Commonplace Book #91

In 1793, when Burr had first discovered the Vindication of the Rights of Woman, he called it a “work of genius.”  None of his make peers, or the women he occasioned to meet, agreed.  He revealed to his wife his frustration with these people: “It is owing to ignorance or prejudice that I have not yet met a single person who had discovered or would allow the merits of this world?” As Burr conceived the nature of the world around him, unenlightened opinions ultimately did not matter.  He knew, and harbored no doubt, that women could contribute to the growth of knowledge–to the spread of liberty–which was essential in a modern republic.  This was Burr at his most idealistic and his more progressive: The Enlightenment encompassed a radical transformation of women’s minds.  His daughter’s special calling was to prove that Wollstonecraft was right and that women were as capable as men of genius and reflection–that, indeed, “women have souls.”

Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, 83.

Morning Headlines

The New York Times: Sri Lanka Bombings at Churches and Hotels Said to Kill Almost 200″

The Washington Post: “Coordinated explosions kill at least 137 people in 3 churches and 2 hotels in Sri Lanka”

The Wall Street Journal: More Than 100 Killed as Series of Blasts Devastates Sri Lanka”

Harrisburg-Patriot News: “Two tornadoes with winds stronger than 100 mph touched down in central Pa.”

BBC: “Sri Lanka explosions: 137 killed as churches and hotels targeted”

CNN: “Sri Lanka blasts: At least 138 dead and more than 560 injured in multiple church and hotel explosions”

FOX: “Blasts rock 3 churches, 3 hotels in Sri Lanka; multiple fatalities reported”

Commonplace Book #90

But we don’t see the passions and ideals behind Hamilton’s politics [in the musical Hamilton].  We don’t see his desperate desire to strengthen the national government–to an extreme degree.  We don’t learn that his vision of a centralized New World government was grounded in his admiration of Old World Great Britain.  We don’t learn of Hamilton’s impulsive habit of seeking military solutions to political problems.  We don’t see his deep distrust of the masses and his doubts about democracy.  Until his dying day, Hamilton believed that the American republic was bound to fail.  Hamilton doesn’t dig that deep.

Nor does it need too.  Hamilton is a musical, not a work of history, and as such, it focues on human drama above all else, following the biographical lead of its main source, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.  This isn’t to say that playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda didn’t to his research.  Although there are errors, and much is missing from the play, or simplified to the point of abstraction or near visibility (for example, the impact of slavery on the new nation), it contains a remarkable amount of history for a piece of musical theater.  Not many Broadway  shows tackle topics like the national assumption of state debts, or set a president’s Farewell Address to music as Hamilton does in “One Last Time.”  

Joanne Freeman, “‘Can We Get Back to Politics? Please,” in  Renee Romano and Claire Potter, eds., Historians on Hamilton, 42-43.

Morning Headlines

The New York Times: “A Darker Portrait Emerges of Trump’s Attacks on the Justice Department”

The Washington Post: Investigate Trump or impeach? Democrats split over endgame.”

The Wall Street Journal: “Trump Lashes Out as Mueller Report Reverberates Around Washington”

Harrisburg-Patriot News: “McDonald’s is ditching it’s fancy burgers and chicken sandwiches”

BBC: “Lyra McKee: Two teenage men arrested in connection with journalist’s killing”

CNN: “Two teenagers arrested in the killing of journalist Lyra McKee”

FOX: “Huckabee lashes out at Trump critic Romney: ‘Makes me sick’ you could have been POTUS”

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Taylor University and Mike Pence
  2. David Blight Wins the Pulitzer Prize for History
  3. How Long Will Americans Tolerate This Man as Their President?
  4. A Distinguished Taylor University Alumnus Speaks Out on the Pence Invitation
  5. Michelle Bachmann on Trump: “I have never seen a more biblical president”
  6. Gerson: Trump is the Real Threat to Religious Liberty
  7. Trump is Getting His Base Ready for the Release of the Mueller Report
  8. Big Changes at Southwestern Theological Seminary
  9. But What About Hillary?
  10. Presidential Historian: “Trump has none of the traits the founders thought essential for presidents”

