Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"You have given Miss Smith all that she required,"
"you have made her graceful and easy. She was a beautiful creature when she came to you, but, in my opinion, the attractions you have added are infinitely superior to what she received from nature."
"If it were admissible to contradict a lady,"
"Exactly so; that is what principally strikes me. So much superadded decision of character! Skilful has been the hand!"
"I have no doubt of it."
"Let me entreat you,"
"it would indeed be a delight! Let me entreat you, Miss Woodhouse, to exercise so charming a talent in favour of your friend. I know what your drawings are. How could you suppose me ignorant? Is not this room rich in specimens of your landscapes and flowers; and has not Mrs. Weston some inimitable figure-pieces in her drawing-room, at Randalls?"
"Exactly so— The shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth— I have not a doubt of your success. Pray, pray attempt it. As you will do it, it will indeed, to use your own words, be an exquisite possession."
"Oh! yes, I observed it, I assure you. It was not lost on me. But still I cannot imagine she would not be persuaded."
"No husbands and wives in the case at present indeed, as you observe. Exactly so. No husbands and wives,"
"Do you think so?"
"I cannot agree with you. It appears to me a most perfect resemblance in every feature. I never saw such a likeness in my life. We must allow for the effect of shade, you know."
"Oh no! certainly not too tall; not in the least too tall. Consider, she is sitting down—which naturally presents a different— which in short gives exactly the idea— and the proportions must be preserved, you know. Proportions, fore-shortening.—Oh no! it gives one exactly the idea of such a height as Miss Smith's. Exactly so indeed!"
"You, sir, may say any thing,"
"but I must confess that I regard it as a most happy thought, the placing of Miss Smith out of doors; and the tree is touched with such inimitable spirit! Any other situation would have been much less in character. The naivete of Miss Smith's manners—and altogether— — Oh, it is most admirable! I cannot keep my eyes from it. I never saw such a likeness."
"What a precious deposit!"
"Oh no! he had never written, hardly ever, any thing of the kind in his life. The stupidest fellow! He was afraid not even Miss Woodhouse"—
"or Miss Smith could inspire him."
"I do not offer it for Miss Smith's collection,"
"Being my friend's, I have no right to expose it in any degree to the public eye, but perhaps you may not dislike looking at it."
"I have no hesitation in saying,"
"I have no hesitation in saying— at least if my friend feels at all as I do— I have not the smallest doubt that, could he see his little effusion honoured as I see it,
he would consider it as the proudest moment of his life."
"A sore-throat!—I hope not infectious. I hope not of a putrid infectious sort. Has Perry seen her? Indeed you should take care of yourself as well as of your friend. Let me entreat you to run no risks. Why does not Perry see her?"
"very cold, certainly very cold,"
"You do quite right,"
"Oh! no —I am grieved to find— I was on the point of telling you that when I called at Mrs. Goddard's door, which I did the very last thing before I returned to dress,
I was told that
Very much grieved and concerned —I had flattered myself that she must be better after such a cordial as I knew had been given her in the morning."
"Yes—I imagined ——that is —I did not—"
"Dreadful!—Exactly so, indeed.—She will be missed every moment."
"What an excellent device,"
"the use of a sheepskin for carriages. How very comfortable they make it;—impossible to feel cold with such precautions. The contrivances of modern days indeed have rendered a gentleman's carriage perfectly complete. One is so fenced and guarded from the weather, that not a breath of air can find its way unpermitted. Weather becomes absolutely of no consequence. It is a very cold afternoon—but in this carriage we know nothing of the matter.—Ha! snows a little I see."
"Christmas weather,"
"Quite seasonable; and extremely fortunate we may think ourselves that it did not begin yesterday, and prevent this day's party, which it might very possibly have done, for Mr. Woodhouse would hardly have ventured had there been much snow on the ground; but now it is of no consequence. This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas every body invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend's house once for a week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night, and could not get away till that very day se'nnight."
"We are sure of excellent fires,"
"and every thing in the greatest comfort. Charming people, Mr. and Mrs. Weston;—Mrs. Weston indeed is much beyond praise, and he is exactly what one values, so hospitable, and so fond of society;—it will be a small party, but where small parties are select, they are perhaps the most agreeable of any. Mr. Weston's dining-room does not accommodate more than ten comfortably; and for my part, I would rather, under such circumstances, fall short by two than exceed by two. I think you will agree with me,
I think I shall certainly have your approbation, though Mr. Knightley perhaps, from being used to the large parties of London, may not quite enter into our feelings."
I had no idea that the law had been so great a slavery. Well, sir, the time must come when you will be paid for all this, when you will have little labour and great enjoyment."
"Did she know?—had she heard any thing about her, since their being at Randalls?—he felt much anxiety —he must confess that the nature of her complaint alarmed him considerably."
"Would not she give him her support?—would not she add her persuasions to his, to induce Miss Woodhouse not to go to Mrs. Goddard's till it were certain that Miss Smith's disorder had no infection? He could not be satisfied without a promise— would not she give him her influence in procuring it?"
"So scrupulous for others,"
"and yet so careless for herself! She wanted me to nurse my cold by staying at home to-day, and yet will not promise to avoid the danger of catching an ulcerated sore throat herself. Is this fair, Mrs. Weston?—Judge between us. Have not I some right to complain? I am sure of your kind support and aid."
"Miss Smith!—message to Miss Smith!—What could she possibly mean!"—
"Good Heaven!"
"what can be the meaning of this?—Miss Smith!—I never thought of Miss Smith in the whole course of my existence— never paid her any attentions, but as your friend: never cared whether she were dead or alive, but as your friend. If she has fancied otherwise, her own wishes have misled her, and I am very sorry— extremely sorry —But, Miss Smith, indeed!—Oh! Miss Woodhouse! who can think of Miss Smith, when Miss Woodhouse is near! No, upon my honour, there is no unsteadiness of character. I have thought only of you. I protest against having paid the smallest attention to any one else. Every thing that I have said or done, for many weeks past, has been with the sole view of marking my adoration of yourself. You cannot really, seriously, doubt it. No!—
I am sure you have seen and understood me."
"Charming Miss Woodhouse! allow me to interpret this interesting silence. It confesses that you have long understood me."
"Never, madam,"