for their pains

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enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)
What does “to knock them down for their pains” mean?
Context: Who do this are some men working for pseudo doctors.

They do this, with such _a_ mysterious hang-dog wink; such a sidelong air; such a villainous assumption of your necessities; that, at first, you are almost tempted to knock them down for their pains.
 
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