North America - Volume 1 By Anthony Trollope 

 -   But, being
so inferior in that coat, hat, and boots matter, he is forced to
assert his equality by some - Page 130
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But, Being 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.

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