“And last of all was the Exhibition held a year ago in Paris, which exceeded all that had ever been attempted. The area of the former building was increased so much, that it now amounted to 221,000 feet, making it about one-third as large as the enormous Crystal Palace now erected in Hyde Park.
“It was formed of wood and zinc, and cost L16,000; but will speedily be eclipsed by the one we are about to look at. And so you have a little history of these various plans, which will give you a greater interest in our own, I think.”
“It will, indeed, Grandma,” said Frank; “for, like a stupid fellow, I thought that this was the beginning of the whole.”
“And very natural, my dear; for distant objects never impress the mind like what is visible and present. But other nations soon followed France and England, and Belgium and Bavaria were among the earliest, and Munich had the honor of completing the first permanent or lasting building, devoted only to the purposes of an industrial exhibition for native goods, in 1845.”
“But ours is for all the world, I think you said, Grandma?”
“Yes, dear, for every nation; and a wonderful assemblage there will be of all things useful, beautiful, and curious. Rare carvings from China, splendid shawls from India, gorgeous carpets from Persia, all elegant and tasteful things from France, all native manufactures from Russia and the North, all specimens from New Zealand, California, and the Countries of the South. In fact, all the nations of the earth, and the islands of the sea, will unite with our own dear countrymen in making a display of their talents and their treasures.”
“And of them all, what shall I like the best, Grandma?” said Frank, bewildered by the catalogue.
“It is not possible that I can know your taste, my dear,” said Mrs. Grey, smiling at the simple question; “and yet I can imagine that an enormous globe will interest you most. It is to be made by Mr. Wyld, and will be fifty-six feet in diameter, so tell me how great will its circumference be?”
“One hundred and sixty-eight, Grandma,” said Frank so readily, that he had a kiss in consequence.
“Well, this great globe will cost L5000, which is more money than you can comprehend at present; but you can fancy how beautiful it will look, with all the mountains raised upon it, and all the seas and rivers clearly marked, and all the nations seen distinctly, and with no mistake about their boundaries, which sometimes puzzle little folks to find, and all the cities and large places plainly visible, without the need of looking for them long and carefully; in short, a year or two of the study of Geography mastered in an hour.”
“But how shall I get at it?” asked Frank, with an air of disappointment. “It will be so far above my head: look here, Grandma, I only reach as high as this,” said he, posting himself against the wall, “and this globe will be higher than the ceiling, I should think?”