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WUTUERIiNG HEIGHTS 



A x\OVEL 



Br 



ELLIS BELL 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 



VOL. L 



LONDON: 
THOMAS CAUTLEY NEWBY, PUBLISHER, 

72, MORTIMER St., CAVENDISH Sq. 
1847. 






DO 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTER L 



1801 1 have just returned from a visit to 

my landlord— the solitary neighbour that I 
shall be troubled with. This is certainly, a 
beautiful country ! In all England, 1 do not 
believe that I could have fixed on a situation 
so completely removed from the stir of society. 
A perfect misanthropist's Heaven — and Mr. 
Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to 
divide the desolation between us. A capital 
^ fellow I He little imagined how my heart 
warmed towards him when 1 beheld his black 

VOL. I. B 



J WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their 
brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers shel- 
tered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still 
further in his waistcoat, as 1 anoounced my 
name. 

'* Mr. HeathclifF?" I said. 

A nod was the answer. 

" Mr. Lockwood your new tenant, sir — I do 
myself the honour of calling as soon as possible, 
after my arrival, to express the hope that I 
have not inconvenienced you by my perseve- 
rance in soliciting the occupation of Thrush- 
cross Grange : I heard, yesterday, you had 
had some thoughts — " 

" Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir," he 
interrupted wincing, " I should not allow any 
one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it- 
walk in !^' 

The '' walk in," was uttered with closed 
teeth and expressed the sentiment, " Go to the 
Deuce !" even the gate over which he leant 
manifested no sympathizing movement to the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. O 

words; and I think that circumstance deter- 
mined me to accept the invitation : I felt in- 
terested in a man who seemed more exagge- 
ratedly reserved than myself. 

When he saw my horse's breast fairly push- 
ing the barrier, he did pull out his hand to un- 
chain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the 
causeway, calling, as we entered the court : 

'' Joseph, take Mr. Lock wood's horse ; and 
bring up some wine." 

" Here we have the whole establishment of 
domestics, I suppose," was the reflection, sug- 
gested by this compound order, '' No wonder 
the grass grows up between the flags, and 
cattle are the only hedge-cutters." 

Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man, 
very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy. 

** The Lord help us !" he soliloquised in an 
undertone of peevish displeasure, while reliev- 
ing me of my horse : looking, meantime, in n.y 
face 60 sourly that I charitably conjectured he 
must have need of divine aid to digest his din- 
B 3 



4 WUTHERING nEIGHTS. 

ner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference 
to my unexpected advent. 

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. 
HeathclifF's dwelling. " Wuthering" being a 
significant provincial adjective, descriptive of 
the atmospheric tumult to which its station is 
exposed, in stormy weather. Pure, bracing 
ventilation they must have up there, at all 
times, indeed : one may guess the power of the 
north wind, blowing over the edge, by the 
excessive slant of a few, stunted firs at the 
end of the house ; and by a range of gaunt 
thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as 
if craving alms of the sun. Happily, the ar- 
chitect had foresight to build it strong : the 
narrow windows are deeply set in the wall ; 
and the corners defended with large jutting 
stones. 

Before passing the threshold, I paused to 
admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished 
over the front, and especially about the princi- 
pal door, above which, among a wilderness of 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. O 

crumbling griffins, and shameless little boys, I 
detected the date "1500,'' and the name 
'* Hareton Earnshaw," I would have made a 
few comments, and requested a short history 
of the place, from the surly owner, but his 
attitude at the door appeared to demand my 
speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I 
had no desire to aggraVate his impatience, pre- 
vious to inspecting the penetralium. 

One step brought us into the family sitting- 
room, without any introductory lobby, or pas- 
sage : they call it here " the house" preemi- 
nently. It includes kitchen, and parlor, ge- 
nerally, but I believe at Wuthering Heights, 
the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether, into 
another quarter, at least I distinguished a 
chatter of tongues, and a clatter of culinary 
utensils, deep within ; and I observed no signs 
of roasting, boiling, or baking, about the huge 
fire-place ; nor any glitter of copper saucepans 
and tin cullenders on the walls. One end, 
indeed, reflected splendidly both light and heat, 



6 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

from ranks of immense pewter dishes ; inter- 
spersed with silver jugs, and tankards, tower- 
ing row after row, in a vast oak dresser, to the 
very roof. The latter had never been under- 
drawn, its entire anatomy lay bare to an in- 
quiring eye, except where a frame of wood 
laden with oatcakes, and clusters of legs of 
beef, mutton and ham^ concealed it. Above 
the chimney were sundry villanous old guns, 
and a couple of horse-pistols, and, by way of 
ornament, three gaudily painted canisters dis- 
posed along its ledge. The floor was of 
smooth, white stone : the chairs, high-backed, 
primitive structures, painted green: one or 
two heavy black ones lurking in the shade. 
In an arch, under the dresser, reposed a huge, 
liver-coloured bitch pointer surrounded by a 
swarm of squealing puppies, and other dogs, 
haunted other recesses. 

The apartment, and furniture would have 
been nothing extraordinary as belonging to a 
homely, northern farmer with a stubborn coun- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 7 

tenance, and stalwart limbs, set out to advan- 
tage in knee-breeches, and gaiters. Such an 
individual, seated in his arm-chair, his mug of 
ale frothing on the round table before him, is 
to be seen in any circuit of five or six miles 
among these hills, if you go at the right time, 
after dinner. But, Mr. Heathcliff forms a sin- 
gular contrast to his abode and style of living. 
He is a dark skinned gypsy, in aspect, in 
dress, and manners, a gentleman, that is, as 
much a gentleman as many a country squire : 
rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss, 
with his negligence, because he has an erect 
and handsome figure — and rather morose — pos- 
sibly, some people might suspect him of a de- 
gree of under-bred pride — I have a sympathe- 
tic chord within that tells me it is nothing of 
the sort; I know, by instinct, his reserve 
springs from an aversion to showy displays of 
•feeling — to manifestations of mutual kindliness. 
He'll love and hate, equally under cover, and 
esteem it a species of impertinence, to be loved 



8 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

or hated again — No, I'm running on too fast — 
I bestow my own attributes over liberally on 
him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely dis- 
similar reasons for keeping his handj out of 
the way, when he meets a would be acquaint- 
ance, to those which actuate me. Let me hope my 
constitution is almost peculiar : my dear mo- 
ther used to say I should never have a com- 
fortable home, and only last summer, I proved 
myself perfectly unworthy of one. 

While enjoying a month of fine weather at 
the sea-coast, I was thrown into the company 
" of a most fascinating creature, a real goddess, 
in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of 
me. I ** never told my love" vocally; still, if 
looks have language, the merest idiot might 
have guessed I was over head and ears : she 
understood me, at last, and looked a return — 
the sweetest of all imaginable looks — and what 
did I do ? I confess it with shame — shrunk 
icily into myself, like a snail, at every glance 
retired colder and farther; till, finally, the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. y 

poor innocent was led to doubt her own senses, 
and, overwhelmed with confusion at her sup- 
posed mistake, persuaded her mamma to de- 
camp. 

By this curious turn of disposition I have 
gained the reputation of deliberate heartless- 
ness, how undeserved, I alone can appreciate. 

I took a seat at the end of the hearthstone 
opposite that towards which my landlord ad- 
vanced, and filled up an interval of silence by 
attempting to caress the canine mother, who 
had left her nursery, and was sneaking wolf- 
ishly to the back of my legs, her lip curled up, 
and her white teeth watering for a snatch. 

My caress provoked a long, guttural gnarl. 

" You*d better let the dog alone,'^ growled 
Mr. Heathcliflf, in unison, checking fiercer de- 
monstrations with a punch of his foot. *' She's 
not accustomed to be spoiled — not kept for a 
pet." 

Then, striding to a side-door, he shouted 
again. 

B 5 



10 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" Joseph !" 

Joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depths 
of the cellar ; but, gave no intimation of as- 
cending ; so, his master dived down to him, 
leaving me vis-a-vis the ruffianly bitch, and a 
pair of grim, shaggy sheep dogs, who shared 
with her a jealous guardianship over all my 
movements. 

Not anxious to come in contact with their 
fangs, I sat still— but, imagining they would 
scarcely understand tacit insults, I unfortu- 
nately indulged in winking and making faces 
at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy 
so irritated madam, that she suddenly broke 
into a fury, and leapt on my knees. I flung 
her back, and hastened to interpose the table 
between us. This proceeding roused the whole 
hive. Half-a-dozen four-footed fiends, of va- 
rious sizes, and ages, issued from hidden dens to 
the common centre. I felt my heels, and 
coat-laps peculiar subjects of assault; and, 
parrying off the larger combatants, as effec- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 11 

tually as I could, with the poker, I was con- 
strained to demand, aloud, assistance from some 
of the household, in re-establishing peace. 

Mr. Heathcliff and his man climbed the 
cellar steps with vexatious phlegm. I don't 
think they moved one second faster than usual, 
though the hearth was an absolute tempest of 
worrying and yelping. 

Happily, an inhabitant of the kitchen made 
more dispatch ; a lusty dame, with tucked up 
gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed cheeks, 
rushed into the midst of us flourishing a fry- 
ingpan ; and used that weapon, and her tongue 
to such purpose, that the storm subsided magi- 
cally, and she only remained, heaving like a 
sea after a high wind, when her master entered 
on the scene. 

" What the devil is the matter?'' he asked, 
eyeing me in a manner that I could iU endure 
after this inhospitable treatment. 

"What the devil, indeed I" I muttered. 
" The herd of possessed swine could have had 



12 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

no worse spirits in them than those animals of 
yours, sir. You might as well leave a stranger 
with a brood of tigers !" 

** They wont meddle with persons who 
touch nothing," he remarked, putting the 
bottle before me, and restoring the displaced 
table. " The dogs do right to be vigilant. 
Take a glass of wine?" 

** No, thank you." 

'' Not bitten, are you ?" 

*' If 1 had been, I would have set my signet 
on the biter." 

Heathcliff's countenance relaxed iuto a grin. 

" Come, come," he said, " you are flurried, 
Mr. Lockwood. Here, take a little wine. 
Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house 
that I and my dogs, I am willing to own, 
hardly know how to receive them. Your 
health, sir !" 

I bowed and returned the pledge ; beginning 
to perceive that it would be foolish to sit 
sulking for the misbehaviour of a pack of curs : 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 13 

besides, I felt loath to yield the fellow further 
amusement, at my expense ; since his humour 
took that turn. 

He-probably swayed by prudential consider- 
ations of the folly of offending a good tenant 
— relaxed, a little, in the laconic style of chip- 
ping of his pronouns, and auxiliary verbs ; and 
introduced, what he supposed would be a sub- 
ject of interest to me, a discourse on the ad- 
vantages and disadvantages of my present place 
of retirement. 

I found him very intelligent on the topics we 
touched ; and, before I went home, I was en- 
couraged so far as to volunteer another visit, 
to-morrow. 

He evidently wished no repetition of my in- 
trusion. I shall go, notwithstanding. It is 
astonishing how sociable I feel myself compared 
with him. 



14 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTER 11. 



Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I 
had half a mind to spend it by my study 
fire, instead of wading through heath and mud 
to Wuthering Heights. 

On coming up from dinner, however, (N. B. 
I dine between twelve and one o'clock; the 
housekeeper, a matronly lady taken as a fixture 
along with the house, could not, or would not 
comprehend my request that I might be served 
at five.) On mounting the stairs with this 
lazy intention, and stepping into the room, I 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 15 

saw a servant-girl on her knees, surrounded by- 
brushes, and coal-scuttles; and raising an in- 
fernal dust as she extinguished the flames with 
heaps of cinders. This spectacle drove me 
back immediately ; I took my hat, and, after a 
four miles walk, arrived at Heathcliif 's garden 
gate just in time to escape the first feathery- 
flakes of a snow shower. 

On that bleak hill top the earth was hard 
with a black frost, and the air made me shiver 
through every- limb. Being unable to remove 
the chain, I jumped over, and, running up the 
flagged causeway bordered with straggling 
gooseberry bushes, knocked vainly for admit- 
tance, till my knuckles tingled, and the dogs 
howled. 

*' Wretched inmates 1" I ejaculated, men- 
tally, " you deserve perpetual isolation from 
your species for your churlish inhospitality. 
At least, I would not keep my doors barred 
in the day time—I don't care — I will get in !" 



16 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

So resolved, I grasped the latch, and shook 
it vehemently. Vinegar-faced Joseph pro- 
jected his head from a round window of the 
barn. 

''Whet are ye for?" he shouted. ** T' 
maisters dahn i' t'fowld. Goa rahnd by th' 
end ut' laith. if yah went tuh spake tull him." 

" Is there nobody inside to open the door ?" 
I hallooed, responsively. 

*' They's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll nut 
oppen't an ye mak yer flaysome dins till 
neeght." 

'' Why ? cannot you tell her who I am, eh, 
Joseph ?" 

" Nor-ne me! Aw'll hae noa hend wi't," 
muttered the head vanishing. 

The snow began to drive thickly. I seized 
the handle to essay another trial ; when a 
young man, without coat, and shouldering a 
pitchfork, appeared in the yard behind. He 
hailed me to follow him, and, after marching 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 17 

through a washhouse, and a paved area con- 
taining a coal-shed, pump, and pigeon cote, we 
at length arrived in the large, warm, cheerful 
apartment, where I was formerly received. 

It glowed delightfully in the radiance of an 
immense fire, compounded of coal, peat, and 
wood : and near the table, laid for a plentiful 
evening meal, I was pleased to observe the 
" missis," an individual whose existence I had 
never previously suspected. 

I bowed and waited, thinking she would bid 
me take a seat. She looked at me, leaning 
back in her chair, and remained motionless and 
mute. 

'' Rough weather !" I remarked. *' I'm 
afraid, Mrs. Heathcliff, the floor must bear the 
consequence of your servant's leisure attend- 
ance : I had hard work to make them hear 
me I" 

She never opened her mouth. I stared — 
she stared also. At any rate, she kept her eyes 



18 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

on me, in a cool, regardless manner, exceed- 
ingly embarrassing and disagreeable. 

** Sit down," said the young man, gruffly. 
« He'll be in soon." 

I obeyed ; and hemmed, and called the vil- 
lain Juno, who deigned, at this second inter- 
view, to move the extreme tip of her tail, in 
token of owning my acquaintance. 

^^ A beautiful animal !" I commenced again. 
'* Do you intend parting with the little ones, 
madam ?" 

" They are not mine," said the amiable 
hostess more repellingly than Heathcliff him- 
self could have replied. 

*^ Ah, your favourites are among these !" I 
continued, turning to an obscure cushion full 
of something like cats. 

*' A strange choice of favourites," she ob- 
served scornfully. 

Unluckily, it was a heap of dead rabbits — 
I hemmed once more, and drew closer to the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 19 

hearth, repeating my comment on the wildness 
of the evening. 

" You should not have come out," she said, 
rising and reaching from the chimney piece two 
of the painted canisters. 

Her position before was sheltered from the 
light : now, I had a distinct view of her 
whole figure and countenance. She was slender, 
and apparently scarcely past girlhood : an ad- 
mirable form, and the most exquisite little face 
that I have ever had the pleasure of behold- 
ing : small features, very fair ; flaxen ringlets, 
or rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate 
neck ; and eyes — had they been agreeable in 
expression, they would have been irresistible — 
fortunately for my susceptible heart, the only 
sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn 
and a kind of desperation, singularly unnatural 
to be detected there. 

The canisters were almost out of her reach ; 
I made a motion to aid her ; she turned upon 
me as a miser might turn, if any one at- 
tempted to assist him in counting his gold. 



^0 WUTHERINO HEIGHTS. 

" I don't want your help," she snapped, " I 
can get them for myself." 

"I beg your pardon," I hastened to reply. 

" Were you asked to tea ?" she demanded, 
tying an apron over her neat black frock, and 
standing with a spoonful of the leaf poised 
over the pot. 

" I shall be glad to have a cup," I an- 
swered. 

" Were you asked ?" she repeated. 

** No ;" I said, half smiling. ** You are the 
proper person to ask me." 

She flung the tea back, spoon and all ; and 
resumed her chair in a. pet, her forehead cor- 
rugated, and her red under-lip pushed out, 
like a child's, ready to cry. 

Meanwhile, the young man had slung onto 
his person a decidedly shabby upper garment, 
and, erecting himself before the blaze, looked 
down on me, from the corner of his eyes, for 
all the world as if there were some mortal 
feud unavenged between us. I began to doubt 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 21 

whether he were a servant or not ; his dress 
and speech were both rude, entirely devoid of 
the superiority observable in Mr. and ^Irs. 
Heathcliff ; his thick, brown curls were rough 
and uncultivated, his whiskers encroached 
bearishly over his cheeks, and his hands were 
embrowned like those of a common labourer, 
still his bearing was free, almost haughty ; 
and he showed none of a domestic's assiduity 
in attending on the lady of the house. 

In the absence of clear proofs of his con- 
dition, I deemed it best to abstain from no- 
ticing his curious conduct, and, five minutes 
afterwards, the entrance of Heathclifi' relieved 
me, in some measure, from my uncomfortable 
state. 

" You see, sir, I am come according to 
promise !" I exclaimed, assuming the cheerful 
" and I fear I shall be weather-bound for 
half an hour, if you can afford me shelter dur- 
ing that space." 

*' Half an hour ?" he said, shaking the 



22 WUT BERING HEIGHTS. 

white flakes from his clothes ; " I wonder 
you should select the thick of a snow-storm 
to ramble about in. Do you know that you 
run a risk of being lost in the marshes ? People 
familiar with these moors often miss their 
road on such evenings, and, I can tell you, 
there is no chance of a change at present." 

" Perhaps I can get a guide among your 
lads, and he might stay at the Grange till 
morning — could you spare me one ?" 

'* No, I could not." 

" Oh^ indeed ! Well then, I must trust to 
my own sagacity." 

^'Umph!" 

** Are you going to mak th 'tea ?'' demanded 
he of the shabby coat, shifting his ferocious 
gaze from me to the young lady. 

" Is he to have any ?"' she asked, appealing 
to Heathcliff. 

" Get it ready, will you ?" was the answer, 
uttered so savagely that I started. The tone 
in which the words were said, revealed a ge- 



WUTHEEING HEIGHTS. 23 

nuine bad nature. I no longer felt Inclined to 
call Heathcliff a capital fellow. 

When the preparations were finished, he 
invited me with — 

"Now, sir, bring forward your chair." And 
we all, including the rustic youth, drew round 
the table, an austere silence prevailing while 
we discussed our meal. 

I thought, if I had caused the cloud, it was 
my duty to make an effort to dispel it. They 
could not every day sit so grim and taciturn, 
and it was impossible, how^ever ill-tempered 
they might be, that the universal scowl they 
wore was their every day countenance. 

" It is strange," I began in the interval of 
swallowing one cup of tea, and receiving 
another, " it is strange how custom can mould 
our tastes and ideas ; many could not imagine 
the existence of happiness in a life of such 
complete exile from the world as you spend, 
Mr. Heathcliff; yet, I'll venture to say, 
that, surrounded by your family, and with 



24 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

your amiable lady as the presiding genius over 
your home and heart — " 

" My amiable lady !'' he interrupted, with 
an almost diabolical sneer on his face. 
" Where is she — my amiable lady ?" 

" Mrs. Heathcliff, your wife, I mean.'* 

" Well, yes — Oh ! you would intimate that 
her spirit has taken the post of ministering 
angel, and guards the fortunes of Wuthering 
Heights, even when her body is gone. Is 
that it ?" 

Perceiving myself in a blunder, I attempted 
to correct it. I might have seen there was 
too great a disparity between the ages of the 
parties to make it likely that they were man 
and wife. One was about forty ; a period of 
mental vigour at which men seldom cherish 
the delusion of being married for love, by 
girls : that dream is reserved for the solace 
of our declining years. The other did not look 
seventeen. 

Then it flashed upon me ; " the clown at 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 25 

my elbow, who is drinking his tea out of a 
basin, and eating his bread with unwashed 
hands, may be her husband. Heathcliff, 
junior, of course. Here is the consequence of 
being buried alive : she has thrown herself 
away upon that boor, from sheer ignorance 
that better individuals existed ! A sad pity — 
I must beware how I cause her to regret her 
choice." 

The last reflection may seem conceited ; it 
was not. My neighbour struck me as bor- 
dering on repulsive. I knew, through expe- 
rience, that I was tolerably attractive. 

** Mrs. Heathcliff is my daughter-in-law," 
said Heathcliff, corroborating my surmise. He 
turned, as he spoke, a peculiar look in her di- 
rection, a look of hatred unless he has a most 
perverse set of facial muscles that will not, 
like those of other people, interpret the langu- 
age of his suul. 

^^ Ah, certainly — I see now ; you are the 

VOL. I. c 



26 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

favoured possessor of the beneficent fairy," I 
remarked, turning to my neighbour. 

This was worse than before : the youth grew 
crimson, and clenched his fist with every ap- 
pearance of a meditated assault. But he 
seemed to recollect himself, presently ; and 
smothered the storm in a brutal curse, muttered 
on my behalf, which, however, I took care not 
to notice." 

" Unhappy in your conjectures, sir !" ob- 
served my host ; " we neither of us have the 
privilege of owning your good fairy ; her mate 
is dead. I said she was my daughter-in-law, 
therefore, she must have married my son." 

" And this young man is — " 

" Not my son, assuredly !" 

Heathcliff smiled again, as if it were rather 
too bold a jest to attribute the paternity of 
that bear to him. 

" My name is Hareton Earnshaw," growled 
the other ; " and I'd counsel you to respect 
it!'' 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 27 

" I've shown no disrespect,'^ was my reply, 
laughing internally at the dignity with which 
he announced himself. 

He fixed his eye on me longer than I cared 
to return the stare, for fear I might be tempted 
either to box his ears, or render my hilarity 
audible. I began to feel unmistakably out of 
place in that pleasant family circle. The dis- 
mal spiritual atmosphere overcame, and more 
than neutralized the glowing physical comforts 
round me ; and I resolved to be cautious how 
I ventured under those rafters a third time. 

The business of eating being concluded, and 
no one uttering a word of sociable conversa- 
tion, I approached a window to examine the 
weather. 

A sorrowful sight I saw ; dark night coming 
down prematurely, and sky and hills mingled 
in one bitter »whirl of wind and suffocating 
snow. 

*' I don't think it possible for me to get home 
now, without a guide," I could not help ex- 
c 3 



28 WUTflERING HEIGHTS. 

claiming. " The roads will be buried already ; 
and, if they were bare, I could scarcely dis- 
tinguish a foot in advance." 

** Hareton, drive those dozen sheep into the 
barn porch. They'll be covered if left in the 
fold all night; and put a plank before them," 
said Heathcliff. 

" How must I do?" I continued, with rising 
irritation. 

There was no reply to my question; and, 
on looking round, I saw only Joseph bringing 
in a pail of porridge for the dogs ; and Mrs. 
Heathcliff, leaning over the fire, diverting her- 
self with burning a bundle of matches which 
had fallen from the chimney-piece as she re- 
stored the tea-canister to its place. 

The former, when he had deposited his bur- 
den, took a critical survey of the room ; and, 
in cracked tones, grated out : 

** Aw woonder hagh yah can faishion tub 
stand thear i' idleness un war, when all on 'em's 
goan aght ! Bud yah're a nowt, and it^s noa 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 29 

use talking — yah'll niver mend uh yer ill ways ; 
bud, goa raight tub t' divil, like yer mother 
afore ye !" 

I imagined, for a moment, that this piece of 
eloquence was addressed to me ; and, suffici- 
ently entaged, stepped towards the aged rascal 
with an intention of kicking him out of the 
door. 

Mrs. HeathclifF, however, cbecked me by her 
answer. 

" You scandalous old hypocrite !" she re- 
plied. ** Are you not afraid of being carried 
away bodily, whenever you mention the devil's 
name? I warn you to refrain from provoking 
me, or I'll ask your abduction as a special 
favour. Stop, look here, Joseph," she con- 
tinued, taking a long, dark book from a shelf. 
** I'll show you how far I've progressed in the 
Black Art — I shall soon be competent to make 
a clear house of it. The red cow didn't die 
by chance ; and your rheumatism can hardly 
be reckoned among providential visitations !" 



30 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

*' Oh, wicked, wicked I" gasped the elder, 
" may the Lord deliver us from evil !" 

*' No, reprobate ! you are a castaway — be 
off, or I'll hurt you seriously ! I'll have you 
all modlled in wax an d clay ; and the first who 
passes the limits, I fix, shall — I'll not say 
what he shall be done to — but, you'll see ! Go, 
I'm looking at you !" 

The little witch put a mock malignity into 
her beautiful eyes, and Joseph, trembling with 
sincere horror, hurried out praying and ejacu- 
lating " wicked" as he went. 

I thought her conduct must be prompted 
by a species of dreary fun ; and, now that we 
were alone, I endeavoured to interest her in 
my distress. 

" Mrs. Heathcliff," I said, earnestly, " you 
must excuse me for troubling you — I presume, 
because, with that face, I'm sure you cannot 
help being good-hearted. Do point out some 
landmarks by which I may know my way home 
— I have no more idea how to get there than 
you would have how to get to London !" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 31 

" Take the road you came/^ she answered, 
ensconcing herself in a chair, with a candle, 
and the long book open before her. " It is 
brief advice ; but, j;s sound as I can give." 

" Then, if you hear of me being discovered 
dead in a bog, or a pit full of snow, your con- 
science wont whisper that it is partly your 
fault ?" 

" How so ? I cannot escort you. They 
wouldn't let me go to the end of the garden- 
wall." 

" You ! I should be sorry to ask you to cross 
the threshold, for my cDuvenience, on such a 
night," I cried. " I want you to tell me my 
way, not to show it ; or else to per-uade Mr. 
Heathcliff to give me a guide." 

" Who ? Tnere is himself, Earnshaw, Zillah, 
Joseph, and I. Which would you have ?" 

" Are there no boys at the farm ?" 

" No, those are all." 

" Then, it follows that I am compelled to 
stay." 



32 WllTHERING HEIGHTS. 

*' That you may settle witl^ your host. I 
have nothing to do with it." 

" I hope it will be a lesson to you, to make 
no more rash journeys on these hills/' cried 
Heathcliff's stern voice from the kitchen en- 
trance. " As to staying here, I don't keep 
accommodations for visiters; you must share a 
bed with Hareton, or Joseph, if you do.*' 

" I can sleep on a chair in this room," I re- 
plied. 

" No, no ! A stranger is a stranger, be he 
rich or poor — it will not suit me to permit any 
one the range of the place while I am off 
guard !" said the unmannerly wretch. 

With this insult my patience was at an end. 
I uttered an expression of disgust, and pushed 
past him into the yard, running against Earn- 
shaw in my haste. It was so dark that I could 
not see the means of exit, and, as I wandered 
round, I heard another specimen of their civil 
behaviour amongst each other. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 33 

At first, the young man appeared about 
to befriend me. 

•* I'll go with him as far as the park," he 
said. 

^' You'll go with him to hell !" exclaimed 
his master, or whatever relation he bore. 
" And who is to look after the horses, 
eh?'^ 

" A man's life is of more consequence than 
one evening's neglect of the horses ; somebody 
must go," murmured Mrs. HeathclifF, more 
kindly than I expected. 

*' Not at your command !" retorted Hareton. 
" If you set store on him, you'd better be 
quiet." 

" Then I hope his ghost will haunt you ; 
and I hope jMr. Heatbcliif will never get 
another tenant, till the Grange is a ruin I" 
she answered sharply. 

" Hearken, hearken, shoo's cursing on em I" 

muttered Joseph, towards whom I had been 

steering. 

c 5 



34 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

He sat within earshot, milking the cows, 
by the aid of a lantern which I seized uncere- 
moniously, and calling out that 1 would send 
it back on the morrow, rushed to the nearest 
postern. 

** Maister, maister, he*s staling t' lantern !" 
shouted the ancient, pursuing my retreat. 
" Hey, Gnasher ! Hey, dog ! Hey, wolf, 
holld him, holld him I" 

On opening the little door, two hairy 
monsters flew at my throat, bearing me 
down, and extinguishing the light, while a 
mingled guffaw, from Heathcliff and Hareton, 
put the copestone on my rage and humi- 
liation. 

Fortunately, the beasts seemed more bent 
on stretching their paws, and yawning, and 
flourishing their tails, than devouring me alive ; 
but, they would suffer no resurrection, and I 
was forced to lie till their malignant masters 
pleased to deliver me : then hatless, and trem- 
bling with wrath, 1 ordered the miscreants to 



WUTHERING HEIGaT8. 35 

let me out — on their peril to keep me one 
minute longer — with several incoherent threats 
of retaliation, that in their indefinite depth of 
virulency, smacked of King Lear. 

The vehemence of my agitation brought on 
a copious bleeding at the nose, and still Heath- 
cliff laughed, and still I scolded. I don't know 
what would have concluded the scene had 
there not been one person at hand rather more 
rational than myself, and more benevolent than 
uiy entertainer. This was Zillah, the stout 
housewife ; who at length issued forth to in- 
quire into the nature of the uproar. She 
thought that some of them had been laying 
violent hands on me ; and, not daring to at- 
tack her master, she turned her vocal artillery 
against the younger scoundrel. 

" Well, Mr. Earnshaw," she cried, *' I won- 
der what youll have agait next ! Are we 
going to murder folk on our very door-stones ? 
I see this house will never do for me — look at 
t' poor lad, he's fair choking ! Wiaht, wisht I 



Ob WUTHEEENG HEIGHTS. 

you mun'n't go on so — come in, and I'll cure 
that. There now, hold ye still." 

With these words she suddenly splashed'ia 
pint of icy water down my neck, and pulled 
me into the kitchen. Mr. Heathcliff followed, 
his accidental merriment expiring quickly in 
his habitual moroseness. 

I was sick exceedingly, and dizzy and faint ; 
and thus compelled, perforce, to accept lodg- 
ings under his roof. He told Zillah to give 
me a glass of brandy, and then passed on to 
the inner room, while she condoled with me on 
my sorry predicament, and having obeyed his 
orders, whereby I was somewhat revived, 
ushered me to bed. 



WUTUERING HEIGHTS. 37 



CHAPTER III. 



While leading the way up-stairs, she recom- 
mended that I should hide the candle, and not 
make a noise, for her master had an odd notion 
about the chamber she would put me in ; and 
never let anybody lodge there willingly. 

I asked the reason. 

She did not know, she answered; she had 
only lived there a year or two ; and they had 
so many queer goings on, she could not begin 
to be curious. 

Too stupified to be curious myself, I fas- 



38 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

tened my door and glanced round for the bed. 
The whole furniture consisted of a chair, a 
clothes-press, and a large oak case, with 
squares cut out near the top, resembling coach 
windows. 

Having approached this structure, I looked 
inside, and perceived it to be a singular sort 
of old-fashioned couch, very conveniently de- 
signed to obviate the necessity for every mem- 
ber of the family having a room to himself. 
In fact, it formed a little closet, and the ledge 
of a window, which it enclosed, served as a 
table. 

I slid back the panelled sides, got in with 
my light, pulled them together again, and felt 
secure against the vigilance of Heathcliff, and 
every one else.^ 

The ledge, where I placed my candle, had a 
few mildewed books piled up in one corner ; 
and it was covered with writing scratched on 
the paint. This writing, however, was nothing 
but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 39 

large and small — Catherine Earnshaw \ here 
and there varied to Catherine Heathcliffi and 
then again to Catherine LintonJ^ 

In vapid listlessness I leant my head against 
the window, and continued spelling over 
Catherine Earnshaw — Heathcliff — Linton, till 
my eyes closed ; but they had not rested five 
minutes when a glare of white letters started 
from the dark, as vivid as spectres— the air 
swarmed with Catherines ; and rousing myself 
to dispel the obtrusive name, I discovered my 
candle wick reclining on one of the antique 
volumes, and perfuming the place with an 
odour of roasted calf-skin. 

I snuffed it off, and, very ill at ease, under 
the influence of cold and lingering nausea, sat 
up, and spread open the injured tome on my 
knee. It was a Testament, in lean type, and 
smelling dreadfully musty : a fly-leaf bore the 
inscription — " Catherine Earnshaw, her book," 
and a date some quarter of a century back. 



40 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

I shut it, and took up another, and another, 
till I had examined all. Catherine's library- 
was select ; and its state of dilapidation proved 
it to have been well used, though not altogether 
for a legitimate purpose ; scarcely one chapter 
had escaped a pen and ink commentary, at 
least, the appearance of one, covering every 
morsel of blank that the printer had left. 

Some were detached sentences; other parts 
took the form of a regular diary, scrawled in 
an unformed, childish hand. At the top of an 
extra page, quite a treasure probably when 
first lighted on, I was greatly amused to behold 
an excellent caricature of my friend Joseph, 
rudely yet powerfully sketched. 

An immediate interest kindled within me for 
the unknown Catherine, and I began, forth- 
with, to decypher her faded hieroglyphics. 

" An awful Sunday !" commenced the para- 
graph beneath. ** I wish my father were back 
again. Hindley is a detestable substitute — 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 41 

his conduct to Heathcliff is atrocious — H. and 
I are going to rebel — we took our initiatory- 
step this evening. 

" All day had been flooding with rain ; we 
could not go to church, so Joseph must needs 
get up a congregation in the garret; and, 
while Hindley and his wife basked down stairs 
before a comfortable fire, doing anything but 
reading their bibles, I'll answer for it ; Heath- 
cliff, myself, and the unhappy plough-boy, 
were commanded to take our Prayer-books, 
and mount — we were ranged in a row, on a 
sack of corn, groaning and shivering, and hop- 
ing that Joseph would shiver too, so that he 
might give us a short homily for his own sake. 
A vain idea! The service lasted precisely 
three hours ; and yet my brother had the face 
to exclaim, when he saw us descending, 
*^'What, done already ?" 
*'0n Sunday evenings we used to be permitted 
to play, if we did not make much noise ; now 



42 WUTflERING HEIGHTS, 

a mere titter is suflScient to send us into 
corners ! 

" * You forget you have a master here," says 
the tyrant. * I'll demolish the first who puts 
me out of temper ! I insist on perfect sobri- 
ety and silence. Oh, boy I was that you? 
Frances, darling, pull his hair as you go by ; I 
heard him snap his fingers.' 

*' Frances pulled his hair heartily ; and then 
went and seated herself on her husband's knee, 
and there they were, like two babies, kissing 
and talking nonsense by the hour — foolish 
palaver that we should be ashamed of. 

" We made ourselves as snug as our means 
allowed in the arch of the dresser. I had just 
fastened our pinafores together, and hung them 
up for a curtain ; when in comes Joseph, on an 
errand from the stables. He tears down my 
handy work, boxes my ears, and croaks ; 

" * T' maister nobbut just buried, and Sab- 
bath nut oe'red, und t' sabnd, uh't gospel still i' 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. "43 

yer lugs, and yah darr be laiking! shame on 
ye ! sit ye dahn, ill chllder ! they's good books 
eneugh if ye'U read 'em; sit ye dahn, and 
think uh yer sowls I* 

Saying thi?, he compelled us so to square 
our positions that we might receive, from the 
far-off fire, a dull ray to show us the text of 
the lumber he thrust upon us. 

" I could not bear the employment. I took 
my dingy volume by the scroop, and hurled it 
into the dog-kennel, vowing I hated a good 
book. 

'' Heathcliff kicked his to the same place. 

" Then there was a hubbub ! 

** ' Maister Hindley !' shouted our chaplain. 

* Maister, coom hither ! Miss Cathy's riven 
th' back oiF ' Th' Helmet uh Salvation,' un' 
Heathcliff 's pa weed his fit intuh t' first part uh 

* T' Brooad Way to Destruction !' It's fair 
flaysome ut yah let 'em goa on this gait. Ech ! 
th' owd man ud uh laced 'em properly — bud 
he's goan !' 



44 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" Hindley hurried up from his paradise on 
the hearth, and seizing one of us by the collar, 
and the other by the arm, hurled both into the 
back-kitchen ; where, Joseph asseverated, 
" owd Nick" would fetch us as sure as we were 
living; and, so comforted, we each sought a 
separate nook to await his advent. 

" I reached this book, and a pot of ink from 
a shelf, and pushed the house-door ajar to give 
me light, and I have got the time on with 
writing for twenty minutes ; but my companion 
is impatient and proposes that we should ap- 
propriate the dairy woman's cloak, and have a 
scamper on the moors, under its shelter. A 
pleasant suggestion — and then, if the surly old 
man come in, he may believe his prophesy 
verified — we cannot be damper, or colder, in 
the rain than we are here." 



I suppose Catherine fulfilled her project, 



WUTH BRING HEIGHTS. 45 

for the next sentence took up another subject ; 
she waxed lachrymose. 

