The Life of Charlotte Bronte HTML version

Chapter 11
The reader will remember that Anne Bronte had been interred in the churchyard of the
Old Church at Scarborough. Charlotte had left directions for a tombstone to be placed
over her; but many a time during the solitude of the past winter, her sad, anxious thoughts
had revisited the scene of that last great sorrow, and she had wondered whether all decent
services had been rendered to the memory of the dead, until at last she came to a silent
resolution to go and see for herself whether the stone and inscription were in a
satisfactory state of preservation.
"Cliffe House, Filey, June 6th, 1852.
"Dear E----, --I am at Filey utterly alone. Do not be angry, the step is right. I considered
it, and resolved on it with due deliberation. Change of air was necessary; there were
reasons why I should NOT go to the south, and why I should come here. On Friday I
went to Scarborough, visited the churchyard and stone. It must be refaced and relettered;
there are five errors. I gave the necessary directions. THAT duty, then, is done; long has
it lain heavy on my mind; and that was a pilgrimage I felt I could only make alone.
"I am in our old lodgings at Mrs. Smith's; not, however, in the same rooms, but in less
expensive apartments. They seemed glad to see me, remembered you and me very well,
and, seemingly, with great good will. The daughter who used to wait on us is just
married. Filey seems to me much altered; more lodging-houses--some of them very
handsome--have been built; the sea has all its old grandeur. I walk on the sands a good
deal, and try NOT to feel desolate and melancholy. How sorely my heart longs for you, I
need not say. I have bathed once; it seemed to do me good. I may, perhaps, stay here a
fortnight. There are as yet scarcely any visitors. A Lady Wenlock is staying at the large
house of which you used so vigilantly to observe the inmates. One day I set out with
intent to trudge to Filey Bridge, but was frightened back by two cows. I mean to try again
some morning. I left papa well. I have been a good deal troubled with headache, and with
some pain in the side since I came here, but I feel that this has been owing to the cold
wind, for very cold has it been till lately; at present I feel better. Shall I send the papers to
you as usual Write again directly, and tell me this, and anything and everything else that
comes into your mind.--Believe me, yours faithfully,
"Filey, June 16th, 1852.
"Dear E----, --Be quite easy about me. I really think I am better for my stay at Filey; that I
have derived more benefit from it than I dared to anticipate. I believe, could I stay here
two months, and enjoy something like social cheerfulness as well as exercise and good