Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"And what did the Colonel say?"
"Mr. Brandon was very well I hope?"
"I am flattered by his commendation. He seems an excellent man; and I think him uncommonly pleasing."
"Is Mr. Willoughby much known in your part of Somersetshire?"
"You have been long acquainted with Colonel Brandon, have not you?"
"Did not Colonel Brandon know of Sir John's proposal to your mother before it was made? Had he never owned his affection to yourself?"
"Yet I hardly know how,"
"unless it had been under totally different circumstances. But this is the usual way of heightening alarm, where there is nothing to be alarmed at in reality."
"I should guess so,"
"from what I have witnessed this morning."
"I confess,"
"that while I am at Barton Park, I never think of tame and quiet children with any abhorrence."
"I think every one MUST admire it,"
"who ever saw the place; though it is not to be supposed that any one can estimate its beauties as we do."
"Upon my word,"
"I cannot tell you, for I do not perfectly comprehend the meaning of the word. But this I can say, that if he ever was a beau before he married, he is one still for there is not the smallest alteration in him."
"And who was this uncle? Where did he live? How came they acquainted?"
"I know nothing of her."
"I am sorry I do NOT,"
"if it could be of any use to YOU to know my opinion of her. But really I never understood that you were at all connected with that family, and therefore I am a little surprised, I confess, at so serious an inquiry into her character."
"Good heavens!"
"what do you mean? Are you acquainted with Mr. Robert Ferrars? Can you be?"
"May I ask if your engagement is of long standing?"
"Four years!"
"I did not know,"
"that you were even acquainted till the other day."
"Your uncle!"
"I think I have,"
"Engaged to Mr. Edward Ferrars! — I confess myself so totally surprised at what you tell me, that really — I beg your pardon; but surely there must be some mistake of person or name. We cannot mean the same Mr. Ferrars."
"It is strange,"
"that I should never have heard him even mention your name."
"Four years you have been engaged,"
"You are quite in the right,"
"I certainly did not seek your confidence,"
"but you do me no more than justice in imagining that I may be depended on. Your secret is safe with me; but pardon me if I express some surprise at so unnecessary a communication. You must at least have felt that my being acquainted with it could not add to its safety."
"Pardon me,"
"but I can give you no advice under such circumstances. Your own judgment must direct you."
"Did he come from your uncle's, then, when he visited us?"
"I remember
he told us, that
"We did, indeed, particularly so when he first arrived."
"I did,"
"Your Ladyship will have the goodness to excuse ME — you know I detest cards. I shall go to the piano-forte; I have not touched it since it was tuned."
"Marianne can never keep long from that instrument you know, ma'am,"
"and I do not much wonder at it; for it is the very best toned piano-forte I ever heard."
"if I should happen to cut out, I may be of some use to Miss Lucy Steele, in rolling her papers for her; and there is so much still to be done to the basket, that it must be impossible I think for her labour singly, to finish it this evening. I should like the work exceedingly, if she would allow me a share in it."