chapter i 1801.--i have just returned from a visit tomy landlord--the solitary neighbour that i shall be troubled with.this is certainly abeautiful country! in all england, i do not believe that icould have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir ofsociety. a perfect misanthropist's heaven: and mr.heathcliff and i are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us.a capital fellow! he little imagined how my heart warmedtowards him when i beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows,as i rode up, and when his fingers
sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat,as i announced 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 soonas possible after my arrival, to express the hope that i have not inconvenienced youby my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of thrushcross grange: i heardyesterday you had had some thoughts--' 'thrushcross grange is my own, sir,' heinterrupted, wincing.
'i should not allow any one toinconvenience me, if i could hinder it-- walk in!' the 'walk in' was uttered with closedteeth, and expressed the sentiment, 'go to the deuce:' even the gate over which heleant manifested no sympathising movement to the words; and i think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: ifelt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself. when he saw my horse's breast fairlypushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenlypreceded me up the causeway, calling, as we
entered the court,--'joseph, take mr.lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine.' 'here we have the whole establishment ofdomestics, i suppose,' was the reflection suggested by this compound order. 'no wonder the grass grows up between theflags, 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 anundertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking,meantime, in my face so sourly that i charitably conjectured he must have need of
divine aid to digest his dinner, and hispious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.wuthering heights is the name of mr. heathcliff's dwelling. 'wuthering' being a significant provincialadjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed instormy weather. pure, bracing ventilation they must have upthere at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing overthe edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretchingtheir limbs one way, as if craving alms of
the sun. happily, the architect had foresight tobuild it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the cornersdefended with large jutting stones. before passing the threshold, i paused toadmire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especiallyabout the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, i detected thedate '1500,' and the name 'hareton earnshaw.' i would have made a few comments, andrequested a short history of the place from
the surly owner; but his attitude at thedoor appeared to demand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and i had no desire to aggravate his impatience previous toinspecting the penetralium. one stop brought us into the familysitting-room, without any introductory lobby or passage: they call it here 'thehouse' pre-eminently. it includes kitchen and parlour, generally;but i believe at wuthering heights the kitchen is forced to retreat altogetherinto 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 hugefireplace; nor any glitter of copper saucepans and tin cullenders on the walls. one end, indeed, reflected splendidly bothlight and heat from ranks of immense pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs andtankards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to the very roof. the latter had never been under-drawn: itsentire anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, except where a frame of wood ladenwith oatcakes and clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and ham, concealed it. above the chimney were sundry villainousold guns, and a couple of horse-pistols:
and, by way of ornament, three gaudily-painted canisters disposed along its ledge. the floor was of smooth, white stone; thechairs, high-backed, primitive structures, painted green: one or two heavy black oneslurking in the shade. in an arch under the dresser reposed ahuge, liver-coloured bitch pointer, surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies;and other dogs haunted other recesses. the apartment and furniture would have beennothing extraordinary as belonging to a homely, northern farmer, with a stubborncountenance, and stalwart limbs set out to advantage 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 offive or six miles among these hills, if you go at the right time after dinner. but mr. heathcliff forms a singularcontrast to his abode and style of living. he is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, indress 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 rathermorose. possibly, some people might suspect him ofa degree of under-bred pride; i have a sympathetic chord within that tells me itis nothing of the sort: i know, by
instinct, his reserve springs from an aversion to showy displays of feeling--tomanifestations of mutual kindliness. he'll love and hate equally under cover,and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again. no, i'm running on too fast: i bestow myown attributes over-liberally on him. mr. heathcliff may have entirely dissimilarreasons for keeping his hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintance, tothose which actuate me. let me hope my constitution is almostpeculiar: my dear mother used to say i should never have a comfortable home; andonly last summer i proved myself perfectly
unworthy of one. while enjoying a month of fine weather atthe sea-coast, i was thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: areal goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me. i 'never told my love' vocally; still, iflooks have language, the merest idiot might have guessed i was over head and ears: sheunderstood 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 intomyself, like a snail; at every glance
retired colder and farther; till finallythe poor innocent was led to doubt her own senses, and, overwhelmed with confusion at her supposed mistake, persuaded her mammato decamp. by this curious turn of disposition i havegained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how undeserved, i alone canappreciate. i took a seat at the end of the hearthstoneopposite that towards which my landlord advanced, and filled up an interval ofsilence by attempting to caress the canine mother, who had left her nursery, and was sneaking wolfishly 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,' growledmr. heathcliff in unison, checking fiercer demonstrations 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 shoutedagain, 'joseph!' joseph mumbled indistinctly in the depthsof the cellar, but gave no intimation of ascending; 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 overall my movements.
not anxious to come in contact with theirfangs, i sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults, iunfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madam, that shesuddenly broke into a fury and leapt on my knees.i flung her back, and hastened to interpose the table between us. this proceeding aroused the whole hive:half-a-dozen four-footed fiends, of various sizes and ages, issued from hidden dens tothe common centre. i felt my heels and coat-laps peculiarsubjects of assault; and parrying off the
larger combatants as effectually as i couldwith the poker, i was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of thehousehold in re-establishing peace. mr. heathcliff and his man climbed thecellar steps with vexatious phlegm: i don't think they moved one second faster thanusual, though the hearth was an absolute tempest of worrying and yelping. happily, an inhabitant of the kitchen mademore despatch: a lusty dame, with tucked-up gown, bare arms, and fire-flushed cheeks,rushed into the midst of us flourishing a frying-pan: and used that weapon, and her tongue, to such purpose, that the stormsubsided magically, and she only remained,
heaving like a sea after a high wind, whenher master entered on the scene. 'what the devil is the matter?' he asked,eyeing me in a manner that i could ill endure, after this inhospitable treatment.'what the devil, indeed!' i muttered. 'the herd of possessed swine could have hadno worse spirits in them than those animals of yours, sir.you might as well leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!' 'they won't meddle with persons who touchnothing,' he remarked, putting the bottle before me, and restoring the displacedtable.
'the dogs do right to be vigilant. take a glass of wine?''no, thank you.' 'not bitten, are you?''if i had been, i would have set my signet on the biter.' heathcliff's countenance relaxed into agrin. 'come, come,' he said, 'you are flurried,mr. lockwood. here, take a little wine. guests are so exceedingly rare in thishouse 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; beginningto perceive that it would be foolish to sit sulking for the misbehaviour of a pack ofcurs; besides, i felt loth to yield the fellow further amusement at my expense;since his humour took that turn. he--probably swayed by prudentialconsideration of the folly of offending a good tenant--relaxed a little in thelaconic style of chipping off his pronouns and auxiliary verbs, and introduced what he supposed would be a subject of interest tome,--a discourse on the advantages and disadvantages of my present place ofretirement. i found him very intelligent on the topicswe touched; and before i went home, i was
encouraged so far as to volunteer anothervisit to-morrow. he evidently wished no repetition of myintrusion. i shall go, notwithstanding.it is astonishing how sociable i feel myself compared with him. > chapter ii yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold.ihad half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath andmud to wuthering heights. on coming up from dinner, however, (n.b.--idine between twelve and one o'clock; the
housekeeper, a matronly lady, taken as afixture along with the house, could not, or would not, comprehend my request that i might be served at five)--on mounting thestairs with this lazy intention, and stepping into the room, i saw a servant-girl on her knees surrounded by brushes and coal-scuttles, and raising an infernal dust as she extinguished the flames with heapsof cinders. this spectacle drove me back immediately;i took my hat, and, after a four-miles' walk, arrived at heathcliff's garden-gate just intime to escape the first feathery flakes of a snow-shower.
on that bleak hill-top the earth was hardwith a black frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb. being unable to remove the chain, i jumpedover, and, running up the flagged causeway bordered with straggling gooseberry-bushes,knocked vainly for admittance, till my knuckles tingled and the dogs howled. 'wretched inmates!'i ejaculated, mentally, 'you deserve perpetual isolation from your species foryour churlish inhospitality. at least, i would not keep my doors barredin the day-time. i don't care--i will get in!'so resolved, i grasped the latch and shook
it vehemently. vinegar-faced joseph projected his headfrom a round window of the barn. 'what are ye for?' he shouted.'t' maister's down i' t' fowld. go round by th' end o' t' laith, if ye wentto spake to him.' 'is there nobody inside to open the door?'i hallooed, responsively. 'there's nobbut t' missis; and shoo'll notoppen 't an ye mak' yer flaysome dins till neeght.''why? cannot you tell her whom i am, eh, joseph?' 'nor-ne me!i'll hae no 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 theyard behind. he hailed me to follow him, and, aftermarching through a wash-house, and a paved area containing a coal-shed, pump, andpigeon-cot, we at length arrived in the huge, warm, cheerful apartment where i wasformerly received. it glowed delightfully in the radiance ofan immense fire, compounded of coal, peat, and wood; and near the table, laid for aplentiful evening meal, i was pleased to observe the 'missis,' an individual whoseexistence i had never previously suspected.
i bowed and waited, thinking she would bidme take a seat. she looked at me, leaning back in herchair, and remained motionless and mute. 'rough weather!'i remarked. 'i'm afraid, mrs. heathcliff, the door mustbear the consequence of your servants' leisure attendance: i had hard work to makethem hear me.' she never opened her mouth. i stared--she stared also: at any rate, shekept her eyes on me in a cool, regardless manner, exceedingly embarrassing anddisagreeable. 'sit down,' said the young man, gruffly.
'he'll be in soon.'i obeyed; and hemmed, and called the villain juno, who deigned, at this secondinterview, 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 littleones, madam?' 'they are not mine,' said the amiablehostess, more repellingly than heathcliff himself could have replied.'ah, your favourites are among these?' i continued, turning to an obscure cushionfull of something like cats. 'a strange choice of favourites!' sheobserved scornfully.
unluckily, it was a heap of dead rabbits. i hemmed once more, and drew closer to thehearth, 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 thelight; now, i had a distinct view of her whole figure and countenance. she was slender, and apparently scarcelypast girlhood: an admirable form, and the most exquisite little face that i have everhad the pleasure of beholding; small
features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or rather golden, hanging loose on herdelicate neck; and eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, that would havebeen irresistible: fortunately for my susceptible heart, the only sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn and a kind ofdesperation, 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 oneattempted to assist him in counting his gold.
