There is the same criticism of life; the hatred of shams, and the quick irony that pierces and exposes them; the delightful turns of expression, the caustic word which is not readily forgotten, and the humour, half genial and half sardonic, by which the facts of life are illumined. The only difference is that, while Thackeray was really angry with snobs, Jane Austen is too conscious of their absurdities to be irritated over them. Thackeray can be very bitter; but Jane Austen gives her most caustic criticisms a flavour of humour which robs them of ill-nature. When it becomes a question of pathos, Thackeray out-distances Jane Austen completely; but probably that is due simply to the fact that in 1850 writers did not deem it necessary to disguise their tenderer feelings, and in 1811 they did.


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