Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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She had nothing to dread from midnight assassins or drunken gallants. Henry had certainly been only in jest in what he had told her that morning. In a house so furnished, and so guarded, she could have nothing to explore or to suffer, and might go to her bedroom as securely as if it had been her own chamber at Fullerton.
Miss Tilney slept only two doors from her,
“She should take her time; she should not hurry herself; she did not care if she were the last person up in the house. But she would not make up her fire; that would seem cowardly, as if she wished for the protection of light after she were in bed.”
though there could be nothing really in it, there was something whimsical, it was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!
It was not absolutely ebony and gold; but it was japan, black and yellow japan of the handsomest kind; and as she held her candle, the yellow had very much the effect of gold. The key was in the door,
not, however, with the smallest expectation of finding anything, but it was so very odd, after what Henry had said.
but how strangely mysterious! The door was still immovable.
“never from the first had the smallest idea of finding anything in any part of the cabinet, and was not in the least disappointed at her ill success thus far, it would be foolish not to examine it thoroughly while she was about it.”
To close her eyes in sleep that night, she felt must be entirely out of the question. With a curiosity so justly awakened, and feelings in every way so agitated, repose must be absolutely impossible. The storm too abroad so dreadful! She had not been used to feel alarm from wind, but now every blast seemed fraught with awful intelligence. The manuscript so wonderfully found, so wonderfully accomplishing the morning’s prediction, how was it to be accounted for? What could it contain? To whom could it relate? By what means could it have been so long concealed? And how singularly strange that it should fall to her lot to discover it! Till she had made herself mistress of its contents, however, she could have neither repose nor comfort; and with the sun’s first rays she was determined to peruse it.
they could ever have been closed, on objects of cheerfulness; her fire was already burning, and a bright morning had succeeded the tempest of the night.
Could it be possible, or did not her senses play her false? An inventory of linen, in coarse and modern characters, seemed all that was before her!
a farrier’s bill!
To suppose that a manuscript of many generations back could have remained undiscovered in a room such as that, so modern, so habitable! — Or that she should be the first to possess the skill of unlocking a cabinet, the key of which was open to all!
How could she have so imposed on herself? Heaven forbid that Henry Tilney should ever know her folly! And it was in a great measure his own doing, for had not the cabinet appeared so exactly to agree with his description of her adventures, she should never have felt the smallest curiosity about it.
no untoward accident might ever bring them forward again, to disgrace her even with herself.
Why the locks should have been so difficult to open, however, was still something remarkable,
In this there was surely something mysterious,
till the possibility of the door’s having been at first unlocked, and of being herself its fastener,
For the world would she not have her weakness suspected,
the wind had kept her awake a little.
it was a proposal of too much happiness in itself, under any circumstances, not to be gladly accepted; for she had been already eighteen hours in the abbey, and had seen only a few of its rooms.
her unwillingness that he should be taking them out of doors against his own inclination, under a mistaken idea of pleasing her;
Why was Miss Tilney embarrassed? Could there be any unwillingness on the general’s side to show her over the abbey? The proposal was his own. And was not it odd that he should always take his walk so early? Neither her father nor Mr. Allen did so. It was certainly very provoking.
She was all impatience to see the house, and had scarcely any curiosity about the grounds.
If Henry had been with them indeed! But now she should not know what was picturesque when she saw it.
“No, not at all. Mr. Allen did not care about the garden, and never went into it.”
“Mr. Allen had only one small hot-house, which Mrs. Allen had the use of for her plants in winter, and there was a fire in it now and then.”
“Was she a very charming woman? Was she handsome? Was there any picture of her in the abbey? And why had she been so partial to that grove? Was it from dejection of spirits?”
The general certainly had been an unkind husband. He did not love her walk: could he therefore have loved her? And besides, handsome as he was, there was a something in the turn of his features which spoke his not having behaved well to her.
Here was another proof. A portrait — very like — of a departed wife, not valued by the husband! He must have been dreadfully cruel to her!
the nature of the feelings which, in spite of all his attentions, he had previously excited; and what had been terror and dislike before, was now absolute aversion.
Yes, aversion! His cruelty to such a charming woman made him odious
She had often read of such characters, characters which Mr. Allen had been used to call unnatural and overdrawn; but here was proof positive of the contrary.
“This lengthened absence, these solitary rambles, did not speak a mind at ease, or a conscience void of reproach.”
It was very noble — very grand — very charming! —
they were to return to the rooms in common use, by passing through a few of less importance, looking into the court, which, with occasional passages, not wholly unintricate, connected the different sides;
Yet this was an abbey! How inexpressibly different in these domestic arrangements from such as she had read about — from abbeys and castles, in which, though certainly larger than Northanger, all the dirty work of the house was to be done by two pair of female hands at the utmost. How they could get through it all had often amazed Mrs. Allen;
she would rather be allowed to examine that end of the house than see all the finery of all the rest.
Something was certainly to be concealed; her fancy, though it had trespassed lately once or twice, could not mislead her here;
It was no wonder that the general should shrink from the sight of such objects as that room must contain; a room in all probability never entered by him since the dreadful scene had passed, which released his suffering wife, and left him to the stings of conscience.
her wish of being permitted to see it, as well as all the rest of that side of the house;
the general must be watched from home, before that room could be entered.
And nine years,
was a trifle of time, compared with what generally elapsed after the death of an injured wife, before her room was put to rights.
Could it be possible? Could Henry’s father —? And yet how many were the examples to justify even the blackest suspicions!
It was the air and attitude of a Montoni! What could more plainly speak the gloomy workings of a mind not wholly dead to every sense of humanity, in its fearful review of past scenes of guilt? Unhappy man!
such ill-timed exercise was of a piece with the strange unseasonableness of his morning walks, and boded nothing good.
To be kept up for hours, after the family were in bed, by stupid pamphlets was not very likely. There must be some deeper cause: something was to be done which could be done only while the household slept; and the probability that Mrs. Tilney yet lived, shut up for causes unknown, and receiving from the pitiless hands of her husband a nightly supply of coarse food,
Shocking as was the idea, it was at least better than a death unfairly hastened, as, in the natural course of things, she must ere long be released. The suddenness of her reputed illness, the absence of her daughter, and probably of her other children, at the time — all favoured the supposition of her imprisonment. Its origin — jealousy perhaps, or wanton cruelty — was yet to be unravelled.
not unlikely that she might that morning have passed near the very spot of this unfortunate woman’s confinement — might have been within a few paces of the cell in which she languished out her days; for what part of the abbey could be more fitted for the purpose than that which yet bore the traces of monastic division? In the high-arched passage, paved with stone, which already she had trodden with peculiar awe, she well remembered the doors of which the general had given no account. To what might not those doors lead?