Plural for singular. Some examples are ambiguous, the reference being possibly to a plurality of persons ; but the plural is used not infrequently when we should use the singular : S S 277 ‘girl of all works’. M P 21 his leaving Eton for Oxford made no change in his kind dispositions; 17 all the liberal dispositions of an eldest son ; 107 every body who shuts their eyes … or their understandings; 209 ‘any other of our intelligences’. E 130 wine enough … to confuse his intellects ; 250 ‘Better accommodations, he can promise’.

Singular for plural : S S 305 simple taste (opposed to ‘Epicurism’; we now say tastes).

Adjective used for adverb : S S 123 [Miss Steele] ‘a vast many’; 226 ‘an exceeding good income’, cf. E 96 ‘an exceeding good, pretty letter’. P P 228 [Mrs. Bennet] ‘the Collinses live very comfortable’ ; 94 a tolerable powerful feeling. P 79 a remarkable stout, forward child.

Superlative for comparative : youngest of two is regular. P P 181 (Colonel Fitzwilliam) was beyond comparison the pleasantest man (only Darcy is in the comparison). M P 466 Her temper was naturally the easiest of the two.

his, &c. = an objective genitive : M P 207 though she had not waited for that sentence to be thinking of Edmund, such a memento made her particularly awake to his idea. E 182 his sight was…inseparably connected with some very disagreeable feelings. P P 227 so fervently did she value his remembrance, and prefer him to every other man.

was for were : M P 346 ‘I thought you was against me’—corrected to were in the second edition. Miss Julia Mannering said ‘you was’.

Negatives without auxiliary verb : S S 39 ‘cried not as I did’. P P 275 ‘I know not what to think’. M P 162 Mrs. Grant discerned it not ; 194 if Maria gained him not. E 48 ‘it is the fault of her face that she has them not’.

Auxiliary do without not, and without strong emphasis : P P 49 ‘you are giving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend’. M P 192 the morrow, though differing in the sort of evil, did by no means bring less.

should and would are used with precision, though the lifetime editions sometimes show variation. The should of reported speech is regular : M P 256 he had heard her tell Mrs. Grant that she should leave her with regret (so the second edition; the first has would) ; 377 manner Fanny did not want. Would they but love her, she should be satisfied.

Miss Austen almost always writes one should, not one would, e. g. M P 231 thus doubtless are such unconquerable young ladies of eighteen (or one should not read about them) ; one would occurs S S 291.

it should seem occurs P P 148 ‘it should seem by her manner of talking, as if she wanted to persuade herself that he is really partial to Miss Darcy’ (the third and later editions have would).

would occurs, where we should expect should, M P 225 ‘I think, Miss Price, we would have indulged ourselves with a week’s calm in the Atlantic at that season’ ; 406 it was not so very bad as she would have expected (reported speech).

The Subjunctive, regular after whether, is also frequent in a variety of oblique sentences : P P 189 a wish of hearing that she were better. M P 77 ‘I could not … understand why a visit from the family were not to be made in the carriage of the family ’ ; 177 when the bustle of receiving Sir Thomas were over. E 211 should see that every thing were safe in the house.

am to, is to, &c., in the first and third persons, expressing something that is arranged, permitted, &c. ; still common in the interrogative (‘where are we to go ? ’—‘ what is he to do ? ’ &c.), and sometimes

  By PanEris using Melati.

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