Northanger Abbey — EN


The next morn­ing was fair, and Cather­ine almost expect­ed anoth­er attack from the assem­bled par­ty. With Mr. Allen to sup­port her, she felt no dread of the event: but she would glad­ly be spared a con­test, where vic­to­ry itself was painful, and was hearti­ly rejoiced there­fore at nei­ther see­ing nor hear­ing any­thing of them. The Tilneys called for her at the appoint­ed time; and no new dif­fi­cul­ty aris­ing, no sud­den rec­ol­lec­tion, no unex­pect­ed sum­mons, no imper­ti­nent intru­sion to dis­con­cert their mea­sures, my hero­ine was most unnat­u­ral­ly able to ful­fil her engage­ment, though it was made with the hero him­self. They deter­mined on walk­ing round Beechen Cliff, that noble hill whose beau­ti­ful ver­dure and hang­ing cop­pice ren­der it so strik­ing an object from almost every open­ing in Bath.

“I nev­er look at it,” said Cather­ine, as they walked along the side of the riv­er, “with­out think­ing of the south of France.”

“You have been abroad then?” said Hen­ry, a lit­tle surprised.

“Oh! No, I only mean what I have read about. It always puts me in mind of the coun­try that Emi­ly and her father trav­elled through, in The Mys­ter­ies of Udolpho. But you nev­er read nov­els, I dare say?”

“Why not?”

“Because they are not clever enough for you—gentlemen read bet­ter books.”

“The per­son, be it gen­tle­man or lady, who has not plea­sure in a good nov­el, must be intol­er­a­bly stu­pid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great plea­sure. The Mys­ter­ies of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; I remem­ber fin­ish­ing it in two days—my hair stand­ing on end the whole time.”

“Yes,” added Miss Tilney, “and I remem­ber that you under­took to read it aloud to me, and that when I was called away for only five min­utes to answer a note, instead of wait­ing for me, you took the vol­ume into the Her­mitage Walk, and I was oblig­ed to stay till you had fin­ished it.”

“Thank you, Eleanor—a most hon­ourable tes­ti­mo­ny. You see, Miss Mor­land, the injus­tice of your sus­pi­cions. Here was I, in my eager­ness to get on, refus­ing to wait only five min­utes for my sis­ter, break­ing the promise I had made of read­ing it aloud, and keep­ing her in sus­pense at a most inter­est­ing part, by run­ning away with the vol­ume, which, you are to observe, was her own, par­tic­u­lar­ly her own. I am proud when I reflect on it, and I think it must estab­lish me in your good opin­ion.”

“I am very glad to hear it indeed, and now I shall nev­er be ashamed of lik­ing Udolpho myself. But I real­ly thought before, young men despised nov­els amazingly.”

“It is amaz­ing­ly; it may well sug­gest amaze­ment if they do—for they read near­ly as many as women. I myself have read hun­dreds and hun­dreds. Do not imag­ine that you can cope with me in a knowl­edge of Julias and Louisas. If we pro­ceed to par­tic­u­lars, and engage in the nev­er-ceas­ing inquiry of ‘Have you read this?’ and ‘Have you read that?’ I shall soon leave you as far behind me as—what shall I say?—l want an appro­pri­ate sim­i­le.—as far as your friend Emi­ly her­self left poor Valan­court when she went with her aunt into Italy. Con­sid­er how many years I have had the start of you. I had entered on my stud­ies at Oxford, while you were a good lit­tle girl work­ing your sam­pler at home!”

“Not very good, I am afraid. But now real­ly, do not you think Udolpho the nicest book in the world?”

“The nicest—by which I sup­pose you mean the neat­est. That must depend upon the bind­ing.”

“Hen­ry,” said Miss Tilney, “you are very imper­ti­nent. Miss Mor­land, he is treat­ing you exact­ly as he does his sis­ter. He is for­ev­er find­ing fault with me, for some incor­rect­ness of lan­guage, and now he is tak­ing the same lib­er­ty with you. The word ‘nicest,’ as you used it, did not suit him; and you had bet­ter change it as soon as you can, or we shall be over­pow­ered with John­son and Blair all the rest of the way.”

“I am sure,” cried Cather­ine, “I did not mean to say any­thing wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should not I call it so?”

“Very true,” said Hen­ry, “and this is a very nice day, and we are tak­ing a very nice walk, and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for every­thing. Orig­i­nal­ly per­haps it was applied only to express neat­ness, pro­pri­ety, del­i­ca­cy, or refine­ment—peo­ple were nice in their dress, in their sen­ti­ments, or their choice. But now every com­men­da­tion on every sub­ject is com­prised in that one word.”

“While, in fact,” cried his sis­ter, “it ought only to be applied to you, with­out any com­men­da­tion at all. You are more nice than wise. Come, Miss Mor­land, let us leave him to med­i­tate over our faults in the utmost pro­pri­ety of dic­tion, while we praise Udolpho in what­ev­er terms we like best. It is a most inter­est­ing work. You are fond of that kind of reading?”

“To say the truth, I do not much like any other.”


“That is, I can read poet­ry and plays, and things of that sort, and do not dis­like trav­els. But his­to­ry, real solemn his­to­ry, I can­not be inter­est­ed in. Can you?”

