Catherine was delighted with this extension of her Bath ac-
quaintance, and almost forgot Mr. Tilney while she talked
to Miss Thorpe. Friendship is certainly the finest balm for
the pangs of disappointed love.
Their conversation turned upon those subjects, of which
the free discussion has generally much to do in perfecting a
sudden intimacy between two young ladies: such as dress,
balls, flirtations, and quizzes.
Miss Thorpe, however, being
four years older than Miss Morland, and at least four years
better informed, had a very decided advantage in discuss-
ing such points; she could compare the balls of Bath with
those of Tunbridge, its fashions with the fashions of Lon-
don; could rectify the opinions of her new friend in many
articles of tasteful attire; could discover a flirtation between
any gentleman and lady who only smiled on each other; and
point out a quiz through the thickness of a crowd.
These powers received due admiration from Catherine, to whom
they were entirely new; and the respect which they naturally inspired
might have been too great for familiarity, had not the easy gaiety
of Miss Thorpe’s manners, and her fre-
quent expressions of delight on this acquaintance with her,
softened down every feeling of awe, and left nothing but
Their increasing attachment was not to be
satisfied with half a dozen turns in the pump-room, but re-
quired, when they all quitted it together, that Miss Thorpe
should accompany Miss Morland to the very door of Mr.
Allen’s house; and that they should there part with a most
affectionate and lengthened shake of hands, after learning,
to their mutual relief, that they should see each other across
the theatre at night, and say their prayers in the same cha-
pel the next morning.
Catherine then ran directly upstairs,
and watched Miss Thorpe’s progress down the street from
the drawing-room window; admired the graceful spirit of
her walk, the fashionable air of her figure and dress; and felt
grateful, as well she might, for the chance which had pro-
cured her such a friend.
Mrs. Thorpe was a widow, and not a very rich one; she
was a good-humoured, well-meaning woman, and a very
indulgent mother. Her eldest daughter had great personal
beauty, and the younger ones, by pretending to be as hand-
some as their sister, imitating her air, and dressing in the
same style, did very well.
To be continued
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