'i don't want your help,' she snapped; 'ican 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 leafpoised over the pot. 'i shall be glad to have a cup,' ianswered. '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, andresumed her chair in a pet; her forehead corrugated, and her red under-lip pushedout, like a child's ready to cry.
meanwhile, the young man had slung on tohis person a decidedly shabby upper garment, and, erecting himself before theblaze, looked down on me from the corner of his eyes, for all the world as if therewere some mortal feud unavenged between us. i began to doubt whether he were a servantor not: his dress and speech were both rude, entirely devoid of the superiorityobservable in mr. and mrs. heathcliff; his thick brown curls were rough and uncultivated, his whiskers encroachedbearishly over his cheeks, and his hands were embrowned like those of a commonlabourer: still his bearing was free, almost haughty, and he showed none of a
domestic's assiduity in attending on thelady of the house. in the absence of clear proofs of hiscondition, i deemed it best to abstain from noticing his curious conduct; and, fiveminutes afterwards, the entrance of heathcliff relieved me, in some measure,from my uncomfortable state. 'you see, sir, i am come, according topromise!' i exclaimed, assuming the cheerful; 'and ifear i shall be weather-bound for half an hour, if you can afford me shelter duringthat space.' 'half an hour?' he said, shaking the whiteflakes from his clothes; 'i wonder you should select the thick of a snow-storm toramble about in.
do you know that you run a risk of beinglost in the marshes? people familiar with these moors often misstheir road on such evenings; and i can tell you there is no chance of a change atpresent.' '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 ownsagacity.' 'umph!' 'are you going to mak' the tea?' demandedhe 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 saidrevealed a genuine bad nature. i no longer felt inclined to callheathcliff a capital fellow. when the preparations were finished, heinvited 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 andtaciturn; and it was impossible, however ill-tempered they might be, that theuniversal scowl they wore was their every- day countenance. 'it is strange,' i began, in the intervalof swallowing one cup of tea and receiving another--'it is strange how custom canmould our tastes and ideas: many could not imagine the existence of happiness in a life of such complete exile from the worldas you spend, mr. heathcliff; yet, i'll venture to say, that, surrounded by yourfamily, and with your amiable lady as the
presiding genius over your home and heart-' 'my amiable lady!' he interrupted, with analmost diabolical sneer on his face. 'where is she--my amiable lady?''mrs. heathcliff, your wife, i mean.' 'well, yes--oh, you would intimate that herspirit has taken the post of ministering angel, and guards the fortunes of wutheringheights, even when her body is gone. is that it?' perceiving myself in a blunder, i attemptedto correct it. i might have seen there was too great adisparity between the ages of the parties to make it likely that they were man andwife.
one was about forty: a period of mentalvigour at which men seldom cherish the delusion of being married for love bygirls: that dream is reserved for the solace of our declining years. the other did not look seventeen. then it flashed on me--'the clown at myelbow, who is drinking his tea out of a basin and eating his broad with unwashedhands, may be her husband: heathcliff junior, of course. here is the consequence of being buriedalive: she has thrown herself away upon that boor from sheer ignorance that betterindividuals existed!
a sad pity--i must beware how i cause herto regret her choice.' the last reflection may seem conceited; itwas not. my neighbour struck me as bordering onrepulsive; i knew, through experience, 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 inher direction: a look of hatred; unless he has a most perverse set of facial musclesthat will not, like those of other people, interpret the language of his soul. 'ah, certainly--i see now: you are thefavoured possessor of the beneficent
fairy,' i remarked, turning to myneighbour. this was worse than before: the youth grewcrimson, and clenched his fist, with every appearance of a meditated assault. but he seemed to recollect himselfpresently, 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,'observed 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 wererather 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!' '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 caredto return the stare, for fear i might be tempted either to box his ears or render myhilarity audible. i began to feel unmistakably out of placein that pleasant family circle. the dismal spiritual atmosphere overcame,and more than neutralised, the glowing
physical comforts round me; and i resolvedto be cautious how i ventured under those rafters a third time. the business of eating being concluded, andno one uttering a word of sociable conversation, i approached a window toexamine the weather. a sorrowful sight i saw: dark night comingdown prematurely, and sky and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and suffocatingsnow. 'i don't think it possible for me to gethome now without a guide,' i could not help exclaiming. 'the roads will be buried already; and, ifthey were bare, i could scarcely
distinguish a foot in advance.''hareton, drive those dozen sheep into the barn porch. they'll be covered if left in the fold allnight: 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 onlooking round i saw only joseph bringing in a pail of porridge for the dogs, and mrs.heathcliff leaning over the fire, diverting herself with burning a bundle of matches which had fallen from the chimney-piece asshe restored the tea-canister to its place.
the former, when he had deposited hisburden, took a critical survey of the room, and in cracked tones grated out--'aw wonderhow yah can faishion to stand thear i' idleness un war, when all on 'ems goan out! bud yah're a nowt, and it's no use talking--yah'll niver mend o'yer ill ways, but goa raight to t' divil, like yer mother aforeye!' i imagined, for a moment, that this pieceof eloquence was addressed to me; and, sufficiently enraged, stepped towards theaged rascal with an intention of kicking him out of the door. mrs. heathcliff, however, checked me by heranswer.
'you scandalous old hypocrite!' shereplied. 'are you not afraid of being carried awaybodily, whenever you mention the devil's name? i warn you to refrain from provoking me, ori'll ask your abduction as a special favour! stop! look here, joseph,' she continued,taking a long, dark book from a shelf; 'i'll show you how far i've progressed inthe black art: i shall soon be competent to make a clear house of it. the red cow didn't die by chance; and yourrheumatism can hardly be reckoned among
providential visitations!''oh, wicked, wicked!' 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 modelled in wax and clay!and the first who passes the limits i fix shall--i'll not say what he shall be doneto--but, you'll see! go, i'm looking at you!' the little witch put a mock malignity intoher beautiful eyes, and joseph, trembling with sincere horror, hurried out, praying,and ejaculating 'wicked' as he went. i thought her conduct must be prompted by aspecies of dreary fun; and, now that we
were alone, i endeavoured to interest herin my distress. 'mrs. heathcliff,' i said earnestly, 'youmust excuse me for troubling you. i presume, because, with that face, i'msure you cannot help being good-hearted. do point out some landmarks by which i mayknow my way home: i have no more idea how to get there than you would have how to getto london!' '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 as sound as i can give.' 'then, if you hear of me being discovereddead in a bog or a pit full of snow, your
conscience won't whisper that it is partlyyour 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 thethreshold, for my convenience, on such a night,' i cried. 'i want you to tell me my way, not toshow it: or else to persuade mr. heathcliff to give me a guide.''who? there 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.' 'that you may settle with your host.i have nothing to do with it.' 'i hope it will be a lesson to you to makeno more rash journeys on these hills,' cried heathcliff's stern voice from thekitchen entrance. 'as to staying here, i don't keepaccommodations for visitors: you must share a bed with hareton or joseph, if you do.''i can sleep on a chair in this room,' i replied.
'no, no!a stranger is a stranger, be he rich or poor: it will not suit me to permit any onethe 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, runningagainst earnshaw in my haste. it was so dark that i could not see themeans of exit; and, as i wandered round, i heard another specimen of their civilbehaviour amongst each other. at first the young man appeared about tobefriend me. 'i'll go with him as far as the park,' hesaid.
'you'll go with him to hell!' exclaimed hismaster, or whatever relation he bore. 'and who is to look after the horses, eh?' 'a man's life is of more consequence thanone 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 bequiet.' 'then i hope his ghost will haunt you; andi hope mr. heathcliff will never get another tenant till the grange is a ruin,'she answered, sharply. 'hearken, hearken, shoo's cursing on 'em!'muttered joseph, towards whom i had been
steering. he sat within earshot, milking the cows bythe light of a lantern, which i seized unceremoniously, and, calling out that iwould send it back on the morrow, rushed to the nearest postern. 'maister, maister, he's staling t'lanthern!' shouted the ancient, pursuing my retreat.'hey, gnasher! hey, dog! hey wolf, holld him, holld him!' on opening the little door, two hairymonsters flew at my throat, bearing me
down, and extinguishing the light; while amingled guffaw from heathcliff and hareton put the copestone on my rage andhumiliation. fortunately, the beasts seemed more bent onstretching their paws, and yawning, and flourishing their tails, than devouring mealive; but they would suffer no resurrection, and i was forced to lie till their malignant masters pleased to deliverme: then, hatless and trembling with wrath, i ordered the miscreants to let me out--ontheir peril to keep me one minute longer-- with several incoherent threats of retaliation that, in their indefinite depthof virulency, smacked of king lear.
the vehemence of my agitation brought on acopious bleeding at the nose, and still heathcliff laughed, and still i scolded. i don't know what would have concluded thescene, had there not been one person at hand rather more rational than myself, andmore benevolent than my entertainer. this was zillah, the stout housewife; whoat length issued forth to inquire into the nature of the uproar. she thought that some of them had beenlaying violent hands on me; and, not daring to attack her master, she turned her vocalartillery against the younger scoundrel. 'well, mr. earnshaw,' she cried, 'i wonderwhat you'll have agait next?
are we going to murder folk on our verydoor-stones? i see this house will never do for me--lookat t' poor lad, he's fair choking! wisht, wisht; 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 apint of icy water down my neck, and pulled me into the kitchen. mr. heathcliff followed, his accidentalmerriment expiring quickly in his habitual moroseness. i was sick exceedingly, and dizzy, andfaint; and thus compelled perforce to
accept lodgings under his roof. he told zillah to give me a glass ofbrandy, and then passed on to the inner room; while she condoled with me on mysorry predicament, and having obeyed his orders, whereby i was somewhat revived,ushered me to bed. chapter iii while leading the way upstairs, sherecommended that i should hide the candle, and not make a noise; for her master had anodd notion about the chamber she would put me in, and never let anybody lodge therewillingly. i asked the reason.
