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Chapter 30

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 mother could not but perceive them now to be greatly increased. She could neither sit still nor employ herself for ten minutes together, walking round the garden and orchard 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. In her rambling and her idleness she might only be a caricature of herself; but in her silence and sadness she was the very reverse of all that she had been before.

For two days Mrs. Morland allowed it to pass even without 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 longer 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."

Catherine took up her work directly, saying, in a dejected 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 silence -- "I hope, my Catherine, you are not getting out of humour with home because it is not so grand as Northanger. That would be turning your visit into an evil indeed. Wherever you are you should always be contented, but especially 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."

"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."

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 listlessness, 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 attribute 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. It was some time before she could find what she looked for; and other family matters occurring to detain her, a quarter of an hour had elapsed ere she returned downstairs with the volume from which so much was hoped. Her avocations above having shut out all noise but what she created herself, she knew not that a visitor had arrived within the last few minutes, till, on entering the room, the first object she beheld was a young man whom she had never seen before. With a look of much respect, he immediately rose, and being introduced to her by her conscious daughter as "Mr. Henry Tilney," with the embarrassment of real sensibility began to apologize for his appearance there, acknowledging that after what had passed he had little right to expect a welcome at Fullerton, and stating his impatience to be assured of Miss Morland's having reached her home in safety, as the cause of his intrusion. He did not address himself to an uncandid judge or a resentful heart. Far from comprehending him or his sister in their father's misconduct, Mrs. Morland had been always kindly disposed towards each, and instantly, pleased by his appearance, received him with the simple professions of unaffected benevolence; thanking him for such an attention to her daughter, assuring him that the friends of her children were always welcome there, and entreating him to say not another word of the past.

He was not ill-inclined to obey this request, for, though his heart was greatly relieved by such unlooked-for mildness, it was not just at that moment in his power to say anything to the purpose. Returning in silence to his seat, therefore, he remained for some minutes most civilly answering all Mrs. Morland's common remarks about the weather and roads. Catherine meanwhile -- the anxious, agitated, happy, feverish Catherine -- said not a word; but her glowing cheek and brightened eye made her mother trust that this good-natured visit would at least set her heart at ease for a time, and gladly therefore did she lay aside the first volume of The Mirror for a future hour.

Desirous of Mr. Morland's assistance, as well in giving encouragement, as in finding conversation for her guest, whose embarrassment on his father's account she earnestly pitied, Mrs. Morland had very early dispatched one of the children to summon him; but Mr. Morland was from home -- and being thus without any support, at the end of a quarter of an hour she had nothing to say. After a couple of minutes' unbroken silence, Henry, turning to Catherine for the first time since her mother's entrance, asked her, with sudden alacrity, if Mr. and Mrs. Allen were now at Fullerton? And on developing, from amidst all her perplexity of words in reply, the meaning, which one short syllable would have given, immediately expressed his intention of paying his respects to them, and, with a rising colour, asked her if she would have the goodness to show him the way. "You may see the house from this window, sir," was information on Sarah's side, which produced only a bow of acknowledgment from the gentleman, and a silencing nod from her mother; for Mrs. Morland, thinking it probable, as a secondary consideration in his wish of waiting on their worthy neighbours, that he might have some explanation to give of his father's behaviour, which it must be more pleasant for him to communicate only to Catherine, would not on any account prevent her accompanying him. They began their walk, and Mrs. Morland was not entirely mistaken in his object in wishing it. Some explanation on his father's account he had to give; but his first purpose was to explain himself, and before they reached Mr. Allen's grounds he had done it so well that Catherine did not think it could ever be repeated too often. She was assured of his affection; and that heart in return was solicited, which, perhaps, they pretty equally knew was already entirely his own; for, though Henry was now sincerely attached to her, though he felt and delighted in all the excellencies of her character and truly loved her society, I must confess that his affection originated in nothing better than gratitude, or, in other words, that a persuasion of her partiality for him had been the only cause of giving her a serious thought. It is a new circumstance in romance, I acknowledge, and dreadfully derogatory of an heroine's dignity; but if it be as new in common life, the credit of a wild imagination will at least be all my own.

A very short visit to Mrs. Allen, in which Henry talked at random, without sense or connection, and Catherine, rapt in the contemplation of her own unutterable happiness, scarcely opened her lips, dismissed them to the ecstasies of another tete-a-tete; and before it was suffered to close, she was enabled to judge how far he was sanctioned by parental authority in his present application. On his return from Woodston, two days before, he had been met near the abbey by his impatient father, hastily informed in angry terms of Miss Morland's departure, and ordered to think of her no more.

