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GEOGRAPHY is that science which teaches aüd eiplains the nature and properties of the earth, as to its figure, place, magnitude, inotions, celestial appearances, &c. together with the various lines, real and imaginary, on its surface. Geography is distinguished from Cosmography, as a part from the whole; this latter considering the whole visible world, both heaven and earth. From Topography and Chorography it is distinguished, as the whole from a part; topography comprehending a description of particular places, while chorography discusses - particular regions
1. According to the different objects it embraces, geogra phy is divided into mathematical, physiéal, and potitical, Mathematical geography has for its object the earth, considered as a mensurable body: it is the province of physical geography to examine the natural or physical constitution of the earth; while political geography displays the various divisions of the earth, made by man; into countries; states and provincesz* This science is further distinguished, with iespect to the periods it comprises, into antient gengraphy, kuthat of the middle ages, and modern geography.
CAntient Geography describes the old world, the antiënt
state of the earth, and the political divisions which have subsisted therein," from the most remote periods until the subversion of the Roman empire in the west. Of the writings of the antient geographers, a few only have been transmitted 6 the present time: the principal of these are; Strabo, Ptolemy, Pomponius Mela, and Stephanus Byzau. tinus. Among the moderns, who have illustrated antient geography in general, are Cuverius, Cellarius, D'Anville, Gosselin, and Major Rennell, whose researches have shed a torreut of light on the geography of the classic historians.
3. The geography of the middle age' embraces the political divisions of the nations, who figured in the middle age, that is, from the fifth to the commencement of the sixteenth century, inclusive of this period, we have no geographical work extánt, that can afford any just idea of the new order of things introduced into Europe' by the different people of Germany, after the subversion of the Roman enpite in the fifth century.
4. Modern Geography exhibits the state of the earth and its political divisions, from the sixteenth century to the present time: this period has been illustrated by the laz hours of numerous able' writers. Sebastian Munster may be considered as the restorer of the study of geography, who published a very voluminous cosmographical work in 1550. Since the revival of literature, Ortelius, Gerard Mercator, Varenius, Janson, Blaeu, and Vischer, among the Dutch and Flemish, have distinguished themselves by their maps and other geographical works. To these may be added, Sanson, De Lisle, Cassini, D'Anville, Zannoni, Buache, Mentelle, Busching, and Chauchard, among the French and Germans. And lastly, though the study of this important science has only been of late years peculiarly, cultivated in Britain, yet the geographical works and maps of Arrowsmith, Rennell, Pinkerton, and Playfair have reflected equal credit on their country, and on the subject they have illustrated. To the extension of geographical
knowledge, nothing has more effectually contributed, than in the different voyages of discovery that have been uuder
taken within the last hundred years, upder the patronage of the different governments of Europe and America. Among these, the voyages and travels of Lord Anson, Captains Cook, Byron, Wallis, and Carteret, -of Bougainville, Dixon, Meares, Vancouver, Perouse, Mungo Park, Hanboldt and Bonpland, Lord Valentia, Mackenzie, Weld, and Colonel Pike, hold a distinguished rauk.
5 Geographical inquiries are vot more easy and diverting, than they are important to the student. Without some skill in geography, it will be impossible to read history with any tolerable advantage. Chronology and geography bave been regarded as the two eyes of history; if these shine din, history must be very obscure entertainment; without these helps, it lies in confusion, is only a heap of
indigested matter, flat and insipid, and will neither pro por delight in reading; it is time and place that give li as well as beauty.,
6. Nothing, perhaps, is more delightful or instructive t the young mind than the reading of select voyages an travels; but nothing more prejudicial than an indiscrim nate perusal of them.* Voyages and travels form a mos entertaining and inportaut branch of study, whether w consider them as comprehending a description of foreig countries; as displaying the wonders of nature in remote regions ;-as tracing the intellectual character, and marking the variation of customs and the shades of national manners ;-as describing the productions of art, and comparing the progressive improvements of mankind,-oras delineating the physical characters of the habitable globe, and displaying the various states of civilization and barbarism. These are among the pleasing benefits which belong to the perusal of the works of travellers. We gather all their fruit, and iucur nune of their hazard; we feast upon the viands which they prepare, but know only, in description, the perils they have encountered in procuring theni.' This happy and peculiar privilege has been thus poetically dwelt upon by Cowper:
He travels and expatiates, as the bee
CHAP. II.--GEOGRAPHICAL DEFINITIONS. IN order to represent the surface of the earth, we nake use of a machine, (which is called an artificial globe,)'and
**The reader will find full, but select, lists of voyages and travels at the conclusion of the next chapter, and at the end of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.
