They [the English] amuse themselves sadly as in the custom of their country.
[Fr., Ils s'amusaient tristement selon la contume de leur pays.]
This means that they are bound by law and custom to plough the fields of their masters, harvest the corn, gather it into barns, and thresh and winnow the grain; they must also mow and carry home the hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all manner of tasks of this kind.
Again I entered my smithy to work and forge something from the noble material of time past.
Nothing in the world is as certain as death.
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