No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born tobe an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person anddisposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, orpoor, 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 addictedto 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 wasborn; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she stilllived on-lived to have six children more-to see them growing up around her, and to enjoyexcellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there areheads 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. She hada thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features-so muchfor her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy'splays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments ofinfancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no tastefor a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief-at least soit was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to tak.