it will be a burning shame to scold them. the red fire-light glowed on their twobonny heads, and revealed their faces animated with the eager interest ofchildren; for, though he was twenty-three and she eighteen, each had so much of novelty to feel and learn, that neitherexperienced nor evinced the sentiments of
sober disenchanted maturity. they lifted their eyes together, toencounter mr. heathcliff: perhaps you have never remarked that their eyes areprecisely similar, and they are those of catherine earnshaw. the present catherine has no other likenessto her, except a breadth of forehead, and a certain arch of the nostril that makes herappear rather haughty, whether she will or not. with hareton the resemblance is carriedfarther: it is singular at all times, then it was particularly striking;because his senses were alert, and his
mental faculties wakened to unwontedactivity. i suppose this resemblance disarmed mr.heathcliff: he walked to the hearth in evident agitation; but it quickly subsidedas he looked at the young man: or, i should say, altered its character; for it wasthere yet. he took the book from his hand, and glancedat the open page, then returned it without any observation; merely signing catherineaway: her companion lingered very little behind her, and i was about to depart also,but he bid me sit still. 'it is a poor conclusion, is it not?' heobserved, having brooded awhile on the scene he had just witnessed: 'an absurdtermination to my violent exertions?
i get levers and mattocks to demolish thetwo houses, and train myself to be capable of working like hercules, and wheneverything is ready and in my power, i find the will to lift a slate off either roofhas vanished! my old enemies have not beaten me; nowwould 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 thetrouble to raise my hand! that sounds as if i had been labouring thewhole time only to exhibit a fine trait of magnanimity.
it is far from being the case: i have lostthe faculty of enjoying their destruction, and i am too idle to destroy for nothing.'nelly, there is a strange change approaching; i'm in its shadow at present. i take so little interest in my daily lifethat i hardly remember to eat and drink. those two who have left the room are theonly objects which retain a distinct material appearance to me; and thatappearance causes me pain, amounting to agony. about her i won't speak; and i don'tdesire to think; but i earnestly wish she were invisible: her presence invokes onlymaddening sensations.
he moves me differently: and yet if icould do it without seeming insane, i'd never see him again! you'll perhaps think me rather inclined tobecome so,' he added, making an effort to smile, 'if i try to describe the thousandforms of past associations and ideas he awakens or embodies. but you'll not talk of what i tell you; andmy mind is so eternally secluded in itself, it is tempting at last to turn it out toanother. 'five minutes ago hareton seemed apersonification of my youth, not a human being; i felt to him in such a variety ofways, that it would have been impossible to
have accosted him rationally. in the first place, his startling likenessto catherine connected him fearfully with her. that, however, which you may suppose themost potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least: for what is notconnected with her to me? and what does not recall her? i cannot look down to this floor, but herfeatures are shaped in the flags! in every cloud, in every tree--filling theair at night, and caught by glimpses in every object by day--i am surrounded withher image!
the most ordinary faces of men and women--my own features--mock me with a resemblance. the entire world is a dreadful collectionof memoranda that she did exist, and that i have lost her! well, hareton's aspect was the ghost of myimmortal love; of my wild endeavours to hold my right; my degradation, my pride, myhappiness, and my anguish-- 'but it is frenzy to repeat these thoughtsto you: only it will let you know why, with a reluctance to be always alone, hissociety is no benefit; rather an aggravation of the constant torment i
suffer: and it partly contributes to renderme regardless how he and his cousin go on together.i can give them no attention any more.' 'but what do you mean by a change, mr.heathcliff?' i said, alarmed at his manner: though hewas neither in danger of losing his senses, nor dying, according to my judgment: he wasquite strong and healthy; and, as to his reason, from childhood he had a delight in dwelling on dark things, and entertainingodd fancies. he might have had a monomania on thesubject of his departed idol; but on every other point his wits were as sound as mine.
