HE entered, vociferating oaths
dreadful to hear; and caught
me in the act of stowing his
son sway in the kitchen cupboard.
Hareton 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.
'There, I've found it out at
last!' cried Hindley, pulling
me back by the skin of my 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 Black- horse 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 afraid
of his vagaries. I spat out,
and affirmed it tasted detestably
- I would not take it on any
'Oh!' said he, releasing me,
'I see that hideous 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
cropped? It makes a dog fiercer,
and I love something fierce -
get me a scissors - something
fierce and trim! Besides, it's
infernal affectation - devilish
conceit it is, to cherish our
ears - we're asses enough without
them. Hush, child, hush! Well
then, it is my darling! wisht,
dry thy eyes - there's a joy;
kiss me. What! it won't? Kiss
me, Hareton! Damn thee, kiss
me! By God, as if I would rear
such a monster! As sure as I'm
living, I'll break the brat's
Poor Hareton was squalling
and kicking in his father's arms
with all his might, and redoubled
his yells when he carried him
up- stairs and lifted him over
the banister. 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 stairs'-foot.
I leant forward also, for the
purpose of signing to Heathcliff,
whose step I recognised, 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.
There was scarcely time to
experience a thrill of horror
before we saw that the little
wretch was safe. Heathcliff arrived
underneath just at the critical
moment; by a natural impulse
he arrested his descent, and
setting him on his feet, looked
up to discover the author 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 beholding the figure
of Mr. Earnshaw above. It expressed,
plainer than words could do,
the intensest anguish at having
made himself the instrument of
thwarting his own revenge. Had
it been dark, I daresay 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
'It is your fault, Ellen,'
he said; 'you should have kept
him out of sight: you should
have taken him from me! Is he
'Injured!' I cried angrily;
'if he is 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
manner!' 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 continued. 'He hates
you - they all hate you - that's
the truth! A happy family you
have; and a pretty state you're
'I shall come to a prettier,
yet, Nelly,' laughed the misguided
man, recovering his hardness.
'At present, convey yourself
and him away. And hark you, Heathcliff!
clear you too quite from my reach
and hearing. I wouldn't murder
you to-night; unless, perhaps,
I set the house on fire: but
that's as my fancy goes.'
While saying this he took a
pint bottle of brandy from the
dresser, and poured some into
'Nay, don't!' I entreated.
'Mr. Hindley, do take warning.
Have mercy on this unfortunate
boy, if you care nothing for
'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 have great pleasure in
sending it to perdition to punish
its Maker,' exclaimed the blasphemer.
'Here's to its hearty damnation!'
He drank the spirits and impatiently
bade us go; terminating his command
with a sequel of horrid imprecations
too bad to repeat or remember.
'It's a pity he cannot kill
himself with drink,' observed
Heathcliff, muttering an echo
of curses back when the door
was shut. 'He's doing his very
utmost; but his constitution
defies him. Mr. Kenneth says
he would 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
himself on a bench by the wall,
removed from the fire and remained
I was rocking Hareton on my
knee, and humming a song that
It was far in the night, and
the bairnies grat, The mither
beneath the mools heard that,
when Miss Cathy, who had listened
to the hubbub from her room,
put her head in, and whispered,
- 'Are you alone, Nelly?'
'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
seemed 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,
'About his work in the stable,'
was my answer.
He did not contradict me; perhaps
he had fallen into a doze. 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 come to
the point - as she will - I sha'n't
help her! No, she felt small
trouble regarding any subject,
save her own concerns.
'Oh, dear!' she cried at last.
'I'm very unhappy!'
'A pity,' observed I. 'You're
hard to please; so many friends
and so few cares, and can't make
'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,
'Yes, and it worries me, and
I must let it out! I want to
know what I should do. To-day,
Edgar Linton has asked me to
marry him, and I've given him
an answer. Now, before I tell
you whether it was a consent
or denial, you tell me which
it ought to have been.'
'Really, Miss Catherine, how
can I know?' I replied. 'To be
sure, considering the exhibition
you performed in his presence
this afternoon, I might say it
would be wise to refuse him:
since he asked you after that,
he must either be hopelessly
stupid or a venturesome fool.'
'If you talk so, I won't tell
you any more,' she returned,
peevishly rising to her feet.
'I accepted him, Nelly. Be quick,
and say whether I was wrong!'
'You accepted him! Then what
good is it discussing the matter?
You have pledged your word, and
'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 properly,' I
said, sententiously. 'First and
foremost, do you love Mr. Edgar?'
'Who can help it? Of course
I do,' she answered.
Then I put her through the
following catechism: for a girl
of twenty-two it was not injudicious.
'Why do you love him, Miss
'Nonsense, I do - that's sufficient.'
