Northanger Abbey. Part 60

Northanger Abbey. The manuscript

Northanger Abbey 60b (2)


The housemaid’s folding back her window-shutters at

eight o’clock the next day was the sound which first roused

Catherine; and she opened her eyes, wondering that they

could ever have been closed, on objects of cheerfulness; her

fire was already burning, and a bright morning had suc-

ceeded the tempest of the night.
Northanger Abbey 60a


 

Instantaneously, with the consciousness of existence, returned her recollection of the manuscript; and springing from the bed in the very moment of the maid’s going away, she eagerly collected every scattered sheet which had burst from the roll on its falling to the ground, and flew back to enjoy the luxury of their perusal on her pillow. She now plainly saw that she must not expect a manuscript of equal length with the generality of what she had shuddered over in books, for the roll, seeming to consist entirely of small disjointed sheets, was altogether but of trifling size, and much less than she had supposed it to be at first.
Northanger Abbey 60b (1)Northanger Abbey 60b (2)


 

Her greedy eye glanced rapidly over a page. She start-

ed at its import. Could it be possible, or did not her senses

play her false? An inventory of linen, in coarse and modern

characters, seemed all that was before her! If the evidence

of sight might be trusted, she held a washing-bill in her

hand. Such was he collection of papers (left perhaps, as

she could then suppose, by the negligence of a servant

in the place whence she had taken them) which had filled

her with expectation and alarm, and robbed her of half

her night’s rest! She felt humbled to the dust.
Northanger Abbey 60c


 

Impatient to get rid of those hateful evidences of her folly, those detestable papers then scattered over the bed, she rose directly, and folding them up as nearly as possible in the same shape as before, returned them to the same spot within the cabinet, with a very hearty wish that no untoward accident might ever bring them forward again, to disgrace her even with herself.
Northanger Abbey 60d


 

To be continued

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