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 country 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. 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
'Away, away with it!' I replied;
'I desire to have - '
'The doctor says you must drop
'With all my heart! Don't interrupt
me. Come and take your seat here.
Keep your fingers 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
sizar's place at college, or
escape to America, and earn honours
by drawing blood from his foster-country?
or make a fortune more promptly
on the English highways?'
'He may have done a little
in all these vocations, 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 and
not weary you. Are you feeling
better this morning?'
'That's good news.'
I got Miss Catherine 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 affection. They were
both very attentive to her comfort,
certainly. It was not the thorn
bending 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-tempered
when they encounter neither opposition
nor indifference? I observed
that Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted
fear of ruffling her humour.
He concealed 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 would show his trouble
by a frown of displeasure 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 learned to be less
touchy; and, for the space of
half a year, the gunpowder lay
as harmless as sand, because
no fire came near to explode
it. Catherine had seasons of
gloom and silence now and then:
they were respected with sympathising
silence by her husband, who ascribed
them to an alteration in her
constitution, produced by her
perilous illness; as she was
never subject to depression of
spirits before. The return of
sunshine was welcomed by answering
sunshine from him. I believe
I may assert that they were really
in possession of deep and growing
It ended. Well, we MUST be
for ourselves in the long run;
the mild and generous are only
more justly selfish than the
domineering; 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 basket 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
projecting portions of the building.
I set my burden on the house-steps
by the kitchen-door, and lingered
to rest, and drew 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
spoke, fearfully; for the doors
were shut, and I had seen nobody
on approaching the steps. Something
stirred in the porch; and, moving
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 resemblance
'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 singular. I remembered
'What!' I cried, uncertain
whether to regard him as a worldly
visitor, and I raised my 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
'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. 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 noticed, the sough
that runs from the marshes joins
a beck which follows the bend
of the glen). Wuthering Heights
rose above this silvery 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 performing
my errand; and was actually going
away leaving it unsaid, after
having put my question 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
'I did not question him,' I
'Well, close the curtains,
Nelly,' she said; 'and bring
up tea. I'll be back again directly.'
She quitted the apartment;
Mr. Edgar inquired, carelessly,
who it was.
'Some one mistress does not
expect,' I replied. 'That Heathcliff
- you recollect him, sir - who
used to live at Mr. Earnshaw's.'
'What! the gipsy - the ploughboy?'
he cried. 'Why did you not say
so to Catherine?'
'Hush! you must not call him
by those names, master,' I said.
'She'd be sadly grieved to hear
you. She was nearly heartbroken
when he ran off. I guess his
return will make a jubilee to
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! Bring the
person in, if it be anyone 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
'Oh, Edgar, Edgar!' she panted,
flinging her arms round his neck.
'Oh, Edgar darling! 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 answered, repressing a little
the intensity of her delight.
'Yet, for my sake, you must be
friends now. Shall I tell him
to come up?'
'Here,' he said, 'into the
'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 expression -
half angry, half laughing at
'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
elsewhere? 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 being
absurd. The whole household need
not witness the sight of your
welcoming a runaway servant as
I descended, and found Heathcliff
waiting under the porch, evidently
anticipating an invitation to
enter. He followed my 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 Linton's
reluctant fingers and crushed
them into his. Now, fully revealed
by the fire and candlelight,
I was amazed, more than ever,
to behold the transformation
of Heathcliff. He had grown a
tall, athletic, well-formed man;
beside whom my master seemed
quite slender and youth-like.
His upright carriage suggested
the idea of his having been in
the army. 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- civilised
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 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.
Heathcliff 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,
'especially if it be anything
in which I have a part. I shall
stay an hour or two willingly.'
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
mutual 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 Heathcliff!
you don't deserve this welcome.
To be absent and silent for three
years, and never to think of
'A little more than you have
thought of me,' he murmured.
'I heard of your marriage, Cathy,
not long since; and, while waiting
in the yard below, I 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 fought
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 Linton,
striving to preserve his ordinary
tone, and a due measure of politeness.
