Northanger Abbey. Part 78

Northanger Abbey. So much for Isabella

Northanger Abbey 78a

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

known her.’
Northanger Abbey 78a

‘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.’
Northanger Abbey 78b

‘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.
Northanger Abbey 78c (1)Northanger Abbey 78c (2)Northanger Abbey 78c (3)

To be continued

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