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There are many gipsies in Spain, but they do not wander about as they do in England.
Seville is another big town; near it are numbers of orange-trees. You have seen Seville oranges in the shops. At Seville there is the largest tobacco manufactory in Europe. The Spanish are very fond of smoking. There is a cathedral in this town, where is the tomb of Christopher Columbus, who disdiscovered America. To the south of Spain is Gibralta, a very strong fortress, which belongs to England.
Rivers.—The largest river is the Tagus.
Government.—A republic: that is, the people govern themselves (but, until quite lately, they had a queen).
Religion.-Roman Catholic. The queen allowed no other; but now other religions are to be permitted.
PORTUGAL PORTUGAL looks like a little slice of Spain, and it is very like its elder sister in most things. The Portugese hate the Spaniards, just as next-door neighbours sometimes do dislike each other.
In Portugal a good deal of wine is made. Our Port wine comes from Oporto, in Portugal.
The capital is Lisbon, which was destroyed by an earthquake, more than 100 years ago. It has been rebuilt.
Government. A king.
The middle of Europe is called Germany. This is a pleasant country, neither very hot nor very cold. Some parts of it are beautiful. There are high hills, and lovely rivers, and big forests, and quantities of fruit-trees. Altogether, I think that you would like Germany. The people are very good-natured and very clever; they are fond of reading, and extremely industrious. Little German children, like the Dutch ones, make toys, to be sold in other countries. The Germans have quick brains, for they write very interesting books. They are clever with their voices, for they sing very beautifully; and clever with their hands, for they can use them well. In short, whatever they do is well done; even the horses in Germany are better broken and trained than those in other parts of Europe. The Germans are always doing something; you seldom see a German woman without her knitting in her hand. The men are too fond of smoking.
I do not think you would much like the food of the people: they seldom have any meat, unless it is pork, and live chiefly on potatoes, and a mess of sour milk and pickled cabbage boiled together, which is called sauer-kraut. They also like meat which has been smoked, but not cooked. Rich and poor drink a great deal of coffee.
The Germans think a great deal of Christmas, and invented the Christmas-trees, now so common in England. Little children in Germany fancy that an angel brings them presents on Christmas Eve. In
some parts of the country, each child in the family chooses a coloured candle, which is burned at Christmas. The same child chooses the same coloured candle yearly. These candles are stuck into oranges, and then placed round the Christmastree, on which is a pretty present for each member of the family.
One very large kingdom in Germany is Prussia. English children ought to be interested in Prussia, because our Queen's eldest daughter, the Princess Royal, married the eldest son of the king of that country. So, some day, an English princess will be Queen of Prussia. The Prussians are well educated; for, as in Belgium, all the children are obliged to go to school. In most large Prussian towns the shopkeepers understand two or three languages.
There is a good deal of iron in Prussia, which is sent to different countries. A great quantity of timber is also burned there. Flax grows, as in Ireland, so linen is made.
The capital of Prussia is Berlin, which, although not a large place, contains many fine buildings. Amongst others, the handsomest synagogue, it is said, in the world. You know that a synagogue is a Jews' church. There are a good many Jews in Berlin.
To the west of Prussia flows the beautiful river Rhine. Steamboats go up and down it all day, crowded with people admiring the lovely scenery on the banks. Beautiful hills with old ruined castles on them are to be seen. A bright blue sky overhead, and the deep blue river below. You would like to be
on a Rhine boat. Cologne is one of the most famous towns on the Rhine, and travellers stop there to admire the beautiful cathedral, which was begun more than 700 years ago, and is not yet finished. From Cologne comes the sweet-smelling water called Cologne water, which can be bought in English chemists' and perfumers' shops.
Rivers of Germany.—The Rhine, Oder, Elbe.
Religion.—Chiefly Protestant, some Roman Catholics. All religions allowed.
All men in Prussia are obliged to serve in the army for some years, so the Prussians are a nation of soldiers. They have lately beaten the Danes and the Austrians, and have made themselves one of the most powerful nations of Europe.
SWITZERLAND is the most beautiful country in Europe : it is nearly all mountains and lakes. It is impossible for any book to give you the least idea of the beauty of those mountains and those lakes. They are like looking-glasses set in frames of green grass. One mountain, Mont Blanc, is so called because blanc means white, and never has it been seen excepting covered with snow, even on the hottest day in summer. It looks like the white top to cakes in pastrycooks' shops, only high up in
the air. There are some lines written about Mont
They crowned him long ago.
With his diadem of snow." All the bottom of the mountain is rock. Then comes clouds; but Mont Blanc's head, with his crown of snow, is above the clouds, higher than the balloons you have sometimes seen; and at sunset the light of the setting sun makes the white snow look a lovely rose colour.
For many years no one ever tried to climb to the top; but lately people have succeeded in getting there, by sleeping half-way up amongst the rocks. Travellers tie themselves together with ropes, so if one falls another pulls him up. They take guides with them, who cut steps in the ice with a hatchet; but many dreadful accidents have happened. Sometimes the rope has broken, and once the whole party slipped down a precipice, that is, a steep place, fifty times higher than any wall you ever saw; and sometimes snow slips down the mountain, and covers a village, and everybody is shut up in it until they can be dug out, and that is not always while they are alive.
Did you ever see a great handsome dog called, a St. Bernard ? If you did, he was named after one of the Swiss mountains. On that mountain a number of good monks live, on purpose to rescue travellers who get lost in the snow. Large dogs live there, too, and are sent by the priests to dig