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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

oppression: it had none of the timid susceptibility that would have
given zest to ill-treatment, in Heathcliff’s judgment. He appeared
to have bent his malevolence on making him a brute: he was never
taught to read or write; never rebuked for any bad habit which did
not annoy his keeper; never led a single step towards virtue, or
guarded by a single precept against vice. And from what I heard,
Joseph contributed much to his deterioration, by a narrow-
minded partiality which prompted him to flatter and pet him, as a
boy, because he was the head of the old family. And as he had
been in the habit of accusing Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff,
when children, of putting the master past his patience, and
compelling him to seek solace in drink by what he termed their
“offalld ways”, so at present he laid the whole burden of Hareton’s
faults on the shoulders of the usurper of his property.

If the lad swore, he wouldn’t correct him; nor however culpably
he behaved. It gave Joseph satisfaction, apparently, to watch him
go the worst lengths. He allowed that he was ruined, that his soul
was abandoned to perdition; but then, he reflected that Heathcliff
must answer for it. Hareton’s blood would be required at his
hands; and there lay immense consolation in that thought.

Joseph had instilled into him a pride of name, and of his
lineage; he would, had he dared, have fostered hate between him
and the present owner of the Heights; but his dread of that owner
amounted to superstition; and he confined his feelings regarding
him to muttered innuendoes and private comminations.

I don’t pretend to be intimately acquainted with the mode of
living customary in those days at Wuthering Heights: I only speak
from hearsay; for I saw little. The villagers affirmed Mr. Heathcliff
was near, and a cruel hard landlord to his tenants; but the house,

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