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The Opening Sentences of 
Northanger Abbey, by  Jane Austen

     No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would

have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the 

character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, 

were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being

neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was 

Richard -- and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable

independence besides two good livings -- and he was not in the least

addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of

useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, 

with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was 

born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as 

anybody might expect, she still lived on -- lived to have six children 

more -- to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent 

health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine 

family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the 

number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they 

were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life,

as plain as any. 


This border is based on an illustration by C. E. Brock for  Northanger Abbey 
Source:"The C. E. Brock Illustrations of Northanger Abbey