The Shirt is Nearest the Skin

The Orthosphere

“We were entertained with an elegant dispute between a young Quaker and the boatswain of a privateer, concerning the lawfulness of using arms against an enemy.  The Quaker thee’d and thou’d it thro’ the nose to perfection, and the privateer’s boatswain swore just like the boatswain of a privateer, but they were so far from settling the point that the Quaker had almost acted contrary to his principles, clenching his fist at his antagonist to strike him for bidding God damn him.”

Alexander Hamilton, Itinerarium (June 5, 1744)

In another entry in his Itinerarium, Hamilton recalled the old proverb “the shirt is nearest the skin,” and explained that this means “touch a man in his private interests, and you immediately procure his ill will.”  A man may put up with a good deal of roughness in his outer garments, but will hate anyone who tries to set anything but smooth…

View original post 629 more words

Author: Alfred E. Neuman

EDITOR ONLY, 74 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.

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