Northanger Abbey — EN

CHAPTER 6

The fol­low­ing con­ver­sa­tion, which took place between the two friends in the pump-room one morn­ing, after an acquain­tance of eight or nine days, is giv­en as a spec­i­men of their very warm attach­ment, and of the del­i­ca­cy, dis­cre­tion, orig­i­nal­i­ty of thought, and lit­er­ary taste which marked the rea­son­able­ness of that attach­ment.

They met by appoint­ment; and as Isabel­la had arrived near­ly five min­utes before her friend, her first address nat­u­ral­ly was, “My dear­est crea­ture, what can have made you so late? I have been wait­ing for you at least this age!”

“Have you, indeed! I am very sor­ry for it; but real­ly I thought I was in very good time. It is but just one. I hope you have not been here long?”

“Oh! These ten ages at least. I am sure I have been here this half hour. But now, let us go and sit down at the oth­er end of the room, and enjoy our­selves. I have an hun­dred things to say to you. In the first place, I was so afraid it would rain this morn­ing, just as I want­ed to set off; it looked very show­ery, and that would have thrown me into ago­nies! Do you know, I saw the pret­ti­est hat you can imag­ine, in a shop win­dow in Mil­som Street just now—very like yours, only with coqueli­cot rib­bons instead of green; I quite longed for it. But, my dear­est Cather­ine, what have you been doing with your­self all this morn­ing? Have you gone on with Udolpho?”

“Yes, I have been read­ing it ever since I woke; and I am got to the black veil.”

“Are you, indeed? How delight­ful! Oh! I would not tell you what is behind the black veil for the world! Are not you wild to know?”

“Oh! Yes, quite; what can it be? But do not tell me—I would not be told upon any account. I know it must be a skele­ton, I am sure it is Laurentina’s skele­ton. Oh! I am delight­ed with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in read­ing it. I assure you, if it had not been to meet you, I would not have come away from it for all the world.”

“Dear crea­ture! How much I am oblig­ed to you; and when you have fin­ished Udolpho, we will read the Ital­ian togeth­er; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.”

“Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?”

“I will read you their names direct­ly; here they are, in my pock­et­book. Cas­tle of Wolfen­bach, Cler­mont, Mys­te­ri­ous Warn­ings, Necro­mancer of the Black For­est, Mid­night Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Hor­rid Mys­ter­ies. Those will last us some time.”

“Yes, pret­ty well; but are they all hor­rid, are you sure they are all hor­rid?”

“Yes, quite sure; for a par­tic­u­lar friend of mine, a Miss Andrews, a sweet girl, one of the sweet­est crea­tures in the world, has read every one of them. I wish you knew Miss Andrews, you would be delight­ed with her. She is net­ting her­self the sweet­est cloak you can con­ceive. I think her as beau­ti­ful as an angel, and I am so vexed with the men for not admir­ing her! I scold them all amaz­ing­ly about it.”

Scold them! Do you scold them for not admir­ing her?”

“Yes, that I do. There is noth­ing I would not do for those who are real­ly my friends. I have no notion of lov­ing peo­ple by halves; it is not my nature. My attach­ments are always exces­sive­ly strong. I told Cap­tain Hunt at one of our assem­blies this win­ter that if he was to tease me all night, I would not dance with him, unless he would allow Miss Andrews to be as beau­ti­ful as an angel. The men think us inca­pable of real friend­ship, you know, and I am deter­mined to show them the dif­fer­ence. Now, if I were to hear any­body speak slight­ing­ly of you, I should fire up in a moment: but that is not at all like­ly, for you are just the kind of girl to be a great favourite with the men.”

“Oh, dear!” cried Cather­ine, colour­ing. “How can you say so?”

