Northanger Abbey. So much for Isabella
On Henry’s arrival from Woodston, she made known to
him and Eleanor their brother’s safety, congratulating them
with sincerity on it, and reading aloud the most material
passages of her letter with strong indignation. When she
had finished it — ‘So much for Isabella,’ she cried, ‘and for
all our intimacy! She must think me an idiot, or she could
not have written so; but perhaps this has served to make
her character better known to me than mine is to her. I see
what she has been about. She is a vain coquette, and her
tricks have not answered. I do not believe she had ever any
regard either for James or for me, and I wish I had never
‘It will soon be as if you never had,’ said Henry.
‘There is but one thing that I cannot understand. I see
that she has had designs on Captain Tilney, which have not
succeeded; but I do not understand what Captain Tilney
has been about all this time. Why should he pay her such
attentions as to make her quarrel with my brother, and then
fly off himself?’
‘I have very little to say for Frederick’s motives, such
as I believe them to have been. He has his vanities as well
as Miss Thorpe, and the chief difference is, that, having a
stronger head, they have not yet injured himself. If the ef-
fect of his behaviour does not justify him with you, we had
better not seek after the cause.’
‘Then you do not suppose he ever really cared about her?’
‘I am persuaded that he never did.’
‘And only made believe to do so for mischief’s sake?’
Henry bowed his assent.
‘Well, then, I must say that I do not like him at all.
Though it has turned out so well for us, I do not like him at
all. As it happens, there is no great harm done, because I do
not think Isabella has any heart to lose. But, suppose he had
made her very much in love with him?’
She resolved on not answering Isabella’s letter,
and tried to think no more of it.
To be continued
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