“Yes, I am fond of history.”

“I wish I were too. I read it a lit­tle as a duty, but it tells me noth­ing that does not either vex or weary me. The quar­rels of popes and kings, with wars or pesti­lences, in every page; the men all so good for noth­ing, and hard­ly any women at all—it is very tire­some: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be inven­tion. The speech­es that are put into the heroes’ mouths, their thoughts and designsthe chief of all this must be inven­tion, and inven­tion is what delights me in oth­er books.”

“His­to­ri­ans, you think,” said Miss Tilney, “are not hap­py in their flights of fan­cy. They dis­play imag­i­na­tion with­out rais­ing inter­est. I am fond of history—and am very well con­tent­ed to take the false with the true. In the prin­ci­pal facts they have sources of intel­li­gence in for­mer his­to­ries and records, which may be as much depend­ed on, I con­clude, as any­thing that does not actu­al­ly pass under one’s own obser­va­tion; and as for the lit­tle embell­ish­ments you speak of, they are embell­ish­ments, and I like them as such. If a speech be well drawn up, I read it with plea­sure, by whom­so­ev­er it may be made—and prob­a­bly with much greater, if the pro­duc­tion of Mr. Hume or Mr. Robert­son, than if the gen­uine words of Car­ac­ta­cus, Agri­co­la, or Alfred the Great.”

“You are fond of his­to­ry! And so are Mr. Allen and my father; and I have two broth­ers who do not dis­like it. So many instances with­in my small cir­cle of friends is remark­able! At this rate, I shall not pity the writ­ers of his­to­ry any longer. If peo­ple like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trou­ble in fill­ing great vol­umes, which, as I used to think, nobody would will­ing­ly ever look into, to be labour­ing only for the tor­ment of lit­tle boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and nec­es­sary, I have often won­dered at the person’s courage that could sit down on pur­pose to do it.”

“That lit­tle boys and girls should be tor­ment­ed,” said Hen­ry, “is what no one at all acquaint­ed with human nature in a civ­i­lized state can deny; but in behalf of our most dis­tin­guished his­to­ri­ans, I must observe that they might well be offend­ed at being sup­posed to have no high­er aim, and that by their method and style, they are per­fect­ly well qual­i­fied to tor­ment read­ers of the most advanced rea­son and mature time of life. I use the verb ‘to tor­ment,’ as I observed to be your own method, instead of ‘to instruct,’ sup­pos­ing them to be now admit­ted as syn­ony­mous.”

“You think me fool­ish to call instruc­tion a tor­ment, but if you had been as much used as myself to hear poor lit­tle chil­dren first learn­ing their let­ters and then learn­ing to spell, if you had ever seen how stu­pid they can be for a whole morn­ing togeth­er, and how tired my poor moth­er is at the end of it, as I am in the habit of see­ing almost every day of my life at home, you would allow that ‘to tor­ment’ and ‘to instruct’ might some­times be used as syn­ony­mous words.”

“Very prob­a­bly. But his­to­ri­ans are not account­able for the dif­fi­cul­ty of learn­ing to read; and even you your­self, who do not alto­geth­er seem par­tic­u­lar­ly friend­ly to very severe, very intense appli­ca­tion, may per­haps be brought to acknowl­edge that it is very well worth-while to be tor­ment­ed for two or three years of one’s life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it. Consider—if read­ing had not been taught, Mrs. Rad­cliffe^18 would have writ­ten in vain—or per­haps might not have writ­ten at all.”

Cather­ine assent­ed—and a very warm pan­e­gyric from her on that lady’s mer­its closed the sub­ject. The Tilneys were soon engaged in anoth­er on which she had noth­ing to say. They were view­ing the coun­try with the eyes of per­sons accus­tomed to draw­ing, and decid­ed on its capa­bil­i­ty of being formed into pic­tures, with all the eager­ness of real taste. Here Cather­ine was quite lost. She knew noth­ing of drawing—nothing of taste: and she lis­tened to them with an atten­tion which brought her lit­tle prof­it, for they talked in phras­es which con­veyed scarce­ly any idea to her. The lit­tle which she could under­stand, how­ev­er, appeared to con­tra­dict the very few notions she had enter­tained on the mat­ter before. It seemed as if a good view were no longer to be tak­en from the top of an high hill, and that a clear blue sky was no longer a proof of a fine day. She was hearti­ly ashamed^29 of her igno­rance. A mis­placed shame. Where peo­ple wish to attach, they should always be igno­rant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inabil­i­ty of admin­is­ter­ing to the van­i­ty of oth­ers, which a sen­si­ble per­son would always wish to avoid. A woman espe­cial­ly, if she have the mis­for­tune of know­ing any­thing, should con­ceal it as well as she can.

