Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"Who shall answer that question?"
"My father would say 'yes,' Mr. Knightley 'no;' and Miss Bates and I that he is just the happy medium. When you have been here a little longer, Miss Fairfax, you will understand that Mr. Elton is the standard of perfection in Highbury, both in person and mind."
"As to who, or what Miss Hawkins is, or how long he has been acquainted with her,"
"nothing I suppose can be known. One feels that it cannot be a very long acquaintance. He has been gone only four weeks."
"You are silent, Miss Fairfax— but I hope you mean to take an interest in this news. You, who have been hearing and seeing so much of late on these subjects, who must have been so deep in the business on Miss Campbell's account —we shall not excuse your being indifferent about Mr. Elton and Miss Hawkins."
"It might be distressing, for the moment,"
"but you seem to have behaved extremely well; and it is over—and may never— can never, as a first meeting, occur again, and therefore you need not think about it."
"This is too bad,"
"And now we shall just miss them; too provoking!—I do not know when I have been so disappointed."
"We had better move on, Mr. Weston,"
"we are detaining the girls."
"Think of me to-morrow, my dear Emma, about four o'clock,"
"My dear, dear anxious friend,"—
"always overcareful for every body's comfort but your own; I see you now in all your little fidgets, going again and again into his room, to be sure that all is right."
"'Tis twelve; I shall not forget to think of you four hours hence; and by this time to-morrow, perhaps, or a little later, I may be thinking of the possibility of their all calling here. I am sure they will bring him soon."
"You cannot see too much perfection in Mrs. Weston for my feelings,"
"were you to guess her to be eighteen, I should listen with pleasure; but she would be ready to quarrel with you for using such words. Don't let her imagine that you have spoken of her as a pretty young woman."
"I have heard her speak of the acquaintance,"
"she is a very elegant young woman."
"If you were never particularly struck by her manners before,"
"I think you will to-day. You will see her to advantage; see her and hear her —no, I am afraid you will not hear her at all, for she has an aunt who never holds her tongue."
"And how did you think Miss Fairfax looking?"
"It was certainly never brilliant, but she would not allow it to have a sickly hue in general; and there was a softness and delicacy in her skin which gave peculiar elegance to the character of her face."
"there is no disputing about taste.—At least you admire her except her complexion."
"Did you see her often at Weymouth? Were you often in the same society?"
"Oh! yes, gloves and every thing. I do admire your patriotism. You will be adored in Highbury. You were very popular before you came, because you were Mr. Weston's son—but lay out half a guinea at Ford's, and your popularity will stand upon your own virtues."
"I merely asked, whether you had known much of Miss Fairfax and her party at Weymouth."
"Upon my word! you answer as discreetly as she could do herself. But her account of every thing leaves so much to be guessed, she is so very reserved, so very unwilling to give the least information about any body, that I really think you may say what you like of your acquaintance with her."
"You know Miss Fairfax's situation in life, I conclude; what she is destined to be?"
"You get upon delicate subjects, Emma,"
"remember that I am here.—Mr. Frank Churchill hardly knows what to say when you speak of Miss Fairfax's situation in life. I will move a little farther off."
"I certainly do forget to think of her,"
"as having ever been any thing but my friend and my dearest friend."
"Ever hear her!"
"You forget how much she belongs to Highbury. I have heard her every year of our lives since we both began. She plays charmingly."
"Proof indeed!"
"Mr. Dixon is very musical, is he? We shall know more about them all, in half an hour, from you, than Miss Fairfax would have vouchsafed in half a year."
"Certainly —very strong it was; to own the truth, a great deal stronger than, if I had been Miss Campbell, would have been at all agreeable to me. I could not excuse a man's having more music than love —more ear than eye —a more acute sensibility to fine sounds than to my feelings. How did Miss Campbell appear to like it?"
"Poor comfort!"
"One would rather have a stranger preferred than one's very particular friend— with a stranger it might not recur again—but the misery of having a very particular friend always at hand, to do every thing better than one does oneself!—Poor Mrs. Dixon! Well, I am glad she is gone to settle in Ireland."
"So much the better—or so much the worse:—I do not know which. But be it sweetness or be it stupidity in her— quickness of friendship, or dulness of feeling —there was one person, I think, who must have felt it: Miss Fairfax herself. She must have felt the improper and dangerous distinction."
"Oh! do not imagine that I expect an account of Miss Fairfax's sensations from you, or from any body else. They are known to no human being, I guess, but herself. But if she continued to play whenever she was asked by Mr. Dixon, one may guess what one chuses."
"I have known her from a child, undoubtedly; we have been children and women together; and it is natural to suppose that we should be intimate,—that we should have taken to each other whenever she visited her friends. But we never did. I hardly know how it has happened; a little, perhaps, from that wickedness on my side which was prone to take disgust towards a girl so idolized and so cried up as she always was, by her aunt and grandmother, and all their set. And then, her reserve —I never could attach myself to any one so completely reserved."
"Not till the reserve ceases towards oneself; and then the attraction may be the greater. But I must be more in want of a friend, or an agreeable companion, than I have yet been, to take the trouble of conquering any body's reserve to procure one. Intimacy between Miss Fairfax and me is quite out of the question. I have no reason to think ill of her— not the least —except that such extreme and perpetual cautiousness of word and manner, such a dread of giving a distinct idea about any body, is apt to suggest suspicions of there being something to conceal."
"all young people would have their little whims."
"all young people would have their little whims."
"I suppose they will not take the liberty with you; they know you do not dine out,"
"of course it must be declined,"
"But you would not wish me to come away before I am tired, papa?"