SPAIN AND PORTUGAL 375. A poor gentleman.—In Spain the people think that a gentleman should not work. If a man builds a railroad, runs a factory, grows crops on his land, or makes automobiles, he is not thought to be a gentleman, because he works. Everyone wants to be a gentleman; so in Spain no one works if he can help it.
Schools need money to keep them going, but the Spaniards haven't much money because they do not work enough. So the poorer people are ignorant, and much poorer than they need to be. They can not read, nor do they know how to make machines or run engines. The Spanish farmers work very hard and their crops are only half as large as those of Belgium or Holland. This is because they do not know as much about farming as do the better educated people of northern Europe. In Portugal, the same thing is true as in Spain.
The people of Spain and Portugal love music, ornaments, and bright-colored clothes. As so many of them cannot read, they spend much time listening to music. They are very polite, pleasant to meet, and are becoming interested in modern educa tion and the dignity cf labor.
376. Climate and crops.—Since Spain and Portugal have a climate much like that of Italy, we may expect them to grow the same kinds of crops. Most of Spain is a plateau, too cool for grapes, oranges, and olives, but good for growing wheat and for raising herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. Wheat, sheep, and wool make up, therefore, the chief wealth of the plateau.
On the coast the climate is warmer, and near the rivers where there is water for irrigation, there are some level delta plains where vegetables, oranges, and other fruits are grown. English ships stop at Cadiz, Malaga, and Valencia and take these fruits and vegetables back home in the early spring when it is still cold in England.
This trade is very much like the fruit and vegetable trade between our — southern states and our northern states.
The lower lands of Spain that cannot be irrigated are often planted with grapes and olives. Many of the grapes are dried and sold as raisins. Spain sends many
other dried fruits, as well as wines, to England, in return for coal and cloth and other manufactured goods that she must buy.
377. has very little coal indeed, but is rich in metals, and exports mercury, copper, lead, zinc, and iron ore. Much of the English iron is made of red Spanish ore, sent by ship loads from the port of Bilbao on the Bay of Biscay. Most of the mines of Spain are managed by Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, and other foreigners, because the educated Spaniards are too proud to work.
378. Cork trees.—The Spanish summer is so hot and dry that the farmers cannot grow corn for their hogs as we do in the eastern United States, or potatoes as they do in Germany and Poland. Therefore, most of the Spanish pigs are fattened on acorns in the large forests of cork oak trees.
Most of the cork used in every country of the world comes from Spain and Por tugal. Cork is the soft bark of a certain oak tree. The owners of the cork forests strip the bark from the trees every nine or ten years. Then it is packed up in bundles, which are put on the backs of donkeys and mules and carried long dis tances to the railroads. Spain does not have as many railroads as has France or Germany, and as most of the country roads are bad, much of the freight is carried on the backs of donkeys and mules rather than in wagons.
379. Cities and govern Barcelona, the chief port, there are cotton and woolen mills, but there is not much manufacturing in Spain, because the leading people think work is beneath them.
Spain is a kingdom. Madrid, on the central pla teau, is its capital. Portugal has recently driven away her king•and set up a republic. Her capital is Lisbon. Oporto is the chief port, ship ping wine, cork and fruit.
The Spaniards and the Portuguese, although they speak different languages, are very much alike, about as much alike as are the people of the United States and Canada. What separates Spain and Portugal?