Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"we must employ Edward to take care of us in our return to Barton. In a week or two, I suppose, we shall be going; and, I trust, Edward will not be very unwilling to accept the charge."
"We spent such a day, Edward, in Harley Street yesterday! So dull, so wretchedly dull! — But I have much to say to you on that head, which cannot be said now."
"But why were you not there, Edward? — Why did you not come?"
"Engaged! But what was that, when such friends were to be met?"
"Not so, indeed; for, seriously speaking, I am very sure that conscience only kept Edward from Harley Street. And I really believe he HAS the most delicate conscience in the world; the most scrupulous in performing every engagement, however minute, and however it may make against his interest or pleasure. He is the most fearful of giving pain, of wounding expectation, and the most incapable of being selfish, of any body I ever saw. Edward, it is so, and I will say it. What! are you never to hear yourself praised! — Then you must be no friend of mine; for those who will accept of my love and esteem, must submit to my open commendation."
"Going so soon!"
"my dear Edward, this must not be."
"What can bring her here so often?"
"Could not she see that we wanted her gone! — how teazing to Edward!"
"You know, Elinor, that this is a kind of talking which I cannot bear. If you only hope to have your assertion contradicted, as I must suppose to be the case, you ought to recollect that I am the last person in the world to do it. I cannot descend to be tricked out of assurances, that are not really wanted."
"How long has this been known to you, Elinor? has he written to you?"
"Four months! — Have you known of this four months?"
"What! — while attending me in all my misery, has this been on your heart? — And I have reproached you for being happy!" —
"Four months!" —
"So calm! — so cheerful! — how have you been supported?"
"Four months! — and yet you loved him!" —
"If such is your way of thinking,"
"if the loss of what is most valued is so easily to be made up by something else, your resolution, your self-command, are, perhaps, a little less to be wondered at. — They are brought more within my comprehension."
"Oh! Elinor,"
"you have made me hate myself for ever. — How barbarous have I been to you! — you, who have been my only comfort, who have borne with me in all my misery, who have seemed to be only suffering for me! — Is this my gratitude? — Is this the only return I can make you? — Because your merit cries out upon myself, I have been trying to do it away."
"Yes, ma'am." —
"Gracious God! can this be possible!"
"Cleveland!" —
"No, I cannot go to Cleveland." —
"But it is in Somersetshire. — I cannot go into Somersetshire. — There, where I looked forward to going...No, Elinor, you cannot expect me to go there."
"Is mama coming? — "
"But she must not go round by London,"
"I shall never see her, if she goes by London."
"When the weather is settled, and I have recovered my strength,"
"we will take long walks together every day. We will walk to the farm at the edge of the down, and see how the children go on; we will walk to Sir John's new plantations at Barton Cross, and the Abbeyland; and we will often go the old ruins of the Priory, and try to trace its foundations as far as we are told they once reached. I know we shall be happy. I know the summer will pass happily away. I mean never to be later in rising than six, and from that time till dinner I shall divide every moment between music and reading. I have formed my plan, and am determined to enter on a course of serious study. Our own library is too well known to me, to be resorted to for any thing beyond mere amusement. But there are many works well worth reading at the Park; and there are others of more modern production which I know I can borrow of Colonel Brandon. By reading only six hours a-day, I shall gain in the course of a twelve-month a great deal of instruction which I now feel myself to want."
"There, exactly there," —
"on that projecting mound, — there I fell; and there I first saw Willoughby."
"I am thankful to find that I can look with so little pain on the spot! — shall we ever talk on that subject, Elinor?" —
"Or will it be wrong? — I can talk of it now, I hope, as I ought to do." —
"As for regret,"
"I have done with that, as far as HE is concerned. I do not mean to talk to you of what my feelings have been for him, but what they are NOW. — At present, if I could be satisfied on one point, if I could be allowed to think that he was not ALWAYS acting a part, not ALWAYS deceiving me; — but above all, if I could be assured that he never was so VERY wicked as my fears have sometimes fancied him, since the story of that unfortunate girl" —
"Yes. My peace of mind is doubly involved in it; — for not only is it horrible to suspect a person, who has been what HE has been to ME, of such designs, — but what must it make me appear to myself? — What in a situation like mine, but a most shamefully unguarded affection could expose me to" —
"I would suppose him, — Oh, how gladly would I suppose him, only fickle, very, very fickle."
