English Humour

English Humour

English Humour

English Humour

Excerpt

I have been asked to write an introduction to a series of volumes to be published under the general title of "The English Heritage." I think the editors and the publishers are to be warmly congratulated on their enterprise, and I find a peculiar pleasure in contributing a few words of welcome in a preface in which I may use the word English without fear of interruption, and speak of England without hearing the acidulated suggestion that I should say Britain.

These books are the more needed because much of what they treat is changing under our eyes, and it may be of interest to our children to look to the rock whence they are hewed; and to others it may be a revealing of the Englishman and of his heritage, for he is not apt to speak before strangers either of his land or of himself, and when he does the less Englishman he.

The choice of subject appears to me to be singularly happy. Think, for a moment, of the centuries packed into a little volume on "The County Spirit." That spirit, tranquil, unperceived, and apparently forgotten in our cities, leaped in a moment into a flame which swept across the battlefields of the world. Quickened, revivified, it is in our bones, as it has been since our counties were carved out of the dissipating fragments of the Heptarchy.

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