Book Reviews and Highlights

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte

  • Classics
  • Fiction
  • Historical
  • Literary
  • Romance
  • Victorian
  • 1801— I have just returned from a visit to my landlord— the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
  • CHAPTER 1 | Page: 3
  • #first-sentence
  • Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s dwelling. ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.
  • CHAPTER 1 | Page: 3
  • Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun.
  • CHAPTER 1 | Page: 3
  • But Mr. Heathcliff forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark- skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman: that is, as much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure; and rather morose.
  • CHAPTER 1 | Page: 4
  • She was slender, and apparently scarcely past girlhood: an admirable form, and the most exquisite little face that I have ever had the pleasure of beholding: small features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate neck; and eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, they would have been irresistible: fortunately for my susceptible heart, the only sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn and a kind of desperation, singularly unnatural to be detected there.
  • CHAPTER 2 | Page: 5
  • Hindley calls him a vagabond, and won’t let him sit with us, nor eat with us any more; and, he says, he and I must not play together, and threatens to turn him out of the house if we break his orders.
  • CHAPTER 3 | Page: 9
  • We crowded round, and over Miss Cathy’s head I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black- haired child; big enough both to walk and talk: indeed, its face looked older than Catherine’s; yet, when it was set on its feet, it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish, that nobody could understand.
  • CHAPTER 4 | Page: 15
  • ‘Yes; you had the reason of going to bed with a proud heart and an empty stomach,’ said I.
  • CHAPTER 7 | Page: 21
  • ‘Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
  • CHAPTER 7 | Page: 21
  • Do you mark those two lines between your eyes; and those thick brows, that instead of rising arched, sink in the middle; and that couple of black fiends, so deeply buried, who never open their windows boldly, but lurk glinting under them, like devil’s spies?
  • CHAPTER 7 | Page: 22
  • Wish and learn to smooth away the surly wrinkles, to raise your lids frankly, and change the fiends to confident, innocent angels, suspecting and doubting nothing, and always seeing friends where they are not sure of foes. Don’t get the expression of a vicious cur that appears to know the kicks it gets are its desert, and yet hates all the world, as well as the kicker, for what it suffers.
  • CHAPTER 7 | Page: 22
  • Who knows but your father was Emperor of China, and your mother an Indian queen, each of them able to buy up, with one week’s income, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange together? And you were kidnapped by wicked sailors and brought to England. Were I in your place, I would frame high notions of my birth; and the thoughts of what I was should give me courage and dignity to support the oppressions of a little farmer!’
  • CHAPTER 7 | Page: 22
  • The soft thing looked askance through the window: he possessed the power to depart, as much as a cat possesses the power to leave a mouse half killed, or a bird half eaten.
  • CHAPTER 8 | Page: 27
  • ‘And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.’ ‘Worst of all. And now say how you love him?’
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 29
  • ‘You love Mr. Edgar, because he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and rich, and loves you. The last, however, goes for nothing: you would love him without that, probably; and with it you wouldn’t, unless he possessed the four former attractions.’
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 29
  • ‘Oh! don’t, Miss Catherine!’ I cried. ‘We’re dismal enough without conjuring up ghosts and visions to perplex us. Come, come, be merry and like yourself!
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 30
  • I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still; and Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect, that made me dread something from which I might shape a prophecy, and for see a fearful catastrophe.
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 30
  • I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 30
  • I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here?
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 31
  • My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 31
  • Edgar Linton, as multitudes have been before and will be after him, was infatuated; and believed himself the happiest man alive on the day he led her to Gimmerton chapel, three years subsequent to his father’s death.
