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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flatter than those of the Mediterranean ves-
sels, to adapt them to a tide harbour and
a slioal coast, and they were elevated both
at the prow and the poop, which were
deemed better adapted to resist a stormy
sea. They were constructed wholly ofoak;
the anchors were secured by iron chains
instead of the cables which had formerly
been used; and the sails were made of skins
and thin leather. The elevated poops gave
them an advantage in furnishing a higher
standing-place, from which missiles might
be discharged at the Roman soldiers; but
the Roman soldiers fitted sharp bill-hooks
to the end of long poles, and catching hold
of the ropes which fastened the sails of the
British vessels to the mast, cut them asunder,
and thus rendered the sails useless.
The fall of Rome and its empire drew
along with it not only the overthrow of
learning and the polite arts, but that of
navigation; the barbarians into whose hands
it fell contenting themselves with the spoils
of the industry of their predecessors. But
no sooner were the braver amongst these
natives well settled in their new provinces
— some in Gaul, as the Franks; others, in
Spain, as the Goths; and others in Italy,
as the Lombards — than they began to
learn the advantages of navigation and com-
merce, and the methods of conducting them,
from the people they had subdued, and
that with so much success, that in a little
time they became able to instruct others,
and set on foot new institutions.
It is doubtful which of the European
people, after the settlement of their new
masters, first betook themselves to navi-
gation and commerce. The Itahans, how-
ever, are generally regarded as the restorers
of navigation, as well as the polite arts,
which had been banished together from the
time the empire had been torn asunder.
To the people of Venice and Genoa there
is strong reason for ascribing the glory of
this restoration; and to their advantageous
position for navigation they are chiefly in-
debted for their glory. In the bottom of
the Adriatic were a great number of marshy
islands, only separated by narrow channels,
and these well screened and almost inac-
cessible, the residence of some fishermen,
who here supported themselves by a httle
trade in fish and salt which they found in
some of these islands. Thither the Veneti,
a people inhabiting that part of the penin-
sula which stretches along the coasts of the
gulf, retired, when Alaric, King of the Goths,
and afterwards Attila, King of the Huns,
ravaged Italy.
These new Islanders, not supposing that
this was to be their fixed residence, did
not determine to compose any body-politic;
but each of the seventy-two islands of this
little archipelago continued a long time
under its separate master, and each formed
a distinct commonwealth. On the commerce
becoming considerable enough to excite the
jealousy of their neighbours, they began to
think of uniting in one body; and it was
this union, first begun in the sixth century,
but not completed till the eighth, that laid
the foundation of the future grandeur of
the state of Venice. Their fleets of mer-
chantmen were now sent to all the ports
of the Mediterranean ; and at last to those
of Egypt, particularly Cairo, a new city,
built by the Saracen princes, on the eastern
bank of the Nile, where they traded for
the spices and other products of the
An extraordinary influence was conveyed
to Europe from the eastern world during
the eleventh and twelfth centuries. So splen-
did were the objects now presented before
the mind, that those with which it had been
previously familiar appeared to have lost
their highest charms. The Asiatic empire
had early carried all the finer arts to a
perfection elsewhere unknown; there was
the great emporium of the richest and the
most brilliant stuffs; the most exquisite
aromatics, diamonds, pearls, and costly gems;
all the objects which minister to the pomp
and luxury of the great.
The Venetians flourished and increased
their commerce, their navigation, and their
conquests, till the league of Cambray in
1508, when a number of jealous princes
conspired to bring about their ruin—which
was the more easily effected by the dimi-
nution of their East Indian commerce, of
which the Portuguese had got one part,
and the French another.
An extraordinary impulse was given to
navigation by the invention of the mariners"
compass. —
The origin of this invaluable instrument
is entirely unknown. It is ascribed by
some writers to Flavio Gioja, who lived in
the thirteenth century; Guyot de Province,
a troubadour or provençal poet, who lived
a century earlier, speaks of the loadstone,
which he calls the mariner'e stone, as use-
ful to navigation. Others ascribe its in-
vention to France; but there seems to be
no other reason for the supposition than
the fact, that from time immemorial the
north point of the compass-card has been
distinguished and ornamented with a fleur
de lis, or lily. The invention has also been
attributed to England, the name, compass,