beginning in his earnestness—and especially in his incivility—to credit his sincerity

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 23

Quotation: “ You—you strange, you almost unearthly thing!—I love as my own flesh. You—poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are—I entreat to accept me as a husband.”

“What, me!” I ejaculated, beginning in his earnestness—and especially in his incivility—to credit his sincerity: “me who have not a friend in the world but you—if you are my friend: not a shilling but what you have given me?”

Context: In the face of Jane's doubt, Mr. R tried to demonstrate his sincerity.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I think it's an inversion which means "beginning to credit (trust) his sincerity in his earnestness—and especially in his incivility". Is it correct?
 
  • Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    This is fairly close:
    ... beginning in light of his earnestness ....

    I think it is unlikely that anyone today would phrase this as Bronte did.
     
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