Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When a note is written

Charlotte Bronte to Miss Ellen Nussey
Upperwood House, June 10th, 1841.

Dear Nell,

If I don’t scrawl you a line of some sort I know you will begin to fancy that I neglect you, in spite of all I said last time we met. You can hardly fancy it possible, I dare say, that I cannot find a quarter of an hour to scribble a note in; but when a note is written it is to be carried a mile to the post, and consumes nearly an hour, which is a large portion of the day. Mr. and Mrs. White have been gone a week. I heard from them this morning; they are now at Hexham. No time is fixed for their return, but I hope it will not be delayed long, or I shall miss the chance of seeing Anne this vacation. She came home, I understand, last Wednesday, and is only to be allowed three weeks’ holidays, because the family she is with are going to Scarborough. I should like to see her to judge for myself of the state of her health. I cannot trust any other person’s report, no one seems minute enough in their observations. I should also very much have liked you to see her.

I have got on very well with the servants and children so far, yet it is dreary, solitary work. You can tell as well as me the lonely feeling of being without a companion. I offered the Irish concern to Mary Taylor, but she is so circumstanced that she cannot accept it. Her brothers have a feeling of pride that revolts at the thought of their sister “going out.” I hardly knew that it was such a degradation till lately.

Your visit did me much good. I wish Mary Taylor would come, and yet I hardly know how to find time to be with her. Good-bye. God bless you.
C. Brontë.

I am very well, and I continue to get to bed before twelve o’clock p.m. I don’t tell people that I am dissatisfied with my situation. I can drive on; there is no use in complaining. I have lost my chance of going to Ireland.

-from Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle by Clement Shorter (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1896) p.89-90.

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