Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"You wrong her exceedingly. Mrs. Ferrars is one of the most affectionate mothers in the world."
"We think NOW," —
"of ROBERT'S marrying Miss Morton."
"Choice! — how do you mean?"
"Certainly, there can be no difference; for Robert will now to all intents and purposes be considered as the eldest son; — and as to any thing else, they are both very agreeable young men: I do not know that one is superior to the other."
"Of ONE thing, my dear sister,"
"I may assure you; — and I WILL do it, because I know it must gratify you. I have good reason to think — indeed I have it from the best authority, or I should not repeat it, for otherwise it would be very wrong to say any thing about it — but I have it from the very best authority — not that I ever precisely heard Mrs. Ferrars say it herself — but her daughter DID, and I have it from her — That in short, whatever objections there might be against a certain — a certain connection — you understand me — it would have been far preferable to her, it would not have given her half the vexation that THIS does. I was exceedingly pleased to hear that Mrs. Ferrars considered it in that light — a very gratifying circumstance you know to us all.
she said,
But however, all that is quite out of the question — not to be thought of or mentioned — as to any attachment you know — it never could be — all that is gone by. But I thought I would just tell you of this, because I knew how much it must please you. Not that you have any reason to regret, my dear Elinor. There is no doubt of your doing exceedingly well — quite as well, or better, perhaps, all things considered. Has Colonel Brandon been with you lately?"
"We may treat it as a joke,"
"but, upon my soul, it is a most serious business. Poor Edward! he is ruined for ever. I am extremely sorry for it — for I know him to be a very good-hearted creature; as well-meaning a fellow perhaps, as any in the world. You must not judge of him, Miss Dashwood, from YOUR slight acquaintance. — Poor Edward! — His manners are certainly not the happiest in nature. — But we are not all born, you know, with the same powers, — the same address. — Poor fellow! — to see him in a circle of strangers! — to be sure it was pitiable enough! — but upon my soul, I believe he has as good a heart as any in the kingdom; and I declare and protest to you I never was so shocked in my life, as when it all burst forth. I could not believe it. — My mother was the first person who told me of it; and I, feeling myself called on to act with resolution, immediately said to her, 'My dear madam, I do not know what you may intend to do on the occasion, but as for myself, I must say, that if Edward does marry this young woman, I never will see him again.' That was what I said immediately. — I was most uncommonly shocked, indeed! — Poor Edward! — he has done for himself completely — shut himself out for ever from all decent society! — but, as I directly said to my mother, I am not in the least surprised at it; from his style of education, it was always to be expected. My poor mother was half frantic."
"Yes; once, while she was staying in this house, I happened to drop in for ten minutes; and I saw quite enough of her. The merest awkward country girl, without style, or elegance, and almost without beauty. — I remember her perfectly. Just the kind of girl I should suppose likely to captivate poor Edward. I offered immediately, as soon as my mother related the affair to me, to talk to him myself, and dissuade him from the match; but it was too late THEN, I found, to do any thing, for unluckily, I was not in the way at first, and knew nothing of it till after the breach had taken place, when it was not for me, you know, to interfere. But had I been informed of it a few hours earlier — I think it is most probable — that something might have been hit on. I certainly should have represented it to Edward in a very strong light. 'My dear fellow,' I should have said, 'consider what you are doing. You are making a most disgraceful connection, and such a one as your family are unanimous in disapproving.' I cannot help thinking, in short, that means might have been found. But now it is all too late. He must be starved, you know; — that is certain; absolutely starved."
"At last we are alone. My Elinor, you do not yet know all my happiness. Colonel Brandon loves Marianne. He has told me so himself."
"You are never like me, dear Elinor, or I should wonder at your composure now. Had I sat down to wish for any possible good to my family, I should have fixed on Colonel Brandon's marrying one of you as the object most desirable. And I believe Marianne will be the most happy with him of the two."
"He opened his whole heart to me yesterday as we travelled. It came out quite unawares, quite undesignedly. I, you may well believe, could talk of nothing but my child; — he could not conceal his distress; I saw that it equalled my own, and he perhaps, thinking that mere friendship, as the world now goes, would not justify so warm a sympathy — or rather, not thinking at all, I suppose — giving way to irresistible feelings, made me acquainted with his earnest, tender, constant, affection for Marianne. He has loved her, my Elinor, ever since the first moment of seeing her."
"His regard for her, infinitely surpassing anything that Willoughby ever felt or feigned, as much more warm, as more sincere or constant — which ever we are to call it — has subsisted through all the knowledge of dear Marianne's unhappy prepossession for that worthless young man! — and without selfishness — without encouraging a hope! — could he have seen her happy with another — Such a noble mind! — such openness, such sincerity! — no one can be deceived in HIM."
"I know it is," —
"or after such a warning, I should be the last to encourage such affection, or even to be pleased by it. But his coming for me as he did, with such active, such ready friendship, is enough to prove him one of the worthiest of men."
"Oh! my love, I could not then talk of hope to him or to myself. Marianne might at that moment be dying. But he did not ask for hope or encouragement. His was an involuntary confidence, an irrepressible effusion to a soothing friend — not an application to a parent. Yet after a time I DID say, for at first I was quite overcome — that if she lived, as I trusted she might, my greatest happiness would lie in promoting their marriage; and since our arrival, since our delightful security, I have repeated it to him more fully, have given him every encouragement in my power. Time, a very little time, I tell him, will do everything; — Marianne's heart is not to be wasted for ever on such a man as Willoughby. — His own merits must soon secure it."
