Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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“I am particularly fond of this spot,”
“It was my mother’s favourite walk.”
“I used to walk here so often with her!”
“though I never loved it then, as I have loved it since. At that time indeed I used to wonder at her choice. But her memory endears it now.”
“A great and increasing one,”
“I was only thirteen when it happened; and though I felt my loss perhaps as strongly as one so young could feel it, I did not, I could not, then know what a loss it was.”
“I have no sister, you know — and though Henry — though my brothers are very affectionate, and Henry is a great deal here, which I am most thankful for, it is impossible for me not to be often solitary.”
“A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other.”
“No; it was intended for the drawing-room; but my father was dissatisfied with the painting, and for some time it had no place. Soon after her death I obtained it for my own, and hung it in my bed-chamber — where I shall be happy to show it you; it is very like."
“Yes, entirely.”
“She has been dead these nine years.”
“I was unfortunately from home. Her illness was sudden and short; and, before I arrived it was all over.”
“My father,”
“often walks about the room in this way; it is nothing unusual.”
“My father only wanted me to answer a note,”
“How came I up that staircase!”
“Because it is my nearest way from the stable-yard to my own chamber; and why should I not come up it?”
“And may I not, in my turn,”
“ask how you came here? This passage is at least as extraordinary a road from the breakfast-parlour to your apartment, as that staircase can be from the stables to mine.”
“My mother’s room! Is there anything extraordinary to be seen there?”
“I did not expect to be able to return sooner, when I went away; but three hours ago I had the pleasure of finding nothing to detain me. You look pale. I am afraid I alarmed you by running so fast up those stairs. Perhaps you did not know — you were not aware of their leading from the offices in common use?”
“Very; and does Eleanor leave you to find your way into all the rooms in the house by yourself?”
“And that prevented you,”
“Have you looked into all the rooms in that passage?”
“It is only a quarter past four”
“and you are not now in Bath. No theatre, no rooms to prepare for. Half an hour at Northanger must be enough.”
“Have you had any letter from Bath since I saw you?”
“Promised so faithfully! A faithful promise! That puzzles me. I have heard of a faithful performance. But a faithful promise — the fidelity of promising! It is a power little worth knowing, however, since it can deceive and pain you. My mother’s room is very commodious, is it not? Large and cheerful-looking, and the dressing-closets so well disposed! It always strikes me as the most comfortable apartment in the house, and I rather wonder that Eleanor should not take it for her own. She sent you to look at it, I suppose?”
“It has been your own doing entirely?”
“As there is nothing in the room in itself to raise curiosity, this must have proceeded from a sentiment of respect for my mother’s character, as described by Eleanor, which does honour to her memory. The world, I believe, never saw a better woman. But it is not often that virtue can boast an interest such as this. The domestic, unpretending merits of a person never known do not often create that kind of fervent, venerating tenderness which would prompt a visit like yours. Eleanor, I suppose, has talked of her a great deal?”
“And from these circumstances,”
“you infer perhaps the probability of some negligence — some”
“or it may be — of something still less pardonable.”
“My mother’s illness,”
“the seizure which ended in her death, was sudden. The malady itself, one from which she had often suffered, a bilious fever — its cause therefore constitutional. On the third day, in short, as soon as she could be prevailed on, a physician attended her, a very respectable man, and one in whom she had always placed great confidence. Upon his opinion of her danger, two others were called in the next day, and remained in almost constant attendance for four and twenty hours. On the fifth day she died. During the progress of her disorder, Frederick and I (we were both at home) saw her repeatedly; and from our own observation can bear witness to her having received every possible attention which could spring from the affection of those about her, or which her situation in life could command. Poor Eleanor was absent, and at such a distance as to return only to see her mother in her coffin.”
“For a time, greatly so. You have erred in supposing him not attached to her. He loved her, I am persuaded, as well as it was possible for him to — we have not all, you know, the same tenderness of disposition — and I will not pretend to say that while she lived, she might not often have had much to bear, but though his temper injured her, his judgment never did. His value of her was sincere; and, if not permanently, he was truly afflicted by her death.”
“If I understand you rightly, you had formed a surmise of such horror as I have hardly words to — Dear Miss Morland, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained. What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English, that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known, in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open? Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?”
“No bad news from Fullerton, I hope? Mr. and Mrs. Morland — your brothers and sisters — I hope they are none of them ill?”
“I do not think I shall ever wish for a letter again!”
“I am sorry,”
“if I had suspected the letter of containing anything unwelcome, I should have given it with very different feelings.”
“To have so kind-hearted, so affectionate a sister,”
“must be a comfort to him under any distress.”
“Our brother! Frederick!”
“I hope, so far as concerns my brother, you are misinformed. I hope he has not had any material share in bringing on Mr. Morland’s disappointment. His marrying Miss Thorpe is not probable. I think you must be deceived so far. I am very sorry for Mr. Morland — sorry that anyone you love should be unhappy; but my surprise would be greater at Frederick’s marrying her than at any other part of the story.”
“Will you take the trouble of reading to us the passages which concern my brother?”
“Well, if it is to be so, I can only say that I am sorry for it. Frederick will not be the first man who has chosen a wife with less sense than his family expected. I do not envy his situation, either as a lover or a son.”
“What was her father?”
“Are they a wealthy family?”