Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"Oh! I know nothing of your furlongs, but I am sure it is a very long wood, and that we have been winding in and out ever since we came into it; and therefore, when I say that we have walked a mile in it, I must speak within compass."
"Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch."
"How abominable in you, then, to let me engross her horse as I did all last week! I am ashamed of you and of myself, but it shall never happen again."
"That she should be tired now, however, gives me no surprise; for there is nothing in the course of one's duties so fatiguing as what we have been doing this morning: seeing a great house, dawdling from one room to another, straining one's eyes and one's attention, hearing what one does not understand, admiring what one does not care for. It is generally allowed to be the greatest bore in the world, and Miss Price has found it so, though she did not know it."
"I must move,"
"resting fatigues me. I have looked across the ha-ha till I am weary. I must go and look through that iron gate at the same view, without being able to see it so well."
"It is an immense distance,"
"I see that with a glance."
"My dear Fanny, how comes this?"
"Poor dear Fanny,"
"how ill you have been used by them! You had better have staid with us."
"Yes, there is nothing else to be done. But now, sincerely, do not you find the place altogether worse than you expected?"
"You are too much a man of the world not to see with the eyes of the world. If other people think Sotherton improved, I have no doubt that you will."
"You seemed to enjoy your drive here very much this morning. I was glad to see you so well entertained. You and Julia were laughing the whole way."
"You think her more light-hearted than I am?"
"Naturally, I believe, I am as lively as Julia, but I have more to think of now."
"Do you mean literally or figuratively? Literally, I conclude. Yes, certainly, the sun shines, and the park looks very cheerful. But unluckily that iron gate, that ha-ha, give me a feeling of restraint and hardship. 'I cannot get out,' as the starling said."
"Mr. Rushworth is so long fetching this key!"
"Prohibited! nonsense! I certainly can get out that way, and I will. Mr. Rushworth will be here in a moment, you know; we shall not be out of sight."
"Thank you, my dear Fanny, but I and my gown are alive and well, and so good-bye."
"Heyday! Where are the others? I thought Maria and Mr. Crawford were with you."
"A pretty trick, upon my word! I cannot see them anywhere,"
"But they cannot be very far off, and I think I am equal to as much as Maria, even without help."
"Not I, indeed. I have had enough of the family for one morning. Why, child, I have but this moment escaped from his horrible mother. Such a penance as I have been enduring, while you were sitting here so composed and so happy! It might have been as well, perhaps, if you had been in my place, but you always contrive to keep out of these scrapes."
"Yes, yes, we saw him. He was posting away as if upon life and death, and could but just spare time to tell us his errand, and where you all were."
"That is Miss Maria's concern. I am not obliged to punish myself for her sins. The mother I could not avoid, as long as my tiresome aunt was dancing about with the housekeeper, but the son I can get away from."
"I think you have done pretty well yourself, ma'am. Your lap seems full of good things, and here is a basket of something between us which has been knocking my elbow unmercifully."
"What else have you been spunging?"
"How happy Mr. Rushworth looks! He is thinking of November."
"Your father's return will be a very interesting event."
"It will be the forerunner also of other interesting events: your sister's marriage, and your taking orders."
"Don't be affronted,"
"but it does put me in mind of some of the old heathen heroes, who, after performing great exploits in a foreign land, offered sacrifices to the gods on their safe return."
"Oh yes I know it is. I was merely joking. She has done no more than what every young woman would do; and I have no doubt of her being extremely happy. My other sacrifice, of course, you do not understand."
"It is fortunate that your inclination and your father's convenience should accord so well. There is a very good living kept for you, I understand, hereabouts."
"Which you suppose has biassed me?"
"No, my dear Miss Price, and for reasons good. The profession, either navy or army, is its own justification. It has everything in its favour: heroism, danger, bustle, fashion. Soldiers and sailors are always acceptable in society. Nobody can wonder that men are soldiers and sailors."
"What! take orders without a living! No; that is madness indeed; absolute madness."
"Oh! no doubt he is very sincere in preferring an income ready made, to the trouble of working for one; and has the best intentions of doing nothing all the rest of his days but eat, drink, and grow fat. It is indolence, Mr. Bertram, indeed. Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish —read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work, and the business of his own life is to dine."
"I speak what appears to me the general opinion; and where an opinion is general, it is usually correct. Though I have not seen much of the domestic lives of clergymen, it is seen by too many to leave any deficiency of information."
"I have been so little addicted to take my opinions from my uncle,"
"that I can hardly suppose— and since you push me so hard, I must observe, that I am not entirely without the means of seeing what clergymen are, being at this present time the guest of my own brother, Dr. Grant. And though Dr. Grant is most kind and obliging to me, and though he is really a gentleman, and, I dare say, a good scholar and clever, and often preaches good sermons, and is very respectable, I see him to be an indolent, selfish bon vivant, who must have his palate consulted in everything; who will not stir a finger for the convenience of any one; and who, moreover, if the cook makes a blunder, is out of humour with his excellent wife. To own the truth, Henry and I were partly driven out this very evening by a disappointment about a green goose, which he could not get the better of. My poor sister was forced to stay and bear it."
"We cannot prove to the contrary, to be sure; but I wish you a better fate, Miss Price, than to be the wife of a man whose amiableness depends upon his own sermons; for though he may preach himself into a good-humour every Sunday, it will be bad enough to have him quarrelling about green geese from Monday morning till Saturday night."
"I fancy Miss Price has been more used to deserve praise than to hear it";
"I believe we must be satisfied with less,"
"There would not be time, and other difficulties would arise. We must rather adopt Mr. Crawford's views, and make the performance, not the theatre, our object. Many parts of our best plays are independent of scenery."
"Now, Edmund, do not be disagreeable,"
"Nobody loves a play better than you do, or can have gone much farther to see one."
"This is not behaving well by the absent,"
"Here are not women enough. Amelia and Agatha may do for Maria and me, but here is nothing for your sister, Mr. Crawford."