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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serve the cause of humanity, and, if I suc-
ceeded, I should be amply rewarded in the
gratifying reflection of Imving done so. All
I desire is a competence, and this, I hope,
my profession will yield me; more wealth
might be troublesome, and distract my at-
tention from pursuits in which, even now,
1 delight. Riches,' he added, 'could not
give me either fame or happiness: they
might, undoubtedly, enable me to put four
horses to my carriage, but what would it
avail me to have it said that Humphry
Davy drives his carriage and four?'
The noble disinterestedness of these sen-
timents produced a deep impression upon
all present, for they were uttered, not in
the same passionate tone as that in which
the boy had previously spoken, but calmly
and almost gravely, as if they were the re-
sult of long reflection, and showed that the
youth had already learnt to prize fame more
than wealth, — that his mind was bent on
winning an honourable reputation rather
than amassing a worldly fortune.
Old Mr. Borlase, the venerable father of
Humphry's master, looked with wonder and
admiration at the youth, and drawing him
closely to him, exclaimed, There's a brave
lad! You remind me, Humphry, of my
poor brother the clergyman, who is dead
and gone now, rest his soul! — I mean
him, you know, that wrote the 'History of
Cornwall;' a wonderful book it is, too! —
he'd just the same notions when he was
a youngster, and used to say, that money
was only of value for the happiness it could
bring, and that there was more real plea-
sure to be found in seeking and discover-
ing the truth than the richest fortune could
purchase. I am sure, for my part, lad, I
hope you may succeed in youi^ noble ob-
ject ; and I have seen quite enough chan-
ges in my time to think nothing impossible
now. Why, I have heard my grandfather
say that, when he was a boy, coal itself
was seldom used as fuel, and now see what
wonders are being worked by it. Haven't
we just had one of those wonderful steam-
engines, which have been of late years in-
vented by Mr. Watt, put up at the Wherry
Mine close by ?'
The boy nodded quickly, as if he was
well acquainted with the locahty.
'And there,' continued the old gentle-
man, 'that great monster of brass and iron
goes on, day after day and night after
night (though the shaft of the mine, you
know, is in the sea, and the workings en-
tirely underneath the sands), acting at a
distance over the surface of the ocean, and
di-awing up the water from beneath its bed;
and all, too, by means of a few bushel of
coals. I am sure when 1 first saw the en-
gine lifting up its arms, and snorting away
as if with the heavy labour it was doing,
it put me in mind of the old fable, I learnt
at school, of Prometheus, who stole firo
from the sun, you know, boy, and made
men with it out of the materials of tho
earth. For it struck me as being a huge
steam man — a kind of monster labourer,
as it were, that would work on for ever ,
without needing any sleep, and without
knowing any fatigue; and that wanted onl)
coals, instead of bread and meat, to keep
it going. Ah! we live in wonderful times,
my lad, that we do; and whatever the
world will come to in a few years, when 1
am dead and gone, is more than I can say.
Why, Mrs. Foxell here was reading to me
the other day, out of the 'Sherbouine Mer-
cury,' a paragraph, saying, that a Mr. —
Mr. — What was the name, my dear?'
'Symington,' answered the lady appeal-
] ed to.
'Yes; that's it! — Mr. Symington,' pro-
ceeded the old gentleman, 'had been mak-
ing some experiments on the Clyde to pro-
pel a vessel, without sails or oars, over the
water — what do you think of that ? — and
that he had actually got a large boat to
move some three or four miles an hour by
means of paddles worked by a steam-en-
gine on board the vessel. Dear, dear!
What shall we come to next, I wonder!
They say* in the paper, too, that the ex-
periment was perfectly successful; so thai,
1 dare say, in a few years our sailors will
be no longer at the mercy of the winds
and if they have only a stock of coals
aboard, they'll be able to traverse Ihe seas
which way they hke. Ah! cool is a won-
derful thing, that it is, Humphry. But I'm
afraid that when we sit and warm ourselves
by the fire, we seldom give heed to tho
dangers and hardships suflered by the pooi-
creatures who are far away under-ground,
digging it out of the bowels of the earth
for us.'
'That's true enough,' interposed the doc-
tor, 'and it's long been an opinion of mine
that tlie greatness of England will soon de-
pend, not so much on the energy of its
people as the extent of its coal-field. You
have heard, doubtlessly, that Mr. Murdoch,
in our own county here, has, within the
last year or two, made a successful appli-
cation of the gas from coal to the purposes
of illumination; he has produced by it a
light much more brilliant than that of any
lamp, and which requires no feeding noi
trimming, nor has it any wick; and I ani