Northanger Abbey. Part 3

Northanger Abbey. Bath

Northanger Abbey 3f

She had reached the age of seventeen, without having seen

one amiable youth who could call forth her sensibility, without

having inspired one real passion, and without having excited

even any admiration but what was very moderate and very transient.

This was strange indeed! But strange things may be generally

accounted for if their cause be fairly searched out. There was

not one lord in the neighbourhood; no — not even a

baronet. But when a young lady is to be a heroine, the perverseness

of forty surrounding families cannot prevent her. Something must

and will happen to throw a hero in her way.

Northanger Abbey 3a

Mr. Allen, who owned the chief of the property about

Fullerton, the village in Wiltshire where the Morlands lived,

was ordered to Bath for the benefit of a gouty constitution

— and his lady, a good-humoured woman, fond of Miss

Morland, and probably aware that if adventures will not be-

fall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them

abroad, invited her to go with them. Mr. and Mrs. Morland

were all compliance, and Catherine all happiness.

Northanger Abbey 3b

Her heart was affectionate; her disposi-

tion cheerful and open, without conceit or affectation of

any kind — her manners just removed from the awkward-

ness and shyness of a girl; her person pleasing, and, when in

good looks, pretty — and her mind about as ignorant and

uninformed as the female mind at seventeen usually is.

Northanger Abbey 3c

They arrived at Bath. Catherine was all eager delight —

her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached

its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through

those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was

come to be happy, and she felt happy already.

Northanger Abbey 3d

It is now expedient to give some description of Mrs. Al-

len, that the reader may be able to judge in what manner her

actions will hereafter tend to promote the general distress of

the work, and how she will, probably, contribute to reduce

poor Catherine to all the desperate wretchedness of which

a last volume is capable — whether by her imprudence, vul-

garity, or jealousy — whether by intercepting her letters,

ruining her character, or turning her out of doors.

Northanger Abbey 3e

Mrs. Allen was one of that numerous class of females,

whose society can raise no other emotion than surprise at

there being any men in the world who could like them well

enough to marry them. She had neither beauty, genius, ac-

complishment, nor manner.

Northanger Abbey 3f

The air of a gentlewoman, a great deal of quiet, inactive good

temper, and a trifling turn of mind were all that could account for

her being the choice of a sensible, intelligent man like Mr. Allen.

In one respect she was admirably fitted to introduce a young lady into

public, being as fond of going everywhere and seeing everything

herself as any young lady could be.

Northanger Abbey 3g

Dress was

her passion. She had a most harmless delight in being fine;

and our heroine’s entree into life could not take place till af-

ter three or four days had been spent in learning what was

mostly worn, and her chaperone was provided with a dress

of the newest fashion.

Northanger Abbey 3h

To be continued

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