she did not know, she answered: she hadonly lived there a year or two; and they had so many queer goings on, she could notbegin to be curious. too stupefied to be curious myself, ifastened 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 resemblingcoach windows. having approached this structure, i lookedinside, and perceived it to be a singular sort of old-fashioned couch, veryconveniently designed to obviate the necessity for every member of the familyhaving a room to himself.
in fact, it formed a little closet, and theledge of a window, which it enclosed, served as a table. i slid back the panelled sides, got in withmy light, pulled them together again, and felt secure against the vigilance ofheathcliff, and every one else. the ledge, where i placed my candle, had afew mildewed books piled up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratchedon the paint. this writing, however, was nothing but aname repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small--catherine earnshaw, hereand there varied to catherine heathcliff, and then again to catherine linton.
in vapid listlessness i leant my headagainst 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, asvivid as spectres--the air swarmed with catherines; and rousing myself to dispelthe obtrusive name, i discovered my candle- wick reclining on one of the antique volumes, and perfuming the place with anodour of roasted calf-skin. i snuffed it off, and, very ill at easeunder the influence of cold and lingering nausea, sat up and spread open the injuredtome on my knee.
it was a testament, in lean type, andsmelling dreadfully musty: a fly-leaf bore the inscription--'catherine earnshaw, herbook,' and a date some quarter of a century back. i shut it, and took up another and another,till i had examined all. catherine's library was select, and itsstate of dilapidation proved it to have been well used, though not altogether for alegitimate purpose: scarcely one chapter had escaped, a pen-and-ink commentary--at least the appearance of one--covering everymorsel of blank that the printer had left. some were detached sentences; other partstook the form of a regular diary, scrawled
in an unformed, childish hand. at the top of an extra page (quite atreasure, probably, when first lighted on) i was greatly amused to behold an excellentcaricature of my friend joseph,--rudely, yet powerfully sketched. an immediate interest kindled within me forthe unknown catherine, and i began forthwith to decipher her fadedhieroglyphics. 'an awful sunday,' commenced the paragraphbeneath. 'i wish my father were back again. hindley is a detestable substitute--hisconduct to heathcliff is atrocious--h. and
i are going to rebel--we took ourinitiatory step this evening. 'all day had been flooding with rain; wecould not go to church, so joseph must needs get up a congregation in the garret;and, while hindley and his wife basked downstairs before a comfortable fire--doing anything but reading their bibles, i'llanswer for it--heathcliff, myself, and the unhappy ploughboy were commanded to takeour prayer-books, and mount: we were ranged in a row, on a sack of corn, groaning and shivering, and hoping that joseph wouldshiver 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, donealready?" on sunday evenings we used to be permittedto play, if we did not make much noise; now a mere titter is sufficient to send us intocorners. '"you forget you have a master here," saysthe tyrant. "i'll demolish the first who puts me out oftemper! i insist on perfect sobriety and silence. oh, boy! was that you?frances darling, pull his hair as you go by: i heard him snap his fingers."
frances pulled his hair heartily, and thenwent 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 ashamedof. we made ourselves as snug as our meansallowed 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 thestables. he tears down my handiwork, boxes my ears,and croaks: '"t' maister nobbut just buried, andsabbath not o'ered, und t' sound o' t' gospel still i' yer lugs, and ye darr belaiking!
shame on ye! sit ye down, ill childer!there's good books eneugh if ye'll read 'em: sit ye down, and think o' yer sowls!" 'saying this, he compelled us so to squareour positions that we might receive from the far-off fire a dull ray to show us thetext of the lumber he thrust upon us. i could not bear the employment. i took my dingy volume by the scroop, andhurled 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 off 'th' helmeto' salvation,' un' heathcliff's pawsed his fit into t' first part o' 't' brooad way todestruction!' it's fair flaysome that ye let 'em go onthis gait. ech! th' owd man wad ha' laced 'emproperly--but he's goan!" 'hindley hurried up from his paradise onthe hearth, and seizing one of us by the collar, and the other by the arm, hurledboth 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 froma shelf, and pushed the house-door ajar to give me light, and i have got the time onwith writing for twenty minutes; but my companion is impatient, and proposes that we should appropriate the dairywoman'scloak, and have a scamper on the moors, under its shelter. a pleasant suggestion--and then, if thesurly old man come in, he may believe his prophecy verified--we cannot be damper, orcolder, in the rain than we are here.' i suppose catherine fulfilled her project,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 i cannot keep it onthe pillow; and still i can't give over. poor heathcliff! hindley calls him a vagabond, and won't lethim sit with us, nor eat with us any more; and, he says, he and i must not playtogether, and threatens to turn him out of the house if we break his orders. he has been blaming our father (how daredhe?) for treating h. too liberally; and swears he will reduce him to his rightplace--' i began to nod drowsily over the dim page:my eye wandered from manuscript to print.
i saw a red ornamented title--'seventytimes seven, and the first of the seventy- first.' a pious discourse delivered by the reverendjabez branderham, in the chapel of gimmerden sough.' and while i was, half-consciously, worryingmy brain to guess what jabez branderham would make of his subject, i sank back inbed, and fell asleep. alas, for the effects of bad tea and badtemper! what else could it be that made me passsuch a terrible night? i don't remember another that i can at allcompare 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 outon 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 reproaches that i had notbrought a pilgrim's staff: telling me that i could never get into the house without one, and boastfully flourishing a heavy-headed cudgel, which i understood to be so denominated. for a moment i considered it absurd that ishould 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 journeyingto hear the famous jabez branderham preach, from the text--'seventy times seven;' andeither joseph, the preacher, or i had committed the 'first of the seventy-first,' and were to be publicly exposed andexcommunicated. we came to the chapel. i have passed it really in my walks, twiceor thrice; it lies in a hollow, between two hills: an elevated hollow, near a swamp,whose peaty moisture is said to answer all the purposes of embalming on the fewcorpses deposited there.
the roof has been kept whole hitherto; butas the clergyman's stipend is only twenty pounds per annum, and a house with tworooms, threatening speedily to determine into one, no clergyman will undertake the duties of pastor: especially as it iscurrently reported that his flock would rather let him starve than increase theliving by one penny from their own pockets. however, in my dream, jabez had a full andattentive congregation; and he preached-- good god! what a sermon; divided into fourhundred and ninety parts, each fully equal to an ordinary address from the pulpit, andeach discussing a separate sin! where he searched for them, i cannot tell.
he had his private manner of interpretingthe phrase, and it seemed necessary the brother should sin different sins on everyoccasion. they were of the most curious character:odd transgressions that i never imagined previously.oh, how weary i grow. how i writhed, and yawned, and nodded, andrevived! how i pinched and pricked myself, andrubbed my eyes, and stood up, and sat down again, and nudged joseph to inform me if hewould ever have done. i was condemned to hear all out: finally,he reached the 'first of the seventy- at that crisis, a sudden inspirationdescended on me; i was moved to rise and
denounce jabez branderham as the sinner ofthe sin that no christian need pardon. 'sir,' i exclaimed, 'sitting here withinthese four walls, at one stretch, i have endured and forgiven the four hundred andninety heads of your discourse. seventy times seven times have i plucked upmy hat and been about to depart--seventy times seven times have you preposterouslyforced me to resume my seat. the four hundred and ninety-first is toomuch. fellow-martyrs, have at him! drag him down, and crush him to atoms, thatthe place which knows him may know him no more!''thou art the man!' cried jabez, after a
solemn pause, leaning over his cushion. 'seventy times seven times didst thougapingly contort thy visage--seventy times seven did i 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 wholeassembly, exalting their pilgrim's staves, rushed round me in a body; and i, having noweapon to raise in self-defence, commenced grappling with joseph, my nearest and mostferocious assailant, for his.
in the confluence of the multitude, severalclubs crossed; blows, aimed at me, fell on other sconces. presently the whole chapel resounded withrappings and counter rappings: every man's hand was against his neighbour; andbranderham, unwilling to remain idle, poured forth his zeal in a shower of loud taps on the boards of the pulpit, whichresponded so smartly that, at last, to my unspeakable relief, they woke me.and what was it that had suggested the tremendous tumult? what had played jabez's 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; detectedthe disturber, then turned and dozed, and dreamt again: if possible, still moredisagreeably than before. this time, i remembered i was lying in theoak closet, and i heard distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; iheard, also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that iresolved to silence it, if possible; and, i thought, i rose and endeavoured to unhaspthe casement.
the hook was soldered into the staple: acircumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten.'i must stop it, nevertheless!' i muttered, knocking my knuckles throughthe glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead ofwhich, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! the intense horror of nightmare came overme: i tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholyvoice sobbed, 'let me in--let me in!' 'who are you?' i asked, struggling, meanwhile, todisengage myself.
'catherine linton,' it replied, shiveringly(why did i think of linton? i had read earnshaw twenty times forlinton)--'i'm come home: i'd lost my way on the moor!'as it spoke, i discerned, obscurely, a child's face looking through the window. terror made me cruel; and, finding ituseless to attempt shaking the creature off, i pulled its wrist on to the brokenpane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, 'let me in!' andmaintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear.'how can i!' i said at length.
