A stereotype is an image that has become rigid. The English stereotype of themselves is based on national self–admiration. All national stereotypes are; but the English, it has been thought, carry this practice to extremes. The characteristic is of long standing. The stereotype the Scots have of themselves is more limited. The Scottish stereotype, besides being more limited, is perhaps also more kindly. The boldest freebooters who ever sailed the sea succeeded in persuading themselves that the British Empire was a fulfilment of the promise ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’. Some Englishmen even cherish a firm conviction that the English have always left the Scots to settle their own affairs in their own way. The fact is that national stereotypes are based more on a traditional way of life than on racial differences. Scotsmen have – or at least had – a stereotype of themselves as flattering as national stereotypes usually are.