Commonplace Book #89

Of course , nations rarely commemorate their disaster and tragedies unless compelled by forces that will not let the politics of memory rest.  One should not diminish the profoundly meaningful experiences of the [Gettysburg] veterans themselves as such a reunion; the nation, through the psyches of old soldiers, had achieved a great deal of healing.  But the 1913 [Gettysburg] “Peace Jubilee,” as the organizers called it, was a Jim Crow reunion, and white supremacy might be said to have been the silent, invisible master of ceremonies.  At a time when lynching had developed into a social ritual of its own horrifying kind, and when the American  apartheid had become fully entrenched, many black leaders and editors found the sectional love feast at Gettysburg more than they could bear. “A Reunion for whom?” asked the Washington Bee.  Only those who “fought for the preservation of the Union and the extinction of human slavery,” or also those who “fought to destroy the Union and perpetuate slavery, and who are now employing every artifice and argument known to deceit and sophistry to propagate a national sentiment in favor of their nefarious contention that emancipation, reconstruction and enfranchisement are a dismal failure?”  Black responses to such reunions as that at Gettysburg in 1913, and a host of similar events, demonstrated how fundamentally at odds black memories were with the national reunion.  In that disconnection lay an American tragedy not yet fully told by 1913, and one utterly out of place at Blue-Gray reunions.

David Blight, Race and Reunion, 9-10.

Morning Headlines

The New York Times: “A Portrait of the White House and Its Culture of Dishonesty”

The Washington Post: “Mueller lays out evidence against Trump on obstruction, Russia”

The Wall Street Journal: “‘Putin Has Won’: Mueller Report Details the Ways Russia Interfered in the 2016 Election”

Harrisburg-Patriot News: “Rainy holiday weekend in store for central Pa.”

BBC: “Mueller report: Democrats promise to probe Trump ‘obstruction'”

CNN: “Mueller report leaves America at a crossroads over Trump”

FOX: “Trump’s written–at times snarky–answers to Mueller’s questions revealed”

Joseph Ellis: The Founding Fathers Wanted a Green New Deal

Mount Vernon gardens

Mount Vernon

Would the founding fathers have supported a Green New Deal?  I have no idea.

But historian Joseph Ellis‘s thoughts at CNN are worth considering here.  A taste:

From the very beginning, there were critics who challenged the claim that “We the people” referred to a collective or public interest shared by all American citizens. This is what the most vocal opponents of the Green New Deal get wrong when they call the plan “socialist” — they fail to realize that pursuit of a collective good is the very essence of the Founding Fathers’ vision for America. There is an alternative vision. It includes: the Antifederalists, who lost the debate over the Constitution in 1787-88; the leaders of the Confederate States of America; the captains of industry who dominated the first Gilded Age; the Southern defenders of Jim Crow and enemies of the civil rights movement; and the current corporate leaders of our second Gilded Age. What ties all these apparently different groups together is an anti-government ethos with libertarian implications and deep-seated reluctance to share resources with multiple versions of “them.”

Read the entire piece here.

Commonplace Book #88

The car and the family vacation was one of the best expressions of family “togetherness.”  By 1963, 43 percent of all American families reported averaging six hundred miles on extended annual vacations.  For a week or two families could exercise complete control of their lives as they entered the vast system of American highways.  Considering the break with the past Americans faced, it was no coincidence that historic sites predominated as destinations.  Vacations to historic sites not only allowed parents to control family leisure for didactic purposes, but also served the purpose of raising patriotic future citizens.  At the same ti me, historic restorations at Disneyland, Sturbridge, Williamsburg, Mystic Seaport, or Gettysburg entertained members of a visual culture on the road just as on television and in the movies.  Few, perhaps, realized that family-centered consumption of goods or travel to historic sites supported American family values and aided Cold War supremacy.  On the road, as in the ranch house, supermarket, or church, Americans acted out of their nation’s freedom and abundance as a counterpoint to godless communism.

Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine, 156.