'let me go, if you want me to let youin!' the fingers relaxed, i snatched minethrough the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped myears to exclude the lamentable prayer. i seemed to keep them closed above aquarter of an hour; yet, the instant i listened again, there was the doleful crymoaning on! 'begone!' i shouted.'i'll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.''it is twenty years,' mourned the voice: 'twenty years.
i've been a waif for twenty years!'thereat began a feeble scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as if thrustforward. i tried to jump up; but could not stir alimb; and so yelled aloud, in a frenzy of fright. to my confusion, i discovered the yell wasnot ideal: hasty footsteps approached my chamber door; somebody pushed it open, witha vigorous hand, and a light glimmered through the squares at the top of the bed. i sat shuddering yet, and wiping theperspiration from my forehead: the intruder appeared to hesitate, and muttered tohimself.
at last, he said, in a half-whisper,plainly not expecting an answer, 'is any one here?' i considered it best to confess mypresence; for i knew heathcliff's accents, and feared he might search further, if ikept quiet. with this intention, i turned and openedthe panels. i shall not soon forget the effect myaction produced. heathcliff stood near the entrance, in hisshirt and trousers; with a candle dripping over his fingers, and his face as white asthe wall behind him. the first creak of the oak startled himlike an electric shock: the light leaped
from his hold to a distance of some feet,and his agitation was so extreme, that he could hardly pick it up. 'it is only your guest, sir,' i called out,desirous to spare him the humiliation of exposing 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 myhost, setting the candle on a chair, because he found it impossible to hold itsteady. 'and who showed you up into this room?' hecontinued, crushing his nails into his
palms, and grinding his teeth to subdue themaxillary convulsions. 'who was it? i've a good mind to turn them out of thehouse 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 it. i suppose that she wanted to get anotherproof that the place was haunted, at my expense. well, it is--swarming with ghosts andgoblins!
you have reason in shutting it up, i assureyou. no one will thank you for a doze in such aden!' 'what do you mean?' asked heathcliff, 'andwhat are you doing? lie down and finish out the night, sinceyou are here; but, for heaven's sake! don't repeat that horrid noise: nothingcould excuse it, unless you were having your throat cut!' 'if the little fiend had got in at thewindow, she probably would have strangled me!'i returned. 'i'm not going to endure the persecutionsof your hospitable ancestors again.
was not the reverend jabez branderham akinto you on the mother's side? and that minx, catherine linton, orearnshaw, or however she was called--she must have been a changeling--wicked littlesoul! she told me she had been walking the earththese twenty years: a just punishment for her mortal transgressions, i've no doubt!' scarcely were these words uttered when irecollected the association of heathcliff's with catherine's name in the book, whichhad completely 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 truthis, sir, i passed the first part of the night in--' here i stopped afresh--i was about to say 'perusing those old volumes,'then it would have revealed my knowledge of their written, as well as their printed,contents; so, correcting myself, i went on- -'in spelling over the name scratched onthat window-ledge. a monotonous occupation, calculated to setme asleep, like counting, or--' 'what can you mean by talking in this wayto me!' thundered heathcliff with savage vehemence.'how--how dare you, under my roof?--god! he's mad to speak so!'
and he struck his forehead with rage. i did not know whether to resent thislanguage or pursue my explanation; but he seemed so powerfully affected that i tookpity and proceeded with my dreams; affirming i had never heard the appellation of 'catherine linton' before, but readingit often over produced an impression which personified itself when i had no longer myimagination under control. heathcliff gradually fell back into theshelter of the bed, as i spoke; finally sitting down almost concealed behind it. i guessed, however, by his irregular andintercepted breathing, that he struggled to
vanquish an excess of violent emotion. not liking to show him that i had heard theconflict, i continued my toilette rather noisily, looked at my watch, andsoliloquised on the length of the night: '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 rise atfour,' said my host, suppressing a groan: and, as i fancied, by the motion of hisarm's shadow, dashing a tear from his eyes. 'mr. lockwood,' he added, 'you may go intomy room: you'll only be in the way, coming
down-stairs so early: and your childishoutcry has sent sleep to the devil for me.' 'and for me, too,' i replied. 'i'll walk in the yard till daylight, andthen i'll be off; and you need not dread a repetition of my intrusion.i'm now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. a sensible man ought to find sufficientcompany in himself.' 'delightful company!' muttered heathcliff.'take the candle, and go where you please. i shall join you directly. keep out of the yard, though, the dogs areunchained; and the house--juno mounts
sentinel there, and--nay, you can onlyramble 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,involuntarily, to a piece of superstition on the part of my landlord which belied,oddly, his apparent sense. he got on to the bed, and wrenched open thelattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrollable passion of tears. 'come in! come in!' he sobbed.'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 ordinarycaprice: it gave no sign of being; but the snow and wind whirled wildly through, evenreaching my station, and blowing out the light. there was such anguish in the gush of griefthat accompanied this raving, that my compassion made me overlook its folly, andi drew off, half angry to have listened at all, and vexed at having related my ridiculous nightmare, since it producedthat agony; though why was beyond my
comprehension. i descended cautiously to the lowerregions, and landed in the back-kitchen, where a gleam of fire, raked compactlytogether, 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 acircle, nearly enclosed the hearth; on one of these i stretched myself, and grimalkinmounted the other. we were both of us nodding ere any oneinvaded our retreat, and then it was joseph, shuffling down a wooden ladder thatvanished in the roof, through a trap: the
ascent to his garret, i suppose. he cast a sinister look at the little flamewhich i had enticed to play between the ribs, swept the cat from its elevation, andbestowing himself in the vacancy, commenced the operation of stuffing a three-inch pipewith tobacco. my presence in his sanctum was evidentlyesteemed a piece of impudence too shameful for remark: he silently applied the tube tohis lips, folded his arms, and puffed away. i let him enjoy the luxury unannoyed; andafter sucking out his last wreath, and heaving a profound sigh, he got up, anddeparted as solemnly as he came. a more elastic footstep entered next; andnow i opened my mouth for a 'good-morning,'
but closed it again, the salutationunachieved; for hareton earnshaw was performing his orison sotto voce, in a series of curses directed against everyobject he touched, while he rummaged a corner for a spade or shovel to dig throughthe drifts. he glanced over the back of the bench,dilating his nostrils, and thought as little of exchanging civilities with me aswith my companion the cat. i guessed, by his preparations, that egresswas allowed, and, leaving my hard couch, made a movement to follow him. he noticed this, and thrust at an innerdoor with the end of his spade, intimating
by an inarticulate sound that there was theplace where i must go, if i changed my locality. it opened into the house, where the femaleswere already astir; zillah urging flakes of flame up the chimney with a colossalbellows; and mrs. heathcliff, kneeling on the hearth, reading a book by the aid ofthe blaze. she held her hand interposed between thefurnace-heat and her eyes, and seemed absorbed in her occupation; desisting fromit only to chide the servant for covering her with sparks, or to push away a dog, now and then, that snoozled its noseoverforwardly into her face.
i was surprised to see heathcliff therealso. he stood by the fire, his back towards me,just finishing a stormy scene with poor zillah; who ever and anon interrupted herlabour to pluck up the corner of her apron, and heave an indignant groan. 'and you, you worthless--' he broke out asi entered, turning to his daughter-in-law, and employing an epithet as harmless asduck, or sheep, but generally represented by a dash--. 'there you are, at your idle tricks again!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 havingyou eternally in my sight--do you hear, damnable jade?' 'i'll put my trash away, because you canmake me if i refuse,' answered the young lady, closing her book, and throwing it ona chair. 'but i'll not do anything, though youshould swear your tongue out, except what i please!' heathcliff lifted his hand, and the speakersprang to a safer distance, obviously acquainted with its weight.
having no desire to be entertained by acat-and-dog combat, i stepped forward briskly, as if eager to partake the warmthof the hearth, and innocent of any knowledge of the interrupted dispute. each had enough decorum to suspend furtherhostilities: heathcliff 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 theremainder of my stay. that was not long. i declined joining their breakfast, and, atthe first gleam of dawn, took an
opportunity of escaping into the free air,now clear, and still, and cold as impalpable ice. my landlord halloed for me to stop ere ireached the bottom of the garden, and offered to accompany me across the moor. it was well he did, for the whole hill-backwas one billowy, white ocean; the swells and falls not indicating correspondingrises and depressions in the ground: many pits, at least, were filled to a level; and entire ranges of mounds, the refuse of thequarries, blotted from the chart which my yesterday's walk left pictured in my mind.
i had remarked on one side of the road, atintervals of six or seven yards, a line of upright stones, continued through the wholelength 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, excepting a dirty dot pointing up here and there, all traces of their existence had vanished: and my companion found itnecessary to warn me frequently to steer to the right or left, when i imagined i wasfollowing, correctly, the windings of the road.
we exchanged little conversation, and hehalted at the entrance of thrushcross park, saying, i could make no error there. our adieux were limited to a hasty bow, andthen i pushed forward, trusting to my own resources; for the porter's lodge isuntenanted as yet. the distance from the gate to the grange istwo miles; i believe i managed to make it four, what with losing myself among thetrees, and sinking up to the neck in snow: a predicament which only those who haveexperienced it can appreciate. at any rate, whatever were my wanderings,the clock chimed twelve as i entered the house; and that gave exactly an hour forevery mile of the usual way from wuthering
heights. my human fixture and her satellites rushedto welcome me; exclaiming, tumultuously, they had completely given me up: everybodyconjectured that i perished last night; and they were wondering how they must set aboutthe search for my remains. i bid them be quiet, now that they saw mereturned, and, benumbed to my very heart, i dragged up-stairs; whence, after putting ondry clothes, and pacing to and fro thirty or forty minutes, to restore the animal heat, i adjourned to my study, feeble as akitten: almost too much so to enjoy the cheerful fire and smoking coffee which theservant had prepared for my refreshment.
chapter iv what vain weathercocks we are! i, who had determined to hold myselfindependent of all social intercourse, and thanked my stars that, at length, i hadlighted on a spot where it was next to impracticable--i, weak wretch, after maintaining till dusk a struggle with lowspirits and solitude, was finally compelled to strike my colours; and under pretence ofgaining information concerning the necessities of my establishment, i desired mrs. dean, when she brought in supper, tosit down while i ate it; hoping sincerely
she would prove a regular gossip, andeither 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 mistresswas married, to wait on her; after she died, the master retained me for hishousekeeper.' 'indeed.' there ensued a pause.she was not a gossip, i feared; unless about her own affairs, and those couldhardly interest me.
