Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”
“You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,”
“Which do you mean?”
“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your mite with me.”
“With great energy;— but it is a subject which always makes a lady energetic.”
“Certainly, sir; and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished societies of the world. Every savage can dance.”
“You saw me dance at Meryton, I believe, sir.”
“Never, sir.”
“It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it.”
“I should imagine not.”
“Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.”
“That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy.”
“Certainly not.”
“Not at all,”
“they were brightened by the exercise.”
“But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world,”
“It ought to be good,”
“it has been the work of many generations.”
“I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these.”
“I wish it may.”
“I think she will. She is now about Miss Elizabeth Bennet's height, or rather taller.”
“Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,”
“has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.”
“Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it.”
“All this she must possess,”
“and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
“Are you so severe upon your own sex as to doubt the possibility of all this?”
“there is a meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable.”
“The country,”
“can in general supply but a few subjects for such a study. In a country neighbourhood you move in a very confined and unvarying society.”
“I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love,”
“You are mistaken. I write rather slowly.”
“It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of to yours.”
“I have already told her so once, by your desire.”
“Thank you — but I always mend my own.”
“Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again? At present I have not room to do them justice.”
“They are generally long; but whether always charming it is not for me to determine.”
“My style of writing is very different from yours.”
“Nothing is more deceitful,”
“than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”
“The indirect boast; for you are really proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which, if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.
When you told Mrs. Bennet this morning that
you meant it to be a sort of panegyric, of compliment to yourself — and yet what is there so very laudable in a precipitance which must leave very necessary business undone, and can be of no real advantage to yourself or anyone else?”
“I dare say you believed it; but I am by no means convinced that you would be gone with such celerity. Your conduct would be quite as dependent on chance as that of any man I know; and if, as you were mounting your horse,
a friend were to say,
you would probably do it, you would probably not go — and, at another word, might stay a month.”
“You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged. Allowing the case, however, to stand according to your representation, you must remember, Miss Bennet, that the friend who is supposed to desire his return to the house, and the delay of his plan, has merely desired it, asked it without offering one argument in favour of its propriety.”
“To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.”