The Anne Brontë Blog

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Reverend William Weightman

In writing the following it was not my intention to add further to the conjectures of others regarding the relationship of Anne and the curate merely to demonstrate, what is at least in my opinion. An interesting fellowship between the famously secluded family and Reverend William Weightman:

‘I wish to scold you with a forty horse power for having told Martha Taylor that I had requested you “not to tell her everything”, which piece of information of course has thrown Martha into a tremendous ill-humour besides setting the teeth of her curiosity on edge with the notion that there is something very important in the wind which you and are especially desirous to conceal from her. Such being the state of matters I desire to take off any embargo I may have laid on your tongue, which I plainly see will not be restrained and to enjoin you to walk to Gomersal and tell her forthwith every individual incident you can recollect, including Valentines, “Fair Ellen, Fair Ellen”, “Away fond love”, “Soul divine” and all - likewise if you please the painting of Miss Cecilia Amelia Weightman’s portrait and that young lady’s frequent and agreeable visits-” Charlotte continues with a significant perceptiveness, “By the bye I enquired into the opinion of that intelligent and interesting young person respecting you - it was a favourable one. She thought you a fine looking and a very good girl into the bargain -” high commendation amongst the Brontë Sisters and Ellen Nussey one hypnotizes - “Have you received the newspaper which has been dispatched containing the notice of her lecture at Keighley? Mr. Morgan came, stayed three days and went - by Miss Weightman’s aid we got on pretty well- it was amazing to see with what patience and good temper the innocent creature endured that fat Welshman’s prosing - though she confessed afterwards that she was almost done up by his long stories.” her illusionary name for William Weightman, the female masquerade is again given mention in the following passage: “I am obliged to cut short my letter - every-body in the house unites in sending their love to you - Miss Celia Amelia Weightman also desires to be remembered to you - write soon again, and believe me yours unutterably…Charivari” The remarkable incident, none descript as it may well be, I believe demonstrates the accepted friendship between William Weightman and the Brontë family, described and illuminated as the family for whom effortless companionship and solace could solely be found within themselves and their kindred and for whom frivolity was scarce it presents an interesting view of William Weightman’s consequence as “a lively handsome young man.”

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