however, having studied for an interval,with a fist on either knee, and a cloud of meditation over her ruddy countenance, sheejaculated--'ah, times are greatly changed since then!' 'yes,' i remarked, 'you've seen a good manyalterations, i suppose?' 'i have: and troubles too,' she said.'oh, i'll turn the talk on my landlord's family!' i thought to myself.'a good subject to start! and that pretty girl-widow, i should liketo know her history: whether she be a native of the country, or, as is moreprobable, an exotic that the surly
indigenae will not recognise for kin.' with this intention i asked mrs. dean whyheathcliff let thrushcross grange, and preferred living in a situation andresidence so much inferior. 'is he not rich enough to keep the estatein good order?' i inquired.'rich, sir!' she returned. 'he has nobody knows what money, and everyyear it increases. yes, yes, he's rich enough to live in afiner house than this: but he's very near-- close-handed; and, if he had meant to flitto thrushcross grange, as soon as he heard of a good tenant he could not have borne to
miss the chance of getting a few hundredsmore. it is strange people should be so greedy,when they are alone in the world!' 'he had a son, 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'sdaughter: catherine linton was her maiden name.i nursed her, poor thing! i did wish mr. heathcliff would removehere, and then we might have been together
again.''what! catherine linton?' 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?' '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 thefather's side: heathcliff married mr. linton's sister.' 'i see the house at wuthering heights has"earnshaw" carved over the front door. are they an old family?' 'very old, sir; and hareton is the last ofthem, 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 liketo hear how she is!' 'mrs. heathcliff? she looked very well, andvery 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 aswhinstone! the less you meddle with him 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 hisparents, and how he got his money at first. and hareton has been cast out like anunfledged dunnock! the unfortunate lad is the only one in allthis parish that does not guess how he has
been cheated.' 'well, mrs. dean, it will be a charitabledeed to tell me something of my neighbours: i feel i shall not rest if i go to bed; sobe good enough to sit and chat an hour.' 'oh, certainly, sir! i'll just fetch a little sewing, and theni'll sit as long as you please. but you've caught cold: i saw youshivering, and you must have some gruel to drive it out.' the worthy woman bustled off, and icrouched nearer the fire; my head felt hot, and the rest of me chill: moreover, i wasexcited, almost to a pitch of foolishness,
through my nerves and brain. this caused me to feel, not uncomfortable,but rather fearful (as i am still) of serious effects from the incidents of to-day and yesterday. she returned presently, bringing a smokingbasin and a basket of work; and, having placed the former on the hob, drew in herseat, evidently pleased to find me so companionable. before i came to live here, she commenced--waiting no farther invitation to her story- -i was almost always at wuthering heights;because my mother had nursed mr. hindley earnshaw, that was hareton's father, and i
got used to playing with the children: iran errands too, and helped to make hay, and hung about the farm ready for anythingthat anybody would set me to. one fine summer morning--it was thebeginning of harvest, i remember--mr. earnshaw, 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 turned to hindley, and cathy, andme--for i sat eating my porridge with them- -and he said, speaking to his son, 'now, mybonny man, i'm going to liverpool to-day, what shall i bring you? you may choose what you like: only let itbe little, for i shall walk there and back:
sixty miles each way, that is a longspell!' hindley named a fiddle, and then he askedmiss cathy; she was hardly six years old, but she could ride any horse in the stable,and she chose a whip. he did not forget me; for he had a kindheart, though he was rather severe sometimes. he promised to bring me a pocketful ofapples and pears, and then he kissed his children, said good-bye, and set off. it seemed a long while to us all--the threedays of his absence--and often did little cathy ask when he would be home.
mrs. earnshaw expected him by supper-timeon the third evening, and she put the meal off hour after hour; there were no signs ofhis coming, however, and at last the children got tired of running down to thegate to look. then it grew dark; she would have had themto 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 stepped the master. he threw himself into a chair, laughing andgroaning, and bid them all stand off, for he was nearly killed--he would not havesuch another walk for the three kingdoms. 'and at the end of it to be flighted todeath!' 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 mylife: but you must e'en take it as a gift of god; though it's as dark almost as if itcame from the devil.' we crowded round, and over miss cathy'shead i had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child; big enough both to walkand talk: indeed, its face looked older than catherine's; yet when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, andrepeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand. i was frightened, and mrs. earnshaw wasready to fling it out of doors: she did fly
up, asking how he could fashion to bringthat gipsy brat into the house, when they had their own bairns to feed and fend for? what he meant to do with it, and whether hewere mad? the master tried to explain the matter; buthe was really half dead with fatigue, and all that i could make out, amongst herscolding, was a tale of his seeing it starving, and houseless, and as good as dumb, in the streets of liverpool, where hepicked it up and inquired for its owner. not a soul knew to whom it belonged, hesaid; and his money and time being both limited, he thought it better to take ithome with him at once, than run into vain
expenses there: because he was determinedhe would not leave it as he found it. well, the conclusion was, that my mistressgrumbled herself calm; and mr. earnshaw told me to wash it, and give it cleanthings, and let it sleep with the children. hindley and cathy contented themselves withlooking and listening till peace was restored: then, both began searching theirfather's pockets for the presents he had promised them. the former was a boy of fourteen, but whenhe drew out what had been a fiddle, crushed to morsels in the great-coat, he blubberedaloud; and cathy, when she learned the master had lost her whip in attending on
the stranger, showed her humour by grinningand spitting at the stupid little thing; earning for her pains a sound blow from herfather, to teach her cleaner manners. they entirely refused to have it in bedwith them, or even in their room; and i had no more sense, so i put it on the landingof the stairs, hoping it might be gone on the morrow. by chance, or else attracted by hearing hisvoice, it crept to mr. earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. inquiries were made as to how it got there;i was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sentout of the house.
this was heathcliff's first introduction tothe family. on coming back a few days afterwards (for idid 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 himever since, both for christian and surname. miss cathy and he were now very thick; buthindley hated him: and to say the truth i did the same; and we plagued and went onwith him shamefully: for i wasn't reasonable enough to feel my injustice, and the mistress never put in a word on hisbehalf when she saw him wronged. he seemed a sullen, patient child;hardened, perhaps, to ill-treatment: he
would stand hindley's blows without winkingor shedding a tear, and my pinches moved him only to draw in a breath and open his eyes, as if he had hurt himself byaccident, 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, believingall 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 afavourite. so, from the very beginning, he bred badfeeling in the house; and at mrs.
earnshaw's death, which happened in lessthan two years after, the young master had learned to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, andheathcliff as a usurper of his parent's affections and his privileges; and he grewbitter with brooding over these injuries. i sympathised a while; but when thechildren fell ill of the measles, and i had to tend them, and take on me the cares of awoman at once, i changed my idea. heathcliff was dangerously sick; and whilehe lay at the worst he would have me constantly by his pillow: i suppose he felti did a good deal for him, and he hadn't wit to guess that i was compelled to do it.
however, i will say this, he was thequietest 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 givelittle trouble. he got through, and the doctor affirmed itwas in a great measure owing to me, and praised me for my care. i was vain of his commendations, andsoftened towards the being by whose means i earned them, and thus hindley lost his lastally: still i couldn't dote on heathcliff,
and i wondered often what my master saw to admire so much in the sullen boy; whonever, to my recollection, repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude. he was not insolent to his benefactor, hewas simply insensible; though knowing perfectly the hold he had on his heart, andconscious he had only to speak and all the house would be obliged to bend to hiswishes. as an instance, i remember mr. earnshawonce bought a couple of colts at the parish fair, and gave the lads each one. heathcliff took the handsomest, but it soonfell lame, and when he discovered it, he
said to hindley-- 'you must exchange horses with me: i don'tlike mine; and if you won't i shall tell your father of the three thrashings you'vegiven me this week, and show him my arm, which is black to the shoulder.' hindley put out his tongue, and cuffed himover the ears. 'you'd better do it at once,' he persisted,escaping to the porch (they were in the stable): 'you will have to: and if i speakof these blows, you'll get them again with interest.' 'off, dog!' cried hindley, threatening himwith an iron weight used for weighing
potatoes and hay. 'throw it,' he replied, standing still,'and then i'll tell how you boasted that you would turn me out of doors as soon ashe died, and see whether he will not turn you out directly.' hindley threw it, hitting him on thebreast, and down he fell, but staggered up immediately, breathless and white; and, hadnot i prevented it, he would have gone just so to the master, and got full revenge by letting his condition plead for him,intimating who had caused it. 'take my colt, gipsy, then!' said youngearnshaw.
'and i pray that he may break your neck:take him, and be damned, you beggarly interloper! and wheedle my father out ofall he has: only afterwards show him what you are, imp of satan.--and take that, ihope he'll kick out your brains!' heathcliff had gone to loose the beast, andshift it to his own stall; he was passing behind it, when hindley finished his speechby knocking him under its feet, and without stopping to examine whether his hopes werefulfilled, ran away as fast as he could. i was surprised to witness how coolly thechild gathered himself up, and went on with his intention; exchanging saddles and all,and then sitting down on a bundle of hay to overcome the qualm which the violent blow
occasioned, before he entered the house. i persuaded him easily to let me lay theblame of his bruises on the horse: he minded little what tale was told since hehad what he wanted. he complained so seldom, indeed, of suchstirs as these, that i really thought him not vindictive: i was deceived completely,as you will hear. chapter v in the course of time mr. earnshaw began tofail. he had been active and healthy, yet hisstrength left him suddenly; and when he was confined to the chimney-corner he grewgrievously irritable.
a nothing vexed him; and suspected slightsof his authority nearly threw him into fits. this was especially to be remarked if anyone attempted to impose upon, or domineer over, his favourite: he was painfullyjealous lest a word should be spoken amiss to him; seeming to have got into his head the notion that, because he likedheathcliff, all hated, and longed to do him an ill-turn. it was a disadvantage to the lad; for thekinder among us did not wish to fret the master, so we humoured his partiality; andthat humouring was rich nourishment to the
child's pride and black tempers. still it became in a manner necessary;twice, or thrice, hindley's manifestation of scorn, while his father was near, rousedthe old man to a fury: he seized his stick to strike him, and shook with rage that hecould not do it. at last, our curate (we had a curate thenwho made the living answer by teaching the little lintons and earnshaws, and farminghis bit of land himself) advised that the young man should be sent to college; and mr. earnshaw agreed, though with a heavyspirit, for he said--'hindley was nought, and would never thrive as where hewandered.'