“I know you very well; you have so much ani­ma­tion, which is exact­ly what Miss Andrews wants, for I must con­fess there is some­thing amaz­ing­ly insipid about her. Oh! I must tell you, that just after we part­ed yes­ter­day, I saw a young man look­ing at you so earnest­ly—I am sure he is in love with you.” Cather­ine coloured, and dis­claimed again. Isabel­la laughed. “It is very true, upon my hon­our, but I see how it is; you are indif­fer­ent to everybody’s admi­ra­tion, except that of one gen­tle­man, who shall be name­less. Nay, I can­not blame you”—speaking more seriously—“your feel­ings are eas­i­ly under­stood. Where the heart is real­ly attached, I know very well how lit­tle one can be pleased with the atten­tion of any­body else. Every­thing is so insipid, so unin­ter­est­ing, that does not relate to the beloved object! I can per­fect­ly com­pre­hend your feelings.”

“But you should not per­suade me that I think so very much about Mr. Tilney, for per­haps I may nev­er see him again.”

“Not see him again! My dear­est crea­ture, do not talk of it. I am sure you would be mis­er­able if you thought so!”

“No, indeed, I should not. I do not pre­tend to say that I was not very much pleased with him; but while I have Udolpho to read, I feel as if nobody could make me mis­er­able. Oh! The dread­ful black veil! My dear Isabel­la, I am sure there must be Laurentina’s skele­ton behind it.”

“It is so odd to me, that you should nev­er have read Udolpho before; but I sup­pose Mrs. Mor­land objects to nov­els.”

“No, she does not. She very often reads Sir Charles Gran­di­son her­self; but new books do not fall in our way.”

Sir Charles Gran­di­son! That is an amaz­ing hor­rid book, is it not? I remem­ber Miss Andrews could not get through the first volume.”

“It is not like Udolpho at all; but yet I think it is very enter­tain­ing.”

“Do you indeed! You sur­prise me; I thought it had not been read­able. But, my dear­est Cather­ine, have you set­tled what to wear on your head tonight? I am deter­mined at all events to be dressed exact­ly like you. The men take notice of that some­times, you know.”

“But it does not sig­ni­fy if they do,” said Cather­ine, very innocently.

Sig­ni­fy! Oh, heav­ens! I make it a rule nev­er to mind what they say. They are very often amaz­ing­ly imper­ti­nent if you do not treat them with spir­it, and make them keep their dis­tance.”

“Are they? Well, I nev­er observed that. They always behave very well to me.”

“Oh! They give them­selves such airs. They are the most con­ceit­ed crea­tures in the world, and think them­selves of so much impor­tance! By the by, though I have thought of it a hun­dred times, I have always for­got to ask you what is your favourite com­plex­ion in a man. Do you like them best dark or fair?”

“I hard­ly know. I nev­er much thought about it. Some­thing between both, I think. Brown—not fair, and—and not very dark.”

“Very well, Cather­ine. That is exact­ly he. I have not for­got your descrip­tion of Mr. Tilney—‘a brown skin, with dark eyes, and rather dark hair.’ Well, my taste is dif­fer­ent. I pre­fer light eyes, and as to com­plex­ion—do you know—I like a sal­low bet­ter than any oth­er. You must not betray me, if you should ever meet with one of your acquain­tance answer­ing that description.”

Betray you! What do you mean?”

Nay, do not dis­tress me. I believe I have said too much. Let us drop the sub­ject.”

Cather­ine, in some amaze­ment, com­plied, and after remain­ing a few moments silent, was on the point of revert­ing to what inter­est­ed her at that time rather more than any­thing else in the world, Laurentina’s skele­ton, when her friend pre­vent­ed her, by say­ing, “For heaven’s sake! Let us move away from this end of the room. Do you know, there are two odi­ous young men who have been star­ing at me this half hour. They real­ly put me quite out of coun­te­nance. Let us go and look at the arrivals. They will hard­ly fol­low us there.”

Away they walked to the book; and while Isabel­la exam­ined the names, it was Catherine’s employ­ment to watch the pro­ceed­ings of these alarm­ing young men.

“They are not com­ing this way, are they? I hope they are not so imper­ti­nent as to fol­low us. Pray let me know if they are com­ing. I am deter­mined I will not look up.”

In a few moments Cather­ine, with unaf­fect­ed plea­sure, assured her that she need not be longer uneasy, as the gen­tle­men had just left the pump-room.

