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Take a community of Dutchmen of the type of those who defended themselves for fifty yearsagainst all the power of Spain at a time when Spain was the greatest power in the world. Intermixwith them a strain of those inflexible French Huguenots who gave up home and fortune and lefttheir country for ever at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The product mustobviously be one of the most rugged, virile, unconquerable races ever seen upon earth. Take thisformidable people and train them for seven generations in constant warfare against savage men andferocious beasts, in circumstances under which no weakling could survive, place them so that theyacquire exceptional skill with weapons and in horsemanship, give them a country which is eminentlysuited to the tactics of the huntsman, the marksman, and the rider. Then, finally, put a finer temperupon their military 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 you have themodern Boer-the most formidable antagonist who ever crossed the path of Imperial Britain. Ourmilitary history has largely consisted in our conflicts with France, but Napoleon and all his veteranshave never treated us so roughly as these hard-bitten farmers with their ancient theology and theirinconveniently modern rifles.