Northanger Abbey. Part 89

Northanger Abbey. Indifference

Northanger Abbey 89c

Catherine’s disposition was not naturally sedentary,

nor had her habits been ever very industrious; but whatever

might hitherto have been her defects of that sort, her moth-

er could not but perceive them now to be greatly increased.

She could neither sit still nor employ herself for ten min-

utes together, walking round the garden again

and again, as if nothing but motion was voluntary; and it

seemed as if she could even walk about the house rather

than remain fixed for any time in the parlour. Her loss of

spirits was a yet greater alteration.
Northanger Abbey 89a

For two days Mrs. Morland allowed it to pass even with-

out a hint; but when a third night’s rest had neither restored

her cheerfulness, improved her in useful activity, nor given

her a greater inclination for needlework, she could no lon-

ger refrain from the gentle reproof of, ‘My dear Catherine,

I am afraid you are growing quite a fine lady. I do not know

when poor Richard’s cravats would be done, if he had no

friend but you. Your head runs too much upon Bath; but

there is a time for everything — a time for balls and plays,

and a time for work. You have had a long run of amusement,

and now you must try to be useful.’
Northanger Abbey 89b

Catherine took up her work directly, saying, in a deject-

ed voice, that ‘her head did not run upon Bath — much.’

‘Then you are fretting about General Tilney, and that is

very simple of you; for ten to one whether you ever see him

again. You should never fret about trifles.’ After a short si-

lence — ‘I hope, my Catherine, you are not getting out of

humour with home because it is not so grand as Northang-

er. That would be turning your visit into an evil indeed.

Wherever you are you should always be contented, but es-

pecially at home, because there you must spend the most of

your time. I did not quite like, at breakfast, to hear you talk

so much about the French bread at Northanger.’
Northanger Abbey 89c

‘I am sure I do not care about the bread. it is all the same

to me what I eat.’

‘There is a very clever essay in one of the books upstairs

upon much such a subject, about young girls that have been

spoilt for home by great acquaintance — The Mirror, I

think. I will look it out for you some day or other, because I

am sure it will do you good.’
Northanger Abbey 89d

Catherine said no more, and, with an endeavour to do

right, applied to her work; but, after a few minutes, sunk

again, without knowing it herself, into languor and list-

lessness, moving herself in her chair, from the irritation of

weariness, much oftener than she moved her needle. Mrs.

Morland watched the progress of this relapse; and seeing,

in her daughter’s absent and dissatisfied look, the full proof

of that repining spirit to which she had now begun to at-

tribute her want of cheerfulness, hastily left the room to

fetch the book in question, anxious to lose no time in

attacking so dreadful a malady.
Northanger Abbey 89e

To be continued

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