Austen Said:

Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen's Major Novels


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"that you really feel all the delight in a fine prospect which you profess to feel. But, in return, your sister must allow me to feel no more than I profess. I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque principles. I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight, and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cottages. I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasure in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower — and a troop of tidy, happy villages please me better than the finest banditti in the world."
"Yes; it is my sister's hair. The setting always casts a different shade on it, you know."
"And who is Willoughby?"
"I have been guessing. Shall I tell you my guess?"
"Shall I tell you."
"Well then; I guess that Mr. Willoughby hunts."
I do not doubt it,"
He had no pleasure at Norland; he detested being in town;
He valued their kindness beyond any thing, and his greatest happiness was in being with them.
"I do assure you,"
"that I have long thought on this point, as you think now. It has been, and is, and probably will always be a heavy misfortune to me, that I have had no necessary business to engage me, no profession to give me employment, or afford me any thing like independence. But unfortunately my own nicety, and the nicety of my friends, have made me what I am, an idle, helpless being. We never could agree in our choice of a profession. I always preferred the church, as I still do. But that was not smart enough for my family. They recommended the army. That was a great deal too smart for me. The law was allowed to be genteel enough; many young men, who had chambers in the Temple, made a very good appearance in the first circles, and drove about town in very knowing gigs. But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved. As for the navy, it had fashion on its side, but I was too old when the subject was first started to enter it — and, at length, as there was no necessity for my having any profession at all, as I might be as dashing and expensive without a red coat on my back as with one, idleness was pronounced on the whole to be most advantageous and honourable, and a young man of eighteen is not in general so earnestly bent on being busy as to resist the solicitations of his friends to do nothing. I was therefore entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since."
"They will be brought up,"
"to be as unlike myself as is possible. In feeling, in action, in condition, in every thing."
"I think,"
"that I may defy many months to produce any good to me."
he had been staying a fortnight with some friends near Plymouth."
he should be easy.
that was some comfort to him,
but not equal to a picture.
"Is your sister ill?"
his pleasure at seeing them in London,
"almost ever since; I have been once or twice at Delaford for a few days, but it has never been in my power to return to Barton."
"I had the pleasure of hearing it at Mr. Palmer's, where I have been dining."
"Mrs. Palmer appeared quite well, and I am commissioned to tell you, that
"your sister looks unwell to-day,"
"your sister seems out of spirits,"
when he was to congratulate her on the acquisition of a brother?
"your sister's engagement to Mr. Willoughby is very generally known."
"I beg your pardon, I am afraid my inquiry has been impertinent; but I had not supposed any secrecy intended, as they openly correspond, and their marriage is universally talked of."
"By many — by some of whom you know nothing, by others with whom you are most intimate, Mrs. Jennings, Mrs. Palmer, and the Middletons. But still I might not have believed it, for where the mind is perhaps rather unwilling to be convinced, it will always find something to support its doubts, if I had not, when the servant let me in today, accidentally seen a letter in his hand, directed to Mr. Willoughby in your sister's writing. I came to inquire, but I was convinced before I could ask the question. Is every thing finally settled? Is it impossible to-? But I have no right, and I could have no chance of succeeding. Excuse me, Miss Dashwood. I believe I have been wrong in saying so much, but I hardly know what to do, and on your prudence I have the strongest dependence. Tell me that it is all absolutely resolved on, that any attempt, that in short concealment, if concealment be possible, is all that remains."
"to your sister I wish all imaginable happiness; to Willoughby that he may endeavour to deserve her," —
"I did myself the honour of calling in Berkeley Street last Tuesday, and very much regretted that I was not fortunate enough to find yourselves and Mrs. Jennings at home. My card was not lost, I hope."
"Yes, I had the pleasure of receiving the information of your arrival in town, which you were so good as to send me,"
"Bond Street, January. "MY DEAR MADAM,
"I have just had the honour of receiving your letter, for which I beg to return my sincere acknowledgments. I am much concerned to find there was anything in my behaviour last night that did not meet your approbation; and though I am quite at a loss to discover in what point I could be so unfortunate as to offend you, I entreat your forgiveness of what I can assure you to have been perfectly unintentional. I shall never reflect on my former acquaintance with your family in Devonshire without the most grateful pleasure, and flatter myself it will not be broken by any mistake or misapprehension of my actions. My esteem for your whole family is very sincere; but if I have been so unfortunate as to give rise to a belief of more than I felt, or meant to express, I shall reproach myself for not having been more guarded in my professions of that esteem. That I should ever have meant more you will allow to be impossible, when you understand that my affections have been long engaged elsewhere, and it will not be many weeks, I believe, before this engagement is fulfilled. It is with great regret that I obey your commands in returning the letters with which I have been honoured from you, and the lock of hair, which you so obligingly bestowed on me.
"I am, dear Madam, "Your most obedient "humble servant, "JOHN WILLOUGHBY."
"Perhaps, then,"
"what I heard this morning may be — there may be more truth in it than I could believe possible at first."
"That a gentleman, whom I had reason to think — in short, that a man, whom I KNEW to be engaged — but how shall I tell you? If you know it already, as surely you must, I may be spared."
"In a stationer's shop in Pall Mall, where I had business. Two ladies were waiting for their carriage, and one of them was giving the other an account of the intended match, in a voice so little attempting concealment, that it was impossible for me not to hear all. The name of Willoughby, John Willoughby, frequently repeated, first caught my attention; and what followed was a positive assertion that
One thing, especially, I remember, because it served to identify the man still more: —
My astonishment! — but it would be impossible to describe what I felt. The communicative lady I learnt, on inquiry, for I stayed in the shop till they were gone, was a Mrs. Ellison, and that, as I have been since informed, is the name of Miss Grey's guardian."
"It may be so; but Willoughby is capable — at least I think" —
"And your sister — how did she — "
"there is, indeed! But your sister does not — I think you said so — she does not consider quite as you do?"
"I met Mrs. Jennings in Bond Street,"
"and she encouraged me to come on; and I was the more easily encouraged, because I thought it probable that I might find you alone, which I was very desirous of doing. My object — my wish — my sole wish in desiring it — I hope, I believe it is — is to be a means of giving comfort; — no, I must not say comfort — not present comfort — but conviction, lasting conviction to your sister's mind. My regard for her, for yourself, for your mother — will you allow me to prove it, by relating some circumstances which nothing but a VERY sincere regard — nothing but an earnest desire of being useful — I think I am justified — though where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?"
"You shall; and, to be brief, when I quitted Barton last October, — but this will give you no idea — I must go farther back. You will find me a very awkward narrator, Miss Dashwood; I hardly know where to begin. A short account of myself, I believe, will be necessary, and it SHALL be a short one. On such a subject,"