The advan­tages of nat­ur­al fol­ly in a beau­ti­ful girl have been already set forth by the cap­i­tal pen of a sis­ter author; and to her treat­ment of the sub­ject I will only add, in jus­tice to men, that though to the larg­er and more tri­fling part of the sex, imbe­cil­i­ty in females is a great enhance­ment of their per­son­al charms, there is a por­tion of them too rea­son­able and too well informed them­selves to desire any­thing more in woman than igno­rance. But Cather­ine did not know her own advantages—did not know that a good-look­ing girl, with an affec­tion­ate heart and a very igno­rant mind, can­not fail of attract­ing a clever young man, unless cir­cum­stances are par­tic­u­lar­ly unto­ward. In the present instance, she con­fessed and lament­ed her want of knowl­edge, declared that she would give any­thing in the world to be able to draw; and a lec­ture on the pic­turesque imme­di­ate­ly fol­lowed, in which his instruc­tions were so clear that she soon began to see beau­ty in every­thing admired by him, and her atten­tion was so earnest that he became per­fect­ly sat­is­fied of her hav­ing a great deal of nat­ur­al taste. He talked of fore­grounds, dis­tances, and sec­ond dis­tances—side-screens and perspectives—lights and shades; and Cather­ine was so hope­ful a schol­ar that when they gained the top of Beechen Cliff, she vol­un­tar­i­ly reject­ed the whole city of Bath as unwor­thy to make part of a land­scape. Delight­ed with her progress, and fear­ful of weary­ing her with too much wis­dom at once, Hen­ry suf­fered the sub­ject to decline, and by an easy tran­si­tion from a piece of rocky frag­ment and the with­ered oak which he had placed near its sum­mit, to oaks in gen­er­al, to forests, the enclo­sure of them, waste lands, crown lands and gov­ern­ment, he short­ly found him­self arrived at pol­i­tics; and from pol­i­tics, it was an easy step to silence. The gen­er­al pause which suc­ceed­ed his short dis­qui­si­tion on the state of the nation was put an end to by Cather­ine, who, in rather a solemn tone of voice, uttered these words, “I have heard that some­thing very shock­ing indeed will soon come out in London.”

Miss Tilney, to whom this was chiefly addressed, was star­tled, and hasti­ly replied, “Indeed! And of what nature?”

“That I do not know, nor who is the author. I have only heard that it is to be more hor­ri­ble than any­thing we have met with yet.”

“Good heav­en! Where could you hear of such a thing?”

“A par­tic­u­lar friend of mine had an account of it in a let­ter from Lon­don yes­ter­day. It is to be uncom­mon­ly dread­ful. I shall expect mur­der and every­thing of the kind.”

“You speak with aston­ish­ing com­po­sure! But I hope your friend’s accounts have been exag­ger­at­ed; and if such a design is known before­hand, prop­er mea­sures will undoubt­ed­ly be tak­en by gov­ern­ment to pre­vent its com­ing to effect.”

“Gov­ern­ment,” said Hen­ry, endeav­our­ing not to smile, “nei­ther desires nor dares to inter­fere in such mat­ters. There must be mur­der; and gov­ern­ment cares not how much.”

The ladies stared. He laughed, and added, “Come, shall I make you under­stand each oth­er, or leave you to puz­zle out an expla­na­tion as you can? No—I will be noble. I will prove myself a man, no less by the gen­eros­i­ty of my soul than the clear­ness of my head. I have no patience with such of my sex as dis­dain to let them­selves some­times down to the com­pre­hen­sion of yours. Per­haps the abil­i­ties of women are nei­ther sound nor acute—neither vig­or­ous nor keen. Per­haps they may want obser­va­tion, dis­cern­ment, judg­ment, fire, genius, and wit.”

“Miss Mor­land, do not mind what he says; but have the good­ness to sat­is­fy me as to this dread­ful riot.”

“Riot! What riot?”

“My dear Eleanor, the riot is only in your own brain. The con­fu­sion there is scan­dalous. Miss Mor­land has been talk­ing of noth­ing more dread­ful than a new pub­li­ca­tion which is short­ly to come out, in three duodec­i­mo vol­umes, two hun­dred and sev­en­ty-six pages in each, with a fron­tispiece to the first, of two tomb­stones and a lantern—do you under­stand? And you, Miss Morland—my stu­pid sis­ter has mis­tak­en all your clear­est expres­sions. You talked of expect­ed hor­rors in London—and instead of instant­ly con­ceiv­ing, as any ratio­nal crea­ture would have done, that such words could relate only to a cir­cu­lat­ing library, she imme­di­ate­ly pic­tured to her­self a mob of three thou­sand men assem­bling in St. George’s Fields, the Bank attacked, the Tow­er threat­ened, the streets of Lon­don flow­ing with blood, a detach­ment of the Twelfth Light Dra­goons (the hopes of the nation) called up from Northamp­ton to quell the insur­gents, and the gal­lant Cap­tain Fred­er­ick Tilney, in the moment of charg­ing at the head of his troop, knocked off his horse by a brick­bat from an upper win­dow. For­give her stu­pid­i­ty. The fears of the sis­ter have added to the weak­ness of the woman; but she is by no means a sim­ple­ton in gen­er­al.”

Cather­ine looked grave. “And now, Hen­ry,” said Miss Tilney, “that you have made us under­stand each oth­er, you may as well make Miss Mor­land under­stand yourself—unless you mean to have her think you intol­er­a­bly rude to your sis­ter, and a great brute in your opin­ion of women in gen­er­al. Miss Mor­land is not used to your odd ways.”

