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The British islands, among other advantages for navigation, have coafts, the fea line of which, including both Great-Britain and Ireland, extends nearly 3,800 miles, whereas the sea-coast of France has but 1000 miles. The commerce of Great-Britain is immense, and increasing. In the years 1783 and 1784, the fhips cleared outwards, amounting to 950,000 tons, exceeded the number of tons of the ships employed in 1760, (24 years before) by upwards of 400,000 tons. The value of the cargoes exported in 1784, amounted to upwards of £.15,000,000 fterling; and the nett cuf toms paid for them into the Exchequer were upwards of £3,000,000 fterling; and even this fum was exceeded the following year, 1785, by upwards of .1,000,000 fterling.-The balance of trade in favour of England is estimated at £3,000,000. The inland trade is valued at £42,000,000 fterling.-The fisheries of Great-Britain are numerous and very productive. The privileged trading companies, of which the EaftIndia Company, chartered in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, is the principal, carry on the most important foreign commerce.
The Bank of England was incorporated in 1694. This company, by the fanction of parliament, deals in bills of exchange-it buys and fells bullion, and manages government annuities paid at its office. Its credit is the most extenfive of any in Europe. It is one of the principal creditors of the nation, and the value of the fhares in its ftock runs very high.
Government.] The government of Great-Britain may be called a limited monarchy. It is a happy combination of a monarchical and popular government. The king has only the executive power; the legislative is fhared by him and the parliament, or more properly by the people. The crown is hereditary; both male and female defcendents are capable · of fucceffion. The king muft profefs the Proteftant religion.
Religion.] The established religionin that part of Great-Britain, called England, is the Epifcopal Church of England, of which the king, without any fpiritual power, is the head. The revenues of the Church of England are fuppofed to be about £.3,000,000 sterling. All other denominations of christians, called Diffenters, and Jews, are tolerated.
Four-fifths of the people of Ireland are Roman Catholics, and are confequently excluded from all places of truft and profit. Their clergy are numerous. The Scotch are Prefbyterians, and are ftrictly Calvinifts in doctrine and form of ecclefiaftical government. The other moft confiderable religious fects in England are Unitarians, Baptifts, Quakers (60,000), Methodists, Roman Catholics (60,000), 12,000 families of Jews-and French and German Lutherans and Calvinists.
Hiftory.] Britain was first inhabited by a tribe of Gauls. Fifty-two years before the birth of Christ, Julius Cæfar fubjected them to the Roman empire. The Romans remained matters of Britain 500 years, till they were called home in defence of their native country against the invafions of the Goths and Vandals, The Picts, Scots and Saxons then took poffeffion of the island. In 1966, William duke of Normandy obtained a complete victory over Harold king of England, which is called the Norman conquest. Magna Charta was figned by John 1216. This is called the bulwark of English liberty. In 1485, the houses of York and Lancafler were united in Henry VII. after a long and bloody conteft. The ufurpation of Cromwell took place in 1647. The revolution (fo L14
called on account of James the fecond's abdicating the throne, to whom William and Mary fucceeded) happened 1688. Queen Anne fucceeded William and Mary in 1702, in whom ended the Proteftant line of Charles I. and George the Firft of the houfe of Hanover, afcended the throne in 1714, and the fucceffion has fince been regular in this line. George the Third is the prefent king.
ISLANDS, SEAS, MOUNTAINS, &c. F EUROPE.
HE principal iflands of Europe, are, Great Britain and Ireland in the
fubject to Spain. Corfica, fubject to the French. Sardinia is fubject to its own king; and Sicily is governed by a viceroy under the king of Naples, to whom the inland belongs. The islands of the Baltic, the Adriatic and Ionian feas are not worthy of notice.
The principal feas, gulphs, and bays in Europe, are the Adriatic Sea, between Italy and Turkey; the Baltic Sea, between Denmark, Poland, and Sweden; the Bay of Bifcay, between France and Spain; the English Channel, between England and France; the Euxine or Black Sea, between Europe and Afia; the German Ocean, between Germany and Britain; and the Mediterranean Sea, between Europe and Africa.
