CHAPTER I1801.--I have just returned from a visit to my landlord--the solitaryneighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautifulcountry! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on asituation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfectmisanthropist's heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pairto divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He littleimagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyeswithdraw so suspiciously under their ...
CHAPTER I1801.--I have just returned from a visit to my landlord--the solitaryneighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautifulcountry! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on asituation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfectmisanthropist's heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pairto divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He littleimagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyeswithdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when hisfingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further inhis waistcoat, as I announced my name.'Mr. Heathcliff?' I said.A nod was the answer.'Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of callingas soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have notinconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation ofThrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts--''Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir, ' he interrupted, wincing. 'I shouldnot allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it--walk in!'The 'walk in' was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, 'Go to the Deuce: ' even the gate over which he leant manifested nosympathising movement to the words; and I think that circumstancedetermined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man whoseemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself.When he saw my horse's breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put outhis hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court, --'Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse;and bring up some wine.''Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose, ' was thereflection suggested by this compound order. 'No wonder the grass growsup between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters.'Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though haleand sinewy. 'The Lord help us!' he soliloquised in an undertone ofpeevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly that I charitably conjectured he must have need ofdivine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had noreference to my unexpected advent.Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. 'Wuthering'being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospherictumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracingventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guessthe power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slantof a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gauntthorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun.Happily, the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrowwindows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with largejutting stones.Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesquecarving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door;above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shamelesslittle boys, I detected the date '1500, ' and the name 'Hareton Earnshaw.'I would have made a few comments, and requested a short history of theplace from the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared todemand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire toaggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.