Northanger Abbey. Part 85

Northanger Abbey. Coming home

Northanger Abbey 85a


Her father, mother, Sarah, George, and Harriet, all assem-

bled at the door to welcome her with affectionate eagerness,

was a sight to awaken the best feelings of Catherine’s heart;

and in the embrace of each, as she stepped from the carriage,

she found herself soothed beyond anything that she

had believed possible. So surrounded, so caressed, she was

even happy!
Northanger Abbey 85a


In the joyfulness of family love everything for a

short time was subdued, and the pleasure of seeing her, leav-

ing them at first little leisure for calm curiosity, they were all

seated round the tea-table, which Mrs. Morland had hurried

for the comfort of the poor traveller, whose pale and jaded

looks soon caught her notice, before any inquiry so direct as

to demand a positive answer was addressed to her.
Northanger Abbey 85b


Reluctantly, and with much hesitation, did she then

begin what might perhaps, at the end of half an hour, be

termed, by the courtesy of her hearers, an explanation; but

scarcely, within that time, could they at all discover the

cause, or collect the particulars, of her sudden return. They

were far from being an irritable race; far from any quickness

in catching, or bitterness in resenting, affronts: but here,

when the whole was unfolded, was an insult not to be over-

looked, nor, for the first half hour, to be easily pardoned.
Northanger Abbey 85c


Without suffering any romantic alarm, in the consideration

of their daughter’s long and lonely journey, Mr. and Mrs.

Morland could not but feel that it might have been produc-

tive of much unpleasantness to her; that it was what they

could never have voluntarily suffered; and that, in forcing

her on such a measure, General Tilney had acted neither

honourably nor feelingly — neither as a gentleman nor as a parent.
Northanger Abbey 85d


‘I can allow for his wishing Catherine away, when he

recollected this engagement,’ said Sarah, ‘but why not do

it civilly?’

‘I am sorry for the young people,’ returned Mrs. Mor-

land; ‘they must have a sad time of it; but as for anything

else, it is no matter now; Catherine is safe at home, and our

comfort does not depend upon General Tilney.’ Catherine

sighed. ‘Well,’ continued her philosophic mother, ‘I am glad

I did not know of your journey at the time; but now it is

all over, perhaps there is no great harm done. It is always

good for young people to be put upon exerting themselves;

and you know, my dear Catherine, you always were a sad

little scatter-brained creature; but now you must have been

forced to have your wits about you, with so much changing

of chaises and so forth; and I hope it will appear that you

have not left anything behind you in any of the pockets.’
Northanger Abbey 85e


Catherine hoped so too, and tried to feel an interest in

her own amendment, but her spirits were quite worn down;

and, to be silent and alone becoming soon her only wish,

she readily agreed to her mother’s next counsel of going ear-

ly to bed.
Northanger Abbey 85f


To be continued

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