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beautiful, and now and then the miners amuse themselves by cutting it into pretty shapes. Amongst other things, they have cut out a hall 100 feet long, which is used for dancing. It is lit by lights placed in candlesticks made of salt, which look just like glass. If you ever go to Poland by all means go and see the salt mine at Weileizka. Only it is such a dreadfully long hard name, I do not think that you will be able to pronounce it until you are grown up.
SWEDEN AND NORWAY.
These are cold countries ; but boys would not dislike them, for there is such a quantity of good fishing and hunting. Cod, salmon, and other fish abound in the Norway lakes, and there is a great lot of game. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden; Christiana of Norway. Both countries are governed by one king, the King of Sweden; but the Norwegians are allowed to settle a little about the laws of their own country. People travel in Norway in funny little carriages, only holding one person, and sometimes a little boy as driver. Sledges are also much used.
The food in Norway and Sweden is strange. A good deal of brandy and gin are drunk, not to make people tipsy, but to keep out the cold. If you went to an inn in Stockholm and ordered your dinner, you would most likely first have soup, and then raw herrings, turnips, radish, butter, different kinds of fish, and boiled beef. You would wash th.'s mixture down with a glass of gin, and finish all up with a stick of celery. Most likely though you would not stay long in the town, and would push on into the country parts, to get some hunting and fishing.
Perhaps you would meet some queer stunted little men and women, not much bigger than English children. If you should, you may settle that they are Laplanders, or Lapps, as they are called for short. I hope, besides the ugly human beings who live in Lapland, that jrou might see the beautiful four-footed animals of the country. I mean the reindeer. Perhaps you would have a ride in a sledge drawn by reindeer.
Sweden and Norway are happy countries, where the people are not oppressed and kept down as in Poland.
Principal towns.—Stockholm, Christiana.
Religion.—Lutheran Church, as in parts of Germany.
English children ought to care about Denmark, because our Prince of Wales has married a Danish princess, and so, some day, there will be a Danish Queen of England.
Denmark is a flat, and not very pretty, country. It consists, as you will see if you look at the map, of a long narrow peninsula, and of a number of islands. Copenhagen, a very fine city, is the capital. The streets are not wide, but they are regular, and contain fine buildings. Copenhagen is defended by a strong fortress (or citadel), said to be so strong that it cannot be taken, and also by other smaller forts. The Danes understand how to fight, and do not give in while they have a leg to stand upon.
Although Denmark is such a little country, its king is related to some of the chief rulers of Europe. His eldest daughter, as I have said, is our Princess of Wales; his second daughter is married to the eldest son of the Czar of Russia; and one of his sons is King of Greece. So it is to be hoped that if the Danes have again to go to war, some of their strong relations will be able to help them.
The first thing I have to say, is to beg you to observe that the name of this country is not spelt like bears' grease, or candle grease, so do not make any mistake if you ever have to write to a friend who lives there. It used to be one of the most famous countries in the world.
When you are grown up, if you are as fond of reading as I hope you will be, and if you can get a history ol Greece, you will read of such wonderful conquerors, who fought at such fearful odds; of such learned and clever men, who wrote books that are now the study of young Englishmen at Oxford and Cambridge. The Greeks were also able to make the most beautiful statues. Those which are still to be seen, are to this day the wonder of the world. Some are kept in Rome, and some are in the British Museum. I hope you all know what a statue is—a figure cut in stone or marble. Any of you who have ever been in London must have looked at one of Lord Nelson, on the top of the column in Trafalgar Square, where the Lions are; and there are many more statues in London. One of the finest is of King Richard the First, near the Houses of Parliament. But none of them can come up to those made by the Greek sculptors thousands of years ago.
However, in Greece, clever writing and beautiful sculpture are now all over. The Greeks are a helpless, incapable set of people, so penniless that they are always asking help from other countries to enable them to hold their own, and they cannot very easily get a foreign king to reign over them.
They had a German, named Otho, but did not like him; and changed him for a brother of our Princess of Wales, a Danish prince, who seems to have got on better. What still remains of their old greatness are the ruins of beautiful temples and other buildings. You will remember that in the Acts of the Apostles we are told that St. Paul preached at Athens from Mars' Hill, because he had seen a temple to " the unknown God." Mars' Hill is there still, and the people are Christians now, but belong to the Greek Church.
The people of Greece are chiefly merchants. They have no manufactures, very bad roads, and there are a great many robbers, so that travellers are not very safe.
You will easily find Greece on the map. It is bounded on the north by Turkey, with which it is continually quarrelling; as near neighbours are apt to do. On the west and south it is washed by the Mediterranean, and on the east by the iEgean Sea, or Archipelago. This last hard word, means a number of little islands, which, you will see, are dotted about.
Jack Smith was a homeless, friendless boy, in London, who picked up a living anyhow, and slept on a door-step or under an arch. One day he was walking near the docks, where ships load and unload, when a captain called out to him (as be thought) "Boy, would you like to have a turkey?" It blew hard, and steam engines were making a noise; and he called out, "I should think so!" wondering why he had such a good offer. He had never tasted a turkey, but he had seen one in cookshops, and how good it looked!
"Come along sharp," says the captain, "here's a boy I expected has cut and run, and we sail in ten minutes. You look a smart lad, able to clean a cabin and do odd jobs." Jack couldn't believe that he was not being chaffed; but the captain went on, "You've no traps I guess by your look to go and fetch; so down with you, get a good wash, and I'll rig you out. Now remember, obedience is the word here; I'm an easy-going man as long as I'm minded, but if not, look up there," and he pointed to the mast; "you'll spend your time hoisted up there as a spread eagle, as sure as you're alive."