Northanger Abbey. Part 48

Northanger Abbey. Hearts

Northanger Abbey 48c

Catherine, looking up, perceived Captain Tilney; and Is-

abella, earnestly fixing her eye on him as she spoke, soon

caught his notice. He approached immediately, and took

the seat to which her movements invited him. His first ad-

dress made Catherine start. Though spoken low, she could

distinguish, ‘What! Always to be watched, in person or by

Northanger Abbey 48a

‘Psha, nonsense!’ was Isabella’s answer in the same half

whisper. ‘Why do you put such things into my head? If I

could believe it — my spirit, you know, is pretty indepen-


‘I wish your heart were independent. That would be

enough for me.’

‘My heart, indeed! What can you have to do with hearts?

You men have none of you any hearts.’

‘If we have not hearts, we have eyes; and they give us tor-

ment enough.’

‘Do they? I am sorry for it; I am sorry they find anything

so disagreeable in me. I will look another way. I hope this

pleases you’ (turning her back on him); ‘I hope your eyes are

not tormented now.’

‘Never more so; for the edge of a blooming cheek is still

in view — at once too much and too little.’
Northanger Abbey 48b

Catherine heard all this, and quite out of countenance,

could listen no longer. Amazed that Isabella could endure

it, and jealous for her brother, she rose up, and saying she

should join Mrs. Allen, proposed their walking. But for this

Isabella showed no inclination. She was so amazingly tired,

and it was so odious to parade about the pump-room; and

if she moved from her seat she should miss her sisters; she

was expecting her sisters every moment; so that her dear-

est Catherine must excuse her, and must sit quietly down

again. But Catherine could be stubborn too; and Mrs. Al-

len just then coming up to propose their returning home,

she joined her and walked out of the pump-room, leaving

Isabella still sitting with Captain Tilney.
Northanger Abbey 48c

With much uneasiness did she thus leave them. It seemed to

her that Captain Tilney was falling in love with Isabella, and

Isabella unconsciously encouraging him; unconsciously it must

be, for Isabella’s attachment to James was as certain and well

acknowledged as her engagement. To doubt her truth or good

intentions was impossible; and yet, during the whole

of their conversation her manner had been odd. She wished

Isabella had talked more like her usual self, and not so much

about money, and had not looked so well pleased at the sight

of Captain Tilney.
Northanger Abbey 48d

How strange that she should not perceive

his admiration! Catherine longed to give her a hint of it, to

put her on her guard, and prevent all the pain which her too

lively behaviour might otherwise create both for him and

her brother.
Northanger Abbey 48e

The compliment of John Thorpe’s affection did not make

amends for this thoughtlessness in his sister. She was al-

most as far from believing as from wishing it to be sincere;

for she had not forgotten that he could mistake, and his as-

sertion of the offer and of her encouragement convinced

her that his mistakes could sometimes be very egregious. In

vanity, therefore, she gained but little; her chief profit was

in wonder. That he should think it worth his while to fancy

himself in love with her was a matter of lively astonishment.

Isabella talked of his attentions; she had never been sensible

of any; but Isabella had said many things which she hoped

had been spoken in haste, and would never be said again;

and upon this she was glad to rest altogether for present

ease and comfort.
Northanger Abbey 48f (1)Northanger Abbey 48f (2)Northanger Abbey 48f (3)

To be continued

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