"No. — He thinks Marianne's affection too deeply rooted for any change in it under a great length of time, and even supposing her heart again free, is too diffident of himself to believe, that with such a difference of age and disposition he could ever attach her. There, however, he is quite mistaken. His age is only so much beyond hers as to be an advantage, as to make his character and principles fixed; — and his disposition, I am well convinced, is exactly the very one to make your sister happy. And his person, his manners too, are all in his favour. My partiality does not blind me; he certainly is not so handsome as Willoughby — but at the same time, there is something much more pleasing in his countenance. — There was always a something, — if you remember, — in Willoughby's eyes at times, which I did not like."
"And his manners, the Colonel's manners are not only more pleasing to me than Willoughby's ever were, but they are of a kind I well know to be more solidly attaching to Marianne. Their gentleness, their genuine attention to other people, and their manly unstudied simplicity is much more accordant with her real disposition, than the liveliness — often artificial, and often ill-timed of the other. I am very sure myself, that had Willoughby turned out as really amiable, as he has proved himself the contrary, Marianne would yet never have been so happy with HIM, as she will be with Colonel Brandon."
"At Delaford, she will be within an easy distance of me,"
"even if I remain at Barton; and in all probability, — for I hear it is a large village, — indeed there certainly MUST be some small house or cottage close by, that would suit us quite as well as our present situation."
"His fortune too! — for at my time of life you know, everybody cares about THAT; — and though I neither know nor desire to know, what it really is, I am sure it must be a good one."
"I know it — I know it,"
"Happy with a man of libertine practices! — With one who so injured the peace of the dearest of our friends, and the best of men! — No — my Marianne has not a heart to be made happy with such a man! — Her conscience, her sensitive conscience, would have felt all that the conscience of her husband ought to have felt."
"Rather say your mother's imprudence, my child,"
"SHE must be answerable."
"We know nothing of our unfortunate Edward, and can make no enquiries on so prohibited a subject, but conclude him to be still at Oxford;"
"Who told you that Mr. Ferrars was married, Thomas?"
"But did she tell you she was married, Thomas?"
"Was Mr. Ferrars in the carriage with her?"
"Was there no one else in the carriage?"
"Do you know where they came from?"
"And are they going farther westward?"
"Did you see them off, before you came away?"
"Did Mrs. Ferrars look well?"
"I wrote to him, my love, last week, and rather expect to see, than to hear from him again. I earnestly pressed his coming to us, and should not be surprised to see him walk in today or tomorrow, or any day."
"Being very sure I have long lost your affections, I have thought myself at liberty to bestow my own on another, and have no doubt of being as happy with him as I once used to think I might be with you; but I scorn to accept a hand while the heart was another's. Sincerely wish you happy in your choice, and it shall not be my fault if we are not always good friends, as our near relationship now makes proper. I can safely say I owe you no ill-will, and am sure you will be too generous to do us any ill offices. Your brother has gained my affections entirely, and as we could not live without one another, we are just returned from the altar, and are now on our way to Dawlish for a few weeks, which place your dear brother has great curiosity to see, but thought I would first trouble you with these few lines, and shall always remain,
"Your sincere well-wisher, friend, and sister, "LUCY FERRARS.
"I have burnt all your letters, and will return your picture the first opportunity. Please to destroy my scrawls — but the ring with my hair you are very welcome to keep."
"I do think,"
"nothing was ever carried on so sly; for it was but two days before Lucy called and sat a couple of hours with me. Not a soul suspected anything of the matter, not even Nancy, who, poor soul! came crying to me the day after, in a great fright for fear of Mrs. Ferrars, as well as not knowing how to get to Plymouth; for Lucy it seems borrowed all her money before she went off to be married, on purpose we suppose to make a show with, and poor Nancy had not seven shillings in the world; — so I was very glad to give her five guineas to take her down to Exeter, where she thinks of staying three or four weeks with Mrs. Burgess, in hopes, as I tell her, to fall in with the Doctor again. And I must say that Lucy's crossness not to take them along with them in the chaise is worse than all. Poor Mr. Edward! I cannot get him out of my head, but you must send for him to Barton, and Miss Marianne must try to comfort him."
"Mrs. Ferrars has never yet mentioned Edward's name, which does not surprise us; but, to our great astonishment, not a line has been received from him on the occasion. Perhaps, however, he is kept silent by his fear of offending, and I shall, therefore, give him a hint, by a line to Oxford, that his sister and I both think a letter of proper submission from him, addressed perhaps to Fanny, and by her shewn to her mother, might not be taken amiss; for we all know the tenderness of Mrs. Ferrars's heart, and that she wishes for nothing so much as to be on good terms with her children."
"I will not say that I am disappointed, my dear sister,"
"THAT would be saying too much, for certainly you have been one of the most fortunate young women in the world, as it is. But, I confess, it would give me great pleasure to call Colonel Brandon brother. His property here, his place, his house, every thing is in such respectable and excellent condition! — and his woods! — I have not seen such timber any where in Dorsetshire, as there is now standing in Delaford Hanger! — And though, perhaps, Marianne may not seem exactly the person to attract him — yet I think it would altogether be advisable for you to have them now frequently staying with you, for as Colonel Brandon seems a great deal at home, nobody can tell what may happen — for, when people are much thrown together, and see little of anybody else — and it will always be in your power to set her off to advantage, and so forth; — in short, you may as well give her a chance — You understand me." —