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GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND;
PRESENT STATE AND RESOURCES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
For the Use of Schools and Priva
Price Three Shillings.
BY HENRY WHITE
B.A. TRINITY COLLEGE, cambridge, M. A. AND PH.. HAIDELBERG;
OLIVER AND BOYD, TWEEDDALE COURT.
DR WHITE'S SCHOOL HISTORIES.
ENGLAND for JUNIOR CLASSES, 190 pages, 18. 6d. bound.
SACRED HISTORY, 187 pages, 1s. 6d. bound.
OUTLINES of UNIVERSAL HISTORY, 270 pages, 2s. bound.
This Work may also be had in Three separate Parts, each complete in itself, price 2s. 6d. bound.
PRINTED BY OLIVER AND BOYD, EDINBURGH.
WHIT, AN, 19
THE following pages are intended for the instruction of those whose time and opportunities at school are limited, or who have not the means of purchasing larger works containing the histories of the three kingdoms which compose the British Empire. The best and most recent authorities have been followed, and the narrative has been carefully brought down to the latest period.
Should it be objected that there are already too many school-histories of England, and that another is not wanted, it may be sufficient to reply that some of these had become old-fashioned; and that, in order to adapt them to the requirements of the age, it had been found necessary so to change, correct, and annotate them, that, like the ship of Theseus, scarcely a portion of the original remained. The author would further add, that the method upon which this little volume has been written is such as to occupy ground hitherto unappropriated. In its pages the history of Scotland before the Union is treated of separately and as amply as its importance deserves. A similar course could not be pursued in recording the events of Irish history, because, so far as they are necessary to be known by an ordinary reader, they are inseparable from those of England. Special chapters have been devoted to the origin of the British nation, its language and literature. The same arrangement has
been followed with respect to our colonial dependencies, and also in describing the present condition of the kingdom. The information supplied in Chapter XL. has been prepared with very great care, and is intended to present a faithful picture of the material position of the empire. Such a collection of figures may make the reading somewhat dry; but, like the items in a merchant's balance-sheet, without them we can never know our real position or estimate our real wealth.
It is unnecessary to dwell upon the importance of the study of history—particularly the history of our own country. From it we learn not only what our forefathers thought and did, but their failures and errors are a warning to ourselves; while the glories they have achieved, the freedom they have won, are an appeal to us neither to disgrace the one nor forfeit the other. The young reader should not forget, as he studies the following pages, that less than four hundred years ago several continental nations were far in advance of England in the arts and luxuries of life, in social and political well-being. Here he will learn, very briefly indeed, how it is, that while Spain, Italy, France, and even Germany—the first especially -have fallen behind in the race, this country has gradually attained the noble pre-eminence she now enjoys of "teaching the nations how to live." This political independence was not the fruit of repeated revolutions, of sweeping massacres and confiscations, of blood-stained victories, or diplomatic manœuvres; but it was won by the calm and patient energies of an earnest, religious, and law-loving people-of a people who cling fondly to the recollections of the past even while altering their institutions to meet the wants of the future. And it is in order to show this more plainly that much miscellaneous matter has been introduced throughout the volume,
so as to present a faithful picture of the British Empire through all the phases of its greatness.
With no desire to interfere with the methods adopted and approved of by other teachers, the author would direct their special attention to the questions appended to each chapter. These being intended not only to bring out the narrative fully, but also to test the industry and intelligence of the learner, they should not be answered with a mere "yes" or "no," or in the exact words of the text; but the pupil should be encouraged to reply in his own fashion and in his own. language. The study of Chronology and Geography should accompany that of history: the first loses its repulsiveness when combined with the narrative; without the other, our knowledge of many peculiarities in the history of our own country and of our colonies must necessarily be imperfect.