Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"Devonshire! Are you, indeed, going there? So far from hence! And to what part of it?"
"I was at Norland about a month ago."
"It is a beautiful country,"
"but these bottoms must be dirty in winter."
"among the rest of the objects before me, I see a very dirty lane."
"Have you an agreeable neighbourhood here? Are the Middletons pleasant people?"
"No. I hope my mother is now convinced that I have no more talents than inclination for a public life!"
"I shall not attempt it. I have no wish to be distinguished; and have every reason to hope I never shall. Thank Heaven! I cannot be forced into genius and eloquence."
"As moderate as those of the rest of the world, I believe. I wish as well as every body else to be perfectly happy; but, like every body else it must be in my own way. Greatness will not make me so."
"but why must you have hunters? Every body does not hunt."
"What magnificent orders would travel from this family to London,"
"in such an event! What a happy day for booksellers, music-sellers, and print-shops! You, Miss Dashwood, would give a general commission for every new print of merit to be sent you — and as for Marianne, I know her greatness of soul, there would not be music enough in London to content her. And books! — Thomson, Cowper, Scott — she would buy them all over and over again: she would buy up every copy, I believe, to prevent their falling into unworthy hands; and she would have every book that tells her how to admire an old twisted tree. Should not you, Marianne? Forgive me, if I am very saucy. But I was willing to shew you that I had not forgot our old disputes."
"And the bulk of your fortune would be laid out in annuities on the authors or their heirs."
"Perhaps, then, you would bestow it as a reward on that person who wrote the ablest defence of your favourite maxim,
your opinion on that point is unchanged, I presume?"
"She is only grown a little more grave than she was."
"Why should you think so!"
"But gaiety never was a part of MY character."
"I believe you are right,"
"and yet I have always set her down as a lively girl."
"You have not been able to bring your sister over to your plan of general civility,"
"Do you gain no ground?"
"My judgment,"
"is all on your side of the question; but I am afraid my practice is much more on your sister's. I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness. I have frequently thought that I must have been intended by nature to be fond of low company, I am so little at my ease among strangers of gentility!"
"She knows her own worth too well for false shame,"
"Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy."
"Reserved! Am I reserved, Marianne?"
"I do not understand you,"
"Reserved! — how, in what manner? What am I to tell you? What can you suppose?"
"I am going into the village to see my horses,"
"as you are not yet ready for breakfast; I shall be back again presently."
"You must not enquire too far, Marianne — remember I have no knowledge in the picturesque, and I shall offend you by my ignorance and want of taste if we come to particulars. I shall call hills steep, which ought to be bold; surfaces strange and uncouth, which ought to be irregular and rugged; and distant objects out of sight, which ought only to be indistinct through the soft medium of a hazy atmosphere. You must be satisfied with such admiration as I can honestly give. I call it a very fine country — the hills are steep, the woods seem full of fine timber, and the valley looks comfortable and snug — with rich meadows and several neat farm houses scattered here and there. It exactly answers my idea of a fine country, because it unites beauty with utility — and I dare say it is a picturesque one too, because you admire it; I can easily believe it to be full of rocks and promontories, grey moss and brush wood, but these are all lost on me. I know nothing of the picturesque."
"I am convinced,"
"that you really feel all the delight in a fine prospect which you profess to feel. But, in return, your sister must allow me to feel no more than I profess. I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque principles. I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight, and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cottages. I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasure in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower — and a troop of tidy, happy villages please me better than the finest banditti in the world."
"Yes; it is my sister's hair. The setting always casts a different shade on it, you know."
"And who is Willoughby?"
"I have been guessing. Shall I tell you my guess?"
"Shall I tell you."
"Well then; I guess that Mr. Willoughby hunts."
I do not doubt it,"
"I do assure you,"
"that I have long thought on this point, as you think now. It has been, and is, and probably will always be a heavy misfortune to me, that I have had no necessary business to engage me, no profession to give me employment, or afford me any thing like independence. But unfortunately my own nicety, and the nicety of my friends, have made me what I am, an idle, helpless being. We never could agree in our choice of a profession. I always preferred the church, as I still do. But that was not smart enough for my family. They recommended the army. That was a great deal too smart for me. The law was allowed to be genteel enough; many young men, who had chambers in the Temple, made a very good appearance in the first circles, and drove about town in very knowing gigs. But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved. As for the navy, it had fashion on its side, but I was too old when the subject was first started to enter it — and, at length, as there was no necessity for my having any profession at all, as I might be as dashing and expensive without a red coat on my back as with one, idleness was pronounced on the whole to be most advantageous and honourable, and a young man of eighteen is not in general so earnestly bent on being busy as to resist the solicitations of his friends to do nothing. I was therefore entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since."
"They will be brought up,"
"to be as unlike myself as is possible. In feeling, in action, in condition, in every thing."
"I think,"
"that I may defy many months to produce any good to me."
"Do you like London?"