trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 15

"And, Miss Eyre, so much was I flattered by this preference of the Gallic sylph for her British gnome, that I installed her in an hotel; gave her a complete establishment of servants, a carriage, cashmeres, diamonds, dentelles, &c. In short, I began the process of ruining myself in the received style, like any other spoony. I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre. I had--as I deserved to have--the fate of all other spoonies.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. the expression of "beaten centre" associates me with "heartbeat". So I guess "beaten center" is a metaphor for "heart, which generates emotion". So I guess the part essentially means "but like previous generations of spooies, I strictly and stupidly follow my passion (to her)". Is it correct?
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    As romantic as the book is, it has nothing to do with hearts...:)

    I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre.

    I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode (pp of to tread, i.e. trod) the old path with stupid exactness [so as] not to deviate an inch from the flattened area of the path that everyone else had trodden.

    Currently = It seems that I had not headed towards shame and destruction in any new or original way - however, with a precise stupidity, I had followed the same route as everyone else.
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    As romantic as the book is, it has nothing to do with hearts...:)

    I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre.

    I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode (pp of to tread, i.e. trod) the old path with stupid exactness [so as] not to deviate an inch from the flattened area of the path that everyone else had trodden.

    Currently = It seems that I had not headed towards shame and destruction in any new or original way - however, with a precise stupidity, I had followed the same route as everyone else.
    :thumbsup:
     
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