Historicizing the “Politics of Touch”

Biden grab

We now know that Joe Biden likes to touch people in ways that some might deem inappropriate.   According to University of South Carolina historian Mark M. Smith, Abraham Lincoln was also kind of handsy.  Here is a taste of his piece at The Conversation:

Amidst the furor over former Vice President Biden’s handsy habits – and with examples of inappropriate touching by current and former U.S. presidents still lingering – it might be a good time to recall how past politicians learned to use touch not to molest, intimidate or cow but to connect, engage and inspire.

No one was better at tactile politics than Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln lived in a time when American political culture valued touch. Handshaking had long been important as a sign of political and social etiquette.

Quakers, for example, preferred the handshake over doffing hats and bowing because the act had something of a democratic ring to it, denoting a rough equality.

By the early 19th century, handshaking was becoming both more American and masculine. French and British gentlemen were less inclined to shake hands and considered the American habit of sweaty handshaking “disgusting.”

Lincoln and American politicians cast their touch as a necessary part of political culture and engagement.

I’m a scholar of sensory history, and in my research I have found that elected and electable leaders during the 19th century especially had to touch voters, metaphorically and literally, a point Lincoln probably learned while glad-handing as a young traveling lawyer.  

Read the rest here.

The Author’s Corner with Joseph Reidy

Illusions of EmancipationJoseph Reidy is Professor of History and Associate Provost at Howard University. This interview is based on his new book, Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery (The University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

JF: What led you to write Illusions of Emancipation?

JR: Illusions of Emancipation began gestating nearly twenty-five years ago when Gary W. Gallagher and T. Michael Parrish, series editors of the University of North Carolina Press’s Littlefield History of the Civil War Era, invited me to write the volume on emancipation. My previous work with the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which included co-editing four volumes of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867 (Cambridge University Press, 1982-1993), acquainted me with the incredibly rich Civil War-era military records at the National Archives. The documents revealed emancipation to have been a complex process rather than a single event and to have involved a cast of characters that extended well beyond President Abraham Lincoln and his fellow Republicans to include enslaved Southerners and free African American Northerners. For the past generation historians have shared this understanding of how slavery ended, but much remains to be explained.

The current consensus takes for granted a linear trajectory, that began in 1861 with slavery well entrenched in the Southern states and protected in law throughout the land and that ended in 1865 with slavery outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Even a cursory reading of the records at the National Archives suggested that the process was infinitely complex and that the goal of achieving freedom was elusive if not downright ephemeral. When supplemented with material from African American newspapers and the memoirs of persons who had escaped slavery (in the form of both published narratives and transcripts of interviews conducted during the 1930s), a fuller picture emerges. Contemporaries often employed figurative rather than strictly literal terminology to describe their experiences and their actions. They viewed events as unfolding within a temporal framework that was linear in some respects but was also characterized by recurring cycles or by intermittent bursts in which time appeared to speed up, slow down, or even stop. Space often displayed similar malleable properties, including its ability to support or undermine slavery depending on who controlled it. I wondered how individuals and communities coped with such instability. I found that at least part of the answer lay in their use of concepts of belonging, especially “home,” which could imply a dwelling-place, a neighborhood, a community, as well as the nation and the human relationships associated with each of those settings, to establish order out of the threatening chaos.

Abandoning the view that Civil War emancipation represented an unqualified expansion of American freedom and democracy reveals not only the complexity and uncertainty of the struggle to destroy slavery but also the limitations of the North’s ability to extend the blessings extolled by the Founders to persons of African ancestry, freeborn and formerly enslaved. For more than 150 years the nation has wrestled with the imperfect and often illusory results of emancipation, and the struggle continues.

JF: In two sentences, what is the argument of Illusions of Emancipation?

JR: Illusions of Emancipation views the end of slavery during the Civil War not as a single event but as a complex, erratic, and unpredictable process, the outcome of which—the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—outlawed slavery but left unaddressed the contours of the “new birth of freedom” Abraham Lincoln had referenced in the Gettysburg Address. The book explores mid-nineteenth century Americans’ concepts of time, space, and the universal human desire for belonging for clues into how they understood the momentous changes swirling around them and, in turn, how we might better comprehend their world and our own.

JF: Why do we need to read Illusions of Emancipation?

