Despite being stereotyped as crude, disputatiousness and cheaters by the local business class and petty government officers, the Chinese working class men in Bukit Mertajam had nonetheless crafted their own ideal of a Chinese male figure as discussed in chapter 6.
1)--or "disputatiousness," as she puts it--that shaped society on the islands during the Stuart monarchies as an accidental byproduct of the period before British imperial ambitions were fully realized, she views these traits as foundational elements of early modern colonialism.
(14.) "I feel like playing the sophist for a while before you not the kind that nowadays inculcates narrow trifles in children and teaches a more than feminine disputatiousness, but rather I will imitate those ancients who, the better to avoid the infamous name of wise men, preferred to be called sophists."
She claimed: "There is no truer means than wise toleration, permitted by our Orthodox faith and polity, through which one can lead all these lost sheep into the true flock." (108) Hence Catherine treated religious toleration as a politically expedient measure necessary to pacify the empire's religiously diverse peoples until such time as the Orthodox faithful had succeeded in converting the "lost sheep" to the "true flock." Implicit in her views was the willingness to abolish measures of toleration if they did not mitigate her subjects' "cruelty of heart," "inveterate obstinacy," or disputatiousness.