what he had been the aggressor in, and had surprised me into

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Perseas

Senior Member
The following excerpt is from D. Defoe's "Roxana" :

"He assured me that I misunderstood him; that he had more manners as well more kindness for me, and more justice, than to reproach me with what he had been the aggressor in, and had surprised me into; that what he spoke referred to my words above, that ..."

I cannot explain the use of the words "in" and "into" (in bold) nor their meaning . Is maybe the word "circumstances" implied there, i.e. "in/into these circumstances"?
 
  • ygerne

    Senior Member
    It would be better if you gave us the previous sentences. If the word "circumstances" does appear before well yes it might mean :"he had surprised me into some ... circumstances".
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Kalispera, Perseas.

    The sentence: "he had more manners ... ... ... ... than to reproach me with what he had been the aggressor in, and had surprised me into... ..." can be analyzed thus:

    1. He had been the aggressor in X

    2. He had surprised me into thinking X


    Therefore: "he had more manners ... ... ... ... than to reproach me with X"


    Best.

    GS
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    "What" is an oblique reference to sexual intercourse.

    The narrator (Roxana) is saying that this man promised not to hold against her the fact that she had had sex with him.


    1) He acknowledged that he had been the aggressor in initiating it.
    2) He acknowledged that she had complied because he had surprised her in his approach:​
    He had surprised her into it.
    We use 'into' with some verbs to show that they had the effect of causing someone to take an action. You can talk someone into [doing something], trick someone into [doing something], and so on.


    Therefore, he will not reproach her for having sex with him. He will not blame her for it, or think less of her. No gentleman would blame her for something he had caused to happen.
     
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