Catherine had no leisure for speech, being at once blushing, tying her gown, and forming wise resolutions with the most violent dispatch. Miss Tilney gently hinted her fear of being late; and in half a minute they ran downstairs together, in an alarm not wholly unfounded, for General Tilney was pacing the drawing-room, his watch in his hand, and having, on the very instant of their entering, pulled the bell with violence, ordered ‘Dinner to be on table directly!’
Catherine trembled at the emphasis with which he spoke,
and sat pale and breathless, in a most humble mood, con-
cerned for his children, and detesting old chests; and the
general, recovering his politeness as he looked at her, spent
the rest of his time in scolding his daughter for so foolishly
hurrying her fair friend, who was absolutely out of breath
from haste, when there was not the least occasion for hurry
in the world: but Catherine could not at all get over the dou-
ble distress of having involved her friend in a lecture and
been a great simpleton herself, till they were happily seated
at the dinner-table, when the general’s complacent smiles,
and a good appetite of her own, restored her to peace.
The evening passed without any further disturbance,
and, in the occasional absence of General Tilney, with much
positive cheerfulness. It was only in his presence that Cath-
erine felt the smallest fatigue from her journey; and even
then, even in moments of languor or restraint, a sense of
general happiness preponderated, and she could think of
her friends in Bath without one wish of being with them.
To be continued
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