Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"I am not very sanguine as to our play,"
"and I can tell Mr. Maddox that I shall shorten some of his speeches, and a great many of my own, before we rehearse together. It will be very disagreeable, and by no means what I expected."
"I dare say she is,"
"I imagine both sisters are."
"You had better tell Miss Bertram to think of Mr. Rushworth. It may do her some good. I often think of Mr. Rushworth's property and independence, and wish them in other hands; but I never think of him. A man might represent the county with such an estate; a man might escape a profession and represent the county."
"Sir Thomas is to achieve many mighty things when he comes home,"
"Do you remember Hawkins Browne's 'Address to Tobacco,' in imitation of Pope?—
Blest leaf! whose aromatic gales dispense To Templars modesty, to Parsons sense. I will parody them— Blest Knight! whose dictatorial looks dispense To Children affluence, to Rushworth sense.
Will not that do, Mrs. Grant? Everything seems to depend upon Sir Thomas's return."
"I would not give much for Mr. Rushworth's chance if Henry stept in before the articles were signed."
"Am I right? Yes; this is the East room. My dear Miss Price, I beg your pardon, but I have made my way to you on purpose to entreat your help."
"Thank you; I am quite warm, very warm. Allow me to stay here a little while, and do have the goodness to hear me my third act. I have brought my book, and if you would but rehearse it with me, I should be so obliged! I came here to-day intending to rehearse it with Edmund —by ourselves— against the evening, but he is not in the way; and if he were, I do not think I could go through it with him, till I have hardened myself a little; for really there is a speech or two. You will be so good, won't you?"
"Have you ever happened to look at the part I mean?"
"Here it is. I did not think much of it at first—but, upon my word. There, look at that speech, and that, and that. How am I ever to look him in the face and say such things? Could you do it? But then he is your cousin, which makes all the difference. You must rehearse it with me, that I may fancy you him, and get on by degrees. You have a look of his sometimes."
"None of it, I suppose. You are to have the book, of course. Now for it. We must have two chairs at hand for you to bring forward to the front of the stage. There— very good school-room chairs, not made for a theatre, I dare say; much more fitted for little girls to sit and kick their feet against when they are learning a lesson. What would your governess and your uncle say to see them used for such a purpose? Could Sir Thomas look in upon us just now, he would bless himself, for we are rehearsing all over the house. Yates is storming away in the dining-room. I heard him as I came upstairs, and the theatre is engaged of course by those indefatigable rehearsers, Agatha and Frederick. If they are not perfect, I shall be surprised. By the bye, I looked in upon them five minutes ago, and it happened to be exactly at one of the times when they were trying not to embrace, and Mr. Rushworth was with me. I thought he began to look a little queer, so I turned it off as well as I could, by whispering to him, 'We shall have an excellent Agatha; there is something so maternal in her manner, so completely maternal in her voice and countenance.' Was not that well done of me? He brightened up directly. Now for my soliloquy."
"he preferred remaining where he was, that he might pay his respects to the old gentleman handsomely since he was come; and besides, he did not think it would be fair by the others to have everybody run away."
"To own the truth, Sir Thomas, we were in the middle of a rehearsal when you arrived this evening. We were going through the three first acts, and not unsuccessfully upon the whole. Our company is now so dispersed, from the Crawfords being gone home, that nothing more can be done to-night; but if you will give us the honour of your company to-morrow evening, I should not be afraid of the result. We bespeak your indulgence, you understand, as young performers; we bespeak your indulgence."
"Shall I play to you now?"
"What will you have?"
"Another quarter of an hour,"
"and we shall see how it will be. Do not run away the first moment of its holding up. Those clouds look alarming."
"South or north, I know a black cloud when I see it; and you must not set forward while it is so threatening. And besides, I want to play something more to you— a very pretty piece— and your cousin Edmund's prime favourite. You must stay and hear your cousin's favourite."
