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Letter 22: Letter from Branwell Brontë to an unknown correspondent, 22 May 1846 (BC MS 19c Brontë/02/01/22)

Branwell Bronte letter fragment
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Branwell Bronte - Myself crop
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Page 3, Branwell Brontë, Letter addressed from 'Haworth, Bradford, Yorks'; with pen and ink sketch entitled 'Our Lady of Grief'
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Branwell Bronte – Alas! Poor Caunt!
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Pen and Ink Sketch by Branwell
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Branwell Bronte - Paradise and Purgatory drawing
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Page 2, Branwell Brontë, letter to Joseph Bentley Leyland
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Portrait of Joseph Bentley Leyland
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Branwell Bronte - John Brown letter
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Letter accompanied by a pen and ink sketch of a grave stone inscribed with the word 'Resurgam'; addressed from 'Haworth nr Bradford'.
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Letter addressed from 'Haworth nr Bradford'; letter bearing broken seal, Bradford and Halifax post marks and penny postage stamp
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Letter addressed from 'Haworth, Bradford, Yorks'; letter bearing remains of seal, Bradford and Halifax post marks and penny postage stamp
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'Northangerland' pen and ink sketch
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Letter signed 'Northangerland'.
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Bibiography and relevant literature for the Bronte and Leyland Manuscripts. Part of the Brontë collection at the University of Leeds Special Collections.
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Haworth nr Bradford May 22 [...]
1846


Dear Sir,

I cannot avoid the temptation to cheer my spirits
by scribbling a few lines to you, while I sit alone & all the
household being at church; the sole occupant, of an ancient
parsonage, among lonely hills which probably will never hear
the whistle on an Engine till yourself and I are in the grave.

After experiencing, since my return home, extreme pain
and illness, with mental depression worse than either, I have at
length regained health strength and soundness of mind far superior,
I trust, to any thing shewn by that miserable wreck
which you used to know under my name. I can now speak
cheerfully and enjoy the company of another without the stimulus
of six glasses of whiskey: I can write, think, and act
with some approach to resolution; and I only want a motive
for exertion to be happier than I have been for years before:
But I feel my recovery from almost Insanity , to be retarded
by having nothing to listen to except the wind moaning among
old chimneys and older Ash Trees;nothing to look at except
heathy hills walked over when life had all to hope for
and nothing to regret with me;no one to speak to except
crabbed old Greeks and Romans who have been dust these two
thousand years: And yet this quiet life;from its contrast, makes
the year passed at Luddenden Foot appear like a night mare;
for I would rather give a hand than undergo again the gruelling
carelessness;the malignant yet cold def debauchery;the det

determination to find out how far the mind could carry the body
without both being chucked into Hell, which marked my conduct
while there;lost as I was to all that I really liked,
and seeking relief from the indulgence of feelings which form
the black spot in my character.

The rapidity of my recovery from such a state of ruin
proves;I trust that I have still something left in me which
may do me service, but I ought [...] deleted text not to remain too long
in solitude, for the world soon forgets a man who has bidden
it 'good bye'; and, though, quiet is an excellent cure for a
diseased mind, no medicine should be continued after the patient's
recovery.

Convinced of the necessity, and anxious for the opportunity of
active life, I am about&though ashamed of the business;to dun
you for an answer to the following questions.

Ist ;Can I obtain a chance of some situations, under English
Engineers, on one of the lines commencing abroad, either in Russia;
Sweden;Belgium &France;or the Sardinian Dominions;such as
I could properly fill, if possessed of the qualifications mentioned
below&viz.

The usual branches of a gentlemans education;including some
acquaintance with French and such a notion of Drawing and the
execution of plans [...] as might perhaps with proper instruction
be turned to some useful account in office or out of door employment.—

Recommendations from any necessary number of individuals,
and these of the most respectable order.

Securities to any amount requisite.

have not wholly forgotten him, will greatly please,
Dear Sir,
Your most obdt Sevt,
P.B.Brontë.

Give my most sincere and respectful regards to Mrs[?]
Stephenson, to whom I should have written, but that
I am not inclined to trouble any one with more of my
correspondence than I can avoid.

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