'^ How little did I dream that Hindley would 
ever make me cry so!" she wrote. " My head 
aches, till T cannot keep it on the pillow ; and 
still I can't give over. Poor Heathcliff* 
Hindley calls him a vagabond, and wont let 
him sit with us, nor eat with us any more; 

and, he says, he and I must not play together, 

and threatens to turn him out of the house if 

we break his orders. 
" He has been blaming our father (how 

dared he ?) for treating H. too liberally ; 

and swears he will reduce him to his right 

place — " 



1 began to nod drowsily over the dim page ; 
my eye wandered from manuscript to print. I 
saw a red ornamented title...*' Seventy Times 
Seven, and the First of the Seventy First. 



46 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

A Pious Discourse delivered by the Reverend 
Jabes Branderham, in the Chapel of Gimmer- 
den Sough." And while I was, half consciously, 
worrying my brain to guess what Jabes Bran - 
derham would make of his subject, I sank back 
in bed, and fell asleep. 

Alas, for the effects of bad tea and bad 
temper ! what else could it be that made me 
pass such a terrible night ? I don't remember 
another that I can at all compar®. with it since 
I was capable of suffering. 

I began to dream, almost before I ceased to 
be sensible of my locality. I thought it was 
morning ; and I had set out on my way home, 
with Joseph for a guide. The snow lay yards 
deep in our road ; and, as we floundered on, 
my companion wearied me with constant re- 
proaches that I had not brought a pilgrim's 
staff: telling me I could never get into the 
house without one, and boastfully flourishing 
a heavy-headed cudgel, which I understood to 
be so denominated. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 47 

For a moment I considered it absurd that I 
should need such a weapon to gain admittance 
into my own residence. Then, a new idea 
flashed across me. I was not going there ; we 
were journeying to hear the famous Jabes 
Branderham preach from the text — " Seventy 
Times Seven ;" and either Joseph, the preacher, 
or I had committed the '' First of the Seventy 
First," and were to be publicly exposed and ex- 
communicated. 

We came to the chapel — I have passed it 
really in my walks, twice or thrice : it lies in 
a hollow, between two hills — an elevated hol- 
low — near a swamp, whose peaty moisture is 
said to answer all the purposes of embalming on 
the few corpses deposited there. The roof has 
been kejit whole hitherto, but, as the clergyman's 
stipend is only twenty pounds per annum, and 
a house with two rooms, threatening speedily 
to determine into one, no clergyman will un- 
dertake the duties of pastor, especially, as it is 
currently reported that his flock would rather 



48 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

let him starve than increase the living by one 
penny from their own pockets. However, in 
my dream, Jabes had a full and attentive con- 
gregation: and he preached — good God — what 
a sermon ! Divided into four hundred and 
ninety parts — each fully equal to an ordinary 
address from the pulpit — and each discussing a 
separate sin ! Where he searched for them, I 
cannot tell ; he had his private manner of in- 
terpreting the phrase, and it seemed necessary 
the brother should sin different sins on every 
occasion. 

They were of the most curious character — 
odd trangressions that I never imagined previ- 
ously. 

Oh, how weary I grew. How I writhed, 
and yaw'nsd, and nodded, and revived! How 
I pinched and pricked myself, and rubbed my 
eyes, and stood up, and sat down again, and 
nudged Joseph to inform me if he would ever 
have doner* 

I was condemned to hear all out — finally, he 



WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 49 

reached the " First of the Seventy -First''' At 
that crisis, a sudden inspiration descended on 
me ; I was moved to rise and denounce .Tabes 
Branderham as the sinner of the sin that no 
christian need pardon. 

" Sir," I exclaimed, " sitting here, within 
these four walls, at one stretch, I have endured 
and forgiven the four hundred and ninety 
heads of your discourse. Seventy times 
seven times have I plucked up ray hat, and 
been about to depart —Seventy times seven 
times have you preposterously forced me to re- 
sume my seat. The four hundred and ninety- 
first is too much. Fellow martyrs, have at 
him ! Drag him down, and crush him to 
atoms, that the place which knows him may 
know him no more !" 

" Thou art the ManT' cried Jabes, after a 
solemn pause, leaning over his cushion. 
" Seventy times seven times didst thou gapingly 
contort thy visage — seventy times seven did I 

VOL. I. D 



50 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

take counsel with my soul — Lo, this is human 
weakness; this also may be absolved! The 
First of the Seventy-First is come. Brethren, 
execute upon him the judgment written ! such 
honour have all His saints!'* 

With that concluding word, the whole as- 
sembly, exalting their pilgrim's staves, rushed 
round me in a body, and I, having no weapon 
to raise in self-defence, commenced grappling 
with Joseph, my nearest and most ferocious as- 
sailant, for his. In the confluence of the mul- 
titude, several clubs crossed ; blows, aimed at 
me, fell on other sconses. Presently the whole 
chapel resounded with rappings and counter- 
rappings. Every man's hand was against his 
neighbour ; and Branderham, unwilling to re- 
main idle, poured forth his zeal in a shower of 
loud taps on the boards of the pulpit which 
responded so smartly, that, at last, to my un- 
speakable relief, they woke me. 
And what was it that had suggested the tre- 



WUTHEblNG HEIGHTS. 51 

mendous tumult, what bad plaj^ed Jabes' part in 
the row ? Merely, the branch of a fir-tree 
that touched my lattice, as the blast wailed by, 
and rattled its dry cones against the panes ! 

I listened doubtingly an instant ; detected 
the disturber, then turned and dosed, and 
dreamt again ; if possible, still more disagree- 
bly than before. 

This time, I remembered I was lying in the 
oak closet, and I heard distinctly the gusty 
wind, and the driving of the snow ; 1 heard 
also, the firbough repeat its teasinoj sound, and 
ascribed it to the right cause : but, it annoyed 
me so much, that I resolved to silence it, if 
possible ; and, I thought, I rose and endea- 
voured to unhasp the casement. The hook 
was soldered into the staple, a circumstance 
observed by me, when awake, but forgotten. 

'* I must stop it, nevertheless I" I muttered, 
knocking my knuckles through the glnss, and 
stretching an arm out to seize the importunate 



D 3 



52 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

branch : instead of which, my fingers closed on 
the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand ! 

The intense horror of nightmare came over 
me ; I tried to draw back my arm, but, the 
hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice, 
sobbed, 

" Let me in — let me in I*' 

" Who are you ?" I asked struggling, mean- 
while, to disengage myself. 

" Catherine Linton," it replied, shiveringly, 
(why did I think of Linton ? I had read Earn- 
shaw, twenty times for Linton) *' I'm come 
home, I'd lost my way on the moor!'' 

As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child's 
face lookinoj through the window — Terror 
made me cruel ; and, finding it useless to at- 
tempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its 
wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to 
and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the 
bed-clothes : still it wailed, " Let me in !" and 
maintained its tenacious gripe, almost madden- 
ing me with fear. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 53 

** How can I ?" I said at length. " Let me 
go, if you want me to let you in !" 

The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through 
the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a py- 
ramid against it, and stopped my ears to ex- 
clude the lamentable prayer. 

I seemed to keep them closed above a quar- 
ter of an hour, yet, the instant I listened, 
again, there was the doleful cry moaning on ! 

" Begone !" I shouted, " I'll never let you in, 
not if you beg for twenty years !" 

*' It's twenty years," mourned the voice, 
" twenty years, I've been a waif for twentj 
years!" 

Thereat began a feeble scratching outside, 
and the pile of books mov^d as if thrust for- 
ward. 

I tried to jump up ; but, could not stir a 
limb; and so, yelled aloud, in a frenzy of 
fright. 

To my confusion, I discovered the yell waa 
not ideal. Hasty footsteps approached my 



54 WUTHERING HEIGHTS'. 

chamber door : somebody pushed it open, with 
a vigorous hand, and a light glimmered through 
the squares at the top of the bed. I sat shud- 
dering, yet, and wiping the perspiration from 
my forehead: the intruder appeared to hesitate 
and muttered to himself. 

At last, he said in a half-whisper, plainly 
not expecting an answer, 

** Is any one here ?" 

I considered it best to confess my presence, 
for I knew Heathcliff's accents, and feared he 
might search further, if I kept quiet. 

With this intention, I turned and opened 
the panels — I shall not soon forget the effect 
my action produced. 

Heathcliff stood near the entrance, in his 
shirt and trousers; with a candle dripping 
over his fingers, and his face as white as the 
wall behind him. The first creak of the oak 
startled him like an electric shock : the light 
leaped from his hold to a distance of some 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 55 

feet, and his agitation was so extreme, that he 
could hardly pick it up. 

*' It is only your guest, slr,*^ I called out, 
desirous to spare him the hun:iiliation of ex- 
posing his cowardice further. *' I had the 
misfortune to scream in my sleep, owing to a 
frightful nightmare. I'm sorry I disturbed 
you." 

'' Oh, God confound you, Mr. Lockwood ! I 
wish you were at the — " commenced my host 
setting the candle on a chair, because he found 
it impossible to hold it steady. 

" And who showed you up to this room ?" 
he continued, crushing his nails into his palms, 
and grinding his teeth to subdue the maxillary 
convulsions. " Who was it ? I've a good 
mind to turn them out of the house, this 
moment!" 

*' It was your servant, Zillah," I replied 
flinging myself, on to the floor, and rapidly 
resuming my garments. " I should not care 
if you did, Mr. Heathcliff ; she richly deserves 



56 WUTHERINvS HEIGHTS. 

it. I suppose that she wanted to get another 
proof that the place was haunted, at my ex- 
pense — Well, it is — swarming with ghosts and 
goblins ! You have reason in shutting it up, 
I assure you. No one will thank you for a 
dose in such a den !" 

" \A'hat do you mean ?" asked Heathcliffi 
*'and what are you doing? Lie down and 
finish out the night, since you are here ; but, 
for Heaven's sake ! don't repeat that horrid 
noise ~ Nothing eould excuse it, unless you 
were having your throat cut!*' 

" If the little fiend had got in at the win- 
dow, she probably would have strangled me !" 
I returned. " I'm not going to endure the 
persecutions of your hospitable ancestors, again 
— Was not the Reverend Jabes Branderham 
akin to you on the mother's side ? And that 
minx, Catherine Linton, or Earnshaw, or how- 
ever she was called — she must have been a 
changling — wicked little soul! She told me 
fihe had been walking the earth these twenty 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 57 

years : a just punishment for her mortal trans- 
gressions, I've no doubt!" 

Scarcely were these words uttered, when I 
recollected the association of HenthclifF's with 
Catherine's name in the book, which had com- 
pletely slipped from my memory till thus 
awakened. I blushed at my inconsideration ; 
but without showing further consciousness of 
the offence, I hastened to add, 

'' The truth is, sir, I passed the first part of 
the night in — " Here, I stopped afresh— I 
was about to say ''perusing those old vo- 
lumes," then it would have revealed my know- 
ledge of their written, as well as their printed 
contents ; so correcting myself, I went on, 

" In spelling over the name scratched on 
that window-ledge. A monotonous occupa- 
tion, calculated to set n.e asleep, like counting, 
or—" 

** What can you mean, by talking in this 
way to me !" thundered Heathcliff with savage 
vehemence. " How — how dare you, under my 



58 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

roof— God! he's mad to speak so !" And he 
struck his forehead with rage. 

I did not know whether to resent this lan- 
guage, or pursue my explanation ; but he 
seemed so powerfully affected that I took pity 
and proceeded with my dreams ; affirming 
I had never heard the appellation of " Cathe- 
rine Linton," before, but, reading it often over 
produced an impression which personified itself 
when I had no longer my imagination under 
control. 

Heathcliff gradually fell back into the shel- 
ter of the bed, as I spoke, finally, sitting down 
almost concealed behind it. I guessed, how- 
ever, by his irregular and intercepted breath- 
ing, that he struggled to vanquish an access of 
violent emotion. 

Not liking to show him that I heard the 
conflict, I continued my toilette rather noisily, 
looked at my watch, and soliloquised on the 
length of the night : 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 59 

*' Not three o'clock, yet ! I could have taken 
oath it had been six — time stagnates here — we 
must surely have retired to rest at eight !"' 

" Always at nine in winter, and always rise 
at four," said my host, suppressing a groan ; 
and, as I fancied, by the motion of his shadow's 
arm, dashing a tear from his eyes. 

** Mr Lockwood," he added, " you may go 
into my room ; you'll only be in the way, com- 
ing down stairs so early : and your childish 
outcry has sent sleep to the devil forme." 

*' And for me too," I replied. '•' I'll walk 
in the yard till daylight, and then I'll be off; 
and you need not dread a repetition of my in- 
trusion. I am now quite cured of seeking 
pleasure in society, be it country or town. A 
sensible man ought to find sufficient company 
in himself." 

*' Delightful company!" muttered Heath- 
cliff. " Take the candle, and go where you 
please. I shall join you directly. Keep out 
of the yard though the dogs are unchained ; 



60 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and the house — Juno mounts sentinel there— 
and — nay, you can only ramble about the steps 
and passages — but, away with you ! I'll come 
in two minutes." 

I obeyed, so far as to quit the chamber ; 
when, ignorant where the narrow lobbies led, 
I stood still, and was witness, involuntaril} , to 
a piece of superstition ou the part of my land- 
lord, which belied, oddly, his apparent sense. 

He got on to the bed, and wrenched open 
the lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an 
uncontrollable passion of tears. 

" Come in I come in!" he subbed. " Cathy, 
do come. Oh do — once more ! Oh ! my heart's 
darling, hear me this time — Catherine, at last!" 

The spectre showed a spectre's ordinary ca- 
price; it gave no sign of being; but the snow 
and wind whirled wildly through, even reach- 
ing my station, and blowing out the light. 

There was such anguish in the gush of grief 
that accompanied this raving, that my com- 
passion made me overlook its folly, and I drew 



WDTUERING HEIGHTS. 61 

ofiF, half angry to have listened at all, and vexed 
at having related my ridiculous nightmare, 
since it produced that agony ; though why^ 
was beyond my comprehension. 

I descended cautiously to the lower regions 
and landed in the back-kitchen, where a gleam 
of fire, raked compactly together, enabled me 
to rekindle my candle. 

Nothing was stirring except a brindled, grey 
cat, which crept from the ashes, and saluted me 
with a querulous mew. 

Two benches, shaped in sections of a circle, 
nearly enclosed the hearth; on one of these 
I stretched myself, and Grimalkin mounted 
the other. We were both of us nodding, ere 
any one invaded our retreat ; and then it was 
Josepli shufiliag down a wooden ladder that 
vanished in the roof, through a trap, the assent 
to his garret, 1 suppose. 

He cast a sinister look at the little tiame 
which 1 had enticed to play between the ribs, 
swept the cat from its elevation, and bestowing 



62 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

himself In the vacancy, commenced the opera- 
tion of stuffing a three-inch pipe with tobacco ; 
my presence in his sanctum was evidently es- 
teemed a piece of impudence too shameful for 
remark. He silently applied the tube to his 
lips, folded his arms, and puffed away. 

I let him enjoy the luxury, unannoyed; and 
after sucking out the last wreath, and heaving 
a profound sigh, he got up, and departed as 
solemnly as he came. 

A more elastic footstep entered next, and 
now I opened my mouth for a *' good morn- 
ing," but closed it again, the salutation un- 
achieved ; for Hareton Earnshaw was perform- 
ing his orisons, sotto voce, in a series of curses 
directed against every object he touched, 
while he rummaged a corner, for a spade or 
shovel to dig through the drifts. He glanced 
over the back of the bench dilating his nostrils, 
and thought as little of exchanging civilities 
with me, as with my companion, the cat. 

I guessed by his preparations that egress 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 63 

was allowed, and leaving my hard couch, made 
a movement to follow him. He noticed this, 
and thrust at an inner door with the end of 
his spade, intimating by an inarticulate sound, 
that there was the place where I must go, if I 
changed my locality. 

It opened into the house, where the females 
were already astir. Zillah urging flakes of 
flame up the chimney with a colossal bellows ; 
and Mrs. Heathcliff, kneeling on the hearth, 
reading a book by the aid of the blaze. 

She held her hand interposed between the 
furnace-heat and her eyes ; and seemed ab- 
sorbed in her occupation : desisting from it 
only to chicle the servant for covering her with 
sparks, or to push away a dog, now and then, 
that snoozled its nose over forwardly into her 
face. 

I was surprised to see Heathcliff there also. 
He stood by the fire, his back towards me, 
just finishing a stormy scene to poor Zillah, 
who ever and anon interrupted her labour to 



64 WUTHERING HEIGHT8. 

pluck up the corner of her apron, and heave an 
indignant groan. 

" And you, you worthless — '' he broke out 
as I entered, turning to his daughter-in-law, 
and employing an epithet as harmless as duck, 
or sheep, but generally represented by a dash. 

" There you are at your idle tricks again I 
The rest of them do earn their bread—you live 
on my charity! Put your trash away, and 
find something to do. You shall pay me for 
the plague of having you eternally in my sight 
—do you hear, damnable jade ?" 

*^ I'll put my trash away, because you can 
make me, if I refuse," answered the young 
lady, closing her book, and throwing it on a 
chair. " But I'll not do anything, though you 
should swear your tongue out, except what I 
please !" 

Heathcliff lifted his hand, and the speaker 
sprang to a safer distance, obviously acquainted 
with its weight. 

Having no desire to be entertained by a cat 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 65 

and dojij combat, I stepped forward briskly, 
as if eager to partake the warmth of the 
hearth, and innocent of any knowledge of the 
interrupted dispute. Each had enough de- 
corum to suspend further hostilities ; Heath- 
cliff placed his fists, out of temptation, in his 
pockets: Mrs. Heathcliff curled her lip, and 
walked to a seat far off; where she kept her 
word by playing the part of a statue during 
the remainder of my stay. 

That was not long. I declined joining their 
breakfast, and, at the first gleam of dawn, took 
an opportunity of escaping into the free air, 
now clear, and still, and cold as impalpable 
ice. 

My landlord hallooed for me to stop ere I 
reached the bottom of the garden, and offered 
to accompany me across the moor. It was 
well he did, for the whole hill-back was one 
billowy, white ocean ; the swells and falls not 
indicating corresponding rises and depressions 
in the ground — many pits, at least, were filled 



66 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

to a level ; and entire ranges of mounds, the 
refuse of the quarries, blotted from the chart 
which my yesterday's walk left pictured in my 
mind. 

I had remarked on one side of the road, at 
intervals of six or seven yards, a line of up- 
right stones, continued through the whole 
length of the barren : these were erected, and 
daubed with lime, on purpose to serve as guides 
in the dark, and also, when a fall, like the 
present, confounded the deep swamps on 
either hand with the firmer path : but, except- 
ing a dirty dot pointing up, here and there, all 
traces of their existence had vanished ; and my 
companion found it necessary to warn me fre- 
quently to steer to the right, or left, when I 
imagined I was following, correctly, the wind- 
ings of the road. 

We exchanged little conversation, and he 
halted at the entrance of Thrushcross park, 
saying, I could make no error there. Our 
adieux were limited to a hasty bow, and then 



WUTHERING HEFGHTS. 67 

I pushed forward, trusting to my own resources, 
for the norter's lodge is untenanted as yet. 

The distance from the gate to the Grange is 
twcO to miles : I believe I managed to make it four ; 
what with losing myself among the trees, and 
sinking up to the neck in snow, a predicament 
which only those who have experienced it can 
appreciate. At any rate, whatever were my 
wanderings, the clock chimed twelve as I en- 
tered the house ; and that gave exactly an 
hour for every mile of the usual way from 
Wuthering Heights. 

My human fixture, and her satellites rushed 
to welcome me ; exclaiming, tumultuously, 
they had completely given me up ; everybody 
conjectured that I perishfd last night ; and 
they were wondering how they must set about 
the search for my remains. 

I bid them be quiet, now that they saw me 
returned, and, benumbed to my very heart, I 
dragged up-stairs, whence, after putting on 
dry clothe."=, and pacing to and fro, thirty or 



68 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

forty minutes, to restore the animal heat, I am 
adjourned to my study, feeble as a kitten, al- 
most too much so to enjoy the cheerful fire, and 
smoking coffee which the servant has prepared 
for my refreshment. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 69 



CHAPTER IV. 



What vain weather-cocks we are ! I, who had 
determined to held myself independent of all 
social intercourse, and thanked my stars that, 
at length, I had lighted on a spot where it was 
next to impracticable. I, weak wretch, after 
maintaining till dusk a struggle with low 
spirits, and solitude, was finally compelled to 
strike my colours ; and, under pretence of 
gaining information concerning the necessities 
of my establishment, I desired Mrs. Dean, 
when she brought in supper, to sit down while 



70 WUTHEKING HEIGHTS. 

I ate it, hoping sincerely she would prove a re- 
gular gossip, and either rouse me to animation, 
or lull me to sleep by her talk. 

*' You have lived here a considerable time," 
I commenced ; '^ did you not say sixteen 
years ?" 

" Eighteen, sir ; I came, when the mistress 
was married, to wait on Ler ; after she died, 
the master retained me for his house-keeper." 

" Indeed." 

There ensued a pause. She was not a gos- 
sip, I feared, unless about her own affairs, and 
those could hardly interest me. 

However, having studied for an interval, 
with a fist on either knee, and a cloud of me- 
ditation over her ruddy countenance, she eja- 
culated — 

" Ah, times are greatly changed since 
then I" 

" Yes," I remarked, " you've seen a good 
many alterations, I suppose ?" 

'• 1 have : and troubles too," she said. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 71 

" Oh, I'll turn the talk on my landlord's 
family!" I thought to myself. ** A good sub- 
ject to start — and that pretty girl — widow, I 
should like to know her history ; whether she 
be a native of the country, or, as is more pro- 
bable, an exotic that the surly indigenae will 
not recognise for kin." 

\yith this intention T asked ^Irs. Dean why 
Heathcliif let Thrushcross Grange, and pre- 
ferred living in a situation and residence so 
much inferior. 

'^ Is he not rich enough to keep the estate 
in good order?" I enquired. 

" llich sir!" she returned. ''He has, no- 
body knows what money, and every year it in- 
creases. Yes, yes, he's rich enough to live in 
a finer house than this; but he's very near — 
cloee- handed ; and, if he had meant to flit to 
Thrushcross Grange, as soon as he heard of a 
good tenant, he could nut have borne to miss 
the chance of getting a few hundreds mure. It 



72 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

is strange people should be so greedy, when 
they are alone in the world !" 

" He had a -eon, it seems?" 

" Yes, he had one — he is dead." 

" And that young lady, Mrs. Heathcliff, is 
his widow ?" 

*'Yes." 

" Where did she come from originally?" 

*' Why, sir, she is my late master's daughter ; 
Catherine Linton was her maiden name. I 
nursed her, poor thing ! I did wish Mr. Heath- 
cliflP would remove here, and then we might 
have been together again." 

'' What, Catherine Linton I" I exclaimed, 
astonished. But a minute's reflection convinced 
me it was not my ghostly Catherine. " Then," 
I continued, " my predecessor's name was 
Linton ? ' 

" It was." 

** And who is that Earnshaw, Hareton 
Earnshaw, who lives with Mr. Heathcliff? are 
they relations?" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 73 

*' No ; he is the late Mrs. Linton's nephew.'* 

" The young lady's cousin then ?" 

*' Yes ; and her husband was her cousin 

also — one, on the mother's — the other, on the 

father's side — HeathclifF married Mr. Linton's 

sister." 

** I see the house at Wutherlng Heights has 
• Earnshaw' carved over the front door. Are 
they an old family ?" 

*' Very old, sir; and Hareton is the last of 
them, as our Miss Cathy is of us — I mean, of 
the Lintons. Have you been to Wuthering 
Heights? I beg pardon for asking; but I 
should like to hear how she is !" 

'* Mrs. Heathcliff ? she looked very well, 
and very handsome ; yet, I think, not very 
happy." 

" Oh dear, I don't wonder!" And how did 
you like the master?" 

" A rough fellow, rather, Mrs. Dean. Is 
not that his character?" 

" Rough as a saw-edge, and hard as whin- 
VOL. I. E 



74 WCTHERING HEIGHTS. 

stone ! The less you meddle with hira the 
better." 

** He must have had some ups and downs in 
life to make him such a churl. Do you know 
anything of his history ?" 

" It's a cuckoo's; sir — I know all about it ; 
except where he was born, and who were his 
parents, and how he got his money, at first — 
And Hareton has been cast out like an un- 
fledged dunnock — The unfortunate lad is the 
only one, in all this parish, that does not guess 
how he has been cheated !" 

" Well, Mrs. Dean, it will be a charitable 
deed to tell me something of my neighbours — 
I feel I shall not rest, if I go to bed ; so, be 
good enough to sit, and chat an hour." 

" Oh, certainly, sir! I'll just fetch a little 
sewing, and then I'll sit as long as you please 
but you've caught cold, I saw you shivering, 
and you must have some gruel to drive it 
out.'^ 

The worthy woman bustled off; i\nd I 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 75 

crouched nearer the fire : my head felt hot, 
and the rest of me chill : moreover I was ex- 
cited, almost to a pitch of foolishness through 
my nerves and brain. This caused me to feel, 
not uncomfortable, but rather fearful, as I am 
stillj of serious effects from the incidents of to- 
day and yesterday. 

She returned presently, bringing a smoking 
basin, and a basket of work; and, having 
placed the former oa the hob, drew in her seat, 
evidently pleased to find me so companionable. 

"Before I came to live here," she com- 
menced, waiting no further invitation to her 
story ; " I was almost always at AYuthering 
Heights; because, my mother had nursed Mr. 
Hindley Earnshaw, that was Hareton's father, 
and I got used to playing with the children — 
I ran errands too, and helped to make hay, and 
hung about the farm ready for anything that 
anybody would set me to. 

"One fine summer morning — it was the be- 
£ 3 



76 "WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

ginning of harvest, I remember — Mr. Earn, 
shaw, the old master, came down stairs, dressed 
for a journey; and, after he had told Joseph 
what was to be done during the day, he turn- 
ed to Hindley, and Cathy, and me — for I sat 
eating my porridge, with them, and he said, 
speaking to his son, 

"Now my bonny man, I m going to Liver- 
pool, to-day. ..What shall I bring you? You 
may choose what you like ; only let it be little , 
for 1 shall walk there and back ; sixty miles 
each way, that is a long spell !" 

Hindley named a fiddle, and then he asked 
Miss Cathy; she was hardly six years old, but 
she could ride any horse in tlie stable, and she 
chose a whip. 

He did not forget me, for, he had a kind 
heart, though he was rather severe, sometimes. 
He promised to bring me a pocketful of apples, 
and pears, and then he kissed his children, 
good bye, and set off. 

It seemed a long while to us all — the three 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 77 

days of his absence — and often did little Cathy 
ask when he would be home : Mrs. Earnshaw, 
expected him by supper-time, on the third 
evening; and she put the meal oft hour after 
hour ; there were no signs of his coming, how- 
ever, and at last the children ofot tired of run- 
ning down to the gate to look — Then it grew 
dark, she would have had them to bed, but 
they begged sadly to be allowed to stay up : 
and, just about eleven o'clock, the door-latch 
was raised quietly and in stept the master. 
He threw himself into a chair, laughing and 
groaning, aod bid them all stand oft", for he was 
nearly killed — he would not have such another 
walk for the three kingdoms. 

**And at the end of it, to be flighted to 
death !" he said opening his great coat, which 
he held bundled up in his arms, '* See here, 
wife ; I was never so beaten with anything in 
my life ; but you must e'en take it as a gift 
of God ; though it's as dark almost as if it 
came from the deviL" 



78 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

We crowded round, and, over Miss Cathy's 
head, I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black- 
haired child ; big enough both to walk and 
talk — indeed, its face looked older than Cathe- 
rine's — yet, when it was set on its feet, it only 
stared round, and repeated over and over again, 
some gibberish that nobody could understand. 
I was frightened, and Mrs. Earnshaw was 
ready to fling it out of doors : she did fly up — 
asking how he could fashion to bring that gip- 
sy brat into the house, when they had their 
own bairns to feed, and fend for ? What he 
meant to do v/ith it, and whether he were 
mad? 

The master tried to explain the matter ; but, 
he was really half dead with fatigue, and all 
that I could make out, amongst her scold- 
ing, was a tale of his seeing it starving, and 
houseless, and as good as dumb in the streets 
of Liverpool where he picked it up and in- 
quired for its owner— Not a soul knew to 
whom it belonged, he said, and his money and 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 79 

time, being both limited, he thought it better, 
to take it home with him, at once, than run, 
into vain expences there ; because he was de- 
termined he would not leave as he found it. 

Well, the conclusion was that my mistress 
grumbled herself calm ; and Mr Earnshaw told 
me to wash it, and give it clean things, and let 
it sleep with the children. 

Hindley and Cathy contented themselves 
with looking and listening till peace was res- 
tored : then, both began searching their father's 
pockets for the presents he had promised them. 
The former was a boy of fourteen, but when 
he drew out, what had been a fiddle crushed 
to morsels in the great coat, he blubbered 
aloud, and Cathy, when she learnt the master 
had lost her whip in attending on the stran- 
ger, showed her humour by grinning and spit- 
ting at the stupid little thing, earning for her 
pains, a sound blow from her father to teach 
her cleaner manners. 

They entirely refused to have it in bed with 



80 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

them, or even in their room, and I had no more 
sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, 
hoping it might be gone on the morrow. By 
chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, 
it crept to Mr. Earnshavv*s door and there he 
found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries 
were made as to how it got there ; I was obli- 
ged to confess, and in recompense for my co- 
wardice and inhumanity was sent out of the 
house. 

This was Heathcliff's first introduction to 
the family : on coming back a few days after- 
wards, for I did not consider my banishment 
perpetual, I found they had christened him 
** Heathcliff," it was the name of a son who 
died in childhood, and it has served him ever 
since, both for christian and surname. 

Miss Cathy and he were now very thick l 
but Hindley hated him, and to say the truth 
I did the same ; and we plagued and went on 
with him shamefully, for I was'nt reasonable 
enough to feel my injustice, and the mistress 



WUTHEKING HEIGHTS. ^1 

never put in a word on his behalf, when she 
fiaw him wronged. 

He seemed a sullen, patient child ; hardened, 
perhaps, to ill-treatment : he would stand 
Hindley's blows without winking or shedding 
a tear, and my pinches moved him only to 
draw in a breath, and open his eyes as if he 
had hurt himself by accident, and nobody was 
to blame. 

This endurance made old Earnshaw furious 
when he discovered his son persecuting the 
poor, fatherless child, as he called him. He 
took to Heathcliff strangely, believing, all he 
said, (for that matter, he said precious little, 
and generally the truth,) and petting him up 
far above Cathy, who was too mischievous and 
wayward for a favourite. 

So, from the very beginning, he bred bad 

feeling in the house ; and at Mrs Earnshaw's 

death, which happened in less than two years 

after, the young master had learnt to regard 

E 5 



82 WUTHERING HEIQUTS. 

his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, 
and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent's 
aflfections, and his privileges, and he grew bit- 
ter with brooding over these injuries. 

I sympathised awhile, but, when the chil- 
dren fell ill of the measles and I had to tend 
them, and take on me the cares of a woman, 
at once, I changed my ideas. Heathcliff was 
dangerously sick, and while he lay at the 
worst he would have me constantly by his pil- 
low ; I suppose he felt I did a good deal for 
him, and he had'nt wit to guess that I was 
compelled to do it. However, I will say this, 
he was the quietest child that ever nurse 
watched over. The difference between him 
and the others forced me to be less partial : 
Cathy and her brother harassed me terribly : 
he was as uncomplaining as a lamb ; though 
hardness, not gentleness, made him give little 
trouble. 

He got through, and the doctor affirmed it 
was in a great measure owing to me, and 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 83 

praised me for my care. I was vain of his 
commendations, and softened towards the being 
by whose means, I earned them, and thus 
Hindley lost his last ally ; still I couldn't dote 
on Heathcliff, and I wondered often what my 
master saw to admire so much in the sullen 
boy who never, to my recollection, repaid his 
indulgence by any sign of gratitude. He was 
not insolent to his benefactor ; he was simply 
insensible, though knowing perfectly the hold 
he had on his heart, and conscious he had only 
to speak and all the house would be obliged 
to bend to his wishes. 

As an instance, I remember Mr. Earnshaw 
once bought a couple of colts at the parish 
fair, and gave the lads each one. Heathcliff 
took the handsomest, but it soon fell lame, and 
when he discovered it, he said to Hindley, 

*' You must exchange horses with me ; I 
don't like mine, and, if you won't I shall tell 
your father of the three thrashings you've 



84 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

given me this week, and show hiin my arm 
which is black to the shoulder." 

Hindley put out his tongue, and cuffed him 
over the ears. 

" Ycu'd better do it, at once," he persisted 
escaping to the porch, (they were in the stable) 
*' you will have to, and, if I speak, of these 
blows, you'll get them again with interest." 

*' Off dog!" cried Hindley, threatening him 
with an iron weight, used for weighing pota- 
toes, and hay. 

" Throw it," he replied, standing still, " and 
then ril tell how you boasted that you would 
turn me out of doors as soon as he died, and 
see whether he will not turn you out direct- 
ly." 

Hindley threw it, hitting him on the breast 
and down he fell but staggered up, imme- 
diately, breathless and white, and had not I 
prevented it he would have gone just so to 
the master, and got full revenge by letting 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 85 

his condition plead for him, intimating who 
had caused it." 

'* Take my colt, gipsy, then !" said young 
Earnshaw, *' And I pray that he may break 
your neck, take him, and be damned, you 
beggarly interloper ! and wheedle my father 
out of all he has, only, afterwards, show him 
what you are, imp of Satan — And take that, 
I hope he'll kick out your brains !" 

HeathclifF had gone to loose the beast, and 
shift it to his own stall — He was passing be- 
hind it, when Hindley finished his speech by 
knocking him under its feet, and without stop- 
ping to examine whether his hopes were ful- 
filled, ran away as fast as he could. 

I was surprised to witness how coolly the 
child gathered himself up, and went on with 
his intention, exchanging saddles and all ; and 
then sitting down on a bundle of hay to over- 
come the qualm which the violent blow occa- 
sioned, before he entered the house. 

I persuaded him easily to let me lay the 



86 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

blame of his bruises on the horse ; he minded 
little what tale was told since he had what he 
wanted. He complained so seldom, indeed, of 
such stirs as these, that I really thouorht him 
not vindictive —I was deceived, completely, as 
you will hear. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 87 



CHAPTER V. 



In the course of time, Mr. Earnshaw began to 
fail. He had been active and healthy, yet his 
strength left him suddenly ; and when he was 
confined to the chimney-corner he grew griev- 
ously irritable. A nothing vexed him, and 
suspected slights of his authority nearly threw 
him into fits. 

Thia was especially to be remarked if any 
one attempted to impose upon, or domineer 
over his favourite ; he was painfully jealous 
lest a word should be spoken amiss to him, 



88 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



seeming to have got into his head the notion 
that, because he liked HeathclifF, all hated, and 
longed to do him an ill-turn. 

It was a disadvantage to the lad, for the 
kinder among us did not wish to fret the mas- 
ter, 60 we humoured his partiality ; and that 
humouring was rich nourishment to the child's 
pride and black tempers. Still it became in a 
manner necessary ; twice, or thrice, Hindley's 
manifestations of scorn, while his father was 
near, roused the old man to a fury. He seized 
his stick to strike him, and shook with rage 
that he could not do it. 

At last, our curate, (we had a curate then 
who made the living answer by teaching the 
little Lintons and Earnshaws, and farming his 
bit of land himself,) he advised that the young 
man should be sent to college, and Mr, Earn- 
shaw agreed, though with a heavy spirit, for he 
said — 

** Hindley was naught, and would never 
thrive as where he wandered." 



WUTHEHING HEIGHTS. 89 

I hoped heartily we should have peace now. 
It hurt me to think the master should be made 
uncomfortable by his own good deed. I fan- 
cied the discontent of age and disease arose 
from his family disagreements, as he would 
have it that it did — really, you know, sir, it 
was in his sinking frame. 

We might have got on tolerably, notwith- 
standing; but, for two people. Miss Cathy, 
and Joseph, the servant ; you saw him, I dare 
say, up yonder. He was, and is yet, moit 
likely, the wearisomest, self-righteous pharisee 
that ever ransacked a bible to rake the pro- 
mises to himself, and fling the curses on his 
neighbours. By his knack of sermonizing and 
pious discoursing, he contrived to make a great 
impression on Mr. Earnshaw, and, the more 
feeble the master became, the more influence 
he gained. 

He was relentless in worrying him about his 
soul's concerns, and about ruling his children 
rigidly. He encouraged him to regard Hind- 



90 WDTHERING HEIGHTS. 

ley as a reprobate; and, night after night, he 
regularly grumbled out a long string of tales 
against Heathcliff and Catherine ; always 
minding to flatter Earnshaw's weakness by 
heaping the heaviest blame on the last. 