'i shall not know that till it comes,' hesaid; 'i'm only half conscious of it now.' 'you have no feeling of illness, have you?'i asked. 'no, nelly, i have not,' he answered. 'then you are not afraid of death?'i pursued. 'afraid?no!' he replied. 'i have neither a fear, nor a presentiment,nor a hope of death. why should i? with my hard constitution and temperatemode of living, and unperilous occupations, i ought to, and probably shall, remainabove ground till there is scarcely a black
hair on my head. and yet i cannot continue in thiscondition! i have to remind myself to breathe--almostto 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 bycompulsion that i notice anything alive or dead, which is not associated with oneuniversal idea. i have a single wish, and my whole beingand faculties are yearning to attain it. they have yearned towards it so long, andso unwaveringly, that i'm convinced it will be reached--and soon--because it hasdevoured my existence: i am swallowed up in
the anticipation of its fulfilment. my confessions have not relieved me; butthey may account for some otherwise unaccountable phases of humour which ishow. o god! it is a long fight; i wish it wereover!' he began to pace the room, mutteringterrible things to himself, till i was inclined to believe, as he said joseph did,that conscience had turned his heart to an earthly hell. i wondered greatly how it would end. though he seldom before had revealed thisstate of mind, even by looks, it was his
habitual mood, i had no doubt: he assertedit himself; but not a soul, from his general bearing, would have conjectured thefact. you did not when you saw him, mr. lockwood:and at the period of which i speak, he was just the same as then; only fonder ofcontinued solitude, and 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 excludehareton and cathy. he had an aversion to yielding socompletely to his feelings, choosing rather
to absent himself; and eating once intwenty-four hours seemed sufficient sustenance for him. one night, after the family were in bed, iheard him go downstairs, and out at the front door.i did not hear him re-enter, and in the morning i found he was still away. we were in april then: the weather wassweet and warm, the grass as green as showers and sun could make it, and the twodwarf apple-trees near the southern wall in full bloom. after breakfast, catherine insisted on mybringing a chair and sitting with my work
under the fir-trees at the end of thehouse; and she beguiled hareton, who had perfectly recovered from his accident, to dig and arrange her little garden, whichwas shifted to that corner by the influence of joseph's complaints. i was comfortably revelling in the springfragrance around, and the beautiful soft blue overhead, when my young lady, who hadrun down near the gate to procure some primrose roots for a border, returned only half laden, and informed us that mr.heathcliff was coming in. 'and he spoke to me,' she added, with aperplexed 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 usuallook that i stopped a moment to stare at him.' 'how?' he inquired.'why, almost bright and cheerful. no, almost nothing--very much excited,and wild, and glad!' she replied. 'night-walking amuses him, then,' iremarked, affecting a careless manner: in reality as surprised as she was, andanxious to ascertain the truth of her statement; for to see the master lookingglad would not be an every-day spectacle.
i framed an excuse to go in. heathcliff stood at the open door; he waspale, and he trembled: yet, certainly, he had a strange joyful glitter in his eyes,that 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. 'no, i'm not hungry,' he answered, avertinghis head, and speaking rather contemptuously, as if he guessed i wastrying to divine the occasion of his good
humour. i felt perplexed: i didn't know whether itwere not a proper opportunity to offer a bit of admonition. 'i don't think it right to wander out ofdoors,' i observed, 'instead of being in bed: it is not wise, at any rate this moistseason. i daresay you'll catch a bad cold or afever: you have something the matter with you now!' 'nothing but what i can bear,' he replied;'and with the greatest pleasure, provided you'll leave me alone: get in, and don'tannoy me.'
i obeyed: and, in passing, i noticed hebreathed 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 us, and received a heaped-up plate from myhands, as if he intended to make amends for previous fasting. 'i've neither cold nor fever, nelly,' heremarked, in allusion to my morning's speech; 'and i'm ready to do justice to thefood you give me.' he took his knife and fork, and was goingto commence eating, when the inclination
appeared to become suddenly extinct.he laid them on the table, looked eagerly towards the window, then rose and went out. we saw him walking to and fro in the gardenwhile we concluded our meal, and earnshaw said he'd go and ask why he would not dine:he thought we had grieved him some way. 'well, is he coming?' cried catherine, whenher cousin returned. 'nay,' he answered; 'but he's not angry: heseemed rarely pleased indeed; only i made him impatient by speaking to him twice; andthen he bid me be off to you: he wondered how i could want the company of anybodyelse.' i set his plate to keep warm on the fender;and after an hour or two he re-entered,
when the room was clear, in no degreecalmer: the same unnatural--it was unnatural--appearance of joy under his black brows; the same bloodless hue, andhis teeth visible, now and then, in a kind of smile; his frame shivering, not as oneshivers with chill or weakness, but as a tight-stretched cord vibrates--a strongthrilling, rather than trembling. i will ask what is the matter, i thought;or who should? and i exclaimed--'have you heard any goodnews, mr. heathcliff? you look uncommonly animated.''where should good news come from to me?' he said.
