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THE BENEFITS ATTENDING
STUDY OF THE SCIENCES.
It will no doubt be readily allowed, as it has already been hinted in the introduction to this work, that the education of both sexes, should not, in general, be exactly alike, because they are not destined for the same duties and occupations; but it does not follow that a knowledge of the first principles of Geography, Astronomy, &c. will form an improper part of the education of females.
By an attention to these subjects, in which, according to Dr. Watts, “ there is not a son or daughter of Adam that has not some concern,” the mind is abstracted from the trifling objects which too often engage the attention of youth, and through the defect of education, more particularly of female youth; it is also led, by an increasing knowledge of the works of creation, to form more enlarged views of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the great Creator.' The following brief outline of these interesting subjects will give a general idea of their nature and importance: and perhaps inspire a wish to know more than the limits of this work will allow; a wish which may be easily gratified by an application to more voluminous publications,
GEOGRAPHY is that science which describes the surface of the earth, the constituent parts of which are land and water.
The land consists of Continents, Islands, Peninsulas, Isthmuses, Promontories, Capes, &c.
The water consists of Oceans, Seas, Straits, Gulfs, Bays, Lakes, Rivers, &c.
A Continent is a large portion of land, not separated by water : there are only two; the old continent, which con
The Young Woman's Companion, fc. 187 tains Europe, Asia, and Africa; and the newly-discovered continent of America.
An Island is a portion of land surrounded by water : as, Great Britain, Ireland, &c.
A Peninsula is a tract of land surrounded by water, except at one narrow neck.
An Isthmus is the narrow neck of land which unites the peninsula to the continent.
A Promontory is a piece of land stretching itself into the sea.
A Cape is the point of land at the end of the promontory.
An Ocean is a large collection of waters without any separation of its parts by land, as the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, &c.
A Sea is a smaller collection of waters, confined by the land, and communicating with the ocean; as the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, &c.
A Strait is a narrow part of the sea, forming a passage from one sea to another; as the Straits of Gibraltar, Magellan, &c.
A Gulf or Bay is an arm of the sea, which runs a considerable way into the land; as the Gulf of Mexico, the Bay of Biscay, &c.
A Lake is a large collection of waters, entirely surrounded by land; as the Lakes of Geneva, Constance, &c.
A River is a large stream or body of running water; as the Thames, the Severn, &c.
OF THE EARTH IN GENERAL, The earth is a large globe, the diameter of which is nearly eight hundred thousand miles, and its surface contains nearly two hundred millions of square miles.
More than two-thirds of the globe is covered with water; the land is occupied by at least a thousand millions of human beings, and is divided into four great parts or quarters; Europe, Asia, Africa, and America.
EUROPE. Europe is particularly distinguished from the other quarters of the globe; though it is the smallest, it is that in which the human mind has made the greatest advances in arts and sciences, whether of war or of peace; its climate, in general, being temperate, and its soil fertile.
It is bounded on the north by the Frozen Ocean, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and on the east by the continent of Asia, extending about 3,000 miles in length, from Cape St. Vincent in the west, to the river Oby in the north-east; and 2,500 in breadth, from the North Cape of Norway to Cape Metapan in the Morea; lying between the 36th and 72d degrees of north-west latitude, and containing about 160,000,000 of inhabitants.
The principal divisions of Europe are, Lapland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia or Muscovy, Poland, Prussia, Germany, Holland, France, Swisserland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Its chief islands are Great Britain and Ireland, Iceland, Zealand, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Candia, Majorca, Minorca, and Ivica.
Its chief seas, the Mediterranean, the Bristish Channel, the German Ocean, as it is called, the Baltic, and the White Sea.
Its principal rivers and lakes are the Wolga, the Danube, the Dwina, the Neiper, the Rhine, the Elbe, the Tiber, the Tagus, and the Thames; the principal lakes are the Ladoga, and Onega, Geneva, Constance, Como, Lough Neagh, and Loch Lomond.
Its principal mountains, the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Appenines, the Carpathian, and the Dofrafeld mountains.
Its principal capes, the North Cape, the Naze, the Land's End, Cape la Hogue, Finisterre, St. Vincent, and Metapan.
The volcanoes, or burning mountains in Europe are vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy, Mount Etna in Sicily, and Mount Hecla in Iceland.
