Such conduct made them of course most exceedingly laughed at; but ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provoke them.
The complaints and lamentations which politeness had hitherto restrained, now burst forth universally; and they all agreed again and again how provoking it was to be so disappointed.
It is indeed for Mrs. Jennings; how provoking!
Elinor thought it wisest to make no answer to this, lest they might provoke each other to an unsuitable increase of ease and unreserve; and was even partly determined never to mention the subject again.
But can we wonder that, with such a husband to provoke inconstancy, and without a friend to advise or restrain her (for my father lived only a few months after their marriage, and I was with my regiment in the East Indies) she should fall?
I am not conscious of having provoked the disappointment by any imprudence of my own, I have borne it as much as possible without spreading it farther.
"My dear," said he to his lady, "it is very provoking that we should be so few.
Perhaps Mrs. Jennings was in hopes, by this vigorous sketch of their future ennui, to provoke him to make that offer, which might give himself an escape from it;— and if so, she had soon afterwards good reason to think her object gained; for, on Elinor’s moving to the window to take more expeditiously the dimensions of a print, which she was going to copy for her friend, he followed her to it with a look of particular meaning, and conversed with her there for several minutes.
—She was already greatly displeased with Mrs. Ferrars; and such ill-timed praise of another, at Elinor’s expense, though she had not any notion of what was principally meant by it, provoked her immediately to say with warmth, "This is admiration of a very particular kind!
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Her remarks provoked a public outcry.
We should not permit deeply offensive words to provoke violence.