Northanger Abbey. Part 50

Northanger Abbey. Affections

Northanger Abbey 50h


For poor Captain Tilney too she was greatly concerned.

Though his looks did not please her, his name was a passport

to her goodwill, and she thought with sincere compassion of

his approaching disappointment; for, in spite of what she had

believed herself to overhear in the pump-

room, his behaviour was so incompatible with a knowledge

of Isabella’s engagement that she could not, upon reflection,

imagine him aware of it. He might be jealous of her brother

as a rival, but if more had seemed implied, the fault must

have been in her misapprehension.
Northanger Abbey 50a


She wished, by a gentle remonstrance, to remind Isabella

of her situation, and make her aware of this double unkindness;

but for remonstrance, either opportunity or comprehension

was always against her. If able to suggest a hint, Isabella

could never understand it.
Northanger Abbey 50b


In this distress, the intended departure of the

Tilney family became her chief consolation; their journey

into Gloucestershire was to take place within a few days,

and Captain Tilney’s removal would at least restore peace

to every heart but his own. But Captain Tilney had at pres-

ent no intention of removing; he was not to be of the party

to Northanger; he was to continue at Bath. When Catherine

knew this, her resolution was directly made. She spoke to

Henry Tilney on the subject, regretting his brother’s evi-

dent partiality for Miss Thorpe, and entreating him to make

known her prior engagement.
Northanger Abbey 50c


‘My brother does know it,’ was Henry’s answer.

‘Does he? Then why does he stay here?’

He made no reply, and was beginning to talk of some-

thing else; but she eagerly continued, ‘Why do not you

persuade him to go away? The longer he stays, the worse it

will be for him at last. Pray advise him for his own sake, and

for everybody’s sake, to leave Bath directly. Absence will in

time make him comfortable again; but he can have no hope

here, and it is only staying to be miserable.’

Henry smiled and said, ‘I am sure my brother would not

wish to do that.’

‘Then you will persuade him to go away?’
Northanger Abbey 50d


‘Persuasion is not at command; but pardon me, if I can-

not even endeavour to persuade him. I have myself told him

that Miss Thorpe is engaged. He knows what he is about,

and must be his own master.’

‘No, he does not know what he is about,’ cried Catherine;

‘he does not know the pain he is giving my brother. Not that

James has ever told me so, but I am sure he is very uncom-

fortable.’

‘And are you sure it is my brother’s doing?’

‘Yes, very sure.’

‘Is it my brother’s attentions to Miss Thorpe, or Miss

Thorpe’s admission of them, that gives the pain?’

‘Is not it the same thing?’

‘I think Mr. Morland would acknowledge a difference.

No man is offended by another man’s admiration of the

woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a

torment.’
Northanger Abbey 50e


Perceiving her still to look doubtful and grave, he add-

ed, ‘Though Frederick does not leave Bath with us, he will

probably remain but a very short time, perhaps only a few

days behind us. His leave of absence will soon expire, and

he must return to his regiment. And what will then be their

acquaintance? The mess-room will drink Isabella Thorpe

for a fortnight, and she will laugh with your brother over

poor Tilney’s passion for a month.’
Northanger Abbey 50f


Catherine would contend no longer against comfort.

She had resisted its approaches during the whole length of

a speech, but it now carried her captive. Henry Tilney must

know best. She blamed herself for the extent of her fears, and

resolved never to think so seriously on the subject again.
Northanger Abbey 50g (1)Northanger Abbey 50g (2)Northanger Abbey 50g (3)


Her resolution was supported by Isabella’s behaviour in

their parting interview. The Thorpes spent the last evening

of Catherine’s stay in Pulteney Street, and nothing passed

between the lovers to excite her uneasiness, or make her

quit them in apprehension. James was in excellent spirits,

and Isabella most engagingly placid. Her tenderness for her

friend seemed rather the first feeling of her heart; but that at

such a moment was allowable; and once she gave her lover

a flat contradiction, and once she drew back her hand; but

Catherine remembered Henry’s instructions, and placed it

all to judicious affection. The embraces, tears, and promises

of the parting fair ones may be fancied.
Northanger Abbey 50h


To be continued

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