Page:The complete poems of Emily Bronte.djvu/49

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xlv
INTRODUCTORY ESSAY

It is the author's 'passionate and ardent chastity' that marks most deeply the character and the work of Emily Brontë.


V

For unquestionably her novel and the best of her poems are more unmistakably works of genius than even the books of Charlotte Brontë. Wuthering Heights is, from beginning to end, a pure and purifying tragedy. It excels in its pictures of dreamland and delirium. The writer is most secure when she is treading the path of a single hair. With the ordinary things that make up the personality of an author she has nothing to do. The only quotation I remember in her writings is very characteristic:—

'It was far in the night and the bairnies grat,
The mither beneath the mools heard that.'

It is very hard to extract any lessons from the book, and the preferences expressed in it are simple and enduring. Above all are the passion for liberty and the belief that death makes peace. It is dangerous to conclude that a writer is ignorant of certain facts and relations of life. She is not ignorant; she could hardly be ignorant, but she rises above such things.

As to her personal faith or unfaith, many