here I [stumbled over] a marble hearth

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 25

Quotation: “I dreamt another dream, sir: that Thornfield Hall was a dreary ruin, the retreat of bats and owls. I thought that of all the stately front nothing remained but a shell-like wall, very high and very fragile-looking. I wandered, on a moonlight night, through the grass-grown enclosure within: here I stumbled over a marble hearth, and there over a fallen fragment of cornice."

Context: Jane told Mr. R another ominous dream.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the phrase "stumble over". There are two plausible interpretations for "to stumble"

A) to walk unsteadily or clumsily
B) to strike the foot against something, as in running, so as to trip or fall:

I choose B and then read the sentence as "here I stroke the foot against a marble when I went over it (where I fell or not can't be decided). Is it correct?
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I could be either, but as Jane has said "I wandered, on a moonlight night, through the grass-grown enclosure within" and has not mentioned any pain or falling, I would assume A).
     
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