Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/27

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xxiii
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

Héger to go back to Brussels. Emily would not consent. Branwell was at home, but the sisters had not seen him at his worst, and they were happy for three months.

1843 (January).—Charlotte went back to Brussels. Emily was left behind with Branwell for a short time. Branwell went away as tutor, and Emily was left alone with her father and old Tabby helping in the housework. She had Flossie, Anne's favourite spaniel, and Keeper, the fierce bulldog, cats, and other animals. Charlotte was not happy at Brussels. Branwell was still drinking, and Anne was very anxious about him. Mr Brontë, the father, was in failing health and tempted by stimulants. In the end of this year Emily wrote to Charlotte urging her return.

1844 (January).—Charlotte arrived at Haworth very reluctantly. 'Haworth seems such a lonely quiet spot.'

1844 (March).—Emily and Charlotte were together thinking over the future. Charlotte wrote: 'Our poor little cat has been ill two days, and is just dead. It is piteous to see even an animal lying lifeless. Emily is sorry.' The girls wrote for pupils, but failed to get them. Branwell got worse and worse, drinking heavily