Northanger Abbey. Part 16

Northanger Abbey. Unexpected visit

Northanger Abbey 16b


The progress of Catherine’s unhappiness from the events

of the evening was as follows. It appeared first in a gen-

eral dissatisfaction with everybody about her, while she

remained in the rooms, which speedily brought on consid-

erable weariness and a violent desire to go home. This, on

arriving in Pulteney Street, took the direction of extraor-

dinary hunger, and when that was appeased, changed into

an earnest longing to be in bed; such was the extreme point

of her distress; for when there she immediately fell into a

sound sleep which lasted nine hours, and from which she

awoke perfectly revived, in excellent spirits, with fresh

hopes and fresh schemes.
Northanger Abbey 16a


The first wish of her heart was to improve her acquaintance

with Miss Tilney, and almost her first resolution, to seek her

for that purpose, in the pump-room at noon. In the pump-room,

one so newly arrived in Bath must be met with, and that building

she had already found so favourable for the discovery of female

excellence, and the completion of female intimacy, so admirably

adapted for secret discourses and unlimited confidence, that

she was most reasonably encouraged to expect another friend

from within its walls.
Northanger Abbey 16b


Her plan for the morning thus settled,

she sat quietly down to her book after breakfast, resolving

to remain in the same place and the same employment

till the clock struck one; and from habitude very little

incommoded by the remarks and ejaculations of Mrs. Allen,

whose vacancy of mind and incapacity for thinking were

such, that as she never talked a great deal, so she could never

be entirely silent; and, therefore, while she sat at her work,

if she lost her needle or broke her thread, if she heard a car-

riage in the street, or saw a speck upon her gown, she must

observe it aloud, whether there were anyone at leisure to an-

swer her or not.
Northanger Abbey 16c (1)Northanger Abbey 16c (2)Northanger Abbey 16c (3)


At about half past twelve, a remarkably loud

rap drew her in haste to the window, and scarcely had she

time to inform Catherine of there being two open carriages

at the door, in the first only a servant, her brother driving

Miss Thorpe in the second, before John Thorpe came run-

ning upstairs, calling out, ‘Well, Miss Morland, here I am.

Have you been waiting long? We could not come before; the

old devil of a coachmaker was such an eternity finding out a

thing fit to be got into, and now it is ten thousand to one but

they break down before we are out of the street. How do you

do, Mrs. Allen? A famous bag last night, was not it? Come,

Miss Morland, be quick, for the others are in a confounded

hurry to be off. They want to get their tumble over.
Northanger Abbey 16d


‘What do you mean?’ said Catherine. ‘Where are you all

going to?’

‘Going to? Why, you have not forgot our engagement!

Did not we agree together to take a drive this morning?

What a head you have! We are going up Claverton Down.’

‘Something was said about it, I remember,’ said Cathe-

rine, looking at Mrs. Allen for her opinion; ‘but really I did

not expect you.’

‘Not expect me! That’s a good one! And what a dust you

would have made, if I had not come.’
Northanger Abbey 16e


Catherine’s silent appeal to her friend, meanwhile, was

entirely thrown away, for Mrs. Allen, not being at all in the

habit of conveying any expression herself by a look, was not

aware of its being ever intended by anybody else; and Cath-

erine, whose desire of seeing Miss Tilney again could at that

moment bear a short delay in favour of a drive, and who

thought there could be no impropriety in her going with

Mr. Thorpe, as Isabella was going at the same time with

James, was therefore obliged to speak plainer. ‘Well, ma’am,

what do you say to it? Can you spare me for an hour or two?

Shall I go?’
Northanger Abbey 16f


To be continued

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