“I shall be most hap­py to make her bet­ter acquaint­ed with them.”

“No doubt; but that is no expla­na­tion of the present.”

“What am I to do?”

“You know what you ought to do. Clear your char­ac­ter hand­some­ly before her. Tell her that you think very high­ly of the under­stand­ing of women.”

“Miss Mor­land, I think very high­ly of the under­stand­ing of all the women in the world—especially of those—whoever they may be—with whom I hap­pen to be in company.”

“That is not enough. Be more serious.”

“Miss Mor­land, no one can think more high­ly of the under­stand­ing of women than I do. In my opin­ion, nature has giv­en them so much that they nev­er find it nec­es­sary to use more than half.”

“We shall get noth­ing more seri­ous from him now, Miss Mor­land. He is not in a sober mood. But I do assure you that he must be entire­ly mis­un­der­stood, if he can ever appear to say an unjust thing of any woman at all, or an unkind one of me.”

It was no effort to Cather­ine to believe that Hen­ry Tilney could nev­er be wrong. His man­ner might some­times sur­prise, but his mean­ing must always be just: and what she did not under­stand, she was almost as ready to admire, as what she did. The whole walk was delight­ful, and though it end­ed too soon, its con­clu­sion was delight­ful too; her friends attend­ed her into the house, and Miss Tilney, before they part­ed, address­ing her­self with respect­ful form, as much to Mrs. Allen as to Cather­ine, peti­tioned for the plea­sure of her com­pa­ny to din­ner on the day after the next. No dif­fi­cul­ty was made on Mrs. Allen’s side, and the only dif­fi­cul­ty on Catherine’s was in con­ceal­ing the excess of her pleasure.

The morn­ing had passed away so charm­ing­ly as to ban­ish all her friend­ship and nat­ur­al affec­tion, for no thought of Isabel­la or James had crossed her dur­ing their walk. When the Tilneys were gone, she became ami­able again, but she was ami­able for some time to lit­tle effect; Mrs. Allen had no intel­li­gence to give that could relieve her anx­i­ety; she had heard noth­ing of any of them. Towards the end of the morn­ing, how­ev­er, Cather­ine, hav­ing occa­sion for some indis­pens­able yard of rib­bon which must be bought with­out a moment’s delay, walked out into the town, and in Bond Street over­took the sec­ond Miss Thor­pe as she was loi­ter­ing towards Edgar’s Build­ings between two of the sweet­est girls in the world, who had been her dear friends all the morn­ing. From her, she soon learned that the par­ty to Clifton had tak­en place. “They set off at eight this morn­ing,” said Miss Anne, “and I am sure I do not envy them their dri­ve. I think you and I are very well off to be out of the scrape. It must be the dullest thing in the world, for there is not a soul at Clifton at this time of year. Belle went with your broth­er, and John drove Maria.”

Cather­ine spoke the plea­sure she real­ly felt on hear­ing this part of the arrangement.

“Oh! yes,” rejoined the oth­er, “Maria is gone. She was quite wild to go. She thought it would be some­thing very fine. I can­not say I admire her taste; and for my part, I was deter­mined from the first not to go, if they pressed me ever so much.”

Cather­ine, a lit­tle doubt­ful of this, could not help answer­ing, “I wish you could have gone too. It is a pity you could not all go.”

“Thank you; but it is quite a mat­ter of indif­fer­ence to me. Indeed, I would not have gone on any account. I was say­ing so to Emi­ly and Sophia when you over­took us.

Cather­ine was still uncon­vinced; but glad that Anne should have the friend­ship of an Emi­ly and a Sophia to con­sole her, she bade her adieu with­out much uneasi­ness, and returned home, pleased that the par­ty had not been pre­vent­ed by her refus­ing to join it, and very hearti­ly wish­ing that it might be too pleas­ant to allow either James or Isabel­la to resent her resis­tance any longer.

dread drɛd n Fear­ful expec­ta­tion or antic­i­pa­tion: fore­bod­ing, pre­sen­ti­ment, pre­mo­ni­tion, fear

hearti­ly ˈhɑːtili adv In warm and friend­ly man­ner: cor­dial­ly, warmly

rejoice rɪˈʤɔɪs v To expe­ri­ence joy, plea­sure or hap­pi­ness: delight, exult

to call for some­thing ⇒ To arrive to col­lect or pick up a person.

rec­ol­lec­tion ˌrɛkəˈlɛkʃən n The abil­i­ty to recall past occur­rences: reten­tion, remembrance

sum­mon ˈsʌmən v To call upon to do some­thing spec­i­fied: invite

imper­ti­nent ɪmˈpɜːtɪnənt adj Not show­ing prop­er respect or exceed­ing the lim­its of pro­pri­ety or good man­ners: rude, irrel­e­vant

intru­sion ɪnˈtruːʒən n Ille­gal entry upon a property.

dis­con­cert ˌdɪskənˈsɜːt v To frus­trate (plans etc.) by throw­ing into dis­or­der: con­fuse, embar­rass, confound

Beechen Cliff ⇒ A hill south of Bath, hav­ing a beau­ti­ful view to the town.

ver­dure ˈvɜːʤə n The lush appear­ance of flour­ish­ing veg­e­ta­tion: green­ness

cop­pice ˈkɒpɪs n A dense growth of bush­es: brush­wood, thicket

ren­der ˈrɛndə v To cause to become.

open­ing ˈoʊpənɪŋ n A pos­si­ble alter­na­tive: choice, option, possibility

puts me in mind of ⇒ Makes me remember.

