When we got to Wuthering Heights, there he stood at the front door; and, as I passed in, I asked, “how was the baby?”
“Damn the doctor!” he interrupted, reddening. “Frances is quite right: shell be perfectly well by this time next week. Are you going upstairs? will you tell her that Ill come, if shell promise not to talk. Kenneth says she must be quiet.”
For himself, he grew desperate: his sorrow was of that kind that will not lament
I delivered this message to Mrs. Earnshaw; she seemed in flighty spirits, and replied merrily, “I hardly spoke a word, Ellen, and there he has gone out twice, crying. Well, say I promise I wont speak: but that does not bind me not to laugh at him!”
Till within a week of her death that gay heart never failed her; and her husband persisted doggedly, nay, furiously, in affirming her health improved every day. When Kenneth warned him that his medicines were useless at that stage of the malady, and he payday loans Missouri neednt put him to further expense by attending her, he retorted, “I know you need not-shes well-she does not want any more attendance from you! She never was in a consumption. It was a fever; and it is gone: her pulse is as slow as mine now, and her cheek as cool.”
He told his wife the same story, and she seemed to believe him; but one night, while leaning on his shoulder, in the act of saying she thought she should be able to get up to-morrow, a fit of coughing took her-a very slight one-he raised her in his arms; she put her two hands about his neck, her face changed, and she was dead.
As the girl had anticipated, the child Hareton fell wholly into my hands. Mr. Earnshaw, provided he saw him healthy and never heard him cry, was contented, as far as regarded him. He neither wept nor prayed; he cursed and defied: execrated God and man, and gave himself up to reckless dissipation. The servants could not bear his tyrannical and evil conduct long: Joseph and I were the only two that would stay. I had not the heart to leave my charge; and besides, you know, I had been his foster-sister, and excused his behaviour more readily than a stranger would. Joseph remained to hector over tenants and labourers; and because it was his vocation to be where he had plenty of wickedness to reprove.
The masters bad ways and bad companions formed a pretty example for Catherine and Heathcliff. His treatment of the latter was enough to make a fiend of a saint. And, truly, it appeared as if the lad were possessed of something diabolical at that period. He delighted to witness Hindley degrading himself past redemption; and became daily more notable for savage sullenness and ferocity. I could not half tell what an infernal house we had. The curate dropped calling, and nobody e near us, at last; unless Edgar Lintons visits to Miss Cathy might be an exception. At fifteen she was the queen of the country-side; she had no peer; and she did turn out a haughty, headstrong creature! I own I did not like her, after infancy was past; and I vexed her frequently by trying to bring down her arrogance: she never took an aversion to me, though. She had a wondrous constancy to old attachments: even Heathcliff kept his hold on her affections unalterably; and young Linton, with all his superiority, found it difficult to make an equally deep impression. He was my late master: that is his portrait over the fireplace. It used to hang on one side, and his wifes on the other; but hers has been removed, or else you might see something of what she was. Can you make that out?