I am reading Wuthering Heights and I am rather confused by this section:
On coming up from dinner, however, (N.B.—I dine between twelve and one o’clock; the housekeeper, a matronly lady, taken as a fixture along with the house, could not, or would not, comprehend my request that I might be served at five)—on mounting the stairs with this lazy intention, and stepping into the room, I saw a servant-girl on her knees surrounded by brushes and coal-scuttles, and raising an infernal dust as she extinguished the flames with heaps of cinders. This spectacle drove me back immediately; I took my hat, and, after a four-miles’ walk, arrived at Heathcliff’s garden-gate just in time to escape the first feathery flakes of a snow- shower.
Lockwood is explaining why he went visiting Heathcliff the next day. But It confuses me. When he says "coming up from dinner". I understand like he just ate, in the first floor I suppose, and he is going upstairs after eating to stay by the fire.
But I don't know if he ate between 12 and 1 or at what time. Because he says "I dine". Which is present simple, I was taught you use this time tense to describe things you "you usually do". So reading that sentence I understood it like he eats every day between noon and 1. Yet, next sentence he complains he wanted to eat at 5 and the housekeeper didn't understand him.
So what happened here? Did he eat at noon? Does he usually eat at noon or did he have to eat at that time when he would have preferred to eat at 5pm? Or maybe when he was saying he wanted to eat at 5 he was talking about another meal altogether?