Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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marriage status


mode of speech

to wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect. She tried to explain the real state of the case to her sister.
for what could a silent man of five and thirty hope, when opposed to a very lively one of five and twenty?
to doubt the propriety of her receiving such a present from a man so little, or at least so lately known to her.
His temper might perhaps be a little soured by finding, like many others of his sex, that through some unaccountable bias in favour of beauty, he was the husband of a very silly woman, —
this kind of blunder was too common for any sensible man to be lastingly hurt by it. — It was rather a wish of distinction,
which produced his contemptuous treatment of every body, and his general abuse of every thing before him. It was the desire of appearing superior to other people. The motive was too common to be wondered at; but the means, however they might succeed by establishing his superiority in ill-breeding, were not likely to attach any one to him except his wife.
if they saw much of Mr. Willoughby at Cleveland, and whether they were intimately acquainted with him.
the sweetest girls in the world were to be met with in every part of England, under every possible variation of form, face, temper and understanding.
he was perfectly good humoured and friendly.
the neglect of abilities which education might have rendered so respectable;
the thorough want of delicacy, of rectitude, and integrity of mind, which her attentions, her assiduities, her flatteries at the Park betrayed;
could have no lasting satisfaction in the company of a person who joined insincerity with ignorance; whose want of instruction prevented their meeting in conversation on terms of equality, and whose conduct toward others made every shew of attention and deference towards herself perfectly valueless.
the question a very odd one,
she had never seen Mrs. Ferrars.
This picture,
might have been accidentally obtained; it might not have been Edward's gift; but a correspondence between them by letter, could subsist only under a positive engagement, could be authorised by nothing else;
Had Edward been intentionally deceiving her? Had he feigned a regard for her which he did not feel? Was his engagement to Lucy an engagement of the heart? No; whatever it might once have been, she could not believe it such at present. His affection was all her own. She could not be deceived in that. Her mother, sisters, Fanny, all had been conscious of his regard for her at Norland; it was not an illusion of her own vanity. He certainly loved her.
He had been blamable, highly blamable, in remaining at Norland after he first felt her influence over him to be more than it ought to be. In that, he could not be defended; but if he had injured her, how much more had he injured himself; if her case were pitiable, his was hopeless. His imprudence had made her miserable for a while; but it seemed to have deprived himself of all chance of ever being otherwise. She might in time regain tranquillity; but HE, what had he to look forward to? Could he ever be tolerably happy with Lucy Steele; could he, were his affection for herself out of the question, with his integrity, his delicacy, and well-informed mind, be satisfied with a wife like her — illiterate, artful, and selfish?
The youthful infatuation of nineteen would naturally blind him to every thing but her beauty and good nature; but the four succeeding years — years, which if rationally spent, give such improvement to the understanding, must have opened his eyes to her defects of education, while the same period of time, spent on her side in inferior society and more frivolous pursuits, had perhaps robbed her of that simplicity which might once have given an interesting character to her beauty.
If in the supposition of his seeking to marry herself, his difficulties from his mother had seemed great, how much greater were they now likely to be, when the object of his engagement was undoubtedly inferior in connections, and probably inferior in fortune to herself. These difficulties, indeed, with a heart so alienated from Lucy, might not press very hard upon his patience; but melancholy was the state of the person by whom the expectation of family opposition and unkindness, could be felt as a relief!
What other reason for the disclosure of the affair could there be, but that Elinor might be informed by it of Lucy's superior claims on Edward, and be taught to avoid him in future?
Edward was not only without affection for the person who was to be his wife; but that he had not even the chance of being tolerably happy in marriage, which sincere affection on HER side would have given, for self-interest alone could induce a woman to keep a man to an engagement, of which she seemed so thoroughly aware that he was weary.
their determined resolution of not leaving their mother at that time of the year.
Whatever Marianne was desirous of, her mother would be eager to promote — she could not expect to influence the latter to cautiousness of conduct in an affair respecting which she had never been able to inspire her with distrust; and she dared not explain the motive of her own disinclination for going to London.
Edward Ferrars, by Lucy's account, was not to be in town before February; and that their visit, without any unreasonable abridgement, might be previously finished.
she might as well have held her tongue.
it was now a matter of unconcern whether she went to town or not,
so short had their acquaintance with that lady been, so wholly unsuited were they in age and disposition, and so many had been her objections against such a measure only a few days before!
how gladly she would engage in the solicitude of Marianne's situation to have the same animating object in view, the same possibility of hope.
A short, a very short time however must now decide what Willoughby's intentions were; in all probability he was already in town.
Marianne's eagerness to be gone declared her dependence on finding him there;
she must then learn to avoid every selfish comparison, and banish every regret which might lessen her satisfaction in the happiness of Marianne.
she must then be writing to Willoughby;
that, however mysteriously they might wish to conduct the affair,
they must be engaged.
she was,
head-aches, low spirits, and over fatigues;
whether Willoughby were then in town,
if he had been in London ever since she had seen him last.
if appearances continued many days longer as unpleasant as they now were, she would represent in the strongest manner to her mother the necessity of some serious enquiry into the affair.
to write the next morning to her mother, and hoped by awakening her fears for the health of Marianne, to procure those inquiries which had been so long delayed;
could not suppose it to be to any other person.
what he meant?
The real state of things between Willoughby and her sister was so little known to herself, that in endeavouring to explain it, she might be as liable to say too much as too little.
Marianne's affection for Willoughby, could leave no hope of Colonel Brandon's success, whatever the event of that affection might be,
though she had never been informed by themselves of the terms on which they stood with each other, of their mutual affection she had no doubt, and of their correspondence she was not astonished to hear.
he was gone,
some kind of engagement had subsisted between Willoughby and Marianne
Willoughby was weary of it,
for however Marianne might still feed her own wishes, SHE could not attribute such behaviour to mistake or misapprehension of any kind. Nothing but a thorough change of sentiment could account for it.