Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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“Yes, he does dance very well.”
“When Henry had the pleasure of seeing you before, he was in Bath but for a couple of days. He came only to engage lodgings for us.”
“Yes, an acquaintance of Mrs. Hughes.”
“Not very.”
“Yes, sometimes; but he has rid out this morning with my father.”
“Perhaps we — Yes, I think we certainly shall.”
“and I remember that you undertook to read it aloud to me, and that when I was called away for only five minutes to answer a note, instead of waiting for me, you took the volume into the Hermitage Walk, and I was obliged to stay till you had finished it.”
“you are very impertinent. Miss Morland, he is treating you exactly as he does his sister. He is forever finding fault with me, for some incorrectness of language, and now he is taking the same liberty with you. The word ‘nicest,’ as you used it, did not suit him; and you had better change it as soon as you can, or we shall be overpowered with Johnson and Blair all the rest of the way.”
“While, in fact,”
“it ought only to be applied to you, without any commendation at all. You are more nice than wise. Come, Miss Morland, let us leave him to meditate over our faults in the utmost propriety of diction, while we praise Udolpho in whatever terms we like best. It is a most interesting work. You are fond of that kind of reading?”
“Yes, I am fond of history.”
“Historians, you think,”
“are not happy in their flights of fancy. They display imagination without raising interest. I am fond of history — and am very well contented to take the false with the true. In the principal facts they have sources of intelligence in former histories and records, which may be as much depended on, I conclude, as anything that does not actually pass under one’s own observation; and as for the little embellishments you speak of, they are embellishments, and I like them as such. If a speech be well drawn up, I read it with pleasure, by whomsoever it may be made — and probably with much greater, if the production of Mr. Hume or Mr. Robertson, than if the genuine words of Caractacus, Agricola, or Alfred the Great.”
“Indeed! And of what nature?”
“Good heaven! Where could you hear of such a thing?”
“You speak with astonishing composure! But I hope your friend’s accounts have been exaggerated; and if such a design is known beforehand, proper measures will undoubtedly be taken by government to prevent its coming to effect.”
“Miss Morland, do not mind what he says; but have the goodness to satisfy me as to this dreadful riot.”
“And now, Henry,”
“that you have made us understand each other, you may as well make Miss Morland understand yourself — unless you mean to have her think you intolerably rude to your sister, and a great brute in your opinion of women in general. Miss Morland is not used to your odd ways.”
“No doubt; but that is no explanation of the present.”
“You know what you ought to do. Clear your character handsomely before her. Tell her that you think very highly of the understanding of women.”
“That is not enough. Be more serious.”
“We shall get nothing more serious from him now, Miss Morland. He is not in a sober mood. But I do assure you that he must be entirely misunderstood, if he can ever appear to say an unjust thing of any woman at all, or an unkind one of me.”
“Yes, my father can seldom be prevailed on to give the waters what I think a fair trial. He has been disappointed of some friends’ arrival whom he expected to meet here, and as he is now pretty well, is in a hurry to get home.”
“you would be so good — it would make me very happy if — ”
“I was just beginning to make the request, sir, as you came in.”
“That is a curious old chest, is not it?”
“It is impossible to say how many generations it has been here. How it came to be first put in this room I know not, but I have not had it moved, because I thought it might sometimes be of use in holding hats and bonnets. The worst of it is that its weight makes it difficult to open. In that corner, however, it is at least out of the way.”
“I believe it will be wisest to take the morning while it is so fine; and do not be uneasy on my father’s account; he always walks out at this time of day.”
“This is so favourite a walk of mine,”
“that I always think it the best and nearest way. But perhaps it may be damp.”
“I am particularly fond of this spot,”
“It was my mother’s favourite walk.”
“I used to walk here so often with her!”
“though I never loved it then, as I have loved it since. At that time indeed I used to wonder at her choice. But her memory endears it now.”
“A great and increasing one,”
“I was only thirteen when it happened; and though I felt my loss perhaps as strongly as one so young could feel it, I did not, I could not, then know what a loss it was.”
“I have no sister, you know — and though Henry — though my brothers are very affectionate, and Henry is a great deal here, which I am most thankful for, it is impossible for me not to be often solitary.”
“A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other.”
“No; it was intended for the drawing-room; but my father was dissatisfied with the painting, and for some time it had no place. Soon after her death I obtained it for my own, and hung it in my bed-chamber — where I shall be happy to show it you; it is very like."
“Yes, entirely.”
“She has been dead these nine years.”
“I was unfortunately from home. Her illness was sudden and short; and, before I arrived it was all over.”
“My father,”