Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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   First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
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cessary, yet occasions may frequently arise
in which it would be of great advantage
for him to be able to judge and give di-
rections in these matters. But suppose the
ship built — what comes next?
Charles. I think she must be rigged.
Father. Well — who are employed for
this purpose?
Charles. Mast-makers, rope-makers,
sail-makers, and I know not how many
other people.
Father. These are all mechanical tra-
des; and though in carrying them on much
ingenuity has been applied in the invention
of machines and tools, yet we will not stop
to consider them. Suppose her, then, rig-
ged — what next?
Charles. She must take in her guns
and powder.
Father. Stop there, and reflect how
many arts you have now set to work. Gun-
powder is one of the greatest inventions of
modern times, and what has given such a
superiority to civilized nations over the bar-
barous. An English frigate surrounded by
the canoes of all the savages in the world,
would easily beat them olf by means of her
guns; and if Ca>sar were to come again to
England with his fleet, a battery of cannon
would sink all his ships, and set his legions
a swimming in the sea. But the making of
gunpowder, and the casting of cannon, are
arts that require an exact knowledge ofthe
science of chemistry.
Charles. What is that?
Father. It comprehends the knowledge
of all the pi'operties of metals and minerals ,
salts, sulphur, oils, and gums, and of the
action of fire and water and air upon all
substances, and the effects of mixing differ-
ent things together. Gunpowder is a mix-
ture of three things only, saltpetre or nitre,
sulphur or brimstone, and charcoal. But
who could have thought such a wonderful
effect would have been produced by it?
Charles. Was it not first discovered by
Father. Yes — but it was by one who
was making chemical experiments, and many
more experiments have been employed to
bring it to perfection.
Charles. But need a captain know how
to make gunpowder and cannon?
Father. It is not necessary, though it
may often be useful to him. However, it
is quite necessary that he should know how
to employ them. Now the sciences of gun-
nery and fortification depend entirely upon
mathematical principles; for by these are
calculated the direction of a ball through
the air, the distance it would reach to, and
the force with which it will strike any
thing. All engineers, therefore, must be
good mathematicians.
Charles. But I think I have heard of
gunners being little better than the com-
mon men.
Father. True — there is a way of do-
ing that business, as well as many others,
by mere practice, and an uneducated man
may acquire skill in pointing a cannon, as
well as in shooting with a common gun.
But this is only in ordinary cases, and an
abler head is required to direct. Well —
now suppose your ship completely fitted
out for sea, and the wind blowing fair; how
will you navigate her?
Charles. I would spread the sails, and
steer by the rudder.
Father. Very well — but how would
you find your way to the port you were
bound for?
Charles. That I cannot tell.
Father. Nor perhaps can 1 make you
exactly comprehend it; but I can show you
enough to convince you that it is an affair
that requires much knowledge and early
study. In former times, when a vessel left
the sight of land, it was steered by observ-
ation of the sun by day, and the moon
and stars by night. The sun, you know,
rises in the east, and sets in the west; and
at noon, in these parts of the world, it is
exactly south of us. These points, there-
fore, may be pointed out when the sun
shines. The moon and stars vary; however,
their place in the sky may be known by
exact observation. Then, there is one star
that always points to the north pole, and
is therefore called the pole star. This was
of great use in navigation, and the word
pole star is often used by the poets to
signify a sure guide. Do you recollect the
description in Homer's Odyssey, when Ulys-
ses sails away by himself from the island
of Calypso, — how he steers by the stars?
Charles. I think I remember the lines
in Pope's translation.
Father. Repeat them, then.
Charles. Placed at the helm he sat,
and mark'd the skies,
Nor clos'd in sleep his ever watchful eyes.
There view'd the Pleiads, and the northern
And great Orion's more refulgent beam,
To which around the axle of the sky,
The Bear revolving, points his golden eye:
Who shines exalted on th'ethereal plain,
Nor bathes his blazing forehead in the
Father. Very well — they are fme
lines indeed! You see, then, how long ago