additional punishment (then) meted out


Senior Member
Adding more details, then still more details until the smirk faded from his face, and his hands began to tremble. I say again, I took no pleasure in it, and though it was just, I took no satisfaction either in the hideous additional punishment that was then meted out to him. For as I told him precisely how his father had betrayed the king, and come close even to murdering him, his voice fell into a growl, and the hideous demonic look that came over his twisted and contorted features frightened even Thurloe, I believe. Iain Pears, An Instance of Fingerpost

Hi all,
before this paragraph, a man learns that he by his own actions forfeited any chance of proving his father innocent of treason. In this paragraph, on the same occasion just a moment later, he learns his father was, in reality, guilty.
The narrator is speaking from a point of time not distant from the narrative.
What do you think of the then?
I would expect thus.
Or is there a tense reason for the then?
Thank you.
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No, "then" is what we would expect. He received (apparently) some unstated form of earlier punishment, and subsequently some additional hideous punishment.


    Senior Member
    I understood the structure as punished by my telling him the truth
    I failed to consider a very common meaning of then.
    Thank you!
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