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© University of Leeds

Letter from Branwell Brontë to Joseph Bentley Leyland, c. June - July 1846 (BC MS 19c Brontë/02/01/12)

14977Well, my dear S …

Note: 149 Note: 77

Well, my dear Sir, I have got my finishing
stroke at last; and I feel stunned into marble
by the blow.

I have this morning received a long, kind and
faithful letter from the medical gentleman who
attended Mr B - in his last illness and who has ⟨since⟩ had
an interview with me whom I can never forget.

He knows me well and he pities my case most
sincerely, for he declares that though used to the
rough ups and downs of this weary world, he shed
tears from his heart when he saw the state of that
lady and knew what I should feel.

When he mentioned my name she stared at
him and fainted. When she recovered she in turns
dwelt on her inextinguishable love for me — her
horror at having been the first to delude me into
wretchedness, and her agony at having been the cause
of the death of her husband, who, in his last hours,
bitterly repented of his treatment of her.

Note: 78 Note: 150

Her sensitive mind was totally wrecked. She
wandered into talking of entering a Nunnery; and
the Doctor fairly debars me from hope in the
future.

It's hard work for me dear Sir; I would
bear it - but my health is so bad that the
body seems as if it could not bear the mental
shock.

I never cared one bit about the property.
I cared about herself - and always shall
do.

May God bless her but I wish I had
never known her!

My appetite is lost; my nights are dreadful,
and having nothing to do makes me dwell
on past scenes - on her own self, her voice, her
person, her thoughts - till I could be glad if God
would take me. In the next world I could not
be worse than I am in this.

I am not a whiner dear sir, but when a
Note: 151 Note: 79

Later annotations in pencil in unknown hand in the top right corner. ‘53a’

young man like myself has fixed his soul
on a being worthy of all love — and who
for years, has given him all love, pardon
him for boring a friend with a misery that
has only one black end.

I fully expected a change of the will,
and difficulties placed in my way by powerful
and wealthy men, but I hard ly expected the
hopeless ruin of the mind that I loved her even
more than its body.

Excuse my egotism, and believe me,
Dear Sir,
Yours,
P B Brontë

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