chapter  25
2 Pages

The Life of Charlotte Brontë, ch. 16

Even The Life of Charlotte Bronte follows the same pattern, though in this work Mrs. Gaskell did not have the freedom over her material which she enjoyed in the novels. Her honesty restrained her from imposing too grossly her own pattern on her friend's story, yet she could hardly survey Charlotte Bronte's life without seeing in it an exemplification of her own philosophy. She describes with compassionate emphasis the crises of loneliness and despair which the Bronte family encountered :

The next year opened with a spell of cold, dreary weather, which told severely on a constitution already tried by anxiety and care. Miss Bronte describes herself as having utterly lost her appetite, and as looking 'grey, old, worn, and sunk', from her suffering during the inclement season. The cold brought on severe toothache; toothache was the cause of a succession of restless, miserable nights; and long wakefulness told acutely upon her nerves, making them feel with redoubled sensitiveness all the harass of her oppressive life. Yet she would not allow herself to lay her bad health to the charge of an uneasy mind; 'for after all,'

said she at this time, 'I have many, many things to be thankful for'. . . .