i hoped heartily we should have peace now. it hurt me to think the master should bemade uncomfortable by his own good deed. i fancied the discontent of age and diseasearose from his family disagreements; as he would have it that it did: really, youknow, sir, it was in his sinking frame. we might have got on tolerably,notwithstanding, but for two people--miss cathy, and joseph, the servant: you sawhim, i daresay, up yonder. he was, and is yet most likely, thewearisomest self-righteous pharisee that ever ransacked a bible to rake the promisesto himself and fling the curses to his neighbours.
by his knack of sermonising and piousdiscoursing, he contrived to make a great impression on mr. earnshaw; and the morefeeble the master became, the more influence he gained. he was relentless in worrying him about hissoul's concerns, and about ruling his children rigidly. he encouraged him to regard hindley as areprobate; and, night after night, he regularly grumbled out a long string oftales against heathcliff and catherine: always minding to flatter earnshaw's weakness by heaping the heaviest blame onthe latter.
certainly she had ways with her such as inever saw a child take up before; and she put all of us past our patience fifty timesand oftener in a day: from the hour she came down-stairs till the hour she went to bed, we had not a minute's security thatshe wouldn't be in mischief. her spirits were always at high-water mark,her tongue always going--singing, laughing, and plaguing everybody who would not do thesame. a wild, wicked slip she was--but she hadthe bonniest eye, the sweetest smile, and lightest foot in the parish: and, afterall, i believe she meant no harm; for when once she made you cry in good earnest, it
seldom happened that she would not keep youcompany, and oblige you to be quiet that you might comfort her.she was much too fond of heathcliff. the greatest punishment we could invent forher was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on hisaccount. in play, she liked exceedingly to act thelittle mistress; using her hands freely, and commanding her companions: she did soto me, but i would not bear slapping and ordering; and so i let her know. now, mr. earnshaw did not understand jokesfrom 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 hisailing condition than he was in his prime. his peevish reproofs wakened in her anaughty delight to provoke him: she was never so happy as when we were all scoldingher at once, and she defying us with her bold, saucy look, and her ready words; turning joseph's religious curses intoridicule, baiting me, and doing just what her father hated most--showing how herpretended insolence, which he thought real, had more power over heathcliff than his kindness: how the boy would do herbidding in anything, and his only when it suited his own inclination.
after behaving as badly as possible allday, she sometimes came fondling to make it up at night. 'nay, cathy,' the old man would say, 'icannot 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 weever reared thee!' that made her cry, at first; and then beingrepulsed continually hardened her, and she laughed if i told her to say she was sorryfor 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 octoberevening, seated by the fire-side. a high wind blustered round the house, androared in the chimney: it sounded wild and stormy, yet it was not cold, and we wereall together--i, a little removed from the hearth, busy at my knitting, and joseph reading his bible near the table (for theservants generally sat in the house then, after their work was done). miss cathy had been sick, and that made herstill; she leant against her father's knee, and heathcliff was lying on the floor withhis head in her lap. i remember the master, before he fell intoa 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, andlaughed, and answered, 'why cannot you always be a good man, father?' but as soon as she saw him vexed again, shekissed his hand, and said she would sing him to sleep. she began singing very low, till hisfingers dropped from hers, and his head 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 so longer, only joseph, having finished his chapter, got upand 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 athim. i thought there was something wrong as heset 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 hadsummut to do.' 'i shall bid father good-night first,' saidcatherine, putting her arms round his neck,
before we could hinder her. the poor thing discovered her lossdirectly--she screamed out--'oh, he's dead, heathcliff! he's dead!'and they both set up a heart-breaking cry. i joined my wail to theirs, loud andbitter; but joseph asked what we could be thinking of to roar in that way over asaint in heaven. he told me to put on my cloak and run togimmerton for the doctor and the parson. i could not guess the use that either wouldbe of, then. however, i went, through wind and rain, andbrought one, the doctor, back with me; the other said he would come in the morning.
leaving joseph to explain matters, i ran tothe children's room: their door was ajar, i saw they had never lain down, though it waspast midnight; but they were calmer, and did not need me to console them. the little souls were comforting each otherwith better thoughts than i could have hit on: no parson in the world ever picturedheaven so beautifully as they did, in their innocent talk; and, while i sobbed and listened, i could not help wishing we wereall there safe together. chapter vi mr. hindley came home to the funeral; and--a thing that amazed us, and set the
neighbours gossiping right and left--hebrought a wife with him. what she was, and where she was born, henever informed us: probably, she had neither money nor name to recommend her, orhe would scarcely have kept the union from his father. she was not one that would have disturbedthe house much on her own account. every object she saw, the moment shecrossed the threshold, appeared to delight her; and every circumstance that took placeabout her: except the preparing for the burial, and the presence of the mourners. i thought she was half silly, from herbehaviour 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 hystericalemotion the effect it produced on her to see black; and started, and trembled, and,at last, fell a-weeping--and when i asked what was the matter, answered, she didn'tknow; but she felt so afraid of dying! i imagined her as little likely to die asmyself. she was rather thin, but young, and fresh-complexioned, and her eyes sparkled as bright as diamonds.
i did remark, to be sure, that mounting thestairs made her breathe very quick; that the least sudden noise set her all in aquiver, and that she coughed troublesomely sometimes: but i knew nothing of what these symptoms portended, and had no impulse tosympathise with her. we don't in general take to foreignershere, mr. lockwood, unless they take to us first. young earnshaw was altered considerably inthe 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 toldjoseph and me we must thenceforth quarter
ourselves in the back-kitchen, and leavethe house for him. indeed, he would have carpeted and papereda small spare room for a parlour; but his wife expressed such pleasure at the whitefloor and huge glowing fireplace, at the pewter dishes and delf-case, and dog- kennel, and the wide space there was tomove about in where they usually sat, that he thought it unnecessary to her comfort,and so dropped the intention. she expressed pleasure, too, at finding asister among her new acquaintance; and she prattled to catherine, and kissed her, andran about with her, and gave her quantities of presents, at the beginning.
her affection tired very soon, however, andwhen she grew peevish, hindley became tyrannical. a few words from her, evincing a dislike toheathcliff, were enough to rouse in him all his old hatred of the boy. he drove him from their company to theservants, deprived him of the instructions of the curate, and insisted that he shouldlabour out of doors instead; compelling him to do so as hard as any other lad on thefarm. heathcliff bore his degradation pretty wellat first, because cathy taught him what she learnt, and worked or played with him inthe fields.
they both promised fair to grow up as rudeas savages; the young master being entirely negligent how they behaved, and what theydid, so they kept clear of him. he would not even have seen after theirgoing to church on sundays, only joseph and the curate reprimanded his carelessnesswhen they absented themselves; and that reminded him to order heathcliff a flogging, and catherine a fast from dinneror supper. but it was one of their chief amusements torun away to the moors in the morning and remain there all day, and the afterpunishment grew a mere thing to laugh at. the curate might set as many chapters as hepleased for catherine to get by heart, and
joseph might thrash heathcliff till his armached; they forgot everything the minute they were together again: at least the minute they had contrived some naughty planof revenge; and many a time i've cried to myself to watch them growing more recklessdaily, and i not daring to speak a syllable, for fear of losing the small power i still retained over the unfriendedcreatures. one sunday evening, it chanced that theywere banished from the sitting-room, for making a noise, or a light offence of thekind; and when i went to call them to supper, i could discover them nowhere.
we searched the house, above and below, andthe yard and stables; they were invisible: and, at last, hindley in a passion told usto 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 itrained: determined to admit them in spite of the prohibition, should they return. in a while, i distinguished steps coming upthe road, and the light of a lantern glimmered through the gate. i threw a shawl over my head and ran toprevent them from waking mr. earnshaw by
knocking.there was heathcliff, by himself: it gave me a start to see him alone. 'where is miss catherine?'i cried hurriedly. 'no accident, i hope?' 'at thrushcross grange,' he answered; 'andi would have been there too, but they had not the manners to ask me to stay.''well, you will catch it!' i said: 'you'll never be content tillyou're sent about your business. what in the world led you wandering tothrushcross grange?' 'let me get off my wet clothes, and i'lltell you all about it, nelly,' he replied.
i bid him beware of rousing the master, andwhile he undressed and i waited to put out the candle, he continued--'cathy and iescaped from the wash-house to have a ramble at liberty, and getting a glimpse of the grange lights, we thought we would justgo and see whether the lintons passed their sunday evenings standing shivering incorners, while their father and mother sat eating and drinking, and singing and laughing, and burning their eyes out beforethe fire. do you think they do? or reading sermons, and being catechised bytheir manservant, and set to learn a column
of scripture names, if they don't answerproperly?' 'probably not,' i responded. 'they are good children, no doubt, anddon't deserve the treatment you receive, for your bad conduct.''don't cant, nelly,' he said: 'nonsense! we ran from the top of the heights to thepark, without stopping--catherine completely beaten in the race, because shewas barefoot. you'll have to seek for her shoes in thebog to-morrow. we crept through a broken hedge, groped ourway up the path, and planted ourselves on a flower-plot under the drawing-room window.
the light came from thence; they had notput up the shutters, and the curtains were only half closed. both of us were able to look in by standingon the basement, and clinging to the ledge, and we saw--ah! it was beautiful--asplendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, ashower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering withlittle soft tapers. old mr. and mrs. linton were not there;edgar and his sisters had it entirely to themselves.shouldn't they have been happy?
we should have thought ourselves in heaven! and now, guess what your good children weredoing? isabella--i believe she is eleven, a yearyounger than cathy--lay screaming at the farther end of the room, shrieking as ifwitches were running red-hot needles into her. edgar stood on the hearth weeping silently,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 twobetween them. the idiots!
that was their pleasure! to quarrel whoshould hold a heap of warm hair, and each begin to cry because both, after strugglingto get it, refused to take it. we laughed outright at the petted things;we did despise them! when would you catch me wishing to havewhat catherine wanted? or find us by ourselves, seeking entertainment inyelling, and sobbing, and rolling on the ground, divided by the whole room? i'd not exchange, for a thousand lives, mycondition here, for edgar linton's at thrushcross grange--not if i might have theprivilege of flinging joseph off the highest gable, and painting the house-frontwith hindley's blood!'
