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FULL EXTRACT:

Meditation over kindness received seemed to have softened him something, too, it may be, beyond what might, perhaps, have been looked for from one whose unwonted self-respect in the hour of need, and in the act of being aided, might have appeared to some not wholly unlike pride out of place; and pride, in any place, is seldom very feeling. But the truth, perhaps, is, that those who are least touched with that vice, besides being not unsusceptible to goodness, are sometimes the ones whom a ruling sense of propriety makes appear cold, if not thankless, under a favor. For, at such a time, to be full of warm, earnest words, and heart-felt protestations, is to create a scene; and well-bred people dislike few things more than that; which would seem to look as if the world did not relish earnestness; but, not so; because the world, being earnest itself, likes an earnest scene, and an earnest man, very well, but only in their place--the stage. See what sad work they make of it, who, ignorant of this, flame out in Irish enthusiasm and with Irish sincerity, to a benefactor, who, if a man of sense and respectability, as well as kindliness, can but be more or less annoyed by it; and, if of a nervously fastidious nature, as some are, may be led to think almost as much less favorably of the beneficiary paining him by his gratitude, as if he had been guilty of its contrary, instead only of an indiscretion. But, beneficiaries who know better, though they may feel as much, if not more, neither inflict such pain, nor are inclined to run any risk of so doing. And these, being wise, are the majority. By which one sees how inconsiderate those persons are, who, from the absence of its officious manifestations in the world, complain that there is not much gratitude extant; when the truth is, that there is as much of it as there is of modesty; but, both being for the most part votarists of the shade, for the most part keep out of sight.

http://www.online-literature.com/melville/confidence-man/5 /

THE CONFIDENCE MAN - HERMAN MELVILLE

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I don't understand the construction of this extract:

See what sad work they make of it, who, ignorant of this, flame out in Irish enthusiasm and with Irish sincerity, to a benefactor, who, if a man of sense and respectability, as well as kindliness, can but be more or less annoyed by it; and, if of a nervously fastidious nature, as some are, may be led to think almost as much less favorably of the beneficiary paining him by his gratitude, as if he had been guilty of its contrary, instead only of an indiscretion.

Does the author mean "If they see what sad work(...)"

Also can you say "(...) to a benefactor, who, if a man(...)

instead of "(...) to a benefactor, the benefactor if he was a man(...)

Are these two constructions are equivalents, "who" standing for benefactor, even if it sounds awkward?
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See what sad work they make of it, who, ignorant of this, flame out in Irish enthusiasm and with Irish sincerity, to a benefactor, who, if a man of sense and respectability, as well as kindliness, can but be more or less annoyed by it; and, if of a nervously fastidious nature, as some are, may be led to think almost as much less favorably of the beneficiary paining him by his gratitude, as if he had been guilty of its contrary, instead only of an indiscretion.

I believe it means:

(Look at those people, i.e., the beneficiaries who are about to be described.) Look and see what sad work they make of it, those people who are ignorant of this (what's just been explained) and who flame out ... to a benefactor. This benefactor, if he is a man of sense and respectability ..., is bound to be more or less annoyed by it (i.e. by these people's actions). And if the benefactor is of a nervously fastidious nature ..., he may be led to think almost as much less favourably if the beneficiary pains him with his gratitude, as if he (the beneficiary) had been guilty of its contrary (i.e. had been ungrateful), and not just guilty of an indiscretion.

In "(...) to a benefactor, who, if a man(...), "who" is a relative pronoun (if I got that right!) that stands for the benefactor just mentioned.
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Thank you a lot for your precious help.