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The British islands, among other advantages for navigation, have coafts, the sea line of which, including both Great Britain and Ireland, extends nearly 3,800 miles, whereas the fea-coast of France has but 1000 miles. The commerce of Great-Britain is immense, and increasing. In the years 1783 and 1784, the ships 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 6.15,000,000 sterling; and the nett custams paid for them into the Exchequer were upwards of f.3,000,000 sterling; and even this sum was exceeded the following year, 1785, by upwards of 8.1,000,000 sterling.-The balance of trade in favour of England is estimated at f. 3,000,000. The inland trade is valued at £-42,000,000 sterling. The fisheries of Great-Britain are numerous and very productive. The privileged trading companirs, of which the EastIndia 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 sanction of parliament, deals in bills of exchange-it buys and sells bulJion, and manages government annuities paid at its office. Its credit is the most extensive of any in Europe. It is one of the principal creditors of the nation, and the value of the shares in its stock runs very high.
Government. The government of Great Britain may be called a li. mited monarchy. It is a happy combination of a monarchical and popular government. The king has only the executive power; the legillative is shared by him and the parliament, or more properly by the people. The crown is hereditary; both male and female descendents are capable of succession. The king must profess the Proteftant religion.
Religion.] The established religionin that part of Great-Britain, called England, is the Episcopal Church of England, of which the king, without any spiritual power, is the head. The revenues of the Church of England are supposed to be about 6-3,000,000 sterling. All other denominations of christians, called Diflenters, and Jews, are tolerated.
Four-fifths of the people of Ireland are Roman Catholics, and are conse. quently excluded from all places of trust and profit. Their clergy are numerous.—The Scotch are Presbyterians, and are strictly Calvinists in doctrine and form of ecclesiastical government. The other moft considerable religious sects in England are Unitarians, Baptists, Quakers (60,000), Methodists, Roman Catholics (60,000), 12,000 families of Jews-and French and German Lutherans and Calvinists. .
History. ] Britain was first inhabited by a tribe of Gauls. Fifty-two years before the birth of Christ, Julius Cæsar subjected them to the Roman empire, The Romans remained masters of Britain soo years, till they wer: called home in defence of their native country against the invalions of the Goths and Vandals, The Picts, Scots and Saxons then took potression of the island. In 1966, William duke of Normandy obtained a complete victory over Harold king of England, which is called the Norman conqueft. Magna Charta was figned by John 1216. This is called the bulwark of English liberty. In 1485, the houses of York and Lancaster were united in Henry VII. after a long and bloody conteft. The usurpation of Cromwell took place in 1647. The revolution (so L14
called on account of James the second's abdicating the throne, to whom William and Mary succeeded) happened 1688. Queen Anne fucceeded William and Mary in 1902, in whom ended the Protestant line of Charles I. and George the First of the house of Hanover, ascended the throne in 1914, and the succession has fince been regular in this line, George the Third is the present king.
ISLANDS, SE AS, MOUNTAINS, &c.
THE principal islands of Europe, are, Great Britain and Ireland in the
I north. In the Mediterranean sea, are, Yvica, Majorca, and Minorca, subject to Spain. Corfica, fubject to the French. Sardinia is subject to its own king; and Sicily is governed by a viceroy under the king of Naples, to whom the island belongs. The illands 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, berween Italy and Turkey; the Baltic Sea, between Denmark, Poland, and Sweden; the Bay of Biscay, 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 south of Poland; the Peak in Derbyshire; the Plinlimmon in Wales : besides the terrible Vol canos, or Burning Mountains, of Vesuvius and Stromboli, in Naples; Etna, in Sicily, and Ecla, in the cold island of Iceland.
