Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Fertile of corn the glebe, of oil and wine ;
With herds the pastures throng'd, with flocks the hills ;
Huge cities and high tower'd, that well might seem
The seats of mightiest monarchs ; and so large
The prospect was, that here and there was room
For barren desert, fountainless and dry.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]



[blocks in formation]


THÉ precise object aimed at in this work is to afford; in a moderate compass, and under an agreeable form, such a view of every thing most important relative to the natural and political state of the world which we inhabit; as may dwell upon the mind in vivid colours, and durably impress it with just and instructive notions.

In the prosecution of this design I have been guided by the two leading considerations respecting each country, what nature has made it, and what man has made it. Of these the first has taken the precedence, because it points to circumstances which can never fail to exert a certain effect; which survive all temporary changes, and stamp an indelible charácter. The second, however, is frequently of greater interest, and inculcates lessons of more practical importance; it has, therefore, in the more civilized states, occupied the largest share of the description. Both together have as much as possible been brought to conspire in forming the characteristic strokes of the sketch.

Since the first requisite in describing a country is to identify it, the boundaries of each have been traced with some minuteness; and it has especially been considered as an object of consequence to show how far che great fortions or masses into which nature seems to have divided the land

upon this globe, coincide with the territorial distributions made by human policy. Those grand features of country, mountains and rivers, have likewise been laid down with a degree of precision correspondent to their geographical importance. These

details may, perhaps, to a cursory reader appear dry and tedious ; but it is always supposed by the writer that they are illustrated by a good map; for, without such a kind of pictured representation, words must be very inadequate to convey the images required. Travelling in this manner with the eye and understanding conjointly, is an agreeable occupation, as well as the only sure method of fixing ideas of locality in the memory

When the accompaniment of maps is confessed to be so essential to the proper use of this work, it might, perhaps, have been expected that they would have been giớen with it; but neither the size nor the price would have admitted them, except upon so small a scale as not to answer the purpose; and it may be presumed, that few houses in which attention is paid to geographical instruction, are unprovided with a modern atlas, or a terrestrial globe.

I have not been very solicitous with respect to the order in which the different countries have been described. Arrangement is of no great consequence, except where it is founded upon a system essentially connected with the subject; but there is no systematic reason why one part of the world should be offered to the reader's consideration before another. A commencement has been made with Europe, chiefly because a European naturally regards his own quarter of the globe as the centre of all relations and comiparisons, political and moral; and, .indeed, its interest.cover the rest seems to justify this precedence; in rank. The other quarters have been taken in their usual coreler.; :ani the particular divisions of each have followed one another:according to contiguity, with a general course of progress tona north to south. Particular reasons have produced occasional deviations from this course; but it is hoped that the transitions will commonly appear easy and natural.

The main matter of this work is necessarily compiled from other books; and it would be easy to give a long list of works

« AnteriorContinuar »