all sorts of fancies [bright and dark] tenanted my mind


Senior Member
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 12

The din was on the causeway: a horse was coming; the windings of the lane yet hid it, but it approached. I was just leaving the stile; yet, as the path was narrow, I sat still to let it go by. In those days I was young, and all sorts of fancies bright and dark tenanted my mind: the memories of nursery stories were there amongst other rubbish; and when they recurred, maturing youth added to them a vigour and vividness beyond what childhood could give. As this horse approached, and as I watched for it to appear through the dusk, I remembered certain of Bessie’s tales, wherein figured a North-of-England spirit called a “Gytrash,” which, in the form of horse, mule, or large dog, haunted solitary ways, and sometimes came upon belated travellers, as this horse was now coming upon me.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand "bright and dark". Why the two adjectives are placed here? I guess the sentence means "all sorts of fancies about brightness and darkness tenanted my mind". But I don't why.
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "bright and dark" are post-positional adjectives = In those days I was young, and all sorts of bright and dark fancies tenanted my mind:

    "bright and dark" = happy and sad/depressing


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, bright and dark mean roughly optimistic and pessimistic. The position after the noun makes them sound like an afterthought: the main point is that the youthful mind is full of fancies; then these fancies can be light or dark.
    < Previous | Next >