Certainly, she had ways with her such as I 
never saw a child take up before ; and she put 
all of us past our patience fifty times and of- 
tener in a day: from the hour she came down 
stairs, till the hour she went to bed, we had 
not a minute's security that she wouldn't be in 
mischief. Her spirits were always at high-water 
mark, her tongue always going — singing, laugh- 
ing, and plaguing everybody who would not do 
the same. A wild, wick slip she was — but, 
she had the bonniest eye, and sweetest smile, 
and lightest foot in the parish ; and, after all, 
I believe she meant no harm ; for when once 
she made you cry in good earnest, it seldom 
happened that she would not keep you com- 
pany ; and oblige you to be quiet that you 
might comfort her. 

She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 91 

greatest punishment we could invent for her 
was to keep her separate from him : yet, she 
got chided more than any of us on his account. 

In play, she liked, exceedingly, to act the 
little mistress ; using her hands freely, and com- 
manding her companions : she did so to me, 
but I would not bear slapping, and ordering ; 
and so I let ber know. 

Now, Mr. Earnshaw did not understand 
jokes from his children : he had always been 
strict and grave with them ; and Catherine, on 
her part, had no idea why her father should be 
crosser and less patient in his ailing condition, 
than he was in his prime. 

His peevish reproofs wakened in her a 
naughty delight to provoke him ; she was never 
so happy as when we were all scolding her at 
once, and she defying us with her bold, saucy 
look, and her ready words ; turning Joseph's 
religious curses into ridicule, baiting me, and 
doing just what her father hated most, showing 
how her pretended insolence, which he thought 



92 WUTHERING HEIGUTS. 

real, had more power over Heathcliff than his 
kindness. How the boy would do her bidding 
in anything, and his only when it suited his 
own inclination. 

After behaving as badly as possible all day, 
she sometimes came fondling to make it up at 
night. 

'* Nay, Cathy," the old man would say, " I 
cannot love thee; thou'rt worse than thy 
brother. Go, say thy prayers, child, and ask 
God's pardon. I doubt thy mother and I must 
rue that we ever reared thee !" 

That made her cry, at first ; and then, being 
repulsed continually hardened her, and she 
laughed if I told her to say she was sorry for 
her faults, and beg to be forgiven. 

But the hour came, at last, that ended Mr. 
Earnshaw's troubles on earth. He died 
quietly in his chair one October evening, seated 
by the fire-side. 

A high wind blustered round the house, and 
roared in the chimney : it sounded wild and 



WUTHERING HEIGnTS. 93 

stormy, yet it was not cold, and we were all 
together — I, a little removed from the hearth, 
busy at my knitting, and Joseph reading his 
Bible near the table, (for the servants generally 
sat in the house then, after their work was 
done.) Miss Cathy had been sick, and that 
made her still; she leant against her father's 
knee, and Heathcliff was lying on the floor 
with his head in her lap. 

I remember the master, before he fell into a 
doze, stroking her bonny hair — it pleased him 
rarely to see her gentle — and saying — 

" Why canst thou not always be a good 
lass, Cathy ?" 

And she turned her face up to his, and 
laughed, and answered, 

*' Why cannot you always be a good man, 
father?" 

But as soon as she saw him vexed again, 
she kissed his hand, and said she would sing 
him to sleep. She began singing very low, till 
his fingers dropped from hers, and his head 



94 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

sank on his breast. Then I told her to hush, 
and not stir, for fear she should wake him. 
We all kept as mute as mice a full half-hour, 
and should have done longer, only Joseph, 
having finished his chapter, got up and said 
that he must rouse the master for prayers and 
bed. He stepped forward, and called him by 
name, and touched his shoulder, but he would 
not move — so he took the candle and looked at 
him. 

I thought there was something wrong as he 
set down the light ; and seizing the children 
each by an arm, whispered them to " frame 
up-stairs, and make little din — they might pray 
alone that evening — he had summut to do." 

" I shall bid father good-night first," said 
Catherine, putting her arms round his neck, 
before we could hinder her. 

The poor thing discovered her loss directly— 
she screamed out — 

« Oh, he's dead, Heathcliff! he's dead!" 

And they both set up a heart-breaking cry. 



WUTHERINO HP:iGaTS. 95 

I joined my wail to theirs, loud and bitter ; 
but Joseph asked what we could be thinking 
of to roar in that way over a saint in Heaven. 

He told me to put on ray cloak and run to 
Gimmerton for the doctor and the parson. I 
could not guess the use that either would be 
of, then. However, I went, through wind and 
rain, and brought one, the doctor, back with 
me ; the other said he would come in the 
morning. 

Leaving Joseph to explain matters, I ran 
to the children's room ; their door was ajar, I 
saw they had never kid down, though it was 
past midnight; but they were calmer, and did 
not need me to console them. The little souls 
were comforting each other with better 
thoughts than I could have hit on ; no parson 
in the world ever pictured Heaven so beauti- 
fully as they did, in their innocent talk ; and, 
while I sobbed, and listened, I could not help 
wishing we were all there safe together. 



96 WUTUERINQ HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTEK VI. 



Mr. Hindley came home to the funeral ; and 
— a thing that amazed us, and set the neigh- 
bours gossipping right and left — he brought a 
wife with him. 

What she was, and where she was born he 
never informed us ; probably, she bad neither 
money nor name to recommend her, or he 
would scarcely have kept the union from his 
father. 

She was not one that would have disturbed 
the house much on her own account. Every ob- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 97 

ject she saw, the moment she crossed the thres- 
hold, appeared to delight her ; and every cir- 
cumstance that took place about her, except 
the preparing for the burial, and the presence 
of the mourners. 

I thought she was half silly from her be- 
haviour while that went on; she ran into her 
chamber, and made me come with her, though 
I should have been dressing the children ; and 
there she sat shivering and clasping her hands, 
and asking repeatedly — 

" Are they gone yet ?" 

Then she began describing with hysterical 
emotion the effect it produced on her to see 
black ; and started, and tremble!, and, at last," 
fell a weeping — and when I asked what was 
the matter ? answered, she didn't know ; but 
she felt so afraid of dying ! 

I imagined her as little likely to die as my- 
self. She was rather thin, but young, and 
fresh complexioned, and her eyes sparkled aa 

VOL. !• F 



98 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

bright as diamonds. I did remark, to be sure, 
that mounting the stairs made her breathe very 
quick, that the least sudden noise set her all in 
a quiver, and that she coughed troublesomely 
sometimes : but, I knew nothinor of what these 
symptoms portended, and had no impulse to 
sympathize with her. We don't in general 
take to foreigners here, Mr. Lockwood, unless 
they take to us first. 

Young Earnshaw was altered considerably in 
the three years of his absence. He had grown 
sparer, and lost his colour, and spoke and 
dressed quite differently : and, on the very day 
of his return, he told Joseph and me we must 
thenceforth quarter ourselves in the back- kit- 
chen, and leave the house for him. Indeed 
he would have carpeted and papered a small 
spare room for a parlour; but his wife ex- 
pressed such pleasure at the white floor, and 
huge glowing fire-place, at the pewter dishes, 
and delf-case, and dog-kennel, and the wide 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 99 

space there was to move about in, where they 
usually sat, that he thought it unnecessary to 
her comfort, and so dropped the intention. 

She expressed plcTSure, too, at finding a 
sister among her new acquaintance, and she 
prattled to Catherine, and kissed her, and ran 
about with her, and gave her quantities of 
presents, at the beginning. Her affection 
tired very soon, however, and when she grew 
peevish, Hindley became tyrannical. A few 
words from her, evincing a dislike to Heath- 
cliff, were enough to rouse in him all his old 
hatred of the boy. He drove him from their 
company to the servant.s, deprived him of the 
instructions of the curate, and insisted that he 
should labonr out of doors instead, compelling 
him to do so, as hard as any other lad on the 
farm. 

He bore his degradation pretty well at first, 

because Cathy taught him ^vhat she learnt, and 

worked or played with him in the fields. They 

both promised fair to grow up as rude as sa- 

F 3 



100 WUTHEHIXG HEIGHTS. 

vages, the young master being entirely negli- 
gent how they behaved, and what they did, 
so they kept clear of him. He would not even 
have seen after their going to church on Sun- 
days, only Joseph and the curate reprimanded 
his carelessness when they absented themselves, 
and that reminded him to order Heathcliff a 
flogging, and Catherine a fast from dinner or 
supper. 

But it was one of their chief amusements 
to run away to the moors in the morning and 
remain there all day, and the after punish il en t 
grew a mere thing to laugh at. The curate 
might set as many chapters as he pleased for 
Catherine to get by heart, and Joseph might 
thrash Heathcliff till his arm ached ; they 
forgot everything the minute they were to- 
gether again, at least the minute they had 
contrived some naughty plan of revenge, and 
many a time I've cried to myself to watch 
them growing more reckless daily, and I not 
daring to speak a syllable for fear of losing 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 101 

the small power I still retaiaed over the un- 
friended creatures. 

One Sunday evening, it chanced that they 
were banished from the sitting-room, for 
makinoj a noise, or a Jight offence of the kind, 
and when 1 went to call them to supper, I 
could discover them nowhere. 

We searched the house, above and below, 
and the yard, and stables, they were invisible ; 
and, at last, Hindley in a passion told us to 
bolt the doors, and swore nobody should let 
them in that night. 

The household went to bed ; and I, too 
anxious to lie down, opened my lattice and 
put my head out to hearken, though it rained, 
determined to admit them in spite of the pro- 
hibition, should they return. 

In a while, I distinguished steps coming up 
the road, and the light of a lantern glimmered 
through the gate. 

I threw a shawl over my head and ran to 
prevent them from waking Mr. Earnshaw by 



102 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

knocking. There was Heathcliff, by himself ; 
it gave me a start to see him alone. 

" Where is Miss Catherine ?" I cried hur- 
riedly. " No accident, I hope ?" 

" At Thrushcross Grange," he answered, 
'* and I would have been there too, but they 
had not the manners to ask me to stay." 

« Well, you will catch it I" I said, " you'll 
never be content till you're sent about your 
business. What in the world led you wan- 
dering to Thrushcross Grange ?" 

" Let me get off my wet clothes, and I'll 
tell you all about it, Nelly," he replied. 

I bid him beware of rousing the master, and 
while he undressed, and I waited to put out 
the candle, he continued — 

" Cathy and T escaped from the wash house 
to have a ramble at liberty, and getting a 
glimpse of the Grange lights, we thought we 
would just go and see whether the Lintona 
passed their Sunday evenings standing shiver- 
ing in corners, while their father and mother 



WUTHERING HiSIGHTS. 103 

sat eating and drlnkin^^ und si[jgi:;g and 
laughing, and burning their eyes out before 
the fire. Do you think they do ? Or reading 
sermons, and being catechised by their man- 
servant, and set to leurn a column of Scripture 
names, if they don't answer properly ?" 

*^ Probably not," 1 responded. " They are 
good children, no doubt, and don't deserve 
the treatment you receive, for your bad 
conduct." 

^' Don't you cant, Xelly," he said '* non- 
sense ! We ran from the top of the Heights 
to the park, without stopping — Catherine 
completely beaten in the race, because she 
was barefoot. You'll have to seek for her 
shoes in the bog to-morrow. v\ e crept through 
a broken hedge, groped our way up the 
path, and planted ourselves on a flower-plot 
under the drawing room window. The light 
came from thence ; they had not put up the 
shutters, and the curt liiis were only half 
closed. Both of ub vveru able to look in by 



104 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

standing on the basement, and clinging to the 
ledge, and we saw — ah ! it was beautiful — a 
splendid place carpeted with crimson, and 
crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure 
white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of 
glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the 
centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers. 
Old Mr. and Mrs. Linton were not there. 
Edgar and his sister had it entirely to them- 
selves ; shouldn't they have been happy ? 
We should have thought ourselves in heaven ! 
And now, guess what your good children were 
doing ? Isabella, I believe she is eleven, a 
year younger than Cathy, lay screaming at 
the farther end of the room, shrieking as if 
witches were running red hot needles into 
her. Edgar stood on the hearth weeping si- 
lently, and in the middle of the table sat a 
little dog shaking its paw and yelping, which, 
from their mutual accusations, we understood 
they had nearly pulled in two between them. 
The idiots ! That was their pleasure ! to 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 105 

quarrel who should hold a heap of warm hair, 
and each begin to cry because both, after 
struggling to get it, refused to take it. We 
laughed outright at the petted things, we did 
despise them ! When would yon catch lue 
wishing to have what Catherine wanted ? or 
find us by ourselves, seeking entertainmenc 
in yelling, and sobbing, and rolling on the 
ground, divided by the whole room ? I'd not 
exchange, for a thousand lives, my condition 
here, for Edgar Linton's at Thrushcross 
Grange — not if I might have the privilege of 
flinging Joseph off the highest gable, and 
painting the house-front with Hindley'a 
blood !" 

'* Hush, hush I" I interrupted. *' Still you 
have not told me, Heathcliff, how Catherine 
is left behind ?" 

" I told you we laughed," he answered. 
The Linton's heard us, and with one accord, 
they shot like arrows to the door ; there was 
silence, and then a cry, ' Oh, mamma, mamma I 



106 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

Oh, papa ! Oh, mamma, come here. Oh papa, 
oh !' They really did howl out, something in 
that way. We made frightful noises to ter- 
rify them still more, and then we dropped off 
the ledge, because somebody was drawing the 
bars, and we felt we had better flee. I had 
Cathy by the hand, and was urging her on, 
when all at once she fell down. 

** Bun, Heathcliffj run !" she whispered. 
" They have let the bull-dog loose, and he 
holds me !" 

" The devil had seized her ankle, Nelly ; I 
heard his abominable snorting. She did not 
yell out— no ! She would have scorned to do 
it, if she had been spitted on the horns of a 
mad cow. I did, though, I vociferated curses 
enough to annihilate any fiend in Christendom, 
and I got a stone and thrust it between his 
jaws, and tried with all my might to cram it 
down his throat. A beast of a servant came 
up with a lanterB, at last, shouting— 

*' Keep fast, Skulker, keep fast !" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 107 

" He changed his note, however, when he saw 
Skulker's game. The dog was throttled olF, 
his huge, purple tongue hanging halt a toot 
out of his mouth, and his pendant lips stream- 
ing with bloody s'avef*. 

"The man took Cathy up; she was sick; 
not Irom fear, I'm certain, but from pain. He 
carried her in ; I followed grumbling exe- 
crations and vengeance." 

" What prey, Robert ?" hallooed Linton from 
the entrance." 

" Skulker has caught a little girl, sir," he 
replied, and there's a lad here," ha added, 
making a clutch at me, " who looks an out- 
and-outer ! Very like, the robbers were for 
putting them through tlie window, to open 
the doors to the gang, after all were asleep, 
that they might murder us at their ease. Hold 
your tongue, you foul-mouthed thief, you ! 
you shall go to the gallows for this. Mr. 
Linton, sir, don't lay by your gun !" 

'' No, no, Robert !" said the old fooL 



108 WUT BERING HEIGHTS. 

" The rascals knew that yesterday was my 
rent day ; they thought to have me cleverly. 
Come in ; I'll furnish them a reception. There, 
John, fasten the chain. Give Skulker some 
water, Jenny. To beard a magistrate in his 
strong-hold, and on the Sabbath, too ! where 
will their insolence stop ? Oh, my dear Mary, 
look here ! Don't be afraid, it is but a boy — 
yet, the villain scowls so plainly in his face, 
would it not be a kindness to the country to 
hang him at once, before he shows his nature 
in acts, as well as features ?" 

He pulled me under the chandelier, and 
Mrs. Linton placed her spectacles on her nose 
and raised her hands in horror. The cowardly 
children crept nearer also, Isabella lisping — 

*' Frightful thing ! Put him in the cellar, 
papa. He's exactly like the son of the fortune- 
teller, that stole my tame pheasant. Isn't he, 
Edgar T' 

" While they examined me, Cathy came 
round ; she heard the last speech, and laughed. 



WDTHERING HEIGHTS. 109 

Edgar Linton, after an inquisitive stare, col- 
lected sufficient wit to recognise her. They 
see us at church, you know, though we sel- 
dom meet them elsewhere.** 

" That's Miss Earnshaw !" he whispered to 
his mother, " and look how Skulker has bitten 
her — how her foot bleeds I' ' 

" Miss Earnshaw ? Nonsense !" cried the 
dame, " Miss Earnshaw scouring the country 
with a gipsy ! Aud yet, my dear, the child 
is in mourning — surely it is — and she may be 
lamed for life !" 

" What culpable carelessness in her bro- 
ther !" exclaimed Mr. Linton, turning from 
me to Catherine. " I've understood from 
Shielders (that was the curate sir) that he lets 
her grow up in absolute heathenism. But 
who is this ? Where did she pick up this com- 
panion ? Oho ! I declare he is that strange 
acquisition my late neighbour made in his 
journey to Liverpool— a little Lascar, or an 
American or Spanish castaway." 



110 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" A wicked boy, at all events," remarked 
the old lady, " and quite unfit for a decent 
house ! Did you notice his language, Linton ? 
I'm shocked that my children should have 
heard it." 

"I recommenced cursing— don't be angry 
Nelly — and so Robert was ordered to take me 
off — 1 refused to go without Cathy — he drag- 
ged me into the garden, pushed the lantern 
into my hand, assured me that Mr. Earnshaw, 
should be informed of my behaviour, and bid- 
ding me march, directly, secured the door 
again. 

" The curtains were still looped up at one 
corner ; and I resumed my station as spy, be- 
cause, if Catherine had wished to return, I 
intended shattering their great glass panes to 
a million fragments, unless they let her out. 

^' She sat on the sofa quietly, Mrs. Linton 
took off the grey cloak of the dairy maid 
which we had borrpwed for our excursion ; 
shaking her head, and expostulating with her, 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Ill 

1 suppose ; bhe tvas a youugf lady and they 
made a distinction between her treatment, and 
mine. Then the woman servant brought a 
basin of warm water, and washed her feet ; 
and Mr. Linton mixed a tumbler of negus, and 
Isabella emptied a plateful of cakes into her 
lap, and Edgar, stood gaping at a distance. 
Afterwards, they dried and combed her beau- 
tiful hair, and ^ave her a pair of enormous 
slippers, and wheeled her to the fire, and I left 
her, as merry as she could be, dividing her 
food, between the little dog and Skulker whose 
nose she piuched as he ate; and kindling a 
spark of spirit in the vacant blut; eyes of the 
Lintons — a dim reflection from her own e:i- 
chanting face — I saw they were full of stupid 
admiration ; she is so immeasurably superior 
to them — to everybody on earth ; is she not, 
Nelly?" 

*• There will more come of this business than 
you reckon on." I answered covering him up 
and extinguishing the light, " You are incura- 



112 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

ble HeathclifF, and Mr. Hiudley will have to 
proceed to extremities, see if he wont ." 

My words came truer than I desired. The 
luckless adventure made Earnshaw furious — 
And then, Mr. Linton, to mend matters, paid 
us a visit himself, on the morrow ; and read 
the young master such a lecture on the road 
he guided his family, that he was stirred to 
look about him, in earnest. 

Heathcllff received no flogging, but he was 
told that the first word he spoke to Miss Ca- 
therine should ensure -a dismissal; and Mrs. 
Earnshaw undertook to keep her sister-in-law 
in due restraint, when she returned home em- 
ploying art, not force — with force she would 
have found it impossible. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 113 



CHAPTER Vir. 



Cathy stayed at Thrushcross Grange five 
weeks, till Christmas. By that time her an- 
kle was thoroughly cured, and her manners 
much iuiproved. The mistress visited her oi- 
ten, in the interval, and commenced her plan 
of reform, by trying to raise her self-respect 
with fine clothes, and flattery, which she took 
readily: so that, instead of a wild, hatle^5 
little savage jumping into the house, and rush- 
ing to squeeze us all breathless, there lighted 



114 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

from a handsome black pony a very dignified 
person with brown ringlets falling from the 
cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth 
habit which she was obliged to hold up with 
both hands that she might sail in. 

Hindley lifted her from her horse exclaiming 
delightedly, 

" Why Cathy, you are quite a beauty ! I 
should scarcely have known you — you look 
like a lady now — Isabella Linton id not to be 
be compared with her, is she Frances?" 

" Isabella has not her natural advantages," 
replied his wife, "but she must mind and not 
grow wild again here. Ellen, help Miss Ca- 
therine off with her things — Stay, dear, you 
will disarrange your curls — let me untie your 
hat.'' 

I removed the habit, and there shone 
forth, beneath a grand plaid silk frock, white 
trousers, and burnished shoes ; and, wiiile her 
eyes s[)arkled joyfully when the dogs came 
bounding up to welcoiiie her, slie dare hardly 



WUTHRRING HEIGHTS. 115 

touch them lest they should fawn upon her 
splendid garments. 

She kissed me gently, 1 was all flour making 
the Christmas cake, and it would not Ivive done 
to give me a hug; and, then, she looked round 
for HeathcliiF. Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw 
watched anxiously their meetinsr, thinking it 
would enable them to judge, in some measure, 
what grounds they had for hoping to succeed 
in separating the two friends. 

Heathcliff was hard to discover, at first — If 
he were careless, and uncared for, before Ca- 
therine's absence, he had been ten times more 
go, since. 

Nobody, but I even did him the kindness to 
call him a dirty boy, and bid him wash him- 
self, once a week ; and children of his age, sel- 
dom have a natural pleasure in soap and water. 
Therefore, not to mention his clothes, which 
had seen three month's service, in mire and 
dust, and his thick uncombed hair; the surface 
of his face and hands was dibmally beclouded. 



116 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

He might well skulk behind the settle, on be- 
holding such a bright, graceful damsel enter 
the house, instead of a rough-headed counter- 
part to himself, as he expected. 

" Is HeathcliflP not here ?" she demanded 
pulling off her gloves, and displaying fingers 
wonderfully whitened with doing nothing, and 
staying in doors. 

** Heathcliff you may come forward," cried 
Mr. Hindley enjoying his discomfiture and 
gratified to see what a forbidding young black- 
guard he would be compelled to present him- 
self. ** You may come and wish Miss Cathe- 
rine welcome, like the other servants." 

Cathy, catching a glimpse of her friend in 
his concealment, flew to embrace him, she bes- 
tawed seven or eight kisses on his cheek within 
the second, and, then, stopped, and drawing 
back, burst into a laugh, exclaiming, 

" Why, how very black and cross you look I 
and how — how funny and grim ! But that's 
because I'm used to Edgar, and Isabella Lin- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 117 

ton. Well, HeathclifF, have you forgotten 
me?" 

She had some reason to put the question, 
for shame, and pride threw double gloom over 
his countenance^ and kept him immoveable. 

" Shake hands, HeathclifF," said Mr. Earn- 
shavv, condescendingly ; " once in a way, that 
is permitted." 

" I shall not !'* replied the boy finding his 
tongue at last, " I shall not stand to be laughed 
at, I shall not bear it !" 

And he would have broken from the circle, 
but Miss Cathy seized him again. 

" I did not mean to laugh at you," she said, 
" I could not hinder myself, Heathcllff, shake 
hands, at least ! What are you sulky for? It 
was only that you looked odd — If you wash 
your face, and brush your hair it will be all 
right. But you are so dirty !" 

She gazed concernedly at the dusky fingers 
she held in her owd, and also at her dress 



118 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

which she feared had gained no embellishment 
from its contact with his. 

" You needn't have touched me I" He an- 
swered, following her eye and snatching away 
his hand. I shall be as dirty as I please, and 
I like to be dirty, and I will be dirty." 

With tliat he dashed head foremost out of 
the room, amid the merriment of the uiaster 
and mistre s, and to the serious disturbance of 
Catherine who could not comprehend how her 
remarks should have produced such an exhi- 
bition of bad temper. 

After playing lady's maid to the new comer, 
and putting my cakes in the oven, and making 
the house and kitchen cheerful with great fires 
befitting Christmas eve, I prepared to sit down 
and amuse myself by singing carols, all alone ; 
regardless of Joseph's aflfirmations that he con- 
sidered the merry tunes I chose as next door 
to songs. 

He had retired to private prayer in his 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 119 

chamber , and Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw were 
engaging Missy's attention by sundry gay tri- 
fles bought for her to present to the little 
Lintons, as an acknowledgment of their kind- 
ness 

They had invited them to spend the morrow 
at Wuthering Heights, and the invitation had 
been accepted, on one condition, Mrs. Linton 
begged that her darlings might be kept care- 
fully apart from that "naughty, swearing boy." 

Under these circumstances I remained soli- 
tary. I smeit the rich scent of the heating 
spices ; and admired the shining kitchen uten- 
sils, the polished clock, decked in holly, the 
silver mugs ranged on a tray ready to be 
filled with mulled ale for supper; and, above 
all, the speckless purity of my particular care 
— the scoured and well-swept floor. 

I gave due inward applause to every object 
and, then, I remembered how old Earnshaw 
used to come in when all was tidied, and call 
me a cant lass, and slip a shilling into mj 



120 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

hand, as a christmp.s box : and, from that, I 
went on to think of his fondness for HeathclifF, 
and his dread lest he should suffer neglect after 
death had removed him ; and that naturally 
led me to consider the poor lad's situation 
now, and from singing I changed ray mind to 
crying. It struck me soon, however, there 
would be more sense in endeavouring to repair 
some of his wrongs than shedding tears over 
them— I got up and walked into the court to 
seek him. 

He was not far, I found him smoothing the 
glossy coat of the new pony in the stable, 
and feeding the other beasts, according to 
custom. 

"Make haste, Heathcliffl" I said "the 
kitchen is so comfortable — and Joseph is up- 
stairs ; make haste, and let me dress you smart 
before Miss Cathy comes out — and then you 
can sit to^iether, with the whole hearth to 
yourselves, and have a long chatter till bed- 
time." 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 121 

He proceeded with his task and never turned 
his head towards me. 

** Come — are you coming?*' I continued, 
" There's a little cake for each of you, nearly 
enough ; and you'll need half an hour's don- 
ning." 

I waited five minutes, but getting no answer 
left him... Catherine supped with her brother 
and sister-io law : Joseph and I joined at an 
unsociable meal seasoned with reproofs on one 
side, and sauciness on the other. His cake 
and cheese remained on the table all night, for 
the fairies. He managed to continue work till 
nine o'clock, and, then, marched dumb and 
dour, to his chamber. 

Cathy sat up late ; having a world of things 
to order for the reception of her new friends : 
she ci^me into the kitchen, once, to speak to 
her old one, but he was gone, and she only 
staid to ask what was the matter with him, and 
then went back. 

" In the morning, he rose early ; and, as it 

VOL. I. o 



122 WUTHERmG HEIGHTS. 

was a boliday, carried his ill-humour onto the 
moors ; not re-appearing till the family were 
departed for church. Fasting, and reflection 
seemed to have brought him to a better spirit. 
He hung about me, for a while, and having 
screwed up his courage, exclaimed abruptly, 

"Nelly, make me decent, I'm going to be 
good." 

''High time, HeathclifF," I said, "you have 
grieved Catherine ; she's sorry she ever came 
home, I dare say ! It looks as if you envied 
her, because she is more thought of than 
you." 

The notion of envying Catherine was in- 
comprehensible to him, but the notion of griev- 
ing her, be understood clearly enough. 

" Did she say she was grieved ?" he inquired 
looking very serious. 

" She cried when I told her you were off 
again this morning." 

"Well, / cried last night' he returned, 
" and I had more reason to cry than she.*' 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 123 

*' Yes, you had the reason of going to bed, 
with a proud heart, and an empty stomach,'* 
said I, " Proud people breed sad sorrows for 
themselves — But, if you be ashamed of your 
touchiness, you must ask pardon, mind, when 
she comes in. You must go up, and offer to 
kiss her, and say — you know best what to say, 
only, do it heartily, and not as if you thought 
her converted into a stranger by her grand 
dress. And now, though I have dinner to get 
ready, I'll steal time to arrange you so that 
Edgar Linton shall look quite a doll beside 
you : and that he does — You are younger, and 
yet, I'll be bound, you are taller and twice as 
broad across the shoulders — you could knock 
him down in a twinkling ; don't you feel that 
you could?" 

Heathcliff's face brightened a moment ; then, 
it was overcast afresh, and he sighed. 

" But, NeJIy, if I knocked him down twenty 

times, that wouldn't make him less handsome, 
G 3 



124 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

or me more so. I wish I had light hair and a 
fair skin, and was dressed, and behaved as 
well, and had a chance of being as rich as he 
will be !" 

** And cried for mamma, at every turn — " I 
added, " and trembled if a country lad heaved 
his fist against you, and sat at home all day 
for a shower of rain. — O, Heathcliff, you are 
showing a poor spirit ! Coaie to the glass, 
and I'll let you see what you should wish. 
Do you mark those two lines between your 
eyes, and those thick brow, that instead of 
rising arched, sink in the middle, and that cou- 
ple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who 
never open their windows boldly, but lurk 
glinting under them, like devil's spies ? 
Wish and learn to smooth away the surly 
wrinkles, to raise your lids frankly, and change 
the fiends to confidant, innocent angels, sus- 
pecting and doubting nothing, and always 
seeing friends where they are not sure of 
foes — Don't get the expression of a vicious 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 125 

cur that appears to know the kicks it gets are 
its desert, and yet, hates all the world, as well 
as the kicker, for what it suffers." 

" In other words, I must wish for Edgar 
Linton's great blue eyes, and even forehead," 
he replied. " I do — and that wont help me 
to them." 

" A good heart will help you to a bonny 
face my lad," I continued, " if you were a re- 
gular black ; and a bad one will turn the bon- 
niest into something worse than ugly. And 
now that we've done washing, and combing, 
and sulking — tell me whether you don't think 
yourself rather handsome? I'll tell you, I do. 
You're fit for a prince in disguise. Who 
knows, but your father was Emperor of China, 
and your mother an Indian queen, each of 
them able to buy up, with one week's income, 
Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange 
together ? And you were kidnapped by 
wicked sailors, and brouglit to England. Were 
I in your place, I would fraue high notions of 



126 WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 

my birth ; and the thoughts of what I was 
should give me courage and dignity to support 
the oppressions of a little farmer !'* 

So I chattered on ; and Heathcliflf gradually 
lost his frown, and began to look quite plea- 
sant ; when, all at once, our conversation was 
interrupted by a rumbling sound moving up 
the road and entering the court. He ran to 
the window, and I to the door, just in time to 
behold the two Lintons descend from the family 
carriage, smothered in cloaks and furs, and 
the Earnshaws dismount from their horses — 
they often rode to church in winter. Cathe- 
rine took a hand of each of the children, and 
brought them into the house, and set them 
before the fire which quickly put colour into 
their white faces. 

I urged my companion to hasten now, and 
show his amiable humour; and he wiUingly 
obeyed : but ill luck would have it, that as he 
opened the door leading from the kitchen on 
one side, 11 indley opened it on the other; they 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 127 

met, and the master irritated at seeing him 
clean and cheerful, or, perhaps, eager to keep 
his promise to Mrs. Linton shoved him back 
with a sudden thrust, and angrily bade Joseph 
" keep the fellow out of the room — send him 
into the garret till dinner is over. He'll be 
cramming his fingers in the tarts, and stealing 
the fruit, if left alone with them a minute." 

" Nay, sir,'' I could not avoid answering, 
*' he'll touch nothing, not he — and, 1 suppose, 
he must have his share of the dainties as well 
as we." 

" He shall have his share of my hand, if I 
catch him down stairs again till dark," cried 
Hindley. " Begone, you vagabond ! What, 
you are attempting the coxcomb, are you ? 
Wait till I get hold of those elegant locks — see 
if I won't pull them a bit longer !' 

'* They are long enough already," observed 
Master Linton, peeping from the door-way, 
" I wonder they don't make his head- ache. 
It's like a colt's mane over his eyes I" 



128 WUTIIERING HEIGHTS, 

He ventured this remark without any intCD- 
tion to insult ; but, HeathclifF's violent nature 
was not prepared to endure the appearance of 
impertinence from one whom he seemed to 
hate, even then, as a rival. He seized a tu- 
reen of hot apple-sauce, the first thing that 
came under his gripe, and dashed it full against 
the speaker's face and neck — who instantly 
commenced a lament that brought Isabella 
and Catherine hurrying to the place. 

Mr. Earnshaw snatched up the culprit di- 
rectly and conveyed him to his chamber, 
where, doubtless, he administered a rough 
remedy to cool the fit of passion, for he re- 
appeared red and breathless. I got the dish- 
cloth, and, rather spitefully, scrubbed Edgar's 
nose and mouth, affirming, it served him right 
for meddling. His sister began weeping to go 
home, and Cathy stood by confounded, blush- 
ing for all. 

*' You should not have spoken to him I" she 
expostulated with Master Linton. *« He was 



WUTHERING HEIGUTS. 1^9 

in a bad temper, and now you've spoilt your 
visit, and he'll be flogged — I hate him to be 
flogged ! I can't eat my dinner. Why did 
you speak to him, Edgar?" 

** I didn't," sobbed the youth, escaping from 
my hands, and finishing the remainder of the 
purification with his cambric pocket-handker- 
chief. " I promised mamma that I wouldn't 
say one word to him, and I didn't !" 

" Well, don't cry!" replied Catherine, con- 
temptuously. " You're not killed — don't 
make more mischief — my brother is coming — 
be quiet ! Give over, Isabella ! Has any body 
hurt you ?" 

" There, there, children — to your seats !" 
cried Hindley, bustling in. " That brute oi 
a lad has warmed me nicely. Next time, Master 
Edgar, take the law into your own fists — it 
will give you an appetite P' 

The little party recovered its equanimity at 
sight of the fragrant feast. They were hun- 
G 5 



130 WIITHERING HEIGHTS. 

gry, after their ride, and easily consoled, since 
no real harm had befallen them. 

Mr. Earnshaw carved bountiful platefuls; 
and the mistress made them merry with lively 
talk. I waited behind her chair, and was 
pained to behold Catherine, with dry eyes and 
an indifferent air, commence cutting up the 
wing of a goose before her. 

" An unfeeling child," I thought to myself, 
** how lightly she dismisses her old playmate's 
troubles. I could not have imagined her to be 
so selfish." 

She lifted a mouthful to her lips ; then, she 
set it down again: her cheeks flushed, and the 
tears gushed over them. She slipped her fork 
to the floor, and hastily dived under the cloth 
to conceal her emotion. I did not call her 
unfeeling long, for, I perceived she was in pur- 
gatory throughout the day, and wearying to 
find an opportunity of getting by herself, or 
paying a visit to Heathcliff, who had been 
locked up by the master, as I discovered, on 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



131 



endeavouring to introduce to him a private 
mess of victuals. 

In the evening we had a dance, Cathy- 
begged that he might be liberated then, as 
Isabella Linton had no partner ; her entreaties 
were vain, and I was appointed to supply the 
deficiency. 

We got rid of all gloom in the excitement 
of the exerci-e, and our pleasure was increased 
by the arrival of the Gimmerton band, mus- 
tering fifteen strong ; a trumpet, a trombone, 
clarionets, bassoons, French horns, and a bass 
viol, besides singers. They go the rounds of 
all the respectable houscwS, and receive contribu- 
tions every Christmas, and we esteemed it a 
first-rate treat to hear them. 

After the usual carols had been sung, we 
set them to songs and glees. Mrs. Earnshaw 
loved the music, and, so, they gave us plenty. 

Catherine loved it too ; but she said it 
sounded sweetest at the top of the steps, and 
she went up in the dark : I followed. They 



132 WUTHERING HEIGHT3. 

shut the house door below, never noting our 
absence, it was so full of people. She made 
no stay at the stairs' head, but mounted far- 
ther, to the garret where Heathcliff was con- 
fined; and called him. He stubbornly de- 
clined answering for a while — she persevered, 
and finally persuaded him to hold communion 
with her through the boards. 

I let the poor things converse unmolested, 
till I supposed the songs were going to cease, 
and the singers to get some refreshment : then, 
I clambered up the ladder to warn her. 

Instead of finding her outside, I heard her 
voice within. The little monkey had crept by 
the skylight of one garret, along the roof, 
into the skylight of the other, and it was with 
the utmost diflScultly I could coax her out 
again. 

When she did come, Heathcliff came with 
her ; and she insisted that I should take him 
into the kitchen, as my fellow-servant had gone 
to a neighbour's to be removed from the sound 



WUTH BRING HEIGHTS. 133 

of our " devil's psalmody," as it pleased him 
to call it. 

I told them I intended, by no means, to en- 
courage their tricks ; but as the prisoner had 
never broken his fast since yesterday's dinner, 
I would wink at his cheating Mr. Hindley that 
once. 

He went down ; I set him a stool by the 
fire, and oflfered him a quantity of good things ; 
but, he was sick and could eat little : and my 
attempts to entertain him were thrown away. 
He leant his two elbows on his knees, and his 
chin on his hands, and remained wrapt in dumb 
meditation. On my inquiring the subject of 
his thoughts, he answered gravely — 

" I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hind- 
ley back. I don't care how long I wait, if I 
can only do it, at last. 1 hope he will not die 
before I do !" 

