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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construction of the Great Britain, 1500 tons
of iron were expended. This amount is
entirely exclusive of machinery.
Another very important feature in the
working of the Great Britain, is her mode
of propulsion, which is entirely different
to that of the Great Western, which I have
stated to be by paddle-wheels on each side
of the ship.
The Great Britain has no Paddle-wheels,
but is propelled by a revolving fan, called
the Archimedean screw; fixed in the dead-
wood under the counter, by the stern-post,
quite out of the way of injury, and can
readily be disconnected from the engine
when sails alone are to be used.
When, related Mr. Fulton, I was build-
ing my first steam-boat at New York, the
project was viewed by the pubHc either
with indifference, or with contempt, as a
visionary scheme. My friends, indeed, were
civil, but they were shy. They listened
with patience to my explanations, but with
a settled cast of increduhty on their coun-
tenances. I felt the full force of the la-
mentation of the poet,
Truths would you teach to save a sinking
All fear, none aid you, and few under-
As I had occasion to pass daily to and from
the building-yard, while my boat was in
progress, I have often loitered unknown
near the idle groups of strangers, gather-
ing in litte circles, and heard various en-
quiries as to the object of this new vehicle.
The language was imiformly that of scorn,
or sneer, or ridicule. The loud laugh often
rose at my expense; the dry jest; the wise
calculation of losses and expenditures; the
dull but endless repetition of the 'Fulton
Folly.* Never did a single encouraging re-
mark, a bright hope, or a warm wish, cross
my path. Silence itself was but politeness,
veiling its doubts, or hiding its reproaches.
At length the day arrived when the expe-
riment was to be put into operation. To
me it was a most trying and interesting
occasion. I invited many friends to go on
board to witness the first successful trip.
Many of them did me the favour to attend,
as a matter of personal respect; but it was
manifest that they did it with reluctance,
fearing to be the partners of my mortifica-
tion, and not of my triumph. I was well
aware, that in my case there were many
reasons to doubt of my own success. The
machinery was new and ill made; many
parts of it were constructed by mechanics
unaccustomed to such work; and unexpect-
ed difficulties might reasonably be presum-
ed to present themselves from other causes.
The moment arrived in which the word was
to be given for the vessel to move. My
friends were in groups on the deck. There
was anxiety mixed with fear among them.
They were silent, and sad, and weary. I
read in their looks nothing but disaster,
and almost repented of my efforts. — The
signal was given, and the boat moved on
a short distance, and then stopped, and be-
came immovable. To the silence of the
preceding moment now succeeded murmurs
of discontent, and agitations, and whispers,
and shrugs. I could hear distinctly repeat-
ed, 'I told you it would be so, — it is a
foolish scheme, — I wish we were well out
of it,' I elevated myself upon a platform,
and addressed the assembly. I stated that
I knew not what was the matter; but if
they would be quiet, and indulge me for a
half hour, I would either go on, or aban-
don the voyage for that time. This short
respite was conceded without objection. I
went below, examined the machinery, and
discovered that the cause was a slight mal-
adjustment of some of the work. In a short
period it was obviated. The boat was put
again in motion. She continued to move
on. All were still incredulous. None seem-
ed willing to trust the evidence of their
own senses. We left the fair city of New
York; we passed through the romantic and
ever-varying scenery ofthe islands; we des-
cried the clustering houses of Albany; we
reached its shores; and then, even then,
when all seemed achieved, I was the vic-
tim of disappointment. Imagination super-
seded the influence of fact. It was then
doubted if it could be done again; or if
done, it was doubted if it could be made
of any great value. Such was the history
of the first experiment, as it fell, not in
the very language which I have used, but
in its substance, from the lips of the in-
He stood upon the sandy beach,
And watch'd the dancing foam;
He gaz'd upon the leaping waves.
Which soon would be his home.