'hush, hush!'i interrupted. 'still you have not told me, heathcliff,how catherine is left behind?' 'i told you we laughed,' he answered. 'the lintons heard us, and with one accordthey shot like arrows to the door; there was silence, and then a cry, "oh, mamma,mamma! oh, papa! oh, mamma, come here.oh, papa, oh!" they really did howl out something in thatway. we made frightful noises to terrify themstill more, and then we dropped off the
ledge, because somebody was drawing thebars, and we felt we had better flee. i had cathy by the hand, and was urging heron, when all at once she fell down. "run, heathcliff, run!" she whispered."they have let the bull-dog loose, and he holds me!" the devil had seized her ankle, nelly: iheard his abominable snorting. she did not yell out--no! she would havescorned to do it, if she had been spitted on the horns of a mad cow. i did, though: i vociferated curses enoughto annihilate any fiend in christendom; and i got a stone and thrust it between hisjaws, and tried with all my might to cram
it down his throat. a beast of a servant came up with alantern, at last, shouting--"keep fast, skulker, keep fast!"he changed his note, however, when he saw skulker's game. the dog was throttled off; his huge, purpletongue hanging half a foot out of his mouth, and his pendent lips streaming withbloody slaver. the man took cathy up; she was sick: notfrom fear, i'm certain, but from pain. he carried her in; i followed, grumblingexecrations and vengeance. "what prey, robert?" hallooed linton fromthe entrance.
"skulker has caught a little girl, sir," hereplied; "and there's a lad here," he added, making a clutch at me, "who looks anout-and-outer! very like the robbers were for putting themthrough the window to open the doors to the gang after all were asleep, that they mightmurder 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. "the rascals knew that yesterday was myrent-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 stronghold,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 thevillain scowls so plainly in his face; would it not be a kindness to the countryto 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?" 'while they examined me, cathy came round;she heard the last speech, and laughed. edgar linton, after an inquisitive stare,collected sufficient wit to recognise her. they see us at church, you know, though weseldom meet them elsewhere. "that's miss earnshaw?" he whispered to hismother, "and look how skulker has bitten her--how her foot bleeds!" '"miss earnshaw?nonsense!" cried the dame; "miss earnshaw scouring the country with a gipsy! and yet, my dear, the child is in mourning--surely it is--and she may be lamed for
life!" '"what culpable carelessness in herbrother!" exclaimed mr. linton, turning from me to catherine. "i've understood from shielders"' (that wasthe curate, sir) '"that he lets her grow up in absolute heathenism.but who is this? where did she pick up this companion? oho! i declare he is that strangeacquisition my late neighbour made, in his journey to liverpool--a little lascar, oran american or spanish castaway." '"a wicked boy, at all events," remarkedthe old lady, "and quite unfit for a decent
house!did you notice his language, linton? i'm shocked that my children should haveheard it." 'i recommenced cursing--don't be angry,nelly--and so robert was ordered to take me off. i refused to go without cathy; he draggedme into the garden, pushed the lantern into my hand, assured me that mr. earnshawshould be informed of my behaviour, and, bidding me march directly, secured the dooragain. the curtains were still looped up at onecorner, and i resumed my station as spy; because, if catherine had wished to return,i intended shattering their great glass
panes to a million of fragments, unlessthey let her out. she sat on the sofa quietly. mrs. linton took off the grey cloak of thedairy-maid which we had borrowed for our excursion, shaking her head andexpostulating with her, i suppose: she was a young lady, and they made a distinctionbetween her treatment and mine. then the woman-servant brought a basin ofwarm water, and washed her feet; and mr. linton mixed a tumbler of negus, andisabella emptied a plateful of cakes into her lap, and edgar stood gaping at adistance. afterwards, they dried and combed herbeautiful hair, and gave her a pair of
enormous slippers, and wheeled her to thefire; and i left her, as merry as she could be, dividing her food between the little dog and skulker, whose nose she pinched ashe ate; and kindling a spark of spirit in the vacant blue eyes of the lintons--a dimreflection from her own enchanting 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 thanyou reckon on,' i answered, covering him up and extinguishing the light. 'you are incurable, heathcliff; and mr.hindley will have to proceed to
extremities, see if he won't.'my words came truer than i desired. the luckless adventure made earnshawfurious. and then mr. linton, to mend matters, paidus a visit himself on the morrow, and read the young master such a lecture on the roadhe guided his family, that he was stirred to look about him, in earnest. heathcliff received no flogging, but he wastold that the first word he spoke to miss catherine should ensure a dismissal; andmrs. earnshaw undertook to keep her sister- in-law in due restraint when she returned home; employing art, not force: with forceshe would have found it impossible.
chapter vii cathy stayed at thrushcross grange fiveweeks: till christmas. by that time her ankle was thoroughlycured, and her manners much improved. the mistress visited her often in theinterval, and commenced her plan of reform by trying to raise her self-respect withfine clothes and flattery, which she took readily; so that, instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into thehouse, and rushing to squeeze us all breathless, there 'lighted from a handsomeblack 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 is not to be compared withher, 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 catherine off with herthings--stay, dear, you will disarrange
your curls--let me untie your hat.' i removed the habit, and there shone forthbeneath a grand plaid silk frock, white trousers, and burnished shoes; and, whileher eyes sparkled joyfully when the dogs came bounding up to welcome her, she dared hardly touch them lest they should fawnupon her splendid garments. she kissed me gently: i was all flourmaking the christmas cake, and it would not have done to give me a hug; and then shelooked round for heathcliff. mr. and mrs. earnshaw watched anxiouslytheir meeting; thinking it would enable them to judge, in some measure, whatgrounds 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 catherine's absence, he had been tentimes more so since. nobody but i even did him the kindness tocall him a dirty boy, and bid him wash himself, once a week; and children of hisage seldom have a natural pleasure in soap and water. therefore, not to mention his clothes,which had seen three months' service in mire and dust, and his thick uncombed hair,the surface of his face and hands was dismally beclouded.
he might well skulk behind the settle, onbeholding such a bright, graceful damsel enter the house, instead of a rough-headedcounterpart of himself, as he expected. 'is heathcliff not here?' she demanded,pulling off her gloves, and displaying fingers wonderfully whitened with doingnothing and staying indoors. 'heathcliff, you may come forward,' criedmr. hindley, enjoying his discomfiture, and gratified to see what a forbidding youngblackguard he would be compelled to present himself. 'you may come and wish miss catherinewelcome, like the other servants.' cathy, catching a glimpse of her friend inhis concealment, flew to embrace him; she
bestowed seven or eight kisses on his cheekwithin the second, and then stopped, and drawing back, burst into a laugh, exclaiming, 'why, how very black and crossyou look! and how--how funny and grim! but that's because i'm used to edgar andisabella linton. 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 immovable. 'shake hands, heathcliff,' said mr.earnshaw, condescendingly; 'once in a way that is permitted.'
'i shall not,' replied the boy, finding histongue 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: heathcliff, 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 fingersshe held in her own, and also at her dress;
which she feared had gained noembellishment from its contact with his. 'you needn't have touched me!' he answered,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 that he dashed headforemost out of theroom, amid the merriment of the master and mistress, and to the serious disturbance ofcatherine; who could not comprehend how her remarks should have produced such anexhibition 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 withgreat fires, befitting christmas-eve, i
prepared to sit down and amuse myself by singing carols, all alone; regardless ofjoseph's affirmations that he considered the merry tunes i chose as next door tosongs. he had retired to private prayer in hischamber, and mr. and mrs. earnshaw were engaging missy's attention by sundry gaytrifles bought for her to present to the little lintons, as an acknowledgment oftheir kindness. they had invited them to spend the morrowat wuthering heights, and the invitation had been accepted, on one condition: mrs.linton begged that her darlings might be kept carefully apart from that 'naughtyswearing boy.'
under these circumstances i remainedsolitary. i smelt the rich scent of the heatingspices; and admired the shining kitchen utensils, the polished clock, decked inholly, the silver mugs ranged on a tray ready to be filled with mulled ale for supper; and above all, the speckless purityof 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 mea cant lass, and slip a shilling into my hand as a christmas-box; and from that i
went on to think of his fondness forheathcliff, 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 singingi changed my mind to crying. it struck me soon, however, there would bemore sense in endeavouring to repair some of his wrongs than shedding tears overthem: i got up and walked into the court to seek him. he was not far; i found him smoothing theglossy coat of the new pony in the stable, and feeding the other beasts, according tocustom. 'make haste, heathcliff!'
i said, 'the kitchen is so comfortable; andjoseph is up-stairs: make haste, and let me dress you smart before miss cathy comesout, and then you can sit together, with the whole hearth to yourselves, and have along chatter till bedtime.' he proceeded with his task, and neverturned 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 donning.' i waited five minutes, but getting noanswer left him. catherine supped with her brother andsister-in-law: joseph and i joined at an
unsociable meal, seasoned with reproofs onone side and sauciness on the other. his cake and cheese remained on the tableall night for the fairies. he managed to continue work till nineo'clock, and then marched dumb and dour to his chamber. cathy sat up late, having a world of thingsto order for the reception of her new friends: she came into the kitchen once tospeak to her old one; but he was gone, and she only stayed to ask what was the matterwith him, and then went back. in the morning he rose early; and, as itwas a holiday, carried his ill-humour on to the moors; not re-appearing till the familywere departed for church.
fasting and reflection seemed to havebrought him to a better spirit. he hung about me for a while, and havingscrewed up his courage, exclaimed abruptly- -'nelly, make me decent, i'm going to begood.' 'high time, heathcliff,' i said; 'youhave grieved catherine: she's sorry she ever came home, i daresay!it looks as if you envied her, because she is more thought of than you.' the notion of envying catherine wasincomprehensible to him, but the notion of grieving her he understood clearly enough.'did she say she was grieved?' he inquired, looking very serious.