" For shame, Heathcliff !" said I. " It is for 
God to punish wicked people ; we should learn 
to forgive." 



134 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" No, God wont have the satisfaction that I 
shall," he returned. " I only wish I knew the 
best way ! Let me alone, and I'll plan it out : 
while I'm thinking of that, I don't feel pain." 

" But, Mr. Lockwood, I forget these tales 
cannot divert you. I'm annoyed how I should 
dream of chattering on at such a rate; and 
your gruel cold, and you nodding for bed ! I 
could have told Heathcliflfs history, all that 
you need hear, in half-a-dozen words.'' 

Thus interrupting herself, the housekeeper 
rose, and proceeded to lay aside her sewing ; 
but I felt incapable of moving from the hearth, 
and I was very far from nodding. 

" Sit still, Mrs. Dean," I cried, " do sit still, 
another half hour ! You've done just right to 
tell the story leisurely. That is the method I 
like ; and you must finish in the same style. I 
am interested in every character you have 
mentioned, more or less." 

" The clock is on the stroke of eleven, sir." 

** No matter — I'm not accustomed to go to 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 135 

bed in the long hours. One or two is early 
enough for a person who lies till ten." 

" You shouljln't lie till ten. There's the 
very prime of the morning gone long before 
that time. A person who has not done one 
half his day's work by ten o'clock, runs a 
chance of leaving the other half undone." 

'^ Nevertheless, Mrs. Dean, resume your 
chair; because to-morrow I intend lengthen- 
ing the night till afternoon. I prognosticate 
for myself an obstinate cold, at least." 

" 1 hope not, sir. Well, you must allo\v me 
to leap over some three years, during that 
space, Mrs. Earnshaw — " 

" No, no, I'll allow nothicg of the sort ! 
Are you acquainted with the mood of mind in 
which, if you were seated alone, and the cat 
licking its kitten on the rug before you, you 
would watch the operation so intently that 
puss's neglect of one ear would put you seri- 
ously out of temper?" 

'* A terribly lazy mood, I should say." 



136 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" On the contrary, a tiresomely active one. 
It is mine, at present, and, therefore, continue 
minutely. I perceive that people in these re- 
gions acquire over people in towns the value that 
a spider in a dungeon does over a spider in a 
cottage, to their various occupants; and yet 
the deepened attraction is not entirely owing 
to the situation of the looker-on. They do live 
more in earnest, more in themselves, and less in 
surface change, and frivolous external things. 
1 could fancy a love for life here almost possi- 
ble ; and I was a fixed unbeliever in any love 
of a year's standing — one state resembles set- 
ting a hungry man down to a single dish on 
which he may concentrate his entire appetite, 
and do it justice — the other, introducing him 
to a table laid out by French cooks ; he can 
perhaps extract as much enjoyment from the 
whole ; but each part is a mere atom in his re- 
gard and remembrance." 

'' Oh ! here we are the same as anywhere 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 137 

else, when you get to know us," observed Mrs. 
Dean, somewhat puzzled at my speech. 

" Excuse me," I responded ; '* you, my good 
friend, are a striking evidence against that as- 
sertion. Excepting a few provincialisms of 
slight consequence ; you have no marks of the 
manners that I am habituated to consider as 
peculiar to your class. I am sure you have 
thought a great deal more than the generality 
of servants think. You have been compelled 
to cultivate your reflactive facu ties, for want 
of occasions for frittering your life away in 
silly trifles." 

Mrs. Dean laughed. 

" I certainly esteem myself a steady, reason- 
able kind of body," she said, *' not exactly 
from living among the hills, and seeing one set 
of faces, and one series of actions, from year's 
end to year's end: but I have undergone sharp 
discipline which has taught me wisdom ; and 
then, I have read more than you would fancy, 
Mr. Lock wood. You could not open' a book 



138 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

in this library that I have not looked into, and 
got something out of also ; unless it be that 
range of Greek and Latin, and that of French 
— and those I know one from another, it is as 
much as you can expect of a poor man's 
daughter." 

However, if I am to follow my story in true 
gossip's fashion, I had better go on ; and in- 
stead of leaping three years, I will be content 
to pass to the next summer — the summer of 
1778, that is nearly twenty-three years ago. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 139 

/ 



CHAPTER VIII. 



On the morning of a fine June day, my first 
bonny little nursling, and the last of the anci- 
ent Earnshaw stock was born. 

We were busy with the hay in a far away 
field, when the girl that usually brought our 
breakfasts came running, an hour too soon, 
across the meadow and up the lane, calling me 
as she ran. 

** Oh, such a grand bairn !" she panted out. 
" The finest lad that ever breathed ! but the 
doctor says missis must go; he says she's been 



140 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

in a consumption these many months. I heard 
him tell Mr. Hindley — and now she has 
nothing to keep her, and she'll be dead before 
winter. You must come home directly. 
You're to nurse it, Nelly — to feed it with sugar 
and milk, and take care of it, day and night — 
I wish I were you, because it will be all yours 
when there is no missis !" 

*' But is she very ill ?" I asked, flinging down 
my rake, and tying my bonnet. 

" I guess she is ; yet she looks bravely,'* re- 
plied the girl, " and she talks as if she thought 
of living to see it grow a man. She's out of 
her head for joy, it's such a beauty ! If I were 
her I'm certain I should not die. I should get 
better at the bare sight of it, in spite of Kcd- 
neth. I was fairly mad at him. Dame Ar- 
cher brought the cherub down to master, in 
the house, and his face just began to light up, 
then the old croaker steps forward, and, says 
he: — * Earnshaw, it's a blessing your wife has 
been spared to leave you this son. When she 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 141 

came, I felt convinced we shouldn't keep her 
long ; and now, I must tell you, the winter 
will probably finish her. Don't take on, and 
fret about it too much, it can't be helped. And 
besides, you should have know^n better than to 
choose such a rush of a lass !" 

" And what did the master answer ?" I en- 
quired. 

" I think he swore — but, I didn't mind him, 
I was straining to seethe bairn,'^ and she began 
again to describe it rapturously. I, as zealous 
as herself, hurried eagerly home to admire, on 
my part, though I was very sad for Hindley's 
sake ; he had room in his heart only for two 
idols — his wife and himself — he doted on 
both, and adored one, and I couldn't conceive 
how he would bear the loss. 

When we got to Wuthering Heights, there 
he stood at the front door; and, as I passed in, 
I asked, how was the baby ?" 

" Nearly ready to run about, Nell !" he re- 
plied, putting on a cheerful smile. 



142 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

*' And the mistress ?" I ventured to inquire, 
*• the doctor says she's — " 

*' Damn the doctor!" he interrupted, red- 
dening. " Frances is quite right — she'll be 
perfectly well by this tiane next week. Are 
you going up-stairs? will you tell her that I'll 
come, if she'll promise not to talk. I left her 
because she would not hold her tongue; and 
she must— tell her Mr. Kenneth says she must 
be quiet." 

I delivered this message to Mrs. Earnshaw ; 
she seemed in flighty spirits, and replied mer- 
rily — 

" I hardly spoke a word, Ellen, and there 
he has gone out twice, crying. Well, say I 
promise I wont speak ; but that does not bind 
me not to laugh at him !" 

Poor soul ! Till within a week of her death 
that gay heart never failed her ; and her hus- 
band percjisted doggedly, nay, furiously, in 
affirming her health improved every day. 
When Kenneth warned him that his medicines 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 143 

were useless at that stage of the malady, and 
he needn't put him to further expense by at- 
tending her, he retorted — 

" I know you need not — she's well — she 
does not want any more attendance from }ou! 
She never was in a consumption. It was a 
fever; and it is gone — her pulse is as slow as 
mine now, and her cheek as cool." 

He told his wife the same story, and she 
seemed to believe him ; but one night, while 
leaning on his shoulder, in the act of saying 
she thought she should be able to get up to- 
morrow, a fit of coughing took her — a very 
slight one — he raised her in his arms ; she put 
her two hands about his neck, her face changed, 
and she was dead. 

As the girl had anticipated ; the child 
Hareton, fell wholly into my hands. Mr. 
Earnshaw, provided he saw him healthy, and 
never heard him cry, was contented, as far as 
regarded him. For himself, he grew desper- 
ate ; his sorrow was of that kind that will not 



144 WUTHRRING HEIGHTS. 

lament, he neither wept nor prayed — he cursed 
and defied— execrated God and man, and gave 
himself up to reckless dissipation. 

The servants could not bear his tyrannical 
and evil conduct long : Joseph and I were the 
only two that would stay. I had not the 
heart to leave my charge; and besides, you 
know, I had been his foster sister, and excused 
his behaviour more readily than a stranger 
would. 

Joseph remained to hector over tenants and 
labourers ; and because it was his vocation to 
be where he had plenty of wickedness to re- 
prove. 

The master's bad ways and bad companions 
formed a pretty example for Catherine and 
Heathcliff. His treatment of the latter was 
enough to make a fiend of a saint. And, 
truly, it appeared as if the lad were possessed 
of something diabolical at that period. He 
delighted to witness Hindley degrading himself 
past redemption ; and became daily more 
notable for savage sullenness and ferocity. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 145 

I could not half tell what an infernal house 
we had. The curate dropped calling, and no- 
body decent came near us, at last ; unless, 
Edgar Linton's vi-its to Miss Cathy might 
be an exception. At fifteen she was the 
queen of the country-side; she had no peer: 
and she did turn out a haughty, headstrong 
creature! I oWn I did not like her, after her 
infancy was past ; and I vexed her frequently 
by trying to bring down her arrojauce ; she 
never took an aversion to me though. She 
had a wondrous] constancy to old attachments; 
even Heathcliff kept his hold on her affections 
unalterably, and young Linton, with all his 
superiority, found it difficult to make an 
equally deep impression. 

He was my late master ; that is his portrait 
over the fireplace. It used to hang on one 
side, and his wife's on the other; but her's has 
been removed, or else you might see something 
of what she was. Can you make that out ? 

Mrs. Dean raised the candle, and I discerned 

VOL. I. H 



146 WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 

a soft- featured face, exceedingly resembling 
the young lady at the Heights, but more pen- 
sive and amiable in expression. It formed a 
sweet picture. The long light hair curled 
slightly on the temples ; the eyes were large 
and serious ; the figure almost too graceful. I 
did not marvel how Catherine Earnshaw could 
forget her first friend for such an individual. 
I marvelled much how he, with a mind to cor- 
respond with his person, could fancy my idea 
of Catherine Earnshaw. 

" A very agreeable portrait," I observed to 
the housekeeper. " Is it like ?" 

" Yes," she answered ; '' but he looked 
better when he was animated, that is his every 
day countenance ; he wanted spirit in general." 
Catherine had kept up her acquaintance 
with the Lintons since her five weeks* residence 
among them ; and as she had no temptation 
to show her rough side in their company, and 
had the sense to be ashamed of being rude 
where she experienced such invariable cour- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 147 

tesy, she imposed unwittingly on the old lady 
and gentleman, by her ingenious cordiality ; 
gained the admiration of Isabella, and the 
heart and soul of her brother— acquisitions 
that flattered her from the first, for she was 
full of ambition — and led her to adopt a double 
character without exactly intending to deceive 
anyone. 

In the place where she heard HeathclifF 
termed a " vulgar young ruffian," and " worse 
than a brute," she took care not to act like 
him ; but at home she had small inclination to 
practise politeness that would only be laughed 
at, and restrain an unruly nature when it 
would bring her neither credit, nor praise. 

Mr. Edgar seldom mustered courage to visit 
Wuthering Heights openly. He had a terror 
of Earnshaw's reputation, and shrunk from en- 
countering him, and yet, he was always re- 
ceived with our best attempts at civility : the 
master himself, avoided offending him — know- 
ing why he came, and if he could not be gra- 
H 3 



148 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

cious, kept out of the way. I rather think his 
appearance there was distasteful to Catherine; 
she was not artful, never played the coquette, 
and had evidently an objection to her two 
friends meeting at all: for when HeathclifF 
expressed contempt of Linton, in his presence, 
she could not half coincide, as she did in his 
absence; and when Linton evinced disgust, 
and antipathy to HeathclifF, she dare not treat 
his sentiments with indifference, as if depre- 
ciation of her playmate were of scarcely any 
consequence to her. 

I've had many a laugh at her perplexities, 
and untold troubles, which she vainly strove to 
hide from my mockery. That sounds ill-na- 
tured — but she was so proud, it became really 
impossible to pity her distresses, till she should 
be chastened into more humility. 

She did bring herself, finally, to confess, and 
confide in me. There was not a soul else that 
she might fashion into an adviser. 

Mr. Hindley had gone from home, one after- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 149 

HOOD ; and HeathclifF presumed to give him- 
self a holiday, on the strength of it. He had 
reached the age of sixteen then, I think, and 
without having bad features or being deficient 
in intellect, he contrived to convey an impres- 
sion of inward and outward repulsiveness that 
his present aspect retains no traces of 

In the first place, he had, by that time, lost 
the benefit of his early education : continual 
hard work, begun soon and concluded late, had 
extinguished any curiosity he once possessed 
in pursuit of knowledge, and any love for 
books, or learning. His childhood's sense of 
superiority, instilled into him by the favours 
of old Mr. Earnshaw, was faded away. He 
struggled long to keep up an equality with 
Catherine in her studies and yielded with 
poignant though silent regret : but, he yielded 
completely ; and there was no prevailing on 
him to take a step in the way of moving 
upward, when he found he must, necessarily, 
sink beneath his former level. Then persona] 



150 WUTHRRING HEIGHTS. 

appearance sympathised with mental deterio- 
ration ; he acquired a slouching gait, and ig- 
noble look ; his naturally reserved disposition 
was exaggerated into an almost idiotic excess 
of unsociable moroseness ; and he took a grim 
pleasure, apparently, in exciting the aversion 
rather than the esteem of his few acquaint- 
ance. ^ 

Catherine and he were constant companions 
still, at his seasons of respite from labour ; but, 
he had ceased to express his fondness for her 
in words, and recoiled with angry suspicion 
from her girlish caresses, as if conscious there 
could be no gratification in lavishing such 
marks of affection on him. On the before- 
named occasion he came into the house to 
announce his intention of doing nothing, while 
I was assisting Miss Cathy to arrange her 
dress — she had not reckoned on his taking it 
into his head to be idle, and imagining she 
would have the whole place to herself, she 
managed, by some means, to inform Mr. 



WUTHFRING HEIGHTS. l5l 

Edgar of her brother's absence, and was then 
preparing to receive him. 

" Cathy, are you busy, this afternoon ?" 
asked Ileathcliff, " Are you going any- 
where ?" 

" No, it is raining," she answered. 

'' Why have you that silk frock on, then ?" 
he said, " Nobody coming here I hope ?" 

"Not that I know of;" stammered Miss, 
*' but you should be in the field nov, Heath- 
cliff. It is an hour pa?t dinner time ; I 
thought you were gone." 

" Hindley does not often free us from his 
accursed presence;" observed the boy, *' I'll 
not work any more to- day, I'll stay with 
you." 

*' O, but Joseph vvill tell;" she suggested, 
** you'd better go!" 

" Joseph is loading lime on the farther side 
of Pennistow Crag, it will take him till dark, 
and he'll never know." 

So saying he lounged to the fire, and sat 



152 WUTHERING HFIGHTS, 

down, Catherine reflected an instant, with 
knitted brows — she found it needful to smooth 
the way for an intrusion. 

" Isabella, and Edgar Linton talked of 
calling this afternoon ;" she said at the con- 
clusion of a minute's silence. " As it rains, I 
hardly expect them ; but, they may come, and 
if they do, you run the risk of being scolded 
for no good." 

*' Order Ellen to say yoa are engaged, 
Cathy," he persisted, " Don't turn me out for 
those pitiful, silly friends of yours I I'm on 
the point, sometimes, of complaining that they 
—but I'll not—" 

" That they what ?" cried Catherine, gazing 
at him with a troubled countenance. **0h 
Nelly !" she added petulantly jerking her head 
away from my hands, "you've combed my 
hair quite out of curl ! That's enough, let me 
alone. What are you on the point of com- 
plaining about, Heathcliff?" 

"Nothing — only look at the almanack, on 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 153 

that wall," he pointed to a framed sheet hang- 
ing near the window, and continued ; 

" The crosses are for the evenings you have 
spent with the Lintons, the dots for those 
spent with me — Do you see, I've marked every 
day ?" 

'* Yes — very foolish ; as if I took notice !" 
re[)lied Catherine in a peevish tone. " And 
where is the sense of that ?" 

" To show that I do take notice." said 
HeathcHff. 

*' And should I always be sitting with you," 
she demanded, growing more irritated. '* What 
good do I get — What do you talk about ? you 
might be dumb or a baby for anything you 
say to amuse me, or for anything you do, 
either !" 

" You never told me, before, that I talked 
too little, or that you disliked my company, 
Cathy!" exclaimed HeathclifF in much agita- 
tion. 



154 WUTHERING HEIGUT8. 

** It is no company at all, when people know 
nothing and say nothing,'* she muttered. 

Her companion rose up, but he hadn't time 
to express his feelings further, for a horse's 
feet were heard on the flags, and, having 
knocked gently, young Linton entered, his 
face brilliant with delight at the unexpected 
summons he had received. 

Doubtless Catherine marked the difference 
between her friends as one came in, and the 
other went out. The contrast resembled what 
you see in exchanging a bleak, hilly, coal coun- 
try, for a beautiful fertile valley ; and his 
voice, and greeting were as opposite as his 
aspect— He had a sweet, low manner of speak- 
ing, and pronounced his words as you do, that's 
less gruff than we talk here and softer. 

" I'm not come too soon, am 1 ?" he said, 
casting a look at me, I had begun to wipe the 
plate, and tidy some drawers at the far end in 
the dresser. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



155 



** No," answered Catherine. ** What are you 
doing there, Nelly ?" 

'* My work, Miss," I replied. (Mr. Hindley 
had given me directions to make a third party 
in any private visits Linton chose to pn.y.) 

She stepped behind me and whispered cross- 
ly, '* Take yourself and your dusters off! 
when company are in the house, servants 
don't commence scouring and cleaning in the 
room where they are !" 

" It's a good opportunity, now that master 
is away," I answered aloud, "he hates me to 
be tidgetting over these things in his presence 
— I'm sure Mr. Edgar will excuse me." 

*' I hate you to be fidgetting in jhi/ pre- 
sence," exclaimed the young lady imperiously, 
not allowing her guest time to speak —she had 
failed to recover her equanimity since the little 
dispute with Heathcliff. 

'' I'm sorry for it, Miss Catherine !" was my 
response ; and I proceeded assiduously with 
my occupation. 



156 WUTUERING HEIGHTS. 

She, supposing Edgar could not see her, 
snatched the cloth from my hand, and pinched 
me, with a prolonged wrench, very spitefully 
on the arm. 

I've said I did not love her; and rather re- 
lished mortifying her vanity, now and then ; 
besides, she hurt me extremely, so I started 
up from my knees, and screamed out. 

" O, Miss, that's a nasty trick ! you have no 
right to nip me, and I'm not going to bear 
it!" 

" 1 didn't touch you, you lying creature !" 
cried she, her fingers tingling to repeat the 
act, and her ears red with rage. She never 
had power to conceal her passion, it always 
set her whole complexion in a blaze. 

** What's that then ?" I retorted showing a 
decided purple witness to refute her. 

She stamped her foot, wavered a moment, 
and then, irresistibly impelled by the naughty 
spirit within her, slapped me on the cheek a 
stinging blow that filled both eyes with water. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 157 

*' Catherine, love ! Catherine!" interposed 
Linton, greatly shocked at the double fault of 
falsehood, and violence which his idol had com- 
mitted. 

" Leave the room, Ellen !" she repeated, 
trembling all over. 

Little Hareton, who followed me every- 
where, and was sitting near nie on the floor, 
at seeing my tears commenced crying himeelf, 
and sobbed out complaints against " wicked 
aunt Cathy," which drew her fury on to his 
unlucky head : she seized his shoulders, and 
shook him till the poor child waxed livid, 
and Edgar thoughtlessly laid hold of her hands 
to deliver him. In an instant one was wrung 
free, and the astonished young man felt it ap- 
plied over his own ear in a way that could not 
be mistaken for jest. 

He drew back in consternation — I lifted 
Hareton in my arms, and walked off to the 
kitchen with him ; leaving the door of com- 
munication open, for 1 was curiuus to 



158 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

watch how they would settle their disagree- 
ment. 

The insulted visiter moved to the spot where 
he had laid his hat, pale and with a quivering 
lip. 

"That's right!" I said to myself, "Take 
warning and begone! It's a kindness to let 
yoQ have a glimpse of her genuine disposition.** 
" Where are you going ?" demanded Cathe- 
rine, advancing to the door. 

He swerved aside and attempted to pass. 
"You must not go!" she exclaimed ener- 
getically. 

" I must and shall !" he replied in a subdued 
voice. 

" No," she persisted, grasping the handle ; 
**not yet, Edgar Linton — sit down, you shall 
not leave me in that temper. 1 should be 
miserable, all night, and I won't be misera- 
ble for you !" 

" Can I stay after you have struck me ?' 
asked Linton. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 159 

Catherine was mute. 

*' You've made me afraid, and ashamed of 
you ;'* he continued ; '* I'll not come here 
again I" 

Her eyes began to glisten and her lids to 
twinkle. 

** And you told a deliberate untruth !" he 
said. 

** I didn't !" she cried, recovering her speech 
" I did nothinoj deliberately — Well, go, if you 
please — get away! And now I'll cry — I'll cry 
myself sick!" 

She dropped down on her knees by a chair 
and set to weeping in serious earnest. 

Edgar persevered in his resolution as far as 
the court ; there, he lingered. I resolved to 
encourage him. 

" Miss is dreadfully wayward, sir!*' I called 
out. *'As bad as any marred child — you'd 
better be riding home, or else she will be sick, 
only to grieve us." 

The soft thing looked askance through the 



160 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

window — he possessed the power to depart, 
as much as a cat possesses the power to leave 
a mouse half killed, or a bird half eaten — 

Ah, T thought ; there will be no saving him 
— He's doomed, and flies to his fate! 

And, so it was ; he turned abruptly, has- 
tened into the house again, shut the door be- 
hind him ; and, when I went in a while after 
to inform them that Earnshaw had come home 
rabid drunk, lead}^ to pull the old place about 
our ears, (his ordinary frame of mind in that 
condition) I saw the quarrel had merely af- 
fected a closer intimacy — had broken the out- 
works of youthful timidity, and enabled them 
to forsake the disguise of friendship, and con- 
fess themselves lovers. 

Intelligence of Mr. Hindley's arrival drove 
Linton speedily to his hor&e, and Catherine to 
her chamber. I went to hide little Hareton, 
and to take the shot out of the master's fow- 
ling piece which he was fond of playing with 
in his insane excitement, to the hazard of the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 161 

lives of any who provoked, or even, attracted 
his notice too much ; and I had hit upon the 
plan of removing it, that he might do less mis- 
chief, if he did go the length of firing the 
gun. 



162 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTER. IX 



He entered, vociferating oaths dreadful to 
hear; and caught me in the act of stowing 
his son away in the kitchen cupboard. Hare- 
ton was impressed with a wholesome terror of 
encountering either his wild-beast's fondness, 
or his madman's rage — for in one he ran a 
chance of being squeezed and kissed to death, 
and in the other of being flung into the fire, or 
dashed against the wall — and the poor thing 
remained perfectly quiet wherever I chose to 
put him. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 163 

" There I've found it out at last I" cried Hind- 
lej, pulling me back by the skin of the neck, 
like a dog, " By Heaven and Hell, you've 
sworn between you to murder that child ! I 
know how it is, now, that he is always out of 
my way. But, with the help of Satan, I shall 
make you swallow the carving knife, Nelly ! 
you needn't laugh ; for I've just crammed 
Kenneth head-downmost, in the Blackhorse 
marsh ; and two is the same as one — and I 
want to kill some of you, I shall have no rest 
till I do !" 

'^ But I don't like the carving knife, Mr. 
Hindley ;" I answered, it has been cutting red 
herrings — I'd rather be shot if you please." 

" You'd rather be damned !" he said, " and 
so you shall — No law in England can hinder a 
man from keeping his house decent, and mine's 
abominable ! open your mouth." 

He held the knife in his hand, and pushed 
its point between my teeth : but, for my part 
I was never much afraiJ of his vanririe.'. I 



164 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

spat out, and affirmed it tasted detestably — I 
would not take it on any account." 

** Oh !" said he releasing me, I see that hi- 
deous little villain is not Hareton — I beg your 
pardon, Nell — if it be he deserves flaying alive 
for not running to welcome me, and for 
screaming as if I were a goblin. Unnatural 
cub, come hither ! I'll teach thee to impose on 
a good-hearted, deluded father — Now, don't 
you think the lad would be handsomer crop- 
ped ? It makes a dog fiercer, and I love some- 
thing fierce — Get me a scissors— something 
fierce and trim ! Besides, it's infernal affecta- 
tion—devilish conceit, it is to cherish our ears 
— sve're asses enough without them. Hush, 
child, hush ! well then, it is my darling I wisht, 
dry thy eyes — there's a joy ; kiss me ; what it 
wont? kiss me, Hareton! Dam'n thee, kiss 
me ! By God, as if I would rear such a mon- 
ster! Ae sure as I'm living, I'll break the 
brat's neck." 

Poor Hareton was squalling and kicking in 



WUfHERING HEIGHTS. 165 

his father's arms with all his might , and re- 
doubled his yells when he carried him up-stairs 
and lifted him over the bannister. I cried out 
that he would frighten the child into fits, and 
ran to rescue him. 

As I reached them, Hindley leant forward 
on the rails to listen to a noise below ; almost 
forgetting what he had in his hands. 

" Who is that ?" he asked, hearing some one 
approaching the stair's-foot. 

I leant forvvanl, also, for the purpose of 
signing to Heathcliff, whose step I recognized, 
not to come further; and, at the instant when 
my eye quitted Hareton, he gave a sudden 
spring, delivered himself from the careless 
grasp that held him, and fell. 

1 here was scarcely time to experience a 
thrill of horror before we saw that the little 
wretch was safe. HeathclifF arrived under- 
neath just at the critical moment ; by a natu- 
ral impulse, he arrested his descent, and setting 



166 WUTUEKING HEIGHTS. 

him on his feet, looked up to discover the au- 
thor of the accident. 

A miser who has parted with a lucky lottery- 
ticket for five shillings and finds next day he 
has lost in the bargain five thousand pounds, 
could not show a blanker countenance than he 
did on behoklino; the fitjure of Mr. Earnshaw 
above — It expressed, plainer than words could 
do, the intensest anguish at having made him- 
self the instrument of thwarting his own re- 
venge. Had it been dark, I dare tay, he 
would have tried to remedy the mistake by 
smashing Hareton's skull on the steps ; but, we 
witnessed his salvation ; and I was presently 
below with my precious charge pressed to my 
heart. 

Hindley descended more leisurely, sobered 
and abashed. 

"It is your fault, Ellen," be said, "you 
should have kept him out of sight ; you should 
have taken him from me ! Is he injured any- 
where ?" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 167 

"Injured!" I cried angrily, "If he's not 
killed, he'll be an idiot! Oh! I wonder his 
mother does not rise from her grave to see how 
you use him. You're worse than a heathen — 
treating your own flesh and blood in that man- 



ner i 



M" 



He attempted to touch the child, who on 
finding himself with me sobbed off his terror 
directly. At the first finger his father laid on 
him, however, he shrieked again louder than 
before, and struggled as if he would go into 
convulsions. 

" You shall not meddle with him !" I conti- 
nued, " He hates you — they all hate you — 
that's the truth ! A happy family you have ; 
and a pretty state you're come to !" 

"I shall come to a prettier, yet! Nellj," 
laughed the misguided man, recovering his 
hardness. " At present, convey yourself and 
him tiwsiy — And, hark you, HeathcliflT! clear 
you too, quite from my reach and hearing... I 
wouldn't murder you to-night, unless, perhaps 



168 WUTHEIUNG HEIGHTS. 

I set the house on fire ; but that's as my fancy 
goes — " 

While saying this he took a pint bottle ot 
brandy from the dresser, and poured some into 
a tumbler. 

"Nay don't I" I entreated, ''Mr. Hindley 
do take warning. Have mercy on this unfor- 
tunate boy, if you care nothing for yourself!"' 

" Any one will do better for him, than I 
shall," he answered. 

*' Have mercy on your own soul!" I said, 
endeavouring to snatch the glass from his hand. 

" Not I ! on the contrary, I shall Lave great 
pleasure in sending it to perdition, to punish 
its maker/' exclaimed the blasphemer, " Here's 
to its hearty damnation I" 

He drank the spirits, and impatiently bade 
us go ; terminating his command with a sequel 
of horrid imprecations, too bad to repeat, or re- 
member. 

" It's a pity he cannot kill himself with 
drink," observed Heathcliff, muttering an 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 169 

echo of curses back when the door was shut. 
** He's doing his very utmost ; but his consti- 
tution defies him — Mr. Kenneth says he woulJ 
wager his mare, that he'll outlive any man on 
this side Gimmerton, and go to the grave a 
hoary sinner; unless, some happy chance out 
of the common course befall him." 

I went into the kitchen and sat down to lull 
my little lamb to sleep. Heathcliff, as I 
thought, walked through to the barn. It 
turned out, afterwards, that he only got as far 
as the other side the settle, when he flung him- 
self on a bench by the wall, removed from the 
fire, and remained silent. 

I was rocking Hareton on my knee, and 
humming a song that began ; 

" It was far in the night, and the bairnies grat, 
The mither beneath the mods heard that." 
when Miss Cathy, who had listened to the 
hubbub from her room, put her head in, and 
whispered, 

** Are you alone, Nelly ?" 

VOL. I. I 



170 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

« Yes, Miss," I replied. 

She entered and approached the hearth. I, 
supposing she was going to say something, 
looked up. The expression of her face seem- 
ed disturbed and anxious. Her lips were 
half asunder as if she meant to speak ; and 
she drew a breath, but it escaped in a sigh, 
instead of a sentence. 

I resumed my song: not having forgotten 
her recent behaviour. 

" Where's HeathclifF?'^ she said, interrupt- 
ing me. 

*' About his work in the stable," was my 
answer. 

He did not contradict me ; perhaps, he had 
fallen into a dose. 

There followed another long pause, during 
which I perceived a drop or two trickle from 
Catherine's cheek to the flags. 

Is she sorry for her shameful conduct ? I 
asked myself. That will be a novelty, but, she 
may cooje to the point as she will — I shan't 
help her! 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 171 

No, -he felt small trouble regarding any 
subject, save her own concerns. 

''Oh, dear !^' she cried at last. "Prnvery 
unhappy !" 

**A pity,'^ observed I, " you're hard to 
please — so many friends and so few cares, and 
can't make yourself, content !" 

** Nelly, will you keep a secret for me ?" 
she pursued, kneeling down by me, and lifting 
her winsome eyes to my face with that sort of 
look which turns off bad temper, even, when 
one has all the right in the world to indulge 
it. 

** Is it worth keeping ?" I inquired less sulk- 
ily. 

" Yes, and it worries me, and I must let it 
out ! 1 want to know what 1 should do — To- 
day, Edgar Linton has asked me to marry 
him, and I've given him an answer — Now, be- 
fore I tell you whether it was a consent, or 
denial— you tell me which it ought to have 

been." 

H 3 



172 WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 

" Really, Miss Catherine, how can I know ?' 
I replied. **To be sure, considering the ex- 
hibition you performed in his presence, this 
afternoon, I might say it would be wise to re- 
fuse him — since he asked you after that, he 
must either be hopelessly stupid, or a venture- 
some fool." 

" If you talk so, I wont tell you any more," 
she returned, peevishly, rising to her feet, " I 
accepted him, Nelly ; be quick, and say whe- 
ther I was wrong !" 

"You accepted him? then, what good is it 
discussing the matter ? You have pledged your 
word, and cannot retract." 

" But, say whether I should have done so — 
do!" she exclaimed in an irritated tone ; chafing 
her hands together, and frowning. 

*' There are many things to be considered, 
before that question can be answered pro- 
perly." I said sententiously, '' First and fore- 
most, do you love Mr. Edgar ?" 



WUTHERING HEIGETS. 173 

" Who can help it? of course I do," she an- 
swered. 

Then 1 put her through the following cate- 
chism—for a girl of twenty-two it was not in- 
judicious. 

" Why do you love him, Miss Cathy ?" 

"Nonsense, I do— that's sufficient." 

" By no means ; you must say why ?" 

" Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant 
to be with." 

"Bad," was my commentary. 

" And because he is young and cheerful." 

^* Bad, still." 

" And, because he loves me." 

" Indifferent, coming there." 

'^ And he will be rich, and I shall like to be 
the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and 
I shall be proud of having such a husband." 

" Worst of all ! And, now, say how you love 
him ?" 

" zls every body loves — You're silly, Nelly.'' 

'' Not at all— Answer." 



174 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" I love the ground under his feet, and the 
air over his head, and everything he touches, 
and every word he says — I love all his looks, 
and all his actions, and him entirely, and al- 
together. There now !" 

"And why?'* 

"Nay — you are making a jest of it; it is 
exceedingly ill-natured ! It's no jest to me !" 
said the young lady scowling, and turning her 
face to the fire. 

*'Vm very far from jesting, Miss Cathe- 
rine," I replied, "you love Mr. Edgar, because 
he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and 
rich, and loves you. The last, however, goes 
for nothing — You would love him without 
that, probably, and with it, you wouldn't un- 
less he possessed the four former attractions." 

"No, to be sure not — I should only pity 
him — hate him, perhaps, if he were ugly, and 
a clown." 

" But, there are several other handsome, rich 
young men in the world ; handsomer, possibly. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 175 

and richer than he is — Wbat should hinder 
you from loving them ?** 

"If there be any, they are out of my way — 
I've seen none like Edgar." 

**You may see some; and he won't always 
be handsome, and young, and may not always 
be rich." 

" He is now ; and I have only to do with 
the present —I wish you would speak ration- 
ally." 

** Well, that settles it — if you have only to 
do with the present, marry Mr. Linton." 

" I don't want your permission for that — I 
shall marry him ; and yet, you have not told 
me whether I'm right." 

"Perfectly right; if people be right to 
marry only for the present. And now, let us 
hear what you are uuhappy about. Your bro- 
ther will be pleased... The old lady and gen- 
tleman will not object, I think — you will escape 
from a disorderly, comfortless home into a 
wealthy respectable one ; and you love E Jgar, 



176 WUTHERING HEIGUTS. 

and Edgar loves you. All seems smooth and 
easy — where is the obstacle ?" 

'' Here 1 and here /" replied Catherine, 
striking one hand on her forehead, and 
the other on her breast. " In whichever place 
the soul lives — in my soul, and in my heart, 
I'm convinced I'm wrong !" 

" That's very strange ! I cannot make it 
out." 

" It's my secret ; but if you will not mock 
at me, I'll explain it ; I can't do it distinctly 
— but I'll give you a feeling of how I feel." 

She seated herself by me again : her coun- 
tenance grew sadder and graver, and her 
clasped hands trembled. 

" Nelly, do you never dream queer dreams ?" 
she said, suddenly, after some minutes' reflec- 
tion." 

*' Yes, now and then," I answered. 

** And so do I. I've dreamt in my life 
dreams that have stayed with me ever after, 
and changed my ideas ; they've gone through 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 177 

and through rae, like wine through water, and 
altered the colour of my mind. And this is 
one — I'm groing to tell it — but take care not 
to smile at any part of it." 

"Oh! don't. Miss Catherine!" I cried. 
** We're dismal enough without conjuring up 
ghosts, and visions to perplex us. Come, 
come, be merry, and like yourstlf ! Look at 
little Hareton — hes dreaming nothing dreary. 
How sweetly he smiles in his sleep I" 

*' Yes; and how sweetly his father curses 
in his -solitude ! You remember him, I dare 
say, when he was just such another as that 
chubby thing — nearly as young and innocent. 
However, Nelly, I shall oblige you to listen 
— it's not long; and I've no power to be 
merry to-night.'^ 

" I wont hear it, I wont hear it !" I repeated, 
hastily. 

I was superstitious about dreams then, and 
am still ; and Catherine had an unusual gloom 
in her aspect, that made me dread something 
I 5 



178 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

from which I might shape a prophecy, and 
foresee a fearful catastrophe. 

She was vexed, but she did not proceed. 
Apparently taking up another subject, she 
re-commenced in a short time. 

" If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be 
extremely miserable." 

" Because you are not fit to go there," I 
answered. " All sinners would be miserable 
in heaven." 

'* But it is not for that. I dreamt, once, 
that I was there.'* 

" I tell you I wont barken to your dreams, 
Miss Catherine ! I'll go to bed," I interrupted 
again. 

