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Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fiftyyears against all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in theworld. Intermix with them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up homeand fortune and left their country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict ofNantes. The product must obviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable racesever seen upon earth. Take this formidable people and train them for seven generations inconstant warfare against savage men and ferocious beasts, in circumstances under whichno weakling could survive, place them so that they acquire exceptional skill with weaponsand in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminently suited to the tactics of thehuntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temper upon theirmilitary qualities by a dour fatalistic Old Testament religion and an ardent and consumingpatriotism. Combine all these qualities and all these impulses in one individual, and youhave the modern Boer-the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path ofImperial Britain. Our military history has largely consisted in our conflicts with France, butNapoleon and all his veterans have never treated us so roughly as these hard-bittenfarmers with their ancient theology and their inconveniently modern rifles.Look at the map of South Africa, and there, in the very centre of the British possessions, like the stone in a peach, lies the great stretch of the two republics, a mighty domain for sosmall a people. How came they there? Who are these Teutonic folk who have burrowed sodeeply into Africa? It is a twice-told tale, and yet it must be told once again if this story is tohave even the most superficial of introductions. No one can know or appreciate the Boerwho does not know his past, for he is what his past has made him.