'By no means; you must say
'Well, because he is handsome,
and pleasant to be with.'
'Bad!' was my commentary.
'And because he is young and
'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
'Worst of all. And now, say
how you love him?'
'As everybody loves - You're
'Not at all - Answer.'
'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 altogether.
'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.
'I'm very far from jesting,
Miss Catherine,' 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,
unless he possessed the four
'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, and
richer than he is. What should
hinder you from loving them?'
'If there be any, they are
out of my way: I've seen none
'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 rationally.'
'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 unhappy about. Your
brother will be pleased; the
old lady and gentleman will not
object, I think; you will escape
from a disorderly, comfortless
home into a wealthy, respectable
one; and you love Edgar, and
Edgar loves you. All seems smooth
and easy: where is the obstacle?'
'HERE! 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 countenance grew sadder and
graver, and her clasped hands
'Nelly, do you never dream
queer dreams?' she said, suddenly,
after some minutes' reflection.
'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
and through me, like wine through
water, and altered the colour
of my mind. And this is one:
I'm going to tell it - but take
care not to smile at any part
'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 yourself!
Look at little Hareton! HE'S
dreaming nothing dreary. How
sweetly he smiles in his sleep!'
'Yes; and how sweetly his father
curses in his solitude! You remember
him, I daresay, 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
'I won't hear it, I won't 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
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 recommenced
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 won't hearken
to your dreams, Miss Catherine!
I'll go to bed,' I interrupted
She laughed, and held me down;
for I made a motion to leave
'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 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 stayed to hear no
further. My companion, sitting
on the ground, was prevented
by the back of the settle from
remarking his presence or departure;
but I started, and bade her hush!
'Why?' she asked, gazing nervously
'Joseph is here,' I answered,
catching opportunely 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
'Oh, he couldn't overhear me
at the door!' said she. 'Give
me Hareton, while you get the
supper, and when it is ready
ask me to sup with you. I want
to cheat my uncomfortable conscience,
and be convinced that Heathcliff
has no notion of these things.
He has not, has he? He does not
know what being in love is!'
'I see no reason that he should
not know, as well as you,' I
returned; 'and if you are his
choice, he'll be the most unfortunate
creature that ever was born!
As soon as you become Mrs. Linton,
he loses friend, and love, and
all! Have you considered how
you'll bear 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? They'll 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'll
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 should be beggars? whereas,
if I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff
to rise, and place him out of
my brother's power.'
'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
'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 everybody
have a notion that there is or
should be an existence of yours
beyond you. What 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 continue
to be; and if all else remained,
and he were annihilated, the
universe would turn to 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 beneath:
a source of little visible delight,
but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff!
He's always, always in my mind:
not as a pleasure, any more than
I am always a pleasure to myself,
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
'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 undertake 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.'
'You'll keep that?' she asked,
'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 agreement
that we would let him ask, if
he wanted any; for we feared
particularly to go into his presence
when he had been some time alone.
'And how isn't that nowt comed
in fro' th' field, be this time?
What is he about? girt idle seeght!'
demanded the old man, looking
round for Heathcliff.
'I'll 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 sure; and told how I saw
him quit the kitchen just as
she complained of her brother's
conduct regarding him. She jumped
up in a fine fright, flung Hareton
on to 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 cunningly
conjectured they were staying
away in order to avoid hearing
his protracted blessing. They
were 'ill eneugh for ony fahl
manners,' he affirmed. And on
their behalf he added that night
a special prayer to the usual
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 Heathcliff had
rambled, find and make him re-enter
'I want to speak to him, and
I MUST, before I go upstairs,'
she said. 'And the gate 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 forgotten. 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. I do wish he 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 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
'Yon lad gets war und war!'
observed he on re-entering. 'He's
left th' gate at t' full swing,
and Miss's pony has trodden dahn
two rigs o' corn, and plottered
through, raight o'er into t'
meadow! Hahsomdiver, t' maister
'ull play t' devil to-morn, and
he'll do weel. He's patience
itsseln wi' sich careless, offald
craters - patience itsseln he
is! Bud he'll not be soa allus
- yah's see, all on ye! Yah mun'n't
drive him out of his heead for
'Have you found Heathcliff,
you ass?' interrupted Catherine.
'Have you been looking for him,
as I ordered?'
'I sud more likker look for
th' horse,' he replied. 'It 'ud
be to more sense. Bud I can look
for norther horse nur man of
a neeght loike this - as black
as t' chimbley! und Heathcliff's
noan t' chap to coom at MY whistle
- happen he'll be less hard o'
hearing wi' YE!'
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 without further
trouble. However, Catherine would
hot be persuaded into tranquillity.
