Wuthering Heights Chapter 1
It is 1801, and Mr. Lockwood has just returned to Thrushcross Grange from visiting his landlord and neighbor, Mr. Heathcliff. The country is quiet and isolated, and a perfect place for men such as himself and Mr. Heathcliff, who dislike the company of others. But Mr. Heathcliff is more extreme, ignorant of all social graces, shoving his hands into his pockets to avoid shaking hands. Mr. Lockwood found this amusing, and thinks them similar. The servant Joseph took Mr. Lockwood's horse, and the tenant looked around at his landlord's estate. It is called Wuthering Heights, and it is lies next to the moors. Continually battered by wind, the area is barren. Above the entrance to the house is scratched the name Hareton Earnshaw and the date 1500. Mr. Lockwood decided not to ask his unhappy tour guide for the history.
They sat down in the sitting room, and Mr. Lockwood looked around. The house and furniture are nice but not extravagant, befitting the average farmer of northern England. But Mr. Heathcliff is quite abnormal in appearance and manner. He is dark-skinned, like a gypsy, but behaves and dresses the part of a gentleman. Mr. Lockwood imagines various reasons for Mr. Heathcliff's cool demeanor, before realizing that his landlord's reasons for this behavior may be quite different from his own.
Mr. Lockwood thinks about his own solitude. He had a chance at love one summer by the sea, but he blew it. He was in love with a beautiful woman, but he never told her. When she figured it out and returned his loving glances, he withdrew in a way that most considered heartless. Because he feels his reputation is undeserved, Mr. Lockwood decides to give Mr. Heathcliff the benefit of the doubt in regards to his cold behavior.
There are several dogs in the sitting room, and Mr. Lockwood pets one. The dog snarls at him, and Mr. Heathcliff warns him to keep his hands to himself. When Mr. Heathcliff goes down into the cellar to fetch Joseph, Mr. Lockwood makes faces at his unfriendly companions. The mother dog lunges at him, and with her came about six more dogs, all trying to attack him. He calls for help, but Mr. Heathcliff is in no hurry; a kitchen servant finally comes to break up the fight. When Mr. Heathcliff finally returns, he does not seem concerned, and even suggests that the dogs were probably protecting his property. When Mr. Heathcliff sees how angry Mr. Lockwood is, he softens, offering him some wine.
Mr. Lockwood cheers up, but Mr. Heathcliff seemed to enjoy seeing him suffer, and he did not want to give him any more enjoyment. They sit and talk; Mr. Heathcliff appeared to be very intelligent. But his manners are still the same--when Mr. Lockwood suggested he visit again tomorrow, Mr. Heathcliff gave him no encouragement to return. Still, he decided to visit tomorrow, and talk again to the man who makes him seem friendly in comparison.