  • CHAPTER 9 | Page: 33
  • It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 34
  • He had grown a tall, athletic, well- formed man; beside whom, my master seemed quite slender and youth- like. His upright carriage suggested the idea of his having been in the army. His countenance was much older in expression and decision of feature than Mr. Linton’s; it looked intelligent, and retained no marks of former degradation. A half- civilized ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his manner was even dignified: quite divested of roughness, though too stern for grace.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 35
  • You can well afford to indulge their passing whims as long as their business is to anticipate all your desires.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 36
  • The event of this evening has reconciled me to God and humanity! I had risen in angry rebellion against Providence.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 37
  • Leaving aside the degradation of an alliance with a nameless man, and the possible fact that his property, in default of heirs male, might pass into such a one’s power, he had sense to comprehend Heathcliff’s disposition: to know that, though his exterior was altered, his mind was unchangeable, and unchanged. And he dreaded that mind: it revolted him: he shrank forebodingly from the idea of committing Isabella to its keeping.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 37
  • Tell her what Heathcliff is: an unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation: an arid wilderness of furze and whinstone.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 38
  • Pray, don’t imagine that he conceals depths of benevolence and affection beneath a stern exterior! He’s not a rough diamond— a pearl- containing oyster of a rustic: he’s a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 38
  • know he couldn’t love a Linton; and yet he’d be quite capable of marrying your fortune and expectations: avarice is growing with him a besetting sin.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 38
  • ‘You are worse than twenty foes, you poisonous friend!’
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 38
  • His abode at the Heights was an oppression past explaining. I felt that God had forsaken the stray sheep there to its own wicked wanderings, and an evil beast prowled between it and the fold, waiting his time to spring and destroy.
  • CHAPTER 10 | Page: 39
  • I started: my bodily eye was cheated into a momentary belief that the child lifted its face and stared straight into mine! It vanished in a twinkling; but immediately I felt an irresistible yearning to be at the Heights. Superstition urged me to comply with this impulse: supposing he should be dead! I thought—or should die soon!—supposing it were a sign of death!
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 40
  • The nearer I got to the house the more agitated I grew; and on catching sight of it I trembled every limb. The apparition had out- stripped me: it stood looking through the gate. That was my first idea on observing an elf- locked, brown- eyed boy setting his ruddy countenance against the bars.
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 40
  • The tyrant grinds down his slaves and they don’t turn against him; they crush those beneath them.
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 41
  • Having levelled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 41
  • Your presence is a moral poison that would contaminate the most virtuous: for that cause, and to prevent worse consequences, I shall deny you hereafter admission into this house, and give notice now that I require your instant departure. Three minutes’ delay will render it involuntary and ignominious.
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 42
  • ‘Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like a bull!’ he said. ‘It is in danger of splitting its skull against my knuckles. By God! Mr. Linton, I’m mortally sorry that you are not worth knocking down!’
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 42
  • Your cold blood cannot be worked into a fever: your veins are full of icewater; but mine are boiling, and the sight of such chillness makes them dance.
  • CHAPTER 11 | Page: 43
  • I went about my household duties, convinced that the Grange had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that lodged in my body.
  • CHAPTER 12 | Page: 44
  • You are one of those things that are ever found when least wanted, and when you are wanted, never!
  • CHAPTER 12 | Page: 46
  • Still, I must write to somebody, and the only choice left me is you.
  • CHAPTER 13 | Page: 49
  • Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil? I shan’t tell my reasons for making this inquiry; but I beseech you to explain, if you can, what I have married: that is, when you call to see me; and you must call, Ellen, very soon.
  • CHAPTER 13 | Page: 49
  • You know as well as I do, that for every thought she spends on Linton, she spends a thousand on me!
  • CHAPTER 14 | Page: 54
  • Two words would comprehend my future— death and hell: existence, after losing her, would be hell.
  • CHAPTER 14 | Page: 54
  • No; you’re not fit to be your own guardian, Isabella, now; and I, being your legal protector, must retain you in my custody, however distasteful the obligation may be.
  • CHAPTER 14 | Page: 55
  • ‘I have no pity! I have no pity! The more the worms writhe, the more I yearn to crush out their entrails! It is a moral teething; and I grind with greater energy, in proportion to the increase of pain.’
