“You shall walk up the pyramids of Egypt!”

So, being sick and miserable as I am these days has brought to my mind an expression that Anna and I use that I thought we ought to share with the world. The expression is “walking up the pyramids of Egypt”, and we use it to signify hardship endured bravely, referring to a dialouge between Jane and Rochester in Jane Eyre as they discuss Jane’s prospects after Rochester’s supposed marriage to Blanche Ingram:

 “You have as good as informed me, sir, that you are going shortly to be married?”

“Yes; what then?”

“In that case, sir, Adele ought to go to school: I am sure you will perceive the necessity of it.”

“To get her out of my bride’s way, who might otherwise walk over her rather too emphatically? There’s sense in the suggestion; not a doubt of it. Adele, as you say, must go to school; and you, of course, must march straight to–the devil?”

“I hope not, sir; but I must seek another situation somewhere.”

“In course!” he exclaimed, with a twang of voice and a distortion of features equally fantastic and ludicrous. He looked at me some minutes.

“And old Madam Reed, or the Misses, her daughters, will be solicited by you to seek a place, I suppose?”

“No, sir; I am not on such terms with my relatives as would justify me in asking favours of them–but I shall advertise.”

“You shall walk up the pyramids of Egypt!” he growled.”

As a homage to the utter brilliance that was Charlotte Brontë, Anna and I have adopted this phrase and we use it whenever we feel that we have been particularly brave about something.  

Example 1:

“I really walked up the pyramids of Egypt last night. I stayed up till 3 in the morning, finishing that presentation.”

Example 2:

“I went to work today even though I was running a fever of 39 degrees.”

“Wow, you really walked up the pyramids of Egypt, huh?”

…Except I’m totally not walking up the pyramids of Egypt right now. I’m whining big time. I’m looking at the pyramids of Egypt, acknowledging their steepness, and whining about it. Or something. My fever is down so at least I can sit up, stand up and walk now (that was a big problem yesterday), but my tonsils, my head and my eyes hurt like hell, I’m constantly cold, and I generally feel really sorry for myself.

But even so, I do love the idea of walking up the pyramids of Egypt! It’s a most useful phrase. Feel free to adopt it yourselves 🙂

pyramids of Egypt

Feeling brave? Take a walk!



February 9, 2007. Dictionary, Literature.

One Comment

  1. confidentialattachees replied:

    Example 3: “I really admire that woman – so cool. She’s walking up the pyramids of Egypt!”

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