“On the contrary, a tiresomely active one. I perceive that people in these regions acquire over people in towns the value that a spider in a dungeon does over a spider in a cottage, to their various occupants; and yet the deepened attraction is not entirely owing to the situation of the looker-on. They do live more in earnest, more in themselves, and less in surface, change, and frivolous external things. I could fancy a love for life here almost possible; and I was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a years standing. One state resembles setting a hungry man down to a single dish, on which he may concentrate his entire appetite and do it justice; the other, introducing him to a table laid out by French cooks: he can perhaps extract as much enjoyment from the whole; but each part is a mere atom in his regard and remembrance.”
When she came, I felt convinced we shouldnt keep her long; and now, I must tell you, the winter will probably finish her
“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 good friend, are a striking evidence against that assertion. Excepting a few provincialisms of slight consequence, you have no habituated to consider as peculiar to your class. I am sure you have thought a great deal more than the generality of servants think. You have been compelled to cultivate your reflective faculties for want of occasions for frittering your life away in silly trifles.”
“I certainly esteem myself a steady, reasonable kind of body,” she said; “not exactly from living among the hills and seeing one set of faces, and one series of actions, from years end to years end; but I have undergone sharp discipline, which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy, Mr. Lockwood. You could not open a book in this library that I have not looked into, and got something out of also: unless it be that range of Greek and Latin, and that of French; and those I know one from another: it is as much as you can expect of a poor mans d to follow my story in true gossips fashion, I had better go on; and instead of leaping three years, I will be content to pass to the next summer-the summer of 1778, that is nearly twenty-three years ago.”
On the morning of a fine June day my first bonny little nursling, and the last of the ancient Earnshaw stock, was born. We were busy with the hay in a far-away field, when the girl that usually brought our breakfasts came running an hour too soon across the meadow and up the lane, calling me as she ran.
“Oh, such a grand bairn!” she panted out. “The finest lad that ever breathed! But the doctor says missis must go: he says shes been in a consumption these many months. I heard him tell Mr. Hindley: and now she has nothing to keep her, and shell be dead before winter. You must come home directly. Youre to nurse it, Nelly: to feed it with sugar and milk, and take care of it day and his comment is here night. I wish I were you, because it will be all yours when there is no missis!”
“I guess she is; yet she looks bravely,” replied the girl, “and she talks as if she thought of living to see it grow a man. Shes out of her head for joy, its such a beauty! If I were her Im certain I should not die: I should get better at the bare sight of it, in spite of Kenneth. I was fairly mad at him. Dame Archer brought the cherub down to master, in the house, and his face just began to light up, when the old croaker steps forward, and says he-‘Earnshaw, its a blessing your wife has been spared to leave you this son. Dont take on, and fret about it too much: it cant be helped. And besides, you should have known better than to choose such a rush of a lass!”