Emi­ly ⇒ A hero­in of Udolpho.

The Mys­ter­ies of Udolpho ⇒ A quin­tes­sen­tial Goth­ic romance by Ann Ward Rad­cliffe, replete with inci­dents of phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal ter­ror, like remote crum­bling cas­tles, seem­ing­ly super­nat­ur­al events, a brood­ing, schem­ing vil­lain and a per­se­cut­ed heroine.

Mrs. Rad­cliffe, Ann Ward (1764–1823) ⇒ British writer of Goth­ic nov­els, includ­ing The Mys­ter­ies of Udolpho.

to lay down ⇒ To give up; to quit or surrender.

to make my hair stand on end ⇒ To cause me deep fear.

to read aloud ⇒ To read with use of the voice.

Her­mitage Walk ⇒ A her­mitage is the dwelling of a her­mit or monk. Dur­ing the eigh­teenth cen­tu­ry there was a fash­ion to build mock her­mitages on the grounds of estates. These were small rus­tic look­ing cot­tages or huts, built in seclud­ed or wood­ed locations.

oblig­ed əˈblaɪʤd adj Under a moral oblig­a­tion to do some­thing: oblig­at­ed

tes­ti­mo­ny ˈtɛstɪməni n Evi­dence in sup­port of a fact or an asser­tion: con­fir­ma­tion, tes­ti­mo­ni­al, attestation

to get on ⇒ To man­age with rea­son­able success.

to keep some­one in sus­pense ⇒ To cause some­one feel trou­bled or anxious.

to reflect on ⇒ Think over.

to esta­blesh some­one in one’s good opin­ion ⇒ To think high of somebody.

ashamed əˈʃeɪmd adj Feel­ing shame, guilt, embar­rass­ment or remorse.

despise dɪsˈ­paɪz v To regard with extreme dis­like and hos­til­i­ty: hate, detest, abominate

to cope with some­one ⇒ To endure some unpleas­ant or unde­sir­able person.

Julias and Louisas ⇒ Nov­els named after their hero­ines, with “Julia” and “Louisa” both appear­ing in the titles of several.

par­tic­u­lars pəˈtɪkjʊləz n pl Facts or details.

sim­i­le ˈsɪmɪli n A fig­ure of speech that express­es a resem­blance between things of dif­fer­ent kinds (usu­al­ly formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’).

as far as ⇒ To the extent of.

Valan­court ⇒ A hero of Udolpho.

to have the start of ⇒ Have the advantage.

sam­pler ˈsɑːm­plə n A dec­o­ra­tive piece of cloth embroi­dered with var­i­ous designs, usu­al­ly done by girls in order to learn sewing and embroidery.

depend upon the bind­ing ⇒ Books at the time were usu­al­ly sold unbound, and bind­ing may vary great­ly in qual­i­ty and style.

to find fault with some­body ⇒ To seek, find, and com­plain about faults; criticize.

to take lib­er­ties with some­one ⇒ To behave with­out respect towards somebody.

you had bet­ter ⇒ We should.

as soon as ⇒ Imme­di­ate­ly, right after.

over­pow­er ˌəʊvəˈ­paʊə v To over­come or van­quish by supe­ri­or force: sub­due

John­son ⇒ Samuel Johnson’s famous Dic­tio­nary

Blair ⇒ Hugh Blair’s Let­ters on Rhetoric.

pro­pri­ety prəˈpraɪəti n Cor­rect or appro­pri­ate behavior.

refine­ment rɪˈ­faɪn­mənt n An improve­ment or elaboration.

com­men­da­tion ˌkɒmɛnˈdeɪʃən n An expres­sion of warm approval: praise

in fact ⇒ Actu­al­ly; in reality.

at all ⇒ In any way; for any rea­son; to any extent; whatever.

med­i­tate ˈmɛdɪteɪt v Reflect deeply on a sub­ject: muse, reflect, think, consider

utmost ˈʌt­məʊst adj Of the great­est pos­si­ble degree or extent or inten­si­ty: intense, utter­most, extreme 

dic­tion ˈdɪkʃən n The artic­u­la­tion of speech regard­ed from the point of view of its intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty to the audi­ence: artic­u­la­tion, enunciation

in terms ⇒ In spe­cif­ic lan­guage or words; in such a way

to be fond of ⇒ To have a strong incli­na­tion or affec­tion for.

solemn ˈsɒləm­li adj Dig­ni­fied and somber in man­ner or char­ac­ter and com­mit­ted to keep­ing promis­es: seri­ous, sober, sedate, grave

vex vɛks v To trou­ble the nerves or peace of mind of: both­er, annoy

weary ˈwɪəri v Lose inter­est or become bored with some­thing or somebody.

