Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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dear Emma was of no feeble character; she was more equal to her situation than most girls would have been, and had sense, and energy, and spirits that might be hoped would bear her well and happily through its little difficulties and privations. And then there was such comfort in the very easy distance of Randalls from Hartfield, so convenient for even solitary female walking, and in Mr. Weston's disposition and circumstances, which would make the approaching season no hindrance to their spending half the evenings in the week together.
"A bad thing! Do you really think it a bad thing?—why so?"
"You surprize me! Emma must do Harriet good: and by supplying her with a new object of interest, Harriet may be said to do Emma good. I have been seeing their intimacy with the greatest pleasure. How very differently we feel!—
This will certainly be the beginning of one of our quarrels about Emma, Mr. Knightley."
"Mr. Weston would undoubtedly support me, if he were here, for he thinks exactly as I do on the subject. We were speaking of it only yesterday, and agreeing how fortunate it was for Emma, that there should be such a girl in Highbury for her to associate with. Mr. Knightley, I shall not allow you to be a fair judge in this case. You are so much used to live alone, that you do not know the value of a companion; and, perhaps no man can be a good judge of the comfort a woman feels in the society of one of her own sex, after being used to it all her life. I can imagine your objection to Harriet Smith. She is not the superior young woman which Emma's friend ought to be. But on the other hand, as Emma wants to see her better informed, it will be an inducement to her to read more herself. They will read together. She means it, I know."
"I dare say,"
"that I thought so then;—but since we have parted, I can never remember Emma's omitting to do any thing I wished."
"I should have been sorry, Mr. Knightley, to be dependent on your recommendation, had I quitted Mr. Woodhouse's family and wanted another situation; I do not think you would have spoken a good word for me to any body. I am sure you always thought me unfit for the office I held."
"Thank you. There will be very little merit in making a good wife to such a man as Mr. Weston."
"I hope not that.—It is not likely. No, Mr. Knightley, do not foretell vexation from that quarter."
"I either depend more upon Emma's good sense than you do, or am more anxious for her present comfort; for I cannot lament the acquaintance. How well she looked last night!"
"Pretty! say beautiful rather. Can you imagine any thing nearer perfect beauty than Emma altogether —face and figure?"
"Such an eye!—the true hazle eye —and so brilliant! regular features, open countenance, with a complexion! oh! what a bloom of full health, and such a pretty height and size; such a firm and upright figure! There is health, not merely in her bloom, but in her air, her head, her glance. One hears sometimes of a child being 'the picture of health;' now, Emma always gives me the idea of being the complete picture of grown-up health. She is loveliness itself. Mr. Knightley, is not she?"
"And I, Mr. Knightley, am equally stout in my confidence of its not doing them any harm. With all dear Emma's little faults, she is an excellent creature. Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend? No, no; she has qualities which may be trusted; she will never lead any one really wrong; she will make no lasting blunder; where Emma errs once, she is in the right a hundred times."
"I know that you all love her really too well to be unjust or unkind; but excuse me, Mr. Knightley, if I take the liberty (I consider myself, you know, as having somewhat of the privilege of speech that Emma's mother might have had) the liberty of hinting that I do not think any possible good can arise from Harriet Smith's intimacy being made a matter of much discussion among you. Pray excuse me; but supposing any little inconvenience may be apprehended from the intimacy, it cannot be expected that Emma, accountable to nobody but her father, who perfectly approves the acquaintance, should put an end to it, so long as it is a source of pleasure to herself. It has been so many years my province to give advice, that you cannot be surprized, Mr. Knightley, at this little remains of office."
"Mrs. John Knightley is easily alarmed, and might be made unhappy about her sister."
"So do I,"
"very much."
"There does, indeed, seem as little to tempt her to break her resolution at present,"
"as can well be; and while she is so happy at Hartfield, I cannot wish her to be forming any attachment which would be creating such difficulties on poor Mr. Woodhouse's account. I do not recommend matrimony at present to Emma, though I mean no slight to the state, I assure you."
he had nothing more to say or surmise about Hartfield.
"You have given Miss Smith all that she required,"
"you have made her graceful and easy. She was a beautiful creature when she came to you, but, in my opinion, the attractions you have added are infinitely superior to what she received from nature."
"If it were admissible to contradict a lady,"
"Exactly so; that is what principally strikes me. So much superadded decision of character! Skilful has been the hand!"
"I have no doubt of it."
"Let me entreat you,"
"it would indeed be a delight! Let me entreat you, Miss Woodhouse, to exercise so charming a talent in favour of your friend. I know what your drawings are. How could you suppose me ignorant? Is not this room rich in specimens of your landscapes and flowers; and has not Mrs. Weston some inimitable figure-pieces in her drawing-room, at Randalls?"
"Exactly so— The shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth— I have not a doubt of your success. Pray, pray attempt it. As you will do it, it will indeed, to use your own words, be an exquisite possession."
"Oh! yes, I observed it, I assure you. It was not lost on me. But still I cannot imagine she would not be persuaded."
"Yes, it was a little like— but to be sure it did not do him justice." We had had a great deal of trouble in persuading him to sit at all. It was made a great favour of; and altogether it was more than I could bear; and so I never would finish it, to have it apologised over as an unfavourable likeness, to every morning visitor in Brunswick Square;—and, as I said, I did then forswear ever drawing any body again. But for Harriet's sake, or rather for my own, and as there are no husbands and wives in the case at present, I will break my resolution now."
"No husbands and wives in the case at present indeed, as you observe. Exactly so. No husbands and wives,"
"Miss Woodhouse has given her friend the only beauty she wanted,"—
"The expression of the eye is most correct, but Miss Smith has not those eyebrows and eyelashes. It is the fault of her face that she has them not."
"Do you think so?"
"I cannot agree with you. It appears to me a most perfect resemblance in every feature. I never saw such a likeness in my life. We must allow for the effect of shade, you know."
"Oh no! certainly not too tall; not in the least too tall. Consider, she is sitting down—which naturally presents a different— which in short gives exactly the idea— and the proportions must be preserved, you know. Proportions, fore-shortening.—Oh no! it gives one exactly the idea of such a height as Miss Smith's. Exactly so indeed!"
"You, sir, may say any thing,"
"but I must confess that I regard it as a most happy thought, the placing of Miss Smith out of doors; and the tree is touched with such inimitable spirit! Any other situation would have been much less in character. The naivete of Miss Smith's manners—and altogether— — Oh, it is most admirable! I cannot keep my eyes from it. I never saw such a likeness."
"What a precious deposit!"
"Oh no! he had never written, hardly ever, any thing of the kind in his life. The stupidest fellow! He was afraid not even Miss Woodhouse"—
"or Miss Smith could inspire him."
"I do not offer it for Miss Smith's collection,"
"Being my friend's, I have no right to expose it in any degree to the public eye, but perhaps you may not dislike looking at it."
"I have no hesitation in saying,"
"I have no hesitation in saying— at least if my friend feels at all as I do— I have not the smallest doubt that, could he see his little effusion honoured as I see it,
he would consider it as the proudest moment of his life."
"Oh yes, sir,"
"how you must miss her! And dear Emma, too!—What a dreadful loss to you both!—I have been so grieved for you.—I could not imagine how you could possibly do without her.—It is a sad change indeed.—But I hope she is pretty well, sir."
quietly whether there were any doubts of the air of Randalls.