JR: Illusions of Emancipation views the destruction of slavery during the Civil War as an uneven, often contradictory, and ultimately incomplete process rather than a story of American progress in which the latent antislavery sentiment of the nascent Republican Party blossomed over the four years of war into a triumphant reaffirmation of the nation’s founding ideals. Like many other recent interpreters of this era, I take for granted that Abraham Lincoln was not the sole architect of emancipation and that African Americans (both enslaved and freeborn) contributed significantly to destroying slavery, saving the Union, and reconfiguring the contours of American citizenship. But I also argue that, from Fort Sumter to Appomattox and beyond, each day presented new contingencies to be navigated, that the flow of events—and people’s perceptions of them—moved in erratic and cyclical patterns rather than simple and straightforward ones, and that the presumed march of freedom under federal auspices could stop as well as advance and even turn backwards. Following the lead of contemporary observers, I argue that understanding this complex process requires employing figurative as well as literal meanings of time and space. I also explore the multiple concepts of the term “home” with which participants in the war’s earth-shattering events attempted to make sense of a world in the throes of being turned upside down. In the end, the Union’s victory resulted in a constitutional amendment that outlawed slavery; but it offered at best an imperfect resolution to such fundamental questions as the meaning of freedom and the essential rights and privileges of citizenship—not just to persons of African descent but to all Americans—the implications of which persist to the present.

JF: When and why did you decide to become an American historian?

JR: I followed a roundabout path to becoming a professional historian. I began my undergraduate studies in the mid-1960s in an engineering program, but after several years I found it to be less engaging than I had expected. What is more, the physical and natural sciences did not offer much in the way of understanding the pressing political and social questions embroiling the nation at that time, specifically African American civil and political rights and the Vietnam War. The social sciences offered a framework for filling that void, and I completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Following graduation, I began exploring the possibility of a career in higher education, with my focus shifting from sociology to U.S. history with the goal of comprehending the underlying context of contemporary events. The prospect of teaching about the past was appealing, but even more so was the opportunity to conduct historical research and advance the frontiers of knowledge. That fascination has animated my work ever since.

JF: What is your next project?

JR: Having recently retired, I am not inclined to embark on an entirely new research project. But I have a long-standing interest in the topic black sailors in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, and I would like to pursue that further. The navy grew from several dozen effective vessels at the start of the war to more than 600 by its conclusion, and roughly one-fourth of the enlisted personnel were men of African descent. What is more, nineteenth-century naval warships present something of a world unto themselves, one of rigidly confined space where time followed conventions unknown on terra firma, and the hierarchical authority structure looked (and functioned) more like a slave plantation than any living and working arrangements in the free states of the North. What a fascinating setting to explore the breakdown of slavery!

JF: Thanks, Joseph!

Morning Headlines

The New York Times: “The Mueller Report: What to Watch For Today”

The Washington Post: “Mueller report will be lightly redacted, offering detailed look into Trump’s actions”

The Wall Street Journal: “Barr to Hold Briefing on Mueller Report”

Harrisburg-Patriot News: “Harrisburg School Board votes down resolution to comply with state auditors”

BBC: “North Korea test fires new tactical guided weapon-state media”

CNN: “Attorney General Barr to release redacted Mueller report”

FOX: “In Mueller report’s release, Trump looks for vindication, but new fights loom” 

Trump is Getting His Base Ready for the Release of the Mueller Report

This came to my inbox today:

Friend,

The Democrats are panicking.

They know they have no chance of winning in 2020 so they just keep LYING about President Trump.

He’s up against a coordinated WITCH HUNT from the Corrupt Media, the Liberal Swamp, AND the Hollywood Elites… He can’t win this fight alone, Friend, he needs you.

Let’s send a message to all of the Trump haters by having 1 MILLION AMERICANS publicly stand with President Trump before the Mueller Report is released tomorrow.

Please PUBLICLY stand with President Trump in the NEXT 3 HOURS to join the Official Defend The President Coalition before the Mueller Report is released tomorrow. >>

No matter what we do the Democrats and the complicit media will NEVER be satisfied that their dishonest hoax proved what we’ve known all along.

