Northanger Abbey. Part 45

Northanger Abbey. The highest point of ecstasy

Northanger Abbey 45c (1)

Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and

wound up Catherine’s feelings to the highest point of ec-

stasy. Everything honourable and soothing, every present

enjoyment, and every future hope was contained in it;

and her acceptance, with only the saving clause of Papa

and Mamma’s approbation, was eagerly given. ‘I will

write home directly,’ said she, ‘and if they do not object,

as I dare say they will not — ‘Miss Tilney was earnest,

though gentle, in her secondary civilities, and the affair

became in a few minutes as nearly settled as this

necessary reference to Fullerton would allow.
Northanger Abbey 45a

The circumstances of the morning had led Catherine’s

feelings through the varieties of suspense, security, and

disappointment; but they were now safely lodged in per-

fect bliss; and with spirits elated to rapture, with Henry at

her heart, and Northanger Abbey on her lips, she hurried

home to write her letter. Mr. and Mrs. Morland, relying on

the discretion of the friends to whom they had already en-

trusted their daughter, felt no doubt of the propriety of an

acquaintance which had been formed under their eye, and

sent therefore by return of post their ready consent to her

visit in Gloucestershire.
Northanger Abbey 45b

This indulgence, though not more

than Catherine had hoped for, completed her conviction

of being favoured beyond every other human creature, in

friends and fortune, circumstance and chance. Everything

seemed to cooperate for her advantage. By the kindness of

her first friends, the Allens, she had been introduced into

scenes where pleasures of every kind had met her. Her feel-

ings, her preferences, had each known the happiness of a

return. Wherever she felt attachment, she had been able to

create it. The affection of Isabella was to be secured to her in

a sister. The Tilneys, they, by whom, above all, she desired

to be favourably thought of, outstripped even her wishes in

the flattering measures by which their intimacy was to be

continued. She was to be their chosen visitor, she was to be

for weeks under the same roof with the person whose soci-

ety she mostly prized — and, in addition to all the rest, this

roof was to be the roof of an abbey!
Northanger Abbey 45c (1)Northanger Abbey 45c (2)Northanger Abbey 45c (3)Northanger Abbey 45c (4)

Her passion for ancient edifices was next in degree to her

passion for Henry Tilney — and castles and abbeys made

usually the charm of those reveries which his image did

not fill. To see and explore either the ramparts and keep

of the one, or the cloisters of the other, had been for

many weeks a darling wish, though to be more than the

visitor of an hour had seemed too nearly impossible for

desire. And yet, this was to happen.
Northanger Abbey 45d

To be continued

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