  • CHAPTER 14 | Page: 55
  • A book lay spread on the sill before her, and the scarcely perceptible wind fluttered its leaves at intervals.
  • CHAPTER 15 | Page: 56
  • Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing; and the full mellow flow of the beck in the valley came soothingly on the ear. It was a sweet substitute for the yet absent murmur of the summer foliage, which drowned that music about the Grange when the trees were in leaf. At Wuthering Heights it always sounded on quiet days following a great thaw or a season of steady rain.
  • CHAPTER 15 | Page: 56
  • I shouldn’t care what you suffered. I care nothing for your sufferings. Why shouldn’t you suffer? I do! Will you forget me? Will you be happy when I am in the earth?
  • CHAPTER 15 | Page: 57
  • Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart— you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.
  • CHAPTER 15 | Page: 58
  • 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?’
  • CHAPTER 15 | Page: 58
  • 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 fulness.
  • CHAPTER 16 | Page: 59
  • 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. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!
  • CHAPTER 16 | Page: 60
  • 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.
  • CHAPTER 16 | Page: 60
  • Heathcliff, if I were you, I’d go stretch myself over her grave and die like a faithful dog. The world is surely not worth living in now, is it?
  • CHAPTER 17 | Page: 63
  • When his ship struck, the captain abandoned his post; and the crew, instead of trying to save her, rushed into riot and confusion, leaving no hope for their luckless vessel.
  • CHAPTER 17 | Page: 65
  • Linton, on the contrary, displayed the true courage of a loyal and faithful soul: he trusted God; and God comforted him. One hoped, and the other despaired: they chose their own lots, and were righteously doomed to endure them.
  • CHAPTER 17 | Page: 65
  • Good things lost amid a wilderness of weeds, to be sure, whose rankness far over- topped their neglected growth; yet, notwithstanding, evidence of a wealthy soil, that might yield luxuriant crops under other and favourable circumstances.
  • CHAPTER 18 | Page: 69
  • ‘That the two cousins may fall in love, and get married. I’m acting generously to your master: his young chit has no expectations, and should she second my wishes, she’ll be provided for at once as joint successor with Linton.’
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 76
  • I’ve got him faster than his scoundrel of a father secured me, and lower; for he takes a pride in his brutishness. I’ve taught him to scorn everything extra- animal as silly and weak.
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 77
  • Don’t you think Hindley would be proud of his son, if he could see him? almost as proud as I am of mine. But there’s this difference: one is gold put to the use of paving- stones, and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver. Mine has nothing valuable about it; yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as such poor stuff can go. His had first- rate qualities, and they are lost: rendered worse than unavailing.
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 77
  • The earlier dated were embarrassed and short; gradually, however, they expanded into copious love letters, foolish as the age of the writer rendered natural, yet with touches, here and there, which I thought were borrowed from a more experienced source.
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 79
  • Some of them struck me as singularly odd compounds of ardour and flatness; commencing in strong feeling, and concluding in the affected, wordy way that a schoolboy might use to a fancied, incorporeal sweetheart. Whether they satisfied Cathy, I don’t know; but they appeared very worthless trash to me.
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 79
  • ‘I didn’t! I didn’t!’ sobbed Cathy, fit to break her heart. ‘I didn’t once think of loving him till—’ ‘Loving!’ cried I, as scornfully as I could utter the word. ‘Loving! Did anybody ever hear the like! I might just as well talk of loving the miller who comes once a year to buy our corn. Pretty loving, indeed! and both times together you have seen Linton hardly four hours in your life! Now here is the babyish trash. I’m going with it to the library; and we’ll see what your father says to such loving.’
  • CHAPTER 21 | Page: 80
  • There’s a little flower, up yonder, the last bud from the multitude of blue- bells that clouded those turf steps in July with a lilac mist.