Such was the permission upon which he had now offered her his hand. The affrighted Catherine, amidst all the terrors of expectation, as she listened to this account, could not but rejoice in the kind caution with which Henry had saved her from the necessity of a conscientious rejection, by engaging her faith before he mentioned the subject; and as he proceeded to give the particulars, and explain the motives of his father's conduct, her feelings soon hardened into even a triumphant delight. The general had had nothing to accuse her of, nothing to lay to her charge, but her being the involuntary, unconscious object of a deception which his pride could not pardon, and which a better pride would have been ashamed to own. She was guilty only of being less rich than he had supposed her to be. Under a mistaken persuasion of her possessions and claims, he had courted her acquaintance in Bath, solicited her company at Northanger, and designed her for his daughter-in-law. On discovering his error, to turn her from the house seemed the best, though to his feelings an inadequate proof of his resentment towards herself, and his contempt of her family.

John Thorpe had first misled him. The general, perceiving his son one night at the theatre to be paying considerable attention to Miss Morland, had accidentally inquired of Thorpe if he knew more of her than her name. Thorpe, most happy to be on speaking terms with a man of General Tilney's importance, had been joyfully and proudly communicative; and being at that time not only in daily expectation of Morland's engaging Isabella, but likewise pretty well resolved upon marrying Catherine himself, his vanity induced him to represent the family as yet more wealthy than his vanity and avarice had made him believe them. With whomsoever he was, or was likely to be connected, his own consequence always required that theirs should be great, and as his intimacy with any acquaintance grew, so regularly grew their fortune. The expectations of his friend Morland, therefore, from the first overrated, had ever since his introduction to Isabella been gradually increasing; and by merely adding twice as much for the grandeur of the moment, by doubling what he chose to think the amount of Mr. Morland's preferment, trebling his private fortune, bestowing a rich aunt, and sinking half the children, he was able to represent the whole family to the general in a most respectable light. For Catherine, however, the peculiar object of the general's curiosity, and his own speculations, he had yet something more in reserve, and the ten or fifteen thousand pounds which her father could give her would be a pretty addition to Mr. Allen's estate. Her intimacy there had made him seriously determine on her being handsomely legacied hereafter; and to speak of her therefore as the almost acknowledged future heiress of Fullerton naturally followed. Upon such intelligence the general had proceeded; for never had it occurred to him to doubt its authority. Thorpe's interest in the family, by his sister's approaching connection with one of its members, and his own views on another (circumstances of which he boasted with almost equal openness), seemed sufficient vouchers for his truth; and to these were added the absolute facts of the Allens being wealthy and childless, of Miss Morland's being under their care, and -- as soon as his acquaintance allowed him to judge -- of their treating her with parental kindness. His resolution was soon formed. Already had he discerned a liking towards Miss Morland in the countenance of his son; and thankful for Mr. Thorpe's communication, he almost instantly determined to spare no pains in weakening his boasted interest and ruining his dearest hopes. Catherine herself could not be more ignorant at the time of all this, than his own children. Henry and Eleanor, perceiving nothing in her situation likely to engage their father's particular respect, had seen with astonishment the suddenness, continuance, and extent of his attention; and though latterly, from some hints which had accompanied an almost positive command to his son of doing everything in his power to attach her, Henry was convinced of his father's believing it to be an advantageous connection, it was not till the late explanation at Northanger that they had the smallest idea of the false calculations which had hurried him on. That they were false, the general had learnt from the very person who had suggested them, from Thorpe himself, whom he had chanced to meet again in town, and who, under the influence of exactly opposite feelings, irritated by Catherine's refusal, and yet more by the failure of a very recent endeavour to accomplish a reconciliation between Morland and Isabella, convinced that they were separated forever, and spurning a friendship which could be no longer serviceable, hastened to contradict all that he had said before to the advantage of the Morlands -- confessed himself to have been totally mistaken in his opinion of their circumstances and character, misled by the rhodomontade of his friend to believe his father a man of substance and credit, whereas the transactions of the two or three last weeks proved him to be neither; for after coming eagerly forward on the first overture of a marriage between the families, with the most liberal proposals, he had, on being brought to the point by the shrewdness of the relator, been constrained to acknowledge himself incapable of giving the young people even a decent support. They were, in fact, a necessitous family; numerous, too, almost beyond example; by no means respected in their own neighbourhood, as he had lately had particular opportunities of discovering; aiming at a style of life which their fortune could not warrant; seeking to better themselves by wealthy connections; a forward, bragging, scheming race.

