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