  • CHAPTER 22 | Page: 81
  • ‘Good words,’ I replied. ‘But deeds must prove it also; and after he is well, remember you don’t forget resolutions formed in the hour of fear.’
  • CHAPTER 22 | Page: 81
  • THE RAINY night had ushered in a misty morning— half frost, half drizzle— and temporary brooks crossed our path, gurgling from the uplands.
  • CHAPTER 23 | Page: 83
  • Joseph seemed sitting in a sort of elysium alone, beside a roaring fire; a quart of ale on the table near him, bristling with large pieces of toasted oat cake; and his black, short pipe in his mouth.
  • CHAPTER 23 | Page: 83
  • And papa swore it was owing to me: he called me a pitiful, shuffling, worthless thing; and said you despised me; and if he had been in my place, he would be more the master of the Grange than your father, by this time.
  • CHAPTER 23 | Page: 83
  • ‘Like him?’ I exclaimed. ‘The worst- tempered bit of a sickly slip that ever struggled into its teens!
  • CHAPTER 23 | Page: 85
  • Dear Catherine, my life is in your hands: and you have said you loved me— and if you did, it wouldn’t harm you. You’ll not go, then? kind, sweet, good Catherine! And perhaps you will consent— and he’ll let me die with you!’
  • CHAPTER 27 | Page: 93
  • Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to love you; and, however miserable you make us, we shall still have the revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your greater misery! You are miserable, are you not? Lonely, like the devil, and envious like him? Nobody loves you— nobody will cry for you when you die! I wouldn’t be you!’
  • CHAPTER 29 | Page: 100
  • Disturbed her? No! she has disturbed me, night and day, through eighteen years— incessantly— remorselessly— till yesternight; and yesternight I was tranquil. I dreamt I was sleeping the last sleep by that sleeper, with my heart stopped and my cheek frozen against hers.’
  • CHAPTER 29 | Page: 101
  • I overheard no further distinguishable talk, but on looking round again, I perceived two such radiant countenances bent over the page of the accepted book, that I did not doubt the treaty had been ratified, on both sides, and the enemies were, thenceforth, sworn allies.
  • CHAPTER 32 | Page: 110
  • Earnshaw was not to be civilized with a wish; and my young lady was no philosopher, and no paragon of patience; but both their minds tending to the same point— one loving and desiring to esteem, and the other loving and desiring to be esteemed— they contrived in the end to reach it.
  • CHAPTER 32 | Page: 110
  • ‘You shouldn’t grudge a few yards of earth, for me to ornament, when you have taken all my land!’
  • CHAPTER 33 | Page: 111
  • and then she comprehended that Earnshaw took the master’s reputation home to himself; and was attached by ties stronger than reason could break—chains, forged by habit, which it would be cruel to attempt to loosen.
  • CHAPTER 33 | Page: 112
  • I get levers and mattocks to demolish the two houses, and train myself to be capable of working like Hercules, and when everything is ready, and in my power, I find the will to lift a slate off either roof has vanished!
  • CHAPTER 33 | Page: 113
  • Last night, I was on the threshold of hell. To-day, I am within sight of my heaven. I have my eyes on it: hardly three feet to sever me!
  • CHAPTER 34 | Page: 115
  • Those deep black eyes! That smile, and ghastly paleness! It appeared to me, not Mr. Heathcliff, but a goblin; and, in my terror, I let the candle bend towards the wall, and it left me in darkness.
  • CHAPTER 34 | Page: 115
  • I tried to close his eyes: to extinguish, if possible, that frightful, life-like gaze of exultation, before any one else beheld it. They would not shut: they seemed to sneer at my attempts; and his parted lips and sharp white teeth sneered too!
  • CHAPTER 34 | Page: 117
  • ‘They are afraid of nothing,’ I grumbled, watching their approach through the window. ‘Together, they would brave Satan and all his legions.’
  • CHAPTER 34 | Page: 118
  • I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
  • CHAPTER 34 | Page: 118
  • #last-sentence