Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"And make her like myself."
"Very well. I undertake the commission. You shall have a charming wife."
"Nay, how could I help saying what I did?—Nobody could have helped it. It was not so very bad. I dare say she did not understand me."
"I know there is not a better creature in the world: but you must allow, that what is good and what is ridiculous are most unfortunately blended in her."
"It must be a severe trial to them all. She had understood it was to be delayed till Colonel Campbell's return."
"Where— may I ask?—is Miss Fairfax going?"
"Mrs. Elton, I suppose, has been the person to whom Miss Fairfax owes —"
"You spent the evening with Mrs. Elton?"
"Mr. Knightley was there too, was he?"
"Miss Fairfax, I suppose, though you were not aware of it, had been making up her mind the whole day?"
"Whenever the time may come, it must be unwelcome to her and all her friends—but I hope her engagement will have every alleviation that is possible— I mean, as to the character and manners of the family."
"Ah! madam,"
"if other children are at all like what I remember to have been myself, I should think five times the amount of what I have ever yet heard named as a salary on such occasions, dearly earned."
"And when is Miss Fairfax to leave you?"
"Her friends must all be sorry to lose her; and will not Colonel and Mrs. Campbell be sorry to find that she has engaged herself before their return?"
"Nothing at all. But is not this a sudden scheme?"
"Is she unwell?"
"Certainly. This moment, if you please. It is impossible to refuse what you ask in such a way. But what can be the matter?—Is she really not ill?"
"now Mr. Weston, do let me know what has happened."
"Break it to me,"
"Good God!—Mr. Weston, tell me at once.—Something has happened in Brunswick Square. I know it has. Tell me, I charge you tell me this moment what it is."
"Mr. Weston do not trifle with me.—Consider how many of my dearest friends are now in Brunswick Square. Which of them is it?—I charge you by all that is sacred, not to attempt concealment."
"Your word!—why not your honour!—why not say upon your honour, that it has nothing to do with any of them? Good Heavens!—What can be to be broke to me, that does not relate to one of that family?"
"Who is that gentleman on horseback?"
"Has your son been with you, then?"
"What is it my dear friend? Something of a very unpleasant nature, I find, has occurred;—do let me know directly what it is. I have been walking all this way in complete suspense. We both abhor suspense. Do not let mine continue longer. It will do you good to speak of your distress, whatever it may be."
"So far as that it relates to Mr. Frank Churchill, I do guess."
"Jane Fairfax!—Good God! You are not serious? You do not mean it?"
"this is a circumstance which I must think of at least half a day, before I can at all comprehend it. What!—engaged to her all the winter —before either of them came to Highbury?"
"I will not pretend not to understand you; and to give you all the relief in my power, be assured that no such effect has followed his attentions to me, as you are apprehensive of."
"That you may have less difficulty in believing this boast, of my present perfect indifference,"
"I will farther tell you, that there was a period in the early part of our acquaintance, when I did like him, when I was very much disposed to be attached to him— nay, was attached —and how it came to cease, is perhaps the wonder. Fortunately, however, it did cease. I have really for some time past, for at least these three months, cared nothing about him. You may believe me, Mrs. Weston. This is the simple truth."
"I have escaped; and that I should escape, may be a matter of grateful wonder to you and myself. But this does not acquit him, Mrs. Weston; and I must say, that I think him greatly to blame. What right had he to come among us with affection and faith engaged, and with manners so very disengaged? What right had he to endeavour to please, as he certainly did— to distinguish any one young woman with persevering attention, as he certainly did— while he really belonged to another?—How could he tell what mischief he might be doing?—How could he tell that he might not be making me in love with him?—very wrong, very wrong indeed."
"And how could she bear such behaviour! Composure with a witness! to look on, while repeated attentions were offering to another woman, before her face, and not resent it.—That is a degree of placidity, which I can neither comprehend nor respect."
"Impropriety! Oh! Mrs. Weston— it is too calm a censure. Much, much beyond impropriety!—It has sunk him, I cannot say how it has sunk him in my opinion. So unlike what a man should be!—None of that upright integrity, that strict adherence to truth and principle, that disdain of trick and littleness, which a man should display in every transaction of his life."
"Good God!"
"Mrs. Smallridge, too! Jane actually on the point of going as governess! What could he mean by such horrible indelicacy? To suffer her to engage herself— to suffer her even to think of such a measure!"
"His sufferings,"
"do not appear to have done him much harm. Well, and how did Mr. Churchill take it?"
"he would have done as much for Harriet."
"And do you really believe the affair to have been carrying on with such perfect secresy?—The Campbells, the Dixons, did none of them know of the engagement?"
"I suppose we shall gradually grow reconciled to the idea, and I wish them very happy. But I shall always think it a very abominable sort of proceeding. What has it been but a system of hypocrisy and deceit,—espionage, and treachery?—To come among us with professions of openness and simplicity; and such a league in secret to judge us all!—Here have we been, the whole winter and spring, completely duped, fancying ourselves all on an equal footing of truth and honour, with two people in the midst of us who may have been carrying round, comparing and sitting in judgment on sentiments and words that were never meant for both to hear.—They must take the consequence, if they have heard each other spoken of in a way not perfectly agreeable!"
"You are in luck.—Your only blunder was confined to my ear, when you imagined a certain friend of ours in love with the lady."
"Much, indeed!"
"If a woman can ever be excused for thinking only of herself, it is in a situation like Jane Fairfax's.—Of such, one may almost say, that 'the world is not their's, nor the world's law.'"