have [quivered keen] in his proud heart


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 18

Quotation: But as matters really stood, to watch Miss Ingram’s efforts at fascinating Mr. Rochester, to witness their repeated failure—herself unconscious that they did fail; vainly fancying that each shaft launched hit the mark, and infatuatedly pluming herself on success, when her pride and self-complacency repelled further and further what she wished to allure—to witness this, was to be at once under ceaseless excitation and ruthless restraint.

Because, when she failed, I saw how she might have succeeded. Arrows that continually glanced off from Mr. Rochester’s breast and fell harmless at his feet, might, I knew, if shot by a surer hand, have quivered keen in his proud heart—have called love into his stern eye, and softness into his sardonic face; or, better still, without weapons a silent conquest might have been won.

Context: Jane believed Mr. didn't actually love Miss Ingram who had many defects he didn't like.
Hi everyone! I don't quie understand the bold part. I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

The word "quiver": trans. To put into or as into a quiver. (from OED)
a 1643 Earl of Cumberland Ps. in Farr S.P. Jas. I (1848) 112 Thy galling shafts lye quiuered in my bones.

The word "keen": 3. a.A.3.a Of weapons, cutting instruments, and the like: Having a very sharp edge or point; able to cut or pierce with ease. (from OED)

the whole part" : the sharp arrows might have pierced into his proud heart.
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I would have understood it differently (with the meaning of quiver = tremble), but on reflection I think you have it spot-on.
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