Miss Temple passed her handkerchief over her lips, as if to smooth away the involuntary smile that curled them; she gave the order, however, and when the first class could take in what was required of them, they obeyed. Leaning a little back on my bench, I could see the looks and grimaces with which they commented on this manoeuvre: it was a pity Mr. Brocklehurst could not see them too; he would perhaps have felt that, whatever he might do with the outside of the cup and platter, the inside was further beyond his interference than he imagined.
He scrutinised the reverse of these living medals some five minutes, then pronounced sentence. These words fell like the knell of doom—
“All those top-knots must be cut off.”
Miss Temple seemed to remonstrate.
“Madam,” he pursued, “I have a Master to serve whose kingdom is not of this world: my mission is to mortify in these girls the lusts of the flesh; to teach them to clothe themselves with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair and costly apparel; and each of the young persons before us has a string of hair twisted in plaits which vanity itself might have woven; these, I repeat, must be cut off; think of the time wasted, of—” (Jane Eyre)

Does ‘seemed to remonstrate’ mean (1) it seemed she remonstrated or (2) it seemed she was going to remonstrate?

2 Answers 2


It means "it seemed she remonstrated," in the same way "they seemed to know" means "it seemed they knew," not "it seems they were going to know."


She seemed to object to what "he" was saying.
You can check the definition here http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/american/remonstrate

It can also mean to plead your case, where you might be defending yourself.

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