“And which way are they gone?” said Isabel­la, turn­ing hasti­ly round. “One was a very good-look­ing young man.”

“They went towards the church-yard.”

“Well, I am amaz­ing­ly glad I have got rid of them! And now, what say you to going to Edgar’s Build­ings with me, and look­ing at my new hat? You said you should like to see it.”

Cather­ine read­i­ly agreed. “Only,” she added, “per­haps we may over­take the two young men.”

“Oh! mind that. If we make haste, we shall pass by them present­ly, and I am dying to show you my hat.”

“But if we only wait a few min­utes, there will be no dan­ger of our see­ing them at all.”

“I shall not pay them any such com­pli­ment, I assure you. I have no notion of treat­ing men with such respect. That is the way to spoil them.”

Cather­ine had noth­ing to oppose against such rea­son­ing; and there­fore, to show the inde­pen­dence of Miss Thor­pe, and her res­o­lu­tion of hum­bling the sex, they set off imme­di­ate­ly as fast as they could walk, in pur­suit of the two young men.

to take place ⇒ To be held; to hap­pen; to occur.

pump-room ˈpʌm­pruːm n A room at a spa where med­i­c­i­nal water is dispensed.

spec­i­men ˈspɛsɪmɪn n One as an exam­ple of a class: case, exam­ple, instance, sample

attach­ment əˈtæʧmənt n A feel­ing of affec­tion for a per­son: affec­tion, affec­tion­ate­ness, fondness

dis­cre­tion dɪsˈkrɛʃən n Unre­strict­ed free­dom to act accord­ing to one’s judge­ment: prud­nece

address əˈdrɛs n Archa­ic Man­ner or style of speak­ing or conversation.

at least ⇒ If noth­ing else. Not less than.

to be in very good time ⇒ Act­ing or arriv­ing exact­ly at right time.

but ⇒ Mere­ly, just, only.

in the first place ⇒ Ini­tial­ly; to begin with.

to set off ⇒ To start on a jour­ney: depart

show­ery ˈʃaʊəri adj Hav­ing a lot of rain show­ers: rainy

to throw some­body into ago­nies ⇒ To dri­ve to despair.

Mil­som Street ⇒ The fash­ion­able shop­ping street in Bath.

coqueli­cot ˈkoʊk­lɪkoʊ n French The colour of the wild pop­py; a colour near­ly red, like orange mixed with scarlet: 

to long for ⇒ Desire earnest­ly, wish for very much.

to go on ⇒ To continue.

Udolpho ⇒ The quin­tes­sen­tial Goth­ic romance The Mys­ter­ies of Udolpho 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.

ever since ⇒ Since the time when.

get to some­one or some­thing ⇒ To arrive at a des­ti­na­tion or at some point.

veil veɪl n Cov­er­ing of fine net to hide or disguise.

for the world = for all the world ⇒ Not on any account.

to be wild to do some­thing ⇒ To have a strong desire for; to be mad­ly enthu­si­as­tic about.

not upon any account ⇒ Under no circumstances.

skele­ton ˈskɛlɪtn n The bony frame­work that sup­ports the body’s soft tissues.

for all the world ⇒ For anything.

The Ital­ian, or the Con­fes­sion­al of the Black Pen­i­tents (1797) ⇒ A Goth­ic nov­el writ­ten by the Eng­lish author Ann Radcliffe.

The Cas­tle of Wolfen­bach (1793) ⇒ The most famous nov­el writ­ten by the Eng­lish Goth­ic nov­el­ist Eliza Parsons

Cler­mont ⇒ A Goth­ic nov­el by Regi­na Maria Roche. It was first pub­lished in 1798.

The Mys­te­ri­ous Warn­ing ⇒ A Ger­man Tale is A nov­el by the Eng­lish goth­ic nov­el­ist Eliza Par­sons. It was first pub­lished in 179

The Necro­mancer or, The Tale of the Black For­est ⇒ A Goth­ic nov­el by Lud­wig Flam­men­berg first pub­lished in 1794; necro­mancer ˈnɛkrəʊmæn­sə n 1. One who prac­tices div­ina­tion by con­jur­ing up the dead. 2. One who prac­tices mag­ic or sor­cery: magi­cian, sor­cer­er, thau­maturge, thau­matur­gist, wizard

The Mid­night Bell ⇒ A goth­ic nov­el by Fran­cis Lathom.

