Christie Davies’ enraged tirade against the Scots (“The English Rejoice at Scotland’s Coming Independence,” Correspondence, December 2000) was unusually bitter, even for the often bitter pages of Chronicles. There really is no point in dwelling on Davies’ hysterical eruptions (which I am clipping out and saving as examples of undiluted, distilled nationalist venom), except to make the following observations: The Scots, having outlasted the Sassenach, will be just as happy to see him go as Professor Davies would have us believe he will be to go; the English will never be able to erase the influence of Scotland on English history, so they might as well get used to it; and finally, Professor Davies should never use the term “we English,” unless he is sailing under false colors, because he bears a surname belonging not to the English, but to the Welsh, a pathetic remnant of a thoroughly defeated and nearly extinct race.

Thank God our forefathers left Christie Davies and his ilk behind when they came to America!

        —Russell McFadden
West Columbia, TX

Professor Davies Replies:

I now understand how H.L. Mencken felt when Americans reacted to his account of the introduction of the bathtub in the way they did. I tried to plant clues everywhere as to the true meaning of this text—written by one descended from Scots on both sides—particularly when I wrote: “A belief in predestination has led to an amoral antinomianism” (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism? Rabbie Burns’ “Holy Willie’s Prayer” as applied to Clinton?) and “Adjust their dress before their next visit to London” (in which public places was this phrase, used by Churchill, displayed?). Clearly, the rest of the article has to be read in the same way.

The phrase “we English” is only ever used by those who are not. However, I am entertained by Mr. McFadden’s comments about the Welsh, and I will pass them on anonymously to the leader (Arweinydd) of the Urdd Ffascist Cymru.

Scottish-Americans needing further reassurance should read my forthcoming book, The Mirth of Nations (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press), in which I devote an entire chapter to the evidences of and reasons for, the superior sense of humor and intelligence of the Scots. For instance, I note that “an appreciation of the achievements of Scots such as Robert Adam, Henry Bell, Joseph Black, James Boswell, David Hume, Colin Maclaurin, Adam Smith, Tobias Smollett and James Watt has made Scottish intellectual and practical pre-eminence respected in England.”

Here’s tae us!