She laughed, and held me down, for I 
made a motion to leave my chair. 

'' This is nothing," cried she; *' I was only 
going to say that heaven did not seem to be 
my home ; and I broke my heart with weeping 
to come back to earth ; and the angels were so 
angry that they flung me out, into the middle 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 179 

of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights : 
where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do 
to explain my secret, as well as the other. 
I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton 
than I have to be in heaven ; and if the wicked 
man in there, had not brought Heathcliff so 
low I shouldn't have thought of it. It would 
degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now ; so he 
shall never know how I love him ; and that, 
not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because 
he's more myself than I am. Whatever our 
souls are made of, his and mine are the same, 
and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam 
from lightning, or frost from fire." 

Ere this speech ended I became sensible of 
Heathcliff's presence. Having noticed a slight 
movement, I turned my head, and saw him 
rise from the bench, and steal out, noiselessly. 
He had listened till he heard Catherine say it 
would degrade her to marry him, and then he 
staid to hear no farther. 

My companion, sitting on the ground, was 



180 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



prevented by the back of the settle from re- 
marking his presence or departure ; but 1 
started, and bade her hush ! 

^* Why?" she asked, gazing nervously round. 

^' Joseph is here," I answered, catching, 
oi^portunely, the roll of his cartwheels up the 
road; ** and Heathcliff will come in with him. 
I'm not sure whether he were not at the door 
this moment." 

** Oh, he couldn't overhear me at the door I" 
said she. " Give me Hareton, while you get 
the supper, and when it is ready ask mc tj sup 
with you. I want to cheat my uncomrortable 
conscience, and be convinced that Heathclift' 
has no notion of these things — he has not, has 
be ? He does not know what being in love is ?" 

" I see no reason that he should not know, 
as well as you," 1 returned ; " and if you, are 
his choice, he'll be the most unfortunate crea- 
ture that ever was born ! As soon as you be- 
come Mrs. Linton, he loses friend, and love, 
and all ! Have you considered how you'll bear 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 181 

the separation, and how he'll bear to be quite 
deserted in the world? Because, Miss 
Catherine — " 

** He quite deserted ! we separated !" she 
exclaimed, with an accent of indignation. 
" Who is to separate us, pray ? Tney'U meet 
the fate of Milo ! Not as long as I live, Ellen 
— for no mortal creature. Every Linton on 
the face of the earth might melt into nothing, 
before I could consent to forsake Heathcliff. 
Oh, that's not what I intend — that's not what 
I mean ! I shouldn't be Mrs. Linton were 
such a price demanded ! He'il be as much to 
me as he has been all his lifetime. Edgar must 
shake off his antipathy, and tolerate him, at 
least. He will when he learns my true feelings 
towards him. Nelly, I see now, you think 
me a selfish wretch, but, did it never strike 
you that, if HeathclifF and I married, we 
bhould be beggars? whereas, if I marry 
Linton, I can aid HeathclifF to rise, and place 
him out of my brother's power." 



182 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

*' With your husband's money, Miss 
Catherine ?" I asked. " You'll find him not 
so pliable as you calculate upon : and, though 
I'm hardly a judge, I think that's the worst 
motive you've given yet for being the wife of 
young Linton." 

" It is not," retorted she, *' it is the best ! 
The others were the satisfaction of my whims ; 
and for Edgar's sake, too, to satisfy him. 
This is for the sake of one who comprehends 
in his person my feelings to Edgar and myself. 
I cannot express it ; but surely you and every 
body have a notion that there is, or should be 
an existence of yours beyond you. AYhat 
were the use of my creation if I were entirely 
contained here? My great miseries in this 
world have been HeathclifF's miseries, and I 
watched and felt each from the beginning ; my 
great thought in living is himself. If all else 
perished, and he remained, I should still con- 
tinue to be ; and, if all else remained, and he 
were annihilated, the Universe would turn to 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 183 

a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part 
of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage 
in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well 
aware, as winter changes the trees — my love 
for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks be- 
neath — a source of little visible delight, but 
necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff— he's al- 
ways, always in my mind — not as a pleasure, 
any more than I am always a pleasure to my- 
self — but, as my own being — so, don't talk of 
our separation again — it is impracticable ; 
and—" 

She paused, and hid her face in the folds of 
my gown; but I jerked it forcibly away. I 
was out of patience with her folly ! 

" If I can make any sense of your nonsense, 
Miss," I said, '* it only goes to convince me 
that you are ignorant of the duties you under- 
take in marrying ; or else, that you are a 
wicked, unprincipled girl. But, trouble me 
with no more secrets. I'll not promise to keep 
them." 



184 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

f 

" You'll keep that ?" she asked, eagerly. 

*' No, I'll not promise,*' I repeated. 

She was about to insist, when the entrance 
of Joseph finished our conversation ; and 
Catherine removed her seat to a corner, and 
nursed Hareton, while I made the supper. 

After it was cooked, my fellow servant and 
I began to quarrel who should carry some to 
Mr. Hindley ; and we didn't settle it till all 
was nearly cold. Then we came to the agree- 
ment that we would let him ask, if he wanted 
any, for we feared particularly to go into his 
presence when he had been sometime alone. 

" Und hah isn't that nowt corned in frough 
th' field, be this time? What is he abaht? 
girt eedle seeght!" demanded the old man, 
looking round for HeathclifF. 

*' rU call him," I replied. "He's in the 
barn, I've no doubt.'' 

I went and called, but got no answer. On 
returning, I whispered to Catherine that he 
had heard a good part of what she said, I was 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 185 

sure ; and told how I saw liioQ quit the kitchen 
just as she complained of her brother's conduci 
regardinof him. 

She jumped up in a fine fright — flung Hare- 
ton onto the settle, and ran to seek for her 
friend herself, not taking leisure to consider 
why she was so flurried, or how her talk would 
have affected him. 

She was absent such a while that Joseph 
proposed we should wait no longer. He cun- 
ningly conjectured they were staying away in 
order to avoid hearing his protracted blessing. 
They were " ill eneugh for ony fahl manners," 
he aflfirmed. And, on their behalf, he added, 
that night a special prayer to the usual quar- 
ter of an hour's supplication before meat, and 
would have tacked another to the end of the 
grace, had not his young mistress broken in 
upon him with a hurried command, that he 
must run down the road, and, wherever 
Heathclift had rambled, find and make him re- 
enter directly !" 



186 WUIHKRlNo HEIGHTS. 

" I want to speak to him, and I must, before 
I go up-stairs, she said. " And the scate is 
open, he is somewhere out of hearing ; for he 
would not reply, though I shouted at the top 
of the fold as loud as I could." 

Joseph objected at first ; she was too much 
in earnest, however, to suffer contradiction ; 
and, at last, he placed his hat on his head, and 
walked grumbling forth. 

Meantime, Catherine paced up and down 
the floor, exclaiming — 

" I wonder where he is — I wonder where he 
can be !" What did I say, Nelly ? I've forgot- 
ten. Was he vexed at my bad humour this 
afternoon ? Dear ! tell me what I' ve said to 
grieve him ? I do wish he'd come. 1 do wish 

be would !" 

'* What a noise for nothing !" I cried, 

though rather uneasy myself. " What a trifle 

scares you ! It's surely no great cause of 

alarm that Heathcliff should take a moonlight 

saunter on the moors, or, even lie too sulky to 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 187 

speak to us, in the hay-loft. I'll engage he's 
lurking there. See, if I don't ferret him out !" 
I departed to renew my search ; its result 
was disappointment, and Joseph's quest ended 
in the same. 

"Yon lad gets war unwar!" observed he 
on re-entering. " He's left th' yate ut t' full 
swing, and miss's pony has trodden dahn two 
rigs uh com, un plottered through, raight o'er 
intuh t' meadow ! Hahsomdiver, t' maister 
'ull play t' divil to-morn, and he'll do weel. 
He's patience itsseln wi' sich careless, offald 
craters — patience itsseln he is ! Bud hell nut 
be soa alius — yah's see, all on ye ! Yah 
mumn't drive him aht uf his heead fur nowt !" 

*' Have you found HeathcliiF, you ass ?" 
interrupted Catherine. " Have you been 
looking for him, as I ordered ?' 

" Aw sud more likker look for th' horse," he 
replied. ** It 'ud be tuh more sense. Bud, aw 
can look for norther horse, nur man uf a neeght 
loike this— as black as t' chimbley ! und 



188 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

HatheclifF's noan t' chap tuh coom ut maw 
whistle — happen he'll be less hard uh hearing 
wi' 7/e !" 

It was a very dark evening for summer : the 
clouds appeared inclined to thunder, and I said 
we had better all sit down; the approaching 
rain would be certain to bring him home with- 
out further trouble. 

However, Catherine would not be persuaded 
into tranquillity. She kept wandering to and 
fro, from the gate to the door, in a state of agi- 
tation, which permitted no repose: and, at 
length, took up a permanent situation on one 
side of the wall, near the road; where, heed- 
less of my expostulations, and the growling 
thunder, and the great drops that began to 
plash around her, she remained calling, at in- 
tervals, and then listening, and then crying 
outright. She beat Hareton, or any child, at 
a good, passionate fit of crying. 

About midnight, while we still sat up, the 
storm came rattling over the Heights in full 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 189 

fury. There was a violent wind, as well as 
thunder, and either one or the other split a 
tree off at the corner of the building ; a huge 
bough fell across the roof, and knocked down a 
portion of the east chimney-stack, sending a 
clatter of stones and soot into the kitchen 
fire. 

We thought a bolt had fallen in the middle 
of us, and Joseph swung onto his knees, be- 
seeching the Lord to remember the Patriarchs 
Noah and Lot ; and, as in former times, spare 
the righteous, though he smote the ungodly. 
I felt some sentiment that it must be a judg- 
ment on us also. The Jonah, in my mind, was 
Mr, Earnshaw, and I shook the handle of his 
den that I might ascertain if he were yet 
living. He replied audibly enough, in a fash- 
ion which made my companion vociferate 
more clamorously than before that a wide dis- 
tinction might be drawn between saints like 
himself, and sinners like his master. But, the 
uproar passed away in twenty minutes, leaving 



190 WUTHERING HEIGHT?. 

US all unharmed, excepting Cathy, who got 
thoroughly drenched for her obstinacy in re- 
fusing to take shelter, and standing bonnetless 
and shawlless to catch as much water as she 
could with her hair and clothes. 

She came in, and lay down on the settle, all 
soaked as she was, turning her face to the 
back, and putting her hands before it. 

" Well Miss !" I exclaimed, touching her 
shoulder. " You are not bent on getting your 
death, are you? Do you know what o'clock 
it is ? Half-past twelve. Come ! come to 
bed ; there's no use waiting longer on that 
foolish boy — he'll be gone to Gimmerton, and 
he'll stay there now. He guesses we should 
n't wake for him till this late hour ; at least, 
he guesses that only Mr. Hindley would be 
up ; and he'd rather avoid having the door 
opened by the master." 

*' Nay, nay, he's noan at Gimmerton !" said 
Joseph. *' Aw's niver wonder, bud he's at t' 
bothoin uf a bog-hoile. This visitation worn't 



WUTHERIXG HEIGHTS. 191 

for nowt, und aw wod hev ye tub look aht. 
Miss, — yah muh be t' next. Thank Hivin 
for all ! All warks toiither for gooid tuh them 
as is chozzen, and piked aht froo' th' rubbidge! 
Yah knaw whet t' Scripture ses— " 

And he began quoting several texts ; refer- 
ing us to the chapters and verses, where we 
might find them. 

I having vainly begged the wilful girl to 
rise and remove her wet things, left him 
preaching, and her shivering, and betook my* 
self to bed with little Hareton ; who slept as 
iast as if every one had been sleeping round 
him. 

T heard Joseph read on a while afterwards ; 
then, 1 distinguished his slow step on the lad- 
der, and then I dropt asleep. 

Coming down somewhat later than usual, I 
saw, by the sunbeams piercing the chinks of 
the shutters. Miss Catherine still seated near 
the fire-place. The house door was ajar, too 
liuht entered from its unclosed windows, 



192 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

Hindley had come out, and stood on the kit- 
chen hearth, haorgard and drowsy. 

"What ails you, Cathy?" he was saying 
when I entered ; " You look as dismal as a 
drowned whelp — Why are you so damp and 
pale child?" 

*' I've been wet;" she answered reluctantly 
"and I'm cold, that's all" 

"Oh, she is naughty!" I cried, perceiving 
the master to be tolerably sober; " She got 
steeped in the shower of yesterday evening, 
and there she has sat, the night through, and 
I couldn't prevail on her to stir." 

Mr. Earnshaw stared at us in surprise. 
"The night through," he repeated. ''What 
kept her up, not fear of the thunder, surely ? 
That was over, hours since." 

Neither of us washed to mention Heathcliff*s 
absence, as long as we could conceal it ; so, I 
replied, I didn't know how she took it into 
her head to sit up ; and she said nothing. 

The morning was fresh and cool ; I threw 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 193 

back the lattice, and presently the room filled 
with sweet scents from the garden : but Ca- 
therine called peevishly to me. 

"Ellen, shut the window. I'ru starving!" 
And her teeth chattered as she shrunk closer 
to the almost extinguished embers. 

''' She's ill — " said Hindley, taking her 
wrist, *' I suppose that's the reason she would 
not go to bed — Damn it ! I don't want to be 
troubled with more sickness, here — What took 
you into the rain ?" 

'^ Eunning after t'lads, as usuald !" croaked 
Joseph, catching an opportunity, from our he- 
sitation, to thrust in his evil tongue. 

*^If Aw wur yah, maister, Aw'd just slam 
t'boards i' their faces all on 'em, gentle and 
simple ! Never a day ut yah 're off, but yon 
cat uh Linton comes sneaking hitber — and 
Miss Nelly shoo's a fine lass ! shoo sits watch- 
ing for ye i' t'kitchen ; and as yah' re in at one 
door, he's aht at t'other — Und, then, wer grand 
lady goes a coorting uf hor side ! It's bonny 

VOL. I. K 



194 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

behaviour, lurking amang t'flields, after twelve 
ut' night, wi that fahl, flaysome divil uf a gip- 
sy, HeathcliiF, ! They think ^'m blind; but 
Aw'm noan, now't ut t'soart ! Aw seed young 
Linton, boath coming and going, and Aw seed 
yah (directing his discourse to me.) Yah gooid 
fur nowt, slattenlywitch;! nip up nud bolt intuh 
th* haks, t' minute yah heard t'maister's horse 
fit clatter up t' road. 

" Silence, eavesdropper!" cried Catherine, 
** None of your insolence, before me !" Edgar 
Linton, came yesterday, by chance, Hindley: 
and it was /who told him to be off: because, 
I knew you would not like to have met him as 
you were." 

*^You lie, Cathy, no doubt," answered her 
brother, *^and you are a confounded simpleton ! 
But, never mind Linton, at present — Tell me, 
were you not with Heathcliff, last night ? 
Speak the truth, now. You need not be 
afraid of harming him — Though I hate him as 
much as ever, he did me a good turn, a short 



WUTHF.RING HEIGHTS. 195 

time since, that will make my conscience ten- 
der of breaking his neck. To prevent it, I 
shall send him about his business, this very- 
morning ; and after he's gone, I*d advise you 
all to look sharp, I shall only have the more 
humour for you !"' 

"I never saw Heathcliff last night," an- 
swered Catherine, beginning to sob bitterly : 
" and if yon do turn him out of doors, I'll go 
with him. But, perhaps, you'll never have 
an opportunity— perhaps, he's gone." Hero 
she burst into uncontrollable grief, and the re 
mainder of her words were inarticulate. 

Hindley lavished on her a torrent of scorn- 
ful abuse, and bid her get to her room imme- 
diately, or she shouldn't cry for nothing! I 
obliged her to obey ; and I shall never forget 
what a scene she acted, when we reached her 
chamber. It terrified me — I thought she was 
going mad, and I begged Joseph to run for the 
doctor. 

K 3 



196 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

It proved the commencement of delirium : 
Mr. Kenneth, as soon as he saw her, pronoun- 
ced her dangerously ill ; she had a fever. 

He bled her, and he told rae to let her live 
on whey, and water gruel ; and take care she 
did not throw herself down stairs, or out of 
the window ; and then he left ; for, he had 
enough to do in the parish where two or three 
miles was the ordinary distance between cot- 
tage and cottage. 

Though I cannot say I made a gentle Jnurse, 
and Joseph and the master were no better; 
and, though our patient was as wearisome and 
headstrong as a patient could be, she weather- 
ed it through. 

Old Mrs. Linton paid us several visits, to be 
sure ; and set things to rights, and scolded and 
ordered us all ; and when Catherine was con- 
valescent, she insisted on conveying her to 
Thrushcross Grange ; for which deliverance 
we were very grateful. But, the poor dame 
ha-il reason to repent of her kindness; she, and 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 197 

her husband, both took the fever, and died 
within a few days of each other. 

Our young lady returned to us, saucier, 
and more passionate, and haughtier than ever. 
Heathcliff had never been heard of since the 
evening of the thunder-storm, and, one day, 
I had the misfortune, when she had provoked 
me exceedingly, to lay the blame of his dis- 
appearance on her (where indeed it belonged, 
as she well knew.) From that period for seve- 
ral months, she ceased to hold any communi- 
cation with me save in the relation of a mere 
servant. Joseph fell under a ban also ; he 
would speak his mind, and lecture her all the 
same as if she were a little girl ; and she es- 
teemed herself a woman, and our mistress ; and 
thought that her recent illness gave her a 
claim to be treated with consideration. Then 
the doctor had said that she would not bear 
crossing much, she ought to have her own 
way ; and it was nothing less than murder, in 



198 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

her eyes, for any one, to presume to stand up 
and contradict her. 

From Mr. Earnshaw, and his companions 
she kept aloof, and tutored by Kenneth, and 
serious threats of a fit that often attended 
her rages, her brother allowed her whatever 
she pleased to demand, and generally avoided 
aggravating her fiery temper. He was rather 
too indulgent in humouring her caprices ; not 
from affection, but from pride; he wished 
earnestly to see her bring honour to the family 
by an alliance with the Lintons, and, as long 
as she let him alone, she might trample us like 
slaves fot ought he cared I 

Edgar Linton, as multitudes have been be- 
fore, and will be after him, was infatuated ; 
and believed himself the happiest man alive 
on the day he led her to Gimmerton chapel, 
three years subsequent to his father's death. 

Much against my inclination, I was per- 
suaded to leave Wuthering Heights and ac- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 199 

company her here. Little Hareton was near- 
ly ^ve years old, and I had just began to 
teach him his letters : We made a sad part- 
ing, but Catherine's tears were more power- 
ful than ours — When I refused to go, and 
when she found her entreaties did not move 
me, she went lamenting to her husband, and 
brother. The former offered me munificent 
wages ; the latter ordered me to pack up — he 
wanted no women in the house, he said, now 
that there was no mistress ; and as to Hare- 
ton, the curate should take him in hand, by 
and bye. And so, I had but one choice left, 
to do as I was ordered — I told the master he 
got rid of all decent people only to run to 
ruin a little faster ; I kissed Hareton good 
bye ; and, since then, he has been a stranger, 
and it's very queer to think it, but I've no 
doubt, he has completely forgotten all about 
Ellen Dean and that he was ever more than 
all the world to her, and she to him ! 

At this point of the housekeeper's story she 



200 WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 

chanced to glance towards the time-piece over 
the chimney ; and was in amazement, on seeing 
the minute-hand measure half past one. She 
would not hear of staying a second longer — 
In truth, I felt rather disposed to defer the 
sequel of her narrative, myself: and now, 
that she is vanished to her rest, and I have 
meditated for another hour or two, I shall sum- 
mon courage to go, also, in spite of aching la- 
ziness of head and limbs. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 201 



CHAPTER X. 



A CHARMING introduction to a hermit's life ! 
Four weeks' torture, tossing and sickness ! 
Oh, these bleak winds, and bitter, northern 
skies, and impassable roads, and dilatory coun- 
try surgeons ! And, oh, this dearth of the 
human physiognomy, and, worse than all, the 
terrible intimation of Kenneth that I need not 
expect to be out of doors till spring ! 

Mr. Heathcliff has just honoured me with a 
call. About seven days ago he sent me a 
brace of grouse — the last of the season. 
k5 



202 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

Scoundrel ! He is not altogether guiltless in 
this illness of mine ; and that I had a great 
mind to tell him. But, alas ! how could I 
offend a man who was charitable enough to 
sit at my bedside a good hour, and talk on 
some other subject than pills, and draughts, 
blisters, and leeches ? 

This is quite an easy interval. I am too 
weak to read, yet I feel as if I could enjoy 
something interesting. Why not have up Mrs. 
Dean to finish her tale ? I can recollect its 
chief incidents, as far as she had gone. Yes, 
I remember her hero had run off, and never 
been heard of for three years ; and the heroine 
was married. I'll ring ; she'll be delighted to 
find me capable of talking cheerfully. 

Mrs. Dean came. 

*^ It wants twenty minutes, sir, to taking 
the medicine," she commenced. 

*' Away, away with it !" I replied ; " I de- 
sire to have — " 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 203 

" The doctor says you must drop the 
powders." 

" With all my heart ! Don't interrupt me, 
Come and take your seat here. Keep your 
fiDgers from that bitter phalanx of vials. Draw 
your knitting out of your pocket — that will do 
— now continue the history of Mr. Heathcliff, 
from where you left off, to the present day. 
Did he finish his education on the Continent, 
and come back a gentleman ? or did he get a 
sizer's place at college? or escape to America, 
and earn honours by drawing blood from his 
foster country ? or make a fortuno more 
promptly, on the English highways ?" 

*' He may have done a little in all these vo- 
cations, Mr. Lockwood ; but I couldn't give 
my word for any. I stated before that I didn't 
know how he gained his money ; neither am I 
aware of the means he took to raise his mind 
from the savage ignorance into which it was 
sunk ; but, with your leave, I'll proceed in 
my, own fashion, if you think it will amuse, 



204 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and not weary you. Are you feeling better 
this morning ?^' 

'' Much." 

" That's good news. I got Miss Cathe- 
rine and myself to Thrushcross Grange : and 
to my agreeable disappointment, she behaved 
infinitely better than I dared to expect. She 
seemed almost over fond of Mr. Linton ; and 
even to his sister, she showed plenty of affec- 
tion. They were both very attentive to her 
comfort, certainly. It was not the thorn bend- 
ing to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles 
embracing the thorn. There were no mutual 
concessions ; one stood erect, and the others 
yielded ; and who can be ill-natured, and bad- 
teaipered, when they encounter neither oppo- 
sition, nor indifference ? 

" I observed that Mr. Edgar had a deep- 
rooted fear of ruffling her humour. He con- 
cealed it from her ; but if ever he heard me 
answer sharply, or saw any other servant grow 
cloudy at some imperious order of hers, he 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 205 

would show his trouble by a frown of displea- 
sure that never darkened on his own account. 
He, many a time, spoke sternly to me about 
my pertness ; and averred that the stab of a 
knife could not inflict a worse pang than he 
suffered at seeing his lady vexed. 

*' Not to grieve a kind master I learnt to be 
less touchy ; and, for the space of half a year, 
the gunpowder lay as harmless as sand, be- 
cause no fire came near to explode it. Catherine 
had seasons of gloom and silence, now and then, 
they were respected with sympathizing silence 
by her husband, who ascribed them to an al- 
teration in her constitution, produced by her 
perilous illness, as she was never subject to de- 
pression of spirits before. The return of sun- 
shine was welcomed by answering sunshine 
froja him. I believe I may assert that they 
were really in possession of deep and growing 
happiness. 

" It ended. Well, we must be for our- 
selves in the long run ; the mild and generous 



20 ) WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

are only more justly selfish than the domineer- 
ing — and it ended when circumstances caused 
each to feel that the one's interest was not the 
chief consideration in the other's thoughts. 

"• On a mellow evening in September, I was 
coming from the garden with a heavy biisket 
of apples which I had been gathering. It had 
got dusk, and the moon looked over the high 
wall of the court, causing undefined shadows 
to lurk in the corners of the numerous project- 
ing portions of the building. I set my burden 
on the house steps by the kitchen door, and 
lingered to rest, and draw in a few more 
breaths of the soft, sweet air ; my eyes were 
on the moon, and my back to the entrance, 
when I heard a voice behind me say — 

'■' ' Nelly, is that you ?' 

^' It was a deep voice, and foreign in tone : 
yet, there was something in the manner of 
pronouncing my name which made it sound 
familiar. I turned about to discover who 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 207 

spoke, fearfully, for the doors were shut, and 
I had seen nobody on approaching the steps. 

" Something stirred in the porch ; and mov- 
ing nearer, I distinguished a tall man dressed 
in dark clothes, with dark face and hair. He 
leant against the side, and held his fingers on 
the latch, as if intending to open for himself. 

" * Who can it be ?' I thought. ' Mr. 
Earnshaw ? Oh, no ! The voice has no re- 
semblance to his.' 

'' * I have waited here an hour,' he resumed, 
while I continued staring; ' and the whole of 
that time all round has been as still as death 
I dared not enter. You do not know me? 
Look, I'm not a stranger !' 

A. ray fell on his features ; the cheeks were 
sallow, and half covered with black whiskers ; 
the brows lowering, the eyes deep set and sin- 
gular. I remembered the eyes." 

" What !" I cried, uncertain whether to re- 
gard him as a worldly visiter, and I raised my 



208 WDTHERING HEIGHTS. 

hands in amazement. " What ! you come 
back ? Is it really you ? Is it ?'* 

" Yes, Heathcliff," he replied, glancing from 
me up to the windows which reflected a score 
of glittering moons, but showed no lights from 
within. " Are they at home — where is she ? 
Nelly, you are not glad — you needn't be so 
disturbed. Is she here ? Speak ! I want to 
have one word with her — your mistress. Go, 
and say some person from Gimmerton desires 
to see her." 

" How will she take it ?" I exclaimed, 
" what will she do? The surprise bewilders 
me — it will put her out of her head ! And 
you are Heathcliff ? But altered ! Nay, 
there's no comprehending it. Have you been 
for a soldier?" 

*' Go, and carry my message," he interrupted 
impatiently; I'm in hell till you do!" 

He lifted the latch, and I entered; but 
when I got to the parlour where Mr. and Mrs. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 209 

Linton were, I could not persuade myself to 
proceed. 

At length, I resolved on making an excuse 
to ask if they would have the candles lighted, 
and I opened the door. 

They sat together in a window whose lattice 
lay back against the wall, and displayed beyond 
the garden trees, and the wild green park, the 
valley of Gimmerton, with a long line of mist 
winding nearly to its top, (for very soon after 
you pass the chapel, as you may have no- 
ticed, the sough that runs from the marshes 
joins a beck which follows the bend of the 
glen), Wuthering Heights rose above this sil- 
very vapour, ; but our old house was invisible 
— it rather dips down on the other side. 

Both the room, and its occupants, and the 
scene they gazed on, looked wondrously 
peaceful. I shrank reluctantly from perform- 
ing my errand : and was actually going away, 
leaving it unsaid, after having put my ques- 



210 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

tion about the candles, when a sense of my 
folly compelled me to return, and mutter : 

" A person from Gimmerton wishes to see 
you, ma'am." 

*' What does he want?" asked Mrs. Linton. 

" I did not question him," I answered. 

" Well, close the curtains, Nelly,*' she said ; 
" and bring up tea. I'll be back again di- 
rectly." 

She quitted the apartment ; Mr. Edgar in- 
quired carelessly, who it was ? 

" Some one the mistress does not expect," 
I replied. "That HeathclifF, you recollect 
him, sir, who used to live at Mr. Earnshaw's." 

'* What, the gipsy— the plough-boy?" he 
cried. " Why did you not say so to Cathe- 
rine ?" 

" Hush I you must not call him by those 
names, master," I said. " She'd be sadly 
grieved to hear you. She was nearly heart- 
broken when he ran off; I guess his return 
will make a jubilee to her.'* 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 211 

Mr. Linton walked to a window on the 
other side of the room that overlooked the 
court. He unfastened it, and leant out. I 
suppose they were below, for he exclaimed, 
quickly : — 

" Don't stand there love I Bring the person 
in, if it be any one particular.'^ 

Ere long, I heard the click of the latch, and 
Catherine flew up-stairs, breathless and wild, 
too excited to show gladness ; indeed, by her 
face, you would rather have surmised an awful 
calamity. 

" Oh, Edgar, Edgar !" she panted, flinging 
her arms round his neck. " Oh, Edgar, darl- 
ing! Heathcliff''s come back— he is!" And 
she tightened her embrace to a squeeze. 

" Well, well," cried her husband, crossly, 
** don't strangle me for that ! He never struck 
me as such a marvellous treasure. There is 
no need to be frantic !" 

" I know you didn't like him," she an- 
swered, repressing a little the intensity of her 



212 WUT BERING HEIGHTS. 

delight. " Yet for my sake, you must be 
friends now. Shall 1 tell him to come up ?" 

" Here," he said, " into the parlour?" 

" Where else?" she asked. 

He looked vexed, and suggested the kitchen 
as a more suitable place for him. 

Mrs. Linton eyed him with a droll expres- 
sion — ^half angry, half laughing at his fastidi- 
ousness. 

'* No," she added, after a while ; " I cannot 
sit in the kitchen. Set two tables here, Ellen; 
one for your master and Miss Isabella, being 
gentry ; the other for Heathcliff and myself, 
being of the lower orders. Will that please 
you, dear ? Or must I have a fire lighted else- 
virhere ? If so, give directions. I'll run down 
and secure my guest. I'm afraid the joy is 
too great to be real !" 

She was about to dart off again ; but Edgar 
arrested her. 

'^ You bid him step up," he said, addressing 
me ; " and, Catherine, try to be glad, without 



WUTHERING HKIGHTa. 213 

being absurd ! The whole household need not 
witness the sight of your welcoming a runaway- 
servant as a brother." 

I descended and found Heathcliff waiting 
under the porch, evidently anticipating an in- 
vitation to enter. He followed nny guidance 
without waste of words, and I ushered him 
into the presence of the master and mistress, 
whose flushed cheeks betrayed signs of warm 
talking. But the lady's glowed with another 
feeling when her friend appeared at the door; 
she sprang forward, took both his hands, and 
led him to Linton ; and then she seized Lin- 
ton's reluctant fingers and crushed them into 
his. 

Now fully revealed by the fire and candle- 
light, I was amazed, more than ever, to behold 
the transformation of Heathcliff. He had 
grown a tall, athletic, well-formed man ; be- 
side whom, my master seemed quite slender 
and youth-like. His upright carriage sug- 
gested the idea of his having been in the army. 



214 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

His countenance was much older in expression, 
and decision of feature than Mr. Linton's; it 
looked intelligent, and retained no marks of 
former degradation. A half-civilized ferocity- 
lurked yet in the depressed brows, and eyes 
full of black fire, but it was subdued ; and his 
manner was even dignified, quite divested of 
roughness though too stern for grace. 

My master's surprise equalled or exceeded 
mine : he remained for a minute at a loss how 
to address the ploughboy, as he had called 
him ; HeathcUfF dropped his slight hand, and 
stood looking at him coolly till he chose to 
speak. 

" Sit down, sir," he said, at length. " Mrs. 
Linton, recalling old times, would have me 
give you a cordial reception, and, of course, I 
am gratified when anything occurs to please 
her." 

" And I also," answered Heathcliff, " espe- 
cially if it be anything in which I have a 
part. I shall stay an hour or two willingly." 



WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 216 

He took a seat opposite Catherine, who kept 
her gaze fixed on him as if she feared he 
would vanish were she to remove it. He did 
not raise his to her, often ; a quick glance now 
and then sufficed ; but it flashed back, each 
time, more confidently, the undisguised delight 
he drank from hers. 

They were too much absorbed in their mu- 
tual joy to suffer embarrassment ; not so Mr. 
Edgar, he grew pale with pure annoyance, a 
feeling that reached its climax when his lady 
rose — and stepping across the rug, seized 
Heathcliff's hands again, and laughed like one 
beside herself. 

" I shall think it a dream to-morrow!*' she 
cried. " I shall not be able to believe that I 
have seen, and touched, and spoken to you 
once more — and yet, cruel HeathcliffI you 
don't deserve this welcome. To be absent and 
silent for three years, and never to think of 
me!" 

" A little more than you have thought of 



216 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

me !" he murmured. " I heard of your mar- 
riage, Cathy, not long since ; and, while wait- 
ing in the yard below, 1 meditated this plan — 
just to have one glimpse of your face — a stare 
of surprise, perhaps, and pretended pleasure ; 
afterwards settle my score with Hindley; and 
then prevent the law by doing execution on 
myself. Your welcome has put these ideas out 
of my mind; but beware of meeting me with 
another aspect next time ! Nay, you'll not drive 
me off again —you were really sorry for me, were 
you? Well, there was cause. I've fou-ht 
through a bitter life since I last heard your 
voice, and you must forgive me, for I struggled 
only for you !" 

" Catherine, unless we are to have cold tea, 
please to come to the table," interrupted Lin- 
ton, striving to prcocrve his ordinary tone, and 
a due measure of politeness. " Mr. Heath- 
cliff will have a long walk, wherever he may 
lodge to-night ; and I'm thirsty." 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 217 

She took her post before the urn ; and Miss 
Isabella came, summoned by the bell ; then, 
having handed their chairs forwardj I left the 
room. 

The meal hardly endured ten minutes — Ca- 
therine's cup was never filled, she could nei- 
ther eat, nor drink. Edgar had made a slop 
in his saucer, and scarcely swallowed a mouth- 
ful. I 

Their guest did not protract his stay, that 
evening, above an hour longer. I asked, as he 
departed, if he went to Gimmerton ? 

"No, to Wutheriog Heights," he answered, 
^' Mr. Earnshaw invited me when I called this 
morning." 

Mr. Earnshaw invited him ! and he called on 
Mr. Earnshaw ! I pondered this sentence pain- 
fully, after he was gone. Is he turning out a 
bit of a hypocrite, and coming into the country 
to work mischief under a cloak ? I mused — I 
had a presentiment, in the bottom of my heart, 
that he had better have remained away. 

VOL. I. L 



218 WUT BERING HEIGHTS. 

About the middle of the night, I was wa- 
kened from my first nap by Mrs. Linton glid- 
ing into my chamber, taking a seat on my 
bed-side, and pulling me by the hair to rouse 
me. 

** I cannot rest, Ellen ;" she said by way of 
apology. " And I want some living creature 
to keep me company in my happiness I Edgar 
is sulky, because I'm glad of a thing that does 
not interest him — He refuses to open his 
mouth, except to utter pettish, silly speeches ; 
and he affirmed I was cruel and selfish for 
wishing to talk when he was so sick and sleepy. 
He always contrives to be sick at the least 
cross ! I gave a few sentences of commenda- 
tioQ to HeathclifF, and he, either for a head- 
ache or a pang of envy, began to cry : so I got 
up and left him."' 

** What use is it praising Heathcliff to 
him ?" I answered, " As lads they had an aver- 
sion to each other, and Heathcliff would hate 
just as much to hear him praised — it's human 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 219 

nature. Let Mr. Linton alone about him, un- 
less you would like an open quarrel between 
them." 

*' But does it not show great weakness?" 
pursued she. " I'm not envious — I never feel 
hurt at the brightness of Isabella's yellow hair, 
and the whiteness of her skin ; at her dainty 
elegance, and the fondness all the family ex- 
hibit for her. Even you Nelly, if we have a 
dispute sometimes, you back Isabella, at once ; 
and I yield like a foolish mother — I call her a 
darling, and flatter her into a good temper. 
It pleases her brother to see us cordial, and 
that pleases me. But, they are very much 
alike they are spoiled children, and fancy the 
world was made for their accommodation ; 
and, though I humour both, I think a smart 
chastisement might improve them, all the 
same." 

** You're mistaken, Mrs. Lintoo," said I, 

" They humour you — 1 know what there 

would be to do if they did not ! You can well 
L 3 



220 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

afford to indulge their passing whims, as long 
as their business is to anticipate all your de- 
sires — You may, however, fall out, at last, 
over something of equal consequence to both 
sides ; and, then those you term weak are very 
capable of being as obstinate as you !" 

" And then we shall fight to the death, 
shan't we, Nelly ?" she returned laughing, 
" No ! I tell you, I have such faith in Linton's 
love that 1 believe I might kill him, and he 
wouldn't wish to retaliate." 

I advised her to value him the more for his 
affection. 

*' I do," she answered, " but, he needn't re- 
sort to whining for trifles. It is childish; 
and, instead of melting into tears, because 
I said that Heathcliff was now worthy of any 
one's regard, and it would honour the first 
gentleman in the country to be his friend; 
he ought to have said it for me, and been de- 
lighted from sympathy — He must get accus- 
tomed to him, and he may as well like him — 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 221 

considering how HcathcliiF has reason to object 
to him, I'm sure he behaved excellently !" 