THIS immense tract of country, stretches into all climates, from the
frozen wilds of Siberia, where the hardy inhabitants, clothed in fur, are drawn in Nedges over the snow; to the sultry regions of India and Siam, where, seated on the huge elephants, the people shelter themselves from the scorching fun by the spreading umbrella. : This is the principal quarter of the globe; for in Alia the All Wise 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 de. fcendants of Noah dispersed their various colonies 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 light of his glorious gofpel was carried, with amazing rapidity, into all the surrounding nations by his disciples and followers. This was, in short, the theatre of almost every action recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
This vast tract of land was, in the earliest ages, governed by the Assyri. ans, Medes, Persians, 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 usually called Saracens, spread their devastations over this continent, destroying all its ancient fplendor, and rendering the most populous and fertile spots of Asia, wild and uncultivated deferts.
Among the highest mountains of Asia are Arrarat, near the Caspian Sea, on which the ark of Noah rested, when the waters of the deluge suba fided ; and Horeb and Sinai in Arabia.
* Afia is bounded north, by the Frozen Ocean; west, by Europe, and the Mediterranean and Red Seas; south, by the Indian Ocean; east, by the Pacific Ocean; and is reckoned to be 4800 miles in length, and 4300 in breadth; comprehending, besides illands,
Chief Towns. Sg. Miles.
i Tobolki, The several nations of Tartary; }
Ispahan, - 800,000.
T HINA is bounded on the north, by part of Tartary; east, by the
u Pacific ocean; south, by part of the Indian ocean; west, by India without the Ganges; 1450 miles long, 1260 broad.
Rivers. The principal rivers are, the Yamour, Argun, Yellow River and the T'ay; besides 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 said to contain 4400 walled cities; the chiet 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 side of each is a guard-house.
Government.] The emperor of China is absolute. He is, however, obliged, by a maxim of flate, to consider his subjects as children, and they regard him no longer, than while he behaves like a parent. The emperor is styled, Holy Son of Heaven, Sole Governor of the Earth, Great Fatber of his people. The present 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 said to be subject to China, than China to Tartary, since all the wealth of the United Em. pire centers in China, and I artary is no small addition to its strength.
Religion.] Natural religion, as explained by their celebrated philosopher Confucius, is the established religion of China. But the greater part of the people are gross idolaters, and the most numerous sect 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. Christianity had gained confiderable footing in this empire, by the labours at the Jesuits, but in the year 1726, thofe missionaries, being suspected of designs against the government, and teaching doctrines destructive of it, were quice expelled, and the christian churches deinolished,
Chara&ter and inhabitants. It is said that China contains 158 millions of inhabitants, between 20 and 60 years of age, who pay an annual tax. The Chinese in their persons are middle sized, their faces broad, their cyes black and small, and their noses rather short. 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, rosy lips, black hair, regular features, and a delicate though forid complexion : the smallness of their feet is reckoned a principal part of their beauty, and no swathing is omitted when they are young, to give them that accomplishment; so that when they grow up, they may be said to totter rather than to walk.
Air, foil, and produ&tions.] The air of China is generally temperate and good, though sometimes very hot in the southern provinces, and very cold in the northern. It is one of the most fruitful countries in the world; the mountains themselves being cultivated to the top. The principal productions of China are silks, cotton, precious stones, porcelain or china ware, quicksilver, tea, which is peculiar to this country, ginger, camphire, japan'd works, gold, silver, copper, &c.
Curiofities.] One of the greatest curiosities of China, and perhaps in the world, is that ftupendous wall, separating China from Tartary, to prevent the incursions of the Tartars. It is supposed 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 abreast with ease. The Chinese have upwards of 20,000 letters or characters in their language. • History.) This empire is reported to have been founded by Fohi, who is said to have been the Noah mentioned in the bible, about 2240 years before Christ. It is now governed by the emperors of the Dynasty of the Manchew Tartars, who conquered it, A. D. 1645. .
I N D I A IN GENERAL.
DOUNDED north, by Tartary; east, by China and the Chinese Sca;
B fouth, by the Indian Ocean; west, by the same ocean and Persia; length 4000 miles, breadth 2500.
Chief Towns.] The capital cities of the Mogul's empire, are Agra and Delhi.
Air, foil, and productions.] In the northern parts of India the air is tem perate; but very hot in the southern. The heats, however, are moderated by refreshing breezes from the sea, 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 sandy, mountainous, and barren; but in general the soil 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, silver, diamonds, pearls,