What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter

I now stood in the empty hall; before me was the breakfast-room door, and I stopped, intimidated and trembling. What a miserable little poltroon had fear, engendered of unjust punishment, made of me in those days! I feared to return to the nursery, and feared to go forward to the parlour; ten minutes I stood in agitated hesitation; the vehement ringing of the breakfast-room bell decided me; I MUST enter.
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Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I try to interpret it as follows:

It's an exclamation. Rewritten as a common sentence, it's "Fear of unjust punishment (which was) engendered had made me a miserable little poltroon in those days". Is it correct?
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    No, that's not correct. Breaking it up a bit, it means: "Unjust punishment had engendered fear (in me). That fear had made me a miserable little poltroon in those days."
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    Today, instead of using "of," we might use "by" or "from."

    Her fear has been created by (= has been engendered by) the unjust punishment which she has received.
     
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