The terrified general pronounced the name of Allen with an inquiring look; and here too Thorpe had learnt his error. The Allens, he believed, had lived near them too long, and he knew the young man on whom the Fullerton estate must devolve. The general needed no more. Enraged with almost everybody in the world but himself, he set out the next day for the abbey, where his performances have been seen.

I leave it to my reader's sagacity to determine how much of all this it was possible for Henry to communicate at this time to Catherine, how much of it he could have learnt from his father, in what points his own conjectures might assist him, and what portion must yet remain to be told in a letter from James. I have united for their case what they must divide for mine. Catherine, at any rate, heard enough to feel that in suspecting General Tilney of either murdering or shutting up his wife, she had scarcely sinned against his character, or magnified his cruelty.

Henry, in having such things to relate of his father, was almost as pitiable as in their first avowal to himself. He blushed for the narrow-minded counsel which he was obliged to expose. The conversation between them at Northanger had been of the most unfriendly kind. Henry's indignation on hearing how Catherine had been treated, on comprehending his father's views, and being ordered to acquiesce in them, had been open and bold. The general, accustomed on every ordinary occasion to give the law in his family, prepared for no reluctance but of feeling, no opposing desire that should dare to clothe itself in words, could ill brook the opposition of his son, steady as the sanction of reason and the dictate of conscience could make it. But, in such a cause, his anger, though it must shock, could not intimidate Henry, who was sustained in his purpose by a conviction of its justice. He felt himself bound as much in honour as in affection to Miss Morland, and believing that heart to be his own which he had been directed to gain, no unworthy retraction of a tacit consent, no reversing decree of unjustifiable anger, could shake his fidelity, or influence the resolutions it prompted.

He steadily refused to accompany his father into Herefordshire, an engagement formed almost at the moment to promote the dismissal of Catherine, and as steadily declared his intention of offering her his hand. The general was furious in his anger, and they parted in dreadful disagreement. Henry, in an agitation of mind which many solitary hours were required to compose, had returned almost instantly to Woodston, and, on the afternoon of the following day, had begun his journey to Fullerton.

凯瑟琳不是个生性好坐的人,可她生性也不十分勤快。但是,她以往在这方面不管有些什么缺点,她母亲现在都能察觉这些缺点大大加重了。无论静坐着也好,干什么活也好,她连十分钟都坚持不了,总是在花园果园里转悠,好像除了走动以外,什么也不想做。看样子,她宁愿绕着房子到处徘徊,也不肯在客厅里老老实实地呆上一会。然而她意气的消沉变化得更大。她的闲逛和懒散只是过去老毛病的进一步发展,但是她的沉默和优郁却和以前的性情截然相反。

头两天,莫兰太太听之任之,连一句话也没说。但是经过第三个晚上的休息之后,凯瑟琳还没恢复兴致,仍旧不肯干点正经事,也不想做点针线活,这时莫兰太太再也忍不住了,于是便温和地责备了女儿几句:"我的好凯瑟琳,恐怕你要变成娇小姐了。要是可伶的理查德只有你一个亲人的话,我真不知道他的围巾什么时候才能织好。你的脑子里尽想着巴思,但是干什么事都得有个时候-有时候可以跳跳舞,看看戏,有时候也该做点活。你逍遥的时间够长的了,现在应该做点正经事啦。"

凯瑟琳立刻拿起针线,用颓丧的语气说道:"我脑子里并没尽想着巴思呀。"

"那你是在为蒂尔尼将军烦恼。你真是太傻了,因为你十有八九不会再见到他了。你决不应该为这种小事自寻烦恼。"稍许沉默了一会之后:"凯瑟琳,我希望你不要因为家里不如诺桑觉寺气派,就嫌家里不好。要是这样,那岂不意味你这趟门出坏了。你无论在什么地方,都应该随时感到知足,特别是在自己家里,因为你必须在家里度过你的大部分时间。吃早饭的时候,你大讲特讲诺桑觉寺的法式面包,我就不大愿意听。"

"说真的,我对那种面包并不感兴趣。我吃什么都一样。"

