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indignant denial of her accusations.

“Mr. Hareton is desirous of increasing his amount of
knowledge,” I said, coming to his rescue. “He is not envious but
emulous of your attainments. He’ll be a clever scholar in a few

“And he wants me to sink into a dunce, meantime,” answered
Catherine. “Yes, I hear him trying to spell and read to himself, and
pretty blunders he makes! I wish you would repeat Chevy Chase
as you did yesterday--it was extremely funny! I heard you . . . and
I heard you turning over the dictionary to seek out the hard words,
and then cursing, because you couldn’t read their explanations!”

The young man evidently thought it too bad that he should be
laughed at for his ignorance, and then laughed at for trying to
remove it. I had a similar notion, and, remembering Mrs. Dean’s
anecdote of his first attempt at enlightening the darkness in which
he had been reared, I observed--

“But, Mrs. Heathcliff, we have each had a commencement, and
each stumbled and tottered on the threshold; and had our
teachers scorned instead of aiding us, we should stumble and
totter yet.”

“Oh!” she replied, “I don’t wish to limit his acquirements . . .
still, he had no right to appropriate what is mine, and make it
ridiculous to me with his vile mistakes and mispronunciations!
Those books, both prose and verse, were consecrated to me by
other associations, and I hate to have them debased and profaned
in his mouth! Besides, of all, he has selected my favourite pieces
that I love the most to repeat, as if out of deliberate malice!”

Hareton’s chest heaved in silence a minute: he laboured under
a severe sense of mortification and wrath, which it was no easy

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