Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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“How long do you think we have been running it from Tetbury, Miss Morland?”
“Three and twenty!”
“Five and twenty if it is an inch.”
“I know it must be five and twenty,” said he, “by the time we have been doing it. It is now half after one; we drove out of the inn-yard at Tetbury as the town clock struck eleven; and I defy any man in England to make my horse go less than ten miles an hour in harness; that makes it exactly twenty-five.”
“Ten o’clock! It was eleven, upon my soul! I counted every stroke. This brother of yours would persuade me out of my senses, Miss Morland; do but look at my horse; did you ever see an animal so made for speed in your life?”
“Such true blood! Three hours and and a half indeed coming only three and twenty miles! Look at that creature, and suppose it possible if you can.”
“Hot! He had not turned a hair till we came to Walcot Church; but look at his forehand; look at his loins; only see how he moves; that horse cannot go less than ten miles an hour: tie his legs and he will get on. What do you think of my gig, Miss Morland? A neat one, is not it? Well hung; town-built; I have not had it a month. It was built for a Christchurch man, a friend of mine, a very good sort of fellow; he ran it a few weeks, till, I believe, it was convenient to have done with it. I happened just then to be looking out for some light thing of the kind, though I had pretty well determined on a curricle too; but I chanced to meet him on Magdalen Bridge, as he was driving into Oxford, last term: ‘Ah! Thorpe,’ said he, ‘do you happen to want such a little thing as this? It is a capital one of the kind, but I am cursed tired of it.’ ‘Oh! D—,' said I; ‘I am your man; what do you ask?’ And how much do you think he did, Miss Morland?”
said he,
‘Oh! D—,' said I; ‘I am your man; what do you ask?’
“Curricle-hung, you see; seat, trunk, sword-case, splashing-board, lamps, silver moulding, all you see complete; the iron-work as good as new, or better.
He asked
I closed with him directly, threw down the money, and the carriage was mine.”
“Neither one nor t’other; I might have got it for less, I dare say; but I hate haggling, and poor Freeman wanted cash.”
“Oh! D— it, when one has the means of doing a kind thing by a friend, I hate to be pitiful.”
“You will find, however, Miss Morland, it would be reckoned a cheap thing by some people, for I might have sold it for ten guineas more the next day; Jackson, of Oriel, bid me sixty at once; Morland was with me at the time.”
“My horse! Oh, d — it! I would not sell my horse for a hundred. Are you fond of an open carriage, Miss Morland?”
“I am glad of it; I will drive you out in mine every day.”
“I will drive you up Lansdown Hill tomorrow.”
“Rest! He has only come three and twenty miles today; all nonsense; nothing ruins horses so much as rest; nothing knocks them up so soon. No, no; I shall exercise mine at the average of four hours every day while I am here.”
“Forty! Aye, fifty, for what I care. Well, I will drive you up Lansdown tomorrow; mind, I am engaged.”
“A third indeed! No, no; I did not come to Bath to drive my sisters about; that would be a good joke, faith! Morland must take care of you.”
“Udolpho! Oh, Lord! Not I; I never read novels; I have something else to do.”
“Novels are all so full of nonsense and stuff; there has not been a tolerably decent one come out since Tom Jones, except The Monk; I read that t’other day; but as for all the others, they are the stupidest things in creation.”
“Not I, faith! No, if I read any, it shall be Mrs. Radcliffe’s; her novels are amusing enough; they are worth reading; some fun and nature in them.”
“No sure; was it? Aye, I remember, so it was; I was thinking of that other stupid book, written by that woman they make such a fuss about, she who married the French emigrant.”
“Yes, that’s the book; such unnatural stuff! An old man playing at see-saw, I took up the first volume once and looked it over, but I soon found it would not do; indeed I guessed what sort of stuff it must be before I saw it: as soon as I heard she had married an emigrant, I was sure I should never be able to get through it.”
“You had no loss, I assure you; it is the horridest nonsense you can imagine; there is nothing in the world in it but an old man’s playing at see-saw and learning Latin; upon my soul there is not.”