"楼上有本书,书里有篇很好的文章,说到一些年轻姑娘因为交了阔朋友,便嫌弃自己的家。我想是本《明镜》杂志。我哪天给你找出来,对你准有好处。"

凯瑟琳没再说什么。她一心想往对里做,于是便埋头做起活计。但是过了几分钟,不知不觉地又变得无精打采了,因为疲惫烦躁,身子不停地在椅子上转动,转得比动针的次数还多。莫兰太太眼看着女儿又犯老毛病了。她发现,凯瑟琳那恍惚不满的神色完全证实了自己的看法,认为她所以郁郁不乐正是因为不能安贫乐道,于是她赶忙离开房间去取那本书,迫不及待地要把这个可怕的病症马上治好。她费了半天工夫才把书找到,接着又让家务事给绊住了,直过了一刻钟才带着她寄以无限希望的那本书走下楼来。她在楼上忙乎时搞得声音很响,楼下有什么动静全没听见,因而也不知道在最后几分钟里来了一位客人。她刚走进屋,一眼便看见一个以前没见过面的青年男子。这男子立刻恭恭敬敬地立起身,女儿忸忸怩怩地介绍说:"这是亨利·蒂尔尼先生。"接着,蒂尔尼先生带着十分敏感和窘迫不安的神气,开始解释自己的来意·他承认,由于发生了那样的事情,他无权期待自己会在富勒顿受到欢迎,他之所以冒昧地赶来,是因为他急于想知道莫兰小姐是否已经平安到家。幸而听他讲话的不是个偏颇结怨的人。莫兰太太没有把亨利和他妹妹同他们父亲的恶劣行径混为一谈,始终对这兄妹俩怀着好感。她很喜欢亨利的仪表,立刻带着纯朴而真挚的感情,好心好意地接待他。感谢他如此关心自己的女儿,让他放心,只要是她孩子的朋友,来她家没有不受欢迎的。她还请求客人,过去的事就只字不提了。

亨利毫不勉强地依从了这一请求,因为,莫兰太太的意外宽大虽说使他心里大为释然,但是在这当儿,过去的事情他又的确说不出口。因此,他一声不响地回到座位上,很有礼貌地回答着莫兰太太关于天气和道路的家常话语。这时候,凯瑟琳只顾得焦灼,激动,快活,兴奋,一句话也没说。但是,一见到她那绯红的面颊和晶亮的眼睛,做母亲的便不由得相信,这次善意的访间至少可以使女儿心里恢复平静。因此,她高高兴兴地放下了那本《明镜》杂志,准备将来再说。

莫兰太太看到客人因为他父亲的关系而感到窘迫,真打心眼里过意不去。她希望莫兰先生能来帮帮忙,一方面跟客人说说话,另一方面也好鼓励鼓励他,因此她老早就打发一个孩子去找丈夫。不巧莫兰先生没在家,莫兰太太孤立无援的,过了一刻钟就没话可说了。连续沉默了两分钟之后,亨利把脸转向凯瑟琳(这是莫兰太太进屋后他第一次转向她),突然爽快地间她艾伦夫妇眼下在不在富勒顿?本来只需要一个字就能回答的间题,凯瑟琳却含含糊糊地说了好几句,亨利揣摩出这番话的意思,当即表示想去拜访一下艾伦夫妇,然后红着脸间凯瑟琳,是不是请她引引路。"先生,你从这个窗口就能看见他们的房子,"萨拉指点说。那位先生只是点了点头表示感谢,不想那位做母亲的也向萨拉点了点头,让她住口。原来,莫兰太太转念一想,客人之所以想去拜访她的高邻,也许是要解释一下他父亲的行为,觉得单独跟凯瑟琳谈谈比较方便,因此她无论如何也得让凯瑟琳陪他去。他们两个出发了,莫兰太太没有完全误会亨利的意图。他是要解释一下他父亲的行为,但是他的首要目的还是剖白自己。还没走到艾伦先生的庭园,他已经剖白得很圆满了,凯瑟琳觉得这样的话真叫人百听不厌。亨利向她表白了自己的爱,而且也向她求了爱,其实他们两个全都明白,那颗心早已属于他的了。不过,虽然亨利现在对凯瑟琳一片钟情,虽然他认识到并且喜爱她性格上有许多优点,真心实意地喜欢和她在一起,但是我必须坦白地说,他的爱只是出自一片感激之情。换句话说,他只是因为知道对方喜爱自己,才对她认真加以考虑的。我承认,这种情形在传奇小说里是见不到的,而且也实在有损女主角的尊严。但是,如果这种情形在日常生活中