The Orphan of the Rhine ⇒ A goth­ic nov­el by Eleanor Sleat; orphan ˈɔːfən n Per­son whose par­ents has died; The Rhine ⇒ One of the major Euro­pean rivers, which has its sources in Switzer­land and flows in a most­ly norther­ly direc­tion through Ger­many and the Nether­lands, emp­ty­ing into the North Sea.

The Hor­rid Mys­ter­ies ⇒ Sub­ti­tled “A Sto­ry From the Ger­man Of The Mar­quis Of Grosse” is a trans­la­tion by Peter Will of the Ger­man Goth­ic nov­el Der Genius by Carl Grosse.; hor­rid ˈhɒrɪd adj Caus­ing hor­ror: dread­ful, horrifying

last lɑːst n To remain in ade­quate supply.

hor­rid ˈhɒrɪd adj Caus­ing hor­ror: dread­ful, horrifying

net nɛt v Cre­ate a piece of cloth by inter­lac­ing strands of fab­ric, such as wool or cotton.

cloak kləʊk n A loose out­er gar­ment, such as a cape.

con­ceive kənˈsiːv v To form or devel­op in the mind: under­stand, imag­ine, pic­ture, fancy

vex vɛks adj Trou­bled per­sis­tent­ly espe­cial­ly with pet­ty annoy­ances: annoyed, harassed, har­ried, pestered, troubled

scold skəʊld v To rep­ri­mand or crit­i­cize harsh­ly: chide, rebuke

to have no notion of ⇒ I do not sup­port the idea.

by halves ⇒ Incom­plete­ly, imperfectly.

attach­ment əˈtæʧmənt n

assem­bly əˈsɛm­bli n A group of per­sons gath­ered togeth­er for a com­mon reason.

tease tiːz v Annoy per­sis­tent­ly: bad­ger, belea­guer, bug, pester

slight­ing­ly ˈslaɪtɪŋli adv In a dis­parag­ing man­ner: dis­parag­ing­ly

to fire up ⇒ Become sud­den­ly angry, exit­ed, irritated.

in a moment ⇒ Short­ly; in only a small amount of time;. straight away.

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

colour ˈkʌlə v To become red in the face, espe­cial­ly from mod­esty, embar­rass­ment, or shame: flush, blush

ani­ma­tion ˌænɪˈmeɪʃ(ə)n n Qual­i­ty of being active or spir­it­ed or alive and vig­or­ous: spirit­ed­ness, invig­o­ra­tion, active­ness, liveliness

wants wɒnts n pl (here) Lacks.

to have a taste for ⇒ To like, to be inter­est­ed in.

con­fess kənˈfɛs n To dis­close some­thing incon­ve­nient to some­one; to make known one’s sins to a priest: admit, grant, own, con­cede, avow

insipid ɪnˈsɪpɪd adj Lack­ing excite­ment, stim­u­la­tion, or inter­est: banal, dull

earnest­ly ˈɜːnɪstli adv Seriously.

upon my hon­our ⇒ Upon one’s rep­u­ta­tion for telling the truth.

nay neɪ adv Not so: no, nix

blame bleɪm v Feel or declare that some­one is respon­si­ble for a fault or wrong: hold respon­si­ble, hold accountable

attached əˈtæʧt adj To be bound to by affec­tions: com­mit­ted

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

veil veɪl n A piece of opaque, trans­par­ent, or mesh mate­r­i­al worn over the face for con­ceal­ment or pro­tec­tion or to enhance the appear­ance: cov­er, mask, cloak, veneer

object to some­one or some­thing ⇒ To oppose, dis­agree with, or dis­ap­prove of some­one or something.

