The following passage is from the first chapter of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847):
He’ll love and hate, equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved or hated again—No, I’m running on too fast—I bestow my own attributes over-liberally on him. Mr. Heathcliff may have entirely dissimilar reasons for keeping his hand out of the way when he meets a would-be acquaintance, to those which actuate me. Let me hope my constitution is almost peculiar: my dear mother used to say I should never have a comfortable home; and only last summer I proved myself perfectly unworthy of one.
The text then goes on to describe the previous summer, wherein the narrator displays timidity, thus unintentionally snubbing someone he loved.
What is the meaning of constitution in this sentence? I've looked at the OED for constitution, n., and the definitions seem to include the following:
- the action of constituting
- a decree or law, or the action of effecting such a decree
- composition; the way something is made up (its constituency, if you will)
- physical nature and temperament
None of these definitions appear to readily fit the passage. Could someone define the word in context and explain what the sentence means?