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What's the meaning of the following paragraph? It was not an easy task to civilise the rough frontiersmen who had spent most of their time fighting Mohammedans and Huns and Norsemen. Often they were guilty of backsliding, and having vowed all sorts of oaths about mercy and charity in the morning, they would murder all their prisoners before evening. But progress is ever the result of slow and ceaseless labour, and finally the most unscrupulous of knights was forced to obey the rules of his “class” or suffer the consequences. P.S. What's the meaning of this paragraph, esp the part of "But progress is ever the result of slow and ceaseless labour, and finally the most unscrupulous of knights was forced to obey the rules of his “class” or suffer the consequences."?Thank you!Does "labour" here means "to give birth", which is just a metaphor?
Jan 30, 2016 2:55 AM
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Answers · 8
This paragraph make total sense to me except for the word "frontierman" ,which is normally associated with the American Wild West , and not Europe where the Huns , Mohamedans and Norseman used to lived . These knights talked about charity and mercy one minute , but the next minute they would kill without mercy nor charity given (seems like they didnt keep their words or promises)So, in order to change their attitudes and make them keep their promises and have proper conduct of behaviour, efforts were made-probably through education - but progress in these efforts were only attained after a very long , slow and continous process = "But progress is ever the result of slow and ceaseless labour, Finally the most unscrupulous of knights was forced to obey the rules of his “class” or suffer the consequences > At last , after all the efforts succeeded in changing them , even those knights who earlier didnt care at all about whether the things they did were right or wrong , were forced to follow the laws governing the behaviour of knights ( if they dont , they would be punished)
January 30, 2016
This paragraph looks like computer translation and is particularly difficult for a non-native speaker (or even a native speaker) to understand. It is written in British, not American English. (The words civilise and labour are spelled in the British fashion.) It seems very imaginary since few "frontiersmen" would have fought Mohammadeans and Huns and Norsemen and it doesn't make sense because "rough frontiersmen" would not be "knights". OK. "Guilty of backsliding" means the "rough frontiersmen" who had been taught to behave better had a tendency to go back to their old bad behavior. The words "progress is ever the result of slow and ceaseless labour" is kind of an old saying, meaning that slow and continuing work is required to accomplish the result one desires. The "rules of his class" means that there were rules of behavior that knights should obey. ("Knights" were a distinct social "class".) To "suffer the consequences" is to be punished for something. Don't be discouraged. No-one can make much sense out of this gibberish.
January 30, 2016
Labour can also mean work, especially hard physical work.
January 30, 2016
Does "labour" here means "to give birth", which is just a metaphor?
January 30, 2016
LoveT8
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English