ABOUT twelve o'clock, that night, was born the
Catherine you saw at Wuthering Heights, a puny, seven months'
child; and two hours after the mother died, having never recovered
sufficient consciousness to miss Heathcliff or know Edgar.
The latter's distraction at his bereavement is a subject too
painful to be dwelt on; its after effects showed how deep the
A great addition, in my eyes, was his being left without an heir.
I bemoaned that, as I gazed on the feeble orphan; and I mentally
abused old Linton for, what was only natural partiality, the
securing his estate to his own daughter, instead of his son's.
An unwelcomed infant it was, poor thing!
It might have wailed out of life, and nobody cared a morsel, during
those first hours of existence.
We redeemed the neglect afterwards; but its beginning was as
friendless as its end is likely to be.
Next morning -- bright and cheerful out of doors -- stole softened
in through the blinds of the silent room, and suffused the couch
and its occupant with a mellow, tender glow.
Edgar Linton had his head laid on the pillow, and his eyes shut.
His young and fair features were almost as deathlike as those of
the form beside him, and almost as fixed; but his was the
hush of exhausted anguish, and hers of perfect peace.
Her brow smooth, her lids closed, her lips wearing the expression
of a smile.
No angel in heaven could be more beautiful than she appeared; and I
partook of the infinite calm in which she lay.
My mind was never in a holier frame, than while I gazed on that
I instinctively echoed the words she had uttered, a few hours
"Incomparably beyond, and above us all!
Whether still on earth or now in heaven her spirit is at home with
I don't know if it be a peculiarity in me, but I am seldom
otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death, should
no frenzied or despairing mourner share the duty with me.
I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break; and I feel an
assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter -- the Eternity
they have entered -- where life is boundless in its duration, and
love in its sympathy, and joy in its fullness.
I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness there is even in a
love like Mr Linton's, when he so regretted Catherine's blessed
To be sure one might have doubted, after the wayward and impatient
existence she had led, whether she merited a haven of peace at
One might doubt in seasons of cold reflection, but not then, in the
presence of her corpse.
It asserted its own tranquillity, which seemed a pledge of equal
quiet to its former inhabitant.
"Do you believe such people are happy in the other world,
I'd give a great deal to know."
I declined answering Mrs Dean's question, which struck me as
"Retracing the course of Catherine Linton, I fear we have no right
to think she is: but we'll leave her with her Maker."
The master looked asleep, and I ventured soon after sunrise to quit
the room and steal out to the pure, refreshing air.
The servants thought me gone to shake off the drowsiness of my
protracted watch; in reality my chief motive was seeing Mr
If he had remained among the larches all night he would have heard
nothing of the stir at the Grange, unless, perhaps, he might catch
the gallop of the messenger going to Gimmerton.
from the lights flitting to and fro, and the opening and shutting
of the outer doors, that all was not right within.
I wished yet feared to find him.
I felt the terrible news must be told, and I longed to get it over,
but how to do it I did not know.
He was there --at least a few yards further in the park; leant
against an old ash tree, his hat off, and his hair soaked with the
dew that had gathered on the budded branches, and fell pattering
He had been standing a long time in that position, for I saw a pair
of ousels passing and repassing, scarcely three feet from him, busy
in building their nest, and regarding his proximity no more than
that of a piece of timber.
They flew off at my approach, and he raised his eyes and spoke:
"She's dead!" he said; "I've not waited for you to learn that.
Put your handkerchief away -- don't snivel before me.
Damn you all! she wants none of your tears!"
I was weeping as much for him as her: we do sometimes pity
creatures that have none of the feeling either for themselves or
others; when I first looked into his face I perceived that he had
got intelligence of the catastrophe; and a foolish notion struck me
that his heart was quelled, and he prayed, because his lips moved,
and his gaze was bent on the ground.
"Yes, she's dead!" I answered, checking my sobs, and drying my
"Gone to heaven, I hope, where we may, every one, join her, if we
take due warning, and leave our evil ways to follow good!"
