Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/25

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xxi
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

absolute conviction that if this advantage could be allowed to us, it would be the making of us for life.' Arrangements were made to decline the school at Dewsbury Moor. Bridlington was thought of. Emily assented, being anxious that the school should be started.

1842.—Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels to the School of the Hégers. Héger thought that Emily knew no French at all. She was oddly dressed, and wore amazing leg-of-mutton sleeves, her pet whim in and out of fashion. She had a bitter sense of exile, but Charlotte enjoyed the change. Emily did not like Héger, and was as indomitable and fierce as Charlotte was gentle and obedient. But Héger thought Emily had more genius than her sister. He was deeply impressed with her faculty of imagination and her argumentative powers, and said: 'She should have been a man: a great navigator!' But the two were never friends. Emily was 'wild for home,' and seldom spoke a word to any one. It was probably at this time that she composed the poem 'at twilight in the schoolroom,'—'The house is old, the trees are bare.'

In the meantime, Charlotte was almost dangerously happy, but knew that Emily and