'i'm animated with hunger; and, seemingly,i must not eat.' 'your dinner is here,' i returned; 'whywon't you get it?' 'i don't want it now,' he muttered,hastily: 'i'll wait till supper. and, nelly, once for all, let me beg you towarn hareton and the other away from me. i wish to be troubled by nobody: i wish tohave this place to myself.' 'is there some new reason for thisbanishment?' i inquired. 'tell me why you are so queer, mr.heathcliff? where were you last night?i'm not putting the question through idle
curiosity, but--' 'you are putting the question through veryidle curiosity,' he interrupted, with a laugh.'yet i'll answer it. last night i was on the threshold of hell. to-day, i 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 tofrighten you, if you refrain from prying.' having swept the hearth and wiped thetable, i departed; more perplexed than ever.
he did not quit the house again thatafternoon, and no one intruded on his solitude; till, at eight o'clock, i deemedit proper, though unsummoned, to carry a candle and his supper to him. he was leaning against the ledge of an openlattice, but not looking out: his face was turned to the interior gloom. the fire had smouldered to ashes; the roomwas filled with the damp, mild air of the cloudy evening; and so still, that not onlythe murmur of the beck down gimmerton was distinguishable, but its ripples and its gurgling over the pebbles, or through thelarge stones which it could not cover.
i uttered an ejaculation of discontent atseeing the dismal grate, and commenced shutting the casements, one after another,till i came to his. 'must i close this?' i asked, in order to rouse him; for hewould not stir. the light flashed on his features as ispoke. oh, mr. lockwood, i cannot express what aterrible start i got by the momentary view! those deep black eyes!that smile, and ghastly paleness! it appeared to me, not mr. heathcliff, buta goblin; and, in my terror, i let the candle bend towards the wall, and it leftme in darkness.
'yes, close it,' he replied, in hisfamiliar voice. 'there, that is pure awkwardness!why did you hold the candle horizontally? be quick, and bring another.' i hurried out in a foolish state of dread,and 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 shovel,and went: but he brought it back immediately, with the supper-tray in hisother hand, explaining that mr. heathcliff was going to bed, and he wanted nothing toeat till morning.
we heard him mount the stairs directly; hedid not proceed to his ordinary chamber, but turned into that with the panelled bed:its window, as i mentioned before, is wide enough for anybody to get through; and it struck me that he plotted another midnightexcursion, of which he had rather we had no suspicion.'is he a ghoul or a vampire?' i mused. i had read of such hideous incarnatedemons. and then i set myself to reflect how i hadtended him in infancy, and watched him grow to youth, and followed him almost throughhis whole course; and what absurd nonsense
it was to yield to that sense of horror. 'but where did he come from, the littledark thing, harboured by a good man to his bane?' muttered superstition, as i dozedinto unconsciousness. and i began, half dreaming, to weary myselfwith imagining some fit parentage for him; and, repeating my waking meditations, itracked his existence over again, with grim variations; at last, picturing his death and funeral: of which, all i can rememberis, being exceedingly vexed at having the task of dictating an inscription for hismonument, and consulting the sexton about it; and, as he had no surname, and we could
not tell his age, we were obliged tocontent ourselves with the single word, 'heathcliff.'that came true: we were. if you enter the kirkyard, you'll read, onhis headstone, only that, and the date of his death.dawn restored me to common sense. i rose, and went into the garden, as soonas i could see, to ascertain if there were any footmarks under his window.there were none. 'he has stayed at home,' i thought, 'andhe'll be all right to-day.' i prepared breakfast for the household, aswas my usual custom, but told hareton and catherine to get theirs ere the master camedown, for he lay late.
