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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Persian
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      • Iran
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    • Join Date: Aug 2015
    • Posts: 106
    #1

    wont to heed reason

    Hi!
    What is the exact meaning of the sentence typed in bold?
    "So we kept good watches, fearing townsfolk and plain-dwellers alike. But Diego de Melo, forgetting that he was not in India, where passion is wont to heed reason but little lost his temper with a camel-man, and threatened him with a sword."

    The words typed in bold are ambiguous. It is from a book written in Spanish 400 years ago, and translated into English nearly 115 years ago. It is about a land travel in Mesopotamia, and the European travelers were Portuguese who formerly lived in India.

    Thanks very much.
    Last edited by pars; 07-Dec-2016 at 20:25.

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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    • Join Date: Dec 2015
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    #2

    Re: wont to heed reason

    Some punctuation errors crept into the text somewhere along the line. Revise it as follows and it should make better sense:
    So we kept good watches, fearing townsfolk and plain-dwellers alike. But Diego de Melo, forgetting that he was not in India (where passion is wont to heed reason but little), lost his temper with a camel-man and threatened him with a sword.

    "In India (where passion is wont to heed reason but little)" means the author believed that in India, people didn't generally control their tempers; their intellect did not control their emotions very well.
    I am not a teacher.

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