quar­rel ˈkwɒrəl n An angry dis­pute: con­flict

pesti­lence ˈpɛstɪləns n A per­ni­cious and malign influ­ence that is hard to get rid of: influ­ence, canker

for noth­ing ⇒ With­out reason.

tire­some ˈtaɪəsəm adj Arous­ing no inter­est or curios­i­ty: dull, bor­ing

dull dʌl adj So lack­ing in inter­est as to cause men­tal weari­ness: bor­ing, unamusing

a great deal ⇒ A large amount.

design dɪˈza­ɪn n A par­tic­u­lar plan or method.

the chief of ⇒ Most of, the main part of.

fan­cy ˈfæn­si n A capri­cious lik­ing or incli­na­tion; amorous attach­ment, love.

intel­li­gence ɪnˈtɛlɪʤəns n News, infor­ma­tion.

as for ⇒ Concerning.

embell­ish­ment ɪmˈbɛlɪʃmənt n Some­thing that adorns: dec­o­ra­tion, orna­ment, trim­ming, adornment

whom­so­ev­er ˌhuːm­səʊˈɛvə pron The objec­tive case of whoso­ev­er ˌhuːsəʊˈɛvə pron What­ev­er per­son or per­sons: who­ev­er

David Hume ⇒ A Scot­tish Enlight­en­ment philoso­pher, his­to­ri­an, econ­o­mist, librar­i­anand essay­ist, who is best known today for his high­ly influ­en­tial sys­tem of philo­soph­i­cal empiri­cism, skep­ti­cism, and naturalism.

William Robert­son ⇒ The author of wide­ly pop­u­lar at that time his­to­ries of Scot­land, India, the Amer­i­c­as, and Emper­or Charles V.

Car­ac­ta­cus ⇒ A British trib­al leader who fought against the inva­sion of Britain by Romans in the first century.

Gnaeus Julius Agri­col ⇒ The Roman­gener­al respon­si­ble for much of the Roman con­quest of Britain, Roman gov­er­nor of Bri­tan­nia (AD 77–85)

Alfred the Great ⇒ British king who lived in the ninth cen­tu­ry and played a crit­i­cal role in estab­lish­ing the first uni­fied king­dom of England.

at this rate ⇒ In the present citcumstances.

tor­ment ˈtɔːmənt n Extreme men­tal dis­tress.: rag, bedev­il, cru­ci­fy, dun, frustrate

on pur­pose ⇒ Inten­tion­al­ly; deliberately.

tor­ment tɔːˈmɛnt v Harass per­sis­tent­ly in cru­el or annoy­ing way: rag, bedev­il, cru­ci­fy, dun, frustrate

in behalf of ⇒ For the ben­e­fit of; in the inter­est of.

syn­ony­mous sɪˈnɒnɪməs adj Mean­ing the same or near­ly the same: sub­sti­tutable, similar

to be in the habit of ⇒ Be used to, have the habit of.

to hold some­one account­able for some­thing ⇒ To con­sid­er some­one respon­si­ble for some­thing; to blame some­thing on someone..

worth-while ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl adj Suf­fi­cient­ly valu­able to jus­ti­fy the invest­ment of time or inter­est: valu­able, use­ful, ben­e­fi­cial, reward­ing, advan­ta­geous, helpful

for the sake of ⇒ For the ben­e­fit of; because of.

in vain ⇒ To no avail; with­out success.

assent əˈsɛnt v To agree or express agree­ment: agree, accede, acqui­esce, connive

pan­e­gyric ˌpænɪˈʤɪrɪk n A for­mal expres­sion of praise: eulo­gy, praise, congratulations 

coun­try ˈkʌn­tri n An area out­side of cities and towns.

to bring lit­tle prof­it ⇒ To bring lit­tle advantage.

which con­veyed scarce­ly any idea to her ⇒ She hard­ly under­stood anything.

con­tra­dict ˌkɒn­trəˈdɪkt v To be con­trary to; be incon­sis­tent with: deny, refute, controvert

notion ˈnəʊʃən n Some­thing believed or accept­ed as true by a per­son: idea, posi­tion, view, opinion

enter­tain ˌɛn­təˈteɪn v To hold the atten­tion of with some­thing amus­ing or divert­ing: dis­tract, divert, recreate

mis­placed ˌmɪsˈ­pleɪst v Put in the wrong place or posi­tion: mis­laid

van­i­ty ˈvænɪti n Feel­ings of exces­sive point­less pride in one’s appear­ance or accom­plish­ments: con­ceit

con­ceal kənˈsiːl n Pre­vent from being seen or dis­cov­ered: hide, dis­guise

fol­ly ˈfɒli n Act of fool­ish­ness; fool­ish behav­iour: fool­ish­ness, silliness

to set forth ⇒ To present in words.