'Mr. Heathcliff will have a long
walk, wherever he may lodge to-night;
and I'm thirsty.'
She took her post before the
urn; and Miss Isabella came,
summoned by the bell; then, having
handed their chairs forward,
I left the room. The meal hardly
endured ten minutes. Catherine's
cup was never filled: she could
neither eat nor drink. Edgar
had made a slop in his saucer,
and scarcely swallowed a mouthful.
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 Wuthering 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 painfully,
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.
About the middle of the night,
I was wakened from my first nap
by Mrs. Linton gliding into my
chamber, taking a seat on my
bedside, 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!
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 commendation
to Heathcliff, and he, either
for a headache or a pang of envy,
began to cry: so I got up and
'What use is it praising Heathcliff
to him?' I answered. 'As lads
they had an aversion to each
other, and Heathcliff would hate
just as much to hear him praised:
it's human nature. Let Mr. Linton
alone about him, unless you would
like an open quarrel between
'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
exhibit 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. Linton,'
said I. 'They humour you: I know
what there would be to do if
they did not. You can well afford
to indulge their passing whims
as long as their business is
to anticipate all your desires.
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
'And then we shall fight to
the death, sha'n't we, Nelly?'
she returned, laughing. 'No!
I tell you, I have such faith
in Linton's love, that I 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 resort to whining
for trifles. It is childish and,
instead of melting into tears
because I said that Heathcliff
was now worthy of anyone'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 delighted
from sympathy. He must get accustomed
to him, and he may as well like
him: considering how Heathcliff
has reason to object to him,
I'm sure he behaved excellently!'
'What do you think of his going
to Wuthering Heights?' I inquired.
'He is reformed in every respect,
apparently: quite a Christian:
offering the right hand of fellowship
to his enemies all around!'
'He explained it,' she replied.
'I wonder 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 questioning him
of what he had been doing, and
how he had been living; and finally,
desired him to walk in. There
were some persons sitting at
cards; Heathcliff joined them;
my brother 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 might have for
mistrusting one whom he has basely
injured. But Heathcliff affirms
his principal reason for resuming
a connection with his ancient
persecutor is a wish to instal
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 payment for permission
to lodge at the Heights; and
doubtless my brother's covetousness
will prompt him to accept the
terms: he was always greedy;
though what he grasps with one
hand he flings away with the
'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 little for Hindley:
but he can't be made morally
worse than he is; and I stand
between him and bodily harm.
The event of this evening has
reconciled me to God and humanity!
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 kindness 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; I 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'll go make my peace with Edgar
instantly. Good- night! I'm an
In this self-complacent conviction
she departed; and the success
of her fulfilled resolution was
obvious on the morrow: Mr. Linton
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 afternoon; and she rewarded
him with such a summer of sweetness
and affection in return as made
the house a paradise for several
days; both master and servants
profiting from the perpetual
Heathcliff - Mr. Heathcliff
I should say in future - used
the liberty of visiting at Thrushcross
Grange cautiously, at first:
he seemed estimating how far
its owner would bear his intrusion.
Catherine, also, deemed it judicious
to moderate her expressions of
pleasure in receiving 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 of feeling.
My master's uneasiness experienced
a lull, and further circumstances
diverted it into 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; infantile
in manners, though possessed
of keen wit, keen feelings, and
a keen temper, too, if irritated.
Her brother, who loved her tenderly,
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 altered, his mind was unchangeable
and unchanged. And he dreaded
that mind: it revolted him: he
shrank forebodingly from the
idea of committing Isabella to
its keeping. He would have recoiled
still more had he been aware
that her attachment rose unsolicited,
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 something. She
grew cross and wearisome; snapping
at and teasing 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, rejecting
her breakfast, complaining that
the servants 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 frivolous
accusations, Mrs. Linton peremptorily
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 her 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
hash, tell me?'
