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English translation: Explanation below

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12:34 Jan 9, 2008
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: difficult sentence
this is taken from the Preface to The Journal of George Fox, by William Penn. Can someone please explain the meaning of the sentence in **? The subject is Quakers and silent worship.
Thanks

They recommended silence by their example, having very few words upon all occasions. . . . Nor could they humour the custom of good night, good morrow, good speed; for they knew the night was good, and the day was good, without wishing of either[.] . . . Besides, **they were words and wishes, of course, and are usually as little meant, as are love and service in the custom of cap and knee;** and superfluity in those, as well as in other things was burdensome to them; and therefore they did not only decline to use them, but found themselves often pressed to reprove the practice.
Adele Oliveri
Italy
Local time: 22:50
English translation:Explanation below
Explanation:
They were formal, virtually meaningless, words and wishes, like the formal gestures of removing the cap or bending the knee, originally meant to denote love and service, but by that time mere formalities.
Selected response from:

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:50
Grading comment
thank you Jack. That was immensely helpful.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +13Explanation below
Jack Doughty


  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +13
Explanation below


Explanation:
They were formal, virtually meaningless, words and wishes, like the formal gestures of removing the cap or bending the knee, originally meant to denote love and service, but by that time mere formalities.


Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:50
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 514
Grading comment
thank you Jack. That was immensely helpful.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carol Gullidge: yes, formalities, rather than sincerely meant
9 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Dana Rinaldi
13 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Arcoiris: that is my take
23 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Ken Cox: and for the asker's sake, the English is outmoded
35 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Flo Demolis: Very neat explanation
41 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Mark Nathan: @Ken - William Penn was writing in the 17th century.
45 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Suzan Hamer: and with Flo; quite deft, Jack.
51 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Patricia Townshend
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Tony M
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  kmtext: Sums it up very neatly.
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  xxxTatiana N.
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Naikei Wong: very nice explanations, Jack. Happy New year!
3 hrs
  -> Thank you. I hope it's not too late to wish you a happy Chinese New year.

agree  orientalhorizon
13 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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