The chief mountains in Europe, are the Alps, between France and Italy; the Apennine Hills in Italy; the Pyrenean Hills, that divide France from Spain; the Carpathian Mountains, in the fouth of Poland; the Peak in Derbyshire; the Plinlimmon in Wales: befides the terrible Volcanos, or Burning Mountains, of Vefuvius and Stromboli, in Naples; Etna, in Sicily, and Ecla, in the cold ifland of Iceland.
A S I A.
HIS immenfe tract of country, ftretches into all climates, from the frozen wilds of Siberia, where the hardy inhabitants, clothed in fur, are drawn in fledges over the fnow; to the fultry regions of India and Siam, where, feated on the huge elephants, the people shelter themfelves from the fcorching fun by the fpreading umbrella.
This is the principal quarter of the globe; for in Afia the All Wife Creator planted the garden of Eden, in which Adam and Eve were formed, from whom the whole human race have derived their existence. Afia became again the nursery of the world after the deluge, whence the defcendants of Noah difperfed their various colonics into all the other parts
of the globe. It was here our Saviour was born, and accomplished the great and merciful work of our redemption, and it was hence, that the of his glorious gofpel was carried, with amazing rapidity, into all the furrounding nations by his difciples and followers. This was, in fhort, the theatre of almost every action recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
This vaft tract of land was, in the earliest ages, governed by the Affyrians, Medes, Perfians, and Greeks. Upon the extinction of these empires, the Romans carried their arms even beyond the Ganges, till at length the Mahometans, or as they are ufually called Saracens, fpread their devaftations over this continent, deftroying all its ancient fplendor, and rendering the most populous and fertile spots of Afia, wild and uncultivated deferts.
Among the higheft mountains of Afia are Arrarat, near the Cafpian Sea, on which the ark of Noah refted, when the waters of the deluge fubfided; and Horeb and Sinai in Arabia.
Afia is bounded north, by the Frozen Ocean; weft, by Europe, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas; fouth, by the Indian Ocean; east, by the Pacific Ocean; and is reckoned to be 4800 miles in length, and 4300 in breadth; comprehending, befides islands,
Boundaries.] BOUNDED north, by the Frozen ocean; eaft, by the
Pacific; fouth, by China, India, Perfia, and the Caf pian fea; weft, by Ruffia; 3c00 miles long, 2250 broad.
Air, foil, and productions.] The northern parts are exceffively cold and barren, but the fouthern more temperate and fertile. The country abounds with unwholesome lakes and marflies, mountains and fandy deferts. Their commodities are chiefly fkins of foxes, fables, ermine, lynxes and other furrs, alfo, flax, musk, rhubarb, and cinnamon.
Religion.] The Tartars are chiefly pagans, mahometans, or chriftians; the first are moft numerous.
Government.] Mufcovite Tartary is fubject to the Emprefs of Ruffia; Chinese Tartary to the emperor of China; other parts of Tartary have their own princes, or Chams, and fome are subject to Perfia and the great Mogul.
Character.] The Tartars are in general ftrong made, ftout men; fome are honeft and hofpitable, others barbarous and live by plundering. The
beauty of the Circaffian women is a kind of ftaple commodity in that country; for parents there make no fcruple of felling their daughters, to recruit the feraglio's of the great men of Turkey and Perfia. They avoid all labour as the greatest flavery. Their only employment is tending their flocks, hunting and managing their horfes. If they are angry with a person, the worft they with him is, that he may live in one fixed place and work like a Ruffian.
Hiftory.] The firft acknowledged fovereign of thefe difmal territories, was the famous Jenghis Khan, A. D. 1206. His defcendants poffeffed it till 1582, when Mungls revolted to the Manchew Tartars, who reign in China. The Eluths became an independant ftate about 1400, and fo remain.
HINA is bounded on the
Pacific ocean, fouth, by part of the Indian ocean, weft, by India without the Ganges; 1450 miles long, 1260 broad.
