Northanger Abbey. Part 12

Northanger Abbey. Uncertain friend

Northanger Abbey 12a


And the consequence was that, when the two Morlands, after

sitting an hour with the Thorpes, set off to walk together to

Mr. Allen’s, and James, as the door was closed on them, said,

‘Well, Catherine, how do you like my friend Thorpe?’ instead

of answering, as she probably would have done, had there

been no friendship and no flattery in the case, ‘I do not like

him at all,’ she directly replied, ‘I like him very much; he seems

very agreeable.’

‘He is as good-natured a fellow as ever lived; a little of a

rattle; but that will recommend him to your sex, I believe:

and how do you like the rest of the family?’
Northanger Abbey 12a

 


‘Very, very much indeed: Isabella particularly.’

‘I am very glad to hear you say so; she is just the kind of

young woman I could wish to see you attached to; she has

so much good sense, and is so thoroughly unaffected and

amiable; I always wanted you to know her; and she seems

very fond of you. She said the highest things in your praise

that could possibly be; and the praise of such a girl as Miss

Thorpe even you, Catherine,’ taking her hand with affection,

‘may be proud of.’
Northanger Abbey 12b

 


‘Indeed I am,’ she replied; ‘I love her exceedingly, and

am delighted to find that you like her too. You hardly men-

tioned anything of her when you wrote to me after your visit

there.’

‘Because I thought I should soon see you myself. I hope

you will be a great deal together while you are in Bath. She

is a most amiable girl; such a superior understanding! How

fond all the family are of her; she is evidently the general fa-

vourite; and how much she must be admired in such a place

as this — is not she?’´
Northanger Abbey 12c

 


‘Yes, very much indeed, I fancy; Mr. Allen thinks her the

prettiest girl in Bath.’

‘I dare say he does; and I do not know any man who is

a better judge of beauty than Mr. Allen. I need not ask you

whether you are happy here, my dear Catherine; with such

a companion and friend as Isabella Thorpe, it would be im-

possible for you to be otherwise; and the Allens, I am sure,

are very kind to you?’

‘Yes, very kind; I never was so happy before; and now you

are come it will be more delightful than ever; how good it is

of you to come so far on purpose to see me.’

James accepted this tribute of gratitude, and qualified his

conscience for accepting it too, by saying with perfect sin-

cerity, ‘Indeed, Catherine, I love you dearly.’
Northanger Abbey 12d

 


To be continued

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