Yet are you not capricious, sir?

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 24

Quotation:“ I think I shall like you again, and yet again: and I will make you confess I do not only like, but love you—with truth, fervour, constancy.”

“Yet are you not capricious, sir?

“To women who please me only by their faces, I am the very devil when I find out they have neither souls nor hearts—when they open to me a perspective of flatness, triviality, and perhaps imbecility, coarseness, and ill-temper: but to the clear eye and eloquent tongue, to the soul made of fire, and the character that bends but does not break—at once supple and stable, tractable and consistent—I am ever tender and true.”
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Hi everyone! I don’t quite understand the bold part. I’ve notice a difference in tense:

“Yet are you not capricious, sir?” => Simple Present Tense
I will make you confess I do not only like, but love you—with truth, fervour, constancy.” => Simple Future Tense

So I read the part as “however, are you not capricious (now), sir”. Jane suggests “you are still capricious now”. Is it correct?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    “Yet are you not capricious, sir?” = “But you are capricious, aren't you?” -> "You are driven by your moods, whims and fancies, aren't you?" (with the implication of "How can you speak of constancy?")
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    He makes a statement about what he will do, and she answers with an accusation of capriciousness (how can I believe what you say you will do when you are someone who changes their mind)
    It is a personality trait, so present tense.
     
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