"Did she take due warning, then?" asked Heathcliff,
attempting a sneer.
"Did she die like a saint?
Come, give me a true history of the event.
How did -- -- "
He endeavoured to pronounce the name, but could not
combat with his inward agony, defying, meanwhile, my sympathy with
an unflinching, ferocious stare.
"How did she die?" he resumed, at last -- fain, notwithstanding his
hardihood, to have a support behind him, for, after the struggle,
he trembled, in spite of himself, to his very finger-ends.
"Poor wretch!" I thought; "you have a heart and nerves the same as
your brother men!
Why should you be anxious to conceal them? your pride cannot blind
You tempt him to wring them, till he forces a cry of humiliation!"
"Quietly as a lamb!" I answered, aloud.
"She drew a sigh, and stretched herself, like a child reviving, and
sinking again to sleep; and five minutes after I felt one little
pulse at her heart, and nothing more!"
"And -- did she ever mention me?" he asked, hesitating, as if he
dreaded the answer to his question would introduce details that he
could not bear to hear.
"Her senses never returned -- she recognized nobody from the time
you left her," I said.
"She lies with a sweet smile on her face; and her latest ideas
wandered back to pleasant early days.
Her life closed in a gentle dream -- may she wake as kindly in the
"May she wake in torment!" he cried, with frightful vehemence,
stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of
"Why, she's a liar to the end!
Where is she?
Not there -- not in heaven -- not perished -- where?
Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings!
And I pray one prayer -- I repeat it till my tongue stiffens --
Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest, as long as I am living!
You said I killed you -- haunt me then!
The murdered do haunt their murderers.
I believe -- I know that ghosts have wandered on earth.
only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find
Oh, God! it is unutterable!
I cannot live without my life!
I cannot live without my soul!"
He dashed his head against the knotted trunk; and, lifting up his
eyes, howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast getting
goaded to death with knives and spears.
I observed several splashes of blood about the bark of the tree,
and his hand and forehead were both stained; probably the scene I
witnessed was a repetition of others acted during the night.
It hardly moved my compassion--it appalled me; still I felt
reluctant to quit him so.
But the moment he recollected himself enough to notice me watching,
he thundered a command for me to go, and I obeyed.
He was beyond my skill to quiet or console!
Mrs Linton's funeral was appointed to take place on the Friday
following her decease; and till then her coffin remained uncovered,
and strewn with flowers and scented leaves, in the great drawing-
Linton spent his days and nights there, a sleepless guardian; and -
- a circumstance concealed from all but me -- Heathcliff spent his
nights, at least, outside, equally a stranger to repose.
I held no communication with him; still I was conscious of his
design to enter, if he could; and on the Tuesday, a little after
dark, when my master from sheer fatigue, had been compelled to
retire a couple of hours, I went and opened one of the windows,
moved by his perseverance to give him a chance of bestowing on the
fading image of his idol one final adieu.
He did not omit to avail himself of the opportunity, cautiously and
briefly; too cautiously to betray his presence by the slightest
noise; indeed, I shouldn't have discovered that he had been there,
except for the disarrangement of the drapery about the corpse's
face, and for observing on the floor a curl of light hair, fastened
ascertained to have been taken from a locket hung round Catherine's
Heathcliff had opened the trinket, and cast out its contents,
replacing them by a black lock of his own.
I twisted the two, and enclosed them together.
Mr Earnshaw was, of course, invited to attend the remains of his
sister to the grave; and he sent no excuse, but he never came; so
that besides her husband, the mourners were wholly composed of
tenants and servants.
Isabella was not asked.
The place of Catherine's interment, to the surprise of the
villagers, was neither in the chapel, under the carved monument of
the Lintons, nor yet by the tombs of her own relations, outside.
It was dug on a green slope, in a corner of the kirkyard, where the
wall is so low that heath and bilberry plants have climbed over it
from the moor; and peat mould almost buries it.
Her husband lies in the same spot, now; and they have each a simple
headstone, above, and a plain grey block at their feet, to mark the