Except in Turkey, where they are Mahometans, and in some parts of Lapland, where Paganism prevails, the Christian religion is universally professed in Europe; divided however into the Catholic, the Greek, and the reformed churches.
Lapland. This wild and desolate country, which belongs partly to Denmark, Sweden, and Russia, is covered with vast forests of pines, affording, however, some spots for pasture and cultivation. For two months in summer the sun never sets, and the same space in winter it never rises. The character of the natives is hospitable and generous ; they derive their chief comforts from their rein deer, by means of which they subsist, travel, and are clothed : for, ignorant of luxuries, they are easily satisfied.
Norway. This northern country was formerly a kingdom of itself; it has since been for many years dependent on Denmark, but by a recent arrangement is now ceded to Sweden. It is full of mountains covered with fir-trees, the finest in the world; abounds in rivers and cataracts; and on its coast is that celebrated vortex, Maelstrom, usually called by mariners the navel of the sea, which draws in ships, or whatever comes within its reach. The chief towns are Bergen and Christiana. The Norwegians are an industrious, honest, and frugal people, who, having few corn-fields, subsist chiefly by hunting and fishing. Their principal wealth is derived from their forests and mines.
Denmark. Denmark Proper is a very small kingdom, containing the peninsula of Jutland, the isles of Zealand, &c. The country is mostly flat, and abounds with bogs and morasses. It produces, however, corn, timber, cattle, iron, fish, and different kinds of naval stores. It has the chief command of the Baltic, which gives it some importance. The principal town is Copenhagen, which stands on the island of Zealand. Iceland, Greenland, and the Faro Islands, likewise belong to Denmark. The Danes are a peaceable and hardy race, make good sailors, but possess far less enterprize than their ancestors, who were once the terror of the more southern nations of Europe, and established their rule in Britain. Their religion, like that of the Scandinavian nations in general, is Lutheran.
Sweden. This kingdom, which formed part of ancient Scandinavia, was about 600 miles long, and 500 broad, before it lost Finland in its unfortunate war with Russia. The climate is cold but healthful; and the country mountainous, abounding in lakes, forests, and valuable mines of copper and iron. The mines and forests are the principal sources of its wealth. The seas in the Baltic have no tides. The Swedes are brave and learned ; but their native energies are repressed by the narrowness of their means, and their neighbourhood to the powerful empire of Russia. The principal towns are, Stockholm, the capital, which stands on some rocky islands, united by wooden bridges ; Upsal, famous for its university, where the great Linnæus developed the laws of nature; Gottenburgh, in Gothland; Tornea, in West Bothnia; and some others of inferior note.
Russia. The Russian Empire is by far the largest in the world, comprehending all the more northern parts of Europe and Asia. In Europe only it is reckoned 1,500 miles long, and 1,100 broad, but, notwithstanding its extent, it is but thinly peopled in general
. In most parts of Russia the climate is intensely cold, so that icicles are frequently seen hanging to the eye-lashes ; and the drivers of carriages are not uncommonly frozen to death. In the more southern parts, however, neither the climate nor the soil are ungenial. The face of the country is flat, with some mountainous districts. The productions and exports are furs, leather, sail-cloth, sheeting, hemp, flax, timber, iron, copper, pitch, tar, and cordage. The fisheries, likewise, are very considerable. Some of the rivers are navigable, and canals are not unknown. The principal cities and towns are, Petersburgh, the modern capital, built by Peter the Great, who first raised the Russians to the rank of a civilized nation; it stands on the Neva, near the Gulf of Finland ; Moscow, the ancient capital, once adorned with noble edifices, which have since been destroyed in the French campaign in Russia, is situated in the very centre of the empire; Archangel, on the borders of the White Sea; Cherson, on the Black Sea; Astrachan, near the Caspian ; and Tobolsk, the capital of Siberia.-The Russians possess much passive bravery ; but though civilization has made great progress among them during the last century, the despotism of the government and the civil institutions, retard the progress of the human mind.
Poland. Poland has ceased to be a kingdom, chiefly owing to the effects of its elective government, and is now divided among the neighbouring nations, whose rapacity set the first example of those dreadful revolutions that have since convulsed and deluged Europe in blood. The face of the country is generally fat, the climate is rather cold, but the soil is productive in corn and other articles of export. The principal rivers are the Vistula, and the Neister or Boristhenes. The chief towns are Warsaw, Cracow, and Dantzic. As for the character of the Poles, the nobles are gene