On these occasions might be seen the change since the unceremonious times of the old French traders; now the aristocratic character of the Briton
shone forth magnificently, or rather the feudal spirit of the Highlander.
These may have been the ancient Britons whom Caesar fought when he first came to our shore.
Later, when the Romans left our island and the Picts and Scots oppressed the Britons, many of them fled back over the sea to Brittany or Armorica, as it used to be called.
The Normans and the Bretons were very different peoples, as different as the Britons and the English.
But of what class the remiss Britons
were composed, and where the unlucky creatures hid themselves, and why they hid themselves, and how it constantly happened that they neglected their interests, when so many other Britons
were quite at a loss to account for their not looking after those interests, was not, either upon the shore of the yellow Tiber or the shore of the black Thames, made apparent to men.
Think of that, ye loyal Britons
! we whalemen supply your kings and queens with coronation stuff!
His foibles - faults if you like - will never be dwelt upon in any memorandum of mine," he declares, and goes on - "he whose splendid and matchless achievements will be remembered with admiration while there is gratitude in the hearts of Britons
, or while a ship floats upon the ocean; he whose example on the breaking out of the war gave so chivalrous an impulse to the younger men of the service that all rushed into rivalry of daring which disdained every warning of prudence, and led to acts of heroic enterprise which tended greatly to exalt the glory of our nation."
I had not then seen a coracle, such as the ancient Britons
made, but I have seen one since, and I can give you no fairer idea of Ben Gunn's boat than by saying it was like the first and the worst coracle ever made by man.
Thus the chief justice had a foretaste of the mortifications which the exiled New-Englanders afterwards suffered from the haughty Britons
. They were despised even by that country which they had served more faithfully than their own.
But Jones, as well as Partridge, was an entire stranger in London; and as he happened to arrive first in a quarter of the town, the inhabitants of which have very little intercourse with the householders of Hanover or Grosvenor-square (for he entered through Gray's-inn-lane), so he rambled about some time before he could even find his way to those happy mansions where fortune segregates from the vulgar those magnanimous heroes, the descendants of antient Britons
, Saxons, or Danes, whose ancestors, being born in better days, by sundry kinds of merit, have entailed riches and honour on their posterity.
It is not to be believed that any but the dullest Britons
can be good subjects under that hard condition.
It was a rude, mud-built town in the time of the Britons
, who squatted there, until the Roman legions evicted them; and replaced their clay-baked walls by mighty fortifications, the trace of which Time has not yet succeeded in sweeping away, so well those old-world masons knew how to build.