(1) “You are mistaken in supposing me a beggar. I am no beggar; any more than yourself or your young ladies.”(Jane Eyre)

(2) “No blame attached to me: I am as free from culpability as any one of you three.” (Jane Eyre)

In (2), I and the others are compared equivalently, whereas (1) denotes that the word, beggar, could be applied to me less than you all, I guess, and it should be heard somewhat aggressively in this case. Is this right?


The 'aggressiveness' here I think belongs to the underlying act of contradiction rather than to the language.

Jane certainly does not say that she is less a beggar, merely that she is not any more a beggar than the others. What you have here is an elliptical construction in which the two negatives no and not are taken as equivalent, without regard to the fact that the first is realized as a quantifier and the second 'deleted' one would have to be realized as an 'adverb':

I am no       beggar
I am not any more a beggar than yourself or &c

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