Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"Oh yes!—that is, no —I do not know —but I believe he has read a good deal— but not what you would think any thing of. He reads the Agricultural Reports, and some other books that lay in one of the window seats—but he reads all them to himself. But sometimes of an evening, before we went to cards, he would read something aloud out of the Elegant Extracts, very entertaining. And I know he has read the Vicar of Wakefield. He never read the Romance of the Forest, nor The Children of the Abbey. He had never heard of such books before I mentioned them, but he is determined to get them now as soon as ever he can."
"Oh! not handsome—not at all handsome. I thought him very plain at first, but I do not think him so plain now. One does not, you know, after a time. But did you never see him? He is in Highbury every now and then, and he is sure to ride through every week in his way to Kingston. He has passed you very often."
"To be sure. Oh yes! It is not likely you should ever have observed him; but he knows you very well indeed— I mean by sight."
"He was four-and-twenty the 8th of last June, and my birthday is the 23rd just a fortnight and a day's difference— which is very odd."
"Six years hence! Dear Miss Woodhouse, he would be thirty years old!"
"To be sure, so it is. But they live very comfortably. They have no indoors man, else they do not want for any thing; and Mrs. Martin talks of taking a boy another year."
"Yes, to be sure, I suppose there are. But while I visit at Hartfield, and you are so kind to me, Miss Woodhouse, I am not afraid of what any body can do."
"To be sure. Yes. Not that I think Mr. Martin would ever marry any body but what had had some education—and been very well brought up. However, I do not mean to set up my opinion against yours—and I am sure I shall not wish for the acquaintance of his wife. I shall always have a great regard for the Miss Martins, especially Elizabeth, and should be very sorry to give them up, for they are quite as well educated as me. But if he marries a very ignorant, vulgar woman, certainly I had better not visit her, if I can help it."
"Only think of our happening to meet him!—How very odd!
he said,
So very odd we should happen to meet! Well, Miss Woodhouse, is he like what you expected? What do you think of him? Do you think him so very plain?"
"To be sure,"
"he is not so genteel as real gentlemen."
"Certainly, he is not like Mr. Knightley. He has not such a fine air and way of walking as Mr. Knightley. I see the difference plain enough. But Mr. Knightley is so very fine a man!"
"Oh yes!—there is a great difference. But Mr. Weston is almost an old man. Mr. Weston must be between forty and fifty."
"There is no saying, indeed,"
"Will he, indeed? That will be very bad."
"I wonder he did not remember the book" —
"Oh! dear, no, never."
"Will you read the letter?"
"Pray do. I'd rather you would."
"Well, well,"
"Is it a good letter? or is it too short?"
"well— — and— — and what shall I do?"
"Yes. But what shall I say? Dear Miss Woodhouse, do advise me."
"You think I ought to refuse him then,"
"No, I do not; that is, I do not mean —What shall I do? What would you advise me to do? Pray, dear Miss Woodhouse, tell me what I ought to do."
"I had no notion that he liked me so very much,"
"Oh! no, I am sure you are a great deal too kind to —but if you would just advise me what I had best do— No, no, I do not mean that—— As you say, one's mind ought to be quite made up— One should not be hesitating— It is a very serious thing.—It will be safer to say 'No,' perhaps.—Do you think I had better say 'No?'"
"Miss Woodhouse, as you will not give me your opinion, I must do as well as I can by myself; and I have now quite determined, and really almost made up my mind—to refuse Mr. Martin. Do you think I am right?"
"You could not have visited me!"
"No, to be sure you could not; but I never thought of that before. That would have been too dreadful!—What an escape!—Dear Miss Woodhouse, I would not give up the pleasure and honour of being intimate with you for any thing in the world."
"Dear me!—How should I ever have borne it! It would have killed me never to come to Hartfield any more!"
"I do not think he is conceited either, in general,"
"at least, he is very good natured, and I shall always feel much obliged to him, and have a great regard for—but that is quite a different thing from —and you know, though he may like me, it does not follow that I should—and certainly I must confess that since my visiting here I have seen people —and if one comes to compare them, person and manners, there is no comparison at all, one is so very handsome and agreeable. However, I do really think Mr. Martin a very amiable young man, and have a great opinion of him; and his being so much attached to me—and his writing such a letter—but as to leaving you, it is what I would not do upon any consideration."
"Oh no;—and it is but a short letter too."
"Oh! yes, very. Nobody cares for a letter; the thing is, to be always happy with pleasant companions. I am quite determined to refuse him. But how shall I do? What shall I say?"
"I shall never be invited to Abbey-Mill again,"
"And I am sure I should never want to go there; for I am never happy but at Hartfield."
"I think Mrs. Goddard would be very much surprized if she knew what had happened. I am sure Miss Nash would —for Miss Nash thinks her own sister very well married, and it is only a linen-draper."
"Now he has got my letter,"
"I wonder what they are all doing— whether his sisters know— if he is unhappy, they will be unhappy too. I hope he will not mind it so very much."
"My picture!—But he has left my picture in Bond-street."
"What can it be, Miss Woodhouse?—what can it be? I have not an idea— I cannot guess it in the least. What can it possibly be? Do try to find it out, Miss Woodhouse. Do help me. I never saw any thing so hard. Is it kingdom? I wonder who the friend was—and who could be the young lady. Do you think it is a good one? Can it be woman?
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.
Can it be Neptune?
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!
Or a trident? or a mermaid? or a shark? Oh, no! shark is only one syllable. It must be very clever, or he would not have brought it. Oh! Miss Woodhouse, do you think we shall ever find it out?"