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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since the union of these countries with Eng-
land. Both are still, however, the seats of
their respective national law-courts; the
latter, moreover, exhibiting a reflex of the
royal presence, in the person of a viceroy
or lord-lieutenant, who, assisted by a privy-
council and chief-secretary, maintains a cer-
tain amount of state dignity.
The superficial features of England, though
not devoid of variety and picturesque beauty,
are, upon the whole, less varied than those
of Scotland and Ireland. Generally speak-
ing, its western side — as in Cumberland,
Westmoreland, Wales, and Cornwall — is
hilly, while the eastern side, sloping from
these heights down to the German Ocean
(as evidenced by the direction of its prin-
cipal rivers), is of an undulating, flat, and,
sometimes monotonous character. On the
whole, the surface presents much amenity,
being diversified by trees and hedgerows,
well-cultured fields and rich pastures, sunny
slopes and fertile river-valleys. The country
abounds likewise with noblemen and gentle-
men's seats of handsome architecture; old
castles, cathedrals, and churches; and its
cottage-homes and hamlets are considered
more neat and attractive than those of any
other nation. No country of the same ex-
tent possesses such a number of busy, po-
pulous towns; and these, especially in the
manufacturing districts, are increasing with
astonishing rapidity.
Scotland, or the northern part of Britain,
is more rugged and hilly than England,
much indented by arms of the sea, studded
with lakes, and intersected by numerous
glens or mountain-valleys. Its naturally
inferior soil has been prodigiously improved
by art in modern times, and the surface
greatly beautified by plantations, and the
operations of the agriculturist. It is allow-
ed that the Lowland Districts, latterly, have
advanced in social and physical improvement
at a more rapid pace than any other part
of the civilised world, some of the states
of the North American Union alone ex-
Ireland, which, from the introduction of
steam-navigation, is now within a few hours'
sail of the west coast of Great Britain, is
a moderately hilly and beautiful green is-
land. Though disfigured in many places
by extensive bogs and morasses, the soil,
generally speaking, is extremely fertile, and
only wants drainage and culture to render it
superior even to that of England. The coun-
try possesses many excellent harbours, and
is finely situated for trade either with the
continent of Europe or America. All that
is wanting to give to Ireland the same de-
gree of prosperity enjoyed by the other
parts of the empire, appears to be energv,
industry, enterprise, and a spirit of self-re-
liance on the part of the people.
The people of England, Scotland, and
Ireland, respectively, possess certain nation-
al peculiarities of character; but these,
from the general intercourse which now
prevails, are gradually disappearing, and a
uniform British character is becoming daily
more apparent. In this general and happy
assimilation the English qualities of mind
and habits predominate.
The chief features in the English character
is an ardent love of liberty, which renders
the people extremely tenacious of their ci-
vil rights, stern advocates of justice, and
patriotic in the highest degree. In their
manners, they are grave rather than gay,
blunt rather than ceremonious. In their
habits, they are enterprising, industrious,
and provident; in their feelings, humane.
In all mercantile transactions the greatest
integrity exists, and promises are faithfully
performed. In the middle and upper classes,
the highest civilisation prevails, and all the
social virtues and comforts of domestic life
are sedulously cultivated. There are some
favourite field-sports and boisterous amuse-
ments; but the enjoyments of the English
are chiefly within doors, in their own well-
regulated homes. A love of home is a marked
peculiarity in the affections of the British.
The eminent importance attained by the
British in the scale of nations, appears to
depend mainly upon two features of the
common character — the high moral and
intellectual inclination of the people at large,
and their extraordinary skill in producing
articles of necessity and luxury, as well as
their dexterity in the commerce by which
these are diffused over the world.
About one-third of the population is agri-
cultural, and it is believed that the annual
value of the produce of fields, gardens, pas-
ture, and woodlands, is nearly 220 millions
sterling. The farmers or leasers of the
ground are in general much superior in
wealth and style of living to the farmers
of any other country in the world; being
generally, to a certain extent, capitahsts,
who employ labourers to perform the ac-
tual business of rural economy.
In manufactures and commerce, Britain
has long enjoyed a superiority over all
other countries. For this the people are
indebted not only to their naturally indus-
trious dispositions, and to the enlightened
men who have in the course of time invent-
ed machinery for increasing and cheapenin:^'
the products of labour, but to the extraoi-