yielding their evening sacrifice of incense


Senior Member
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 23

Quotation: While such honey-dew fell, such silence reigned, such gloaming gathered, I felt as if I could haunt such shade for ever; but in threading the flower and fruit parterres at the upper part of the enclosure, enticed there by the light the now rising moon cast on this more open quarter, my step is stayed—not by sound, not by sight, but once more by a warning fragrance.

Sweet-briar and southernwood, jasmine, pink, and rose have long been yielding their evening sacrifice of incense: this new scent is neither of shrub nor flower; it is—I know it well—it is Mr. Rochester’s cigar.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. I guess the idea is "...have been giving off their scents for a long time". But how to literally understand it? :confused:

WR dictionary tells me "sacrifice" means "the offering of life or of some object to a deity, as for forgiveness or worship"
So does it literally mean "...have long been rendering/making their evening offerings of scents (to God or a deity)"?
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Yes - the literal interpretation is of course entirely figurative but sparked by the word "incense", which is particularly associated with worship.
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