" What do you think of his going to Wu- 
thering Heights ?" I inquired, " He is reform- 
ed in every respect, apparently — quite a chris- 
tian — offering the right hand of fellowship to 
his enemies all round !" 

" He explained it," she replied. ^' I won- 
dered as much as you — He said he called to 
gather information concerning me, from you, 
supposing you resided there still ; and Joseph 
told Hindley who came out, and fell to ques- 
tioning him of what he had been doing, and 
how he had been living: and finally, desired 
him to walk in — There were some persons sit- 
ting at cards — Heathcliff joined them ; my bro- 
ther lost some money to him ; and, finding him 
plentifully supplied, he requested that he 
would come again in the evening, to which he 
consented. Hindley is too reckless to select 
his acquaintance prudently; he doesn't trouble 
himself to reflect on the causes he micrht have 



222 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

for mistrusting one whom he has basely in- 
jured—But, HeathclifF affirms his principal 
reason for resuming a connection with his 
ancient persecutor is a wish to install himself 
in quarters at walking distance from the 
Grange, and an attachment to the house 
where we lived together , and, likewise a hope 
that I shall have more opportunities of seeing 
him there than I could have if he settled in 
Gimmerton. He means to offer liberal pay- 
ment for permission to lodge at the Heights; 
and doubtless my brother's covetousness will 
prompt him to accept the terms ; he was al- 
ways greedy, though what he grasps with one 
hand, he flings away with the other." 

" It's a nice place for a young man to fix 
his dwelling in !" said I, *' Have you no fear 
of the consequences, Mrs. Linton ?*' 

'* None for my friend," she replied, " his 
strong head will keep him from danger — a lit- 
tle for Hindley ; but, he can't be made moral- 
ly worse than he is; and I stand between 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 223 

him and bodily harm — The event of this 
evening has reconciled me to God, and hu- 
manity ! I had risen in angry rebellion 
against providence — Oh, I've endured very, 
very bitter misery. Nelly ! If that creature 
knew how bitter, he'd be ashamed to cloud 
its removal with idle petulance — It was kind- 
ness for him which induced me to bear it 
alone: had I expressed the'agony I frequently 
felt, he would have been taught to long for 
its alleviation as ardently as I — However, it's 
over, and I'll take no revenge on his folly — 
1 can afford to suffer anything, hereafter! 
should the meanest thing alive slap me on the 
cheek, I'd not only turn the other, but, I'd 
ask pardon for provoking it — and, as a proof i 
ril, go make my peace with Edgar instantly 
— Good night — I'm an angel!" 

In this self-complacent conviction she de- 
parted; and the success of her ful611ed reso- 
lution was obvious on the morrow — -Mr. Lin- 



224 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

ton had not only abjured , his peevishness 
(though his spirits seemed still subdued by 
Catherine's exuberance of vivacity) but he 
ventured no objection to her taking Isabella 
with her to Wuthering Heights, in the after- 
noon ; and she rewarded him with such a sum- 
mer of sweetne«s and affection, in return, as 
made the house a paradise for several days ; 
both master, and servants profiting from the 
perpetual sunshine. 

Heathcliff— Mr. Heathcliff I should say in 
future, used the liberty of visiting at Thrush- 
cross Grange cautiously, at first : he seemed 
estimating how far its owner \\ould bear his 
intrusion. Catherine also, deemed it judicious 
to moderate her expressions of pleasure in re- 
ceiving him ; and he gradually established his 
right to be expected. 

He retained a great deal of the reserve for 
which his boyhood was remarkable, and that 
served to repress all startling demonstrations 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 225 

of feeling. My master's uneasiness experienced 
a lull, and further circumstances diverted it in- 
to another channel for a space. 

His new source of trouble sprang from the 
not anticipated misfortune of Isabella Linton 
evincing a sudden and irresistible attraction 
towards the tolerated guest— She was at that 
time a charming young lady of eighteen ; in- 
fantile in manners, though possessed of keen 
wit, keen feelings, and a keen temper, too, i^ 
irritated. Her brother, who loved her tender- 
ly, was appalled at this fantastic preference. 
Leaving aside the degradation of an alliance 
with a nameless man, and the possible fact 
that his property, in default of heirs male, 
might pass into such a one's power, he had 
sense to comprehend Heathcliff's disposition 
— to know that, though his exterior was alter- 
ed, his mind was unchangeable, and unchan- 
ged. And he dreaded that miud ; it revolted 
him ; he shrank forebodingly from the idea of 
committing Isabella to its keeping. 
L 5 



226 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



He would have recoiled still more had he 
been aware that her attachment rose unsoli- 
cited, and was bestowed where it awakened no 
reciprocation of sentiment ; for the minute he 
discovered its existence, he laid the blame on 
Heathcliff's deliberate designing. 

We had all remarked, during some time, 
that Miss Linton fretted and pined over some- 
thing. She grew cross and wearisome, snap- 
ping at and teazing Catherine, continually, at 
the imminent risk of exhausting her limited 
patience. We excused her to a certain extent, 
on the plea of ill health — she was dwindling 
and fading before our eyes — But, one day 
"when she had been peculiarly wayward, reject- 
ing her breakfast, complaining that the ser- 
vants did not do what she told them ; that the 
mistress would allow her to be nothing in the 
house, and Edgar neglected her; that she 
had caught a cold with the doors being left 
open, and we let the parlour fire go out on 
purpose to vex her ; with a hundred yet more 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 227 

frivolous accusations ; Mrs. Linton perempto- 
rily insisted that she should get to-bed ; and, 
having scolded her heartily, threatened to send 
for the doctor. 

Mention of Kenneth, caused her to exclaim, 
instantly, that her health was perfect, and it 
was only Catherine's harshness which made 
ber unhappy. 

" How can you say I am harsh, you naughty 
fondling?" cried the mistress, amazed at the 
unreasonable assertion. " You are surely 
losing your reason. When have I been harsh, 
tell me ?" 

** Yesterday," sobbed Isabella, '* and now!" 

*' Yesterday !" said her sister-in-law. " On 
what occasion ?" 

*' In our walk along the moor ; you told me 
to ramble where I pleased, while you sauntered 
on with Mr. Heathcliff!" 

** And that's your notion of harshness ?" said 
Catherine, laughing. ** It was no hint that 
your company was superfluous; we didn't care 



228 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

whether you kept with us or not ; I merely 
thought HeathclifTs talk would have nothing 
entertaining for your ears." 

" Oh, no," wept the young lady, *' you 
wished me away, because you knew I liked to 
be there I" 

" Is she sane ?'' asked Mrs. Linton, appeal- 
ing to me. " I'll repeat our conversation, 
word for word, Isabella ; and you point out 
any charm it could have had for you." 

** I don't mind the conversation," she an- 
swered: " I wanted to be with — " 

" Well !" said Catherine, perceiving her 
hesitate to complete the sentence. 

*' With him ; and I wont be always sent oflP!" 
she continued, kindling up. "' You are a dog 
in the manger, Cathy, and desire no one to 
be loved but yourself !" 

" You are an impertinent little monkey !" 
exclaimed Mrs, Linton, in surprise. *' But 
I'll not believe this idiocy ! It is impossible 
that you can covet the admiration of Heathcliff 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 229 

— ^that you can consider him an agreeable per- 
son ! I hope I have misunderstood you^ 
Isabella ?' 

"Xo, you have not," said the infatuated 
girl. " I love him more than ever you loved 
Edgar; and he might love me if you would 
let him !" 

*' I wouldn't be you for a kingdom, then!" 
Catherine declared, emphatically — and she 
seemed to speak sincerely. " Nelly, help me 
to convince her of her madness. Tell her 
what Heathcliff is — an unreclaimed creature, 
without refinement— without cultivation ; an 
arid wilderness of furze and whinstone. I'd 
as soon put that little canary into the park on 
a winter's day as recommend you to bestow 
your heart on him ! It is deplorable ignorance 
of his character, child, and nothing else, 
which makes that dream enter your head, 
pray don't imagine that he conceals depths of 
benevolence and affection beneath a stern ex- 
terior ! He's not a rough diamond — a pearl- 



2^0 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

containing oyster of a rustic ; he's a fierce, 
pitiless, wolfish man. I never say to him let 
this or that enemy alone, because it would be 
ungenerous or cruel to harm them — I say let 
them alone, because T should hate them to be 
wronged : and he'd crush you, like a sparrow's 
egg, Isabella, if he found you a troublesome 
charge. I know he couldn't love a Linton ; 
and yet, he'd be quite capable of marrying 
your fortune, and expectations. Avarice is 
growing with him a besetting sin. There's my 
picture ; and I'm his friend — so much so, that 
had he thought seriously to catch you, I should, 
perhaps, have held my tongue, and let you 
fall into his trap." 

Miss Linton regarded her sister-in-law with 
indignation. 

" For shame ! for shame !" she repeated, 
angrily. *^ You are worse than twenty foes, 
you poisonous friend !" 

*' Ah ! you wont believe me, then ?" said 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 231 

Catherine. " You think I speak from wicked 
selfishness ?" 

'* I'm certain you do," retorted Isabella ; 
" and I shudder at you !" 

*' Good !" cried the other. " Try for your- 
self, if that be your spirit ; I have done, and 
yield the argument to your saucy insolence." 

" And I must suflPef for her egotism !" she 
sobbed, as Mrs. Linton left the room. " All, 
all is against me ; she has blighted my single 
consolation. But she uttered falsehoods, 
didn't she ? Mr. HeathclifF is not a fiend ; he 
has an honourable soul, and a true one, or how 
could he remember her ?" 

** Banish him from your thoughts, miss," I 
said. '* He's a bird of bad omen ; no mate for 
you. Mrs. Linton spoke strongly, and yet, I 
can't contradict her. She is better acquainted 
with his heart than I, or any one besides ; and 
she never would represent him as worse than 
he is. Honest people don't hide their deeds. 
How has he been living ? how has he got rich ? 



232 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

why is he staying at Wuthering Heights, the 
house of a man whom he abhors ? They say 
Mr. Earnshaw is worse and worse since he 
came. They sit up all night together continu- 
ally ; and Hindley has been borrowing money 
on his land ; and does nothing but play and 
drink, I heard only a week ago ; it was Joseph 
who told me — I met him at Gimmerton." 

*^ Nelly,'^ he said, " we's hae a Crahnr's 
'quest enah, at ahr folks. One on 'em's 
a' most getten his finger cut off wi' handing 
t'other froo' sticking hisseln loike a cawlf. 
That's maister, yah knaw, ut's soa up uh going 
tub t'grand 'sizes. He's noan feard uh t' 
Bench uh judges, norther Paul, nur Peter, 
nur John, nor Mathew, nor noan on 'em, nut 
he I He fair like's he langs tub set his braz- 
ened face ageau 'em! And yon bonny lad 
Heathcliff, yah mind, he's a rare un ! Pie 
can girn a laugh, as weel's onybody at a 
raight divil's jest. Does he niver say nowcof 
his fine living amang us, when he goas tub t' 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 233 

Grange ? This is t' way on't — up at sun-dahn ; 
dice, brandy, cloised shutters, und can'le 
lught till next day, at nooin — then, t' fooil 
gangs banning un raving tub bis cham'er, 
makking dacent fowks dig thur fingers i' thur 
bigs fur varry shaume ; un' the' knave, wah 
he earn cabnt his brass, un ate, un' sleep, un' 
off tub bis neighbour's tub gossip vvi' t' wife. 
I' course, be tells Dame Catherine hah hor 
father's goold runs in tub bis pocket, and her 
fatbur's son gallops dahn t' Broad road, while 
be flees afore tub oppen t' pikes ?" Now, 
Miss Linton, Joseph is an old rascal, but no 
liar; and, if his account of rieathcliff's con- 
duct be true, you would never think of desir- 
ing such a husband, would you ?" 

" You are leagued with the rest, Ellen !" 
she replied. *' I'll not listen to your slanders. 
What malevolence you must have to wish to 
convince me that there is no happiness in the 
world !" 

Whether she would have got over tliid fancy 



234 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

if left to herself, or persevered in nursing it 
perpetually, I cannot say ; she had little time 
to reflect. The day dfter, there was a justice- 
meeting at the next town ; my master was 
obliged to attend ; and Mr. Heathcliff, aware of 
his absence, called rather earlier than usual. 

Catherine and Isabella were silting in the 
library, on hostile terms, but silent. The lat- 
ter alarmed at her recent indiscretion, and the 
disclosure she had made of her secret feelings 
in a transcient fit of passion ; the former, on 
mature consideration, really offended with her 
companion ; and, if she laughed again at her 
pertness, inclined to make it no laughing mat- 
ter to her. 

She did laugh as she sa^v Heathcliff pass 
the window. I was svyeeping the hearth, and 
I noticed a mischievous smile on her lips. Isa- 
bella, absorbed in her meditations, or a book, 
remained till the door opened, and it was too 
late to attempt an escape, which she would 
gladly have done had it been practicable. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 235 

" Come in, that's riorht !" exclaimed the 
mistress, gaily, pulling a chair to the fire. 
** Here are two people sadly in need of a third 
to thaw the ice between them ; and you are 
the very one we should both of us choose. 
Heathcliff, I'm proud to show you, at last, 
somebody that dotes on you more than myself. 
1 expect you to feel flattered — nay, it's not 
Nelly; don't look at her! My poor little 
sister-in-law is breaking her heart by mere 
contemplation of your physical and moral 
beauty. It lies in your own power to be 
Edgar's brother ! No, no, Isabella, you 
sha'n't run off," she continued, arresting, 
with feigned playfulness, the confounded girl 
who had risen indignantly. " We were quar- 
relling like cats about you, Heathcliff; and I 
was fairly beaten in protestations of devotion, 
and admiration ; and, moreover, I was informed 
that if I would but have the manners to stand 
aside, my rival, as she will have herself to be, 
would shoot a shaft into your soul that would 



236 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

fix you for ever, and send my image into eter- 
nal oblivion!" 

*' Catherine," said Isabella, calling up her 
dignity, and disdaining to struggle from the 
tight grasp that held her. '' I'd thank you to 
adhere to the truth and not slander me, even 
in joke ! Mr. HeathclifF, be kind enough to 
bid this friend of yours release me — she forgets 
that you and I are not intimate acquaintances, 
and what amuses her is painful to me beyond 
expression." 

As the guest answered nothing, but took 
his seat, and looked thoroughly indifferent 
what sentiments she cherished concerning him, 
she turned, and whispered an earnest appeal 
for liberty to her tormentor. 

** By no means!" cried Mrs. Linton in 
answer. " I wont be named a dog in the 
manger again. You shall stay, now then! 
Heathcliff, why don't you evince satisfaction 
at my pleasant news ? Isabella swears that 
the love Edgar has for me, is nothing to that 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 237 

she entertains for you. I'm sure she made 
some speech of the kind, did she not, Ellen ? 
And she has fasted ever since the day before 
yesterday's walk, from sorrow and rage that I 
despatched her out of your society, under the 
idea of its being unacceptable." 

'^ I think you belie her," said HeathclifF, 
twisting his chair to face them. " She wishes 
to be out of my society now, at any rate !" 

And he stared hard at the object of dis- 
course, as one might do at a strange repulsive 
animal, a centipede from the Indies, for in- 
stance, which curiosity leads one to examine in 
spite of the aversion it raises. 

The poor thing couldn't bear that ; she grew 
white and red in rapid succession, and, while 
tears beaded her lashes, bent the strength of 
her small fingers to loosen the firm 
clutch of Catherine, and perceiving that, 
as fast as she raised one finger off 
her arm, another closed down, and she could 
not remove the whole together, she began to 



238 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

make use of her nails, and their sharpness 
presently ornamented the detainer's with cres- 
cents of red. 

*' There's a tigress!" exclaimed Mrs. Linton, 
setting her free, and shaking her hand with 
pain. " Begone, for God's sake, and hide your 
vixen face ! How foolish to reveal those talons 
to him. Can't you fancy the conclusions he'll 
draw ? Look, Heathcliff ! they are instruments 
that will do execution — you must beware of 
^your eyes." 

" I'd wrench them off her fingers, if they 
ever menaced me," he answered, brutally, when 
the door had closed after her. '^ But, what 
did you mean by teasing the creature in that 
manner, Cathy ? You were not speaking the 
truth, were you?" 

*' I assure you I was," she returned. " She 
has been pining for your sake several weeks; 
and raving about you this morning, and pour- 
ing forth a deluge of abuse, because I repre- 
sented your failings in a plain light for the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 239 

purpose of mitigating her adoration. But 
don't notice it further. I wished to punish 
her sauciness, that's all — I like her too well, 
my dear HeathcliiF, to let you absolutely seize 
and devour her up." 

** And I like her too ill to attempt it," said 
he, " except in a very ghoulish fashion. You'd 
hear of odd things, if I lived alone with that 
mawkish, waxen face; the most ordinary would 
be painting on its white the colours of the 
rainbow, and turning the blue eyes, black, 
every day or two ; they detestably resemble 
Linton's.'* 

'* Delectably," observed Catherine. " They 
are dove's eyes — angel's!" 

*' She's her brother's heir, is she not?" he 
asked, after a brief silence. 

** I should be sorry to think so," returned 
his companion. '^ Half-a-dozen nephews shall 
erase her title, please Heaven ! Abstract your 
mind from the subject, at present — you are too 
prone to covet your neighbour's goods: re- 
member this neighbour's goods are mine." 



240 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

*' If they were mine^ they would be none 
the less that," said Heathcliff, "but though 
Isabella Linton may be silly, she is scarcely 
raad ; and — in short we'll dismiss the matter as 
you advise." 

From their tongues, they did dismiss it ; 
and Catherine, probably, from her thoughts. 
The other, I felt certain, recalled it often in 
the course of the evening ; I saw him smile to 
himself — grin rather — and lapse into ominous 
musing whenever Mrs. Linton had occasion 
to be absent from the apartment. 

I determined to watch his movements. My 
heart invariably cleaved to the master's, in pre- 
ference to Catherine's side ; with reason, I im- 
agined, for he was kind, and trustful, and hon- 
ourable : and she — she could not be called the 
opposite, yet, she seemed to allow herself such 
wide latitude, that I had little faith in her 
principles, and still less sympathy for her feel- 
ings. I wanted something to happen which 
might have the effect of freeing both Wuther- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 241 

ing Heights and the Grange of Mr. Heath- 
cliff, quietly, leaving us as we had been prior 
to his advent. His visits were a continual 
nightmare to me; and, 1 suspected, to my 
master also. His abode at the Heights was 
an oppression past explaining. I felt that God 
had forsaken the stray sheep there to its own 
wicked wanderings, and an evil beast prowled 
between it and the fold, waiting his time to 
spring and destroy. 



VOL. L M 



242 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTER XL 



Sometimes, while meditatiDo: on these things 
in solitude, I've got up in a sudden terror, and 
put on my bonnet to go see how all was at the 
farm ; I've persuaded my conscience that it 
was a duty to warn him how people talked re- 
garding his ways ; and then IVe recollected 
his confirmed bad habits, and, hopeless of 
benefiting him, have flinched from re-entering 
the dismal house, doubting if I could bear to 
be taken at my word. 

One time, I passed the old gate, going out of 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 243 

iny way, on a journey to Gimmerton. It was 
about the period that my narrative has reached 
— a bright, frosty afternoon ; the ground bare, 
and the road hard and dry. 

I came to a stone where the highway 
branches off on to the moor at your left hand ; 
a rough sand-pillar, with the letters W. H. 
cut on its north side, on the east, G., and on 
the south-west, T. G. It serves as guide-post 
to the Grange, and Heights, and village. 

The sun shone yellow on its grey head, re- 
minding me of summer; and I cannot say 
why, but all at once, a gush of child's sensa- 
tions flowed into my heart. Hindley and I 
held it a favourite spot twenty years before. 

I gazed long at the weather-worn block; 
and, stooping down, perceived a hole near the 
bottom still full of snail-shells and pebbles 
which we were fond of storing there with 
more perishable things — and, as fresh as rea- 
lity, it appeared that I beheld my early play- 
mate seated on the withered turf; his dark, 
M 3 



244 WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 

square head bent forward, and his little hand 
scooping out the earth with a piece of slate. 
*' Poor Hindley !" I exclaimed, involuntarily. 
I started — my bodily eye was cheated into a 
momentary belief that the child lifted its face 
and stared straight into mine ! It vanished in 
a twinkling ; but, immediately, I felt an irre- 
sistible yearning to be at the Heights. Super- 
stition urged me to comply with this impulse — 
supposing he should be dead ! I thought — or 
should die soon ! — supposing it were a sign of 
death ! 

The nearer I got to the house the more agi- 
tated I grew : and on catching sight of it, I 
trembled every limb. The apparition had out- 
stripped me ; it stood looking through the 
<jate. That was my first idea on observing an 
elf-locked, brown-eyed boy setting his ruddy 
countenance against the bars. Further reflec- 
tion suggested this must be Hareton, my Hare- 
ton, not altered greatly since 1 left him, ten 
months since. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 245 

'' God bless thee, darling !" I cried, forget- 
ting instantaneously my foolish fears. *' Hare- 
ton, it's Nelly — Nelly, thy nurse." 

He retreated out of arm's length, and picked 
up a large flint. 

" I am come to see thy father, Hareton," I 
added, guessing from the action that Nelly, if 
she lived in his memory at all, was not recog- 
nised as one with me. 

He raised his missile to hurl it; 1 com- 
menced a soothing speech, but could not stay 
his hand. The stone struck my bonnet, and 
then ensued, from the stammering lips of the 
little fellow, a string of curses which, whether 
he comprehended them or not, were delivered 
with practised emphasis, and distorted his baby 
features into a shocking expression of malig- 
nity. 

You may be certain this grieved, more 
than angered me. Fit to cry, I took an 
orange from my pocket, and offered it to pro- 
pitiate him. 



246 WIJTHERING HEIGHTS. 

He hesitated, and then snatched it from my 
hold, as if he fancied I only intended to tempt, 
and disappoint him. 

I showed another keeping it out of his reach. 

" Who has taught you those fine words, my 
barn/ I inquired. *' The curate?" 

" Damn the curate, and thee ! Gie me that," 
he replied. 

" Tell us where you got your lessons, and 
you shall have it," said I. *' Whose your mas- 
ter?" 

'* Devil daddy," was his answer. 

" And what do you learn from Daddy?" I 
continued. 

He jumped at the fruit; I raised it higher. 
" What does he teach you ?" I asked. 

** Naught," said he, " but to keep out of his 
gait — Daddy cannot bide me, because I swear 
at him." 

*' Ah ! and the devil teaches you to swear at 
Daddy ?" I observed. 

** Aye — nay," he drawled. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 247 

« Who then ?" 

" HeathclifF." 

" I asked if he liked Mr. Heathcliff ? 

*' Aye!" he answered again. 

Desiring to have his reasons for liking him, 
I could only gather the sentences. I knownt 
— he pays Dad back what he gies to me — he 
curses Daddy for cursing me— He says I mun 
do as I will." 

" And the curate does not teach you to read 
and write, then?" I pursued. 

" No, I was told the curate should have his 

teeth dashed down his throat, if he 

stepped over the threshold —HeathclifF, had 
promised that 1" 

I put the orange in his hand ; and bade him 
tell his father that a woman called Nelly Dean, 
was waiting to speak with him, by the garden 
gate. 

He went up the walk, and entered the 
house ; but, instead of Hindley, Heathcliff ap- 
peared on the door stones, and I turned directly 



248 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and ran down the road as hard as ever I could 
race, making no halt till I gained the guide 
post, and feeling as scared as if I had raised a 
goblin. 

This is not much connected with Miss Isa- 
bella's aifair ; except, that it urged me to re- 
solve further, on mounting vigilant guard, and 
doing my utmost to check the spread of such 
bad influence at the Grange, even though I 
should wake a domestic storm, by thwarting 
Mrs. Linton's pleasure. 

The next time Heathcliff came, my young 
lady chanced to be feeding some pigeons in the 
court. She had never spoken a word to her 
sister-in-law, for three days ; but, she had 
likewise dropped her fretful complaining, and 
we found it a great comfort. . 

Heathcliff had not the habit of bestowing a 
single unnecessary civility on Miss Linton, I 
knew. Now, as soon as he beheld her, his 
first precaution was to take a sweeping survey 
of the house-front. I was standing by the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



249 



kitchen window, but I drew out of sight. He 
then stept across the pavement to her, and 
said something : bhe seemed embarrassed, and 
desirous of getting away ; to prevent it, he laid 
his hand on her arm : she averted her face ; 
he apparently put some question which she had 
no mind to answer. There was another rapid 
glance at the house, and supposing himself un- 
seen, the scoundrel had the impudence to em- 
brace her. 

"Judas I Traitor !" 1 ejaculated "you area 
hypocrite too, are you ? A deliberate deceiver." 

'* Who is Nelly ?" said Catherine's voice at 
my elbow — 1 had been over-intent on watching 
the pair outside to mark her entrance. 

'* Your worthless friend !" I answered warm- 
ly, *' the sneaking rascal yonder — Ah, he has 
caught a glimpse of us — he is coming in 1 I 
wonder will he have the art to find a plausible 
excuse, for making love to Miss, when he told 
you he hated her?" 

Mrs. Linton saw Isabella tear herself free, 

M 5 



250 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and run into the garden ; and a minute after, 
Heathcliff opened the door. 

I couldn't withhold giving some loose to 
my indignation ; but Catherine angrily insisted 
on silence, and threatened to order me out of 
the kitchen, if I dared be so presumptuous as 
to put in my insolent tongue. 

" To hear you, people might think you were 
the mistress !" She cried. "You want set- 
ting down in your right place I Heathcliff, 
what are you about, raising this stir ? I said 
you must let Isabella alone ! — I beg you will 
unless you are tired of being received here, and 
wish Linton to draw the bolts against 
you!" 

" God forbid that he should try !" answered 
the black villain — I detested him just then. 
'* God keep him meek and patient ! Every 
day 1 grow madder after sending him to hea- 
ven!" 

" Hush !" said Catherine shutting the inner 
door! ** Don't vex me. Why have you dia- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 251 

regarded my request ? Did she come across 
you on purpose ?" 

" What is it to you?'* he growled, "I have 
a right to kiss her, if she chooses, and you 
have no right to object — I'm not your husband 
you needn't be jealous of me !" 

*' I'm not jealous of you ;" replied the mis- 
tress, I'm jealous for you. Clear your face, 
you shan't scowl at me ! If you like Isabella, 
you shall marry her. But, do you like her, 
tell the truth, HeathcliiF? There, you wont 
answer. I'm certain you don't!" 

'^ And would Mr. Linton approve of his sis- 
ter marrying that man ?" I inquired. 

"Mr. Linton should approve," returned my 
lady decisively. 

" He might spare himself the trouble,'^ said 
HeathclifF, ''I could do as well without his 
approbation — And, as to you, Catherine, I 
have a mind to speak a few words, now, while 
we are at it — I want you to be aware that I 
know you have treated me infernally— infer- 



^52 WUTKERING HEIGHTS. 

nally! Do you hear? And, if you flatter 
yourself that I don't perceive it you are a fool 
— and if you think I can be consoled by sweet 
words you are an idiot — and if you fancy I'll 
suffer unrevenged, I'll convince you of the 
contrary, in a very little while I Meantime, 
thank you for telling me your sister-in-law's 
secret — I swear I'll make the most of it, and 
stand you aside !" 

" What new phase of his character is this?" 
exclaimed Mrs. Linton, in amazement. *' Tve 
treated you infernally — and you'll take re- 
venge ! How will you take it, ungrateful 
brute ? How have I treated you infernally ?" 

'* I seek no revenge on you," replied 
Heathcliff less vehemently. *' That's not the 
plan — The tyrant grinds down his slaves and 
they don't turn against him, they crush those 
beneath them — You are welcome to torture me 
to death for your amusement, only, allow me 
me to amuse myself a little in the same style — 
And refrain from insult, as much as you are 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 253 

able. Having levelled my palace, don't erect 
a hovel and complacently admire your own 
charity in giving me that for a home. If I 
imagined you really wished me to marry Isa- 
bella, I'd cut my throat !" 

" Oh the evil is that I am not jealous, is 
it ?" cried Catherine. " Well, I won't rejjeat 
my offer of a wife — It is as bad as offering 
Satan a lost soul — Your bliss lies, like his, in 
inflicting misery — You prove it — Edgar is res- 
tored from the ill-temper he gave way to at 
your coming ; I begin to be secure and tran- 
quil; and, you, restless to know us at peace, 
appear resolved on exciting a quarrel — quarrel 
with Edgar if you please, Heathcliff, and de- 
ceive his sister; you'll hit on exactly the most 
efficient method of revenging yourself on 
me." 

Tne conversation ceased — xdrs. Lmtun sat 
down by the fire, flusiied and gloomy. The 
spirit which served her was growing intracta- 
ble : sue could neither lay nor control it. He 



254 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

Stood on the hearth, with folded arms brooding 
on his evil thoughts; and in this position I 
left them, to seek the master who was wonder- 
ing what kept Catherine below so long. 

" Ellen," said he, when I entered, " have 
you seen your mistress ? ' 

^' Yes, she's in the kitchen, sir," I answered. 
** She's sadly put out by Mr. HeathclifTs be- 
haviour : and, indeed, I do think it's time to 
arrange his visits on another footing. There's 
harm in being too soft, and now it's come to 
tliis — ." And I related the scene in the court, 
and, as near as I dared, the whole subsequent 
dispute. I fancied it could not be very preju- 
cial to Mrs. Linton, unless she made it so, af- 
terwards, by assuming the defensive for her 
guest. 

Edgar Linton had difficulty in hearing me 
to the close — His first words revealed that he 
did not clear his wife of blame. 

" This is insufferable !" he exclaimed. " It 
is disgraceful that she should own him for a 



WUTHKRING HEIGHTS. 255 

friend, and force his company on me ! Call me 
two men out of the hall, Ellen — Catherine shall 
linger no longer to argue with the low ruffian 
— I have humoured her enough." 

He descended, and, bidding the servants 
wait in the passage, went, followed by me, to 
the kitchen. Its occupants had recommenced 
their angry discussion ; Mrs. Linton, at least, 
was scolding with renewed vigour ; Heathcliff 
had moved to the window, and hung his head 
somewhat cowed by her violent rating ap- 
parently. 

He taw the master first, and made a hasty 
motion that she should be silent ; which she 
obeyed, abruptly, on discovering the reason of 
his intimation. 

** How is this?" said Linton, addressing her; 
*' what notion of propriety must you have to 
remain here, after the language which has been 
held to you by that blackguard ? I suppose, 
because it is his ordinary talk, you think no- 
thing of it — you are habituated to his baseness. 



256 WUTHERING HElGttTd. 

and, perhaps, imagine I can get used to it 
too !" 

" Have you been listening at the door^ 
Edgar?" asked the mistress, in a tone parti- 
cularly calculated to provoke her husband, im- 
plying both carelessness and contempt of his 
irritation. 

Heathcliff, who had raised his eyes at the 
former speech, gave a sneering laugh at the 
latter, on purpose, it seemed, to draw Mr. 
Linton's attention to him. 

He succeeded ; but Edgar did not mean to 
entertain him with any high flights of passion. 

" I have been so far forbearing with you, 
sir," he said, quietly ; " not that I was igno- 
rant of your miserable, degraded character, 
but, I felt you were only partly responsible 
for that ; and Catherine, wishing to keep up 
your acquaintance, I acquiesced — foolishly. 
Your presence is a moral poison that would 
contaminate the most virtuous —for that cause, 
and to prevent worse consequences, 1 shall deny 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 257 

you, hereafter, admission into this house, and 
give notice, now, that I require your instant 
departure. Three minutes' delay will render 
'\t involuntary and ignominious." 

Heathcliff measured the height and breadth 
of the speaker with an eye full of derision. 

" Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like 
a bull I" he said. *' It is in danger of splitting 
its skull against my knuckles. By God, Mr. 
Linton, I'm mortally sorry that you are not 
worth knocking down 1" 

My master glanced towards the passage, 
and signed me to fetch the men — he had no in- 
tention of hazarding a personal encounter. 

I obeyed the hint ; but Mrs. Linton sus- 
pecting something, followed, and when I at- 
tempted to call them, she pulled me back, 
slammed the door to, and locked it. 

" Fair means !" she said, in answer to her 
husband's look of angry surprise. '' If you 
have not the courage to attack him, make an 
apology, or allow yourself to be beaten. It 



258 WUTnERING HEIGHTS. 

will correct you of feigning more valour than 
you possess. No, I'll swallow the key before 
you shall get it I Vm delightfully rewarded 
for my kindness to each ! After constant in- 
dulgence of one's weak nature, and the other's 
bad one, I earn, for thanks, two samples of 
blind ingratitude, stupid to absurdity ! Edgar, 
I was defending you, and yours ; and I wish 
Heathcliff may flog you sick, for daring to 
think an evil thought of me !** 

It did not need the medium of a flogging to 
produce that efiect on the master. He tried 
to wrest the key from Catherine's grasp ; and 
for safety she flung it into the hottest part of 
the fire; whereupon Mr. Edgar was taken 
with a nervous trembling, and his counten- 
ance grew deadly pale. For his life he could 
not avert that access of emotion — mingled 
anguish and humiliation overcame him com- 
pletely. He leant on the back of a chair, and 
covered his face. 

" Oh ! Heavens 1 In old days this would 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 259 

win you knighthood I" exclaimed Mr3. Linton. 
" We are vanquished, we are vanquished ! 
Heathcliff would as soon lift a finger at you 
as the king would march his army against a 
colony of mice. Cbeer up, you sha'n't be 
hurt ! Your type is not a lamb, it's a suck- 
ing leveret." 

" I wish you joy of the milk-blooded 
coward, Cathy !' ' said her friend. ** I com- 
pliment you on your taste : and that is the 
slavering, shivering thing you preferred to me ! 
I would not strike him with my fist, but I'd 
kick him with my foot, and experience consider- 
able satisfaction. Is he weeping, or is he 
going to faint for fear?" 

The fellow approached and gave the chair 
on which Linton rested a push. He'd better 
have kept his distance: my master quickly 
sprang erect, and struck him full on the throat 
a blow that would have levelled a slighter man. 

It took his breath for a minute ; and, while 
he choked, Mr. Linton walked out by the back 



260 warHERTNG heights. 

door iato the yard, and from thence, to the 
front entrance. 

" There ! youVe done with coming here," 
cried Catherine. " Get away, now — he'll re- 
turn with a brace of pistols, and half-a-dozen 
assistants. If he did overhear us, of course, 
he'd never forgive you. You've played me an 
JU turn, Heathcliff ! But, go— make haste ! I'd 
rather see Edgar at bay than you.*' 

" Do you suppose I'm going with that blow 
burning in my gullet ?" he thundered. " By 
Hell, no ! I'll crush his ribs in like a rotten 
hazel-nut, before I cross the threshold ! If I 
don't floor him now, I shall murder him some- 
time, so, as you value his existence, let me 
get at him !" 

" He is not coming." I interposed, fram- 
ing a bit of a lie. " There's the coachman, 
and the two gardeners ; you'll surely not wait 
to be thrust into the road by them ! Efjch has 
a bludgeon, and master will, very likely, be 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 261 

watching from the parlour windows to see that 
they fulfil his orders." 

The gardeners, and coachn;an were there; 
but Linton was with them. They had already 
entered the court — HeathclifF, on second 
thoughts resolved to avoid a struggle against 
three underlings ; he seized the poker, smashed 
the lock from the inner door, and made his 
escape as they tramped in. 

Mrs. Linton who was very much excited, 
bid me accompany her up stairs. She did not 
P. now my share in contributing to the disturb- 
ance, and I was anxious to keep her in ignorance. 

" I'm nearly distracted, Nelly !" she ex- 
claimed, throwing herself on the sofa. ** A 
thousand smiths' hammers are beating in my 
head ! Tell Isabella to shun me — this uproar 
is owing to her ; and should she or any one else 
aggravate my anger at present, I shall get 
wild. And, Kelly, say to Edgar, if you see 
him again to-night, that I'm in danger of being 
seriously ill— 1 wish it may prove true. He 



262 \VUTUERING HEIGHTS. 

has startled and distressed me shockingly ! I 
want to frighten him. Besides, he might come 
and begin a string of abuse, or complainings ; 
I'm certain I should recriminate, and God 
knows where we should end ! Will you do so, 
my good Nelly ? You are aware that I am 
no way blameable in this matter. What pos- 
sessed him to turn listener ? Heathcliff 's talk 
was outrageous, after you left us ; but I could 
soon have diverted him from Isabella, and the 
rest meant nothing. Now, all is dashed wrong 
by the fool's- craving to hear evil of self that 
haunts some people like a demon ! Had Edgar 
never gathered our conversation, he would 
never have been the worse for it. Really, when 
he opened on me in that unreasonable tone 
of displeasure, after I had scolded HeathcliiF 
till I was hoarse for him ; I did not care, hardly, 
what they did to each other, especially as I 
felt that, however the scene closed, we should 
all be driven asunder for nobody knows how 
long ! Well, if 1 cannot keep Heathcliff for 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 263 

my friend — if Edgar will be mean and jealous, 
I'll try to break their hearts by breaking my 
own. That will be a prompt way of finishing 
all, when I am pushed to extremity ! But it's 
a deed to be reserved for a forlorn hope — I'd 
nol take Linton by surprise with it. To this 
this point he has been discreet in dreading to 
provoke me ; you must represent the peril of 
quitting that policy ; and remind hirc of my 
passionate temper, verging, when kindled, on 
frenzy — I wish you could dismiss that apathy 
out of your countenance, and look rather more 
anxious about me !" 

