Charlotte Bronte's heroine "Jane Eyre" defies the stereotype of the docile Victorian woman and shines as a fully realized person who jumps off the page at a time when women were often portrayed as one-dimensional characters (etext found
something immaterial that interferes with or delays action or progress
The adjective "insuperable" ("incapable of being surmounted or overcome") makes the impediment sound even more inhuman. The lawyer is referring to "the existence of a previous marriage" and to the existence of Bertha Mason, who is still legally married to Mr. Rochester, but whose mental instability makes her seem more like a monster than a wife.
“I am in a condition to prove my allegation: an insuperable
impediment to this marriage exists.”
firm in purpose or belief; characterized by firmness and determination
Mr. Rochester is sarcastically using the adjectives "resolute" and "stout" ("having rugged physical strength" or "dependable"): because he's angry at Richard Mason for exposing him, he's insulting and further intimidating the man who is still trembling from the sight of a bloody glare and uplifted arm.
I now inform you that she is my wife, whom I married fifteen years ago,—Bertha Mason by name; sister of this
resolute personage, who is now, with his quivering limbs and white cheeks, showing you what a stout heart men may bear.
What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell: it
grovelled, seemingly, on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing, and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face.
The Latin adjective "inanis" which means "empty" can be seen in both the noun "inanition" and the adjective "inane" which means "without sense or substance; devoid of intelligence"--the example sentence focuses on Jane's empty stomach, but her entire situation feels like a senseless loss of substance (Mr. Rochester had said the night before: "I am substantial enough—touch me"). Inanity surrounds Bertha Mason and her marriage to Mr. Rochester, yet they prevent the legal union of two equal souls.
I perceived that I was sickening from excitement and
inanition; neither meat nor drink had passed my lips that day, for I had taken no breakfast.
"Profligate" and "rake" are synonymous nouns ("dissolute" means "unrestrained by convention or morality"); "base" and "low" are synonymous adjectives that describe the lack of honor. Mr. Rochester uses these words not to insult himself but to question Jane's judgment and set up his contrasting declarations and explanations.
If you think so, you must have a strange opinion of me; you must regard me as a plotting
profligate—a base and low rake who has been simulating disinterested love in order to draw you into a snare deliberately laid, and strip you of honour and rob you of self-respect.
the quality of being unsteady and subject to changes
I cleared and steadied my voice to reply: “All is changed about me, sir; I must change too—there is no doubt of that; and to avoid
fluctuations of feeling, and continual combats with recollections and associations, there is only one way—Adèle must have a new governess, sir.”
the quality of being honest and straightforward in attitude and speech
I was not sure of the existence of one virtue in her nature: I had marked neither modesty, nor benevolence, nor candour, nor refinement in her mind or manners—and, I married her:—gross, grovelling, mole-eyed blockhead that I was!
avoid and stay away from deliberately; stay clear of
In this explanation, the verbs "eschew" and "curtail" ("cut short") are verbs that require less energy than the devouring of disgust and repressing of intense dislike. That is because Mr. Rochester is a passionate man who has more difficulty ignoring his emotions than controlling his actions ("upbraid" and "remonstrate" both mean "criticize harshly").
when I perceived that I should never have a quiet or settled household, because no servant would bear the continued outbreaks of her violent and unreasonable temper, or the vexations of her absurd, contradictory, exacting orders—even then I restrained myself: I
eschewed upbraiding, I curtailed remonstrance; I tried to devour my repentance and disgust in secret; I repressed the deep antipathy I felt.
refuse to acknowledge, ratify, or recognize as valid
In the eyes of the world, I was doubtless covered with grimy dishonour; but I resolved to be clean in my own sight—and to the last I
repudiated the contamination of her crimes, and wrenched myself from connection with her mental defects.
violate the sacred character of a place or language
I felt the truth of these words; and I drew from them the certain inference, that if I were so far to forget myself and all the teaching that had ever been instilled into me, as—under any pretext—with any justification—through any temptation—to become the successor of these poor girls, he would one day regard me with the same feeling which now in his mind
desecrated their memory.
Your garb and manner were restricted by rule; your air was often diffident, and altogether that of one refined by nature, but absolutely unused to society, and a good deal afraid of making herself disadvantageously conspicuous by some
solecism or blunder; yet when addressed, you lifted a keen, a daring, and a glowing eye to your interlocutor’s face: there was penetration and power in each glance you gave; when plied by close questions, you found ready and round answers.
characterized by kindness and warm courtesy especially of a king to his subjects
I used to enjoy a chance meeting with you, Jane, at this time: there was a curious hesitation in your manner: you glanced at me with a slight trouble—a hovering doubt: you did not know what my caprice might be—whether I was going to play the master and be stern, or the friend and be
I am sure you cannot long be content to pass your leisure in solitude, and to devote your working hours to a monotonous labour wholly void of stimulus: any more than I can be content,” he added, with emphasis, “to live here buried in morass, pent in with mountains—my nature, that God gave me,
contravened; my faculties, heaven-bestowed, paralysed—made useless.