Can anybody help me with the bold text?

Forty-eight years with an axe in the forest had turned Placide Gervez into a mixture of Stoic, Cynic, and Epicurean; he boasted the simplicity and fortitude of each in respect of pain, propriety, and pleasure.
The droning hum of the forest, broken rarely by the birds --- magpie, crow, cuckoo, and nightingale --- meant nothing to him in the summer; nor did the monotonous drip depress him in the winter. The ringing thud of his axe and the crash of the murdered tree were neither history nor tragedy to him; the comic and the pastoral were equally sealed books, for the forest has neither satyrs nor shepherds. He had no sport, since in his boyhood his father had thrashed him for throwing his axe at a stag; and no society, for the nearest forester thought him a boor. He chopped to live, and lived to chop.

Aleister Crowley, The woodcutter, 1911

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