Chapter 2 Summary

Catherine prepares for her departure with the Allens to Bath. Catherine’s mother does not make a fuss over her leaving; she merely warns Catherine to keep warm so that she does not catch a cold. Mrs. Allen’s concern is not due to a lack of love for her young daughter on her first venture into society but rather a lack of experience. Mrs. Allen knows very little about the potential mischief of some young men toward young, innocent girls, so she does not know to warn her daughter. Catherine’s closest sibling is her younger sister, Sally (who sometimes prefers the name Sarah). She does not, as some other sisters might have, insist that Catherine write to her every day that she is gone. No, the Morlands approach Catherine’s departure with a very modest spirit. The attitude seems to be that Catherine will not be gone long, and one day she will return.

The trip, much like the reactions of the Morlands, is quiet. Catherine and her companions, the Allens, encounter no storms along the road. Neither are they bothered by any thieves. Catherine looks about the countryside, but she does not set her eyes upon any young man who might incite her imagination into proclaiming him to be a possible hero.

Once settled in Bath, Mrs. Allen examines Catherine’s wardrobe and finds it lacking. The first outing of Mrs. Allen and Catherine is to procure new dresses. Soon afterward, Mrs. Allen is ready to chaperone Catherine to her first ball. Catherine’s hair is cut, and she dons one of her new outfits. The Allens announce, upon seeing her so dressed, that Catherine is sufficiently prepared for admiration from any young man who should see her.

They are late in arriving to the ball because Mrs. Allen takes very long to dress. By the time they reach the ballroom, it is so crowded the women have difficulty passing through. Catherine was hoping to find a place to sit and watch the dancing, but all they manage is to stand behind a wall of...

(The entire section is 534 words.)