he did not [get leave to] speak directly

Irelia20150604

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

Quotation:“Sit down; I’ll talk to you as long as you like, and hear all you have to say, whether reasonable or unreasonable.”

He sat down: but he did not get leave to speak directly. I had been struggling with tears for some time: I had taken great pains to repress them, because I knew he would not like to see me weep. Now, however, I considered it well to let them flow as freely and as long as they liked.
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Hi everyone! I have a question about the bold part.
I think “leave’ here means “permission” and then the sentence does “he did not get permission to speak directly”. But I find I still can’t grasp it.
Then I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

The sentence => it was still impossible for him to speak directly
 
  • Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    I disagree. In this case "directly" means "right away."

    He sat down: but he did not get leave [permission] to speak directly [right away] because Jane allowed herself to have a good cry for a while before she listened to him.
     
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