She smiled when I gave them and the collar as your presents, with an expression at once well pleased and slightly surprised." The religious fervours and the soul-searchings have ceased long ago, so has Miss Nussey's brief spiritual ascendency. But the friendship and the letters never cease.
Here is their dearest and most intimate friend, and she is one to whom they can never speak of the thing that interested them most. No doubt "our best plays mean secret plays"; but Charlotte, at any rate, suffered from this secrecy. There was nothing to counteract Miss Nussey's direful influence on her spiritual youth. "Papa" highly approved of the friendship.
A passion for M. Héger is, psychologically speaking, superfluous. You can prove anything by detaching words from their context. The letter from which that passage has been torn is an answer to Ellen Nussey's suggestions of work for Charlotte. Charlotte says "any project which infers the necessity of my leaving home is impracticable to me. If I could leave home I should not be at Haworth now.
In fact, if it had not been for Miss Nussey it would not have appeared so often as it did in Charlotte's letters. She is called upon in all Miss Nussey's hours of crisis, and there seem to have been a great many of them.