Those tragedies changed everything, and the family moved to Wimpole Street in London, where the tone of their lives became constricted and even oppressive. Their father proclaimed that none of his children could marry.
For the most part, the children abided by his wishes, and remained loyal, though not always complacent. The power he had over them was unhealthy and rather frightening.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
And yet, because of this love, because of her father’s oppression, Elizabeth's love of Robert had to remain a secret. And yet, because of the strength of their love, Elizabeth gained the courage she needed to break free.
But the cost was great...