"it does very well for a place of this sort. One does not think of extent here; and between ourselves, till I came to Mansfield, I had not imagined a country parson ever aspired to a shrubbery, or anything of the kind."
"To say the truth,"
"I am something like the famous Doge at the court of Lewis XIV.; and may declare that I see no wonder in this shrubbery equal to seeing myself in it. If anybody had told me a year ago that this place would be my home, that I should be spending month after month here, as I have done, I certainly should not have believed them. I have now been here nearly five months; and, moreover, the quietest five months I ever passed."
"I should have thought so theoretically myself, but,"
"take it all and all, I never spent so happy a summer. But then,"
"there is no saying what it may lead to."
"I am conscious of being far better reconciled to a country residence than I had ever expected to be. I can even suppose it pleasant to spend half the year in the country, under certain circumstances, very pleasant. An elegant, moderate-sized house in the centre of family connexions; continual engagements among them; commanding the first society in the neighbourhood; looked up to, perhaps, as leading it even more than those of larger fortune, and turning from the cheerful round of such amusements to nothing worse than a tete-a-tete with the person one feels most agreeable in the world. There is nothing frightful in such a picture, is there, Miss Price? One need not envy the new Mrs. Rushworth with such a home as that."
"Ah! here he is."
"My sister and Mr. Bertram. I am so glad your eldest cousin is gone, that he may be Mr. Bertram again. There is something in the sound of Mr. Edmund Bertram so formal, so pitiful, so younger-brother-like, that I detest it."
"I grant you the name is good in itself, and Lord Edmund or Sir Edmund sound delightfully; but sink it under the chill, the annihilation of a Mr., and Mr. Edmund is no more than Mr. John or Mr. Thomas. Well, shall we join and disappoint them of half their lecture upon sitting down out of doors at this time of year, by being up before they can begin?"
"and do you not scold us for our imprudence? What do you think we have been sitting down for but to be talked to about it, and entreated and supplicated never to do so again?"
"Upon my word,"
"you are two of the most disappointing and unfeeling kind friends I ever met with! There is no giving you a moment's uneasiness. You do not know how much we have been suffering, nor what chills we have felt! But I have long thought Mr. Bertram one of the worst subjects to work on, in any little manoeuvre against common sense, that a woman could be plagued with. I had very little hope of him from the first; but you, Mrs. Grant, my sister, my own sister, I think I had a right to alarm you a little."
"The sweets of housekeeping in a country village!"
"Commend me to the nurseryman and the poulterer."
"Oh! you can do nothing but what you do already: be plagued very often, and never lose your temper."
"I mean to be too rich to lament or to feel anything of the sort. A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of. It certainly may secure all the myrtle and turkey part of it."
"To be sure. Do not you? Do not we all?"
"By moderation and economy, and bringing down your wants to your income, and all that. I understand you— and a very proper plan it is for a person at your time of life, with such limited means and indifferent connexions. What can you want but a decent maintenance? You have not much time before you; and your relations are in no situation to do anything for you, or to mortify you by the contrast of their own wealth and consequence. Be honest and poor, by all means— but I shall not envy you; I do not much think I shall even respect you. I have a much greater respect for those that are honest and rich."
"But I do look down upon it, if it might have been higher. I must look down upon anything contented with obscurity when it might rise to distinction."
"You ought to be in parliament, or you should have gone into the army ten years ago."
"Yes, they have been there about a fortnight, Miss Price, have they not? And Julia is with them."
"Mr. Yates! Oh! we hear nothing of Mr. Yates. I do not imagine he figures much in the letters to Mansfield Park; do you, Miss Price? I think my friend Julia knows better than to entertain her father with Mr. Yates."
"Those gentlemen must have some very interesting point to discuss."
"Nothing amuses me more than the easy manner with which everybody settles the abundance of those who have a great deal less than themselves. You would look rather blank, Henry, if your menus plaisirs were to be limited to seven hundred a year."