Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/34

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I studied the two ferocious authors. Ellis, the "man of uncommon talents, but dogged, brutal, and morose," sat leaning back in his easy chair, drawing his impeded breath as he best could, and looking, alas! piteously pale and wasted; it is not his wont to laugh, but he smiled, half amused and half in scorn as he listened. Acton was sewing, no emotion ever stirs him to loquacity, so he only smiled too, dropping at the same time a single word of calm amazement to hear his character so darkly portrayed. I wonder what the reviewer would have thought of his own sagacity could he have beheld the pair as I did.' The critic, I may add, was E. P. Whipple, who, for many years, had a considerable reputation in America.

1848 (19th December).—Emily Brontë died, 'conscious, panting, reluctant.' Mr. Shorter has recovered two precious fragments from her Journal, one dated 30th July 1841, the other 31st July 1845. She had agreed with her sister Anne to write papers which each one was to open four years after. In 1841 she writes: 'It is Friday evening, near nine o'clock—wild rainy weather. I am seated in the dining-room, having just concluded tidying our desk boxes. Papa is in the parlour, aunt upstairs in her