cap­i­tal ˈkæpɪtl adj First-rate: excel­lent

tri­fling ˈtraɪflɪŋ adj Lack­ing in sig­nif­i­cance or sol­id worth: friv­o­lous; shal­low; light

imbe­cil­i­ty ˌɪm­bɪˈsɪlɪti n Great stu­pid­i­ty or fool­ish­ness; mod­er­ate or severe men­tal retar­da­tion: back­ward­ness, retar­da­tion, subnormality

affec­tion­ate əˈfɛkʃnɪt adj Hav­ing fond feel­ings: fond, lov­ing, tender

unto­ward ʌnˈtəʊəd adj Involv­ing or under­go­ing chance mis­for­tune: unhap­py, unfor­tu­nate, unlucky, misfortunate

con­fess kənˈfɛs n Admit (to a wrong­do­ing): pro­fess

lament ləˈmɛnt v To feel, show, or express grief: suf­fer, mourn, grieve, sorrow

to give any­thing in the world ⇒ To desire strongly.

pic­turesque ˌpɪkʧəˈrɛsk adj sug­gest­ing or suit­able for a pic­ture: beau­ti­ful, vivid

earnest ˈɜːnɪst adj Show­ing deep sin­cer­i­ty or seriousness.

fore­ground ˈfɔː­graʊnd n The part of a scene that is near the viewer.

Sec­ond dis­tance ⇒ (Art) That part of a pic­ture between the fore­ground and the background

gain geɪn v Reach, arrive at.

at once ⇒ Imme­di­ate­ly; At the same time.

to suf­fer the sub­ject to decline ⇒ To endure the sub­ject till its end.

with­er ˈwɪðə v To lose fresh­ness: dry up, shrivel

sum­mit ˈsʌmɪt n The high­est point: peak, crown, cli­max, pin­na­cle, acme

in gen­er­al ⇒ Generally

enclo­sure ɪnˈk­ləʊʒə n The divi­sion of “com­mon” lands into pri­vate­ly-held parcels, usu­al­ly for the ben­e­fit of wealthy landowners.

waste­land ˈweɪstˌlænd n Land that is des­o­late, bar­ren, or ravaged.

crown land ⇒ Land that belongs to the crown and yields its rev­enues to the reign­ing monarch.

he short­ly found him­self arrived at ⇒ (here) He short­ly realised that he was talk­ing about.

dis­qui­si­tion ˌdɪskwɪˈzɪʃən n An elab­o­rate ana­lyt­i­cal or explana­to­ry essay or dis­cus­sion: essay

to put an end to ⇒ To stop.

utter ˈʌtə v To pro­nounce or speak.

to come out ⇒ To be revealed or exposed.

star­tle ˈstɑːtl v To sur­prise or fright­en some­one sud­den­ly but not seri­ous­ly: fright­en, scare, ter­ri­fy, alarm

account əˈkaʊnt n A ver­bal or writ­ten report, descrip­tion, or nar­ra­tion of some occur­rence, event, etc.

dread­ful ˈdrɛd­fʊl adj Excep­tion­al­ly bad or dis­pleas­ing, caus­ing fear or ter­ror: ter­ri­ble, hor­ri­ble, appalling

of the kind ⇒ Of this kind.

com­po­sure kəmˈpəʊʒə n A sta­ble, calm state of the emo­tions: bal­ance, poise, cool­ness, self-possession

exag­ger­at­ed ɪgˈzæʤəreɪtɪd v Enlarged to an abnor­mal degree: mag­ni­fied, enlarged

before­hand ˌdɪskwɪˈzɪʃən adv Until then: before, ear­li­er

to come into effect ⇒ To become valid, effec­tive, or oper­a­ble; (here) to happen. 

endeav­our ɪnˈdɛvə v To attempt: essay, try, assay, seek

inter­fere ˌɪn­təˈfɪə v To inter­vene in the affairs of oth­ers: med­dle

to puz­zle out ⇒ Try var­i­ous meth­ods to solve.

to prove myself a man ⇒ To prove that I am a man.

dis­dain bɪˈfɔːhænd n Lack of respect accom­pa­nied by a feel­ing of intense dis­like: scorn, dis­like

to let some­one down ⇒ To dis­ap­point some­one; to fail someone

com­pre­hen­sion ˌkɒm­prɪˈhɛnʃən n An abil­i­ty to under­stand the mean­ing or impor­tance of some­thing or the knowl­edge acquired as a result: under­stand­ing, dis­cern­ment, apprehension

vig­or­ous ˈvɪgərəs adj Pos­sess­ing, exert­ing, or dis­play­ing ener­gy: active, live­ly, ener­getic, forceful

dis­cern­ment dɪˈsɜːn­mənt n Skill in per­ceiv­ing, dis­crim­i­nat­ing, or judg­ing: wit, acu­men, astute­ness, per­cep­tive­ness, sagac­i­ty, shrewdness

wit wɪt n The nat­ur­al abil­i­ty to per­ceive and under­stand: intel­li­gence

duodec­i­mo ˌdju(ː)əʊˈdɛsɪməʊ n The size 5 by 7¾ inch­es of book pages formed by fold­ing sin­gle sheets from a print­ing press into 12 leaves each

fron­tispiece ˈfrʌn­tɪspiːs n Front illus­tra­tion fac­ing the title page of a book.

tomb­stone ˈtuːm­stəʊn n A stone that is used to mark a grave.

lantern ˈlæn­tən n A case with trans­par­ent or translu­cent sides for hold­ing and pro­tect­ing a light.

cir­cu­lat­ing library ⇒ Library that pro­vides books for use out­side the building.

mob mɒb n An enor­mous num­ber of per­sons gath­ered togeth­er: crowd, flock, mul­ti­tude, horde

St. George’s Fields ⇒ It was an area of South­wark in south Lon­don, England.