How many times do they need to release different versions of this report?

Attorney General Barr already said that the report “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” EXONERATED!

We know the truth, Friend. Be on the right side of history and stand with President Trump in his fight against this Nasty Witch Hunt.

Please join the Official Defend The President Coalition to get on the list of Patriots who FOUGHT BACK against the Nasty Witch Hunt.

Thank you,

Team Trump 2020 

Robert Caro on Working in Archives

Robert Caro, author of "The Power Broker," a biography on Ro

Robert Caro, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and Lyndon Johnson biographer, recently published Working: Research, Interviewing, Writing.  Here is a the publisher’s description:

For the first time in book form, Robert Caro gives us a glimpse into his own life and work in these evocatively written, personal pieces. He describes what it was like to interview the mighty Robert Moses; what it felt like to begin discovering the extent of the political power Moses wielded; the combination of discouragement and exhilaration he felt confronting the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; his encounters with witnesses, including longtime residents wrenchingly displaced by the construction of Moses’ Cross-Bronx Expressway and Lady Bird Johnson acknowledging the beauty and influence of one of LBJ’s mistresses. He gratefully remembers how, after years of working in solitude, he found a writers’ community at the New York Public Library, and details the ways he goes about planning and composing his books. 

Caro recalls the moments at which he came to understand that he wanted to write not just about the men who wielded power but about the people and the politics that were shaped by that power. And he talks about the importance to him of the writing itself, of how he tries to infuse it with a sense of place and mood to bring characters and situations to life on the page. Taken together, these reminiscences–some previously published, some written expressly for this book–bring into focus the passion, the wry self-deprecation, and the integrity with which this brilliant historian has always approached his work.

Over at Popular Mechanics, Eleanor Hildebrandt talks to Caro about his work in the archives.  Here is a taste of their conversation:

Popular Mechanics: What do you bring with you when you go to the archives?

Robert Caro: It depends on the archive. I have a computer on my desk [a Lenovo Thinkpad], although I still write and do most of my stuff on this typewriter. The reason I have a computer is that some years ago, the Johnson library said that my typewriter was so noisy, it was disturbing the other researchers. So I bought a computer and I took all my Vietnam notes on it, but I still write on the typewriter and in longhand.

It makes me think more. Today everybody believes fast is good. Sometimes slow is good.

Almost two years ago, Ina [Caro’s wife] and I went down [to the archives], and I’m sitting there, in the reading room, writing my notes. Everybody else is standing there taking photographs of their documents. They do it with cell phones now. If you saw me there, you’d see one person who’s not in the modern age.

PM: Have you ever been tempted to switch to pictures?

RC: No. I feel there’s something very important, to be able to turn the pages yourself. I don’t want anything standing in between me and the paper. People compliment me on finding out how [Johnson] rose to power so fast in Congress by using money. That happened down there, and it was a vague, amorphous thing. I was sitting there with all these boxes, taking all these notes. And you saw letters, his very subservient letters—“Can I have five minutes of your time?”—and then you see the same letters coming back to him. And I said, Something happened here. What’s the explanation? Why is a committee chairman writing to Lyndon Johnson, asking for a few minutes of his time? So I sat there and put my notes into chronological order. And then it became absolutely clear.

Would the same thing have happened if I’d stood there taking photographs and went back? Possibly. But I don’t believe it. To me, being in the papers is really important.

Read the entire interview here.

Lincoln Impersonators Unite!

Gettysburg 5

On Saturday, during a visit to Gettysburg with my Pennsylvania history class, I met Abraham Lincoln.   It was actually George Buss, a former teacher who has been impersonating Lincoln for over thirty years.

I though about George today when I read Olivia Waxman’s Time article about a gathering of Lincoln impersonators.  Here is a taste:

For Lincoln impersonators like Tom Wright, the work is serious business.

