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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT;
District Clerk's Office.
In the best treatises on Universal Geography in the English language we look in vain for that beautiful order and lucid arrangement which so much delight us in other sciences. In geometry we are presented with a series of propositions connected together in regular order, each growing easily and naturally out of those which preceded it; but in geography, though the subject admits to a considerable extent of the same arrangement, towns, rivers, mountains, colleges, and canals are thrown together without any reference to their natural connection. Such confusion may not seriously incommode the man who is already thoroughly acquainted with the subject, or who consults his geography merely as a book of reference; but the student, who reads the work in course, and whose aim is to get clear and connected views of a whole country, must peruse the description again and again, before he can accomplish his object, even if the materials which are furnished in this loose manner will allow him to do it at all.
The natural order of description seems to require that we should in the first place give the boundaries of a country, the divisions, capes and bays, because these can be perfectly understood without reference to any thing which is to come afterwards, while at the same time the mind, by becoming familiarized with terms which will frequently occur, is prepared in the happiest manner for the subsequent parts of the description. After this preparation, the next step should usually be to describe the face of the country, and especially to draw distinctly the great mountain lines. Rivers should come after mountains, because the course in which they run is commonly determined by
also to render the descriptions of imporjarbors, monuments of art, natural curiosi"ry other subject that would admit of it, as un possible. It is to be regretted, however, waterials for such descriptions are in most
the manner in which the work has been -ed, it would have been impossible to have reud on each page to the different authors from ... the information was derived. The language of bis seldom used, each article being commonly the It of a comparison of all that was read upon the est
. It is believed, however, that a much larger ion of the information has been derived from
sources than is common in works of this nae Mexico was given almost entirely on the auhosity of Humboldt. In Buenos Ayresand Chili we care relied chiefly on the valuable documents furished to our government by the commissioners, who Tere sent to those countries in 1817, to collect information. Brazil is described principally from Mawe. Most of the countries of Europe have been given on the authority of the New Edinburgh Gazetleer, and the latest editions of Hassel and Cannabrich. Lo Asia we have derived considerable assistance from Murray's Historical account of discoveries in Asia, and the description of Hindoostan was principally duken from the interesting article in that work. The Tesent discoveries in Africa, particularly those of Belzoni in Egypt and Nubia, will be found noticed in ir proper places. The regions within the Arctic rde have of late been rendered peculiarly interesting m the discoveries made by Capt. Parry in 1819, à otice of which is
on under the head of The accou
ur own country was It of in
s made by the vear
"paration of arti
the direction of the ridges. Climate also should be given after mountains, because differences of temperature are usually the effect of different elevations of the surface. Vegetable productions, animals and minerals depend commonly either on the climate or face of the country, and should, therefore, be reserved for the last place in the natural geography. After going through with these heads we are then prepared for an account of the towns, population, religion, government, manufactures, commerce, &c.; and here also we shall find that there is an order to be observed, that there is a connection and dependence of the various heads, which makes it proper that they should follow each other in a particular succession. The effect of this strict adherence to a natural arrangement is greater than at first, perhaps, would be imagined. If we watch the operations of our own minds, we shall perceive that it is exceedingly difficult to remember a catalogue of propositions which appear to have no relation to each other; but if we can connect them together in a regular series, and reason from one to the other, the memory receives them with ease, the impression which they make upon the mind is deep and permanent, and the acquisition of knowledge in this way, becomes easy and delightful.
The method which the author has pursued in preparing the following volume has been, in the first place, to read extensively and minutely the best works to which he had access on the several countries, both in the English and German languages, with a view to obtain a distinct image in his own mind of the natural features of the country; and then, by a proper arrangement of the articles, and an attention to the order in which the particular thoughts are presented, he has endeavoured to communicate this impression as perfectly as possible to the mind of the reader. It has been his aim especially in the introductory views of each grand division of the globe, to give such an outline of its mountains, rivers and other prominent features, as would prepare the student in the best manner for the account of each particular country. He has