Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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The evening wore away with no abatement of this soothing politeness; and her spirits were gradually raised to a modest tranquillity. She did not learn either to forget or defend the past; but she learned to hope that it would never transpire farther, and that it might not cost her Henry’s entire regard. Her thoughts being still chiefly fixed on what she had with such causeless terror felt and done, nothing could shortly be clearer than that it had been all a voluntary, self-created delusion, each trifling circumstance receiving importance from an imagination resolved on alarm, and everything forced to bend to one purpose by a mind which, before she entered the abbey, had been craving to be frightened. She remembered with what feelings she had prepared for a knowledge of Northanger. She saw that the infatuation had been created, the mischief settled, long before her quitting Bath, and it seemed as if the whole might be traced to the influence of that sort of reading which she had there indulged.
Catherine dared not doubt beyond her own country, and even of that, if hard pressed, would have yielded the northern and western extremities.
she believed,
Upon this conviction, she would not be surprised if even in Henry and Eleanor Tilney, some slight imperfection might hereafter appear; and upon this conviction she need not fear to acknowledge some actual specks in the character of their father, who, though cleared from the grossly injurious suspicions which she must ever blush to have entertained, she did believe, upon serious consideration, to be not perfectly amiable.
Her mind made up on these several points, and
her resolution formed, of
she had nothing to do but to forgive herself and be happier than ever; and the lenient hand of time did much for her by insensible gradations in the course of another day.
was of the greatest assistance to her; and sooner than she could have supposed it possible in the beginning of her distress, her spirits became absolutely comfortable, and capable, as heretofore, of continual improvement by anything he said. There were still some subjects, indeed, under which she believed they must always tremble — the mention of a chest or a cabinet, for instance — and she did not love the sight of japan in any shape: but even she could allow that an occasional memento of past folly, however painful, might not be without use.
The anxieties of common life began soon to succeed to the alarms of romance. Her desire of hearing from Isabella grew every day greater. She was quite impatient to know how the Bath world went on, and how the rooms were attended; and especially was she anxious to be assured of Isabella’s having matched some fine netting-cotton, on which she had left her intent; and of her continuing on the best terms with James. Her only dependence for information of any kind was on Isabella. James had protested against writing to her till his return to Oxford; and Mrs. Allen had given her no hopes of a letter till she had got back to Fullerton. But Isabella had promised and promised again; and when she promised a thing, she was so scrupulous in performing it! This made it so particularly strange!
For nine successive mornings, Catherine wondered over the repetition of a disappointment, which each morning became more severe: but, on the tenth, when she entered the breakfast-room, her first object was a letter, held out by Henry’s willing hand. She thanked him as heartily as if he had written it himself.
as she looked at the direction.
She opened it; it was from Oxford; and to this purpose:
Catherine had not read three lines before her sudden change of countenance, and short exclamations of sorrowing wonder, declared her to be receiving unpleasant news; and Henry, earnestly watching her through the whole letter, saw plainly that it ended no better than it began. He was prevented, however, from even looking his surprise by his father’s entrance. They went to breakfast directly; but Catherine could hardly eat anything. Tears filled her eyes, and even ran down her cheeks as she sat. The letter was one moment in her hand, then in her lap, and then in her pocket; and she looked as if she knew not what she did. The general, between his cocoa and his newspaper, had luckily no leisure for noticing her; but to the other two her distress was equally visible. As soon as she dared leave the table she hurried away to her own room; but the housemaids were busy in it, and she was obliged to come down again. She turned into the drawing-room for privacy, but Henry and Eleanor had likewise retreated thither, and were at that moment deep in consultation about her. She drew back, trying to beg their pardon, but was, with gentle violence, forced to return; and the others withdrew, after
Eleanor had affectionately expressed
After half an hour’s free indulgence of grief and reflection, Catherine felt equal to encountering her friends; but whether she should make her distress known to them was another consideration.
She believed
Henry and Eleanor were by themselves in the breakfast-room; and each, as she entered it, looked at her anxiously.
Catherine took her place at the table, and, after a short silence, Eleanor said,
(sighing as she spoke);
Nothing further was said for a few minutes; and then speaking through her tears, she added,
said Henry, closing the book he had just opened;
replied Henry warmly,
said Catherine, shortly afterwards, in an agitated manner,
Eleanor’s work was suspended while she gazed with increasing astonishment; but Henry began to suspect the truth, and something, in which Miss Thorpe’s name was included, passed his lips.
cried Catherine:
recollecting with a blush the last line.
cried Catherine, whose second thoughts were clearer.
(blushing again that she had blushed before);
He gladly received the letter, and, having read it through, with close attention, returned it saying,
Miss Tilney, at Catherine’s invitation, now read the letter likewise, and, having expressed also her concern and surprise, began to inquire into Miss Thorpe’s connections and fortune.
was Catherine’s answer.
The brother and sister looked at each other.
said Eleanor, after a short pause,
said Eleanor with a smile.
observed Catherine,
replied Henry;
said Catherine, after a few moments’ reflection,
Catherine, by some chance or other, found her spirits so very much relieved by this conversation that she could not regret her being led on, though so unaccountably, to mention the circumstance which had produced it.
From this time, the subject was frequently canvassed by the three young people; and Catherine found, with some surprise, that her two young friends were perfectly agreed in considering Isabella’s want of consequence and fortune as likely to throw great difficulties in the way of her marrying their brother. Their persuasion that the general would, upon this ground alone, independent of the objection that might be raised against her character, oppose the connection, turned her feelings moreover with some alarm towards herself.
The very painful reflections to which this thought led could only be dispersed by
a dependence on
and by
a recollection of
They were so fully convinced, however, that their brother would not have the courage to apply in person for his father’s consent, and so repeatedly assured her that he had never in his life been less likely to come to Northanger than at the present time, that she suffered her mind to be at ease as to the necessity of any sudden removal of her own.
it occurred to her as
She proposed it to him accordingly; but he did not catch at the measure so eagerly as she had expected.
said he,
A day or two passed away and brought no tidings of Captain Tilney. His brother and sister knew not what to think. Sometimes it appeared to them as if his silence would be the natural result of the suspected engagement, and at others that it was wholly incompatible with it.
The general,
meanwhile, though offended every morning by Frederick’s remissness in writing, was free from any real anxiety about him, and