Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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“What! Always to be watched, in person or by proxy!”
“I wish your heart were independent. That would be enough for me.”
“If we have not hearts, we have eyes; and they give us torment enough.”
“Never more so; for the edge of a blooming cheek is still in view — at once too much and too little.”
“How glad I shall be when you are all off.”
"Upon my soul,"
"I believe it is nothing more; and so I often tell my mother, when she is grieving about it. 'My dear Madam,' I always say to her, 'you must make yourself easy. The evil is now irremediable, and it has been entirely your own doing. Why would you be persuaded by my uncle, Sir Robert, against your own judgment, to place Edward under private tuition, at the most critical time of his life? If you had only sent him to Westminster as well as myself, instead of sending him to Mr. Pratt's, all this would have been prevented.' This is the way in which I always consider the matter, and my mother is perfectly convinced of her error."
"You reside in Devonshire, I think," —
"in a cottage near Dawlish."
"For my own part,"
"I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me, and be happy. I advise every body who is going to build, to build a cottage. My friend Lord Courtland came to me the other day on purpose to ask my advice, and laid before me three different plans of Bonomi's. I was to decide on the best of them. 'My dear Courtland,' said I, immediately throwing them all into the fire, 'do not adopt either of them, but by all means build a cottage.' And that I fancy, will be the end of it.
"Some people imagine that there can be no accommodations, no space in a cottage; but this is all a mistake. I was last month at my friend Elliott's, near Dartford. Lady Elliott wished to give a dance.
said she;
I immediately saw that there could be no difficulty in it, so I said, 'My dear Lady Elliott, do not be uneasy. The dining parlour will admit eighteen couple with ease; card-tables may be placed in the drawing-room; the library may be open for tea and other refreshments; and let the supper be set out in the saloon.' Lady Elliott was delighted with the thought. We measured the dining-room, and found it would hold exactly eighteen couple, and the affair was arranged precisely after my plan. So that, in fact, you see, if people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be as well enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling."
"We may treat it as a joke,"
"but, upon my soul, it is a most serious business. Poor Edward! he is ruined for ever. I am extremely sorry for it — for I know him to be a very good-hearted creature; as well-meaning a fellow perhaps, as any in the world. You must not judge of him, Miss Dashwood, from YOUR slight acquaintance. — Poor Edward! — His manners are certainly not the happiest in nature. — But we are not all born, you know, with the same powers, — the same address. — Poor fellow! — to see him in a circle of strangers! — to be sure it was pitiable enough! — but upon my soul, I believe he has as good a heart as any in the kingdom; and I declare and protest to you I never was so shocked in my life, as when it all burst forth. I could not believe it. — My mother was the first person who told me of it; and I, feeling myself called on to act with resolution, immediately said to her, 'My dear madam, I do not know what you may intend to do on the occasion, but as for myself, I must say, that if Edward does marry this young woman, I never will see him again.' That was what I said immediately. — I was most uncommonly shocked, indeed! — Poor Edward! — he has done for himself completely — shut himself out for ever from all decent society! — but, as I directly said to my mother, I am not in the least surprised at it; from his style of education, it was always to be expected. My poor mother was half frantic."
"Yes; once, while she was staying in this house, I happened to drop in for ten minutes; and I saw quite enough of her. The merest awkward country girl, without style, or elegance, and almost without beauty. — I remember her perfectly. Just the kind of girl I should suppose likely to captivate poor Edward. I offered immediately, as soon as my mother related the affair to me, to talk to him myself, and dissuade him from the match; but it was too late THEN, I found, to do any thing, for unluckily, I was not in the way at first, and knew nothing of it till after the breach had taken place, when it was not for me, you know, to interfere. But had I been informed of it a few hours earlier — I think it is most probable — that something might have been hit on. I certainly should have represented it to Edward in a very strong light. 'My dear fellow,' I should have said, 'consider what you are doing. You are making a most disgraceful connection, and such a one as your family are unanimous in disapproving.' I cannot help thinking, in short, that means might have been found. But now it is all too late. He must be starved, you know; — that is certain; absolutely starved."
"I wish you could see Compton,"
"it is the most complete thing! I never saw a place so altered in my life. I told Smith I did not know where I was. The approach now, is one of the finest things in the country: you see the house in the most surprising manner. I declare, when I got back to Sotherton yesterday, it looked like a prison —quite a dismal old prison."
"It wants improvement, ma'am, beyond anything. I never saw a place that wanted so much improvement in my life; and it is so forlorn that I do not know what can be done with it."
"I must try to do something with it,"
"but I do not know what. I hope I shall have some good friend to help me."
"That is what I was thinking of. As he has done so well by Smith, I think I had better have him at once. His terms are five guineas a day."
"Smith's place is the admiration of all the country; and it was a mere nothing before Repton took it in hand. I think I shall have Repton."
"Smith has not much above a hundred acres altogether in his grounds, which is little enough, and makes it more surprising that the place can have been so improved. Now, at Sotherton we have a good seven hundred, without reckoning the water meadows; so that I think, if so much could be done at Compton, we need not despair. There have been two or three fine old trees cut down, that grew too near the house, and it opens the prospect amazingly, which makes me think that Repton, or anybody of that sort, would certainly have the avenue at Sotherton down: the avenue that leads from the west front to the top of the hill, you know,"
"Yes, it is exactly behind the house; begins at a little distance, and ascends for half a mile to the extremity of the grounds. You may see something of it here— something of the more distant trees. It is oak entirely."
"For if,"
"we are too long going over the house, we shall not have time for what is to be done out of doors. It is past two, and we are to dine at five."
"I do not believe I shall go any farther,"
"I see nothing of them. By the time I get to the knoll they may be gone somewhere else. I have had walking enough."
"I think they might as well have staid for me,"
"I should not have had to follow her if she had staid."
"Pray, Miss Price, are you such a great admirer of this Mr. Crawford as some people are? For my part, I can see nothing in him."
"Handsome! Nobody can call such an undersized man handsome. He is not five foot nine. I should not wonder if he is not more than five foot eight. I think he is an ill-looking fellow. In my opinion, these Crawfords are no addition at all. We did very well without them."
"If I had made any difficulty about fetching the key, there might have been some excuse, but I went the very moment she said she wanted it."
"wished he had had the key about him at the time."
"if you really think I had better go: it would be foolish to bring the key for nothing."
"We have got a play,"
"It is to be Lovers' Vows; and I am to be Count Cassel, and am to come in first with a blue dress and a pink satin cloak, and afterwards am to have another fine fancy suit, by way of a shooting-dress. I do not know how I shall like it."
"I come in three times, and have two-and-forty speeches. That's something, is not it? But I do not much like the idea of being so fine. I shall hardly know myself in a blue dress and a pink satin cloak."
"I had my choice of the parts,"
"but I thought I should like the Count best, though I do not much relish the finery I am to have."
"The Count has two-and-forty speeches,"
"which is no trifle."
"If you are afraid of half a dozen speeches,"
"what would you do with such a part as mine? I have forty-two to learn."
"Do you think there is anything so very fine in all this? For the life and soul of me, I cannot admire him; and, between ourselves, to see such an undersized, little, mean-looking man, set up for a fine actor, is very ridiculous in my opinion."
"Shall I go too? Had not I better go too? Will not it be right for me to go too?"
"I do not say he is not gentleman-like, considering; but you should tell your father he is not above five feet eight, or he will be expecting a well-looking man."