She kept wandering to and fro,
from the gate to the door, in
a state of agitation which permitted
no repose; and at length took
up a permanent situation on one
side of the wall, near the road:
where, heedless of my expostulations
and the growling thunder, and
the great drops that began to
plash around her, she remained,
calling at intervals, 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 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 on to
his knees, beseeching 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 judgment
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 fashion which made
my companion vociferate, more
clamorously than before, that
a wide distinction might be drawn
between saints like himself and
sinners like his master. But
the uproar passed away in twenty
minutes, leaving us all unharmed;
excepting Cathy, who got thoroughly
drenched for her obstinacy in
refusing to take shelter, and
standing bonnetless and shawl-less
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
'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
any longer on that foolish boy:
he'll be gone to Gimmerton, and
he'll stay there now. He guesses
we shouldn't wait 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. 'I's niver wonder
but he's at t' bothom of a bog-hoile.
This visitation worn't for nowt,
and I wod hev' ye to look out,
Miss - yah muh be t' next. Thank
Hivin for all! All warks togither
for gooid to them as is chozzen,
and piked out fro' th' rubbidge!
Yah knaw whet t' Scripture ses.'
And he began quoting several
texts, referring us to chapters
and verses where we might find
I, having vainly begged the
wilful girl to rise and remove
her wet things, left him preaching
and her shivering, and betook
myself to bed with little Hareton,
who slept as fast as if everyone
had been sleeping round him.
I heard Joseph read on a while
afterwards; then I distinguished
his slow step on the ladder,
and then I dropped asleep.
Coming down somewhat later
than usual, I saw, by the sunbeams
piercing the chinks of the shutters,
Miss Catherine still seated near
the fireplace. The house-door
was ajar, too; light entered
from its unclosed windows; Hindley
had come out, and stood on the
kitchen hearth, haggard 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,
'I've been wet,' she answered
reluctantly, 'and I'm cold, that's
'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 wished 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 back the lattice, and presently
the room filled with sweet scents
from the garden; but Catherine
called peevishly to me, 'Ellen,
shut the window. I'm starving!'
And her teeth chattered as she
shrank closer to the almost extinguished
'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
'Running after t' lads, as
usuald!' croaked Joseph, catching
an opportunity from our hesitation
to thrust in his evil tongue.
'If I war yah, maister, I'd just
slam t' boards i' their faces
all on 'em, gentle and simple!
Never a day ut yah're off, but
yon cat o' Linton comes sneaking
hither; and Miss Nelly, shoo's
a fine lass! shoo sits watching
for ye i' t' kitchen; and as
yah're in at one door, he's out
at t'other; and, then, wer grand
lady goes a- courting of her
side! It's bonny behaviour, lurking
amang t' fields, after twelve
o' t' night, wi' that fahl, flaysome
divil of a gipsy, Heathcliff!
They think I'M blind; but I'm
noan: nowt ut t' soart! - I seed
young Linton boath coming and
going, and I seed YAH' (directing
his discourse to me), 'yah gooid
fur nowt, slattenly witch! nip
up and bolt into th' house, 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 I who told him to
be off: because I knew you would
not like to have met him as you
'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 he afraid of
harming him: though I hate him
as much as ever, he did me a
good turn a short time since
that will make my conscience
tender 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
'I never saw Heathcliff last
night,' answered Catherine, beginning
to sob bitterly: 'and if you
do turn him out of doors, I'll
go with him. But, perhaps, you'll
never have an opportunity: perhaps,
he's gone.' Here she burst into
uncontrollable grief, and the
remainder of her words were inarticulate.
Hindley lavished on her a torrent
of scornful abuse, and bade her
get to her room immediately,
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.
It proved the commencement of
delirium: Mr. Kenneth, as soon
as he saw her, pronounced her
dangerously ill; she had a fever.
He bled her, and he told me to
let her live on whey and water-gruel,
and take care she did not throw
herself downstairs 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
cottage and cottage.
Though I cannot say I made
a gentle nurse, and Joseph and
the master were no better, and
though our patient was as wearisome
and headstrong as a patient could
be, she weathered 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
convalescent, she insisted on
conveying her to Thrushcross
Grange: for which deliverance
we were very grateful. But the
poor dame had reason to repent
of her kindness: she and her
husband both took the fever,
and died within a few days of
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 disappearance
on her: where indeed it belonged,
as she well knew. From that period,
for several months, she ceased
to hold any communication 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 esteemed 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 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 on
us like slaves, for aught he
cared! Edgar Linton, as multitudes
have been before 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 persuaded to leave Wuthering
Heights and accompany her here,
Little Hareton was nearly five
years old, and I had just begun
to teach him his letters. We
made a sad parting; but Catherine's
tears were more powerful 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 Hareton, the curate should
take him in hand, by-and-by.
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, said good-by; 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 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
summon courage to go also, in
spite of aching laziness of head