Volume 2, Chapter 3 / 18

Synopsis of Volume 2, Chapter 3 / 18

The house-party continues and the visitors enjoy evenings spent playing charades. One evening, while Rochester is away on business, Mr Mason arrives; he has travelled from the West Indies and describes himself as an old friend of Rochester's. Soon afterwards, the arrival is announced of a strange old woman who insists on staying in the house and reading everyone's fortunes. One by one the guests go to see the old woman and come back disturbed, because she seems to know a great deal about them. A message comes from the old woman, saying there is one person she has not yet seen: it is Jane herself.

Commentary on Volume 2, Chapter 3 / 18

playing charades A game in which one team acts out the syllables of a word which the other team has to guess.

Paynim features … some Israelitish princess of the patriarchal days The term Paynim was used to indicate a pagan, a heathen or a non-Christian, usually a Muslim. Rochester and Blanche wear costumes suggesting the Middle East. The patriarchs were the ancestors of the Israelites in the early part of the Old Testament, such as Abraham and Jacob: see Genesis chapters 12-50.

‘She hasted … to drink' See Genesis 24:18, where Isaac woos Rebekah at her father Nahor's well.

Bridewell! An ancient prison in London; also a generic name for any building used for punishment or correction.

gentleman-highwayman … Italian bandit … Levantine pirate See the notes on corsairs in Volume 2, Chapter 2 / 17.

Jamaica, Kingston, Spanish Town Spanish Town was the capital of Jamaica until 1872, when it was replaced by Kingston. The island was under British rule from 1655 and was a huge exporter of sugar, on plantations owned by the British and worked by slaves from Africa. See Post-colonial criticism.

old Mother Bunches A generalised name for disreputable and gossipy old women.

the old gentleman the Devil.

Sybil A prophetess or fortune-teller.

Investigating Volume 2, Chapter 3 / 18
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