If God had blessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as it is for I to leave you.For I to leave you? Sure, we moderns often use object pronouns in compound nominatives (“Me and the dog are going out”) and vice versa (“an invitation for Sally and I”). But “as hard for I to leave” is much less common. Not unheard of -- Arnold Zwicky gave an example in an August post, and said there were more out there, “too many to dismiss as nothing but inadvertent errors" -- but rare enough that I've never heard a complaint about it.
And Jane’s movie speech generally hews closely to the book, where she says
if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.So someone (Moira Buffini is the scriptwriter of record) decided to “improve” Bronte’s dialogue, and nobody involved in the production ever said “Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right.” O tempora, o mores, o BBC!
You may have noticed another word change there: Bronte’s “gifted me” becomes “blessed me” in the script, no doubt in deference to today's distaste for gift as a verb. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage points out that gift "make a present of" dates to the 17th century, though the context was generally institutional, as in "gifted to the Church of Rome."
As early as 1864, though, there were rumblings about it. In “The Queen’s English,” Henry Alford complained that adjectival gifted was “at present very much in vogue. Every man whose parts are to be praised, is a gifted author, speaker or preacher.” In 1909, Ambrose Bierce OK'd gifted but suggested that the verb itself was obsolete: Denouncing talented (vs. gifted), he noted, “These are both past participles, but there was once the verb to gift, whereas there was never the verb 'to talent.' If Nature did not talent a person the person is not talented."
But in the mid-20th century to gift spread to “a more mundane realm,” as Bryan Garner puts it, becoming a mere synonym for give: “He gifted her with a diamond bracelet.” This aroused the opposition, and the usage is still resisted as pretentious; Garner rates its acceptance at only stage 2 of a possible 5. So this edit of Bronte seems to be a reasonable effort to avoid raising viewers’ eyebrows. Unfortunately, changing “for me to leave” to “for I” is enough, all by itself, to raise eyebrows as high as they go -- for some of us, anyway.