Northanger Abbey. Part 86

Northanger Abbey. Consolation

Northanger Abbey 86a (1)

Her parents, seeing nothing in her ill looks and

agitation but the natural consequence of mortified feelings,

and of the unusual exertion and fatigue of such a journey,

parted from her without any doubt of their being soon slept

away; and though, when they all met the next morning,

her recovery was not equal to their hopes, they were still

perfectly unsuspicious of there being any deeper evil. They

never once thought of her heart, which, for the parents of a

young lady of seventeen, just returned from her first excur-

sion from home, was odd enough!
Northanger Abbey 86a (1)Northanger Abbey 86a (2)

As soon as breakfast was over, she sat down to fulfil her

promise to Miss Tilney, whose trust in the effect of time and

distance on her friend’s disposition was already justified, for

already did Catherine reproach herself with having parted

from Eleanor coldly, with having never enough valued her

merits or kindness, and never enough commiserated her for

what she had been yesterday left to endure. The strength of

these feelings, however, was far from assisting her pen; and

never had it been harder for her to write than in addressing

Eleanor Tilney. The money therefore which Eleanor had

advanced was enclosed with little more than grateful

thanks, and the thousand good wishes of a most affectionate heart.
Northanger Abbey 86b

‘This has been a strange acquaintance,’ observed Mrs.

Morland, as the letter was finished; ‘soon made and soon

ended. I am sorry it happens so, for Mrs. Allen thought

them very pretty kind of young people; and you were sadly

out of luck too in your Isabella. Ah! Poor James! Well, we

must live and learn; and the next new friends you make I

hope will be better worth keeping.’

Catherine coloured as she warmly answered, ‘No friend

can be better worth keeping than Eleanor.’

‘If so, my dear, I dare say you will meet again some time

or other; do not be uneasy. It is ten to one but you are thrown

together again in the course of a few years; and then what a

pleasure it will be!’
Northanger Abbey 86c

Mrs. Morland was not happy in her attempt at conso-

lation. The hope of meeting again in the course of a few

years could only put into Catherine’s head what might hap-

pen within that time to make a meeting dreadful to her.

She could never forget Henry Tilney, or think of him with

less tenderness than she did at that moment; but he might

forget her; and in that case, to meet — ! Her eyes filled with

tears as she pictured her acquaintance so renewed; and her

mother, perceiving her comfortable suggestions to have had

no good effect, proposed, as another expedient for restoring

her spirits, that they should call on Mrs. Allen.
Northanger Abbey 86d

To be continued

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