So Inferior In That Coat, Hat, And Boots Matter, He Is Forced To
Assert His Equality By Some Effort.
As he improves in externals,
he will diminish the roughness of his claim.
As long as the man
makes his claim with any roughness, so long does he acknowledge
within himself some feeling of external inferiority. When that has
gone - when the American has polished himself up by education and
general well-being to a feeling of external equality with
gentlemen, he shows, I think, no more of that outward braggadocio
of independence than a Frenchman.
But the blow at the moment of the stroke is very galling. I
confess that I have occasionally all but broken down beneath it.
But when it is thought of afterward it admits of full excuse. No
effort that a man can make is better than a true effort at
independence. But this insolence is a false effort, it will be
said. It should rather be called a false accompaniment to a life-
long true effort. The man probably is not dishonest, does not
desire to shirk any service which is due from him, is not even
inclined to insolence. Accept his first declaration of equality
for that which it is intended to represent, and the man afterward
will be found obliging and communicative. If occasion offer he
will sit down in the room with you, and will talk with you on any
subject that he may choose; but having once ascertained that you
show no resentment for this assertion of equality, he will do
pretty nearly all that is asked.
Enter page number
Page 130 of 538
Words from 34463 to 34730