Rivers.] The principal rivers are, the Yamour, Argun, Yellow River and the Tay; befides a prodigious number of navigable canals, which are very convenient. Great numbers of the Chinese live conftantly on the waters in these canals.
Chief cities. This empire is faid to contain 4400 walled cities; the chief of which are, Pekin, the capital, Nankin and Canton. Pekin is reckoned to contain 2,000,000 inhabitants. This city is entered by seven iron gates, within fide of each is a guard-houfe.
Government.] The emperor of China is abfolute. He is, however, obliged, by a maxim of flate, to confider his fubjects as children, and they regard him no longer, than while he behaves like a parent. The emperor is ftyled, Holy Son of Heaven, Sole Governor of the Earth, Great Father of his People. The prefent emperor is defcended from a Tartarian family; for about 150 years ago the Tartars over-ran and conquered this fine country. However, Tartary may now rather be faid to be fubject to China, than China to Tartary, fince all the wealth of the United Empire centers in China, and artary is no fmall addition to its strength.
Religion.] Natural religion, as explained by their celebrated philofopher Confucius, is the established religion of China. But the greater part of the people are grofs idolaters, and the most numerous fect are those who worship the idol Fohi, which was brought from Tibet foon after the death of our Saviour. The Mahometans have been tolerated in China for 6 or 700 years, and the Jews much longer. Chriftianity had gained confiderable footing in this empire, by the labours of the Jefuits; but in the year 1726, thofe miffionaries, being fufpected of defigns against the government, and teaching doctrines deftructive of it, were quite expelled, and the christian churches demolished.
Character and inhabitants.] It is faid that China contains 158 millions of inhabitants, between 20 and 60 years of age, who pay an annual tax.
The Chinese in their perfons are middle fized, their faces broad, their eyes black and small, and their noses rather fhort. It is thought good po-, licy to forbid women from all trade and commerce, which they can only benefit by letting them alone. The women have little eyes, plump, rofy lips, black hair, regular features, and a delicate though florid complexion: the fmallness of their feet is reckoned a principal part of their beauty, and no fwathing is omitted when they are young, to give them that accomplifhment; fo that when they grow up, they may be faid to totter rather
than to walk.
Air, foil, and productions.] The air of China is generally temperate and good, though fometimes very hot in the fouthern provinces, and very cold in the northern. It is one of the moft fruitful countries in the world; the mountains themfelves being cultivated to the top. The principal productions of China are filks, cotton, precious ftones, porcelain or china ware, quickfilver, tea, which is peculiar to this country, ginger, camphire, japan'd works, gold, filver, copper, &c.
Curiofities.] One of the greatest curiofities of China, and perhaps in
world, is that ftupendous wall, feparating China from Tartary, to prevent the incurfions of the Tartars. It is fuppofed to extend 1500 miles, and is carried over mountains and vallies, from 20 to 25 feet high, and broad enough at the top for fix horfemen to travel abreaft with eafe. The Chinese have upwards of 20,000 letters or characters in their language.
Hiftory.] This empire is reported to have been founded by Fohi, who is faid to have been the Noah mentioned in the bible, about 2240 years before Chrift. It is now governed by the emperors of the Dynasty of the Manchew Tartars, who conquered it, A. D. 1645.
OUNDED north, by Tartary; eaft, by China and the Chinese Sea;
B west, the fame ocean and
length 4000 miles, breadth 2500.
Chief Towns.] The capital cities of the Mogul's empire, are Agra
Air, foil, and productions.] In the northern parts of India the air is temperate; but very hot in the fouthern. The heats, however, are moderated by refreshing breezes from the fea, and from the rains that fall continually from the end of June to the end of October. Some part of India, especially the northern provinces of the Mogul's empire, are fandy, mountainous, and barren; but in general the foil is fertile, producing plenty of corn, and the finest fruits. It is well watered with rivers, the chief are the Ganges and the Indus. Their commodities are filks, cottons, callicoes, mullins, fattins, taffeties, carpets, gold, filver, diamonds, pearls,