"I am not wishing him too much good,"
"when I wish his secret reflections may be no more unpleasant than my own. He will suffer enough in them."
"No. I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours."
"They have borne more than our conduct. — Do not, my dearest Elinor, let your kindness defend what I know your judgment must censure. My illness has made me think — It has given me leisure and calmness for serious recollection. Long before I was enough recovered to talk, I was perfectly able to reflect. I considered the past: I saw in my own behaviour, since the beginning of our acquaintance with him last autumn, nothing but a series of imprudence towards myself, and want of kindness to others. I saw that my own feelings had prepared my sufferings, and that my want of fortitude under them had almost led me to the grave. My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, — it would have been self-destruction. I did not know my danger till the danger was removed; but with such feelings as these reflections gave me, I wonder at my recovery, — wonder that the very eagerness of my desire to live, to have time for atonement to my God, and to you all, did not kill me at once. Had I died, — in what peculiar misery should I have left you, my nurse, my friend, my sister! — You, who had seen all the fretful selfishness of my latter days; who had known all the murmurings of my heart! — How should I have lived in YOUR remembrance! — My mother too! How could you have consoled her! — I cannot express my own abhorrence of myself. Whenever I looked towards the past, I saw some duty neglected, or some failing indulged. Every body seemed injured by me. The kindness, the unceasing kindness of Mrs. Jennings, I had repaid with ungrateful contempt. To the Middletons, to the Palmers, the Steeles, to every common acquaintance even, I had been insolent and unjust; with a heart hardened against their merits, and a temper irritated by their very attention. — To John, to Fanny, — yes, even to them, little as they deserve, I had given less than their due. But you, — you above all, above my mother, had been wronged by me. I, and only I, knew your heart and its sorrows; yet to what did it influence me? — not to any compassion that could benefit you or myself. — Your example was before me; but to what avail? — Was I more considerate of you and your comfort? Did I imitate your forbearance, or lessen your restraints, by taking any part in those offices of general complaisance or particular gratitude which you had hitherto been left to discharge alone? — No; — not less when I knew you to be unhappy, than when I had believed you at ease, did I turn away from every exertion of duty or friendship; scarcely allowing sorrow to exist but with me, regretting only that heart which had deserted and wronged me, and leaving you, for whom I professed an unbounded affection, to be miserable for my sake."
"You are very good. — The future must be my proof. I have laid down my plan, and if I am capable of adhering to it — my feelings shall be governed and my temper improved. They shall no longer worry others, nor torture myself. I shall now live solely for my family. You, my mother, and Margaret, must henceforth be all the world to me; you will share my affections entirely between you. From you, from my home, I shall never again have the smallest incitement to move; and if I do mix in other society, it will be only to shew that my spirit is humbled, my heart amended, and that I can practise the civilities, the lesser duties of life, with gentleness and forbearance. As for Willoughby — to say that I shall soon or that I shall ever forget him, would be idle. His remembrance can be overcome by no change of circumstances or opinions. But it shall be regulated, it shall be checked by religion, by reason, by constant employment."
"If I could but know HIS heart, everything would become easy."
"Tell mama,"
"I wish to assure you both,"
"that I see every thing — as you can desire me to do."
"It is a great relief to me — what Elinor told me this morning — I have now heard exactly what I wished to hear." —
"I am now perfectly satisfied, I wish for no change. I never could have been happy with him, after knowing, as sooner or later I must have known, all this. — I should have had no confidence, no esteem. Nothing could have done it away to my feelings."
"I wish for no change."