altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 27) | Genius

Quotation: "You entered the room with a look and air at once shy and independent: you were quaintly dressed—much as you are now. I made you talk: ere long I found you full of strange contrasts. Your garb and manner were restricted by rule; your air was often diffident, and altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society, and a good deal afraid of making herself disadvantageously conspicuous by some solecism or blunder; yet when addressed, you lifted a keen, a daring, and a glowing eye to your interlocutor’s face: there was penetration and power in each glance you gave; when plied by close questions, you found ready and round answers. "

Context: Mr. R was recalling what happened when he first summon Jane to his presence.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. Is it fine to interpret it as below?

society => 1 : companionship or association with one's fellows : friendly or intimate intercourse : COMPANY [M-W dictionary]
by nature => naturally; by their breeding, background and upbringing; as in my thread both are often by nature, and always by position, inferior: and to live familiarly with inferiors

altogether => 1 : WHOLLY, COMPLETELY <an altogether different problem> <stopped raining altogether> [M-W dictionary]
one => a person
to refine => 5 : to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth [M-W dictionary]

the sentence => ,,,and completely air of one freed from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth by their breeding, background and upbringing, but absolutely unused to association with someone.
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I think it's a little more context-specific than that. "Society" here means specifically social gatherings among the upper and upper middle classes, such as dinner parties and so on. People who are described as refined in tbis context are people who are polite, reasonable intelligent and able to express themselves well. He is saying that she was by nature polite, etc, but that she was clearly a newcomer to these social gatherings.
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