The stolidity with which I received these 
instructions was, no doubt, rather exasperat- 
ing ; for they were delivered in perfect sincer- 
ity, but I believed a person who could plan 
the turning of her fits of passion to account, 
beforehand, might, by exerting her will, 
manage to control herself tolerably even while 
under their influence ; and I did not wish to 



264 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

" frighten " her husband, as she said» and mul- 
tiply his annoyances for the purpose of serving 
her selfishness. 

Therefore I said nothing when I met the 
master coming towards the parlour ; but I took 
the liberty of turning back to listen whether 
they would resume their quarrel together. 
He began to speak first. 
*' Remain where you are, Catherine/' he 
said, without any anger in his voice, but with 
much sorrowful despondency. " I shall not 
stay. I am neither come to wrangle, nor be 
reconciled : but I wish just to learn whether, 
after this evening's events, you intend to con- 
tinue your intimacy with — " 

" Oh, for mercy's sake," interrupted the 
mistress, stamping her foot, '*for mercy's sake, 
let us hear no more of it now ! Your cold 
blood cannot be worked into a fever — your 
veins are full of ice- water — but mine are 
boiling, and the sight of such chillness makes 
them dance." 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 265 

** To get rid of me — answer my question," 
persevered Mr. Linton. " You must answer 
it; and that violence does not alarm me. I 
have found that you can be as stoical as any 
one, when you please. Will you give up 
Heathcliff hereafter, or will you give up me ? 
It is impossible for you to be my friend, and 
his at the same time ; and I absolutely require 
to know which you choose." 

'^ I require to be let alone !" exclaimed 
Catherine, furiously. " I demand it I Don't 
you see I can scarcely stand ? Edgar, you — 
you leave me I" 

She rung the bell till it broke with a twang : 
I entered leisurely. It was enough to try the 
temper of a saint, such senseless, wicked 
rages! There she lay dashing her head 
against the arm of the sofa, and grinding her 
teeth, so that you might fancy she would crash 
them to splinters ! 

Mr. Linton stood looking at her in sudden 

VOL. I. N 



266 WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 

compunction and fear. He told me to fetch 
some water. She had no breath for speaking. 

I brought a glass full; and, as she would not 
drink, I sprinkled it on her face. In a few 
seconds she stretched herself out stiff, and 
turned up her eyes, while her cheeks, at once 
blanched and livid, assumed the aspect of 
death. 

Linton looked terrified. 

" There is nothing in the world the 
matter," I whispered. I did not want him 
to yield, though I could not help being afraid 
in my heart. 

" She has blood on her lips !" he said, shud- 
dering. 

" Never mind !" I answered, tartly. And I 
told him how she had resolved, previous to 
his coming, on exhibiting a fit of frenzy. 

I incautiously gave the account aloud, and 
she heard me, for she started up — her hair 
flying over her shoulders, her eyes flashing, the 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 267 

muscles of her neck and arms standing out 

preternaturally. I made up my mind for 

broken bones, at least ; but she only glared 

about her, for an instant, and then rushed from 

the room. 

The master directed me to follow ; I did, to 

her chamber door; she hindered me from 

going farther by securing it against me. 

As she never offered to descend to breakfast 

next morning, I went to ask whether she would 

have some carried up. 

" No !" she replied, peremptorily. 

The same question was repeated at dinner, 

and tea ; and again on the moi ro w after, and 

received the same answer. 

Mr. Linton, on his part, spent his time in 

the library, and did not inquire concerning his 

V ife's occupations. Itabella and he had had an 

hour's interview, during which he tried to elicit 

from her some sentiment of proper horror for 

Heathcliff's advances ; but he could make 

nothing of her evasive replies, and was obliged 
N 3 



268 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

to close the examination , unsatisfactorily ; 
adding, however, a solemn warning, that if she 
were so insane as to encourage that worthless 
suitor, it would dissolve all bonds of relation- 
ship between herself and him. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 269 



CHAPTER XII, 



While Miss Linton moped about the park and 
garden, always silent, and almost always in 
tears ; and her brother shut himself up among 
books that he never opened ; wearying, 1 
guessed, with a continual vague expectation 
that Catherine, repenting her conduct, would 
come of her ovn accord to ask pardon, and 
seek a reconciliation ; and she fasted pertina- 
ciously, under the idea, probably, that at every 
meal, Edgar was ready to choke for her ab- 
sence, and pride alone held him from running 



270 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

to cast himself at her feet ; I went about my 
household duties, convinced that the Grange 
had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that 
lodged in my body. 

I wasted no condolences on miss, nor any 
expostulations on my mistress, nor did 1 pay 
attention to the sighs of my master who 
yearned to hear his lady's name, since he might 
not hear her voice. 

I determined they should come about as 
they pleased for me ; and though it was a tire- 
somely slow process, I began to rejoice at 
length in a faint dawn of its progress, as I 
thought at first. 

Mrs. Linton, on the third day, unbarred her 
door; and having finished the water in her 
pitcher and decanter, desired a renewed supply, 
and a basin of gruel, for she believed she was 
dying. That I set down as a speech meant 
for Edgar's ears, I believed no such thing, so 
I kept it to myself, and brought her some tea 
and dry toast. 



WUTHEKING HEIGHTS, 271 

She eat and drank eagerly ; and sank back 
on her pillow again clenching her hands and 
groaning. 

" Oh, 1 will die," she exclaimed, " since no 
one cares anything about me. I wish I had 
not taken that." 

Then a good while after I heard her murmur, 

'*No, I'll not die — he'd be glad— he does 
not love me at all — he would never miss me !" 

" Did you want anything, ma'am ?" I en- 
quired, still preserving my external composure, 
in spite of her ghastly countenance, and 
strange exao^o-erated manner. 

'* What is that apathetic being doing ?" she 
demanded, pushing the thick entangled locks 
from her wasted face. '' Has he fallen into a 
lethargy, or is he dead?" 

" Neither," replied I; *' if you mean Mr. 
Linton. He's tolerably well, I think, though 
his studies occupy him rather more than they 
ought ; he is continually among his books, since 
he has no other society." 



272 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

1 should not have spoken so, if I had known 
her true condition, but I could not get rid of 
the notion that she acted a part of her dis- 
order. 

*' Among his books !" she cried, confounded. 
" And I dying ! I on the brink of the grave ! 
My God ! does he know how I'm altered?" 
continued she, staring at her reflection in a 
mirror, hanging against the opposite wall. '' Is 
that Catherine Linton ? He imagines me in 
a pet — in play, perhaps. Cannot you inform 
him that it is frightful earnest ? Nelly, if it be 
not too late, as soon as I learn how he feels, 
I'll choose between these two — either to starve, 
at once, that would be no punishment unless 
he had a heart — or to recover and leave the 
country. Are you speaking the truth about 
him now ? Take care. Is he actually so ut- 
terly indifferent for my life ?" 

" Why, ma'am,"' I answered, '' the master 
has no idea of your being deranged ; and, of 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 273 

course, he does not fear that you will let your- 
self die of hunger/' 

" You think not ? Cannot you tell him 1 
will ?" she returned ; " persuade him — speak 
of your own mind — say you are certain I 
will !'' 

*' No^you forget, Mrs. Linton,"! suggested, 
** that you have eaten some food with a reli-h 
this evening, and to-morrow you will perceive 
its good effects." 

" If I were only sure it would kill hini," 
she interrupted, " I'd kill myself directly ! 
These three awful nights, I've never closed my 
lids — and oh, I've been tormented I I've been 
haunted, Nelly ! But I begin to fancy you 
don't like me. How strange! I thought, 
though everybody hated and desjji cd each 
other, they could not avoid loving me — and 
they have all turned to eneaiiea in a few hour?. 
They have, I'm positive ; the people here. 
How dreary to meet death, surrounded by their 
cold faces! Isabella, terrified and repelled, 
N 5 



274 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

afraid to enter the room, it would be so dread- 
ful to watch Catherine go. And Edgar stand- 
ing solemnly by to see it over ; then offering 
prayers of thanks to God for restoring peace 
to his house, and going back to his books \ 
What in the name of all that feels, has he to 
do with hooks, when I am dying ?" 

She could not bear the notion which I had 
put into her head of Mr. Linton's philosophi- 
cal resignation. Tossing about, she increased 
her feverish bewilderment to madness, and 
tore the pillow with her teeth, then raising 
herself up all burning, desired that I would 
open the window. We were in the middle of 
winter, the wind blew strong from the north- 
east, and I objected. 

Both the expressions flitting over her face, 
and the changes of her moods, began to alarm 
me terribly; and brought to my recollection 
her former illness, and the doctor's injunction 
that she should not be crossed. 

A minute previously she was violent ; now, 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



275 



supported on one arm, and not noticing ray re- 
fusal to obey her, she seemed to find childish 
diversion in pulling the feathers from the rents 
she had just made, and ranging them on the 
sheet according to their different species : her 
mind had strayed to other associations. 

" That's a turkey's," she murmured to her- 
self; '*and this is a wild-duck's; and this is a 
pigeon's. Ah, they put pigeons' feathers in 
the pillows — no wonder I couldn't die ! Let me 
take care to throw it on the floor when I lie 
down. And here is a moor-cock's ; and this — 
1 should know it among a thousand — it's a lap- 
wing's. Bonny bird ; wheeling over our heads 
in the middle of the moor. It wanted to get 
to its nest, for the clouds touched the swells, 
and it felt rain coming. This feather was 
picked up from the heath, the bird was not 
shot — we saw its nest in the winter, full of 
little skeletons. Heathcliff set a trap over it, 
and the old ones dare not come. I made him 
promise he'd never shoot a lapwing, after that. 



276 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



and he didn't. Yes, here are more! Did he 
shoot my lapwings, Nelly ? Are they red, any 
of them ? Let me look." 

" Give over with that bahy-work!" I inter- 
rupted, dragging the pillow away, and turning 
the holes towards the mattress, for she was re- 
moving its contents by handfuls. •' Lie down 
and shut your eyes, you're wandering. There's 
a mess ! The down is flying about like snow I" 

I went here and there collecting it. 

^* I see in you, Nelly," she continued, 
dreamily, " an aged woman — you have grey 
hair, and bent shoulders. This bed is the 
fairy cave under Peniston Crag, and you are 
gathering elf-bolts to hurt our heifers ; pre- 
tending, while I am near, that they ar3 only 
locks of wool. That's what you'll come to 
fifty years hence; I know you are not so now. 
I'm not wandering, you're mistaken, or else I 
should believe you really were that withered 
hag, and I should think I was under Penistone 
Crag, and I'm conscious it's night, and there 



WUTHERINO HEIGET3. 277 

are two candles on the table making the black 
press shine like jet. 

'* The black press? where is that?"' I asked. 
^' You are talking in your sleep !" 

" It's against the wall, as it al vays is," she 
replied. " It does appear odd — -I see a face in 
it !" 

" There is no press in the room, and never 
was," said I, resuming my seat, and looping up 
the curtain that I might watch her. 

** Don't you see that face?' she enquired, 
gazing earnestly at the mirror. 

And say what I could, I was incapable of 
making her comprehend it to be her own ; so 
I rose and covered it with a shawl. 

''It's behind there still I' she pursued, anxi- 
ously. *' And it stirred. Who is it?" 1 hope 
it will not come out when you are gone ! Oh ! 
Nelly, the room is haunted ! I'm afraid of being 
alone!" 

I took her hand in mine, and bid her be com- 
posed, for a succession of shudders convulsed 



S78 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

her frame, and she would keep straining her 
gaze towards the glass. 

" There's nobody here !" I insisted. *' It was 
yourself y Mrs. Linton ; you knew it a while 
since." 

" Myself," she gasped, *^ and the clock is 
striking twelve ! It's true then ; that's dread- 
ful !" 

Her fingers clutched the clothes, and gath- 
ered them over her eyes. I attempted to steal 
to the door with an intention of callinor her 
husband ; but I was summoned back by a pierc- 
ing shriek. The shawl had dropped from the 
frame. 

" Why what 25 the matter?" cried I. '^ Who 
is coward now ? A¥ake up ! That is the glass 
— the mirror, Mrs. Linton ; and you see your- 
self in it, and there am I too by your side." 

Trembling and bewildered, she held me fast, 
but the horror gradually passed from her coun- 
tenance ; its paleness gave place to a glow of 
shame. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 2 "9 

"Oh, dear! 1 thought I was at home," ahe 
sighed. "I thought I was lying in my cham- 
ber at Wutherinor Heicrhts. Because I'm 
weak, my brain got confused, and I screamed 
unconsciously. Don't say anything ; but 
stay with me. I dread sleeping, my dreams 
appal me." 

*' A sound sleep would do you good, ma'am," 
I answered ; " and I hope this suffering will 
prevent your trying starving again." 

" Oh, if I were but in my own bed in the 
old house !" she went on bitterly, wringing her 
hands. ** And that wind sounding in the fir? 
by the lattice. Do let me feel it — it comes 
straight down the moor — do let me have one 
breath!'' 

To pacify her, I held the casement ajar, a 
few seconds. A cold blast rushed through, I 
closed it, and returned to my post. 

She lay still, now : her face bathed in tears 
— Exhaustion of body had entirely subdued 



280 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

her spirit; our fiery Catherine was no better 
than a wailing child ! 

" How long is it since I shut myself in 
here?" she asked suddenl) reviving. 

" It was Monday evening," I replied, ** and 
this is Thursday night, or rather Friday morn- 
ing, at present." 

" What ! of the same week ?" she exclaimed. 
"Only that brief time?" 

" Long enough to live on nothing but cold 
water, and ill-temper," observed I. 

*' Well, it seems a weary number of hours," 
she muttered doubtfully, " it must be more — I 
remember being in the parlour, after they had 
quarrelled ; and Edgar bein^ cruelly provok- 
ing, and me running into this room desperate 
— As soon as ever I had barred the door, utter 
blackness overwhelmed me, and J fell on the 
floor — 1 couldn't explain to Edgar how cer- 
tain I felt of having a fit,* or going raging 
mad, if he persisted in teasing me ! I had no 
command of tongue, or brain, and he did not 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 281 

guess my agony, perhaps ; it barely left me 
sense to try to escape from him and his voice 
— Before I recovered, sufficiently to see, and 
hear, it began to be dawn ; and Nelly, I'll tell 
you whati thought, and what has kept recurring 
and recurring till I feared for my reason— I 
thought as I lay there with my head against 
that table leg, and my eyes dimly discerning 
the grey square of the window, that I was 
enclosed in the oak-panelled bed at home ; 
and my heart ached with some great grief 
which, just waking, 1 could not recollect — 1 
pondered, and worried myself to discover what 
it could be; and most strangely, the whole 
last seven years of my life grew a blank ! I 
did not recall that they had been at all. I was 
a child; my father was just buried, and my misery 
arose from the separation that Hindley had 
ordered between me, and HeathclifF — I was 
laid alone, for the first time, and rousing from 
a dismal dose after a night of weeping — I 
lifted my hand to push the panels aside, it 



282 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

struck the table-top! I swept it along the 
carpet, and then, memory burst in — my late 
anguish was swallowed in a paroxysm of des- 
pair — I cannot say why I felt so wildly wretch- 
ed — it must have been temporary derangement 
for there is scarcely cause — But, supposing at 
twelve years old, I had been wrenched from 
the Heights, and every early association, and 
my all in all, as Heathcliff was at that time, 
and been converted, at a stroke into Mrs. 
Linton, the lady of Thrushcross Grange, and 
the wife of a stranger ; an exile, and outcast, 
thenceforth, from what had been my world — 
You may fancy a glimpse of the abyss where 
I grovelled ! Shake your head, as you will, 
Nelly, you have helped to unsettle me ! You 
should have spoken to Edgar, indeed you 
should, and compelled him to leave me quiet ! 
Oh, I'm burning! I wish I were out of doors 
— I wish I were a girl again, half savage and 
hardy, and free... and laughing at injuries, not 
maddening under them! Why am I so 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 283 

changed? why does my blood rush into a hell 
of tumult at a few words ? I'm sure I should 
be myself were I once among the heather on 
those hills,.. Open the window again wide, fas- 
ten it open ! Quick, why don't you move ?" 

** Because, I won't give you your death of 
cold," I answered. 

"You won't give me a chance of life, you 
mean," she said sullenly. " However^ I'm not 
helpless yet, I'll open it myself." 

And sliding from the bed before I could hin- 
der her, she crossed the room, walking very 
uncertainly, threw it back, and bent out, care- 
less of the frosty air that cut about her shoul- 
ders as keen as a knife. 

I entreated, and finally attempted to force 
her to retire. But I soon found her delirious 
strengh much surpassed mine ; (she was 
delirious I became convinced by her subsequent 
actions, and ravings.) 

There was no moon, and every thing be- 
neath lay in misty darkness; not a light 



284 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

gleamed from any house, far or near ; all had 
been extinguished long ago ; and those at 
Wuthering Heights were never visible... still 
she asserted she cauo;ht their shinin^:. 

" Look !" she cried eagerly, '' that's my 
room, with the candle in it, and the trees 
swaying before it... and the other candle is in 
Joseph's garret... Joseph sits up late, doesn't 
he ? He's waiting till I come home that he 
may lock the gate...W§ll, he'll wait a while 
yet. It's a rough journey, and a sad heart to 
travel it ; and we must pass by Ginimerton 
Kirk, to go that journey ! We've braved it's 
ghosts often together, and dared each other to 
stand among the graves and ask them to come 
...But Heathcliff, if I dare you now, will you 
venture ? If you do, I'll keep you. I'll not lie 
there by myself; they may bury me twelve 
feet deep, and throw the church down over 
me; but I won't rest till you are with me. ..I 
never will !" 

She paused, and resumed with a strange 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 285 

smile, ^' He's considering... he'd rather I'd come 
to him I Find a way, then ! not through that 
Kirkyard...You are slow! Be content, you 
always followed me!" 

Perceiving it vain to argue against her in- 
sanity, I was planning how I could reach 
something to wrap about her, without quit- 
ting my hold of herself, for I could not trust 
her alone by the gaping lattice ; when to my 
consternation, I heard the rattle of the door- 
handle, and Mr. Linton entered. He had on- 
ly then come from the library ; and, in pass- 
ing through the lobby, had noticed our talking 
and been attracted by curiosity, or fear to ex- 
amine what it signified, at that late hour. 

" Oh, sir !" I cried, checking the exclama- 
tion risen to his lips at the sight which met 
him, and the bleak atmosphere of the chamber. 

*' My poor Mistress is ill, and she quite 
masters me; I cannot manage her at all, pray, 
come and persuade her to go to bed. Forget 



286 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

your anger, for she's hard to guide any way 
but her own." 

"Catherine ill?" he said hastening to us. 
"Shut the window, Ellen I Catherine I why..." 

He was silent; the hagjgardness of Mrs. 
Linton's appearance smote him speechless, and 
he could only glance from her to me in hor- 
rified astonishment. 

" She's been fretting here," I continued, "and 
eating scarcely anything, and never complain- 
ing, she would admit none of us till this even- 
ing, and so we couldn't inform you of her 
state, as we were not aware of it ourselves," 
but it is nothing." 

I felt I uttered my explanations awkwardly ; 
the master frowned. *' It is nothing is it, 
Ellen Dean?" he said sternly. *'You shall 
account more clearly for keeping me ignorant 
of this !" And he took his wife in his arms, 
and looked at her with anguish. 

At first she gave him no glance of recogni- 



WUTHERING HKIGHTS. 287 

tioD...he was invisible to her abstracted gaze. 
The delirium was not fixed, however ; having 
weaned her eyes from contemplating the outer 
daikness; by degrees, she centred her atten- 
tion on him, and discovered who it was that 
held her. 

"Ah! you are come, are you, Edgar Lin- 
ton ?" she said with angry animation...** You 
are one of those things that are ever found 
when least wanted, and when you are wanted 
never ! I suppose we shall have plenty of la- 
mentations, now... I see we shall... but they 
can't keep me from my narrow home out yon- 
der — My resting place where I'm bound be- 
fore Spring is over ! There it is, not among 
the Lintons, mind, under the chnpel-roof; 
but in the open air with a head- stone, and you 
may please yourself, whether you go to them, 
or come to me !'* 

'* Catherine, what have you done ?" com- 
menced the master. "Am I nothing to vou. 



288 WUTHEHING HEIGHTS. 

any more ? Do you love that wretch, 
Heath—" 

"Hush!" cried Mrs. Linton. "Hush, this 
moment! You mention that name and 1 end 
the matter, instantly, by a spring from the 
window ! What you touch at present, you 
may have ; but my soul will be on that hill- 
top before you lay hands on me again. I don't 
want you, Edgar; I'm past wanting you... 
Return to your books... I'm glad you possess 
a cunsolation, for all you had in me is gone.'' 

** Her mind wanders, sir," I interposed. 
" She has been talking nonsense the whole 
evening ; but, let her have quiet and proper 
attendance, and she'll rally... Hereafter, we 
must be cautious how we vex her." 

" I desire no further advice from you," an- 
swered Mr. Linton. " You knew your mis- 
tress's nature, and you encouraged me to ha- 
rass her. And not to give me one hint of how 
she has been these three days ! It was heart- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 289 

les8 ! months of sickness could not cause such a 
change!" 

I began to defend myself, thinking it too bad 
to be blamed for another's wicked wayward- 
ness ! 

** I knew Mrs. Linton's nature to be head- 
strong and domineering," cried I ; " but I 
didn't know that you wished to foster her fierce 
temper ! I didn't know that, to humour her, I 
should wink at Mr. HeathclifF. I performed 
the duty of a faithful servant in telling you, 
and I have got a faithful servant's wages! 
Well, it will teach me to be careful next time. 
Next time you may gather intelligence for 
yourself!" 

" The next time you bring a tale to me, you 
shall quit my service, Ellen Dean," he replied. 

"You'd rather hear nothing about it, I sup- 
pose, then, Mr. Linton ?" said L '' Heathcliff 
has your permission to come a courting to Mis a 
and to drop in at every opportunity your ab- 

VOL. I. o 



290 WUTIIKRING HEIGHT^'. 

sence offers, on purpose to poison the mistress 
against you ?" 

Confused as Catherine was, her wits were 
alert at applying our conversation. 

" Ah ! Nelly has played traitor," she ex- 
claimed, passionately. " Nelly is my hidden 
enemy — you witch ! So you do seek elf-bolts 
to hurt us ! Let me go, and I'll make her rue ! 
I'll make her howl a recantation !" 

A maniac's fury kindled under her brows ; 
she struggled desperately to disengage herself 
from Linton's arms. I felt no inclination to 
tarry the event ; and resolving to seek medical 
aid on my own responsibility, I quitted the 
chamber. 

In passing the garden to reach the road, at a 
place where a bridle hook is driven into the 
wall, I saw something white moved irregularly 
evidently by another agent than the wind. 
Notwithstanding my hurry^ I staid to examine 
it, lest ever after I should have the conviction 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 291 

impressed on my imagination that it was a 
creature of the other world. 

My surprise and perplexity were great to 
discover, by touch more than vision. Miss Isa- 
bella's springer Fanny, suspended to a hand- 
kerchief, and nearly at its last gasp. 

I quickly released the animal, and lifted it 
into the garden. I had seen it follow its mis- 
trees up-stairs, when she went to bed, and won- 
dered much how it could have got out there, 
and what mischievous person had treated it so. 

While untying the knot round the hook, it 
seemed to me that I repeatedly caught the 
beat of horses' feet gallopping at some dis- 
tance; but there were such a number of things 
to occupy my reflections that I hardly gave the 
circumstance a thought, though it was a 
strange sound, in that place, at two o'clock in 
the morning. 

Mr. Kenneth was fortunately just issuing 
from his house to see a patient in the village 
as I came up the street ; and my account of 
3 



292 WUTHERIXG HEIGHTS. 

Catherine Linton's malady induced him to ac- 
company me back immediately. 

He was a plain, rough man ; and he made 
no scruple to speak his doubts of her surviving 
this second attack ; unless she were more sub- 
missive to his directions than she had shown 
herself before. 

"■ Nelly Dean," said he, " I can't help f^m- 
eying there's an extra cause for this. Wh it 
has there been to do at the Grange ? AVe've 
odd reports up here. A stout, hearty lass like 
Catherine does not full ill for a trifle ; and that 
sort of people should not either. It's hard 
work bringing them through fevers, and such 
things. How did it begin ?" 

" The master will inform you," I atiswered ; 
*' but you are acquainted with the Earnshaw's 
violent dispositions, and Mrs. Linton caps theiu 
all. Imay say this ; it commenced in a quarrel. 
She was struck during a tempest of passion with 
a kind of fit. That's her account, at least ; f(»r 
she flew off in the height of it, and locked 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. *Z9Z 

hereelf up. Afterwards, she refused to eat, 
and now she alternately raves, and remains in 
a half dream, knowing those about her, but 
having her mind filled with all sorts of strange 
ideas and illusions." 

'* Mr. Linton will be sorry?" observed Ken- 
neth, interrogatively. 

" Sorry ? he'll break his heart should any- 
thing happen!" I replied. " Don*t alarm him 
more than necessary." 

*' Well, I told him to be ^v are," said my com- 
panion, *'• and he must bide the consequences 
of neglecting my warning ! Hasn't he been 
thick with Mr. Heathcliff lately?" 

" Heathcliff frequently visits at the Grange," 
answered I, ** tliough more on the strength of 
the mistress having known him when a boy, 
than because the master likes his company. 
At present, he's discharged from the trouble of 
calling ; owing to some presumptuous aspira- 
tions after Miss Linton which he manifested. 
I hardly think he'll be taken in again." 



294 WUTHERING HEIGHTS; 

" And does Miss Linton turn a cold 
shoulder on him?" was the doctor's next ques- 
tion. 

" I'm not in her confidence," returned I, re- 
luctant to continue the subject. 

*' No, she's a sly one," he remarked, shak- 
ing his head. " She keeps her own counsel ! 
But she's a real little fool. I have it from 
good authority, that, last ni;^^ht, and a pretty 
night it was ! she and HeathcliiF were walking 
in the plantation at the back of your house, 
above two hours ; and he pressed her not to 
go in again, but just mount his horse and away 
with him I My informant said she could only 
put him off by pledging her word of honour 
to be prepared on their first meeting after that, 
when it was to be, he didn't hear, but you urge 
Mr. Linton to look sharp I" . « 

This news filled me with fresh fears ; I out- 
stripped Kenneth, and ran most of the way 
back. The little dog was yelping in the gar- 
den yet. I spared a minute to open the gatvi 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 295 

for it, but instead of going to the house door, 
it coursed up and down snufl&ng the grass, an I 
would have escaped to the roa 1, had I not 
seized and conveyed it in with me. 

On ascending to Isabella's lOom, my sus- 
picions were confirmed ; it was empty. Had 
I been a few hours sooner, ^Mr?. Linton's ill- 
ness might have arrested her rash step. But 
what could be done now? There was a bare 
possibility oi overtakicg tkem if pursued in- 
stantly. / could not pursue them, however ; 
and I dare not rouse the family, and fill the 
place with confusion ; still less unfold the busi- 
ness to ray master, absorbed as he was in his 
present calamity, and having no heart to spare 
for a second grief! 

I saw nothing for it, but to hold my tongue, 
and suffei; matters to take their course : and 
Kenneth being arrived, I went with a badly 
composed countenance to aunouijce him. 

Catherine lay in a troubled sleep; her hus- 
band had succeeded in suothing the access of 



296 WUTHKRIN.i HEIGHTS. 

frcDzy ; he now hung over her pillow, watching 
every shade, and every change of her painfully 
expressive features. 

The doctor, on examining the case for him- 
self, spoke hopefully to him of its having a 
favourable termination, if we could only pre- 
serve around her perfect and constant tran- 
quillity. To me, he signified the threatening 
danger was, not so much death, as- permanent 
alienation of intellect. 

I did not close my eyes that night, nor did 
Mr. Linton ; indeed, we never went to bed : 
and the servants were all up long before the 
usual hour, moving through the house with 
stealthy tread, and exchanging whispers as 
they encountered each other in their vocations. 
Every one was active, but Miss Isabella; and 
they began to remark how sound she slept — 
her brother too asked if she had risen, and 
seemed impatient for her presence, and hurt 
that she showed so little anxiety for her sister- 
in-law. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 297 

I trembled lest he should send me to call 
her ; but I was spared the pain of being the 
first proclaimant of her flight. One of the 
maids, a thoughtless girl, who had been on an 
early errand to Gimmerton, came panting up 
stairs, open-mouthed, and dashed into the 
chamber, crying. 

" Oh, dear, dear ! What mun we have 
next ? Master, master, our young lady — " 

" Hold your noise !" cried I hastily, enraged 
at her clamorous manner. 

** Speak lower, Mary — What is the matter?" 
said Mr. Linton. " What ails your young 
lady ?" 

" She's gone, she's gone ! Yon' HeathclifF's 
run offwi' her!" gasped the girL 

*' That is not true !" exclaimed Linton, rising 
in agitation. ** It cannot be— how has the 
idea entered your head ? Ellen Dean, go and 
seek her — it is incredible — it cannot be." 

As he spoke he took the servant to the door, 
o 5 



298 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and, then, repeated his demand to know her 
reasons for such an assertion. 

" Why, I met on the road a lad that fetches 
milk here,*' she stammered, " and he asked 
whether we wern't in trouble at the Grange — 
I thought he meant for Missis's sickness, so I 
answered, yes. Then says he, they's some- 
body gone after 'em, I guess?" I stared. He 
saw I knew naught about it, and he told how 
a gentleman and lady had stopped to have a 
horse's shoe fastened at a blacksmith's shop, 
two miles out of Gimmerton, not very long 
after midnight ! and how the blacksmith's lass 
had got up to spy who they were : she knew 
them both directly — And she noticed the man, 
Heathcliff it was, she felt certain, nob'dy 
could mistake him, besides — put a sovereign 
in her father's hand for payment. The lady 
had a cloak about her face ; but having desired 
a sup of water, while she drank, it fell back, 
and she saw her very plain — HeathclifF held 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 299 

both bridles as they rode on, and they set 
their faces from the village, and went as fas ** 
as the rough roads would let them. The lass 
said nothing to her father, but she told it al 
over Gimmerton this morning." 

I ran and peeped, for form's sake into Isa- 
bella's room : confirming, when I returned, the 
servant's statement — Mr. Linton had resumed 
his seat by the bed ; on my re-entrance, he 
raised his eyes, read the meaning of my blank 
aspect, and dropped them without giving an 
order, or uttering a word. 

" Are we to try any measures for overtaking 
and bringing her back," I inquired. " How 
should we do ?" 

" She went of her own accord," answered 
the master ; *' she had a right to go if she 
pleased — Trouble me no more about her — 
Hereafter she ia only my sister in name ; not 
because I disown her, but because she has dis- 
owned me." 

And that was all he said on the subject ; ht 



300 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

did not make a single inquiry further, or men- 
tion her in any way, except directing me to 
send what property she had in the house to 
her fresh home, wherever it was, when I knew 
it. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 301 



CHAPTER XIII 



For two months the fugitives remained absent, 
in those two months, Mrs. Linton encountered 
and conquered the worst shock of what was 
denominated a brain fever. No mother could 
have nursed an only child more devotedly than 
Edgar tended her. Day and night, he was 
watching, and patiently enduring all the an- 
noyances that irritable nerves and a shaken 
reason could inflict : and, though Kenneth re- 
marked that what he saved from the grave 



302 WCTHEHING HEIGHTS. 

would only recompense his care by forming 
the source of constant future anxiety, in fact, 
that his health and strength were being sacri- 
ficed to preserve a mere ruin of humanity, he 
knew no limits in gratitude and joy, when 
Catherine's life was declared out of danger; 
and hour after hour, he would sit beside her, 
tracing the gradual return to bodily health, 
and flattering his too sanguine hopes with the 
illusion that her mind would settle back to its 
right balance also, and she would soon be en- 
tirely her former self. 

The first time she left her chamber, was at 
the commencement of the folio winor March. 
Mr. Linton had put on her pillow, in the 
morning, a handful of golden crocuses; her 
eye, long stranger to any gleam of pleasure, 
caught them in waking, and shone delighted as 
she gathered them eagerly together. 

'* These are the earliest flowers at the 
Heights I" she exclaimed. " They remind me 
of soft thaw winds, and warm sunshine, and 



WUTHFRING HEIGHTS. 303 

nearly melted snow — Edgar, is there not a 
south wind, and is not the snow almost gone ?" 

" The snow is quite gone ; down here, dar- 
ling !" replied her husband, " and I only see 
two white spots on the whole range of moors — 
The sky is blue, and the larks are singing, and the 
becks and brooks are all brim full. Catherine ; 
last spring at this time, I was longing to have 
you under this roof— now, I wish you were a 
mile or two up those hills, the air blows so 
sweetly, I feel that it would cure you." 

** I shall never be there, but once more ! ' 
.'aid the invalid ; "and then you'll leave me, 
and I shall remain, for ever. Next spring 
you'll long again to have mc under this roof, 
and you'll look back and think you were happy 
tO'day." 

Linton lavished on her the kindest caresses, 
and tried to cheer her by the fondest words; 
but vaguely regarding the flowers, she let 
the tears collect on her lashes, and stream 
down her cheeks unheeding. 



304 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

We knew she was really better, and there- 
fore, decided that long confinement to a single 
place produced much of this despondency, and 
it might be partially removed by a change of 
scene. 

The master told me to light a fire in the 
many-week's deserted parlour, and to set an 
easy-chair in the sunshine by the window ; 
and then he brought her down, and she sat a 
long while enjoying the genial heat, and, as 
we expected, revived by the objects round her, 
which, though familiar, were free from the 
dreary associations investing her hated sick- 
chamber. By evening, she seemed greatly ex- 
hausted ; yet no arguments could persuade her 
to return to that apartment, and I had to ar- 
range the parlour sofa for her bed, till another 
room could be prepared. 

To obviate the fatigue of mounting and de- 
scending the stairs, we fitted up this, where 
you lie at present ; on the same floor with the 
parlour : and she was soon strong enough to 



WUTHERIN« HEIGHTS. 305 

move from one to the other, leaning on Elgar's 
arm. 

Ah, I thought myself, she might recover, 
80 waited on as she was. And there was dou- 
ble cause to desire it, for on her existence de- 
pended that of another ; we cherished the hope 
that in a little while, Mr. Linton's heart would 
be gladdened, and his lands secured from a 
stranger's gripe, by the birth of an heir. 

I should mention that Isabella sent to her 
brother, some six weeks from her departure a 
short note, announcing her marriage with 
HeathclifF. It appeared dry and cold ; but at 
the bottom, was dotted in with pencil, an ob- 
scure apology, and an entreaty for kind remem- 
brance, and reconciliation, if her proceeding 
had offended him ; asserting that she could not 
help it then, and being done, she had now no 
power to repeal it. 

Linton did not reply to this, I believe; and, 
in a fortnight more, I got a long letter which 
I considered odd coming from the pen of a 



306 WUTSERING HEIGHTS. 

bride just out of the honeymoon. I'll read if, 
for I keep it yet. Any relic of the dead is 
precious, if they were valued living. 

*' Dear Ellen," it begins. 

** I came, last night, to Wuthering Heights, 
and heard, for the first time, that Catherine 
has been, and is yet, very ill. I must not 
write to her I suppose, and my brother is ei- 
ther too angry, or too distressed to answer 
what I send him. Still, I must write to some- 
body, and the only choice left me is you. 

Inform Edgar that I'd give the world to see 
his face again — that my heart returned to 
Thrushcross Grange in twenty-four hours 
after I left it, and is there at this moment, full 
of warm feelings for him, and Catherine ! / 
caret follow it though — (those words are under- 
lined) they need not expect me, and they may 
draw what conclusions they please ; taking 
care ho^vever, to lay nothinij at the door of 
my weak will, or deficient affection. 



WUTHKRING HEIGHTS. 307 

The remainder of the letter is for yourself, 
alone. I want to ask you two questions : the 
first is. 

How did you contrive to preserve the com- 
mon sympathies of human nature when you 
resided here? I cannot recognise any senti- 
ment which those around, share with me. 

