This is a history book. In the face of the insolent Ultimatum which had been addressed to Great Britain by the South African Republic, the nation closed its ranks and relegated party controversy to a more appropriate season. The British people were temporarily in accord. A wave of indignation surged over the country, and united men of different shades of politics and of varying religious creeds, making them forget their private feuds, and remember only the paramount fact that they were sons of the Empire. There were some, it is true, who remained afar off—a few exceptions to prove the rule of unanimity, beings with souls so dead that never to themselves had said, "This is my own, my native land", and who yet looked upon the Boer as an object of commiseration. But these were, first, men linked either by birth or family ties with the Afrikander cause; second, fractious Irishmen and political obstructionists who posed for notoriety at any price; and, third, eccentrics and originals, whose sense of opposition forbade them from floating at any time with the tide of public opinion.