they preferred taking it out of doors,under the trees, and i set a little table to accommodate them.on my re-entrance, i found mr. heathcliff below. he and joseph were conversing about somefarming business; he gave clear, minute directions concerning the matter discussed,but he spoke rapidly, and turned his head continually aside, and had the same excitedexpression, even more exaggerated. when joseph quitted the room he took hisseat in the place he generally chose, and i put a basin of coffee before him. he drew it nearer, and then rested his armson the table, and looked at the opposite
wall, as i supposed, surveying oneparticular portion, up and down, with glittering, restless eyes, and with such eager interest that he stopped breathingduring half a minute together. 'come now,' i exclaimed, pushing some breadagainst his hand, 'eat and drink that, while it is hot: it has been waiting nearan hour.' he didn't notice me, and yet he smiled. i'd rather have seen him gnash his teeththan smile so. 'mr. heathcliff! master!'i cried, 'don't, for god's sake, stare as if you saw an unearthly vision.'
'don't, for god's sake, shout so loud,' hereplied. 'turn round, and tell me, are we byourselves?' 'of course,' was my answer; 'of course weare.' still, i involuntarily obeyed him, as if iwas not quite sure. with a sweep of his hand he cleared avacant space in front among the breakfast things, and leant forward to gaze more athis ease. now, i perceived he was not looking at thewall; for when i regarded him alone, it seemed exactly that he gazed at somethingwithin two yards' distance. and whatever it was, it communicated,apparently, both pleasure and pain in
exquisite extremes: at least the anguished,yet raptured, expression of his countenance suggested that idea. the fancied object was not fixed, either:his eyes pursued it with unwearied diligence, and, even in speaking to me,were never weaned away. i vainly reminded him of his protractedabstinence from food: if he stirred to touch anything in compliance with myentreaties, if he stretched his hand out to get a piece of bread, his fingers clenched before they reached it, and remained on thetable, forgetful of their aim. i sat, a model of patience, trying toattract his absorbed attention from its
engrossing speculation; till he grewirritable, and got up, asking why i would not allow him to have his own time in taking his meals? and saying that on thenext occasion i needn't wait: i might set the things down and go. having uttered these words he left thehouse, slowly sauntered down the garden path, and disappeared through the gate.the hours crept anxiously by: another evening came. i did not retire to rest till late, andwhen i did, i could not sleep. he returned after midnight, and, instead ofgoing to bed, shut himself into the room
beneath. i listened, and tossed about, and, finally,dressed and descended. it was too irksome to lie there, harassingmy brain with a hundred idle misgivings. i distinguished mr. heathcliff's step,restlessly measuring the floor, and he frequently broke the silence by a deepinspiration, resembling a groan. he muttered detached words also; the onlyone i could catch was the name of catherine, coupled with some wild term ofendearment or suffering; and spoken as one would speak to a person present; low and earnest, and wrung from the depth of hissoul.
i had not courage to walk straight into theapartment; but i desired to divert him from his reverie, and therefore fell foul of thekitchen fire, stirred it, and began to scrape the cinders. it drew him forth sooner than i expected.he opened the door immediately, and said-- 'nelly, come here--is it morning?come in with your light.' 'it is striking four,' i answered. 'you want a candle to take up-stairs: youmight have lit one at this fire.' 'no, i don't wish to go up-stairs,' hesaid. 'come in, and kindle me a fire, and doanything there is to do about the room.'
'i must blow the coals red first, before ican carry any,' i replied, getting a chair and the bellows. he roamed to and fro, meantime, in a stateapproaching distraction; his heavy sighs succeeding each other so thick as to leaveno space for common breathing between. 'when day breaks i'll send for green,' hesaid; 'i wish to make some legal inquiries of him while i can bestow a thought onthose matters, and while i can act calmly. i have not written my will yet; and how toleave my property i cannot determine. i wish i could annihilate it from the faceof the earth.' 'i would not talk so, mr. heathcliff,' iinterposed.