Tow­er of Lon­don ⇒ A his­toric cas­tle on the north bank of the Riv­er Thames in cen­tral London.

detach­ment dɪˈtæʧmənt n A small unit of troops of spe­cial composition.

Twelfth Light Dra­goons ⇒ A cav­al­ry reg­i­ment of the British Army first formed in 1715.

Northamp­ton nɔːˈθæmp­tən ⇒ A town in the East Mid­lands region of Eng­land. It lies on the Riv­er Nene, 60 miles (97 km) north-west of Lon­don and 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham.

quell kwɛl v Sup­press or crush completely.

insur­gent ɪnˈsɜːʤənt n A per­son who takes part in an armed rebel­lion against the con­sti­tut­ed author­i­ty, espe­cial­ly in the hope of improv­ing conditions.

gal­lant ˈgælənt adj Being atten­tive to women like an ide­al knight: chival­rous

charge ʧɑːʤ v Place a bur­den upon or assign respon­si­bil­i­ty to: com­mand

at the head of ⇒ At the top of a ranking.

troop truːp v To assem­ble or move in crowds: flood, swarm, throng

knock some­thing off some­one or some­thing ⇒ To remove some­thing from some­one or some­thing by striking.

brick­bat ˈbrɪk­bæt n A piece, espe­cial­ly of brick, used as a weapon or missile.

by no means ⇒ Not at all.

sim­plton ˈsɪm­pltən n A men­tal­ly defi­cient per­son: fool, idiot, imbe­cile, cretin, half-wit, moron

grave greɪv adj Dig­ni­fied and somber in man­ner or char­ac­ter and com­mit­ted to keep­ing promis­es: seri­ous, sober, solemn, sedate

rude ruːd n Lack­ing civil­i­ty or good manners.

in my opin­ion ⇒ I think that…

hap­pen + inf. ⇒ Occa­sion­al­ly, by chance.

sober ˈsəʊbə adj Dig­ni­fied and somber in man­ner or char­ac­ter and com­mit­ted to keep­ing promis­es: seri­ous, grave, sedate, solemn

It was no effort for her to ⇒ It was an easy thing for her to do.

attend əˈtɛnd n To accom­pa­ny as a cir­cum­stance or fol­low as a result.

No dif­fi­cul­ty was made on Mrs. Allen’s side ⇒ Mrs. Allen had no objec­tions at all.

excess ɪkˈsɛs n Some­thing in a larg­er amount than is need­ed, allowed, or usual.

pass away ⇒ To pass out of exis­tence; end.

ban­ish ˈbænɪʃ v To dri­ve away: expel, dis­miss, dis­pel, shut out

for fɔː cj Because; since.

ami­able ˈeɪmiəb(ə)l adj Pleas­ant and friend­ly: cor­dial, good-natured

indis­pens­able ˌɪndɪsˈpɛn­səbl adj Oblig­a­tory and unavoid­able: nec­es­sary, essen­tial, required, requisite

with­out a moment’s delay ⇒ At once; immediately.

Bond Street ⇒ One of three main shop­ping thor­ough­fares in Bath – the oth­er two being Bath and Mil­som streets.

over­take ˌəʊvəˈteɪk v Come or catch up with.

loi­ter ˈlɔɪtə v To pass time with­out work­ing or in avoid­ing work: lounge, idle, shirk, laze, loaf

Edgar’s Build­ings ⇒ Edgar’s Build­ings (a ter­race of hous­es on the north side of George Street where the Thor­pes lodged.

Clifton ⇒ A dis­trict of the City of Bristol.

to set off ⇒ To start on a jour­ney: depart

envy ˈɛn­vi n Resent­ful or painful desire for another’s advan­tages: jeal­ousy

well off ⇒ To for­tu­nate circumstances.

to be out of the scrape ⇒ Not to be in an embar­rass­ing situation.

dull dʌl adj So lack­ing in inter­est as to cause men­tal weari­ness: bor­ing, unamusing

to speak the plea­sure ⇒ To say that one is pleased with something.

rejoin rɪˈʤɔɪn v To say in reply, usu­al­ly in sharp response.

for one’s part ⇒ So far as one is concerned.

form the first ⇒ From the very beginning.

it’s a mat­ter of indif­fer­ence to me ⇒ I have no inter­est in that.

on any account ⇒ For any rea­son or incen­tive; for any­thing. (Typ­i­cal­ly used in the neg­a­tive).

con­sole kənˈsəʊl v To allay the sor­row or grief of: com­fort, soothe, solace

to bid some­one adieu ⇒ To say adieu to some­one, to part with him.

uneasi­ness ʌnˈiːzɪnɪs n Feel­ings of anx­i­ety that make you tense and irri­ta­ble: inqui­etude edgi­ness anx­i­ety dis­qui­etude willies 

resent rɪˈzɛnt v To feel indig­nant­ly aggriev­ed at: grudge, dis­like, stew