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was subject to great uncertainty, which rendered it dangerous to undertake distant voyages.

At length, near 500 years since, a property was discovered in a mineral, called the magnet or loadstone, which removed the difficulty. This was, its polarity, or quality of always pointing to the poles of the earth, that is, due north and south. This it can communicate to any piece of iron ; so that a needle well rubbed in a particular manner by a loadstone, and then balanced upon its centre so as to turn round freely, will always point to the north. With an instrument called a mariner's compass, made of one of these needles, and a card marked with all the points north, south, east, west, and the divisions between these, a ship may be steered to any part of the globe.

Ch. It is a very easy matter, then.

Fa. Not quite so easy, neither. In a long voyage, cross or contrary winds

blow a ship out of her direct course, so that, without nice calculations both of the straight track she has gone, and all the deviations from it, the sailors would not know where they were, nor to what point to steer. It is also frequently necessary to take observations, as they call it; that is, to observe with an instrument where the sun's place in the sky is at noon, by which they can determine the latitude they are in. Other observations are necessary to determine their longitude. What these mean, I can show you upon the globe. It is enough now to say that, by means of both together, they can tell the exact spot they are on at any time; and then, by consulting their map, and setting their compass, they can steer right to the place they want. But all this requires a very exact knowledge of astronomy, the use of the globes, mathematics, and arithmetic, which you may suppose is not to be

acquired without much study. A great number of curious instruments have been invented to assist in these operations; so that there is scarcely any matter in which so much art and science have been employed as in navigation ; and none but a very learned and civilised nation can excel in it.

Ch. But how is Tom Hardy to do? for I am pretty sure he does not understand


of these things. Fa. He must learn them, if he means to come to any thing in his profession. He may, indeed, head a press-gang, or command a boat's crew without them; but he will never be fit to take charge of a man of war, or even a merchant ship.

Ch. However he need not learn Latin and Greek.

Fas I cannot sày, indeed, that a sailor has occasion for those languages; but å knowledge of Latin makes it much easier to acquire all modern lan

guages; and I hope you do not think them unnecessary to him.

Ch. I did not know they were of much importance.

Fa. No! Do you think that one who may probably visit most countries in Europe, and their foreign settlements, should be able to converse in no other language than his own? If the knowledge of languages is not useful to him, I know not to whom it is so. hardly do at all without knowing some; and the more, the better.

Ch. Poor Tom! then I doubt he has not chosen so well as he thinks.

Fa. I doubt so, too.

Here ended the conversation. They soon after reached home, and Charles did not forget to desire his father to show him on the globe what longitude and latitude meant.

He can


Charles. Papa, you grow very lazy. Last winter you used to tell us stories, and now you never tell us any; and we are all got round the fire quite ready to hear you. Pray, dear papa, let us have a very pretty one. Father. With all


heart. What shall it be?

C. A bloody murder, papa!

F. A bloody murder! Well then Once upon a time, some men dressed all alike.

C. With black crapes over their faces ?

F. No; they had steel caps on :having crossed a dark heath, wound cautiously along the skirts of a deep forest.

C. They were ill looking fellows, I

dare say.

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