Page:Historical Lectures and Addresses.djvu/252

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father who died on the voyage. Finding her unprotected, and the possessor of some £25,000, he chivalrously married her, and recounts the fact "to show the goodness of God to all them that trust Him".

In this story, we have all the characteristics of the modern Englishman—an adventurous spirit, practical sagacity, a resolve to succeed, a willingness to seek his fortune in any way, courage to face dangers, cheerfulness under disaster, perseverance in the sphere which he has chosen. Moreover we find him, even in those early days, personally acceptable in the land where he goes, valued for his capacity and probity, treated with kindness and consideration, exciting no animosity, and intermarrying with the folk amongst whom he lives. Yet, all the while, he remains every inch an Englishman, does not change his ideas or modify his opinions, cannot hold his tongue when he is challenged, but is ready to put everybody right. Finally, because of these very qualities, he inspires such confidence in his general uprightness that a defenceless girl feels secure under his protection and commits herself and her possessions to his care.

The strength of Englishmen in the present day is admitted to lie in their practical capacity. This is only an application to the sphere of individual life of that desire to manage their own affairs in their own way, which I have traced as the leading feature of English history. Let me give you an example of the way in which this capacity shows itself, to the bewilderment of foreigners who do not consider the centuries of experience which lie behind it. A cos-