yielding their evening sacrifice of incense

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Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
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.
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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.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Hasn't it been clarified already? Please see the last sentence of the OP and the confirmation in post #2.
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    Hasn't it been clarified already? Please see the last sentence of the OP and the confirmation in post #2.
    So it means the flowers have been giving out their fragrance in the evening. (yielding) And that is something sacrificing for the flowers. Because, due to the smell, it attracts birds and insects. Am I right?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Rochester is speaking metaphorically: the flowers emit a strong, heady fragrance, which he likens to incense. We use incense in the Christian church; it's associated with religious rituals.

    Incense as a sacrifice is referred to in the Old Testament:

    From the farthest east to the farthest west, my name is honored among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honored among the nations. (Malachi 1:11)
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    Rochester is speaking metaphorically: the flowers emit a strong, heady fragrance, which he likens to incense. We use incense in the Christian church; it's associated with religious rituals.

    Incense as a sacrifice is referred to in the Old Testament:

    From the farthest east to the farthest west, my name is honored among the nations and everywhere a sacrifice of incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering too, since my name is honored among the nations. (Malachi 1:11)
    :thumbsup:
     
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