“When you’ve got this outfit on, you’ve got to be proper, and make sure you don’t do anything that would take away from Abraham Lincoln,” says Wright, a 71-year-old from Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Indeed, when it comes to historical second skins, the attitude is as important as the accoutrements. “To me, this guy was important to the country because he saved the Union,” says Wright. He and his wife, Sue Wright, recently joined dozens of other faux-Lincolns for the 25th annual Association of Lincoln Presenters, a conference of reenactors, amateur historians, and other Honest Abe enthusiasts held April 11-14 at the Amicalola State Falls Lodge in Dawsonville, Georgia.

There were 22 Abrahams, 12 Mary Todds, one Robert Todd, one Jefferson Davis, and even one George Perkins Marsh (Lincoln’s ambassador to Italy) present at the event, which began in 1990. The Abrahams, of course, always steal the show.

Read the entire piece here.  I wonder if George was there.

Gettysburg 6

 

Commonplace Book #87

The [Gettysburg] Chamber [of Commerce] also…attempted to revive the lucrative nineteenth-century rituals of monument building and reunions.  Hoping to nurture the Southern trade, the Chamber encouraged governors of Southern states to erect monuments to their fallen heroes.  Appreciating the power of wizened veterans to draw media attention, the Chamber invited the GAR for “one glorious encampment once more” in 1926 and the United Confederate Veterans for a seventieth reunion of the battle in 1933.  The onset of depression appears to have dampened these initiatives along with tourism, but in casting for ways to revive the sunken industry, the Chamber tried again in the late 1930s as tourism resurged.  With Americans clinging to their past for reassurance during the economic crisis, the Chamber launched the enormously successful seventy-fifth anniversary celebration in 1938.  A mix of patriotism and spectacle featuring doddering veterans and what the Philadelphia Inquirer called a “monster military parade” of whippet tanks, bombers, and other military hardware, “The Last Reunion of the Blue and Gray” flooded half a million visitors into the town lavishly adorned by a decorator who had festooned every presidential inauguration since Woodrow Wilson’s.  More important, as a national festival illuminating a dreary decade, the spectacle that featured the upbeat President Franklin Roosevelt thrilled the media.  Over one hundred print and broadcast journalists set up camp and required thirty-five miles of wiring to churn our radio, newspaper, magazine, and newsreel features.

Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine, 133-134.

When Lincoln Gave Reparations to Slaveholders

Slaveholders

Tera Hunter, Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton, calls our attention to a bill signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 that paid up to $300 for every enslaved person freed in the District of Columbia.  Here is a taste of her piece at The New York Times:

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to ease slaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed.

That’s right, slaveowners got reparations. Enslaved African-Americans got nothing for their generations of stolen bodies, snatched children and expropriated labor other than their mere release from legal bondage.

The compensation clause is not likely to be celebrated today. But as the debate about reparations for slavery intensifies, it is important to remember that slaveowners, far more than enslaved people, were always the primary beneficiaries of public largess.

The act is notable because it was the first time that the federal government authorized abolition of slavery, which hastened its demise in Virginia and Maryland as runaways from these states fled to Washington. It offered concrete proof to enslaved people and their allies that the federal government might facilitate the destruction of slavery everywhere. And it confirmed the worst fears of their foes about an interloping tyrannical president.

Read the rest here.

Benjamin Franklin on the “Church at Notre Dame”

gettyimages-89856554-612x612Franklin talks about his visit to the “church of Notre Dame” in this September 14, 1767 letter to Mary “Polly” Stevenson.

The Civilities we every where receive give us the strongest Impressions of the French Politeness. It seems to be a Point settled here universally that Strangers are to be treated with Respect, and one has just the same Deference shewn one here by being a Stranger as in England by being a Lady. The Custom House Officers at Port St. Denis, as we enter’d Paris, were about to seize 2 Doz. of excellent Bourdeaux Wine given us at Boulogne, and which we brought with us; but as soon as they found we were Strangers, it was immediately remitted on that Account. At the Church of Notre Dame, when we went to see a magnificent Illumination with Figures &c. for the deceas’d Dauphiness, we found an immense Croud who were kept out by Guards; but the Officer being told that we were Strangers from England, he immediately admitted us, accompanied and show’d us every thing. Why don’t we practise this Urbanity to Frenchmen? Why should they be allow’d to out-do us in any thing?