“Ah, Mother! How do you do?”
“Where did you get that quiz of a hat? It makes you look like an old witch. Here is Morland and I come to stay a few days with you, so you must look out for a couple of good beds somewhere near.”
“Well, Miss Morland, I suppose you and I are to stand up and jig it together again.”
“Do not you? Then let us walk about and quiz people. Come along with me, and I will show you the four greatest quizzers in the room; my two younger sisters and their partners. I have been laughing at them this half hour.”
“Well, Miss Morland, here I am. Have you been waiting long? We could not come before; the old devil of a coachmaker was such an eternity finding out a thing fit to be got into, and now it is ten thousand to one but they break down before we are out of the street. How do you do, Mrs. Allen? A famous ball last night, was not it? Come, Miss Morland, be quick, for the others are in a confounded hurry to be off. They want to get their tumble over.”
“Going to? Why, you have not forgot our engagement! Did not we agree together to take a drive this morning? What a head you have! We are going up Claverton Down.”
“Not expect me! That’s a good one! And what a dust you would have made, if I had not come.”
“You will not be frightened, Miss Morland,”
“if my horse should dance about a little at first setting off. He will, most likely, give a plunge or two, and perhaps take the rest for a minute; but he will soon know his master. He is full of spirits, playful as can be, but there is no vice in him.”
“to let him go,”
“Old Allen is as rich as a Jew — is not he?” Catherine did not understand him — and he repeated his question, adding in explanation, “Old Allen, the man you are with.”
“And no children at all?”
“A famous thing for his next heirs. He is your godfather, is not he?”
“But you are always very much with them.”
“Aye, that is what I meant. He seems a good kind of old fellow enough, and has lived very well in his time, I dare say; he is not gouty for nothing. Does he drink his bottle a day now?”
“Lord help you! You women are always thinking of men’s being in liquor. Why, you do not suppose a man is overset by a bottle? I am sure of this — that if everybody was to drink their bottle a day, there would not be half the disorders in the world there are now. It would be a famous good thing for us all.”
“Oh! Lord, it would be the saving of thousands. There is not the hundredth part of the wine consumed in this kingdom that there ought to be. Our foggy climate wants help.”
“Oxford! There is no drinking at Oxford now, I assure you. Nobody drinks there. You would hardly meet with a man who goes beyond his four pints at the utmost. Now, for instance, it was reckoned a remarkable thing, at the last party in my rooms, that upon an average we cleared about five pints a head. It was looked upon as something out of the common way. Mine is famous good stuff, to be sure. You would not often meet with anything like it in Oxford — and that may account for it. But this will just give you a notion of the general rate of drinking there.”
“Break down! Oh! Lord! Did you ever see such a little tittuppy thing in your life? There is not a sound piece of iron about it. The wheels have been fairly worn out these ten years at least — and as for the body! Upon my soul, you might shake it to pieces yourself with a touch. It is the most devilish little rickety business I ever beheld! Thank God! we have got a better. I would not be bound to go two miles in it for fifty thousand pounds.”
“Unsafe! Oh, lord! What is there in that? They will only get a roll if it does break down; and there is plenty of dirt; it will be excellent falling. Oh, curse it! The carriage is safe enough, if a man knows how to drive it; a thing of that sort in good hands will last above twenty years after it is fairly worn out. Lord bless you! I would undertake for five pounds to drive it to York and back again, without losing a nail.”
“Heyday, Miss Morland!”
“What is the meaning of this? I thought you and I were to dance together.”
“That is a good one, by Jove! I asked you as soon as I came into the room, and I was just going to ask you again, but when I turned round, you were gone! This is a cursed shabby trick! I only came for the sake of dancing with you, and I firmly believe you were engaged to me ever since Monday. Yes; I remember, I asked you while you were waiting in the lobby for your cloak. And here have I been telling all my acquaintance that I was going to dance with the prettiest girl in the room; and when they see you standing up with somebody else, they will quiz me famously.”