|Ch12: thoroughly artless in itself, though...
Written by Tom P2
(3/12/2009 2:58 a.m.)
This is the only occasion I've noticed so far when Catherine drives Henry into an evasion.
Catherine’s mind was greatly eased by this information, yet a something of solicitude remained, from which sprang the following question, thoroughly artless in itself, though rather distressing to the gentleman: “But, Mr. Tilney, why were you less generous than your sister? If she felt such confidence in my good intentions, and could suppose it to be only a mistake, why should you be so ready to take offence?”
“Me! I take offence!”
“Nay, I am sure by your look, when you came into the box, you were angry.”
“I angry! I could have no right.”
“Well, nobody would have thought you had no right who saw your face.” He replied by asking her to make room for him, and talking of the play.
It's hard to make out his character when it's so cloaked in humourous double-talk. However, he did give an early indication that he prefers open, direct answers over evasions.
Catherine coloured, and said, “I was not thinking of anything.”
“That is artful and deep, to be sure; but I had rather be told at once that you will not tell me.”
“Well then, I will not.”
You didn't quite reciprocate at the theatre by way of directness, did you, Henry? What were you distressed about? Caught wearing some feelings on your face, eh? Nudge, nudge.