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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he gave us a long account how he had
hooked it, played with it, foiled it, and at
length drew it out upon the bank, with se-
veral other particulars that lasted all the
first course. A dish of wild-fowl that
came afterwards furnished conversation for
the rest of the dinner, which concluded
with a late invention of Will's for improv-
ing the quail-pipe.
Upon withdrawing into my room after
dinner, 1 was secretly touched with com-
passion towards the honest gentleman that
had dined with us; and could not hut con-
sider with a great deal of concern, how
so good a heart and such busy hands
were wholly employed in trifles; that so
much humanity should be so little benefi-
cial to others, and so much industry so
little advantageous to himself The same
temper of mind and application to aflairs
might have recommended him to the pu-
blic esteem, and have raised his fortune
in another station of life. What good
to his country or himself might not a
trader or merchant have done with such
useful tho' ordinary qualifications?
Will Wimble's is the case of many a
younger brother of a great family, who
had rather see their children starve like
gentlemen, than thrive in a trade or pro-
fession that is beneath their quality. Tliis
humour fills several parts of Europe with
pride and beggary. It is tlie happiness
of a trading nation, like ours, that the
younger sons, tho' uncapable of any liberal
art or profession, may be placed in such
a way of life, as may perhaps enable
them to vie with the best of their family:
Accordingly we find several citizens that
were launched into the world with narrow
fortunes, rising by an honest industry to
greater estates than those of their elder
brothers. It is not improbable hut Will
was formerly tried at divinity, law, or
physick; and that finding his genius did
not lie that way, his parents gave him up
at length to his own inventions. But cer-
tainly, however improper he might have
been for studies of a higher nature, he
was perfectly well turned for the occupa-
tions af trade and commerce.
Nothing is so uncommon among the Eng-
lish as that easy affability, that instant me-
thod of acquaintance, or that cheerfulness
of disposition, which make in France the
charm of every society. Yet in this gloomy
reserve they seem to pride themselves, and
think themselves less happy. if obliged
to be more social. One may assert, with-
out wronging them, that they do not study
the method of going through life with plea-
sure and tranquillity like the French.
Might not this be a proof that they are
not so much philosophers as they imagine?
Philosophy is no more than the art of mak-
ing ourselves happy; that is, of seeking
pleasure in regularity, and reconciling what
we owe to society with what is due to our-
This cheerfulness, which is the character-
istic of our nation in the eye of an Eng-
lishman, passes almost for folly. But is
their gloominess a greater mark of their
wisdom? and folly against folly, is not the
most cheerful sort the best? If our gaiety
makes them sad, they ought not to find it
strange, if their seriousness makes us laugh.
As this disposition to levity is not fami-
liar to them, and as they look on every
thing as a fault which they do not find at
home, the English who live among us are
hurt by it. Several of their authors re-
proach us with it as a vice, or at least as
a ridicule.
Mr. Addison styles us a comic nation. In
my opinion it is not acting the philosopher
on this point, to regard as a fault that qua-
lity, which contributes most to the pleasure
of society and happiness of life. Plato, con-
vinced that whatever makes men happier,
makes them better, advises to neglect no-
thing that may excite and convert to an ear-
ly habit this sense of .joy in children. Se-
neca places it in the first rank of good
things. (Certain it is at least, that gaiety
may be a concomitant of all sorts of vir-
tue, but that there are some vices with
which it is incompatible.
As to him who laughs at every thing,
and him who laughs at nothing neither of
them has sound judgment. All the differ-
ence I find between them is, that the last
is constantly the most unhappy. Those
who speak against cheerfulness prove no-
thing else but that they were born melancho-
lic, and that in their hearts they rather
envy than condemn that levity they affect
to despise.
The Spectator, whose constant object was
the good of mankind in general, and of his
own nation in particular, should, according
to his own principles, place cheerfulness
among the most desirable qualities; and
probably, whenever he contradicts himself
in this particular, it is only to conform to