Northanger Abbey Part 21

Northanger Abbey. Reflections

Northanger Abbey 21e

Catherine knew all this very

well; her great aunt had read her a lecture on the subject

only the Christmas before; and yet she lay awake ten min-

utes on Wednesday night debating between her spotted and

her tamboured muslin, and nothing but the shortness of the

time prevented her buying a new one for the evening. This

would have been an error in judgment, great though not

uncommon, from which one of the other sex rather than

her own, a brother rather than a great aunt, might have

warned her, for man only can be aware of the insensibility

of man towards a new gown. It would be mortifying to the

feelings of many ladies, could they be made to understand

how little the heart of man is affected by what is costly or

new in their attire.
Northanger Abbey 21a

Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will

admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for

it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a

something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most en-

dearing to the latter. But not one of these grave reflections

troubled the tranquillity of Catherine.
Northanger Abbey 21b

She entered the rooms on Thursday evening with feelings

very different from what had attended her thither the Mon-

day before. She had then been exulting in her engagement

to Thorpe, and was now chiefly anxious to avoid his sight,

lest he should engage her again; for though she could not,

dared not expect that Mr. Tilney should ask her a third time

to dance, her wishes, hopes, and plans all centred in noth-

ing less.
Northanger Abbey 21c

As soon as they were joined by the Thorpes, Cath-

erine’s agony began; she fidgeted about if John Thorpe came

towards her, hid herself as much as possible from his view,

and when he spoke to her pretended not to hear him. The

cotillions were over, the country-dancing beginning, and

she saw nothing of the Tilneys.
Northanger Abbey 21d

‘Do not be frightened, my dear Catherine,’ whispered

Isabella, ‘but I am really going to dance with your broth-

er again. I declare positively it is quite shocking. I tell him

he ought to be ashamed of himself, but you and John must

keep us in countenance. Make haste, my dear creature, and

come to us. John is just walked off, but he will be back in a

Northanger Abbey 21e

Catherine had neither time nor inclination to answer. The

others walked away, John Thorpe was still in view, and she

gave herself up for lost. That she might not appear, however,

to observe or expect him, she kept her eyes intently fixed on

her fan; and a self-condemnation for her folly, in suppos-

ing that among such a crowd they should even meet with

the Tilneys in any reasonable time, had just passed through

her mind, when she suddenly found herself addressed and

again solicited to dance, by Mr. Tilney himself.
Northanger Abbey 21f (1)Northanger Abbey 21f (2)

To be continued

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