Most men would feel insulted if it were proposed to employ them in throwing stones over a wall, and then in throwing them back, merely that they might earn their wages. But many are no more worthily employed now.
When it was reported to General Washington that the army was frequently indulging in swearing, he immediately sent out the following order: The general is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing - a vice little known heretofore in the American army - is growing into fashion. Let the men and officers reflect "that we can not hope for the blessing of heaven on our army if we insult it by our impiety and folly."
If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,-glittering like the morning star full of life and splendour and joy. . . . Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men,-in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)
Source: Reflections on the Revolution in France. Vol. iii. P. 331.
What the church should be telling the worker is that the first demand religion makes on him is that he should be a good workman. If he is a carpenter he should be a competent carpenter. Church by all means on Sundays - but what is the use of church if at the very center of life a man defrauds his neighbor and insults God by poor craftsmanship.
REPARTEE, n. Prudent insult in retort. Practiced by gentlemen with a constitutional aversion to violence, but a strong disposition to offend. In a war of words, the tactics of the North American Indian.