Wuthering Heights: Only the Questions?

    Wuthering Heights: Only the Questions?
    February 27, 2022 TeSplendente

    Wuthering Heights, by Emily Jane Bronte, in Questions

    ‘Mr. Heathcliff?’ And what did I do? ‘What the devil is the matter?’ Take a glass of wine?’ ‘Not bitten, are you?’ Your health, sir?’ ‘What are ye for?’ ’o ‘Is there nobody inside to open the door?’ ’p ‘Why? Cannot you tell her whom I am, eh, Joseph?’ ‘Do you intend parting with the little ones, madam?’ ‘Ah, your favourites are among these?’ ‘Were you asked to tea?’ ‘Were you asked?’ ‘Half an hour?’ Do you know that you run a risk of being lost in the marshes? ‘Perhaps I can get a guide among your lads, and he might stay at the Grange till morning—could you spare me one?’ ‘Are you going to mak’ the tea?’ ‘Is he to have any?’ ‘Get it ready, will you?’ ‘Where is she—my amiable lady?’ Is that it?’ ‘How must I do?’ ‘Are you not afraid of being carried away bodily, whenever you mention the devil’s name? ‘Then, if you hear of me being discovered dead in a bog or a pit full of snow, your conscience won’t whisper that it is partly your fault?’ ‘How so? ‘Who? There is himself, Earnshaw, Zillah, Joseph and I. Which would you have?’ ‘Are there no boys at the farm?’ ‘And who is to look after the horses, eh?’ ‘Well, Mr. Earnshaw,’ she cried, ‘I wonder what you’ll have agaitw next? Are we going to murder folk on our very door- stones? The service lasted precisely three hours; and yet my brother had the face to exclaim, when he saw us descending, “What, done already?” was that you? He has been blaming our father (how dared he?) What else could it be that made me pass such a terrible night? And what was it that had suggested the tremendous tumult? What had played Jabez’s part in the row? ‘Who are you?’ ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of Linton? At last, he said, in a halfwhisper, plainly not expecting an answer, ‘Is any one here?’ ‘And who showed you up into this room?’ ak ‘Who was it? ‘What do you mean?’ asked Heathcliff, ‘and what are you doing? Was not the Reverend Jabez Branderham akin to you on the mother’s side? ‘How—how dare you, under my roof? You shall pay me for the plague of having you eternally in my sight—do you hear, damnable jade?’ ‘You have lived here a considerable time,’ I commenced; ‘did you not say sixteen years?’ ‘Yes,’ I remarked, ‘you’ve seen a good many alterations, I suppose?’ ‘Is he not rich enough to keep the estate in good order?’ ‘He had a son, it seems?’ ‘And that young lady, Mrs. Heathcliff, is his widow?’ ‘Where did she come from originally?’ Catherine Linton?’ ‘Then,’ I continued, ‘my predecessor’s name was Linton?’ ‘And who is that Earnshaw: Hareton Earnshaw, who lives with Mr. Heathcliff? Are they relations?’ ‘The young lady’s cousin, then?’ Are they an old family?’ Have you been to Wuthering Heights? ‘Mrs. Heathcliff? And how did you like the master?’ Is not that his character?’ Do you know anything of his history?’ One fine summer morning—it was the beginning 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, and me—for I sat eating my porridge with them—and he said, speaking to his son, ‘Now, my bonny man, I’m going to Liverpool to-day, what shall I bring you? I was frightened, and Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors: she did fly up, asking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house, when they had their own bairnsaw to feed and fend for? What he meant to do with it, and whether he were mad? I remember the master, before he fell into a doze, stroking her bonny hair —it pleased him rarelyba to see her gentle—and saying, ‘Why canst thou not always be a good lass, Cathy?’ And she turned her face up to his, and laughed, and answered, ‘Why cannot you always be a good man, father?’ I thought she was half silly, from her behaviour 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?’ ‘Where is Miss Catherine?’ ‘No accident, I hope?’ What in the world led you wandering to Thrushcross Grange?’ Do you think they do? Or reading sermons, and being catechised by their manservant, and set to learn a column of Scripture names, if they don’t answer properly?’ Shouldn’t they have been happy? And now, guess what your good children were doing? When would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted? or find us by ourselves, seeking entertainment in yelling, and sobbing, and rolling on the ground, divided by the whole room? ‘Still you have not told me, Heathcliff, how Catherine is left behind?’ “What prey, Robert?” Where will their insolence stop? Don’t be afraid, it is but a boy—yet the villain scowls so plainly in his face; would it not be a kindness to the country to hang him at once, before he shows his nature in acts as well as features?” Isn’t he, Edgar?” ‘“Miss Earnshaw? But who is this? Where did she pick up this companion? Did you notice his language, Linton? I saw they were full of stupid admiration; she is so immeasurably superior to them—to everybody on earth, is she not, Nelly?’ Isabella Linton is not to be compared with her, is she, Frances?’ ‘Is Heathcliff not here?’ Well, Heathcliff, have you forgotten me?’ What are you sulky for? ‘Come—are you coming?’ ‘Did she say she was grieved?’ You are younger, and yet, I’ll be bound, you are taller and twice as broad across the shoulders; you could knock him down in a twinkling; don’t you feel that you could?’ Do you mark those two lines between your eyes; and those thick brows, that, instead of rising arched, sink in the middle; and that couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open their windows boldly, but lurk glinting under them, like devil’s spies? And now that we’ve done washing, and combing, and sulking —tell me whether you don’t think yourself rather handsome? Who knows but your father was Emperor of China, and your mother an Indian queen, each of them able to buy up, with one week’s income, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange together? you are attempting the coxcomb,bp are you? Why did you speak to him, Edgar?’ Has anybody hurt you?’ Are you acquainted with the mood of mind in which, if you were seated alone, and the cat licking its kitten on the rug before you, you would watch the operation so intently that puss’s neglect of one ear would put you seriously out of temper?’ ‘But is she very ill?’ ’ ‘And what did the master answer?’ When we got to Wuthering Heights, there he stood at the front door; and, as I passed in, I asked, ‘how was the baby?’ ‘And the mistress?’ Are you going up-stairs? Can you make that out? ‘Is it like?’ ‘Cathy, are you busy this afternoon?’ ‘Are you going anywhere?’ ‘Why have you that silk frock on, then?’ ‘Nobody coming here, I hope?’ I’m on the point, sometimes, of complaining that they—but I’ll not——’ ‘That they what?’ What are you on the point of complaining about, Heathcliff?’ Do you see? ‘And where is the sense of that?’ ‘And should I always be sitting with you?’ ‘What good do I get? What do you talk about? ‘I’m not come too soon, am I?’ ‘What are you doing there, Nelly?’ ‘What’s that, then?’ ‘Where are you going?’ ‘Can I stay after you have struck me?’ Now, don’t you think the lad would be handsomer cropped? it won’t? ‘Who is that?’ Is he injured anywhere?’ I was rocking Hareton on my knee, and humming a song that began,—when Miss Cathy, who had listened to the hubbub from her room, put her head in, and whispered,—‘Are you alone, Nelly?’ ‘Where’s Heathcliff?’ Is she sorry for her shameful conduct? ‘Nelly, will you keep a secret for me?’ ‘Is it worth keeping?’ ‘Really, Miss Catherine, how can I know?’ Then what good is it discussing the matter? ‘First and foremost, do you love Mr. Edgar?’ ‘Who can help it? ‘Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?’ ‘By no means; you must say why?’ And now, say how you love him?’ ‘And why?’ What should hinder you from loving them?’ All seems smooth and easy: where is the obstacle? ’ ‘Nelly, do you never dream queer dreams?’ ‘Why?’ He has not, has he? Have you considered how you’ll bear the separation, and how he’ll bear to be quite deserted in the world? ‘Who is to separate us, pray? Nelly, I see now you think me a selfish wretch; but did it never strike you that if Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars? ‘With your husband’s money, Miss Catherine?’ What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? ‘You’ll keep that?’ ‘And how isn’t that nowt comed in fro’ th’ field, be this time? What is he about? What did I say, Nelly? Was he vexed at my bad humour this afternoon? tell me what I’ve said to grieve him? by ‘Have you found Heathcliff, you ass?’ ‘Have you been looking for him, as I ordered?’ I exclaimed, touching her shoulder; ‘you are not bent on getting your death, are you? Do you know what o’clock it is? ‘What ails you, Cathy?’ cb Why are you so damp and pale, child?’ ‘What kept her up? not fear of the thunder, surely? What took you into the rain?’ But never mind Linton at present: tell me, were you not with Heathcliff last night? how could I offend a man who was charitable enough to sit at my bedside a good hour, and talk on some other subject than pills and draughts, blisters and leeches? Why not have up Mrs. Dean to finish her tale? Did he finish his education on the Continent, and come back a gentleman, or did he get a sizar’s place at college, 1 or escape to America and earn honours by drawing blood from his fostercountry, 2 or make a fortune more promptly on the English highways?’ Are you feeling better this morning?’ There were no mutual concessions: one stood erect, and the others yielded, and who can be ill-natured and bad-tempered when they encounter neither opposition nor indifference? I set my burden on the house-steps by the kitchen-door, and lingered to rest, and drew in a few more breaths of the soft, sweet air; my eyes were on the moon, and my back to the entrance, when I heard a voice behind me say,—‘Nelly, is that you?’ ‘Who can it be?’ ‘Mr. Earnshaw? You do not know me? you come back? Is it really you? Is it?’ ‘Are they at home? where is she? Is she here? ‘How will she take it?’ ‘What will she do? Have you been for a soldier?’ ‘What does he want?’ the gipsy—the ploughboy?’ ‘Why did you not say so to Catherine?’ Shall I tell him to come up?’ ‘Here,’ he said, ‘into the parlour?’ ‘Where else?’ Will that please you, dear? Or must I have a fire lighted elsewhere? You were really sorry for me, were you? I asked, as he departed, if he went to Gimmerton? Is he turning out a bit of a hypocrite, and coming into the country to work mischief under a cloak? ‘What use is it praising Heathcliff to him?’ ‘But does it not show great weakness?’ ‘And then we shall fight to the death, sha’n’t we, Nelly?’ ‘What do you think of his going to Wuthering Heights?’ said I. ‘Have you no fear of the consequences, Mrs. Linton?’ ‘How can you say I am harsh, you naughty fondling?’ When have I been harsh, tell me?’ ‘On what occasion?’ ‘And that’s your notion of harshness?’ ‘It was no hint that your company was superfluous? ‘Is she sane?’ ‘I don’t mind the conversation,’ she answered: ‘I wanted to be with——’ ‘Well?’ I hope I have misunderstood you, Isabella?’ you won’t believe me, then?’ ‘You think I speak from wicked selfishness?’ But she uttered falsehoods, didn’t she? Mr. Heathcliff is not a fiend: he has an honourable soul, and a true one, or how could he remember her?’ How has he been living? how has he got rich? why is he staying at Wuthering Heights, the house of a man whom he abhors? Does he niver say nowt of his fine living amang us, when he goes to t’ Grange? cm Now, Miss Linton, Joseph is an old rascal, but no liar; and, if his account of Heathcliff’s conduct be true, you would never think of desiring such a husband, would you?’ Heathcliff, why don’t you evince satisfaction at my pleasant news? I’m sure she made some speech of the kind; did she not, Ellen? Can’t you fancy the conclusions he’ll draw? ‘But what did you mean by teasing the creature in that manner, Cathy? You were not speaking the truth, were you?’ ‘She’s her brother’s heir, is she not?’ ‘Who has taught you those fine words, my bairn?’ ‘The curate?’ ‘Tell us where you got your lessons, and you shall have it,’ said I. ‘Who’s your master?’ ‘And what do you learn from daddy?’ ‘What does he teach you?’ and the devil teaches you to swear at daddy?’ ‘Who, then?’ ‘And the curate does not teach you to read and write, then?’ ‘You are a hypocrite, too, are you? ‘Who is, Nelly?’ I wonder will he have the heart to find a plausible excuse for making love to Miss, when he told you he hated her?’ Heathcliff, what are you about, raising this stir? Why have you disregarded my request? Did she come across you on purpose?’ ‘What is it to you?’ But do you like her? ‘And would Mr. Linton approve of his sister marrying that man?’ Do you hear? ‘What new phase of his character is this?’ How will you take it, ungrateful brute? How have I treated you infernally?’ ‘Oh, the evil is that I am not jealous, is it?’ ‘Ellen,’ said he, when I entered, ‘have you seen your mistress? ’ ‘How is this?’ said Linton, addressing her; ‘what notion of pro priety must you have to remain here, after the language which has been held to you by that blackguard? ‘Have you been listening at the door, Edgar?’ Is he weeping, or is he going to faint for fear?’ ‘Do you suppose I’m going with that blow burning in my gullet?’ Will you do so, my good Nelly? What possessed him to turn listener? Will you give up Heathcliff hereafter, or will you give up me? Don’t you see I can scarcely stand? ‘Did you want anything, ma’am?’ ‘What is that apathetic being doing?’ ‘Has he fallen into a lethargy, or is he dead?’ does he know how I’m altered? ’ ‘Is that Catherine Linton? Cannot you inform him that it is frightful earnest? Are you speaking the truth about him now? Is he actually so utterly indifferent for my life?’ ‘You think not? Cannot you tell him I will?’ What in the name of all that feels has he to do with books, when I am dying?’ Did he shoot my lapwings, Nelly? Are they red, any of them? ‘The black press? where is that?’ ‘Don’t you see that face?’ Who is it? ‘Why, what is the matter?’ cried I. ‘Who is coward now? ‘How long is it since I shut myself in here?’ of the same week?’ ‘Only that brief time?’ Why am I so changed? 4 why does my blood rush into a hell of tumult at a few words? Quick, why don’t you move?’ Joseph sits up late, doesn’t he? But, Heathcliff, if I dare you now, will you venture? ‘Catherine ill?’ ‘It is nothing, is it, Ellen Dean?’ you are come, are you, Edgar Linton?’ ‘Catherine, what have you done?’ ‘Am I nothing to you any more? ‘You’d rather hear nothing about it, I suppose, then, Mr. Linton?’ said I. ‘Heathcliff has your permission to come a-courting to Miss, and to drop in at every opportunity your absence offers, on purpose to poison the mistress against you?’ What has there been to do at the Grange? How did it begin?’ ‘Mr. Linton will be sorry?’ ‘Sorry? Hasn’t he been intimate with Mr. Heathcliff lately?’ ‘And does Miss Linton turn a cold shoulder on him?’ But what could be done now? What mun we have next? ‘Speak lower, Mary—What is the matter?’ ‘What ails your young lady?’ ‘It cannot be: how has the idea entered your head? Then says he, “There’s somebody gone after ’em, I guess?” ‘Are we to try any measures for overtaking and bringing her back?’ ‘How should we do?’ Edgar, is there not a south wind, and is not the snow almost gone?’ I want to ask you two questions: the first is,—How did you contrive to preserve the common sympathies of human nature when you resided here? The second question I have great interest in; it is this—Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? I approached, and, attempting to take his chubby fist, said—‘How do you do, my dear?’ ‘Shall you and I be friends, Hareton?’ ‘Now wilt thou be ganging?’ cx Did iver Christian body hear aught like it? cy How can I tell whet ye say?’ ‘What’s your business here?’ ‘Who are you?’ ‘Is he come back, then?’ I questioned with myself—where must I turn for comfort? Where is the maid-servant? ‘Where must I sleep, then?’ ‘But why, Mr. Earnshaw?’ ‘That’s a great tempter to a desperate man, is it not? ‘What has Heathcliff done to you?’ ‘In what has he wronged you, to warrant this appalling hatred? Wouldn’t it be wiser to bid him quit the house?’ Am I to lose all, without a chance of retrieval? Is Hareton to be a beggar? ‘Have you no place you call a parlour?’ ‘What do I want with yours?’ ‘I suppose Mr. Heathcliff does not lodge at the top of the house, does he?’ it’s Maister Hathecliff’s ye’re wanting?’ ‘Couldn’t ye ha’ said soa, at onst? ‘Whear the divil?’ Whear the hell wold ye gang? Will Hathecliff bide sich bonny ways, think ye? Mr. Heathcliff awoke me; he had just come in, and demanded, in his loving manner, what I was doing there? ‘And you won’t write her a little note, sir?’ But do you imagine that I shall leave Catherine to his duty and humanity? and can you compare my feelings respecting Catherine to his? What do you say?’ ‘You suppose she has nearly forgotten me?’ It is not in him to be loved like me: how can she love in him what he has not?’ ‘Your brother is wondrous fond of you too, isn’t he?’ ‘You have been telling him something, then: you have written, have you?’ ‘And nothing since?’ Can I trust your assertion, Isabella? Are you sure you hate me? If I let you alone for half a day, won’t you come sighing and wheedling to me again? Now, was it not the depth of absurdity—of genuine idiotcy, for that pitiful, slavish, mean-minded brachdj to dream that I could love her? You are not so bewitched, ma’am, are you, as to remain with him of your own accord?’ ‘Do you understand what the word pity means?’ ‘Did you ever feel a touch of it in your life?’ But wouldn’t it be better to prevent my coming in contact with them, or their master? To whom should she mention me if I am a forbidden topic in the house? You say she is often restless, and anxious-looking: is that a proof of tranquillity? How the devil could it be otherwise in her frightful isolation? Let us settle it at once: will you stay here, and am I to fight my way to Catherine over Linton and his footman? Or will you be my friend, as you have been hitherto, and do what I request? Was it right or wrong? Shall I break the seal?’ I replaced it in her lap, and stood waiting till it should please her to glance down; but that movement was so long delayed that at last I resumed—‘Must I read it, ma’am? how can I bear it?’ ‘What now?’ How many years do you mean to live after I am gone?’ Why shouldn’t you suffer? Will you forget me? Will you be happy when I am in the earth? Will you say twenty years hence, “That’s the grave of Catherine Earnshaw? Will you say so, Heathcliff?’ ‘Are you possessed with a devil,’ he pursued, savagely, ‘to talk in that manner to me when you are dying? Do you reflect that all those words will be branded in my memory, and eating deeper eternally after you have left me? Is it not sufficient for your infernal selfishness, that while you are at peace I shall writhe in the torments of hell?’ Won’t you come here again? Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? You loved me—then what right had you to leave me? What right—answer me—for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Do I want to live? would you like to live with your soul in the grave?’ How can I?’ ‘Are you going to listen to her ravings?’ Will you ruin her, because she has not wit to help herself? Do you believe such people are happy in the other world, sir? ‘Did she take due warning, then?’ ‘Did she die like a saint? How did——?’ ‘How did she die?’ Why should you be anxious to conceal them? ‘And—did she ever mention me?’ Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? How dare you show your giddiness here? What would Mr. Linton say if he heard you?’ And besides, Edgar has not been kind, has he? Do you think he could bear to see me grow fat and merry—could bear to think that we were tranquil, and not resolve on poisoning our comfort? ‘You asked, what has driven me to flight at last? “You won’t object?” Are you as soft as your brother? Are you willing to endure to the last, and not once attempt a repayment?” Tell me now, can you? The world is surely not worth living in now, is it? ‘“He’s there, is he?” ‘“What is ther to do, now? what is ther to do, now?” And how the devil did you come to fasten me out, you toothless hound? ‘“And so ye’ve been murtheringdt on him?” And you conspire with him against me, do you, viper? ‘In general I’ll allow that it would be, Ellen,’ she continued; ‘but what misery laid on Heathcliff could content me, unless I have a hand in it? Are not you bruised, and cut over your chest and shoulders?” ‘“I can’t say,” he answered: “but what do you mean? Did he dare to strike me when I was down?” He often asked about the infant, when he saw me; and on hearing its name, smiled grimly, and observed: ‘They wish me to hate it too, do they?’ Who’s given us the slipdw now, do you think?’ ‘Who?’ ‘Not Mr. Heathcliff, surely?’ would you have tears for him?’ ‘Who is it, then, Mr. Kenneth?’ He’s barely twenty-seven, it seems; that’s your own age: who would have thought you were born in one year?’ I could not hinder myself from pondering on the question—‘Had he had fair play?’ ‘Does Linton say so?’ Sometimes, indeed, while surveying the country from her nursery window, she would observe— ‘Ellen, how long will it be before I can walk to the top of those hills? I wonder what lies on the other side—is it the sea?’ ‘And what are those golden rocks like when you stand under them?’ ‘And why are they bright so long after it is evening here?’ Has papa been, Ellen?’ But Miss Catherine measured her age by months, and, ‘Now, am I old enough to go to Penistone Crag?’ ‘What will become of her?’ ‘And what if she should have slipped in clambering among them,’ I reflected, ‘and been killed, or broken some of her bones?’ ‘He is not at home then, is he?’ Have you ever been here in your life before?’ ‘What have I done?’ ‘How long am I to wait?’ Where is the pony, Miss Cathy? And where is Phoenix? ‘It’s your father’s, isn’t it?’ ‘Whose then—your master’s?’ ‘Who is his master?’ And he never said Miss: he should have done, shouldn’t he, if he’s a servant?’ What’s the matter? ‘You’ll see me what?’ ‘But, Ellen,’ cried she, staring fixed in astonishment, ‘how dare he speak so to me? Mustn’t he be made to do as I ask him? When will they be here? May we not go a little way—half a mile, Ellen, only just half a mile? And don’t harass him much by talking: let him be quiet this evening, at least, will you?’ And then, I thought, how ever will that weakling live at Wuthering Heights? ‘What business brings you here to night?’ ‘Which is his rahm?’ Where does he live? ‘But why have I not heard of him before?’ ‘Why didn’t mamma and he live together, as other people do?’ ‘And why didn’t mamma speak to me about him?’ How am I to love papa? ‘Is she to go with us,’ he demanded; ‘the little girl I saw yesterday? ’ ‘Not now,’ replied I. ‘Is uncle?’ ‘Is Wuthering Heights as pleasant a place as Thrushcross Grange?’ ‘And what is my father like?’ ‘Is he as young and handsome as uncle?’ Then I am not like him, am I?’ ‘Has he ever seen me? You’ve brought it, have you? ‘Hav’n’t they reared it on snails and sour milk, Nelly? We’re not going to hurt thee, Linton—isn’t that thy name? Where is my share in thee, puling chicken?’ ‘Do you know me?’ ‘You’ve heard of me, I daresay?’ ‘Cannot ate it?’ ‘Is there aught ails th’ victuals?’ ‘What should ail them?’ What is his usual food, Nelly?’ Mr. Edgar encouraged me to gain information: he thought a great deal about him, I fancy, and would have run some risk to see him; and he told me once to ask the housekeeper whether he ever came into the village? ‘Well,’ said I, ‘where are your moor-game, Miss Cathy? Heathcliff glanced at me with an ill-meaning smile, expressing his acquaintance with the party, and, consequently, his malevolence towards it, and demanded who ‘papa’ was? ‘You suppose papa is highly esteemed and respected, then?’ ‘And what are you?’ Is he your son?’ Will you just turn this nabek of heath, and walk into my house? ‘Why?’ Don’t you?’ And we’ll soon persuade her to keep the visit secret: where is the harm of it?’ His features were pretty yet, and his eye and complexion brighter than I remembered them, though with merely temporary lustre borrowed from the salubrious air and genial sun. ‘Now, who is that?’ ‘Can you tell?’ ‘Your son?’ ‘Yes, yes,’ answered he: ‘but is this the only time you have beheld him? Linton, don’t you recall your cousin, that you used to tease us so with wishing to see?’ ‘Is that little Linton? Are you Linton?’ Why don’t you visit at the Grange with Linton? To live all these years such close neighbours, and never see us, is odd: what have you done so for?’ But I’ll take this walk every morning in future: may I, uncle? Won’t you be glad to see us?’ ‘Why did you quarrel?’ —Do you know that, twenty times a day, I covet Hareton, with all his degradation? ‘Have you nothing to show your cousin anywhere about, not even a rabbit or a weasel’s nest? ‘Wouldn’t you rather sit here?’ ‘That is not my cousin, is he?’ Don’t you like him?’ ‘Is he not a handsome lad?’ She says you are a—What was it? Did I ever look so stupid: so “gaumless,”em as Joseph calls it?’ Don’t you think Hindley would be proud of his son, if he could see him? The lattice was open, and, as he stepped out, I heard Cathy inquiring of her unsociable attendant what was that inscription over the door? ‘Can’t read it?’ ‘Could you believe in the existence of such a colossal dunce?’ ‘Is he all as he should be?’ asked Miss Cathy, seriously; ‘or is he simple: not right? ‘There’s nothing the matter but laziness; is there, Earnshaw? ’ Have you noticed, Catherine, his frightful Yorkshire pronunciation?’ ‘Why, where the devil is the use on’t?’ ‘Where is the use of the devil in that sentence?’ you’ve not done right, have you, now? Then he drew her to him, and asked if she knew why he had concealed Linton’s near neighbourhood from her? Could she think it was to deny her a pleasure that she might harmlessly enjoy? ‘Then you believe I care more for my own feelings than yours, Cathy?’ Suppose, for a minute, that master and I were dead, and you were by yourself in the world: how would you feel, then? said I, ‘do you imagine he has thought as much of you as you have of him? Hasn’t he Hareton for a companion? ‘But may I not write a note to tell him why I cannot come?’ ‘And just send those books I promised to lend him? May I not, Ellen?’ ‘But how can one little note——?’ ‘What is the matter, love? Have you hurt yourself?’ You have not told papa, Ellen? say you have not? And what do you suppose the master will think when I display it before him? And being really fully as much inclined to laugh as scold—for I esteemed it all girlish vanity—I at length relented in a measure, and asked,—‘If I consent to burn them, will you promise faithfully neither to send nor receive a letter again, nor a book (for I perceive you have sent him books), nor locks of hair, nor rings, nor playthings?’ ‘Nor anything at all, then, my lady?’ Will you clamber up, and pluck it to show to papa?’ Cathy stared a long time at the lonely blossom trembling in its earthy shelter, and replied, at length—‘No, I’ll not touch it: but it looks melancholy, does it not, Ellen?’ ‘Catherine, why are you crying, love?’ ‘And what shall I do when papa and you leave me, and I am by myself? And suppose Mr. Linton were spared till he saw sixty, that would be more years than you have counted, Miss. And would it not be foolish to mourn a calamity above twenty years beforehand?’ ‘Who is that?’ Two or three months since, were you not in the habit of writing to Linton? making love in play, eh? I presume you grew weary of the amusement and dropped it, didn’t you? ‘How can you lie so glaringly to the poor child?’ How can you deliberately get up such paltry falsehoods? ‘How could you lie so glaringly as to affirm I hated the “poor child”? and invent bug-bear stories to terrify her from my doorstones? What use were anger and protestations against her silly credulity? I asked if the master was in? ‘How often am I to call you? ‘Is that you, Miss Linton?’ ‘Will you shut the door, if you please? ‘Well, Linton,’ murmured Catherine, when his corrugated brow relaxed, ‘are you glad to see me? Can I do you any good?’ ‘Why didn’t you come before?’ Will you’ (looking at me) ‘step into the kitchen and see?’ ‘Is your father attentive to you, Master Heathcliff?’ ‘Attentive? ‘And are you glad to see me?’ But you don’t despise me, do you, Miss——?’ ‘Despise you? I don’t love Mr. Heathcliff, though; and I dare not come when he returns: will he stay away many days?’ I think I should not be peevish with you: you’d not provoke me, and you’d always be ready to help me, wouldn’t you?’ ‘And then you would like me as well as your father?’ ‘How do you feel now, Master Heathcliff?’ ‘But I couldn’t have been hurt by that little push, and I had no idea that you could, either: you’re not much, are you, Linton? ‘Must I go?’ ‘Do you want me to go, Linton?’ ‘Well, then, I must go?’ ‘How must I arrange it, then?’ I was not as ill when you entered as I am at present—was I?’ And you want me: you would wish to see me sometimes, really?’ ‘And to-morrow, Catherine, will you be here to-morrow?’ ‘You are not dreaming of it, are you?’ I’m older than he is, you know, and wiser: less childish, am I not? We should never quarrel, should we, after we were used to each other? Don’t you like him, Ellen?’ You say papa will get better, and why shouldn’t he?’ ‘Ellen, are not you tired? Hadn’t you better lie down now? ‘My dear Miss Catherine,’ I began, too vividly impressed by her recent kindness to break into a scold, ‘where have you been riding out at this hour? And why should you try to deceive me by telling a tale? Where have you been? ‘And nowhere else?’ ‘“And the figures?” Had you been brought up in his circumstances, would you be less rude? ‘Well, Ellen, you won’t cry about it, will you?’ ‘“Where must we go?” She soon heard me: she was milking the cows in a shed behind the barn, and hurrying from her work, she inquired what there was to do? You’ll not tell, will you? Yet, who knows how long you’ll be a stranger? You smile; but why do you look so lively and interested when I talk about her? and why have you asked me to hang her picture over your fireplace? and why——?’ ‘It may be very possible that I should love her; but would she love me? Was Catherine obedient to her father’s commands?’ Tell me, sincerely, what you think of him: is he changed for the better, or is there a prospect of improvement, as he grows a man?” What can I do for Cathy? How must I quit her? On her seventeenth birthday, he did not visit the churchyard: it was raining, and I observed— ‘You’ll surely not go out to-night, sir?’ ‘I do not ask,’ he said, ‘that she may visit here; but am I never to see her, because my father forbids me to go to her home, and you forbid her to come to mine? You inquire after my health—it is better; but while I remain cut off from all hope, and doomed to solitude, or the society of those who never did and never will like me, how can I be cheerful and well?’ Catherine surveyed him with grief and astonishment: she changed the ejaculation of joy on her lips to one of alarm; and the congratulation on their long-postponed meeting to an anxious inquiry, whether he were worse than usual? ‘You recollect the two days we agreed to spend in the place and way each thought pleasantest? Tell uncle I’m in tolerable health, will you?’ ‘Is he severe to you, Master Heathcliff?’ ‘Has he grown weary of indulgence, and passed from passive to active hatred?’ ‘Is it half-an-hour now, Ellen?’ ‘Why did he wish to see me?’ ‘You think he is better in health, then?’ ‘You are sure nobody spoke?’ Are you truly stronger, Linton, than when we separated in winter? If you be, I’m certain one thing is not stronger—your regard for me: speak,—are you?’ ‘Is not your father very ill? ‘Why won’t you be candid?’ ‘Why cannot you say at once you don’t want me? ‘My father is very ill,’ she said; ‘and why am I called from his bedside? Why didn’t you send to absolve me from my promise, when you wished I wouldn’t keep it? he murmured; ‘what are they? I shall return home: it is folly dragging you from the hearthstone, and pretending—what do we pretend? You’ll not go, then? ‘Consent to what?’ You wouldn’t injure me, Linton, would you? You wouldn’t let any enemy hurt me, if you could prevent it? How are you at the Grange? The rumour goes,’ he added, in a lower tone, ‘that Edgar Linton is on his death-bed: perhaps they exaggerate his illness?’ ‘How long will he last, do you think?’ has the whelp been playing that game long? Is he pretty lively with Miss Linton generally?’ ‘Lively? Be so kind as to walk home with him, will you? He’ll not harm you: why are you so afraid?’ Are you willing to return, escorted by me?’ However I disapproved, I couldn’t hinder her: indeed, how could she have refused him herself? ‘You marry? And do you imagine that beautiful young lady, that healthy, hearty girl, will tie herself to a little perishing monkey like you? Are you cherishing the notion that anybody, let alone Miss Catherine Linton, would have you for a husband? ‘Stay all night? He clasped her in his two feeble arms sobbing:—‘Won’t you have me, and save me? not let me come to the Grange? What would he think? snivelling again? What has she been doing to you? You’re pining for pure love, are you not? you are not afraid of me? Why should you wish to force me to do what I’ll willingly do of myself?’ What shall we do?’ How should I? If papa thought I had left him on purpose, and if he died before I returned, could I bear to live? Have you never loved anybody in all your life, uncle? never? How the devil can you dream of fawning on me? Who knows but he might take our part?’ I thumped on the panels, and rattled the latch angrily; and Catherine asked why I was still shut up? and you must have got onff an island, sure? And how long were you in the hole? Did master save you, Mrs. Dean? But you’re not so thin—you’ve not been so poorly, have you?’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Mr. Edgar is not dead?’ ‘Where is Miss Catherine?’ ‘Is she gone?’ ‘Master Heathcliff,’ I resumed, ‘have you forgotten all Catherine’s kindness to you last winter, when you affirmed you loved her, and when she brought you books and sung you songs, and came many a time through wind and snow to see you? That’s fine gratitude, is it not?’ ‘Did she come to Wuthering Heights because she hated you?’ ‘Is Mr. Heathcliff out?’ ‘And were you pleased to see her struck?’ ‘And you can get the key if you choose?’ ‘In what apartment is it?’ Is papa alive?’ That seemed rather too favourable an arrangement to be hoped for; and yet I did hope, and began to cheer up under the prospect of retaining my home and my employment, and, above all, my beloved young mistress; when a servant—one of the discarded ones, not yet departed—rushed hastily in, and said ‘that devil Heathcliff’ was coming through the court: should he fasten the door in his face? Where would you go? ‘Why not let Catherine continue here,’ I pleaded, ‘and send Master Linton to her? You are miserable, are you not? Lonely, like the devil, and envious like him? I exclaimed; ‘were you not ashamed to disturb the dead?’ Disturbed her? ‘And if she had been dissolved into earth,2 or worse, what would you have dreamt of then?’ ‘Do you suppose I dread any change of that sort? Then, while the master and Earnshaw were at breakfast, she entered the house, and asked all in a quiver if the doctor might be sent for? ‘“Now—Catherine,” he said, “how do you feel?” ‘“How do you feel, Catherine?” And what will all her learning and her daintiness do for her, now? How dare you touch me? Why are you stopping there?” ‘“Will you ask her to read to us, Zillah? ‘“What could I ha’ done?” “How was I to blame?” I asked if Mr. Heathcliff were at home? I approached her, pretending to desire a view of the garden; and, as I fancied, adroitly dropped Mrs. Dean’s note on to her knee, unnoticed by Hareton—but she asked aloud, ‘What is that?’ ‘Mrs. Heathcliff,’ I said, after sitting some time mute, ‘you are not aware that I am an acquaintance of yours? She appeared to wonder at this speech, and asked,— ‘Does Ellen like you?’ ‘How do you contrive to live here without them? Perhaps your envy counselled Mr. Heathcliff to rob me of my treasures? But ere he had crossed the door-stones, Mr. Heathcliff, coming up the causeway, encountered him, and laying hold of his shoulder asked,—‘What’s to do now, my lad?’ How the devil is he so like? ‘Oh, indeed; you’re tired of being banished from the world, are you?’ Catherine, bring the things in: where are you?’ ’fv ‘Gimmerton?’ How far is it from this?’ ‘Is Mrs. Dean within?’ ‘Mistress Dean? ‘Are you the housekeeper, then?’ Are there any rooms to lodge me in, I wonder? ‘Whet, whoiver knew yah wur coming? ‘All well at the Heights?’ How could you think of returning in this way? And how are you transplanted here, Mrs. Dean? Have you walked from Gimmerton this evening?’ ‘What business, sir?’ ‘How long ago?’ Stop, you have had nothing to eat, have you?’ You say you don’t expect them back for some time—the young people?’ She hastened to fetch it before I could refuse, and I heard Joseph asking whether ‘it warn’t a crying scandal that she should have followersgb at her time of life? ‘He’s just like a dog, is he not, Ellen?’ she once observed, ‘or a cart-horse? Do you ever dream, Hareton? And, if you do, what is it about? Ellen, what do you think? He began to teach himself to read once; and, because I laughed, he burned his books, and dropped it: was he not a fool?’ ‘Were not you naughty?’ Hareton, if I gave you a book, would you take it now? do you hear?’ ‘You’re a damned liar,’ began Earnshaw: ‘why have I made him angry, by taking your part, then, a hundred times? ‘I didn’t know you took my part,’ she answered, drying her eyes; ‘and I was miserable and bitter at everybody; but now I thank you, and beg you to forgive me: what can I do besides?’ what should I have done, Ellen? ‘And you’ll be my friend?’ ‘So you won’t be my friend?’ Are you ready to go?’ And what excuse have you to offer for taking such liberties with the garden? ‘What fiend possesses you to stare back at me, continually, with those infernal eyes? ‘What do you say?’ What’s your grievance? ‘Is the fool drunk?’ ‘Hareton, is it you he’s finding fault with?’ ‘And why have you pulled them up?’ ‘And who the devil gave you leave to touch a stick about the place?’ ‘And who ordered you to obey her?’ dare you pretend to rouse him against me? Do you hear? ‘Are you staying to talk?’ ‘But you won’t let him strike me?’ Catherine was waxing cross at this; but he found means to make her hold her tongue, by asking how she would like him to speak ill of her father? ‘It is a poor conclusion, is it not?’ he observed, having brooded a while on the scene he had just witnessed: ‘an absurd termination to my violent exertions? But where is the use? That, however, which you may suppose the most potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least: for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? ‘But what do you mean by a change, Mr. Heathcliff?’ ‘You have no feelings of illness, have you?’ ‘Then you are not afraid of death?’ ‘Afraid? Why should I? ‘What did he say?’ ‘How?’ ‘Will you have some breakfast?’ ‘Well, is he coming?’ I will ask what is the matter, I thought; or who should? And I exclaimed—‘Have you heard any good news, Mr. Heathcliff? ‘Where should good news come from to me?’ ‘Your dinner is here,’ I returned; ‘why won’t you get it?’ ‘Is there some new reason for this banishment?’ ‘Tell me why you are so queer, Mr. Heathcliff? Where were you last night? ‘Must I close this?’ Why did you hold the candle horizontally? ‘Is he a ghoul or a vampire?’ ‘But where did he come from, the little dark thing, harboured by a good man to his bane?’ ‘Turn round, and tell me, are we by ourselves?’ I sat, a model of patience, trying to attract his absorbed attention from its engrossing speculation; till he grew irritable, and got up, asking why I would not allow him to have his own time in taking his meals? He opened the door immediately, and said—‘Nelly, come here —is it morning? ‘Happy, master?’ ‘What is that?’ Could it be hurtful to send for some one—some minister of any denomination, it does not matter which—to explain it, and show you how very far you have erred from its precepts; and how unfit you will be for its heaven, unless a change takes place before you die?’ ‘And supposing you persevered in your obstinate fast, and died by that means, and they refused to bury you in the precincts of the kirk?’ ‘How would you like it?’ Then turning to Catherine, who was there, and who drew behind me at his approach, he added, half sneeringly,—‘Will you come, chuck? ‘What is the matter, my little man?’ ‘They are going to the Grange, then?’ ‘And who will live here then?’ ‘For the use of such ghosts as choose to inhabit it?’

    via Clive & Only the Questions

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