'Yesterday,' sobbed Isabella,
'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
whether you kept with us or not;
I merely thought Heathcliff's
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!'
'Is she sane?' asked Mrs. Linton,
appealing 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 answered: 'I wanted to be
with - '
Catherine, perceiving her hesitate
to complete the
'With him: and I won't be always
sent off!' 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 idiotcy! It is impossible
that you can covet the admiration
of Heathcliff - that you consider
him an agreeable person! I hope
I have misunderstood you, Isabella?'
'No, 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!'
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 exterior! He's
not a rough diamond - a pearl-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 I 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
'For shame! for shame!' she
repeated, angrily. 'You are worse
than twenty foes, you poisonous
'Ah! you won't believe me,
then?' said 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 yourself, if that be your
spirit: I have done, and yield
the argument to your saucy insolence.'
'And I must suffer 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
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? 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
continually, 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 crowner's 'quest
enow, at ahr folks'. One on 'em
's a'most getten his finger cut
off wi' hauding t' other fro'
stickin' hisseln loike a cawlf.
That's maister, yeah knaw, 'at
's soa up o' going tuh t' grand
'sizes. He's noan feared o' t'
bench o' judges, norther Paul,
nur Peter, nur John, nur Matthew,
nor noan on 'em, not he! He fair
likes - he langs to set his brazened
face agean 'em! And yon bonny
lad Heathcliff, yah mind, he's
a rare 'un. He can girn a laugh
as well 's onybody at a raight
divil's jest. Does he niver say
nowt of his fine living amang
us, when he goes to t' Grange?
This is t' way on 't:- up at
sun-down: dice, brandy, cloised
shutters, und can'le-light till
next day at noon: then, t'fooil
gangs banning und raving to his
cham'er, makking dacent fowks
dig thur fingers i' thur lugs
fur varry shame; un' the knave,
why he can caint his brass, un'
ate, un' sleep, un' off to his
neighbour's to gossip wi' t'
wife. I' course, he tells Dame
Catherine how her fathur's goold
runs into his pocket, and her
fathur's son gallops down t'
broad road, while he flees afore
to oppen t' pikes!" Now, Miss
Linton, Joseph is an old rascal,
but no liar; and, if his account
of Heathcliff's conduct be true,
you would never think of desiring
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 this fancy if left to herself,
or persevered in nursing it perpetually,
I cannot say: she had little
time to reflect. The day after,
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 sitting in
the library, on hostile terms,
but silent: the latter alarmed
at her recent indiscretion, and
the disclosure she had made of
her secret feelings in a transient
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 matter to her.
She did laugh as she saw Heathcliff
pass the window. I was sweeping
the hearth, and I noticed a mischievous
smile on her lips. Isabella,
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
'Come in, that's right!' 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. I 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 quarrelling
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 fix you for ever,
and send my image into eternal
'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 won't 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 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
And he stared hard at the object
of discourse, as one might do
at a strange repulsive animal:
a centipede from the Indies,
for instance, 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 make use
of her nails; and their sharpness
presently ornamented the detainer's
with crescents 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 dying for your
sake several weeks, and raving
about you this morning, and pouring
forth a deluge of abuse, because
I represented your failings in
a plain light, for the 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 Heathcliff, to let you
absolutely seize and devour her
'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
'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;
remember THIS neighbour's goods
'If they were MINE, they would
be none the less that,' said
Heathcliff; 'but though Isabella
Linton may be silly, she is scarcely
mad; 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 preference to
Catherine's side: with reason
I imagined, for he was kind,
and trustful, and honourable;
and she - she could not be called
OPPOSITE, yet she seemed to allow
herself such wide latitude, that
I had little faith in her principles,
and still less sympathy for her
feelings. I wanted something
to happen which might have the
effect of freeing both Wuthering
Heights and the Grange of Mr.
Heathcliff quietly; leaving us
as we had been prior to his advent.
His visits were a continual nightmare
to me; and, I 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.