Northanger Abbey. Part 63

Northanger Abbey. Beyond her expectation

Northanger Abbey 63d (3)


‘And when they had gone over the house, he promised himself moreover the pleasure of accompanying her into the shrubberies and garden.’ She curtsied her acquiescence. ‘But perhaps it might be more agreeable to her to make those her first object. The weather was at present favourable, and at this time of year the uncertainty was very great of its continuing so. Which would she prefer? He was equally at her service. Which did his daughter think would most accord with her fair friend’s wishes? But he thought he could discern. Yes, he certainly read in Miss Morland’s eyes a judicious desire of making use of the present smiling weather. But when did she judge amiss? The abbey would be always safe and dry. He yielded implicitly, and would fetch his hat and attend them in a moment.’
Northanger Abbey 63a

He left the room, and Catherine, with

a disappointed, anxious face, began to speak of her unwill-

ingness that he should be taking them out of doors against

his own inclination, under a mistaken idea of pleasing her;

but she was stopped by Miss Tilney’s saying, with a little

confusion, ‘I believe it will be wisest to take the morning

while it is so fine; and do not be uneasy on my father’s ac-

count; he always walks out at this time of day.’
Northanger Abbey 63b


 

Catherine did not exactly know how this was to be un-

derstood. Why was Miss Tilney embarrassed? Could there

be any unwillingness on the general’s side to show her over

the abbey? The proposal was his own. And was not it odd

that he should always take his walk so early? Neither her fa-

ther nor Mr. Allen did so. It was certainly very provoking.

She was all impatience to see the house, and had scarcely

any curiosity about the grounds. If Henry had been with

them indeed! But now she should not know what was pic-

turesque when she saw it. Such were her thoughts, but she

kept them to herself, and put on her bonnet in patient discontent.
Northanger Abbey 63c


 

She was struck, however, beyond her expectation, by

the grandeur of the abbey, as she saw it for the first time from

the lawn. The whole building enclosed a large court;

and two sides of the quadrangle, rich in Gothic ornaments,

stood forward for admiration. The remainder was shut off

by knolls of old trees, or luxuriant plantations, and the steep

woody hills rising behind, to give it shelter, were beautiful

even in the leafless month of March. Catherine had seen

nothing to compare with it; and her feelings of delight were

so strong, that without waiting for any better authority, she

boldly burst forth in wonder and praise. The general listened

with assenting gratitude; and it seemed as if his own esti-

mation of Northanger had waited unfixed till that hour.
Northanger Abbey 63d (1)Northanger Abbey 63d (2)Northanger Abbey 63d (3)


To be continued

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