'let your will be a while: you'll be sparedto repent of your many injustices yet! i never expected that your nerves would bedisordered: they are, at present, marvellously so, however; and almostentirely through your own fault. the way you've passed these three last daysmight 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 hollow, and your eyesblood-shot, 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 settleddesigns. i'll do both, as soon as i possibly can. but you might as well bid a man strugglingin the water rest within arms' length of the shore!i must reach it first, and then i'll rest. well, never mind mr. green: as to repentingof my injustices, i've done no injustice, and i repent of nothing.i'm too happy; and yet i'm not happy enough. my soul's bliss kills my body, but does notsatisfy itself.' 'happy, master?'i cried.
'strange happiness! if you would hear me without being angry,i might offer some advice that would make you happier.''what is that?' he asked. 'give it.' 'you are aware, mr. heathcliff,' i said,'that from the time you were thirteen years old you have lived a selfish, unchristianlife; and probably hardly had a bible in your hands during all that period. you must have forgotten the contents of thebook, and you may not have space to search it now.
could it be hurtful to send for some one--some minister of any denomination, it does not matter which--to explain it, and showyou how very far you have erred from its precepts; and how unfit you will be for its heaven, unless a change takes place beforeyou die?' 'i'm rather obliged than angry, nelly,' hesaid, 'for you remind me of the manner in which i desire to be buried. it is to be carried to the churchyard inthe evening. you and hareton may, if you please,accompany me: and mind, particularly, to notice that the sexton obeys my directionsconcerning the two coffins!
no minister need come; nor need anything besaid over me.--i tell you i have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others isaltogether unvalued and uncoveted by me.' 'and supposing you persevered in yourobstinate fast, and died by that means, and they refused to bury you in the precinctsof the kirk?' i said, shocked at his godlessindifference. 'how would you like it?' 'they won't do that,' he replied: 'if theydid, you must have me removed secretly; and if you neglect it you shall prove,practically, that the dead are not annihilated!'
as soon as he heard the other members ofthe family stirring he retired to his den, and i breathed freer. but in the afternoon, while joseph andhareton were at their work, he came into the kitchen again, and, with a wild look,bid me come and sit in the house: he wanted somebody with him. i declined; telling him plainly that hisstrange talk and manner frightened me, and i had neither the nerve nor the will to behis companion alone. 'i believe you think me a fiend,' he said,with his dismal laugh: 'something too horrible to live under a decent roof.'
then turning to catherine, who was there,and who drew behind me at his approach, he added, half sneeringly,--'will you come,chuck? i'll not hurt you. no! to you i've made myself worse than thedevil. well, there is one who won't shrink frommy company! by god! she's relentless. oh, damn 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 night, and far into themorning, we heard him groaning and murmuring to himself. hareton was anxious to enter; but i bid himfetch mr. kenneth, and he should go in and see him. when he came, and i requested admittanceand tried to open the door, i found it locked; and heathcliff bid us be damned.he was better, and would be left alone; so the doctor went away. the following evening was very wet: indeed,it poured down till day-dawn; and, as i took my morning walk round the house, iobserved the master's window swinging open,
and the rain driving straight in. he cannot be in bed, i thought: thoseshowers would drench him through. he must either be up or out.but i'll make no more ado, i'll go boldly and look.' having succeeded in obtaining entrance withanother key, i ran to unclose the panels, for the chamber was vacant; quickly pushingthem aside, i peeped in. mr. heathcliff was there--laid on his back. his eyes met mine so keen and fierce, istarted; and then he seemed to smile. i could not think him dead: but his faceand throat were washed with rain; the bed-
clothes dripped, and he was perfectlystill. the lattice, flapping to and fro, hadgrazed one hand that rested on the sill; no blood trickled from the broken skin, andwhen i put my fingers to it, i could doubt no more: he was dead and stark! i hasped the window; i combed his blacklong hair from his forehead; i tried to close his eyes: to extinguish, if possible,that frightful, life-like gaze of exultation before any one else beheld it. they would not shut: they seemed to sneerat my attempts; and his parted lips and sharp white teeth sneered too!taken with another fit of cowardice, i
cried out for joseph. joseph shuffled up and made a noise, butresolutely refused to meddle with him. 'th' divil's harried off his soul,' hecried, 'and he may hev' his carcass into t' bargin, for aught i care! ech! what a wicked 'un he looks, girning atdeath!' and the old sinner grinned in mockery. i thought he intended to cut a caper roundthe bed; but suddenly composing himself, he fell on his knees, and raised his hands,and returned thanks that the lawful master and the ancient stock were restored totheir rights.
