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Angielsko-holenderska szorstka „przyjaźń”

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Most foreign observers pointed to industriousness, thrift, and cleanliness as the outstanding Dutch national characteristics. Some of their reports seem to indicate that three centuries ago the Dutch nation was not radically different from what it is today. It was, for example, noted that Dutchmen were singularly lacking in any respect for authority: servants did not tremble for their masters, women had often the better of their husbands, and children dared to speak up to their teachers, who ran the risk of being sued if they resorted to corporeal punishment. ‘The Dutch,’ said an Englishman in 1658, ‘behave as if all men were created equal.’ There was also lavish praise for the high level of elementary education and the excellency of the new Dutch universities, especially that of Leiden, the fame of which attracted students from all parts of Europe. Many persons in leading positions all over Europe…

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