I.Why Americans Should Know about Europe. Across the Atlantic Ocean, with its three thousand miles of tossing green waves, lie the old homes of the people who now inhabit America. The emigrants who came yesterday in the mighty steamships which now rush across the ocean in a few days, and the early settlers who reached this continent three hundred years ago in their frail, old-fashioned sailing vessels, came alike from Europe, where their forefathers had lived for many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years.

In the gray wilderness which once covered America the early colonists and their children have built up a new and great nation of whose splendid history and noble men and women all Americans are justly proud. Beneath its starry flag the newcomers to this country, if they are earnest and intelligent, find a weloome to many things which crowded Europe cannot give.

Yet we cannot rightly understand or appreciate how the people who came to these shores felt, what they tried to do, and how they worked to bring it about, unless we know at least a little of the story of the old home they 2 The Story of Old Europe and Young America left behind. Even three hundred years ago the men and women who reached America knew and believed many things which can be explained only by their life in Europe. The new arrivals of the present day, soon to be our fellow citizens, also bring many strange ideas and customs which are the result of their life across the water.

Americans may well look with love and respect to their old home, for Europe is filled with interesting and beautiful things, some natural, some the work of men of olden time, --objects made famous by song and story, --which help to explain the history of our own forefathers.

2. How Europe Looks To-Day. Here are the brave little British Isles with their great smoky manufacturing cities set amid green country, a land proud of its free government, which the sturdy men who dwell there have upheld for centuries against every attack. To their seaports come great fleets from all parts of the vast British Empire across the seas, for men of British race have conquered or colonized many wide regions in Asia, Africa, America, and Australia. The American may be proud that the first colonists of his country came from this sturdy little land, and that we speak the English tongue.

Across the British Channel lies "fair France," the home of everything beautiful. Here rise the roofs and spires of Paris, most famous of modern cities, for centuries the very center of refinement and culture.. On every side stretch smiling fields, small to the eyes of an American, but fertile and well tilled, showing the industry and care of an intelligent people. Yet now and again the observant traveler may still see remains of walls and towers, grim even in decay, which tell of a time when war reigned and when fierce lords tyrannized over unfortunate peasants.

Eastward over the Rhine stretches the German Empire, a land of great scholars, of splendid music, of homely pleasure; and beautiful, too, is Germany with her quaint old towns and her bold, wooded hills. From the bustle of her modern cities and the smoke of her many busy factories it is easy to see that Germany is the home of an industrious and intelligent people. But the great ruined castles, which crown her hills, the crumbling walls which still surround some of her older towns, prove that she too has had hard struggles in the past.

To the south, over the snow-capped Alps, is "sunny Italy" with her blue sky, her green vineyards, and her light-hearted people. Here most of all one sees great monuments of the past, for Rome, the "Eternal City,"

was once mistress of the world. The remains of her vast temples, palaces, and theaters, beautiful even in their ruin, speak of that distant time when Rome gave laws to all nations. Smooth white roads and great stone aqueducts, in some cases still in use, bear witness also to the skill of Roman engineers and workmen in the years when even Germany was yet a forest. Nor must we forget the beautiful cathedrals and churches, of much more recent date but still old, which men have never ceased to admire.

Still farther to the east lies Greece, a small land but beautified by the monuments of a yet earlier day when the wisest men of the world walked the streets of Athens.

South of Italy and Greece is the Mediterranean Sea. This great waterway once occupied the very center of the civilized world, for in ancient times western Asia and northern Africa were also the homes of important peoples.

To-day all Americans feel a new interest in Europe for thousands of our brave soldiers have crossed the Atlantic to fight beside the men of France, Italy, and the British Empire to uphold the idea that all nations, no matter how small or weak, should have the right to rule themselves. How well the armies of the great Republic did their work the world knows. But as those at home

welcome our regiments returning in victory, they can never forget how many of our boys lie asleep in the green fields of France.

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© 2000 by Lynn Waterman