Boekgegevens
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
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
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105
told that he speaks confidently of its being
possible to light our streets and houses by
such means. But I must confess, that I
myself can hardly go with the gentleman
so far as that.'
'Well, for my part, Bingham,' interrupt-
ed the father, 'I am ready to believe any-
thing. I have lived to see mail-coaches in-
troduced throughout the country for ex-
pediting the post, and letters that used to
take near upon a fortnight to go from here
to London, now carried the same distance
in little more than two days. So nothing
they could do would astonish me after that!
No, not even if I was to hear that the mail-
coaches themselves were driven by coals,
and at twice the rate they go at now.'
This was considered so wonderful a
stretch of imagination on the part of the
old gentleman, that the whole company
laughed heartily at the apparent impossibi-
lity of such an achievement.
'You may smile,' went on the old man,
'but st6am is only in its infancy yet, de-
pend upon it; and the engineer at the
Wherry Mine, when I was talking to him
about the machine there, told me that there
was force enough in a bushel, or eighty
four pounds of coals, when properly con-
sumed, to raise 70,000,000 pounds weight
one foot high. Now, the ascent of Mont
Blanc, from the valley of Ghamouni, is said
by travellers to be the most toilsome feat
that a strong man can execute in two days;
nevertheless, I find by calculation'(and the
old gentleman drew a bit of paper from
his waistcoat pocket), 'that the combustion
of only two pounds of coal would be suf-
ficient, by means of a steam-engine, to hft
a man to the summit. Again, the great
^ Pyramid of Egypt is composed entirely of
granite , it stands on eleven acres of ground ,
and is 500 feet high, so that its entire
weight has been calculated to be about
13,000 million pounds; consequently about
180 bushels of coal would be sufficient to
raise the entire mass twelve inches from
its base. So that you see, Humphi7, what
a wonderful thing coal is, and the large
amount of force that lies locked up in
every pound of it.'
'I do, sir,' said the boy, 'and it is this
which makes me wish to decrease the suf-
fering attendant upon the working of so
valuable a mineral. The account'of the
accident, which Dr. Borlase has just told
us, has so harrowed my feelings, that I
shall spare neither time nor labour in seek-
ing to discover the causes upon which such
calamities depend, so as to fmd out the
means by which to prevent them for the
future. It may be some years before I
shall be able to perfect my plans, but per-
fected they shall be one day if my life be
spared; and then I have no fear that a dis-
covery, having for its object the preserva-
tion of human life^ and the diminution of
human misery, will be either neglected or
forgotten. However high the gratification
of possessing the good opinion of society,
there is a still more exalting pleasure in
the consciousness of having laboured to be
useful.
151 JAMES WATT.
James Watt, the great improver of the
steam-engine, was born at Glasgow, in 1736.
He was descended from truly respectable
parents, who took especial care of the
education of their son. Young Watt was
considered as a reserved lad, because he
was frequently found alone, and devoted
to the improvement of his mind, many of
those hours which by others were dissipat-
ed in childish sports. He was not, how-
ever, wanting in sociability, but occasion-
ally entered into all the amusements of his
school-fellows. Having tinished his gram-
matical studies, and having laid a solid
foundation in the several branches of useful
and important knowledge, he resided for
some time at his father's house. At the
age of eighteen he went to London, and
placed himself under the tuition of an emi-
nent mathematical instrument maker, with
whom he remained only a year, the infirm
state of his health compeUing his return
to his native country.
In 1757, when he was only twenty-one
years of age, he was appointed mathema-
tical instrument maker to the university of
Glasgow, with apartments m the college,
at which he resided until his marriage, when
he removed into the town, and carried on
the business of a mathematical instrument
maker. While thus employed, he invented
his well known improvement upon the prin-
ciple of the steam -engine. About this
time, also, he entered upon the business of
a civil engineer, and planned and surveyed
many public works and canals which were
among the first, if they were not the ver\
first, in north Britain.
In 1773, he became acquainted with Mi.
Boulton, and a partnership took place,
which was productive of great prosperity
to both. To appreciate the advantages re-
sulting to the country from Mr. Watt's in- ^
vention, would be difficult, because of ith
immense extent and magnitude. By his en-
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