Wuthering Heights

by: Emily Brontë

Chapters XV–XX

1

He neither spoke nor loosed his hold for some five minutes, during which period he bestowed more kisses than ever he gave in his life before, I daresay: but then my mistress had kissed him first, and I plainly saw that he could hardly bear, for downright agony, to look into her face! The same conviction had stricken him as me, from the instant he beheld her, that there was no prospect of ultimate recovery there—she was fated, sure to die.

2

‘You loved me—then what right had you to leave me? . . . I have not broken your heart—you¬ have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you—oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave?’

3

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 sorrow sunk.

4

He recalled her memory with ardent, tender love…And he had earthly consolation and affections also. For a few days, I said, he seemed regardless of the puny successor to the departed: that coldness melted as fast as snow in April, and ere the tiny thing could stammer a word or totter a step it wielded a despot’s sceptre in his heart.

5

‘I’ll be very kind to him, you needn’t fear,’ he said, laughing . . . ‘my son is prospective owner of your place, and I should not wish him to die till I was certain of being his successor. Besides, he’s mine, and I want the triumph of seeing my descendant fairly lord of their estates . . . I despise him for himself, and hate him for the memories he revives!’