[Yet as little] could he endure that a son of his should be a poor man

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre (Chap. 27) | Genius

Quotation: “And did you ever hear that my father was an avaricious, grasping man?”

“I have understood something to that effect.”

“Well, Jane, being so, it was his resolution to keep the property together; he could not bear the idea of dividing his estate and leaving me a fair portion: all, he resolved, should go to my brother, Rowland. Yet as little could he endure that a son of his should be a poor man.

Context: Mr. R was explaining how he had been deceived into the miserable marriage.
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Hi everyone! I try to make the bold part clear. Is it fine to read it as "Yet he could endure that a son of his should be a poor man as little as that the property would be divided"?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Yes, you have got it. He was keen on keeping the property undivided, but he was just as unhappy about allowing a son of his to be poor.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    As far as I know, it's usually used in writing, or in formal speech. This particular construction - Yet as little could he - sounds quite old-fashioned.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    He didn't want to divide the property. So he decided to leave it all to one son, Rowland.

    But that'd mean the other son, the speaker Rochester (I don't know his first name) would then be poor. The father wasn't happy about that either.
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    He didn't want to divide the property. So he decided to leave it all to one son, Rowland.

    But that'd mean the other son, the speaker Rochester (I don't know his first name) would then be poor. The father wasn't happy about that either.
    :thumbsup:
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We might say today "He could no more bear to leave one of his sons poor, than he could bear to divide the property". (He could not bear either of those outcomes).
     
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