CHAPTER 1No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would havesupposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the characterof her father and mother, her own person and disposition, wereall equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without beingneg... read full description below.
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CHAPTER 1No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would havesupposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the characterof her father and mother, her own person and disposition, wereall equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without beingneglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his namewas Richard--and he had never been handsome. He had a considerableindependence besides two good livings--and he was not in the leastaddicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of usefulplain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with agood constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; andinstead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody mightexpect, she still lived on--lived to have six children more--to see themgrowing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A familyof ten children will be always called a fine family, where there areheads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands hadlittle other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, andCatherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thinawkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strongfeatures--so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroismseemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferredcricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments ofinfancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering arose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gatheredflowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief--at leastso it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she wasforbidden to take. Such were her propensities--her abilities were quiteas extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anythingbefore she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was ofteninattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months inteaching her only to repeat the
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