'she cried when i told her you were offagain this morning.' 'well, i cried last night,' he returned,'and i had more reason to cry than she.' 'yes: you had the reason of going to bedwith 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, andsay--you know best what to say; only do it heartily, and not as if you thought herconverted 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 besideyou: 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 ina twinkling; don't you feel that you could?' heathcliff's face brightened a moment; thenit was overcast afresh, and he sighed. 'but, nelly, if i knocked him down twentytimes, that wouldn't make him less handsome 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 willbe!' 'and cried for mamma at every turn,' iadded, 'and trembled if a country lad heaved his fist against you, and sat athome all day for a shower of rain. oh, heathcliff, you are showing a poorspirit! come to the glass, and i'll let you seewhat you should wish. do you mark those two lines between youreyes; and those thick brows, that, instead of rising arched, sink in the middle; andthat couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open their windows
boldly, but lurk glinting under them, likedevil's spies? wish and learn to smooth away the surlywrinkles, to raise your lids frankly, and change the fiends to confident, innocentangels, suspecting and doubting nothing, and always seeing friends where they arenot sure of foes. don't get the expression of a vicious curthat appears to know the kicks it gets are its desert, and yet hates all the world, aswell as the kicker, for what it suffers.' 'in other words, i must wish for edgarlinton's great blue eyes and even forehead,' he replied.'i do--and that won't help me to them.' 'a good heart will help you to a bonnyface, my lad,' i continued, 'if you were a
regular black; and a bad one will turn thebonniest into something worse than ugly. and now that we've done washing, andcombing, 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 ofchina, and your mother an indian queen, each of them able to buy up, with oneweek's income, wuthering heights and thrushcross grange together? and you were kidnapped by wicked sailorsand brought to england. were i in your place, i would frame highnotions of my birth; and the thoughts of
what i was should give me courage anddignity to support the oppressions of a little farmer!' so i chattered on; and heathcliff graduallylost his frown and began to look quite pleasant, when all at once our conversationwas 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, smotheredin cloaks and furs, and the earnshaws dismount from their horses: they often rodeto church in winter. catherine took a hand of each of thechildren, and brought them into the house
and set them before the fire, which quicklyput colour into their white faces. i urged my companion to hasten now and showhis amiable humour, and he willingly obeyed; but ill luck would have it that, ashe opened the door leading from the kitchen on one side, hindley opened it on theother. they met, and the master, irritated atseeing 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 tilldinner is over. he'll be cramming his fingers in the tartsand stealing the fruit, if left alone with
them a minute.' 'nay, sir,' i could not avoid answering,'he'll touch nothing, not he: and i suppose he must have his share of the dainties aswell as we.' 'he shall have his share of my hand, if icatch him downstairs till dark,' cried hindley.'begone, you vagabond! what! you are attempting the coxcomb, areyou? wait till i get hold of those elegantlocks--see if i won't pull them a bit longer!' 'they are long enough already,' observedmaster linton, peeping from the doorway; 'i
wonder they don't make his head ache.it's like a colt's mane over his eyes!' he ventured this remark without anyintention to insult; but heathcliff's violent nature was not prepared to endurethe appearance of impertinence from one whom he seemed to hate, even then, as arival. he seized a tureen of hot apple sauce (thefirst thing that came under his gripe) and dashed it full against the speaker's faceand neck; who instantly commenced a lament that brought isabella and catherinehurrying to the place. mr. earnshaw snatched up the culpritdirectly and conveyed him to his chamber; where, doubtless, he administered a roughremedy to cool the fit of passion, for he
appeared red and breathless. i got the dishcloth, and rather spitefullyscrubbed edgar's nose and mouth, affirming it served him right for meddling. his sister began weeping to go home, andcathy stood by confounded, blushing for all.'you should not have spoken to him!' she expostulated with master linton. 'he was in a bad temper, and now you'vespoilt 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 frommy hands, and finishing the remainder of the purification with his cambric pocket-handkerchief. 'i promised mamma that i wouldn't say oneword to him, and i didn't.' 'well, don't cry,' replied catherine,contemptuously; 'you're not killed. don't make more mischief; my brother iscoming: be quiet! hush, isabella!has anybody hurt you?' 'there, there, children--to your seats!'cried hindley, bustling in. 'that brute of a lad has warmed me nicely. next time, master edgar, take the law intoyour own fists--it will give you an
appetite!'the little party recovered its equanimity at sight of the fragrant feast. they were hungry after their ride, andeasily 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 painedto behold catherine, with dry eyes and an indifferent air, commence cutting up thewing 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 sheset it down again: her cheeks flushed, and the tears gushed over them. she slipped her fork to the floor, andhastily dived under the cloth to conceal her emotion. i did not call her unfeeling long; for iperceived she was in purgatory throughout the day, and wearying to find anopportunity of getting by herself, or paying a visit to heathcliff, who had been
locked up by the master: as i discovered,on endeavouring to introduce to him a private mess of victuals.in the evening we had a dance. cathy begged that he might be liberatedthen, as isabella linton had no partner: her entreaties were vain, and i wasappointed to supply the deficiency. we got rid of all gloom in the excitementof the exercise, and our pleasure was increased by the arrival of the gimmertonband, mustering fifteen strong: a trumpet, a trombone, clarionets, bassoons, frenchhorns, and a bass viol, besides singers. they go the rounds of all the respectablehouses, and receive contributions every christmas, and we esteemed it a first-ratetreat to hear them.
after the usual carols had been sung, weset them to songs and glees. mrs. earnshaw loved the music, and so theygave us plenty. catherine loved it too: but she said itsounded sweetest at the top of the steps, and she went up in the dark: i followed. they shut the house door below, nevernoting our absence, it was so full of people. she made no stay at the stairs'-head, butmounted farther, to the garret where heathcliff was confined, and called him. he stubbornly declined answering for awhile: she persevered, and finally
persuaded him to hold communion with herthrough the boards. i let the poor things converse unmolested,till i supposed the songs were going to cease, and the singers to get somerefreshment: then i clambered up the ladder to warn her. instead of finding her outside, i heard hervoice within. the little monkey had crept by the skylightof one garret, along the roof, into the skylight of the other, and it was with theutmost difficulty i could coax her out again. when she did come, heathcliff came withher, and she insisted that i should take
him into the kitchen, as my fellow-servanthad gone to a neighbour's, to be removed from the sound of our 'devil's psalmody,'as it pleased him to call it. i told them i intended by no means toencourage their tricks: but as the prisoner had never broken his fast since yesterday'sdinner, i would wink at his cheating mr. hindley that once. he went down: i set him a stool by thefire, and offered him a quantity of good things: but he was sick and could eatlittle, and my attempts to entertain him were thrown away. he leant his two elbows on his knees, andhis chin on his hands and remained rapt in
dumb meditation. on my inquiring the subject of histhoughts, he answered gravely--'i'm trying to settle how i shall pay hindley back.i don't care how long i wait, if i can only do it at last. i hope he will not die before i do!''for shame, heathcliff!' said i. 'it is for god to punish wicked people; weshould learn to forgive.' 'no, god won't have the satisfaction that ishall,' 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 talescannot divert you. i'm annoyed how i should dream ofchattering on at such a rate; and your gruel cold, and you nodding for bed! i could have told heathcliff's history, allthat you need hear, in half a dozen words.' thus interrupting herself, the housekeeperrose, and proceeded to lay aside her sewing; but i felt incapable of moving fromthe hearth, and i was very far from nodding. 'sit still, mrs. dean,' i cried; 'do sitstill another half-hour. you've done just right to tell the storyleisurely.
that is the method i like; and you mustfinish it in the same style. i am interested in every character you havementioned, more or less.' 'the clock is on the stroke of eleven,sir.' 'no matter--i'm not accustomed to go to bedin the long hours. one or two is early enough for a person wholies till ten.' 'you shouldn'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 hisday's work by ten o'clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.'
'nevertheless, mrs. dean, resume yourchair; because to-morrow i intend lengthening the night till afternoon.i prognosticate for myself an obstinate cold, at least.' 'i hope not, sir.well, you must allow me to leap over some three years; during that space mrs.earnshaw--' 'no, no, i'll allow nothing of the sort! are you acquainted with the mood of mind inwhich, if you were seated alone, and the cat licking its kitten on the rug beforeyou, you would watch the operation so intently that puss's neglect of one earwould put you seriously out of temper?'
'a terribly lazy mood, i should say.''on the contrary, a tiresomely active one. it is mine, at present; and, therefore,continue minutely. i perceive that people in these regionsacquire over people in towns the value that a spider in a dungeon does over a spider ina 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. i could fancy a love for life here almostpossible; and i was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year's standing.
one state resembles setting a hungry mandown to a single dish, on which he may concentrate his entire appetite and do itjustice; the other, introducing him to a table laid out by french cooks: he can perhaps extract as much enjoyment from thewhole; but each part is a mere atom in his regard and remembrance.' 'oh! here we are the same as anywhere else,when you get to know us,' observed mrs. dean, somewhat puzzled at my speech. 'excuse me,' i responded; 'you, my goodfriend, are a striking evidence against that assertion.
excepting a few provincialisms of slightconsequence, you have no marks of the manners which i am habituated to consideras peculiar to your class. i am sure you have thought a great dealmore than the generality of servants think. you have been compelled to cultivate yourreflective faculties for want of occasions for frittering your life away in sillytrifles.' mrs. dean laughed. 'i certainly esteem myself a steady,reasonable kind of body,' she said; 'not exactly from living among the hills andseeing one set of faces, and one series of actions, from year's end to year's end; but
i have undergone sharp discipline, whichhas taught me wisdom; and then, i have read more than you would fancy, mr. lockwood. you could not open a book in this librarythat i have not looked into, and got something out of also: unless it be thatrange 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 poorman's daughter. however, if i am to follow my story in truegossip's fashion, i had better go on; and instead of leaping three years, i will becontent to pass to the next summer--the summer of 1778, that is nearly twenty-threeyears ago.'The Anatomy Coloring Book Pdf Wynn Kapit