James & the Thorpes try to guilt Catherine into another excursion, but she
refuses: She's made plans with Eleanor.
Catherine unkind and obstinate. " If I am wrong," she says, "I
am doing what I believe to be right."
"I suspect," says Isabella, "there is no great struggle." Ouch. Poor Catherine.
It gets worse: Thorpe
announces he has cancelled Catherine's plans with Eleanor. WTF? Off Catherine
goes to set things straight.
Her parting words:
"If I could not be persuaded into doing what I thought wrong, I never will
be tricked into it."
Bypassing the Tilneys' servant, Catherine
rushes into their drawing room and breathlessly explains what happened.
All is forgiven;
she even meets Henry's father, General Tilney, who walks her to the door &
admires "the elasticity of her walk."
"Catherine…proceeded gaily" home, "walking, as she concluded,
with great elasticity, though she had never thought of it before."
Walking next day w/Tilneys, Catherine talks of her love for gothic novels. "But you never read novels…?" she asks Henry.
Henry: "Why not?" Catherine: "Because they are not clever enough for you -- gentlemen read better books."
Henry: "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a
good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
Catherine: "But I really thought before, young men despised novels amazingly."
may well suggest amazement if
they do -- for they read nearly as many as women."
"Do not you think Udolpho the nicest book in the world?"
nicest; --by which I suppose you mean the neatest. That must depend upon the
said Miss Tilney, "you are very impertinent. Miss Morland, …The word
`nicest,' as you used it, did not suit him…"
"I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say any thing wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should not I call it so?"
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."
Henry: "Oh! it is a
very nice word indeed! -- It does for every thing…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."
"Come, Miss Morland, let us leave him to meditate over our faults…, while we praise Udolpho in whatever terms we like best."
turns 2 history. Cath: "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…"
"…yet I often think it odd that it should be so
dull, for a great deal of it must be invention."
And as for historians: "to be at so much trouble in filling great
volumes, which...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…"
for historians "are perfectly well qualified to torment readers of the
most advanced reason and mature time of life."
The Tilneys began talking about drawing, and "Here Catherine was quite lost. She knew nothing of drawing."
heartily ashamed 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."
inability of administering to the vanity of others" is something "which
a sensible person would always wish to avoid."
"A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing any thing, should conceal it as well as she can."
"To the larger and more trifling part of the [male] sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms…"
is a portion of [men] too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire
anything more in woman than ignorance."
"But Catherine did not know her own advantages."
good-looking girl, with an affectionate heart and a very ignorant mind, cannot
fail of attracting a clever young man."
A lecture on drawing follows. From there, Henry segues to politics. And "From politics, it was an easy step to silence."
Then Catherine offers this comment on current affairs. "I have heard that something very shocking indeed will soon come out in London."
Eleanor is alarmed; Henry amused. Says Catherine: "I shall expect murder and everything of the kind."
Eleanor says that
the government will of course take matters in hand. Henry, "endeavoring
not to smile," disagrees.
"Government…neither desires nor dares to interfere in such matters. There
must be murder; and government cares not how much."
"The ladies stared. He laughed… 'Come, shall I make you understand each other, or leave you to puzzle out an explanation as you can?'"
Morland has been talking of nothing more dreadful than a new publication,"
i.e., a gothic horror novel.
Eleanor warns that Catherine will think Henry "intolerably rude" 2 his sister "and a great brute in [his] opinion of women in general."
Eleanor: "Miss Morland is not used to your odd ways." Henry: "I shall be most happy to make her better acquainted with them."
Henry: "Miss Morland, no one
can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do."
Henry: "In my opinion, nature has given
[women] so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half."
Eleanor: "We shall get nothing more serious
from him now, Miss Morland. He is not in a sober mood."
Eleanor: "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."
Eleanor needn't have worried, for "it was no effort to Catherine to believe that Henry Tilney could never be wrong."
[This Twitter presentation of NORTHANGER ABBEY is brought to you by The Upper Rooms, where there is always a bit of a crush.]