i felt stunned by the awful event; and mymemory unavoidably recurred to former times with a sort of oppressive sadness. but poor hareton, the most wronged, was theonly one who really suffered much. he sat by the corpse all night, weeping inbitter earnest. he pressed its hand, and kissed thesarcastic, savage face that every one else shrank from contemplating; and bemoaned himwith that strong grief which springs naturally from a generous heart, though itbe tough as tempered steel. mr. kenneth was perplexed to pronounce ofwhat disorder the master died. i concealed the fact of his havingswallowed nothing for four days, fearing it
might lead to trouble, and then, i ampersuaded, he did not abstain on purpose: it was the consequence of his strangeillness, not the cause. we buried him, to the scandal of the wholeneighbourhood, as he wished. earnshaw and i, the sexton, and six men tocarry the coffin, comprehended the whole attendance. the six men departed when they had let itdown into the grave: we stayed to see it covered. hareton, with a streaming face, dug greensods, and laid them over the brown mould himself: at present it is as smooth andverdant as its companion mounds--and i hope
its tenant sleeps as soundly. but the country folks, if you ask them,would swear on the bible that he walks: there are those who speak to having met himnear the church, and on the moor, and even within this house. idle tales, you'll say, and so say i. yet that old man by the kitchen fireaffirms he has seen two on 'em looking out of his chamber window on every rainy nightsince his death:--and an odd thing happened to me about a month ago. i was going to the grange one evening--adark evening, threatening thunder--and,
just at the turn of the heights, iencountered a little boy with a sheep and two lambs before him; he was crying terribly; and i supposed the lambs wereskittish, and would not be guided. 'what is the matter, my little man?'i asked. 'there's heathcliff and a woman yonder,under t' nab,' he blubbered, 'un' i darnut pass 'em.' i saw nothing; but neither the sheep nor hewould go on so i bid him take the road lower down. he probably raised the phantoms fromthinking, as he traversed the moors alone,
on the nonsense he had heard his parentsand companions repeat. yet, still, i don't like being out in thedark now; and i don't like being left by myself in this grim house: i cannot helpit; i shall be glad when they leave it, and shift to the grange. 'they are going to the grange, then?'i said. 'yes,' answered mrs. dean, 'as soon as theyare married, and that will be on new year's day.' 'and who will live here then?''why, joseph will take care of the house, and, perhaps, a lad to keep him company.they will live in the kitchen, and the rest
will be shut up.' 'for the use of such ghosts as choose toinhabit it?' i observed.'no, mr. lockwood,' said nelly, shaking her head. 'i believe the dead are at peace: but it isnot 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 grumbled,watching their approach through the window. 'together, they would brave satan and allhis legions.' as they stepped on to the door-stones, andhalted to take a last look at the moon--or,
more correctly, at each other by her light--i felt irresistibly impelled to escape them again; and, pressing a remembrance into the hand of mrs. dean, anddisregarding her expostulations at my rudeness, i vanished through the kitchen asthey opened the house-door; and so should have confirmed joseph in his opinion of his fellow-servant's gay indiscretions, had henot fortunately recognised me for a respectable character by the sweet ring ofa sovereign at his feet. my walk home was lengthened by a diversionin the direction of the kirk. when beneath its walls, i perceived decayhad made progress, even in seven months:
many a window showed black gaps deprived ofglass; and slates jutted off here and there, beyond the right line of the roof, to be gradually worked off in coming autumnstorms. i sought, and soon discovered, the threeheadstones on the slope next the moor: the middle one grey, and half buried in theheath; edgar linton's only harmonized by the turf and moss creeping up its foot;heathcliff's still bare. i lingered round them, under that benignsky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the softwind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine
unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in thatquiet earth.