31 August 2010

Charlotte Bronte letters -- A.B. NICHOLLS

A.B. NICHOLLS -- the man charlotte bronte would eventually marry.

to ELLEN NUSSEY about A.B. NICHOLLS, 4 March 1853

The fact is I shall be most thankful when he is well away -- I pity him -- but I don't like that dark gloom of his -- He dogged me up the lane after the evening service in no pleasant manner -- he stopped also in the passage after the Bishop and the other clergy were gone into the room -- and it was because I drew away and went upstairs that he gave that look which filled Martha's soul with horror She -- it seems -- meantime, was making it her business to watch him from the kitchen door -- If Mr. N----- be a good man at bottom -- it is a sad thing that Nature has not given him the faculty to put goodness into a more attractive form -- Into the bargain of all the rest he managed to get up a most pertinacious and needless dispute with the Inspector -- in listening to which all my old unfavourable impression revived so strongly -- I fear my countenance could not but shew them. (130)

to ELLEN NUSSEY, 27 May 1853

He left Haworth this morning at 6 o'clock. Yesterday evening he called to render into papa's hands the deeds of the National School -- and to say good-bye. They were busy cleaning -- washing the paint &c. in the dining-room so he did not find me there. I would not go into the parlour to speak to him in Papa's last moment -- I thought it best not -- But perceiving that he stayed long before going out at the gate -- and remembering his long grief I took courage and went out trembling and miserable. I found him leaning again[st] the garden-door in a paroxysm of anguish -- sobbing as women never sob. Of course I went straight to him. Very few words were interchanged -- those few barely articulate: several things I should have liked to ask him were swept entirely from my memory. Poor fellow! but he wanted such hope and such encouragement as I could not give him. Still I trust he must know now tha[t] I am not cruelly blind and indifferent to his constancy and grief. For a few weeks he goes to the south of England -- afterwards he takes a curacy somewhere in Yorkshire but I don't know where. (168-9)

...to be continued...


The Letters of Charlotte Bronte, edited by Margaret Smith, volume III

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