of engraven charts or maps; on both of which are exhibited the boundaries, divisions, rivers, &c. of the countries thereon delineated.
Those charts which represent the whole of our earth, are called maps of the world. Such, as delineate either one of the four quarters of the world or entire states, are denominated general maps: while those which exhibit a province, department, or country in any particular state, are termed chorographical maps. Such as delineate waters, or any part of the sea, for instance, are called hydrographic charts.
It may be observed that, in maps, the north is usually at the top, the east on the right hand of the student, the west at his left, and the south at the bottom of the map. The different points of the horizon, whence the wind blows, are denominated points of the compass. Of these there are thirty-two: the principal, or four cardinal points, are, the north, east, south, and west; between these are the north-east, south-east, north-west, and south-west.
The surface of the terrestrial globe is divided into continents, islands, peninsulas, capes, mountains, &c. The waters are divided into different seas, gulfs, lakes, rivers, &c,
A continent is a large portion of land, comprising several regions, countries, or states: it is also called terra firma. There are two vast continents, the old, which is still called the old world, and the new, styled the new world: the former includes Europe, Asia, and Africa ; --the latter contains America. The continent, least known to us, lies to the south-east of Asia, and is designated Australasia, (i. e. the southern lands:) it is more frequently known by the name of New Holland.
Islands are portions of land entirely surrounded by water; such, for instance, are Great Britain, Ireland, &c. Peninsulas are portions of continent, projecting into the sea, and surrounded on three sides by the ocean. Such is Africa, the largest peninsula in the known world. An
, which upites more considerable countries together. Such are the isthmus of Suez, which connects Africa and Asia, and that of Darien, which unites North and South America. Coasts are those parts of the land, which are contiguous to, or washed by the sea. A promontory is an elevated point
of land, projecting into the sea; the extremity of which, towards the sea, is called a
southern extremity of Af-11 ricas Mountains are etuinences of land, greatly elevated
above the surrounding earth. Sometimes they are hollow, and emit fire, in which case they are termed volcanos. Of This description are mount Vesuvius, in the kingdom of A Naples, and Ætna in Sicily.
An ocean is a vast mass of salt water, which encompasses present improved state of navigation, an easy intercourse subsists between places and countries the most distant. There are three grand divisions of the ocean, viz. 1. The Atlantic, which divides Europe and Africa from America. I 2. The Pacific Ocean, or the South Sea, which separates America from Asia. And 3. the Indian Ocean, by which the East Indies are divided from Africa. OG
A sea is a large body of water, almost surrounded by land, as the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, but which also communicate with the ocean by means of straits. A gulf is an arm or part of the sea, which advances into the land, as the Gulf of Bothnia, or of Mexico; a gulf is more extensive than a bay; a bay than a creek, and a creek than a port. A strait is an arm of the sea, which runs between two countries that lie near to each other, and by which two seas communicate. Such are the Straits of Dover. A lake is a body of water, of greater or less extent, entirely surrounded by land, and having noapparent communication with the sea. Thus, in England, we have the lakes of Derwentwater, Windermere, Keswick, &c. Rivers are bodies of fresh water, deriving their sources from springs, and discharging themselves either into lakes or seas.
ai The world is divided into four unequal parts or quarJers, which are known by the names of Europe, Asia, Afsrica, and America ; the three former of these divisions only were known to the antients, whence they are frequently called the old world. America was not discovered till the year 1492; and, on
account of our recently acquired knowJedge of this quarter of the globe, it is frequently called. I the new world.