Letter to Emily Brontë 10th December 1848


   10th December 1848

My dearest Miss Brontë,
    If, within this letter, I have stated any incautions, I beseech that you forgive my imperfections.
    When we met, I was taken aback by your close resemblance to someone whom I once knew. It may be no more than my fertile imagination but I have always perceived a certain hesitancy in you on each occasion that we have met. It seemed to me that you always stood slightly back and looked down then away. My childhood fears led me to wonder in what way I had erred or how, in some way, I might have offended you. Your hesitancy contradicted your often direct and penetrating observation. Your alluring and occasionally asymmetrical eyes have always held my captivated gaze and perhaps, indeed, it was no more than my intrusive contemplation which caused you to look away.
    It is disconcerting to feel that I intimately know every fold and contour of your lips never having kissed you. To inform you of this may cross boundaries and end our acquaintanceship. I shall remain honest, hopeful and henceforth silent on this subject for such are the requirements of respect, admiration and integrity. Oh, but how happy have you made my revisited memories of distant twilight kisses in shaded bowers infused with love, devotion, loyalty and desire.
    Your expression and your ever slightly parted lips tell me so much of you. Your secrets hold no shame and you need no permissions to be the lady whom you have always been. And now I risk indiscretion in telling you that your unfettered domination of your own world so overwhelmingly reminds me of a certain French lady who, in a time now so long distant, both atrociously and daringly appropriated and consumed my own personalised and sacrosanct Italian coffee for the purpose of acknowledging and declaring her freedom and her unfettered love for me and who then intertwined her gentle fingers in mine daring me to challenge her rareness. How she cried tears of joyous laughter when I called her Garçonelle. Then that unexpected moment when she held me steady, her finger in my face, and said, “Mon amour, don’t ever, ever stop being you.” Now I wish to impart those words to you, dear lady.
    This world cannot be all there is to contain our thoughts, our emotions and our dreams for they have substance and they are neither random nor accidental.
    Dare I, shall I, now declare and speak of my love for you that has for so long consumed all of my senses?
    Know then that I love you purely and without constraint and that I shall forever plead to remain your humble and obedient servant for a man without a woman is but naught of value and if I may be more to you, you have my promise that fulfilment of your wishes is and ever shall be my endeavour in all my lives.

   24th December 1848

 Dear Sir,
    It is with the most profound of sorrows that I tell you that my dearest younger sister, Emily, departed this world on 19th December after an illness. Such is my distress that I can say no more other than remind you of her words, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same”.
    With the greatest respect,
    Charlotte Brontë

© James Sapsard 2016

The ‘certain French lady’ is Sophie d’Arbouville. She was eight years older than Emily Brontë and died just two years after her. Emily died in 1848 at the age of thirty and Sophie died in 1850 at the age of thirty-nine.