The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4

By Charlotte Brontë | Go to book overview

Just at this moment how redolent of pleasant associations are its streets, its shops, its warehouses, its factories! How the prospect of this day cheers you! Letter-copying till noon, solitary dinner at your lodgings, letter-copying till evening, solitude; for you neither find pleasure in Brown's, nor Smith's, nor Nicholls', nor Eccles' company; and as to Hunsden, you fancied there was pleasure to be derived from his society--he! he! how did you like the taste you had of him last night? was it sweet? Yet he is a talented, an original-minded man, and even he does not like you; your self-respect defies you to like him; he has always seen you to disadvantage; he always will see you to disadvantage; your positions are unequal, and were they on the same level, your minds could not assimilate; never hope, then, to gather the honey of friendship out of that thorn-guarded plant. Hollo, Crimsworth! where are your thoughts tending? You leave the recollection of Hunsden as a bee would a rock, as a bird a desert; and your aspirations spread eager wings towards a land of visions where, now in advancing daylight-- in X_____ daylight--you dare to dream of congeniality, repose, union. Those three you will never meet in this world; they are angels. The souls of just men made perfect may encounter them in heaven, but your soul will never be made perfect. Eight o'clock strikes! your hands are thawed, get to work!"

"Work? why should I work?" said I, sullenly; "I cannot please though I toil like a slave.""Work, work!" reiterated the inward voice. "I may work, it will do no good," I growled; but nevertheless I drew out a packet of letters and commenced my task--task thankless and bitter as that of the Israelite crawling over the sun-baked fields of Egypt in search of straw and stubble wherewith to accomplish his tale of bricks.

About ten o'clock I heard Mr. Crimsworth's gig turn into the yard, and in a minute or two he entered the counting-room. It was his custom to glance his eye at Steighton and myself, to hang up his mackintosh, stand a minute with his back to the fire, and then walk out. To-day he did not deviate from his usual habits; the only difference was that when he looked at me, his brow, instead of being merely hard, was surly; his eye,

-39-

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The Works of Charlotte Brontë - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Contents iii
  • Preface vii
  • The Professor. 10
  • Chapter III 18
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 39
  • Chapter VIII 64
  • Chapter XI 83
  • Chapter XIII 102
  • Chapter XV 113
  • Chapter XVI 118
  • Chapter XVIII 132
  • Chapter XIX 143
  • Chapter XX 162
  • Chapter XXII 171
  • Chapter XXIII 178
  • Chapter XXV 218
  • Chapter II 245
  • Poems. 261
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