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principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling
griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date ‘1500’, and
the name ‘Hareton Earnshaw’. I would have made a few
comments, and requested a short history of the place from the
surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my
speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire to
aggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.
One step brought us into the family sitting-room, without any
introductory lobby or passage: they call it here ‘the house’ pre-
eminently. It includes kitchen and parlour, generally; but I believe
at Wuthering Heights the kitchen is forced to retreat altogether
into another quarter; at least I distinguished a chatter of tongues,
and a clatter of culinary utensils, deep within; and I observed no
signs of roasting, boiling, or baking, about the huge fireplace; nor
any glitter of copper saucepans and tin cullenders on the walls.
One end, indeed, reflected splendidly both light and heat from
ranks of immense pewter dishes, interspersed with silver jugs and
tankards, towering row after row, on a vast oak dresser, to the
very roof. The latter had never been underdrawn: its entire
anatomy lay bare to an inquiring eye, except where a frame of
wood laden with oatcakes and clusters of legs of beef, mutton, and
ham, concealed it. Above the chimney were sundry villainous old
guns, and a couple of horse-pistols: and, by way of ornament, three
gaudily painted canisters disposed along its ledge. The floor was of
smooth, white stone; the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures,
painted green: one or two heavy black ones lurking in the shade.
In an arch under the dresser, reposed a huge, liver-coloured bitch
pointer, surrounded by a swarm of squealing puppies; and other
dogs haunted other recesses.