Franklin the natural man

Here is a French view of Ben Franklin. Apparently, when he was about
to meet the French King, he planned to wear court clothing. But his
wig would not fit, so he went bare-headed. The French took this as a
statement of his rejection of courtly artificiality.

He played it up and wore a beaver cap. The wild American has always been a sterotype on the European continent. The idea of the Noble Savage was all the rage. Like Robert Burns
the Plowboy Poet in Scotland and Walt Whitman in America later on, he was the
simple, natural, un-affected American.  In Europe, Ben Franklin was respected as a sage.