Northanger Abbey. Part 83

Northanger Abbey. Parting

Northanger Abbey 83g

Soon after six Eleanor entered her room, eager to show

attention or give assistance where it was possible; but very

little remained to be done. Catherine had not loitered; she

was almost dressed, and her packing almost finished. The

possibility of some conciliatory message from the general

occurred to her as his daughter appeared. What so natu-

ral, as that anger should pass away and repentance succeed

it? And she only wanted to know how far, after what had

passed, an apology might properly be received by her. But

the knowledge would have been useless here; it was not

called for; neither clemency nor dignity was put to the

trial — Eleanor brought no message.
Northanger Abbey 83a (1)Northanger Abbey 83a (2)Northanger Abbey 83a (3)

When everything was done they left the room, Catherine lingering only half a minute behind her friend to throw a parting glance on every well-known, cherished object, and went down to the breakfast-parlour, where breakfast was prepared.
Northanger Abbey 83b (1)Northanger Abbey 83b (2)

She tried to eat, as well to save herself from the pain of being urged

as to make her friend comfortable; but she had no appetite, and

could not swallow many mouthfuls. The contrast between this

and her last breakfast in that room gave her fresh

misery, and strengthened her distaste for everything before

her. It was not four and twenty hours ago since they had

met there to the same repast, but in circumstances how different!
Northanger Abbey 83c

These reflections were long indulged undisturbed by any

address from her companion, who sat as deep in thought

as herself; and the appearance of the carriage was the first

thing to startle and recall them to the present moment.

Catherine’s colour rose at the sight of it; and the indignity

with which she was treated, striking at that instant on her

mind with peculiar force, made her for a short time sensible

only of resentment. Eleanor seemed now impelled into res-

olution and speech.
Northanger Abbey 83d

‘You must write to me, Catherine,’ she cried; ‘you must

let me hear from you as soon as possible. Till I know you to

be safe at home, I shall not have an hour’s comfort. For one

letter, at all risks, all hazards, I must entreat. Let me have

the satisfaction of knowing that you are safe at Fullerton,

and have found your family well, and then, till I can ask

for your correspondence as I ought to do, I will not expect

more. Direct to me at Lord Longtown’s, and, I must ask it,

under cover to Alice.’

‘No, Eleanor, if you are not allowed to receive a letter

from me, I am sure I had better not write. There can be no

doubt of my getting home safe.’
Northanger Abbey 83e

Eleanor only replied, ‘I cannot wonder at your feelings.

I will not importune you. I will trust to your own kindness

of heart when I am at a distance from you.’ But this, with

the look of sorrow accompanying it, was enough to melt

Catherine’s pride in a moment, and she instantly said, ‘Oh,

Eleanor, I will write to you indeed.’
Northanger Abbey 83f

The carriage was soon announced to be ready; and

Catherine, instantly rising, a long and affectionate embrace

supplied the place of language in bidding each other adieu;

and, as they entered the hall, unable to leave the house

without some mention of one whose name had not yet been

spoken by either, she paused a moment, and with quivering

lips just made it intelligible that she left ‘her kind remem-

brance for her absent friend.’ But with this approach to his

name ended all possibility of restraining her feelings; and,

hiding her face as well as she could with her handkerchief,

she darted across the hall, jumped into the chaise, and in a

moment was driven from the door.
Northanger Abbey 83g

To be continued

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