The His­to­ry of Sir Charles Gran­di­son ⇒ An epis­to­lary nov­el by Eng­lish writer Samuel Richard­son first pub­lished in Feb­ru­ary 1753. The book was a response to Hen­ry Fielding’s The His­to­ry of Tom Jones, a Foundling, which par­o­died the morals pre­sent­ed in Richardson’s pre­vi­ous novels.The nov­el fol­lows the sto­ry of Har­ri­et Byron who is pur­sued by Sir Har­grave Pollexfen. After she rejects Pollexfen, he kid­naps her, and she is only freed when Sir Charles Gran­di­son comes to her res­cue. After his appear­ance, the nov­el focus­es on his his­to­ry and life, and he becomes its cen­tral figure.

some­thing falls in one’s way ⇒ One receives some­thing by chance.

to get through ⇒ To arrive at the end of; fin­ish or complete.

enter­tain­ing ˌɛn­təˈteɪnɪŋ adj Agree­ably divert­ing: amus­ing

sig­ni­fy ˈsɪgnɪ­faɪ v To mat­ter; to be of impor­tance: count, mat­ter, weigh

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

spir­it ˈspɪrɪt n Cheerfulness.

to keep one’s dis­tance ⇒ To feel respect or esteem for.

to give one­self airs ⇒ To behave as if one is supe­ri­or to someone.

con­ceit­ed kənˈsiːtɪd adj Hav­ing over­high opin­ion of one­self: vain

by the by ⇒ By the way; incidentally.

com­plex­ion kəmˈ­plɛkʃən n The colour­ing of a person’s skin.

light laɪt adj Pale, whitish, or not deep or dark in col­or: fair, fad­ed, blonde, blond, bleached, pas­tel, light-coloured, whitish

sal­low ˈsæləʊ adj Unhealthy look­ing of a sick­ly yel­low­ish complexion.

betray bɪˈtreɪ v Dis­ap­point, prove unde­pend­able to; aban­don, for­sake: dis­ap­point, let down, fail

dis­tress dɪsˈtrɛst v To feel or show extreme unhap­pi­ness, strain, anx­i­ety, suf­fer­ing or pain: both­er, wor­ry, upset

to drop the sub­ject ⇒ Stop talk­ing about it.

com­ply kəmˈ­plaɪ adj To act in con­for­mi­ty with: fol­low, conform

to be on the point of ⇒ To be about to.

revert rɪˈvɜːt n To come back to a for­mer con­di­tion: return

for heaven’s sake ⇒ A mild oath of sur­prise, exas­per­a­tion, annoy­ance, frus­tra­tion, or anger.

odi­ous ˈəʊdiəs adj Arous­ing strong dis­like, aver­sion, or intense dis­plea­sure: hor­rid, abominable

to put some­one out of coun­te­nance ⇒ Dis­con­cert some­body or cause some­body to feel trou­bled or at fault. coun­te­nance ˈkaʊnt(ə)nəns n The appear­ance con­veyed by a person’s face: vis­age

pro­ceed­ing prəˈsiːdɪŋ n Course of action, way of behaving.

look up ⇒ To turn one’s gaze or atten­tion from some­thing else.

uneasy ʌnˈiːzi adj Lack­ing a sense of con­fi­dence or secu­ri­ty: afraid, anx­ious, fearful

to get rid of some­body ⇒ To free from somebody.

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

over­take ˌəʊvəˈteɪk v Come or catch up with.

pass by ⇒ To go past some­one or some­thing with­out stop­ping or acknowledging.

to be dyingCol­lo­qui­al To desire very much.

to pay some­body com­pli­ment ⇒ To say a com­pli­ment to somebody.

spoil spɔːɪl v To do harm to the char­ac­ter by overindul­gence or exces­sive praise: indulge, pam­per, coddle

res­o­lu­tion ˌrɛzəˈluːʃən n Firm deter­mi­na­tion: deci­sion, conclusion

hum­ble ˈhʌm­bl v To give a low­er con­di­tion or sta­tion to: abase

to be in pur­suit of ⇒ To be pur­su­ing or chas­ing someone.

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