也是绝无仅有的话,我至少可以落得个想入非非的美名。

他们在艾伦太太家稍坐了一会,亨利胡乱说了些既无意义又不连贯的话,凯瑟琳只顾得思量自己心里说不出的快活,几乎就没开口。告别出来以后,他们又心醉神迷地亲密交谈起来。没等谈话结束,凯瑟琳便可看出蒂尔尼将军对儿子这次前来求婚所抱的态度。两天前,亨利由伍德斯顿回来,在寺院附近遇见了他那焦躁不安的父亲。父亲急忙气冲冲地把莫兰小姐离去的消息告诉了他,并且责令他不准再去想她。

现在,亨利就是带着这样的禁令前来向她求婚的。凯瑟琳战战兢兢地听着这些话,可把她给吓坏了。然而使她感到高兴的是,多亏亨利想得周到,他是在求完婚以后才提起这件事,否则凯瑟琳还得审慎地加以拒绝。当亨利进而说到详细情况,解释他夫亲这样做的动机时,她顿时硬起了心肠,甚至感到一种胜利的喜悦。原来,将军没有什么好责备她的,也没有什么好指控她的,只是说她不由自主、不知不觉地做了别人诓骗的工具。将军受到那样的诓骗,这是他的自尊心所无法饶恕的,假若自尊心再强一些,他还会耻于承认自己受了骗。凯瑟琳唯一的过错,就是没有将军原先想象的那样有钱。在巴思的时候,将军误听别人谎报了她的财产,便竭力巴结同她来往,请她到诺桑觉寺做客,还打算娶她作儿媳妇。他发现自己的错误之后,为了表示他对凯瑟琳的愤懑,对她家人的鄙视,他觉得最好的办法就是把她赶走,虽然他心里感到这样做还不够解恨。

最先是约翰·索普骗了他。一天晚上,将军在戏院里发现他儿子在向莫兰小姐献殷勤,偶尔间起索普是否了解她的身世。索普一向最喜欢和蒂尔尼将军这样的显赫人物攀谈,于是便高高兴兴、得意洋洋地吹嘘了起来。当时,莫兰每天都有可能同伊莎贝拉订婚,而他自己又打定主意要娶凯瑟琳为妻,因此他的虚荣心就诱使他把莫兰家形容得极为有钱,真比他的虚荣心和贪婪心所想象的还要有钱。他无论和谁沾亲带故,或者可能和谁沾亲带故,为了抬高自己的身价,总要夸大对方的身分。他和哪个人交往得越深,那个人的财产也会不断地增长。因此他对他的朋友莫兰将要继承的财产,虽说一开始就估价过高,然而自从莫兰认识伊莎贝拉以后,他的财产一直在逐步增加。当时,为了说着好听,他仅仅把这家人的资产抬高了两倍,把他所承想的莫兰先生的进项增加了一倍,把他的私产增加了两倍,又赐给一个有钱的姑母,还把孩子的数目削掉了一半,这样一描绘,这家人在将军看来就极为体面了。索普知道,凯瑟琳是将军询间的目标,也是他自己追逐的对象,因此特别替她多说了一点:除了要继承艾伦先生的家产以外,她父亲还会给她一万或一万五千镑,这也算是一笔可观的额外收入。他是见凯瑟琳与艾伦家关系密切,便一口断定她要从那里继承一大笔财产,接着当然就把她说成富勒顿呼声最高的继承人。将军就根据这个消息行动起来,因为他从不怀疑这消息是否可信。索普对这家人的兴趣所在,一是他妹妹马上就要和它的一个成员成亲,二是他自己又看中了它的另一个成员(他同样公开地夸耀这件事),这似乎可以充分保证他说的都是实话。除此之外,艾伦夫妇有钱而无子女,莫兰小姐又归他们照管,等他跟他们一相识以后,他就觉得他们待她亲如父母,这些都是铁一般的事实。于是他很快下定了决心。他早已从儿子的脸上看出他喜欢莫兰小姐。也算感谢索普先生通报消息吧,他几乎当即打定主意,要不遗余力地煞煞他所夸耀的兴头,打消他的痴心妄想。这一切发生的时候,凯瑟琳和将军的两个孩子一样,全都给蒙在鼓里。亨利和埃丽诺看不出凯瑟琳的境况有什么值得他们父亲特别青睐的地方,随后见父亲对她突然关心起来,而且一直都是那样的无微不至,不禁感到十分惊讶。后来,将军曾经向儿子暗示,同时有些近乎断然命令式的,要他尽力去亲近凯瑟琳,亨利由此相信,他父亲一定认为这门亲事有利可图。直到最近在诺桑觉寺把事情解释清楚以前,他们丝毫也没有想到,父亲是受了错误算计的驱使,才这么急于求成的。将军进城的时候,碰巧又遇见了当初向他通报情况的索普,索普亲口告诉他那些情况都是假的。当时,索普的心情和上次恰恰相反,他遭到凯瑟琳的拒绝感到十分恼火,特别是最近试图让莫兰与伊莎贝拉言归于好的努力又告失败,看来他们是永远分手了,于是他摒弃了那种无利可图的友谊,连忙把以前吹捧莫兰家的话全盘推翻。他承认,他对他们的家境和人品的看法完全是错误的,他误信了他那位朋友的自吹自擂,以为他父亲是个有钱有势、德高望重的人,但是近两三个星期与他打交道的结果证明,他并非如此。第一次给两家提亲的时候,莫兰先生急忙表示应承,还提出不少无比慷慨的建议,但当说话人机警地逼迫他谈到实际问题时,他不得不承认,他甚至无法向这对年轻人提供一点过得去的生活费。实际上,他们是个穷人家,子女众多,多得出奇。最近,索普从一个个异乎寻常的机会中发现,这家人一点也不受邻居的敬重。他们大讲生活排场,尽管经济力量并不允许。他们还准备高攀几门阔亲,来改善自己的状况。这家人真不要脸,好说大话,爱耍诡计。