The second question, I have great interest 
in ; it is this— 

Is Mr. Heathcliflf a man ? If so, is he mad ? 
And if not, is he a devil? I shan't tell my 
reasons for making this inquiry ; but, I be- 
seech you to explain, if you can, what I have 
married — that is, when you call to see me ; 
and 30U must call Ellen, very soon. Don't 
write, but come, and bring me something from 
Edgar. 

Now, you shall hear how I have been re- 
ceived in my new home, as I am led to ima- 
gine the Heights will be. It is to amuse my- 
self that I dwell on such subjects as the lack 
of external comforts ; they never occupy my 



308 WUTUERING HEIGHTS. 

thoughts, except at the moment when I miss 
them — I should lau^h and dance for joy, if I 
found their absence was the total of my mise- 
ries, and the rest was an unnatural dream ! 

The sun set behind the Grange, as we 
turned on to the moors ; by that, I judged it 
to be six o'clock; and my companion halted 
half-an-hour, to inspect the park, and the 
gardens, and, probably, the place itself, as 
well as he could ; so it was dark when we 
/ dismounted in the paved yard of the farm- 
house, and your old fellovv-servant, Joseph, 
issued out to receive us by the light of a dip 
candle. He did it with a courtesy that re- 
dounded to his credit. His first act was to 
elevate his torch to a level with my face, squint 
malignantly, project his under lip, and turn 
away. 

Then he took the two horses, and led them 
into the stables ; reappearing for the purpose 
of locking the outer gate, as if we lived in an 
ancient castle. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 309 

HeathcllfF stayed to speak to him, and I 
entered the kitchen — a dingy, untidy hole ; I 
dare say you would not know it, it is so 
changed since it was in your charge. 

By the fire stood a ruffianly child, strong 
in limb, and dirty in garb, with a look of 
Catherine in his eyes, and about his mouth. 

" This is Edgar's legal nephew," I reflected 
— " mine in a manner; I must shake hands, 
and— yes -I must kiss him. It is right to 
establish a good understanding at the begin- 
ning." 

1 approached, and, attempting to take his 
chubby fist, said — 

*' How do you do, my dear?" 

He replied in a jargon I did not comprehend. 

'' Shall you and I be friends, Hareton?" was 
my next essay at conversation. 

An oath, and a threat to set Throttler on me 
if I did not " frame off" rewarded my perse- 
verance. 

" Hey, Throttler, lad!'* whispered the little 



310 WUTttERING HEIGHTS. 

wretcli, rousing a half-bred bull-dog from its 
lair in a corner. " Now, wilt tub be ganging ?" 
he asked authoritatively. 

Love for my life urged a compliance ; I 
stepped over the threshold to wait till the 
others should enter. Mr. Heathcliff was no- 
where visible ; and Joseph, whom 1 followed 
to the stables, and requested to accompany me 
in, after staring and muttering to himself, 
screwed up his nose and replied — 

'* Mim ! mim ! mim ! Did iver Christian 
body hear owt like it? Minching un' munch- 
ing ! Hah can Aw tell whet ye say?" 

*' I say, I wish you to come with me into 
the house !" I cried, thinking him deaf, yet 
highly disgusted at his rudeness. 

" Nor nub me ! Aw getten summut else to 
do," he answered, and continued his work, mov- 
ing his lantern jaws meanwhile, and surveying 
my dress and countenance (the former a great 
deal too fine, but the latter, I'm sure, as sad 
as he could desire) with sovereign contempt. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 311 

I walked round the yard, and through a 
wicket, to another door, at which I took the 
liberty of knocking, in hopes some more civil 
servant might shew himself. 

After a short suspense it was opened by a 
tall, gaunt man, without neckerchief, and 
otherwise extremely slovenly; his features 
were lost in masses of shaggy hair that hung 
on his shoulders ; and his eyes, too, were like 
a ghostly Catherine's, with all their beauty 
annihilated. 

'* What's your business here?" he demanded, 
grimly. " Who are you ?' 

*' My name teas Isabeni Linton," I replied. 
" You've seen me before, sir. I'm lately 
married to Mr. He-^thcliff ; and he has brought 
me here — I suppose by your permission." 

'* Is he come back, then?*' asked the hermit, 
glaring like a hungry wolf. 

"Yes — we came just now," 1 said; "but 
he left me by the kitchen door ; and when I 
would have gone in, your little boy played 



312 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

sentinel over the place, and frightened me off 
by the help of a bull-dog." 

" It's well the hellish villain has kept his 
word!" growled my future host, searching the 
darkness beyond me in expectation of discover- 
ing HeathclifF, and then he indulged in a 
soliloquy of execrations, and threats of what 
he would have done had the " fiend" deceived 
him. 

I repented having tried this second entrance ; 
and was almost Inclined to slip way before 
he finished cursing, but ere I could execute 
that intention, he ordered me in, and shut and 
re-fastened the door. 

There was a great fire, and that was all the 
light in the huge apartment, whose floor had 
grown a uniform grey ; and the once brilliant 
pewter dishes which used to attract my gaze 
when I was a girl partook of a similar obscurity, 
created by tarnish and dust. 

I inquired whether I might call the maid, 
and be conducted to a bed-room ? Mr. Earn- 



WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS. 313 

sbaw vouchsafed no answer. He walked u[) 
and down, with his hands in his pockets, ap- 
parently quite forjijetting my presence ; and 
his abstraction was evidently so deep, and his 
whole aspect so misanthropical, that I shrank 
from dislurbinor him again. 

" You'll not be surprised, Ellen, at my feeling 
particularly cheerless, seated in worce than 
solitude, on that inhospitable hearth, and re- 
membering that four miles distant lay my 
delightful home, containing the only people I 
loved on earth : and there might as well be 
the Atlantic to part us, instead of those four 
miles, I could not overpass them ! 

I questioned with myself — where must I 
turn for comfort ? and — mind you don't tell 
Edgar, or Catherine — above every sorrow 
beside, this rose pre-eminent — despair at find- 
ing nobody who could or would be my ally 
against Heathcliff I 

I had sought shelter at "Wuthering Heights, 
almost gladly, because I was secured by tliat 

VOL. I. p 



SI 4 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

arrangement from living alone with him ; but 
he knew the people we were coming amongst' 
and he did not fear their intermeddling. 

I sat and thought a doleful time ; the clock 
struck eight, and nine, and still my companion 
paced to and fro, his head bent on his breast, 
and perfectly silent, unless a groan, or a bitter 
ejaculation forced itself out at intervals. 

I listened to detect a woman's voice in the 
house, and filled the interim with wild regrets, 
and dismal anticipations, which, at last, spoke 
audibly in irrepressible sighing, and weepinof. 

I was not aware how openly I grieved, till 
Earnshaw halted opposite, in his measured 
walk, and gave me a stare of newly awakened 
surprise. Taking advantage of his recovered 
attention, I exclaimed — 

*' I'm tired with my journey, and I want to 
go to bed ! Where is the maid-servant ? 
Direct me to her, as she wont come to to me !" 

*' We have none," he answered ; '* you must 
wait on yourself !" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 315 

*' Where must I sleep, then?" I sobbed— I 
was beyond regarding self-respect, weighed 
down by fatigue and wretchedness. 

Joseph will show you HeathclifTs chamber,'* 
paid he; '^ open that door — ^he's in there." 

" I was going to obey, but he suddenly 
arrested me, and added in the strangest tone — 

" Be so good as to turn your lock, and draw 
your bolt — don't omit it !" 

** Well !" I said. '" But why, Mr. Earn- 
shaw ?'' I did not relish the notion of deli- 
berately fastening myself in with Heathcliff. 

" Look here !" he replied, pulling from his 
waistcoat a curiously constructed pistol, having 
a double edged spring knife attached to the 
barrel. " That's a great tempter to a despe- 
rate man, is it not ? I cannot resist going up 
with this, every night, and trying his door, 
if once I find it open he's done for! I do it 
invariably, even though the minute before I 
have been recalling a hundred reasons that 

should make me refrain — it is some devil that 
p 3 



316 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

urges me to thwart my own schemes by killing 
hira~you fight against that devil, for love, as 
as long as you may ; when the time comes, not 
all the angels in heaven shall save him ! 

I surveyed the weapon inquisitively; a hi- 
deous notion struck me. How powerful I 
should be possessing such an instrument ! I 
took it from his hand, and touched the blade. 
He looked astonished at the expression my 
face assumed during a brief second. It was 
not horror, it was covetousness. He snatched 
the pistol back, jealously ; shut the knife, and 
returned it to its concealment. 

" I don't care if you tell him," said he. 
Put him on his gurrd, and watch for him. 
You know the terms we are on, I see ; his 
danger does not shock you." 

"What has Heathcliff done to jou ?" I 
asked. *' In what has he wronged you to 
warrant this appalling hatred? Wouldn't it 
be wiser to bid him quit the house?" 

" No," tl mdered Earnshaw^ " should he 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 317 

offer to leave me, he's a dead man, persuade 
hitu to attempt it, and you are a murderess ! 
Ami to lose ally without a chance of retrieval? 
Is Hareton to be a beggar ? Oh, damnation ! 
1 will have it back ; and I'll have his gold too ; 
and then his blood; and hell shall have his 
soul ! It will be ten times blacker with that 
guest than ever it was before !" 

" You've acquainted me, Ellen, with your 
old master's habits. He is clearly on the 
verge of madness — he was so. last night, at 
least. I shuddered to be near him, aid 
thought on the servant's ill-bred moroseness as 
comparatively agreeable. 

He now recommenced his moody walk, and 
I raised the latch, and escaped into the kitchen. 

Joseph was bending over the lire, peering 
into a large pan that svvuag above it ; and a 
wooden bowl of oatmeal stood oa the settle 
close by. The contents of the pan began to 
boil, and he turned to plunge his hand into the 
bowl ; I conjectured that this preparation was 



318 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

probably for our supper, and, being hungry, I 
resolved it should be eatable — so crying out, 
sharply — " III make the porridge !" I removed 
the vessel out of his reach, and proceeded to 
take off my hat and riding habit. " Mr. 
Earnshaw," I continued, '' directs me to wait 
on myself — I will — I'm not going to act the 
lady among you, for fear I should starve." 

" Gooid Lord!" he muttered, sitting down, 
and stroking his ribbed stockings from the 
knee to the ankle. ** If they's tub be fresh 
ortherings — just when Aw gotten used tub two 
maisters, if aw mun hev a mistress set o'er my 
heead, it's loike time tub be flitting. Aw 
niver did think tub say t' day ut aw mud lave 
th' owld place — but aw daht it's nigh at 
hend I" 

This lamentation drew no notice from me ; I 
went briskly to work ; sighing to remember a 
period when it would have been all merry fun ; 
but compelled speedily to drive off the re- 
membrance. It racked me to recall past hap- 



WUTUERING HEIGHTS. 319 

piness, and the greater peril there was of con- 
juring up its apparition, the quicker the thible 
ran round, and the faster the handfuls of meal 
fell into the water. 

Joseph beheld my style of cookery with 
growing indignation. 

'* Ttear !'' he ejaculated. *' Hareton, thah 
willut sup thy porridge tuh neeght ; they'll be 
nowt bud lumps as big as maw nave. Thear, 
agean ! Aw'd fling in bowl un all, if aw wer 
yah ! Thear, pale t' gull[> off, un' then yah'll 
hae done wi't. Bang, bang. It's a marcy t' 
bothom isn't deaved aht!" 

It was rather a rough mess, I own, when 
poured into the basins; four had been pro- 
vided, and a gallon pitcher of new milk was 
brought from the dairy, which HaretoD seized 
and commenced drinking and spiUing from 
the expansive lip. 

I expostulated, and desired that he should 
have his in a mug ; affirming that I could not 
taste the liquid treated so dirtily. The old 



320 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

cynic chose to be vastly offended at this nicety ; 
assuring me, repeatedly, that '' the barn was 
every bit as gooid " as I, "and every bit as 
woUsome," and wondering how I could fashion 
to be so conceited ; meanwhile, the infant ruf- 
fian continued sucking; and glowered up at 
me defyingly, as he slavered into the jug. 

*' I shall have my supper in another room," 
I said. " Have you no place you call a par- 
lour ?" 

** Parlour /" he echoed, sneeringly, '' par- 
lour! Nay, we've noa parlours. If yah dun- 
nut loike wer company, they's maister's; un' 
if yah dunnut loike maister, they's us." 

** Then I shall go up-stairs,^' I answered ; 
" shew me a chamber !" 

I put my basin on a tray, and went myself 
to fetch some more milk. 

With great grumblings, the fellow rose, and 
preceded me in my ascent : we mounted to the 
garrets ; he opening a door, now and then, to 
look into the apartments we passed. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 32 i 

" Here's a rahrn," he said, at last, flinging 
back a cranky board on hinges. " It's weel 
eneugh tuh ate a few porridge in. They's a 
pack uh corn i' t' corner, thear, meeterJy clane ; 
if yah're feared uh muckying yer grand silk 
does, spread yer hankerchir ut t' top on't." 

The " rahm" was a kind of lumber-hole 
smelling strong of malt and grain; various 
sacks of which articles were piled around, 
leaving a wide, bare space in the middle. 

" Why, man !" I exclaimed, facing him an- 
grily, " this is not a place to sleep in. 1 wish 
to see my bed-room." 

" Bed-rume !" he repeated, in a tone of 
mockery. " Yah's see all t' bed-rumes thear 
is — yon's mine." 

He pointed into the second garret, only dif- 
fering from the first in being more naked about 
the walls, and having a large, low, curtainless 
bed, with an indigo -coloured quilt, at one end. 

" What do 1 want with yours?" I retorted. 
p 5 



322 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

** I suppose Mr. Heathcliff does not lodge at 
the top of the house, does he ?' 

" Oh I it's Maister HathecUff's yah're went- 
ing?" cried he, as if making a new discovery. 
*' Couldn't ye uh said soa, at onst ? un then, 
aw mud uh telled ye, baht all this wark, ut 
that's just one yah cannut sea — he alias keeps 
it locked, un' nob'dy iver mells on't but his- 
seln." 

" You've a nice house, Josej)h," I could not 
refraia from observing, " and pleasant inmates; 
and I think the concentrated essence of all the 
madness in the world took up its abode in my 
brain the day I linked my fate with theirs ! 
However that is not to the present purpose — 
there are other rooms. For heaven's sake, be 
quick, and let me settle somewhere !" 

He made no reply to this adjuration ; only 
plodding doggedly down the wooden steps, and 
halting before an apartment which, from that 
halt, and the superior quality of its furniture, 
I conjectured to be the best one. 



WuTHERiNG Heights. 323 

There was a carpet, a good one ; but the 
paitern was obliterated by dust ; a fire-place 
hung with cut paper dropping to pieces; a 
handsome oak-bedstead with ample crimson 
curtains of rather expensive material, and 
modern make. But they had evidently expe- 
rienced rough usage, the valances hung in 
festoons, wrenched from their rings; and the 
iron rod supporting them was bent in an arc, 
on one side, causing the drapery to trail upon 
the floor. The chairs were also damaged, 
many of them severely ; and deep indentations 
deformed the panels of the walls. 

I was endeavouring to gather resolution for 
entering, and taking possession, when my fool 
of a guide announced — 

" This here is t' maister's." 

My supper by this time was cold, ray appe- 
tite gone, and my patience exhausted. 1 in- 
sisted on being provided instantly with a place 
of refuge, and means of repose. 

" Whear the divil," began the religious 



324 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

elder. " The Lord bless us I The Lord forgie 
us ! Whear the hell, wold ye gang ? ye mar- 
red, wearisome nowt ! Yah seen all bud Hare- 
ton's bit uf a chamber. They's nut another 
boile tuh lig dahn in i' th* hahse!" 

1 was so vexed, I flung my tray, and its 
contents on the ground ; and then seated my- 
self at the stairs-head, hid my face in my 
hands, and cried. 

'* Ech ! ech !" exclaimed Joseph. " Weel 
done, Miss Cathy ! weel done. Miss Cathy ! 
Hahsiver, t' maister sail just tum'le o'er them 
brocken pots; un' then we's hear summut; 
we's hear hah it's tuh be. Gooid-fur-nowt 
madling ! yah desarve pining froo this tuh 
Churstmas, flinging t' precious gifts uh God 
under fooit i' yer flaysome rages ! Bud, aw'm 
mista'en if yah shew yer sperrit lang. Will 
Hatheclift" bide sich bonny ways, think ye ? 
Aw nobbut wish he muh cotch ye i' that 
plisky. Aw nobbut wish he may." 

And so he went scolding to his den beneath. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 325 

taking the candle with him, and I remained in 
the dark. 

The period of reflection succeeding this silly 
action, compelled me to admit the necessity of 
smothering my pride, and choking my wrath, 
and bestirring myself to remove its effects. 

An unexpected aid presently appeared in 
the shape of Throttler, whom I now recog- 
nised as a son of our old Skulker; it had spent 
its whelphood at the Grange, and was given 
by my father to Mr. Hindley. I fancy it knew 
me — it pushed its nose against mine by way of 
salute, and then hastened to devour the por- 
ridge, while I groped from step to step, collect- 
ing the shattered earthenware, and drying the 
spatters of milk from the bannister with my 
pocket- handherchief. 

Our labours were scarcely over when I heard 
Earnshaw's tread in the passage ; my assistant 
tucked in his tail, and pressed to the wall ; 1 
stole into the nearest doorway. The dog's en- 
deavour to avoid him was unsuccessful ; as I 



3i6 WUTHERING HEIGHTS* 

guessed by a scutter down stairs, and a pro- 
longed, piteous yelping. I had better luck. 
He passed on, entered his chamber, and shut 
the door. 

Directly after Joseph came up with Hare- 
ton, to put him to bed. I had found shelter in 
Hareton's room, and the old man on seeing me, 
said — 

" They's rahm fur boath yah, un yer pride, 
nah, aw sud think i' th hahse. It's empty ; 
yah muh hev it all tub yerseln, un Him as alias 
maks a third, i' sich ill company !" 

Gladly did 1 take advantage of this intima- 
tion; and the minute I flung myself into a 
chair, by the fire, I nodded, and slept. 

My slumber was deep, and sweet ; though 
over far too soon. Mr. Heathcliff awoke me ; 
he had just come in, and demanded, in his 
loving manner, what I was doing there ? 

I told him tiie cause of my staying up so 
late — that he had the key of our room in his 
pocket. 



WUTilERING HEIGHTS. 327 

The adjective our gave mortal offence. He 
swore it was not, nor ever should be mine ; and 
he'd — but I'll not repeat his language, nor des- 
cribe his habitual conduct ; he is ingjeuious and 
unresting in teeking to gain mj abhorrence ! I 
sometimes wonder at him with an intensity 
that deadens my fear : yet, I assure you, a 
tiger, or a venumuus Sc-rpent could not rouse 
terror in me equal to that wliich he wakens. 
He told me of Catherine's illness, and accused 
ii;y brother of causing it ; promising that I 
should be Edgar's proxy in suffering, till he 
could get a hold of him. 

" I do hate him — I am wretched — 
I have been a fool I Beware of uttering one 
breath of this to any one at the Grange. I 
shall expect you every day — don't disappoint 
me ! 

"ISABELLA." 



32^ WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 



CHAPTEE Xiy. 



As soon as I had perused this epistle, I went to 
the master, and informed him that his sister 
had arrived at the Heights, and sent me a 
a letter expressing her sorrow for Mrs. Linton's 
situation, and her ardent desire to see him ; 
with a wish that he would transmit to her, as 
early as possible, some token of forgiveness by 
me. 

*•' Forgiveness ?" said Linton. " I have 
nothing to forgive her, Ellen — you may call at 
Wuthering Heights this afternoon, if you like, 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 329 

and say that I am not angry ^ but I'm sorry to 
have lost her : especially as I can never think 
she'll be happy. It is out of the question my 
going to see her, however ; we are eternally 
divided ; and should she really wish to oblige 
me, let her persuade the villain she has mar- 
ried to leave the country." 

" And you wont write her a little note, 
sir ?" I asked, imploringly. 

*' No,*' he answered. " It is needless. My 
communication with Heathcliff's family shall 
be as sparing as his with mine. It shall not 
exist !" 

Mr. Edgar's coldness depressed me exceed- 
ingly; and all the way from the Grange, I 
puzzled my brains how to put more heart into 
what he said, when I repeated it; and how to 
soften his refusal of even a few lines to con- 
sole Isabella. 

I dare say she had been on tho watch for 
me since morning : I saw her looking through 
the lattice, as I came up the garden causeway 



330 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

and I nodded to her ; but she drew back, as if 
afraid of being observed. 

I entered without knocking. There never 
was such a dreary, dismal scene as the formerly 
cheerful house presented ! I must confess 
that, if I had been in the young lady's place , 
I would, at least, have swept the hearth, and 
wiped the tables with a duster. But she al- 
ready partook of the pervading spirit of neglect 
which encompassed her. Her pretty face was 
wan and listless ; her hair uncurled ; some 
locks hanging lankly down, and some care- 
lessly twisted round her head. Probably she 
had not touched her dress since yester evening. 

Hindley was not there. Mr. Heathcliff sat 
at a table, turning over some papers in his 
pocket-book ; but he rose when I appeared, 
asked me how I did, quite friendly, and offered 
me a chair. 

He was the only thing there that seemed 
decent, and I thought he never looked better- 
So much had circumstancea altered their posi- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 331 

tlons, that he would certainly have struck a 
stranger as a born and bred gentleman, and his 
wife as a thorough little slattern ! 

She came forward eagerly to gre^t me; and 
held out one hand to take the expected letter. 

I shook my head. She wouldn^t under- 
stand the hint, but followed me to a side- 
board, where I went to lay my bonnet, and 
importuned me in a whisper to give her di- 
rectly what I had brought. 

Heathcliff guessed the meaning of her 
manoeuvres, and said — 

" If you have got anything for Isabella, as 
no doubt you have, Nelly, give it to her. You 
needn't make a secret of it ; we have no secrets 
between us." 

" Oh, I have nothing," I replied, thinking 
it best to speak the truth at once. " My 
master bid me tell his sister that she must not 
expect either a letter or a visit from him at 
present. He sends his love, ma'am, and his 
wishes for your haj)piness, and his pardon for 



332 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

the grief you have occasioned ; but he thinks 
that after this time, his household, and the 
household here, should drop intercommunica- 
tion ; as nothing good could come of keeping 
it up. 

Mrs, Heathcliff's lip quivered slightly, and 
she returned to her seat in the window. Her 
husband took his stand on the hearthstone, 
near me, and began to put questions concern- 
ing Catherine. 

1 told him as much as I thought proper of 
her illness, and he extorted from me, by cross- 
examination, most of the facts connected with 
its origin. 

I blamed her, as she deserved, for bringing 
it all on herself; and ended by hoping that he 
would follow Mr. Linton's example, and avoid 
future interference with his family, for good or 
evil. 

"Mrs Linton is now just recovering," I 
said, ** she'll never be like she was, but her 
life is spared, and if you really have a regard 
for her, you'll shun crossing her way again. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 333 

Nay you'll move out of this country entirely : 
and that you may not regret it, I'll inform 
you Catherine Linton is as different now, from 
your old friend Catherine Earnshaw, as that 
young lady is different from me ! Her appear- 
ance is changed greatly, her character much 
more so; and the person, who is compelled, of 
necessity, to be her companion, will only sus- 
tain his affection hereafter, by the remembrance 
of what she once wns, by common humanity, 
and a sense of duty !" 

" That is quite possible," remarked Heath- 
cliff forcing himself to seem calm, "quite pos- 
sible that your master should have notliing but 
common humanity, and a sense of duty to fall 
back upon. But do you imagine that I shall 
leave Catherine to his duty and humanity'/ and 
can you compare my feelings respecting Cathe- 
rine, to liis ? Before you leave this hou^e, I 
must exact a promise from you, that you'll get 
me an interview with her — consent, or refuse, 
I will see her ! What do you say ?" 

" I say Mr. Heathcliff," I replied, '' jou 



334 WL'THERING HEIGHTS. 

must not — you never shall through my means. 
Another encounter between you and the mas- 
ter, would kill her altogether I" 

*' With your aid that may be avoided ;" he 
continued, ''and should there be danger of 
such an event — should he be the cause of add- 
ing a single trouble more to her existence — 
Why, I think, I shall be justified in going to 
extremes! I wish you had sincerity enough 
to tell me whether Catherine would suffer 
greatly from his Iosp. The fear that she would 
restrains me : and there you see the distinction 
between our feelings — Had he been in my 
place, and I in his, though I hated him with a 
hatred that turned my life to gall, I never 
w^ould have raised a hand against him. You 
may look incredulous, if you please ! I never 
would have banished him from her society, as 
long as she desired his. 1 he moment her re- 
gard ceased, I would have torn his heart out, 
and drank his blood I But, till then, it you 
don't believe me, you don't know me — till then. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 335 

I would have died by inches before I touched 
a single hair of his head !" 

" And yet, I interrupted, you have no scru- 
ples in completely ruining all hopes of her per- 
fect restoration, by thrusting yourself in to 
her remembrance, now, when she has nearly 
forgotten you, and involving her in a new tu- 
mult of discord, and distress." 

**You suppose she has nearly forgotten 
Tr.e ?'* he said. '* Oh Nelly ! you know she 
has not ! You know as well as I do, that for 
every thought she spends on Linton, she 
spends a thousand on me I At a most misera- 
ble period of my life, T had a notion of the 
kind, it haunted me on my return to the 
neighbourhoor?, last summer, but only her own 
assurance, could make me admit the horrible 
idea again. And then, Linton would be no- 
thing, nor Hindley, nor all the dreams that 
ever I dreamt. Two words would comprehend 
my future death and hell — existence, after losing 
her would be hell. 



336 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

** 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 
powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as 
much in eighty years, as I could in a day. 
And Catherine has a heart as deep as 1 have ; 
the sea could be as readily contained in that 
horse- trough, as her whole affection be mo- 
nopoHzed by him — Tush ! He is scarcely a 
degree dearer Ho her than her dog, or her 
horse — It is not in him to be loved like me, 
how can she love in him what he has not ? 

" Catherine and Edgar are as fond of each 
other, as any two people can be !" cried Isa- 
bella with sudden vivacity. '"' No one has a 
right to talk in that manner, and I won't hear 
my brother depreciated in silence!" 

*' Your brother is wondrous fond of you 
too, isn't le?" ot served Heathcliff scornfully. 
** He turns you adrift on the world with sur- 
prising alacrity." 

" He is not aware of what 1 suffer," she re- 
plied. *' I didn't tell him that." 



WUTHEBING HEIGHTS. 337 

"You have been telling him something, 
then — you have written, have you ?" 

*' To say that I was married, I did write — 
you saw the note." 

" And nothing since ?" 

^' My young lady is looking sadly the worse, 
for her change of condition," I remarked. 
'•' Somebody's love comes short in her case, 
obviously — whose I may guess ; but, perhaps, 
I shouldn't say." 

" I should guess it was her own,'* said 
HeathclifF. " She degenerates into a mere 
slut I She is tired of trying to please me, 
uncommonly early — You'd hardly credit it, 
but the very morrow of our wedding, she was 
weeping to go home. However, she'll suit 
this house so much the better for not being 
over nice, and I'll take care she does not dis- 
grace me by rambling abroad." 

"Well, sir;" returned I, "I hope you'll 
consider that Mrs. Heathcliflf is accustomed to 

VOL. I. Q 



3^8 WUTHERTNG HEIGHTS, 

be looked after, and waited on; and that she 
has been brought up like an only daughter 
whom every one was ready to serve — You 
must let her have a maid to keep things tidy 
about her, and you must treat her kindly — 
"Whatever be your notion of Mr. Edgar, you 
caonot doubt that she has a capacity for strong 
attachments or she wouldn't have abandoned 
the elegancies, and comforts, and friends of 
her former home, to fix contentedly, in such a 
wilderness as this, with you." 

"She abandoned them under a delusion ;" 
he answered, " picturing in me a hero of ro- 
mance, and expecting unlimited indulgences 
from my chivalrous devotion. I can hardly 
regard her in the light of a rational creature, 
so obstinately has she persisted in forming a 
fabulous notion of my character, and acting on 
the false impressions she cherished. But at 
last, I think she begins to know me — I don't 
perceive the silly smiles and grimaces that pro- 
voked me, at first ; and the senseless incapa- 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 339 

bility of discerning that I was in earnest when 
I gave her my opinion of her infatuation, and 
berself — It was a marvellous effort of perspic- 
acity to discover that I did not love her. I 
believed at one time, no lessons could teach 
her that! aud yet it is poorly learnt ; for this 
morning she announced, as a piece of appal- 
ling intelligence, that I had actually succeed- 
ed in making her hate me ! A positive labour 
of Hercules, I assure you ! If it be achieved, 
Ihavecauseto return thanks — Can I trust your 
assertion, Isabella, are you sure you hate me ? 
If I let you alone for half-a-day, won't you 
come sicrhinor and wheedlinoj to me aorain ? I 

Do O O 

dare say she would rather I had seemed all 
tenderness before you ; it wounds her vanity 
to have the truth exposed. But, I don't care 
who knows that the passion was wholly on 
one side, and I never told her a lie about it. 
She cannot accuse me of showing a bit of de- 
ceitful softness. The first thing she saw me 

do, on coming out of the Grange, was to hang 
Q 3 



340 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

up her little dog , and when she pleaded for it 
the first words I uttered, were a wish that I 
had the hanging of every being belonging to 
her, except one : possibly, she took that ex- 
ception for herself — But no brutality disgusted 
her — I suppose, she has an innate admiration 
of it, if only her precious person were secure 
from injury ! Now, was it not the depth of 
absurdity — of genuine idiocy, for that pitiful 
slavish, mean- minded brach to dream that I 
could love her ? Tell your master, Nelly, that 
I never, in all my life, met with such an ab- 
ject thing as she is — She even disgraces the name 
of Linton ; and I've sometimes relented, from 
pure lack of invention, in my experiments on 
what she could endure, and still creep shame- 
fully cringing back ! But tell him also, to set 
his fraternal and magisterial heart at ease, that 
I keep strictly within the limits of the law — I 
have avoided, up to this period, giving her the 
slightest right to claim a separation; and 
what's more, she'd thank nobodj' for dividing 



WUrHERING HEIGHTS. 341 

U8 — if she desired to go she might — the nui- 
sance of her presence outweighs the gratifica- 
tion to be derived from tormenting her P' 

**Mr. Heathcliff," said I, " this is the talk 
of a madman, and your wife, most likely is con- 
vinced you are mad ; and, for that reason, she 
has borne with you hitherto: but now that 
you say she may go, she'll doubtless avail her- 
self of the permission — You are not so be- 
witched ma'am, are you, as to remain with him, 
of your own accord ?" 

"Take care, Ellen!" answered Isabella, her 
eyes sparkling irefully — there was no mis- 
doubting by their expression, the full success 
of her partner's endeavours to make himself 
detested, " Don't put faith in a single 
word he speaks. He^s a lying fiend, a mon- 
ster, and not a human being! I've been told 
I might leave him before ; and I've made the 
attempt, but I dare not repeat it ! Only 
Ellen, promise you'll not mention a syllable of 



242 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

his infamous conversation to my brother or 
Catherine — whatever he may pretend, he 
wishes to provoke Edgar to desperation — he 
says he has married me on purpose to obtain 
power over him ; and he shanH obtain it— I'll 
die first I I just hope, I pray that he may 
forget his diabolical prudence, and kill me! 
The single pleasure I can imagine is, is to die, 
or to see him dead !" 

" There— that will do for the present !" said 
Heathcliff. " If you are called upon in a court 
of law, you'll remember her language, Nelly ! 
And take a good look at that countenance — 
she's near the point which would suit m>. 
No, you're not fit to be your own guardian, 
Isabella now ; and I, being your legal pro- 
tector, must retain you in my custody, how- 
ever distasteful the obligation may be— Go up 
stairs ; I have something to say to Ellen Dean, 
in private. That's not the way — up-stairs, I 
tell you! Why this is the road up-stairs, 
child!" 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 343 

He seized, and thrust her from the room ; 
and returned muttering, 

" I have no pity ! I have no pity I The 
worms writhe, the more I yearn to crush out 
their entrails ! It is a moral teething, and I 
grind with greater energy, in proportion to the 
increase of pain." 

"Do you understand what the word pity 
means ?" I said hastening to resume my bon- 
net. " Did you ever feel a touch of it in your 

life r 

" Put that down !" he interrupted, perceiving 
my intention to depart. " You are not going 
yet — Come here now, Nelly — I must either 
persuade, or compel you to aid me in fulfilling 
my determination to see Catherine, and that 
without delay — I swear that I meditate no 
harm; I don't desire to cause any disturbance, 
or to exasperate, or insult Mr. Linton ; I only 
wish to hear from herself how she is, and 
why she has been ill ; and to ask, if anything 
that I could do would be of use to her. Last 



344 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

night, I was in the Grange garden six hours, 
and I'll return there to-night ; and every night 
I'll haunt the place, and every day, till I find 
an opportunity of entering. If Edgar Linton 
meets me, I shall not hesitate to knock him 
down, and give him enough to ensure his qui- 
escence while I stay — If his servants oppose 
me, I shall threaten them off with these pistols 
— But wouldn't it be better to prevent my 
coming in contact with them, or their master. 
And you could do it so easily ! I'd warn you 
when I came, and then you might let me in 
unobserved, as soon as she was alone, and 
watch till I departed — your conscience quite 
calm, you would be hindering mischief." 

I protested against playing that treacherous 
part in my employer's house ; and besides, I 
urged the cruelty, and selfishness of his destroy- 
ing Mrs. Linton's tranquillity, for his satisfac- 
tion. 

*' The commonest occurrence startles her 
painfully," I said. " She's all nerves, and she 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 345 

couldn't bear the surprise, I'm positive — Don't 
persist, sir ! or else, I shall be obliged to in- 
form my master of your designs, and he'll take 
measures to secure his house and its inmates 
from any such unwarrantable intrusions ! 

In that case, I'll take measures to secure 
you, woman !" exclaimed HeathclifF, '* you 
shall not leave Wuthering Heights till to-mor- 
row morning. It is a foolish story to assert 
that Catherine could not bear to see me ; and 
as to surprising her, I don't desire it, you must 
prepare her — ask her if I may come. You say 
she never mentions my name, and that I am 
never mentioned to her. To whom should 
she mention me if I am a forbidden topic in 
the house ? She thinks you are all spies for 
her husband— Oh, I've no doubt she's in hell 
among you ! I guess, by her silence as much 
as any thing, what she feels. You say she is 
often restless, and anxious looking — is that a 
proof of tranquillity ? You talk of her mind, 
being unsettled — How the devil could it be 



346 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

otherwise, in her frightful isolation. And that 
insipid, paltry creature attending her from 
duty and humanity \ From 'pity and charity. 
He might as well plant an oak in a flower- 
pot, and expect it to thrive, as imagine he 
can restore her to vigour in the soil of hid 
shallow cares I Let us settle it at once ; will 
,you stay here, and am I to fight my way to 
Catherine over Linton, and his footmen ? Or 
will you be my friend, as you have been hi- 
therto, and do what 1 request ? Decide ! be- 
cause there is no reason for my lingering ano- 
ther minute, if you persist in your stubborn 
ill-nature 1" 

Well, Mr. Lock wood, I argued, and com- 
plained, and flatly jefused him fifty times ; but 
in the long run he forced me to an agreement 
— I engaged to carry a letter from him to my 
mistress; and should she consent, I promised 
to let him have intelligence of Linton's next 
absence from home, when he might come, and 
get in as he was able — I wouldn't be there. 



WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 347 

and my fellow servants should be equally out 
of the way. 

Was it right, or wrong? I fear it was 
wrons:, though expedient. I thought I pre- 
vented another explosion by my compliance ; 
and I thought too, it might create a favourable 
crisis in Catherine's mental illness : and then 
I remembered Mr. Edgar's stern rebuke of my 
carrying tales ; and I tried to smooth away all 
disquietude on the subject, by affirming, with 
frequent iteration, that, that betrayal of trust, 
if it merited so harsh an appellation, should 
be the last. 

Notwithstanding my journey homeward was 
sadder than my journey thither ; and many 
misgivings I had, ere I could prevail on my- 
self to put the missive into Mrs. Linton's 
hand. 

But here is Kenneth — I'll go down, and tell 
him how much better you are. My history 
is drei as we say, and will serve to wile away 
another morning. 



348 WUTHERING HEIGHTS. 

Dree, and dreary ! I reflected as the good 
woman descended to receive the doctor ; and 
not exactly of tbe kind which I should have 
chosen to amuse me ; but never mind ! I'll ex- 
tract wholesome medicines from Mrs. Dean's 
bitter herbs ; and firstly, let me beware of the 
fascination that lurks in Catherine HeathclifF's 
brilliant eyes. I should be in a curious taking 
if I surrendered my heart to that young per- 
son, and the daughter turned out a second edi- 
tion of tbe mother ! 



THE END OF VOL. I. 



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