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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dinary abundance of mineral substances re-
quisite for manufactures, and to the insular
nature of the country, which admits of ready
maritime communication with other regions.
In consequence of these advantages com-
bined, Britain has for a long time furnish-
ed articles of clothing and household con-
venience to many parts of the world, re-
ceiving in exchange either money or raw
produce which its own soil and climate do
not permit of being grown.
The commerce of Britain is conducted by
vessels belonging to private parties within
the realm, or in other countries. In 1849,
the mercantile navy of the home country
and its colonies consisted of above thirty-
four thousand vessels, of more than four
millions of aggregate tonnage. We ob-
tain, however, a more distinct idea of the
extent of the national commerce, from a
calculation of the number of vessels, Brit-
ish and foreign, which in 1847 entered and
departed from British harbours. These
were: of British, twenty-four thousand; of
foreign, nearly fifteen thousand; compre-
hending an aggregate of above seven mil-
lions of tonnage. The chief mercantile port
of Britain is London; after which, Liver-
pool, Dublin, Bristol, Leith, Hull, Glasgow,
Newcastle, Greenock, Belfast, Cork, and
Limerick, rank in succession. Duties ex-
ceeding eleven millions are annually paid
to government for goods imported mto
London; and harbour-dues, to the amount
of Sterl. 224,000, were collected in 1849
for vessels in the docks at Liverpool, which
have a water-room of one hundred and
eleven acres, and a quay-space of eight
Besides tea, wine, and sugar, the imports
of Britain consist chiefly of raw materials
for manufactures, while the exports are
almost exclusively manufactured goods. The
greatest quantity of imports is from Ame-
rica; the greatest quantity of exports to
the same part of the world. Tea, to the
weight of forty-four million lbs., is obtain-
ed from China. Wine, to the amoimt of
nearly eightmillions of gallons {in 1849), chief-
ly from Portugal and Spain. Sugar, lo the
value of seven millions sterling, is exclusive-
ly imported from the West Indies. Cot-
ton, in its raw state, is obtained chiefly
from the United States, and in smaller
quantities from Brazil, the East Indies,
and Egypt. Of wool, the coarser kind is
obtained at home, while the finer kinds are
imported from Germany and the colonies
of Australia. Tallow, hemp, and timber,
to the value of above four millions, are im-
ported from Russia.
The government of this large, industrious,
and wealthy empire, is conducted accord-
ing to the following forms and principles.
The executive — that is, the power by
which the laws are enforced — is in-
trusted by the nation to a hereditary mon-
arch, who rules under considerable limi-
tations, and forms only one branch of
the legislature. The legislature — that is,
the power by which the laws are created —
consists of three distinct but combined pow-
ers: (1.) A house of Commons, composed
of six hundred and fifty-six gentlemen,
elected by certain portions of the people to
serve for a period not exceeding seven
years; (2.) A House of Peers, composed of
the hereditary nobles of England, the Eng-
hsh archbishops and bishops, a certain
number of lords representing the Scottish
and Irish peerage, and a certain number of
spiritual lords representing the Irish hier-
archy; and, finally, (3.) The Iving or Queen.
The Houses of Commons and Peers, other-
wise styled the Lower and Upper Houses,
form a compound deliberative body called
Parliament, which is liable to be called to-
gether, and prorogued or dissolved at the
sovereign's pleasure.
These law-giving and law-executing pow-
ers combine, in one system called the Brit-
ish Constitution, a variety of political prin-
ciples, which elsewhere are oftener found
acting singly. The House of Commons, as
a representation of the people, may be said
to be founded on the principle of demo-
cracy, or people-sovereignty; the House of
Peers, which is independent of direct po-
pular control, presents the principle of aris-
tocracy, or noble-sovereignty; while the
king contributes the monarchical principle,
or sovereignty of one. It must be allowed,
in explanation of a system so extraordinary,
that the particular portions of the consti-
tution have not always borne the same re-
lative power, and that principles naturally
so inconsistent could never perhaps have
been combined at all, except by a process
extending over many ages.
In early times, the king possessed the
chief influence, while the Parliament, in gen-
eral, was rather an obsequious council of
the sovereign than an independent body.
At the Revolution of 1688, the strength of
the monarchy was diminished by a breach
of the heridatary line, and the Parliament
became the predominant power. As the
nobility and superior gentry had then the
chief influence in both Houses of Parha-
ment, it might be said that the aristocratic
principle had become ascendant. It con-
tinued to be so till the passing of the Re-