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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It was by slow degrees that man ob-
tained the power to navigate the waters.
The trunk of a tree, hollowed out for a
more easy position of the body, forms the
canoe which is usually found among the
most \mcivihzed of our race. Improve-
ments on this rough boat were probably
suggested by observing the fmny tribes.
It accords thus far with the body of a fish:
the fore part of the trunk, when sharpened
off to an edge, is assimilated to the head
of the fish, while its tail, which directs its
motion, might suggest the rudder for the
purpose of steering the canoe; and as the
fins of a fish make a passage through the
waters, so, when paddles were employed,
the boat was essentially complete. Other
vessels were afterwards built in ancient
times of alder and poplar as light woods,
but the preference was given to fir and
oak. The Greeks used chesnut and cedar;
elm was chiefly employed for the parts of
a vessel under water, and cypress was va-
lued for its not leaking.
Homer describes the process adopted in
the infancy of navigation. Ulysses first cuts
down with his axe twenty trees, and pre-
pares the wood for his purpose by cutting
it smooth and |giving it the proper shape.
He then bores the holes for nails and
hooks, fits the planks together, and fastens
them with nails. He rounds the bottom of
the ship like that of a broad transport
vessel, and raises a bulwark, fitting it upon
the numerous ribs of the ship. He after-
wards covers the whole of the outside with
planks, which are laid across the ribs, from
the keel upwards to the bulwark. Next
the mast is made, and the sail-yard attached
to it;, and, lastly, the rudder. When the
ship is thus far completed, he raises the
bulwark still higher by wickerwork, which
goes all round the vessel, as a protection
against the waves. For ballast, he throws
into the ship wood, stones, and sand. Ca-
lypso then brings him materials, of which
he makes a sail.
At first, perhaps, a sail was made by
the mariner suspending some of his gar-
ments on a pole. Thus it was fabled of
Hercules that he sailed with the back of
a lion, because his garment, which was a
lion's skin, answered this purpose; and in
some countries they used leather, or skins
of animals, for sails. No more than one
sail and one mast were employed in the
earliest ages. As white was considered a
fortunate colour, this was commonly given
to the sails, but at other times they were
of various hues. It is said that in ancient
Egypt the sail was suspended on two upright
poles, so that it could only be used before
the wind, as is the practice of the inlanders
of the Southern Pacific, whose sails are
made of mats. There is, indeed, a strong
resemblance between the nautical move-
ments of uncivilized people now and the
arts of remote antiquity.
After the times of the Trojan war, na-
vigation, and, with it, the art of ship-build-
ing, became greatly improved, on account
of the establishment of the numerous co-
lonies on foreign coasts, and the increased
commercial intercourse with these colonies
and other foreign countries. The practice
of piracy, which was during this period
carried on to a great extent, not only be-
tween Greeks and foreigners, but also among
the Greeks themselves, must likewise have
contributed to the improvement of ships
and navigation. As a science it was still,
at best, but at a low ebb. Navigation ge-
nerally ceased altogether in winter. In in-
stances where it would have been neces-
sary to coast around a considerable extent
of country, which was connected with the
main land by a narrow neck, the ships were
sometimes drawn across the neck, from one
sea to the other, by machines.- This was
done most frequently across the Isthmus of
Seldom, indeed, did the Greeks venture
out into the open sea; and it was generally
considered necessary to remain in sight of
the coast, or of some island, which also
served as guides in day-time; in the night
the position, rising, and setting of the dif-
ferent stars answered the same purpose.
When, however, the sky was overcast
with clouds, the ancient mariners were
thrown into extreme consternation, and durst
not venture to any great distance from the
coast, lest they should be carried forwards
in an opposite course to that which they
intended, or be driven against unknown
shores and hidden rocks. In some instances
there remained nothing but despair. 'When,'
says the evangelist Luke, in relating Paul's
voyage from Cesarea to Rome, 'neither sun
nor stars in many days appeared, and no
small tempest lay on us, all hope that we
should be saved was then taken away.' De-
prived of the sun by day, and the stars
by night, the ancient navigators were tossed
about the Mediterranean, not knowing in
what direction they were borne by the winds
and the waves.
There was, indeed, much cause for gloomy
forebodings. As only a portion of the globe