Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/46

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xlii
POEMS OF EMILY BRONTË

do with the books of his sisters, I can scarcely trust myself to speak. Those who hold it outrage all decency in bringing, as they virtually do, a charge of the basest untruthfulness against Charlotte Brontë. Can any one read what she has written about her sisters and believe for a moment that the honours of their achievement can be divided? Happily we have the explicit statement of Charlotte Brontë, in her letter to W. S. Williams, announcing Branwell's death: 'My unhappy brother never knew what his sisters had done in literature—he was not aware that they had ever published a line. We could not tell him of our efforts for fear of causing him too deep a pang of remorse for his own time misspent, and talents misapplied.' It is not only possible, but likely, that much of Branwell's foul talk was put into the mouths of certain among his sisters' characters. In Wuthering Heights we read: 'Two words would comprehend my future—death and hell; existence after losing her would be hell. Yet I was a fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Linton's attachment more than mine. If he loved with all the force of his puny being, he would never love in eighty years as much as I could do in a day.' In one of Branwell's letters we find these words: 'My own life