"Dear Miss Morland, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained... Consult your own understanding, your sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you - Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? could they be perpetrated without being known, in a country like this... where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies... "

However, the final irony is that Catherine's fears were partly justified, for the General does turn out to be wicked in a more mundane way, turning Catherine rudely out of the house when he discovers she is less rich than he thought. The sensational terror and evil found in Radcliffe's Gothic are replaced by more mundane but just as damaging human vices, and the Gothic tyrant preying on a vulnerable female is transplanted to the real world.

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