将军一听给吓坏了。他带着诧异的神气提出了艾伦的名字。索普说,他在这件事上也搞错了。他相信艾伦夫妇和他们做了那么多年邻居,早就知道他们的底细了。再说,他还认识那个将来要继承富勒顿产业的青年。将军不必再听了。除了自己以外,他几乎对每个人都感到恼怒,第二天便动身回到诺桑觉寺,而他在那里的所作所为,诸位已经见识过了。

当时,亨利可能将这些事实经过叙说多少?这些事实中,亨利有多少是听他父亲说的?哪些间题是他自己推测的?哪一部分还需要等詹姆斯来信才能说明?我把这些间题统统留给聪明的读者去做裁夺。为了使读者看起来方便,我把这些材料串到了一起,请读者也给我个方便,自己再去把它们拆开吧。无论如何,凯瑟琳听到的情况够多了,觉得自己先前猜疑将军谋杀或是监禁他的妻子,实在并没有侮辱他的人格,也没有夸大他的残暴。

亨利在讲述他父亲的这些事情时,几乎就像当初他听到这些事时一样令人可怜。当他迫不得已暴露了他父亲的那句器量狭窄的劝告时,他不由得羞红了脸。他们父子俩在诺桑觉寺的谈话不客气极了。亨利听说凯瑟琳受到了亏待,领会了他父亲的意图,还被逼着表示认从,这时他公然大胆地表示了自己的愤慨。本来,家里的一切平常事情,将军向来是一个人说了算的。他只以为他的话别人顶多心里不同意,从没想到有人敢把违抗的意愿说出口。他儿子的反抗由于受到理智和良心的驱使,变得十分坚决,真让他无法容忍。在这件事上,将军的发怒虽说定会使亨利感到震惊,但却吓不倒他,而他之所以能这样坚定不移,那是因为他相信自己是正义的。他觉得无论在道义上还是在感情上,他都对莫兰小姐负有义务。他还相信,他父亲指示他赢取的那颗心现在已经属于他的了,用拙劣的手段取消默许过的事,因为无理的恼怒而撤回命令,这些都动摇不了他对凯瑟琳的忠诚,也不会影响他由于忠诚而立定的决心。

亨利毅然拒绝陪他父亲去赫里福德郡,因为这个约会是为了赶走凯瑟琳而临时订下的。亨利还毅然宣布,他要向凯瑟琳求婚。将军气得大发雷霆,两人在骇人听闻的争执中分了手。亨利内心.十分激动,本要几个钟头才能镇定下来,但他马上回到伍德斯顿,第二天下午便动身往富勒顿来了。



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