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Mr. Bronto afflicted with blindness, and relieved by a successful ope-

ration for cataract Charlotte Brontë's first work of fiction, “The
Professor”-She commences “Jane Eyre”-Circumstances attend-
ing its composition-Her ideas of a heroine

Her attachment to
home-Haworth in December-A letter of confession and counsel,

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CHAPTER VII.

Visit to Sir J. and Lady Kay Shuttleworth-The biographer's impres-

sions of Miss Brontë-Miss Brontë's account of her visit to the

Lakes of Westmoreland-Her disinclination for acquaintance and

visiting-Remarks on Woman's Mission,” Tennyson's “In Me-

moriam," &c.-Impressions of her visit to Scotland-Remarks on a

review in the “Palladium,"

. 140
CHAPTER XI.

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Miss Brontē revisits Scarborough-Serious illness and ultimate conva-

lescence of her father-Her own illness—"Villette" nearly comple-

LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTË.

CHAPTER I.

DURING this summer of 1846, while her literary hopes were waning, an anxiety of another kind was increasing. Her father's eyesight had become seriously impaired by the progress of the cataract which was forming. He was nearly blind. He could grope his way about, and recognise the features of those he knew well, when they were placed against a strong light, but he could no longer see to read; and thus his eager appetite for knowledge and information of all kinds was severely balked.

He continued to preach. I have heard that he was led up into the pulpit, and that his ser mons were never so effective as when he stood there, a grey sightless old man, his blind eyes looking out straight before him, while the words that came from his lips had all the vigour and force of his best days. Another fact has been mentioned to me, curious as showing the acourateness of his sensation of time. His sermons had always lasted exactly half an hour. With the clock right before him, and with his ready flow of words, this had been no difficult matter as long as he could see. But it was the same when he was blind;

TOL, II.-1

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