“And I must suffer for her egotism!” she sobbed, as Mrs. Linton left the room. “All, all is against me: she has blighted my single consolation. But she uttered falsehoods, didnt she? Mr. ”
“Banish him from your thoughts, Miss,” I said. “Hes a bird of bad omen: no mate for you. Mrs. Linton spoke strongly, and yet I cant contradict her. She is better acquainted with his heart than I, or any one besides; and she never would represent him as worse than he is. Honest people dont hide their deeds. how has he got rich? why is he staying at Wuthering Heights, the house of a man whom he abhors? They say Mr. Earnshaw is worse and worse since he came. They sit up all night together continually, and Hindley has been borrowing money on his land, and does nothing but play and drink: I heard only a week ago-it was Joseph who told me-I met him at Gimmerton: ‘Nelly, he said, ‘wes hae a crowners quest enow, at ahr folks. One on em s amost getten his finger cut off wi hauding t other fro stickin hisseln loike a cawlf. Thats maister, yah knaw, at s soa up o going tuh t grand sizes. Hes noan feared o t bench o judges, norther Paul, nur Peter, nur John, nur Matthew, nor noan on em, not he! He fair likes-he langs to set his brazened face agean em! And yon bonny lad Heathcliff, yah mind, hes a rare un. He can girn a laugh as well s onybody at a raight divils jest. Does he niver say nowt of his fine living amang us, when he goes to t Grange? This is t way on t:-up at sun-down: dice, brandy, cloised shutters, und canle-light till next day at noon: then, t fooil gangs banning un raving to his chamer, makking dacent fowks dig thur fingers i thur lugs fur varry shame; un the knave, why he can caint his brass, un ate payday lender Chesterfield, un sleep, un off to his neighbours to gossip wi t wife. I course, he tells Dame Catherine how her fathurs goold runs into his pocket, and her fathurs son gallops down t broad road, while he flees afore to oppen t pikes! Now, Miss Linton, Joseph is an old rascal, but no liar; and, if his account of Heathcliffs conduct be true, you would never think of desiring such a husband, would you?”
“You are leagued with the rest, Ellen!” she replied. “Ill not listen to your slanders. What malevolence you must have to wish to convince me that there is no happiness in the world!”
Whether she would have got over this fancy if left to herself, or persevered in nursing it perpetually, I cannot say: she had little time to reflect. The day after, there was a justice-meeting at the next town; my master was obliged to attend; and Mr. Catherine and Isabella were sitting in the library, on hostile terms, but silent: the latter alarmed at her recent indiscretion, and the disclosure she had made of her secret feelings in a transient fit of passion; the former, on mature consideration, really offended with her companion; and, if she laughed again at her pertness, inclined to make it no laughing matter to her. She did laugh as she saw Heathcliff pass the window. I was sweeping the hearth, and I noticed a mischievous smile on her lips. Isabella, absorbed in her meditations, or a book, remained till the door opened; and it was too late to attempt an escape, which she would gladly have done had it been practicable.
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